Narcissism and codependency in the PUA/HB dynamic

March 3, 2012

I believe Game is a journey, one in which you initially stumble blindly unaware of where the starting line is. You go from the blissfully-unaware AFC to suddenly peeking under the curtain and realising that success with women is a skill that can be learned like any other, and there is a vast wealth of resources available to help you. Many men (such as myself) believe they’ve found the starting line and off they go.

The problem is, you’re not running down the yellow brick road, you’re just spinning on a sophisticated hamster wheel and getting nowhere fast. Eventually, if you’re lucky and have access to the right resources, you’ll tumble to the old saw that the pickup community is just the self-help community in disguise. That should motivate you to fix the real causes of your self-worth problems and personality defects rather than the symptoms (“I can’t get laid”).

Project Hollywood, yesterday

Some people never make that leap. They persist in an never-ending cycle of diminishing returns in the quest to perfect their Game. Just do another 1,000 sets. Just polish off that routine. Just read more Game books. They become shameless pussy-hounds craving the pop of the next sexual conquest. They pour ever more water into the leaky bucket. I’ve discussed this in detail in my Creeping Death posts.

Well, while I may be a narcissist I am not unable to recognise when someone hits the nail on the head more accurately than I do. The Rawness has just written a masterpiece. Read it. I’ll pull out the sections that interest me most and comment.

His fundamental point is that Game (or more specifically the PUA lifestyle) can worsen a man’s self-worth issues by misleading him to attack the symptoms of his issues while the causes continue to worsen. The PUA lifestyle and the type of Game it encourages will exacerbate the problem by screening good people out of your life while attracting bad people. At some point it comes crashing down.

The PUA-HB dynamic is that of a codependent-narcissist. As an AFC people-pleaser you employ ineffective manipulative Nice Guy behaviours to get girls. Game replaces these with effective manipulative Asshole/Alpha behaviours that draw you into the dance of wounded souls. The PUA becomes a Compensatory Narcissist in that he models and copies the actions of a true narcissist (e.g. aloofness, assholery) without feeling it in his core. This leads to three types of interaction

      • PUA-(victim)HB: The player manipulates and exploits low self-worth codependent women who need him to lean on, primarily by teasing and withholding validation through push-pull. He despises the weakness of these women and tires of them.
      • PUA-(predator)HB: The player meets a more skilled narcissist than himself and is drawn into her web of tests, in which his increasing competence of passing intrigues her and gives her narcissistic supply until eventually she tires of him and dumps him, usually before sex.
      • PUA-(normal)HB: The girl isn’t responsive to his games because she is not unusually needy of validation or narcissistic supply. By his refusal to be normal, she is exasperated by him and tired while for his part he finds she is not responding as his script dictates so he becomes frustrated. The relationship never progresses and thus he blows his chance to have a nice person in his life.

Thus the PUA is gradually channelled into a lifestyle that involves gamey dances with a subset of emotionally damaged women as he tries to extract sex and affection from her while she tries to extract attention and validation from him. Rarely does a balanced mutually-affirming sexual relationship ensue. This is the case whether the PUA is angling for SNLs in nightclubs or bouncebacks in street game. I know guys commited to both lifestyles. It’s not pretty. Rawness calls such men grandiosity sharks.

“grandiosity sharks are people who have to keep swimming through a sea of external validation in order to breathe and stay afloat, because much like the shark can’t breathe internally, they can’t generate validation and self-esteem internally. If they stop moving through the sea of validation for a given amount of time, or their swimming is temporarily disrupted due to a blow to their ego, they figuratively suffocate, sink to the bottom and die.”

It would be nice if the pussy-hound lifestyle was merely papering over the cracks of self-worth but Rawness suggests it’s more like swallowing the cat to catch the mouse:

“Pickup artistry does not fix the codependent; it just changes him from a codependent into a narcissist by ignoring the core issues and instead training him to switch from the faulty coping strategy of surrender to the preferred faulty coping strategy of the narcissist, which is overcompensation. It’s just trading one toxic personality dysfunction for a worse, harder-to-cure toxic personality dysfunction.”

