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Red Pill Review: Should men use seduction to get women?

TL:DR – This post is for men wanting to know how to get a girl – whether they should use Pick-Up style seduction techniques or just naturally attract through honesty. The post reviews the 3 main claims of seduction advocates: 1) seduction is a good way to learn about women, 2) it’s necessary to protect men from risk, and 3) that it works because women are attracted to ‘bad boys’. I found that these 3 justifications for seduction were based on fallacious reasoning and bad evidence. A more effective approach is 1) to learn about women with genuinely open curiosity, 2) protect yourself from risk by leading with integrity whilst dating, and 3) that women are attracted to many types of men, especially those bold enough to lead and express themselves authentically. Read on for details as to how I came to this conclusion.


Each video you see below is a casual summary of the preceding section, but if you prefer reading the whole thing is written out too (15min read). Each time I reference Red Pill ideas you’ll find links to Red Pill posts, articles or videos that represent the idea, and when I make scientific claims you’ll find the words are linked to citations.


INTRODUCTION

In running BROJO – a community for men that tackles the trials and tribulations of love, dating and relationships – it’s important that we learn to understand the influences facing men these days.

Today, we’ll be critiquing seduction – the art of influencing a woman into feeling attracted to you by exploiting the psychology about what women want. We’ll try to answer one important question:


Should men who want to create a satisfying love-life use seduction and ‘game’ strategies to attract women?


Full disclosure: I believe that seduction is harmful to creating connections and relationships, but in researching to create this post I explored alternative views to see if I could be swayed in another direction.

The argument supporting seduction is well-represented by a school of thought called The Red Pill – which is part of a wider paradigm of male-focused support-groups, men’s rights advocates, and ideologies under the ‘manosphere‘ umbrella.

Within this nuanced and varied self-development community are the groups and individuals that advocate for seduction, like Pick Up Artists (or PUA – a community that came into notoriety through Neil Strauss’ book The Game), dating coaches, and some darkly misogynistic factions.

Red Pill and other aspects of the manosphere cover much more about self-development than just seduction, and I couldn’t hope to review and cover all of the content. Today, I just want to focus on what they say about seduction.

I’ve picked up on 3 key principles of The Red Pill argument for seduction that seem to come up repeatedly, and I’ve chosen articles and posts that seem to accurately represent the general Red Pill perspective on these principles. From this basis I will explore the question about seduction.

I’ll simultaneously be critiquing the Red Pill posts I’ve chosen as well as the general principle being represented. I’ll also be influenced by my many years in the Pick Up Artist community from which the Red Pill philosophy seems to have been spawned.

The Red Pill argument for the use of seduction can be summarised as 3 main points:

(1) It is both good and helpful for men to use “game” when connecting with women because it’s effective, it teaches you social skills, it helps you understand social dynamics, and it shows you that all women are essentially the same, and

(2) Seduction is a necessary skillset men must learn to protect themselves because women have the upper hand in dating and will harm unskilled men, and

(3) If you don’t use seduction to show attractive ‘bad boy’ traits women will trade you in for a better man, because they are hypergamous and find nice/feminine qualities unattractive.

I must emphasize that there’s more to Red Pill and the rest of the manosphere than seduction tips – much more – but I want to focus on these 3 points because this is the argument against the more honest BROJO-style approach to connecting with women (which is basically where you just have integrity and let women judge you however they want).

Let’s tackle this one point at a time.


RED PILL PRINCIPLE #1: “Game is Good”


RED PILL CLAIM: The seduction game has led us to discover the truth about women and attraction, so it’s a good thing overall.
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The Red Pill community seems to idolize the use of strategic social tactics to influence women into being attracted to you. The resulting sexually promiscuous lifestyle that many claim will come from applying game is hailed as a goal worth pursuing.

Red Pill leaders like Roosh V claim they have since put away their promiscuous ways but still recommend the use of seduction tactics. They say game taught them how to understand and interact with women, and so is essentially a right of passage every man should go through.

I can concur with this to some extent. My few years as a Pick Up Artist certainly taught me a lot about female psychology, social dynamics, and the effect of cultural norms on relationships between men and women.

However, there are some problems with hailing game as the saviour of men and promoting it as a helpful learning experience. This principle of the argument for seduction is based on some unreliable assumptions.

Assumption #1:

“Seductive and promiscuous men acquire important and necessary knowledge about relationships (and this is the best way to learn).”

Though it’s undeniable that game can help some men make insightful discoveries, there’s no evidence that this is the best way, or that men need to walk this path to learn about dating and women.

Before seduction was formalised and taught, thousands of generations of humans were able to form partnerships and families.

In my work as a coach, I’ve seen many men successfully skip the ‘game phase’ and go straight into living with integrity. In doing so they were able to learn plenty about female psychology as well as the experience the backlash that society presents (sometimes) to living with integrity, and learn how to manage that. No game was required for this learning process. While this is essentially case-study/anecdotal evidence, it opens up potential for different learning pathways.

To claim that game is a “good” way to learn about women (i.e. effective and helpful) is unproven and the reasoning seems mostly based on the bandwagon fallacy (“It must work because it worked for me and my friends”). It’s more accurate to simply claim that seduction is one way to learn social dynamics, but it’s not the only way (and undoubtedly not the healthiest).

And if Red Pill claims that game is a good way to learn about long-term relationships, they’re way off. Look at the track-record of top dating instructors – even after decades of seduction mastery many remain single and unable to maintain long-term relationships.

Assumption #2:

“Game works”

Even claiming that game works effectively is unproven. The idea that many men are successfully dating and getting laid because of seduction is made to sound obvious (PUA marketing often uses keywords like how to be a player to indirectly imply guaranteed results), however it’s unsupported by evidence.

In my experience, game left me empty-handed most of the time, and this low ‘success rate’ was confirmed by thousands of guys I spoke with on online forums.

Even among the dating coaches and instructors I am personally acquainted with, most ‘approaches’ are rejected. I am yet to see good evidence to suggest that seduction is effective enough to be worth the effort and investment to learn, even if you are only materialistically interested in getting laid.

I think what happens is Red Pill community members come into seduction thinking that they’ve already tried the “just be yourself” approach and it didn’t work for them. I would suggest that they’ve most likely rarely or never revealed who they truly are to a woman they’re attracted to, and were essentially always engaged in some amateur form of seduction (e.g. hiding intentions, hiding attraction, faking interest, hiding weaknesses and insecurities, dressing to impress etc.).

There are even groups within the manosphere – most notably PUAHate (since renamed SlutHate) – that came together just to complain about the false promise of game efficacy. If nothing else, it’s fair to say seduction doesn’t work well for all men. I would go one step further and claim it doesn’t work well for a majority who attempt it.

Assumption #3:

“The women who respond positively to seduction are representative of all women (i.e. all women are the same).”

A common and pervasive theme in Red Pill is the underlying assumption that all women are psychologically the same. Despite many Red Pill and manosphere authors being strongly anti-feminism because of the ways men are unfairly categorised by feminists, they seem to have no problem committing the same stereotyping fallacy about women.

Ask any Pick Up Artist; if they’re honest, they’ll confess that more often than not they get rejected using game techniques. This shows that perhaps not all women are equally affected by it.

Just because some women are easily seduced does not mean that all women are responsive to seduction. And just because women in Western countries sometimes respond to game does not mean women around the world think alike. We must resist the Broad Brush Fallacy.

Red Pill makes some grand claims about the efficacy of seduction on all women, but cites zero scientific studies to confirm this – they seem to rely on vaguely referenced evolutionary psychology principles to justify the “all women are the same (therefore all women respond to seduction)” argument, but evo-psych has never actually made that claim or proven it.

My conclusions / questions / agreement:

Even if game is responsible for good discoveries, it doesn’t mean game itself is good. There have been plenty of inhumane psychological studies performed (e.g. Milgram’s infamous experiment) that yielded helpful information but we can clearly see the methodology used was extremely harmful to the participants.

Seduction may in fact severely harm the vulnerable women it ‘works’ on. Think of how you can lose trust permanently for a wide range of people when someone successfully manipulates you. One reason I personally stopped using seduction was because of the amount of emotional damage I was causing.

It’s a fallacy to assume that because game helped a few guys understand a few women better that it’s somehow inherently helpful or morally sound. It’s time for us to move on, to find a healthier approach to connection.

Through BROJO’s Ask Women Anything forums we’ve discovered women who positively respond to honesty, integrity and faithfulness (evidenced by their loyalty to partners who demonstrate these traits consistently), while they feel repulsed by seduction approaches. These women may not be representative of a majority either, but they are certainly exceptions that bring question to Red Pill’s “all women are alike” mentality.


RED PILL PRINCIPLE #2: “Game is Necessary”


RED PILL CLAIM: Men suffer more than women because we are secretly programmed to serve women – therefore seduction is a necessary evil to free men from enslavement.
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One message that clearly stood out to me as I explored The Red Pill perspective on seduction was the implied and sometimes explicitly stated assumption:

“We are at war.”

Some manosphere sub-groups blame women directly for this supposed war between the sexes e.g. Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW). Women are portrayed as manipulative, superficial, programmed by the state, incapable of unconditional love or kindness, and responsible for maliciously influencing men into suffering from Nice Guy Syndrome. Women use their own seduction to enslave us.

Red Pill claims that men have been somehow tricked into being loyal, subservient providers. Women to reap all the benefits, then supposedly discard their man for a better one (a.k.a. hypergamy) once all usefulness has been expended.

This point leads naturally to the justification of game tactics – we men are forced to protect ourselves from female seduction and manipulation by becoming seductive manipulators ourselves. Game is a protective shield, without which men will be eaten alive by the supposedly sociopathic female gender.

Unfortunately, this assertion that game is helpful, necessary and protective of men is yet again based on some faulty reasoning and unproven assumptions. And the idea that women are the only ones being deceptive, or that they are more devious and manipulative than men, is blatantly incorrect.

Assumption #1:

“Male integrity is punished by women.”

I can’t tell if Red Pill is for or against integrity as I know it – which in my mind means living true to yourself no matter the cost (e.g. integrity might mean allowing an attractive woman to lose interest in you if that’s the consequence of being truthful).

Many leaders in the Red Pill community recommend that men live with integrity. Red Pill absolutely does not support subservient Nice Guy falseness. But then Red Pill seems to complain that men are punished for this so-called honorable behaviour, and that women are somehow responsible for forcing men to be this way. The term ‘hypergamy’ is used often to describe why a woman will leave an honorable man for another who is sexier, richer or more popular.

It is an unclear argument at best. If Red Pill does support integrity, then why does it also support game, which clearly requires subversion and deception? (e.g. Red Pill often supports hiding your intentions).

And if Red Pill does not prioritise integrity, which would make more sense because seduction is congruent with the Red Pill perspective, why do they complain when a man gets punished by women for being honorable?

And why are they against women using seduction techniques when they encourage men to be equally manipulative?

Before Red Pill can stand up and say “Seduction techniques are a necessary protective survival tool for men” they must first admit that they do not support true integrity, because all seduction must conceal some truth.

Assumption #2:

“All women are programmed to manipulate men through sexuality.”

This assumption originates from a clear logical fallacy: that the Red Pill community’s experience with women is generally representative of all male/female relationships (the bandwagon effect again).

The most obvious factor that brings men to seduction via Red Pill seems to be painful experiences with women. Many manosphere leaders openly disclose having painful past histories with women, from decades of virginity through to messy and expensive divorces. The Red Pill community has become an echo-chamber rife with wounded men who resent women.

Some women taking advantage of some men is not evidence of a female psychology trait significantly different to men, or even of a culturally-influenced tendency. It certainly is not evidence that all women around the world are sexually manipulative.

When I worked for Department of Corrections, most of the men I dealt with were criminals. Yet these men only represented about 1-5% of the national population (those who have been convicted of a crime). So even though these types of men were over-represented in most of my interactions, they did not represent all men accurately. I extend this logic to the average experience of a Red Pill enthusiast: most of the women in your life being awful is not evidence that all women are awful.

And your Red Pill friends also having awful experiences with women still does not prove anything in general about women. There’s a good chance you were all simply experiencing the same small sub-group of women, unrepresentative of the whole, because your mindset and social behaviours were attractive to a specific niche of low-quality women.

The idea that all women can and will exploit an honorable man is not supported by citations or scientific evidence in any of the manosphere/Red Pill articles/posts/videos I’ve seen. It’s assumed as a truth, begging the question of where they got this information (aside from their own personal experiences)?

My girlfriend certainly doesn’t use sexual manipulation against me, and I’ve been nice to her without losing her love. Are we a rare and exceptional case, or is there a possible variety in women?

This all comes back to the “all women are the same” fallacious assumption. The idea that women are all inherently evil users is an unproven claim at best, and really seems to be lacking any valid evidence or logical reasoning. But I can understand why it might appear true to a guy who’s had nothing but bad experiences with women.

It is much more scientifically accurate to say that manipulative people in general (i.e. including men) use whatever tactic best suits the situation and their personality to gain control. And, further, that men who are abused in relationships are more likely than other men to repeatedly experience abusive relationships, creating a confirmation bias.

Assumption #3:

“Game is a helpful solution to these issues.”

Let’s assume for a second that all the Red Pill theories about female psychology are true. Let’s say all women without exception are manipulative, scheming and hypergamous.

Is this justification for the use of seduction and game – an eye for eye?

This idea seems to have two different justifications, depending on whether you look at the Red Pill faction that’s misogynistic vs the Red Pill guys that seem to actually like women. The misogynists say “Game the women because those bitches deserve to be manipulated” while the more reasonable Red Pill guys say “Game them because it’s what women want.

What is not explored or given due credit in Red Pill is the idea of encouraging manipulative women into having more integrity, by role-modelling and setting an example, rather than tricking them out of vengeance or necessity. I also could not find reference to more honest methods of interaction that had been thoroughly experimented with by Red Pill enthusiasts as an alternative to seduction.

Red Pill goes on at length about men stepping up to be the leaders, but then contradicts this by claiming we should be manipulative in reaction to women being manipulative. How is following and copying someone else’s harmful behaviour aligned with the concept of leadership?

An eye for an eye and we all go blind.

Assumption #4:

“Men have it worse than women.”

