**Disclaimer: I actually hate the label of PUA. I don’t like what it implies, and I don’t think the goals are generally in the best interest of many or even all parties involved. One should not aspire to be a “PUA,” one should aspire to be a cool, social guy who brings value to everyone around him. Which is part of the reason I write this post. So with that out of the way read on:
The Dark Side of Game
As a guy with my finger firmly on the pulse of gamers in Japan and the pickup community over here, I often get concerned when I hear or read guys thumping chests and bashing chicks. I get it – the tendency to harden up, get overly cocky or jaded, and run through girls without much concern for their wellbeing is somewhat natural.
Why, you say?
It has to do with the overall trajectory of male growth as they walk the path of game. When they start out, if you’re anything like me, you were raised by a sweet mother and culture who taught you to be kind and gentlemanly with women, the fairer sex.
This is a great idea on paper.
This is not you.
In reality, men are faced with a cutthroat dating market where women are extremely fast to cut men off without giving them a chance at all. Women’s value is hugely inflated, and beauty itself – something gifted from birth rather than developed – is seen as a virtue for women, one that signifies men should grovel and feel privileged just to talk to such a goddess.
And so Mystery and the PUA forefathers developed techniques to “take her off the pedestal” or “knock her down a notch.” In many ways, this was a kind of “revenge of the nerds.” Guys who were ignored, trampled on, rejected, insulted, and deprived of female contact and interest now had some tools in their arsenal. “Game” offered men something that another hobby of theirs – video games – also offered: a systematic, learnable, skill-based method of improvement and mastery to gain results.
The principal flaw of course being that in video games, you seek to dominate and destroy your opponent by any means necessary.
No, this is the wrong kind of game.
And so the begrudged nerds struck back with their techniques, “escalation ladders” and “neg routines.” And they worked – to a degree. These guys were catching the attention of women who previously wouldn’t give them the time of day. They happily hooked up with girls for short, dirty one night stands where they preyed on low self-esteem and relied on their bag of tricks to plaster over their deep-seated insecurities.
This spiritual failing of the forefathers of game is one of the biggest and most dangerous traps which awaits any newcomer on the road to success with women – tricks are not substitute for substance and reflection.
You cannot improve the quality of your relationships without developing yourself.
This is one of the huge reasons I spend so much time talking about the destruction of your own ego and mastery over yourself. Unless you spend time taking a brutally honest look in the mirror, you aren’t going to have meaningful relationships with women. Sex – yes, maybe. Tricks can get you sex and short-term “results”. But not true affinity and long-term satisfaction.
Which brings me back to what I see sometimes in guys learning game. EVERY guy actually must fall into this trap and pull himself out – sometimes multiple times. And the trap is this:
The temptation to use your newfound skills and power to exact revenge and domination over those who have mistreated you in the past – women.
In other words, to “harden up” to the point where you are no longer vulnerable and honest and refuse to recognize those aspects in women you interact with.
Squishy vs. Spiky
Hedgehogs are Spiky and Squishy.
Don’t get me wrong here. Most guys who are just starting out – especially from liberal Western cultures and the more education and critical theory they’ve learned and digested – need to harden up a bit. They need some spikes because at first, they are pushovers. Doormats. They coddle and suck up to women, not realizing that women are not meek creatures but actually fanged beings of the night – equal in power to men, yet their power does not manifest in the same way. Physical strength is not the only, nor the most powerful form of strength, and women employ a more subtle strength but DO NOT mistake this for weakness.
Show me a beautiful girl and I’ll show you a woman with more social power than nearly any man has ever mustered. Yes, she does have fangs and they do cut deep.
So men, in pursuit of such beautiful women, learn, through game and/or experience, to grow spikes. They get a bit bolder. Refuse to take girls’ bullshit. Call them out on their hypocrisies. Pull them and have sex with them sooner than a “gentleman” would. And these hard spikes serve them well – they get far more results than the vast majority of men around the world, and are viewed as sexual assholes by most.
So what is the problem?
The issue, to which I alluded earlier, is in getting TOO spiky, going TOO far off the edge to the point of actually treating women as doormats and simply having your way with them without any care or desire to connect on a more meaningful way with them. The issue is being so spiky that nobody can get close enough to love you, and you can’t love anybody else.
These men – and again, it has happened to me, most guys I know who are advanced at game, and it will happen to everyone who sticks with this path – wield their reality tunnels as weapons, enforcing their wills upon the world at large. Consumed by their power, they push things too far and are filled with their own self-interest.
I’ve seen guys get into petty sex-only focus which leaves them angry and delving into darkness. Cases where a guy will happily be walking a girl home and when she doesn’t want to have sex with him, the guy flashes angry, starts berating her and demands money back from the dinner he previously paid for.
I’ve heard guys proclaim they treat girls like shit and they follow me home, as if this was something to be proud of. But this type of behavior doesn’t make you a boss player, it makes you a weak little man hiding in a shell. This is the very real dark underbelly of game. And these men have hardened and embraced their power so fully they are full of malice and value-leeching.
They have forgotten how to be squishy.
And they must relearn.
