How to be masculine (sigma edition)

December 2, 2015

First a qualifier: this piece is only applicable to men who are or wish to be sigma. If you’re a wannabe alpha, this is the wrong place. If you’re already alpha, I don’t believe you.

I have one overriding goal in life: to increase and protect my medium-term happiness. What does that mean? Happiness is the goal and everything else is contingent upon advancing it. Some people will put other objectives first:

  • be rich
  • be popular
  • fuck hot women

I don’t.

At best those are second-order objectives because you think they’ll make you happy. At worst, they aren’t even that. Becoming rich traps you and directly limits your power (that sounds paradoxical until you begin to understand true power lies not in controlling others but in being able to do whatever you want to do). Can Prince William go icognito to Budapest and fuck some hot chicks in a whorehouse? No, but you can. Can Bill Gates argue with someone in a bar and punch him in the face for getting lippy? no, but you can. Can Cristiano Ronaldo go for a quiet walk through a Madrid park? No, but you can. The greatest personal freedom is found in not being too well-known.

Yes we can

Yes we can

Often, what riches, popularity and hotties give you with one hand they take away with another. There were some experiments on chimps in which they were rewarded with food if they collected special tokens. Soon researchers could motivate the chimps to perform tasks just for tokens – because the chimps had learned tokens could be exchanged for food. Before long, there was a secondary market amongst chimps doing favours for each other for tokens. Kind of like EBT cards now.

But what happens when the experimentors stopped redeeming tokens for food? Chaos.

Chasing riches, popularity, hotties (or whatever else is a second-order objective) should never be the objective. Always keep your eye on the real food – happiness – and be prepared to switch up on those second-order objectives if they take you away from the goal. I choose medium-term happiness because short-term hedonism is extremely destructive and long-term happiness is a mirage which won’t be there when you are finally ready to claim it.

So given this one overriding goal, how do I achieve it?

The devil is in the details and will differ for each man but here is a little wisdom which will apply to every man. Two meta-level goals that will almost inevitably put you closer to the main goal: Increase your control of your time. Increase your personal freedom. If you can do that, you can act upon the opportunities for happiness that come up and there are no accumulated liabilities holding you back. This is the essence of sigma masculinity. With this in mind, here’s a cheat sheet for mindset shifts that will steer you ever closer to increased control of your time and freedom.

1. Never surrender your right to decide
You can never ever delegate your responsibility for your own decisions. No matter who pressures you into a decision, no matter what their prestige or power, you must always make up your own mind. Circumstances may force you to act out of alignment (e.g. corporate work) but keep your thoughts your own. If you find yourself waiting for a blogpost by your favourite writer before developing an opinion on a subject, you aren’t being prudent. You’re being a woman.

It’s okay to defer to a superior authority’s expertise but not to defer to their interests. So for example if you’re in a gym and a superior fighter gives you some technical advice on your right hook, you should probably take it. He still has to convince you, but you’re amenable to the advise. In contrast, if he wants to push you off the heavy bag so he can queue jump it, tell him to fuck off. Nobody – not Putin, not Jesus, not anybody – has the right to co-opt your mind and your interests.

2. Don’t be a fan or a follower
If you desribe yourself as this, you’ve already broken rule #1. A fan is someone who sucks another man’s dick. A follower is someone who carries another man’s baggage. There are men in the world you will naturally respect and admire and this is a great thing. There are heroes in this world. You can be inspired by and taught by such men. I highly recommend it. But heroes are not looking for men to suck their dick.

Follow them? No, don’t be such a faggot. Women and children follow.

3. Don’t lead
I respect the hell out of Donald Trump, the man is a natural leader. That’s great and he’s alpha. Thing is, I’m not alpha and don’t wish to be. Alphas are permanently tied up in alliances, conflicts and status-jockeying. While that energies them, it flatly contradicts a sigma male’s control of his time and freedom. Trump has access to many great things that I don’t, but those things don’t matter to me half as much as my time and my freedom.

A good leader becomes responsile for his followers. That’s restrictive and undermines medium-term happiness.

Let him lead. You have hotties to fuck

Let him lead. You have hotties to fuck

4. Never give a shit about the opinion of anyone you don’t respect
I almost wrote this without adding “you don’t respect” but that would’ve been a little too isolating, and isolation leads to hubris. Respected peers can give you encouragement in your darker times and bring you down a peg during your more hubristic times. Value that but be very careful who you allow to advise you. Would you seek investment advice from a hobo? Relationship advice from a hen-pecked cuck? Fitness advice from a slob? Seduction advice from a chode?

