It’s very easy to make dating advice look stupid. Its most famous figure seems like more of a cartoon than a master of seduction; he introduces himself as Mystery, wears Harry-potter quidditch goggles, a Lincoln top-hat, and asks women what they think of his painted nails (before making them jump through his compliance loops and negging them to lower their relative value).
But Mystery isn’t the pickup industry’s only oddball. Ross Jeffries created Speed Seduction which teaches you how to hypnotize women to become sexually attracted to you (this could make for a great how I met your mother story, “Well kids, I used a hypnotic pattern to make her feel submissive towards me…) More recently, the Real Social Dynamics instructor Jeff Allen (known on Okcupid as Captain Derp) got into a minor media scandal for pulling his (apparently small) dick out in his painted ‘rape’ van.
Not to be outdone, his coworker, Julien Blanc earned the title ‘most hated man in the world’ and was banned from multiple countries including England and Australia. Why? He gave a speech in which he said picking up girls in Japan is easy, and that you can get away with anything, he suggested that you could grab women by the throat or even better, pull their heads towards your crotch while yelling, “Pikachu!” And he recorded footage of himself doing just that (in his defense, this was all a desperate plea for attention in the form of shock humor, not genuine advice).
The pickup artistry’s list of colorful characters is long, Dapper Laughs aired a television show that ironically made fun of misogyny, but was caught up in a scandal with the U.K. after a rape joke of his was poorly received.
From the outside looking in, the pickup community looks like a breeding ground for misogyny, douchebaggery, and a dose of asshattedness. To anyone who’s never heard of pickup, men involved in the community look like immature adults who never grew up and developed real values or any respect for the fairer sex. It would be easy to think that they were probably hurt by some hottie high school, and have become obsessed with accruing one-night-stands to prove to themselves as worthy. It would seem that Julien Blanc, Mystery, and Dapper Laughs are teaching men how to manipulate and take advantage of innocent women for their own petty desires.
The Surprising Truth
From the inside, it’s a very different picture. There are some ‘sharks’ in the pickup community, guys with a classic case of Don Juanism (a compulsive desire to collect notches on their belt). But a recent trend towards self-improvement reveals what pickup is really about at its core. It’s a path towards self-acceptance, personal growth, and psychological freedom. The most popular pickup instructors today are teaching pickup as a pathway towards self-empowerment.
It may seem odd that pursuing a goal that is ultimately just pumping some white, viscous fluid into a woman’s body might be representative of psychological growth, but that’s what the community is focused on at this point.
And although it’s odd that modern pickup instructors give speeches about meditation, eastern philosophy, and the law of attraction, there is something valuable to take from this new era of dating advice.
As exciting as the idea of notches on your belt may be, and as fun as it may be to brag to your friends that you just banged an hb9, it’s valuable to ask yourself what your deepest motivation is to go on this (easily-parodied) journey towards self-improvement.
Ultimately, the purpose for pursuing pickup is the same as any self-improvement journey whether it be sought through the means of money, fitness, or fame.
Fuck Bitches, Acquire Deep Inner Fulfillment
We pursue these paths to feel better. Specifically, to feel better about ourselves. And although busting a nut into a hot girl will make you feel better about yourself for a few hours, it’s facing your fears and overcoming your insecurities that provides you with the true reward.
Men who are intrigued by the dating advice industry (almost) always have insecurities towards the opposite sex, it’s the reason the community is so appealing. If you were totally secure and confident in your interactions with women, it would be unlikely that the dating advice community would interest you, because men who are confident with the opposite sex have no trouble hooking up with women.
These insecurities are the source for some of our deepest emotional pain. Being unable to connect with women not only feels disempowering, but emasculating. Feeling sexually unviable (whether you think it’s due to your physical attractiveness or your lack of confidence) is incredibly painful. It’s a feeling that we are willing to do anything to overcome.
Sure, pickup is about having sex with women and forming relationships, but beneath that, it’s about freeing yourself from a type of mental imprisonment, freeing yourself from feeling helpless because you’re too afraid to ask your crush on a date or to lean in for a kiss. Freeing yourself from a fear of rejection that seems like it is controlling your life, and sabotaging your actions. Pickup is about letting go of a tremendous source of pain that has been building up from years of internal struggle.
Yes, if you follow the blueprint for success Master the Game lays out for you, you will get laid, but the real reward is overcoming your insecurities, feeling free from that petrified and cowardly voice in your head that prevents you from taking risks or being vulnerable with women. Nothing is more empowering than transforming from someone who spends his days fantasizing about the adventures and relationships he could have into someone who actually takes the actions necessary to bring his fantasies into reality.
Relationships and sex are fun, but if you focus too narrowly on that aspect of your journey, your motivation will wane over time, because sex isn’t going to make you feel good about yourself. You will feel good about yourself when you stop needing sex and emotional validation from women. And approaching women and facing rejection head on again and again is the most powerful and thrilling way to become someone who doesn’t rely on others’ approval for their own happiness.
If you focus on that as your goal, you will not only become more attractive to women and more capable at building sexual relationships with them. But your relationships won’t be focused on emotional validation, but on human connection, which is more enjoyable on every level.
But, if you focus on collecting notches on your belt, you will come to the realization that you still feel empty and unworthy on some deep level, you’ll realize pickup isn’t working. I’ve done this, and I’ve seen a lot of other guys do the same. Dating advice can easily become a bandaid for what is a gaping wound. But pickup can also be something far more empowering when you see it a process of letting go of your self-image, as a process of killing parts of your identity that aren’t serving you. Then, and only then, pickup becomes a path towards self-transcendence, a way to free yourself from the emotional treadmill that life can so easily become.Follow me on Snapchat to see daily infield footage (approaches, makeouts, pulls) Username: AveryGHayden
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