First off, here's verification (and my friend Rico's stomach).

Secondly, here are some things we can discuss:

  • Big relationship questions: a. Monogamy and consensual non-monogamy? b. Can I really be with someone forever? c. Is there such a thing as the one, and how do I know? d. How do you keep passion and love from fading? e. Why do people cheat?

  • Writing, and any questions about writing books and journalism, or my work at The New York Times or Rolling Stone.

  • Any of my books, from the first (Marilyn Manson: The Long Hard Road Out of Hell) to the most recent (The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships)

  • And of course, the one book that I wrote ten years ago and won't go away, in all the best and worst ways: The Game

  • Anything

UPDATE 3:50 PM: Hopping off now. Great questions. Will check back in later. Will also jump into a certain subreddit afterward to answer some of the questions I saw there about these subjects. Thanks to all who participated.

Comments: 311 • Responses: 73  • Date: 

I_LOVE_FAT_PPL44 karma

Hey Neil,

I'm a huge fan of your work going back to The Long Hard Road Out of Hell. I'm about halfway through The Truth and am loving it.

Forgive me if my question is already answered by the end of the book, but ... many of your decisions from The Truth and The Game seem to seriously disregard the emotions of others - almost to a point where one might be inclined to think there's a serious pathology going on where it comes to empathy for others (lack of guilt / remorse / etc.)

Do you think you might have a more serious underlying pathology, and has that ever been diagnosed or looked into?

iamneilstrauss27 karma

I'm assuming in The Truth what you're referring to is cheating in my relationship. And the entire book is predicated, and the journey begins, based on the brutal guilt and remorse I felt for doing this.

As for my diagnoses, you will get them all by the end of the book. How about you - wondering, considering your former username, if that's an issue for you?

rharan18 karma

What's the biggest mistake you see people make in their early 20s when they're just getting started (in their careers)?

iamneilstrauss32 karma

Impatience, with others, with the career, and with themselves.

Krazox17 karma

At the end of The Truth, you mention still trying to "stay offline."

Can you elaborate on how much of your day/week you spend online, what it usually consists of and what has helped you stay "unplugged?"

iamneilstrauss38 karma

Yes, thank you for asking that.

  1. Freedom: Internet blocking program. When I get to work, I type in how many minutes of "freedom" I want.

  2. Intego Family Protector: I'm sure there are free alternatives, but I have it set to only allow me online for a limited amount of hours each day. I give someone else the password so I can't get around it.

The goal: to be proactive in your life, not reactive.

And to create systems to protect you from your own procrastination.

HellhoundsOnMyTrail16 karma

Oh hell, since no one else is taking your bait. I will.

How do you keep passion and love from fading? I would love to have a solid LTR and family. But after those NRE chemicals are gone at month 18 my relationships tend to come to a close.

iamneilstrauss29 karma

Thanks for taking the bait. Is the username a Robert Johnson reference?

And recognize that this 18 month NRE "chemical" thing is just your belief and experience. It's not true for everyone. The common denominator is youl

And here's one answer: You keep from parentalizing the other. People turn their partner into a parent, and then it's no surprise that they don't really want to have sex with them.

Examples: I'm afraid my partner/parent will abandon me. I expect my partner/parent to rescue me. My partner/parent is smothering me with neediness.

Here's an article I wrote on it in more detail:

ciniminisman16 karma

Hey Neil, has Ingrid read The Truth?

iamneilstrauss35 karma

Yes. And it was the best thing that happened to our relationship.

Now she knows everything: all my worst thoughts, all the worst things I've done.

And from there, from that total disclosure and transparency, we had incredible discussions that have led to an even deeper relationship.

I recommend it for any relationships: if not writing an actual book - telling your partner, compassionately, the things you're most afraid to share.

Warning: if they're REALLY devastating, have a professional therapist present. There's a process for this called 'disclosure.'

Throwaway447764 karma

I love that intro, and the second warning too.

iamneilstrauss2 karma

Wait til you get to the last page, it comes back around.

I_Am_A_Taco_AMA_14 karma

Hey Neil,

I am a former [female] pick-up artist trainer. We've met a couple times, you may not remember me. I hung out with a lot of the LA-based guys but left the scene a couple years ago.

I read your interview in "the Guardian" a couple weeks ago (link) and it freaked me out how similar our thought process had gotten: how thinking a certain way (about people and seducing people) can fundamentally damage the brain's patterns of dealing with that kind of stimuli and can really fuck up your relationships.

My question is: what would you tell a woman who's seen the worst (and best) of men in the seduction community to help her pick a successful relationship?

