Quora has numerous other responses which, along with the comments on this particular answer at both Slate and Quora, vary between pro- and anti-game and which will mostly be familiar to those with experience in the Manosphere. I’m mostly only going to comment on this one because Slate published it, it’s the most upvoted on Quora, and it’s amazing how hard the hamster is running.
I read The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (which I still think is a really interesting book) and ended up meeting a lot of people who were in the pick-up artist community (not a goal—it just happened).
I even ended up helping out with one of their weekend seminars, to be a “female test dummy,” essentially. Far from the stereotype of sleazy guys who want one-night stands, 24 of the 25 guys in the class were just awkward, nerdy guys who just wanted a girlfriend (the 25th wanted to bring home a girl for a threesome with his girlfriend). But that’s not the instruction of these classes. The classes are about getting laid, not getting a girlfriend.
This was my first big hint that something was wrong. There was a mismatch. They were taking guys who wanted girlfriends and teaching them how to pick up girls in bars.
The reason there is a mismatch is simple: there is nothing else.
If you are an awkward, nerdy male, the only people willing and able to teach you practical advice for attracting women are the PUAs. I’ve checked. There is simply no one outside the manosphere teaching men how to meet a pleasant, moderately pretty girl for a stable long-term relationship.
I’ve read a number of Christian books and articles on dating, but they all assume a woman is attracted to you. They are either discussions of what kind of dating is appropriate and exhortations against sin or man up articles on how to avoid sex in relationships, how to avoid leading women on, and how to be firm in your intentions. There is almost no practical advice on how to actually attract a girl in first place so that the other advice has any relevance.
(For any Christian manospherians reading this, here’s a great book idea: write a guide to help awkward Christian guys attract a Christian wife. Market it in the Christian culture industry and you’d make a killing. I’d write it, but I’m not qualified at this point.)
Going outside the Christian stuff, everywhere else you look the socially awkward male is given the same advice: be yourself and be a nice guy, she’ll come… eventually.
We already do that: it doesn’t work. If it did work, we wouldn’t be looking for advice.
For women (and church leaders and others who may care): if you do not want awkward guys going to PUA’s for advice on attracting women, offer a viable alternative.
The only reason I started taking guys like Roissy or Roosh even remotely seriously was because they were the first people I found anywhere who gave enough of a shit to give some practical, useful advice. I haven’t adopted either game or playerhood, but I have tried some of their more morally neutral advice and it has been useful. (I’m now more influenced by the Athol/Dalrock approach).
How royally screwed up is it that self-proclaimed assholes like Roissy and Mentu are the only ones honest and selfless enough to give practical advice to the awkward guy looking for companionship (even if they mock us while they do it)?
The second thing she misses is this: yes, we want a relationship, but, failing that, getting laid is a nice second place (religious convictions aside) for most men.
If you don’t want awkward men to settle for the second prize, make it possible for them to attain the first.
How many relationships do you know of that started in bars? Do you know any? If you want a girlfriend, go sign up for an online dating site. Start dating! Statistically speaking, bars don’t work.
Solopsism starts here at its finest and continues throughout. (We’ll ignore the fact that a lot of relationships nowadays start in bars). Dating sites may be good advice for women, but, statistically speaking, online dating sites are a horrible option for men, particularly for socially awkward men.
Online dating work for most females (the lower quintile is in much the same position as most men); they can revel in the attention of dozens of men for little cost and choose their pick with minimal effort, but for your average male, online dating is a vicious, slogging grind of inanity, rejection, and flaking with with minimal chance of success.
The problem here is that touching can be flirty, but it can also be really creepy when the touching isn’t natural. And when you’re telling an awkward, nerdy guy who has no idea how to flirt “OK, now, touch a girl here,” it’s almost always creepy. (Personally, I don’t like random guys at bars touching me. It makes me really uncomfortable.)
In other words, women like being touched by guys they are attracted to, but keep those awkward nerds away from them.
And she laments awkward nerds trying to learn how to attract women.
And then you’re telling the guy to criticize the girl, which is just plain mean.
That criticism would probably be more effective if the neg didn’t work. It’s simple really:
If women don’t want men to use negs and “be mean”, they shouldn’t respond positively to it.
And then, when the girl isn’t interested, the guy is now being told, “Oh, she’s just trying to play games with you.” He doesn’t back off. Eww.
Guess what? The awkward nerd has no idea how to tell if the girl is interested or not. That’s why he’s at one of these workshops in the first place. To learn to gauge interest so that he doesn’t get the “eww” response.
And all of this is ridiculous because sometimes, the girl is out of your league or at least just isn’t interested. I’m 5-foot-9, and I’m just not going to go home with a guy who is 5-foot-3, goes by the nickname “Snake” (seriously?!?), or is overweight, pimply, or won’t just answer a direct question about what he does for a living.
Remember to know your place you creepy nerd. Don’t you dare try to improve yourself or better your chances with women.
With this kind of harsh judgmentalism from women (especially a woman pretending she cares about guys), is it really a surprise the awkward go to PUAs for advice?
Also, there’s some internal contradiction here. If the women is already rejecting the guy because she thinks she’s out of his league, what could he possibly lose for being “creepy”? She’ll reject him either way; at least if he hits on her there’s a small chance of success.
Once upon a time, this guy might have been a perfectly normal but nerdy guy, who could have dated online, met someone nice, got married, and been perfectly happy.
Once upon a time this guy could have waited until his mid-30’s to meet a hard-used, bitter women trying for her hail mary attempt at a baby and who will later divorce him. Now he’s being twisted so much he may no longer be available as a post-wall, last-ditch relationship.
PUA instruction turns awkward, nerdy guys who just want a girlfriend into creepy guys who harass and insult women. And that’s not OK!
How dare they steal away my beta-orbiters and my fall-back plan for when I leave the carousel.
PUA instruction teaches guys these mechanical ways of interacting with women that don’t really work and fails to recognize that every woman is different. Some women just won’t go home with you. Sorry. Maybe she’s out of your league. Or maybe she’s just not interested in you. Or maybe she just doesn’t go home with random dudes from bars.
If it didn’t work, it wouldn’t be near as popular as it is.
The things is, game works for enough men with enough women that men will continue to use it. The specifics don’t matter; the general trends of it working for many men on many women is all that is necessary for game to continue.
The words coming out of a woman’s mouth? It’s not all a game.You can have actual conversations with us.
If the awkward male could have an actual conversation with women leading to a relationship, he wouldn’t be looking for advice from PUA’s.
But he can’t, so he does.
When I say “What do you do for a living?” it’s because I actually care. Because I’m looking for someone to build a relationship with, and someone with no career goals is not a good match for me. Answer the question.
Hurry up and let me judge you so I can get back to those alpha males.
Conversation is not all a giant game.
For the awkward, nerdy male it is. It has to be.
He doesn’t naturally know how to have a conversation, that’s the entire reason we call him awkward.
For him to learn how to have a conversation, he has to treat it like a game with rules, because it’s the only way he will understand it and have a conversation.
When I’m not interested, it’s because I’m not interested. Not because I’m putting some sort of girl test in front of you.
And yet, you, like most women, will judge him on his awkwardness anyway.
So that’s why I’m against it. Because, beyond just giving men the courage to approach women, the instruction is harmful to the guys.
Yes, that’s why you are opposed to it.
Are adult males not capable of deciding whether it is harmful to them on their own?
Some of my friends who were involved in the community got out of it OK, but they were probably more normally adjusted to start with. Another friend, well, he got his taste of one night stands and “can’t understand the point of girlfriend.” And other guys I’ve met are so uncomfortable to be around that, well, we never really became friends.
Some of her beta orbiters have remained beta orbiters. Other beta orbiters have succeeded with game and are enjoying their success enough that they no longer pine after fantasies. And other beta orbiters are no longer willing to be beta orbiters.
As I said, the hamster was strong with this one. She has absolutely no sympathy for or understanding of the plight of your average socially awkward male. This is why those opposed to game are going to continue to lose men to game; they refuse to consider why awkward young men are turning to game in the first.
If you don’t like awkward young men turning to game: offer a viable alternative.
Socially awkward males will take it if available. All you have to do is understand their frustrations and give them something that helps them ease them.
The best response I saw (from Quora):
I’m just as disappointed in women for having low standards. When I can be a nerd and talk about something intelligent and be nice without socially neutering myself because I choose not to talk loud and put other people down and be polite, then the world won’t need pickup bootcamps.
That’s exactly it. If your average beta male could find a half-decent girl to settle down with in his early twenties, there would be no demand for game. There would be PUA’s (probably under a different name), as there have always been and always will be guys who want nothing more than some casual sex, but there would be no demand for game.
You look at a lot of guy on the manosphere, such as Mentu, had met a decent girl to marry while young, they would never have learned game and would never have needed to.
Another interesting answer at Quora was this.
He describes game as cheating.That’s an interesting way to think of it.
If you think of the sexual marketplace as a game, then game is simply violating the traditional rules to win. Nothing overly profound, but an interesting way to look at it.