The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

Archive for the month “January, 2016”

Again, A Defense of Pickup Artistry (PUA)

My buddy, Dagonet, recently wrote a superb blog post where he defends pickup artists (PUA). One of his many good points is that there is an almost visceral negative reaction to the term “PUA”. That reaction is all over the Internet. There are Tweets, blog posts, and entire websites that excoriate pickup artists for being “man-boys”, “losers”, and “selfish assholes” who aren’t thinking of society’s greater good. The following Tweet shows it quite well:

PUA1

The Tweet links to a thoughtful blog post about moral ambivalence. The shaming language in the Tweet is standard stuff and generally used when PUA causes emotional distress that can’t be resolved by applying even a small amount of logic and reason. I responded to that Tweet with a Tweet of my own:

PUA2

A collection of Tweets then cascaded down with fairly good points being raised by a number of Tweeters. The biggest objection to PUA was that men were not considering how their individual actions impact our culture at large. Such objections are a couple of decades too late and are no longer relevant. We are well past what “should” be and firmly in the land of socio-sexual reality.

Twitter is good for getting to the heart of the matter. It really doesn’t matter how PUAs are created. Learning and practicing PUA is a logical and rational response to the current cultural conditions regarding how men and women interact in a socio-sexual context. Through the various waves of feminism, women have been effectively released from the social contract between the two sexes. Until the Internet, most men were unaware that they were upholding one part of a contract and women had fled their part of the contract. Now, men know better. I’ve written about that previously and the comments on that blog post are excellent.

So men responded, almost predictably. In order to meet their socio-sexual goals, men simply applied their brain power to the problem of understanding how women respond to predictable stimulus vis-a-vis sexual attraction. Dagonet pointed this out clearly in his blog post:

The natural, and rational, reaction to this situation is to learn game. To become a “pickup artist.” What this really means– despite the negative connotation– is that a man takes active control of his sex life and decides to start maximizing the behaviors that garner positive reactions from women, and minimizing the negative. He also might actually discover new abilities, confidence, and more attractive ways to present himself physically (clothes, working out, hair style, etc.).

Speaking as a man who supports men and things masculine, there is nothing wrong with this at all. Our society liberated women to pursue any number of (approved by feminism) options. So, in the spirit of equality, it’s completely and utterly fair to free men to pursue any options they so desire and to free him of the pressure to sacrifice his very life on the altar of a society that sees him either disposable or completely invisible. Men needn’t be cultural cannon fodder.

But, like women, in order to pursue options, a man must learn new personal skills. Women now make up the majority college attendees and graduates to hopefully learn skills to enter careers. Men – especially young men – seek out and learn PUA to gain a skill set that allows them to pursue more options. That’s perfectly reasonable and rather balanced in the grand scheme of things. PUA skills will become increasingly necessary because of hypergamy and the imbalance between men and women receiving college degrees.

As a skill set, PUA can be used however a man sees fit. Given the strong negative response to those three simple letters, we can change up the nomenclature to mollify those with delicate emotional sensibilities. Let’s call this skill set “learned charisma and confidence”. That sounds so much better, no? It’s not sleeping around, a man uses his new skills of charisma and confidence to fulfill his relationship goals with the opposite sex. Isn’t it fun to bandy semantics? Wordplay aside, if a man wants to use his charisma and confidence find himself in horizontal repose with many women, I give him two thumbs up. If he wants to find a special woman with whom to secure an intimate and committed relationship, my thumbs remain up.

As an aside and as Dagonet pointed out, there’s an awful lot of political discussion amongst the guys in the ‘Sphere. This is not my bailiwick but it does make sense given how culture and politics are ultimately intertwined. I argue that men need to now act individualistically without much regard to how their actions impact either politics or culture. With a large number of men acting on a such basis, a collective and masculine inertia will commence, if it hasn’t already started. In his blog post, Dagonet spoke of how many men found a relatively unorganized but ultimately unified endeavor through PUA. When a sufficient number of men operate in concert – even if to be more successful with their relationship goals – a cultural shift for the benefit of men will inevitably occur.

