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The best books for learning game
Guys should start with Neil Strauss, The Game and Rules of the Game: they're slightly dated and anything about "negging" should be ignored, at least at first... know that "Negging" is really push-pull or what Torero and Krauser call "fractionation." The rest of the book is still more right than not, and Neil Strauss is a very good writer... both books are also "mainstream" enough to give to your friends, even as a joke. Neil Strauss describes how he read evolutionary biology books that reinforced and supported the game he was learning. Another early writer is Mystery and his book The Mystery Method also has a lot of present-day applicability. If you are an intermediate or advanced guy, my own free book about sex clubs and non-monogamy is useful and, to my knowledge, original: no one else has covered this subject. But it assumes the guy already has solid game skills.
For clueless guys and even some intermediate guys, it's helpful to understand biological programming. Whether you want it to or not, biology drives us more than culture. Women don't have that much choice in who they are attracted to, just like guys don't. Guys can try to force themselves to be attracted to older or fatter women, but it just doesn't work, right? The number of 45 or 50 year old women a guy will be attracted to is very close to zero, unless the guy himself is aged 60+. A 22-year-old hottie will make any guy look twice, especially over his 45-year-old wife. Maybe he'll overcome his primal urge through conscious effort but it will remain. Girls are the same way but their criteria is not exactly the same for reasons that make sense from an evolutionary biology perspective.
I actually don't think it matters very much where you start with game books, as long as you read a lot and more importantly immediately try to apply what you read. Too much reading in the absence of practice is masturbatory.
What else a guy should read depends on where he starts and what sticking points he has. Guys in high school and college will have different needs and ecosystems than guys who are 30 or 40 or 40+. If guys in high school and college try London daygame cold approach or Strauss-Mystery Method they are going to become weird outcasts quickly. They need more friendship, social circle, and connection techniques. Some techniques and mindsets described by London daygame and Strauss-Mystery are still applicable, but "cold approach" is for big, anonymous cities.
"Sticking points" will occur at different levels. For example the Reddit user MattyAnon suggests The Sex God Method, and that is a good book but will be of less use to very inexperienced guys. For guys who are getting laid but are not skilled or confident enough in bed it will be extremely useful, maybe even essential. The book She Comes First is also useful and extremely recommended. Teenage guys should all be gifted a copy of this book, and even sexual veterans can probably learn a thing or two.
One of the best game posts I've read is by Krauser, "Reveal vs Restructure,"
I think it comes down to which side of this divide you fall on. Is your Journey a process of:
* Uncovering a pre-existing SMV and personality that is attractive to women, or;
* Ridding yourself of a Pussy Repellent virus and then building an attractive man from scratch.
A guy who is uncovering preexisting value will be different from a guy who has to build a lot of value. The latter guy may be a fat, psychologically messed up guy who needs to learn how to cook, how to quit eating sugar, how to use the gym, how to move his body, how to dress himself properly and get his clothes tailored, and why he needs to physically move to a city and get out of suburbs or rural areas. He must start now, though results may not come for a very long time. But he has no choice. He must struggle, or pay for it, or be alone. Chicks are savage in their evaluation of men.
Although this isn't a book, I like the website Good Looking Loser because it's about an attractive guy overcoming his own psychological barriers, and more attractive guys than you'd think need help with that. Some attractive guys have limiting beliefs and other issues that prevent them from achieving up to their level. The guy who wrote GLL has some problems and limits of his own, which I leave it as an exercise to the reader to spot. Also he advertises a bunch of garbage ("Kratom") that needs to be ignored.
For books, I wrote about the Torero book Daygame, and that is a good read. Krauser has good books too. There is a purple pill book, Mate, by evolutionary biologist Geoffrey Miller and writer Tucker Max, and I think it's worth reading as well.
For guys who need help with fitness, Starting Strength is good and so is the 5x5 method or any number of others. The important thing is to start and make some progress, and track progress.
Many people like the Mark Manson book Models. It isn't my favorite but so many guys like it that I'd be remiss if I didn't mention it.
Over time it is very important to understand how women think and how women evaluate men. There isn't a single book that is best for this subject but all of the books recommended will help build this mental map.
My Secret Garden, by Nancy Friday, is all about women's depraved sex fantasies, so if you have trouble realizing that chicks want to be totally dominated and used hard by the right guy, read it. Women prefer written porn and guys prefer visual porn, so to understand what gets women off you need to read, while also realizing that erotic material has its place but also often differs from real life.
Personally, I used to read a lot more novels than I do now. Great fiction is still wonderful but so much fiction is about people who are psychologically damaged or who are just dumb. For game-aware guys, watching fictional guys step on their dicks is painful. Usually the answer to their dilemmas is "escalate," "lift," or "find a new girl." In most novels the answer is to keep pouring attention into a single hot girl, who by the end of the story comes around, exactly like most girls don't in real life.
There is still great fiction but it is usually not about relationships... fiction teaches you about how people think and interact, and not reading it is a mistake.
If you haven't already, on your journey you will learn that there is life beyond game and, without personality and outside interests, you will never break into the highest girl tier for longer-term relationships, whether open or closed. Sex is like oxygen or water, because when you're getting enough it recedes in importance, and when you're not getting enough it becomes the focal point of your entire life (not my original metaphor but it's a good one). When you're confident that you can get acceptable sex in a tolerable timeframe your whole outlook changes and that's what people mean by "abundance mentality." It's not just a mentality, it's a fact of existence. Abundance mentality ensures that no chick can occupy your entire mental space without your consent. There are also "threshold effects" for many chicks, in terms not only of hotness but also, for many, in terms of interests, psychology, life functioning, etc. If you are an attractive guy with decent game but no other interests, for example, a lot of hot girls who have an IQ threshold or "energy" threshold will not be that into you.
The more you read and learn, the more you will realize how most people, including most girls, are dumb... or if not "dumb," then they don't connect their behaviors to their lives. You also learn that almost no one has a complete and total handle on the game and sex. There is always another nuance.