Ask Sarah Sinistre

Model, author and de facto witch Sarah Sinistre shares her opinion with Warlocks’ about the greatest mysteries on earth; love, romance, relationships … and women!

John, G., from Indiana asks, “Why do pick up artists (PUAs) tell guys the way to attract women is to act indifferent? They say being too romantic or interested is “needy” and signals weakness and that women want a challenge — especially attractive women. What happened to romance?” Sarah says: Why the advice to be aloof and indifferent? PUAs are, of course, selling a service: the “self improvement” genre. Really, at the very basic level, though, they are selling a product: you, as a dating person.

This is Business 101; keep the customer coming back. Let me be clear — there is nothing to fault in PUA business model. They’re using a tried & true method: for the “service”: they’re trying to create the “hook” (the need for the paying client to return and use this service again) and for the “product” — built in obsolescence —the intentional short shelf life of a product (how often do you need to re-purchase and return to that company). For example, happily married men don’t often need dating advice. Marriage advice, sure, but that’s not really the PUA niche. Since many successful dates will eventually go on to some sort of relationship, either short term or long term the PUA doesn’t want his clients to leave because they no longer need a dating plan. They’d be out of business pretty quickly. So, the advice to act aloof and even advice to “neg” is about manipulating potential partners and putting a cap on that relationship.

It’s not intended to be the starting point for a relationship of any length; say, a week or a lifetime. It’s intended to hook someone, usually an attractive cisgender (biological female) woman, for a few hours. It’s about numbers, not connection. Yea, yea, that’s all good, Sarah, but are straight women more attracted to “distant” men or “needy’” men?? Well those are extremes. While it’s a healthy strategy not to give too much of your heart away too quickly, it’s not healthy to portray a different persona in real life.

If you are someone that laughs easily and makes quick connections, that’s just you. Your life partners and sexual partners will be people who enjoy spending time with a fun guy that makes them laugh. If some women are attracted to distant, aloof, cool people, they may not be someone who’s a good match for the more attachment-oriented guy.

It’s exhausting to pull off portraying a character in real time in actual situations for hours or days at a time. As for a guy feeling needy, well, we all need some help and attention sometimes. And, some situations create an artificial feeling of intimacy: especially when drinking or partying, or meeting someone who fits our “type.”

We may feel strangely connected. But strangers and new sexual partners are not the people to provide real emotional support for us. Asking a virtual stranger to meet our emotional needs is overwhelming for them and disappointing to us. Some of the men attracted to the PUA model are frustrated by failed relationships, or by not having accessed relationships.

A one-night stand is still a relationship, but one with a predetermined shelf life. The PUA model focuses that anger on women, and on men that appear to have successful relationships with women. It relies on creating the idea that every man should have access to every woman’s time and body, and if you haven’t had constant access to every woman you’ve ever felt attraction towards, it’s because others have taken those women through a different kind of trickery than you have thought of.

It’s a great method to create strong feelings in you, but it doesn’t do much to help people form connections. It’s really just exciting fantasy.

by Sarah Sinistre