A thread for discussing Elana Clift’s Thesis “Picking Up and Acting Out: Politics of Masculinity in the Seduction Community”

It is with great pleasure that I introduce the thread exclusively devoted to examining a unique thesis by Elana Clift, “Picking Up and Acting Out:  Politics of Masculinity in the Seduction Community.”  I will present the link to her thesis right here for personal convenience:

https://webspace.utexas.edu/ejc329/ElanaCliftThesis.pdf?uniq=-wk7fye

This thesis was done under the aegis of the Department of American Studies at the University of Texas in Austin, the “first academic study of the Seduction Community” (Clift, p.3, “Abstract”).  Elana has expressed an interest in dialoguing with people about her thesis, and I have decided to devote an entire thread–or maybe more!–to discussion!:) 

 I hereby open the discussion.  However, you are REQUIRED TO ABIDE BY THE RULES LISTED HERE, SO READ THEM:

https://feministpitbull.wordpress.com/2007/05/18/discussion-rules/

There are two modifications  I’ll allow to these rules **specifically** on this thread **only.** **Because** this thread is devoted to discussing Elana’s thesis, I *will* allow PUA- and PUA-sympathizing commenters who have not been banned on either this blog or Thinking Girl’s blog to weigh in on this thesis, with comments either pro- or anti- its observations, premises, ideas, etc.  The second rule is that you must read the thesis and base your comments on its topics and ideas, although it is allowed to use the thesis contents as a springboard to other related ideas.  However, understand well that there will be no personal attacks, misogynist sentiments, anti-feminist screeds, or other mind games (distractions, smokescreens, etc.) played here.  This is a feminist blog dedicated to fighting manipulation–including that of mainstream patriarchal PUAism–and the discussion here WILL be limited to the ideas presented in Elana’s thesis; if you don’t like this, go elsewhere.  You will be warned ONLY ONCE before being permanently banned if you attempt to post a comment that violates these rules.  Be civil and focused or be gone.    You can always go back to your own blogs and websites and comment as nastily as you want to if you don’t feel like being civil, but abuse here will be ignored.  Deal with it or don’t.

I will always, fiercely oppose pick-up methodology based on patriarchy and/or manipulation.  However, does this mean I’m out to control other people’s sex lives?  Not at all!  **But** the purpose of my blog is to provide resources and ammunition to women and men seeking freedom from psychological and mental domination.  This is the only thread on this blog where I will allow mainstream patriarchal PUAs/PUA sympathizers a voice, but it will be opposing or supporting opinions or observations regarding the ideas in this thesis.  And it will be civil by my standards, or it will not be posted.  Period.

This will also be an invitation to PUAs who dissent from the patriarchal ideology and manipulative methodologies of the mainstream:   this is an opportunity for you to speak out on the thesis and on your ideas, provided they’re “on topic.”  While I am a Christian and am opposed on religious principles to premarital sex, I understand that not everyone is going to agree with me, and I would **much rather encourage the discussion of methods of attraction and approach based on honor, honesty, and equality** than silence such discussion based on my socially-perceived “asceticism.”  In other words, I’d rather  encourage the development of a PUA community based on principles of “don’t manipulate, don’t dominate” than be religiously legally correct.  ANYTHING that fights a climate of deceit, objectification and manipulation is **welcome** and **encouraged.   

As proof of my goodwill in this matter, I repeat here a comment that I posted on Thinking Girl’s second PUA thread, posted on July 3rd, 2007, 9;13 am: 

“I’m sort of at a loss because the last thing I want to do is give a phony feminist “imprimatur” to methods of PUA that don’t consciously enforce patriarchal gender roles, but I feel a need to acknowledge that it’s possible to create methods that aren’t manipulative and unexploitative, or at least try to get away from it. The problem, is, however, we live in a patriarchy. ALL **unexamined** sexual relations and initiation thereof are going to be contaminated with patriarchal programming. The question is, is it possible to have non-exploitative, non-patriarchal sexual relations in a society bathed in patriarchy? My feeling is that it’s *possible,* but that it takes a lot of thought.  However, one thing can be observed: if a method of attraction and approach can be designed or offered that: 1) doesn’t advocate using gender roles and stereotypes, or power imbalances to initiate and conduct sexual and romantic relations, 2) doesn’t encourage or allow exploitation and objectification–or allow viewing the other person as a “target,” 3) can be used by any person of any gender, and 4) doesn’t set out to addict other people to the approacher, I’m not going to have a problem with it. I can’t and won’t speak for other feminists, but I can speak for me–Scarred the Feminist Pit Bull. This isn’t to say that other feminists have to agree with me, because **I will ALWAYS** support my sisters:)) no matter what conclusions they come to about the problems of having sex in a patriarchy.”   

I said those words:  I **STAND** by these words.   So while I can’t give an “imprimatur” to non-exploitational, non-patriarchal pick-up methods, I can certainly grant opportunities on my blog for their discussion, and I most thoroughly encourage PUAs dissenting from the mainstream to emerge and comment on Elana’s thesis–and alternative methods.

And of course, the usual feminists, feminist allies, and pro-feminist people.:)  Let the discussion begin!:) 

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34 responses to “A thread for discussing Elana Clift’s Thesis “Picking Up and Acting Out: Politics of Masculinity in the Seduction Community”

  1. Doug S.

    I read the thesis, but I really don’t know what I can add to it. Basically, there’s some reasonable advice for men in the “seduction community” – you’ll never get any dates if you never ask for any, and self-confidence is appealing to most people – but there’s a lot of scary nonsense, too. The ideal of “figure out what women want, and then give it to them” seems like a good idea, but when it turns into “All women want X” it starts becoming stupid. Even on the level of physical appearance, people find different things attractive. I might be an outlier, but I’m more attracted to a girl’s appearance above the neck than below it; I seem to be be more affected by a friendly smile and hair that looks soft to touch than I am by the traditional T&A display.

    There may be some truth to the old saw that, on at least one level, when looking for a mate, men seek beauty and women seek social status. (Being “broke, unemployed, and living in his parents’ basement” would be a serious turn-off for most women, I imagine.) However, as both beauty and social status can be made into rather nebulous concepts that depend on personal taste, I don’t know if there’s anything useful to be gained from dwelling on it.

    “Be yourself” is advice that is both much given and much maligned. Perhaps a more helpful formulation would be “Act the way you do when you are not afraid of being rejected.”

