What’s Wrong With PUA?

pick-up-artists

A short while ago I published a post about PUA, short for Pick-Up Artists, a male seduction community, and my personal experience with a PUA. Since then I’ve received comments and emails on a regular basis which question, or more often, disagree with, my position that PUA is not only manipulative but pathetic.

I’ve responded to most of these comments and questions, but they continue to come in. Some are confused and some simply want further explanation but all wonder the same thing — what’s wrong with PUA? So in the sake of brevity, I’ll detail here why I dislike and disagree with PUA and its methods:

1. PUA is based on manipulation

Pick-Up Artists techniques are pure manipulation: they are designed to coerce women into thinking and doing what they otherwise wouldn’t. PUA techniques are mind games which attempt to overturn the unfair advantage that PUAs believe women have in dating and turn it into an unfair advantage for men.

Some may counter that all forms of courting and dating involve manipulation. However, PUA methods are willful and conscious manipulations — power-play with clear-cut “winners” and “losers”, not simply ways to make oneself more attractive to women. Natural mating rarely involves the same level of deceit.

2. PUA is objectifying

While the male Pick-Up Artist feels more attractive and empowered by his ability to secure his “target”, the target of his manipulations is dehumanized. PUA is also known as “The Game” because PUAs treat their methods and the women they target as nothing more than a game to be won at all costs.

This can be seen in PUA lingo such as “Bait, Hook, Reel, Release” and “Compliance Threshold”, a measure of a woman’s willingness to go along with the PUA’s plans of sexual activity. PUAs don’t see women as humans like them, but pawns in their chess game of ego gratification.

3. PUA is sexist and misogynist

In case it’s not apparent at this point, any dating method founded on the belief that women are difficult to deal and confused, and must be manipulated into agreeing with what they “really” want, is sexist.

Any dating methods which are based on making a woman feel insecure and question her principles is misogynist. And any so-called seduction which refers to women as “targets”, at best, and “bitches” to be broken down, at worst, is misogynist. There is just no way around that.

4.  PUA is about ego and selfishness

Pick-Up Artists claim and try to convince themselves that their techniques are about attaining a mutually beneficial relationship. Yet it is clear by the amount of manipulation and objectification involved that the well-being of women is not a priority. And the self-esteem and satisfaction of male PUAs is a priority, if not the only one.

In other words, if PUA methods were so obviously beneficial to all involved, then why would they require so much trickery?

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21 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With PUA?

  1. While the male Pick-Up Artist feels more attractive and empowered by his ability to secure his “target”, the target of his manipulations is dehumanized. PUA is also known as “The Game” because PUAs treat their methods and the women they target as nothing more than a game to be won at all costs.

    Now that is true and thats my only problem with it but I gotta be honest. I had a guy friend who wasnt that great looking so I often wondered how he was getting so many really attractive women like it was nothing. He told me about PUA and started teaching me some of the techniques cause some things work just as easily on men. It wasnt anything to get men into bed cause obviously thats not hard if that was what I wanted to do but he taught me more in how to get more attention and devotion from the guys that I was interested in or dating. Alot of it really did work but unfortunately my anxiousness would take over and went back to my old ways in how I would deal with guys.

    If its for the right reasons and not just to bed women or for ego boost, than I cant totally knock it. Human nature is human nature. We cant change what people are likely to respond to. You can still show alot of who you really are but slightly altering your behavior to get the type of response you want from the opposite sex isnt so bad imo. When it becomes only a game for more knotches on your belt and not just out of genuine like and wanting to be with that person, thats the only issue I would have with it.

  2. Jessica,

    You a PUA? Uh… uhmmmm…

    “Alot of it really did work but unfortunately my anxiousness would take over and went back to my old ways in how I would deal with guys.”

    PUA more closely mirrors avoidant tendencies. And we all know people love avoidants because people want what they can’t have. That doesn’t make avoidant behavior anything to strive towards though.

    And you can only keep it up for so long if you’re after true intimacy. Using PUA only pushes you away from that because you have to play games with your partner 24/7 and not be yourself. You can’t build a loving and honest relationship on what are essentially lies.

    “When it becomes only a game for more knotches on your belt and not just out of genuine like and wanting to be with that person, thats the only issue I would have with it.”

    Well, yes, that’s what it is. PUAs aren’t trying to build a life-long marriage with some women that just hasn’t noticed them yet. They’re trying to get women into bed so they can gain bragging rights and feel good about themselves. Wanting to be with that person? Uh, no. Unless you mean being with them between the sheets.

  3. LOL im not a PUA but ive tried it before and yes it does mirror avoidant tendencies and your right its hard to keep it up for so long if you want true intimacy. When ive been really into a guy in the past and wanted him so bad, my school of thought was “Whatever works” so I wouldve tried anyhing. Its pretty funny when he told me about it, I was like “Teach me, teach me”!

  4. Jessica,

    “Its pretty funny when he told me about it, I was like “Teach me, teach me”!

    Hmph. Well, I guess you can’t be mad then if some guy starts coming around “negging” you to get through your “bitch shield”.

  5. I really get that many men think that women are running the show when it comes to dating/mating. But it seem ridiculous to me because men make their choices first, and they all choose the top tier of physically attractive women. If a woman is not in that top tier, she’s not running any show.

    You are absolutely right about PUA. They are P-R-E-D-A-T-O-R-S pure and simple.

  6. Sherry,

    “I really get that many men think that women are running the show when it comes to dating/mating. But it seem ridiculous to me because men make their choices first, and they all choose the top tier of physically attractive women. If a woman is not in that top tier, she’s not running any show.”

    True. When some guy says something like: “Women choose men”, I think, “Really?” It seems like both choose each other. Women might be able to accept or decline a guy’s advances, but she can’t do that unless the man is interested in her.

  7. TBH I don’t get this. You simply can’t get me in bed after just meeting me.

    If you want to fall for cheesy tricks then go ahead. Really women who falls for this wants to have sex anyway or have very very ‘loose’ standards in meeting men.

    Not that I’m excusing the men who does this. They are creeps with nothing better in their lives.

  8. Nkosazana,

    “Really women who falls for this wants to have sex anyway”

    I think so. But it’s not up to a guy to coerce them into having it. I know a woman (who considers herself pretty bright) who went along with a PUA. When she realized later what happened she was pretty embarrassed; she disliked having been manipulated like that. She said she would rather he had just asked her outright.

  9. Alee : Hmph. Well, I guess you can’t be mad then if some guy starts coming around “negging” you to get through your “bitch shield”.

    Well no, that would turn me off. I dont cosign everything the PUA teaches or even most and alot of the terminology is so lame that I would assume any man who’s THAT into it wouldnt be one that would attract me anyway since I tend to be more attracted to alpha males (real alphas not ones that have to pretend to be so). I only took a few techniques from my guy friend that worked for me but wasnt anything I could sustain because my emotions naturally take over.

  10. Jessica,

    “I would assume any man who’s THAT into it wouldnt be one that would attract me anyway since I tend to be more attracted to alpha males (real alphas not ones that have to pretend to be so)”

    “Polished” PUAs are supposed to come off as stereotypical alpha males, so how would you be able to tell the difference? The whole idea is that you’re not supposed to tell, or rather that the PUA becomes an alpha male after perfecting the techniques, attitude, etc.

    P.S. Alpha males as described by most people are so not my type…

  11. Alee, But arent guys that tend to be attracted to PUA are ones that didnt have much luck with dating because they are generally speaking not attractive? If thats the case, most wouldnt attract me no matter how much game he ran and even if they did really ive dated enough guys, I see through so much BS now. No one is gonna coerce me to have sex no matter what they say. Every guy ive been with sexually have all been in longterm relationships except for one guy and im sure that guy to this day thinks he was just so good with his game and thas why I did it. Wrong, I did it cause I had every intention of doing it. Coersion not needed 😉

    When I say alpha, I dont mean a stereotypical dumb jock that sleeps with everyone or anything like that, at least how I see the term is a man thats self assured, leader insead of a follower, a go getter and someone that doesnt have to try too hard to draw people to him. It comes natural and a man that has those characteristics arent always good looking but the ones that are-are the ones that attract me. I am more shy and I use to prefer shy guys when I was younger but definitely not anymore for a few reasons buts another topic.

  12. Jessica,

    “But arent guys that tend to be attracted to PUA are ones that didnt have much luck with dating because they are generally speaking not attractive?”

    Yes, they are (I don’t know about the unattractive part; that’s all relative). But PUA is supposed to morph them into someone who is more attractive and successful with dating… Lol, I know. 🙂

    “I see the term is a man thats self assured, leader insead of a follower, a go getter and someone that doesnt have to try too hard to draw people to him. It comes natural”

    Eh, I stay away from the “popular” guys… I don’t want a guy whose always surrounded by people.

    “I am more shy and I use to prefer shy guys when I was younger but definitely not anymore”

    A little vulnerability never hurt. It’s sweet.

  13. And now one of the reasons why PUA is pathetic:

    PUA men are OBSESSED with women and “winning” them. I mean, sure, many men like to date, have sex and flirt with women. Some of them are more sexist than the others. But what makes PUA different than regular men (even the womanizers) is that they’re so OBSESSED with the “game” and “winning” women. They seem so DESPERATE to “score” a woman you get to wonder what’s wrong with them.

    True “alpha” males aren’t that obsessed with flirting and getting women: they can get them whenever they want, so they have other interests and hobbies, such as their job, their friends, movies, basketball, etc. They aren’t so desperate to get female attention and or/sex.

    PUA, on the other hand, are desperate to “score” and they make ti seem women (well, scoring them) is the ONLY THING they do. Like they don’t have a life outside it. That seems quite PATHETIC and DESPERATE. And you know what? Women hate desperate men and men who don’t have a life.

  14. Alee: A little vulnerability never hurt. It’s sweet

    It is sweet but I want to be the one that brings the vulnerable side out in him but i dont want that to be him in every area of his life. If a guy is kinda shy with me at first cause he’s just so attracted to me that he cant function right haha than thats a plus but just an overall shy person, nah. I only say that cause ive dated a true shy guy and theres definite downsides to that especially since im shy too. Id rather be with someone who has what im lacking.

    Mira: True “alpha” males aren’t that obsessed with flirting and getting women: they can get them whenever they want, so they have other interests and hobbies, such as their job, their friends, movies, basketball, etc. They aren’t so desperate to get female attention and or/sex.

    Exactly! You said it perfectly!

  15. Mira,

    “And now one of the reasons why PUA is pathetic”

    Ha, yes, thank you. I’d thought I’d covered that adequately in the former post. But more thoughts are always helpful… Just when the comments and emails start coming in, I’ll direct them to you. 🙂

    ‘what makes PUA different than regular men (even the womanizers) is that they’re so OBSESSED with the “game” and “winning” women. They seem so DESPERATE to “score” a woman you get to wonder what’s wrong with them. ‘

    Right. It’s so… not attractive. PUAs are an odd group — they need women to like them to boost their self-esteem, yet they look down on these women.



    Jessica,

    “It is sweet but I want to be the one that brings the vulnerable side out in him but i dont want that to be him in every area of his life.

    Shy guys tend to be even more shy around women they like. 🙂

    But don’t be too hard on the shy guys, they might feel slighted and become PUAs one day… a waste.

    “Id rather be with someone who has what im lacking.”

    Not me, if I had the choice. At first opposites can be intriguing then you realize how much you can’t stand the other person’s personality.

  16. I agree with this post Alee, I think its lame. What is meant for you is meant for you and you don’t have to play games or manipulate to get it.

  17. I have to agree with your conclusion. They are pathetic, manipulators, who objectify women in order to feed their ego’s and compensate for their lack of character, personality, and male endowment.

    However, I will say that the women that sleep with these men are just as ridiculous.

    I WISH, no, HOPE someone would try this with me. I can smell bullshit 100 miles away. It’s never happened to me probably because I exude that “not-target-material” vibe. I have a natural aura that sift out people that I wouldn’t like so they never come close. Its definitely a useful thing to have. Like a no bullshit force field.

    Anyway, Im not mad at PUA really. I think that it would however be a better program if they advocated people actually working on themselves and becoming better people rather than trying to play the role of someone who is better.

    With that being said, I think that women need to step it up. Sure, you can whine about how technology is moving too fast, but whining gets you no where and your only choice is to keep current with it. I think this applies to this situation as well. Learn the way of the PUA, learn how to read body language, learn how to thwart off these advances. Its the only thing you can do.

    And lets be honest here. Not one of those women is being forced to do anything. If someone is taking away your right to “choose” then you’re just as bad for giving it up. If you don’t want to sleep with a loser PUA then how about you go to the club or bar or where ever with the mindset that you’re simply not going to sleep with a stranger regardless. This avoids alot of problems. Like most other asshats (like rapist, muggers, con artists etc) these people prey on a type. They acknowledge their ruse wont work on just anybody. Sadly though, a good portion of women fall into this type. To them its like shooting fish in a barrel. If you want to be a fish in a barrel grow legs and climb out.

  18. osufirecracker,

    You’re aptly named! Firecracker you are. 😉

    “With that being said, I think that women need to step it up… Learn the way of the PUA, learn how to read body language, learn how to thwart off these advances. Its the only thing you can do.”

    Yes, in theory it would be great if every woman learned about this. But of course there is going to be some who don’t, but it’s kind of jerkish for PUAs to prey on unsuspecting women.

    “And lets be honest here. Not one of those women is being forced to do anything. If someone is taking away your right to “choose” then you’re just as bad for giving it up.”

    Well, if you’re looking to sleep with someone, then that’s a different story. In that case, everyone wins.

    I wouldn’t put rapists and con artists in the same category re: type of target… many of them go by opportunity, not type. And I think anyone can find themselves a victim in that case because you can’t “outsmart” a gun/knife,/6’5 300 lb guy.

  19. It is my opinion that PUA is simply taking advantage of people’s inability to be open, honest, and direct. Furthermore, every trait that they are projecting is correlated with material gain…Every trait! If it isn’t, its probably considered a pathology. PUA is a tactic developed in response to a common typology in women. It is my opinion that confidence is attractive because a confident person will make more efforts and is more likely to drag home a carcass or a pile of berries if they actually return. In life, action must be taken, it doesn’t matter if you are right or wrong only that it worked. Hence, my distaste for most people’s confidence- it is a front as most confident people that I have observed were asshats and thought that success translated to correct.

  20. There’s a PUA concept called the ‘Obvious counter-intuitive’. In this case, the obvious counter-intuitive is that PUAs consciously avoid being manipulative because it’s transparent and low ranking behavior. Common forms of male manipulation: Buying a woman a drink/flowers, complements. Each of these sets the frame that she is the prize, she has higher value. The goal of the PUA is not to get laid but to run solid game, to get her to chase you. The neg is technique the player uses disqualify himself as a suiter; it’s a refusal to accept her frame of herself as the prize. Attraction is accomplished by demonstrating value and flipping the female sexual attraction switches, summarized by the acronym PLACES: Preselection (desired by other women), Leadership, Ambition, Congruent confidence, Excellence (going all in, risk taking, never doing anything half-as*), and Social Intelligence (emotional circuitry fires correctly, knows how to handle different social situations appropriately). The Venusian Arts are primarily about inner game and self-improvement not about tricks and lines.

  21. “There’s a PUA concept called the ‘Obvious counter-intuitive’. In this case, the obvious counter-intuitive is that PUAs consciously avoid being manipulative because it’s transparent and low ranking behavior.”

    Perhaps more self-proclaimed PUAs should be informed of this. Not that it would change the fact that PUA techniques are still in the essence manipulation. But just saying.

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