Game is often proclaimed to be an equalizer – a way to balance the scales because men suffer worse than women overall.

In this post, the author documents many of the ways in which men suffer more than women. Nearly every category of life is listed, from education and healthcare to crime and homelessness. And, statistically, this appears to be accurate information. I agree that there is a lot of ways in which men suffer worse than women.

But to argue that these facts justify the use of seduction, you must successfully evidence three points:

  1. Men are suffering worse overall and therefore need a handicap;
  2. Male suffering is directly related to women and romantic social interactions, so that handicap must be against women somehow;
  3. Seduction is the most effective handicap and serves as a treatment for our suffering.

If you can’t prove these points, you’re just randomly correlating male suffering with women without sufficient reasoning.

There are equal lists of statistics for how women suffer worse than men, and most scientific studies find that women come out worse overall. But yes, these studies could be biased, so point #1 is hard to argue – pain is just too subjective to accurately quantify.

What’s easier to critique is point #2: the idea that men suffer because of women, particularly because of female advantages in the dating world (e.g. “it’s easier for women to get laid than men”). I see no real evidence that female-specific strengths in dating somehow hurt men, I just see leap-of-faith conclusions.

Red Pill might claim that men are more likely to commit suicide because of poor treatment at the hands of women in relationships, but a more scientific explanation would be to simply conclude that men have higher rates of mental illness for reasons varied and nuanced, and that they are less likely to seek treatment. In fact, most studies concur that married men are healthier and live longer than other men, implying that sustained romantic contact with women is good for our health.

I don’t see evidence that supports the claim that men suffer at the hands of women, therefore there’s no support for the justification of seduction to balance the scales, even if they are unbalanced in women’s favour. Just because someone is doing better than you doesn’t make them your enemy. If anything, it makes them a role-model.

It seems more likely that we men are our own worst enemies – we choose to do shit jobs that endanger our health, we choose not to go see the psychologist about our issues even though we easily could, we choose to present ourselves in a dishonest and needy way during dating experiences instead of having integrity, we choose to use apps like Tinder to meet women instead of creating an interesting social life through healthy hobbies, and we choose to promote movies that support emotional suppression in men (e.g. all James Bond movies were directed and written by men).

We dig our own graves.

So claiming men have it worse, blaming women for this worseness, and then stating that game is the balancing strategy is an extremely warped and faulty interpretation of the data. It’s passing the buck on something that we need to own as men: responsibility for our decisions and behaviour.

My conclusions / questions / agreement:

I’ll start by saying I absolutely agree that some women use seductive techniques to subjugate men (just like some men do this to women). I’ll also say I agree that this approach is encouraged by certain fringe elements of feminism, and by the general media (e.g. chick flicks about convincing a previously promiscuous man to fall in love).

Generally, I can see performance pressures for men exist in society, but I don’t see evidence that women are the cause, I don’t see how it justifies lack of integrity, and I don’t see game as the solution to this problem. Evidence shows clearly that women suffer at least as much as men. I think we’re all suffering and therefore we’re all responsible for stepping up and living bravely with integrity.

The way I see it, the game vs game dynamic is guaranteed to make both genders suffer even more. Real leaders would put the game to an end – to call out manipulation and be willing to role-model integrity. This is the BROJO way: use honesty to protect yourself from manipulation, and stop manipulating so others may learn from your example.

Red Pill has too much focus on playing the game to win, which means defeating women. Integrity doesn’t require this – integrity is about destroying the game, not about destroying others. Instead of trying to control or hurt women to make our lives easier, we should try to control ourselves – at least to see if that works before attacking an imagined enemy.


RED PILL PRINCIPLE #3: “Women Want a Bad Boy”


RED PILL CLAIM: Men who display Dark Triad “bad boy” traits are more successful with women, so men should strive to develop and exhibit these traits.
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Reddit threads strongly emphasize what is common theme throughout Red Pill and manosphere philosophy, which is basically that nice loyal guys are dull and unattractive, while wild and exciting bad boys are what all women really want. This claim is used to justify seduction, with seduction now specifically defined as pretending to be a bad boy by developing predatory traits and a psychopathic mindset.

Some posts and articles go even further, claiming that because psychopaths are known to have promiscuous sex lives that women must therefore be attracted to a much darker horse: the Dark Triad psychopath. Red Pill basically claims that all women find Dark Triad men irresistible.

Of all the Red Pill ideals, I believe this one to be the most harmful to men who are interested in creating loving connections with women. It is a claim which encourages manipulation, misogynistic and outright abusive behaviour, narcissism, and the dehumanization of women into sexual-gratification resources in need of conquering.

The Dark Triad style of seduction requires most men to be false (because 95-99% of the population are not naturally psychopathic), and promotes risk-taking, selfishness and dominance (which can easily be misconstrued as aggression). In its most extreme form, the idea that women are attracted to psychopathic behaviour can too easily become an excuse for violations of consent and boundaries – e.g. the “she wanted it” justification for sexual assault.