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Notes About Blab (@Blab)

In my quest to find a web-based platform to facilitate real-time conversation, I was referred to Blab from Bobbi Palmer who had some very good things to say about it. It’s far more interactive than Periscope without the setup of Youtube live streaming. I never got into Google Hangouts because Google keeps changing things. Skype also lacks certain features needed for group-based discussions. I’ve been using Blab for over two weeks and have spent many hours hosting Blabs or watching and participating in separate Blabs covering a variety of/ topics.

Blab does have some great features that show great promise. Hosting a Blab is easy as is participating in a Blab (video/audio or just typed comments). The Blab can be recorded and replayed at any time. There is also a tie in with Twitter so that one’s Twitter followers are notified if that person is hosting or participating via video in a Blab. Having a Twitter account, however, is not a prerequisite to lurking in a Blab. The platform can be accessed via a web browser and mobile devices, too. I’ve only been using it through a browser (Chrome).

Yet Blab is not without some fairly serious issues that need to noted:

1. No clear and cogent step-by-step instructions to either host a Blab or watch a Blab. In fact, when I sent Blab an email about the absence of such instructions, I received a rather snarky email in response. “As they say…if you need a manual..you’ve already failed.” Um, who has failed? The software developers who didn’t quite get the user experience figured out or the user who needs real help? If Blab thinks it’s the user, then here’s my message to Blab as that user:

Go screw yourselves, you arrogant nerds.

I remember such arrogance from 1999 and 2000, right before the Internet 1.0 bubble burst and you nerds found yourselves unemployed by the hundreds of thousands. (Rant over)

I understand that Blab is still in a beta release stage. This is a poor excuse for the lack of solid support other than live Blabs with Blab support people. That live support, by the way, is very cool but I question if that’s sustainable with growth. The other type of support is users helping other users. This is also unsustainable in the long run. Business users, in particular, won’t be adopting Blab for internal business purposes unless the platform doesn’t require such hand-holding, regardless of who’s hand is being held or who is doing the hand-holding.

2. Small user base. Blab has been available since May of last year. That’s an epoch in Internet time. But the user base is still too small for the platform to be compelling with solid and diverse content. There are rarely more than a few dozen or so available Blabs to join, most with under a dozen participants. Blab, the company, is not releasing its user statistics. Sure, the current users are very enthusiastic. But that applies to all early adopters of a product that hasn’t yet crossed the chasm. For Blab, that chasm currently looks like a vast gulf.

3. User-created content is inconsistent. Some Blabs are well-structured and compelling. These discussions are usually focused around nerd talk or marketing talk. That’s understandable and serve to set a solid bar for future Blabs that don’t focus on these two topics. The rest of the Blabs are usually of folks simply talking idle chit-chat about the minutiae of their personal lives. This is understandable except that new users don’t know the other Blabbers and so don’t understand the backstory behind the personalities. Think of those Blabs like sitting down at a high school cafeteria table where everyone else is happily gabbing about stuff that the newcomer knows nothing about. That’s hardly a good way to get new users engaged with the platform.

4. Technical glitches still remain because the platform is still in Beta (for eight months?!). The streaming video/audio burps and farts way too much. This requires the user to refresh, restart, clear the browser cache, or a combination of all three in order to use the video feature (the “hot seat”) or even just watch as a lurker. As well, first-time users who want to participate via video don’t always get things to work right away. These issues may not be because of real technical problems. But without clear step-by-step instructions to guide newbies through the Blab process, such difficulties might as well be the result of technical glitches. Such glitches might also be the result of poor connection speeds or inadequate hardware but the user doesn’t know that without explanation of some sort. “I don’t know what’s going with Blab today” is a too-oft heard comment.

