Keith Swain, author of Dynamic Duos, did a surveying of 2000+ men who have sex with men a few years ago. He was able to correlate it testosterone and estrogen.
Now before the Refutation Band Wagon starts up—-correlate this: if sexuality is biological/chemical in nature then why wouldn’t the expression of sexuality also be chemically and biologically related?
You can’t be “born this way” and then refute the body when doing it. Either your body is part of your sexuality chemically and biologically or it’s not.
The survey held that approximately 85% of MSM are Betas due to higher levels of estrogen. They then did physical testing—-body structure, shoulder ratios, hair patterns, finger lengths, emotionality responses to determine Betas. They then did the same to distinguish Alpha males. Interestingly enough they also found approximately the same correlate among straight men. The theory being that nature designed men to be this way to insure the survival of children and to have warriors to defend the village within all of our tribes.
Does it bear out?
I’ve conducted workshops with thousands of men and not only is this one of my top three most popular workshops but it is the most illuminating for men. To understand themselves within a biological context. I’ll throw out another challenge here: there’s a whole lot of science and questions about how one becomes some combination of LGBTQRSTUVSGL but very little focused science work on that happens after coming out, how biology influences sexuality as adults, what adults do and why.
Testosterone and estrogen levels affecting and effecting men—-even as they get older—-you’re still men—-and what that makes one both capable and desirous of, and not. The same as heterosexual men. I just read a great post about testosterone levels and testosterone hormone replacement therapy from a man over 55. He detailed the symptoms he was experiencing, the sexual issues, the mental ones, and his doctor was able to explain the correlate to being 21 and testosterone levels being over 1000 and his marking at 230 by 55, whereas he should’ve been over 500.
Then of course another ad hoc experiment I’ve encouraged men to do with sweat, semen, hygiene to attract other males, particularly Alpha males.
In workshops, giving men a quick lesson on how to identify themselves, others and tips on engagement, changes lives. No, really. Most MSM are befuddled because there is no scientific examination of not the biological origins but the lived lives of MSM. When they realize that the majority being Betas, something we’ve all noticed in gay communities, having language for it and strategies to deal with that—-exploring versatility.
Or why there seem to be fewer Tops/Alpha men—-their higher testosterone making the common spaces of gay mating—-bars—-not as comfortable socially because an Alpha male doesn’t prefer socialization in that way, has emotional reading, cuing problems, dislikes the “bitchiness” of other men (Betas who are better and what we gender term as feminine emotionality and communication) and therefore how to accept Betas more.
Whenever I offer this tidbit, not my study, someone elses, but I support his results and was getting close to seeing this, I just hadn’t done a direct surveying of the thousands of men I’d worked with. I did get close with Masculine and Feminine “energy” as designed by Dr. Pat Allen to codify emotionality responses and relationship positionality—-the gays go batshit. What I actually think it is though isn’t gay batshit (which exists) but manshit (which is universal).
Alpha/Beta terminology and determination doesn’t simply “explain” MSM, it also puts them into a category. And through gay batshit, no one puts Baby in a corner.
The psychology of an out male sexuality is one of some level of autonomy, freedom, lack of social determination and designation by the larger society. One fights and fights and fights—-like Sophia from The Color Purple.
To NOT be designated, determined, categorized by the society around it and then someone comes along with a measurement that, like arms and legs being a human norm, can’t be “changed, we’re all just born this way.
Interestingly enough, it helped me in the work I was doing because I found that I was present, good at the workshop teaching, but that I didn’t feel a sympathetic empathy. I often tried to hide it—-I have deliberate, practiced, memorized movements, head nods, hand clasps, eye contact, things I used for years to convey an emotional empathy I didn’t feel. I could understand people’s feelings, particularly if I’d experienced the same but I wasn’t crying with people.
In my job I was always scouring for LGBT materials, issues, bibliography to source in my workshops, materials to hand out, to include in my weekly reports so I have a very extensive collection of LGBT related materials. About 200–300 books related to sexuality and when I came upon Swain’s I was blown away by the symmetry of what I was noticing but hadn’t fully articulated and his advanced study.
As a personal read, I understood and took the full hundred question questionnaire, 50% of the questions being physicality related and sexual related, and understood myself better. That I was an Alpha or an A/a—-Alpha physically and small a Alpha emotionally and conversely emotionally B to smal b.
One can be A/b, B/a, B/b, b/A (the most difficult combination to have relationships—-which alerted me to why I was having problems with some guys that I was A to B attracted to physically but a to A, emotionality, turned off by, didn’t like, which was confusing.
It also taught me about how to date more successfully, to recognize what was occurring, to communicate better and even to teach better because I was now aware of my blind spot, my own impediment.
I personally, as an Alpha, don’t care in the sense that I don’t feel judged or categorized, I am more occasionally envious of the emotional accessibility I see in Betas to others, the world. And the way my physical appearance often belies what I feel or would feel if approached by men in differing ways. By that I mean two kinds of Betas tend to come for me. Take Care of Me Betas, who are highly feminine, femininity not bothering Alphas as much as teh codependency because Alphas, and I can attest to this, see a gradation of femininity in pretty much the 85% spectrum, except for Alpha men, most of the time.
The second kind of Betas who approach me tend to be b/A’s—-think Napoleon complexes, that they’re going to power bottom/dominate me from the bottom. Which doesn’t work because I don’t have a desire to be dominated. Most Alphas don’t. Or at least not in a subservient way. I can enjoy the aesthetics and the sexualization of performing oral sex but I personally object to the positions. I’m not comfortable on my knees to anyone for any reason, except maybe tying a child’s shoelaces. So bathroom, park land, glory holes stuff doesn’t turn me off from a sexual perspective, it turns me off from a manhood, degrading self/manhood perspective in positions, not sex. I know a weird inner conundrum that didn’t make sense until I read Keith Swain’s Dynamic Duos!
I’m also not your bestie girlfriend, I’ve been out for 20 years and it often doesn’t occur to me “come out” constantly, especially with all of my public work because it doesn’t occur to me to ask people how they fuck. A coworker recently accused me of being gay—which again, not the exact parameter which I fall into with my lived sexuality-—omnisexuality is better—-and he said it and repeated it, and told others, like it was something to be ashamed of. Which took me a few weeks, emotionally to process and get oh, he’s calling me something “bad”. To me it was like he called me a human with two arms. A typical Alpha obtuseness about emotional attacks. It registers but we aren’t as injured by the ones that are already part of our public lexicon. I’ll tell you what I thought—-you can look me up on the internet, even LinkedIn and infer from there………………yeah. Uh. Yeah. <<
My response to “attack” is bluntly, let’s take it outside if you’re feeling that froggish. I’ll kick your ass. An Alpha response. Either we fairly argue, if it escalates, it’s to violence and manhood/testosterone takes it outside.
But I also get over stuff so fast that I seem insane or cold. Because it’s not the same emotional “wounding” that Betas seem to feel. Which has also informed me in dating Beta men when I’ve made an error that I think is minimal but seems like the exploding Hindenburg to them.
We do feel but it’s on a narrower bandwidth, not lacking in depth but in intensity in some ways and depth in others.
We also sexualize differently than Beta males because our sexuality is more propagating in emotionality. Which I think is the more interesting aspects. How does theurge to express the biological compulsion to breed express itself in sexuality when the entirety of breeding to reproduction isn’t present?
Is this why some men bottom so intensely? The estrogen expression of wanting the testosterone/semen as part of our biological materials/hormones seeking connection, copulation? Are we biologically, as males with other males, still answering to our biological nature, though our sexuality expresses itself without the presence of women?
This goes into my comparative thoughts to how I “feel” having had sex with men and women. And I can tell you, there are of course human being-personality differences but that as a Top, I don’t “feel” markedly different. The same interest, passion, compassion, intensity, connectivity occurs for both. In a very weird way, there’s very little difference in men and women sexually. Which I guess would lend to not being as offended by femininity in males because part of my testosterone is seeking that Beta/estrogen/femininity.
Again conversely, Betas as a mass, have a near jingoistic revulsion around femininity that is only partly social. The demand for masculine men is both loud and lacking in self reflection. Loud in the sense that it’s about 85% of you dudes screaming for it and lacking in self reflection in that the demand is predicated by a blind spot—-what then would that make you? What are you trying to balance? Redress? This goes even one fathom deeper with the terminology masculine acting seeks….or seeking masculine/ masculine acting. Acting being the prime word in this mixology.
What about Alphas bottoming though?
Again, I found from men and my own experiences that Alphas bottom out of a sense or experience of sex, not the emotional, sexual, enveloping, and filling up that Betas express. Alphas bottom to try it or for a partner’s birthday/to practice equanimity but not as a sexualized “preference. There is also the point of the prostate and prostate stimulation but that doesn’t always require a penis.
Again though I default to Swain’s assertion that versatility in the individual creates a greater chance for finding compatible relationships, logically more Betas expanding from just solely bottoming and more Alphas being open to bottoming for emotional connectivity.
It’s fascinating. And non-threatening to me, not because of the privilege that might be conferred in patriarchal society of Alphaness or being a Top in gay society but in the recognition of how many of our thoughts, feelings, desires, etc are biological translations to thoughts and emotions and that there are pros and cons to being more of one than the other providing us with internalized challenges to work through and experiment with.