I have spoken before about what I termed the two types of Game – light side and dark side. It springs from the matrix of male/female personality types. Recall that there are four types of man according to their combination of competence and confidence:

      • Type 1: Both confident and competent. These are the solid self-actualised males who have their life together, have genuine skills they employ, balanced personalities and a sense of direction. It’s George Clooney or Cary Grant.
      • Type 2: Confident but incompetent. These are the chancers and showboats in life who usually drift aimlessly but maintain the veneer of charm and charisma (because real confidence can never be delusional, it must rest upon competence) and have an exaggerated narcissistic self-regard. They are the tattooed bar tenders, rock guitarists and drug dealers of the world.
      • Type 3: Competent but lacking confidence. This is the vast sea of beta males who hold down steady office jobs, watch Lost and Prison Break, dress in GAP or Next and are utterly indistinguishable from each other (to the female eye). Generally they are decent people and it’s their taxes that support the femo-centric world.
      • Type 4: Neither competent nor confident. They are the dregs of society. Barely-employed, out of shape, lacking social skills, these are the omega / delta males whom society has left behind. They retreat into solo hobbies or fringe weirdo collectives (e.g. ComicCon).

The female typology is based on beauty and self esteem. So type 1 women have both, type 2 women have beauty but low self esteem. I made the point that in the normal order of affairs men and women of equal rank pair off, i.e. type 1 men pair with type 1 women. A pairing of one rank’s mismatch (e.g. type 1 man with type 2 woman) can initiate but is doomed to failure. A two-rank disparity would only happen if there were severe outside influence such as drugs, alcohol or a solemn obligation to a dear friend.

Where this intersects with the Rawness essay is that he is essentially talking about Type 2 Male – Type 2 Female pairings where the man’s fragile confidence is manufactured by painting a faux-narcissistic facade over a codependent core and the competence issues are not addressed either. The female is leveraging her beauty but lacks a sense of deservedness and thus has a constant lean-towards that the PUA can exploit by using push-pull to prop her up with validation / attention and then take away to send her back off balance.

To say these pairings are unhealthy is an understatement. Rawness also nicely explains the PUA obsession with strippers and hired guns:

“By the way, I want to point out that stripping and sex work in general are profession that attracts a HUGELY disproprortionate amount of narcissists and borderline personality disorder sufferers, which lends credence to my theory that becoming a PUA often just makes one into a sophisticated form of codependent, because why else would these guys keep being drawn to strippers and pornstars, who can be some of the most severely personality-disordered people out there?”

I have long maintained that the successful attitude towards learning Game, the actual starting line you should begin your journey from, is to develop yourself into a Type 1 man (Rawness calls this the Renaissance Man rather than Alpha) and then learn how to identify and attract Type 1 women using Game which is merely a conduit of your character and leveraging your understanding of female psychology and the mating ritual. You should avoid the Type 2 / Type 2 dance of the wounded souls. The only way to win that game is to avoid playing.

I might come back to his piece with more comments. It really is a blinder and I urge you to read it.


  1. wow a master of words…I am impressed,, keep going my friend…keep preaching!!

    • i am an experienced submissive. i will sound in. i regard the PUA community with an odd bemusement. Yes, good “game” is good for meeting people, and proving your not a complete looser. i think it’s also a young man’s game, for that age around 20-30 where everyone is just trying to sleep with everyone, and it’s just a game.

      i won’t deny that as a submissive i’m drawn to the traditional alpha alpha type. It’s instinct. Let’s face it. That is primal. However, there is a flip side to this. In the community i date in, you can find you can bite off more than you can chew, and it’s not a case of you better look conventionally pretty and feminine in the morning. A lot of people are into some pretty .. deep , dark, and profoundly soul altering and or down right “fucked up” things. So, you might find the man of your dreams is seriously into things you just can’t deal with. Or, is a “non Dominant” – and where i come from , that’s essentially lacking the core skill/desire to control women, just using it as a mask to “pick up hot chicks”, and that’s control safely, with all of the accompanying precussive activities, and not messing the human body or mind up in the process. It’s not so much the beta male factor, as “don’t date men who want you to sleep with dogs, or want to eat your limbs, for example”. Yes, this can and does happen.

      i do think PUA’s have a bit of chivalry and old fashioned ness down right. However, from where I come from a “roboscript” tends to be the mark of the inexperienced/and or basically dangerous. Instinct, logic, balance, these all meld for finding a partner.

