Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I kind of want someone to do the PUA thing to me. Just for the experience. But I realize that this is essentially a paradoxical wish, because I think part of the mythology is that the woman has to not know what's going on. (Nothing creepy about that...) Still, I'm curious what it would be like, and what my reactions to it would be. Maybe I've misjudged myself and in the face of True PUA Magic I'd just melt? I can't know unless I try.


You know what's an awesome feeling? Walking into a really podunk Denny's early in the morning under a guy's arm, and another girl under his other arm, with ten thousand pounds of swagger between you. Even if no one really notices or cares. Even if you didn't have sex! Just the feeling. Top of the goddamn world.

(I do not support "freaking the mundanes," but if someone has worked at Denny's for more than two weeks, they are not mundane and cannot be freaked by anything.)


I'm amazed that people are defending Mel Gibson. And I'm creeped right the fuck out that people can hear a tape of a man admitting he hit a woman and threatening to kill her, and immediately start thinking about what the woman is doing wrong.

The thing about "she's baiting him in this conversation just so she can tape him being crazy" is, most of the really nice people I know can't be baited into death threats. Maybe if you threatened their lives or their loved ones? Maybe. Definitely not just by being "too calm" and "saying just the things to work him up." It may be true that if you're nice to Mel Gibson then he doesn't hit you, but your real top-quality guys don't hit you whether you're nice or not.

Labrat has more.


  1. A friend of mine had PUA used on her once at a dinner with friends. She told the guy what school she'd gone to. The guy said, "[That school]? God. Everyone I ever met from [that school] is a complete moron."

    When she stared at him in surprise, his response was, "Go ahead, prove me wrong."

    She ignored him for the rest of dinner.

  2. I don't know what's worse, the PUA approach or the other approach that I've experienced. I once had a gentleman tell me in a club that he wanted to 'smash my back doors in.' Lovely.

    Clunky segway, but look, Science Says!

  3. Be sure to check out the last comment on that post, from a friend of mine in a psych grad program that I'm fairly certain focuses on gender. As difficult as it is to swallow I think he is right.

  4. I don't think PUA works if you're aware of it.


  5. I once had a guy approach my friend and me when we were in a bar, and he opened the set or whatever with one of those lame, non-threatening questions to get us talking to him (in the style of "so ladies, my friend and i were having this argument, you see...what do *YOU* think of toothbrushes?"). Amused, we let him continue. He went on to ask about 10 such questions. I think he never learned the next step. Then, he started asking us about our opinion on specific political issues. I'm pretty sure he had no idea whatsoever what he was doing.


  6. PUA is nothing special. Every guy you have been with had some elements of it. Just not all combined.

    A guy with two girls under his arms and a lot of swagger?
    Swagger = Status, Alphaman behavior
    two girls = preapproved by women

    Pickup is a language for seduction

  7. Jane, there's a lot about PUA that's pretty objectionable. Going up to someone you think is attractive and asking non-threatening questions in an attempt to start a conversation doesn't seem to be one of them, and doesn't seem to be particularly PUA to me. If it's a question he doesn't care about the answer to, it's a ploy, but that one was common way before PUA. In general, asking non-threatening questions is a really old way to get a conversation started, and better than monologues or threatening questions.

    I can certainly see why a dumb question like your toothbrushes example is an obvious ploy and would convince you he's a fool even if you didn't recognize it as one.

  8. Sarah, that was not a gentleman.

  9. Going up to someone you think is attractive and asking non-threatening questions in an attempt to start a conversation...doesn't seem to be particularly PUA to me.

    It is part of their teachings, though. I read about it in an excerpt of The Game. But as Mousieoo says, you're supposed to open with the question and then move on to other stuff (something like ignoring the object of your affections and talking only to her friends, or insulting the object of your affections so your own perceived value goes up, I forget).

    I can actually see how PUA would be very effective on certain kinds of women: specifically, young women with low self-esteem. And that, I think, is why pick-up artists claim that early-twentysomethings are the only women worth pursuing - it's not because they make better trophies, it's because if a PUA tried his bullshit on a 35 year old he'd get his ass handed back to him.

