Being a moderately attractive young woman, I get hit on a fair amount, and I see some of the same mistakes being made by men over and over. In an effort to spare both you, my fine male friends (not to mention myself), I’m going to break it down for you. Because chances are, right now some of the girls you’ve been going after probably prefer their Adam and Eve toys to what you have to offer. Here’s what to stop doing:
10. Don’t neg
This terrible trend in pick up is more than just obnoxious – it’s obnoxious and obvious. Negging, also known as “negative comments” (which really just means insulting women), is praised by pick up artists everywhere, based on the assumption that negging a woman forces her to try to ‘prove’ herself. This, in turn, supposedly puts the man in the power position, so that he can get her to ‘do the work’ rather than have to prove himself to her.
Does it work? Sure. The real question is: who does it work on?
It works on women still seeking love and approval at all costs from the world, from their substitute father figure, or from themselves. It works on women who will second guess their choices or clothes or the school they’re thinking of going to, based on an annoying comment by some guy at a bar. It works on women who don’t know themselves well enough to know that they shouldn’t waste their time with men who think they have to neg in order to not feel helpless in front of the opposite sex.
In other words, it works on women who suffer from low self-esteem. This means that in fact, negging is manipulative, underhanded, and in some cases downright mean.
I, on the other hand, will not respond well to you insulting my outfit, hair or drink of choice. Not only is it annoying, it makes it SCREAMINGLY OBVIOUS that you are trying to run game on me.
So neg if you want to simultaneously attract a woman who doesn’t know who she is (and is potentially a hot mess), and repel women you might actually be able to want to be with for longer than one night.
Sounds like a solid strategy to me.
9. Don’t lead with your money
I don’t really care how much money you make or what kind of car you drive. I mean, I care, but I don’t care that much.
Want to know what I do care about? You telling me about it. Straight up, it’s weird. And again, this strategy may work on other women, but it doesn’t work on ones who have their shit together, can take care of themselves, and who value EI over IQ.
To me, telling me your salary says two things: 1. You’re probably lying; 2. You’re scared that you don’t have anything more important to offer.
(Incidentally, you’re the same guy who is going to get mad when the girl you’re dating expects you to pay for everything. Gonna lead with money? Don’t be surprised when she expects you to spend it on her.)
8. Don’t put yourself down
There’s nothing sexier than a man who insults himself before you even know him… NOT.
I’ve had guys tell me they weren’t smart, good looking or successful. I get that you’re going for the self-depracating thing, but there’s only so far you can take it before I start to believe you.
Plus I hate feeling like I have to reassure you, even in jest. “No, no, I’m sure you do just fine with the ladies.” It’s tiring. And if you’re already using me to reassure you now, what would you be like in a relationship?
Don’t be afraid to be confident. It’s not going to scare me away.
Finally, don’t kill the mystery. Give me a chance to figure out that you suck on my own. Seriously – we all have the things we suck at; in fact, true intimacy is getting an insider’s glimpse into the things someone else sucks at and accepting them anyway.
This is also known as love.
7. Don’t be cocky
I don’t care if you bench 300lbs, hang out with famous people, or pick up models. In fact, as a rule, don’t talk to me about all the other women you’ve hit on successfully. Again, unless it’s within a specific context, it’s just fucking weird. And please don’t name drop. I hate that shit.
It takes more than muscles, a Volcom shirt, a wallet, and the fact that you’ve “totally been to the Playboy mansion” to impress me. It takes heart and soul and vulnerability and desire and groundedness and a sense of purpose and humility.
Cocky men are obsessed with the outside because deep down they’re afraid they don’t have anything of worth on the inside. Confident men know they have value, so they have the space to actually think about someone else – in this case, me. Cocky men are busy talking about themselves in order to impress me.
Guess which one I’m actually impressed with?
