Ep. #70 Masculinity in a Modern World with Jack Donovan
We hear that women like masculine men, but this is rarely described in any practical or actionable detail. And really most of what we hear is what the media likes to think or portray about masculinity. Mostly the look, and mostly, if we think about it - driven by the blockbuster movies and modern heroes portrayed in them - we by default take the ideas from movie screenwriters and from stories, rather than finding any true practical philosophy or rules of what defines masculinity; and what real impact having or not having it has on our lives, and on our results with women.
I think the topic of masculinity is confused today. And it relates to what we call inner game and confidence here at Dating Skills Review. It's an essential part of our self-esteem and who we become. It defines how we relate and interact with women.
Today's guest is Jack Donovan. He is the author of the book "The Way of Men" published in 2012 which contains very different views from the mainstream. Jack is a very direct and authentic guy, with strong and original opinions. While I may not agree with everything in his mindsets and ideas, he does have a lot of very valuable insights into how to be a man today, how that relates to our past, and how we can use this to make better decisions in our life; and to improve our relationships with both men and women.
His book "The Way of Men" is a great read, and recommended - check out my review of it for my complete thoughts - and while I'd put it down as more of an advanced read on the subject, it's definitely something you should read at some point.
Now for a quick and big announcement:
If you've been listening to the show for a while, you know my team and I have been working on something new for a long time. It started with an idea 5 years ago, and we got down to actually start building it around a year ago. We call it The Academy, or Dating Skills Academy. Well, it's finally done. We're taking in 50 people on the program on October 4th - around 1 week after this episode goes live. In a few words, it's my best attempt to bring two things I saw as lacking to you:
- Personal 1-on-1 mentoring and support that isn't so expensive that it's beyond everyone's reach.
- The complete stack of knowledge I've accumulated on how to get good at this, really fast. How people learn is what I've seen makes all the difference in getting the dating, sex, and relationships lifestyle you want. So I basically built a system that forces you to learn fast, and get results fast.
That's all I'm going to say about it. If you're interested, you need to sign up with your email to the Dating Skills Academy newsletter. I don't like sending people information they don't want, so that's the only way to find out more and get access to the program when it launches. You can sign up by clicking here.
Specifically, in this episode you'll learn about:
- Jack's views of the state of masculinity today (05:28)
- The need for masculinity and the negative impacts of not being masculine (06:35)
- Some of the biggest things confusing our masculinity today (10:07)
- Men have to develop their individual purpose as well as dealing within groups of men to define their masculinity (14:46)
- Modern masculinity as being able to see the value in different approaches and skillsets as apposed to diminishing other groups because they are different (22:10)
- Useful things / values to have as a basis for developing tribes and relational groups (27:25)
- Challenging yourself for masculinity growth (29:57)
- Evolutionary psychology and how it fits with Jack's views of masculinity (33:18)
- The creative arts as useful aspects of masculinity (35:16)
- Modern day examples of masculinity in the creative artists (37:31)
- What is currently having a negative impact on masculinity? (39:53)
- Defining masculinity through strength, courage, mastery, and honor (43:35)
- Is there a biological aspect (e.g. testosterone) in modern day society that is undermining masculinity? (47:54)
- Jack's strongest character attribute (49:54)
- Overview of different movements such as the feminism and the manisphere (51:15)
- Top three recommendations to help men become more masculine or bring more masculinity into their life (53:43)
- Male bounding within the pickup artist community (56:42)
Items Mentioned in this Episode include:
- The Way of Men: Jack’s book about masculinity, mentioned by Angel in the introduction and throughout the interview.
- jack-donovan.com: Jack’s website.
- Everyone A Harlot: Jack’s essay about how society wants us all to be whores.
- The Obstacle Is the Way: Mentioned by Jack in the interview and highly recommended reading by Angel. It is about turning your own adversity into advantage.
- DavidBuss.com or David Buss on DSR: David Buss, leading evolutionary psychology researcher and author of "The Evolution of Desire" and "The Dangerous Passion Why Jealousy is Necessary in Love and Sex". Mentioned by Angel when discussing evolutionary psychology and whether it applies to Jack’s views of masculinity.
- The State of Evolutionary Psychology and the Mating Mind with Geoffrey Miller: Geoffrey Miller is one of the best-known researchers in the field of Evolutionary Psychology and also mentioned by Angel regarding Jack’s views of masculinity.
- Mastery: Angel mentioned Robert Greene’s book when discussing how to go about developing masculinity.
- Manosphere.com: Angel and Jack mentioned this blog site while talking about different and current movements taking place in society. Manosphere is a term designed to loosely describe a community of blogs on the internet with male interests in mind.
Books, Courses and Training from Jack Donovan
Full Text Transcript of the Interview
[Angel Donovan]: Hey Jack, thanks very much for making the time to be on the show. It's great to have you on here.
[Jack Donovan]: Great to be on!
[Angel Donovan]: Excellent. So you’ve become renowned for your work, which is a little bit different from everybody else’s on where masculinity is headed today, where the state of men is today. It’d be great be to get a stark view into where you're coming from as where is the state of masculinity today according to you, and how is it developing. What are your main arguments about that?
[Jack Donovan]: Well I just think that generally, masculinity is failing. We’re on a downtrend, it’s dysgenic. As I wrote in The Way of Men, civilization and masculinity have always been at odds with each other, and it’s not just a new thing – it’s an old problem.
That’s why during peace time, they invented sports so men would have something to do. They’ve played games like that all throughout history, and we’re coming to a place where there's more and more and more rules, and less and less and less risk. And you can’t have masculinity without risk, because you can’t have courage without risk.
So I think that as we become more and more civilized, I think men are really in a crisis and it’s not the crisis that other people are talking about. It’s the crisis of not being able to be what you were evolved to be and not really having a role in this society. You don’t need to be very masculine to be a consumer, and that’s what our society is based around – it’s just pure consumerism.
[Angel Donovan]: Why do you think we need masculinity? What are the negative impacts of not being masculine – the major things that stick out for you?
[Jack Donovan]: Embarrassment and shame?
[Angel Donovan]: That sounds like a really controversial question, but the deal is – what I want people to understand is why is it such a negative thing that we’re losing this, or that we don’t have as much of this as we used to?
[Jack Donovan]: Well, when I look at it, it’s not so much – we’re losing all these characteristics that I think really made us more amazing. If you look at what our ancestors could do and what they endured compared to what modern men get cranky if they don’t have – I'm sitting here drinking my Rockstar so I can wake up in the morning and [chuckling] get up.
[Angel Donovan]: Is that true? Did you get your Rockstar this morning?
[Jack Donovan]: I did; I went to the 7-11 and got my Rockstar.
