Why Pickup Artistry Is So Toxically Tempting to Men


When guys can’t believe in their natural power, they’ll believe in magic tricks.

Given that men and women are far more alike than different, and that most people are predominantly heterosexual, there are certain experiences and attitudes that both men and women share when it comes to the opposite sex. One of these is the frightening realization, around the time your sexuality develops, that the opposite sex has enormous power over you. They can break your heart, control your actions, completely dominate your thoughts, and (let’s be honest) basically turn off your brain.

This obsessive need for the approval and affection of the opposite sex that straight kids find themselves prey to is one of the defining aspects of our lives, and it’s terrifying. The awareness that girls, or boys as the case may be, hold so much unsought power over your mind and your actions can be frightening. It’s why young girls tend to adore what The Simpsons called “Nonthreatening Boys“, the sexy but somehow desexualized lads in One Direction or the Disney Channel. They’re a safe outlet for these girls’ burgeoning sexuality, but they’re designed to not be scary. The immense power they wield over their fans will not be used to hurt them.

Another manifestation of this phenomenon was the assertion by many men in the 1960s and 70s that feminism was unnecessary because women already had all the power in the world. This assertion is still repeated by various MRAs who claim that desire for women is the driving force behind everything men do, and therefore all power and responsibility in the world devolves to women.

Indeed, the primary source of much misogynist anger toward women is from men who feel that women’s power over them has been abused, that they’ve been unjustly rejected or abandoned by women who they loved or desired, women who had that power over them. A key component of this anger is the fixed belief that that power relationship is one-way, that women hold the power of attraction over men, but not vice-versa.

It is, unfortunately, a belief that our culture encourages. Denial of the female libido is only part of it. We’re far too invested, culturally, in the idea that men are useful, but not attractive. This reinforces the notion of a one-way power dynamic of attraction and romance.

Just as it’s easiest to sell quack remedies to people without access to real medicine, it’s easiest to sell magic charms to people who can’t believe they have any charms of their own.

The problem is that in our culture, women are taught to make use of the power they have over men. All those articles about “50 Ways To Drive Him Wild!”, all the Wonderbras and negligees, it’s all part of the training women get, part of teaching them to maximize the power they have to turn men’s brains off, as it were. Unfortunately, this comes packaged with a whole lot of assumptions and programming about how that’s their only real source of power or value, something that feminism’s been trying to deprogram for decades.

The flip side of that, though, is that men are never taught to use our power to turn women’s brains off, to be attractive. We’re usually not even told that we have it. We tend to assume that some guys just have a mysterious ability to attract women, some unknowable secret that renders them immune to the sting of rejection or loneliness. We can’t connect that idea of being attractive to our own lives.

This is where the pickup-artist business model comes in. Unending books and seminars and “gurus” and god knows what all, all telling men that yes, the lies are true, women’s attraction to men is an impossible mystery that can only be unlocked with magic, and we can sell you the magic.

In the absence of any real sense of their own attractiveness or what about them might be interesting to another person, in the absence of any teaching or training about how to use their natural power of attractiveness, it becomes easy to sell men on magic tricks. Just as it’s easiest to sell quack remedies to people without access to real medicine, it’s easiest to sell magic charms to people who can’t believe they have any charms of their own.

The tricks they sell vary from relatively sensible stuff about being confident and interesting, all the way through to outright date-rape instructions, all of it lumped together under the same label. And all of it is selling men something they already have: the power to attract (straight) women.

Some men reading this will have an instinctive aversion to this idea; they’ve felt enough rejection and pain that they completely believe the idea that they are not and cannot be attractive just as themselves. They’ll buy into the crazy myth that 10% of men sleep with 90% of women just to justify their own experience in a way they can make sense of. These guys have a hard time believing that for every one of them, there’s a woman wishing she could find a guy to love her, to be with her, or just to schtup her into the middle of next week. These guys think they’re locked into loneliness forever, and consequently, are easy marks for guys peddling supposed magic keys.


About Noah Brand

Noah Brand is a writer and editor, and quite possibly also a cartoon character from the 1930s. His life, when it is written, will read better than it lived. He is usually found in Portland, Oregon, directly underneath a very nice hat.


  1. Great article, Noah.

    I use the phrase: Enticing Desire. Women are sexual beings. Rather than try to figure out how to get around her defenses to let you do what you want To Her, Stoke the flame of her desire For You. Know that Yes, YOU can be worthy of being desired.

    YOU have value. Know your value. Add value, not just to women you want to fuck, but to everyone around you, and the world itself.

    Own your sexuality and your desire. There is nothing wrong with sexually desiring a woman. Allow yourself to feel what you feel without NEEDING to act on it nor repress it. Simply BEING with it. Being able to feel your desire, yet hold it at the same time, gives her space and safety to feel her own desire for you.

    Open your heart. Connect to the human being in front of you. All of her. You’ve been hurt before. I get it. Believe me, so have I. A lot! So why do I keep reopening my heart? Because the incredible connections and love that I experience are fucking worth it! And I’d much rather experience the pain with the ecstasy than to live a shut down, mediocre emotionless life. Whether for a lifetime or simply a night, for most women, their pussies and their hearts are connected. Connect on both levels, and you’ll both get more of what you desire…

    In Service,
    Destin Gerek

  2. Jackie Morrison says:

    Dating events and the dating industry in general create an environment that triggers insecurities about our love-ability to romantic prospects. The better connections seem to happen in neutral situations when we are just relaxed enough and ourselves. In my opinion, those who are most comfortable in their own skin are the ones who easily make connections with others.

  3. (((❤)))
    in the heart of every woman glows a precious perfect jewel
    delicious and delightful, it brightens every fool
    she’s the key to liberation for every breathing man
    so dive into her splendor and love her while you can

  4. a human being with empathy and compassion says:

    I don’t like the performative model of masculinity that this critique seems to be tacitly endorsing.

    You either demonstrate your mastery over women through your natural god given abilities or else you are “cheating” and resorting to “tricks”.

    But what if we stopped teaching men that they need to be “successful” with women or to have some kind of “natural” (No cheating!) mastery over women.

    I think that there is a far more romantic way of looking at how men can approach relationships. What if it was simply about finding somebody who is right for you? Most men and women know that that isn’t easy and that is why a lot of people, maybe virtually anyone could benefit from a “pick up” guide.

    Some people don’t like the idea that some men are just looking for “ass”. I think that is form of “slut shaming.”

    I”m idealist. I think that we can’t all know everything but that if everybody pools their ideas together then everybody benefits. That’s the real idea behind a “pick up” guide.

    • a human being with a bit more sense says:

      True, some people don’t like the idea that some men are just looking for ass. Shaming or no, sometimes that is all we want though. I don’t pursue women to demonstrate success. I do it because I’m horny, because I enjoy it, because it’s fun. Romance and “masculinity” have little or no to do with it.

      Aside from the people who write these articles… what guys give a damn about any kind of “model of masculinity”?

      • a human being with empathy and compassion says:

        I completely agree with you. Why don’t need to put men in a box and say that pursuing sex is about getting a notch on your belt. Maybe men are looking for fun. That’s basically how we talk about casual sex when we talk about women; we need to apply the same attitude toward men.

        I’m not sure why you think you have more sense than me. That’s my point. This article puts men in a box where mastery is proof of a man’s authenticity and I am opposing that view.

        I mainly meant “romance” in respect to romantics relationships but everyone is different and if a one night stand is romantic to one person on some level we shouldn’t judge them just because we think differently.

    • I agree with you, even though the “scene” is full of macho bullshit, most of the guys who try to learn this are trying to overcome their inability to meet and attract the “right” woman, and the best way to meet the “right” one is to meet a lot of them. Which is especially appealing to men who feel they never meet women at all.

  5. This entire chain seems to perpetuate several myths which with I’m uncomfortable…
    That a woman’s virtue resides in her hymen.
    That women are intellectually inferior beings who can be preyed upon…
    That I’m a PUA in training because I bathe and wear a clean shirt… On occasion…

  6. a human being with empathy and compassion says:

    The premise of the title is based on a horrible and insightful premise. Its a very popular premise and that really upsets me.

    The basic idea is that everyone is the same and that things should work “naturally”.

    Its based on the reductive idea that if things don’t work that way then we need to demonize people
    because they are supposedly using “tricks”

    I am really just so tired of this.

    THINK BIGGER. BE BIGGER. End this dehumanizing mentality that pretends that it is so enlightened but in reality its the opposite of enlightenment.

    What about all the men who afraid to get help because they know that no matter what they do they get demonized and people say that they are trying to use “tricks.”

    It’s just so wrong.

  7. FlyingKal says:

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s quite a leap, that some people seem to ignore, from “being entitled to one’s feelings” to “being entitled to making other people responsible for them” ?

  8. Hi John Anderson
    I have to work,and unplug ,but read this
    From Mark Manson blog. I think he describes some of the unhealthy aspects of PUA teachings:

    ✺”Disassociating From Our Emotions

    A common way we bypass dealing with the emotional stress involved in dating is by disassociating our emotions from intimacy and sex. If we shut off our need for intimacy and connection, then our sexual actions no longer rub up against our emotional maps and we can greatly diminish the neediness and anxiety we once felt while still reaping the superficial benefits. It takes time and practice, but once disassociated from our emotions, we can enjoy the sex and validation of dating without concerns for intimacy, connection, and in some cases, ethics.

    Here are common ways we disassociate dating from their emotions:

    Objectification of sex and members of the opposite sex. Objectifying someone is when you see them only for a specific purpose and don’t see them as fully integrated human beings. You can objectify people as sex objects, professional work objects, social objects, or none of the above. Men tend to objectify women sexually. Some women objectify men as avenues for gaining power or influence. But objectification is ultimately disastrous for one’s own emotional health, not to mention one’s relationships.

    Viewing the other sex as inferior or inherently evil/inept is a sure way to redirect one’s emotional problems outward onto a population at large rather than dealing with them yourself. Without fail, men who treat and view women as some inferior “other,” are more often than not projecting their own anger and insecurities onto the women they meet rather than dealing with them. The same goes for women.

    Manipulation, lines and tactics. By adopting lines, manipulation or tactics to meet and seduce women, a man is withholding his true identity from the woman and therefore is withholding his emotional map as well. If a woman is falling for the perception of who he is rather than who he really is, then there’s far less risk for conjuring up the buried emotional stress and pain of his prior relationships.

    Overuse of humor, teasing, bantering. A classic strategy of distraction. Not that jokes or teasing are always bad, but an interaction of nothing but jokes and teasing is a means to communicate without saying anything important, to enjoy yourselves without actually do anything, and to feel like you know each other without actually knowing a thing. This is most typical of English-speaking cultures, as they tend to use sarcasm and teasing as a means to imply affection rather than actually showing it.

    Stripclubs, prostitution, pornography. A way to experience one’s sexuality vicariously through an empty, idealized vessel, whether it’s on a screen, a pole, or running you $100 an hour.

    Generally, the more resentment one is harboring towards the opposite sex, the more one objectifies them.
    Men who had turbulent relationships with their mothers, men who were left by their wives or girlfriends, or men who were tormented by women growing up, these men will likely find it much easier and more enticing to objectify and measure their sex lives than to confront their demons and overcome their emotional scars with the women they become involved with (See: Madonna/Whore Complex).”✺

  9. FlyingKal says:

    Hi Noah and thanks for the article.

    But it left me a bit baffled, thuough. You seem to state the obvious, but when I got to the and I just got this “yes, and…?” feeling about it.
    I mean, yes sure, there might be a woman out there who would actually like me and possibly even be attracted to me for who I am (and how I look!!?). But how to find her in a 3 biljon haystack when closing in on having lived 2/3 of your lfe?

  10. Hi John Anderson
    Just thinking about PUA ( based on what I read on their websites) triggers so intense negative emotions in me,that I choose withdraw from this thread. ( I am not joking.) I prefer to enjoy life and believe in love,and trust that some men have decent values.
    But here is what Wikipedia writes today about PUA:
    ✺”The community claims that the above-mentioned concepts derive from scientific disciplines, such as the concept of social proof from the psychology of influence, and various concepts from sociobiology and evolutionary psychology (such as the term “alpha male”). However, the claims of Pickup Artists are scientifically unsupported insofar as they have not been tested and reviewed in mainstream sociological, psychological, or any other scientific journal.”✺
    ✺Academic research :
    The Seduction Community has received only scarce scholarly attention, due in part to its relative novelty. One study that was published is Eric C. Hendriks’ sociological study “Ascetic Hedonism: Self and Sexual Conquest in the Seduction Community .”[30] It was published in 2012 by Cultural Analysis , an online journal linked to the University of Berkeley.[31] Hendriks researched the value system guiding elite members of the Seduction Community. He conducted a large, international ethnographic study which included participant observation
    of a bootcamp and lair meetings in Germany.✺

    Eric C. Henderson (2012) should be invited to write about his research on GMP.

    • Typo
      Eric C. Hendriks’ sociological study “Ascetic Hedonism: Self and Sexual Conquest in the Seduction Community

    • John Anderson says:

      Hi Iben,

      “I prefer to enjoy life”

      I understand and I agree and that is precisely why I don’t disagree with much (some of it is rapey and wrong) of what the PUA is teaching. If having casual uncommitted sex with many different partners makes some men happy and the women freely consent, I have no issue with it. I don’t think it’s right to limit someone else’s happiness because it doesn’t fit with your opinions / desires / beliefs. I don’t mean you personally are doing this. I think you’re a decent, caring, person, but as a general rule I believe that if it’s not hurting someone else, it’s cool.

      I think that’s where we disagree. You’re assuming PUA has to eventually hurt women. Kind of like drunk driving, even if you have no intent to hurt someone, it increases the odds. I think I’ll give individual guys the benefit of the doubt.

      • Hi John Anderson

        You are wrong if you think my negative reactions to PUA is that they have causal sex.
        I am Scandinavian and I have had causal sex without getting emotionaly hurt.

        My problem with the PUA is that they teach the use of LIES and MANIPULATIONS to get a woman into bed.
        Their instructions, their plan A,plan B,plan C…are all based on the use of lies and manipulations to get access to a woman’s body.
        This is not instructions on how to make an person in an office give you the info you ask for, it is manipulations to get a person to GIVE HERSELF,GIVE HER BODY,GIVE LOVE,MAKE HERSELF TOTALLY VULNERABLE TO STD,PREGNACY, AND LIFE LONG EMOTION HURT. Because she was lured into it with lies,manipulations and cynicism .

        Any man that needs to behave like that to get a woman is a pathetic looser.

      • Hi John

        That ,men seduce women and women seduce men is not a bad thing. It is one of life pleasures,but we have to be aware what we are doing,and have respect for others feelings. Even men can be fragile souls 🙂
        Here is a blog written by a man is a former PUA teacher,but now warn against it.
        He writes well about it.


        I am sorry I called some men pathetic losers. Name calling is not acceptable behavior even when angry.

  11. a settler says:

    “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”

    I thought you meant to write, “you can’t build an LTR on a lie.” But that would be crazy, because it happens all the time.

  12. I got into PUA several years ago, went through the typical approaches and teachers, eventually, though, I came across a group called the Authentic Man Program. Other PUA teachers made me feel as though I could walk into any room or party and pick up any girl (and it did work) but Authentic Man program, rather than making me feel as though I could pick up an girl, made me feel like I was a better man, a better father. I’m not here to sell the Authentic Man Program, I’m just saying that a real PUA teacher has the same exact goals as The Good Men Project. It’s not about picking up girls, it’s about being a better man, a man that naturally attracts women.

    • John Anderson says:

      @ Michael Anthony

      Wouldn’t that depend on your goal. If you only wanted to get laid, I would think the PUA approach would be best. If you were looking for a LTR. You can build an LTR on a lie.

      “made me feel like I was …, a better father.”

      Seems to explain it to me.

      • Not sure what you meant by your comments, could you be more clear?

        Everything in life, even PUA, depends on the person. If some guy just wants to go out and get laid, no matter what, then he’ll make it happen. Whether he’s paying some gay thousands of dollars to teach him how to pick up a girl or whether he’s paying a hooker. But not all PUA teachers are the same, so let’s not make that mistake. For an example, again, let’s compare something like Real Social Dynamics (RSD) versus the Authentic Man Program (AMP).

        If you’re interested in meeting a girl and you attend a RSD seminar the instructors will say something like: “Ok, go to a club, pick out a HB10 and approach her. Open with a line about dental floss… move into comfort building mode with a routine about puppies…isolate her from her friends, use a personality patter to build more comfort, then take back to your place and bang her.” Something like that.

        Where as AMP instructors would say something like: “Ok if you want to meet the woman of your dreams then you’ve got to be the man of her dreams. Hit the gym. Go for a hike. Join a book club. Socialize more with friends. Go out there and follow your passion…”

        You get the idea. So let’s not let a few bad eggs ruin it for everyone. Sometimes guys do need other guys to help them out. That’s what this whole community of people within the Good Men Project is all about. Helping each other. And just like in the PUA community I’m sure there are some bad eggs on here but we shouldn’t let it ruin it for everyone. We need to weed through all the B.S. and find the real depth and heart of the issues.

        • *sorry meant to say “paying some guy thousands…”

        • John Anderson says:

          @ Michael Anthony

          “Where as AMP instructors would say something like: “Ok if you want to meet the woman of your dreams then you’ve got to be the man of her dreams. Hit the gym. Go for a hike. Join a book club. Socialize more with friends. Go out there and follow your passion…” ”

          I’ve found this or something similar to be most effective and I’m not sure why. I’ve always had more success with women when I’ve said screw it I’m going out to have some fun and if I hook up with someone double bonus. I think part of it is that people are drawn to other people who are having fun. It might also be just my perception because my focus is on having a good time, I don’t worry about not picking someone up.

          I do want to add one other thing. I’m glad you said woman of your dreams not a hot chick because though the woman of your dreams may be a hot chick sometimes the woman of your dreams is not what you expect. I know a guy who was very good with the ladies. He’d go home with a hot woman if not every night every other night.

          A woman, not conventionally attractive, asked him out. He would have never asked her out in a million years, but no woman had asked him out before so he was curious and accepted. He ended up marrying her. He fell in love with her heart. Kindness was the thing he was looking for, but never knew it. He still gets a lot of female attention, but he adores his wife.

        • John Anderson says:

          @ Michael Anthony

          This is what I meant. If you’re looking for a future mate, it’s best if you approach her authentically. It takes effort to live a lie and I don’t think anyone would be truly happy doing so. If you’re looking for a one night stand, then why not PUA if it can be done in an ethicl way and I understand there is some debate as to whether that can be accomplished.

          I will say this. In almost every relationship there is some deception. A lot of it is minor. Choking down someone’s cooking so as to not hurt their feelings. There is some compromise. People who hate to dance might ask someone to dance. I think this deception does and should become less as the relationship develops. If a PUA expects his relationship to last only one night, why not an extremely heightened form of deception.

          • The thing is a lot of people just assume that all PUA is inauthentic or “lying.” The openers, patterns, and closes are typically for beginners. And I guess you could call it “lying,” and at the same time, doesn’t everyone say “fake it til you make it?” They are a temporary fix that get some success for the beginner and help them to start learning and understanding what they’re doing. The goal isn’t to always be using patterns, the goal is eventually understand what the heck you’re doing, why it has the impact it has, and eventually forget about the patterns and respond to the person you’re talking to.

            • Hi KC Krupp

              May I ask a question? You seem to know a lot.
              1: do the PUA gurus teach their pupils about the use of contraception and testing for STD between each new sex partner ?
              2: do they teach men to make sure the woman consents to sex?

              • Hi Iben,

                As with everything I’ve said so far on this thread the answer is that it depends on the guru. There are some PUAs that are outright slimy, whose tactics can only be described as manipulative, there are others that are very upfront and honest and focus more on inner game (i.e. self development,) and there are lots of PUAs that fall somewhere in the middle; if you follow them, the guys who are really respected tend to start somewhere in the middle and then drift further towards the honest side of things.

                To answer your specific questions:
                1. Contraception and STD testing: Depends on the PUA guru. I wouldn’t say I personally have ever seen any PUA spend an extended amount of time on contraception or STDs. Most of the ones I’ve seen or read do add in reminders to use protection, usually condoms, but they don’t usually go into it in detail. The one’s I’ve met or associated with usually approach it from a perspective of “well, duh, of course you should be using condoms.” As for STD testing, I’ve seen a few recommend going and getting regularly tested, but it’s not common and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone really advocate for between “each” new partner. From my personal experience it would be a big no-no for you to lie if a woman asks you if you’ve been tested.

                2. Most PUAs do not approve of rape. Rape is wrong, illegal, and means that you have to take advantage of / force a woman to be with you, which is the exact opposite of “having game.” That said, the PUA community is rife with the same misunderstandings about what constitutes consent as society in general. While many PUAs refuse to have sex with a woman who has been drinking (that was the stance I took) and many others would not want to have sex with a women who is so drunk she practically falls into his lap (again it’s taking advantage and you don’t really have game.)

                In terms of consent, what usually gets glossed over when people look into the PUA community is the discussion on “calibration,” which is in short learning how to read the signals you’re getting from a woman. There is still a lot of push against women being open about their sexuality in our society, so what most PUAs talk about is using a series of tests to see if the woman is comfortable with them and consenting or not. That’s the whole idea behind Kino Escalation and Compliance Testing. If you brush a woman on the shoulder and she grimaces, moves away, or tenses up then you know you do not have consent and you need to back off. If you tell a woman “Here, give me your hand. Now do a little spin” and she refuses then you do not have consent. If after making out with a woman you set your hand on your leg and you feel her tense up, you do not have consent, back off. There’s a lot more to consent and the PUA and a lot of it I will agree is questionable, such as Anti-Slut Defense (ASD), and Last Minute Resistance (LMR), which are terms to describe when a woman who had seemed like she wanted to have sex and at the last minute backs out. Now part of the PUA assumption in this case is that it’s often less that she doesn’t want to have sex and more that she’s feeling the impact of social pressures and is afraid of being labeled “a slut” (yes this is where the question of consent can get a little weird or in the PUA community.) So the idea of ASD and LMR is that the PUA doesn’t know (because as a culture we suck about talking about sex) if she actually wants sex and is afraid of seeming “too easy” or if she really doesn’t want it, so the idea is you ‘test’ which one it is, now this test isn’t a “let’s push more,” but rather a “pull back.” Usually the test is something like pulling away from her, flipping on the lights, and stopping any and all sexual activity. The PUA doesn’t guilt her or say “why not baby?” This type of test is a way of expressing, without actually saying it, “I’m enjoying your company and having fun with you, and if we want to keep having fun this is the direction it’s going. If you don’t want it to go there, that’s cool, then we should probably call it a night or go do something else.” Based on the woman’s response (again calibration) the PUA then knows if it’s ASD or if the LMR is due to another reason.

                Here is an interview with the NY Times with several PUAs where consent becomes one of the topics: http://nymag.com/nymag/rss/relationships/pickup-artists-roundtable-2013-7/. It may also blow your mind to realize that in this discussion the PUAs actually talk about women as being people and cover things like “it’s not all about sex.” In general I don’t really agree with “The Rules” women; I don’t personally like what they teach women, but I haven’t actually read the book. Pay more attention to what the guy PUAs say though since they’re actually engaged in the PUA community. 😉

                • Here is some perspective on the Kickstarter book that spawned the most recent PUA blow up from one of the people in the interview I mentioned above and from Mystery:


                  Also, the guy responsible in the kickstarter campaign is in the NY Times interview as well. I think you’ll find his reactions there interesting.

                • Hi KC Krupp
                  Than you for a long and fantastical answer 🙂
                  This is a good review what this is all about. My compliments !

                  It is exactly what you say here that made me angry at their teachings when I saw it on websites :
                  ✺” That said, the PUA community is rife with the same misunderstandings about what constitutes consent as society in general……
                  Resistance (LMR), which are terms to describe when a woman who had seemed like she wanted to have sex and at the last minute backs out. Now part of the PUA assumption in this case is that it’s often less that she doesn’t want to have sex and more that she’s feeling the impact of social pressures and is afraid of being labeled “a slut” (yes this is where the question of consent can get a little weird or in the PUA communit”✺

                  And also the fact that it is impossible to have sex with several new partners each week and be sure you don’t infect her with STD. It takes days to get results from tests.
                  I read about polyamorous men that had rules about testing before they took a new parter and they expected the same from the new partner. It sounds a bit unromantic but rules like that are wise, it is adult behavior.

                  Here is an ad I saw on Craigslist the other night. The way this young man try to find a women give me a good feeling. ( and yes he looked cute at his picture )
                  ✺”I’m a bit tired of the dating scene right now. I just want to hang out with a girl and relax. We can go out and eat, catch some movies (I get free tickets), or just hang around our places listening to music and watch TV. I’m easy.

                  I can talk about anything really. I don’t judge. I don’t do weed but if you wanna do that we could.
                  If you want to cuddle up and make out or screw then sure. Sex is great but if you don’t feel like it then I don’t mind. Just want some good company.

                  I study film and can go anywhere in London. Ask me any questions if you have em.
                  Location: London”✺
                  Is this how a PUA speaks?
                  I somehow feel he is ok.

                  • Iben,

                    While my guess is that he isn’t a PUA, that doesn’t mean he isn’t. Even if he is a PUA that doesn’t mean he’s lying or being insincere. Most PUAs I knew were always very upfront about what they wanted. When I was actively dating I would say that was dating multiple women and that if at any point she was uncomforatable with that then we probably wouldn’t be compatible.

                    There is this image that PUAs run around covered in scarves and big fuzzy hats, mainly because a lot of new PUAs took Mystery’s advice on peacocking literally and forgot that his crazy get-up is congruent with Mystery’s profession as a magician.

                    If we met on the street you would probably have no idea that I was ever involved in the PUA community. I dress well, but not ostentatiously,my ‘peacocking’ is more subtle. I still use a lot of the tools I learned for business and networking. Hopefully you would feel that our conversation is genuine, because when I meet people I genuinely am interested in getting to know them and don’t some routine. Would you be attracted to me? Maybe. Maybe not. No matter how good your game there will still be women who don’t find you attractive.

                    The real goal for a PUA is not to be running routines and bar tricks for the rest of your life; that’s the kid stuff. It’s like learning to cook; you start by using recipes, then you learn to modify the recipes that you know, and eventually you can make up new dishes relying on smell, taste, and experience.
                    The routines are for beginners to give them some relatively reliable material so they have one less thing to think about and can get some success. As they get some success their confidence grows and this begets more success. They’re excited and want to share so they talk about what they did and said. Many of them start off frustrated, jaded, and angry and eventually success helps them figure out that the problem was them, not women, and that their anger was misplaced.

                    I get that you don’t like the PUA approach to contraception, getting tested, and even consent, that said it’s not much more troubling than how society address those issues as a whole. I bet you’d be surprised that the PUA community tends to be very sex positive for women and many PUAs share very feminist and women-positive views. The PUA community talks about (at least it used to) how the experience should be mutually enjoyable, that you should never harm a woman or put her into an experience that she regrets, that you should always leave her better off than how you found her, that a man shouldn’t value himself based on women, to avoid being needy, seeking approval, getting too invested in, or putting women up on pedestals, the women, no matter how they look, are regular people like anyone else. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not all positive, some pockets of the PUA are angry, dirty, nasty, and vile, but it’s not all of the community. Furthermore, the community is changing constantly, a good example is Neg Theory, which is one of the most reviled and most misunderstood PUA techniques; by the time Neg Theory was popularized in The Game it had already fallen out of fashion in the PUA community in favor of more self development focused training and straight forward approaches.

  13. Hi John

    When a person expresses how she or he feels that is NOT shaming others.
    Do women sometimes treat men unfairly .yes we do.
    But to express how you feel is not shaming.
    A man that feels shame if an other person expresses that he has crossed a person boundary ,well maybe he has to reflect a bit on why he feels shame.

    I posted this article because it expressed so well how I feel sometimes. And actually felt in my marriage.

    So if you respond that women are dishonest and always lie,then I give up. That is exactly some of the problem with the PUA teachings:
    “Women don’t know what they want,women are dishonest,women are only testing you ,,,.etc.”

    Since I am not American I know nothing about how women flirt,and deal with men in America.
    If they always lie,never show any honest feelings then you as a nation is in deep trouble. It is hard to believe it can be that bad.. .

    This article is good.
    We all, men as well as women have right to express how we feel,and signal when our boundaries are threatened.
    Other threads here on GMP write about rape of men. Men can be raped.
    And the rapist ignores and disrespects the others borders and do a lot of harm.

    So any teaching, that teach that a persons borders are to be disrespected or the person can be cynically emotionally manipulated the other to give up its boundaries, make me angry.

    A mans penis can become erect,and a women( or a man) can rape him.
    PUA does the same with women, they teach men how to navigate around a woman’s sexual borders to get laid. Still I am sure all PUA are be enraged when they hear about the rape of men,and rightly so.

    Women can be betrayed by their bodies just like men can.
    To take advantage of the fact,and even make money out of it is unethical to put it mildly.

    • John Anderson says:

      Hi Iben,

      On some pf these threads I’ve also pointed out that men hitting on women is the only intrusive behavior that gets criticized. Suggest that panhandlers should refrain from asking people for money and you’ll be labeled as heartless. Suggest that women shouldn’t comment or fawn on strange babies and you’ll be labeled as silly. So if no similar behaviors are labeled as creepy, how is this not shaming men?

      • There was a recent ruling in one the America mid-west state supreme courts that denied a 17-year-old in foster care the right to pursue an abortion.


        I can’t see this ruling as having anything to do with even the letter of the law. Let alone the spirit. It’s not a product of the educated mind. It’s clearly the result of feeling. The expression of the feelings of all these so-called judges are clearly shaming this young woman.

        A person’s feelings are not so special as to be beyond question or criticism.

  14. Sorry about my typos
    Any man that is not visually impaired

  15. Hi Jar
    You say:
    ✺ “On top of that women practise their own form of “game” by wearing makeup, push up bras,
    getting fake breast implants. Tell me, why aren’t these women being told to “just be
    themselves” ?”✺

    Don’t worry jar, women are also told to “just be yourself” by self help books,psychiatrist ,family and friends. And we share the confusing about what this really means…..

    And if you refuse to be “conned ” into bed or a relationship by a woman’s use of makeup and breast implants you can simply reject any woman with makeup and implants.
    Because any man that is not visually imparted can tell if a woman wear make up or not,and he should also be able to see the difference between real breast and implants.

    Are women critical to men going to the gym, loosing excess weight,dressing well and groom well? NO!
    Those who speak up against the PUA teachings focus on other issues. So to say that PUA teaching can be compared to women’s use of make up is strange and beside the point about what is the core teaching in PUA.

    And men have never been denied accesses to self help books and books about psychology and relationships . Men could just walk into any bookstore and buy them, you still can.

    • I don’t have a problem with women doing those things at all, my point is they’re not “being themselves” either. They’re tailoring themselves to the desires of men, the same thing PUArtistry does but for women by men.

      As for your gym comment: while looks do matters to women, studies show the most sexually desirable men are those who are able to display some form of dominance (usually social). That’s what PUA largely is – creating communication patterns to display social dominance. There’s also a large focus on male confidence and belief systems.

    • John Anderson says:

      Hi Iben,

      “And men have never been denied accesses to self help books and books about psychology and relationships . Men could just walk into any bookstore and buy them, you still can.”

      There are also articles on how women can get their boyfriends to propose, but these women are not criticized as being manipulative. They’re not criticized for reducing people to a calculation. When women are told to give men a marriage ultimatum, they’re applauded. It’s viewed as an act of love, but I don’t see forcing someone into a lifetime commitment to satisfy a need that you have could be considered love. If men did the same thing with sex, they’d be called rapists.

      • But John! says:

        Men’s desire for sex is one thing and and women’s feelings are something else entirely. It’s not like our cultures completely sold on the mind/body fallacy. Clearly the two can’t be equivalent!

        ps: some poor women are in the same sorry state as many/most men–stuck with a low libido partner who prioritizes their lofty emotions over their partner’s base lusts.

        • Are they really all that different? One person desires some sort of emotional fulfillment. Yes sex feels good, but there’s a lot more wrapped up in it than just physical pleasure. Come on, the release is good and all but that’s not all there is to it. There are a lot of issues involving social pressures and expectations, ego, social value, etc in being sexually successful for men.

  16. Sadly because it works?

    Same as cultivating a “bad boy” persona……if what women say truly worked neither “bad boy” or PUA would work…..yet both do…..to a limited extent. Personal favorite was the “redeemable bad boy” it worked even though I was short and troll like, albet with decent wit, fierce emotional warmth and a reasonable intellect. Without the persona it was “friendzone” all the way, with it was making out in bars and darken cars along with the first encounter BJ’s quite often……those came way before I asked or expected them……they were welcome though.

  17. John Anderson says:

    I’m assuming a hetero normative approach. Here’s the thing. All guys know that women / girls are sexually attracted to men / boys. We learn that early. We know the reverse to be true. This is fact all the weird stuff about society telling us that men are not sexually attractive is BS. I knew my sister had a crush on Shaun Cassidy and various other guys. She knew I liked Linda Carter and various other women. To perpetuate the myth that this is a secret know one knows is snake oil to sell articles / books.

    All the guys at the gym trying to get cut know women are sexually attracted to men. I knew that when I was younger and working out and if I didn’t already know it a few women told me that when I was propositioned / cat called / molested on the street (not as often as women, but still.) The doubt comes when a person doesn’t feel that they are attractive or possibly that they are attractive to a person they want to be attractive too. Every guy can date. Not every guy can date a solid 7 or 8.

  18. The belief that men and women aren’t very different creatures is silly.

    The reality is women are threatened by the idea of a cold analysis so easily performed on their Id’s. The feminine mystique must always be maintained and a guy must only ever “get lucky.”

    Meanwhile it’s perfectly acceptable for women to buy countless books and magazines on how to better understanding men.

    On top of that women practise their own form of “game” by wearing makeup, push up bras, getting fake breast implants. Tell me, why aren’t these women being told to “just be themselves” ?

  19. Before we all have a PUA witch hunt, let’s put the subject in perspective, just for a moment.

    Like it or not, the matrix we’re living in is a late stage, failing capitalist society. If you’re into Ken Wilber, or Spiral Dynamics, that would be ORANGE on the spiral. (And if you have no idea what I’m talking about here, do some googling for some nifty education).

    And the characteristic of this stage of the spiral is that everything is all about markets and market valuation, buying and selling, supply and demand, the darwinian social order, Schumpeter’s creative destruction – you know, all that good and not so good stuff that pretty much defines almost everything about our lives, our domestic policy and our foreign policy too.

    And yes, you Hillary ’16 supporters, and two time voters for Obama, I’m talking to you too. Unless you’ve opted out, and are “ghosting”, you are almost certainly in the matrix, too.

    Now…once you actually SEE that great and overarching sociological fact, you realize that PUA is just one instantiation – one application – of the overarching principle of our particular time and place.

    Does it SUCK? Of course.

    Is it TOXIC? For sure.

    But it’s just part of the water that all of us fishes are swimming in, all day, every day.

    So rather than falling into the tar pit of the new puritanism – something that happens on a regular basis here at GMP – and tsk-tsking at these terrible PUA gurus leading lost little boys to the slaughter, or selling them “magic tricks” that really don’t work – let’s be honest enough to admit it:

    This shit is just one big SALES SEMINAR. It’s what happens all day, every day, in all of our biggest companies (and our smaller companies, too). It’s what happens in our government, with it’s endless story spinning and propaganda, and it’s what happens in our politics – both foreign and domestic.

    Everybody, at every level of our late stage capitalist society is being taught how to sell, how to promote, how to hype, how to get someone to BUY PRODUCT.

    Why single out some small and really insignificant group of entrepreneurial and dweeby guys, who are basically doing nothing more than a sort of LIFE COACHING to help other dweeby guys get some game?

    It’s kind of like our war on drugs, where we get the low level street dealers, and throw them in jail forever, while the big guys, who’ve bought all the protection, get to keep on keeping on.

    The reason that PUA sucks is the same reason our social fabric sucks: Each of us and all of us ultimately have a single, simple choice:

    We’re either gonna love people, and use things; or we’re gonna use people, and love things.

    It’s just that simple.

    But the basic sales seminar – the one where you learn how to sell Amway, or insurance, or yourself to women by learning how to pull the levers and push the buttons that drive human nature? That shit WORKS, people. That shit’s the holy grail of our late stage capitalist society.

    Don’t say it doesn’t work, Noah. That shit works just fine. Neil Strauss (auther of The Game) was a total nebbish, who couldn’t sweet talk a girl into the sack to save his life. And then, immersing himself in that world, he developed mad skillz. Now he’s got a woman he actually loves, and he’s getting married – which is the kind of happy ending that the GMP editorial team loves so very much.

    • Hi Paul

      You write here:
      ✺”Everybody, at every level of our late stage capitalist society is being taught how to sell, how to
      promote, how to hype, how to get someone to BUY PRODUCT. Why single out some small and really insignificant group of entrepreneurial and dweeby guys,
      who are basically doing nothing more than a sort of LIFE COACHING to help other dweeby guys
      get some game?”✺
      When I read what you say here I question if you have spent a weekend or two reading the ” advice ” and conversations we can find on PUA websites. If you had daughters, then tell me if you still think this is ” nothing more than life coaching.

      I have seen things on the PUA websites that is so shocking that totally disagree with you,and in fact suspect you are not well informed about all the ” advices ” they give. Because some are so ugly manipulations that they can not be called coaching and it is not advise about how to sell your self as a product. In fact it looks more like the advice inmates in jail give each other about being the best con man, how to be a thief and steal,rob and get away with it.

      Frankly I hope they will burn in hell.

      • Jonathan G says:


        Here’s a perfect analogy: Weight-loss plans.

        There are a lot of sleazy. slimy operators out there looking to bilk people out of money by selling the promise of, for example, a pill that lets you eat whatever you want and not gain weight. Does this mean that nobody can lose weight, ever? Is eating right and exercising a “magic trick” that doesn’t work, just because it’s also a “weight-loss plan”?

        No. There are techniques that work, and lots that don’t. PUA is the same way: There are a lot of sleazy, slimy operators out there, but if you keep you wits about you and critically evaluate what you’re hearing, then yes, there’s lots of PUA that actually works.

        But just like diets, it takes real, long-term commitment to see real results.

        • Hi Jonathan G
          You write:
          ✺”But just like diets, it takes real, long-term commitment to see real results.”✺

          Then my question is : what results are you seeking?
          Is the “result” you work towards an ability to “bang 6 women each week”?
          That is the title of a PUA book. So in then years time you have banged 3000+ women.
          Is that the result you work towards?

          I do not say you have to be a virgin until you marry, but is it your dream to have causal sex with as many strangers as you possibly can?
          4F find-feel-fuck-forget. Is that the kind of man you want to become?

          • So, Iben, then that book is probably not the one for you. That’s just it, different people have different goals in mind – men ARE looking for different results. Some men like the idea of banging 3000 women, my guess is that some men really do just enjoy that idea while for many others it’s more about the idea of the ‘power’ behind it. Other men aren’t looking to bang 3000 women, they want to learn how to connect with, communicate with, and build relationships with women so that they can find someone to be with for the rest of their lives.

            In my case I wanted to learn how to be confident with women so I could learn what sorts of women I like and which ones I didn’t like. “Bang 6 Women Each Week” would not have been the book for me, because that’s not the sort of thing I was looking for. My college roommate on the other hand would have been the perfect customer for that book because those are the results he wanted.

            • Hi KC crupp
              I have no doubt that some men want to hang 3000 women 🙂 maybe preferably virgins.
              You say:
              ✺”while for many others it’s more about the idea of the ‘power’ behind it. Other men aren’t looking to bang 3000 women, they want to learn how to connect with, communicate with, and build relationships with women so that they can find someone to be with for the rest of their lives.”✺
              I do understand the idea of the ‘powwer behind it’.
              And I do understand that men want to connect and build relationships. Life is work and love and sex. It is not enough to settle for just work, or just work and sex.

              I have until tody seen no proof of PUA teaching that will give a man the best skils for good long term relationship. But then I am no specialist ,I only browse their webpages because I am curious. Manipulations and lies destroys trust between people it does not strengthen relationships.
              To be a powerful man in society can not be faked. Women are not that stupid that they believe a man is a powerful man in sociey just because he walks around the home and pretend to be a dominate male.
              And do women actually want and need to dominated by their partner to be happy?
              Do women initiate divorce because she felt he did not live up to her need to be dominated in the relationship?
              A protector is what many women want. Security.

              • Sorry about my typos.
                Men wants to bang women, to hang them 🙂

              • Some PUAs lie. Many do not. I personally have not read the book you described above so I don’t know the content.

                Most people I meet already have an opinion of PUAs before they even read the first PUA webpage. If it’s negative it usually results in anything the PUA saying being interpreted as being horrible and awful. Part of this is because the text lacks tone.

                A good example of this is the famous “It’s not lying; it’s flirting.” A lot of people, who already don’t like the idea of PUAs start frothing scream “they’re advocating lying, those scum.” They miss the rest of the context: Joking and being playful is fun and entertaining, if a girl asks what you do, it’s more fun to give mischievous smile and say “I’m a spy” than to say “I’m a computer programmer.” The tone and body language of your delivery make it clear that you’re (obviously in this case) not being honest. If you have trouble being witty and thinking up something clever on the spot having a canned opener like “Did you see the fight outside?” or “Let me get your opinion” is a great way for beginners to initiate a conversation without it seeming too intrusive or threatening. Heck I’ve used the “Did you see the fight outside?” opener and then mid-way through dropped it and, while laughing, said “No, I’m just making stuff up, there wasn’t a fight outside, hi, I’m KC by the way.” They usually laugh too and we moved onto more interesting conversation. If they pushed “Why did you lie to us about the fight?” all I’d have to say, mind you with the right body language and tone, is “Would you really have wanted to talk to me if I just walked up and said ‘Hi, how are you?’ I saw what you did to the last guy who tried that five minutes ago.” Pause, and then change the topic of conversation.

              • Oh and here’s a PUA that focuses more on developing qualities that lead to good interactions with women and solid relationships down the road: http://www.deservewhatyouwant.com/

                Overall his website isn’t so great, but his mailing list is fantastic. These days he refers to himself more as a “dating coach” than a PUA.

                • Hi KC Krupp
                  Thank you.
                  But is it correct to call this for PUA, pick up artistry ?
                  I prefer to use the term PUA only for certain schools of seduction.
                  Men have seducted women ( and women men) for thousands of years,and given the knowledge to the young from generation to generation.

                  PUA teachings are a mix of this old knowledge we all know a little of, and something new. But the attudes are disrespectful women, and also show the values they have about sexuality. Some pretty messed up values , and ideas about sexually.
                  And why are MGTOW often also a PUA? Because they do not want a relationship with the woman,only “pump and dump.”

                  • If you’re going to define “PUA” purely as the ‘schools of seduction’ you find unsavory, then the only thing you can find there is the unsavory. By definition you are closing out all other options, when the reality is the ‘certain schools of seduction’ are only one part of the whole PUA community.

                • Hi KC Krupp
                  Sorry, I misunderstood you.
                  You say this man does not call himself a PUA.
                  I am glad to hear that. Coaching can be a good thing.

                  • That’s what the PUA community is: coaching. Some coach and teach unsavory techniques and ‘trick’ while others are very positive that focus on “inner game” and really resemble self development coaching with a focus around having confidence with women and developing people skills.

                    We’re always talking on this site about how feminism isn’t a monolith, and the PUA community is the same way. “Dating Coach” or “PUA,” they’re terms used simultaneously. Tyler Durden from RSD has called his services “dating advice” for years. Neil Strauss (author of “The Game”) commonly refers to himself as a “dating coach,” “dating guru,” and a PUA. While Scott McKay (the guy who’s site I sent you to) calls himself a “dating coach” he is still very much a PUA, and David Wygant is the same way.

                    Some people in the PUA community want a pump and dump, some want casual and fun experiences and do care about who they’re with, some resort to using manipulation, some want to better themselves, and some are looking to be overall better men; like it or not one of the way society measures the success of a man is whether or not he is successful with women – not necessarily that he sleeps with hundreds of them, but that he is seen as attractive by them.

      • Hi Iben –

        Clearly you didn’t understand what I wrote. Your intense hatred for these PUA types (“Frankly I hope they burn in hell”) is clearly affecting your cognitive capacity to read what I wrote with any comprehension.

        To answer your two questions:

        1) I am very familiar with PUA sub-culture, and have spent time on their website, because I am fascinated by all sorts of sub-cultures, including ones I personally do not embrace.

        2) I raised two daughters as a single father, and taught them well how to distinguish good guys from bad guys.

  20. the pua term is overused and yes largely part on marketing hype, however
    there has been beneficial parts of the industry of seduction. i have to disagree
    with your statement of everything be lumped together including ‘date-rape instructions’
    though i was told from you guys facebook page that some recent kickstarter
    created controversy on that, which i wasn’t aware of. all i’m saying is
    excluding the title ‘pua’ there have been beneficial and powerful information
    out there for guys, and the reason why is women hold their guards up themselves
    and play games just as much as guys do. the fact that one can be empowered
    and learn to be better, more confident versions of themselves is great and there
    are programs within the whole scene that aren’t very pua or formulaic, ones that
    just talk about confidence, body language, self belief, social value, the best ways
    to pleasure a women and building attraction and have great conversations..
    i can think of adam gilad, marni, josh pellicer, tsm, david wygant to name a few…..

  21. As a woman I find this sentence odd: “All those articles about “50 Ways To Drive Him Wild!”, all the Wonderbras and negligees, it’s all part of the training women get, part of teaching them to maximize the power they have to turn men’s brains off, as it were.”

    I’m wondering how many women do this in an attempt to turn men’s brains off. What good does that do us I’m wondering?

    If any women who are reading this can relate to it, please explain.

    From my own experience, and hearing what other women have to say, women seem to do all these things for their own self-esteem (we live in a culture that tells girls and women that their self-esteem lies in how attractive they are), not to shut down men’s brains.

    • The “shut down men brain” I think is a metaphor, for to be attractive to men you are also attracted to. If the advice doesnt have anything to do with men, the advice would not be “50 ways to drive HIM Wild” but “50 Ways to have high self esteem”. The fact that HIM is part of the sentence means the advice women get have to do with men. Although the intention is not to arouse men or shut men brains off, it still how to be attractive to opposite sex. Because its natural as a human being that we want to be attractive to someone we attracted to.

    • I agree. If anything, these articles always made ME feel inadequate. It’s not about “haha, stupid man, I’m gonna get him NOW!” (who’d want to turn another human being into a drooly almost-vegetable, especially a significant other you care about?) but more about “you don’t drive him crazy. you’re still failing. see here how to not fail anymore… if you try hard enough”.

      I think we (women) are mostly focused on achieving that fleeting goal, of ever striving to fulfill the most recent attractiveness standards, of being what we think “all men” want, so we can finally get our proverbial medal, like “I’ve achieved full societal/male acceptance! I am the quintessential lady-in-public-whore-in-bed! I can bake cookies and give a footjob at the same time! I don’t need to prove anything to anyone anymore!” (I’m a fan of hyperbole, sorry).

      But yeah, I’m getting a little sick of the “conniving women wiles” narrative. Also the “score chicks! (as if they’re objects and gold stars on your sex report and not, you know, sentient, complex, unique, feeling human beings just like you and me)” narrative. As if this is all a big game we’re playing where we try to trick/deceive each other into liking and possibly fucking us. (Wait…)

      • Amen Kay. Couldn’t agree more. All those articles also made me feel more inadequate then I ever felt they were saying men where stupid. They largely focused on what I, as a woman, should be doing, to make myself more acceptable and presentable to a man. And when I was younger, boy, did I try and controt myself into all kinds of things just to get some male acceptance.

        And I couldn’t agree more with your point about the narrative of “conniving women’s wiles” and “score chicks”. Or how some like to call it… “pussy”. And even less flattering word to be referred to then “chicks”.

  22. One question: where are those men who can get 90% percent of women, anytime they want outside of action movies and ads? (You see where I’m going?)

    The sad truth is, we’re probaby exposed more often to fiction (internet, print media, tv, movies) than to our own real lives. We have a hard time to even tell the difference. That “foster reality” divides mercilessly between “playas” (who are, in fact the ones who have the right cell phone, the right aftershave lotion, the right clothes…) and “loosers”. The truth is, we’re all somewhere in between.

    Think about it for one second, if everyone was more popular than you, why would the promise of popularity be used to sell us that much junk? Who do you think the beer companies are catering to when they promise you a whole bunch of hot girls if you drink their beer6 The vast majority of men who want more “action” than they have. There must be plenty of them…

    And I don’t think everyone has just that one “prince charming” or “princess charming” that are lost forever once they are lost. I think we all have a type of people that we can get along with, depending on the circumstances.

    Same works for the girls. At one point, you mentionned lingerie and the “drive him crazy” cosmo articles. I think that we, too, are conditioned to believe that if a guy, or many guys, are not loosing their minds and killing each other over us, we are not feminine and beautiful enough. That’s not healthy.

  23. Zodak, it sounds like you’ve bought the Koolaid. Sure, confident is nice. But there is someone for everyone, and waiting until you are “just right” is a guaranteed friday night date with your I-Pad. Nice guys end up…with nice girls, usually. It just takes meeting the right one, which takes getting out and having a life. If “be yourself” means (always) sitting home and playing video games, then there might be room for improvement, but if you have interests, friends, and are willing to smile at the women you see in the course of your day, then you don’t need perfection, just normalcy. Unless you are looking to marry a “10”, you needn’t be one yourself.

    • “Someone for everyone?”

      Think you may have drank the Kool-Aid too.

    • some people have social anxiety. Theres a reason why many guys/girls choose to stay at home at friday night and play video games/reading books instead. Theres a reason some people have difficulties in social life, either its making friends and startin a conversation. Theres a reason some people are a “loner” in high school days and not “hang out” like most of their freinds. Please dont shame us who doesnt have those social abilities like normal people. Just because we are not like you doesnt mean we dont have a life.

      • Hi John

        You are right. Many have social anxieties or simply a personalty that is private.
        However, for a man like that to seek advice from PUA gurus, is not smart.

        There are other intelligent well educated persons that offers advice that is also emotionally healthy .
        So why waste time and money on PUA? There are other options for men that need advice about how to approach women, about love,about sex,about relationships.

  24. “And all of it is selling men something they already have: the power to attract (straight) women.”

    they don’t, we don’t. men have to learn how to be attractive.

    you are telling men what everyone else says “just be yourself” those men know that strategy doesn’t work. Pickup artistry tell them they have to learn to be confident, to make more money, dress better, cultivate interests, stay in shape. in other words become the man that women want.

    while very young girls may like “non-threatening boys” we all know adult women do not. they hate nice guys. they are disgusted by them. nice guys end up in the friend zone.

    • But “women” are different and want different things, just like men. Pick up “artistry” (*snort*) is offensive to both genders for generalizing them and turning them into shallow, calculating caricatures of human beings.

      Also, really? “Women hate nice guys”? This ridiculous claim has been debunked so many times and so wonderfully I’m gonna stop typing now. COPY PASTE!


        • Hi Jar
          Thanks for sharing the link . I liked what I read about the concept creepy. And this also the problem with the PUA, a total disregard for women’s borders ,women’s physical or psychological space.

          ✺”MRAs are up in arms about “creep-shaming…………
          The answer is that creep is the only insult
          that instantly centers women’s perceptions. To call
          a man a “pussy” is to make a comment about how
          his behavior appears; to call him “creepy” is to name how he makes women feel……………….
          At the heart of the “anti-creep shaming campaign” is a concerted effort to discourage women from
          relying on their instincts to protect themselves from harm. ……………..On the other hand, calling a dude “creepy” labels him as a potential threat; a creep may not
          be imminently violent, but there’s almost always a sense that he shows consistent disregard for a
          woman’s physical or psychological space. This is why, as Wakeman wrote, “it’s a really freaking dangerous idea to twist a woman’s open, honest communication about her boundaries/expectations into ‘creep shaming’ that victimizes men…………….. “creepy” serves a vital function. No
          other word is as effective as describing when a man has crossed a woman’s boundary; no other word
          forces a man to reflect on how his behavior makes other people feel. “✺

          • John Anderson says:

            Hi Iben,

            “At the heart of the “anti-creep shaming campaign” is a concerted effort to discourage women from relying on their instincts to protect themselves from harm”

            I disagree. Creep shaming demonizes men for their sexuality. Two men doing the same thing to the same woman may elicit a different reaction from that woman based on whether she’s attracted to the man or not. A non-attractive man is a creep. An attractive man is a date. How many women actually feel “threatened” and are not simply grossed out? I think much of that I feel threatened stuff is a cop out that women use so they can be jerks to men without feeling like jerks.

            • Bingo. John gets it.

              These shaming anti-creep campaigns are actually very cruel. What they really are doing is creating a system that allows women to not have to deal with the sexual desires of men in the lower rungs of society.

              The only time they feel “sexualized” or “creeped out” is when it’s done by low status men. An alpha male type guy delivering the exact same words would elicit a completely different reaction.

            • Define “attractive”. And more to the point, what makes a man attractive to a woman?

              At TIFF I saw the film Belle, a biracial young woman raised by her upper class white relatives. She had a white female cousin attracted to a young white man of a good family. He had looks. He had money. [Spoiler] He also was a racist – and a creep (made evident by his words and actions).

              When the actor (Tom Felton, of Harry Potter fame) came out for the meet and greet – the audience (male and female) booed and hissed for a good 5 minutes. They had no patience for creeps. But they had the advantage of being able to see both sides of the character (as portrayed by the actor). You don’t get that opportunity to see both sides when you are at a bar or party or club.

              Instead the situation with a woman and the PUA can run like this
              a) I have low self esteem and will take to the attention of PUA because this is as good as it gets
              b) I can out-Alpha this PUAlpha male – hence it becomes a game of power
              c) I want to get laid: the PUA is offering and that other guy who is cute but whose low self-esteem seems to be preventing him from making a move is still eyeing me from the wall. If I approach the latter, then he – and everyone else – may deem me a slut. I don’t care what the PUA thinks of me .

              In my youth I have done all three. But at 43, there’s nothing wrong with my self-esteem now however, I am no longer young and was never considered attractive (being Black and fat*). The issue of the “nice guy” vs “the creep” is moot – at my age “the nice guy” is attached already and “the creep” will not give me the time of day, unless other options have been used up.

              I am not attractive in the media sense, that does not mean that I do not recognize – and celebrate – my own worth. If that means that I will live my life without a romantic partner, then so be it.

              In the end, shaming is all about power. Only people worried about power have the privilege of worrying about shaming and being shamed. And I’ll be damned if I let anyone have that kind of power over me, either.

              (*I am not rubensque etc. At 250lbs and 5 5″ I’m fat. And yes, my feet’s too big, too *grin*)

            • I disagree. In my experience, creep means a jerk who doesn’t understand the concept of boundaries, or that no one is owed sex. It has nothing to do with attractiveness. You can absolutely be hot and be a creep. (Again, this assumes women just care about looks, which isn’t true for many, if not most of them, at all.)

              Also, obviously, women can be creeps too, and I’d also suggest it has nothing to do with being hot or not (though the “Hot Crazy Scale” from HIMYM comes to mind).

              • Varying mileage I suppose because I’ve seen both what you and John describe.

                There’s a big difference between “Can you imagine the nerve of that sorry guy trying to talk to me?” and “This guy doesn’t take no for an answer”.

                One is calling out a creep and other is text book creep shaming.

                • That’s actually a very good point – to be perfectly honest, the examples made it clearer for me, because I have never actually encountered the “eww, loser, get away from me, lol” types you’re both describing outside of movies and TV. (I’m also not American, by the way, which might make my experience different in another level yet.) Sorry.

                  Still, there are jerks/shamers/libido demonizers across the genders, but that still doesn’t validate the “niceness=single” (or “ugly=single”) premise.

              • John Anderson says:

                @ Kay

                Although your definition of creep is much closer to my definition, that’s not how I hear it normally defined. I rarely here creep defined in terms of actions. I constantly ask why is a man complimenting a woman on her appearance a creep, but a woman complimenting a baby on their cuteness (appearance) not a creep? Why is a man asking a woman what she’s reading a creep, but a woman asking a parent how old their child is not a creep?

            • Hi John
              I should not take part in a discussion about creep shaming. As a Scandinavian that is not a master in English, I can only guess what the word means and how it is used.
              To demonize a persons sexuality is not good,we can agree on that. We are sexual being and it is noting wrong in showing sexual interest, but ……
              The thing is that all cultures have unwritten rules for acceptable ways and unacceptable ways to show sexual interest.
              And you have to be sensitive to others.

              Where I live women do not use words like “creep” about men. The way I understand the word is a man that behaves as if he never learned the cultural codes for flirting and being with the opposite sex, or he shows signs of mental health problems.
              In my lifetime the only men I would describe as creeps was those that actually tried to assault me sexually . Well they broke the law. A stranger on the street showed me his penis, a man next to me in bus started to masturbate .
              Things like that. This is what I feel the word creepy means. But I understand American women use the word a different way.

              You say:
              ✺“At the heart of the “anti-creep shaming campaign” is a concerted effort to discourage women from relying on their instincts to protect themselves from harm”
              I disagree. Creep shaming demonizes men for their sexuality”✺

              Here you invalidate women.
              If women use the word creep to describe men , or a feeling they have that makes them uncomfortable, then you invalidate women and say ” no you do not feel like that. I however know exactly how you feel.”

              Don’t do that John.
              Invalidation is some of the worst things we can to each other.

              • John Anderson says:

                Hi Iben,

                Whenever I’ve discussed creep shaming, I’ve always considered it invalidating a man’s sexuality mostly because it has been defined in terms of feelings rather than actions. A woman may perceive a good looking man checking her out as flattering. I guy who’s not good looking could get the gross out reaction. Ugg, I can’t image having sex with you. I think to some extent that’s how men look at a woman’s reaction. If a woman feels creeped out it’s an implicit rejection of the guy’s sexual attractiveness. Both guys do the exact same thing. One guy gets a smile. The other guy is labeled a creep.

                I’ve never considered that creep shaming shaming could be an invalidation of a woman’s feelings, which are valid. Gives me something to consider. Any suggestions on how we can word it better to make sure we’re creep shaming complaining rather than creep shaming shaming?

                • Hi John
                  No I can not. I am “lost in translation ” 🙂

                  But it surprises me if men often experience impolite or rude reactions from women if men try to start an conversation. Is this the way women behave in your part of the world? To me it sounds childish ,mad more like how 12 year girls behaves when insecure.
                  I should stay out this discussion because I have never witnessed anything near what you describe as creep shaming,
                  It is hard to be young man looking for a girlfriend, but to be made fun of because he wants a girlfriends sounds inhuman and cruel.

                • The thing is they DON’T do the ‘exact same thing.’ Two guys sit next to a girl reading on the train and comment on the book she’s reading. They both say the exact same line. Why does one (A) get her phone number while the other (B) is seen as a creeper?

                  It’s because there are so man other factors that play a huge role in communication like tone, inflection, pacing, and body language.

                  – A spends more time looking at the book, then looks at the girl only when he’s ready to question her about it while B stares at her for a few minutes before asking about the book.

                  – A sits comfortably back in his chair, while B leans forward into her space.

                  – A maintains a comfortable level of “eye contact,” while B’s gaze keeps dipping down to her chest or legs.

                  – A speaks to her in a calm, confident manner, smiles heartily, and keeps his body language open, while B speaks too fast with a slightly faltering voice with his arms crossed or somewhat curled up into himself.

                  – If the girl rebuffs A, he shrugs and goes back to whatever he was doing or even starts up a conversation with another person on the train, if B is rebuffed he insults her, glares at her, or sulks in his seat.

                  Now lets get into the PUA “manipulations” territory:

                  – When A asks for her number he understands that the way he words the request can seem friendly or threatening depending on how he says them (in business and politics we call this marketing.) He has learned that people respond better to being “offered” something of if they feel like it was “their idea,” so he says “We should grab a coffee sometime.”
                  “Yes we should,” she says back.
                  Instead of asking for her number A says “Let me give you my number.”
                  She pulls out her phone.
                  “Here, I’ll just give you a missed call. Are you 847 -?”
                  She answers, “No I’m 312-555-5555.” (At this point if she is against giving him her number she’ll say so.)
                  He dials and gives her a missed call. He gave her his number, got her number, and confirmed that it was actually her number and not a fake.

                  Now some people will describe that exchange as being “manipulative.” If you want to call it that you can. Really it’s just people skills and understanding how to make a person feel comfortable and enjoy doing something that also falls in line with your goal. The girl isn’t going to walk away going “that asshole made me give him my number.” It was a positive experience for both of them.

                  • Veronica Grace says:

                    I can’t say no women will say that guy A was a positive experience but I can tell you that anyone playing that manipulative game to get my number would not be seen as a positive experience. They would be seen as manipulative which I have a high level of unwillingness to cooperate with. You haven’t IMO described two different men, you have described one guy with the same intentions going about his behavior in different ways.

                    I do agree that some women determine “creepy” based on how attracted they are to a man and that is a serious problem. Most especially for them because they are short circuiting their instincts which can be dangerous in extreme situations, but also for men who may have acted respectfully but just aren’t their type.

                    However, the true key to “creepy” is how it all feels to the women. You gave excellent examples in both of your guys of things that can contribute to a bad feeling about someone. Looking too long or at sexual body parts instead of faces. But there is more to it that than. There is a very specific bad feel to “this guy is trying to play me” and also “this guy is too invested in this exchange.” Trying to play = it’s not about me, it’s just about getting some. Which for many women is at worst creepy and also to many women just plain irritating that some guy is wasting their time on his game. Maybe us use our energy to deflect his game, making us try to sort out whats true and whats not, whats safe and whats not etc. Too invested = scary. Why the hell are you invested in me when all you know is how I look? Too invested = gets angry and abusive when turned down. Too invested = follows me to the store from the bus. You should never been too invested in someone you don’t know as a person. It makes no sense and is a clear indication that you are not interested in them as a person. This is true of everyone but for women in public it equals scary because we’ve been here before and it’s not gone well.

                    So how do you feel “good” to a woman? don’t play games or get to invested. Instead if you happen to be genuinely curious about her maybe you could talk with her. So instead of checking to see if you have your manipulative plan ready to use on any “girl” that you come across, if you are actually interested in women then be curious about individual women, treat them like People(I know, it’s just crazy talk!) and don’t have any attachment to outcome. How about just talking to people (if they are interested in talking…which if they are reading a book they probably are not and the reason they are reading is so that people won’t talk to them), instead of having a plan to “get” someone?

                    • Hi Veronica

                      Well said!
                      And this way to get a woman’s phone number IS manipulative and it says a lot about a man if he uses tricks like that to get intimate,to get a woman to bed,to get a little warmth or try to get a girlfriend.
                      But they are not looking for a relationship, just someone to use for the night. And if the woman is willing to have sex before seven hours have passed she is given a ugly name fool’s mate..
                      All he has to offer is manipulations and tricks.

                      They have many pre planned manipulative moves like this. And any woman should read up on this and know how to deal with these guys.

                    • Wow, you just assumed the worst intentions out of these hypothetical guys. I never talked about their intentions and I never said they were just “looking to play her.” My example was simply to illustrate how different behavior will result in different responses from people. How do you know that both guys weren’t genuinely interested in the girl? Maybe she was reading their favorite book and that got them excited and made them want to talk and get to know her better. It doesn’t matter if B’s intentions are honest if his behavior still makes her feel “creeped out.” My point was that it isn’t just about the words or the action, but hundreds of other minute details.

                      You also make A LOT of assumptions about the girl. Just because a girl is reading doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want to talk. I chat with people on the train all the time (I met my wife on a train.) You don’t know if she’s interested in talking until you start the conversation, and the way you start the conversation can make the different between “Wow great talking to you” and “ehh…I’m going to get back to my book now.” No she may want to be left alone and read, and I specifically address that scenario: A respects her feelings and leaves her alone while B, the “creeper” keeps pestering her.

                      You see the getting of the number as “manipulative,” fine, you’ve clearly already decided the worst about these guys. You’ve already imagined this sleazy guy who’s like “Hey babe, let me give you my number.” *hu-wink*

                      Have you ever thought about how to break some bad news to someone? Have you ever practiced the best way to ask your boss for a raise? How about how to answer questions at a job interview? Then you know that the way you approach something is important. Use one word you offend someone, use another you get a raise and your boss is glad to give it to you. This is no different than thinking about how to exchange numbers with a girl you’ve been having a great conversation with and who seems interested in you without freaking her out or making it awkward. What I’m describing is NOT about games or “trickery” it’s about having social skills so that when you do see someone you would like to get to know you can make it an enjoyable experience for both of you.

                    • Veronica Grace says:

                      KC, thinking of the kindest, or clearest way to say something is entirely different than your example of how to manipulate someone into feeling pressured or feeling falsely reassured about giving out their phone number.

                      It all comes down to what is the intention? If the intention is to be kind and give someone as much space and comfort to make their own decision as possible then no games.

                    • The term “Fool’s Mate” isn’t a comment on the woman. It’s a comment on the guy. It’s being critical of him.

                      A lot of people completely miss the fact that the PUA community is actually harsher on men then the women. There are more terms and discussion about deriding and bringing down other men than there are about women.

                      Saying that a woman was a “fool’s mate” isn’t criticizing the woman, it isn’t criticizing her choices, it’s saying that the guy should not get cocky and think that he’s some gift to woman or has ‘great game’ because it happen.

                      As for the phone number thing, she will only give him the phone number if she wants to. If she doesn’t want to give him her number, she’ll tell him.

                      What’s really happening here is that the guy is guiding her through deciding whether or not she wants to see him again and while letting her be in control of that decision – she’s said that “yes she wants to grab coffee.” That was her decision; she could have said no. By offering his number she again has an opportunity to say “No, I don’t want it.” By saying I’ll give you a missed call he gives her yet another opportunity to say “no.”

                      In this exchange he essentially says “It’s your choice, but if you want to grab coffee with me and you want my number, then it makes sense for you to give me yours.” What he’s dong is not a secret – in fact it’s pretty blatant and up front. If she has any shred of mental reason she can see exactly what he’s doing and that he’s dialing her number into his phone.

        • Sorry but if I understood the article correctly, it isn’t about nice guys, it’s about “self-proclaimed ‘nice guys’ who are actually total dicks”.

          Again, I can’t imagine a situation where being too nice can be a disadvantage: maybe you’re not outspoken enough; maybe you’re not confident enough; maybe you’re not interesting enough; or maybe you’re actually a total dick. Niceness doesn’t enter the equation, it’s just a cop-out excuse (actually similar to the “I’m not hot enough”/”guys just want supermodels” one for females).

          • wellokaythen says:

            Sometimes, “being nice” is just another form of passive aggressiveness, like “look at what a martyr I am!” or “I’m nicer than you are, so you owe me ____.”

      • Here Here!

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Kay

        But when we talk about Schrodinger’s Rapist many women use the excuse of playing the percentages to look at all men with suspicion. If most or a large minority of women can be successfully approached in a certain way, then why shouldn’t men also be allowed to play the percentages?

        • Men don’t need permission, except from themselves, to play the percentages and sometimes win and sometimes fail. Any reasonable guy (human) understands that life is ultimately uncertain–and thus all about percentages–so why take it so personally?

          I’d say that if a man has to be “allowed,” maybe he’s not a man. Except it ought to apply equally to women. Life’s a shit a show; a raucous mess. Rules help us get along mostly peacefully–but you alone decide how closely you want to follow them, or deal with the consequences of not doing so. Maybe you’ll find that the consequences for men, in playing the percentages, mostly apply in the comments section of these articles.

        • @John,

          What exactly do you mean by (both men and women) playing percentages (and using it as an excuse – for what, rejecting guys)?

          If it means something like saying “ALL WOMEN ARE [x] (eg. bitches who hate niceness), SCREW THIS, I’M GOING HOME” and/or “ALL MEN ARE [x] (eg., creepy potential rapists), SCREW THIS, I’M GOING HOME”, then well, you’re “allowed” to do it I guess, I just doubt other people will like you very much, or that you’ll catch the romantic/sexual interest of whatever gender you’re trying to romance/get sexy with.

          If it means something else, please enlighten me.

          • John Anderson says:

            @ Kay

            I’ve spent 25+ years in information technology. I’ve always taught every intern I’ve known to always ask the how and why something is done the way it is. Knowing the how and why something works will give them the what to do to fix it or make it happen. I guess I compartmentalizing things into consistent principles or theories. As long as I’m consistent with a principle and can apply it to multiple situations, then I can this is true. I’ll often take a principle and apply it to multiple situations to see if it remains valid. It’s more for my own self learning / awareness / personal development.

            I wasn’t so much trying to articulate a point rather I was attempting to solicit people’s opinions on two distinct situations where we apply the principle of playing the percentages. If we can say that It is acceptable to look at men with suspicion because a man is more likely to assault me than a woman (playing the percentages) then why would this not be valid if a man is approaching women in a certain manner because a larger proportion of women react positively when approached in this manner (again playing the percentages).

            In neither situation do people assume that ALL men or women are one way or another. They simply say that enough men or women are this way that I’m justified in taking a certain approach to all men or women. Personally, I’m leaning towards this being wrong. It sounds too close to the precursor of an ism (racism, sexism, etc.), but I have heard the justification used. I’ve even heard as one justification that essentially makes the argument that it’s better that I be racist, sexist, etc. than be dead. In the case of PUA, it’s probably I’d rather be a cad than be alone.

            I hope that helps clarify and I do appreciate your opinion.

  25. Megan Sailsbury says:

    Wonderful article, thank you.

