Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Letter to the Editor

I emailed Style a couple of days ago, to fill him in a little bit on what I've been up to with regards to the seduction community. The last time I wrote, I had my first PUA encounter and thought it was a novel, unusual experience. Since then, I have been in touch with countless PUAs, met several more, and became more involved in the scene than I ever thought I would be. In fact, I may attend a conference on seduction later this year. Anyway, Style seemed amused that I made this kind of progress and said he had a feeling I'd be mentioned in an upcoming Village Voice article.

What Village Voice article, I asked?

This one.

A number of people emailed me the link and I thought maybe it was just some online article. Until I saw a stack of Village Voices while out with a friend last night. It was the cover story. For those who haven't read it, "Do You Wanna Kiss Me?" basically discusses how women in New York City have wised up to pick-up techniques and are familiar with all the lines and routines. My run-in with PUA Dave is quoted.

I have mixed feelings about this Village Voice piece, which is why I'm going to send a letter to the editor. Since I'm not sure whether he'll publish it, I'll publish it first:

Dear Editor,

I read "Do You Wanna Kiss Me?" with great interest, especially since I pitched a similar article idea to you more than a month ago, after I had my first encounter with a pick-up artist. I never heard your thoughts about my pitch, but you must have liked it because you ended up not only exaggerating my idea into a cover story, but quoting my blog as well!

I don't mind so much that you quoted my writing without contact me for permission first, I'm quite flattered and certainly appreciate the publicity for my blog. What I do mind is that the story is, essentially, bullshit.

Women in New York City are not onto pick-up techniques. That is, unless they are performed really blatantly and badly. Most females are still pretty clueless about seduction strategies that these guys use, and while Neil Strauss's book has been a hit, a lot of women have still not read it. If I went into a crowded bar and surveyed every female there, I can guarantee I'd be lucky to find one who'd be able to tell me what AFC, AMOG, LMR or any of the other acronyms common in the seduction community stand for. While some city gals may know what a false time constraint or yes-chain is now, after reading this article, let me assure you that the vast majority had no idea beforehand.

One of the pick-up artists I caught out and ended up befriending told me that I was only the second woman in a year that identified him as a PUA. This is an attractive, outgoing guy who goes out nearly every night and has probably talked to hundreds of women in the past year. He uses many of the standard seduction strategies, so if women are allegedly so hip to The Game, shouldn't more than two have been able to recognize what he was doing?

Women in New York are beautiful, sharp, and clever, and can be difficult to approach. Yes, they often weed out guys that try to hit on them in a sloppy way. However, the techniques well-versed pick-up artists use are not sloppy. They are based in proven psychological and sociological behavior and provide effective results time and time again. Is it sneaky for men to employ said techniques? No sneakier than it is for a woman to color her hair or wear a push-up bra or high heels. We do what we need to in order to get the attention of the opposite sex.

I have a problem with the way this article portrayed pick-up artists as conniving losers. I've seen these guys in action and, let me tell you, this stuff works--even on me, even after reading up on the various methods. The article made them out to be ill-mannered clods who are quick to insult a woman, which is also inaccurate. Negging is about creating a playful atmosphere, not about lowering a woman's self-esteem. It's the grown-up version of hair-pulling on the playground.

Ultimately, I think these men deserve more credit than they are getting. Having met and interacted with quite a few PUAs at this point, I can tell you that none have been disrespectful or unkind to me, in fact, quite the opposite. I have had many fun nights out with these men and made some new friends.


What you need to realize is that my situation is unique. Most women do not study pick-up strategies devised for men. Most women also aren't as accepting and enthusiastic about the seduction community as I am. The reason why I try not to be judgmental or disparaging about what these men are doing is because they are making an effort to be more successful with women. They are learning to be less shy and more charming and flirtatious. They try to create a fun, positive, and exciting experience for the woman. The credo many follow is "leave her better than you found her." What's so bad about that, that they wanted to get laid, too? Guess what, guys have always wanted sex and will continue to want sex. You can't fault them for finally discovering methods that are successful. And, contrary to what your article proposes, the techniques work and will evolve and continue to work.

The thing is, we need them to work. If they don't work, men and women will remain in opposite corners of the room and the human race will not survive. Sure, I wish there didn't need to be so much strategizing, but with women becoming increasingly cynical and defensive, something needs to be done to break through that wall we put up. If we didn't create so many rules to begin with, men wouldn't need to play any game.

