Saturday, January 15, 2011

Seeing Like a Stud

What has the PUA community been saying about my C-SPAN2 appearance a few months ago, you ask?  Wait, first you ask: What the hell is the PUA community? 

Apparently, there are men (or, if you will, half-men) so desperate for women that they must resort to the use of "game"-like techniques to lure them in.  They refer to themselves as "pick-up artists" (PUA) and often sport oddly-gay online pseudonyms such as Chateau and Magic (not to be confused with George Costanza's imaginary horses, Snoopy and Prickly Pete, nor the imaginary ponies two of my female co-workers had years ago, Misty and Shasta).  The PUA techniques involve things like surprising and confusing women, subtly undermining their self-esteem (or at least confounding their expectations) with "negs" (little negative comments and joke insults), acting aloof yet entertaining, etc., and likely having other women in reserve instead of investing emotionally in just one. 

Borrowing a bit from evolutionary psychology, the PUA guys often refer to males who are not attractive to women as betas and males who are as alphas.  Since they spend so much time studying the behavior of alphas and dreading any taint of beta behavior, I can only assume that PUA guys think of themselves as gammas, deltas, or some other dreaded Greek letter, possibly even omega, but the point is that they are putting a great deal of time and effort into seeming like alphas.  A small army of them have leapt to the erroneous conclusion that I am some sort of "beta loser" with "no game" due to my artful takedown of an ex on TV -- too much emotional investment and too blatant an admission of discontent by the almost religiously-strict PUA standards, apparently. 

Gentlemen, or perhaps I should say boys: BEHOLD ALPHA-PRIME.

Now, normally, despite some people falsely accusing me of being prone to oversharing after the rather unique C-SPAN2 appearance, I would consider it unchivalrous even to confirm that I'd had sex with any woman (and careful observers will note I am still avoiding naming names, strictly speaking), but since I am beset by doubters -- PUA doubters in particular, who struggle like inept scientists to understand the data before them -- allow me to allude at least briefly to the real Todd Seavey situation. 

First of all, as I mentioned in a recent entry, I have never really been lonely enough long enough even to resort to a real personals ad (despite the joke one noted by various media outlets after the C-SPAN2 appearance, which was really more of a lengthy veiled essay about things to avoid in female psychology -- I am a writer, after all).  Similarly, I cannot imagine spending time learning PUA rules and techniques -- let alone sniping at other males online about failure to follow these rules -- when there are, to put it mildly, women all over the place all the time to be met and, with regularity, dated.

If anything, I have placed numerous constraints upon myself in an effort to avoid being distracted from my higher callings -- writing, political endeavors, seeking to understand the cosmos -- by too many, or too many not-quite-right, females.  And still I cannot wholly prevent them having sex with me, it seems.

•I have very publicly vowed never to have children, whereas most women want
them.  Still, the sexual onslaught is unstoppable.  Having once angered a woman who didn't know about my anti-child stance until the second date, I have not only put that information on my blog -- and been quoted about it in New York magazine -- but have taken to telling them even before a first date, not simply out of a selfish desire to avoid wasting my time but out of a genuine utilitarian sense of obligation to avoid wasting theirs.  Still, some cannot resist or do not believe, though I am getting better at making them believe (you'd think the operation would do it, but women are persistent).

•I never lie, not about anything, not even white lies about whether I like your hat, not even by omission. 

•I endeavor never to undermine women's self-esteem or mislead them.  I have achieved relationships built on honesty and equality with enough ease not to waste time worrying about "power relationships," mindgames, or ego issues (with the notable exception of last year's mishap, which I think we can all agree had theatrical value in its own way nonetheless). 

•I have almost entirely avoided what seemed from the get-go like doomed relationships, preferring instead to stick to women with some real potential to be the "co-host and/or co-author" type with whom I dream of sharing this ongoing comedy/drama called life.  Wasting time with "that drunk hot chick at the other end of the bar," which I fear is the typical PUA target, metaphorically speaking, is distasteful to me, and I instead have tended to date friends of friends, co-workers of friends, friends of co-workers, and the like, generally women who came highly recommended, not flotsam in some noisy singles bar or wherever it is the PUA bottom-feeders ply their skills.

