Force yourself to say hi to an old woman at the grocery store enough times, and eventually you’ll overcome shyness enough to ask out a pretty girl at the bar.
“But now I am in the camp that any manipulation is not a good thing.
And anytime you’re trying to get esteem or validation from outside yourself is not a good thing.”I should admit I’m a little more sympathetic to PUAs than perhaps the rest of my feminist cohort.
I am very aware of the dark side of the culture — as a fan of any sort of weird internet subculture, I love lurking in PUA forums and subreddits — but I can also see that there are young men who just want help learning some basic social skills so they can find someone to love.
I think about myself as a young teenager — my friends and I would pore over magazines like YM or Seventeen that were full of tips to tell if a guy likes you or instructions for how to ask someone on a date, or endlessly analyze our crushes with each other.
The Truth spans several years when the Rolling Stone writer and co-author of several celebrity autobiographies undertook a personal quest to understand the nature of relationships.
The popcorn orgy incident occurred after he cheated on his longtime girlfriend, tried sex addiction rehab, broke up with the girlfriend, gave up on monogamy, and set off on a series of adventures in polyamory.“It began saying marriage is an anachronism: Look at all these people cheating and in unhappy marriages; it’s a broken institution,” Strauss said in an interview at Buzz Feed. I tried all these subcultures trying to find a new model, but I discovered it wasn’t the institution that was broken, it was me.” A long period of self-reflection occurred, guided partly by his friend the music producer Rick Rubin, who pops up at key moments in the book on a surfboard, full of bearded chill vibes and Zen wisdom.
It’s impossible to read The Truth without thinking of Strauss’s earlier book that deals with his personal dating life, The Game.
In it, Strauss embeds with a group of pickup artists, ostensibly for journalism, and becomes a master pickup artist himself.
As someone who had undergone a transformative change in looking at human relationships, does he see this new, often toxic version of PUA as some sort of monster that has grown beyond his control?
“I used to be in the camp of 'there’s good pickup artists and there’s bad pickup artists,'” Strauss said.
I’m not a spokesperson for that world, I just wrote about it.