Pick Up Artists(PUAs) my view

by [anonymous]4 min read11th Apr 201395 comments

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Personal Blog

The issue of PU(pick up) or PUAs(Pick up artists) has been discussed several times here and I often see objections against it. So I would like to present my view on it which is rather positive.

Disclaimer: I'm a male.

1. Why is PU hated so much?

 

It are usually women(correct me if I'm wrong) who object against PU and present a variety of reasons. As often when it concerns humans the presented reasons are rationalizations and the real causes of the antagonism is some deeper feeling that originates for entirely different reasons than the ones presented. I suspect this is also the case with PU. For the moment I will ignore the presented reasons some of which I will address later and instead focus on what I think is the real underlying cause.

The real reason that women have a problem with PU is that it empowers men and dis-empowers women. Allow me to explain.

Good looking women will have no problem attracting lots of interested males. Usually women do the choosing, while males compete for the attention. A big part of the power a woman has over her mate is the threat of withdrawing from him sexually and/or emotionally. It usually involves great effort for a man to find another woman, this was especially true in past times when people lived in small villages with very few unmarried attractive women. A woman on the other hand will not have much problems finding another male if she is good looking.

Even in modern society women usually still have more power in relationships because even though there is nowadays an abundance of women(if you live in a big city there are literally thousands of them available) most men are still limited in that they meet women mostly through their social circle.

 

What changed with PU?

Picture this, a PUA(call him P) is in a relationship with women W. Say he has enough skills that he will be able to get laid or start a relationship with 1 in 50 women he approaches. Now there is some kind of tension in his current relationship, W threatens to withdraw or W has done something that upset him and he is considering finishing the relationship on his part. Since he is a PUA he knows that if he goes out 3 nights a week approaching 10 women each night he will meet 60 women in two weeks and will get laid once or be able to start a new relationship for sure. If W knows her partner well enough she will know it too. Suddenly the power balance has shifted. I still believe that women in general tend to have more power but PU shifted this towards men. W will have to consider "If I withdraw he can find another woman in two weeks.", she clearly has lost bargaining power. P knows it too and will weigh if it is worth the hassle to remain in the relationship if he can find another woman very quickly. P has more power for being a PUA than he would have if he weren't.

 

If you followed this reasoning, can we expect women to like PU? Of course not, it is clear that woman have to dislike PU.

 

Yet the thing is I never see this argument presented when PU is criticized. Why not? Because it is a power struggle and in such every gain in power by one side is a loss of power on the other side. To bring up this point women would have to admit that what they really dislike is the loss of power.

 

2. PUAs depiction of women

 

One of the presented arguments against PU is that the depiction of women is often perceived as demeaning.

 

Quoting from  one comment:

http://lesswrong.com/lw/fmv/lw_women_submissions_on_misogyny/8qnn

> I think PUA memes are especially dangerous because they are half-truths, which makes them compelling and "sticky" - but that is an opinion, and I admit only passing familiarity with PUA memes which I've picked up from visiting their forums

 

I agree that a lot of those memes are half-truths or plain wrong, but some are correct. You also have to be careful with the source of the memes, there is a lot of nonsense written in forums. Yet if you look at the presentation of PU as done by Mystery in his writings and presented to an audience in shows like "The PU artist" I don't think there is anything there that really could be considered offensive.

Also, some depictions may be offensive, yet still true, consider:

>Humans are greedy.

 

Some people will consider this offensive.

 

Another quote from:

http://lesswrong.com/lw/fmv/lw_women_submissions_on_misogyny/8qnn

> You've got to show that you are assertive- even if it means being an asshole and playing on people's insecurities sometimes."...etc

I agree this is extremely offensive. Yet at the same time I suspect there is a grain of truth to it. The quote can equally be applied to women asking for a refund in a shop and it could be good advice depending on the context. How bad is that? We can't change the way the world works. Is it wrong to be an asshole if that will enable you to get a refund? Should we judge someone for being an asshole if it works for him?

 

3. PU as a skillset and activity

At the end it doesn't matter what PUAs write in forums but how they actually engage and interact with women in real life. And  most guys who write in forums don't actually practice PU. Any PUA who is disrespectful will not get very far in conquering a woman's heart, on the contrary the art of PU is in making the woman feel good, why would she stay with a man who doesn't make her feel good?

A point never mentioned much by criticizers is that actually PUAs are the ones who are often disrespected. Some have been killed for talking to the wrong woman, I've personally heard insults, was threatened by boyfriends(the women were alone, I didn't know they had a boyfriend until he showed up) and have to put up will all kind of rude behavior(hearing stuff like "I don't give a fuck about you", etc...)


4. Presented reasons against PU

 

PU is manipulation as exemplified in this quote:

http://lesswrong.com/lw/fmv/lw_women_submissions_on_misogyny/8qnn

> The above aside...I dunno. This statement feels like manipulation via false signalling, and I find that distasteful. I think that's mostly in the phrasing though, since there is nothing intrinsically wrong in wanting to be attractive.

 

There is a lot of truth to that, but isn't it also manipulation for women to wear make-up, high heels, fake breasts, painted hair, plastic surgery? Yet I seldom see the latter criticized. It is simply accepted, even encouraged.

Consider a webpage titled "10 good ways for charming a woman" and you can imagine comments(mostly from women) along the lines of: "Guys, stop the bullshit just be yourselves and let the woman like you for who you are."

Yet if it is about "10 good ways to prepare for the job interview" I usually don't read this kind of objections. On the contrary it is assumed that when going for an interview candidates will dress as well as they can, have polished their CVs and often waded through lists of common questions/problems and their solutions(speaking as a computer programmer here). Not doing so would be considered sloppy. It is rare to hear: "People, just go to the interview and present yourself as you are, if the company likes you it will take you."

 

EDIT: I'm still being throttled even when commenting on my own post. So I won't be able to address all the comments. Sorry, this is not something I can fix.

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It are usually women(correct me if I'm wrong) who object against PU and present a variety of reasons.

Oh come on. This is a ridiculously sensitive subject. That means it requires a lot of tact and even more carefulness. You aren't employing much of either. I could barely read past the first paragraphs because of the sloppy writing. This doesn't even make grammatical sense!

I also note that many males also object to PUA, citing many of the same slogans that females of similar social allegiance chant. This isn't a simple battle of the sexes, the signalling game has at least an extra layer of indirection established.

I generally encourage guys to study at least some PUA material. There are resources out there that can be used to add massive amounts of value to oneself and the people one interacts with. But I am opposed to any advocacy of PUA here that is not handled and presented at a level far above the standards required on most other subjects. Sloppy advocacy achieves nothing but creating more material for straw man construction by opponents.

