In light of recent tragic events at the University of Santa Barbara and the circumstances leading up to it, the time has come to plant the headstone over the grave of one of the most cowardly and disingenuous parasites that has infected our culture in the last 15 years: The Pickup Artist.
The emergence of a pickup artist starts as a young man who has been socially ostracized and finds it difficult to meet, attract and have sex with women he is attracted to. He finds refuge from his loneliness and hope that he can have a satisfying social and sex life by using "pickup" tactics.
As a former practitioner of these methods, I speak with experience. After the end of my marriage, I too, was lonely, confused and looking for a way to meet and attract women confidently. I expected that pick up artists were a community of men who were confident and would teach me how to be a man and how to exemplify virtue. What I eventually discovered was something completely different.
What's wrong with being a pickup artist?
The issue is not that they objectify women, focus on sex, or even teach men how to seduce a woman. As I'll discuss in a moment, learning how to attract women is a commendable skill, and those who teach it have a noble vocation. Instead, it is the pickup artist's complete and abject cowardice, their motivation of fear and the fact that they turn women into a man's enemy. How do they do this?
The foundation of the pickup artist philosophy is fear of and hatred for women. They will tell you they love women, which is why they want to have sex with all of them. This is categorically untrue.
Notice their language. The woman you want to meet is not a prize, a goal or even a woman. She is a "target." Her friends are not her friends. They are "obstacles." Why would something as natural as mating be expressed in this combative, war-like language? Because pickup artists are afraid of women and their perceived power over them as the "grantors of sex." Afraid of what it will do to his almost absent self-esteem if she rejects him.
With an increasing number of boys being raised by their moms, young men intrinsically fear (and somewhat resent) women from an early age, seeing them as a source of authority. Seeing them as standing in the way of their goals. One cannot help but think this neurosis is what gave birth to the pickup community in the first place.
Let me be clear. Women, relationships and sex are all of immense value to our lives. And if a guy is inexperienced, nervous or ignorant about how to attract women, it is perfectly acceptable and commendable for him to learn how to do so. But there is a right way to attract women and a wrong way to do it. In the same way that getting rich by building a business is the right way, and getting rich by robbing a bank is the wrong way.
The fact is, men ARE confused these days. And it's not entirely their fault. In this post-feminist society, it can be difficult for a man to know how to conduct himself around women in a way that is attractive. As a result, some men (and women) teach other men (or women) how to attract the opposite sex. Ideally, this would be done by parents or friends, but since they are just as confused as everyone else, people look to "experts" for help. And that is good for them to do.
The evil comes when these pickup artists name women as the source of a man's fear and responsible for his loneliness, for his insecurity. The common (but unspoken) idea of the pickup artist is that woman is the enemy. She is the one withoholding sex from you. As opposed to the truth, which is that a man's own ignorance, fear and insecurity stand in the way of his success with women, these guys tell men that SHE stands in the way of your success. SHE is the one responsible for you being sexless, nerdy and alone.
The result is devastating, both on his own psyche and on the way he treats women. His treatment of women is unacceptable; using her insecurity as a tool in his hand. But the real tragedy is the effect it has on himself. Every woman is an enemy; he cannot dare let his guard down, he cannot dare act like a real person. He becomes increasingly divorced from himself and eventually unsure of who he really is. Taking on his "handle" (a made up name used to make himself sound cool), he is absorbed into a vacuous self.
Nor is he able to treat her like a real person because it is too dangerous. She is the enemy. He is no longer a man; he is a mannequin or a puppet going through the motions to achieve some goal that has no intrinsic value to him. Ironically, the pickup artist, whose goal is to sleep with women, ends up having no enjoyment in sex. There is no pleasure in being with a woman he respects, he doesn't enjoy the pleasure of a woman allowing herself to be taken; even the bliss of orgasm is perfunctory. Instead, he goes onto his forum and brags to his other loser friends that he "Nailed an HB 8."
The sex life he wanted when he started on this quest turns into an unsatisfying act and he is more confused, lost and disillusioned than before. Eventually, as with the Santa Barbara shooter, we see the result. Pickup artists, who have pretended to aid men in their pursuit of masculinity have instead hastened what I call the Castration of the Modern Man. Afraid of his own masculinity, afraid of women, he is impotent psychologically and sexually.
For you men out there who are confused, scared and lonely and desperate to know how to meet women; I understand. It can be confusing, scary and lonely. Yes meeting women is important. Yes, sex is important. And yes, feeling like you have the ability to satisfy your goals of meeting women and having sex is very important for your life satisfaction.
Women are not the enemy. If you're a nerd, that's okay. If you're shy, it's okay. Believe it or not plenty of shy nerds get laid, fall in love and have a family.
There are some great dating coaches out there. Mark Mason and Christian Hudson are two that come to mind right off the top of my head. These guys both teach a values based type of attraction (though neither one of them use that exact language).
For all you Master PUA's out there: Shut down your isolated forums where you all jerk each other off and use lingo only you understand. Stop hiding from your obvious insecurities and fears and come live in reality. It's way better.
For those PUA teachers out there who have a real interest in teaching, and sincerely want to be of service to other guys, there is no pleasure apart from virtue. Go back to the drawing board and learn virtue. You're an ambitious guy. And a smart guy. And a guy who has presence, which is why other men listen to you. Discover the pleasure of attracting women. Then go and teach other men how to be men. You'll enjoy it way more.
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