Neil Strauss’ book brought the world of the male ‘pick-up artist’ into the mainstream. It gives an insight into men.
This makes it essential reading for women for several reasons – that work at three different levels.
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The first level – The Game is a good read. Strauss is a great writer. It really is funny because, above all, it’s authentic. It’s one of those books that you couldn’t make up. For this reason, it’s easy to read – but also immersive and relatable.
Second – and at a deeper level – it’s insightful into the nature of men. Reading between the lines, the book is as much about male insecurity as it is about ‘picking up women’. The author (to a certain extent) and the entire community of men are driven by sex and getting sex, worried about appearances, and comparing themselves to others. Mostly other men and each other.
More than that though – the people described in the book are all attempting to move forward with their lives. The area under examination is less “relationships” and more “getting laid” – but there is a tone running through the book about the “underdog” that enhances its appeal.
Thirdly – at the deepest level – the story goes full circle. Guys start off working hard, immersing themselves in the terminology, learning the different approaches, practising in the field.
It’s the process by which the people described in the book transform that makes it (at least initially) inspiring. It is the Hero’s Journey for the modern man. The idea that there’s hope for me. That’s deeply appealing.
However, what really happens is that they come back to where they started and end up hollow. There is no shortcut to a great life.
You can’t fake a passion (for Led Zeppelin, for Formula 1, for Bonsai trees) to make yourself more appealing. Tools and techniques might work into the short-run, but the long-term satisfaction of a relationship takes a willingness to explore. The Game describes this only indirectly. That’s the very subtle, but biggest lesson of the book.
- Trust your instincts. When someone is real – you know it. You know when a guy is using a line and when it’s authentic.
- Empower the men around you. The guys who initially stumble across the material in The Game were the geeks. The non-alphas who were pushed around. Remember this because they started as nice guys and we’re human too – all men get sad and upset and can use support.
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