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Even if their statistical shenanigans would be scientifically "accurate" (which I still doubt), by no means would I, morally and ethically, consider them "right".

I'm the stereotypical reclusive, clinically shy geek, but I've gotten past puberty, and stopped considering penetration to be the "end game". Note that those douchebags seem to be exclusively care about that, there's no "relationship artist" trade that I'm aware of.

Believe it or not, sometimes women are looking for "penetration" as the "end game". Not every encounter is expected to end in a life-long marriage.

I think "sometimes" is the key word here. I like cookies but eating them all the time might be a bit unhealthy. And preaching the "all cookie lifestyle" would seem a bit odd. From what I've seen of the "pickup scene", that seems to be the rule. I like the PDF here. It's a nice, social science view of flirting, and although it's always odd to view interaction in a statistical way, it's not written as how to best exploit and game things ("flirting" vs. "pickup"). I think this style is way better than your usual "how to get any girl in bed" type of book (or your average Cosmo type of article for the distaff side).

I just don't think this is true. I think the majority of people that end up looking into the pickup stuff are normal guys, who are bad at talking to girls, and who want a relationship. Most people don't want to spend the time and money necessary to have some kind of clubbing 3-nights a week lifestyle.

The reason those books recommend going out multiple times a week, isn't to have that lifestyle per say, it's because that's the only way to accumulate enough hours at practicing these social interactions to internalize it. Once most people reach that point, they stop going to clubs and spending all that money. Then they use the skills they learned through trial-and-error on strangers to date people in their social circles.

I'm not condemning the readers. But are we really assuming a dichotomy between "Forever Alone" and following in the foot steps of "pickup artists"? Especially in a thread where the original article shows that you can convey the essential information without machismo self-help lingo?

If it's from sleazoid to sleazoid, okay, let them simmer in their own subcultural juices. But as you say, a part of the reader demographics is oriented towards the socially insecure, and there this approach can be damaging (and seems inherently exploitative to me). There are other books about this, from targetign the shyness angle to basic social interaction ("shmoozing") to flirting – or to bedroom performance, if you're concerned about that. You don't really have to reach for the "seduction community" shenanigans.

Apart from the moral/ethical angle, there's also little actual value in that part of the bookshelf, from what I have seen. It's bad self-help, coupled with huge amounts of self-promotion (to establish the required credibility of the author). I'm not saying that it doesn't work, mind you. Not necessarily because of the clever tricks and lingo, but because of the basic confidence boost. "You can do it!" is probably all a lot of people need. Just like lots of diets or GTD type of books work just by the customer deciding to watch what he's eating or trying to organize his life.

Still don't think you should hand your money to that sector of virtual wing men… Maybe all joking aside, we would benefit from a "advanced social skills" Hacker News (There's probably a subreddit for it already).

I agree, that is a false dichotomy. Here's an alternative: read a lot of things, including one or two books by the "pickup" people. Glean from their stuff some things that are useful, and toss out the rest. If you're so averse to paying $10 for a paperback copy of The Game (which as a first-person account is also a story with some pretty high entertainment value btw), then borrow it from a library.

No one is advocating buying into their whole philosophy. But as I said in a parallel thread to this one, unfortunately those guys have developed the most accurate and detailed model for modern day social interactions that I've seen. After I knew what to look for in terms of body language, group dynamics, etc. the difference was night and day.

Many more women are looking for great sex as the end game than are looking for penetration. I mean, ask some of your female friends who really love penetration, and you'll find that even the ones who are most enthusiastic about it have had penetrative sexual encounters they would never want to repeat.

You're taking me too literally. I used those words because they're what the parent post used. He was being dismissive of guys who just wanted to have sex with women (and, I suspect, thinking he was taking some kind of moral high ground, probably as part of a rationalization mechanism) while I was pointing out that sometimes women also just wanted to have sex.

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