The Anti-Pick Up Artist's Guide
February 6, 2015 11:11 PM   Subscribe



 
Wow, I like this guy.

Having grown up as a straight cis guy in high school, I don’t think it’s my place to pretend I know what it means to face the challenges that young LGBTQ people do.

I really like this guy.

What a fantastic project.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:18 PM on February 6, 2015 [9 favorites]


Wow. This could be really cool to have out there. I like this part in particular:
What is the main thing you see as missing from most sex advice for straight teen boys?

In sex ed we simply ask young people to always do the “right” thing simply because it’s the “right” thing to do. If you’ve ever failed to recycle, wear a seatbelt, or floss before bed, you know personally this is not the way we as human beings manage our own behavior.
When it comes to teaching young men to respect women or make responsible decisions about sex, other resources fail to address the extremely complex milieu young men are acting in. When we ask them to do the “right” thing, often this goes against dominant norms of what it means to be a man or young or both. I want young men to be respectful and responsible but I want to help them figure out what that might look like in their lives. If we merely demand better of young men without helping them make sense of the competing forces that influence their behavior, their failure to do better is on us.


This'd be something where I'd love to see Erika Moen do a guest illustration for it. (Or vice versa, have the writer/artist do a guest panel for her. Oh Joy Sex Toy's been growing pretty well in terms of readership.)
posted by CrystalDave at 11:26 PM on February 6, 2015 [15 favorites]


It's been done.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:46 PM on February 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Lesson 1: People in porn are professionals. Do not attempt at home.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:01 AM on February 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is fantastic. So much effort is put into what not to do, it freaks people out. Practical advise is what we all need. Kids should have practical advise and in public school would be so convenient; how to balance a checkbook, how to do some basic cooking, how to not be a creep. This is what a feminist looks like!
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 12:29 AM on February 7, 2015 [21 favorites]


Something that I wish someone had told me, as a young man, was that those girls, who are your friends, they would make great girlfriends! I mean not all of them, but the idea of pursuing attraction with someone you like, who likes you, that you have a lot in common with, that probably already values you as a person and also knows and accepts what you like and vice versa.

That was a real scale-from-the-eyes moment for me as a young man. Awareness of a choice to stop being attracted to girls I had nothing in common with, and start thinking that the things I valued in my friends were things that would be great in a romantic partner. It, weirdly, made me feel a lot more attractive, I guess because those things I valued were characteristics I saw in the best of myself, too,and saw girls I respected and liked responding to.
posted by smoke at 1:38 AM on February 7, 2015 [52 favorites]


Something that I wish someone had told me, as a young man, was that those girls, who are your friends, they would make great girlfriends!

I remember having that very same thought way back when. But, the "revelation" quickly became clouded when I looked around at how, in most cases, if/when a couple broke-up, they no longer remained friends...sometimes quite aggressively so.

Thus, the idea in my head that a current female friend would make a great girlfriend would become repressed and locked away because I valued their friendship so much, that I didn't want to do anything that might put the friendship in jeopardy.

Talk about a vicious conundrum.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:59 AM on February 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


Not to mention that maybe the girls might have preferred staying friends themselves too...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:12 AM on February 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


I mean, I agree with smoke to a point. But I also know how many times that very line of thinking gets warped into that whole "I'm gonna pretend to just get to be friends and then it'll go all romantic comedy on us and who cares what she wants" thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:14 AM on February 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Indeed which is why I was so very clear to delineate in my comment that the characteristics of a friendship are also good characteristics of a relationship, not necessarily the friendship itself (that being said I was indeed friends with my only two serious girlfriends first, which I think it's reasonably common and fairly natural)
posted by smoke at 4:22 AM on February 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


Ah, I somehow didn't get that from your first comment. Carry on.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:26 AM on February 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


This was a lot better than I expected. It's a difficult and fraught topic, and he manages to address it so clearly. I wish I'd had a book like that 35 years ago. I'm glad my son will have access to things like this in a few years. Much greater chance of less angst, more happiness.
posted by alms at 6:41 AM on February 7, 2015


Having grown up as a straight cis guy in high school, I don’t think it’s my place to pretend I know what it means to face the challenges that young LGBTQ people do.

