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Since the sexual revolution, many of the differences between men and women in courtship have melted away. In America in the 50s for example, it would be highly unusual for a man not to foot the bill for a resturant on a date, while nowadays going dutch is common. However, many differences remain - many women for example still expect men to make the initial approach. Should we strive to eliminate or accept such differences?
Pickup artists are the biggest champions of the belief that women are not always honest - often not even honest with themselves - about what they really want from a man. On the other side of the debate, feminists argue that while both men and women can be mistaken about what they want, this is due to a lack of education, self-awareness, and empowerment, and that both men and women need to listen to feminists - the furthest along that path - to understand what women truly want.
Education entails equipping young people with the skills they need to succeed in life and contribute to society. Pickup artists regard their strategies as "missing education" for men - after all - finding a partner is a prerequisite to creating more young people. Critics have a number of objections, including that the strategies are ineffective, unscientific, and immoral.
Pickup artists make a number of assumptions about human nature that are Darwinist and Machiavellian in character. Critics claim that these assumptions are pseudoscientific, and that they reflect the cynicism of the pickup artists, rather than reality of human nature.
Pickup artist strategies are often viewed as a bag of tricks for seducing women that encourages behavior that is insincere, shallow, and calculated, rather than sincere, heartfelt, and natural. Defenders of the art often frame the strategies as means that enable men to communicate better with women, which ultimately adds depth to a man's character.
Pickup artist strategies are labeled misogynistic by critics who believe that many specific strategies prey on weakness in women, but more deeply, that the philosophy of a pickup artist entails a sexist conception of women.
Pickup artists claim that their strategies for seducing women are proven by considerable field work, and furthermore that their principles mesh well with science, such as evolutionary psychology. Criticisms include that the strategies are superficial and women can easily see through them, and that such strategies only work on a limited number of vulnerable women.
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.
Caroline Kennedy
This is men celebrating women, and women celebrating themselves. What could be better than that? [Referring to her romantic poetry book, "She Walks in Beauty"].
Jessica Valenti
The only time it seems to be okay for women to enjoy sex is within the confines of a marriage, and even then you should be enjoying yourself because you're doing God's work and having babies, not because you might like the actual act.
Jessica Valenti
So I was talking to my editor and we were like, “Wouldn’t it be cool to do a double standard book, almost like a sexism handbook so when you’re out at the bar and someone says something ridiculous and sexist you can pull it out and be like, ‘That’s totally sexist and here’s why and here’s something you can do about it.’”
This research suggests that maybe [neither men nor women] knows what they want... [However, for women, ] perhaps the implicit cultural theories of what women should be attracted to are stronger than those for men. Also, perhaps women’s preferences are just more complicated than men’s on average, and it takes women more years of observation and introspection to accurately state those preferences. ... [Alternatively, perhaps] they need to give answers that are acceptable to society.
Neil Strauss
Among the required reading for all PUAs were books on evolutionary theory: The Red Queen by Matt Ridly, The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, Sperm Wars by Robin Baker. You read them, and you understand why women tend to like jerks, why men want so many sexual partners, and why so many people cheat on their spouses.
What a woman says and how they respond are two entirely different things.
Elizabeth Nolan Brown
In the end, it all seems to turn (for both PUAs and certain social cons) on a paranoid conviction that, because of some heretofore unseen combination of cultural and biological circumstances, a large subset of marriageable men will be “denied access” to the wives owed them; women will either choose to go the child-rearing route alone, climb from hypergamous match to hypergamous match, or be part of an alpha males’ harem of offspring-producing females...
Elizabeth Nolan Brown
For socially conservative writers, PUAs provide a way to vindicate their otherwise past-oriented views about marriage, sex, and cultural decline by squeezing them (never quite comfortably) into the framework of the cutting-edge. It’s relevance by any means necessary. And so Game devotees are transformed from an assortment of bitter and manipulative losers, deviants, and wimps into the logical response to a “feminized” culture.
Elizabeth Nolan Brown
The qualities that make PUAs so successful (and their women targets so willing) are not a reversion, proponents say, but an adaptation, a part of the evolutionary process. At the core of all this alpha- and beta-speak is, supposedly, biology. ... Alpha animals are the first to eat and mate, and in some species the only ones allowed to mate. Beta or omega members who break these rules are killed or ousted. But the ideas of “alpha” and “beta” have no real impact on human behavior post-Pleistocene.

New Comments

0 Points       dionisos       23 Aug 2016     Are women misleading when expressing what they want from a man? Mostly Agree
People fall in love, when they are in love, they often love almost the person as a whole, and not a particular part.
After they can try to use induction on the sample of person they fall in love with, but there are too much properties and the sample is very small.

