Archive for March, 2012

I’ve been a fan of therawness for awhile.  He just wrote what started out as relatively simple advice to a reader and then delved into the pathologies of the pickup artist.

That post is easily one of the most influential ones for me since

The quote from Mark Manson that really got me thinking beyond rather simplistic notions (“how to get laid”, “how to escalate”, etc) was this one:

You don’t end up in the Pick Up Artist community unless you are incredibly unhappy or unsatisfied about something. It may be conscious, it may be unconscious. It may be short-term, or it may be deep-seated and long-term. But the fact is, the community acts for a lot of men as a diversion or scapegoat from dealing with their real issues — their emotional issues.

For about a year or maybe a bit more, I’ve viewed getting really deep into pickup as a sign of something else gone awry.  And through countless interactions with so many people involved in the same seduction community as I, that something else always relates to something psychological (addicted to validation, abandonment of some sort, fucked up trauma that leads to overcompensating in some way, etc).  So for me, I think I’m very self-aware and knew intuitively that delving into pickup and meeting guys off forums was just a symptom of something else operating in the background subconsciously.  A small minority of guys into pickup just need some quick tips, but I think most may have some huge psychological blind spots that they might not be dealing with.  Over time, people repress certain incidents and mentally minimize what may be significant so old memories become faint.  So while people may consciously be doing something on the surface to fix some sort of external problem (either no sex life at all or relationship problems),  things may still be lurking in their subconscious which if they don’t get solved, the external issue won’t go away either.

I always knew that most of my problems with women were related to something deeper than just the technical aspect of it so when I finally landed a job where going to therapy was an option, I found a therapist.  I can pretty much say for sure that talking openly about various childhood traumas I’ve gone through has helped my confidence tremendously.   And for 30 years, I never thought about how my relationship with my mother truly affected my interactions with females until I was able to talk about the nature of our relationship.  Here’s just an example jewel in “Reader Letters Part 4”

In this case the pneumonia represents low self-esteem and people-pleasing and insecurity and unresolved childhood isses that people develop while growing up. The symptoms include the inability to hook up with girls and get laid, the inability to assert oneself, the inability to have happy relationships, shyness, hypersensitivity, social anxiety, bad nerves, and other bad behaviors. PUA stuff gets you obsessed with fixing the symptoms (superficial behavioral tics) and not attacking the real sickness (low self-esteem, unresolved core issues from childhood traumas, faulty thinking patterns inherited from authority figures, etc.). The pickup artist prescription feels good at first, but it doesn’t attack the real self-esteem and insecurity issues and allows them to keep growing underneath the surface, so the moment you get some form of ego bruising or a setback, all the old feelings of low self-esteem and ego-bruising come rushing back to the forefront of your awareness.

I remember being at a rooftop bar in 2010 at some lair event.  I remember this weird sinking feeling I got when this Dutch girl I talked to earlier in the night was making out with some other guy extremely passionately in a corner around 3am.  I had something like a panic attack, like the situation itself was an attack on me, my self-worth, my core.  But a truly healthy man possesses a core strong enough to get over things like that fast.  The self-talk of a healthy guy is “I’m not her cup of tea, it’s not the end of the world” but for me at the time, somehow it was earth-shattering that this one random girl in the bar didn’t go home with me.   This absurd feeling was made worse because of the over-promised “magic pill” of various pickup products I was reading at the time.   One thing a lot of the gurus did that I give credit for is actually teaching what’s actually possible (i.e. you can go out and get laid the same night, you can have multiple relationships, etc).  What the mainstream gurus missed is the art of managing expectations.  People aren’t just instantly going to transform into a super playboy after reading a book.  The methods or techniques cause most people to put too much pressure on themselves and I was no exception to that.  Moreover, it’s dangerous territory when not being able to get a desired result with a random girl becomes a direct internal attack on your worth as a man.

More from therawness:

The right thing for these guys to do would be to deal with these core issues of low self-worth feelings and their inferiority feelings so that they can fix them once and for all. What pickup teaches them to do however is not to fix feelings but instead to switch from their current faulty coping strategy, which is surrender, to another faulty coping strategy of overcompensation. Using overcompensation, they repress these unwanted feelings with defense mechanisms so that they end up blocking themselves from consciously accessing this self-hatred. They learn to rationalize away and deny their feelings of low self-worth. They learn to  project away their feelings of inferiority and self-hatred onto others. (Ever wonder why pickup artists develop this fanatical hatred of beta males? It’s their hatred of the beta traits they fear still exist within themselves, so they try to destroy these unwanted traits by first projecting them onto other male targets and then destroying those other targets.)  They also learn to use another defense mechanism ofintellectualization to cope with these low self-worth feelings, which is where all the mental masturbation and books on evolutionary psychology, animal behavior, persuasion, sales, New Age thinking and success literature like Tony Robbins comes in (not that there’s anything inherently wrong with any of this literature but rather in the way they are being used in this speak instance as a way to avoid fixing core issues).

He makes other points about the inner game literature of the seduction community and how it’s basically all predicated around women instead of gaining confidence simply because it makes your life better, period. Another strong point is the fact that he brings up women’s shitty behavior.  There’s plenty of guys out there like me who decided to take the good from seduction advice and throw out the navel gazing stuff that in the long run harms self-confidence.  How can you be totally confident when you always think you did something wrong in some way?

Another problem with pickup that makes it sophisticated codependency  is the damaging belief that the outcome is always in your control when you’re a true alpha. It takes the codependent’s natural urge to blame himself and masks it as positive traits, like accountability, persistence, and social intelligence. See, everything that goes wrong with a woman is the man’s fault. He wasn’t alpha enough. He was too reactive. He didn’t give the right response. He didn’t stand at a 45 degree angle. He didn’t peacock enough. He didn’t “neg” her at the right level. He held his drink at his waist. He showed too much enthusiasm. He passed her first two shit tests, but caved at her third one. He didn’t properly build comfort before going for sex. He didn’t do the right things to create attraction. And so on and so on.

Meanwhile thanks to evolutionary psychology rationalizing, less things than ever are the woman’s fault.

Another blogger from Toronto (I think his name is Jake) puts it another way:

 Game essentially says that you are okay with whatever behaviour women display, because you will always find a way to overcome it. In other words, “game” is a coping strategy for women’s behaviour. If she only likes asshole jerks, then it’s your fault for not acting like an asshole jerk.

So in a nutshell, I’m right in the middle of the game versus anti-game crowd.  And the reason is that “Game” has no solid definition to begin with.  Some guys define game as tactics and techniques while others think game is simply working on your lifestyle and approaching more women.  If we’re going with the all-encompassing definition, things I’ve done for myself like get a higher paying job, get better clothes, move to NYC, exercise, and approach more women are all things that have improved my results with women.  If game means simply a series of routine stacks and mental masturbation on “state”, that’s where I get skeptical because certain sob stories on the internet about a guy approaching 5000 women and getting one lay out of it probably was working the hell out of a routine stack and neglecting other things that would make life much easier.