The deep psychology that keeps men in the game

I think most basic guys who get into game just want to find a pretty, acceptable girlfriend, and when they find one they drop off. Maybe they eventually break up, only to start the cycle anew. Or they have kids, and that’s another set of issues not conducive to game writing.

Then there are the guys who get into the game, maybe to find a girlfriend or maybe to just sleep with a lot of women, and they succeed: over time, they have amazing and awful experiences and they rack notches. They have amazing stories.

Eventually racking notches loses some of its appeal. Most women are not that good outside of bed; they’re annoying to be around; they themselves lose their personal discipline; and the Coolidge Effect kicks in. So guys start to feel what I call the Groundhog Day effect, where nailing yet another rando loses some of its thrill. SOME. Not all of course. Most intelligent guys, sooner or later, also want to create something more lasting than random bangs. Usually that means kids. Often the desire becomes acute in the mid 30s to early 40s. One can imagine biological reasoning for that, or the realities of aging and death as one’s parents die or become elderly and infirm. A lot of guys who marry or de-facto marry in their 20s do the opposite and seem to break up in that period, maybe because they realize their opportunities to relatively easily close 20-something women are going to dwindle.

(Yes, I know, the Internet is full of 45- and 50-year-old guys with their HB9 24-year-old girlfriends… maybe… I’m sure it happens, and it’s not impossible, but I don’t see much of it in my own life.)

Maybe the apotheosis of the “pack it in” guys is Neil Strauss, since he wrote The Game and then wrote The Truth, which can be read many ways… one being that he got tired of the game. His own psychology or biology were tired of the chase.

Granted, he is also a famous millionaire and married a 20-something swimsuit model. [Addendum: He seems also to have filed for divorce, so so much for that example.]

We have two classes of guys so far: the ones just looking for an okay girlfriend, then the ones who do it for three to ten years before deciding to have kids or otherwise change.

Then there are guys who are in it for the long haul.

They are the guys who write the most intense blogs for the longest period of time. Then the blog becomes fodder for a book. Most guys write for a while then disappear into monogamy or kids… or boredom with only speaking to pseudonymous guys online: I’m likely to disappear at some point; I don’t make money doing this, will never start a coaching business, and will probably run out of stuff to say. Yes, there is daily outrage against men in the news, and I’m prone to writing about that, but I think I will quit due to diminishing returns.

The long haul guys are Krauser, Tom Torero, Blackdragon, probably some other guys I’m not aware of (although Blackdragon is writing more about relationships and less about game as such). Leave comments with others I’m leaving out. For them game seems like a total life practice and purpose, not a phase. Seduction is their art. Or their demon.

Art or demon? In a comment to another post, I said that I wonder about the psychology of some of the hardest-core game guys. Neil Strauss wrote about his own psychological demons in The Truth. Tucker Max isn’t exactly a game guy but he too has written about his demons, especially as they relate to his messed-up mother. Krauser has written about his domineering mother too (very similar to Max and Strauss, and this may be a pattern worth exploring). I don’t want to go all Freudian, but I have to think about whether some of the more extreme cases come from bad places in childhood.

And, specifically, from men with bad mothers. Max, or his therapist, thinks there’s a psychological pattern. Does it take being somewhat messed up to really succeed at the highest levels of conscious game? Nash’s post “Tom Torero is a Thief | Street Hustle Book Review” got me thinking about these issues… be sure to read the fruitful comments on that post. I don’t know what to make of the post because I don’t know Torero personally and he doesn’t seem immediately slimy to me, but what Nash says isn’t impossible.

Psychological explanations about declining long-term game motivation, loneliness, and a desire for substance are easy to dismiss as “blue pill” thinking, but I don’t think all of psychology is “blue pill.” I don’t even think the drive to pair-bond, which most people experience in various ways, is BP. Many BP guys suffer from oneitis because they can’t do any better, but some RP guys get tired of the game, of female bullshit, and the tedium of the chase. Even the joy of sleeping with a new chick can become a drug. Drug metaphors are common in game. Drugs can lead to abuse and the need for abstention and, ultimately, recovery.

To guys who’ve never had a lot of women, the last paragraph may sound like BS. So be it. Unless you’ve had five+ years of active game or sexual success, though, I don’t want to hear your arguments.

