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.
Normal, reasonable people don’t have the weird, bizarre sex and dating problems that legacy media outlets are continually writing about: the point comes up because of a foolish advice column from a woman to a woman, titled “Why Isn’t Anyone Sliding Into My DMs?!” I’m not going to do a link because however dumb you think the material might be from the title, it’s dumber. I used to write analyses of this class of dumb article but then I was like… “Why?” Why bother? It’s pure entertainment, with no more bearing on reality than novels about dragons and swords.
The media is almost entirely made by people who are abnormally self-aggrandizing, self-regarding, grandiose, entitled, and/or narcissistic people… and those people are trying to make money in a shrinking, shrieking, deranged industry. Almost all of the dumbest stuff comes from NYC, too, I think because of the extreme gender skew there… college-educated women far outnumber men in the NYC metro area, creating an environment in which women have to compete much harder for men than they do elsewhere. The high cost of housing, because of legal constraints imposed by the city on building more housing also means that most people feel they can’t afford to have families, so they might as well f**k around a lot instead. Women get pushed towards spinsterdom, because so few guys can afford the cost of an okay family housing unit. Normal girls in normal places, like Denver or Dallas or wherever, who want boyfriends, get them, and don’t have the constant struggle some NYC chicks do.
The Case for American Seriousness is a great work that explains what’s wrong with many currents in American society, including the abortion discourse right now. As of June 2022, abortion is the current thing, replacing Ukraine, which was the current thing a few months ago. Last year, the current thing might’ve been the Jan. 6 attempted coup event. Before that, the election. Before that, the “defund the police” and “black lives matter” protests/riots. Before that, it was “immigrants welcome here.” I don’t entirely remember what else happened, but in 2016 it was an election.
Xbtusd has a curious hobby: listening to women’s dating podcasts, which, to me, seems like an exercise in masochism, but to him, women’s podcasts are comedy, mixed with information from behind enemy lines. His latest find is a gem, What Grandma Thinks We’re Doing Wrong with “Excuse My Grandma,” in which two girls in their 20s talk to “Grandma Gail,” who is brilliant, while the girls in their 20s sound… is “r^tarded” still a word that gets one cancelled? Sorry, it’s the first word that leaps to mind. Grandma Gail is so smart, and keeps telling the girls the most obvious stuff, and they keep replying with inane, narcissistic remarks. Grandma Gail says, “If you’re going to pick somebody apart, as most of you girls seem to do, it’s just a never-ending stream….” and then she gets interrupted. Anyone who wants a real, adult relationship understands that relationships are about compromise. If you can’t compromise, you’ll never be in a relationship, though, if you are a woman, you can sleep with guys a couple points above you in sexual market value (SMV). Similar problem happens with people addicted to new relationship energy (NRE… I cop to that addiction… the high of fresh p***y is unbelievable…). Few years back this hot chick I was flirting with admitted that she only loves what she called the “cupcake” stage of relationships. She’d married early and was divorced or in the process of getting divorced… she had “problems, but the sex will be great” written all over her.
I’m getting off the point, which is that Grandma Gail is full of wisdom, like when she says, “If you’re looking for perfection, you better stay by yourself, because it’s never going to happen.” I don’t have anything to add. Not everything she says is perfectly on the mark… Grandma Gail says a lot of men feel “a fear of commitment.” Often it’s not a fear. It’s cost. And a lot of men LOVE f**king. So do women. So why would a man get married (risk high costs, divorce is expensive), if he can get sex without marriage? High-status men know this. Hypergamy isn’t part of Grandma’s vocabulary, but it’s lurking there in her speech without being mentioned.
A guy at reddit asks that rarest of things, an interesting question, which got started from this post. The guy says, “I was the outsider for a long time (I box professionally) so I had this idea that it doesn’t matter what the average person says or think, I can do whatever I want. I was super disagreeable and would keep grudges (and of course I lost friends like that). This was my most recent realisation, after finishing my study abroad year in Madrid. Having (the right) friends give you an unwavering amount of confidence and motivation, whether it’s picking up a girl or starting a business.”
