1027: "Pickup Artist"

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FireZs
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby FireZs » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:17 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
babble wrote:So - what does 'manipulate' actually mean to you?

To try to change someone's behavior by superseding their free choice. Your "two people who want to be seduced" isn't an example of this. If people freely choose to be seduced, they aren't being manipulated.

babble wrote:and the thing about the nice guy who can't get laid and the womaniser who can. the exact same people saying 'manipulation is wrong' are also the ones saying 'it's OK for the manipulator to have sex, cos there are people who want to have sex with him. Erm - the whole POINT was that he was using the game or whatever to "manipulate" them. Either it's OK or it's not.

If he's being manipulative, it's not OK. My point was that self-centered womanization is not that same thing as manipulation. A self-centered womanizer can satisfy his desires ethically by finding women who want to have sex with him.


People don't freely choose to be seduced. They freely choose to have sex with someone after they are seduced. Without the seduction the choice would be "no", because if it were "yes" before the seduction, there would be no need for it. I'm not sure if your model for what is seduction and what is manipulation represents reality.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby ++$_ » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:18 pm UTC

between3and30 wrote:
++$_ wrote:
between3and30 wrote:All of those except for "Intermittent reinforcement" and "Jealousy plotline" are forms of showing that you're not interested so that you have a chance to actually meet the person you're talking to rather than just being told to fuck off like every other guy (Hey, aren't people always complaining about being hit on?).
Which makes them fucking manipulative lies.
Less so than basing an entire friendship around no mutual sexual attraction, when in fact you just want to get with the girl.
I don't know if you're aware of this, but for normal people, friendships don't get based around "no mutual sexual attraction." They get based around mutual attractions that just happen to be of other kinds.
Also, not every style of pickup uses those techniques. They're essentially exclusive to styles of game in which you try to get to know the girl a bit and let the girl get to know you a bit before (couple minutes) before you attempt to see if she's attracted to you.
Dude, I know that not every pickup artist is the same. All I'm trying to explain is that the PUA community has a high level of acceptance of manipulative tactics.
++$_ wrote:
"Intermittent reinforcement" is a psychology term that I've never heard used with pickup.
No true Scotsman? I got these from a PUA website that I linked earlier for you in a post you possibly didn't read.

Really? No true scotsman? Me saying that no style of game that I've head about (notice that I don't so no style of game, just not the ones that I'm aware of) is an example of no true scotsman? I didn't say that it's never been used. I said that "I've never heard [it] used with pickup."

Wow, isn't it amazing what happens when you group a ton of different styles of something into one category?
You said, a while back:
between3and30 wrote:PUAs (in general, not all) try their best to not be manipulative, despite what you're saying that they tell people to do.
All I'm trying to do is present to you (and everyone else) the evidence that in fact PUAs (in general, not all) try their best to manipulate. Your response is constantly that you/the PUAs you know don't do that. This isn't relevant, because I'm not talking about the ones you know. I'm talking about self-described PUAs in general. Just like you were, except I'm drawing the opposite conclusion from you because I'm looking at what PUAs actually say.
++$_ wrote:
"Jealousy plotline" is when two girls are interested in you and are fighting over you. You don't so much use it, as simply be there, get two girls interested in you, and watch as they compete for you.
Oh yeah? (DANGER: PUA/NSFW LINK)
I suppose savoy, who describes it as a "necessary element in the toolbox of any man," actually meant it is "a tool that sometimes you find lying around on the street"?


lol, really? Savoy is your source for that? He's known across the PUA community for putting extreme emphasis on anything he says. But no, your right, he did state that it is a necessary tool if you want to consistently engage in sexual relationships with girls that people would call 9s and 10s. But not everyone wants that and not everyone claims that.

But what you're saying is wrong about it is that it's a "tool" that you can learn to use? Derivation is a tool that you can learn to use, is using that wrong?
Oh dear, I guess I've been had! Poor me, getting taken in by savoy's "extreme emphasis". I guess I was supposed to put less emphasis on the manipulative part so that people like you could more easily hide behind your bogus claims that PUAs in general don't use manipulative tactics.

EDIT: Major blockquote fail repaired
Last edited by ++$_ on Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:20 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby ddxxdd » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:18 pm UTC

jpers36 wrote:
ddxxdd wrote:Now here's a question for you: What if those manipulative tactics are used subconsciously by people who were born and raised with it all their lives? What if those manipulative tactics are ingrained into a person's personality? Would you still call it manipulation? Would you still say that the person using them is "acting natural"?


Oh most definitely yes it's still manipulation. I have had people in my life like this, and it's even worse when it's been ingrained since youth.

But the underlying issue to me is that "acting natural" is not the measure. Acting morally/ethically is the measure, and part of that is honesty, and transparency, and honoring the other person's right to agency. Manipulation isn't wrong because it's unnatural; it's wrong because it rejects these virtues.


