Using Insults To Pick Up Women

The pick up artist game

The pick up artist game

Men may have success using insults to pick up women — if both the men and the women involved are misogynists, say researchers.

This particular chick magnet strategy was made popular by Neil Strauss, who checked out a workshop run by an aspiring magician named Mystery when his book editor asked him to explore the community of pickup artists. The resulting manual, The Game, reads a bit like the frog-turned-Prince tale of Crazy Stupid Love.

Some tips involve misogyny, others don’t. “Approach a woman within three seconds of seeing her so you don’t lose your nerve” and asking “What’s your sign?” or “What’s your type?” seem nontoxic enough.

But men are also told to isolate “the target” from her friends and subtly insult her to lower her self-worth. That’s called “negging.”

For instance: ignore the girl you want and flirt with one of her friends instead. Or, briefly disqualify yourself from being a potential suitor:

I go to blow my nose and I look at her and I say, “What, are you gonna watch?” I’m disqualifying myself as I’m blowing my nose in front of her!

Mystery explains that if “the target” is especially beautiful she’ll wonder why she’s being ignored and assume the man is highly selective and accustomed to beauty. Next, she will admire his status and want to win him over.

In another “neg,” Mystery suggests men ask unflattering questions like, “What have you got going for you other than your looks?” Or, “I like your hair, is that your natural color?”

This takes the woman off-guard and makes her question her value. So, of course she wants to win the guy over.

But really, why would anyone be drawn to such men? A woman attending a seminar hoping to get an inside scoop was puzzled by advice to ogle other women:

Despite the theory that what is unavailable becomes more appealing, and the fact that at times, it may seem true, there is absolutely nothing sexy, alluring or seductive about obviously looking at other females while talking to a woman… It’s just rude. Period. And if a guy can’t maintain a two-minute conversation, what’s he going to be like on an actual date, let alone in a relationship?

Exactly! I’ve always broken up with guys like that. And the “neg” advice didn’t work in a documentary I saw on speed dating when a couple of guys tried it.

Yet studies show that it can work – for those who are sexist.

In two different studies University of Kansas researchers found that the more negatively women viewed women, the more receptive they were to these techniques. These women were more likely to accept male privilege and to like aggressively dominant men.

And the more negatively men saw women the more likely they were to use the techniques.

A match made in heaven – or hell.

Forewarned is forearmed.

This is a rerun, I’m on vacation.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on September 7, 2015, in men, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. This idea of “negging” reminds me of as a child when little boys were mean to girls you were told it was because they liked you, like it was normal for little boys to make fun of you because in the end they don’t mean it. But similarly to ignoring a girl or talking to their friend as to gain their attention, it brings girls confidence way down because they feel that they are not worthy of the guy. And we should never feel that we are unworthy, and guys shouldn’t believe that making us feel this way is the right thing to do. I then feel the need to question how the relationship is after the guy used rude tactics to date her in the first place. Does he still feel the need to give attention to others to keep her or does he abandon the role of being jerk. This is seems to be just another internalization of how people believe women “should” be treated, that all they are worth is the attention they receive from men.

  2. I think this method is the worst, initially because this is why some women are so insecure when in reality they really do not need to be. Women have so much power over men and obviously they know it. Men are just getting clever and flipping the script and make women think “Oh my gosh am I good enough?”. If this dating tip actually works, and the woman falls for him and then go on to start a relationship it is going to be rough. Mainly because you started the relationship making her feel insecure, so you basically set the tone. She is always going to feel like she is not good enough for the man or start comparing herself to other women. I personally feel like this method is not going to get the man very far even if that is their goal. In addition I’m not even sure men would want a woman with no self-worth it is not very ideal, and vice versa a women should not go for someone who makes her feel any less than what she is.

  3. I never understood the whole reasoning behind guys being mean to girls to get their attention, and i realized there were still guys that did that. However it has been such a big part of our society and we have internalized it so much that until reading this I wasn’t aware of how often it happened. It has become such a subtle thing when guys flirt that we don’t even realize its happening until it has been pointed out (even the part about a girls natural hair color!) It would be great for women and men to realize what is happening because there are probably cases where now men don’t even realize what they are actually doing.

  4. Victoria Butterfield

    I’ve often times looked into the whole stereotype of guys being rude to win a girls attention. It traces back to elementary school when a boy would tease a girl and her mom or teachers would explain, “If a boy is mean to you it’s because he likes you.” This idea that has been plunged into girls is toxic. It also goes into the “Beauty and the Beast” concept of a girl “changing” a difficult boy. I think men have gotten away with being rude to impress a possible interest and it really is a problem. But the opposite isn’t any better. After the rude approach guys is the self piteous man who claims “Girls only like bad boys and no one wants a nice guy” which is both manipulative and entitled because they believe their kindness is entitlement to a woman’s body. Essentially the way I see it is boys need to stop the games and tricks to win a girl’s attention because either way it’s a sign of entitlement.

