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Jun 19 2013

Fighting evil by promoting the good

Addendum 2/Postscript: Kickstarter has (take note, CFI) issued an apology, owned their failings, and put new policies in place to ensure such a project as described herein never darkens their doors again. Still I encourage everyone to get behind Advantageous (and heck, even my little thing, if you like).


Original post begins: In case you’re one of the three or four people out there who still haven’t heard of Kickstarter, it’s the popular crowdfunding platform where the public can go and support creative projects with their dollars, most of which are the sort of dream projects no artist could ever get traditional funding for. It’s a tougher platform than most creators realize, getting into it, but when it works it’s wonderful.

The community there does a pretty good job of self-policing. There have been far fewer scams to slip through the door than you might expect. Recently, a big one was caught, ironically by a couple of documentarians looking to Kickstart a film about Kickstarting. (If anything more meta exists, I haven’t heard it.) As a guy who is currently funding his own film there, I sent those guys my kudos. The scammers ruin the party for the rest of us, and I like seeing them exposed as the roaches they are.

But not everything gets caught in time. Lately there has been outrage over a project called Above the Game. This was to be one of those preposterous “pick up artist” (PUA) guides for embittered, can’t-get-laid dudes who have internalized the message (they hear repeatedly online from embittered, can’t-get-laid dudes) that women really are only attracted to blustery assholes, and expect their own success to be markedly improved by becoming one themselves. The idea that no one alive is entitled to anyone else’s romantic or sexual desire and attentions, and that such things are usually won by displaying attractive rather than unattractive qualities, is alien to the PUA way of thinking, however obvious it may be to those of us who’ve worked out that it’s a rather impoverished life, going around assessing your fellow human beings as slabs of meat you have to get stuff from and nothing more.

But this book appeared to take it way too far. Blogger Casey Malone found some choice excerpts on Reddit. Feast your eyes.

All the greatest seducers in history could not keep their hands off of women. They aggressively escalated physically with every woman they were flirting with. They began touching them immediately, kept great body language and eye contact, and were shameless in their physicality. Even when a girl rejects your advances, she KNOWS that you desire her. That’s hot. It arouses her physically and psychologically….

…Decide that you’re going to sit in a position where you can rub her leg and back. Physically pick her up and sit her on your lap. Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances.

…Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.”

I’d think common sense should tell you that if you’re going to put your cock in a woman’s hand without her permission, you shouldn’t be dismayed if she decides you must not want it anymore. Everyone will understand if you can’t stop screaming, though.

So this is pretty much a guide to sexual assault, and following Malone’s post, the news went viral and a push was made to report the project to Kickstarter in the hopes of getting it taken down — not for being a fraudulent product, but for being one that’s essentially advocating criminal behavior. Seriously, following this guy’s advice is not how to land a hot date, unless he’s your cellmate, at which time you’re likely to learn the hard way just how unpleasant it is to be handed an unsolicited cock.*

But apparently the complaints came too late, and the project funded this morning, bringing in a little over $16,000. That’s a lot of lonesome, horny idiots about to be parted with their money. So further complaints to Kickstarter won’t do much good, unless the hope is to get a response from them indicating that they’ll be more careful in their vetting processes in future. Then again, it’s hard to see how they can be. None of the above passages were published to the Kickstarter listing itself, the content of which is the only thing the site looks over in deciding to accept a project. It took digging into Reddit posts to find it. Community policing will continue to be necessary, going forward.

But for people who are outraged that a rape manual got Kickstarter funding, allow me to suggest a more positive and proactive (I love those marketing flack terms) alternative: Find something awesome and back it.

I have just the project. And it isn’t even my own (mine’s made its goal, but there is still time, and if you would like to support it towards its stretch goals, I’d be very grateful to you). It’s an independent feminist science fiction film called Advantageous, which began life as a short. I saw it at Austin’s Fantastic Fest last year, where the shorts are usually like sketches where you go, “Well, that was cute.” But this one, which was actually better than the feature it opened for, immediately struck me as intelligent, sensitive storytelling for adults, dealing in rather unflinching terms with a near-future world in which scarcity of opportunity for women has reached crisis proportions.

So now director Jennifer Phang and her co-writer and star Jacqueline Kim want to turn it into a feature. It deserves it. Go give them all the money.

It’s like this. We can be people who piss and moan and wail and scream and bitch all day long on the internet when some sexist douche succeeds in crowdfunding his lousy little project. But if we don’t want to live in a world where that happens, while talented and driven women artists can’t get funding, then we have a simple choice: vote with our dollars, and make it so that this isn’t that world.

But if we complain about the evil while shrugging our shoulders and not supporting the good, all our angry blog posts and tweets and all our righteous petitions are little more than empty wind.


* For people inclined to react in a triggery way to that remark, let me assure you that is not advocacy of nonconsensual prison butt-secks, only my way of suggesting PUA’s might want to put themselves in the shoes of the person they so glibly justify victimizing, before actually being stupid enough to try it.


Addendum: Above the Game creator Ken Hoinsky has responded to the outcry about his book, appended to this Forbes article. It’s up to you whether you buy his response. Hat tip to DW.

My main motivation for writing this piece was that I had already heard a couple of people going all “I’m never going to use Kickstarter again!” about all this, and while that’s all well and good if your goal is self-righteous moral indignation, just be aware that the people you’d be hurting by that stance are everybody but the creator of this grotesque manual, who gets to skate away with all his money while someone trying to write a novel, or make a movie, or draw a comic, or record their first album, will now be denied that chance over something that they had nothing to do with and would almost certainly hate as much as you.

Don’t abandon Kickstarter and punish thousands of worthy creators for the sins of an unworthy one. Instead, find great, noble projects and support them instead. Blogger Casey Malone, who exposed this to begin with, echoes this sentiment.

99 comments

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  1. 1
    annabucci

    I think he definitely needs to be giving out better advice if the stuff he put on reddit is any indicator.

    I think your idea to combat bad ideas with good ideas on kickstarter is a good one. And I hope this film gets funded successfully.

  2. 2
    Alicia

    I personally hate kickstarter based on my own experiences, but I won’t bore you with the bitter details. Also, I’d like to point out that if this trash had featured a bigot telling folks how to beat up blacks or jews, NO ONE, would be doubting taking this off the site no matter how much money it made…but for some confounded reason, when menace is directed at women, it is okay, and how dare we spoil the fun with our uptight protests….

    And good luck with combating this shit with positivity–humans love rolling around in the muck, just ask Jerry Springer.

    1. 2.1
      Martin Wagner

      I don’t know that many people who love this particular muck.

      1. Alicia

        I would hope so, but seeing how many guys follow, is it, A.J., (aka The Mazing Atheist) and amen him when he trashes any woman who sticks up for herself, I would say there are many men who will see any attempt to stifle this guy as a femanazi, ball busting attack in freedom (just throw in the dirty word “feminist” and their basement dwelling mouths start foaming) Tried being reasonable with such types. Just doesn’t work and they are gaining momentum if the popularity of woman hating vlogging is any indication..

        1. Martin Wagner

          The assholes can think whatever they want, and already do. No one with any sense wastes time in trying to appeal to the better nature of people who don’t have one.

