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PUAs invade OkCupid!

Honestly, this would freak me the fuck out too.

Over on Buzzzfeed, a couple of interesting pieces on the fine art of online pickup artistry.

Kelly Bourdet looks at some of the online PUA gurus and their teachings, noting that

Online pick-up artistry has taken the original aims of IRL pick-up — to develop general tactics and techniques for attracting and bedding women— one step further. One dehumanizing step further. Now, instead of “peacocking” (wearing gaudy outfits to demonstrate Alpha status) in bars and using tired negs, we have them deconstructing every aspect of online persona and communication to create sleek, marketing packages of human beings to sell to one another.

In an even more entertaining companion piece, Ouiser Boudreaux (AKA the Annals of Online Dating gal) reports on some of the actual terrible things these online PUAs write to women in an attempt to “neg” them into their IRL beds.  Like “nice headband, bitch,” or “Lol, you look like a space commando.” Or this little passive-aggressive masterpiece:

You nearly have a perfect lack of grace. What happens when you realize only the also ran hotties slum it in brooklyn? Somebody who says they’re not good at being surface and rattles off a list of authors read mostly in high school english classes is nothing but surface. Your profile is among the most trite and cliche i’ve come across. which is a compliment of sorts, though keep in mind, you’re not in kansas anymore. You know who else won’t deal with a narcissist? just look in the mirror to find the answer: another narcissist.

None of these worked, in case you’re wondering.

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swankivy
10 years ago

Amog,

In response to your comments, yeah, that’s adorable. You insinuate that I’m not “a nice person” and sarcastically call me “such a charmer” because I didn’t nod and smile and be kind to someone who engaged me in an abusive, disgusting manner. I understand that some people think my job is to be submissive and never make men feel bad about their approach (no matter how egregious it is)–because really, if they abuse me and attack me as an opener, I should really be the bigger person and let them down gently. We should be well-behaved when attacked, or else it’s really our fault that it happened!

It’s actually kind of hilarious when people ask why we want to criticize PUAs. Why? Because since they have no intrinsic understanding of why their approaches and aspirations are misogynistic and abusive, perhaps some good old fashioned shame will make them stop. But I guess if you can assign us jealousy or a sense of feeling threatened by this asshattery, it will excuse you from having to look at our reasoning. It’s a lot easier to pretend we’re unreasonable, shrieking, heartless harpies than it is to accept that the PROPER response to being “negged” is to treat it as outrageous.

My “dating advice”–and interaction advice in general–involves respect and empathy. Anyone who views dating as a game that they must figure out cheats and techniques for is playing a different game than I am. People treating each other like people is a really good “technique.” Talking to each other, getting to know each other, and not viewing the object of your affection as a nut to crack or a puzzle to put together or a padlock to find the key for. And, incidentally, my OKCupid profile makes it clear upfront that I’m not interested in dating. I’m honestly trying to save their time and mine, but they still insist on approaching me and giving me a bunch of butthurt indignation about my apparent obligation to entertain their request anyway. It’s repugnant to me when people treat me like my being attractive constitutes our being in a transaction during which I have participated in false advertising. I’m not on the market just because you like my packaging, and if you imagine that I’m likely to have something important to say, you might check out my profile and see I actually say exactly that at the beginning of it.

Dating advice: Listen to what people say about themselves, and behave as if they actually meant it.

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
10 years ago

I had a few arguments with some dudes who didn’t like that in my profile I stated I would contact men who had taken the time write something longer than two lines on their profile. My opinion was that if you were serious about looking for a relationship you’d take some time and thought and tell people a little bit about who you are. At least enough to give someone a conversation opener beyond “Hi”. Men still emailed me with profiles that were one or two sentences long. So I would email them back and say that I’m sorry, but I don’t think you’re my type, better luck next time. So one dude I turned down kept emailing me to tell me I’m a bitch. I’d block him and he’d change email addresses. Then he got his friends in on it. Seriously, you have little to say about yourself, essentially leave me staring at a blank computer screen and then verbally abuse me in the hopes I’ll meet you for a date? Not happening.

Glass
Glass
10 years ago

Jesus, PUAs are pathetic.

I’d mock them hard but then I’d feel like I was picking on a handicapped kid, like Terrence.

extraterrestrial biological entity princess

I’ve found that a good way to discourage an overly pushy man is to say that I’ve taken a vow of chastity. Not sure if they see it as too big an obstacle or as just too weird.

jumbofish
10 years ago

I’d mock them hard but then I’d feel like I was picking on a handicapped kid, like Terrence.

