Dating

Do you want to play a game?

You guys: I totally had a celebrity encounter! Technically, there were two since he hit on me twice, but we’ll get to that in a bit. I had a real-live, honest-to-goodness Master Pick-Up Artist™ run game on little ol’ me!

Some of you might be wondering what, pray tell, a PUA is. Have no fear, I’m here for all your weird dating terminology needs. A PUA is a guy who utilizes specific tools and techniques to pick up, seduce, and sleep with women. There’s a whole community, with more experienced guys teaching down on their luck types how to manipulate women into sleeping with them. A journalist-turned-pick-up-artist wrote a book about it (which I’ve read and will reference later), VH1 dedicated a show to one of the more recent gurus, and the community has birthed some really gross websites with hilariously awful ideas about women and relationships.

Now, this is not the first time I’ve encountered a PUA bro. One of the most common ‘techniques’ I’ve encountered is the neg. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the basic idea is that women are used to being complimented by guys. If you say something subtly negative, it throws her off balance and she’ll be ripe for the picking.

What a handy guide.
What a handy guide (The Game, Strauss, p. 37).

The problem is it’s terribly overused and it’s extremely transparent. Par exemple, I had this exchange with a wannabe PUA:

Dudebro: Hey, do you ever wear contacts?
Me: No, I prefer glasses.
Dudebro: Yeah, I guess you’re still cute with them.
Me: Dude. No. This does not work when we know what you’re doing.

That guy’s game was weak at best. This more recent interaction took it to another level. His initial message invited me to check out his profile and let him know if I was interested in men ‘a bit more masculine, take charge, decisive and emotionally mature,’ which immediately piqued my interest — and not in an ‘I want to date that caveman’ way. I’ve been reading The Game, and his verbiage sounded disconcertingly familiar. It was too good an opportunity to pass up.

His profile was the definition of TL;DR. Since I like you, here are some highlights (emphasis mine):

I would consider myself as a “throwback” to the masculine male archetype that existed before men became emasculated due to certain societal factors. What this means is that I don’t make apologies for being a man, for what I want, for my desires, my beliefs, for my hunter-gatherer instincts …

Secondly, I must say that I am on here, simply as another way to connect with someone. I have no issues with “cold” approaching, engaging and procuring relationships with people, women in the real world. 

I honestly love Toronto but I find many in this city a bit socially backward for my taste.

There are actually 5 reasons why Torontonians are globally known to be a bit more socially odd than their counterparts in NYC, Chicago, LA, Paris and other global spots.

If you want to know why that is so, then request the article I wrote on the 5 factors.

I’m really good at:

Cold approach “closing” others on me, my ideas and my vision.
You should message me if:
You are curvy, into health/fitness, have a good outlook on life, love, people, the world, are emotionally mature, passionate, affectionate, selfless, giving, intelligent, come from a good upbringing, have integrity, class, are progressive minded, are very ambitious, independent, career oriented but still do value companionship and connection. Lastly, you do love your men a bit more on the masculine, decisive, emotionally mature side.
After reading that and unrolling my eyes, there was only one way to respond: I asked him to explain how Toronto is socially backwards. He said he’d prefer to explain on the phone (game), an offer I chose to decline. I asked if he was involved in the PUA community, and he began recommending resources, before ultimately getting to dat ass:
My profile neither mentions polyamory nor has pictures of dat ass.
The exchange concluded when I said I was more interested in the sociological aspect than the romantic one, and he told me he was not looking to be my ‘sociology virtuoso or prof.’ LULZ.
I thought that would the end of our ill-fated relationship, but luckily he forgot we spoke/deleted his message history and reached out to me a mere three days later! He opened with my love of horror movies and said he believed we spoke briefly. I refreshed his memory. Moar screenshots:
 
After our first conversation, I had done some exploring and found his website, which is much more aggressively PUA than his profile would suggest. He may distance himself from the ‘typical’ smarmy guy, but I found little to differentiate between the two. I’m going to refrain from hyperlinking (damn those inbound links, yo), but it didn’t leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy about this whole dating thing.
This last message is my favourite of the bunch as it’s standard operating procedure for a PUA:
Push-pull — noun: a technique used to create or increase attraction, in which a man gives a woman indications the he is not interested in her followed by indications that he is. (The Game, Strauss, p. 445)
Granted, this was more of a pull-push, but you get the point. I’ve been struggling my way through The Game because it’s slightly horrifying that a lot of these guys started out in the Toronto dating scene, and also because it’s disconcerting that people are paying boatloads of money to learn how to treat women like shit to trick them into banging. In his defence, he seems less ill-meaning than a lot of the douchebros I’ve read about. However, his constant use of the term ‘female’ alone would be enough to send me running. The cold opens, seduction lessons, and just plain icky treatment of relationships and women were just the cherries on top a very weird sundae. I think I’ll skip dessert this time, thanks.
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