          1. Alicia

            Yeah, maybe I am spinning my wheels witht hese morons foolish being I am, but e’gads the nasty shit that coemes out of their mouth, it boggles my mind. And then they wonder why they can’t get a woman…? Maybe they are sending an unspoken signal to ladies with a healthy dose of self respect to steer clear, leaving the golddiggin’, opportuistic player types they often encounter and associate all womankind with.

        2. Artor

          They are loud and insanely obnoxious, but there really aren’t as many as it sounds like. Not to diminish the damage they do to civil discourse, but it’s a pretty small community of particularly nasty trolls dumping their shit in the punchbowl that is the internet.

          1. Alicia

            I can concede that. I really do need to start ignoring them so I can lower my blood pressure. Indeed, most guys in my inner sanctum are wonderful beings. I suppose I just can’t believe the things that folks say and or high five. There is a quote by AA where he tells some girl he was glad she was raped and to drown in her rape cum. This after AA blasted society for laughing at the possibility of child molesters getting raped in prison. Kind of indicates the amount of venom he has towards women in that he can’t keep his message consistent. Even worse, that so many guys who do follow him do not see the hypocrisy there. That said, there are a few things I actually agree with the dude on even in regards to the shenanigans of feminists.

  3. 3
    meow meow meow

    Thanks for this Martin.
    I have a buddy (used to consider him a friend) who read some or one of those ‘pick up’ manuals and couldn’t stop telling me those same things about how women want a ‘strong’ ‘forceful’ man that ‘takes control’. The worst part of that (yes, even worse than having someone I respected and thought of as a decent human being say things that made my skin crawl) was having this ‘friend’ put me down and treat me like some kind of reject because, as he saw it, I didn’t have the spine to be a real man when it came to interacting with women and what a pity it is that I am not like him. I tried to help him see that what he was/is doing is just shitty and disrespectful and, in my opinion, could only work on a person who has issues that allow them to think that being the target of this kind of ‘attention’ is a good thing but, he just couldn’t hear it. This kind of shit makes me a sad panda.

    1. 3.1
      Martin Wagner

      You know, our very own Russell has for many years been one of the most outspoken critics of Amway and MLM’s, and occasionally he still gets email from someone fresh from the Amway koolaid keg, trying to defend this amazing path to wealth. He can always shut them down with one question: “How much money are you making as an Amway distributor right now?”

      I see a similar way to shut down the PUA’s. Just ask, “How many girls are you sleeping with right now?” I suspect you’ll get a moment of awkward silence which will be all the answer you need.

      1. meow meow meow

        for this guy: two drinks + two rejections = lots more drinks and abusive asshole mode. At a certain point I just couldn’t deal anymore and stopped going out with him. It’s embarrassing and sad to see a friend go that route but, as much as I would like to help, I can’t take responsibility for someone else’s fuck up. Boundaries and all that. :\

        1. Alicia

          Meow, good looking out mah brother, that is also what it takes to effect change…far too many of us are passive in this regard. I get labled a bitch for doing so as well but I told mah hubby that I’d rather be called a bitch by a douche than to stand by and allow someone to be victimized when I can stop it. Please excuse my typos–multitasking and behind on deadlines…

          1. meow meow meow

            I get called an asshole by certain people all the time and it’s always when I’m trying to get them to drop the excuses and own-up to what they’re doing. It sucks but I understand it can be difficult for some people to admit when they are wrong so, I just satisfy myself with hoping that maybe they’ll ‘hear it’ later. Can’t reach everybody but, trying to is good practice. keeps you out there in the mix. I remember when I was studying Buddhism and heard someone say that, it’s not really a big deal to go off into the woods and be perfect by yourself but, staying in contact with society and trying to make a difference is the real accomplishment.

          2. Alicia

            I recall an incident in the not too distant past with a young lady that was being horribly cyber bullied on Twitter. Now, there are times when one doesn’t feed trolls but attacks were directed at a fifteen year old girl on nearly a daily basis. The child had a sweet nature and wasn’t inclined to defend herself. I reached out to her and at one point took off the kid gloves with her attackers–funny thing happend–a lot of it DID stop in spite of some thinking I was adding fuel to the fire. Saddest thing was that she was a big fan of one of the individuals in the room who has started the group that was attacking her. True, he didn’t start the fued, but he made no move to help her. When I asked whi, his reply was that he didn’t take sides and wanted to remain “above the frey” translation, I don’t want to alienate potential fans by sticking up for an unpopular, nerdy little girl…

            Yeah, I don’t use twitter any more….lol

      2. greenspine

        I see a similar way to shut down the PUA’s. Just ask, “How many girls are you sleeping with right now?” I suspect you’ll get a moment of awkward silence which will be all the answer you need.

        It seems to me that this is the wrong question. Ask him instead “How many women are you friends with?” or “Have you ever had an adult relationship with a woman?” Asking how many women he’s sleeping with is just playing his game of counting notches on the bedpost, as if that matters more than knowing people. He may be able to tell you he has slept with 20 different women in the last month, but it’s a meaningless statistic to anybody but a PUA. It’s always possible to get laid if you want it, whether that means paying for it or seeking out the most emotionally vulnerable people in a population to work your tricks on. He may be able to tell you he has slept with 20 different women in the last month, but it’s a meaningless statistic to anybody but a PUA.

        1. Martin Wagner

          Friendship with women is even more meaningless to a PUA. The whole point of the culture is sexual bragging rights. And as has always been the case, the more a guy brags about all the sex he’s getting, reality is probably very different. These guys are Walter Mitty porn stars.

          1. Alicia

            Hence why being a woman’s “friend” or getting suck in the “friend zone” is supposedly such a horror inducing concept, as if friendship is some sort of meaningless consolation prize….

        2. Alicia

          Okay–I’ll bite–what’s a PUA.

          1. Martin Wagner

            Pick up artist.

    2. 3.2
      Alicia

      I couldn’t concur more. Do I want a strong man.? Sure. Do I equate that with being a quasi rapist? No.

    3. 3.3
      Jasper of Maine

      It’s funny, because when I think of women as people, I treat them like people. You can tell who isn’t thinking of them that way.

      1. Alicia

        This is probably another place where we can blame the bible. In it, women were treated like bling–the more of it yah had, the more awesome and bad ass you were. Solomon and David were measured by not only their hundreds of wives, but their hundreds of concubines (sex slaves), many of whom had to wait around for attention and heaven for bid they got lonely or fell in love–off with their heads! Both sexes can be objectified of course, but in different ways. It is the human propensity to dehumanize that keeps me so cynical. Upworthy had a brilliant video that showed refugees fleeing camps to later reveal these refugees were Europeans fleeing to African to seek aid and shelter, The video maker was positing that it is only when one can place themselves in the shoes of someone else that we “get” the concept of why sanctuary is needed for immigrants who are usually of “darker skin”. Yet again dehumanized as “Other” or irrelevant so we can look the other way or not care. So sad that human beings appear to be hard wired this way.

  4. 4
    M. A. Melby

    What really happens: http://youtu.be/UqwtNxBUvU4

    1. 4.1
      Lord Narf

      Err, I’m not following you. Which part of the four-minute clip are you referring to, and what is that part in reference to?

      1. Raymond

        The whole thing was bilge. A dude obviously playing a game. I think the scene stands as a classic PUA incident.

    2. 4.2
      wtfwhatever

      “My mom says I’m attractive”

  5. 5
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    @Martin Wagner:

    If anything more meta exists, I haven’t heard it.

    Comic: XKCD – Kickstarter

    1. 5.1
      Martin Wagner

      Haha. Actually I don’t know if Kickstarter was ever that easy. The unpleasant truth of it is that if you don’t have an established base of support to plug in to (also known as “fans”), you’re going to have a tough time unless you’re very savvy at promoting yourself, or can get someone with said base to promote you. No matter how good your project is, if no one’s heard of you, no one’s heard of you, and so you have to make people aware of you first before convincing them to support you.

      Glad to see pledges for Advantageous have picked up since I posted this, though.

      1. Alicia

        Wel, color my cynical ass all kinds of surprised (I don’t place a lot of stock in people being fair or decent). To be honest Martin, I am too pissed off towards Kickstarter to give them a dime. If she has a donation spot somewhere else, I’ll do it there. Yeah, kickstarter claims its not be a popularity contest but it is essentially just that. Dude, if I HAD fans (or was market savvy) I wouldn’t fricking NEED a middle man like kickstarter. Same ole, same ole velvet rope and who you know bullshit….Bitter? Yes I am. You don’t know how many times I had an idea, couldn’t get arrested with it (only pats on the back of how I had talent and oh my gosh good luck), only to see someones else else come up with a VERY SIMILIAR idea and make fucking MILLIONS. Case in point–in 1989 I wrote a vampire tale called HUNTERS which humanized/romantized Vampires a bit–was told NO ONE wanted to seesuch monsters in humanistic, romantic light–uhmmmm…..

        1. Martin Wagner

          I can understand disappointment. Been there many times. Moved on. There are so many times in life I could have chosen to be bitter. Most recently, when my first Kickstarter for my documentary failed. Instead, I choose to retool and relaunch it. Boom, now it’s going through the roof.

          Bitterness just holds you back.

          1. Alicia

            Oh, I am still doing my thing, just taking a different route. I simply choose to support artists another way as I think Kickstarter is not a good avenue to get seen unless you are already good at marketing (I am not), others may feel differently *shrug*.

            There are a few prospects on the horizon–I know not to get my hopes up however, and try to place positivty in a realistic, unromantic place.

            Too battle scarred to believe in too much of anything exepet what has been proven to be decent in my own microcasms. I have no hope for the whole of humanity left in my heart and very little will remove that cynicism. But glad to hear your documentary is doing well. Good show.

          2. Martin Wagner

            Allow me to lift your spirits with two kittens in teacups.

          3. Alicia

            Ahahaha Awwwwww…..:-)

          4. Alicia

            a summation of my outlook could be found in the film THE INN KEEPERS when dry hotel clerk replied, “Always walk around with low expectations, that way you go through life being pleasanlty surprised!” ROFLAMO

          5. Alicia

            Oh and uh, thanks Martin *hugs*

          6. Lord Narf

            Or, in my case, I don’t have a specific intent of ever being pleasantly surprised. I just have very low expectations.

          7. Alicia

            ROFLMAO– you so silly…

          8. Lord Narf

            Who was joking? :D

          9. Alicia

            Weeell now, to paraphrase Carlan, “Inside every cynic is a brokenhearted romantic.”; Thing is, I care too much; (too many mirror neurons–lol). I do what I can, where I can, I just feel like I keep trying to repair holes in the bottom of a ship doomed to sink. It also stings giving so much effort to see so many nonchalant arses looking the other way or poo pooing what you do by labeling you a “do-gooder” … pffft. The caring thing–yeah–I’d dial it down a notch, if only I could find the knob to do so.

  6. 6
    Kilian Hekhuis

    Good idea Martin, pledged a bit.

  7. 7
    garnetstar

    I would think that the outcome of putting someone’s hand on your cock against their will could sometimes lead to a very painful outcome for you.

    A real failure of imagination on this harasser’s part, but I am not surprised.

    1. 7.1
      Alicia

      Sad thing is, the man who does this and has the unpleasant outcome will cry foul and have many men who back him “She didn’t have to go there!” they would exclaim. However, if let’s say, the man had the outcome he desired (for the sake of argument) they would high five. If you put your jewels at risk, then that is your own damn fault gents. A woman could see you as potentially sexually assaulting her and could go into defense mode. If you put another human being on high alert or fight or flight, they may not react in positive ways…duh.

      1. garnetstar

        Right. After all, some of these guys live in stand-your-ground states, the outcome might be *really* bad in those locations.

        1. Lord Narf

          That’s a rather scary thought, but I can almost see some states trying to pass justified rape laws. Can’t be worse than some of the other laws they’re passing about sex and pregnancy.

          1. Alicia

            IKR, I live int he South and understand how “real” the threat is…*shudders*

        2. Artor

          Unfortunately, if you’re a woman, standing your ground against a man, the law doesn’t often help.
          http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/12/1215595/-Stand-Your-Ground-Black-Woman-Fires-Shot-Gets-20-Years-White-Man-Kills-And-Goes-Free-WTF

          1. garnetstar

            And, a guy somewhere (Texas?) was just acquitted of murder for shooting an escort because she refused to have sex with him after he’d paid the agnecy fee ($150). Because we all know that women who won’t have sex with men deserve killing.

          2. Alicia

            *facepalm* You gotta be kiddin me….

          3. Martin Wagner

            Sadly, no. We live in this state. Weep for us.

          4. Lord Narf

            You didn’t hear about this back around the time Trayvon Martin was shot, Alicia? I heard about the comparison from many sources.

          5. Alicia

            I have to step away from the news every now and again or I end up wanting to hurl stuff at breakables, so no, didn’t hear that. Although I shouldn’t be I am surprised at this blatant a disregard for decency and fairness …

          6. Lord Narf

            Oh, just saw the bit about the escort above Alicia’s comment. I thought she was referring to the story in the Daily Kos link.

            Wow, what the fuck? Who the hell let him off? Where did they get 12 people assholish enough to let him off? A hung jury, I could understand, but not an actual acquittal.

          7. garnetstar

            Read it and weep.

            He was “trying to recover stolen property”, so it was fine to kill her.

          8. Alicia

            Terrible….and people who see this as somehow fair always try to act as if the US going to hell in the proverbial handbasket when any aspect fo their privilege is taken from them (like the inability to shoot anyone for whatever reason fancies them)…

  8. 8
    DW

    In the interest of balanced reporting, please read this comment from the author, taken from this article:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jmaureenhenderson/2013/06/19/did-a-so-called-sexual-assault-how-to-manual-just-get-funded-via-kickstarter/

    Statement from Ken Hoinsky:

    “I am devastated and troubled by the allegations that my book, Above The Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women, promotes rape. That couldn’t be further from the truth. A handful of quotes were taken out of context and posted on Tumblr which steamrolled in a game of telephone where hardly anyone bothered to read the original version.

