This is the best lesson you’re never gonna learn from PUA Academy

Art by Ina Jacobe



What you’re about to get is a free lesson on human behavior.

Harvey Weinstein. Kevin Spacey. Bill Cosby. R Kelly. Countless others. The past couple of years have seen the investigation and exposure of powerful men who’ve gotten their kicks preying on women through manipulative, predatory behavior. In that time we’ve also seen droves of women (and men) casting this evil into the light and letting it burn like the garbage mountain pyre it has always been.

And yet as soon as I allow myself to think that society has inched its way out of the dark ages, men like you claw out of the woodwork, and I’m reminded that the disciples of Pastor Hokage still walk among us.

I, a male, am writing this to hopefully bypass the flimsy defense you’ve fastened to your worldview — one which assumes that women are over-emotional creatures while men are unerringly logical. Maybe PUA Academy taught you this. So what do you make of me, then? Will you admit that I’m being logical? Or will you bend to the reality that there exist men who react to your whack-ass buffoonery with a rage similar to what you’ve seen in women?

So let’s have a real talk about this. Man to man.

I’m going to tell you what you’ve probably already heard from legions of women — it’s all bull. The pick-up techniques that you’ve been told will get you any woman you want, and the motivations behind practicing them, are all bull. Whatever reasons you might have for pursuing the dark craft of pick-up artistry — self-actualization, a lack of self-confidence, a face that does not remotely resemble Ryan Gosling’s — are not enough, and never will be. Especially not when your boohoo backstory of not getting any cooch motivates you to manipulate and force yourself upon vulnerable women.

And look, man, I’ve been there. Shy as fuck, bristling with nervous energy, deep in the misguided belief that real men were divinely entitled to harems while beta chumps like me were cursed to perpetual thirst. But crippling katorpehan doesn’t qualify you for martyrdom, and women do not owe the likes of you or me jack shit.

Besides, what happens when you do score with PUA Academy tactics? Isn’t it more impressive to have game and be a decent person at the same time? Real charm and flirting means deftly navigating the realm of human desire, and that sort of strength is reserved for dudes who look at women as actual human beings and not fleshlights that happen to have heartbeats. Neil Strauss, the guy who literally wrote the book on picking up girls, traded that life for monogamy. Getting a girl in bed by resorting to shit like negging and peacocking and coercion is like finishing the Tour de France with steroids and a shrivelled ballsack. Look down. Two raisins stitched to a Nerf Gun bullet.

And I wish I could sock you square in the perineum for all that, my man, but more than anything, what I feel for you is pity. These PUA Academy fucklords do not care for you. These gurus and coaches could not give less of a shit about your well-being, and are more interested in profiting from your insecurity. They promise you the kind of self-confidence healthy people gain from an actual support system and a nuanced understanding of humanity, then charge you a five-digit fee for failing to fill the hourglass body-shaped hole in your heart. They have conned you into thinking that the rich tapestry of human behavior and experience can be reduced to pseudoscience and shoddy mathematics, as if the female mind were a program to hack.

I say all this and yet the more cynical part of me thinks that I can’t convince you to turn by telling you this shit is immoral. So allow me to say that more than that, this shit is ineffective. A farce. Parlor tricks pioneered by a dude who looks like an ex Guns N Roses roadie. For every girl who doesn’t know better, there are a dozen women capable of smelling bullshit from a mile away, flanking her like valkyries, who are more than willing to dox your ass to the moon and back should you come too close. It’s already happening now, with scores of women who’ve dealt with your shit before and lived to tell the tale, and those who were maybe lucky enough to have not come across your specific breed of creepazoid, roasting you and your crew with the nuclear heat of a thousand blue suns.

So let me bring you back to Earth, man. I’m all for building a culture in which men realize their worth and therefore don’t feel pressured to act like the alpha male archetype everybody expects them to be. But that starts with me dismantling the narcissistic worldview that governs your sexual habits. Make no mistake: you are not James Bond. You are not Bruce Wayne. You are not Tyler Durden. You are not Scarface. You aren’t even Quasimodo — you’re the creepy priest dude who sang the Hellfire song. You’re a meme, a chode, unfit and unequipped to enter any orifice without the help of a guy who thought it was a good idea to call himself “Smooth.”

So there. The best lesson on human behavior you’re never gonna get from PUA Academy, and you’re getting it for free. I’d say you should be thankful but I think that would be negging.


Slow Down, Dilettante is a column that, like it’s author, is half hits and half misses, and is tired of having opinions, but still feels the need to unpack them anyway. It is also a St. Vincent reference.

#culture #gender

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