Seduction Coaches: What Impact Do They Have on Teenage Sexuality?

Seduction Coaches: What Impact Do They Have on Teenage Sexuality?


Based on an interview with Laurence Desjardins, sexologist and author

You probably haven’t noticed, but for a few years now, a real trend has been exploding on social media: seduction “coaches”.

These heterosexual men aged 18 to 35 receive millions of views on the internet and offer their viewers —heterosexual men—misogynistic advice to “reclaim their manhood” and seduce as many young women as possible.

Where are these new gurus coming from? What impact can they have on a teen’s sexual awakening? How can you help your teen take a step back and gain perspective on this trend? 🤔 

Here’s a discussion with Laurence Desjardins, a sexologist in teenage sexual education and co-author of the French book ON SEXPLIQUE ÇA – Comment parler de sexualité avec son ado.

Who are seduction coaches on social media?

The Pickup  Artists (PUAs) or, in French, Artistes de la Séduction (AS) are some of the names these “coaches” who claim to be “experts” in dating go by. Their highly codified technique is based on principles of personal development and pop psychology. Working on the principle that masculinity is under threat, they encourage regaining control over women, who are, according to them, the weaker sex and who should be submissive and available. In order to regain a “dominant male” or “alpha male” stance and gain sexual favours, they don’t hesitate to use psychologically manipulative tactics, such as “push and pull” (giving a compliment using an inappropriate remark) or “branch swinging” (finding a new partner before ending a current relationship).

These gurus are part of a movement called the manosphere, a collection of communities of heterosexual men more or less directly promoting misogynistic and anti-feminist values. Originating in the United States in the 1990s, the manosphere has expanded in the last five years because of real web stars who have made a fortune using social media, especially Tik Tok, YouTube and Instagram.

📑 Brief manosphere glossary:

An attractive woman.

A desirable woman.

An average-looking woman, ordinary.

An average and possibly submissive man.

In the incel community (the most violent community toward women), a man who almost universally provokes strong sexual interest in women because of his appearance, social status and income. He is said to “collect” female sexual conquests, females who are unable to resist his attraction. According to their theory, Chads represent 20% of men who monopolize 80% of women.

A derogatory term for accepting the traditional norms and values of society regarding male-female relationships, even if these values are harmful to them. In the manosphere, this means a willingness to submit to the dominant discourse and living in blindness.

A metaphor for adopting a more critical view of male-female relationships and the dominant discourse. Red pill advocates believe that society is biased in favour of women and that men need to realize this in order to be successful in their professional and personal lives.

An extreme and very pessimistic view of society and women in particular. This belief stems from the idea that women are inherently malicious toward men, that there is no chance of succeeding in life if one does not possess the necessary attributes to do so, such as beauty, wealth and social status. This notion is the foundation of the incel movement, which is now banned in the United States.

A woman considered to be too emancipated and a threat to masculinity and social order.

Men who identify as part of the incel community or who believe they are rejected by women and society due to their appearance, personality or social status and who want to revolt by adopting discriminatory or violent behaviour toward women.

A “nice” guy who is unable to find a romantic partner despite his supposed good qualities and who harbours anger toward women.

The assumed lifestyle of women who have multiple sexual partners without seeking long-term commitment or marriage, behaviour which is considered immoral.

An acronym for “Child-free, Enjoying Life.” In the manosphere, these are men who prefer to concentrate on their own lives and interests, without taking responsibility for raising a child because this deprives them of freedom.

A derogatory term for a woman who has emotional or psychological issues and therefore is of lower value than other women.

What impact can the misogynistic words of seduction coaches have on a teen’s sexuality?

By deliberately using masculine and offensive language, seduction “coaches” trigger many reactions from their viewers, who are mainly teens and adult men. Whether viewers are amused, convinced or even critical, the sheer number of likes, comments and shares help to spread these ideas widely, which give them a certain validity and normalize them. Even if some teens are able to maintain some distance when faced with these comments, the power of algorithms—which will then push similar content—can influence them.

At a time when teens are discovering their sexuality and may be experiencing low self-esteem, coaches offer content and a tone that may appeal to them. Simple dating advice delivered as easy recipes to follow, a controversial, masculine and vicious tone—all this captures young peoples’ imagination. On the other hand, these “coaches” portray themselves as successful role models who excel in all areas traditionally associated with their gender, such as success, wealth, physical strength and sex appeal. These “coaches” can quickly establish themselves as models of masculinity for young people who have not yet fully developed their ability to make good judgments.

In the midst of discovering their sexuality, teens confronted with such models risk developing a biased view of relationships with others, of romantic values and even of the very value of others. In fact, teaching that you should seduce through manipulation, neglecting the other’s desires and the absence of feeling can negatively influence their development of emotional skills and knowledge.

In addition, by portraying women as inferior to men and obliged to submit to them, people are given the impression that women do not have power over their own lives. Young people are impressionable and susceptible to influence, and so they risk distancing themselves from an egalitarian romantic relationship. They risk withdrawing into themselves and developing an “us vs. them” mentality against women.

How can you help your teen take a step back and gain perspective on the advice given by coaches on social media? 📱

Before engaging in a discussion with your teen, it may be useful to take a look at this type of content on social media.

Then, use a news item, a film or a situation experienced from within your environment to talk about the ideas conveyed by these seduction coaches. For example, ask your teen:

If a particular influencer catches their eye, ask: What is he talking about? What messages caught your teen’s interest?

What they think of the techniques these “coaches” promote, their effectiveness and their possible impact on romantic relationships.

You can then remind your teen that:

• These influencers make a lot of money selling “advice” that doesn’t reflect the reality and complexity of human relationships.
• These coaches prey on the vulnerability of their viewers.
They mainly use shocking and simplistic statements, posturing and provocative staging to trigger the most reactions possible and ensure their distribution on social networks, which is what makes them money.
These influencers suggest strategies to manipulate others in order to create false self-confidence, all while manipulating their viewers.
They do not hesitate to lie about their success in using different techniques to make them seem more successful than they really are.

Don’t hesitate to suggest other more positive male role models to your child from your own friends, mainstream media or various sports, scientific or cultural communities.

Certain influencers on social media also regularly mock the suggestions of these famous coaches, such as comedian Nicolas Lacroix (@nicoenvrai) or actor Axel Lattuada (@axellattuada).

Others suggest healthier, more respectful relationship models, such as through the accounts: @talk.tabu, @hey_ritual.

From a young age, try to maintain judgment-free, open communication with your child so that they feel able to talk openly about various subjects, including more sensitive ones. This would therefore be an opportunity to make your child aware of the notion of consent and open, respectful and honest communication with their partner. The most important point being respecting their own desires and that of their significant other while staying in tune with themselves and their partner.

👉 Find all our tips for talking about relationships and sexuality with your teen here.

Finally, to help your child fight the toxic ideas promoted by these coaches, you can help them in developing their self-confidence so that they can make more informed decisions in line with their values.💙

All our tools to help your child develop a healthy self-esteem
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