6evand8yStrongly agreed. I'm downvoting the post for poor writing and lack of citation for non-trivial, controversial, and centrally relevant claims. (Also the fact that this topic seems highly unlikely to produce discussion of the sort I'd like to see more of, but I'd be willing to ignore that if the post seemed good enough otherwise and like it might have a significantly better than average chance.)

My view of PUA is distinctly different from yours. It is a much less happy view. Disclaimer: I'm an ex-PUA; I spent a few years in the game and quit after finding my current 4 year LTR. (nb I use PUA as a catchall abbreviation for both PUA and PU.)

1. Their objections are legitimate
PUA at it's core is a training regime to learn the martial art of social interaction backed up by 10,000 hours of practice. Just like in martial arts, a guy who's studied for a couple years will beat the shit out of someone who's never practiced. You might not win every argument / get every girl / impress every person, but you'll do way better than you should for your weight class.

The people I've talked to re: PUA don't have this nebulous fear of loss of power. They're afraid of you personally having a metaphorical loaded gun with you at all times, that you're free to use whenever you want, and there's no consequence when you use it. That's scary.

They also don't want other people going out and getting these social guns, even if it's a dominant strategy, because a future where everyone employs them is not a future they want to live in. I don't think their objections are disingenuous at all.

2. PUA... (read more)

PUA is true. It works.

"PU technique works" does not imply "PU theory is true". (That statement should not be construed as an argument for PU theory not being true either, by the way)

The people I've talked to re: PUA don't have this nebulous fear of loss of power. They're afraid of you personally having a metaphorical loaded gun with you at all times, that you're free to use whenever you want, and there's no consequence when you use it. That's scary.

I think that's really close but not quite on the mark

It's a memetic hazard of sorts. It presents a set of ideas which are true and encourage one set of behavior, while ignoring a second set of ideas which are also true and, if known, would modulate the first set of behaviors.

By analogy - "The Bell Curve" shows the reader (presumably) true data about population level differences in intelligence. It doesn't discuss the biological factors that go into creating intelligence. It doesn't show you the studies which more or less prove that the intelligence differences aren't genetic (no fault to the author - those studies were published several years later). It presents half the truth, and human biases fill ... (read more)

5Xachariah8yWe may be talking across from each other by using different terms. To me PUA is one very simply algorithm: attempt pickup -> analyze if it worked -> improve pickup routine -> goto start. PUA is the treating of relationships and dating as if it was a science or skillset instead of an interaction with individual human being. That's all there is to PUA. It's nothing but a learning algorithm used by a human and backed up by the data you collect. The statement that "PUA is true" means that humans can be modeled in relationships the same way that humans can be modeled economically for economics to be true. The statment "PUA works" means that this algorithm will get you success and it will give you increasing probabilities of success per attempt. There are some universally adopted techniques and a couple of common models, but that's to be expected when you've got thousands of people all doing the exact same thing repeatedly. In general, I'd say the vast majority of those models and techniques are accurate and efficacious. If you have specific objections to PUA half truths, feel free to throw them out. Saying that PUA is nothing but half truths feels as general as saying that economics is nothing but half truths because it can't model economic agents perfectly. I need specifics. As for "dark" techniques, I have no idea to what you refer. The darkness I was talking about in PUA is the the danger of dehumanizing others and treating women as commodities. You stop looking at women as a person and start looking at them as potential lay #32. There are no dark techniques that cause harm to the target; they're harmed because you have a one night stand and then never call them again (as their best case scenario). The darkness isn't a side effect; it's the direct effect. Achieving your goal by any other technique wouldn't spare them the pain.
2someonewrongonthenet8yYou're right. I'm referring to PUA as in this memeplex [http://www.pick-up-artist-forum.com/terms-of-importance-great-for-new-members-vt3077.html]
0Xachariah8yThat's a list of lingo the people who do that use. I'm missing your objections, unless you just hate lingo.
2someonewrongonthenet8yIt's the conclusions that people draw,as opposed to the general experimental method that you outlined
3gwern8yWhat studies are those?
6someonewrongonthenet8yAfrican Americans are almost all mixed race, so it is possible to look at black IQ as a function of European heritage rather than social white-black categorization. There have been several such studies done, and most of them are finding no significant correlation. Percent of European heritage can be measured via direct genetic methods, via a proxy such as blood groups, or via a family history questionnaire. What does make a difference in intelligence in socially biracial children is the social racial category of the mother - indicating to me that after you correct for socioeconomic factors much the difference is mostly due to maternal factors in the womb. Unhealthy mothers give birth to low-IQ babies, and this can carry over generations. Their is also a weak correlation with skin color. I think the fact that outward indicators of ancestry like skin color seem to matter, whereas invisible indicators like alleles and blood type do not matter much clearly points to the "racism" hypothesis. Here is a review [http://books.google.com/books?id=Ywb7r1oOxJYC&dq=black+intelligence+percent+european&lr=&source=gbs_navlinks_s] of literature book to get you started if you want to research this yoruself. The preview is free. Begin on page 89, under "Studies that directly Assess Heritability" I'm going to start a blog this summer and go over this in more detail later. I'll send a link your way when I do.
8gwern8yI was under the impression [http://humanvarieties.org/2013/03/29/cryptic-admixture-mixed-race-siblings-social-outcomes/] that no direct genetic measures had been done and that Murray's attempt to organize such a study had failed to find any support. I'm troubled that this is from 1998, drawing on even earlier research; this is prehistoric in terms of direct genetic work. I'm also troubled that the relevant chapter is written by Nisbett, who lost a great deal of credibility with me by endorsing a flagrantly misleading summary of dual n-back research (which of course fit his environmentalist meliorist leanings...). Regardless, in Nisbett's summary they all sound quite questionable (and elsewhere too [http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Race_and_intelligence#Racial_admixture]), not all positive for the pure environmentalist position, and nothing like what a modern study using sequencing or at least SNPs ought to be able to do. So to go back to your original comment: I don't think those studies come anywhere near 'proving' anything; and almost everything cited was published before 1994, as a read through your specified chapter and its bibliography shows, so your claim about timing doesn't seem to be true either.
2someonewrongonthenet8yTo be honest I just linked the first review of lit I found, since he mentioned many of the experiments I had on mind. Most of what I said was cached from research I did back in high school, when I took an interest in this question. I was having trouble locating the original articles - I know they are out there because I read them several years ago - so I had to link the review. Still... You aren't convinced by the finding that black GIs and white GIs children with white British women had no significant iq gap? It seems you've read everything I have on the topic, and the fact that you aren't convinced by that is making me wonder if I'm missing something...what's the alternative explanation? If memory serves, that's really the one that first convinced me of the environmental conclusion - prior to reading that I was actually slowly edging towards the genetic conclusion, but after reading that I settled on mostly maternal factors in the womb. The only caveat to the GI study is that GI's need to be above a certain IQ to serve - but unless that threshold was set rather high, I don't think it would have eliminated the gap.
5gwern8yYou mean the much-debated Eyferth German study? Well, I'll put it this way [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyferth_study#.22Hereditarians.22]: I'll agree to believe that that finding proves that the black-white IQ gap has nothing to do with genetics, if you'll agree to believe that it proves women are genetically inferior to men.
4someonewrongonthenet8yI see... I've retracted my statement, then - i was too confident, now I'm unsure again. This article played a role in convincing me as well - http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ339204&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ339204 [http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ339204&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ339204] It's an adoption study, but that wasn't what mattered - what mattered was that the mixed race children and the black children raised in white families didn't show a significant difference. Also, this - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289602000806 [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289602000806]They found no black-white verbal differences for completely novel words, but significant differences for tasks which require prior word knowledge. Prior knowledge did, however, predict performance within racial groups. comments?

comments?