      But i’m not a low IQ girl… so there is that.

  2. I regard myself as a “Type 1”, but in my realm, the title is “Dominant”

    In the BDSM world, your assessment between the PUA headed for bankruptcy of the soul, and a ‘Renaissance Man’ equates to the difference between a “Top” and a “Dom”.

    The Tops want to spank that ass, but it’s play only, then he’s out. The Dom, on the other hand, is more of a 24/7 thing, a core element of identity. A good Dom who trains women, collars them, leads them, etc…. He is the one with confidence AND competence… and women worship that shit.

    Fortunately, I think a lot of the Type 3 guys, the AFC betas, if they can take the red pill and grow some balls, can slip right past the Type 2 PUA codependency stuff and end up in the Type 1 field nicely.

    The irony is, the women who are most loaded with issues that are pursued by the Type 2 PUA weasels… usually one of their main issues is that those girls didn’t have a good male figure in their lives…

    And those Type 2 boys often have the exact same problem… lack of good male leadership. That’s why they constantly seek validation as a “man”… and its true that the Type 2 boys are the ones most likely to grow a true hatred for women. [I know very little about BDSM. Interesting. K.]

  3. Type 3s don’t hook up with other type 3s, because female type 3s can date/fuck up the ladder. And some type 3s don’t really have the ability to be type 1s. Competence is a bit of a misnomer, because competence for men isn’t linear but exponential due to hypergamy.

    Its interesting that you use George Clooney as an example. It confirms that type 1s can only be a tiny portion of the male population. [You conflate Type 1 with Alpha position. There can only be one leader of a group, or a small number of superstars because the term is more or less defined by being on top of a pile of lesser men. However Type 1 is a combination of characteristics of which there is no limited quota of recipients. Like alpha traits, your ability to get them doesn’t take away from anyone else’s. Traits are not zero-sum. K.]

    • Isn’t traits without backup just your type 2.

      The cold hard genetic truth for men is we can’t all be winners. [If I learn carpentry and then become confident of my ability to make a wooden table, does it prevent others from learning carpentry? Don’t be so defeatist. K.]

      • But what if only the best carpenter gets most the business and the second best gets much less, and the third best gets nothing. This is how scalable markets work, a few players capture most of the market. Sex is a scalable market for men, but not for women. Therein lies the dilemma. By definition, male sexuality is hyper competitive and exponentially distributed. Another’s success is another’s failure. [No. One of the main reasons the top guys monopolise women is that most men are below the women’s attractiveness threshold. As more men raise themselves above it, the women become more equally distributed. You’re just looking for reasons not to bother. K.]

      • A woman’s attractiveness threshold is based on the men available. If she is surrounded by super hotties, that becomes her baseline. If she is surrounded by uglies, that becomes her baseline. Women try to get the best man they can get. A few drop in and out of the celibacy pool based on the overall quality of the pool, but this is a sideshow compared to the main marketplace. This is basic economics.

        The cold hard truth, based on the genetic evidence, is that in the natural pre-agriculture sexual economy only the top 40% of men passed the “attractiveness threshold” and passed on their genes. It’s unrealistic to expect men, even a plurality of men, to be successful in the sexual marketplace. Nearly all effort to change ones place on the hierarchy are zero sum.

        Human innovation and economic activity can increase the number of Ipods we have or the square footage of our houses, but it can’t make any more poon. Poon is a set natural resource that we can’t make anymore of.

      • Actually it doesn’t matter which of you is right, as far as it affects the choice of the individual or his prospect of success or failure.

  4. Christ I thought *I* was a pessimist.

  5. ps. I like the way you qualify “Game” with “or more specifically the PUA lifestyle”. I’d probably qualify it even more.

  6. Absolutely fantastic post, Krauser.

    Every now and again you post on the self-development, and it’s always a deep, inspiring read. Same with the Rawness.

    These posts are once in a blue moon from both of you guys. What that tells me is that I”m spending too much time reading material produced by Type 2 men, and also it tells me that true self-development is a long-term, slow process. Gotta put the work in.

    To be bluntly honest, I’m not locked into being a type 1 man, not by a long shot. I have elements of both type 2 and 3 in different areas of my life, but lately it seems more type 2 than type 3. So of course those are the women that I attract, type 2’s mostly. Just as there are few type 1 men around, the same is true for type 1 women. But you’re absolutely correct on achieving type 1 not being a zero sum effect.

    This is good stuff.

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  8. This article is deep.I’d have to re read it few times to get the overall message.

  9. Hat´s off brother. This was seriously good.

  10. Solid post and informative. I like the theories you’ve introduced. The confidence-competent types you describe make perfect sense… something I’m going to think about…

  11. I have long maintained that the successful attitude towards learning Game, the actual starting line you should begin your journey from, is to develop yourself into a Type 1 man (Rawness calls this the Renaissance Man rather than Alpha) and then learn how to identify and attract Type 1 women using Game which is merely a conduit of your character and leveraging your understanding of female psychology and the mating ritual. You should avoid the Type 2 / Type 2 dance of the wounded souls. The only way to win that game is to avoid playing.


    I wasn’t sure where this was going at first, since you wrote the first part as if all game had to fit the wounded co-dependent pattern (which seemed very unlike you to me and almost tradcon sounding), but you cleared that all up. I suppose that way of writing it up would drag more game blog readers in deeper.

  12. The paradox of game seems to me to be, if you were really good at it, why would you keep doing it? After you’d fucked like 50 women, why wouldn’t you take those skills and make millions of dollars?

    A real social artist would have fun, learn, then settle down with a Type 1 woman and do other things. Success at anything, no matter how much, can’t make you like yourself.

  13. Pingback: Psychology on The Rawness « Game For Omegas

  14. The article written by the rawness is the single most imformative piece of information ive read in the manosphere in the last four years. Amazing reading.

  15. Excellent post sir. You travel the road well.

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  17. “The Rawness has just written a masterpiece.”

    he has.

    yohami told me about it, now i am plowing through it:

    looking forward to reading your thoughts on it after i am done.

  18. Awesome articles. I too have noticed that the majority of douchebag/ pickup types have a lot of neediness and self-esteem issues. Hell, I am working on being type 1 but I used to be more type 2. Narcisstic with a deep need for validation and attention.
    I have never met a Type 1 woman. All pretty girls here in college seem to be sluts and attention whores, and their bad body posture shows their extreme lack of self esteem. Their constant neediness, abuse of foods, drugs, and drink doesn’t strike me as even remotely resembling self-esteem.

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  20. I think you completely misunderstood the rawness article if you think he was generally talking about “type 2” people as you put it. He explains that the very people who are drawn to PUA or ‘game’ are by definition damaged/troubled individuals, because if they weren’t they wouldn’t be messing around reading such flawed/counterproductive material on how to get laid, they would already have had enough success with women not to be drawn to that kind of material. He also explains how it is impossible to become ‘alpha’ or whatever you call it by following the PUA game mentality because A. you are creating a new false self to replace your old unsuccessful false self, moving further away and possibly even blocking off access to the core emotional/psychological work needed to have an authentic personality, and B. Any execution of ‘game’ is basically modifying your behaviour in order to gain female validation through access to her pussy, and in many cases this is from emotionally damaged shitty women. Modifying your social behaviour for reward based results like this is about as un-alpha as it gets, and is actually the behaviour of a person with emotional/psychological issues.
    There was so much more covered by the article, it really was a masterpiece as you say, a real eyeopener that was long overdue in my opinion . It basically exposed the PUA community for what it really is, the treatment of emotional/psychological issue symptoms (I can’t get laid etc) with the promotion of codependent/narcissistic/sociopathic behaviours, and ignoring the root cause of the emotional/psychological issues. One of the problems being that the guys getting into PUA will be too damaged to cherry-pick the small amount of useful information and discard the rest that will ultimately move them further away from becoming a healthy well-rounded individual. But hey… who cares when you can fake being alpha and bang that “HB10” right guys?

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