Get the experience, then you can tell me it’s BS.

Actually, I want you to have five+ years and be over age 30. Contemporary guys aren’t ready to have families and that kind of thing until at least age 30, more likely age 35. If you are age 21 or 26… talk to me in ten years. Enjoy chasing skirt today.

This has turned into a hell of a ramble post, but I’m going to keep going.

Almost all the guys in game, or realistically writing about game because I don’t know anything about the guys whose writing I haven’t encountered, have a common narrative: they were sexual nobodies or nonstarters in high school and usually college. Some didn’t get going in earnest until age 30 or later. Often they were or are jealous of their more successful-seeming rivals. Usually they don’t understand women’s feral sexual nature and are shocked to discover it, as shocked as Europeans finding the new world. They don’t understand that evolutionary psychology compels women to have an official purity narrative layered on top of their actual sex drive and behaviors. They learn game and change their lives enormously.

That is a common narrative for guys and it isn’t my narrative. I’m coming from a world where I’ve probably had above-average success for most of my life. I’ve had struggles and I still struggle, and I am not laying chicks like a Hollywood actor, but I have done and am doing fine. Positive feelings and thinking tends to beget more positive feeling and thinking. To me, game formalized a lot of things I already sensed and helped me improve weak points. But I am not reacting against extreme failures in my past.

So my past and key reference experiences are different than the game guys I’ve read. I did “okay” in high school. At the time I perceived it to be below average, but now I realize I was above average, though not at the very peak. In retrospect I had a lot of problems with pedestalizing, weak eye contact, and, during initial encounters, subservient behaviors. But I had a lot of advantages from sports teams, reading, and decent willingness to approach (what would now be called “warm approach” in a school, university, or work environment). Given enough green lights I would escalate up to sex. I had a reasonable number of what I would now call positive reference experiences.

In college no one knew about “the game,” and while I wouldn’t call myself one of the ultra-high-achieving naturals, I did fine. I kept up with sports discipline, so I looked better than most guys. I did the default baggy college guy outfit and although it worked fine in retrospect I should’ve tuned what I wore better. I relied on pure body more than fashion. I also wish I’d learned about black iron compound lifting earlier. At the time I believed that fancy Nautilus machines were safer and better. They’re more advanced and technological, right? WRONG. But I didn’t know better at the time. I also thought fat was bad and carbs were good, because that was the dominant thinking at the time and the government must be right. Fat makes you fat, right?

Hahahaha, I know, in retrospect I’m laughing at my naiveté too. I didn’t know any better. Neither did many other people.

But I tolerated rejection well and by the time I was in college I had a pretty simple setup: I figured out early on that I should stock beer, vodka, and a mixer. My strategy was simple: “Come over to the dorm [or house] for a beer later.” Drink a beer or two, listen to music, watch a movie, escalate. When you are surrounded by young hot unencumbered girls… a minimal amount of game can be very powerful.

I bobbled lots of stuff and didn’t persist through LMR. One of the most beautiful girls I ever tried for came over, took off her shirt, but said no to more, and for some reason I just stopped pursuing her. Years later she said she had a huge crush on me and wanted to know why I didn’t like her back. I told her that I didn’t think she liked me.

There are many other missed opportunity stories I could tell, but I had a strategy of sorts that was good enough and it was better than most guys. Game is often like running from a bear: you don’t have to be the fastest, you just have to be faster than the other guys. College guys are real slow. I’m sure that if I posted many of the things I did and said to the Internet, an army of couch-PUAs would tell me everything I did wrong, but it worked well enough.

Colleges basically set up warm approaches. Middle class and middle class+ college kids also have nothing better to do besides sit around and gossip, so I got a reputation as a “player,” which of course helped me with like 80% of girls. The reputation wasn’t really deserved, since I just ran the simple algorithm, but I wasn’t complaining either.

I also didn’t know how to keep girls on rotation, so if a girl wanted to be my “girlfriend” I would say yes, and “be her boyfriend,” most often until I got bored with her, at which point I’d suddenly break up with her and she would cry, because I didn’t know how to set appropriate expectations. Or she’d eventually catch me with another girl and get angry. I had a couple of those sitcom-y conversations where the girl would say, “But you’re my boyfriend, how could you do this to me?” and I would reply, “Because I knew that if I didn’t, you wouldn’t have sex with me | would stop having sex with me.” She would be… confused, more than anything, I think.

