Tag Archives: dating advice

The Pickup Ruse: The Obvious Truth About Attraction

I make no secret about the fact that I consider the self-help industry to be largely bullshit.  That’s not to say that striving for personal improvement isn’t a worthwhile goal, and there is certainly no shame in seeking out sources that will help one achieve said improvement.  In fact, I’m a firm proponent that everyone should go out and find personal fulfillment and work towards better clarity, understanding, and all that great stuff that make a person a well-adjusted and psychologically healthy individual.  Be it yoga, video games, sports teams, fitness, mountain climbing, elaborate cooking escapades–if it floats your boat and leads to a better version of you, than, by all means, ride that wave home to shore.

The problem is that the self-help industry is something very different from just a resource for genuine self-improvement.  It’s a profit-driven marketing scheme, propagated by charlatans with a cult-like sense of self-importance, whose bottom line is to prey on people’s insecurities as a means to secure their own monetary success and celebrity status–where helping people overcome their actual problems is an afterthought, if it is given any real thought at all.

Noting the handful of (arguably) legit self-help trends that I’m sure some readers will be eager to point to as the exception to my condemnations above, I would hope that most of us can at least agree that what is commonly referred to as the pickup artist (PUA) community, largely operates as a racket.

PUA is the umbrella term for various seduction and attraction methods put forward by a loose-knit collection of self-styled experts in the field that claim to be able to help men get sex from women.  Now, those within these communities will undoubtedly disagree with my description here, and will want to claim how their “techniques” actually span a variety of confidence building and self-improvement exercises applicable to a wide range of a person’s life beyond just sex and seduction.  But in all honest, I dare anybody to point to a single legit PUA source whose underlying material isn’t about showing men how to get laid with a higher quantity of attractive women.  Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Couldn’t really find one, huh?  Ok, let’s continue then.

Books, seminars, workshops, blogs, podcasts–there is hardly a profitable venue the PUA market hasn’t reached.  The gurus delivering the message will almost always be decently attractive men themselves, who will always claim to have at some point been just as clueless about approaching women as the love-shy men currently seeking their advice.  The methods they are teaching are therefore tested, and street verified, with the transformation and testimonial of the now suave pickup artist himself as the ultimate proof that you, too, can reach this level of Casanova sexual prowess with the ladies.  These PUA gurus will offer samples of their services for free online, but to really get the full affect of their wisdom you will eventually need to commit to attending their infield training camps, the cost of which can range up in the thousands (yes, thousands!) of dollars.

I’ve never been much of a business man so I will foolishly distill down the basic message of all PUA methods, techniques, and skills, into two all-encompassing points:

  1.  Don’t be needy.
  2.  Play the odds.

The first point covers all the basics of not coming across as desperate, or fixating, or being too accommodating towards any one women.  And the second point emphasizes how in a world of varying sexual appetites, simply approaching enough women will statistically increase the likelihood in your favor that at least a few of them will be willing to interact with you, and possibly even have sex with you.

That’s it.  Those are all the tactics PUAs have to offer in a nutshell.  All the jargon, all the insider terminology, essentially falls under points 1 and 2 above.

Now I’m going to go one step further and actually tell you the key universal truth about attraction.  Are you ready?  There is nothing you can do to make someone attracted to you, if they weren’t already inclined to feel attracted to you.  In case you need it put more bluntly:  There is no trick, method, or approach you could ever learn or master that will make someone who is otherwise not attracted to you, suddenly want to have sex with you.

Oh sure, you could wave millions of dollars in a woman’s face that will entice her to pretend to be attracted to you.  Hell, the incentive of gaining riches could very easily make a number of straight men agree to fondle your genitalia, too.  But they still won’t be attracted to you; not really.  Not anymore then they were inclined to be when they first met you, and knew nothing about you.

If you need further convincing of the validity of this key universal truth of attraction, indulge me with this thought experiment.  Think of a person you are just not sexually attracted to, at all.  There doesn’t need to be anything physically wrong with them, and they could be a perfect lovely and decent human being in their own right; they’re just not your cup of tea as far as sexual attraction goes.  Now try to think of anything this person could ever do or say that would suddenly make you feel sexually attracted to them.  Can you think of anything?  No?  Exactly.