I don't know about that last one, so I'll just make a general comment here since you seem to be planning to spend more time on this:

The IQ wars are a rabbit hole you can easily dive down. The literature is vast, spans all sorts of groups, all sorts of designs, from test validities to sampling to statistical regression vs causal inference to forms of bias; every point is hotly debated, the ways in which studies can be validly critiqued are an education in how to read papers and look for how they are weak or make jumps or some of the data just looks wrong, and you'll learn every technical requirement and premise and methodological limitation because the opponents of that particular result will be sure to bring them up if it'll at all help their case.

In this respect, it's a lot like the feuds in biblical criticism over issues like whether Jesus existed, or the long philosophical debate over whether God exists. Similarly there's an incredible amount of material to cover, by some really smart people (what did geeks do before science and modernity? well, for the most part, they seem to have done theology; consider how much time and effort Newton reportedly spent on alchemy an... (read more)

9[anonymous]8yThe principle in this comment (How to look for things that really are not worth thinking about too much because it is just not worth it) seems universal enough, to be worth a discussion post on its own.
2gwern8yI think it's probably too obvious to anyone who has read other posts like on value of information.
2[anonymous]8yWell, what about the choice of whom to have children with [http://squid314.livejournal.com/346391.html]? :-)
2gwern8yNot really. The many positive correlations of IQ exist regardless of one's opinions on the exact causes of things like the black-white IQ gap, and those can justify the choice. If it's heritable through non-genetic factors, like womb environment (or more unusual genetics like epigenetics), then you could still seek out an intelligent mate to have kids with under the logic that you'll then have more intelligent kids. Or if it was not heritable, you might do so anyway because you'll be more compatible with them, or they'll be more competent at raising kids, or they'll earn more in the long-run etc.
0[anonymous]8yYes, but it would in principle be a less important factor than if it was heritable. (But the difference is likely so small as to be very unlikely to matter in practice, hence the smiley at the end of my comment.)
1gwern8yI'm not sure about that. We already observe the correlations and consequences of IQ. They need an explanation, but what needs an explanation is already known; a choice of explanation doesn't retroactively change the observations to be of a smaller or lesser magnitude, does it? (If Mercury is observed to be 1 degree off predicted by Newton, and we finally choose relativity's space warping as the explanation, we don't then go back and say 'we chose relativity therefore now we know the observations was actually 5 degrees off our predictions!' The fact remained the same, Mercury didn't move; it all adds up to normality.) We can say exactly that if your parents have IQ of X points the kid will average complicated-formula IQ points. If the causal factor runs through epigenetics rather than genetics, say, what does that actually change? Since we're not discussing an exotic intervention with tailored epigenetic viruses or trying out prototype artificial wombs which might affect the actual causal pathway, just picking a mate where whichever causal pathway it is, it is active. (I spent yesterday watching PGM [https://www.coursera.org/course/pgm] videos so I'm wondering how to formulate this as a Bayesian network and d-separation problem... Hm.)
-2[anonymous]8yDo we?
2gwern8yPretty much. This falls out of the heritability research. One parent with IQ X, another with IQ Y, a known heritability of Z%, keep the environment constant, and some formulas later you have your probability distribution for the kid's IQ.
0[anonymous]8yOkay -- in that case, I agree that if we already know the value of Z then why exactly it has that value isn't relevant.
2someonewrongonthenet8yI currently believe that "there is insufficient evidence to show that the differences are genetic" but as you can probably tell from my unintentional misuse of the word "prove", I also currently "alieve" the positive claim that "the differences aren't genetic". Said alief has decreased, since you just falsified some of the studies on which it was pinned and have clearly gone further down this rabbit hole than I. If you remove the word "prove" from the original statement though - I still do think that people who make the positive claim that the differences are genetic with high confidence are overlooking a lot of important findings. Well, I want to start a blog which talks about philosophy and science-y stuff that I happen to know in a fun, informative, and well cited way - more or less similar to the kind of thing you've got going. I already spend a lot of time researching things that have no impact on my life because it's fun, and I might as well find a way to make something productive out of it. This topic is one of the topics i know more than the average person about, and my plan was to collate the stuff I'd already read in high school and make a summary of it. Relatively speaking, I'm not really that interested in this topic anymore, although people on lw expressing strong opinions on the matter has made me ponder it again. I first took an interest in this topic in high school because I used to enjoy knocking down people's arguments using evidence, and this happened to be one of my targets (not to worry - I don't do that anymore. I'm three whole years wiser now and my prefrontal cortex is growing as we speak!). Also, I am a racial minority, which added to the intrigue slightly - not that the data have any effect on me personally, but when I was younger I felt a bit more group affiliation than I do now. Edit: By the way, you probably know this, but the asian model minority effects apply to african immigrants too. Just thought I'd mention that because you m
6gwern8yYes, but are you sure you really want to discuss it in any detail? I hope you don't take this as too insulting, but I think my comments have pointed out that you don't have a great command of the IQ literature; if you try to discuss it, you may embarrass yourself when someone refutes you - or much worse, leave your readers with the impression they understand the subject better than they do. (Think of all the people who read Gould's Mismeasure of Man or Shalizi's "g, a Statistical Myth" and went away convinced that now they understand the topic, g has been debunked by an expert, and probably anyone who brings it up is either sadly ignorant or some sort of a racist/fascist/eugenicist.) I knew that African immigrants had high IQs but as far as I had read that was a selection effect; I hadn't heard anything about their subsequent success or failure (either in the rest of their lives or of their descendants). It would be interesting if they did as well as East Asian immigrants.
0someonewrongonthenet8yI'm not insulted because I do see that the concern is coming from a good place, but I don't think it's a good idea to let fear of embarrassment be a factor in my behavior. There is nothing embarrassing about having been wrong about a complex topic - If someone refutes me I can just retract my statements, and I would have learned something in the process, which would be a gain. If I was concerned about the social costs of being wrong, I'd never say anything...plus, being concerned about the social consts of being wrong tends to make a person unwilling to admit when it has happened, which is yet worse. As for the second concern...that's a valid one. However, I wouldn't generalize too much from offhand comments I've made in an online forum on a thread discussing a completely tangential topic (PUA). On a forum, I feel relatively free to make uncited claims and to write things without putting too much thought into them - it's just a fun activity, and something I have to actively avoid sinking time into. If this thread was specifically about race and IQ, or if I was making a new post, I might have been more careful, but with the setting as it is I considered this a casual side conversation between us rather than a platform in which I'm responsible for people's learning. If I was writing with the purpose of informing someone (rather than having an entertaining discussion, as we are now) I would be much more scrupulous about what I write. Of course, you have no reason to believe that this is true, so you are still correct to caution me about misleading people. It is due to a selection effect. But the same applies to any group of immigrants, so there is no reason to be particularly impressed by asian "model minorities" - they are "model" because they are immigrants. I think the general trend for descendants is that the second generation is the most highly educated, and then there is a steady downwards trend for all immigrant groups except European immigrants. If you
0gwern8yRight; there's issues of confirmation bias, justification bias, and so on. I'm also interested in the possible backfire effect [http://www.gwern.net/backfire-effect] in which weak contrary arguments 'backfire' as one then becomes even more convinced of one's position because one has knocked down the criticism (and what sort of comments would one get on inflammatory topics on one's blog? generally from uninformed people...) I'm more impressed by their greater success in what is, as far as I know, later generations.
4roland8ySo does reading about evolutionary psychology. The same is true for certain history books.
4Xachariah8yNo doubt, and I wouldn't give up my knowledge of either one for the world. Then again if I lived in a magical world, I'd probably be the guy to do half a dozen dark rituals as soon as I'm given a wand.
1zslastman8yYou're seriously going to just tease us and leave it at that? Which history books??
0RichardKennaway8yEverything you do changes who you are.
0RichardKennaway8yCorollary: Every decision you make is a decision about who you want to be.
0roland8yAdded to my quotes file.

