I’ve said as much before, so maybe this one won’t stick either, but I think I’m basically done writing Red Quest. After more than five years of writing, few, if any, of my original goals for Red Quest have been accomplished: I thought, to cite one example, that writing about sex clubs and non-monogamy would make a bunch of guys try some of the strategies I suggest, then report back on what they found, but, instead, I’ve moved closer to the view that most guys interested in or peripherally orbiting this space don’t get laid at all, or minimally (a view elaborated in most guys don’t care much about getting laid, I hypothesize). Most guys feel they are doing good enough and thus don’t try to do better, or they are so mired in their existing problems that they think the path to improvement too long and arduous to start.
Aspiring towards excellence seems the exception, not the rule, and not a common exception, either. Look at the chart in the preceding link, showing male sexlessness increasing. The era of widespread information being available about how women work and how to pick them up has coincided with fewer guys getting laid. Maybe Internet pr0n is a substitute for many guys… maybe more guys are pathetic than ever… maybe women are more demanding… maybe something else, I don’t know what, is happening. But I thought I’d inspire guys to try the strategies I’ve been articulating, but it seems that hasn’t happened, or, if it has, I don’t know about it.
I also thought I could improve the quality of the discourse around men’s sex and dating lives… look back at the pickup artists (PUAs) of the late ’00s and early ’10s (when I began noticing this space), and notice how a lot of them were having fun and getting laid… “having fun” comes through in Brad P’s work, in Juggler’s, in the Book of Pook, and in the many now-deleted blogs that guys wrote then. Today, look at, to use one example, the Red Pill reddit, and one sees a lot of anger, folly, and resentment, but little fun, joy, or pleasure. The guys moderating it are losers, and they’re most interested in hilariously petty tyranny, and minimally interested in effectively helping other guys, or learning. They are Reddit guys, with all that entails.
Resentment is not sexy, but it’s almost everywhere in the spaces that should be devoted to becoming more effective.
I speculated about the fun deficit to one guy, Madd Monk (who is making progress), and he replied,
The guys who are having a ball – are having a ball. They’re not writing about it, and probably don’t have to. I’ve met a few cool guys, and that’s exactly it. They feel light, they move effortlessly, and they create fun situations effortlessly (at least it seems that way). Girls can feel that. They gravitate to that for the most part. I can feel my heaviness when I’m around these guys. But these are guys I’m trying to make friendships and alliances with. Hopefully we can learn from each other.
I’m definitely working my way out of this deficit. My guess is most “players” start writing when they are in a deficit. And let’s be real, the deficit, and the grind to get out of it is not fun. Few continue writing once they’ve made it to other side, if they ever make it.
This seems possible. “Girls just wanna have fun” is one of the best pieces of game advice, but most guys seem unable to incorporate this idea. Few guys are blogging, from what I can tell, though I’d be pleased to learn of examples I don’t know now, and yet that’s where the independent voices who might focus on fun and effectiveness are likely to arise.
Regarding my failure to move the needle in any larger way, it might be that most guys simply don’t like reading, and reading has become an activity limited to the cognitive elite, while the masses are limited to audiovisual material. But most guys with anything going for them won’t put their faces and voices to pickup material, and so few guys will do “pickup and getting laid” podcasts or videos. Those who do, won’t tell it like it is, for fear of reputational damage and blowback. The guys with anything going for them want to be anonymous. Although I’ve encouraged many guys to write their pickup blogs, few have.
It’s possible that my analysis is wrong… one guy said regarding a draft of this,
Look, what you’ve accomplished goes far beyond what you realize. Also, to the extent that getting guys to do sex parties was the goal, that is extremely difficult to do, even for those of us who’ve tried! I mean, I could have certainly done a lot more if that was my ONLY goal and concern, but, like most normal guys who want to be successful and live a decent life, it’s not. But to go back to the larger picture, sex parties are hard for so many reasons, with logistics/culture being #1. If you don’t live in a very large city where there is a sex positive culture, and have a bunch of other advantages, it’s simply very hard.
