Pickup for Feminists

There’s a great discussion going on at the Rachel Rabbit White blog, on her post GUYS: How to Pick up Women Without Negs or other PUA Tricks. I like pretty much everything on her blog because it’s writerly and addresses some of my favorite topics (sex, porn, etc). I recommend popping over there and checking it out.

If you’re a PUA or into social arts, read the post and comments. I wanted to blog a longer response to one question Rachel asked:

I mean I guess what I want to hear from the PUA community are the ways different people are navigating these [pickup-related] problem areas and trying to use the techniques for good. I want to hear about this from you guys. I think you guys have made some great points here, but it seems we disagree that there is anything problematic about the PUA community. Maybe we disagree on WHAT is problematic, but I don’t know. I am sure there are some guys using PUA techniques without the ethical probs, and I want to know more about that endeavor.

The ethical problems she is referring to are the use of Negs, Freeze-outs, and other tactics that are manipulative or questionable in pickup. In case you don’t know, a neg is a tease or putdown of a chick designed to get her to respond to you. The freeze-out is when you’re making out with a chick and make a move towards sex, she balks, and then you freeze her out emotionally or cut off the physical completely in order to make her feel bad or even reverse course.

The neg has a bad rap and it’s one of the biggest targets from folks who don’t know much about pickup other than that it exists. I use negs as a light tease. Teasing, as everyone knows, it part and parcel of flirting, and my teases are always in context and humorous. So, if I met cute girl who was a blogger, I might tease her by calling her a blogger dork, and it would be perfectly fine because I’m a blogger dork too and we could bond over that. That seems ethical and fair to me. I don’t put down chicks any harder than that when I’m picking them up.

The freeze out is a little different and it’s something I have done, will continue to do, and something that has happened to me many many times. Freezes happen on both sides of the fence and they happen in every kind of relationship there is, from dating to LTR’s to marrieds. People offer and withhold sex and other forms of emotion all the time as a way to get something from their partners. If you extend that thought, you know kids and parents manipulate each other via emotion, friends do the same, emotional battles even take place in business.

The bottom line is, exchanging emotions and influencing one another via emotion is part of being human. You can’t remove it. I would be willing to bet Rachel Rabbit and her husband freeze each other occasionally and otherwise use emotion to influence each other and get what they want. Is there an ethical issue?

I don’t get too hung up on the ethics of social dynamics because ethics are a little too rational, a little too distant, and don’t mesh well with the fluidity and gray areas of my relationships. I have a set of values I adhere too and I try to be as fair and forgiving as possible. I prefer imperfect relationships and imperfect communication. To be honest, I love the sketchy nature of social dynamics.

Besides that, I embrace the game and the reality of male/female interaction. I enjoy when women test me emotionally because it gives me a chance to know myself. Like I’ve blogged before, I like my women bratty and emotional because the sex is hotter.

Going back to the original question, how do I use pickup without the ethical problems? I don’t take it too seriously and I embrace the irony of it. If I’m picking you up, I will be forward and move in a clear direction, but I won’t get upset if you don’t follow. I project my true self, let you know it’s okay to let your guard down, and give you options. That’s it. Besides that, I have a good time and act like a fucking badass.

Here’s a good post I found that takes on the ethics of being a player if this topic resonates.

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