Darth Vader has no Squish
The Battle of the Sexes
Have you ever heard women say things like:
“There are no good men left.”
Women have a hard time too in this “battle of the sexes.” Men can be callous and dismissive, and plunge their spikes right in the vulnerable squishy parts of the woman (har har). And do not think that women are all just emotional messes – they too have spikes and defenses in place. But when they let a man into their life, and the man takes advantage and hurts them, they feel that pain after the relationship. They vow to never be taken advantage of again. They harden up. They grow more spikes. Eventually, you end up with cat ladies and bra-burning feminists who “don’t need NO man.”
But let me tell you something:
The second you prevent yourself from showing your own vulnerability is the second you cut yourself off from meaningful relationships.
These hardened, spiky women, and the hardened, spiky player men are suffering from the same mental poison. They both believe that the secret to their own happiness and romantic success is to be harder. Tougher. Spikier.
When in reality it is to cultivate your vulnerability. True power comes in being so secure with yourself and knowing your own flaws so intimately that nobody can use them against you, and then exposing those flaws to would-be partners. You cannot form meaningful relationships with women until you both see each others’ flaws, so you might as well get this bit out of the way and enjoy more depth sooner! If you have the courage to be vulnerable with women, they will reward you beyond your wildest dreams with relationships of rich vibrancy and depth.
Empathy Vs. Leadership
Now, don’t flip the other extreme and forget how to be a leader on your purpose. You must at all times keep moving towards your agenda. Especially with Japanese girls, you must direct the entire interaction, guiding it towards what both of you want. But you must also listen to the girl. An age-old aphorism states:
Seek first to understand, then to be understood.-Somebody smart
Such is the basis of empathy. So if you are just starting out – work on your leadership. Push interactions farther than you are comfortable. Plan and take care of all logistics, meeting dates, times, venues, music choice, activities, etc. Bring the girl under your wing, as if she were a sheep in your flock or a daughter you value and wish to protect, but don’t let her be distracted by shiny objects and folly.
If she were your daughter, would you allow her to gorge on doughnuts all day and skip out on her spinach? Would you let her watch TV constantly and miss the dentist? I hope not. Giving women constant validation, attention, and caving to all their demands deflates their attraction and is horrible for their general well-being. We’ve all seen daughters who control their meek fathers – to their own demise.
A squishy dad is controllable, lax, a pushover. A squishy dad wants everything for his daughter, but in trying to give her the world he robs her of challenge, growth, and boundaries.
A strong dad frame of leadership keeps the ship right.
But do not confuse leadership with invulnerability. A spiky dad is not a loving dad. A spiky dad sends his daughters to ballet and starves them half to death, demanding more and more or worse – being totally absent. A spiky dad withdraws his affections and ignores them.
So add to this base of leadership an attempt at deep understanding. Not just the facts about her – her likes, dislikes, birthday, hobbies. These are superficial. Seek instead to understand the forces which create her, inspire her, intimidate her. Seek the WHY of what she does. Create a space where she can feel both supremely comfortable and loved, yet challenged and never allowed to slip into mediocrity. Alternate between your love and attention to her, and your slight disapproval and desire to see her improve on her choices and life. Give her not what she wants, but what she needs.
For this – not some weak “gentlemanly” groveling – is the true essence of caring for someone. This is how you treat your friends, your family, your loved ones.
And this more enlightened approach to relationships is how we end the “battle of the sexes.” This is how we stop the cycle of pain that hurts both men and women. We must refuse to fight – for men and women are not enemies by nature. And in this sense, being good at Game means refusing to play.
I think in some ways, the ideal game is that of the “enlightened beginner.” The child’s mind – approaching every girl and opportunity with curiosity and interest, and a lack of any “hardened” shell developed from past pain. Zen, almost.
At the end of each interaction with women evaluate yourself by these criteria:
-Did I express myself honestly? Honesty here means not pretending to be anything, not playing any games or having any trickery at heart. Honesty also means not being afraid to put myself out there and make sexual advances when you deem fit. This honesty should not be confused with the chivalry or saccharine pleasantry you might imagine. Nor does it mean to always tell the truth. Rather, it should be bold, real, uncouth, unfiltered, spontaneous, and free. Honesty means DEEP honesty, with yourself and your intentions.
–Did I lead the interaction? Was I the guiding force behind our encounter? Did things move, not necessarily rigidly or completely, but at least to some degree in the direction I desired? Was I dynamic and able to adapt my plan yet maintain it’s overall integrity and the role of leader?
-Did I seek to understand her? Was there a real, concerted effort on my part to understand the forces which guide and influence her? Did I hold her accountable to her own standards? Did I do what she wanted, or what she needed?
The biggest irony of all this?
If you actually focus on bringing this empathy and vulnerability back into your game, you’ll sleep with far more women than you ever did being “hard.” Funny how in game, what’s good for us spiritually is also good for being a huge pimp.
–Stay in touch with your own vulnerability and expose it actively.
–Great game is created in the managing of the tension between empathy and leadership.
–Always have the girls’ best interests at heart.
–Don’t be a Sith Lord, even though their powers are way cooler.