A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Baptizing "Game"?

From the feedback I received on my last two posts, I've learned some about how people understand the dynamics of mate selection between men and women. My last two posts (see here and here) stated my moral and theological objections to the PUA community. I have had basically two reactions from my readers:

1) People agreeing with me and saying what PUAs espouse is evil. The idea of seducing women with manipulative techniques in order to bed them is understandably off-putting to people of faith.

2) People who think I misunderstand "Game."

What I am seeing is a lot of cross-talk, argument over semantics, perhaps some special pleading and a few other things that impair clarification and resolution of the issue. I am certain I can take some blame for this, but I don't think I can take all of it.

There is apparently a group of men in the blogosphere that want to bowdlerize PUA tactics. That is, they want to crop off the seedier aspects of "Game" and talk about ways that men can improve their interpersonal relationships with women. "Game", for this group, is understood in a general and innocuous way. Indeed, some posters even talk about "Game" saving marriages. But that doesn't answer what I have already written:
Some readers want to redefine "Game" to mean things men have always done to catch the eyes of ladies. Historically, the word "Game" has had more negative connotations than that. I say it has too much to be used by Christian men.

When a godly women makes herself attractive, we don't call this "teasing." When she is sexually assertive with her husband in the bedroom, we don't call her a "porno slut." Likewise, we should not the use the language of PUAs to describe what godly men do to attract women ...
In short, I ask why some male bloggers feel the need to use the language of "playas," pimps, lotharios, lounge lizards, and the such like to describe the general concept of making oneself more attractive to women? And to say a Christian man can do this? Why would a Christian man want associate himself with the sexually immoral by using their language to describe his dealings with the opposite sex? It doesn't help his testimony, even if he has no intention of sleeping around. I can see it now: "Hi. I'm Chad. I go to Grace Community Church and I'm into Game!" What do you think Jane Q. Public is going to think about that? It's like saying, "Hi, I'm Hannah, I go to Grace Bible College, and I'm into teasing guys!" No, uh, "epic fail." You are not going to win the hearts and minds of men who are serious about sexual purity by asking them to borrow terms from the Seduction Community. At the very least, a new set of terms and/or concepts needs to be put forth that are acceptable to men of faith.

What is it that the Seduction Community can offer men of faith that they can't pick up elsewhere? I can go to a family bookstore and there are plenty of books telling men how to romance their wives, how to stop being a wimp and be a "real man," etc. Ever read No More Christian Nice Guy by Paul Coughlin? Many of the authors of these books are licensed counselors and therapists. Consider that there are also marriage enrichment seminars, workshops, etc. to boot that a religious man can attend.

You can teach men how to approach women and how to maintain the interest of women. All fine and well. More power to you if you can approach this subject in a format acceptable to Christian men. But the bottom line is that teaching men how to approach women is a meaningless exercise unless men and women genuinely love and respect each other. I am all for being physically attractive and romantically attractive to one's spouse, but I am not going to be able to do much seducing if I'm wasting away from inoperable cancer. The same goes for women. I've said a lot on this blog and elsewhere about Christian women needing to be more responsive about what turns men on instead of be such priggish prudes. One thing I will not do, however, is to suggest that sexual attractiveness is the foundation rock of a godly relationship. Agape is the foundation. Agape expresses itself by being considerate of the erotic needs and desires of one's spouse. However, the fruit of a tree should not be confused with the tree itself.

As it is, the three-hundred pound gorilla in the room is this: A lot of women and men don't love and respect each other. Seduction techniques, per se, cannot create this love and respect. Without the prerequiste love and respect, seduction techniques only lend themselves to sports sex, grudge sex, sugar daddy prostitution, trophy spouses, or what have you. Such is a turn-off to a godly man. Until men and women respect each other, their relationships will essentially be nothing more than d├ętente at the genital level. Obviously, there are men in the PUA/Seduction community who are not bothered by this, but the rest of us should be bothered. And when it comes to love and respect, women have their work cut out for them, given the fact that they gotten off with something less than a slap on the wrist for the last 40+ years. That's what lies at the heart of the issue - people's integrity, not a technique.

24 comments:

Justin said...

