Neil Strauss’s Book, The Truth
Man. It took me a long time, because it was a painful experience, but I finally got through Neil Strauss’s book, The Truth. It’s his story about how he, an ex-pick-up artist guru, wrestles with the fact that long-term monogamy doesn’t work.
Before I get into this, I need to state for the record that I wouldn’t be here at this blog if it weren’t for Neil Strauss (as well as other PUA pioneers like Mystery). Regardless of your opinion of these people, you and I owe these men a great debt. If it weren’t for guys like Neil Strauss, there would be no Blackdragon, and there very likely wouldn’t even be a manosphere. We all live in the house that these guys built, at least to some degree.
I genuinely like Neil and have nothing personal against him. His advice helped me a lot back 11-12 years ago when I was getting started with this. I’ve purchased, read, and recommend his books, including the ones that have nothing to do with women. He’s a gifted writer and he’s an honest person, which is huge for me. I just strongly disagree with him on a few things; I bear no ill will towards him and I really do wish him the best.
The Truth is the single most painful experience I’ve ever had reading a book. Every few pages I wanted to frown, swear, or puke. Every few chapters I had to put the book down and try to forget about it because of the negative mood it put me in. Then I would wait a few months and read a few more chapters. It took me about two years to get through it this way.
Normally, if I had such a negative experience reading a book, I would just stop reading it. But I’m a relationship expert for men focusing on (among other things) nonmonogamy, so a book written about this topic by one of the most famous pick-up artists in history requires me to read it regardless of my personal feelings about it. Over the years, many of you have emailed me asking if I have read the book and what I felt about it. So I did this for you guys.
Here’s a brief summary of the book. Get ready.
Neil Strauss, who is essentially a serial monogamist, after retiring from PUA, spent several years going from girlfriend to girlfriend until settling on one particular girl named Ingrid. Since monogamy doesn’t work because human beings were never designed for it, he behaved perfectly normally by cheating on her. Since cheating men always eventually get caught, she caught him, and they had shitloads of drama.
Completely wracked with oneitis, Neil, and I can’t believe this, actually checked himself into a rehab clinic for sex addiction.
For cheating on his girlfriend.
Because he was never designed to be monogamous.
Because, you know, he’s a human.
But he was convinced there was something horribly wrong with him, so he spent several weeks in this horrible rehab clinic being screamed at by angry, bitchy, anti-sex therapists, surrounded by other addicts of various sorts (sex addicts, food addicts, drug addicts, and so on).
He reflected back on the fact his father had a fetish for amputees. As a child, he found that his father would collect video tapes of amputee swimming competitions and such.
During his stay at the clinic, he discovered that his mother actually wanted to “marry” him and that she had chosen him as a husband placeholder for her husband (his father) who had left her. For example, when his brother dated girls, she was really supportive, but when he dated girls, his mother would get really upset and… jealous. Ew.
After being tortured enough, he finally checked out early, though against the advice of the bitches who were screaming at him because clearly he was still “broken” because he wanted to have sex with more than one woman.
Amazingly, it gets worse. Like many ex-PUAs and Alpha Male 1.0s, he is torn with an inner conflict between the concept that nonmonogamy is the only thing that works but that monogamy is what Societal Programming has brainwashed him into thinking is the only proper way to be with a loving partner.
So he essentially goes insane, trying everything under the sun, trying to find himself, trying to find some kind of sexual relationship that works. He doesn’t want to try monogamy again, so he tries other stuff.
He sneaks into a free-love cult and bangs a bunch of girls.
He attends several orgies and bangs a bunch of girls.
He has a polyamorous relationship in which he has two serious girlfriends at the same time, sometimes seeing one at a time, sometimes seeing both together.
He does brain scans. He interviews psychologists and historians. He keeps trying to find out what works.
sigh (He could have just read my blog.)
What does he finally do after all of this crap? After all of this research? After all these realizations about how humans were never designed for monogamy?
He goes right back to Ingrid and monogamously marries her.
Yeah. I’m speechless.
Maybe now you know why this was so hard for me to read.
Today, whenever anyone brings up the topic of monogamy to him, he beats around the bush and avoids giving specific answers. As an example, watch this video where he answers the charge that The Truth is essentially a pro-monogamy book, and what his “answer” is for “Does monogamy work?”
Notice how he doesn’t actually address the point or answer the question. He just deflects everything with some flowery bullshit about how monogamy and nonmonogamy are “made up concepts” or “false dualities.” No Neil, I’m sorry, but monogamy and nonmonogamy are two real lifestyle choices that pose extreme differences in how one lives and how one feels, with definite and clear pros and cons to each choice. The concept on paper is made up, yes, but the lifestyle choice is real, and everyone who has a sexual relationship of any kind must choose one or the other.
This is why I wrote an article a while back about how you should never take relationship advice from players. Players, PUAs, MRAs, and Alpha Males (1.0) are often good at getting laid or getting girlfriends/wives, but even if they know for a scientific fact that long-term monogamy doesn’t work, they want it to work. They see that 2+2=4, but they don’t want it to. So they proceed as if 2+2=5. If you bring up that they’re factually, objectively, scientifically wrong, they either call you an asshole or, in guys like Neil’s case, deflect the issue, avoid addressing it directly, and try to placate both sides.
This is also a testament to the power of oneitis. I can’t read Neil’s mind, but it’s been pointed out that his actions are not the result of a monogamy fantasy, but of oneitis. He went back to Ingrid and did what she demanded: marriage, monogamy, and children. As always, oneitis is the number one killer of men in the modern era, and even guys who should know better dive right into it.
Neil has said in interviews in the past, more than once, that while he’s good at getting laid, whenever he gets into a relationship he “turns into an AFC.” Yep, that’s apparent, not just in this book, but in his other books. In his book Emergency, which is a fantastic book I recommend to everyone, he mentions several times how often his girlfriend at the time (not Ingrid, someone before her) was throwing him massive drama, and how he just put up with it and tolerated it like a beta.
I’ve said before that over time, nonmonogamy will become more accepted by society at large, especially when technology makes monogamy impossible which will happen sooner than people think.
This will happen, but it’s going to be a very slow progression. As you can see with Neil, who actually represents the norm when it comes to woman-experienced players/Alpha Males over the age of 34, men (and women) want this Disney monogamy fantasy to work so badly they will leap into monogamous relationships and traditional monogamous marriage regardless of the sheer amount of data and their own experiences clearly showing them it doesn’t work.
Yes, nonmonogamy will soon become mainstream, but as you can see, people are going to fight it, hard, tooth and nail, every step of the way, to maintain their Disney purity fantasy, quell their meaningless sexual jealousies, and defend their oneitis.
It’s going to be a very hard time for everyone…
…except us Alpha 2.0s of course.
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