Confessions of a PUA Super Girl


The Super Girl is In

Two of my friends run PUA (Pick Up Artist) workshops and they sometimes hire me as a Super Girl (an attractive, talented, conversation-minded female) for men to practice pick up skills. Never heard of the PUA (I pronounce it POOH-ah) phenomenon? Mystery? The Game? Not familiar? Here’s a short primer.

In 2005, Neil Strauss published a book called The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick Up Artists. He described his personal transformation from writer geek to writer that successfully hooks up with lots of women using psychological and sociological ideas learned from other men doing the same thing. (Reverse psychology is an example of one of these concepts. So is body language.)

The book was a pop culture phenomenon and spawned a plethora of workshops, writers and even a (lamentable) television show called “The Pick Up Artist” on VH1. Every source promised straight men the skills they needed to get any woman they wanted, regardless of money or looks. (There is a small, burgeoning gay version of pick-up artist culture, but so far I’ve only found one forum. And in the upper right hand corner there were ads for picking up girls and meeting Christians.)

The PUA or Seduction community is highly controversial. Is it helping men? Enabling would-be murderers with enough misogynistic rhetoric to spark a killing spree? Or maybe no longer valid but now a ridiculous, sprawling parody? Even among current, would-be and never-will-be PUA men, they can’t seem to decide.

Where there is controversy there is validity. People wouldn’t be arguing about this if it wasn’t appealing or helpful in some way. I’m here to throw my thoughts into the fray as a female who 1) has male friends who are/were involved in the community, 2) spent time inside the workshops talking to and observing men-in-training and 3) reads/writes about gender and sexuality nonstop.

Personally, I think the PUA subculture is a fascinating neo-masculinity movement that is more about male bonding than anything else. Men bond together like strange tribes on a hunt, sharing tips, supporting each other and connecting through their PUA identities. To be sure, there is a highly misogynistic element but we live in a misogynistic culture. No wonder the pathos of woman hating seeps into the community consciousness.

While the female gender role underwent major revolutions in the past century, male gender role exists in a bygone world of gender inequality and female economic dependence.The old female gender role has diminished considerably. The stereotypical male gender role relies on the faded complimentary female gender. There is no new male gender construct and I think men feel lost at times interacting with women. So the seduction community is a very attractive way to deal with the burgeoning gender order. Some advice is good, some abysmal.

The Good

Men obtaining confidence. This is true for everything in life. If you are nervous or don’t believe in yourself, other people notice. No-one gravitates towards unsure individuals.

Men developing communication skills. Some people are socially awkward. They can’t grasp basic conversational skills to talk to anyone, let alone a female that makes them sweat.

Men recognizing and processing negative life experiences. One mandate of male gender role is stoicism. Emotional inexpressiveness is deleterious to anyone. I think it does anyone a world of good to look back on their life and see what stumbling blocks exist in their own minds.

The Neutral

Using tactics sprouted from sociology, psychology and other academic disciplines. Interacting with the social world is much easier when you grasp nuances of social interaction. The problem is the goals set for that interaction.

The Heinous

Women can be manipulated, if only you know how. Everyone has the power of critical thought. Assuming that all females are walking programs that will bend to your will if you say the right phrases, do the right things or project the right persona is insulting. I was once outside of a club talking to a friend and a budding PUA. He actually started talking to his friend in front of me about how girls like me were attracted to being ignored. I walked away. So much for that theory.

Every guy can have a smokin’ hot babe if he can harness the alpha male persona. Personality is important. But so is every other part of the equation. What about your talents? Interests in life? Thoughts? Or your appearance? Yes, this last one matters to women. Surprise! We notice how you look! You think we swoon over hunky celebrities because they have awesome alpha personalities? No. They’re hot. That’s why they’re on the cover of magazines for us to ogle. (Semi-related note: go check out Fuck Yeah Gyllenhaals. My brain almost exploded when I saw this nom-tastic eye candy site.)

The most important thing about a woman is her physical hotness. You, male brain, should only be after sex with hot women, right? There is no other aspect of a person that should turn you on because your weenis drives you at every turn? Spare me. Yes, physical attraction is important in a sex partner. But what makes a person attractive is not just the visual appearance. Personality, talent, thoughts, viewpoints, and basic individual traits comprise the sum of any person. I mean, isn’t this part of the premise of PUA literature? Men don’t need to be hot, just confident, witty and with a good persona? One thing that holds men back is a blind cultural impetus to chase physically attractive women, especially when those women are out of your league. Go look at successful PUA instructors and gurus. They’re hot. They get hot women. Welcome to the world.

Men are entitled to sex with women. Oh. Hell. No. You are entitled to nothing in life. You are especially not entitled to another person’s body.

The PUA literature and culture is not inherently evil. A couple of my friends went through the process (one conducts workshops to this day) and they are completely in love with their beautiful girlfriends. The men I saw in these workshops were really cool guys that felt confused and lonely. They wanted answers and a solution, man-style. I support the positive aspects of this movement that helped my friends build confidence and find happiness.