[Angel Donovan]: Okay, I'm going to tell you something more ridiculous. I have nine interviews and other meetings lined up today, and I'm jetlagged from traveling across the world. At 7:00 in the morning, before my first one, I called up a taxi to take me to a 24-hour coffee shop to get a coffee and bring me back. It’s the most expensive coffee I've ever had, but I was like, “I think I need one to get through today.” [Laughter] And the taxi driver is, “This is the first time I've ever done this” because he took me there and back.
[Jack Donovan]: This is what we’re reduced to. My grandfather would have been slaughtering a pig this morning. In many cases, it’s not a question of how it harms us; although men do as their testosterone goes down, they tend to be more depressed, they tend to be crankier. We are designed to be a different thing than we’re allowed to be right now.
If you look at what entertainment and what our culture really is today, is it really better that we’re less masculine? If we look at what – I can’t even watch TV or watch the news or anything like that anymore, because it’s just basically a bunch of people gossiping. It’s about celebrities – celebrities and each other, constantly. They're arguing about what somebody should've done.
Every conversation we have is basically like what women used to talk about while the men were hunting. That’s our entire national dialogue right now, and it’s sad and ridiculous – and that’s what I think our society is, without the struggle of masculinity, and masculinity requires struggle. We’re reduced to sitting around, gossiping, and reality TV and so forth.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, it sounds like it’s similar to distraction and not taking action. When you were talking about it there, I was just like, “Well, it’s just distracting us away from getting anything done.” Do you associate masculinity with getting things done, making things happen?
[Jack Donovan]: Well yeah, absolutely; it’s an active principle.
[Angel Donovan]: So you could say that if you're not being masculine, you're not contributing to the world? You're not driving –.
[Jack Donovan]: Well, you can contribute a lot to the world by sitting at your computer and doing stuff. I'm not saying that there are lots of people who aren’t very masculine at all who invent things and do fantastic things in different ways. Maybe some of them are good, some of them are bad; maybe we don’t need the next iPhone, but the people who engineered it probably were not taking breaks to go chop wood [chuckles].
There's a lot of things you can do in the world that don’t require you to be extremely masculine, and you are contributing to society in some way, but I just think masculinity is a higher state of being for men. And I think some feminists have even talked about this; men are almost insecure because we haven’t been tested. It’s the old fight club thing, like, “how much do you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?” It makes men I think a little nervous and itchy.
[Angel Donovan]: [Chuckles] And just less confident, which – there's no need to debate about confidence being a good thing.
So what do you think are the biggest things that are confusing our masculinity today? Some of the things – as I was reading your book, you were talking about somewhat he or she’s [unclear 10:13] and the goals, which are the structures that are used today – things like chasing wealth and all the organizations set up around that, capitalism and so on. Are these things rather confusing on masculinity today because they're giving us different values, different things to chase?
[Jack Donovan]: Well yeah, primal masculinity, for anthesis [unclear 31:05] that we evolved for, for millions of years – that has to do with different skills than what are needed in the world today. In many ways, women are just as well or probably more evolved to what, say, a modern corporation would want from us in terms of all getting together and feeling good about working on a project and working, consuming and so forth. Women can do that just as well as men.
I think some of the message that are confusing everybody from the UN to mainstream magazines, pretty much everyone is saying, “Masculinity is bad, masculinity is bad, masculinity is bad. You should be more like women.” There are many, many, many articles like that that I often see, saying, “We need to reimagine masculinity,” which always means “make it more like women,” that men should behave more like women. We’re getting that message constantly, so young men are hearing that.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, what specific values are talking about when we should be more like women? What kind of values are being proposed that we take on? Or activities?
[Jack Donovan]: Well, modern corporate existence wants you to be very highly communicative, willing to be passive and work from a passive-aggressive standpoint because women are really good at negotiating etiquette. Being highly communicative in that way, willing to be passive for long periods of time is very helpful.
That’s why they say young girls do better than boys in school. It’s like, “Sit, do exactly as you're told for a very long period of time.” Women have always had to be better at that, because we would hit them if they weren't, whereas men have had to have go out and do things. I see young boys looking out at the window where they want to be outside; grown men are the same way to a certain extent. They'd rather be running around doing something. I know people who had advanced degrees and started driving trucks because they couldn’t just sit in a room all day.
I think those are the values that are highlighted a lot, negotiating etiquette and that sort of thing, that women are very, very good at. And there are a lot of feeling the same – getting in groups together and feeling the same, a lot of cheerleading. I think that modern men just tend to be skeptical of that like, “Just tell me what to do.”
I worked in different companies for a long time, and it was always about, “Let’s get together and talk! How excited we are about this new project!” and it’s a lot of bullshit. A lot of men would just be like, “What do I have to work on? Just give me my job. I don’t need the mixer; I don’t need the after-work birthday parties and stuff like that.” And women enjoy that kind of stuff I think a lot more.
[Angel Donovan]: Right. I think you're referring in part to a lot of the change management programs and the cultural – there's a lot of work in organizational behavior and change management, and cultural development of organizations has been a great emphasis over the last 15 years. It’s been a huge part of that, so in part, you're working towards that.
You mentioned consumerism. Is chasing material gain – gathering possessions – is that one of the things that’s confusing or distracting us from masculinity today, the whole consumerism?
[Jack Donovan]: I think that sex and money are really the only outlets, the only ways that men have to be masculine. They are the only ways to find a dominant position, and I think that’s really unfortunate, is that most men, I think –.
If you measure masculinity by sex and how many women you have sex with, you're letting women define masculinity for you. The same way with money, the skills that you need to acquire money are not necessarily the same – they don’t always overlap with masculinity. There is some aggressiveness and so forth. They always say that the stockbrokers in Wall Street have very high testosterone and that a lot of them are taking steroids and stuff like that because it’s good for their particular job.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, but that’s one job where you can acquire wealth; it’s not the only job.
[Jack Donovan]: Right. There are opportunities for that, but I do think they are decreasing. I don’t want to say that masculinity and accumulating wealth never cross over; that’s actually what the Vikings did, was run around and take things from people. I can’t say that that’s not masculine, but I think the focus on wealth alone leads to distortion.
A lot of people can be wealthy in a variety of ways, and so if you're going to make masculinity – if you're going to measure it by wealth – I've often said that Britney Spears is more masculine than most of us will ever be. If that’s what you're going to measure it by, there's a lot of ways to get rich in modern society that have nothing to do with being a man.
[Angel Donovan]: Right. And Lady Gaga, she’s pretty impressive on that.
[Jack Donovan]: Justin Bieber.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, oh yeah [chuckles]. Please, no, please! [Laughter]
Okay. Another thing that we see a lot is men have to develop a purpose, and I guess this is self-development in general. There's a lot of material about developing your purpose. Also if you go into the business and entrepreneurial areas, they say if you find your purpose, you're going to develop wealth.