Let's face it, we are all players and we all make or break or follow the rules. Don't hate the players and don't hate the game. It's who we are.

~Dolly

44 comments:

Larissa said...

Whew! Should I say a 'You go girl!' comment is due? I agree that most women aren't aware of this, I only became aware of it through reading your blog. And as much as I hate playing games, I think there's some truth in what you've said. It takes a lot to break down some of the walls that women like me build when it comes to dating. Maybe it's smart to have a Game plan.

Slinky said...

thx for the kind words about PUAs and for trying to make clear, that we're no sleazy creeps! :-D



greets form germany
-Marco

Elle said...

Very smart letter. I hope they print it and give you the credit you deserve!

Mango said...

Great letter Dolly. I appreciate the stance you've taken on the whole PUA scene, it's refreshing to meet a woman who "gets it."

BTW, I'm in NYC this weekend teaching a workshop on, what else, pickup and attraction with the PU101 crew.

Come out into the field with us. You can see some newbies in action.

Donovan said...

Love ya blog babe!! Fully awesome to see it from a woman's perspective.

FlipSeduction said...

you need to help me with my persuasive essay because you've got the touch Dolly. (BTW I am serious)

Anonymous said...

That last one was so "Ice T"-ish, Don't Hate The Player: I didn't choose the game, the game chose me. :)

Dolly said...

Larissa,
I love how we are each others' cheerleaders. I wish you lived in NYC!

Slinky and Donvan,
See, it's nice comments like this that make it impossible to dislike you guys.

Elle,
Thank you! I hope so, too!

Mango,
I just emailed you. Bring it on!

Flip,
Email me and I'll see what I can do.

Anonymous,
I was actually riffing off a line from the introduction of Style's book, where he says "don't hate the player, hate the game".

Larissa said...

ha i know! rah rah sis boom bah ;-) figures we meet AFTER i move from there.

Single guy blogging said...

Oh they must absolutely print the letter!! I'm sure they understand that wit and humor are difficult to come by these days.

j said...

Men who learn seduction from a book and women who support them. Long live America! :) Not being snarky. This whole PUA shit cracks me up!

Btw, I was reading some of your old posts and you mention an older guy you call Clooney. Did he ever call you?

Anonymous said...

Well, Ice-T should SUE STYLE'S ASS. ;)

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/icet/donthatetheplaya.html

Spirit Fingers said...

Word.

http://spiritfingerspua.blogspot.com

cherchezlafemme said...

So what about women who color their hair and wear high heels because they like it and not in some feeble attempt to attract the attention of the opposite sex? Women who have neither read nor care about The Rules any more than they are interested in becoming a notch in someone's bed post in passing? Do I assume that the PUA code of conduct includes respecting those women and not gambling with their peace of mind with all these delightful learned techniques based in proven psychological and sociological behavior? Because if not, from my point of view this is sleazy, underhanded game playing. And if any of these guys have the misfortune of falling for a woman who is not into game playing he may be worse off than before. Speaking for me and women like me who wear stylish clothes, high heels and sometimes color their hair but not for anyone but themselves, who are idealistic enough to believe in love but comfortable enough in their own skins to not measure their success by designer shoes or men, I would date a player if he was honest about who he was from the beginning but I would never stay with anyone who tried to play me.

But that's just my point of view. I am pretty sure guys living it up in the fast lane wouldn't be interested in my type anyway. Tender mercies.

That said, good for you for taking a stand. I may not agree with you but you have a right to your opinion and I hope the editor sees it that way as well.

Lemurhead said...

No shit. "Style" didn't make that shit up, that's for sure. You've got to be kidding me. Girl, get you some education.

Dolly said...

J,
Clooney never did call. A shame, since he seemed like a good one. Clearly, I've moved on. ;)

Anonymous and Lemurhead,
I know Style didn't make up that quote! I was just referring to his use of it in the beginning of The Game. I had heard it before somewhere, but I didn't know it was Ice-T. Consider the record set straight.

Cherchez,
I didn't mean to imply that women dress up solely for men's pleasure. I color my hair and wear make-up and nice clothes for myself, too. It makes me feel attractive and I like the way I look when I put a little effort into my appearance. I also exude more confidence that way. The thing is, when you feel good about yourself, you are going to be more attractive to people, anyway. And, for better or for worse, for men it's a matter of looks first. I understand your disagreement with the pick-up artist subculture. There are things about it I don't agree with, too. At the same time, my own experience has been very positive, and these men appreciate hearing a female opinion, so I can't speak ill of them.

pawlr said...