Frankly, Blab doesn’t yet know if it’s a platform for real-time discussions or a community of users who simply happen to be using the Blab platform for such discussions. If it’s a platform, there is much room for technical improvements. If it’s a community, the users need to up their game seriously with better on-topic Blabs and less of the “we’re the cool early adopters and you’re just barely welcome as a newbie while we gossip about other Blab users you don’t know” mentality.

As a blogger and Tweeter with a community of readers, Twitter followers, and blog commenters, I’m keen to have discussions within my community and invite others to join in. Right now, I don’t think Blab is the platform for that, yet. I’m going to keep trying with Blab. However, I will also be trying other platforms that seem less like a boot-strap endeavor and more like an effort with clear progress towards maturity and milestones of good software development.

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Racism In Dating?! (Not This Crap Again)

Start here. Read the article. Do some research on the author. Then come back to this blog post. Here’s a quote from the piece:

In 2014, the data-obsessed OKCupid calculated the odds of a user “liking” a profile on its Tinder-like service Quickmatch. When it comes to straight daters, they discovered that women expressed a strong preference for men of their own race. But one group of males fared particularly well outside of their race: Asian and Latina women showed above average odds of “liking” profiles featuring white men.

[Note: I’m ignoring the part about the online dating website about white folks seeking white folks]

I’ve written about this before and each time this accusation of racism in dating preferences erupts like an infected cultural cyst, it must be cleaned up with alacrity. First of all, “data-obsessed” is a great thing. Data shows patterns of human behavior. Data shows generalizations, a good thing for helping to understand human nature. Don’t like it? Tough shit, sociologists and psychologists need such data. OKCupid has some of the best research of real, honest human behavior based on real actions, not some bullshit surveys rife with sample bias.

Hey Tracy Clark-Flory, how about “my body my choice” be applied to attraction preferences between the sexes? Imposing still more social expectations on attraction and dating won’t make the process any easier. Such expectations only serve to increase personal frustration. If a woman prefers one type of man, where do you get the vile conceit that you can apply some sort of pressure for her to change her perfectly natural preferences? Dating preferences are private. Attraction happens between our ears, away from the prying eyes of politically correct busy-bodies anxious to transform dating into a delusional utopia.

Wait, there’s more!

In a blog post, OKCupid’s Christian Rudder refrained from labeling these preferences as racist. “On an individual level, a person can’t really control who turns them on—and almost everyone has a ‘type,’ one way or another,” he wrote. “But I do think the trend—that fact that race is a sexual factor for so many individuals, and in such a consistent way—says something about race’s role in our society.”

Good for Rudder. He’s a data guy, not a politically correct guy. He’s also clearly aware of the perils of collecting such data. Ever hear of the term “hate facts“? Rudder certainly has so he selects his words carefully. Private human behavior is not politically correct. What happens between our ears is the zenith of privacy if it’s not spoken or acted upon. Until the thought police becomes real, attraction can’t be enforced by social justice warriors or even shamed by that same group of cultural miscreants.

Tracy Clark-Flory is attempting to play the race card in a game where she, and her unpleasant ilk, are unwelcome. Think of a party crasher with bad manners and poor hygiene. Attraction is not a choice. It can’t be shamed. It can’t be negotiated. Anyone who falls for such nonsense is clearly not ready for dating. The ugly stink of political correctness must be washed off before attempting to start using online dating websites. As well, dating is not about achieving cultural ideals. It’s about fulfilling personal relationship goals. Let’s wrap up with a last quote from the article:

In other words, swiping right on a white guy seems more innocuous than navigating over to Where White People Meet, but on a societal level, it just might be a smaller expression of everyday racism.

“Everyday racism”. No, everyday social shaming from you, you horrible person. I recommend that every online dating user swipe how he or she decides based on his or her own personal preferences. This applies to everyone, straight or not. As someone who provides attraction and dating information based on reality, I will never shame a woman into desiring a short guy. I won’t shame a guy into desiring an overweight woman.

Something else I haven’t mentioned in this blog post, my own individual dating experiences and preferences. Why? Because it’s none of anyone’s fucking business.

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