The Rational Male volume 1 (2013) is a summary of Red Pill philosophy, mixed with Rollo Tomassi’s own interpretations and ideas.
It is one of the most popular Red Pill books.
- Key Takeaways
- 1. Oneitis: There’s No “The One”
- 2. The Secret to Relationship Power: Don’t Need Her
- 3. Don’t Just Be Yourself: Grow
- 4. Plate Theory: Date Several Women
- 5. Unplugging & Taking The Red Pill
- 6. Men’s Market Value Increases, Women’s Decreases
- 7. How to Keep a Woman’s Interest
- 8. Shit Tests
- 9. The Alpha Buddha
- 10. Rollo Tomassi Iron Rules
- The Rational Male Debunked
- 1. Unsubstantiated & Inaccurate Claims
- 2. Misunderstanding of Basic Scientific Principles & Logical Fallacies
- 3. Made-up, pop-evolutionary psychology (storytelling, opinions, & fervid imagination)
- 4. The Male-Side Bias Fails to Provide A Good Overview
- 5. An Over-Generalization Fest on “Women Nature”
- This Rational Male Is Quite Irrational
- There is no “the one”: there are countless partners with whom you can have a great relationship
- To control the relationship: need her less than she needs you
- Entertain several different women at once: it gives you an abundance mindset
About the Author: Rollo Tomassi is one of the leading voices in the male-focused online community known as the “Red Pill”.
The “Red Pill” focuses more on the intersexual sexual dynamics and sexual power dynamics of the more general male self-development.
Rollo Tomassi is also the author of “Preventive Medicine” and “Positive Masculinity“.
1. Oneitis: There’s No “The One”
The definitive dictionary of power defines oneitis as:
The tendency for an individual to pedestalize one woman and feel like she is “the one” and it’s either he gets her, or he is desperate
Oneitis is an old concept harking back to the very beginning of pick-up and manosphere (check The Game, The Mystery Method and David DeAngelo).
In short, oneitis refers to men who obsess over a single, specific woman.
So you would say that a man suffers from oneitis when he loses his mind for one woman and thinks she’s so awesome that he must absolutely be with her or he’s ruined.
Rollo suggests that this is in part due to the mistaken belief of “The One”, such as there is a woman (or a man) out there who is just right for you.
And you “just” need to find her.
I completely agree with Tomassi here: this idea makes no sense whatsoever and it should be so obvious that we don’t need to discuss it any further :).
I don’t think there is much connection though between oneitis and “the one” mindset. Oneitis relates more to chemical reactions and lacks of options than to beliefs.
2. The Secret to Relationship Power: Don’t Need Her
The Rational Male makes the point that whether or not you want to see relationships with the lenses of power dynamics or not, it doesn’t matter: the power dynamics will be at play anyway.
And, well, you just need to check this page URL to see that I couldn’t agree more :).
Tomassi says that power in a relationship goes to the individual who needs the other the least.
My Note: Power in a relationship also does deeper
There are many elements that determine power in a relationship, and who needs whom the most is indeed a key component. On the other end, focusing on “needing her less” also makes for very poor relationships.
For more, read:
- Relationship power dynamics: the basics
- How to maintain power and control (the effective way)
3. Don’t Just Be Yourself: Grow
You know the old self-help mantra, right?
Just be yourself
Tomassi criticizes that approach, and invites the readers of The Rational Male to focus on growth and self-development to become a high-quality man.
He uses his own example, of what happened to him when he started truly working on himself.
He went from “worst, bottom-scraping beta” to rockstar and alpha father. What you do with your life and who you become in your life, says Rollo, is up to you.
That’s true indeed.
The danger is not aiming high, but aiming low and achieving it
4. Plate Theory: Date Several Women
Plate Theory, at its essence, equates plates with women and says that men should not commit to a single woman and instead keep their options open (ie.: spinning several plates at once).