    People took advice from a section on “Physical Escalation & Sex” and posted them online. Devoid of context, they appeared to be promoting sexually assaulting women when that wasn’t the case at all.

    The gist of the controversial advice is “Don’t wait for signs before you make your move. Let her be the one who rejects your advances. If she says no, stop immediately and tell her you don’t want to do anything that would make her uncomfortable. Try again at a later time if appropriate or cease entirely if she is absolutely not interested.”

    The thing that the commenters on social media are leaving out is that the advice was taken from a section in the guide offering advice on what to do AFTER a man has met a cute girl, gotten her phone number, gone on dates, spent time getting to know her, and now are alone behind closed doors fooling around. If “Don’t wait for signs, make the first move” promotes sexual assault, then “Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid was a song about rape.

    That cherry-picked advice, without that important context, makes it sound like I am advocating non-consensual sexual advances on strangers. I would absolutely never do such a thing.

    In fact there is an entire section on consent that the bloggers conveniently left out to paint me in a poor light:

    These are copied verbatim from Above The Game:

    IMPORTANT NOTE ON RESISTANCE:

    If at any point a girl wants you to stop, she will let you know. If she says “STOP,” or “GET AWAY FROM ME,” or shoves you away, you know she is not interested. It happens. Stop escalating immediately and say this line:

    ”No problem. I don’t want you to do anything you aren’t comfortable with.”

    Memorize that line. It is your go-to when faced with resistance. Say it genuinely, without presumption. All master seducers are also masters at making women feel comfortable. You’ll be no different. If a woman isn’t comfortable, take a break and try again later. Of course if you’re really unclear, back off. Better safe than sorry.

    You understand that honesty is the greatest aphrodisiac.

    With great power comes great responsibility. You understand to your core that her heart will be broken if she ever feels manipulated by you. You literally have the power to color all her future interactions with men. As such, you demonstrate supreme desire without a drop of presumption. You make your intentions clear. She will never put you in the friend zone. You approach authentically. You leave her better than when you find her.

    Additionally, the book contains an entire chapter on sexual assault & rape, preaching men what not to do. Of course no one has seen those parts yet because the book hasn’t been released yet.

    I realize these are delicate issues, but I ask people to lower their pitchforks until they take the time to hear the full story.

    Thank you.”

    1. 8.1
      DW

      My two cents: I heard about this book on reddit before it was a Kickstarter project. It was advertised as an alternative to the PUA books published earlier that have a more formulaic approach to picking up women. This was supposed to be a self-help type of book that tells you how to get yourself into a self-confident attitude to approach women, rather than to promote strategies like “negging.” I never read the book but it didn’t sound like something that promotes sexual assault and I am not so quick to lump it in with other PUA type books.

      I personally would not buy such a book (because I’m female, among other reasons) and I don’t think it’s a useful one, like most self-help books. I also think that CONTEXT MATTERS when talking about what does or does not constitute sexual assault. I mean, if I was interested in a guy and we were alone together after going on a date and he wants to make the first move, putting my hand on his dick would not be the sexiest choice but I wouldn’t consider it sexual assault. If a guy I just started talking to at a club did the same thing, that would definitely be sexual assault. So before accusing someone of writing a rape manual, Martin and other people in this comment thread should really to look at the context of the advice.

    2. 8.2
      Alicia

      With great power comes great responsibility. You understand to your core that her heart will be broken if she ever feels manipulated by you. You literally have the power to color all her future interactions with men. As such, you demonstrate supreme desire without a drop of presumption. You make your intentions clear. She will never put you in the friend zone. You approach authentically. You leave her better than when you find her.

      ****

      Okay, I am actually down with that and consider it pretty good advice. I am with you in that I do believe that books like that suck, however, to be fair, when criticizing the work, I was going on the assumption that he was advocating the latter scenario (going up to chicks he didn’t know and doing this)–so yes–it would be a sexual assault of sorts, especially if said dick was whipped out and placed on a body part of a stranger. BUT if he WASN’T saying that, then it’s just another silly “How to Seduce Her” manual, and we are all good.

    3. 8.3
      allansavolainen

      If at any point a girl wants you to stop, she will let you know. If she says “STOP,” or “GET AWAY FROM ME,” or shoves you away, you know she is not interested. It happens. Stop escalating immediately and say this line:

      ”No problem. I don’t want you to do anything you aren’t comfortable with.”

      Memorize that line. It is your go-to when faced with resistance. Say it genuinely, without presumption. All master seducers are also masters at making women feel comfortable. You’ll be no different. If a woman isn’t comfortable, take a break and try again later.

      This part reminds me of the fantasy suite guy from Bachelorette. I wonder what makes people think like that: you get rejected, you say sorry, and then you try again like that rejection never happened. *sigh*

      1. Lord Narf

        Well, it obviously can’t be that the woman just isn’t interested in you. That never happens.

      2. Alicia

        It’s kind of like Pee Pee Le Pew “Ohhhh, she is playing hard to get no….?” and he blissfully continues his pursuit–lol

        1. Lord Narf

          Very similar, yes. Good example.

  9. 9
    jacobfromlost

    Wow. I didnt know Frank T.J. Mackey was based on a real dude. I just thought it was a spoof on a sad, pathetic guy who had such deep insecurities that made a name and money off of other sad, pathetic dudes.

    Best deleted scene of all time:

    watch?v=pxavyTBr1dc

    blooper, skip to 6:10: watch?v=kiQRNM5f-ho

  10. 10
    Raymond

    In light of the most recent posts, I will withhold any comment on the potential of this project promoting sexual assault. I still think it’s sad. Trying to insist that there is one path to attracting a woman’s interest is pathetic. It’s almost like he is saying that “woman” is some standard that can be attained in very specific ways. This completely ignores the individuality of women. As someone who has as many female friends as male friends, a much better policy is to introduce yourself like a fellow human being, rather than a predator. I read an article when I was in college the first time that gave me this advice, “A recent poll of single women revealed that the best pick-up line is (some derivation of) “Hello. My name is ____”" This prompted me to think about implications of that fact. There are some women who only want lots of sex. There are some women who are afraid of sex. There are some women who prefer sex within the confines of any of a wide variety of relationships. Women, even more so than men IMHO, don’t really fit into little groups. Even within cliques, each women is different. The huge majority of women probably would like to know you before consenting to sexual acts of any kind, though. If you want to know about any specific woman, the best idea is to talk to her like a human being.

    Just my two cents worth.

    1. 10.1
      DW

      There is a difference between giving advice on how to do something and insisting there is only one way of doing something. By your logic, it’s misguided to give people advice about job interviews because every company and job position is different.

      It upsets me that so many rational skeptics in this comment thread are so quick to condemn someone without looking into their side of the story. It was very nice of Martin to add the addendum to the post, but adding “it’s up to you whether you buy his response” was pretty snarky. I mean, it’s also up to you whether you buy Casey Malone’s characterization of the exerpts since Casey didn’t even link to the reddit thread.

