gearsI want to thank everyone who took the time to answer the survey earlier this week. Many of the results were unsurprising. Others were reaffirming. Others were enlightening. Now that it’s over, here’s a fun (long) post running down who the readers of this site are, what you guys like and what you’re looking for. Below are some of the more interesting and surprising statistics. Further down, I analyze the written responses and as we’ll see there are actually some surprising results.

Who You Are


  • 98% men. Still a sausage-fest.
  • 64% of readers are in their 20’s. 20% are in their 30’s. This is a much higher proportion of 20- and 30-something’s than the Practical Pick Up survey I did last Spring (it was 54% and 16% respectively, then). It seems that the age of the readership is narrowing around my own age (I’m 27 now).
  • 65.2% of readers say they are satisfied with their life. 13.7% say they’re very satisfied. 24.7% of PM readers are very satisfied with their job situation.
  • 67.9% of readers are very interested in world travel, 48.9% are very interested in changing careers or starting a business, and 81.3% are very interested in developing more emotional awareness in their lives (more on this tomorrow).
  • 28.1% consider themselves part of the PUA community, while 43.5% say they’d be comfortable sharing articles on Facebook and Twitter. The two most common responses given by people not comfortable sharing on social media were, “I don’t want people to know I’m reading pick up content,” and “I don’t use Facebook/Twitter.” Fair enough.
  • For every person who signed up for the Approach Women Program, 2.5 people said they “Will Sign Up, But Not Now.” This explains the somewhat-disappointing sales numbers from the other week. Ironically, it seems a LOT of people have some approach anxiety about signing up to a program which conquers their approach anxiety.

Some more interesting results when answers are cross-referenced against one another:

  • Readers ages 29 and under are, on average, more interested in traveling, less active in PUA, more likely to have bought Models, and more likely to buy products in the future.
  • Readers ages 30 and older are, on average, more focused on solely women and dating, more satisfied with their careers, less satisfied with their lives overall, and strangely, less interested in buying my products.
  • Of the readers who said they are “dissatisfied” with their current life situation, 98% of them are interested in improving their emotional awareness. At least these guys know what they need to focus on!
  • Readers who put “dissatisfied” for their life situation are less likely to be active in PUA, are primarily only interested in content on dating and confidence, are far less likely to share articles on Facebook and Twitter (I don’t think this is a coincidence), and are more interested in future products.
  • And finally, long time readers (of a year or more), are on average much more interested in reading about travel, much less interested in reading about fitness/health, and are very likely to have bought Models (makes sense).

Your Written Responses


Between the two optional open-ended questions, over 500 written responses were submitted — many of them at least a paragraph long. I read all of them, and many of them twice. One by one, I grouped the similar responses into individual categories to get a sense for some over-arching patterns in the readership. Many of the responses were one-off opinions, but the vast majority of them fell into one of the same few themes.

Question: “What’s the biggest problem you face in your life today as a man?”

1. Taking Action / Making the First Move / Being Assertive / Overcoming My Anxiety / Being Fearless – 15% of all responses – I’m mildly surprised but also pleased this answer came out on top. It’s something that I really identify with as the root cause of a lot of problems and I’m pretty passionate about it myself. I also feel like it’s something I’m able to address well and would like to reorient PostMasculine more towards this theme in general (more on that tomorrow).

2. Career Advancement / Making Money / Financial Independence / Starting a Business – 14% of all responses – This one DID surprise me. Not only did this one beat out “Women and Dating” as a priority, but it killed it. I’ve noticed for many years a strong correlation not only between a man’s professional/financial independence and his happiness, but also his emotional capacity to connect with women. I didn’t have to coach for long to notice that clients I had who were broke, lived with their parents, or were unemployed, always did far worse with women than the guys who had jobs and careers they enjoyed. I guess what surprised me was the severity of this. In the survey, only about 20% of people put “very unsatisfied” for their job satisfaction, yet it seems that when people are unsatisfied in this department, they’re REALLY unsatisfied.

