Nice Guys: Finish First Without Pickup Gimmickry

Responding to the call from ‘nice guys’ for ethical pickup advice, Amanda Marcotte offers six tips for sustainable dating success.

Recently, Clarisse Thorn admirably tried to pick through the sewage strewn all over “pickup artist” (PUA) communities and find a handful of gems that could be plucked out and proffered to the socially awkward man who finds that he’s not getting laid as often as he’d like. (To which I say, who is?) Clarisse is less cynical than I am on this issue; I think the PUA mentality is too toxic to be polished into something non-misogynist. Even in its best forms, it’s still based on the sexist model of dating where women are selling and men are buying, an inherently sexist model that poisons even the occasional glimpses of common sense.

Still, Clarisse is right to say feminists haven’t really responded to the plaintive cries of self-described “nice guys” who claim they want non-sexist dating advice that works, but are forced to look to PUAs because there is no one else speaking to them. So, in the interest of good faith, I have concocted dating advice for men who swear up and down they are only drawn to misogynist PUA forums and seminars out of desperation and not sexism. Fair warning: this isn’t dating advice for everyone, but aimed at those who claim that they have to use tricks and traps to get laid, because they’re too socially awkward to get laid honestly.


Be generous about women’s motivations.

PUA communities spend a lot of time disparaging women with words like “shallow,” “gold-digger,” and “childish,” for having what they deem to be incorrect desires. But often, women’s choices make much more sense if you assume women date for fun and companionship, just as men do. If you don’t judge men for wanting sexiness, fun, and ego-boosting from women, then don’t judge women for wanting the same.


Believe that sex is not a battle.

The PUA model of dating is one where men are buying and women are selling, and therefore men’s job is to try to get as much sex out of women for as little a “price” as possible. This is not only sexist, but exhausting. You have more fun when your friends are having fun, right? Apply the same attitude towards dating, and you’ll become immediately hotter.


Make a list of traits you’re looking for in a woman.

This doesn’t have to be just for a long-term partner, though you might want different lists for different occasions. Be excruciatingly honest, even if it means writing down embarrassing things like “submissive” or “sexually inexperienced.” Physical characteristics are OK, but it’s more important to talk about stuff she can control, like her self-presentation. Be as specific as possible. If the ideal woman in your mind has a job in a creative profession and knows how to cook, write that down.


Next: Be more like The Situation


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About Amanda Marcotte

Amanda Marcotte hails from Texas, but resides in Brooklyn, New York, according to the laws governing the proper placement of freelance writers and feminist gadflies. She blogs regularly for Pandagon and Double X, and writes and podcasts for RH Reality Check. She's written two books on politics, It's A Jungle Out There and Get Opinionated.


  1. Lucien says:

    Wow, what a crock. Being honest, there are some elements of actually useful and clear advice here; but you would have to be an absolute loser with no self-respect to take advice from Amanda Marcotte. It’s just not done. She herself can barely bring herself to go through the motions.

    She starts off by blatantly insulting any potential reader; she simultaneously defines her intended readership, and humiliates it: her advice is “aimed at those who claim that they have to use tricks and traps to get laid, because they’re too socially awkward to get laid honestly.”

    This woman always seems more interested in any opportunity to humiliate and emasculate any males in the vicinity, than in whatever it is she’s pretending to talk about at the moment.

  2. “, but aimed at those who claim that they have to use tricks and traps to get laid, because they’re too socially awkward to get laid honestly.”

    Actually id like to know how to not be too socially awkward to get laid honestly, if you have advice on that, i was kinda hoping when i got linked to this page that that is what i would find, how to approach a girl i like honestly?

    I cant speak for every guy visiting these but it feels like im missing something that everyone else knows and understands, like ive entered the room and everyones laughing at the punchline of a joke i just missed.

  3. The glance to the art regarding attraction details on five basic tips that will help men and women secure or perhaps improve relationships. That distinguishes between manipulative…Attract and Seduce Women

  4. iknowbetter says:


  5. Why the big concern about men going to the”self-improvement” websites? You can see the expectations
    of the women. What did you expect to happen?

    • In my opinion, the female concern for PUAs is that they (females) can not discern them (PUAs) from true Alphas until it it too late (they have devalued their beds).

  6. This piece fails to look at differences between men and women. We’re not wired the same. At. All. I feel women fail at recognizing our own attraction triggers, we lump ourselves into the group called the human race rather than looking at our biological differences. Men do have a harder time in dating because they are expected to make the approaches and first moves in general. I’ve often been glad I’m not a guy for this reason alone.

    Are there misogynist men on PUA sites? Yep. Are there misandrist women on feminist sites? Yep. There are also many men and women seeking answers for their own struggles. One must sort through the chaff to get to the wheat. Two years spent visiting a PUA site has done more for my dating life (now seriously involved) than years of reading women’s advice. I learned what men really want and I learned my own triggers. The truth shall set you free. Just sayin’.

    My advice to women is become self-aware before handing out advice to guys.

  7. I have posted this exact same comment at multiple places, hoping some women actually take the challenge. So here it goes again.

    All you girls giving advice, be it the author of this article, women in the comments section, or anywhere else on the internet, there is a very specific term for you in the PU community – it’s called Keyboard Jockey. In simpler words, people who just talk/post on the internet but never take any action.

    If you are so confident that your advice works, take on the following challenge. Find a guy in your area/city in his 20s who has very little to zero experience with women (You will be surprised how many of them are out there, who are very normal looking). Take him from that and guide him to becoming a man who feels confident and empowered around women, and is able to find a reasonable girl who he loves, and who loves him back.

    Accomplish this task in a reasonable amount of time and without him having to spend an unreasonable amount of money.

    If all you girls put together (all over the internet) can achieve this transformation with 10 guys, write about it. Do not cheat and start giving PUA advice to these guys to use ‘negs’/’opinion openers’/’approach x women a day’ or other PUA stuff. Use your own brand of ‘Be yourself’,’Just say hi’,’connect with her’,’don’t dehumanize’,’talk about things which you care about’,’care about what she thinks’,’don’t approach randomly’,’no emotional manipulation’ etc. and see what you can accomplish.

    If you are able to achieve this, let me know and I promise to advertise it enough that guys will listen almost exclusively to this brand of advice and not the PUA stuff. But till then, please shut the f*** up

  8. AlekNovy says:

    If you’re a woman reading this and you want to understand why men find these articles trivializing, insulting and marginalizing of men – I’ll give you the perfect analogy.

    Let’s say you have a business and want to grow it into a MULTI-MILLION-dollar business. And then you read an article (on building a multi-million dollar business) and it says things like

    – Think of your customers as human beings, don’t see them as mere cash bags
    – Don’t be a dumbtard who sells stuff people don’t want
    – Try to sell stuff that’s not rotten, spoiled and try not to sell scams, broken tiems or scam your customers in anyway

    Do you get my point? All these points even though doos are so BASIC that its insulting to tell me this. Are you saying that if I’m not a multi-millionaire that I must be selling scams and rotten goods to people? That’s just plain insulting…

    And that’s how most dating-advice written by women comes off, especially this Marcotte peace.

    —-What makes it further insulting is how untrue it can be—

    –> There are guys who GENUINELLY have every single thing on the list but can’t get a date to save their lives
    –> There are guys who BREAK EVERY SINGLE thing on this list and are literal rockstars with women.

    This is why these articles are so demeaning and insulting to men.

    1) The articles first insults the guy with insinuation (oh, you can’t get a date – you must be a smelly, stinky, illiterate, dumb idiot).
    2) Then it try to deny you entire reality and what you and every man you know has witnessed your entire life – which is that these “rules” don’t at all apply in the real world and most men who are great with women break most of these rules

    3) It leaves out the most important part of man’s challenge. Being pressured into being the one to be the charismatic one. What’s ALWAYS left out is the fact that even in the 21st century most women act as if its the 16th century when it comes to initiation. They don’t approach, ask out and (most) don’t ever initiate the first kiss or sex. All of those pains and hurts and risks are left to men.

    And here’s the part everyone leaves out. Even if you claim that women only want an equal (which is desputable), by expecting the man to do all the initiation she’s expecting a SUPERIOR. And the reason a lot of women don’t get this is because they haven’t done enough initiating. Further, women’s criteria for the initiation are a helluva lot higher than for the “man himself”.

    In other words, they say they only want a normal ,decent guy… YET they expect the man to have george-clooney like charisma when approaching and asking them out – else they’ll label him creepy.

    • Trouble is, the advice given isn’t written by a woman, as you claim. It is, as the article clearly states, plucked from PUA advice which is wholly formulated by men. They are the ones talking down to you. You seem to have over-reacted a lot and found a way to generate several paragraphs worth of complaints about women as an undifferentiated group out of a totally false premise. I think I know why the ladies aren’t responding to you. It’s because you’re crazy unreasonably and that’s never attractive.

      • Actually, if you read the article, you’ll see quite clearly it WAS written by a women.

        Her name is Amanda Marcotte.

        And this article is her dating advice for men.

        What confused you, is that this article is a RESPONSE to an article by a DIFFERENT woman (named Clarisse Thorn) and HER article is cherry-picking pickup tips from the PUA community. But, see, THIS article is not THAT one.

        Now that this is cleared up, you might want to consider apologizing to AlekNovy for your ad hominem attacks following his quite reasonable and well written response.

    • AlekNovy, you need a blog! I’m going to say it. Yes, Alek is right. If women could give men advice by telling them what they want, do you really think men could give women advice by telling them what they want?

      Could you imagine how many guys would say things like:

      “Girls if you really want a guy, you need to put out on the first date. Show up with as little clothing as possible. In fact! Show up with no clothing at all! That means your exciting! Then you should buy dinner.”

      There’s a lot of crap that the PUA society puts out there for forward marketing and pushing people to buy their product, and geez there is a lot of crap. But, throughout this whole posts, there is nothing provided that could give a dating deprived young man a first step to finding his way to meet the right woman. I’m not saying PUA’s are good or bad, I’m saying that it’s needed. People need the advice, people need to know how to approach women. There are too many men creeping women out and it’s tragic.

      But stuff like this, a woman’s christmas list of the most perfect guy, it’s not helping.

      I blog about meeting women, but my blog isn’t focused solely on sex. It’s focused on making the best out of all situations because no one wants to spend their time alone.

    • You hit the nail right on the head! Everything you’ve said here is 100% true in my experience.

    • God this is all so true. Seems like every article on how to attract women by a woman either provides painfully obvious advice (“have you tried showering?”) or the impossible (“be the funniest person she knows”). Or they demean the man (“you probably suck to much to get a date, try being more interesting first”).

      I think the reason many men have turned to the PUA community is because those guys provide implementable tactics. Like, things that a person can actually do, versus just vague notions of “be better”.

  9. Why have someone who is profoundly sexist give advice to a group against whom she is so biased?

    This is ridiculous. Amanda Marcotte is a racist, misandrist talking head.

    Whether including racist illustrations in her book or spouting off sexist comments about men, this person does not need another outlet to spew her hate.

  10. Gregory A. Butler says:

    Amanda Marcotte is a young, affluent, White, conventionally attractive professional woman who lives in an upscale part of Brooklyn, New York. Were she not in a relationship she’d have no problem finding a new man – basically, she could just put on a cute outfit, go out to her favorite bar and in short order she’d have plenty of willing candidates to choose from.

    She has no understanding of how unpopular men experience the dating game, so her advice is useless – she’s never had to struggle to find opposite sex companionship, so she has no idea of what it’s like for those of us who do.

  11. Amanda talks more about PUA
    Can we from this conclude that Amanda doesn’t practice what she preaches?

  12. Anonymous Female says:

    I wonder how many women who “fall for” PUA techniques are really all that duped. I’m guessing that most of the women who go home with a man they meet in a bar have not fallen in love nor are they under any illusions as to the sincerity or long-term relationship prospects of the man. She may be settling for him as part of a short-term strategy as much as he’s “picking up women” as part of a short-term strategy.

    Also, I think there is a subtle difference between deception and creating a pleasing illusion. The pleasing illusion can be consensual or at least a product of both people. Maybe you think you are just are practicing overwhelming charm, but really she’s letting you think that you are a great player because it makes things easier for her enjoyment of the evening.

    And, never underestimate the ability of women to have sex with people they have no respect for. It’s not something that only male pick-up artists do. You may have in fact charmed or fooled no one with your “game.”

    • dragnet says:

      This misses the point a bit, in my view. The point isn’t necessarily to fool or charm anyone—it’s to get laid. For the PUA it doesn’t matter if the woman isn’t charmed or fooled—only whether or not she gives it up.

      In the final analysis, “Game” will die when it stops working. If “Game” didn’t get guys laid, then no one would do it.

  13. Guestina says:

    There’s a great response on Feminist Critics. The comments on this page are a lot worse than the comments over there.

  14. Many men, including myself, have asked feminists to describe what they think would be good dating advice for men, rather than just telling men what not to do. We have to give some credit to Amanda for attempting this article, even though I’m sure she knows that lots of people are going to shoot it down.

    Actually, considering how poorly Amanda understands pickup, the motivations of the guys who are into it, and the challenges facing the class of guys she is attempting to advise, it’s surprising that her article isn’t completely terrible. Some of the advice is good, for guys with certain sorts of problems. But in general, she has a lot to learn.

    Also, LOL at a feminist presenting “The Situation” from Jersey Shore as a someone to emulate! The Jersey Shore guys may well be more misogynistic than the average PUA.

    I’ve written up my own breakdown of her article here:

    • Johnny_B says:

      Whatever genuine ‘advice’ she may have given is canceled out by the piece’s smug, sarcastic, insulting tone, IMO.

  15. Johnny_B says:

    Do the comments look messed up, like not in the right order, for anyone else or just me?

  16. To me, this is what a nice guy is all about:

    A nice guy is all about apologizing to women everywhere and everyday for the objectification, the degradation, the humiliation, the suffering, the poverty, the raping, the abuse, the sexual slavery, that women throughout history have had to endure because of men.

    • Heh, nothing like some self-flagellating liberals sensuously wallowing in guilt over the evils of the white man. As if we didn’t have enough feminists crowing that all men are evil, these pathetic souls are actually joining in the chorus. They should stop apologizing for being men and just get a sex change already. And that goes for a few male feminist bloggers I can name, too.

  17. lemmy caution says:

    This is good advice:

    – hit the gym
    -be excellent
    -be confident
    -be someone that the person you want to be with would want to be with

    I am also liking the love for the situation. Too many men suffer from “ressentiment”. They call other people douchbags and don’t understand why women are attracted to those guys. Understand why women are attracted to those guys.

  18. Hey Amanda. One final question, your encouragement to hit the gym more often, and defending this by saying that you would do this yourself. Hypothesize that I hit the gym 6 days a week, that I had pecs that could break bricks and abs that could crush beer cans. Would this excuse me from being shallow if I started talking about how I do not wish to date fat women?

    • Why do you need to talk about it? Can’t you just not do it?

    • SecondBeach says:

      I second twg. You can prefer not to date big women without insulting and dehumanizing them. Turning down a woman you find unattractive and wearing a ‘no fatties’ shirt are very different things. Privately acknowleding what does and does not turn you on is different than stating that fat woman are unattractive period. It also attacks the desires of the all the men (and women!) that love big women.

    • Chicka Bow Bow says:

      I don’t think she was suggesting hitting the gym and then changing your personal mate preferences to women who are equally fit. I believe she was saying to be fair and realistic in your approach. A chubby fella who prefers fit women should not be surprised to find that these women also prefer fit men. If he wants to increase his chances of catching the eye of the type of women he’s attracted to, making an effort to be the type of man that THEY are attracted to would be helpful. It’s just about being fair and realistic. Most men wouldn’t expect an overweight, ungroomed woman to pick up a muscle-bound sexy hunk, so I don’t know why overweight, ungroomed men would think tight-bodied sexy bombshells are shallow when they have the same desires.

      • Johnny_B says:

        Indeed, or as a French guy whose name I can’t remember once said: “I have spent my life searching for the perfect woman, and eventually I found her, but alas, she was looking for the perfect man”.

      • Actually I would think that if the question came to women, feminist would fight tooth and nail for the right of the woman to lust after any type of man she desires. It would probably be called something akin to feminism not being about limiting womens’ sexuality.

        • Incognito says:

          There’s a difference between lusting after someone and expecting them to be interested in you.

          Everyone can be attracted to whomever they wish.

          • So why do I then read on this very page Hugo’s dwelling into why it is ‘unnatural’ and wrong for older men to lust after younger women?

  19. Human female hypergamy is an established model. The more common term for it is “female sexual choice”. Female choice is easily measured and can be shown: Mitochondria, which all inherit from moms, is far greater in diversity than that which men only inherit from their fathers. Men have more variation in their mating success than women. Some have more descendants than others, while for females, the success variability is much less. This measurable fact deduces to female sexual choice, which implies hypergamy. Darwin’s sexual selection, Trivers parental investment etc

    • Saying that “human female hypergamy is an established model” is a bit like saying creationism is a theory. Yeah, it’s an established model. A not very good model, but it sure is established.

      This measurable fact deduces to female sexual choice, which implies hypergamy.

      Er, how, exactly does that imply hypergamy? What it seems to imply is that women have fewer sexual partners than men, on the average. That has nothing to do with hypergamy, necessarily.

      • I may not have been clear enough: “female sexual choice” (byproduct artifact hypergamy), which is a well documented and established theory (Trivers, Fisher, Hamilton on parental investment ect), very unlike creationism – as to your remark about it not being a good model, and with no snide intended – I suggest you restrict your dismissals to topics you have some rudimentary knowledge about. These folks are world class biologists, so you need to up your game exponentially if you want to comment on their work.

        To your second point – no, that’s not what it means. Think about the benefits of “choice”

        • SecondBeach says:

          As an evolutionary biologist (no, I’m not kidding you), I’d like to suggest you stop using very tenuous evo-psych on humans. Sexual selection driven by female choice is widespread in the animal kingdom (though not the only model by far) and very well-supported, but it is a dangerous and irresponsible thing to try and draw conclusions about almost any aspect of human behavior from looking at fellow vertebrates. We have a very, very long critical period and are deeply dependent on enculturation. A look at the wide variety of human cultures (and the many different phenotypes that similar genes can create) should tell you all you need to know about any sort of hard-wired bio-determinism. Our early enculturation and socialization, on the other had, is a different story.

          I’ve published on male display and female choice. It is barely relevant to the complex ways humans seek and form sexual relationships.

          • I suggest you save your ire for the fellow above who likened it to creationism. If you are indeed a fellow biologist, you would know that any conclusions drawn are statistical in nature, and that you’re choice of the word “tenuous” is inappropriate in a statistical conversation, between biologists…unless you’re claim is that it is not statistcally significant.
            If so, then we’re going to have a different conversation.

            • SecondBeach says:

              No one mentioned stats previously. What data set are we drawing from, because I didn’t see one? Are we sticking with frequentist, or can we go with Bayes?

              Statistical significance doesn’t mean anything if you’re trying to draw conclusions beyond your study’s scope of inference. My original point that the presence of female choice as a driver of sexual selection in many taxa does not mean hypergamy is a well-established fact in human populations. It means nothing about human populations. Intersexual sexual selection is NOT like creationism; it is a well-established, testable model for how SOME animals mate (let’s not forget the importance of intrasexual sexual selection as a driver in many other, including many vertebrate, species). Human female hypergamy, on the other hand, is a hypothesis of some evolutionary psychologists and it is completely irresponsible (and disrespectful to science) to toss it around as the explanation for how half the human population goes about conducting their relationships. Very little in human psychology can be nailed down as fact, even less can be nailed down as hard-wired. There are no controls, no manipulations and honestly, in terms of what turns people on (which, if you’ve seen the internet, is a veeeeeeeery wide range of things), even the best minds are still pretty in the dark.