Furthermore, “the contrast thing is also very true. A lot of my friends think I get girls mostly because of boxing plus I study at a top university in the UK, but the reality is because I paint and post it on Instagram.” Yet he says grew up in poverty. He asks, though: “how did you figure all this out?” It took me a while to figure out how to answer him, because to answer it with any level of honesty demands detail. So I took a shot:
Getting hit in the face (figuratively, mostly, took boxing lessons but never fought), failing, flailing, struggling, reading Peter Thiel (one of the great geniuses of our age, even when he’s wrong), reading broadly + deeply (the people who tell you fiction is a waste of time are dumb), observing, practicing, feeling humiliated by rejection from chicks, realizing some chick is saying “ljbf” before she goes off to get railed half an hour later, trying to figure things out, reading pickup / game / red pill blogs (for too long now, though I’ve learned much from these guys, even some of the crazy ones), studying Bayesian statistics, studying statistical thinking more generally, talking to guys. Some of the “how did you figure all this out?” is just an interest in puzzles, of which human social life presents many. A lot of guys are stuck in an overly simplistic mindset, where they think “iff a, then success” when in reality “a” may be helpful, but success is rarely, if ever, monocausal. That overly simplistic mindset is evident in many comments online, many of which are so incomplete as to be effectively wrong. Many aspects of success in social life are not only not monocausal, but they’re a matter of balancing opposites: an idea many Internet users reject.
The top players have a paradoxical quality: they’re often extreme insiders or extreme outsiders, rather than being average. Think about why: if you’re too insider, too consensus, you buy into “men and women are the same” and “men and women are totally and always equal” (regarding the latter, men and women have equality of opportunity, and in many ways women are favored today in business, education, and government, but equality of opportunity isn’t the same as equality of outcome). If you’re too insider, you buy too much into “the system is right,” when it frequently isn’t. You agree too much (women like it when guys break rapport intelligently). You think that “going to the best school” is smart, when what you think of as “the best school” is a marketing gimmick and will saddle you with $250,000 in student loans; something like self-teaching combined with Western Governors University is “too weird” for you, the insider, who only does what others suggest you do, and you are pathologically afraid of anything weird, anything slightly off the well-worn path in front of you. You think “the system will take care of you” when in fact the system will use you (think of all the divorced guys out there, paying alimony). You think past returns are indicative of future performance, when they may not be… property values cannot infinitely exceed GDP and wage growth, despite the fact that your fiancée wants you to buy her a house. If you’re too insider, you think chatting up strange women is “weird” and you’re afraid of rejection. You underperform in your sex life because you are too polite and scared. You think you are “polite” when you are actually scared.
If you’re too outsider, though, you have a different set of problems that will stymie you: you think the system is totally rigged and totally bullshit, so why try at all? (A good way to end up living in your parents’ basement or in a share house with four other loser guys). Rebel too hard and you won’t be able to find the better jobs, the more important skills, the most desirable mates (women do care about what you do, they care about whether you have a functional job and economic life). If you are too outsider, you won’t be able to effectively cooperate with other people, which you need to do to build larger social and company structures (in neolithic times, the best hunters work together to take down big game). If you’re too outsider, you don’t think you need friends, and you think pure cold approach is all you need, never mind its weaknesses. If you’re too outsider, you think you don’t care what anyone thinks, including potential clients, customers, or users. You don’t care about having friends, when in fact it’s almost impossible to accomplish anything substantive alone: you need friends, mentors, people to bounce ideas off of. The dirty guy living in the desert is not getting many women. The guy living a marginal existence because he can’t be bothered to work isn’t doing well with women. A lot of college is bullshit, true, but the technical degrees aren’t. And the parties, particularly the frat parties thrown by insiders, have much to recommend them.
Remember the Sopranos scene with Carmela’s therapist? The therapist cuts through all of Carmela’s rationalizations about staying with a monster (which are also, tweaked slightly, the viewer’s rationalizations for liking Tony). The therapist says Carmela has to leave her husband and that Carmela is enabling evil. Carmela thinks she should leave but says, “You’re going to charge the same anyway,” and he says, “I won’t accept blood money.” It’s this incredible fight for values, and Carmela can’t comprehend the therapist’s values: her whole world requires her not to comprehend him, including his statement, “many patients want to be excused for their current predicament.”
Here’s one of my private theories about why women are fascinated with therapy: Until the post-war era, most women married who their parents told them to marry, or at least someone within their communities, and they lived in communities that effectively directed their lives and major life decisions, at least until the women themselves aged into becoming matriarchs, grandmothers, etc. Camille Paglia likes to talk about how in Italian communities, young wives were bossed around by their husbands’s mothers, and the old women wielded much of the power; today, old women are ignored by anyone not in their families, and young women have all the power, until they become crones, at which point they’re discarded by anyone who’s not their husbands or families. I exaggerate, yes, but by much? Pre-war, women had relatively few choices. The “point” of life was not individual self actualization or pleasure, it was sustaining the community, having enough to eat, putting a roof over the head, raising the children. Low on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and therefore (relatively) easy to accomplish. Expectations differ today.
