This is a free sample chapter from the book “Hard Times Create Strong Men” you can find here: http://strongmenbook.com
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
In 2005, Neil Strauss published a life changing book for men around the world called The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. The book peeled back the veil on a world of men who were meeting in online chat rooms and forums to dissect the female mind and discuss “how to pick up women.” These men called themselves pickup artists.
I remember buying The Game when I was 23 and I read it in one sitting. I recall staying up till 6:00 a.m. one morning, my eyes bleeding as if I had been doing drugs or heavy drinking. I’m not a drug user, but Strauss’s book on how to pick up women was drugs for my mind and I could not believe the godly powers that these highly skilled PUA’s (pick up artists) had over women.
These men had meticulously mapped out the female mind; they knew all of the triggers, the social responses, the statistics of how long it took for a woman to sleep with you—7 hours, by the way. How many times would she have to IOI (indications of interest) you before you could kiss her. The book was fascinating, and I tried almost everything in the book in the real world—and it all worked like magic!
The story in The Game was of Neil Strauss and his entry into the world of pick up artistry. He met one of the gurus of the industry—a man named Mystery. Mystery is the best pick up artist out there. Neil learns from Mystery, David DiAngelo (real name Eben Pagen), a guy named Tyler Durden and an entire slew of men who pick up women for sport.
These men are addicted to “the game,” and part of it is really cool and fascinating that these men can play women like a Stradivarius violin, but eventually the music stops and the dark side of PUA is exposed…
As the story goes on, you start to see these pickup artists have major problems in their lives. They move into a mansion in LA called “Project Hollywood.” The men fall in love with certain women, other men have horrible breakups, most men are “found out” by their girlfriends that they aren’t as cool or interesting as they were made out to be in their PUA routines, and somehow the coolness of pickup artists starts to unravel like a mummy.
The plot of the true story continues into a death spiral as the men who practice pickup artistry seem to go through the same in a predicable sequence:
- Nerdy guy can’t get women but wants women.
- Nerdy guy signs up to become a pick up artist.
- Nerdy guy learns a few routines and of course exploiting women’s brain mechanics for easy sex works just like turning the lights on with a light switch—mechanics are mechanics.
- Nerdy guy has lots of sex, maybe too much sex. Nerdy gets a girlfriend way out of his league for a short while.
- Nerdy guy is “found out” to “not be that cool after all” by his girlfriend who he is now falling deeply in love with.
- Girlfriend leaves nerdy guy.
- Nerdy guy emotionally collapses.
Step 4, 5, 6, and 7 might repeat a number of times while Nerdy guy rips a massive emotional and spiritual hole inside of himself that he tries to fill with more women. By trying to add more women, he creates a bigger and deeper emotional and spiritual hole. This continues until Nerdy guy cannot take it anymore. Nerdy guy is out of energy and out of money crawling around at the rock bottom point of his life, thinking suicidal thoughts and becoming consumed by the massive hole inside of himself by the loss of the love of his life, his fake girlfriend that he acquired by fake PUA techniques.
Nerdy guy quits PUA and turns to spirituality or religion to repair the massive hole in his heart and spirit. If he does the work, he will find himself and his character and stay out of the PUA lifestyle.
It was shocking to read that book and see the pattern happen over and over again to the different pickup artists.
I started to implement the PUA techniques in real life, and lo and behold, they work. Women’s minds and men’s minds have mechanics and built-in architecture that can be exploited and manipulated for getting what you want. This is true in sales and negotiation (which I have written books about) and also in “picking up” women. I started to go out with different women every day, date after date. I would end up with eight girlfriends at once and start to live a degenerate life where they would all fall in love with me, but I was emotionally unavailable and incapable of opening my heart to any of them. I had a small hole in my heart and spirit that suddenly ripped open and became a massive and fatal wound.
I hurt a lot of women in that phase of my life, and I’m not proud of it. If I could take it back, I would, but I was young and stupid, and I thought that a few techniques or a cool veneer would change my life. Alas, veneer is just veneer. Learning techniques doesn’t change who you are; it’s just veneer—a thin veil of bullshit that gets pierced by the truth so easily.
Years later, Neil Strauss released the 2015 sequel to The Game, called The Truth. I loved the original book, so I bought Strauss’ second book online ready to be entertained and enthralled by whatever Neil was going to show me 10 years later after his first adventure.
What I read in The Truth was disturbing and struck me in the deepest places of my heart.
Strauss was seriously fucked up at this point in his life and was going to therapy after therapy for sex addiction. He had trouble pair-bonding with the woman he loved. He was going to orgies and all sorts of kinky girlfriend/wife swapping parties, and he kept trying to increase his insatiable need for sex and pick up manipulation.
The PUA lifestyle had penetrated through his flesh and into his soul. Neil had become lost in the game and, like an alcoholic spiraling out of control, he couldn’t get out. He couldn’t look at a woman without fantasizing about fucking her in the most demeaning of ways. The woman he should have loved and perhaps married left him and he was left alone in a barren wasteland of orgies and increasingly fucked up perverts who were wife swapping, girlfriend swapping, and participating in all sorts of weird group sex. Neil tried polygamy (dating multiple women almost like starting a harem like the ancient kings of the world) on many occasions. He tried having extra women on the side. He was searching for the alchemist stone that could turn lead into gold— or in Neil’s case – one decent woman into multiple pornstar-style-sex-orgy-cum-swapping-nymphos just like the kings of forgotten times.
Neil wanted to be the modern king, like the king of the ancient world, with an all you can eat buffet of hot women ready to pleasure him all the time. The only problem was, Neil wasn’t an ancient king who could rule with brutality, violence, a standing army and other things that a king would need to enforce his power over a harem of multiple women (and competing men). Neil was just a normal nerdy, shrimpy guy from the United States, nothing special, just a regular joe. Neil was not a medieval king, so how could he pull off a harem of women? The answer is, he couldn’t and unless you are a medieval king, neither can you.
None of this bullshit worked, he was constantly falling out on his ass and wiping out emotionally and spiritually. He floated in and out of rehab, repeating the same mistakes over and over again. I felt bad for my pick up artist idol; his story was painful and showed how dark things could get if you took your PUA game too far.
I also started to feel badly for myself. I was a player, I had too many girlfriends, I was making the same dumb mistakes Neil was and reading his story made my own life clear. Neil’s addiction to women and sex was like an alcoholic who was drinking beer for breakfast. By reading the story of this beer-for-breakfast alcoholic, I began to understand my own addictions.
Pickup artistry doesn’t really work in the long term and here is why:
It’s a system based on manipulation of the mechanics of the human mind. People who are manipulated into doing something are just as easily manipulated out of something. As a professional salesman, I know that if I have to manipulate someone into a sale, I will have a refund, a complaint and although I have the tools and techniques to manipulate, it is unethical to manipulate someone into a sale because they will jump out just as fast. This is seen with pick up artistry all the time.
When you run out of “routines” and ways to entertain women, they will get bored and go somewhere else. Routines are routines, you are not a monkey in the circus. You are not as cool as you appear to be when you are running PUA game, and when the hot women out of your league realize that you are way below their league and you are just showing them some temporary cool shit, but you are intrinsically uncool, they will abandon you for a guy who actually has his life together.
Pick up artists usually get themselves into a situation of too many women and thus too many choices. Too many choices means no decision at all and they go through scores and scores of women hurting themselves and the women in the process. This is just plain stupid. It’s like going to a buffet and taking a bite of everything and then spitting it back out into the buffet so both the piece you ate is spoiled and the buffet is spoiled for everyone else as well.
PUA distracts men from their real purpose in life and wastes their sexual energy. So many PUA’s are losers who have no money, no jobs, live with their mommy’s and aren’t real men. They simulate real men, look like real men, interesting men in fact, they talk cool, act cool, but are 35 and still live with mommy. This is like being cool on the internet, to some you appear to be cool, but you are still a massive loser in real life.
PUA wastes a man’s sexual energy, his creative energy which keeps him from reaching his creative potential and takes his real drive out of life as he is addicted to the drugs of bedding new women as often as possible. This is a rush, the chase is more important than the kill, I know first-hand and have been addicted myself. It’s an evil cycle and a man can get stuck addicted to the chase like a drug fiend, this is a bad cycle to get into – avoid it.
Many PUA’s get stuck in a cycle of a pornography addiction as well as a video game addiction with an internet forum addiction and these addictions sap the remaining energy out of this poor struggling man so he is again stuck in another cycle of addiction. Like the dopamine rat that is pushing the button on the wall that releases dopamine in his brain until he is so exhausted he dies. We, as men, are limited creatures when it comes to addictions to pleasure, we are no better than that rat if we allow ourselves to stoop a rat’s level.
PUA doesn’t prepare a man for an actual relationship with a woman. It’s all about the sale, the marketing, the negotiation but not about the product—you! You are the product! Rather than personal growth and improvement, you are sacrificing your own betterment by merely working on flimsy routines and magic tricks. You become like a dancing monkey in the circus because dancing monkeys in the circus practice routines. Instead of a monkey, you are a man and should be working on becoming a better man every day and increasing your real value not fake value. Women focus on makeup, hair, fake eyelashes, shoes to firm up their butt and legs, clothes to drape their bodies and other fake things to make them more appealing. Don’t succumb to that level where you are only working on routines and a shallow exterior. Go deep on yourself, it’s more important to you as a man, your purpose, your masculine essence and to your woman and to your tribe in the long run.
“Not my monkey, not my circus.” Polish Proverb
I know these problems because I have experienced them first hand myself. I have also read the stories of Neil Struass, who had much bigger versions of the same problems.
“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?”
In my own life, while I was dating too many women, there was one girl I wanted to have a relationship with. In the perfect vision of hindsight, she was paranoid about the other women I was seeing and rightfully so. Some of these women were hot and crazy and she was worried that they would show up and attack her in some way. I now understand her feelings; it’s totally normal. People do crazy things when they are in love. I even got rid of the other women on two occasions, all of them, but she didn’t trust me anymore, I probably deserved it.
In the end I lost her, the girl I wanted. I lost two years of my life and was left lonely, heartbroken, and still unable to learn my lesson. I had chosen her, but she didn’t choose me because of who I had become by chasing women, debasing my purpose, and feeding my addictions for the rush and the chase of pick up artistry.
Choose a Woman Who Chooses You
“If a man wants a woman who doesn’t want him, he cannot win. His neediness will undermine any possible relationship, and his woman will never be able to trust him. A man must determine whether a woman really wants him but is playing hard to get, or whether she really doesn’t want him. If she doesn’t want him, he should immediately cease pursuing her and deal with his pain by himself.” —Deida, Way of the Superior Man
Today as I type this, I’m 31 and I see families and married people around me. I see my married and successful business coaching clients raising children with good wives. I think to myself, “I should be doing that too right now. I would like to be married with kids right now.” But my actions have spoken louder than words.
I got caught up in the PUA trap and thus I am not where I want to be in my personal life with women right now. As I type this I am single and celibate, staying away from women for a very long time. It has given me clarity on the situation and I own my mistakes.
The thing about making mistakes is you always think you are doing the smartest and best thing at the time of your transgression. Afterwards you get to learn the lesson if you choose to accept it.
“A man has only one escape from his old self: To see a different self in the mirror of some woman’s eyes.” Clare Boothe Luce, The Women
If you own your mistakes and own your situation, that is the only way you can really learn and move forward.
“You can never solve a problem you do not own.”
So here I am, eight years after studying PUA, kind of fucked up, emotionally unavailable, failed with the last girl I really wanted, fasting my sins out in the jungle, and typing this book out in a moment of clarity. Would I study PUA again? I’m not sure; it is a highly seductive subject, a dark art with untold power to a young man who wants women and sex (which is all young men).