Maybe he is right, not me, but unfortunately I can’t bring myself to think so, however much I’d like to.
One main purpose of writing is to start a dialogue, and I’ve been in conversation with many of the guys who came before me, but not very many of the guys who are concurrent with me. I’ve tried to make the dialogic quality happen, but, with two main exceptions, it’s not happened. Maybe the fault is mine, or maybe it’s the larger environment. Orating is usually inferior to conversation. The podcasts that work are almost always dialogic.
After five years, I’ve likely said all that I have to say (“Age and players” covers some of the topics that I’ve been feeling more keenly). Besides game itself, I’ve analyzed legacy media nonsense about men and women, but that too seems to have had little impact, and what I’ve written is no better and probably worse than what The Last Psychiatrist wrote. People who listen to the legacy media on topics relating to sex and dating are mostly fools, and there’s little hope for reform or critique along this route, although sometimes the occasional true or true-ish thing slips accidentally through the net. But there seems to be no larger movement to make the media world better or truer, and the amount of bullshit it contains is high and I guess will be high for the immediate future.
I get a stream of messages from guys, but almost all of them are newbie questions that have been answered in many times and many places before, questions on the order of “How do I talk to girls?” or “What should I say when I approach a girl?” Anyone who finds his way to Red Quest should have the tools to figure out the (many) answers to those questions and the (many) discussions of that question. The sidebar has links to writers who answer that question. The question is almost always framed in this kind of helpless, loser tone, too. The question is never like this,
I talked to seven girls this weekend. This is how it went,
* I said to girl 1. “Hey, I’m John, nice to meet you.” She said…
* I said to girl 2., “I notice your funky shoes, so I had to say hi.” She said…
* I said to girl 3., …
See the difference? The questions I get, with some exceptions, mostly consist of Reddit-quality ineptness, of the “I can’t do anything or think for myself” variety. They are questions guys should pay a coach to ask, and they are the questions of guys who are never likely to go anywhere, because the guy hasn’t yet figured out how to help himself first.
I’ve come around to the view that too many of the guys interested in this stuff losers, or dumb, and most of those who aren’t still have some pretty serious problems and/or blind spots. “Most” does not mean “all,” so you need not register your protest that you are different, because if you are, you are.
It is humorous to me, reading the red pill and pickup people who are like, “Let’s see through the matrix and into the REAL truth,” but, when you dig just a little bit, it’s apparent that they’ve traded one set of delusions for another set. Which isn’t to say I have a monopoly on truth (I don’t), but, by comparison to a lot of guys, I’m a lot closer, and I have much better error-correction and feedback mechanisms.
There are good and powerful ideas circulating in the communities I’m criticizing. Studying and applying pickup works. There are traits and behaviors that women systemically prefer, and guys can learn them. Learning pickup is an example of the light, positive, prosocial side of these communities, but there is also a dark side of them. The best of pickup helps women get what they want and men get what we want. The best creates social connections in an anti-social world that most benefits Google and Apple shareholders. The worst focuses on zero-sum mentalities, taking, narcissism, and destruction. Both the best and the worst are possible. I’ve tried to accentuate the positive while acknowledging the negative. The negative is real, and common, and should not be denied. Many things in life are neither black nor white.
But, although there are good and powerful ideas circulating, ones that have helped me greatly, there are a number of people with broken lives, ineffective psychologies, and other serious internal or external problems. Some of those people are prominent, or at least noisy. If you don’t realize this relatively quickly, it may imply that your own ability to judge character and sanity has some problems. There are people who need therapy, or something, much more than they need game or pickup, with the game and pickup being bandaids that don’t address the underlying problems. Consider an analogy to the people, often teens, who say they are “transsexual,” when in fact their problems and challenges are of a very different sort. The diagnosis is so wrong that the treatment is going to make all of the real problems worse, not better.