Anyway, there's a lot of talk about it’s important for you to define what your purpose is in a way like Steve Jobs decided what his greatest love in life was and he pursued that. What do you think of that? Is that a distraction, or is that part of something that can bring us closer to our masculinity?
[Jack Donovan]: That’s the individualized version of masculinity. Americans have this very Western notion that’s bolstered by the cowboy mentality of everybody else – a Clint Eastwood character that’s all alone, riding through the desert, sinking his fortune and doing whatever he wanted to.
Historically, masculinity is really about men in groups, and that was the main theme of my book. So finding our individual purpose may be a way to build wealth and so forth and become successful in a career. Obviously, that’s what I've done up to a certain degree; I certainly have found my purpose. But I think we need something beyond of that. I think that masculinity can really be only developed in groups of men.
Because it’s really easy to measure your masculinity by your fantasy of yourself in your own head, and I think a lot of men do that. You can see it when they're arguing with each other on the Internet. In their own mind, they're all Conan the King, but if you got them in a room together, I think they'd figure out which one was really Conan the King really quickly.
I think that men judge each other and it’s really tempting for men to avoid the judgment of other men in terms of masculinity because it’s scary, and you have to deal with the possibility that you're not going to be on the top of the pile. I think that masculinity and that real confidence – confidence comes from being tested, and if you weren't tested, if you're by yourself all the time, you can live in that fantasy world where you're not being tested. If you have to deal with men constantly, you become more confident from having to deal with that trial. You create a history of success, and that’s where confidence really comes from.
[Angel Donovan]: One of the interesting conflicts we have today is the independence and individuality is often emphasized, as you said, in the West and especially in the US. Obviously, your book emphasizes a lot groups of men, tribes, [unclear 17:01] within those groups. It’s interesting you give your own example where, reading your book, you're standing apart from everything else that I've read on the subject.
For me, you’ve taken this new line; you looked at everything out there and you said, “No, that’s not the way I'm looking at it. I'm going to take a new line till you’ve separated yourself from all the other tribes.” And this is when I was reading it, I was just like, “This is interesting.” And you have to do that in order to push things forward, if you're going to push human civilization forward, which is a leadership aspect. But you have to be an individual, whereas a lot of your book argues that you have to be also part of a tribe.
How do you marry those? A lot of us are told we should also express ourselves, and this comes back to the purpose as well. If you're being yourself, if you're following your true values, you're going to be more confident, you're going to be tested in some ways and potentially you'll have a tribe and a following. But it is also this “I'm going to go out on my own; I'm going to be tested, and maybe people will follow me if I've got something valuable to say.”
I was just wondering how you look at the whole area, separating yourself from tribes – is that something that you can do at a certain point and not everyone should do it? Because it seemed like the argument is mostly that you should really be within some kind of tribe – identify with some kinds of tribes or groups of men at first and maybe, once you’ve become more competent and you know where you are, you could try and start your own tribe. Is that the way you're looking at it, from this individuality perspective?
What I'm trying to do is for guys read a lot about this different stuff where you should be an individual, and independent, and it’s good to create new stuff – we’re told this all the time – versus your view where you should be a group of men. Is there a way to marry that, and does it make sense from your perspective, from your own path and how you’ve done that?
[Jack Donovan]: Well, my path was a very individualistic path that is going the opposite direction towards leading to a group. I’ll always be doing my own thing, but I think that –. The thing about being individuals in the modern world is that individuals are very easy to control.
Individuals are very vulnerable and easy to be manipulated by governments because they're very dependent, because they have no external support structure, really. I think that makes it very convenient for people who are gaining more and more power in the world right now by having those kinds of tribal networks where we don’t depend so much on the state or governments or corporations and we depend more on each other – I think we can weather the future a little bit better.
But in terms of just basic success, I think that you can be an individual within a group. If it’s done properly, you can do both. I do think it’s possible.
[Angel Donovan]: Right. Can we take an example from you? How do you see yourself within groups of men versus your own individual positioning?
[Jack Donovan]: Well I have my own individual message and then I have different groups of men I work –. In my office, there's actually a tattoo shop at a powerlifting gym. I interact with those guys all the time and obviously one of my best friends there is one of the strongest men in the world. When he and I are in a room together, I'm not the alpha [chuckling].
So I have a very specific message and I have my own thing and he respects me, then we have a great relationship because he respects what I do and I contribute to what he does and we cross-pollinate that a little bit sometimes. It’s great, so I bring something to the table.
I think you're really not a valuable member in a group if you can’t bring something to the table. It doesn’t necessarily mean you're going to be in-charge, but having a worthwhile group is surrounding yourself with people, surrounding yourself with men who all bring something to the table.
We have this negative perception of groups as being solely about groupthink and about a bunch of minions and one leader, and I think that that’s a pretty crappy group. If you think about the revolutionary history in tribal groups and so forth, they didn’t survive by having one guy who was really good and everybody else being a loser. You want the best people for your team, the same way you would pick members for a sports team.
If you have a bunch of guys that are really achieving in their own way, they're all going to feed into each other and help each other out, and you're going to rise together.
[Angel Donovan]: Right. Well I think it's interesting you bring out there, and it’s illustrated the point. The challenge I was seeing was that you’re with this guy who was obviously – his main area is strength, right? Yours is a common value, but also you have this whole unique thing to you. There's variety and diversity there; you guys aren’t the same, but you relate to each other and respect each other.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be, you're all based around the same goal. It’s not about the men in your group are all focused on the same goal, it’s just that you respect each other for different reasons.
[Jack Donovan]: Yeah, absolutely. Everybody has different skills. The groups that I watched – powerlifters picking on runners and stuff like that – in a real tribe, you need a scout [chuckles]. You need someone to go out and someone who can move fast, and someone who can lift heavy things and – to use a terrible word – diversity of skills in there.
[Angel Donovan]: So you can also do it in this open-minded fashion. You were saying, it’s more like an – I don’t know – a CrossFit approach, like the strength guys can respect the running the endurance athletes as well just because they're good at what they do, versus you see in men groups versus other groups that look down on anyone who’s outside of their little group.
[Jack Donovan]: Right, which is very natural.
[Angel Donovan]: Do you think that’s a distraction? Like we’re in that something in itself could potentially be like – modern masculinity is being able to see the value in different approaches to and different skillsets and so on, rather than having to look down on other groups because they're just different, they got different goals.
[Jack Donovan]: Well, that’s the nature of men. I don’t think that’s going to go away, and that’s one of those things – we can’t just get away from that. That’s the joke of a lot of modern thinking like, “Oh, well you have to evolve past that.” Well, that's not really how evolution works.
