Guest Post: Anatomy of a Player

There has been plenty written on how men objectify women and are said to be sex crazed lunatics who have their pants around their ankles when a woman shows the least bit of sexual inclination. But, why do many men behave this way? While some men practice Pick Up Artist (PUA) techniques and succeed in attracting women to delve into panning the testosterone rivers for gold and treasures. Both end up with disappointment, these ways of living are one focused on the body and typically using a body to further a vicious cycle. Yes, there are users and opportunists on both sides of the gender fence, but that doesn’t make it balanced. It just means many men and women have a lot of growing up to do in their own ways.

Now, about the male Pick Up Artist- as a woman, you’ve probably heard and seen them all. The clever and not so clever one liners, the excuses, and the “extreme peacock” technique. The latter is when a man tries to be flashy while trying to stand out in a crowd and draw the eye of women.

However, every planned gimmick or approach from a PUA has one underlying meaning “I want to meet you, but I don’t know how  and wonder if I’m worthy of your time. I’m also shallow, and think a deep connection involves tapping on your cervix like my penis is a ball peen hammer.” So, do you ever wonder why you deal with it? In most cases, the Pick-up Artist is often a player too. And speaking of players, we come to the really heavy part about this article. I can’t very well illuminate what they do without an admission of my own.

I was one for quite some time.

As a man who practiced PUA techniques successfully for most of his life,  I can shed some light on this topic. The “success”   meaning I slept  with women and felt more miserable every time someone else helped warm my sheets. Did I do anything wrong by having sex with a lot of women? Yes and no. I dated one woman at a time, bought dinners and entertainment, made sure their evenings were enjoyable, never used alcohol as a catalyst for sex, or made promises I couldn’t keep. Each woman was a willing partner, but I wasn’t willing to be emotionally intimate with them.

What was wrong, diabolical even, involved me giving the impression that I was more emotionally available than I was because I could mimic what I knew they wanted. Mostly the women I attracted were covert emotional manipulators, so the game continued and in retrospect, I couldn’t tell you who was actually playing who. But a few were upstanding women that I disappeared from in one way or another and couldn’t articulate why for them at the time. That is what I regret most, but that is a story unto its own.

Sometime a few years ago while trying to learn how to better connect with my young daughter, I began researching and trying to discover why I did this. To connect with her, I had to connect with myself and face some demons. It was then I came to understand that while this was a very common issue among men and many complained about it, no one delved into why it was so commonplace.

So why do men do this, and can we mature?

Well, that depends on the person. It isn’t a yes or no, it’s an admission that your darker facets exist and a drive to improve yourself for the sake of your own emotional health.

Like most of my male friends, I am a working professional and a stable sort. I have a well developed artistic side to compliment the bellicose, gun collecting, military history buff bull elephant that resides in my psyche. There wasn’t anything wrong with me per se, but there was something wrong with what I thought of myself. I was attaching my self-worth to how attractive I thought I was to women and society instead of doing things for my own self value and improvement. In retrospect, almost all of my behavior circled back to being attractive and desirable in some way to someone else.

My ability to get a woman into bed in a few dates was a large part of what I thought made me a man. The problem was, the more I dated and the more women I was physically intimate with, the worse I felt. I become more angry, jaded, and bitter. I believed dating was a hostile place and I thought every woman had an agenda to manipulate me, so I fought fire with fire. I’d lost sight of what really mattered and was afraid to admit I wanted intimacy, without the panties landing in my entranceway. I wanted a true connection. And I couldn’t trust a woman because deep down I never learned to trust my own instinct and emotions, only logic and material gains. It wasn’t manly of me to admit I needed or wanted that connection. The more I dated, the more lonely I felt even with a woman sleeping next to me.

So what is my hypothesis of why many men pursue a lifestyle like this?

The root cause is suppression or mismanagement of a man’s emotions which are just as strong as women’s, but very poorly dealt with in most cases. After all, we are taught by everyone including our own families to “suck it up,” suppress and “put our game face on.” If a boy gets hurt, “Toughen up. Don’t cry. Be a man.” Early on, most of us males are not taught to regulate our emotions or how to express them without sacrificing our masculinity. In many ways, it teaches males to discount their own feelings. When you discount you suppress what you really feel and insecurities start to breed like rabbits. It still doesn’t excuse the behavior. It’s just a possible explanation of how it comes to be.

Some common excuses for the problematic and largely unfulfilling behaviors:

“She won’t give me the time of day if I don’t use some gimmick or stunt to catch her off guard.”

“I have to act or portray that I’m interesting and valuable because deep down I don’t believe I am.”

“I’m dreadfully afraid of being rejected and I can always play it off if it backfires.”

“Social media and society tell me everyday I should be hypersexual and getting sex is what matters. So, sex with more women must make me more of a man.”

“I’m insecure due to all these romantic comedies, steamy novels and what society presents as desirable. How do I compete with that! I have to overcompensate, that’s how!”

“I don’t know how to deal with or express my emotions, so I’ll keep my distance by going from one to the next.”

“She’ll hurt me if I open up and fall for her, so I’ll leave first before I can be hurt or sabotage the relationships once she expects actual intimacy.”

“I was so nice for years and got put in the friend zone all the time. Now I treat women as milestones to be conquered and scored to compensate for my misunderstanding of women and how to relate.”

“I’m Peter Fucking Pan flying around seeing if there is a hot ass Wendy who will let me in. I’m emotionally 17 and don’t know how to grow the hell up. Growing up is scary and as a man I’m supposed to suck it up and suppress my emotions, keep people away on that front.”

“I had a bad familial experience growing up and have unresolved core trauma issues.”

“I have no idea how to be vulnerable or how to expose the good and bad of myself to a person and let someone judge me.”

“A man’s gotta do, what a man’s gotta do- which is die in war. Overcompensating is a way to bring up my own self esteem and not think about how disposable I am.”

Do you see a common denominator?  Insecurity.  Men are expected to put our happiness in external societal drivers- your car, your home, your career, your bank account, etc. We are not allowed to express intense emotions – it is “unmanly.” We are constantly fretting about how we are stacking up against the ridiculous standard of “masculinity” our society has created for us.  We are kept from expressing our true feelings and intentions. I’m convinced that because of the pressures of upholding “manhood” and having experienced this lifestyle myself, deep down insecurities have prevented me from being happy and I  had to work hard on myself to correct it.

And with that, I’ll conclude my long winded peek into the anatomy of a Pick Up Artist.


About our contributor:

After striving to be the epitome of an all American, football watching, tail chasing male, Matt finally started to grow up. Whilst staring down the barrel of 40, AND taking his eight year old daughter training bra shopping, the universe brought forth a new perspective. One where the world of men and women wasn’t what he was led to believe. That neither sex was the enemy, but unwitting combatants in a gender war with no actual adversary other than society and millennia of asinine assumptions. So, with his ubiquitous pen and hard earned epiphany, he set about writing.

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