Second question: an economist I'm working with wants to write an [academic] article on the seduction community and its effects on modern dating economics. I'm working with him on gathering the data (I've since moved on to work as a data scientist) and we would love to talk to you. Is this something you'd be interested in?

iamneilstrauss-1 karma

  1. I'd say it's not about the men you've seen, it's about you. The trust issues don't come from adult relationships, they come from childhood ones.

  2. Sure, feel free to reach out via my website contact form.

rharan13 karma

You've put yourself in a bunch of "secret societies" i.e. pick up artists etc and then written about them later. Do you still maintain good relationships with people in these different societies or do some resent you for putting it all out there?

iamneilstrauss12 karma

To the best of my knowledge, no one in the books has ever been upset about being in the book. Even people not necessarily depicted in the most glowing terms. I've maintained relationships with most of them, even if it is sometimes just connecting via email every few months.

To me, the things depicted in the books are not just stories: they are my life.

Frajer12 karma

What draws men to pickup artists? is it just as simple as being unable to get women otherwise?

iamneilstrauss40 karma

So many things. Sometimes someone is shattered after a divorce and wants to get comfortable socially again. Other times, someone is an exchange or visiting student who feels really out of place in a new country.

For me, and I think many others, whether they admit or not, it was insecurity.

rharan11 karma

How do you "test" if your fiction writing is good or not before you publish it? i.e. non-fiction authors can test whether their material actually solves a problem for their audience or not. What's the equivalent for fiction?

iamneilstrauss12 karma

There is only one test: And that is YOU. Do you feel good about it? Do you feel that it's done? Do you feel ready to let it go?

Two things you can do to help see if it connects with an audience:

  1. One thing that you can do, however, is read it out loud - in its entirety - to a (very patient) friend. Try to gauge where they lose interest, or it feels like they're bored or confused.

  2. Give it to a select group of friends and readers to read. Encourage honest feedback. a. If their criticism is aligned with your doubts, then it may be something to note. b. If several people have the same criticism, they may have a point worth considering.

Good luck with the writing!

rharan11 karma

Lots of people feel like they "have to accomplish X" before they can truly feel good about themselves. How do you detach from that mindset? Like how can someone feel comfortable about their career, social skills, health, etc if they haven't done anything to feel confident in that area?

iamneilstrauss38 karma

That's a great question. I've interviewed a lot of ridiculously famous people for Rolling Stone, and they STILL feel like they "have to accomplish X before they can truly feel good about themselves."

So the answer is: If you are looking to something outside yourself to feel good about yourself, then you are giving away your entire self-esteem to an outcome you can't control.

Confidence comes from within. And from there, you can learn Competence in career, social skills, health, and the rest of what you mention.

PlutoIs_Not_APlanet11 karma

Hi Neil,

When I read The Game, I was almost 18 and hadn't been in a serious relationship.

If someone in that position just discovered your work today, would you recommend they read The Truth before reading The Game? or perhaps instead of it?

iamneilstrauss17 karma

That's a hard question. The Game I felt was true to who I was ten years ago. The Truth is true to who I am today, so of course it's the one I'm most passionate about and recommend first. That said, at 18 and with little experience, perhaps the ideal scenario is that The Game leads to The Truth, as it did for me.

Alessandro10009 karma

Don't you like traditional physicotherapy? Do you believe NLP works?

iamneilstrauss9 karma

Glad you asked that. I anticipated someone might. So this is what I wrote in the acknowledgments of the book:

"Though there are countless competing theories, classification systems, and schools of thought dedicated to understanding and treating the human mind—many claiming that they are newer, better, or more scientific than others—all that ultimately matters is what works for you. So be open-minded and try everything for yourself firsthand rather than accepting received opinions, including mine."

toeofcamell9 karma

Do you still wear those snowboarding goggles when you go out to clubs? Those things were interesting

iamneilstrauss13 karma

Haa, that was Mystery. And they certainly were.

underdabridge9 karma

I believe that your guilt and desire to distance yourself from The Game is actually motivated by a desire to stay in polite society now that pick up artists have become deeply stigmatized. Convince me otherwise?

iamneilstrauss13 karma

Rather than convincing, I will just share my perspective:

The distance between me and The Game is ten years. It's a document of who I was and what I believed then.

I think if you read the new book, which is up to you, you will see what really motivated any changes: a quest for my own happiness.

And hopefully ten years from now, I'll be ten years wiser than whatever I publish today.

Delta588 karma

Hey Neil, big fan of your writing. My question is, what would you tell your 24 year old self if you could go back in time?

iamneilstrauss28 karma

Good question: I wouldn't tell him anything. I'd just listen to and support him.