The world is brimming with unsolicited opinoins from morons whose only goal is to chip away at you in order to make themselves feel good about messing with your frame. Anyone who has started a blog or high-profile Twitter account knows all about them. Ignore them. You have no duty to listen to, or even acknowledge, the opinions of any person on this earth.

5. Being respected is more important than being liked.
Stop trying to be liked. It’s extremely feminised behaviour. Women care what other people think about them because they are hard-wired to fear outgrouping. Men are their own powerplant. We bring the value to the group and if we don’t like the group we’ll take it elsewhere. When you’re the value, you don’t fear outgrouping. The group fears you leaving it.

People won’t trust you anyway. There’s something fluid, icky and distasteful about dealing with a man who moderates his own opinions in order to win popularity. Stand up for what you believe, polarise, and the let the chips fall where they may. You’ll have everybody’s respect, even if it’s grudging and hostile. From there, the men who deserve your friendship will make themselves known to you.

Short-term happiness personified

Short-term happiness personified

6. Better the respect of a small group of worthy peers than the adulation of a million morons
I used to call this the “Robbie Williams effect”. The former boy-band member can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t play an instrument, can’t write a song and yet for two years he was the most feted performer in the UK. At one point he performaced in front of 40,000 morons at a RobbieFest live event. Shortly afterwards he was in drug rehab.

The reasons are complex but a big part of it is the Imposter Effect. The adulation of no-nothing idiots is worse than worthless – it’s harmful. It’s the reverse of the supposed “wisdom of crowds”. If so many morons have so unswervingly come to like you, then you must be they kind of person morons like. That’s more damning to your psych than fucking thirty fat girls in a row. If you must solicit respect from others, make sure it’s people whose respect is worth having and that it’s based on living your values.

7. Popularity is weakness
I’ve known men who are so good-looking that they are constantly checked out by girls in bars or on the street. It’s a favourable position to be in if you can handle it. How could you fail to handle such an obviously favourable situation, you ask?

When you swim in unsolicited positive affirmations you become accustomed to them, and soon dependent upon them. Rather than looking inward for reasons to feel good, you become externally referenced. Feeling good is no longer within your control but is dependent upon a never-ending supply of positive affirmations. That will cause your internal referencing to wither and die. You should be as happy sitting under a tree alone at the beach as you are performing on a stage in front of a thousand fans. The exhilaration and emotional involvement will obviously differ, but your base level of self-worth should not.

We’ve all seen the spectacle of old boxers who can’t give up the sport, of singers touring long after their voice cracked, of formerly good-looking guys still hanging round bars trying to draw IOIs. It’s undignified. Don’t seek popularity. If it comes, keep it in perspective.

8. Never follow the flavour of the month
There will always be a new cause celebre, a new star, or a new fad. Always, without exception, and like the Wehrmacht trundling East it’ll always seem like it’ll last forever. There’s a word for people who follow trends: women.

Following a trend means unmooring your boat and letting the current dictate where you go. When that current expires the next current picks you up. There’s a word for people who allow themselves to be swept off their feet: women.

A man is in control of his own destiny. He doesn’t surrender it to fashion. Some of you may decide it’s smart to hop in front of a bandwagon and try to direct the crowd – whether it be Sarah Palin co-opting the Tea Party, or one of the many manosphere attempts to latch onto popular movements. This may be smart, but it’s effeminate. If you’re pushing the bandwagon, you’re effeminate without having the consolation of being smart.

Always be on the look-out for better-positioned men looking to co-opt your money and time into building their own empires. It’s like going to a rock concert – all that your money and adulation does is elevate the rock star to a position where he can fuck your girlfriend backstage. Don’t be cucked.

10. Always be ready to walk
No matter who you are talking to, how long you’ve known them, and what rewards they can bestow upon you….. be ready to walk away if they start tooling you. Your happiness is internally-referenced and you control your time and freedom. Nothing they might give you can ever outrank that, and they might well start chipping away at those things you desire most. Don’t even bother fighting to try to “beat them” – that also cuts into your time and freedom. Lock them out and never think of them again.

