After years of putting it off, I finally sat down and read The Game, by Neil Strauss (Which you can purchase through Amazon.ca, and support this blog) and let me just say it was not what I was expecting, well not entirely. Being a full time dating and relationship coach by trade, I had read so many synopsis’ and references to the book, that at first I felt I didn’t need to sit and read it. And for the actual rules, the Pick Up Artist (PUA) information and the way that men are directed to treat or rather not treat, woman to get their digits my suspicions were correct. I had no idea though, the depth or research that went into Pick Up (PU). I can see how it so easily becomes a full time job, based on all the books, seminars, online forums and real world weekend sessions that go into it. So, my hat is tipped to anyone who has put that much effort into the quest to crack the female code. And here I was expecting to be disgusted and ashamed of anyone that had read the book and tried to implement its theories.
What was also incredibly surprising was just how depressing the book was. How soulless it made PUA look and the depth with which these often young men were removed from interacting with people normally, after being properly educated in the mystic arts of getting laid. I almost felt sorry for a few of the guys who got into PU because they were so insecure or bad with women, and ended up simply having notches on their belts, rather than fulfilling relationships or real knowledge about the opposite sex. Again, this was not what I was expecting going in. I anticipated some male blustering and many pats on the back, look at how amazing pick up artists are. It seemed that it was titled accurately, it’s a game, it’s The Game.
As a female reading this book, I admit that I was absolutely and completely enraptured with it from beginning to end. It was a complete mindfuck to me that men, thought they had figured out how to seduce women with a few simple tricks, routines and props. And much more, that the stats proved it was successful the majority of the time. We know there are exceptions to every rule, but without a doubt, these tactics worked and probably still work, who knows, they have probably even worked on me a time or two. What was even more interesting though, is that even with this formula, this magic way of opening up a female, it couldn’t get you past sex. It didn’t teach you how to interact long term, or create a lasting bond that is a core desire for almost every human on the planet. In the end, it was still a bunch of dudes, circle jerking and coming up with new and more creative ways to out do the masters, or to become masters themselves. The power play became more important than finding happiness with a partner.
The takeaway I felt after reading was that all this effort and education would have been better spent on self improvement and the money on prostitutes or escorts. The long term value of that combination seems a much safer investment and more productive overall. Winning at a game is great for bragging with the guys, but if that’s all you end up with, an ego boost and a sock drawer full of contact information have you really used your time wisely? Because that was the major flaw with this game, that there was no definitive end point. It’s not like monopoly where the game ends once someone flips over the table. The skills aren’t transferable into a relationship, or meaningful commitments so there is no happily ever after. And if you’re looking to rise to the top or collect the most numbers, well there is a flaw in that too… the game would never be over. So you would be left miserable and lonely, simply objectifying every women you meet, and screwing over every guru who shared their knowledge in the futile quest for dominance. So then, I am left wondering if the title is ironic. As “The Game” has no clear ending, is it really a game? Can you really crack the code to universally get into someone’s pants? Obviously, you can’t, but desperation and the desire to get laid is a remarkable motivator to try isn’t it?
So I ask you, men, who have read The Game, what is your take away? Did you pick and choose some valuable tidbits and dismiss the rest? Did you perhaps become so involved in it that is became your world for a while, like many of the characters? Or did you put it down and dismiss it outright? Or something entirely different? What impact did this book or the teaching of PUA have on you? Comment below 🙂