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What Is a Sigma Male? A New Masculinity Explained

This new form of male identity has made its way onto the dating scene.

Just when you thought the realm of the spectrum of masculinity couldn't get any bigger, a new form of male identity has made its way onto the dating scene: the sigma male. Whether you've heard about sigma males on TikTok or from your friends while discussing the current dating climate, we've gathered everything you need to know about this latest form of masculinity.

By the end of this piece, you'll be able to tell if you've met a sigma male, have one in your life, or are dating one. Read on to learn their telltale traits for a more informed dating experience.

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What is a sigma male?

A young man smiling and combing his hair in front of his laptop at his desk in the office.
Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock

Sigma males are quiet, introverted, fiercely independent, and fall outside the male social hierarchy. Their power is not rooted in being supported by a pack, and they have no interest in leading others. They prefer to stand firm in themselves and have a lot of lone-wolf energy.

"A sigma male is an archetype representing independence, self-reliance, and a preference for operating outside the conventional social hierarchies," says Steffo Shambo, a relationship expert at Tantric Academy. "Unlike alphas, who thrive on social dominance, sigmas excel in autonomy, creating their own path without the need for a social ladder to climb."

The term "sigma male" first made its way onto the social scene via alt-right blogger Theodore Beale, known by his pen name Vox Day. He first used the term in his blog in Jan. 2010, and summarized each male archetype according to the Greek alphabet.

Then, in 2021, the phrase took the world by storm when a tweet questioning the state of men went viral. It included a four-image collage that broke down what a sigma male is, along with examples that included characters like John Wick and Patrick Bateman (more on that later).

So why is the internet still buzzing with conversation about male roles in society? We have #sigmamale TikTok to thank for its resurgence. Creators like Selna Kim (@selnakim) are part of an ocean of content sharing tips and commentary on what it means to be the perfect sigma male.

In a 2022 TikTok, Kim briefly explained what to expect from sigma males, saying, "They are known as the rarest males on earth, which makes them irresistible to women … One of the biggest signs of being a sigma is that you love being alone, but you also value others. Sigmas are never more comfortable than when they are alone."

Kim continued, "Another sign you're sigma is if you treat everybody the same—sigmas reject the idea that you need to treat one person one way and other people another way, and this could make others dislike you."

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What are sigma male personality traits?

High class mature man portrait at home.

If you suspect there might be some sigma males in your life, you've come to the right place. Here are a few key personality traits you should look out for, according to Shambo and Science of People.

1. Mysterious

Sigma males are usually hard to read and figure out. They have mastered the art of creating a sense of depth and mystery that others may find alluring, much of which can be attributed to their quietness.

2. Self-assured

Sigma males are very confident, but they aren't loud about it. They do not seek validation from others and pull their certainty from within.

3. Rebellious

Sigmas are not afraid to stand firm and alone in many of their decisions, even when others disagree. In other words, they do what they want and move away from the norm and typical societal expectations.

4. Independent

Sigma males, unlike alphas, do not belong to a pack and don't want to either. They find strength in being alone and would most likely opt for a solo vacation over a bros trip.

5. Super introverted

Sigma males are not a big fan of very crowded places or large affairs either. Their happy place is their home instead of a bar with a bunch of friends. They are quiet men who thoroughly enjoy and appreciate their "me time." The smaller the gathering, the better.

"Sigma males are characterized by their introspective nature, strategic thinking, and resilience," Shambo says. "They're often seen as mysterious or enigmatic, valuing deep, meaningful connections over superficial ones and preferring solitude or the company of a few close individuals."

RELATED: I'm a Psychologist and These Are the 5 Telling Signs Someone Is a Narcissist.

Which zodiac signs are usually sigma males?

man disapproving of conversation
fizkes / Shutterstock

Since we're diving into the pseudoscience of male personalities, let's take it a step further and see how astrology can also play a role. Zodiac signs can reveal a lot about a person, including what type of personality they have or are more likely to pursue.