If he doesn't learn the lessons on his own, from his mistakes, he would never learn them.

catrapeisfunny8 karma

Do you still fantasize about what you would say to women on the street? Is there still a hunger for attention women would give you?

iamneilstrauss9 karma

Not at all. I definitely did. And being on the other side of that is a much happier, more solid, less needy place to be.

bostomelb8 karma

Hey Neil, glad to see you here. Long time fan! One thing I want to quickly mention is something you shared once about following through when telling people you'll do something. Since hearing that Ive really taken it on board and have seen a lot of positivity come from making sure I follow through on promises and even small things I tell people I'll do.

My question comes from the first book that introduced me to your writing, Emergency. I've recommended it to a lot of friends who talk about how fucked we'd be if shit ever hit the fan.

I was wondering if you're still doing any training or are keeping up with what you learned during those years?

Also.. Wanted to say thanks again for recommending Cave Tubing in NZ to me. Was every bit as awesome as you said and can't wait to go back some day.

iamneilstrauss6 karma

Great. I keep a notebook in Evernote called MY WORD. And whenever I give my word, I write it down to make sure I'll keep it. Glad it's helped you and your relationships too.

And re: Emergency. Absolutely. In fact, Kevin Reeve of OnPoint Tactical is coming out here in December to train my friends in urban survival.

Glad you enjoyed the glowworms!

bostomelb3 karma

I forgot to ask if anyone ever found that cache you hid!?

Rico814 karma

It's still out there.

bostomelb3 karma

Gadamn! Any possibility Neil wants to give one more clue? I'm east coast, but will be out there looking next spring when I'm in the area.

iamneilstrauss5 karma

Someone suggested that I start a forum on my website where people can discuss the cache and the search. I'm shocked no one's found it yet.

So going to get that going! Seriously, it needs to get dug up.

MrSyfert7 karma

Hi, Neil.

You seem to be able to recount events quite well which has me wondering if you constantly journal throughout your day or do you type it up later from memory?

Mostly I'm curious about the stages between an event happening and it being typed up.

iamneilstrauss4 karma

Yes, good question.

At the very least, I journal at the end of the day. Some days are so long that I'm literally typing as I'm half-falling asleep. But I have to ge t it down.

Other times I take notes on my phone as things are happening.

I also use the "peg system" mnemonic to memorize things.

Finally, when a book is in full swing, sometimes I'll ask for permission to record the conversations.

UncleBernhard7 karma

Which cartoon characters were you attracted to?

iamneilstrauss16 karma

I cannot answer on the grounds that I may humiliate myself further.

UncleBernhard7 karma

How can I overcome my jealousy without being unfaithful to my girlfriend? The only way that has been working so far is seeing other women. Otherwise my whole happiness depends on her. No?

iamneilstrauss27 karma

No, UncleBernhard, no.

Your whole happiness depends on you (not her). Once you can get that, you won't feel so jealous and vulnerable with her. And by all means, don't do what you're afraid she'll do to you (see other people--especially if you're doing it dishonestly).

Your jealousy seems to stem from a fear of abandonment. And as someone wise once told me: The only people who an be abandoned are children and dependent elders. Otherwise the only person who can abandon you is you.

i_eversaw6 karma

Are all of your old PUA buddies settled down 10 years later as well? Also, whats your favorite acronym?

Rico816 karma

His favorite acronym is NNTR which he uses in emails.

iamneilstrauss4 karma

And to answer your first question: I'd challenge the term of "settling down." If anything, life is more exciting than it's ever been.

Though, in full disclosure, one of the original subtitles of the book was going to be Settling Down Without Settling

drqxx6 karma

What advice would you give to a new author?

iamneilstrauss17 karma

Write the book you HAVE to write. The one that if you had a year left to live, you'd make sure to get it done.

And with the first draft, just write and don't stop to edit. Get it all out.

When you're done, somewhere in that mess of writing, will be your book.

Then start carving a great book out of it. The art is in the editing.

therealjohnfreeman6 karma

Would you still recommend The Game to men unhappy with the attention (or lack thereof) they get from women? Without knowing anyone's specific circumstances, what would you recommend as top general resources?

iamneilstrauss4 karma

In your case, and I'm not just saying this, I'd recommend The Truth. It sounds like your problems are related to self-esteem and your beliefs about yourself. The Game is about behavior; The Truth is about beliefs. And I can promise you that no amount of attention from women will make you happy.

So if I were you, I'd get happy without needing attention from women. And from there, I can guarantee you will start getting that attention.

yardini6 karma

How does one know if s/he is a sex addict?

iamneilstrauss10 karma

This is the way I think about it, though there's debate over whether sex addiction is a real disorder (not in the DSM) and over the diagnostic criteria (Patrick Carnes is the authority there).