  26. If you read “The Game” by Neil Strauss, you will find the parts about Tyler Durden (Owen Cook) hilarious…now Tyler is a master PUA, but before he was just a pale, weird-looking guy from Canada who couldn’t even talk to people of the opposite sex…now Tyler just walks into a bar and literally just picks up girls (hugs and lifts them up into the air) or extends his hand out or says “Get your little butt over here!” So what was so hard? Anyway, after reading the book about the PUA community, I get the sense that they all a bit bizarre and lacking in the basic social skill set while they were growing up (or just bipolar/psycho, like Mystery)….

    • FlyingKal says:

      now Tyler just walks into a bar and literally just picks up girls (hugs and lifts them up into the air) or extends his hand out or says “Get your little butt over here!” So what was so hard?

      Well, very few men can do that without getting a cold stare, a slap to their face, or a bouncer lifting them out of the club. So obviously he and the others have something, or learned something, that most of us don’t.

  27. Jackie Morrison says:

    The best pick-up artists stay single and die dirty old men

    • wellokaythen says:

      I have no doubt that if a man tries enough of just about any technique eventually he will find someone to have sex with him. There are more than 3 billion women in the world, running the full self-esteem spectrum. Ask out a thousand women in a year and you are bound to get a “yes” somewhere down the line. I have no doubt there’s just enough anecdotal evidence of “success” to create hope in those who don’t want to think too deeply. There are women going out to “get picked up” who are not very choosy. There are a few women out there who might even prefer a PUA one night stand once in a while, because those guys seem to be easily duped and she doesn’t much care about the long-term anyway.

      • “There are more than 3 billion women in the world, running the full self-esteem spectrum….There are women going out to “get picked up” who are not very choosy.”

        Hang on, now. Let’s not assume that only women with low self-esteem would hook up for casual sex. Just because a man and a woman have casual sex doesn’t mean she has low standards, she lacks confidence in herself, or she’s a victim of some predatory cad.

    • I don’t think “staying single” is a bad thing. It’s not a bad thing for women, so it shouldn’t be shameful for men either.

      And people labeled “dirty old men” aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong, either. I’d hope men could some day move beyond the fear of being branded as such.

      • John Anderson says:

        “And people labeled “dirty old men” aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong, either. I’d hope men could some day move beyond the fear of being branded as such.”

        Slut shaming, it’s not just for women anymore.

        • Older women are not thought to be sexual or attractive AT ALL, so at least the term “dirty old men” assumes some level of sexual desire.

          The idea of old women being “sluts” is likewise considered a joke.

          • Some old women says:

            I think of my wife as “older” or as you say, “not thought to be sexual” because… it never seems to cross her mind anymore. When I was 10 years younger, I used to fuck women who were twenty years older than my wife is now. And, nevertheless, they were half her age. Or, as you might say if you equate age and sexuality… those old broads were hot in bed!

            Oh, I hope I’m that dirty old man in the nursing home.

          • Wait? So it’s better to be seen as being gross and vile than it is to be neutral? There is no assumption of some level of being sexually desirable in the term “dirty old man” rather the assumption is that he is so repugnant that not only should we not really consider him attractive we should be sickened by him’ it is the opposite of being sexually desirable. The dirty old man expressing his sexual desire is not the same as others seeing him as being sexually desirable.

    • You know as much as I want to agree with you, the few PUA men that I know get laid quite often. It’s ridiculous really. Every time I’ve hung out with some of these guys, they go flirt with a woman and end up going home with them. It’s like they found some magical formula.

      Aside from the sleazier things, PUA also talks about being confident, improving your looks and health, how to strike up conversations with women, how to flirt and noticing signs that a woman is attracted to you. Those things tend to work, even without the darker suggestions from PUA.

      But these PUA guys can’t keep a committed relationship. I do think that most of them will end up old and alone.

      • wellokaythen says:

        Yeah, I was afraid someone would bring up that pesky “clear evidence of success” thing. I generally find facts like that terribly inconvenient. Reality frequently messes up my analysis of other people. There’s probably a big part of me that’s more comfortable believing that the PUA approach never works.

        I suspect that what is really happening is that a woman already looking to hook up with a man meets a man who volunteers to be hooked up with. It’s not fishing or hunting so much as a negotiation between two people who are basically there for the same thing. The idea that PUA’s are totally seducing reluctant women is hilarious. Congratulations, you just went home with a woman…who was already looking to go home with a man she just met.

        One paranoid part of me suspects that the PUA books are actually written by women. (The same way I suspect that Cosmo is actually written by men.) Here are some techniques guaranteed to help women spot men who are both gullible and looking for a casual hook-up. It gives those men bright red flags to wave so that women out there can immediately recognize them and take appropriate action.

        • That’s the point though; once you get past the marketing pizzazz and actually crack open the PUA content what you realize is that all talk about the fact that NOTHING works 100% of the time. Maybe times have changed since I was involved in the PUA community, but all of the original ‘gurus’ were really up front that it was a numbers game. If you actually take the time to analyze what’s going on in most PUA advice what it talks about is facing enough rejection to “calibrate” which is really just a fancy way of saying be aware of the reactions and body language of the people you’re around and learning how to respond to them. The tricks and gimmicks are just collections of behaviors that have seen positive responses in the past. Everyone has behaviors like this; they do something then get positive reinforcement so they do it again, most people don’t recognize this happening and the behavior just becomes an unconscious habit.

          If you’re just looking to “hook up” that night then you’re going to look for the signs of a woman that wants to hook up and you’re going to use behaviors that you or others have seen that women looking to “hook up” respond to. Even then, most PUA content outright admits that most of the time you’re not going to go home and sleep with a woman the first time you meet her. They have a term for when a meet-and-hook-up happens in the same night: fool’s mate.

          Most people I see who criticize PUAs only pay attention to the “sound bites.” I saw someone mention confirmation bias, well if you already believe that PUAs are all sleazy dirt bags you’re only going to pay attention to the sleazy stuff because you too are suspect to confirmation bias. Yes there is some pretty awful, misogynistic things about the PUA, and at the same time it’s not all bad and depending on which corner of the PUA community you wandered into a lot of it is very positive. A lot of PUAs really emphasize a focus on self-improvement: focus on studying and adopting habits that successful and attractive people tend to have.

          • Hi MC crupp
            I had to look up the PUA lingo ‘fool’s mate.’
            Urban dictionary:
            ✺1. fool’s mate
            A woman not needing the requisite 7 hours of contact prior to
            sleeping with a man for whom she has just met. This term originates
            within the PUA community. Jake – See that blonde over there? I just banged her out in the
            bathroom. Marshall – So what, she’s a fool’s mate. You need to raise your
            standards if you want to be an mPUA”✺

            • For some background:

              Fool’s mate is a chess term.

              Basically if a woman is just looking to hook-up it’s referred to as a “fool’s mate” because it implies that the hook up didn’t occur due to any “level of game” on the PUA’s part and that the girl was really just looking for any guy that met a certain set of criteria to sleep with that night. In chess a fool’s mate is when a player gets checkmated in 2 or 3 moves, implies the player is less capable than even a beginner level player.

              There is another term, Same Night-Same Lay which is about meeting a girls and sleeping with her the first time you meet her. This is different from a “fool’s mate” in two respects: 1. It is due to properly building comfort with the girl (she is genuinely interested in sleeping with YOU and not just whoever happens to be in front of her that night)
              2. It leads to an ongoing relationship whether it’s as a girlfriend or a friend with benefits while a Fool’s Mate is usually only a one-night stand.

  28. Hi wellokaythen

    Well said.

  29. wellokaythen says:

    Even ignoring ethics and gender politics for the moment, I dislike much of the PUA approach because so much of it is dependent on huge failures in men’s critical thinking skills. I’d go so far as to say it preys more on superstition and poor reasoning skills than it does on fear and insecurity. It makes money because of pretty widespread ignorance of things like: the placebo effect, confirmation bias, probability, and the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning. Their pseudo-scientific theories about human evolution, for example, are often tragic and hilarious at the same time.

    PU artists come across as savvy and cynical, but in many ways they can be quite naïve, far too paranoid about one group of people but far too trusting of another group of people. It reminds me a lot of the hundreds of dubious miracle cures out there – here’s the guaranteed cure for cancer that “they” don’t want you to know about! Don’t trust what women say about what they want – come to my seminar and _I_ will tell you!

    If you assume that another group of people (e.g., women) never tells the truth, then that also makes you gullible. That makes you vulnerable to the double-bluff.

    • Hi wellokaythen

      Well said.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      YES wellokaythen!


    • wellokaythen says:

      Just to clarify:
      When I say “failure in men’s critical thinking skills,” I don’t mean that men are inherently bad at critical thinking. I certainly don’t think either gender has the monopoly on poor critical thinking skils. I’m refering to some people’s critical thinking skills, not some problem with “The Male Mind” or anything like that.

    • The sad thing is that the “don’t trust what women say they want” line is far more often true than not. Pickup artists have no trouble getting laid, but every single guy I’ve ever seen following women’s advice has no where nearrrr the amount of success as the PUA. I say just be yourself n ask her out though, don’t fret over what “women” want because they’re not a hive mind.

      • katherine says:

        Or do trust what they say they want because if you don’t even trust them to accurately assess themselves then you can’t trust them to do anything? Like…why would you want to date someone who doesn’t even know what they want? That concept is so infantalizing and insulting. I know what I want and assuming I don’t based on literally no evidence is pretty heinous. Do you think women are stupid?

        • Hi Katherine

          You express yourself so well here:
          ✺ That concept is so infantalizing and insulting. I know what I want and assuming I don’t based on literally no evidence is pretty heinous. Do you think women are stupid? ✺
          My compliments .

          To see a woman as an equal is so scary to these guys , that they need to to see us to children , to be able to function.

      • wellokaythen says:

        On some level at some point you have to trust something that she says, right? If she tells me she wants to have sex with me, then I believe her…. : -)

        It would be entirely counterproductive and quite absurd to refuse to believe *anything* she says.

    • Brilliant observation. It’s true that the PUA men I know are like this.

    • katherine says:

      YEA! Awesome analysis.


  1. […] how to walk around them, what smells they might like. Like many men, I also researched and was toxically tempted by the study of pickup artistry. I could see myself, at 17, reading the excerpts below and psyching myself up while at the […]

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