Peeps, I hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend. I sure did. It’s a new week, so that means the Thought Leader Interview Series continues. Today we’re featuring one of the smartest guys in pickup, The Asian Rake, who bequeathed us one of the most thoughtful and provocative interviews to date. Be sure to check out his excellent blog, Dr. Asian Rake, and also his website, The Power of Being Asian. Holy cow, this stuff is awesome. Feel free to debate his points in the comments.
“As women continue to gain ground in the professional workforce, especially in socially conservative countries, the male provider mindset will drop away, not entirely, but considerably. In some countries, this might take 40 or 50 years instead of 10 or 20. But it’s bound to happen. When it does, society will have to come to grips with the fact that women want sexual satisfaction as much as men do and that many formal courtship patterns are unnecessary and even irrational.”
Based on your experience, what is your perspective on modern dating and how has it evolved in the last decade or so?
“Dating”? If you mean, a guy and a girl going out on some elaborate or expensive events with the explicit purpose of screening each other (or more likely, her screening him) for a long-term relationship leading to marriage, well, my perspective is that “dating” should have gone out the window ages ago. The fact is, though, it has stayed with us.
Modern dating still evinces vestiges of Victorian era courtship patterns. The full implications of the sexual revolution of the 50s and 60s in the US are still working themselves out in societies all over the world. There is still no consensus over such simple questions like whether a guy should pay for dinner on the first date. A lot of the male provider mindset still persists among both men and women despite the great strides women have made in the professional world and the fact that they can now provide for themselves.
A lot of people have been turning to online dating and matchmaking services, especially in conservative societies like Singapore. Facebook and other social networking sites have made it much easier for people to keep in contact with their extended social circles and more effortlessly expand their social network. But they’re also exposing people to more social risks and discouraging people from gaining in-person social calibration.
How has pickup affected the playing field, and do you see pickup going mainstream any time soon?
With the mainstream exposure of the pick-up community in America in the past few years, a lot of people have been exposed to the basic principles of the Mystery Method, but only a minority really believes it can be done. Even fewer have the courage or social freedom to try them out or have any calibration or practical experience in applying them. So while they have heard of negs or false time constraints, they often don’t understand the principles behind these techniques and have no idea how to calibrate these properly.
The best parts of pick-up draw from research in social and evolutionary psychology and neuroscience. Such aspects of pick-up that would resonate with the mainstream are those that are also found in a range of self-help books. It’s just that in pick-up, they are specifically adapted to attracting women.
The rest of the material will always be too extreme. As mainstream society adopts more of the community’s teachings, the community will and should continue to push the envelope and test the limits. That’s part of the reason for its effectiveness. By definition, the cutting edge will never be mainstream.
Where do you see dating & courtship headed in the future, like in 10 or 20 years from now?
Spending most of the year outside the US and in socially conservative cultures, I take a global perspective. As women continue to gain ground in the professional workforce, especially in socially conservative countries, the male provider mindset will drop away, not entirely, but considerably. In some countries, this might take 40 or 50 years instead of 10 or 20. But it’s bound to happen. When it does, society will have to come to grips with the fact that women want sexual satisfaction as much as men do and that many formal courtship patterns are unnecessary and even irrational.
Do you see any evolutions or new trends emerging in dating / relationships?
The pick-up community is evolving out of its immature reliance on other people’s scripted and canned material. When a critical mass of the community reaches a level closer to what we used to consider “mastery,” they will form a growing consensus that the most important catalysts of transformation are primarily lifestyle, identity, and social calibration. Basically, who you are and how you convey that.
This change will be slow, though, because as guys get closer to “mastery,” they tend to leave the community. I’ve been feeling that draw myself for over a year now. They are happy with their social skills and female companions and become busy mastering other areas of their lives.
These men are often replaced by boys re-inventing the wheel, looking for the magic bullets and surface embellishments to a f-cked up interior and a fragile foundation. Eventually, if these boys continue pushing themselves and persevere, they’ll realize they have to fix the foundation and start from ground zero. Ideally, each successive generation of newbies will start at a higher level. In this way, there can be advancement across the board.
Over time, the cutting edge will move into the area of managing relationships, the shadowy land lying beyond attraction, comfort, and seduction. There have been guys who theorize about this topic, but it’s still in its infancy.
The past year also witnessed an explosion of material on social circle game. The developments in this area will target more specialized segments in terms of socio-economic class and sub-cultures.
What’s your best piece of advice for someone jumping into the dating pool?
If you’re just starting out and haven’t read any other community e-books or products, then get my Dating 101, which you can find on my website. Okay, now that my shameless plug is over with, I’d recommend the following for guys. The most important factors are all long-term processes.
- Get a fashion and grooming makeover. Pay for an image consultant if you have to. It’s not because looks matter, though of course they do. It’s because your outward appearance dramatically affects the way you view yourself and how you sub-communicate your self-image. Theoretically, this is the easiest and quickest step.
- Get a fitness plan and a personal fitness coach and start getting into the best shape of your life. This isn’t just to make you look sexy, but more importantly, for you to feel energetic and exude vitality.
- Develop a lifestyle you are proud of. Make your life generate social value passively. It’s like passive income. Live your life the way you want, and with little additional effort on your part, other people will find you immensely attractive.
- Do daily affirmations and visualizations based on your ideal self, your archetype, the kind of man you want to be.
- Practice being observant. Train your mind to notice quirky details and interesting things in your environment.
- Learn two or three simple opening lines. Then…
- Go to a lounge that you like, smile, head straight to the bar, and talk to the first person you see.
What’s on the horizon for the Asian Rake in 2009?
2008 saw a lot of changes in my personal and professional life. And I moved around in three different countries.
I’m looking forward to 2009 being a year of settling down and being grounded for a little while. Then again, I say that every year, and I still end up traveling the world! I’ve gotta say, it’s an extraordinarily liberating feeling that comes from knowing you can move to a new city anywhere in the world and, with an investment of five minutes during the day and another few hours in the evening, have in your life a brand new girlfriend or two. This makes it highly tempting to travel around.
We hope to release the Power of Being Asian product early in the new year. I’m super pumped about it. It’s been a long time coming and encapsulates many of my thoughts and experiences from the past few years. We’ll also be rethinking how we do our personal coaching and making the overall educational experience more efficient and transformative.
Here’s the original post that inspired the interview series. Be sure to check out the interviews with the other thought leaders: