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"They're not quite the same 'hit points' you're used to."
September 16, 2007 1:21 AM   Subscribe

Picking Up Women 101, courtesy of the Internet. (warning: Youtube linkfest) Author Neil Strauss (The Game) introduces us to the concept. Celebrated PUA Mystery (of VH1's 'The Pick Up Artist' fame) shows us some of his moves and espouses. (Conan O'Brien makes light of it all.) Self-described 'nerd' Ross Jeffries (who claims to be this inspiration for this character) sells his line of Speed Seduction using a hypnosis-based strategy called NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) to get into girls' panties. You might want to check out a more straight-forward approach, highlighted by UK Channel 4's 'Speed School.' (parts 1 2 3 4 5).

Discuss.
posted by Mach3avelli (245 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
Self-disclosure: I used to be a pretty big player in the PUA scene some years ago. It's funny to see the exposure this stuff is getting these days. And all the money I could have made providing clueless men with common sense advice (these guys charge up to $10,000 for workshops.)
posted by Mach3avelli at 1:35 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


step 1: get off the internet & go outside.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:43 AM on September 16, 2007 [6 favorites]


My "move" is to tell the girl – or girls, if you know what I mean – how many times I've been Favorited by others.
posted by Poolio at 1:48 AM on September 16, 2007 [8 favorites]


pfft! those youtube sluts will go for anybody who posts enough videos.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:52 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


pfft! those youtube sluts will go for anybody who posts enough videos.

*golf clap*
posted by Poolio at 1:58 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


BTW, 50 x 9/11 = enough videos :)
posted by Poolio at 2:04 AM on September 16, 2007


This seems like an awful lot of work and/or trouble just to get laid.
posted by Avenger at 2:22 AM on September 16, 2007


Avenger writes "This seems like an awful lot of work and/or trouble just to get laid."

Damn straight. I know I couldn't be bothered to put that many links in a post, just to impress some girl.

I'm strictly a single link YouTube kinda guy.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:28 AM on September 16, 2007


Discuss.

oh, really? is that what you want us to do here in the comments section? thanks, friend. i for one wouldn't have thought to do so otherwise.

/comic book guy

but seriously, i thought we all agreed that the next person to use the "Discuss" formulation would be rolled up in a persian rug and forced to become a contestant on 'big brother 9: the reckoning,' wrapped in the rug all the while. not easy to be head-of-household with such a restriction, is it?
posted by Hat Maui at 2:29 AM on September 16, 2007 [5 favorites]


I dunno. In a perfect world both parties (the pick up artist and the person being picked up) leave the experience feeling satisfied and without regrets. However, the reality can be something completely different. There are a few articles I have read about pick up artists makes me really, really not want to know any more about their line of work. Some of the things are way beyond the realm of 'common sense advice' that Mach3velli refers to. My favorite being the strategy of playing on a woman's insecurities and deliberately trying to lower their self-esteem as an 'in'.

How these particular guys are able to live with themselves I'll never know. Pussy is nice and all, but I like being able to look at myself in the mirror.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:31 AM on September 16, 2007 [8 favorites]


I am not a Doctor but I play one in The Game.

+1 favorite

/Dispense As Written
posted by Poolio at 2:36 AM on September 16, 2007


Some of the things are way beyond the realm of 'common sense advice' that Mach3velli refers to.

Well, personally speaking, I'm an advocate of the whole, "push your better qualities, stand up for yourself, be proactive and optimistic" approach. Which seems to blow some guys' minds when it dawns on them, "Wow, I actually increase my chances by talking to women!"

I'm not at all a fan of lying and manipulation to get with someone (as you put it, self-respect), but some guys feel it's their prerogative. It's really a shame the amount of misogyny that permeates a lot of this PUA stuff. That's the side sad of it, the guys who see it as a conquest of women rather than improving themselves.
posted by Mach3avelli at 2:49 AM on September 16, 2007


oh, really? is that what you want us to do here in the comments section? thanks, friend. i for one wouldn't have thought to do so otherwise.

/comic book guy


Hehe, I knew someone would take the bait. Tongue-in-cheek, just having a little fun with the (more inside) option.
posted by Mach3avelli at 2:51 AM on September 16, 2007


It's interesting that it is this challenging for our species, and I say that as someone who was reasonably challenged before getting married.
posted by maxwelton at 2:53 AM on September 16, 2007


Hi...

I'm married with a couple of kids, one has this gastro thing at the moment, so the wife's home with her.

I have a really large mortgage and drive a shitbox. Would you like to see it?

I'm so in
posted by mattoxic at 3:02 AM on September 16, 2007 [7 favorites]


what's most clear about the "scene" is that the true seducees are the eager dopes who pay thousands to be told that you should talk to women if you want to meet them.
posted by Hat Maui at 3:17 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


poolio: WHY THE HELL WOULD THERE BE 50 STARS ON AN AMERICAN FLAG?

true. i'm damned if i'll ever recognise hawaii & alaska, the freak states.

posted by UbuRoivas at 3:42 AM on September 16, 2007


Seriously, would the devil just take corporeal form to suck Neil Strauss back into the shitstorm that beget him? The world might not be a better place as such, but it might be less, I dunno, cheapwhoreish.
posted by Football Bat at 3:43 AM on September 16, 2007


Y'know, Neil Strauss used to be a music critic for a free weekly paper in NYC called N.Y.Press, which was when I made his acquaintance. He went on to be a music critic at the NY Times, and now, I see, has a whole new career as a hawker of pickup books! I'll be damned!

Personally, I'm not in the market for his or anyone else's books on how to pick up women, but here's a pretty good list he put together: Neil Strauss's Top Books to Read on Rock & Roll.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:48 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Some of the things are way beyond the realm of 'common sense advice' that Mach3avelli refers to.

that has gotta be the most unintentionally ironic thing i've ever read here.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:50 AM on September 16, 2007


I can't even say that I feel offended by this idea of making hooking up a 'conquest' of women. I feel like the allure of these techniques is that they're somehow secret or forbidden, or that women would reject them if they knew the truth, that is, that they were 'being played'. Yet, there are obviously a lot of women out there who want to meet men and treating them like marks from the start seems counter productive. It's more silly than offensive.

I have this mental picture of using secret ninja martial arts technique for taking out the garbage. If you want to treat it as a conquest, go ahead, but when the trash is taken out everyone's happier.

And so I'll mimic Mach3avelli's point -- I can't help but feel this is more about what's going on in a guy's head than anything else, just affirming the common sense advice that they should act more confidently. In fact, the only reason I see to treat it as a secret 'conquest' is this: if you really believe that women need to be tricked in order to have interest in you, then that's a very unflattering thing about yourself.
posted by cotterpin at 4:03 AM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


slimepuppy writes "Some of the things are way beyond the realm of 'common sense advice' that Mach3velli refers to. My favorite being the strategy of playing on a woman's insecurities and deliberately trying to lower their self-esteem as an 'in'."

I don't know an awful lot about the scene. I read The Game, and though I still have trouble figuring out how an unattractive little dwarf like Neil Strauss could persuade anybody to sleep with him, I did enjoy the book. I guess you've really got to struggle meeting women to ever want to try that hard.

Over the last few weeks though, I've become completely hooked (thanks to Bittorrent) on VH1's The Pickup Artist. Mystery is genuinely attractive and charismatic, and appears to have put a lot of effort into systematizing the stuff that most guys figure out for themselves through trial and error. The guys on the show seem to seriously struggle when it comes to women -- just talking to them and not being paralyzed by anxiety, or grossing them out due to their inability to read social cues. In that sense, it doesn't seem to be much more than a bit of lifecoaching in the romantic arena.

The thing about trying to lower women's self esteem seems to me to be off-beam in that I honestly don't think that that's what they do. The whole 'negging' thing is much more about making women feel comfortable with you by feigning a lack of interest to avoid coming on too strong at an inappropriately early moment. However, if you're going to actually succeed, then at a later point, you're really going to have to let a woman know that you are interested in her and attracted to her -- the idea is that you don't do that until such a time as you've had what they call 'expressions of interest'.

As Mach3avelli says, it's mostly common sense stuff, but very few men take the time or trouble to think about it. For most of us, we either score, or we get shot down and move on to the next. But if you can't even bring yourself to talk to a girl, let alone get laid, it makes sense that somebody should analyse the process of what works often, in order to give you the confidence to actually make that leap of faith and try it for yourself.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:06 AM on September 16, 2007 [8 favorites]


cotterpin: that, and the fact that history shows that conquerors inevitably end up pouring heaps of money & other resources into the conquered country.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:08 AM on September 16, 2007


"Grief is nature's most powerful aphrodisiac. Look it up... Ma! the meatloaf!"
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 4:14 AM on September 16, 2007


Fuck, I just lost The Game.
posted by absalom at 6:11 AM on September 16, 2007 [8 favorites]


Back when I first started hearing about the PUA community, some years ago, I thought it sounded kind of icky and cheap. It certainly seems to prompt a whole lot of flames (both obvious anger and a more nuanced disdain from the guys) whenever it's brought up in a given online community. I was musing on this in the checkout aisle at the grocery and my eyes happened upon issues of Cosmo and the like. The covers had all kinds of tips on how to wear flattering clothes, picking the best makeup, and bits on "Ten Ways How You Can Get a Guy To ..."

Women have had their own version of the PUA community for so long it's invisible. It's not precisely the same, but the overall strategy is there: a network of information composed largely of "tips" on how to subtly manipulate the opposite sex. This is at least part of the source of anger at the mere existence of the PUA community. I usually measure outrage in degrees of rotation, indicating just how far the table has turned from the status quo.

That having been said, it's pretty obvious that Neil Strauss is like silly putty - easily imprinting off of the last thing he was jammed up against (witness his worshipful praise of Tom Cruise, his Manson book, even his attitude towards Courtney Love). The Game seems aimed at would-be-attractive-if-they-had-a-clue kind of guys who also have just a little too much disposable income, rather than the genuinely hideous guys. Most of the advice appears to be common sense for robots: obvious to the socially adept, staggering to the inept. It's not really for those who have trouble meeting women, it's for those who have no idea how to make that meeting go well and eventually convert that into a social interaction that has a chance of a "happy ending." Adolescent girls spend hours discussing precisely this kind of thing and relating information to one another whereas boys are encouraged to spend the large part of their leisure time grunting and hitting things with sticks. Frankly, it's about time the guys caught up.
posted by adipocere at 6:16 AM on September 16, 2007 [15 favorites]


The thing that I found most peculiar about The Game was that as soon as Strauss meets a woman who runs a game plan straight out of The Rules on him, he falls for her whole schtick and behaves in precisely the way that The Rules predicts that he will.

I kinda liked that he was honest enough to 'fess up to this, but it did kind of undermine the previous 300 some pages or so.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:28 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Rules women and Game men deserve each other and the bitter divorce that is undoubtedly in their future.
posted by Jess the Mess at 6:51 AM on September 16, 2007 [25 favorites]


Is this what the stuff Tome Cruise's character deals out in the movie Magnolia was based on?
posted by A189Nut at 6:52 AM on September 16, 2007


Advice, pheh. When I was a single guy, if I scored it was a fluke, usually based on whatever internal drama the woman was going through at the time and I just happened to be the nearest guy. I suspect the same is true of a lot of guys. When this happens, your only mission is to not mess it up by doing something stupid or disgusting. That's all there is to it.
posted by jonmc at 7:03 AM on September 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


In fact, the only reason I see to treat it as a secret 'conquest' is this: if you really believe that women need to be tricked in order to have interest in you, then that's a very unflattering thing about yourself.

it's not about tricking at all.

most people who are unsuccessful in the dating and hookup scene are at that point because they market themselves awfully. what this community teaches you is ways to make yourself appeal to other people immediately so that they can get past the initial rejection stage and get to know you better. many of the people in the pua community are there to find a girlfriend, not a one-night stand; these tricks are to help make strangers feel comfortable talking to you by making yourself seem more confident and to make them less reserved that a guy might be sexually interested in them.

the people in these communities get a combination of style tips, confidence strategies and staged conversations to have in the first 5 minutes of meeting someone and then are in a position to show strange women who they really are. if they're a genuinely uninteresting person with a great set of starter conversations, they'll fail.

most people aren't, though, and that's why it works.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 7:05 AM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


Rules women and Game men

RulesGirls and GameBoys.
posted by jonmc at 7:13 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Jess the Mess writes "Rules women and Game men deserve each other and the bitter divorce that is undoubtedly in their future."

Just make sure you don't have your teeth veneered and you'll be fine.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:43 AM on September 16, 2007


it's not about tricking at all.

But it is about technique, training and increased effort. Ultimately this leads to a kind of escalation, where the guys have to push ever bolder and the girls resist ever harder (Italy, anyone?)

Another brick in the wall.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:49 AM on September 16, 2007


I have a really large mortgage and drive a shitbox. Would you like to see it?


My minivan - let me show it to you.
posted by MikeMc at 7:53 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wanna see my MetroCard?
posted by jonmc at 7:54 AM on September 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


When you get to the point of NLP and hypnosis, it most certainly is about tricking and manipulation. A friend's father is a hypno-therapist and I spent some time browsing his library. The techniques they use are very subtle and manipulative.

One was to talk in a normal way, about something, and then slowly change the stress to odd words like "the" and "a" until a lilting sing-song is achieved where the listener is still paying attention to your voice but the meaning starts to fade out. Then place special emphasis on key words that together make a different point than they seem to in context.

There were many special trigger images detailed and button-pushing training sequences described.

Now that her father has overcome his alcoholism, they laugh about the time the mother insisted he seek counseling. When he emerged from the counselor's office after an hour or so, the counselor came out and told his wife in a soft sing-song voice: "He doesn't have a problem. His drinking is normal. He doesn't have a problem. His drinking is normal.."
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:11 AM on September 16, 2007 [16 favorites]


God, the View is impossible to watch. Those bitches don't let him get a word in.
posted by borkingchikapa at 8:16 AM on September 16, 2007


A189Nut writes "Is this what the stuff Tome Cruise's character deals out in the movie Magnolia was based on?"

If Mach3avelli is right and Cruise's character is based on Ross Jeffreys, then I think it's a bit less corrosive and more sophisticated than that. I remember sometime in the early 90's, Lewis DePayne sending me a free copy of Jeffreys stuff for some reason. I'm not sure why, I used to flame him terribly for being a moron.

Anyway, the stuff was completely unreadable. It was predicated on the idea that you could somehow 'hypnotize' women into having sex with you, by using NeuroLinguisitic Programming. At the time, it seemed to me to be the most desperate kind of wishful thinking. If it worked, then salesmen would be able to sell me all manner of crap that I didn't want, and when they try that shit on, I just say 'no thanks' and walk away. When they persist, I tell them to go fuck themselves. By and large, pretty well every woman I've ever known would do exactly the same thing when faced with that stuff.

My impression was largely confirmed by The Game, in which Strauss portrays Ross Jeffreys as a needy whiner, who is continuously pleading with him to take him to Hollywood parties in return for free seminars. When he actually gets to a couple, he acts completely inappropriately and strikes out every time.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:20 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, all of this stuff usually involves lying and manipulating women.

Sad, really. Reminds me of that used car salesman in True Lies.
posted by four panels at 8:29 AM on September 16, 2007


Unfortunately, all of this stuff usually involves lying

Honesty rarely gets you laid either. Saying "Hi, I'm a scrawny, homely guy of average intelligence with poor social skills who makes $9/hr and just wants to take you home and get perverted," isn't exactly a nookie-nuker line..
posted by jonmc at 8:33 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: what's your nookie-nuker line?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:38 AM on September 16, 2007


four panels writes "Unfortunately, all of this stuff usually involves lying and manipulating women."

Again, I'm no expert on this so somebody will correct me if I'm wrong, but if I understand it correctly, it actually doesn't. Well, not lying, anyway. If by manipulating, you mean consciously shaping ones interaction with somebody, then yes, that's correct, but I'm not sure that there's anything wrong with that. Why is it more wrong to consciously shape your social interactions as opposed to unconsciously shaping them? Are you likely to hurt somebody less? I don't see how. If anything, the opposite seems more likely to me.

But from what I've read, the whole point isn't to lie or manipulate anybody. It's to work on the things that make you more attractive to the opposite sex, and then to overcome the barriers that get in the way of rejection. That doesn't mean that every woman will fall at your feet. Most women will still reject you for a host of other reasons -- they still aren't attracted to you, they already are in a relationship, they're gay, etc. etc.

You seem to think that there's some 'authentic self', and unless you present that, in an unvarnished fashion to women, then you're somehow tricking them into a relationship. That just isn't true. Everybody farts. That doesn't mean you do it when you're out on a first date. Is that lying and manipulation? No, it's simply making the best of yourself. Also, everybody changes. Most people take some steps to develop and improve themselves. If your most important goal in life is finding a girlfriend, then it makes sense to guide your development in that direction, rather than picking up yet another programming language or whatever.

I have to say, I'm a bit like jonmc in that my experience of women is that they pick you rather than the other way around. But reading the little bit about this that I have read, it managed to render transparent for me the reasons why that did happen when it happened, and why, at other times, the whole process seemed completely opaque.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:49 AM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm a bit like jonmc in that my experience of women is that they pick you rather than the other way around.

They've decided they're going to pick up someone and if we're lucky, we happen to be there and meet some minnimum standard. For all but a few extrememly good looking guys, women don't look at us and say 'I must have that man."
posted by jonmc at 8:53 AM on September 16, 2007


Mystery is genuinely attractive and charismatic

I disagree. I think he's a dim-witted weasel who any intelligent woman would reject almost instantly. The wardrobe, the long hair, the name "Mystery"--it's all pretty pathetic. He tries too hard. His main talent is probably the ability to figure out which woman in a group is vulnerable enough to fall for it all.
posted by jrossi4r at 8:57 AM on September 16, 2007 [5 favorites]


I'm sorry, but I think the, "Do you floss before or after you brush?" line is the worst opener of all time.
posted by banished at 8:58 AM on September 16, 2007


Honesty rarely gets you laid either.

Sure it does. What doesn't get you laid is having a piss-poor attitude about yourself and then projecting it into everything you do.

That scrawny $9 an hour employee might have some lovely characteristics that, if they came through a confident exterior, would undoubtedly impress someone.

"Honesty" doesn't mean presenting all your negative characteristics in one neatly-wrapped package. It's merely a no-games type of deal. If something comes up, a question is asked, you don't lie.

This lying and manipulation stuff is just adding unnecessary layers to the situation. Personally, I'm an honest, no games kind of woman and I expect the same from a guy.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:09 AM on September 16, 2007 [5 favorites]


I disagree. I think he's a dim-witted weasel who any intelligent woman would reject almost instantly.

I didn't say he was intelligent. I said he was attractive and charismatic. If formal intelligence is what floats your boat, it's quite likely that you'd reject him because some dating guru hustler probably doesn't have the kind of status that would work for you.

That said, I think he's probably more intelligent than you'd give him credit for being. The fact that he's obsessed with something that seems fairly trivial to most of us doesn't actually say much about his IQ.

Also: my own experience of intelligent women is that many, many, many of them love a nice bit of rough. If you're seeking sex rather than a life partner, a lack of intelligence isn't really a bar to action. I'd be willing to bet that at any gathering of female academics, he'd have no problems whatsoever.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:13 AM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


Yet again, I have a different take on this PUA business.

Years ago I read what is apparently a relatively obscure book called "The Casanova Complex" wherein the Peter Trachtenburg (a self-confessed sex addict) explains his views on this seduction stuff. A result I subscribe to the theory that many if not most of these PUAs, heretofore known as Casanovas, Don Juans, womanizers, etc., are latent homosexuals. I think much of this PUA behavior often comes out of an attempt to repress their true sexuality and to release anger at not being able to express their true sexuality. For these guys, a woman's vagina is mainly a repository for frustration, and every conquest represents a successful act of feeling like they've overcome that frustration, albeit temporarily. Freud would probably say there are mommy issues in there too. I watched a couple of the youtube videos of Mystery in action and there was a comment he made near the end of one of them about having his mother living with him. A guy his age, dedicated and confirmed bachelor, living with his mommy. I'm just saying... (unless he was lying and that was a part of the set:: "Oooh, he takes care of his mother. I want that penis in me.").

Nevertheless, I'm also very intrigued with Mystery's show on VH1, for several reasons but the main ones being because of the eyeliner, the overly dramatic clothing, and because of the continuing demonstration of his subtle contempt not only for the pathetic wannabe playas he's trying to school, but also for women in general. I think it's amazing that he's exposing himself like this and risking ruining his own scheme. Maybe he's getting tired of the routine, or feeling the need to atone for his sins? Anyway, the guy is extremely charismatic and could probably get any man he wanted, if he'd just come out of closet.

Previously mentioned author Trachtenburg also theorized that when this kind of man is having sex with a woman he is subconsciously imagining the other men the woman has been with (or will be with) and how he is indirectly having also having sex with those men. Not sure I agree with this theory and it certainly doesn't work that way for women. However, in light of having unprotected sex, in the age of AIDS, now being viewed as exposing oneself to someone else's entire sexual history, there's sort of a parallel there. Some PUAs may not only be accumulating the bedpost notches of females, but males--indirectly--as well. Not that there's anything wrong with that but the shortest distance between two points is a straight line (no pun intended). PUAs: why not just leave women out of the equation and go for what you really want?
posted by fuse theorem at 9:14 AM on September 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


"Mystery is genuinely attractive and charismatic..."

I find him horrendously ugly and smarmy. As for honesty, cmgonzales is right - just be yourself.
posted by Liosliath at 9:17 AM on September 16, 2007


"love a nice bit of rough"

Oh we do, we do. Give me a charismatic punk boy with a bad attitude - not that amalgamation of outdated trends, bad clothing choices, and a very thin veneer of prettiness.
posted by Liosliath at 9:26 AM on September 16, 2007


I've actually been watching The Pick Up Artist online, and I do see that the main thing Mystery does is instills some confidence in men who have none. If you do anything enough, it becomes normal to you... and that includes talking to girls.

That said...

1) Mystery's overacting and delivery kills me. There was one elmination a few weeks ago where the two guys were choking back tears because neither wanted to go. And I felt for these poor nerdy guys, it's clear that they have really built confidence and wanted to continue. They were genuinely upset... no little caterpillar wants to be pulled from the cocoon before becoming a beautiful butterfly!!! So cut to Mystery, a dead-serious look on his pallid, eye-lined face, as he starts choking back supposed tears himself and says, all pouty, "NOW YOU KNOW how HARD this is for ME." I wanted to slap him.

2) Mystery's clothing, hat and goggles are fucking ridiculous. Honestly, the guy actually wore eskimo snow goggles with that black furry hat in one episode. I understand the concept of "peacocking" but I still think he looks retarded. And I mean that literally... I'm talking Sean Penn in I Am Sam.

3) Almost every guy on that show has been trained in such a way that they repeatedly (in every episode) used suggested opening lines such as "Hey! Did you see the fight that happened outside!?" (no fight happened) or "So, if a girl kisses another girl, would you consider that cheating?" or "So, which do you do first... brush or floss?" to start a "set" and get a girl to talk to them. There is clearly a procedure to Mystery's method, and I'm thinking if he keeps up with his publicity, pretty soon if a strange man in goggles walks up to a girl and says any of those lame things, she's just going to laugh and say, "Oh no... you're one of those lame Pick Up Artist dudes, huh?"

Kinda reminds me of the 80s... when guys thought the way to a woman's heart was to walk around acting and dressing just like this. Yeah, back in the day nothing said "Oh Lord, I need a woman" like a Sonny Crocket suit.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:30 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Liosliath writes "I find him horrendously ugly and smarmy. "

OK, when I wrote this, I was speaking comparatively. Watch the above clips, then tell me that Mystery isn't attractive and charismatic when compared with:

a.) Neil Strauss
b.) Ross Jeffreys
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:32 AM on September 16, 2007


BTW, acting aside I do think Mystery does have a good personality and can be downright charming at times. If anything, he's charming enough that it overcomes the eskimo goggles. I'm not sure that all of his customers are that blessed, however. I have noticed as they've built up confidence through him they've become more interesting, more relaxed and a lot less creepy. As I said before, I think most of that's due to doing something so much (ie, talking to women) that it ceases to be scary for them.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:34 AM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


I've never picked anyone up and I've never been picked up. I've met people. I've introduced myself, or I've been introduced to people. I've had conversations which (very easily and naturally) led to dates and then on to relationships and even marriage.

What sort of manners do people have? Say hello to people. If they're unpleasant, politely get away from them and say hello to someone else.

People need lessons on how to be a normal human?
posted by chuckdarwin at 9:44 AM on September 16, 2007


For all but a few extremely good looking guys, women don't look at us and say 'I must have that man."

oh you'd be surprised.

Those English dudes were sweet. I hope they all find someone nice to be with.

From these links I get a picture of shy guys who just want to date girls. Shy people generally do well with rules and scripts and little crutch-like things that help distance themselves from the situation until they're comfortable. Nothing wrong with that. It's the narcissistic "I will dominate but never get close" bs that turns people off - and people who are that way usually don't need tips and tricks in the first place.

The bratty older brother thing totally works on me btw.
posted by maggiemaggie at 9:59 AM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


People who are painfully shy just might, actually. More than anything just to learn that it doesn't have to be as scary as they think it does.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:00 AM on September 16, 2007


If you need acronyms and strategies and encounter tables to pick up women like it's fucking graduate school Dungeons & Dragons you will die a virgin
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:01 AM on September 16, 2007 [6 favorites]


The bratty older brother thing totally works on me btw.

Me too. Although lately I've been preferring bratty little brothers. Possibly because my big brothers are going to be in nursing homes soon. Ha. Kidding! :)
posted by miss lynnster at 10:03 AM on September 16, 2007


Ross is more than just the inspiration... hell, they all (Neil, Mystery, et all) call picking up girls "sarging." Why you ask? Ross' cat is named Sarge and, well, Ross styled his push-pull technique on how his cat seemed to draw people in.
posted by fatcatslimslim at 10:04 AM on September 16, 2007


It's the narcissistic "I will dominate but never get close" bs that turns people off - and people who are that way usually don't need tips and tricks in the first place.

So what you're saying here is that it *should* turn people off, but in reality it actually doesn't?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:04 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


So what you're saying here is that it *should* turn people off, but in reality it actually doesn't?

I guess what I meant to say was that hearing about and watching these guys who are picking up girls just to rack up points is a turn-off. Those kind of guys tend to be naturally manipulative anyway, without workshops, don't you think?

Watching those English dudes was just heartbreaking, they all seemed to want to have a real relationship, and I really wanted them each to get a girl.
posted by maggiemaggie at 10:16 AM on September 16, 2007


hey Miss Lynnster, did you see that fight over in meta talk? These two girls were totally going at it.
posted by vronsky at 10:25 AM on September 16, 2007 [7 favorites]


The cheese factor runs high with Mystery true, but the kids on that show are kinda endearing. Some people need a little help learning the mating dance. So Mystery is in a long line of cheesy guys - dance instructors.

Could you imagine how cool he could be with a few more years book learning and a makeover from Rachel Zoe?
posted by vronsky at 10:32 AM on September 16, 2007


I have a friend who sends me some of this stuff. It has some truth in it -- I'm very interested in mind control and things like that -- but only from the viewpoint of trying to be clearer about my actions -- I do consider that these NLP games are a little like slipping roofies into someone's drink (in a MUCH more benign way! drugging someone without their consent is a felony.)

The NLP stuff is a little deceptive. I don't think there's anything wrong with the body language techniques -- I think it's conducive to better communication between people. Women are naturally far better at reading body language (not just common knowledge but corroborated by every study) and men need to catch up.

Some Words of Advice To Young People

I've been very successful with women, far more than I expected when I was a young geek -- but I go about it in a different way entirely. I just like women; I'm interested in them; I try to be really honest with them; I've been looking to settle down with just one forever (and made a few good tries too but :-( ); but generally I just try to be myself.

Aside from the body language, the one thing I think everyone should take from the silly little excursions in adolescence that is the PUA world, is that they shouldn't be afraid to just go up to someone and talk to them.

I was very shy when I was young; I simply forced myself to get over it at a certain point. I must have walked up to strangers at a party or social do to say hello over a thousand times by now, and by golly, I can't remember one time where people weren't polite to me (if there was such a case, it can't have been very traumatic).

The majority of people like other people; they go out to talk to other people; as long as you are non-threatening, cheerful and even somewhat interesting they'll be perfectly happy to have you around -- for a bit (oh, that's the other side -- learn when people are getting bored at a party and split instantly. Watch their eyes and when they start looking away from you more than they did when you first showed up, it's time to go. Some people rarely look at you at all -- but then they'll do things like turn slightly away from you when they're going to get bored. If you leave at that point ("I need a drink! Nice talking to you..."), they'll think you're a witty fellow who makes a good exit! Of course, if you watch the body language, you'll find out how to make a good entrance to the next group too...)

One final point since I'm disgorging my bits of wisdom -- no matter how dull someone appears to be, there's some topic on which they are extremely interesting, and if all else fails you should find out what it is. You can be quite blunt: "What's your favorite thing to talk about?" You have to be completely non-judgemental and get into their world and ask questions to get them out of it, but once you get people talking you'll discover that this person went to Italy 20 years ago and had an adventure or that person loves duck hunting and knows everything about it.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:43 AM on September 16, 2007 [13 favorites]


The dude is seven feet tall. Gender roles alone will bring him shovelfuls of insecure women. If you really want to prove the effectiveness of instant seduction, wouldn't you make your spokesperson a bald, wheelchair-bound midget?
posted by kid ichorous at 10:52 AM on September 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


I guess what I meant to say was that hearing about and watching these guys who are picking up girls just to rack up points is a turn-off. Those kind of guys tend to be naturally manipulative anyway, without workshops, don't you think?

I do agree. However, I think there's some truth in the old saw that girls tend to prefer bad boys to nice boys, and I suspect that these workshops are an attempt to level that playing field somewhat.

Watching those English dudes was just heartbreaking, they all seemed to want to have a real relationship, and I really wanted them each to get a girl.

I wondered what on earth you were going on about here. I assumed you were talking about your heartbreak tour of the UK, where you'd loved and left a whole pile of English boys, all of whom wanted relationships with you.

This also appears to be true in the VH1 series though. I think Mystery has worked real miracles with fat Joe, and now he's got that whole Biggie Smalls thing going on, I want him to win so bad that it almost hurts.

Also: most of the lines might be duffers, but that line about '95% of women sing in the shower. 5% masturbate. Do you know what they sing?' is actually a killer.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:52 AM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


I've never picked anyone up and I've never been picked up.

Sure. You've also never taken a dump. Just Acts of Immaculate Excretion.

For all but a few extremely good looking guys, women don't look at us and say 'I must have that man."

oh you'd be surprised.


See the guy on the left in this picture*. He's one of my closest friends. Not only is he handsomer than shit, he's also independently wealthy, he was a former fireman and paramedic (currently a police officer) and he was in a band. There's also a picture of him in a New York newspaper rescuing a child from a burning building. When he's around, any other guy in the bar might as well just grab a beer and watch the game, since he is the black hole of female attention. I've seen everyone from prepubescent girls to elderly women vye for his attention. It's like he has the power to lower a woman's (and not a few men's) IQ, I've witnessed it. If he wasn't such a nice guy, I would have had to kill him. Don't tell me that there's no difference between the way the world reacts to guys like him and the rest of us. That's why I'm very skeptical when women say 'it's all about personality.' I've seen too much to believe that.

*I'm the drunk next to him.
posted by jonmc at 10:53 AM on September 16, 2007 [9 favorites]


I've seen a lot of this sort of thing floating around the internet and the language (i.e. 'speed seduction') weirds me out. It seems like the whole affair is geared towards treating women like sexual goals and epitomizing fuckin' as the only fun thing you can do with someone.

Don't get me wrong, fuckin's pretty grand, and a lot of this is good advice for the socially challenged, but it smacks of conquest. As long as you're playing with NLP, why not self-imprint some better personal habits without the need to run a social exploit? I guess the biggest 'problem' would be that the result would likely be a mindset that's not geared toward where the next pussy is coming from.

It seems to this observer as though Korzybsky spins in his grave.
posted by maus at 10:54 AM on September 16, 2007


For some reason I want to trade my panties for a BMX bike.
posted by Wonderwoman at 10:56 AM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


kid ichorous writes "If you really want to prove the effectiveness of instant seduction, wouldn't you make your spokesperson a bald, wheelchair-bound midget?"

You haven't watched the Neil Strauss clips yet, have you?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:57 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Has anyone else wondered why it's Simon Pegg in the 'NLP' video?!?
posted by skammer at 11:03 AM on September 16, 2007


There is clearly a procedure to Mystery's method, and I'm thinking if he keeps up with his publicity, pretty soon if a strange man in goggles walks up to a girl and says any of those lame things, she's just going to laugh and say, "Oh no... you're one of those lame Pick Up Artist dudes, huh?"

According to something I read, this is actually happening in New York City. I can't remember where I read it (something trashy -- maybe Gawker) but a woman was commenting that she was sick of the sudden proliferation of guys' obvious, by-the-book PUA moves (like "negging").
posted by jayder at 11:06 AM on September 16, 2007


VH1's The Pickup Artist. Mystery is genuinely attractive and charismatic

Oh. God. Please tell me your kidding. PLEASE!

If ever there was dude that was crying out to have face punched in it's that dude. Even my wife bunhes her fist when she sees his face.

That guy is so fake and that show is totally contrived and completely rigged it is laughable.

And. BTW. If I found out a chick I had banged had slept that Mystery guy I would immediately blow torch my groin just to be safe. Even if it was six years AFTER I banged her.
posted by tkchrist at 11:09 AM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


I just watched the Neil Strauss interview linked above.

He claims he tried the PUA techniques on Britney Spears, and that she fell for it, and that she told him, "I would like to exchange phone numbers with you."
posted by jayder at 11:11 AM on September 16, 2007


If ever there was dude that was crying out to have face punched in it's that dude.

Wait, tkchrist, what in the world has Mystery done that cries out for getting his face smashed in?

I'm no fan of him, but I don't understand your comment.
posted by jayder at 11:13 AM on September 16, 2007


If you need acronyms and strategies and encounter tables to pick up women like it's fucking graduate school Dungeons & Dragons you will die a virgin

Dunno. I've done ok since I slew that bard and took his cloak of charisma +2. YMMV.
posted by Kwine at 11:15 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you watch this show with a darwinian eye it makes even more sense. No different than a PBS nature documentary. I'm constatntly surprised when the darwinian/atheist crowd start wringing their hands in anguish/disgust when men act like primates. Not logical.
posted by vronsky at 11:15 AM on September 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


On preview what Miss Lynnster said.
posted by tkchrist at 11:16 AM on September 16, 2007


Y'know jonmc... the first time I saw your friend's picture many moons ago I thought, "Not really my type, but he looks like a nice enough fella." Didn't really do much for me, but the way you always talk him up? So Godlike & all? Now I MUST HAVE HIM.

No wonder he does well with you as his Wingman/PR agent.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:18 AM on September 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wait, tkchrist, what in the world has Mystery done that cries out for getting his face smashed in?

I dunno. Exist?

It's purely a instinctual and visceral reaction to such meticulous artifice and crafted douchbaggery I guess.

I never claimed I was particularly enlightened. So let me head you off right there.
posted by tkchrist at 11:19 AM on September 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


tkchrist writes "On preview what Miss Lynnster said."

What, you think he's so charming that it even overcomes the Eskimo Goggles?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:26 AM on September 16, 2007


No wonder he does well with you as his Wingman/PR agent.

Just reporting what I see, which is what taught me that the old cliche "Men are superficial, women are deep and all about personality, looks don't matter," is complete and utter bullshit.
posted by jonmc at 11:28 AM on September 16, 2007


(and if anything, I was a liability to him in our single days. the girl had to have a friend to entertain the yo-yo sitting with him)
posted by jonmc at 11:30 AM on September 16, 2007


I don't know - none of this strikes me as scary eye-lasers mind-control shit, just relatively lighthearted fun with some cod social Darwinism thrown in to give it a veneer of scientific rigour. I seriously doubt it's resulted in girls sleeping with chaps they didn't want to sleep with, and, you know, a lot of it seems to be about encouraging somewhat inept guys to think about other people's experiences for a change, which doesn't sound too evil to me.

I imagine being constantly 'on' would get draining after a while. I do performance and an hour of it leaves me knackered, drenched in sweat and shaking. So trying to be consistently entertaining for seven hours... if you've got the stamina, good luck to you.
posted by RokkitNite at 11:31 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Look at picture 23. Say he doesn't look slappable. I hate to be on tkchrist's side, but come on.

I mean, Robert Downey Jr. didn't need to peacock in a big furry hat to get chicks... he already had his eyebrows.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:34 AM on September 16, 2007


Anyhow, I'm going to head over to MetaTalk now. I heard there are two girls fighting over there...
posted by miss lynnster at 11:35 AM on September 16, 2007


He claims he tried the PUA techniques on Britney Spears, and that she fell for it, and that she told him, "I would like to exchange phone numbers with you."

Oh well, now there's an accomplishment. The state Britney's in these days, she probably says that to her cab driver and the guys who pick up the garbage.

BTW Jon, who's that guy sitting next to you in that picture? He's dreeeeeeeamy. I'm sorry, were you saying something? I was distracted. So. Is he single?
posted by jokeefe at 11:36 AM on September 16, 2007


On preview: Back off, lynnster. He's mine, you hear?
posted by jokeefe at 11:38 AM on September 16, 2007


Haha. That was the story of my life for the decade or so that I played Ralph Malph to his Fonzie.
posted by jonmc at 11:39 AM on September 16, 2007


Okay, now I've looked at picture 23, as recommended, above. Verdict: Lame Tommy Lee wannabe. Sorry, if you're going to dress like that, you'd better have a band to give it context, because otherwise, ugh.
posted by jokeefe at 11:42 AM on September 16, 2007


PS Jon, if it's any consolation, not once in my life have I ever chosen a square-jawed macho man over a nearby sensitive, artistic, intelligent nerdly type. For what it's worth...
posted by jokeefe at 11:46 AM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


miss lynnster writes "Look at picture 23. Say he doesn't look slappable. I hate to be on tkchrist's side, but come on.

Lose the lipstick kiss, the girlie necklace and the silly hat and I still submit, he's a very attractive man.

"I mean, Robert Downey Jr. didn't need to peacock in a big furry hat to get chicks... he already had his eyebrows."

