Friday, November 30, 2007

Moving Beyond Seduction And "Picking Up" Women

I'm going to discuss in depth the pitfalls of the seduction movement and how it undermines men and masculinity. I will discuss how men can recognize this and how they can re-assert their identities. This is not a superficial treatment by any measure. I pull no punches and lay it out as clearly and truthfully as I can.

Most Dating Products Drain Your Power

This is everywhere: products, slogans and copy write strategically presented to lure in potential buyers and "convert". I see a lot wrong with this, not from the marketing standpoint, but from an ethical standpoint.

Advertising and teaching men how to be men generally don't mix. The reason for this, is because the reward system isn't external, it's internal. Dating products typically teach men how to be better by "getting something", in this case women. But here's the crux, truly being a man is it's own reward, which means, it doesn't depend on or seek "shine" or "promises". It simply means being a better person from the inside out.

Being a better person of course means introspection, potential hard work, and coming to terms with the ego. There can be no sales pitch in this regard because as far as internal reward goes, that's not how it works. That’s not how marketing works.

The dilemma in western culture is that people have generally been conditioned to want something external, like a car, more money, a trophy girlfriend/boyfriend etc. If you tell people that they have to fix themselves to feel validated you are going to get a lot less "conversion" simply because it doesn't satisfy the need for gratification or appeal to the ego. Indeed, it would often mean putting the ego in check.

But like it or not, putting the ego in check is one of the most important things you can do while undergoing self-improvement.

It is unfortunate that true self-improvement isn't something you would often see on a billboard or advertised using a lot of money and resources, because whoever does that would go broke in no time. It also unfortunate, and ironic, that the best self-improvement information is often hard to find. It could be in that small area of the library or on that limited edition audio CD, which you never heard of.

But not all "shiny" products are bad. Some merely lure you in using the "shiny" packaging as bait but then deliver something different and better. In this case the packaging was only used to lure, make a "sale", and ultimately convince someone of something they would never have accepted going in.

It is my belief, however, that people should be told up front what they are in for and then let them decide if that's ok with them. Give them free quality information that is congruent with the actual product and then let them decide if they still want it. This way you avoid all the people who feel cheated and who spend money on something they thought they would get but which they didn't.

It is true that you do end up helping some people using the "shiny" package approach, but that does not justify those instances where people feel cheated when they don’t get what they paid for. For this reason I believe it is unethical to apply traditional marketing strategies to self-improvement products designed to address someone's core identity. Therefore by extension, it is unethical to apply traditional marketing strategies for products claiming to teach men how to be better men.

Here are some typical marketing phrases used to lure men into buying dating products:

• How to get the women of your dreams

• How to get the women you desire into bed

• Learn how to avoid the top 10 mistakes guys make with women

• What women really look for in a man

• How to be the man women want

• How to get strippers

• How to be a pickup artist

These phrases are unethical because they intentionally address the core identity of men, by promising external validation (i.e. getting women). There are countless examples of this all over the Internet and (more recently) in the media. Even website domain names, such as are guilty of this by the premise they imply.

Dating products with the trademark advertising lure in men with the promises, but they rarely address the core issues, such as - improve yourself and get your inner-self handled. Instead these products tend to drain men's personal power by contributing to feelings of inadequacy.

People have been conditioned to want results. They require steps and something solid to go on. And so the marketplace caters to that. That doesn’t make it right however.

So men are given the steps. They are given the "structure" to get the "babes". And it makes them feel like it was money well spent.

This has lead to a plethora of information overload, which is contributing to the global feelings of inadequacy, which in turn feeds the purchase of even more products, and a vicious cycle results.

I've seen dating "gurus" interview the few men who actually do give good advice on how to be men (without the strategizing and routine-ism), and are selling those interviews. Fair enough. But then these same interviewers go and do other interviews with men who do use strategies and routines to get women, and sell those as well. It is highly hypocritical to do this and it suggests you are only after money.

