Among the most bizarre manifestations of the Internet-driven open source movement is the “pick-up artist” (PUA) community. Founded as a Usenet group in the mid-90’s, alt.seduction.fast (the name of the group in Usenet syntax) served as a place where computer nerds and other assorted geeks could commiserate and compare notes about their success (or lack thereof) with women. The group was initially dominated by various hucksters and frauds selling expensive courses, who recommended the use of canned “patterns” (scripted conversations to seduce a woman) and “Neuro-Linguistic Programming” techniques, a pseudoscientific holdover of the 1970’s New Age Movement. However, even with these liabilities, there was such a strong placebo effect that the learning of the group quickly accelerated. It turns out that actually going out and talking to women, even with goofy “patterns,” makes it infinitely more likely one will succeed than sitting at the computer.
Like the acceleration seen in science once scientists abandoned useless speculations and philosophy and started conducting experiments with falsifiable hypotheses, the PUA community quickly developed various human software hacks to help socially awkward males navigate the postmodern dating meat market. For those who have never had problems attracting female interest, the advice can be banal. Things like “just go up and talk to her, don’t hesitate,” or “act confident,” or “draw attention to yourself.” However, some of the advice is somewhat counterintuitive: for example, the “neg,” which involves a subtle and playful insult to an attractive woman to differentiate the PUA from the average drooling male. Other useful advice, even to Christian young men, is to avoid being a milquetoast “nice guy;” our feminized churches have turned the average churchgoing Christian male into a wimp singing “prom songs to Jesus.” I think this largely explains the success of Mark Driscoll, who, besides offering a more meaty theology than 95% of evangelical churches, also provides a positive masculine example. He’s a tough guy, almost a caricature who enjoys watching cage fighting, not a sweater-wearing low-testosterone Ned Flanders type.
In the PUA community, the philosopher-king is undisputably the anonymous blogger known as “Roissy.” Due to the profane nature of his writings, no links will be provided, but Google is there for the curious and forewarned. Roissy is unique in that besides dispensing practical PUA advice, he attempts to unify the empirical collective experience of the PUA community into a comprehensive worldview. Though Roissy is a degenerate Epicurean (a description he would embrace), his worldview is sufficiently realistic in its appraisal of natural revelation that it sort of backwards-validates a traditional, ethnonationalist Christian worldview, especially if practiced by an entire society. He is the sort of Renaissance-style “great sinner” whose passing is lamented by Screwtape as the world degenerated mid-century into a bland mass of boring bureaucrats damned by unreflecting unbelief and petty pride.
I will attempt to summarize the Roissy worldview below:
1. Fundamental to the Roissy worldview is that there is no God, just the physical universe. However, whereas most nihilists insist on some sort of Stoic adherence to a self-defined moral code, Roissy is an almost perfectly consistent nihilist, a mechanical animal seeking pleasure at the direction of his lizard brain. Eat, drink, copulate and be merry, for tomorrow we die.
2. Roissy subscribes to a cyclical, pagan and Spenglerian view of history. According to this thinking, the West has entered a declining phase and can only be reborn once there is a collapse back to barbarism. Roissy feels lucky to be alive during this transitional time, in that he can enjoy many of the benefits provided by our self-denying Christian forebears, such that one avoids the physical consequences of barbarism like starvation or violent death, while still enjoying the moral laxity of barbarism, particularly in the area of sex. For a consistent nihilist Epicurean, like the final centuries of Rome, it is an ideal time to be alive.
Interestingly, his eschatology is remarkably similar to amillenialists and dispensationalists, who generally agree that the West is finished and nothing can be done. They are a holy remnant who wait for Jesus while Roissy drowns himself in pleasure; both remove themselves from fighting with hope for the good and true. This incidentally demonstrates the superiority of the postmillenial view of eschatology. Even if the amillenialists are technically theologically correct, the optimism of postmillenialists provides the only possible worldview that can save the West: playing a game expecting to lose is a good way to lose. Ironically, millions of largely dispensational and amillenialist Christians currently benefit from the efforts of postmillenialists like Rushdoony to legalize homeschooling, removing their children from the toxic culture that Roissy exploits for his own pleasure. Pessimists would never have believed that homeschooling would go from being mostly illegal to mostly legal in the course of the last twenty years.