    I just ran into an interesting blog… it seems to be a woman who takes a different attitude to aspiring “pick-up artists”:
    http://cocksanddolls.blogspot.com/

    One last topic: there is a level on which it makes sense to view people as interchangeable. Imagine a room full of strangers as a bunch of gift-wrapped Christmas presents. Until you “open them up” by interacting with them, one present is basically the same as another. One person you know nothing about is as likely to be someone worthwhile than another person you know nothing about. On the other hand – and this is where PUAism seems to go horribly wrong – once you actually have gotten to know someone, you’d better be thinking of them as a unique individual instead of as an unopened gift box. If you’ve found something special inside, hold on to it!

  2. Scarred the Feminist Pit Bull

    “The ideal of “figure out what women want, and then give it to them” seems like a good idea, but when it turns into “All women want X” it starts becoming stupid.”

    That’s just it. Realistically, the “all women want X” doctrine doesn’t allow for the following “departures”:

    *lesbians
    *dominatrices/dominant women who **want** submissive men–and oh, yes, they’re OUT there, people, believe it!
    *asexual women, who have as much interest in sex and romance as they do numbering the amount of grains of sand in a glass
    *women who like to switch off between dominance and submission,
    *or any variations of these themes–or stuff/situations not even discussed here!

    “One person you know nothing about is as likely to be someone worthwhile than another person you know nothing about.”

    A true enough perspective–but I think the observation can be made that this is true in **ANY** social situation. (I’m sure you would agree: I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but maybe we have to sing a few bars to get the rest of the audience going.:)) What specifically bothers me **fiercely** is that in the mainstream patriarchal PUA community, it’s **women** who are seen as interchangeable and disposable–but you’re expected to be loyal to your fellow PUAs! “The bros before the hos…” That’s an **actual** saying.

    I’ll have an another observation on Elana’s thesis tonight…:)

  3. Scarred the Feminist Pit Bull

    Ms. Clift has one of the *cagiest* observations I’ve read about the mainstream patriarchal community: she has neatly and accurately observed the following: “While many PUAs view the male cameraderie of the Seduction Community as a means to healthy dating relationships, others see this brotherhood as an opportunity to engage in a unified rebellion against perceived female power (Clift, p. 54).” She then **elegantly** makes the connection between these patriarchal PUA attitudes to the historical male views and attitudes described in and by Playboy magazine:

    “It seems that the fraternal bond established during the *Playboy* moment has less to do with the magazine’s content and more with a rebellious cameraderie. In this way, the *Playboy* moment itself generates masculine solidarity. Because the magazine alone cannot recreate the same kind of male unity, the text subtly (and often obviously) demeans women for the purpose of bonding its male readers. Simply portraying nude women in a manner meant to objectify themis not enough to produce a cohesive fraternal bond; and so, the text itself contains multiple female stereotypes, that, while asserting the superiority fo men, encourage a kind of ‘us versus them’ mentality (Clift, p. 54-55).” Clift then goes own to use the examples of the cartoons of Jack Cole as one of the many examples of Playboy dehumanization of women and makes the blunt and obvious connection: “By catagorizing women into known character types, the cartoon instructs male readers to mock the opposite gender and as a result feel empowerment and solidarity for their own…Cole’s cartoon series of female stereotypes relegates women into categories, thus instructing male readers to view the opposite gender in a one-dimensional manner. Cole’s dehumanizing oversimplification of women resonates today in the words and actions of men in the Seduction Community (Clift, p. 56-57).”

    Now, before anyone goes off the deep end, I’ve always thought that nonviolent, consensual porn has been unfairly blamed as a source of oppressing women. I do not favor censoring consensual porn, either softcore or hardcore, nor do I believe getting rid of it will help women *one* little bit. HOWEVER, I’ve always had a gripe with the Playboy Culture–not because of the nude female photography, but because of the attitudes and stances articulated and set forth within the articles and cartoons of the publication, which, IMHO, are a hundred times more objectifying and unfair towards women than any picture could be. And Elana Clift has accurately pointed out that THIS is at least **one** of the direct historical forebears of mainstream patriarchal PUAism. Kudos to Ms. Clift!

  4. Doug S.

    One of the things I found interesting in the thesis was the section on the history of courtship… it’s interesting to hear about just how much things have changed over time as new technology gives people new opportunities.

  5. humbition

    I did read this and I had some feedback specifically for the author.

    Firstly, I think that it is laudable, and indispensable, that this thesis comes from a position of appreciation and understanding for the dilemmas and difficulties of young men in modern American courtship. This thesis comes from a position of compassion rather than dismissal and that is very important.

    Secondly, I wish the author had spent more time on the current ambiguity and undefinedness of modern American courtship, particularly for high school and college age young people. This ambiguity has been with us at least since the late ’70s, yet I don’t know where one would turn for a description of it. Her brother’s plaint at high school age that “people just don’t ask for dates” refers to a real social fact or situation which some people think of as a marker of progress. But there is a problem with not having a clear institution of “the date” but just hanging out in a social group and then letting relationships emerge from it. And this problem has to do with people who are more socially isolated, possibly shy (or not always shy), not well integrated into friendship groups, or not finding that these groups meet their needs. It is almost analogous to the rich getting richer as the poor get poorer, socially speaking. I would have liked more of an account of how this dynamic, and especially how it is experienced by more socially isolated young people, feeds into the eventual adoption of a “seduction” ideology.

    Thirdly, there is a kind of irony in that, taking the author’s brother as an example, for so many years he wanted nothing more than a girlfriend. And, thanks to the seduction community and what he learns within it, he is finally able to “get” one — or is he? Because, if the author is right that the community encourages men to keep their relationships shallow in order to keep developing their attraction skills, where does that leave the mutual exploration which takes place within a couple? An exploration for which, maybe I’m just projecting here, her brother and other men must certainly have been yearning. So this left me rather bemused.

    I might as well introduce myself as an anthropologically trained man, who considers myself pro-feminist but who sees the world as a playing ground for paradoxes.

  6. Scarred the Feminist Pit Bull

    Welcome, humbition!

    More commentary on this tonight…I think the points made so far are excellent and have the possibility of springboarding real sociological study…

  7. I recently read Elana Clifts’ thesis. I thought it was great, and I’ll have some comments on it soon when I’m not so sick. Blah.

  8. Scarred the Feminist Pit Bull

    My condolences, Hugh: hope you feel better soon. I just got over a summer cold from Hades, and I can vouch for the fact that summer is a *crappy* time to get sick. Get well soon.