3. Low Self-Esteem / Low Confidence / High Neediness / Accepting Myself / Self Awareness – 14% of all responses – No surprise here. Intimately related with the first category, but also different. I got a LOT of requests for more writing on self-esteem, self-awareness and confidence. I’ll admit, I’ve been shirking them a bit because they’re such massive topics. I also plan on doing a large product on them (again, more on that tomorrow).

4. Become a Man / Discover My Masculinity / Stop Being Ashamed of Being a Man – 11% of all responses – The whole “become a man” thing is very vague and probably means many different things to different men. But I did find it interesting that this language came up repeatedly. I imagine that this is tied a lot to sexual anxiety and sexual shame.

5. Stop People-Pleasing / Stand Up For Myself / Express Myself Honestly / Be More Open – 8% of all responses – I have an entire chapter dedicated to this in Models. It’s incredibly important, not only for emotional health and self-esteem, but also for ultimately being attractive to women… which finally brings us to…

6. Being Better With Women / Having Better Relationships With Women / Getting a Girlfriend – 8% of all responses – The biggest surprise of all… that a site that was solely dedicated to dating advice for four years, that is still predominantly dominated by dating content today, and where 93% of the readership reports being interested in content on women and dating — it was the sixth most common answer to “What’s the biggest problem in your life right now?” If anything, this really validated my belief that the whole pick up thing really is self-help in disguise (just look at categories 1 thru 3), and that getting better with women, for most of us, is used as motivation to enact change in our life, rather than be the most important change itself. I think it also shows that what we want isn’t always necessarily what we need the most, and vice-versa.

7. Finding My Passion or Purpose in the World – 7% of all responses – Number of men here without a real sense of direction right now. Very important.

8. Having Better Relationships With Everyone / Better Lifestyle / Better Social Circle or More Friends – 6% of all responses – The general lifestyle answer. For what it’s worth, I think similar to the Career/Job problem, guys who struggle in this department should take care of this BEFORE going out and trying to be some super player pimp… not as part of it, and not after it. Before it.

9. Life Balance / Time Management / Discipline – 6% of all responses – A large percentage of those who put this answer were either doctors or medical students… coincidence? I think not.

Question: “What is the biggest challenge for men today in general?”

1. Defining Masculinity / Transcending Our Gender Role – 19% of all responses – I shouldn’t have to say much more on this.

2. Women/Feminists Shaming and Controlling Men / General Emasculation of Society – 18% of all responses – I was a little disturbed by the venom and paranoia of a few of these answers, but in general, yes, whether you want to blame it on globalization, the information economy, feminist policies, political-correct culture, or whatever, the traditional role of men is disappearing from western society.

3. Find Meaning in Their Lives – 12% of all responses – Interesting that more people put this as an answer to men overall than themselves personally.

4. Apathy and Lack of Passion/Ambition/Awareness – 12% of all responses – This has been covered a lot recently by sociologists and referred to as “Guy Culture,” basically the idea that men in their 20’s these days are usually doing everything they can to prolong their adolescence and avoid all responsibilities and commitments as much as possible.

5. Shitty Economy / Shitty Education / Society Changing Too Fast / Too Many Distractions – 11% of all responses – Particularly enjoyed a couple of the crazed and angry political rants from some readers on this one.

6. Lack of Confidence / Too Much Neediness / Growing A Pair / Opening Up – 11% of all responses – Can’t help but feel that this is probably a bit of a projection by some guys with their own issues. I think both genders are having these problems right now.

7. Unavailable or Poor Male Role Models / Poor Media Portrayals of Men – 7% of all responses – Definitely agree with this one. This is identified in No More Mr. Nice Guy as the major culprit for men lacking confidence and abilities with women. I think it probably has wider implications than that as well.

8. Over-usage of Porn / Bad Sex / Worship of Sex / Not Getting Enough Sex – 5% of all responses – I think this is more of a symptom of some of the issues pointed out above, and not a root cause itself. Although I do have a big post on porn I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

All very interesting, and very helpful. Tomorrow I’ll be doing a more in-depth “State of The Site” post, where we’ll discuss a lot of the feedback and suggestions you all made for the site, as well as some changes down the pipeline in the coming months.

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18 Responses to Who Are The Readers? (Survey Results)

  1. Zac says:

    Thanks for sharing these results. At first I thought the survey was boring but I did it anyway. Now that I see you are willing to post results in this form it makes me much more willing to take surveys in the future. Cool stuff.

  2. Tim says:

    Cool analysis. Must’ve taken a while to analyze the results and write this post.

    For the “Biggest problem you face in your life as a man” question, I’d be surprised if a large % of people didn’t interpret it as, “What’s holding you back from being good with women?” So I’d bet a lot of the people bringing up anxiety, neediness, assertiveness, etc. still see lack of women as the biggest problem, which would give you a figure much higher than 8%!

    • Mark says:

      I considered this… but many, many, many of the Assertiveness/Self-Esteem/Career answers made no mention of women. Keep in mind I “double counted” a number of answers. So if a guy said, “My biggest problem is I’m not assertive enough around women,” then that got counted for both Assertive and Women categories, not just one.

    • Mark says:

      Also, this makes sense, as a guy who is not assertive or confident around women, is likely not assertive or confident at work, at school, with his family, etc. So while these other major concerns probably DO include women… women is not the most pressing need and problem for them. If that makes sense…

      And THAT is what I find so interesting.

  3. Paul says:

    My two cents on male concerns regarding their gender roles/expectations:

    Guys need to stop letting cultural pressures get to them and start cultivating their own sense of identity with respect to what it means to be a man.

    The reason women are so ‘liberated’ these days is because they have much more flexibility than men do. They can move up and down along the continuum of gender roles: CEO by day, mommy by night. For guys, it’s like you have to be careful to not be too feminine or else your identity as a man will be disrespected by society. Maybe we are being granted more room in being feminine in the LOOKS department, but not much else.

    They say it’s a man’s world for a reason. Look around you. Everything you see, and all the values that have been laid out before us as something we need to strive for and achieve, are mostly values that were predicated upon the white heterosexual male. We have (thankfully) granted women access to the same powers and opportunities that we designed, but now we have nothing reserved solely for ourselves. Do we even need something reserved solely for the penis?

    I think we let society and culture control us too much, and society and culture lets history control itself. It’s all bullshit!

    • Geert says:

      I think men do know what they want for themselves and arn’t afraid to show that. But if you are suggesting that feminism is the awnser to men’s problem’s, well then, you’re quite delusional.

      I don’t think I’ve ever experienced more chauvinism and anti-male propaganda from any movement other then the feminist movement.( Please spare me the “that’s not feminism” arguments….)

      The core of this issue is that it’s far more politically correct to bash men and mock them, then it is to critize women. I believe that a lot of male doubt is a direct consequence of this fact.

      If only we could have equality 🙂 Right?

  4. Gatsby says:

    Thanks for sharing the results. Very interesting data.
    I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s post.

  5. Pickup Insider - Top Pickup Blogs says:

    Thanks for sharing the results. I would love to know how similar your readers to to other PUA blogs. I wonder if readers are more drawn to someone of similar age and interests.

  6. Tim (as well) says:

    So there’s another Tim now? Damn.

    Anyway, totally fascinating outcomes. I thought this bit was possibly the most interesting: “Readers ages 30 and older are, on average, more focused on solely women and dating, more satisfied with their careers, less satisfied with their lives overall, and strangely, less interested in buying my products.”

    To put a broad generalization on it, it sounds like these are guys who didn’t get the success in their love lives in their 20s they wanted, because (or so instead) they worked hard at their jobs, but didn’t find that happiness there translated to the rest of their life. Not wanting to buy your products is the real curveball though. To generalize even further, maybe this is symptomatic of a further pattern of half-heartedly tackling their problems or general lack of faith in solutions.

    I’m sure the reality is more complex though.

    One thing I think that’s worth delving in to further is this:

    “4. Apathy and Lack of Passion/Ambition/Awareness – 12% of all responses – This has been covered a lot recently by sociologists and referred to as “Guy Culture,” basically the idea that men in their 20′s these days are usually doing everything they can to prolong their adolescence and avoid all responsibilities and commitments as much as possible.”

