— “All’s fair in love and war.”
The community of men who study picking up women — let’s call them “players” — are unified by a belief that dating is a “game,” and that utility should guide one’s approach to it. The results can be harmless enough. An item I once saw in a men’s magazine advised that a good first date might involve walking across a suspension bridge, or standing atop the observation deck of a tall building, because what women feel when they experience vertigo mimics the butterflies that accompanies proximity to a man to whom they’re genuinely attracted. I imagined some poor guy bringing his date on a long hike to the bridge over the river only to discover that she isn’t confused nearly as easily as he was led to believe.
Of course, the belief that one acts amorally by manipulating women quickly leads to abhorrent behavior. The rogue who is zealous for sexual conquest at least understands that he acts badly if he uses deception to get sex. The cerebral “player,” exemplified by the author of the blog Elysium Revisited, doesn’t grasp that anything is the matter with his behavior.
As a result, he is quite unabashed as he describes a male behavior that I’ve observed on many occasions, and that I abhor more than any other mainstream pickup technique. Though I’d never heard it referred to as such, Sebastian Flyte dubs it “the Neg,” and calls it “the Swiss army knife of pickup.”
I’ve been thinking about the neg recently. It’s an amazing little tool that accomplishes so much in such a small amount of time. For those who don’t know, the neg is a comment lobbed at a woman that knocks her off her pedestal. It is not an insult… well, actually, it kind of is (semantics). Who are we kidding? But it’s a playful insult, and some women secretly like being insulted.
He offers examples:
Negs: turning your back to her, pointing out a flaw in her clothes, her hair, something, anything. ‘Hey your nose wiggles when you talk’. ‘Your lipstick is weird’. Eating a sandwich while talking to her, with sweet sandwich in your mouth. Ignoring her. Correcting body language is a great neg. I don’t like when people cross their arms, it’s a sign of anger, so when girls do it I tell them to uncross them. They always do, it’s a very alpha neg… and compliance test… and IOD… and DHV!!! Oh sweet negs, you do so much, so very very much, you are the swiss army knife of pickup!!! They Alice-in-Wonderlandise the world, black becomes white, up becomes down, cute becomes ugly – that 9 you would covertly beggar yourself for is suddenly seeking your smile, your good graces, like some moon-pale concubine in Kublai’s court!
I’ve never seen anyone do this to a woman who hasn’t seemed to me a complete asshole even beforehand — and I’ve been dismayed at the frequency with which it works. Oh, Sebastian Flyte overestimates its utility. But it does work sometimes. Wait, let’s try that sentence again. It works sometimes! And I must admit that the author does a pretty solid job describing when it works: “Be wary though, it must never rampage out from bitter fields – it must always be quick, indifferent, and stealthy, like a dark assassin or pot of poisoned pears. It reaches just out over the abyss without falling in…”
Here’s the part of the post I find most telling:
But there is trouble afoot. The neg has gotten such a bad rap from the disgruntled masses that it has been abandoned by many a seducer. Few dare defend it. Every dimestore doofus who interviews a guy in the community is instantly confronted on the dreaded neg question – isn’t this proof that pickup is purest evil, that it is wrong, wrong to learn what works, wrong to help the piles of beta males left behind by the sexual revolution, wrong wrong wrong!!
Fascinating, isn’t it? The author perceives a world wherein women unjustly pass over beta males in favor of alpha males. He justifies the insults in the same way that MIA justifies Third World robbery and murder: as a tool that is the only choice of the dispossessed to achieve equality.
Interestingly, the author is trying to disabuse us of the notion that the pickup game is depraved when he writes the following:
…without the neg the Mystery Method is nothing, pickup is nothing. It doesn’t work. The neg is central to the whole system. There is no edge without a neg, you become some dancing clown spouting rudderless routines with no backbone to them, very approval seeking. I ‘upgraded’ to Magic Bullets from the old Mystery Method, learned a pile of routines, read some other natural game gurus and so forth, but then had a sudden slump. The reason? No negs!! I completely forgot to neg!!
The neg links it all together. It changes you. It sows the choosy seeds inside that are so key to this whole art. ‘“In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak: but for that, one must have long legs”, so said Nietzsche. Let negs be those legs, they will take you from peak to peak, atop each peak you DHV in your own peculiar way, but without the neg you won’t get to those cold peaks in the first place, and you will run your routines in the dark and lonely valleys where no-one hears or cares.
What that passage actually does is demonstrate precisely why — beyond its immorality — the neg is a terrible approach: “It changes you.” Without a technique “that changes you,” the author argues, “pickup is nothing. It doesn’t work.”
Imagine that. The notion that the pickup approach to dating is irrevocably flawed.