I think Terrence is just a troll not handicapped. Plus what is wrong with being haddicapped?

swankivy
10 years ago

Ugh, sadly I have a different experience from you, extraterrestrial biological entity princess. I’m asexual and I don’t have any qualms about saying so. Despite the fact that I’m VERY clear that I do not intend to have sex with anyone and am not looking for a relationship, people still find it necessary to contact me and explain to me how important it is that I “keep an open mind” and that if I slept for them I wouldn’t be asexual anymore and I somehow owe them (and myself) a chance. Yeah, ’cause I’m sure these straight guys would find it just as reasonable if a gay guy said the same thing–about how he just hasn’t had good gay sex and owes it a chance.

Announcing upfront that you can’t be gotten at all doesn’t dissuade some people. I guess they think it’s a challenge. Or, again, a “game.”

BigKitty
BigKitty
10 years ago

You know, I’ve been away from Manboobz for awhile, but reading this thread I can’t help but be reminded of the noble verse of A.E Housman, who also knew a Terrence:

TERENCE, this is stupid stuff:
You eat your victuals fast enough;
There can’t be much amiss, ’tis clear,
To see the rate you drink your beer.
But oh, good Lord, the verse you make, 5
It gives a chap the belly-ache.

BigKitty
BigKitty
10 years ago

(Sorry about that “5” – not sure where it came from.)

cloudiah
10 years ago

5 is a very rude number, with a habit of inserting itself in places where it isn’t wanted.

extraterrestrial biological entity princess

Swankivy, I’ve had some of those too. Why on earth can’t people accept that each person is the authority on their own life and their own self? Or do they think that “no” is a non-pickup-line and if they keep pushing “no” will become “yes”? I told one guy who was insisting that I should have a relationship with him because it would cure my shyness despite my saying no that maybe he could rape and murder me on the spot-the end result would be the same and it would be over faster. He still didn’t get it and said “I’m trying to help”. Preserve us from folks who think they know what other people need.

swankivy
10 years ago

extraterrestrial biological entity princess, wow, are you me? Haha.

I have used this one: “If yes means yes and no means playing hard to get, do I have to kick you in the nuts to actually mean no?” I mean, what does no actually look like?

I got the “I’m trying to help” from a guy who wanted a relationship too. I gave him the medium size version of my perspective on my orientation during the first time I hung out with him, and then that night he expected me to kiss him good night. I told him no. He said the night “wasn’t complete” without a kiss. I told him I didn’t care. And finally consented to let him kiss me on the cheek to shut him up. He responded by leaning over and licking my face like a dog. When I, uh, did not react well to that, he called after me, “I’m just trying to HELP YOU!”

‘Cause getting licked by a guy you already told to eff off is so helpful and teaches us so much about love and life and relationships.

jumbofish
10 years ago

@swankivy
Ewwww wtf who does that? Thats so creepy.

mythago
10 years ago

These are guys who simply don’t recognize that you are a human being with a right to make your own choices. The world is supposed to revolve around what THEY want.

PsychoDan
PsychoDan
10 years ago

There seems to be a phenomenon where men on dating sites just randomly cruise around insulting women who they deem insufficiently fuckable/compliant/whatever.

There was a Pandagon thread where people were saying that Craigslist personals were the worst, and specifically that the W4M section was nothing but the occasional genuine ad surrounded by spam for porn and escort services. Then several women said that they had posted Craigslist personals ads and had the experience of having their ads ‘reported’ and removed.

Craigslist’s own policy seemed to be to remove all ads at the slightest complaint, and there’s no appeals process and no one has to investigate so the women never really got a good explanation for why their ads were deemed inappropriate (although I’m not sure they were exactly fighting tooth and nail for the privilege of advertising on Craigslist). They all put two and two together and the working theory was that women looked at ads, didn’t like them, and clicked ‘next.’ Men looked at ads, didn’t like them, and clicked ‘report.’ It’s obviously not all men doing this, but it’s enough to clear the pages of any ads that aren’t claiming to be 18 and telling you their measurements.