When I consider my time studying PUA and having too many girlfriends, I realize that it has caused an incalculable amount of damage. I feel as though I should be married to a woman I love right now and maybe even have some kids. I feel that those things greatly enrich a man’s life, empower him, and bring him to higher levels of performance in every way when done right. I see the evidence all around me. As a successful business and real estate coach, my best performing clients are married men with kids. These men are stronger, smarter, generally perform better at work and at home. Their family, their wife, their kids, strengthens their power and purpose in life. I see it every day, over and over again. These men have more power, more resolve, more energy and strength than single men or men who are dating but not married. The source of a happily married man’s power is his wife, she heals him, fixes him back up through the battery effect and sends him back out into battle.
I played with fire and I got burned. Do I blame Strauss and Mystery and all the other guys I studied? Hell no, I own it. It was interesting, at times it was fun. It’s not their fault; many of them had similar spiritual awakenings through the pain and suffering of the PUA journey. Would I recommend studying PUA to young men?
Instead, work on your divine masculine essence—your purpose—and women will be attracted to your real value by default. They will stay with you because of the real value you have as a man. It’s a simple concept; increase your real value and you will attract real value in return.
I have always practiced this in my business, but not in my personal life. I own it and I’m changing it. Writing this book on what it takes to be a strong man is part of the catharsis and recovery from the mistakes I made studying and succeeding in PUA.
PUA is a zeitgeist—like Donald Trump as president—it’s a sign of the times. PUA as a popular movement for men comes from masses of young men not having fathers to teach them about women, sex, and the courtship of women, marriage, and families.
“The opinion of 10,000 men is of no value if none of them know anything about the subject.”
In times long past, in times of strong men, fathers would teach their sons how to love women, how to be chivalrous and a man of real value who can attract a woman based on his real value and keep her with real value. The fathers are gone, so we have PUA instead. With the fathers being gone from society, I have written this book to be “dad in a box” to Peter Pan and the Lost Boys who are looking for answers to the hard questions in life: What does it mean to be a man?
My own father didn’t teach me anything about “getting women,” so I looked for what I could find. I did my best with what I thought was the best. PUA, like so many popular ideas today, is wrong and leads only to weakness, waste, pain, and misery. The good side of weakness, waste, pain, and misery is that if you learn from your mistakes, you can find; strength, resourcefulness, pleasure, and joy. I am learning as all men must—slowly and painfully. I just couldn’t find someone to help me or the instruction manual on how to live. This book is to serve as an instruction manual for you on the fastest path to male success in life.
My very religious friends warned me of evil when I started to study PUA and some even claimed it was Satanic. I thought that was a little extreme and shrugged it off. Is PUA Satanic? I don’t know, but it certainly is a waste of time, effort, energy, and money when compared to using the same resources to increase your real value as a man through personal development, going to work, and owning your shit—these are the real things that women want in men!
There are real things in life, and there are fake things in life. PUA is fake. The men who practice it are fake, the women who fall for it are fake, and in the end, the public display of fakeness is of no real value to anyone. Being a man is about bringing real value to the table. Little boys can be fake, girls can be fake, women can be fake, but not men and certainly not strong men. You have to be painfully real with yourself, your woman, and your family and tell the truth for what it is, no matter how bad it might be. This is manly and both men and women respect a man who says it like it is.
PUA is a door to sin, and sin is a waste of energy, I’m not making a moral or ethical judgment here; it simply is a waste of your resources as a man. You only have so many resources in this life, time, effort, energy, money, breaths, heart beats, and orgasms. Don’t waste your life on fake things that don’t matter. Focus on your purpose, your work, and the real value you bring to the table every day. Just like I learned in business, money chases value. The same applies to women; women chase value. Become valuable—really valuable—and you will have your choice of women, better women, real women of value.
The trouble with being human however, is that no matter what you know in advance, no matter what warnings you have, we all must touch the hot stove and get burned to know that the stove is really hot. We never fully take in the words and experiences of others or fully learn until we experience the pain first-hand.
They say that through sin we become pure; growing through your sins is what it means to be human.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr
“Man looks in the abyss, there’s nothing staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character. And that is what keeps him out of the abyss.”
Lou Mannheim, Wall Street