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I expect the members of various cults have similar rules.

Fully general counterargument against any unpleasant truth.

Sure, there are ways to hack into people's minds to get them to do what you want. The fact that they exist doesn't make them ethically acceptable.

Right. But now we have an ontological problem: "hack into someone's mind" and "not hack into someone's mind" are not natural kinds.

In any social, romantic interaction, there is some degree of mind-hacking going on. When a person spends all their time and energy chasing a member of the opposite gender who is not interested, what has happened is mindhacking. The pain of unrequited love is a result of asymmetric mindhacking.

Love itself is symmetric mindhacking: you have hacked her mind, and s/he has hacked yours, and both of your implicit utility functions have been shifted to highly value the other person.

What the Seduction community seeks is to allow men to create an asymmetric situation to cause a woman to have sex with them (and this is a place where some members of the community really do behave like assholes and not let the woman down gently afterwards, a practise know as "expectation management", though the community has built up a tradition of karma: we ostracise men who break the rule of always managing expectations and leaving the woman in a happier state than when we met her).

The other major goal of the community is to allow the man to create a symmetric situation - which is usually achieved by first creating an asymmetric situation (male strong), and then gradually evening it out by allowing yourself to fall in love with the woman.

Women who have been "screwed and left" by pickup artists feel good about themselves more often than one would naively expect - and this surprised me until I realized that if the PUA has demonstrated enough alpha quality, the woman's emotional mind has classified him as "good to have sex with even without commitment" because alpha-male sperm is so evolutionarily advantageous - if you are impregnated by an alpha male then your male descendants will have whatever alpha qualities he has - and will impregnate other women, spreading your genes.

but the fact that "the attitude that your partner should be respected" is seen as a negative thing seems to be pointing pretty clearly towards the no direction.

No! NO! NO!

Your long-term partner should be your soulmate, with a high degree of mutual trust and respect. But a woman who you have not yet had sex with is simply not going to respond well to you "respecting" her.

Women are basically anosognosiacs about pick-up. In fact, I once discussed the efficacy of PU with a woman, and she started insisting that women couldn't possibly be that stupid. I had to remind her that she'd left her long-term boyfriend for a fling with afellow PUA a few months earlier.

As far as I can tell most people who dislike PUA techniques don't really understand them.

Most people here don't understand them because they have this model in their mind that if you treat an attractive woman nicely, try to respect her desires and needs, perhaps compliment her, with the internal attitude that women should be "respected" she will respond in kind by respecting your desire to have sex with her.

They never test this model by going to a bar and trying to use it to achieve the goal of sex with an attractive woman. I know this, because if they had tested it even 3 nights in a row, they would have discarded it as "broken". I would love to go out into the field with 10 guys from LessWrong and alicorn to coach them, and watch them get rejected time after time by attractive women.

I would write a top level post explaining the techniques, the PUA model of the generic male-female interaction, the predictions it makes, and how you can go out and collect experimental evidence to confirm or disconfirm those predictions, but I think that I would not get promoted (no matter how good the post was from a rational perspective, measured in bits of information it conveys about the world) and not get much karma, because people here just don't want to hear that truth.

I don't want to have to be socially calibrated on LW.

Social calibration for the seduction community has a very simple rule about talking about pick-up techniques: don't do it, except with other trusted members of the community. If someone outside the community brings it up, just don't mention it, because society has conditioned them to start going into a feminist death-spiral about it.

So if I follow that rule, I will just have to not mention it here.

That I am actually homosexual and hallucinated all my heterosexual encounters as a bizarre result of severe repression.

The difference between "value" and "manipulation" is mostly in the mind of the manipulator,

Right, so first you have to learn how to manipulate women, then you realize that they like being manipulated, then you realize you're doing them a service, then you realize that in this special case, the ability to manipulate people is a great and valuable thing to have, and it makes you a more interesting and exciting person to be around (not that you weren't to start with), and once you've had this realization, you become a natural!

Of course we are starting to argue semantics now... as you say, the difference between "manipulation" and "alpha male behaviour" can be merely one of poetry. Likewise the difference between "mystery, intrigue" and "lying".

I think that the key to getting good is to realize that sexual interaction in humans constitutes an exception to the rule that lying and manipulation are generally bad. We give them different names like "mystery and intrigue" or "dominant, confident behaviour" to flag this up.

My personal advice to you would be to ask what it is that you're afraid is true about yourself. Not are you afraid of rejection or relationships or any of that, what are you afraid is true about you, specifically?

To be honest, nothing in particular. I genuinely thought hard about that question. I suppose in the past, when I was less mature, there were things.

Of course nowadays I practice almost exclusively direct game, and it works for me. And yes, you are still manipulating someone when you are doing direct game. You're just doing it in a more natural and mutually enjoyable way. But I guess in the past, when I didn't have that inner confidence, unreactivity and non-neediness that you're talking about, direct wouldn't have worked for me, so I needed the props and tricks of opinion openers, etcetera. Then I got laid a bit, then a bit more, then my inner unconfidence evaporated!

"honest" approach flopped was a function of your inner game, not of the women In short, every piece of evidence I have tells me that it ain't the women, it's you.

Of course! If you had perfect inner game, you wouldn't need game.... that's why naturals exist. They're men with very good inner game because they had (probably early) life experiences that built their confidence and sense of self-worth up to unusually high levels. I'm not knocking the the natural way, or direct game, building inner game, which you seem to have been gifted with a lot of. You have these attractive, sexually aggressive women chasing you all the time... btw, what planet do you live on because I want to move there!

But let us suppose, for a moment, that you're a guy who doesn't start off naturally confident, and doesn't live in the pjeby Shangri-La of abundant, sexually aggressive, confident, intelligent, high self-esteem women who always chase and want to date you. Suppose that you have never in your life been approached or chased by a woman. What to do?

On thing that most guys in this situation do is they put up with no sex, then they marry the first girl who shows any interest. Screw that!

Another thing is to completely throw your dignity out of the window and pay for sex.

Getting into game with a healthy attitude is better, I think. This means realizing that some of the time, some girls want to be manipulated, and that if you don't go out and take what you want, you won't get it. But this doesn't mean being an asshole - it just means realizing that you have to play the game.

Yes, eventually you'll pick up so much confidence that you'll be able to go natural and then yes, girls will pick up on this and start chasing you. But until that point, it will help to have some tactics under your belt.

Every man can be a natural, if he believes he actually has something of value to offer.

yes, again, I agree. In fact this is true by definition. This is like saying "any man can be a millionaire by having $ 1million in his bank account". But it's really really hard to change from believing that you are low value to believing that you are high value. If it were easy, if you could just think "ah, I'm going to change the counter in my mind that represents self-value from low to high", then a million dollar seduction industry wouldn't exist.

By the way, I'm always looking for new and better ways to improve my inner game, so if you have any tips on how you got there, do share them with us.

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