Article written by :: (RSS)

tigtog (aka Viv) is the founder of this blog. She lives in Sydney, Australia: husband, 2 kids, cat, house, garden, just enough wine-racks and (sigh) far too few bookshelves.

This author has written 3414 posts for Hoyden About Town. Read more about tigtog »

32 responses to “Cognitive dissonance in the Seduction Community”

  1. Beppie

    Wow, that was certainly an intense read. Hearing about this guy makes me want to take a shower.

    I have to say though that the tactics he uses in that phone message are tactics I’ve seen used by guys who aren’t part of any sort of seduction community. Suggesting that women aren’t “mature enough” to handle it, or that they’re just playing games is definitely something I’ve seen before– an attempt, I think, for the man to assert himself as an “authority”– he’s the one who sets the benchmark, and it’s a way of telling women that they must define themselves in relation to his perception of the world– as you say, dehumanising.

  2. tigtog

    I have to say though that the tactics he uses in that phone message are tactics I’ve seen used by guys who aren’t part of any sort of seduction community.

    Maybe they were just Naturals :)

    Seriously, how would you know whether they were or not? The Community has been this underground online phenomenon for ages before someone wrote a book about it and it thus became better known.

  3. Beppie

    True, one can never know– maybe the men I’ve seen this from had participated in these communities. I’d also suggest, however, that these communities probably manage to articulately describe the processes that many men use subconsciously anyway.

    Mind you, in the worst case that I know of (didn’t happen to me, but to a close friend), the parallels are so eerily similar that I really have to wonder now…

  4. Lauredhel

    Great post, thanks for putting it all together. This guy really wears his homosexual panic and his religious/mummy issues on his sleeve, doesn’t he?

  5. tigtog

    I’d also suggest, however, that these communities probably manage to articulately describe the processes that many men use subconsciously anyway.

    I’m sure that’s true. It’s worth noting, thought, than other than the negs about her being timid/having the courage to ring, a lot of the other stuff he said in that first message is NOT typical PUA techniques. I’m sure a lot of those who would consider themselves Players would judge much of what Dimitri said to be typical AFC (Average Frustrated Chump) loser-talk, trying too hard to qualify himself to her and impress her instead of “intriguing” her by acting much more casual about whether they hook up or not (he tries to do that, but he rambles on and ruins the initial impression he tries to implant).

    So yes, in one way he’s showing that he does reject some of the standard PUA methods because he’s not applying them in the approved manner, but he’s certainly not doing the whole “totally honest” thing he claims is the source of his sexual success, and he’s still falling back on old PUA habits as he gets flustered.

  6. tigtog

    This guy really wears his homosexual panic and his religious/mummy issues on his sleeve, doesn’t he?

    I think he gets off on being the daring maverick, target of the politically correct and nemesis of the METROSEXUAL FEMINIST MEDIA CONSPIRACY!!1!

    He likes to think that he’s threatening the entire fabric of society instead of merely being horribly disturbing on a personal level.

    The guy’s history just screams Stalker (and worse).

  7. Tee

    Wow. Have to say I’m not fond of marathon rants on answering machines at anytime, but those messages, espcially the second, would put me in fear.

    The references to cancer, anxiety and psychological disorders plus the deadline to call(!) seem implicitly threatening. Sounds like he’s more interested in intimidation than seduction.

  8. klaus k

    The so-called seduction community – especially on the discussion boards and the like – presents many of the classic features of the male homosocial use of woman as mediating object for male interaction and bonding. That, I believe, is why the inverse of the process is to decry or denigrate those who find a girlfriend or partner. That and the mysteries of intimacy seem to remain closed to these kinds of approaches.

    Some of the low-level techniques for facilitating social interaction seem sensible, but the edifice in which they are embedded is so utterly repellent, even in the mainstream versions. But then, my earnest AFC agreeableness hasn’t exactly let me down. I enjoy a fulfilling partnership and several close friendships with women. I suppose I would be more drawn to the discussion of seduction techniques if I weren’t so comfortable in heterosocial contexts, or for that matter happily partnered. I just wish for the sake of those lonely, decent men who do get wrapped up in these things that they could find a better way to gain confidence and find female companionship.

  9. orlando

    Yes, I was going to comment on the whole homosocial exchange element here. The whole business has almost nothing to do with women at all, does it? It’s all about your relationships with other men. Sad, since actually liking women has always seemed to me to provide a big advantage in seducing them, and I don’t see that in any aspect of this phenomenon.

    Jon Birmingham’s “How to be a Man” would be a much healthier textbook for the inexperienced but genuine men you describe.

  10. Anna

    Wow.

    Okay, maybe this is just the Canadian in me, but someone with a stockpile of weapons blaming his problems in life on Feminists? Shades of Marc Lepine & the Montreal Massacre. To me, that’s just bloody frightening.

  11. theriomorph

    Wow. Thanks for going the distance with this one, Tigs. Had read about this guy and the PUA ‘community’ before, but not so comprehensively.

    I guess my own inclination has leaned toward dismissiveness of the scene, but reading Chris/Lonely Guy’s post in the context of yours shone a light on the larger cult dynamics of this phenom., which I hadn’t really thought about before.

    As orlando says, it’s a self-evidently homosocial focus, but what I was consciously struck by is how most cults function this way in a patriarchal context, and rely on the presence of women as target in order to function (whether in dysfunctional religious, PUA, martial arts, whatever contexts gone awry).

    Much interesting food for thought here, on a lot of levels.

    This Dimitri guy is a perp, obviously, and a deeply creepy one since he’s got a platform – but you know, narcissist perps always find one, it’s their rush. I hope he gets taken down.

    Noted with grim lack of surprise, too, the failure of the medical and legal systems to deal with him promptly and keep him dealt with. Glad he’s not allowed to see patients anymore, but how many did he reach first?

  12. theriomorph

    Oh, and the seductionbase glossary. Speechless.

  13. Helen

    I find the whole idea of a seduction (PUA) “community” hilarious. Maybe the word “community” is becoming a bit debased.

  14. Rayedish

    Would any man take that poster seriously? It says ‘I am a misogynistic shonkster out to part the fool and his money’

    Rayedishs last blog post..“Excuse me Miss, but are you a ‘real’ woman?”…

  15. tigtog

    That’s only what it seems to say to well-adjusted men, Rayedish.

    Methinks Dimitri is trolling for the guys that the mainstream Lairs have started to eye askance because of their extreme misogyny. They can see Dimitri’s poster and know that they will fit right in – and look, none of those metrosexuals who make them feel ashamed in the other Lairs will be even allowed to enter because they all look so gay.

  16. Rayedish

    Yes I totally agree with your assessment there, Tigtog. Much as I wish that everybody would see the ‘money making scam’ subtext that screams out at us, unfortunately Sears has probably picked his target market well. This guy’s history is really scary, and the thought of him teaching other guys his ‘skills’ is something that I find quite disturbing.

  17. Helen

    FFS, (re “the second opinion” website), who builds websites like this any more? It looks like something from 1995. As a manly-man, isn’t he supposed to be “hard-wired” to be good at this sort of thing? and doesn’t he depend on, like, impressions to get more money? All I can say is that his marks must be pretty low on the food chain – and with the US economy going the way it is, he’ll soon be out of suckers. Eech.

  18. tigtog

    Helen, my thoughts exactly. He started that business in 1994, and it looks like he hasn’t updated the website design since. Cheesy animations and no CSS by the looks – my bet’s on an ancient version of Frontpage, whaddyareckon?

  19. Feministe » Why yes, I am several days behind in my Google Reader, why do you ask?

    [...] the middle of a rather marvelously frightening piece detailing the background of the now-infamous “Dimitri the Lover,” tigtog quotes PUA [...]

  20. Rachel

    “I shudder to think that there are other men out there who are taking advice from this man on how to relate to women.”

    It’s true, they’re out there… in fact, I was raped about a year ago by a guy whose behavior was remarkably similar to this Dimitri fellow… I had no idea that type of behavior was even trendy.

  21. tigtog

    Rachel, how horrible for you. Dimitri and his ilk’s teachings seem basically a guaranteed recipe for producing a sense of entitlement amongst his followers that would inevitably result in some of them rationalising date-rape in situations where they feel they can get away with it.

  22. Roving Thundercloud

    Rancho Relaxo, heh heh. I couldn’t help smiling, especially since it’s located on the 2nd floor–not much of a rancho, eh? Does Christopher Walken as “The Continental” meet you at the door with a glass of “champagna”?

    I immediately started wondering what kind of mental images “Rancho Relaxo” was actually supposed to convey to the reader, and then for fun I started thinking about what an ideal “Rancho Relaxo” might mean to the average feminist blog reader. (Hint: I’ll bet it doesn’t include any PUAs.)

  23. kate

    I’m not sure I took anything in after reading that lesbian and bisexual women would be accorded ‘honorary heterosexual male’ status, because that’s totally what queer women are looking for.

    Obviously I will be alerting my queer women friends in Canada so they can seek him out for tips. (Or maybe he’d faint in the presence of people who treat women like people and conduct actual adult relationships with real live honesty)

  24. blue milk

    Deeply unhinged person. MY GOD. Really, to be *that* unhinged and yet still able to function to some degree (and so pass for a time, at least) as stable is a pretty dangerous combination.

    I found this post via the Feminist Carnival, and I’m glad I did. This was a fascinating and very satisfying read. Well done!

  25. blue milk

    Whoops, not sure what I did with brackets then. Blame it on a cake buzz, was scoffing a slice of cake at the time of writing that.

  26. frank

    GOSH- theres so much stuff i want to say— where do i start??
    Ive been a so-called PUA for 2 and a bit years now. Im also a psych (clinical) student. Ive read ALOT of PUA and other older attraction material. If anyone wants to know more – go back and read the last post i wrote re: the PUA community.
    I have to say firstly that PUA material (as well as other books and guides) have really helped me to change my social life and my success with women.

    Anyhoo – i went through this post agreeing with some of Tigtogs contentions and disagreeing with others.
    I think a big thing in the PUA community is confronting fears. That means challenging fears of chatting to girls, or asking for phone numbers, or whatever. So when you get a girlfriend – some guys think that you’re no longer pushing yourself, that youre no longer doing that which you are afraid to do – that you’re almost saying “I’ve made it, i have complete choice in who i date.”
    I dont agree with this equation – because i think all guys need to experience relationships as well – in order to grow – but i can understand the rationale behind it.

    Im not sure where or how or why the PUA stuff came about. One of the ideas i had was based around the many very necessary changes to social structure and dynamics that have come about thru the Feminist movement. And i suppose i could add to that guys not having Dad around and guys not having social skills taught to them by their role models as children. PUA stuff is not a replacement for good parenting or anything like that. But it has helped me.
    Does that make the PUA community a great place for guys to go to that dont understand themselves? Not necessarily. But what else do most guys know? Young guys think they want 24/7 sex because thats what the hormones are telling them. So they go to the guy that says he can guarantee they get it.

    As for Sears? He sounds mentally unwell. And its sad that he will go around teaching guys methods that will only make them more unhappy and less comfortable with their own sexuality. Its also sad that he teaches men to think of women as ‘desperate sluts’.

    There are good guys that teach good stuff to attract women (Sam de Brito recently published one such book), and there are bad guys that teach bad stuff.
    Its business and as Tigtog said – people are making ALOT of money..

    anyhoo.. im tired.. bedtime..
    peace and love

  27. Mindy

    “I’ve made it, i have complete choice in who i date.”

    Why couldn’t they be saying “I think I’ve found someone that I want to spend a lot more time with, maybe even the rest of my life, because she is fabulous?

  28. One-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater

    Erm, I don’t think many dads teach boys “dating” skillz. At least not in this country.

  29. frank

    In response:
    Mindy – i really hope that i find that fabulous girl that i want to spend the rest of my life with. Unfortunately to do that you have to have the confidence to get out there and talk to alot of women — the ones that do peak your interest – whether they are beautiful or funny or artistic and funky or whatever. That is true confidence – being able to CHOOSE who you approach and when and then believing that you can make the experience enjoyable for her.
    There are alot of guys that do want girlfriends that study dating and attraction and there are guys that only realise they want one once they’ve been through that shallow pick-up phase.
    Oh and to purple people eater – i didnt say that dads should teach their kids dating skills.
    Its more important that dads teach their kids by doing rather than saying. So they BE social individuals themselves that teach their kids the value and joy of friendships and relationships and how to maintain them, they BE confident individuals that are good at being assertive, while at the same time BEING kind. Such things lead the kids into having normal, socially well adjusted and naturally attractive lives. This is not the background of most PUA’s. So they have to un-learn and then re-learn how do all this stuff.
    Peace and love

  30. One-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater

    Frank, it’s better that they unlearn and then relearn by hanging out with fun, intelligent guys with a sense of humour and some emotional intelligence. Becoming a PUA by learning a set of rules seems such a joyless exercise, seems like the male equivalent of a girl who tries to follow “the rules” (as exemplified by “The Rules”, the Book).

  31. Dan

    To weight in on discussion. I have been a dating coach for past 4 years, started without community approaching. I had a lot of fears to conquer, i was getting better at approaching but was getting stuck. then at some point found community, and right away it made a huge difference. I dont mean lines and such, but the ability to see why we interact in certain way.
    As someone have already mentioned, community has a good and bad site, sadly at the moment it mostly bad due to real luck of good role models, since as it was mentioned, only sex sells well. My own belief always was that it is natural for a man and woman to enjoy and have fun, and sex is just part of it. But guys like dimitri the lover, ross jeffries, RSD and list goes on, makes community a very unpleasant place. and it wont change, since stuff that i fun “natural…fun…” doesn’t sell, sex sells and thats why pua here to stay.

  32. tigtog

    My own belief always was that it is natural for a man and woman to enjoy and have fun, and sex is just part of it.

    Exactly, Dan. That’s what PUA for profit distorts.

The commenting period has expired for this post. If you wish to re-open the discussion, please do so in the latest Open Thread.