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Note: This article is long. It accounts my history in the Pick Up Artist (PUA) community, my successes and failures as well as the strengths and shortcomings of the movement as a whole. If you have never been associated with PUAs or know nothing about them, then this article acts more or less as an extended auto-biography of my personal journey and experiences with my development with women. If you have been associated with the PUA scene, then I’d recommend reading it to gain understanding and insight into your own process.

Introduction

In case you aren’t aware, the whole “dating advice for men” thing is a fairly new concept. In fact, it didn’t even exist until a couple decades ago, and really didn’t begin to become a legitimate industry until this last decade. A splinter of this movement is a community that’s commonly referred to as The Pick Up Artist community.

Beginning as some Usenet forums in the 90′s, it was a group of guys who congregated mainly to share pick up lines, strategies and tips in order to sleep with as many women as possible. The prevailing zeitgeist of the time was that there was a knowable “formula” of seduction — that if a man simply knew the correct components and how to press the right buttons, any woman would sleep with him.

Despite all evidence and common sense to the contrary, the idea caught steam and suddenly thousands of men worldwide were dedicating a massive amount of time, energy, and effort into “cracking the code” of a woman’s heart and ultimately, her vagina.

The first man who came around claiming to have done this was none other than the famous Mystery himself, creating for himself quite a reputation, a business and later on, a television show to boot. Many others followed in his wake, including Neil Strauss, the author of the best-selling book “The Game.” From there, the floodgates opened. The book was a hit. And soon the few thousand geeks gathered sharing their “secrets” with one another turned into hundreds of thousands, and then millions. A few message boards turned into hundreds. A multi-million dollar industry was born and still thrives to this day.

And as the landscape of “the community” evolved, so did the content in which was created. With the mainstream success of the book and television show came thousands and thousands of normal, mainstream men. Theory slowly drifted away from the concepts of lines and routines. And the idea of there being a formula for picking up women is slowly being rejected in place of advice more focused on getting in touch with one’s sexuality, becoming more dominant and escalating on women liberally.

But despite these positive developments, the scene, as a whole, can be as toxic as it is helpful. The exact reasons why I’ll get into a minute. Hopefully my own story will help you understand my reasoning.

From Heartbreak to Glory Times

In 2005, I underwent one of the most traumatizing moments of my young 21-year-old life. My girlfriend at the time, my high school sweetheart, suddenly left me for another guy. My confidence level with women at the time hovered around nil, and my role in our relationship could have been more or less described as a doormat. I was painfully insecure and blissfully naive. So as you can imagine, I was absolutely devastated.

But despite the glaring flaws in the relationship, at the time — being as ignorant as most of us are with our first loves — I thought everything was perfect up until then. As usual, the last one to realize that the relationship was completely falling apart was the man in it. If you had asked me the day before, I would have told you this was the girl that I would end up marrying. I couldn’t imagine myself with anyone else, much less being happy with anyone else.

A few months later, it was by chance that I stumbled across “The Game” in my local bookstore. It was sitting atop the “New Releases” table in front of the door. I’ve always been a bookworm, so its title and appearance was immediately… well, seductive. I picked it up, and my first reaction was to feel repulsed. What kind of scumbag would write a book about this stuff? But of course, being human, I couldn’t help but read the first few pages. I had to see for myself how vile this guy was, right?

Needless to say, within 5 minutes I was hooked. I bought the book and finished it within 24 hours.

And so began my foray into the netherworld of PUA. Little did I know how far this wormhole would take me.

I devoured 3-4 books, dozens of YouTube videos and hundreds of pages worth of forum posts in a matter of days. The prospect of not only taking control of my love life (where I had recently been so hurt), but finally becoming the “cool” player that I had always wanted to be, and having massive amounts of sex with hot girls — it was all too much to resist.

It took me three months to work up the nerve to approach a girl. I was so nervous that I immediately apologized for talking to her. It took another three months to actually get a girl to go on a date with me. And finally, two more months to get one to actually sleep with me.

For the next year and a half or so, I went out 5-6 nights a week picking up women. I posted on multiple forums and continued to consume a monstrous amount of dating advice and pick up theory. There was something deep down driving me, and although I didn’t realize it at the time, it wasn’t completely healthy.

But my emotional issues aside, I can’t lie: I was having a blast. After a year or so I was dating multiple women, something I had thought completely impossible before. I was more confident than I had ever been. I had more friends than I had ever had. I was getting laid constantly, and developing some awesome social skills to boot.

