1027: "Pickup Artist"

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chrisvalentine
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby chrisvalentine » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:53 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.


You know what an asshole is? An asshole is a guy who looked around, tried doing things 'the right way' and got burned a few too many times. He then goes through and adopts a me-first attitude. To no great surprise, it ends up working. There's a reason why the expression 'nice guys finish last' exists.

Anecdote: Pretty friend of mine was complaining about how all the guys she dated were assholes and how there were no nice guys. I pointed out that she was completely wrong. She started listing all the guys she had been with and how they didn't treat her right. I asked her if her school had a chess team, a science club, or anything of the sort. She said yes. I told her she could find her nice guys that would do anything for her there. She protested that she wasn't interested in those guys. My point exactly, I explained.

There's no getting around it: most guys, to succeed with women that they are interested in, must be, to some degree, jerks. Its difficult, but there's a fine line to walk, between being a chump and being a complete selfish asshole.

Another anecdote: Two friends of mine in college. One was the nicest (if annoying) guy in the world. Only ever dated one girl (and she was not, to be polite, easy on the eyes, nor did she have much in the way of personality) in his entire life (well, he may have found someone now that he's a working stiff), and once she dumped him, he spent all his time moping about it. Another friend (correction, acquaintance) was a regular cassanova. He dated and slept with multiple women (all very very attractive, and most were genuinely good, upstanding people) all the time. Everyone knew that about him, and nobody really thought poorly of him for that in and of itself. What we all despised about the guy was that he'd lead the girls on for months or a year at a time, all the while plotting his next conquest (the man basically would trade in whatever girlfriend he had for a younger model with each new freshman class). Now, faced with those two choices, its hard not to be tempted to be more like guy 2.

The trick is to be just enough of a jerk to know that you can do what you want in life and not try to impress other people; to not worry about losing one relationship to the point that it paralyzes you; to have the confidence to attempt your goals, and not worry about failure. At the same time, not totally consider everyone else as a means to an end for your own purposes, and to respect other people

The biggest problem to figuring out how to balance this is that you can only really do it by trial and error. You go out there, and you're going to have your heart broken, and you're going to break a heart, unless you live in a perfect world where the first girl you meet is your soul mate and you both recognize that fact. We're all just trying to make our way through.

Oh, and the person who first taught me how to pick up women? My mother, who always said "Treat the princesses like peasants, and the peasants like princesses."

chrisvalentine
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby chrisvalentine » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:54 pm UTC

FireZs wrote:
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.


The two are not mutually exclusive.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:54 pm UTC

jpers36 wrote: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.

It's not obvious to me that there's rationality to be had here. What decisions about who you're attracted to would count as reasoned?

I think the important thing is not about making reasoned decisions. I think the important thing is that, once a person makes a decision, you don't try to change it except in ways that they're OK with. Generally people are not OK with being deceived, played for jealousy, and so on.
Last edited by TheGrammarBolshevik on Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:57 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby SoaG » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:54 pm UTC

Abraxo wrote: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.

In this case there's a strong argument that much (most?) of the PUA self-appointed leadership is highly misogynistic.
SPLC however is not who I'd choose to support that argument.
I don't know much about their history decades back, but in recent years is there anybody they haven't declared a hate group? :lol:
The little boy that cried wolf comes to mind.
Sadly this is becoming true of many social advocacy organizations with noble pasts. I wonder what Marshall MacLuhan would have to say about how such groups change over time...

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby DarkShard » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:54 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.

Well, then I'm just going to leave it at, "You don't really have an understanding of domestic abuse." However, I would also state that I didn't say "domestic abuse," I said "people who are emotionally and physically abusive." Those are not necessarily the same, although there is overlap.

ddxxdd wrote: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....

I'm sorry, but what I've seen about PUAs is that it isn't about making women more attracted to you and like you more, it's about making women more likely to have sex with you. Those are not the same things at all. For example, let's say we have a guy and a girl in high school who are dating. He wants to have sex, so he tells her things like "everyone is doing it" and "I'll leave you if you don't have sex with me." Do you think these statements are likely to make her more attracted to him and like him more? I don't; I think they are likely to make her feel forced, nervous, and unhappy. But can it make her more likely to have sex? Yes.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Xezlec » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:55 pm UTC

So if I'm understanding the argument right, it's basically this: some guy tries to talk to girls that he is attracted to, and fails, and eventually realizes that they are turned off by his hygiene. So he changes his hygiene. Is that "betraying who he really is"? Maybe, but it's a change he chooses to make, and over time, the practice makes him really that person. He starts to notice his hygiene just as a habit. Now he's still failing, but notices that a lot of girls are turned off by his lack of confidence. So he starts trying to act more confident. Not who he really is, but again, over time, the practice turns him into that person, more or less, because now that he's paying attention to it, he can't help but notice when he's acting like a pathetic loser, so his behavior starts to train in the direction of confidence. Now, they're turned off by how fast he tries to move, so he learns to go slower and have some conversation first, etc. Eventually, he starts to be successful, and his personality has effectively changed. Isn't that the learning curve everyone follows from pathetic, masturbating teen to experienced adult? If so, then is reading a book to learn those behaviors more quickly morally wrong? Is it "manipulative"? In that sense, is manipulation really unnatural?

If that's the argument, then I'm going to say there's nothing wrong with what the PUAs are doing, unless they've learned to do something that harms the woman in some way. If a woman is really so fragile that it's possible to hurt her self-confidence, and that somehow helps in getting involved with her then yeah, that's clearly wrong. But if we're just talking about, essentially, "formal training" in the usual elaborate "trying to make myself look good" game that both sides normally play anyway, I don't see the problem.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby ++$_ » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:57 pm UTC

Xezlec wrote:So if I'm understanding the argument right, it's basically this: some guy tries to talk to girls that he is attracted to, and fails, and eventually realizes that they are turned off by his hygiene. So he changes his hygiene. Is that "betraying who he really is"? Maybe, but it's a change he chooses to make, and over time, the practice makes him really that person. He starts to notice his hygiene just as a habit. Now he's still failing, but notices that a lot of girls are turned off by his lack of confidence. So he starts trying to act more confident. Not who he really is, but again, over time, the practice turns him into that person, more or less, because now that he's paying attention to it, he can't help but notice when he's acting like a pathetic loser, so his behavior starts to train in the direction of confidence. Now, they're turned off by how fast he tries to move, so he learns to go slower and have some conversation first, etc. Eventually, he starts to be successful, and his personality has effectively changed. Isn't that the learning curve everyone follows from pathetic, masturbating teen to experienced adult? If so, then is reading a book to learn those behaviors more quickly morally wrong? Is it "manipulative"? In that sense, is manipulation really unnatural?

If that's the argument, then I'm going to say there's nothing wrong with what the PUAs are doing, unless they've learned to do something that harms the woman in some way. If a woman is really so fragile that it's possible to hurt her self-confidence, and that somehow helps in getting involved with her then yeah, that's clearly wrong. But if we're just talking about, essentially, "formal training" in the usual elaborate "trying to make myself look good" game that both sides normally play anyway, I don't see the problem.
You know, that would be fine if that were what PUAs did.

Unfortunately, it isn't. See, for example, the (incomplete) list of manipulative behaviors they advocate, that I put in a previous post.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby FireZs » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:58 pm UTC

chrisvalentine wrote:
FireZs wrote:
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.


The two are not mutually exclusive.


Ok, so she's withholding sex from you because there are other men she'd rather be with, that's exactly my point.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:59 pm UTC

Wharrgarbl8 wrote: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.
No, going to classes to learn how to get a lady's number is a huge 'no no'. Because this environment doesn't just teach you how to get a lady's number; it teaches you that the goal of interacting with a lady is to get that number--it teaches you the rules of a game that this lady may not even be aware that you're playing.

You want to improve your social interaction? Try therapy. Try theater. Try just repeatedly asking girls out, learning to accept rejection, and building from there. But the sort of environment we're talking about--where people pool their knowledge and resources together for the explicit purpose of getting someone laid--this is the sort of environment that's fertile ground for emotional douchfucks to grow.

Again, there are better ways.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby BrianX » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:59 pm UTC

FireZs wrote:
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.


False binary. All you can really say if you're turned down is that she's not interested in you; her reasons for not being into you may involve other men, but sexual orientation, fear, psychological issues, past history, or just your personality are all possible factors as well. Point is, if you're turned down, best to just move on.
Last edited by BrianX on Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:01 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby jc24012 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:00 pm UTC

between3and30 wrote:
jc24012 wrote:I think it's a shame that until recently, there only seemed to be two schools of advice to socially awkward guys who had no success with women:

2. The "PUA" school -- learn "techniques" and "routines" to help you get your target into bed. If she puts up her "bitch shield" then hit her with some "negs" to bring her self-esteem down a few notches. There's a lot of really creepy stuff out there, especially the neuro-linguistic programming methods & such. I think this school earned its misogynistic reputation, but some of the methods undoubtedly work. Hence, many guys believe the lie that you have to be a jerk to get the girl.

jc24012 wrote:There's a lot of really creepy stuff out there, especially the neuro-linguistic programming methods & such.


You yourself are saying that there's more than one school of thought in pickup. Speed Seduction =/= Mystery Method =/= Juggler =/= Mehow =/= RSD =/= PUATraining


Yes, you are correct -- I put "PUA" in quotes because the term has become strongly associated with some of the creepier elements out there, like NLP. There are many different varieties out there, some of which I'd call part of the "third school" I talked about. Some of the others are misogynistic and creepy. From what I've seen, if you say the words "pick-up artist" to an average American, they'll associate it with the bad elements. Same with the term "neg", which most people seem to equate to "insult". You might say that those associations are unfair, but I would suggest that those terms have such a strong negative connotation now that you would be better off finding new words that better describe what you're trying to achieve.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby FireZs » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:01 pm UTC

chrisvalentine wrote:Anecdote: Pretty friend of mine was complaining about how all the guys she dated were assholes and how there were no nice guys. I pointed out that she was completely wrong. She started listing all the guys she had been with and how they didn't treat her right. I asked her if her school had a chess team, a science club, or anything of the sort. She said yes. I told her she could find her nice guys that would do anything for her there. She protested that she wasn't interested in those guys. My point exactly, I explained.

There's no getting around it: most guys, to succeed with women that they are interested in, must be, to some degree, jerks. Its difficult, but there's a fine line to walk, between being a chump and being a complete selfish asshole.

Another anecdote: Two friends of mine in college. One was the nicest (if annoying) guy in the world. Only ever dated one girl (and she was not, to be polite, easy on the eyes, nor did she have much in the way of personality) in his entire life (well, he may have found someone now that he's a working stiff), and once she dumped him, he spent all his time moping about it. Another friend (correction, acquaintance) was a regular cassanova. He dated and slept with multiple women (all very very attractive, and most were genuinely good, upstanding people) all the time. Everyone knew that about him, and nobody really thought poorly of him for that in and of itself. What we all despised about the guy was that he'd lead the girls on for months or a year at a time, all the while plotting his next conquest (the man basically would trade in whatever girlfriend he had for a younger model with each new freshman class). Now, faced with those two choices, its hard not to be tempted to be more like guy 2.



No. Your friend isn't attractive to women because he's a jerk to them. It's the exact opposite: he's a jerk to women because he's attractive to them, so he has no incentive to be "nice". If you switched the two friends' personalities, friend 1 would just be a jerk who can't get laid, and friend 2 would be married within the year.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Weeks » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:03 pm UTC

ddxxdd wrote:You do realize that Italy was the home of Giacomo Casanova, the father of the art of seduction, right?
Giacomo Casanova, god of PUAs and Alpha males

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby ddxxdd » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:04 pm UTC

jpers36 wrote: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.


Well what is "intention"? I just pointed out a situation where I didn't intend to attract a girl, but I ended up attracting her. I've read plenty of stories about guys who internalize patterns of behavior that attract women without "intending" to attract women.

As another example, let's say that you learn that having lots of female friends will help you attract the opposite sex. So you decide to talk to a bunch of guys and girls. You end up making good friends and sharing stories and having good times together. You create genuine friendships. And, also, you end up attracting the opposite sex more often. Did you just manipulate your new friends? Are you a scumbag for developing motivation to go out and meet new people?

The Great Hippo wrote: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.


Open->Transition->Attract->Qualify->Rapport->Close. Honesty and Clarity are part of the Qualify and Rapport stage.
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Wharrgarbl8 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:05 pm UTC

Xezlec wrote: But if we're just talking about, essentially, "formal training" in the usual elaborate "trying to make myself look good" game that both sides normally play anyway, I don't see the problem.


That's really what the majority of it is. Naturally there are ones that try and use awful and degrading techniques, but most are pretty much teaching you how to play the game that most of us already know.

Much like Sales training, you can find ones that are scummy and scammy but most teach the basic, time honoured techniques that most people use. Because generally those are the best techniques.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Abraxo » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:05 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Abraxo wrote:The moral question is not interesting to them because they have already found an answer. Do you really think that you can present them with a novel, well thought out example that will change not only their mind but their value judgments? Can you provide an argument to make some change their favorite flavor of ice-cream? They fundamentally disagree with you and while yelling at them might be cathartic, it will not change their behavior or their beliefs.

That's unfortunate. But ethical questions are not decided by whether you can get assholes to recognize the answers.


Give that there are ethical truths, then you are correct, they are not decided by a consensus. My narrow point was that if one wants to do more than harangue the PUA, then one must realize they are likely at an impasse. In many ways, this strikes me as akin to having a discussion with an evangelical about the interpretation of the bible and then having someone propose an alternative religious text such as the Koran or the Bhagavad Gita. There is always the meta level question of which, if any, is the correct religion, but for the current discussion that ship has already sailed.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:PUAs don't challenge my beliefs about self-determination. I'm perfectly aware that people are not always free to choose what they want. That's not what bothers me about (manipulative) PUAs. What bothers me is that people want to be able to choose what they want, and manipulative people, by definition, try to foreclose this desire.


I don't think we even disagree on this point. Nobel Laureate James Buchanan has a great line where he says: "Man wants liberty to become the man he wants to become." The PUA, as it were, trick us into using our freedom to become what they want us to become.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby FireZs » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:06 pm UTC

BrianX wrote:
FireZs wrote:
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.


False binary. All you can really say if you're turned down is that she's not interested in you; her reasons for not being into you may involve other men, but sexual orientation, fear, psychological issues, past history, or just your personality are all possible factors as well. Point is, if you're turned down, best to just move on.


I just wanted to point out that the dating world isn't just you and a bunch of women. There're a bunch of men out there too, and you will not be judged based on just your own merits, but your merits as compared to other men who are available to the woman. It seems obvious, but a lot of people seem to not know this. Hence all the cries of "I'm funny, smart, have a job, why can't I get a girl?" Yeah, you and a whole lot of other guys too.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby chrisvalentine » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:06 pm UTC

FireZs wrote:
chrisvalentine wrote:Anecdote: Pretty friend of mine was complaining about how all the guys she dated were assholes and how there were no nice guys. I pointed out that she was completely wrong. She started listing all the guys she had been with and how they didn't treat her right. I asked her if her school had a chess team, a science club, or anything of the sort. She said yes. I told her she could find her nice guys that would do anything for her there. She protested that she wasn't interested in those guys. My point exactly, I explained.

There's no getting around it: most guys, to succeed with women that they are interested in, must be, to some degree, jerks. Its difficult, but there's a fine line to walk, between being a chump and being a complete selfish asshole.

Another anecdote: Two friends of mine in college. One was the nicest (if annoying) guy in the world. Only ever dated one girl (and she was not, to be polite, easy on the eyes, nor did she have much in the way of personality) in his entire life (well, he may have found someone now that he's a working stiff), and once she dumped him, he spent all his time moping about it. Another friend (correction, acquaintance) was a regular cassanova. He dated and slept with multiple women (all very very attractive, and most were genuinely good, upstanding people) all the time. Everyone knew that about him, and nobody really thought poorly of him for that in and of itself. What we all despised about the guy was that he'd lead the girls on for months or a year at a time, all the while plotting his next conquest (the man basically would trade in whatever girlfriend he had for a younger model with each new freshman class). Now, faced with those two choices, its hard not to be tempted to be more like guy 2.



No. Your friend isn't attractive to women because he's a jerk to them. It's the exact opposite: he's a jerk to women because he's attractive to them, so he has no incentive to be "nice". If you switched the two friends' personalities, friend 1 would just be a jerk who can't get laid, and friend 2 would be married within the year.


Sorry, nope. Trust me, I know both of these people, and you don't. But I'm curious, if you think you know the situation well enough: What is attractive about this guy?

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby AndyG314 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:07 pm UTC

A few thoughts I've had reading this thread:

If the PUA is a manipulator, then his "marks" are very easily manipulated. I find the idea that the PUA's "Mark" is so gullible as to be tricked into sex with a few back-handed complements to be more offensive than anything else discussed here. There also seems to be the idea that women don't seek out casual sex on their own which is also untrue and quite offensive.

Do PUA's enjoy a higher success rate than men who use other strategies? There's a lot of assumption that it does, but I have my doubts. Hit on more women you'll sleep with more women, law of large numbers. That and confirmation bias will make it seem like there successful even if they have no better odds than anybody else. I suggest that PUA's arn't manipulators they are simply persistent.

There seems to be the opinion that the PUA is somehow worse than the "player" who is just naturally good at picking up women, there have been several comments insinuating that this is ture, I fail to see how it could be logically backed up.

PUA's were compared to conmen, a con is usually predicated on a lie. I am not very familiar with "the game" but I didn't think it involved lying about one's intentions.

People get better at anything they do, so presumably somebody who hits on a lot of women will get better over time, is it somehow wrong to use experience from past attempts to woo new women? If that isn't wrong how is using knowledge gained from others different from knowledge gained through personal experience?

Is the man who uses "the game" to woo the woman of his dreams immoral? Or is it only wrong to use such techniques to get hookups. If you accept that casual sex isn't wrong how are the two situations different?

Somebody mentioned that women would only want the "Alpha male." If this is true, it's likely a construction of human society. There is a lot of science, including the mating habits of other primates, that it's natural for primate females to mate with multiple men. There is evidence to suggest this was the case with humans before notions of property and ownership were common. I don't have a citation for this off the top of my head. Ether way I find the use of the "alpha male" thing week justification for poor behaviour.

Does a man who has casual sex with a woman always "objectify her"? If not always how can an observer know if it's true or not? Do women who have casual sex with men objectify them? Does "the mark" objectify the PUW by hooking up with him, if she doesn't have deep set emotional feelings for him.

As for the whole "friend zone" thing, I think that there is evidence of this at least on the extreme case. Unrelated children raised together are very unlikely to ever have romantic involvement. I have also noted, in an unscientific fashion, that people rarely date within their social circle of friends. I think the "friend zone" is a valid hypothesis, I can think of some experiments to test it, but none of them are ethical.
Last edited by AndyG314 on Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:11 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby TheHMan » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:07 pm UTC

First time i've posted here, but I felt the need to chip in and shed some light on a subject I spent quite a bit of time studying.


I understand why PUAs get such a bad rap as it's very easy to misunderstand it. At it's core, there's nothing wrong with the game and techniques. Think of it like the Force. When used correctly, it can be a powerful force for good. When used to manipulate and destroy, it will also work. This is why some PUAs do indeed become "dehumanizing creeps who see relationships as adversarial and women as sex toys". But this is not why I started studying that stuff. I used to be horrible with women. I genuinely thought that by "being the nicest guy she's met" she would be interested in me. And I ended up being awkward, predictable, dull and boring. There seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel. I really used to think "I'm just not the type of guy that's good with women. Some have it, some don't and i'm in the latter group."


Then fate would have it that I stumbled upon David DeAngelo's book "Double your Dating" and it was a revelation. I finally understood why the nice guy approach didn't work ; the underlying message to "nice" being that you convey insecurity, neediness and are just all around a vanilla, boring person. It also taught me a lot of theory and techniques on the subject. For example the "2 steps forward, 1 step back" approach for kino escalation ; whenever you progress physically with a woman, you always want to take 2 steps forward (say leaning and brushing her arm) then backing off. Then after a while perhaps you brush her arm and then take her hand, then you back off, etc. I also learned a great deal about creating and building sexual tension, various ways to approach and attract women, and most importantly ; that attraction is not a choice and when you understand how women think when it comes to men, you gain a huge edge.


Now I say, does this sound like evil manipulation to you? It certainly didn't to me. Once you understand all this, can it be used to manipulate women? To trick them into thinking you're cool guy when the only thing you want is to exploit them? Yes, if you master this stuff, you definitely can use it for that purpose. But that wasn't why I got into it. I genuinely wanted to connect with women, and one day find & seduce the one that's right for me. And all the tools i've got, after years of reading (and after a while some actual practice, lol), i've finally done it. I've been with my girlfriend for 3 years now and I can honestly say if I hadn't taken the time to properly learn & apply PUA concepts and techniques, I wouldn't have been able to seduce her in the first place.


The best thing is, I still use that stuff with almost all the women I meet. Who doesn't like a guy that's edgy, fun, a little bit mysterious, that is confident, that knows how to tease (and sometimes neg a bit, which is what it essentially is ; playful teasing) and be interesting? When used properly, this stuff works so well women just can't help but liking you. Of course, I have absolutely no sexual intentions but i've found it works wonders for friendship with women as well. Is it "manipulation"? I guess, but when your intentions are to make women feel great and have a good time when they're around you, isn't that a proper utilisation of the "Force"?


The downside of all this is that, like Neil Strauss mentionned in "The Game", many people use the PUA stuff and become social robots. They use canned lines and routines that work initially, but when they run out of gimmicks the empty shell they truly are is revealed. Others use it to manipulate women into quick sex. That's the dark side of all this and why I think the PUA world gets such a bad rap. Perhaps i'm just idealistic or maybe i'm an exception, but I can confidently say that all the time i've spent reading, learning and applying all this has made me a MUCH better, healthier and happy person. In the end, you take some, you leave some, and you build up a set of skills that, while they do obey the "rules" of attraction, work just right for YOU.


Use this stuff to develop your own style, your own personality, and go out, meet women and make them feel good, make their day better for having met you. Sometimes you'll just have a fun conversation, sometimes you'll make good friends, and sometimes you'll get more. Either way, when you use all this with the right attitude and mindset, it will greatly improve your life. At least, that's what it did for me. Hopefully this post will offer a new perspective on the whole PUA debate!

Oh, and one final thing. I've found that this stuff is still very important even in the relationship phase. Remember that attraction isn't a choice and that you have to continually make sure you still do the kind of stuff that initially worked if you want to keep a woman attracted to you. Of course, the deeper you get into a relationship, the "nicer" you'll get and that's perfectly fine (gifts, more romantic stuff). Just remember not to swarm her with gifts, to not get needy and insecure, to stay cool and confident, to stay unpredictable, to keep doing stuff like 2 steps forward, 1 step back, etc. It's funny how everything I learned is actually MORE useful to me now that I have a stable relationship than it was when I first began using it!

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby DarkShard » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:08 pm UTC

chrisvalentine wrote:There's no getting around it: most guys, to succeed with women that they are interested in, must be, to some degree, jerks.

I have to go to work, but I will address this before I go:

It irritates me mightily that if men are interested in women who don't like them, they are told to change their behavior. If women are interested in men who don't like them, they're told to change what they like. A man is allowed to like any woman he wants, and if she doesn't give him what he wants, the fault is in her because she's a bitch who won't go for nice guys. If a woman wants a guy, though, and he doesn't do what she wants, it's her fault for picking the wrong guy. A girl who goes for guys who treat her badly is told to go get nice guys. A guy who likes girls who treat him badly is told to become an asshole.

Ugh.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby BrianX » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:10 pm UTC

FireZs wrote:
BrianX wrote:
FireZs wrote:
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.


False binary. All you can really say if you're turned down is that she's not interested in you; her reasons for not being into you may involve other men, but sexual orientation, fear, psychological issues, past history, or just your personality are all possible factors as well. Point is, if you're turned down, best to just move on.


I just wanted to point out that the dating world isn't just you and a bunch of women. There're a bunch of men out there too, and you will not be judged based on just your own merits, but your merits as compared to other men who are available to the woman. It seems obvious, but a lot of people seem to not know this. Hence all the cries of "I'm funny, smart, have a job, why can't I get a girl?" Yeah, you and a whole lot of other guys too.


Um... so missing the point.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby FireZs » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:10 pm UTC

chrisvalentine wrote:
FireZs wrote:No. Your friend isn't attractive to women because he's a jerk to them. It's the exact opposite: he's a jerk to women because he's attractive to them, so he has no incentive to be "nice". If you switched the two friends' personalities, friend 1 would just be a jerk who can't get laid, and friend 2 would be married within the year.


Sorry, nope. Trust me, I know both of these people, and you don't. But I'm curious, if you think you know the situation well enough: What is attractive about this guy?


Who knows. But there's no denying that some people are more attractive than others. If you personally think friend 2 is less attractive, that means nothing. It's what the women think that counts.
Last edited by FireZs on Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:30 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:11 pm UTC

chrisvalentine wrote:There's no getting around it: most guys, to succeed with women that they are interested in, must be, to some degree, jerks. Its difficult, but there's a fine line to walk, between being a chump and being a complete selfish asshole.
Also, since we're just throwing anecdotes out there: In real life, I'm pretty much the wimpiest guy alive. I have a fucking moral conundrum over killing flies. I couldn't bring myself to kill the mouse who got trapped in our sticky trap; I looked up how to free 'em on the internet (cooking oil acts as a solvent) and freed it in a field. I am still, to this day, incapable of cursing in front of the majority of my family (I once almost cursed in front of a parent, and immediately apologized).

Take all this and multiply it by six and you get how I dealt with the woman I eventually fell for and married. She thinks I'm a wimp. But hey, we've been together for years and years, and I think the worst argument we ever had was probably over whether or not it's okay for me to fart in bed.

Point is: Bullshit anecdotes are bullshit anecdotes. People are attracted to a variety of things. Again, again, and again: Relationships are complex and resist generalities.
ddxxdd wrote:Open->Transition->Attract->Qualify->Rapport->Close. Honesty and Clarity are part of the Qualify and Rapport stage.
Okay, is this a system that sells itself as being 100% honest and clear with people, or a system that sells itself as how to get you laid? Because I'm having a hard time buying that it can sell itself as both.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby ddxxdd » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:13 pm UTC

DarkShard wrote:
chrisvalentine wrote:There's no getting around it: most guys, to succeed with women that they are interested in, must be, to some degree, jerks.

I have to go to work, but I will address this before I go:

It irritates me mightily that if men are interested in women who don't like them, they are told to change their behavior. If women are interested in men who don't like them, they're told to change what they like. A man is allowed to like any woman he wants, and if she doesn't give him what he wants, the fault is in her because she's a bitch who won't go for nice guys. If a woman wants a guy, though, and he doesn't do what she wants, it's her fault for picking the wrong guy. A girl who goes for guys who treat her badly is told to go get nice guys. A guy who likes girls who treat him badly is told to become an asshole.

Ugh.


Hmm. I think that the first line of advice that a guy gets when having trouble with women is to "lower your standards". And if a girl was having trouble getting a guy, I think that a few push-up bras and a little make-up will solve the problem immediately. So I'm seeing a cultural divide between us.

The Great Hippo wrote:Okay, is this a system that sells itself as being 100% honest and clear with people, or a system that sells itself as how to get you laid? Because I'm having a hard time buying that it can sell itself as both.


In my experience, women are experts in reading voice tonality and body language to see if you're the real deal. Anything less than honesty and clarity won't work with most women.
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Thomathy » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:15 pm UTC

zmic wrote:
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?


Gay men don't necessarily have problems estabishing relationship with women, but that goes without saying, right? I mean, people don't necessarily have problems establishing relationships with women. If a man thinks he needs PUA guidance to have sex with women, I suppose it's possible that he may be a gay man, but that must be so incredibly rare. I mean, how many men out there are entirely unaware of what masturbatory fantasies they masturbate to? You could have done without making that hyperbolic statement and defending it so flimsily. Also, I'm unsure if PUA are interested in anything other than sex, so 'relationship' might be hyperbolic too.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Weeks » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:15 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
chrisvalentine wrote:
ddxxdd wrote:Open->Transition->Attract->Qualify->Rapport->Close. Honesty and Clarity are part of the Qualify and Rapport stage.
Okay, is this a system that sells itself as being 100% honest and clear with people, or a system that sells itself as how to get you laid? Because I'm having a hard time buying that it can sell itself as both.
I know right? It says clarity but I don't see anything about penetration
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby BrianX » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:16 pm UTC

Look, here's something very simple that all of you bitter, self-absorbed "Nice Guys" need to understand -- when "jerks" get the girl (however you define "jerk"), it's not because they're jerks. It's because they made a move and the woman in question was interested. Being manipulative and passive-aggressive is bullshit; she sure as bloody blue fuck isn't going to fall in your lap just because you (think you) are being nice to her. You have to put yourself on the line; when the "jerks" get women, it's because they did, not because they're jerks.