              And it would do everyone well to be skeptical of any evolutionary psychology (or worse, pop evo psych) that seems to do nothing but rehash 1950s gender roles.

              • Hypergamy is not just a hypothesis pushed by “some” evolutionary psychologists – see ethnography, economic theory and game theory. There are literally hundreds of scholarly papers you can review on line.

                You sound like a secret “blank slate” endorser, with your disbelief. That something can’t be “nailed down” exactly is not a topic under discussion. Complexity is not a refuge.

                • SecondBeach says:

                  I’m not a ‘blank slate’ endorser. I’ll acknowledge some innate differences in men and women, which in reality highly are overlapping bell curves. Sure, means may differ, but the variances make that fact nearly irrelevant. To paraphrase Stephen Jay Gould, statistics mean nothing to the individual. Honestly, it’s hard to say what women are evolutionary driven to be attracted to in men when a good portion of women aren’t even attracted to men at all!

                  Yes, there are buckets of scholarly papers on hypergamy (and maybe this is discipline bias speaking, but evolutionary psychology papers on humans aren’t held to half the rigor evolutionary behavior papers are for ANY other species. I find what ‘demonstrates causality’ in that discipline to be less convincing), but we weren’t having an academic debate here about the vague ancestral drives of hominids You brought up the female hypergamy hypothesis as a comment on a thread about how to attract women. That means you are promoting it as the way women work, as some immutable rule that men must accept and then adapt to/exploit. I don’t need to look any further than the incredible diversity of relationships around me to know that it is ludicrous to call female hypergamy the rule. Yes, that’s anecdotal and yes, that’s biased sampling, but it isn’t meaningless either.

  20. Sorry, I lost interest after the first point. Considering that Amanda marcotte has demonstrated little to no ability to be “generous with motivations” with regard to men, I find it ironic in the least, not to mention downright insulting for her to “advise” such a thing to men.

    • Actually, more to the point, I’m skeptical that women are actually capable of giving good dating advice to men, simply because they literally have no idea what men have to go through to get a date. Every time I’ve heard a woman say that she’s asked men out, it’s eventually followed by the confession that this was “only a few times” and they usually stopped after getting rejected.

      This is not something men have an (realistic) option of doing.

      granted, I’m skeptical of the PUA community as well, but at least they’re coming from a point of shared experience.

      • Yep, women are pretty comfortable sitting back and waiting for the men to make all the moves, then accepting or rejecting them as they please. You can’t really blame’em for that, can you? On the other hand, this means they have to deal with a lot of unwanted advances, whereas the men can pick exactly who they want to go after. There’s pros and cons either way.

        As for the ‘not knowing what they want’, I think it’s like fast food. When someone asks us what’s good to eat, we might talk about calories, additives, the dangers of junk food, and recommend a nice salad. But when we’re out and we’re hungry, we still reach for the burgers or pizza. We know that it’s bad for us but we don’t care, it just tastes good. Same goes for men. Women might now and rationally understand that a good guy is better for them, but they still can’t help being attracted by the dangerous dudes, the rogues and the cads. Otherwise you wouldn’t see thousands of messages like “Help, I keep falling for jerks” or “why am I attracted to bad boys?” This is why I tend to agree with the notion that “a woman can’t teach a man to be attractive to women any more than a bird can teach a fish to fly”. If you want success with women, best place to look for advice is other men who have had success.

      • hey, everybody that down-voted me, why not actually comment and tell me why you think I’m wrong? I mean, I assume you have an actual reason, rather than just a knee-jerk “He disagrees with me! Ow Noes!” reaction

        • Chicka Bow Bow says:

          Okay, I’ll bite.

          I disagree with your feeling that women are not capable of giving men decent advice about, well, themselves. The main reason is that there is only one group of people on this planet that honestly know what women like and dislike, and that group of people is women. Being approached by a “pick-up artist” is an uncomfortable experience that many women go through on a regular basis. The same tired and often annoying and offensive tactics are employed against us again and again. The only women who go home with men who employ such tactics are women who were probably looking to go home with someone that night anyway, and so the actual means of “conquering” her are not important, as long as she decides she’s sexually into you. Also? The concept of “getting” or “winning” sex from women is one that is commonly used by PUAs, and is terribly disturbing. It blatantly states that women are “losing” somehow by having sex with a man. Sex is supposed to be a pleasurable and fun activity between willing partners, so if a woman “loses” by engaging is sex with a man, I think that says some pretty awful things about him.

          I think if all a man wants a quick lay from a sexually available and gullible woman, then PUA tactics can work on a woman who either doesn’t have much brain power or who is just also looking for a quick lay. But if a man is actually looking for a real date with a woman he can connect with and possibly form a relationship with, the advice in this article is greatly superior. Friendship, fairness, respect, and honesty are vital parts of a successful relationship and can greatly enhance any sexual experience. After all, when two people really know each other and trust each other, they can share in all of each other’s wildest fantasies with abandon and learn all the right buttons to push for their partner.

          Geez, this was long. Sorry about that. Anyway, speaking as an educated young woman, I must say that this article more accurately reflects what I would respond to positively from a man. I can smell a PUA a mile away. My girlfriends and I laugh about them regularly and not one of us is dumb or desperate enough to tolerate one for any amount of time.

          • I don’t disagree with what you’ve written here, at all really. And while I haven’t looked into PUA stuff a whole lot (and as I’ve stated before, am a bit skeptical of a lot of it) the fact is that, at least in some situations- this stuff works. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t exist.

            Also, the idea that “women don’t know what they want” (disclaimer: Yes, I’m generalizing here) exists for a reason. Men, probably, don’t really know what they want either.

            Women do this kind of thing too, in general who do women look at for advice on how to “get a man” or whatever? Not men. Otherwise Cosmo wouldn’t exist either.

            However, I don’t think you’ve neccessarily refuted my original point- Women, for the most part, do not have the kind of experiences men do when attempting to get a date, even women who do the asking.

            it’s sorta like a hockey player coaching soccer… the end objective is similar (put round object in goal) but the mechanics and rules are very different. Perhaps the hockey player would be successful, but I’d trust another soccer player first, honestly.

            • I had to re-read through the article again, to confirm this… but nowhere in the article does it actually give a non-sexist version of the advice that a PUA guide would, which is on how to actually ask for a date. The advice given here would probably make it more likely one would get a “yes” and that’s fine…but there’s nothing on how to actually /ask./

              What to say, how to say it, how to stand when saying it, when to say it, what *not* to say, how to determine when you have a reasonable shot, how to recognise when to give up and get out of there.

              This is my point. Amanda, as a woman, does not have experience with this. Therefore, she cannot advise men on it.

    • I have to agree. Amanda Marcotte has not been shy about her loathing for men, her assumption that we’re all born rapists waiting for our big chance, and that heterosexuality itself is a “corrupt social convention.” I’m expected to believe she actually wishes lonely single men well in their search for love and companionship? Boy, can I get you a good price on the Brooklyn Bridge!

    • Chicka Bow Bow says:

      I’m not sure I understand why you think this advice is emasculating. Would you prefer that men treat women with disrespect, have unreasonable and unfair expectations of them, and employ deceptive tactics against them in attempt to somehow “trick” them into bed? I think the advice in this article is great. I sure as heck wouldn’t want to date a man who thinks that treating me like an individual human being who is worthy of respect is “emasculating”.

      I’m not sure what people have against the idea of equal respect between genders. If it weren’t for the “self-serving feminist agenda”, women wouldn’t be voting, attending universities, making their own health and family planning decisions, owning property, holding important positions in politics and business, choosing who/when/if they will marry, having a public voice, etc.

      • Johnny_B says:

        Because of her history and other things she’s written, I’m not a big fan of Marcotte (my previous comments will attest to that). But your language is totally uncalled for, especially when everyone else has been polite so far. Being a man means you can stand up for yourself and your beliefs without acting like a petulant, foul-mouthed jackass. Otherwise you’re no better than the radical feminists shouting down everyone who disagrees with them.

      • Dude, I’m no fan of Marcotte either. But when you start throwing around the c-word and talking about wanting to inflict physical violence against women, you’ve crossed the line. Go get therapy, asshat.

  21. Lucky 72 says:

    Ridiculously bad article by Amanda Marcotte.

    The ‘advice’ is useless, and Amandas derisive snarl aimed at men in general and nice guys in particular, is sickining and quite frankly lacks empathy towards men caught in a bad, bad situation. Try 38 years of near total rejection by women on for size and come back and give me a better attempt at useful ways of achieving what everybody, men and women, need: intimacy and closeness.

    We men need that intimacy and closeness as much as you women. And for those of us that can’t achieve that as we are, all Amanda can give us, is poorly veiled, ‘I don’t give shit’. Thanks for nothing.

    It’s as is some feminists have no idea of what the other half of the population goes through. Yeah, the president might always be a man, but I can’t really use that when I cry myself to sleep for lack of company at night, OK?

    Thanks for Clarissa for starting this discussion in her post on Ethical Pick- Up Artistry. It’s nice to know that there are some women with actual empathy.

    • The article was nice, but then I read the comments.

      I am so happy I am a lesbian. (: For lesbians’ amusement, I am going to quote some of these men, men who say they love women. Would you want to sleep with any of these losers?

      “I can understand why women don’t like effective dating advice for men. It reveals very uncomfortable truths about the female psyche. Were I a woman, I would probably hate the fact my gender flocks to rogues like ducks do to breadcrusts by a pond”
      “We men need that intimacy and closeness as much as you women. And for those of us that can’t….. Thanks for nothing” (what if a gay man tried that line with a straight man?)
      “If I want dating advice on females: I talk to the males who are successful with ‘em, not the females ” (For someone who claims to love women, you sure don’t give a shit about women’s pleasure happiness love or viewpoint….mainly about if your penis gets sex)

      I’ll wrap it up fast. Amanda Marcotte’s post is very different from “inner game”. Inner game is mainly concerned with “Will the man be having sex by the end of tonight?”. This may result in situations where the woman wants to say no but is too scared to so she says yes reluctantly, and has sex she doesn’t enjoy. Fun for the man’s penis, sad for the woman, sad for the man, sad for the relationship. Amanda Marcotte’s post is mainly concerned with “Is the woman happy, safe, and enjoying herself on her own terms?”. If you REALLY loved women, and didn’t want to just “take what’s mines”, which viewpoint would you follow?

      • Lucky 72 says:

        Poor selective quoting Jemma.

        Clarisse has empathy enough to see this from the viewpoint of the nice guys left out in the cold by gender stereotypes. Amanda doesn’t. Amanda’s ‘advice’ is useless, and delivered with scorn. Not nice. The problem is that it’s not just a question of “taking what’s mines”, it’s a question of engaging socially with women in the world today. Amanda doesn’t have a functioning viewpoint, just scorn created by a lack of empathy.

        And why don’t you ask yourself “Is the man happy, safe and enjoying himself on his own terms?”.

        But I guess that’s not a questions of interest for feminists like Amanda (but IS, thank God, for feminists like Clarisse).

        The fact that you think that all men want is getting their dick wet, shows how shallow you are, and how little understanding of the pressure gender stereotypes put on men. I guess we just don’t count as human beings for some of you. That’s sad really.

      • Johnny_B says:


    • Johnny_B says:

      Yeah, what really gets me as well is this nasty undercurrent of “if you don’t have a girlfriend, you probably don’t deserve one” just below the surface of pretty much any feminist’s post directed at guys who have trouble finding love. I wonder what the reaction would be like if women who couldn’t get a date got this kind of response.

      • Oh, yeah. So, all the countless covers of Cosmo et al, with their tips on how to look hot, on what men want, on how to make the right moves in bed – you don’t think any of that could maybe be telling women that getting a man is really, really important, and that women should go out of their way to be attractive in order to accomplish this?

        You don’t see the pressure on young women to please men and find a mate? Makes me wonder – what colour is the sky on your planet?

  22. I think I can speak for Amanda when I say that I don’t think she, or any other woman really cares if you’re sitting or standing while you pee. However, we do care that you don’t pee all over the seat. It’s all about consideration, dude. (And really, who would want to sit in your urine? Not me.)

    All she’s saying is, respecting the woman you want will get you a lot farther than lying and manipulation, figure out what you want and whether or not it’s realistic, and be the best person you can be rather than, again, lying and manipulating. Simple.

    To continue with your analogy, if you want to find out how to be more attractive to women, you might want to talk to women.

    • well, I don’t see why your comments are being censored…..

      divergent viewpoint but nothing offensive and definitely good humored with the talk about “pee.”

      I clicked “like”

    • Johnny_B says:

      That’s a nice view but unfortunately it doesn’t work. Be kind, respectful and considerate and you’ll be seen as “a good friend”. Be a dangerous “bad boy” or a jerk who doesn’t seem to give a crap about anyone – that’s hot.

    • Let me tell you something, as someone who spends her entire life working around decent men: those words aren’t decent. Those words are vile. If I heard my brother, or my father, or my students say them, I’d lose respect for them. They’re especially not the words who come out of the mouth of the majority of men who are socially competent or decent enough to be in the sort of relationship they want to be in.

      The “women don’t know what they want” meme is just a self-preserving cognitive bias that the socially incompetent tell themselves. The vast majority of the intelligent ones know exactly what we want; it just doesn’t resemble what’s pushed on us as being “desirable”. Some of us have no interest in a potential partner’s wealth, or property, or “prestige” as arbitrarily determined by his job title, educational background or family’s socioeconomic class. And then when we aren’t attracted to some assbiscuit who thinks he’s a catch because he doesn’t have an apprehended-violence order out on him, then we’re told “we don’t know how to appreciate a decent man”.

      Your standards are real damn low if you think that what you’re offering is “decent”. I want someone who is going to inspire me to be a better person and to hold me to the highest standard I’m capable of achieving in life – not some antisocial schlub who only goes for the attractive girls and then whines about them being shallow. I want someone who passionately seeks to do the right thing in the world, even if it means taking on a job that earns them $100k less per year than it could by doing the slightly amoral thing – not someone who demands a cookie every time they’re not a flagrant bell-end to another human being.

      • Jessica says:

        Just like you are an example of the worst of men…there are examples of the worst of women.

        The point is not to roll around in the mud and wallow..the to better yourself.

        Try it.

      • What kind of fecking unintelligent gobshite is this? Are you actually meaning to tell me that just because one overpaid ringpiece from some third-rate website I’ve never even heard of says that women are all x, that they actually are? You’re going to discount actual testimony on this site from women who say the opposite of this in favour of someone who confirms your most pathetic and irrational of “bitches must want to be abused” personal peccadilloes?

        Of course there are idiotic women. I’d make a guess that about 20-40% of women are absolute morons of the highest order; exactly the same percentage range of men who I think are complete blithering idiots.

        But I fail to see how it is a female-only trait when “nice” guys are doing EXACTLY THE SAME THING as the women they deride.

        • Johnny_B says:

          Are you kidding? That article is right on the money. If anything, it’s refreshing to see a woman being honest for once. My old roommate at college could have inspired that piece. He was the definition of a ‘bad boy’. He’d lay on the charm in the beginning, then turn into a selfish, abusive prick when the relationship solidified. By that point, the girl didn’t want to let him go. She convinced herself that he was really a good guy underneath, that maybe she wasn’t working hard enough at pleasing him, that maybe he would stop cheating on her if she gave him more attention. Needless to say, this guy was never without a girlfriend for long. Most of whom supported him financially and did whatever he wanted them to. The last one finally broke up with him after he started hitting her.
          My other friend was a genuinely good guy. He was kind, respectful, helped anyone who asked, and was genuinely fun to hang out with. Except he didn’t have a lot of money and was chubby – ok, let’s face it, he was fat. Guess what, the most he ever heard from a girl was “you’re such a good friend”.
          And these are only 2 cases that come to mind, out of a hundred more. So please, stop feeding everyone your self-righteous BS about how the world works, because we’re out there and can see things with our own eyes.

          • Do I need to reel through my list of male friends to find examples to the contrary? They too are only a short representation of the countless dozens of gentlemen of outstanding character with only modest patriarchally-acknowledged attributes (conventional good looks, income potential, athleticism) who are nevertheless happily in relationships.

            Colleague – shorter than me (5’6), not spectacularly high salary (school chaplain), not amazingly athletic; engaged to terrific fiance with perfectly good job.

            Friend – graduate teacher, extremely skinny – is on his second long-term relationship; both have been with extremely nice women who he still maintains positive relationships with.

            Brother-in-law – teacher; massive nerd; atrocious haircut and obsession with fantasy gridiron – married.

            Friend – chronically underweight grad-student with bad eczema and a tendency to cry during insurance commercials: long term relationship with a wonderful gent.

            Former student – below-average height, unable to play any sort of sport due to a spinal cord injury, drama nerd, average appearance – long-term girlfriend who is actually a nice person.

            A small sampling, yes, but these dudes all share one very important personality trait in common: they’re not pathetic loser shut-ins who lack conversational skills, a genuine sense of humour, and compassion.

            Oh, and they see women as people, and not animated sources of entertainment. That tends to help endear them to folk quite a bit.

            • Johnny_B says:

              Oh, I never denied that beta males can eventually find someone. Usually happens in their 30s when they’ve got a stable life and income. They’ll find some woman who got tired of screwing every bad-boy in town, is realizing her looks are heading downhill, and is looking for a docile sucker who’ll worship the ground she walks on and give her a comfortable life. Like the guy who took his wife’s last name, or the one who comforted his wife as she mourned the death of her long-time lover. I feel sorry for those guys, because I know (and they probably know too) that 5 or 10 years back, those women would have never looked at them twice. That’s just life.

              • The oldest guy mentioned here is 27; the youngest is still 17. Most are between 22 and 24, as are all of the women they are with. In my own personal relationship, I was 18 and he was 19. I was also a virgin at the time, so alas hadn’t had any opportunities to be a stand-in for any form of sustainable transport mechanism.

                Please allow me to understand your logic. You say that women never ever go for nice guys. When presented with a list of exceptions to your rule, you claim they must all be a) “betas”, and b) over 30. Because in the imaginary world you have confected for yourself, to justify that women don’t like decent blokes, those are the only operable parameters that can keep this fantasy sustained.

                We can’t win with you, can we. Even if we do what you accuse us of being incapable of doing, your incredible misandry towards men who don’t meet your traditional hegemonic expectations of manhood leads you to shame them and insult them, as if they’re defective models, or if they’ve had to settle for us, when instead, these people are often the first and best choice we’ll ever make.

                That doesn’t sound like being very nice or decent to me.

      • Johnny_B says:

        So what you’re basically saying, bec, is “your experiences don’t matter, your observations made in the real world are irrelevant, you’re wrong because I say so.” Just checking.

        • Well, if his observations are 100% a-ok, then so are mine. My world is presumably just as real (if perhaps a little more antipodean) as his one is. It is also a world full of guys who are outwardly pretty damn average who are all experiencing the sort of relationship they have always wanted to have, so perhaps it is a slightly more pleasant world to be a part of.

    • That’s because there’s no “game” or “strategy” to this. Women are not some monolithic entity. If you like a particular woman, talk to her. Smile. Flirt. Be who you are. I’m not saying this will work, because she as an individual may not be attracted to you as an individual.