Tomassi doesn’t say a man should never commit, but he does recommend not doing so before 30 or before he fully understands the lifetime value of men and women, what he really wants from life and the dynamics of the sexual marketplace.
Writes Rollo Tomassi:
A man is as confident and valuable as his options. This is the essence of abundance mindset – confidence is derived from options.
Spinning Plate for Abundance Mentality
Spinning different plates doesn’t mean that he must be sexual with all of them, or that he must keep spinning them all.
The idea is to have several different leads to help you internalize the idea that there are many women out there, that many women can suit you, and that you don’t have to take cr@p from any of them because you can easily next her.
Spinning Plate for Best Girlfriend Choice
Spinning plates allow men to gain more dating and female knowledge, to discern low-quality women from high-quality women and, when he wants, it allows him to make a more informed choice.
Indeed, I would add that quantity is not antithetical to quality. Quantity is an enabler for quality.
And when you want to stop with a woman, you know that it was a choice you have done based on options and knowledge, and not on desperation.
Quantity enable quality
Be The Prize
Rollo Tomassi also says that the attitude that you are the prize of the relationship must underpin your plate spinning
When you are the prize, women will also accept non-exclusivity more, because, says Tomassi:
Women would rather share a successful man than be sadddled with a faithful loser
Which is a quote he attributes to Pook (read The Book of Pook).
5. Unplugging & Taking The Red Pill
Unplugging or “taking the red pill” is common red pill parlance for “coming to see things as they really are”.
In this case, it would be men dropping the mistaken assumption from society and embracing the manosphere theories and tenets.
Rollo Tomassi says there are typical stages of the red pill awakening:
- Denial – refusing to let go of previous beliefs
- Anger – awareness the pill makes sense, anger at society for feeding wrong ideas
- Bargaining – trying to keep some old beliefs
- Depression – the red pill can be a tough one to swallow
- Acceptance – becoming a knowledgeable, healthy rational male
6. Men’s Market Value Increases, Women’s Decreases
Our current culture pretends that men and women are the same.
But that’s crap, implies Rollo.
And nowhere is this more visible than in the sexual marketplace.
Women reach their peak at around 23 YO, when men are just starting their ascension, peaking at 36.
At age 23, while a girl is enjoying her prime value, a man is just beginning to make his own gradual ascent. By age 36, the average man has reached his own relative apex. It’s at this phase that his sexual/social/professional appeal has reached maturity.
And while women’s market value is mostly a consequence of her physical attractiveness, male attractiveness is only one factor.
Thus a rich 50YO will be more valuables than an average, run of the mill 30YO. That can hardly be the case for women.
Women Are Duped Into Losing Strategy
Tomassi also seems to suggest that the current cultural climate of women being the same as men leads them into the mistaken assumption that “they have time”.
But when they reach their 30s after they spent their early 20s partying they eventually realize, sometimes too late, that their value is dropping fast.
I tend to agree with that.
7. How to Keep a Woman’s Interest
Tomassi says you should never say it outright that you are seeing other women.
You should make it clear though if you’re not ready for commitment or you are stealing her time.
And lying to get pussy is what low-quality men do.
- Let her glean from your behavior you have options
- Don’t be too available
- Don’t be there for her during the weekends
8. Shit Tests
Women test men to determine one or more of these factors:
- Confidence – first and foremost
- Options – is he into me or am I his only option?
- Security – is he able to provide long term?
As a general rule though, I recommend testing women instead of focusing on passing her tests, since it’s the person who tests the other who has power -also read “the judge role in power dynamics”-.
Some tests for women:
- Ask women this crazy question: and test their moral mettle
- Tell women to leave a tip: see how much and if they leave any
- Tell her “got get that baby”: see how she reacts (hint: feminist get angry at the word “baby”)
9. The Alpha Buddha
Listening to The Rational Male I was curious to see Corey Worthington’s interview, which for Tomassi exemplifies “alpha male behavior“.