That’s certainly possible, but I wonder if the spammers aren’t at least partially responsible for it. I can’t imagine they do well with competition, and especially not competition from actual people, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they throw a little script that reports everything that isn’t theirs into their posting bots.

snailchimera
snailchimera
10 years ago

Hi.
Um.
I just want to say that I really like Swank Ivy and her comments here and she is cool.
*quietly fangirls*
*says nothing of actual importance*

swankivy
10 years ago

@Lady Zombie–love what you said about how if being honest about yourself drove away men who were intimidated by who you are and what you’ve accomplished, it’s probably better that way. I have a really long profile and sometimes people write to me explaining to me in condescending language that “nobody” is going to read all that. I always say that if it’s weeding out people who think reading is for jerks, it’s doing its job. (One person literally told me he “didn’t have time” to read my profile but liked my picture, and asked me to MAIL HIM A SUMMARY. I wish I was joking.)

The whole “anger, entitlement, and privilege” thing really is amazing, even if it doesn’t surprise me anymore. They’re so indignant that you would dare suggest that you have a choice in the matter and that your wishes for a good match are as important as theirs. I’ve also had people mail me form letters dozens of times–guys who really think I can’t see through the fact that they’re using the quantity-not-quality approach–and I call them out on what they’re doing. If they admit it, they announce that it’s “not fair” for me to judge them for this because “women never write back, so I’m tired of wasting my time on personalized e-mails.” Gotcha! When nobody pays attention to you, the proper answer is to leave “oh god please date me” fliers in a crowded room!

swankivy
10 years ago

Here’s another funny one from the vaults. I got a guy who sent me a “lol so what u up to?” message, and after I was polite to him and told him what I was doing, he sent me his phone number and told me to call him. I sent him the following:

***
I don’t call people I’ve never had a conversation with. If you’ve got something to talk about–like, why you picked me to send a random “what are you up to?” message to–then it’s possible in the future we’d be the kind of people who chat with each other and hang out and whatnot. But I don’t just up and do that with any random person who asks me. Since you were the one who picked me out of the thousands available, maybe you could find a moment to tell me what you think we have in common and why you picked me. ~*ivy

~~~
His response:

***
oh wow, you sound like a really difficult person, actually from your profile i thought you were bitchy, and you can’t even make up your mind which sex you like better, i would say the snobbiness won’t get you far in life little missy, i’m not going to jump through your bi-sexual hoops, sorry

~~~
LOL forever. “Well FINE I didn’t want you ANYWAY” comment? Check. Laughable attempt to assign me flaws based on a misinterpretation of my sexuality? Check. Suggesting bisexuality means a person who “can’t make up her mind”? Check. Trying to make it look like HE rejected ME? Check. Condescending terms of endearment? Check!

My reply:

