Godly Masculinity Versus Game

In the comment section of my latest post Leap of Beta, who makes his home at Staged Reality, left what I thought was an insightful comment. Reading it helped solidify some thoughts that I hadn’t been able to settle enough that I could include them in that post. Given how long it already was, I’ve decided to write a new post to lay them out. I am going to track his comment somewhat through my post, so lets begin with this paragraph:

The problem where semantics come in is that there is a very, VERY big difference between Godly Masculinity and Game, yet Dalrock and Vox lump them together. Heartiste does not. I’ve written before about the difference between temptation vs attraction. Temptation is the heart of Game, attraction is the heart of Christian Masculinity; though I actually would go farther and call it Adoration. My reason for this is that the reactions I’ve seen of women to Christian masculinity is a strong mirroring of the adoration a Christian woman will give to God.

One way of reading Leap’s comment is that Godly Masculinity and Game are two very different things. Here is a visual representation of this:

Game and Godly Masculinity ApartIn this model, the two have nothing in common. This is the preferred model of most opponents of Game around the manosphere.

Leap then followed up that paragraph with this sentence:

It should be noted that many, -MANY- of the things game advocates fall in line with those patriarchal teachings.

This provides a different potential visual representation of the two:

Game and Godly Masculininity IntersectUnder this model, there is a certain amount of commonality between the two. The graphic itself isn’t exact, the overlap I included (the part in green) was merely to show that there were some areas of compatibility. This model is the one which Christian advocates of Game seem to have adopted.

Much of the debate from my last post centers around which model is correct. If Model 1 is correct, then Christians should have nothing to do with Game. If Model 2 is is correct, then Christians should be trying to determine just where the “green zone” is located. Before trying to resolve this debate, I want to go back to Leap’s comment. The part that I initially overlooked, but has intrigued me since, is this:

I’ve written before about the difference between temptation vs attraction. Temptation is the heart of Game, attraction is the heart of Christian Masculinity; though I actually would go farther and call it Adoration. My reason for this is that the reactions I’ve seen of women to Christian masculinity is a strong mirroring of the adoration a Christian woman will give to God.

I initially dismissed Leap’s thoughts here because Attraction is a critical component of Game, not just Christian Masculinity. Because of this, I didn’t give his ideas on Temptation any real thought. But as I was writing this response, I realized that he was on to something. I don’t think his initial statement was correct for the reason I mentioned above, but it provides the kernel of thought necessary to germinate a full concept. You see, both Attraction and Temptation lie at the heart of Game. Not one or the other. Both reside there, although in different ways (as I will explain shortly). As for Christian or Godly Masculinity, Attraction and Adoration are to be found at its heart. [The concept of Adoration seems fairly similar to my thoughts on Desire, although I don’t think that they are an exact match.]

For Game, Temptation is the second step. The first step is to generate Attraction. Once a woman is attracted, then you can tempt her. Or perhaps a different word is appropriate: seduce. Many Game advocates in fact recommend a three stage model:

1) The Attraction Phase

2) The Comfort Phase

3) The Seduction Phase

(One example is found here.)

To tie this in what what I and Leap have mentioned before, “Step 1” is a combination of the Attraction Phase and the Comfort Phase. Personally, I think that they are an unnecessary attempt to distinguish between the two. Both involve attraction, with the nature of the attraction moving from more appearance or status based to more emotion based over time. Once Attraction is taken care of, then you can move to the Seduction phase, or what Leap deemed Temptation.

As for Godly Masculinity, you start off in a similar way: by building Attraction. Once you have established Attraction, then you can lead things towards Adoration. Unlike the unbridled lust or the lure of the forbidden fruit found in Game’s seduction/temptation, Adoration is based off a God-fearing woman’s acknowledgment of a man’s righteous character and her respect of him for it. Whereas a woman who is tempted with Game merely wants to sleep with the man tempting her, a Godly woman who adores a man wants to follow him, to join herself to him and his mission/cause.

From this perspective we can see where Game and Godly Masculinity are “compatible”: the generation of attraction. However, both take very divergent paths once you have achieved the necessary level of attraction. Although I think that they actually may share an even earlier frame of reference, if you will. By that I mean that “Frame” is something that is a component of both Game and Godly Masculinity at an even more base level than attraction. Perhaps the best way of visualizing this is as a pyramid. Lets start with Game:

Game as a PyramidMasculine Frame forms the base of pyramid. Everything starts with that; forming a Dominant Masculine Frame is the first step in the whole process. In fact, it is so elemental it must be established before a man even approaches a woman. After Frame is established a man can approach a woman and begin step two, which is the building of Attraction. After sufficiently building Attraction, a man can then move to the third and final step, Temptation. Moving on to Godly Masculinity, we can see that it looks fairly similar:

Godly Masculinity as a PyramidThe only obvious differences is the pinnacle of the pyramid. Temptation has been replaced by adoration. However, I think there are probably some base differences (no pun intended) in how Masculine Frame works between the two. Even if there aren’t, these two new models provide us with a better understanding of how Game and Godly Masculinity interact. We can see that the intersection between the two is found in generating attraction, and in some measure in Masculine Frame.

