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Tangentially Speaking

461 – ROMA 44: The Way of the Inferior Man

By February 15, 2021February 18th, 202113 Comments

Over the past few years, I’ve repeatedly been asked if I’d read The Way of the Superior Man, by David Deida. Having long ago given up on being a superior man, I hadn’t. Finally got around to reading it, and as you’ll hear in this episode, I have some things to say about what I think Mr. Deida gets right and some equally passionate thoughts on what he gets very, very wrong.

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Intro music: “Brightside of the Sun,” by Basin and Range,“She Drives Me Crazy,” by The Fine Young Cannibals.


  • “When men come they lose all their energy”?? Sounds like New Age bullshit inspired by ancient Eastern philosophy –which can easily be nudged into fascism– to me. Maybe this Deida dude is a fan of Otto Wininger, an Austrian philosopher whose book Sex and Character who became influential in Nazi Germany after he committed suicide at age 23. Or perhaps Deida recommends ingestion of mercury as a way to attain immortality?

    Sounds to me like *YOU* should be the one writing these kinds of book, dear Doctopher. Think about it, you’re already receiving correspondence from hundreds of young men asking for your advice with regards to relationships. You already have a robust database of the questions and issues they are more interested in, and –unlike Deida and Jordan Peterson– you are not a mysoginist 😉

    Think about it.

  • Ben says:

    Dear Chris,

    I’m surprised by your negative feelings toward this book. I read it when I was in my early 30s and found it quite useful. The message I took from Deida was essentially “be careful about how and with whom you choose to share your sexual energy.” To me, that sounds like solid advice. I would not liken this guy to Jordan Peterson, who is certainly mysoginistic and loony. Something I notice during your critique is a tendency to call out passages from the book as “rapey” or “weird,” but then use different language to say the same thing as Deida. An example off the top of my head is the discussion of women’s mood swings. You really lay into Deida, but then say something like “well, it is true there are hormonal differences …but he’s out of line because X, Y, or Z.” I’m not trying to be too harsh. I enjoyed the podcast. I just think quite often you’re being unfair to Deida and that much of your disagreements with him are mostly semantic or based on misinterpretations of his metaphors. I’d love to listen to a back and forth with you and the author to see if I’m right.

    Peace brother!

  • jandojando says:

    Very necessary that someone would articulate what is wrong about this type of thinking. I’ve always felt that something was off about this whole red-pill/alpha male/real man®/ blah blah communty. They are so convinced about their bitter ‘truths’, and so many people buy in to it. The Rational Male is another book like this. If you doubt their bible you’re a beta male.

  • Dubs says:

    You do Deida a disservice by blatently quoting him out of context and misrepresent his ideas.

    eg. There’s that bit you talk about where Deida talks about how a woman can seem to be “lying” to a man, but it’s just a different perspective on what is permanent and what is transitory. He spends paragraphs explaining this before, and then refers a few lines later later to how a man can expect a woman to be “lying” – and he uses quotes around lying to refer back to this concept that he explained a few paragraphs earlier.

    And then we hear you quoting it without the context and without Deida’s very important quote marks around “bonkers” and “lying”, just trying to pretend that Deida is calling all women crazy liars. This is sloppy journalism.

    • First, this isn’t journalism — sloppy or not. I’m not a journalist. No editor. No revisions. No fact-checking. Just my unfiltered response.

      Second, you may be partially right, in that he clearly plays it both ways, and I concentrated on one of those ways, which seemed to me to be the predominant perspective. You complain that I quote him out of context, but you don’t bother to quote him at all. Here’s how he summarizes Chapter 16 (Women are not Liars):

      “‘Keeping your word’ is a masculine trait, in men or women. A person with a feminine essence may not keep her word, yet it is not exactly ‘lying.’ In the feminine reality, words and facts take second place to emotions and the shifting moods of relationship. … On the other hand, the masculine means what it says. A man’s word is his honor. The feminine says what it feels. A woman’s word is her true expression in the moment.”

      Pretty hard to pin down what the hell he’s really saying, but from my perspective, the essence of it is that men can be trusted and women can’t. “A man’s word is his honor,” but “a feminine essence may not keep her word,” and “a woman’s word is her true expression in the moment.” If this is true, it follows that women should not be able to sign contracts, hold public office, serve as police, or open bank accounts without an “honorable” man there to counter-sign her checks to be sure Miss Flighty isn’t spending money she doesn’t have. If a woman’s word is nothing but dust in the wind, how are they going to function as equals in a world in which “words and facts” are legally binding, while “emotions and shifting moods” come and go like songbirds?

      So yeah, he puts “bonkers” and “lying” in quotation marks, but what he means is pretty clear: women (and feminine men) can’t be trusted to say what they mean or to value facts above emotions. If you’re down with that, fine, but I don’t think it’s a misrepresentation of his thesis.

  • rich says:

    David Deida was/is a devotee in the cult of adida – aka da free john (franklin jones).
    much of David’s writing is a reflection of that guru.

  • David says:

    Most powerful points for me were at around 35:00 when you talked about the psychology of why people test their romantic partners, and at 58:00 when you talked about how women are more in tune with the vulnerability of men because women have been watching babies turn into men for millennia.

    I disagree that ejaculation doesn’t cause energy-loss because whenever I beat off, it takes ages for me to regain the energy I had. I recommend checking out semen retention. Here’s the realisation that will destroy the thought: “that sounds fucking shit”: you never have to jizz when you orgasm. Ever heard of orgasming without ejaculation? People have been doing it for millennia, most notably the Taoists. I’ve done it during sex and was able to go a few more rounds – of *her* orgasms! All men can learn to do it, they just need the wherewithal to practice it. I feel like I’m sharing the gospel here. Check out the great book ‘The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity by Daniel Reid’, or just search for ‘orgasm without ejaculation’.

    Cheers Chris, always an interesting listen. Listen to this the next time you get high:

  • Twirl says:

    Something I’ve never heard anyone talk about in relation to this book: The relationship ideal that he describes in this book is more or less identical to bdsm-y dom/sub or daddy/girl relationships that I’ve had in the past. Except those relationships were actually a lot more honest than what Deida is pushing for, because we knew what we were doing wasn’t the mature ideal of relationship. We acknowledged that we were playing with shadow. Something to play with and move through. And it was carefully negotiated. Deida is treating shadow desires as if they are The Way People Are. You are right that it seems like he’s describing one or a few women. For people who don’t engage with kink/bdsm it might not be obvious, but that woman that he is describing is called a bratty sub. She would test a man just to see his immobility and strength. So he is basically defining all women by the shadow of a small portion of women.

  • Palo Samo says:

    Hi Chris,
    I enjoy listening to your podcasts as they are informative and reach a plethora of interesting individuals. However, I disagree with comparing David Deida with Jordan Peterson, as the latter is clearly different in his views from the former, especially when it comes to men/women or male/female issues. You’ve mentioned in one of your previous podcasts from 2018 that you hadn’t read much of his books and it shows, sadly. Even a quick look at one of his talks (namely the infamous Cathy Newman interview) reveals what is his position on this matter. I think that he would be a great guest on one of your future podcasts in which you could address some of the concerns arisen around this intellectual.

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