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“You know,” he says, “you look just like my little sister.” You may never have come across this bizarre phenomenon before, but in various forms it is being practised as a seduction technique around the world. The idea is to undermine a woman's confidence by making backhanded or snide remarks – give a compliment with one hand, and take away with the other.
“I had been feeling quite low, as had recently ended a long-term relationship, and he came up to me and said something like 'you're a bit less hot than your friend, but it's OK, because I fancy you.' Obviously I am a smart, intelligent, confident and successful woman, so should have thrown something at him; but instead I was charmed.
The internet age taught the nerdy kid who was picked on at school that the world was theirs for the taking. Women, who retained an untamed sense of mystery, didn’t fit the matrix.
So this community turned the opposite sex into a logical problem which could be solved.
The really odd thing is that the conclusion Strauss reaches in , the holy bible of pick-up artists, is that picking up women is a lonely, empty, mechanical life. Language has power, and if every interaction with the opposite sex is coloured by a certain vernacular set – in this case the metaphors are all militaristic or hunting ones, perhaps with video games as their origin – then that is likely to colour the way the people who use it think about women at a fundamental level, even if they did not already think of them in this way. The description might be unpleasant, but what is being described is actually quite close to how ordinary flirtatious conversation works.“Writing this kind of stuff down as if its some kind of sensational trick just gives women a reason to get suspicious about a totally normal part of human interaction,” says a (male) commenter on the discussion thread I started. ” How many of us have teased, or been cheeky, or been the recipient of such, without thinking?“Anyway, at his house I found he had a spreadsheet of all the women he was seeing, colour coded with days and nights.Do I think he was using those techniques sociopathically, instead of natural charm? I think he was terrified of having a typical relationship, and he had set lines so he didn't have to risk actual intimacy.” "Negging" and the pick-up artist was born on internet message-boards in the early '90s, and became a vast subculture, with varying strategies and tribes.