Sigma, yesterday

Sigma, yesterday

Paradoxically, if you live your life by the above-mentioned principles you probably will be more respected, more popular, richer, and fuck more hotties. That shouldn’t be the goal.

Lulu is having a 25% off + free shipping sale on all my printed books. Click here, choose your book, and enter LULURC code at the checkout.


  1. nice insights mah nigga. i enjoyed it

  2. Thanks mate needed to hear this right now.

  3. As for co-opting movements I found Cernovich and Roosh to be guilty of this. It started off as Roissy/Heartiste/Chateauemissary and now these two guys have latched onto it as their bread and butter. Either they’ve milked red pill women stuff dry or they just want a bigger piece of the pie. [Correct, thought I still like both men’s material and believe they are doing good things overall, especially Mike. You could always ask them their opinions. My guess is Mike believes the bigger he becomes, the better able he is to carry the fight and help men. There’s nothing wrong with getting paid for your hard work too. I hope both guys continue to go from strength to strength. One of their roles is as “surrogate big brother to lost little boys” and is an important one. Rollo also does this – though he has decided not to monetise it. K.]

    • I second every point of this thing. Everything in it I’ve done, served me and my freedom well. Everything I haven’t done, has bitten me in the ass. This is the true road to being Sigma. [thanks boss. K.]

  4. Off topic but I want to start eurojaunts next year I’m thinking 3 weeks at home doing normal shit, family, friends and my hobbies that I couldn’t give up like BJJ then 3 weeks in a euro city, what do you think? Would be cool if you done a podcast about jaunting I know you done one with Eddie but didn’t go into detail about the nuts and bolts.

    • I would say 3 weeks is too long for a eurojaunt mate. After 10 days I am almost ready to go home and after two weeks I never want to go on another date again. But… after a few days at home I’m fine again.

  5. In the pimping community a sigma would be considered a “hustler” he has leadership qualities and enjoys the game but his introverted nature makes him very reclusive. Becoming a sigma/hustler does require alpha traits just not to the extreme. Donald Trump isnt alpha in fact Donald Trump is a TRICK. His self worth is tied to his economic success. That is why he struggle so bad with women. He is no better than a pua who keeps bragging about how much women he has slept because such dialogue comes from a place of insecurities. American politics is plain sad and that is why people like Trump can excel so well.

    • Trump is a blowhard who was born on third base and thinks he hit a home run … and now he’s being used as a puppet in the political realm … my take is that his job is to act as a kind of “purge valve” for angry White Americans … there’s no way TPTB will let him win the nomination and I believe he will ultimately drop out of the race entirely sometime in the next few months …

  6. Pingback: Daily Linkage – December 3, 2015 | The Dark Enlightenment

  7. Great article, thank you.

    Is it possible for a Sigma to lead and fight for a cause he truly believes in or will it always, deep down, be an externally referenced ego trip a la Alpha or possibly even Gamma?

  8. Hi, I wanted to buy your book Daygame mastery, but saw that there are 2 books called Daygame mastery out at Lulu, one costing almost 100$ and the other costing 50$. Just wondered if they are both the same book?[Paperback and hardback. Same interior, different covers. K.]

  9. Nick,

    You should consider writing a political book from an Alt-Right perspective.

    I am enjoying your political and sociological commentary here and on Twitter, and I see your feed continues to pick
    up reposts from all over the place

    You’ve already done a bunch of PUA, and you obviously have the writing chops. If you’re getting a little bored with the PUA stuff,
    this might be a good career move

    You seem to have a deep knowledge of sociology, politics, etc, that other commentators don’t,. I think there is a true market
    emerging for this kind of talk and and I think you would pick up a more broader audience. – I can easily see you picking up attention in the vein of
    what Tommy Robinson is doing in the UK

    Who knows where it could lead for you

    Regards, [It’s just too much dicking around. I’d have to source every assertion which takes forever. When I speak about pick-up I can simply reference my own copious experience. For politics, it’s more fun to be a ranting polemicist. K.]

  10. Good post this. I do half of these things yet want to do them all. Will lock this into the memory bank. Since taking the red pill I loathe things like football crowds. How gay is it for men to worship younger athletic men? I am glad millions of people in Europe do this every weekend. The sheep are easy to identify.

  11. This is a great post. I now see the differences you highlight. The idea of totally not giving a fuck means you truly have to be comfortable and confident. Not many guys have that zen-like inner balance.