Agency isn't a "right", it's something you either have or don't have. The technique that I was discussing involved the "Jealousy" technique, in which you stop courting someone that you're already courting, and start courting someone else. The idea is that if she wasn't attracted to you before, then seeing you with someone else will create a feeling of jealousy that will increase your level of attraction to her.

Is that really an example of removing someone's agency? Is that really an example of manipulation? If so, then are you saying that I don't have the right to stop courting a girl on my own and start courting someone else? Is her right to not be "manipulated", as defined by some, override my right to be able to start a conversation with someone else?
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby jpers36 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:19 pm UTC

dawolf wrote:I'm suggesting that the first guy working on his social skills so that he has a higher chance of meeting that wonderful woman is a good thing. The fact that this also happens to make him more like the second guy isn't the point.


Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that you specifically took the position I called idiotic. However, there were people downstream from your original post that did.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Wharrgarbl8 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:19 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:To try to change someone's behaviour by superseding their free choice.


If you think this is possible, you have a very inflated view of what PUA's can do. Sometimes they sell this idea that you can bend someone's will, but no program will tell you anything of the sort once you get into it.

No PUA on this earth can't supersede your free choice to sleep with them, any more than a McDonalds commercial can supersede your free choice to choose where to have lunch. Much like a food commercial, PUA is a method for communicating your availability, suitability and desire for a relationship/meal. Every PUA system I saw (I checked out 4) was very specific that following the method you will be rejected and that is the woman's choice you must respect.
Last edited by Wharrgarbl8 on Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:21 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby SoaG » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:20 pm UTC

FireZs wrote:So we basically agree. The problem is that most people who complain about the "friend-zone" are nowhere near that minimum attraction threshold.

Basically, yes, but not on the significance of attraction.
I think for most people, the fear of losing a friendship is high enough that the attraction threshold never becomes a factor.
Nobody has sex with most of the people they find attractive, if for no other reason than they'd die of dehydration :wink: Since everyone already has a limit on how many partners they can/will have, why risk a friendship?
Strictly in terms of friendship vs sex (not relationship) the closer the friendship, or even just longer w/o being that close, the less likely for that to change.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Xezlec » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:20 pm UTC

Everything in the real world is made of tradeoffs. Most things aren't "good" or "bad", it's more a matter of "too much" or "not enough". People here are trying to put binary labels on every aspect of personality and reltionships, when really, it's all about balance, moderation, and finding the right amount. Or so I hear.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:21 pm UTC

ddxxdd wrote:But from what I've seen, WOMEN ARE NOT STUPID. If you're in it for a one night stand, they'll detect that.
Wait--are you claiming that two people who have had sex almost never walk away from the encounter with radically different assumptions about what that sex meant? Because as far as I'm aware, this happens all the frigging time.

It's even worse when you're teaching guys to sell themselves to women, and--whether by intent or just by sheer, oblivious enthusiasm--they sell themselves as something more than a one-night stand to someone who's in the market for a relationship.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby SoaG » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:23 pm UTC

EpicanicusStrikes wrote:
Роберт wrote:Maybe sex is hard because a lot of women and men don't like chauvinists?



Maybe sex is hard because it's better that way?

heheh... you said hard...

20+ years later I still remember my Gr. 9 gym teacher in the health module that included sex-ed:
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:24 pm UTC

FireZs wrote:People don't freely choose to be seduced. They freely choose to have sex with someone after they are seduced.

They freely choose whether they're up for being seduced, having a conversation, being left the fuck alone, etc. There are two ways of disrespecting such choices. One is just to ignore them. The other is to manipulate people into changing them: this doesn't encompass all ways of making people change their minds, but it encompasses those ways that make an end-run around their agency.

Wharrgarbl8 wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:To try to change someone's behaviour by superseding their free choice.


If you think this is possible, you have a very inflated view of what PUA's can do.

Pardon — I should have said "preferences," not "behavior."
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby J Thomas » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:25 pm UTC

FireZs wrote:
babble wrote:and the thing about the nice guy who can't get laid and the womaniser who can. the exact same people saying 'manipulation is wrong' are also the ones saying 'it's OK for the manipulator to have sex, cos there are people who want to have sex with him. Erm - the whole POINT was that he was using the game or whatever to "manipulate" them. Either it's OK or it's not.


The idea is that the "manipulator" is "true": that is actually who he is (and I argue that there's some idea that some kind of mating fitness signaling is going on). So when people ape the behaviors of the "manipulator" without having those qualities naturally, they're "scamming" the system and getting undeserved sex by signaling mating fitness that isn't there.


I find that an interesting concept.

Hardly any of the sex that comes from people randomly meeting in bars and then agreeing to drunken one-night-stands will result in viable pregnancies. Most of it will not result in a second date. There are a few marriages that result from this, but not many. (I'm going by anecdotal information here, I don't actually have solid data about how many marriages start from drunken sex with nearly-anonymous strangers.)

Suppose you are right. Suppose there is some sort of prehistoric system built in so that men who would make good sperm donors honestly signal that. Suppose that in the old days, women all made sure to have sex with the men who honestly gave off those signals, so they could have better babies. What the hell does that have to do with today?

