Labels, labels, labels…

n the light of the various scandals surrounding the “pickup” movement, the idea of a PUA is at an all-time negative currently. Whatever you think about Julien RSD, Dappa Laughs and how that ties into the recent neo-feminist movement and videos such as the new york cat calls, “PUA” seems to be a dirty word at the moment.

A friend sent me a message recently saying that the recent press puts what I do in a negative light. But that really does depend on how I label myself.

I always rejected the term PUA, it’s not how I define myself (this is pretty much true of most guys I know). But a user on a forum said that actions create the labels we have, we don’t get to chose our own labels, and by that token I am a PUA.

“You pick up women, so you’re a PUA.”

Well I disagree. Here’s why: there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and there’s more than one way to pick up women, from a series of planned out psychological tricks on one extreme all the way to a genuine connection of two coequal beings. I favour the latter, which is why “picking up” women is also inaccurate.

Apart from problems of association and placing yourself in the same box as people you may not want to be associated with, it is the short-sightedness of the label which also compels me to reject it. “Doesn’t matter how you rationalise it, you pick up women to have sex with them” is a case in point. It always says more about the labeller than the labellee. I connect with people. That’s what I do.

Take a chess-player, for example. What does he do? He moves little pieces of wood around.

“But I’m a chess player”
“Nope, you’re a wood-mover… doesn’t matter how you rationalise it. It’s your actions which are important. You move bits of wood around don’t you?”
“Well then that’s accurately what you are.”
“But there’s so much more to it than that – there’s the strategy, knowing the ways the pieces move, the psychology, the puzzle, developing the subtle nuance of reading an opponent…”
“Doesn’t matter. It’s a fact that you move pieces of wood around so that’s how you’re defined.”

So if someone says:
“You pick up women, so you’re a PUA.” It’s technically correct, just like a chess player can be defined as a wood-mover. But like a chess player there’s so much more – building the life, developing the communication, actually connecting to another person in a real way, the discipline, developing your people skills, the list goes on and on.

Another friend said I should take ownership of the term. But why would I? It’s like the label “atheist”. Technically speaking I am an atheist, but I don’t define myself as one, for the same reason that I don’t call myself an “aFatherChristmasist” or an “aThorist” and the same reason that I don’t include in my list of hobbies: “Not-stampcollecting”.

It was another user on this forum who said something like “label yourself as little as possible”. And this is right. And the more reductive the labeling is, the more decisive things become, which is why for example in America if you say “I’m a Republican” or “I’m a Democrat” you are implicitly buying into a position on a whole bunch of policital, social, moral and religious issues.

The only label which is accurate is that I’m a full, complete human being. No one can point to me and say “he’s a PUA” or “he’s a daygamer”. I’m also a musician, a writer, a cyclist and many things – but I’m not any one of them. They are what I do, but not who I am.

For everything else I also take shits – am I a shitter? I eat, am I an eater? I breathe, am I a breather? I also lie – am I a liar? And I tell the truth – so am I a truther? I spend more time not daygaming than daygaming, so am I a “not-daygamer”? I mostly don’t even “daygame” anymore. I just do life, and approach women I find attractive, just as I converse with people I like. So am I now a “socialiser”?  This all demonstrates the absurd reductive shit behind labels. If I’m a PUA and Julian Blanc’s a PUA, are we the same? No. He’s one guy, I’m another guy. People who say “look, if you make it your business to find out ways to attract women then you are a PUA” are full of shit. It goes back to my point about defining a chess player as a “wood-mover”. Sure, it’s accurate, but it’s also reductive, narrow and dumb. Attracting women is just the business of life, which is why the whole labeling – and stupid terminology – is pointless for me.

Right, enough from me, I’ve got to go and not collect no stamps.

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