Neil Strauss

The Truth

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This is not a journey that was undertaken for journalistic purposes. It is a painfully honest account of a life crisis that was forced on me by my own behavior and its consequences.
«As such, it requires sharing a lot of things I'm not proud of—and a few things I feel like I should regret a whole lot more than I actually do. Because, unfortunately, I am not the hero in this tale. I am the villain.»
So begins Neil Strauss's long-awaited follow-up to The Game, the funny and slyly instructive work of immersive journalism that jump-started the international “seduction community” and made Strauss a household name—revered or notorious—among single men and women alike.
In The Truth, Strauss takes on his greatest challenge yet: Relationships. And in this wild and highly entertaining ride, he explores the questions that men and women are asking themselves every day:
Is it natural to be faithful to one person for life? Do alternatives to monogamy lead to better relationships and greater happiness? What draws us to the partners we choose? Can we keep passion and romance from fading over time?His quest for answers takes him from Viagra-laden free-love orgies to sex addiction clinics, from cutting-edge science labs to modern-day harems, and, most terrifying of all, to his own mother.
What he discovered changed everything he knew about love, sex, relationships, and, ultimately, himself.
Searingly honest and compulsively readable, The Truth just may have the same effect on you.
If The Game taught you how to meet members of the opposite sex, The Truth will teach you how to keep them.
This book is currently unavailable
595 printed pages

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Quotes

    Veronica Abascalhas quoted2 years ago
    Though it was more a brush with discomfort and anxiety than with death, there’s one thing I didn’t think about in that moment of truth: the wild foursome with Sage, Leah, and Winter. No, I thought about Ingrid.

    I thought about returning the sports car, going home, and begging for forgiveness.

    At the campsite on our final night, as Ernesto, Calvin, and I drink tea and snack on Andean guinea pig under the swaying glow of a lantern, I pull out a deck of Skittykitts and suggest a game, hoping it will distract me from my thoughts.

    “I wish Ingrid were here,” I sigh to Calvin. “She’d love playing Skittykitts with us right now.”

    Calvin mumbles something noncommittal. He’s probably sick of me whining about her.

    “And she’s so funny. By now, we’d have dozens of private jokes. You saw how she lit up the table when she came to rehab! I hope I haven’t blown it.”

    “You’ll get back together with her,” Calvin says matter-of-factly. “I know it.”

    “I hope so.” I close my eyes and a deep sense of despair overwhelms me. What’s the fun of hiking Machu Picchu, of walking a trail carved centuries ago, of waking to see the sun cresting over a mountaintop and the clouds below, of eating Andean cuisine and playing Skittykitts in a tent underneath the glow of a lantern, if I can’t share it with someone I love?

    That is the price of freedom.

    As we begin our descent to the lost city of Machu Picchu the following morning, the reception indicator on my phone returns to life with a single bar.

    And I text Ingrid: “Freeeeeeeedom!”

    54
    After I send the text, followed by another letting her know Machu Picchu has no magic without her, a surge of familiar fear comes over me. That night, I dream of having a threesome with two random tourists.

    Why won’t my libido leave me alone?

    Before checking my phone for Ingrid’s response, I try to steady my nerves. So many people much wiser than myself—Prince Charles, Bill Clinton, General Petraeus—have cheated on their wives. Can I really hope to succeed where the world’s leaders have failed?

    I don’t know. But what I can do that they didn’t is make the choice to be honest, to communicate my vulnerabilities with Ingrid, and to get support if I’m struggling. Fuck my doubting mind. I can do this.

    I check my phone. Nothing. But I know in my heart that she’ll keep her word from what seems like so long ago
    Veronica Abascalhas quoted2 years ago
    patient lounge and I notice the sex addicts clustered along the outdoor benches above. They also seem taken in by Ingrid’s magnetism. I wonder if they’re thinking of being with their wives or of cheating on their wives.

    Ingrid listens closely as I walk her through each event on my timeline. But when I reveal the punch line—emotional incest—she strains to understand. “How is that incest?”

    “I know. I hate the term. Everything is diagnosed as some sort of crippling psychological disorder here.” It feels so good to be talking with her, sharing with her, smelling her again that, despite the subject matter, I’m giddy with happiness. “But this is what pertains to
    Veronica Abascalhas quoted2 years ago
    Over and over again.

    As the door burst open, her father released his grip from her mother’s face and backed away, telling his children that they were just playing. Her mother stumbled toward her—gasping violently, her face pale blue, her eyes blood red—and the little girl grabbed her hand and ran into the bathroom with her. She locked the door, and the two of them cried together.

    The boy ran to the phone to call their mom’s brothers. They were all big men and very protective of their sister. But as the boy was yelling “Help!” into the receiver, his father tore the cord out of the wall, pulled open the window of their fourth-floor apartment, and threw the phone outside.

    Ten minutes later, the girl emerged from the bathroom. The house was completely still. She heard classical music coming from the kitchen. There, she saw her dad sitting at the table, his legs crossed gracefully. He was holding a glass of cognac, swirling it slowly, gazing at it with a look of complete peace as he breathed in the notes of the drink, the music, the night air.

    She yanked the needle off the record. “What are you doing?!” she yelled, furious, confused, terrified.

    “I’m waiting for my death to arrive,” he said calmly.

    That was the last time Ingrid saw her father.

    21
    I wake up alone in the rehab dorm, the sun diffusing through a small dirt-filmed window, the muffled mating calls of birds and cicadas announcing another morning, and a raging hard-on pressing against my boxer shorts.

    My mind drifts to an image of Carrie and the suggestive way she handed me her note. I remember she’s roommates with Dawn and I start picturing a threesome with them. I think about how her caretaking qualities must extend to the bedroom and I imagine her using her breasts in considerate ways. Some guys are ass men; others are into breasts, legs, or faces. My theory is that it has to do with the sexual position you prefer. If you like it doggy style and you’re looking at a woman’s ass when you come, you’re going to associate your sexual pleasure with that part of her body. If you like missionary, maybe you’re a face man. And if you like her on top, you’ve usually got an eyeful and a handful of breasts when you orgasm. And if . . . fuck, I just made a mess in my boxer shorts.

    I waddle to the bathroom and wipe up. I feel like an alcoholic who’s smuggled a fifth of vodka into rehab and just guzzled it.

    As I get ready for the day, I think about a book Rick Rubin once showed me. It was about a seventies commune called the Source Family, which was run by a bank robber, vegetarian-restaurant owner, and aspiring rock star known as Father Yod. In the book, there was a photo of him—looking eerily like Rick—sitting outdoors in his commune in the Hollywood Hills with thirt

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