Fantastic letter, Dolly. I hope The Voice has the balls to print what you have to tell them.

My feeling is that they have long harbored a playa-hata agenda and are primarily concerned with castrating straight males.

They stereotype all straight male sexual power as threatening and dominating, when it simply isn't always. Much of the Game for Men involves realigning that natural male social power which has become bent by p.c. culture to no good end.

The positive social result of practicing Game is a calibration of the erotic energy between males and females. There's a lot of creative energy in that space, an energy which existing political structures (Right and Left) perceive as very threatening.

I say "Bring.. It.. On!"

Anonymous said...

Some quick thoughts:

- Neil Strauss mainly writes about one form of pick up (structured, canned, rely on DHV, etc.) There are others that despite all her knowledge, Dolly probably wouldn't yet recognise IMHO.

- For the record, sleazy PUAs do exist, just as there are sleazy AFCs. Judging a person's "sleaze" factor based on how much "Game" they have is like judging a person's greed based on how much money they have. There are greedy poor people and philanthropic rich people. In my experience, the number of sleazy PUA is very low, and most women can see straight through them anyway.

The Asian Playboy said...

Cher,

Like I posted on my blog when I first read the article yesterday, most guys that get into the Game and whom I teach AREN'T living in the fast lane and are players.

In fact, the hard truth is, very, very few of them will achieve anything resembling becoming a womanizer.

Most want choice and a lifestyle. To get over their fear.

In other words, they want to be able to approach and talk to an attractive woman without getting nervous and stumbling over themselves. To get from that point to true playerhood?

Well, there's that 80/20 rule. 80% of the PUAs and wannabe PUAs aren't near that level, simply putting in the time and effort to become better conversationalists, more sexual, more dominant, and more confident.

The rest of us 20%... well, I recommend you watch out. Some of us will sure you an awesome time and rock your world. Some of us will ditch you at the drop of a dime.

Dolly,

I do like your post and hope they publish it. Though I still hold to the fact that attractive women already KNOW GAME. Subconsciously at least, certainly at level far superior to most normal guys and AFCs.

You don't need to know the tactics in "The Game" to recognize when you're being flirted with, seduced or Gamed. If it's good Game and she enjoys herself, in my experience, she doesn't care.

After all, Game is simply conveying your personality through the best, most field tested methods.

Asian Playboy

Damn It Anyway said...

Maybe you should apply for the new editor gig at the voice:)

Dolly said...

Asian Playboy,
Eloquently put. As for the part about having natural game, you'd be surprised how many women still haven't developed theirs. I'm hoping to help them. ;)

DIA (<---look, your favorite, an acronym!),
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I love it.

lurker said...

I don't know if you've seen it yet, but the article has been pulled from the web site and the author, Nick Sylvester, suspended.

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0610,news,72372,2.html


Early Wednesday morning, the Voice learned that the concluding section of this week's cover story, "Do You Wanna Kiss Me?" by senior associate editor Nick Sylvester, contained fabricated material.

Stretch said...

OK, I am officially a fan. This is a great letter. I hope they publish it. You have succinctly articulated what many of us have been thinking all along, but never quite communicated.

jo said...

that's a good letter. they should print that. i have to bear in mind to look out for that book the next time i'm in the bookshop... hey maybe i might meet wannabe PUA there haha!

Roque said...

I think cherchez is on the money, more or less. I don't see the logic in dating a player, but to each his/her own. The reason as I see it is that being a player, or a self-styled P.U.A., seems like glorifying a commitment to reducing human relationships to ephemeral, physical episodes; it suggests a myopic, surface-obsessed amorality. Using human beings as means, rather than ends = not moral.

And it seems disingenuous to call pickup artistry a benign method for shy guys to pantomime confidence & meet beautiful women. Then again, even that is superficial. The PUA mindset thrives in the meat-market culture of urban nightlife--that's a red flag.

I'm rambling, but in short: this all seems very sleazy & manipulative, harmful to both sides, despite all the self-aggrandizing apologia.

FF-X said...

@roque:

There is always a good and a bad side to each technique.

But morally not the technique is bad, but the usage of it.

Sure you can use PUA to manipulate, you can also get rich and play a "sugar daddy", you can also get famous and "use" your groupies.

There are infinite ways.

First of all, I for myself can say, that when I had a GF, had better interactions with girls I was unconsciously using many of the PUA techniques.