All of which leads to the major question waiting to be resolved:

Is it possible to separate the Attraction aspects of Game from its Temptation aspects?

In other words, are the tools which are designed to generate Attraction so intrinsically linked to Temptation that they cannot be used apart from those purposes? If this is the case, then Great Books For Men and other opponents of Game are correct- it has no place in Christian circles. On the other hand, if the tools to generate Attraction and Temptation are different, then it stands to reason that Christians who wish to advance Godly Masculinity can appropriate the tools to generate Attraction for their own, holier ends. A similar analysis can also be applied to Masculine Frame as well, although I think that it is sufficiently different from the two stages that the same ethical concerns are not implicated.

As a final thought, if one uses Leap’s definitions for Game and Godly Masculinity, or at least his understanding of how they work, then there really isn’t any room for Christian men to “Game their wives”. Temptation has no place in marriage, and since Game inherently involves Temptation, Christians must eschew it. Of course, that just gets us back to the original point of Leap’s comment, which is that much of our struggle here is over semantics. So rather than argue over what is and isn’t game, we can instead direct our efforts to answering the question I raised above.


Filed under Attraction, Christianity, Desire, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill, Sex, Women

176 responses to “Godly Masculinity Versus Game

  1. Random Angeleno

    @Aquinas Dad
    I’m a Roman Catholic. I’ve attended Mass in at least 50 parishes around the country since I rejoined the Church several years ago. I’ve attended at least a month’s worth of Masses at about a dozen of these parishes. While many parishes have KoC chapters, I don’t see masculinity emphasized in the overall scheme of things at any of the parishes. I rather suspect it’s because the ministries and the parish schools are nearly always run by women while the priests aren’t masculine enough to put their stamp on the parish. At least they don’t preach “man up and marry those sluts”, but it’s been rare when passages like Ephesians 5 are a reading at Mass that gets discussed honesty during the Homily.

    Dalrock has an open challenge to name churches that actually accept masculinity and preach it. While this isn’t aimed at Catholicism, I’d offer you the challenge that you only addressed partially above.

    Finally, whatever I know about masculinity, I didn’t learn it from the Church growing up, that is for sure. What I got from them was how to be a wishy washy, namby pamby Catholic. Those were the boys that got all the ink and praise. The feminized ones. The others like myself left in disgust while in high school or college. I stayed away for decades before I rediscovered its true meaning. That is the damage done…

  2. mdavid444444

    Aquinas, Donal, Random:

    I attend Latin mass. I’ve attended Catholic mass for 40 years. I fit the stereotypes – 8 kids plus one on the way, wife in the choir, 4 kids are alter boys, etc. I’ve had 5 different priests over to my house for dinner in the last 12 months alone, And I’ve been around as well: I currently attend a protestant bible study at work, and I’ve attended a local Byzantine church. So I know what I’m I talking about; this isn’t just “my experience”. It’s reality, on the ground.

    But while on the outside I’m part of the Latin mass crowd, I’m actually quite different. Why? Because I’m an unashamed believer in male authority, expect my wife to be obedient, and am willing to speak directly about it when required. And that’s very unusual among Catholics today, even traditional ones.

    And I’ve NEVER, NEVER once heard a single sermon that has directly addressed the terrible problem of feminism in modern times. Let me shout that again: NEVER. I’ve heard touchy subjects like abortion addressed without fear, even birth control a few times, but never once has the root problem of feminism and female insubordinate and immoral sexual behavior been broached.

    Most of the men who attend conservative Latin mass, while good conservative guys, whom I like, are still beta. Sure, their wives are conservative, they wear veils, have big families, and walk the walk…but their husbands are beta pure through. And the priests? Same deal. They don’t even understand the problem, let alone could do anything about it if they did. They are either a) too old to grasp the modern male-female dynamic and are living in the past, or b) too clueless to know anything, or c) too cowardly to say anything. Heck, their bishop would probably crush them if they did.

    Please don’t misunderstand me, they are solid on doctrine, the bible, etc. But at the heart of every family I know but a tiny few is a traditional woman who runs things. The men are mostly, if not all, beta.