I think that’s hardwired for group thinking and to link up with a group and then to dehumanize the enemy, whether it’s this kind of lifter making fun of that kind of lifter, or tech guys making fun of strength guys, or all kinds of stuff – it happens everywhere. I don’t think that’s going away; I just think that maybe we’re picking the wrong kind of tribes.
If your tribe is just based around your hobby rather than a group of people that you're really closely connected with, I think it’s more important to build strong connections with people who have maybe a similar philosophy of life rather than a connection of merely our-hobby-versus-your-hobby, or our-giant-corporate-sports-team-versus-your-giant-corporate-sports-team.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah. As you say in your book, these are artificially-created. I can’t remember the exact term used, it wasn’t “artificially-created” but it was something similar. I think if you look at, for instance, the diet world and the fitness world, you really see that a lot.
It’s like, “my way of weight training is better than your way of weight training” and people are really, really, vehemently against each other. If you look at the diets – the Paleo versus, I don’t know – it’s crazy! People are religious about these things.
[Jack Donovan]: People are really mean to each other about that. I have talked about this, there's a bunch of people – people are really mean to each other about fitness, which is bizarre. It has to do, I think, with their connection to that. Because you go to your job or whatever, you do what you do during the day, and then for a lot of people, if they actually do work out, that is actually a huge part of their private life.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, they're invested in it.
[Jack Donovan]: Maybe you're doing it six-eight hours a week, so that’s a huge part of your private life, so that becomes your identity. Their fitness program really becomes their identity, which is not the best kind of identity to have.
So they end up, again, finding a tribe, really fighting for their identity in. And also, in the fitness world, there's a lot of people obviously selling things. They become these gurus who say that everything else is bad, “but for $19.99, you can have my product which is way better!”
[Angel Donovan]: Right, and they're just contributing to their dynamic by saying everything else is bad.
[Jack Donovan]: Yeah. Well they're like the little cult leaders. They become like the cult leaders and then everybody who bought into their program repeats what they said.
There are a lot of cool people. Obviously, I've talked a lot to John Durant in the Paleo circles and the author of The Paleo Manifesto. He’s very realistic about not being crazy and religious about it, but there are other people who are just out to get their “$19.99.”
[Angel Donovan]: Right. So the important takeaway from this is, you say men have this natural approach to male groups and everything, where they have to set some kind of perimeter because you can’t get to know too many people, basically.
There's a 150-people limit, or smaller, that you can actually relate to and be close to. After that, you have to define everyone else as other, and you tend to make those into enemies because it’s easier to – that’s one of the bases of how this is working today. Is that a good explanation of your –?
[Jack Donovan]: Yeah. And the 150 – in case listeners are wondering – comes from Dunbar’s number. That’s something that people can look up, as to how much we can process – how many people we can really care about.
I think it’s really – we’re told not to think that way. If you sit and imagine – try to imagine two people. Try to imagine ten people. Then imagine 50. Then try to imagine 2,000. You can imagine 2,000 people and then you can see a football stadium, but it’s actually outside of your range of sight; you have to spin in 360s to get it all, or see it from space. Beyond that, we can’t really imagine a group of people even close to the amount of people that we’re supposed to care about.
I think it’s just beyond us as humans. You end up picking and choosing by who the media tells us we care about. Like, “Oh, this particular group of people got killed today,” so we’re supposed to care about them, whereas people died everywhere. Wherever people focus, whatever the best story is, we pick that to care about.
And it’s all very artificial. I think it’s more important, and I'm trying to do that in my life so I tend to care a lot less about the news today. I try to focus on just people I actually care about.
[Angel Donovan]: Right. So I think this is the important distinction here, is to realize that we have this natural tendency to do – we have a limitation on our brains how much we can cope with, and we’re going to be looking at other information or other groups as other, just because of this limitation on our brains. It’s natural to realize that and to make sure that we’re not making these artificial constructs, which are going to be detrimental to our life rather than useful.
For instance, we’re super fans of the Paleo movement and we refuse to look at any other useful information that actually might help us get results, or better results or something like that.
[Jack Donovan]: Right. Just pick your tribe wisely, not based on some kind of trend or fad or whatever. Really, a tribe, if it’s really a tribe, it should be a tribe for life. It should be a tribe of people, you're always going to care about, otherwise, it’s just another disposable modern relationship where you just – it might as well be something like a friend hookup [chuckles].
[Angel Donovan]: Right. And so you mentioned the things that you felt were more useful to have as a basis – it’s common values and close relationships. Could you go into more depth about that? What kind of things are more appropriate for longer-term tribes?
You also emphasized the importance of loyalty in your book. When guys are thinking about what's better for them for the longer term to become part of, what kind of values or ideas do you think they should have in mind?
[Jack Donovan]: You really have to connect with people who have a similar philosophy of life to you, because there are a lot of game-changers as far as dealing with other people. If you have a major, major religious disagreement with somebody, you can get along. I have plenty of people who have major religious disagreements with and we can have beers and have a good time, and I can get along with them on many different levels, but I really can’t be part of this closed tribe.
I think it’s important for people who are in your tribe to be pretty much on the same page in terms of what they want out of life, because if you're ever in a situation where there's any kind of struggle, I think those kinds of little hairline fractures get a lot bigger, and you have people competing for ideas from either definitely –. There's a phrase for it; I can’t find it in my head right now.
But definitely, no-go zones as far as for people who I'm going to really spend a lot of time trying to get to know. There are definitely things and I'm like, “Well, that person’s nice but –.”
And I think that philosophy, religion, people who are really, really plugged into family lifestyles – I think that’s very healthy, and I think that those people and single people live different rhythms. I think it’s good to have both, ideally, but a lot of times there’ll be a conflict there and it just tends to – people who don’t have kids and people who have kids tend to drift apart for that reason.
Ideally, in a real tribe, I think you have all those people. But I really think philosophy and religion are the most important things, at the end of the day. And also, you also have to get along with people. That’s just something we have, that we click with people or we don’t; you really enjoy their sense of humor, or something about them that makes it fun to hang out with them. Because if you're going to hang out with somebody for a long time, you want to actually enjoy hanging out with them.
And then in terms of what we were talking about earlier, obviously, you want to surround yourself with people who are positive – not in the sense of being cheerleaders, but in the sense of people who aren’t immersed in their own self-destruction. Because there are a lot of people who are that way, and there are a lot of people who are already like, “Well, I like a lot of things about you but you really just bring me down constantly.” It’s sad when that happens, but –.