It’s awesome indeed:
My Note: Not the best example of alpha male, though
It’s a funny interview, and he comes across as very solid and high power.
But I think there are better examples of top male behavior. The guy here is not truly in charge of the frame and never even tries.
For example, when he says he won’t remove his glasses because they’re famous, that sounds like an excuse to deflect social pressure. A good and funny one, but an excuse nonetheless. I’d recommend people in similar situations to stop the buck simply saying “because I don’t want to“. Or to push her on the defensive with something like: “I’m not telling you to remove your shirt am I, so why are you telling me what I should or should not wear“.
10. Rollo Tomassi Iron Rules
Tomassi lists 9 iron rules:
#1 Frame is everything
Control the frame, but don’t give the impression you are consciously doing so.
#2 Never share your sexual partner’s count
Albeit Tomassi does so in the book, and it’s 40 :).
In my experience though, most women don’t really care about it anyway. And if they asked, they never pressed me for a final number.
#3 Don’t wait for women who make you wait
Any woman who makes you wait for sex, is not worth it.
I couldn’t agree more, except for fringe cases like very religious or virgins until late in life.
#4 Don’t ever live with a woman you’re not marrying
Either you’re married or you’re going to within six months.
I disagree with this one. Living together is an important test ride.
#5 Never allow a woman to be in control of birth control
LOL this one had me smiling. Use a condom, guys!
#6 Women are incapable of loving a man the way he expects to
I’m not sure about this one.
What exactly is the way a man expects to be loved?
#7 Develop new relationships: don’t fix broken ones
Your time and effort are better spent looking for new ones than fixing the unfixable.
I agree. Albeit sometimes it can be difficult to know what’s “unfixable”. See here for some help on relationship diagnostics.
#8 Never help a woman figure out why she won’t f*ck you
This rule says that in the current paradigm women are the sexual selectors but you shouldn’t flip the script there and be the prize of the relationship (honestly I missed the connection between the title of this rule and its content)
#9 Never self-deprecate
Don’t self-deprecate or try to appeal to her sympathy or sense of guilt.
Yeah, with most guys and women, it’s true.
However, it’s also a generalization.
Usually, it’s OK to self-deprecate when your qualities speak for themselves, or when you are coming across as too good (see: availability and self-rejection).
Also, a subset of emotionally troubled women, “women who love too much“, love to fix a troubled man. But it’s a minority of women.
Women ask for Mr. Dependable but fuck Mr. Exciting
The Rational Male Debunked
Let me be honest:
I wrote “debunked” to get more people on this page.
Otherwise, I’d rather call this section “criticism”.
That being said:
I enjoyed reading “The Rational Male” and I think there is some good content.
There are also parts that need some corrections though. And since the book is popular and it will end in the hands of many men seeking for advice, I will comb it twice as hard as I normally do.
Here is all my criticism of “The Rational Male”:
1. Unsubstantiated & Inaccurate Claims
Several claims are neither scientific, factually accurate, nor even logical.
1.2. “Women obey the imperative of fucking the alpha man, while marrying the nice guy”
What does it even mean?
That’s already your little red flag of lacking any real rigor.
Women, like men, or like any other living organism for that matter, seek to get the best they can get.
Sometimes that means picking an alpha male and raising children on her own (“good gene” or “sexy son hypothesis”), often it means pair bonding with the best she can get and staying for the longer term, while a few times it means deploying a mixed strategy of getting great genes from one man and resources from another (“dual mating strategy”).
As you can see just from that brief description, it’s complex.
But there is no stand-alone “imperative” that forces all women to “fuck the alpha, lock down the nice guy guy”.
Furthermore, that “imperative” just fails to materialize.
Even if there were such a biological urge, non-paternity rates disprove Rollo’s “female imperative”. Or, at least, they disprove that women are successful at turning that imperative into reality -ie.: women utterly fail to trick men into caring for children who are not his-.