  5. Funny…I just watched Crazy Stupid Love last night, and I thought, why would anyone want to go home with that guy? And…he was really only interested in the one girl who didn’t fall for his manipulation. It seems odd – a match made in hell, indeed.

    • I was trying to remember the name of that movie. It totally exemplifies the ideas behind PUAs. And how it’s not very good at creating relationships – something that men who have tried the tactic complain about.

  6. I think guy’s like that are sad and jerks. There is also something I read, well not actually read, but saw posted on a dating site of another tactic. It’s not mean like the “neg” pua thing. I can’t say it’s actually mean, but a tip of what attracts girls. But I don’t care for it, because I think it’s fake, meaningn guy’s are prefending or putting on an act which they aren’t. I only think it works if the guy is nice, but it’s naturally a part of his personality. I think some things can be worked on but others a person naturally has. What I’m talking about is this “cocky, nice” thing that some deangelo guy wrote about.

    I believe him in the sense of that i can work and what not, but it’s if a guy is actually a nice, funny, charming guy, who when he is cocky, it’s in a grain of salt, playful way, and can tease himself too. Some use “swagger”, but I don’t like that word either. My problem with this approach though it usually doesn’t cause a man to be a jerk or mean to a woman, unless he’s an idiot. I think it’s a lie that this deangelo guy is selling. The reason I say this is because I think thing work best when naturally done. When a person tries do put on an act or act a certain way to attract a girl, then it’s fake and doesn’t work as well. The reason is because it puts pressure on the man in the situation and even the woman when not done naturally. For example, women like guys who are funny.

    But a guy on a date or meeting a girl at a club, etc and who is “trying to be funny” and conscious of it, then usually he’ll often not be funny or she can see he’s trying too hard to be funny and a turn off. A man emphasizing cocky and funny, that will be his objective and then not natural and therefore, not real and fake. I see how the cocky and funny can work, as It’s one thing I do sometimes when flirting or being playful and girls like. But it’s only in certain contexts, and basically me not tryijng to be that way and simpy talking and just letting convo goes where it goes. If something she says creates something funny in response to be said, then I say it. If not, then I don’t force it or what ever. If something comes up, timing and context wise and my mind catches humor or something to tie in a smartass, cocky in a playful, funny way remark then it happens. But I’m not waiting for that moment to do that or thinking to do so. But yes the negging thing is just stupid and guy’s don’t need to be jerks to girls. While I think the guys are jerks, in a way it seems like a bi product of society too though of guys having to approach women and prioritize that, that finding or using “tactics” even if mean would be devised to help men try to attract women or use to sell books to lonely man having trouble and profit off these men.

    • Thanks for your thoughts. And as I mentioned to someone else, the technique doesn’t seem to be very good for creating and sustaining relationships, Either. And that might have something to do with some of the things you’re talking about.

  7. This is literally the plot for a thousand movies! Intrigue the girl, then ignore her, constantly insult her, so that she is irritated by you to the point where she is literally begging for your attention. It doesn’t work like that in real life. I have seen girls who accept this behaviour, and even enjoy being in a relationship with someone who is constantly putting them down. But, that’s not for me, even if the guy is some big-shot. I instantly get turned off by guys who use the mean-t0-be-attractive approach. It is more demeaning than exciting.

  8. I definitely used to fall prey to this type of reverse psychology- I think a culture that objectifies and in which women self-objectify makes this type of mind game easy. As in, if you are not objectifying me, then how can I get you to do that so I’ll feel worth- as one example.

  9. Interesting research and thoughts. Enjoy your time 🙂

  10. So eloquent… “What have you got going for you other than your looks?” sounds like the type of compliment that interpellates the physical beauty, tossing aside the intelligence and other inner features… Hey wait who needs to be intelligent anyway!?… Ha! 😉
    Best wishes. Aquileana 😀

  11. This type of thing is very much in vogue in Indian mainstream Hindi films…the guy, most of the times, wins over the girl by making insulting comments about her appearance and nature…

    Enjoy your vacation, Georgia… 🙂

  12.…that’s scary.! and sad too… But great that you’re on vacation 🙂

  13. I have to assume puas get rejected 100 times before they ever have success. I’ve been approached by these types, and I can’t wait to share my stories.

  14. Georgia Platts !
    I have Nominated you for the Creative Blogger Award.
    Please Check.

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