If a woman goes to a bar and picks up a man she hopes to have a few hours of fun with, and then she throws him out at 3 AM or 7 AM or whenever without giving him her phone number, what possible difference does it make how well-adapted his babies would have been in 100,000 BC?

I mean, what the hell?
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Okita » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:25 pm UTC

Now that I think about it... maybe there's a bias for PUA based upon how people would join PUA.

PUA has a lot to do with applying understanding of sociology and psychology towards getting phone numbers (over generalization). If that's the case, the people most likely to take up that skill are people who are terrible in social situations and want to get better. Presumably some portion of those people will have psychopathic leanings (or at least treat people as things that you just need to find the right cheat code for). And the better they get at PUA, the better they'll be at expressing those leanings and eventually (when discovered) being seen as a terrible manipulating skeezball.

I'm not insisting on this theory though, but it did come to mind.

I find all of this kind of hilarious though because if you fully read "The Game" the whole ending is about how PUA ended up not creating a "real" relationship for the author and he ended up giving it up. I guess some people would take it with a grain of salt though because after writing the book, the author made a lot of money doing tv shows, interviews, and creating his own version of a PUA handbook...
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Abraxo » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:25 pm UTC

I realize I am breaking decorum about new members posting links, but I could not resist. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a venerable institution that stared down the Ku Klux Klan, has released a report suggesting that PUA might very well count as a hate group. Notice that such memorandum are sent to various law enforcement offices.

A link to Reason Magazine: http://reason.com/blog/2012/03/09/the-southern-poverty-law-center-is-now-w

A link to the SPLC Report: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/spring/misogyny-the-sites

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Thomathy » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:25 pm UTC

between3and30 wrote:
Thomathy wrote:Look, you wrote,
between3and30 wrote:If heterosexual females experienced attraction in the exact same way as heterosexual males, then why would said heterosexual females be attracted to a different half of the population than said heterosexual males?

That clearly states that all heterosexual women are attracted to a 'different half of the population' than heterosexual men. Are you telling me that you don't mean to imply that other half to be heterosexual men? And I'm not taking issue with your use of the word 'half'. Fuck!


You're not taking issue with the word "half", and you're not taking issue with the fact I used the historical definition of "Heterosexual" in being "attracted to the opposite sex (with the "two sexes" in that being male and female), so what are you taking issue with then?

Thomathy wrote:Further, I'll point out to you that few people are entirely heterosexual. Sexual attraction operates on an individual level, so everyone experiences attraction differently than everyone else, your simple male/female heterosexual dichotomy fundamentally misses that fact and just tosses heterosexual men and women into two categories.


You realize that that just supports what I was saying about men and women not experiencing sexual attraction in exactly the same way, right?


No, it doesn't support your wide and sweeping statement. Two men will also experience sexual attraction in different ways. I'm telling you it makes no sense to make the dichotomy you have.

Also, this is all still entirely irrelevant to the comments that you responded to in the first place, namely the affirmative comment by Belial regarding this post:

Thomathy wrote:You do realise that you are stating that a woman must be convinced that she is attracted to a particular man by that particular man and that her prior thoughts regarding him or any thoughts she has about him must be mediated and controlled by that man so that she ends up agreeing with his forgone conclusion that she should have sex with him?


You are causing me to be irritatingly repetative. So, just out with it and tell me what the hell you actually meant by:

between3and30 wrote:Like it or not, men and women are not exactly the same. We evolved to have different historical roles, and as such have different things that we look for. Sexual dimorphism isn't that uncommon.


Because it is entirely unrelated to my quote or the the response to it.
Last edited by Thomathy on Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:26 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Xezlec » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:26 pm UTC

Oh hey, I just realized you're all arguing about extreme capitalism versus extreme socialism and pure aggression as a life strategy versus pure passivity. (I mean, an argument this long can't possibly be about pick-up lines, right?)

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Jave D » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:27 pm UTC

between3and30 wrote:
Jave D wrote:
between3and30 wrote:
Jave D wrote:I love this comic. I love it even more because of all the PUA rage I knew it'd attract.


Honestly, I'm seeing more rage ABOUT PUAs than from PUAs.


A PUA supporter actually RAGE-QUIT XCKD on the first page. That seems to outweigh the general disdain for PUA most folks in the thread are expressing. I mean no one here is like "What? You like PUA! Fuck XCKD, I'm blocking that site now, you all suck BYE! *hair toss*"


No, they're like "What? You like PUA! Fuck you, you're a misogynistic loser! *hair toss*"


I find the rage quit example much more compelling and prominent. I didn't even have to make it up!

The definition of "art" is "any skill or mastery and was not differentiated from crafts or sciences". Social skills are very much an art form.


I go by the definition here "the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance." PUA techniques are not about aesthetic principles of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance. Mere skill or mastery of some set of techniques is not itself art.

Jave D wrote:
Jave D wrote:Come back to me after you've composed a symphony or something.


Oh, but I have.

