Dear Dudes: Here Are Six Reasons Why You Don't Need a Dating CoachS

Hello, muffins. Here at this site, we spend a lot of time railing against the shitty shit that dudes do, because, come on, shitty shit is shitty. It's shitty to act like women owe you attention and/or genital touching simply because you're noble enough to refrain from being an abusive dick-monster. It's shitty to tell women that they're incompetent at handling their own lives, simply because their life choices don't include handling your genitals. It's shitty to treat a woman like a math equation instead of a person, and then take her rejection as an outrageous wound to your personhood. Can we maybe agree that those behaviors—cornerstones of modern "pick-up" culture—are shitty?

Because if we can, gentlemen, if you can get my back on that, I'd like to extend an olive branch and get your backs a little bit.

You are being exploited. "Dating coaches" are cynical charlatans who are exploiting your insecurities to make money. This is unacceptable.

There's a kicky little poll on the Cosmo website right now highlighting a new "campaign" and instructional film called "Go Talk to Her," which "encourages dudes to go up to women in everyday places like parks and coffee shops, or even on the street." Founder and "dating expert" Adam LoDolce promises that his method is not a pick-up artist strategy—it's just about encouraging dudes to have the confidence to talk to women on the street, at any time of day or night, "and not be creepy about it." I mean, 'kay.

So Cosmo wants to know:

When do you prefer to be hit on?
During the day when a guy's intentions are clearer.
At night when I'm on the prowl myself.
Whenever! It's flattering when a guy comes up to me.
I'd prefer for guys NOT to randomly approach me...like ever.

Men. Hello. Real talk. If you are considering looking at the results of this poll and then incorporating that information into your dating life, or if you are considering hiring Adam LoDolce (or Patti Stanger or Mystery or Commodore Flip-Flap or literally anyone) to teach you how to acquire daytime vagina, STOP. Stop. For your own sake, stop. Honestly, do it for your own sake—women have been dealing with this shit for decades. We don't like it and we will continue to complain about it, but we can deal with it. So if our discomfort is not enough to get you to stop, then please understand that this dating-strategery-PUA-advice-coaching-sorcery shit is harming you (almost) as much as it's harming us. It does not matter what time of day you approach a woman. It does not matter what specific words you make with your mouth. It does not matter what you look like, particularly. It does not matter whether or not you are wearing a begoggled furry top hat or carrying the fingerbones of a drowned widow in your boot or sacrificing a golden hind to Ares every morning. There is no magic trick that will get you laid.

Or, rather, there kind of is. Attraction is way more like magic than science. It's intangible and surprising and there is no formula. But, unfortunately, dating coaches aren't real wizards, they're sideshow charlatans peddling cheap tricks. Love and loneliness are terrifying—I am personally familiar with that terror—and the world is full of people who want to capitalize on the desperation of the insecure. Stop letting them.

Here's why:

1. It doesn't work and it will never work.
I completely understand why you are doing this. Being alone is hard, and right now always feels like forever, and it seems like these people are offering you a solution. That is a very human, very relatable, and very sympathetic impulse. The problem is that these techniques are ineffective and they hurt the people that you are trying to attract. And in that way, they hurt you. Aside from the handful of outliers that I'm sure exist out there, at the end of this process, you will most likely wind up equally alone but with less money. That is stupid and unfair.

There's a cruel adage that goes, "It's not sexual harassment if you're hot." As in, nobody minds getting hit on by someone that they're actually attracted to—it's only the unwanted advances that are offensive. But that's an oversimplification. I am thrilled to have a conversation with anyone, as long as that "conversation" isn't built on dehumanizing and commodifying me. And that's the problem with most "dating advice"—pre-engineered "strategies" strip women of their personhood by default. They treat a woman's brain like it's just her vagina's doorman. And I am repulsed by pretty much anyone, at any time of day, no matter how hot they are, who talks to my vagina instead of my brain.

