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Are pickup artist strategies morally acceptable?

Pickup artists are often criticized on moral grounds - for using manipulative and dishonest tactics, encouraging fake rather than genuine behavior, and for ultimately helping men and the expense of women. Many practitioners of the art claim that these are misconceptions.

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Experts and Influencers

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Agree
Experts In Seduction


Heartiste    Pickup Artist
Mostly Agree
Technically, I should feel some guilt. If we define the prime marrying years of a woman to be between 21 and 26 ... then I have squeezed the juice out of the ripest years of quite a few girls. ... The next beta in line will be stuck marrying the rind. ... I take a philosophical view of my biological thievery. ... [Consider] what guy with bloated testes hasn’t heard this from a girl he really liked: [let's just be friends]. Therefore, my actions are helping to bring balance to the force.
08 Oct 2007    Source


Neil Strauss    Pickup Artist, Author
Agree
[Pickup artistry is] a horrible word. It implies trickery, one-night stands, and ego-gratification. In actuality, however, the goal of the game is not sex, but attraction. Because attraction can lead anywhere: friendship, sex, a relationship, marriage, alimony. As an interesting side note, the people who have reacted the most hostilely to the books have not been women, but men. I’ve actually never received a negative email about [my] book [The Game] from a woman.
21 Dec 2007    Source


Mystery    Pickup Artist, Celebrity, Author
Agree
If you had to hide pickup secrets from a woman, I think those secrets would be unethical. During my boot camps, over the years, I've invited girlfriends to these events. [They're] great sounding boards. I get to find out what they feel is moral or immoral. ... Here is the word that I don't enjoy, "scheming" - I'm not a schemer. ... I'm a good person. This is really how I see it: If you don't learn these skills ... your chances of survival and replication in this life will be compromised.
06 Aug 2007    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Are pickup artist strategies misogynistic?
   Disagree

Disagree
Experts In Feminism


Thinking Girl    Blogger
Disagree
Professional pick-up artists run woman-tricking business to help guys get laid. Seriously. ...these men who earn their living teaching other men to be smarmy in bars and other social events. I post it as fair warning to women: men are willing to pay someone to teach them how to trick you into thinking they are charming so they can get into your pants. And some men are willing to take that money.
29 Jan 2007    Source


Amanda Marcotte    Blogger, Author, Feminist
Disagree
If you’re lucky, you won’t nosedive into reading blogs that advocate rape as proper punishment for women who don’t give it up as instructed. ... that critical element that attracts [men] to PUA hucksters, ... is the rich promise that their system will punish some bitches. That you will “win”. That some woman will be hurt by you. That you’ll get your revenge.
11 Aug 2009    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Are pickup artist strategies misogynistic?
   Agree

Experts In Media


Sam de Brito    Author
Disagree
PUAs teach you techniques that manipulate women, and when all is said and done and the tide of your enthusiasm for this stuff recedes, when the "negs" and the "patterns" and all the other terminology is stripped away, what you're left with is an empty shell.
13 Mar 2009    Source



Comments

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0 Points      Bastet      24 Dec 2013      Stance on Question: Disagree
Pua's approach women as 'alien'. We are all human beings first amd foremost with a thousand-fold more commonolaties than differences. When this essential humanity is forgotten then harm is the natural result. This does not just apply to PUA's but to every person on the planet, irrespective of their sex, gender, sexual orientation, or sexuality. A human being is far more than a set of genitals.


0 Points      TheLobsterMan      15 Apr 2013      Stance on Question: Disagree
Instead of building meaningful relationships with women, pick-up artists use questionable techniques to trick them into having sex with them.


-1 Point      Vallin      04 Apr 2012      General Comment
I have been studying PUA technique (free forums and newsletters--I ain't buyin' a word of it) for the past 2 years. I did buy a pamphlet of Ross Jeffries in 1993, but by law of attraction it got me married (my GF got jealous!). My point and my question--relating to "I ain't buyin' it"--is what kind of woman FALLS for this stuff? It's COMICALLY obvious!


1 Point      blacktrance      10 Feb 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
No, because they place too high of a value on meaningless sex.


1 Point      the27th      26 May 2010      Stance on Question: Mostly Disagree
It all depends what you mean by pickup artist strategies.

If it's just good self-presentation, confident manner, teasing, flirting, and so on -- then it's just fine. That's not really even "PUA", it's social skills.

But I don't think it's moral to have a romantic or sexual relationship with anybody if you don't have good will towards her. All relationships require good will; even financial transactions require a limited form of trust, and more personal relationships require a greater level of trust. You should mean her well -- which includes trying to make the relationship fulfilling for her. If she wants to be loved, and you just want to "pump and dump," and you're not honest about that, then you're treating her unethically.