Groups of people are my canvas.
Words are my paint.
Relationships are my finished paintings.


Symphonies aren't actually composed with canvas and paint, you know.


Yeah, I realize. I was comparing it to a painting because that's a comparison that I know how to make. I don't know enough about music to compare it to a symphony.


See, an artist would have been able to do that kind of thing. Especially an artist who uses words as paint. ;)

I do pickup primarily for how it improves my ability to speak, as that will help my career. Nice generalization there though.


Do you do pickup on guys and are not bisexual or homosexual?

Jave D wrote:Of course skills can be learned. But PUA focuses entirely on skills unrelated to being a better person


Honesty, directness, ability to speak in social situations, ability to connect with people, ability to build rapport with people, ability to interest people, etc.

Yeah, none of those improve you as a person at all...


Not if the object is to get into those people's pants. Now, maybe you specifically are an exception and you solely use PUA skills to improve your public speaking ability. But the fact is it's about picking up women. That is the goal.

Well then, you haven't spoken with very many pickup artists. From what I've seen, it almost always is a very positive vibe. Honestly though, it's surprising how positive it is (amongst experienced PUAs). I mean, think about it. These were the guys who were rejected time and again. These were the "nice guys" who looked at the guys having success with women and would make misogynistic comments about it. However, these are the guys who decided to make a change and are no longer part of that group. Most pickup artist love women. Their goal is to spend as much time talking with them as possible. That would be kinda counter-intuitive if they actually hated them.


Let me ask you this. If there was a PUA technique that involved basically no real talking and somehow went straight to sexual activity with a woman you want, do you think PUA members would be interested in it?

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby sophyturtle » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:29 pm UTC

An attractive guy once tried to use negging on me. That 'is that your natural hair color?' one. I have brown hair. I just said 'yes' and turned away.
If he had said 'hi, my name is *blank*' I would have spoken to him and we would have likely had sex. I mean, he was hot and I am cool with causal sex (or was while single). But he did this negging thing, which at the time I had never heard of.

So, in this case playing the game made him lose (and me too, cause you know, hot).

Just saying.
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby ++$_ » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:30 pm UTC

Okita wrote:Now that I think about it... maybe there's a bias for PUA based upon how people would join PUA.

PUA has a lot to do with applying understanding of sociology and psychology towards getting phone numbers (over generalization). If that's the case, the people most likely to take up that skill are people who are terrible in social situations and want to get better. Presumably some portion of those people will have psychopathic leanings (or at least treat people as things that you just need to find the right cheat code for). And the better they get at PUA, the better they'll be at expressing those leanings and eventually (when discovered) being seen as a terrible manipulating skeezball.
This is an interesting proposal.

Personally, as a person with borderline Asperger's syndrome, I can appreciate the usefulness of explicit rule-based systems that dictate how to behave in various social situations.

The issue is that there are many different ways to write the rules, and some of those ways are bad.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby FireZs » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:30 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
FireZs wrote:People don't freely choose to be seduced. They freely choose to have sex with someone after they are seduced.

They freely choose whether they're up for being seduced, having a conversation, being left the fuck alone, etc. There are two ways of disrespecting such choices. One is just to ignore them. The other is to manipulate people into changing them: this doesn't encompass all ways of making people change their minds, but it encompasses those ways that make an end-run around their agency.


Right, so assuming a woman is up for conversation with a strange man, is she choosing to be seduced? Seduction isn't always obvious, you know.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:31 pm UTC

Xezlec wrote:Oh hey, I just realized you're all arguing about extreme capitalism versus extreme socialism and pure aggression as a life strategy versus pure passivity. (I mean, an argument this long can't possibly be about pick-up lines, right?)
This shit ain't nothing. You should have been here for the fuckstorm that was 'Boxers vs Briefs'.

We lost half the moderators.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby ddxxdd » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:32 pm UTC

FireZs wrote:People don't freely choose to be seduced. They freely choose to have sex with someone after they are seduced. Without the seduction the choice would be "no", because if it were "yes" before the seduction, there would be no need for it. I'm not sure if your model for what is seduction and what is manipulation represents reality.


My desire for a Big Mac might be nonexistent before a commercial, but I might want one after a commercial. I don't think that "manipulation" is unethical.

The Great Hippo wrote:But there are people who aren't in on it. People on both sides. People who join PUA because they're lonely and insecure, and want a sustainable relationship--well, now they're learning the tools best suited toward shallow one-night stands. Good luck with that! And people who aren't familiar with PUA, but want a sustainable relationship--and now they're interacting with PUAs who aren't interested, but are coming at them with all the tools at their disposal and with the expressed purpose of convincing them to come to bed. Not all of these people are equipped to realize what the PUAs are actually after, and I'm betting that a good number of them are going to get hurt.


But PUA tools can be used for any purpose. The general model that almost everyone uses is: Open->Transition->Attract->Test to see if she's Qualified->build Rapport->Close, with a number, a kiss, a first date, etc. In fact, one night stands are *extremely* hard to do, and only the best are able to do it.