The right answer, of course, is to say, “I’m seeking something casual and we’re both in college and we’re too young to get serious,” but I wasn’t that sophisticated and back then no one was talking about poly or open relationships. I did intuit how to be sex positive, albeit without knowing that term. Not slut-shaming girls and being the chill guy they can come to for sex that won’t get back to their friends was super smart.

I also had not come to my fundamental realization, that there are really only two kinds of relationships: relationships with a woman with whom you plan to have kids, and all other kinds of relationships. When I came to understand that, much became clear that had previously been mysterious.

Because of my sex-or-nothing attitude in later college, I became a somewhat polarizing person, because I eventually learned not to be faux friends with girls I actually wanted to sleep with. At the start of college I was… not so good at this and did some embarrassing things.

After college I somehow got the idea that it was time to “get serious” and “settle down.” Don’t ask me how or why. I don’t know. That led me to (unintentionally) having kids too early, which worked itself out eventually but caused a lot of drama at the time.

Overall I did well for a long time and that must have affected me and my expectations. Like I said, at the time I didn’t know about the joy of the barbell, and I didn’t formally know or intuitively understand that neither men nor women have much control over who they’re attracted to. Women’s attraction is often sub-verbal, visceral, and not optional.

Evolutionary biology is the foundation of game: a fact so important that I have to keep saying it. Attraction starts of course with looks and the body, which is why every RP and game writer says that lifting (or any exercise really) is such a vital place to start. Women don’t have much control over attraction, so maximize what you can control. That starts with the body’s motions and what a guy puts in his body.

It doesn’t end there and I’ve seen really attractive guys underperform because of personality flaws, being too passive/needy, etc. Having the whole package is best but not an option for most guys, since we just have to develop what we have.

The other side, of course, is that men only have so much choice in who we’re attracted to. Women wear makeup, hit the gym, choose high heels, etc. because they know they’re in competition for the very top guys. Every time I read a woman write about how women should quit high heels I laugh. Go ahead and do it… but your competitors won’t… and their raised, wiggling asses will attract the eyes of men.

Women know guys like youth, health, fertility cues, etc., even if no woman who isn’t an evolutionary biologist would use those terms. A given woman may defect from optimal strategy but if she does the higher-value guys will get taken by women who don’t defect, so the vast majority of women conform to male preferences. Just like guys who want to get laid conform to female preferences. You may have seen defectors who cut their hair short, quit shaving, and go vegan. Actually I only see them if they’re in my way, otherwise they’re pretty much invisible to me, like they are to the vast majority of straight guys.

Part of the game is learning those opposite-sex preferences. I didn’t know them in high school or college but I learned them well enough, and the formal component came later. It’s not necessary to know the formal component (virtually no men who have ever lived and reproduced knew it) but it will help, just like it’s possible to dominate a high school basketball court without lifting, but lifting will make any athlete better.

I wonder about the psychological effects of being a relative outcast during the formative years. I have my own psychological quirks, I’m sure, but they don’t stem from utter failure when I was young, which seems like such a common game origin story. A lot of guys who get into game at age 30+ may be going through a phase that I started when I was like age 18.

This is not a “shame guys” post, as I think everyone should pursue happiness and satisfaction as they see fit. In some sense I will likely always be in the game as long as I am physically viable, since I’m not interested in monogamy and likely never will be.

That said I do wonder. How much tail does one need before one is basically satiated? When I am 50 or 55 or 60 will I still want to be stopping women and saying that I have to say that they’re cute, but they look like they’re ready for a yoga class? Are they poseurs or really going? Etc. I have seen the old people at the sex clubs and they don’t seem to be having fun and few of the younger people want them there.