      Once I stopped reading Cosmo and other women’s magazines, and trying to emulate what they told me was attractive to men, and started exploring who I was, men started being attracted to me! Imagine that! People don’t have “types.” People are attracted to “traits.” Sometimes traits are unidentifiable. I can’t tell you why I’ve been attracted to some of the guys I have–I was just attracted, and I went with it. Simple as that. I’m not saying my dating life hasn’t been complicated, but I’m not holed up in my room with a stack of magazines, experimenting with different make-up combos and making sexy faces in the mirror. Instead, I’m reading books and playing pokemon. It’s a much more enjoyable use of time and investment of my hard-earned money, for sure.

      Thank you, Stoner With A Boner. 😀

  23. Jay Hammers says:


    Amanda Marcotte on domestic violence and MRAs:

    Page 153-
    “MRAs deny, in turn, that domestic violence is common, and when they will admit it’s common, they’ll claim women do it just as much. The evidence that women are “just as bad” comes from the theory that if a guy bruises his knuckles on your face, you’ve both sustained a domestic violence injury.”

    Her blatant misandry and violence-apologizing (if it’s female violence) makes me sick.
    Results indicate that almost 24% of all relationships had some physical violence and that half the violence was reciprocal. In non-reciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators 70% of the time
    With regard to injuries results reveal that women inflict serious injuries at least as frequently as men. For example 1.8% of men and 1.2% of women reported that their injuries required first aid, while 1.5% of men and 1.1% of women reported that their injuries needed treatment by a doctor or nurse.
    From a data set of 6,200 cases of spousal abuse in the Detroit area in 1978-79 found that men used weapons 25% of the time while female assailants used weapons 86% of the time, 74% of men sustained injury and of these 84% required medical care.

  24. I don’t think what the OP is saying is different than pick up artistry. You’re writing about “inner game.” *shrugs*

    PUAs aren’t an affront to feminist values and feminism isn’t an affront to PUAs goals. Everyone wants to have sex with someone else. Everyone pads the truth when they want to impress someone else. Everyone wants to feel desirable and we all do manipulative things to reach that goal sometimes.

    Women aren’t as respected as men and it hurts our feelings to be trivialized and looked at as nothing but a passive sex hole. Men are unfairly burdened with the dominating obligations they are expected to live up to and it hurts their feelings when they are constantly rejected by people they want to impress and then told they’re terrible people for pursuing that desirable person in the first place.

    Socializing and Mating is a hard world to navigate. We’re all doing the best we can do and pointing/wagging fingers is only hurting more people’s feelings. I suggest you read more about inner game, Amanda. You may be impressed.

  25. I have a better idea: ignore women and focus on creating the life that you want for yourself. Create a life where you can be happy with or without a woman’s company. If the right woman comes along, great. If not, you’ll be fine without her. Men need women as much as fish need bicycles.

  26. Anonymous Male says:

    “…they have thought policed the hell out of the thread with the thumb down facility.”

    Possibly true, I don’t see how I could disprove that, but I’m not sure how to prove that statement either. Any evidence for that? Do you have special information about who clicked which thumb? I would love to find out more about who liked or didn’t like my messages.

  27. zjsimon says:

    I want to apologize for responding with a complaint instead of a contribution. If I’d known the comments section would turn into such a Troll feeding frenzy I wouldn’t have come with anything even resembling food.

    I guess the catch 22 of confidence comes with success/success comes with confidence is a lot like what I’m thinking now: I wish this place was popular enough to get more recognition/I wish this place was too obscure for the trolls to find.

    I’ve had girlfriends, and fuck buddies, but never had a one night stand and am married now. I can only say that I liked fucking my fuck buddy more as I started to like her more and that friends who were great at getting laid all ended up wanting to be husbands and fathers.

  28. Johnny_B:
    Damn, sounds like I hit a nerve. Ever look into anger management, my friend?

    My main problem was with the way threads are faded out when a few comments in them got a few thumbs-down, so you can’t read any of the discussion. They should do away with that system and just hide the threads (which you can click on and read normally should you wish to) if they must have a thumbs up/down system.
    Honestly I agree with Johnny on this about the fading of downvoted comments. Its one thing to hide comments that get voted down because that at least allows one to just hit the “Show” button if they really want to read them. By fading them away (and I have to say I’ve never seen this before coming here) you actually stand a chance of not being able to read and entire string of comments.

    This actually creates a situation where people could maliciously dogpile someone for having an unpopular comment (but remember unpopular does not necessarily mean wrong) and effectively bury said comment. To me this is actually worse than a moderator deleting comments, because at least that way the mod has to do the deed him/herself.

    And that’s not even taking into account visually impaired people who may want to read those comments but that are too faded to read (I have near perfect vision and I’ve seen some comments get faded so badly that even I could not read them).

  29. Johnny_B says:

    Also being kicked off presidential campaigns and publishing books with racist pictures 😛

  30. Johnny_B says:

    I think they should remove the thumbs up/down system, or at least quit fading out the damn threads so they’re nearly impossible to read. Sometimes an entire discussion is unreadable because the first few comments got too many thumbs down. That’s too close to censorship for comfort, IMO.

    • Dudes – you seriously need to stop whining about censorship, since you CLEARLY do not understand what the word means. Grow up, stop whining and if you don’t like the commenting system, go away. At the very least, stop embarrassing yourself by ignorantly crying “censorship” wolf.

      • Johnny_B says:

        Damn, sounds like I hit a nerve. Ever look into anger management, my friend?

        My main problem was with the way threads are faded out when a few comments in them got a few thumbs-down, so you can’t read any of the discussion. They should do away with that system and just hide the threads (which you can click on and read normally should you wish to) if they must have a thumbs up/down system.

      • Given that I’m a “dude” who has suffered what I classify as “censorship” on certain blogs at the hands of self-proclaimed feminists, I found Oy Vey’s comment (“Dudes – you seriously need to stop whining about censorship, since you CLEARLY do not understand what the word means”) to be disturbing.

        Could it be that I didn’t understand what the word means and have, all along, been using it incorrectly? I mean, men’s language skills are supposedly naturally inferior to women’s, so perhaps Oy Vey had a point.

        So I rushed to my handy Webster’s and looked “Censorship” up. Here’s the definition:

        “To act as if one were an official with the power to examine literature, mail, etc. and to remove or prohibit anything considered obscene, objectionable, etc.”

        Well, it’s hard to say in this decentralized internet age who an “official” might be, but I think we can safely conclude that the owner of a blog fits this category, if anyone does. And when the owner of a blog bans a commentator and/or removes their posts because other commentators find them to be offensive, that is indeed as close to the dictionary definition of censorship as one can get on the internet.

        The only possible point that Oy Vey could have would be to claim that it’s not REALLY censorship unless the government does it, but that is obviously absurd, given that we commonly talk about self- censorship and about NGO pressure groups who push for determined views to be censored.

        Imagine my shock to thus discover that Oy Vey, apparently doesn’t understand the concept of censorship.

        How can this be?


  32. oh and by using white, heteronormative models, you are leaving out the experience of lots of people, blah, blah, blah, blah

    Also the problem with any advice is it is static and doesn’t fit the constantly changing variables of real life

  33. hahahahaha

    comment hidden due to low rating smacks of censorship…..

    man up, don’t be afraid of opposing viewpoints!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Johnny_B says:

      Juding by the commenting style, I think we got a few Pandagon / other feminist blog inhabitants here. You can tell by the light-on-discussion, heavy-on-attacks-and-abuse style of posting that they favor. Too bad this isn’t their home turf so they can ban dissenters – most they can do is furiously bash the ‘thumbs down’ button and scream hysterically at anyone who complains…

      • You know pandagon doesn’t have a substantial practice of banning anti-feminist commentators, right? The reason it’s occasionally such a shit show under the fold is precisely because Marcotte’s moderation is fairly hands off.

        Your allegation would have more weight if you acknowledged that different feminist sites are different, and that people can be aggressive commenters without employing the banhammer. Of course, then you wouldn’t have an allegation, so maybe it’s a bit of a wash.

        • Johnny_B says:

          Well, you are half-right. Anti-feminist commenters (or anyone who doesn’t wholly subscribe to feminist dogma, for that matter) aren’t always banned right away. Sometimes they enjoy a few hours of the blog’s “regulars” doing their best impression of a pack of angry baboons screaming and flinging their feces at the intruder until he gives up and leaves in disgust, at which point they smugly declare victory. IF he tries to argue further or defend himself, THAT’s when he gets banned. Once again, followed by high-fives and smug declarations of victory.

          As for feminist sites being different, that hasn’t really been my observation. The style of writing is the same, the ideas are the same, even the vocabulary down to every buzzword and meme is exactly the same. In fact, in my observations the whole ‘feminist blogosphere’ might as well have been written by one or two people. This is probably partly due to the fact that, as I said earlier, dissent gets you bullied into silence, and partly because most people who go to those places are followers without many original thoughts in their heads.

          In fact, if you check out OY VEH’s posts in this very thread (a little hard to do because of the all the downvotes) you’ll have a perfect example of what to expect on feminist blogs. But I think you knew that already.

      • oh no oh no echo chamber……

        echo chamber…..

        no divergent point of view- report to thought police report to thought police

  34. If women are increasingly in the dominant position (which I won’t argue one way or the other) why would we still want to marry up? I’m asking this seriously, not out of snark btw….I earn more and always have than the men in my life. I’m ok with that.
    My husband has skills I don’t have. I have skills he doesn’t have. We like each other. We like sex with each other.
    He may, at some point in our life, earn more than me. If he does I don’t see how it will fundamentally change the relationship (18 years of it) based on who we are.
    I guess I understand that from a cultural perspective women have been in a position of submission via political status financial status etc so marrying up was a boon to their safety (children etc) but if women earn as much or more and have options, why not just marry for …….love.
    Were I single again and seeking a mate I probably would not be seeking that make based on financial prowess. Sure knowing he was able to pay his own bills would be a plus, but I wouldn’t be trying ot marry in a particular direction. I’d want a partner. If he was an artist and I could support him…so what?

    • well, I guess we’re all just fucked then. I guess I’m doing it all wrong and I should divorce my husband of 18 years, abandon my worthless male children (thus teaching them how whorish and golddiggery their tramp of a mother is) and find a 60 year old wealthy man to fuck in trade for safety, all while I go about changing my positive stance on sex work.

      And I should get a boob job to help that happen, cause I’m sure these baby a’s aint gonna nab me a rich man.

      I know a lot of artists that have ZERO social status fwiw.

      Whether you are right or not? Or whether Amanda is? This is the most depressing 12 hours I’ve spent online in a long time. I feel deep fucking sadness if this is really how a lot of men feel. Really.

      But my feelings don’t count I guess. I’m just a hole, a sex object and, a bitch.

      • Dude, can you post a single sentence that isn’t an embarrassingly stupid sexist lie? How old are you?

      • Maybe you should stop pitying yourself. Its disgusting. Don’t put words in our mouths, don’t fish for sympathy. Its not all about you. Another problem women seem to have when engaging in hot discussion.

    • If women are hypergamous (and men not equally so), why do the vast majority marry within their own power group?

      Don’t you think it’s kinda… I dunno… unscientific to brand a whole class of people based on the actions of a small minority?

      Also, Hook, I’m curious as to why you think prostitution enforces hypergamy. Arguably, U.S. society was much more hypergamous when prostitution was legal than it is today. Likewise, prostitution is legal here in Brazil and I don’t think our culture is any more or less hypergamous than those on display elsewhere.

      Finally, let me tell you something about prostitution, from the eyes of someone who studies it professionally: if it’s only women that are enforcing stigmas against prostitutes, then why do prostitutes’ clients also treat them like shit, much of the time? Why do men say things like “you can’t turn a whore into a housewife” if it’s women’s secret control of the morality police that stigmatizes prostitution?

      I think you need to do some serious reading about prostitution before tacking a whack at it with these bastardized, politiiczed MRM social theories (which are themselves seemingly simply an inverted version of Dworkin/McKinnon-style feminism).

      • So, you’re allowed to lie, distort, and puke out blatant bigotry, but no one’s allowed to respond in kind. Coward.

      • Hook, I’m not trying to insult you: I may be plausibly accused of blowing a raspberry at some of your ideas.

        I do indeed think the idea that “women are hypergamous” needs to be mocked. It’s not sustainable by the data. And I do indeed think that you need to really do some serious reading in prostitution studies if you think that it’s the women in charge of the stigmatization machine in that area of social life.

        Yes, women play an important role in stigmatizing prostitutes. No, one can’t simply qualify the criminalization of it as “female instigated”. Not even in the U.S., where you probably have far more of a point than in every other country, is this true. Women were an important force in the prostitution criminalization movement, but their efforts were part and parcel of a larger Victorian morality crusade that was most definitely lead by upper- and middle-class men, for the most part. Both genders are pretty much equally responsible for the mess that is current prostitution law. Emma Goldman has some excellent contemporary reflections on this point.

        As for female hypergamy, yes, I am aware that there are many studies which purport to show it, just as there are many other studies and sources which show it to not be true in most cases (I’m more conversant with recent Brazilian work on this point than anglo work, however). I am not at all aware of any reasonably conducted, methodologically responsible study which shows a cross-cultural tendency for most women to marry up. If you’ve got one, link us to it.

        But, furthermore, you seem to be unaware that many of these studies have some pretty twisty tautologies built into their methodologies. One of these, for example, is how one defines the social status which allows one to supposedly measure hypergamy in the first place. If one defines it purely in salary dollars and cents, then almost every woman who decides upon marriage as an economic strategy for survival is going to be counted as a “hypergamous seeking woman”, whatever her social status. Truly useful studies which attempt to measure hypergamy need to take into consideration the social status of the PARENTS of the people being measured and also need to measure other forms of capital than the purely economic.

        Very few of the studies which you’ve cited so far have done that. Speaking from a sociological viewpoint, then, they aren’t very useful or scientific and don’t sustain the point you are trying to make with anything like the level of proof you seem to think is available.

        • Women in their own social groups police each other for “giving it away”.

          Very much agreed.

          Also I was never making the argument that hypergamy is necessarily measured in cash, Status can be indicated in traits and body language, “Game” or PUA which is what this article and conversation is about, is mainly based on indicating higher status through indicators that people pick up on subconsciously that aren’t cash, its about status in the group.

          Fine, but how can this be reliably MEASURED AND COMPARED? Without a solid, steady, rational metric of status, none of the those studies you mention can even pretend to measure hypergamy. And the vast majority of said studies do not provide such a metric.

          If you’ve got an exception to that rule, I’d love to see it. Link us to it, please.

          Finally, you’re a guy who’s sensitive about being laughed at or insulted, Hook. But it is insulting for you to point me to a pop science blog when I ask you a specific question, expecially when said article has nothing to do with the question I asked.

          That Personal Relationships article does not have a thing to do with measuring hypergamy. It does not compare women’s attraction to “successful” men as opposed to “non-successful” men: it shows (via three very tiny selections of mostly white, middle-class, American college women) that, given a choice between prestige and dominance, respondents tended to prefer prestige.

          This is a major problem with all your posts, Hook. You claim “sciences proves” this, that and the other thing, but when you’re pushed to give evidence, you spit up crap like this: a study which isn’t even germaine to the question at hand and which is a third-person report of a pop scientific journalist’s view of said study.

          To make matters worse, as in this case, when one takes the time to read what the article is saying, it becomes blindingly apparent that you have misrepresented it.

          There’s only one of three possibilities here, Hook:

          1) Either you are amazingly stupid (and I think we can discard this out of hand); or…

          2) You’re so politically partisan in your beliefs that you feel justified in distorting scientific findings so that these seem to support your views, even when they do nothing of the sort; or…

          3) You have a hard time understanding scientific papers.

          Of the three, above, I’d say #2 is the most likely. This is odd and ironic, given your constant complaints about “political correctness” in science. It seems to me that you’re one of the most “politically correct” commentators on here, given your repeated appeals to “science” which doesn’t at all support your claims.

      • Raistlin Majere says:

        Idk, as a client myself I’ve never mistreated a sex worker, as a matter of fact I find them far more honest than certain kinds of women.

    • You’ll be a lot happier once you drop the “all women are exactly the same with absolutely no variation” crap. Grow up.

  35. moonflowers says:

    If there’s one thing I wish I could tell every desperate man in the world, it would be to learn to be happy in his own skin *before* looking for women. It’s a common mistake to look outward to other people for validation. For example, teenage girls post provocative photos online because they look to random online comments of “hott!!” to reaffirm their body image.

    Likewise, many men who don’t have confidence in themselves sometimes think that the love, support, and acceptance of a reasonably hot woman will solve their insecurity and unhappiness. The sad fact of life, something I learned myself when I was depressed (and dating a really kind guy who was very patient with me), is that you can never get from others what you can’t find in yourself. Other people can be flaky and weak, and no one has the infinite reserves of emotional strength required to prop *two* people up – a lot of times it’s a lot of work just to be okay being yourself.

    I’m single now, and the one thing I have been turning men down for is not lack of good looks, wealth, education, or status, but insecurity and negativity. And those things are things men have lots of direct control over, unlike height or social status. The man I’m hopelessly crushing on now is not conventionally handsome (he’s admitted that himself), nor wealthy, but he is kind, friendly, wise, and confident some of the time. He just doesn’t seem to be into me, but that’s okay. I am fine with being single if that’s what life is right now, something I had to learn the hard way, but something that is enitirely learnable.

  36. Jay Hammers says:

    Yes, guys, if only you would listen to a woman who HATES men, then women like her would LOVE you. Wait, something’s not right there.

  37. Goodp post! but I think women nowadays don’t pay too much attention to nice guys. What they want now are men with a little bad-boy thing in them.

  38. Troll King says:

    So men are attracted to women and the traits in women that we want to incorporate into ourselves???? Wut? I have been more successful than many men, but not as much as many men, at getting sex or into relationships when I wanted. I have had dozens of women ask me out and turned them down…even women I didn’t know. I can honestly say that this idea that men get with certain types of women to…what? Act like a spong and absorb her qualities makes no sense from a male perspective. I have noticed this about women though, especially the more sociopathic ones. I don’t find it that surprising that a misandrist like marcotte would post this on the “good” men project…which seems to be one of the most misandric MRM appropriation attempts I have seen.

    But guys, it is easy. Stop being such a nice guy and stop feeling sorry for yourselves. Stop chasing women and stop defining yourself as a man based on women. There is some game about “aloofness” and the times I have been the most successful with women I probably practiced that.

    All I really know is that you need to get them chasing after you and the best way to do that is to just not care about them or women in general at all. Live your life, practice your hobbies and have fun and flaunt it infront of them and they will follow. What is the often quoted phrase, “if you build it they will come?”

    Understand guys, women are dreamkillers by nature. They really are emotional vampires. The reason they like confidence in men is because most have almost none themselves and that is one reason they despise men without confidence. They despise men who have nothing to be taken from them.

    Do what you want and pursue your own dreams and realize that the women who show up will only be their to benefit for themselves not to help or care about you. They may feign it but the moment you fail to live up to their imagined or percieved ideals of maleness they will “fall out” of love. It really is better ,guys, to make something other than women your reason for living a happy and good life…anything less is basically slavery.

    Don’t spend money on any PUA stuff. If anything read evolution and history and art and you will see how women were and always will be. And, if anything dudes, understand that this and other pretend male oriented sites are only going to lead you to more misery not happiness….SO STOP READING them. Carpe Diem bros.

    • Jay Hammers says:

      Aye. And head on over to and get an education.

    • moonflowers says:

      I’m torn – I agree entirely and completely with your advice to not focus so much on women, but I must take issue with the characterization of women as emotional vampires.

      I am a confident woman who is looking for a confident and kind man. It’s not that I will drop anyone who isn’t confident enough to keep up with me, but that when people (men or women) act insecure around me, it makes me feel uncomfortable and worried that I’m always doing something wrong to upset them so much. Clearly that isn’t the basis for a healthy relationship.