Maybe "Mystery" is different from what's in the forums - my first impression was from the forums. I can't generalize to everyone who uses the label PUA - it's possible that some sub-strains are decent.

Should we judge someone for being an asshole if it works for him?

Well, yes! Behaviors resulting from being an asshole are terminally bad. Let's take a step back - a set of ideas has led you to the conclusion that it is okay to be an asshole. Don't you think it is time to re-evaluate?

I'll make my point better, since we're doing a separate post. There is nothing wrong with the idea of optimizing attractiveness, the problem is the specific community of "PUA", which I'm assuming is well represented by the most popular forum, although I may be mistaken.

Check out the jargon on that forum.

AMOG— 1. noun [alpha male of the group or alpha male other guy]: a socially comfortable male who competes with a pickup artist for a woman or interferes with a pickup artist's game. Origin: 01d_Dog. 2. verb: to remove a potential male competitor—through physical, verbal, or psychological tactics—from a group of women. Also: outalpha. Origin: Tyler Durden.

I've seen that type of g... (read more)

To be fair, this is mostly a problem with the jargon, which has mostly been chosen for effect. The jargon phrases actually give little or no indication of how these practices actually work in the field. They are far less nefarious than they appear at first glance:

AMOG ...

The preferred AMOG tactic for experienced PUAs is... you guessed it, to befriend the Other Guy since this helps you get an 'in' with the group! However, attempts at befriending are not always successful; sometimes the AMOG really is trying to block or compete with you. That's when something that could be described as "subtle status putdowns" might happen - but by that time, the situation has been antagonized already. Also, PUAs generally strive for effectiveness and do not like wasting effort on a bad "set" - but you can't eject without putting in some effort to show that you will stand up for yourself in a status contest.

BF DESTROYER

Here's how "BF destroyers" work: they are subtle ways of figuring out whether your "target" is reasonably happy in her relationship with her bf. If it turns out that she's not that happy, what's wrong with making an attempt at a r... (read more)

I think the downvotes are just expressing disagreement - which is a bit unfortunate, since the entire point of this thread is to tackle the PUA / misogyny issues that have been circulating.

this is mostly a problem with the jargon, which has mostly been chosen for effect.

Maybe. Let's explore the non-jargon parts. This is first thing upon entering the forum:

How To Approach Any Woman With Zero Chance Of Rejection... This Works EVERY Time! How To Make Out With Any Woman You Want In 16 Minutes Or Less The Secret To Developing Emotional Addiction In Women (That Makes Them Loyal And Obedient)

So, all women are the same, you can pressure them to kiss you in <15min, and the goal is obedience? This looks like a scam preying upon the socially awkward. OK, maybe that's just the web admin, let's move on...

What's up in the pua lounge?

I can't help but feel too cynical now when it comes to relationships and women in general. After reading PUA material and from personal experience, i realise that if you treat a woman nice or show vulnerability then it will later stab you in the back, even with girls who have got their heads screwed on and come across as being generally compassionate.

... (read more)
4bogus8yThat's an ad banner. I don't think it makes much sense to treat these claims as coming from the seduction community, and most PUAs would not endorse them at all. What's actually striking here is that PUA is effective enough (especially for socially awkward users who manage to acquire some focused social skills) that a banner ad can make such outlandish claims and not look wildly out of place on the site. Note that the forum poster is citing personal experience along with PUA theory as a reason for his cynicism. And there is a lot of similarly-flavored cynicism which does not reference PUA memes at all, and has an even bitterer outlook on women and relationships. Look into the so-called "Nice Guy" phenomenon (which PUAs strongly object to, by the way), the "Men's Rights" meme cluster and whatnot. PUA is a marked improvement on these meme clusters, while still being epistemically consistent with what we know about human social behavior. The root problem here is that 'cynicism' is a problematic concept [http://hanson.gmu.edu/metacynic.html], since it conflates (1) epistemic beliefs and (2) markedly negative, scornful and complaining attitudes. It's not clear at all that most aspiring PUAs share such bad attitudes, and PUA 'inner game' practices would tend to avoid and discourage them, if only because they're markedly unattractive. No, it's a bit messier than that. Anyway, it's a rare occurrence when one is actually able to "take over" from an existing relationship: the most common outcome is simply ejecting from the approach. Many posters make this abundantly clear in the linked forum thread. (In fact, I couldn't even find anything clearly wrong with that thread, although I only looked at the first page.) A better reason for being familiar with "BF destroyers" is that, as it turns out, women sometimes blurt out the "boyfriend" word as a kind of silly "test" or hoop to jump through, regardless of their actual relationship status.

First question - do the tactics work?

If no, that's a decent thing to point out to deter men from these tactics.

If the tactics work, men will use them. If you want to call winning (instrumental rationality) being an asshole, that's your prerogative. To a large extent, the fact that such tactics win offends my sensibilities, I find the tactics annoying, and I would encourage those in a position to change the outcome to make those tactics lose.