Like most normal people, I’m also subject to feelings of loneliness. Friends help with that but friends are not a panacea. I’ve chosen a weirder life course than most people around me, and that makes having friends and maintaining friendships harder. Most people around me are married. Those who aren’t, are almost all divorced (and then most often re-married). I’m the guy at weddings and holidays without a spouse… or with an “inappropriate” date. Yes, I know that I shouldn’t care and should be a proud lone wolf, but I haven’t gotten to where I am in the business world by ignoring social cues. Almost no one gets to the top alone. The further up you go, the more soft and people skills matter. I’m good enough to mostly get away with my other life, but I can also listen to what people say.

I don’t think I have the psychology necessary to be permanently in the game. I wonder about the guys who are in it for decades. Do they get bored? Do they wonder if there’s anything greater out there? Have their formative experiences so scarred them that, once in game, they can’t get out? I’m clearly not anti-game or anti-sex, but I wonder about these issues. Maybe I’m in a weird place because I’ve also already done some of the empire-building that is common to guys starting around ages 35 – 40.

I also have kids I love and a job and no desire to turn game into money. I don’t see sex as a validation of who or what I am. That’s part of the reason I’m happy paying for it, if the circumstances are right. Though I haven’t paid for it for a while, because I’ve been seeing women pretty steadily. To me paying or not paying for it isn’t a matter of pride. To me, the physical pleasure of sex is the best part. I’m susceptible to that feeling of intimacy and closeness that comes from sex, even though my conscious self knows it’s a lie. I don’t chase skirt for the ego trip (as best I can tell). There seem to be some number of guys writing about the game who want to f**k pretty girls just to see if they can and just to then say that they can do it. My motivations are more immediate and physical.

Most of the guys I know who have kids and a strong relationship are much more pleased than the guys without. I think we evolved to live around families and to raise kids. A lot of people who never do that, something is either wrong with their heads from an early age or goes wrong as the loneliness of transient f**ks messes with their heads over time. I use the phrase “a lot of people” instead of “all people” deliberately: you may be an exception. In human affairs, there are always exceptions. You may also be lying to yourself and thinking you are the exception. Most of this ramble is targeted at guys over age 30 and likely over age 35. If you are 25 and have gotten this far, just bookmark this page and come back to it in five or ten years. For now, go bang all the hot chicks you can. Younger guys need the experience and need to get the call of the wild out of their systems.

Older guys, though, older guys who have been plowing a lot of chicks… who find themselves looking at the ceiling after the latest random is passing out next to him… who want to build the future by having a family… you guys are wondering about the long-term psychology, like I am. This ramble is for you. It does not tell you what to do, for that is not my way. It does attempt to help you think about what the good life is. The good life at age 24, may not be the good life at age 40. Maybe, though, you are a pickup artist. Artists are often maniacs, obsessed with their art until they die. If that is you, so be it.

Author: The Red Quest

How can we live and be in society?

19 thoughts on “The deep psychology that keeps men in the game”

  1. This is an unusual post for you, man. Longer, a little more meandering, but the post is an excellent look into your head. Great job.

    >> That is a common narrative for guys and it isn’t my narrative.

    You have a persistent “comfortable” quality to the way you write and think. Not comfortable as in “soft,” comfortable as in secure. Pook says “confidence is comfortableness.” I love that line.

    I have this theory about “security” and girls. Girls that take chances are often either seeking trouble or are relatively unaware of it. I am often amazed at girls that come back to my place so quickly (like the Preacher’s Daughter in NYC). My theory is that these girls came from secure homes. That could be the usual formula or any scenario that left a given girl with a feeling of “being loved.” Being “held.”

    They’re fundamentally “secure.”

    >> a common narrative: they were sexual nobodies or nonstarters in high school and usually college.

    For my part… I had one of those secure homes. My parents couldn’t hold a marriage together to save their lives (or mine), but my sister and I ended up secure and relatively well-adjusted (except, perhaps, for my complete aversion to marriage). There was a ton of love in my family. Grandparents (maybe mostly) and parents. I was lucky, and I know it.

    And I did okay in HS with girls (I have always had a GF, since I was 5). I was the dating a very popular cheerleader who really liked me. We went to prom together. I first had sex at 18, and she/I had a very healthy and happy sex life. That good experience also added to my “secure” feelings about sex and relationships…

    That security makes it easier for us. I believe that.

    I wasn’t overly cool in college… but I had a series of girlfriends (damn, I wish I knew anything about game back then). I was treated well by those girls (most of them). I treated them well.