Being a Deadbeat and Re-evaluation

But as another year of debauchery and irresponsibility went by, not everything was peachy. I was becoming addicted to the validation I was getting, addicted to the thrills and forsaking a lot of priorities in my life for superficial kicks and fun. Having sex, something that most people treat as a normal activity had almost reached a point of obsession to me. To give you an idea of the state I was in, I wrote the following in November of 2007:

A realization hit me — what’s the big deal? I get laid a lot. Congratu-fucking-lations Mark, you’re a normal part of society now. So why are you spending hours a day posting on forums, reading theory, dissecting phone calls from girls with your roommates and going out four nights a week? For the love of God, I live on a fucking couch. I ride my bike all day. I don’t even have my own computer to type these blog posts on. I haven’t done anything that didn’t involve alcohol, a vagina or a television screen in months.

I was a deadbeat. I was broke, had a shitty job I hated, lived on my friend’s futon, and was going to bars and chasing women every night. Now, I take full responsibility for my behavior, but I existed within a community that glorified and reinforced this type of lifestyle. And ultimately, it was making me miserable.

I made an effort to start getting my life together, and I even began to flirt with ditching the whole PUA thing and trying to get along on my own. But it was soon obvious I wasn’t done yet.

The main thing that sucked me back in was the prospect of coaching. At the time (late 2007), the industry was still booming, and the average experience-level of the guys coming in was unbearably low and naive. Through no act of my own other than sharing my stories and antics publicly on forums, I began getting consistent requests to be coached and taught.

The Truth About PUA Coaching

Here’s a dirty truth about being a PUA coach: many guys who take coaching don’t actually want to change. They want to be validated. They want to feel cool and be around someone who they think is cool. They want to unload the responsibility for changing themselves onto someone else.

Rather than hiring a coach to help them progress, to them it’s more of a “rent-a-cool-friend” service. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of guys who ARE looking to improve, and there are a lot of guys who do have good attitudes and do get a lot out of coaching. I had many students accomplish amazing things with me. But unfortunately, the PUA market and community don’t promote the proper attitudes… in fact, much of the marketing and hype only encourages this sort of pathetic behavior.

The market promotes fanboyism and idol worshiping. It’s sickening. I started to realize this when some of my students turned out to be these brilliant, successful and amazing men. Men who were far more successful in life than I was, and they’d look at me as some sort of demigod. Why? Because I’ve slept with more women? Because when I walk into a club, people actually think I’m cool? It makes absolutely no sense. Looking for advice and guidance is one thing, but this was something else entirely.

A lot of these guys don’t need a pick up instructor. 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.

But there’s a side to this that doesn’t get talked about often. There’s a concept in psychology called “The Over-Justification Effect.” From Wikipedia:

“The overjustification effect occurs when an external incentive such as money or prizes decreases a person’s intrinsic motivation to perform a task. According to self-perception theory, people pay more attention to the incentive, and less attention to the enjoyment and satisfaction that they receive from performing the activity. The overall effect is a shift in motivation to extrinsic factors and the undermining of pre-existing intrinsic motivation.

In one of the earliest demonstrations of this effect, researchers promised a group of 3-5 year old children that they would receive a “good player” ribbon for drawing with felt-tipped pens. A second group of children played with the pens and received an unexpected reward (the same ribbon), and a third group was not given a reward. All of the children played with the pens, a typically enjoyable activity for preschoolers. Later, when observed in a free-play setting, the children who received a reward that had been promised to them played significantly less with the felt-tipped pens. The researchers concluded that expected rewards undermine intrinsic motivation in previously enjoyable activities.[1] A replication of this experiment found that rewarding children with certificates and trophies decreased intrinsic interest in playing math games.[2]“

This effect is felt too much by instructors. We receive so much external validation and incentive (money, accolades, fanboys, groupies, etc.) that it distorts that original emotional desire to simply meet people and meet women. I also ran into this in music school when I was a teenager. Believe it or not, music and art schools have the highest drop out rates in the world (some pushing 90%). And if you think about it, it makes sense. You’re taking something that people have always naturally been inclined to do (create music or art) and start rewarding them tangibly for it through money, grades, prizes, etc. For me it killed all of the passion of music and I dropped out after a year.

There have been some famous studies done on motivation and what they’ve found is this: external incentives create better performance in rote and logical objectives. But external incentives create WORSE performance in creative objectives. Hence the 90% drop out rate of music/art schools.

Well apply that burn out to social interactions and you get a pretty fucked up effect. When your social interactions are the yardstick that your success is measured on, it absolutely kills the joy of socializing, and depresses the hell out of you in the process. When your emotional intimacy becomes a business asset, it completely undermines your relationships. For a prolonged period of time, this effect can lead one to a very dark place. I met many coaches who had been working in the industry for years and years who were obviously miserable people. It’s why my original business partner quit and got a day job. And it consistently tested my resilience for two years.

