Gender Fallacies in Dating

Share & Comment

dominatrixWhen it comes to gender and dating advice, a lot of it falls back on bogus evolutionary theory and traditional gender assumptions to look for guidance. This is where you get the typical waning about dominance/submission, social status and hierarchy, gender attraction and of course, that god-awful alpha male. But there are three logical fallacies that, to my knowledge, almost all dating advice falls victim to at one point or another. You see them everywhere. And they can lead to some really damaging beliefs about men/women. I myself fell into these fallacies for years, and it’s only been through reading a lot of science and having discussions with feminists in the last year that I see where some of the faulty reasoning is.

The three fallacies are the Fallacy of Composition, the Fallacy of Division and the Naturalist Fallacy. The dating advice industry is rife with them. All of them. At best, they’re harmless but misleading. At worst, they’re sexist and damaging.

The Fallacy of Composition

The Fallacy of Composition is when someone mistakes something that’s true for an individual and assumes that it must true for a group in which the individual is part. For example: atoms are colorless; cats are made up of atoms; therefore cats are colorless. A few examples:

  • Every boyfriend I’ve ever had cheated on me, therefore all boyfriends cheat on their girlfriends.
  • The girl I hooked up with liked it when I made fun of her, therefore all women like being made fun of.
  • The girl who texted on her phone all night was young, therefore all young women text all night on their phones.
  • The black guy I hooked up with liked spank me. Therefore all black men like to spank women.

It goes on and on. If you pay attention, you’ll see this fallacy everywhere, not just in dating advice, but in current events as well. The examples above are pretty obvious generalizations, but sometimes this fallacy is very hard to pick out. For instance, can you spot it in these statements?

  • All female primates are submissive to males, therefore human females should be submissive to males.
  • Night clubs are very expensive and glamorous, therefore women who go to clubs are shallow and gold-diggers.
  • Whenever I approach women on the street, they reject me. Therefore women don’t want to be approached on the street.

Humans are complex. And the act of picking up women involves a great deal of self-selection. What I mean by self-selection is that the manner in which you go about pursuing people will inherently screen them for you. For instance, if you pursue women in a dominant manner, only women who like dominant men will react well to you. If you pursue only men by using your looks, then you will likely date vain men.

Self-selection is an under-discussed yet complicated topic. An entire chapter of Models is dedicated to it and how it determines literally all of your results. The point is, of course, you don’t actually know. You can sleep with 100 people who like to be spanked. But there will be someone, somewhere, who doesn’t like it.

The Fallacy of Division

The Fallacy of Division is the logical opposite of the Fallacy of Composition, but it’s arguably even more dangerous when it comes to beliefs. The Fallacy of Division is when you take a general trait of a group and assume it must be true for every individual.

For instance: humans are conscious; humans are made of atoms; therefore atoms are conscious. To explain how much this can quickly get us into trouble, take the following true statement: “Men are taller than women.” Yes, men on average are taller than women. But it’s important to remember: not EVERY man is taller than EVERY woman. Some women are taller than some men. And there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s a distribution of traits between men and women, and what’s true for the group is not true for all or even many of the individuals. Here are some of the most common (and misleading ones) examples that I see in a lot of men’s advice:

  • Women prefer men who are dominant. Therefore every woman wants all men to dominate them.
  • Women are attracted to men of higher status. Therefore every woman wants to be with the most high status man possible.
  • Women want to be pursued by men. Therefore every woman is always playing hard-to-get.

As you can see, these can lead to some disastrous conclusions. The same conclusions you’ll see scattered around a lot of men’s blogs: “Any woman will cheat on her husband if an alpha comes by,” “Women want you to pursue them, even if they tell you not to,” or “If a woman tries to be more dominant than you, she’s just testing you.” Just as individual women vary in height, and height relative to individual men, their desire to be dominated varies and varies relative to individual men. Their attraction to status varies and varies relative to individual men, and their preference to be pursued varies as well. You can’t make blanket statements about entire populations of women in this way. Yes, some of these evolutionary conclusions are useful in broad strokes. But it’s important to remember that culture, psychology, and emotional state are all just as influential on a woman’s behavior as her biology (if not more so).

The Naturalist Fallacy

Also known as the Is/Ought Fallacy. The Is/Ought Fallacy is when one assumes what is naturally true is what ought to be morally true. This Is/Ought Fallacy can lead people down very, very dark paths, as you can use it to justify pretty much any heinous and instinctual behavior. For instance, murder and rape are “natural” behaviors, but I don’t think anyone would argue that they’re morally acceptable. Applied to dating, the Is/Ought Fallacy usually brings out the most sexist conclusions:

  • Men produce massive amounts of sperm, therefore they SHOULD be as promiscuous as possible.
  • Women often have rape fantasies, therefore they want to be raped.
  • Women are naturally more empathetic and better care givers, therefore they SHOULD stay in the home and care for the family.

The Is/Ought Fallacy stifles evolution of thought and society. The modern world is complex and highly evolved. Our race is more interconnected than ever before. We have more resources for more people than ever before. Women are not dependent on men for their subsistence. We have a reasonable amount of control over our reproduction. We have legal equalities. What’s “natural” makes up for a smaller and smaller segment of our society today. Therefore our natural drives may not always be most beneficial.

Does this mean that we have to go to the other extreme and become a bunch of androgynous automatons? Absolutely not. There ARE healthy differences between men and women which absolutely should be honored and considered. But the next time you see someone saying, “Well, women like being put in their place, so I just go for it anyway,” or “She obviously couldn’t help but fuck the nearest alpha male, since she is a woman after all,” recognize that these aren’t scientific facts, as much as sick rationalizations and over-simplifications for the author’s sexual whims.

Print Friendly

Did you like this article?

Every couple weeks I send out a newsletter with new articles and exclusive content for readers. It's basically my way of keeping in touch with you and letting you know what's going on. Your information is protected and I never spam.

Subscribe below to stay connected.

78 Comments

Leave a Comment

  • Reply

    Philip

    5 months ago

    For quite a while, when I encountered something in real life that didn’t stroke with the PUA theory I’d read, I thought that real life was wrong. So if a woman said that she didn’t care about status, I thought she was wrong, lacked self-perception or was simply lying. When a woman said that she liked shy guys, I thought she was wrong. If a woman said she didn’t like to be teased, I thought she was wrong.

    I still have a tendency to think “All women like X” or “All women do Y”. Great that you point this out Mark.

    • Reply

      Miha

      2 weeks ago

      Yes, exactly. I had a period like this. I remember arguing how women don’t really care about men’s looks (not in “ignoring a flaw or two” way but “not important at all” way) and that they look for other “alpha” traits. Problem was, I was having this discussion with a girl. That was trying to tell me that she liked how handsome I looked.

      All this thinking, analysing, studiyng the theory and not going out there getting experience of how the real world works, leads to much frustration in men. I think Mark has a really good point with vulnerability as you expose yourself and let the world test you. It’s called REALITY check for a reason :)

  • Reply

    Dangles

    5 months ago

    I can say without a doubt I’ve found myself thinking in such general terms about some things at times. It’s easy to lose your perspective in a when you are running around trying to approach a billion sets and you are more concerned with your own personal results than the fact you are a human being communicating with other human beings.

    You really have to wonder what percentage of dialog in your average “pua”‘s head is spent thinking about what to say or do next to exploit a lot of these fallacies instead of actually wondering how best to get to know the person in front of them.

  • Reply

    Axel

    5 months ago

    Michio Kaku in his new book divulges temporarily upon our natural “behaviors” and that they will stand the test of time as our technology. it approaches the behaviors you cite in this topic from a scientific perspective, sure, but I find that his discussion is a prime example of how our natural behaviors tend to bleed into everything. I found this combined with that to be particularly interesting.

    On another note, the liberal man in me cannot help but to not generalize hehe. I’ve gotten into arguments with friends and family about “sure” things. This tendency to counter-argue everything comes in quite handy though. When you start not generalizing things and using counter-arguments to popular beliefs is when the epiphanies come I believe.

    Take the Casey Anthony case (mother who “killed” her daughter). Most people in the forums cite her lack of crying as a reason for having killed her daughter. They go on to say, “Well, what mother doesn’t cry for her young?” Everybody is different. As sick or disturbing as it might be, Casey might not suffer grief as a “normal” mother would. She might try to compensate her loss with some dancing. One really doesn’t know. Case in point, f you come in expecting certain things of people you have barely met, you’ll be in for a surprise.

  • Reply

    Matt

    5 months ago

    You used a straw-man argument for this entire argument. Not all women are like that, therefore these beliefs about the majority of women are wrong. Impressive arguing skills here. No research, no data, just one big straw-man argument, I am impressed.

    You completely ignore the fact that there is research about sex and the inclinations of men towards dominance and women towards submission.

    What about the research that has been done that has shown that women’s happiness has dropped SIGNIFICANTLY over the last 35 years coinciding with their gains in jobs, political power and “liberation in sex” (which is essentially being able to fuck like your stereotypical man)?

    Do we just ignore all of this RESEARCHED DATA for the minority of women that go against the grind?

    Also, your feminist comrades seem to be reaching levels of complete delusion. Ex: http://www.rooshv.com/naomi-wolf-is-a-delusional-old-hag.

    Here’s the research about women’s decline in happiness: http://bpp.wharton.upenn.edu/betseys/papers/Paradox%20of%20declining%20female%20happiness.pdf

    Research around sexual interests: http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/resources/FAQ.html#fantasy
    “women more often fantasize about taking a passive role or being dominated while men more often fantasize about taking a dominant role, doing something sexual to their partner, or having multiple partners”

    • Reply

      Mark

      5 months ago

      You seem to have missed the point of the article. But thanks for the links to stuff I already know about and agree with.

      Of course women like to be dominated… duh. You think I’m that stupid? That’s like saying men aren’t taller than women.

      I’m not straw-manning anything because I’m not arguing against anything… I’m not disagreeing with ANY scientific or biological data. I’m disagreeing with lazy interpretations of the data by boneheads like you.

      I suggest you get more acquainted with the site and my work before you accuse me of stuff like this:
      http://www.practicalpickup.com/conventional-monogamy-in-trouble
      http://www.practicalpickup.com/the-feminization-of-western-culture

      I’m quite critical of feminism and also agree that the decline in marriage, and female happiness isn’t a coincidence in the last 35 years. What IS different about me (rather than your pal Roosh or say, Roissy), is I don’t go on angry childish tirades about it. Western men are just as fucked up and responsible for the mess as women are… no reason to hate on anyone, just educate.

      • Reply

        Paul

        5 months ago

        Yes, research does show that women do fantasize about ‘being taken’ (ie: dominated), but so do men (though to a lesser extent), but that doesn’t mean they would happily comply with forceful sexual intercourse in the way men generally assume. It’s just like how research shows that group sex is the #1 erotic fantasy for men and women, and yet the majority of individuals would never even entertain the idea of making it a reality. I can back up these findings with complete confidence because I get PAID to synthesize thousands of studies in psychology, especially social psych.

        Mark, I am glad you are widening your perspective and I think you are making a seriously healthy contribution in comparison to the rest of this industry. Just be cautious in making sweeping generalizations based on your personal values: “There ARE healthy differences between men and women which absolutely should be honored and considered”. The vast majority of research finds that their are differences, but they are too miniscute – as in about 5% – to put most of our weight on the differences, which I still think you highlight in favor of ‘the roles’ men and women should enact. Maybe I misunderstand you, so please correct me if I’m wrong.

        Maybe I can forward you some stats and literature on the decline in marriage and self-reports of female satisfaction sometime, but I can assure you that the feminist movement is not responsible in the manner which you, and many men & women, perceive it to be.

        I feel like I’m being a bit overly critical here, but I feel it necessary to do so given the direction you’ve been taking and the potential it has. Maybe it’s pure coincidence, but over the past year you have seemed to evolve closer and closer to the direction I’ve gone in. Because you have the potential to tap into an audience that could TRULY benefit from a more evolved and mature dating schema, I feel compelled to contribute to the conversation.

        So keep on thinking critically. Who knows? I think you have the potential to liberate A LOT of men and women, and expand your following.

  • Reply

    dude

    5 months ago

    Good shit with this article dude, the guy above totally missed the point.

    On point about the “decline in female happiness study” I’ve read a lot of criticms regarding the methodology of that study so I would take it with a grain of salt. Just an FYI

    • Reply

      Mark

      5 months ago

      Thanks

  • Reply

    Nicholas

    5 months ago

    I think this post dovetails nicely with “This Is Water.” The automatic ways we react to the world without “awareness” of the rules by which we behave are so interesting.
    Since you probably have loads of free time I have two suggestions: First, a follow-up post on staying aware and in the moment when talking to women, and people, too. Second, maybe think about interviewing people with something to say to this community you have created. Could be an academic-type, or it could be just someone you find interesting.
    In my opinion you are creating one of the more intelligent and useful outposts out there. If there is criticism ocassionally, then good. It means you are out in front of the pack who take no risks.

    • Reply

      Mark

      5 months ago

      I have about 50-pages of email exchanges with an old non-PUA friend who was somewhat of a mentor to me a couple of years ago and probably the best guy I’ve ever seen with women, period. I plan on using them at some point. But my guess is that as far as free content goes, the 2-3 weekly posts are going to be it for a while. I’ve developed a decent-sized following, and even though I do make a living off this site now, it’d be nice to actually monetize it well and get a little bit more of a business and structure going, that way I’ll be able to spread the word out even further.

      I do plan on maintaining the rate of free content for the forseeable future, but there will be a large swath of paid-for content coming in the next year.

      • Reply

        Nicholas

        5 months ago

        Monetize! Absolutely, dude. My comments were unrelated to the fee structure. Your free stuff is more authentic than most paid stuff, anyway.

  • Reply

    Pellaeon

    5 months ago

    Hey Mark,

    I understand and agree with your points here, and I can’t help but find myself wondering what the practical point of the article is. While it’s true that not every woman digs dominance, the majority, as Matt pointed out, certainly does. I’ve personally had much more success assuming most women operate in accordance with the major tenets of PUA theory, than when disobeying.

    In fact, I’ve purposefully tested out acting ‘shy’ when that felt most natural just to see if the predominating ‘dominance’ hype really is accurate – every time I allowed myself to behave shyly I’ve lost the girl.

    Is there any practical prescription you were intending with this article? Or is this mainly a PUA detox perspective thing for the more extreme individuals?

    • Reply

      Mark

      5 months ago

      It’s mainly to remind guys that there will always be exceptions and varying degrees of different traits in women. I actually think the article has an excellent practical purpose. It prevents a shitload of unhealthy beliefs. Everything from, “I’m too short to be attractive,” to “if a girl doesn’t like my negs, then she’s a bitch,” to “women mean yes even if they say no.”

      I’m as big of a proponent of dominance as you’re ever going to find, but it’s good to know that different women are going to respond to different degrees of it. And if by chance you come across a woman who doesn’t respond to it, it doesn’t mean she’s fucked up, or she’s a bitch or whatever… she’s just an exception. And that’s OK.

      • Reply

        Sara

        2 months ago

        I’d say that the practical application of this information is to remind both men and women that the person who they are speaking with, trying to pick up, whatever, is an individual and they should be attentive to the clues about who that person is and what they will or will not find attractive.

        I am one of those apparently “rare” women who craves neither dominance or submission in both attitude and sex (I would argue that there are many more of us than you would think, but it is difficult to express that in a society that overvalues male dominance/female submission and teaches us that MD/FS is normal, therefore leading us to utilize the reverse pick up strategy as males and teaches us that if a male is not trying to be dominant, he is not interested in us sexually, but we’ll leave that one for now).

        It is frustrating to try to date as a woman who is not interested in any form of dominance or submission. When, as a woman, I neither dominate or submit, it is difficult for men to pick up on the fact that I am sexually or romantically interested in them and for them to see me as a sexual or romantic prospect. I think that the more people become aware of the fact that neither men or women can be defined as individuals according to generalizations about their gender as a whole, the better men will be at identifying me as an interested prospect and the easier it will be for me to identify prospective males who are seeking the same thing that I am.

      • Reply

        Mick

        2 weeks ago

        Hey Mark,

        So right you are and there in lies the problem, it kinda ties in with “the dismal state of flirting in the English speaking culture”.

        Let me explain, and too cut a long story short I’ve tried the whole PUA thing, speed dating etc, etc, etc and eventually have gone full circle and just decided to go back to the original unsuccessful me and be myself………………….. basically I’ve given up and accepted to die old and alone with no children.

        There’s just too much variations and probabilities it’s just too fuckin hard.

        Sure this article EDUCATES that there are rules and exceptions in many degrees but there is too much too digest from one person to the next and certainly does not help me and probably the majority of readers…………. just like the dismal flirting article.

        So the question is – how does this HELP anyone?

    • Reply

      hilanoga

      5 months ago

      From a woman’s point of view, the most troubling thing about these beliefs is the feeling that you don’t try to hit on an actual human being, but on some imagined statistical creature. It’s dehumanizing.

      For instance, think about the way you get to know your male friends. You don’t spend time thinking “only 3%* of the men like DnD but 73% of the men like baseball, so I better be into baseball so that I will have lots of friends”. You are who you are, and you meet the people who are similar to you. If you happen to like DnD more than baseball, than you probably have less friends, but this is OK because this is who you are and those are the people you like. But when it comes to women, we suddenly turn into pussies with some insignificant traits attached.
      So when you say “70% of women like dominant males therefor I should act dominant” you say that your goal is not to find the people you get along with well, it’s to statistically match as many traits as possible so that you can have lots of pussies.

      * Numbers are completely made up.

      • Reply

        Sara

        2 months ago

        “From a woman’s point of view, the most troubling thing about these beliefs is the feeling that you don’t try to hit on an actual human being, but on some imagined statistical creature. It’s dehumanizing.”

        BINGO!

      • Reply

        Danielle

        27 weeks ago

        Perfectly, perfectly said. Thank you.

        • Reply

          Joe

          24 weeks ago

          As a man… if I have a crush on a girl and I want to strike up a conversation…. and I am told I am “hitting on” the woman. I find that dehumanizing too.

  • Reply

    Mark

    5 months ago

    Well, the significance of these differences between men and women really depends on the situation. If you’re talking about social policy, or professional situations, then yeah, the differences are almost irrelevant. Even scientifically, proving that differences are more major or minor than originally assumed is what it is.

    But if you have a situation where a guy is unable to attract 99% of the women he meets, then learning the basic fact that “Women prefer dominance” is actually very significant and can make a major difference. The point of this post is just to counteract a lot of lazy reasoning in the pick up industry… guys learn “women like dominance” (which is true) and then eventually start assuming that “every woman likes dominance all the time” (which is not true).

    • Reply

      hilanoga

      5 months ago

      Why do you think a guy SHOULD be able to attract more than, say, 3% of the women he meets?

      • Reply

        Mark

        5 months ago

        It’s not a question of should, it’s a question of if he wants to. Some guys are indifferent and happy attracting few women. And that’s fine. But for many men (including most who come to this site), they’re not satisfied with it. Let’s be honest, if you’re attracting 1% of the women you meet, then you’re probably only coming across one viable dating option every year or two.

        Can’t blame a guy for wanting a date more than once a year.

        • Reply

          hilanoga

          5 months ago

          Yeah, but you can blame a guy for wanting to date some imagined statistical creature instead of actual women.

          I don’t want a guy to date me because he decided that he needs some random pussy, I happen to be attached to a pussy, and if he displays 50% assertiveness and 20% sensitivity there will be 80% chance that I let him in. Can’t you see how degrading it is to be on the other side of this kind of thinking?

          For example, I don’t know if you have that kind of problem where you live, but it’s a common complaint here: It’s like when you go to see your doctor, and he never bothers to get to know you or even look at you or anything – he just asks you some short questions and sends you home with a medicine. Does it work? Hell, yeah. Statistically, it’s much more probable that you have a seasonal flu than some condition caused by your lifestyle and habits. And yet, when you go home you can’t help feeling like a lump of meet with some symptoms attached.

          And while I’m willing to put up with this yucky feeling when I go to see a doctor once in several years, this is something that I definitely don’t want in my relationships, short as they may be.

          • hilanoga

            5 months ago

            * meat

          • Mark

            5 months ago

            Of course you don’t want to be treated like a piece of meat. Why do you think I write posts like this? :)

          • hilanoga

            5 months ago

            This post is good :)

            To sum things up, I still think that “80% of girls prefer X -> be more X to get more girls” is problematic because it promotes thinking in terms of statistics instead of human interactions, but we can agree not to agree on this one.

          • Tim

            5 months ago

            I think one of the core beliefs Mark has in his work is that men and women have a lot more potential to connect and relate than they currently do. And by giving men more knowledge and practical advice, he is helping them to create an atmosphere where that can do so. Helping men improve with women isn’t about teaching them to ‘trick’ incompatible women into sleeping with them, but about giving them the grounds to connect in areas they previously weren’t able to, due to various issues they have. So when men improve their ability to attract 1% of women they meet to 3%, it’s because they’ve overcome insecurities, learnt to be less judgmental, understand a wider perspective, etc. That’s why Mark’s focus is so much on character, accurate beliefs (even if they’re ones guys often don’t want to hear) and behaviour, rather than lines, pseudo-science, and things like the ’7 hour rule’. It’s realistic in admitting that you just won’t work with every girl, and so it’s about improving yourself so that things do work with the ones that do have that potential.

    • Reply

      Paul

      5 months ago

      “But if you have a situation where a guy is unable to attract 99% of the women he meets, then learning the basic fact that “Women prefer dominance” is actually very significant and can make a major difference.”

      …in contributing to symptoms of a personality disorder.

      But in all seriousness, you’re right about the assumptions which follow it.

      The irony of this whole industry is that it is counterproductive to the reasons men typically get involved in it for…

      Most guys I’ve talked to over the last ten years say they came here after some kind of heartache and were looking to either win their girlfriend back or find a new one (ie: have a loving relationship).

      Everything being taught in this industry completely works against that in the long haul and guys get sucked into an unhealthy mentality, which they model after their pickup idols.

      This whole self-help dating industry (for men AND women) has caused a lot more disconnect than the other way around, and until individuals can start claiming ownership of their own love lives with responsibly (as in not letting an industry make decisions about them for them), both sides will continue to perpetuate the games, examining ourselves now and then in quiet desperation – asking “isn’t there more than this?”

      • Reply

        Mark

        5 months ago

        I’m not sure I quite follow how teaching men to be more assertive, to stand up for themselves and express themselves freely equates to a personality disorder.

        I think it’s important to distinguish what’s being taught from how it’s being taught. Teaching a guy to be more assertive, to lead, to trust in his own feelings and express himself freely is not a problem. When you teach a guy to do that by giving him fake routines, unhealthy beliefs about women and delusional self-talk, then yeah, it’s harmful.

        The methods are the problem in this industry, not the actual end-goal.

        • Reply

          Paul

          5 months ago

          I hear you saying that the mindset, not the instructional methods themselves, are harmful. At least you see the relationship between them (because a relationship between them DOES exist) even though we can’t be certain that it means causality.

          What is the ‘end-goal’ in your eyes? Can you clarify this a little more? If there’s not already a post on this, there’s an idea for you.

          I think I was being a bit more humorous with the personality disorder statement…though I will say that if a young adult (late adolescence – mid 20′s) is already symptomatic of an Axis II disorder this community will absolutely aid in bringing out the worst in him. Ironically, some of the best guys I’ve seen with regards to ‘pickup’ (including some famous guru’s) alarmingly displayed symptoms that would meet the criteria for a personality disorder.

          • Mark

            5 months ago

            I mean the opposite… that the end-goal (I’d define it as teaching men to become more attractive) is fine, it’s some of the methods that are the problem.

            Like Brett said, if you’re teaching men to be more attractive by not being himself, and do a lot of manipulative shit, and bury his feelings and motivations, then it’s a disservice.

            If you’re teaching men to be more attractive by expressing themselves more freely, by becoming comfortable with their masculinity, by being comfortable with being honest and vulnerable with women, and by improving themselves, then I think that it’s actually a very noble thing.

            If you were joking or only talking about a segment of the industry, then it wasn’t clear. It sounded like you were lumping me in with all the PUA’s.

  • Reply

    Mark

    5 months ago

    I’ll also add that about 50% of these studies that I read, I find myself questioning deeply or flat out disagreeing with, simply by the methods in which they’re carried out. In general, I think people are very unconscious of what their desires are and what causes them to be attracted to somebody. So a lot of research based on self-reporting by men and women, I have trouble taking seriously. The fact of the matter is, over the last six years I have seen women (and men) say one thing and then react very strongly to the exact opposite way too many times to not be skeptical.

    One example is there was a study where researchers actually went to a bunch of bars and watched men and women hit on each other. Over the course of the night, they also interviewed the people and asked them what “flirting strategies” were most effective on them and what they looked for in someone they were meeting.

    Women overwhelming said the most effective “strategies” on them were men who were kind, considerate, and generous.

    Uhh… sorry… every girl says that. But as someone who has spent an absolutely inordinate amount of time in bars picking up the kinds of girls who answered those surveys, I can tell you that those are no where near the most effective strategies on them. Especially if they’re college girls in dive bars (where the study was done).

    Women are very, very, very often attracted to behavior in a man that they actually dislike. And in fact, I’ve found that the cognitive dissonance that erupts from being attracted to something they don’t like just serves to turn them on even more. I realize that my life is not exactly a controlled experiment. But at this point I’ve approached thousands of women, discussed pick up ad nauseum with friends who have approached thousands of women, and discussed pick up with numerous women who have been approached hundreds or thousands of times; so I feel like I have SOME sort of sample size going on in my head.

    • Reply

      dude

      5 months ago

      Yeah self reports are usually extrememly biased as most people being studied (in this case the girls at the bar) would most likely want to give answers that are socially desirable.

      This study itself has a horrible methodology if they were trying to generalize flirting strategies as a bar is in no way representative of the general population. It is a very specific group, very specific and at the same time diverse. I don’t know how you could really intelligently gain any insight from doing a study like this to be honest but thats just my feeling. Theres a lot of other problems I see with this study as well….

      Was this study in like a mens health magazine or something?? I don’t see how an academic journal would even publish something like this.

      “Women are very, very, very often attracted to behavior in a man that they actually dislike.”

      This in particular I haven’t seen personally myself. I have never seen a girl who hates rude people having a rude boyfriend before…

      • Reply

        Mark

        5 months ago

        That was an actual study. And I know it’s horrible. It’s shit like that that makes me want to get a Ph.D in social psych. I feel like some of these profs don’t even know where they should be looking.

        And I said attracted, not boyfriend. Big difference. In fact, I think that’s something the community has gotten that science isn’t controlling for yet: the difference between being turned on by behaviors and seeking those behaviors in a relationship. In many studies, they’re assumed to be the same thing. Any PUA can tell you they’re not.

  • Reply

    Bill

    5 months ago

    “Women are very, very, very often attracted to behavior in a man that they actually dislike. And in fact, I’ve found that the cognitive dissonance that erupts from being attracted to something they don’t like just serves to turn them on even more.”
    I’m sure this works great in bars, with complete strangers. But how does one negotiate the minefield of trying to pickup girls in your social circle, with out alienating yourself from the group?

    • Reply

      Mark

      5 months ago

      Well, no one’s saying that you should TRY and piss them off. I’m just saying that sometimes women get pissed off and turned on at the same time. Point being: women (and men) are often oblivious to their own sexual impulses and emotional drives.

  • Reply

    Jimmy

    5 months ago

    “Point being: women (and men) are often oblivious to their own sexual impulses and emotional drives.”

    Money!

  • Reply

    Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

    5 months ago

    I don’t have a lot of time to deliver well written, articulate, thoughtful replies, so I’m just going to bullet point it.

    1. You don’t develop personality disorders, you’re born with them.

    2. Med schools across the country are developing a new system of teaching called “patient centered medicine” that is centered around the idea of treating the patient as a person and not just “a piece of meat with symptoms, so wait till the new generation of Drs. comes out

    3. There’s a difference between teaching a guy to be something he’s not, and teaching a guy be more comfortable with, better understand, and better express something that he already is but isn’t confident enough, aware enough, or socially cognizant enough to do by himself

    4. What Mark teaches is far different from what a lot of the community teaches, and to lump them together is unfair

    5. I think the end goal for 95% of the guys here is to eventually find a unique, genuine, amazing girl that they love and care about as a person that truly makes them happy. Sometimes before they can get there though, they need to fool around a little bit to get past previous insecurities, figure out exactly what it is they do like, and build up enough emotional intelligence, fortitude, and confidence to feel comfortable displaying their unique and amazing qualities to a girl they love.

    6. Nib High football rules!

    • Reply

      hilanoga

      5 months ago

      2. Rest my case :)

      4. While I do appreciate a lot of Mark’s work, I still have my criticism on some of the things he writes (like “My fat girl story”, which is one horrible piece of writing, sorry Mark). Criticism is a good thing. My closest friends are the ones who can criticize me and I can criticize them freely. This is how we learn. You really don’t have to jump there and protect him every time this happens – Mark is a big boy, I believe he can take it ;).

      Besides, sometimes I raise points just because I want to see what answers I get. I’m not here because I want to find a girlfriend, you know, I’m here because I’m interested in the discussion.

      5. The problem is not the fact that people play around, the problem is the way some think about it.

      • Reply

        Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

        5 months ago

        4. I don’t remember “My fat girl story” all that well, but if I do – I think that’s the one where he got raped.

        And I’m not out to “Defend Mark” – I actually legit feel that way and am just expressing my own opinions. The defending of Mark is just a side effect. That ex-fat bastard texan alcoholic can go f himself for all I care…lol (j/k, I love you Mark! But seriously…you’re gay).

        Also, isn’t that what I’m doing? Engaging you in discussion? No need to get defensive.

        5. I agree with you that a lot of the belief’s many guys in the community have are unhealthy, and some of the “guru’s” lessons in the community community are fucked up. That needs to change, and I think many people are working on developing healthier attitudes and healthier ways of coaching. It’s just a work in progress. You need to understand that many guys here come from a fucked up place with women – either because of what they were taught by their friends, their parents, or our culture – and sometimes the road to recovery is gradual and difficult. You can’t be too hard on guys when they’re just starting out – at least they’re trying to better understand women. I’m not saying that you’re wrong, I’m just saying, make sure you consider the good side to this stuff at the same time you critique it.

        • Reply

          hilanoga

          5 months ago

          4. That one. It has problems on so many levels that some of my friends argued that they cancel each other and it evens out.

          And I’m not defensive at all. It’s just the second time you told me that something I wrote here is “unfair” and it really seemed like you are trying to protect Mark. I found it funny (in a good way) :)

          5. We are all fucked up in our own way, me too obviously, but note taken.

          • Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

            5 months ago

            and thanks, I guess…

    • Reply

      Fluffy McGee

      5 months ago

      “1. You don’t develop personality disorders, you’re born with them.”

      Look up DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), it’s not something you’re born with.

      • Reply

        Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

        5 months ago

        Dissociative Identity Disorder is not a personality disorder…it’s a dissociative disorder, that’s why they changed the name from multiple personality disorder, it was confusing.

        • Reply

          Fluffy McGee

          5 months ago

          Sounds like you’re splitting hairs to me.

          How exactly does having two personalities not qualify as a disorder of personality?

          I think it’s safe to come to the conclusion that *environment* as well as DNA will shape the personality of any individual. Which would lead me, and any reasonable human, to disagree with “You don’t develop personality disorders, you’re born with them.”

          • Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

            5 months ago

            It’s a medical definition. The cause AND the treatment are COMPLETELY different.

          • Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

            5 months ago

            It’s an axis I disorder, not axis II is what I’m trying to say

          • Fluffy McGee

            5 months ago

            Ahhh yes, when threatened, wield interesting technical vocab in hopes of disorienting you’re target and misdirecting the question at hand. Thus winning the argument and remaining king inside the supreme fantasy of one’s own mind. What a marvelous mess we humans are.

          • Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

            5 months ago

            Dude, I get what you’re saying, yes, environment alters our personalities, no doubt. The only reason I made it point 1. in my post was because I had literally just read about personality disorders 3 seconds beforehand and I found it funny.

          • Fluffy McGee

            5 months ago

            Well, tbh, proof that there is a genetic connection to being predisposed to personality disorders, doesn’t exactly mean that you are immune to them without those same genes.

            Anyhow, it sounds like an interesting article / book you were reading. Maybe if you provide us with a link, we can check it out and gain understanding of your thought process.

            The internet is a great gift of never ending information, both good and bad. Without challenging such information, we leave ourselves in danger of self-destructive misinformation.

          • Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

            5 months ago

            You want to read my pathology textbook that I use to study for my medical licensing boards? Uhhh…ok, It’s Robins and Cotran, Pathologic Basis of Disease – 7th edition It’s 1700 pages so you may want to clear your schedule.

            “Well, tbh, proof that there is a genetic connection to being predisposed to personality disorders, doesn’t exactly mean that you are immune to them without those same genes.”

            By definition of an Axis II disorder, yes, it does.

          • Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

            5 months ago

            I’ve got some pharm index cards if you want those too Fluffy.

          • Fluffy McGee

            5 months ago

            The funny thing is… I knew you were going to say something like this! But maybe you could be a doll for me and just point me to the particular study that proves you god of internet discussion who need not reference his claims.

            Good luck on your tests professor =]

          • Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

            5 months ago

            it’s not a study. it’s part of the DEFINITION of an axis II disorder. Go buy ANY PATHOLOGY TEXT BOOK you like.

          • Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

            5 months ago

            or wait till the DSM-V comes out next year

          • hilanoga

            5 months ago

            ROFL!

          • Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

            5 months ago

            lol, shut up Hil. I hate this and I know how stupid this is. If i didn’t sit in front of my computer 14 hours a day studying, I wouldn’t get distracted by shit like this.

          • Fluffy McGee

            5 months ago

            But it’s so much fun!!!!!!

          • hilanoga

            5 months ago

            LOL! We’re in the same boat!
            I should be proving theorems and calculating integrals right now, not talking to YOU! ;)

          • Fluffy McGee

            5 months ago

            Why do humans have such a difficult time admitting they are wrong?

            Here is a different example also refutting you’re quite bolsterous claim:

            “Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is caused by both biological and environmental factors. Information about the evironmental factors: what they are and how they work.
            ” – from an article that Mark’s site won’t allow me to link to.

            Is this a more suitable example for you Bret?

          • Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

            5 months ago

            Just trust me that if you’re not born with some sort of genetic defect that leads to some sort of biochemical imbalance in the brain outside of what is considered “normal human variance” (designated as being greater than 2 standard deviations away from the norm), you’re not going to “develop” a personality disorder from environmental factors, only trigger one.

          • Fluffy McGee

            5 months ago

            Sure, I trust everyone on the internet.

  • Reply

    Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

    5 months ago

    But yea, that fat girl story was a little self-serving.

    “Hi, I’m Mark. Yea, I fucked a fat girl once. Of course, she poured alcohol down my throat, roofied me, tied me down, and molested me, but that still counts.” Lol, shut up Mark, you’ve definitely fucked a fat girl before sober enough to know what you were doing hoping no one would find out. Join the club.

    • Reply

      hilanoga

      5 months ago

      Ugh, actually this wasn’t what I meant. But I believe this post deserves a more serious treatment than I can give him in this wee comment box.

      Besides it’s completely out of scope of this thread, and I’m not even sure Mark is interested in the kind of criticism I have on this story.

      • Reply

        Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt

        5 months ago

        lol, I know that’s not what you meant. I just wanted to get my shot in (winky face…I hate actually using the winkey face but I don’t know how else to get the point that i’m joking across so i’m just typing out “winkey face”…stupid paradox)

  • Reply

    anonymous coward

    4 months ago

    “Not every single X is always, without exception Y”..

    Well, this isn’t much of a revelation, you know. But it was the main thesis of this post, and repeated several times in various forms.

  • Reply

    El Renegado

    4 months ago

    So in other words: Not all woman are like that you misogynist son of a bitch!

  • Reply

    Kathryn

    4 months ago

    Want to know who set the stage for the Fallacy of Composition and the Fallacy of Division? That Sigmund Freud frakwad, that’s who. Just by asking that famous, but abysmally stupid question, “What does a woman want,” he dehumanized and reduced the entire world’s population of women into one stereotypical entity.

  • Reply

    Kat

    4 months ago

    I think some people are mixing up dominance and confidence. In my experience, only poorly-adjusted women (socially, psychologically, whatever) actually have a preference for a dominant mate. Now, in the bedroom? Sure. Different kind of dominance, there. I think that’s another area where people are over-generalizing. They think that what happens in the bedroom has to mirror the relationship dynamic. Not so.

    Dominance in a relationship == control rather than connection. There’s a lot of crap that goes along with that, but that’s it in a nutshell.

    Confidence means connection rather than control. It’s confidence that if one person doesn’t work out for you as a partner, you can find someone else. It’s knowing what you want and getting it while being genuine and congruent, without harming anyone else, and without being an asshole (though some passive-aggressive people may call you such just because you refuse to walk on eggshells and pander to everyone). Better yet, it’s getting what you want because other people like you so much and you connect with them such that they can’t not help you out.

    Dominance == fake alpha.
    Confidence == alpha.

    That’s my vernacular and I’m sticking to it. Think about it. Would you rather have guys studying pick-up and thinking that what they need is to go out and be controlling assholes? Dominance means the rotten cop, the bastard manager, the person who makes everyone else’s lives hell because that proves he’s in control, right? That’s what most people think of when they think of “dominance,” unless they’re thinking of wolf packs or certain flavors of sex. Or would you rather all those guys learn how to figure out what they want, and be confident and congruent in getting it, while connecting meaningfully with the people in their lives?

    • Reply

      Krissy

      4 months ago

      As a female I have to agree that the word “Dominance” can be misconstrued by people very easily. I can only speak to the women I know and myself – but what the women I know seem to want is a man with a healthy confidence that is based in reality.

      For example – in almost all of my past relationships I have had to make all of the major decisions as well as earn the majority of the money because the men I had chosen (my bad decision I know) were uneducated in life and were unable to provide even basic stability for themselves. Now as a slightly older (30′s) and much wiser woman I am realizing that what I find lacking in men is the poise and maturity that illustrates true healthy confidence. There are plenty of dominant men out there, but if their dominance is not backed by anything how can I turn over my life to them? That is why we are so unhappy as women – many of us would love to turn over the dominant role in a relationship to our man, but cannot find a man who we would trust with that role. So instead we are forced into a role that leaves us feeling like the nagging shrew who must treat her man like a teenage son rather than a partner. I have read a few of your articles on here and for the most part I agree with you.

      I grew up in a neighborhood of mainly males and could never understand why the jerks always had girlfriends and the really good ones never did, or required others to intercede on their behalf. Now I understand that it’s because women want to feel selected, and the abrasive arrogant men are better at the initial approach. So keep pumping up the men out there so that those of us who are still looking for that great guy have a better chance at finding him.

  • Reply

    Theia

    4 months ago

    Speaking as a woman with a good understanding of the way women think, I like this article. The fallacies you mentioned are so common, its sad. The number of times I’ve had a man hit on me and then when I say I’m married they reply with “happily?” disgusts me. Yes, I’m happy with my husband, but even if I were one of the poor unhappily married people out there, cheating would not be the answer. It’s disrespectful of marriage as a commitment to assume that all married women are willing to cheat. From what I’ve read in the posts you’ve made you (now at least) have a good respect for women as people and not just sex objects

  • Reply

    Billy Z

    3 months ago

    The point that men are missing is that women do like to be dominated (in bed / relationships) but not by every man.

    Women are selective and they find very few men good enough for that purpose. Most men simply dont measure up to that ideal Alpha god who brings out the feminine and vulnerable side in women and makes them want to submit to him..sexually and otherwise.

    For most women, those men remain only a fantasy world as they cant keep such men for life. They will half heatedly have vanilla sex and relationships with ordinary men.

    • Reply

      Zac

      3 months ago

      Billy, I think it’s more of an issue of trust > “Alpha God”.

      Also, I don’t think you speak for all or most women. That’s about 3.5 billion people you just generalized.

    • Reply

      Sara

      2 months ago

      You’re not getting it dude.

      Some women simply do not want to be dominated. Some prefer to be dominant. Some, such as myself, prefer changing things up throughout intercourse by switching from dominance to submission and back again throughout. Others prefer to be submissive.

      The whole freakin point of the article is just that – PEOPLE ARE INDIVIDUALS. And that includes women. Do not make assumptions about any one woman’s desires based on norms or what you believe to be norms.

  • Reply

    KC in ks,

    3 months ago

    Hi mark
    Kirk from kansas as before. mark as you know alot of people dont take mariege sacred anymore as God inteneded it.
    Ill tell you one thing, if you find a nice lady to be with, and you think she’s the one, you better make sure that she, or he’s gonna be there when the cards are down or low on money or out of a job,
    not that its gonna happen,
    but to be there for each other in low times as well as good times
    and her or the guy not run off. out of pressure.

  • Reply

    Danielle

    27 weeks ago

    I’m a little confused by the comments I’m reading, here.

    When I read this article, I was reading through the lens of “relationships and how to develop one”, yet the comments are leaving me with the impression that it was really about “hook-ups and how to develop one”.

    Yup, if you want a hook-up, you are more than welcome to assume that most women want to be dominated/pursued, don a PUA/dominant/alpha persona (even if it doesn’t suit you), and try your luck. Go get ‘em, Tiger! You might even achieve your goal, in which case your assumption has just been validated, hasn’t it? I can’t dispute it.

    But that same advice does NOT work for actual relationship-building. Yeah, if you’re not getting anywhere with women, you might be tempted to play up your dominance a bit in order to crank up your sex appeal. But if that’s not *you*, I hope you realize that when the second shoe drops (and rest assured that it will) and she realizes you were acting, you will have lost all credibility with her. You might have succeeded in getting some regular nookie for a little while, but you’ll be out in the cold before long.

    I think the original point was that a lot of people, when hoping to engage someone in an AUTHENTIC relationship, are apt to make incorrect assumptions about that person if they aren’t paying attention.

    Example: “Women prefer men who are dominant. Therefore every woman wants all men to dominate them.” Phew. Scary statement, right there. If you blindly assume that your partner always wants to be dominated IN BED and you act on it – even once – without actually discussing this with her first, you could be looking at some pretty REAL consequences, my friend.

    And not everyone interprets things the same way, either.

    Example: Taking a sexual preference shared by some members of one gender (i.e. female submission) and applying to the entire gender in an over-reaching way (i.e. thinking that because we might *sometimes* want our partners to take charge IN BED means that we want them to take charge in ALL ASPECTS OF OUR LIVES ALWAYS) is a VERY dangerous idea.

    Example: “Women want to be pursued by men. Therefore every woman is always playing hard-to-get.” That one’s dangerous because one person’s “pursued” is another person’s “stalked”.

    The key to understanding how to navigate all of these assumptions about attraction and interaction is easy to sum up (sadly, it is a little more difficult/painful to actually embody): respect (honesty falls under that heading, btw) and communication. Always.

    • Reply

      Mark

      27 weeks ago

      Hey Danielle,

      Thanks for the comment. Just a quick heads up. This site used to be about helping men attract women (years ago!) and this article is left over from that era. Hence the singlemindedness of the comment section.

Leave a Comment