An introverted writer goes to meet the world's greatest pick-up artists in order to write a book about their craft. In the process, he becomes one of them. He learns to seduce women by putting on a façade and using a bunch of routines with every word and move scripted. After a while, it becomes natural. In the process, he develops the confidence to attract a woman who actually likes him for who he is, rather than for the pick-up persona he pretends to be.
I was totally intrigued and inspired by this book. Shortly after reading it I started changing the way I related to women and began using some of the techniques it describes. I was quite shocked at the positive way in which women responded. At first I didn't want to believe that the less “nice” I was to a woman, the more she would engage with me. I started “neging” via SMS a much younger girl who I was interested in, and couldn't believe that she kept responding to me. I thought she'd just fob me off and stop replying, which is what used to happen to me all the time, but instead she kept coming back as I kept on teasing her.
I started joking around more than I ever had with women. I became more fun and playful. I started taking it all less seriously. I started recognising when I was acting needy towards women, and stopped doing that. Gradually I even learned to make myself happy without relying on a woman's approval. Sometimes I even deliberately sought disapproval, which turns out to be a lot of fun. I get now why bad boys get laid more than nice guys: they're not needy, and they're exciting to be around. And that's an attractive combination to women.
I should be sickened by the way the guys in The Game treat women and disposable sex-objects, but I find myself intrigued and jealous instead, wanting my piece of the action. These guys don't deserve it all to themselves; they're shallow, ego-centric narcissists with low self-esteem. In other words, they're like me. They trade on women's evolutionary biological vulnerability. They lie, cheat, deceive and seduce their prey while telling themselves that they're being honest because they don't pretend to be monogamous in their relationships. Part of me wishes I could be the same, and it's a big part. I want my share of the action too, but my scruples keep getting in the way. Or perhaps I'm kidding myself. Maybe the women these guys seduce really do want to be seduced after all, and my nice-guy I-wouldn't-ever-do-that shield is just a way of avoiding the potential pain of rejection. If deep down women want the excitement of a really good seduction, why aren't I out there keeping up my end of the bargain? And feeling powerful to boot.
I really recommend this book to any guy who has struggled with women. It's not written to teach you the art of pick-up, but it does contain a lot of useful tips on relating to women along the way. If you don't want me to spoil the ending for you, stop reading here.
Spoiler warning! I'm about to give away the ending...
Something seems wrong with a universe where this guy gets the girl that he wants only by screwing over so many other beautiful women that he's no longer so intimidated by the girl of his dreams. She says she likes him for who he really is, but he points out that if it weren't for who he had become in learning pick-up artistry, she would never have given the “real” him a second look. I wonder what this means for regular nice guys. Do we ditch the scruples, learn to lie, deceive and cheat our way to what we want, and then fall back on “But deep down, I'm actually a good guy” when the girl of our dreams comes along? The story reads as though this guy has his cake and eats it too; while those around him go through existential crises, relationships with no meaning, and full-on mental breakdowns. People shouldn't be like this, I told myself. But then I decided it was time to accept that people are the way they are, and learn some new communication skills and ways of relating myself.