Pickup artistry bills itself as a sort of dating life hack. Attracting women, according to the pickup artist, is a game, and one you can win if you know the rules. For the type of shy, nerdy heterosexual men pickup artists (or PUAs) are reaching out to, this is an appealing pitch — like a Konami cheat code for becoming the playboy you always looked up to.
Too often, though, pickup artistry borrows misogynistic stereotypes of the woman as both harlot and hard to get, a natural opponent who has to be tricked into following you into the bedroom. It makes you wonder: can anything worthwhile be salvaged from pickup artistry?
As it happens, if you strip away the sexism, you can actually manage to dig up some helpful advice. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you:
News flash: most women care about how you present yourself. If you’re rolling into your favorite watering hole wearing an old, baggy t-shirt, your hair a mess and your body odor questionable, chances are you won’t be getting sultry glances from across the room.
Pickup artists stress that you should dress and comport yourself like the playboys you see in film. Want an edge on the dating game? Treat yourself to a fancy shave and haircut, and bring your nicest threads to a tailor for a custom fit. No matter what your body shape, a tailored outfit will make you look a hundred times better. While you’re at it, go easy on the cologne. She shouldn’t be able to smell it until she’s close enough to show she’s interested in you.
Admittedly, this is easier said than done. Anxiety can be brutal, and low confidence can take years of concerted effort to overcome completely. But the good news is that small things can drastically improve your confidence around women — for example, putting on that perfectly tailored outfit we were just talking about. It can also help to keep a condom and some Astroglide water-based lube in your pocket, just for good luck. You might not have the playboy’s effortless charm, but if it took Bond levels of suave to get play, the population would have died out ages ago. Take a deep breath, and be yourself.
One of the most maligned PUA tricks is called “negging.” Beautifully illustrated in this XKCD comic, negging plays on the idea that manipulating a woman’s self esteem is the first step toward manipulating her to sleep with you. Basically, you walk up to a beautiful woman and open up the conversation by insulting her. Yes, really. If this works the way the books claim, she’ll be intrigued by your high standards, and want to prove herself to you. More often, though, you’ll probably end up with a well-deserved drink in your face (if you roll like a slimeball, be prepared to get treated like one).
While negging is a deplorable dating practice, it is true that a woman will be more interested in a unique opening line than by nervous attempt at small talk. When the pressure’s off, try writing a few down. Ask your lady friends what works for them. At the end of the night, “Who in this room is most likely to be a double agent?” will be much more memorable than “Sup?”
While this advice may not bring out the playboy hidden inside, it can definitely open some doors you might not have expected. Have you ever had success with any of these tips? Tweet us @Astroglide and let us know!
Images are for illustrative purposes only.