[Angel Donovan]: In your opinion, is that a weakness? Coming to some of your values, you talk about that support-like strength. You have these four values which make up masculinity: strength, courage, mastery and honor. When someone’s being constantly in an [unclear 30:10] we call them energy-drain, negative, defeatist. Is that being weak? Is that the opposite of masculinity, in your mind?
[Jack Donovan]: I don't think it’s the opposite of masculinity, and I can take the example:
A really good friend of mine who’s probably one of the most masculine guys I know – this guy got mopey in his 30s. He seems to have lost a lot of his willingness to push himself. Unfortunately [clear 30:33] I don’t really see it as a weakness; I just see it as a consequence.
I think a lot of us know guys like that in modern life. They don’t really see a place for themselves, and so they just, “Well, I'm just going to drink.” And I think, honestly, if the “shit hit the fan” as they say, tomorrow, I think he’d be on point.
[Angel Donovan]: I think sometimes in those situations, it’s like you don’t have enough challenge in your life to make you care. In a way, it’s a lack of the environment making use of his masculinity. But is that because he hasn’t tried to put himself into new situations where he’s going to be brought back alive and he’s going to be making more use of that again?
[Jack Donovan]: Yeah, you do have to challenge yourself constantly in life to actually –. I think someone said the other day – actually Master Chim, who has this really good podcast – “Masculinity is not an end; it’s a path.” You don’t get to just check off things on your list and then “Okay, I'm masculine. Done!”
[Angel Donovan]: Right. “I've got the skills, I'm [crosstalk 31:28]”
[Jack Donovan]: Yeah. “I'm good!”
The beauty and tragedy of manliness is that you fight until you're the old lion and the other lions kill you. That’s at odds with our modern idea of you're supposed to live forever and be really, really happy and all that.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, happily ever after, I get married, I settle down.
[Jack Donovan]: Yeah, live until you're 90 and play checkers for the last 30 years of your life, whatever.
I do think it’s important, if you don’t want to fall into that trap – and I think that’s probably a more important discussion – is for guys who have friends that are going that direction where they're a little bit flailing. Like you said, that is the crisis of masculinity, is that we don’t have enough challenge; we don’t have enough things to do for the men who actually are masculine. So they just flounder and they’ll just end up drinking or getting into trouble or whatever. And we can find ways to challenge those guys and involve them in life.
[Angel Donovan]: So if there are some guys listening who are recognizing these kinds of behaviors, it’s about finding a new source to channel your masculinity towards. It’s not thinking that “I'm not a masculine guy,” they have to be aware that this dynamic in the environment and what they're doing in life. Without that, they can’t be a real man or a masculine guy.
[Jack Donovan]: Challenges make masculinity. You have to have challenges to move up the scale. There’s a book out there – I haven’t read it. It’s a book called The Obstacle Is The Way.
[Angel Donovan]: I love that book.
[Jack Donovan]: Oh really? Is it good?
[Angel Donovan]: I strongly – I've listened to it 40 times. I love audiobooks these days. This book is excellent not just because it’s based on a lot of good stuff from historicism; he’s made it very readable and accessible. It’s all of his old writings and just tons of great rules and a great mindset. So yeah, definitely read it, man. I highly enjoyed it and a lot of my buddies did, too.
[Jack Donovan]: Good, maybe I’ll have to check that out. The title alone is what we’re talking about [chuckles].
[Angel Donovan]: One of the things we just touched on a while back that I want to come back to is evolutionary psychology. It seems like some of your stuff relates to evolutionary psychology, the view of life. Would you say it fits exactly with the kind of the views professed and popularized by some of the researches like David Buss and Geoffrey Miller – is it very similar to that kind of stuff, or do you see yourself as differing in the way you look at things?
[Jack Donovan]: Very similar. Everybody’s going to differ in terms of what their prescription for society is. Again, that comes down to philosophy and what you want. I've talked to Geoffrey Miller; he actually liked The Way of Men, which was really flattering to me because he’s a smart guy.
I pulled a lot from evolutionary psychology in terms of sources for what I was writing. Evolutionary psychology is interesting, because it’s a mind game if you really look at it. Obviously, they can do studies to a certain degree, but a lot of it is figuring out what would we really have done, and how? Why would we have been this way? It’s like having a problem-solving thing, and that’s what I did with The Way of Men.
I was like, “Well, why would men want these things from each other?” And that’s how I came to a tactical virtue that I talk about in my book in terms of, well, to survive, you need this, this and this, and for most of our history, that’s what we needed from each other. That’s still how we judge each other today as to who’s manly and who’s not manly.
We’re still hardwired to try and prove that stuff to each other. It just makes a lot of sense – one of the things that Geoffrey said in an interview I did with him recently was that evolutionary psychology is focused a lot on how women select men but hasn’t focused much at all on how men select each other.
If you really think about how men select each other, again, like picking the sports team kind of thing. If you're in a survival situation and you don’t get picked for team, you're probably going to die.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, that’s true. It’s really interesting. Of course, your book’s focused on why men select other men, and what is established in evolutionary psychology is that women tend to pick men that are picked by other men. It’s an indirect route; they haven’t studied the exact men-to-men relationship, but they’ve studied the indirect relationship.
[Jack Donovan]: Exactly.
[Angel Donovan]: Great. So one thing Geoffrey does – his book focuses on the arts and creativity, these aspects, and calling these aspects of why we develop these, there's no real survival or replication value behind the fact that there's a lot of guys who are musicians and artists and they get a lot of success with women and so on. His theory is the runaway theory of sexual selection where we develop these things because they're like signs in the environment [unclear 35:42] signs.
What is your view on that? Because I wasn’t sure when I read through your book if you saw the arts and these areas as something useful or are not useful or an aspect of masculinity or not?
[Jack Donovan]: I was on a hike with a friend the other day, and he asked me whether or not I thought singing was masculine.
[Angel Donovan]: Right [chuckling].
[Jack Donovan]: And that’s one of the reasons why I developed this kind of system is I want to be able to answer that question. Everybody wants to know, “Is this masculine? Is this masculine? Is this just cultural? Is this not cultural?”
I feel like if you actually use the things that I've talked about in my book, you can actually make that judgment. If you look at the ultimate end of something, it’s the same thing. The ultimate end of singing – it just depends what you're singing about. If you look at the ultimate end of singing – if you're the Justin Bieber – if you're singing about frivolous things, if you look at what men sung about for 90% of history, it was war. If you look at all the old epics and all the old poetry – that was what men did.
Women were not writing epics and they were not writing poetry; that was men recounting the story of men. Obviously, that has some kind of value to tribe. Your oral history is your history, so a lot of poetry and things came out of this – men retelling their story over and over again.
