Saturday, August 20, 2011

MANOPOLY and other Bastardly Dicktard Games

After & before.
In 2005, a memoir entitled The Game caused quite the sensation. The author, Neil Strauss, an Average Fucking Chump (AFC), details how he evolves into a self-confident, smooth-talking, lusty lothario, or Pick Up Artist (PUA), peacocking and practising game on womankind.

So, I'm a little behind the times--six or so years to be precise--but why in Jesus Christmas would I want to read boys' book about picking up girls?  Good question.  Because, dear Reader, it was recommended by a good friend, with whom I share other literary likies, and this thirsty mind thought that, at the very least, it would give me a little insight into the boggling black hole of the male psyche.
Little did I realise that I was, with a crack of the spine, a crease of the cover, a turn of the page, opening a literary Pandora's Box.

Forget the stiltonesque, ‘Do you come here oftens,’ Strauss’s game, which he preached via online forums and taught at workshops for the seduction community, was far more evolved.  From hand-writing analysis and magic tricks, to evolution phase shift (a Neanderthal tug and bite sequence that precedes a kiss) to dual induction massage (oily moves to orchestrate a threesome), he used these sophisticated strategies to collect more numbers than the IRS during tax season. 
Whatever the game plan, Strauss always demonstrated value, knowledge and power.  Hence this self-described, ‘skinny Elmer Fudd’ scored hide.  On the Sunset Strip it was open season and Strauss, or ‘Style,’ as he called his arrogant alter-ego, was bringing a bazooka.  Like shooting ducks in a barrel, he was getting fucked like Colin Farrell.

As a single female reading this book, every fibre of me wanted to hate it—like a series of The Bachelor—awful and demeaning, cheap and pitiable, and yet, I couldn’t tear my eyes away.  I loathed the daily disposal of nameless vaginas, but I was fascinated by their willing sacrifice. 
So, sure, most women can look beyond the short, balding cartoon, and if I had just read Strauss’ words, I would have imagined a PUA with a voice like molten chocolate, and an contagious energy that made women leap into bed like jumping beans.  But I listened to his voice.  Now, I don’t wish to come across as a complete bee-atch, but he sounded like a weak, hesitant, undersized 12 year old.  Probably with knobbly knees and peach-fuzz.  I just didn't get it.  I would never be seduced by Style.
He seemed the complete antithesis to Ryan Gosling’s PUA character, Jacob, in Crazy, Stupid, Love.  Jacob lavished attention upon the victim, target and made her feel special; Style, however, would ignore, focus on others and ‘neg’ her (give her a negative compliment such as, ‘You have lipstick on your teeth’ or, ‘Haven’t I seen you wear that dress before?’).  His inattention would make her feel vulnerable and would make him seem mysterious.  Once hooked, Style would take her to a new location--isolating her from her friends--whether in the bathroom stalls or his place, and there he would whip out his trusty Trojan.  (Which, can I just say, Strauss, great, you had lots of sex—yay for you—you ‘acted responsibly,’ ermm, well, kind of—you did at least keep the Strip safe from many Elmer Fudd looking spawn—but seriously Dude, you'd leave used ones lying around?  Really?  G.A.G.)

As Strauss reached new, epic heights of douchebaggery, rattling off the names of women he'd 'played,'  my thoughts, in order of appearance, were these:
Wow.  He’s good.
Tricky Little Bastard.
What a wanker!
Ew!  Seriously?
How disrespectful. 

How low. 
How… douchey!  
No one would ever play me like that!  I’m unplayable!  I have defenses like a fucking fort, with a moat, filled with flesh-stripping piranha, trained to chomp to the bone and suck on the marrow of any Bastardly Dicktard, as if their sorry cock carcass were slow-braised and osso bucoed.  I have look out posts at each turret.  I have laser sights trained to pick off unsolicited, unwarranted, opportunistic pick up movement, ready to blow from the castle ramparts, sending Bastardly gizzards into next Tuesday’s Tripe Special.  I have vats of boiling pitch, ready to pour from on high and denature every fucking protein from the tips of Dicktard’s hair follicles to the chalky white of his toenails.  And that’s just me.  My girlfriends, like the longbowmen of Gwent, stand at my shoulder, flaming arrows ready, an impenetrable cock block.  Behold!  Am a veritable Boudicca, (with a manicure, underwire and nice shoes).

