Remember the days before COVID19, when dating was just about navigating awkward minefields, and bizarre expectations we (mostly) setup for ourselves? Those were good times. Not from a morale standpoint, but at least every time I stepped outside I didn’t have to fight the nagging feeling that any casual conversation I entered into could be a potential death sentence. I miss those days.
I make no secret about the fact that I consider the self-help industry to be largely bullshit. That’s not to say that striving for personal improvement isn’t a worthwhile goal, and there is certainly no shame in seeking out sources that will help one achieve said improvement. In fact, I’m a firm proponent that everyone should go out and find personal fulfillment and work towards better clarity, understanding, and all that great stuff that make a person a well-adjusted and psychologically healthy individual. Be it yoga, video games, sports teams, fitness, mountain climbing, elaborate cooking escapades–if it floats your boat and leads to a better version of you, than, by all means, ride that wave home to shore.
The problem is that the self-help industry is something very different from just a resource for genuine self-improvement. It’s a profit-driven marketing scheme, propagated by charlatans with a cult-like sense of self-importance, whose bottom line is to prey on people’s insecurities as a means to secure their own monetary success and celebrity status–where helping people overcome their actual problems is an afterthought, if it is given any real thought at all.
Noting the handful of (arguably) legit self-help trends that I’m sure some readers will be eager to point to as the exception to my condemnations above, I would hope that most of us can at least agree that what is commonly referred to as the pickup artist (PUA) community, largely operates as a racket.
PUA is the umbrella term for various seduction and attraction methods put forward by a loose-knit collection of self-styled experts in the field that claim to be able to help men get sex from women. Now, those within these communities will undoubtedly disagree with my description here, and will want to claim how their “techniques” actually span a variety of confidence building and self-improvement exercises applicable to a wide range of a person’s life beyond just sex and seduction. But in all honest, I dare anybody to point to a single legit PUA source whose underlying material isn’t about showing men how to get laid with a higher quantity of attractive women. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Couldn’t really find one, huh? Ok, let’s continue then.
Books, seminars, workshops, blogs, podcasts–there is hardly a profitable venue the PUA market hasn’t reached. The gurus delivering the message will almost always be decently attractive men themselves, who will always claim to have at some point been just as clueless about approaching women as the love-shy men currently seeking their advice. The methods they are teaching are therefore tested, and street verified, with the transformation and testimonial of the now suave pickup artist himself as the ultimate proof that you, too, can reach this level of Casanova sexual prowess with the ladies. These PUA gurus will offer samples of their services for free online, but to really get the full affect of their wisdom you will eventually need to commit to attending their infield training camps, the cost of which can range up in the thousands (yes, thousands!) of dollars.
I’ve never been much of a business man so I will foolishly distill down the basic message of all PUA methods, techniques, and skills, into two all-encompassing points:
- Don’t be needy.
- Play the odds.
The first point covers all the basics of not coming across as desperate, or fixating, or being too accommodating towards any one women. And the second point emphasizes how in a world of varying sexual appetites, simply approaching enough women will statistically increase the likelihood in your favor that at least a few of them will be willing to interact with you, and possibly even have sex with you.
That’s it. Those are all the tactics PUAs have to offer in a nutshell. All the jargon, all the insider terminology, essentially falls under points 1 and 2 above.
Now I’m going to go one step further and actually tell you the key universal truth about attraction. Are you ready? There is nothing you can do to make someone attracted to you, if they weren’t already inclined to feel attracted to you. In case you need it put more bluntly: There is no trick, method, or approach you could ever learn or master that will make someone who is otherwise not attracted to you, suddenly want to have sex with you.
Oh sure, you could wave millions of dollars in a woman’s face that will entice her to pretend to be attracted to you. Hell, the incentive of gaining riches could very easily make a number of straight men agree to fondle your genitalia, too. But they still won’t be attracted to you; not really. Not anymore then they were inclined to be when they first met you, and knew nothing about you.
If you need further convincing of the validity of this key universal truth of attraction, indulge me with this thought experiment. Think of a person you are just not sexually attracted to, at all. There doesn’t need to be anything physically wrong with them, and they could be a perfect lovely and decent human being in their own right; they’re just not your cup of tea as far as sexual attraction goes. Now try to think of anything this person could ever do or say that would suddenly make you feel sexually attracted to them. Can you think of anything? No? Exactly.
Pickup artists know that this is the truth, and it’s part of their long con. They understand that it really doesn’t fucking matter what you say to a women, just that you approach her in the first place. Because what do these PUA gurus say to the men who have spent 2-3 paychecks worth for their advice when they still end up striking out with a women under their tutelage?–“Don’t worry about it, man. Just go on to the next one.” Which is correct and good advice, but hardly worth the shitload of cash they had these men put in to receive it. But men who lack experience with talking to women in the first place–let alone dating them–don’t know that. They think there must me something more to it, like a secret code that can be deciphered. But there isn’t. No code, hence no cheat code; ergo, no shortcuts or tricks.
You will only be attractive to the women who find you attractive, and you will only find these women by talking to and approaching enough women in the first place. And as long as you act like a decent enough human being, you will manage to keep the attraction of these women long enough that they may agree to have sex with you. That’s it. No book, or method, or lecture, or dishonestly edited “infield footage” will give you anymore insight than that.
There will be some number of readers who will nod along in agreement with everything I have written in this post about PUAs and their tactics, but will part with my unwillingness to outright attack the men they prey on for personal and financial gains. They might say that if you are the sort of person who is so easily taken in by obvious grifters, you deserve little no sympathy for it. If you are of this mindset, I can’t say anything to dissuade of it, but I sincerely cannot find it in me to go along with this line of thinking.
If you are the sort of person who takes advantage of another’s self-conscious personal flaws, and seeks to make a livelihood out of other people’s pains and loneliness, it is you who is the bad person, not those who were unfortunate enough to fall into your predatory sights. And PUAs, like all these self-help guru charlatans, are essentially just predators who have found the venue by which to turn their predatory natures into a profitable market. And they deserve the ire of any decent person who crosses their path for it, and they don’t deserve to have any of that ire deflected onto their victims; regardless of how gullible the latter group may seem in the grand scheme of things.
We meet before seeing each other.
We talk before speaking a word.
We keep it casual, lest we look desperate.
We get desperate, signaling the end.
We value communication, but mind what we say.
To call is too forward, best not try it too soon.
Can’t text too often; don’t text too seldom.
Experience matters, but don’t shame aloud.
We complain about all the rules, but we judge if they’re not followed.
We lose interest and blame the other, before blaming ourselves.
We complain some more, lamenting our follies.
We go repeat the steps, knowing it will be different every time.