But both sides are to blame: the consumers for buying into such a false idol, and the instructors for being seduced by it. On the surface, it’s a life of partying, girls and money. The three things a young guy loves most, right? But in actuality, you spend more time hanging out with other men — men who are awkward, insecure and desperately watching every move of yours and judging you. You’re no longer free to just be yourself. You aren’t allowed to have a night where you just want to drink and relax. You aren’t allowed to pass up a girl because you don’t feel like talking to her. You aren’t allowed to be awkward or unsure of yourself or nervous about anything.

The line between “work” and “play” blurs until the two are completely indistinguishable. Your nights out being social are the same as meeting prospective clients and marketing opportunities. Your prospective clients and marketing opportunities, in turn, want to be your friend and go out with you socially. It’s a psychological mess that drags your emotional stability down with it. Thank god I had a serious girlfriend by that time, otherwise I probably would have lost my sanity.

And here’s the most screwed up part: the beliefs on which the community is founded lead to a constant state of mutual discontent. Since the success of one’s sex and emotional life is the standard of success, thousands of men sit online arguing and comparing things that are 100% subjective. And what invariably happens, is everyone merely projects their own personal discontent onto the perceived failures and shortcomings of others. This guy’s girls aren’t hot enough. That guy only sleeps with 3 girls a month. This guy is only good at day game. That guy just gets by on looks. Everyone is deemed a “fraud” in their own way and for some reason, everyone has tacitly agreed to unrealistic expectations that can be met by none. What the community has become is a cess pool of frustrated children with keyboards.

The Pathologies of the Pick Up Artist

There is absolutely NOTHING normal about what a Pick Up Artist does or why he does it. Dating advice is one thing. Self improvement is another. But quantifying your social and emotional life and then measuring it against others online and for money will murder your soul. Plain and simple.

In the beginning picking up women can be a science, but the better you get, the more it becomes an art. Once guys pass a certain threshold or so, the only thing that differentiates them is style. This style is based mostly on your personality and what types of women you like. Improvement only exists in adapting your objective skill-set to your subjective desires. Any sort of “next step” is actually more of a lateral movement, rather than moving up.

Beyond getting the first couple lays, quantifying “game” in any sense approaches the impossible — completely subjective and any arguments about skill-levels, quality, consistency, or styles is arguing past one another — like claiming heavy metal is better than rap just because… well, just because.

Over the years, I’ve dated women that other guys think are hideous. I’ve dated women that guys who don’t know me literally come up to me in bars and give me high fives when she’s not looking. There are a lot of women that most guys consider “hot” that I have absolutely no interest in, and vice-versa.

What I’m getting at, is once you become consistent, the only real metric for “success” is your own satisfaction. We’re always playing a numbers game, and once you get your % up to 1/10 or above, really any objective measure of skill kind of becomes pointless.

Once your % passes that magic threshold, it’s really just a matter of how much time and effort you’re willing to dump into your sex life. Some of us dump a lot of time and effort. Most don’t.

For this reason, the idea of “who is the best?” Or who can close the most consistently, or who has the best club game, the best day game, etc. — it’s a bunch of nonsense and as my friend Doc used to say, “Dick crack.” It gets a bunch of competitive and horny guys and their egos excited. But at the end of the day, whether I can lay a girl in 50 minutes and you need two dates is pointless. If my girl has a 9 body and a 5 face and yours has a 6 body and 8 face is pointless.

You’re getting sucked into the validation trap, which turns into a very dark place if you stay there long enough.

The fact is, what is perceived as “the community,” is merely a loud minority. An elitist and somewhat pathological minority.

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.

As men, we’re experts at rationalizing painful feelings away — we hate dealing with them. For a lot of men, all these eBooks and audio courses merely act as rationalizations — a way to escape for a little bit longer, a way to logically solve the unsolvable. Emotions aren’t quantifiable or objective, so these men band together in attempt to quantify and objectify their emotional lives together, under the auspices of “improvement.”

And by their shared metrics, improve they do. “I had my first SNL.” “I banged my first 9 last night.” Etc. But there’s no yardstick for happiness, fulfillment, meaning or significance. This may sound lame and campy, but when you’ve met as many miserable guys with 100+ lays as I have, you may take it seriously.

Some of them forget… they forget that there’s a whole life to these interactions behind the objectification and quantification. They enter the validation trap — where a cocaine-addicted stripper has more value than a Plain Jane with a Ph.D, where a threesome has more value than an engagement ring, where things like acne scars or B-cup tits suddenly become deal-breakers in a relationship.