And, as empowerment throbbed through every vein and I smugly congratulated Self for being far too aware to fall prey to such knicker-swindling, I remembered the last Dicktard.


My smile reeled in.  My hot air hissed out of my lungs like some sad, pink, birthday balloon found withering behind the sofa. 

Those stories of foreign travel; the invitations to exotic climes; those business disappearances, which made him seem so important, so in demand, so exciting; the engrossing mind-fucking word games; the guru-like analysis to make me feel as if he really ‘knew’ me; the touches here and there, just north of inappropriate, but whose hasty removal would suddenly, inexplicably, leave me hungry for more.  And ravenous, I had become.
Then the sudden tug from the rug under my BCBG heels and...

All the Strauss styling I had thought I was immune to had been used upon... me!  I had been played, like Human Manopoly, circling the track, rolling the dice, enjoying the hotels, the ritzy avenues and then--shit balls of fire--I had pulled the Chance card and was sent directly to jail, forbidden to pass go or collect 200 pounds. 
Up until now, I had thought it was just sheer bad luck, a case of unfortunate timing.  I made up plausible excuses for Bastardly Dicktard.  But now I knew.  Now, it was clear.  I had been sucked in and I hadn’t even realised.
And now, consigned to the oubliette, I have digested this renewed disappointment.  I have taken some time to ruminate on Game Play, the different approaches of Strauss’s Style, Gosling’s Jacob and Bastardly Dicktard, and have isolated the uniting trait all three have in common.  What is it that makes women forget themselves, and apparently, their knickers?
No, not alcohol--although that does, of course, help--but the attribute the PUAs and B.Dtards have, is power.  It’s why women have fallen for Trump, Clinton and David Fucking Mellor.  (Yes, Brits, I still remember, it fascinated me that a man that unattractive could have an affair with the de Sancha woman.  I was only about 10, but that’s how well the scandal burned into my memory.)  Ew, ew, ew.

And yet… powerful women: do they have men frothing at the mouth, eager to pack a weekend bag, rent a car and drive off east for a weekend sojourn in the Hamptons?  Nein danke.
I know a shit tonne of self-assured, beautiful, independent, go-getting, powerful women and yet… *mass generalization alert* from their stories of disappointing dates and game play atrocities, men do not find powerful women as attractive as women find powerful men.  In fact, damsels in distress seem fair more alluring to men.   Maybe they are just easier to please, like women who don’t read.

So maybe, I just need to act like Paris Hilton: get myself into trouble (check), say asinine things (can do!), pout (I'll work on it), shrink to a far cuter 5ft 1 (I'm screwed), be adorable (more screwed), and think that Belgium is a small state in Russia.  (Has Damien Samways invented that mind eraser yet?)
Maybe I’ll use a pair of rusty pliers to extract all my teeth, sans anaesthetic, and I will make Halloween necklaces for the neighbourhood children.
Or maybe, I’ll just wait for someone grown up.  Someone I can call or message without worrying if it is 'my turn' or not; someone whom I can ask out somewhere without fear that I might be surrendering my power.  (So, okay, no woman actually wants to ask a chap out.  But wouldn’t it be nice to have the emotional freedom to be able to?)
In last week’s blogette, Crazy, Stupid, Oh Dear God just TELL her, I wrote how men should MAN UP!  After reading The Game, I realize women need to do this too.  Not necessarily become a braless Boudicca, or shave our heads and visit the island of Lesbos, but POWER UP to withstand game play.  Know the rules so that the game can identified and called what it is—a crock of fetid, reptilian shit. 
I don’t wish to sound like an embittered bovine, am quite the happy-go-lucky gal.  I like men.  C'est vrai, mes amies!  I like games, I do.  I think there are times games can be utterly necessary: like Twister at a university house party.  This innocent game of human pretzeling has been the icebreaker for many a nervous whipper snapper. And, it’s okay, because everyone knows the rules.  A casual grope is expected.  It’s a downright travesty if, after various mysterious green cocktails, left hand red doesn’t accidently-on-purpose glide against right hand boob.
It’s the rules.  Fair play.   But playing The Game?  Being shifty, tricky and caring more about a score than the person?   Well, enjoy the kudos.  You are officially a Dicktard.
So what say you?  Have you taken a turn on the manopoly board, and been left holding your lead, mini-tophat in hand? Have innocent games of Twister gone wrong?  I won't judge you.  (Other readers might, but I won't.  Promise.) 


  1. Well, Eleanor, you've done it again. I present to you, my response:

  2. For you, Mr Coene:

    Let the battle commence,
    Against trouser-tents,
    Building solid defence,
    Like Elliot Ness,
    Yes! It's not like Men are from Men-sa,
    When their blood rushes south,
    They are dumb, Sir!
    Predatory, without thought,
    'Til they cum, Sir.
    This biological instinct is fubar!
    Get a grip, get a life and move on!
    Yeah, spreading your seed,
    Is a need, indeed,
    But no woman wants a man to fuck and flee.
    Be attentive, be funny, then we'll see.
    It's a conscious mind set for monogamy.
    And you might not be ready, and that's okay,
    But, "Whoa there Armando!" what's with the faux display?
    Daisy can handle it, she doesn't have to be needy,
    Unless you've sold her false promises,
    Hotly-mouthed between hungry kisses.
    That's the dumb-ass play I most detest,
    It's false, it's lies, for moral arrest.
    So Boys, belt it in and grow a set,
    Most ladies enjoy more meaningful sex.
    And if you're too over-cum to be with one,
    Just be honest about it--we women aren't nuns!
    And if this sounds too elemental,
    Just remember who put the 'men' in mental.

  3. Love this.

    Most ridiculous book ever. My ex bought it when we broke up. Then he bought himself a neon-yellow belt to 'peacock' in. (All I can remember about the book is the peacock thing and the neg thing.)

    I told him it was easy to tell he was a cock even without the belt.

    Boom boom.

  4. "No one would ever play me like that! I’m unplayable! ... Am a veritable Boudicca, (with a manicure, underwire and nice shoes)."

    Is the funniness thing I've read on the internetz all morning. And that's a major compliment for a yout00b-surfin' lolcat luvin' demotivation poster addict like moi.

    I have no interest in mounting a defence. This book sounds ridiculous and the author sounds like he has some serious self-esteem issues. Possibly more that and of the ladies he's banging in toilets (most of whom, I'm willing to bet, were quite happy to do so).

    The hunting analogy is particularly telling coming from this kind of guy. He apparently thinks women don't like sex in the same way deer don't like being venison stew.

    What century is this?

  5. @Gem
    Seriously, yellow belts? Pink cowboy hats? Unless it is Mardi Gras, Halloween, or you are, in fact, Graham Norton, men of the world should just say 'No!' to dress up.
    However, if they do, it is a clear signal to me that I should avoid them at all costs. It sorts the wheat from the...wait for it... 'Chav'. Hahahhaha.

    @DSK Samways Am delighted you enjoyed this week's offering. I love your stew analogy! It is worth remembering too, that Elmer Fudd never actually caught Bugs, did he? No! And the Wagner opera one doesn't count, Bugs was just pretending for operatic license.

  6. Great blog E. Funny, true, enticing.

    I think the real question is what are we looking for and that comes from what do we think we are worth or what do we think we deserve? ...hmmm another subject you have mused on before no? Perhaps meat to feast upon for a future blog?

    Keep up the awesome work. And yes please, no yellow belts. Eek.

  7. Great blog E!
    1. I love the bachelor no matter how degrading. And of course that show was created by all men. Hmmm
    2. I love how you cuss up the blog but then refrain from using the harsh form of "bee atch" :)
    3. The rap battle is my fave. I think u should record it and we could dance to it at meetings. Very "I am woman hear me roar!... Or F off"

    <3 Jaclyn

  8. Well, haven't you stirred quite a nest? I love it. Your distinction between games of fun and games of conquest is impressively clear.

    How do your readers know whom to trust and when? I'm innocently friendly to a fellow wi-fi user at Panera and get followed to Target, and the young men of Acapulco who act like they're having fun helping shoeless damsels in distress have plans to rob them or throw them off the rocks into the crashing waves.

    Trust everyone? Trust no one? Trust some--yet wield the armor like the heroines of Greek lore?

    What if single women held a strike-Lysistrata-style. Would the games cease? Grange?