"While any zodiac sign can embody sigma traits, those typically associated with introspection and strength, such as Scorpio, Aquarius, and Capricorn, often resonate with the sigma male archetype," Shambo says.

Here's more on how some signs align with the sigma male nature.


According to The Minds Journal, Capricorn men are known for their quiet and reserved personality. Much like sigmas, "Capricorn guys don't like to exert their dominance over others, nor do they want others to follow their example."


Scorpios are known for enjoying their own space and path despite what everyone else is doing. Like sigmas, they live by their own rules and sometimes get a bad rap for being emotionally unavailable because they aren't very expressive with their feelings, according to The Minds Journal.


Sagittarius is probably the most surprising sign on the list, because they are are known for being helpful and kind to others, according to The Minds Journal. But both sigma males and Sagittarius men tend to engage in very surface-level emotional connections with others.

Like sigmas, Sagittarians tend to treat everyone the same and avoid becoming invested with people they don't truly value.

RELATED: The 12 Most Toxic Zodiac Pairings, According to Astrologers.

Who is a sigma male example?

Still from American Psycho

So, who fits the sigma male archetype? To help you better understand this male identity, check out these characters who embody sigma males.

John Wick

According to sigma male TikTok, John Wick is a perfect example of this male personality. Wick is a super cool assassin played by the equally cool Keanu Reeves in the John Wick franchise. Wick is known for taking on the world all by his lonesome (except for the company of his dog, of course).

Whether he's taking on an entire secret assassin society or avenging his murdered pup, he rarely asks for help and doesn't seek approval for any of his debatable decisions.

Patrick Bateman

Christian Bale's portrayal of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho has also been crowned a sigma male, which is just about as toxic as it gets. Bateman is a Wall Street banker by day and a serial killer by night who is obsessed with greed and his appearance. He works out daily, has an immaculate skincare routine, and only wears quality suits.

Vice interviewed a sigma male about Bateman and other lead male characters from popular TV shows being sigma male faves.

"I can understand why people think it's disturbing that our role model is a serial killer, but what inspires us is everything else about Patrick Bateman," the man told Vice. "It's just fiction. They know where they want to go, and they're a bit different from other people; they aren't popular—they're a bit like me."

Steve Jobs

According to the BlokeBox, a platform for sigma males looking for guidance, "Just like Steve, many sigma males are technologically minded and incredibly creative. In fact, you'll find that technology is one of the most sigma male-dominated industries there is. Some of these tech pros might make a lot of money but being sigma males, that isn't actually one of their goals—their main priority is being able to utilize their creativity."

Other notable figures BlokeBox listed included Harry Styles, David Bowie, and Robert Pattinson.

RELATED: 6 Red Flags Your Partner Has Low "Emotional Intelligence," Therapists Say.

What type of woman is a sigma male attracted to?

Man Smiling on a Date
fizkes / Shutterstock

Sigma males are very selective about the women they date. They usually want someone who is very similar to them and who they can be themselves with.

According to Shambo, "Sigma males are drawn to women who share their values of independence and depth. They look for partners who are self-assured, intelligent, and capable of understanding the complexity of their nature."

What is an alpha male?

Handsome, successful businessman in suit with cocktail
SeventyFour / Shutterstock

It's almost impossible to talk about sigma males without mentioning alpha males. They're one of the more popular male identities, but what exactly are they?

As per the Cambridge Dictionary, alpha males are "the most successful and powerful male in any group [or] a strong and successful man who likes to be in charge of others."

Alpha males are often described as the leader of the pack and the top of the male socio-hierarchical pyramid. According to the Harvard Business Review, they are "top dogs" and described as extremely confident, opinionated, action-oriented, and disciplined. They are also known to have high-performance expectations for themselves and the people around them.

"An alpha male is often seen as the leader within social or professional settings, exuding confidence, dominance, and an innate ability to lead and influence others," Shambo says.