      If having to characterize women as “not all that worth it” is what it takes for some men to begin focusing on being the best possible people they can be, I could see it as an okay short term measure. I’m just concerned that an attitude like that could backfire with women in the future, because the only women who like dating men who look down on women are the insecure ones who inwardly agree with that assessment of women. That might explain why you’ve run across so many insecure ones, btw.

    • Ok but what if I gave this advice to women, “do what you want to pursue your own dreams and realize that the men who show up will be there to benefit themselves and don’t really care about you. They just want to get laid. They will pretend to like you but really all they want is your pussy and they may claim to love you, but will fall out of love as soon as you fail to live up to their standards of appearance or perceived ideals of femaleness.” Would you be offended? How are men different from women in this regard?

  39. As a sort of shy, nerdy, awkward, and formerly chubby girl, I’ve long had a friend circle largely composed of geeks, which has given me way more exposure to self proclaimed “nice guys” than I can stomach.

    Not being a particularly desirable catch and later finding myself in a long term committed relationship, I’ve ended up as sounding board to a lot of lonely single guy-friends who’d tried again and again to woo women uninterested in them. The constant misogynistic complaints that “women are all too shallow to appreciate me” hurts. A lot. There’s only so much of it you can take before you either internalize it and nod along meekly, or you flip out and become an unapologetic bitch, screaming to everyone in earshot that you would rather fuck an entire fraternity house of upfrontly brutish cro-mags who wanted you barefoot in the kitchen before you would so much as look at another insecure sad sack who passive-aggressively tried to manipulate your friendship because he “deserved” you.

    My two cents on what the forever alone should do? Invest in learning to love being single. Not to *settle* for being single, but to cultivate such a personality that you can wake up every morning and say “F*ck yeah! I’m a badass and my right hand is more erotically adept than the collaboration team for the Kama Sutra” Work on developing your passions because you love yourself enough to develop them. Work on broadening your interests because you’re cool enough to be the dapper, robot building sky-diver you thought you should be when you were twelve . Exercise not for the sake of getting laid, but for out for the sake of being able to run farther and lift more zombie apocalypse survivors. And seriously, learn to give yourself an orgasm of such quality that you will likely need to give any future lovers some serious pointers to achieve a comparable outcome.

    As a former “nice girl” about to be married to a former “nice guy,” I can attest to the success of this method. Once you feel complete without anybody else, it’s a lot easier to find somebody who *compliments* you – and even if you never actually do find anybody, you’ll be awesome and self-satisfied to the extent that it won’t matter.

    • I love it when women start out all “boo hoo nice guys suck the hot jerks never asked me to dance” and then finish up by saying they’re getting married. Its pathetic.

      Maybe, as women like to so often point out to men, you were nowhere near as nice as you thought. Perhaps you should go start a blog called “the good woman project” and repent for your sins. Your sack cloth awaits.

      • I have no regrets about not being nice or about not dancing with enough jerks. I’m not nice.

        Most of my regrets center around not eating more cake and learning Latin instead of Nahuatl – both of which I can fix. We’re my beloved to get hit by a bus tomorrow, after a requisite period of grief, I would still be awesomer than you.

        • That you aren’t nice is obvious. Neither am I. But then there aren’t blogs like this targeted at your gender, telling you simultaneously that A> You aren’t good enough and B> If you think you’re good enough, you’re not good enough.

          You don’t know anything about me. I wrote three sentences, and from that you feel that you are better than me? Female arrogance.Spare me the memes, the name dropping, the faux empowerment. Its a crock, you’re just as negative as the worst “nice guy”, and because of your gender, you’ve been given a pass.

          Hope your marriage works out.

          • Oh, BS, Foo!

            Have you ever really taken a look at the media geared towards women? I’ts pretty much 100% dedicated to the proposition that women are ugly, smelly, gawky monsters who need to discipline themselves 24/7 in order to be even SLIGHTLY socially acceptable. Yeah, this media is produced BY women and FOR women, who seem to lap it up like nopthing else. But that still doesn’t change the very provable fact that most female-oriented media is designed to undermine women’s self-esteem in order to sell them something. Hell, advertising execs openly admit this.

            So please, dry your heartfelt tears. I understadn that you, as a man, are also subjected to a constant load of media-generated BS, but that doesn’t mean women aren’t.

            • I’m not cryin, sugartits.

            • Addiitionally, you seemed to miss the point, Mister Sensitive, that in this case the media being produced is by women for men. Its bullshit, plain and simple, an attempt to control the frame. The advice on display here and the responses are nothing but toxic.

              You all think that some goofy dork who awkwardly tries to seduce his lady friends and throws a tantrum when he expects something is like THE BIGGEST THREAT, and the lot of you circle around this straw man and attack with impunity.

              All you are doing is attacking the weak. Its vile, and the general sense of smug satisfaction evident in the agreeing opinions here is nothing to be proud of.

              I’ll wager that you make more converts to the opposing point of view than to your own.

      • moonflowers says:

        Romantic love by its very nature is selfish. Women do not have to accommodate insecure, negative men any more than men must accommodate nagging, whiny, negative women.

        Don’t ask other people to change if you yourself aren’t willing to make changes too. Better to be the one than to find the one.

        • Thanks for the lesson, moonflower. It makes great boilerplate. How about a couple of pointers on good hygiene for the apish sub human males out there?

          Truth is, if men didn’t accomodate whiny, negative women, the women posting here wouldn’t have men in their lives. Being whiny and negative is a woman’s prerogative and right, in her own mind.

          And your final point is ironic, in my point of view. I have never met a woman who actually thought she had to change anything about herself. Which leads me back to my initial point – maybe some day, the women here can enjoy doing penitence for their imagined “niceness” on a site called “the good woman project”, including tips on how to find a man delivered by some of the most stellar MRAs in the field.

    • Excellent points, all Leah! Thanks for taking the time to write them down for everyone to read. My experience, btw, has been pretty much the same as yours: once I stopped pitying myself and started living my life, everything else fell into place naturally.

  40. Honesty about motives is necessary to have a good relationship. However, you might not get as much being honest, but relationship will be richer and more likely to stand the test of time (if that is what you want). If you want to get laid and thats it, it is important that you are honest about that, or expect suffering. And it is ok to be single, if you have nothing to offer. If you have nothing to offer, develop yourself until you do and then get into a relationship. Don’t put yourself and other people through the misery of having a mate just because you feel in adequate without one.

  41. Mike Hunter says:

    Make the necessary changes:

    We’re often attracted to what we wish we were like as well as what we’re already like. Instead of bemoaning this, embrace it. If you like women who spend a lot of time on their bodies… why not hit the gym yourself?

    You can’t expect women to put time and energy into her looks or profession or home or even sense of humor and expect nothing in return from men she dates. Even the guys on Jersey Shore get that, which is why they subject themselves to steroids in exchange for women spending so much on plastic surgery.

    Finally Amanda and I agree on something. Don’t hate guys who are successful with women. Become one.

  42. Dude, I’m that crowd 😉

    We both choose for heaven’s sake. I’ve been rejected plenty. I’m not poliicing anything tonight except my vodka intake hahaha

  43. Jameseq says:

    Amanda, so you have no idea about the general dynamics of getting to know someone

    this piece was the equivalent of one of yr food posts just saying,’put all the ingredients in the oven and cook for a bit’.
    Hardly a stepbystep recipe, and yes all art is underpinned by general laws. So dating interaction can be broken down to general stebystep rules which contrary to pua beliefs work equally well on men and women.

    Pua’s explain the how and why of each step also. For systematic thinkers this makes sense

    • Jameseq says:

      Just like some cooks are have a flair for cooking whether innate or learnt. And Others have to be taught step by step.

      Some people have a natural talent for connecting emotionally with others. While Others can only do this by learning stepbystep

      • True. Very true. But intention is important. Are you learning to cook to trick someone into eating crap food that looks good? Or are you hoping to truly give pleasure and sustenance with your food? Cause that’s what we are talking about here. Learning to manipulate for a sexual goal or learning to connect with the hope of mutual benfiit (no matter how long the relationship).

        • Jameseq says:

          Unfortunately anything can be used for good or ill. Hopefully most men and women are using pua or game advice to be in mutually satisfying relationships regardless of length

        • Cooking is a good metaphor for sex: Some people like to spend hours preparing a single complex meal (or even one complicated dessert), while others choose to cook volumes of a single item and store ten containers in the freezer for later. Some people care most about quantity: they want the largest order of french fries for their buck. Others are willing to pay heart-stopping amounts of money for tiny, hand-crafted nibbles. Some people don’t like to cook and some people don’t care what they eat as long as there’s enough of it. I know someone who likes to try new recipes every time they cook, and someone else who uses a few favorite recipes over and over. To say that cooking plain pasta in quantities sufficient for an army is superior to slaving hours over a 4-bite tidbit is missing the point: everyone is different and your personal preference is not more (or less) valid than mine. Same goes for sex.

          Here’s the rub: Your preferences will change depending on how old you are (most boys in puberty will eat anything), how much time and money you have (people with large families to feed probably don’t fix a lot of artsy nibbles), but especially, how long it’s been since you last ate. Ask a starving man (or woman) if they prefer souffle or twinkles for dessert and you won’t get any meaningful information on their true dining preferences. You can’t really have an esoteric conversation about food when you’re starving. Same goes for sex. Starving people are desperate people (for good reason) and one should be careful about casting moral accusations on someone who can’t remember their last meal.

          If you’re the “follow the recipe” type and like to mix cooking and seduction, check out : How to Make Love to a Woman (Or At Least Get Her Attention)

          • DL what an interesting perception. I never thought of it like that before.

          • Personally, I’m not sure I like cooking as a metaphore for sex. When I cook I have a history of adding a glass of wine, drinking the rest of the bottle, then sobering up later with some god forsaken mess that’s been burned half to hell….
            Ok, so that may fit with some people’s sex lives (though hopefully not the “burned half to hell” bit), it aint a good one for mine! 😉

  44. Let’s be honest, this article hasn’t really offered any genuinely useful tips for socially awkward men who find meeting and forming *romantic* relationships with women difficult.

    I discovered game when I was 22. I’d already had girlfriends, and had had sex, but I felt like I had to wait for women to choose me, not the other way round. And this whilst being friends with many women (and not wanting to sleep with most of them by the way), being what society considers successful by many measures. Game gave me structures – artificial to be sure – which allowed me to approach women and achieve some sort of agency in my romantic life. After a while, I realised it was simply a question of confidence, being strong in what I wanted and enjoying the process of flirting. After that I didn’t need game, or rather, I didn’t think of it as game.

    I would suggest that feminists such as Amanda who rile against game don’t fully understand it, or are taken in by the surface appearance. I don’t say this to condemn, because I think I had a similar impression when I first read Mystery Method and the other texts; it’s just that it’s difficult to see that game in its successful forms is not about twisting men or making them dupe women into bed (if that even works), but giving a workable structure and toolbox to allow men who haven’t achieved confidence and sufficient social skills in their romantic lives to do so.

    • Most of us (well, me at least) have NO issue with giving a workable structure and toolbox…..but one finds online is (perhaps a stereotype) of PUA is men manipulating women for one purpose only, sex. Not to find social skills for dating and relationships or even love affairs, but hookups. I mean…I’ve read some seriously mean things even on this thread. LIke feminists are misandrists, hate sex etc….

      I think Amanda seems to be saying similar things to structure and toolboxes only she’s including…respecting women. What’s so bad about that? I’d probably have a lot more casual sexual relationships if I felt the men I was fucking were actually MY FRIENDS afterward. Women do police themselves sure. But men haven’t always done themselves any favors by treating women badly after a one nighter.

      • Jay Hammers says:

        Women are sex objects, men are status objects.

        Deal with it.

        Or if you won’t, then at least whine about the discrimination men face too, and not just the discrimination that women face.

        Oh, wait, nerdy losers who don’t have status don’t concern you.

        All you care about is the bad boys who abuse those poor women.

        And so men as status objects are irrelevant to you.

        Men are irrelevant to you.

        Only women matter.


        • Wow, it’s like you know me personally! You’ve summed up my entire philosophy of life in ONE POST! YOU ARE PSYCHIC!

          Wait. You aren’t. You haven’t read a single thing I’ve said. You are completely wrong. I’m married to a man who earns (always has) less than me. I’ve dated kind lovely men (and I fuck them and they fuck me! wow! we share orgasms!). They are nerd/computer guys/gamers! I don’t think I’ve ever dated a “bad boy” in my life. I don’t like men who treat people badly, go figure. I’d much rather have sex with nice people.

          I’m raising two sons. Men are highly relevant to me and you’d realize that if you’d bothered to read any of my comments instead of launching into an attack. But it’s all about winning and scoring points to you, not listening and engaging.

          People are not objects, or at least they shouldn’t be. Relationships are not (or again shouldn’t be) purely economic exchanges. In fact most of mine have had (from a purely economic perspective) poor financial outcomes. I’m responsbile for my own money, bills and payments. I’ve chosen relationships with people (and they with me, let’s not forget they’ve had a choice in it), because of more irrational reasons. Love, lust, things in common.

          You are free to believe what you just wrote, and I figure you believe it about all women not me in particular, but I think you might be happier if you expanded your world view just a tiny tiny bit and tried to look at people as individuals with much to offer rather than either holes to fuck (women) or dicks to fight with (men).

  45. A good start, but I don’t think it gets at the heart of the problem.

    The problem isn’t nice guys not knowing how to finish first; it’s the idea that they HAVE to finish first. To any man who’s having trouble being a “nice guy”, my advice is: find better friends, and don’t make everything into a competition. Focus on enjoying yourself first, being who you want to be, and the rewards will come. You may even find that you found something you weren’t even looking for.

  46. I don’t think this is a bad article. But I don’t know… in the end, it always seems to come down to physical attractiveness. Which makes sense, but it’s contributed to my depression because I feel like there’s really nothing I can do.

    If I’m being brutally honest with myself, I think I’m more intelligent than than the average person. I also have a good work ethic. I’m at a real, real good university, and I’m on a substantial scholarship. I’ll probably be financially successful. But who gives a rat’s ass? I’m unhappy. Not just because of the sexual thing, but that’s a big part of it.

    The problem is I think I’m kind of ugly. It’s not even obesity- I’m in good shape, I exercise regularly. But I have this perception that women just seem to find me inherently unattractive. Facially, or height-wise, or whatever, I don’t know, but that just seems to be the reality. So there’s not much I can do about any of that. I’m blind in my left eye and it has a weird appearance, a little smaller than my right. And honestly? That’s all that seems to matter. I could be the funniest guy in the world with an IQ of 200 and I don’t think it would count worth a shit to girls. They’re even more shallow than men, because to be blunt, it seems men are so horny they’ll take a wider variety of women. In terms of social skills- again, not super, mostly because self-consciousness about my eye makes it really hard to express confidence around- well, anybody, but especially women because I don’t have to worry about my appearance around male friends.

    Whatever. I’m not really angry (I got over that a few years back), I’m just kind of depressed, pretty much all the time. Again, not just because of my sexual incompetence, but that’s what I’m focusing on given the subject of the article. Oh well…

    • jfpbookworm says:

      I was with you up until the “women are shallower then men” thing–before that, it could’ve been me (though I’d like to think I’ve also got qualities that more directly answer the question “why would a woman enjoy being with me?”)

      Dealing with unattractiveness is tough, especially on the Internet where people will often just armchair-diagnose you with dysmorphia, and tell you that you’re just a shave, shower and gym membership away from hotness. I think it’s because we like the idea of having control over our love lives, and are really uncomfortable with the idea of rejecting people for things they can’t help, especially appearance.

      However, I don’t see one gender as more shallow than the other in this regard. If it seems that men are more open-minded about preferences, that’s probably because you have more first-hand experience with women rejecting men (specifically you), and may not even notice when men reject women on the basis of appearance. (Also, if you’re college age, you’re quite possibly looking specifically at an early-20s age cohort and ignoring the way sexism and ageism intersect.)

      • I’m only 19. Who knows, maybe I’ll be more successful in my 20’s. But somehow I doubt it. I have no confidence, no self-esteem, really nothing positive about me. And who the hell wants to associate with someone like that?

        When I say women are more shallow I don’t really mean that per se, I just think that since men have a generally higher sex drive they’re more willing to “settle” physically, if a girl is funny or nice. But I’ve never been a woman so what do I know, maybe you’re right.

        • LadyGodiva says:

          I did not see this before I responded-here is a tip, see about dating an older woman. Not saying Harold and Maude it but someone who is like five to ten years older than you are.

          While working on that, spend your time working on yourself as a person as you will eventually be able to have confidence in yourself for being you who does this thing that you are really proud of.

          Example: you like to take photos. Work on becoming a great photographer so you have the confidence that comes from being a guy who takes great photos. It does not cure all of your self esteem issues but it certainly will make you more confident of yourself.

        • Men are not likely to ‘settle’ more for a ugly chick than women are for an ugly dude.

          Trust me on this one.

    • LadyGodiva says:

      Physical appearance can be a starting factor but you know, find women who like the kind of appearance you have. If you do not have a standard appearance, find women who like guys who look different.

      Get to know them online first if you are that self conscious about your appearance and follow the advice Amanda gives about making a list of traits you want. If you want a stellar example of physical human perfection, maybe aiming too high?

    • I don’t know why my last comment to you wasn’t posted, but I’ll say this. Self pity and depression are NEVER good signs in a mate, short or long term, male or female. Believing you are inherently unattractive or that people find you so is a mind game you are playing with yourself. Check out Zach Anner. He’s a comedian and successful tv person (now) and he has cerebral palsy. he’s tremendously sexy in my opinion, even though he is not classically “hot”. He’s assertive and positive and totally kicking his life in the ass and that’s sexy.

      • moonflowers says:

        I’ve met many very physically attractive men before who “became ugly” in my eyes after I foun out they were somehow deficient in character. Conversely, I’ve fallen head over heels for guys who aren’t conventionally “hot,” or who considered themselves ugly, even, because they were amazingly witty, friendly, empathetic, kind, wise, and secure in their masculinity. I know for a fact they’re still not conventionally attractive, but to me, these men were handsome.

        Your focus and despair over your looks is distracting you from working on the real problem – your anger, your depression, your negative outlook on women and life in general. I have been depressed myself so I can understand that you might think it’s easy to hide it and pretend you’re normal, but people who are not depressed or angry, whether by grace and good luck or by having done the hard work on themselves, can immediately tell you are not in a good place. I may be wrong, but I think women may be turned off by that more than any physical flaws you could possibly have.

        It may be hard to imagine yourself happy and confident and positive now, but it’s never too late to start working on yourself. It will take time and effort, but unlike height or looks it’s much more within your control to become someone who can look into a mirror and say, “Hey, that’s a great guy I see there.” I strongly recommend the book “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy” to help overcome depression and replace it with positive thinking.

        Good luck on your journey!

    • Blixa Scott says:

      Okay, I will skip all the usual build-up-your-confidence advice and just take you at your word that you really are physically unattractive and that it’s mostly because of your eye. So here’s some practical advice: have you thought about wearing an eye-patch? It would take you from weird-looking to looking mysterious and potentially like a bad-ass. And girls will be dying to know what’s underneath it (which you don’t have to tell or show them until you’ve already gotten to know them and they like you).

      That said, I work with a guy with one glass eye, and while it’s sometimes a little disconcerting (since it doesn’t always point in the right direction), it’s a very minor issue and hasn’t stopped him from landing a desirable mate. You’re probably grossly exaggerating this issue, and your pitiful attitude won’t help, since everyone likes to be around fun, happy, laid-back people, not the opposite. But most of us are overly insecure when we’re teenagers. The only thing you can do is fake it (being happy) until you make it. But don’t think your life is relegated to being forever what it is now. When you’re 30, you won’t even recognize your 19 year-old self.


