Tag Archives: self-worth

The Pickup Ruse: The Obvious Truth About Attraction

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:

  1.  Don’t be needy.
  2.  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.

On Humility…

“I want you to be charitable enough to look past all of my faults, while I get to keep scrutinizing all of yours.”  The mutual plateau which all loving human relationships eventually reach.  Because, try as you might, it would be of the utmost betrayal to your senses to ever accept the fact that your shit smells as bad as everybody else’s.

People as Currency

Like the majority of people in the world, I watch my bank account dwindle every month as the continuous onslaught of bills and expenses bombard my meager earnings.  When it comes to engaging in any sort of leisure activity the first question that pops into my head is never, “How much will I enjoy this?”–rather, I bicker to myself, “How much will this cost me?”  This is because the cost of living is the underlying value of life for many of us.  We orientate and restrict our movements based on the dollar value attached to our names; to the point that said value becomes more important in shaping our identity than our very names.

Think about it like this: when it comes to potential employers, mortgage brokers, insurance premiums, interest rates, or  financial aid distributions, the primary judgement of your character as a worthy human being rests on the fitness of your past financial history.  If your financial history has even a speck of a blemish on it (debts, foreclosures, bankruptcy, etc.) your social standing as a person drops, due to the assumption that the essential components of your personal character are deducible from your credit score alone.  Rightly or wrongly, your personhood has a cash value attached to it; rendering your humanity anything but priceless to the socioeconomic forces that act on our daily lives.

Do not mistake this for a cliched “Money is the root of all evil!” diatribe.  Money or no money, the act of bartering is unavoidable in anything that could be considered a developed society.  As is the fact that those who have more to barter with will occupy a higher status above those who do not.  I cannot imagine a single manageable system of commerce where this would not emerge as a necessary reality (though I’m willing to accept the possibility that this might be an intellectual flaw on my part, since my lack of imagination is not an absolute metric for reality).  However, the emergence of a financial system, in which faceless, personless sets of numbers not only determine the financial worth and economic standing of the individual, but her/his human value in relation to the greater machine operating at the center of the system, sounds somehow needlessly inhuman.  It gives the impression that, if we were to step back from the scene–observe it from outside in–people will not appear as the arbiters of currency, but as the currency themselves.  Yet, one cannot step back to make a clear observation of this, since we cannot opt out of a monetary system where you serve the role of the capital running the machinery.  Currency has no say in its route or destination, it just gets past around with no mind (literary) on the matter.

When examining an economic model (from whatever political angle you fancy–I honestly don’t care) where human value is inseparable from its dollar amount, what happens to the individual whose personal identity is completely defined by the worth that has been assigned to her/his financial standing, when the worth of the currency withers more and more?  How does one fix an economy (again, from whichever political angle you prefer) where the currency risked on the market is not just a collection of bills and coins, but people’s very own identities?

I don’t know.  But this shit going on now, just doesn’t smell right by any measure.