Real Social Dynamics: The PUA Gurus That Took Over

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "The Game" by Neil Strauss. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.

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What is Real Social Dynamics? What was Neil Strauss’s role in the company?

Real Social Dynamics was a company founded by new gurus Tyler Durden and Papa. Real Social Dynamics caused many tensions within the PUA community, especially with Mystery and other PUAs at Project Hollywood.

Tyler Durden and Papa Create Real Social Dynamics

Tyler Durden and Papa didn’t stop at inventing the AMOG strategy—they built a company around it. Real Social Dynamics, Tyler and Papa claimed, was their new business, and it offered a website and in-field workshops. 

For Mystery, this was adding insult to injury: Not only did Tyler and Papa use his workshops as a platform to develop and promote AMOGing, but the name of their competing business was one word off from the name of Mystery’s seminars, Social Dynamics. 

In addition, the format of Real Social Dynamics workshops mirrored Mystery’s setup: 

  • They were three nights
  • They started and ended at the same times
  • They cost the same

The primary difference between the two workshops—besides the techniques—was that Mystery only allowed six students per workshop, while Tyler and Papa had dozens. The pair was making money hand over fist. 

Tyler and Papa’s company set off a spark of entrepreneurship in the community. Other sargers and PUAs realized that they could just as easily start their own seduction business, because: 

  1. If these two young rookies could run workshops, anyone could.
  2. There was an insatiable demand for pickup strategies.

Throughout the community, men were offering workshops, creating websites, marketing products, selling DVDs, and writing e-books about seduction. Many of the entrepreneurs were far from experts: Several of the men were fairly new to the community, and one had lost his virginity just a month before offering workshops. 

Style Launches Project Hollywood

After Papa, Mystery, and Style signed the lease on the Project Hollywood mansion, they posted on Mystery’s Lounge that they were looking for roommates to fill the remaining two rooms. The response was overwhelming.

They ended up bringing in three eager pickup artists (PUAs): 

  1. Herbal, a 22-year-old from Austin who had made a small fortune in a gambling scheme. 
  2. Playboy, a party promoter who had quit his job at a New York dance company in order to come to Project Hollywood. Playboy worked for Real Social Dynamics and Tyler to pay his rent.
  3. Xaneus, a college student from Colorado who was willing to do whatever it took to live at Project Hollywood—so he slept in a tent in the backyard, worked as an intern for Real Social Dynamics, and paid for utilities and housecleaning.

The roommates laid out the ground rules for the house: 

  • Herbal was responsible for finances.
  • Papa was in charge of social events. 
  • Guests couldn’t stay in the house for more than a month without approval from all the roommates. 
  • Ten percent of profits from any seminars held in the living room had to go to the house fund.
  • No one was allowed to sarge a woman that another PUA invited to the house.

Project Hollywood hit the ground running. Playboy threw the first Project Hollywood party, and the turnout was 500 people. 

Similar seduction venues started popping up around the world—in Austin, San Francisco, Sydney, and Perth.

Tyler Durden Joins Project Hollywood

One day, Tyler Durden moved into Project Hollywood. Papa had given him an (unapproved) invitation to live in his bathroom closet. 

Tyler and Papa were still running Real Social Dynamics together. Plus, Tyler and Style would be winging Mystery’s workshop together that weekend in Las Vegas. Mystery didn’t explain his decision to invite Tyler to wing his workshop, but right after Tyler and Papa had launched Real Social Dynamics, Mystery had vowed to keep his friends close and his enemies closer.

Although Style had gotten a bad impression of Tyler during their last meeting, Tyler’s skill and reputation had vastly increased since then. Tyler had been leading workshops regularly and gaining respect in the online seduction community. Everyone else seemed to like Tyler, so Style decided to give him another chance. 

When Tyler arrived, he praised Style for being a big influence on him. Tyler then revealed that he’d sometimes told women that he was Neil Strauss, a Rolling Stones writer, which alarmed Style. 

That weekend, Style found out just how influential he’d been to Tyler. 

Style’s Housemate Leaves Project Hollywood

One day, while grabbing lunch at a nearby restaurant, Style ran into Extramask, who’d been a student with Style in Mystery’s workshop. Although Extramask lived at Project Hollywood, he was part of the Real Social Dynamics team, all of whom spent most of the time secluded in Papa’s room. 

Extramask revealed that Style’s post about social robots had struck a chord, and he’d decided to stop sarging and pursue spirituality. He was planning to go to an ashram in India, where he would stay indefinitely.

Style was astounded: When they’d met, Extramask had been extremely naive. But Extramask’s pivot from seduction to spirituality reminded Style of his old friend’s Dustin’s conversion from being a womanizer to a celibate living in a yeshiva. Both Extramask and Dustin had been trying to fill a void with women and sex, and, when they realized they couldn’t, they tried to do it with God. 

Style reflected on the optimism he’d had when they started Project Hollywood, that it would be a headquarters for self-improvement and life enrichment beyond sex and romance. That dream was now shattered by the harsh reality that the house dynamics were breeding instability and dysfunction. 

Real Social Dynamics Takes Over Project Hollywood

Project Hollywood was falling apart. Physically, the house needed a deep cleaning and some serious repairs—but the social fabric was in even worse shape. 

Mystery and Herbal made up just in time for Mystery’s move-out. Then Herbal moved back to Austin with Katya. Style was alone in the house with all minions of Real Social Dynamics, Tyler and Papa.

Papa and the rest of the Real Social Dynamics crew—including former students, junior PUAs, and the steady stream of newcomers that Papa kept moving in—completely ignored Style. 

One day, Style asked Tyler Durden about everyone’s strange behavior. Tyler said that everyone in the house hated Style, and that they blamed him for much of the drama in the house. Tyler pointed to examples of people Style had been friends with who’d suddenly turned cold toward Style. 

Style was blindsided. Although he’d become disillusioned with the community, he thought he’d remained friendly to everyone in the house. 

Style Discovers the Real Social Dynamics Scheme

One of the last of the original Project Hollywood residents to move out was a PUA named Playboy, who’d moved in with Herbal and Xaneus. 

Before Playboy left, he pulled Style aside to tell him that Papa and Tyler Durden had schemed to push Mystery out of the house, and now they were trying to do the same to Style. Ultimately, they wanted to turn Project Hollywood into a headquarters and dormitory for their workshop business, Real Social Dynamics. 

Papa and Tyler had taken the social principles from seduction and twisted them to use in all areas of life. For example, they had routines to get their workshop students to give the business better reviews, and they had routines to make everyone in the house do what they wanted. 

Papa and Tyler had instructed everyone who moved into the house to freeze Style out. This explained why all the housemates had been ignoring Style, and why Tyler had told Style that everyone hated him—it was all a strategy. 

Style already knew it was time for him to get out of the toxic environment in Project Hollywood, and this was the icing on the cake. 

Real Social Dynamics was a successful company, but caused others to have issues. RSD was one of the reasons Style aka Neil Strauss ultimately left the PUA community.

Real Social Dynamics: The PUA Gurus That Took Over

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  • The secrets of the Pickup Artist community in seducing women
  • How key Pickup Artist leaders fought with each other and split the group apart
  • What author Neil Strauss took away about women from his years of training

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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