It is better if you replace "love" by "attracted by", but it is still not very good.
It is also easier to know the general rules if you fall in love easily or are attracted by a lot of people.(because the sample is then bigger, and the rules are simpler)

Introspection work, but only partially, and there are social and self-image problems which reduce the efficiency of introspection.

Add potential lies and communication problems to that.

But only empirical studies, with good protocols, and without ideological agenda, can really answer to this.

0 Points       dionisos       22 Aug 2016     Are pickup artist strategies misogynistic? Mostly Disagree
The same thing than Nutz. (it is not mean to be a useful comment, sorry, it is only that i am forced to comment if i want enough data to see who agree which me)

0 Points       TheLobsterMan       15 Apr 2013     Do pickup artist strategies encourage guys to be fake and shallow? Agree
PUA strategies are focused on deceptive behavior for shallow ends.

0 Points       TheLobsterMan       15 Apr 2013     Are pickup artist strategies morally acceptable? Disagree
Instead of building meaningful relationships with women, pick-up artists use questionable techniques to trick them into having sex with them.

Generalities do not imply universalities. Even if pick-up artists are right about a good portion of women, they are not right to the extent at which their advice can be applied universally.

0 Points       TheLobsterMan       21 Dec 2011     Are pickup artist strategies effective? Agree
Unfortunately, society is such that some women are susceptible to pickup artist techniques.

0 Points       TheLobsterMan       21 Dec 2011     Are pickup artist strategies misogynistic? Agree
They fundamentally do not recognize the woman as an equal.

1 Point       TheLobsterMan       21 Dec 2011     Are double standards acceptable in dating? Disagree
Double standards are in net harmful to both sexes and make communication more difficult.

1 Point       Anonymous       03 Oct 2011     Do pickup artist strategies encourage guys to be fake and shallow? Neutral
Maybe you´re right. But first, there are some people who are generally nervous. It´s a part of their personality. And second, it costs nothing to be nervous, disengaging, awkward, etc., but PU-books and -classes are expensive and in most cases not as helpful as promised.

0 Points       Benja       27 May 2011     Are women misleading when expressing what they want from a man? General Comment
"The idea that you should trust what someone tells you about their own psychology, just because of their gender, is hopelessly naive."
Or perhaps more precisely, it's silly to take what someone says literally about their own psychology. What they say is often highly revealing of what they actually believe, even if it's at odds with what they say.

1 Point       Keller Scholl       27 May 2011     Are pickup artist strategies misogynistic? Disagree
No. Not at all. The goal of a pickup artist is to help guys get girls. They tackled social anxiety and false expectations and how to mimic or learn the tactics of men who would do it instinctively. What a PUA does is help men who aren't arrogant asses pick up the usefull tactics of the arrogant asses for the goal of meeting, and potentially sleeping with, women. It is about getting a woman to sleep with a man she otherwise wouldn't but your assumption is that that woman's judgement is automatically correct, which is absurdity beyond measure. As for the idea that women don't have the upper hand in dating, I sincerely wonder if you have ever tried to be in a heterosexual relationship that would be considered "normal" in the slightest sense. Flowers, chocolates, paying for dates, men are trying to get women interested in them with all this and more. Men ask a woman out, not the other way around in normal society. How can you seriously claim that women don't have the upper hand?

PUAs use and teach emotional manipulation techniques. That does not mean they are trying to harm "women as a group," it means that they are trying to help some men. Yes, these techniques often use the worst aspects of someones personality. But so does being a highly muscled jock with a naturally alpha male personality. Unless life is a zero sum game between genders, your comment is impossible.

After attacking your comments point by point, I feel a need to address the overall issue. Namely, that you seem to think the status quo pre PUA's is an inherently good thing, without offering evidence or logic. Personally, I don't see how women are harmed by having more attractive options. I also don't see how success for men is inherently harm for women. Could you please explain?

1 Point       Keller Scholl       27 May 2011     Are women misleading when expressing what they want from a man? Agree
People don't truly understand themselves. humans are massively bad at cognitive psychology. It is not women who are misleading: It is everybody. People don't really want what they think they want, and they rarely truly believe what they think they believe. The idea that you should trust what someone tells you about their own psychology, just because of their gender, is hopelessly naive.

Seduction Question Index

Are double standards acceptable in dating?
Are pickup artist strategies misogynistic?
Is casual sex morally acceptable?
Are women misleading when expressing what they want from a man?
Is the model of human nature used by pickup artists accurate?
Should pickup artist strategies be considered good education?
Do pickup artist strategies encourage guys to be fake and shallow?
Do pickup artists underestimate the diversity of women's personalities?
Are pickup artist strategies morally acceptable?
Are pickup artist strategies effective?