Sex travel writer Roosh V on rape, misogyny and American women

Daryush Valizadeh, better known as Roosh V, is one of the Internet's most polarizing writers.  Credit: Daryush Valizadeh
Daryush Valizadeh, better known as Roosh V, is one of the Internet’s most polarizing writers.
Credit: Daryush Valizadeh

Daryush Valizadeh, better known as Roosh V, is one of the most polarizing figures on the Internet. Groups like “Wipeout Sexism on FB” have asked users to report Valizadeh and his websites for hate speech on Facebook, and Valizadeh is the only “pickup artist” listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of misogynists. He gained notoriety for his travel guides that include “Bang Colombia: Textbook On How To Sleep With Colombian Women” and “Bang Iceland: How To Sleep With Icelandic Women In Iceland.” He also runs the websites Roosh V and Return of Kings. Valizadeh spoke with Metro from what he describes as a second tier city in Poland (he declined to disclose his exact location).

Metro: When did you become a pickup artist?

Valizadeh: I’ve never called myself a pickup artist. Other people may call me that but I don’t like to put a label on myself. I consider myself a normal guy. There was never a particular moment, but I guess I started this stuff at around 22. I started to feel more confident of my skills, which took about four or five years, that I could share some of the things I learned and that other men could get value from the experiences I had had trying to get good at this. When your experience gets deeper and more vast than 99 percent of other guys, you can share your experience and when you speak, they learn.

What do you think has set you apart from other self-help writers?

I tell the truth. If you look at a lot of stories I’ve written, I’m quick to describe when I fail in addition to when I did well. Guys think, if Roosh is going to tell us all the times when he didn’t do well in a certain country or didn’t do well on a certain night and he’s telling us how hard it is, then I’m going to trust him over the guy who says if you trust me, you’ll never get rejected ever. I don’t sugarcoat; I don’t lie. I don’t try to make myself sound better than I am and I think a lot of guys on the Internet – you see a lot of people who make themselves better than they actually are.

I’ve also been consistently writing. A lot of people write for a short time and give up. I’ve had a blog in one form or another since I graduated college in 2001. When you consistently put out content, it’s just a matter of time before you build an audience.

When did you really start gaining ground with your work?

When I started to travel to Europe – I would say about three years ago. I started to write books on how to gain girls in certain countries like Iceland, Poland and Colombia. Whenever I released a book, it would go viral in that country. I wrote the book on Iceland and the entire country erupted in anger and rage in the media and I started to get noticed this way. Just the fact that I was on TV in Iceland and Romania impressed people in the U.S., so it’s kind of that social proof effect – if he’s on TV somewhere, he must be big – so I guess that started to get me noticed by other people. It’s hard to say exactly why, but it would probably be the media attention I got in Europe that started to translate into media attention back in the U.S.A.

What’s the advice you give to guys that is successful and gets the most positive feedback?

Just working. A lot of people these days want the good in life without having to put in the work. I tell them you have to approach, keep trying and persist. A lot of the posts I write where I get a good reaction from guys are when stories teach to never to give up and to keep on going. Doing this is not easy. It’s hard for a guy to go from socially awkward to approaching a pretty girl that he sees and the only way to get there besides knowing lines or techniques or tactics is putting in the work to get there and get comfortable and take social risks. I don’t see myself as a smart guy. I just don’t stop. This isn’t a get rich quick thing: It’s a journey you’re going to do for years and years.

Do you find you still fail?

As a human, you tend to adapt to whatever success you do reach. If you become a millionaire by winning the lottery, for a few months you’re really happy and then you adjust and after a few months your happiness is no higher than it was before. When it comes to women, it’s the same thing. You get used to it. As a guy gets girls, with women his standard goes way up. A girl I could sleep with three years ago, I wouldn’t even try with now. The higher quality girls take way more – exponentially more work. I still get rejected the same amount as I did when I was 25. The girls I’m going for are a lot higher quality now. I can’t say I’m sitting on my laurels. You get tired of sleeping with the same kind of girl. The nature of man is to accomplish more and more. I can never feel like I made it or that I’m done.

By “higher quality” are you just referring to physical appearance?

Mostly that, yeah. The first thing a man notices about a girl is how she looks and I use the 1 to 10 scale. We define a girl who is cute as a 6 or 7 but to get girls who are higher it takes a different set of skills. And that’s what I’m talking about. I don’t have a system to rate the humor or personality for a girl. And while that’s important, it’s never as important as how a girl looks. In the US, a girl thinks their wit, humor and personality can make up for an appearance that is lazy or massively overweight.

Do you believe in love?

