Recently, and primary through the Internet, the culture of the “pickup artist” (PUA) has become the most common cultural force for “where men go to learn how to get chicks” (and that is largely driven by big marketing dollars and profit, but I digress).
In the language of the PUA, men who don’t understand how to skillfully navigate social dynamics in the ways that they teach are called “average frustrated chumps” or AFCs.
I’ve been looking at this for a while now, and I’ve come to the important insight that the PUA and the AFC share the absolutely identical strategy for winning attention from women… they only vary at the tactical level.
The AFC (according to PUAs) is a guy who tries to trade “being nice” or money (offering anything from paying for dinner to the financial security of marriage) in order to get female attention and sex.
The PUA, by contrast, trades feigned social status, demonstrations of high value (clever ways of making it appear that you have high social status), witty banter, and other learned behaviors in order to get female attention and sex.
And it appears to me that while these tactics are quite different, the strategy is the same: There is a necessary TRANSACTION in order to win female attention.
And this root strategy is the cause of a dizzying list of problems in the way men and women relate to each other.
Fans of PUA tactics might (rightly) point out that even if the strategy is the same, the tactics have wildly different results. And it is true, if you’re trying to get laid, you’re going to get miles further by feigning social status than by being nice or spending money.
But the cost is extremely high for both strategies.
Whether you are a PUA or AFC, your transactional strategy for getting the girl has these predictable consequences:
1) You can’t forge an authentic relationship based on intimate knowledge of each other’s deep truth
2) You are constructing a relationship that is built upon, and must be sustained by, the transaction. In other words, AFC’s have to continue to spend money and “nice points,” and PUAs have to keep “gaming” their girlfriends in order to keep the relationship alive.
3) You are damaging the self-esteem of the woman you are with by creating this unhealthy structure. I constantly hear men saying that women cannot be trusted or that women lie or that women are always willing to leave you if someone “better” comes along…
And it turns out that this is true if it’s the way you have created your relationship with her. It’s not that she IS that way… it’s that she’s that way with YOU.
All of us know at least one person who thinks we are a wonderful person, and at least one person who thinks we are a big asshole. They are both right. We really do act differently with different people.
4) You are damaging your own self esteem and robbing yourself of the opportunity of being truly seen, known, and loved for who you really are in this lifetime. You are strengthening that voice in your head that is afraid that the REAL you is not worthy of female attention, sex, or love.
…And honestly, all of these consequences might just be worth it… if it gets you laid!
Look, I’m not going to paint it in pretty colors. It’s a simple fact that we humans need sex. We need attention and affection from others. We need validation and approval and to feel sexually attractive. And when we don’t get these things, we are really, really unhappy.
Millions of years of evolution have formed our brain to be exquisite in the delivery of both pleasure and pain around whether or not we can get laid.
If you can: PLEASURE!
If you can’t: PAIN!
And the ONLY thing that is more absorbing, more immediately and stubbornly captivating of our attention, time, and focus, is the threat of imminent death.
If you’re pretty sure that you’re not going to be killed in the next couple of minutes, then the question of whether or not you are getting laid looms large.
Especially if you’re not.
So I don’t blame anyone for trying to be Mr. Nice Guy or paying for dinner… or figuring out how to appear to have high social status using body language, or feigning disinterest, or whatever, in order to exchange those things for a little nookie.
But it turns out that there are OTHER OPTIONS.
There are plenty of men out there who have a completely different model of how to get female attention, sex, and love.
There are plenty of men out there for whom it is NOT TRANSACTIONAL.
And here’s the kicker: These guys get laid. They get female attention. And most of all, they get love.
It’s called maturity, the development of self esteem, and sexual confidence.
In our unfair world, some men arrive at this quite easily…
If a man is born extremely handsome and clever, and he gets lots of approval and attention for his personality, sense of humor, intelligence, skills, and appearance as a child, then very often his internal wiring by the time he reaches puberty is: Of course women want to give me attention and be with me!
Don’t let anyone tell you that looks don’t matter. They matter a great deal to this natural formation.
But I constantly meet plenty of strikingly handsome men who couldn’t get laid to save themselves (it’s almost weird to watch how they manage to creep-out and sabotage the affection of the dozens of women that give them opportunities every day), and plenty of other handsome men whose self esteem was crushed as a child and who believe that women ONLY want them for their looks and end up in the same sabotaged and shallow relationships as PUAs and AFCs…
And I constantly meet “ugly” men who have great ease and comfort with the simple fact that women find them attractive.
It turns out that the simple active distinction is sexual confidence and sense of worthiness. This frees you up to actually get curious about knowing the woman you are interested in, while enjoying the underlying and natural sexual tension.
Imagine a world where women find you naturally attractive, want to be with you, feel sexual desire towards you, feel GOOD and healthy and open when YOU are around them, and feel safe to share their heart’s deepest secrets and yearnings with you…
In this imagined world, women are trustworthy exactly because they are actually fulfilled without any need for transaction, and they feel open to be themselves, and validate you, and cheer you on to be your greatest self, as both your lover and your friend.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?