The PUA community at large is a bubble — it has a propensity to become elitist and to project its own desires and intentions onto everyone else.

They glorify their goals, try to deduce other’s actions and desires into base sexual needs, scoff at guys who don’t get into it as “AFC’s” and look down upon newbies who give up and leave as quitters and men who aren’t “man enough” to persevere the hundreds of rejections just to get their dick wet more often. Yet most guys are pretty damn content with a couple of nice girls and a plain-Jane girlfriend who loves them.

Destroying My Demons

As I’ve been saying since 2006, and it’s not a big revelation anymore, but PUA is self-help in disguise. PUA’s can applaud themselves for their social development, their amazing relationships and conquests — but the truth is that they all arrive there because something was/is wrong. And there’s nothing to get all high and mighty about.

It takes a certain kind of man to find the objectification of his emotional life appealing. It takes a certain kind of man to become addicted to the validation of receiving love and affection from women.

The vast, vast majority of men who come to this stuff are the “one and done” crowd. In fact, you who are reading this, chances are you’re one of them too. You’re here because you’re nervous about this or that. You have a date coming up. There’s a girl in your class you think is cute, but you don’t know what to say. You’re in the middle of a dry spell and want to get out. You come here for a little simple advice, maybe a little motivation. You go out and get the date you want, the girlfriend you want, approach the girl you want to approach… and then you’re done.

But there’s a loud minority who for them it’s something more.

Something deep down in their emotional fabric drives them much further. They excitedly accept the objectification and relish in the validation. I did. And I see other guys do it too. And really what it is is their way of sorting through their emotional baggage. Some guys it takes 10-15 women. Some it takes 50-100. Some guys are damaged too deeply and never get out. But the truth remains: you don’t sell your soul to the devil unless part of you is already a little dead inside.

I am not an exception, just another casualty. I wrote this in August of 2008:

I had kind of a disconcerting experience tonight. I hung out with some female friends that I’ve known for a long time. And no matter what we talked about, we seemed to always end up back on topics of my sex life, my sexcapades, and in particalar, the threesomes that I’ve had recently.

This actually started to bug me because these are friends I haven’t hung out to any significant degree in about a year, and I felt like we should talk about something more substantial than the vaginas in which I had been sticking my penis. But I realized two things. First of all, I had little else to talk about from the last year and also that my friendships with these girls had ALWAYS largely consisted of me sharing my sexscapades with them. I didn’t realize this until one point when I said, “OK, enough about my sex life, let’s talk about something more interesting.” One of my old friends replied, “But Mark, we ALWAYS talk about your sex life.”

I became horrified. Had my “friendship” with these girls merely consisted of me obsessing over my sexuality with them? Had our friendship just been a repository for me to validate myself — that I’m attractive, that women have sex with me, and that other women like it that women have sex with me?

Sadly, it had.

Your first reaction to this may be, “Shit, I wish I had that problem…” but remember this article and this quote. Because one day you may find yourself there, and you may find yourself as disconcerted as I was.

Whenever I talk about this, most men immediately ask me, “What emotional realities are we running from? What baggage are you talking about? I’m normal, it’s all these other guys who are crazy.”

This is actually an easier question than it may seem. It’s going to be different for every guy, but by FAR the most common deep emotional problems and fears that I come across in the PUA crowd are: ex-girlfriend or ex-wife that broke their heart and/or ruined them, divorced or absent parents, death of a loved one, death of a parent, or just repeated emotional beat-downs growing up — whether it be growing up in the projects, being verbally abused by girls your entire childhood for being fat, etc., etc.

A lot of guys can relate to at least one of the above. I know I can.

It’s painful to go back and deal with a lot of that. Some of it is REALLY painful. And we don’t do it. We put it off for years. I came to PUA and was motivated primarily by my ex-girlfriend of four years cheating on me and leaving me. That fucking hurt. I thought I got over it, but I didn’t get over it for years. And when I looked deeper, I just realized that that had just been irritating a deeper wound stemming from my divorced parents and family situation growing up. That one STILL hurts. And I think the circumstances in which I grew up in is the largest reason why I’ve dedicated so much time, effort, thought and emotion to picking up women.

It’s not normal. And I accept that.

I look at myself and I realize now that underneath it all, there was a need for intimacy and love. It was when I finally buckled down and committed to a girl and started a new relationship that was actually healthy and happy, that finally showed me that. Like everyone else on this planet, I’m searching for intimacy and love, I’m just wired in such a way that it’s hard for me to get to that point with a woman. That’s what drives me. Just like I think deep down that’s what drives most of these guys. For whatever reason, we need to traverse some complex and damaged emotional landscape to get there though. And PUA has been an avenue for some of us to do that.