You can, naturally, contrast the pre-war world with pretty much everything today: women are highly autonomous. They earn their own money and keep their own households. They have infinite freedom and choice–with it the ability to fuck up easily. A lot of people, I think, can’t handle and don’t like choice, but almost no one in the media will write an article about how choice sucks, and having less choice can be desirable to some people. So what’s the female response to total freedom? Often: anxiety, uncertainty, therapy. A lot of women get enormous social and sexual power in their teens or early 20s and wield it how one might expect someone to wield a huge amount of power with minimal guidance (that’s also the plot of every young-adult, adventure-save-the-world story).
THE GAME comes out in 2005, MYSTERY METHOD a year later. A bunch of pickup blogs show up, almost all abandoned by now, and sometimes descending into madness and/or conspiracy theories along the way. Few guys have any desire to write about pickup and chicks for more than a few years, and the ones who do are usually unbalanced, or nuts in some other way(s). It’s important to have coolness and status before trying to evangelize or teach, yet the most prominent, least anonymous guys appear to lack both. Most are the kind of guys I’d want to avoid in real life, not the kind who I’d want to get a drink and chat with.
A few years ago (2015) the book MATE: BECOME THE MAN WOMEN WANT, by Geoffrey Miller and Tucker Max, came out, but didn’t seem to make a splash. In a major occasion on par with the moon landing, Red Quest as a blog is founded in 2017, its initiation commemorated by a massive, 10-ten granite ziggurat next to the Washington Monument in DC. Red Quest’s readership peak is 2019, as of this writing, although you never know, maybe some feminist tweeters will come along to denounce me, and thus drive up traffic. Most people who find their way here from twitter or reddit, belong to twitter or reddit, and prefer corporate media. This is sad, but beyond my ability to fix. They’ve been captured by the big-tech borg. Independence and robustness against censorship aren’t appreciated. A few people complain about centralization of power among big tech companies, but the vast majority of people’s actions show preference for big centralized platforms, not for decentralized, censorship-resistant efforts (describing what seems to be true is not the same as approving of a thing that seems to be true).
What’s going on? Knowledge about how to do better with chicks is widely available, but guys don’t seem to avail themselves of it. The other day, I was talking to a few guys in their 20s, and they asked me something about women and dating, so I told them to read THE GAME. Their faces fell and their body language shifted: the idea of having to read a book was so horrifying and foreign that they couldn’t see themselves doing it. If they can’t be bothered to read a fun and interesting book over the course of a few hours, what hope is there for them? Guys who can’t do the easy stuff will never learn the hard stuff.
Chicks themselves are not out there talking about the excessive number of socially smooth, interesting, and cool guys who are seducing them. If anything, chicks are complaining about how “cold” and “inhumane” it is to meet guys through online dating, and how they wish guys would approach them in real life. Chicks are lonely, bored, and understimulated, by their own admission. Memes about funny cats go viral, ideas about how to get laid, don’t. I posit that most guys don’t care that much about getting laid, and even the ones who somewhat care, don’t care or care much about figuring out how to do so effectively. The information itself has been around for at least a decade and a half, probably longer… and it’s still very niche. Most guys are ineffective.
Some guys still seem to think that doing better with chicks is simply impossible: and yet the guys who practice the game demonstrate otherwise. Or maybe most guys really aren’t picky, and are okay dating a few points below themselves. They perceive the mountain to be too high, and go back to the Shire of video games. I know a coach who says his clients think a same-day lay (SDL) is impossible, because it’s so far out from their idea of what’s possible.
Overall, it’s not like men are better at getting laid via some other avenue. Men seem to be getting laid less than they did a few years back, which is also consistent with the “most guys don’t care much” thesis. You’ve probably seen the graphs showing that the number of guys in their teens / 20s who have gone without sex in the last year has something like doubled, or maybe a bit more, from like 8% to like 22%, in the last ten to twelve years:
The number of video gamers and herbivores seems to be going up… which is I guess kind of nice from a “competition” level, but it’s existentially depressing from a societal and cultural level. Maybe one day humanity goes extinct cause the video games are too good. Maybe the effort and subtlety needed to master the art of seduction is too great. Most guys have returned to an oral-first culture, and thus the extensive written corpus about how to get laid lies fallow, for want of readers. In a similar human puzzle, Why aren’t there more computer science majors? It’s probably the most lucrative undergrad degree, and highly impactful on the average person’s life (the average person spends an unbelievable number of hours per day on the phone, which is another way of saying, “Doing things CS majors produce”). Lots of people go to college, get worthless degrees, and spend the next decade plus paying back “student” loans that can’t be discharged via normal means like bankruptcy. Weird! I hypothesize most people aren’t smart enough to do computer science degrees but maybe there are other reasons. Most guys are smart enough to implement the rudimentary parts of game, yet they don’t. Maybe guys are lazy? Maybe they have short time horizons?
