Shame on you, Kickstarter, or Why Ken Hoinsky is a Lying Asshat

I apologize for those among our readers who are sensitive. This isn’t a little someonesOpEd intended to offend anyone, but after hearing Kickstarter’s apology and Hoinsky’s pseudo apology, I felt compelled to speak my mind.

Ken Hoinksy wrote Above the Game a “seduction guide” for men that was completely funded within hours courtesy of Kickstarter. He says in his apology that his aim with this book was to “make the world a better place.” But what he failed to mention, was that this guide, however “misconstrued” by others, (his term, not mine), still contains an epic amount off “seduction tactics” that do nothing but perpetuate a hedonist, alpha male attitude toward women and dating.

Case in point, some gems from his book:

Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.”

Yes, because that’s what all women want from a guy at a bar. “Oh, please complete and total stranger, grab my hand so I can see what you’re working with down there.”

Oh, but there’s more:

Get creative and really think about all the different locations you can get alone after hours. Is there an isolated beach nearby? Great, go put a couple beach towels in the trunk of you car. Do the seats of your car lay down? Great. Have keys to your office after-hours? Fan-fucking-tastic! And of course you can always try to go to her place (but then you give up a tremendous amount of logistical control, so tread carefully.)

The implication in the above section is that a man should never allow the woman to be in her comfort zone (her home) if the efforts of seduction are to be successful. Hoinsky essentially is telling his readers not to allow his target to be comfortable or to feel safe.

But where does this attitude and “sage” advice come from? According to, the controversy surrounding Hoinksy’s book isn’t his first taste of infamy:

As one Redditor pointed out on Tuesday, the advice threads that didn’t make it into Hoinsky’s book proposal are far more troubling than those that did, as this archived ‘field report’ from Hoinsky shows:

Her last train is coming soon and she has to decide what to do. I tell her she can stay in Shibuya and I’ll make sure she has a warm bed to sleep on. However, I tell her I won’t take her home with me because ‘I only bring girls home if we’re going to have sex and there’s no way I’m f–cking you tonight.’

Hoinsky goes on to document (in minute-by-minute detail) his efforts to ‘physically escalate’ with the unnamed woman, who rebuffs and rejects him over the course of an evening that ultimately ends with Hoinsky initiating, and quickly being told to stop, having penetrative sex with her.

When asked about the incident, Hoinsky called it unfair to question him about ‘non-canon observations from one of my nights out almost 3 years ago’ and said there was ‘nothing remotely resembling that post in the book.’

And what about Kickstarter and their apology? They claim that there was “no time” to pull the funding on Hoinsky’s project and regretfully allowed him to be paid for his crowd funded book. But Deirdre Moen rips apart their excuses. Why couldn’t the site extend their timeline? Why did they and Hoinsky both bandaid the entire controversy by “donating funds” to rape prevention organizations as though their temporary altruism at all excuses the notion that a book like this is written and funded in a matter of hours?

What does that say about the men in our culture? What does it say about our society when women are raped publicly? When rape victims are shamed by other females for reporting their assaults? What does it say about the thousands of mothers who believe they have raised upstanding, respectful men?

Now, to be fair, we cannot box all men into these categories. Of course there are men who are good and honorable and respect women. I’m lucky enough to be married to one. But I fear what will happen next. Politicians have made efforts to demean women, to make their beliefs and opinions legal policies that seek to hinder all women from equality. Thankfully, there are folks who fight back. Thankfully, not all is hopeless.

I have three daughters. They are smart, they are fiercely independent and they already are well informed about their bodies, their rights and how to defend themselves. But until parents, educators, politicians and the public embraces the importance of teaching not only safety and self preservation but also consent and respect, I will continue to teach my daughters how to fight back, how to recognize the weakest points on an assailant’s body, the surest method of preventing an attack.

Maybe that’s information Kickstarter should hand out, free of charge, to every person who visits their site.

-TS Tate



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