  12. I do find the level of obvious following and fandom in these responses ironic. Lots of people in the PUA/Manosphere community just seem to swap 1 doctrine for another. As for the whole alpha, beta, gamma, sigma thing I think it’s a little over done and the reality is many people have a broad spectrum of traits that would naturally fall in different categories.

    There’s also a certain amount of “cold reading” psychology that people apply when reading about alpha and sigma. They associate with the positives and disregard negative results which means they incorrectly assign themselves to the cool alpha or sigma and not the poor beta or sad gamma where they probably belong.

    Personally I’m not going to put myself in a box. [“Most Sigma Comment” award goes to Tom. K.]

  13. Ya, being happy is the top priority. That’s always good to be aware of.

    Medium term happiness might seem like a reasonable balance between taking care of your present self and your future self, but will your far future self feel short shrifted? Maybe yes, maybe no. Good memories of good times are valuable. Young people are famous for discounting the needs of their older self. The Who sang “hope I die before I get old”, and kids in my highschool at the time didn’t care if smoking killed them, because they couldn’t value their fuddy-duddy older selves.

    Is a wicked hang over worth it the morning after? Depends who you ask. The night before it was worth it. The morning after it wasn’t.

    Old people famously have outrageous and unforeseeable health care costs, and then their quality of life is tied in closely to their retirement income. Once you are old enough to have those costs, will it have been worth it to think about long term happiness? Again, worth it to who? No, it will not be worth it to your younger self – he cares about short and medium term happiness.

    I forget who it was who first noticed that it’s impossible to opt out of the sexual marketplace. Maybe it was Roissy. Roissy noticed that although we may proclaim ourselves as grass eaters and proclaim ourselves as Free with a capital F of all the burdens of external female validation, and Free of having to chase after pussy, and therefore Free to have Free time to do other things, that there was and could never be escape from the sexual marketplace. No escape from the socio sexual hierarchy. No escape from our own internal built in human condition of desire, and no escape from how other people view our place on the totem pole.

    I think it’s the same for the notion of being Sigma. I’ve been about as sigma as they come, I suppose, most of my life. I make my own rules, go my own way, at times to the extreme of neglecting to cut my hair or wear decent clothes. I was a late bloomer to even notice all the dominance plays for power that are constantly going on in most social dramas, such as Made Men. Those social games never interested me and I thought they were for stupid people or people trapped within conventions or people trapped inside jobs that they didn’t have the wherewithal to get out of.

    But now I see it the same way as the socio-sexual hierarchy. There is no escaping it. Sigma is an illusion.

    We are judged by others, and pretending or willfully believing that it doesn’t matter does not lessen the advantages of being higher up on the pole.

    It’s true that there are also disadvantages. If there were not then most people would not seem so eager to follow, and the world would look a lot more like Lucky Thomson’s dog eat dog world full of every man for himself gangsterish positioning. Most people take less risks, and are more docile, and many can get by barely even noticing the rat race.

    I used to laud the virtue of being a slacker, and despised the notion of a suit. Free time was my most valuable possession. I was low on the financial totem pole at 40, and that hurt my prospects with women, but I still did well above average with no end in sight. By then I’d spent a few years managing a staff of 12 in the past, and a few years after that working mostly on my own, and was happy to no longer have the burden of responsibility of making payroll.

    But since then I’ve regrouped and rearranged and repositioned myself. My staff are no longer a burden, any more than a hammer is a burden. They aren’t a burden because I’m not overextended. And instead of being trapped by the business monster that I created, I now enjoy work, and choose to do it. I’m no more trapped by my work than a painter is trapped by the canvas that he put in front of him.

    Last time I had a staff of 12, it had little benefit to me other than money. This time I’ve carefully chosen my businesses to work towards giving me social proof and social access to young hotties. The businesses are pipelines, as well as very enjoyable hobbies. They have brought me close friendships with many cool guys, who came out to live here as interns. The integration of personal interest, future interest, financial interest, and social interest is complete.

    And in the process I’m more aware of the social hierarchy that I once thought was so utterly beside the point. It’s not beside the point once you get advantage from it. When people come to visit me at my shop-house in Java, they have to climb four flights of stairs to get to my room. It’s a 30 meter long building and all the other floors are mine also. And I built a garden on the roof and added two more floors out of bamboo just for fun, for a total of 7 floors. This has a psychological impact on people.

    Guys who are not well positioned might start to get squirmy about this, and start to put their fingers in their ears and scream La La La La YOU DON”T NEED MONEY TO GET HOT GIRLS. Which is exactly like a go-your-own-way grass eater saying that you don’t need women to be happy. There is no escaping the fact that social hierarchy has an influence on how people treat you. When you are are relatively high up compared to those around you, through whatever the local measurements of status are, then you’ll notice the difference, and people will treat you differently.

    Only lately have I started to get a taste for it. It never mattered to me before, because I never knew the value of it before, because I never had the value of it before.

    The back of my head is nearly all bald now, and my temples are grey. It’s much worse than two years ago. My face gets wrinklier every year. But my tastes in girls is the same, and I still want and still date teenagers and young twenty somethings. I know that this is a concept that will not get past the fingers in the ears, but it’s a simple fact of life that money and status and power are sexually attractive, in more than a comfort and security way, plus also a comfort and security way. And this is a very welcome advantage for old men.

    So medium term happiness is great, for you now. But there will be a different man in the future who will benefit from ample money.

    And being sigma is good for you now. But you also might become a different man who becomes accustomed to being perceived of as high status, and becomes accustomed to the benefits that come with it.

    Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. Grass eaters are free from pussy. Hippies are free from corporate chains and petty concerns about material possessions. But nobody is free. We are socially enmeshed beings, and we can never be free from that without being dead. Whether we care about validation has nothing to do with the benefits and costs of our relative social positioning – those costs and benefits are real whether we care or not. It takes money to be free, otherwise you won’t be free from hunger and deprivation, nor have the freedom to pay for a chosen lifestyle.

    I’ve lived hand to mouth and been happy and enjoyed it. There is no one magic answer for what is a good life. I’m just saying that money matters more, the older we get, and as we get older we start to lose energy and focus and eventually peter out and want to retire.

    If the long term is not included in notions about happiness, then you are having a generation gap with yourself, and are close to hoping that you die before you get old. [I think you are answering a different post to the one I wrote. K.]

    • Wow, what a fucking blindingly good comment. I agree fully.

      Really, great stuff.

    • I was responding to this that was inside your post:

      “I have one overriding goal in life: to increase and protect my medium-term happiness.
      long-term happiness is a mirage which won’t be there when you are finally ready to claim it.
      Becoming rich traps you and directly limits your power
      Increase your control of your time. Increase your personal freedom.
      3. Don’t lead… it flatly contradicts a sigma male’s control of his time and freedom.
      A good leader becomes responsile for his followers. That’s restrictive and undermines medium-term happiness.”

  14. Pingback: Is being sigma possible, or is it refusing to acknowledge the inescapable game? « Random Xpat Rantings

  15. I fully agree with the points made. Though it’s also very easy to marginalise yourself and losing a lot of friends in the process. I did because I refused to give up my stance due to game knowledge and not wanting to ‘lose the frame’ as it were. But the biggest overriding problem that I see is that there’s simply a lack of compassion towards other people’s beliefs and values.

    When I began to understand that there is no right or wrong towards how to live life and really sought to understand other people’s issues and problems, thats when i started to appreciate people as they are, regardless of whether we had different beliefs or ways of seeing things. When you shed it all down to it’s mere essence, we’re all simply the same and are all somehow trying to make sense of the world we’re living in.

    I now see things from the perspective of ‘There is no frame’. I no longer wish to have a frame and keep myself open to things. Now that i’ve chosen to not take part in any bitching contests, i’m finding things have gotten a lot better. The world seems calmer, i’m less angry and i’m able to forgive and love people more.

    Perhaps the community needs to do the same.

  16. You forgot #9 !!

    Shame on you

  17. Son of a bitch! I could not have said said it better myself. You just summed up my life’s philosophy- all 50 eventful and welll traveled 50 years- in a few succinct, powerful paragraphs. Well played Krauser, well played!

  18. Some very very good points in here. Brilliant post

  19. Pingback: My Experience with Non-Sexual Social Proof (State Booster) - Days of Game

  20. Thanks for great article. Any chance you could please give more specific examples of e.g what’s the difference between Liking and Following someone. And the difference between being liked and respected. Just how it looks in the real world, I have a good idea but would just like to confirm it


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