Some guys who download and read the book do nothing with its ideas right away, but a planted seed may later sprout. Could be that “time” is a key element for ideas to spread. But ideas from THE GAME and such have had a long time to spread, and seem not to have. Video game ideas, by the contrast, appeal to many millions.
There seemed to be a lot of energy in the pickup and seduction worlds in the ’00s and early ’10s. Where’d it go? Guys in their 20s don’t seem to be writing about seduction and dating experiences (if I’m missing guys who are, tell me). Maybe, today, being in good shape, a male high 7, and having okay pictures of a guy looking buff and hiking or whatever, is enough to snare high 6s and some 7s off dating apps, so the drama of cold approach and bar seduction isn’t needed. The process is a little smoother, its terrifying peaks and valleys and storms smoothed into a neater, more manicured path. Meanwhile the guys playing video games and getting fat are mostly out of the game altogether, or get women consistent with their lives. A guy who gets frustrated enough with his underperforming sex life will find his way to the knowledge he needs, while a guy who is fundamentally content with underperformance, won’t.
Another theory: most guys interested in and writing about seduction are fundamentally unappealing or crazy, a point elaborated in, “The most stridently asserted opinions will disappear down the memory hole.” I look at most of the guys writing about player blogs and they do not seem cool to me, and many of them say and tweet crazy things that will repel normal people, or reasonable people. So it’s hard to separate the crazy opinions on various topics from the reasonable, but slightly unconventional, views on how sex and dating actually work.
Maybe this sort of thing will always be of interest to only a small group, for some other reason I’m not aware of. Maybe I’ve not plumbed the psychology of man sufficiently to discern it. I think I’d imagined that Red Quest as a blog would be more enticing: more efficient, and often effective, ways of getting copiously laid. Even if most guys aren’t interested in undertaking these practices, I imagined they’d be interested in or curious about them. They’re powerful tools, however unusual.
Many guys may encounter some basic game ideas, like “man up and ask her out” and “escalate” and “do some basic lifting,” implement those ideas, and be okay enough. They’re trying to find an acceptable girlfriend and stop, once they find her. Most guys don’t start new companies, we go to work for existing companies. The notion that “most guys don’t truly care about getting laid and being effective” is still my top one, but it’s a weakly held one too.
I don’t have much of a conclusion. Whatever makes ideas popular, does not appear to apply to guys figuring out how to get laid. So much for men being obsessed with sex… if we are obsessed with it, we’re not capable of learning how to effectively get it. Maybe the guys getting laid have good social skills and aren’t much online?
The last year and a half have been revealing. I’ve speculated in private that I think this universe is self-limiting in terms of popularity, because the accurate, useful ideas about picking up chicks are often swirled together with a bunch of other off-putting, inaccurate, and widely disliked ideas: maybe the guys interested in systematically studying the “getting laid” domain are a bunch of anti-social people discussing social skills, while the socially skilled look at some of the anti-social or ignorant remarks and GTFO.
If you know any, direct them here, so they can denounce. Ten years ago, it seemed like pickup artists and such were regularly denounced online and in the media, and now, no one does. It seems the culture wars have moved on. We lost, at least in terms of numbers and attention.
The “feminists” of the 2000s became obsessed with transexuals and “critical race theory.” The game/pickup guys of that same era became obsessed with authoritarianism and MAGA symbols. I miss the old days, when people were interested in f**king in the real world, instead of fighting online.
“Empowering” and “empowerment are hugely overused words, and the people using them are neither. The people talking about “empowerment” are trying to escape from some aspect of themselves they don’t like, or something they’ve done that doesn’t fit their present narrative. “Empowered” people aren’t talking about empowerment, they’re busy doing things in the real world. Things that are really empowering include learning rare/unusual skills, building a real business that adds value to the world, having peak experiences, deepening real relationships, and probably a few other activities that don’t come immediately to mind. Also, the most “empowered” people I know never talk about empowerment or say they’re “empowered,” so talking about “empowerment” is a sign of weakness/neediness/something undesirable. I searched for the word “empowerment” on red quest and found it in a single post, used skeptically, despite the fact that red quest is in some sense about “empowering” guys to lead the lives they want. If you do the things advocated, and develop the skills described, you’ll be “empowered,” and if/when you are, you own’t need to talk about it. “Empowering” is used once in this blog, but in a quote.