The overall idea is if it's chronic, progressive, and has life-damaging consequences.

It was also explained to me as if you are using sex as a way to avoid or medicate uncomfortable emotions: shame, pain, anxiety. As well as if your pursuit of sex is harming you, your life, or others and their lives.

Coz1313 karma

How about with many males and the empowerment that comes through sex? Can that be considered a problem?

iamneilstrauss5 karma

Absolutely! Look up the paper on "eroticized rage" by Patrick Carnes. That will explain why associating sex with empowerment is a problem, as well as where it comes from.

FatFuckFace455 karma

Hey Neil this is such a coincidence that you're doing this and it's honestly kinda fucking with my head because I literally just finished The Truth last night and damn it was a great book. Also read The Game like any woman deprived dude and thought it was really interesting, made me totally realize that simply buying a chick flowers and being too nice to her was not the way to go for everybody. So yeah man keep up the good work! Anyways what's kinda creepy about you doing the AMA is I had a few questions and here you are right after I finished the book.

  1. You said in The Truth that you tried all of these different therapies and they seemed to work for you at the time but you would fall back into your old patterns of feelings so my question is do you think therapy really works or is it kinda a bunch of bogus that makes you feel good in the moment but doesn't really release your trauma. Do you really feel you are over your trauma?

  2. I got the feeling that by the end of The Game you were this guy who was really confident and had high self-esteem but in The Truth it seemed like you were in a dark headspace again even when you became good with girls and seemed to have it all so I was wondering did you really have high self-esteem by the end of the Game? Did your personality really change that much by gaming?

iamneilstrauss14 karma

Thanks, FFF45. That's perfect timing.

In answer to the second question, I thought so too. But in a relationship, new issues popped up that opened up a whole new world of both dysfunction and improvement to me.

For the first question, which is really great, here's something I wrote about trauma that I couldn't squeeze into the book. But should answer it in detail:

"Think of the childhood pain and shame we store—and the dysfunctional behaviors and thoughts created by them—are like cancerous tumors attached to the heart by a short elastic cord. And when we go through deep therapeutic processes, we’re able for just a moment to pull that ugly tumor out of our chest and get a glimpse of who we really are without it, to see the difference between our authentic self and the reactive self who makes a mess of our life.

However, when the process ends, the elastic snaps back and the trauma fastens once again to our heart, until after a few hours or days or weeks back in daily reality, we can no longer tell the difference between our truth and our wounds.

But if we stretch the elastic enough times, eventually it will wear out. And when we release it, the load it’s carrying will no longer snap back into us, but instead hang outside limply, a passenger in our life but no longer in the cockpit."

brownmanrick5 karma

I'm only about 1/3 into the book. Have you looked more into evolutionary psychology as a subject that helps to explain why we are the way we are? I'm a listener of The Mating Grounds with Dr. Geoffrey miller & Tucker Max and their stuff is really so helpful and insightful.

iamneilstrauss1 karma

I think by the end, you'll get to my thoughts on evolutionary psychology. And enjoyed their book; will check out their podcast.

leggomyeggo6445 karma

Hey Neil! I am a huge fan of Everyone Loves You When You're Dead. Who has been your favorite rock star/band to interview and why? All time best interview?

iamneilstrauss11 karma

Thanks, leggomyeggo644. It was definitely Chuck Berry.

I was warned that if he didn't like me, the interview would just last a minute and he'd leave.

Instead, it was the longest interview he'd done in years. It went for hours, was even invited to his home--and we discussed not just the origin of rock and roll, but he started opening up about his sex life and personal life.

A true legend, and incredibly humble!

jamell925 karma

So I pretty much lost hope at trying to find love. Is that even a real thing or just a feeling that goes away and you just find someone else or die alone?

iamneilstrauss14 karma

Let me ask you a question before I answer that:

Do you believe deep down that you are loveable?

mprin0025 karma

Hey Neil, big fan. Have you ever read Mark Manson's Models: Attracting Women With Honesty? Alot of the stuff you've written in The Truth really ring true in Models and vice versa!

iamneilstrauss1 karma

I haven't, but I enjoy his blog.

Milig165 karma

Do alot of people try to contact you for relationship/pick up advice? And do you help them? Or do you try to keep that part of your life behind you?

iamneilstrauss10 karma

Actually, most people tend to ask the same ten or so questions. So I wrote templates up for each question, and we send them to anyone who emails with those questions. If it's another question that doesn't fit into one of those categories, I try to answer it.