***
Haha, hilarious. I say I want to have something to talk about and don’t give my number to every random guy who asks, and you say “what a bitch, you have standards!” Pretty funny how insecure guys like you toss off sad little insults to try to put a girl in her place at the slightest hint of rejection. And the bit where you pretended you’d read my profile is just the icing on the cake. I’m not bisexual, and I explain why I picked it anyway in my profile, but you’re too busy trying to find something to insult so you feel like you didn’t lose anything of value to even notice such things. I can certainly tell you that if you try to grasp at straws to bitch out anyone who doesn’t fall at your feet without question, you’re going to have a pretty sorry experience begging people to pay attention to you at this place. Try learning a little decorum, you poor little man.

~~~
Yes, folks, she can dish it out. If he thought I was “difficult” for not giving him my number after exchanging two sentences of conversation, he didn’t know the meaning of the word. Don’t I make a great teacher? ::bows::

swankivy
10 years ago

@snailchimera *gasp* I didn’t expect to have fans here!! This is my first time posting in the comments (though I love reading this site and have been doing so for a while), so thanks for making me feel, uh, welcome. ::offers you a cookie::

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
10 years ago

Yeah, I had guys who complained about the length of my profile. I told them that a) if they weren’t interested in taking ten minutes out of their day to learn something about me, I wasnt interested in taking an hour or more on a date with them. B) I’m a busy woman and I’m assuming that men have better things to do than spend time on dates with people they find they aren’t compatible with or aren’t interested in, too. C) it gives the other person a many things to talk about based on what interested them than just “Hi” which is important for shy or introverted people (and I’m very introverted) and most importantly d) I’m telling you what I’m looking for in a relationship and what kind of man will be happiest with me and I am actively looking for because that’s the kind of man I want. I am saving you from a potential rejection by being very upfront and honest.

Funnily enough, some men were quIte insistent that no man would be interested in my profile and I was going about dating the wrong way even as Beloved and a couple other men were so happy to find a profile like mine. And you know what? Beloved is exactly the kind of man I want, we have a fantastic relationship and we are still crazy in love.

So for someone who approached dating the wrong way I’d say I did pretty good. Like I said though, most men were pretty cool and took me at my word when I said I wasn’t interested.

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
10 years ago

Snailchimera, I’d have been sorely tempted to send him your upfront checklist and bluntly told him to bugger off. That reply took class.

swankivy
10 years ago

@pillowinhell, I relate totally. I get told this crap all the time–“no one is going to like you with that attitude.” But considering I’ve had an OKCupid profile since 2005, and considering it has been there to attract friends the entire time, and considering IT WORKS (a good half of my IRL friends are OKC friends or OKC friends once removed!), it is doing what I designed it to do! If it’s putting you off, you’re the type I don’t want!

People just love to speak for each other, don’t they?

I got this one once:

***
Sorry, even if it’s effective, you should being considering how silly you look using a -dating- website for social networking, there are dedicated websites for networking…

:::Pats you on the head:::

~~
My reply:

Sorry, even if it disappoints you, you should be considering that this so-called “dating site” has categories built right into its preferences so people can choose ONLY friends or ONLY sex and/or anything and everything in between. If my aspirations were patently ridiculous enough to justify you digitally patting me condescendingly on the head, I don’t see why the site would include said preferences. But have a nice time assuming everyone who doesn’t think just like you has something wrong with them.

Also, I love what you said about how the profile gives you things to talk about and see whether you’re compatible. I don’t expect a book report but I expect people to care what’s in my profile. Every once in a while I get the guys who try to justify asking me out for a beer immediately after my profile clearly said I expect a personal message with some content and I do not want to be asked for a meeting in the first message. They almost always claim that getting to know me through my one-on-one in-person interaction would be superior to reading my profile because somehow my writing there is less likely to be authentic. Has anyone ever gotten the one about how the profile is probably full of lies and distractions, so they NEED to skip to the face-to-face dating point to see who we REALLY are?

I just love spending time with people who say I probably presented myself in a misleading fashion in my essays! Sounds like the kind of person with whom I should just skip all the usual rigamarole! They always think they’re the exception. . . .

swankivy
10 years ago

Here’s another fun OKCupid condescension party.

***
He says:
Hey there!!!!!! I saw your picture and I just had to tell you that you have such a beautiful face. I would love to chat with and get to know you. If you have yahoo messenger my screen name is [his yahoo ID] Or if you have msn messenger my screen name is [his MSN name]

~~~
Why, with a message like that and a 21% match percentage, how could this go wrong? My response:

***
My profile asks people (explicitly) not to contact me if all they have to say is that they like my picture. I even put a text box on the first picture saying the same thing because it’s a really big problem on here. You seem to have ignored what I wrote, so I don’t know what we’d have to chat about. Do you think what I said doesn’t apply to you, or do you just think reading profiles is for jerks?

~~~
And here’s his response:

***
Alpha Hombre:
What is your problem? You’re pretty but you’re not the only pretty girl out there sweetie. If you’re not attractive to be [note: I think he means “attracted to me”] that doesn’t give you the right to talk to people like that. I rather chat with somebody instead of reading about somebody. Alot of people lie on their profiles and place very very old pics of them when they were thinner or something But I’m so sorry to bother you. I just thought you were pretty but take care

~~~
Yeah. And clearly I wasn’t reacting the way I reacted because he ignored everything I said, nooo. I must’ve been reacting that way because he just wasn’t my type or wasn’t sexy enough. I treated him poorly, apparently–I MEAN HE GAVE ME A DAMN COMPLIMENT so it’s my job to be flattered, right? (I should remember that I’m not the only pretty girl out there. *Sweetie.*)

I swear to God there MUST be a douchebag handbook. There just has to be.

So he’s justified in propositioning me for further chat based on my face because he doesn’t like reading about people, and besides that people lie on their profiles and post misleading pictures of themselves so therefore somehow chatting on Yahoo or MSN would be the superior form of conversation. So I couldn’t lie or hide the fact that I’m probably fat now. (And if I was, that would surely make me no longer worthy of happiness.)

I replied:

***
*I* have a problem? Aw, that’s sad. First you ignore everything I say about myself and open with nothing to say, then you try to infantalize me by talking down to me with condescending pet names like “sweetie.” And then you make a whole bunch of excuses about why liking someone’s picture (and sending compliments on it) should be all you have to do. Because, you know, my profile is likely to be irrelevant. And the text box telling you not to do what you just did is irrelevant.