There are about 580 Red Quest posts, in addition to two books. That is enough, and if you don’t get it from that corpus, you never will. Most of the guys participating in the pickup space, I have come to conclude, are mostly Internet people.
The time of the elves is over, and we are leaving these lands.
Do things that matter, not things that don’t. Life moves forward and when one stage is done, it’s time to move forward to another.
The time of the elves is over, and they are leaving Middle-earth forever.
24 thoughts on “The post about there not being much left for me to say, while encouraging other guys to carry on”
Thanks for writing. You have a unique voice/perspective on the game. I’ve enjoyed reading you immensely.
One reason you may not have seen direct evidence of impact is that your audience is more likely to be smart guys, who aren’t wildly successful players, who have their lives and shit together. While reading you may not transform them (mostly because they’re not looking for transformation), you’ve probably had a bigger impact on them than you recognize.
If I’m right about your audience, and you’re looking for motivation to keep writing, consider doing a paid substack. I’d happily pay $10/mo. to keep reading you, and I’ll bet I’m not the only one.
There is one area you’ve touched on that I’ve been looking forward to seeing you develop. It’s a central question for the high-functioning man: how does one navigate the competing drives for excitement/novelty and depth/intimacy/family? Especially as one ages out (or gets bored) of pickup. ENM gets at some of this. I think you believe there is more to mine here, and it seems nobody is writing about it.
You have a unique brand as the smart guy in the game. If your audience is like me, you’re about the only “red pill” guy we read. We may not be large or make a lot of noise. But we make money and value quality. And we read you not (only) for game advice (which can be found elsewhere), but for your insights on the meta game that stretches beyond getting laid.
Give us a chance to pay you for your work, and we’ll lay to rest your fear of being the wise man shouting at a bunch of feckless losers.
Thank you, and we’ll see what happens, but I’ve also essentially transitioned out of this phase of my life, and into another. Maybe I’ll still have some things to say now and then, but I don’t expect to.
Probably I should have moved to Substack 2 – 3 years ago. Today, I don’t think there’s a lot of point to moving RQ, because there’s a mismatch between what my life is about now and the topics I’ve covered on RQ. The best blogs about pickup and game are by guys living that life.
There are other guys with the potential to tell their stories, and who are in the beginning or middle of their pickup journeys, so maybe they’ll speak up. “There are about 580 Red Quest posts, in addition to two books”… that is a lot of material.
Hey, just wanted to notice that I don’t know the criteria by which you’re measuring your lack of success. And I think it is apparent. Maybe you can expand on that? Seems like you’re taking goals of this blog for failure, but the criteria, you do not provide and I cannot see, hence why you see it as a failure and others don’t.
It is also possible that the success you seek is delayed. Sometimes change does not come fast, or visibly.
Major criteria would be people reading, discussing, or talking about their own game journey in light of any of the ideas I’ve put forward. There’s been a little bit of that, but not much, and less than I once might have imagined.
For most guys, game does get harder as the guy gets older. The game is great, and pickup artistry is great, but all things have their season, and it is time for me to do other things.
I think you touched on some of the reasons there aren’t many truly successful guys writing blogs like this or commenting on this blog: most guys who are getting a ton of pussy don’t have time to blog about it.
Most of the guys I know who a really successful at this, discuss it mostly in person or some very small chat groups. Andy’s Kill Your Inner Loser forum has some really dedicated guys and there is a strong culture of taking action and shaming keyboard jockeys. Andy’s group coaching group also has facilitated some really high level discussions with guys who are hustling and getting results.
I think the “public internet” just isn’t a good place for these sorts of in-depth discussions. There needs to be gatekeeping to keep guys accountable and some level of privacy so guys can speak freely.
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Curious, are you on Andy’s forum as well?