      I just did a quick search on reddit and found that this is the thread the quotes came from:

      http://www.reddit.com/r/seduction/comments/1dvnem/above_the_game_part_7_physical_escalation_sex/

      Notice this is part 7 of 9 and previous parts have discussed how to approach, flirting, and logistics. The beginning of the section states:

      “OK, you’ve made it this far. You are with a beautiful woman whose comapny you truly enjoy. You desire her. She longs to be desired. It’s time to harness that passion.”

      I hope I’m mistaken but it seems to me that people here are quick to jump on the bandwagon and demonize someone just because someone on the internet cried sexist.

      1. Martin Wagner

        Casey didn’t even link to the reddit thread.

        He did. The link is in his first blog post, labeled “Source,” under all of the excerpts.

        People are dubious about the author’s response because in order to accept it, you have to accept a definition of sexual harassment and assault as something that doesn’t happen unless the girl is screaming blue murder at the top of her lungs and signaling “Don’t rape me!” with semaphore flags. Quotes like “Even when a girl rejects your advances, she KNOWS that you desire her. That’s hot. It arouses her physically and psychologically,” and “Personal space is for pussies” reveal an attitude of sexual entitlement (let alone boundary-impairment) that is all about giving harassers and date-rapists the justifications they need to ignore a woman’s rules. Resistance turns into a “challenge” to be overcome, not a signal that your attentions are unwelcome. I have been on the receiving end of unwanted sexual attentions by women I wasn’t attracted to, and trust me, knowing of their attraction to me didn’t arouse me; quite the opposite. Why should I assume any random woman would feel differently about me?

        It feeds into the culture that makes it difficult if not impossible for women to be taken seriously when reporting sex crimes, because the lingering phantasm of “did you lead him on?” haunts the proceedings. I’m pretty sure that, even in all the make-out sessions I’ve been in, if I’d escalated at any point by just grabbing the girl’s hand and clamping it onto my dick, that make-out session would have ended right quick and my voice would be an octave higher. Just because you’ve been given permission to get to first base doesn’t mean a home run is in the offing. You still have to keep your game up and earn (not force) the right to get there. Ken Hoinsky is sending guys the opposite message.

        1. DW

          You’re totally right…I should have gone poking around the blog more to see that he did link his quotes…

          I don’t accept that sexual harassment only occurs when the woman screams or run aways, and I don’t read the author’s words as saying that. On the other side of the spectrum, I don’t think that consensual sexual encounters always need to start with one person asking another “Do you want to have sex?” and the other person saying “Yes.” The situation being discussed is a delicate, intimate, awkward and often embarrassing one. People are going to disagree on the line between what is and what is not okay because it depends so much on the context of the situation, the two people involved, their history up until that point, etc.

          I agree that this book is feeding into a culture that is ultimately degrading to both men and women. But calling the book a rape manual and promoting sexual assault is a very serious accusation and I don’t think a fair one. Especially since it’s not out yet. (The comments on reddit are targeted to the seduction subreddit community. Also there is a lot of back and forth between members of that community and the author. The author might write differently when writing for the general public in a book instead of an internet forum.)

          It would be great if the book included ways to tell that a woman is not interested (maybe a chapter titled “How to Take a Hint”). That would benefit the socially-awkward men that are the target audience of this book.

        2. Alicia

          ” I have been on the receiving end of unwanted sexual attentions by women I wasn’t attracted to, and trust me, knowing of their attraction to me didn’t arouse me; quite the opposite. ” Indeed, the author assumes that all women will be turned on by any guy who simply shows he is interested sexually. Like Martin, I have been in the position of having to run from unwanted advances–the sense of sexual entitlement often placed me ni danger of being called “a slut — tease — bitch” a “stupid whore” or trashed behind my back for exercising my right to say no, even when I “let the guy down easy”. I could give you a few hair raising examples, but t the sordid details would take up too much space.

          Which is why I detest books of this type, whether the author is male or female. Life is the best teacher when it comes to interpersonal relationships. The smart, mentally stable and observant see what works and learns through trial and error what may work for them. Others may grow bitter and frustrated or turn to books with bad advice…to each their own I suppose.

      2. Raymond

        First, read my first sentence. I explicitly said that I was not addressing this particular instance, since there had been some concern over the validity of the argument.

        You trying to equate a human being to an inanimate job is exactly what I was arguing against. Women aren’t things, they are people.

        You can make assumptions about job interviews that are generally true. Like if you go into an interview wearing cut-up jean shorts and a Metallica t-shirt, things probably won’t go well. Or if you have some relevant questions to ask, your chances of getting said job go up. Or the more you know about the industry and the company before the interview, the greater the chance of getting the job.

        The same can’t be said about people. There are women who like cut-up jean shorts and t-shirts. There are women who like suit and tie. There are women who are nudist. There are women who just want to flirt, or just want sex, or just want to be left alone. There are women who want idle chatter, and some who want deep philosophical questions.

        I just got back from a first date where we talked for 2 hours about religion (and got a second date btw). My last date was turned off by deep conversation on the first date, so we chatted idly about current events. I went on a few dates where we talked about really heavy physics for hours.

        You cannot give advice that uses blanket statements about people, specifically because we are not inanimate objects (or jobs in your example). The only good advice for getting dates is this: just be yourself and some women will be attracted to you (and it helps to hang out in places where you are either knowledgeable and/or very interested)..

        1. DW

          I thought you were addressing this author’s book, my mistake. In that case, we both agree that insisting on one way of attracting women is wrong.

          I’m a little confused at how my analogy equates human beings to an inanimate job. At a job interview, you deal with people. I think you also make assumptions about people that are generally true as well. Like people generally aren’t attracted to people with bad hygeine. Of course there are women who are attracted to people with bad hygeine, just as there are Mettalica fans who are in charge of hiring decisions.

          So in conclusion: blanket statements = bad; advice = not always bad

          1. Raymond

            We are in general agreement, so I won’t get too much further into it. There is a flaw in your logic, though. The problem with using the same tactics to attract a mate as you would in a job interview is that, in a job interview, you are expected to maintain a professional facade regardless of your personal beliefs. In romance the best policy is to drop facades completely and wear your beliefs on your sleeve. In the world of business, you are expected to lie to everyone about yourself in order to maintain the status quo. In romance this behavior leads to a very high divorce rate. The two concepts are on completely different playing fields. (I spent 20 years in the corporate retail industry. 10 years as a hiring manager. 7 years in the upper-level administration of B&N. So I do happen to know something about hiring on a variety of corporate levels).

      3. Alicia

        I am not demonizing the guy, I just don’t like self help books in general and in particular romance oriented ones. Chick books aimed at snagging male affections are just as stupid IMHO. It generalizes and places us into boxes that human beings do not always neatly fall into. So, yeah, cool the writer isn’t a total creep, but I still think his work blows and I have a right to that opinion, skeptic or not; sorry. I mean, being wrong about the predatory aspect of his book doesn’t make it a Pulitzer winning piece or the guy worthy of praise.

    2. 10.2
      Alicia

      Precisely! I once had a guy show up at my door with flowers on a first date–little did he know I don’t like flowers as a gesture for a number of reasons. I am also not a jewelry and candy kind of gal–men who approached me in that way never got close to me. My hubby piqued my interest by asking me what I got into. I then directed him to several sites with my work on it. He upped my impressions of him by actually being able to have a conversation about my art. The first gift he gave to me was wobbly bedside table he made with his own hands. I fell in love.

      Most guys try all the generic tricks and then get upset when the gal they sets their sites on don’t open their legs in gratitude. Some have claimed they became assholes in response to this. This type of attitude frustrates me to no end. Show GENUINE interest by asking what the person you are interested in like, not assuming, hell, you may even find you don’t even mesh. Knowing this can help folks not waste time and move on to someone that is better suited for them.

  11. 11
    Alicia

    “Don’t abandon Kickstarter and punish thousands of worthy creators for the sins of an unworthy one. Instead, find great, noble projects and support them instead. ”

    My hate of kickstarter began long before this and continues–I will support artists other ways and I do, hell, got a worthy artist email or paypal, I’ll drop them some dough, but not via the ILLUSION that is kickstarter.

    1. 11.1
      Martin Wagner

      I’m reasonably sure the 16 G’s that are about to get dropped into my bank account aren’t illusory. Nor are all the media interviews and press I’ve gotten (hello CNN) because of it either. If it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work for you. But it’s worked for others.

      1. Alicia

        and that is fine but there are numerous reason why I don’t like kickstarter–not saying it doesn’t work but the paradigm is no different than the Hollywood paradigm–a fair system that was truly artist centric would for example; attempt to highlight or feature all artists so even those who don’t have 10001 friends or market savvy could get exposure. Kickstarter seeks to aid itself and those who can get their stuff the attention it seeks (they who drive traffic to the site upping their revenue). For example if I had a site that would help artist I would do a feature of the week or month rotation and it would showcase in EQUAL PARTS artists who were deserving whether they had ONE pledge or a million, because as we BOTH know from finding buried indie gems no one has heard of, there are tons of talented artist who can’t get a break because they don’t know HOW to get their work out there.

        When I first signed up ti Kickstarter my assumption was that it was that kind of place–it wasn’t. Many artist I know feel this way about it so I am not alone in this perspective.

        I am happy for you and those it works for but as a matter of PERSONAL principle I won’t use it, I don’t support it and I won’t be made to feel guilty about it. To act as if an artist can’t receive REAL help any other way is not true. I will help in 1001 other ways just not via kickstarter–it is another velvet rope society–not down with those.

    2. 11.2
      Raymond

      You do seem to hold a grudge against kickstarter. What is the cause of this vehemence? (if you don’t mind sharing) You mentioned it above, but you didn’t expand upon it. From what I remember of what you said, this anger doesn’t really seem justified. Maybe there is something that is causing disenfranchisement to become hatred?

      1. Alicia

        Long and short yes, drop me a line and I will go into greater detail; tried to post a response but it may not go through ( yes African Americans and women get kicked in the face in this industry dude)…

      2. Alicia

        One of the many examples I gave in the post that is awaiting moderation, was based on my music experience, which has been somewhat similar to my literary ones. I have been in noteworthy corporate bands, toured regionally, sang back up on Virgin record artist albums…yet, when I applied for a regular paying show band position at a local club, I was told by an agent that whilst I was talented, he wanted a pretty blond to fill the seat and, his words, “She didn’t have to be able to sing…” This same dude, when pretty blond didn’t show up, called me up as back up to sing when he was in a pinch–if it hadn’t been for the fact that I needed money at the time I would have told him to stuff it….it paid well.

        This was faaaar from an isolated incident and variants have occurred throughout my time in the entertainment industry as a whole. At this point in my life, I make money as a writer , animator and do personal creative projects on the side but it isn’t where I wanted to be.

        IMHO, kickstarter underlines an industry that hires door keepers who screen based on skin color, gender or popularity. Think about it–name five well known black and or female directors…? Think such animals don’t exist? Why don’t we hear of them? Check out a movie, a small black entertainment funded indie called HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE to see what I mean.

        Hollywood bases it decisions on trends and popularity while talent starves and goes unnoticed. Kickstarter does help some, but it pushes aside deserving others ( not me namely–but many I saw there). I thought it was supposed to be the ANSWER to the divide–but it is using Hollywood’s paradigm. I was more than disappointed when I learned that as I had hoped KS would be different.

        I stopped supporting Hollywood long ago, most of my money goes towards upstarts and true independents. WHY then would I support kickstarter when they are more of the same, only smaller? They may not ban me based on skin tone or gender per se, but the popularity thing is just as bogus and oh so Hollywood…?

        For me it is a matter of principle–fair enough?

        1. Martin Wagner

          Alicia, I’m sorry because I know you’re putting a lot into this, but I’m going to have to cut it off now, because it’s getting into major thread derailment, and taking away from the message of the original post, which was (ironically) seeking to do the very thing you complain isn’t done enough: giving exposure to worthy, underserved independent and minority voices in the arts. I’m sorry you’ve been embittered by your experiences, but life does suck that way. Deserving and talented people never get a break while mediocrity skates to success on charisma and connections. It’s bullshit. And the inherent racism and sexism of the business makes it even worse bullshit. But a hard lesson I’ve learned down the years is that life owes me nothing, and if a system’s unfair, then I need to be the change I wish to see. That’s what I’m trying to do here.

          1. Alicia

            Oh I am sorry–will shut up now…

          2. Martin Wagner

            I value your participation, Alicia. I just thought we’d reached a saturation point on this one.

          3. Alicia

            Oh, I agree,yah still mah boi (LOL) ;-)). I admire what you are doing, *hugs*

          4. Alicia

            I think life owes me nothing either, but I won’t be a part of systems that cause the BS in the world either…understand that I too am doing what I can to help artists as well, just not the way YOU are doing it….you have the right to do it your way–I will do it mine. Congrats on your success with kickstarter…*zip lip*

            *PS–that last post was written before I saw the ones where you wanted me to shut it–I apologize…lol.

      3. Alicia

        addendum and then I will shut up–using another music industry example ( very similar animals) I recall a recent bio tale of a musician who was discovered sitting on a park bench playing and singing. I think it was Etta James who at the age of 14 was overheard singing with a friend and approached by a label mogul. Both had unique and revolutionary sounds, dude went on to inspire great musicians. Neither of them had a clue as to how to get out there or promote themselves. Neither had a “following”. Today, if these artists were on kickstarter, their voices would be drowned out b ya Britney Look alike who would get mad funding. All through music history black musicians were robbed–ask Little Richard–even Paul McCartney nods towards the man as an inspiration–yet Elvis and the Beatles get the crowns. THAT is what I am protesting…I am not begrudging Martin his success, I am more than glad for him–only saying I won’t support that kind of paradigm, the kind of paradigm that TRADITIONALLY holds black women like me back . I have that right. I EARNED that t right.

  12. 12
    axelblaster

    Streisand effect and the law of unintended consequences strike again. The lesson is that sometimes it is better to be for something and putting the efforts towards that goal, than against something at give it higher profile, status, publicity or credibility.

    Let’s hope the lesson sticks this time!

    The worse part is that these PUA guides exist by the hundreds or thousands on the internet. But this guy is gonna get a lot of cash based on this notoriety.

    But is there a PUA awareness effort? Zero.

  13. 13
    AhmNee

    I’ve gone through the source material and there seems to be a big disconnect. People reading in things that aren’t there. The section where the “put her hand on your cock” comes from isn’t the “how to pick up a woman” section, it’s from the “sex” section. What does that say to you? To me, it says you’re in a situation where sex it being initiated. Making out, petting, getting unclothed, etc.

    I’d subscribed to several PUA systems and while I won’t pretend to know what they all say, the one’s I’ve experienced, stripped of all their gimmicky BS, boil down to one thing. Confidence is attractive, timidity is not. I recognize the techniques that the author is trying to convey and it’s all a longhand way to dance around their basic premise. That premise is ultimately, be comfortable in your own skin and show off the attractive parts of your personality. If you’re confident in who you are, the people who are attracted to those personality traits will be attracted to those personality traits. Get out there and show people who you are, confidently.

    It’s my opinion that if you go into one of these PUAs looking for something shady sounding, you’re going to find it because you’re going to imagine the scenarios that are being talked about in the worst possible light. Someone who wants to take advantage of someone else. But I’m of the opinion that this is not the demographic these PUAs are for. The ones I’d subscribed to were VERY big on knowing that no means no, with the caveat of not assuming a no before you’ve been told no. These PUAs for people who need a kick in the pants so they’ll get past a fear of rejection and approach someone.

    I looked into these PUAs after getting out of a long relationship that left me in a very insecure place when it ended. And it led me to look into things like NLP and discarding a lot of baggage I had which made me a more successful person in the long run. Maybe that’s because of them or in spite of them. I can’t truly say. But they’re not mind control and I don’t think they’re going to turn anyone into a player or an abuser any more than playing Call of Duty is going to turn anyone into a veteran sniper.

    1. 13.1
      Lord Narf

      Part of the problem is that the PUA writers themselves are often aggressively douche bags. It can be very easy to read the worst interpretation into their books, when you see such frequent misogynistic behavior on their twitter feeds and Facebook pages. The extra-textual evidence provides context for the text itself.

      1. Alicia

        Well said–I concur….

    2. 13.2
      Alicia

      Sure–it is a matter of perspective, but IMHO I just don’t like these types of books as they smack of longer versions of TOP TEN WAYS TO SNAG A MAN cosmo articles. I try to approach peoplel as individuals and let them tell me who they are, not a book or magazine. There is no catch all way to approach anyone. RULES girls soon find that some men move on when they play the waiting game. “Hey ladies, men love perfume!” Yeah–what about the ones who are allergic? “Dudes love girls in dresses”! What about the guy who likes a sports loving tomboy? See what I am saying. The danger is in lumping folks in groups and creating a false sense that there is a sure fire way to win hearts. Sometimes, try as we might, we may not get that man to marry us or that girl in bed. Those with expecations set unrelaisticlly high, well, I have run into them–not pretty.

      In the end, as cliche as it sounds, being yourself is key. If you win someone over following the advice of what some dude or chick did to land a lover, you are doing you and the perosn you are involve in a great disservice. How long can you hold up a charade before resentment sets in for having to leap through hoops? And why should you? It was when I stopped tunring myself into a pretzel trying to win approval that I had more fun on dates, had more call backs and eventually found my soul mate. Luckily, we were both past all that mask wearing crap and just let it all hang out first date…the rest, is history.

      1. AhmNee

        I absolutely see what you’re saying and agree. One can’t boil down every interaction with a potential mate into a formula. And from the experience I have with these kind of programs they’re absolutely money making schemes and they dance around and attempt to obfuscate their basic message with gimmicks and fluff. On the flip side of that coin, however, you can take certain steps to increase your chances of meeting someone and creating a memorable impression. While it’s nice to think that every interaction is unique and special, the truth is there are certain things that a majority of people respond to. From my limited experience with several of the programs, what they’re trying to do is to give someone something to focus on other than being nervous and just get them talking to people and be social with the promise that if you keep talking to people and keep trying to find a date/partner, you’ll eventually get comfortable with talking to people and approaching people whom you find attractive and might find you attractive, too.

        Now I admit I haven’t seen every one of these PUA artist programs but what you’re suggesting these programs are about and what the ones I’ve experienced are at odds. The ones I’m familiar with don’t promise a sure fire way of anything. They’re actually making the act of approaching people into a numbers game. That if you maximize the number of people you approach in a night, the greater your chances of bumping into someone you hit it off with. These programs aren’t about how to be someone you’re not, they’re about techniques to highlight the traits about yourself that are attractive. They’re absolutely about being yourself, being comfortable being yourself and how to “market” yourself.

        Some of the things from these programs I absolutely agree with it that we get the worst advice when we’re growing up about how to attract a mate. Young men are oft told to get gifts to woo young women. The first program I subscribed made the claim that “women are attracted to assholes” then tried to distill what it was about those assholes that was attractive and tried to teach how to express those traits with BEING an asshole. Mostly it’s a sense of confidence. Assholes are confident because they don’t give a damn about others. But one can be confident and still have a sense of empathy/care about others needs/wants/feelings.

        I guess what I’m attempting to express is that I can understand how the bravado and the overt message can seem like misogyny or douchebaggary. Maybe some of them are. I haven’t seen them all, obviously. But from my experience and what I’m reading from the source material from this kickstarter, that’s not what these things are giving to their readers/listeners.

        For a specific example, the section that says “Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances.” I understand why this throws red flags. I know what message this is trying to convey in context and it still made me cringe reading it. What it’s really trying to say is to “Take the lead. Be confident. Don’t assume the answer will be no before it’s given.” I believe the author is trying to use stronger language to be inspiring, to inspire a take charge attitude. Not an abusive attitude or suggesting you force yourself on someone else. I can totally understand how that can be taken the wrong way if you’re reading it out of the context it’s being given. Absolutely. But it’s not suggesting violence against women or anyone else.

        1. Alicia

          “Don’t ask” Be dominant. “Force”? couldn’t the message be conveyed without usng words associated with violence? “Officer the burglar “forced” his way into into my home” … He took “without asking”… if you are trying to convey a harmless, peaceful message why use such aggressive language? You can be a cheerleader without talking about murdering the other team. And to be sure, yes, a level headed man such as yourself, reading that passage will get this jist, but we are assuming all humans are level headed. So, why leave it open to negative interpretations, especially when it COULD be taken literally by less nuanced and even low intelligent, deseparate males…

          As for telling you to be something you’re not, many books do in fact tell you to adopt behaviors that are contrary to your character. An example that springs to mind is ACT LIKE A LADY THINK LIKE A MAN or some crap like that (correct me crew–the exact name dones’t cometo mind as as per usual I am multitasking and can’t look said book up) The book basically tells women there is something inherently wrong with our nature and to “man up” and and act like dudes if we want one. But what happens when a more, so called girly attribute, like the desire to be snuggle close, pops up…especially if you made yourself appear to be the kind of woman who doesn’t need that kind of closeness?

