I was recently interviewed by feminist writer Clarisse Thorn (the same writer who interviewed Neil Strauss last year) on the gender issues website Role/Reboot.

She asks me about my career as a pick up coach, my thoughts on feminism, and what both men and women can do to improve their relationships, among other things. Some highlights below.

On what made me different than most PUA’s:

What made me different is that somewhere around 2009, I started to realize that pick up, dating, seduction, love, romance—whatever you want to call it—is an emotional process and that it seemed insane that no PUA theory ever addressed men’s emotions. Anger, guilt, shame, loneliness, excitement, fear, passion—these things were never mentioned in all of the theory, even so-called “inner game” theory. Yet, the way one deals with these emotions literally defines a person’s long-term success and happiness in their love life.

It also occurred to me that men were using PUA techniques and theory as a diversion or placebo to cope with their underlying emotional/self-esteem issues. They were attacking the symptoms while remaining oblivious to the illness.

On masculinity and my change in philosophy behind my business:

As the years rolled along a few things happened. One was the emotional stuff I mentioned above. Another was I noticed that just about every single guy I worked with grew up with a weak or absent father-figure, including myself. I polled a PUA forum and sure enough over 85% of them reported having poor or non-existent relationships with their fathers. I dove into psychology pretty hard and came to see the industry as an over-compensation for low self-esteem men trying to assert some sort of masculinity they never received growing up. We all lacked male role models, so we congregated online and attempted to act as male role models for each other by committee.

Full interview here. What amazes me the most is that I managed to air my thoughts out on a feminist website without getting absolutely shredded. That’s never happened before.

Also, Clarisse recently released her book Confessions of a Pick Up Artist Chaser on Kindle. It’s about her experiences spending a year within the PUA community as a feminist writer, both the good and bad. I’ll probably do a full review at a later date, but it’s worth acknowledging that I’m referenced and quoted quite a bit in it and that it is a very good read.

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11 Responses to Role/Reboot Interview

  1. Tim says:

    That’s awesome. Exactly what I’ve been talking about what I hoped you would do. Very interested in reading her book too.

  2. Geert says:

    That was a pretty short interview though :).

  3. Jack says:

    I didnt really get anything out of that. It seemed more self-congratulory than anything else.

    • Zac says:

      I kind of got the idea that he was trying to state to people that DON’T read this site what his site is about. Most of us already know most of what he said there because we’ve read him saying it before. The people that visit that site have not been exposed to this “way of thinking”.

    • Mark says:

      It’s an interview on a site that’s never heard of me before. Deal with it.

  4. Word. Thanks for the shoutout Mark. One thing to note is that Role/Reboot actually doesn’t explicitly identify as feminist. Obviously, a lot of feminists write there, and I’m a feminist (albeit a highly untraditional one). But we’re really trying to reach out to new groups who are analyzing gender in new ways, and to develop a voice that’s outside the existing discourses on gender. If I’d tried to do that interview with you for Feministe, I would’ve gotten slammed as hard as I did at Feministe when I interviewed Neil Strauss.

    I know this may not seem like a big difference to you or your commenters, but it’s important to us, so there you go. Here’s an excerpt from the Role/Reboot about page:

    We’re a group defined mostly by what we are not. We’re not the Cleavers or Ozzie and Harriet (nor do we want to be!). We’re not the status quo. We are forward-thinking, creative, thoughtful men and women dissatisfied with the limitations of deeply-embedded traditional gender roles. We are creating our own rules. We’re naturally a big-tent movement, welcoming folks like breadwinner wives, caregiver fathers, women without children, unmarried couples, people choosing careers typically associated with another gender, folks opting for non-monogamous or non-traditional marriages, men and women learning to negotiate new sexual rules in their intimate lives, and anyone trying to create lives free from the “shoulds” of gender. In short, Role/Reboot is for people ambivalent about the bill of goods they’ve been sold as a result of being a man or a woman.

  5. Lasse says:

    Her book is really really good. Helped me integrate myself and see how this dating improvement could fit into my life as a healthy part of it.

  6. Geert says:

    I’m a bit critical though.

    Didn’t you say that you wanted men to focus less on receiving validation from money, cars, carreer. But you’re an entrepreneur and your lay count is close to 100. Doesn’t that strike you as rather odd?

    • twicker says:


      Interesting comment, given that:
      (a) entrepreneurs *usually* start businesses for stuff other than money (e.g., freedom, the ability to do something great, the ability to take a chance and see if you can succeed, trying to leave a legacy for future generations, building a job that isn’t available in the traditional workaday world, etc.); and
      (b) I’ve been reading through Mark’s posts, and yours is the first mention of his, “lay count,” so, while *his* lay count appears to be important to *you* for some strange reason, it doesn’t seem to be all that important to him (I mean, *who cares* what anyone’s “lay count” is????).

      Seems to me that the “counterexamples” you give are not, in fact, counterexamples. Swing and a miss.

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