Second judge for yourself:

Conversation is going well.

either:

I ask: "Uhm, how about we exchange numbers?".
She: "Uhm, well. No, I can't give it to you."
Me: "Why not?"
She: "Well, I do not give out my number. <...>"

I could then either try on or say ok. Either way we both loose, because she is uncomfortable with giving out her number. And I feel afterwards well rejected.

or:

I ask: "Oh, you need to go? How can we continue this nice conversation?"

She: "Uhm, you could meet me up here again at ..."

or she gives out the number or she asks for a number.

Here I give her the possibility to choose without having to directly reject me.

About hating players, you should hate the AFCs "nice guys" also, because they are way more manipulative. Or isn't it manipulative to buy a girl a drink to get perhaps into her pants? Or isn't it manipulative to stalk around some girl until you finally have the balls to approach? Or isn't it manipulative to be nice, pretend to be friends and then try to be more than just friends. Or isn't it manipulative to buy her huge presents to let her feel affection for you to force her to like/love you?

The real stable guys, who live a good life, are secure in themselves, have a stable relationship won't need to read "The Game". But if just 10% of the "nice guys" out there read it and not become "jerks", I believe its for a better world.

Read more about "nice guys":

www.heartlessbitches.com niceguys article.

Anonymous said...

Just checking, when I clicked on your link to the article it came up saying the page was not found. I'd love to read it!

BTW absolutely love your blog, such an eye opener to a single British girl to the intricacies of the New York dating scene, and yet so many shared universal truths. We've got our fair share of PUA's and Players here too . . .

mantis_palm said...

At last, some decent discussion about "the game", in which sophisticated women partake!

Its great, Dolly, that you have spent some energy actually considering this culture.

I talk about it with some of my female friends, and my female flatmate. My flatmate in particulair finds this feild of interest interesting and exciting.
She and her friends even help me model social situations for gaming.

Interestingly, more of my male friends are disturbed by this aspect of my life than my female friends.

I understand and sympathise with negative opinions on the venusian arts. But ultimatly a womans opinions won't effect her chance of being picked up.

If she can be amused and amusing, engaged and engaging, she might accidently have an enjoyable experience with a confident guy. No matter what she thinks of the art.

Spyder said...

Bravo!!!!

pawlr said...

Mantis, yeah I'm experiencing a similar phenomenon. Some guys are tweaked out by the prospect of females learning Game because it means more social pressure for them. But really its natural for opponents to borrow strategy if it _works_ in the field. I think personally that what will come from this is that a leading edge tribe of females will concoct their own strain of Game to which males will have to adapt if we're to continue our recent successes.

thatgirlinnewyork said...

Thank you, Dolly, for promoting a realistic dialogue about the state of male/female interaction. Everyone's got game. It's like a non-proliferation treaty; once we establish some level of agenda (and that's not necessarily a bad word) all around, people will be less tempted to label themselves the victim, and merely players (with a lowercase "P"). I love the way I look in heels and fab hair--it is possible, however to "do it for yourself" and at the same time be aware that it attracts attention (good and bad) of others. Not a bad thing--it just is.

Dolly said...

To the last nine commentors,

I wish I could continue discussions with all of you, but the volume of comments is becoming a little tough to keep up with right now, esp. with this VV scandal. Please don't hold it against me!

Brad P. said...

Hey good job in the latter Dolly. I haven't been back here since that time we were in eachothers LRs, but looks like you've had quite a lot of fun lately! Play on, player!
Brad P.
www.datinggurubrad.com

NICK A. DAVIS said...

Great letter - you go Ms. Thang!!!

CoatMan said...

On colouring hair: there is something deliciously, seductively confident about a woman who doesn't dye her hair. And undyed hair looks better, as hair is naturally slightly translucent: a property which dye obscures.

elzr said...

Great letter and great writing Dolly. I only wish you'd trackbacks enabled because you were the one that motivated me to write something on the topic. If anyone wants to read a naive, idealistic geek's take on the article, here it is.

Here's an extract from the very end:

"Is it sneaky for men to employ said techniques? No sneakier than it is for a woman to color her hair or wear a push-up bra or high heels. We do what we need to in order to get the attention of the opposite sex."

Perhaps Dolly is right. These techniques may be nothing but conversation cosmethics (or rather, prosthetics) and I can surely appreciate their playful side, the way they’re “the grown-up version of hair-pulling on the playground.” But I’m still wary -- it’s conversation we’re talking about here and there are few things I value more.

newyorkette said...