      Relevant professional Nice Guy portrait

  47. zjsimon says:

    Be honest about what you want and what you have to offer? Really?

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but I was hoping to see some actual advice, some actual LINES men could use that indicates they’re interested in casual sex without suggesting that’s all they’re interested in.

    • Why not just say you are a fan of casual sex and then seek women who also are, for they do exist. Maybe they aren’t the hot hot girls you want, but at least you’d be having casual sex in an honest way.
      Anyway, it still seems like the men who are commenting here are saying…what is the trick??? What if there aren’t tricks, guys, just people who all have individual responses. Be clean, smell good, be happy, don’t be a negative blaming dude, stay in decent shape, and don’t turn down “average” chicks if you are average.
      Start there.

      • Wow, I wasn’t referring to you, but the other person and just suggesting he try honesty and use the same personal techniques ladies use. Like we all use them, I’ve said that. Why call me a bitch? Or whatever you called me. I’ve been perfectly respectful to you and I’m trying to engage in an actual dialogue not smacktalk back and forth.
        It’s possible to discuss this without being jerks to each other isn’t it? Or is that just too much work?
        Thanks for showing your true colors though. I’m pretty sure if you called me a condescending bitch after I had a one nighter with you I wouldn’t be back for me…but then you probably wouldn’t give a damn would you.

        • Thanks…My last comments back are still awaiting moderation up above and in this thread. One reason I hate forums of any kind is that the ease with which all people (myself included obviously) slide into defensiveness, assuming the worst about people and namecalling is well…easy. Too easy.

          i’m actually on the side of anyone (male or female, gay or straight) to find connection in both short or long term ways, to find pleasure and to avoid conflict. I don’t know how that can happen though I do agree with Clarisse Thorn that feminists are more on the your side than not. There’s a lot of work to do, let’s try to be kind to each other while we do that work and I include myself in that request.

        • They don’t seem to be publishing my last long comment. Oh well. Peace to you and I hope we all find our way….

          • I’ve had remarkably wonderful lovers in my life both short and long term. Mostly because my intentions are usually about connection and mutual benefit and respect. The few men I’ve dated/slept with who didn’t care about my pleasure or treated me badly? well obviously I didn’t sleep with them again, but the bad taste lingered. But I have met men who behaved nicely, seductively, using those techniques and then were jerks. so…see? How do you know? You don’t, you just hope that people are being honest and real.

            My A cup has never been a hindrance 😉

            Intention, for me, is key. Are you using game/social skills/confidence whathaveyou as a tool or a weapon? To connect or dominate? To bond or fuck with.

            I’m quite sure there are PUAs out there who do it to connect and find love (or happiness) and there are golddiggers who use it for love too.
            But there are a heap of fellas out there talking about how they deserve to get their dicks wet and to them I say, fellas? You have a few choices.

            Pay for it.
            Go bi.
            Blow Up Dolls
            Learn to actually like women (like them, not want them)
            Follow PUA AND Marcottes tips.
            Get a therapist and figure out your issues. Cause no one is entitled to get laid. Not me, not you, not Dave. Connection is vital, but you have to be willing to do some actually CONNECTING.

            And so forth.

            Off to tend to the children, male, whom I am incredibly in love with and teaching to have (hopefully, along with my husband) strong social skills, good hygiene 😉 and positive outlooks about relationships with everyone.

            So there 😉

    • some actual LINES men could use that indicates they’re interested in casual sex

      She gave you just that: be honest about it. I travel a lot. Often I’m in whatever town for just the night. Sometimes I go looking for a hookup. “I’m just here tonight”, “I’m just passing through” – and I meet people who are just fine with that. People who are looking for the same thing.

      I’ve had a great time that way. I wouldn’t have it I was pretending it was something else.

    • SecondBeach says:

      The internet.

  48. I am not defending Amanda Marcotte in any way, but some of the things she mentions (self-confidence, self-esteem, going to the gym yourself, etc.) are some of the very same things that pre-PUA advice (i.e. Doc Love) and PUA (David D’Angelo) mentions. I bought, studied and internalized those two manuals while some advice from other dating sites. I also read “the game” by Neil Strauss. I simply took the best advice, figured out what I wanted and what type of relationship and sought her out. I avoided the bars, gimmickry (palm reading, peacocking) and just got into physical shape. I remember some of the advice was to always be honest with someone and to be transparent (don’t lie, don’t deceive.) I think the author and everyone who posted here calm down and go read some of the good materials out there. A lot of these PUA guys are just using psychology and applying it to dating.
    I am sorry but being a nice guy does not always work, otherwise some of my “nicest” guy friends would be married by now. One is a little over 40 and overweight. Women like him “as a friend” and he is nice but no one is attracted to him. Another is in his mid 30’s, has several engineering degrees and is still not married. I’m sorry but being “nice” can lead men to a lot of pain afterwards (ever sit in divorce court? Child support hearings? Child custody hearings?)
    Woman have been empowered through the feminism movement. Men need to even the score. Some of the principles of PUA and pre-PUA (Doc Love) can be used by nice guys in an ethical manner and even those who consider themselves conservative. This is one of the only empowerment tools men have left. We lost everything else (jobs, money to biased to courts, etc.)
    Btw I am now happily married to a non-feminist, non-gold-digging, non-psycho wife who has integrity, is giving and flexible.

    • I disagree. I’ve read those writings, and they are about faking confidence and using tricks. My advice is to learn confidence. That’s a dramatically different thing, the difference between actual self-esteem and being a narcissist.

      The notion that men need to “even” the score because of feminism assumes, incorrectly, that feminism was a response to men and women being equal. In reality, feminism is a movement that addresses male dominance over women. The PUA model that holds that men are entitled to sex and that women are just being stingy and therefore need to be punished is a form of patriarchy. It just happens to be one that hurts men as well as women. PUAs would, I promise, be much happier if they saw sex as a mutual pursuit of pleasure instead of a contest where they “win” if they “trick” women into bed.

      • Word, word word.

      • Real confidence about sex and how to get it? Or real confidence about just them (hobbies, work etc) and letting that lead into a) sex and b) relationships?

        • I was actually asking a clarifying question about confidence and not game. I don’t think I’m a hypocrite for wanting to know how you were differentiating that. I actually believe people use those techniques all the time, you’ll get no disagreement from me there. All people want connection in some way, you won’t get disagreement from me there either. The commercialized sites though do seem (seem) to encourage misogyny which I can only imagines engenders a strong dislike from many women in response.

          There is a big difference between using techniques to increase attractiveness inside and out, as to attract a mate (short or long term) and using techniques to “get your dick wet” or just “win” or so forth.

          I don’t think women should be going to sites to learn how to gold dig or manipulate anymore than I think men should. Is men’s sexuality demonized and misunderstood? Yes it is. But is women’s sexuality also demonized and misunderstood? Sure thing.

          • I find this interesting. I dislike the economic model of sexuality. I don’t disagree that it exists, especially it seems in foiks in their early 20s. I’ve read Regnarus’s stuff and I dislike it.

            Women are penalized by their own female peers for “selling low” just as many young men are penalized by their male peers for “seeking relationships” instead of just sex. Chicken or the egg issue.

            I’m 42. I’ve had casual sex and I’ve had long term sexual relationships, and as an open relationship person, I’ve had casual sex WHILE IN long term sexual relationships. I prefer the long termfor several reasons, even though I’d really like to be able to enjoy casual sex when I’m lucky enough to find it. (Cue men calling me a slut? Or women calling me a slut? More women probalby would find me to be a slut and that slut shaming for selling low is part of the problem)

            1) casual sex has rarely been physically ideal for me. Men in question work hard to get you in bed, then go for their own goal. Why would I sleep with a man unless I was also hoping for a good time? Men who work hard to make sure their partner has orgasms probably get more play over all.
            2) afterward the casual sex partner often has acted weird and the friendship has been strained. If it ‘s just sex, why not treat me nicely afterwards? Because the man was out for the goal not the process. And because I “sold low” perhaps, they’ve lost respect for what they themselves see as a cheap good. So men are harmed by this economic model.

            Right now we are in a flux point between men and women (I’m being heteronormative here, but that’s what I know).

            I wish at times that more men were cool with bisexuality because then they could get their rocks off SO MUCH easier. I know so many gay men that have tons of casual and anonymous sex.

            Ultimately, we all want connection but none of us are truly entittled to get laid. I’ve been rejected plenty, and I’ve been accepted. I’ve done LOTS of heading into the buzzsaw.

            You say we can pick up casual sex whenever we want it….maybe that is true (though I’ve had nights at bars that didn’t work out so well), but most women want a good damn time if it’s casual and you cannot guarantee orgasm, pleasure or or a truly good result from that casual sex. We have more to risk and less to gain I guess. Anyway….FWIW, I think both sexes had more freedom to connect and more respect for each other when it happens.

            • Here’s how this all plays out for me. Let’s say I go to a bar and I see a guy. We hook up. Chances are good that if the sex is good (he was sure I had a good time) I’d want more of it. Chances are better though, that he won’t. In fact, I’m pretty sure that either he’ll brag to his friends he “bagged” me, or dis me cause I have an A cup and am not traditionally “hot” like a model and am clearly a “slut” cause I fucked him.

              So what’s in it for me? A quick lay, heading home, like eating a greasy burger and maybe indigestion later? That’s kind of the thing, isn’t it? Either treat your hook ups really well and make sure they enjoy themselves during and after, or maybe find a way that isn’t “work” like paying for it. That’s a clean transaction (or would be if it was legal). I mean….all relationships involve some work yes? They kinda do.

              Why is being respectful after sex such a burden? Because what it always winds up sound like is dudes wanting to find a silent lady to masturbate into. And that’s just not appealing at all.

              Not saying that’s what YOU are doing,…..but I’ve done my time on sites like this or MRA sites reading comments. I have a friend I sleep with occasionally. He’s kind of flaky but he’s never disrespectful. He’s kind to me in bed and outside of it. He’s not “hot” but he’s good in bed and he doesn’t act like I”m a slut.

              That would be a good start.

      • Looks like someone got burned by a PUA and has an Axe to grind.

        I don’t know where or how you got the impression that ALL PUA’s are “entitled” to sex. Please quote which PUA said this and which manual. Doc Love, David D’Angelo et al does not encourage to “fake confidence”. Have you actually spent the 100 dollars to buy Doc Love the system or the 30-40 dollars for David D’Angelo Double your dating? Some of these guys talk about developing real confidence and some of the pitfalls of faking it.

        Tell me, would you want a man to tell you on the very first date about his whole life story? DL teaches about being a “challenge”. Tell me what is wrong with a man not being needy/wuss/wimp. DL even actually cares about women, something you feminists would love, saying that if a woman’s interest in you falls below a certain number, the relationship needs to end. DD says not to drag out a relationship if it is not going anywhere. Categorizing PUA’s as all bad is a major mistake and a weak argument. Some women even want their men to read some of the advice given by DL. Also, women’s magazines (i.e. Cosmo) have been selling their wares to woman for years. Correct me if I am wrong but some articles advocate for hooking up, divorce, rules for casual relationships. A lot of the great advice from DL, DD cannot be found in mainstream magazines like men’s health. Woman have been giving relationship advice to men for years and where has this gotten us?

        If you can read in between the lines, go back and read The game by Neil Strauss. A lot of these PUA are just looking for love and some of them have a lot of issues. Many of these men are just looking to understand woman and figure out their mind games. Without learning some of their mistakes and lessons, we will never be able to succeed in making our ladies happier. Feminism has made dating much more confusing. Unless you are a man, you will never know how Feminism has made our lives much more difficult. DD, DL and some of the other PUA’s are talking about the truth. Not just all about sex. Do you know how much DL covers in his manual about sex? Less than one page. Patriarchy is not a punishment. What do you advocate instead? Misandry? That all men be banished and only women exist? Do you want us to just to roll over and be just door mats for woman? Men have a lot more to lose nowadays than woman when it comes to divorce, child support and alimony. Being a single mother is heavily subsidized by the federal government and other non-profits.

        Please go back and spend the money and time to actually read many of the books out on the internet (DL, DD). They are not all that bad and some of them actually say (DL) how women should be treated (with respect, etc.) One can get some bits of advice and lessons from these PUA. You can actually kind of feel sorry for some of them.

  49. Can somebody other than me please point me to how this article differs in any way from the standard advice handed out by feminist women, that basically sums up as, if you are not getting laid it is because you have deserved to not getting laid, you have no right to feel sad you have to seek attonment.

    • The article is saying, 8of10 that if you want to engage with members of the sex you are attracted to, you should treat them like a) humans b) as you’d wish to be treated and c) consider the entire interaction not just getting your dick wet.

      I am a proponent of sex work (to be legalized). If all you want is to get your dick wet, why not pay for it

      • Why not pay to get that which you want? You can even pay them to cuddle and listen to you. If that is not what you are after, if it is a relationship including sex, then you may need to do what it takes to treat people as you wish to be treated.

    • Hershele Ostropoler says:

      In order to get something you have to either earn it or be entitled to it. Do you feel men are entitled to sex from women? Because you’re overtly rejecting the notion that men have to earn it by doing something to deserve it.

      • What are you talking about? I believe that you have a right to feel sad about always being rejected and that is a legitimate sadness despite feminists calling out and saying that the only reason you are getting rejected is because you deserve to get rejected. This has nothing to do with actually getting laid.

        • You have every right to feel sad of course. I don’t know if you deserve to be rejected or not. Or whoever you are referring to. If a person goes out for something over and over again and is constantly rejected….maybe what they are doing isn’t working. Could be looks, could be attitude. Feeling sad and frustrated is normal. But what I see in the PUA community is taking that cognitive dissonance (I’m not getting what I want it can’t be ME that’s doing it wrong) and turning it into “fucking bitches/gold diggers/manipulate them into giving up pussy” and that doesn’t seem right either.

        • I think there is also a difference between being sad about rejection and being pissed about not getting (sex) that you think or may believe you are entitled to get.

        • I believe that you have a right to feel sad about always being rejected

          Of course! But Amanda’s advice was for people who wanted to do change the status quo that was leading to outcomes that were making them sad, rather than just keep doing what they’re doing, getting the same results, and feeling sad about those results. If the latter is where your interests lie, you don’t need any advice at all.

          • And desert is really the wrong register to think about this sort of social interaction. When I express interest in someone, I don’t deserve to have that interest reciprocated, nor do I deserve to have it rejected. It’s the wrong concept for thinking about this kind of social interaction.

  50. Loved the “Be more like The Situation” bit!

    Lord, could I tell stories about men who can’t seem to figure that one out…

    My favorites involve the guys who come down here to Rio looking for women because “American women have been perverted by feminism into a bunch of gold-digging, man-hating harridans”. OK, fair go. That’s not my experience with American women, but to each his own beliefs, right?

    So these guys are supposedly so traumatized by American women’s mercenary, self-absorbed ways that the first thing they do when they get to Rio is run down to Copacabana and fall in love with the first beach prostitute who stammers some English at them.

    Now, prostitutes are women and deserved to be loved, too. No doubt at all about that in my mind. But one thing I feel safe in saying is that most prostitutes I’ve met have vanishingly little patience for the kind of male self-delusions most men’s egos can’t seem to live without. Most pros are REALLY quick to put their male lovers in their place if they try any bullshit. Finally, most pros are VERY aware of what they are or aren’t getting out of a relationship at any given moment and will dump a jerk in a split second if they feel he’s not in their best interests.

    So, OK, these guys are so traumatized by American feminists’ independent ways that they run to the arms of a group of women who would have no trouble picking their bones at the slightest provocation and who are, collectively speaking, among the most cynical women on the planet when it comes to men…?

    Yeah, that makes sense.

    When you talk to these guys, they rant on and on about “how all women are whores” and that is, indeed, precisely how they go about picking up women. These are the guys who’ll tell you, hand on heart, that women are biologically “motivated by money and security”, that you need to show “bling” and spend cash to get a woman’s attention, that they know this for a fact because that’s what they’ve been doing all their lives and it’s always worked for them (ignoring, for the moment, that their description of their sex lives up to this point has been one long complaint about how women have taken them to the cleaners, time and again).

    “So let me get this straight,” I’ll say. “You think women are all whores because you’ve always used cash and bling to attract women and it always works, right?”


    “So what about the other possibility? How about this hypothesis: if you act like a john, the majority of the women you attract will act like whores. I mean, if you’re out there dripping your bling and acting like you’re Mr. High-Roller, well, then what kind of person do you think you’re going to attract, exactly? Could this possibly have anything to do with the fact that you claim to only have dated whorish women in your life and your subsequent belief that all women are whores?”


    If this conversation is virtual, it’s as good for getting one banned from most masculinist sites as remarking that men suffer from oppression, too, for getting one banned from most feminist sites. There’s simply no response to be had to it, other than to utterly damn the quesitoner.

    So a corrolary to “Be Like the Situation” could be “If you don’t want to attract women who act like whores, don’t act like a punter”.

    • THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. It’s like watching someone knowingly and willingly jump into a shallow pool, and then having to hear them kvetch all the way to the emergency room after they’ve broken their back.

  51. Christina says:

    Wow. I’m stunned–I shouldn’t be, I guess, but I am. It’s like there are people out there who think that half the human population of the world are sexual Rubik’s Cubes–twist ’em right and they dispense pussy.

    Women don’t have to walk into a buzzsaw? Are you kidding me? We *live* in the buzzsaw. We have to wonder if this new guy who seems so nice is just playing us to get some and really doesn’t give a damn about us at all–and from this thread, the answer to that is “No. It’s all about getting some.”

    Let me show you how it’s done–I’ll break it down Barney-style with a little real-life anecdote:

    A year ago, I was asked out on a date by a guy I didn’t know at all. His ex and my ex went to the same bar–that’s about the extent of my knowledge of this man. He’s quiet, introverted, never married, no kids and a HUGE nerd and I <3 me a nerd so I said yes. (1. Pick a woman who likes your type. Supermodels aren't big into D&D as a rule, but nerd girls are.) He showed up at my home and took me out to dinner to spend some time to get to know me. (2. THAT'S why you take a woman out, to spend time getting to know her, not in a "I bought you dinner, now you owe me beaver" exchange. I've never been hungry enough to whore for an Appleby's entree, I promise.) We spent the night talking and finding out that we had all kinds of things in common and that there really was a spark there. (3. That's why you talk to a woman, not to appease her so that eventually she'll spontaneously decide she's punished you enough with her incessant chatter and take all her clothes off.) Then, he knocked my socks off with an amazing kiss, and it was amazing b/c we had that spark–it's called chemistry, and then *he went home* because I said I wasn't ready for anything else at that time. (4. Now, he could have gone the PUA route and pushed for more and probably gotten it because I was really attracted to him and I was really horny but I wouldn't have ever gone out with him again because I have this fetish about guys who listen to what I say and respect that–and the hormones wind down eventually. Of course, had I said I wanted it and he decided he knew what was "best" for me and left anyway–same result b/c he *didn't listen to me and respect what I said.* [Now, if HE said he wasn't ready and left, that's a different story and perfectly legitimate b/c, you know, respect goes both ways.])

    Next day, he texted me, we talked a bit, he mentioned he was tired and I asked if he wanted to come over and take a nap with me. He went home 3 days later.

    That was year ago and I've fallen madly in love with him and it keeps getting better. He's one of you guys–5'9", not rich, doesn't have all the toys but does okay, not young, not a Brad Pitt look-alike, hasn't gone to the gym since he left the Guard, still looking for a good 2nd ed. D&D game at 39…you get the idea–average, white and nerdy guy. But *I* think he's gorgeous and amazing and wonderful and nearly-perfect.

    Long story short, gentlemen: what Amanda is telling you works and it boils down to this. If you want people to be interested in you, be interesting. And pick a woman who is likely to be interested in the things you think are interesting.

    • I would be perfectly fine with this, if I didn’t at the same time have to listen to young women complaining about the beauty standards young men hold them to. If you want an example read Hugo’s article on GMP about how women blame themselves for their boyfriends not paying attention to them. Why don’t these women get the same advice? ‘He would pay you more attention if you were more interesting’.

      • I’m pretty sure Amanda intended for the advice in this article to not be gender specific…

        • Se parent
          “Long story short, gentlemen: what Amanda is telling you works and it boils down to this. If you want people to be interested in you, be interesting. And pick a woman who is likely to be interested in the things you think are interesting.”

      • Christina says:

        When are women ever given that advice? When have women, as a group, EVER been told to improve our MINDS to attract and/or keep a man?

        Shoot, women are still being told not to be “too smart” or “too successful” or “too picky” if they want to attract or keep a man–but they’d better make sure to hit the gym and, if necessary, the plastic surgeon.

        You don’t have to look far, either. Just take a gander at this thread.

        Why aren’t we given that advice? I wish I knew. History? Tradition? Habit? Remnants of the idea that women just aren’t “made for that”? I don’t know. But we aren’t–we’re told that our looks and the state of our hymen, and then whether the vag is available or not, is what is important–is ALL that is important.

  52. Johnny_B says:

    Did you not read my post? Being a jackass doesn’t matter as long as you’re the handsome, ‘cool’ guy. That’s what most people want. If you’re fixated on a certain woman or you want to find a soulmate or something that’s a different story, but this is what will work 90% of the time, and I have yet to be proven wrong on this.

    • dude, you’re right that very physically attractive people have the ability to have more sex, but you’re completely missing the point!

      Your argument is the equivalent of telling someone who is looking for financial advice to “get a rich parent”. Obviously that would help but reverse-adoption is not really possible!

      • Johnny_B says:

        Not really the same thing. Having a rich parent is something you’d have no control over, but being attractive is actually not that hard. Time-consuming and tedious maybe, but not hard. Take a look at some male models or professional athletes – they seem like geniuses to you?

        Here’s the thing – all that ‘be yourself’ advice is nice and dandy but the cold hard truth is that it’s like finding religion. You pray all the time, and when something finally goes your way you say “God has listened to me!” and when it doesn’t (i.e., usually) you say “well, He works in mysterious ways” or “I’m being tested” or something. Screw that. How about looking at what works, and doing that instead? Hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

        • couldn’t be further than the truth.

          1. Being attractive falls into what I said – do what makes you feel good. For most of us, that inlcudes investing at least some amount of time/energy/cash in our physical appearance.

          2. Being oneself is the complete opposite to religion. Religion is searching external sources for truth. It is human-made and therefore usually flawed. It also aims to be the answer for us all, ignoring the fact that we are all different. Being yourself means finding your own truth – this can never be the wrong thing to do. The problem is being brave enough to allow the real, deep voice within to take the lead.

          • Johnny_B says:

            1) is actually in agreement with me, so I’m not sure what ‘couldn’t be further (from) the truth’ there.

            2) They’re similar in that both are mental constructs people invent to feel good about themselves but that don’t really work in the real world. “Be yourself” works if your ‘self’ is someone who’s already attractive. But if that were the case, they wouldn’t be asking for advice in the first place, so it’s really worse than useless. “Constantly improve yourself” might be better. And I don’t know what ‘real, deep voice within’ you’re hearing, but I’d see a therapist about that…

        • Shinobi says:

          Yeah hang on a minute while I go alter my genetic code to make my face more symmetrical and my body a naturally hourglass shape.

        • Blixa Scott says:

          I’m going to have to agree with Johnny on this one. For both genders, getting really in shape, learning how to dress well, and getting a good hairstyle will work about ten times better than any other technique they could use. And I’ve seen lots of guys go from schlubby and losing in the dating game to getting some muscles and a tan and a haircut and having girls all over them.

          The Jersey Shore guys are NOT at all my type, but you have to admit that they do very well with the ladies, and it’s not because they’re smart, charming, or rich. It’s because they spend all their time focusing on being “hot” (or at least, what qualifies as hot in their social circle).

          Good-looking people never have a problem dating, regardless of how rich or poor they are, how stupid or smart. And women are just as shallow and looks-oriented as men, they’re just not encouraged as much culturally to focus on looks. This is changing.

          All the other dating advice is good and people SHOULD strive to become better, more interesting people (regardless of whether they’re on the market or not), but if you want to be efficient, the single most useful thing you can do is make yourself better looking. This is not a happy truth, but it’s true nonetheless.

          Oh, and if you’re solely focused on getting laid, the second most efficient thing you can do is drink alcohol and hang out with other people who drink alcohol.

          If you’re looking for a long term relationship or marriage, it’s a very different ballgame.

          • Johnny_B says:

            “The Jersey Shore guys are NOT at all my type, but you have to admit that they do very well with the ladies, and it’s not because they’re smart, charming, or rich. It’s because they spend all their time focusing on being “hot” (or at least, what qualifies as hot in their social circle).”

            Thanks for pointing that out Blixa, because it’s important. While being generally good-looking definitely helps (that means being in decent shape, well-dressed, well-groomed), it works even better if you know who you’re going after. Now let’s say you’re into goth/emo/punk chicks – you probably won’t have much luck if your look says ‘nerdy businessman’. You have two choices here – change your look (kind of dishonest and won’t hold up over the long term, unless you really are into that scene) or start looking for women who are a better fit for you, and who you are. The Jersey Shore guys seem to have taken the second option and it’s working well for them.

            Also definitely agreed on the alcohol, taken in moderation it’s the best social lubricant there is. Too much of it just makes you sleepy and stupid…

          • Well, I decided to change my hairstyle for the first time as a result of this… I regret it. I went from looking pretty good to looking like a total idiot. Definitely change for the better…damnit.

  53. Johnny_B says:

    Oh for the love of… guys, here’s the secret to dating, courtesy of Saturday Night Live:
    1) Be handsome
    2) Be attractive
    3) Don’t be unattractive

    Basically, if a woman is attracted to you, there is little you can do wrong. If she isn’t, there is little you can do right. If you’re hot, it doesn’t matter what kind of personality you have. She’ll rationalize it away, ignore it, convince herself that you’re really a good guy on the inside. I’ve seen this over and over. Otherwise you can be smart, funny and a perfect gentleman but if you’re not attractive, the most you’ll end up as is ‘just a friend’. Then you’ll be comforting her as she cries about her latest abusive, cheating asshole boyfriend, only to get back together and screw his brains out the next day while you feel warm and fuzzy in the knowledge that you’re a ‘good friend’. I’ve seen this too.

    So forget techniques and tricks. Pick up a magazine and look at the men around your age who are considered ‘hot’. Do what it takes to become one. That’s it. A halfway decent personality isn’t required but it helps, or can be substituted with large amounts of money, success or popularity.

    Most of this stuff applies to both genders, btw. People are shallow idiots. You can complain about it or take advantage.

    • This is an interesting theory that only applies to superficial assholes. The truth is, SOME women do only care about looks, but SOME of us also care about personality. I suppose it is up to you which kind of woman you want to attract. If you want to date and bed women who think you’re super hot and as soon as you stop going to the gym every day will drop you like a hot potato, then go for it. If you want to actually find someone who likes you, you might want to work on not being a jackass.

      • Shinobi says:

        Sorry that I’m too busy working hard to support myself and my unemployed boyfriend to remember all of the possible ways that some women can choose to be shallow bitches.

    • Johnny B you are brilliant,

      I am going to grab my GQ and mens health mags and get to work……

      I am not sure which Pick up artists she was was reading about, but the ones I have been reading say basically the same thing as Johnny, be interesting, look interesting, dont be a pushover, if a woman is not interested in you move on.

    • Hm. Weird. I must have some abnormal mechanism that allows me to differentiate between aesthetics and attraction. Here are a few things that make hot guys unattractive to me:
      ~ Stupidity
      ~ Ignorance (not the same as stupidity)
      ~ Self-centeredness
      ~ Wedding ring
      ~ Excessive drinking
      ~ Absence of culture outside of NASCAR/sports
      ~ Uninteresting conversation
      ~ Lack of common interests

      Even if a guy has all of these ‘faults’, I can still find him aesthetically pleasing. There’s just no way I’d fuck him, let alone have a relationship with him.

      Now, assuming a guy was intelligent, composed, confident, and interesting, I miraculously don’t care about a lot of other ‘faults.’ A few things that plagued my exes:
      ~ Gap in front teeth (really noticeable)
      ~ Obesity
      ~ Weird hair texture
      ~ Atypical body shapes (not related to obesity)
      ~ Relationship/family baggage
      ~ Facial scarring
      ~ Low sex drive
      ~ Unemployed (but trying, which is key)
      ~ Lack of ambition

      Oddly enough, none of my exes have even come close to fulfilling my physical wishlist, but I loved them (and slept with them) anyway. Attitude and personality matter a hell of a lot more than the shell they’re housed in.

  54. This is the equivalent of Peter-Andrew Nolan giving dating advice to women.

    Except that would be comical. This is just sad.

  55. What makes you think that when a woman makes herself look good she is doing it to attract you? “Deceptive female PUA technique” for you, just another day surviving the patriarchy under the male gaze for her.

    • Uh also in the past women were forced to wear whalebone corsetry that completely changed their figure. (In addition to making it nearly impossible for them to do any kind of physical activity.) It’s not as if drawing attention to ones self is a new thing women just invented to make you poor men cry.

      It’s an artifact of a historically patriarchal system that encouraged men to treat women as property, and encouraged women to compete for the best available mates, because they were unable to have jobs or own property and were completely dependent on the will of the men they could attract. The Pick Up Artist mentality is pretty close to this, it moves further away from sexual equality.

    • I like you, lots. We can’t bloody win. I don’t do the push-up-bra or makeup thing. I am straight-forward. But I forgot – because I don’t fit their definition of beautiful, I’m a man-hater. Which is some warped logic right there.

      • Despite working every day to actively and directly better the lives of hundreds of teenage boys? Despite having healthy and positive relationships with dozens of male friends, parents and future spouses? I don’t hate men in the slightest. I’m realistic about human failings that show up across both sexes – narcissism, illusory superiority, idiocy. The vast majority of dudes are pretty awesome people; the minority (especially the ones who complain about women not liking nice guys) are the ones who are vocal and persistent about letting me know to my face that I’m hideous and have no value on earth. The nice ones are the ones I go and have a beer with every so often.

        One study actually showed that women who identified as feminist actually held fewer hostile or benevolent-sexist opinions about men than women who refused to identify. That certainly matches my experience and the observations I’ve made about friends, mentors and co-workers: if you are only able to view men positively if they are breadwinners, as per the anti-feminist traditional gender-role model, then of course you’re only going to be able to form superficial and transactional relationships with them. If you believe they are capable of doing anything and that they deserve to carve out whatever individual niche they want in the world, then you are able to form genuine and deep relationships with them. Common sense, really.


    It sounds like you have bombarded yourself with information on the topic. Firstly, well done for being active and seeking help. That’s not to be taken for granted.

    BUT, you are letting yourself become a victim. You are gradually giving up on yourself. You think you are picking up a new weapon – PUA – but in actual fact, you’re just lowering your standards because let’s face it, who really wants a chick that will go down on a guy because he managed to mentally outdo her with cheap tricks (yes, i know that sounds good now, but again, aim higher bro – the sex will be better too )

    You gave a great example man – holding a girl as she cries about her bf douche. Umm, hello, she has a BF! That’s not something you can count on and judge yourself on either – sexually active guys don’t consider taken girls as game. If it does happen that I sleep with a girl who’s “taken” it is always treated as a surprise and shock and that’s without even going into the moral side of things. Have you ever asked yourself about the reason behind going after impossible-to-score girls?

    Dave, I think this is your problem – you are tripping yourself up. It’s only you. You are the source of your failure. We all are the source of our own failures. In general, women enjoy sex and look for it. It’s biological. What’s left is to present yourself and take a shot. Shoot – miss/score. Even if you suck at 3-pointers, throwing enough will lead you to sink one.

    So what’s the solution?

    Well, like any real solution, it’s not “magical” or “quick-and-easy” because that’s for scoring prostitutes (always an option but, again, why lower your standards, let alone health).

    The solution is actually very basic in its essence – be the “Dave”. I know this sounds wishy washy but it’s the only thing that will really work.

    Just lead the life you want to lead. If there’s a girl you like and you find she has a BF then seriously consider what you as Dave want from her. It’s not selfish. It’s honest!!! Just say “hmmm, she’s not available now. Do i want her as a friend? No, I have enough female friends” That’s it. Walk away. When you see her again, ask her “Still gong out with _____ ? No? Oh I’m sorry to hear that. What happened?” Boom!

    You see, when you’re true to yourself, you actually open up doors that you couldn’t have thought about logically. Sticking onto a crush at the time seems logical because you equate being near her as getting closer. That’s just very primitive thinking. Also primitive is the idea that choosing who you spend your time with and choosing the nature of thos relations is “wrong”. You can be a good guy and also want sex. You can be a good guy and also not give gifts. You can be a good guy and also say no to a girl when she asks for a favor. That’s confidence – believing that you’re good anyway.

    Bottom line advice: stop being so desperate. Iet go of the “I must score now” motto and put yourself in the best possible lifestyle you can – go out, be fit, learn a musical instrument. These activities will expose you to females who are drawn to the same things as you.

    hope this helps
    Ian R.

    • Just wanted to like this comment twice.

    • Johnny_B says:

      Wow, so it’s possible to write a genuinely good and helpful dating-advice article without taking snide potshots at the people you’re purporting to help. Who’da thunk it? Not Amanda Snarkotte, apparently. Thumbs up I.R.

    • Ian, this is such a great comment. I was a nerdy kind of girl and I always had a lot of male friends who were quieter, nerdier, “nice guys.”. So many of these guys in college would develop crushes on me, but never try to initiate anything. They would just want to hang out and give me puppy dog eyes. I guess they hoped that someday I would just spontaneously pull my top off and invite them to have sex. That is just never, never going to happen. I know it’s a male fantasy but it just doesn’t exist in the real world.

      Women have lots of friends. We aren’t looking for more friends. Friends are nice, of course, and we won’t object if friendship is offered. But really we’re looking for a man. You are so right, Dave shouldn’t be wasting time becoming friends with girls who have boyfriends or who clearly aren’t interested in him. When he meets a woman he shouldn’t act like he wants to be her friend, he should act like he wants to be her date. This is the fundamental mistake that so many “nice guys” make.

      • SecondBeach says:

        Though it could be said you perpetuate the marketplace mentality by never initiating anything yourself, as you imply they SHOULD’VE done something, meaning you liked them too.

        (just letting you know how it sounds; I can’t speak to your experience).

  57. jfpbookworm says:

    Not one of “the ladies”, but curious as to what counts as “deceptive female PUA techniques.”

    • jfpbookworm says:

      Okay, so pretty much the Hamlet rant.

      I really haven’t seen feminists complaining about peacocking, or guys stuffing socks in their pants, or “Just For Men” hair dyes, or flattery, or anything else that strikes me as equivalent.

      • Wow. Disingenuous much? As if products for men are anything like the huge industry that products for women are , or women’s fashions. Even feminist acknowledge that, by complaining about it.

        Socks in pants? Really? Bullshit. Guys don’t even do that crap in leather bars. Find a new lie.

        Flattery? Like women never flatter? What’s all this I read on feminist blogs about how women are “socialzed to please”? All just hot air?

        • jfpbookworm says:

          Wait, what?

          I wasn’t making a “just as bad” argument, but the opposite; taking steps to look attractive and acting pleasant toward potential partners isn’t manipulation or deception.

    • North Wind says:

      Wait, really? So if I wear a suit, am I using deceptive PUA techniques? After all, the jacket is designed to emphasize the broadness of my shoulders (some of them have padding!), in relation to my waist, and all my dress shoes have a slightly elevated heel, which makes me appear taller than I really am. Am I being dishonest when I shave in the morning, deceiving people into thinking that I don’t have a beard just waiting to spring from my jaw? Is it unethical for me to put a button-sized dollop of product in my hair, fronting like my habit of shampooing every day hasn’t made those little bastards want to just frizz up away from my coiffure?

      What about when I take pleasure from seeing a woman (or anyone, really) smile in repsonse to a compliment I’ve given? Does that make the compliment off sides?

      What I’m getting at, here, is that this stuff you’re describing as “deceptive techniques” look a lot more like “being a contemporary social human” to me. But when women do it, you seem to assume that they must automatically be acting in bad faith. This is where the whole crazy idea of assuming women are people becomes useful: if we’re acting in good faith, if we think love and/or affection is pretty great and want the opportunity to share it with someone we like, if we’re not actually manipulative telepaths, then it makes sense to assume that women, who are also people, are the same way. As a bonus, it’s a whole lot less stress-inducing, too.

    • Actually, I would put those things in the same category as shaving, wearing a tie, working out, etc. That women have more grooming demands put on them is really not evidence that men are oppressed. You are always free to date someone who isn’t worried about dressing to the hilt. Many women don’t wear make-up or fancy bras, you know.

    • Hershele Ostropoler says:

      I’ve never known a woman to play hard to get. I have encountered women who actually weren’t interested. That’s only the same thing if you’re either too narcissistic to believe that a woman might actually not be interested, or too … let’s call it “old-fashioned” to understand why her being interested or not is relevant.

      • I don’t know if devastatingly-accurate insight is considered a PUA technique, but right now I am actually swooning with how bloody right this comment is…

      • Just wanted to add that “playing hard to get” is not the same as not being attracted to the first impression but revising that opinion later.

        Women who “play hard to get” are really the female version of male PUAs—consciously trying to manipulate the situation in their favor using tactics that seek to undermine the other person’s right to make a personal decision.

        My rule of thumb: if they act disinterested, I’m going to assume they’re disinterested and find something better to do with my time. If they were actually interested, I don’t want to date/fuck anyone that obnoxiously disingenuous anyway.

  58. “measuring the contribution of women to the subject against that of the pua community seems to me support that.”

    Wait, the fact that there are few if any women trying to make money off the back of men in emotional distress, seeking dating advice, means that they are to be trusted less on the matter? How does that work? Or has the phrase “trying to sell you something” changed its meaning since last I checked?

    • Johnny_B says:

      You could be right, but when a confused guy looking for advice has a choice between snarky feminists throwing insults and blame at him, and PUAs telling him they’ve got the answers, guess where he will go…

    • That’s not really fair. Sure, pickup artistry has as many hucksters and snake-oil salesman as any industry, particularly service industries. But there are free websites and blogs on the subject. There are genuinely good teachers (“Good” as in “capable of getting across a point in a way that the student can put to good use,” not necessarily as in “morally good”).

      That there are so few (I’ve only heard of one) female pikcup artist instructors does not indicate that the women with the mindset and talent to be an instructor (whether that number is roughly equal to the number of men or not) are any more considerate of men’s feelings. If they were, they would be starting their own free blogs and websites, or offering pro-bono instruction. Or, heck, just sleeping with more lonely nerds instead of Situation clones.