But straight cis boys do face different challenges, especially around how to balance issues of consent when they are a) overwhelmed with testosterone and b) dating people who aren't. Throw in traditional gender roles, and it's a right mess.

We tell straight boys "don't be a creep" - but we don't talk about what that means. Some sensitive boys can walk away with the idea that "being a creep" means "asking a girl you like to go to a movie" - especially if they listen to the kind of insensitive teenage girl who defines "creep" as "someone I'm not attracted to just asked me out" (and yeah, I have heard young girls use it that way).

And, in the meantime, insensitive boys walk away thinking that consent is a girl not screaming no, while ignoring all the signs that she is very reluctant - because all the old movies/books/songs tell them that she has to pretend not to like it, but she really does.
posted by jb at 6:56 AM on February 7, 2015 [20 favorites]


so yeah, I think this book sounds great.
posted by jb at 6:57 AM on February 7, 2015


Interesting project, I'm very curious to see the final product.
...

I read The Game many moons ago, out of curiosity. To the extent that the book contains advice as opposed to narrative, it seems like 70% is simply warmed-over Dale Carnegie, but with a "HEY GUYS LET'S FUCK GIRLS" framing. 10% is more or less reasonable advice geared specifically to men seeking women, even if the framing is still a bit gonzo, e.g. "don't try to pick up girls by buying them drinks at bars", "don't block women into corners with your body, even if it's just by accident", "get in reasonable shape", "nice guys aren't 'nice guys' - don't pretend you're better than that, it's okay to want to hook up, especially since many women want the very same".

The remaining 20% is where it gets daffy, especially once the framing becomes the substance, and once those PUAs who don't simply leave the "movement" go deeper and darker and harder and weirder.

Like, if you're a dorky guy who finally figures out how to get dates, then if you're at all level-headed, you're going to just date women and move on with your life. You won't feel the need to live at a hook-up house with peacock feathers sticking out of your hat. On the other hand, if your response to such a situation is to devote your life to GETTING LAID, BRAH, AND LET'S GET ALL THE NERDS LAID, BRAH, then we have some issues we need to deal with.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:02 AM on February 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


It sounds like a good project. To work well, the art and storytelling will have to be compelling enough on their own terms for people to want to read it and engage with it, in order to get to the didactic aspects.

It's been a while since I was a teenager or a college student, so maybe my memories are suspect, but I recall a lot of "don't do this" advice and not much "do this" or clear models of positive approaches, leaving you to figure it out on your own. In other words, I would have been an extremely receptive audience for this project when I was that age, and I suspect it would have been useful.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:43 AM on February 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


> Some sensitive boys can walk away with the idea that "being a creep" means "asking a girl you like to go to a movie" - especially if ...

Yep, story of my life. Took 10 years to figure that one out, and I still haven't fully gotten over the allergic reaction to romance I developed by observing detestable behavior from my 'peers'
posted by I-Write-Essays at 8:16 AM on February 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Excellent!
posted by rmd1023 at 8:52 AM on February 7, 2015


I have The Guide to Getting It On! which is full of illustrations and very positive of all sexualities. Granted, the OP says "for young straight guys" so I suppose the target market has to be tailored to a bit better than a general sex-positive book, I guess? I wouldn't put the perfect to be the enemy of the good - if we have to tailor I'd much rather we get young men on board with positive sex approaches and attitudes towards women and relationships, than try to make a perfect be all and end all book about everything sex related. Thankfully we don't have to choose -- we can have both! (and more!)

This is great. We need to start letting these disgruntled young guys to get the chip off their shoulder, and help point them to a better way.
posted by symbioid at 8:59 AM on February 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


I do worry about this quote:

"Whenever you get resistance move your hand away from where it’s landed. Only touch where she wants you to and soon enough she’ll urge your hands to travel further."