I am yet another RedQuest reader on the KYIL forums, you can find me at this same username
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I post sporadically, under a different name. But mostly discuss these topics with a small group of Andy’s coaching “alumni” and with some local friends (since we actually go out and approach together).
I could echo the sentiments above, they’re good reasons, but I’d rather risk being off the mark than merely redundant:
The frustrations you expressed above come from a good place. In a way, while you may not be a coach publicly per se, you’ve been trying to help guys move past their frustrations and realize the openness and possibility that lies before them, if they’re only willing to reach out and seize hold of it.
You have the dream of a coach: that a great many people would read your materials and realize their validity and truth. And that comes with the unfortunate realization, many times over, that it’s only possible to truly transform a handful of people in the way you desire to change many, and sometimes make significantly less impactful change on a slightly broader audience. The dream of the coach goes hand in hand with the curse of the same, and the joy of helping others is often tempered by the disappointment of the few willing to be helped.
You’ve inspired several of us. It may seem less than you think, but it’s significant. It’s life-changingly significant to some of us. I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t stumble onto your wikipedia-like blog with connections to several other inspirations. Even if you stop blogging whatsoever right now and watch, you’ll probably witness even more guys changed from your articles here without you lifting a finger.
There’s value *just* in pointing guys to other guys who have valuable information–I should lean into that myself in my blog (because my limited experience leads to focusing on the wrong lessons and overthinking trivialities, but it would help guys if I directed them to you, RPD, Andy, Nash, MarkQ, and others as people who seem to have pretty solidly accurate things to say). And you’ve done it all the more, linking dozens of places in your compendium of posts.
Wishing the best to you, in whatever you move on to do after this. Please rehash stuff as you see fit, because I always look forward to seeing the “The Red Quest” phrase in the subject line of emails.
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Great points. Just pointing guys in the right direction can life changing. I thank my lucky stars for the random r/redpill comment that sent me to Good Looking Loser almost 10 years ago, and lead me to finally getting practical advice and fixing my sex life.
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We’ll see what happens, but I’ve transitioned out of that phase of my life, and into another… we’ll see if other guys take up the call… maybe I’ll still write something now and then, but I don’t expect to.
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Pray tell, who is this MarkQ you speak of?
Mark Queppet, a relatively younger guy compared to many of the guys I mentioned, but he has some good material around quitting porn, habit replacement, and general life improvement (though he doesn’t agree with the ideas of non-monogamy and sexual experimenting with multiple partners, so I can’t say I support everything he says without reservation).
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Guys have to choose their own way, and I doubt that every guy is going to want to do monogamy, but guys who are interested in having a lot of sex with a lot of different women and who don’t want a committed relationship are already in effect doing non-monogamy, just without a label on their habits and without consciously thinking about how to structure what they’re doing.
Most guys simply lack the game skills to be players at all.
Your stuff is very valuable. I love reading the blog + Good Girl, and would be interested in hearing your next steps given your history. I’m entering late 30’s and have a lot of the same questions you’ve posed…. Namely, what is a guy to do who has a history of player lifestyle, but also wants kids & family in his 40s. Caleb Jones addresses this area, but I’ve been really disappointed/disillusioned with him ever since he started posting videos. You are someone I’d like to continue reading (and/or pay for the substack, to second the other reader) to see where you go from here. Like many men today – I don’t feel comfortable writing my own blog covering my sexual escapades and failures — too much risk — and I don’t trust that my nym twitter account is actually really nym since it’s linked to my phone number. As Balaji predicts, the nym accounts are all going to be revealed at some point, and I don’t want that blowup. Privacy is on a really bad downward trend right now….
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I think Jordan B Peterson on the “second half of life” is essentially correct, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LlK5NR_kgE. That link should go to an essay, not a video, but I don’t see an essay. This is Peterson prior to the benzos, opioids, fame, or whatever drugs messed up his cognition.