Regardless, I choose to not identify with the Pick Up Artist moniker any longer. The reasons are the two I listed above: I refuse to objectify my social interactions and love life, and I refuse to judge my personal success or have others judge my personal success based on my social and emotional life.

But not only do I choose to continue teaching and coaching, but I believe I can teach and coach from a much healthier and far more successful place this way.

If you were or are part of the PUA community, I encourage you to shed the unhealthy associations that come with it. This site is specifically designed to give dating and seduction advice and direction in a healthy manner: focusing on personal satisfaction and fulfillment with all of your sexual relationships, rather than racking up numbers or conquests, winning the admiration of your peers or attempting to be the “coolest” guy you know.

Personally, I think the PUA thing is a fad. I think in 10 years, we’ll look back and think of it as one of those silly things we did in the 2000′s, kind of like big hair in the 80′s, or dial-up modems in the 90′s. The mindsets the community is based upon are self-defeating, and only the truly damaged or self-loathing would continue to subscribe to them for a whole lifetime.

Dating advice for men, on the other hand, is only growing and will continue to grow. It’s going to continue to expand and become more inclusive and more mainstream. I think everything that’s currently Pick Up Artist related will either transition to a more mainstream audience or fade into relative obscurity. It will run its course, just like the men who make up its ranks will run theirs.

To Be Fair… In Hindsight

I know I’ve been pretty harsh on the whole Pick Up Artist thing in this article. And a lot of this probably stems from my bitterness and being too close to it for too long. But I must give credit where credit is due:

  • I would not be nearly as socially confident or competent today, if it weren’t for the PUA community.
  • There are HUNDREDS of amazing experiences and dozens of amazing women I would have missed out on, had I not picked up that book on that fateful day.
  • Through sheer force and confrontation, I’ve had to face many of my own emotional issues and overcome them in a short period of time — issues I probably would have gone half a lifetime being otherwise oblivious to.
  • And of course, I made some pretty cool friends and met some interesting people. Without whom, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

In the end, I suppose this article should be taken as a cautionary tale. There’s a lot to gain from that whole movement, but there’s also a lot that you can get trapped in and sucked under by. A friend of mine put it perfectly when he said, “You can judge a self-help movement by how many people leave it. If people are leaving it, then it’s doing something right.” Well, many people leave the PUA community, so it must be doing something right.

Just make sure you’re one of the ones who leaves.

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71 Responses to My Life as a Pickup Artist

  1. Julian says:

    I guess you missed one of the most important things that is stated at the very beginning of the venusian arts handbook, I’m sure you’re aware about it:

    “Let the venusian arts enrich your life, not define it.”

  2. Libra says:

    A profound article but still I do not see questions that need to be asked. Why men need dating advice? Why this wasn’t the issue 50 years ago?
    Find the red pill.

  3. James says:

    Second article ive read of yours..and I’m most impressed with you writing. I think you demonstrate what actually attracts women…you know how to articulate yourself intelligently..otherwise I would have skipped the article half way through..This element of effectively communicating with women..cant be taught. You cant teach someone to be interesting. It doesn’t matter what hobbies they have or places they have been..if they cannot make a story intriguing they simply fail to hold a woman’s interest. the art of conversation is a much underrated one and its being killed off in modern life, with texts and Facebook and this is why I suspect “dating advice for me”, or whatever it will be re branded as, will become much bigger. People still go to bars and nightclubs and I cant see that ending anytime soon. I agree however that sex for the sake of sex is going to leave you empty and depressed. and i don’t aspire to that guy anymore..not for a long time..however i still like to seduce women…just to keep my skills in good shape for when I find “the one” hahaha. like yourself It was my first proper girlfriend that, ruined it for me..she was beautiful and I though she was an angel…turned out she had borderline personality disorder…that was a lot of fun…and unfortunately I think at least 70% of women have something seriously wrong upstairs, but no doubt men do as well, but as I never wanted to marry a guy that didn’t really bother me..