Data on this topic is of course hard to find, but a few studies show that if you take a DNA test because you are not sure you’re the father, then your chances of being cuckolded are slightly higher 1 in 3 (meaning 2 times out of 3 they are the actual father).
But on the overall population, the median among estimates is 3.7% including those who took the test ( One of the sources is here and another one here).
That means that 98+% of women father children from their “official” partners.
The data does not support the idea that most women are acting on the imperative of getting genes from an alpha and getting support from a beta.
Prominent evolutionary psychology researchers, including David Buss, also don’t lend full explanatory power to the “good genes hypothesis’ and instead prefer the “mate switching hypothesis”. Such as, that women sleep around and keep their options open more to potentially swtich mates, than to be impregnated and keep the same one -which makes logical sense: whenever a woman, can she’ better off switching and get the full package-.
This is not to say that might not want to. But they simply don’t do it very often.
Still, this website is not the place to invite people to be trusting and have faith in just about anyone.
Be watchful. That’s always a smarter policy.
Update: Rollo’s Answer
Rollo answered saying that you should also include in the computation women who had children from other men and remarried. And then you’d get at around 40%.
That made no sense to me, since those new men aren’t necessarily “providing” for anything and they might have children on their own as well.
Finally, investment in mothers with children is often considered as mating effort, not an investment in children.
Indeed, a mother who remarries is not always winning investment, but she’s failing at her job as a mother and putting her children at increased risk. Studies have long shown that a stepfather in the household is the single greatest risk factor for human infanticide (Dalay & Wilson, 1988).
1.3. Women Are Incapable of Loving (??)
My experience differs.
I have been in love, some women fell in love with me and, at times, we both were in love at the same time.
Sure, some men are more romantic indeed and more idealistic and many women are more practical.
I also believe women can be more ruthless when it comes to moving on and cutting exes off (that’s because they operate on a smaller reproductive window).
But I can’t help but wonder here: are these authors expecting a woman to love them as their mothers would?
Like unconditional love, no matter how naughty -or useless- he is?
Then it’s not women’s fault if they had wrong expectations.
Men aren’t going to love women the way a father would. And women aren’t going to provide unconditional love, either.
It’s just a different type of love. But it can be equally good.
I can tell you from a guy who’s been there.
Once, when I crashed into an ex-girlfriend’s place and did absolutely nothing to contribute to the household, she told me:
Her: only your mother wants you around if you don’t do anything.
And you know what?
She was damn right.
Don’t seek to be loved unconditionally. Seek to carry your own weight in life.
2. Misunderstanding of Basic Scientific Principles & Logical Fallacies
I completely disagree with idea that women will only fuck (or want to fuck) one guy at a time. I could outline several women I know from experience in this (…)
To begin with, this is straw-manning: who ever said that “women will only fuck one guy at a time”?
Second, this is called inductive reasoning, such as looking at a few cases and generalizing to the whole population.
It’s prone to all kinds of personal biases, and rarely leads to good conclusions.
For the record, there are plenty of women who enjoy casual sex. And still, women want to sleep around much less than men want to (Ridley, 1993).
2.2. Increasing sex partners not a risk for VDs (wrong)
To make the point more sex does not mean higher risk, Rollo says:
In my lifetime I’ve had sex with over 40 women and I never once caught a venereal disease (..)
I can also point to men I know who contracted Herpes from the only women they’d ever had sex with. (..) you can equally be a rock star and tap hundreds of women without any consequence and you can be a virgin saint and contract a disease on your wedding night
To begin with, I’d hope Rollo used a condom at least some of the times.
When it comes to what I partially agree with him: the fear of VD might be overblown and VDs should not be your (main) reason to decide for monogamy.
But that quote above is the equivalent of the “95 YO who smokes two packs cigarettes a day, hence cigarettes are not bad” fallacy.
