PUA, also known as Pickup Artists, is a seduction community composed of men seeking to learn, teach, and discuss ways to improve social and dating success with women. PUA hit the mainstream with the 2005 book The Game by Neil Strauss.
Supporters and users of PUA methods and its community claim that PUA is helpful. It teaches men who would usually be rejected by women how to approach them successfully. And it provides a way for women who normally would have overlooked these men to see the potential of these men. PUA advocates contend that although PUA is often used by men to get women into bed, it can also result in successful relationships and even marriage and is beneficial to everyone involved.
PUA’s techniques are less about relationships, dating, or even “harmless fun” and more about manipulation, power play, and self-gratification. The “player” is usually a male who is lacking self-esteem due to being rejected or passed up by attractive women. He sees dating and his “target” (term used for the woman who is sought) as a game to be won. It is little more than vengeance — the man seeks to use manipulative psychological methods to bring the attractive woman down to his “level”.
One of the most talked about PUA techniques is the neg, or negative hit. “Negging” is a method whereby a guy attempts to lower the self-confidence of an extremely attractive woman by complimenting her and shortly thereafter insulting her, or giving her a backhanded compliment — an insult disguised as a compliment (e.g. “You lost 20 pounds? Wonderful! When are you going to lose the rest? or “Nice nails. They look so real.”) The woman, who is used to being praised by men, is thrown off-balance. The “negger” is then given an opportunity to work his “charm”.
Not too long ago I had my own close encounter with the neg when a guy at a local drugstore decided I would become his “target”. What follows is a quick, painless (or painful, if you’re the guy involved), smart way of shutting down an attempted neg.
I walked into the store and entered the aisle where skin care and hair care items were stocked. A guy was next to me, reading the back of a shampoo bottle. He quickly glanced at me, smiled when I caught his eye, and went back to inspecting his shampoo bottle. A few moments later he turned to me with a chuckle — “This stuff is expensive! Maybe I should start washing my hair once or twice a year to save money.” I gave him a quick smile and resumed gathering the products I came for. He then said “Hey, you know you have a beautiful smile. When you smile, your whole face lights up.” I tried not to roll my eyes as I thanked him and got ready to walk away.
Just then he tapped my shoulder. I looked down at his finger as he said, “But you have something in the corner of your eye — one of those eye crusties.” I wiped my eye, thanked him again, and left the aisle.
But he wasn’t finished.
Several minutes later he caught up with me in the snack aisle. He pretended to be looking at chips, but stopped and gazed at me. “Oh, you still have that eye crusty. Just telling you, you know, because you’re a very pretty lady otherwise.” He smiled widely.
I peered at him: “Really? If you were that interested in me — for anything — you could have just said so… Of course I would have promptly replied no since I have a boyfriend and you’re not my type anyway. But by thinking you were going to “game” me with your “neg” you only made yourself look very desperate and pathetic. And landed yourself a spot in my next blog post on the ridiculousness of PUA. It will be a good one, all thanks to you.”
He looked to his left and right and half-smiled at me with red cheeks. I turned and walked off.
Anyone else have an experience with PUA or other failed pick-up strategies?
- What’s Wrong With PUA?
- The Beautiful Woman Syndrome — coined by PUA; still useful
- Men, Women, and Ogling