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PUA? Ptooie!

There's an interesting article at Pandagon (read the update, too) about a discussion on the PUA (Pick-Up Artist) movement, and how it is really, really, really misogynistic and evil, and doesn't seem to actually help guys get laid, but does give them a chance to "revenge" themselves on "stuck-up bitches" who won't have sex with them.  This is achieved by writing vile woman-hating blog posts boasting about how they "showed the stuck-up hoes" by insulting the women they go to bars to meet.

Seriously, it's a nasty nasty thing - based on the idea that women all think alike, and are not people, merely obstacles to be pushed past to achieve the ultimate prize of the Vag.  It's guaranteed, supposedly, though I can't see most of the men who stoop this low in a desperate effort to get laid actually admitting they've failed, and asking for their money back.  No, the embarrassment would be too great, since it's also very big on patriarchal stereotypes of men "winning" - and if they don't "win" by tricking a woman into sex, then they're not an "alpha male", but a "beta male" who is too weak to grab the pussy by force and/or subterfuge.

(This idea of "winning" means that women lose, btw.  This is a view of dating that categorically denies any agency to the women these men are so desperate to fuck - again, they're obstacles to be overcome, not people to get to know.)

One commenter in the first article bemoaned the fact that there isn't any non-misogynistic information out there for guys to learn from (which isn't true, but certain men seem to want an easy fix, believing that dating has a wonder pill that guarantees instant weight loss, or something).  So, in the interest of making bars and nightclubs and all public and private spaces more pleasant for 51% of the population, I hereby present:


Guys!  Want to meet, date, and maybe have a long term relationship with WOMEN?  It's easy! 

Three Simple Steps to Dating Guaranteed!  Full refund if not successful!*

1.  Women are people.  As such, they are each unique in their likes, dislikes, sense of humour, and what they find attractive.  Treating all women as if they're the same doesn't work.  Introduce yourself without using a cheesy pick-up line or negs (Google it; I'm not providing any of those disgusting sites with the traffic), but with your name.  Ask her hers.  Ask her about herself.  Tell her what you do.  If she seems uninterested (HINT:  Lack of eye contact and one-word answers indicate lack of interest!), smile, wish her a good evening, and move on.  Don't dwell, don't call her a bad name, don't persist or follow her around, demanding to know why she isn't interested, it's wasting your time and hers.  Move on!  introduce yourself to another woman - smile, tell her your name, ask her how she is!  Tell her she seems interesting!  Ask her about herself!  If she's not interested, Move on!


2.  Don't expect sex from every woman you meet.  In fact, it's a good idea to make more women your friends without expecting sex, since they are then more likely to tell you if you're doing something creepy that puts women off (for instance:  being bitter, going on angry tirades about women, expecting sex from every woman you meet).   Don't get mad when your women friends tell you what you're doing wrong, listen to them!  (BIG HINT:  Listening to women and actually paying attention to what they're telling you is a big turn-on.)  Try to alter your habits, grooming, or behaviour to eliminate things that aren't working for you - you don't have to turn yourself into an extrovert if you're an introvert, but learn to speak in something other than a whispery monotone if your woman friends tell you your voice scares them.


3.  Stop dismissing women who aren't "9+" in looks.  In fact, stop rating women as if they're cattle completely.  If you're not a supermodel yourself, or obscenely rich, you don't rate a supermodel girlfriend.  But that woman who is close to your age, with a nice smile and a similar interest in books?  You might like her if you ever break free from arbitrary rules about what society thinks is attractive.  Looks fade, but shared interests make for fantastic relationships and good friends.


Life is not about sex - it's not the be-all and end-all of success.  Life is actually much more enriching and satisfying if you have trusted friends and lovers who share your likes and know exactly why you think Dark City is better than Blade Runner, and love you anyway.  Treating women as less than human, as enemies, or as Other in some way means that you will never have a meaningful connection with anyone, and that your only "companions" will be other embittered lonely men who have never worked out that the one constant in all their failed relationships is them.  Wallowing in bitterness and self-pity is not attractive.

Special Bonus Section!

"But Attack", I hear you say, "How can I tell if a woman is interested in me?  I have a hard time knowing what to do!"

There are a couple of simple things to remember.  One is that most women are not interested in sex the instant they meet you, and do not evaluate every encounter with a man as a possible sexual come-on, so the fact that a woman replies to you when you start peppering her with questions does not mean she likes you.**

The second thing is that you need to get a lot better at reading non-verbal cues. Yes, it's work, but if women can learn to do it (usually as a neccessity for survival), you can too.