As I alluded to earlier there are those who teach good lifestyle, how-to-be-men, advice but who market their products in the usual power-draining fashion. Obviously this lures more men (buyers) in, and some guys are changed for the better as a result, despite the opposition to their original mindset. But others come out with the same bad beliefs as before because they still weren't really taught anything about how to "pick up". Moreover, they are embittered because they spent a lot of money for nothing. These men should have been made to understand going in that their way of thinking is going to have to change. Get them to accept that FIRST and then they can be coached on how to be a better man. Otherwise no self-help advice is going to help these men because it's always going to be filtered through the "How does this help me get girls?" mindset.

It's so easy to lose your way in a sea of bad information, which is why men need good role models to find the correct path. And the path to learning to get women is of limited usefulness. It may help men initially since their is (some) personal growth associated with that but inevitably it will prevent further growth the same way a house cannot be built on a foundation of sand.

Men who seek the acceptance of women to be confident will not be the owners of their confidence. They are leasing it from someone else (in this case women). They will never truly be happy. Their happiness (and sadness) will swing in cycles in accordance with the "dry spells" and the times when they “get lucky”.

It's All Ego

It's amazing how some guys get caught up in totally irrational behavior patterns when it comes to women. It truly defies all logic.

For example, when guys haven't had sex in a while they have a tendency to lower their standards and are willing to have sex with anyone they can get their hands on. And when they do experience "abundance" they get cocky, raise their standards etc., only to repeat the former when the next dry spell hits. What does this tell you? It's all ego.

Think Critically

There's one very disturbing trend I see among the seduction community, and that is, the use of tactics to remove the feeling of responsibility women have for having sex. I have a huge problem with this as it assumes that women can't think for themselves and can't take responsibility for their actions. That is utterly false as women are very capable of feeling good about sex and even initiating it in some cases. Furthermore, since sex is enjoyable why would anyone want to take responsibility for getting someone to do what he or she wanted to do anyway? It boggles the senses.

Some men are very good at convincing others of non-truths. For this reason it is of the utmost necessity for the truth to be vocalized just as strongly.

I strongly suggest you put your critical thinking cap on the next time you hear something which has a following.

Why are the biggest claims (fisherman's stories), often made by those who have something to sell? And why are so many men who are "successful" with a certain method selling the method? Do they see potential in the method (altruistic) or do they recognize its potential as a cash machine (greed)?

It is said that learning pickup skills are important for men. Why is it important, to build confidence and create happiness?

It is better to build confidence and create happiness from within. It tends to last longer.

It is said that males court the female in the animal kingdom, so men should do it too. That may be true for some species but in the animal kingdom Chimps are humans closest relative and they don't court at all. They directly solicit the females and vice-versa.

It is said that seduction works for some men so it is a viable strategy. Now, one has to be careful with this, as there is a grain of truth here. One must ask, is there an overlap between seductive behavior and some men's natural personalities, meaning that the specifics won't matter as long as you’re being you? Or does it work for some men in spite-of, not because-of, meaning that routines and techniques are extra "baggage" a woman puts up with when she really likes you?

It is said that women need to be entertained because if they aren't they'll just move on to the next guy who is more entertaining. Furthermore, you have to pass women’s tests because if you don't you're not worthy. This is a big one. First of all, as a man do you not see the problem with these statements? Do you think that a masculine (dominant) male would ever think along these lines? And do you think that a feminine woman would select for masculine dominant men by making them submit to tests?

"I want a man who is strong...but I also want him to satisfy X, Y, Z requirements". Do you not see the problem with that?

By asking what women look for in men the BEST answer they can give you from the position THEY are coming from is, BE YOURSELF. It makes perfect sense for them to say this.

Furthermore, by insisting that women tell you what actually attracts them they can only speak in the past tense and only with respect to men who were confident. Any specific details are part of the personalities of those men. The only commonality that matters is confidence.

By asking what women look for in men, you are not being a confident guy. You are being the approval seeker.

Now, just for the sake of argument let's say you went through a bunch of steps and she is attracted and is going along with you. It would seem that these steps are necessary. But that's not necessarily the case because more than likely she is only responding to you being yourself. She is submitting to YOU. The details are irrelevant.