      But they’re not. Marcotte is right in pointing out that feminists offer very little in the way of dating advice to lonely young men – and almost nothing of use. I agree that it’s morally right to treat women as equal human beings in every respect; unfortunately, women respond more positively to dominant, alpha-male behavior. At least, that’s been my experience. I don’t hold women’s preferences against them, but any reasonable person has to work with reality, not deny it. If reading PUA literature and adapting it to my own moral code makes me happier and makes women happier to be with me, it’s better than being a nerd and hating women for liking non-nerds.

  59. I’m here on this thread too. You had to know I’d read this article as well…

  60. “Just be confident.” Oh, great advice! Perhaps the most useful thing I’ve ever heard. It ranks up there with other extremely useful gems of advice like “just split the atom.” The problem here is that I honestly think you really have no idea what you want. I was raised by feminists and had ZERO men in my life and I’ve never been able to get a date or a girlfriend. It isn’t because I’m unattractive or unintelligent or unfunny or unkind or ungentlemanly, I could have written the book “How to be a Gentleman,” yet women have absolutely no interest in me EVER. It’s because I learned what women want in a man from women. I’ve got more female friends than I know what to do with but women won’t look at me twice romantically. Inevitably, I try to win a girl over my being charming and generous and spontaneously gifting but that just makes me a sucker that they can lead on — and I’ve been lead on dozens of times — because they know they can get something out of me for nothing.

    Do you know how many times I’ve had to sit there and hold a crying girl that I like because she’s got a garbage boyfriend? Do you know how many times I’ve been told, “you’re such a good friend I’d never want to ruin that?” Dozens.

    You know why I’m going to go to those less-than-savory tactics used by PUAs? Because they work and I am, quite frankly, sick and tired of being alone. I’m tired of never having sex, I’m tired of being alone all the time, I’m tired of not getting to cuddle — yeah, I’m a romantic I like to cuddle and show affection in non-sex ways — and I’m tired of being completely taken advantage of by women.

    We need more gems like “just be confident.” In fact, I’ve gotten that advice from numerous of my girl friends who just flippantly say, “you just need to be confident” like there’s this giant confidence no confidence switch in my head that I can flip. You know what makes someone feel confident? Being successful romantically. You know what doesn’t? Doing all the right things and never having been successful ever.

    • That was just one piece of advice among many, dude. Chill – the whole point about this article is that, in direct contrast to PUA brainwashing, it doesn’t purport to offer an iron clad and fail proof check list of steps to take on the way to having a sex life. They’re just ideas, and if one of them doesn’t work for you, that’s cool.

      If you think of women as human beings like yourself, then you’ll immediately see that, like yourself, they sometimes have self confidence issues and that leads them, like it did you, to have a problem with looking self confident, and, just like you can, they can probably recognise and empathise with this problem in others. Almost like they were human beings who you could have an honest interaction with, y’know?

      • Oh, of course, how could I forget about the “Think about them as human beings”.

        Silly me.

      • No, this article doesn’t offer anything. It essentially says, “if you have trouble with women, it’s because you’re an inferior male.” Whether women have self confidence issues is almost entirely irrelevant as they don’t have to ever march into the buzzsaw that is initiating contact. I have to stroll in and get ground to pieces by women who get to choose — and all women get to choose — and then get up and do it again with a smile on my face saying, “thank you, can I have another.” Unlike women, I don’t have the opportunity to derive sadistic pleasure from crushing suitors and seeing how horribly I can screw them up by leading them on and rejecting them in the most vicious of ways.

        • “Unlike women, I don’t have the opportunity to derive sadistic pleasure from crushing suitors and seeing how horribly I can screw them up by leading them on and rejecting them in the most vicious of ways.”

          Dave, I’m sorry but, if this is really how you see the dating world, and women in general, then you are not actually a nice guy, you are playing the Martyr (which is not the same thing, and people can sense it a mile away).

          Everything written in this advice column could be turned around and applied to any gender, interested in any other gender. It boils down to: 1) Be honest with yourself about what you are looking for; then 2) Be honest with yourself about how you truly stack up in comparison to what you want; thus 3) Consider how you might improve your own life first, as a single person (positive thinking, self-awareness, good health, etc.), which will in turn increase the probability of a attracting the kind of people you are most interested in.

          None of this advice claims to be a guarantee of success, just a way to increase one’s chances of positive (and realistic) dating interactions.

          Wait a few more years, when you’ve had more experience and are around a larger variety of people of both genders, before you claim that every attempt you make on any woman is a failure. Or at least stop trying to date women who cry on your shoulders over their current boyfriends — that is just a recipe for disaster from any view point (hers, yours, and the BF). Trust me on this, healthy people of both genders learn to stop finding themselves in these situations as they get older and wiser.

    • Well, If you believe that every kind of tactic is toxic or sexistic when it comes to dating, you run out of things to advise very fast. I mean if you rule that much out, all that remains is “Hit the gym”, “Find someone on your niveau” or “Be more confident”.

      At least Amanda didn’t add “be yourself” to the list and she did earn a brownie point for that from me.

    • Are you for real? Really, absolutely no success ever? Never a date? Never a girlfriend?

      Either you are eight years old or you are completely wrong in your assertion that you aren’t unattractive, unintelligent, unfunny, unkind, or ungentlemanly. Maybe not, but you are coming across as unaware.

      Your patience is obviously getting tested, but you’d actually go with techniques you find unsavory just to get a woman? That’s not gentlemanly. Either embrace that you’re willing to be an asshole or don’t, but know that you’ve already said you’d trade your standards for pussy. I’m not certain women will all catch on right away, but you’re certainly walking a slippery slope there.

      • No success. Ever. I’m not 8, I’m 22, and I’m not completely wrong in my assertions. I’m not Matt Damon but that doesn’t mean I’m not better looking than the vast majority of guys I see on the street. Yes, I would. Why? Because you probably don’t know what it’s like to continue to be completely alone and to not get laid when doing all the right things. Being good is great but when being good means you get nothing but misery, you will no doubt consider jettisoning your goodness when you see douchebags getting exactly what you want easily.

        • I think, Dave, it’s time to consider the possibility that *you* might be one of those douchebags.

          • Of course it is. Because holding doors open without fault, walking on the outside, being always complimentary and never mean is definitely the hallmark of a douchebag. You’re right. So is spontaneously gifting. Definitely EXACTLY what a douchebag would do.

            • Dave, old boy, I really think you should take the whole “treat women like fellow humans” line to heart.

              You seem to view the distaff side as something of an equation to be solved–as if the women in your life are mere concepts. Simply performing the barest physical expressions of chivalry (and there’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever, of course) do not replace actual intellectual and emotional connections. In other words, it doesn’t follow that you’re going to have a roll in the hay because you held the door open for someone and bought them a present.

              Try, I dunno, talking. You’re still young. Don’t let this mercantile view of male-female relationships corrode you. We’re all people.

            • jfpbookworm says:

              Douchebags hold doors too. They just expect to get laid for it.

              • I’ve learned that guys who tend to complain about women all the time, how they can never get a steady girlfriend, how they’re always dumped by women, often have faults with themselves, or are ALWAYS dating the wrong kind of woman without having learned from the previous relationship to know the warning signs of a less-than-savory woman.

                Same with women who complain about guys all the time. One of my male friends, who used to complain all the time, recently had an epiphany that the reason girls always broke up with him was because he was far too clingy in the beginning. Perhaps you need to reassess yourself and stop blaming women.

            • I think there’s a small possibility that “spontaneous gifting” comes off as creepy.

              As a general aside, maybe the problem, Dave, is that you aren’t making it clear enough, in a direct and verbal way, that you are interested in the particular woman you’re interested in. Maybe you are a very nice, gentlemanly, decent guy, but you’re a bit frightened to risk rejection? On some level, I think that’s what the question of “confidence” might be circling around. It sounds like you want a relationship to fall to you. If the reason it doesn’t is because you aren’t risking rejection and humiliation, maybe that’s something you have to live with, or do something about.

            • So what about spontaneous gift-giving? Who cares? Of course you’re going to get walked over, because people are generally unscrupulous and greedy. The same thing happens everywhere else; if you offer something out of generosity too many times, a certain percentage of people *will* just see you as a meal ticket.

              It’s a horrible thing and I don’t do it. But at the same time, if you are going to make a martyr of yourself, don’t be surprised when people turn up to watch you being eaten by lions.

        • My advice to you would be to keep on trying, but really listen to what Ms. Marcotte said: be willing to give as much as you want to get. And no, your good feelings and good will and good intentions are not tangible things that women will notice. You could be the most pleasant person in the world, but how do you sell yourself? You are your own commodity and obviously want to sell it. What are you doing?

          I had times when I was depressed and waited for someone–preferably a pretty woman who would give me instant social status–to save me from my mediocre life. But that doesn’t work. You have to work for it. And yes, most of it will end in failure or just blah. Most of the time that’s how it will work out.

          You’re an ordinary-looking guy who tries. I did that for years. Had many girlfriends, a wife for thirteen years, many more girlfriends, and that’s life. You say you aren’t special? Well, neither is anyone else.

          I was a lot less happy in the dating world when I was your age. I’m now 40. At your age, you are seeking a life partner for the future. As you age, you’ll realize how silly you are being. You can only find a partner for now. What can you offer someone? If you can’t figure that out, then all the pick up artist techniques can do is get someone’s attention. You have to figure out how to keep it. Until you have something to offer, don’t bother. Figure out what that is, and you’ll be confident.

      • @Dave

        Don’t put too much emphasis on it.
        Being romantically or sexually unsuccessful is nothing wrong or to be ashamed of.

        Just don’t listen to people who try to declare you a defunct person, like jon one post above, and you are pretty much good to go.

      • Dear Dave,

        I write to you from the female perspective with a quote from The 40-Year Old Virgin:

        You’re putting the pussy on a pedestal. You seem to have the impression that women need to be courted a la fairytale princess. I’m not saying that’s bad (and I’m not saying that you NEED to do it), but I advise you to hold the wooing until you’ve established an actual romantic relationship. Too much upfront can come off as desperate or creepy. Neither of which is a turn-on.

        You actually sound like you have enough confidence—you’re open and upfront about your perceived traits. And you’re positive. That’s key. It sounds like you’ve accepted that you have something to offer, and that’s important too. So act like it. Stop trying to buy girls’ affection with gifts or attention. Just treat them like ‘one of the guys.’ Stop seeing them as people you have to do something for.

        I guess I’m trying to say “treat them like people,” which just sounds dumb. You’re obviously treating them like people. But don’t treat them like a special class of people. There are different levels of friendship—don’t be the best friend *unless that’s all that you want from her.* Girlfriends are for shoulder-crying and commiseration. Guy friends can be that close too, but only when both parties are on equal footing… which you aren’t if you want more from her than she does from you.

        Someone suggested spending less time with your coterie of females, instead hanging more with your guy friends. That’s probably a good bit of advice. Take a short vacation from all the confusion, get your bearings, and then return when you can enforce healthy boundaries. It’ll be worth it.


    • Was this reply written by a computer program? I mean, wow. Really hit all of the major “Poor Poor Misunderstood Yet Secretly Ragey Nice Guy” points.

      Reading this, I am forced to conclude that you are a self-absorbed sap. “It isn’t because of me, it’s because of you! I am a gentleman! I buy you things! Why will you not have sex with me!”

    • I actually denounced the “just be confident” advice, if you read the paragraph. I outlined a way to be confident that doesn’t rely on tricks and traps. Confident people have something to be confident about. PUAs resent men they claim are “jerks” because they have confidence, and then accuse women of being shallow for wanting men who are accomplished. But here’s another thought: accomplished men are more confident, therefore more attractive.

      I’m serious. It’s pointless to sit around feeling sorry for yourself. Doing things that you can be proud of does wonders for the self-esteem.

      • I actually denounced the “just be confident” advice, if you read the paragraph. I outlined a way to be confident that doesn’t rely on tricks and traps.

        Actually, you did not. You bullet-pointed a list of “just be confident” tricks that really do not work. It is very easy to tell someone to just feel better about themselves and people will like them. However, that flippant “advice” ignores the underlying issue that causes these men to look to PUAs for help: they are shy and socially awkward. If having concrete things to be proud of actually got people’s attention, it is doubtful that shy and socially awkward people, who often are very proud of their accomplishments, would have such a difficult time.

        More so, your “advice” consists of telling men to date women they have no interest in or change themselves to garner the attention of the women they want to date. How does it build anyone’s confidence to tell them they are not worthy enough to date certain people or that they have to pretend to be something they are not just to get a date? Better yet, how is that any different PUA advice?

        I’m serious. It’s pointless to sit around feeling sorry for yourself. Doing things that you can be proud of does wonders for the self-esteem.

        That is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black.

        • LadyGodiva says:

          That is not what she said at all. Try reading it again and see what it says.

          • I read it several times, and it is very much what she wrote:

            “You can’t fault women for giving you a pass if you’re not what they want, even if they’re very much what you want.”

            “If you like women who spend a lot of time on their bodies or women who keep really nice house, why not hit the gym or pick up the mop yourself? If you want a self-starter or an independent woman, find ways to be more proactive and independent yourself.”

            “You may not want to have a certain trait you want in women, because you think it’s demeaning. Or you may not be able to achieve it, as is the case for men who want to date much younger women. In these cases, I advise that you either rethink your desires or accept that you’re likely to have a lonely existence. “

            That reads a lot like “Date women you have no interest in or change yourself to garner the attention of the women you want to date.” That is not very good advice.

            • Why is “change yourself to garner the attention of women you want to date” bad advice? It’s simply a suggestion to invest in self-improvement, rather than manipulation and tricks.

              • If that is true, why do feminist view the advice to women to change their looks, interests, and behavior to woo men as oppressive and sexist rather than a suggestion to invest in self-improvement? You cannot have it both ways.

                • jfpbookworm says:

                  Because that advice is typically given in the context of “you must catch a man or you’re worthless” rather than “figure out what you want and go get it”?

                  • Except the advice given by Marcotte is in the context of “you’re a bunch of worthless losers, but you want to get laid figure out what you want and go get it”. Even as you gave it is still condescending “you don’t know what you want, loser” advice. But I do appreciate the nuance of how calling women worthless is wrong while calling socially awkward men worthless, mocking them, and telling them to act, dress, and look like the Situation is perfectly fine.

                    • SecondBeach says:

                      Some girls love awkward. I would be very single right now if that wasn’t true. Ya gotta find the girls that love awkward. Treating ‘Women’ as some monolith is the real problem most women have with PUA’s (that and it’s adherence to the economic model of sex).

    • Hey, at least here you’re honest about needing sex to prop up your ego and being ready to manipulate and demean to get it. Props to you. Now if only you could be this authentic in real life.

    • God, you’re 22? So? I didn’t get into my first relationship until I was 22. I wasn’t stoked it had taken so long, but if I take a nice, long look in my rear-view now, about ten years after all that, I also wasn’t really ready for a boyfriend before then. I was immature and not ready for sex and I would have had to deal with that if I had a boyfriend, even though at the time I thought it was what I wanted all through high school and college.

      Next: Letting yourself be an emotional body pillow for oblivious, crybaby female friends isn’t helping you in any way shape or form, so why do you do it? Why do you ask a women out and then when she says “no, let’s be friends” take her up on it and let things go back to what they were but still pine over her? They are not doing these things to you. You are doing it to yourself. If it makes you unhappy, say I can’t do this anymore and bail. That doesn’t make you a bad guy. Continuing it and seething about it and making a few women responsible for the increasingly mean opinions of all women will, eventually, make you a bad person.

      So I’d posit that you’re definitely not really ready for a relationship, maybe not ready for a real, mature sexual relationship, and absolutely need to learn to stick up for yourself when people use you, emotionally or otherwise. Do the work and maybe you’ll be ready to find someone to cuddle with.

      PS I went through the emotional punching-bag stage, too, with guys I liked. Then I asked myself why I would listen to someone complain about other girls when I was into them. I also met the girls and realized these people I’d written off as horrible human beings weren’t; the couple were just two young college students trying to figure out what it means to be in a relationship with each other, and the growing pains of that sometimes cause people to be absentmindedly cruel. You also learn when you get older that you NEVER really know someone else’s relationship. You see what you see, and you hear what they tell you, but you aren’t there for any of the real stuff.

    • wellokaythen says:


      Just a cold, amoral philosophical approach here from someone who doesn’t know you and isn’t trying to judge your character:

      I get the sense that you may be oversimplifying the choices. I get the sense that you’re reducing all male dating personalities to only two choices: either a doormat or a douchebag, either a nice guy or an asshole. What I hear you saying is you’ve tried one approach over and over with terrible results, so that just leaves one other option. Are you thinking that if one method works horribly, then the opposite method must be awesome? I understand the temptation borne of frustration, but that’s really not a logically valid conclusion.

      I think what many of the responses are trying to tell you is that there are third, fourth, fifth, nth options besides those two. A great catch can be neither of those two, and I’m guessing most great catches are neither of those two.

      Your friendship relationships with these women you’re attracted to are relationships of a sort. You may feel like they’re using you, and to some degree they are, but it would be really useful for you to recognize that you’re getting something from them as well. Or at least, there’s something that you want from them but aren’t getting. I don’t know if you’re saying you’re being totally selfless, but it’s just not accurate to say you’re giving them everything and getting nothing in return. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more from those relationships. You have to be willing to recognize that your approach to getting what you want out of a relationship is not working, and it sounds like you see that.

      Just trying to suggest a practical, pragmatic look at what you’ve been doing. Trust me, I am not in the habit of quoting Dr. Phil, but I am reminded of his common question, “How’s that workin’ for ya?”

      Now, some of the more judgmental two cents’ worth:

      Some of the more critical responses to your situation seem to suggest that it’s also possible to be BOTH a doormat and a douchebag. Sometimes men who call themselves “nice guys” really are not so nice. Self-identifying as a “nice” person is a VERY inexact science, I think we could all agree. Like the movie says, everyone thinks he has great taste and a good sense of humor, but we can’t all have great taste and a good sense of humor. Same with niceness. I guarantee some of those BF’s driving those women into your arms are convinced that they’re nice guys, too, and they’re thinking to themselves, why are nice guys like me always stuck with the crying ones?

    • Anony ous again says:


      You can file this under the “take my advice, I’ll never use it”:

      This is going to sound counterintuitive and illogical, just putting it out there: maybe it would help to spend LESS time around women, especially if you’re going to be surrounded by women who you are attracted to but who see you as strictly a friend. I’m not saying shun women or end all friendships with them, just that maybe a little distance would be useful.

      You may be giving a particular impression to all those other women out there who see you with your women friends. You may be getting typecast within a larger social circle. Maybe you have become the go-to guy who watches the purses and coats at the club. (Yes everyone, I know, that’s a stereotype, it may not be literally true, but I think most people understand the basic concept.)

      As someone else suggested, if you’re hanging around your women friends hoping that being nice to them will lead to sex, you’ll be waiting a loooong time, in the meantime selling yourself short.

      Blunt, offensive, unfair, simplistic summary: you are surrounding yourself with cockblockers.

  61. I’m unclear what the specific objections are to my advice that can be summed up as, “Don’t demand more than you’re willing to give.” What is wrong with that?

    • Amanda: My problem is your advice is predicated on the belief that any guy who engages in PUA is engaging in something that is sexist and “toxic.” I think you’re wrong. So to solve this non-problem, you enter the conversation from the point of view as a feminist who has to come in and set things right by offering the “correct” way to pick up women. Even if that’s not what you meant, that’s how it came off.

      Frankly I don’t think women need to be protected from these socially awkward pick-up artists. Most women are smart enough to see through the bullshit. If they sleep with one of these guys, it’s probably because they wanted sex. Not because they were bamboozled.

