I have a VERY IMPORTANT NEWSFLASH for anyone interested in seduction. It turns out guys really value a woman's appearance! So if you want to score that guy you're interested in, you should go to the gym, eat healthy, wear skillfully applied makeup, and dress in clothes that flatter your body type. That's right, you should do everything you possibly can to make yourself look as hot as possible!
...Wait, what's that? You say you already knew that? You're surrounded by this information, you say? You mean to say that television, music videos, advertising, and every single magazine remotely tailored to your demographic is already telling you how important it is to BE HOT AND STAY YOUNG AT ALL COSTS??
Oh. Well shit then. I got nothin.
OH WAIT ACTUALLY I DO.
Okay, let's welcome back Serious Arden: It seems like I've gotten into quite a few discussions lately -- both online and in person -- with guys who are either somewhat confused or seriously misinformed about women's seduction techniques. It's kind of understandable on some level, because seduction, when done well, like any effective persuasion, goes without being noticed. Most guys, when they fall for you, shouldn't really know consciously that you've seduced them; they should simply know that they've fallen for you. (I'm a bit of an exception to this rule since I am publicly known as a seduction figure, but I tend to spin that to my advantage in my own way.) But most guys, when they try to look objectively at the goals, strategies, and obstacles in women's seduction, are blind to what's actually effective. (To be fair, most women are the same way about pick-up: you constantly hear disdainful remarks from women about how "Oh that pick-up stuff would never work on me" -- but then, who are all those PUAs sleeping with?) The main issue is that guys who would advise women in the ways of seduction usually have trouble divorcing their views of them as disciples from their views of them as potential targets.
So the reaction I mainly hear from guys on the thesis of women's seduction is usually divided into three categories, three types of girls and the type of advice they would purport to give them:
1. The Young Hot Girl: "Well duh, she can get any guy she wants! Go out and have a bunch of sex!"
2. The Girl With Potential: "Well, she COULD get plenty of guys if she would just go to the gym more often and wear more makeup and dress better."
3. The Girl Over 35: "Yeah... I got nothin. Sucks to be you."
Part of the problem here is that PUAs and the guys who follow them have become so accustomed to the reductive evolutionary psychology model that is the basis of schools of thought like The Mystery Method (and therefore subsequently LoveSystems and all the other schools that branched out of it) that no matter how much their techniques evolve, they usually can't escape the urge to paint everything in the broad brushstrokes of their own propaganda. And basically what this means is that they reduce a man's desirability to his perceived social value (his Survival quotient) and a woman's desirability to her apparent reproductive fitness (her Replication quotient). As much truth as there is to doctrines like The Red Queen and The Selfish Gene, when translated so deliberately literally to the dating scene today, it often comes out to sound something like: Guys are judged solely by their ability to lead the people around them, and women are judged solely by their youth and waist-to-hip ratio.
This bleeds into the interesting trend of the PUA community's tendency to undervalue women who hit a certain age -- 35, 30, sometimes I've even heard 28. Beyond a simplistic evo psych model (i.e., men are biologically programmed to desire women who can bear their children and pass on their genes, therefore youth is attractive) I don't really understand this particular predilection. Never have I seen more men in one demographic be so obsessed with the idea of the elusive 22-year-old female. I see men around me all the time who get crushes on women over 35. A close friend of mine is crushing on his 35-year-old professor. Another friend, a good-looking 22-year-old male, is happily dating a beautiful 60-year-old. A 40-year-old female friend of mine got married to a gorgeous male alt model last month. This idea that women simply have no options after 35 is insulting to BOTH genders.
So I asked my male business partner about it earlier today. "What's with this obsession PUAs have over 22-year-olds? When I was 22, I was still a virgin! Why do they seem to think that's the optimum age for women who want to score a high-valued guy?" He thought about it and answered me. Two things you should know about my business partner: 1., he's a PUA in his own right and has studied almost every PUA book and DVD available, and 2., in his studies to become a licensed social worker and addiction counselor, he currently helps run a therapy group where he counsels sex offenders. So he says to me, "One of the things I've learned counseling the offenders who seek minors as their victims is that the younger the age, the less fear there is in the approach. Most of the guys in my group do what they do because they're scared to approach mature women who will reject them. In pickup, on the other hand, you have a group of guys who have turned to the PUA community because they have approach anxiety, and a 22-year-old often seems the most desirable target precisely because she is unworldly and impressionable. Put them in front of a beautiful 35-year-old woman who actually has some tooth and they may find themselves intimidated." So here, my male PUA friend is telling me, pickup's reductive evo psych model regarding the desirability of exceedingly younger women may simply be a cover for their own residual approach anxiety.
