The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

PUA? No, It’s Now MSI

My friend, Boris, is a typical guy looking for some answers about life, love, and coping with the world in a healthier and more realistic manner. Naturally, he was drawn to the Manosphere because this is one of the few places where the unvarnished truths about life are discussed. Boris mentioned the problem of where to begin. As Boris said, “there is no ‘start here’ Manosphere/Red Pill web page”. He’s right and I’m going to take a stab at it in a later blog post.

While taking some notes on an introduction to the Manosphere, I quickly discovered that there is a nomenclature problem that I will cover later but first I must describe the basics elements of the Manosphere. There are three basic divisions within the ‘Sphere:

1. MRAs – “Mens Rights Activists”. These are the cultural and political soldiers who call attention to the often egregious inequalities in our current legal and social system. If you’re looking for true equality between the sexes, these are the people with whom to align and support. This group also gets the most mainstream media coverage, usually by lazy or ideological-driven “journalists”.

2. MGTOWs – “Men Going Their Own Way” (It’s pronounced “Mig-Tao”) Welcome to the group of men who reject most of the social expectations foisted on the male sex. These are the expectations of self-sacrifice, following the approved life script that insists on cow towing to the feminine imperative, and being cultural cannon fodder for a socio-economic system that views men as completely expendable or simply invisible. MGTOWs ain’t havin’ any of that crap.

3. PUAs – “Pick Up Artists”. Want to learn how women think and act in the context of attraction and seduction? This group of men (and women!) are the part of the Manosphere that has a deep and truthful understanding of the minds of women. Sometimes it’s not pretty to read or watch because PUAs know that women are fundamentally predictable when it comes to the attraction patterns they have for men.

For all the lazy and ideological-driven journalists out there, these three groups have distinct and very different world views. In fact, these three groups are sometimes in conflict despite all being part of the same loose collection of blogs and websites that present and discuss issues related specifically to the male sex. To see the Manosphere as a monolithic cultural entity to play fast, loose, and stupid with the easily-researched facts.

Circling back, it’s the designation of “PUA” that is causing me the linguistic grief. The term is simply too old-fashioned now. A few years back, the PUA “movement” was quite the thing. Does anyone remember “The Pickup Artist” on VH1? Consider that the heyday of public awareness of PUA, for better and worse.

PUA is still with us in the form of “dating” coaches who sell boot camps and online classes. Their marketing messages are often ridiculous. “Watch this video and get laid tonight!” That sort of thing. Eh, it’s business. But few of these capitalistic refer to themselves as pickup artists. That term is quietly fading away because it has a negative connotation and it doesn’t begin to cover the very large field of men improving themselves.

So, in keeping with the recent them of coining new linguistic terms (here, here, and here), I propose that PUA be retired completely and a new term be used in lieu of that. The core ethos of being a more attractive man is Masculine Self Improvement, or MSI. There is so much that goes into MSI – physical appearance, charisma, social skills, confidence, and more. Also, MSI is NOT just being more attractive to the opposite sex. In fact, just being more attractive to women is the completely wrong approach. Men must look at self-improvement as a, frankly, very selfish approach to life. There’s not a thing wrong with that.

With a new bit of Manosphere nomenclature, it will become easier for me to a write a “start here” blog post or completely new blog page. For that page, I won’t be covering the MRA and MGTOW divisions of the ‘Sphere because I’m neither of those but I will be linking to websites that go into more detail.

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13 thoughts on “PUA? No, It’s Now MSI

  1. rugby11ljh on said:

    Good read

  2. Pingback: PUA? No, It’s Now MSI |

  3. The Red Pill subreddit community, who should probably be added as the 4th division (TRP), and probably the healthiest, have more or less done this already on their sidebar: .

    • I will argue that the Red Pill subreddit community has all three groups in its members with MSI being in the large majority. This doesn’t make it a fourth division, it’s simply a great place for a large number of guys to share experiences and information. In effect, it’s the 4th pillar of the Manosphere: Roosh, Rollo, Roissy, and the Red Pill Subreddit.

  4. superslaviswife on said:

    PUA still seems to have a place. It’s always been more of a “faking it” approach, but within what you describe as MSI, it’s one of the pillars that is “fake it til you make it”.