If you don’t believe me, listen to Tyson:
Tyson Fury: did you catch lots of diseases when you were fucking all those girls?
Mike Tyson: lots of them (goes on telling the story of swollen lymph nodes, pain, and looking like a toad)
The danger is also that the more the woman is OK with not using a condom, the higher risk she is. Sometimes I even use it as a test. I pretend I’m not using any condom and see how she reacts.
2.3. Monogamy serves women’s interests (not fully correct)
Monogamy as a goal is a tool of the feminine imperative
That’s not true.
Rollo confuses what’s good for a sizable sub-group, as what’s good for the whole group.
But there are no groups in dating and intersexual dynamics -or in life in general-.
There are individuals.
Monogamy can serve an individual interest, but it does not serve any gender interest at large.
Monogamy, serial monogamy or polyamory, per se, are gender-neutral.
A high-status man suffers with monogamy because he could more easily get more women.
But a high-status woman gains from monogamy because a high-status male will be under pressure to commit to her.
And a lower status male gains with monogamy because the cultural expectation helps him get a woman (see Kanazawa, 2007).
2.4. Women manipulate men to not take care of themselves (illogical)
Storytelling, opinions and personal biases sold as facts are the bane of “The Rational Male”.
For example, Rollo says women tell men that “looks don’t matter” so that men won’t take care of themselves.
Why would they do so?
Because, Rollo says, it allows women to keep having sex with the alpha males they are attracted to while still being able to rely on the resources of their less attractive partners.
It’s an imaginative theory -like many of Rollo’s theories are- on manipulative games women play.
But imaginative doesn’t make for “accurate”.
And, outside of relationships where that lie could help her lock up a higher-value mate, Rollo’s theory makes no sense.
In truth, anyone with a basic grasp of intersexual dynamics would probably agree that women gained if all men cared more about themselves because they’d have more to choose from, and that would give them more power.
See more on games that women play here:
3. Made-up, pop-evolutionary psychology (storytelling, opinions, & fervid imagination)
Rollo often references evolutionary psychology.
But good evolutionary psychology must have been tested and, when not, it must be labeled as “personal conjecture”.
Personal conjecture can be valid and add up and, before it can be tested, it can be a hypothesis with strong explanatory power. But it must be logical.
Rollo Tomassi’s “evo psych” as he calls it instead feels random opinion that does not add up, with a post-scriptum storytelling attached to try and sound more credible but instead only make him lose authority.
Just as an example, Rollo says that women fall in love with the new alpha male because they had to adapt to invading tribes.
This is good storytelling, but it’s a conjecture. For anything to leave a mark on our biology and neural circuitry, something must have happened frequently, ideally many times over a person’s lifetime, and provided a distinct survival or mating advantage that could be transmitted, and provide that same advantage to the offspring.
Rollo has no idea how often an invading tribe took the women of another tribe, but that didn’t stop him from making that up -and, I personally suspect, it may have not happened enough to develop a dedicated, specialized adaptation to “love the invading men”-.
4. The Male-Side Bias Fails to Provide A Good Overview
This is what David Buss says:
Popular explanations blame patriarchy, masculine hegemony, and toxic masculinity (<— this is the feminist point of view)
Manosphere bloggers, on the other hand, blame women who seek sex with “alpha chads” (high-status males) and exploit lower-status men who are “betas” for their investment (<— this is the red pill point of view)
There is some truth to each of these contrasting accounts, but also ways in which they lack explanatory depth.
Note that David Buss is an actual evolutionary psychology researcher.
And what he’s basically saying is that the male bloggers are the feminist equivalent.
I agree with that, albeit the red pill is probably a lot closer to the truth than the feminists.
Still far from perfect, though.
Albeit there are good analyses in “The Rational Male”, I believe it fails to provide a good overview of dating and dating power dynamics.
Because Rollo Tomassi has a strong male bias and, I suspect, an anti-women bias as well.
For example, Rollo focuses on the games women play, and men falling for them.
And there are certainly women who dupe men.
And women, in general, are better and very effective at controlling relationships.
But the view of men played by women is simplistic. Men play their own games.
Both genders, at times, seek to take advantage of one another.
4.2. The focus on the female dual sexual strategy misses the male’s counterpart
Rollo Tomassi describes the dualistic female dating strategy of seeking genes from strong men and resources from weak men (AKA: alpha fucks, beta bucks).
But he fails to see -or mention- that men use the exact same dual strategy (see Wright, 1994).
The male dual strategy is this:
Marry the pious girl and fuck the floozy
This dual strategy, when taken to an extreme, results in the Madonna-whore complex.
5. An Over-Generalization Fest on “Women Nature”
Tomassi has many categories for men.
There are “alphas”, “alpha providers”, “beta who don’t know the rules”, “red pill men who opened their eyes” etc.
But women all seem to be the same.
All driven by their biology the exact same way.
All playing games and all looking for an alpha to inseminate them and a beta to take care of them.
I found this over-generalizations one of the major drawbacks of “The Rational Male”.
It’s also not very informative, because not all women are created equals and different women have different tendencies for cheating.
I’m not the only one to feel this way.
The “almost colleague” guys over at Charisma on Command feel the same:
Charlie Houpert: a conversation we had one one year ago with the rational male Rollo guy and I felt similarly where he was like women are irrational and women are like this. I was like yes and so are men and i feel like i feel like the uh the narrow focus it’s just a common tactic that I’m startirng to notice.
It was a great interview, by the way, check it out.
To be clear, men and women DO have important differences that, as Jordan Peterson says, are particularly relevant at the extremes.
But Rollo Tomassi still makes the two genders more different than they are actually are, and over-generalizes.
This Rational Male Is Quite Irrational
In brief, it’s funny:
the rational male tries hard to self-frame as rational, but there is way too much personal bias to be truly “rational”.
Call it, if you want, “rational posturing” -similar to alpha male posturing, a common thing in the manosphere-.
Besides the more factual rational male debunking, some of the cons include:
Lots of Misogyny Red Flags
I don’t say this gladly.
And I also know it’s potentially bad for business, since quite a few men who end up on this website arrive from red-pill communities.
But still, I could sense a misogynist bias in “The Rational Male”, as well as from the author in general.
Since we live in a feminine defined reality, women’s game is not considered subterfuge, it’s simply how women are, or the feminine mystique
Feminists say the exact same thing… Except that we live in a female-repressive society.
Women are utterly incapable of loving a man in the way that a man expects to be loved by a woman. (…) Men believe that love matters for the sake of it. Women love opportunistically.
It feels at times as if The Rational Male frames women as machiavellian and conniving, and if as if men couldn’t be the same.
That’s a definition of misogyny (Forward, 1986)
Please video-analysis for more:
Generic, Catch-All Dating Advice Lacks Refinement
On TPM we often caution against “catch-all” advice and we prefer more nuanced, context-based strategies and approaches.
Generally speaking, catch-all advice works for many people, in many cases.
But it’s often beginner-level advice and to get to the next level, you truly need to move beyond it.
Also see our analysis on the “limitations of alpha male game“.
Some of the advice I disagreed with includes:
Writes Off The Provider Strategy (Which Can Be Effective)
The author doesn’t seem to consider that being a provider in a monogamous relationship can be a valid dating strategy and/or life choice for (some) men.
A focus on nesting up with a woman and providing for that nest is akin to choosing a quality reproductive strategy VS a quantity one.
Also, there are some benefits of securing a wife early and sticking with her, including more time to focus on other life endeavors and emotional stability (think of Warren Buffet, John Paulson, Jeff Bezos, etc.).
Again, I am NOT saying monogamy is good and you should go for it: I am happily single and not considering marriage at all.