This has resulted in, very roughly speaking, slightly more than one serious girlfriend per year for the two decades of my adult life -- not coincidentally, exactly the balance between diversity and lifelong monogamy I'd likely have picked in advance if I'd honestly thought about and planned it, but then it all just seems to happen in a fairly pleasant and spontaneous way without the need for the PUA dweebs' strategizing or even the habits of the somewhat (to me) crass and amoral-sounding alpha whom the PUA dweebs slavishly worship. 

Frankly, I have higher goals such as honor, integrity, and simple good taste that would make constant, calculating pursuit of yet more sex feel reductive. 

Rather than amass an army of floozies, which would leave me feeling rather sad and cheap (like inflationary monetary policy), I have cultivated genuinely impressive girlfriends (even if the occasional experiment goes awry, as was the case last year, though it had promise -- and it certainly seems as though the online commenters can't quite make up their minds about whether last year's woman was too hot for me or utterly heinous and not worth pursuing; they just know it is their job to insult someone for something, sadly).  It would be ignoble not to aim high and conduct oneself with pride -- and genuine good intentions -- in these matters. 

Have I, then, had sex with scientists?  Yes.  What about a scientist who is also a fashion model.  Yes.  Another scientist who was also a stripper?  I didn't seek that specific demo out, I swear, but in the end, yes.  A science editor who is also a competitive bodybuilder?  Indeed.  Accomplished writers?  Lawyers?  Corporate vice presidents?  An opera singer?  Various Ivy Leaguers?  Of course.  Is this not Manhattan?  Am I not alive, boys?  Are there men who have known not such simple joys? 

But, you ask, have there been incidents such as sex in the open air amidst an auto dealer parking lot?  Was there a spectacular "female ejaculator"?  Does one woman lactate upon orgasm?  Now that you mention it, all these things are also true, though my aim, always, is love and true affection -- perhaps the reason I am still friends with so many of these beautiful beings.  Then, too, there are the ones who I admit made their marks without things even reaching the point of sex, just kissing -- the heiress, the comic book writer, the trapeze artist/comedienne, the New Wave DJ, and many more, not to mention, of course, all of my Platonic female friends.  If I have forgotten some, I regret doing them the disservice of failing to treasure more fully their contributions to the ongoing story of my life. 

And little of it involved conscious strategies, certainly no "trickery" or "games," so when a male friend -- himself no slouch in the socializing department -- asked me recently to impart my "techniques," I was at a rare loss for words.  I to women, and some of them like me, and if I like them, sometimes we date.  Life is good. 

I would write more, but I'm supposed to go clothes shopping this morning with a woman who works for Gwen Stefani's fashion line.  She's just a friend, so if you PUA geniuses see us in Soho today, remember to shout "beta male loser" at us.  I will smile and wave.  How broadly I will smile.

P.S. My advice, if I can impart any, is to avoid reading PUA sites and simply keep reading  PUA sites, from what I've seen, will impart manifestly nonsensical advice such as claiming that it would be better revenge to be seen by your ex dating some other hot chick (like that's never been done before) than to shame her on national television and on a half-million hits worth of YouTubery.  Really?  Well, maybe I'm too media-oriented -- not to mention concerned with imparting some political and moral lessons that have nothing to do with PUA -- but just proving I can move on to the next hot chick hasn't been an urgent priority for me.  It's something that just seems to keep happening without me trying. 

I guess I've lost your "game," gentlemen, if I'm using that term correctly.  But then, it's not the one I'm playing.  Mine involves philosophy, justice, a dose of theatre and comedy, and other forces that seem to me far grander than your cramped system, which sounds almost as if it were devised by teenage girls concocting high school dating rules.  To each his own.

No comments: