Dear Dream: The PUA Community? – and Its Cardinal Sins

An e-mail from a reader came in today. I have removed his name for anonymity.

I’ve been a subscriber to your blog for some time now. You do a great job. I was first turned on to you by your affiliation with Drew Baye, HIT in general and the primal lifestyle.. It turns out we have strikingly similar interests.
Having successfully implemented proper exercise and nutrition into my life, I have recently shifted my focus to the other great failing of my existence: women. I am very new to the pickup community and have read The Game and some other online stuff but not much else. Respecting your opinion as I do, I was hoping you could steer me in the right direction in terms of gurus and mentors with whom I should invest in and learn from. But also, which ones to avoid! There are just so many out there. I am after training that focuses on wholistic development and teaches skills which transfer into other areas of my life. I’m not after a “magic bullet”, or overnight success. I listened to DJ Fuji at T21 2009 and liked what he had to say. Where else should I begin? What did you do when you were starting ou and what would you do now if you were starting again?

Thanks mate

In response, I am going to bounce around his e-mail.


Jumping right to the end, I spoke with Dj Fuji the other day. While these are not his words, the poor guy is “shit balls” busy. Despite hiring Psych as a full time coach and taking on a few assistants, he literally can’t keep up with the demand for his coaching in it’s current form. Quality problem for sure, that he of all people has rightly earned.


Moving on, I find it very ironic that people are finding me via proper exercise and nutrition, and then venturing into the PUA Community – ironic because the inverse has always been true.


Regarding which coaches to avoid, oh boy. I do not even have a specific answer for this question, because the PUA Community is packed to the gills with thieves, liars, and shady business practices – but then again, how many coaching industries aren’t?


A much better question to ask – which you have – is which teachers/mentors to invest in – time, effort, money, and any combination there of.


This is a better question to ask because it’s positive, and has a finite answer.


For starters, is the single best investment you can make with your initial investment of time – both for learning and finding a coach you connect with.


If you’re familiar with Atlas Shrugged at all, it is the Rearden Metal of the PUA Community – despite venturing well outside of it.


Regarding comprehensive growth – which should be viewed as becoming more of your self, not becoming someone else – this should primarily be your own initiative. A mentor who shares this view can and will be a guide post, but will not be the end point of that journey.


Dj Fuji and Tim the Right Hand Man are mentors who share such a view. They are not the only ones, from the convention, or the PUA Industry for that matter.


Tim in particular is interesting because he is one of the few coaches I am aware of that has connected social skills with business relationships – assuming this is something of interest to you.


Regarding a magic bullet, it’s good you realize this. Most guys don’t. And they get frustrated/give up when what may take them 12 months isn’t cram-able into 30 days.


In my case, it took years of playing communication-with-the-other-sex-catch-up to finally reach the point where I realized I was able to talk to women.


And I mean years.


Most people probably aren’t in the multiple years category. I was. If you do happen to be, don’t sweat it. It’s a journey, and it will be a blast – with plenty of success along the way.


Which brings me to one of my final points in response to your e-mail – the cardinal sins of the PUA Community.


“Cardinal sins” in the sense of a few bad apple ideas that damn near ruin the rest of the good apples. Ideas that will cause a tremendous amount of unnecessary head ache and stalled progress in your endeavors.


Cardinal sin #1: Encouraging you to place anyone’s judgment over your own.


When you watch Dj Fuji’s speech, and implement what he says – you must implement it because you have reason to believe what he is advising is correct, or you are outright convinced he is correct and seek to test it in physical reality.


This does not necessarily mean you will be able to fully or even partially explain those reasons at the time. You have them – consciously or sub-consciously – and choose to act on them.


The point here is that you are always living first hand, and acting through your own judgment first and foremost.


You are not listening to any one coach or dating guru and acting on what he says on faith. You are choosing to listen to what that person has to say and from there then choosing to act or not act on the advice.


Don’t be a blind peon. No one’s judgment matters more than your own.


Cardinal sin #2: Stemming from #1, give primary concern to observations (responses from women and your environment), and secondary concern to your own thoughts and emotions (if at all) in any given situation.


This runs contradictory to the reality of living for your own sake. No one’s judgement can be as important as your own – and similarly – no other person’s thoughts or feelings can be placed above your own.


Especially not any one girl you met at a bar/club/party, or any other venue – nor the next 50 women you meet.


Nor the next 500 women you meet.


Your thoughts and emotions must always come first. The sum of the PUA Community tells you to focus on the responses of women first and foremost. Nonsense.


Focusing on your self first and foremost is the only way you will make measurable progress – because it aligns with the reality that man is an individual with the ability to think, not a mindless herd.


Put more concisely, focusing on everyone else will leave you perpetually lost, confused, and frustrated. I know from first hand experience. Don’t do this.


Cardinal sin #3: Success with women requires compromise.


As I wrote about in the success post, true success is the achievement of a rational desire, and is absent of “compromise”.


This sin stems from the cult of moral grayness, uncertainty, and the impossible contradiction of “evil and good”, or in conventional terms “necessary evils”.


This sin states that your ideals cannot be achieved in physical reality – that your dreams cannot be made real.


It states that good is not possible without being tainted by evil.




To the contrary, good can only exist independent of evil. The two are polar opposites, and can never be combined in reality to form a bland shade of gray. This is a delusion those who refuse to accept the reality of black and white – absolutes — force upon themselves, to their own detriment.


To attach a real life example to this, this is the woman who took my virginity at 17 (on the night of my senior prom, of all nights).



She was really attractive. “Lucky” for my first time?




I didn’t think of it in these terms at the time, but despite my utter lack of communication skills at that time, I refused to speak with women who were attracted to me, that I was not attracted to.


This was a woman who I was very much attracted to, and the desire was mutual.


As common sense as this sounds, it isn’t for most PUAs. Like I experienced after this, most will battle an inner conflict.


Those around you tell you to just give in, to compromise, to meet and have sex with women who you are not fully attracted to.


In conventional terms “just get it done”, “it’s good practice”.




It’s a very poor practice that is an exercise in self hatred. The quintessential example – that I have experienced – is talking to a woman who is physically attractive, yet repulsive to you inside.


The sum of our culture, including the PUA Community, tells you that having sex with her would be “worth it”.


No, it’s not. Nor will it ever be.


This is why I went the next ~14 months without hooking up with a single woman – to any degree more significant than a make out.


I did not yet have the ability to consistently speak with woman that I was fully attracted to, in a manner that didn’t scare them off.


Yet, giving in is not in my blood. I went out, met women, and waited. To the criticism of many, I never once “gave in” and had sex with a woman I was not fully attracted to.


I could not have done it with a gun to my head.


But eventually, I did grab a hold of myself, and managed to not freak-the-fuck-out when a girl that I was attracted to, was also attracted to me.


The night that happened was the night before my 19th birthday. It was my first “same night lay”. She was 6 years older than I, and someone I was equally attracted to as the girl that took my virginity.


The SNL turned into a quasi girlfriend that I continued to have sex with, while simultaneously continuing to go out, meet new women I was fully attracted to, and have sex with them.


It was the first time in my life I was consistently experiencing this.


And it was worth every minute of those 14 months of struggle.




In the simplest terms possible, fuck the world, live for your own sake ( which is necessarily not at the expense of others), and achieve your ideals.


There is no guarantee that you will – but if I can, why can’t you?


Stand up and live your convictions. It is worth suffering for.


– Anthony Dream Johnson


ps– if you are interested in my early years/how I started out, visit The PDFs found there detail it from A to Z.


About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at and

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12 Responses to Dear Dream: The PUA Community? – and Its Cardinal Sins

  1. MikeG March 3, 2011 at 3:05 am #

    best teachers in pickup are, in no order: Mark “entropy” Manson ( Jon “Sinn” ( Lee, Captain Jack (, and Djfuji ( 3 of these 4 have spoken at the 21convention CJ being the exception, all great.

