The Paul Elam Debate

by Frost on October 31, 2011

This post is a placeholder for a debate I had with Paul Elam of A Voice For Men, on the subject of Game and Men’s Rights.

It began when Paul wrote a post entitled Chateau Bullshit in which he claimed, more or less, that the Roissysphere is some combination of fraudulent, pathetic, and/or a waste of time. I responded with a post of my own, Paul Elam Does Not Have The Answers You’re Looking For, in which I challenged him to a public debate on any subject he liked. He graciously accepted.

The debate consisted of three entries each:

Paul Elam, Part 1

Frost, Part 1

Paul Elam, Part 2

Frost, Part 2

Paul Elam, Part 3

Frost, Part 3

In the end, the Game/Lifestyle Design and MRA communities will likely remain as cats and dogs. But regardless, my thanks to Paul for an interesting and respectful conversation.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

TGOM November 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Frost, it seems to me that the two of you have a different definition of game, yours being that game is mostly about transforming a man into being assertive, confident, treat unreasonable requests as unreasonable (I stole that one from Athol Kay) etc. –becoming a better version of yourself. Additionally it is coupled with a couple of tricks and scripts to help a person out short term (while they improve themselves) or how to deal with a specific issue. An example of what I consider game would be when talking to women don’t put your hands in your pockets because it displays defensive and confident-lacking body language. Paul Elam seems to view it as a series of tricks and routines to pander to women in order to have a one night stand. Or to convince women that they have higher value then they actually do. That is Paul and others seems to think that game is a series of bar tricks to use at different stages in seducing women.

Harry November 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm

A common misconception, TGOM, this idea that some game tactics are *good* and some *bad*. No, the objection is to the concept of *tactics* instead of having genuine values.

Becoming assertive because it is a value of yours = good.

Becoming assertive to *impress* women = supplication.

The masculine goal is to NOT CARE what women think. To exit this mindset once and for all.

G.L.Piggy November 2, 2011 at 5:51 am

Greg/Harry values sex but thinks that the way he goes about getting it is more noble and less supplicating than the way a guy who is pro-Game goes about it. But he never explains how his method of valuation is any different than a Gamers. He says he doesn’t “change himself” to get laid. Well what a hazy and loose use of words. I am what I am, and that includes a wide diaspora of interests and a wide array of “characters” that I can use for different social situations. When I’m with my family I act slightly different than when I’m with my friends than when I’m interested in getting laid.

For Greg/Harry to be so narrowly-defined takes a lot more work than I ever put in to “constructing” who I “am”.

davver November 2, 2011 at 11:09 am

Exactely. He’s just redefining things to mean whatever he wants to mean. When you to to work to earn a paycheck, your selling your dignity. But when Greg goes to work he’s just doing what he wants to do (as if anyone would ever work for another human being voluntarily for no reward).

We all try to minimize the amount of stuff we have to do that we don’t want to do. That’s what going to college is about for careers and learning game is about for getting girls. And while I enjoyed many aspects of college, it was still work. And while I enjoy many aspects of game, its still work. I still have to do things I don’t want to do in order to develop the skills necessary to get the things I need in life.

Harry November 2, 2011 at 5:24 pm

*……When you to to work to earn a paycheck, your selling your dignity. …*

Never said that.

*…..But when Greg goes to work he’s just doing what he wants to do …*

Never said that.

*…..That’s what going to college is about for careers and learning game is about for getting girls. ….*

If going to college involved supplicating, I would not do it. Since it does not, I would. Since learning to please women is a form of supplication, I do not do it.

The criteria is not *doing what one wants* but whether I need to humiliate myself or not.

*……And while I enjoy many aspects of game, its still work. I still have to do things I don’t want to do in order to develop the skills necessary to get the things I need in life….*

Agreed. You are willing to develop the skill set of supplication. I am not.

G.L.Piggy November 2, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Harry:

*……When you to to work to earn a paycheck, your selling your dignity. …*

Never said that.

No but we said it so it is true and there is nothing you can say to escape the fact that, even if you don’t think you are, you are really actually selling your dignity for cash money when you go to work at whatever job you have. Your words and what you think you know about yourself don’t count; this is AXIOMATIC; you must be selling your dignity. There is no other way around it.