6. Don’t get handsy
Unless it’s obvious that I’m really into you, stop touching my lower back, elbow or shoulders! It’s not that this is unpleasant, it’s just that it’s so obvious that this is something else you read in Pickup 101! Seriously? I just told you I’m a sex and dating coach. Do you really think I haven’t read The Game?
It’s *literally* my job.
5. Don’t inflate your good deeds
It’s nice that you mentor underprivileged youth or donate to Save the Children. But (again) if you tell me about it directly, it makes me feel like you’re trying to prove something. All I hear is, “See what a good guy I am? Now don’t you want to fuck me?”
No. What I want is for you to relax and stop trying to prove yourself so that I can get a glimpse into who you actually are.
4. Don’t make fun of my friends
Maybe one of my friends is a little heavier, maybe one is drunk and loud and maybe one doesn’t dress that well. It doesn’t matter. You can’t make fun of them.
Not only is this unattractive, it has me distrust you like crazy. Are you going to talk behind my back about me? Probably. I’m creeped out just thinking about it.
Now, as with other things on this list, this may work on certain types of people. But I live and die by my friends. I’m fiercely loyal and you trying to dis them isn’t going to earn you any favors – in fact, you’ll be lucky to emerge unscathed. My wit is as sharp as the talons I wear on these dainty little feet of mine. You don’t want to be on the receiving end of either one.
3. Don’t leave your sexuality at the door
There have been tons of men apparently hitting on me who I only realized later were attempting to do so. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been stunned – stunned – to discover that a guy was interested in me sexually.
Guys: if you aren’t owning and feeling your sexuality, I’m not gonna feel it. And you wanna know what that’s gonna get ya? A one-way ticket to the Friend Zone.
In other words, you trying to hide the fact that you feel sexual about me in order to ‘make me comfortable’ might make me so ‘comfortable’ that I miss the fact that you’re dtf. Because when you act all buddy buddy with me, I’m going to assume you actually just want to be my buddy.
Nobody wants to fuck Mr. Nice Guy. So stop being him if you want to fuck.
2. Don’t coddle me because I’m a girl
This one is similar to negging, because it is insulting. Don’t assume I don’t like whiskey or that I don’t know anything about cars because I’m a girl.
Now, I happen to hate whiskey and know next to nothing about cars – but I don’t like you assuming this is true! Doing so makes you look closed-minded and occasionally misogynistic. Get to know me before you jump to conclusions – I’m smart, sarcastic, sweet, well-meaning, unsure, and racy. Yes, some of those counteract each other and/or are paradoxical. Hi. Have you met me? I’m a woman.
1. Please don’t take it personally if I say no
You could avoid all 9 of these other tips and still get shut down. It happens. It happens every day, and it’s not fun – I’m not going to sugarcoat that. And I have mad respect for men who hit on women – you’re twenty times better than the guy who stands in the corner and does nothing. Even if you do everything wrong, I salute you for being a man.
That said, your efforts as a man are not always going to pan out. Sometimes women are going to say no – myself included. And if I do, please don’t take it personally and then take it out on me. Hint: yelling, “Why you gotta be like that!?” really isn’t helping make your case.
In addition, some of the men I respect the most – and some of the strongest friendships I’ve forged – are with those who asked me out and I turned down. When I said no and they took it in stride, I had so much respect, faith and trust that they were able to handle themselves, I wanted to be around them. I wanted to hang out with them. I wanted to show them aspects of myself that they never would have been privy to if I hadn’t known that they wouldn’t shame me for not happening to want to fuck them.
The truth is, attraction is a mystery. You could do everything ‘right’ and still get rejected. You could do everything ‘wrong’ and still get a date. The only thing we can all do is show up fully as ourselves and see if there’s a match.
So show up as you. You are not how much you make or what you do or who you know or where you hang out. I want YOU: goofy, funny, clumsy, exhausted, honest, frustrated, sexual, introverted, excitable you.
Hit on me with all that, and I might even hit you back.