I think it exists, but I think love is like happiness. It’s an emotion that can come and go. I don’t think it’s a permanent goal that you want and can lock up in a bottle. I think man should be open to it when it does come but it’s not a goal you can really dig for, like earning a certain amount of cash or sleeping with a certain amount of women. It’s not something you can plan a strategy for or purposely try to guide.

Have you been in love?

Yes, I wrote about her in one of my earlier books. I went to Rio for one month and I met a girl there, but I had to leave. Love, when it happens, it’s great, but it’s not something you can really walk out the door right now and hope it will happen with the next person you meet. It’s kind of a garnish on life and then you get your main meal.

What is the main meal then?

Sex and money. And by money, I mean having enough income to have the lifestyle that you want, whether it’s going out to the club, traveling or going to a coffee shop everyday. Two things I try to tell guys is once you have women and the skills to get them and the income, the other things are not hard to get. Those two goals are the most important.

You write a lot of inflammatory things online but talking to you, you’re not nearly as inflammatory over the phone and you’re pretty calm. Part of me thinks that you might purposely be writing things to upset people to get attention. Is that true?

I do think there has to be some of that whenever you write for the Internet. People have so many options, so why are they going to pick you when some other person is writing about the same kind of topic? And one you can do is strike them emotionally. Hit a button here, here or there, so I may exaggerate a viewpoint when I do write but I do make sure that even when I do use different language, when I write it, it still has to be based on a truth that I believe. While maybe women in the U.S. are fat, when I write on the blog, I’m not going to say it in a nice way that hey, girls in the U.S. are fat and maybe they should lose some weight. I’m going to write it in a way that get people engaged in the content. I do write in a way that angers a lot of people but it’s based on something I truly believe.

What is Fat Shaming Week?

We have a private forum where all the writers for Return of Kings share ideas for possible topics and we were saying we should have a theme week for an issue that is important. We came up with other things but we chose fat shaming. Any guy in the U.S.A, they maybe won’t say it  aloud, but they do not like being surrounded by women who are fat. That’s an important thing. Men like women who are thin. We decided it would be a good thing to say on our site: Fat women are unhealthy and unattractive and a society with thin women would make men happy. Even saying that, even saying a fact – I don’t know if you think fat women are beautiful – but I think most men don’t and for us, to men, it’s a fact that women who are 30 pounds overweight don’t look as good but stating this kind of fact is something that made a lot of people angry. But I want to say that it’s getting to the point in the U.S. where you can’t say that anymore. You can’t say someone is ugly. You have to go along and say yeah fat people aren’t ugly, big is in, don’t judge people, but why can’t we? Women judge men all the time. You can’t go a week in the media without reading “men need to man up and they need to stop hooking up, this and this” but the second us men complain about something a girl does we are misogynists and women haters and so on.

Are you against fat men as well?

I already teach men to work out and stay fit. We put on a lot of articles on the site on how to eat right and exercise and I think a lot of the men I meet from my site are fit. There’s no point in learning how to meet girls when you can’t even work on yourself. I already do that. I already shame guys into not being overweight. It makes it harder to be attractive to women. But this message was more out to the girls. I’m making the world a better place for girls who like men so I think they can do the world a favor by watching their weight and becoming more thin.

Right now, you’re one of the only individuals to be named a misogynist by the Southern Poverty Law Center. What do you think about that label?

I think it’s silly. I think we’re getting to the point in the U.S. where you can’t criticize women for anything. You can’t say they do anything bad, weak in character, that their appearance isn’t good and I’m one of the guys who is quick to judge women for their faults so of course they’re going to come after me, but to say I hate women is the most absurd thing. I spent a bulk of my time developing connections and relationships with them to see what they want in men so I can be that guy and engage in intimacy with them. If I give you a list of the girls I’ve gone out with in the past couple of years and you tell them, ‘well, did you know this man was put on a list, that he’s the biggest hater of women in the U.S.A.,’ they would think you’re lying because it wouldn’t make any sense.

Let me read you a quote from your website. “I don’t understand why women email me for adviceWhy would I help the opposing team?” Do you really think of the world as divided into two teams, men and women?

In the U.S.A., that’s where we’re headed toward. I think women are watching out for their own and they’re not concerned about the things men are going through. I think I have to watch out for men first. If men that read me are getting the advice that they need then that’s the best that I can do. It’s not my responsibility or job to make sure everyone is happy or gets value out of what I do. I do think from the side of women, from the side of men, there’s a big divide where they’re hating each other and women are angry at men because they don’t commit or give them what they want and men are angry at women for letting themselves go for exaggerating the definition of rape. They’re scared now that they’ll end up with a false rape accusation or they’re scared of getting divorced and losing their money. If this is the case, I know what side I’m on. I’m going to help the guy.

What is your definition of rape?

Before I say it, I’ll say in the past five years everyone in the U.S. has suddenly forgotten or lost the ability to know what sex is. We’re losing all instinct to know how sex should actually happen. It seemed to be going well for thousands of years. Rape is the violent taking of women. It’s not when the woman has had three beers and the guy has had three beers. It’s not when a girl walks into a guy’s apartment and the next morning the women says, ‘Oh, I shouldn’t have done that, I feel guilty. I feel like a slut.’ Girls always use this excuse that they had a couple of drinks and ‘Oh, I don’t remember anything.’ A girl, because she feels bad, can go back to a consensual sex act and say it was rape. Women are using the rape card to get out of feelings of shame and guilt and what is a man going to do? Hire a lawyer and hope for the best. In the past, the cases of rape you saw on the news were violent that included blood and tears and now a woman walks from a guy’s apartment in the morning and decides she got raped.

Have you ever been accused of rape?

Of course not. No. But if you read the Internet, you would think I’m the biggest rapist, that I go from country to country raping these poor girls. If I’m the most famous rapist in the world, you would think at some point I would be charged and some girl on the Internet would come out and say it.

In the Maryville rape case, the alleged victim said that these guys gave her two big glasses of a clear alcohol that left her incapacitated and unable to get up or speak. What about in that situation?

Okay. If a girl is unconscious, if she can’t respond and touch back and kiss back and is basically blacked out and a man has sex with her anyway then yes, it is definitely rape. The problem is now we’re going to need a video of it because the girl can say, ‘Yeah, I was blacked out,’ but a witness comes over and says she was into it, so if she was truly blacked out and incapacitated then that was rape and that’s kind of obvious. Sleeping with an unconscious human being – I haven’t lived in a time that wasn’t rape. But a girl who was kissing you, grabbing you, directing the action – that’s not rape, ever. I don’t care how many drinks she’s actually had if she is into it, responding and having fun, that is not rape. We can’t even find out if false accusations are a problem and you may think it’s not a problem, but until we get a study done by a university to find out we won’t know and no money will ever be spent because then we will be seen as hating women so we can’t even find out if this is a problem. There was an article in Slate last week by a woman saying girls shouldn’t drink …

It was by Emily Yoffe.

She said girls, if you’re in college and you don’t want to get raped, don’t get drunk. Her advice wasn’t as blunt as that, she was more nice about it, but she basically said to watch out for your own safety. Don’t drink so much that you don’t know what’s going on. The attack on her was huge. Every blog came out to say she’s a rape apologist. Every feminist on Facebook and social media was just on this woman. We can’t even have a conversation now. They have silenced us completely. You can’t suggest women may have to take responsibility if they are maybe exaggerating their claims of rape. This is censorship.

Do you think American women are the worst in the world?

American women and Danish women, for me, rank at the bottom. Americans don’t care about how they look. Their attitude is just masculine and they put their focus on their jobs before anything else. To try and date a woman from the U.S. after I’ve had experiences in South America and Eastern Europe is tough. I think when you’re young, you want to think everyone is equal and everyone’s the same. But the second you broaden your scope and date girls in Brazil and Colombia and Poland you’re like, ‘Oh, this girl is nice.’ When you bring a girl home and sleep with her and go in the bathroom and come out, she’s cleaning up your bedroom and tidying up. In the U.S.A., that never happens to me. Here, the girls will cook and even if I want to cook, they’re doing the plates, they’re cleaning the dishes and they’re nice. They ask my opinion on things. They don’t complain or whine. Most of my time is spent teaching guys how to get out of that, but the trend in the U.S. is women getting fatter and angrier and they’re hating men for not giving them happiness. There are a lot of countries in the world where the women are nice and friendly and they don’t try to put you down, but most importantly they look good. They don’t wear flip flips, ever. They wear heels.

What’s the deal with Denmark?

In Denmark, they really push that gender equality to the logical extreme. Denmark is how the U.S. is going to be in about five or 10 years. The men act like girls and dress like girls. And the girls act like guys. There’s no masculinity or femininity because that is shamed. The women act burly and tough and ‘you need to find me attractive because I’m smart’ instead of having charm and looking good. In Denmark, you cannot say anything that suggests men and women are biologically different or they will get angry. And in the U.S., the last time I was there and even making a comment that I like feminine women would anger people. Why should a man want to live in a country where he can’t even state the preferences he wants in the opposite sex?


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