Now, I obviously don’t believe the shit I just wrote in that paragraph, but it is the same thing that you’ve been saying to us about Game and interaction with women. So, yeah, you didn’t say exactly the words about your own job but if you think that way about sex/Game then you should also think that way about work. That you don’t think that way about work implies that your argument has a big giant fucking hole in it.

Harry November 2, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Getting paid for work does not (necessarily) involve degradation. Kissing the bosses ass does.

Going out to meet women does not necessarily involve degradation. Kissing a girls ass through selecting your behavior on the basis of its appeal to her, does.

I think most guys can spot the difference.

My argument is quite consistent.

G.L.Piggy November 3, 2011 at 12:38 am

Harry,

A person can go to work just to please the boss. A man can go up to a woman just to please the woman.

A person can go to work for their own ends. A man can go up to a woman for his own ends.

Where does the essence of Game compel men to go up to women just to please the woman? Going up to women is what you make of it. Game is separate from that attitude. Now, Game is mostly about getting pussy. But you’re sometimes about getting pussy too.

Btw, over at my blog you stated that men are suppliant to women and that being suppliant requires a power differential in order to exist. But your employer holds power over you, right? So are you suppliant to them? You must be if they are the more powerful entity of your particular relationship. So you must be a slave to your company; you are sacrificing your dignity by working for a boss. You should quite your job in order to maintain consistency across these facets of your life.

Harry November 3, 2011 at 1:27 am

G.L piggy,

You are systematically not understanding the distinctions I am making.

I fully agree that a man can go up to a woman for his own ends. Both myself and gamers go up to women for our own ends; to get sex.

The question has always been, and continues to be, what we are willing to do to achieve our own ends.

I never said the essence of game is *just* about pleasing a woman. It is obviously about getting sex for the man, as well.

I agree that going up to a woman is what you make of it; that merely approaching a woman does not imply a loss of dignity. My claim is that approaching with the intent to create attraction is degrading. I, for instance, make something quite different out of approaching a woman. I merely seek to discover those women who like who I am.

My objection to game is not that it encourages men to get pussy. You are quite correct that I am often – not just sometimes – about pussy too. My objection is that game is about trying to *make* a woman like you. I find that degrading. Men should go after pussy – they should just not try and *make* pussy like them. It should be a process of discovery rather than a process of creation.

I did indeed say that being a suppliant requires a power differential, and a boss does indeed have power over you. The mere existence of a power differential does not make me into a suppliant. A necessary condition is not a sufficient condition. My behavior towards the more powerful person determines whether I have chosen to be a suppliant. The weaker party can choose not to supplicate to the more powerful party and accept that he will not get what he wanted as a result. The reward is the internal satisfaction of self-respect.

And as I have said, if a boss required me to supplicate to him, I would not do it. The only thing I would be willing to do to keep me job, is DO my job. If he required me to kiss ass, I would not do it.

The mere fact of working for a boss is not a loss of dignity. The mere fact of approaching a woman is not a loss of dignity.

Kissing the ass of a boss in order to keep my job, would be a loss of dignity. Kissing the ass of a girl in order to get her into bed, even if done in an indirect way, is a loss of dignity.

Harry November 3, 2011 at 2:12 pm

G.L, I realize there is some confusion here that needs to be cleared up, and the analogy of work has beautifully brought to light where this confusion lies.

You say – game is doing things you do not wish to do in return for a reward. Work is doing things you do not wish to do in return for a reward. What is the difference? Why is one slavery and one not? Why is one degrading and one not?

I think we all agree that certain work conditions can be so extreme and can ask so much of us in return for so little that it is tantamount to slavery. We also all grasp that certain actions, such as kissing the bosses ass, are degrading, even if done for work.

So what is the difference?

When I said *radical loss of autonomy*, the word radical means in the most fundamental aspects of our personality. When we alter our behavior to be liked it means losing freedom over the most basic aspects of our personality and how we present ourselves to the world. This is truly a RADICAL loss of autonomy. We also surrender our judgement to others, if we consider their judgement of what is *good* more important than our own.

But why is this bad?

If you fake yourself to be liked, you imply who you are is a non-value. Is insufficient to be liked. The same thing when you concsiously try to be *impressive*. You concede who you are naturally (when not trying to be liked and living out your own values) is NOT impressive. Same thing with sitting around figuring out minutiae about being liked (as I suggested to Frost) – it suggests that who you ARE is insufficient, and a non-value, or an insufficient value.We all intuitively grasp that the man who sits around obsessing over which small thing would be appealing to the boss, or women, is faintly contemptible. Why? Because implicit in this is an admission that who he IS is insufficient on its own to have value.

Further, when you change your behavior to be liked by others rather than in accordance with your own values, you surrender to THEIR judgement. You accept that their judgement of value, of what is *good*, will dictate how you present yourself to the world, not your own values. It is an act of capitulation and a betrayal of the self.

Supplication is trying to get something from others by acknowledging that you are lower than them, by *humbly* asking them. The humility involved is that you concede implicitly the that who you are is a non-value, so you have to give them something MORE than who you are when you are naturally living out your values. You have lowered yourself to the other person by acknowledging that who you ARE is not sufficient to be liked.

Changing with the direction of the wind means you have no back bone, you are spineless. You stand for nothing. We all recognize the guy who is obviously eager to please as pathetic, as standing for nothing. Game operates on the same dynamic just in a hidden way.

Harry November 2, 2011 at 5:20 pm

*…. He says he doesn’t “change himself” to get laid. Well what a hazy and loose use of words. I am what I am, and that includes a wide diaspora of interests and a wide array of “characters” that I can use for different social situations. When I’m with my family I act slightly different than when I’m with my friends than when I’m interested in getting laid….*

I have never said I do not act differently around some people than others. I said I do not do so to be LIKED. Why is this so difficult to understand?

Around some people I talk philosophy, around others I talk about food.

Different interests of mine come into play with different people. But I do *make* any of them like me. Nor do I fake myself with any of them.

You are consistently misunderstanding this point, because you do not wish to see it.

Harry November 2, 2011 at 2:13 am

ANY value you choose will have SOME girls who like it (that is one of my central points).

That does not mean you choose your values based, even partly, on that fact.

zuismanm November 2, 2011 at 4:23 am

Pussy is just a want, not a need like food. Doing anything at all to get is pathetic.
Do you really believe it , or you just think – every one around are dumb?

zuismanm November 2, 2011 at 4:24 am

Sorry – it had to be:
ANY value you choose will have SOME girls who like it (that is one of my central points).
Do you really believe it , or you just think – every one around are dumb?

Peter Phoenix November 2, 2011 at 1:27 am

An interesting point to make is a lot of the things you do for yourself primarily, will oten have a secondary benefit of being attractive to women. An that secondary benefit often plays into why you may do something.

– You own a nice car
– You are well groomed
– You wear nice clothes
– You are in shape
– You have lots of friends
– You are well spoken
– You are funny
– You are dominant

My point is that a lot of guys don’t have these things, and learning these things would improve their self-esteem, with the secondary benefit of being attractive to women. You may say you don’t care about women, but hey, who doesn’t like getting laid?

Harry November 2, 2011 at 2:06 am

I DO care about women. I have admitted to liking sex and women. I just like my self-respect more.

Choose your values, and find those women that jive with them.

I deny that the secondary benefit MUST play into why you do something. You can make the effort to ensure that you do NOT choose your values based on if women will like them.

For nearly every value you just mentioned, there are girls who DONT like them. Some girls DONT care if a guy is fit. Some girls like buff guys. Some girls like skinny artsy hipster guys. Some girls WONT like the style of dress YOU like. Some girls WONT like guys who are funny and instead like serious guys. Some girls like aloof guys. Some girls like social guys.

Point is, you choose your own values and let the chips fall where they may. You dont change to be what SHE likes.

Buying a nice car wont raise your self-esteem my friend. And if you are doing it even partially out of a desire to be attractive to women, it will even lower your self-esteem. Many of your examples are of this nature.

Harry November 2, 2011 at 2:12 am

In a subtle way, you are still trying to work back into your thinking the idea that it is OK to do things to be liked by women, as long as it is also at least partly justified by other values as well.