  3. Elspeth

    You appear to be a devout wife and in all your writings you exhibit adoration, devotion, desire, gratefulness and thankfulness towards your husband. I admire you for this.

    Thank you, sister.

    But I still think how your husband just IS contributes towards your marriage dynamic immensely.

    I have no problem conceding this point, Hannah. I know I wouldn’t be half the woman I’ve grown into if I were married to a lesser man. No doubt about it.

  4. Random thought, but possibly relevant:

    After reflection on what I’ve read in the year-plus I’ve been active in these parts, “Game” seems to mean “any conduct that makes you successful with anything, especially but not exclusively bedding women”. If there are no limits to the meaning of a word, the word means nothing.

    Like I said, random thought, but it’s something I’ve been pondering for a long time.

  5. theshadowedknight

    I have a story that is relevant. My occupation in the Marine Corps is in linguistics, which goes beyond merely translating from one language to another. In order to be successful, you have to understand the culture, and learn to act as your target speakers do. My school was a year of language instruction, seven hours a day, with native speakers of the language. You go beyond just the spoken word, communicating with your body as much as your tongue.

    One of the schoolhouses is dedicated to teaching Korean. Their class is a year and a half, and it is the hardest course. Something like nine out of every ten students fails out of the course and is sent to another job school. The ones that make it through have an interesting problem.

    You see, there are only a couple of male Korean teachers, so the contact these students have with Koreans is often exclusively female. Many students go through without ever having spoken to a Korean man. As I said earlier, you pick up more than just how to talk. Anyway, back to their problem; they speak like women. Act like them, too. You have a bunch of angry, stressed, jarheads who are primarily male, and they behave in an effeminate(for Koreans) manner when they speak. They have had so much contact with women that they only ever learn the feminine mode of expression. When actual Koreans meet them, they are thrown off, and often derive some amusement from the incongruous behavior. Imagine the specter of a towering foreign warrior approaching you, then speaking and acting like the stereotypical valley girl, complete with mannerisms.

    That is the unfortunate reality for a great many men in America nowadays. With the prevalence of single mothers and teaching being ceded to women, the only men many boys have in their lives are on the television. They have no men from whom to learn to act like men, so they do as their mothers do. “Game” is acting like a man; it is male social behavior and the masculine form of discourse. This is why if you go back to old black and white movies, you can see that this is how men acted. No man needed “Game,” because he had other men to teach him what acting like a man meant. He had a father, grandfathers, uncles, and male teachers to give him the proper examples, so he was not required to go on the internet and practice acting manly. He was given responsibility, so he learned how to lead and was not required to go online to figure out what command entails.

    Game is a retrieval of masculine discourse. That it is strange behavior is a sign of the assumption of feminine discourse as the “true” discourse. If you were to drop Humphrey Bogart into modern America, he would be struck by the way that everyone talked like women, while we would be struck by the effortless nature of his “Game.” He was raised when masculinity was a compliment, not a bad word and men were admired, not scorned.

    The Shadowed Knight

  6. I wouldn’t call that a random thought Sigyn. It has been one that I have had a number of times, both before and during this latest discussion. Much of the debate over Game is determined by which definition you use.

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  8. mdavid444444

    TSK: What an excellent comment. Thanks for taking the time.

    I think the male crisis is a bit more serious than a discourse issue, though. The best explanation I’ve read is The Garbage Generation. Quick summary:

    1. Civilization is not the evolutionary norm; a tribal environment, where hypergamy rules, is. Africa (or high school!) are examples.

    2. Civilization demands men work within large non-kin groups, which again is not normal. But if you want to field an army or build a bridge, men need the assurance their woman won’t be messing around while gone. So hypergamy was restrained by empowering men legally; for example, only men could own property, and they had full control of children.

    3. People today have lost the understanding of how naturally “weak” men are within the family, and no longer protect men against women legally, and in fact actively weaken them. The results? Check out Detroit or California. The whole nation is headed that direction at breakneck speed. See Coming Apart

  9. theshadowedknight

    MDavid, I do not mean to limit discourse to mere speech. I meant that the sum of human interaction is done in a feminine manner. Men talk like women, they walk like women, they move like women, they think like women; everything they do is feminine because that is all they know. They come from households where the mother rules and enter schools where women rule, then go back home to watch women take charge and the men are lost, then they go to sleep and it starts all over again. The only men they meet are powerless, so they never have the masculine influence to balance out the overwhelming feminine displays all around them.

