I recently became aware of a book by David Deida entitled The Way of the Superior Man. I’ve skimmed the book and it seems to be very much the sort of things that I would write if I were to compile abook of advice on male-female interaction. As a longtime student of the seduction community, where there exists a dangerously obsessive and never-ending quest for self one-upmanship, I have long since developed a personal philosophy that defines what an “alpha male” is to me. In my search for a concept of developing oneself into a superior being – superior in strictly internal sense as opposed to being better than others – I came to many of the same conclusions that Deida has put forth in his book.
But what I was more intrigued by was the purported misogyny that surrounds the book. As a critical skeptic (and a bored one at that), I decided to use my analytical skills to decipher why people would find it to be misogynistic. After skimming through the book to its end, I can certainly understand why the book would impress that upon people. I quote portions of the text, the PDF of which can be be found by simply Googling the title (this shows up as the second link).
The chapter entitled “Ejaculation Should Be Converted or Consciously Chosen” focuses intently on control during sexual relations. Deida describes the act of ejaculation as some sort of female test. The underlying concept in this chapter is that a man should withhold his ejaculation, otherwise the woman would lose respect for him. This places the sexual interaction into an adversarial paradigm.
Deida portrays women as temptresses who test men. The word of the use ‘succumb’ is key to this interpretation:
Your woman feels your lack of desire. And she also intuits, perhaps subconsciously, that your lack of desire also applies toward the world. If she can drain you, so can the world. If she waits for your deepest gifts, as you lie feebly in the bed of undesire, so might the world. She senses that you have succumbed to her, that you have allowed temporary pleasures to diminish your capacity for fullest consciousness. She knows you will likewise succumb to the world. (180)
Merriam-Webster defines the word ‘succumb’ as follows: to yield to superior strength or force or overpowering appeal or desire (emphasis mine). If there is a superior, then there must be an inferior. Under this paradigm, women are in a ‘superior’ position, testing the man. If he jumps the gun, she will be disappointed and somehow mistrustful of him.
Deida also seems to intertwine the concept of ejaculation with female trust. Somehow, he manages to make it seem as though women interpret a man’s sexual release to be some sort of depletion. That is, if you ‘succumb’ to sexual release, you will “likewise succumb to the world” (180).
There is further evidence that reinforces the popular position that there are misogynistic tone: “Every time she sucks you into an uncontrollable need to ejaculate, she has conquered you. She controls you and masters you” (182). Note the words ‘controls’ and ‘masters’. Deida implies that in sexual relations, a man’s need to ejaculate is perceived as female control and mastery over the male. The point that the author makes is that a male needs to make a conscious choice to ejaculate in order to escape from this form of female control. Considering the adversarial paradigm that he has constructed, this male retention of control is a way to maintain superiority in the face of continual testing (“But she will continue to test your capacity for loving”) (183).
As you can see, Deida presents sexual relations between a man and a woman as a contest of wills, abattleofcontrol. That is, a woman is continually testing a man to see if he will ejaculate. The longer he maintains control over this impulse to ejaculate, the more power and control he gains.
Defender’s of Deida’s book say that the book is not written specifically for men, and that he even states as such: “This book is written specifically for people who have a more masculine sexual essence, and their lovers, who will have a more feminine sexual essence…” (xviii). However, considering that there is an entire chapter devoted to ejaculation, it becomes undoubtedly clear that Deida had biological men in mind, and not simply “people who have a more masculine sexual essence”; women do not ejaculate.
Essentially, after analyzing the language and content of the aforementioned chapter, it would seem that Deida’s idea of sexual relations is rather misogynistic and focused on power. Considering that it is one of the latest chapters, one whose title and content are more on the shocking side, I can certainly understand why there is a sense of outrage at the book in its entirety. It is true that that chapter in and of itself can easily be taken out of context. Personally, I am a staunch proponent that, given that a person has at least average intelligence, the written word (if not the spoken word) can be quite revealing about a person’s true beliefs. In which case, perhaps Mr. Deida simply has some sexual hang-ups with women. Overall though, taken in the context of the entire book, the alleged misogyny seems to fade into the background. The Chinese concept of yin and yang has been around for ages; this concept of harmony and balance between two polar forces (in this case masculinity and femininity) seems to be what Deida is hinting at.
I take no issue with the rest of the book. The rest of the book is largely concerned with pleasing a woman as completely as possible and to realize one’s fullest potential. It’s mostly the sexual bits that seem to be misrepresented. He simply does a disservice to himself when he tries to tie male ejaculations into female trust and how women draw an analogy between sexual performance and one’s ability to be successful in the world. In particular, the whole thing about ejaculations seems to be just ill-conceived. To be honest, I’ve heard of Deida’s concept that holds that masculine energy comes from ejaculation in my study of the seduction community (in fact, it’s probably Deida who transmitted this idea to the pick-up artists). That is, the male desire to create and do things is a driven by pent up sexual energy: if you stop masturbating so much, you’ll go on to great things because the energy you retain by not ejaculating becomes the force that pushes you to actually do things rather than basking in the lull of sexual satisfaction. While it seems to hold some semblance of truth (after all, it can be said that men’s actions are ultimately driven by their desire for women), I find the theory to be a little silly. I’m sure a high-testosterone type A bull-headed man would disagree with me, but the truth is that I’m less that than I am a calm and quiet fellow, driven by my intellect rather than masculine sexual energy.
Ultimately, The Way of the Superior man seems to be quite an empowering book for those who aren’t satisfied with their life. As an independent thinker, I’m quite happy to see that much of my own philosophical conclusions on how to be a man in this modern world is affirmed by someone else. I’m glad that I only just now came across this book, because it wouldn’t have nearly been as powerful for me to read these thoughts as it would have been if I came to my own conclusions.