But as long as those choosing the winners choose "assholes", I find it hard to hold "being an asshole" against someone.

First question - do the tactics work?

An at-least-equally-first question is whether the tactics leave everyone involved worse off (on net, aggregated over agents).

But as long as those choosing the winners choose "assholes", I find it hard to hold "being an asshole" against someone.

That a tactic benefits the user in the immediate interaction isn't the only relevant factor for an agent in a social network.

More specifically in this case: if agent A taking action X leaves my community worse off, then it's reasonable for me to object to A doing X, even if X leaves A better off. It's also reasonable for me to act so as to reduce the net benefit to A (e.g., by applying social sanctions), even if I'm not directly affected by X.

This is as true where X is a mating tactic as when X is a financial investment strategy or a waste disposal technique.

So for my part, I don't find it hard to hold "being an asshole" against people, even when "being an asshole" benefits them, even if I'm not directly affected by their "being an asshole". Indeed, I often consider holding "being an asshole" against people to be an important act of social hygiene, and resent members of my community who refuse to perform it themselves.

4buybuydandavis8yWorse off, according to who? I'll start with the assumption that the methods work to get and hold a woman's interest, otherwise there's nothing to discuss. If the methods only repel women, no one has an interest in them. If women have a marginal preference for a man when he engages in PUA behavior over not, then according to them, the behaviors are better. Preference is revealed by choice, not rationalization and ideological piffle. And many women don't agree with the ideological piffle, and laugh it off with a snort. Works the for woman and the man involved, doesn't work for you. Since it's their lives, and they're most affected by the choice, I calculate an overwhelming net gain. A great many people resent others who don't share and enforce their values. That's one of the defining characteristics of the moral outlook. Me, I resent buttinskis who harangue and berate others "for their own good", and presume that everyone shares their values, as if they're commandments from the Universe. We all have our crosses to bear.
4TheOtherDave8yIn all cases where the knock-on affects of their interaction don't significantly affect anyone else, I agree completely. The same thing is true of people tossing their trash in the street, making investment strategies, grazing their sheep in the commons, etc. In cases where the knock-on affects of their interaction significantly affect others, that's less clear. That's why I endorse starting from the question of whether the tactics leave everyone involved worse off. Sometimes other people matter. Sure, that's true. Also, a great many people resent others whose actions have negative externalities, and seek to minimize those actions, and resent others who don't seek to minimize those actions. That's one of the defining characteristics of social behavior. Is the implication that that noun phrase describes me intentional or accidental? Either way, it's false.
1buybuydandavis8yEverything affects everything else. Butterfly wings, and all that. Actions don't come with minus signs on them. A person may evaluate an action according to his values as negative. Negative, relative to what? Simply translating all values by a constant can change whether a particular value is negative or not. And if negative is relative to a maximal, as defined by the person, then everything deviating from his preferences is a negative externality. If he is committed to punishing those who deviate from his maximal, and punishing those who fail to likewise punish, he's committed to an endless war until he's converted the entire world to his ideology. Punish, punish, punish, until it's One Mind, One Will. I find such people a social menace. That's the implication of a punishing utilitarian, which you seemed to be from your earlier comments. Your comment below seems to imply otherwise. Now you're ok with the PUA and his lady friend living their PUA lives, as long as they don't significantly affect other people's lives. So am I. Woman who aren't attracted to men who employ PUA tactics won't be. I presume the PUA folks at least attempt to avoid such women, and if they don't they should. Sounds about the best we can do - there is some necessary friction to the discovery process of who matches who. But it's inconvenient for you as a third party to the mating dance? Maybe so. But most people put quite a high priority on finding a suitable mate. Do you find your inconvenience relatively "significant"?
2TheOtherDave8yI'm not sure I understood this. You seem to be suggesting that the whole enterprise of taking action based on expected-value calculations is to be rejected because of the existence of chaotic uncertainty. If so, I simply disagree. Sure, butterfly wings might cause hurricanes, but that's not the way to bet. If I've misunderstood you, I apologize. If you are willing to try to express yourself differently, I'll try again to understand That's true. Here, again, I'm not sure I follow you. I perform an expected value calculation on an act, and conclude the expected value of the act is negative based on my values. Another way of saying that is that the expected value of the world after that act is performed is lower than its expected value if that act is not performed. Sure. Punishing everyone who behaves imperfectly until I've converted the entire world is a really bad strategy; it just doesn't work, as has been demonstrated many many times. 100% agreed. Sure, I agree. Did I? My goodness. Well, I'm glad we cleared up that misunderstanding. Not only that, they can even significantly affect other people's lives, as long as they don't leave everyone involved worse off (on net, aggregated over agents). Which is why I started out by talking about checking for that condition in the first place. Which is why I disagree with the implications of "Now" in your sentence. Great. glad we agree. Nope, not for any ordinary understanding of "inconvenient.". And, consequently, in cases where the expected value of the "mating dance" is that two people find suitable mates and I am inconvenienced, the result of asking whether the "mating dance" leaves everyone involved worse off (on net, aggregated over agents) is that I conclude that no, it doesn't. I infer from your comments thus far that you've decided that I'm some kind of awful moralist buttinski who will only ever answer the question by concluding that yes, it does, and therefore all "mating dances" must be stopped, or at
