Tom Torero: What Happens When You Come Across As A Taker (Case Study)

tom torero

Tom Ralis, in art Tom Torero, is a late pick-up artist and dating coach.

He was active in the pick-up and coaching community and wrote several books, including “Conversation King” that we reviewed here.

Tom Torero took his own life after he had been “canceled” and publicly shamed.


First thing:

Sucks to hear of Tom Torero’s tragedy.

I wish he had weathered the canceling storm, I wish he was still here, and I’d have gladly spoken to him if it could have helped.

So “it sucks”, “sad to hear” and “rest in peace” come first.

That being said, this article contends that Tom Torero called the rage upon himself.

He was a poor social strategist.

And, in the spirit of sharing the full truth and nothing but the truth, Tom Torero came across as a value-taker, gave off narcissistic vibes, and sometimes “creep vibes”.

Let’s dig deeper.

Danya Hajjaji VS Tom Torero: the cancel culture attack

Danya Hajjaji wrote an article on Tom Torero.

I can’t find it anymore, maybe it’s been pulled, but I read it some time ago.
Edit: it’s here, didn’t find it as it was drawn out by lots of results after Tom’s death.

It was a scathing article, and it picked the absolute worst of Tom Torero.
Obviously, Tom came out of it poorly.
I did get the impression it was biased, overly critical, and very SJW / cancel culture style.

As far as I can remember, Hajjaji said that she contacted Stripe/PayPal to let them know / complain / inquire on why they were serving such a (presumably bad) character.
And as far as I can remember, some of those payment providers took action against Tom, so he was probably cut off from funding.

Some people have been quick to link Tom Torero’s suicide to the article.
And the link is certainly possible, if not likely.

However, it’s also a case of jumping to conclusions.
I wouldn’t necessarily say that “it was the article” -impossible for most to say it-.
It seems to me that Tom had already pulled his videos from YouTube and seemed he was already rejecting his previous lifestyle -not sure why-.

Surviving cancel culture attacks

We have several resources here on that:

And on the forum as well:

Mistake #1: Tom Torero attracts hate by self-framing as a taker

Power University has one dedicated lesson for takers.

One of the signs is:

Takers use takers’ language.

Simple no?

Torero uses taker’s language, and people don’t like takers (and for good reasons).

Now let’s see if we can learn anything from it and prevent more of the same.

It sucks to say this of someone who’s not here anymore.

But while everyone now sings praises -could be very well deserved as far as I know-, we also gotta look at the full story.

And the full story is that Tom Torero seemed to have had a taker’s attitude to dating.

Maybe Tom was a good guy.

And people who met him say he was a nice fella.

Which makes his attitude even worse: why on earth would you want to frame your work in value-taking terms?

It sucks to say, but Tom gave the ammo to his attackers who wanted to frame him as a psychopathic predator.

Tom uses taker frames (use win-win frames instead)

The article goes down harder (later), but even just looking at the smaller yellow flags you start seeing a trend.

Says Tom of his trip to Minsk:

Tom: “This is like Ocean’s Eleven,” he said with his cheeky grin. “We’re robbing the casino in broad daylight.”

Why was he “robbing” anything?

Why not “a great place to meet women”?
Or “a great place to seduce”, “romance”, or even more self-serving was fine, like “have the adventures (or sex) of your life”.

I remember from the article Tom said of his upcoming trip as a ski instructor to Switzerland:

Tom: Lock up your daughters

Why should anyone lock up their daughters?

Think about that frame.

It frames seduction, sex, a short (or long)-term relationship as something that is bad for the seduced.

Sure, it’s a stock sentence and a “fun” one -I have sung and smiled and had a good time at those lyrics many times with AC/DC’s song-.
But you still want to be careful with it -both in saying it out loud and, probably even more, in having that mindset and attitude-.

You may mean it in a fun and carefree way where you actually want to say “good times are coming”, but it’s too easy to take it the opposite way.

If I had a daughter, my answer to that would be “why should I lock up my daughter, because you’re dragging your poor ugly ass is over here?”.
And I wouldn’t think of that because Tom is bad, poor, or ugly, but because it would be my normal reaction to someone who frames himself as coming over to take and make my daughter worse off.

And again:

Tom(commenting on a post-intimacy recording) She said ‘when you approached me, I was nervous. It was like a wolf in a forest”. And that is the best thing any girl could ever say to you.

Again, he self-frames with the imagery of the predator.

We talk about predator-prey dynamic in Seduction University.
And they can be very seductive and effective… In the right contexts.

Torero does not put it into context though.

Plus, is that the “BEST thing ANY girl could EVER say to you”?
It certainly does feel Tom Torero gets a kick from being a wolf.
The way he talks about it feels creepy and like a loser who tries too hard to be an alpha male.

None of these red flags, per se, are huge.
But put all of them together, and you don’t exactly get the best impression of this guy.