Not to mention large quantities of cocaine. That'll always work in certain circles, regardless of whether you've got one eyebrow or two.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:47 AM on September 16, 2007


"tell me that Mystery isn't attractive and charismatic when compared with:

a.) Neil Strauss
b.) Ross Jeffreys"


Of the three (forced to choose) I'd pick Neil. I'd be wondering which team he was on, though.

Looks do matter, and Mystery's are..well, ugh.
posted by Liosliath at 11:49 AM on September 16, 2007


These are things that guys learn through, as my friends like to put it, osmosis. That is trial and error and observation. Very, very few men are capable of picking up women based solely on their looks or status. They are generally assholes (which I assume to be the default state of humanity until society pushes them to not be dicks). My hypothesis is that these are men with underlying anxiety problems or have a personality which is very much prone to being defensive. Example:

My friend had a japa mala hanging from his wrist. Girl walks up and says quite accusatory, "What is that? A rosary or something?" This sounds kind of like an insult, I probably would have said, "Yeah" and tried to end the encounter as quickly as possible. My friend takes the time to explain how he received it on a yoga trip to India and how it was made by Tibetan monks off some mountain. This is all true mind you, and it worked for him. While I personally would have instinctively been defensive, he took it in stride.

Which seems to be the very clinically dissected message that "pick up artists" are trying to put out. Increase your serendipity and be on your game all the time. I guess if your social network is so small that you normally don't meet new women on a casual basis, this is your only option. Some of these techniques don't hold over if you're meeting people in a more casual setting. Someone make a guide that talks about how to get a date with the really cute girl who is a friend of your friend that came and ate dinner a few nights ago at your other friends house and you don't expect to see her in your social circle again and you don't want to be asking everyone for her number because that's kind of creepy.
posted by geoff. at 11:52 AM on September 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


For the last seven years, I've made my living by crafting pick-up & persuasion materials for both men and women.

Both in testing pick-up materials and in learning how to sell what I've created, one principle sticks out:

Men and (and, to be blunt, while shunting aside any reluctance to set off the automatic "Ick! Sexist pig!" alarm) *especially* women-- very often are attracted to things they don't think they like.

Let's take Mystery. Is he a cheeseball? Sure. Is that part of his shtick? Certainly. Does he know his persona is redolent of brie and cheddar? Yes. Does this produce the intended result-- attracting the attention and desire of the most beautiful women in a given environment? Yup. And is this strategy replicable-- can he teach it to other guys, with generally similar effects (discounting an individual's particular tactical or communicative failings)? Absolutely.

Therefore, if you posit that a) getting laid with a hot woman can be b) worth behaving in apparently silly ways, then c) learning workable strategies makes good sense for men.

And a man who is already good with women, once he starts applying systematic strategies, will start attracting *much* more attractive women than those he's been getting, and will get them faster and more easily.

They'll respond much more quickly... because being with him is fun... is effortless. And enjoying his company is so natural, so effortless... that a woman feels freed of responsibility.

She has been swept away: "It just happened. It was meant to be."

Simple techniques, smoothly applied, move one's target ("interlocutor"? "Conversation partner"? Something yet more awkward?) from thinking to feeling... from detachment to immersion... from inhibition to pleasure.

They create the good feelings that make pick-up natural.

And those good feelings that allow a woman to write sneeringly of seemingly ludicrous or over-the-top pick-up routines would, in another context-- a social context-- very, very probably allow her to respond very, very powerfully-- erotically-- to those same routines, if they were directed at her, and she was experiencing them directly.

And how would she rationalize this to her friends? "Oh, he was funny... he made me laugh..."

For that matter, you can attract women with utterly banal, "poetic" language that, under analysis, would provoke laughter or a rolling of the eyes-- but, in practice, in conversation, makes women fascinated and aroused... and the more intelligent, educated, and imaginative the woman, oftentimes the stronger the response.

What people respond to, is often not what they believe they respond to, or what they would like to respond to.

Ferreting out what people *actually* respond to, as opposed to what they believe they respond to, is the essence of copywriting.

Ever notice that most websites designed to sell you stuff seem written in the voice of a nine-year old on speed? Notice those clashing colors, those shifting fonts, the cliches applied in endless barrage?

Just like pick-up routines, those tacky little tactics are in place for a reason: They work.

One wouldn't think they do, but they do.

"Yeah... but they wouldn't work on me."

Ever slept with someone, or developed a friendship with someone, or bought something... and then wondered later why you did?

If you've ever bought something... and seen an ad before buying it... or read a salesletter... before pushing that "buy" button... maybe it's worth re-evaluating what you respond to... because maybe you sometimes respond to the same things you sometimes laugh about.

Maybe that's the real reason those things are funny...
posted by darth_tedious at 11:53 AM on September 16, 2007 [7 favorites]


JonMC, is this self-deprecation part of your schtick, or do you really believe it? Like in this picture - why do you assume the girls are looking at your friend? You're really cute.
posted by Liosliath at 11:56 AM on September 16, 2007


Look at picture 23. Say he doesn't look slappable.

DO NOT TOUCH THE FRAT BUDDHA
posted by kid ichorous at 11:56 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey! THERE WAS NO FIGHT IN METATALK!

Lose the lipstick kiss, the girlie necklace and the silly hat and I still submit, he's a very attractive man.

Yeah okay. Point being HE'S WEARING A RIDICULOUS LIPSTICK KISS ON HIS NECK, A GIRLIE NECKLACE AND A SILLY HAT.

Not to mention large quantities of cocaine. That'll always work in certain circles, regardless of whether you've got one eyebrow or two.

How DARE you! Molly Ringwald was no coke whore, you hear me?!? SHE WASN'T!!!! She was America's red mop-headed sweetheart, dammit. *Cues up obligatory Psychadelic Furs song*
posted by miss lynnster at 11:56 AM on September 16, 2007


Darth may have a point. Nothing else can explain the Heather Locklear/David Spade hookup.
posted by Liosliath at 11:57 AM on September 16, 2007


And actually, I agree with Liosliath. When you constantly point out how people are more interested in your friend, it just makes him seem more secure with himself in comparison & thus more attractive. But honestly, in every photo I've seen of the two of you? If I was just judging visually, you show more personality & look like you'd possibly be far more interesting to talk to. Personally, I find that someone's genuine individuality initially attracts me to get to know them far more than a square jaw or overly dramatic story about saving burning babies. But whatever, YMMV.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:06 PM on September 16, 2007


Nothing else can explain the Heather Locklear/David Spade hookup.

Except "birds of a feather." In that they are both narcissistic assholes.
posted by tkchrist at 12:09 PM on September 16, 2007


I never claimed I was particularly enlightened. So let me head you off right there.

I'm not saying you're unenlightened. I'm not sure what I am saying. I just know you as a martial arts/fighting aficionado, and I thought it was interesting that your reaction to the pick-up artist is to want to ... punch his face in.

Is it possible that your desire to kick his ass is your visceral response to a guy who is trying to open up success to ladies to guys who are not well-trained ass-kickers like you?
posted by jayder at 12:09 PM on September 16, 2007


Nothing else can explain the Heather Locklear/David Spade hookup.

An attempt to breed the world's biggest pain in the ass.

JonMC, is this self-deprecation part of your schtick, or do you really believe it?

It's for real. and it's a survival mechanism.
posted by jonmc at 12:12 PM on September 16, 2007


Well jonmc, I guess it's too bad that before now you didn't know to wear a big furry hat, lipstick kiss, girlie necklace & goggles whenever accompanying your fireman friend. You could've bypassed all of that self deprication stuff right there. He would've been rendered virtually invisible when up against your personality and Mystery's peacocking skills! Alas, such sarging opportunities wasted.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:20 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


And a man who is already good with women, once he starts applying systematic strategies, will start attracting *much* more attractive women than those he's been getting, and will get them faster and more easily.

Wow. I just had another one of those "I have landed amongst the aliens" moment. I think it's the use of the word "get" in here. The utter commodification of human relationships. I feel vaguely... slimed.
posted by jokeefe at 12:24 PM on September 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


HE'S WEARING A RIDICULOUS LIPSTICK KISS ON HIS NECK, A GIRLIE NECKLACE AND A SILLY HAT.

You know who else dressed ridiculously, was not conventionally handsome, and used his oratory skills to propogate controversial/offensive theories?
posted by RokkitNite at 12:27 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Is it possible that your desire to kick his ass is your visceral response to a guy who is trying to open up success to ladies to guys who are not well-trained ass-kickers like you?

My success with ladies pre-dates my some what mythical status as as a so-called ass-kicker. In fact, back in the day, the two times I actually managed to beat somebody up I LOST the lady I was with as a result. I guarantee you that out side of movies, high school dances, biker bars, and bowling allies that shit is not very pertinent to success with women. The opposite in fact.

The dude rubs me the wrong way. Not what he "does."

Mostly because he is a carefully crafted construct and a concept not an individual. He designed himself to BE surface. The show is fake. It's not real. And neither is his legend. However, I have no doubts the "strategies" he recommends succeed. However it seems they succeed at the cost of basic human honesty. But. Whatever.

Look. I was a nerd in high school. But I got girls. I had braces on my teeth as a freshman in college. But I got girls.

While my buddies were going to sports bars or playing D&D until 4am— I was going to fashion shows, recitals, dance clubs, plays and the after parties— places where girls were. Places where the gender ratio was in my favor. I learned to thrive on rejection and to actually talk to women ( I have an older sister so that helped).

Of course there was crucial difference from then to now. It was before AIDS. There was much less fear associated with sex in general. It was a given you were gonna get laid once you made the connection.

We kind of fucked it up for the rest of you younger people.
posted by tkchrist at 12:29 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd also like to punch Mystery. Since I'm not exactly a martial arts/fighting expert, I might have to settle for tripping him.

Also, JonMC, a lot of guys wish they were as attractive as you.
posted by Liosliath at 12:31 PM on September 16, 2007


bowling allies

I'm now picturing Roosevelt and Churchill rolling strikes.

overly dramatic story about saving burning babies

actually the story's real. he did a few 24-hour shifts at Ground Zero, too, since his firehouse lost afew guys on 9/11. he's a tough act to follow.
posted by jonmc at 12:32 PM on September 16, 2007


If women will even talk to this Mystery fellow, despite him dressing like a flaming fool and speaking like Crispin Glover, there must be some truth to the statement that any guy can be accepted into the game. I'm a scrawny nine dollar an hour man, about as unsuccessful with women as it is possible to be, so I watched these videos (with the exception of the NLP ones, because that's creepy). I don't know how I could put any of it into action, especially now that I'm not twenty-something anymore. I can't see going around like a stereo speaker salesman or a Mormon missionary, aggressively busting into groups of attractive strangers, even if I did have a lifecoach and a camera crew forcing me to do it. But none of the stuff in the videos seemed that manipulative. I actually learned a couple useful things: "Loud people don't scare people, quiet people do"; allow people to sell themselves to you; let people know you only have a minute, because as soon as you arrive they start wondering how long you're going to stay. All that could be from How To Influence People, as useful in any social interaction as in dating. There does seem to be a lot of manipulation out there in the mating world, where already overly confident badboys play games with the self-esteem of women to score conquests, but teaching backward men how to say hello really isn't a part of all that. Mostly these videos leave me with one conclusion: too much work.
posted by TimTypeZed at 12:34 PM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


Ok, whoops, that's not your pic. That guy is cute, too. Here you are.
posted by Liosliath at 12:34 PM on September 16, 2007


Goggles are so Kenny Fisher.
posted by jrossi4r at 12:37 PM on September 16, 2007


Lupus_yonderboy's sage advice has no favorites. This is obviously because all mefites have got it going on.
posted by slimepuppy at 12:37 PM on September 16, 2007


Jonmc: There is something about the type of guy that wants to BE a firefighter than may predispose them to that kind of Alpha Male/Good Shepard/Protector type thing which is very attractive to most women. It isn't just looks. My buddy Ed, a fire firefighter, is a scrawny goofy unconventional dude who just oozes charm and confidence. The ladies LOVE him.

In all aspects of life you can coast a looooong way on a little charm. Sex is no exception.

And charm is listening, a sincere smile, a good wicked sense of humor, self depreciating confidence and looking somebody in the eye. Mostly you have to want to make other people feel comfortable around you with out kissing their ass. Making people feel good should make you happy.

It takes bit of practice is all.

All this chicanery these guys endorse simply means the people involved are punching above their weight or THINK they are attracted to a certain beauty standard that is manufactured by some fashion or media trend. Wanting sexy people is fine. But destroying your integrity because you're a nerd that HAS to fuck an uber-porn star looking chick is a recipe for disappointment.
posted by tkchrist at 12:46 PM on September 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


hey. jonmc is a good looking guy. What's he complaining about.
posted by tkchrist at 12:49 PM on September 16, 2007


Liosliath writes "Of the three (forced to choose) I'd pick Neil. I'd be wondering which team he was on, though. Looks do matter, and Mystery's are..well, ugh."

OK, there's no accounting for taste. I tend not to favour conventionally attractive women either. Well, I suppose that I do, but other attributes all too often override that particular preference.

Also, another vote here for the fact that jonmc is more attractive than his testosterone-heavy friend. But perhaps that's why I see Mystery as being more attractive than Neil Strauss. For a heterosexual man, testosterone = bad, and Mystery looks like a low-testosterone kinda guy.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:54 PM on September 16, 2007


Hey, I'm happily married so it's all academic, but I remember what it was like back in the trenches, and I realize that people talk a more egalitarian game than they actually play. And back when we were both shopclerks making $7/hr, he was a trolling stud and I was his comedy relief. He actually accompanied me to a few occasions where there MeFites present and I had to wipe drool of the chins of a few female (and at least one male) mefiosi.
posted by jonmc at 12:55 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]



Women have had their own version of the PUA community for so long it's invisible. It's not precisely the same, but the overall strategy is there: a network of information composed largely of "tips" on how to subtly manipulate the opposite sex. This is at least part of the source of anger at the mere existence of the PUA community.


Right wing conspiracy! Right wing conspiracy! How come I never get invited into the inner circle, dammit!
posted by SassHat at 12:57 PM on September 16, 2007


I'll admit that if you put Mystery in a plain white t-shirt and jeans, and he didn't open his mouth, he'd be attractive. That's the sole reason why I find Neil more attractive - because he's reasonably good looking, and not such a prick. As for Ross Jeffries, though...no. I'm sure someone finds him attractive, just not me.
posted by Liosliath at 12:58 PM on September 16, 2007


The "Speed School" video reminded me of a long-ago journalism class wherein myself and my classmates were expected to do an impromptu man-on-the-street piece -- like, right then and there, we were all assigned to head outside and ask a dozen random people on campus what their plans were for Friday night (it was Thursday). I tend to be a little reserved around strangers, or so I always thought; what I discovered when shoved outside and forced to strike up a conversation with complete strangers was that I was absolutely fucking terrified of them. It didn't help that walking up to people and saying something along the lines of, "Hi, I'm writing this piece for the school paper, and I need to know: What are you doing tomorrow night?" sounds like...well...a cheesy pickup routine. I started out light, with the single most socially awkward-looking dude in sight (who was so freaked out by this unexpected attention that he started visibly perspiring and looked like he would cry) -- I mean, no one said I had to talk to women -- but I realized I couldn't very well not talk to women and come up with a sample at all representative of the student body, so...I did it.

And the thing was, the more I did it, the easier it became, and the more fun it was. I mean, I would never have done it had there been any choice in the matter, but the removal of choice kind of eliminated the inhibitions I would normally have had -- given no alternative to extroversion, I was extroverted, and it rocked. The whole idea of picking up women aside, just going through life with that level of confidence must be...well...a pretty good way to go through life. We tend to live in our insular little bubbles, but we don't have to. The guys in that video may have just been trying to get laid, but the greater overall self-confidence they must have built from being shoved into interaction upon interaction like that is about a lot more than just getting digits.

(As for Mystery, I haven't seen his show, but he does seem kind of ridiculous. Still, there is something admirable in a person who isn't afraid to leave the house like that.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:00 PM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


"talk a more egalitarian game than they actually play."

Not true. You chose to play the comedy relief, I think. It could have easily gone the other way - with him being the cute but stupid oaf, and you the smartass player.
posted by Liosliath at 1:02 PM on September 16, 2007


You know who else wears silly outfits, goggles and has great pick-up lines?

That's right, Roy 'Chubby' Brown.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:04 PM on September 16, 2007


Not true. You chose to play the comedy relief, I think.

It's nice to think that, but I remember walking into places with him and watching heads turn and women trip over themselves to get near him (and like I said, he's a genuinely likable guy, so I don't hold it against him), so to be noticed at all, I had to at least be funny.
posted by jonmc at 1:06 PM on September 16, 2007


For a heterosexual man, testosterone = bad,

which is why firefighters, cops, rockstars, athletes and bikers never get laid. Come on.
posted by jonmc at 1:12 PM on September 16, 2007


Jokeefe,

"Get"-->"utter commodification"-->"aliens"-->"feel slimed".

From "get" to "feel slimed" in three steps: you've my congratulations on creating a very efficient neural track... for feeling slimed.

In my book, "get" has a guttural honesty and simplicity. It lets you "have"... lets you "enjoy"... lets you "choose". When you get something, and know you can get something, then you have the freedom to choose more carefully, and treat people more gently.

Unpleasant behavior comes from not having... not knowing you can have.

Think of those you know who seem bitter or even destructive. How much of what they honestly want do they really believe they can "get"?

In any case, pick-up is the beginning, the runway; what matters is the flight, and what you enjoy when you and your companion tour some far-away locale.

Cheers.
posted by darth_tedious at 1:16 PM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


The guys in that video may have just been trying to get laid, but the greater overall self-confidence they must have built from being shoved into interaction upon interaction like that is about a lot more than just getting digits.

I will concede that this is a very good point.

As a side note: This is about loneliness and what an epidemic it is. It's shame what loneliness does to people. We should think of it like we do heart disease and cancer. There should be PSA and courses in high school about it.
posted by tkchrist at 1:17 PM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


which is why firefighters, cops, rockstars, athletes and bikers never get laid. Come on.

Rockstars? The defense would like to submit exhibit a & b "Davy Jones" and "Prince" before the jury.

Perhaps you have never heard of Johnny Depp?

A little experiment. Ask an average woman who they they thing is really sexy. It won't be "The Rock."

As a side experiment ask what sexual position they imagine doing with the same person. 8 out of 10 it won't be man on top.
posted by tkchrist at 1:21 PM on September 16, 2007


jonmc writes "For a heterosexual man, testosterone = bad,

"which is why firefighters, cops, rockstars, athletes and bikers
never get laid. Come on."

Sorry, jonmc, but I'm a heterosexual man and I've got no desire to have sex with firefighters, cops, athletes or bikers. There's a few rockstars I'd make an exception for, but they're all strictly low testosterone types.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:23 PM on September 16, 2007


Sorry, jonmc, but I'm a heterosexual man and I've got no desire to have sex with firefighters, cops, athletes or bikers.

I could go for a motorcycle-jockeying chick what puts out the fires. Just saying.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:35 PM on September 16, 2007


Rockstars? The defense would like to submit exhibit a & b "Davy Jones" and "Prince" before the jury.

The prosecution submits James Hetfield and Gene Simmons. and as a retort to Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt.
posted by jonmc at 1:50 PM on September 16, 2007


jonmc is right. I'm a pretty good-looking, tall, athletic, funny, charismatic, self-assured guy, but some dudes just have it carved out for them and leave strong candidates like myself out to dry.

I used to hang out with this guy I worked with at a restaurant. Tall, dark, and handsome to a tee. A model. Girls would walk into the restaurant and ask to sit in his section. He was a complete asshole too, keeping track of the number of girls he slept with by throwing a coin into a jar he kept by his bedside for every new conquest.

And no, he didn't have a personality worth shit. He was pretty dim, his jokes were lame, and no one at work particularly liked him. But he was blessed with ungodly good looks and a winning smile. And lots and lots and LOTS of girls didn't see beyond that. He slept with two girls at work in one day and bragged about it to everyone. Both were disgusted when they found out, and one quit among all the drama and humiliation. The other? She slept with him again.

Not just girls either. Women. Married ones. Who'd leave their phone number on the receipt. To which he'd ball up and throw away saying, "I don't fuck women over 25. Or ones who've had something the size of a baby come out their pussy."

Anyway, my point is, I had much better success when we didn't go out to bars/nightclubs together. I'd have my gameface on, and the reason some girls would talk to me was to (surprise) get closer to him. And as the asshole he was, he'd wink at me and proclaim, "To the victor goes the spoils." To the point that I once made out with a girl on the dance floor, then was asked to introduce her after he walked by.

I think the biggest shock to me at this time of "enlightenment" was how well-rounded many of the girls he slept with were. You'd think only dumb girls would be so one-dimensional. But alas, it turns out the inverse is truer.

So yeah, just echoing jon's sentiments about the myth behind "Men are superficial, women are deep and all about personality, looks don't matter."
posted by Mach3avelli at 1:53 PM on September 16, 2007 [6 favorites]


The obfuscation submits bicycles built for two, Joe DiMaggio, and the cast of Beverly Hills Cop.
posted by Kwine at 1:57 PM on September 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


what mach3avelli said. My best friend in college was not just handsome but one of those genetic freaks in the .001 percent of beautiful people. Think Mel Gibson in his prime but better. Though he was a sweet funny guy too. It opened my eyes.( hell of a wingman to have by your side.)
posted by vronsky at 2:03 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


I agree with tkchrist,it's about loneliness.

Also, Neil Strauss comes across as a genuinely nice guy. Mystery seems like a party clown. Ross Jefferies seems like a psycho.

And jonmc you are cute. And you look a lot like one of my brothers who had girls falling at his feet.
posted by maggiemaggie at 2:25 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


I didn't say I wasn't. I'm just saying that my friend was better looking and had the whole alpha-male thing going, too and that no matter what women say, they generally are as superficial about such things as men are.
posted by jonmc at 2:28 PM on September 16, 2007


Jokeefe,

"Get"-->"utter commodification"-->"aliens"-->"feel slimed".

From "get" to "feel slimed" in three steps: you've my congratulations on creating a very efficient neural track... for feeling slimed.


Don't be so fucking condescending. Sheesh.
posted by jokeefe at 2:33 PM on September 16, 2007


darth_tedious, I gotta say that I also got kind of a commodification vibe from your statement that one can attract more attractive women than one used to by using your techniques (and you're going to want to be extra-careful about shilling your book here, BTW). I mean from that phraseology you do make them sound a bit like fancy cars or wristwatches.
posted by whir at 2:40 PM on September 16, 2007


I disagree with a lot of what you guys are saying. But hey, I've a tendency to have different thoughts than much of the rest of my gender so it's not shocking.

actually the story's real. he did a few 24-hour shifts at Ground Zero, too, since his firehouse lost afew guys on 9/11. he's a tough act to follow.

What makes you think I said it was fake? What I said was overly dramatic. As in, containing more than the usual amount of drama involved in stories people have to tell you whilst trying to pick you up in a bar.

And I'm willing to bet that if you could go back in time and watch the times when you were sitting there with your buddy, you'd see things differently. There were probably girls giving you signals of interest that you weren't even paying any attention to because you were busy being comic relief.
posted by miss lynnster at 2:46 PM on September 16, 2007


Well, of course we're not singling out every last woman in the world, merely generally speaking.
posted by Mach3avelli at 2:55 PM on September 16, 2007


I find the whole "be confident, aggressive but not too aggressive, modest yet present your best qualities, blah blah blah " the equivalent of telling a girl "get a boob job" if you want to be more popular with the opposite sex.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 2:57 PM on September 16, 2007


This is a fascinating discussion. I've yet to see The Pick Up Artist but I'm now genuinely interested.
But man, come on with the "dwarf" shit! I'm short - like, super short - and, at the risk of sounding like an asshole, I've never, ever had trouble "getting" beautiful girls without the help of books or seminars. Have I been successful despite my apparent handicap? Or is it because I've never really considered it a handicap and maybe it shows?
I'm just saying, there's such a double standard here - if PeterMcDermott had called out Neil Strauss for having, say, a weight problem, you guys would be all over his shit, but calling the guy a "dwarf" for being 5'6"...what the fuck, man!
posted by ghastlyfop at 3:04 PM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


There were probably girls giving you signals of interest that you weren't even paying any attention to because you were busy being comic relief.

That's a possibility since women in general are way too subtle. Back in the day,a woman had to practically smoosh her boobies in my face before I'd think 'maybe she likes me?'
posted by jonmc at 3:07 PM on September 16, 2007


I find the whole "be confident, aggressive but not too aggressive, modest yet present your best qualities, blah blah blah " the equivalent of telling a girl "get a boob job" if you want to be more popular with the opposite sex.

That's the dumbest line of reasoning I've read all week.

Intellectual sloth prevails.
posted by Mach3avelli at 3:16 PM on September 16, 2007


By the way, jon, it's nice to see what you look like. It sorta humanizes every disagreement we've ever had about music, which I believe includes everything but the Beatles being overrated. That said, I'm moving out to NY soon to manage a band.
posted by Mach3avelli at 3:26 PM on September 16, 2007


"I'm short - like, super short - and, at the risk of sounding like an asshole, I've never, ever had trouble "getting" beautiful girls"

are they dating you or adopting you?
posted by vronsky at 3:28 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey ghastlyfop, it's your birthday,
It's your birthday,
It's your birthday...

I've never, ever had trouble "getting" beautiful girls without the help of books or seminars. Have I been successful despite my apparent handicap? Or is it because I've never really considered it a handicap and maybe it shows?

I'm guessing the former, because given how touchy you are about my comment, I'm not exactly sure that I believe you with regard to the latter.

Seriously though, my remarks about Strauss are based less on his height -- 5' 6' is short, but not particularly so. It's that combination of complete slaphead, butt ugly *and* short that conjures up the image of a dwarf in my imagination.

BTW, you know who else was short and got all pissed off when he felt slighted?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:29 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh no he DI'INT!!! Oooh snap!
posted by miss lynnster at 3:32 PM on September 16, 2007


Or perhaps an exceedingly low tolerance for bullshit.

But I'm guessing you could explain to me why my reasoning is so sloppy?
posted by quintessencesluglord at 3:33 PM on September 16, 2007


BTW, you know who else was short and got all pissed off when he felt slighted?

Hank The Angry Drunken Dwarf?

(who hit on my handsome buddy's gorgeous blonde girlfriend in a bar one night)
posted by jonmc at 3:49 PM on September 16, 2007


I did once find myself having dinner sitting next to an it-girl hot young movie actress, out of instinct I kept criticizing the way she poured wine, it seemed to make me much more interesting. hehe.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:51 PM on September 16, 2007


Actually, that was, like, half-funny, vronsky.
And really, I'm only reminded of it when I read casual, off-hand comments like yours, PeterMcDermott. And yeah, if I take it to task, I'm overly sensitive about it. And if I don't, it just slips by and nobody blinks an eye.
It's just a weird double standard in Metafilter - people are usually so sensitive about mutual respect, especially with regard to, say, body type and size issues. Just something to be aware of next time there's a "fat" post.
Carry on.
posted by ghastlyfop at 3:51 PM on September 16, 2007


Well, fat people have somewhat of a modicum of control over their size. That's why the double standard exists.

Oh..wait...
posted by Mach3avelli at 3:53 PM on September 16, 2007


By the way, jon, it's nice to see what you look like.

That picture's about six years old. This is what I look like now.
posted by jonmc at 3:54 PM on September 16, 2007


Hehe. Smooshed boobies in face.

Heh.

Bewbs.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:56 PM on September 16, 2007


Hmm, then I take it all back, damn hippie!

Just kidding...you seem like the kind of guy who'd be fun to chill and have a beer with to discuss music. Then we could go sarging! I call dibs on snow goggles.
posted by Mach3avelli at 3:58 PM on September 16, 2007


Looks matter. It's foolish to say they don't. But. Machismo on the other hand can be a serious drawback. It depends on your target market so to speak. Like I said when I attempted to be a macho asshole and fought a guy and won all the girls went to HIM... "oh. Are you okay..." and all that shit.

MEN, INMO, tend to gravitate and buy into the high testosterone "macho" men more than women. Though there is the "rugged" sub-genre of macho that has appeal. But The Rock and Ah-nold Schwarzenegger are top grosser's because MEN like them. See what I'm saying?

Aloofness. Being a challenge all that shit. Well that is the confidence factor. And Alphas tend to be confident. Confidence and aloofness are attractive. So is the "individualist."

Take Johnny Depp ... he is an Alpha... but one that is playing outside the standard macho role. he is downright feminine. And by and large most women really respond to that. He is damn hot. I think you find more women respond to qualities like that than you would to, say, Dolph Lungren.

However. Think Bogart. Think Spencer Tracy. My friends those dudes were not muscle bound stud muffins in any traditional sense. Perhaps rugged macho. Bad boy macho. But it was understated somewhat by todays standards. And both those guys got poonanny like crazy. Long before they were stars.
posted by tkchrist at 3:59 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Meant as a gentle tease ghastlyflop. I shouldn't have watched that roast of Flavor Flav last night. Apologies if it truly did offend you.

Here this will cheer you up. Don't know what show this is from - must be British, but it is funny.
posted by vronsky at 4:00 PM on September 16, 2007


Well, yeah, there's a difference between a tough guy and a bully. That much is obvious.
posted by jonmc at 4:01 PM on September 16, 2007


Uh...thank you, vronksy.
posted by ghastlyfop at 4:07 PM on September 16, 2007


There were probably girls giving you signals of interest that you weren't even paying any attention to

ML is right.

Most men have no clue. I don't know if it's because they are afraid to seem like leering cretins, or afraid of being rejected, but most straight men are stupid to the signals (I don't think gay men have this problem). And generally you only get a couple of shots before a women just says "well fuck that." And rightfully so.
posted by tkchrist at 4:07 PM on September 16, 2007


I don't know if it's because they are afraid to seem like leering cretins, or afraid of being rejected, but most straight men are stupid to the signals

Both and general cluelessness. The first time I ever got into serious heavy petting with a girl (I was 18, to show you how clueless I was, and what a pimply loser I was in high school) the girl flatout told me to make a move. After reviewing the night later, I was like 'I could've scored so many times before, dammit!'
posted by jonmc at 4:12 PM on September 16, 2007


slightly off topic.

It's funny. Think about when, post WWII, male movie stars became super-macho stud muffins. The early 1950's.

Now. A bunch of those guys. They were gay. The studios went to great lengths to portray them as keeping the women away with a stick.

And then you had the guys like Bogart, Tracy etc. Kind of toady looking dudes. The studios were working over time to cover up all the sex they were having.

Ironic, huh.
posted by tkchrist at 4:15 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


If it makes you feel any better? I spent much of my 20s feeling like everyone was trying to manipulate me to get me into bed but there was nobody who truly wanted to actually be my boyfriend and love me. I couldn't find a nice boyfriend to save my life. Years later in retrospect, I realize that there were some great guys following me around like a puppy trying to get my attention to do just that but I was totally oblivious & insecure. I guess I didn't believe anyone could actually love me or something. I was too busy assuming everyone was like this Mystery guy, playing games with me to try to get into my pants.

Granted, 99% of 'em were, though.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:19 PM on September 16, 2007


No, miss lynnster, those puppy dog guys were also just trying to get you into bed. They just didn't know how to do it.
posted by ghastlyfop at 4:22 PM on September 16, 2007


Also, I'm sorry to burst your theory... but I'd DEFINITELY jump up to try a little of whatever The Rock is cooking, ANY TIME.

But then again, I tend to be attracted to guys of mixed heritage. And if he was stupid, took himself seriously, and if he didn't have the nice smile & dimples, then I'd think he was a little less hot. But he does. SO I DO. Oh yes, yes I do. Uh-huh. Yup.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:28 PM on September 16, 2007


Oh ghastlyfop, I know that. But apparently they actually were trying to get me into bed more than just one time. That's the difference, I hear.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:30 PM on September 16, 2007


Truth be told by the way... you know who one of the biggest ladies men of the mid 20th century was? No lie?

THIS MAN. Not even slightly kidding.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:34 PM on September 16, 2007


Hell, I always figured there was 'lost footage' of him and Otis' night of passion in the drunk tank.
posted by jonmc at 4:35 PM on September 16, 2007


That's a possibility since women in general are way too subtle. Back in the day,a woman had to practically smoosh her boobies in my face before I'd think 'maybe she likes me?'

the girl flatout told me to make a move. After reviewing the night later, I was like 'I could've scored so many times before, dammit!'


I think we may be related. Your recollections seem eerily familiar.
posted by MikeMc at 4:36 PM on September 16, 2007


well, we seem to have the same last name.
posted by jonmc at 4:38 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I used to be a pretty big player in the PUA scene some years ago.

(Sorry. It was just begging to be said.)
posted by 3.2.3 at 4:40 PM on September 16, 2007


I don't know much about the whole PUA scene, but I've been interested in hypnosis, NLP and especially Milton Erickson, for over 10 years, so I've gotten semi-regular glimpses at it over time in keeping up with these subjects. When one of these guys comes up and makes his case for it, he frequently makes two statements: "Attraction is not a choice" and "Don't listen to what women say they want, instead look at what they do". Both of these seem to me like common sense. It reflects an empirical approach to the subject. They also tend to offend a number of women. These propositions, and I guess all their recommended practices, undermine the notion of people being self aware, self directing entities. Hypnosis is a bit controversial for the same reason. Trance phenomena brings into question a lot of the presuppositions we have about ourselves. Michael Yapko (PhD in psychology) was prevented from giving a talk at a public school in California on hypnosis. He wasn't planning on doing a demonstration but the subject made the administration uncomfortable. I get that not all of these seduction seminars base their programs on hypnosis, but tie the importance of unrecognized motives, to someone consciously improving their social status for the purpose of obtaining more sex and it gets people responding impulsively and emotionally.

Many people value spontaneity in romance and it certainly has a role. After all, intimacy is tightly wound up in spontaneity and not treating the other as a means to some further end. Still, there needs to be a bit of nuance here. Telling someone to "be themselves" is horrible advice aside from it's paradoxical nature (paradoxical like the imperative "Be spontaneous!"). Learning necessitates slowing down the impulsive reaction and consciously trying something new. I think part of the reason this gets such a poor reception is that we tend to associate learning with uptight constrained body language. And this is true, but physical relaxation comes over time. Another part of it is what I talked about in the first paragraph regarding our belief that we know what we are about. And finally, it's an opportunity for some who learned this organically, to sneer and validate themselves by putting down those who are open about their early failure to learn.

darth_tedious' first post is excellent. It's interesting that with the numbers of Mefites that use favorites as 'approval' votes, his post has received none. But a number of the attacking posts have been favorited. whir, I'd like to commend you for warning him about shilling his book. Good eye. He was getting a bit too close to stepping over the line for my taste. You don't even know he has a book for crying out loud. "In my book..." is colloquial. One might almost suspect that your warning served some other rhetorical purpose beyond the protection of the community.
posted by BigSky at 4:58 PM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wow, I've reaffirmed my vow of lifelong celibacy like six times while reading this thread.

But seriously, why do we have to make this fundamental shit so fucking overcomplicated? I mean, some combination of girls and/or boys catch a glimpse of each other, like what they see, think they smell nice. You make some eye contact, chat a bit, maybe exchange names, maybe not. You arrange to meet up another time or just let nature take its course right then. Afterward, maybe you exchange phone numbers and get together again, maybe not. Really, how hard is that, and how is it a loss for anybody?

As "acting like primates" goes, the bonobo apes have the right idea. But we lesser, stupider primates compulsively ladle on enough byzantine, nonsensical, pointless, ego-puffing cultural baggage to smother a hippo. It's amazing we've staved off extinction this long, but hey, at least we got pop music out of the deal.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:07 PM on September 16, 2007


Well, BigSky, here's the opening of darth_tedious's first post:

For the last seven years, I've made my living by crafting pick-up & persuasion materials for both men and women.

Both in testing pick-up materials and in learning how to sell what I've created, ...


Sure sounds like he writes and sells some kind of material. (Oh, and congratulations on your first post to MeFi, darth_tedious. You certainly didn't waste any time.)

Topic: sure, people are quite capable of fooling themselves about what attracts them. And any magician or con man can tell you that smart adults are easier to fool than, say, kids. Everyone has blind spots that can be exploited. But while there's a lot to be said for being aware of how you present yourself confidently to other people, the smug delight many PUAs take in manipulating or attempting to manipulate other people is pretty damn nasty.
posted by maudlin at 5:19 PM on September 16, 2007


chuckdarwin said: People need lessons on how to be a normal human?

Yes. Yes, they do.
posted by Vavuzi at 5:22 PM on September 16, 2007


and to think for a second that i was worried that this thread wouldn't end up being about jonmc. i should have known better. thanks, mefi!
posted by Hat Maui at 5:23 PM on September 16, 2007


Well, I was reacting to this statement: For the last seven years, I've made my living by crafting pick-up & persuasion materials for both men and women, as well as his short history on the site and his subsequent statements about salesmanship. But you are correct, I was calling him out prior to him doing anything wrong, so sorry about that

I certainly didn't intend to attack him, either, I was just expressing my opinion. In my book darth_tedious is a fine fellow, though we probably disagree on a number of things.

I still have my torch ready just in case though
posted by whir at 5:24 PM on September 16, 2007


It is interesting how darth just popped in here out of thin air to spread PUA wisdom, isn't it?
posted by miss lynnster at 5:35 PM on September 16, 2007


BTW, you know who else was short and got all pissed off when he felt slighted?

Who?
posted by ghastlyfop at 5:48 PM on September 16, 2007


BTW, you know who else was short and got all pissed off when he felt slighted?

Who?


/resists impulse to rickroll the thread.
posted by the_bone at 6:01 PM on September 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


The first time I ever got into serious heavy petting with a girl (I was 18, to show you how clueless I was, and what a pimply loser I was in high school) the girl flatout told me to make a move. After reviewing the night later, I was like 'I could've scored so many times before, dammit!'

Hey, I was clueless and pimply and 18, too, when I first kissed a girl seriously. And when afterwards I realized how I could have been kissing girls (and more than kissing) for years and years, had I just been able to figure out the signals, I felt like the stupidest chump to ever walk on the planet.

I mean, I went all the way through high school thinking "I'm totally unattractive and no girl is ever going to like me, ever" and then once I actually started dating women I could look back and see that even a pimply nerdy clueless idjit like me had had women interested in him for years. But because I didn't understand how people signal interest or how you should respond, I totally missed what was going on at the time.

I actually kind of wish someone had given the 14-year old me a copy of one of these how-to-pick-up-women books. Not the weird mesmerization ones, more one that laid out some scenarios and could have clued me into the script that other people seemed to have instinctively picked up on their own. Instead, it took me a good 5 years to figure out that I wasn't getting any dates because of how I was acting, instead of some inherent flaw or basic unattractiveness, which is what I thought.
posted by Forktine at 6:02 PM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


Sure sounds like he writes and sells some kind of material.

I like to pick nits. Shouldn't that be, "Sure sounds like he creates and sells some kind of material."?

---

I certainly didn't intend to attack him, either, I was just expressing my opinion.

My vague final sentence may have conveyed too much. I didn't see it as an attack, but that pointing to his perhaps (!) inappropriate salesmanship helps to keep the focus on women as commodity. And sure, that is a bit tenuous. I'm not interested in championing this stuff. It may well have some value, or not. I don't know.

But I do think that our ignorance of what attracts us is an important point in any discussion that touches on persuasion. Frankly, I think it's important enough to render a lot of the criticism irrelevant.

---

It is interesting how darth just popped in here out of thin air to spread PUA wisdom, isn't it?

Keep a sharp lookout!
posted by BigSky at 6:19 PM on September 16, 2007


I should get a cut of that $5.
posted by Mach3avelli at 6:30 PM on September 16, 2007


BTW, you know who else was short and got all pissed off when he felt slighted?

Who?

/resists impulse to rickroll the thread.


Only losers rickroll. You know who agrees with me? My man, Jack Tripper.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:35 PM on September 16, 2007


Ahhhhhh. How I've missed Haimburgling...
posted by miss lynnster at 6:35 PM on September 16, 2007


Here's the total sum of what I got out of this post: Neil likes pink shirts. I thinks that's an evening well spent.
posted by tighttrousers at 7:32 PM on September 16, 2007


fuse theorem:I think it's amazing that he's exposing himself like this and risking ruining his own scheme. Maybe he's getting tired of the routine, or feeling the need to atone for his sins?

Having read The Game as a result of a MeFi thread earlier this year, I remember that toward the end of the book, their own techniques began to fizzle. They "out-sarged" themselves when all the girls they came across knew their tricks. Perhaps in this regard, hes grown tired or has all they money he can squeeze out of the seminars and can make a killing off the reality show and the opportunities that will bring.

He's no dummy, just stocking up on the ultimate aphrodesiac: moolah. Damn the secrecy of technique at this point, its cash-out time.
posted by dr_dank at 7:56 PM on September 16, 2007


So I'm confused, Anton Lavey is back in the dating scene and telling people how to get women? I thought he died of not showering or something?
posted by kigpig at 8:47 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mystery = Dork.
posted by Liosliath at 9:01 PM on September 16, 2007


I was waiting for someone to link to that interview, lioslath. I read it the other day but I was trying to forget it existed.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:37 PM on September 16, 2007


OK, Forktine, I'll bite. How about a quick tutorial?

Uh, well, that is, there might be some 14-year-olds reading. Yeah, that's it...
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:21 PM on September 16, 2007


Sure. You've also never taken a dump. Just Acts of Immaculate Excretion.

*shrug* You're the expert on shit, I guess... which explains your fascination with KISS.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:23 AM on September 17, 2007


jonmc: When I was a single guy, if I scored it was a fluke, usually based on whatever internal drama the woman was going through at the time and I just happened to be the nearest guy.

Awesome comment. Every girl I've known who's gone out for the cheap pickup/score (as opposed to "oh, I've met a great guy etc") & who's told me about it has explained it in terms of internal drama:

"I found out my boyfriend cheated on me so I wanted to get him back"

"I've been putting on weight & just wanted to feel sexy again"

"I just needed to have a one-night-stand to get over my ex"

"I've been running myself down at work & wanted to feel like there was something more to my life"

I'm not sure if this says something about the women I know, or whether rationalisation is required, or the extent to which sex for its own sake is thought to be acceptable, or how honest they want to be with me, but it always seems to relate back to the internal drama, and have little or nothing to do with the guy, except that he just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Typically, he was totally out of their life again the next day, often completely regretted and/or almost written out of their memory as some kind of glitch barely worth mentioning except in a derisive, dismissive sense.

That's my experience & understanding, anyway.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:56 AM on September 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure if this says something about the women I know

I'm pretty sure that it says something about the women you know. You can't sum up humans as easily as that.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:26 AM on September 17, 2007


true. i'm only summing up my personal experience of what i've heard a hundred times over. kinda takes any appeal out of the PUA thing; being a regretted bit-part in somebody else's emotional monologue. this doesn't rule out the possibility that there are women out there who just like a casual fuck every now & then, without it being a part of a momentary or ongoing emotional crisis.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:47 AM on September 17, 2007


...being a regretted bit-part in somebody else's emotional monologue.

Aren't all one-night-stands bit like that, though, for both parties?
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:57 AM on September 17, 2007


Sure. You've also never taken a dump. Just Acts of Immaculate Excretion.

Why is it so shocking that people might never have picked anyone up? Not everyone is just like you.

I've never picked anyone up, or been picked up, scored, or been scored upon. The few women I've dated have all been longstanding acquaintances that there was no need to pick up. I have never, once, entered a bar or similar with any idea other than enjoying the company of whoever I was going there with.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:05 AM on September 17, 2007


Most of this "advice" can be summed up by the old adage "treat 'em mean to keep 'em keen, treat 'em nice and they'll scatter like mice". Like I haven't heard that since high school. Of course, you can give it a silly name like "negging" and dress it up in game theory and psycho-babble, but it's more commonly known as "being an asshole".
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 5:29 AM on September 17, 2007


Aren't all one-night-stands bit like that, though, for both parties?

No. A one night stand is just a relationship of limited duration. They vary in much the same ways that all other types of relationship do. Some are great and enjoyed by both parties. Some are exploratory liaisions, after which one or other or both rapidly decide they don't have much in common. Generally, both sides are aware of the emotional risks that they're taking, and are adult enough to deal with them. But I don't think they're any greater than the risks you take by just going out on a date without the sex. Unless you have a micropenis, perhaps. And haven't mentioned it beforehand.

While I've had a couple of one night stands that were probably a mistake, I certainly don't regret any of them -- no more than I regret any of my other significant consensual social interactions. I don't understand why anyone actually would? Someone turns out to be a real asshole? So leave.

Why is it so shocking that people might never have picked anyone up? Not everyone is just like you.

I think jonmc was reacting less to the content, than to the holier-than-thou manner in which it was delivered.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:37 AM on September 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Every girl I've known who's gone out for the cheap pickup/score (as opposed to "oh, I've met a great guy etc") & who's told me about it has explained it in terms of internal drama:


Always with the drama. Guys can explain a questionable hookup with one word: slumpbuster.
posted by MikeMc at 6:15 AM on September 17, 2007


OK, Forktine, I'll bite. How about a quick tutorial?

Uh, well, that is, there might be some 14-year-olds reading. Yeah, that's it...


The 14-year old me just really didn't get it. I had so convinced myself of things (like: I was unattractive; people are assholes; girls don't like me) that reality had no chance of intruding. And then I was always living in my head, and in books, and didn't learn how to pick up on some of the basics of how people actually communicate (like, say, flirting, for example). I don't think all that many people are as dense as I was then (although the descriptions of some of the guys on that TV show sound a lot like adult versions of the teenaged me), but probably lots of men share elements of this.

And that is the value of the (non-creepy version of the) PUA books and websites -- they give two things that I would have killed for at 14. First, they give a script for having encounters with women. Funny as some of those scripts are, they sure are better than staring at my shoes or excessive self-deprecation or freezing up. And stupid as things like "peacocking" are, they are way better than the default nerd "wear old dirty and poorly-fitting clothes because it is more 'efficient'".

Second, this approach promises that even guys who are very unattractive (I mean, look at those guys' photos!) can talk to women and get kissed and go on dates. This is really key, because the thing I really lacked as a teenager was confidence. I thought I was unattractive, but looking at old photos I realize now that I looked just fine -- awkward and gawky and nerdy, but not hideous. I just lacked any sense of confidence, and I think lots and lots of men lack that confidence in themselves. I really dislike the underlying misogyny that I see in a lot of the PUA stuff, but the basic message of "if you just go and talk with some girls, and clean up, and follow some basic scripts, you will probably do ok" is really good.

Because that underlying script, with directions for how to express interest and how to avoid coming on too strong, and the mix of compliments and jokes, is pretty much like how regular people flirt and joke and hang out together. Take away all that funny vocabulary about "negging" and so on, and you have a script very much like the sort of flirting that I engaged in with my wife when I first met her. It's sort of a dance, right? You step towards each other, you move away, you circle, you move together, and so on. So if it is a dance, not knowing the steps puts you at a real disadvantage -- then you are expecting the other person to be able to both dance and teach you to dance, or (to stretch the metaphor) to be a person who prefers rugby to dance. So that's what I see as the value of this stuff. But there is a lot in the PUA things I've read that are really repellent and weird, and I sure wouldn't advise taking in on uncritically.
posted by Forktine at 7:04 AM on September 17, 2007 [5 favorites]


I was really prepared to be annoyed at all this until I realized my fiancé acts just like a bratty older brother, and apparently I fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
posted by desjardins at 9:02 AM on September 17, 2007


"Negging" is simply demonstrating that you're not intimidated nor particularly impressed by (her) beauty.

That, alone, will set you apart from the other guys who are all going, "OMG you're soooo pretttyy... Can I buy you something? so that you'll like me and maybe have sex with me?" I mean, how creepy is that??

(By the way, ONLY do this to very attractive women, or you'll just hurt their feelings and look like an ass. For most women, don't do it!)

But to put it into context, the more general goal is "qualifying" them -- getting them to present reasons *other* than their beauty for you to be attracted to them. Yeah, you're hawt. So what? What do you have going for you besides your looks?

maus: It seems like the whole affair is geared towards treating women like sexual goals and epitomizing fuckin' as the only fun thing you can do with someone.

Huh. I see it as the opposite. If you have options and opportunities with women that you're very attracted to (and, again, it's not all about physical beauty), you're unlikely to randomly hook up with somebody that you're kinda-sorta into just because THEY are into YOU. Seems more likely to lead to a healthy, fulfilling relationship than just shagging whomever will drop their panties for you.

Or maybe that's just my own personal take on it. Surely, it's a power that can be used for both good and evil, heh...

In the end, it's all about actively selecting who YOU want, rather than passively waiting for somebody (please, god, ANYBODY) to select you. And this stuff spills over to the rest of your life: Are you content to just go with the flow and take whatever life gives you? Or are you going to define what you want from life and work to make it happen? I mean, either is okay, either can work, but I think the latter leads to a more fulfilling life.

Yeah, I would've killed for this info when I was 14. But they could eliminate 90% of the sleaziness by calling it "How To Communicate with Women on an Emotional Level" rather than "Speed Seduction".
posted by LordSludge at 11:52 AM on September 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


And really, I'm only reminded of it when I read casual, off-hand comments like yours, PeterMcDermott.

You think you've got problems? I'm a skinny, effeminate rock and roll wannabee, with lipstick on my neck and a big furry hat. *None* of the MeFi girls think I'm hot, and most of the guys wanna punch me out.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:59 AM on September 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


Talk to a pimp. “The Game” is something else entirely.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:12 PM on September 17, 2007


Thanks, Forktine. Great food for thought.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:41 PM on September 17, 2007


Talk to a pimp. “The Game” is something else entirely.

I asked, but all I got was this lousy black eye.
posted by kid ichorous at 2:47 PM on September 17, 2007


nomisxid's free guide for shy guys seeking more confidence with women - eat lunch at a slow Hooter's.

The women there are paid to pretend you're the hottest, most interesting guy they've seen. They come sit down and chat with you, pretend an interest in what you're saying, etc etc. It's like training wheels for your ego.

Just tip them well, and keep your hands to yourself.
posted by nomisxid at 2:51 PM on September 17, 2007


I thought about this thread overnight, and I came to the following conclusion. A lot of the critics of PUA programs (critics who say things like, "it's just common sense," "it's manipulative," "it's cheesy") are ignoring what a PUA program actually is --- it is an empirically tested program, entirely based on numbers, designed to maximize a given man's success "in the field" with women ... i.e., in scoring some punani.

I.e., it makes no claims about being a tasteful or classy way to pick up women.

I consider it to be the punani-chaser's equivalent of those ridiculous get-rich-quick websites (kind of like this one or this one) that are about a mile long, with numerous "BUT WAIT -- THERE'S MORE" headers in big, bright-red Verdana and boxes filled with empty promises in Courier font. There is a reason those websites are used; for some bizarre reason that I don't understand, they actually succeed in separating stupid chumps from their money.

