Letter to the PUA Community
From The Desk of Neil Strauss
Thursday January 28, 2016
From The Desk of Neil Strauss,
Almost ten years ago, after reading The Game: Penetrating The Secret Society of Pickup Artists, a brilliant programmer living in San Francisco contacted me and asked if I was interested in helping people who’d read the book.
I met with him, and we became so excited about the possibility that we started Stylelife. The idea was to teach men all the positive elements of what I learned in that time, but without any of what we felt were the negative parts.
That was a decade ago. But the game has changed and so have I.
The other night, some guy in a bar came up to my wife and used the exact same opener that I wrote and used in The Game.
Then we watched the movie Kingsman and were amazed to see old PUA techniques being torn apart by the girl in the movie while two guys are trying to pick up on her friend.
And that’s just the latest.
The Game has been referred to in:
• The Simpsons
• Family Guy
• Big Bang Theory
• It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
• The Venture Brothers
• Adventure Time
• CSI: Miami
• Criminal Minds
• Ugly Betty
• The Closer
• How I Met Your Mother
And so much more.
Not to mention having its own TV show on VH1.
So to say that The Game has saturated the public consciousness is an understatement.
It’s the last thing I ever would have expected when I first started working on the book.
For a while, it was incredible to watch the community grow:
• It was incredible to see men in the self-help aisles of bookstores.
• It was incredible to see loners building a close, supportive peer group for the first time in their lives.
• It was incredible to see very left-brain men discussing spirituality.
• It was incredible to see shy, awkward outcasts grow comfortable and confident in their own skin.
• It was incredible to see men who’d been bullied their whole lives, whether by peers or parents, learn to stand up straight and walk tall.
• It was incredible to see college graduates come in virgins and come out with girlfriends.
And so when I published The Game, the story of both the good and the bad of my experiences in the community, I had hoped that maybe, just maybe this would be the beginning of a men’s self-improvement movement.
• What was terrifying though was to read in the news that a pickup artist shot a woman in the face at a party.
• What was terrifying was to see pickup artists referring to women as sluts and bitches.
• What was terrifying was to see pickup artists subscribing to a confused and hateful code of masculinity in which humiliating women and then bragging about it constitutes being a man.
• What was terrifying was seeing a pickup artist put on a misogyny watchlist by the Southern Poverty Law Center for, among other things, bragging about his “hate fucks.”
• What was terrifying was to see a pickup artist posting pictures and videos of himself assaulting women.
• And what’s terrifying was seeing a rampage murderer being called a PUA in the news.
So it is time to take a good hard look at this community, which in the end gave me so much and taught me so much about myself, and to say that as a social movement it is a failure because the biggest impact it has had on the culture is to spread fear at a greater pace than it’s spreading hope.
And that was never my intention. Aside from the journalistic and narrative elements of the story, I saw it as a book about insecurity. And I wrote the book for my younger self.
That younger version of me felt like he was so unpopular and unattractive. He always felt awkward and out of place. He was terrified to approach women. He always ended up in the friend zone with women he was head over heels in love with. He was always on the outside watching everyone else have all the fun.
And I wanted to let him know that there was hope: He could change. He could transform. He could become confident, popular, interesting, successful, attractive. He could become whatever he wanted in this life. He wasn’t stuck with the past, or even the present—he could create the future!
And I still believe in that, more than ever. Especially after the experience of writing The Truth.
But the world has changed, The Game has changed, and I have changed.
Let’s discuss for a moment how The Game has changed:
We’re not living in a highly connected world, in which anyone in a bar isn’t stuck with the people there as potential partners. They can get on Tinder or another dating app and scroll through a seemingly endless array of potential partners.
And most men are making jerks of themselves and getting minimal results by misusing the amazing potential of these apps.
And where before rejection was a private experience, it can now be captured on video and go viral, which means a personal humiliation could become an international humiliation.
So it has become easy to feel simultaneously connected and alone. A friend of mine calls it “window shopping.”
You log in to Facebook or Instagram and see thousands of beautiful people living seemingly perfect lives and it makes you wonder:
What did I do wrong?
If you’re trying to find adventure and romance in the modern world of dating, you have to deal with the following:
• The illusion of choice
• A lot of questions
• Very few real answers
• Nowhere to turn
So what can you do now that The Game has changed?
Fortunately, there are answers. And those answers are more exciting than anything I learned during The Game period.
Today I can still walk into any bar anywhere in the world with my coaches, talk to anyone we want to, and have an absolutely amazing time.
Because we aren’t just doing the old routines.
We’ve cracked the code of the social matrix and are using some new Jedi-level strategies that make us far more attractive than ever before. (Kylo Ren obviously didn’t get this far in his training…)
This stuff blows the old routines out of the water.
Because it’s real. It’s authentic. And it’s permanent.
A routine is just a routine. These techniques will actually make you a more attractive, happier, successful, and authentic person.
It is a whole other level.
What is the new Stylelife about then?
The New Stylelife is about:
• Understanding that learning to improve your mind, body, and spirit is the key to being attractive.
• Seeing first hand that the principles of social influence apply to all areas of life, not just dating, and understanding on a deep level the operating system on which humanity is running.
• Knowing that everyone can learn to use these skills. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, male or female.
• Realizing that the goal shouldn’t be to do something to someone, instead the goal should be to take action and improve yourself so that you naturally attract others to you.
It all starts with something we call Inner-Game.
It’s about treating and healing the “shame” deep inside that makes some of us afraid to talk to others, afraid of rejection, and afraid that if we showed our true self, we wouldn’t be accepted.
And it’s about getting to a deep and lasting level of confidence from the inside out, rather than the outside in. Because it’s the only confidence that lasts and can never be taken away.
It’s the most exciting and meaningful journey you will ever make.
You can’t fake this.
Men and women alike can sense someone who’s incongruent with themselves from a mile away.
Learning how to possess an awareness of yourself and the social matrix around you, it’s possible to refine yourself, creating a version of you that’s the absolute best it can be. Your ultra-attractive self.
This is what the new Stylelife is all about.
The Stylelife coaches and I are going to teach you the ins and outs of these new techniques and strategies over the course of the next year.
You’re going to need to learn to do this in person and online. From the streets, to the bars, to the apps, to the websites.
You’ll need to learn how to make yourself stand out and be remembered amongst the other hundreds of thousands of individuals sending messages to the people you’re interested in, right now.
But even that’s not enough.
You need to be a great conversationalist, someone who knows how to propel and lead conversations, in a way that’s enjoyable for your date.
Plus you’ll need the new and updated strategies of maneuvering through the social matrix and breaking down the barriers that hold most people back for their entire lives.
The new Stylelife is perfect for you if you are:
• Tired of not saying anything to that special someone you just saw.
• Sick of all the unanswered online messages and texts.
• Annoyed by conversations starting and ending with “How are you?”
• Serious about becoming a more attractive person – inside and out.
You are going to learn:
• How to eliminate your approach anxiety
• How to hack Tinder and start lining up dates.
• How to effortlessly begin and escalate interesting conversations online and offline.
And so much more…
The new Stylelife is amazing.
It’s like being back at the beginning of the Game all over again.
I am living proof, and so are my coaches and students.
One of the guys at our latest Boot Camp said it was the best thing he had ever done for himself in his 27 years of life. And we get that kind of feedback all the time now.
A friend in the community once told me when I was thinking of leaving early on: Don’t be afraid of success! Know that this is what you have been looking for and jump into it head first without looking back.
You are here at the beginning of a whole new era of The Game.
Don’t wait a minute longer to do what you’ve been wanting to do your whole life.
To your best self,