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What's the general Objectivist outlook on said industry? I define 'Seduction Community' as publicized by Neil 'Style' Strauss in The Game to everything commercial nowadays -- directly or indirectly -- related to that beginning.

I imagine many points can be made for either side and I am curious to hear the intellectual responses...

Thoughts?

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The technical details are: The Seduction Community is like a community of novelists, websites, companies, etc. who write about how to successfully pick up women. Neil Strauss' book "The Game" spearheaded the movement ,and it's quickly become a pretty large industry, with "in-field bootcamps." The biggest difference between the community and typical date coaching is that the seduction community came up with their theories by reverse engineering their sucessful night club pick ups.

I'm not ashamed to say I've read and enjoyed pick-up books before. I didn't think they were sexist or oppressive or morally disgusting, the guys who work at LoveSystems and such companies really do love what they do and obviously put a lot of effort and heart into their work. I was quite surprised, actually.

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In that case, it all depends on what they advocate doing and to what end. Do they recomend something like lying about yourself to seem more desirable for example? That would be bad of course. Anything bad in general is not excused for this purpose, whatever it is. Is the goal to just get whatever girls you find that night to agree to sleep with you? If that's a bad goal or not depends on if sex for nothing but the physical pleasure with little or no concern for what kind of person you are sleeping with is bad or not. I contend it is bad, but there's at least one other thread where I don't think we quite thoroughly set the issue to rest yet. Even if they themselves don't do bad things and just recomend bad things to others for a living, that would still be immoral because it isn't producing any real value just because it gets people to consent to giving you some of their money. As long as they advocate nothing immoral though, it's fine. For me to make any more specific comments about exactly if it is or isn't, I'd need to hear more about exactly what they tell people to do.

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I think the seduction community is too diverse to talk about in such general terms. It's such a huge mix of both good and bad ideas, and everyone has their own take on it. I mean, you have everything from canned routines, to "inner game", to NLP and hypnosis. Some things are really messed up while for other things there's alot of truth and insight.

Generally I see two major problems that apply to most of them.

The first one is the idea of "fake it until you make it". What this essentially means is that you're urged to take on a fake character, or persona, and a bunch of routines in order to come across as funny, confident and interesting. The idea is then that in time you will become that person. Problem is, that don't happen. Instead people need to work harder and harder to maintain a fake sense of self and their self-esteem is dependet on their sucess with women, which in turn is a rather empty "reward" since it's not based on your own virtue.

Some "gurus" are worse than others in this regard. Mystery probably being among the worst of them.

Second problem is the lack of standards. The only real standard is wether or not you get the girl, and how hot she is. Virtue is only interesting as long as it serves that purpose, and every woman is treated almost as if they are the same(meaning aside from looks; actually falling in love with someone is treated more like a sickness, because without any standard for judging others noone can stand above the rest).

With that said though, there are some really valuable things one can learn(from some of the material atleast). Looking at the fundamentals principles of why it works, because it does(well, maybe not Ross Jeffries hypnosis-crap, that's just plain creepy), one can learn to better understand the interaction between man and woman and what creates attraction.

So in a way they have the fundamentals right, and it has been tested in reality over and over again. It's just that the application, and the mix of good and bad philosophy, is something to be aware of.

Edited by Alfa
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I'll be honest, I'm not familiar with a lot of the stuff Alfa mentioned, but I have a couple of observations about what I do know:

After finding the book "48 Laws of Power" quite enjoyable, I tried reading something called "The Art of Seduction", by the same author (Joost Elffers). It was terrible. The idea that being manipulative and suppressing your personality in favor of some other persona (he lists a number of "archetypes" successful seducers are supposed to be, if I remember correctly) could ever lead to being successful with women these days (especially very attractive women who get idiots trying the same things on them all the time) is quite laughable.

What I suspect is going on is that a lot of these people use their natural charm to attract women, and then unknowingly blame it on these "techniques" they draw confidence from, even though it's unrelated. For instance I saw a guy called "Mystery" be a guest on one of the late night talk shows a while back: he is extremely charismatic, and there is no doubt women are attracted to him no matter what he does. I also know if I showed up some place dressed like him, I'd have trouble selling the painted nails and fur coat as " Oh, that's just who I am".

Also, as far as NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming, right?) goes, I read a scientific sounding paper about it once, and it seemed to be making a lot of unsubstantiated leaps. A lot of it strikes me as conjecture, not scientific fact.

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I really enjoy the seduction community. It's kind of like the "science" of attracting people; hypothesizing methods of seduction and testing them in the field, then determining what does and does not work. Having said that, the only real thing I got out of it all was confidence and grooming. I have found the other stuff is just fluff used to sell something. Dress nice and love yourself and you will attract the opposite sex. Until i see a clinical trial that shows favorable results with NLP, I will think it is bullshit. I have never seen a trial conclude that it works. I bought a book about it and had to put it down almost immediately. It asserted that there was some mystical reason why some people are "just well liked" as opposed to the ones who no one seems to like "for some reason".

Jake - I also read the art of seduction and agree entirely. Individuals with a need to control others disgust me. The book had very little to do with meeting new people and enjoying their company, which is what I expected.

I should also mention that the community really helped my social skills in general. Being confident in yourself seems to make others confident in you as well and more willing to engage you in professional or social encounters.

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Hey Castle,

When you saw what worked, would you post that method online? Would you back up those claims with lay reports? Would you care about participation in online forum activity--that's what I'm wondering about. I too love it's idealism, for me it was a primitive precursor to a fully integrated philosophy, ie Objectivism. Though relatively young, I posted a few stories and insights, my earliest comprehensive journal. Now as I approach the achievement of finishing every book Ayn has to offer, I read:

Our greatest moments are personal, self-motivated, not to be touched. The things which are sacred or precious to us are the things we withdraw from promiscuous sharing.

Which is completely true--which made me cringe in memory of sharing some truly deep moments...At least it was a private forum unaccessable without knowing the leader in person...Who interestingly enough, was my polyamorous Ballroom & Latin instructor--involvement in the Seduction Community has lead to unique opportunities.

Thing is, I'm undergoing a conflict of values, and I'm not sure how I'll resolve it as of yet. For one thing, I'm only interested in women of high self-esteem, who happen to make the best canditates for the art of short non-fiction sex writing--ie lay reports. But should these stories ever be expressed in the first place...?

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After finding the book "48 Laws of Power" quite enjoyable, I tried reading something called "The Art of Seduction", by the same author (Joost Elffers). It was terrible. The idea that being manipulative and suppressing your personality in favor of some other persona (he lists a number of "archetypes" successful seducers are supposed to be, if I remember correctly) could ever lead to being successful with women these days (especially very attractive women who get idiots trying the same things on them all the time) is quite laughable.

I'm not familiar with that book so i'll just speak generally here. The strange thing is, it does work. Atleast insofar as getting some high-status women into bed(a good fulfilling relationship is another thing, that's somethng you can't build on manipulation and fakery). I think the really interesting question is why it works, and I can see several reasons.

Some things can be just plain fun, and if you're having fun... well, there's not much more to say about that really.

Other things sub-communicate the right things. It's a way of showing(even if it can be fake) that you have confidence, self-esteem, courage, or any other valuable trait.

Then it can also be outright manipulation, for example by lowering her self-esteem, making her qualify herself to you, reward/punish the behaviour you like/dislike etc.

However, when talking about what "works" it's important to keep in mind that alot of things do, atleast to a certain extent. I mean, heck, if getting laid is the ultimate goal one could become a violent criminal. Not a good idea for a rational human being though. And the same thing goes for different seduction-techniques; some things may be fun, flirtatious and innocent, while other things are pretty bad.

I think the best approach one could take this is to start improving ones character, learn to approach and talk to women, and then read different materials on seduction to get a better idea of how attraction and interaction works.

What I suspect is going on is that a lot of these people use their natural charm to attract women, and then unknowingly blame it on these "techniques" they draw confidence from, even though it's unrelated. For instance I saw a guy called "Mystery" be a guest on one of the late night talk shows a while back: he is extremely charismatic, and there is no doubt women are attracted to him no matter what he does. I also know if I showed up some place dressed like him, I'd have trouble selling the painted nails and fur coat as " Oh, that's just who I am".

Actually, alot of these guys started with zero charm. Mystery was your typical geek with long hair and metal t-shirts. Neil Strauss wrote for Rolling Stone magazine and toured with Mötley Crue, but the only one he had kissed was Tommy Lee. I think that's the reason why the material often looks the way it does; these guys used to have huge problems with getting women, and being the geeks they were they took a very analytical approach to it. People who are so called "naturals" often frown upon it, because to them it's the simplest thing in the world. And in a way, it really is.

Also, as far as NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming, right?) goes, I read a scientific sounding paper about it once, and it seemed to be making a lot of unsubstantiated leaps. A lot of it strikes me as conjecture, not scientific fact.

That's my take on it too. This is also something very typical in the seduction community. They make a lot of unsubstantiated claims, from the theory of evolution to psychology.

For one thing, I'm only interested in women of high self-esteem, who happen to make the best canditates for the art of short non-fiction sex writing--ie lay reports. But should these stories ever be expressed in the first place...?

Why would you write something like that?

Personally, while I could write something about a particularly interesting or fun interaction, i'd never go that far. I don't like to kiss and tell. I don't even share that kind of information with my closest friends.

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Basically, the better companies and better ideas help you become a better man, and in the process become more attractive with better social skills. The community didn't always have that emphesis, and some still don't (like the NLP routine and scripted lines people), but it's the direction they've been going. They've noticed that being fake, even when having lots of sex, isn't that fulfilling, and that being fake and using tricks actually hinders being attractive and getting girls, at least in the long run. And everyone eventually learns that good looks isn't everything, and that high self-esteem girls are less psychotic, or less emotionaly exhausting, and thus nicer to be around.

Field reports are helpful. They give different perspectives, tips, references, entertainment. They're a way to share experiences so that maybe someone else can learn from it, or can give you feedback. They should be used in the process of learning. If you have doubts, you should probably not do it. Some things you should be kept to yourself and don't belong on a forum. But it can be tempting to share your succes stories on a forum where everyone is in the same boat, trying to help eachother, sharing their own stories.

I know there are still sources and gurus out there that teach robotic, linguistic, hypnotic, manipulative, Mystery crap, but that is so old school, and I think a lot of that should be avoided. It's all natural game now. But what should be kept in mind is that it's much easier to sell your product and become famous if you advertise with "Memorize the Secret Method to Nailing Tonnes of Chicks Immediatly!" than with "Learn How to Gradually and Eventually Become a More Authentic, Purpose-driven, Dominant, Positive Person With Great Social Skills and Who Can Make Women Very Very Happy." This shift has also lead to FR's and LR's being less about specific tactics or whatever, and more about mind-set, outlook on life, and charachter, and dealing with logistics and other specific problems.

***

From a philosophical perspective, the community is full of subjetivism, pragmatism, and it keeps incorporating more and more vague, new age concepts, but that is the dominant trend in the entire self help industry.

In that respect, the seduction community is better in that it focuses on taking action and working hard and long on yourself, instead of on meditating and being in the Now and taking beliefs on faith untill you've programmed yourself into a perceptual, nihilistic hippy wannabe who vibrates in a frequency that lets the Universe (or whatever capitalized Hegelian superorganism) know how it can cater to your whims. Unfortunately, these last ideas have been gaining ground in the community, even though some may be helpful when taking action. And guys who aren't interested in putting in hard effort quit pretty soon, don't progress, or never do anyting at all except buy products they hope will magically turn them into attractive men.

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Look, take it from someone who's been around the block a few times. You are better off simply being honest with a woman, rather than using some "technique" some yahoo who wrote a book came up with. The very term "seduction community" sends up so many red flags it's not funny - it sounds as though the end game is the chase - not the ultimate result of an open and fulfilling relationship. Women are human beings just like you, and will respond to an honest approach if presented in an open and respectful manner. That one needs to rely on such tricks to "score" says something - not something good about either motive or one's self, in my opinion.

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Hey Castle,

When you saw what worked, would you post that method online? Would you back up those claims with lay reports? Would you care about participation in online forum activity--that's what I'm wondering about. I too love it's idealism, for me it was a primitive precursor to a fully integrated philosophy, ie Objectivism. Though relatively young, I posted a few stories and insights, my earliest comprehensive journal. Now as I approach the achievement of finishing every book Ayn has to offer, I read:

Which is completely true--which made me cringe in memory of sharing some truly deep moments...At least it was a private forum unaccessable without knowing the leader in person...Who interestingly enough, was my polyamorous Ballroom & Latin instructor--involvement in the Seduction Community has lead to unique opportunities.

Thing is, I'm undergoing a conflict of values, and I'm not sure how I'll resolve it as of yet. For one thing, I'm only interested in women of high self-esteem, who happen to make the best canditates for the art of short non-fiction sex writing--ie lay reports. But should these stories ever be expressed in the first place...?

I never really felt comfortable sharing my encounters on the internet. I mostly journaled about them. Lay Reports are pretty much locker room talk over the internet. Nothing more. They prove nothing. I suspect some are merely adventures in creative writing. There are any number of reasons a girl will sleep with you. Correlation does not mean causation. Your sweet new card trick may be cool, but perhaps she decided before that to sleep with the next guy that had the guts to talk to her.

Maximus is also on to something with honesty. There is nothing to be gained from lying about yourself. If your persona isn't good enough for a woman you need to move on (which is a strong point emphasized throughout the community). It is also worth noting that for many people the end game is the chase. I know a few guys that will probably date until they are dead.

It is interesting that the community lead you to Objectivism. How exactly did that link come about?

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It was one phase in my pursuit of enlightenment. From hypnosis mind control philosophy, to NLP manipulation philosophy, to mature seduction philosophy. All this mixed with Decartes, Beginner books on Quantum Physics, Zen and so on. One day I read a journal update of a close friend I have much respect for...and he commented on just having finished Fountainhead. I saw that name popup in my Creative Writing class and I turned it into my final project. The rest they say, is history.

There are still many questions unclosed for me.

Is dating until you are dead an unproductive, ie immoral way of living? Does a soulmate really exist? Is monogamy the result of a collectivist, sexually respressed society?

I always had a problem that Roark only fucked Dominique. I understand why it works with plot and characterization, but I still never liked it. In fact, Ayn is specifically vague about Roark's sex life (paraphrased:)

Wynand: Either there were not many, or you are very discrete.

Roark: There were not many.

For one thing, we know that Dominique was a virgin prior to Howard, but we don't know if he was. All her characters seem to be magically amazing in bed as an innate skill, yet if someone wants to objectivily improve their sexual ability, they risk the title of 'manipulative second hander' if they choose to learn the art of seduction.

Thoughts?

Edited by ilrein
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For one thing, we know that Dominique was a virgin prior to Howard, but we don't know if he was. All her characters seem to be magically amazing in bed as an innate skill, yet if someone wants to objectivily improve their sexual ability, they risk the title of 'manipulative second hander' if they choose to learn the art of seduction.

Thoughts?

If you read 'The Early Ayn Rand' there is a section that was removed from the fountain during editing regarding an earlier love of Roark's, Vesta Dunning. If I remember correctly, Rand chose to remove it because she was a redundant of Wynand.

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It was one phase in my pursuit of enlightenment. From hypnosis mind control philosophy, to NLP manipulation philosophy, to mature seduction philosophy. All this mixed with Decartes, Beginner books on Quantum Physics, Zen and so on. One day I read a journal update of a close friend I have much respect for...and he commented on just having finished Fountainhead. I saw that name popup in my Creative Writing class and I turned it into my final project. The rest they say, is history.

There are still many questions unclosed for me.

Is dating until you are dead an unproductive, ie immoral way of living? Does a soulmate really exist? Is monogamy the result of a collectivist, sexually respressed society?

You sound a lot like me. I started with Taoism and that "What the bleep do we know" movie.

I meant being a whore. I shouldn't have used the word "date". There is absolutely nothing immoral (as far as i can tell) about dating for the rest of your life. It certainly wouldn't be the best method of raising children, but that is a practical matter. I'm not sure about all that "soul mate" bullshit, but I am sure that it is possible to find a woman that can only get so marginally better that it would be illogical to try and find another. I do not believe in perfection.

I currently (as in I'm still pondering it) do not agree with marriage. It is a sanction of the church and I will not contribute a dime of money to such a thing.

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I've really enjoyed learning about seduction, and I think there is a lot of value to be gained from the field. As one subset of social skills, I think both often help to make a person more complete. In that way its fun and moral. Of course, as Ms. Rand says, a person shouldn't get their self esteem from "scoring" with women. But, casual sex isn't necessary a bad or a good thing, and I'm fine with it until I find the right person that turns sex into a necessarily good thing.

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  • 3 years later...

i had my start in pick-up at a young age(16) before i read the Fountainhead and was introduced to Objectivism. After seeing that the end result was women to gain self-esteem i had serious doubts about that field. After further examination i saw that most people there knew maybe how to attract women indiscriminately (i.e. regardless of her virtues and on whim were) philosophically corrupt with subjectivism, Zen, Hedonism, you name it. The worse part is that some of them used Objectivsm as their philosophical guide line(mostly Branden)! 
I was thoroughly done with it when i heard Body by Science author Doug McGuff (who is an Objectvist) answer a question about STD's in a convention for young men where he spoke about health (ironically the convention also involved pick up)
"the best way to find the women of your dreams is to pursue your values. not going out to a club or whatever. but going after your highest values. there's where you will find your true soul mate to express sexually your and her true value" the best romantic advice i ever heard.

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