Woah, this country really is in the dark ages when it comes to relations between men and women! I had my coming of age in France, where all men, dorks, intellectuals, jocks, businessmen are all PUA's! It's required! How are you gonna talk to a man who can't feed you a decent line? Jeez!

The idea that a woman is getting tricked into something is very primitive. Lots of women, like me, want to get laid now and then. We like men to make it a pleasure for us to get picked up when we want to get picked up. And becoming a good, smooth, pleasurable PUA is the least a man can do, since men remain the rather unreliable sex. Leave us with a nice memory, is all we ask in France.

Boyoboy. I'm glad I did it all in Paris. I came back here and it's like finding a city full of american soldiers in the vietnamese jungle who think the war is still on. The battle of the sexes I mean.

It's over, silly people! Men and women are after the same thing. Pleasant sex. Make love with the deserving charming men, and ignore the jerks.

Ever hear of a little thing called intuition? You don't need to be a genious to be able to spot insincerity.

pawlr said...

Hear hear. America is a gawky adolescent when it comes to the arts of love. Maybe that's why the talking dicks on TV bash France so much - because they're just hatin'.

Mista_hou said...

I've been reading your posts for about a few weeks now, Its amazing to see your progression with your experiences with the PUA community. I'd like to say thank you for taking the time to understand what some of us truly try to accomplish. I really appreciate your letter to the editor. I'm sure things will turn out well. Thanks again :)

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Dyana said...

I know this post is 2 years old, but I just found it and I love it. I totally agree. I tell all my girlfriends about The Game and even my AFC guy friends, hoping they might get a little confidence from some of the tricks (yet retain their respect for women).

Jimmy said...

Good god THANK YOU. It was nice to read a female admitting that the games played by women are no less "devious" for lack of a better word than the games the PUA play.

Unfortunately, I don't see the PUA thing catching hold or growing. For every guy that just wants to get close to a woman and enjoy her company there's going to be a dozen douchebags who just want to tap her like a keg, and they will say and do whatever it takes to do it. They'll play her games, and either they'll leave her after getting what they want thereby ensuring the next guy she talks to faces a bitter woman or she'll rope him and make him her slave. None of this would (or should) be necessary is everyone was honest and if nobody (men or women) played these stupid games.

Oh well. I checked out of the relationship scene years ago and I just don't see a reason to ever go back. It isn't getting better nor is it likely to in the future.

Agnete said...

Great letter! Thanks a lot! I’ve searched for ages on the internet to find a blog with women’s opinion on “the game” as I recently got acquainted with this phenomenon of the underground seduction community through I PUA I dated for a month. When I found out that he was actually doing an education to become an instructor of picking up women I got really angry and hurt. I felt that it was very condescending and pathetic, and I actually really liked the guy. I searched the internet, googled and youtubed everything I could find. And my feelings towards it was very ambivalent – on one hand I found it very misogynistic and pathetic to work out strategies on how to pick up women! I felt I couldn’t trust him because I was just part of this weird empirical world of acting. But on the other hand I could tell that it was actually based on real social psychology and the study of people, men and women socially interacting with each other. And as I see it, there’s nothing stopping us women from using the same strategies if we want to meet men. Just turn the PUA strategies 180 degrees to play it from the female point of view and it would definitely work! Because honestly – there are lots of girls out there who would love to meet more men but don’t know how to!

So, back to the story with my PUA date, I confronted him with everything I’d found on the internet and he claimed it wasn’t only about picking up girls but also about achieving social skills to be used in other matters in life – job interviews, work environments, etc. I was very confused and couldn’t tell if he was honest to me or just a womanizer good at lying, so I saw no other option than dumping him. And fact is who wants to actually go out with a PUA, and eventually have a relationship with one of these guys? I don’t want to be just one of 100s of the approaches they do in a day! And I don’t want to date a guy who’s a pro in meeting women – I’m far too jealous for that! I think all women want to be special! Therefore, I think you men, should reconsider why you do this – is it to get laid or is it to get a relationship, make sure you refine your techniques and know twhat you’re aiming for. And most importantly – be honest about what you do!!
I’m going to continue looking into this subject as I must admit I find it very intriguing! The game between men and women will always be there, no matter if there’re rules and strategies or not, it’s all about how you play it and your purpose of it, that’s what makes it right or wrong.