Becoming a jerk (and let's be honest, the reason I put "Nice Guys" in quotes is because a lot of men who fancy themselves as such are already pretty hardcore assholes and can't admit it to themselves) is not inherently going to get you laid any faster. It may, however, get you tossed out of a few bars for harassment and cost you a friendship or three with a woman who thought you actually wanted to be her friend and then realized you were just faking it to get her clothes off.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby chrisvalentine » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:16 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
chrisvalentine wrote:There's no getting around it: most guys, to succeed with women that they are interested in, must be, to some degree, jerks. Its difficult, but there's a fine line to walk, between being a chump and being a complete selfish asshole.
Also, since we're just throwing anecdotes out there: In real life, I'm pretty much the wimpiest guy alive. I have a fucking moral conundrum over killing flies. I couldn't bring myself to kill the mouse who got trapped in our sticky trap; I looked up how to free 'em on the internet (cooking oil acts as a solvent) and freed it in a field. I am still, to this day, incapable of cursing in front of the majority of my family (I once almost cursed in front of a parent, and immediately apologized).

Take all this and multiply it by six and you get how I dealt with the woman I eventually fell for and married. She thinks I'm a wimp. But hey, we've been together for years and years, and I think the worst argument we ever had was probably over whether or not it's okay for me to fart in bed.

Point is: Bullshit anecdotes are bullshit anecdotes. People are attracted to a variety of things. Again, again, and again: Relationships are complex and resist generalities.
ddxxdd wrote:Open->Transition->Attract->Qualify->Rapport->Close. Honesty and Clarity are part of the Qualify and Rapport stage.
Okay, is this a system that sells itself as being 100% honest and clear with people, or a system that sells itself as how to get you laid? Because I'm having a hard time buying that it can sell itself as both.


You found a woman who loved you for the person you were, and I commend you for that. However, many guys want to sow their oats, to use the old expression. Also, many people just want to have multiple relationships, for a variety of other reasons.

Thus, it simply makes sense to adopt the attitude that works with the largest % of potential partners.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby ++$_ » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:17 pm UTC

AndyG314 wrote:If the PUA is a manipulator, then his "marks" are very easily manipulated. I find the idea that the PUA's "Mark" is so gullible as to be tricked into sex with a few back-handed complements to be more offensive than anything else discussed here. There also seems to be the idea that women don't seek out casual sex on their own which is also untrue and quite offensive.

Do PUA's enjoy a higher success rate than men who use other strategies? There's a lot of assumption that it does, but I have my doubts. Hit on more women you'll sleep with more women, law of large numbers. That and confirmation bias will make it seem like there successful even if they have no better odds than anybody else. I suggest that PUA's arn't manipulators they are simply persistent.
The PUA's techniques may not work, but it's the thought that counts. If you go out there and try to use psychological techniques to manipulate people into having sex with you, you're a jerk, even if your psychological technique of choice is NLP, which does not work.
Somebody mentioned that women would only want the "Alpha male." If this is true, it's likely a construction of human society. There is a lot of science, including the mating habits of other primates, that it's natural for primate females to mate with multiple men. There is evidence to suggest this was the case with humans before notions of property and ownership were common. I don't have a citation for this off the top of my head.
Well, there are different primate species that have different social behaviors. Bonobos and chimpanzees, for example, exhibit dramatically different patterns of sexual behavior.

Humans are quite different from other primate species in terms of our sexual behavior. Primate models are of limited applicability because of the great variety and importance of sexual behaviors that occur only in humans.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:19 pm UTC

ddxxdd wrote:In my experience, women are experts in reading voice tonality and body language to see if you're the real deal. Anything less than honesty and clarity won't work with most women.
If this were true--and I'm suspicious as to whether or not your experiences are applicable to women at large--why the hell wouldn't they pick up on the fact that you've been coached?

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby chrisvalentine » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:19 pm UTC

FireZs wrote:
chrisvalentine wrote:No. Your friend isn't attractive to women because he's a jerk to them. It's the exact opposite: he's a jerk to women because he's attractive to them, so he has no incentive to be "nice". If you switched the two friends' personalities, friend 1 would just be a jerk who can't get laid, and friend 2 would be married within the year.


Sorry, nope. Trust me, I know both of these people, and you don't. But I'm curious, if you think you know the situation well enough: What is attractive about this guy?


Who knows. But there's no denying that some people are more attractive than others. If you personally think friend 2 is less attractive, that means nothing. It's what the women think that counts.[/quote]

Who knows? I know. I know each person involved in this story, including the many scorned women (one of whom is practically like a sister to me). He's able to attract women because he's edgy, he's dangerous, he's a risk taker. They like that, for various reasons.

Its funny, though. Here I am pretty much saying I despise the guy that is the epitome of a PUA, for being one, but also simultaneously saying that his methods work. Guess thats not good enough.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Thomathy » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:20 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
ddxxdd wrote:In my experience, women are experts in reading voice tonality and body language to see if you're the real deal. Anything less than honesty and clarity won't work with most women.
If this were true--and I'm suspicious as to whether or not your experiences are applicable to women at large--why the hell wouldn't they pick up on the fact that you've been coached?


The obvious answer is that women are mind readers of heterosexual men.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Kennebrek » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:22 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:Lots of women feel empowered to be able to say "fuck off" to men in bars, to overcome that damaging social training.


I suppose I might feel "empowered" to be able to say "fuck you" to a woman, to overcome my damaging social training. In either case it's not much of an excuse for rudeness.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:22 pm UTC

chrisvalentine wrote:Thus, it simply makes sense to adopt the attitude that works with the largest % of potential partners.
And hey, I don't have a problem with that, so long as the women involved in this situation are aware of what you're doing. The problem isn't that you're acting the jerk to get laid; the problem is that not everyone understands that you're acting a jerk to get laid. And beyond that--it's very likely that acting the jerk to get laid will eventually become being the jerk to get laid, and that this will eventually become being a jerk, period.

In fact, I think that all three of those situations might be closely related to one another!

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby ddxxdd » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:24 pm UTC

++$_ wrote:The PUA's techniques may not work, but it's the thought that counts. If you go out there and try to use psychological techniques to manipulate people into having sex with you, you're a jerk, even if your psychological technique of choice is NLP, which does not work.


What's the difference between manipulation and persuasion? It takes a lot to win a girl's affections at a bar.

++$_ wrote:Well, there are different primate species that have different social behaviors. Bonobos and chimpanzees, for example, exhibit dramatically different patterns of sexual behavior.


In this thread: Bonobos criticizing chimpanzees for trying to conform to a certain pattern of behavior.

The Great Hippo wrote:If this were true--and I'm suspicious as to whether or not your experiences are applicable to women at large--why the hell wouldn't they pick up on the fact that you've been coached?


1. Back when I first started, they kinda did. They kinda teased me for being completely awkward (they told me they felt like they were on a game show), but then they started talking to me and having a good time. I ran the "Cube routine" (google that if you wanna know), and it was blatantly obvious that it was canned, but they laughed anyway. One of them gave me their facebook.

2. The idea is that through practice, it becomes more and more natural. Tyler Durden described it as an "upside-down bell curve"- when you first start out, women respect that you're trying, and they like you. Later on, women get annoyed at you for being an overconfident jerk. Then afterwards, when it all becomes natural, women start to like you for who you are.
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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Wharrgarbl8 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:26 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:No, going to classes to learn how to get a lady's number is a huge 'no no'. Because this environment doesn't just teach you how to get a lady's number; it teaches you that the goal of interacting with a lady is to get that number--it teaches you the rules of a game that this lady may not even be aware that you're playing.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with interacting with a lady for the purpose of number/sex. And what does a woman's awareness that you want to pick her up have to do with any of it? Are you being sneaky if you are trying to bed a woman and she hasn't realised it yet? It's not like the classes teach you to try and do that.

this is the sort of environment that's fertile ground for emotional douchfucks to grow.

So's the Internet, and you're still here. Really, people should avoid specific training on socializing with mates because you imagine some of the classes (if they choose classes) might become not nice environments?

Again, there are better ways.

That's no reason to look down on the people who choose specific help in an area. Because you believe less general training is more effective.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby Coyne » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:27 pm UTC

...and the winner and champeen is...dark-haired girl.

...and the loser is...a loser.
In all fairness...

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby BrianX » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:29 pm UTC

I would also note that PUA techniques serve one very good purpose: to let the smart, sexy, take-no-shit-unless-you-ask-them-very-nicely women that are undoubtedly worth the effort know that the guy going after them isn't. It's not 100% either way, but it's definitely a good way to mark yourself as not ready for primetime at the very least.

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Re: 1027: Pickup Artist

Postby AndyG314 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:31 pm UTC

++$_ wrote:
AndyG314 wrote:If the PUA is a manipulator, then his "marks" are very easily manipulated. I find the idea that the PUA's "Mark" is so gullible as to be tricked into sex with a few back-handed complements to be more offensive than anything else discussed here. There also seems to be the idea that women don't seek out casual sex on their own which is also untrue and quite offensive.

Do PUA's enjoy a higher success rate than men who use other strategies? There's a lot of assumption that it does, but I have my doubts. Hit on more women you'll sleep with more women, law of large numbers. That and confirmation bias will make it seem like there successful even if they have no better odds than anybody else. I suggest that PUA's arn't manipulators they are simply persistent.
The PUA's techniques may not work, but it's the thought that counts. If you go out there and try to use psychological techniques to manipulate people into having sex with you, you're a jerk, even if your psychological technique of choice is NLP, which does not work.


In order for someone to be a manipulator, somebody else must be manipulated. If the women the PUA takes home are interested in the idea then the PUA has done nothing wrong.
If it's dead, you killed it.


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