  9. Ben

    I’m often suspicious of works that rely too much on a personal narrative or source material, but Clift integrates her brother’s story well with a competent survey of the factors that contribute to the Seduction Community.

    Here we learn that PUAs function as fraternal organizations. Such organizations have their use in socializing people (Boy Scouts, Rotarians etc) but societies or groups of PUAs do their members a disservice by reinforcing a distrust or anxiety about women.

    The best way to learn to socialize with women is by talking… to women. While it’s true that many women are reluctant to just jump in the sack with a stranger, most are more open to an invitation to coffee, or a conversation that doesn’t necessarily lead to sex or a phone number. Feminists get that, apparently PUAs don’t.

    The reason PUAs use such a hard sell strategy is that they seem to operate from the assumption that you have to get the woman into bed RIGHT NOW BEFORE SHE FINDS OUT WHO YOU REALLY ARE. Hence the anxiety about “closing” with a stranger, the lack of emphasis on “LTR” maintenance, and the difficulty that interested PUAs have with long term relationships.

    If you become somebody’s friend, and are open about your intentions, and don’t view that friendship as a waste of time. The anxiety is removed.

    I think it’s sad that fraternal organizations have been linked to misogyny like this and I think this thesis definitely highlights the need for organizations that teach men to be emotionally whole beings, and not desperate little boys who will either glom onto or attempt to dominate any women who will spend time with them.

    I also feel that many parents have not done the heavy lifting on transmitting relationship skills to their children. In my personal experience they just kind of hope it works out.

  10. Doug S.

    “PUAism” seems to like its evolutionary psychology hypotheses (that women like dominant men, etc.). One thing it hasn’t paid attention to is that research seems to indicate that women seem to want different things from a long-term partner and a short-term partner and react accordingly.

    Some of the latest can be found here:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070808/lf_afp/britainsciencemen_070808122024

    To risk overgeneralizing, women seem to have their own version of the virgin/whore dichotomy for men; “masculine” men with features corresponding to high testosterone levels are seen as more suited for a short-term relationship (read: one-night stand) and men with more feminine features corresponding to lower testosterone levels are seen as better long-term partners. (Put crudely and cynically, women marry nice guys and have affairs with sexy bad boys.)

  11. Scarred the Feminist Pit Bull

    Heh, heh, heh…Doug, you are **SO** RIGHT.:)

    This *is* an overgeneralization, but statistically, I’m sure it holds up to a certain degree.

    What gets me, though, is why people just automatically think “sexy bad boys” are dominant. I’m sure that it is a **major** DLV (demonstration of low value) to be considered not good enough to bring home to Momma and Papa, only fit for a roll between the sheets…that’s gotta hurt on a certain level. Good enough to lay but not good enough to marry? OOH, that’s gonna sting…

    This could be a case where the Beta becomes the Alpha and the Alpha becomes the Beta. Be careful when jockying for “dominance,” people…it’s no fun being King Turd of Crap Mountain.:)

  12. Eurosabra

    Yeah, but the reply to that is that long-term-relationship, submissive men are the cuckolds who invest time and resources in the offspring of the more dominant men who impregnated their (i.e. the less dominant men’s) mates.

    PUA-ism *is* enamored of facile answers to really ambiguous phenomena, sure, but even evo-psych is studded with caveats. Complex species like our own never have just ONE successful mating strategy, and things are rarely “all or nothing”, Steven Pinker’s discussion of the inner city notwithstanding.

  13. Geo

    I can’t simply, clearly provide a “rational” response to the PUA’s as described by Clift.

    I became involved in Men’s Anti-Feminist work in the early 1980’s eventually with Men Stopping Rape, Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin – and my self-identity clearly is at the Pro-Feminist “extreme”.

    Issues and feelings that come to mind immediately relate to:

    1.) Male Bonding – ties to each other,
    2.) Homophobia – we must keep our distance – from “those women” – and certainly from Queer Men or others who aren’t “real men” – as these men see themselves as,
    3.) The complete – self-centeredness of the world view – which is of course more logical for young men than older men in most cases seemingly ignoring:
    a. Children – our love and raising of them – as parents, uncles, friends, mentors, etc.
    b. Our parents and grandparents and others who are “old” and who need our love and support,
    c. Others who may not “fit in” – such as differently abled, Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Transgendered – as well as people with body size issues etc. as well as Women and Men – who are survivors of childhood and later abuse

    as well as my perspective of the world in general where Women are “doing the work” in these and other areas and we need MEN – to start seeing worlds around us beyond our noses and immediate needs – so we may become “Whole People” – who support and nurture our world and help us grow away from so many things that are hard in our world(s) today.

    Thanks!

  14. Let’s get started, now that my throat is no longer closing. I liked Elana Clift’s thesis a lot. As someone who has been involved in the seduction community for several years, I can say that I found it accurate. I also found it fair, because it portrayed the positive, negative, and ambiguous side of the community.

    I appreciated how Elana grounded her essay in the experiences of her brother. By doing so, she showed an understanding of the kinds of problems that drive men into the seduction community in the first place. Regardless of whether one agrees with the solutions of the community, the problems it addresses are very, very real. For many men, the seduction community is the difference between staying in their rooms alone all day, and having some level of human contact. For me, it was the difference between social phobia and depression; and having friends, goals, and women who are interested in me (here is a description of the state I was in before the community).

    The seduction community isn’t a particularly great thing; neither is it always even a good thing. It’s just all there is. There isn’t anything else that can help men with serious difficulties with women on a large scale (if anyone wants a discussion of the inadequacies of non-community advice, I’m happy to hash it out another time). Unfortunately, the virtual monopoly that the community has on practical advice for male-female interaction allows groupthink, ideology, and dogma to flourish within it. Some of this ideology can be misogynistic and adversarial towards women and towards other men.

    As the thesis documents, misogynistic and objectifying language (e.g. referring to women by body parts, hair color, or simply a number on a 1-10 scale), is common in the community, and mirrors cultural objectification of women such as in Playboy. I would have been interested in an exploration of how much PUA language reflects their real attitudes towards women. Personally, when I was writing a lot of posts and field reports, I would write them in the masculine voice of the PUA version of myself, rather in my own voice. How I felt about the women I was interacting with, aside from sexual attraction, would not get mentioned except in how it directly related to seducing her.