The Great Hippo wrote:It's even worse when you're teaching guys to sell themselves to women, and--whether by intent or just by sheer, oblivious enthusiasm--they sell themselves as something more than a one-night stand to someone who's in the market for a relationship.


Open->Transition->Attract->Qualify- Rapport->Close; The qualification and rapport stages involve understanding what everyone wants, and understanding each other.
jpers36 wrote:But the underlying issue to me is that "acting natural" is not the measure. Acting morally/ethically is the measure, and part of that is honesty, and transparency, and honoring the other person's right to agency. Manipulation isn't wrong because it's unnatural; it's wrong because it rejects these virtues.


What about wearing make-up and using push-up bras?

sophyturtle wrote:An attractive guy once tried to use negging on me. That 'is that your natural hair color?' one. I have brown hair. I just said 'yes' and turned away.
If he had said 'hi, my name is *blank*' I would have spoken to him and we would have likely had sex. I mean, he was hot and I am cool with causal sex (or was while single). But he did this negging thing, which at the time I had never heard of.


I've learned that negging only works when there's a certain level of comfort built up. I've used "You 2 have the 2nd and 3rd most beautiful outfits ever. The first being Lady Gaga" after talking to them a bit. All of a sudden, they started showing more interest in me.
I'm waiting for someone to say something worth sigging...

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby chenille » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:32 pm UTC

ddxxdd wrote:If so, then are you saying that I don't have the right to stop courting a girl on my own and start courting someone else? Is her right to not be "manipulated", as defined by some, override my right to be able to start a conversation with someone else?

How is it a question of rights like that? Look, if Romeo hooks up with Juliet even though her family doesn't like him, that's should be prerogative. But if Romeo hooks up with her specifically because he wants to spite her family, he's a jerk and deserves our contempt. In both cases, the action is the same, but his motives makes one right and the other wrong. In the same way, you have a right to talk to who you want, but you just said you were doing it to manipulate someone, which makes you manipulative. How can you not see that?

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Belial » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:33 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Xezlec wrote:Oh hey, I just realized you're all arguing about extreme capitalism versus extreme socialism and pure aggression as a life strategy versus pure passivity. (I mean, an argument this long can't possibly be about pick-up lines, right?)
This shit ain't nothing. You should have been here for the fuckstorm that was 'Boxers vs Briefs'.

We lost half the moderators.


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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby FireZs » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:34 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:
FireZs wrote:
babble wrote:and the thing about the nice guy who can't get laid and the womaniser who can. the exact same people saying 'manipulation is wrong' are also the ones saying 'it's OK for the manipulator to have sex, cos there are people who want to have sex with him. Erm - the whole POINT was that he was using the game or whatever to "manipulate" them. Either it's OK or it's not.


The idea is that the "manipulator" is "true": that is actually who he is (and I argue that there's some idea that some kind of mating fitness signaling is going on). So when people ape the behaviors of the "manipulator" without having those qualities naturally, they're "scamming" the system and getting undeserved sex by signaling mating fitness that isn't there.


I find that an interesting concept.

Hardly any of the sex that comes from people randomly meeting in bars and then agreeing to drunken one-night-stands will result in viable pregnancies. Most of it will not result in a second date. There are a few marriages that result from this, but not many. (I'm going by anecdotal information here, I don't actually have solid data about how many marriages start from drunken sex with nearly-anonymous strangers.)

Suppose you are right. Suppose there is some sort of prehistoric system built in so that men who would make good sperm donors honestly signal that. Suppose that in the old days, women all made sure to have sex with the men who honestly gave off those signals, so they could have better babies. What the hell does that have to do with today?

If a woman goes to a bar and picks up a man she hopes to have a few hours of fun with, and then she throws him out at 3 AM or 7 AM or whenever without giving him her phone number, what possible difference does it make how well-adapted his babies would have been in 100,000 BC?

I mean, what the hell?


And yet physically strong men are still considered sexually desirable, when such attributes are of little use today. Attraction isn't consciously tied to actually making babies, but the programming is hard to change. It's like how, just because there's birth control and the costs of having sex are much much lower than in 100,000 BC, women are still more selective about their sexual partners than men.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby BrianX » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:35 pm UTC

I'm the number one prime audience for the PUA community -- socially broken (I'm actually a mild Aspie), geeky, desperate. And I fucking hate those guys. I'd rather be honestly desperately single than creepy and only hooking up with women with more issues than me -- I'm crazy enough for both of us.

No sympathy whatsoever. If you have to be a manipulative con man to get laid, perhaps it's better you stay out of the gene pool entirely. Those defending the people Randal is criticizing can suck my left nut. Or better yet, don't. You'd probably bite it by accident.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Wharrgarbl8 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:37 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Wharrgarbl8 wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:To try to change someone's behaviour by superseding their free choice.


If you think this is possible, you have a very inflated view of what PUA's can do.

Pardon — I should have said "preferences," not "behavior."


I don't see much of a difference. PUA's are really aren't about trying to change a woman's preferences at all. They are about demonstrating to someone that you ARE their preference. That's the basis for the start of any relationship.

And still, the system has nothing to do trying to remove the woman's will in the matter. Even 'negging' is not about tearing down a woman's self-esteem, but about presenting the PUA as a man who is confident enough to consider himself your equal.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby DarkShard » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:38 pm UTC

I'm unsettled by the fact that "learning how to connect with people better so that you might have more meaningful and positive interactions " and "learning how to manipulate, wear down, and deceive a woman into doing something you know she wouldn't otherwise do without concern for her welfare" are being conflated. They are not the same thing. You can be a socially awkward person who goes for the first and be a fine human being. You cannot be any kind of person who goes for the second and be anything but an asshole.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby ddxxdd » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:38 pm UTC

chenille wrote:
ddxxdd wrote:If so, then are you saying that I don't have the right to stop courting a girl on my own and start courting someone else? Is her right to not be "manipulated", as defined by some, override my right to be able to start a conversation with someone else?

How is it a question of rights like that? Look, if Romeo hooks up with Juliet even though her family doesn't like him, that's should be prerogative. But if Romeo hooks up with her specifically because he wants to spite her family, he's a jerk and deserves our contempt. In both cases, the action is the same, but his motives makes one right and the other wrong. In the same way, you have a right to talk to who you want, but you just said you were doing it to manipulate someone, which makes you manipulative. How can you not see that?


Let's suppose a girl's paying me no attention and has no interest in the conversation. I go off to another girl thinking that girl may be more receptive. I think in the back of my mind that it might get girl 1's attention, but it's not my priority. Girl 1 suddenly expressed interest in me. Did I wrong girl #1? Did I violate her right to not be interested in me?
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:39 pm UTC

FireZs wrote:Right, so assuming a woman is up for conversation with a strange man, is she choosing to be seduced?

I don't know, is she? I can't tell you what hypothetical people want just based on some other things that they want.

Wharrgarbl8 wrote:I don't see much of a difference. PUA's are really aren't about trying to change a woman's preferences at all. They are about demonstrating to someone that you ARE their preference. That's the basis for the start of any relationship.

OK. Then, assuming this is true, PUAs aren't manipulative. I wasn't criticizing PUAs. I was just asked to define "manipulation."
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby chrisvalentine » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:39 pm UTC

Marlayna wrote:
chrisvalentine wrote:Speaking as a guy who was a complete chump in high school and a mediocre PUA in college, there's a lot of guys out there who just don't know how to handle women at all.


There we go again.

People aren't meant to be "handled". :roll:


Handle talking to them, in case it wasn't obvious. The rest of my post is rambling, I've noticed. Oh well, throw it against the wall, see what sticks.

Most guys that want to become PUAs do it because they hated getting absolutely nowhere with women. Its generally up to the guy to take the initial chances when pursuing any non-platonic relationship. We're expected to start the conversation, we're expected to pursue her, to some degree or another. It may come as a surprise, but that can be terrifying for many people, to put yourself out there like that. Outside of classes or work, we have to somehow start a conversation with a woman we find attractive, we have to keep that conversation going, and we have to try to get her interested in us, all within a short period of time (a few hours, in a best case scenario). Its not the easiest thing in the world, let me tell you.

People start complaining about how the whole process is adversarial, and thats just the nature of the beast (and has been ever since sexual reproduction started). Most women make it hard for guys to get in their pants; as they should. Most guys, on the other hand, want little else but that, but generally don't know how to get it. Its quite frustrating. Myself, I used some of the techniques a few times, and was able to learn from it, to my benefit and the benefit of those around me.

What never ceases to amaze me is how blind many women are to what guys want and then, how many resent the guys for it, even though everyone in the world says it constantly: guys just want sex. So many think its not true of the guys they meet. I have one friend who is stunningly beautiful; she's competed in many beauty pageants and usually placed quite well. She's also smart, with several degrees. Great sense of humor, and capable of being incredibly cynical and sarcastic when the situation calls for it. Yet, repeatedly, she has been burned by guys she's been in relationships with, simply because she couldn't comprehend that most of the guys that she encounters are just trying to get her in her pants. I had to tell her flat out: every straight guy she knew that wasn't a close relative wanted to sleep with her, and it took me hours to convince her of that.

And for all the people who complain about the PUAs techniques, I'm wondering what the guy who doesn't know how to talk to women is supposed to do? Most guys just don't know how to talk to women and aren't interested in just learning by trial and error (particularly since we're going to make the same mistakes over and over again).

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby ddxxdd » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:41 pm UTC

DarkShard wrote:I'm unsettled by the fact that "learning how to connect with people better so that you might have more meaningful and positive interactions " and "learning how to manipulate, wear down, and deceive a woman into doing something you know she wouldn't otherwise do without concern for her welfare" are being conflated. They are not the same thing. You can be a socially awkward person who goes for the first and be a fine human being. You cannot be any kind of person who goes for the second and be anything but an asshole.


The main issue is that not only is it doubtful that PUAs do that, but it's doubtful that this is possible at all for a person with agency.
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby DarkShard » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:43 pm UTC

ddxxdd wrote:The main issue is that not only is it doubtful that PUAs do that, but it's doubtful that this is possible at all for a person with agency.

I take it that you do not have much experience with people who are emotionally and physically abusive? Because I don't see how you can make this statement if you have any familiarity with such situations.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:43 pm UTC

It's impossible to manipulate, wear down, and deceive people with agency?
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby ddxxdd » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:46 pm UTC

DarkShard wrote:
ddxxdd wrote:The main issue is that not only is it doubtful that PUAs do that, but it's doubtful that this is possible at all for a person with agency.

I take it that you do not have much experience with people who are emotionally and physically abusive? Because I don't see how you can make this statement if you have any familiarity with such situations.


From what I've read about domestic abuse, it seems like the problem is that the woman feels that she needs that particular man in her life, so she's willing to endure abuse for it. That's clearly not the case for two people that have met for the first time.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:It's impossible to manipulate, wear down, and deceive people with agency?


In a way that will make them attracted to you and like you more? Unless you lie about your income and career, and talk to them for 20 hours straight....
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby jpers36 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:49 pm UTC

ddxxdd wrote:Agency isn't a "right", it's something you either have or don't have. The technique that I was discussing involved the "Jealousy" technique, in which you stop courting someone that you're already courting, and start courting someone else. The idea is that if she wasn't attracted to you before, then seeing you with someone else will create a feeling of jealousy that will increase your level of attraction to her.

Is that really an example of removing someone's agency? Is that really an example of manipulation? If so, then are you saying that I don't have the right to stop courting a girl on my own and start courting someone else? Is her right to not be "manipulated", as defined by some, override my right to be able to start a conversation with someone else?


I disagree with your claim that agency is not a right, but let's set it aside since it's not the center of our discussion.

Yes, what you're describing is an example of manipulation. In a vacuum, you definitely have the right to stop courting a girl and start courting someone else. But you don't have the moral right to intentionally create a feeling of jealousy in a woman to cloud her rationality. That's extremely manipulative: attempting to short-circuit someone's ability to make reasoned decisions. Also, you don't have the moral right to court someone solely for the purpose of increasing your chances with another person: it's deceitful and extremely damaging to the "false date", as well as presenting your relationship falsely to the public as a whole. The whole situation has nothing to do with improving your social skills or "bettering yourself" in any way. You're just trying to present yourself as something you're not to everybody involved to achieve your personal goals. You're using everyone as a means, and recognizing no one as an end.

If you live your life like this, I'm truly sorry for you. You're going to find yourself unfulfilled, constantly chasing after the wind.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby J Thomas » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:49 pm UTC

fjafjan wrote:
J Thomas wrote:Richard Feynman discussed his own experience with this.

Spoiler:
As I read it, he looked at a Las Vegas bar not long after WWII, and tried to get laid, and failed at it. Then he watched carefully and he decided that very few of the men there were getting laid. Then he found an expert to give him advice. The expert first did a trick to persuade him the man was in fact an expert. Then he gave his advice. "You just have to ask them."

Feynman then applied his intellect to the advice. Women in bars who slept with men who asked them to, were barflies, sluts, etc. Not respectable. So before he could ask a random woman to have sex with him, he had to believe she was a slut and not respectable. And he had to convince her that he believed that, and that it was true.

He found that this method worked for him. I don't remember him giving any statistics about how often it worked, but he seemed to imply that it always worked with women he met in bars, and it worked with one woman he met in a professional context. He gave an example where it worked on a manipulative woman who collected a big group of men trying to do her favors. He got her attention kind of like the sheep who wanders from the flock gets the shepherd's attention.

If you believe you can't ask a respectable woman to have sex with you, and you can't accept a slut, then manipulating a respectable woman seems far preferable to rape.

Many men find that when there is no definite reason a woman would reject them, like a boyfriend etc, somewhere between a quarter and a half of the women they ask will say yes if they just ask them. Feynman's expert told him to ask before he spent money on them, which was excellent advice -- given the amount of disrespect going on, a woman probably doesn't like to think a man might think he's just bought her for the price of a drink or a dinner etc.

My own experience before I married fits this. But a few times women were outraged that I asked, and acted creepy whenever they saw me after that, and each time made a big thing of introducing me to their fiancees, years later. Men who were in each case richer, taller, and more stylish than me. I have several hypotheses what might have been going on in those cases, but no obvious way to test them.

Jinksy wrote:Incidentally, Feynman was clearly a PUA of the Neil Strauss school (‘You’re worse than a whore’, anyone?), and we all think he was cool, right?
Can’t we all get along, now?



Okay, I got a bit too mad reading this conclusion to just let it stand.

Feynman did indeed try a PUA style method, where he refused to buy a girl a thing, and he asked her to sleep with him etc. He relates that he was shocked that it worked, but then he messed up as he offered to buy sandwiches and she got with another guy.


The way I remember that story, this was a woman who got a whole lot of men panting after her. Feynman was the only one in the room being negative. Then when she invited somebody to leave with her, he volunteered because he figured he couldn't make a move while she was gone. She told him to get sandwiches and he did, but he noticed she wanted three. Then she gave him one of them and started to leave with the other two to go to somebody else. He blew up at her, and she paid him for the sandwiches. Later that night she found Feynman and insisted on having sex with him. She was a manipulative person who got out-manipulated. The point wasn't the sandwiches which weren't that expensive, but that he wanted her and she could get him to do things and then just throw him away.

However his conclusion from this was that even though it seemed to work he did not feel comfortable using this method.


He gave the impression he used it successfully multiple times before he quit, years later.


To quote the book it's from (Surely you're joking mr Feynman)

So it worked even with an ordinary girl! But no matter how effective the lesson was, I never really used it after that. I didn’t enjoy doing it that way. But it was interesting to know that things worked much differently from how I was brought up.


So in conclusion, yes, Feynman did learn some trick of reminiscent of PUA, but for reasons he does not specify he did not enjoy using them and basically only tried once or twice. I would suppose it has something to do with being manipulative and sleazy, but of course that is speculation.


He was good at gauging public opinion. I expect he wanted to put in some sort of disclaimer so that people wouldn't conclude that he was some sort of low-down, dirty PUA. Which by his own account he was.

But the way I read the story, the man who gave him the advice did not tell him to do it that way. The advice was to find a woman he found interesting and ask her to have sex before he bought her anything. Feynman himself decided that to do that he had to disrespect her.

My own experience was that simply following that advice -- asking politely and sincerely, without offering gifts first -- had desirable outcomes often enough that it would take large samples and statistics to show whether some special PUA course would do better.
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby zmic » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:50 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:
zmic wrote:
Vettle wrote:Yeah, the PUA community is horrible


yeah I agree. Any guy who considers a woman as some adversary that need to be conquered --by playing any dirty trick-- should really ask himself if he simply isn't a closeted homosexual. After all such person can hardly claim that he loves women.

but did anyone else find this comic really depressing? I think it applies to virtually everyone. Ouch.
Ah! The call to arms! Homosexuals of the world unite! The enemy is upon you! The women are here and they must be destroyed! Zmic demands your obeisance!

OK perhaps hyberbolic but, zmic, what you are saying amounts to "If you consider women the enemy then you're probably gay.";


I did not say probably. But I wouldn't be surprised if a fair percentage of guys who turn to PUA books and PUA techniques are gay without recognizing it. After all, if you turn to books that explain how to seduce women, chances are that you're having problems establishing relationships with women. And apparently the "solution" to this problem is that you turn yourself into one big fake asshole. So that's why I suggested that such a person should ask himself at least once whether he simply wouldn't be happier in a relationship with another man, if only because he wouldn't have to LIE, SCHEME and FAKE all the time. That is, the solution to your "woman problem" may be much simpler than you think. Of course, if you're in the game just because you're a sociopath scumbag then this advise is not for you. That's all I wanted to say.

a statement which I feel does a disservice to both of those groups and to my opinion of you. Or am I misunderstanding the sentiment here?
Last edited by zmic on Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:56 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:51 pm UTC

ddxxdd wrote:From what I've read about domestic abuse, it seems like the problem is that the woman feels that she needs that particular man in her life, so she's willing to endure abuse for it. That's clearly not the case for two people that have met for the first time.
Relationships are very complex, and resist generalization. This is one of the reasons I'm so suspicious of PUA's efficacy--because people, and thereby their interactions, are complicated as all fuck.

Honesty and clarity are our best tools to avoid causing harm. It's true that these may not be the best methods for getting you laid, but they're the best methods for respecting the agency of those around you.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Wharrgarbl8 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:52 pm UTC

Okita wrote:If that's the case, the people most likely to take up that skill are people who are terrible in social situations and want to get better. Presumably some portion of those people will have psychopathic leanings (or at least treat people as things that you just need to find the right cheat code for).


There is definitely that prejudice. That when a person is bad socially, it is a result of being a bad person. It seems so natural that a good person would be good socially. Therefore anyone in need of social training must have something wrong inside them that that training is covering up.

That's why there are dozens of people on this board who have assumed that men seeking training on talking to women must be bad people. And why we see words like 'trick' or 'manipulate' when someone needs help with a social interaction. You would almost never see xkcd piling onto people trying to improve themselves and learn new skills, but social interaction learning/training is a huge no no.
Last edited by Wharrgarbl8 on Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:53 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby FireZs » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:52 pm UTC

chrisvalentine wrote:People start complaining about how the whole process is adversarial, and thats just the nature of the beast (and has been ever since sexual reproduction started). Most women make it hard for guys to get in their pants; as they should.


Yes, it is inherently adversarial, but you're not competing against the woman. You're competing against other men. A lot of would-be PUAs don't seem to understand this. It's not that the woman is withholding sex from you. It's that there are other men she'd rather be with.


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