This is the final installment of the body type-game type series, and here we will focus on ectomorphs, those men who have structurally thin, lean skeletal frames. (If you want to know how purely ectomorphic you are, just grab your wrist. Is there space left over? You’re probably an ecto.) The mesomorph game post, the second installment, is here.
This post will likely generate lots of discussion, if only because, according to the poll in the first post of the series, a plurality of readers are self-identified ectomorphs. This shouldn’t surprise anyone; ectomorphs are the intellectual somatotype, and they would be drawn to logical discussions of very serious issues in venues that minimize social chaos.
According to Sheldon, ectomorphs:
[F]ocus on privacy, restraint and a highly developed self-awareness.
The associated temperament of the ectomorph is described by Sheldon:
The Extreme Ectotonic — Reflection
The outstanding characteristic of the ectotonic is his finely-tuned receptive system. His spread-out body acts like a giant antenna picking up all sorts of inputs. Sheldon calls the ectotonic a biologically extraverted organism, which is compensated for by psychological introversion. Since the whole organism is sensitive to stimulation, the ectotonic develops a series of characteristic strategies by which he tries to cut down on it. He is like a sonar operator who must constantly be wary of a sudden loud noise breaking in on the delicate sounds he is trying to trace. He likes to cross his legs and curl up as if he is trying to minimize his exposure to the exterior world. He tries to avoid making noise and being subjected to it. He shrinks from crowds and large groups of people and likes small, protected places. [...]
His hypersensitivity leads not only to quick physical reactions but to excessively fast social reactions as well. It is difficult for this type to keep pace with slow-moving social chit-chat. He races ahead and trips over his own social feet.
Just as the endotonic loves to eat and the mesotonic loves action, the ectotonic loves privacy, and intellectual or mental stimulation. He needs shelter from excessive stimulation and time to sort out the inputs he has received, and connect them up with his own inner subjective experience, which he values highly. Self-awareness is a principle trait of ectotonia. The feelings of the ectotonic are not on display, even though they can be very strong, and so he is sometimes accused of not having any. When they are in a situation of dealing with someone who has authority over them or with someone of the opposite sex whom they are interested in, they often make a poor first impression. They are uncomfortable in coping with social situations where overt expressions of sympathy are called for or where general idle conversation is the norm, for example in parties and dinners where they have no intimate acquaintances.
The ectotonics are hypersensitive to pain because they anticipate it and have a lower pain threshold as well. They do not project their voices like the mesotonics, but focus it to reach only the person they are addressing. They appear younger than their age and often wear an alert, intent expression. They have a late adolescence, consider the latter part of life the best, and are future-oriented.
Very broadly speaking, ectomorphs are the beta male civilization builders and maintainers, (as is often the case with these kinds of overly broad generalizations, you should adjust for racial differences). Uncharitably, you could call ectomorphs nerds, spergs or wallflowers. Charitably, you could call them brooding, mysterious rebels. As with the endomorphs and mesomorphs, how people perceive you will vary according to how close you lie to the extreme for your somatotype, and how well you have personally managed your inborn traits to showcase your strengths and restrain your weaknesses. PUAs call this “building your identity.”
Physically, pure ectomorphs have it the worst. The muscular meso and the chunky (but not grossly overweight) endo will both do better at attracting approach invitations from women. On average, and taking women as a whole and winnowing their attraction triggers down to one metric, stick thin men are least desirable to women. However, most ectos are not stick thin; a fair proportion are lean with excellent muscle tone, even if they are not as big all around as mesomorphs. The lean but toned look is almost as attractive to women as the powerfully built mesomorphic look.
Given this female preference, pure ectos will see the most bang bang for their buck from hitting the weight room. You teenage guys who can’t put on muscle to save your lives should take heart: bodybuilding forums are fairly uniform in their agreement that by your early 20s, the muscle starts to arrive, if you stick to a lifting program religiously. Later in life, ectos can potentially clean up, because by then they have filled out while less diligent endos have gotten fatter and the mesos lacking self-discipline have gotten older-looking than their years.
As hinted at above, ectomorphs probably make up the majority of game material consumers because they are the ones who need the most help (being the most anti-social), and who are best suited for adapting informationally dense, written material into field practice. The ectomorph is a thinker, and that means his strength lies in analysis, systematic breakdown of variables, and application of gained knowledge. No one is better at taking apart group social dynamics than an ecto; paradoxically no one is worse at capitalizing on his social dynamic knowledge than the ecto.
For you see, the ectomorph’s greatest strength is also his worst crippling weakness: the dreaded condition known as paralysis by analysis. You really can overthink a situation, and ectos do it all the time. Ectos are victims of perfectionism; if they can’t get it 100% right the first time, they don’t bother trying at all. They are, in this respect, the total opposites of the action-oriented, live in the moment mesos and the devil-may-care, socially indulgent endos.