    The purpose of field reports is to convey how you seduced a woman, not to ramble on about any mushy feelings you might have for her; for example, I didn’t say how, when my fling ended with the woman I lost my virginity to, and we parted, I went and cried on my bed for a while. I suspect that rather than being an exact reflection of their attitudes, the writings of men in the seduction community often have a constricted character and require cutting out whole swathes of male experience like what I describe, which isn’t surprising considering the masculine nature of the community. The conventions of participating linguistically in the social environment of seduction forums require a certain degree of dehumanization both towards oneself and towards women, regardless of whether that dehumanization is actually bought into by its members.

    Yet even though most PUAs probably aren’t as bad as they sound, language still influences thought, and some aspects of their language are correctly seen as problematic, even by some members of the community such as Neil Strauss. I’m glad that the master PUA Sebastian of TheApproach has taken a stand against rating women with a number in field reports; ever since he did so a couple years ago, I’ve taken the same stand.

    Continued…

  15. I enjoyed the historical contextualization that compared the seduction community with male secret societies and fraternal orders. It’s interesting the seduction community doesn’t have formal initiation ceremonies, like so many other male societies. Perhaps the bonding of wingmen, the cryptic language, and the feeling of exclusivity and secrecy, is enough to hold it together. On the other hand, as Elana observes, men involved with the seduction communities aren’t really “members” of some larger cause, since the goal is their own personal development.

    Another parallel to male fraternal orders is the form of masculinity practiced in the community. As Elana notes, like Playboy, the seduction community seems to a offer a more relaxed and refined form of masculinity. PUAs sometimes wear androgynous or “metrosexual” clothing, and some even wear eyeliner and (black) nail polish. PUAs learn to be more emotionally expressive in social situations (at least of some emotions, which is still progress from the ideal of male stoicism). Most of the men I’ve ever hugged (other than relatives), have been PUAs. At the same time, the masculinities of the community can be hyper-traditional, such as attitudes towards women. While this may have been beyond the scope of Elana’s paper, some discussion of the views of PUAs towards dominance of women should be part of the literature on the community, such as how most PUAs believe that social dominance and status are essential for attracting most women, and how they come to hold those beliefs.

    Some level of masculine traits appears to be important to straight women, on average. Still, many PUAs get way too hung up on dominance over women, to the detriment of other qualities and behaviors that are also important to women. My experience has been that women, at least the types of women I’m interested in, prefer a mix of masculine and feminine qualities in men (especially for guys who they want something more than a casual hookup with).

    Masculinity often becomes a focus in the seduction community for its own sake. When this happens, the seduction community echoes male organizations that purport to induce proper masculinity in men. Again, we hear the messages about how masculinity is in crisis. Personally, I haven’t found the tunnel vision on masculinity to be useful to me in achieving my goals. I’ve become a lot more masculine since finding the community, but mostly because I’ve focuses on improving myself in the areas of confidence and assertiveness, not because I’ve worked directly on becoming more manly. Sometimes I deliberately perform aspects of masculinity when I’m worried that the woman might automatically reject me otherwise, yet even then, this performance is a strategic one. I don’t particularly want to have power over women, and I don’t particularly enjoy it when I have it. When I find that a woman views me as having higher social status than her, my typical response is to attempt to lower my status and raise hers.

    For me, the goal of my participation in the seduction community has been to figured out what works with women, within certain ethical constraints. My interest in masculinity is only to the extent that it furthers that goal; I’m not interested in becoming more masculine for its own sake, especially because I believe that some types of masculine behavior are actually harmful to success with women, while certain stereotypically feminine behaviors are what is actually most practical in certain contexts. For example, the woman I am seeing now had asked me to tell her some of my secrets, and I told her that I slightly preferred being submissive sexually than being dominant. From a literal reading of the “alpha male” dogma, admitting to being sexually submissive would be a big mistake for a man, but I sensed that with the particular women I was with, I would only gain by throwing away the textbook and telling her… and I was right (though it took some courage to do so, because I’ve been burned before by showing women chinks in my armor). In some ways, this example is similar to Elana’s discussion of how some PUAs she talked to would break the “rule” of not buying women drinks when they felt the situation demanded it. As my music teacher once said, “know the rules before you break them.”

  16. I’m glad that when Elana discussed the tendency to view women as interchangeable in the seduction community, she discussed the context of that view, and how it is a defense mechanism against anxiety and rejection. Something that Elana could have added to have a complete explanation of the PUA need for defense mechanisms, is a discussion of “one-itis,” the seduction community term for an obsessive, unrequited crush (though whenever I point out something she could have added, it is with the recognition that the thesis still stands complete on its own, and that there were limitations of length, time, and energy in writing it). Before the community, I would get an obsession with any semi-attractive girl who paid any attention to me, and this emotional reactivity was very hard to deal with. Some of the cynicism of PUA attitudes towards is an attempt to compensate for the initial idealization of women as perfect, passionless goddesses, one of whom is “the one” for you. For me, these polar attitudes towards women balanced each other out, but I can see how many PUAs might jump from idealization to denigration of women.

    By my own account, I have observed that the most common concern reported by
    aspiring pickup artists is the anxiety of approaching a woman due in part to the fear of
    rejection. For this reason, the philosophies of the Seduction Community have developed
    in such a way as to alleviate these trepidations; as a result, various community texts as
    well as the commonly adopted ideologies of the community encourage PUAs to view
    women as dispensable and replaceable.

    I would point out that dispensability is not the same thing as replaceability. “Dispensable” implies that you use someone and get rid of them, which is a distinct (and more negative) attitude from the view that women are replaceable. The reason PUAs stress the replaceability of women is so that beginners don’t get hung up on the (perceived) one, perfect woman who rejected them.

    I think there are multiple ways that “replaceability” can be construed. Women are not replaceable in the sense that they are all the same. However, people are romantically replaceable in the sense that even if things don’t work out with one person, you will probably still be able to find someone else who you can be happy with, even though both the old person and new person are both unique and different; there is no such thing as “the one.” I know that I will never find someone like the last woman I fell for, who couldn’t be with me because of a boyfriend. Yet I believe that I will find someone who would be just as well matched with me, in different ways. And I want to make sure that when I do, I don’t mess things up (like last time, and the time before…).

    Renowned pickup guru Mystery is one of the leading promoters of this mentality; in his e-book entitled The Venusian Arts Handbook, he explains, “It’s easier to attract a new woman than it is to fix things when they go wrong with your existing target.”