Will make repeated eye-contact.
Will smile when you make eye-contact.
Will make space for you when you come over.
Will speak to you in full sentences.
Will laugh.  A lot.
May gently touch you on the shoulder or the arm.
Will ask for your number.


Will not make eye-contact unless forced to.
Will smile without showing her teeth, and have anxious eyes.
Will respond with one-word answers or non-verbal movements. 
Will turn her body away from you.
Will never laugh, or will only laugh nervously.
Will constantly search the room for escape routes.
Will not accept a drink.
Will cringe if you touch her.
Will give you a fake phone number to make you leave her alone.
Will avoid you for the rest of the night.

If a woman is not interested, there is nothing you can do to make her interested.  Forcing her, tricking her, or incapacitating her (with alcohol or drugs) into "sex" is rape.  You are a rapist if you think this is a good way to make women have sex with you.

If a woman is interested, she might be open to the idea of sex, or she might have other plans, but if you are cool either way, she will be more likely to approach you again.  You can take the time to get to know her, and maybe you'll have sex, maybe you'll become friends, or maybe you'll have a relationship.  Any way you slice it, you win, because you now have made contact with another human being! ***

See?  It's easy! 

*With proof of purchase and three rejection letters from certified real women.  Refusing to follow the instructions in this package constitutes void of contract.  Writing bitter screeds about how women are all evil pussy-rationing whores constitutes void of contract, and guarantees a long, bitter lonely life.  Resorting to PUA tactics constitutes willing rejection of all humanity and negates all rights to be taken seriously.

**Do not misinterpret this as meaning women don't like sex - most of them do, very much, but they're shy about showing it to strangers, because our society has a pernicious habit of slut-shaming any woman who is open about her sexuality. 

***If you think you need sex so badly that making contact with another human being in a manner that might lead to sex someday but not tonight is not enough, for God's sake, take matters into your own hands and self-gratify.  No-one owes you sex.


( 33 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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Aug. 12th, 2009 04:13 pm (UTC)
"If you're not a supermodel yourself, or obscenely rich, you don't rate a supermodel girlfriend."

I am fantasizing about handing out cards that say this. Or perhaps larger cards with this entire essay. Some guys could really use the advice, and they are likely not the ones reading this blog.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 12th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
Wow, I read that article going, "wait.....what?"


The whole concept that woman are "withholding the pussy" amazes me, and the idea that we are all playing a game? Seriously, ask any great respectful guy if his wife or girlfriend withholds anything. Because if you are nice, fun, and treat someone like you should (as well as being keyed into how the person with you feels) there should almost never be a moment where "no" is said....except if you meet a nice respectul guy, he's probably not going to tell you how much he and his wife or GF are together, because that's nunya business and she's a person.
Aug. 12th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
"No-one owes you sex."

This is the simple CORE that somehow has gotten lost in our society. Sex is about connection, not solely one persons gratification and certainly not about exploited 'power' which is what sex so often degenerates into in unhealthy relationships.


ETA: I hope you don't mind... I pointed folks to this entry.

Edited at 2009-08-12 04:53 pm (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
I don't think I even want to know about this Pathetic Uptight Asshole movement. I think I'm doing fine by NOT being a jerkass.
Aug. 12th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting this. The PUA movement is rape culture at its worst.
Aug. 12th, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I think that the main problem with teh intrawebs is that it allows the assholes of the world to actually group together like so much trash at the bottom of a storm drain. Before, they would exist in relative seclusion and isolation... now they have websites and can find each other.

Anyway, all that aside... this is why periodically my husband and I have Talks with our daughters, 16 and 14. We explain that until they are no longer living under our roof, we meet the guys before they are allowed to leave with them... and we get veto power. If the guy won't meet us, she doesn't go. We explain that although not every man is out for one thing, a lot are, and they will lie, scam and cheat to get into their pants. And they, as women and daughters and possibly future mothers, are too precious to us to allow to be abused in any way. A good man will consider her just as precious as we do. In addition, we have repeatedly informed them that just as a guy shouldn't go to a strip club to find someone of wife material, a woman would be wise NOT to go into a bar to find her future husband.
The problem with PUAs is that once more, women are the enemy to be conquered, and we are back "at war" with one another, rather than trying to actually have relationships and sex in a mutually respectful atmosphere.

Aug. 12th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
just as a guy shouldn't go to a strip club to find someone of wife material, a woman would be wise NOT to go into a bar to find her future husband.

I wish my best friend would learn this lesson. She's still looking in the wrong places, and doesn't understand why she cannot meet a decent guy.
(no subject) - virginiadear - Aug. 12th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - pinkpelican1 - Aug. 12th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - virginiadear - Aug. 12th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - virginiadear - Aug. 13th, 2009 02:01 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - muppetfromhell - Aug. 16th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thatpotteryguy - Aug. 12th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 12th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
A system to win with women...because the existing systems to win at poker all work...and women are just like poker chips...

Aug. 12th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
This makes me want to show up at one of their training sessions and hand out a copy of your useful guide, and rubber pocket pussies to hold them over until they can learn to communicate with real people.

Sadly, what I've been reading lately also has me wanting to buy pocket tasers for my female friends.
Aug. 12th, 2009 07:12 pm (UTC)
I'm with cathgrace on this one. After reading the article (and most unfortunately looking up negs-Ugh) I am completely shocked. I can't believe that there are men actually think like that. Thankfully I don't think I know any.

It really just comes down to treating other people like you would want to be treated.
Aug. 12th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Its not that simple. Most guys are lost. Just like most girls. When was the last time you heard "She won't go out with me, I'm too good of a friend." Or how about "Why can't I meet Mr. Right?"

It would be nice if there was a guide, service, or method to finding someone special. So many of us spend most of our lives searching for the fabled "one true love". Billions are spent every year on services trying to find a mate. While PUA services are on the evil side, there are services available that can help in a less derogatory fashion.

Its too bad that none of them are fool proof. Cause we're all a bunch of fools.
Aug. 12th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
"She won't go out with me, I'm too good of a friend"

Is CLASSIC nice-guy talk for 'she won't go out with me because I skeeze her out and put pressure on her'

You need to do some reading on Nice Guys, anon
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Aug. 13th, 2009 02:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 12th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
Wow, you go to Pennsic and don't go online for a while...

I'm glad you posted this and are making folks aware. I'm lucky. Not only did I have strong female role models who taught me that I am WORTH something, I have great men in my family who not only love strong, intelligent women, they will happily deal with jerks who don't think the same way...assuming I haven't already done so. It is an unfortunate truth that there are not enough of them in the world. Interesting enough, the comic, Steve Harvey has written a book encouraging women to avoid jumping right into bed with a guy. He likens it to a new job with a probation period before you're eligible for the benefits package, "Women have the greatest benefit package in the world for a guy. Why would you just give it away without a probation period?" I'm sure the PUA guys hate him.

Two stories you'll appreciate. My dad and stepmom are making a long drive for a family wedding. They stop at a rest-area for a bite to eat. In line is a young teenage couple. He's treating her like crap, talking down to her, pushing her around and pinching her. Dad (who BTW may be 69, but is still 6'4" and strong!) tells the kid that he really doesn't like the way he's treating the girl and he thinks it would be better for him if he stops. Guy doesn't take this well, and tells my dad if he touches him, pushes him around or anything he'll call the cops...and there are witnesses. Another gentleman turns and smiles saying, "I don't see any witnesses and I think he's right--you need to stop" They proceed to give him a talk on the proper treatment of women. In the meantime, my stepmom has swooped in, separated the girl from the jerk, and given her a "don't let him treat you like this; You are worth more; You deserve better" talk. It may not have changed anything in the long run, but I'm proud to know they wouldn't just stand there and let it happen.

Story 2. One of my brother's old co-workers had the whole old world hispanic machismo thing going on. It used to drive the women in the office nuts. He was also single, which seemed to exacerbate it. One of his female co-workers jokingly said, they needed to marry him off so he would leave them all alone, turning to my brother and saying, "hey, you have a sister" My brother's response: "yes, but I LIKE my sister...though it might be entertaining to lock them in a room together and take bets on how look it took her to put him through the wall."

Did I mention how much I love my dad and brother? My brother being the one who taught me how to break someone's grip if the grab you, and where are the most vulnerable points to hit a guy and disable him so you can get away. Best big brother lesson I ever got!

It's a sad thing that the objectification of women still has hold in our society. We need to keep speaking out and letting these jerks know that this is not acceptable behavior. Thanks dear Attack Laurel for spreading the word.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - isabeau_lark - Aug. 13th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 13th, 2009 12:27 pm (UTC)
Last night I went home and thanked my husband of almost 35 years for being who he is. He has always found intelligence sexy, and has always treated me like a whole complete person who is a lot more than just what's between my legs.

Sadly, the more I read these days, the more I find that there are so many men out there who promote the PUA and rape cultures.

It is pathetic that they are so unaware of what a turn off this is to the average woman. Hey buddy! How would you feel if we only judged you by the size of your paycheck or the size and shape of your sexual equipment?