    Obviously I can’t speak much for the other pillars or how you or any man would personally split them down (my guess: physical health, education and independence, alongside fake it til you make it), but from what I’ve seen and read, for a lot of men traditional PUA allows them to stay focused on the other aspects of MSI.

    • I see PUA as a subset and byproduct of MSI. PUA absolutely has its place but until a man can improve himself, the PUA tactics are far more difficult to implement.

      • superslaviswife on said:

        A bit like job experience vs actual employment, then? The experience needs to be built to get the job, but you get more experience when you’re employed than in training?

  5. “Also, MSI is NOT just being more attractive to the opposite sex. In fact, just being more attractive to women is the completely wrong approach. Men must look at self-improvement as a, frankly, very selfish approach to life. There’s not a thing wrong with that.”


    I’ve protested elsewhere about being rude about the MGTOW brand, but it is stuck with slightly whiny overtones of intentional chastity. I’ve noticed men liking the “going my own way” phrase. That seems to strike a chord.

    There’s little difference between a self-improvement Red Pill attitude and MGTOW, except the political overtones of MGTOW, and the fact that your MSI seems to want to carry on looking for a reasonable woman for company and sex, despite the odds.

    As for branding, “man”, “masculine” and their cognates are so freighted with other people’s expectations and demands that we should leave it all to them. And “neo-masculinity” is terrible as a brand, as the “neo” automatically positions it as junior to the regular kind. Let’s just say “we” and “us” and understand that the women aren’t invited to this discussion.

    If you want a term to describe our kind of men? How about “normal people”? As in “Of course women are odd, they’ve got ten per cent of the testosterone of normal people” or “Those guys who take the women’s side in an argument, why can’t they just behave like normal people?” or “why don’t you do some lifting, like a normal person?” or “You want to do what? Get married? Do you see normal people doing that?”

    Because in this crazy world, we are the normal people. It’s the rest of them who are crazy enough to bet half their future earnings on someone else’s feelings.

    • As for branding, “man”, “masculine” and their cognates are so freighted with other people’s expectations and demands that we should leave it all to them.

      The commonality of all three terms, MSI, MGTOW, and MRA is a cognate of the “masculine”. That’s something very good because this helps ordinary guys take back the word “masculinity” and define it for ourselves, away from the feminine imperative.

  6. Pingback: PUA? No, It’s Now MSI | The Private Man | Society of Southern Gentlemen

  7. GeminiXcX on said:

    MRAs are exceptionally useful in exposing the myths and “statistics” of Feminism. However, their end-goal-focus of egalitarianism can never be realized. Women are NOT equal to men (and women must not be allowed to pretend that they are), as this always evolves into female legal/social supremacy, which first destroys the family, then civilization.

    MGTOW is a very useful philosophy of not forcing a man to give his all to societal expectations, as society doesn’t repay men’s efforts anymore. Unfortunately, MGTOW is where you’ll also find the plethora of anti-women/hate-rhetoric/don’t-want-to-improve-anything-about-themselves User-base. Not all MGTOW are like this, of course, but I’ve laid into a number of faggot-ass vitriol-spewing shits when dealing with them. Not all bad, but don’t spend too much time in their forums, especially if you’re in the ‘anger stage’.

    “The Gameosphere” is as the term implies. Improve yourself to better your own life. Then you will be complete enough to know where you want your life to go, and how to draw people (including the right kind of female(s)) into your vision. A complete man’s “vision” for his life-course is reliable; an incomplete man’s “vision” is a fantasyland that he will never see come to fruition.

    No man should stick to the “teachings” of one group, like loyally following a cult of some kind. Become well-rounded by exploring the knowledge base of all three. A lot of guys get so caught up in one of these three groups, they forget this important rule:

    The end-result of the Manosphere is (should be) to give you information to draw into yourself, to make you the best man you can be, for yourself first. It should NOT be used to give yourself an identity, or a “cause” to give your life purpose. Nor should it be used to do nothing but vent/listen-to (justified) ragings of wronged men — emotional rants that never die keep you trapped. Logical information, education, and personal resolve are what inspire *self-improvement*.


  8. Pingback: Who Owns The Red Pill? | The Private Man

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