If you were of the approval seeking mindset, any steps you take that resulted in success can be passed off as necessary (since she went along with it).

But knowing the truth, that the steps are unnecessary and that confidence is more important, isn’t it MUCH better to keep things simple and direct because that is also you being yourself.

Yes, it can be difficult to meet normal people who realize this. The fact is that guys who make a habit of reading information in the "seduction community" are generally a bit off. But it’s certainly understandable, as the montage of negative and weird information will inevitably mess with your head.

Here's a good example of the circular logic you will find in the seduction community: Women test men. This becomes a man's belief. He carries this belief into interactions with women, causing him to act in confrontational and strange ways. The women react by "pushing back". This proves that women test.

Men are masking insecurities by learning steps to get women. It might seem like well rehearsed techniques will cover that up (fake it until you make it) but you'd be surprised what women (and men) can pick up on. Women can sense that you are trying to impress them or secretly get something from them. They are experts at figuring that out. And so are the guys who watch this sort of thing go down with their female friends.

Men are largely responsible for all the things they complain about that are getting in the way of their success with women.

Act Normal, Chill Out and Be Direct

When meeting women just act normal. Chill out. Relax.

If you meet someone you like (beyond just her looks) and she is responding well, then be direct and invite her to your place to hang out. If you feel that you need to do anything more than this, you are putting her on a pedestal. Even if nothing happens you still did the right thing because you weren't investing time, energy and therefore excess emotion. By doing things quickly, no matter what, you will never attach a lot of significance to success or failure. And that is the key.

You might be thinking: If it's so easy then why isn't everyone doing it? Society is full of examples of people not doing simple things, which are good for them. For example, losing weight - this is as easy as eating more healthy food, less junk food, and exercising more.

Meeting women has to be a natural consequence of you living your life and being a part of the world.

These days I cannot bring myself to put any serious energy into hooking up with women if it means putting aside what I naturally feel like doing at the time. If I don't feel like going out and I force myself to go out in order to meet girls then that is bad for me. But if I feel like going out and I meet someone I like as a result of that then that is good for me.

I have moved past the 20-something chest-beating phase where I'm trying to impress other men by my "conquests". I honestly couldn't care less anymore. It's just not who I am anymore.

Wasting Time Doing Too Much

Years ago, I spent a lot of time learning NLP and specific conversational strategies to get women. And I got very good at it. But I eventually came to the overwhelming conclusion that it was useless and totally unproductive to any form of success with women. It was hard to let go because I had acquired a degree of skill and women were responding well to me. But it was too much effort for what I was getting so (swallowing my pride) I stopped it entirely.

I started doing less, a lot less in fact, and stopped caring. And I found that women were just as attracted, if not more. But more importantly I freed up a lot of time for my own projects and personal hobbies. That resulted in a lot of personal growth and confidence building. This is the kind of personal development you could never get by doing hundreds of approaches in a bar or taking a bunch of seminars.

By working on me I am able to talk freely and openly with anyone (including, in a bar setting) about anything without anxiety (or having to rehearse), simply because it is core to who I am. When I wake up it is who I am. You never have to warm up or practice if it’s just who you are.

You don't need to do a lot. Trust me. The no-pain-no-gain propaganda is useless here.

You will never get ahead reliving misery over and over because you feel that is what you signed up for. So snap out of that bad cycle. Not just with women, but with life, the type of work you do, the friends you choose, etc.

By detaching yourself from outcome you will see the truth clearly. But you have to be willing to let go of your ego and start with a clean slate, if necessary.

Realize that the answers are not necessarily difficult to arrive at. I say this because at any point you can CHOOSE the better path. You just have to realize that your current path is not the way. You don't need someone with a PhD to tell you. You can trust your gut instinct. And trust that feeling regardless of what anyone else might say or how powerful that social programming might be. Just choose. And realize that you are only one choice or one action away from doing things the better way.

Choose the better way and choose not to envy people who are doing things the old way and are getting some results from that. And hang in there no matter what because once good things start happening for you with the new way, you will never entertain the idea of going back.