The main reason I have a problem with this view more than any other part of manosphere thinking is because it’s the least scientifically accurate while often claiming to be the most.

Red Pill posts and videos often speak about all women being uncontrollably attracted to bad boys as if it’s proven fact, often without a single reference to a valid and reliable piece of evidence (beyond a few unreliable self-report studies showing vague connections between psychopathic traits and levels of visual attraction).

There are some assertions and claims made to back up this theory, let’s review:

Assumption #1:

“There are only two types of guys.”

In this post they are called “Alpha Lover” and “Provider Guy” while in other material they are called Bad Boys and Nice Guys (sometimes Blue pill men), and other variations. What doesn’t vary much is the quantity:

Two.

At the very least, there are 5 scientifically recognised personality traits – spectrums along which each person can vary on, creating millions of potential ‘types’. To claim there are only two types of men is completely unscientific. No wonder there is a complete lack of citations for these types – there’s really nothing to cite.

Not only that, both of these types are clearly described as fake performances rather than genuine personalities – both of them are forms of illusion based on imitating ‘natural’ guys who are promiscuous or popular. Red Pill seems to have no problem encouraging men to pretend to have traits from one or both of these types in order to manipulate women into feeling attraction (and yet Red Pill also claims to promote integrity).

Assumption #2:

“Women shit-test men.”

This term was first originated in Pick Up Artist world – the idea that women “give you shit” to see if you can handle it and are worthy of their vaginas. The Shit Test is usually some form of indirect challenge that a man supposedly must pass with flying colours or else he’ll be doomed to going home alone. Dark Triad traits like being emotionally unaffected (psychopathic) or cocky are hailed as the way to pass these tests.

Many Red Pill posts will argue that Shit Tests are very real, common, and used by all women, (evidence cited: it often happens to them personally in bars and nightclubs). Manosphere authors insinuate that women are unlikely to challenge you in an open and honest way so you must prepare only for shit-testing.

Again, we see the fallacy of over-reliance on anecdotal evidence that’s based on a tiny unrepresentative sample of the male population (Red Pill community) and a tiny unrepresentative sample of the female population (the women they tried to fuck at bars and clubs).

I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, I’m saying the evidence doesn’t tell us anything in general about women or dating or relationships. It mostly just tells us what some guys had to put up with while trying to manipulate drunken nightclub women into having sex.

I have no doubt that some women will try to protect themselves from seduction with shit-test techniques. I’ve had it happen to me, many times (though only when I tried to seduce them). However, this is not evidence that all women want to bed a psychopath or any other version of a bad boy. It may tell us that being emotionally excited clouds their judgment, or that bad boy behaviour gets attention and reactions, but that’s probably true of both genders in all mammalian species.

Do women in nightclubs shit-test men for bad boy traits? Probably. Is this because they want a psycho bad boy? Probably not. Odds are, they’re out for a good time and trying to screen boring time-wasters or needy clingers. This doesn’t mean they are only attracted to guys who are narcissistic, manipulative, ruthless or cruel.

Personal note: I have no memory of ever being shit-tested by a woman with a kind and caring personality, and I’ve never met a woman in a nightclub with a notably kind and caring personality. Just my own anecdotal experience, I know, but after approaching literally thousands of women in bars and nightclubs this stood out to me.

Assumption #3:

“Only the most brutally masculine traits are attractive.”

Lists like the one provided in this post on what a man should be are common in Red Pill forums. Notice how there are no feminine traits on the list, and there aren’t even many healthy masculine traits. Even ones that sound healthy – like “confidence” – are then further defined as arrogance i.e. brazen and cocky. A healthy and balanced psyche is not mentioned, so is indirectly dismissed.

Some of the traits listed represent the Dark Triad traits that many Red Pill-ers seem to believe are globally attractive to women, e.g. dominance, indifference, selfishness and even “menacing.” It paints of picture of all woman being attracted to men who are borderline evil or at least emotionally detached (low empathy).

This list could easily be the psychological profile of a gang leader, serial rapist, or murderer (based on my training and experience working with these men as a Probation Officer).

There’s also an assumption that women crave drama and excitement. Again, this has no strong evidence to back it up, unless that evidence is solely the anecdotal experience of Pick Up Artists in nightclubs and bars.

Ironically, in ‘Day Game‘ – seduction during daytime hours in normal non-social situations – the PUA is advised to avoid being high-energy or excitable as it seems bizarre. Calmness and coolness are recommended instead, which shows another Red Pill contradiction – apparently all women want excitement and drama but it’s also advised that you moderate any strong emotions.

Red Pill rarely acknowledges that some women prefer meek, loyal and generous men. Some women find traits like kindness and honesty attractive. Some women believe confidence should be quiet and internal, not brazen and cocky. Some women want a man who is emotionally available.