Game is trying to creep its way back into your thinking. You allow that to happen, and before you know all sorts of supplications have worked their way back into your behavior. Its why getting out of game is a complex multi-stage process. Its such an entrenched way of thinking it keeps on trying to work its way back into your thinking in new forms (inner game, etc). Guys are loath to just finally surrender the concept that you must make women attracted to you in absolute terms . Aleknovy writes about the multi-stage de-toxing from game very well.

The idea of doing things to be liked needs to be expelled with finality. It has no citizenship rights.

(btw, I am not suggesting you HAVE adopted non-game, but in experimenting with the concept above you have done so in a way that re-introduces game concepts in subtle ways.)

Peter Phoenix November 1, 2011 at 11:25 pm

*…My main point is describing what is and is not spineless behavior in the pursuit of women….*

It feels like you’re saying you can’t do anything to impress women at all, otherwise you will be labelled a “pussy-beggar” (such a shaming word). To be completely self-validated is nice, but be more realistic.

Men without game buy new cars and watches, boats to impress women. Men with game learn how to be more witty, playful, dominant and leading to impress women.

Which one would you rather be?

Harry November 2, 2011 at 12:09 am

*….it feels like you’re saying you can’t do anything to impress women at all, otherwise you will be labelled a “pussy-beggar” (such a shaming word)…..*

This is PRECISELY what I am saying. I realize this is a radical position rarely presented as an option for men, but I like being radical. Good things take courage.

It is a shaming word because it is a shameful action. I am not insulting men, I am insulting the ACTION.

*….. To be completely self-validated is nice, but be more realistic…..*

I think it is highly realistic, if men would but CHOOSE it. It gets easier with time. It is initially difficult, but like all good things it takes time and courage. The rewards are IMMENSE in the self-respect you begin to feel for yourself after a while.

*Men without game buy new cars and watches, boats to impress women. Men with game learn how to be more witty, playful, dominant and leading to impress women.

Which one would you rather be?*

False alternative. Both groups are contemptible. I would rather be NEITHER. And that is what I am.

Greg November 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm

*….. You’ve never done anything ever that you didn’t want to do for a woman….*

I never said or implied that. I said I do not fake myself for women nor do I try to *make* them attracted to me.

*…..Do you approach women? Your doing it…..*

I do that for myself, and it does not involve faking myself.

*……Do you dress nice? Your doing it….*

I dress in a style that pleases me, and I find women who appreciate my style. I do not alter my style in accordance with I think would be appealing to women. I have a friend who does not bother with style beyond basic grooming at all, because it is not a value for him. He gets girls. I dont dress nice to *create attraction*.

*…….Do you go on dates? Your doing it…..*

I actually dont, but if I did, it would be for my pleasure. Nor would it involve faking myself if I did.

*……Do you listen to her problems? Your doing it……*

Sometimes, and when I do it, its because I care about her. I dont do it to *create* attraction.

*…….Do you tell her jokes and generally try to be interesting? Your doing it….*

I do tell jokes when they pop into my head. I do not make a deliberate effort to think up jokes for the purpose of her entertainment nor do I try to be generally entertaining.

She needs to take pleasure in who I AM as revealed through normal socializing with no effort. I need to take pleasure in who SHE IS. The last thing I would want is for her to fake herself for me.

People need to seek out those who LIKE them already.

*……..If your pulling women without meeting or talking to them and they just walk up, spread their legs, and ask to be pounded, then maybe you aren’t doing it. But I doubt that is the case…..*

I never said or implied this.

*…..Even when I watched my friend basically have that happen for him the other day it was only after he had been funny and entertained her for 15 min. Not a big investment for sure, but an investment nontheless…..*

If your friend was funny just to be entertaining and not because he is just naturally a funny guy (jokes pop into his head), he sounds like a supplicator. Pretty pathetic.

*…..Your analogy about starving is a good one. Everyone gets jobs that they don’t want to do so they can buy food and shelter and such. They sell their time and dignity in various ways for various rates of return…..*

They sell time, yes. Many people dont sell their dignity. They find jobs that dont require that.

*…..They do so because they have too, because they have to eat and have a roof…..*

If someone has to sell is dignity to put a roof on his head, that is universally recognized as one of the worst situations a man finds himself in. Revolutions usually start shortly after. Some men just starve.