RELATED: 271 Questions to Ask Your Boyfriend Before Getting Serious.

Are sigmas higher than alpha?

Young handsome man combing hair in the bathroom

When it comes to sigmas and alphas, neither is above the other.

In fact, "Sigma males operate outside the traditional hierarchy, making comparisons difficult," Shambo says. "They don't seek to fit into established social ranks but rather find their own unique place, emphasizing personal freedom over dominance."

Alphas may be at the top of the sociosexual pyramid, but sigmas are, too. They are just in a different lane. These two male identities are equal and actually quite similar, except sigmas have no interest in leading and are more introverted.

What is a sigma male weakness?

Sad Man Looking Out Window

Conforming completely to any male identity can have its drawbacks. Shambo explains that much of what makes sigmas unique can also hurt them emotionally and socially. Here are a few ways the sigma male identity can create challenges.

1. Extreme loneliness

The lone wolf aesthetic may seem cool, but we're not wolves. We're humans, and according to The Connection Prescription, people need social interaction as it can help reduce depressive symptoms and improve your overall mental health.

"[Sigma males'] penchant for solitude and independence can sometimes lead to isolation or difficulty forming widespread social connections," Shambo says.

2. Unwilling to ask for help

One of the bases of being a sigma male is being self-sufficient and independent, but if these qualities are not used in moderation, they can keep you from reaching out for help when you need it. Feeling like you need to do everything on your own can hinder you from seeking support from a friend or mental health resources like therapy.

3. Emotional detachment

Sigma males are encouraged to treat everyone the same and avoid being open with their emotions. This can make it really difficult to connect with others and have relationships.

According to the BlokeBox, "[For sigmas] being in a committed relationship means having to compromise your own way of living to suit someone else's needs, having to put someone else before yourself … So pretty much everything that goes against the 'lone wolf' mentality and introverted traits that make up a sigma male, who due to this is likely to come across as emotionally unavailable."

In turn, this can hinder a sigma male from experiencing all the intimacies and benefits of love.

RELATED: What Are Soul Ties? Understanding a New Romantic Connection.

What are the benefits of the sigma male lifestyle?

Man Walking and Texting / Shutterstock

If you have made it this far, you're probably thinking, who would want to be a sigma male? Despite the questionable and potentially toxic aspects of this male identity, it does offer a few benefits.

"This lifestyle promotes self-sufficiency, personal growth, and the freedom to live according to one's own terms, often leading to innovative thinking and a non-conformist approach to life," Shambo says.

In a world that moves in tandem with what's trending and social media, the sigma male lifestyle encourages men to look within and lead their lives on their own terms.

Although the sigma male identity is another form of masculinity, it does give men a broader scope of what it means to be a man apart from the alpha and beta personalities. The sigma male trope does a good job of breaking that binary and gives the men looking to these archetypes a little room to be something more nuanced.

As clinical psychologist and Date Smart author Carla Marie Manly, PhD, told AskMen, "As a society, we are shifting toward embracing a wider variety of perspectives in many realms, including the idea of masculinity. This positive shift brings marginalized and over-amplified segments of masculinity into greater focus and balance. The movement away from dualistic thinking—placing men into two categories of either 'weak' or 'strong'—can help us move beyond stereotypes."

RELATED: 10 Things Men Do When They're Not Interested, Dating Expert Reveals.

Do sigmas fall in love?

Young couple about to kiss.
Maryviolet / iStock

Despite their lack of emotional vulnerability, preference for being alone, and introverted personality, sigma males can still fall in love.

"Yes, sigma males are capable of deep, intense love," Shambo says. "They value genuine connections and will commit deeply to a partner who resonates with their independent spirit and intellectual depth."

Wrapping Up

Sigma males are a lot like an alpha's more introverted and loner brother. They are also very confident, independent, and have a mysterious energy. So, if you think you know a sigma, or might even be one, we now hope you have a clearer idea of what that entails.