    I think this answer is not just about delaying maturity, but also a symptom of the postmodern age of irony we live in. Being a David Foster Wallace fan, I’m sure you’ve come across some of the things he had to say about irony, well captured in this particular essay (ignoring the moving rainbow background is difficult but necessary):

    What he says there I think is best summarized by this particular quote: ‘Most likely, I think, today’s irony ends up saying: “How very banal to ask what I mean.”’

    We live in an age where anything that takes itself too seriously is ruthlessly mocked, by tv shows such as Family Guy, South Park, SNL, or Jon Stewart (all of which I enjoy), by blogs such as Hipster Runoff or on NY Mag, and in memes that spread virally on the internet. Irony has gotten to the point where it’s incredibly difficult to stand for anything without someone or something mockingly pointing out a flaw in its premise. As a result, people choose not to stand for anything, and put on a mask of apathy and smug indifference.

    As DFW noted that, the problem with irony is that it spreads. You learn to hide your opinions on one area, and then you become afraid of doing that anywhere. You hide your passions, your opinions, and your emotions, and then your overall confidence in yourself and in these things is undermined. You stop yourself from standing out, so that you won’t be criticized or mocked, and then feel apathetic about life in general.

    I know that as someone who has an ironic sense of humour, and is big on self-deprecation, I’ve noticed a very clear link between my tendency to ironically mock things, and my fear of honestly communicating who I am and what I stand for. Mark you mentioned recently that you used to be very self-deprecating, and you noticed a big change in your results when you started to turn that sense of humour onto the girls you were hitting on. I think this extends to more than just dating. Some self-deprecation is healthy for staying self-aware and keeping your ego in check, but it seems that for a lot of guys, including myself, it extends to the point where they’re doing it as a form of self-censorship. I think that’s about so much more than just women.

    On a slightly unrelated note, here’s a very extensive interview with DFW:

    I haven’t had time to watch it all yet, but I’ve been told it’s fascinating.

    • Mark says:

      Seen that interview, have not read the essay on irony.

      Agree about the 30+ readers. It seems my core demographic is becoming young men who want to create and live conscious and amazing lives… which is awesome, honestly. That’s the niche I’m excited about. And that’s the niche that is excited about me.

      For instance on the, “If Mark wrote a full-length about his travel/life experiences and observations, would you want to read it?” the 29-and-below crowd answered 80% yes. Whereas only slightly more than half of the 30-and-older crowd said yes.

      (Overall, 75% said yes, which means, yes, I’ll probably write it.)

      • Tim says:

        If you wrote that book, got it published, and it was up to the quality of your ‘A Dust over India’ post with some general contemplation of the travel lifestyle a la ‘Highs and lows of an international lifestyle’, I would buy myself a physical copy, and even buy a couple more to give it to a couple of my friends. That’s because that’s how invested I am with this site and how big a part it’s thinking plays in my identity. I definitely want to share more of this site and what is discussed in it with friends, it just hasn’t always been that easy to do, because of things like how it was mainly about PUA (which they are only interested in to a limited degree) and because I felt like I had to hide the side of myself that was intensely focused on improvement, particularly with women.

        Now that your content is diversifying beyond just pickup, and talking more generally about relationships, dating, masculinity, and identity I think they’d find it a lot more interesting. And I don’t think people are likely to see it as ‘weird’, which they definitely would have back when it was all PUA. That was weird, and still is.

        I’d also definitely buy a physical copy of Models if it ever came out.

        Anyway, don’t know how many other readers feel the same, but I think that’s a pretty good place to have them be.

  7. OkamiLost? says:

    Please get to writing that post on Porn and its overuse, this is an interesting topic!

  8. […] didn’t think I’d get it. As you can see from his article on who he hired and the survey of who the readers of his site are, some really awesome guys read his site and applied. Needless to say I was pumped when I ended up […]

  9. […] I surveyed you, my lovely readers, earlier this year, about what you felt your biggest weakness was, […]

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