  10. Hershele OstropolerJuly 15, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    CG, the first time I heard about the whole insult thing, I thought "what a great way to tease out women with low self-esteem!" And it is, if, y'know, you don't mind looking like a predator.

  11. perversecowgirl, I'm sure you're right that a non-threating question is part of PUA teachings, it just doesn't seem specific to PUA to me, because it's such an old and common way of beginning a conversation. "What do you think of this weather?" is probably nearly as old as language, but no longer creates much discussion. I've seen a lot of internet advice that "Hello" is the best opening line, but I don't think when people say "Hello" that they got the idea from advice on the 'Net.

  12. And it is, if, y'know, you don't mind looking like a predator.

    If your entire seduction style revolves around picking out women whose self-esteeem is low, I don't think at that point you're merely LOOKING like a predator so much as ACTING like one...

  13. Eh, PUA has to be done with some lightness, deftness, and tact, after all, its presumed target is young women who are characterized by flightiness and frivolity, in an ADD-triggering club atmosphere. And most men come to PUA after such long dry spells that they don't care whether you see testing for submissiveness to traditional patriarchy as predatory. (It is, by feminist defintion.)

  14. That happened to me and a couple of female pals once...we're all nerds and were at a pub after a long lab day talking about science and our research. Some guy comes over and starts with the "nonthreatening" random questions (while we all look annoyed and ask ourselves "Who is this guy and why is he interrupting our conversation?" then moves on to "the neg" (at which point we recognized The Game) of "So what do you ladies have going for you besides your looks?" a) Addressing us as if we were a single generic person instead of 3 individuals, b) we're not model material so the left-handed compliment/neg rang false. We then proceeded to tell him, in great detail, our lists of accomplishments, studies, talents, awards, the whole CV-shebang, as it were. He left in a huff. We returned to our beers and geekery.

  15. Sarah - I know it's "Science Says," but personally, I happen to have minimal ass and maximal tummy so clearly I must be a genius.

    As for smashing your back doors in, I assume that kind of thing is just verbal abuse rather than even an attempted pickup, because Jesus, does that ever work?

    Jane - Haha, I've had that--the guy who uses a cheesy "if you could be any kind of horse, which would you be and why?" icebreaker, and after I play along, uses another icebreaker. Drives me nuts, and creates a situation where I couldn't "close" with him if I wanted to.

    Christian - Huh? The threesomes I've been in were arranged between pre-existing friends rather than as pickups, and a guy with two girls under his arms in the morning is not generally working on picking up another one.

    Kaija - You know a guy's a winner when he thinks a long list of accomplishments is a turn-off, if not an outright insult.

  16. "The threesomes I've been in were arranged between pre-existing friends rather than as pickups, and a guy with two girls under his arms in the morning is not generally working on picking up another one."

    Holly --

    Clearly the two girls under the arms were just inflatable props designed to help the guy pick up 'another' (real) woman. Kind of like an angler fish...

  17. Kaija, I love that story!

  18. Oh, goodness, my first comment made it sound like I have never encountered anyone other than the PUA and the verbally abusive.

    There are normal, polite men out there, that I've come across, I promise.

    In the words of Dylan Moran, 'I know a guy in France....'

    Kaija, I love your story too. x

  19. anon ~aaron; PUA works if the girls is aware of it, you make it mocking, self depreciating, hit her with every lame line, and make sure she knows, two things, you're kidding with the approach, and you're interested as hell in her.

    I mean you just can't come out and say; I want you to take me home, tie me to your bed, beat my ass with an evil stick, take me in to the bath tub, and piss in my face.

    ....and on the SECOND date....

  20. Prof Coldheart; So she proved him wrong then...

  21. Hershele OstropolerJuly 27, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    make sure she knows, two things, you're kidding with the approach, and you're interested as hell in her.
    I thought telling a woman you're interested is a sure way to be rejected. I mean, you don't need "game" to tell a woman you're interested.