The Trouble With Pick-Up Artists

On Wednesday, a Kickstarter project for a self-published book on picking up women entitled “Above The Game” started rocketing across blogs and Twitter. The author, a regular poster on r/seduction, a sub-Reddit dedicated to exchanging tips on meeting and hooking up with women, was looking for $2,000. He ended up getting over $16,000 – mostly from Redditors. Nothing terribly interesting in and of itself.

The samples of his advice he was giving… well, that was a different story. Ken Hoinsky shared excerpts from the upcoming book on r/seduction… and they were some doozies. As soon as the controversy broke, he took them down, but the Google cache is still available.

Some samples:

Never, ever, ever, wait for a SIGN before you escalate! You will miss out on the vast majority of chances if you sit around waiting for SIGNS. Men are notoriously bad at reading women’s minds and body language. Don’t think that you’re any different. From now on you must ASSUME that she is attracted to you and wants to be ravished.

All that matters is that you continue to try to escalate physically until she makes it genuinely clear that it’s not happening. She wants to be desired, but the circumstances need to be right. With some experience, you will learn to differentiate the “No, we can’t… my parents are in the next room… OMG FUCK ME FUCK ME HARD” from the“SERIOUSLY GET THE FUCK OFF OF ME, YOU CREEP” variety of resistance.

Rub your hands up and down her legs. Make her push your hand away as you get closer to her vagina. Fucking ravish her.

Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.

"Also: consider investing in chloroform and a windowless van."

“Also: consider investing in chloroform and a windowless van.”

This right here is an excellent example of why I have problems with the Pick Up Artist community.

In Defense of Pick-Up

I am actually not anti-pick up in general. Quite the opposite in fact; I think that there’s a lot of good to be found in it. I think that, when approached rationally and sanely that it can be a valuable resource.

The state of dating advice for men is, frankly, fairly abysmal. As I’ve said many times before, men are socialized to believe that to be masculine is to fuck; the more notches on your metaphorical bedpost, the more of a man you are. At the same time however, our society teaches us that for men, being good with women is a binary state; either you’re skilled at talking to them, interacting with them and seducing them or you aren’t. If you are, then great! The world’s your oyster. If you’re not… well, sucks to be you. But if you acknowledge that you’re bad at dating and interacting with women and want to improve… well, then you’re just a loser. 

"Quit trying to better your lot in life, freakazoid."

“Quit trying to better your lot in life, freakazoid.”

It’s fascinating in a perverse sort of way that such disdain is heaped on someone wanting to get better at getting women to like them. If a young man were to decide that he wanted to get better at math, nobody would blink twice at his finding a tutor or taking extra classes. If he wanted to get better at basketball, it would seem like the most normal thing in the world to find a trainer to help him improve his skills, build up his fitness and zero in on his weaknesses.

But to want to improve at one of the most fundamental areas of human life is shameful.

This unhelpful attitude can frequently be found in the comments section of articles talking about the PUA community – the phrase “losers”, “freaks” and the like are tossed around fairly freely, which reinforces the idea that simply wanting to get better at human interactions is somehow a bad thing. And to be perfectly honest, if someone wants to get better at finding sex partners rather than a relationship then more power to him.

In many ways it’s easier for women. Women are socialized to be more open with their feelings and insecurities, to not feel ashamed for asking for help or admitting weakness. It’s more socially acceptable for women to admit that perhaps they could use some help in getting better at attracting a partner – whether for romance or sex. As a result, there’s an entire industry built on women’s dating advice, from magazines to books to TV shows. Some of it is good, some of it is awful, and some of it is absolutely absurd, but it’s there.

I mean, sure some of it might cause permanent injury but c'mon...

I mean, sure some of it might cause permanent injury but c’mon…

There isn’t as much out there for men. We have precious few role-models for how to approach women we want to sleep with in a healthy, respectful way. In many cases, our major source of how to get women to like us are our peers – and that’s often a case of the blind leading the blind. Moreover, those who are blessed with a seemingly-innate affinity to women – “Naturals” in PUA lingo – often don’t know what they’re doing. They’re just being themselves; they don’t know how to articulate it into anything other than “I guess women just like me”. It’s incredibly frustrating to be a young man

That’s where the pick-up community comes in – it’s filling an economic niche, a void in the marketplace.

And in fairness, there’s a lot to learn and appreciate from the Pick-Up community. I’ve spent time in it myself in the beginning of my own personal transformation. I learned how to overcome many self-limiting beliefs about who I was and what I was capable of. I learned more about how to present myself in a positive manner, how to flirt, how to dress and, yes, how to seduce women.

I had fun. I lived a life that I didn’t think I could ever know, did things I never thought I’d have a chance to experience and I had a lot of sex.

Unfortunately I also absorbed a lot of shitty attitudes towards women and sex that took me to a fairly dark place and made me into someone I ultimately didn’t like.  it took me a while to climb back out of that hole.

Handling The Fear Of Women

One thing that most people who enter the pick-up community have in common is that they’re intimidated by women.

It makes sense when you think about it. Men who are at ease with women have an easier time talking to them, flirting with them and asking them out on dates; these are generally not the people who enter “how to meet women” into Google. Many of the people who write in to me have literal anxiety attacks at the idea of approaching a woman and striking up a conversation with her. For some men, that panicky feeling of talking to the girl you like in the 5th grade never fully goes away. Others may feel so insecure or unsure of themselves that they can barely bring themselves to say “hello” never mind working up the nerve to ask a woman for her number.

PUA culture deals with this pervasive fear by taking women’s humanity away in a multitude of ways.

The most obvious is the use of the 10 scale – referring to women in field reports (effectively “after action” reports of how their night went, posted to various forums and sub-reddits) as HB (for “hot body”) 7 or 8 instead of by name. It’s one thing to try to rank how attractive a woman is relative to others; physical beauty is as much in the eye of the beholder after all. But in PUA culture, the rating is treated as a value as much as an opinion; an 8 is by definition better than a 6 or a 7 because she’s going to be that much “harder” to “game”. By rating women – on this supposedly objective scale – turns them from individuals to scores; a 7 is worth more than a 5 so you’re a better PUA if you hook up with her. The elusive HB 9 or 10 of course are the best; a PUA who can regularly land 9s and 10s – known for being “next to impossible” to get with is god as much as guru.

"He that puts the sword into this beauty shall be the rightwise born King of England..."

“He that puts the fleshy sword into this beauty shall be the rightwise born King of England…”

Some PUA schools  have specific subsets of tactics for landing these wiley 10s, as though big-game hunters trying to bring down a king cheetah instead of your run of the mill gazelle or okapi. 10s require special handling, unlike those mere 6′s and 7s.

If treating women like points seems as though it’s a form of gamification of dating… well you’re not entirely wrong. Part of the point of many Pick Up schools is to reduce dating to a formula… or a game. Pick up is often referred to as “dating cheat codes” – a way of circumventing the “rules” of the game in order to get what you want with minimal effort. Much of this comes from the use of canned routines and concepts like the “emotional progression model” from classic Mystery Method/Love Systems – it’s human interaction as a flow-chart. If you want to talk to a woman, you run routine A. When she responds, you move to routine B or C; if it’s not working out as you’d hoped, you have back-up routines and material to fall back on – “boyfriend destroyers”, anti-AMOG1 tactics,  and the like. The Emotional Progression Model further simplifies matters by treating interactions as a series of stages that lead inevitably to sex. Instead of just getting to know somebody, bantering with them and getting to know them as a person, you have to build up enough Attraction in order to make it through to Comfort and keep her there long enough until you can make your move to the bedroom.

And make no mistake: that’s where things are meant to go. While there are PUA schools and philosophies that approve of, even encourage romantic relationships, the idea of monogamy – tying yourself to *gasp* just one woman – is the mark of the loser and the idiot. Why have just one pussy when you can have a rotating harem, dipping your cock in wondrous variety whenever you feel the need?
And why not? All’s fair in love and war when it means you get what you want…

“Make The Ho Say No”

…and what they want is pussy. And to be perfectly honest, a lot of the techniques that Pick Up Artists advocate are, frankly, coercive as hell to the point of sexual assault.

One of the biggest issues in the PUA community is the way that the community as a whole encourages treating women. The Pick Up Community is based around the commodity model of sex - that women are the gatekeepers to sex while men have to bribe, supplicate, cajole, manipulate or otherwise convince them to grant men access.

Emphasis on “manipulate”.

There are three concepts that are common through most PUA schools of thought: Anti-Slut Defense, Last Minute Resistance and Buyer’s Remorse – and they’re all toxic as fuck. All three are based on the idea that women may want sex but they’re socially conditioned to pretend that they don’t for fear of appearing to be a slut.

Let that sink in for a moment: impressionable, socially inexperienced men being taught that what women say and what women want are two different things. It follows logically then that you should ignore what they say… and the community teaches tactics to do precisely that. One form of Anti Slut Defense – or so the theory goes – is that women are socialized against deliberately going with someone for sex; they need the plausible deniability with their friends to say that sex “just happened”. So a PUA is taught to give her that deniability… by misleading her. They’re taught to make a pretext to either come home with him – to watch a movie, say – or to get into her place… or to lie about where you’re going in the first place. You say you’re going to the next bar… but you really take her back to your apartment, ostensibly to “get something”.

"How about we go to this little place I know. Very exclusive, you've gotta know someone to get in..."

“How about we go to this little place I know. Very exclusive, you’ve gotta know someone to get in…”

Because that’s not creepy at all.

(And to pre-empt the “Well she’s going back to a guy’s place with him, what does she think is going to happen?” comments: doesn’t matter. Going back to your place isn’t a contract that ends with your getting laid. Even if she is down, women – and men – are allowed to change their minds at any time.)

Dealing with Last Minute Resistance is where PUAs take the rape-cake. Last Minute Resistance2 is the final barrier of a woman’s Anti-Slut Defenses. In the PUA community, LMR is the boss battle of the dating RPG and it needs to be overcome so you can get your reward. Many PUA techinques are based off of high-pressure sales tactics (compliance escalation and The Yes Ladder, for example); the techniques for overcoming Last Minute Resistance are coercive to the point of sexual assault, taking advantage of women’s socialization to not want to cause offense and being unwilling to take a stand for herself.

One popular LMR technique is the Freeze Out – as soon as the PUA encounters resistance, he stops cold - gets up, puts on his pants, turns on the lights and goes off to do something else. This isn’t just “taking a break until she feels more comfortable”, this is giving her the silent treatment.  It’s intended to pressure her into sex by punishing her for resisting. It plays on the social message to women that men won’t like them unless they put out and to play on the socialization against hurting men’s feelings. It’s boundary-pushing and manipulative, and if you’re a woman with low self-esteem or weak boundaries… well, you’re more likely to give in, even when you don’t want to.

Another LMR technique I’ve seen advocated is for the PUA to whip his dick out – sometimes accompanied by putting her hand on it. Not, mind you in the context of escalating things while making out; this is about making her feel guilty. “Look at what you’ve done,” the PUA says. “Look at how hard you’ve gotten me. This is your fault; you need to do something about this.” It’s a classic coercive maneuver – trying to make a woman feel ashamed for having “lead you on” without a payoff; after all, as shameful as it is to be a slut, being a cocktease is worse.

Or of course you could always just keep pushing forward until she literally shoves you away – “Make the Ho Say No” is one of the mantras of the infamous PUA guru Gunwitch. Some “no’s”, so the theory goes are not “real” no’s, they’re just Anti-Slut Defense and you can safely ignore them until you get the “NO NO NO!” response.

"Hmm. Pretty sure that means keep trying."

“Hmm. Pretty sure that means keep trying.”

Again: do I really need to explain why this is problematic?

This is something that’s actively encouraged in the community; Clarisse Thorn has an excellent breakdown of one especially toxic PUA’s field report that frankly spells out how he straight-up raped a woman… to the approval of his peers, including Real Social Dynamics instructors and PUA guru Tyler Durden.

When you put sex as the end goal in and of itself regardless of the other person, you’re going to encourage coercive behavior. Last Minute Resistance isn’t about trying not to appear like a slut to her friends, it’s about not wanting to fuck you. 

Antagonism, Shit Tests and The Female Hive-Mind

That commodity mentality espoused by so many PUAs inevitably leads to a combative view of gender relations. Much of pick-up is based on the idea of women as opponents rather than as potential partners. Pick Up Artists are taught to see women as antagonists that the PUAs have to break down in order to “get that pussy”.

There are a great number of intellectual fallacies at work in pick up philosophy, especially the fallacy of composition. Because pick-up was originally based around trying to score with girls in nightclubs, and many of women in nightclubs can be arrogant or rude; they’re in an environment that encourages and rewards them based on their looks and accords them status because of it. Many of them are shallow or flaky or manipulative… but pick-up teaches that all women are like this, like a giant hive-mind.

This is never more evident than in the concept of “shit tests”. The idea behind shit tests is that women only respond to high-status men; anyone else is simply there to be used, abused and tossed aside. Therefore every woman is going to test any man who approaches her to see what she can get out of him. If he falls for it, then clearly he’s beta and below her, only good for milking a few drinks while he begs for attention like a puppy. If he passes… well then maybe he’s worth a handjob or two in the bathroom. So she will demand things like telling him “hold my purse” or “why don’t you get me a drink”. She may say “I have a boyfriend” when she really doesn’t, waiting to see how the supplicant reacts. She may tease him or call him out for saying something cheesy. The PUA will respond to put her in her place; the Average Frustrated Chump (that is: everyone who isn’t a PUA) will do whatever she says.

"Next I require you bring me... A SHRUBBERY!"

“Next I require you bring me… A SHRUBBERY!”

The problem is, when you’re viewing everything through an antagonistic lens, everything seems like a shit test when in reality, she’s just treating you like a normal human being. If she says “I have a boyfriend”, that’s not a test, that’s a sign that she doesn’t want to talk to you. A girl who teases you, makes fun of your shirt or your boots with a smile on her face and a playful demeanor is flirting with younot testing you. If she’s outright insulting you, then she’s not testing you, she’s telling you to go the fuck away.

“Bitch Shields” are another concept that only exists in PUA culture. According to Pick-Up Artists, some women deliberately put up a front in order to chase away the chumps; a true player knows how to break them down through a series of jokes and negs, refusing to give up until he’s broken through.

Once again: this is treating women as the Enemy. A woman who’s acting rude or dismissive isn’t trying to make you prove yourself. She may have had a bad day. She may be tired of all the dudes coming up to hit on her. You might look like her ex boyfriend who she caught fucking her sister and her best friend. Regardless of the reasons, she’s indicating that she wants to be left alone.

Ironically enough, if more people treated women as people rather than targets or opponents, they might find they encounter fewer bitch shields out in the field…

Papering Over the Hole

I’ll be honest: when I found my way into the pick-up community, I wasn’t in a good place. I was coming off simultaneously losing a girlfriend I thought was perfect and getting fired from the perfect job. I had just watched a girl I was flirting with go home with someone else. I had serious self-esteem issues and a host of problems with deservedness, intimacy and relationships.

And I thought that getting more sex would be the solution.

I’m hardly alone in this; most people who go into pick up usually have similar problems. But because society puts so much emphasis on men’s worth being equal to having lots of sex, it’s easy to assume that getting better at picking up women is going to make things better. And it doesn’t. All that happens is that you end up finding a new source of external validation – the “approval” of the women who sleep with you, the prestige your fellow PUAs accord you. It may numb the pain that you’re feeling, but never for very long; like a heroin addict, you build up a tolerance and constantly find yourself needing more and more.

All too often the problem isn’t where we think it is. It’s a mistake to learn the “cheat codes” for dating when you need to work on yourself first. You become all flash with no substance, trying to hide the hole in your life instead of filling it in.

Don’t get me wrong: I think pick-up can be invaluable, even ethical… as long as you’re going in with the right mindset and attitude. Learning how to better interact with women – whether you’re looking for love or just sex – is an admirable goal.

But when so much of it is suffused with antagonistic, misogynistic views of women, when it’s treated as a contest of wills rather than a collaboration between two partners, it can be unbelievably toxic and only causing damage in the long term.

  1. Alpha Male Of Group []
  2. Yes, in caps, like most pick-up jargon []

Comments

  1. craniest says:

    I think it says a lot that the dude took down the rapetastic excerpts after they were brought to light, not because they were, well, horrifyingly predatory, but because they made him look bad. Not that they ARE bad, but MADE HIM LOOK bad.

    Exhibit A: his response: "I am shocked, SHOCKED that anyone could think these are in any way advocating sexual assault, see I even have a disclaimer that is actually textbook Freeze Out, and that explicitly states No means Try Again Later, because I'm really just a nice guy…"

    BINGO. Hold your cards please, we have a winner.

    • "No means Try Again Later" That is the part that really gets me.

      • Paul Rivers says:

        To be fair, following the comment link in this article right below that it says –

        "With some experience, you will learn to differentiate the "No, we can't… my parents are in the next room… OMG FUCK ME FUCK ME HARD" from the "SERIOUSLY GET THE FUCK OFF OF ME, YOU CREEP" variety of resistance."

        • That learning curve might be a bit problematic, though

        • Delafina says:

          No is no. If I say politely and quietly, "No thank you, I'm not interested," that is the same as shouting "NO GET OFF OF ME." The idea that you should make a woman make a scene to get you to go away — knowing that women are socialized to be polite in refusals and not make scenes — is pretty much a rapist mindset.

          If a woman tells you "no," it's not on you to change that. It's on *her.* If she is interested in you and saying no for some reason when she actually might mean yes, it's up to her to follow up with you.

          • If I say "no" and mean "not ever, never in a million years," I want the man I'm with to hear and respect that "no." If I say "no" and mean "not right now, I have a touch of the flu and want to take some Nyquil and crash," I want the man to hear and respect that "no." If I say "no" and mean "I don't know whether I'm comfortable with this, I'd like to put on the brakes for a bit," I want the man to hear and respect that "no."

            It doesn't matter *why* I'm saying no. We perhaps can (and in some cases, should) discuss the "why" later. And maybe in some cases that No will become a Yes after we've had said discussion or after circumstances change ("I'm not headachy anymore," for instance). Someone attempting to push past a No may or may not be an actual rapist, but he is sure tripping my alarm wires and waving some giant red flags. Not respecting my No is a surefire way of making sure you never get a Yes.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            "If I say "no" and mean "not ever, never in a million years," I want the man I'm with to hear and respect that "no." If I say "no" and mean "not right now, I have a touch of the flu and want to take some Nyquil and crash," I want the man to hear and respect that "no." If I say "no" and mean "I don't know whether I'm comfortable with this, I'd like to put on the brakes for a bit," I want the man to hear and respect that "no.""

            Yes, but this is much, much more what the average girl wants than what Delafina is claiming.

            I've talked to a lot of girls who have mentioned how annoying they find it when guys take any hint of a "no" as "NO GET OFF ME". Like in your example, they don't like feeling like they're trapped in a situation where she has the flu and doesn't want to do something right now, but her only options are to do something right no or say "No, I have the flu" and have the guy take that as "NO GET OFF ME". Or have him jump to conclusions that "I don't know whether I'm comfortable with this, I'd like to put on the brakes for a bit," actually secretly means "NO GET OFF ME".

            It actually puts her in a horrible situation where her **only** choices are "Yes, take me now" or "No, not now, not ever" – because if she says anything negative at all, no matter what her actual words, the guy might jump to the conclusion that she's saying "NO GET OFF ME" in the name of not having "a rapist mindset" or whatever.

            "No but try again later" doesn't force her into a position of "Every interaction is either yes now, or it's gone forever, no matter what you say".

          • "No, but try again later" is a great thing FOR HER to say. You, on the other hand, have no place adding "but try again later" to her "no."

          • Paul Rivers says:

            There's a comment *right* above mine that explains this already, so I'm not going to repeat it. It is a basic social expectation that you will attempt to interpret what a person says as how they mean it.

            I could see how "No, but try again later" is to aggressive. I prefer "No, not right now", which more logically accurately implies that it might mean try again later, or it might not.

            Like I said, I've talked to several girls who have expressed how much they dislike the idea that any hint, sign, or possible no is taken as "BACK OFF FOREVER". Since they'd prefer not to initiate, they feel like it basically controls them only allowing them a choice between "yes, now" or "no, never" and takes away their ability to have any "I'm not sure" responses. If they mean "BACK OFF FOREVER", then they want the guy to do that. If they say and mean "I'm just not feeling it right now" or "I feel like we'd be moving to fast" or "I haven't thought about it enough", it really ticks them off when the guys make the decision about what they "really mean" for them.

            I'm not 100% sure that I'm understanding what you're saying how you mean it, but my major disagreement is with Delafina's assertion that any hint of "no" at all means "no forever".

          • FormerlyJay says:

            Err on the side of not raping. If a girl is passive and tells boys no when she means yes, she is creating her own problem. The boys are doing the correct thing by backing off. They have no way of knowing if she actually means yes, AND THEY SHOULD NOT ASSUME SO.

          • Briznecko says:

            I find it absolutely fascinating that you are able to read women's minds. How does one aquire such a magical ability?

          • Paul Rivers says:

            You could try talking to them. If you talk to real women in real life, women that are comfortable with you and actually like you, you can find a wide variation in what they say to someone they don't know and what they really mean. It's confusing, but that's how it is – it's confusing. I've personally been friends with women who are loathe to say "no" to anything, and also women who say "no" immediately but will tell me themselves that they hope the guy will change their mind. (And I said change their mind, not force them into anything.) I've known more than 1 of both.

          • eselle28 says:

            I am sure these women exist. But I'm curious: why should we form social rules for what is acceptable behavior around this minority group of women who say "no" immediately and then hope the man changes his mind? Why should women who are able to clearly signal their intentions have to deal with behavior that ranges from being pestered by PUAs trying to get past "bitch shields" they don't have to possible sexual assault?

            If the rule was to back off when a woman expressed disinterest and especially when she said no, maybe the women who were disingenuous about their intentions would even learn to be either more upfront or to be more proactive about letting men know when they had changed their minds.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            Why would I think it would be acceptable to lie to guys, crush their ability to interact with woman as human beings they can talk to, and force women into a situation where it's only with assholes that they can communicate like normal people do, in the name of women maybe possibly being somewhat less annoyed in bars?

            If the rule was to back off for now when a woman expressed disinterest, and especially when she said no, that would make sense, in fact that's the social norm with all social interactions. The norm is not that slight disinterest means "NO GET OFF OF ME."

            The reason why guys had to turn to "game" is precisely because so called "dating advice"'s main goal is not helping men be better with women, it's using language that pretends to do that in order to make sure women are less annoyed and have more of the power in social interactions. The irony is that that creates self-fullfilling prophecy – by assuming that everyone who approaches women are assholes, that weirdly ensures that the only people who approach women are assholes. It would be far better to agree on social protocol that allowed "I'm just not interested in talking to you all", "I'm not interested in talking right now", "I might be interested but I'm not sure", "Yes, you seem interesting" rather than black and white thinking where your only two choices are "I'm super enthusiastic this very second!" or "Anything less than super enthusiastic means get lost forever!".

            And "bitch shields" is a very minor aspect of game, and not one that should be promoted, even Tyler Durden put it as something like –

            I don't understand why anyone would spend their night trying to convince a woman who doesn't want to talk to them to like them. Would an "alpha" be spending more than a couple of sentences trying to convince a girl that he's interesting to talk to? Spending more than a sentences trying to convince someone who's not being receptive at all (as opposed to just being neutral) is just broadcasting that you're low value, both to the girl you're talking to, and to everyone around you.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I don't understand why anyone would spend their night trying to convince a woman who doesn't want to talk to them to like them. Would an "alpha" be spending more than a couple of sentences trying to convince a girl that he's interesting to talk to? Spending more than a sentences trying to convince someone who's not being receptive at all (as opposed to just being neutral) is just broadcasting that you're low value, both to the girl you're talking to, and to everyone around you.

            I agree with the point. Its too bad its still nothing to do with the other person and everything to do with how things reflect on you. Its the difference between "you don't want to talk? OK, have a nice night" and "I can't waste anymore time on you or I'll look like an AFC."

      • The whole "no means no" thing is sickening. "No means no" should be addendum to "yes means yes".

        Why is enthusiastic consent such a fucking unicorn concept?

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          Because even "no means no" took a generation to take hold. Sexual mores don't change quickly. http://xkcd.com/592/

        • Paul Rivers says:

          "Why is enthusiastic consent such a fucking unicorn concept?"

          Ask the women. I'm not joking. In the dance scene, again and again and again woman only seem to be comfortable expressing outward and exuberant enthusiasm *after* they have a boyfriend. When they break up with their boyfriend, they'll stop doing it – if they show up again and are enthusiastic, you can bet good money that they're dating someone.

          You're talking to the wrong gender. Guys *love* enthusiasm. When I meet a girl who's moderately attractive and can express enthusiasm, she always has a string of guys interested in her. When I met a girl who expressed enthusiasm and an interest in me, I *did* date her. And she had a constant string of guys interested in her – and a number of women who seemed to hate her for it.

          I could tell any number of stories, but after a while become obvious to guys that they would *love* enthusiasm – but waiting for it is the same as waiting for the girl to be dating someone else and unavailable. It sucks – but it's not a guy thing. Seriously, the formula for getting guy's romantic attention is nearly as simple as being moderately visually attractive or more, and displaying enthusiasm.

          • … I think perhaps you have missed the point of the comment. "Enthusiastic consent" is the notion that you shouldn't coerce, pressure, trick, or shame someone into having sex with you. Both parties should be pleased with their decision to have sex, not just one.

            FWIW, I agree that enthusiasm is deeply attractive in either gender. It's too bad if you're encountering lots of women who aren't willing to express enthusiasm when single. This isn't something about women per se, because this pattern doesn't hold among women I know. Perhaps there's something about either your community, or you specifically, that is triggering this behavior?

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I think he touches on what I would see as the real "issue" here: When I meet a girl who's moderately attractive and can express enthusiasm, she always has a string of guys interested in her.

            This is totally true because people want to date people who are attractive and show enthusiasm. Its not so much that women as a whole are afraid to show enthusiasm as that the ones who do are much more likely to be in a relationship. So it appears that women have an issue with showing enthusiasm because unenthusiastic women are much more likely to be single. I'd even go so far as to say that these unenthusiastic people are the kind who send mixed signals because the type of behavior he's describing is basically a fear of being vulnerable.

            I found the solution to this is don't wait. If you want to ask someone out and they're single, do it today. Because, yes, a woman who is fun to be around is going to have more guys interested in her. If she's single she might not want to date right now or be on the rebound or whatever. That's cool and you should accept that but you'll never know unless you make your move.

          • Oh, that explanation makes so much more sense than the various things I was thinking about. :)

          • Paul Rivers says:

            While…I appreciate Gentleman Johnny's thought on it, and I agree that happens as well, I did mean that specifically that "In A Relationship" causes more enthusiasm. Rarely they end up breaking up with the other person, when that happens they lose that confidence and enthusiasm – until they get into another relationship, then suddenly it's back.

            In the last paragraph, this comment hits the nail on the head –
            "I'd even go so far as to say that these unenthusiastic people are the kind who send mixed signals because the type of behavior he's describing is basically a fear of being vulnerable. "

            Now add on the top of this the fact that it's not "cool" to be to enthusiastic in a lot of groups (think of hipster stereotypes), a long running tradition of not wanting to appear to excited (I could post a Jane Austin clip, that's how long running it is)…there's a whole bunch more reasons etc, girls are (unfortunately) never as outwardly enthusiastic when they're actually available.

            "I found the solution to this is don't wait."

            Lol, yes. Exactly. That's…precisely what I'm saying. Waiting for unbridled enthusiasm to make a move, or even sleep together for the first time, is basically waiting for a magical unicorn to show up. I've gotten plenty of enthusiasm from someone I'm already dating, or already sleeping with. But the first time? There's usually a lot of hesitation and uncertainty.

            It's a great ideal that everyone would be enthusiastic and having a great time every time all the time. But if anything, my point is that guys *already* love that. A girl with any visual attractiveness who's expressing enthusiasm is already hot.

          • Ainuvande says:

            Could it have something to do with worrying about getting hit on? I know many women who police their actions in situations where they might get unwanted attention. If it is known to the general community that a person will hit on anyone who is both single and dances with enthusiasm, then women who don't want to get hit on will a) make it well known that they are not single, and b) carefully monitor their behavior in order to avoid unwanted attention.

            I can't speak to your bedroom experiences, but it makes me worry that you might be pushing these women too fast or not know how to handle normal first time with someone awkwardness.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            "… I think perhaps you have missed the point of the comment. "Enthusiastic consent" is the notion that you shouldn't coerce, pressure, trick, or shame someone into having sex with you. Both parties should be pleased with their decision to have sex, not just one."

            It's nearly impossible to find people who actually agree on what enthusiastic consent means. In the DNL article it's mentioned as being something like "take me now". Mel pretty much anything that makes it clear she's consenting is "enthusiastic" consent, I would say that's just "clear" consent, a standard that everyone should abide by but not the same thing as requiring enthusiastic consent. Now you're saying it's not about tricking, pressuring, etc, but if the result of someone doing that produces enthusiasm about having sex, wouldn't that still be under the standard of "enthusiastic" consent?

            Usually here someone tries to change the subject into being about how people "should" have sex, but I'm not talking about that in this comment – I'm only talking about what "enthusiastic consent" means, and how everyone seems to have a different definition of it.

            Even there, we're sort of splitting into 2 topics – are we talking about meeting other stages of dating or just the "we're about to have sex" stage?

            It's great if the women you know are actually like that, but I would ask whether "they're" not like that means that when it's just women they say they're enthusiastic, are you actually with them when they're interacting with the guys? You're assumably not there when they're at a point of nearly sleeping together. I've known plenty of women to express great enthusiasm to their friends, then go over to the guy and act like "yeah, cool, no big deal".

            It's possible that living in the midwest, people here are unusually reserved about expressing enthusiasm before they're sure they know what's going on. But it hasn't seemed *that* much different when I travel to Florida either.

          • eselle28 says:

            Like kleenestar said, we're talking about sex, not about people's personality in the dance scene.

  2. I'd say we need an ethical version of PUA, but I'm pretty sure the good Doctor is actively building it in front of our eyes.

    • Gentleman Horndog says:

      I've said it before: I strongly get the impression that the Doc's bread and butter is taking PUA techniques, stripping them of their misogyny and entitlement, and turning them into lessons on self-improvement. He's right that the Good Dating Advice for Men niche exists — and I can't think of anybody filling it better than he does. If I'd known this shit 20 years ago, I'd have been a VASTLY happier young horndog.

      • Honestly, a lot of the Doc's advice would have been invaluable to me, a young female nerd, too. A lot of the advice about self-esteem, working on yourself, collaborative vs. commodity view of sex, tailoring clothes, etc. is pretty applicable to all socially awkward people. I just wish my high school experience hadn't been mostly fueled on idiotic fanfiction fantasies instead.

        • hobbesian says:

          Nerdshit fortresses are how people deal with lack of community..

          that's what I'm trying to do now.. I want to put my batcave/fortress of solitude days behind me.. but I'm not quite capable of doing it yet. but If I had found this site and the people who post here who have been super supportive back when I was 18.. I wouldn't be doing this now at 28.. I'd have done it all back then and gotten past it.

          But.. I'm glad I found it now.

          • I'm really glad to hear this, Hobbesian! You can do it! It's okay to take your time :)

    • Doc's stuff has been coined PUA lite before, which I think is accurate. The guys at simplepickup.com are good people to watch too, I haven't heard any of the mysogynism or women hating talked about from most of the anti-PUA crowd on their site.

  3. I'm going to try…emphasis on try…to make this not a downvote-laden argument thread, because I'm genuinely trying to get past a lot of the issues this post is talking about.

    So, it irks and annoys me when men manipulate women this way. Honestly, it ticks me off more for its abuse of language. Words are supposed to convey ideas, not create an outcome from another person. Playing a role belongs on stage (or in the bedroom), not in conversation.

    I am in no danger of becoming a PUA, because to speak that way leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But.

    While I detest and eschew their methods, I sympathize somewhat with their goals. Or rather, I'm reluctant to seek the opposite kind of relationship. The impression that I get is that the only "proper" relationship is one where nothing is set in stone, and it's not a tradeoff. When the article talks about the commodity model of sex, that makes more sense to me than a less well-defined view. If I'm getting sex, I should give something else in exchange. I want a relationship where the entitlements and obligations on both sides are clearly defined. What I'm hearing is that there can never be any entitlements or obligations, and that in fact the entitlement mentality is the height of douchebaggery. But for me, I'd be willing to accept ONLY obligations, because I detest uncertainty most of all.

    This is why the goals of a PUA appeal to me. They want sex. They want numbers. More is better. That's simple, understandable, and no uncertainty. They may win, they may lose, but they never question themselves.

    I hate uncertainty because I don't like to think. I don't like to work. Thinking and working are what I do in the day so I can go home at night and veg out. That's my model for a relationship: work at becoming more attractive, understand women better, communicate, find someone, then rake in the spoils of love, romance, and sex. I'm just not sure if it's viable.

    That's also why the streak of feminism that runs through the community here turns me off. I don't think I'm misogynistic because I prefer women who think in terms of entitlements and obligations like I do.

    There you go. Having begun by saying how much I didn't want to get into an argument, there's everything wrong with men that you guys hate. :) Just please approach this in the spirit that I'm trying to understand and define what I should and shouldn't do, not trying to piss anyone off.

    • The Scenario says:

      There's a difference between an obligation someone willingly takes on themselves and one they cave to out of pressure or exploitation. I expect my partners to be monogamous, and to be monogamous myself. This is an appropriate expectation/obligation because I do it voluntarily, am up-front and genuine about it, and if my partner does not want to, I end the relationship rather than trying to trick it out of her.

    • The problem with this is nothing can be really certain in a relationship. A lot of people also do not like clearly defining the terms because its not really romantic. I also imagine that many women really do not situations where they are obligated to give sex for reasons that should be obvious.

      I’m somewhat sympathetic to your view. I don’t think that women are obligated to give anything but I do feel that at least in the early stages of a relationship many women require much more of an investment in them while giving less in return. There might be good reasons for this but it’s still annoying.

      • I'll never say no to a good long-term investment, even with a heavy down payment…my IRA will attest to that. What I fear is getting no return. Someday I want to get from the feeling out process where I'm on my best behavior to comfort and complacency where I can loosen my belt and be a little more myself.

        • I'd love to hear a bit more about what you mean by "loosening your belt and being a little more yourself."

          For what it's worth, I understand the fear of getting no return. It's a crappy way to feel, and I don't think there's anything you can do to rule that possibility out entirely. :(

          • Like, being able to swear more, and be a little less rigorous in how I talk. (Something like, "That movie had to have been made for lobotomized turtles! The director should be beaten with his own camera," as opposed to "I don't think the cinematic themes really worked.")

            That's why I do agree with the collaborative model, but beyond that I'm looking for "you and me against the world." Each of us boosts the other. If there's something my partner doesn't like, it probably sucks. If there's something she thinks is awesome, I'm going to pay attention, even if it's not something I'd ordinarily be interested in.

          • I don't want to make the assumption that you're talking about long-term relationships, but honestly this sounds pretty mild for belt-loosening in a long-term relationship. That's actually really good – you're not saying things like, "I don't want to have to pay attention to her or care about her interests anymore."

            If you want "you and me against the world," you might want to check out some books on peer marriage / equal partnership (different people call it different things). I'd be happy to make specific recommendations if you're interested.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            "That movie had to have been made for lobotomized turtles! The director should be beaten with his own camera."

            For the record, I'm sticking that review in my pocket, and will break it out the next time my girlfriend and I walk out of a movie that was pure ass. :-)

          • CaseyXavier says:

            Wha? Why don't you just say that then? Honestly, if a woman is going to get offended by your swearing and making annoyed quips like that, isn't it better to find out sooner than later? Going on dates is for checking out compatibility, and you're doing yourself no favours by hiding aspects of yourself as to not 'offend' your date. I'm not saying you should scratch your balls at the dinner table and proclaim how members of Opposing Political Party are all dipshits, and of course we should be on our best behaviour on dates, but to a large degree we should aim to be ourselves so that we can see if the other party is compatible with who we are. That includes our sense of humour and the way we speak.

            I don't censor myself around dates because I'm not interested in being such a model date that he goes away with stars in his eyes. I present a somewhat-polished up version of myself on first dates (not even the most polished or dressiest, I save that for when I already know I like him) and try to figure out if the two of us click. There's no investment until chemistry is evident, if it is at all. If there's chemistry and we hit it off, that's fantastic. If there isn't and the date falls flat, well at least we gave it a go and it's cool to meet someone new. Dates will sometimes express surprise when I cuss (and I have a bit of a potty mouth) but all that happens is that it makes them relax a little more.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            So, PJA, your down payment is. . .not being yourself? And your expected return is. . . a satisfying relationship? You might get more flies with honey than vinegar but no one ever grew an apple tree by planting orange seeds.

        • No, I'm sorry, this is sounding too much like the "inserting enough Nice Guy tokens will eventually dispense sex" belief. Try putting down a much lighter down payment (or even no down payment at all) and just be yourself. Make some friends (both male and female) and see where that takes you. Good luck.

      • I'm curious… what is it you feel that men are required to invest more of during the early stages, and what exactly are women giving that is less than the man's investment at that time? I'm really, really hoping it's not something similar to the sterotyopical "men have to pay for all the dates and not get laid early on" complaint. The most valuable things anyone can give another, regardless of gender, are time, attention, respect, and consistently deliver all of those. Men and women should be investing equally in all of those at all stages of the relationship.

    • I can only speak for myself, but since I am a feminist woman in a long-term successful relationship with the Most Awesome Man Alive, it might be a useful perspective.

      I find clarity good and uncertainty stressful. But it actually requires a fair amount of thinking and work to maintain that clarity, and to ensure that our obligations to one another are both practical and just. We change, both as we grow and as our life circumstances change. That means that the challenges of a relationship aren't a one-and-done thing. So we focus on having clarity of process and principles rather than having a fixed set of rules, because no set of rules will be right for us forever. If you're interested in details, I'd be happy to share.

      Note that I only say we share obligations: I find the notion of entitlement, on either side, quite toxic – even after sixteen years. I accept obligations to my husband as a gift to him, because I adore him, but once you act entitled to a gift it's not a gift anymore. I think a mutual non-entitlement, obligation-only relationship is actually pretty great. Or at least mine is! You just have to be careful that you find a partner who won't exploit you.

      The problem with the commodity model of sex is not that things have to be undefined. It's that, as you put it above, YOU are "getting" sex – as if the other person weren't also having sex – and that you are giving something ELSE to them – as if they couldn't possibly want to have sex with you without a bribe. Do you see how those assumptions go quite a bit further than just "I like things well-defined?" The idea that women need to be bribed for sex is, unfortunately, rather a negative attitude to take about women. There are far healthier ways to have clarity about sex.

      I also think that "love, romance, and sex" are rather by definition not spoils – meaning, they are in actions and choices you make every single day. You can't one-and-done them, or acquire them and put them on your shelf. The work IS the romance IS the love IS the sex. But maybe that's just me thinking about long-term relationships; it's what I know best. I imagine the equation is different for one-offs or (maybe) short relationships. I just don't have enough expertise to say.

    • Gentleman Horndog says:

      As an alternative to the commodity model of sex, how about the Co-Operative Game model of sex?

      See, there's this really awesome game I like playing, and I want to find people who like playing it as much as I do. We're not going to play it AGAINST each other — we're going to play it WITH each other. You know, like a co-op video game; we're on the same team. Now, the thing about this game is that most people (including me!) are super picky about who they play it with. And it's a physical game, so it carries some risks with it; you and everybody else playing have to be pretty careful about who you play with.

      It's a lot of bother. But the game? JUST that awesome. So I'm gonna go find somebody who wants to play it with me.

      That's pretty much the approach I take. I'm sure somebody somewhere has a better name and description for it — it doesn't feel that revolutionary or original. :-)

      I don't feel like you're saying anything THAT outrageous here, but where you're going to get yourself into trouble is if you can't decouple sex from obligation and entitlement. In a romantic relationship, I feel like you ARE entitled to respect and courtesy, and a partner (be it a long-term partner or a just-for-tonight partner) not willing or able to meet that obligation needs to be dumped. But neither of you is ever entitled to sex, and neither of you is ever obligated to fuck the other. (Even if it's an explicit paid relationship. If she doesn't have the ability to pull the plug and give you your money back in lieu of fucking you, you're getting involved in some darkside shit.)

      "I did X, Y, and Z, therefore you're OBLIGED to fuck me!" is the mindset that tends to get folks up in arms.

      • But I don't feel up in arms for the reverse. If my partner said, "You're obligated to 'dine at the Y' every Tuesday and Thursday," I wouldn't have a problem with it, or at least no more problem than if she asked me to take out the trash those nights. (Both of those are enjoyable jobs in my opinion anyway)

        If she says, "You're never entitled to sex," that's fine. If she, or anyone says, "And you must agree that neither am I," then my OBJECTION! flag goes up. Because A) I don't see why sex is different, and 2) it's no one's place to deny me an obligation I choose.

        • Gentleman Horndog says:

          That is your choice of course, and you have every right to make it. And if you're truly on board with the notion that your partner is not obligated to do something that (by your own choice) you are, I feel like you're ethically in the clear.

          I'd caution that sort of imbalance can lead to you resenting your partner. But if you feel like that's not a risk for you, or it's a risk you can control, rock on.

        • I guess I don't see entitlement as the flip side of obligation, but I agree with you that if the obligation you've chosen doesn't impinge on anyone else's rights then it's entirely your decision to make that commitment.

          When I talk about this stuff with my husband, we use the term "commitments" rather than "obligations." He frames a lot of things in terms of integrity and keeping our word to each other, which has been really helpful for me to embrace.

        • eselle28 says:

          I think the thing to be careful of here is that you don't turn your choice to undertake into an obligation into a forced contract, where you keep fulfilling your obligation and then become resentful if your partner doesn't fulfill a corresponding one.

          So, if it makes you happy or turns you on to tell yourself you're never going to turn down your partner's sexual advances, go for it. Just realize that she hasn't necessarily signed up to say yes every time you suggest going out to the opera and that it's not fair to throw your sex life into the argument when there's conflict about opera going. Or you could fill in lots of other things for sex and opera-going, but I wanted to use an example that wasn't so reliant on the assumption that men want sex and women want fancy dates.

    • I'm about the head out the door, so while there's a lot to tackle in this comment, I'm going to focus on what I think is the most important thing:

      "If I'm getting sex, I should give something else in exchange."

      If you're getting sex, what you're giving in exchange is sex. If you have sex where your partner is consenting enthusiastically, which is the only kind of sex you should be having, then your partner presumably wants to have sex with you as much as you want to have it with her. You are both getting the mutual enjoyment of having a fun and pleasurable experience together. If you think of sex as something that women don't actually want, such that you need to offer something in exchange *other* than sex so that she will have sex she doesn't actually want, then the problem isn't that you want something straightforward, it's that you have a messed-up and inaccurate idea of women's sexuality.

      The collaborative model of dating makes way more sense than the commodity model, because that's how our other voluntary social relationships usually work. You don't feel you have to offer a friend something extra when you ask him to play a game with you or watch a movie or hang out, right? Because you assume that he's your friend because he enjoys doing those things with you in and of themselves. Same thing with dating–if someone wants to date you/be in a relationship with you/have sex with you, it's because they want to share those experiences with you, not because they expect some sort of exchange. And anyone who does expect it to be an exchange is probably not going to make a good partner for you, because I don't think you will find the "spoils of love, romance, and sex" feel very loving, romantic, or sexy if your partner doesn't actually love being with you for you, feel romantic about you, or enjoy sex with you, and is only going through the motions because you're providing some other thing.

      • I worry about that, but I still don't see why the relationship can't be holistic. If she likes the dates more and I like the sex more, then a night of dating and sex ought to work for both of us, even if ideally she'd take just the date and I'd take just the sex.

        • I think there's nothing wrong with having a holistic relationship, but the assumption that she will necessarily like the dating more and you'll like the sex more is going to shoot you in the foot. What if she likes sex more than you do? Or, more likely, what if women who really like sex aren't going to be interested in dating someone with this mental model of how women behave?

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            Quite right. Though if the case PJA described holds true — she's more into the dating, he's more into the sex — then you can address that in a way that steers clear of the whole "obligation" minefield.

            If both of you like doing A and B to some degree, but you like A more and you're partner likes B more, then doing B in part because your partner indulged your taste for A is just part of the give and take of a healthy relationship. It's the iron-clad "We did A, now you MUST reward me with B!" mindset where you run into trouble.

          • That's just an example. The parties could be reversed just as well. But conversely, I'm less interested in dating women who want to overcomplicate me. If she's really into something sexual that I'm not, like, say, leather, I'd want her to ask about it, and maybe offer a quid pro quo, as opposed to concluding that because I don't like it, we can't do it.

          • It sounds like you're saying that you are open to sexual experimentation, communication, and negotiation, and you'd like a partner who is, too. The question then becomes where you meet women with those sexual values, and what they are looking for in a partner. If you know any women with the right attitude, even if they're not someone you'd date, maybe you could ask them about what they value in a partner!

            By the way, if you really do mean that the parties could just as well be reversed, you'd be wise to do so when you talk about this issue. The way you framed your example plays into the "men want sex, women want love" narrative, which is likely to turn off precisely the kind of women you want to meet. Flipping it lets you make your point without unintended baggage.

          • While I think it's great to have the attitude that you'll give a go at things that aren't especially your cup of tea because your partner would like them and vice-versa, I think it might work better if you could loosen up the exchange a bit.

            If you have a 'keeping score' mentality where everything you do earns you one thing from them, it makes for a bit of an adversarial feel, where each party feels like they have to 'get the best deal,' and can easily lead to resentment if both peoples' ideas of what activities are equal to each other don't quite match up.

            Instead, I'd go for being with someone whose happiness makes you happy, and for whom your happiness makes them happy, and both of you are generally compatible and willing to compromise and make an effort for each other, and then each just do your best to make the other happy in a reciprocal way – while being sure to communicate early on if you ever start to feel like things aren't turning out very equal.

          • Another reason it's a good idea to have a looser view of reciprocity is that, if a relationship lasts long enough, there are going to be situations where it's not possible to keep it to tit for tat. If one partner gets sick, not only will they probably need to let some of their 'obligations' slide, the other partner will have to do more things to help them. Super-unbalanced! If you're fixed on the idea of one-to-one payback, the partner doing more is likely to really resent the other.

          • You ever seen a married couple that keeps separate bank accounts, where one covers one set of expenses and the other coves the rest and there's tallies and the whole nine yards? Yeesh, I mean, I'm all for financial independence, but what DO you do when one partner is out of work permanently, for example?

            The point where you transition from "me and you" to "us" depends on the relationship. But once you get there, you begin to understand why people refer to their spouses as "my better half"

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            "If you have a 'keeping score' mentality where everything you do earns you one thing from them, it makes for a bit of an adversarial feel"

            My ex-wife used to keep a running tally of orgasms. She denied it, but if we had back-to-back "quickies" (which she claimed that she wanted as a part of our sexual repertoire, even though they were very unlikely to get her off), I could count on us having a Very Serious Talk about her needs not being met.

            Kindly note the syllable "ex-".

          • eselle28 says:

            Holy Fucking Nightmare. Seems like if you're not in the mood for a quickie, you should tell the other person to slow down, not get upset about it later.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            That's just it — in the moment, she was into it. Later, "We need to talk…."

            This was not a healthy relationship. It needed to explode in my face before I could see that, unfortunately.

          • my ex-boyfriend kept a tally, out loud.

          • eselle28 says:

            I think it's entirely reasonable for you to want her to ask for kinky sex rather than not bringing up the issue at all. Communication is healthy! But what about this possible result: She says she's into leather, and you suggest a quid pro quo of a threesome. She thinks about it for a bit and says that she's really not comfortable having a threesome, and that if you're really not into leather and would need a big trade to try that, she thinks she'd be happier just having vanilla sex. Would that be acceptable to you, or would you be upset that quid pro quo didn't work out?

          • Would you think me wishy-washy if I answered "both"? I'd be disappointed, but I'd accept it.

            But let's reverse the parties back. I suggest something I'm into, like maybe asking her to wear a wig. She says no, she doesn't want to do that. At that point, can I offer a quid pro quo, either in bed or out, without crossing the line of appearing that I think I'm entitled to have her put on the wig?

          • eselle28 says:

            I think there are ways to suggest a trade without seeming entitled, as long as you're willing to accept it if she says that wearing a wig is a hard boundary, but this quid pro quo model seems like a fairly unhealthy way of arranging your sex life. I mean, it kind of sets up a set of incentives for each person to be as withholding as possible, so that they have a lot to negotiate with when it comes time for them to press for leather or wigs or threesomes.

            I think it works a lot better if people try to figure out where their boundaries are independently and be as giving as they can to their partners within those bounds, without any trading required. If something that comes up that's along the edges, I personally think it works a lot better to have a discussion about what the person finds frightening or demeaning or upsetting about the suggested idea and seeing if there are ways of moderating things that will take care of those problems. That way you can both enjoy things, rather than each of you suffering through someone else's uncomfortable fantasy. There are also some no fly zones where the person isn't even willing to consider it, and I think the discussion needs to be dropped in that case. If someone has too many of those for you to be satisfied, then I would generally suggest ending the relationship rather than continually pushing or offering tradeoffs.

          • Exactly. Sexual compatibility is huge, and it's a lot better to move on than try to constantly push the boundaries of a person who just isn't into your kinks, or worse, who finds your kinks to be their anti-kinks.

            I have a lot of anti-kinks myself. Some are just completely off the table, but others my fiance knows are just not my thing and doesn't ask for them. Doesn't keep me from offering them myself when I'm feeling in the mood. This works for us because the really important part is just pleasing the other person.

            Kinks can be a lot of fun, but sometimes you have to leave them in fantasy land if you don't want to drop the relationship.

          • I'd reframe this using your "us against the world" concept from below.

            You are into her wearing a wig. She doesn't want to. How can you two solve the problem together? Offering a quid pro quo implies it's a bargain between you, as opposed to the two of you united against the irritating fact that you want incompatible things.

          • My partner and I both enjoy our sex but have slightly different kinks. I'm slightly more into BDSM than him, while he likes to see me in certain outfits and lingerie. We have never worked this out as any sort of official agreement. I buy myself clothes for his birthday presents that I would never wear otherwise because I love how happy (and etc…) it makes him. He also pushes himself slightly out of his comfort zone to suit my own kinks because he knows that I enjoy it, and while I wouldn't mind if he goes a bit farther I will NEVER demand it of him nor withhold lingerie until he does.

            Not to say that you should never sit down and discuss kinks (or anything else related to sex) with your partner. If they mention leather and you're uncomfortable with that, say so. And if you like something, you may also ask them about it. But I think sex should be done because your partner's pleasure makes you happy, not solely because you'll get your own pleasure out of it.

        • It sounds like you're routinely having sex with women who dislike it or are unsatisfied. Get better in bed; it's more fun and more ethical than trying to "pay" them upfront to create a contractual obligation to reluctantly fuck you.

      • @Mel,

        If you’re getting sex, what you’re giving in exchange is sex.

        There’s a big problem with that idea, and that problem is directly related to the existence of the “commodity model”. Thomas Millar and others have proposed a “jamming”-model instead, because sex is like a band playing and improvising together. It’s a much nicer image, of course. Thing is, though, every band needs a certain balance of instruments. Sure, jamming can be creative and thus there will not be a strict musical structure, but if you only get people with guitars and one base player, there will not br balance, there will be competition, and the base player will likely opt to jam with the guitarists he likes best. For all other guitarists, the idea of jamming sounds great, it’s just that – there’s noone there to jam with them

        The whole notion of jamming in sex as in music is predicated upon a balance that, with respect to sex at least, appers seriously counterintuitive to almost everyone.

        Whatever the reason for it, but women and men *do, in general, still, want slightly different things when it comes to romance and sex.* And these differences produce a situation in which it is very hard for most men to believe that they actually live in a world in which *their sexuality, their touch* is all they need to get what they want, sexually.

        As a guy, it is *VERY* hard to develop a mindset that incorporates your own sexuality as *as valuable* as that of women. As such, it is very hard to believe that our sexuality is enough to exhange for what we want.

        I mean, sorry for being stereotypical, but still – think of an average night in a club. How many of 100 guys would be able to get what they want (defined as being physical there) solely in exchange for their own touch? How many women?

        Don’t get me wrong: Believing that your sexuality is valuable is an important aspect in developing one’s personality – and not only, as the Doc states in the OP, another source of external validation. It is the latter, no doubt, but it’s also very different. But even guys who manage to believe that – and whose confidence will likely reflect it – will likely not believe that their touch alone would be enough to (usually) get what they want (even though it may be in *her* view. But women are collectively doing a horrible job at making guys believe we can be desired in the way we desire women.

        I mean, you can certainly say that prostitution is a cultural artefact of patriarchy, and without patriarchy all sexual desires would be balanced, men would not have to pay money in addition to giving their bodies. All brothels would become gender-balanced swinger-clubs for those who like to have sex. But it could also be the other way around: that patriarchy is a cultural consequence of the perceived value differences of female and male sexuality, and that the differences in the structures of female and male sexual desire are a cause of the problem rather than a consequence.

        Nobody really knows, of course, it’s likely a mixture of both, and the causal relationship will be quite complicated. But my guess is, sadly, that male bodies, on average, will never be as valuable sexually to women, as female bodies are, on average, to men. But then, I am a man, and that’s just my subjective take and it may be wrong. I actually hope it is. But I don’t think so.

        • Sam,

          If you are the same Sam who popped up in comments a little while back, I think you and I have discussed various facets of this "problem" at nauseum, so I'm not sure why you're trying to repeat those conversations.

          To answer the part that is specific to this comment thread–I didn't say that wanting to have sex with someone should be enough for them to want to have sex with you. I said that *if someone has already agreed to have sex with you* ("you're getting sex") what they expect to get from that specific interaction will generally be enjoying having sex with you. Sure, there may be people who will have sex they don't expect to enjoy in the hopes for getting something else out of you, but they are a minority and should be avoided as they're unlikely to make a satisfying partner, especially for someone like PJA who wants love and romance in his relationships.

          Certainly, before you get to the point of someone saying, "Let's have sex!" or some other enthusiastic yes, you will most likely have to do more than show your sexuality. Because most people looking for relationships want more from a partner than sex–and they intend to offer more as well (they may be looking for someone who also has a great sense of humor and is passionate about X and so on, but they will reciprocate by sharing their own sense of humor and passion and so on). And even most people looking for casual sex want more than just a person who can be sexual–they want someone who's sexually appealing in a way that specifically appeals to them, who doesn't appear to be a serious danger to them, etc.–but again, they are offering the same: their specific brand of sexuality/kinks/etc, their respect for the other's safety.

          I think you are approaching the situation as if it's unfair because some men theoretically want "less" before they're up for "jamming" with someone sexually, and so it seems unequal. Try reframing your thinking like this: wanting a partner who's up for sex with any partner who expresses interest, regardless of other factors, is *just as much a specific want* as wanting a partner who'll make you laugh or who shares your kink. The problem thus is not those men wanting *less* than the women they're interested in, but them wanting something different. The person who wanted a partner who offered more than just random sex is no less disappointed not to have found that than the person who wanted a partner who was up for random no-other-considerations sex. And so it is perfectly equal. And therefore there's no reason sex–when it happens between two people whose wants do match up, which is when it most often happens–shouldn't also be an equal experience of both people enjoying themselves.

          • Mel, I really like your framing, but I do want to add: speaking personally, I think "enjoy" needs to have a broad definition. For that matter, partners can enjoy the same sexual encounter in different ways. If I'm playing flute and he's playing drums, we can still make beautiful music together. ;)

          • Oh, definitely! I mean, "enjoy" can include everything up to, for example, the emotional pleasure you get out of doing something that makes your partner go wild, even if you're not getting *any* direct physical pleasure out of that specific action. :) I've always simply meant both people are getting something pleasurable (in whatever way) out of the "jamming" itself, rather than one partner only "jamming" to get something unrelated they want.

          • Hey Mel-

            thanks for your reply. I know we have discussed this before, but there's always a different angle, in my opinion.

            I think we're talking past each other here.

            "The problem thus is not those men wanting *less* than the women they're interested in, but them wanting something different."

            I think that's precisely what I suggested above, that *differences* in gendered patterns of desire lead to a situation in which most men live in world in which they *feel* their sexuality is not nearly as valued by women as female sexuality is valued by them. Sure, if two people are already in an emotional duopoly, then their touch is are ideally, though not usually, equally valuable to each other. But before that? The assumption that female touch is always wanted may not be completely right, but it's certainly a stereotype that's not entirely untrue. Same with "scoring", "get lucky"… usually these terms are applied to men who managed to be sexual in a world in which heterosexual sex is scarce for men. Now, again, I don't want to start a women have it easier thread, because because of the differnces in desire, they also don't necessarily get what they want. But these differences imply that sexuality, at least prior to the emotional pair-bond-duopoly, is not something we can usually expect to pay for with our own sexuality.

            At least, and that was my main point here, we (most men) don't believe that we are as valuable sexually to most women we, in turn find desirable. For all our overcompensation, I believe we – as a gender – don't like ourselves very much. We have trouble believing we can be wanted, and I think that's because we cannot imagine female lust for ourselves in the way we lust for women – and that's why we cling to a world in which we're needed.

            I believe it would be an important part of gender justice to help men develop a sexual persona/identiy that entailed a feeling of worthiness. It's certainly very difficult to do that given current social dynamics, but I still believe it's one of the main challenges in gender relations. Individually as well as collectively.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            You want male sexuality to be valued? Place your emphasis o her pleasure instead of your own. That is a valuable commodity. Even if you don't say it explicitly, it'll color your interactions and your priorities.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            "You want male sexuality to be valued? Place your emphasis o her pleasure instead of your own. That is a valuable commodity. Even if you don't say it explicitly, it'll color your interactions and your priorities."

            That works if she's placing her emphasis on your pleasure/needs/etc as well, that's an invitation for you to be used if she's not.

          • eselle28 says:

            No one should let themselves be used, but Sam seems to be complaining that men aren't being valued for their sexuality nearly enough – the other end of the spectrum from men allowing themselves to be used for sex. If that's actually the case, then moving back toward the middle of the spectrum by placing more emphasis on the woman's pleasure sounds like a good suggestion.

            And…I have to say that while I don't agree with all of Sam's thoughts about the extent to which men's sexuality is valued by women, I have seen a pattern of men who are dissatisfied with women's level of interest in sex or who have complicated theories about how to increase women's sexual desire, but who complain and say it's too much of a pain when they're given specific suggestions about sex techniques that many women like.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Oh yeah, I remember that one. It was on the forums.

            Yes, Paul, if its not mutual you can get used. Considering this is in an article about identity and sense of self, I thought maybe just this once "don't be a doormat" was implicit. I forgot we're not allowed to use subtext ever.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            Yeah, after you've seen an abusive or one-sided relationship or two "place your emphasis on their pleasure instead of your own" always has a subtext of "and then quite possibly wait for the other person to screw you over and destroy you".

            It's the cousin of "don't take no for an answer and force her to make it abundantly clear that she really doesn't want to do something before backing off". There's some sort of situation where that makes sense ("No, we should be doing this! – she said…as she stroked his hair and tried to hold back her overwhelming desire for him") but it's just obnoxious or dangerous by itself.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            OK, fine, if this is going to be a thing:
            You want your sexuality to be valued? Place as much emphasis on her pleasure as you do on your own.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            As long as they're doing the same for you, then yes.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            No, sorry, if you're keeping an accounting log you're doing it wrong.

          • Esselle,

            I have seen a pattern of men who are dissatisfied with women's level of interest in sex or who have complicated theories about how to increase women's sexual desire, but who complain and say it's too much of a pain when they're given specific suggestions about sex techniques that many women like.

            my point is primarily abstract. Abstractly, I'd say that behaviour doesn't contradict my point, simply because my point is that men do have to work on their attractivity because, structurally, their sexuality isn't enough in itself. Accordingly, I'd tell the people you refer to that, while that may feel unfair, it's also a fact of life and sulking won't get them any further.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            True, in general men need to work on their attractivity (is that a word? I'll roll with it) because their sexuality alone isn't enough. Then again, in general women's sexuality isn't enough either. An average woman showing up somewhere and using only her physical attractiveness and the implied promise of sex is not likely to end up with a quality guy.

            A man or a woman using their attractiveness, the implicit promise of sex and willing to go home with any taker usually won't have a problem. Its only when you inject standards into the mix that you need more, and that applies to men and women both.

          • Gentleman Johnny,

            "An average woman showing up somewhere and using only her physical attractiveness and the implied promise of sex is not likely to end up with a quality guy."

            well, an average woman showing up somewhere and using only her physical attractiveness and the implied promise of sex would probably end up with an average guy. A "quality" (your term) woman showing up somewhere and using only her physical attractiveness and the implied promise of sex would probably end up with a "quality" guy.

            Definitions will likely vary on the meaning of "end up" and "quality."

            A man or a woman using their attractiveness, the implicit promise of sex and willing to go home with any taker usually won't have a problem.

            Sorry, that's just not my experience. Again, I don't want to make this about how women allegedly have it easier to get something they don't want.

            In my world it's quite common for guys to go out a whole night, with a very implicit promise and willing to go home with pretty much any taker and not get anywhere. Maybe a classic market failure, supply and demand not meeting, for one reason or another, but it's just that way in my experience. For those women who try to "score" that way, it usually seems to work.

            I agree with your point about standards, and that it applies to both women and men.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            In my world it's quite common for guys to go out a whole night, with a very implicit promise and willing to go home with pretty much any taker and not get anywhere.

            My issue here is that when guys say "any taker" they tend to mean "any moderately attractive taker in my age range who doesn't show any signs of mental instability", which is not what women get when they accept "any taker".

          • eselle28 says:

            I'm a woman, and I can assure you that the fact that I'm a sexual being isn't enough to get me sex with anyone who's even going to treat me decently, let alone be willing to engage in a sexual encounter that Id actually enjoy. If I'm a lousy, lazy lay on top of that, it's almost hopeless.

            If I completely neglect to put in any effort into grooming or fitness or wearing flattering clothing and expect just to be valued for the fact that my messy, sloppy self comes equipped with a vagina and a sex drive, there's a good chance I won't find a partner at all. Women have been socialized into putting different kinds of effort into seeking sex partners than men have, but I assure you it's still effort.

          • Given that societally women do almost always prioritize men's pleasure over their own during sex–women are expected to stay engaged in the act until the guy orgasms, and are vilified if they stop in the middle before the guy gets his release, whereas sex usually ends as soon as the guy orgasms regardless of how much pleasure the woman's gotten by that point, and women feel more pressure to pretend they're orgasmed to make their partner feel successful than men to make sure their partner actually does–any guy who prioritizes his partner's pleasure is much more likely to be balancing out the dynamic than to get used.

          • Gentleman Johnny,

            "Place your emphasis o her pleasure instead of your own. That is a valuable commodity."

            I don't disagree here (for pleasure's sake), but isn't that also making my (abstract) point? If you have to *do something* (like favour her pleasure over yours) to get sexual acceptance instead of getting the acceptance for *being yourself* , doesn't that imply what I said? That men usually won't be able to get the sexuality they want in exchange for just the sexuality they have?

          • eselle28 says:

            Emphasizing her pleasure doesn't necessarily result in a state where her pleasure actually is more valuable. Almost all of us have grown up in a world where men find desirable and where their idea of what sensuality and good sex look like are given a great deal of attention. Far less is paid to what women might want, and much of that ends up leaning on dominance or social status or money rather than actual sexuality. Making a gesture to lean toward what your partner might want might just tip the scale a little closer to being balanced, rather than entirely in your partner's direction.

            In that general vein, women typically aren't able to get the sexuality they want in exchange for the sexuality they have, either. You might not see it, but women are expected to put in work as well – work grooming, work flirting, work to learn their partner's sexual desires. Even then, they're by no means guaranteed they'll get the sexuality they want in return.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I don't disagree here (for pleasure's sake), but isn't that also making my (abstract) point? If you have to *do something* (like favour her pleasure over yours) to get sexual acceptance instead of getting the acceptance for *being yourself* , doesn't that imply what I said? That men usually won't be able to get the sexuality they want in exchange for just the sexuality they have?

            That depends. Is it important to your sense of self to prioritize your orgasm over your date's?

            What I'm getting at is that its not unreasonable of women to have the same expectation of pleasure that men do. It is also reasonable of them to put less value on the sexuality of men who can't deliver that. If you think a woman is going to be unsatisfying in bed for whatever reason, you're not going to value her sexuality much. . .in fact that borders on a tautology. If you want your sexuality to have equal value, bring equal value to the table.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I believe it would be an important part of gender justice to help men develop a sexual persona/identity that entailed a feeling of worthiness. It's certainly very difficult to do that given current social dynamics, but I still believe it's one of the main challenges in gender relations. Individually as well as collectively.

            To break it down, I think your second sentence starts out pessimistic and moves into overstating the problem. I think the first sentence is dead on but I go a step farther and say you can do that yourself right now.

          • I don't think it's overstating. But that aside, only looking at the first part: I got my sexual confidence by becoming successful with women. It's not only another way of external validation, as per the OP. Being sexually accepted is probably the most fundamental way for a person to experience the feeling of "I'm ok". That's logically external, because it involves another person, but it's so much more than external validation: for me, it's changed the way I look at a whole lot of things.

            So, if you say that I can do that "right now", I would say that suggests that I can do it on my own. Or someone else. Even someone without any/a lot of success with people of their desired sexual orientation.

            How would that work, in your opinion? Because I'm having trouble imagining it…

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Well, by right now I mean you can start working on it right now but no, I don't think feeling self-confident enough to believe you have something to offer requires someone else. If anything, people aren't likely to believe you have something to offer (sexual or otherwise) until you do.

          • I don't think feeling self-confident enough to believe you have something to offer requires someone else.

            But sexuality is by definition a relational activity. I don't know, this seems like a chicken and egg thing. I mean, you're right: if you don't love yourself, you won't be able to believe you have anything to offer. But how can you start to love yourself for your sexual self-worth if that sexual self-worth is not affirmed?

            Fake it til you make it certainly won't work for a lot of people…

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Have you had sex before? Because if you haven't, you don't know how valued you are and if you have, you've got a good baseline.

          • But isn't that the problem?
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af1OxkFOK18

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Check the archives.

          • Not asking for myself, but thanks. Looking for what, specifically? I still don't know what it is you're proposing when it comes to developing that sense of self-worth for a relational activity without any relational activity? Sounds like you're saying "have faith and faith shall be given to you". Which is another way of saying: fake it til you make it. I'm asking, really, how do you think that's supposed to work. I'd understand "liquid confidence", but pulling the feeling of self-worth out of the clear blue sky, how's that supposed to work?

            I'd say it can only work as a "hermeneutical" process, starting by interacting while *hoping* that the interaction is perceived as valuable, and *then* adjusting one's self-awareness *after* the interaction. We're social beings, how could this work differently? I mean, I'd say that even Tibetan monks in the seclusion of their monasteries on the roof of the world find their self-worth in internal *dialogue* with the source of their self-worth, religion.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I'm saying "I don't have time to dig up all the articles on how to improve your own self confidence and internalize your locus of control".

            Also I'm saying that if you can't believe in yourself, why would you expect anyone else to believe in you? They've gt enough to worry about with their own insecurities.

          • The archives actually propose to "fake it til you make it"…
            http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2012/01/change-atti

          • No, sexuality is NOT by definition a relational activity! A person can explore and enjoy their sexuality entirely on their own. It is not a coin whose value lies in what you can exchange it for, its value lies in what pleasure it can give YOU.

            Your value as a partner lies in the pleasure you can give your partner, and if you want to express your sexuality with a partner, you'll need to give people you'd like to have sex with a reason to think you will give them pleasure, but that's only one possible expression.

            And if you don't have the basics of enjoying your own sexuality down, I think you'd do better to work on understanding the worth of that before you start worrying about proving your worth to a partner.

          • Yes it is. Our sexuality is the result of two organisms that started interacting to swap genes with each other. We can have a philosophical debate whether masturbation or any other form of auto-erotic stimulation is a part of sexuality because it uses the same physical and mental elements, but I don't think there's a lot of use in that. The simpler way is this: do people think of masturbating as "sex"? Answer: no. Would *you* say, I just had the best sex ever when referring to a wonderful orgasm you gave yourself? Hardly.

            And if you don't have the basics of enjoying your own sexuality down, I think you'd do better to work on understanding the worth of that before you start worrying about proving your worth to a partner.

            I agree on that, of course.

          • Sexuality is also a mental and social construct. I think you're conflating sexuality and sex here, which is not helping your argument.

          • Yes, this exactly. Sexual intercourse is not the same as sexuality, and conflating the two is really confusing your point, especially when you bring the 'swapping genes' issue into things.

            If you're talking about sex in the sense of two organisms getting together to reproduce, its only value is passing on your genes. If you've got good genes, bam! Your sex would have value. Being complimented, thinking yourself attractive or desirable would have nothing to do with this.

            If, on the other hand, what you mean is the concept of personal sexuality, then we're talking about everything about your sexual pleasure, how you experience it, who and what turns you on, how you feel about it, how it's affected by your culture and your experiences, etc.

            Having sex with another person is only a very small – and optional – part of it, and if you're relying on that part to provide you with your whole sense of self-worth around your sexuality, you're denying yourself the ability to develop a healthy relationship with yourself as a sexual human being.

          • Ok, I agree that this could be confusing…

            But whatever sexuality exists today as a mental and social construct exists because of the swapping of genes thing.

            "If, on the other hand, what you mean is the concept of personal sexuality, then we're talking about everything about your sexual pleasure, how you experience it, who and what turns you on, how you feel about it, how it's affected by your culture and your experiences, etc.

            Having sex with another person is only a very small – and optional – part of it, and if you're relying on that part to provide you with your whole sense of self-worth around your sexuality, you're denying yourself the ability to develop a healthy relationship with yourself as a sexual human being."

            I mean, sure, people are affected by their environments, and, sure, people's ability to enjoy sexual arousal on their own certainly has a value for them. But I don't see how "having sex with myself" (to use the term) could be validating my sexuality? It's pleasurable, but it doesn't provide me with the validation, acceptance that actual two-person sexuality can provide. Of course, it's not the whole self-worth that depends on this, but – to pull out a personal story here – I was an incel for a long time, unkissed late in my twenties. Being kissed and desired sexually felt more important to me, personally, than any of my degrees. Masturbation, as well as educational and professional achievements were not able to provide me with that feeling of radical acceptance of myself, of, in a way, understanding the notion of being a complete, sexual human being. With a simple kiss that woman gave me that. Of course I had worked on myself, and faked confidence. And of course, even afterwards, I still have doubts about my self-worth. But that first kiss helped in a way I cannot describe.

            Believing in one's self-worth without any empirical proof, constantly reminded of one's deficiencies, is an awful lot of mental gymnastics, on the individual basis.

            And in addtiona to that, there's also the gendered aspect I mentioned, which @kleenestar rephrased better than I could below in a reply to Mel –
            http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2013/06/trouble-pic

          • "But whatever sexuality exists today as a mental and social construct exists because of the swapping of genes thing."

            This is really not helping your argument. Speaking from personal experience is awesome. Talking about how the commodity model of sex hurts men is awesome. But oh please can we not get derailed into some stupid discussion of what "sex" versus "sexuality" means? I say this as someone who thinks she understands what you are saying, and really does not want to get into a stupid argument about the utter stupidity of (almost all) evolutionary psychology.

          • No need to, but I'm also not sure how/why you relate the mere statement that whatever cultural sexuality exists because of sexual reproduction to any specific theory about how previous people's assumed sexual choices may or may not influence people's behaviour today? I'm just saying that we wouldn't have to deal with any of this if two of our single cell ancestors had stuck to spontaneous parthogenesis instead of suddenly deciding to swap genes. On the other hand, maybe we'd have come up with sexual reproduction anyway because of boring tv… ;)

          • It's natural that sometimes people will find it's really helpful to their self-esteem to get positive responses from others, sure, but I just can't see that it's healthy to base ones' self-esteem on the approval of others, whether in regards to sex or for any other aspect.

          • I don't want to get into this again, because we have already covered it, and this is not a new angle. For anyone lurking, I'll just reiterate the basics of what I said before: I don't actually think most women feel their personal sexuality is valuable either, because feeling as though your sexuality is totally interchangeable with any other woman's (any female body will do!) or that all that matters is your body and the extent to which you cater to male ideals of sexuality, and not your preferences of what sort of sex you have, how you would prefer to express your sexuality, etc. are both demoralizing rather than validating. You define value as "how easily can I find a random person who'd want me to touch them"; I think that is far too narrow a definition, and one skewed to prioritize men's sexual concerns over women's. It seems to me being valued sexually should include feeling your individual sexuality (not just the gender you happen to belong to) is wanted and that the other person wants to touch you in ways you–not just they–will enjoy as well as having you pleasure them, for example. And so I don't think the average woman feels more sexually *valued* than the average men does, regardless of whether some stranger in a club would be happy to have her touch him.

            And that's the last I have to say on the subject here.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            And I think a guy who was willing to sleep with any random person who would have him would be accepted for "what he is" instead of "what he does", too. What really happens here is that someone convinces themselves that someone else has all the power, because of their sexuality, because they can make socially acceptable approaches, whatever.

            As soon as you give someone else the power, they have it because you gave it to them. I go into it assuming that my sexuality is a desirable commodity. When I get the chance to prove it, I don't disappoint. That applies in business situations just as much. I have two guiding principles for shows I'm in or that I put together:

            "on time, in place, well rehearsed"
            and
            "turn it up to 11"

            If you can live up to the first one, you're already ahead of most guys.

          • Gentleman Johnny,

            I go into it assuming that my sexuality is a desirable commodity.

            Good for you! Honestly, you're at a point most men strive to get to. But I assume you realize that most men *DON'T* have the feeling that their sexuality is a desirable commodity? Which was my main point. If more guys believed that/knew that – everyone would benefit. But it's hard to start believing that without believing that one is desired in the way one desires others, don't you think?

            Honestly, I think you just made my point again.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            And I think you continue to miss mine. The way you get people to treat you like you have value is to believe you have value. The idea that women don't desire men the way you desire women is in your head not innate to women.

          • Mel.

            this isn't about "who has it worse". Although I have doubts that having more options rather than less options translates into less utility, if women should feel their sexuality isn't sufficient to get them the sexuality they want, then they have the same problem men have.

            "You define value as "how easily can I find a random person who'd want me to touch them"; I think that is far too narrow a definition, and one skewed to prioritize men's sexual concerns over women's."

            This is *one* definition, and one that highlights a difference which is *relevant to the way men themselves value their sexuality*. When making a point about the feeling of male sexual scarcity, it does make sense to look at the phenomenon from that point of view. Although, that said, I don't really see any contradiction between that and what you say –

            It seems to me being valued sexually should include feeling your individual sexuality (not just the gender you happen to belong to) is wanted and that the other person wants to touch you in ways you–not just they–will enjoy as well as having you pleasure them, for example.

            Of course, we want to be valued as people, not just members of a class. But the extent to which the class is or is not valued does influence the way we feel about ourselves. Again, my point is not that women have it better, my point is that (many) heterosexual men (appear to) feel that their sexuality in itself is insufficient to get them the sexuality they want.

            Your point that women may also feel that they themselves aren't enough to get them the sexuality they want really is not contradicting my point, in a way, it underscores it, by emphasizing how the differences in desire potentially lead to two different but equally dissatisfying situations.

            To address the situation, there seem to be two directions – help men feel that they can (from their perspective, not yours) "afford" a more selective strategy, give them the confidence that they, too, are allowed to say no without being afraid that it was the last chance on earth, and help women to employ a less selective strategy (for example by socially removing things for her to worry about – like rape culture, for example, and slut shaming- women have a lot of good reasons to say no in a lot of cases).

            And with respect to helping men feel valued, I'm pretty sure most women have no idea how few visual compliments men get, *ever*. We usually get compliments for *doing* things, not for *being* something. At least in my environment, women usually don't compliment men on their physical features. Compliments that seem cheesy and are unlikely to work with women who have stopped finding them credible after hearing them indiscriminately will work perfectly for men. Seriously. And it will help them feel more confident and more sexually valued, and very likely, in turn, become more sexually confident, feel like they're not only taking, and actually be able to start giving.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            help men feel that they can (from their perspective, not yours) "afford" a more selective strategy, give them the confidence that they, too, are allowed to say no without being afraid that it was the last chance on earth, and help women to employ a less selective strategy (for example by socially removing things for her to worry about – like rape culture, for example, and slut shaming- women have a lot of good reasons to say no in a lot of cases).

            So, basically what DNL is trying to do?

            And with respect to helping men feel valued, I'm pretty sure most women have no idea how few visual compliments men get, *ever*.

            Small quibble that visual comments involve doing something, they just involve doing it before you leave the house. If you want more visual compliments, dress better, moisturize and get your teeth fixed. Oh, and compliment other people sincerely. that helps a lot.

          • Basically, yes.

            But as good and balanced as I usually think he writes, he as well as most other people commenting on sex and relationship aspects, often seem to argue from a point in their lives that, in my opinion, often doesn't accurately represent the "bottom-up"-view. If you're commenting from a position in which you believe that your sexuality is a valuable commodity, it is not that easy to imagine how it would feel otherwise.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            You should read the overall arc of my comments sometime. In the time I've been reading DNL, I went from going probably seven years without a serious relationship and two years without sex to an ongoing relationship. Every change in situation along the way came from getting out of my own way. it came from dropping the excuses, from recognizing I was having impossible standards. Nothing outside me changed. No one else had to validate me for me to feel valid.

            That's what I'm saying. You can't fix the problems in your head with your dick. Your sexuality isn't undervalued. Your assumption that women don't want men sexually makes you undervalue yourself and act accordingly.

          • Totally agree with you GJ, but for what it's worth: it's not just his personal assumption, it's the larger message of our society. Smash the cultural hegemony!!!!

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Oh sure, I totally get that its the narrative we're fed. Just like the narrative that men don't want relationships and women do. I guess I just assumed that geeks, being used to not fitting in, tended not to buy into the . . .ahem. . .buzzword alert. . .monocultural model of hypermasculinity as the only acceptable form of adult male-ness and women as demure, submissive and protective of their "virtue".

            Next to none of my real world experience conforms to that narrative, even the times where getting a date seems impossible.

          • eselle28 says:

            I agree with the above, that getting visual compliments generally involves doing things. When I get genuine ones (i.e., not degrading street harassment) from men, it's generally because I've paid attention to my hair, put on a pretty dress or a cute top and some heels, and am generally wearing a bit of makeup. Women have to deal with entire industries that tell us how we should look to please men and what they want to see, and how we can work to achieve those things. Men who are seeking more visual compliments would do well to seek out the opinions of women about what they like to see and put some effort into their appearance to conform to that a bit more closely.

            I'd also note that a fairly high proportion of the visual compliments any woman receives are from other women. One way to help build men's confidence in their appearance might be for men to start providing some degree of affirmation to each other and not relying on quasi-sexual interactions for that kind of comfort.

          • Just to the complimenting on physical features thing… Women are more likely to have people comment on their appearance in general, because women tend to be valued primarily for their appearance above anything else. But guess what–it's not all compliments. For every compliment a woman gets, she has probably gotten at least as many put-downs: about her weight, about her clothing (too frumpy/too slutty), about her hair (you would not believe how many peple felt they were entitled to question my decision to cut my hair short years back), about whether she looks happy and friendly enough, etc. We are bombarded by messages from all over that our looks are never good enough, that any pudge, wrinkle, or celulite is an abomnation, that we should aspire to look like women who are not only incredibly attractive with a team of stylists and make-up artists, but are also photoshopped beyond the bounds of reality on top of that. We get to see guys online talking about how women are no longer appealing sexual partners after they hit their late twenties, calling any woman even slightly overweight "orcas" and "fatties", talking about how only women who they rate as "8"s or up are worthwhile conquests, etc.

            So it shouldn't be surprising that vast majority of women, at least in North America, are not confident but rather insecure about their looks, about gaining weight, about getting older–about the criticism that they'll face if they don't meet the exacting standards enforced on them. And therefore I don't think if men's appearances were given the same level of attention as women's, that this would actually make men feel more confident. Criticism stings more than compliments boost you; one nasty comment can make you doubt ten positive ones that came before it.

            You are imagining some ideal state where men would receive as much positive attention for their appearance as women do while ignoring all the negative attention that goes hand in hand with having people prioritize how appealing your looks are to them over anything else you can contribute. So it's a false comparison.

          • Mel,

            I'm not trying to compare anything. I mentioned one way in which women could help men develop a sense of sexual worthiness along a category men understand.

          • Sam,

            You were very clearly comparing the number of visual compliments women get to the number of visual compliments men get, saying that women get far more (to the point that "compliments that seem cheesy and are unlikely to work with women who have stopped finding them credible after hearing them indiscriminately will work perfectly for men"), that this difference is part of the reason men feel less confident than women, and that if it were made more equal men would feel more confident. I disagreed with your basic premise for reasons outlined in detail above.

            This is exactly why I was hesitant to get into any sort of conversation with you. You're clearly far more interested in your agenda than considering anyone else's perspective or the possible logical flaws in your approach, to the point that you'll deny doing something you explicitly did one comment ago. I see no reason to further engage with you.

          • Mel,

            I don't know what you're talking about. Yes, I said that women get more compliments than men. Which is why I think complimenting them is a good idea to help them develop the kind of sexual worthiness that would help them and the women in their lives. You then mentioned that I was dreaming of an ideal world in which I was asking for compliments wihtout wanting to pay for it in terms of media-imposed beauty standards. I wasn't trying to say that women have it better (for the reasons I mentioned and those you mention), just that men don't get compliments and that they often don't know what it feels like to be appreciated. Yes, the grass is always greener on the other side, I know.

            I'm very interested in logical flaws in my approach, and I'm certainly interested in your arguments and your position, but I'm afraid I can't seem to be able to present my position in a way that doesn't lead to constant misunderstandings with you, for some reason.

          • Okay, one more time, as clearly as possible.

            -You said "I'm not trying to compare anything". Can you admit this is not a true statement? Saying one group of people gets more of something than another is comparing those two groups of people. This is basic English. How am I misunderstanding?

            -Logical flaws: You seem to think that how much a group of people gets complimented happens in a vacuum. It does not. How much a group gets complimented on their visual appearance is directly tied to how much that group's societal value is seen as based on their visual appearance. Therefore you are not going to see a group getting a significantly higher amount of positive attention for their appearance unless society starts paying more attention to their appearance in general, which means they will also get negative attention, which from what I've seen usually cancels out the constructive effects of the positive attention. More specifically, suggesting men's confidence problems could be solved simply if people took positive notice of their appearance more often is illogical, because if people are paying more attention to men's appearance, they will also take notice of and point out the negatives.

            What part of the above do you not understand? This is the exact same model we see happen with women–that positive and negative attention go hand in hand. I don't understand why you think some sort of societal shift toward men's appearance getting more attention would not include increased criticism as well as increased compliments.

            I'm also not accusing you of saying women have it better, by the way. I'm just saying, as with the sexual value thing, that your view of how these societal behaviors feel from the perspective of women is inaccurate. You are assuming that women "feel appreciated" for their appearance because they get more compliments (or else why would you think men would feel appreciated if they got more compliments too), and I am telling you that because those compliments come with a bucketload of criticism, most women do not actually feel appreciated but rather judged and restricted when it comes to their looks. Do you not believe me, or do you just think that somehow appearance-based attention will magically work better for men?

            In case it's the former, actual statistics: "One study reports that at age thirteen, 53% of American girls are "unhappy with their bodies." This grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen." http://depts.washington.edu/thmedia/view.cgi?sect

            "Our experiment went like this: We challenged young women across the country to note every negative or anxious thought they had about their bodies over the course of one full day. The results shocked us: A whopping 97 percent admitted to having at least one “I hate my body” moment."

            "on average, women have 13 negative body thoughts daily—nearly one for every waking hour." http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/2011/02/sho

            You can find plenty more if you look into it.

          • Mel,

            yes, on the level of basic English, I was comparing. But the comparison wasn't the point of my statement.

            Yes, positive and negative attention go hand in hand. You're certainly correct in your sociological analysis. But my point, again, with respect to the appearance aspect was to find a way of expressing sexual appreciation in a way that would allow men to feel they, too, can be desired *in the way they desire women*. To understand that the kind of desire they have – with all its potentionally negative social consequences – can also be directed at them. Yes, it may also have negative consequences, but, to me, worrying about that would mean worrying about falling while running when we haven't even started to learn how to walk.

            Do you not believe me, or do you just think that somehow appearance-based attention will magically work better for men?

            Yeah, apparently, I believe it will work better for men, because it would allow them *to feel desired in the way they desire*. And that would make it easier to develop the feeling of sexual self-worth, that they, too, have something to give.

            I mean, think of gay communities. They have occasionally rigid visual standards, and yet, judging from my experience (as a non-gay man with a larger number of gay friends), most gay men seem to feel – within the gay community – more sexually appreciated and seem to have more sexual self-worth than most heterosexual men feel appreciated by women – and I think that's because gay men find it easier to feel desired in the way they desire.

            As a sidenote. Maybe the negative stuff is there already, to a degree and we're just missing the positive part, to a degree. I never liked my body. I always felt too fat. Noone ever told me. It was all self-induced media. Imagine how it felt for me when I first heard "you're hot".

          • Oh, and one more logical flaw: you're assuming compliments are distributed equibly. In my experience, the women who get the majority of the compliments from men are the women who are especially attractive and/or go out of their way to be appealing to men in successful ways (flirting, attention-grabbing clothes, etc., that men respond well to). Those of us less striking and/or flirty/dressy tend to get relatively few compliments.

            I don't see why this would be any different for men, unless you think women should start giving compliments they don't actually mean? Most likely, from a logical perspective, the men who'd get most of the positive attention would be men already getting positive attention in other ways–the guys who are attractive enough and/or appealing enough to women that they have little trouble getting dates and feeling women are into them. The men you're concerned about, the ones lacking confidence, are likely to go largely unremarked on. I think the not-quite-so-attractive-and-appealing guys would actually feel *less* confident if they started seeing the guys around them who are already "better" with women getting plenty of compliments on top of that, while they get much fewer.

          • Hmm, what I understood Sam to be saying was somewhat different. (And Sam, you can correct me if I'm wrong.) Just as women are harmed by being seen as containers and dispensers of sex, men are harmed by being seen as beings who must obtain the foreign substance of sex – in other words, who are not themselves sexual, sexy, and desirable. A healthy attitude toward sex means reframing not just how we see women (as collaborative partners who may well want sex, and whose desires matter), but also how we see men (as beings whose sexuality does not have to be about taking sex from others, but who are themselves sexual).

            Of course, maybe I'm misreading – and I certainly think he could drop the language about comparisons. But I think there's something worthwhile there.

          • I would totally agree if that's all he means, but we've had a couple of huge long conversations in past threads that were along these lines, so I have trouble giving the benefit of the doubt. He has been very sticky about the idea that women supposedly have certain things that men don't (sense of value, validation, etc.), and that men can't be expected to improve how they approach relationships and sex unless women provide men with those things first.

            I certainly believe that people should treat men as equal partners in relationships and sex, express desire for those they desire, and not frame interactions as if it's men's job to take, so if that is all Sam means, then there's no argument. :)

          • Mel,

            He has been very sticky about the idea that women supposedly have certain things that men don't (sense of value, validation, etc.), and that men can't be expected to improve how they approach relationships and sex unless women provide men with those things first.

            I'm sorry, but while I do think that it would be helpful for everyone if the social attitude towards male sexuality would change to give men the feeling we, too (from our perspective), have something to give – something of value – and while I do belirve that the current sexual/relationship paradigms are a consequence of that (perceived) value difference, I don't think I've ever said I expect women to provide men with anything. As for expecting men to change – I just don't see how it's possible to develop a feeling of sexual self-worth in a feeling of more or less constant scarcity? It's not that women or anyone is supposed to do something about it – certainly not something they don't want to do themselves -, it's just an observation I think stands opposed to men being able to develop that sense of sexual self-worth.

          • Thanks kleenestar for apparently expressing more clearly what I tried to say than I can express it myself.

          • Oh science, thank you Kleenestar. I almost rage closed the browser after reading these two talk past each other without a useful frame to have a productive conversation.

            My take: Sam, you've thought about this way to much to be so unsophisticated in your conclusions. Complimenting us (guys) does increase our self-value, but so what? That's just saying that other's true validation is positive, which is so close to a tautology to be vapid. Mel kinda destroyed you re: making male compliments-receiving more like female compliment-receiving–I wouldn't trade what women have for a million bucks (maybe a million and a chalupa). Having your sexual and societal worth based almost entirely upon appearance (and the uncontrollable clock)–at least very, very often–would be terribly dehumanizing and fatalistic. There's a reason that 'bitches be crazy'–with the ridiculous, contradictory, self-denying mess that society forces on women, it's a wonder that any of them make it to adulthood without serious mental issues!

            Sam, re: faking it till you make it, that's just an of course. Comedians, lawyers, any skill that requires another participant takes at least some of that. It's just how it is that if you don't value yourself highly, others won't disagree with you, but nobody is starting from zero here. Even if you value yourself just a little bit, you can validate that and 'move up'. It's also true that you can change your self value yourself–it's your own self value! Whatever you want to do with pure philosophy and logic, to place the entire onus of your self value regarding sex/sexuality on others' validation because it's an activity with others is a self-serving, destructive rationalization (and not philosophically consistent, either, but that's beside the point) .

    • Okay, from what I understand here, you PJA don't want a relationship that's work, that involves uncertainty, or anything messy. Your ideal is something more like a business contract, where the obligations (okay that's a problematic word for many reasons, let's use something less ick-inducing)…where the responsibilities and benefits are neatly spelled out and both parties fulfill their ends of the contract.
      Such as: I give you sex, cuddles, clean the house and watch TV with you; ergo I receive sex, emotional support, dish washing and help with my music projects…
      Am I understanding you correctly?
      So here's the thing: wanting relationships to be easy isn't necessarily a bad desire. Hell, it's only human to wish things were easier than they are. But humans are complicated and messy. Relationships can't be boiled down to a list of mutual obligations.

      • For the most part you are understanding. But I'd like someone who's looking for that same simplicity as me. Someone who does desire obligation, and who appreciates when I say, "I owe this to you." The greatest feeling that I can imagine giving to someone I love is, "This is something I don't have to think about." It doesn't have to be romantic or sexual. If I'm the one getting the oil changed on the car every 3 months, then she gets to live a life where car maintenance happens automatically. One Less Worry is a great gift.

        • That is exactly the thing I value most! Our code word for that is "magic." Bills happen by magic – he never even sees a piece of mail. Laundry happens by magic – clean clothes just appear in my drawers. It's hugely important to our relationship.

          On the other hand, if he ever said "I owe," or worse, expected me to say "I owe," I'd be fleeing. We say things like, "Please accept this gift" and "Look what an opportunity you gave me to show how I love you" and "I keep my promises to you." It's a subtle but really important philosophical difference.

          I don't mean to harp on this, and I'm sorry if I'm being a pain – but the more you talk about what you're looking for, the more it sounds like the relationship I've been building for the last sixteen years. That gives me a certain amount of expertise, and it makes me worry that the women who will value One Less Worry will, like me, react very badly to the "owe" framing. That wouldn't be good for you.

          Tell me to leave it be, and I'll leave it be. I've said my piece.

          • No, this is very helpful. And I do want to hear more about the equal partnership marriages. But I tend to frame the nicest parts of myself in the blackest terms. Part of that is worry about being taken advantage of. Or worse, taking advantage of another person. Call me a cynic, but someone who always plays up how kind they are is generally hiding something.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            "Part of that is worry about being taken advantage of. Or worse, taking advantage of another person."

            Those are defenses that you'll need to learn to drop within a relationship. Which is one of the reasons intimate relationships can be kinda scary — you're both vulnerable as hell.

            I feel like you're fundamentally on the right path, man. If you can relax the (apparent) rigidity of some of your ideas and accept that not everything about a relationship will ever be completely predictable, I really think you're in good shape here.

          • Agreed with GH here, you've got some problematic ways of expressing yourself, but overall you're on the right path. Keep thinking about things, the whys and the hows and all that, you should do just fine.

          • I think you are right to worry about taking advantage. We live in a society where men are told that their gender role is to be selfish, intemperate, unjust, and cruel. To be a good person, you need to look at the places where society tells you it's okay to be immoral, and resist that specific temptation. (Women get a different set of passes from our society, and have their own set of issues to resist.) The fact that you're worried about taking advantage says very good things about your perceptiveness and your moral code. The question is just how to follow through.

            Given the various things you've said in this post, I'd recommend two books for you:
            - _Love Between Equals_, by Pepper Schwartz. A classic and fairly accessible text on peer marriages, that looks at both the challenges and rewards of equal partnership.
            - _Passionate Marriage_, by David Schnarch. Addresses the "quid pro quo" issue and deals honestly with issues of sexuality in long-term relationships.

        • For the most part, that's a great attitude! One Less Worry IS a great gift! But for most people, if you frame it as an obligation rather than a gift you've decided to give them, it feels a lot more like an unpleasant chore.

          It sounds to me like what you want is someone reliable, someone who wants a relationships where you each work to make the other's life easier and more enjoyable, who values keeping their commitments. I think you'll find it more easily if you can think about it as something that you both do by choice rather than a checklist of matching obligations.

        • I'm kinda seeing where you're coming from. One of my most important qualities I wanted in a partner was "someone who has their shit together and to whom i can just delegate joint tasks to and be sure they will happen" Oddly specific, but there you have it.

          Again, when you're in a mutually-beneficial, emotionally supportive relationship, pleasing your partner (in whatever form that takes) just. happens. It happens because it's like making yourself happy. Obviously because we're not psychic, this isn't 100%, but the point is t just happens when you're in a healthy relationship. That's what people mean when they talk about "getting your needs met"

    • Mel, G. Horndog and Kleen covered many great points, so I won’t repeat, but maybe think of relationships more as a business partnership than a retail exchange? Both partners invest capital (time, emotional vulnerability, energy, sex) and both get something out of it (sex, emotional support, companionship). Successful businesses partnerships are based on trust, respect, mutual benefits, clearly stated needs and goal, etc. and so are successful relationships.

    • …Are there times in my relationship (two years, engaged, committed, comfortable with each other- all of these qualifiers are important for what I'm about to say) where I engage in sexual activity with my fiancé because HE wants to, not necessarily because I'm "in the mood"?

      Sure.

      I mean, there are totally times when I do something I'm not absolutely dying to do just because he wants to. But that's because in essence, I want to provide him with pleasure because he wants to provide me with pleasure too and there have been just as many times that he's done something he wasn't thrilled about because I wanted to. There's an important, important, important caveat. We're always 100% willing to do whatever is in the offing, it's just perhaps the motivating factor that pushes us from "meh" to "HELL YES TAKE ME NOW" is that our loving partner whom we love wants it.

      Why does this matter? Because it kinda sounds like obligations (aka doing something because your partner wants it) without the whole "I paid for this…." aspect. If my fiancé ever said to me "Okay, so I gave you a back rub and picked up the laundry, so now you'll give me a blow job" I think he'd be my ex-fiancé before his next breath.

      But it's never never never "Well… I'll do anal because your my fiancé and I have to"

      The question I have for you, PJA, is how many relationships have you personally been in? And I'm being serious, because healthy, supportive relationships work this issue out. It's not something you even really think about, eventually what you REALLY want is for the other person to be happy. All the sense of bargained-for exchange (can you tell I'm in bar review?) fades away when it suddenly becomes about the other person, not you. The question you need to be asking isn't what she is entitled to, what I'm entitled to, what she is obligated to, what I'm obligated to. The question you need to be asking is what can I do to make her feel happy and loved. And she's asking the same question about you and everyone's needs get met.

      Have you ever seen "300"? Hoplite shields were designed to guard the person to your left as much as yourself. THAT'S what relationships are. Guarding the person next to you and she's guarding you. Not a contract.

      • StarlightArcher says:

        I love the 300 reference! My dad once described a really great relationship as sitting back to back in a foxhole. You may be surrounded by muck and shit and hell, but so long as you have each other to lean on, you never have to sleep face down in it.

        • I can keep going with the movie references. How 'bout "If you sleep with your back to me and I sleep with my back to you, we don't have to sleep in the mud" from Forrest Gump

      • If you don't mind me asking, how do you handle the not-in-the-mood situations in practise? Do you tell him that "I'm not totally in the mood, so how about a quickie/handie/whatever?" Do you pretend?

        I ask because I come from a long-term relationship where the equivalent situation often went: he initiated, I said yes, he asked "but do you really, really, REALLY want it? It's no fun if you're not 100% into it!", I would have to concede that no I mostly just wanted to make him happy, he would disengage and drop the sex. And then he would pout and subtly pressure me for the next many hours. Sometimes I lied and said that yes I was totally into it, just to avoid the inevitable pouting, but then afterwards I just felt icky.
        So I don't really have any idea how normal, sexually healthy relationships handle that situation.

        (note: he's an overall good guy, and he had good reasons for his behaviour, and I'm not blameless at all, but that makes me no less happy that it's in the past)

        • Depends on how not in the mood I am and why I'm not in the mood. If I'm not in the mood because I'm having a migraine, I'll tell him that outright. (of course i'm usually moaning in pain and/or puking when I have a migraine, so he has a heads up)

          If I'm just tired or something, I usually either offer whatever I AM up for or say something along the lines of "Great, take me now," so fake it til I make it, I guess. For me, when I'm in a certain "not in the mood" mood, about halfway through, the desire kicks in and then I enjoy it. I guess for me there are just a lot of complex things that need to align for me to be in the mood ahead of time, and I've found that if I just go along with it, I usually catch up.

          I wish I could give you more concrete examples, but it's mainly context specific. I can say this: I've never had anything that made me feel icky, because if I ever get to the point where I REALLY don't want to be doing this (whether tonight or ever) I do say so and that's the end of it.

          Feel free to ask more specific stuff. This is kinda something that needs teasing out, I know.

        • CornedBee says:

          “Go ahead and take me without worrying about my pleasure, this one is for you.” is roughly the phrase I and my girlfriend use in our relationship. If you understand what you’re getting into, that’s fine.

          The problem with your ex seems to be that he expected you to be fully into it every time he was (actually I could question his motives here even further, but I think that’s immaterial), and went passive-aggressive on you if you weren’t. As I learned in my relationship, this is a ridiculous (and toxic) attitude.

          Sometimes you’re not into it. Maybe you’re tired, maybe your hormones are in a state where you just don’t feel horny, maybe you’re stressed about work or an upcoming exam and can’t relax sufficiently. Then you can say “no”. If your partner sulks, that’s not ok. It means he doesn’t respect your feelings. If he tries to make you feel guilty, that’s even worse, especially when you’re already stressed.

          Or maybe you say, “I’m not really into it right now, but I like it when you feel good, so take me”. That’s just as fine (if you’re in a committed relationship at least). In that case he can either take you if he’s just horny (and notice that while I use “he” here, the horny partner can also be the woman, if there is one, technical problems of having sex with a non-horny man aside), or else he can say, “well, I don’t feel like doing a one-sided thing right now” and not do anything. But again, if he sulks or tries to guilt you, that’s not ok.

    • "This is why the goals of a PUA appeal to me. They want sex. They want numbers. More is better. That's simple, understandable, and no uncertainty. They may win, they may lose, but they never question themselves. "

      I wish that were true. My stint in PUA was brief and not all PUAs are alike but I've seen more than a few question themselves.

    • "If I'm getting sex, I should give something else in exchange."

      In a way, you're right; except, the only thing you should feel obligated to give in return for good sex is good sex. If your partner is pleasuring you, you should pleasure your partner.

    • LIFE is uncertainty. No one likes uncertainty but we all have to deal with it in a multitude of ways every day. Anytime you interact with any person, in any capacity, you're going to have uncertainty. Trying to reduce or eliminate that uncertainty is what leads to the manipulative and controlling behavior of the PUA in the first place.

    • somebody_blonde says:

      Dude, I understand what you're saying, because it's based on cultural assumptions we all start out with… but you've got to get over it, because that's not the way it really is.

      When a woman has sex with you, she should not be "giving" it to you in exchange for something because she should want to do it too! If it's such a burden for her that you have to give her all these things in order to get it, then she's not actually someone who likes having sex either with you, or with humanity in general.

      Also, this idea is INCREDIBLY hurtful to women who actually like having sex, especially women who like having casual sex. I've been out of the dating pool for a couple years now, but before, I was such a woman. I loved casual sex, but I REALLY didn't love what would happen sometimes if I had a coffee date with a guy and had sex with him. Most of the time, it was fine, but some guys would assume afterward that they could automatically have sex with me whenever it was convenient because they'd had to do so little for me to want sex with them that one time. I'll just say, these are not guys who got to have sex with me twice.

      I've been with my boyfriend these past couple years. We average having sex twice a day not because he does the dishes or anything (he helps out around the house because he's a decent human being and not a sexist asshole), but because both of us like having sex a couple times a day. If a woman has a whole list of requirements for you to satisfy before you get to have sex with her, she doesn't actually like having sex with you.

  4. What if your kind of in-between?. I really don’t feel much anxiety at talking with strangers. My job and hobb kind of mandates that. I can talk to men, women, and children. My problem seems to be getting them to see me as boyfriend or even sex material. I tend to register on a more platonic, less threatening but at the same time less sexual level even when attempting to be sexual.

    • An example, say I go out dancing to some event and I see a young woman I’m interested in. I’ll ask her to dance and usually say yes but attempts to continue the conversation afterwards usually fail or are brief. Other men seem much better at getting them to be more interested in them and get the lets go aside and learn about each other.

      Maybe I’m reading to much into this but my trouble seems to be developing feelings of attraction.

      • Yes, I would say this is a fair analysis.

      • Maybe if we had a video of you, it'd be easier to help you diagnose what's going on.

        • I posted a video of myself. A lot of people think its my voice and I give them that my voice is harsh and doesn't help. At the same time, I think its more than my voice. I mentioned on this blog before that I have an identitical twin brother. He looks like a clean-shaving version of me but has a much better voice. We make about the same amount of money and are in the same place career wise. He has more or less the same dating problems I have. We can get first dates but women don't seem to consider us boyfriend or one-night stand or even make out material. They don't think we're creepy or anything bad but they just don't seem to view us as potential boyfriends.

          • Where was the video? Which comment section was it in?

            Anyway it might well be that you have similar problems. Passion needs something to spark; adrenaline, tension, some kind of spit and fire. That's why in part the doc likes his "antagonistic flirting" so much, the gentle teases. They heighten emotion as they escalate and flow back and forth. Arguments can be pretty hot.

            It's not easy for the more introverted personality type, but this sort of thing can be practiced.

          • Is antagonistic flirting really that necessary? I'm not really that introverted, I like going out and doing things much more than I did in the past. In the past, I'd be perfectly happy staying in my apartment alone most Saturday night. Now, I only like doing it once a month and usually when I'm just exhausted from the week. I go out more on weekdays to, at least a few times a week rather than just stay in my apartment after work in the past. I'm much more comfortable with touching people.

            My problem with antagonistic flirting is that my mind doesn't work that way. I'm funny and witty but its in more charming sort of way. I'm more than a little capable of getting my dates to laugh and giggle. Its just that my conversation doesn't run the Spencer-Hepburn witty banner style and most people's conversation doesn't run that way either. They seem to do fine.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            "Necessary?" Nah. If it runs counter to who you are, it's not a good fit.

            My own style tends to run towards the Warm and Cheerful, which has done me just fine. A bit of banter can keep me from falling into the trap of come off as fawning and obsequious, but it's not a core part of how I flirt.

          • No, antagonistic flirting isn't necessary, but expressing emotions (as in, body language, facial expressions, tone of voice) absolutely is. I can't confirm this, since you refuse to re-post the video, but I seem to recall people said that not only was your voice monotone, but your face stayed in mostly the same expression, and there didn't seem to be passion in your body language even when discussing someone you love. That's gonna put a lot of women off, because they aren't mind-readers, and take your robot-ness to mean you are interested OR interesting.

            Buuuut without a video kind of hard to say.

          • Not at all; I'm not a huge fan, especially with new people.

          • I watched your video, and I don't think it's your voice per se. Let me know if you'd like my analysis here, or you can give me a more private way to contact you if you prefer.

          • Okay, what do you think the issue is?

          • You come across as relentlessly negative. Even when you're talking about something you love, you sound reluctant and whiny. Some of this is voice tone, some of it is body language and facial expression, and some of it is the words you use. On dates, you may be sending the red flag "You will have to do all the emotional work of making me happy" message, even if you don't mean to. You don't come across like you are happy yourself, nor do you seem like you could make someone else happy. That isn't going to get you a lot of romantic relationships.

            The good news is that you can attack it from more than one angle. If changing your voice tone seems hard, then you can think about how to counteract it with body language, or with topics of conversation. For that matter, you should take a good hard look at whether you *are* happy, and whether you know how to make other people happy. It could be that that's the underlying problem that needs to get fixed.

            Forgive me if this sounds harsh. It's what came across to me, and I'm saying it in the hope it will help you find love and happiness in your life.

          • Lee, a question. You seemed uncomfortable and your sentences kind of ran together. Were you nervous during the shoot and did they cut your sentences together weirdly?

          • I wouldn't say that I'm happy but I wouldn't really say that I'm not happy either. Generally, I'm content but at times frustrated with the lack of progress to. I don't expect a woman to do all the emotional work of making me happy. I certainly tend to do my part of the emotional work. However, I do believe that many women seem to expect a bigger initial investment from men in terms of emotion and commitment than they are willing to give unit latter. I expect equal emotional investment on her part now rather than latter. Or bluntly, I want her to make me feel special to.

          • So, maybe that's the core of the issue: you want her to make you feel special too, but you have no idea if you're successfully making her feel special. If you aren't, that expectation can be a deep-six for the relationship right there. It'll seem like you just want to be made to feel special without putting anything in. Obviously I know you are trying to make the women you go out with feel special – but if you're not succeeding, you may just be coming off as needy and demanding. Worse, you'll be off-putting to exactly the women you most want to date: the ones who are willing to put a lot into their partner as long as it's reciprocated. I'm not sure exactly what to do about this, but it seems a more helpful thing to work on than just "fix your voice tone."

      • I may get some flack for suggesting this, but you might actually benefit from some geniune pickup artist material. I would look at actual routines, or bits and pieces of routines, because that’s the problem that routines are specifically designed to address- how to create a sense of physical and emotional connection without making the lady uncomfortable.

        • Isn’t PUA material about making the lady feel uncomfortable to lower her defenses? I think they call this negging?

          • FormerlyShyGuy says:

            Even if flawed, I do believe there is a lot more to the PUA stuff than negging. DNL has cleaned up quite a lot up for us beyond negging.

          • Not all of it is, DNL's advice is basically pick up artist material but filtered in such a way that it's PC. It's not necessarily about changing yourself but about putting the best of yourself forward.

          • PUA material isn't a monotonous thing– there are a lot of different schools of thought. Truthfully, I'm not that familiar with it. I was thinking specifically of a video I stumbled across while procrastinating for my finals.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csnQWDPD9Ps

            I'm not suggesting that you buy this guy's book or believe everything he tells you, but I think there's something to be said for this sort of tutorial, which breaks down very simple actions into parts and explains the rationale behind them. I've noticed that the advice on this sight often slants towards big picture– improve your self image, become more comfortable in social situations, be passionate about the things in your life. But once you're already doing these things, it might be helpful to focus on details– and if PUAs focus on anything, it's the details.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            "Isn't PUA material about making the lady feel uncomfortable to lower her defenses? I think they call this negging?"

            Most PUA material is about –
            1. High level tactics
            2. Figuring out what about you makes her feel like you're attractive or unattractive

            High level tactics aren't any good when women just don't find you attractive to begin with. #2 tries to figure out and describe what exact attitudes, behaviors, and personality characteristics make you very unnattractive, or are neutral, or make you attractive.

            For example, one of the biggest things I learned is that being negative is unattractive. Sure, a few situations call for it, but I looked around and realized that it's true – guys who were good with women would only very occassionally complain, then they'd move back to something non-negative. In fact with the last girl I dated that I *really* liked it was probably the biggest thing I wasn't already doing. If the conversation moved towards the negative, I would move it back to positive or neutral topics.

            Have you ever had a girl who's looked seem neutral – she wasn't really attractive or unnattractive – seem more attractive after you talked to her or hung out with her a while? It's more stuff like that.

      • GeekAvenger says:

        It could also be messaging your intent. I tend to have the problem of not interacting on anything more than a professional level with people. While this serves me well at work, I extend this into my dating life as well, which is where I run into problems. I can be polite, nice, funny, even a little charming but usually in a very non-committal "office friendly" way. While this means I have no trouble talking to women, I would run into a similar problem. My current girlfriend claims she thought I wasn't interested at all until I kissed her on our third date.

        So not that I have the answers for how to overcome this problem, I just lucked out and found a girl patient enough to wait for me to open up. But it might be something to look into, are you messaging your intent, with more than just words too, body language, emotional investment and so on…

        • This is what I was trying to say, just much better expressed. You do have to communicate desire, one way or another. People react to the vibe they are sent. Not always of course, but often enough. If you send out hostility, you'll get back hostility; if you send out friendliness, you'll get back friendliness. It's social interaction 101.

          Desire is not much different. They may not reciprocate, of course, but the chances are infinitely greater if they definitely get the intended message.

      • Stop hitting on much younger women and talk to women your own age. You might have more luck. But definitely stop framing it as "getting" people to like you. The semantic shift to "becoming more attractive" will help you see this is about improving the quality of the product on offer and not just making the marketing more manipulative.

    • Thereal McCoy says:

      Have you thought about personal coaching? You don't have to tell the coach that you want to succeed better with women, and it might help if you don't go in with solely that expectation. Take more of a "a rising tide lifts all boats" approach. Improving and maintaining personal skills is no different from improving and maintaining other skills. You might be going to dance workshops or to professional training even though you already know both how to dance and how to do your job. Personal coaching is no different. You keep talking about how much you make, I'm sure you can afford it.
      Another option is toast masters. They are more focused on public speaking than personal interaction, but engaging an audience is a skill that public speakers need to master. It'll look good on your resume, too.
      Neither of these suggestions can hurt you, and both can be helpful for many aspects of your life.

      • I kind of like a non-expensive option at this point. I've spent enough money on self-improvement. Something free or freeish for once please.

        • Christine says:

          Toastmasters is a great suggestion. It costs almost nothing, is a great way to meet and interact with new people, and can be beneficial both socially and professionally. You can visit most Toastmasters groups one or more times without paying or signing up, so you can find one that feels right for you. Plus…fun!

          • Seconding Toastmasters! I had a friend in college who was nice but WOW awkward and had a lot of trouble expressing himself. He did Toastmasters and the transformation was amazing. He was so much more engaging and at ease in social situations after that. It helped him professionally, too!

    • You're looking in the wrong environment for your personality and the type of relationship you want. Long term relationships, based on clear give and take, sprout more frequently from acquaintance to friend progression than "guy I met at the club." You need an activity with a group of people who share something that's important to you, in common with you. A "singles who like knitting" or "hiker's Wednesday night outing" will allow you to meet women who share some sort of passion with you, and you'll have more than one opportunity to relate to them, making your strong vocabulary and opinions work to your advantage, while minimizing your less impressive 'first impression.'

  5. Part of the problem is these PUA guys have *absolutely no idea* what good-looking women are actually like. The whole concept of "negging" is based around the idea that they've never been insulted before and they won't know how to react . . . seriously, even the most well-put-together woman went through middle school sometime, and they ALL know what it feels like to be insulted. It's not novel and different, it's just a jackass move.

    • fakely_mctest says:

      Plus it's not as if there's an entire multibillion dollar beauty industry that makes its money by convincing as many women as possible that they're unattractive and need X, Y, or Z product to "fix" them.

      Look at the woman in the third picture. She's gorgeous and yet…holy Photoshop, you know?

      I've said it previously, but I do really think that it's a feature not a bug that the closer a person hews to conventional beauty standards, the more they are encouraged to split the hair ever finer to find SOMETHING that's unacceptable about themselves. There are people out there who get cosmetic foot surgery, there are people out there who get labiaplasties.

      • Gentleman Horndog says:

        Not to go all barstool hipster on you, but I feel it's very much a consumer culture thing. I mean, do you know how hard it is to sell useless shit to people who are fundamentally content?

        • I think the hippies did that one first. But I guess it's very hipster to claim you were doing it before it was cool, so if the hippies speak up, they can become hipster hippies!

          • fakely_mctest says:

            And the Beats before them!

            Where is the line even located anymore? The hipsters I know are all into backyard gardening and biking and looking kind of scruffy.

            Maybe it's all in the sartorial department and literary/musical tastes. c:

          • Anonyleast says:

            Yes, but they're only ironically pretending to like growing up and becoming yuppies, all the while ignoring their parents who were hippies and became yuppies.

          • hobbesian says:

            And without fail each previous group then tries to predate on the group which comes after.. Donovan nailed that one in Season of the Witch..

            Somehow I can't help but think of the Monty Python Hermit sketch..

        • fakely_mctest says:

          Sure. It's just a particularly nasty meeting of consumerism and sexism.

    • Seriously! The negging thing is evil. Why do you need to tear a stranger down? That beautiful person has done nothing to you other than exist. He/she isn’t someone who was mean to you or rejected you in the past, so you have no right to belittle them.

      This also goes for the non-beautiful, the heavy, the awkward, the poor, etc.. Unless that individual did something to you, you should not insult or tear people down.

      • Gentleman Horndog says:

        I want to write a blog plug-in that automatically links the word "negging" to the XKCD strip you know I'm thinking of.
        http://xkcd.com/1027/

        • That would be awesome! I’d + you but am on my phone.

          I really wonder if negging even works anymore now that everyone knows the drill. Actually the same goes for all the PUA techniques. Tricks and deception usually only work if the tricked or deceived doesn’t know what is happening, but at this point who doesn’t know what’s what?

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            "I really wonder if negging even works anymore now that everyone knows the drill."

            Eh. Define "everyone." I seriously doubt it would work on any of the ladies who frequent this site. But how many women are that clued-in?

          • True. I got clued in because of my old college/uni job, but without it I’d be clueless And probably never have met a PUA (I rarely bar and never club outside my old job). Younger women might not know the tricks and might not read sites where they’d see references. And some women might have the mentality/life experience that makes them vulnerable to these methods even if they know they exist.

          • I love using "bar" as a verb. "I totally barred last night. Then I totally barfed."

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Sometimes I go to bar. Sometimes I sandwich and drink…

          • ThatDebra says:

            It works on women who don't frequent the dating-advice (or feminist) side of the internet. And there's plenty of those.

            A friend of mine would fall for it pretty easily (which is nothing against her), because she's one of those great people that can see good in, well, everyone in existence, so a simple, subtle negging would be interpreted as someone 'accidentally' getting the wrong idea about her.

            If you knew me a couple of years ago I'd also be pretty ignorant of how it works and why it's done and I'd get caught in a trap like that in no-time.

          • I wish I could take credit for creating the usage of bar as a verb, but alas it was my big cousin who coined it. We also credit him with “to beer”, meaning staying in with a six-pack

            “Want to go bar this weekend?” “Nah, I am tired. I am just going to beer.”

          • I suppose it has to work on someone, but… well, in a community I browse occasionally which is completely and totally unrelated to dating advice of any sort, there were several posts in a row recently where women were complaining about being inappropriately hit on (generally at work, which just made it worse because then they couldn’t escape OR chew the guy out for being an asshole) and basically it was all dudes trying the insulting tactic, and the general response was “Why the hell would anyone think insulting me is going to get me hot for them? WTF????”

            When someone finally explained the idea of negging, then they were mostly just pissed off because they now knew that they could probably expect even more of the same, since somebody was going around telling men everywhere that it was a great idea. So even without knowing the drill, I think it’s rather likely that a pretty large chunk of the female population is going to be just naturally Not Impressed with negging tactics.

          • FormerlyShyGuy says:

            I think the only time "negging" works is if it really is playful teasing (or mistaken for playful teasing). I have seen alot of comments on here where guys think negging IS playful teasing.

            I don't think that real negging "Low-grade insults meant to undermine the self-confidence of a woman so she might be more vulnerable to your advances." works.

          • I can imagine it working for someone who had already made some inroads, you know? As in, they'd already led with something that made the woman interested in them. But I can also imagine it not working at all if it happened too soon–after all, an insult from a stranger means that stranger is now just "insult guy."

          • FormerlyShyGuy says:

            You mean after a rapport has been built and the "negging" could be reasonably confused with with playful teasing?

          • Normal males know it as "ribbing", and it only works when you're engaging an equal in a battle of wits. It assumes the other person does not require you sanitize your speech for their protection or treat them differently than your male peers.

        • I love this cartoon.

          You know, if you really believe all that gender stereotype BS then you would know that women are trained from the cradle to be masters in the art of verbal jinjitsu. I was in a sorority, little boy. I can have you questioning your self worth in a minute flat. I choose not to because I can sense weakness and find it unsporting.

          I kid. And yet, seriously, negging. Women are not surprised by your passive-aggressive nonsense. We THRIVE on it. *roar*

          • Hehehe.
            If you subscribe to such gender stereotypical asshatery, then the Wo-Men will be able to shred your self-esteem because they all are masters of passive aggressive verbal battle, right guys, right?!

          • Ahhh yes. I look back with pride and awe at my time at the Shaolin of the Biting Winds. So many of my sisters did not survive. But we feasted on them and grew stronger and stronger until we were prepared to face the trial by fire. We called it… "Middle School."

            Don't mess with the best 'cause the best don't mess.

          • Meyer N Gaines says:

            I think you’re talking to the wrong audience here. But heh, don’t let me interrupt your fantastic monologue.

          • Never fear. I only use my skills to punish those who seek to manipulate or belittle others. I have unleashed my verbal fury only in the rarest of circumstances and usually in defense of the socially downtrodden. I have chosen to use my powers for good, and not evil.

          • Teach me Mistress. I too wish to know the ways of a verbal smackdown!

          • Well, once in freshman English, a particularly odious young troglodyte was going on a sexist rant about some poem or another, and it wasn't just a rant, it was unintelligible. Unclear, hard to follow, lots of phrases and pronouns but very little clarity as to whether he was addressing the poem, the poet, the subject, the speaker, or women. And our teacher, who was known to start crying in the middle of class, just couldn't quite figure out how to handle it so she asked us if any of "a response"

            Well I started out with "It's hard to have a response when you've got no antecedent…."

            He looked at me and snapped, "That's not even a word! You're just making up words!"

            Cue the teacher getting the dictionary.

          • Glorious!

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          I like the one about thinking of "pickup artist" as being like "pickup basketball".

      • Delafina says:

        Because in PUA mentality the *person* is your enemy, because she has a will of her own, and you must defeat her to get to the sex she's guarding from you.

    • It does seem like these methods are all aiming for the stereotypical "woman" who only exists in movies/TV.

    • A lot of PUAs are angry with women, frankly, and are in this just as much to have "permission" to harass them as they are actually getting laid.

    • Meyer N Gaines says:

      The whole concept of a "good-looking woman," a "HB10," a "really hot girl," is kinda bullshit because it's so subjective. One man's "10" may be a quiet, petite, fair-skinned brunette. Another man may desire a darker-skinned woman with a large, defined posterior. Yet a third man may want a blond club girl with a fake tan and large breasts. And few men may even want "larger" women for whatever reason. My 10 may very well be your 7, and vice versa.

      One constant for most men is that they prefer a narrow waist-to-hip ratio, but other than that, anything goes, really.

      • FormerlyShyGuy says:

        I read an article that suggests that the only why to rate peoples attractiveness is binary, I am attracted to this person or I am not.

        Other than that you are just splitting hairs.

    • Of course. I mean beautiful people have always been beautiful. None of them have ever gone through and awkward stage or had to put up asshole behavior. And how someone looks in a club is how they look outside of it. It's not like they might spend hours perfecting a look and when they get home put on granny panties and ratty Disney tee-shirt.

    • Pirlofreekick says:

      negging=playful teasing
      If you're an adult women who can't take a little teasing , you might have bigger issues

      • ThatDebra says:

        Negging:
        Low-grade insults meant to undermine the self-confidence of a woman so she might be more vulnerable to your advances.

        Very different from playful teasing.

        • Pirlofreekick says:

          "Negs – shit, we can't even call it that anymore because too many people fuck it up – only work if you can be funny about it, and keep the person from actually feeling insulted.
          A neg should be a conversational poke in the ribs, not a sucker punch. All a neg should do is get you into a girl's verbal comfort zone – things she only talks about to people in her confidence – and tickle her a bit about it."
          to quote that forum the doctor linked to.
          I don't know where you got that definition.
          Its not an insult. I don't think most women would want to be in relationships with people who insult them. That doesn't make sense. Most do enjoy playful teasing and lighthearted jokes.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Where we get the other definition from is the "too many people" who "fuck it up". So apparently its not communicated all that clearly. Interestingly, I have a cold reading trick intended for magicians and PUA's where one of the categories you check on their souvenir sheet is "best career" and it has "domestic/housewife" on it along with scientist, stuntman, stuff like that. Housewife is there specifically and explicitly for PUA's to use as a neg during their cold reading routine.

      • As I've said before I had enough of the shit in school. If you can't talk to me like adult then please don't talk to me at all.

  6. I am always so torn when it comes to men getting advice to get better with women. On the one hand, romance and human connection is an important part of any person's life, and more happy people who can deal with others in a friendly and social way is obviously for the better in human society.

    Then again (and I grant you a lot of it comes from the twisted socialization of men that to be masculine is to get sex), so much of the advice of men, even the fairly-decent advice, maintains or reinforces that idea of sex as the ultimate goal, and women valued based on her looks. I know monogamy and long-term relationships aren't everyone's cup of tea (including at least some women!), but it is hard not to feel that the sexes are enemies of each other when women's advice is almost entirely about snagging a guy for a relationship/marriage, and men's advice is all about snagging sex while avoiding a relationship.

    Reading dating advice given to both men and women really does depress me sometimes: women's advice is all about desperately trying to keep a guy, and being as hot and perfect as possible, even if a one-night stand is your goal. Guys' advice seems to be all ABOUT leaving, and reinforces the notion to only stay if the woman IS hot and perfect.

    Maybe it's an issue of supply and demand…. because of how we're socialized, there are many more men who want no-strings-attached sex than there are women, so to get the guys' needs met, the desires of the two parties have to come into conflict. I am just so exhausted of running into guys who only want sex (and are saving a relationship for the mystical Perfect 10), and coerce/manipulate/"seduce" to get it.

    So on the one hand, I am always glad to hear about guys who get better at understanding, relating, and dating women. But on the other, so much of "getting better" with women is tied to guys just getting laid constantly, and the "seduction" techniques, even when done respectfully and ethically, still make me feel a little slimy.

    • Dating advice seems to be one of the most heavily gendered topics in the entire universe; for some reason, there's an attitude that the only way to help someone be better at dating is to push them as hard as possible to the extremes of their gender's stereotypes. Otherwise, I dunno, everyone will get confused and straight people will land up in same-sex relationships by accident?

      • You are so right! I never thought about that. Where is the relationship advice for people (rather than male/female)? I mean communication skills, negotiation strategies, conflict resolution, etc. aren’t gendered so why is there one set of advice for men and one set for women?

        • I dunno… Well, I guess keeping men and women feeling like they can never understand each other keeps the dating industry in business? Maybe that's it?

          • And the beauty industry, advice industry, lad mags, etc.. And where would media be if men and women realized they are more alike than not? No more rom con, hangover genre, and all that. They would have to work much harder to make movies and TV

        • On Doctor Nerdlove. *g*

    • I wish I had full access to google powers (SERIOUSLY GOOGLE WHY CAN'T YOU TELL ME THE NAME OF THE SONG I WAS THINKING OF TWO DAYS AGO) but I remember reading this article (I think on Slate) about how a study of college students revealed that when it came to break-ups of relationships, heterosexual male students were waaaaay more emotionally devastated by the break-up than their female counterparts. The study hypothesized that it was because women are socialized to have a large social network (friends, family etc) to provide emotional and social support and that men get all their emotional support from their romantic partner. So when the relationship ended, their entire emotional world collapsed.

      Having spent a lot of time in relationships bucking against the "Women are crazy emotional" trend by being calm and unlikely to burst into tears while walking my partners through various emotional minefields, I can say that this is probably very true. What I wonder is whether it kinda builds into what you're talking about.

      When I was dating, I could put myself out there, risk rejection, risk heartbreak (and I really did, I got smashed by one guy and it took me 4 years to get over it) because I knew that i had Team Me all behind me and i had my emotional parachute. Putting myself in the shoes of someone without said parachute… well I can see why you might not want to leap at all, or if you DO leap, why you would stick to soft landings (aka the one-night stand unlikely to lead to romantic entanglement)

      So maybe what we should be advising guys on is not dating, but the stuff that goes along side it. Hell, I'd really like to know that there are more men out there who aren't emotional manchildren who need their hands held through the rough stuff and while they learn the lessons I had shoved down my throat when I was 14 (obviously not all guys are like this, but it will surprise you to see who is, this is a cross-heteromale problem that I've seen- jocks players nerds everyone). But also because having your support network that is unrelated to genitals makes the genitals part a lot easier, a lot safer, a lot less likely to take a bite out of you. And therefore make them more willing to try the whole "mutually emotionally supportive" relationship thing.

      • ^Definitely onto something with this

        I have to actually start paying attention at this conference now, so can’t properly respond. I think you have pointed out something very important that is missing from these discussions. I have seen this in my 2 exes. Ex 1 has a huge social/family network so when we split up he bounced back in a few months even though I was the woman he had wanted to marry. Ex 2 has few close friends and is distant from his family and as far as I can tell is still recovering a few years later and we were not even to the living together point in our relationship, much less thinking marriage. I’d never thought about it until now, but social support might explain a lot.

      • I think I read the same article.

        I think this largely explains why there are so many more dudes with negative attitudes towards women than vice-versa. I wrote a longer post about this in the forum a while back, but the basic idea was that, since these guys don't have many healthy ways to deal with their loneliness/break-up issues, they are more likely to turn towards unhealthy, easy-sounding methods.

        Though this is really hard to change, because it requires other people to change their perspectives as well.

      • Well, unfortunately I can't speak to your experiences, as I appear to be the abnormality… I was absolutely more devastated than my exes (they were like…. 1% kinda-vaguely sad.) I do know that even those with large support structures in the forms of friends and family, support structures that were much larger and steadier than mine, still seemed to stick to the "must have more sex" mentality.

        • Now I wish I could find that article, because part of what they noted was that it took a lot of probing questions to get the guys to admit to being more devastated and their outward appearances weren't devastated. In other words, your exes might have been heaving piles of self-pity, but they don't show it, thereby reinforcing the stereotype that men don't get hurt by the end of their relationships

          • Hahahaha….. no.

            But it would be good to discuss how society socializes men to only express their emotions through women (either female friends or romantic partners) or risk being seen as too feminine. I read this fantastic book, "Self-Made Man," about a woman who went undercover as a man for a year, and it was very fascinating to see just how devastating such attitudes are for men's happiness.

    • Not for nothing, but it think the sheer number of female followers of this site suggests that this advice transcends gender. This complaint is also one of the reasons I like Dan Savage (and queer/bdsm/poly dating advice in general). When your audience is already outside the mainstream, theres no pressure to conform to gender steriotypes, and the advice is generally better.)

    • hobbesian says:

      “Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk — real straight talk about souls, for life is holy and every moment is precious.”
      ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

  7. fakely_mctest says:

    It would be nice if the comment section didn't turn into a PUA-riddled shitshow but I'm not going to hold my breath.

    I reckon we're due for a visit from our good friend, O.

    • craniest says:

      you mean the O that's brittle, flakey, and an obsolete tool?

      • fakely_mctest says:

        Got it in one!

        Although, to be fair, there are plenty of obsolete tools that are more useful. Personally, I like watching glass-blowing demonstrations.

    • ThatDebra says:

      Judging by the lack of replies from our friend, it looks like it's night-time in his time zone. I see no other explanation.

      • Gentleman Horndog says:

        You guys seem really eager to thwack that pinata some more. :-)

        • ThatDebra says:

          Not me. I just know it's going to inevitably happen and that it's going to take a lot for me to resist replying even once.

        • fakely_mctest says:

          To be honest, he just sucked all the air out of the discussion on the one article he got all bent out of shape over. AND he had about a million annoying posting tics (using titles, signing his posts, capitalizing Men and Women). I'd like to steer clear if he pops up in these comments.

          • Devicat26 says:

            What, I missed the pinata bashing? Which thread was that?

          • The Simple Man says:

            Last Article comment section. Look for the ones with a large sum of comments.

          • eselle28 says:

            Yeah, I had difficulty even engaging, and it didn't seem like there was anything especially unique being said. I also tend to stay away when people try too hard to get me to go to their sites.

          • fakely_mctest says:

            Especially if one of those sites is The Spearhead. Bleh.

            From where I sat it sort of looked like he was shooting people in the face with thesaurus words.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            What separated him from garden-variety clueless PUA trolling was that he rigorously held to the appearance of politeness. It wasn't until you engaged the guy that the cracks started to appear — the evasion, the refusal to honestly engage, the inability to take ownership of any implications or (claimed) misstatements, a disdain for women that only became clear when you compared how he responded to (perceived) women versus how he responded to (perceived) men….

            That, and the sheer persistence. My Gawd. Never has somebody with so little to say used so many words to say it.

            If he shows up outside that thread, I'm taking a page from Gentleman Johnny and only responding if a game of Poke The Troll sounds fun at that moment. He has yet to provide anybody with any reason to think that seriously engaging him is a good use of your time.

          • Don't forget the outright lies, followed by flat-out denial of those lies.

            Yeah, I didn't find him the funnest of trolls.

          • Gentleman Horndog says:

            Or the SCIENCE! Or the attack on credentials leveled when anybody who actually understood his SCIENCE! told him he was using it wrong.

          • fakely_mctest says:

            Or the claim that he was the Most Rational Person in the Room and that objective rationality is the proper way to have a discussion with someone who seems to be basically advocating scenarios where women cannot refuse men because…politeness?

            That might be a personal peeve of mine, but I have a really hard time with the self-proclaimed King of All Rationality and Objectivity types.

          • Robjection says:

            As a former self-proclaimed King of All Rationality and Objectivity type, I don't blame you. Such delusions truly make one a dumbasshole.

          • I particularly liked the bit where he tried to go after my credentials when I told him he was (deliberately) misunderstanding the meaning of English words.

          • Squirrel says:

            "Never has somebody with so little to say used so many words to say it. "

            I kind of want to make this into a t-shirt….

          • The Simple Man says:

            I'm scared to ask but what is The Spearhead? Or should I not know…

          • fakely_mctest says:

            Home planet for MRAs, Red Pill types and people who think that women are after their precious bodily fluids a la Dr. Strangelove. The whole site is vile and the forums are even viler than that.

          • He gave me a headache. So many words sacrificed to say so little

          • Yeah, he pissed me off on many levels. I tried to play nice for a while, but if I see him again its all in for Poke the Troll!

    • Has anyone else read A Confederacy of Dunces (if not, then you should)? Because I was reading some of his comments yesterday, and holy cow, he is literally a real life version of the main character.

  8. trixnix says:

    I got bullied a lot growing up. Some people seemed to delight in telling me how horrible, ugly and awful I apparently am. One of the worst taunts was "if you ever want sex with a woman then you're going to have to rape her, ugly!" Add that to the physical attacks, the taunting, the teasing, the being laughed at and humiliated and the fact nobody would ever do anything to stop the bullying…school was fun :)

    For whatever reason (and believe me, I've spent years looking for the reason) I seem to be one of those guys who women just don't like. Not in a dating way anyway. It's not impossible for a woman to find me attractive and it has happened. I'm always surprised and shocked when it does. I know a scarcity mentality is a bad idea but I'm yet to meet this abundance of women who do or could find me attractive. I have female friends. But it's rare that interactions between me and women are on a dating level. I came to the conclusion that the cause of this is my looks. Not that looks are everything or that women are shallow because I believe neither of those things. I just feel my looks are such a problem that my other qualities cannot compensate, if that makes sense?

    I was frustrated and upset that nothing I did ever changed anything. I analyzed and took responsibility for my behaviours. I changed so much but kept walking around in circles and ending up back at the same point where I was just a guy women didn't like in that way. I thought: "okay, who I am is ugly and horrible and women don't and won't like him. I have to learn to be someone else". And the journey into PUA began.

    It was a huge mistake. I didn't really want to learn to be anyone else. Ideally, I wanted to be attractive to women but as me not some made up character. But when you've spent years being basically told: "you're awful!", it's easy to abandon who you are and try to become something else. PUA did not bring me any positives. No sex. No relationships. All it ever did was encourage me to act like a complete asshole. By the end of my PUA experiment, less women liked me than before. That's how bad my luck with women is.

    The very rare times women found me attractive were not times when I was using PUA routines or techniques. They were times when I was just being myself. They may have been very, very rare times but at least they were authentic & it was actually me the women met not some daft cartoon of a PUA person.

    I take responsibility for the things I did and didn't do. I don't blame PUA necessarily. It's just that both it and bullying taught me to hide who I am. Hope that isn't too long or too depressing but that's my journey in and out of PUA. Other guys have different experiences and I'm not claiming PUA is all bad. Moral of story: if you hate yourself, stay out of PUA. I've been critical of PUA on here and wanted to explain the background as to why I feel that way.

    • Gentleman Horndog says:

      Dude. You have my sympathies for going through some truly awful shit and my deepest respect for not coming out of it a bitter, cynical asshole. You sound like you have legit strength of character.

      "The very rare times women found me attractive were not times when I was using PUA routines or techniques. They were times when I was just being myself."

      Any chance those were also times when you forgot, for whatever reason, that you're allegedly this unfuckably ugly troll? :-)

      • trixnix says:

        "Dude. You have my sympathies for going through some truly awful shit and my deepest respect for not coming out of it a bitter, cynical asshole. You sound like you have legit strength of character. "

        Thank you.

        "Any chance those were also times when you forgot, for whatever reason, that you're allegedly this unfuckably ugly troll? :-) "

        Quite possibly.

      • "legit strength of character."

        Exact right words. Not everybody can really step back from those resentful or hurt feelings (of which I'm well acquainted with) and view their situation and self in such a thoughtful, introspective way, and the ability to do so is such a testament to one's character. Great post trixnix!

    • Thereal McCoy says:

      "For whatever reason (and believe me, I've spent years looking for the reason) I seem to be one of those guys who women just don't like. "

      The reason is that you were told continuously during your formative years that you are a guy who women don't like. This isn't rocket surgery. Whether or not the message was true then is irrelevant. Look at what is happening now. Some women have found you attractive, so obviously it is not true that you are a guy who women (who do not comprise some uniform, borg-like entity) don't find attractive. You are a guy who some women find attractive, which makes you pretty much like most other guys. Instead of focusing on the message that you are a guy who borg-women don't find attractive, focus on your real life experience that you are a guy who some real-life women do find attractive. Keep reminding yourself of this, regularly, even when you are not actively trying to meet women. Learn to recognize when you start behaving like a guy who thinks women don't find him attractive so you can remind yourself that it's not true. Make a flash card with the truthful message and tape it to your mirror if necessary.

      • "The reason is that you were told continuously during your formative years that you are a guy who women don't like."

        This, This, THIS. When people tell you ugly things every day for years, you DO absorb it, whether you want to or not. I'm so sorry people told you these things.

        "Make a flash card with the truthful message and tape it to your mirror if necessary."

        This is a good idea. Another suggestion: whenever you find yourself thinking something awful (like "I'm ugly" or "who would ever be interested in me"), find a minute to say–out loud–"Cancel. Clear." I know this sounds goofy as hell, but I tried it–and I was shocked by how well it worked. Something about hearing it aloud really helps, especially if right afterwards you replace the negative statement with something positive (like "I'm beautiful" or "people ARE interested in me").

        The point isn't to believe it right away–just tell yourself good things. In time, it really does start to reverse all that horrible brainwashing we ALL went through in high school (and, y'know, our entire adult lives).

    • SpiltCoffee5 says:

      I tried PUA once, too. I always could feel that underlying implication to fake things and to not treat women as humans, made me feel disgusting.

      I'm glad I eventually stumbled across DNL, it stopped me from falling further into that culture.

      Only thing PUA succeeded in doing to me was getting me off of Reddit, because/r/seduction is pretty circlejerky and horrible to read.

  9. I think that the lack of relationship advise aimed at men is because men are socialized that to be masculine is to fuck. Its assumed to be safer to give women relationship advise because the assumption is that women would put the advise to something nobler, building a long term romantic relationship and eventually, a family. The assumption is that all men will use relationship advise to something much less noble, sleeping with as a many women as possible. Thats why there isn't a lot of relationship advise aimed at men.

  10. >"Men are notoriously bad at reading women’s minds and body language. Don’t think that you’re any different."

    "It's so hard, so I'm not even gonna try." Here, let me break it down into bite-seized pieces:

    *teasing comment about your appearance/outfit/etc.*=She's trying to neg you, and hopes to undermine your confidence in order to make you easier to bed. Stay away from these people, they're bad for you.

    *asks you to buy her a drink*=She's either poor or an alcoholic. Avoid.

    *dances with you*=She's not cool enough to not dance. Avoid.

    *flirts with you*=She has interest in you, and thus is obviously desperate. Seriously, would you date someone who would date you? Have some standards.

    *mentions her boyfriend*=She's a beard and is trying to set you up with him. Don't fall for it.

    *wants to go for coffee*=She's a caffeine-addict and has zero endurance. Avoid.

    *wants to go someplace else*=She's one of those types who switches venues three times a night. It's not the clubs that are boring, she is. Avoid.

    *says she doesn't swing that way*=She misinterprets the club's tunes as electroswing. Has no knowledge of music, avoid if you have any self-respect.

    Bam, done. Now you have an excuse to never bother ladies on a night out again.

    • And we've already got a contender for Best Comment of the Thread!

    • Seriously, would you date someone who would date you? Have some standards.

      this could be eth eost self-hating thing I've heard since Justice Clarence Thomas's book.

  11. Do PUA techniques actually work? They seem more than a little dubious to me. Even ignoring all the ethical issues, they seem to be things that anybody with an oridinary amount of intelligence and self-respect could easily deflect if they want to. That means that the would be most effective when used on people with issues, who you probably want to avoid in the first place or that you basically need to make a psychological healthy person experience short-term Stockholm Syndrome, which is immoral.

    • Gentleman Horndog says:

      "That means that the would be most effective when used on people with issues … or that you basically need to make a psychological healthy person experience short-term Stockholm Syndrome, which is immoral."

      Bingo.

      The women I'm into would either ignore this shit or treat the guy pulling it as a chew-toy.

      • I have a bartender friend who makes a sport of baiting PUAs. It probably isn’t nice for her to do, but she has to deal with them at work all the freaking time, so I understand. She is never cruel, just quick witted, so she can see their strategy and potential moves long before they do. She is also an amazing chess player, so they are generally outclassed. And she has probably seen every variation of the game a million times

    • Meyer N Gaines says:

      I experimented with PUA a few years earlier. It ended disastrously, I did not get laid, and I seriously creeped out several women (including my then-neighbors, haha).

      I still am kind of a fan of PUA stuff because it speaks of hope. Evolutionarily speaking, a foreveralone virgin is a practically dead, so if you can’t get laid (like me), you should probably commit suicide haha. But I’d rather not play the Roman fool just yet. So the existence of PUA gives me hope that somehow, someday, with enough effort, my fate may change.

      What I think is that PUA is basically a placebo. You get a lot of money, a muscular physique, and fashionable clothing, and then shotgun-approach 7000+ women, and hopefully someone will say “yes.”

      Most people get laid through their social circle. The only reason you would get into PUA is if your social circle was useless.

      • Meyer, this is the second time this week you have mentioned suicide. If you are in a place where you are considering it, I strongly urge you to seek professional help. I do believe you mentioned being in med school, so you should have access to support services. Suicidal thoughts are a symptoms that must be treated.

        If you are saying it for dramatic effect or as hyperbole, can you please stop.

        • Meyer N Gaines says:

          I did mention that I’m not interested in death, but I won’t mention it anymore.

          I was trying to bring out the exigency and importance of “getting laid,” which when you consider it, is a pretty existential concern.

          • Thanks.

            Now is what you want getting laid, as in the physical act (and can be solved with an escort) or the physical act and the validation of meeting a woman who wants to have sex with you ?

            If it is option 2 you need to toss some seriously self-limiting beliefs (e.g. American women will not sleep with an Indian), because a) they aren’t true and b) they are crippling any chances of you connecting with someone. Self-hate is the anti-aphrodisiac. You need to work out that nonsense.

          • Again, if it's passing on of your genes that's important to you, I'd suggest a sperm bank. If it's not the passing on of genes you're concerned with, maybe you could drop the evolutionary panic, since it's not actually relevant to your concerns?

    • Nolan Voyd says:

      For me, the PRINCIPLES were far more effective than the techniques. By principles I mean knowing your strengths and going to venues that leverage them, , being congruent (is the "best self" you want to communicate lining up with how you see yourself?), pursuing social and personal passions, addressing self-limiting beliefs, having a healthy social life overall, dressing better, working out, flirting, carrying a conversation, communicating in a way that you are "present". A majority of these are what DNL espouse already. They are things that require you to work before you even do a cold approach. I found that if I handled those things, what to say/do next took care of itself.
      The techniques? Mixed bag. Many of them were incongruent with me or what I would actually do. Cold reading? Useful. U-shaped blah blah blah? "who lies more?" opener? Naah. Walking up and telling a woman "I think you're cute. I wanted to meet you" (and I know there are some women here who will even HATE that, but things worked out for me and the women involved).

      • Nolan Voyd says:

        What many of the feminist wholesale "fuck PUA" articles will conveniently ignore is that there were already existing internal critiques of PUA assumptions and culture. There were splits that created different "churches" of PUA; many of them decrying the 1-10 scale, the use of routines or conflating your masculine value with your ability to stick your dick in strange women. Some emphasized vulnerability and authenticity not just as a technique, but a way to bring more quality interactions into your life in general. So it kills me when I see articles that are bombastic referendums on "the neg" and telling women how to protect themselves from PUAS (http://jezebel.com/an-easy-guide-to-fending-off-pick-up-artists-521688391) even if tongue in cheek when the Mystery Method hasn't been hot in the streets since 2008. It's like people still calling the internet the "world wide web".

        • Nolan Voyd says:

          Yes, there are male dating-advice gurus and their acolytes who are misogynistic assholes who cling to a deliberate misunderstanding of evolutionary psychology to salve their wounded egos. But 1) a lot of the "get sexual with any woman you want" rhetoric and sales copy gets many men on a path of self-improvement who otherwise wouldn't bother. Judge them for being motivated by getting laid all you want, but if it's consensual, no harm, no fuss. 2) The fucked-up aspects of PUA culture is what is fucked up about society. The seduction community is a soft target and deserve some of the teasing/ridicule, but the worst offenders have never heard of PUA.

          • Nolan Voyd says:

            3) As DNL emphasized, they fill a void. Critics' advice to "respect women", "just be yourself", "talk to her like a human being" can mean a dozen different things to the person given that advice, and sometimes a more concrete walkthrough of that advice is necessary. 4) A "good school" of men's dating advice will teach you to make peace with rejection and avoid the sinister trap of trying to be "the man that every woman everywhere wants ALL the time. Bullshit. 5) many of the techniques are just stupid. Don't be stupid. You can't trick someone into fucking you. You can only develop the REAL you enough to be somebody someone would want to fuck and then create the context for fucking them. Anything else is just to get your money. Okay. Rant over.

        • eselle28 says:

          I don't really see what the problem with outside critiques of the movement are. Of course, PUAs can critique their fellow PUAs internally, but shouldn't outsiders be able to criticize their interactions with those people? Presumably, these "good" PUAs won't be identified as such and will slip under people's radar. Why shouldn't people try to fend off the "bad" ones? There are still a lot of people who have heard of these things running around out there.* Someone who negs you or who violates your boundaries in an attempt to get past your bitch shield is an asshole and should be avoided, whether he's a proper PUA, a "bad" PUA, or someone who does those things naturally.

          * I ran into someone doing some really obvious, corny shit a few weeks ago. I've certainly encountered other guys doing these things in the past, especially when I was younger and went out more. And PUAs who tend to comment on sites like this frequently defend tactics like negging.

          • Nolan Voyd says:

            @eselle28,
            "Presumably, these "good" PUAs won't be identified as such and will slip under people's radar. Why shouldn't people try to fend off the "bad" ones? There are still a lot of people who have heard of these things running around out there (I ran into someone doing really obvious, corny shit a few weeks ago!). Someone who negs you or who violates your boundaries in an attempt to get past your bitch shield is an asshole and should be avoided, whether he's a proper PUA, a "bad" PUA, or someone who does those things naturally."
            Agreed. No argument with you there. My question is, if people are running around doing ineffective, long-discredited PUA negs, overall boundary-violation creepy stuff, do we need entire articles and blogs telling people not to talk to/go to brunch with/screw someone with poor social skills? To me, it can border on moral panic.

          • eselle28 says:

            These articles aren't telling you that you don't want to hang out with these people and should avoid them. They're assuming that you don't want to and are giving some tips on how to get rid of them.

            A lot of guys running around trying to play PUA have taken all the lessons about pushing past women's resistance to heart, and have trained themselves not to listen when they're told to get lost. The point isn't to prevent some poor misguided HB10 from saying yes. That's her business. The point is to give women who are saying no some options so that they don't have to waste their evening tolerating negs and boundary-violation creepy stuff.

        • Look, I'm a Christian who has to constantly deal with atheists insisting all Christians are morons, and people in my social circle insisting all Christians want to stone gay people. As a Christian, I strongly support gay marriage, try to keep my faith to myself, and only seek out churches and religious communities with similar bents (which, in my city, are actually quite a few.) The very best I can do is to be just as loud and present as the hate-filled Christians, to remind others that we do exist.

          If you want "positive" PUA to gain traction, then you've got to be out there promoting it and putting it into the mainstream.

          • FormerlyShyGuy says:

            Seems like exactly what he is trying to do

          • MizOpifex says:

            I would argue that the better use of time would be changing the problematic aspects of the group you are in rather than going on and on to outside groups about how “We aren’t all like that!!1!” I’m a Roman Catholic who thinks you should be able to marry whoever you want, have abortions, and that women should be able to be priests, so I know the temptation, but it always seems childish to go on the defensive like that. More productive to work at changing the status quo than to annoy others with emphatic “not me I’m different.” People know not everyone is like that, and seeing some visible internal critique will do a lot more to give everyone the warm fuzzies.

      • Those are the parts of PUA I have no issue with. Confidence building tools are great and if you didn’t end up with a great set of social skills they can be helpful in dating and more. My issue with the majority of the genre is acting like women are pelts to nail to the wall. Also, these tips can be a disaster in the hands of people who are bad at reading social cues.

        This is why I like DNL, all the seduction, zero exploitation. And it is teaching me to read nerd boy cues better and how to better signal my own interest

    • If you have a few extra bucks, I'd say read Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser by Clareese Thorn. It's short, easy to read, and gives a pretty sympathetic view of PUA culture, and the sorts of people who are involved. Her breakdown of the community was pretty much this:

      Analysts- People who want to understand how human interactions work, like thinking about gender, and want to see these principles applied in practice
      Freaks and Geeks- Men who have trouble getting dates due to awkwarness and/or shyness, and look to the PUA community to learn social skills
      Hedonists– Guys who are in it to have fun and generally enjoy having sex and partying
      Leaders– Community organizer types who tike being a forum moderator and enjoy helping out other guys
      Sharks– People out to make a quick buck off desperate men
      Darth Vaders– Guys who are out to get revenge or assert their power over women.

    • Sam Snead says:

      Yes, they do. Otherwise they wouldn't enrage feminists and moral prudes to the degree that they do.

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        See any number of other comments about "there are plenty of ethically neutral PUA techniques that work, plenty of unethical ones that are coercive and plenty of toxic attitudes underlying both." No one here, even self-labeled feminists, has said that absolutely no PUA techniques help make you better with women. They do debate that "grab her hand and shove it down your pants. Make her tell you to stop because you're a LEADER" is potentially problematic.

  12. wysewomon says:

    Every time I run across something like this Kickstarter project, I ask my husband the same question: How can a woman/women get across that male strength may be attractive and it may be hot to know you turn someone on, but that doesn't mean "be a dick."? (Hope that was coherent.) we have lengthy discussions about how the male mind works and how men are socialized. But by examining PUA culture, you've given me a new perspective. Thanks.

    • I usually wait until I know a man well enough and trust him enough to reveal that I do like being thrown around sometimes. But it's only told in confidence to people who I know would not take advantage of it.

    • Delafina says:

      Because for some reason the men who flock to this things have difficulty understanding the difference between "power to" and "power over."

    • hobbesian says:

      If I were looking for the antecedent of this.. I'd look at the school system hierarchy.

      the popular confident kids who never lack for dates on friday nights treat the embryo-pua like shit.. so the embryo-pua equates "Confidence/good with women" with 'Asshole'.. and comes to the logical if erroneous conclusion that " I guess women only like assholes, ergo I should become an asshole in order to get women"…

      • x_Sanguine_8 says:

        Except it's high school – pretty much everyone is an asshole. The level and degree of assholery varies from person to person and moment to moment, but it's universal (more power to the teachers who put up with students' bull and help herd them over into adulthood!).

        I also think some rose tinting is going on for those "popular" kids…

        • hobbesian says:

          Right, thats pretty much exactly true, However most people don't see it that way.. and more and more research is pouring out showing just how mindbogglingly impressive high-school social systems are on peoples growth as individuals.

          It's basically every bit as capable of completely molding your personality as Prison or the Military is.. in other words High School has the ability to institutionalize you.. and if you happen to be one of the people who doesn't fit in, or doesn't fit in well, then you internalize that mindset.. and keep it with you forever.. unless you consciously set out to try and change it.

          Not saying this is the only reason for this.. but I just keep seeing more and more articles and papers looping back to how disastrous chucking 2000 15-18 year olds together in a locked building with minimal adult supervision for 8 hours a day actually seems to be.. It's like every day you get up, and spend 8 hours on the island from Lord of the Flies.. before coming home getting yelled at my your parents who work 50+ hours a week and each have a 2 hour commute each day..

      • Definitely. I think in these debates, people get caught up in the idea of "asshole" as a binary state, but don't countenance the idea that the "assholes who get all the girls" aren't assholes TO the "girls."

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      I wonder if its zero sum thinking. I mean, we tend ot think beautiful people are shallow, muscled people are dumb etc. Is the matching pair that physically attractive guys have horrible personalities?

  13. craniest says:

    omg hallelujah: Kickstarter admits it might have made a teensy error in judgement: http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/we-were-wrong

    • Meyer N Gaines says:

      Am I the only one who thinks this is going too far? I thought DNL complained that people already thought anyone who gets into PUA is a creep/freak/loser. Kickstarter writing this will just make this issue worse. Why not be discreet about it?

      • FormerlyJay says:

        I don't think it's going too far to apologize for enabling a project that advocates sexually assaulting women. It's not Kickstarter's fault that the whole debacle made PUAs look bad, it's the PUA's fault that he made PUAs look bad.

        • fakely_mctest says:

          Seconded. The thing that's really great about their apology is that they don't use weasel words and they take responsibility 100%. That sort of thing is really really uncommon.

          The $25,000 donation to RAINN doesn't hurt either.

          • eselle28 says:

            I appreciated the flat, no nonsense apology and the donation as well.

            It's not as if they decided out of the blue to denounce PUAs and their materials. The controversy has been ongoing, they've made statements about it already, and if they're going to change their minds I think it needs to be done publicly.

          • Neil_Jung says:

            I think kickstarter took the right course of action in this specific case — but I will say that this paragraph makes me uncomfortable:

            Third, we are prohibiting “seduction guides,” or anything similar, effective immediately. This material encourages misogynistic behavior and is inconsistent with our mission of funding creative works. These things do not belong on Kickstarter.

            (emphasis mine)

            To me, this is the very definition of a chilling effect on free speech. I think this very website demonstrates that it is possible to separate the self-improvement baby from the misogynistic/rapey bathwater. I would kickstarter-fund the shit out of a Dr. Nerdlove "best of" organized into book form, for example, but it sounds like even that wouldn't pass muster under the "or anything similar" guidelines.

            I just wish kickstarter had said "we were wrong and will be more vigilant in the future, taking these things on their merit on a case-by-case basis" rather than the blanket ban.

          • eselle28 says:

            I'd agree that they could stand to use a more specific policy outlining what qualifies as a seduction guide and what kind of language is and isn't appropriate.

            I'm not really on board with the idea that this chills free speech, however. We're talking about a private business that helps creators find funding for their projects. It already places many limits on projects – no pornography, charity drives, endorsements of political candidates, energy drinks, nutritional supplements, cosmetics, electronic surveillance equipment; eyewear, real estate, or raffles. Kickstarter is already very picky about which projects it considers appropriate and I think it makes it clear that it's not offering some kind of open forum for anyone to try to fund anything. People whose projects aren't allowed on the site can still raise money for their energy drinks or their charitable causes on other crowdfunding sites or through other methods.

          • "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"
            Kickstarter isn't congress.

          • extinction says:

            What is it with people confusing the right to free speech with the right to a platform? Private services like Kickstarter can vet and discriminate who they take on as clients; to deny someone their service is not even close to censorship.

          • Delafina says:

            Seriously. You have a right to free speech in public places, without interference from the government.

            You have no free speech rights on someone's privately-owned website. Nor are they required to make open debate, free speech, diversity of ideas, etc. a priority in how they moderate the material that appears on their site.

          • fakely_mctest says:

            I'd venture a guess insofar as most people who whine about censorship are, in actual fact, dumb as a box of hair, and in no way suited to represent their views in a public forum.

          • totally, it's a pet-peeve of mine.

          • Delafina says:

            Chilling effects on free speech are a government concern — the First Amendment has nothing to do with private companies and what speech they allow on their privately-owned platforms. Private platforms have every right to curate their own material, and in fact *the law depends on them to do so to work correctly.* One of the points of free speech protections is to allow the people to decide themselves what speech they do and don't want to hear — the whole marketplace of ideas concept depends on the idea that repulsive ideas are going to be repulsed by the populace, rather than the government. You have a right to say anything you want without anyone stopping you. You *don't* have a right to force people to listen, or get anyone else (whether individuals, groups, or companies) to *help* you say it.

            No one's preventing this guy from publishing seduction guides. But if we evolve into a society in which his only choice is to self-publish and self-promote, because major publishers and funding platforms look at what he's doing and opt out of supporting it, *that is society working like it's supposed to.*

          • Neil_Jung says:

            You (and Talbiz and extinction and estelle) are correct. If I gave the impression that I was trying to frame this as a First Amendment right, that's my fault for being unclear. I was speaking of free speech as more of an abstract principle.

            That said, I am no libertarian, I do not think free speech rights are absolute, and I explicitly agreed with the action kickstarter took in this instance. I was merely dismayed that they went with the nuclear option going forward, rather than taking things on a case-by-case basis — though, again, of course it is their right to do so.

            I should have been more mindful of the fact that, as an infrequent commenter here, I haven't built up enough goodwill to nitpick on a single aspect of an issue where I am 90% in agreement without coming off like that problematic 10% is the whole of my position.

          • It's just a tremendous pet peeve of mine, I correct it whenever I come across it. It wasn't me jumping on you specifically, I would have corrected anyone that did it.

          • FormerlyShyGuy says:

            A libertarian would stand behind the business's right to censor you on their platform lol.

  14. I have to say the growing awareness online of PUA techniques heartens me a bit, because the more women that are aware of them, the more women will recognize it when it comes at them.

    The mere premise that every woman is only as good as her physical appearance, and further that every woman is just a shallow idiotic shell… it's disgusting. PUA techniques should rightly be torn apart for the misogynistic, criminal dreck they are. Thank you DNL for taking the task of doing so upon yourself. One can only hope your words reach the audience that needs it most.

    • Gentleman Horndog says:

      "PUA techniques should rightly be torn apart for the misogynistic, criminal dreck they are. Thank you DNL for taking the task of doing so upon yourself."

      At the risk of sounding like a Doc fanboy*, note that he's doing more than that; he's not just tearing down, he's rebuilding. He's offering an option that says "Here's how you can get what you want AND not treat people like shit doing it. Everybody wins!" That's a big part of why I feel this site is so valuable.

      *– "Too late!" shouts the chorus.

    • Victor H. says:

      Chill with your strawman attack on PUA. There's nothing "criminal" about trying to be better with woman. This site deserves smarter comments than that.

      • bespoke says:

        There's nothing criminal in wanting to be better with women, sure. But the people that teach PUA techniques are teaching already socially awkward and unsure people the exact WRONG way to go about being better with women, and a lot of the techniques they teach are practically telling men to assault women. That's criminal, ain't no shakes about it.

    • Victor H. says:

      To be clear, the problem is otten with the PUAs themselves, not the overall techniques.

  15. Morpheus says:

    This almost made me cry it was so spot on. Well done Dr.!

    I would like to make one point though: Freeze Out isn't always meant to be rape-y, at least not how I first interpreted it. Me and my nerd friends felt the exact opposite when we started getting into PUA: that Freeze Out was meant to avoid a situation where someone could get hurt, as well as a way to save face from being embarrased about being rejected. I have "used" Freeze Outs before: I was never unkind or cruel, typically I would suggest a non-sexual activity for the time being and try to completely shut down the escalation. I just didn't want to do something that could hurt someone in the face of resistance, and I didn't want to feel completely humiliated at being rejected either. So a "Friend Out" (completely shutting down, disacknowledging sexual feelings and behavior and suggesting a mutually agreeable social activity that does not involve physical touching) struck me as the least evil of both worlds.

    • It's all in how you do it. There's a difference between a de-escalation that you do out of courtesy or caring for your partner, and a douchebag Freeze Out. I've experienced both, and I can tell you right now that it fucking sucks to be the recipient of the Freeze Out kind of behavior, especially if you're already struggling with self-esteem issues and ingrained socialization that tells you that you're the villain here. And it causes long-term damage to someone's psyche. Not an exaggeration.

    • Freeze Out is terrible. Friend Out sounds pretty cool. I think it's awesome that you and your friends remade it, though obviously that doesn't fix PUA as a culture. Maybe you can spread the Friend Out word!

      • Morpheus says:

        I like that! See, I wanted to avoid committing sexual assault, I also wanted to avoid becoming some pathetic pile of pleading because it would be so difficult to look myself in the mirror either way. I mean, in the spirit of honesty, I will say that I could be a little awkward about it (Once I had a girl at college try to bring up what we were doing earlier, I said "I don't really want to talk about that right now, maybe we can talk about it later"). So 50% of it was avoiding being an assaulter, 50% of it was protecting my ego.

        • And I don't think it's unreasonable not to want to talk about that now, but having been on the receiving end of avoidances of communication, they're unpleasant, and gnaw at the emotions and ego of the person who doesn't know what happened. I guess I would be less bothered by that if you made a good-faith effort to be able to talk about it later.

          • Morpheus says:

            I mean, I guess what I am saying is that all the "Freeze Out" shit I read (in the beginning days anyways) said more about "Put on a movie" or "Pull out a chessboard" rather than getting up and leaving. I personally like calling that kind of thing a "Friend Out" better. Sides, I know plenty of good movies, and it's not like watching a movie is a bad thing period. If their is ambiguity about sex, I would rather not pursue sex. It's disrespectful to my partner and I and desperate and I refuse to be desperate. I want my partners to be passionately and wildly enthusiastic about sex with me, not conflicted and ambiguous. That's why I like relationships better anyways, personally.

            I'm sorry about what happened to you. Hurt feelings suck. I do always try to make an effort to talk later on, but I am highly sensitive to rejection and ambiguity (I was horribly bullied for 4 years, including shit like "Dude we are going to buy you a prositute when you turn 16 because you will never lose your v-card any other way"), and I personally need both a time buffer and a safe setting (somewhere public and casual) to have that conversation.

    • Gentleman Horndog says:

      Being graceful when your partner pulls the plug is a really valuable skill — and when you're ready to go, not at all easy. Which is why it's good to have "If she says no at ANY TIME, I need to stop no matter how much it sucks" etched somewhere in your brain.

      I've actually been on the other side of this equation. Turns out, knife play is so far outside my comfort zone that it needs to be on my no-fly list. My partner, on the other hand, was REALLY enjoying herself. Unexpectedly crashing down from that when I pulled the plug was clearly no fun for her either, but she did a good job of owning her reaction and respecting my own without being all "WHY ARE YOU STOPPING YOU BOX-TEASING BASTARD!!!" Guilting me into continuing would have been a bad scene for all involved.

    • CaseyXavier says:

      What you're doing is not a Freeze Out. A Freeze Out is basically an instant and complete cold shoulder. What you did was to respect her boundaries and back off, which is what any decent person should do.

  16. Sumiko Saulson says:

    The thing is: dating IS a game. It's a number's game, if someone isn't into you, you just move on to the next person until you find someone who is. The problem with Mr. Kickstarter's PUA techniques is they focus too much on pressuring one potentially disinterested woman – sometimes to the point of sexual harassment, sometimes to the point of sexual assault: grabbing someone's genitals and forcing them to grab yours is not rape but could be considered a lesser form of sexual assault. If a woman (or a man) is not interested in you: find another one. To the extent that these PUA techniques teach men the confidence not to fixate on a single, disinterested woman, they could be healthy: no one owes anyone sex, and if you want sex and someone doesn't want to give it to you, find someone who does.

    • FormerlyJay says:

      "It's a number's game, if someone isn't into you, you just move on to the next person until you find someone who is."

      Yes and no. Call me a sentimental idiot, but I think that all of my relationships, despite not lasting, have added value to my life. I maintain friendships (or at least amicable acquaintances) with plenty of my exes. I've also been able to maintain friendships with people who have turned me down, because I was able to reorient myself into valuing their friendliness even when I was disappointed.

      • Sumiko Saulson says:

        Once you get to the point where you are in an actual relationship of some kind, well yes, that's different. I still have some exes I've remained friends with for 20 years. But if you are trying to pick up on a stranger, at a bar, which is what I gather PUA are after, why fixate on the one chick who is rejecting you?

        • eselle28 says:

          I think there's some middle ground here as well. Accepting that a relationship will only be a friendship or a friendly exes situation is one form of moving on. So is literally moving on and not having any further interactions with the woman.

    • Morpheus says:

      Spot on! One problematic aspect of dating in American society that I have observed is how often the term "using" gets thrown around. Using happens, this is true, but sometimes those who accuse another of "using" are just hurt that they can have the exact kind of relationship that they want with the person that they want to have it with. I have guy friends who accuse girls of using them for friendship and favors, and female friends that accuse guy friends of using them for sex (I had one friend who got "friendzoned" (I hate that word) by a girl he really, really liked. He did not call her a bitch or a slut, respected her decisions but it was too difficult for him to be around her, so he faded off into the background. She chose to tell everyone we know that he was a pervert who only wanted one thing, which I just don't think is very fair at all).

  17. Meyer N Gaines says:

    http://pastebin.com/zwHYzCZe

    He responded to the controversy.

    • eselle28 says:

      I can't say I'm very sympathetic. It seems like he doesn't understand that it's possible to sexually assault someone who has given you her number, gone on a date with you, and gone back to your place. It is. That's how most rapes and sexual assaults happen. And, yeah, if a guy takes a girl's hand and puts it on his dick when she doesn't want to, that's sexual assault in most places (not to mention one of the least appealing sexual escalations possible). Having her say "no" doesn't work that well in that scenario – the harm has already been done.

    • Gentleman Horndog says:

      Ah, the old "Out Of Context" argument.

      So, he thinks there is actually a context where exposing yourself to a woman who's already said "No" and forcing her hand onto your dick is somehow acceptable behavior? How revealing.

      • Meyer N Gaines says:

        Does that even work? My high school girlfriend used to get very annoyed when I did that.

        • eselle28 says:

          Like everything else, I'm sure it's worked at least once or twice. But damned if it hasn't made me think, "Ewww, get that away from me!" every time – even if my feelings about the guy and his dick had been very welcoming a few seconds before.

      • No, no, you see, the paragraph before that one explained quite clearly that he was about to suggest an awful technique that you should never try because its basically sexual assault.

        At least that's the only way that argument makes sense.

      • "So, he thinks there is actually a context where exposing yourself to a woman who's already said "No" and forcing her hand onto your dick is somehow acceptable behavior? How revealing."

        Um, i can't see it. The "forcing her hand onto your dick"* part comes after this paragraph:
        "Now that you have made your intentions abundantly clear to the girl with your body language, touch, and words, you will find yourself in situations where women are very receptive to your advances. Now is the time to ramp up the physical escalation. Hopefully you've managed your logistics and can get her into a private, intimate setting for what follows…"

        (* also, he says "put her hand", not "force her hand".)

        It should be clear that forcing the hand of someone who has said no on your penis is not acceptable; it's less clear that it is unacceptable to put the hand of someone who is very receptive to that onto your penis.

        On a more general note, this discussion reminded me of another article. Some quotes:
        "[W]omen want…

        … to succumb.

        I searched hard for that verb. It means “to yield to superior strength or force or overpowering appeal or desire.” Other verbs I considered: submit, acquiesce, yield, relent, let go, surrender, capitulate, accede, relinquish or abandon control, be controlled, be dominated… [...]

        Your job is to flood her reason, to provide so much evidence that you want her, that all her ideas about resisting are washed away. She should feel drowned in desire, incapable of rational thought.

        Yanking off her clothes impatiently, pulling her hair, pinning her to the wall or the bed, turning her over bodily, scraping your teeth on her lips, these are all valuable forms of physical control and force that you can play with.

        [...]

        She wants to let go. She wants to succumb. Take her."

        PUA rape manual or feminist sexuality researcher and educator?

        • I assume it must be the latter. Frankly, I'm not sure I'd be on board with the feminist who leads with "women want…to succumb."

        • I note that you removed all the parts of the article that talk about trust as an absolutely necessary precursor to all this, and how she explains that she emphatically does NOT mean "women want to be controlled and dominated by whatever alpha male has the incapacity for empathy to do what he likes without reference to her feelings." Those bits were kind of relevant to the whole thing.

          That said, I still disagree with her making such an enormous generalization, and think she ought to have been even more explicit and repetitive about the importance of consent to the whole thing.

          For anyone following along, this article is from The Dirty Normal, at http://www.thedirtynormal.com/2010/03/23/what-wom…. Although she is prone to making pretty big generalizations, and to assuming her audience are actually reasonable human beings, she also has some interesting stuff.

    • Let's just ignore the fact that he seems to have no grasp on what sexual assault is for about 30 seconds, he's the one that shared the pieces of his book in the first place, correct? If he was so concerned with not pushing someone too far or his chapter on sexual assault, why didn't he share those parts? I've read the majority of what went with that chapter on the reddit thread, and I didn't see anything like that shared.

      • Because anything that mentions the potential of sex not happening is wildly disturbing in these circles and sends them into a fervent chant. "How do you mean sex can or can not be happening? THIS IS TOO COMPLICATED!"

  18. Dr. Nerdlove, after having had a lot of sex and after having gone through the PUA lifestyle, do you mean to suggest that the following does not happen to many women out there?

    1. They want to have sex. Lots of it. But are afraid of how they will be perceived – especially by their own female friends. Women are the biggest critics of each other when it comes to slut-shaming. The Anti-Slut defense is very real – many girls fear being called sluts. That is unfortunate. But that is the reality. As someone who hopes to have sex with her, it is your responsibility to make her feel comfortable about wanting sex and to come across as non-judgmental.

    2. Do you mean to suggest that you never encountered Last Minute Resistance? Why is that concept misogynistic? It simply points to the reality. We do not yet live in a sex-positive society – so Last Minute Resistance is very real.

    The fact that some of the feminist women visiting this forum have sex-positive attitudes and do not fear societal judgement does not mean that this is the case for many women in America.

    Also, dominance is a key element of sex. Many women like being dominated in bed. The extent of domination preferred by each woman is of course different. Yes, there are women who don't enjoy it. I'm sure many of the feminist women on this blog will happily jump and say they don't enjoy being dominated. But when considering the general American woman, one only needs to look at the millions of sold copies of 50 shades of Grey as an evidence that women enjoy being dominated.

    I am curious. Do you ask for your partner's permission before removing your briefs and exposing your penis to her when about to have sex? So, unless the partner is taking the initiative to expose you, how do you go about getting naked? That's right – you just get naked and continue with foreplay. That's what the PUA in question was doing.

    I agree with you about the number scale. It promotes ego-association to an activity that should be enjoyed for its own sake.

    • Do I really need to point out the fact that even though millions of women read 50 shades of grey and perhaps fantasize about a bit of S&M in bed, it is not the same thing as liking dominance or being dominated in practice? Rape fantasies are a thing. It doesn't mean women like being raped, because there is, and most folks are aware of that, a clear dissonance between fantasy and reality.

      So what about the millions of women who do not read 50 shades of grey? Do they still like to be dominated? If you're going to make broad statements like "Women like to be dominated" on this site, you better have something more to show than sales numbers on a sleazy, second-rate novel, without showing any data on the buyer's motivations.

      • Paul Rivers says:

        "So what about the millions of women who do not read 50 shades of grey? Do they still like to be dominated?"

        The post when he wrote "Many women like being dominated in bed" is abundantly clear in it's use of the word "many", not "all".

        • "dominated", "dominant" etc. are such fuzzy words. I sometimes wonder whether people mean vastly different things and have completely different associations. I would be interested in hearing what people mean in more concrete terms.

        • "But when considering the general American woman, one only needs to look at the millions of sold copies of 50 shades of Grey as an evidence that women enjoy being dominated. "

          Countered by this formulation. If we're going to be like that. :)

          • Paul Rivers says:

            :-) Haha, fair point, I did not notice that, it's puts us 1 vs 1…

            The use of "women xxx" and "men xxx" leads to pointed misunderstandings. Often it's used to mean "a significant group of", which clashes with it's more literal meaning of "all or nearly all".

            Do "men" like football? It's very popular, and lots of men watch it, but clearly it really means "a significant group of men like football".

            Do "people" like food? It's clearly more of the "all or nearly all" meaning…

    • Yes, many people encounter LMR. It happens, and nobody is saying it doesn't. Ditto not wanting to be slut shamed. What you don't seem to grasp is that it doesn't matter why someone wants to end sex. When they say no, you fucking stop.

      It doesn't matter if they "want to," or "want to be dominated." You don't know that, unless they've told you. Statistics mean nothing to the individual: there may be millions of women who do want to be dominated, but guess what? There are also millions who don't. All you know about the individual offering "LMR" is that she is saying no. And if someone says no, what do we do? We fucking stop.

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        The good point Doc made is that if someone is uncomfortable and unsure if they want to go through with sex (LMR, to you PUA's) and you fucking stop, act like a decent human being, cuddle a bit, maybe go get some wine then when she does feel comfortable (which can be anywhere from a minute to never), you'll still have sex, it'll be better sex and best of all you're not a raging douchebag who preys on people's insecurities just so you can get your dick wet.

    • Also… D/s…..is *consensual* As in before any of that starts, party A sits down with party B and says "Hey, this is how I kink" and party B says "Fuck yeah, let's do it." Then there should be a rather indepth discussion about what each party expects and wants. In the PUA context, the domination interaction comes out of No.Where. and can't possibly be consensual. You don't have the chance to say "You know, I like to be made to feel like a treasured pet, not a slave" or "I want you to respect my authority with me having to push my weight around." You don't define the parameters, you don't make sure the other person is on board, you're not asserting dominance, you're being an asshole.

      Even someone who is a submissive might not look too kindly on a rando showing up to assert his "dominance" out of the blue. The whole point to the kink is having a relationship with someone who's so in tune with your needs that he/she can meet them without you asking. Something tells me bar rando isn't quite that in touch with his conversation partner's inner self.

      • Thisthisthisthisthis

      • I totally had a third paragraph about this, but I guess it didn't get from my brain to the keyboard. Definitely important to view BSDM and power play as collaborative, even if it seems different on the surface.

  19. Thereal McCoy says:

    "One popular LMR technique is the Freeze Out – as soon as the PUA encounters resistance, he stops cold – gets up, puts on his pants, turns on the lights and goes off to do something else."

    Doesn't this sort of, you know, backfire? I mean, if I say no, what I mean is no, and him putting his pants back on is a best case scenario, especially if he is pulling the put-my-hand-on-his-dick trick. I *wish* guys would do this when I say no.
    The one time a guy did use this trick on me, we had agreed that sex was in the cards and he just didn't like the path I wanted to take to get there. I was so hurt by the rejection that he didn't get any. So, another form of backfire.

    • Meyer N Gaines says:

      I think the idea is that by showing indifference, the man is separating himself from all the people who would get desperate/pushy/rapey for sex, thus demonstrating higher value or whatever it’s called.

      • eselle28 says:

        If he just backed off when being told to back off, absolutely. That's a great sign, both of self-confidence and of understanding boundaries.

        But making a big deal of things by flipping the lights on and getting dressed again? That comes across as petulant, not indifferent.

      • extinction says:

        That technique isn't displaying indifference, it's displaying the fact you only see the girl as a potential lay rather than a person. It's also pretty damn cruel and manipulative to reject someone so completely, without warning, just because things weren't moving fast enough for you. You're preying on the girl's self esteeem and confidence, you're pressuring her to chase after you or feel guilty like she wronged you somehow. It's pretty insidious actually, and you're still at core demonstrating a refusal to take "no" for an answer.

        If you want to demonstrate higher value to a hook-up, act like a man and respect her boundaries instead of throwing a tantrum.

        • Thereal McCoy says:

          Exactly. You can cordially express your disappointment that sex isn't going to happen that night (if you must) and express that you don't want to continue what you were doing, and can I take you home or call you a cab? It's not hard, kids.

    • eselle28 says:

      Unfortunately, I think this is one of those moves that will end up coercing some women who are feeling uncertain about themselves. It will scare away a hell of a lot of women who are feeling more confident, and will probably just confuse a lot of others.

      Personally, if a guy isn't okay with the idea of keeping contact at whatever level of making out or touching we were previously at for a bit longer and gets pissy if we don't escalate to intercourse on his timeline, I'm going to take that as a sign that he's not someone who it's going to be much fun to have any kind of sex with.

      • Meyer N Gaines says:

        If it were me, I’m not really down with just making out or whatever. I’m totally fine with just ending things early and seeing her when she’s more comfortable, but I absolutely refuse to spend two hours making out with someone. That’s an exercise in sexual frustration, and I think dating should be fun, not frustrating.

        • eselle28 says:

          You can absolutely end an encounter any time that you feel it's uncomfortable or not fun. I do think it's worth considering that the slowdown might not be because she's uncomfortable, though, or because she's evil and trying to frustrate you. Sometimes it's because she's enjoying the making out/touching/oral sex. You can still decide that it's not fun for you and that you want to end things, but sometimes that's a signal of sexual incompatibility and does mean that the two of you aren't going to be good partners for each other.

        • Thereal McCoy says:

          "I'm totally fine with just ending things early"

          Like I said, best case scenario. I don't want to touch your dick, you stop trying to make me. Win for me, just seems like blue balls for you.

          • Meyer N Gaines says:

            Then you tell me what I’m supposed to do, assuming rape is not an option. The way I see it, telling the woman to leave my apartment is a lot better than making out for an hour. Oh, and testicular vasocongestion (“blue balls”) doesn’t work like that.

          • I would hope that "assuming rape is not an option" could go without saying.

    • It's advice that's often offered in conjunction with the "get her back to your house under some pretense" advice. If she's at your house without a ride home, and you freeze her out, she is going to be afraid she won't have a way home.

  20. Once again we see the tension between DNL's recognition and semi-endorsement of Red Pill dating concepts and his feminist creds. Time and time again DNL's tries to repackage PUA material in a way friendly to feminists and avoiding generalizations about the genders. Saying that women like "confident" guys implies that women like to be submissive to confident men, but DNL will only state the former fact and, because he's a feminist, omit the later.

    • eselle28 says:

      I like confident men. I don't like being submissive one little bit. It's entirely possible for two confident people to interact with each other, you know.

      • We do not live in the ideological environment where women can share their desire to be submissive to confident men because of feminism. However, books like the wildly popular Fifty Shades of Gray attest the to the true nature of female desire.

        • Meyer N Gaines says:

          *some females.

          It really bugs me when people put words in women’s mouths. This includes both men and (2nd wave) feminists who pretend to speak for everyone.

        • eselle28 says:

          I know submissive women. They have no problem talking about it, either explicitly in BDSM terms or in vague concepts like "I like a man to take charge." Most of them don't particularly like PUA bullshit. I assure you that feminism hasn't forced me to suppress these urges. I don't have them. Lots of other women don't, either. It's the whole not being a part of a Borg Woman thing that PUA defenders aren't so good at understanding.

          Have you actually read 50 Shades of Gray? Am I the only one on this site who's actually suffered through it? Because there's not much kink in it at all, and the narrative of the sweet little girl taming the troubled bad boy basically ends with him agreeing to do things her way.

          • I've encountered that same trope in many, many female romance books. It's fascinating… the story is always of a sweet, passive woman who still somehow tames the wild player into commitment (with hot sex, admittedly) and babies ever after. I'd straight up call it a Female Power fantasy for the type of woman who wants to have dominance/control but doesn't want to suffer the social stigma of being a "bitch." In sexy terms, I think the kink community calls it topping from the bottom?

            I've always read 50 Shades of Gray and its ilk not as "the big powerful man is telling me what to do," but "the big powerful man is SO in-tune with my needs I don't need to tell him what I desire." It's not forcing her to do what HE wants…. it's him doing what SHE wants without her needing to express it.

            It's really a shame that we discuss female fantasies with a lack of subtlety. I see far too many RedPillers insisting that because a not-insignificant number of women have rape fantasies, it must mean women deep down want to be over-powered and raped. What they miss is the subtlety of the "rape" fantasy-that the guy is just so turned on by the woman he ravishes her, but she is still fully in control and is simply *allowing* him to "rape" her. It's not him taking, it's her giving, if that makes sense?

          • Marty says: "'ve always read 50 Shades of Gray and its ilk not as "the big powerful man is telling me what to do," but "the big powerful man is SO in-tune with my needs I don't need to tell him what I desire." It's not forcing her to do what HE wants…. it's him doing what SHE wants without her needing to express it. "

            Oh, okay. Women want confident strong powerful men who can a woman's mind.

          • Yes. Your point is….? Is it somehow a shocker to think a lot of women want a man who is confident and strong, anymore than it is to realize men want a woman who is confident and sweet? I have yet to hear a guy be like "Man, that clingy, needy, insecure, bitchy girl is totally the one for me!"

            Though here again we run into the subtlety problem: I would bet anything I say "strong and powerful" and you read that as "alpha-goes to the gym a lot." That actually isn't what I mean at all. Yes, some women are into that…. but some women (I count myself among them) are very attracted to inner strength.

            Stop me if I'm blowing any minds here.

          • And you can be confident and nice. It's not an either/or situation.

          • eselle28 says:

            Yup. That's pretty much my take on this fantasy as well. It's basically the old "kidnapped by a highwayman/pirate/cruel nobleman" fantasy in new trappings, and while there are squicky non-consent elements to most of these stories, they're not really stories about male dominance. How often does this supposedly untameable male end up taking multiple girlfriends, or continuing with thieving/pirating/assholing ways? 99% of the time, the books end in him marrying her and giving up whatever habits he had that annoyed her and generally conforming to what she wanted in a spouse. There's a strong element of power fantasy to it that doesn't get acknowledged.

            And, yeah, that's pretty much what happened in 50 Shades as well. He didn't rape her or force her to do kinky stuff the first time. He anticipated what she'd find hot and made sure she'd enjoy what they did. Their sex life was dull, because the author isn't very good at writing sex scenes, but it mostly revolved around him making her do things that already excited her rather than asking her to do anything for his pleasure. Plus, he eventually backed off on everything he asked from her that she wasn't completely okay with.

        • fakely_mctest says:

          You know Fifty Shades of Gray isn't a documentary, right? It's escapist fantasy of the same variety that the romance genre has traded in for years with a thin veneer of unresearched BDSM on top.

          People don't go around assuming that all men secretly want to punch terrorists and diffuse potential nuclear armageddons just because Jack Ryan's done so in Tom Clancy novels.

          • To be fair I totally want to punch terrorists and diffuse potential nuclear armageddons and I would not be offended if someone assumed that of me.l

          • eselle28 says:

            Fair. On the other hand, Game of Thrones is also immensely popular, and yet the market for being flayed is limited to a decided minority of the population.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Flaying, being flayed, killing and being killed aren't very gendered activity in GoT. The main activity that's man on woman or vice versa that's different from your run of the mill modern book series would seem to involve dragonfire. Not many guys want to be burned to death by some woman's dragons.

            That's assuming men are the target audience. I've heard women love reading it to fulfill their fantasies of being submissive like Cersei, Brienne, Cat, Arya and Daenerys.

          • Pirlofreekick says:

            Me too

          • hobbesian says:

            As a History major who wouldn't mind being an analyst for unnamed government agencies(seriously.. what's not to like.. you get to read all kinds of stuff, write reports that the president maybe sees, .. and you're actually encouraged, ney required, to be misanthropic and introverted and not talk to anyone about what you do) I'd be totally cool with people thinking of Jack Ryan and me in the same synapse firing..

          • 50 shades of grey started out as a Twilight fanfic. That's really all that needs to be said.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            "People don't go around assuming that all men secretly want to punch terrorists and diffuse potential nuclear armageddons just because Jack Ryan's done so in Tom Clancy novels."

            Well…actually, most people do. I mean they want it in the book sense, where you'll make it through the danger with just some cuts and bruises, because the protagonist can never really die, but they absolutely would like to see themselves punching terrorists and diffusing potential nuclear amageddons.

            That's assuming that men actually read Tom Clancy novels though. I'm not sure that whether men are actually the main audience or not…

          • Men's actual secret desire is to become Jack Ryan's actor, Ben Affleck, so that they can continue to use the same facial expression for the rest of our acting careers and generate obscene amounts of money.

        • craniest says:

          Seriously? Because ONE book series is popular, therefore all women have read it, embraced it as gospel, and treat it like personal bibles?

          Weird, every woman I know who's read 50 Shades (and I am not exaggerating, I am citing those women whom I know for a fact have actually read the books) had no interest in reading them until they were recommended for the sheer badness of them, and had to see for themselves. And some of them are now waiting for the movie version because they can't wait to see what Rifftrax is going to do to it and they're already stocking up on popcorn.

    • extinction says:

      Confidence does not equal dominance, dude.

    • I was wondering when one of you would show up.

      Just a heads up, you are not going to convince anyone here.

    • Delafina says:

      No, saying women like "confident" men has nothing to do with being submissive. In my case and those of most women I know, it just means we like to have our relationships be between equals.

      • If women want relationships between equals, why do they consistently prefer to marry up in terms of socioeconomic status?

        • They don't. But I'd love to see the sources… ya know, actual scientific data and studies… that make you think they do.

        • Unscrupulous people regardless of gender attempt to marry up in terms of socioeconomic status solely for the purposes of the status. See Mr. Wickham from Pride and Prejudice. Contrast Lizzie Bennett, who turns mega-rich Darcy down until they have mutual affection AND respect.

        • eselle28 says:

          *waves hands around wildly*

          *holds up Househusband Wanted sign*

          Well, not really, because that would be creepy. But that would kind of be my ideal, and I don't think I'm the only one. And dog knows there are lots of women who didn't have a preference either way and happened to fall for a not rich guy.

          Beyond all that, there's more to dominance roles than money. Trust me on this one.

        • extinction says:

          Are you are implying that socioeconomic staus is the sole factor of a person's worth, personality, and relationship compatability? Is it like astrology, but with income taxes? OH OH, wait–or are you implying all women are gold-diggers?

          Sorry for all the questions, your comments are all so vague yet critical it's hard to follow. It's almost like you're throwing around token intellectualisms in an attempt to validate yourself while avoiding any actual discussion.

        • Delafina says:

          We don't. But for a long time, in our culture, the vast majority of men made significantly more than the vast majority of women, so women's pool of available potential spouses was composed primarily of people who made more than they do.

          Contemporary studies, however, indicate that in 40% of families, the female partner has the higher income. In a society where women's salaries equalled men's, I'd expect it to be 50%, but since we're not there yet, 40% seems appropriate.

          • I'd like to read those contemporary studies can u link a few pls thx

          • Delafina says:
          • "Mothers Are the Sole or Primary Provider in Four-in-Ten Households with Children; Public Conflicted about the Growing Trend."

            This doesn't validate your claim at all because it includes, as it says in the freakin title, households led by SINGLE mothers, which are substantial in number, perhaps because many a woman prefers being single rather than being attached to a man of lower socio-economic status.

          • "because many a woman prefers being single rather than being attached to a man of lower socio-economic status"

            Seriously, *that's* what you think is going on here? That is your interpretation of what those results mean?

            Well. Good to know someone has finally found me out! I'm not a single mother, but clearly I'm unattached because I can't find a man rich enough to suit me, since women all think alike with our hive mind. Silly me for thinking there are a whole lot of more logical explanations for why women might be the "sole or primary provider in four-in-ten households" than "hypergamous woman doesn't want to settle for inferior less-wealthy man."

          • So, that 37% of married mothers who earn more than their husbands, what are they, chopped liver?

          • Obviously, enail, they've been forced to settle because they weren't a high enough "number" to attract one of the rich alpha males all women covet.

          • Ms.BookWyrm says:

            Dang, you got me there.
            I obviously prefer living on a students benefit while raising a child alone over having to settle for a man who doesn't make big bucks.

          • craniest says:

            @Mr. Hand:

            http://lmgtfy.com/

            knock yourself out

    • I like confident men who like confident women and don't need women to submit to them in order to feel better. In fact, I question how confident a man really is who needs women to submit to him to feel better about himself.

  21. That's literature…and in pre-Victorian England where the upper class commingled in all sorts of ways for social reasons. See also "Downton Abbey," the rich American marrying the Duke. In our times this sort of behavior is exhibited by someone like Teresa Heines marrying John Kerry. However, this doesn't apply to the masses at large. Women, by and large, want a man who has high social standing relative to the other men in his social environment. They most certainly do not prefer social status equality over the male being superior in that regard…

    • DO we? Yeah, money is not what I look for in a dateable person, beyond basic fiscal responsibility. But perhaps to you that shuts me out of women "by and large". Perhaps I am now woman "non-adjacent and small"?

    • Please, tell me more about what women want. I'm just dying to know!

    • Honestly if only hot rich dudes got laid and or married then I doubt earth would have a population in the billions. There are many, many people who marry people who aren't hot or rich and amazingly enough plenty of them are happy with their choice.

      • Not to defend Mr. Hand, but 'socioeconomic status' does not mean 'money'. He no where said money, and you are making a ridiculous straw man of what he said. In fact, his very example shows how silly you're being–Teresa Hines was the multi-multi-millionaire who married family-money-but-mostly-statesman John Kerry, whose wealth was order of magnitudes below Hines', but he was still higher on the socio-economic ladder than Hines, in Mr. Hands' system anyway. Hand's said some ridic stuff already; straw manning just cheapens your own position.

  22. Pirlofreekick says:

    I'm confused.
    btw the way the author clarified some point here http://pastebin.com/zwHYzCZe
    Clearly some of the stuff here is a misconception.
    Some questions-
    "They’re taught to make a pretext to either come home with him – to watch a movie, say – or to get into her place… but you really take her back to your apartment"
    From what I've read in the Pua stuff they seem to advocate getting them back to your place to watch a movie , see something .. and use this as a pretense to talk/banter during the movie and eventually escalate to making out/having sex.
    Are you suggesting just saying "Would you like to come back to my place to have sex?" I'm not sure how successful this would be.
    "It plays on the social message to women that men won’t like them unless they put out and to play on the socialization against hurting men’s feelings. "-Freezing out , would be like , say you were making out and encountered some resistance. The PUA stops when he senses this resistance and does something non-sexual, maybe check his phone or email, play some cards,watch tv , and waits for the woman to reinitiate contact. If you look at the Pua stuff on freezing out they explicitly say NOT TO ACT LIKE YOU ARE HURT OR AFFECTED by her rejection. They say to not pressure her.The goal of freezing out is not to make a woman feel bad that she hurt/rejected you. It is to show that you aren't desperate and to help build tension. You mentioned on this website that there's a push-pull dynamic to flirting. This is just a physical version of that.
    And finally
    " A woman who’s acting rude or dismissive isn’t trying to make you prove yourself…. she’s indicating that she wants to be left alone."
    Of course there would be some women like this but ..
    If what you're saying is true , then why does it work? Why are there all these field reports of PUAs-in-training approaching women , and despite initially getting a frigid response , eventually impressing her and winning her over with their banter and confidence and routines? Are all these guys lying?
    If these women did really want to be left alone and not meet the PUAs , why are they successful at seducing them and winning them over?

    • If there's misconceptions, it would often stem from the completely inane formulation on the PUA's part. I get that powerful language is essential to any self-help method, especially if you're trying to reel in a paying audience, but some methods(particularly the Fast schools) seem to be as bad as the rep they get UNTIL they start getting flak for it, which is then followed by a half-arsed 'clarification' akin to a politician backpedalling.

      Freezeout can mean anything from deliberately not contacting someone until she does it because she refused X, to the watered-down version you mention. Likewise, we don't have any context for the field report's rude/dismissive/frigid lady. Frigid could constitute anything from not immediatelly fawning over the PUA to actively insulting the dude. Are there by the way any field reports posted ever that really end in failure? I suppose most people only post their success stories.

      • Pirlofreekick says:

        A lot of them are failures.
        Some will describe rejected by several women before being successful or just being rejected all night. Many PUAs post just to ask what they did wrong.
        Again I'm sure there are some women who are just in a bad mood or don't want to talk to anyone. But from the field reports , if you use a lot of the pua confidence/charisma/high vale stuff , it impresses women , even the ones who were initially cold and though you were just a schlub at first.
        Again the Freeze out descriptions I've all said to give a "I don't care , I'm not desperate, I'm confident" vibe. Its supposed build tension and get the woman to miss your touch so that she will re-initiate contact. She's not going to re-initiate contact because she feels that YOU WANT IT like the doctor implies. She initiates contact because she wants it.

    • x_Sanguine_8 says:

      Personally, I'd guess cherry picking – they only report positive hits, and don't report the dozens to hundreds of women they don't get positive responses from. Eventually a few women respond for whatever reason, and this gets misinterpreted as a success for the technique, rather than looking at the overall efficacy throughout the whole set.

      • Dr_NerdLove says:

        No, they report failures all the time. Part of the point of field reports is to isolate problems.'Course this is usually seen as “practice this technique more” or “next time use this routine” rather than identifying personal issues.

        • Pirlofreekick says:

          Could you respond to my comment? If I had to isolate my points they would be-
          1)Do people generally respond to explicitly saying " Lets go back to my place to have sex"? Lying about where you're going seems scummy , but i don't see what's wrong with inviting them come to see your guitar/a movie and escalating from there.
          2)PUAs emphasize not acting needy or hurt when freezing out. The woman doesn't re-initiate contact because she feels like she hurt your feelings. She reinitiates contact because she wants you.
          3)Why are PUAs successful with winning over women if what you say here is true?

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Well since I'm bored and killing time during a layover:1) Actually yes, people dorespond to “let's go back to my place”. When you're taking someone to your place under circumstances that aren't mutually understood to be about sex, you run the risk of taking someone to a place that they feel they can't easily leave – especially if you drove them there.2) PUAs also emphasize pulling back from the person during a Freeze Out and withdrawing all intimacy. This is, in theory, to make them miss it and want to re-engage. In practice this is drawing on social pressure to make them give in. When you pull back – especially when you kill the mood entirely – it's going to read as “angry”, “frustrated” and “disappointed” and that can weigh heavily on women; women are still socialized to be deferential and to avoid causing offense or hurt feelings. When you couple the worry that you've angered someone and you're dependent on them to get back to your car/apartment, that's a very bad situation.3) PUAs aren't succeeding above and beyond the average to start with. For a lot of people, the success seems bigger because it's compared to the previous state of having problems with women. When you can barely stammer “hello”, getting a phone number or a date seems massiveIn addition: correlation does not equal causation. People have sex for many, many reasons, and not always the ones that seem obvious. You may think that so and so slept with you because you're a master PUA and you won her over with your routines and strategic knowledge of kino. SHE, on the other hand, slept with you because she was bored. Or felt fat and wanted to feel pretty. Or she was kinda drunk and thought it was a good idea at the time. Or thought you were cute even if you were trying a little too hard with the cheesy stuff. Or she just wanted to bang someone and you were the best available option. Or you pushed and pushed and pushed and she went along to get along.But when you identify as a PUA you tend to see everything through fuzzy-top-hat-and-goggled lenses.People were getting laid for 20000 years before pick-up was invented, strangely enough, and people are getting laid today without it.

          • Pirlofreekick says:

            In no.3
            I was talking specifically about the bitch shield/shit test stuff. I've read some field reports where initially the woman wasn't very receptive and said stuff like "I have a boyfriend" , but the PUA used his routine and she was impressed by his confidence/wit/high status or some combination thereof and was willing to give him her number or go home with him.
            I remember one FR where a woman told a pua during a conversation that she would not be having sex with him that night. She did end sleeping with him that night. He asked her later why she said so and she said that she really did like him and wanted to sleep with him , she was just testing to see his reaction and if he was just trying to get her in bed. By her own admission she was using a textbook "shit test", a small lie to see what his reaction would be. I'm sure there are some women who won't be convinced no matter how many routines you use , but the fact that they do succeed in winning over women , I think invalidates some of the stuff you say here.

            And I'm also wondering about the 'no'. Maybe sometimes there's a no that means "I'm not comfortable doing this right now/ you're moving too fast" and the appropriate thing to do would be to stop and do something else and perhaps try again later. Or there might be a strict 'no' which means that she doesn't want to do it all , which means to stop completely.

          • trixnix says:

            Quite often, what's said in PUA field reports is either an exaggeration of what happened or else is down right fiction. You can find out a lot of stuff if you listen when PUA's fall out with one another and extra details of nights out are revealed. A large number of PUAs are engaged in trying to get something covertly that they could just be honest about. Given that, why should their reports of their activities be honest and truly reported?

          • Here's a great way to find out whether it's okay to try again later: "Okay, let's stop! Can we check in about this in a little while?"

            Also: just because one woman somewhere used this so-called "shit test" does not make it an ethical way to treat women more generally. Jeez.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2013/06/trouble-pic

            Pirlofreekick –
            "1)Do people generally respond to explicitly saying "Lets go back to my place to have sex"? Lying about where you're going seems scummy, but i don't see what's wrong with inviting them come to see your guitar/a movie and escalating from there."

            Dr_Nerdlove –
            "1) Actually yes, people do respond to "let's go back to my place". When you're taking someone to your place under circumstances that aren't mutually understood to be about sex, you run the risk of taking someone to a place that they feel they can't easily leave – especially if you drove them there."

            I read this blog because it reminds me of the b.s. that's only not helped me, but actively worked to keep me from dating – and most of the friends I had in high school and college as well. Whenever someone is white knighting and pandering to women – which is what this blog usually does – this is the list of priorities –

            #1 – Reassuring women that anything that any women find annoying, uncomfortable, or dangerous is always dangerous and it's the man's fault. Note that this is a pretty broad spectrum – clearly annoying is very different than actually dangerous. But that doesn't matter when you're pandering – everything is supposed to be "dangerous".

            (I was going to write on priorities #2 and #3, but I realized that would be distracting without adding anything to this particular post).

            Someone who is pandering and playing for drama – someone who's advice is hurting any guy *far* more than they're helping them – will avoid saying that it's a good idea, and instead will imply that it's bad, dangerous, you're a horrible person for doing it, etc etc etc, like we see in the response above.

            I realize this is saying something that's rather over the top, so to see someone being more honest about dating, go ahead and read Clarisse Thorn's blog entry that was linked to in the article above. Here's the link – http://clarissethorn.com/2012/07/29/rapey-pickup-

            In comment #12, Clarisse says –

            "I wouldn’t call “Do you want to come in for coffee?” a lie, especially not if coffee is actually served. That’s an invitation to continue the date. But a statement like, “We’re going to a bar, let me just dash into my house and grab money” is something totally different — it’s an actual lie that’s designed to make a girl actually believe that he won’t try to have sex with her."

          • Paul Rivers says:

            Here's the kind of thing that "Game" might say –

            xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

            One of the most important parts of sex/dating is that when the girl is interested in you, you need to move to a location that allows that to go somewhere. Just like you wouldn't be making out with a girl in front of her parents, a girl isn't going to want to have sex with you in public (nearly always). If you make a big deal out of going back to your place, she's going to get nervous about it and it won't seem "natural", and you'll hit her anti-slut defense.

            Once you're back at your place, look for indicators of interest from her. Try some Kino (physical touching) and see if she responds positively or negatively. If the signs are positive, make a move. If she's apprehensive or defensive, or just not giving off any positive signals at all, have a reason to leave the room for a minute – offer to get a her drink (it's a good idea to have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, some girls will want alcohol others will avoid it). Or use the bathroom. Give her a minute to look around and relax without you in the room (not to long, but enough for her to start to feel comfortable).

            When you get back, it's best to have something to do or talk about. Escalate verbally (flirting) or with kino (touching). Look for whether she responds positively or negatively. If you make a move and she turns you down, then back off. But keep in mind that it's better to make a move and get turned down, then handle it calmly (back off, don't act like it's a big deal) than it is to not make a move and leave her wondering if you're even interested in her. (Though if she's super apprehensive, then it's better for next time that she's been to your place and is comfortable with it.)

            xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

            This is *actually* trying to describe the situation and help guys be better at dating. You can certainly find "Game" advice that is more aggressive than this, but either way, anyone offering real relationship advice would start with that this is necessary, then if they cared about ethics talk about good and bad ways for this to go. Advice that's hurtful for guys pointedly avoids saying that they should do things that are a normal part of dating/sex, then implies and suggests that if they do those thing it's bad, they're bad people, etc etc.

          • Or, you know, you could try reading the comment *in context*, in that if you're already in the mindset DNL describes–assuming that a woman will put up resistance even when she wants to have sex, so you should just push through it–putting her in a position where she'll feel she can't resist too much because you can control when she leaves makes it even more easy for sex to happen that the woman doesn't actually want.

            I'm not really sure how ignoring the context of the article and pretending DNL is saying any guy, even one who is all for enthusiastic consent and believes "no" actually means "no" not "keep trying", is wrong to invite a woman back to his place, is any better than the type of generalizing you're condemning in the very same comment. Not to mention that you're also ignoring the many articles where DNL does talk about things guys can do, not just what to avoid. He even has an article on–gasp!–what to do when you invite a woman back to your place!

            But hey, why let facts get in the way of your apparent need to constantly rant about how supposedly destructive DNL's advice is (I guess all the commenters who've talked about how they've had more success with women after following it are just making that up)?

          • Paul Rivers says:

            The context was "Lying about where you're going seems scummy , but i don't see what's wrong with inviting them come to see your guitar/a movie and escalating from there."

            There was nothing in there about "just push through it". In fact, his consistent theme in his previous comment was that the "techniques" are specifically not about pressuring her. There is no context about that in his question – the article way above the comment is not the context that it's in unless the comment refers to the article in it's question.

            In the 2nd paragraph, it's very simple. Someone who's priority is helping guys with dating's first priority would be to encourage behavior that's successful, along with pointing out where it crosses some sort of skeezy or moral boundary. That's why Clarisse Thorn says ""I wouldn’t call “Do you want to come in for coffee?” a lie, especially not if coffee is actually served. That’s an invitation to continue the date."

            But for someone who's #1 priority is promoting "dangerous and fear", describing it as scary is a job done. Saying something like "Yes, sometimes people do actually respond to 'let's go back to my place and have sex', but if you weren't sleeping together before it's pretty common to just make an invitation to do something else at your place. As you long as you don't feel that the woman 'has' to sleep with you, and she has a way to leave if she wants to, there's nothing wrong with that and it's pretty common" – is the kind of thing someone says who's describing how people date. But for someone who's primary goal is to promote danger and fear – as you put it, why let facts get in the way? Tell people things that make it sound scary, avoid actually confirming useful advice (the implied monster you don't see is scary as well), and the fact that it's actively harming the people you're trying to help? Ah, who cares. Saying there's other articles on the site is like saying that elsewhere the guy above's seduction manual he totally said not to rape anyone, so it should be clear later on in another section. If your goal was to give advice that could be rapey, it's pretty important to point out the difference between what you mean and what could be taken the wrong way. If your goal is to give advice about how to be better at dating, it's pretty important to give advice on being better at dating, rather than pointedly avoiding giving it and just being scary instead.

            "I guess all the commenters who've talked about how they've had more success with women after following it are just making that up"

            Really – where are these comments? I mean specific comments about something that helped, not grandstanding about "oh, that's so amazing!" and "that's so helpful!" that's a lot like "well, this hasn't actually gotten me anywhere, but I'm sure it will one day for surish!". I'm really curious because I haven't seen any. Even then, horrible hardcore game helps *some* people. I can say there are many, many guys who I have known personally who have only started having success when they ignored all the fear mongering advice, so yes, I know that this style of advice has definitely hurt some people.

          • Um, Paul, between this and your comment below where you misread a woman as saying the exact opposite of what she did (i.e., thinking she's saying PUAs are right and women say they don't want sex because they want the guy to push through their resistence, when she was clearly saying she wanted to make sure the guy would accept her refusal at face value), I can't tell whether you're just having a really bad reading comprehension day or you're purposely ignoring parts of comments so you can pretend people don't have a point.

            The question above *did* refer to the article in the comment. It quoted *direcly from* the article when the commenter first asked, if you bothered to look at the beginning of the comment thread, which he pointed to when he asked DNL "could you please respond to my comment?" and restated the question. Just because he didn't copy and paste his entire original comment doesn't magically erase the context of the question.

            Basically, he was asking why DNL saw asking a woman to come back to do something specific other than sex could be problematic, and DNL reiterated what he'd already explained in the article, in simplified terms: that it makes a scenario where the woman is more likely to feel pressured into sex if you then escalate things. I guess in your mind he should have copied and pasted the entire article rather than assuming people could remember what this comment section is all referring to?

            You seem to think that every time DNL discusses problematic behavior, he needs to explicitly state that he doesn't mean all the behavior he's obviously not talking about–that, for example, in the article above, he needs to go on at length about how when he's talking about the problems with certain PUA techniques, if you do something similar without the elements he specifically identifies as being problematic, it's not problematic. You seem to feel he's mistreating guys by not treating them as though they're stupid and shouldn't be able to understand that "Assuming someone's back off signals are just a shield and she really wants to have sex can easily lead to rape" is not the same as saying "Getting physical with a woman in any situation ever can easily lead to rape." As far as I can tell, DNL is treating his readers like they're fully functioning human beings who are capable of understanding the written word, and you're the one insisting that guys are morons who can't follow any train of thought unless every possible permutation is spelled out in detail. :P

            There is tons of advice on this blog about getting better at dating–why are you pretending it doesn't exist, or that the occasional "what not to do" posts somehow negate all the rest of it? Heck, DNL even links to several articles about what to do, including one discussing how to use PUA techniques in better ways, right in this article! But I guess you also think his readers are such morons they don't know how to click on links, or how to remember any post other than the one immediately in from of them? Maybe you think every single one of DNL's articles should contain everything he's ever written beforehand just to remind readers of everything else he's said as clearly as possible?

            Considering that *you* can't seem to follow a comment thread or notice links or remember any article other than the ones you want to rant about, I guess it's not surprising that you also have no memory of the many commenters who've posted on various entries approving of the advice because they didn't start having success until they'd figured that stuff out, or thanking DNL for his continuing advice because they've been having more success since starting to read the blog. There've been several in the forums too. On the other hand, I've not yet seen *anyone* show up saying they took his advice and started having less success/women getting upset at them/any other increased negative outcome. The only people who complain about his advice are those who've already decided it doesn't work without even trying.

            But our priorities are obviously very different. You've repeatedly made it clear that a guy having sex is more important than the woman he's with wanting to have that sex; that a guy not having sex he could have had is worse than a guy having sex the woman felt pressured into. I have known many many women personally, including myself, who've been negatively affected by guys thinking they shouldn't pay attention to a woman's resistence, many very profoundly, so I'm sorry, I think a few guys being too scared to have sex is a lesser problem than a few women being assaulted or raped because those guys weren't "scared" enough.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            "Um, Paul, between this and your comment below where you misread a woman as saying the exact opposite of what she did (i.e., thinking she's saying PUAs are right and women say they don't want sex because they want the guy to push through their resistence, when she was clearly saying she wanted to make sure the guy would accept her refusal at face value), I can't tell whether you're just having a really bad reading comprehension day or you're purposely ignoring parts of comments so you can pretend people don't have a point."

            Mel, a while back I wrote something, and you vehemently claimed I was saying something I wasn't – a point that another different poster made, he pointed out what I was actually saying, then he would say something else. In another comment you made wildly inaccurate claims that I had said something about regretting sleeping with a girl who didn't want to sleep with me or something – when the actual story was expressing regret that I had turned down a girl who rolled over to me and said "let's have sex", but did it in a tone that I didn't like – which matches your own defintion of what enthusiastic consent is (any clear sign of enthusiasm, like when a girl verbally says let's have sex then takes her own clothes off).

            Now you're just starting off, accussing me of doing the thing that you're about to do – purposefully ignoring parts of the comment so you can pretend people don't have a point. She said she wasn't "shit testing", but I haven't been arguing about shit testing. I've been saying that taking any hint of "no" as "definitely no" is a terrible idea (it certainly doesn't mean yes either), and that even a direct "No" might mean "No, never" but it can also often mean "No, not right now". I'm not sure if I've argued about shit testing ever, but I haven't recently. If you want to discuss that though, I see not point in doing so up here in a totally different comment.

            "The question above *did* refer to the article in the comment. It quoted *direcly from* the article when the commenter first asked, if you bothered to look at the beginning of the comment thread, which he pointed to when he asked DNL "could you please respond to my comment?" and restated the question. Just because he didn't copy and paste his entire original comment doesn't magically erase the context of the question."

            And again, you're doing what you accused me of, trying to emphasis that he quoted from article while completely ignoring what he actually wrote. He didn't say anything substantially different in his original comment than he did in his followup comment.

            "Basically, he was asking why DNL saw asking a woman to come back to do something specific other than sex could be problematic, and DNL reiterated what he'd already explained in the article, in simplified terms: that it makes a scenario where the woman is more likely to feel pressured into sex if you then escalate things. I guess in your mind he should have copied and pasted the entire article rather than assuming people could remember what this comment section is all referring to?"

            It was a simple question. Clarisse Thorn could answer it, because spreading a general sense of fear and danger about dating is not her topmost priorities. It is a simple and straightforward question.

            (continued)

          • Paul Rivers says:

            Your response is basically like:
            PersonA: Hey, I'm out at the site, we turned off the power, and we're ready to hook up the electrical line. I wanted to confirm – I don't think it's the blue one, I think we want to hook up the red one, right?
            PersonB: Omg! If you haven't turned off the power, you could get electrocuted!
            PersonA: Uh…yeah, like I said we already turned off the power. It's the red one, right?
            PersonB: Well, sometimes you *think* you turned off the power, but it's still on.

            If your highest priorities are always discussing how dangerous everything is, this conversation completely makes sense. But if your priority is actually getting the power hooked up, then this conversation is idiotic.

            "Heck, DNL even links to several articles about what to do, including one discussing how to use PUA techniques in better ways, right in this article! But I guess you also think his readers are such morons they don't know how to click on links, or how to remember any post other than the one immediately in from of them?"

            And this attitude magically goes away when there's any way to maybe possibily misinteret some advice in any way that might be uncomfortable for the woman, doesn't it? If someone gives advice like "You're making out on the couch, things are getting hot and heavy, throw her over your should and carry her up to your bedroom" – I'm sure there'd be all kinds of complaining. Oh no, that could be rapey! How do you know she wants to do it? Are you absolutely sure? "women are socialized to…" etc etc etc. You would *never* accept an answer of "somewhere else on the site there's an article about enthusiastic consent, and I linked to it at the beginning, so it's fine, we don't need to talk about whether she's into it or not".

            (continued)

          • Paul Rivers says:

            "The only people who complain about his advice are those who've already decided it doesn't work without even trying."

            That's amazing. I didn't know LeeEsq and Hobbessian suddenly had girlfriends.

            "But our priorities are obviously very different."

            Clearly, that's exactly my point. Giving guys helpful advice is not even in the top 2 priorities.

            "You've repeatedly made it clear that a guy having sex is more important than the woman he's with wanting to have that sex;"

            And yet again, you do exactly what you start off trying to accuse me of, as I've clearly never said that.

            "that a guy not having sex he could have had is worse than a guy having sex the woman felt pressured into"

            I haven't said that either.

            "I have known many many women personally, including myself, who've been negatively affected by guys thinking they shouldn't pay attention to a woman's resistence, many very profoundly, so I'm sorry, I think a few guys being too scared to have sex is a lesser problem than a few women being assaulted or raped because those guys weren't "scared" enough."

            Yes, exactly, that's the #1 priority – except that "negatively affected" means…anything that was even inconvenient. Or "awkward". It's like getting advice on driving when the person giving you the advice is telling you stories about how it's to scary to even move the car out of park, because one time someone did and drove into the end of their garage.

            Clarisse Thorn doesn't seem to see sex as automatically dangerous and scary and bad. So she doesn't respond to a question like "Ok, so I put the garage door up and I'm sure I'm putting the car in reverse, not drive, I shift the shifter now right?" with an answer like "One time, someone totally thought that was the case, but drove into the end of their garage anyways". When your priority is helping people drive successfully, they start with helpful advice, then add cautionary advice about what could go wrong as well. But when one's interest is far more in scaring people than it is in actually helping them learn to drive, they start with a lot of scary stories and those are the priority instead.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            You know when it takes you three consecutive posts to make your point that a lot of us tune out, right? Yeah, technically I guess that's a tone argument and I'm a horrible person. Its still true.

          • Outside of the hyperbole in the last sentence, Paul's dead on. THIS is sex/dating/relationship advice. The Doc's advice is good stuff, but the, frankly, feminist pandering, and avoiding the step-by-step hurts the whole endeavor. There are guys (I used to be one of them) for which the interaction above wouldn't only be novel, but weird. Merely mentally walking through the steps of the interaction (in a road mappy sort of way, not a checklist) can do wonders for making the leader of the interaction feel more comfortable (and the only thing more contagious than Ebola is a man who isn't comfortable).

          • That's re: "This is what "game" would say." On the slap fest, Mel, calm down. The straw manning and tone really hurt your argument, and I think you're just wrong here. Yeah, "game"s advice could be interpreted to be problematic if you add assumptions (which actually are explicitly rebuffed in the advice). But that's not saying anything–if I saw any concrete advice offered by you I could easily twist it into being 'rapey'.

          • The problem is that as a woman, you don't know in advance when a situation is going to be dangerous. You certainly can't take the word of the person who's likely to make the situation dangerous for you that it's safe. Worse, PUA advice – or, to be more charitable, PUA advice as it circulates in certain communities – makes some kinds of situations more likely to be dangerous.

            I get that it's irritating for you to be reminded that women's feelings, desires, and preferences matter as much as yours do. But guess what? To any ethical human being, they should.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            "The problem is that as a woman, you don't know in advance when a situation is going to be dangerous. You certainly can't take the word of the person who's likely to make the situation dangerous for you that it's safe."

            That is as true as it is completely irrelevant to the point I was making. That "dating advice" that tries to make you feel like you're a jerk for inviting her back to your place at some point is not only not helpful, but the exact opposite of useful advice.

            "Worse, PUA advice – or, to be more charitable, PUA advice as it circulates in certain communities – makes some kinds of situations more likely to be dangerous."

            Which is again completely irrelevant to my point.

            But since you brought it up, this is exactly why well meaning guys end up going to PUA sources for advice. It's because that's the *only* source of useful dating advice if you don't already know what you're doing or have friends who do.

            I have a friend who really liked a girl. He hung out with her, etc. But he also followed all of this "politically correct" advice. It would be innapropriate, after all, for him to invite her over to his place. If they were alone together, she was "scared" something was going to happen. Etc etc.

            Well eventually, she dated someone else. Got married. That's when he realized that clearly – something was horribly, horribly wrong. And he started reading "game".

            Well after a couple of years, he went from being someone who women described as "asexual" to someone that almost every time I'd mention him to girls we both knew she was talk about how sexy or amazing he was. Frankly, it was a little irritating for me, lol. It wasn't at all just "game" – it was other stuff he was doing to, and he knew how to internalize some game and just ignore other stuff.

            He said in retrospect, the girl he was interested in had clearly been interested in him. There were a ton of signs, but the last one was where she risked social ostracization to get him to go out to his car under some pretext, including telling other people *not* to come with them. But he – believing the hype that women would say something, and that him making a move would be unwelcome or "scary" and stuff like that, didn't make a move on her. He had no idea at the time that the whole idea of getting him out to the car – alone – was to give him an opportunity to make a move on her.

            Had anyone given him some *actual* dating advice, he never would have gotten into game. He might have gotten married to that girl – nobody really knows, but he says that to the "understands game" version of him she was repeatedly indicating that she was interested in him, and trying to create situations for him to make a move. It definitely would have gone *somewhere*.

            If you think the point of this story is "well at least a woman wasn't bothered", then not only are you being a little selfish (in terms of saying that you don't care that normal respectful guys are alone forever), but you've missed the point. The point is that a mentality of "always express fear and danger over giving useful advice" doesn't keep guys from doing stuff, it just drives them to look for advice from game, somewhere a lot of guys only read out of desperation.

            A question that says that lying about why you're going back to your place is to sketchy to do, but asking if it's ok to suggest you go back to your place for a real thing, hoping things go somewhere after that – that gets a response of "scary scary pointedly imply you're a jerk for doing so" – is just one of many examples of absolutely terrible advice. And this kind of constant stream of advice just drives more and more guys to read game, including the horrible side of game (there's a strong good side to, but there's no doubt there's plenty of borderline-horrible stuff in there as well).

            "I get that it's irritating for you to be reminded that women's feelings, desires, and preferences matter as much as yours do. But guess what? To any ethical human being, they should."

            And this kind of talk seems to have a problem with the idea that men would have feelings, desires, and for the most part are just good guys trying to figure out what they should be doing. Suggesting you do something at your place is something a guy should be doing. The women – if you assume she's an adult capable of making adult decisions – is fully capable of saying "yes" or "no".

          • AHAHAHAAHAHA oh yes people in our culture need to be reminded that men have feelings and desires because it would be so easy to forget

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Again, to be fair to Paul, the kind of people reading DNL and PUA stuff are the kind of guys who are used to not standing up for their own boundaries and getting walked on. So yes, some of them do need a reminder that treating a woman as an equal means equal. Some of them do need to be reminded that there's a nonverbal "yes" as well as a nonverbal "no".

            On the other hand, that's been covered elsewhere, in the last two weeks of articles if memory serves. The problem is that you can take either side and say "but if I'm not putting her on a pedestal, then I'm being an asshole" on one side and "if I'm too concerned about her, I'm going to get walked all over" on the other. It represents a willful disregard for the fact that most successful advice (for my definition of successful) is along more of a middle path.

          • Huh. My impression of the DNL folks is that there's a significant population of folks who, as you describe, have a history of getting walked on. I have great compassion for them and wish them the best of luck. That's not my impression of the PUA community, but I'm willing to believe that I might be wrong – at least about some of them.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Guys who don't have trouble in their relationships with women don't need to join the PUA community. They draw on the same demographic as the Doc does for readers. Its an overcompensation type thing, y'see.

          • What I mean is that the DNL community seems to include many decent men who struggle with boundaries and self-worth in relationships. My personal experience with PUA folks is that many of them have a different set of issues that make relationships difficult – narcissism, selfishness, lack of insight, lack of empathy. But obviously I only am familiar with part of the PUA community. I don't assume I'm right!

            Does that make any sense?

          • ThatDebra says:

            "3)Why are PUAs successful with winning over women if what you say here is true?"

            I have no doubt some PUAs are succesful with getting what they want. So are thieves, robbers, pickpocketers, etc. But at some point they will feel the consequences of their behavior.

          • Pirlofreekick says:

            If you read m full comment , I was speaking over the part about the "bitch shields"/shit tests. If said women is being rude because they don't want to talk to them , then why are they able to win over/seduce these women.

            Of course if the PUA in the link was actually forcing himself on women unwilling to have sex with him , or guilt tripping women to having sex with him with a "what a cocktease" routine like the doctor is saying here, such actions are reprehensible (and in the former case illegal). I somehow doubt that is what is happening or he is advocating.

          • Bitch shields are not a thing.

            That is all.

          • Pirlofreekick says:

            But this is what people experience when they meet women.

          • So you have personally experienced these "bitch shields" on numerous occasions when you meet women?

          • Pirlofreekick says:

            Confession- I'm not a PUA.I don't approach women I just started reading some stuff on the internet recently and their ideas seemed to make sense.
            but look here http://www.reddit.com/r/seduction/comments/fhawp/
            it is a field report where a PUA uses his training and knowledge to neutralise a girls bitch shield
            Look here http://www.reddit.com/r/seduction/comments/18h65c
            A girl talks about meeting a PUA. She says she usually has her bitch shield up when random people approach her, but the PUA negged her and broke her bitch shield and won her over with his routine.

          • Just a heads up: Reddit is an awful place full of awful people, and not a good place to get dating advice. It's basically 4chan except not as occasionally funny.

          • r/seduction is an awful place, AMAs are pretty rad. Still wouldn't get dating advice from there.

          • Okay, so you've never actually experienced this phenomena. Nor has any person you know IRL. In fact, your only proof for the existence of "bitch shields" are some dudes on Reddit.
            I repeat: bitch shields are not a thing.

          • Pirlofreekick says:

            Bitch shields are widely acknowledged.
            Look here's a woman talking about why women use bitch shields http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embed
            Ask your female friends about this (especially those who go to the club or bar scene). They probably won't use the exact words "bitch shield" , but ask them if there are reasons they won't be receptive to a guy , even if the guy is being friendly.

          • ….sigh. You caught us. We aren't always receptive to every person at every time.

            Why oh why do you think that it's acceptable to try to get around these "bitch shields"?

          • Are you expanding the definition of "bitch shield" to include any time a woman is cool or unwelcoming to a man's initial approach? Might want to clear that redefinition with your PUA overloads.

          • trixnix says:

            "it is a field report where a PUA uses his training and knowledge to neutralise a girls bitch shield "

            It could be. It could also be a bunch of half truths or outright lies. One of my biggest complaints with PUA is it encourages guys to use language that sound stupid and means absolutely nothing.

            "used his training to neutralise a girl's bitch shield"?

            Basically, a girl didn't want to talk to him for whatever reason. This was interpreted as her having a "bitch shield" because women can't have bad days, problems at home, worries, upsetting things happen to them, dead relatives, dead pets, important job interviews coming up soon that they're not sure about…no…if she doesn't want to talk then everything is about the PUA and she doesn't want to talk to him because of her bitch shield. Cult of the self in motion.

            For whatever reason (if we believe any of this happened) she changed her mind and they did talk. Could have been as a result of what the PUA did. Could have been because of her and what she did. Could have just happened.

          • "Basically, a girl didn't want to talk to him for whatever reason. This was interpreted as her having a "bitch shield" because women can't have bad days, problems at home, worries, upsetting things happen to them, dead relatives, dead pets, important job interviews coming up soon that they're not sure about…no…if she doesn't want to talk then everything is about the PUA and she doesn't want to talk to him because of her bitch shield. "

            This. A million times this. Get over yourselves, PUAssholes.

          • Pirlofreekick says:

            I doubt these guys are just lying. They're just giving honest field reports of what happened and asking for advice on how to improve with women. There' no reason to lie
            the facts
            1)At first the girl didn't want to talk to him and wasn't being receptive (for whatever reason , might have been one of the reasons you mentioned)
            2)The pua uses his routine
            3)After the Pua uses his routine , she becomes more receptive and banters with him (and for whatever reason , changes her mind) and gives him her number and catches a cab with him.

            Are you just not ever willing to concede that some of this PUA stuff *might* just work.

          • Pirlofreekick says:

            I mean , even if we accept everything you said, it looks like it worked for him

          • "I mean , even if we accept everything you said, it looks like it worked for him "

            If any of it actually happened. It might be an honest account of what happened. It might be total nonsense.

          • "I doubt these guys are just lying. They're just giving honest field reports of what happened and asking for advice on how to improve with women. There' no reason to lie "

            How do you know they're giving honest field reports? Field reports tend to be requests for validation from fellow PUAs as much as they are requests for advice. There's a fairly big reason to lie: to big yourself up as a PUA and make out that you're having more success than you actually are so as you'll gain more respect within the PUA community.

            "1)At first the girl didn't want to talk to him and wasn't being receptive (for whatever reason , might have been one of the reasons you mentioned) "

            This is assuming the field report isn't total nonsense to begin with.

            "3)After the Pua uses his routine , she becomes more receptive and banters with him (and for whatever reason , changes her mind) and gives him her number and catches a cab with him.
            Are you just not ever willing to concede that some of this PUA stuff *might* just work. "

            My position is as it is because I've seen PUAs lie through their teeth on field reports. Some PUA stuff may well work. I never got much of it to work and it tends to encourage over analysis in guys who are already anxious about meeting women in the first place. Some guys may well have success with PUA. I've just seen quite a few be less than honest in their field reports. Doesn't mean everything a PUA writes is dishonest or lies. It's just good to take their field reports with a pinch of salt. PUAs can be less than honest and adept at confirmation bias where they attribute any and all success to their "routines".

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            They don't have to be lying to misunderstand the details of a situation. When someone survives a plane crash because "God saved them" they're not lying.

            And yes, absolutely some PUA stuff might work. Some even works without being toxic. Some of it is also bullshit designed to teach you to treat women as things instead of people. A lot of it is more about getting you to screw up the courage to do something instead of nothing, so its no better or worse than anything else.

            If someone says they're not having sex tonight, you can accept them at their fucking word. She might change her mind, she might not. You can still enjoy a great night with them. . . unless your only goal with this person is to have sex. Is that really what you want? Interchangable holes? Do you really feel like going on a date, having good conversation and making out with someone whose company you really enjoy would be ruined by her not wanting to have sex on the first date?

          • Paul Rivers says:

            "If someone says they're not having sex tonight, you can accept them at their fucking word. She might change her mind, she might not. "

            Lol, yes, this is what "no – means no not right now" means. Clearly if you think that she might change her mind, you're not "accepting them at their fucking word". Either you believe exactly what they're saying, or you don't and you think they might change their mind later. You can't do both at once.

          • Er, there's a difference between thinking "she might change her mind" in the moment and so continuing to push for it, and accepting that sex isn't going to happen but having enough awareness of the human mind works such that if she does end up saying she's up for it later, you believe her. Believing that someone honestly does not want to have sex with you that night doesn't preclude you for also believing her if later she says she's changed her mind, or from noting outside a specific situation in a blog comments thread that sometimes people do change their minds.

          • "Er, there's a difference between thinking "she might change her mind" in the moment and so continuing to push for it, and accepting that sex isn't going to happen but having enough awareness of the human mind works such that if she does end up saying she's up for it later, you believe her."

            So here's a question about that difference.
            Lets assume the minimal scenario: A person at point t1 says "no", and at point t2 says "i changed my mind, let's do x". In between, the other person takes actions a1, a2, … an. I include not doing something as an action, so a1 could be "ask her if she wants to continue making out" or "stop making out". How does that person know whether these actions should be considered continuing to push for it (and therefore reject that she changed her mind), or not (and that you therefore should accept that she legitimately changed her mind)?

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Generally, its called social calibration. Depending on the specific example, though, it might also be called common sense. The main point is to do something where your immediate goal is not sex. How is that complicated?

          • Lots of things are common sense and also wrong. People used to think that it is common sense that a man could not rape his wife. Some people today think it's common sense that a woman wearing certain clothes is asking for it. I hope we all agree that this is horrible and wrong. Therefore, it is not enough to say that something is common sense, but the exact reasons for why something is ok need to be questioned.

            And its complicated because of two reasons:
            1) People are not necessarily aware of their own immediate goals (admittedly a very abstract concern).
            2) Whether the other person is likely to feel pressured has less to do with what the actor's intentions and goals are, but what the other person thinks they are.

            Let's assume someone thought that doing a freeze-out is the only way to make sure that you are not pressuring for sex, as any intimate or even friendly contact could be read as an attempt to push someone into sex. This is probably wrong, but not so unreasonable that someone could not believe it. The effect might still be that the woman, hurt because the sudden withdrawal of intimacy, initiates sexual interaction although she does not want to. Now the guy might think that she legitimately changed her mind, while she felt pressured to give in. That's why it is important to question ones motivations, actions, and interpretation of the other person's perspective.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            A freeze-out in the way the term was originally coined – withdrawing ALL affection and attention is far from non-sex seeking. Freeze-out is not "OK, let's go for ice cream". Its rolling over, getting dressed, turning on your laptop and silently doing office work. It shows the same unilateral attitude as other troubling PUA tactics. It makes your date, the person naked in bed next to you into a prop in your personal script and clearly conveys the message that if you can't get sex, you want nothing to do with her.

          • I don't understand what you are trying to tell me. I know what a freeze-out is. The person in my example does not.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Oh! I see. Then you should probably write an article for that guy since he clearly hasn't read this one. Also, if he accidentally hurts someone's feelings, the usual thing to do is apologize.

          • Maybe I would write that article if I knew the solution.

            I probably should have left out the example, it was not helpful.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            OK, my sniping at it wasn't especially helpful either. So let's back the truck up a bit.

            And its complicated because of two reasons:
            1) People are not necessarily aware of their own immediate goals (admittedly a very abstract concern).

            True but also something that you want to work on for life in general. If you know your goal before you start, you're a lot more likely to do something that helps you achieve it.

            2) Whether the other person is likely to feel pressured has less to do with what the actor's intentions and goals are, but what the other person thinks they are.

            Yes and no. In theory anyone can react to anything any way they want. On the other hand, that doesn't mean you can just act like an asshole and expect people to like you.

            That stuff from Reddit that's been going around from the Kickstarter. . .yeah, that's pressure no matter how you slice it. Switching off your emotional availability like its on a switch, that's pressure. Its the sort of pressure that cult leaders and sleazier things use to find out who they can get a grip on.

            So, again, the punishment for acting like an asshole isn't that you don't get sex. Its that you're an asshole. There is no functional difference between what you do and who you are. Don't be an asshole. That's really what I'm getting at.

          • How many guys really think that the most reasonable response to your date saying she doesn't want to have sex that night, while she's over at your place or you're at hers, is to completely disengage from her and act as though she's not even there? I'm having trouble imagining how any guy who actually cares about the woman he's with would think totally ignoring her is a respectful way (let alone the most respectful way) to accept her "no" to sex. A guy who's being extra careful can decide to back off on all physical contact to make sure there's no mistaking his intent, and still be making friendly conversation and suggesting totally non-sexual activities.

            Whenever guys bring up these absurd scenarios as a way to suggest it's so hard not to do the wrong thing, I feel like you're just looking for an excuse not to have to try to do the right thing.

          • eselle28 says:

            It puzzles me that all these scenarios seem to picture this as some binary choice between doing this weird Freeze Out thing and continuing until she reaches for the pepper spray. I'm remembering actually having this conversation with men, and the responses I've gotten that I can remember have been:

            1. "That's cool," followed by going back to watching the movie or eating dinner or whatever
            2. "Okay," followed by, "Do you want to keep doing [THING WE'RE ALREADY DOING]?" or "Do you want to do [ALTERNATE SEX ACT]?"
            3. "Of course I'm sleeping on the couch! What kind of a boy do you think I am?"
            4. Whining and various excuses

            I don't recommend the fourth option, but the first three have all gone over just fine, and in several cases I ended up having sex with the guy at some later date.

          • You know whether you are continuing to push for sex because, hopefully, you are aware of your own intentions, and can tell if you are doing something with the intention that it might lead to sex after all vs. doing something with the intention of continuing to enjoy the time with her without sex being on the table. Like GJ says, it's not that complicated. Is there any other situation where a person tells you "no"–to watching a movie, to buying something, to going for a walk, whatever–and you don't know how to procede in a way that assumes that particular outcome isn't happening and focuses on other activities?

            If you meant, how can that person know whether the *woman* will feel a particular action is still you pushing for it, even if he's not: I would say, keep the physical stuff light if she's still into making out, and only escalate if she initiates the "next step". Saying "I don't want to have sex" is basically saying, "There is a limit to how physical I want to get right now," and you're not going to push against that limit if you're letting her set the pace. It's also totally okay to ask your partner what she is up for at that moment, if some sort of making out seems to be on the table.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Really?

            I can't believe that someone can change their mind when circumstances change?

            Tell me more about what I'm capable of, please.

          • So here's the thing.

            There have been times when I *have* said "no, not right now" to guys whom I have been perfectly willing to have sex with. There have been times when I've done that to guys whom I have been perfectly willing to have sex with *that* night.

            The reason I've told them that isn't because I wanted them to get past my "anti-slut defense" — it's because I explicitly wanted to see if they were going to press the issue.

            Guess what? If I can't trust you to not pressure me the first time we sleep together, I sure as hell can't trust you in the future.

            In short, following the advice in 'field reports' would have meant you weren't getting laid with me — not that night and not any nights in the future.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            I…appreciate your honesty, but Mel, esell28 – this is what PUA's are saying.

          • eselle28 says:

            Uh, what? I think that what LMM22 is saying that for her, the test is if a guy doesn't push. Pulling the weird Freezeout method doesn't earn points, and neither does pressing the issue. Being normal is the response that makes a guy come across as a safe sex partner. I'd have to agree. A lot of the time when I have sex with a guy for the first time, it's at a point where he's demonstrated to me that he gets the idea of boundaries and consent and has waited for me to actually give him a signal.

            And, yes, I'm sure you have a story about how one of your horrible friends managed to get a woman to have sex with him by pressing the issue hard, and another one managed to use the Freezeout method to intimidate a woman who couldn't get home otherwise into sleeping with him. I don't think anyone's saying these methods never work, just that they don't work on all women, and that they make a lot of us miserable.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            She didn't say anything about the freezeout method. Also, I would have sworn that when I read that the first time her comment said that she has said "no" to guys, not "no, not right now". Since these can be edited, I'm not sure if I misread it or if it was changed.

            But clearly, if she's saying "no, not right now" she doesn't want him to react by jumping to conclusions that she means she doesn't like him. She just wants to know that if she wants him to back off – for now – he'll back off – for now, but it's just as much that he won't read to much into what she's saying. She expects he'll stick around, and make a move on her again at some point.

            At this point it's impossible to have a discussion. Someone pointed out above that a "freeze out" was just backing off and giving her a chance to come to you, and it was mostly ignored because it's more dramatic to assume that it's some sort of horrible manipulative "technique".

            Seriously – if the worst thing a girl ever goes through in her dating life is that she was making out with someone, she didn't want to go further, and so they leave to go do other things, our society has reached a blissful nirvana of societal perfection. Seriously. This has reached a point of absurdiom where anyone would seriously say it's a big problem and "oh, think of the womenz!" to a response of "she didn't want to go further so I stopped and went and did other things". Depending on the context you might be being a bit standoffish and weird, but the absolute worst result is a somewhat uncomfortable social situation – at *worst*. The same level of discomfort that guys have to deal with every time they ask someone out and get turned down.

          • I meet women all the time, and I've never experienced a bitch shield. What's your definition of 'people' here?

          • Pirlofreekick says:

            What people normally means. Guy trying pick up women. Here are some field reports I liked in an earlier comment http://www.reddit.com/r/seduction/comments/fhawp/
            it is a field report where a PUA uses his training and knowledge to neutralise a girls bitch shield
            Look here http://www.reddit.com/r/seduction/comments/18h65c
            A girl talks about meeting a PUA. She says she usually has her bitch shield up when random people approach her, but the PUA negged her and broke her bitch shield and won her over with his routine.

          • So, some PUAs have encountered this. That doesn't mean it's what people in general experience when meeting women.

            The PUA world is not representative of most people, and it seems to rely on seeking out a small number of manipulative assholes – I don't know about you, but I'd rather be with a woman who will act like she's interested in me if she's interested in me than one who, if she's interested in me, will act like an asshole until I perform in some special way to show her I'm a better asshole than she is.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            Lol –
            BiSian: "Bitch shields are not a thing. That is all."
            enail: I meet women all the time, and I've never experienced a bitch shield. What's your definition of 'people' here?
            Pirlofreekick: Here's some links to talking about it
            enail: So, some PUAs have encountered this. That doesn't mean it's what people in general experience when meeting women.

            You know, I *was* going to say that I thought that it's something you run into in clubs, but not as much in the real world.

            But then I thought back. The last girl I've known for like 6 months. I invited her to stop by my place before dancing – she's cute and she flirts with me a lot. I didn't have any "cross line x" goal – I just wanted to hang out outside of dancing. If something went somewhere, great. If not – then not. So she texts me that evening asking me where I live. I send her my address. She responds insisting that I live "to far away" from where she is. It's clearly about something else, as she drove over 45 minutes to get to the cities – and I offer to come over to where she is, as she somehow needs a ride – which is what she called me about to begin with.

            Another time – long story short, a girl I worked at the same company as (different department) and been friendly with had her fiance cheat on her, and she broke up with him. After several months she was finally back to her old self, and I hadn't really hung out with her outside of work other than going to lunch, so I texted her when I was in the city she lived in. I was kind of nervous, I wasn't sure what I should do. She texts me back –

            "Hahahaha…..no."

            Who's first reaction is to write something like that? Later **she** tells me that her kid was at her apartment, and she was afraid she would want to have sex so badly with me that she would end up doing it with her kid (hopefully asleep) in the room next door. (Not that I would have done that myself.)

            Not everyone I've dated has been like this. My first girlfriend in college, I started chatting with outside by my dorm – she was never a jerk in our initial dating. Second girl I kinda dated – no, not really either. Third girl I dated and was sleeping with – when I first met her she was really dismissive, we had a friend in common and when she got out of the car she was like "Hang out when I get to college? Why would we hang out?". (She was going to be going to the same college I was.)

            I didn't really react or try to contact her. But after she got to college, guess who didn't have anyone else to hang out with, started calling me 5 times a day, and I ended up sleeping with many, many times?

            I think the "bitch shield" is the gender-equivalent of boys on the playground who hit girls because they like them. It doesn't happen all the time, but it's common enough that most people of the other gender have some sort of experience with it.

            P.S. Lol, and as usual, "game' offers some sort of response to it, while the response here is the typical "it doesn't exist" followed by "well, ok, it exists, but it's only some sort of tiny minority that you don't really need to worry about anyways". "game" answers aren't always perfect – "back off and try again later" was way more successful than "try to convince them now". But at least it acknowledges that it happens, rather than trying to pretend it doesn't.

          • Pirlofreekick says:

            Yes Thank you for this!!

          • Pirlofreekick says:

            There are many reasons why women would be less than receptive about a guy.
            Especially in clubs or bars where pretty women meet a lot of skeezy guys , its understandable that they might be wary about being socialable.

          • Yes, they meet a lot of skeezy guys, like the kind who think that if a woman shows signs of not wanting to interact with him, he should keep pushing to "get past her bitch shields."

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Agreed but you don't prove to her that you're different from all those other guys by acting like those other guys, just being better at it. Again, karma isn't some mystical force. The punishment for acting like a douchebag broseph is that now you're a douchebag broseph.

          • I'd call it less of a bitch shield and more of an "I don't want to talk to you so go away" shield. I deploy it in an equal opportunity manner to men, women, children old people etc. when I wish to maintain my cone of silence. Mine is particularly nefarious as I just won't respond to comments. I just stare at the person until they leave

          • ThatDebra says:

            Your question didn't specify at all that you were talking about the bitch shield or shit tests. It only asked why PUA were successful with winning over women at times. Even if you were, I highly doubt that the PUA who are capable of getting past a bitch shield do this by being completely honest about themselves and/or their intentions.

    • Pirlofreekick says:

      I'm a bit frustrated with the lack of responses and the downvotes to my comment.

      • craniest says:

        so you got frozen out and ignored and now you're you're frustrated and confused and demanding an answer what you did to deserve that?

        *hint*

        • Pirlofreekick says:

          Well my comment was kind of a shit test and you guys just failed with your negative responses.

          • craniest says:

            well my comment was a straightforward "if you feel bad being shut out on a website message board imagine having it happen when you're at your most vulnerable" and you didn't fare so well either.

      • Whining about downvotes gets you more of them, just saying.

  23. Wow.
    So, I am not a native English speaker and have never before encountered the word "ravish". I was reading the quote in the beginning and decided to check its meaning in the dictionary:
    "Ravish, huh? Sounds innocent enough, kinda nice even, with the '-sh' at the end!"
    Checks the meaning.
    "WHAT THE FUCK AM I READING"
    This is freaking terrifying!

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      It has a couple of meanings. . . or at least to be ravish-ing is an ok thing. To be ravish-ed, not so much.

      • Gentleman Horndog says:

        "To be ravish-ed, not so much."

        When the ravish-ee asks nicely, it can be a very OK thing indeed. :-)

    • Paul Rivers says:

      Here's the 3 definitions of "ravish" from freedictionary.com –
      1. To seize and carry away by force.
      2. To force (another) to have sexual intercourse; rape.
      3. To overwhelm with emotion; enrapture. See Synonyms at enrapture.

      Honestly, as a native English speaker, I'm surprised at the first two. I've really never heard it being used to mean either of those.

      It's #3 that "ravish" usually means – "enrapture" means "To fill with rapture or delight."

      When someone says "I'm ravished!" they usually mean "I'm really hungry and really want some food"…not "the food is going to carry me away, or force me to have sex".

      • eselle28 says:

        …are you sure they're not mixing up famished and ravished?

        • Paul Rivers says:

          Well if they are, I'm not the only one –
          https://twitter.com/StephalliJane23/status/258232
          "Better yet, I'm ravished. Time or foooooddd! =)"
          http://www.soulcysters.net/showthread.php/194952-…!
          "you're so not alone. i hate that people (my mother, my sister) think that i'm overweight because i have no will power. drs think i'm overweight because i eat crappy food. i know what to eat, how to eat, how much to eat…but i just dont' get hungry…i'm ravished…even after i eat. i get to the point i can feel myself getting shakey and having low blood sugar symptoms."

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            They're definitely getting it wrong. They mean famished.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            If it's a mistake there's a lot of people making it. Typed "i'm ravished" into google – "idioms for 'I'm hungry' – WordReference Forums" was the first result. After that there's several sex references, then another page about hunger.

            Seems like the dictionary definition of "ravished" is more akin to the common use of "ravaged"…

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Yeah. Its not the most common use in the world but it is used that way.

          • WordyLibrarian says:

            Late to the party, but perhaps these people are searching for the word, "ravenous"? "I'm ravished" as far as meaning "I'm starving/ravenous/really really hungry," is not a usage I have ever heard or read in my entire life previous to this thread. That makes it rare enough that without a dictionary telling me otherwise (my copy of Webster's does not), I'm willing to say that using the word ravished to mean hungry is simply incorrect, even if it's not an uncommon mistake. My best guess is that anyone using it this way is attempting to remember the word "ravenous" or "famished" and possibly mixing up the two.

            To ravish someone… Usually it carries the connotation of really awesome, thorough, rough sex. At least that seems to be the most common usage. Generally that's how I've seen it used in the context of bodice-ripper romance novels and raunchy flirting as opposed to the strict dictionary definition.

  24. allyson says:

    I'm a woman and am offended by Dr. Nerdlove's implication that women are deferential and are unable to handle social pressure. The entire point of feminism was to make the world understand that women are functional humans who can take their own decisions, handle pressure and take care of their own shit.

    Now you flip out and say when a guy is applying social pressure on her that it's bad. Really? Humans have been using social manipulation and pressure since the beginning of time. For what it's worth, women are far more skilled at using social manipulation that most men. Women in these situations are fully capable of holding their own. If she is sleeps with a guy by giving her consent, you have no business telling the guy or the girl that it's wrong.

    • Pirlofreekick says:

      I think he's just saying its a shitty thing to do. Just like when women try to use social pressure to manipulate men , its a shitty thing.to do.

    • Neil_Jung says:

      It didn't read to me like the Dr. said that women are deferential, at least not as an inborn "natural" state; rather that they're socialized to not cause offense or discord. And it's not that they're unable to handle social pressure — it's that the socialization starts at such a young age that it takes real self-awareness and concerted effort to overcome that conditioning. And yes, feminism can be part of that de-programming process.

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        And, let's be honest, anyone in another person's house, a person who can physically overpower them, being physically pressured by them is going to feel a lot of pressure to go along. If you feel like your options are survival and compliance or resistance and ending up in the freezer, most people won't resist much, including male people.

    • Thereal McCoy says:

      And we haven't made the wage gap go away, either, have we?

      • allyson says:

        Stop whining about the wage gap.

        The wage gap exists not because society is discriminating against women – but because women are not producing equal results.

        Women work long hours less frequently – take maternity breaks and are less willing to fight it out when thing get difficult.

        Of course, there are many women – my mom included – who are as badass as her top performing male colleagues and I assure you – she does not get paid any less.

        • Just a thought experiment here…. you say that the wage gap isn't discriminatory because if women just produced equal results, they'd be paid equal to their male peers (like your mother… who may or may not be an exception, and understanding that anecdotes don't make data.) Many, many studies demonstrate that the wage gap still effects a huge percentage of women. Do you truly, honestly, think that many women suck? That that many women are "lazy" compared to men? If that many women are so lazy compared to men, then why are 30 to 40 percent of women the main breadwinners in their families, as cited above? Women being the primary breadwinners, and women being "lazy" so as to deserve lesser pay, makes no sense.

          It also doesn't make sense to hold maternity leave against women's wages. Only women can biologically have children. If we insisted women either choose between family or career, we are shooting our society in the foot. If we are saying that women just have to accept lesser pay because of their biology, that is by definition discriminating on the basis of sex. It's also a little twisted, since instead of encouraging men to help with parenting by offering more fraternity leave, we are instead punishing women for wanting families but letting it slide for men. (Since women rarely have babies all by themselves.)

          Of course, maybe you could argue that women get paid less because they choose "feminine" professions like teaching and nursing over jobs that would pay better, like construction and technology. If that's the case, then why aren't we examining the intrinsic value of their jobs and their gendered assumptions? Why do guys who make roads and code-monkeys get paid more than people who take care of and watch over the first and last generations of humanity?

          • Your argument that women being the breadwinners means they are not lazy is flawed.

            You will always be compared to your direct competitors which in this case is not the woman's husband but her male colleagues. If she is performing less than her male colleagues, then she is lazy. The fact that she chose a deadbeat husband has no bearing on her laziness.

            A woman can be incredibly lazy in the workplace yet be the breadwinner of her family simply because she is married to a man who refuses to take responsibility for his family.

            You want to know why not many women go into construction and technology? Because those jobs are incredibly demanding – either physically or mentally. This is not a communist country where everyone gets paid equally no matter their actual contribution to the economy.

            Your argument for maternity and wages is incorrect too. If an employer started giving equal wages, equal bonuses to a female employee who was on leave for 6 months and a male employee who worked his ass off in those 6 months many times filling in for the absent woman, you are devaluing the efforts of the male employee. Not many male employees would be motivated to work if that starts happening. This is the way any market works in a Capitalist country.

          • hobbesian says:

            No, you see the difference is, those women should be getting paid exactly the same for doing exactly the same job. If they are refusing to shoulder extra responsibilities above and beyond the jobs parameters, then that just makes them Smarter than their male colleagues.

            The issue with Maternity leave is that, Men, who become fathers, should be entitled to the same quantity of Paternity Leave since it is equally important for new children and both new parents to be able to spend early bonding time with their child, and the child with them.

            unfortunately there isn't really any way to solve the issue of Singles or Child-free person's having to pick up the slack when either a man or woman goes out on leave to take care of a child.. but.. really that's when the company should bring in a temp to fill in and take some of the slack off the other employees. Don't get mad at the woman for taking leave if this doesn't happen, get mad at the company for not taking better care of its employees.

            The actual leeches on the economy are shareholders who make millions of dollars and then funnel it into overseas bank accounts so they don't have to pay taxes on it… and they don't spend it… so it's not even boosting the economy that way either.

          • So let me get this straight. You think 40% of women are the breadwinners of the family because they married/mated "dead-beat husbands." And yet, 70-80% of women still show a significant pay gap. So even though 40% of men are dead-beats, they are still somehow MORE lazy than than 40% of the women in the pay gap range. That's a real high opinion of women you have there, sweetheart.

            By the way, you're talking to someone who is in technology. I got hired at a software company, with many years of technical support under my belt, with a college degree, at 29k a year. My male coworker, who has several less years of experience than me, got hired at nearly double that. The argument was he was paid more initially because he had programming knowledge. Too bad our job prohibits any use of programming for the first year; he and I were allowed access to write scripts at nearly the same time, and the department consensus is, I'm just as competent at scripts as he is. Yet 3 years on, he is STILL making more money than me. And I have not taken any maternity or family leave, since I am single.

            Guess I'm just lazy, according to your model.

          • Nice anecdotal story, which, of course, is not data. But seriously, that sounds like good evidence for a lawsuit.

            For example, using data from the US Census Current Population Survey, Staiger et al. (2010) reports that from 2006 to 2008, male physicians reported working 51.7 hours per week while female physicians reported working 44.4 hours per week (across experience categories).

            http://faculty.som.yale.edu/keithchen/papers/Gend
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-hoff-somm

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            60% of the pay for 80% of the work. Yeah, that's fair.

          • Actually, the wage-gap studies that I'm familiar with control for hours worked (as well as education, age, etc.). So the "men work more" argument doesn't fly.

            Also, don't even get me started on the leisure gap. Women work more than men do when you total up all labor (paid and unpaid). Those extra hours the male physicians are getting paid for are being supported by the unpaid labor of women. Argh.

    • Paul Rivers says:

      "I'm a woman and am offended by Dr. Nerdlove's implication that women are deferential and are unable to handle social pressure. The entire point of feminism was to make the world understand that women are functional humans who can take their own decisions, handle pressure and take care of their own shit.

      Now you flip out and say when a guy is applying social pressure on her that it's bad. Really? Humans have been using social manipulation and pressure since the beginning of time. For what it's worth, women are far more skilled at using social manipulation that most men. Women in these situations are fully capable of holding their own. If she is sleeps with a guy by giving her consent, you have no business telling the guy or the girl that it's wrong."

      Yes. YES.

      THIS is what your average woman is thinking. She doesn't really claim to be strong and independent, then suddenly turn into the emotional equivalent of a small child when a "man" says something or applies some sort of social pressure.

      It was hugely enlightening that when I got a job where I actually worked with strong and independent women, that they *really* disliked being treated like they couldn't handle things.

      • So, when you were working with those strong and independent women, did you lie to them? Ignore their stated preferences and desires? Insult them in order to get what you wanted from them? If not, then the difference in the situations seems quite clear to me.

        • Paul Rivers says:

          "So, when you were working with those strong and independent women, did you lie to them?"

          It was a while back, I don't think so though.

          "Ignore their stated preferences and desires"

          Of course I did, that was part of my job. If I didn't I would end up working 28 hour days (more hours than exist in the day).

          "Insult them in order to get what you wanted from them?"

          Would that have worked? The answer is no.

  25. In the United States and the West before the 60s, monogamy was strictly enforced. People got married early and it was hard to get divorced. Maybe this model was oppressive, but nearly everyone being pairing up was a consequence.

    However, with the 60s and 70s and subsequent decades, that model was replaced by one of complete liberalization of the sexual marketplace. The consequence has been that a whole lot of men are now missing out on sex than ever before. Now while the amount of AVERAGE sex had a by the average man might be the same, I believe that there is more variance than ever when you compare individual men, because, unlike in the 60s and earlier, today people engage in serial monogamy. When this happens, the guy usually "upgrades" to a younger woman, and many men keep defacto harems (see college athletes.) Obviously, some guys are losing out.

    The top men of earlier decades had to sneak around and work hard to have affairs: now they're free to have one girlfriend after another, and perhaps simultaneously. Again, this means that some guys definitely lose out (more so than in more conservative decades) and, in my ever humble opinion, this creates a substantial market and need for material that claims to help men get girlfriends/women. Now someone like Doctor Nerdlove urgently recognizes this need and is trying to frame PUA material in a way friendly to women, but he is, along with PUA gurus, among the minority who recognize this need.

    But this PUA stuff is never going away as much as you try to prohibit it — it's a consequence of the liberalization of the sexual marketplace and the fact that some men getting tons of women reduces other men to sexual poverty, for there are only so many women to go around. It's curious that liberals by and large dare not address this consequence of the sexual revolution. They want the men who lose out to be silent and remain invisible.

    • "Sexual poverty?" Give me a freaking break.

    • ThatDebra says:

      So… basically, I'm a sack of potatoes?

    • Yes, why don't women just allow themselves to be distributed evenly among the male population? Don't they realize how unfair it is for them to choose to have sex only with the people they are sexually attracted to?

      • Then don't bemoan the existence of PUA — in whatever form — if the consequence of the sexual revolution and sexual liberalism is that many men experience sexual poverty.

        • So… you're saying that either women have to allow themselves to be distributed evenly among the male population, or they have to cheerfully accept whatever dishonest, manipulative or assholeish behaviors any man happens to feel like using in order to try and manipulate and/or bully them into having sex?

          Thanks, I think I'll pass on both options.

          • allyson says:

            No one is forcing you to have sex with a PUA. Not even the PUAs themselves. They may try to apply social pressure and manipulation – but any reasonably confident woman can easily find her way through those situations.

            I don't understand the point of disagreement here. Why do you want to tell PUAs what to do and what not to do? Just as you don't like it when people tell you how a woman should behave, I assume men don't like it when you try to tell them how they should behave. Let them do whatever they want. If you don't like it, you won't respond to it. If some asshole tries to sexually harass you, you have legal recourse available.

          • I've seen plenty of reasonably confident women still have to deal with PUA bs, just for being out in public. Reasonably confident as she may be, I know of few women who would offer to spend a big chunk of her in-public time listening to a guy tell her all her flaws or insist she watch his magic trick. And did you read any of the excerpts from the book? Yeah, the woman has legal recourse available… AFTER the guy has harassed her by forcing her to put her hand on his cock. Having a legal recourse open is of little value if she has to undergo that sort of treatment constantly, because so many men are convinced THIS is the way to date.

          • craniest says:

            and the non confident women? Women who are for some reason temporarily (depression, stress, having a bad streak) emotionally vulnerable, I can assure you, will be culled from the "herd" and preyed upon by exactly this type of behavior.

            And the last paragraph is laughable. "if you don't like it you wn't respond to it" WRONG if you don't like it you will stop, react, question whether you just heard what you thought you heard or wonder if the guy just accidentally bumped into you or purposefully groped you. You will react whether you want to or not. And this one: "If someone tries to sexually harass you you have legal recourse available." No, you DON'T unless it's in your workplace, and it took damn long even to get that much protection.

            In fact just reading aloud the words you write makes it very difficult for me to picture someone identifying as female writing them — the words ring hollow, as someone approximating what they imagine a strong, confident, no holds barred feminist would say. I might be wrong, but I would put money on it that I'm not.

          • Or, going by Mr. Hand's later comment, the teenagers who are still going through their awkward, legally-immature-that-we-don't-let-them-sign-contracts-or-imbue-alcohol phase?

          • hobbesian says:

            Just replying to his comments makes me want to go take a shower.

          • Yeah, because insulting people and touching them without their permission is totally A-okay behaviour. "Why don't you leave the PUAs alooone, they have feeelings too!" Nope, sorry. The kind of justification PUAs give themselves in order to continue to harass and insult women whose pants thye want to get into deserves to be questioned over and over again.

          • I want to tell PUAs what to do and what to not to do because I get to tell anyone what to do and what not to do. They don't have to listen, but as a human being, I get to somewhat influence our societal expectations. More concretely, I get to influence the behavior of those around me and those I come in contact with through media. The easiest, most simple way to influence that behavior is through clear communication. I say what I want; they have the opportunity to grow.

            All ideologies are not equal and it is ridiculously to act like they are. I am not going to back down from my ideology that PUAs are dangerous and awful just because you want PUAs to be able to be assholes. That's not how it works. Our ideologies clash. My goal is to demolish yours. It isn't exactly nice, but that's how life works.

          • And you are in effect saying that men who lose out as a consequence of the sexual revolution should just accept their fate. More so then ever, more men face sexual poverty because feminists and liberals have changed culture as to allow alpha males to dominate multiple females simultaneously or successively. Love/sex is a primal need, and if PUA is a LEGAL tool to get it for men to get it…then why not? If you don't like it, then change the culture as to shame men who take more than their fair share of women of peak nubility and teach women to demand exclusivity as the price of sex. As it stands, you people want to stack the deck completely against the men who inevitably lose out (and who wouldn't have before the 60s).

          • allyson says:

            I think all she was saying was that if a guy – PUA or not – tries to be assholish with her – she won't appreciate it and will make it known to him quite openly. It doesn't matter if this guy has gotten laid in the last 5 years or not. That is common sense.

            What has this got to do with some men wanting to improve their dating life through a PUA lifestyle?

          • Yes. You are not entitled to either sex or a relationship. These are things you have to earn. Why? Because women are human beings. Our choices matter just as much as yours do.

          • Le Jacquelope says:

            You don't earn sex or relationships. To say you do, suggests you can just put enough niceness coins in and get sex or love in return.

          • No, they shouldn't accept their fate. They should try harder to be attractive people without resorting to harassment, manipulation, or toxic ideas about women and attraction.

            I am an over-25, chubby, socially awkward nerd-girl. I am told, constantly, from every direction, but ESPECIALLY from men, to improve and change myself to attract a man. I don't get to just rest on my laurels and insist men fall into my living room. If I have to do the hard work of making myself appealing to a larger percent of the opposite sex, why should these men you are referring to get off easy? (Pun intended.)

          • This is a test to see if my post will go through.

          • Okay good. Marty, you're just saying that these men should just compete harder under rigged circumstances. What are the rigged circumstances? A: Women are often content to share a high status man. B: Alpha males are culturally in a position to indulge in men's taste for "variety." Because of the selfishness of many men and women being content with sharing men — both of which the sexual revolution sanctioned — there are more and more men who live in sexual poverty. Pick up artistry is an attempt at a solution to this problem — maybe a bad solution, but at least it's an attempt to solve the problem. Many feminists just want to pretend this problem simply doesn't exist.

          • The whole "shared male" thing is absolutely ridiculous. Many studies have demonstrate that while men cheat, women cheat in roughly equal numbers. There is perhaps a 5% difference. And as I said above, there is absolutely no conclusive proof of the "cock carousel." If you're going to keep claiming that some men live in sexual poverty while 20% of men get the women, you're going to need to actually offer some studies and evidence.

            And what I'm saying is EVERYONE has to compete. If you want to be the type of man that sleeps with a new woman every week, then yes, you're going to actually need to WORK at it. But the whole idea that you are either that guy, or a Forever Alone virgin, is ludicrous, and not borne out by any kind of objective proof.

          • A man who can sleep around a lot is being shared by multiple women. The sharing can happen sequentially or simultaneously — e.g, one guy dating a girl for a year, then moving to a younger on…or dating both at the same time. It's good that you asked for numbers, this is a field of study worth pursuing. Sexual poverty is a serious issue.

          • So, when a guy dates a girl for a year and then moves on to another one, what do you think the woman's doing? What, are you imagining she joins a nunnery after that? I'm guessing she, too, dates another person.

            If you want me to believe that one man dating many women simultaneously is actually a common occurrence, and significantly more common than one woman dating many men simultaneously, you're going to need to give some evidence. Otherwise, it seems like the majority of non-single straight woman must each be involved with one non-single straight man at any given time – which means there really aren't enough Alphas to go around.

            So, numbers? Or I see no reason to think your argument is based on nothing but your own imagination, in which case there's really no point in continuing the discussion.

            In any case, while I acknowledge that it can sometimes take hard work or outside help to learn to become an attractive person and interact with others in appealing ways, if a person can't manage to do those things without harassment or dishonest tactics, I'd say that them not being able to find anyone who wants to have sex with them is a sign that society is working EXACTLY how it should.

          • whoops, that should be "I see no reason to think that your argument is based on ANYthing but your own imagination," not "nothing.."

          • There is no such parity. One guy can through 4 girls, each of whom afterwards settles down with someone, while the guy settles down with 6th girl. When you compute the averages it will appear as if there is a one to one ratio, but there is more variance now than in the past.

            It also doesn't matter if every man "ultimately" pairs up and finds someone. The crucial thing is if he misses out on having relationships with women in the range of 16 – 27, before the so called "wall."

          • Who is that girl settling down with after her one alpha fling, then? Where are you getting these numbers?

            And, most importantly, why should anyone care about this terrible tragedy that not all men get to fuck a 16-27 year old girl/woman?

          • Of course. You don't care. Please….loudly proclaim your non-caring. Let the sexually disadvantaged men see you shouting loudly that you don't care. Rub salt into our wounds. We will organize and keep commenting negatively on your feminist blogs.

          • I care about people who are having a hard time figuring out how to date or meet sex partners, and who want advice or support to learn how to make themselves more appealing and interact with people in respectful ways to do so, and this site is full of advice for people who want to do that, both in DNL's articles and from the commenters.

            I really, really, really don't care about "sexually disadvantaged" men who think that women are a resource that should be distributed equally to all. I'm not quite sure how to shout this loudly on a blog, but I could put it in caps if you like.

            …do you really need to organize to keep commenting negatively on our feminist blogs? It seems like something that a person can just go at willy-nilly, no special preparation required. *shrug*

          • But you ignore the structural and bio-cultural problems lead to, by design, many men being sexually impoverished.

          • You've yet to convince me that there exist any such problems, so there's really nothing to ignore there. And honestly, given that you haven't given a shred of evidence to support your position, it doesn't really seem like you're trying.

          • A lot of these ideas I came with recently. I've just seen the big picture. I will develop my thesis slowly and gain evidence over time. In the mean time I will keep sharing that thesis with you.

          • Wow. I've got to say I'm impressed with your willingness to go to the mat for an idea that you've invented and for which you have yet to find any evidence.

            I'm a little curious why you think you can convince us of something this extreme without any facts whatsoever, though?

          • AI'm pretty sure the smart thing is to find evidence, and THEN build a thesis off of that evidence. Going the other way around is just seeking out badly-reasoned "proof" with a side of self-selection.

          • But I'm kinda okay with him just armchair quarterbacking the dating scene. Let's not release him, I don't think the world's ready

          • Let's be honest, "bio-cultural" is a word you made up just now.

          • hobbesian says:

            Reminds me of Proto-Culture from Robotech.. I bet he flips his shit if I make out with a girl in front of him just like the Zentradi did..

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Way to fight the power, yo.

          • hobbesian says:

            now.. wheres my wall clock necklace..

          • *collects Male Tears* *boils* *rubs resulting salt in wounds of "sexually disadvantaged men"* *repeats*

          • Tiny Carl says:

            I'm fairly sure "don't trust what the numbers say" is the opposite of "it has been empirically demonstrated."

            Not to suggest that statistics or empiricism have any place in this silly billy nonsense. Your numbers only make sense (and only very little, at that) if all of the women in the sample group ONLY date the one man in question, for whatever subsection of time they do so, and remain celibate and dateless for the remainder. I recognize that conceiving of women as existing solely in terms of their relationship to the dude is second nature in the pick-up (and other systemized asshattery) worlds but it defies math, logic, and real world behavioral base rates.

          • Le Jacquelope says:

            NEWS FLASH: Men were losing out before the 60s, too. The human species has only ever descended from about 40% of all males of the species. As opposed to 80% of women. For millions of years, 60% of men got rejected as opposed to only 20% of women.

            If anything, things have gotten better for men.

            And mook-level PUA tactics ignore two big rules:
            1) "NO!!! Unless yes"; and
            2) Don't be a pushy jerk.
            That is where they go grossly wrong. (Tactically speaking.)

        • Yeah, your "sexual poverty" has nothing to do with the sexual revolution and everything to do with being a giant asshat.

          • There is no need for insults.

          • You don't respond to logic.
            You keep insisting that random PUA and MRA crap you've read on the Internet but not seen in real life is THE TRUTH.
            You want to have sex with children.

            MrHand, if you actually want to get better with women and not just sulk about how mean they are: get your ass off of Reddit and go out into the world! Hang out with friends, join a new club, go to a local bar, chat to women as if they were people, not walking vaginas with gates you have to guess the passcode.

            And if that all fails, well Reddit is right there waiting for you to whine about how you're being denied your rightful share of sex.

          • This post hasn't nearly enough the votes it deserves.

          • Gracias, Cat.
            I actually meant to add this to the beginning of the post:
            "I'm not being insulting; I'm stating a fact. And I offer the following statements as proof of your asshatery"

        • hobbesian says:

          Okay, thought experiment time. Let's just say that if this resource* were distributed equally amongst the male population.. would you be happy if your "Share" was a 500lb woman with a hairlip, no teeth, and a 7th grade education from rural Arkansas who rides the motor scooter in walmart? I can already imagine the whining and moaning…. it kind of sounds like beautiful music..

          * And lets be honest here, sex and procreation (ergo Women & their Wombs) is viewed as a resource and has been since organized culture began.. I think it was Joshua who ordered something like "Kill the men, dash the infants heads against the rocks, and take any maid child for your own…" it's OLD and the mentality to see it that way is not going anywhere any time soon.. but we can at least try to be better.

          • Everyone would find an appropriate partner. All the culture would need to do is discourage slutty behavior in women and shame men who don't marry the women they sleep with. From that, a 1-1 ratio will emerge where people select each other for comparability. The 500lb rural Arkansas woman would also find her match.

          • Wait, if you consider it such a tragedy that you might have to date women your own age, who do you imagine would be your "appropriate match" in this marvelous system of partner distribution? Given that women typically live longer than men, it seems likely that, if everyone is guaranteed a partner, men will find themselves mostly dating older, not younger, women.

          • hobbesian says:

            The only way for his system to work.. we'd need to 1) bring back the draft, 2) instigate a land war in Asia…

          • 3) Trick some of the men competing for younger women to go against Sicilians when death is on the line?

          • hobbesian says:

            Exactly!

          • Is it wrong that I kind of want to hear what kind of things the political talking heads would have to say about the Sexual Poverty War? It would certainly beat most things on CNN.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Oh man, the episodes of Real Time with Bill Mahr would be AMAZING.

          • hobbesian says:

            The Crossfire with Bill O'reilly and Jon Stewart would be payperview worthy.. have Mean Jean be the reff and set it in cage match.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Maybe this should be my project for that Christian hackathon I'm going to next week. "Combining technology and the power of Christ to end sexual poverty by encouraging traditional models of marriage and sexuality". . .crap! They'd actually fall for that!

          • hobbesian says:

            well.. good.. use it to your advantage and get them to give you money towards this nebulous and ultimately unattainable goal.. when it inevitably fails.. you simply shrug your shoulders and say it was god's will or somebody elses fault while laughing about them having given you money..

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Yeah, that's not quite how it works. I'm going to go back to taking the angle of helping people with real social issues. You don't have to have a particular religion to do that.

          • They did do that. It was called the 1950s. It kinda sucked for everyone, which is why the sexual revolution happened in the first place.

            Seriously, go watch some Mad Men and tell me that those characters are happy and fulfilled.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            The Sexual Revolution of the 60s happened because of a multitude of factors including feminism, growing social equality of the sexes, the invention of the IUD, the cervical cap and hormonal birth control. The Supreme Court case Griswold Vs. Connecticut which not onlylegalized the prescription of birth control to unmarried women but alsogave a legal expectation of privacy which in turn lead to Roe vs. Wade.Suddenly women were a) not confined to the home, b) starting to have social equality to men, c) had their own careers and d) were able to control their reproduction. Being able to have relatively consequence free sex was like a volcano erupting as women were suddenly able to indulge in sex without the fear of pregnancy.(Also worth noting: the Sexual Revolution wasn't the only one, or even the first. The Roaring 20s were also known for the sudden emancipated sexuality of women – the whole “flapper” craze was part of it.)

          • Griswold was for married couples, Einstadt v Baird was for unmarried, and that case wasn't until 1972, only a year before Roe. Other than that, totally with you Dr, you know what's up.

        • trixnix says:

          "Then don't bemoan the existence of PUA — in whatever form — if the consequence of the sexual revolution and sexual liberalism is that many men experience sexual poverty. "

          As a man, I've been frustrated and upset at being rejected/women not being attracted to me etc. But I've never woken up and thought: "I'm not receiving my fair share of sex! Darn those dastardly women!"

          Oddly enough, a lot of guys getting into PUA were already "successful with women". PUA certainly is marketed to guys who don't have much experience dating women but it's a world filled with all sorts of guys with various stories about how and why they got into PUA.

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          Then don't bemoan the existence of PUA — in whatever form — if the consequence of the sexual revolution and sexual liberalism is that many men experience sexual poverty.

          Hey Mr Hand, in the interest of fighting sexual poverty, I'll happily fix you up with a woman who is looking for a man to have sex with. I mean, matching one to one is your only priority, right? So we can just pick any woman who wants sex and isn't getting it. Looks, personality, interests, goals and career have nothing to do with it. Or did you really mean you want an attractive woman delivered to your door? Because if women don't get a choice of their partners, why should men?

          • Well, he's specified that she has to be between the ages of 14 and 27, so he's already getting choosy.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            That's not how it works. He can't redistribute all the sex to alpha females instead of alpha males. That would be totes unfair.

          • Well, since the whole premise is totally off in insane troll land, start to finish, I'm willing to assume that fairness has some totally different definition in the troll dictionary that makes it work.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            But.. .but what about all the poor women this will sexually impoverish? What about teh wimenz?

          • Le Jacquelope says:

            Who says he cares about the women? Anyway, you win on the grounds of "fair is fair".

    • Where are my rich older men lining up to shower me with gifts?!

      I'm not a HB10, but I ought to at least warrant a millionaire's booty call.

      • hobbesian says:

        I just read that Atlanta was the #1 place for women to come to look for sugar daddies… it's based on user statistics from some website.. thats a bit like OKCupid but for sugar daddies.. they also said the average amount per month spent on a kept woman is only like 3500$.. which is down considerably from 2007.. I guess austerity truly is hitting everywhere!

    • Neil_Jung says:

      So, in the sexual/dating arena alone, the conservative position is that there should be equal outcomes rather than merely equal opportunity?

      • Yup, every man should receive his allotted share of sex, regardless of the women's actual, you know, desires or feelings.

        • craniest says:

          not only that but every man should receive his allotment of FREE sex (i.e. too cheap to find a professional)

          • Free sex from women in their teens or twenties. Not from any of those icky women over 30. That part is apparently very important.

          • hobbesian says:

            well yeah… I mean it's not like actual women have anything to offer anyway.. like life experience and anecdotes beyond "well …like.. yeah.. this one time.. me and jessica.. we went to the mall.. and like.. jessica got hit on by this old guy.. and like.. he was totally old and creepy and like…ewwww.. "

      • Conservative culture encourages a form of sexual socialism by strongly slut shaming women (the gatekeepers of sex) and pressuring men to marry the women they sleep with. The consequence is that nearly everyone pairs up and there isn't that a great of a variance in the amount of sex every man has. The sexual revolution upended this and removed the stimga of slut shaming with the consequence that the natural, animal-like female sexual agency was unleashed, an agency which so often leads many women to be content with being part of a defacto harem to one man. In short, the so called "hookup culture" consists of a large pool of women and a smaller pool of men and, really, the sexual revolution just rearranged the quantity of sex such that alpha males benefited. Liberals and feminists want the men who lose out to be content with pornography and their hand.

        • Why is everyone paring up so important? Not everyone wants a relationship and not every relationship is healthy and happy.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Tough shit. In a proper world, every PUA who wants to play the field is screwed. They have to marry their first sexual partner and stick with it.

            Also, MrHand, hi. I'm not an alpha male. I'm unemployed. I'm not particularly high status in any community. I weight maybe 140 (I gained some weight while at a 60 hour per week programming school). I usually have as much sex as I want (I'll skip the joke about "plus or minus one partner"). Women having sexual freedom didn't distribute all the sex to the top 10% of guys. It distributed it to the non-asshole, non-entitled guys who are willing to be honest about wanting to date and/or have sex.

            If opportunities for sex rather than happiness is your only goal, you could argue that manipluative, famous and wealthy guys do have an easier time. They had an easier time in the 50's, too. Also, strong guys can lift bigger things and people with theater degrees make great waiters. Sometimes life isn't entirely fair. Just like lifting heavier things or being a better waiter, being good with women is a skill you can train. The first step is to quit complaining about how unfair it is that other people have as much freedom of choice as you do.

        • Still not seeing any evidence in support of this 'defacto harem' thing. Don't suppose you're interested in providing any, or should we just continue to assume it's entirely in your head?

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I kind of get "defacto harem". That's where a guy has several platonic-ish female friends around and while he's not necessarily sleeping with all of them, he could if he asked. Mind you, I've seen women have this effect, too. Neither one is necessarily surrounded by mindless, doe-eyed puppy dogs. I also disagree that its AMOG types who most often have these defacto harems. As often as not, its the people who are really good at mind games or people who are totally oblivious to the effect they have on the opposite sex.

    • How do you urgently recognize something?

    • You do realize the enforced monogamy and infrequency of divorce you are citing is a very recent phenomenon? Historians are discovering, now that they're actually bothering to pay attention, that most societies had blurry lines of sexual conduct, and divorce was actually about as frequent as it is today. It was only the very high classes… nobility and the extremely wealthy…. who didn't divorce and whom cared about female sexuality. Why? Because they were the only ones with property and wealth to pass on. Farmers and common folk who owned very little didn't really worry how frequent divorce and re-marriage would dilute their wealth (cause they didn't have any.)

      And what enormous b-s that the top men of earlier decades had to sneak around to have affairs. Have you read any history… at all? "Top men" having affairs was the norm, and widely accepted, even encouraged. French kings lived openly with their mistresses side by side along with their queens. Henry divorced Katherine of Aragon not because he desperately wanted an affair, but because he wanted a legitimate male heir.

      I have absolutely no idea where some guys get this whole idea of a harem, and 20% of guys having 80% of women. For one thing, why do you automatically assume the 80% of women are monogamous, but the 20% of men are promiscuous? For all you know, 1 of those 8 is sleeping with multiple men… and they can't both be the alpha 20%, or else the 80% of women sleeping with alphas just diluted itself.

      I WILL acknowledge that the dating scene probably isn't a 1:1 ratio anymore. But that isn't because 80% of women are only sleeping with 20% of men. It's because many women have given up, and have just dedicated themselves to being single and not sleeping with anyone, at all. It's what I've been told to do, over and over again…. ironically, by people just like you, who sit and complain to me at comic book shops that alphas get all the "hot" women, and that there are no women left for you-as I stand there, obviously single and celibate, and finally roll my eyes, give up, and go home to a marathon of "Scrubs."

      • hobbesian says:

        A marathon of scrubs actually sounds like a lot of fun…

        • WordyLibrarian says:

          It's approximately 4,387 times more fun than being treated like an invisible, sexless being. And it's approximately 85,398 times more fun than bad sex. Scrubs is often the VASTLY superior choice. (The rest of this is really directed at the whole insane idea in the thread – not specifically at you, Hobbesian. Realized after posting that I was way unclear about that.)

          You see, that's yet another way all of these ridiculous "women as interchangeable resource" numbers arguments are COMPLETELY invalid. Many women, myself included, have realized something vital. I realized I would rather be alone than in a relationship that does not make me happy. I would rather use my vibrator by myself than engage in bad sex. That does not mean I dislike sex. On the contrary, I enjoy sex very much and have always liked the idea of casual sex if I'm not in a monogamous relationship. (I know that I'm 29, now, and thus past my use-by date by two years. However, I realized I enjoyed my own company more than a bad time when I was 22, so we're looking at five viable years for helping battle this imaginary "sexual poverty.")

          The thing is, my experiences in the world have convinced me that the odds I will enjoy a casual encounter (much less the process of finding one) are low. So, weeping copiously, I ordered lots of interchangeable covers for my hitachi and resolved to give up sexual escapades outside of monogamous relationships. With the exception of one year long relationship and one casual episode to blur those physical memories, I have intentionally remained celibate and single ever since.

          That's right. Years of totally viable sex just yanked from the "marketplace." I'm such a bitch, I know. The thing is, I would have much rather been handing out sex like candy this whole time! I tried that, though, and there were just too many selfish lovers, lazy lovers, incompetent lovers, run-of-the-mill jerks, bitter forever-alones, misogynist asshats, ignorant creepers, PUA types, and rapists. (Those last four are REALLY hard to tell apart, and have loads of overlap.) It was like wading through lakes of diarrhea searching for that one shiny, golden opportunity for sexy fun times. It doesn't take long before it occurs to you that if you don't drown in shit first, once you find the golden opportunity you're still going to be covered in shit and that's not the best time to strike up conversations you hope will lead to sex.

          I no longer engage in casual sex, and I'm extremely selective about the people I consider dating. It's difficult for me because I'm naturally quite flirty and raunchy, and I really like sex and don't automatically connect it to emotional attachment. I rein that in pretty tightly, not out of fear of being a slut, but to minimize the chances of being targeted by one of the shit-demons while I'm looking for potential partners.

          You want more women to be friendly and open to sex? Give us reason to believe that we will not regret having sex with you. Don't use tactics designed to test and push boundaries because those are, in fact, the tactics used by the majority of rapists to choose their victims. Even if they don't lead to rape, they're not enjoyable or fun for the person on the receiving end. If you get to have sex, make an effort to please your partner, and make the whole experience pleasant enough that it's actually PREFERABLE to an evening spent alone. That woman is more likely to have sex with you again, and more likely to be open to offers in general.

          Short version: Encountering PUAs and their tactics always leaves me with the thought, "I have no further use for my vagina." Scrubs marathons are vastly superior.

      • Maybe not the dating scene, but definitely the club scene, which seems to be overly hostile to women and also where PUAs get most of their theories.

    • Dude, if you're going to write an essay, at least cite some sources.

      But seriously, there have always, always been men who have had trouble getting laid. If anything it's way easier in the modern era due to stuff like online dating and the greater acceptance of women having multiple partners and sex for fun. If more heterosexual women are having sex, then more heterosexual dudes must also be having sex.

      I guarantee you that you're difficulties getting laid have way more to do with how you present yourself to the world and nothing to do with the sexual revolution. And even if it were true, I doubt many women would be onboard with your implication that your sexual needs are more important than her freedoms.

  26. I don't believe in those numbers. I don't believe it's that bad…but yea, that is pretty much the idea: The so called "hookup" culture consists of a pool of men that is smaller than the pool of women.

    I wasn't talking about the top men in the middle ages. I was talking about business executives in Michigan in, say, the 40s.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      Ah yes, the 40's, when you couldn't rape your wife and black people had their own water fountains. There's a model for society.

      • By "couldn't rape your wife," I assume you're meaning "it didn't count as rape if she was your wife" not "it wasn't okay to rape your wife," just in case anyone's confused. The phrasing's a little unclear.

        • Gentleman Johnny says:

          Just like by "got their own water fountains" I meant "weren't allowed to use the other ones".

          • I got that part! I did a double-take first read of the first part, so I thought I should say summat.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Yeah, the problems of not having inflection. I was hoping the second sarcasm would make the first more obvious.

          • That and the fact that it didn't sound like something you'd say. Just took me a while to read the first part in such a way that what I thought it must mean matched what I thought the words were saying.

  27. A policy initiative which would somewhat alleviate sexual poverty would be to lower the age of consent to 15. Then you'd have more females on the market, so to speak.

    • ThatDebra says:

      No, so to speak.

      • hobbesian says:

        okay.. Beyond the fact this squicks me out… How old are you and what age women do you normally go for? Cause if you're like a 32 year old fedora wearing neckbeard redditor who exclusively goes after 18 year old's then I think i just found your problem..

        • I'm 27. The tragedy is that women my age already have 12 years of peak nubility behind them. They will rapidly start losing their sexual capital in a few years.

          • Wow, having to consider the prospect of sex with women who are likely to lose their "sexual capital," whatever that is and whatever it's good for? That really is a tragedy. Certainly deserving of the same word we use for victims of natural disasters.

          • The problem is that those women would have most of their precious years of high sexual capital behind them. The problem isn't that men who suffer from sexual poverty fail to ultimately find someone but that they miss out on the experience of making love to women in their prime.

          • Yep, definitely a tragedy, this.

          • Most a certainly a tragedy.

          • Sex isn't economics, dude.

          • Sam Snead says:

            Anything that can be bought, sold or traded is governed by the laws of economics. It's infantile to treat sex as something special or different.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            You CAN buy and sell clean air and water. Doesn't mean you should.

          • hobbesian says:

            These would be the same laws of economics which have nearly crippled the planet twice, and hobbled it several more times in the last 100 years?

          • Wow, man, you need to get a sense of perspective.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            It must be so hard for you, knowing so much more about where these women's lives are going than they do.

          • hobbesian says:

            Peak Nubility?

            Yeah.. why don't you just take a seat over here.. I'm gonna go get Chris Hanson.. brb..

          • Aaaaand there goes absolutely all of my admittedly small amount of pity for "sexually deprived" guys.

            So, the issue isn't that you can't find sex easily, or even that you can't find sex at all…. It's that you can't find sex with "nubile" women who aren't even older enough to legally drink alcohol. *Shutters*

          • I did not say that all. I said lowering the age of consent would put more women out there, which would alleviate some of the sexual poverty…not that I want to sleep with teenagers in high school.

          • *MrHand laughs awkardly*

          • hobbesian says:

            "I brought a 6pack of mike's hard lemonade and some wendy's.. when are you parents getting home?"

          • Gross. Ick.

            But according to your "logic", MrHand, wouldn't all nubile teenagers just continue sleeping with all those Alpha* dudes, leaving you just as deprived.

            *Alpha being defined as men who are not you.

          • I'd be more comfortable in the certainty that no teenagers, nubile or otherwise, are sleeping with this…person.

          • Oh, I'm very certain that all the teenaged girls react to MrHand the exact same way:

            "Eww, who's that creepy looking dude over there. Why's he staring at us, gross!"

          • Also… if he thinks he has a hard time with more "mature" women, like women his own age, how do you think a self-centered 15 year old is going to react? I know nubile teenagers. They tend to be even more shallow and cruel. Were they cruel to you in high school? They're gonna be cruel to you at 27.

          • hobbesian says:

            Why does Jethro Tull's Aqualung keep drifting through my head..

          • because that song is almost as creepy as MrHand, and by almost I mean about half as. God, that song is creepy.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            It only works if someone wants to sleep with teenagers in high school. So, to preserve the 1-1, if you don't have a sexual partner you're just going to have to take a high school girl for the team. . .

            so yeah, saying you want to sleep with high school girls follows from that logic pretty well.

          • At this point I'm not even sure what part of your beliefs I find squickiest and most offensive: that you think a girl who is *not even old enough to get a driver's license* is at "peak nubility" or that you believe women only a few years older than yourself have lost all "sexual capital" (a standard which it does not appear you think applies to men as well).

            Actually, I'm going to go with the first as the most disturbing. I can deal with being relegated to sexual irrelevance and invisibility by a man not even 10 years younger than I am a lot better than I can deal with the thought of someone complaining that men should legally have access to 15-year-old girls.

          • It wasn't a complaint, just an idea. Maybe those in the 18 – 23 age range would date them, which would make women in that same age range more available.

            In so many ways we deny men relief from sexual poverty. We deny them the option of simply buying sex from prostitutes, and we arbitrarily remove women ages 14 – 17 from the dating pool. In both cases, it could be argued that society implements these legal schemes as a consequence of women's desire to increase their own sexual market value by limiting the competition..

          • Tiny Carl says:

            We don't "arbitrarily remove women ages 14-17 from the dating pool" for two very simple, though important, reasons.
            1) they're as available to their peers as women of any age.
            2) they aren't women; they are girls. Children. Society has an obligation to protect its children from, and I don't want the nuances of this point to get lost, TWENTY-SEVEN YEAR OLD MEN DROOLING OVER THEIR "NUBILITY PEAKS."

            And because it can't be overstated, "sexual poverty" is not a thing. Stop trying to make sexual poverty a thing. It's never going to be a thing.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            He's busy trying to make fetch happen.

          • hobbesian says:

            Dude.. you kicked over a rock and found some particularly creepy crawlies this time.. i wish they were more photo sensitive.. but the light only seems to embolden them.. like cockroaches.

          • Could we please ban this guy? He's lamenting he can't have sex with children. He needs to go.

          • Near adults who can be responsible enough to drive should also be responsible enough to engage in a basic intimate act with anyone they find acceptable.

          • Seriously?

            Help me, I can't take it anymore.

          • Man it usually takes a day or two of comments before you guys out yourselves as having awful attitudes towards women.

            And even then it's usually "women are mean" and not "I advocate pedophilia."

          • Oh, plenty of them get to "women are mean" right from the get-go. "I advocate pedophilia," though, I think this is a depressing, terrifying and shudder-inducing first.

          • It is not a "philia," as in liking it. It is more "openness to". And it wouldn't be pedophilia but rather ephebophilia…not that it's even THAT.

          • You're advocating the idea that adults should be free to have sex with 14-year-olds. Do you really think splitting these hairs is making your argument sound any less awful?

          • Whatever you say, Humbert Handbert.

          • Robjection says:

            "Near adults who can be responsible enough to drive should also be responsible enough to engage in a basic intimate act with anyone they find acceptable."

            Oddly enough, that kind of works over here in the UK, though I think it's more by coincidence than by design. This is because the minimum age for driving a car (I'm assuming that's what you meant with drive) is 17, which is actually a year higher than the age of consent here.

          • NinaShalinn says:

            I believe you have missed the point with having an age of sexual consetn. it isn't actually to hinder children/youngsters from having sex (a lot of them still do) it's about protecting them from people like you: people who feel that they have bigger right to somebodys body than the person in question have themselves.

            I don't know what you mean with "nubility peak, but i can guess, and I can tell you this much for sure: whatever it is, it's not your to govern. It belongs to the person who has it/experiences it/whatever, and it is up to them what they want to do with it. If someone wants to throw theirs into the toilet and spend their early adulthood dancing around in a meadow with the forest elves, that is their choice, and you have no right to say anything about it. Becausce it is THEIR choice. I know it is hard to be alone and horny, but dude! You just went all colours of bad.

            .

          • NinaShalinn says:

            Oh and nice move comparing hookers and teenage girls, who obviously exists only as a ventilation mecanism for sexually frustrated assholes, not becausce they are, like, human beings or something (Note: I don't want to judge anyone working in the sexindustry, I'm just saying it was an inappropriate comparison)

            I am a healthy female, 19-just about to turn-20, and my fertility and it's eventual peaks is right where i want it. In my control, and so it shall remain! Because it is mine by birthright

          • hobbesian says:

            Seriously I'm contemplating taking up drinking heavily cause of this guy.. Fuck the liver this guy mustn't be allowed to damage my brain more than me!

          • Sound counter-argument.

          • hobbesian says:

            Mutually assured destruction has been considered a viable strategy since the Red's got the A-Bomb.

          • hobbesian says:

            Mutually assured destruction has been considered a viable strategy since the Red's got the A-Bomb.

          • hobbesian says:

            I have no idea why this posted twice..

          • enail says: