The Game by Neil Strauss is the gateway to ‘pick-up’ for a lot of guys. The 2005 New York Times best seller exposes the underground, international labyrinth of Pick-Up Artists and Lairs, and offers to men some methodical processes in which they can set about acquiring both the women and the confidence which have eluded them.
The extent to which the events in The Game are or are not dramatized is often up for debate. And much like The Rules, written ten years earlier for women, despite the questionable validity and effectiveness of the advice, it remains a best-selling self-help book.
To start, The Game turns the simple, pleasant activity of meeting women into something that can be likened to a game of chess. But unlike chess where such in-depth analysis and pre-meditation are required, the technicalities expressed in The Game are simply unnecessary. Like all natural phenomenon, lust and love will take place regardless of human analysis upon it. I hear often that a particular opener, routine or method works really well, when in all likeliness, they ‘work’ on women who would have responded well to that particular guy anyway. A simple “Hi, how’re you?” would have probably resulted in the same response. Our subconscious minds scan and read other people in seconds, and your compatibility with someone, male or female, is something that is triggered much more through the simplicities of your presence, via almost an animalistic sense, than through any elaborate verbal routines. To put it in a sentence – women respond to YOU more than to what you’re saying. The Game places almost all importance on what you say to women, and unfortunately, giving a guy an opening line and couple of conversational routines will not make him successful with women. The woman will still respond to HIM, rather than what he is saying. If he is a negative, creepy guy with an interesting opener, he will still get the response for a negative, creepy person. If he is completely lacking in self-worth but displaying the ‘perfect’ body language and voice tone that he read about in a book, he will still be responded to as his true self. The true self is ALWAYS coming through. And it’s this which needs to change in order to improve your success with women.
The methods expressed in The Game work for those who have already become comfortable and confident in approaching and talking to women. That is the reason they work. If you approach 100+ women, regardless of what you say, you will have become much more comfortable and confident in doing so, and you will have noticed patterns along the way. Women will feel this sense of ease, and in turn feel more comfortable themselves. You just need to develop this ability to relax and talk comfortably, and you do not develop your conversational muscle by pre-meditating and memorising your conversation. In fact, that pushes you further away from the true ability. You become a good conversationalist much like how you learn to swim – by jumping in and keeping your head above the water. But this is much harder and thus less appealing than “Say this, this, then do that”, and people always naturally want to look at the easiest option first. The Game encourages you to have a conversational plan of A-B-C and a pre-meditated strategy for every possible avenue that an interaction could take. This for most guys is neither enjoyable nor helpful in the end as it takes them out of the moment and takes their attention away from the most important thing – the girl. The Game instils in you the belief that you as you are, are not good enough, that you need enough strategies and masks to get by. This does not lead to self-confidence but to self-loathing. And do you really think that the girl doesn’t know your intentions the second you approach her?
Advocates of The Game do not like normal, everyday conversation or questions as they consider them boring and done by “every guy”. Ok, but guys are out meeting and picking up women every day, and night, using simple, normal conversation. And have been for thousands of years. Having a disdain for the natural curiosities and conversation that pops up in your mind is the quickest way for your brain to just seize and for you to run out of things to say. It’s like you rejecting your own brain’s help. Most often when I face the issue of a client “going blank”, I realise that he is putting pressure on himself to be ‘interesting’. Topics for the most part are not boring or interesting – the person delivering them is or isn’t. Even weather conversation discussed by a happy, passionate person will be interesting. There is a natural flow of conversational material that your brain will inevitable provide you once you learn to relax, tune in and listen to it. And this will be interesting as it will come from that genuine place within you, and a woman who connects with you and is compatible with you on that deep level, it will resonate with. Fighting against this natural offering from your mind will turn your brain from your ally to your enemy.
