As promised yesterday, here's my review of The Game by Neil Strauss.
Cari suggested this book to me, and every time I told someone that I was reading it, I'd receive crossed looks. I admit, I was feeling shady by even expressing interest in purchasing it. I told myself I wouldn't pay full price for it. So, I bought it for half off on Amazon, but after finishing the book, I declare that it's well worth the full price.
You may think that the whole book is nothing but pick-up techniques, and you'd be incorrect. True, there are some techniques laced into the story, but they're there to push the narrative along. In the end, the book is really a declaration of the power of monogamy.
A majority of people in the world are trying to fill holes in their lives, some by drugs, some by sex and some by power, of which the main characters in this book fall into the latter. Yes, power. Oh sure, some of the pick-up artists (PUAs) do have a lot sex with the women they meet, but ultimately, their main concerns were about control and power. Once they found out how easy it was to pick up a girl at a bar, get her number and a week later have sex with her, they became bored. Also, they became very distrustful of women, because they saw how easily a lot of girls would cheat on their boyfriends or husbands. They'd ask themselves, "If you can't even trust the ones who say they're committed, then you really can't trust anyone."
After the novelty of sexual conquest wore off, some of the PUAs starting fighting for the throne of Best Pick-Up Artist. Neil Strauss was awarded that crown for two straight years, but over time, he saw that most of the guys who voted for him were using his same techniques and trying to be him in looks and manners. They were becoming Strauss robots.
And this is basically what leads him away from "the game." Strauss meets a girl that he falls in love with. She likes him for who he is and not some player that he pretends to be. But Strauss does acknowledge the fact that even though the qualities that his girlfriend loves about him were already a part of him, without learning the techniques of the PUA community (which helped him gain confidence in himself), he'd never have the nerve to present himself to her. He'd be like most guys, seeing a girl and immediately thinking he's not good enough for her because of her looks or the company she keeps.
The techniques and skills the people learn in the PUA community not only help them with women, but with their professional lives, as well. Just being able to get a girl's number at the end of the night bolstered self-esteem, and over time that self-esteem spilled into other parts of life. Having confidence in yourself is really what this book boils down to.
Poem of the Day for National Poetry Month "At Blackwater Pond" by Mary Oliver
At Blackwater Pond the tossed waters have settled after a night of rain. I dip my cupped hands. I drink a long time. It tastes like stone, leaves, fire. It falls cold into my body, waking the bones. I hear them deep inside me, whispering oh what is that beautiful thing that just happened?