Grantland: ‘Game’ Met Match: Pick-up Artist Godhead Neil Strauss’s Subtle, Surprising New Book

Steve Sailer wrote in 2009:

The most heartfelt articles by female journalists tend to be demands that social values be overturned in order that, Come the Revolution, the journalist herself will be considered hotter-looking.

Technically, it might seem highly possible that somebody named “Teresa Wiltz” has naturally straight hair and is just writing out of a disinterested interest in the topic. But, decades of reading female journalism at its most passionate suggested to me that Ms. Wiltz’s own looks would turn out to highly germane.



By Lux Alptraum:

To begin with, I should tell you that I did not expect to like this book.

I was a single twentysomething when The Game was published. For years, the only thing I knew about Neil Strauss was that he was responsible for ushering concepts like negging and peacocking into the cultural lexicon. So when I got word that the man who’d popularized PUAs had written a new book that involved him exploring the world of swinging and attempting to create his own harem, I was underwhelmed…

The weekend that I spent reading The Truth, I was sorting through some emotional turmoil of my own. Nothing on the order of what Strauss went through — no one ended up in rehab or moved to San Francisco to found a sex commune — but my domestic bliss was nevertheless feeling shaky.

I have a terrible track record when it comes to picking partners. I used to make a joke about relationship red flags: For some people, an emotionally distant partner is a red flag; for others, it’s one who’s overly needy. For me, the merest flicker of attraction is an automatic warning sign. If I want to sleep with you, I probably shouldn’t. My dating history is filled with bad ideas: relationships that I knew were going nowhere, but for which I nevertheless stuck around; people whom I dreamed I could will into loving me, despite their obvious emotional shortcomings.

But my current relationship is nothing like any of those. Early on I knew that I had found something really special because — for the first time — I finally felt able to commit, with no qualifications. I didn’t feel like I was waiting for something to change; I didn’t feel like one of us needed to be fixed or to grow up or to be more present or any of that. I was, for once, content with the status quo.

But two and a half years in, something inside of me started to shift. I could say it was about one of the superficial details that worked its way into our arguments, but really it was something buried inside me that had finally started to crack.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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