Knowing this, ectomorphs tend to excel at the comfort and seduction stages of pickup, and to flounder during the attraction stage. An ectomorph is naturally more at home talking one-on-one with a girl, away from the noise of boisterous groups and the threat of AMOGs. On a quiet sofa or a walk in a park, his incisive mind can find its best expression. An ecto is unparalleled as the king of mental connection and smooth talking; he can spin up great yarns and fantasy landscapes that make a girl feel a part of his world, and his seductive gaze pierces like a dagger, because when he’s got his girl alone and in his clutches, he’s in the soulmate zone.
And as a game strategist he is the equal of any master seducer. He will always know in the back of his head when the time is right to venue bounce, or to push a girl away, or to make a bedroom move. He knows this because he is good at collating information gleaned from past experience with women, and from observing naturals at work, and learning from it.
The game tactics which ectomorphs will find easiest to learn and employ include:
- Any one-on-one storytelling or psychological game playing. (e.g., the cube, palm reading, strawberry fields, etc.)
- Intense, bedroom seduction.
- Calculated pullbacks. (The ecto has no problem walking away from a set.)
- Preemptively heading off potential objections. (The ecto sees two steps ahead and two steps beyond.)
- Eliciting a girl’s values. (Ectos’ refined self-awareness can be channelled into awareness of others’ needs and desires.)
But ectomorphs also have major pickup flaws which they must address, or they will find the game of love to be mountain too high to climb. Some of these failings include:
- An immobilizing hesitancy to approach girls or open sets. Of the three male archetypes, the ectomorph will have the toughest time getting over his social fear of talking to strangers. If you are a pure ecto, consider teaming up with an accomplished, sociable player to help you get over your inclination to insulate yourself from real world human interaction.
- An inability to react promptly to shit tests. The ectomorph is hypersensitive, so shit tests tend to knock him off guard, and he will respond by turtling into his shell. Also, because the ecto “lives in his head” he has difficulty staying focused on the moment as his mind races ahead at dizzying speeds, figuring out the intricacies of whatever a girl is saying to him. Therefore, the ecto needs to work on reacting fast to upsetting changes of conversational tone, and one method that is particularly useful for him is the pregnant pause. Ectos can calm their roiling minds by stopping, dropping their thoughts, and just rolling with the moment. Practice with the pregnant pause will help him overcome his urge to have just the right reply for everything a girl tosses at him.
- Calibration. Ectos are almost as bad as mesomorphs at calibrating a girl’s interest level. The mesomorph miscalibrates because he charges into conversation at full steam, while the ectomorph miscalibrates because he’s too wrapped up in his thoughts to notice how a girl is actually responding to him. An ectomorph would do well to hone his listening ability, and one way to practice this is to repeat in his head the last few words that a girl said to him.
- Alpha male voice and body projection. Ectomorphs generally have beta body language and vocal pitch. This unfortunate tendency is not necessarily due to low status; many ectos just don’t like being the center of attention, and they modulate their voice and shrink their body as a consequence of that compulsion to avoid attention grabbing behavior. An ecto has to learn to carry himself like a meso or a sociable endo, if he wants to make good first impressions on women, particularly Western women who have all turned into thug-loving, r-selected whores. (I kid! Or do I?)
- Kino. Ectos are uncomfortable touching women. They have to make concerted efforts to kino escalate, or their overeager brains and undereager hands will betray them.
Flaws aside, ectomorphs can do really well with the various subphylum of scenester girls who pride themselves on their intellect and nonconformity. These girls like that a man “gets them”, and ectos who have trained themselves to listen well are adept at manufacturing the “gets them” perception. Some girls also lean more than the average girl toward an appreciation of mental connection, where an ecto will excel, although all girls are more emotional creatures than mental creatures, so ectomorphs should not be complacent about emotionally connecting with women.
Ectos would do well to drop a lot of sciency, jargony words from their social vocabulary, and take steps to learn to speak in an attenuated slang. The kind of humor and wit that chicks, even smart chicks, really love is terser and slangier than the typical ecto will be comfortable or familiar using. Learning to speak like this, if it doesn’t come naturally to you, requires a lot of real world, in field interaction hanging out with cool dudes. Intellectual wit is best in small doses, when it can be more fully appreciated.
Finally, the ectomorph’s Achille’s heel — his trouble with living in the moment — is a flaw that can be rectified with awareness and practice. The key is to actively force himself to shut down his mind when out at a club or other venue. Simply telling himself out loud that he will go with the flow is sometimes enough to get him in the right frame of mind. He has to know that his extensive game knowledge won’t abandon him once he’s out in the field mixing it up with people. Another method for achieving this zen state of mind is to remind himself that he won’t reply to every conversational thread or shit test, however compelled he feels to do so. Skill at picking up conversational threads at random junctures, and staying away from those threads that are about to fizzle out, cannot be underrated. If this describes you, know that you don’t have to be “on” 100% of the time; often, it’s better to swerve away from a conversational roadblock rather than try to scale it.