It’s like that – everybody has seen the movie 300. The guy who is sent back specifically not to die just so that he could tell the story, that’s a valuable thing. And I think in a modern world, it’s silly we would make the arts and so forth about femininity in some way, because I think a lot of the modern arts do tend to be about creating pretty things for women to look at.
That’s been true for a long time if you look at even classical music and theater. Let’s get all the rich people together in a room and someone plays the violin, just to give them something to do. But if you look at a lot of the epics and a lot of stories of the past down, it’s really been an area that’s always been pioneered by men.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah. Have you got any modern-day example? I don’t know if you look at Mick Jagger or you look at some of these guys who've had a lot of success with women, for example, or have been crazy-famous rock stars and so on –. Guys appreciate more – the Rolling Stones guys are going to appreciate it more. Would you see those as good examples of a masculine version of arts and creation, versus –? It sounds like what you're going against is the pop, the commercial, which is the extreme opposite of what you'd be looking for.
[Jack Donovan]: The Rolling Stones will be a good split, because they're actually singing about other things aside from things that would make girls coo. I would say your modern boy band kind of singing is the kind telling the girls that they're pretty so that they scream, which is one kind of singing.
But look at metal. If you look at something like – it’s always funny, but I like any man who can enjoy Manowar unironically. And it is a big band that sings around about masculinity or Viking Metal or all those things. There's a bunch of guys doing stuff like that that are basically almost giving us this comic book idea of masculinity, but at the same time, men have always done that.
They enjoy that; they just take it up over the top a little bit and we get a kick out of it, I think. Those are our, in many ways, our modern guys carrying on that tradition of singing songs about manly deeds.
[Angel Donovan]: Great. It sounds like most art, although it can be useful to attract women – that’s the argument of Geoffrey Miller – isn’t something you would really put within the area of masculinity in terms of an attribute. It’s something that’s developed more for a reputation. Yours is more based on survival, your views of masculinity versus reputation.
[Jack Donovan]: Right. I would agree that probably a lot of music has been made to please women. Obviously, we have the boy bands, and people have had boy bands for a long time. Not this form, but there has been a lot of, “I'm going to sing a song for the pretty girls.” That’s been around for a very long time.
And I think that he’d be absolutely right to say that that is one of the reasons that has probably pushed musical development and so forth over the years. I think those ideas go in harmony early on. I think a lot of that probably was developed for men singing around each other, but absolutely, things that could impress women have – men always try to impress women. That’s just something we do [chuckling].
[Angel Donovan]: What ideas circulate currently that you believe undermine men’s masculinity? What are the top things, the mainstream things, that you feel are not healthy? You put in a few things like the news and some other things earlier on in the interview, but which ones would you say are the top three?
[Jack Donovan]: The top three? Well in the book I talk about the Banobo Masturbation Society.
[Angel Donovan]: Okay. So what is that [chuckles]?
[Jack Donovan]: What is that? It’s the idea that – I got it from a book on evolutionary psychology that talked about Banobos versus chimps. Basically, the idea that Banobos lived in peace and harmony, and all they do all the time is have sex, and they don’t know their fathers, and they are non-violent because they don’t hunt. They don’t hunt a lot; they do a little bit. And the men are kept down by the women.
Whereas chimps are very patriarchal; the women just follow along with the men. The men stick together because they are in a more competitive environment. There's not a lot of homosexual sex; there's not a lot of sex for pleasure. There's mating and there's whatever.
I think in the modern world we have one of the biggest problems, like I said, is the idea of defining your masculinity by sex. I think that that becomes destructive very quickly, and I think that a lot of guys realize that. It’s like, okay, Tinder is fun for a little while. I've talked to a bunch of guys at the gym about this. It’s cool for a few weeks while you're playing that game, and then all of a sudden you're like, “Okay, this is getting gross.” [Chuckles]
It just becomes this weird, dark place that takes men to – where all they're thinking about is chasing sex. It can become very self-defeating.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, very distracting. It becomes like a distraction in your life rather than something nice.
[Jack Donovan]: Yeah, it becomes like a weird addiction. You get addicted to the attention. If you're good at it, especially, I think, it becomes unproductive. And again, I think when you're doing that, then that becomes a thing where you're almost taking a feminine –. It’s like everything you do – the reason why you go to the gym and the reason why you do everything is to get more women.
I wrote an essay a few years ago called Everyone A Harlot. That’s basically like we’re all whores [chuckles]. It’s like that’s what modern society wants us to be, like everybody’s concerned whether they're hot or not. Men didn’t really do that until very recently, and I'm sure there's always been a small percentage of everything, but the mainstream of men didn’t sit around worrying about what women were going to like all the time. I think that that’s become a big distraction from masculinity, so I would say that’s one of the big ones.
Another one would just be the constant messaging that masculinity is bad, and I think I would advise people to ask why they want you to think that. Who gains by asking you and telling you that masculinity is bad and that you need to be more like women? What do they have to gain by you being more submissive? I think that that’s an important thing that I don’t think a lot of men are thinking about.
I would also say, like I said, it’s constant gossip and squawking in modern society, this constant moral – these Twitter pillories where we hang people out to dry for these fake moral things we don’t even believe.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, and then it changes every single week who’s being [crosstalk 42:52].
[Jack Donovan]: Exactly! We’re just going to lynch somebody and ruin their lives because people need something to talk about, and because it drives cliques. I think participating in that is gross.
[Angel Donovan]: Well it’s bastardizing the system you proposed where there has to be another just because of our limitations and it’s using that against – just to distract people and to make money.
[Jack Donovan]: Well it’s like village shaming on a grand scale [chuckles]. It’s like a moral shaming on a grand scale. Because it’s not a group creating another; it’s just like all of these disconnected people ganging up on somebody because it’s fun and that they get the attention for doing it. I’d much rather this tribe fighting that tribe than just weird, fake moral posturing.
[Angel Donovan]: Great. In your book you talk about what actually makes up your system, your framework, to define – like you were saying earlier – where you can figure out everything if it’s masculine or not with the way you’ve described it in the book. Which of these four factors – strength, courage, mastery and honor – could you just give a quick overview of how those fit together and why you see those as the key things?
[Jack Donovan]: As I said, it has to do with how men select each other. When I came through the theory of masculinity, I was going through all these different things, trying to figure out which things are cultural and which things are the same in every society.
You can go around the world and say, aside from – you have a little cluster or monks or something, but they're not really the mainstream. But if you go around the world, men are supposed to be strong; that’s a pretty normal thing, I think, in most cultures throughout history.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, very easily acceptable, yeah.
[Jack Donovan]: Yeah, men are supposed to be courageous; that’s true always and everywhere. Men appreciate competence. The difference between a guy – I was in a boxing class the other day and a girl was in the class, and she was giggling every time she screwed up. Men hate that, because we want to be seen as competent all the time. You might apologize like, “I'm going to do this better. I'm going to do this better. Sorry about that.” We all do that, but if you get a girl in the class, she’ll giggle like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe I suck!” Men hate doing that.
