A Christian conservative explains why men today need Game

In this entry Jacob M. gets down to the bottom line of why young conservative men would be drawn to Roissyism or Game. He says that even highly eligible young men cannot find a wife today, because the young women, even the Christian women, are looking for guitarists, athletes, and hot-rodders. Therefore, he concludes, Game is necessary. But I say: is it really necessary to go the Roissy route, with the desolating view of human nature and the commitment to deceit that it entails, for a man to know that in order to win a woman he needs to be fun as well as stable?

Jacob M. writes:

This Roissyite discussion of the past few days has been very interesting to me, because over the past year or so, I’ve been looking into this stuff myself in some detail. Sometime last fall I was clued into the existence of the seduction community, and my interest was piqued long enough to want to learn something about it, because I was increasingly confused as to why I, at age 32, despite being (1) reasonably good-looking, (2) a future doctor, and (3) a member of conservative Christian churches and social circles where supposedly women want to get married and have families, I had been unable to attract a wife.

I’ve been tempted to write in several times, but I’ve been busy, and I think other VFR commenters (Ryder, Todd White, Expatriot) have made points similar to the ones I would have made. However, I do have a comment sparked by Kathlene M.”s missive.

First, as you’ve remarked, we’re using unclear terms with multiple definitions. It’s important to note that the seduction community has been around long before Roissy. It got its start in the late ’90s. Roissy is not very representative of it. Most of its members and “gurus” aren’t concerned with feminism, no-fault divorce, and all the other socio-political issues which seem to attract so many of Roissy’s readers. They’re concerned with getting laid, period, although there are some who market techniques geared toward long-term relationships—think that Roissy entry someone was trying to get you to read, which consisted of a collection of posts from a guy who used “game” on his wife to save his marriage. BTW, Roissy is the only person I’ve ever seen who uses the term “game” so much; most call it “seduction” or “how to attract women.”

So, what is a Roissyite? Is it someone who believes the somewhat ugly truths about human nature revealed by female hypergamy since the sexual revolution, or is it a PUA (pick-up artist)? Those are two totally different things. Kathlene seems to think that anyone who accepts that women like dominant men and will chase sexual excitement is a PUA (“why they engage in the behavior they claim to despise.”) But I don’t engage in any behavior I claim to despise. Neither do lots of other men who have learned these things. Some men who have taken an interest in this subject are cads who want to become another Casanova, bedding as many women as possible with reckless abandon. But lots of us are regular guys who’ve always wanted marriage and family, and have found that it’s increasingly difficult to achieve even that.

That’s why I think the most mistaken statement Kathlene makes is, “The Roissyist men resent having to be the “beta providers” because they resent their jobs.” She seems to think any of us can become a “beta provider” if we want to, but we don’t want to. No, we do not resent having to be beta providers; on the contrary, that’s exactly what we always wanted—but we are being denied the opportunity to do it. We were raised to believe that women like “nice guys.” We were told by our parents, teachers, church leaders, and the media that women just wanted marriage and family, and that if we pitched ourselves as a family-oriented, commitment-oriented guy with a steady job, women would find us attractive. We watched from the sidelines in high school as the girls threw themselves at the captain of the football team or the guy who played guitar in a band, but we were told, “just hang on—once you get out there in the real world, those guys will be losers, and you’ll meet a nice sweet girl who’ll be happy to become your wife and have children with you.” We have always been prepared to believe that a life devoted to marriage and family was more satisfying in the long run than the chance to score with multiple hot babes that the “alphas” got for a few years when they were young. But when we entered the adult world, we found that the women were still throwing themselves at those athletes and guitarists. They can afford to; they have their own jobs and don’t need our support.

I largely agree with Ian B.’s recommendations, but I’m a little less optimistic that belief in Christianity can save the day. I moved to the Midwest to attend medical school, I attend a large evangelical church and am part of a large evangelical social circle, and I haven’t had a date in over two years. I’ve seen it with my own eyes—even these conservative Christian women, whom everyone thinks are just dying to get married and have babies, and who certainly aren’t sleeping around with “alphas,” aren’t particularly attracted to a guy just because he’s on a good career path and is willing and ready to settle down. Even they seem to seek excitement, fun, above all other things. Even in church, they tend to ignore the betas and all hold out for the coolest guys. That’s why I think any man today needs to learn some “game” just to attract a wife.

- end of initial entry -

Stephen T. writes:

I participate in a sporting activity with many guys much younger than I. I’m quite sure that, in previous generations, I would never have heard so many young, virile, athletic (meaning in good physique, not pro athletes) men report the exact same thing that Jacob M. has written you about. Many of them literally cannot get a date, much less a steady girlfriend. I hear it all the time. These are guys with steady jobs. I get the impression that many girls their age (twenty-something) spend a great deal of time fantasizing about media-driven images of bad-boy rock stars and sexy, dynamic millionaires whom they (somehow) believe will be attracted to them—even though many of them are probably not what you would call supermodel material themselves. Still, many would literally rather sit home than settle for the “boring” responsible type.

As for the guys, frankly, I think many COULD benefit from a bit of “game.” Feminism seems to have neutered their natural male instincts to know when they are being toyed with or, frankly, made a fool of by a girl. Many are led like sheep into one-sided scenarios where a girl soaks them for time, money, and strictly platonic companionship—meanwhile, it’s the unemployed rock guitarist or the gangsta rapper on probation whom she’s actually *sleeping* with (while Mr Responsibility spends his nights with himself.) I try to counsel these guys to open their eyes to stark reality, develop some backbone, and manfully bail out of no-win situations like that. But they are, I believe, much more like babes in the woods than guys of my generation were when it comes to “chicks” (as we called them then.) They are so afraid of the disapproval or censure of liberal females, of being called “chauvinist” or whatever the current equivalent of that is, that they will not stand up for themselves.

LA replies

Stephen writes:

As for the guys, frankly, I think many COULD benefit from a bit of “game.”

Maybe I’m being unfair to Stephen, but to me this statement is like saying to someone who has been indoors too long and is pasty-faced and needs some sun, that he could benefit from jumping into a blazing fire, or, rather, that he could benefit from getting “a bit” into a blazing fire. Why does everyone keep reducing the situation to such desolating alternatives? Over and over in this discussion we see same idea expressed, that the only way to stop being a loser is to play Game, as though there were no other ways to stop being a loser.

Jacob M. replies to LA:

That’s a fair question you ask at the beginning of the entry. I wouldn’t say it’s necessary to go the Roissy route. I’d hate to think of myself as a Roissyite; he’s a bitter nihilist and I don’t want to become like him. I try not to read his blog anymore. Most of my information on this stuff has come from other sources anyway. But it’s hard not to have some sympathy with the Roissyites—when you’ve had the scales lifted from your eyes, and realized you’ve been lied to your whole life long, you tend to react so strongly against the lies that you can’t help but feel some camaraderie with all who recognize them as lies, even those who don’t ultimately hold any solutions themselves.

LA had written to Jacob M.:

Mangan has criticized me in his current thread, “Misunderstanding the Roissyites.”

He defends Game deceit because, he says, all social interaction is deceitful. So according to him, ordinary social interaction is the moral equivalent of Roissy-type deliberate manipulation of people. Everything is deceit. So he’s essentially embracing a nihilist view.

Jacob replies:

As for Dennis Mangan’s point, I think he’s been reading Roissy too much. (I’ve noticed this is a problem for conservative fans of Roissy. He’s their sole source of information about the seduction community, so they assume his views are coextensive with it, but actually he presents a skewed picture of it.) Game isn’t necessarily about deceit. As a wise man put it, game is basically the male analogue of women putting on makeup, doing their hair, and dressing up. It doesn’t have to be about pretending to be someone you’re not; it can be about presenting the good aspects of one’s personality in a positive and assertive way, as people with really good social skills do naturally.

LA replies:

You write:

“it can be about presenting the good aspects of one’s personality in a positive and assertive way, as people with really good social skills do naturally”

Then why call it Game? Why call the ordinary activity of presenting the best side of yourself Game? Bringing out the best side of oneself is normal, it’s what people are supposed to do in society, at work, and elsewhere.

Aristotle said that we should strive to live in accordance with the best within us—the highest principle within ourselves. Would anyone call that Game?

Charles T. writes:

I sympathize with Jacob and other conservative men—Christian or otherwise. However, “game”—even a small part of it—can lead to dishonesty and defraudment of others. It is not worth it. It is ill advised. The dishonesty line is too easily crossed. And—yes, I do know how difficult it is for young men in Jacob’s shoes.

I do believe there is a difference between “game” and a right type of confidence in waiting for, wooing, and winning a mate. Each man has to learn this for himself. And it is not always easy to do so. But the first thing a man must do is think of the other’s well-being first—even if we are rejected serially. This means we do not play games at all with others. Easier said than done, I know, because all of us are essentially selfish at heart, self-promoters, etc. However, it can and must be done to some level if we are to find happiness with another. Unfortunately, Christians and conservatives can and do play self-centered games in our churches and organizations.

