Now, more and more alpha males are looking for something else from the A-list: accomplishment.
According to a poll, 48 percent of men (and an equal percentage of women) reported dating partners who drew the same income as they did.
She was a research analyst for Goldman Sachs; he was unemployed and playing a lot of golf.
"In certain regards, she outshines me," says Pak of his wife. People may be more impressed with her than with me." (Pak is now chief financial officer at an electronic stock trading services group.) Men's attraction to professionally achieving mates is one piece of a much larger story.
"We're experiencing a historic change in the things people want out of marriage, the reasons they enter into it and stay in it," says historian Stephanie Coontz of Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.
Men in their 20s and 30s embarking on first marriages are relieved to no longer be the sole breadwinner and decision-maker, a burden many watched their fathers shoulder.
"These men are truly redefining masculinity," says Terrence Real, a psychologist and author of .
And the pursuit of a high-achiever is not solely the province of youth.
Status-conscious tycoons want to have second marriages—and affairs—with alpha women.
"Older men want the most impressive achiever in the office.
Pete Beeman, a 36-year-old sculptor, met Page Fortna, 34, on New Year's Eve in 1997, while she was studying for a doctorate in political science.