Either way, game needs to be honest what it is asking of men – their dignity, as you honestly admit. Then let guys make their choice.

*….Pussy is the same way. Men have to have it. So they have to do things to get it…*

Pussy is just a want, not a need like food. Doing anything at all to get is pathetic.

*…..Even if you’ve got an awesome job, there is something degrading about it….*

Not at all true.

.

Peter Phoenix November 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Greg,
*…..People need to seek out those who LIKE them already……*

This is your biggest fallacy. The ‘just be yourself’ mantra has been drilled into your head. 30 years ago, it worked. Today? Not so much.

Do you think a 25 year old overweight, unsocialised, World of Warcraft player would really get the women he wants? Or how much he would struggle in finding a woman who likes him the way he is at the moment.

Truth is, what he is at the moment isn’t good enough. And game gives him the tools to improve.

Harry November 1, 2011 at 9:00 pm

*….This is your biggest fallacy. The ‘just be yourself’ mantra has been drilled into your head. 30 years ago, it worked. Today? Not so much….*

My main concern here is not with describing what does and does not work with women. My main point is describing what is and is not spineless behavior in the pursuit of women.

As for what works, it is a fallacy to suppose that men reach adulthood *being themselves*. Since infancy, we have been socialized to fake ourselves in various ways to please others, including women. Men reach adulthood already running game in a certain sense.

Most adult men need to un-learn society bullshit in order to be themselves.

Game grasped that society bullshit based on trying to make others like you does not work. It should have stopped right there. The solution was not to just learn a better way to be liked.

The solution was to reject the premise.

*……..do you think a 25 year old overweight, unsocialised, World of Warcraft player would really get the women he wants? Or how much he would struggle in finding a woman who likes him the way he is at the moment…..*

A person should lose weight if that is consistent with his value system. Not to be liked. People are socially awkward because they are obsessed with how others see them and wanting to be liked. Take that away, and much social awkwardness melts away. Game increases social awkwardness by increasing preoccupation with the perceptions of others.

I am not saying people are fine the way they are at any given moment of their life. There is room for growth, but in the direction of our own values and in increasing autonomy and self-respect. This means un-learning societys bullshit that you have to learn to please others. This means eschewing game. Game harms your growth as an autonomous male.

zuismanm November 2, 2011 at 4:13 am

Pussy is just a want, not a need like food. Doing anything at all to get is pathetic.
And I thought that reproduction is one of two strongest biological drives (after survival). Pure biologists. They still are not aware that lows changed…

davver November 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Greg,

Bullshit. You’ve never done anything ever that you didn’t want to do for a woman. I doubt it. You do it all the time.

Do you approach women? Your doing it.

Do you dress nice? Your doing it.

Do you go on dates? Your doing it.

Do you listen to her problems? Your doing it.

Do you tell her jokes and generally try to be interesting? Your doing it.

If your pulling women without meeting or talking to them and they just walk up, spread their legs, and ask to be pounded, then maybe you aren’t doing it. But I doubt that is the case. Even when I watched my friend basically have that happen for him the other day it was only after he had been funny and entertained her for 15 min. Not a big investment for sure, but an investment nontheless.

Your analogy about starving is a good one. Everyone gets jobs that they don’t want to do so they can buy food and shelter and such. They sell their time and dignity in various ways for various rates of return. They do so because they have too, because they have to eat and have a roof. Pussy is the same way. Men have to have it. So they have to do things to get it. Even if you’ve got an awesome job, there is something degrading about it. Same about picking up women.

Greg November 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm

*….if you walk into a restaurant and ask to be serviced and won’t offer to pay in return, they will kick you out. Demanding free things isn’t “playing by your own rules”, its being an ass who ends up with nothing. Women have sex. We want it. At some point you are going to have to give up something to get it, since male demand for sex is innate….*

Its sad to me that you are willing to pay with a loss of autonomy by selecting your behavior based on what women want of you rather than what you want. Its sad to me that you think you have nothing to offer but submission.

I pay in a different coin – I offer myself. That is the only coin I am willing to use. But first I must seek out those women willing to accept that coin.

And if I went into a restaurant that required me to pay with the coin of dignity and autonomy, I would probably rather not eat. But in that I am a minority.