Edited at 2009-08-13 12:30 pm (UTC)
Aug. 13th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC)
Date? What is that???
Aug. 13th, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
Aug. 13th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
There is a lot more going on here than just misogyny. Let me share some of this from a guy's perspective:

Many men get to adulthood without having to worry about icky things like emotions or subtle non-verbal queues. Being sensitive and emotional are bad things, because they are wimpy. A real guy should do the things he wants, like play video games and sports, work on cars, and when he's old enough, drink and "have" pretty women.

Yes, it's all very small minded. The real danger here is that more and more women are being taught to fit into that narrow world view. Young women today are often completing against a game console for their boyfriend's attention. If they aren't pretty enough, they won't get him to give them attention...

So to get attention, young women are working on their looks, and learning to be assertive by being socially forward (Party girls), and learning to be sexually aggressive.

The point is that the PUA stuff not only encourages men to obectify women, it also encourages women to objectify men. Sadly, the VH1 reality TV shows are heinous pop culture examples of this kind of shortcoming.

One of the big things that turns people towards these objectifications are combinations of low self esteem and a marginalization of a person's social networks. Jack and Jill break up. Jill keeps all of the common friends, leaving Jack alone. Jack's guy friends are dating Jill's girl friends, so the girls pressure the guys to not hang out with Jack anymore. Jack tries to find new friends, but he lives in a small town, and their aren't that many people his age who share his interests...
That isolation will lead Jack to try and figure out new ways to meet people. He's more likely to seriously look at PUA stuff, because he wants to improve his situation.

And here is the scary part, on a superficial level, some of the PUA stuff works. PUA encourages guys to read a woman's non-verbal queues, as well as challenging a women's self esteem in order to influence her behavior. If Jack is reasonably attractive, there are attractive women with poor self esteem out there who will accept a PUA approach. It's probably not a formula for long term relationship success, but that kind of relationship can be a stop gap in the emotional hurt of a bad breakup.

The way many women react to a guy's interest also needs to be talked about. We live in a world where everyone is a little bit hurt. I've seen plenty of situations where a woman actually likes a guy, but is too shy to actually communicate verbal or non-verbal interest. Sometimes, a woman likes a guy as a friend, but doesn't want more. She doesn't want to hurt the guy, so she doesn't crush his hope, for fear of damaging the friendship. Some women are actively trying to date, but are honestly distracted by their own issues (Previous relationships, work issues, finances, family, etc). Most of these things don't reflect on a potential suitor, but they will end up hitting the suitor as some form of rejection, even though the woman did not intend to reject an attractive guy.

So here is another aspect of the PUA material & Attack's guide that's pretty true. If a guy meets lots of women, and makes friends with some, he should expect rejections from many women. There are some women out there who are promiscuous and attractive. A man looking really hard will eventually stumble across someone like that, if that's what he really wants (She's probably not looking for a long term relationship).

I've read a fair amount of PUA stuff. Some of it is reasonable (but you have to start reasonably to build credibility). A lot of it is pretty manipulative and sleazy.

And there is one point where the Attack Guide is wrong.

A guy doesn't have to be obscenely rich or attractive to get an attractive partner. IMHO, he has to be a very good guy, and strive to find a good partner who is not just physically pretty, but filled with social graces and a good heart. There are good partners out there, it's just tricky to find the one right for you. In all honesty, a woman with a mean heart will eventually do bad things to her partner. I think it's really all about how each person deals with their insecurities. A "10" for a PUA is different than an Attack Guide "10"...
Aug. 18th, 2009 10:05 am (UTC)
A guy doesn't have to be obscenely rich or attractive to get an attractive partner. IMHO, he has to be a very good guy, and strive to find a good partner who is not just physically pretty, but filled with social graces and a good heart

This statement right here is in direct opposition to the PUA way of thinking. I'm just sayin'.

Games do not get good partners - and most young women who are not being used for reality TV fodder are being taught that a boi who isn't interested in them for anything but sex is to be avoided.

I also think that using one's teenage years as a dating model for adulthood is a bad idea, since the teenage/very early 20's years are pretty much a time for learning through exhibiting some pretty fucked-up behaviours. Unfortunately, the PUAs don't get beyond the "chicks are icky and scary, but I want to score" mentality. Adults look for partners. PUAs look for notches on a belt. This is why their system is regressive, misogynistic, and ugly, despite their managing to incorporate some actual working advice into their game.
Aug. 14th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
It seems so strange when people like the previous "anonymous" insist that the PUA community has some legitimacy because PUA suggests you talk to a lot of women, and talking to lots of women does help. Um, yeah. To me that's like saying that Catholicism is a fantastic religion, if you cut out the Holy Trinity, the Pope, the Bible, and the whole thing with going to church....
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