Being A Man

I personally feel that it's a collective lack of wisdom that is the root of all the misinformation surrounding seduction and “pick up”. Too many young men with little life experience have found niches with other like-minded men, and are regulating themselves without any elders to show them the way. This is partly a consequence of the politically correct western culture, which tends to create a void where masculinity is concerned. In many cases, traditional values have been abandoned in the name of "change" forcing some of us to relearn those values through trial and error.

Masculinity is fragile, which means that men need good role models because our path is easily corrupted. And part of this path is realizing that a real man doesn't follow "techniques" to get women because it puts him at the mercy of their responses. Such a man would never give up his personal power in that way. Indeed, getting women is not a panacea for manhood.

The traditional ways of dating and the time-honored belief that men have to court women have led men astray. And truthfully, teaching men that they need to learn pick up skills is not that much better. It's just a better Band-Aid, or a better "crutch". It doesn’t address men's side of the equation, which is, lack of confidence and the need to get a handle on that.

So many men are trapped in their own heads and caught up in mindless details, either by the latest DVDs, or the latest techniques, or the latest "ground breaking" methods. This "get girl" mindset is so embedded in guy's minds that even some instructors who are evolving past that are still teaching a bit of bad with a bit of good. For example, they tell guys to be a man and do their own thing, and then they tell guys that only the most “worthy” man gets the girl. You can sense the old mindset working its way into the new mindset, as if trying to survive. Indeed, you can't do both. You have to give yourself over completely to this better way of doing things and completely shed the old way. It’s not an overnight process. It takes time and awareness.

The old way can easily trickle back into your behavior if you let it. So it's good to develop awareness for it.

A few days ago I was reading some great advice from this guy who was talking about being your own man, not using routines, etc. And this other guy challenges him by telling him that "dating guru X" gets hotter girls than him. But instead of ignoring/dismissing it, this guy gets defensive saying there's no way "guru X" gets hotter girls than him. So this guy still has a bit of inner work left to do (even though he is further ahead than most).

Once you realize the truth it will not go away. You will not be fighting it to keep it at bay, or struggling to rationalize it over and over. It naturally rises to the surface, and resonates with you. It is not something, which can be denied or made into something else. And it stays with you week after week, month after month, and year after year.

Blind Leading The Blind

As I'm writing this I'm also reading some stuff on this online forum I stumbled across. It teaches men "advanced pick up artist techniques". This includes patterning, NLP, how to talk to women, how to be witty, etc. And on one of the other pages I'm reading there's an introduction, "Are you tired of being lonely?" Of course these guys are selling something. This is a good example of how men's vulnerability is exploited under the premise of helping them.

There's more, "Avoid the deadly mistakes that make you wind up 'just a friend'". As mentioned earlier, this does not address the core problem that needs fixing, and can even make it worse. Here, the mistakes are referred to as "deadly", implying that getting women is very important. And then there’s the “friend” reference, implying that women will demote you to friend-status if you don't measure up. I believe marketers refer to this as a call-to-action. I would admit that if I had low self-esteem and wanted a fast solution I would be seriously tempted to sign up for this stuff. Good thing I know better.

Now I’m reading through another online forum. One guy is posting about how bad he feels because he doesn't have a girlfriend. Some posters have responded by telling him to stop caring so much and take an interest instead in his own life (the correct advice). But then some other posters totally screw it up by telling him that he should find some girls to have lots of sex with because that will make him feel better. And what does this guy do? He accepts THAT advice instead of the good advice. Duh! That will take him right back to his original problem, which is - not being validated by his own life and relying on something external (in this case women), to help fix himself. Masculinity is very fragile indeed.

Honestly, I can almost feel myself being emasculated as I read this kind of stuff. The only good thing I can say about it is that it helps guys who are so extremely introverted that any kick in the ass to get them moving is good. But unless they evolve towards being a self-confident man then the most they will ever be is highly developed "women pleasers".

Now, some might think that I am suggesting that men treat women badly. This is not true at all. Not trying to impress someone and treating them badly are two different things. I am of course referring to the former.