I think that mastery is really about competence because we want to prove to each other that we would be a good member of the group. We are members to be reckoned with.
[Angel Donovan]: Right. We can be respected, and you were talking about this earlier, guys can respect you because you're contributing something.
[Jack Donovan]: Yeah, not just giggling and saying, “Oh my god, I'm useless! Take care of me.”
Honor is very moralized in Western history. It has a very long and confusing history, and it’s gotten to the point that when people talk about honor, they really are just talking about something that makes them feel good morally, which is really not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about older definitions of honor that have to do with loyalty.
Ultimately, what I mean by that is honor is really a man’s sense of his own reputation as a man within his group. If you don’t care about your reputation within a group, you are not a valuable member of that group. If you don’t care what all the men in your group think about you, you're a wildcard; you're a potential traitor, you're a potential problem, or you're a potential deserter – when things get rough, you're going to bail.
If you look at how men react in platoons, you hear these stories over and over again that men, in stressful situations, will end up fighting just for the guys next to them, because they don’t want to disappoint; they don’t want to let those guys down. That’s my finest definition of honor, is that you care enough what the guy next to you thinks to do your best.
[Angel Donovan]: I think that’s a great point to make, because it conflicts with some movements out which are saying you should be fearless, you should not care about what anyone else thinks. It’s the individual and there's self-development also. And some of the pickup artist areas you hear this a lot.
I think you’ve got a very, very solid argument there as to why that’s not the case. Our reputation is dependent on not being a wildcard, not being someone who doesn’t care about what everyone else thinks.
[Jack Donovan]: As with almost every question I find – and this is the same thing when we were talking about the difference between mating and selection for men – with so many questions, the answer is not either/or but both. I understand the viewpoint of you can’t care about what everybody thinks, because you can’t. And for the same reason we talked about earlier, you can’t care about what 7 billion people think. You have to filter it out to actually get anything done in life.
I go and read YouTube comments about me that are fucking awful [chuckling]. You want to get mad and be like, “Fuck you!” and you want to go after these people, but you have to realize that you can’t care about every stranger’s opinion.
I think that the solution to that is actually to choose whose opinion to care about. Your tribe is really the people who you actually care about what they say. It’s like, pick those people who you admire. I don’t necessarily value the criticism of every stranger in the world; I value the criticism of these guys I respect.
[Angel Donovan]: Excellent. Yeah, that’s a great point to bring that out. Since you also brought up master, I was just wondering if you read Robert Greene’s Mastery and what you thought of that as related to your work.
[Jack Donovan]: No, I haven’t. It’s the same word. I formulated my own definition based on my evolutionary theory, not necessarily –.
[Angel Donovan]: His is more like how to go about it and you're talking more about its importance and its role and so on.
One of the things that you touched on, is testosterone, in your book. One of the things I believe in is there's a big biological factor behind, how would you say it, some of the guys’ anxiety, lack of confidence – some of the less masculine attributes we have in modern society today. I was just wondering what your view is on that, if it’s a biological aspect in modern day society, which is helping to undermine masculinity today.
[Jack Donovan]: Well there's two things. When you talk about testosterone and hormones and the things that make us different from women, I think that people ignore the argument many times when they talk about – we’re not just talking about on any given day; we’re talking about over a lifetime.
I think that having these chemicals in our body for a long period time, you don’t just get to take them when you're 25 and then decide that, “Oh, I'm the same as all men now.” I definitely disagree with that. I think that it’s about having those chemicals as a boy, as a young man and so forth. They influence us for a long, long, long period of time.
Maybe in a way that this is making testosterone seem like a bad thing, which I think is a really good thing. But in a way that a drug – as your levels start to go down, you're going to wish you had more of it and be depressed they don’t. I think that’s happened to a lot of guys.
And there are so many causes for possible lowering of testosterone, whether they're environmental causes, or –. They say that your testosterone drops when your team loses. It’s like if your lifestyle is submission, if all you get to do is say, “Yes, sir” or “Yes, ma’am, how can I help you?” If that’s what you do every day and that’s all you can do, and then you go home and you say – a woman who bosses you around and all that.
You have so many guys like that, and that’s got to be murder on your testosterone. Because testosterone, if it rises when you're winning, it definitely probably goes down when you're losing.
[Angel Donovan]: Right. And that's a vicious circle dynamic you're looking at right there, because if it goes lower, then you can be less competitive and less confident and so on.
[Jack Donovan]: Exactly. As you said, they're in a downward spiral of anti-masculinity and submission.
[Angel Donovan]: Great. I want to touch on a few things. Thank you for your time, I appreciate this.
What is the strongest character attribute you think you have or that you recognize in yourself? For good or for bad, or maybe a bit of both. Hard question [chuckles].
[Jack Donovan]: Well, hard question. I would say, good or bad, from someone who preaches tribalism, I'm a very Nietzschean personality, in the sense that I'm always self-overcoming, which is good. But obviously, if you're constantly evolving as a person, sometimes you change the whole way to another place and so it makes it hard to be in this tribal stability and the same mindset all the time.
Personally, I think that’s something really cool that I bring to the table, but then also sometimes that can be a –. If you really are that kind of person, I think if you want to be part of a tribe, you have to choose at some point. You have to choose; you have to say, “These guys are good enough. This tribe is good enough for me,” rather than when it’s very tempting to just be constantly, “Oh, I'm onto the next thing in life," and it makes you a disloyal person. So I definitely am aware of that myself and try to keep the ties that I make; try not to let my searching through ideas and mental evolution undermine my personal relationships.
[Angel Donovan]: Great point, thanks for that. I know you’ve written a bit about the different movements like the Manosphere, feminist movements and so all around this masculinity topic. Could you give us a rough overview of where you see things, like different aspects of it?
I know it’s quite a complicated mess of different movements at the moment, and I was just wondering if you had a simpler way that you look at it.
[Jack Donovan]: Well, feminism is just an ongoing thing. I've studied that back pretty far. In many ways, that’s stuck in a repeating cycle. Without being too misogynistic, I want to say that it’s a perfect distillation of philosophy in the sense of it. It is whatever it wants to be whenever it wants to be it; it’s a very changeable thing. It’s basically, whatever women want is feminism, when they want it, and then it’s not feminism when they don’t want it.
I don’t try and pay attention to that; I pay attention to its effect on men. As Putin said, it’s not the best to argue with women. I'd like to focus on what men are doing, so I focus more on, say, the Manosphere or something like that.
