Featured Image by kainr on Flickr, used under license (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic/CC BY 2.0).
Pick-Up Artist (PUA) techniques are fad diets backed by circumstantial testimony. Your mileage will vary until you form healthy habits that never needed branding in the first place. Weight lost from the 3 day diet won’t stay lost, and having a one-night stand thanks to the Mystery Method won’t make you feel secure with who you are.
If there was an algorithm to seduction, no PUA could sell any books, DVDs or workshop tickets. We would pirate the secret to free pussy more times than a Game of Thrones cut where Peter Dinklage was on PCP and always had that crossbow [spoiler alert]. But thanks to the excellent sales skills of entrepreneurial PUAs like Roosh, you can hardly think about seduction without thinking of esoteric nomenclature and a callous pursuit for pussy that makes Californication look Victorian:
There are several components of good game practice that make love less likely to develop. I’ve taught men to…
- Adopt a model of abundance whereby you treat each girl as disposable and replaceable
- Adopt the mentality that all women are selfish and extractive, and that you must get your sexual pleasure from them as quickly as possible
- View women solely as sexual depositories that can not aid the lives of men
- Be willing to walk away from any woman, a mindset that aims to help you not develop emotional attachments
—Roosh, “The Elephant In The Room“
I’ve learned a lot about relationships and self-care. Although I agree that emotional attachment can turn unhealthy, I think that a shared emotional connection is a basic human need. I have my fun, but I don’t use game to have sex because I don’t need it. This statement would probably annoy PUAs if they view game an integral part of a man’s interactions with women. But from what I see from the way PUAs treat seduction, game is something you have or don’t have. I don’t claim to have it, but I’m not missing out on anything either.
I read materials PUAs often recommend, but I realized that nothing topped brutally-honest mentors, friends, and a healthy tolerance for failure to hone my social skills. I’m still a geeky guy that sounds like Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds, but I do okay because I practice.
There is a science to seduction, just like there is a science to good health. But in both of these arenas, beware those who brand the science to sell stuff to the impatient. Dismissing all advice just because it comes from PUAs would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but if you have to buy a DVD, attend a workshop or read books about how to be attractive, then the materials wouldn’t help you anyway.
I’ve never committed to anything that says things like “Be yourself, but not like that.” I don’t need anyone’s permission to enjoy life and the company I keep. I certainly don’t take advice from Type-A bloggers with unverifiable sexual qualifications who always have the same dumbass sales pitch:
I was an albino with the complexion of desert herpes. Women hated me so much that my head was always soaked with mojitos and tears. Now I can’t go to my private jet without getting my dick stuck in my Italian blowjob maids. Buy my book, and even worthless faggots like you can do the deed with double D’s.
This is like watching an episode of Cribs, except the house only allegedly belongs to the star, and everything is sticky.
Successful seducers start with personal initiative. Neil Strauss wrote his feature-length testimonial for Game™ after hanging around some swinging dicks, but I’m not convinced that he really needed the help since his personality was already conducive to personal development.
You could argue that if I wanted to learn how to work on cars, I should talk to people that work on cars. But women aren’t cars, and social skills are not learned from advice. You could talk to singers and bury your face into a manual for the human larynx, but that’s not enough to deliver an aria that would make Thomas Gibson weep into a hankie.
To be fair to PUAs, being openly heterosexual and attempting to seduce women is not misogynistic, as some critics claim. Men are worth something, and heterosexuality is totally okay. There is also nothing wrong with a man refusing to define his worth according to what women think of him. If we don’t support a self-loving man, then we will create a generation of obsequious codependents that are only technically men. Where I draw the line with PUAs is with their aggressive, communal branding efforts and need to sell fads to insecure men.
Have you ever noticed that Objectivists act like they own logic, reason and ethics? The PUA community acts the same way about seduction. They took the topic over with their own glossary. It’s not “self-esteem” anymore, it’s “inner game.” It’s not “touch,” it’s “kino.”
I don’t need to groom “Splinter Artisans” to rebrand woodworking. Woodworking requires no brand loyalty because it is only a skill. Seduction is the same way.
I’m a hormonal non-monogamist (which is a euphemism for “I’m 24”), and I have an amazing woman in my life. I still hook-up because, well, I like sex and variety. We found a mutually healthy bond that fortifies emotional health in spite of this sexual openness. I didn’t need game to end up in this situation. In fact, once I started taking much better care of myself, she showed up.
If you are a young man looking for love, turn off the computer and think about your life and how you relate to others. If you don’t feel a terrifying void growing in your gut, you aren’t doing it right. Starting from this lonely moment of existential dread, understand that you will suck at seducing women. I know I did my share of cringey propositions and poorly calculated moves. But I got laid, mellowed out and did better over time. It’s okay to fail. In fact, it’s required.
I’m not going to document my methods, and I’m definitely not putting them up for sale. What works for me came from developing my own style, which I cannot guarantee would work for someone else. Talk to strangers to learn who you are, because the way people react—either negatively or positively—has a way of making you finally look for your own approval. But don’t talk to strangers, particularly PUAs, about what you need to do to be attractive. The problem is giving people power over your worth. You don’t want to give women that power, but you don’t want to give it to PUAs either. That’s not avoiding the problem, it’s moving it elsewhere. Despite the sales pitch, a pick up artist doesn’t give a single fuck if you do well in life or get laid unless you give them credit for progress that could only ever be your own.