  4. James says:

    The whole PUA community, mentality, is a reaction to men feeling powerless over women. Women do indeed make an exhibition of themselves every time they step outside and the nearest male equivalent would be an outrageously dressed pimp or mystery (he’s hardly original for that). And human beings, on the whole, are fascinated by and attracted to people who make an exhibition of themselves in public, because “normal” men have lots of “normal” social constraints. The imbalance is that this exhibitionism, is not a masculine trait, its a feminine one, make up, high hells, tight dresses, short skirts, etc,etc,etc. And men are basically completely thrown off and intimidated by it all but at the same time completely attracted to it. Then you have very attractive women who say they cant understand why men are afraid to approach them haha. Please, if i dresses up in a fur coat and alligator boots, im pretty sure women may want to approach me, just to find out what makes me tick or because they assume i must be a barrel of laughs to dress like a clown…either way it attracts attention…(like I said its old school pimping, nothing new)..but women wont approach a guy like that, even though they desire to know him, but if he approaches them its game over, because he already raised their attraction level by dressing like a clown.
    Now my point to women who have responded in this thread is this…if you display your sexuality overtly, what are you trying to attract, because only a real player is going to approach you because he has the skill set to do it…yet you all then complain about the men you end up dating.
    If you want to find a quality man, then I suggest you go and look for one someplace..other than the bars or clubs..isn’t it a no brainer?

  5. Sam says:

    I see alot of analysis like this and , I see a different importance in Pick Up. I think its extremely important for people to go through a process to become Men. Its something thats been ignored and forgotten in our culture, but confronting your fears, failing repeatedly, ignoring physical, mental pain, and ultimately finding success (whatever that success maybe), are all part of an essential process. Often we are just grown up directionless boys, frightened easily, manipulated easily, injured easily, A Man becomes strong by going through difficult tasks, not by chatting with psychologists. I think it is a very important thing that if a man is attracted to a woman that he should be able meet her without fear and express himself and his interest in an enticing way-what could be more natural?

  6. Jojo says:

    Excellent article. Especially resonate with the bit about guys arguing on forums. It makes me sick.

  7. Lorenzo says:

    THis article does not make any sense sorry , but its look like the pua stuff your talking about its like entering in the porn industry and then die for overdose , hey bro you are exagerating !

  8. Shannon says:

    I have to say, I’ve known a lot of PUA’s and none of them ever managed to get into my pants.

    In a lot of ways I’m not that hard to get into bed, but when I saw someone who wanted to be with me as something to shove into a great, gaping void in themselves… it was a total turn off. Some happy go lucky nerd at a drunken board game party? No problem! Someone trying to use my vagina as a way to fix the fact they don’t really like themselves? Ummm, pass.

    I lived as a roomate with a PUA for a year, who ended up hating me because I didn’t want to sleep with him, yet had no issues having lots of naked fun with guys he thought of as his inferiors. As for salt in the wounds, I think I slept with as many women as he did during that period, too.

    A lot of the PUA stuff is great for getting girls who are just as broken as you are, but will turn away the quality women- the decent human being with smaller boobs, a PhD, and acne scars that you mentioned in the article- that are the most likely to help you climb out of the nasty hole that got someone INTO being a PUA to begin with.

    I hope someone comes up with something a lot healthier for the PUA crowd than what they’ve got, because there are guys that fall into it and never get out. There are also guys who need help getting over sitting there and doing nothing, and learn how to approach women like real human beings, not demigods who decide if they’re worthy and if they can hit the right combination of levers, will bestow validation and pussy.

    It’s a real damn shame.

  9. Elrako says:

    I read “The Game” when I first moved to Thailand from the U.S. At the time I thought, “wow, I saw this scene through a few of it’s iterations over the years, and might have taken it seriously, if I were still in the U.S.”.

    I got women OK back then so I didn’t need to. But as I got older, it because more relevant. BUT. I was jow living in Thailand. I didn’t need PUA skills to pick up women. I just learned Thai. Eventually all the women who flock to the areas where foreign men are, were competing for me.

    It could be a farm girl who just walked into a bar for the first time to see if she could handle being a “bar girl”, or a woman at a grocery store. A teacher, a student, -it didn’t matter, the country was crawling with hot women who’d screw you in a minute if they felt you’d be serious with them. Many would instantly start talking about marriage.

    So after a while I got into the habit of fucking 4 women a night. I’d start early, like 5PM or right before dark. And go all the way till 4AM. I’d was pretty insane about it. I loved that my dick worked well with a new “stranger” girl every time. Sometimes I’d pay, other times I didn’t need to. There were lot of unsatisfied married women who loved big dick on the side. There were a lot of curious good girls starving for a hot and heavy test drive before they disappeared back into University of Office life, only to call again a month or so later when their hormones just wouldn’t let go.

    But as I got into the 4 women a night thing, that’s when I became the saddest, when I started hearing really wise and scary things from the women about how I didn’t know myself. So the point of all this, -is regardless of the context, no matter how good you are to begin with, or how many PUA skills you pick up, no matter what country or context you are in, -every man will see that when he finally fucks enough tang, -validation can be a problem.