There’s an assumption that no women are sexually attracted to feminine traits (which overlooks or dismisses the existence of lesbians and masculine women). It also dismisses the possibility that at least some women might need to feel safe before they can feel aroused, yet these recommended psychopathic traits would destroy any sense of safety.

Assumption #4:

“Attraction to psychopathy is female-specific.”

The evidence most often used in Red Pill literature to back up the claim that women like Dark Triad traits in men is the well-documented sexual promiscuity of psychopaths. However, this is a misrepresentation of the data.

Firstly, psychopaths aren’t just men. The heterosexual females in this category are also promiscuous. In reality, the most likely reason psychopaths are promiscuous is not because they’re attractive but because they are highly manipulative and superficial in connections, which means they’ll be good at convincing psychologically vulnerably people to have sex with them, male or female.

Secondly, it’s worth noting that according to evidence, psychopaths actually end up dissatisfied with their relationships because of promiscuity. So as a strategy for how to get a girlfriend, Dark Triad traits take you backward, not forward.

The idea that women actually want psychopathic traits in a man is a massive stretch of the data – a conclusion without substance. In my opinion, the most likely explanation for this ‘bad boy’ ideal is that we’re witnessing a few misogynistic leaders within the manosphere lashing out against women – those who are already highly psychopathic are using the Red Pill community to validate their harmful behaviours.

My conclusions / questions / agreement:

Manosphere men are being encouraged to focus on only the most destructive masculine traits – those required for war, hunting, sport and dominance, rather than those needed for healthy fatherhood, connection, leadership, love and protection.

Of all the manosphere/Red Pill theories, this is the one that seems most reliant on anecdotal evidence, presenting it as undeniable fact with little to no citations of any value. Some study showing that women find James Bond’s sultry stare attractive does not mean they all want to fuck or marry a narcissist.

Men need to be encouraged to discover their nuanced integrity – a great range of beliefs, emotions and behaviours – rather than being pushed into one of two types. Why? Firstly, because there are so many different ways to be a man that’s it’s dishonest to claim there are only two. Secondly, because both of these narrow types will lead men towards unethical and ultimately unsatisfying social conduct, and the resulting connections will be predicated on manipulation and playing on the woman’s insecurities (bringing out the worst in her).

I see this claim as a weak excuse to justify harmful and vengeful treatment of women, downplaying the attractiveness of genuinely respectful treatment. Guys like Gene Simmons and Marilyn Manson might pull a tonne of girls, but it’s guys like Tom Hanks and Will Smith who are widely respected and can maintain healthy long-term relationships, whilst also being desired by a wide array of women.

The manosphere seems to indulge in a lot of lazy false-dichotomy – particularly Bad Boy (Red Pill) vs Good Boy (Blue Pill). Red Pill literature has a tendency to categorise and summarise hugely diverse groups of people (especially women) into a few specific-sounding types without citing reference to any reliable psychological studies. Ironically, this oversimplification is the same lack of nuance they seem to hate about feminism.

And the contradiction that stands out the most here is the idea of being a High Value Man (usually one who demonstrates many bad boy traits). You’re encouraged to act out these bad boy traits to pretend to be high value… how is putting on a show to impress women an act of a high value man? What alpha male would try so hard and fake so much?

It’s nonsense.


Summary and Conclusions


While I’ve deliberately been as critical and sceptical as possible with Red Pill/manosphere views on seduction, women and relationships, I must point out that I admire their intentions, and I’m certainly more on board with Red Pill than I am with its enemies, like modern feminism.

There is not enough support for men in the modern world, we’re clearly being left behind, especially in areas like dating and love, so communities like Red Pill and others in the manosphere provide some much-needed guidance, reality-checks, information and supportive peers.

The main issue in the manosphere argument for seduction appears to be that the leaders and writers are nearly always coming from a dark personal history with women. They are often divorced, or badly hurt by women, or appear to have been born emotionally detached from other humans, and this skews their advice. They have come to the conclusion that women caused their pain and must now be punished or at least firmly controlled via seduction.

The Red Pill argument for the use of seduction to build connections with women can be boiled down to a simple narrative:

“Women are a different species who often hurt my feelings so now I must control them via seductive strategies, to protect myself and get what I want.”

Red Pill views probably do not represent all or even most relationship experiences for men, but they are portrayed as if their anecdotal experiences are hard data and globally representative. They aren’t.

The dating and relationship space in the manosphere has become a misogyny-flavoured echo-chamber, probably because everyone joined the community for the same reason: their experiences with women were painful (and still are). I struggled to find Red Pill enthusiasts who showed genuine love, admiration or respect for women. Instead they seem to range from fear and confusion to outright resentment, rage and hatred.

Red Pill seems confused about the definitions of responsibility and integrity. They claim that a man should be responsible for himself and yet simultaneously blame women for his problems. They claim men should live true to themselves and have integrity, yet also encourage being false, seductive and manipulative in their interactions with women.