I don’t support the Neanderthal hunting approach to “getting” women. We’re people. Like you. I understand that when it comes to sex, we females learn to resist your advances from a very young age. You guys learn to pursue at all costs. Maybe we should work on talking to each other more and lessening the weird combative anxieties learned from our defunct gender system. Because, as a female, the sexual gatekeeper thing sucks. I would like it to end.

13 thoughts on “Confessions of a PUA Super Girl”

  1. It all seems a bit creepy and (as you’ve said) misogynistic and derogative to assume that a combination of confidence, arrogance and pop. psychology can be used to bed an extraordinary number of partners. I can see confidence and some understanding of social interaction definitely helping, but these could be learnt from any self-improvement style book rather than the PUA movement with it’s somewhat seedy undertones…

  2. Cool insights into the PUAs as a subculture, Jessi. I jump on the downsides, a lot, but based on comments from a couple of defenders I’ve gotten the impression that at least in some corners there’s a lot of support for men trying to grapple with and/or reconstruct masculinity as well.

    The overall idea of reconstructing masculinity is appealing, although the strategy seems to be appalling. Even leaving aside the question of boosting yourself by standing on (or, I guess, lying on top of) others does it even make sense that men’s masculinity be measured or validated by whether or how often he ‘scores'” with the women he appoints as judges? But I digress.

    You’ve given me a nudge I probably needed to stop dismissing them out of hand. That probably wasn’t fair of me nor, more importantly, was it very helpful for them. So thanks for that.

    Take care,

    figleaf

    p.s. I found your blog via Sungold at Kittywampus.

  3. I am DEFINITELY going to read The Game.

    And yep, your list of bad is longer than the list of good! As expected.

    I’m all for men gaining confidence and success in dating, but not being deceptive douchebags.

  4. Interesting. I think there’s the issue of the actual PUA literature and then how people use it.

    A few notes on the bad points:

    Assuming that all females are walking programs that will bend to your will if you say the right phrases, do the right things or project the right persona is insulting.

    I don’t find this to be so much “insulting” as just, well, wrong. Unfortunately for the hyper-literal minds that the PUA subculture attracts, “doing the right thing” and “making the right moves” will not always net you the girl–especially not if you do it in a rote, by-the-book manner. I’ve interacted with a lot of guys and the ones I feel most sorry for are the types who have a set script in their mind that they cannot deviate from. Because, well, while “game” can give you some feasible opening lines and a confidence boost, it really can’t do everything. So yeah, while understanding some of the game concepts are like, super awesome for you…they don’t really mean all that much unless you can apply them.

    Of course, the “all women can be manipulated” should really just be “all people can be manipulated” and, let’s face it. All people manipulate everyone. That’s what human interaction is. Women’s magazines and such have been promoting manipulation since the dawn of time (er, the dawn of magazines and such, anyway), and women are generally better at manipulating than men are. Yeah, yeah, it’s rooted in our communication skillz, but really, that’s not the point. The point is that manipulation is life is manipulation. Sure, the guys get mad when I advocate something as simple as “don’t have sex with him the second you meet him” as manipulation, but have nothing bad to say about men lying to get sex. Or whatever. The problem is more people’s inherent revulsion to the word “manipulation.” Everyone does it. Learn to love it.

    Every guy can have a smokin’ hot babe if he can harness the alpha male persona.

    Eh, I think guys subconsciously realize that things other than “personality” matters–it’s just much more attractive to think that you can change the entire world’s opinion about you if you work hard enough. Girls think this too. Certainly, a lot of guys in the PUA community think my fiance is the most alpha-iest alpha of the alphas, and it’s clearly not because his alpha-personality is shining through the interwebz. So, yeah, obviously looks do matter.

    The most important thing about a woman is her physical hotness.

    Eh, most guys have vastly different scales/tastes except for the bare minimum (i.e. if she has no teeth, she is not a 10). Even though they like to pretend they don’t. They do. It doesn’t vary drastically (e.g. one guy’s 8 is probably not another guy’s 1), but it varies plenty enough.

    Men are entitled to sex with women.

    I agree. Nobody’s entitled to anything. That said, I’ve not really heard this sentiment expressed in the PUA community, save for the blowhards. If anything, this is the kind of statement made to boost confidence (like how, when you go for a job interview, you should talk as though you’re already part of the company) and knock the women down a few points IN THE MAN’S MIND. This way, he’s more capable of approaching her as though he is a normal human being, instead of a pandering douchebag.

  5. Thank God you shut up the inexperienced women at GIRLGAME who were trying to “school” you on what’s up with PUA. LOL.

    Armchair sex therapists.

  6. OMG! That was you?

    NICE!

    Don’t worry I won’t tell them over at my blog because I think you have a few fans due to the hilarious sarcastic nature of your “Roissy Disciple” comments….

