Thursday, January 29, 2009

Don Draper's advice on how to pick up women

This is a video of a brief (and funny) sketch from Saturday Night Live, but the topic is interesting: Don Draper (the lead character of "Mad Men") on how to be a womanizer.

Of course, most of it is b.s. as in all mainstream dating advice. But there are pearls of truth shimmering through. In particular, the "Strut around with supreme confidence" is key in understanding why women watching the series intuitively feel convinced that he is the kind of man who gets a lot of action (and for whom they do not feel any moral outrage about him cheating on his wife).

It is interesting to note that the writer of Mad Men was also a writer for "The Sopranos". Both series portray two different types of The Man (read: uber-alpha). And even though their behavior is fictional and bordering on caricature, there is much to learn. Whether intuitively or consciously, the writers and actors in both series exemplify human traits that will either attract or appall women. And attracted they get.

So what is it? Can you believe the sketch that first and foremost you have to be successful and good looking in order to score?

Of course not.

Tony's and Don's secret is much more subtle.

It is their behavior.

They both play high status males. Their whole body language, their tone of voice, the assumptions they make that influence their decisions and interactions with other people (and objects!) - all of this conveys, no screams that these guys are on top of the social hierarchy.

My favorite scene in Mad Men exemplifies the effect of this on women. other men and the audience perfectly. It is a short scene in which Don gets approached by a (bisexual) father who wants him to meet his 21 year old jet set daughter, who he will soon proceed to have sex with. To top the metaphorical character of the scene, the woman is named "Joy".

At this point all these people have to go by to judge Don Draper is the way he carries himself. The daughter even makes a remark about that (hinting at why she selected him). Of course, Don does everything right in this scene.

The beauty of this little interaction is that Don's demeanor gets contrasted with that of one of his underlings. He joins the group and does nothing more than the socially required acts of politeness. Yet, the reaction to him by anyone else in the group is instantaneous aversion. Needles to say this guy doesn't get the golden key for a luxurious vacation in a lavish villa, and he won't even get laid.

This is very interesting and telling about a brutal fact of life.

On the surface the low status guy does nothing different than the high status guy, yet there is an instantaneous transmission of who is worthy of the Joys of life and who isn't.

I recommend watching it twice. Once with the sound on, and then again on mute.

Things to pay attention to is the amount of relaxation in each persons body as well as the amount of limb movements, particularly of the heads.


  1. you mention that "there are pearls of truth shimmering through" in the snl clip. that's exactly it.

    for example:

    "when in doubt - remain absolutely silent."
    this is brilliant. a common mistake. it takes no brains, but some confidence to pull this off.

    however, her response: "marry me, i want to bear your children." reaffirms the cultural ideal of female sexuality (as more about relationships and security than about sex), which is far from reality.

    she should have said: "fuck me. (i want to bear your children.)"

    "let's marry" from a woman is no less of an insult than "let's fuck" from a man.


    though both women and men equally want both sex and relationships, men are selective about relationships and women about sex.

    many men will fuck anything that moves. similarly many women will marry anything that moves.

    so what about the converse?

    many men will marry anything that fucks (them, that is, which renders them highly selective in terms of marriage). many women will fuck anything that marries (them, that is, which renders them highly selective in terms of sex).

  2. the symmetry continues:

    women tend to fall in love with men who don't agree to relationships too easily.

    men tend to fall in love with women who don't agree to sex too easily.

  3. Hello there 11,Stage II.I'm the commenter who sent the link to the Flaubert article.If either of you wouldnt mind I'd like for you to comment on another article which I've found to be most interesting.Here it is:

    Hope you dont mind.If you do,kindly let me Know and I will no longer disturb you with requests.


  4. anonymous,

    thanks for the link. this was interesting reading. my responses are mixed:

    "woman's secret"
    anais nin speaks the truth.

    "is your car choosy?"
    i see very limited insight here.

    "what women want"
    this seems naive and confused. when women say they are attracted to men who make them laugh, they are saying it because (a) it is true and (b) it is socially acceptable to admit it.

    the more general truth behind this is: women are attracted to men who control their emotions; rock their boat; stimulate their hearts, minds, and bodies.

    if you can make her laugh, she will be *truly* and *sexually* attracted to you. but the same is true if you make her cry, or embarrassed, or demure, or proud, or happy.

    if you do several of these things alternately, then you are hard or impossible to resist -- no looks or money needed.

    the "bag of cement" he mentions is not loved for not straying. the bag of cement is likely to have other qualities that he overlooked. these might include: unresponsiveness to her tests, manly solidity, uncaring asshole attitude.

    "men and women and the nature of knowing"
    i do think women and men can understand each other – at a general level as well as in specific relationships.

    but further down, there are some very good thoughts in this section.
    one of them: violation as liberation from her world of shoulds and should nots.

    i agree by and large.

    "two priorities in life"
    the main points hold. the claim of "no initiate, no pussy" being “devolutionary” makes no sense to me.

    "the longing to be raped", "sure, being raped might be fun..."
    largely true.

    however, i don't agree that a prostitute can't be raped -- no difference to any other woman here.

    rape is a terrible crime.

    female rape fantasies should be accepted and playfully engaged by a sort of role playing during sex. if necessary to make things safe, we can use safewords as in bdsm. this way she gets her fantasy with you within a frame of protection -- this is the greatest luxury of the human experience: thrill in safety. (this is what movies deliver to men and women to a lesser extent.)

    at the same time the clear line between sex and actual rape is preserved. of course, this is challenging for men to pull off. boys should be taught how to do this at school.

    "all sex is rape"
    i do not agree with andrea dworkin or the author on this. vanilla sex is not rape. dominant rape-playing sex is not actual rape, either. actual rape is a terrible crime.

    "why women choose dopes"
    many words, limited insight in this section.

    the one interesting thought here is this: a man's ugliness can heighten her sense of being violated -- thus making sex with him *even more* exciting. i think this is true for some women. to other women, looks are simply not very high on their list of priorities (the actual, not the stated list). some say "i don't go for handsome".

    however, women also truthfully say: "there's nothing greater than sex with a beautiful man." this fits the sexy-son hypothesis.

    these factors coexist -- even in the same woman.

    practical conclusion: looks are a waste of time for a man to worry about. take a shower once in a while and wear clean clothes. otherwise focus on making her feel things.

    "the need for the thrill"
    i don't agree that women are not thrilled by fast cars and parachuting. sad but true: if you get them scared they will be attracted.

    "unraveling the secret"
    nin nailing it again.

    "criminals and the floozies that love them"
    the weininger quote is of historical interest. his politics are ridiculous and detestable. the mother-slut dichotomy is false. however, the underlying dimensions are important (provider-preferring, fucker-preferring). every woman is both and that's not evil. criminals are sexy for being violators: of the law as well as of her.

    "paying for sex"
    largely true. interesting thought: being paid *explicates* her desirability -- thus it turns her on.

    personal observation: i like to feel desired as well and would therefore never pay for sex. too bad for my girlfriends, i guess: no prostitution play for them.

    practical implication for pickup: paying satisfies her. if you pay before sex (e.g. dinner date) she will want sex less (she's already satisfied). seduction is to make sex the way for her to feel that she is desired -- deprive her of that feeling while being around her and she will need sex to prove that you want her. (she also enjoys the physical act -- but much more so if she feels the act takes her from castaway to center-stage object of your desire.)

    "not so secret secrets"
    some good thoughts here: “being dependent is a habit women choose because they can, and being independent is a habit into which men are thrust because they have no choice.” largely true -- even if the generalizations are a bit too sweeping in this section.