Few guys are players after 40 and a minuscule number are by 50. Aging is a non-linear, accelerating process. Talk to older people and listen to what they say they value. It’s almost never money or conventional status or the things younger guys most value. Report back on what you find.
>>Like many men today – I don’t feel comfortable writing my own blog covering my sexual escapades and failures — too much risk
Anonymize it and you’ll be fine. The risks barely exist. The rewards for you and the greater society/culture can be large, however.
Plausible deniability is real and also unless you are already famous, people don’t care, and nothing is going to be revealed. You’ll be fine. If you don’t want to cause you don’t want to that’s how it is and it’s fine. Despite my comments / bitching above, there are some great guys, and small groups of similarly motivated people are super important, https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-12-07/the-only-two-pieces-of-advice-you-ll-ever-need
You find them by showcasing your own value. If you start, send me your blog and I will tweet it to get the ball rolling.
>> You are someone I’d like to continue reading (and/or pay for the substack, to second the other reader) to see where you go from here
If I have anything worth writing, I’ll write it, but I’ve had less to say over time, and I would expect that trend to continue. In the last year or two it feels like I’ve been repeating myself more and having fewer new ideas or even takes on older ideas.
Nooooooooo! I just love your email newsletter and I’m sorry you’re hanging up your hat. If it’s time to pivot it’s time, but please reconsider and if it means making them shorter and angrier, we are find with that! And maybe you just need a break, get on substack and make some money…but if this has run its course after 500 posts, I get it. But as someone above wrote: “I always look forward to seeing the “The Red Quest” phrase in the subject line of emails.” You’re the only guy I read on this. If it means dropping the pick-up stuff and leveling up in what you cover, I’ll certainly follow. You’re a great writer. Write anything and we will read it.
We’ll see… if I come up with anything worth saying, I’ll say it… I thought about writing a sequel to THE GOOD GIRL (https://theredquest.wordpress.com/2021/11/15/the-good-girl-a-novel-is-out-today/), but it having sold like 150 copies, I don’t think that’s a great use of time or energy for me right now.
I want to pay respects to the extraordinarily high quality, low bullshit information I’ve gotten from the Red Quest for years. Let me offer my own perspective on the impact of what you’ve written: It’s given me a great foundation. I intend to, and have been, following the principles laid down here to guide me through my 20s. I feel fortunate to have caught this place early. A lot of people here are older. I respect the difficulty of turning things around at that age, and feel fortunate to have started building a foundation earlier in my life.
My regret so far is not having given back to the community, either with more comments or a player blog. I will start one, but am still in the part of my life focused on building skills and value. Once I start putting things into practice, I’ll document that journey.
Thanks for all the posts! I will miss your wit, voice, and insight. Even if you had nothing to contribute from here but inane rambles, I’d still read them.
You’re welcome… I hope you’re doing well in your 20s, and I hope you do well beyond. Send me your player blog when you start it. As with many things, starting is the key part.
We’ll see… maybe I’ll spot things or ideas that deserve a post… but I think it’s time for others to tell their stories, which you can see for example here, https://mddmonk.wordpress.com/2022/11/13/a-full-moon-spell/
(His first post is Feb. 2020, his most recent one is Nov. 2020, and in two and a half years he’s radically improved his game… so don’t be discouraged by his post about tasting the success of the fruits of the game… it’s the result of the effort he’s put in.)
This post made me finally comment.
Don’t quit. You’re doing good work for lots of people.
I’ve been lurking for years, however have taken to the idea of starting my own blog in 2023. I’ve got an inter-city move coming up which is the only (slightly bulltshit) reason for the delay. Your comments and advice work. I went to the big DC mega-dungeon part for the first time in early 2019 (Winter Fire). I’ve been able to plug into different levels of game with consistent enough success. I got into a mode for a while where I could crush it within the kink community, strippers, sex workers etc. To be clear – I don’t mean pay for play. There’s a lot of valuable psychology to learn there (and, of course, a ton of fun). Now I’m past the kid in a candy store phase and looking for positive sum games; how can I deliver fun and genuine emotional connection to women while also getting what I want back?