    The Shadowed Knight

  10. Aquinas Dad

    Random Angeleno, mdavid444444,
    Not to be rude, but the plural of ‘personal anecdote’ is not ‘data’. As I said, my experience and the experience of many I know is different.
    And that is OK. We’re different people who live in different places, etc.
    I mentioned many places where I have seen solid masculinity taught and preached. Next time you are in Atlanta I will take you to a parish or 3….

    Also; mdavid, I disagree. I do not think men are ‘naturally weak’ within marriage; quite the opposite. I think that the reason everything from the courts to the culture are attacking husbands and fathers is to present the *image* that men/husbands/fathers are naturally weak and to strip them of their natural power and authority. If husbands are ‘naturally weak’ why are feminists trying so hard to take on the role?

    Shadow Kinight,
    DLI? I was Farsi….

    Overall, I think a great deal of the issues we are seeing can be attributed largely to the impact of public schooling on the West.
    What do teachers value internally? Not accomplishment, not real-world skills, not the ability to support a family, and not the ability to nurture. they value education because education is what gets you promoted as a teacher.
    The majority of teachers are and have been women. In a not-too-shocking twist that means they speak and act like women and value those things women value. They communicate better with people who communicate in a feminine way and, since they understand that better, reward those forms of communication and punish the forms of communication they do not understand as well, i.e., masculine ones.
    What sorts of jobs do they value? Ones that they see as either valuable in and of themselves (i.e., careers women prefer) or that confer what they see as high status (to an educated woman with a sedentary job). Low-paid clerk? Higher status than the janitor! Low-level bank teller? More prestigious to a mid-30’s teacher than a farmer that owns his own land!
    Now, take a generation of children and place them into this environment. Sure, they might get a lot of contrary messages at home and over the Summer, but when they are grown they have still largely been immersed in this environment and many will adopt at least portions of this outlook. Taught to value education more highly than actual skills or success they send their kids to public school *even longer* than they, themselves, went, and place more emphasis on focusing on school and the potential of college.
    This second generation is now getting the message at school AND sometimes at home. More and more of them adopt this same attitude. Many of them go into education themselves and are now active evangelists of this worldview.
    The third generation going through this system will be almost completely changed – They will all be focused on college as the key to greater success and will begin to active embrace feminine communications over masculine.
    Eventually college education will be seen as the ‘ minimum’ that an 8th grade education was once considered and higher degrees will be (at first) almost titles of nobility and (very soon) horribly cheapened and eventually worthless.
    many parochial schools (especially those that mimic public schools and hire teachers from the general pool) will only delay the impact for a generation or so.
    [BTW – we are 6 generations into nationwide mandatory public school in the US. Interestingly it started in the Northeast and was last in the South – largely-)
    There will be hold outs for dozens of reasons from religion to being smart enough to see what is going on. Traditionalists groups and other anti-Modernism groups will be the best at this.
    In some of the homeschoolers I know I see the results of unplugging from the public school system; some of the sons and daughters of various Traditionalists that were home schooled are just not as immersed in this paradigm and are much better at seeing through and rejecting that which they are exposed to.
    Here’s the thing – I don’t think “game” is very masculine. You know who manipulates women by assaulting their self-esteem until they are eager for acceptance? Other women, that’s who. Just as it appears that Roosh and his ilk are just accepting feminism as the de-facto culture (they aren’t changing anything outside of how they approach women) and avoiding traditional life they are also embracing feminine modes of communication.

  11. Depressive Realist

    After all the recent discussions here and at SSM and Dalrock’s, I seem to be strongly drawn to the conclusion that it is just in the nature of churches to oppose Game. Aside from the modern liberal churches, which hardly deserve to be called churches at all, the “conservative” churches (the ones that try to make church a “sex-free zone”) are just continuing a 2000-year history of promoting duty sex as the norm, and anything else, even in marriage, as a barely tolerated deviation. The idea of young adult church groups being “sex-free zones” is not as anomalous as it may seem, but more like a continuation of the way churches have generally been in the past. The purpose of the church has basically been to safeguard collective interests, which in the realm of sexuality means to avoid having bastard children around. From that standpoint, Game can’t be normalized, because if it is, there is no way to guarantee it will only be used by married men toward their wives.

    In fact, conservative evangelical and Catholic clergy presumably understand the great weakness of women subconsciously, even though they act outwardly as if women are creatures without lust. Somewhere deep down, they know that if alpha males are behaving the way alpha males behave, women WILL not resist them, and the alpha males WILL not resist the urge to fornicate or commit adultery with them. So unless there is rampant abortion, bastard children WILL be born in large numbers.