I am talking about treating women normally by being relaxed and chilled out, and treating them with respect. I am talking about getting in touch with your masculinity. Many have lost that way. But it can be found again.

Traditional Dating Vs. Modern Seduction

Traditional dating feeds the marketplace by way of expensive gifts, dinners, movies, etc. In other words, it feeds the food and entertainment industry. The Pickup Arts feeds the marketplace by way of expensive seduction seminars, products, etc. In other words, it feeds the wallets of dating "experts". And these guys are cropping up everywhere now. Supply and Demand gone wrong.

This stuff is not complicated. It is ludicrous to look for complicated answers instead of simple ones, in ANYTHING. And it is equally ludicrous to try to codify human interactions. It's utterly nerdy and has no place in the reality of a socially well-balanced individual. I know this because I used to analyze a LOT (more than most). In fact I did it so much that I came full circle faster as a result, by realizing that it's NOT the way.

Contrary to what some people may think I am not going against our evolutionary nature by suggesting that men stop trying to cater to women. It's well noted that you should put your best foot forward. And I agree with this but only insofar that you aren't acting fake and trying to be something you aren't naturally. By trying to be something other than YOU, you are not putting your best foot forward. You are being inauthentic rather than authentic.

Moreover women (human females) don't need to be courted or won over. They know right away (just like men) if they are sexually interested or not. So why on earth would you go through 20 extra steps to get something that was already decided at the very beginning? It makes absolutely no sense to do this and the only reason anyone would go through this is to prove some extra measure of "worthiness", which is fake in-itself. And really, what woman would expect this of a man? I can only think of one type of woman. You guessed it, a fake woman. It is no wonder there are so many breakups and divorces. People aren't being real from the beginning and it catches up to them.

Going through all the extra effort for nothing is like deliberately going through a bad business venture and trying to lose money. Putting in $1000 to get $100 back (at best). So even if you do end up getting her, the sex will mean too much, and you're still out at least $900.

The other problem with trying to be something you are not, and doing more than you have to, is that it makes others have an impression of you that is potentially different from the impression you have of yourself. So you might get upset when women see you as a "clown", or "gay", or an "entertainer". You get upset because you want to be seen as a man instead. So be a man, and stop pretending. You are only working against yourself if you do. You set yourself up into a character, which you will have to keep going. Game begets more game, and fakeness begets more fakeness.

You will never remove women from a pedestal by trying to become a master Pick Up Artist. At best you will be placing yourself beside her on that same high pedestal.

It’s much better to keep her at your level by treating her normally.

It’s funny, we want women to be hot and sexy and then we ask stupid questions on how to get them because they are so hot and sexy.

It's also very amusing when guys use lots of "game", they get girls, and the girls tell them to be real and wonder why they went through all that.

The guy feels like a champion for succeeding with the techniques and she simply put up with them.

Here's a common pattern. It may be familiar to you.

Guy goes out to meet women and "score". He does tons of approaches, uses "game". But he doesn't get anywhere. But he keeps at it, since he's told that persistence is important. Eventually after weeks and months have passed he gets frustrated, and stops caring. So he goes out just to have a good time. Result: he becomes more attractive and genuine, and hooks up with someone. All is good. But then he becomes outcome dependent again, chasing after the previous result. And he's giving the vibe that he's after something. And this creeps girls out like before, and just like before, weeks and months go by until the guy gets frustrated enough to stop caring. So like before, he just goes out to have a good time. Result: he hooks up again. After a few more rinses and repeats of this, the guy realizes that it's better to stop caring and just have a good time.

But by not caring, what can also happen is that you might find some things more interesting to do than going out. So you make that a priority and only go out when you really feel like it.

Super Social Skills...Not

You don't need super social skills to be successful. You just have to be comfortable talking about a variety of topics. Just practicing talking to people anywhere about anything is all you need to do. It doesn't take a long time to get good at this. If your mindset is relaxed and non-needy, you will be further ahead than the guy who goes out all the time, and talks to hundreds of girls with the intent of getting laid.

Acting normal and women being attracted to normal acting guys is not a higher-level thing and is not something that someone should be paid hundreds or thousands of dollars to teach. It is furthermore not an extension of any known “pickup method”. It is unique and distinct from that. Simply put, one is authentic and the other is inauthentic.


Being aware means removing all the things that hurt you including any old terminology and ways of thinking you have in your head from the old way of doing things, such as DHV (Display Higher Value), pumping BT (Buying Temperature), using "game", calling women "hotties" or perfect 10s, wondering how long to make the phone calls, wondering what to say on the phone calls, wondering how to react, etc. All these things need to be removed as they all contribute to loss of power with women.

Look at it this way, let’s say you do succeed with some women using all this stuff. These women could never be aware of it. All they could ever really know and look back on is that you were confident and sure of yourself. So isn't it better to actually BE confident and sure of yourself?

But you still want to get women and I haven't really showed you how

If after reading all this you're still in that mindset then I obviously haven't gotten through to you. But I will try one more time.

Women are a byproduct of you having a happy and fulfilling life. It is nothing more complicated than that.

Whether women approach you or you happen to meet someone really cool, all that has to happen as you go about your normal business. This could be going to the store, or going to the bar to relax. This is simply something that happens to you while you are doing your own thing.

You have to remove the strong desire of wanting something to happen where women are concerned. You just have to not care. And I don't just mean not caring if nothing happens, but not caring if something does happen. Being indifferent and not attaching importance either way.

Furthermore, don't make the mistake of thinking that just because you are a guy it is justified to lust/chase after women. I can tell you right now that you have a lot more control over this than you might think. Remember what I said about ego earlier? This applies. It's a choice. So make that choice now.

When I committed myself to this not only did I find myself less attached and happier as a result. I also found myself losing the attachment I had to the emotional high I would get by thinking/fantasizing about women. Now that too is almost gone.


Ramon Thomas said...

You really struck a cord with me on this posting. Very detailed and very, very informative. It should be compulsory reading for everyone entering in the seduction community and I will spread the word in South Africa. I have been in the community for 4 years and have been experienced inner conflict between becoming a dating guru like most of the seduction teachers vs teaching guys the inner truths that you talk about. So I hope we can stay in touch. You can checkout my personal blog - Ramon Thomas and just click on my photo. I'm experimenting with a new landing page.

TJ Curley said...

Very well stated information. This is exactly what "so-called" pick-up gurus do not want men to know.

Double Penetration said...

this is great. finally iv found some info in this sea of dirt. there are so many people out there who agree with this but have too much fear or are too brainwashed to understand this. unfortunately with a lot of bad years and unhappiness they are going to realise. i have posted my problems which im sure many people will be able to relate to on "personal development for smart people forums" under the username change42008.

Anonymous said...

"Once you realize the truth it will not go away. You will not be fighting it to keep it at bay, or struggling to rationalize it over and over. It naturally rises to the surface, and resonates with you. It is not something, which can be denied or made into something else. And it stays with you week after week, month after month, and year after year."

A freakin men dude, right on!

Joe said...

The fog of lies have been cleared.

Seriously, man to man you saved my life. Nothing, nothing I've ever read gave me more peace and happiness.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I've spent a few years in confusion about these pickup gurus. I personally found David Deangelo to resonate on some higher truths of being a man, but still sensed something wrong. I found a post of yours while looking in his forum and it led me to this. All I can say is THANK YOU. You've affirmed my skepticism in a geniusly clear manner. Im over the pickup addiction.

MShehu said...

"You have to remove the strong desire of wanting something to happen where women are concerned. You just have to not care. And I don't just mean not caring if nothing happens, but not caring if something does happen. Being indifferent and not attaching importance either way."

^THIS. This, as far as I'm concerned, is the crux of the whole matter. PUA essentially teaches you to care, to invest in the outcome.

You write well. Any other blogs?

John said...

Yep, my other blogs are listed on the top of the page.

Anonymous said...

Your blog reminds of 2 hard to be accepted concepts from a blogger Leo Babauta. One is "The best goal is no goal" and the other is "You're already perfect". Never can I imagine seeing similar principles from a PUA concerned blog:)