      • But you haven’t presented an argument for why it’s not. I think it’s predicated on the notion that women are selling and men are buying, which is sexist. It also promotes a highly unethical approach to this “market”—again, I think dating is more fun when not treated like a market, but even if you are, you shouldn’t take a caveat emptor approach. It’s simply cruel.

        This advice is basically all stuff I learned myself and apply to myself. I had a very strict rule on equality. I’d never tell men to do something I’m not willing to do. It bothers me that everything I said is expected of women, especially the advice that you have to be genuinely attractive to attract, but causes so much kicking and screaming if asked of men.

      • Your comment that “to solve this non-problem, you enter the conversation” is patently wrong. She was asked to join the conversation because believe it or not, there are guys (like me) who believe that the entire PUA community is pure bullshit and would rather hear from women about what they want.

        • Blake: Pure bullshit? Is that way it has spawned books and a lecture circuit? I have never used pick up artistry and I’ve never attended anything of the sort. But even the most ardent critics have admitted that it works. So while you may not agree with it, you have to at least pretend not to be so naive as to think it’s not effective.

          Amanda: My best argument for why I don’t think it’s sexist is to point to Dave’s comment below. A good man by all accounts who isn’t given the time of the day in the romance department because he’s too nice. I can relate. Until college I was Dave. And when I stopped being such a pushover, I did much better with women. You call it sexist, I call it reality.

          Nice guys do not finish last. In the end, nice guys usually win. But until we get older, nice guys certainly do feel like they’re coming in last. While some do want those nice guys, the FACT is many go for the idiots. The bad boys who need fixing. The nice guys are there to heal broken hearts and provide a shoulder to cry on. So then the choice becomes, as Dave succinctly put it, change or stay alone. Is it sexist of Dave to change and want to be happy? To do what is proven to work? I hardly think so.

          • Pure bullshit? Is that way it has spawned books and a lecture circuit?

            Wait wait wait,—did you just suggest that because books and a lecture circuit exist, we can infer that something isn’t bullshit? You don’t really understand how con-artists work, do you?

            It probably makes sense to think of PUA techniques as placebos; they “work” insofar as the people who are using them expect them to work, and are able to do something they probably could have done anyway (ultimately, getting laid occasionally isn’t really that hard as long as you’re not self-sabatoging, and believing you’ve now got “tricks” or a “system” is a way people might overcome self-sabatoge). At the end of the day, most common human ailments heal themselves, and most people who keep trying get laid–the key to a good con-artist such as a snake-oil salesman or PUA “expert”, is to trick people into giving them credit when it finally happens.

        • She was asked to? By whom, and when?

          As I recall this whole conversation is predicated on the observation that feminists and feminism have never fffered any useful advice on men approaching women for sex. That was not necessarily a request for infrmation so much as a simple comment on the limitations and internal incoherence of feminist analysis on the subject.

          How silly is it to ask a woman like Amanda for advcie on picking up women? What experience of picking women up, what successes can she base any advice on? Amanda has and c annot have any understanding of what men face when they approach women. She really has nothing to offer here. She doesn’t even reference any experience of approaching men for sex, which would only be a start anyway.

          The men looking for advice here ought to be asking women like Norah Vincent, who have exactly the same experience as they do and understand the issue and alone are in a position to offer wrthwhile, effectual advice.

          • Hahaha. So only men and female reporters who go undercover as a man can offer dating advice on what women like? Amanda’s experience of being a woman who dates does not provide any relevant information on what women like or how women experience the dating process? How absurd to think that only people who have successfully picked up women know what women want, while dismissing what actual women say they want. It’s like you’re assuming women are incapable of self-awareness. To you assume men have no idea what they’re talking about when they describe what they and the men they know like in women? This is where that whole “treating women like people” thing comes in handy.

    • I think the problem is that PUA (and PUA-style treatment of women) has a visibly higher success rate (at least in the short-term). I think your advice actually results in a more realistic and stable relationship in the long-term, though–and we’re a culture focused on the short-term. It’s a gamble for men to treat women with respect (and vice-versa).

      Really, I think the problem is that both genders are somewhat attracted to shallowness and drama (if for no other reason because it’s how you get ahead in the social hierarchy). So a lot of “nice guys” don’t end up going for nice girls, or at least girls who actually value respectful guys–the “nice guys” are unwittingly playing the social hierarchy too.

  62. Quijiboh says:

    I’m not sure this article is as much condescending to men as it is condescending to people who are shy and/or socially awkward. The underlying message seems to be, if your life experiences and personality have not blessed you with the ability to talk to people easily or the knowledge of how to conduct yourself on a date, then it’s obviously because you are a horrible human being…

  63. Behold the condescending belief that feminists have all the answers for men when it comes to dating.

    Wasn’t this article just written? Isn’t this the exact same thing except meaner, more insulting and less interesting? And I’m sorry, but stop with the “getting laid honestly” crap. I don’t care if you use so-called tricks or gimmicks to get laid. Unless you’re a criminal who drugs someone or physically coerces them, it’s all fair game. If a woman sleeps with you because you claim to be a famous NASCAR driver or an astronaut, so be it. Next time pull out your phone and do a Google search before jumping in the sack. But please stop blaming guys for what Bill Belichick would call a “competitive advantage” when it comes to landing a woman.

    This is getting ridiculous!

    • Unless you’re a criminal who drugs someone or physically coerces them, it’s all fair game. If a woman sleeps with you because you claim to be a famous NASCAR driver or an astronaut, so be it. Next time pull out your phone and do a Google search before jumping in the sack.

      It is indeed true that all this stuff is perfectly legal. But I thought this was called the *good* men project.

      • djw: So you can’t be a “good man” if you have use pick up techniques to land a one night stand at the bar?? What other rules do you have that would disqualify men from being considered “good?”

        • What’s so controversial about the idea that dishonest men != good men? Isn’t honesty something you’d consider part and parcel of goodness? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

          • The whole cosmetics = lies analogy betrays a very confused attitude to the concept of reality. If a woman shaves her legs, then her legs are actually shaved. If she gets breast implants, then her breasts are actually larger.

            If you claim to be a NASCAR driver, you are not, for any accepted meaning of the term, a NASCAR driver.

            Do you see how that’s not the same thing?

            In fact Amanda clearly states taking care of your appearance, hitting the gym and so on as some of the advice she gives to men to *replace* the lies and manipulation. So you’re well off base in more ways than one here.

            • Honest question: If a man gave that same advice to a woman (hit the gym, take care of your appearance, etc) would the feminists not call him “an entitled asshole” or fat-phobic, or say he’s perpetuating a negative standrad of beauty, or something?

              I mean, I wish I could run this article gender-flipped and see what the reaction would be.

              • SecondBeach says:

                No, not if it was written like this article. If you tell a woman she can’t get a man (period) because she’s fat, you’re an entitled, fatphobic asshole. If you tell a woman she won’t get a well-muscled hard body (specifically) because she doesn’t work out herself, then you’re just laying down some hard truths. Word choice matters a lot here.

              • Chicka Bow Bow says:

                I don’t think you understood that point in the article. She didn’t say that men need to hit the gym and take care of their appearance in a vaccuum. She stated that a man who expects to attract a woman who hits the gym and takes care of HER appearance should do the same. It’s just about being realistic and fair. Don’t expect perfection in a partner and then expect them to be attracted to your beer gut, sweaty pits, and sloppy stained t-shirts. If you’re a chubby video game nerd boy who is looking for a chubby video game nerd girl, then you’re on the right track! But if you’re a chubby video game nerd who is looking for a tight-bodied, highly manicured, super sexy, long, lean bombshell, you’re being unrealistic and unfair. You can’t expect the women you meet to be so much more above physical attraction than you are yourself.

              • The key is that your expectations for your partner’s appearance and your efforts to improve your own appearance should line up. All Amanda is saying is that a guy who wants to date a woman who’s very physically attractive, he has three options: (1) find a way to make himself very physically attractive so that hot women will be interested in him (2) do a reality-check on his expectations and go for women who are roughly the same level of physical attractiveness as himself (3) come to terms with being on his own. All of that applies equally to women. The reason feminists don’t spend a lot of timing reminding women of options #1 and #2 is because women get reminded of this stuff all the time. Mass media and regular people are always telling women they need to become more physically attractive to get a man, and how they need to settle for men who are good-enough but don’t live up to their impossible ideals. In fact I believe there are many people saying those things in this thread, even! Feminists do spend time on reminding women of #3 though – that a person can be perfectly happy on their own, especially if the alternative is becoming someone you don’t want to be or settling for someone who doesn’t make you happy.

        • Is it really necessary to explain that “don’t lie to or mislead people in the service of your own ends” isn’t “good”?

          • Not all pick up techniques are dishonest. Some, like the aforementioned “freeze out” are just mind games used to turn the tables on women. Do you consider these tactics dishonest? I certainly don’t.

            I’ve had one night stands and not called someone back. Does that take away my “good man card” for all eternity? No, absolutely not. My point is your narrow definition of a good man is much too restrictive. As I understand it, the GMP is committed to creating a conversation about what makes a good man. You, on the other hand, are committed to narrowly applying your definition of a good man and excluding people who use pick up techniques in bars.

            • I was specifically responding to the following statement: “If a woman sleeps with you because you claim to be a famous NASCAR driver or an astronaut, so be it.” Perhaps I’m misreading you, but that sounds like an endorsement of deception to me. I’ve never made the claim that all “pick up tactics” are dishonest, nor do I have any interest in defending that particular claim.

              And as far as I know, there is no agency issuing “good man cards”, so there’s nothing to take away. I simply made what I thought was an utterly commonsensical statement–that lying with intention to manipulate in the service of your own ends doesn’t sound like the behavior of a “good man” to me (or good woman! or good person! or good space alien! the emphasis here is on “good”, not “men”). Is it really controversial that being a good person involves not lying and manipulating?

              • Have you ever told a woman she looks good when that wasn’t the case? Have you ever pretended to be interested in what someone was saying even though it was dreadfully boring? Have you ever doled out compliments you didn’t really mean because you were hoping to get lucky?

                If not, enjoy sainthood. If so, then you’re a normal human being who has lied and used manipulation. Can you honestly say you’ve never done something like that?

                My point is we all just need to relax. Men and women chase each other with varying intents. Some want something long term, others don’t. But I think it’s more than a little insulting for feminists to attempt to tell men there’s a “right way” to pick up women.

                • jfpbookworm says:

                  Are those actions really so common that not doing them constitutes “sainthood”?

                • It’s absolutely fascinating to me that you seem to think an elaborate, absurd lie (I’m a NASCAR driver!) is basically the same thing as normal, minor social acts of politeness. Yes, I’ve pretended boring people are more interesting than they are–but out of basic politeness, rather than an effort to trick them into sleeping with me. Becuase, you see, I have a radical, wacky approach to dating–I only try to date people who I think are actually interesting! I am polite to boring people, but I don’t try to date them. It never occurred to me that such a policy makes me a saint–I always throught it was a sane, normal thing to do.

                  • What about if you’re only looking for something short-term? Obviously it’s not a good policy to lie to someone if you’re looking for a long-term relationship. But if you’re looking for a one-night stand (which there is nothing wrong with by the way) then it’s a totally different story.

                    • I agree, there’s nothing inherently wrong with one-night stands–but why pursue them with fundamentally uninteresting people? Life’s too short.

                • Anonymous Male says:

                  There’s honesty, there are lies, and there’s a bit of a gray area in-between, which is what I would say in agreement with Daddy Files’ message.

                  I don’t think it’s a nasty deception to be on your best behavior, dress better than you ordinarily do, avoid talking about certain subjects, and generally put your best foot forward on a first date or when you go out to meet new people. Brutal, unflinching honesty and totally full disclosure in the first five minutes is a little unrealistic. (“Hi. I was abused as a child and my apartment is a total mess and I have herpes. Wanna dance?”)

                  And really, is acting more politely or sensitively than you usually do really a horrible crime?

  64. I was personally swept off my feet at a college party by a guy who noticed that I was a non-drinker (at the time, anyway), and without me asking, went to make me a cup of tea. He spent the whole night talking to me about books and making me feel comfortable, given that I knew very few people there at the party. Sure as hell I hit that later on – and still am hitting it to this day. He’s not in any way out of the ordinary: he makes a pretty middle-of-the-road salary, he only wears Target clothing, and he detests going into nightclubs. And that’s the way I like my men: with enough character and personality to not need the fancy trimmings.

    The whole “women don’t like nice guys” thing is hokum as a general rule. Plenty of us like dudes who are perfectly average looking, or introverted, or not particularly well-dressed. Some of these things don’t matter much to us because – shock and gasp – we are, ourselves, average, kinda introverted, and pretty lazy about fashion.

    So you have to cop to that. If you’re average, that’s sweet. Aim for finding an average partner. We totally exist and those who are zen with their averageness are at least confident enough to own it without hangups.

    I think there are plenty of men and women who are under the spell of illusory superiority: namely, they’re irrationally convinced that somehow, they are above average in terms of desirability, personality, intelligence, and thus deserve someone entirely outstanding. I think it’s the reason we have a lot of doofus guys and idiotic women complaining about a woman/man drought, or “women not knowing what they want”, or there being “no decent men available”. I think that for the most part, people who are reasonably honest about their own personal failings are pretty likely to be in the sort of romantic situation they want to be in.

  65. Johnny_B says:

    Geez, did we really need another smug, snarky diatribe from someone who clearly has nothing but contempt for guys, nice or otherwise? Who the hell keeps asking Marcotte to contribute to this site, or who approves her articles? Give it a rest and go away already.

  66. AnonymousDog says:

    Marcotte’s advice isn’t necessarily bad advice, but it’s not particularly good advice, either, and definitely not too original. I’ve seen the same kind of advice on a hundred different sites, all cribbed from the same few sources.

    Marcotte seems to have gone through the motions just to be able to say that a feminist HAS offered some dating advice to men.

    “Free advice is worth the price”.

  67. The entire topic of “Reinventing The Nice Guy” in terms of attracting a woman is what I have been doing since 2003, and what I took to a new level in 2008. After being in several relationships where I was abused by women, I came to the conclusion that it’s not true that women just want a good guy. Even though ever since high school, all I would hear from most women is that “Most guys are jerks, where are all the nice guys??”

    So, after finally realizing being nice isn’t enough, I started to try new ideas, and I also later ended up getting heavily into the “pick up” arts. I was the perfect ‘bait’ because I had been so hurt by women, that the message of “you must knock a woman’s self-esteem down otherwise she will abuse you” really felt like it was the absolute TRUTH. The problem though with this kind of advice is that it fails to tell men that any woman that IS abusive is the WRONG woman, and no tactic can change her real personality.

    The other problem is that it sews the seeds of mistrust in ALL women, and that means that men will not be able to genuinely LOVE women, which of course means the whole relationship is being built on a very shaky foundation and is destined to be doomed.

    Even the most understanding woman on earth is not going to want to live with a man who does not trust her at all, especially when she in fact IS totally trustworthy.

    The real answer is to do three things:
    1. Find a woman who DOES appreciate you and does not abuse you.

    2. Turn yourself into the absolute best version of you possible- not only on the surface but also as a person, including honing communication and listening skills and sense of humor and lifestyle and passions, etc..

    3. Learn how to approach women and convey the best elements of yourself quickly- because you only have a few moments to approach a woman who is a total stranger and get her to give you a chance.

    I like the idea of approaching women anywhere, because you never know where you might find the woman of your dreams.

    So, I took all of this and incorporated it into my teachings at

    In fact, a lot of my teachings are responsible for EVOLVING the pick up artist community into something less destructive and hopefully more beneficial for men and women. However, because of the greed of some people who have infiltrated the pick up artist community, they will pander to fuelling more fears of women, or they will pander to gross over-simplifications of how to attract women, all in the name of selling and making more money. This is another reason why I have nothing to do with the community of pick up artists, even though some of these teachers and students indeed are good guys.

  68. KeepItSimple says:

    Good guys, here’s a low-stress pick-up that worked on me a couple of months ago:

    “Hi, my name is ______. What’s your name? Would you like to dance with me?”

    The young man in question then proceeded to just dance with me and smile and make pleasant small talk. He was very mindful of personal space and body language (so I was never trapped in a corner) and you know what? It worked.


  1. […] Now, I’m gonna take this on another tangent-feminist dating advice… […]

  2. […] a shitty place where xy chromosome hating feminists tell guys how to get laid whilst conveniently ignoring that men are expected to be the […]

  3. […] hardly get past this one line about what guys need to do in order to get the girls. Summarizing advice by Amanda Marcotte, which she calls “smart and useful” (like she would know), she finishes with this: Find […]

  4. […] Yet, feminists consider dating advice and some of its related issues to be incredibly important.  Amanda Marcotte has written posts about the need for “non-sexist dating advice”.  Any feminist blog from Jezebel to No Seriously What About The Menz? has written a multitude of […]

  5. […] women are explicitly or de facto pro-game.  This includes well known feminists like Amanda Marcotte to Susan Walsh, owner of hooking up stupid.  These women can’t be invested in game like a […]

  6. Sources…

    […]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[…]…

  7. […] others. In 2004 she won the Koufax award for Best New Blog. In April she wrote an article titled Nice Guys: Finish First Without Pickup Gimmickry, in which she suggests ways to be effective with women without using pick-up […]

  8. […] beyond super basic stuff like “approach more women”.  I’d more agree with Amanda Marcotte, that “the PUA mentality is too toxic to be polished into something non-misogynist”, […]

  9. […] have talked quite a bit about dating here at The Good Men Project, from how to meet girls without resorting to pick-up gimmickry, to our recent almost-rant by a female wanting to pay for her own dates. The lesson in all of them […]

  10. […] I was reading some news sites today when I came over a link to this article (go read […]

  11. […] or sympathetic to feminism?  Why aren’t conspiracy theorists asking questions about why feminists such as Amanda Marcotte are getting involved with advice to pick up women?  Because conspiracy theorists wouldn’t know a real conspiracy if it bit them on the ass.  […]

  12. […] Marcotte wrote this: Clarisse is right to say feminists haven’t really responded to the plaintive cries of […]

  13. […] ethical dating advice for men who might otherwise be lured by pickup artistry. Amanda Marcotte responded with a smart, useful article which can be boiled down to three essential maxims: 1) women are your […]

  14. […] reason she was brought on Bloggingheads to debate the topic of PUAs was because she had written an advice piece at The Good Men Project for men who didn’t want to use PUA teachings to get women.  In it she […]

  15. […] pickup artistry, Amanda Marcotte took the bait and wrote an article at the Good Men Project: Nice Guys: Finish First Without Pickup Gimmickry. Clarisse is right to say feminists haven’t really responded to the plaintive cries of […]

  16. […] class of guy approaching you. Of course, it depends on what you consider classy. If you’re looking for The Situation, don’t change a […]

  17. […] ‘Be more like The Situation’ and other nonsexist dating tips — Amanda Marcotte — Th…. I really don’t understand the “situation” reference, but I thought this was pretty cool, especially because there seems to be this anxious uncertainty and low self-esteem among men stemming from empowered women and them not knowing how to interact with women who are self aware and assertive.  Ok, that’s just my interpretation maybe. Anyway, it’s a good article that I believe encourages healthy relationships. […]

  18. […] class of guy approaching you. Of course, it depends on what you consider classy. If you’re looking for The Situation, don’t change a […]

  19. […] has some real dating advice for those limited by only the tools of the pickup art […]

  20. […] at the Good Men Project. First up, Amanda Marcotte offers some advice for the shy and lovelorn: Nice Guys Finish First Without PUA Gimmickry. It’s solid […]

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