You can’t lead and follow at the same time. You can’t seduce and have integrity at the same time. You must choose, without blurring the lines. Either be a manipulative follower (i.e. use seduction) or be a leader of integrity.

Becoming more psychopathic and manipulative can’t possibly help end the media-fuelled battle of the sexes. A much more promising approach would be for men to lead and encourage women to live with integrity, whilst recognizing and appreciating the women who already do.

I have faith that Red Pill is a force for good in the world that can be enhanced even further, and hopefully it will not go the way of other manosphere sub-groups like Incel (which slowly transitioned from virgins supporting each other into a group of aggressive woman-haters) or MGTOW (men who are seemingly terrified of women and have given up on loving relationships completely).

Red Pill is at risk of poisoning the minds of men about women, making women out to be stupid, evil or unloving, when in reality women are just homo sapiens like us, and we have more in common with them than differences. I was disturbed by the similarities between Red Pill seduction justification and the excuses I used to hear from the serial rapists and child sex offenders I worked with in Corrections – the reasoning is identical.

If I was to tweak Red Pill, I’d simply cut the parts about blaming women and using seduction. The rest I saw was very helpful. Keep encouraging guys to take responsibility, author their own lives, and communicate with other men for support. Yes, be wary and wise about the risks of marriage, relationships and dating, but look to bridge the gap between the sexes rather than digging battle-trenches.

And, most of all, look into yourselves to find the answers to your painful experiences in love. Find the neediness, darkness and insecurities that you bring to the table rather than shifting the blame onto a massive group of varied women, and prioritise your self-development from a place of integrity rather than fighting back.

Comments and feedback are welcome – I consider this to be an ongoing discussion.

6 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for posting this. I learned about the RP community after seeing the same formulaic/contrived seduction techniques on multiple dates. You’ve eloquently argued in favor of treating a fellow human with respect and dignity. I hope your message expands.

    1. Thanks Sandy, interesting to note these techniques are noticeable and obvious to the woman on the date! They certainly lack respect and dignity, and without good reason. Share it around, let’s spread the word

  2. Hi Dan / other readers of this page. I will start by saying that Dan has encouraged to give my opinion here so as to start discussion and a healthy debate so I’m not deliberately being a contraian. Also my comments aren’t going to be directed at Dan personally as he is a person entitled to think what ever he wants. I am not upset or angered by his views I do however have some arguments to his discussion point.

    Some context I am a 38yo white man from the UK average looking and have been in both short term and long term relationships. I am also a red pill man. This change came due to a lack of satisfaction with my life and relationships I havmt been savagely burnt and left broke either emotionally or financially by a woman. If anything I left my last relationship as I was unhappy and wanted more and so I started working on me.

    Firstly its a shame that for some this will be their first introduction to the red pill and what the red pill man is and how they operate. Its a shame because your definition is off. Being a red pill means to be the best version of you that you can be its not even about necessary pulling women or game but that is under the umbrella of red pill as those are traits you will need in life. It’s about putting you first and foremost it’s about knowing when a situation or person is no good for you and being ruthless in walking away. Integrity for a red Piller isn’t about doing the right moral thing its more about doing what you want how you choose.
    So how or why do you become red pill? Most often a traumatic event happens in a relationship and you take responsibility and look at why that happened and how you can prevent this. Incidentally the red pill metaphors refers to the scene in the matrix where neo is given the options of two pills blue and red. The blue pill is someone who either accepts or doesn’t see the reality as it truely is as they are ‘plugged in’ to the version they have been sold by the culture and media. A red pill man is awake to this reality and it’s dangers and can work to activily make the most of these situations.

    Here I will mention Mgtow which is men who go their own way. If you imagine a spectrum of men mgtow is the extreamiat version of this where as a blue pill man is the extream on the other end. A red pill man is in the middle and can use their knowledge to get what they want. When men experience a life shattering event for them such as a woman cheating or divorce and find out about other ways of being they either join the red pill man group or the mgtow community. The red pill men do love and admire women where as with the mgtow guys there is a lot of hate and resentment. It’s like they don’t get their own way and can’t handle it or the fact they need to change so they spit the dummy out and turn against all women. Its at this stage in the process of change that a man will experience red pill rage this is when they are how things have gone wrong for them and they are really angry with women or themselves. It is a common nice guy perception that all guys who have taken these new paths have this however myself and a few other red pill guys I know didn’t have this. Instead when I learnt about this I felt relieved it explained why things havnt worked in the past. I ultimately accept that I alone am responsible for my actions and so I’m not salty with women. If anything I feel sad that I didn’t have a coach years ago who could wake me up to the consequences of my blue pill life but I can’t hate on myself for not knowing something. Its done get over it and use this time to grow and develop.
    It seems that the red pill men you have met Dan have been in the early stages of change and experiencing the red pill rage as a red pill man after time and space will learn to accept the reality and use it to ‘fly’ the way neo did when he realised how he can use the system to his advantage.