    “how to woo women”

    “rousing the beast that sleeps within”

    of course, rape is a terrible crime, which can destroy a woman’s life.

    but then a number of unwarranted claims follow:
    - feminists do not condone rape. is he thinking of andrea dworkin?
    - banal rape does not accompany liberalism.

    feminists do tend to deny the aspects of female sexuality that women like anais nin, nancy friday, and zoe margolis have written about.

    women are equal participants in their “violation”, yes. ideally, yes!

    i would even say that men do *not* desire to violate, they simply desire sex.

    male sexuality is all about the physical act with a physically beautiful woman. males only violate *in order to get* sex.

    female sexuality is primarily about being desired. the size of the obstacle overcome by the man is the measure of his desire. note: the fewer obstacles *society* places in his path to sex, the more *she* is motivated to place obstacle in his path to sex with her: because she needs to see him blast through the obstacles in order to feel desired. the final obstacle is her physical resistance.

    i don’t agree that pornography and promiscuity are abuses (and neither is prostitution). all three are valuable contributions to society.

    male predominant power is a myth, yes. see warren farrell’s seminal book “the myth of male power”.

    it does not follow from any of this that “we have a red light for the insanity that is liberalism”. that last conclusion is a non sequitur if you ask me.


  5. Thanks Stage 2.What struck me about the essay was how it meshed with what so many PUAs have independantly discovered about women.Before you think I'm some kind of sick pro-rape lunatic,the aspect of violation in sexual matters is what is most salient to me.The violation of mores traditions customs etc..NOT physical assault.Like you said being desired is just as important to some men,myself included,and sexual violence is for low down pathetic losers.

    Thanks again.

  6. the desire to be violated (psychologically and perhaps even physically) is naturally unsettling. it scared me quite a lot when i was first exposed to it.

    but to believe that women may have such desires is not to desire to be the violator. and to desire to be the violator is not to actually be the violator.

    i suspect that violence (whether targeting the woman herself or someone elst) is sexy to women.
    the reports on hybristophilia are quite shocking:

    these issues should be studied scientifically: for example using violent movies as stimuli during vaginal plethysmography.

    using penile and vaginal plethysmography, one could determine who responds more to rape scenes, men or women. it would be ideal to have matched male-abusing-female and female-abusing-male stimuli: a completely gender-symmetric study.

    from my personal experience, i can say that my fantasies have always been about having sex with beautiful women. power or force is not a central motif in them in either direction. if men are like this in general, then i suspect the female fantasy of being raped is much more common than the male fantasy of raping. i also suspect that the other two combinations: female fantasy of raping and male fantasy of being raped are rather uncommon.


  7. Stage two said

    "practical implication for pickup: paying satisfies her. if you pay before sex (e.g. dinner date) she will want sex less (she's already satisfied). seduction is to make sex the way for her to feel that she is desired -- deprive her of that feeling while being around her and she will need sex to prove that you want her. (she also enjoys the physical act -- but much more so if she feels the act takes her from castaway to center-stage object of your desire.)"

    This coincides with a post I made somewhere about cutting off sources of emotional/sexual satisfaction and approval for the woman.

    Once a man does that, the only way she can feel approved by him, or get satisfaction out of him will be sexuality.

    The thing is you do not need to insult the woman as much as you need to cut off positive, especially spoken, feedback to the woman.

    Compliments: emotional satisfaction
    Show of desire: sexual satisfaction

    I do not know how to explain this, but the upper two are examples.

    you take them away from the woman, and at the same time get her interested, you will have a nymphomaniac in your hands.

    For every compliment she has not gotten, you'll get laid. For every free show of desire she has not gotten, you'll get laid.

    This is very similar to the functioning of negging, C&F, teasing, and such.

    I will come back once I formulate that better.

    Oh, and someone may call that evil, or manipulative.

    Well, we are not dealing with fair playing innocent angels, are we?

  8. i do the mute on/off thing when assessing nonverbal cues as well. it's important to see/detect the underlying behavior/mannerisms, then examine its pairing with speech and tonality, and last but not least, the actual diction/words. great post.

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