3. Besides carnal pleasures, Roissy enjoys pointing out the logical inconsistencies of the degenerate liberals he preys upon; Roissy subscribes to realist views of human biodiversity, an area of maximum hypocrisy in our society. Like many materialist white nationalists, he sees the West’s accommodation of immigrants unable to sustain its civilization as additional evidence of degeneracy. Unlike materialist white nationalists, he is a consistent nihilist in that he attaches no ultimate value to the West or whites, or at least not sufficient value to interrupt his pleasure-seeking.
4. The most practical theory to explain the success of PUA’s is Roissy’s elucidation of the phenomenon of postmodern female hypergamy, as elucidated in the work of F. Roger Devlin (warning: Devlin describes important facts about postmodern mating but is prone to sweeping generalizations about all women that I think are needlessly offensive to the remnant of women who are on our side; this book review is among the milder of his works—and not appropriate for children—but it fairly summarizes his point of view). A quote:
The traditional answer to the question, “How do I get Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Handsome to commit?” is, “You probably won’t.” Those men go fast, and they usually go to the most attractive females. But that does not, of course, guarantee the contentment of those females either: four women walked out on Cary Grant. Part of the folk wisdom of all ages and peoples has been that sexual attraction is an inadequate basis for matrimony.
Monogamy means that women are not permitted to mate with a man, however attractive, once he has been claimed by another woman. It does not get a more attractive mate for a woman than she would otherwise get; it normally gets her a less attractive one. “Liberated,” hypergamous female mating — i.e., what we have now — is what ensures highly attractive mates for most women. But, of course, those mates “don’t commit” — really, are unable to commit to all the women who desire them. The average woman must decide between having the most attractive “sex partner” possible and having a permanent husband.
Female hypergamy is the fact of worldly, urban mating markets today. In summary, the top 25% of men are monopolizing the top 75% of women. These top 25% are the exciting, attractive more “alpha males.” Essentially, we have moved from a monogamous society to a polygamous society, without the messiness of actual marriage. There are a number of things happening:
a. It can properly be called female hypergamy because in any polygamous society the losers are always mostly males. Generally higher status males have many wives or concubines, leaving a shortage of women for the lower status males.
b. Because women at the 75th percentile in attractiveness can mate with a male at the 90th percentile, normal human vanity convinces them that they can get such a man to commit. This is less likely than ever to happen, however, because of the unlimited mating opportunities presented to the 90th percentile male. This results in many women pining after men they can never marry, seeing themselves as victims because all of the “good men” are taken. Implicit in this victimology is a sense of entitlement as she simultaneously rejects the advances of normal, boring beta males who are her true equal in attractiveness. Marital monogamy has historically helped women to be more realistic about potential mates. Each suitor could be her last chance to marry before becoming a dreaded old maid.
c. Alpha males are generally charismatic, attractive and exciting. Beta males are the mass of males who are less attractive but nevertheless capable of being loving providers for a woman and her children. Women respected “beta providers” in past times when a man was required for a woman to have any sort of standard of living for herself and her children. In the post-feminist era, women have their own jobs and state support for their out-of-wedlock children, freeing them economically to follow their lusts towards the alpha male. Roissy notes how most women in these urban centers sleep around with high status males until they are in their 30’s, at which point they settle, for a few years at least, for a beta provider male. Their memories of their alpha lovers, however, forever cloud their ability to respect and love their husband, which results eventually in divorce. Roissy believes marriage is a bad deal for beta males because they marry a woman who is past her prime attractiveness, who then divorces him and collects alimony and child support payments. This is the unintended consequence of no-fault divorce laws: we still enforce a Christian code of honor upon men to provide for their families, but not on women to obey, love and respect their husbands.