    Instead of a lot of sex, go for good sex. And learn to be happy with yourself and your time well spent alone, reading, writing, learning, whatever. Then it all balances out. Women actually understand this in a bizarre inverse, so learned how to tune it early on. Western men are pussy-starved to begin with, so getting to the point where validation is a problem is still a fantasy result for many.

    Not in SE Asia though if you speak a native language. Our DNA, kind ways, smart minds, and adaptable nature make us highly desirable. No cash required. But you should try to dress well, be an attractive and real person to begin with.

  10. PUA GOOse says:

    I been a PUA for 5 monthes started our own PUA group in San Antonio and I been a natural before I became a PUA. Everything you said is true I left a four year on and off relationship and had a rough child hood. Between my miltary and PUA friends I have alot of fun if I put more effort into it I could have plenty of dates and wemon because ive had the military and relationship baclground that gave me social skills to actually use PUA material in a practical manner. Yes alot of it is garbage I tell other PUA’s this all the time and they should go out and have fun regardless. I never dove as hard as you into the game yet ive had success I been busy with my career but im planning on starting a new movement free of the profit Gurus down here. So im sticking to it and im glad to call my self PUA Goose and I think we can change or separate ourselfs from the bad elements.

  11. Retcofsky says:

    I wonder aloud if the PUA movement won’t eventually morph into something more violent, like a type of Fight Club. I know a lot of what one reads on message boards is talk but I see some subtle yet dangerous looking trends beginning on a lot of them where men as a whole, regardless of level of success with women, are becoming bored or disinterested in women. When men become bored as a group, frightening and wonderful things begin to happen.

  12. Huh! This article so articulates so many of the emotions and revelations I went through after two years of obsessing in as a PUA myself. Thankyou for exposing the fallacies and false advertising that the community has embraced. It’s good for men to know that their issues are not lack of sex or beautiful women but more fundamental internal needs that must be addressed healthily. Great job.

  13. koko says:

    Getting laid really isn’t the big deal I used to think it was. It’s so easy! Show up, get the girl to show up, hang out, have sex.
    Yeah, well, fuck you dude.

  14. An old post but still ranks high in google.

    Well, as a PUA instructor, I don’t take light to guys bashing the community. Not saying that’s what you’re doing though Mark.

  15. Vince Lin says:

    Thanks for the post homie. “Beyond the beginning it becomes an art” I agree and like art there are many variations you can take. Social dynamics and development extends beyond just your ego and women, into other people. Being a better person, able to tell lies, understanding different types of individuals, that where I hope the community goes.

    -Vince
    http://www.pualingo.com/

  16. Neil says:

    PUA/seduction community advice doesn’t work. If you want true success with women, you need to be Direct, real and honest instead.

    I invite you to my website and blog, http://www.bedirectwithwomen.com, where you can also download my free ebook all about being Direct, real and honest with women.

  17. lars says:

    hi!
    i got here from the 6 toxic relationship habits… article (;

    I’ve followed a more or less similar path.
    My ex left me because I was acting all hollywood romantic comedy style etc etc and then I met these friends of a friend that took me out to party and made out with a bunch of girls and that really impressed me etc etc

    I had come to the realisation that this is a numbers game when I decided I didn’t want to waste anymore of my time and resources being fit and be just average. Lots of my friends thought I was crazy…

    now to my question…

    I’ve had a more or less constant girl for almost 2 years now. I see here every weekend or 2. I know I could be happy with here (more or less, she has to stop doing some of that 6 toxic things…) but I cant get over the fact that over time the thrill of the hunt calls for me. I start to miss the nights out, talking to random girls, feeling in control, of the conversation, of everything, juggling all this variables, feeling desired by a unknown / new woman.

    the longest i went was around 6 months in what you could call being faithful, but I kept on feeling like shit, having mood swings, underperforming in every aspect of my life. Then we had a goodbye party for some foreigners students since it was the end of the semester, things got crazy, but as expected, boring, since whenever I see guys that don’t know the game flock around “hotties” i get really bored and I end up being the boring guy since i’m the only one that doesn’t give into that behaviour…anyway… turned around in the middle of the dancefloor and started talking to girls. long story short, ended up scoring big time, and I realized, that was what i was missing, the next day, or maybe the day after because of the hangover, i was feeling at 200%, with a smile on my face, everything looked good.

    I’m confused into what should I do. I could commit with this girl but i feel that no matter how hot and perfect the girl is ,in a physical or mental way, the thrill of the hunt will come back…

    sorry for the long post (;

  18. Ronnie Libra says:

    RE: “Here’s a dirty truth about being a PUA coach: many guys who take coaching don’t actually want to change. They want to be validated. They want to feel cool and be around someone who they think is cool. They want to unload the responsibility for changing themselves onto someone else.

