A few weeks ago a hater on Tumblr picked up one of my posts and linked it to their hater followers who then did more linking and quoting on Tumblr. One of them said I should go and die, and that the #pua tag was ludicrous. I don’t care much for the hate, but the person had a point. PUA’s (pickup artists) might be helpful for many men but I believe what they teach and how they teach it caps the ability of the student. Overall, while PUA’s have helped many guys meet and pickup girls, there’s a detrimental effect to how their corner of the world operates.
There’s an inherent aesthetic to every niche, and the aesthetic of the pickup artist is repugnant. It’s synonymous with hoards of geeks who would rather discuss exactly how to approach a girl as if it were a chess move than actually do the approach. There was a vice article on pickup artist Richard La Ruina and his forum, while vice articles on men’s self help are always overtly spiteful, vitriolic and miss the point, there were some accurate depictions.
Women are not seen by the (forum) posters as disposable objects but as actual conquests, like the flag outside the castle at the end of a level of NES Mario. It is some tangible representation of “making it.”
Here is a subculture of men so underequipped and timid and paralyzingly insecure that they gravitate to a strategy to talk to human beings. They need a tutorial for Being Alive.
The last line gave me pause. Was he right?. The author seems to be surprised that some men are timid, and the social ability needed for the modern world should be innate from birth. However his profile of these men is somewhat true. While a “tutorial for being alive” is a crass statement, a lot of these guys could be actively meeting attractive women rather than re-reading a pickup strategy for the third time. Absorbing the PUA world is like keeping the training wheels on once you’ve already learned to ride a bike. What I also saw on Vice was that some of the comments were defending the right men have to improve their life regardless of whether there’s secret forums involved. I think that’s a good thing.
I googled La Ruina and cringed at what I saw; professional studio photos of him pouting with a girl or pointing a finger with a raised eyebrow. What kind of man does this appeal to? Who looks at such a tasteless picture and thinks yes, that guy is cool, he will solve my problems. Yes, Ruina has made money doing this, he probably doesn’t give a shit about haters or Vice Magazine, he gets shit done and I take my hat off to him. But it’s still tasteless, phony and, it has a stench of ‘look at me’ validation, not to mention his Ebook, Make Your Move With Zero Chance of Rejection. Yes, rejection and how one can avoid it is their primary way of luring in guys with low self-esteem and getting them to part with their money. However, rejection is hardwired into the dating world, you learn that and you become more equipped for rejection in the career world.
What PUA forums, products and Ebooks dictate isn’t real, and I’m only concerned with the real. PUA forums live in the fantasy world where women sleep with you (if at all) because of your clever opener, not because they simply wanted to get laid that night. PUA has good intention – it enforces the idea that you need to show value, and part of that is taking the girl off the pedestal and be a man. However it has shot itself in the foot with coaches and gurus (hilarious) identifying with James Bond or mythic goth lords. It sends the message of attract attention at all costs, even if that means putting on a costume. The overall novelty that is injected into PUA is establishing the idea of divorcing the everyday self from the self that meets women. That when you say hi to a girl you need to wear a cape and wave a neon green saber to nullify her guaranteed bitch shield. It’s been said before, but a lot of the PUA stuff resembles a bunch of guys who were ignored in high school and see the internet as a terminal where they’ll be noticed. To that I say, EVERYONE experienced exclusion to some extent in high school.
What does concern me is this blog and the blogs I read. How wide or narrow is the gap between honest, unadorned game advice and the game supported by the PUA’s?
It’s hard to make a clear demarcation, but the difference between PUA and game is that it isn’t all about the girls, there is pickup tips, but they aren’t its center. It’s about choosing a career that gives your life meaning and getting your shit together. All that builds confidence so when a girl does step into your life, or you into hers, you’re naturally more desirable. I believe it’s self-help that Men’s Health and Ask Men won’t write about because it’s too honest, and honesty is ugly and scares away advertisers. What’s also worth pointing out is that the PUA coaches have noticed this recently. They know that you’re better off to becoming a confident leader rather than act like one. So that’s why they’ve squeezed in terms such as natural and sincere in all of their content to counter the practical advice elsewhere.
Pickup artists, they just don’t appeal to me, and I’m not alone on that either. There are guys who genuinely like the conversation of the single life but feel no need to entrench themselves with the charade of pickup artistry. Pick up is not an art form, maybe it is in a post-modern context, but that doesn’t mean you have to think of it as art. Seriously, pickup is an art form in the same way turds in a kitty litter is an art form. That’s my basis, to get confident with the opposite sex, to get laid even, just make it a part of your lifestyle. I don’t glorify approaching girls, I don’t romanticize it, I see it as an everyday part of life like buying a cold drink. That’s the best I can do to distance myself from the PUA stench, that and link this blog to girls who get close enough.