My buddy, Dagonet, recently wrote a superb blog post where he defends pickup artists (PUA). One of his many good points is that there is an almost visceral negative reaction to the term “PUA”. That reaction is all over the Internet. There are Tweets, blog posts, and entire websites that excoriate pickup artists for being “man-boys”, “losers”, and “selfish assholes” who aren’t thinking of society’s greater good. The following Tweet shows it quite well:
The Tweet links to a thoughtful blog post about moral ambivalence. The shaming language in the Tweet is standard stuff and generally used when PUA causes emotional distress that can’t be resolved by applying even a small amount of logic and reason. I responded to that Tweet with a Tweet of my own:
A collection of Tweets then cascaded down with fairly good points being raised by a number of Tweeters. The biggest objection to PUA was that men were not considering how their individual actions impact our culture at large. Such objections are a couple of decades too late and are no longer relevant. We are well past what “should” be and firmly in the land of socio-sexual reality.
Twitter is good for getting to the heart of the matter. It really doesn’t matter how PUAs are created. Learning and practicing PUA is a logical and rational response to the current cultural conditions regarding how men and women interact in a socio-sexual context. Through the various waves of feminism, women have been effectively released from the social contract between the two sexes. Until the Internet, most men were unaware that they were upholding one part of a contract and women had fled their part of the contract. Now, men know better. I’ve written about that previously and the comments on that blog post are excellent.
So men responded, almost predictably. In order to meet their socio-sexual goals, men simply applied their brain power to the problem of understanding how women respond to predictable stimulus vis-a-vis sexual attraction. Dagonet pointed this out clearly in his blog post:
The natural, and rational, reaction to this situation is to learn game. To become a “pickup artist.” What this really means– despite the negative connotation– is that a man takes active control of his sex life and decides to start maximizing the behaviors that garner positive reactions from women, and minimizing the negative. He also might actually discover new abilities, confidence, and more attractive ways to present himself physically (clothes, working out, hair style, etc.).
Speaking as a man who supports men and things masculine, there is nothing wrong with this at all. Our society liberated women to pursue any number of (approved by feminism) options. So, in the spirit of equality, it’s completely and utterly fair to free men to pursue any options they so desire and to free him of the pressure to sacrifice his very life on the altar of a society that sees him either disposable or completely invisible. Men needn’t be cultural cannon fodder.
But, like women, in order to pursue options, a man must learn new personal skills. Women now make up the majority college attendees and graduates to hopefully learn skills to enter careers. Men – especially young men – seek out and learn PUA to gain a skill set that allows them to pursue more options. That’s perfectly reasonable and rather balanced in the grand scheme of things. PUA skills will become increasingly necessary because of hypergamy and the imbalance between men and women receiving college degrees.
As a skill set, PUA can be used however a man sees fit. Given the strong negative response to those three simple letters, we can change up the nomenclature to mollify those with delicate emotional sensibilities. Let’s call this skill set “learned charisma and confidence”. That sounds so much better, no? It’s not sleeping around, a man uses his new skills of charisma and confidence to fulfill his relationship goals with the opposite sex. Isn’t it fun to bandy semantics? Wordplay aside, if a man wants to use his charisma and confidence find himself in horizontal repose with many women, I give him two thumbs up. If he wants to find a special woman with whom to secure an intimate and committed relationship, my thumbs remain up.
As an aside and as Dagonet pointed out, there’s an awful lot of political discussion amongst the guys in the ‘Sphere. This is not my bailiwick but it does make sense given how culture and politics are ultimately intertwined. I argue that men need to now act individualistically without much regard to how their actions impact either politics or culture. With a large number of men acting on a such basis, a collective and masculine inertia will commence, if it hasn’t already started. In his blog post, Dagonet spoke of how many men found a relatively unorganized but ultimately unified endeavor through PUA. When a sufficient number of men operate in concert – even if to be more successful with their relationship goals – a cultural shift for the benefit of men will inevitably occur.
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