The Inconsistency Of The Haters

I was flipping through an old Maxim magazine (November 2008) at the garage the other day and came across a nauseating article attributed to the “Maxim Staff” (aka ignorant bitches) analyzing the tenets of game. Although the piece was written three years ago, I felt it was a good summation of the continual stupidity of the mainstream media in regards to game.

With the exception of the first two paragraphs (a try-hard humor intro discussing all the “gimmicks” men have “invented” over the years to pick up women), I shall post the entire article, with my comments below each paragraph.

Enter the modern pickup artist. Ever since the bestseller The Game depicted a bizarre but supposedly successful society of “PUAs” (pickup artists) a few years ago—one of whom now coaches dateless geeks via his own show on VH1—men have been following all their sketchy, seemingly counterintuitive advice to the letter. But the result is a population of misguided and increasingly desperate guys striking out more spectacularly than ever. So do any of these new classic pickup tips actually work, or are they all guaranteed to bomb? To help you sort through all the conflicting information, I asked 20 women to weigh in. Their breakdowns will help you get real game—and get laid.

It’s already pretty easy to tell this is going to be a crack analysis written by women or men who have no clue how to attract women, considering the use of the phrase “sketchy, seemingly counterintuitive advice.” It’s as if the majority of men relying on their pedestalizing intuitions actually attract the women en masse.

And any time a relationship article is based on getting “20 women to weigh in,” you know you’re in store for an enormous expanse of beautiful lies. “Their breakdowns will help you get real game.” Mm-hmm… Do girls really think their shitty advice (“Get her flowers!” “Treat her like a princess!”) gets guys anywhere with them? It’s as if they’re purposely sabotaging the whole thing just so that the only people left playing the game would be the alphas they all secretly crave under the cover of night.

Ploy No. 1: Give Her a “Neg”
The most famous tactic from The Game, a “neg” is a “seemingly accidental insult delivered to a beautiful woman to demonstrate a lack of interest in her.” An example: “Your hair is pretty. Are you a natural blonde?” The purported objective of a neg is to approach a hot girl who’s accustomed to getting compliments and nudge her self-confidence into the basement through subtle criticism—to the point where she’ll even concede to sleeping with you (or at least giving you her number) for validation. Charming!

Negs are not insults. Neil Strauss should have used different language to define it (if that truly is the definition right out of The Game— after a quick scan through I couldn’t find it). In The Mystery Method, it is written, “A neg is not an insult but a negative social value judgment that is telegraphed.” And the example given here is nowhere near an insult. It’s a question with the most subtle hint of negative social value judgment sprinkled in. Negs are the antithesis of the pedestalization to which most guys gravitate. Strange that despite all that sucking up girls encounter from hoards of men, it doesn’t make them want them any more.

Gamers, beware: Every woman I spoke to despises this trick. “If a guy gave me a backhanded compliment like that, I’d tell him to fuck off,” says Tori, a 28-year-old stylist.

Sure you would.

Alix, a 27-year-old bartender, described her firsthand experience with a neg. “A customer told me his favorite movie, and I said, ‘Oh, I love that one, too!’” she says. “Then this other guy who was waiting to order said, ‘That’s pretty lame. Don’t you have any opinions of your own?’ He thought he was flirting. I thought he was just being an asshole.”

Sounds like Alix (note the slutty “i”) still remembers that asshole moment to this day. How many “how are yous” can she specifically remember?

Simple as it may seem, most women agree that genuine flattery (without the jibe at the end) is the quickest way into our shorts. Just skip the clichés and focus on the details. Jalisa, a 31-year-old real estate broker, was impressed recently when a guy commented on a feature that often goes unnoticed. “I was wearing a strapless top, and I caught his eyes drifting to my shoulders while we talked,” she says. “Final­ly he said, ‘I’m sorry for staring, but you’ve got such a beautiful collarbone.’ He reached out to touch it, sweeping my hair back while he did it, and my knees almost buckled. I knew that second I was sleeping with him that night.” Make us feel interesting and sexy and we’ll reward you. Tell us our pants are a little snug [ed: that’s not a neg] and you’re going home alone, Spanky.

While it is true that if you’re going to compliment women, noticing something specific about them is always good, this whole paragraph is a red herring. It’s talking about two entirely different things. No PUA ever said to neg a girl all the way to the bedroom; obviously rapport needs to be established.

And “genuine flattery is the quickest way into our shorts?” What are these girls smoking?

Verdict: Except for emotionally crippled broken wings, women don’t respond well to being insulted.

One of the biggest myths of them all is that only “emotionally crippled” women respond well to negs and teasing. In reality, it is the hottest women who respond well to it.

Ploy No. 2: Have a Routine
PUAs are former outcasts who need crutches in social situations. That’s why they advocate approaching women with “prepared material”—a joke, a quiz, even a magic trick. Um…yeah. If we wanted to see magic, we’d be home watching reruns of Criss Angel Mindfreak, not sitting in a bar with friends, having a life. In fact, anything that feels that rehearsed is likely to flop. “I had a guy come up to me recently and say, ‘Pick a number between one and 10,’” says Zoe [ed: Bitch], a 28-year-old set designer. “I told him, ‘Zero—which represents the number of seconds more I’ll be playing this game,’ and I walked away.”

The fact of the matter is that most girls will respond more positively to a man who is interesting than your average boring beta bear. If someone has to memorize a few routines to get the courage to approach a girl (and it does take courage, especially considering you might run into a girl as sweet and playful as dear Zoe), then more power to them. These routines should never be “crutches;” they are designed to get a man out of his shell and nab a pretty woman’s attention. When done right, they almost always work to get a man to the next stage of the pickup.

Telling a joke is just as risky. Most shtickfests are juvenile or just plain bad, and plenty walk the line of good taste. Humor can work, however—when it’s spontaneous. “I was at a crowded bar when a guy turned to me and said, ‘Who do I have to show my tits to to get a beer around here?’” says Lisa, a 31-year-old attorney. “I started laughing and said, ‘You show yours, I’ll show mine—we’ll see who gets served faster.’ The conversation was sexual right off the bat. I had my hands down his pants in the bar bathroom by the end of the night.”

If gamed correctly, the target is going to have no idea whether the humor is spontaneous or not. The guy’s tit line could have been planned for three years for all Lawyer Lisa knows. Girls love to imagine a world where everything magically happens without any rhyme or reason; in reality, it almost always requires a decent amount of planning by the man to pull it off.

Verdict: Maybe you can hold our attention by levitating for a second, David Blaine, but it doesn’t mean we want to screw.

No PUA ever said routines led directly to the screw; they are meant to establish some higher value and get one’s foot in the door.

Ploy No. 3: Disarm Your Competition
Attractive women are almost always being hit on by someone. An intimidated guy will get scared off by the rival and seek out a different object of affection. But followers of the Game see this as an opportunity to assert themselves. They call it AMOGing (the verb form of the acronym “alpha male of the group”) or outalphaing: “to remove a potential male competitor through physical, verbal, or psychological tactics.” Basically, that means pushing your way into their conversation and showing you’re smarter and funnier than the other guy.

Now, if the guy in question is the woman’s boyfriend, you could be in for a fight. But if you see a sexy girl being hit on by someone she’s clearly not interested in (her eyes are darting around the room; she’s maintaining a physical distance), step in. Jodie, a 28-year-old architect, had been cornered for 10 minutes with “a monotoned loser” when a stranger swooped in pretending to be her boyfriend. “He said, ‘Honey, what’d I tell you about not charming the pants off the whole bar while I was gone?’ I played right along by throwing my arms around him—and when we looked at each other we just spontaneously kissed. It was so hot that as the first guy slunk away I pulled my ‘boyfriend’ outside for a make-out session.”

Every girl loves to have men fighting over her. And if you rescue her from some tool’s story about his high school’s math Olympics, you’ll be her hero.

Five bucks says the “monotoned loser” hitting on her was employing all the classic niceguy methods women claim to love too.

How do our writers think a guy is able to AMOG the competition in the first place? They sure as hell ain’t gonna do it by introducing himself and politely asking his competitors to leave the premises.

Ploy No. 4: Call Right Away
You’ve heard for years that you should wait at least two days before calling a woman to ask her out—otherwise you’ll look like a desperate loser, right? Not according to practitioners of The Game. When too much time lapses between securing a girl’s number and calling her, they call it going “stale.” They assume the girl has lost interest by then—and they’re right.

While it’s true you shouldn’t call at 9 a.m. the following day to see if she’s free for brunch, you can’t wait too long or she’s going to write you off. Sometimes you can even contact her right away, as long as you keep things light and flirty. Maggie, a 27-year-old author, said she once slept with a guy the first night she talked to him, because he texted her when they were both on their way home. “He wrote, ‘Can’t wait till tomorrow. Turn around?’ I wrote back that I was almost at my apartment, but he could come by for a nightcap. I never bothered offering him that drink—as soon as he walked in the door, I started tearing his clothes off.”

Verdict: Women aren’t put off by being wanted. If you like her, call her.

While we come to agreement on this one, I’m curious if the reason behind it was to further stroke the egos of women. In other words: don’t make her wait! She’s a prize catch!

Ploy No. 5: Dress Like a Cock
In the PUA world, “peacocking” means wearing something flashy in order to stand out from the rest of the herd. The term was coined by “Mystery,” the MPUA (or “master pickup artist”) who hosts The Pickup Artist on VH1 decorated in eyeliner, black nail polish, and furry top-hats with goggles strapped over them. He insists that all his protégés radically alter their style in this way, advising them to accessorize with things like feather boas. But the message I got from women was clear: Do not do this.

“Guys should just stick with what they like,” says Jeri-Ann, a 25-year-old teacher. “You’ll look like a total dipshit if you throw on a velvet vest and choker with your old Dockers.” Jill, 30, a clothing designer, recalls hitting it off with a “conservative preppy dude” at a party. “But when we met up the next night he was wearing a tight-fitting vintage T-shirt and had his hair all greasy and mussed up. He looked uncomfortable and frankly a little bizarre,” she says.

Do not take fashion advice from a guy in six-inch platform boots, no matter how much he claims to get laid.

I’m not the biggest practitioner of peacocking, but again, the writers are analyzing guys “who looked uncomfortable” doing it. A confident man wearing bizarre clothing will still turn the women on. Remember, the point of peacocking, as Mystery writes, is to invoke “more social pressure on you than you would normally experience, which can be used to your advantage. You demonstrate higher value when people perceive that you’re accustomed to this social pressure and otherwise unaffected by it.” So in other words, it’s not about the clothes. It’s about how you will handle the attention the clothes will undoubtedly direct your way.

Ploy No. 6: Hit on Her Friend
According to skilled PUAs, every pair of women you encounter can be broken down into a “target” (the girl you like) and a “pivot” (the girl you use to make the target jealous). The idea is, when you approach the pivot, the girl you want immediately wonders why you’re not interested in her—and does whatever she can to get your attention.

Technically, a pivot is a girl you already know (whether as friends from before or from earlier that night) acting as a wingman to increase your social value, not an unknown girl in a set you’re approaching. She is an obstacle.

The reason why the obstacle is approached first is not simply to get the target jealous; it is to establish rapport with a person who currently has more power over the target’s decisions at that moment than you do. It doesn’t matter how tight your game is; if you don’t win over your target’s friends early on, she will be following their whimsical designs, not yours.

Most women say this tactic fails on two levels: one, it’s extremely slimy; two, women are sensitive to the fact that our friends need to get laid, too. You know the old adage “Bros before hos”? Most of us have that same solidarity thing going on with our girls. If we suspect you like her, we’ll simply move on to someone else. Also, bear in mind that no girl ever wants to feel like she was a second choice. “I had a guy try that once,” says Sasha, a 28-year-old dance instructor. “He was all over my friend, but when she went to the bathroom, he said he thought I was cuter. I poured my drink on his crotch.”

This trick puts you in the unique position of potentially pissing off two girls instead of just one—whoopee!

I don’t believe the majority of the PUA community teaches that men should hit on obstacles. They teach to address them, talk to them, and generally telegraph less interest towards your target (at first) to win over the group. The guy who got the drink poured on his crotch was probably inebriated and thus lacking the ability to properly calibrate to the situation.

Ploy No. 7: Make Her Work for It
Women love to be challenged. If you offer us the opportunity to show off a quality that goes beyond looks, we’ll definitely be intrigued. For pickup artists, this usually translates to inviting a woman to play some kind of conversational game, a rapid-fire series of questions and answers. But it’s just as effective to challenge her to a more physical contest.

Funny, I thought negging and teasing a girl would be considered the perfect example of making her “work for it.” Turning the tables and establishing yourself as the prize to be won, through tactics such as negs, is exactly what a woman wants from a man. Sounds like somebody’s worldview is a bit inconsistent.

“I can’t say no if a guy asks me to play pool, Buck Hunter, darts…even flip-cup or any other kind of drinking game,” says Mary, a 27-year-old pastry chef. “I’ll immediately want to prove I can kick his ass.” And it never hurts to up the ante. “At a party recently, I took on this guy at quarters,” says Kirstin, a 22-year-old student. “After a few rounds he said we should make it ‘strip quarters.’ Ten minutes later we were sitting across from each other shirtless and pantsless—we had to take the game upstairs to his room before it got indecent.”

There is nothing anti-game about playing pool or “strip quarters.” In fact, the latter sounds like something invented by a master PUA.

Verdict: No girl wants to be considered boring or weak. Dare her to beat you at something and she’ll take you on. And if you get rejected, don’t take it personally. Remember: We almost never hate the player; we just kind of hate the Game.

Well ladies, the Game exists because you make the rules. If flattery and pedestalization were indeed the way into your pants, then the Game would look more like a gentleman’s chivalry competition. But it isn’t.

Then again, I wouldn’t expect you to understand. We’re talking about the deep dark recesses of your id, that which is responsible for the tingles you feel for assholes, badboys, and other assorted cads who use the principles of game to seduce you right into bed. What reason would you have for admitting the truth?


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