    This post is also a really good interpretation of the many elements of things going on in the PUA World. I don’t think they have a clue as to what the actual “ends” are to whatever this male-bonding and ego-stroking experience, though.

    Basically, PUAs are the male equivalent of the really angry and unfriendly fat chicks who say that skinny girls are ugly, shallow, vain, and “not healthy” and try to make “fat” beautiful.

    It’s not beautiful because it’s not supposed to be. That’s why being fat isn’t accepted. It’s unhealthy and unattractive. So then they form those angry fat-girl groups who talk about how “big is beautiful” and even intentionally try to get fatter!!! They usually form close bonds with other girls who are the same way and essentially feed eachother’s delusions (no pun intended) which prevents them from having to face the reality of the fact that there is NOT something wrong with society……there’s something wrong with THEM.

    Basically PUAs delude themselves the same way. They cannot compete with more successful and more attractive men OR women so they have formed a little groups to try to figure out how to emulate the successful male (instead of just actually improving themselves) and shaming/hating all women who are successful (instead of just improving themselves).

    Much like the delusional fat girls….the PUAs will just keep telling the world that women don’t care if you’re ugly, lazy, a liar, and a pervert……problem is that women DO care and we don’t an aging, saggy, balding, lazy, lying, cheating, physically unattractive man for ANY reason….just like them.

    They are pissed off that they cannot compete with the “Alpha Male” nor the “Alpha Female” therefore they have taken to undercutting both groups like a scavenger would do to a lion to steal scraps…..as opposed to actually getting better, competing like successful people do, and earning that status the honest way.

    They’re just another lazy, entitled bunch poisoning modern America and every other nation of the world. Thankfully the “Pre-Feminist” bunch are slowly dying off and those are the men at the heart of the PUA Community. They’re all much older men who refuse to realize that they are not entitled to anything at all for being born male. They know women will never allow them that unfair privilege again and they are of a generation where they expect a desperate shrinking violet to be handed to them to slave for and care for them until their death.

    Sorry, guys…..slavery if over and competition is King. Stop grabbing the table scraps, stop undercutting the Alphas, and stop being such a bunch of sleazy entitled bitches!!!

  7. … then let her talk bla bla bla … cut her off after 2 min .. hey that’s a nice hairstyle you have … “oh really thank you” bla bla bla

  8. I find that your blog-site (as you’ve been told many times from other replies to your entries that I’ve read) is truly a breath of fresh air…that needs to be said first, since I’m just a little disappointed in the slightly misleading nature of the title of this entry.

    While I enjoyed your observations & agree with pretty much all of the well-organized statements you mentioned, I didn’t see much in the way of “PUA Super-Girl” confessing accomplished. Through reading your other postings, I find it hard to imagine you involved with the usual “goals” of “pick-up artist training” even if it was simply a case of cash for “test-subject” services rendered, which there’s nothing wrong in doing. As a matter of fact, I had no idea that this sub-culture was still so prevalent since it seemed to be a media “fad” that came and went a few years ago. Perhaps this is also due to my having been married for 32 years & not getting out much even under those conditions.

    When I saw this title in your popular posts section (I’m working my way down that list) I was drawn to what I had hoped was an opportunity to read your experiences in these workshops while performing your assigned role, not just observations of the benefits & drawbacks concerning this topic. You’ve already proven to me that you have much to offer your readers (particularly those of us that are male), not the least of which is your wonderfully frank reflections on your own experiences with past boyfriends as viewed through the lens of your education & training in this subject, as well as being a vivacious & interesting woman. That was not a come-on, just an observation based on the delightful glint of mischievousness in your eyes & your smile by way of your picture on the home page. I’ve always been a big Dr. Ruth Westhiemer fan, right down to appreciating the obvious fact that her delivery style was partially based on her age, (the friendly, nice older lady/sexologist…very non-threatening & comfortable…that helps when dealing with a subject fraught with discomfort) but I’m looking for…well…MORE now.

    I encourage you to reveal your “PUA Super-Girl” experiences (even if it’s just the highlights) if for no other reason that I’m betting it’d be an interesting read.

  9. I couldn’t have said it better myself. While “pick up” may inspire confidence or open eyes to a psycho/sociological action that the guys may not have previously noticed, it can be a terrible detriment spawning laughable robots using magic tricks and Mick Jagger references or zodiac talk to bore 10/10 women to death at clubs.

    What’s sad to me as a guy who does dating advice is that so many confused men spend thousands of dollars paying to be taught cheesy acronyms, while being spoon-fed gender interaction as an exact, predictable science. The answer lies within them all along; fix your mindset, and have fun with it. Who gives a fuck if you get shot down?
    Catching IOI’s and number closing HB’s at the club isn’t doing shit for these guys who are petrified, shaking, and verbally diarrheaing cliche crap.

    They need to generate their own “Swag”, and their own confidence, and take it with them for life.

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