The reason PUA shit works for PUA coaches is because they're great actors—they've mastered the art of disguising that commodification as genuine interest. It's what we call "charm," basically. And if you don't have that, you can't learn it. The only dudes who are capable of pulling off PUA tricks are the ones who don't need them. But that's okay! Even if you could learn to pull it off, you don't need to be a smarmy charm-genie to get people to like you. Smart people can see through that garbage anyway, and it will make them hate you.

2. Women hate it.
Seriously, we hate it. I mean, obviously not all of us hate it—women are not monolithic (which, again, is why you cannot trick women into fucking you using any kind of a "system"!!!)—but you can see that even in the Cosmo comments women are like, "Um, ew." A sampling:

if someone comes up to me randomly in the street I'd be scared and would run for my life before he can say hi....don't encourage this! hoooorrible idea

Um...I don't know how I feel about this? It's always nice to get a compliment but my initial reaction when guys do this is kthxbai! I'm always in a hurry and generally speaking the average guy who walks up to me is not going to have a lot in common with me.

The women who responded to the poll overwhelmingly favor "any time of day" or "whenevs," but, you know, Cosmo is its own special pool of snowflakes who draw tremendous self-worth from being affirmed as "hot." (That's another article.)

The point is that women are tired of being things. Yes, it is nice to feel pretty. But we do things beyond just existing. We have jobs and hobbies and pains and idiosyncrasies and at some times of day (and life) we are not so pretty. When you hit on us simply because we are pretty, it confirms our fears that when we stop being pretty we will become garbage and the world will throw us away. Please stop turning us into garbage.

You know how invisible you feel when a woman isn't interested in you? That's how a lot of women feel all of the time in situations that are not sexual transactions. It makes us feel sad. And it's hard for us to get boners for you when we are busy feeling sad. (Sidenote: Remember that we might not end up getting boners for you either way, because we are people. But why slash your chances like that?)

3. It sets you up to blame women for your own loneliness.
Women hate that too. Quit blaming us because you're unhappy. It is not our responsibility to validate your humanity with our vaginas, especially when you refuse to validate ours. Women are not obligated to like you because you are "nice" to them, and the implication that they are is, in fact, the opposite of "nice." Fucking stop.

4. There are better things to spend your money on.
If this is a serious issue for you—if you really and truly are coming across as repellant to the women you're hitting on—your money might be better invested in therapy. Seriously. Even the oiliest dating coach and I can agree on this—confidence is a major factor in attraction. But you don't get confidence from cheap tricks, you get it from dealing with your shit. Deal with your shit. Don't just spray cologne on it and expect women not to notice that shit is shit.

Second option: ACTIVITIES. You can't really change who you are, but you can meet people who are like you. Remember the part about how women want to be talked to like human beings? Try actually getting to know them—organically, not aggressively—based on real conversations about shared interests. This route is more difficult, I know, but it is better because it will not cause women to run from you in terror and then make fun of you with their friends for 1000 years. Bonus: You get to have fun doing stuff you like!!! CAN YOU IMAGINE IT.

5. There is only one valuable thing you might learn from a dating coach, and I will give it to you for free right now. (JK, send me $5.)
DON'T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY. That is the crux of everything. "People cannot force you to feel embarrassment!" LoDolce says in his video trailer. "You do not have to do it!" Indeed, Signore LoDolce. That is all well and good and important. If someone rejects you, it probably doesn't reflect on you or that person. It just means that there is no chemistry, and you must move on. If a woman wants to be your friend, that is a good thing—because a woman is a person and people are friends with each other. But you don't need a dating coach to teach you this.

There are two ways to not take rejection personally: You can be the kind of person who recognizes and forgives other people's completely mysterious and bizarre agency and circumstances, and understands that strangers' lives have nothing to do with you. Or you can be the kind of person who doesn't take things personally because a dating coach taught you that women are just statistics—just numbers—and a certain number of them are going to reject you. The first way is real, and you can only teach it to yourself. The second way is a scam devised by people who want your money, and it sets you up for confusion and resentment when real life doesn't behave like your coach's statistical model.

6. They're just going to spend your money on 5 Hour Energy.
For fuck's sake, give it to the ASPCA or something. 100% guaranteed panty-dropper right there.