The article is scathing, and insightful, and sums up beautifully why these men feel the need to spend so much of their precious time and energy bashing PUAs and the Seduction Community:
“Because they’re angry and unaware that it’s their inability to see women as anything other than ‘a pair of tits and a cunt’ is what’s impeding their ability to actually meet and charm women.”
Exactly. These PUA-Haters are so focused on sex as a commodity, on getting more of it with women who are high on the male-defined “value” scale, that they can’t see past their own dicks. And who wants to date/sleep with someone who only looks at them as a score on the great scoreboard of online machismo? Only women with similarly low self-esteem, and a similarly misguided belief that sex, and sexual attention = power.
But I also understood their anger. Granted, it isn’t the same frustration and annoyance I have often felt toward the Patriarchal PUA boys’ club. Which, by the way, is also neatly summed up in the Jezebel article:
“We browsed the forums for a few hours and failed to find one user who wondered whether women are unfairly targeted (as well as stereotyped, pigeonholed, and marketed) by the seduction community. Nope! On their predominately male, heterosexual planet it’s the poor, gullible men who are the true victims.”
What? You took an overpriced seminar (or bought a book, or both), and did not immediately get a top-notch blow job from a supermodel?? Oh noes!!
Still, I feel for these guys. I really do. They remind me of myself at the obnoxious age of 13-going-on-30, when I was utterly convinced that without a boyfriend I would die. Worse, I would die without ever having really lived. Because, as every magazine and T.V. show and movie and young adult novel I came across made excessively clear, a girl who couldn’t get at least one boy to fall in love with her was a complete and utter waste of space.
Now, let’s say some uber-popular 9th grade hottie walked up to me at that point in my life, promising she could transform me from an unloved, unlovable, boyfriendless loser into a hot, popular chick like her, with an arm-length list of dudes who would cheerfully cut off their left nut to be near me. Would I have quibbled over her insulting, violent, frankly misandrous terminology? Would I have been skeptical of her qualifications, or wary of her methods? Hell no. I would’ve done whatever she told me to do, no matter how degrading, or bizarre, or seemingly unrelated.
Because here’s the thing: back then, I was convinced that the product pedaled by this imaginary guru was essential to my happiness and well-being. And, had she existed, her existence (along with her sales pitch) would have cemented that reality for me. As in, “This must be a worthy goal, because here is this person who has it, telling me just how badly I need it!”
Let us further imagine that this girl extracts some sort of payment from me. Since I didn’t have much money back, I picture a homework-for-coaching arrangement. Meaning that I would have spent every free moment of every day doing double homework duty, plus practicing her “top-secret” attraction methods.
Finally, let’s picture that the end-of-the-year school dance rolls around, and I am finally ready to put her sure-fire methods into action! I’ve been practicing all year, so obviously, I’m going to be the belle of the ball!
But here’s the thing: I haven’t changed my attitude toward myself or, for that matter, boys.
I still believe, on a very deep level, that I need their attention in order to have any kind of self-worth. And now I need it even more, because I’ve invested so much into finally getting it, and my success will be measured (both by me and by my instructor) by just how much of it I get.
So when I approach them, they can smell that desperation on me even before I open my mouth. And they pull away from me. Again, and again. By the end of the night, not a single boy has danced with me, and I am…
I mean, I feel hurt and humiliated and worthless and all, but mostly I’m just furious at that pretentious bitch who lied to me and made me her acolyte and tricked me into doing all her homework. She swore up and down that if I did what she taught me that I would have boys crawling all over me! Instead I’m crying in the bathroom and listening to other girls talk about what a romantic time they’re having.
I would blame my “guru” for letting me down. And in truth, my anger would not be entirely misdirected or unjustified. She did mislead me, even if unintentionally. And she accepted payment for something that turned out to be useless. To me, at any rate.
As I was thinking about all this, I came across this article by former-PUA Mark Manson. It echoed so much of my own misgivings about taking on the PUA label, even in the jaunty, tongue-in-cheek way that a woman like me can. It solidified for me the difference between my methodology and the standard PUA model, and between my clients and that of a typical PUA.
“A lot of these guys don’t need a pick up instructor,” writes Manson. “They need a shrink and maybe some sort of anti-anxiety therapy. They need some confidence and a push to put themselves out there more and more. The technical aspect of picking up women really ISN’T that difficult. It really can be explained and taught within a few days. But it must be practiced for a long time, and to have that practice, a guy has to have healthy mindsets and an ability to overcome his fears.”
He’s right, of course. In order to be an effective coach, you have to be part shrink, part wing/cheerleader, and part muse. You have to help clients transform from the inside out, and you have to help them discover reasons to feel happy and fulfilled without a relationship, or an endless stream of flings, or whatever it is they are convinced they MUST HAVE before they can consider themselves a successful human being.
My job as a coach is not to be, as Manson puts it, a cool “rent-a-friend,” but a mirror that will allow them to see that they don’t NEED to be an attraction artist to be whole, and good, and worthy. All they really need to is enjoy themselves. In every sense of the word.
And that is what I actually do. That is my job description. I teach people how to enjoy themselves, and others.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: they call it game because it’s supposed to be fun. For everyone involved. That is the only true yardstick against which to measure success in the social realm: how much pleasure you are able to create for yourself and the people around you.
So be wary of any coach (or anyone for that matter) who does any of the following:
In fact, if you meet someone who does anything, or tries to convince you to do anything that is decidedly NOT enjoyable for any of the people involved, run screaming in the other direction. Or better yet, stay right where you are and tell them:
“Dude. You’re doing it wrong.”