The Challenge of Modern Dating Coaches (Response to Jezebel)

Early last year I started to explore the idea of being a dating coach and a life-coach as a profession versus just a hobby. It’s extremely rewarding, because I see it as helping people with self-empowerment. I got into this stuff back when I was a college sophomore and it had a great positive effect on my life. I feel like it’s what society needs.

However, not everybody feels this way. When I Google “dating coaches” one of the first results that comes up is an article written last year by Jezebel.com. This appears to be a feminist’s frustrations with dating coaches and / or pickup artists of various types and flavors. The author tries to present five reasons “why” you shouldn’t waste money on coaching.

What’s odd about this article is among the five points, the only attempt at creating an actual solution is point # 5, and ironically this is the advice she’s actually paraphrasing from a dating coach!

Here’s a quote from the article, and the essence of the piece:

 

There’s a cruel adage that goes, “It’s not sexual harassment if you’re hot.” As in, nobody minds getting hit on by someone that they’re actually attracted to—it’s only the unwanted advances that are offensive. But that’s an oversimplification. I am thrilled to have a conversation with anyone, as long as that “conversation” isn’t built on dehumanizing and commodifying me. And that’s the problem with most “dating advice”—pre-engineered “strategies” strip women of their personhood by default. They treat a woman’s brain like it’s just her vagina’s doorman. And I am repulsed by pretty much anyone, at any time of day, no matter how hot they are, who talks to my vagina instead of my brain.


Critical thinking, to me, involves the filtration of information inspired by cynicism versus knowledge. Reading this article by Lindy West has made me conclude that the author is largely cynical of not only dating coaches, but perhaps relationships and interactions between the genders, in general. It’s not a terrible article, but it’s unforgivably misconstrued.

I’d like to talk more about Lindy West in a moment, but let’s first talk about the value that her article actually does provide. Although she greatly misrepresents what dating coaches are about, there are still some interesting points to take note of.

The value I’m trying to pull out of this article, and the point I think she’s trying to make, is that guys get all goofy on advice from dating coaches or pickup artists (there IS a difference) and then they go around acting completely inauthentic and creepy around women through their blatant attempts to suck approval and sex out of them.

Yep, this actually does occur, a lot. And, I agree it’s a problem.

One of the commenters on the article told a cringe-worthy story of a guy in her office trying to practice “day game” to all of the ladies who work with him, and that it was completely transparent. She talks about how she had to have a talk with him to cool it down, and actually provided some advice using “PUA lingo” to snap him out of it.

This is not a story I roll my eyes at. In fact, it represents a major problem that modern dating coaches face.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out to clubs with women, just socially, and a couple of plain-as-daylight “pickup artists” saunter up to my group and attempt some obvious divide-and-conquer tactic to isolate me while they game my friends.

The suckers don’t know what they’re getting into when they do this. As a guy probably more schooled than them, the results are never very pretty for them (massive embarrassment after I tool them and call them out). I feel a bit guilty in the end because I am creating a traumatizing experience for them on the field, but these types of social robot, swarthy PUA idiots are setting themselves up for it.

And with this behavior, lies…

The Challenge of Modern Dating Coaches

The challenge that every dating coach must contend with is: inspiring a guy to become naturally attractive WITHOUT turning him into what are famously known as “social robots” that are not only offensive but indirectly demeaning to women.

Hell, like in the above example, even I feel demeaned by pickup artists trying to play my friends for fools and isolate my girlfriends! I’m not just an obstacle to derail, I’m a human being, and a casual nighttime venue is not your opportunity to ruin other people’s enjoyment.

So, Jezebel and I definitely agree on this point, but where Lindy West and I differ is that West implies that there’s no solution, nor differences between swarthy pickup artists and social guys just working on themselves. She provides a cynical “either you have it, or you don’t” attitude that reminds me of the famous SNL skit on sexual harassment (link gone, copyright reasons?). I don’t agree with this whatsoever.

The reason is because learning attractive behavior is an editing process. This is the first thing I say to students at my little workshops around town. It’s a process of eliminating needy, bad behaviors and building positive, attractive behaviors. While I talk about personality characteristics to create attraction, such as the male virtues I write about in the 10 Keys to More Sex, Friends and Wealth, you can’t actually adopt these qualities without a foundation. That foundation is the elimination of shitty, limited beliefs and insecurities.

If you jump the gun and go from A to X instead of A to B, you become a famous “social robot”, AKA the creepy guy in the office running routines in an OFFICE for Christ’s sake (the worst place in the world to do this, and completely unnecessary). The brunt of life-coaching AND dating coaching, to me, is helping people arrive at a positive place socially, that involves giving back and spreading positive energy.

Sounds hippy-ish to you? Don’t wave your hands so fast. If you’re coming from a dark place socially, anything you say is going to come out “wrong”. It becomes clear that somebody is running “day game” versus just being fun and social. Or, men take on the demeanor of viewing women as the great, golden vagina on top of a mountain that must be scaled and conquered.

So, the big challenge is to keep guys from becoming social robots. The way to do this is by promoting fun, social behavior—inspiring clients to “let loose” and express themselves without fear of reprisal, and to care about giving back to people. Not everybody likes to be said “hi” to on the street, but enough do that you can inspire and cheer people up around you. And, that’s the key to “pickup”—become a positive force that draws women (or men) into your life magnetically.

It’s also why there’s a NEED for dating coaches, enough that an industry has been built on it. If Jezebel was right and coaches are useless, there wouldn’t be a legion of lonely men in the world, confused by their gender-roles and bewildered by weird, non-constructive advice that they read on websites like Jezebel.com.

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