    That’s not to say that a “righteous alpha” is an impossibility, simply that church leaders expect that for every righteous alpha, there will inevitably be several unrighteous ones. Once female attraction is generated, then the greatest barrier to the P going in the V is already gone. So the only way to minimize the number of unrighteous alphas is to minimize the number of alphas, period.

    So what does this have to do with the Venn diagram? For the most part, it means that the conservative churches are committed to a view in which godly masculinity and Game don’t overlap. Whether that’s true depends a lot on how you define Game, but remember that the conservative churches care about collective interests first and foremost, so they really want to promote the view that sex is only for procreation. (Liberal churches also care about collective interests most of all, but theirs is more straightforwardly the feminine imperative and support of single moms, plain and simple.)

    Sex-for-procreation-only is bad PR, so most of the conservative church leaders try to frame their beliefs in a more appealing fashion, but deep down their overriding goal is to suppress out-of-wedlock sex, and if they destroy passionate marital sex in the process, then no big deal. Not surprisingly, people who are strongly bothered by the puritanical feel of these churches tend to leave, so the conservative churches become the domain of people who prioritize a virgin spouse over all other considerations. This is not to blame anyone, just to notice that people are tending to sort into polarized groups. A part of the manosphere seems to be slowly realizing that most of our great-grandfathers probably didn’t have a lot of great times in bed, but that may have been the price of civilization.

  12. mdavid444444

    Aquinas, Also; mdavid, I disagree. I do not think men are ‘naturally weak’ within marriage; quite the opposite.

    I never said men are naturally weak within marriage. I clearly said they are naturally weak within the family. Never conflate human families (say, a woman with 2 children from different fathers living with her latest boyfriend, which is indeed much of the world’s families) with a marriage created and protected by a strong culture. Totally different things. That was my whole point, which I thought I made quite clear.

    Which was: the whole purpose of marriage law was to protect the male within the family structure. And today, with marriage 2.0, men are weak even within marriage, as his traditional legal protection is nearly gone. His wife can now jump in bed with another man with few consequences (heck, even less than in prior eras, where she might get killed or maimed for doing it) and even take his kids while forcing him to pay her for her infidelity, all under protection of law. The last line of defense for men is religion, which I would advise any man considering marriage to strongly consider.

    If husbands are ‘naturally weak’ why are feminists trying so hard to take on the role?

    See above. I never said “husbands” are naturally weak.

  13. theshadowedknight

    Manipulation women to knock down their self esteem can also be described as playful teasing. It is not malicious, it is supposed to be lighthearted. Besides, Game goes so far beyond the neg that to dismiss it all based on that one part is ridiculous. Not to mention that if it were not for the uncontrolled egos of modern women, the neg would not be such an important part of Game. Self esteem is the problem, not manipulation. These women have by and large done nothing to earn their inflated opinions of themselves. Taking someone down a notch is a grand tradition of men when confronted with arrogance.

    Farsi, huh? I heard that school was brutal. I wonder how many more of us there are here. DLI would tend to select INTJ students, because of the nature of the program.

    The Shadowed Knight

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  15. The Shadowed Knight, your comment here is spot on:

    How can anybody but a man raise boys to be manly?

    Even in families with the husband and wife both present, the dynamic is so often set up to mimic the societal norms…. that mother ‘knows best’ so her instinct is to be adhered to, father’s natural way with his children is to be moderated and crushed if needs be.
    Therefore we wind up with children that are raised in their mother’s fear.
    It’s reinforced everywhere you look, from magazines, books, tv, church culture. It’s the pop psychology of the day to worship the way of the woman.
    I guess it’s the day of Jezebel so no surprise, but something for all families to be warned about.
    The best advice I can think of to say to any mother noticing the differences in parenting between herself and her husband is to GET OUT OF HIS WAY!

  16. Ton

    By and large, churches are run by weak men who would rather read, and run their mouth vs doing honest work, ie. women with a penis.

    Of course it is going to be weak and effeminate.

    This to is a compliant about church men going back hundreds of years. The non effeminate church leaders have been and always will be the expection not the rule

  17. Have any of you guys listened to the homilies of the priests of the FSSP? There is a great website, audiosancto.org, that has sermons on feminism, chastity, the proper enjoyment of sex in marriage, the right time to revolt against the government, etc. Here’s an homily on feminism, for example:


    For those with low attention spans, the youtube channel Video Sancto has these same homilies with gently scrolling image change-ups. Catholic priests, quite solid teaching; there is one priest whose voice and delivery comes off a bit swishy and mothering at times, but the content of his homilies is still good. The other priests sound like solid fellas.

  18. Thanks for the links. I will check them out when I get a chance.

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  21. The only thing I will say is that one cannot call himself a Christian and support the Satanic Dark Triad.

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