    Fuji is fundamentals based
    CJ is very advanced stuff, get him later on, he assumes some prereq. knowledge
    Entropy is great overall
    Sinn is well rounded as well, and probobly the most familiar with what others guys have bin doing/selling and is the most experianced on the list, and really in the industry altogether (6 years experaince I beleive)

    I dont agree with trusting your intution over experts, for the sake of it being your own. Your intuition with women, got you where you are now, if you dont like that ( which it seems you feel u could improve) then go with someones elses, they’re better with women than you, because they have found solutions to the mistakes you (we ) make, and they made the same mistakes as well. WINNING lol

  2. Anthony Dream Johnson March 3, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    Ah I forgot about Mark. I saw a video of him recently with Christian Hudson. He’s changed much. I’ll talk with him about coming back.

    I agree Sinn is a good teacher — perhaps one of the best. Not so sure he’s a good role model outside of this narrow range though.

    I would love to have CJ speak. Never been able to get in touch with him, even through El Topo who is a close friend.

    Regarding “intuition”, I do not advise “trusting” this over experts either. I advise holding reason as your absolute, and always being the final judge of right and wrong in your life.

    This is not a power to be delegated to anyone — government, dating guru, or otherwise.

    Or in short: you can’t live through others. You can try, and you will fail.

  3. Ben March 3, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    IMO, reading _The Art of Seduction_ by Robert Greene is a must.

  4. MikeG March 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    I agree on your last point, failure would have to be defined in a clear way in the context, but the point is still pretty cogent. Im still not keen on the idea that ones own “reasoning” should always be the decider, (ex) my buddy is a pro poker player, and coaches me in poker. When I get into tough spots, I trust his reasoning over mine, because he “reasons” better than I do in all things poker, I loose money not listening to his reasoning.

    Mega props for attempting to get CJ, from what Sinns sais CJ is incredibly elusive, and makes a shit ton of money outside pua coaching that the opperuntiy cost of doing bootcamps for a weekend are high.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson March 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm #


      Mike, by whose judgement did you make the decision to “trust his reasoning over mine”?

      Laugh with me, because you just irrefutably proved that absolutes do not exist.

  5. MikeG March 4, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    I used my judgement, but my judgement in the moment, is that my assesment of certain situations is not effective enough, my only judgement is that he’s better then me, every subsequent judgment would be his, no ?

    I dont think I said absolute’s do not exist? its possible that one day I surpass him in skillset, and he will be looking to me for coaching?

    Im not picking up what your putting down here???

  6. Oleg March 6, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    “Stand up and live your convictions. It is worth suffering for.”

    I stand fully behind this line, I lost my virginity this year on February 12th exactly 9 days after I turned 24.

    I have met a few guys who never had a girlfriend and instead went to hookers, I am the only one who avoided doing that and am proud of it.

    The girl is 28 and unfortunately has a lot of emotional baggage (she can’t find a guy who will marry her), we stopped dating exactly when February ended and I ended up finding out that being a virgin and beating yourself up for it is nothing compared to breaking up with a girl to whom you’ve become attached.

    She may not have been perfect but the time we spent was much better than what would have happened if I gave up and went to a hooker and spent one night with her, all the suffering was worth it.

    At the moment I’m left with an empty feeling inside, I am a bit disoriented and don’t know what to do about it because all these emotions are new to me I was told that it will pass but I don’t know how to deal with it, I know I’ll be fine since I already dealt with the virginity thing and this I will deal with too.


    • Anthony Dream Johnson March 6, 2011 at 11:14 am #

      You’re feeling disoriented inside because for the first time in your life you felt psychologically visible — she was a psychological mirror in which you could perceive your concept of self.

      She’s gone now — not unlike looking into a mirror, enjoying what you see, and then it suddenly shattering.

      • Oleg March 6, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

        Could you elaborate on that point?

        I do like psychology and I’ve yet to read some of Carl Jungs and Freuds stuff (found a few books o amazon) but what you just wrote is too abstract for me to understand. Please be more specific.


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