Monday, August 20, 2007

Q & A: Pick-Up Artist

I have been reading some questions from men posted on the discussion board for VH1's The Pickup Artist. Aside from being highly entertaining, they ask some good questions! I am presenting my favorites, along with my answers, here for discussion.

Question #1:What's better??

Guy #1

Good looking/Very good looking
Shy at first
Not a partier/or club/bar goer
Not a big drinker
Nice guy
Laid Back
Likes sports
Cultured (likes the arts,museums.etc)

Guy #2

Avergae looking
Party animal
Attends clubs/bars regularly
knows how to spit game/talk to you
big time drinker
super outgoing/almost obnoxious
not too smart
not cultured. Idea of fun is going to a concert or to the club.

Answer: Well, Guy #1, obviously. Who wants to date a stupid, obnoxious alcoholic? But here is the key: Guy #1 won't approach or ask me out. He never will. He might try to half-ass his way through it or enter into TFZ, but this kind of guy will rarely put himself out there and go for it. But Guy #2 will. And since he likes to get out of the house and be social and is probably fun, I'm probably going to go out with him, or at least give him a shot. Then I will date him for a few months, and probably complain about him most of the time before I dump him. Or catch him cheating on me, whichever comes first. (Hey, I'm trying to be honest here, guys!) So if "Nice" guys ever whine about how they finish last, THIS is why. #2 Guys win by default. Women's choices often come down to: date a jerk so you aren't alone alone. Neither is easy. And charming goes a long way.

Question #2: [And I paraphrase.] This PUA method seems to rely on deception and lies to get women. Why do I have to become a monster to get women to like me? Why do I have to lie? Can't a woman just like me for who I am?

Answer: Well, what do you think women do when they leave the house? Do you think our hair is really that blonde? Our boobs that big? Our lips that shiny? Please. Women do it all the time, and it's probably something we are "lying" about which is making you want to talk to us! Don't you think it works both ways? Successfully approaching a woman has little to do with lying and deceit and much more to do with coming off as non-threatening, confident and un-needy. Yes, you may feel desperate or lack confidence, but this is about faking it until you make it! Do you think that just because I wasn't born a prodigy pianist, that I'm being fake by learning how to play the piano? News Flash: The girl isn't going to think you're a big, fat liar unless you are actually lying about something. If you choose to put on your most confident attitude, much like choosing to wear a certain shirt, then more power to you! I think the PUAs are just showing men how to do that. It is within every guy. They just show you how to bring out that cool, confident version of yourself. It's sort of like getting a personal trainer at the gym. You weren't born that way. But someone showed you how to to be your best. Just because it's not natural doesn't mean you're lying. Once you have started dating her, you can show her your soft, little underbelly of niceness and vulnerability. Until then, you are competing with Alpha Males who are born knowing how to do this naturally. If you can't beat them, join them.

For many of the same reasons, being in The Friend Zone (TFZ) and then trying to "take it to the next level" doesn't work, either. It's not being your most confident self. It broadcasts desperation ("Well, if I can't be her boyfriend, at least I can be her friend...") and shows a lack of belief in yourself. And guess what -- you're still competing with Alpha Males. The only thing being her Hopeful Friend accomplishes is being non-threatening. Only, it's to the point that you've totally eliminated yourself from her idea of a desirable guy. You've gone too far.

Question #3: [This is one which Mystery answers himself on a little video on the site.]: Should you buy a woman a drink as a good opener?

Answer: No! There are women who try for the Sucker Drink. They are out to get drunk for free, and once she's gotten the drink, you're right back at square one--she's done with you, unless you're going to buy her another drink. These girls are called "Gold Diggers". I know girls like this. You don't want to date them, trust me. Mystery brings up a good point in his answer: It may be unnecessary to buy a girl a drink. She may have just been wanting you to talk to her, and so you just wasted $5 on a drink you didn't need to buy in order to impress her. This is true. Many women can buy their own drinks these days, thankyouverymuch. And some women do not want to get wasted. And do you really want to talk to a woman who is one drink closer to being sloppy? Don't answer that. The thing is, you'll never really know if she's talking to you because she feels obligated to (I have felt this way before), or if she's talking to you because she's really interested in you. Do you want to guess at these things? I didn't think so. I would think you're probably tired of guessing and you'd rather know.

But this is where I end my agreement with Mystery. He also states that some women are not "worth" a free drink. WHOA, Nelly. That kind of attitude will NEVER get you far with women. So you can just tank that idea right now. Look, if you don't want to buy a drink, then don't. But don't EVER have that kind of an attitude and expect women to like you. Ok, your target may like you and not pick up on your attitude, but her friends will smell your attitude a mile away. And they hold a lot of influence.

Mystery suggests instead that the target buys the first round, and then the guy buys the 2nd round. "This is what my friends and I do," he states. First of all, down here in the South, I can tell you most Southern girls would either laugh in your face and walk away, or they would be insulted if you presented that idea to them. Unless she's a drunk 21 year old co-ed. In which case, none of this stuff applies, anyway, because they are dumb college girls. No offense. I was once a dumb college girl myself.

But if he's going to suggest we alternate rounds like he and his buddies do, my first thought will be, "Well, I have plenty of friends. I'm looking for a guy to date. Thanks, anyway." And I will probably leave.

In all honesty, unless he inadvertently spills my drink, he NEVER has to buy me anything. He can wait until our first date to do that. Until then, he is under no obligation. Put your wallets away, gentlemen.

And no, you cannot use the money to buy yourself an extra drink, either. Don't re-allocate your bar money. Have you ever heard a woman say, "Yeah, he was nice, but he just wasn't drunk enough. He should have chugged a couple of Heinekins before coming over and talking to me." ? Didn't think so. Put. Down. The. Confidence. Juice. She's going to have to see you semi-sober at some point. You might as well get her used to the idea now.

The Pick-Up Artist is on VH1 tonight at 9pm, EST. Won't you join me?


playtpus said...

I am eagerly anticipating tonight's episode. I can't wait to see what words of wisdom (and I use that term very loosely) Mystery has to offer...

The K Life said...

hello, I just wanted to tell you that I just started reading your blog, and you are cracking me up! I'm actually reading from the archives up (work boredome, haha), but I thought I'd leave you a comment up top and tell you how very entertaining you are!

teahouse said...


I guess I'm lucky my Fiance approached me first. He certainly wasn't the best looking or most suave guy I'd ever met. But he did have the balls to ask me out. Multiple times. And not give up after I rejected him twice.

When Darkness Falls... said...

I guess I am going to have to break down and watch this show! I checked out the website and I agree with your post. Maybe next season they would consider adding a girl to the cast. VB and Mystery! I think you could really help these guys!

coffeesnob said...

can't believe you're taking this desperate trash (half) seriously, vb. the only thing reality shows teach is how important it is never to resemble anyone who goes on a reality show.

pick up lines/routines are strictly for one-night stands. phoney. meeting someone, and getting to know them, is another matter altogether.

Phantom Hater said...

No offense, VB, but I kinda agree with coffeesnob. I haven't watched this show, so I might be off-base here, but...The best a PUA could hope for would be to be a serial dater. Their goals don't really coincide with someone who actually wants to have a meaningful relationship. It's fine if you're young (I mean, that's what I did when I was younger), but as you get older that kind of thing just looks more pathetic. His goal isn't to make himself legitimately interesting and well-rounded, but to give the appearance of being interesting just long enough to get in a girl's pants. You're trying to think that you could possibly train a person to be a PUA and a good bf.

The fact that you said:
"I'm probably going to go out with him, or at least give him a shot. Then I will date him for a few months, and probably complain about him most of the time before I dump him. Or catch him cheating on me, whichever comes first." means you need to change something or you will just be constantly disappointed. You still seem to equate confidence with douchebaggery.

If a guy is cultured, intelligent, educated, etc., like your Guy #1, he should have no problem talking to a woman, and probably could land a better catch of a woman than some gutter-tramp in a bar, which is probably the best Guy #2 could shoot for.

I think I mentioned my (ex) friend, the Hogger, who was an excellent PUA. He was a little overweight, average-looking, but always targeted sub-par (or older, more desperate) women so that he never went home alone. Who wants to aspire to be that?

Matt Savage said...

Question #1:

I feel like this question is making the assumption that Guy #2 is your stereotypical pickup artist, when really Guy #2 is your stereotypical frat boy. There's a HUGE difference people!

Pick-up artists are basically Guy #3:laid back, not a big drinker, occasional partier/bar goer, smart, cultured, athletic, knows how to talk to women. Sounds almost perfect right? That's because pick-up artists aren't a bunch of drunks just trying to get laid. In fact one of the first things we are taught as pick-up artists is to not drink so much; most quit drinking altogether. PUAs are simply reformed nerds who are consistently trying to improve their lives.

I hope people out there aren't judging PUAs based on Guy #2.

Question 2:

Virginia, excellent answer to this, no need for me to elaborate.

Question 3:

Good answer but just wanted to add a few things.

Buying drinks for girls is just acting needy and desperate. It's like attempting to pay her in exchange for sex. Not attractive. This is why the whole concept of spending an extravagant amount of money on a women (flowers, expensive restaurants, gifts, etc.) doesn't work - unless of course you want a gold digger as VB says.

By the way, I've had plenty of southern girls buy me drinks, but we were in norther maybe it's different;)

Good stuff, I love your commentary on this show.

-Matt Savage

Matt Savage said...

Phantom Hater,

You ARE definitely way off-base here. You are making the assumption that a typical PUA is Guy #2, when the two are really much different. I explain this more in my comment above.

One of the reasons that PUAs go out to bars and clubs a lot is because it is easier to practice being more social with women. There is a much higher density of women in a club then say in a museum or library. Having the ability to practice and refine our social skills in this environment is very helpful for those times when we meet beautiful, interesting women in other situations.

-Matt Savage

Phantom Hater said...

Oh please...while I agree that a club might be an easier place to chat someone up (mainly because the liquor is flowing), you can't expect me to believe that you have some altruistic goals in mind. You're trying to get laid, not trying to "refine your social skills" and "improve your lives". How much of an actual conversation can you have in a bar? Call it what it is, dude.

I don't think a PUA is Guy #2. At its heart, the whole PUA "game" is manipulative and shallow, but it definitely requires finesse and an understanding of female psychology, which was not part of the description of Guy #2. I have no problem if these "artists" would fess up to that, instead of trying to disguise it as some sort of attempt to improve themselves.

Matilda Jane said...

This whole PUA thing makes me seriously reconsider lesbianism.

Phantom Hater said...

~mj - Well, you've obviously got a good shot at it, from your recent blog entries, but I think you would miss the D too much. ;)

Coco said...

How much do I love this show? As much as I love all your blogs, and in particular your advice to men. It's golden.

Now-where is the television show that teaches women how to get guys (other than those that say they are 'only in town for the night') to approach THEM?? That's what I'd like to know!

one girl said...

you are *awesome* I love the questions/ answers!!

Virginia Belle said...

platypus -- like you, i take what he says with a grain of salt...

the K life -- glad i'm helping people get through their day! :)

teahouse -- see, now THAT is awesome. balls are great. more guys should have balls. my mom rejected my dad 365 times (ok, so i am exaggerating a little) before going out with him. then he had to propose about 16 times before she's say yes. they were married until he died a couple years ago.

when darkness falls -- one one hand, i like that it's sort of a "boy's club", but on the other hand, i'm sitting on my couch screaming, "ask a girl! ask a girl! see what we really think!" -- so i don't know. i would LOVE to be a consultant or something. but i would not want to be in their little coaching sessions...i would feel i'm intruding.

coffeesnob -- yes, i do think that some guys will use see these shows and make a fast track for herpesville. but i also think a lot of guys truly want a girlfriend or a date. and they just don't know how to approach a stranger. i'm sure they have just as difficult of a time networking at work. it's really more about social skills than anything else. i'm not 100% in favor of everything he's been saying, but i can see the value in his work.

PH -- oh, none taken. these are strictly my opinions and i enjoy the banter. yes, there is a time and a place for using the PUA method. but i don't think you HAVE to use these skills for serial dating/hookup purposes. if you watch the show, you will see these guys need SERIOUS help in ANYthing remotely social. they don't naturally possess your charm and grace, PH. not every guy is so lucky.

and yes, so far, the fun and confident guys HAVE been douchebags. that's why they don't last. i meet nice guys, but they aren't confident, so it doesn't last. rare are the guys who are both nice AND confident. and since women are fairly social creatures, we have an easier time initially relating to confident, outgoing types. the insecure nice guys make us feel awkward. and when girls feel awkward, we do NOT feel like kissing anyone. so the douchebags win by default. not because they're better people.

then again, what do i know. i'm just an old, desperate gutter tramp, according to you. :)

matt-- ok, yes, i am seeing your point in the description of the PUA. i am off, and apparently a sucker for the fratty type. (shocker.) but if PUAs are not "just a bunch of drunks trying to get laid", then it sure does seem like it sometimes. look at the title of mystery's book: "the mystery method: how to get beautiful women into bed" -- don't you notice a little bit of discrepancy? i can go with the PUA method, but only to a point. there are moments when the books and this show seem to be treating women like sexual conquests. and THAT is what i don't like. i do agree with your reasoning behind not buying drinks. it's the same reason i don't hook up on first dates -- it feels too much like an exchange between sex and money to me. but here's a question: is there room in the PUA philosophy for real, actual dating? i mean, all this stuff is just training wheels on the road to confidence, right?? please tell me i'm right.

oh, and thank you for explaining why they are doing this in bars rather than in more natural environments. that makes perfect sense. i have been wondering about that.

PH-- ok, i am thinking you are having a hard time seeing where these guys are coming from, PH, because you've never had to deal with all the lame ways men approach you. i don't think you realize how badly most guys need serious help, just in NOT coming off as a loser, creepy, annoying person. a LOT of it is body language. they are showing these guys how to make women feel comfortable rather than threatened. and for that ALONE, i am grateful to the PUA society. bars are extremely social and full of lots of potential conversations -- not necessarily with women, just people in general. if you don't know what you're doing, EVERYONE will want you to leave. bars are 100% social, which is what guys who are 0% social need in order to learn. think of it as learning French by moving to Paris, without learning a lick of French ahead of time. it's probably the best way to learn and you'd learn pretty damn fast!

i bet you just naturally DO it, PH, you just don't realize it. you might be a natural PUA. unfortunately, as far as douchbaggery is concerned, that has yet to be determined.

MJ- you can't leave me. please. not with all these socially awkward guys and Evil PUAs.

LOL @ PH...

Coco- that's what I'M saying! now you're talking, girl!!!! I need to be on the female version of this show! i wonder if PUAs can help me? hmmm. someone needs to start up a group for women. i am thinking the cast of charlie's angels would be good. cameron? drew? lucy? are you listening?

RWA said...

I am trying to determine if you are this show's biggest critic - or its biggest publicity blog?


I will agree that asking a woman to buy the first round will NOT work - at least here in the South. And, for the record, I am speaking from experience working in a bar - NOT from ever having made such a suggestion myself.

Phantom Hater said...

Sorry, I got a little carried away. It's not like the majority of guys in bars aren't chasing ass. PUAs are just better at it.

"all this stuff is just training wheels on the road to confidence, right?? please tell me i'm right."
Uh, sure. I'm sure all men who learn PUA skills will only use their powers for the cause of good.

"then again, what do i know. i'm just an old, desperate gutter tramp, according to you. :)"

OH,'re not really *that* old. :)

Phantom Hater said...

Oh, and what kind of cheap bastard makes a woman buy the first round?

Matt Savage said...

Wow, looks like we got some nice banter going on here.

I just want to clear something up that I may have said in an earlier comment. I'm not denying that I nor any other PUA is out to get laid. That's the whole point. That is the draw. And what's wrong with wanting to have sex? Everyone wants sex...well perhaps with the exception of PH...because he's above all that. The point I was trying to make was that yes we are out to "get laid" but we've come to understand that in order to get laid we must improve our lives (ie become more social, not creep out women, become interesting, do interesting things so that we have interesting stories, becoming passionate about something, etc). This is what I meant by "it's not just about picking up women but improving lives."

"but here's a question: is there room in the PUA philosophy for real, actual dating? i mean, all this stuff is just training wheels on the road to confidence, right?? please tell me i'm right."

Yea, you are pretty much right. The canned material used in the show are just to help get the guys talking to women without having to worry about what to say.

Most guys who get into the whole PUA thing eventually move on to have a serious relationships with one special girl that they've found, that they probably couldn't have found without the help and training of the pick-up artist philosophy.

Now of course, with any type of movement you will always have good apples and bad apples. Of course someone could use these techniques to just go out and have meaningless sex with tons of women but this is only a small fraction of the community.

To Coco and VB,

If you want guys to approach you need to throw out some heavy AIs (approach invitations). This can be done by a lot of eye contact, hanging around him for an extended time for no reason, dropping something in front of him, asking him a question, fumbling with something in front of you, making nervous gestures, etc.

But if you really want a guy to talk to you then just make the first approach. It really takes a load of the guys back as we've seen in the show, approaching is a very difficult thing for a lot of men.

Hope this helps:)


Phantom Hater said...

Good response Matt--believe me, I have nothing against guys trying to get laid. That was pretty much my daily goal in my early 20's, but I guess at some point I just think it becomes kind of an empty lifestyle and I think there are better ways to spend my time and energy. I don't consider myself "above" anyone (except handicapped and retarded people of course).

FRIGGA said...

Okay, question 1 I flat out don't like. Those arnen't the only 2 types of guys out there. How about a guy who's also a MAN!
On question 3 I somewhat agree. But if I'm at a bar and the server comes back around and I order another drink - he should definitely offer to pay for it!!!

Again, sorry for being so late (and for not reading the comments above me!) :P