But I do am saying that not all men who decide to enter 1:1 relationships are stupid or irrational.
Which is funny, in a way, since Rollo, married and still married tells men not to get married. While me, single and never planning on marrying, tells people that it’s a fair choice to enter a serious and potentially monogamous relationship, if they so choose.
- Alpha male game: pros and cons
- Lover and provider sexual strategies: which one should you choose?
Refusing the “let’s just be friends” (“LJBF”)
Of course you don’t want to be the friend who hopes against hope for some sexual contact.
The idea behind not being her friend is sound.
But rejecting the “let’s just be friends” sends the wrong message.
Telling her you don’t want to be friends makes you sound butthurt and like you really wanted her as GF.
Instead, I recommend men they say: “sure, we are friends and we should stay friends“. Then never contact her again and be too busy to hangout if she contacts you.
Or check out here how to handle it via text.
This isn’t just my opinion, by the way.
Research has shown that friends are well-positioned for mate poaching, and that boyfriends and husbands have good reasons to be worried of her friends (the obvious caveat is that those friends must be attractive).
The “be as mannish as you can be” to get laid (fails the “law of optimum balance”)
Tomassi makes the case that men must be masculine to attract women because women want manly men.
That’s most certainly true… Up to a point.
It’s the law of optimum balance that Rollo Tomassi again fails at -and it also applies to dating-.
Studies suggest women do have an upper limit and there is such a thing as “too masculine” in attraction.
Indeed, masculine men with a feminine touch -just a touch- can be very attractive to women.
I’m surprised Rollo misses it since he speaks highly of The Art of Seduction and Greene explains this concept rather well there.
Objectification Without Romance: Some Seducers Who Love Women Will Disagree
Part of Rollo Tomassi’s work should help men get laid.
Yet, some of Rollo Tomassi’s philosophy will not work for men who want to sleep with women while also appreciating and loving women.
These types of seducers, and Casanova would have been one of them, are also the ones more likely find “The Rational Male” more on the misogynistic end of the spectrum.
Soso Advice for Relationships
I agree with developing options and being the leader of the relationship.
But, as for everything: balance.
Gottman’s research clearly shows that men who resist women’s influence end up with terrible relationships.
My recommendation is to be the leader of your relationship, but a benevolent leader who cares for the team.
Reading “The Rational Male” it felt to me like the leadership advocated in there was more of a “my leadership against you”.
“Needing her less” can also be a double-edged sword.
If you mean it as a man who has the ability to find women he likes, that’s awesome.
If you approach it like having one foot out as soon as you put your first foot in, then… Be a man and don’t get into a relationship at all.
Also read “how to maintain attraction“:
Some of These Mindsets Might Lead to Low-Quality & Abuse If Taken To An Extreme
This is one of the main reasons why I maintain a certain distance from extremist manosphere corners.
Psychology research shows that there is a certain overlap between men who buy into male superiority, men who seek power, and abusive men.
Men who buy into the idea of male superiority feel less of a man when they are not in control or when their wives outclass them in some meaningful way (ie.: earn more, speak better, higher education etc.).
And to protect their ego they can lash out to “re-assert” their dominance.
I am NOT saying this is the case for the author, for the Red Pill, or for most of the advice in “The Rational Male”.
But some of the mindsets behind “The Rational Male” series might make abusive relationship dynamics more likely.
Low-Power, Victim Mindsets
I just don’t get how anyone could ever find this message empowering.
How can you be empowered, and still believe that you’re a victim of this supposed “feminine imperative that governs the world”?
Feminine Imperative Governing the World (?)
I do believe many legal systems, in many Western countries, favor women in divorces.
But the “feminine imperative” shaping cultures and “feminine indoctrination” making men puppets is something I don’t agree with.
Culture and society are shaped by a multitude of forces. Forces which, even within genders, often push towards opposing directions.
And they do so on thousands of different topics, and all at once.