3buybuydandavis8yI think we can deal with the "net" business quickly. Jack and Joe both desire Jill. Jack perceives that he can win Jill's affections in competition with Joe, Jill would be just as happy with Joe, but that Joe would be happier than himself (Jack) with Jill. The "net maximum" would be Jill with Joe. Do you expect Jack to bow out and leave Jill to Jack? Will you punish him if he doesn't? Will you punish those who fail to punish Jack? It seems from what you have said that your answers to this would be yes, yes, yes, and you're back to being a punishing utilitarian. My answers are no, no, no. I don't expect Jack to sacrifice his happiness for Joe.
0TheOtherDave8yAre you positing a non-iterated affection competition, here? One-shot, there's one girl, two guys, end of story, no further interactions, nothing else of value to be exchanged? If so, then I certainly agree with you. In such a constrained universe, social behavior is useless. If not, then depending on the details of what further interactions are likely, a strategy with a higher expected value for Jack probably exists which would involve Jack bowing out. Do I expect Jack to adopt that strategy spontaneously? I dunno, it depends on how smart Jack is, and what information he has. Most humans won't, though, so I don't expect it of Jack either. I expect humans to defect on the prisoner's dilemma, also. Will I punish him if he doesn't? Will I punish those who fail to punish Jack? Almost undoubtedly not. Ordinarily, the opportunity costs Jack incurs by pursuing a suboptimal strategy will be far outweighed by the costs I incur by a strategy of punishing people for being suboptimal. You could probably construct a scenario in which I would, though I expect it would be contrived. No, neither do I.
2TheOtherDave8yIn practice, worse off according to the person answering the question, as is typically true when we ask questions of people, including ourselves. But, OK, if it's important for some reason to be more rigorous here: consider the set A of agents (A1..An) who have perspectives I consider salient according to which people can be worse or better off due to the use of a particular tactic. The expected net value difference, aggregated over the entire system, of using that tactic will be calculated differently by each agent in A, for many different reasons. There are three possibilities, though: (1) All agents in A agree that the expected net value difference is positive. (2) All agents in A agree that the expected net value difference is negative. (3) Agents in A disagree about the sign of the expected net value difference. I agree that whether a tactic leaves everyone involved worse off is tricky to determine in case 3, and that more generally sometimes the answer to "do the tactics leave everyone involved worse off?" is "I don't know; it's complicated," especially if my set A has a lot of agents in it. The existence of cases 1 and 2 can still make it worthwhile to ask the question.
3buybuydandavis8yGiven that this is a matter of competition for a scarce resource - the time, attention, and affection of a person - 1 and 2 are vanishingly small cases when dealing with generally desirable mates.
2TheOtherDave8y(blink) The only way this seems plausible to me is if you're interpreting "expected net value difference, aggregated over the entire system, of using that tactic, as evaluated by agent A" as being roughly equivalent to "expected net value difference to A of that tactic being used, as evaluated by A." That is, if you are assuming an evaluation something like "There's three of us, we all want the same girl, this tactic works, so either of you two losers using this tactic is BAD, but me using this tactic is GOOD." Which, I agree, if everyone's evaluating it that way, 1 and 2 are highly unlikely. OTOH, if everyone is actually calculating the expected net value difference, aggregated over the entire system, of using that tactic, I would expect a very different result in most cases.... something more like "There's three of us, we all want the same girl, this tactic works, so one of us using this tactic is better than none of us doing so, and probably better than all three of us wasting resources using it at once if we can agree on some other way of deciding which of us gets to use it, like drawing straws, or letting Sam have her because past experience shows he's better at this than we are and will win anyway, or some other method." But I would agree that most people don't actually do that in practice.
3someonewrongonthenet8yI honestly don't know whether or not they (as in AMOG, BF Destroyer, Bitch Shield, and other "immoral" tactics) work in general. I don't think they do...at least, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't work on the type of woman I'd be interested in, so they are useless to me anyway regardless of moral qualms. Perhaps, for someone with a different set of goals working with a different demographic, these things would work. If I had to guess, I bet that a lot of the more morally acceptable tactics the PUA community teaches - appropriate eye contact, body language, "kino" (non-creepy use of touch), playful banter - do increase attractiveness, and that the immoral ones don't, but when you mix everything together you net a total gain in attractiveness. I don't find it hard at all. Corrupt politicians and businessmen "win" all the time, but I find that it is shockingly easy to dislike them. But it doesn't really matter whether or not one "holds things" against anyone...all that matters in the end is the decision about whether the behavior should be encouraged, or not. Also, it's a little odd to say that women are choosing the "winners". It doesn't have to be a competition, and being "chosen" by a women isn't necessarily "winning"...or at least, it certainly isn't one of my terminal goals.
9buybuydandavis8yI used to think things like that too. The older I got, the less I believed it. We grow up being taught certain idealizations about how people should be. They aren't like that. I don't like them either. But I blame the people who vote for them. They're the true problem.
5someonewrongonthenet8yIf you are saying you know better because you are older, I can't argue with that because I am young. But as long as we are making arguments from experience, I've got to say, I think my girlfriend is like that. At the very least, I find that some of the population fit some of the idealizations of how people should be - although very few people fit them all. And as long as we are speaking from experience, plenty of women have been attracted to me, despite my never pulling any of the subset of PUA behaviors which I've described as immoral. I'm not saying that being "nice" is all it takes - a lot of it is about being attractive, tall, well dressed and socially adept - and two of those things are trainable. I am just saying that being "bad" is not necessary...and I'd maintain that in the long run it's not even helpful, since the type of people you attract is partly a reflection of your behavior.

plenty of women have been attracted to me, despite my never pulling any of the subset of PUA behaviors which I've described as immoral.

But that's not really the test. The controlled test would be whether you had more success or less using the PUA behaviors or not.

4buybuydandavis8yI think I know better than I used to. Generalization increasingly made based on observations that cut across my natural preferences - not wishful thinking. Your girlfriend prefers a diffident man over a confident man? It's always possible. We don't all come from the same cookie cutter.
4someonewrongonthenet8yNo, that's really not what I said. You said I said in response You said in response and that's why I said "Like that" here means: not attracted to people who display "confidence" via aforementioned PUA tactics - by putting others down (AMOG), being overly persistent after being told off (bitch shield destroying) and pressuring people to make decisions they might regret later (bf destroyer). So when I say my girlfriend is "like that" I mean she is someone who is not attracted to irresponsible, morally questionable displays of dominance which involve being presumptuous and putting other people down. As in, the tactics which you said would offend your sensibilities. It is important to disassociate confidence (a positive trait) from a cluster of tactics which you just said offend your sensibilities (negative traits). Why did you just now treat "confidence" and "sensibility offending tactics" as synonymous? If the two are conflated in your mind and your model of confidence necessarily includes sensibility offending behavior, you're going to end up either instinctively avoiding confidence or instinctively engaging in behavior that offends yourself...
4buybuydandavis8yI was discussing the basic premise that women prefer confident, dominating men. If they're correct on the premise, then it's just an argument over what techniques are effective to counterfeit that signal, if any. You say the PUA tactics don't work on your girlfriend. Maybe. I'd note that even if someone says they don't like a particular tactic, that doesn't mean that the tactic didn't have the desired effect - "I really hate it when my confident, dominant man does X". Yeah. But would you find him confident and dominant if he didn't? Would he be "your man" if he didn't?
4someonewrongonthenet8yI think I've misrepresented my position I agree, that's the trend. More the confident than the dominating though. Agreed on that too. Here are signals which work, and I like- smiling, eye contact, casual touch, joking, interesting conversation... Here are signals which work, and I don't like that they work, but I do not morally object - demonstrating that other women are interested, being well dressed, displaying wealth, being in a position of authority.... These are signals which I morally object to, and I also express skepticism as to whether you get good results in the long run if you use these: subtle insults targeting insecurities (neg), antagonistic stance to other males (amog), ignoring "leave me alone" cues (bitch shield breaking), pressurizing in the face of significant resistance (bf destroyer and others)...
2buybuydandavis8yMore universally, but dominating is probably more effective when it does work. And actual dominance over others - demonstrable power - is a huge plus. I've been getting over the don't like it part. Women are what they are. [1] Didn't people used to just call this banter? Challenging back and forth remarks? Is Cary Grant "negging" in His Girl Friday? It doesn't work universally - I find some women are just annoyed by banter and refuse to hit the ball back - but it's a lot of fun when it does. [2] Signals dominance. If it succeeds in driving other male off, so much the better. I'd wonder if the better strategy is alliance with the resident alpha male if he is on the hunt. [3] Do the game theory. Bitch shield breaking more likely for desirable outcome for the PUA than scurrying off. You can't win if you don't play. They seem big on making it a numbers game. [4] Significant resistance would imply to me at least a relatively bad hand. Play the bad hand, or fold. Similar to [3] in taking advantage of all opportunities. For 2,3,4, there must be some point at which the opportunity costs make them a bad bet, though it seems something of a game of discovery where finding what works is a terminal good for them. But the strategies do seem to improve the odds of less than optimal situations to me. They don't always work, but they do seem like good plays of bad hands.
4Xachariah8yThere is almost zero doubt that those strategies work, and work extremely well. Every successful PUA I know keeps detailed logs of their interactions (or kept them at one point), and measures the effectiveness of their pitches. Many guys do it just like telemarketing. They throw out their routines and track how many hang ups (well, walk aways) they get, how many conversions they get (and to what extent), and how each line impacts their numbers relative to the demographic they're approaching. Other guys will adopt a tactic and use nothing-but-it for a week. You get very good data on it's strengths and weaknesses. Again, good/bad tactics are discerned quickly and everything is very grounded in reality. Your talk about 'immoral' and 'acceptable' tactics generally mirrors something called 'inner game' and 'outer game' in the PUA community. Inner game is general 'being more attractive' advice and is always applied. Outer game is a toolbox of very specific tools that you pull out for a purpose. Because most outer game is very specific, it is incredibly easy to get succes rates, and as a result these strategies have the most thorough numbers on success rates. I assure you, they are very effective.
3wedrifid8ySince one of those is actually a tactic used by females and one is tautologically a male tactic (the other being technically sex neutral but practically male) I'm also pretty sure that you couldn't use at least one of them, regardless of your moral qualms and sexual identity. "Bitch Shield" is a tactic for quickly filtering potential mates via subjecting them to stimulus that quickly discourages socially weak candidates. One could call it an immoral tactic, but there doesn't seem like much point to such labeling. Much of dealing with "AMOGs" is also about influences on other males and on the social group. Unless "the type of woman you'd be interested in" outright rejects any male she sees competing socially with other males then "wouldn't work on her" just doesn't make any sense.
2someonewrongonthenet8yI was referring to the idea that one should try to "get past" the "bitch shield" as immoral, because it is essentially an excuse for bothering people who don't want to be bothered. I wasn't referring to the "bitch shield" itself. Why not? It's really not fun to be around people who view social interactions as a competition. Also, "competing socially" really softens the antagonistic behavior advocated in the forum. What, you wouldn't reject someone who tried to pull that?
0Xachariah8yBitch shields are employed by both genders. It's just a term that is used because +90% of PUAs are straight men looking for women. Gay guys deploy them against other guys (and girls), and straight guys deploy them against women they aren't interested in. The terminology is decidedly female, but it's an equal opportunity tactic. Although admittedly, used far more often by women. Ditto with AMOG'ing. I've seen alpha females of combined groups go at it like it's Game of Thrones. It's the same methods and goals, just with a gender swap.
5wedrifid8yIt is true that many social dominance strategies relating to courtship are either applicable for either sex or have loosely comparable cross-sex analogues.
9someonewrongonthenet8ySo those were the objections against PUA. Now the post itself... This is called an unhealthy relationship. Using the threat of leaving a relationship as a bargaining chip, to blackmail people, is emotional abuse. It's far better to be alone than to have a relationship like this, in my opinion. But back to the premise. If it's all about supply and demand and power equilibrium, wouldn't men object to fashion and beauty products by the same logic? Wouldn't women object to men working out? Warning: Anecdotal evidence - "Easier for women" only applies to casual sex. It is more or less equally hard for both genders to enter a long term relationship, and varies from social circle to circle as a function of gender ratio.
5Desrtopa8yIt certainly can be, particularly when when one partner is dependent on the other for more than physical and emotional rapport (ex. finances, living space, etc.) But a person's willingness to remain in a relationship with someone else certainly depends on that person's behavior. If whether it's worthwhile for a person to remain with a particular partner hinges upon the partner's willingness to enact a certain behavior, is it really never acceptable for the person to offer their partner that information and give them the choice of whether to enact the behavior or have the relationship end? Sticking with a relationship with which one is unhappy out of refusal to hurt one's partner by leaving is also an unhealthy relationship.
5someonewrongonthenet8yThat's an edge case, but I admit I had not considered it. You might be right. I'm going to go think about that for a while.

It are usually women(correct me if I'm wrong) who object against PU and present a variety of reasons. As often when it concerns humans the presented reasons are rationalizations and the real causes of the antagonism is some deeper feeling that originates for entirely different reasons than the ones presented. I suspect this is also the case with PU. For the moment I will ignore the presented reasons some of which I will address later and instead focus on what I think is the real underlying cause.

This makes me feel very tempted to downvote before I've even had a chance to read the rest of the rest of the post. Please, introduce the presented objections to start with. This will help readers assess how fair your extrapolations of the real underlying cause are. To do otherwise will leave you looking dismissive of their position, and you cannot take it for granted that your audience will accept that such a level of dismissiveness is warranted.

-5roland8y
[-][anonymous]8y 13

I have opinions on PUA that are positive (I see nothing wrong with it, except that it is correllated with other problems), but whenever I look at these discussions and try to comment, I notice that my comments are probably less rational than usual, and wouldn't really solve anything, because no one else would be convinced by argument anyways (being a political topic), so I don't comment.

I thought you ought to know that there may be other people like me who are reasonable and supportive of PUA, but avoid these discussions.

See also, this smbc

8someonewrongonthenet8yWell, I suppose that's my position too. It's not that improving attractiveness is intrinsically bad...I'm just not sure I like the larger community and the methods they suggest.
2[anonymous]8ySame here, except that sometimes I do comment, and often end up regretting that. (And I wish I could upvote your comment twice, one for the first two paragraphs and one for the SMBC link.)

It usually involves great effort for a man to find another woman, this was especially true in past times when people lived in small villages with very few unmarried attractive women. A woman on the other hand will not have much problems finding another male if she is good looking.

You're not pointing out a symmetric situation here. You're saying "Most men find it hard to attract good-looking women. However, good-looking women find it easy to attract men." That is quite likely true; however, I suspect that the reverse is also true: "Most women find it hard to attract good-looking men. However, good-looking men find it easy to attract women."

3Desrtopa8yI think you're right when you say that roland isn't pointing out a symmetrical situation, but I also don't think it's quite accurate to say that good-looking men will find it easy to attract women, to the same extent that good looking women find it easy to attract men. Since men are more often expected to be the initiator in mating/dating contact, a good looking man who does not initiate or initiates ineptly will have less success than a good looking woman who does not attempt to or is inept at initiating.
2Kindly8yI agree that there are other factors which break symmetry. Another potential factor is one I am well familiar with: in certain environments (such as math graduate school) there are a lot more men than women, so it is harder for a man to find women sharing the same interests than vice versa. (This does not, incidentally, cause any of the men involved to lower their standards appreciably: the socially awkward and/or unattractive women are still single.)
2[anonymous]8yYes. On the other hand, a greater fraction of women than of men are good-looking. (See this [http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-looks-and-online-dating/].)
4Kindly8yBeing good-looking is an absolute thing? I always assumed it meant something like "top 20%".
4[anonymous]8yWell, it is the example of two-place word EY used [http://lesswrong.com/lw/ro/2place_and_1place_words/], but I do think that there's a non-totally-arbitrary way to normalize it that makes it make sense to compare Sexiness(Admirer1, Entity1) with Sexiness(Admirer2, Entity2) even when Admirer1 != Admirer2. Think about how many straight men would be motivated to pursue the 70th-percentile straight woman, and how many straight women would be motivated to pursue the 70th-percentile straight man, for any given value of “motivated”. Even by asking Admirer1 and Admirer2 to rate Entity1 and Entity2's attractiveness respectively on a 0-to-5 scale you get the results mentioned in the article I've edited my comment to link to.
0Eugine_Nier8yI would argue your statement in the grandparent was misleading since it made it seem like this was a property of the Entities and not the Admirers.
3[anonymous]8yIs “gold is expensive” a property of gold, or of the market? If the latter, is “gold is expensive” misleading because it sounds like the former?
5Kindly8yThat is actually a popular way to be confused about economics: thinking "gold is expensive" is a property of gold.
3OrphanWilde8y(You should probably link the OkCupid study, or whatever you're using as the basis of this statement, which otherwise comes off as... contentious, to those who aren't familiar with the research.)
6[anonymous]8yThat's not the only piece of evidence I was thinking about, but it's the only one that is neither just anecdotal nor likely to completely mind-kill the discussion, so... Edited it in.
-1Eugine_Nier8yThis is still not quite right since the most important think men look for in women is looks, whereas the most important thing women look for in men is status. Then said, women do find it hard to attract high status men.
3V_V8yThat's seems to be an oversimplification: Both genders consider status more important than looks for long-term relationships and looks more important than status for casual intercourse. Heterosexual men consider looks relatively more important than heterosexual women do.

PUA and Last Minute Resistance: I have no idea why PUA gets its bad reputation from negging when something like this was easy to find "Distract her thoughts with banter: It’s very simple to distract her logical mind… just don’t answer questions, deflect them. If she says “Where do you live” say “Oh, it’s like 5 minutes away”. Keep the conversation flowing and she will be fine."

This one has an explicit "no means no", but a strong recommendation to distract her from anything short of an emphatic no.

This one is interesting-- it puts seduct... (read more)

Yet if it is about "10 good ways to prepare for the job interview" I usually don't read this kind of objections. On the contrary it is assumed that when going for an interview candidates will dress as well as they can, have polished their CVs and often waded through lists of common questions/problems and their solutions(speaking as a computer programmer here). Not doing so would be considered sloppy. It is rare to hear: "People, just go to the interview and present yourself as you are, if the company likes you it will take you."

While... (read more)

It are usually women(correct me if I'm wrong) who object against PU

I'm not sure how one would correct you in any useful statistical way, but as purely anecdotal matter, there are a lot of men who object to PU and PUAs. I'm an example. The reasons for those objections have been mainly already outlined by others in this thread.

Hi Roland,

I replied to you in the other thread and I'd be interested to know what you think about my comment (I'm not really making the sort of claim you dismiss in this post so I'm curious as to whether you agree with what I'm saying or whether my comments are problematic for other reasons). Comments quoted below for ease of access:

If the sole determining factor of whether an interaction with a women is desirable is whether they end up attracted to you then, yes, even the most extreme sort of pick up artistry would be unproblematic.

However, if you think

... (read more)
-3roland8yThis is one example of countless other objections that are leveled against PU that fall into the same pattern: an elaborate argument is presented that illustrates a problem with PU and yet at the same time it is overlooked that the same argument could be applied(yet rarely or never is) against women or against dating/mating in general. Specifically: and: The name of the game is mating, not altruism! In mating we are generally not concerned primarily about the welfare of the object of our desire. It doesn't matter if you are human, non-human, male, female, homosexual, heterosexual, PUA or not PUA. Is a woman who expects the man to pay for her drinks, or the boyfriend to help her pay the rent really concerned about the welfare of the other? Doesn't sound nice, does it? But I didn't write the rules of the game. Actually it should be a big surprise if the mating game that came about through evolution conformed to our expectations of fairness or niceness. PUAs didn't invent the game, they analyzed it and figured out what the winning moves are. Don't blame them. This is actually what all the PUA hate is about: rationalized or cleverly packaged envy. Those guys who figured out how to hack the system imposed onto them and gain an "unfair" advantage, we can't let them get away with it, can we?
6DanielLC8yYes you did. You choose your desires. Evolution built you while optimizing inclusive genetic fitness, but it didn't build you in such a way that that's what you optimize. You are quite capable of caring for others. Of course, if you're just concerned about the welfare of women in general, it's probably best to focus on donating to good charities, since as long as it's consensual sex isn't going to make a noticeable effect on the net good you do.
[-][anonymous]6y 1

I've adopted the School of Life's doctrine of relationships having disavowed pickup and all but a couple RSDmotivation videos

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply
[-][anonymous]8y -1

Disclaimer: this comment may be affected by a higher-than-usual level of cognitive biases. Take it with a grain of salt.

There is a lot of truth to that, but isn't it also manipulation for women to wear make-up, high heels, fake breasts, painted hair, plastic surgery? Yet I seldom see the latter criticized. It is simply accepted, even encouraged.

See also this about how men in modern western societies generally spend much less effort than women on being attractive. To the extent that a world full of attractive people is better than a world full of unattr... (read more)

If you regard only women, or only men, the cooperate-defect criteria switches; if no woman wears makeup, the one who does gets an advantage over the others. In terms of relative advantage, these behaviors are defection.

I'd suggest this is a more natural perspective, since the group perspective requires unified decision-making. An individual male or female isn't making a decision "for men" or "for women."

2[anonymous]8yIndeed, I used to suspect that opposition to PUA by men was due to essentially a (possibly implicit) cartel. Except insofar as if a woman wears makeup, other women will wear makeup too to keep up.