Sit back and relax… I will sing you the song of women.
What women? you ask.
All women, I answer.
Even me? you ask.
Especially you, I answer.
And what will you sing to me? you ask.
Ah, my love, I will sing to you of hidden truths
Yes, hidden truths and secret secrets…
—Zan Perrion, The Alabaster Girl
Every once in a while, you come across a book that metaphorically smacks you over the head, a book that wakes you up like a bucket of ice water being thrown on you, a book that just makes sense. About a year ago, I read such a book, Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen. On January 1st, 2017, I was recommended Zan Perrion’s The Alabaster Girl. I was hooked instantly from the ten page free preview on Amazon. I purchased it immediately. It is a story and expose of passionate living, discovering true purpose, improving one’s skills with women, and unbridled and unashamed love. The timing was perfect, like a beacon to lead me into a prosperous new year.
The Way of Seduction
Time for some background on the author: Zan Perrion is one of the best-known figures in the dating and seduction community (hold on, don’t leave yet), hailed as the “World’s Greatest Seducer” by some. Yet, I can’t consider him part of the morally questionable Pickup Artist community. Perrion offers something much more substantial. The Alabaster Girl presents a vision of dating, love, sex, and relationships based on embracing one’s passionate love of women, approaching them with complete honesty of intentions, and extending them wholehearted respect without being a pushover or ‘Nice Guy.’ It feels unnerving to lump him in with opener line-spouting peacocks out to ‘neg’ every girl in the bar.
I’ll warn you now: The book is unconventionally long for a relationships/self help book. Don’t be intimidated. The flowing prose and profound observations will make the 416 pages flow right by. Plus, books with lots of pages make your bookshelf look sexier.
The setup is…unconventional. All of the advice and musings are presented in the context of a renowned seducer being interviewed by a beautiful reporter on a train ride, intercut with ‘excerpts’ from a biography the man wrote of his romantic and sexual exploits. It’s a very meta setup, but Perrion’s flowing and poetic prose make it work. In fact, the setting of the flirtacious exchange with the interviewer arguably makes the text more effective, since it carries a heavier emotional impact than a straightforward spiel of his views on dating and advice for men. Excerpts from a ficitonal book named The Alabaster Girl within a real book named The Alabaster Girl will throw you off the first few times, but once you get used to it, you just enjoy the short romantic vignettes, or you can just skip them.
The Way of Love
Perrion’s vision of dating is much closer to Casanova than any of the pickup artist icons. He laments all of the ‘rules’ that have sprung up around modern dating (arbitrary time between text replies, feigning disinterest, low-risk coffee dates) and advocates complete straightforwardness. The Alabaster Girl states that if you think a woman is attractive, tell her so, and ask her on a real date instead of coffee or ‘hanging out.’ Beginning an interaction by telling a woman she is pretty sounds like it can be uncomfortable for her, but it’s all in the delivery: a compliment delivered by a friendly and confident man will get a more positive reception than the same compliment by a man who feels sleazy or disingenuous.
A possible point of controversy for some readers would be Zan’s repeated laments that “men are no longer men” and that they must embrace chivalry once again and take the lead in relationships. That thesis may warrant a death sentence from the High Court of Tumblr, but the book goes out of its way to condemn degradation of women and celebrates their empowerment in our modern era. Violence against women is explicitly condemned and polite acceptance of rejection is encouraged. He argues, “one can never be a seducer of women if one is not seduced by women.”
Additionally, Perion makes no secret of his adoration of femininity and encourages men to embrace lost masculinity. Some readers will disagree with this notion, and I’ll leave it at that. I don’t have time to filter the book’s message through a Pokédex of genders and pronouns.
The Way of Discovery
Amazon categorizes The Alabaster Girl as a dating book, but it has a second running theme that correlates with the poetic passages of love and lust: embracing and celebrating one’s true self. Perrion states his foremost interest and obsession is the beauty of women, both inside and out. He points out that men so often try to hide their ‘true’ selves around women and put up a facade, or in layman’s terms, “play it cool.” Instead, he argues that a man who wholeheartedly embraces his interests and passions will display a genuine confidence in himself and his life that is is much more attractive than any “fake it ’til you make it” charade.
This excerpt sums up the message of self actualization better than I ever could:
“Is this what I want my life to look like? At this age in my life, is this where I wanted to be?” If the answer is no, then we must renounce everything, immediately and with great force. We must remove everything that holds us down in any way.
The Way of Salvation
If it wasn’t already apparent, I wholeheartedly recommend this book, whether you are a man or woman, taken or single. It makes sense of the confusing world of love, sex, and relationships we find ourselves in, and does it beautifully. It’s a lofty order to claim a book will change your life, but this one will. Believe the hype, it’s deserved. To close, I’ll share one more excerpt from the book, perhaps the most often quoted:
How many men stand on a balcony and wonder what happened?
How many men cast blame? Why has the world not provided a man with what he wanted? He wanted adventure and he got two weeks’ vacation. He wanted a mission and he got a lawn that needs mowing. He wanted a purpose and he got a cubicle. He wanted a mighty steed and he got a minivan. He wanted a castle and he got a mortgage. He wanted a battle to fight and he got televised sports. He wanted wisdom and he got talking heads on TV. He wanted treasure and he got endless debt.
He wanted every part of his life to be wonderful, and here he is… standing on a balcony, in bleak, ruminating hesitation.
I’m not done with The Alabaster Girl though. What do I mean? Stay tuned to find out.