How To Spot A Pickup Artist - Soundclub Mag

Published Dec 23, 22
6 min read

The Misogyny Of Pick-up Artistry

Someone who uses a variety of underhand tactics to try and get laid because, having serious problems with misogyny, a roaring inadequacy complex, a deeply warped image of what constitutes being a worthy person, have never developed a healthy way of interacting with the other sex and seem to believe that the only way to get laid is to beat the other person into submission or trick them, they believe that this is somehow a reasonable way to behave.By and large, so-called PUAs are inexperienced people talking scarily ignorant shit at each other to try and appear more experienced than they are, or have some degree of success - if it can be called that - which amounts to having sex with a string of women as ill, sociopathic and/or desperate as they are, or ones who are too stupid to realise what a scary manipulative misogynist the person edging ever-closer to them is.

Sadly, not everyone you meet will have your best interests at heart. Pickup artists, for instance, make a game out of using certain techniques in their dating strategy in order to get targets to have sex with them. Some of these pickup artist tactics can be fairly obvious. But since they can also be effective, it's important to know how to spot them.

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According to Barrett, a pickup artists see sex as a form of conquest, not connection. "A woman is a 'target,' an interaction is a 'set,' and he'll try to take her to a 'seduction location,'" he says. "There’s nothing wrong with learning to be a better, more confident dater. But it should be about connection, not conquest." Pickup artists are all about the latter.

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Later on, they'll place a hand on your back or brush the hair out of your eyes. The main goal here is to get a woman into bed. If that's not something you're interested in, state your boundaries and be firm. Call them out on it. "There’s nothing a pickup artist hates more than getting 'caught' using tricks and techniques," Barrett says.

"It’s effective because it speaks to what [some people] want: a cool, trustworthy partner to connect with." They may start this by trying to find things in common, or talking about the future with you, he says. "Some even use 'statements of vulnerability' to amplify the perception that they're sensitive and relatable." According to him, this typically works because many singles are looking for the love and connection that comes with having a partner.

5They'll Use "The Statement Of Empathy"Andrew Zaeh for Bustle, This is a phrase that pickup artists use to diffuse a situation when their attempts to get physical makes a target feel uncomfortable. Like narcissists and sociopaths, pickup artists want someone to feel they are empathetic and have the best intentions, Barrett says.

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It's a scripted line that's often used right after a pickup artist tries to touch or kiss you, and you're not into it. Some examples include, "Sorry, I'm a big hugger," or "Sorry, I just got caught up in the moment."This is meant to show that the pickup artist understands how you are feeling, but also offers an excuse that can be forgiven, Barrett says.

The thinking goes, if many people desire and want them, then anyone should. So just be aware of someone who's trying to play up their desirability. Unfortunately, there are sketchy people out there who are only looking out for themselves. In order to avoid being manipulated by a pickup artist or anyone who doesn't have your best interest at heart, go with your gut.

Always remember, if someone's truly interested in you, they won't need to resort to any of the above tactics.

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In an upmarket bar near Oxford Circus in London, I am watching two men hit on women with all the desperation of a doomed cavalry charge. But without the heroism. Mike and Raj (not their real names) circle the bar, scanning for women, drinks held at an awkward right angle to their chests.

He says reassuring if somewhat oblique things such as: “You are not a mass-market product,” and, “If you are getting rejected, you haven’t worked out what you want,” and, “The magic word here is, choose.” (Cassell writes “choose” on the whiteboard.)Pop psychology session over, Cassell teaches them a conversation model.

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Thus follow two of the most dispiriting hours of my career, as I walk around central London in the rain, watching as Raj and Mike pester women. They pretend to ask for directions, and after the woman has pointed out the route, say: “Actually I just wanted to talk to you,” or, “You look cute.”At one point, Mike stops two women on Oxford Street and pretends to ask for directions.

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(She tells him she has a boyfriend.) Outside Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly, there is a surreal chat about whether the men should approach a young woman shopping with her mother. Cassell decides in favour of it, but by then, thankfully, the women have moved on. As a young woman who has experienced street harassment throughout my life, it is an extraordinarily uncomfortable thing to observe.

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Not when they are running errands, or chatting on the phone, or on their way home from work. We want men to leave us alone. But I am here to observe. So I say nothing and we squelch on through the rain. I am struck by the fact that all the women being approached are uniformly young, slim, white – and uniformly polite.

Why don’t any of these women tell Mike and Raj to get lost?“Women are socialised not to challenge men,” explains Dr Bianca Fileborn of the University of Melbourne, an expert in gendered street harassment. “But this response may also be about managing the situation safely.” When you confront a stranger you risk escalating the situation.

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But then I think, you’re being nice. You’ve gone up to someone and said they’re attractive.” This message – that the men are doing a good thing, and that women enjoy being hit on in the street – is continually reinforced by Cassell. He urges them on, an officer rallying his troops.

I think I am witnessing street harassment – something Fileborn makes emphatically clear. “This behaviour has a profoundly negative impact on women. It’s often excused as flirting, or seen as good-natured. And on the individual incident level, I can understand why you might think that: someone came and spoke to you in the street, what’s the big deal? But for many women, these aren’t one-off experiences, but are repeated constantly, often from childhood.

“I don’t think men live with this experience of being intruded upon and having people feel entitled to your time.”Cassell tells me about a girlfriend who would prefer to pay a handyman rather than ask him for help. He didn’t like that, he says. It made him feel redundant. On we walk.

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