BrenoZ4 karma

In The Game you said that Pick Up help you become a better interviewer With The Truth happened the same thing?

iamneilstrauss2 karma

Yes, even better. An editor once told me that writing profiles is about finding out "what makes people tick." And certainly The Truth showed to me the deep inner workings of that clock.

fourhoarsemen4 karma

Hi Neil, I really enjoyed The Game. I unfortunately haven't made time to read your other books, but hopefully I'll get to them in this lifetime.

Anyways, my question is the following:

How do you balance the message along side the personalities/voices/perspectives (whatever you want to call it) that might want to appear in your writing?

For example, say that I'm trying to convey a somewhat highly specific topic and express it more generally for educational purposes, while keeping the specificity intact. I'd like to incorporate historical context and a bit of criticism (personality) into the writing, and at the same time keeping it digestible in one sitting. Arguably, I should just convey the "message", without any fluff, but that sort of writing is what makes the sciences dry or too lengthy.

If it matters, the domain of the writing falls under computer science. Thanks!

iamneilstrauss2 karma

Thank you. And ha, you're going to have to have a long lifetime.

And I'm going to answer your question with a misquote from the book Woman in White by Wilkie Collins: The villain Count Fosco (I think that's his name), says that genius is organization.

So with a book like yours, it's all about organizing your thoughts into something readers can enjoy or digest. And without trying too hard to be funny or pound out the message. It will come through between the lines.

As I'm writing, I re-read your question. So one more thought:

Write the book exactly how you want to write it, with the personality you want to have in it. Then cut out all the fluff and you'll have your book.

A lot of writing questions here seem to be based on a fallacy that once it's written, it's permanent. It's only permanent once it's published. (And not even that if it's an e-book.)

oGz6494 karma

Hey Neil!Big fan of yours here...After reading your Bööks its change all of my life and my question is what was the biggest change on your personlity after joining community? Negativ and positiv?

iamneilstrauss3 karma

The biggest change was the belief that I could change. I didn't realize that was possible before.

memo4george4 karma

  1. Now that this book is out, are you already well along with the next?
  2. Did you have your lunch automatically delivered today?

iamneilstrauss4 karma

  1. Yes. It's two weeks of work away from being done. A really intense music-related biography.

  2. Yes. You know my time management system well.

(For those who don't, part of it is about automating daily, routine decisions -- derived from idea in the book Will Power that we have only a certain capacity for decision-making in a day, so this prevents decision fatigue--and saves time.)

pm_me_your_poop_plz4 karma

How did you know you were a sex addict? What are the signs? Words of wisdom?

iamneilstrauss6 karma

I didn't know. I just knew that because of my pursuit of sex, I hurt someone who loved me and who I loved. So clearly sex was some sort of problem in my life. So I checked into rehab to find out why I'd do something like that.

I certainly found out.

If something is resonating here with this idea, Mr. PM Me Your Poop Plz, explore it. The question is: Who is in the driver's seat of your life? Are you running your life, or is there a compulsion running you? Do you have shame around it? Are you preoccupied by it? Are relationships being ruined by it? How about your relationship with yourself?

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the label, the community, and the diagnostic criteria for sex addiction, but look for the Sexual Addiction Screening Test online. See what comes up for you.

SingAlong_Original4 karma

Hey Neil, huge fan of yours. Youre talking allot about doing what makes you happy as long as nobody is harmed and finding out what you want. As a much younger guy (17), i read your book The Game when I was 15.

I have 2 questions.

Say i would like to open myself more to the world, experiences, meeting great people to learn from, and opportunity (not talking about girls here), what few ideas would you give me to think about?

Also you said "The Game I felt was true to who I was ten years ago. The Truth is true to who I am today" RSDTyler i feel has matured as a man the same as you and talks about how the way he feels about things is always changing, he'll say "even though he could say he won't marry now, he can't guarantee you he'll be saying the same thing in 10 years.

Would you say you agree, or did i misinterpret what you said

iamneilstrauss2 karma

You have a great attitude.

  1. Step outside your comfort zone. Do that with people, scenes, food, music, travel, everything. The way to accelerate this is by having more interaction with people who are different than you. The key trait to have: curiosity.

  2. I think that sounds right. Never say never.

yuyo8744 karma

Hey Neil, just wanted to thank you for your writing. Reading The Game changed the way i viewed myself, not for the confidence to chat with girls, but to overall become THE BEST ME. Ever since i have always been trying to achieve new levels of improvement.

As for a question, what are your top three movies?

iamneilstrauss2 karma

Congratulations on your continuing transformation. So great to hear.

And my favorite movies are: 1. Night of the Hunter 2. The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly 3. The Manchurian Candidate (John Frankenheimer original)

nkleszcz4 karma


I have heard a lot of people mention The Game as a really good book, not just about the dating scene, but using concepts therein on how to make connections with potential customers. As a happily married man who wishes to be blissfully ignorant about the tactics you use in that aforementioned book, have you considered writing a book about just that--connecting with potential customers?

iamneilstrauss9 karma

It's interesting. The Game has been used as everything from a sales training manual to a spy training manual (really). So I'd say it's all in there already. Think of it as a metaphor.

And I'd question that there's anything blissful about ignorance :)

ErnestWorthing4 karma

Who's your dream interviewee and what would you ask them?

iamneilstrauss4 karma

Off the top of my head, James Joyce. And I'd ask a thousand questions about Ulysses.

ErnestWorthing3 karma

Anyone living?

iamneilstrauss5 karma

I can't say this one yet. Trying to convince Rolling Stone to do a cover story on this person.

IvyLeagueSound4 karma


iamneilstrauss4 karma

Absolutely. I think in a bigger level, this is a stage of life we all go through. We date and explore our options, and then we commit.

So if you're feeling stuck along the way, or worried about "relapsing," it's worth exploring why. I'd guess it has to do with a fear. Before the book, I had a ton of fears and "what if" questions. I found that most of them were not only groundless, but were actually keeping me from happiness.

Mr_Siegal4 karma

Hey Neil! It's Mike from Lincoln, one of the few and the proud who made it to the end of Ulysses four years ago! I really wanted to thank you for that, it unlocked so much more in everything I read. Also, you offhandedly introduced me to Har Mar Superstar, mentioning he was playing your birthday party. I've seen him twice now, and he's just incredible.

Anyway, I know you probably can't say too much about it, but can you throw a hint out about what the topic is for the next book? Or why you had to go to North Korea for it?

Keep up the good work man, The Truth is life altering, I just finished it, and it's amazing to watch you convey non fiction the way you do. You really do teach through story, and it's an ideal way for people to learn.

iamneilstrauss2 karma

Hey Mike, the Ulysses Book Club was great. Glad it unlocked literature for you like it did for me. And Har Mar is so enjoyable, glad you're into him.

And glad The Truth altered your life. Great to hear, especially your words about narrative non-fiction vs non-narrative non-fiction. (That's a lot of non's.)

North Korea was more a trip for The Society and a unique life experience.

The next books are (at least as of right now): 1. Secret memoir of music titan. 2. A book about communication and how we often speak/hear all wrong, and all the problems that leads to.

SinSmithy3 karma

Hi Neil, big fan of your work! Is there any news of the movie version of The Dirt? Also did Marilyn Manson really give you a scar?

iamneilstrauss3 karma

Thank you:

  1. There's a great script that really captures the book. They did an incredible table read. Feels like it's close, but have no hard details.

  2. Yes.

jazzab3 karma

Hey Neil. I'm only %24 of the way through The Truth (and loving it by the way) so feel free to defer your answer. My question relates to a desire to change your partner or struggling to accept your partner as they are. Anyone who reads your book is obviously going to want their partner to read it too, but if my partner didn't want to read it I would find that hard to accept. How do I know when I'm being too demanding of my partner and how do I learn to just accept them as they are?

iamneilstrauss7 karma

Curious if you actually did the math to come up with 24 percent.

I'm glad you asked this: Love is acceptance.

So I would reframe your question as: "If my partner didn't want to read it, I would feel sad but I would accept their decision and not resent them for it."

As for your last, great question: If you want to have a healthy relationship, learning to accept your partner as they are is not a question or a choice, but a necessity.

Work only on yourself: work on acceptance. Embody all the qualities you want your partner to have. And I'd bet that once the pressure to "change" and the feeling that they're "not enough" for you as they are lifts, you might find the great, incredible, loving person who you've buried under the weight of your expectations.

UncleBernhard3 karma

In such a situation as with your mother, is it better to break off contact with one’s parents completely? My mother shows similar behavior to your mother and it has helped me not to call her anymore. But sometimes I think it would be better not to contact them at all. But on the other hand there is still that strong family tie...

iamneilstrauss5 karma

First of all, so glad I can help.

The goal is not to be re-triggered by behavior that's picking at old wounds.


  1. Draw a boundary and verbalize it. For example: "When we talk about X, it gets in the way of my Y. So in the future, I'd like to request that we don't talk about X."

  2. Whatever she responds with, make it clear that it's not something you can listen to.

  3. When she brings it up, change the subject or end the call.

  4. If she persists, maybe best not to communicate for a while.

As a mentor of mine once said: When you feel guilt around your parents (assuming they are not sick/in-the-hospital/etc), it's a good thing because it means you are doing the work of separation.

So good work.

Krazox3 karma

Just finished reading The Truth and I absolutely loved it Neil. Seriously such a powerful book in my opinion. It put words to some things that are quite hard to identify in real life for me. I would love to kind of break down my own walls and drop my own baggage/connect with my emotions or whatever label you want to put on it. Reason being is because I feel really lost and going through a lot of struggles in my own life. Your words in this recent book is exactly what I know I want in my life. The freedom, clarity, etc.

With that in mind, my question or questions are:

Where the hell can I and others find someone like Lorraine?

What advice do you have to people who are really serious about doing the work that you went through and conquering their own issues? Especially on a limited budget.

Thanks for your time!

  • Nate

iamneilstrauss1 karma

Incredible comment, Krazox. Those are great goals for yourself.

I'd recommend doing a weekend Intensive. There are three places i recommend. Just email me via the contact form on my website, and I will get them to you today.

And i hear you on the budget: I'm talking with someone who helped me and is passionate about this struggle about doing scholarships. 99 percent sure he's going to do it, so just email. Will also add some free resources for "experiential" work.

gfunke3 karma

Any news on the movie about The Game?

iamneilstrauss7 karma

There should be shortly. This movie has been in development since even before the book came out. DB Weiss, who co-wrote/co-created the TV show Game of Thrones, did the first draft. So maybe we just need to add dragons.

galcomanwolf3 karma

What Advice Do You Have For A Procrastinating 21 Year Old, To Have The Courage To Follow His Dreams, And Not Let Doubt Get In The Way?

iamneilstrauss4 karma

Great question: at least you are aware of what's holding you back.

I'd say to figure out what your real fear is. And then battle it heroically. In other words: Is your enemy fear of failure? Fear of success? Fear of not being enough?

And where does the fear come from?

If you can recognize the fear, identify the origin (which I promise is from explicit or implicit messages of your upbringing and nothing to do with you), then you can see it as the "lie" that it is and correct it with the truth.

There are other short term things you can do behaviorally, but this is the real journey. And you have time to take it.

In the meantime, let go of all desired outcomes -- and just engage in what you enjoy.

trekie882 karma

I have found 2 girls that I thought were the one. One I Had to break up with because she was an emotional trainwreck and the other I may have unintentionally scared away. How do you really know if a girl is the one? I don't seem to be doing a good job at it...

gbrushthreepwood3 karma

Obviously I am not Neil, but you don't know really know who is the one. It's almost like those dopey team building events where you do the trust fall. You have to take the leap of faith that the person supposed to catch you (your partner in this case) will in fact do so. The same applies to you catching your partner.

It's more of a judgment call than any definitive criteria ticked off.

Source: just married 5 months ago, think I found the one.

iamneilstrauss2 karma

Congratulations, Guybrush (used to love those games). Happy for you both.

And Trekie88, here's another way to think about it. Don't think of "the one" as "the one forever." Just think of it is, "Is she the one for me right now in this moment." Projecting into the future is a good way to sabotage the present.

Sorry those two relationships didn't work out. Don't be hard on yourself: you did the best you could and now you can learn from it.There are many more relationships ahead of you.

MuuMan2 karma


I have insecurities about how I look and how attractive I am to women. I noticed in the game and other places you felt similarly. How did you overcome them?


iamneilstrauss4 karma

By realizing that looks don't matter. How you FEEL about your looks is what matters.

See the stomach behind me in my Reddit verification image? The owner of that stomach is not limited in his attractiveness to others in any way by how he looks. Why? Because he accepts himself, and thus believes others will.

Read The 6 Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden. Good place to start.

shakeyjake2 karma

Creepy pickup artists that seemed to get most of the attention but I felt things learned in in the community seemed to have the greatest impact on the average nice guy who couldn't talk to women. Do you feel there is still a need to teach these basic romantic communication skills?

iamneilstrauss2 karma

I think we could all stand to understand others, understand ourselves, understand communication, understand social and romantic relationships, and connect better.

UncleBernhard2 karma

Why should we aim for a long-term relationship? Nothing can be as good as falling in love three times a week. That magic feeling of a kiss close. Why not just enjoy the moment? Why is a short-term relationship worse than growing old together?

iamneilstrauss4 karma

There is no should. There is no worse.

The only answer is to do what is right for you (and doesn't harm others).

The only catch is you have to truly know yourself first.

DonC0yote2 karma

Hey Neil, just finished Emergency, How do you feel about the next presidential election. Should I be buying land in St. Kitts?

iamneilstrauss0 karma

It never hurts to have a Plan B.

Rampant_Durandal2 karma

In your book "Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life", you said something about taking up Krav Maga. Have you done so, or did you start doing another martial art?

iamneilstrauss0 karma

Yes, and I recommend it, was great for me. Though there are plenty of other great schools of self-defense/martial arts that others might recommend here.

ioncell2 karma

Neil, what about sexorexia?

iamneilstrauss4 karma

Yes. Also known as sexual anorexia. In a sense, it's the flip side of the same "intimacy disorder" coin as sexual addiction.

RobbingWilliams2 karma

So Neil, i've read the Game and i found it fascinating, i tried some of the whole PUA concepts on a girl and, as that was the wrong approach, the relationship we had wasn't really real, i think that on your own you realized that and improved your game to a emotionally healthy life-style, so...
How important is honesty to build a healthy monogamous relationship?
How can I be charming and also a nice guy? My own hint would be through genuine compliments, confidence and genuinely desiring to be good for other people, but i would love to read your answer.
Also a third question if i may, but it's up to your will if you want to answer it or not, was mystery intelligent? He was well-spoken but is he driven and intelligent? Mystery as depicted in the book is really a mysterious person, you made him an interesting character. So was Style by the way...
Thank you very much, have a great life

iamneilstrauss9 karma

Quick answers to your questions, RobbingWilliams:

  1. It's essential.

  2. I agree with you. The "women don't like nice guys" idea is a myth. When most guys are acting "nice," what they're really doing is being inauthentic and people-pleasing in order to be liked. So that's not being nice; it's being selfish.

  3. Definitely driven and intelligent.

Thank you. And same to your life!

cinnamontoastcrunch22 karma

Hey Neil -- Let's talk writing process. What does yours look like? How do you balance so many projects at once? Anything you are willing to share would be interesting. Thanks!

iamneilstrauss2 karma

It's all about compartmentalizing time and removing distractions.

  1. There must be times set aside that are only for writing, where you are unreachable.

  2. If you are distracting yourself, put preventative measures in place. Example: Use internet blocking software on your computer. And give your phone to someone else for a few hours or even put it in a timed safe (like the ksafe).

icecreamwizard2 karma

Neil I am a big believer in pick up artistry and game, especially of Mystery Method. I have two questions: (1) people keep saying in /r/seduction that Mystery and Style are outdated but I disagree because its like saying that social dynamics - things that are based in evolutionary biology are outdated. I feel like they never understood what you guys were talking about (it was never about canned routines/scripts, but the underlying principles based in evolutionary biology). What is your response?

(2) I have a friend who most likely was a student of Mystery, though he will never admit it (his other friend is Facebook friends with Mystery, and denies its because he trained with him). It took me a few months to see, but I realized he wasn't a friend at all. All he did, all the time, was to take any situation and re-frame it so he is the dominant male in that situation. It worked for him getting girls. But it became super annoying. I couldn't even have a conversation with the guy because everything revolved around re-interpreting reality to make him the Big Dog. This was his only game, really. I didn't see him practice other aspects of game. Eventually, I had to cut him off. Is this in inevitable consequence of following game? Or was he just way off balance?

iamneilstrauss2 karma

  1. Do what works best for you personally.

  2. I think sometimes the community can take what's already wrong with someone and amplify it. Sounds like this happened to your friend. Obviously in the book, a version of this happened to me too. So hopefully he's just on the dark part of the path and soon gets out of it, especially as others in his life also start cutting him off.

Sounds overall though that you may be a little lost. Take a step back and figure out what you really need. Not what you want, but what you need.

DM_Kevin2 karma

Hey /u/iamneilstrauss, what position takes working out / fitness in your life?

Huge fan, btw. As many others, "The Game" is definitely on my list of life changing books. Also admire the way you think and speak. Keep it up, man!

iamneilstrauss2 karma

I try to surf daily. In fact, this message may be my motivation to go do so right now.

And thanks, DM_Kevin, will do!

catgirllove0 karma

Hey Neil, during your adventures how many times would you have been blown out during a night of game at your prime? I feel as if you never get rejected by high quality women which I the perception I got from the book

iamneilstrauss8 karma

A lot of things that people fear will happen when talking to others almost never happen.

So a rejection in terms of a fight or a slap or a drink thrown in the face, never happened (that I can recall right now).

A rejection in terms of someone politely making an excuse (IHAB - I Have to go to the Bathroom or I Have a Boyfriend), that definitely happened.

But it's not a rejection, it's feedback, right.