The irony is, Jesus was the ultimate alpha male, as he demonstrated time and time again in his dealings with men and women. And traditional Christianity was based on the idea and practice of the husband's alpha role in the family. You might enjoy my latest blog post on that subject: http://religionnewsblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/origins-of-game-jesus.html


Yet many people refuse to see anything but negativity when it comes to Christianity. I call it the Jesus Derangement Syndrome.

Anonymous said...

Problem of the dialectic. The behavior of Women has appreciably changed, do men:

a)Accept the change and engaged the change on its own terms and hence game.
b)Deny the change, remain the same and entertain obsolescence
c)Engage non changed segments of society, ie. Ultra conservative Christians, Amish, overseas cultures.

Adam T. said...

Anakin, I truly don't have time for a well thought-out discussion, but I liked this post - needed it, even. Here are a couple of drive-by thoughts for now:

1) I really do appreciate the biblical perspective you attempt to bring to the issue. A Christian man needs to be very, very careful when reading something like Roissy or other PUAs - it's FAR too easy to let the selfish, nihilistic (not to mention sexually depraved) worldview creep into one's own mind. I perceive that I've been reading them too much lately.

2) I'm not 100% convinced that the scriptures you cite are completely incompatible with 'game' - at least, certain elements of game. Particularly, I think some elements of game - the elements that used to simply be called 'being a man' - are actually biblically sound. Still, I very, very much agree with this:

You might say that women are naturally attracted to cads and rakes. I say that women are sinfully attracted to cads and rakes. God did not design women to be attracted to the things he clearly condemns in his Word. Worldly women are attracted to the wrong things because they are in rebellion against their Creator.

The problem for us as Christian men becomes: 'game' works so well on almost all of the women we meet and interact with in our day-to-day lives because, well, all of those women are fallen and sinful. In the face of game's effectiveness, how can we really remind ourselves that this is not the way that we are intended to pursue the fraction of women who truly do have a mind- and spirit-renewing faith? It's an exercise in trusting God, to be sure.

In sum, thanks for the biblical wake-up, Anakin. I need to think and pray.

TMink said...

When I think of broader social problems I always come back to the individual walks of Christian men and women and the obedience of God's church.

When we walk in the light, and our churches are obedient to God's Holy word, we prosper as individuals and as a nation. When we eschew the light and elevate our own understanding above God's word, we flounder.

Currently, we flounder.

I think the answer and tonic is always the same, revival and renewed obedience to God and the filling of His Spirit.

Our relational health comes from this as men and women. It is important to critique our culture and stay aware of various competing ideologies that are quick to scratch our itching ears, and I appreciate the discussion here that helps me to think about and recognize those false solutions.

But I am convinced that the answer is always the same: Our conforming in obedience to God's word.

Trey

Puma said...

Game is the male immune-system response to the misandrist times that we are living in today. If no-fault divorce, sexual revolution, and the tyranny of the family courts had not happened, then Game probably wouldn't have evolved either.

TMink said...

Puma, I think that being a God fearing, honest man does not go out of fashion in attracting Godly, honest women. Now game makes sense in terms of finding someone to get busy with, but that is not our calling.

What do you think?

I agree with your stated point entirely though.

Trey

Anonymous said...

Your money quote:

"And when it comes to love and respect, women have their work cut out for them, given the fact that they gotten off with something less than a slap on the wrist for the last 40+ years."

So what you're generally saying is that women are not worthy of respect and should be punished (more than a slap on the wrist).

Puma said...

Trey - There will always be good women out there, however we should not have to put up with a system that let's the not-so-good ones (who are the majority) destroy unsuspecting good men's lives.

Anon - "So what you're generally saying is that women are not worthy of respect...": No that's not what he is saying. Here look at this research which shows that 66-75% of divorces are filed by women:

http://aler.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/2/1/126

Do you see that just because you are a woman, you don't automatically deserve respect? No one should automatically deserve anything. Go ahead, act shocked.

Puma said...

Ok the female-filed divorces rate link didn't post properly, so I made it part of my alias's URL. Just click my name here.

Anonymous said...