    Rather than hiring a coach to help them progress, to them it’s more of a “rent-a-cool-friend” service.

    …A lot of these guys don’t need a pick up instructor. 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.”

    Ummmm. I see stuff like this from “coaches” and it makes me sad that so many of them shouldn’t be coaching.

    PART OF THE TERRITORY is that it’s my job as a dating coach to not only make my students who are in this boat aware of this fact, but to hammer that bullshit attitude out of them and rebuild them up sending them in a positive direction. That’s why they pay you, man. They are paying you to help them change for the better. Maybe they don’t even know these things are their problem, but for every single guy that has come to me wanting me to do all the heavy lifting and placing the responsibility of them magically changing upon my shoulders I Call them on it, and immediately kick that shit up into a higher standard and make them work.

    If they have social anxiety, then they paid me, I help them overcome it. If they are fucked up a little in the head – that’s easy, I was once fucked up in the head too, and since I took responsibility and improved myself, I can use some of those same tools to help my students.

    Here’s what’s funny. The same thing you are accusing your students of is the exact same thing you are doing. They are placing the responsibility for change on your shoulders, and then you are turning around and placing that responsibility on psychology articles, saying they need to seek a psychiatrist, or just playing it off as “they don’t want to change”.

    In other words YOU “want to unload the responsibility for changing YOUR STUDENTS onto someone else.” Why are you charging them if you can’t handle them? Maybe instead of blaming them, you should step away from coaching and get your shit straight before you try coaching others.

    Teaching a guy to get laid is the easy part. Teaching them to have a skillset, and have a kickass attitude and mindset is the real challenge. You said it yourself. You don’t even like to coach. You don’t or didn’t even like yourself and you have some misconstrued idea that because you let the life get the best of you, that means everyone else is in the same boat. You thrived off the validation and always felt the need to impress your students, were always worried what they thought about you. Speaking of boats – another one is the “I’m so much cooler than the PUA community” boat a lot of guys seem to be jumping on board. So many guys play this game of learning their skillset from the community and then they want to portray themselves as “I’m not one of those creepy pickup guys”. You’re part of the problem. You’re letting social programming run away with you. You think this is you being above the PUA thing but this is just your inner fear of society viewing you as “one of those pickup nerds”. That shit rubs off on other guys. Now you got guys out there wanting to improve but feeling this weird dynamic that they are somehow “creepy or weird” for wanting to learn it. Guys like you are perpetuating the same shit that we are ALL supposed to be fighting against. Anyway, back on topic…

    Has it ever occurred to you that if you had your shit straight to begin with you wouldn’t need to seek the validation of your students, or wouldn’t worry about trying to approach every girl you see to prove something to them? You wouldn’t get so caught up in that downward spiral you talked about. As a matter of fact, if you truly enjoyed what you did, really were passionate about being social, going out, meeting people, meeting women – if this was NORMAL for you, no amount of getting paid or not getting paid would ruin that for you.

    Tell that nonsense to a successful club promoter. He/she will laugh at you in the face. Tell that to a bartender who spends 40 hours a week slinging drinks only to go out to another bar with his buddies right after leaving one to go get social.

    I’m not trying to be harsh here on purpose or whatever, but this is the kind of shit that a lot of guys do in this community that rubs me the wrong way. They do shit wrong and then it’s the community’s fault. Or in your case you shouldn’t have (maybe shouldn’t be) coaching and it fucks up your life, your students are not getting results, and you place the blame on external shit, instead of taking a look at yourself. You are, in effect, being no better than your students who “want to unload the responsibility for changing themselves onto someone else.”

    Personally I LOVE the fact that my job mixes work and play, and that I can go out and be social. That’s why I do it. But the thing is, I can be real with myself. I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. If they come in the door, I interview them before they give me 1 dime and if I think they aren’t ready I send them off telling them exactly what they need to do before I will coach them. I also make it clear before they give me any money that they will be expected to do the heavy lifting. When we go out I will be myself. I will even go get blown out right along side my students. They respect me for being straight with them. I have nothing to prove because I know my game is pretty strong both INNER and OUTER. Looks like you are missing the INNER but your OUTER (you say) is pretty solid.

    Anyway, these problems we get from students – we LEARN from them. We USE these “problem” students as ways to learn to teach future students with similar “problems”. That’s the point. You learn to coach just like you learn to pick up women. You improve so your students can improve. But you have to take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY to do that.

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