I suppose I bring this up simply because you, my female readers, may start hearing some depressing notions from the sectors of the male seduction community who think they have women's situations all sorted out. And even if we subscribe to a more moderate viewpoint that there are women over 35 who are attractive to men but that they are exceptions to the rule, that's actually okay too. Because I am teaching you how to be exceptional, just as PUAs teach clueless, derpy men how to be exceptions to their own rules.
When it comes down to it, the obvious problems with the above purported male breakdown of women and their issues with seduction are as follows:
1. The Young Hot Girl: She is already competing for her desired targets amongst the other young hot girls out there. Being hot isn't a guarantee that she's going to get the guy she wants when he is already being approached by multiple other women of her physical caliber. Furthermore, she may have behavior patterns that will sabotage her (overtexting, jealousy, bitchiness) or she may simply have trouble making any kind of approach or escalating the interaction if the guy doesn't take the initiative. That leaves her to date the douches who approach her, not necessarily the hot guys she wants. As my friend Neil Strauss wisely said, "Women are seeking men of value. But those guys aren't necessarily going to be approaching them, because they're probably going to be... well, busy."
2. The Girl With Potential: Assuming the girl with potential isn't already maximizing her potential, then yes, she ought to heed the typical male advice of going to the gym and dressing better. But once she's done that and become a 9 - 10 instead of a 5 - 6, she immediately ascends to the former category of The Young Hot Girl, who still has plenty of aforementioned issues to face, and she probably also carries with her a lack of confidence about approaching or escalating from having once been less attractive. But let's say she's actually already maximizing her potential (maybe her extra weight is genetic, maybe she simply wasn't born with attractive features) and she's destined to remain a 5 or 6. In that case, she's going to be facing THE EXACT SAME ISSUES competing for guys who are 5s and 6s amongst OTHER WOMEN who are 5s and 6s. 5 - 6 relationships are no different from 9 - 10 relationships. Less attractive people fall in love with each other all the time and face the same exact issues forging their connections, and for would-be seduction coaches to be blind to this is kind of insulting to a great deal of the human race.
3. The Girl Over 35: Obviously not every high-valued guy in his thirties or forties actually wants to date a 22-year-old college girl. (And the ones who do probably won't interest a savvy 35-year-old woman too much.) And while she's accosted from every side with products and promises to retain her youth, it's far too simplistic to deduce that she can get any guy she wants just by staying hot. If she does, she's still back in the category of The Young Hot Girl with all its aforementioned obstacles. If she doesn't, that's fine too -- she's going to need more in her arsenal than looks anyway, so she may as well follow in the footsteps of seductresses like Pamela Harriman and Mme de Pompadour who retained their magnetism well into their later years. Which, actually, is what the Young Hot Girl and the Girl With Potential should also be doing anyway, because as I said earlier, being hot just isn't enough.
Here's my case in point, ladies. You all are very smart. If you're reading this blog, you already know enough to stay in shape, stay out of the sun, do your makeup, and dress well. My point?
YOU DON'T NEED GAME TO TELL YOU TO GO TO THE FUCKING GYM.
Don't let anyone out there insult your intelligence. There is FAR more to scoring a quality guy than being young and hot. I'm not going to say that being young and/or hot isn't important -- I'm going to say instead that you already knew that, and that you're coming to an expert to learn the kind of things that AREN'T already blatantly obvious. I'm also going to say that young/hot just isn't the full package. I was young and hot a decade ago and I had no luck with men whatsoever. I score way more quality men now than I did then because of what I know AND because I put effort into maintaining my appearance.
Don't seek advice from people telling you stuff that everyone already knows.
P.S. Wanna know the truth you guys? I don't even go to the gym anymore because I learned enough poledance skills to get hired as a gogo dancer twice a week at two different rock bars. Now I spend my workouts at a bar, on a pole, where I get paid, drink for free, hang out with my friends, and get approached by multiple guys a night. See? Build a better mousetrap.
photo by Manzin