The 'more females file' thing isn't news, Puma. Besides, you're stilleft with fact that most women don't divorce their husbands. Respect, in the most basic sense, is something all people are due just for being human.

Puma said...

Hmmm. Out of 10 women who said, I do, 5 stay married.

Of that 5, an average of 20% have adultery (some believe it may be higher).

That leaves 4 wives who neither get divorced nor cheat. Not too bad I guess. But I wouldn't call it majority.

Novaseeker said...

All I can say is this: the proof is in the pudding. It really is.

You can rail about Game terms (and I dislike them, too, but I don't dislike many of the concepts), but the issue is "what works today"? In this respect I am a pragmatist, which is why I am a Game advocate (provided someone does not use it to become a PUA): it *works*.

Maintaining marriage is much more about what *works*, pragmatically, than pie-in-the-sky idealism. It well and truly is.

For those who think that this is automatic, as in ("a God fearing, honest man does not go out of fashion in attracting Godly, honest women"), all I can say is, if that was the case, this blog would not exist. This idea that so many of you have is just so out of touch with the reality of the situation for so many men, that it's just amazing that you have the temerity to say such things.

In any case, to me it's about "what works". I am, above all, a pragmatist much more than I am an ideologue.

njartist said...

I stand by the comment I posted in response to your last article. You did not address the position that marriage in the old testament (along the line of promise) was done by selecting a wife from among one's kin: just as is done in Islamic society today; the man's family either demonstrated wealth (Isaac) or the man (Jacob)earned his wife.

There is no indication in the new testament as to how to obtain a wife. Paul even goes so far as to say he would prefer one not to marry considering the times.

AS for this statement:"One thing I will not do, however, is to suggest that sexual attractiveness is the foundation rock of a godly relationship. Agape is the foundation. Agape expresses itself by being considerate of the erotic needs and desires of one's spouse."

Good grief man, where do you expect people aged 18 to 25/30 to be this spiritually adult: you sound like a pastor, with an attractive wife, telling a lonely boy of his church that he should overlook the unattractiveness of a girl who is interested and spiritually love her for her inner qualities. The appropriate response of the young man should be to tell the prig of a pastor that he doesn't see the pastor's wife chasing cats down the street, so don't impose the "spiritual" BS on him.

Anakin Niceguy said...

njartist writes:

you sound like a pastor, with an attractive wife, telling a lonely boy of his church that he should overlook the unattractiveness of a girl who is interested and spiritually love her for her inner qualities.

Strawman NJ. On my other blog, I have taken to task the kind of men you say I sound like. Saying attractiveness is not the most important thing is not one and the same as saying it is not important at all. You are putting words into my mouth and pigeonholing my position. As for your other point, you want a guide for Christian men on how to snag women. Good for you. You'll get no flack from me. BUT ... It still has to be Biblical in terms of not violating clear prohibitions against certain behaviors. If that is too tough for the Beta revolution crowd, then they'll just have to accept that.

Keoni Galt said...

Anakin - It seems to me that you are focusing in on the aspects of "Game" that are absolutely "sinful" in terms of biblical morality.

But the only point I've been trying to make in your comments is this: your criticism is for the players...but the game, whether used by married men on their wives to lotharios chasing whores...it is based on basic principles of human behavior that are just as easily observed in women of faith and high character and in the lowliest of harlots.

God designed women to be hypergamous. Women have the subconscious, instinctual desire to mate with superior Men.

This is why I believe God ordained the institution of Patriarchy, charging the Man with the duties and responsibilities as Head of the Household, and why he charges women to submit to their Husbands and Fathers.

"GAME" is really observational analysis based on what kinds of behaviors, attitudes, and demeanor that men notice women respond to. You can use it as you will.

What it really is, is de-programming the feminist cultural indoctrination that has become pervasive in our modern world. In many ways, feminism's worst influence has found it's ways into many Christian denominations.

I've met many women who call themselves "Christian Feminists" and they go through all kinds of contortions and rationalizations to justify accepting the idea of "equality" amongst the genders is somehow divinely inspired.

Yet the Bible states it plain as day that the Man is to be the head of the Household.

Game - in essence, teaches the principles of social dominance. It is SELF-IMPROVEMENT for men.

How you use it is up to you...just as a gun can be misused for murder, it can also be used to hunt food to feed your family. Is the gun "evil" or is it how it's used that determines it's ultimate morality?

Right now, the primary proponents of "game" are the promiscuous, immoral PUA's.

But in your haste to judge the entire premise based on these proponents, you are missing the primary message.

"Game" is about men learning to Man up in an emasculated, feminized world.

Thursday said...

I can go to a family bookstore and there are plenty of books telling men how to romance their wives, how to stop being a wimp and be a "real man"

The problem is that women aren't just attracted to a man's confidence (his "manliness"), but equally or more so to his social awareness. To be attractive a man has to know when and how to do what. Otherwise all your confidence and assertiveness will just come off as a sort of parody of John Wayne. There just are _no_ books in the Christian community that break down social interactions in nearly the detail that game manuals like, say, Magic Bullets or The Mystery Method do. Attracting women requires considerable nuance, as well as confidence.

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Justin said...

Thursday, you make a good point, perhaps pointing to an emerging market niche: Game for the Christian Man.

However...

I would question the premise of the need for a good Christian man to master the nuances of social seduction scenarios.

It seems to me the premise is to maximize one's dating opportunities by becoming a social chamelion, which poses the tendency of losing one's true character and values.

You know, in a way it echoes Paul's idea of being all things to all people. I guess it just needs to include ethical guidelines and a moral compass.

For one, it should respect the RULES that a Christian girl is expected to maintain. Apart from a two-sided committment to values, Christian Man's Game would be oxymoronic and morally perilous.

Good food for thought!

Anonymous said...

Puma said:

"Out of 10 women who said, I do, 5 stay married.

Of that 5, an average of 20% have adultery (some believe it may be higher).

That leaves 4 wives who neither get divorced nor cheat. Not too bad I guess. But I wouldn't call it majority."


Actually, for first marriages, at least 6 out of 10 stay married, when factors like age, race, education, children and other behavioral variables (ie. criminality, substance abuse, mental illness) are factored in.

Of the four who don't, at least one has a husband who's the one to file, and the other 2.5 to 3 women may be filing for any number of reasons (not all filers, male or female are "the bad guy", one of the most insidious assumptions made by MRAs). Reasons that were most likely preventable.

As for adultery, husbands fare no better (somewhat worse, actually). Consider also that large portion of adultery is mutual.

So the "decent wife" rate is probably closer to sixty to seventy percent. There's your majority.

Novaseeker said...

Those statistics are skewed.

Those numbers encapsulate the entire age population, including people 60+ who, as a generation, had far lower divorce rates than the people who are now 45 and under -- so it quite skews things about the first marriages that are taking place *now*. I would place the "decent wife" rate at right around 50%, based on my own observations of the marriages (present and former) of colleagues and friends.

In any case this is quite away from the topic of the OP, but I'm beginning to think that marriage, as an institution, is something that is not particularly well suited to contemporary life -- in terms of the life expectations of people -- at least people 40 and under. Of course it remains significant for people of faith, but in the culture as a whole the institution seems to be a poor fit.

Thursday said...

The only parts of game that I see having any real conflict with Christian morality are:

1. The variant style of game called asshole game. But that is fairly redundant because it is much less effective on women who are marriage material anyway.

2. The tactics in the later seduction phase, such as the most effective ways to get a girl back to your place for sex.

Anonymous said...

"Those statistics are skewed...Those numbers encapsulate the entire age population, including people 60+ who, as a generation, had far lower divorce rates than the people who are now 45 and under -- so it quite skews things about the first marriages that are taking place *now*. "

Not according to Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers at UofP, who do take into account generational cohorts. That seems to be good news to everyone but you.

"I'm beginning to think that marriage, as an institution, is something that is not particularly well suited to contemporary life -- in terms of the life expectations of people -- at least people 40 and under."

And this you base on your own projections and observations? I don't think you, with your growing level of influence, realize what a dangerous message you're putting out. Scary.

SavvyD said...

Well written. I agree. Quoting divorce rates or how things have changed don't make much difference to the core message. Just because one gender files doesn't mean the other gender is uninvolved in the problems as a cherubic bystander.