*….Game is simply about getting a discount rate on high quality goods. Its about being an educated consumer. You wouldn’t overpay for a car, so why overpay for sex….*

Its sad to me that you feel sacrificing your independence and dignity to a female is a discount rate. I suppose for some men those qualities are quite cheap.

As I said, excellence for the few.

Gmac November 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

“Game is simply about getting a discount rate on high quality goods. Its about being an educated consumer. You wouldn’t overpay for a car, so why overpay for sex.”

I like this analogy, but it could be phrased differently. Not all the goods are high quality.

“Game is about getting what you want for a fraction of the average cost.”

davver November 1, 2011 at 10:08 am

If you walk into a restaurant and ask to be serviced and won’t offer to pay in return, they will kick you out. Demanding free things isn’t “playing by your own rules”, its being an ass who ends up with nothing. Women have sex. We want it. At some point you are going to have to give up something to get it, since male demand for sex is innate.

That thing can be money. That thing can be time. That thing can be putting up with shit tests. But your going to pay, one way or another, in order to be serviced.

Game is simply about getting a discount rate on high quality goods. Its about being an educated consumer. You wouldn’t overpay for a car, so why overpay for sex.

Greg October 31, 2011 at 11:23 pm

You are quite correct, Orange. If one does not have much autonomy to begin with, one is hardly losing it by changing oneself to be liked by women.

You are also quite correct that only a handful of people play by their own rules, or even see that as a value to be pursued. Excellence is always for the few. Its why game is so popular.

Orange October 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm

“Some people are just jealous of their autonomy and dont like submitting and letting others tell them what to do. They play by their own rules”

Meh, there are only a handful of people in the world who genuinely play by their own rules. Everyone else, including me, is always playing according to someone else’s rules – whether it be your parents’ rules or your boss’s rules or society’s rules. I don’t really see that as ‘submission’ or losing one’s autonomy per se.

Greg October 31, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Neither side will be convinced by the other. Its just a difference in value beliefs.

I just checked out donlaks post about anti-game, and he illustrates this principle wonderfully. He is one of the few honest gamers who admit that game is playing by womens rules, he just claims that doing so to get what you want is not degrading.

Anti-gamers think submerging your personality in order to adapt yourself to what women want IS degrading.

See, the facts about what is happening are not in dispute. Both donlak and anti-gamers agree on the facts. The difference is in the value given to these facts.

Some people are just jealous of their autonomy and dont like submitting and letting others tell them what to do. They play by their own rules. They are just ornery that way. These are the anti-gamers. Some people are quite willing to submit to others if it means getting something they want. They see nothing degrading in it. These are the gamers.

zuismanm November 2, 2011 at 3:57 am

I am sorry ( I really am – since I am long time MRM supporter and follower of Paul Elam site), but it seems to be more then that. Following semi crazy comments of Pauls fans on those debate, I get increasing feeling that many his fans and I afraid himself also, actually a so angry anti-game , because they see in frustrated, sexually deprived males convenient field for recruiting new followers/activists… In those retrospective they follow exactly feminists path when they by destroying traditional family and creating millions of looney, single average aged females , really succeed to drastically increase their “vote base”. So those “Angry MRAs” see in Game direct threat , on their recruiting effort…
I am really very sorry , that MRM or at least its part is entering those track , but I was so shocked by wave of hate and craziness, flooded comments section pf those debate , that I can not any more ignore obvious facts… That not that I stopped to believe in purposes of MRM of justice of their claims. But stand, chosen by at least part of them at those area seems to me to be very dangerous and destructive

donlak October 31, 2011 at 8:06 pm

He’s already losing credibility in this argument in my eyes.

Gmac October 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm

You’re going to destroy him. I don’t think he knows what he got himself into.

G.L.Piggy October 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm

He started out discussing PUAs. How convenient. I’ll be honest Frost, I wish the terms of the debate and the subject of the debate were more clearly defined. But looking back at your post I see that you did ask Elam to address Game and gamers. You didn’t ask him to tackle PUAs.

Rob October 31, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I never have and never will read any Paul Elam copy outside of this debate. But after reading his first offering, I wonder why you respect him so much. His writing is not close to quality. The style is awful and the piece is basically incoherent.

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