You’re right in that most guys new to it spend far too much time just learning basic pick-up and the “first five minutes” of a pull. Dudes who level up learn how the rest of the process goes. The ones who really turn into professionals then learn how to have fun and take risks instead of the “close, close, close” mentality.
This is getting ramble-y, so I’ll curtail it. Keep writing, you’re one of the last valuable ones who isn’t broken or a huckster.
I might still write the occasional piece, but I’m not living a life that generates active stories. There is always a shortage of guys sharing their stories, and a surfeit of guys talking about “theory,” unmoored to their experiences, since most of their experiences involve a keyboard, not real people.
I noticed that no one was talking about the strategies I’d developed, so I decided to describe what I’d been doing and how I’d been doing it, and the result is a comprehensive description, https://theredquest.wordpress.com/free-book-on-sex-clubs.
The key to getting going is getting going… sign up at substack.com. Takes under a minute. And then go. Don’t overthink it.
>> I went to the big DC mega-dungeon part for the first time in early 2019 (Winter Fire). I’ve been able to plug into different levels of game with consistent enough success. I got into a mode for a while where I could crush it within the kink community, strippers, sex workers etc. To be clear – I don’t mean pay for play. There’s a lot of valuable psychology to learn there (and, of course, a ton of fun). Now I’m past the kid in a candy store phase and looking for positive sum games; how can I deliver fun and genuine emotional connection to women while also getting what I want back?
Tons of worthwhile stuff here, I bet.
>> This is getting ramble-y, so I’ll curtail it.
Beg to differ, and you may be cutting yourself short by thinking that you’re rambling when you’re not.
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I discovered your blog in 2019 after discovering reddit TRP. Its one of 2 blogs I still occasionally check on, the other being GLOs forum. The point is I found it helpful as I looked to learn game.
I’m younger than you are, 28. I’ve probably finished absorbing new Pua content and will continue to date and experiment with sex and building fulfilling relationships.
I am however interested in your next phase as you call it. You went down a particular path in a concerted fashion. I want to know where you go next and how it plays out.
Food for thought but maybe future posts don’t have to be about five-somes with hot babes at sex clubs in LA. Maybe it’s about relationships, maybe it’s about the acceleration of aging and how the types of peak experiences you seek change as you get older. I don’t know.
Either way good luck and thanks for the content.
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>> Maybe it’s about relationships, maybe it’s about the acceleration of aging and how the types of peak experiences you seek change as you get older. I don’t know.
That’s more likely than the sex, pickup, and non-mono stories I’ve contributed so far… I’m not sure I have unique insights into these other domains, though, where a lot of the conventional wisdom is more accurate (while the conventional wisdom is mostly wrong and frequently harmful regarding men, masculinity, and male-female relationships).
I do think I have unique insights into some aspects of the game, which inspired me to start writing. Few guys writing have figured out or shared some of the things I have.
As guys age, what they do becomes more about the next generation, https://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2011/10/marc_marons_mid-life_crisis.html, and often contributing to the next generation while trying to make the lives of their kids and other family better, https://theredquest.wordpress.com/2019/04/15/kids-the-player-and-the-red-pill-comprehensive-statement/
But those ideas seem to be pretty widespread. Maybe I’ll come up with an unusual spin on them as my life evolves, and maybe widespread narcissism implies that older virtues should be more emphasized, but I don’t think I’ll come up with those unusual takes. In contrast, some guys are writing great things about pickup, but there are a lot of clowns out there, and I wanted to write at a higher level than much of what I’ve seen, https://theredquest.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/what-do-i-mean-by-levels-of-game-seduction-discussion/.
Today, a lot of discussion has coalesced around Reddit, by the discussion is both dominated by and moderated by r^tards, which is one reason I tell guys to be more independent.