0 Points      Benja      26 May 2010      General Comment
Here's a possible way to think about it. Any person, whether they're a man or a woman, has positive and negative aspects to their personality. The negative aspects cannot be ignored - they're part of what gives us depth and personality, and are an indivisible part of our identity. The common problem with an inexperienced man, is that starved of a basic need, their conception of women is very positive and very shallow. Their interactations with a women betray their flawed conception of who she is. Women will naturally be turned off by a guy who tries to put her on his ridiculous little pedastal and far prefer a man who understands that she's not all nice.

So perhaps this explains why the negative conception of women is emphasized in the PUA philosophy. It gets inexperienced men to start thinking about the negative aspects of women, to balance out their woefully one-sided conception of a female. And that's the critical bit - it should balance their conception of a woman. It seems that some men who marinate in the PUA philosophy too long have a tendency to swing the other way too far. In terms of marketing the PUA product, perhaps this is inevitable. But perhaps the overall effect is a good one, if most men who benefit from the methods end up with women who are pleased that their man better understands them.


0 Points      the27th      26 May 2010      Stance on Question: Mostly Disagree
Hmm, maybe. It's true that women are pretty flawed and that men look silly if they don't realize that; I'm not sure if anyone really acquires that balance through reading pick-up philosophy, but who knows, it's possible. Mostly, anyone who actually spends time with women knows that we don't belong on a pedestal -- the cure is exposure, not hours reading internet screeds.

But the point is not that PUA is unflattering -- it's that it advocates being deceptive about the goals of a relationship. I'm not sure there's a modern word for it, but it's being a cad. Don Giovanni was a creep. It's cruel to make a woman think you care about her when you don't. I don't believe in cruelty.


1 Point      Adams      17 Feb 2011      Stance on Question: Mostly Agree
PUAs don't seem to advocate dishonesty. I never read The Game, but from what I have read online, there's nothing dishonest about these parlor tricks. Heck, all of these routines and games are just that: Party tricks. I haven't seen anything that tells PUAs to lie and say they want relationships if they don't want them. The point is for both parties to enjoy each other as much as possible and "To leave her better than you found her" whether it's a one night stand or something long term.

Not that I'm a pick up artist or anything. I have a great relationship with my steady girlfriend and many of the PUA things came naturally, but I can see how they would be helpful to guys for building relationships and showing their personalities.


0 Points      Benja      28 May 2010      General Comment
Concerning whether honesty is the best policy in dating, I've suggested some answers here.

With respect to cruelty, I think dishonesty can certainly be cruel, but the lack of success that will result from self-imposed honesty is cruelty towards oneself and anyone who would benefit from one's success, and that abstract principle applies in many domains, not just dating. While it's admirable to strive to be honest, I think we need to be fully aware of exactly what real honesty would entail, before condemning dishonest behavior.


0 Points      Benja      27 May 2010      General Comment
"Mostly, anyone who actually spends time with women knows that we don't belong on a pedestal -- the cure is exposure, not hours reading internet screeds."

First, I'd say that nearly all the men and women I know have spent way more than a few hours reading and talking about the opposite sex - it's a pastime!

Second, the reason exposure isn't enough, is that the behavior of the opposite sex is often counterintuitive. It doesn't matter how much exposure you have, if a flawed conception in your head won't budge. This is often exacerbated by the fact that what someone says and what they do is often out of sync. A classic case is the man has been told "let's just be friends" by the women who says "I just want to find a nice guy" but who dates bad boys. The friend gets horribly confused and frustrated, but persists in the romantic belief that she "just doesn't see that I'm exactly what she said she wants". Exposure by itself, won't help them - it could actually entrench their misconceptions.

I think this comment by Freud really gives an idea of how counterintuitive the opposite sex can be:
"The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is “What does a woman want?”"

My guess is that if Freud had known about evolutionary psychology, he could have answered that question. But he had the wrong model in his head, and it wouldn't budge.


-1 Point      Anonymous      03 Oct 2011      Stance on Question: Mostly Disagree
Attraction is mostly based on the immune system/scent of the partners. If there´s no chemistry between the man and the woman (literally), there will be no date. Even if the man is a pick up-guru.
I think that some genetically especially favored guys could do almost everything and still score at most of the women they want. The men who are less advantaged will still be disregarded by most of the women they want (not only because they are less advantaged, but because their expectations on women often are much too high). PU won´t help them as much as they expect.
To me the lesson is clear: PU may not hinder genetically valuable men to bed women in dozens, but average to less valuable men will still be left with nothing although or even BECAUSE they are PUAs. PUAs teach men to be disinterested, manipulative and sometimes even downright rude (for example Roissy´s blog where he advises: if the man has to go to the restroom he should do that without a word of explanation to the girl he tries to seduce, etc.). If a man is good looking and/or genetically valuable and/or wealthy, beautiful shallow women, or beautiful women who don´t look after a serious relationship will let themselves be seduced. But if one is none of the aforementioned, he still will be scoring only on exceptionally desperate women.

And on topic:
I think pick up is morally questionable because false hopes are rised (on both sides).