I hope this is countered later, at some point, by mentioning the fact that maybe just maybe she won't urge your hands to travel further. Or that the context is that there is a very clear desire on her part but just needs to work at her own pace (as opposed to the assumption that all you need to do is just move your hand away and eventually she'll let you move in later when she's more comfortable - regardless of any context/situation)...
posted by symbioid at 9:07 AM on February 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yup, I have problems with that quote, too. Maybe she will, maybe she won't. Her boundaries are valid whatever they may be and guys shouldn't be taught to expect that eventually she will, you know, give in. Still, I think it's a huge step in the right direction.
posted by Bella Donna at 9:21 AM on February 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


We tell straight boys "don't be a creep" - but we don't talk about what that means. Some sensitive boys can walk away with the idea that "being a creep" means "asking a girl you like to go to a movie" - especially if they listen to the kind of insensitive teenage girl who defines "creep" as "someone I'm not attracted to just asked me out" (and yeah, I have heard young girls use it that way).

young women aren't alone in sometimes being cruel to people they aren't attracted to. i was too tall, nerdy, crooked teeth, stringy hair, developed early and covered it with baggy clothes, etc etc etc and i had boys say all sorts of shit to me, about me, and around me for daring to express interest in coupling with someone i found attractive.

attraction does come into whether or not someone is being creepy. part of not being creepy is learning how to tell if the person you're hitting on is interested. this is especially fraught in male/female pairings because men who don't seem to notice or care about interest can very quickly become dangerous. it also seems like the idea that attraction shouldn't play into it is part of the idea that women shouldn't exercise preference when it comes to their partners - that if a guy is a good guy and nice and doesn't beat them that he deserves a shot at her affection. so yeah, i'm sure some young women call young men creepy for just being not their cup of tea, but sometimes that's happening because the guy is either not noticing or not caring about her disinterest.
posted by nadawi at 9:35 AM on February 7, 2015 [15 favorites]


i forgot to add - yes, this can negatively affect sensitive boys, but it's not the job of the girls they fancy to let their guards down on the hope that he's awkward and not dangerous. i applaud things like the fpp because i do think straight cis dudes need some coaxing out of the messaging they're bombarded with to just take what they want, etc and into a framework where they can be in mutually satisfying relationships.
posted by nadawi at 9:38 AM on February 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Besides ignoring cues from women, ignoring signs of dis/interest in favor of whatever they wanted to do anyway, a lot of straight boys and men are "creepy" because of something that can't really be taught. It's also an inauthenticity, a presumption of familiarity, a furtive glance at my boobs that makes me think a guy is "creepy."

I'm glad there are good sources and tools to help guys learn human relating, but it doesn't do much good if there's an underlying attitude of entitlement or predatory point-scoring with regard to women. The major problem among PUA dudes, imo, is that they see "success" with women (however that success is defined) as an accomplishment. And that runs deep, and probably starts somewhere in early childhood.
posted by witchen at 10:21 AM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


From the article: "What was missing was any useful information or guidance around relationships. It seemed odd to me [so often] other people acknowledged that sexual activity was taking place in the context of some form of a relationship between two people, but no one ever mentioned what that relationship looked like, what it needed to be healthy or enjoyable, or how to make yourself and someone else happy within one of them."

The single that that has stayed the longest with me from my many, many years of school sex ed (every year starting in fourth grade!) was in junior high they had a happily-married female teacher just chat with us (the girls -- this is when we were separated by gender) for a couple of class periods about being happily-married for 20 years -- her sex life, how they fought, how they took care of each other, how they kept each others' secrets. It was revelatory to have an adult woman just talk to us like adults about living in a good relationship. I mean obviously we all shrieked "EWWWWW!" when she talked about having sex with her husband, but it was FASCINATING. My parents were good relationship models, but it's just different when it's your parents.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:01 AM on February 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


I do worry about this quote:

"Whenever you get resistance move your hand away from where it’s landed. Only touch where she wants you to and soon enough she’ll urge your hands to travel further."


The more positive reading is that it is saying to let the other person set their own limits, rather than pushing harder when you meet resistance, while clumsily suggesting that doing so will get you laid. I agree that it was imperfectly phrased and could be much better expressed, but I think it is clear from the rest of the interview that he is thoughtful and aware of exactly these kinds of nuances, and hopefully the graphic novel expresses that level of nuance.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:14 AM on February 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm glad there are good sources and tools to help guys learn human relating, but it doesn't do much good if there's an underlying attitude of entitlement or predatory point-scoring with regard to women. The major problem among PUA dudes, imo, is that they see "success" with women (however that success is defined) as an accomplishment. And that runs deep, and probably starts somewhere in early childhood.

And with the culture -- especially nowadays, when virtually every other Republican congressman or state rep seems to be from a household where the parents thought it was perfectly hunky-dory that their sons grow up with the insane viewpoint that women are chattel, their bodies are not theirs to control, and that the crime of rape is some sort of serendipitous mutually beneficial event that ideally (ideally meaning the woman in the situation is unconscious) results in a super-awesome baby product that shines to the greater glory of PatriotManGod.
posted by blucevalo at 11:25 AM on February 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Someone tell me why Kickstarter would permit this seduction guide, after banning all seduction guides.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:55 AM on February 7, 2015


Just speculating, but maybe they choose to not classify it as a seduction guide. It's more appropriate to call it sex education.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 12:01 PM on February 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


A book with a title that starts with "Hooking up" seems like it falls under the banned category.

This is the slippery slope you get when you ban products by category. Who defines the categories? Whoever applies the most pressure?

This quotation sounds almost exactly like the phrase that started the whole controversy about "rape manuals."
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:06 PM on February 7, 2015


I find it quite plausible that there is someone at Kickstarter with the authority to use their own judgement to assess intent and categorize things into "Banned" and "Not Banned" categories as they think makes sense. Is it subject to abuse? Sure, depending on the character of people making those judgements at Kickstarter (a private enterprise). Is it a problem with creating a category to throw the things you wish to ban into? No, I believe the authority to make decisions on what to ban is logically prior to the categories into which they put the things they wish to ban.

Or maybe I'm wrong and they just haven't noticed.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 12:13 PM on February 7, 2015


one would hope they have some sort of process that can differentiate between something that is a rape manual and something that isn't.
posted by nadawi at 12:33 PM on February 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


From reading the article, this doesn't sound anything remotely like a seduction guide, and I'm confused as to how anyone could possibly mistake it for one in good faith.
posted by KathrynT at 12:34 PM on February 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


All that matters is that you continue to try to escalate physically
...
Whenever you get resistance move your hand away from where it’s landed. Only touch where she wants you to and soon enough she’ll urge your hands to travel further.

if you can't see the difference between these two things, please stop trying to have sex with people until you can.
posted by nadawi at 12:36 PM on February 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


in good faith.

Well...
posted by Dip Flash at 12:48 PM on February 7, 2015


They didn't ban rape manuals, they banned seduction manuals. I would be interested in hearing how Kickstarter judges content to be in a banned category, and how they would apply those criterion to this product in particular.

It seems like a seduction manual to me. They intend to publish content from their website. In the site's introduction, it says

the advice on this site is meant to help you hook up

Maybe "hook up" means something different to high school kids in 2015, but AFAIK it means "have sex."

This is the problem with censorship. Today they ban seduction guides, after intense pressure from social media groups. Maybe tomorrow, they ban sex education materials that mention abortion or birth control, under pressure from organized conservative media groups.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:54 PM on February 7, 2015


refusing to host a fundraiser for manual from seddit doesn't even come close to rising to censorship.
posted by nadawi at 12:57 PM on February 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


His website, Hooking Up and Staying Hooked Up is quite well done. I was particularly impressed by his post "Ctrl + Behavior" where he talks about the different pressures heterosexual men receive around relationships. "Some guys will act like you have to protect your girlfriend from other guys. They talk like there’s always a dude lurking ready to snatch up your lady or caution you that she’s always scoping out someone else. If you want to be that paranoid go watch a marathon of Ancient Aliens."

The "Define the relationship" in that post leads to another about understanding what a woman might mean when she says "What are we?". "Maybe she’s just as confused as you are as to where this is going. Maybe she is dying for you to kiss her already. Or maybe she is turned off by the idea that you might not be buying the cow but still getting the milk for free. // It’s the start of a conversation. Just be honest about what you want. If you have no idea what you want, say so – just don’t use that as a cop out. Don’t jump to conclusions about your relationship without her approval. And be considerate but don’t feel like you have to protect her feelings if things aren’t going her way."

The "abuse" link leads to a post about the UK Campaign called "This is Abuse". "We’ve tried to broach the subject of consent and abuse on the website before, but This is Abuse really drives home the point that we as men need to be more aware of our behavior. We don’t get to blame anyone or anything for what we do and we don’t get to do whatever we want within a relationship, a fling, or even a casual hook up. When it comes to our interactions with girls, it’s time to wake up and start acting like the respectful human beings we are capable of being."

That post has a parens about not "Adding Alcohol to the Mix" because it confuses signals. It both gives advice on how to discretely limit your alcohol intake, but also covers issues of consent and alcohol: "2. If you’ve both been drinking figuring out what you actually want physically becomes much more complicated. Usually it’s as simple as talking it out, asking your partner how far she wants to go, and telling her what you’re interested in. But if you’ve drunk too much, getting or giving consent, meaningful and verbal permission to engage in whatever sexual activity you’re participating in, becomes more difficult (and legally impossible). You or she might do something you actually didn’t want to because you were too impaired to know otherwise."

Personally, I think the website gives this guy a significant amount of credit that what he wants to make will be about being honest, communicative, and respectful of the boundaries and consent of others.
posted by Deoridhe at 1:04 PM on February 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


This is the problem with censorship.

The government deciding what can and can't be published is censorship. Kickstarter setting rules for what projects it will allow to seek funding is not censorship. Someone who can't ask for Kickstarter funding for their seduction guide can still get it published if they raise the funds some other way.
posted by virago at 1:08 PM on February 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


"Porn absolutely has a negative relationship with women, but what aspect of our culture doesn’t?"

This guy is pretty quotable.
posted by clvrmnky at 1:25 PM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Seduction is not only defined as persuading someone to have sex, but heavily carries the connotations "to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; corrupt." and so when people refer to it as something that they wish to ban, they are talking about guides which promote exploitative and unhealthy relationships.

I propose calling it a Courtship Guide, since that also implies hooking up, but without the "corruption" connotation.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 1:38 PM on February 7, 2015


"Courtship" carries a whole other set of connotations. I see the term in born again communities, presented as a conservative alternative to dating.

"Seduction" may have some naughty connotations, but it doesn't always, and it doesn't have to. It's a good enough term to cover the concept of how to date, how to hook up, how to deal with physical affection, how to deal with the stuff before and after, etc.

It's an especially canny term considering that the audience for the book will undoubtedly be young guys who do, in fact, want to learn how to date better, and yeah, most of these guys would like to have sex, as well. So, it's good to emphasize the idea that this guide will make your dating/sex/whatever life better - it's good to show that respect for women isn't something you do *in spite of* having fun and enjoying sex, but rather that it's all a necessary part of the whole.

And as long as everything is safe, consensual, positive, etc., that's not just totally totally totally fine, but it is, in fact, good. It is good to have the dating pool be full of decent people who treat one another well.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:03 PM on February 7, 2015


If you want to ignore the negative connotations of "Seduction" and use it in a pure sense, I can do the same with the term "Courtship."
That said I admit, "Courtship" isn't a good alternative to "Seduction." That's why he uses the term "Hook Up" which, is, in fact, the best way to describe it without carrying those negative connotations.

But my point was that when people refer to "Seduction Guides" as something they want to ban, they are in fact invoking those negative connotations, and if someone wishes to claim a slippery slope by purposefully ignoring that the point is the negative/exploitative attitude towards sex, they are willfully misunderstanding the argument.

The purpose is not to discourage sex, it is to provide positive models of sex to compete with the negative ones.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 2:11 PM on February 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sure sure. My thing about "seduction" as a term is that the problem isn't really with seduction qua seduction, but rather with projects which more or less promote rape or other forms of sexual assault. Anyway, I'm just splitting hairs at this point.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:32 PM on February 7, 2015


Well, lets clarify: the question was, what is the standard by which something is banned for being a "Seduction guide," and what's to prevent legitimate sex ed materials, like the topic of this post in fact, from being classified as such. And I think that's a strawman that belies a certain tone deafness to the real concern being exploitative attitudes towards women (even if they don't go as far as being rape), not the sex itself.

Therefore, it's not a seduction guide exactly because it is trying to counteract that exploitation messaging.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 2:44 PM on February 7, 2015


I'm convinced that no one in this thread actually checked out the site. It's just passive-aggressive pick-up artistry dressed up in nice guy clothes. I think a lot of people zeroed in on the LGBTQ quote and stopped thinking critically.

I mean, the site's first words are literally "the guide for high school guys to having game, getting girls, and hooking up."

Game. Get. Hook. Great verbs, huh? Oh, and there's lots of discussion about the Friend Zone. Lots of discussion about how to mitigate the Friend Zone, escaping the Friend Zone, preventing the Friend Zone.

Baloney.

High-schoolers would be better off over at the Art of Manliness blog. If nothing else, they at least might learn to shower, shave and exercise. Which, to be honest, is probably steps 1, 2 and 3 in staying out of the Friend Zone, whatever the fuck that means.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:09 PM on February 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


"But, the "revelation" quickly became clouded when I looked around at how, in most cases, if/when a couple broke-up, they no longer remained friends...sometimes quite aggressively so.
Thus, the idea in my head that a current female friend would make a great girlfriend would become repressed and locked away because I valued their friendship so much, that I didn't want to do anything that might put the friendship in jeopardy. "

Well, unfortunately, once one friend wants to fuck the other friend, the friendship is doomed anyway. Either there has to be a relationship upgrade or the dude (usually a dude) is just waiting around for her to start putting out, and then Uncomfortableness Ensues. Ugh. Aren't hetero cross-gender friendships fun? No wonder I have so few of them and am very careful about the few I do to keep it casual.

As for creeping: a good rule of thumb is that creeping is also referring to encroaching or seeping or otherwise proceeding. A creep is usually someone who when told no, keeps coming anyway. Think of trying to stop a flood of water. A creep ignores any no signs, assume she means yes, and proceeds anyway. A non-creep can take no for an answer, politely.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:11 PM on February 7, 2015


the site discusses : how to be a boyfriend, how to make sure you're ready for a relationship, importance of keeping up personal hygiene, specific advice against negging, telling guys it's ok if they don't want to date while they're in high school, explains how to recognize disinterest (and to disengage) before she explicitly announces it, teaches them the importance of checking in to make sure their date is comfortable with any physical stuff, appropriate ways to fight and to break up, and on and on and on. having read pua literature and dated dudes who read pua literature, this is very different advice being offered.

everyone one who is focusing on the "hooking up" part, are you just missing the "staying hooked" ending to that? it's not a guide to fucking as many probably not willing girls as possible, but rather a guide to dating that includes information about the physical side.
posted by nadawi at 3:21 PM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Courtship" has a connotation amongst strict Christian families; it's, like, you're seriously checking each other out as a potential spouse kind of thing.

But if you're still looking for an alternate to "hooking up", can I suggest..."dating"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:44 PM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not looking for an alternate to "hooking up." Looking to kill the "Seduction guides are banned by Kickstarter" argument.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 3:59 PM on February 7, 2015


Yeah. "Dating" still works for that, better than the "courtship guide" suggestion you offered, is my point.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:17 PM on February 7, 2015


Sure, that works splendidly. I did say that on second thought it wasn't an ideal suggestion.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 4:32 PM on February 7, 2015


Sadly, it wasn't until I was dating my husband that I realized I had, all along, been assuming that the boys and men I knew were heartless horndogs, deep down. With a veneer of "decency" on top, if they were "nice" ones.

I mean, that's what I was taught, and I didn't question it. But my husband would tell me about how as a teen he had his heart broken, more than once; I had even seen other men have their hearts broken. But somehow, I still had this unquestioned belief that boys didn't have the "real" "deep" kinds of feelings that girls did. That, just like the jokes we make as a culture, all the poetry and songs and emotions that men create/exhibit are just ploys to get sex, not expressions of a true self.

I was even careless with the husband's feelings, more than once, because I was assuming he just didn't have as sensitive a set of emotions as me. And he had to call me on it. And I'm really glad he did, before our son was born.

How may women think like that? How many men grow up thinking that's how they're supposed to be? That emotions mostly belong to women, so men shouldn't have as many/suppress what they do have?

I hope this book is a step away from that, in helping guys accept the feeling and relational parts of themselves as good and normal. And in helping get rid of the BS that we teach them.
posted by emjaybee at 6:15 PM on February 7, 2015 [18 favorites]


No.. This couldn't possibly be a pickup site.

http://www.hookingupandstayinghooked.com/category/pick-up/

Oh.

Well then, they couldn't possibly use all the stupid pickup artist cliches like "peacocking." That's just trying to manipulate women.

How to be a Peacock and draw her attention.

Oh.

Well surely they don't do stupid seduction "assignments" to accost strange women in public.

Homework Assignment: Talk to a Stranger

Oh.

Well surely they don't recommend sleazy tricks like going out to bars with a "Wingman" to help you seduce women.

Proper Wingman Etiquette
Wingman (as defined by Urban Dictionary): A Wingman is a guy you bring along with you on singles outings (like to bars) that helps you out with the women.

Hey wait a minute, this is supposed to be for high school kids, isn't it? They're not old enough to go to bars.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:25 PM on February 7, 2015


charlie, are you actually reading the whole thing on each page or are you just scanning them for words that you think sound naughty to try to prove your theory?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:29 PM on February 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


I read them. At first I could barely find anything on the site at all, I thought it was a brand new blog and only had a few pages. There isn't any obvious way to get at archives. Then I noticed there were keywords tags, and I could get articles going back a few years. I was surprised at what I found, it confirmed what I thought, far more than I expected. This is standard pick up artist stuff, diluted down and repackaged for high school kids. This is not necessarily a bad thing, even some feminists like Arden Leigh would argue that seduction manuals can be OK.

It is what it is.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:41 PM on February 7, 2015 [1 favorite]



To me it reads as using standard pick-up phrases because they may be familiar and then giving more realistic advice.

Like the first part of the peacock one is about there being nothing magic that will attract hot girls. And then talking about conversation starters.

And just a data point. I spend several years working with high-school student and 'hooking-up' was just another word for dating. It didn't mean just a sex hook-up.

Perhaps the word has changed it's meaning within some of the younger generation.
posted by Jalliah at 5:31 AM on February 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


To me it reads as using standard pick-up phrases because they may be familiar and then giving more realistic advice.

That's my impression, too (mostly). YMMV in terms of whether that advice is good or bad, creepy or not, et cetera (and some of what I saw there I wasn't crazy about), but I think the intent is to frame the ideas in ways that will be familiar to the reader.

That said: Can advice on how to be cool and not creepy be used for evil by guys who are not cool and are creepy and would like to get laid? Yeah, probably! It's a difference between "how to keep awkwardness and learned behavior (that is counterproductive and bad) from getting between you and the connections you would like to make with other people (that are positive and good for you and those other people alike)" and "how to feign being a decent human being so that you can trap unwary women in your web of bullshit and horror." The difference there? Is the reader, not the reading material.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:28 AM on February 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Co-opting PUA phraseology to positive ends is exactly the best way to fight PUA-type material. There is literally nothing wrong with a guy who wants advice on how to have a better love life. What this project sets out to do is to give advice to that guy which is both functional on several levels and also positive, respectful of other human beings, etc. If this hangs together, then it will be a nice rhetorical accomplishment. Kill the PUAs on their own turf, while also giving good advice that would, at least theoretically, make everybody happier. Win win win.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:34 AM on February 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Well, unfortunately, once one friend wants to fuck the other friend, the friendship is doomed anyway. Either there has to be a relationship upgrade or the dude (usually a dude) is just waiting around for her to start putting out, and then Uncomfortableness Ensues. Ugh. Aren't hetero cross-gender friendships fun? No wonder I have so few of them and am very careful about the few I do to keep it casual.

Bi people have no option: all of their friends are potentially attractive. I've stayed friends with three different friends I've had crushes on - in one case, we each had crushes on each other, but at different times. We've had ups and downs for other reasons, but unrequited attraction wasn't it.
posted by jb at 10:08 AM on February 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Being fully/mostly gay/lesbian has the same effect, really.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:39 AM on February 8, 2015


jenfullmoon: "Well, unfortunately, once one friend wants to fuck the other friend, the friendship is doomed anyway. Either there has to be a relationship upgrade or the dude (usually a dude) is just waiting around for her to start putting out, and then Uncomfortableness Ensues. Ugh. Aren't hetero cross-gender friendships fun? No wonder I have so few of them and am very careful about the few I do to keep it casual. "

Speaking as a heterosexual woman, I think this is overgeneralizing and projecting in a way that's really inaccurate. I've had plenty of friendships with men I thought were hot, and with men who (I know/have reason to believe) thought I was hot. That didn't mean the end of the friendships, because we were adults who were capable of dealing with our own desires without dumping them on the other person.
posted by Lexica at 11:51 AM on February 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


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