Tuesday, January 12, 2010

UPDATED: YAAPP - Yet Another Asian PUA Post. One more for the critics.

I just read through several blog editorials on Pick Up Artists including all of the comments bashing or boasting it. One of the reviews is pretty critical of the Asian PUA movement so I wanted to shed some light on this dark topic of discussion.   Despite what critics may argue, the Asian PUA movement is a step in the right direction for Asian American men and I'll explain why.

As most institutions are formed in order to genuinely improve the lives of suffering individuals, the PUA movement is no different. Its analogous to religion. I can't think of a single religious leader whose sole intent was to boost his ego at the expense of corrupting the hearts and minds of helpless persons seeking out a higher Truth. They heard, they came, they saw and they followed. Unfortunately over time, most institutions either undergo some kind of mutation or branch off into modified wretched versions from its original thesis.  

Take Christianity for example. You have roughly 10,000 different sects stemming from the same founder. Is this what Jesus intended? I personally don't think so. I'll take it down a notch since religion is a touchy subject.  

Lets look at hip hop instead. Hip hop originated from the ghettos of NYC as an underground subculture consisting of 4 elements: Emceeing, B-Boying, DJing and Graffiti. It was a street culture that was mainly dominated by Blacks and Puerto Ricans to provide the urban youth an alternative to gang violence with the leadership of some mighty renegades: Afrika Bambaata, Rock Steady Crew, Kool Herc (he actually coined the term "hip hop"), etc.  

Now look what its become. A mainstream watered down, directionless, insipid, formulaic pop music culture associated with ballin', clubbin' and women dancing like video-hoes. This is not the hip hop that I remember and this definitely is not the hip hop that I love and pay homage to. But it has its pluses and minuses like PUAism. Hip hop is helping black people eat while contrastingly dumbing them down. I firmly believe the Asian PUA movement is no different.  

When Asian Playboy started his ABCs of Attraction, there was already a well-established PUA movement residing in Los Angeles. Before he discovered the world of pick up artistry, he had successfully achieved his goal of graduating from college and working as an engineer. However, he felt unfilled because something was missing from his life - women. This still plagues many 1st and 2nd generation Asian American men because Asian parents such as mine, chalk up this rosy fairy tale for us when we're younger. Just as women are told these "Knight in Shining Armor" or "Happily Ever After" fairy tales, here is the version I got,  

Go to a good school, get a good job and you'll find a good girl. [Updated]
Okay, well maybe it didn't go exactly like that, but it was something similar to that effect. The sad thing is, I never even went to a single high school dance. That's right. No Homecoming, no Winter Formal and no Prom. My family was too poor and my parents discouraged it. I had one of the cutest White girls in our class ask me to the Sr. Prom and even offered to pay for the tickets and I still said no. Of course now I regret it, however I had never been to a HS function before so I wasn't sure what the standard procedure was of taking out a girl to a formal dance. Had I been permitted to attend these functions beforehand, I would have said, "Fuck yeah!!".  

I had other limitations. Where was I going to get the money for a limo, tuxedo, flowers, etc? The previous week I just got my license so I was still apprehensive of driving.  Shit, I didn't even know how to slow dance! Very counterintuitive since I was one of the best b-boy/hip hop dancers back then at school. But most importantly, I had incredibly low self-esteem from being poor and socially inexperienced so part of me truly believed this girl just asked me out of pity.

My bad. I completely digressed.  

APB's adolescent experience may vastly differ from mine, but the point I'm trying to make is that he probably invested so much time on getting admitted into a good university and a respectable job that he completely neglected a key aspect of his life; his social life. Now I didn't want to endure the same kind of financial hardship like my parents did, so I only focused on school (and dancing which my parents discouraged too btw). But hey, my fairy tale of having that college education and high paying job would certainly lure the ladies to line up for me right? Uhhh...NOT. And why not? Because there are millions of other intelligent college graduates earning a decent or higher paying salary which makes me what? Average. Correction, average with underdeveloped social skills. [Updated Jan. 13th] Isn't this what the PUA movement was originally set out to address?  

There's no question that one of the primary objectives is to get laid. What man would not want to have sex with a beautiful women? (Besides a gay one). How can Asian PUAs be criticized of sexually objectifying women when you have guys like Rick Lee and Hung Lo who are performing the act on camera which is much more widely accessible via the web? The intent of both movements is to inspire and improve the masculine image of Asian American men by removing the sexual malware that has corrupted our hard drive. From my experience for instance, I've developed and improved much of my social skills by the actual application of PUA theory and its teachings. Yes, I've gotten laid from it as well, but it was not by using "brute force" techniques. Remember, its how to attract a woman.[End Update Jan. 13th]

Albeit, I never met APB but a cohort of mine attended his weekend bootcamp about 4 years ago and was mesmerized by his talent and ability in attracting women. He clearly had dedicated himself to this craft and wanted to share it with the Average (Asian) Frustrated Chump out there who probably concentrated too much on the fairy tale and not enough on the reality of social dynamics. APB believed and proved to himself that YES, things can be different. You can still play catch up and do a complete 180. You can exude confidence and pique a woman's interest by using certain gambits that are much more effective than a banal, "Hi. How are you doing?" or "I just thought I'd let you know I think you're very pretty." Women rarely respond to that kind of a conversation opener unless you're someone like Daniel Henney. And if your body language sucks, then you might as well throw in the towel before you even open your mouth. I don't think anyone is innately born as an Alpha male. We become Alpha. For some of us its through sports, entertainment or business. For others its by being outgoing and social.

[Updated: Jan. 14th]
I read somewhere that Tom Cruise said if people focused on improving other aspects of their life instead of pretending, then they wouldn't need this. No offense but its easy to claim this if you're a world renown celebrity such as Tom Cruise, The Last Samurai, whose role in the movie ironically reinforces the AF/WM image many of us detest so fervently. He is a deviation from the average Asian American male. Besides, if this is the only aspect of your life which needs improvement, then what makes it any different from improving the other aspects of your life?  

To summarize it all, APB and other Asian PUAs intentions are to improve the social lives of Asian American men who lack even the most rudimentary skills to converse with both women and men in a diverse social setting. Everyone eventually has sex whether or not you're PUA. There will always be bad apples who abuse what the framers of the institution intended, but don't denounce an entire movement that is helping Asian American brothers overcome their approach anxieties with women. Especially when its countering the stereotype that we have zero Game and are considered the bottom of the barrel in the dating pool.  That ain't so Alpha.
[End Update Jan. 14th]


  1. Hey bro, thanks for the well thought out post about the Asian PUA Movement.

  2. @無憂無慮

    I concur.


    Well its what I truly believe. There will always be naysayers, but I think what you're doing for the Asian community has been sorely needed and shouldn't be dismissed so quickly. As I mentioned, there will always be people who abuse the system, but hopefully this will generate more positivity over negativity.

  3. The only reason why naysayers (people who try to cut you down) exist, is because they know that you're bigger than they are. Otherwise, there would be no need for them to criticize or cut you down in the first place :)

  4. Hey,

    Thanks for the link, MaSir Jones!

    Tom Cruise made that statement in "The Game," and Neil Strauss agreed with him in the end. Tom Cruise may be a famous actor, but he wasn't always a famous actor. Bruce Lee once worked in a restaurant. I think the point is that everyone starts somewhere, and maybe it's best to cultivate a talent for changing the world, rather than cultivating a talent for peacocking or sarging.

  5. Sometimes things need to destroyed to lay a new foundation...


Free your mind. The rest will follow...like your fingers.