Believing there can be a single overarching theme that governs the world is to underestimate the complexities of said world.
“Men VS Women” Frame Can Lead to Anger & Bitterness
The whole theme seems to be one of men VS women and their feminine society.
Rollo says that “men who pass shit-tests are those who see the sexes as complementary and not as an adversary“.
I couldn’t agree more, but the book doesn’t seem to walk that talk.
And that is especially the case when the “us” of men is positive and the “them” of women is framed as manipulative and underhanded, which seems to be often the case for “The Rational Male”.
Which is ironic, considering that human kindness and altruism have been most likely selected through sexual selection (first proposed by Boone, 1998, and see “The Mating Mind” for an overview).
Fixed-Pie Mindset: For Him to Win, She Must Lose (& Vice Versa)
Rollo Tomassi’s work seems based on the idea that if one gender wins, the other must lose.
And well, he’s not 100% wrong.
That is sometimes the case in all realms of socialization.
In game theory, this is called “defection strategy”.
And defection strategy is a rather poor strategy for long-term relationships (Ridley, 1996)
In negotiation instead, this is called “fixed-pie mindset”, and it’s a poor mindset to optimize results (see Malhotra, 2007).
And even in sexual negotiations, there are some situations where one gender’s victory can mean his partner’s loss (see: sexual conflict).
However, there is also the possibility and opportunity to make that pie larger through cooperation. If that weren’t true, societies -and relationships- wouldn’t have formed at all.
But they did.
And, when it comes to long-term and repeated encounters, there is far more long-term power in seeking win-win (see: “fundamentals rules of power” and “strategies for power“).
I warmly invite you to read the “enlightened individualist” article:
Some more smaller “cons”:
Could have been briefer & better edited
Some concepts repeat, some topics bear little connection to their chapters and overall it feels like a collection of assembled posts.
The Rational Male would have gained hugely from better organization, structure, and better editing.
Too Much Under “Hypergamy”
Hypergamy means “marrying up” basically.
In The Rational Male hypergamy ends up being a bit too many different things, leading to a whole lot of stuff that seemed a bit far-fetched.
For a balanced and scientific approach to female hypergamy, see:
Can Be Eye-Opening For Beginners
Rollo Tomassi can be eye-opening for men who have, well… Been living under a rock.
But also for some men who settle down too early, look at monogamy as the only option, never realize the risks of marriage, or lack any basic power awareness around dating power dynamics.
Good Analysis of SMV
Good analysis of the sexual market value and how it changes depending on gender and age.
Some Great Reflection on Feminism & Femininity
I quote here with some smaller omissions for brevity:
The characteristics that define masculinity (..) are now the aspirations of women to the point that ridicule of the feminine female is the order. In expecting women to be just as masculine as men, while simultaneously expecting them to still embody a feminine ideal, not only does this put undue, unrealistic ideals upon them, but also devalues the merits of their own femininity.
Well said Rollo, I just couldn’t agree more.
Very Good to Understand Games
The Rational Male is a very good text to understand a bit more on what are the games that women and, to a lesser extent, men play when it comes to dating.
Great Busting of Some Myths
I applaud Rollo for bashing and destroying some pernicious myths, both in “mainstream society” and in the manosphere. A couple of them are:
- “looks matter little for men” myth
- “women are as sexual as men, if not more so” myth
Neither of which is really true -albeit it is true that men can do much to work around looks.
“The Rational Male” is a great entry point into red pill and basic principles of intersexual power dynamics.
It’s one of those texts that are not easy to evaluate because it mixes great content and potentially eye-opening wisdom with some poor assumptions.
Overall, much of what Rollo Tomassi is true, to a certain extent.
In my opinion, it’s the generalization of those principles, together with the extremization of some of women’s tendencies that leads to a distorted picture.
Do I recommend you read “The Rational Male”?
But I also recommend you do so with a critical mind.
Also check out: