By Peter Frick-Wright
Guys, let me know if this sounds familiar. You're eating lunch with a friend, maybe at an outdoor patio, maybe in front of the mall or a pet store or your local Bed, Bath and Beyond—wherever the women tend to congregate. All of the sudden, approaching from the distance, in a tight-fitting leotard under shimmering soccer shorts, with a white tank top and hair that says, "I know my way around the shampoo section," you see—face obscured by sunglasses large enough to take shelter from the rain under— what those in the single world call an "objective" or for the romantics out there, a "quarry."
Your friend sees her too. "Dibs," he says loudly, always the charmer, and puts about half of his entrée in his mouth so that he has a reasonable excuse not to talk to her. As she walks by, all thoughts escape the grasp of your consciousness and you are left sitting there, hoping for eye contact and thinking that if you could only come up with something to say, she'd surely realize that she was walking by her romantic destiny, or at least some innocent lunchtime dalliance.
Seducing women has become a craft, maybe an art, and recently, very lucrative. Neil Strauss' "The Game," which depicts the two year tutelage of the author as he learns how to pick-up women from the best pick-up artists in the world is at the top of the New York Times bestseller list and several DVD lecture series addressing the very insecurities YOU probably feel when your personal Helen of Troy walks by are for sale for something like eighty bucks a set.
You may be tempted to buy cheesy programs like these—that rely on opening paragraphs like the ones above—you may even find that they work. But please please don’t think that they'll make you happy.
These series unscientifically deconstruct attraction, teaching, well, tactics for picking up the best looking girl in the bar. They might work, but they fail to address the dissatisfaction of these formulaic strategies of seduction and the latent contempt of women one must have to employ them.
The promise of these series is that you will date more women. Not better looking, not more intelligent or nicer women. Or even women that you'll get along with. More. Quantity over quality. The assumption is that more women in your life equal happiness, which is all well and good if that's your thing, but it makes the rest of us act like the same type of asshole faux-macho guys with a popped collar and immovable spikes of shiny hair whose equally reflective shoes resemble the top and bottom layout of some sort of expensive and garish Q-tip.
But it is not the physical with which these series are concerned. They're teaching you how act, not how to look, and you can learn most of what they teach you investing a few hours on Wikipedia. In fact, I can teach you the basis for the seduction community's entire approach in one phrase: Be a jerk to women and they'll love you for it.
It's one of the central concepts of the whole debauchery dogma and it's spreading through the Internet and $500 seduction seminars at an alarming rate.
The key players, the ones getting rich off of the frustration of mere mortals like you and me, teach strategies with nifty names and less than savory methods. One strategy teaches you to insult women during your first interaction. It elevates your status in her eyes and establishes your place, above hers, in the social hierarchy. It's called a "neg," and according to the gurus, it makes you "cool" and can create attraction in any situation.
But lets look at what a "neg" really does.
"You'd look really good tonight if you had dressed up."
I made this one up, but it's not far off from the lines taught in seminars put on by guys like David DeAngelo, or DD: The Dating Douche as some have called him. By establishing yourself as a social superior, you are essentially advertising a product and increasing your marketability and the relationship is now based on social commerce instead of interaction or charm.
But DD is not about establishing relationships, he's about teaching guys to pick up women. In the email newsletter sent out to market his DVD and audio series, DeAngelo addressed a letter from a guy who had mastered the DD's seduction techniques—often finding he could get girls to offer to sleep with him in a matter of hours, but he wasn't interested in casual sex and few would call him later and none would see him again. "What do I do DD? I really want a girlfriend." Was essentially his question.
DeAngelo's thoughtful answer: "Will someone please give this guy a medal for asking the dumbest question of all time?" He goes on to sarcastically suggest that the guy read "Mars and Venus books or something," and dismisses the question. It's not that DeAngelo is against being nice to women, he's against being nice to women for reasons other than trying to get them to sleep with you. In a video seminar, DeAngelo suggests that upon meeting a woman, you create interest in yourself by outrightly telling someone to make dinner for you. That way, if you're not interested, you bail and its dirty dishes in her kitchen.
As much as it pains me to say this, an entire seduction community and industry is probably not built on completely ineffective methods. Sex sells, and they’re selling it in close to its purest form.
Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach him to pick up women, he'll be too busy on the weekends to go fishing anyway.
But let's say you disregard the DD's advice and settle into some sort of relationship with only one woman. How will it affect you knowing that she's not really dating a person, she's dating these things that you learned, tricks and tactics that you gleaned from a video series designed to teach you how to make women feel attraction? Would this cheapen the relationship? Do you even care? It's morally ambiguous enough that most stances are justifiable, but it's a decision you might have to make if that dry spell lasts long enough that you find yourself sitting at home on a Friday night watching DeAngelo's or one of the many series designed to give you the tools to make your weekends more interesting.
I'm thinking that it's not for me. You can pick up women with this attraction psychology, these underhanded "neg" pickup lines and by preying on the socially insecure. I'm getting a puppy.