    It’s true that this belief is related to Mystery’s objectifying attitudes towards women, but it need not be. I think Mystery is correct, which may sometimes be sad. Yet I think giving up with one woman and moving on to another women can be a product of empathy for the women you are interacting with, in addition to raw practicality. For example, if a woman rejects me because she sees me as “just a friend,” then it makes no sense to keep trying to get with her; I just risk frustrating myself and making her feel weird that I’m still after her. What makes the most sense is just to accept the friendship with her without jeopardizing it by continuing to hit on her, and to go and find some other women who may be attracted to me.

    There are many men who are obsessed with a female friend of theirs, and who are trying everything to get with her, which often leads them to the seduction community. Mystery’s advice is especially appropriate to these men, who just need to move the hell on.

    Mystery’s lesson implies that men can stave off the fear of approach and rejection by
    lessening the importance placed on the pursuit of an individual woman and instead emphasizing the overall pursuit of women. In this way, PUAs are taught to view women not as unique individuals, but as identical and expendable.

    I think the emphasis on overall pursuit of women over time doesn’t have to lead to a view of women as identical and expendable. Everyone should realize that they are probably going to get rejected sometimes, but that such incidents don’t matter much in the grand scheme of things if you just keep going and meeting more people until you find one that reciprocates your interest. This realization doesn’t require ignoring the uniqueness of people or seeing them as expendable.

    I do agree, however, that this view can manifest in an inability to invest emotionally in interactions with individual women. Again, I think this is a defense mechanism. The fact is that most men can’t count on getting anywhere with a particular woman he approaches. There is a good chance that either he will mess it up, or she will reject him somewhere down the line. Since this is the case, you have to go in knowing that emotionally, you will be able to get out without being crushed. When you are starting out inexperienced, you may go in even expecting to be rejected, and revel in it. If you can’t count on getting anywhere with a particular woman, then it’s understandable why PUAs aren’t working very hard to view them as unique human beings. It’s much easier to view them as interchangeable or identical, a classic case of “sour grapes.”

    Something else to note is that some PUAs look down on denigrating women who reject them. I think it’s Neil Strauss who says something like this: “there is such thing as a woman being a ‘bitch,’ there is only such thing as a man approaching poorly.”

  17. Scarred the Feminist Pit Bull

    Eurosabra: allow me to reply *briefly* to this one point you’ve made:

    “Yeah, but the reply to that is that long-term-relationship, submissive men are the cuckolds who invest time and resources in the offspring of the more dominant men who impregnated their (i.e. the less dominant men’s) mates.”

    However, you’re assuming here that there isn’t a *payoff* for the long-term Beta cuckholds, I believe. IF you buy evolutionary biology as a complete explanation for human behavior (and BTW, I don’t always–I’m a Christian as well as feminist, with a *strong* belief in divine intervention and supernatural grace:) ), there is some type of evolutionary biological benefit to cuckholdry that benefits the submissive, Beta men who practice it. **ON THE SURFACE,** it may look as though these men are giving the farm away; yet, this behavior exists **to this day,** and, oddly enough, seems to have picked up steam in prevalence.

    Allow me to further one possible explanation. Homosexuality, unfortunately, has been bashed by my religious community for as long as my group has existed, YET, it has genetic and biological origins. On the *surface,* homosexuality doesn’t make any sense–“What?? You’re not reproducing?? What’s wrong with you, your genes aren’t being passed on!!” Yet, evolutionary biologists think that there are probably some *very good biological reasons* why homosexuality exists in animal species, particularly in ours. Homosexuality seems to, among other things, promote peace **within** a group, preventing reproductive rivals from killing each other off at a rate destructive to the group. There is also evidence that, upon average, the LGBT community has a higher IQ than the hetero community, which seems to point that homosexuality may help to preserve and foster intelligence genes within Homo sapiens. (The bisexuals would be the *real* carriers and ambassadors between the groups, IMHO.) Here’s my point:

    Cuckholdry, as practiced by Beta men, may be a *type of* suppressed homosexual attraction and bonding that serves two very important functions: 1) it would allow Alpha males access to women, which might give a pacifying, mollifying effect to the Alphas in turn, **particularly if it’s INTRATRIBAL,** and 2) the Beta foster fathers would then reap the benefits of having sons sired by Alpha men to *help with* hunting, planting crops, animal husbandry, etc. **On the surface,** it would appear that the Beta men would get the short end of the stick–not necessarily in terms of **long-term** reproductive strategies! The **true** Beta would still be around after the Alpha has left, which means the Beta will **still** have reproductive access PLUS the economic/military/social resources and benefits of the Alpha-sired sons and daughters that could help further the Beta’s territorial development and resource growth. Enough growth, and the Beta *just might* graduate to being an Alpha, with access to multiple wives. An EFFECTIVE strategy, if you think about it…however, it could also be dependent upon such things as terrain, access to resources, etc.

    I’m not an evolutionary biologist, BUT…this to me seems an effective explanation for Beta cuckhold-tolerance and its **continued** prevalence.

  18. Scarred the Feminist Pit Bull

    Geo, humbition, Ben, Doug S., Hugh Ristik, Eurosabra–welcome all.

    Sorry I haven’t been commenting on this or other threads too much. Work is now putting me into overdrive, and I’m working craploads of overtime. I look forward to posting and commenting, but if you don’t see too much of me, just realize it ISN’T for lack of interest. I’m also getting ready to move Sep. 1, and that’s a Big Glitch, as you all know.:) So if I’m quiet, believe me, IT’S NOT FROM A LACK OF INTEREST.

    I am *glad,* though, that this thread is starting to develop.:) Keep on…hopefully I’ll be able to comment in a couple days.:)

  19. Doug S.

    The other counter-argument to “feminine males get cheated on” is that even if a married woman has affairs, she’s still likely to be impregnated by her husband, as the husband is going to be with her longer and more often. If occasionally raising another man’s offspring is the price for having a greater chance of having any offspring at all, it might be a cost worth paying. (There are also various “mate guarding” strategies that are used to reduce the risk of being cuckolded.) Maintaining a long-term relationship is is a different mating strategy than looking for multiple short-term affairs, and both seem to have been effective enough to be reflected in our evolutionary history.

  20. Eurosabra

    Homosexuality is thought to be evolutionarily advantageous because it reduces mating competition among siblings, thus allowing the genetic success of the family, because they share similar, or in the case of some twins, identical DNA.

    I don’t know what kind of wife-swapping hunter-gatherer paradise you imagine,

    Scarred: a warning: keep this more respectful. No one’s imagining *anything*: wife-swapping has been documented in *several* cultures.

    but the fact is pastoral societies with top-down hierarchies punish adultery and female lack of chastity so severely (cf. the Hebrew Bible, Islamic law) because the net effect of cuckoldry is simple: men lower in the hierarchy simply wind up raising a certain percentage children who don’t share their DNA, while gaining no access to wider resources.

    “…while gaining no access to wider resources.” That may have been how *Middle Eastern* religions thought of it, but that’s not necessarily what happens. Remember the explanation in my last post I gave as a strong possibility?

    The fact that a subordinate man’s marriage is expected to be honoured by his superiors as well is a social contract check on the powerful–cf. Uriah the Hittite, etc. It might be that I am concerned mainly with the societies I am more familiar with, and that some resource-abundant South Pacific paradise might produce tribes with NO concern with paternity.

    Societies more tolerant of wife-swapping: Eskimo, (in fact it was expected to share your wife with travelers), pre-Christian Celtic, some Native American societies. Pre-Communist Tibetan culture has some stories about polyandry. Polynesia, prior to a certain period, NO concern with paternity as you had mentioned. Pre-Christian Celtic areas were almost as indifferent. Areas where polyandry was noted and practiced: SOME OF THESE AREAS ARE PASTORAL: India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Tibet. I cite the following thread as an excerpt from a scholarly source:

    http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-5333249/Agency-autonomy-and-the-shared.html#abstract

    And point of note: if these areas are tolerant and even embracing of polyandry under certain circumstances, I will be happy to place bets with several paychecks that wife-swapping and “infidelity” is greeted with a LOT more tolerance than, say, Saudi Arabia. The prevalence of polyandry in these cultures among the poor most certainly seems to point to my original intuition that “cuckholdry” could represent an opportunity for a Beta male to gain resources such as extra children, particularly in areas where you need a lot of hands to help with chores…

    One of the things I might remark about Clift’s thesis is that the Austin lair is apparently one of the more defined, cohesive, and supportive ones, without much disruption by status-seeking among the members, while the Los Angeles organisation is too diffuse, too competitive, and some subsets (Bay City) are by invitation only. The result is that “beginners” are often shut out of a support network for being too “uncalibrated”, i.e. you’re already expected to look and act the part of an athletic or entertainment-industry beach boy/rock star in order to get in on the ground floor. This is because maximizing appeal to the average beautiful woman is key, Austin’s lair seems much more accepting of the cultural diversity of both the place and the women. Then again, my contact with Austin was limited, while I was witness to the Project Hollywood implosion and a lot of the infighting in the LA PU scene.

  21. Eurosabra

    Scarred: my apologies for the ambiguity, of course polyandrous societies exist, I was making the distinction that the PUAs have taken the anxiety of paternity in the West and run with it in an evo-psych way that makes it extreme. However, if we are talking about the majoritarian cultures of the (Fertile Crescent and successors) agricultural and pastoral world, we find that lower position in the hierarchy means (for a man) less access to resources and a few children (among those you are actually raising) that DO NOT share your DNA. “Charivari” exists as a peasant custom for a reason, the pressure is there on the husband…have YOUR OWN kids, before your wife has someone ELSE’s. I think Hugh’s remark that PUA-ism’s ethos of masculinity might be really thought to mean that on average, women require a certain amount of masculine traits and performance from men is a good distillation.

    I was really intrigued by the part of the thesis that examines the nexus of the “mythopoetic” theraputic part of the men’s movement and pick-up. I’ve read Deida’s book and it seemed to be a more holistic, compassionate approach to the type of Zen that Mystery describes as “not caring.”

    One of the things that seems missing from the thesis is pick-up, this is a sociological analysis of a particular form of male bonding, and some of the more interesting men I’ve run across in the PU world (blog.pickup101.com) discuss women’s *being* approached as a form of female bonding and social validation. PU101 emphasize the ludic and the ceremonial, in that the participants, average majoritarian-culture attractive man and average majoritarian-culture attractive woman, in a club setting, are engaging in a game/ritual with known rules, whose purpose is the validation of what the society already finds attractive/acceptable in personal appearance, gender roles, and sexual activity. Thus, feminine men on the margins are right to notice that they are not “in the game”, and to change their presentation and behavior, because to a certain extent WOMEN are reinforcing traditional male sex roles. (For a man, try approaching in a low-key, non-dominant but non-shy manner in a club, and then finding common ground. This is considered reaching for rapport and does NOT often result in attraction, except (as dogmatic PUAs would say) as a DLV among low-value people.) PU conflates evolutionary replication value, social value, and personal worth, which is a bit of sleight-of-dogma with lots of unpleasant ramifications. Meanwhile, feminists object to the replication of patriarchy that pick-up involves, but may not equally emphasize that the places where men and women meet are institutions that reinforce a certain style of meeting and mating.

  22. Scarred the Feminist Pit Bull

    Okay, these are very interesting ideas…I tried replying to them, but for some bizarre reason, the blog didn’t record my addition. *Because* I’m currently working 12-hour days, I can’t spend any more time today trying to respond…I will respond tomorrow to this, as it’s a good line of questioning. Tomorrow, then…

  23. stixzz

    I found it intresting the point made about the lack of knowledge regarding contemporary mating rituals that led to people such as her brother seeking out the seduction community.

    The other counter-argument to “feminine males get cheated on” is that even if a married woman has affairs, she’s still likely to be impregnated by her husband, as the husband is going to be with her longer and more often.

    On some pop tv documentary programme i saw something about that, and it said that when women are likely to cheat it was when they were ovuluating thus, increasing the chances of getting pregnant by the masculine chap.

  24. Eurosabra:

    PU101 emphasize the ludic and the ceremonial, in that the participants, average majoritarian-culture attractive man and average majoritarian-culture attractive woman, in a club setting, are engaging in a game/ritual with known rules, whose purpose is the validation of what the society already finds attractive/acceptable in personal appearance, gender roles, and sexual activity.

    This is a good point. And this game is a ritual, which may not relate to how people behave outside the club, or how they behave one-on-one once they are actually getting to know each other. However, getting to that point is dependent on being able to play the game. You have to put on your mask before you can take off your mask.

    The question I ask is not, “how can we have an interaction completely without gender norms?” because under that standard, virtually nobody could get together in our culture. The question I ask instead is, “how can we have the most egalitarian interactions that are possible despite the necessity of giving a nod to gender norms?”

    It could be argued that the women who play this game are so irredeemably broken by patriarchy, that to play the game with them is automatically to oppress and dehumanize them, even if they respond well to it and even like it. However, I would be very hesitant to make an argument about what choices in men are best for women.

    Women can be stay-at-home moms for the wrong reasons, and they can want alpha males for the wrong reasons (conservative ideology, low self-esteem, history of abuse, etc…) Yet that doesn’t mean that all women can’t make a legitimate choice to be stay-at-home moms, or to have masculine mates who “display higher value,” take charge, are stoic, make most of the decisions.

    Once I was talking to this woman I was interested in and telling her a bit about myself, and some of my interests and work, when I realized that I was completely dominating the conversation. So I said, “enough about me, I want to hear about you…” She said, “keep talking, I like hearing guys talk about themselves.” Should I have said, “no! you are oppressing yourself by wanting me to be the center of attention and hiding your own interestingness! you must tell me about yourself, now!!” She is in a long-term relationship right now with a guy who is more masculine than me. Is there something wrong with her for wanting, and evidently enjoying that?

    Who am I to say that a woman is broken, or oppressing herself, or otherwise flawed because she prefers certain gendered behaviors in her partners? That sounds very much like the “Nice Guy” ™ rant of “women should stop going for men who are wrong for them and go for men who are right for them, like me!” I don’t presume to know what is right for women, or that having gendered interactions with men is automatically wrong for them.

    I have my own opinions, of course, about what kind of dynamics are best for creating mutual and egalitarian relationships, but I don’t profess to know what is best for women better than they do. I see plenty of people of people in gendered relationships that seem relatively happy and functional; I have no basis to state, as a purely theoretical proposition, that those relationships must be flawed simply because of the presence of gendered dynamics in them.

    I support Scarred’s goal of making women more aware of gendered dynamics and what drives their choices in men. I would love to see women making choices in men that make them happier, more valued, and safer. However, it is not my place, as a man, to judge women’s choices as illegitimate (unless they are obviously harmful, like if the guy is abusing her), nor is it my responsibility or my place to teach women how to more “mature” and “informed” choices in men (though I do have opinions on this subject which I give if solicited). I think it is best for women to talk among themselves and share experiences of what choices in men make them feel happiest and most valued as human beings.

    The most I can do is try to offer the women I interact a choice of either a gendered interaction, or an egalitarian interaction, or something in between. For example, I can be talking to a woman and start teasing her. Yet the gendered meaning of this teasing is not predetermined. She can respond by “submitting” to it and giggling, in which case we are having a gendered interaction. Or she can tease me back, in which case we are having a more egalitarian interaction. I begin the interaction by giving a woman an offer, or multiple offers, of how we can proceed. She will accept one of my offers, reject them, or give me a counter-offer. Then I decide whether the mix of gendered behavior and scripts inherent in her offer is one that I want to accept. If I can tell that a woman wants me to be Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’m probably going to say “nice meeting you,” and walk away.

  25. Scarred the Feminist Pit Bull

    *Ugh.* Sorry for my silence…12-hour shifts beating the crap out of me. I’ll probably refrain from commenting until the next week until this crap is over.

    Interesting discussion, good inputs…please keep it up, people. Well done.

  26. Eurosabra

    Another element of the thesis, which is barely touched upon by Clift, and then almost only through the mediation of her brother’s experience, is the male-perceived absolute exclusion from a feminine realm of sex and sexuality. (Indeed, Clift centers on the most exaggerated rhetoric that Ross Jeffries and David DeAngelo have used to frame the issue, rather than addressing it differently.) While feminists claim that this is a result of male “entitlement” and the construction of women as a “sex class”, it is worthwhile meditating on WHY men in Anglo-Saxon societies perceive themselves as an “achievement class” or as an “earning-the-opportunity-to-have-sex” class.

    A positive aspect of pick-up is that by emphasizing process rather than essence, men are no longer placed in the position of essentially “being themselves”, which I think is short-hand for “factual question-and-response rapport-based day-game.” This should, in theory, reduce an awful lot of the anger directed against women because it transmutes the rejection from a rejection of the man’s essential being in toto (because if he’s only “being himself”, and gets rejected, that self IS the inadequate, rejected object) into a rejection of a certain projected persona or, in the most value-neutral sense, a polite refusal to take part in a consensual, pleasure-generating psycho- and socio-sexual RITUAL.

    Clift does discuss “scoring”, but only as a pathology, not as a mechanism by which society reinforces both male and female sex roles. She does make the point that Mystery’s (and to a lesser extent, Style’s) authority comes from success not merely with women, but from stupendous success with stereotypically model-like women. Take beauty out of the equation, and the guru-worship vanishes and they become the mere advocates of a set of useful social tools, i.e. one can compliance-test any woman by taking her someplace quiet to talk more as easily as a supermodel. A more interesting (and more subversive) take would be to investigate the extent to which the “Pickup 101 Super Girls” (whose beauty is advertised to validate the efficacy of PU101) resemble the normal women actually approached by students (not gurus) in the field.

  27. Eurosabra said:

    Thus, feminine men on the margins are right to notice that they are not “in the game”, and to change their presentation and behavior, because to a certain extent WOMEN are reinforcing traditional male sex roles.

    I’ve thought a lot about this idea and I take it seriously (at least, its been my personal experience with women). I’ve never particularly wanted to be masculine for its own sake, but rather because it has seemed necessary with women. Some aspects of masculinity feel good to me, but for others, doing so is like women putting on high heels: it’s uncomfortable, but it gets results.

    For my blog, I did a bunch of research on women’s preferences for masculinity in men, and found that women, on average, do seem to find certain masculine qualities important in men, which is consistent with the arguments of the seduction community. Simultaneously, women also seem to have preferences for certain stereotypically feminine qualities in men, which is under-emphasized by the seduction community.

    (For a man, try approaching in a low-key, non-dominant but non-shy manner in a club, and then finding common ground. This is considered reaching for rapport and does NOT often result in attraction, except (as dogmatic PUAs would say) as a DLV among low-value people.)

    This is true as a general rule. However, there are some environments and subcultures that have a higher rate of exceptions. I’ve been hanging out in goth clubs a lot this summer, which have a much different vibe. Being energetic and dominant is a lot less necessary. You can approach someone in a low-key manner and drop straight into rapport. Goth clubs tend to select for people who are more introverted, artistic, and androgynous. There is still gender display, but it is much more fluid (I get to make myself all pretty with eyeliner and give myself bangs with hair gel).

  28. Eurosabra

    Hugh,

    I think you are early 20s, no? You are dealing with people whose subcultures are more fluid, where they don’t have to face the permanent adoption of a look and a persona. The “vibe” among horror-movie professionals, who DO get all gothed-up for their wrap parties on occasion, is totally different, and “adult” dynamics of dominance-submission play out as scripted by the “real world”–the director and producer, in jeans and t-shirt, are mobbed by the starlets and hopeful starlets to be, while the crew and make-up men, either in goth-wear or suits, try to pick up the waitresses, while the corporate lawyers are nowhere to be seen, refusing to hang out with costumed “losers.”

    I once saw a friend of mine, a reasonably beautiful and accomplished lawyer, flee from a set-up date with an artist from her home country at an art gallery because she saw a brilliant but totally unfashionable man, newly famous, holding court for the first time, and panicked at the reversal of the usual power relationship.

    I have absolutely no way around this power dynamic except to adjust my presentation and body language to appear more masculine, and to strive to acquire more social power. Aging, in increased self-awareness, has helped, to the extent that I am a much better companion for myself, which makes doing without any particular woman, or even women in general, much easier.

  29. Eurosabra

    A further two or three points:

    1)The thesis ignores the extreme sense of grievance that animates PUAs; it is not the case that men who were already enormously successful with women inaugurated the field, rather, Ross Jeffries, Mystery, Style, and Thundercat are all noteworthy because of their descriptions of the total social isolation and sensual starvation that brought them to the field. It is a symbolic, feminine-controlled exclusion in which other harms and exclusions caused by patriarchy are subsumed, possibly ignored, and are often expunged by AMOGing, a process in which male-dominance rituals are exploited by the PUA’s adoption of traditional masculinity as a “demo” of evo fitness/DHV during the pick-up.

    2)One of the most insidious results of the reinforcement of body-image anxiety is that “average” women are plagued with self-doubt about their own attractiveness, and are ironically quite hard to pick up. Any approach is going to be seen as motivated by a desire for quick sex and nothing more, because these women have also absorbed society’s negative messages about male desire as well.

    3)Hugh’s post above about not forcing his view of proper male-female interaction on women who want to play a “traditional” (feminine = submissive) sex role actually demonstrates a key article of PU philosophy, empathy. Watching Ross Jeffries’ evolution from angry, vulgarian notch-cutter to empathetic guru reinforced (from my point of view) the necessity of empathy. When married to a lack of expectations, empathy can lead to letting someone go her own way if such is truly her inclination or if it is truly best for her–and empathy also means respecting a woman’s judgement in that matter, instead of attempting to “buy, bully, beg, or berate” her into the PUA’s preferred outcome. (Ross is a fan of alliteration.)

    Again, these are just sketches, because of the lateness of the hour. I wish I had something more solid to report, because I have an odd personal style, being older, more interested in “long game”, long-term relationships, and feeling myself more socially and economically marginal than most. (I am an academic/archivist/librarian, in an immigrant community which honors the trifecta of doctor/lawyer/chieftain above all. “Masculine/Feminine” career dichotomies shape the impressions made in interactions between the sexes in my subculture all the time.)

  30. Bloomer

    Just got hooked on Elana’s thesis, read it in one breath, and really appreciated her description and prospective on the community. Very instructive.

    I just want to share two things that came to mind while reading.

    What is the role of NLP? I guess I wished to have a deeper social understanding of it. Some call it technology, others call it manipulation. There seems to be a high level of interest from a growing number of people on “how to succeed”. In these philosophies, more often than not, the end justifies the means. And the means, as Elana writes, may sometimes look morally arguable. The self-improvement movement is a study all by itself, and I wondered why she chose not to include some of it in her paper. I’m hungry for an objective criticism of it.

    Second, I had a reaction during the conclusion when she writes about the role of women in the community. Reading PUAs’ posts, I’ve noticed women becoming aware of The Game and starting to use the information to score. It is a small minority. Yet I predict that, with time, regardless of some women’s resistance, there’ll be a growing number of female players. I’m quite curious to see how the community will adapt to it.

    In both cases it seems to come down to our human crave for power, and the social need we have to manifest it to others.

  31. Eurosabra

    Bloomer,

    I’m interested in the idea that women are using The Game, because the dogma is that “Women don’t need game.” Are you saying that women are using The Game to gain things other than sex, or that women are using The Game to gain more attractive/better men than their looks alone would get them? Because frankly, I find it hard to believe that ANY woman of acceptable appearance couldn’t get whatever she wanted from men simply by “being herself” with a few flirtatious hints of a possible sexual payoff. (And if she really, really IS after the sex, it’s a “two for one” deal.)

    (Key is “acceptable appearance”, I know–women feel they are forced to meet an impossible ideal. But how many women are truly “below the radar” in appearance, invisible to ALL men, compared to the # of men who are “below the radar” in achievement/dominance, to the average woman? This is why street harassment is so prevalent–it’s perceived by the perpetrator as an upending of a hierarchy, a working-class man’s way of imposing himself on the reality of a middle-class woman, when a simple “Hi, how are you?” or in fact ANY romantic overture might be ignored. (Well, you never know. But Street PU is very, very hard, you have to be fun, interesting, and non-threatening, in 30 seconds or less. The benefits of “getting to know you” need to be obvious and immediate, to both parties.)

    And, y’know, it’s odd that you have a bizarre, ritualistic encounter that makes everyone feel BAD, or capitalizes on negative emotions, enacted over and over.

  32. Doug S.

    Maybe those women are using the information to score with other women?

  33. Eurosabra

    Well, then they’re not going to have much success, since PU is explicitly hetero, since the feminist critique of PU is that it replicates patriarchal gendered power relationships between men and women, providing the erotic “oomph” that comes from the inscription of dominance as male/masculine and submission as female/feminine.

    I have a bit of experience with the use of NLP in PU, and I’d say that it’s a type of soft persuasion, easily resisted–the person you’re leading still has to value or desire the type of experience you’re leading him/her to. All it can do is shut down conscious barriers for a while, and you still have to be a master hypnotist to pull it off.

    At least this has been a productive discussion away from the usual tropes of “entitlement”, “exploitation”, etc.

  34. ““The bros before the hos…” That’s an **actual** saying.”

    ..just wanted to point out, scarred, that there’s also “chicks before dicks” – that’s ALSO “an **actual** saying”..it works both ways..

    Scarred: you say this to say what?

    If you want to pretend patriarchy doesn’t exist, go elsewhere, not this blog. If you can’t contribute to the discussion of ideas, count yourself out. Talk down to someone else, and shop it elsewhere, because I’m not buying.

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