Meeting women relies primarily on attraction. And the main thing with attraction is that for the most part, it is there or it is not. And The Game approach generally elicits interest, regardless of attraction. If a woman isn’t attracted to you, she simply isn’t attracted to you. And this is not to do with appearance but that subconscious vibe or x-factor that connects two people. And regardless of how much shiny shit you wear (peacocking) or how much ‘high value’ you demonstrate, very little will change by way of that gut feeling of attraction inside her. Now, you might very well get her interested, but this certainly doesn’t mean that you will end up sleeping with or dating her. If you’re running psychological analysis on her, yes – she will listen and be interested. Again though, this doesn’t mean that she is attracted to you and when you go for that number, even if you do get it, the chances of her flaking are very high. This often leads to confusion when guys feel they’re ‘killing it’ with women but cannot figure out why they’re not actually getting laid. In short, The Game does not tell you to fix your life, or to work on your self-esteem, or to learn to love yourself, or to appreciate the beauty and simplicity of true connection. It tells you to walk through life playing a game (thus the apt title). It says that women are for the conquering rather than the admiring and accepting. It’s the emotional equivalent of hide and seek.
The beauty of connection is that it’s rare. The Game instils in men the concept that any woman that you approach, you will be able to win over with enough ‘game’. This is an INCREDIBLY unhealthy mindset. You will never, EVER get every woman that you talk to. In fact you probably will never even get 50% considering immediately that a significantly high number of women out there already have partners, and no, will not cheat even if you have ‘mad skillz’. The reality is that there are only a small percentage of women out there with whom you will really connect, especially if you’re looking for a long-term partner. It’s a matter of going through the numbers until you meet those lucky, select few. And if you’re forever trying to be something that you’re not, what happens when you do meet one of these ladies? What happens when you meet someone on the exact same emotional and spiritual level as you … and you start insulating her (negging) because you read in some book that that’s what you’re supposed to do? It’s quite likely that you blow it. She will see in a second that you’re being completely incongruent with the real you, and will either think that you’re trying way too hard (she won’t trust you), or that you’re simply a dick.
But by far my most disliked concept in The Game is the belief that showing interest in a woman, particularly based on her appearance, is poor, unmanly behaviour. I honestly find it hard to dispute simply because I find the notion so stupid, so I leave it to you – go out and approach 5 women with something, anything, related to The Game, Mystery Method or any similar pick-up theory. Now, go out and approach 5 women by telling them sincerely what you think of them; how you find them attractive, what caught your attention, etc. Find the real feelings of lust, love and wonder inside your soul and express them to her. The results will speak for themselves.
So, why? Why do men focus on the technicalities of meeting women? Simply because of the unexplainable variances involved. Some women are warm and receptive right away, some are not. Some women get sexual right away, some do not. Some are shy while some are open. You can get a girl’s number in a minute and have her as a girlfriend a week later, whilst you can also spend all night with a girl only to have her never answer your phone call. We human beings do not like things to remain unexplainable. We are problem solving creatures. And much like the various religions came about from the inexplicable and random nature of life, pick-up folk revert to the “I did this one thing and it worked, so that must be the way that it always works” mentality. Human interaction and compatibility is SO random that no set of rules can explain it. If finding good women was that easy, there would be no pick-up community, no Lairs and no The Game book. Also, we probably wouldn’t have evolved as a society, so be thankful that’s it’s not.
So what are the options?
If men start with these 4 simple things – their success with women is guaranteed to improve:
1) Improve your appearance. This includes losing weight, getting a nice haircut, grooming properly and dressing the best that you can.
2) Actually put in the time and effort to go out and meet women. And that means actually approaching and starting conversations, not just waiting around, watching and hoping that something will happen. To learn more about this, read my tips on approaching and conversation advice.
3) Push beyond friendly chit chat with those women who are responsive. Or in pick-up terms – escalate. If you want female friends, fine, but if you want sexual partners, a girlfriend, or whatever it may be, you need to take risks and actually try to make it happen. Ask for that cool girl’s number, do kiss her on a date, do show that you’re interested.
4) Commit to all of the above for an extended period of time. This really is an area of your life which requires time and effort, and rightfully so, it’s debatable the most important part of your life. People go to work every day to earn the money for a happy life. They go to the gym weekly to get the health required for a happy life. Health – sorted, Wealth – sorted, and yet SO many leave the Relationships area neglected. It will not happen overnight but if you keep at it, with positivity and resilience, it will. And you will be a much better, happier man for it.
To learn more, read my post on essential factors to improve success.
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