Warning: Media dangerously links The Seduction Community to Mass Murder attack
Last week, a gunman killed six people in Santa Barbara, and the killer himself was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head. The suspected shooter was 22-year-old student Elliot Rodger – an extremely frustrated young man who was unable to attract the attention of his female peers and grew psychotically jealous of other men. Soon after, various media have started purporting/linking the seduction community to the incident.
I find this extremely worrying.
One – clearly mentally unstable and highly misogynistic – kid posts some hateful stuff on a couple of forums, goes apeshit and shoots some people, and now let’s blame everyone he came into contact with from the parents to the doctors to the dating advice communities that he himself turned against.
Of course there are some hateful groups out there – but the vast majority of guys in the dating advice community aren’t a part of them. In fact “Pickup Artists” (PUA) themselves are but a small fraction of the community and their companies make very little money compared to guys like David DeAngelo and Tony Robbins who can also be considered as part of the dating/life advice community and have massive followings. DD and Robbins are only avoiding this backlash due to different branding and a broader product line.
For these media outlets to lump all of us together with certain hateful internet groups is about as accurate as me lumping all “corporations” together. Some are absolutely horrific, and some are doing wonderful things.
Personally, I’ve been a dating coach for 8 years. My life’s mission is to help guys remove their fear of rejection, overcome their limiting mindsets – and become their best possible selves. This allows them to get out there and start meeting and connecting with women on a real level and not due to some imaginary or socially implied/reinforced set of (often unhealthy and anti-woman) expectations. Often times it empowers them to find their life’s purpose and deeper meaning in every aspect of their lives. Some even quit their job in pursuit of that. When the fear of judgment and rejection are truly dealt with internally we all interact with each other on a higher level.
Many men I’ve taught have lost their virginity (something they considered problematic), some are in long term relationships, and some are simply enjoying having robust, fulfilling sexual experiences with women.
To lump us all in under the same umbrella as certain hate filled groups under the “Men’s rights movement” is absurd.
Let’s be clear on what the dating advice community is. It’s guys. Generally shy, nerdy, socially awkward, or overcompensating in some way at the start, but still just guys.
The men that find success and happiness within the community are guys who refuse to buy into the type of programming that is holding us back from having successful relationships with women – misogyny included! It’s guys who believe that sex should be judgment free and equally enjoyed by men and women as the wonderful and natural experience it is. It’s guys that just want to be able to walk up to someone and say exactly what’s on their mind, and be strong enough to take it when the person on the other end of those thoughts isn’t on-board.
For example, the vast majority of us are AGAINST taking advantage of women who are intoxicated, as opposed to most guys outside of the community who regularly try and get women drunk as a mating strategy. This is often referred to as “Bro Culture” or even “Rape Culture”. Healthy dating mentalities are inherently against such tactics.
We are not monsters.
If you’re looking for a culprit, there are many places to lay blame. As some have pointed out these events are being used by everyone to espouse their own agendas from gun control to the state of the mental health system. Even by us as we defend our position here. But a particularly good explanation of the possible causes and what can be done about them was written by another member of the dating advice community. Basically there is no one answer and there is no simple answer.
I firmly believe that what we as men are taught about dating (or more accurately, not taught) is more responsible for men’s frustration than anything.
Here’s what we’re supposed to believe:
Any member of the seduction community will tell you this advice is worthless and will get you NOWHERE with women. In fact believing these things will keep you from connecting with women and lead to the sexual frustration that exacerbates the inherent misogyny already present in our culture. As Alan Roger Currie might simplify it, once the nice guy (Mode 2) gets burned too many times he becomes an asshole bent on egoistic revenge (Mode 4). The only way to avoid this is to be Mode One (baby!), which is direct, authentic, and honest with your intentions from the start. However that takes a lot of overcoming fear to do.
The term “nice guys” no longer means actually being nice to someone and many young men don’t understand that for far too long. Usually not until after college. Nice guys are the product of being told repeatedly that if you do good things for women, provide them with resources or attention, then that is all you need to EARN their returned affection. It’s been set up like a prize to be won for thousands of years.
By now it’s not the fault of any one person or group of people that are alive today, but the impact is felt constantly and the system that’s been set up around this principle is alive, well, and continuing to be perpetuated by both men and woman.
What we try to teach people is that relationships should be based entirely on the natural attraction felt between two people. If the attraction is strong enough the little favors and acts of kindness will flow and make sense to both parties. Affection will be returned right from the beginning, not after some ambiguous or even imaginary trade-off.
And woman don’t really want “nice” to begin with. They want KIND. Confidence, acceptance, and kindness are attractive to any human. It may seem like a minor semantic distinction but I think it should be made. Too many men hide behind the nice guy identity and DON’T EVEN KNOW they’re being misogynistic by doing so. They just think that their absence of direct negative action is equivalent to being a good person and a deserving boyfriend. So it’s no surprise how many men jumped on the #NotAllMen trend. They feel they are being unnecessarily threatened with accusations of crimes they would not commit, without realizing their entire mindset around women enables those crimes to occur more frequently or at least in an environment that is far more willing to tolerate it.
In its simplest form, nice guys set up an “us vs. them” mentality around dating. Woman are the prize, the target, the thing to be won, and like in any other contest you deserve your reward upon completion of the tasks. Except dating, and life in general, aren’t games with arbitrary rules derived from “if-then” statements.
“Just be patient” is inherently flawed as it advocates doing NOTHING in the face of a clear problem. Yes, you may get “lucky” and run in to a perfect companion somewhere by chance but how often does that really happen? And how much less likely is it to happen to a man with social confidence issues, poor communication skills, and a ton of fear?
This is where society as a whole needs to ease up on guys a bit. Keep your pistols holstered people! I’m not saying men have it harder than woman, we absolutely DO NOT. But men are currently in a situation where asking for this specific type of help is met with shame, suspicion, and fear. Society says to men “You must be good with woman in order to be a real man. But if you’re not good with woman don’t tell anyone because they will judge you both for your lack of skill, and your desire to improve it. So instead….” and there is no real answer.
You might say “well they should go see a therapist!” and I wholeheartedly agree. But in talking to men who have gone to therapists with this, most therapists do not have applicable training to help them in this specific arena. They can help with the very important aspects of learning how to not seek external validation or be co-dependant (as many Nice Guys truly are – see Dr. Robert Glover’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy” for a detailed explanation of this mechanism and how to work through it) but rarely can they also help with the finer details of how to meet and talk to woman. Most good men live in terrible fear of being considered “creepy” and I’m yet to meet a man who’s said “my shrink and I are working on my creepiness problems”.
So our community has sprung up to meet this need, and as with any field from fitness coaching to auto body repair there is bound to be a large majority of bullshit surrounding a handful of good advice. The seduction community is no different, but for the folks who find the right resources the process can be wholly transformative. We take socially awkward, unwittingly (or sometimes consciously) misogynistic and highly judgmental men and show them the path to transforming themselves into better human beings, and therefore more attractive mates. We show that being a good person is its own reward, and once you remove your dependency on the outcome of your interactions you’ll find (counterintuitively at first) that more things start to go your way.
I think a society where guys are too scared to do the most natural thing in the world – talking to girls – is a scary place to be.
If men had more examples of authentic, direct men being successful at life and were taught basic social skills we just maybe could live in a world where these types of horrific tragedies didn’t happen as much. Such role models do exist, but our society does not want us to see how simple things can be. Simply asking for something you want, or even asking for help getting it, is discouraged in our culture and leads to the game-playing, manipulative dance that is modern dating. If men and woman were taught early on that directness and quick rejection are time-saving and helpful rather than an anxiety inducing kick to the balls you would have a lot less angry men and a lot less frightened woman. But a man can’t hear “no” and respond with “thanks! Have a nice day” (nor can a woman hear “hey would you like to go out with me?” and not think “how bad is he going to react to no?”) until that pressure and insecurity is removed.
Along the same lines, I find it offensive that some of these publications are discussing men’s desire to have sex with women like it’s the same as committing violence against women.
SEX IS NOT IMMORAL OR WRONG
Wanting to have sex with women – even lots and lots of them – is not misogyny, nor should it be offensive. I’ll tell you what’s offensive; society’s expectation than men should ply women with drinks, food, and jewellery in order to get them into bed. It’s the same advice from earlier where men are told to focus on career, get better jobs, and then they will have more value to offer a woman in trade for her affection.
THAT is offensive, and reduces women to nothing more than prostitutes and relationships to nothing more than transactions.
But linking hateful groups such as pua-hate.com and the ugly side of the “men’s rights movement” with the whole of the seduction community is totally inappropriate and wrong. These are all subsets of larger movements, and even within the subsets you have different factions. We try every day to differentiate ourselves from other companies teaching toxic thinking despite the marketing need to use similar terms (we’ve been discussing a non-PUA rebranding of the company for a long time as we’ve noticed how negative the context around these terms has become), but how many ways can “dating advice” be summed up? It’s always going to require some further investigation to make sure you’re working with the right people.
My fear is that the oversimplification in the media increases the chilling effect already felt by so many unconfident men and drives them further away from the help they need and farther toward that lonely, hopeless place where a socially implanted bias against woman can flower into a true hatred. As with racism you find that most racists have never spent actual quality time around the focus of their hatred. It was passed down to them and then the distance allows for confirmation bias to find “reasons” for their hatred.
More men than you might realize go through this with woman at least to some degree, and with practically no socially-acceptable resources to help guide them back. For the lucky, a more confident woman will take steps to start the relationship and over time the guy will mellow out and realize the world isn’t so bad. But what about the folks that get too far gone too fast such that woman are already starting to avoid them? That’s when the real danger begins.
The “seduction community” the media calls you to loathe is far more vast and complex than any of these publications give it credit for and actually strives to wake men up from the psychotic and useless programming they are brought up with in mainstream society.
I firmly believe that if men were taught some basic interpersonal/dating skills at a young age, I have no doubt the amount of “killing sprees” we see would dramatically decrease. Who wants to kill when you’re enjoying the wonderful gift of sexual pleasure and human companionship?
I can’t speak for everyone, but I for one plan on continuing to use the skills taught in the seduction community to make men more confident, better lovers, and more effective members of society.
I already know, that YOU already know, that not all men are misogynistic assholes. But I do want to ask that you keep in mind just how many men DON’T KNOW what misogyny really is, or how our actions express it, due to growing up in an environment that’s already hyper-tolerant of it. Breaking out of that mould takes SPECIAL ATTENTION, time, and a lot of personal development work, and currently the better members of the seduction community are pushing for that change.
All we ask is that next time you’re inclined to disparage an entire community, you look a little deeper, just as you would ask us to do for you.
Sasha Daygame + Mike B
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