    You have mentioned the dark tirade of red pill men these are the men who learn new techniques in order to manipulate women and get what they want. This is not all red pill men in general. The same way we have some assholes in this world we have some guys who will take this knowledge and abuse it these are ultimately accepted by other red pillers but looked down on.

    I feel that your understanding of game for a red pill man has come from these few asshiles who are abusing this knowledge. A red pill man does not use game to manipulate women in any way. Game in this contest is the ability to make good relationships with women that suit both your needs. A red pill man doesn’t need to lie or be manipulateive they are proud of who they are and their efforts in life and relationships show this. Game can simply be the skill of going from being socially awkward to being able to go up to an unknown woman and having a fun communication with her. Its not all about sleeping with every woman. Most men do need to learn game as in actually learn it by experience of going up to women and having a fun time able to talk freely and not be intimidated by how hot she is. Game isn’t a bad thing it’s how you use it that can be seen as bad. For example awhile ago I would say I was socially awkward with women and intimidated about approaching them however I started a salsa class and in that class can approach women and have a fun meaningfull time. I’m not trying to sleep with every one or trying to force her into anything I just want to be better than what I was. This is the essence of red pill.

    I’m going to finish here there is far too much to unpack here esp to a person new to this topic. What I will advise is that guys read the book no more mr nice guy and then the rational male series of books. I would like other men to join me in being a red pill guy but that’s cos as a fellow guy i want the best for you man. Yiu don’t even have to believe in the red pill philosophies just be aware of them or ya gonna get steam rollered by life.

    I hope this helps. Thanks for the opportunity to explain my views Dan an for u to all remember these are just my opinions another red pill guy may explain differently.
    Whatever ya do being awaire of this won’t hurt so happy leaning the experience will help you grow an develop.

    1. Hey Matt, thanks for that – an excellent response. I personally know some Red Pill guys who think along the same lines as you, which was why my literature review of RP was so disappointing. In response to you, I would say that the most prominently featured Red Pill forum (reddit) and articles don’t represent what you’ve expressed very well, and seem much more in the MGTOW mindspace. Perhaps the more bitter and resentful RP guys simply have better Google rankings!

      And as I hope I made clear in the beginning and end of the post, the RP views on seduction make up only a very small portion of their views on self-development in general, most of which I agreed with.

  3. Hey Dan,

    Firstly – I think you have integrity and I appreciate your nuanced and humane approach to self awareness.

    All I want to say here, is that I find it perplexing that people ‘gender’ the whole notion of winning and losing in life – whether it’s work, sex or love, or all three. I’m pretty sure you’ll get where I’m coming from. I think it’s a tough and complex challenge for men and women to ultimately get to that point where they feel like they’re winning.

    What most worries me about ‘game’, or the notion that you can be successful through ‘gaming’ anyone, whether career-wise or sex-wise, is that it totally misses the point. I reckon you’d agree that the ultimate in being the best you can be in life, whether male or female, is to realise your own potential.

    I mean, how many of us, male or female, get dumped, rejected, made redundant etc etc, in our lifetime? Unless we’re born with or enjoy incredible privilege, we’re going to feel like crappy losers in our life every so often – if we don’t then we’re not living!

    My personal belief is this – as a 50 year old woman who’s never had a problem attracting men in sexual terms, who got her dream job, then realised that these things are empty and meaningless without my heart and soul being there – just do everything you can to become who you are, whoever that is. Do what it is you love, love those you truly love.

    Dream jobs become a nightmare if it’s not what you really care about, men who initially find you sexy and woo you with false words don’t know who you are and don’t actually care about you. As an attractive woman you discover that it’s a tough challenge to find those men who really do care about you and don’t just see you as a ‘conquest’ to boost their fragile ego. (it’s grim when you realise it all meant nothing!)

    I really like your ideas on living by values, and understanding what values mean to you as an individual.

    I also think that using ‘game’ in any aspect of life, will lead you down a false path. I get that when people feel vulnerable and don’t want to deal with that crappy losing feeling, they get cynical and afraid, but I like this quote, by James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose (yeah born with a silver spoon etc, I know!):

    “He either fears his fate too much,
    Or his deserts are small,
    That dares not put it to the touch
    To gain or lose it all.”

    I’d insert ‘she’ too.

    1. “I reckon you’d agree that the ultimate in being the best you can be in life, whether male or female, is to realise your own potential.” – I reckon you’re right! I love your idea that EVERYONE applies this “game” mindset to all walks of life and are left empty because it’s lacking in meaning. They apply a quantity strategy to solve a quality problem. Thanks for sharing what it’s like to be on the receiving end of being a conquest too, I can only imagine how it feels.

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