Forewarned is Forearmed

Writing about web page,11913,1565502,00.html

Book front cover

The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists
Neil Strauss
Not rated

I have dubbed this book:

A Beginner’s Guide to Misogyny

have read two reviews of this book this weekend, amidst a weekend
dedicated to cat training, housework and newspaper and magazine
absorption (that’s me and the cat).

One was in the Observer and one was in GQ.

In short, this book is kind of like The Rules for boys – which is the justification for the whole phenomemen of Pick-Up Artists (or PUAs as the sub-culture calls them).

claim that women get this kind of help in the mainstream glossy press
from articles on body language and trashy fillers like How to Get Your Man articles.

I can see the point – but the main difference is that this book and
PUAs don’t treat women as people, they are Big Game for hunting and

Equally, the focus is on one-night stands rather than relationships.

The even have their own language of acronyms – none of which I can remember to blog about – but the concepts are evil.

The one which really sticks out is the concept of negging (vb. to neg).

basic tenant is that you ignore a girl, or are uncomplimentary to her,
and that just makes her want your attention and hang off your every

It’s also supposed to catch her off-balance and make her sexually vunerable.

Definition from

negative remark towards a girl designed to break her indifference to
you by showing her that you are indifferent to her beauty (or other
striking features). Not an insult, that would be bad. More like “Those
are interesting nails – are they real?” or “It’s really cute how your
nose wiggles when you talk – look, there it goes again! “. No more than 2 negs on an average HB (7–9/7–9), a maximum of 3 on a super HB (10/10).
Negs are pretty much a necessity for 10s or strippers (whether they’re
10s or not – simply because they are in an environment which is
conducive to them thinking they are 10s).


Review of Style, the author, from

Style was last years number 1 PUA,
and not much has changed in that respect. If anything, he’s only gotten
better. His low-key, under the radar approach never seems to fail, and
he’s got so many sneaky manipulation tactics in his bag of tricks, he’s
never at a loss for what to say to a woman. This year, he’s had some
amazing success in the threesome category, and from what I hear is very
proficient at getting 2 women at once pretty regularly. Plus, Style’s
quick wit and high intellect allow him to control his conversations to
such a degree that he can guide you to think anything he wants you to.
I’ve had a few experiences with him this year that have made my head
spin. That, coupled with the fact that he’s a rather average looking
guy, and you have the most powerful of the Jedi, bar none.

man is actually a bona-fide, by-lined journalist having written for
Rolling Stone. This time, it seems, he went too far undercover to come
out unscathed.

Finally, if I even catch a hint of this in action anywhere near me then people will be emasculated.

2 Responses to “Forewarned is Forearmed”
  1. SecondSight says:

    I’ve read the book, and I think your review is unfair.

    You call “The Game” a beginner’s guide to misogyny, yet you don’t explain why it is misogynistic, but rather express revulsion at one of its concepts and a quote from one seduction site.

    don’t see anything inherently misogynistic about the idea that if males
    want sex or relationships with women, then they should learn to make
    themselves more desirable. Since sex is part of most adult
    relationships, and the man is usually expected to initiate sexual
    activity, then men have to be able to play that role,
    or else they won’t be able to have relationships (unless they and the
    women they are involved with are very religious or something). Some men
    may develop in a way that they can naturally handle all the
    difficulties of asking the woman out, initiating a kiss, and initiating
    sex, but obviously not all males are like this. Men that are very shy,
    socially anxious, nerdy, unassertive, or just don’t naturally fit into
    their gender role must either spend long periods of their lives being
    single… or learn how to play the male role better through resources
    like the seduction community.

    Does the seduction community
    teach men to make themselves attractive to women in a way that is
    misogynistic? Yes and no. As Neil Strauss points out in “The Game,” the
    seduction community is not a monolithic entity, but rather a melting
    pot of guys who have different views and goals. Certainly some men in
    the community do have negative attitudes towards women, and that is
    actually a tendency that Strauss criticizes. He is hardly glorifying
    the community.

    As for “negs,” you didn’t explain exactly
    what is the problem with them, so I am left to guess. I don’t see them
    as self-evidently misogynistic, because many young people flirt and
    tease each other in a way that involves a lot of one-upmanship and
    backhanded compliments. You may not like that mode of relating, and I’m
    not sure I do either, but many people do seem to
    relate that way. Perhaps you are coming from some kind of feminist
    framework where you see techniques like negs as patronizing towards
    women and part of establishing males as socially dominant. There may be
    a lot of truth in that interpretation also, yet it’s also possible that
    since dominance is part of the construction of masculinity, many
    females may need a male to be dominant in order to register him as a
    “real man” and a possible mate (many feminists have made similar
    arguments, such as Dworkin claiming that females are trained to
    “eroticize their subordination”).

    My first question when I
    hear about “negs” is not “do I like the idea of a neg?” or “would I
    feel comfortable negging someone or being negged?” or “are negs
    sexist?” but “are there contexts where negs WORK
    and maybe even are appropriate?” and I think the answer to the last
    question is “yes” (e.g. with immature and narcissistic young women in
    clubs, which is really the kind of audience that the neg is designed

    Your discomfort at the techniques described in “The
    Game” doesn’t tell me very much, because romance and sexuality often
    work in ways that don’t make us feel comfortable. For example, many
    women don’t like the fact that men will be only interested in them if
    they only have a certain physical shape (and I don’t like the fact that
    I am only attracted to women with a certain physical shape). Yet
    following conventional beauty standards works in
    attracting (some) men, just like the techniques described in “The Game”
    work in attracting (some) women. We can choose to like this system, or
    we can choose to play along with it without liking it, or we can choose
    to not play along with it at all (which usually means forgoing any
    advantages we would attain from playing it). Either way, no one person
    can change the system in any remotely realistic interval of time, so
    some people are going to choose to play along. This is where we get the
    phrase: “don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

  2. I always find a woman’s point of view on this book fascinating. And I see quite a spectrum of responses. 🙂

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