    So… I don’t have the usual “I was a total geek” story either.

    I got into game… because a friend of mine told me such a thing existed. I had no idea. And because I was too soft, and the girls I was dating and I had terrible sexual chemistry… because I was too “artsy” and “nice.” Game fixed all that for me. Now I’m “artsy” and “bad!” Much better.

    >> Unless you’ve had five+ years of active game or sexual success, though, I don’t want to hear your arguments.
    >> Get the experience, then you can tell me it’s BS.

    This ^ is why I’m so committed to game now. I love this conversation. I didn’t have enough iterations to speak from experience… so now, I’m working on accumulating that experience.

    Years ago, I said… maybe until 35? And sure enough, I was a bachelor until 35. I had 2 live-in relationships between 35-42, both with girls I picked up via game. And now…

    Maybe until 50?

    I think I’ll be here for a while. There is a lot to see. I’m not the slightest bit bored.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am often amazed at girls that come back to my place so quickly (like the Preacher’s Daughter in NYC). My theory is that these girls came from secure homes. That could be the usual formula or any scenario that left a given girl with a feeling of “being loved.” Being “held.”

      I’m not so sure. To me it looks like naiveté or folly. They don’t know you. That situation can turn ugly very fast with the wrong guy.

      This ^ is why I’m so committed to game now. I love this conversation. I didn’t have enough iterations to speak from experience… so now, I’m working on accumulating that experience.

      You may already have it, or a lot of it. I’ve had a lot of wild, amazing experiences, but a lot of them I can’t even remember now. I’ve never wanted to, but I get why guys do spreadsheets.

      Like

  2. Great post. Best I’ve read from you so far.

    >> Almost all the guys in game, or realistically writing about game because I don’t know anything about the guys whose writing I haven’t encountered, have a common narrative: they were sexual nobodies or nonstarters in high school and usually college.

    This describes me. Sort of.

    Throughout high school in college, I was always redpilled in that I always innately understood and resisted any urges to “get a girlfriend”, never pedestalized or complimented women, etc. but at the same time I had no knowledge of logistics, escalation, I had zero idea how to get from “girl” to “sex”.

    I also wasn’t an outcast. I was extroverted, social, involved in sports, hung out with the “popular girls” in high school (as well as the nerdy girls, hell, I hung out with everyone.).

    But sex wasn’t a reality for me until my mid-20s.

    >> Usually they don’t understand women’s feral sexual nature and are shocked to discover it.

    So true. I had no idea that women actually enjoyed sex. I thought it was something that was very much a “man’s thing” and that it was a man’s job to conquer and bed women, despite their resistance. I didn’t know that women were horny and would give IOIs to men (causing me to miss a few IOIs in my early years).

    >> (Yes, I know, the Internet is full of 45- and 50-year-old guys with their HB9 24-year-old girlfriends… maybe… I’m sure it happens, but I don’t see much of it in my own life.)

    +1. I don’t know many 40+ guys that pull the hottest of the hot girls. But I do know several 40+ guys that do very well for themselves. Personally, at 40+ I’d be content with a harem of a couple young 7s. Subject of an upcoming post.

    Personally, I don’t know what my future holds. I’m interested to keep reading reports of men around your age and how you deal with things.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. nash recommended this post on twitter. it was a lot of fun to read.

    my favorite line:

    “This has turned into a hell of a ramble post, but I’m going to keep going.”

    i like what nash says here:

    “the post is an excellent look into your head.”

    exactly.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great post and love the dialogue as well in the comments. The question of what does one do later in life when new notches aren’t enough is a key one, but as a long-haul guy I think there’s no decent alternative to staying in the game for life to some degree.

    By way of background, I’m early 40’s and my narrative isn’t unlike yours. I did better than most in college, but there was no skill or understanding to it. I had a need in my mid 20’s to “get serious” and I got married way too young, and didn’t discover game or start to consciously apply it until the end of my marriage in my late 30’s. Luckily I got through that without baggage or kids. I would say now my game is strong and I’m quite happy with my regular rotation, as I believe guys like Nash and Pancake would attest.

