“We’ll meet our soul mates, nail them and never call them again,” the character Barney on “How I Met Your Mother.”
“I love my wife. She asked me to leave. I can’t live without her,” the new character Walden played by Ashton Kutcher on “Two and a Half Men.”
Though attractive, Barney, who fancies himself a pick-up artist extraordinaire, is not wildly successful with women because he’s an old school player. That’s one of the running jokes in this sitcom. Women have come a long way on TV and in life; and Barney does not quite grasp the rapidly changing times.
The sitcom generating the most interest this year is, of course, “Men.” Charlie, played by Charlie Sheen before the debacle, was a pick-up artist. He had it all: money, the Malibu beach house, a handsome face and, it is implied, the ability to satisfy a woman. In the season opener, Charlie is dead. Walden—Ashton Kutcher—walks up to the beach house after failing to drown himself in the ocean because it was too cold without a wet suit. Alan, Charlie’s brother, offers a dry towel and a shoulder to cry on.
Walden does cry—on shapelier shoulders. He’s a billionaire, as handsome as, but younger than Charlie, emotionally immature in a different way, “hung like a horse” in his pixilated nude scenes, and desperately wanting his wife/life back. Offering pick-up advice, Alan takes him out for a drink, but Walden can’t stop thinking about his wife. His tears touch two beautiful babes at the bar. He ends up having sex with both of them while Alan “masturbates and cries himself to sleep.”
The three men—Charlie, Walden and Alan—illustrate the basic truths about modern culture: Desirable women hook up with men who have what they want; and that usually includes money and looks. The women who can be picked up by guys like Alan (with somewhat better social skills) are the low-hanging fruit. In one way or another, something is wrong with them. They’re bruised.
Popularized by Neil Strauss in The Game, pick-up culture, or the seduction community, began online where nerdy guys were looking for advice on how to meet women. Some of the advice was straight-forward, not demeaning. But many advisers taught men how to pounce on women’s weaknesses, even sap their self-confidence, rendering them easier prey.
Earlier this year I was engaged by Frederick Ebel, an aging self-styled pick-up artist to write a guide for younger men on how to pick up women and juggle multiple sexual relationships. Soon he confessed that he is a foot fetishist with an equally strong desire to be spanked. When I wouldn’t fulfill his fetish needs, he sexually harassed me publicly, threatened me and finally fired me, killing his project. Of course, he refused to pay what he owes me. (I’ve instructed my attorney to sue him on behalf of my young heirs after my death. See Dying, The End Game, part one which links to the other posts in the series.)
In an excerpt from our last interview, Freddie—who prefers to be called Rick—claims he has five concurrent sexual relationships with more women “waiting in the wings.” He is particularly proud of his ability to pick up women on subways and commuter trains. After telling me about the woman he met on the LIRR train after leaving his “main” lover’s home, we had the following exchange—
Freddie: “She suggested sharing a cab. I said, ‘I can’t. Believe me, if I could get out of this business lunch, we’d be spending the day together.’”
S: How many women have you met in the past six months?
S What is the difference between meeting on a train, at a coffee house, at a cocktail party?
Freddie: “At parties, you have a common link and time to find out about that person. A coffee house or bar is a more relaxed atmosphere, again more time. On public transportation, you have limited time. You have to focus and hammer it. Opportunities are everywhere, but you have to be present, engage. I size up women very quickly and spot their weaknesses. Every woman has weaknesses.”
S: “How did those dozens of meeting turn out?”
Freddie: “Two or three connectors, one or two repeaters with relationship potential. I could add two to the repertoire every six months, but I don’t have time. I tried to break off with four of the five—keeping the most geographically convenient relationship—but they won’t let me. They say they want more of me, but they will take whatever I can give them.”
Freddie: “I don’t lie to women; they know I won’t be monogamous. Monogamy is what they want from me. They all want it. I can’t find everything I want in one woman so how could I be faithful?
“My main woman won’t spank me. I’ve offered to bring in a woman who does it right to teach her, but she refuses. In a loving relationship, you should be willing to do anything to please your partner.”
A piece of work, isn’t he?
After writing this, I called Michael (M—the AssMaster, see category on right), a man who loves women, and asked him:
Can you think of a book, non-fiction or novel, that shows men how to treat women well?
Finally, he said, “No, but a small percentage of men buy into pick-up culture philosophy as compared to the number of women who buy into theories on managing men and relationships—in books like The Rules.
“I can’t think of a book for men, but I recommend a film, ‘Hitch’ starring Will Smith as a matchmaker who teaches men how to be seen by women—how to get past the barriers to knowing them that women put up.
“And I would tell men: Don’t treat women as badly as they treat each other.”
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