One of the advantages of running a popular travel/masculinity blog is being able to meet your readers in person. Over the past six years, I’ve met readers all over the globe—in Rio de Janeiro, New York, Copenhagen, Belgrade, Medellin and Kiev, and almost every city in between. One of these guys even went on to become a very close friend and advisor.
These men came from all kinds of walks of life and had different interests/goals. Some were primarily interested in picking up women. Some liked my unique brand of masculinity and self-improvement without all the negativity and gloom. While others didn’t care much for women or masculinity and just wanted to escape the dreaded 9-5 rat race. What united each one of these men was the desire and determination to rise above the masses and become a better man in some shape or form.
“Hey James, I see you’re currently in New York City. I’m a long time reader of your blog. We should meet up.”
And so read the first email in my mailbox.
A couple of hours later, I was getting a beer with Jake, a 31-year-old American guy. Jake was as American as apple pie. Tall and gregarious. We were having a few beers at an eatery in Manhattan’s Union Square.
“I took a girl home last night. We met in a bar and in less than 30 minutes we were ripping our clothes off back at my place,” He began.
He had a grin stretching from ear to ear.
“American girls are the easiest girls in the world,” he continued.
I nodded. He had a valid point.
He paused for a moment before continuing.
“The sex was good, but I already deleted her number. I want someone new,” he said smiling.
“Why? What was wrong with her?” I asked him.
“Nothing in particular. But for me, it’s really all about the chase. A woman gets stale after one night. I want to pick up a new woman tonight.”
“I see,” I replied.
He paused before continuing.
“The chase…” he began telling me.
I listened attentively. He seemed like a person who was on the verge of saying something very profound.
“It’s all about the chase. But it’s also about the pussy. The goal is to conquer, to fuck the woman. After I have sex, I quickly lose interest in the woman.”
I smiled and nodded.
I understood. I knew what he was saying. I’ve been afflicted by the same “disease” as well. The chase was always more fun than the actual sex. The physical act itself took a backseat to the actual steps that were needed to get there. The initial sex was always fun, but each subsequent act was less and less exciting.
By the second or third week, I’m usually ready to move on to someone new.
“Some women are easier than others. But every woman can be fucked if you push the right buttons. If you can make her feel like a cheap slut, you’ll fuck her. If you can make her feel insecure and worthless, you’ll fuck her,” he continued.
“Women are meant to be fucked. That’s what they’re for. Nothing more and nothing less,” he added.
“There are guys who put women on pedestals. Guys who idolize women. Guys who dream about sweeping women off their feet. These guys watched too many Disney movies.”
“Real life doesn’t work like this. Real life isn’t some Hollywood movie where some hero gets the hot girl.” he added, smiling.
“Thing is,” he paused.
“As a man, you must understand the women’s side too.”
“You can’t be too naive. You must realize that women have their own agenda. They’re not like men. It’s not like us here talking. Men are a team. Me and you—we support each other.”
He stopped talking and looked out in the distance.
“Now, women. They’re the most jealous and callous human beings. Extremely jealous. Heck, they’re even jealous of other women. Jealous of what other women have accomplished. Jealous of the men the other women are with. Even jealous of the handbags their friends carry!”
“They have no loyalty to anyone but themselves. They do what their feelings tell them to do. If they find the guy sexy, they’ll fuck him. It’s that simple. Regardless if they have a boyfriend, husband, or anyone else. The word loyalty isn’t part of their dictionary.”
He stopped talking and took a sip from his beer.
It was a nice day to be sitting in Manhattan’s Union Square. There were people all around us. There were also lots of beautiful women. They were shopping, eating and walking their dogs.
I studied the man in front of me. The more he spoke, the more I understood exactly the sort of man I was dealing with.
I have met many guys like him before. “Hardened players,” as I liked the call them. Guys who’ve approached hundreds or even thousands of women in all kinds of situations. Guys who’ve been rejected by tons of women. Probably rejected more than they needed to be rejected. Guys who chased pussy like it was their last day on the planet. Guys who were deep, deep in the “game.” Not seduction—game. Not the art—technique. They weren’t smooth casanovas; they more resembled cold and calculated players than smooth casanovas.
These guys always fascinated me.
I listened attentively to every single word that came out of his mouth.
His sharp gaze shifted back to me.
“Women are the greatest manipulators in the world. Men do the actual work. We build stuff. We explore space. And what do they do?” he looked at me, as though waiting for an answer.
“Nothing! They simply reap the reward from our labor! If they can manipulate us, why can’t we manipulate them?” he asked in a serious tone.
“You see, it all comes down to manipulation,” he said with a lowered voice.
“Tell me that you’ve never been manipulated by a woman?” he asked.
“I have,” I replied without thinking.
I’ve been involved with some very manipulative women. I certainly understood how manipulative women can be.
“I think,” he started saying again, “is that as men, we’re different than women in a myriad of ways. We’re actually more different than people realize. Our aims and goals are completely different. We have different needs, different capabilities.”
“People who say that men and women are the same are complete and utter idiots,” he scuffed.
“Why a man chooses to get involved in a long term relationship with a woman is simply beyond me.”
“Why enslave yourself?” he asked rhetorically.
“I think the best that the man can do is learn how to beat women in their own game—out-manipulate them, fuck them and then move on. This is our biological duty.”
“I don’t care for the woman itself, I only care for her vagina. The woman means nothing to me. What can a woman really provide a man beside her vagina?”
He didn’t wait for my answer before continuing.
“A woman’s vagina is her source of power. So, instead of letting her manipulate you, you must manipulate it yourself first. Either she manipulates you with it, or you get there first, do your thing and get out.”
“PUA is psychological warfare. It’s about learning how women work, and manipulating them to be attracted to you for the sole purpose of fucking them, and then moving onto the next one.”
“And what do you consider seduction?” I asked him pointblank.
“No such thing as seduction,” he replied. “It’s all about manipulation. Either you manipulate her or she manipulates you. It’s a race to the finish,” he answered.
“Call me dishonest or immoral, or whatever else you want to call me, but I will tell a girl anything she wants to hear in order to get into pants. I’ll be absolutely shameless about it. Heck, I’ll tell her I met the Pope or had beers with Jesus Christ.”
“I don’t care,” he added.
“I’m willing to go all the way. And I’ve done it before.”
He took out a cigarette and slowly lit it with his polished metal lighter. He moved his gaze away from me and examined the people dining around us.
He was thinking about something. Probably scheming about his next target.
I studied him. I studied his small and pointy eyes. Eyes that had difficulty being fixated on the same place for too long. Eyes that were impatiently racing and responding to the slightest stimuli, darting from object to object, from person to person, from woman to woman. He noticed a couple of cute women walking into a nearby coffee shop. He noticed a woman who was sitting a couple of tables over.
I already knew exactly what he was thinking: the fastest way of getting into her pants.
I continued to study him. The more I studied him, the more it dawned on me that this man was trying to prove something. The constant scheming. The constant fucking. He didn’t seem complete unless he approached and fucked yet another woman who crossed his path.
My view has always been different: seduction is always mutual. It’s an implicit contract between a man and a woman. I learned early on that I couldn’t seduce a woman who didn’t like me in the first place. If she didn’t like what was in front of her—me—then it didn’t really matter about anything else, it wasn’t going to work out.
Besides, why would I want to be someone who didn’t want me? Relationships are mutual.
I wanted to continue picking his brain.
“What about if the woman isn’t into you. She’s just not feeling you?” I asked him.
“No such thing. All women can be manipulated into sex given the right methods. It’s a battle and I want to win this battle.”
“I get what you’re saying. But what I don’t understand is why expend all this energy on convincing women to sleep with you, women who’re not interested in you. Why not find someone else?” I asked him.
He seemed irritated by my questions.
“You’re not seeing it correctly. It’s not about sex. It’s about winning. Since they manipulate us, we have to manipulate them back. It’s a rough world out there. Either you’re manipulating someone or someone is manipulating you.”
“It’s really that simple.”
“What about leaving the woman better than when you found her?” I asked him.
After uttering that question, I quickly rephrased it so he doesn’t take it the wrong way.
“Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean being some ‘nice guy’; of course, it’s important to not be a pushover. I just mean trying to build something constructive with the girl. Being honest with your desires and seeing how she responds.”
He gave me a blank stare. It was as though I was speaking Norwegian to him.
“I have no idea what you just said. Leaving her better than when you found her? You can’t be serious. I don’t even know what that means. That doesn’t mean anything to me.”
“I’ve been used by women, so what’s wrong with treating them like they’re treating me?”
The more I thought about it, the more it became clear that I was facing a man who had a score to settle. He was angry and jaded. Something was irritating him. Perhaps it was all the past rejections. Perhaps it was all the past shame. He was willing to channel his energy on a mass of anonymous women instead of something productive that resulted in net benefit to everyone involved.
The war in my heart
There was a war raging in my heart. I was torn. On one hand, I could relate to almost everything he was saying. I could relate to everything he went through and was going through. Not only could I relate, but I could actually empathize with him. As someone who wasn’t a natural with women, I’ve been rejected in all kinds of ways. The manipulative path sure looked appealing. It represented a way for me to channel my rage and energy. I finally had an opportunity to out-manipulate those who manipulated me all my life.
But there was something about his methods and behavior that made me uncomfortable. First and foremost, it was his black and white view of the world. It was also his ‘us vs. them’ mentality. His constant reminder than he is (or men in general are) under some constant threat from evil and manipulative women (as though every single woman is evil and manipulative). Hearing such rhetoric is always a sign that prudence and logic have given way to emotions and rage.
Being a also pragmatist, the only thing I kept thinking during the conversation was just one thing: do the ends justify the means? In order to get what I want, must I become someone like him? And the answer is a resounding ‘no.’ The ends didn’t justify the means. Actually, neither the means nor the ends justified themselves.
I also noticed that there was an element of powerlessness in his behavior. It was as though he didn’t have any choice in the matter. As though his life was driven by forces outside himself. That he had to keep doing this because there was no other way.
But there is another way. There’s always another way. We, men, have an actual choice in the matter. We’re not completely powerless. We can float above the games and tricks. We can decide for ourselves what’s important or trivial.
We can either declare some kind of “war” on women and try to manipulate every single one of them into some superficial sex, or we can just live healthy lives and only interact with women who actually add value to our lives.
It’s all about control. We can decide what we want to do. We can use all our energies on settling some score or we can channel this energy into other endeavors like working out, training martial arts, and building an online empire, etc. It’s a rich world, and it’s up to you if you want to exploit the opportunities that come your way.
But my issue with this man ran deeper than his overly simplified view of the world. My issue with the guy wasn’t the methods he used to get into women’s pants. That was between him and the women. I had nothing to do that with that. The problem was his personality. Or lack of it. He wasn’t someone I’d want to hang out with. He wasn’t someone I’d enjoy having drinks, and philosophizing about life with. He wasn’t someone that I’d solicit any kind of advice from. I had absolutely nothing in common with the guy. He was a man raging at the world. And if you’re reading this, you’d probably feel the exact same way.
I looked at him. He was gone. Not physically—he was still sitting next to me, but mentally he was somewhere else. He wasn’t looking at me. He wasn’t even looking at my direction. His body had turned towards the street. Most likely he was thinking about the next conquest. Perhaps it was the blonde 30-something woman ordering a drink at the bar, or two 20-something tourists from Scandinavia sitting a couple of tables over.
Fearful and vindictive
He was both fearful and vindictive, a dangerous combination. He was also a possessed man. Possessed by his urges and desires. A slave to women. A slave to pussy. A slave to his reptilian brain that knows no logic and just acts on raw emotion. He was a man gamed by game instead of the other way around. A man that had gone so deep down the rabbit hole that he’ll never be able to escape to see the light of the day.
It annoyed me that he had some “score to settle.” And if you also believe there’s some “score to settle,” with a sizable portion of the population (ie., the entire opposite sex), then your problems don’t end there—that’s just the beginning.
Your problem isn’t some woman who isn’t calling you back: your problem is your distorted view of the world. You’re permanently stuck in Plato’s Cave, seeing the world through false stereotypes replete with fears and anxieties instead of boldly embracing and seeing life for what it really is.
What you’re calling ‘manipulation’ and ‘game’ is actually something else – it’s your own false beliefs imposed upon yourself: that instead of facing the world in an authentic, direct and vulnerable way, you must be aloof, indirect, and convoluted with your human desires to the point where no one around-including yourself-even know what you want. And then you wonder why you’re not getting the things that you want.
Instead of being direct with what you want, you resort to some tricks or scheming. The problem is that the only person you’re scheming is yourself. The only person you’re tricking is yourself. All these tricks and games are merely acting as a temporary crutch whose purpose is to delay the day of reckoning when you face your fears head-on, face yourself head-on. It will be a painful day, but it will come. And when it comes, it will sting like a bee. It will hurt. It will fuck you up. IT WILL FUCK YOU UP. You may recover or you may not.
I looked at my watch. It was time go. I was getting ready to return back to Europe-back to my sweet Eastern Europe-and I needed to do many things beforehand. I also wanted to get started on a new project I was working on. Lots of things needed to be done. I had to keep moving towards my goals and ambitions.
I looked at Jake. He was still stuck in his own world. A black and white world where you either manipulate someone or get manipulated yourself. A world of dread and despair. A world of “us vs them.” I wondered what he’ll be doing when he’s 40 or 50 or 60. Still cursing the world? Still trying to “manipulate” every person who comes his way? Or maybe he’ll move to Burma, become a monk and search for higher enlightenment.
I summoned the waiter and paid for my share of the bill. I wished Jake good-bye and promptly headed for the nearest subway station.
I never saw or heard from Jake again.