    So here’s the thing. As you wrote above evolutionary biology is the foundation of game. You touched on my perspective when you wrote “guys who want to get laid conform to female preferences. “. Just as women are hard-wired to be attracted to what they are attracted to, they’re also hard wired to get bored of a man after a few months to 3 years max. They may stick with you but the sex will drop off big time. At the same time as men we get bored of banging of just one girl and crave variety.

    The only way to address this is to use game to constantly bring new women in to your life. This could be as little as having a main girl (who will leave you eventually) and a side girl, or the whole tornado of constantly dating women and getting new notches. The point is the same. Because of how humans are hard wired, if you want to be in control in managing the women in your life and have regular, passionate sex, you need to play the game. So even as we get older as long as we want regular sex we need to be in the game at least enough to have a main and a side girl, and be able to replace them as they inevitable fall off. This process only stops when you’re no longer interested in regular sex (70’s?).

    I’ve learned a lot from Krauser, Torero, and especially Blackdragon. Despite their flaws they have a tremendous amount to teach. But I’d say they would all agree that the reason they are “long haul” guys is that they understand the underlying human nature and that there is no leaving the game if you want women and regular quality sex in your life. I’m certainly in this long haul camp as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fantastic post. Probably your best, and one that hits home for me on several levels, since at late 20s I have never had sex without paying for it (which I thoroughly enjoyed, so I totally get your acceptance of such arrangements).

    I have been reading a lot of manosphere materials these last months, and yes, I spot commonalities. For instance, the people I see over at Château Heartiste are not basic bros. At the risk of projecting, they are guys like me, middle class, not socially awkward but who have read a lot of history, politics, etc. and their conversations tend to soon gravitate around this, which usually alienates girls. At age 16 I had already read about Reagan and the American conservative movement, and I am in Spain! …girls are not into that kind of shit, many do abhor politics. We are not 150 IQ geniuses or anything like that, but curious about how the world works, political, with a certain seriousness more typical of older people… the teasing and playfulness does not come naturally. I never got the point of parties… what do you do but loitering around and small talk? I need to be doing something specific. Aldous Huxley defined intellectuals as people who had found something more interesting to do than sex, and I think that he comes close to express this idea.

    And funnily enough, despite growing up in a very functional family (a marriage Americans would kill for considering the horror stories in Reddit), from a very early age I knew I did not want to get married, and did not want to have children. I also knew in my gut that marriage was a bad deal, despite how good my parents had it, and TRP confirmed this.

    Finally, I am a single kid, and this matters as well. All my life I have had a tit-for-tat, materialistic outlook. Does this benefit me? What am I obtaining from this? etc.
    I suspect many folks who get into game are the same. We see women as experiences to be had (just like they see us, albeit they do this unconsciously). Love is a completely alien concept. That’s why Dan Bilzerian rocks haha.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha glad to hear! I suspect there are many people like us. When I was a teen I did not really grasp how much work getting laid implied, and did not had a great deal of anxiety. I guess that the average dude gets his first sexual experiences a bit by chance, but also because he is probably more extroverted and hangs out more, therefore making more connections, etc.

        Spain is a bit baffling because we experienced the sexual revolution more lately and unevenly. Just to give an idea, in 1970 our fertility rate was Europe’s highest, at 2,90, and by 1998 it had shrunk dramatically, to 1,15. I grew up as a kid in the 90s and my understanding of relationships was basically LTRs: you would befriend someone first, and grow more intimate with time.

        In the last ten years things have dramatically changed, probably moving closer to hook-ups for the younger crowd, but even if I allow for my lack of experience I sense that a lot of manosphere stuff is clearly America- or Anglosphere-based, so it does not always apply here. Friends who are more sexually experienced tell me that foreign girls are much more into casual sex than ours. Plus, I am in a small region, and not a large metropolitan area, so women might be more afraid of their “reputation” here.

        Château Heartiste has an old post in which he wonders if Spain is the worst country in the world for gamers (https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/is-spain-the-worst-country-in-the-world-for-players/). This summer I talked via Google Hangouts with Rivelino, an American PUA who lives in Madrid and he kind of confirmed to me that Spanish girls were harder, at least while in Spain (when they travel it is another story).

        I hope that, women aside, you had a pleasant stay among us… :)

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s