Animal explains the difference between an alpha and a beta:
Contrary to what you might think, human heavy hitters do everything in their power to find ways to co-exist. Generally by 1) Ignoring each other (while at the same time doing the human version of what the cats did) 2) Becoming friends 3) If not friends, then friendly/polite towards each other in a kind of middle ground between these two points.
It is the betas who get their fur all fluffed and walk stiff legged with their backs up. This basically occurs because betas do not understand the concept of sharing space ... yes, we just said they don't know how to play well with others. What they especially don't understand is that it isn't all about them.
And that is why they end fighting more ... with other betas. They aren't proving that they are alphas when they do this, they're just jockeying for position in the pecking order.
Despite some people's objections that the simpler, binary, sexual ranking is sufficient to determine if a man is an alpha, the broader socio-sexual classification has proven far more valuable to me in my efforts to navigate and understand social dynamics. For several months I have have had the opportunity to observe several sexually successful males in social situations. By every account they are ALPHAS, and they even self identify as such. Despite this I would never follow them. I have, and always will, actively resist their efforts to make me part of their group. They are very likable, but it would be extremely foolish to become part of their group, or worse accept their leadership.
These ALPHAs completely fit Animal's description of beta. I have listened to numerous stories where they brag about their fights, and their sexual exploits (including married women). The seem willing to fight at slightest insult. Their dominance displays are ridiculous. While they are unquestionably ALPHA, they fail to provide an admirable standard. Their mistakes are (and honestly I made the same mistakes), are to equate fear with respect, submissiveness with trust, and aggression with strength. The value laden Sigma and Animal's secure alpha are far more compelling standards. I have yet to encounter either in person.
I am beginning to question if the search for sex will solve anything. Over at Vox Popoli, commenter Nate mentioned that his criticism of game is that it focuses on women's standards, not men's. This makes a great deal of sense to me. Men understand each others struggles, and bestow respect when it is deserved. Women, on the other hand, are attracted to traits that have little substance. Women do not go through the same struggles and so do not understand what it takes to be a man. Skill in the sexual game is necessary to a sexual relationship, but I have deeper personal questions that need answering. I want substance, not a parody of it. Perhaps my exclusive focus on attracting women is premature. Perhaps the question I should ask is: do I have what it takes to take care of a woman? Perhaps more important: Do I have what it takes to be man?