d. The West was built by beta male providers. Civilization can be partly seen as a redirection of the male sex drive into constructive endeavors to provide for wives and children. Men will do whatever it takes for sex. The less women demand, the less men will do. A key part of Roissy’s worldview is that a functioning civilization must protect the interests of beta males from the female drive of hypergamy. Particularly offensive on this front is the feminist drive to ban paternity tests in divorce and child support situations, forcing men to provide for children resulting from the adulterous relations of their former wives. It is estimated that about 10 to 15% of children born to married women in modern cultures are not the child of the husband.
e. PUA’s like Roissy largely operate in liberal, gentrified urban centers like NYC, SF, LA and DC. Young women inhabit these cities without male relatives or a real community to look out for their best interest. As the West becomes increasingly atomized, a vacuum of opportunity presents itself. People have no social support network, no real relationships in time and space, and so the PUA can charm a woman he just met into bed. Relationships in these urban centers are so casual and transitory that the PUA approach (picking up women in public places) does not seem out of place or unusual. And most importantly, there are no male relatives to (violently) deal with seducers.
f. PUA’s also take advantage of the differences in male and female attraction. Whereas male attraction has as a prerequisite a significant degree of physical attraction, women are much more flexible. Women generally find higher-status men more attractive, and this can trump aesthetic considerations (e.g. Mick Jagger: ugly, but high status, and dates/marries beautiful women; Kathy Bates, on the other hand, an unattractive but high status woman, can’t find a date). PUA’s find ways to simulate behavioral traits of high status males (cockiness, body language, feigned indifference to a woman’s attractiveness) that successfully fool the defenses of young women in these atomized urban centers.
Reading Roissy is great inspiration for raising our children outside of the popular culture, which is toxic and dehumanizing for both men and women.
There are inconsistencies in the Roissy worldview. For example, he describes as a proof of his atheism the cruel tricks nature plays on young women in the urban dating markets. For a brief window from their late teens to mid-twenties, they are as angels walking the Earth, showered with male attention, and then age starts to take its toll, and younger women displace them (to the contrary, alpha males have a much longer “shelf life”: e.g. George Clooney); it is in this window, Roissy believes, that these women come to their self-delusional beliefs about their attractiveness that causes them to spurn the beta providers who could truly love them. Roissy seems to imply that loving God would not setup such a system. However, this is a warped view taken out of context.
In a Christian society, we understand that aging is a consequence of the Fall; our bodies will be restored to youth once we are finally reunited to Christ. A monogamous social code ensures young men and women do not emotionally numb themselves with casual sex, but rather marry young with someone of comparable attractiveness, and enjoy the flower of their youth together as a married couple, and establish an exclusive pair bond that will maintain its power even once their bodies are past their prime. Caring fathers and brothers and close-knit communities ensure that the Roissy’s of the world are denied access to most women. Roissy seems to hint at times that he really does believe this is a better societal arrangement, but cannot or will not break his addiction to pleasure in his atomized urban center.
The evangelical, Christian churches outside of these degenerate urban centers are full of women, disproportionately so, who are eager to marry and have children with a providing husband. There are millions of Christian families who have rejected postmodern sexual mores and are homeschooling their children to escape the popular culture. Men can find what they are looking for. In the past, however, when I have pointed this out to assorted materialist white nationalists, mens’ rights types and misogynists, respectively, that by simply confessing the Christian faith they can still have the sort of traditional marriage and life they supposedly desire, I am mostly ignored. I point out that I married young as a virgin to a virgin, have children who are kept segregated from the popular culture and generally enjoy life. As a Presbyterian, I can even indulge in moderate nicotine and alcohol without fundamentalist guilt (and to be fair, most Southern Baptists have shed this New England derived legalism towards alcohol). Homeschooling Christians have created an alternative life-embracing civilization for those who voluntarily opt in. And while there is the occasional minority (usually of very high quality), the movement is overwhelmingly white.
This tendency towards bitterness and inaction is generally the problem with the materialists, however: as Darwinians who embrace a secular doctrine of the depravity of man, they are closer to the truth than the blank-slate liberals. They get the problems of multiculturalism, feminism and consumerism. However, I get the feeling that they believe their chief end is to glorify their own intellect and complain about the decline of the West forever. Roissy is consistent in this respect: if there is no God, nothing means anything and the pursuit of pleasure is the prime imperative.