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Danger and Play: Essays on Embracing Masculinity, by Mike Cernovich

Jack Murphy's review of Cernovich's Essays on Embracing Masculinity

By now you may know Mike Cernovich well through Gorilla Mindset, the podcasts, the YouTube videos, the seminars, the webinars, FitJuice, Crime and Federalism, his performance art on twitter, guest appearances on celebrity talk-a-thons such as #BigMilo – and of course – his prolific website Danger and Play.

Mike is at once introverted and personal, yet a complete open book online, exposing himself for our benefit.   He invites us on his personal journey, sharing his acquired tools.

Danger and Play: Essays on Embracing Masculinity, is the back story to today’s post-#GamerGate Mike Cernovich.  Through a well curated ‘best of’ format, Essays reveals the process Mike went through and the prescription he offered in order to become an individualist, self-regulated masculine male in today’s world.Jack Murphy's review of Cernovich's Essays on Embracing Masculinity

Reading Mike’s essays today is powerful for me, as I remember not only reading each post as it came out over the years but as well the countless texts, emails and forum posts we exchanged dissecting trial and error and recapping our adventures trying to figure things out as we went.

Mike has always been dedicated to helping his friends and those who show they help themselves first – and now he has expanded that to you by presenting Essays.

No, this is not an autobiography, but it is as revealing as one if you read beyond the words on the page.

Each lesson came from experience.  The values shared were learned and adopted.  Mike did A/B testing in life. Look through the wisdom and infer the experience which produced it.  Greater insight can be had into the author.

Mike truly wants to share himself with others.

Mike’s essays should be seen as a great friend offering guidance and wisdom by sharing his own personal experience.  Reading these posts is the equivalent to the old times when wizened dudes would sit around and share stories, leaving the interpretation open to the young buck listener. 

But Mike takes it a step further, deconstructing his own experiences and delivering step by step instructions for the reader to follow themselves.

Essays is at once a sort of memoir and a how-to guide. 

In fact, that’s what makes great blog writing today: spill your guts, identify a problem, offer a solution.

Essays is organized by theme:

    1. Masculinity
    2. Health and Fitness
    3. Relationships and Dating
    4. Friends and Family
    5. Business and Career
    6. Mindset
    7. Motivation and Inspiration

What unifies each of the themes more than anything is Mike’s consistent ability to demonstrate vulnerability, whether it’s talking about his health issues, previously being fat, growing up poor or revealing his negative self talk – while at the same time demonstrating through action and words his physical and mental dominance of himself and life.  Being unafraid to reveal himself, Mike gives the reader hope that they too can go full Gorilla.  

While reading section three, Relationships and Dating, some of the chapters made me smile a little and I could see how some of Mike’s new readers might misinterpret his earlier works or be surprised at the topics.  Some of the “Game” articles even seem a little trite, in the way watching Citizen Kane does. 

When I first watched Citizen Kane, it seemed to be a collection of all the most overused cliches in film and cinematography.  It wasn’t until I after I realized Orson Wells’ influence touches nearly every great film since does Citizen Kane not seem overdone.  It’s not a collection of standards but rather the standard itself from whence inspiration and future thoughts flowed.

Same with Essays.  Keep in mind many of these ideas he introduced into the manosphere three, four and five years ago have become canonical.  These are the shoulders upon which current discussions sit.

Actionable Advice

Consistently, each section is filled to the brim with actionable advice, personal stories, and memorable quotes – here are a few that stood out to me:

Once you can dominate yourself, dominating others comes far more naturally. You get used to dealing with the most pathetic, needy, nasty (and beautiful, godlike, and blessed) invention ever created: your human body.”

“Size is status. We are great apes. Never forget that.”

“Always let your girl know that you are running shit.”

“There is no place I’d rather be.  There’s no one else I want to see.”

“Life is progressive resistance.  In the gym you add more weight to the bar, and in life, you add challenges until you hurt.  Adaptation requires overload.”

“Once you create the best version of yourself, you’ll find yourself rejecting more women than ever.”

“Audacity, Audacity, Audacity!”

Stop pretending to be something you’re not in order to win the approval of people you don’t like.”

In some ways, Essays is also something of a history lesson for those new to Danger and Play.  Mike’s exhaustive discussions on Testosterone Replacement Therapy helped thousands of men around the world and brought in a new cadre of readers.

Mike’s experiences with Tony Robbins, which he also shares in Essays, seemed to me to coincide with a new period of his writing that lead to Gorilla Mindset.

And the foundation underpinning for his current thinking is explained in such chapters like:

“How to Attract Anything You Want with the Law of Attraction”

“I’m too much of a Coward to Lie”

“Become Obsessed to the Point of Madness”

“You have Enough, You are Enough: The Abundance Mentality”

Frankly, this book is worth far more to the reader than any price Mike will ask for it. 

Readers who are new to Mike will see this as a great introduction.  Long time readers will see it as a trip down memory lane.  For me, it ‘triggered’ all kinds of positive memories of coming up in the game, trying some of these in practice and reminding me how far Mike, and many of us, have come over time.

Some of you may not know it, but Mike partially cut his chops talking to men about men’s issues on anonymous message boards across the internet.  The journey from marriage and divorce to Full Gorilla has taken almost a decade.  Mike’s dedication to his craft, to his message and to his readers has always been there.  He started giving away his words for free and is practically doing the same today.

Essays on Embracing Masculinity is an essential component to any Man’s library and should be added post haste.   Purchase it today, enhance your life – and simultaneously thank Mike for all he has freely given over the years.  He deserves it.

PS: Click here to purchase Danger and Play: Essays on Embracing Masculinity here !!