I haven’t followed a lot of blogs like that recently. I am in contact with a lot of those guys and have been for a long time. The Manosphere, I think, was just something that occurred at this moment where a lot of guys realized that what they're being told in school, to be good little boys and then women will love you wasn’t necessarily true. That it wasn’t exactly how things worked and what they were being told that women want is just what women say, not necessarily what they actually want.
I think that that was very useful, but I think in many ways it’s evolved – it’s something that people are going to evolve through, maybe constantly. Maybe there will constantly be new blogs that maybe won’t be called the Manosphere, but there will constantly be new blogs of men discovering these things and wanted to talk about them with other men.
But then, at a certain point, once you realize all this stuff, you're going over same information over and over and over again, and so I think you see a lot of those guys looking for the next level of meaning from that. So I think a lot of those guys have gone off into Aurini – I can never pronounce his name; I've been talking to him for years. Davis M.J. Aurini, I think he’s one of these guys who’s going off into more neoreactionary ideas in the sense that he’s okay what society would be better. “Okay, our society’s messed up. What society would be better?”
And so I think a lot of those guys are involved in that debate, so they move through the Manosphere and go into talking about other ideas that are more about the future and what must be done. And I've done a lot about that, too when I write for some groups that are fairly tribal in their thinking as to what kind of future they would want.
[Angel Donovan]: Great, thanks for that because it’s a bit of a complex thing to navigate.
In terms of getting really practical and some takeaways for the guys, what would be your top 3 recommendations that, if they want to become more masculine, what kind of practical things could they do over the next couple of months to bring more of this into their life and put themselves on the path to becoming more masculine in their life? What kind of practical things could they go out and do?
[Jack Donovan]: Let’s start with the one we both agreed on: the obstacle is the way [chuckles]. I think that’s a good piece of advice in the sense of, you have to break through your comfort zone. Masculinity is about becoming more confident from facing challenges, so if you have no challenges, you really have no confidence. You have to go out and challenge yourself, especially if maybe guys who are thinking maybe they aren’t the most masculine.
There’s a lot of guys, I think, especially smarter guys who spend a lot more time reading and they're online. They see masculinity as being this jock thing that they don’t really feel connected to. In my early 30s, I went out and re-looked at a lot of the stuff that I thought I didn’t like. That’s when I started my path to writing about The Way of Men and so forth, really reexamining all these things that I thought were really dumb and for stupid jocks when I was a kid.
Look at that stuff with a fresh pair of eyes, and look at a lot of ideas about war, ideas about heroism and things like that and explore that and look at masculinity from a fresh set of eyes.
The second would be – and I always say this when I'm asked this questions – that you need to go out and find men who you have a connection with, whether it be some kind of martial arts, whether it be some kind of fitness thing. Any place – and it’s so hard to do, but if you can find an environment that is mostly male, you're going to absorb male culture from other men. You're going to build relationships with men that are healthy, masculine relationships. That’s the place to start – anywhere you can be surrounded by mostly men who are interested in doing manly things. That is going to require the first one, which is pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. That’s the biggest thing.
For those people who maybe came from the Manosphere or whatever, I think, that maybe the third piece is just stop focusing so much on what women think.
[Angel Donovan]: Right. I wanted to connect those two last points, which is basically around the pickup artist community. Now the pickup artist community has been around 15, 16 years. I think one of the things when I got into it, when it was 2000 or something, it was interesting from a male bonding perspective, because I've made some very good friends within there because we were doing something.
I think, at the time, we didn’t have something else to be doing together, for want of a better word, and it was part of the attraction of the whole thing. People have commented on this before, and it’s probably still going on a lot today that the guys who are getting involved in that movement are probably – they're more so for looking to relate to other guys, and they don’t have something like martial arts or something else like that where they can find this.
And then you have the conflict where, of course it’s all focused about women, and obviously that becomes really detrimental in itself when the only goal is to go and meet women and so on. So what is your take on the pickup artist community in general? Is this something to stay away from in terms of meeting up and going out in these groups? Because it’s a not subject we’ve talked about before.
[Jack Donovan]: Well, you brought up an interesting point there. Male bonding, the phrase, comes from Lionel Tiger, and he was basically an evolutionary psychologist. His definition of it was men tend to bond over some kind of aggression, whether it’s hunting or actual aggression against other men.
What are you doing when you're doing out with a bunch of guys trying to pick up girls, well you're a hunting party. You know what I mean? You're doing that thing. I could see how that would be a huge attraction, and it is. It’s like this: we’re going to go out, and then it becomes what we’re going to talk about.
I’ve been out with guys who are doing that and it becomes this game. He's like, “Okay, I'm going to go over here, you're going over there.” It’s a hunting party. Maybe that would be a good thing for some of the guys. I don’t think that getting involved with something like that is necessarily detrimental, and I think that that community has helped a lot of guys get over some issues that they had, or maybe women just bossed them around. They just didn’t know how to deal with women at all, and they're men, so they still need women for something.
I think that’s a part of life, just to help them get past some of those anxieties. I think that could be a good thing. Like I said, if it becomes – your whole life becomes about getting laid, then I think that that’s sad. And ultimately, it’s dissolute. I think a lot of masculine writers over history would have frowned on that.
[Angel Donovan]: Right. I've personally seen a lot of guys lose their souls a bit for this process and become – I don’t know if it’s demasculinized, but it’s definitely a loss of purpose in their life, and it’s less satisfaction over time rather than getting better.
Jack, thank you so much for this interview today. It’s been a very interesting discussion and I definitely recommend your book to all the guys because this is a very interesting read. It’s very original and it’s got lots of great ideas as we've seen today. Thanks for your time, man. I hope to connect to you in our own time.
[Jack Donovan]: Thanks for having me!
Leave a Comment or a Question
Help Us Improve DSR Podcast Interviews for You
DSR Podcast is a weekly podcast where Angel Donovan seeks out and interviews the best experts he can find from bestselling authors, to the most experienced people with extreme dating lifestyles. The interviews were created by Angel Donovan to help you improve yourself as men - by mastering dating, sex and relationships skills and get the dating life you aspire to.
Help us improve the quality of interviews by sending us feedback about what questions you'd like answered or who you'd like to see interviewed.
"Listen In As We Share The Top Takeaways From The Best Dating Products Ever Created... Shave Years Off Your Learning Curve As You Discover What Really Creates Success With Women"
- Here's just a few things we reveal in this info-packed interview:
- The surefire products that are proven to work - based on 15+ years coaching men to dating success.
- Why we dubbed this one product 'idiot-proof' and how it can transform a woman's reaction to you almost immediately.
- Feel anxious about approaching women? Discover how to bypass that and set up a stream of dates with gorgeous women in as little as 20 minutes a week.