Similarly, the techniques used in these PUA programs are like cheesy sales techniques ... they're tacky, they make the users look like an ass to smart, sensible people with any sense of taste, but they are proven to be numerically successful in getting punani.

If you use those cheesy get-rich-quick websites to make money, you are a classless troll, but you might actually make some money. If you use PUA techniques to get women, you are a classless troll, but you might actually get some punani.
posted by jayder at 3:41 PM on September 17, 2007


Oh how I love it when men refer to me as punani.

Honestly, that in itself encapsulates the entire reason so many of us shoot men down even when we actually want company. Sometimes being alone is far less lonely than knowing the person pretending to like you actually only considers you a nice looking receptacle for their sperm.

All human beings want to be more than that.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:32 PM on September 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'm thinking if he keeps up with his publicity, pretty soon if a strange man in goggles walks up to a girl and says any of those lame things, she's just going to laugh and say, "Oh no... you're one of those lame Pick Up Artist dudes, huh?" - miss lynnster

My wife has busted a number of PUAs. She was on a trip in Miami with her girlfriends one time, and they were approached by some PUAs with the classic "let me ask you a question" bit. She completely ignored the question, and asked one in return:

"Are you guys from Project Miami?"

They were humbled. I don't recall if this was before the book or not, but they certainly didn't see it coming.
posted by rush at 4:33 PM on September 17, 2007


Yeah, silly... I know.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:45 PM on September 17, 2007


If you use PUA techniques to get women, you are a classless troll, but you might actually get some punani.

...or you might get a girlfriend. Or *gasp* a wife. Not everybody talks to women to score one night stands, you know. Some guys are just lonely and don't know how to talk to women. I say, "Good on them!" for doing something about it.

Seriously, would you say the same to a socially inexperienced girl who takes a class to learn how to wear makeup well and dress herself better? I can see you now: "You... WHORE!!!"

Meh, adipocere said it better. Thanks for reminding me to favorite that comment.
posted by LordSludge at 4:45 PM on September 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


You can trust me, Lynn. I'm not like the others. (Am I learning?)
posted by Crabby Appleton at 5:02 PM on September 17, 2007


Uh, yeah. Sure. So hey Crabby, could you do me a favor and watch my seat for a second? I'm going to get another drink. Be right back.

*Ducks out side door of Metafilter. Hails taxi.*
posted by miss lynnster at 5:32 PM on September 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


<watches Lynn's seat as she heads for the bar>
Oh, my date? She said she was going to get another drink. I'm sure she'll be back any minute now.
<sighs> ... <cries>
Hmm, that was faster than usual.

posted by Crabby Appleton at 5:50 PM on September 17, 2007


Hey, I dated miss lynnster (albeit briefly) on Metafilter! Wow, who'd have thought? See, guys? This "confidence" thing really works!
posted by Crabby Appleton at 5:55 PM on September 17, 2007


Ahhh, see, I think we're getting to the root of the problem here.

Making a girl flee ≠ dating.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:07 PM on September 17, 2007


You might want to sarge someone other than miss l crabby. She has what are politely referred to as um... "issues."

(and she's a link stealer to boot)
posted by vronsky at 6:24 PM on September 17, 2007


Oh, Lynn, you're so cruel. There goes all my confidence.

On preview—vronsky, don't worry, I don't think she likes me, anyway. I doubt any woman ever will. It's my lot in life.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:35 PM on September 17, 2007


Ohgeez. That again? Really now, where did I steal a link from? 'Cuz I found JB's dancing video all by my little old self last night when I was avoiding doing my taxes.

Vronsky, I'm worried that black furry hat is depleting some important oxygen flow to your brain or sumthin'...
posted by miss lynnster at 6:37 PM on September 17, 2007


Ahhh, see, I think we're getting to the root of the problem here.

No, miss lynnster - the problem lies in not getting to the root.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:12 PM on September 17, 2007


Oh people, people. I love you ALL. It's only my JOB I'm hating today. :)
posted by miss lynnster at 7:19 PM on September 17, 2007


miss lynnster:Oh how I love it when men refer to me as punani.

This sounds familiar.. :P
posted by dr_dank at 7:31 PM on September 17, 2007


Oh how I love it when men refer to me as punani.

I was, of course, just parodying, in lurid terms, the attitudes of the people who are involved in the POA scene. Mystery's book is not about getting a wife or a girlfriend ... as the subtitle says, it's about getting a woman into bed.
posted by jayder at 10:23 PM on September 17, 2007


This may come as a shock to some, but the first steps of a long-term romantic relationship often involve lots and lots of sex. And by "often", I mean "always", at least in my experience.
posted by LordSludge at 8:23 AM on September 18, 2007


I 100% agree on that, LordSludge. But this thread? It's about men who teach other men that if they wear furry hats and goggles they will get into women's pants. So it isn't about forming long-term romantic relationships, really.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:40 AM on September 18, 2007


It's about starting relationships. What to do with that relationship is left as an exercise for the reader. Some men want long-term relationships. Some want a series of one-nighters. And then there's everyone in between.

I find it interesting that none of the systems addresses what to actually do in bed. I have a funny vision of a newbie PUA that goes through the whole process, gets his girl into bed, gets nekked, then goes.... "Oh, crap."

The furry hat + goggles things is silly for most of us (and a silly thing for you to focus on), but it probably works well for "Mystery" in his world -- I'm thinking noisy, high energy LA night clubs. They're just props, something to generate interest and spark conversation.

I remember one night I took a talking Yoda doll out drinking, just as a joke, with few friends. Lots of women chatted me up, WAY more than normal, unsolicited, using motherfucking Yoda as a conversation opener. Blew my mind, it did.

And I've found the reverse to be true -- it's waaay easier for me to open a natural conversation with a woman that has something of interest with her, be it a cute dog, a neat car, an interesting meal, a killer tattoo, a wacky t-shirt, or a silly hat.

Common sense? Yeah. These guys are just putting it all down on paper. The NLP stuff seems sketchy to me, but there's nothing evil about most of this stuff. It's just teaching men how to be social.
posted by LordSludge at 12:40 PM on September 18, 2007


it's waaay easier for me to open a natural conversation with a woman that has something of interest with her, be it a cute dog, a neat car, an interesting meal, a killer tattoo, a wacky t-shirt, or a silly hat.

very true, and not just in the chatting up sense. i find it always pays in social situations to wear or carry *something* unusual that people can latch onto to talk about, to save them having to talk about something forced, like the weather or that local sporting team.

i never knew that this guy did the goggles & fur hats thing (actually, i've never heard of him before, but ignore that). i happen to have a coupla pairs of 50's chinese military & mountaineering goggles which ensure at least 100 conversations per day with random people on the street when i wear them. russian fur hats, too. don't ever wear such things if you want to be left alone!
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:54 PM on September 18, 2007


I think we need pics of the goggles.
posted by Liosliath at 6:10 PM on September 18, 2007


jonmc: Just reporting what I see, which is what taught me that the old cliche "Men are superficial, women are deep and all about personality, looks don't matter," is complete and utter bullshit.

Jon, I wonder if you and other men believe that so strongly that you've totally missed the boat with women. I saw the picture you posted and thought, "Guy on the left - boringly handsome. Guy on the right - messy hair, gangly & cute in a goofy kind of way. If he likes good music and can make me laugh (and I were still single), this could be his lucky night."

A lot of men, in my experience have absolutely no concept of their own attractiveness and are completely clueless to the signals that women send out when they're interested. My husband is one of those guys - I've been at parties with him and seen women coming on to him so strong that they are practically in his lap breastfeeding him. He will be completely oblivious to all of this.
posted by echolalia67 at 7:12 PM on September 18, 2007


Jon, I wonder if you and other men believe that so strongly that you've totally missed the boat with women.

Well, I'm married and before that I managed to get laid a time or two, so I guess not.

"Guy on the left - boringly handsome. Guy on the right - messy hair, gangly & cute in a goofy kind of way. If he likes good music and can make me laugh (and I were still single), this could be his lucky night."

Like I said, I've seen to much to truly believe that. And it's not just his looks, he's a genuinely nice guy and he's heroic and creative and all that shit, too. I've seen intelligent, urbane, feminist women reduced to giggly schoolgirls around him. On his second day of work, half the female employees came in dressed like starlets on Oscar night. So I trust what I see more than platitudes however well-intentioned. I know my place in the scheme of things.
posted by jonmc at 8:07 PM on September 18, 2007


(and in that pic, I was so hammered, I could've pissed down my leg and not noticed, so I know it's a platitude. Then again, so was he)
posted by jonmc at 8:09 PM on September 18, 2007


pics of the goggles - they're on kinda crooked to emphasise the drunken nature of the meetup. that was totally deliberate.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:12 PM on September 18, 2007


The goggles—they do nothing!
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:32 PM on September 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


jonmc... whatever you decide to believe is what will be true. And wow, you're really determined to think your friend is some kind of a God to everyone & that you are just dirt on his shoe. But I'm sorry, I'm pretty damn confident that in reality your friend is NOT the God you profess him to be. AT ALL. He's probably a human being that... I hate to break it to you... SOME WOMEN ARE NOT AT ALL ATTRACTED TO. Because you see, things are not as black and white as you are making them out to be. Ever.

I know it makes it easier and more convenient for you to believe he is a God though... because then you don't have to think you ever had a chance. HOW COULD YOU EVER COMPETE WITH THAT!? You couldn't. So there you go. You're just a loser. He's a God. That's that. Women love him. They hate you.

To be honest, if I were him, that pedestal you put him on would get on my nerves. Big time. Because you really do overdo it. Sorry, but you do. And you put yourself down too much, which isn't necessary when people are complimenting you. Because honey, over & over again in this thread, women have complimented you & you've slapped them all in the face for it by going on about how they don't know what they're talking about because your friend is a proven God. No doubt you did that to women you met at the time too. Honestly, no wonder you didn't get lucky & he did. You practically talk people OUT of liking you.

I've had a few cocktails so just know I'm not trying to be mean... this is just a slightly tipsy miss lynnster saying what she's noticing. And talking about herself in third person.

Honestly... DON'T TALK WOMEN OUT OF COMPLIMENTING YOU, YOU BIG DOOFUS. It's stupid.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:53 PM on September 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


OMG, Ms. Lynnster, come back, we have another cute guy on MeFi! I must disagree with Crab Apple - the goggles are just off kilter enough to make the wearer look both fun and a bit mad. Excellent combination.

In fact, I would like to take this opportunity (I know I'm talking to myself at this point in the thread) to mention which nationality was the one that consistently drank everyone else under the table during our late night soirées at the hotel - yes, the Aussies. (Kiwis a close second, Poms no contest)
posted by Liosliath at 9:56 PM on September 18, 2007


I agree with Ms. Lynnster. Both on Jon's cuteness, and having another cocktail.
posted by Liosliath at 9:56 PM on September 18, 2007


Oh, God. My comment was not intended to disparage UboRoivas's appearance in any way. Now that I've actually looked at his linked photo (which I hadn't before), I'd have to say that he's most likely a fine-looking fellow, although it's hard to tell with the goggles. I had merely intended to make an absurdist remark (hopefully humorous, but I forgot to take the literal-minded into account, as I often do), in response to the absurdity of discussing literal goggles in this context, by deploying a trope that refers to metaphorical goggles, so you see...

Oh, never mind. I seem to be batting 000 in this thread.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:37 PM on September 18, 2007


One small tip crabby. When they are drunk like this is the time to strike.

*adjusts furry hat, walks off into sunset*
posted by vronsky at 10:39 PM on September 18, 2007


Thanks for the tip, vronsky, but, sadly, I own neither goggles nor furry hat. I have a Mickey Mouse watch, though. It's a Seiko! Does that help?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:54 PM on September 18, 2007


liosliath: how about that? i *am* both fun and a bit mad! soooo...when are you and miss lynnster visiting sydney [in deep voice:] si-mul-taneously?

Crabby Appleton: you overthink. those are my beer goggles, and they work well: not only do they make women more attractive, they also make me invulnerable to criticism!
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:05 AM on September 19, 2007


Crabby Appleton: you overthink.

Story of my life.

Insightful, handsome, and invulnerable to criticism; plus, goggles!—UbuRoivas, how can any of us compete? :-)
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:03 PM on September 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Crabby - I'm glad you asked, as I am more than willing to impart my wisdom to others such as you. For a special low introductory fee, I'll send you an attractive ring-binder, plus the first of 24 laminated advice sheets, the remainder of which will be sent to you monthly, from my new PhD* course: Awesomeness! - Unlocking the Incredible Power of Ubuness for Unlimited Frolicking Fun with Females!

The complete set of tip sheets normally retails at only $2,499.99 but for One! Month! Only! you can sign up for the never-to-be-repeated price of only $1,999.99!!! - and I'll even throw in a complimentary Ubu Systems (TM) Pheromone Power Breath Freshener, available in your choice of flavours: Husky Musk or Midnight Mint.

* PhD not recognised in all countries or states
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:27 PM on September 19, 2007


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