Saturday, June 28, 2008

This Ain't Oprah's Book Club - Part IV

What can I say about “The Game” that I haven’t already said?

When I started reading this book, it was because two guys that I consider to be quite cool suggested I do so after I talked about “The Rules.” I said that I had used “The Rules” for quite some time as my dating bible, despite the inherent misogyny behind most of what it said. Rule #3, “Don’t stare at men or talk too much,” and Rule #16, “Don’t tell him what to do,” particularly ruffled my feathers initially. But overall, that tome seemed to give sound advice in terms of playing hard to get to ensure a man worked for your affection. The idea behind that is that a guy that exerted effort to get you would continue to work to keep you, ensuring a "healthy" and "successful" relationship in which you were the prize. But in truth, with an engagement ring pictured on the cover, it always seemed that “The Rules,” were more about getting a husband than finding a soul mate. And don’t we all deserve soul mates?

“The Game,” on the other hand, is about finding someone to fuck. Best case scenario you might also want to date her…or at least keep fucking her. Author Neil Strauss calls that the “10 Night Stand.” But worst case scenario, you still get to have casual (and possibly dirty) sex with her after seducing her into a situation that she might have consciously objected, but secretly wanted, all along.

So men and women innately want different things. I knew that going in. Yet when I first started reading it, I was up in arms, thinking to myself with each new chapter “how dare they?” As with most things, however, over time my perception evolved. Yes, some of the things the guys in this book did were shady and others, downright despicable. But Strauss said it best when he wrote up the art of “The Game” like this:

“Though I knew my new mindset was seriously warped, I felt more ethical in many ways as a PUA (Pick Up Artist) than I had been as an AFC (Average Frustrated Chump.) Part of learning game was not just memorizing openers and phone game and rapport-building, but learning how to be honest with a woman about what I expected from her and what she could expect from me. It was no longer necessary to deceive a woman by telling her I wanted a relationship when I just wanted to get laid; by pretending to be her friend when I only wanted to get in her pants; by letting her think we were in a monogamous relationship when I was seeing other women. I had finally internalized the idea that women don’t always want relationships. In fact, once unleashed, a woman’s physical needs are often more ravenous than a man’s.”

Been there. Anyways…

Using this as a basis from which to objectively view what I was reading and how I related it to my own life, I determined the following: they played “The Game” and I lived by “The Rules.” Neither is right, but neither is wrong. They are merely manuals which elucidate the nuances of classic human behavior and describe how to best utilize these to your advantage in easy-to-follow lists and diagrams (yes, diagrams…ladies, if you haven’t read “The Game,” I highly recommend it.)

But as much as I was disillusioned, I’ve since decided I don’t begrudge them of it. These are guys that couldn’t seem to get laid without these tactics. Using "The Game" on the kinds of girls it works on, they finally did. Good for them. Sex is a gorgeous thing and the dudes in this book each deserve to enjoy it as much as the next human. I was the kind of girl this crap worked on. Hell I’ve even spit all kinds of my own game.

But I really don't think, having gotten through this painfully enlightening reading experience, that this stuff will ever work on me again. Still, they can go on with their badass selves.

The experiences that come from “The Game” are, for the most part, meaningless. Their guidelines are merely a means to an end. However, I think you need to have a certain amount of meaningless sex to appreciate the real kind. Even Style, Neil Strauss’ alter-ego, found a girl he wanted to be with. “The Game” didn’t work on her. And I think that’s how it’s supposed to happen. When it’s meant to be, “The Rules” and “The Game” don’t apply. I know that now.

And I can’t wait to find it.

I’m glad I read this book. Like ZW said, knowledge is power. And if this experience has been about anything, it’s about taking a step back and seeing things for what they really are. In doing so, I finally know that I’m better than what I have had. Indeed, knowing is half the battle.

[Ed Note: I went to a party this afternoon and I just love organized day drinking. That being said, I wrote this drunk. Hence the run-ons. It was bound to happen eventually. I’ll edit it tomorrow.]

[Personal Note: Wise One…I know, I know. I’m working on it. Rome wasn’t built in a day.]


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