Plus, it’s not even good game.
Whenever it happens to me, I consider as “not-so-good game”:

text example of cold approach effect

Her: even when you approach me, I was intimidated

Sure, this is better than coming across as a too nice guy, submissive, or passive.
But intimidating women is not great game because most women who feel intimidated or fearful do NOT reply (unless they’re major risk takers or unless you manage to change dynamics during the interaction or in text/calls).
Most women who fear you upon approach will move away and disperse in the crowd whenever they can -and then, again, you look like a creep who’s harassing people-.

Also red:

Cold Approach Power Dynamics

Tom brags

To see the bragging, you need some power awareness.

However, once you develop that, you realize Tom has a constant stream of covert bragging, humble bragging, and even one-ups and social climbs on his own audience.

The constant feel you get is one of:

  • Look at me, who I banged
  • Look at this broad I banged (am I not good?)
  • If you’re not doing the same, you’re a loser

And that bragging also frames the women he meets as nameless “targets”, which leads us to the next point:

Tom uses widely off-putting de-humanizing approaches

Such as, when people talk about “targets”, “HB”, etc. etc.

Again, of course, let’s not be stupid or phony here.
It’s OK to play the number’s game, and it’s even the best approach when you’re going after “top of the funnel” results.
And when you play the number game, or whenever you have zero interest in romantic relationships, then it’s fair to talk about women in impersonal terms.

Also, fucking the “target” is part of the motivation and an important step -it’s been for me for a while and in part it’s still there and it’s normal-.

But as for everything: balance.

If fucking the targets is all you can talk about, then it’s fair for any reader to think of you as a psychopath and a taker.
And it’s a fair assessment, too: de-humanization is a known step towards malicious and harmful behavior (see Baumeister and Zimbardo).

Mistake #2: Creepy Vibes

Some examples that, for many who came across Tom Torero, felt like “creep red flags”:

Bragging of Underage Pick-Ups: Be Smarter of What You Share

Tom Torero had a thing for young girls.

And it’s TOTALLY fair -and “normal”- to like whatever age you like.

However, don’t be fucking stupid about it, you must know that bragging about your pick-ups of 16-17 years old is not going to sit well with a good chunk of readers.

And yes, it might be “legal” wherever you were, but again, the same: legality is different than morality and what’s legal is different than what’s well-received.
And yes, you may not “care” about morality and you’d be right that morality is subjective and shouldn’t limit your freedom.
But it’s a major concern when it comes to what you share publicly, how you share, and what you seem to be bragging about.

Women are even more likely to be turned off by it.

For example, Berlusconi was brought down in large part by underage sex.
His wife said something to this tune around her divorce decision: “until when it was other women, I closed an eye. When it came to underage girls, I drew the line”.

Basic emotional intelligence tells you that.

And basic emotional intelligence tells you there’s a big difference between “doing it” -often kind of ignored if you’re high power and women like you-, “bragging about it”, “bragging about it while you’re framed as a taker” and “selling the tapes recorded without consent”.

Morbid factor: Have a healthier approach to sex / recording

As far as I remember, Tom’s products upsold the “after sex” talk.

I’m not sure if he also sold the actual sex recordings, probably not.
Edit: the article says that the sex tape recordings were part of the offer.

But he talked about it, and the way he talked about felt “off”.
It frankly did feel like he had a sort of morbid approach to it.

Again, let’s not be phony -no “saints” here-: albeit it’s not necessarily my thing it’s fair and normal to want to record sex.
I once had a one-night stand girl recording a doggie style we had. And besides mild joviality that it was a first-time thing for me, I thought little of it: some people are just into that -but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to sell it! Do you think it’d be cool if that girl sold my recording with her?-.

And it’s also fair and normal to have a strong emotional reaction to sex -or to recordings of it-.
When recording for SU some of the sex recordings were SO powerfully arousing to listen to.

But again, don’t be fucking stupid about it.
Don’t talk it up, to begin with.
Why are you even mentioning it, as a dating coach?
You’re a dating coach, you’re not selling your sex tape, you’re selling how to get there, the seduction.

Who gives a flying F about Tom’s Torero sex recording?

And it’s at least a moral grey area to sell it without the girl’s consent -even it’s only an audio-.

Again from my point of view of someone who also shares learning material on dating and seduction: I do not want to sell my audience the sex itself, I only mention if it’s relevant to the seduction.
And I don’t want my audience to be interested in that either. Porn sites sell tape recordings. Dating coaches do not. And it would be weird voyeurism, on the audience’s part, too: why should anyone care about my sex? Mind your own. Care about how to get there so you can do the same and have beautiful sessions / intimacy / relationships.
So I remove the sex.

A good mindset is: record it, enjoy it if you like… But don’t fucking sit on it like it’s this cool great thing you’ve done.
It’s a recording, just a damn recording, and life happens while you waste time on past memorabilia. Life is now, live it, let go of tapes.
Sex is natural, no biggies about it, it’s much healthier to see it that way.

Mistake #3: Asshole marketer

Torero’s products also had red flags.

Upselling pillow talk: respect people’s privacy & their intimate sharing

Torero upsold the “after sex talk”.

I might be wrong here.
But as far as I’ve seen and remember from seeing Torero’s work, there was no mention to:

  • Protecting the woman’s privacy
  • Being “not cool” to share the most intimate conversation

Many dating coaches try to spin their recordings as “helping men” and “doing nothing wrong to women”.
It’s a convenient narrative, but it fails to take ownership and comes across as sneaky.

Because it is NOT cool to record without consent and share it.
Especially not when someone is opening up with private and intimate information -which is exactly most likely to happen after sex-.

Just be a man about it and fucking admit it: it’s not cool.

It’s a betrayal of trust.

To teach, sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do, but there are ways and attitudes to go about it.
And you can still do it while protecting people’s privacy.

And YOUR attitude is also important.
From this SU’s point of view, I almost literally beg the audience to help us keep the recording within a small circle.

Now, use some emotional intelligence and look at it from a woman’s perspective:

When she goes through your work, she will put herself in the woman’s shoes.
And what will she think when you’re selling those tapes, that you took without her consent, with her voice and words in it, while sharing her most vulnerable self?

She will think you’re a SOB.
And she wouldn’t be wrong.

Narcissism: sell processes, not your persona

Sandra Brown says in “Women Who Love Psychopaths“:

The websites devoted to ‘seduction techniques’ are an example of varying levels of psychopathy and are now being taught online to others. Anyone wanting to do this to another person, by definition is high in psychopathic traits.

I don’t fully agree.
But she’s not fully wrong, either.
Tom Torero doesn’t strike me as a psychopath. But Tom Torero struck as a narcissist who wasn’t Machiavellian enough to avoid coming across as a selfish, low-empathy narcissist.

To sell his “Stealth Seduction”, Tom says:

Watch me during that magic year

See the narcissistic frame?
Why me, as a potential buyer, should I want to watch you?
May be, if I deem you as good enough, I want to learn from you, so tell me you’re going to teach me, not that I should watch you.

That is an approach that makes women -and many men- recoil because it’s most likely to be a taker’s approach.

Again, let’s not be stupid or phony: narcissism helps seduction, some narcissism is actually good, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with it.
I certainly wouldn’t score low on a narcissistic scale.

But, again, don’t be fucking stupid about it.
One, rein in your narcissism, it’s childish after a certain point.
And two, don’t fucking sell me your narcissistic needs.

Manipulative approaches: teach how to grow instead

Finally, Torero self-framed as a manipulator.

According to the article, he said:

Tom: “Real dark triad guys and pimps that we’ll talk about, they really use drama and basically getting the girl addicted. Addicted so she can’t leave you. “We gotta talk about it, cause these are techniques that I used.”

And on Machiavellianism:

TomMachiavellianism is the definition of game. It means being manipulative, playing people, very, very calibrated to human psychology

So a guy like this posts “lock up your daughter” and you’d wonder why people may get a bad reaction to it?

These are quotes from the article, and we may have to wonder whether they’re verbatim or extrapolated to make him look bad.

But still, if you think about the name of the product: “stealth seduction”.

I’d have to wonder: why stealth?

Be a fucking man, take your shots, date high-power… And you don’t need “stealth” anything.

Because… That other genuine approach is also far, far more effective.

RIP Tom Torero

This post is very critical of Tom.

The PUA community did what everyone does in these cases: take up arms for a “fellow” coach and gush beloved farewells.

Including people who broke off with Tom when he was alive while showing evidence of Tom’s taker behavior:

Snapshot of PUA Krauser’s blog

PUA Krauser: (angry and disappointed for Tom’s behavior annonce they’re no longer “associated”. Krauser he provides evidence of Tom incorporating copious and valuable editing feedback, without giving any credit)

We have a different approach at TPM.

It sucks that he’s dead, but death doesn’t whitewash all else.

And whitewashing doesn’t provide much learning, either.

So we went for an analysis that at least provides a learning opportunity.

Those who canceled Tom saw something not cool in there, including probably also in the character, and they weren’t totally wrong.

This doesn’t justify the attacker’s actions: too strong, nasty, biased and, unluckily, too effective.

It’s also a final indictment of Tom as a human being.
We never met him and it truly sucks it went the way it did.

In a way, I write it with certain anger.
As if I was yelling at him because it could have been avoided.

It’s as if you were yelling at someone you like but hurt themself: “look at all these stupid mistakes, why the fuck couldn’t have been more careful -and straight and genuine-, and you’d still be around”.

RIP Tom.
And may the readers of this article learn to do and be better.

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