          Yes, dating is a numbers game, and one has to build confidence to meet potential mates. I often tell that to guys and girls alike. I took my own advice when I was young and had many wonderful dates with men ( most freaked however, cause, in spite of what guys tell you they get a wee bit suspicious when ladies approach as some guys assume she is desperate, especially if she is attractive)…so even for a girl ,it is definitely a numbers game. Going into it eyes wide open, you can uderstand that and not take rejection so personally…I mean, you never know what is going on in a person’s life as to why they may not want or even have the ability to date. My husband took care of an ailing mother for many years and during that time, he did not date. Even if the individual personaly just doesn’t like you–no harm, no foul–move on. If those books help out great, but there are some that are extremely sexist in tone and will imply that if you do this or that you CAN get the woman or man you desire. Such books wouldn’t sell if they were saying anything less than that.

          1. Lord Narf

            For dealing with the numbers game, I find that ambivalence works as well as confidence. Accept the fact that you’re almost certainly going to get shot down, then make the proposition anyway, once you’ve reached the point of acceptance that it’s probably 95% certain that it’s not going anywhere.

            Lots of women seem to think that the “I can’t imagine you’d be interested in me, but I thought I would check anyway, because … well, wow, *pause and look impressed with her as a totality*” approach is cute, and it doesn’t automatically put up their defenses, like coming on aggressively does. My results are probably at least as good as the PUA guys, and I’m not putting on a front.

            Remember, most women are constantly hit on. Street harassment is a continual thing. Don’t be that guy.

    3. 13.3
      DW

      +1 to AhmNee for the great discussion. There is nothing wrong with PUA in theory. To the people in this thread saying to just be yourself on dates, it’s really awesome that you have so few insecurities that you can be 100% yourself with people who barely know. A lot of people aren’t so lucky. There are social psychology tricks that can get you to act more relaxed and confident in a social setting even if you aren’t feeling it, and eventually you get enough practice being in social situations to actually be confident.

      The problem is PUA in practice. The loudest people in the PUA community are the douche bags. The most popular PUA advice is not about how to be confident and meet people, it’s how to get a woman into your bed. That doesn’t mean the entire community is terrible, although it’s very easy to think that looking in from the outside.

      I’ve thought some more about this issue since I posted the comments above and I’ve come to the conclusion that the excerpts from reddit are promoting sexual violence. Hoinsky clearly agrees that “No means no,” but everyone knows that; that’s not where the fight is anymore. The fight is on whether silence means “Yes.”

      1. Lord Narf

        The fight is on whether silence means “Yes.”

        Heh. Uhhhh yeeeeeeeeaaaaah … that’s just a bit of a problem, if they haven’t worked that one out, yet.

      2. Alicia

        You see that’s the thing DW–I wasn’t always confident and yes, I too fell for the TOP TEN WAYS TO schtick and ended up running men off. It is when I finally said “Well hell–screw it” and decided not to put so much stock in the outcomes, loosen up and just be myself that I HAD more fun and met my match. So, the thing isn’t about being 100 percent confident or finding the tricks necessary to win folks over, but in the end just being you. Lookit, even if there are things one has to learn to be more confdient, if you are essentially training yourself to act outside your true nature you 1) may not be able to maintain the mannerisms you learn and 2) you could end up beiing disappointed and frustrated when the advice fails to work…That is what happened to me for many years. My so called confidence is just me finally recognizing that in the end,we are all flawed, we have our baggage and the person that “sees us” will not care about those things; they will like the core fo who you are. It is about leanring there are no easy tricks. To date, I am still awkward at parties and a wee bit of a Woody Allen style nuerotic mess in some social situations–but mah hubby doesn’t care. I was not and still am not super confident, just I guess–tired of the games.

        1. DW

          I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this because we’re getting a little off-topic. By social psychology tricks, I don’t mean pretending to be someone you’re not. I mean things like maintaining eye contact, using conversation starters, how to listen, how to accept rejection, etc.

          Here are some examples, not necessarily in the dating context:
          http://lifehacker.com/5939065/youre-not-listening
          http://lifehacker.com/5993267/the-psychology-of-language-why-are-some-words-more-persuasive-than-others
          http://lifehacker.com/suggest-a-bad-idea-to-prompt-better-ideas-from-others-487412771

          1. Alicia

            *nodding* Now, here is where we can both agree, there are common ways to enhance and prop up our individualism. The skills can be an add on to who we are…greatly .beneficial….thanks for the links :-)

      3. Alicia

        To further illustrate. In my twenties, I discovered I was bi-curious yet, I was also very romantic minded. I entered into open relationships where I was able to explore those ideas a bit. During, that time I learned something else. I was a bisexual woman who enjoyed sex with ladies but didn’t want long term relationships with them (there was a bi-sexual gradient term for that but I forget what it was). In the end, being in a tri-fold, open relationship, whilst fun, was not emotionally fulflling for me. When I left my lovers and re-entered the dating scene again many men I dated acted as if I was being close minded because I wanted a more intimate, less casua,l one on one relationship. I soon allowed msyelf to fall back into old patterns that were against my nature in order to keep my man happy, you know, like Cosmo told me to *wink*. Then one day I woke up and said enough is a enough–I may have a bi nature BUT I sincerely wanted a one on one monogamous relationship with a man. So, when I went on dates that is EXACTLY what I said (not so crudely mind you but you get the jist) If dude acted all shitty then fuck him. THAT is what you think of as my confidence. It wasn’t confidence hun, it was simply the understanding that twisting yourself in knots to make a potential mate interested IS NOT the answer. I wanted what I wanted and didn’t have to apologize for it, so I stopped. By being myself in this way, I was able to weed out men who didn’t want what I wanted in life, which was fair to the both of us. That can and does come off as confidence. In reality, I was just letting it ALL hang out and the man who was not only unafraid but intrigued ( and a lot like me) answered the call. Years and two kiddos later I couldn’t be happier cause I still get to be me–bisexual, crazy–funny–, nuerotic unapologetic me. I don’t have to remember what I am supposed to be doing or saying (or hiding) to keep interest. I don’t have to refer back to some book to keep lines of communication open… THAT is the point and hey if yah don’t get it yah just don’t get it. Could be one of those personal revelation things that make sense only when a certain situation arises, what I call the Light Bulb moment of “Oh, that’s what mamma meant…”

  14. 14
    Xpreshion

    I disagree with the man’s perspective on picking up women. For the life of me I can’t figure out what kind of people gave him 16k. The “sex” section does seem a little “pushy” in that you do need certain permission (spoken or unspoken) to initiate certain kinds of contact. If you think you’ve picked up a signal or have been given unspoken permission for something, great. If resistance is met then you must have misread an unspoken signal and you should apologize and be polite.

    As far as kickstarter goes. Censoring things probably isn’t the best way to go with the business model they have. Asking people to create things then giving them guidelines that are too strict hinders the creative process. Boundaries do need to be made though for safety reasons.

    Bottom line:

    1. I don’t think his advice is great, but I think he should have the freedom to print it and publish it.

    2. I don’t think kickstarter should’ve deleted his project profile, but I think they should have the freedom to remove whatever content they want on their website.

    Truth and freedom, baby.

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