You just told me what I want means absolutely nothing to you. I have a profile to make it easier for you to decide whether I’m someone you want to talk to. You ignored it and now *I* have a problem?

Guys who tell me WHAT I SAY DOESN’T MATTER and try to shame me into getting back in the pretty girl box where I belong have no place in my life. It’s fine if reading just isn’t interesting to you and you’d rather “just chat” with any girl who’s pretty enough, but when I went out of my way to show you the best way to approach me and you make up your own rules, you’ve shown me very clearly that communication is not your strong suit. That’s very sad. Try listening to people when they speak to you, but you won’t get another chance with me.

~~~
His profile was full of comments about how he “wants a woman who’s fun but has CLASS,” and how that’s so hard to find these days . . . or how he’s an old-fashioned gentleman who knows how to TREAT women, and then, I kid you not, he announces that he is “an alpha male.” This, he explains, means he “takes control” and “takes charge” “when he needs to.” Which is further explained by rambles about how he does this because this is what a MAN does. This also includes “taking care of situations.” I imagine that this is closely tied with treating women RIGHT. (You know, by making sure they stay good and stuck in their pretty lady boxes, and LIKE IT. If they try to get out, that might be A SITUATION, and he’ll have to HANDLE IT.)

I thought I was reading a parody of a person when I got to the bit about how he “used to be” a controlling asshole. In what way, you ask? Well, he monitored “his” woman to make sure she wasn’t cheating, but now he’s learned his lesson and doesn’t do that anymore because women will cheat if they’re cheaters, no matter WHAT you do. Women, he explains, are just cheaters sometimes and there’s nothing you can do to stop them, while men NEVER CHEAT unless . . . I swear I’m not making this up . . . “when a woman has not done enough to make sure she stays attractive.”

The rest of his profile is mostly stats on his workout and physical stature. Also, if you know how OKCupid works, one of the categories people fill in is “what I’m good at.” Guess what he answered?

“Listening.”

You seriously couldn’t make this up.

The three words he chose to describe himself were “STRONG,” “BAD,” and “ALPHA MALE.” I wish I could hack his profile and replace one of them with “DELUSIONAL.”

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
10 years ago

There were quite a few guys who weren’t interested in dating me, but were quite happy to chat with me and compare notes on how our respective dates were going. Hell, I had one guy who floored me by knowing about Mother Earth News. He has issues dating back to before he was born, and we swapped all kinds of info about gardening, homesteading and whatnot. Another guy is a huge sci fi geek, lots to chat about there..and one guy had a thing for jokes…cactus jokes.

My favorites are the guys who look at your profile and immediately demand photos of you in a swim suit but say nothing else. So I asked the first guy who did this why? So he can make sure I’m not lying about my age and figure. Right… I’ll believe that….so I asked him to send me his photos first. Got nothing. I’ll admit, fuzzing and outright lying about age and appearance is a valid concern, so you probably want to meet the person fairly quickly once you’ve established a connection but before you’ve really placed your heart on them. But that works for both sides. All time best, guy who’s first message was a pic of himself from the waist down no clothing. Yep, looked mighty fine, but getting naked pics from men who haven’t even said hi to yet is not my thing. Delete.

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
10 years ago

Swankivy holy crap that’s priceless!!! And no, I don’t think anyone could make that shit up.

Any favorite red flags in profiles? I love it when guys explicitely state ” no head games please”. My experience, people who state crap like that are often the ones looking for drama and playing headgames. Also, “I’m a big teddy bear, will do anything to keep a woman happy”. Well gee, I like my romantic partners affectionate, but I also like them to have a backbone so I can’t beat the stuffing out of them just by being assertive. That line always smelled too much like Nice Guy to me.

swankivy
10 years ago

@pillowinhell–well, since you asked (re: favorite red flags):

My favorite line in a profile has always been “I love just chilling, hanging out, being laid-back and having a good time. I love having fun and making people laugh.”

Just so happens I hate fun and I detest having a good time. And laughing? SCREW LAUGHING. That sounds terrible!

I also love the romantic clichés (“kissing in the rain” and “long walks on the beach”) and the assurance that he is not only after sex. One guy mailed me and told me straightforwardly that he was going to be honest and let me know that HE would not be expecting sex until date 4 or 5. That one was a hoot, and was also filled with pseudo-intellectualism and hilarious misunderstandings as well.

I once wrote an article entitled “How to Fail at OKCupid.” It discusses some of the other favorite red flags I have, with examples. Please Google it in quotes. It should be the only hit.

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