thetruthI picked this up because the review I read made it sound really interesting. But the review was by a 30-something bloke and that should have been a warning sign.

Neil Strauss is a writer, published in Rolling Stone and The New York Times, but best known for a book about learning how to pick up women, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. It sold millions.

This is the follow-up, which is about the now-accomplished pickup artist facing the trauma of commitment. Should he keep his relationship and give up all those other gorgeous and available women out there, or find a way to do both?

The book starts with being caught cheating and finding his way to rehab for sex addiction. Because he REALLY does want to try to keep his girlfriend. Kinda.

He gets out with a new belief in commitment, but that lasts about as long as it takes to meet another attractive woman. Then he decides he doesn’t want to have sex with just one woman and decides to explore non-monogamous relationships, which basically means having as much sex as he can manage with as many women as he can manage, within the vague concept of being in a “free” or polyamorous relationship.

Group sex, orgies, personal harem, whatever. Chapters of it. All the ins and outs, the friction sores, the pleasures and the pain, some drugs and a variety of  misunderstandings.

And when that falls apart, he tries therapy again, finds salvation in a whole range of modern therapies, and gets back with the girl. But he’s all grown up now and it really is true love.

There are some some genuine insights in this book, and clear signs that he’s found a way to grow up. But it really is hard to take it seriously when by far the majority is about how much he’s enjoying a whole heap of wild sex with a lot of gorgeous women, and he’s just so damn good at it they all want more. It reads like something out of a Playboy forum section – just chapter after chapter after chapter of male fantasies, fake breasts and endlessly available and willing women in all kinds of combinations.

And then the therapy side, when he finally gets there with serious intent, is just so tediously sincere in that perky American way and so jargon-filled it made me feel vaguely ill.

Lots of blokes are going to love this book. Probably even some women. But I thought it was a pack of self-serving claptrap.

Book published in October, 2015.