However, to encourage, I do think Jacob is on the right track. Pursuing a professional degree will allow him to support a family. I have told my very young sons that the most masculine thing they can do is to have a vocation and to support a wife and a family. It is more masculine than football, hunting, and much more masculine than “game.” Church participation for fellowship, worship, and, yes, even to meet a fellow believer for marriage is the right course.

Stay the course. Follow the scriptures and do the right thing. Begin and end your day with a chapter from Proverbs. Run. Work out. Meet people.

But do not play any part of “game.”

August 22

Laura Wood writes:

Some evangelical churches work so hard to present life as one big barrel of fun. Many “Christian” women are simply followers, there for the good time. Jacob should join another church.

Many of the most likable and interesting people in this world wear a sort of aura of invisibility. You often don’t notice them until you really look. Those women are noticing the guitarists and athletes. Is Jacob only noticing the most outwardly exciting women? Nevertheless, anyone looking for a mate needs to keep moving. It’s tempting to stay in groups or routines that are a dead-end. There’s always the off chance that someone will show up. But, time is of the essence.

The Internet has opened up many possibilities. The type of woman Jacob is looking for exists and there are many who are depressed as hell because they can’t find someone like him. He needs to keep moving, actively search and not assume that because he is part of a church he is encountering Christians. This is incredibly boring advice, which is why the Game advocates are so appealing. Someone like Jacob has so much to lose if he takes their advice as anything but a few useful marketing tips. His integrity and goodness are his selling points and what’s worth having at the loss of these?

LA replies:

There are online matchmaking services. I have a Catholic friend, ten years older than Jacob, who recently married a Catholic woman he met that way.

August 22

Roger G. writes:

The men asserting that they can’t find wives because the women “don’t want nice guys” are engaging in self-justification and/or self-delusion. What is actually happening is that the women whom they consider sufficiently attractive to pursue don’t find them sufficiently attractive and/or interesting in return. Women who fail to measure up to their standards of beauty won’t get the time of day from these “nice guys.” As to that young future doctor who wrote in, I’ll guarantee that his church is full of single women who would welcome his interest, but they don’t look good enough for him. The market is overloaded with good single women, if you’re not picky about looks.

Not that I blame the guys. They shouldn’t feel obligated to accept women they don’t find attractive; it’s their lives, after all. They should just be honest about the situation, at least to themselves.

And this looks thing is almost entirely about weight and physical fitness. The brutal truth is that few men want fat cows, whatever their virtues.

So in this regard, the women are at fault too. To reiterate, men want a woman who looks good. So girls. instead of whining about the shallowness of it all, accept the realities of life and be willing to sweat for what you want. Get to a gym, and lay off the cupcakes for heaven’s sake. It’s pretty difficult for a woman who’ll put in the time and effort not to end up looking good to a substantial percentage of the male sex.

I’m glad I solved that.

Anna writes:

This is a reply to Jacob M. My daughter is 24 years old, has a full-time job, and tries to balance work, family, friends, fun. She is ready for marriage and family and is not sleeping around with the “alphas”, or the “betas.”

Her experiences within the last year include a very brief engagement with a young man holding a good overseas job (she wouldn’t mind relocating), and a relationship with a young local fellow heading for his PhD. In each case I found a word she felt was to-the-point in explaining its downfall—the young men were too “needy.” Too many phone calls; too many TMs; too much, too often.

In generations past, women were warned not to seem they had “marriage” in their eyes when they met a nice young man. Each individual wants to be liked/loved as an individual, not as a “goal” (marriage) to be achieved.

I don’t think “gaming” is the issue here for either of you. Treating each individual as a unique individual and independent person is. It’s common sense.

Perhaps my daughter, who is known as the go-to-person when friends have “issues,” may somehow be inadvertently attracting men who have issues. And when I read your comment, “I attend a large evangelical church and am part of a large evangelical social circle, and I haven’t had a date in over two years”, I think—Two years? And how many have you asked? Why limit yourself to one venue? Aren’t there any special interests (music, art, skateboarding, theatre, skiing, carpentry, and on and on) you have that may present a unique opportunity to find that “special person”?

Please understand, I do not minimize your concerns or your efforts. They are actually the same as my daughter’s. I wish you both success and happiness.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 21, 2009 07:00 PM | Send

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