Pickup artists know that this is the truth, and it’s part of their long con.  They understand that it really doesn’t fucking matter what you say to a women, just that you approach her in the first place.  Because what do these PUA gurus say to the men who have spent 2-3 paychecks worth for their advice when they still end up striking out with a women under their tutelage?–“Don’t worry about it, man.  Just go on to the next one.”  Which is correct and good advice, but hardly worth the shitload of cash they had these men put in to receive it.  But men who lack experience with talking to women in the first place–let alone dating them–don’t know that.  They think there must me something more to it, like a secret code that can be deciphered.  But there isn’t.  No code, hence no cheat code; ergo, no shortcuts or tricks.

You will only be attractive to the women who find you attractive, and you will only find these women by talking to and approaching enough women in the first place.  And as long as you act like a decent enough human being, you will manage to keep the attraction of these women long enough that they may agree to have sex with you.  That’s it.  No book, or method, or lecture, or dishonestly edited “infield footage” will give you anymore insight than that.

There will be some number of readers who will nod along in agreement with everything I have written in this post about PUAs and their tactics, but will part with my unwillingness to outright attack the men they prey on for personal and financial gains.  They might say that if you are the sort of person who is so easily taken in by obvious grifters, you deserve little no sympathy for it.  If you are of this mindset, I can’t say anything to dissuade of it, but I sincerely cannot find it in me to go along with this line of thinking.

If you are the sort of person who takes advantage of another’s self-conscious personal flaws, and seeks to make a livelihood out of other people’s pains and loneliness, it is you who is the bad person, not those who were unfortunate enough to fall into your predatory sights.  And PUAs, like all these self-help guru charlatans, are essentially just predators who have found the venue by which to turn their predatory natures into a profitable market.  And they deserve the ire of any decent person who crosses their path for it, and they don’t deserve to have any of that ire deflected onto their victims; regardless of how gullible the latter group may seem in the grand scheme of things.

Modern Dating in a Nutshell…

We meet before seeing each other.

We talk before speaking a word.

We keep it casual, lest we look desperate.

We get desperate, signaling the end.

We value communication, but mind what we say.

To call is too forward, best not try it too soon.

Can’t text too often; don’t text too seldom.

Experience matters, but don’t shame aloud.

We complain about all the rules, but we judge if they’re not followed.

We lose interest and blame the other, before blaming ourselves.

We complain some more, lamenting our follies.

We go repeat the steps, knowing it will be different every time.

 

Taking a Plunge into the Male Mind

If you’re a woman, there is a decent chance that you have at least one completely platonic male friend, whom you use to probe as much information out off about the inner workings of the masculine psyche.  If you’re a guy, chances are that at least one of your platonic female friends has tried to probe you for information on how men think, or how men react to different things concerning their interactions with women.  For socially outgoing people, with a wide network of friends, the development of this dynamic is almost unavoidable.  So much so, that even for us men who are essentially borderline asocial hermits, we will (by some unexplainable means or another) know at least one woman in our small group of contacts who fits the description above.

I, too, have one such female friend.  We don’t actually talk much, but every once in a while I will receive an email, linking me to an article or story (usually authored by some perplexed young/youngish woman), trying to piece together the various factors that make up the heterosexual male mind.  And she always does this with the addendum of wanting my “honest thoughts” on the matter.  What I’ve learned from these exchanges is that there is apparently an entire market niche of educated, financially stable women, writing magazine articles and books trying to dissect how we men think as a gender (always in relation to our interactions with women), usually with the conclusion reached being (IMO) something between “too obvious to need be stated” and “there is no fucking way that any guy would react that way, ever. ” [I’m sure there must also be a market niche of books and magazines for men to better understand the female mind, but being an insensitive, unemotional male, I simply couldn’t be bothered to look into it, goddammit!]

Anyway, so my friend sends me an email titled “Things That Turn Men Off,” eager to hear my thoughts on the listed items.  I figure why keep such important information private, and that women are really reading these things to better understand the male mind, maybe they’d prefer to hear an unfiltered version of what an average guy has to say on the topic (Yes, in this scenario I qualify as the average guy, so I don’t want to hear any lip ’bout it).

The “turn offs” listed below are supposedly collected statements from men about what turned them off most about women (I should note that only the first two are listed in their respective order as they appear in the original list, the rest are my rankings by hilarity).

1.  “A women should always keep the bathroom door closed when she’s on the toilet.  I think it’s really disgusting to watch a woman on the toilet.  And don’t leave feminine pads and stuff around for the guy to look at, either.”

I’m already confused.  Is there some sort of trend or epidemic happening amongst women that compels them to take a crap with the bathroom door open?  I assume so, otherwise why on earth is this listed as the number one turn off?  That issue aside, the second part of the statement is just plain silly.  Look dude, pads and tampons aren’t going to kill you.  Yes, they’ve been in her vagina.  But so have you.  They haven’t touched anything you haven’t, is my point here.  And since your first-hand encounter wasn’t enough to turn you off, I don’t see how inanimate items could, especially if they still haven’t even been taken out of the packaging yet.  Stop being such a wuss about the whole thing, is what I’m essentially trying to say.

2.  “Jealousy is always a major turn off.  One time, my girl and I were out for a walk, then a long-haired blond walked past us.  She immediately accused me of staring at the blond.  Even though it turned out to be a guy.”

Yes, but were you staring or not?  (You’re avoiding the question, sir.)  Jealousy is annoying when it starts to feel like you’re being constantly put on trial over trivial things.  However, seeing our girlfriends get a bit jealous every once in a while (because we’re such hot studs that other girls can’t help but check us out), can also be a huge ego-boost.  [I assume plenty of women feel similarly about seeing their partners get just a bit jealous every now and then over their desirability to other men.]  So, I guess, the only part I would take issue with here is the absolutist usage of “always,” when there are obvious exceptions to be raised.

3. “I don’t like women who don’t have a job.  Or bad credit.  Or a crazy ex-boyfriend.  I like a women who is responsible.”

In what way does this stream of non sequiturs constitute one solid turn-off?  As to the points raised, let me ask you this Mr. Responsibility: what if the women can’t find a job on account of the poor economic trends that have been prevalent for the last decade, and as a means of increasing her employability she took out student loans in order to afford college, which incidentally put her in dept and hurt her credit score to the point that she was forced to remain in a bad relationship in lieu of her dire financial situation–and she is now picking up the pieces of her life and trying to move forward only to be slighted at every turn by people who dismiss her worth as a human being due to her past life grievances?  Why, in that context, you just look like an judgmentally shallow prick, don’t you?  I’m sorry, but I cannot accept the notion that most men (or people, in general) wouldn’t exercise a bit more nuanced thinking in this situation.

4. “I don’t like being humiliated in public.  If I said something wrong, you should tell me in private.”

But then how will you learn not to say stupid shit in public?  For instance, if you said something absurdly ridiculous, you’re not just embarrassing yourself, you are potentially embarrassing everybody who associates with you–especially the person that’s sleeping with you.  Don’t say stupid things, and you won’t get called out on it.  Or make a habit of reserving your intellectual gaffes to private conversations.  [That goes for you too, ladiesDon’t demand a guy to go along with a bullshit position you’ve taken if it’s demonstratively silly.  Accept the ridicule and move on.]

5. “My fear is that after marriage a women will cut off all her hair, gain weight, and stop putting out.”

That’s not a turn-off, it’s a preemptive marriage-phobia, easily cured through a dedication to lifelong bachelorhood.  People age, things change (physically and by order of priorities); you will age, you will change (physically and by order of priorities).  The only way to avoid having to go through this while being legally bound to another person, is to simply refuse to take the matrimonial plunge altogether.  It’s the 21st Century, no one will question your manhood for it (well, no one but your parents…and all your married friends.  But they’re all just jealous of the fact that you still get to be a free gazelle, lazily grazing on the fields as much as your heart desires.  Yup, that’s what it is).

6. “I don’t like it when the furniture keeps getting rearranged…”

I don’t even need to read the rest of it, because I finally found something I’m 100% in agreement with.  If it’s my shit, located in my home (which we don’t share), then please be so kind as to not mess with it.  I don’t care what it is, it ain’t yours to move in any way, shape, or form.  You want to give home decorating tips for my house, start paying my bills and we’ll talk; until then, mind your own damn business about my property.  [Are my past experiences leaking through on this one too much?]

There were more turn-offs listed (a total of 15!), but since many of them seem to be bringing up the same points over and over, I might as well end on a statement I actually agreed with. I did get something out of this list though.  We men are petty, we fear change, and sometimes have commitment issues; I get that.  But that’s no need to beat us over the head with it by compiling a whole list showcasing it.  In fact, doing that is kind of a turn off.