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Feature: Playing Games
Posted by Cashmere on Sunday, January 25, 2004 - 06:19 AM PST

Smut
Sometime last year, the Discovery Channel aired a show on sexual predation. While they made a specific reference to pickup artists (they even followed one around to watch him work) they never really went in to how it was done, or how it can be prevented. They aired it a couple of days during sex week, and I never saw it again. Now there are entire books, tapes, and websites dedicated to helping men prey upon the insecurities of women they meet, but there is startlingly little that women know about what really goes on.
A big part of preventing this type of sexual hunting is realizing that it merely consists of a series of phases. Knowing that the psychological manipulation is a formula can help; by acknowledging a formula it is easier to separate from a person. It takes less energy and consideration to refuse an equation than someone you just met.


The opening contact is carefully contrived to appear innocent. This can include a greeting and then leaving so he is no longer labeled a “stranger.” Here he finds out if she will even be receptive to advances made later. If not, it appears like there was little or no thought placed into the gesture and he can try someone else without being noticed. The opening can be as simple as “Hi.” A standard greeting is not noticeable in and of itself, and it provides a familiarity that is socially acceptable and non threatening. Asking a question about the environment, like “Having fun?” both encourages conversation and forces the girl to volunteer information in an innocent sounding way.

Because he wants to be seen as a friendly guy, the man then initiates casual conversation. Starting dialog about the immediate environment, like if the girl is enjoying the music/whatever is around them allows him be interested in a non threatening way. During this he studies her movements, her speech patterns, even the senses to which she responds. He looks for unusual words she frequently uses and slips them into his own vocabulary. She then believes he has a similar thought process. By mimicking her language and movements he makes her more receptive on a subconscious level. Since the deception is passive, it goes undetected.

He will then lead her towards exposing her values. Public places with lots of extra stimulation make it more difficult to remember specific dialog, so he encourages her towards volunteering information about herself. He guides her to tell him exactly how she wants to feel. While other information may be helpful, his goal is to learn her desired states. He can safely introduce physical contact in this phase, generally on the hands and lower arms. The response to his touch can help determine if she will be receptive to sexual contact.

The pickup artist verbally mirrors her to make the two of them seem more similar. This can be as simple as mentioning a favorite band or expressing interest in an organization she likes. It can also be as subtle as talking about how things look, feel, or sound depending on the sense to which she responds most. He uses unusual phrases that he noticed her using during casual conversation. She may notice this normally, but the content of the conversation distracts her. By rearranging her words he makes her feel understood. She now feels that he is “her kind of person.”

Asking if she wants to sit down or find someplace quiet is a way the man can offer isolation. Once it has been established that they are kindred spirits this action seems natural, and does not arouse suspicion. He will find a place as isolated as she will allow: it is easier to cloud her judgment the more intimate she feels. This may be done more than once.

Once he has a girl successfully alone he reframes the situation. If she places value on safety, he might say “You are safe with me.” If she must know a person for a while before getting intimate, he might say “It feels like we have known each other forever.” Physical and/or verbal reassurances during this phase lull her into feeling secure. He does not suggest or even imply sex. Instead, with distinct considerations or other behavior, he acts as if they were already sexually intimate. By doing this he ensures that she will not become alarmed in later parts of his plan. He makes it so that a sexual situation with him would not be a bad idea, regardless of her normal behavior.

When she feels secure he can begin to raise arousal levels. He uses what he learned when exposing her values to bring her into a daydream-like state of emotional arousal. He may ask her to reminisce about something. Memories are interpreted as thoughts but deal more with emotions and experience. He may tell her a story that makes her visualize imagery she has linked to her desired states. He may even take a nonverbal approach by kissing, touching or even dancing. The point of raising her arousal is keeping her feeling instead of thinking. If she is feeling her excitement, she is not thinking about what is actually happening. To avoid alarm he focuses on more emotional arousal first. As her body temperature rises and he returns to this phase, the stimulation from him can become more and more sexual.

He anchors all her positive emotions to himself each time he raises her arousal. If she was happy, a remark or gesture will link him to that happiness. It expands beyond the world he fabricates to include the excitement of dancing, the apple she ate before leaving, anything that gives her satisfaction. He attaches himself to emotional arousal first: by doing this he avoids alarm. Attaching himself to positive emotions can be very subtle, especially in the beginning. During more sexual phases he can ask for a detailed description of an encounter she wants followed by an inviting phrase that invariably brings the thought of that encounter with him. She will desire him more and more each time he anchors her arousal. All he needs to do then is repeat the cycle and make sure she does not leave her daydreaming state.

Closing usually happens when girl’s arousal level is high enough or when the meeting place is shutting down. They can decide to stay together, in which case sex is assured. If that is not possible he asks for her contact information (he may request it during an earlier phase, but that is not always possible or to his best interests). He never gives his information without receiving the girl’s, since it leaves contact at his discretion. If he knows when he will see her again, he can do a “kiss close” since obtaining contact information is no longer necessary.

He always waits before getting in touch. The girl’s imagination will be perfecting him in the time following their contact. Since he is associated with positive emotions, every time she is happy she will think of him. By waiting he is making himself more ideal. When he does contact her he resumes verbal mirroring, making sure to address the things to which she responded favorably. He usually brings up something important that he learned while exposing her values. He does this to seem interested, and to reestablish the closeness she feels with him. At that point she may volunteer when she is next available, so that further contact is “her idea.”


In addition to the phases, certain behavioral patterns are used to make a target feel more comfortable. Not all of them are present at all times, and they themselves are not the underlying pattern. The pattern explicit in the phases gives each action meaning and direction, which is necessary in order for any of them to work. They may, however, be a good indicator that something else is going on.

Non threatening physical contact is very important. A pickup artist will begin touching as soon as possible, and increase the contact as soon and as often as possible. Touches on the hand, cradling it in both of his, gives a sense of intimacy while still allowing an escape.

Body Language sets a degree of familiarity, and is made to pass completely under the conscious mind. Leaning forward during a sitting conversation passes off as interest in the person, and the implications of that are not considered. It makes the physical contact less noticeable. Focussing on a small feature of the face enlarges the pupil, a base biological reaction to something pleasant. The subconscious picks up on this, and in turn makes the girl more comfortable. This gives the impression of gazing into both eyes, but also is a form of staring. If a person is gazing for a long time without blinking, then they are concentrating on looking.




Now after reading this, ask yourself how you feel about it. Can this happen to you? Regardless of your answer, you may already be a target.






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Playing Games | Login/Create an account | 28 Comments
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Re: Playing Games
by pandoras_choice (-)
on Jan 25, 2004 - 06:42 AM
(User info | Send a Message) http://none
That is positively horrifying! It certainly makes me think... You know what? I think I know at least one guy who does this... That's creepy. Thanks for the warning! I'll keep my eyes peeled and be a little more cautious from now on!


Re: Playing Games
by callei on Jan 25, 2004 - 08:16 AM
(User info | Send a Message) http://http://
Another way to spot them is that they are not with a group of friends. They operate alone and seem to be "at home" where they are: friendly seeming with the bartenders, doormen, waistaff, attendants, etc. This adds to the unconcious "safe" feeling that they are trying to get across.
And can i just add that you can ask them questions. Dont wait for them to ask you. Ask things that are personal and off the wall if you think you are being conned. Ask about thier mom, their friends, thier grades, anything. And LISTEN to what they tell you. Is it too good to be true? Do they keep saying "enough about me lets talk about you?" do they hesitate alot?

The most important things to remember about these people (both men and women do this) is that they are usually very bad in bed, dont want to have safe sex, and like to have all kinds of drama. That is why they have to sneak to get laid. They are selling an inferior product and they know it.


Re: Playing Games
by Rogue (Rogue@skew.org)
on Jan 25, 2004 - 09:39 AM
(User info | Send a Message)
Interestingly enough, these techniques are not too dissimilar from those found in NLP or Anthony Robbins' techniques for "establishing rapport" in the seemingly innocent context of making friends. I was always struck funny by this because it seemed like putting forth a false image to get more people to like you, or rather the image of you, but I never considered the implications you have outlined here. Good work.


Re: Playing Games
by Anya on Jan 25, 2004 - 09:52 AM
(User info | Send a Message) http://kirashi.envy.nu
Thanks for sharing this article. It was an enlightening read. There are many girls out there that could be susceptible (spelling?) to sexual predators that're unaware of what they could lead to. Some of them are just too obvious, but you spot out the ones that're difficult to point out.

Other things that I would suggest though is knowing the casual bit of self-defense...just in case the rejection doesn't turn out well. There are SOME men who will want control of the situation. Keys, pepper sprays, etc.

And as they always say, if the guy really likes you, he is willing to wait and even go protected.


Re: Playing Games
by Devin (devin-at-vibechild-dot-com)
on Jan 25, 2004 - 10:33 AM
(User info | Send a Message) http://devin.vibechild.com/
Just because they are not alone doesn't mean they are not diong this. Sometimes they go out with a "wingman". Someone who knows what they're doing, and is doing it too, and who they can play off of well to get better results. This makes it easier for them to approach groups of girls, and offers "social proof" that the guy is liked by others. It's true that they don't go out with a group of friends, but if they are there with another person who is behaving similarly, you can spot that. Since it's much easier to spot these things when they're happening to other people - try watching what his friend is doing with your friends. If his friend is doing it, chances are good that he's doing it too.

They expect you to ask questions. They call them "shit tests". If they are doing it on purpose, they will NOT be caught off guard by this. I think the trick to questions is to ask them stuff that nobody has ever asked them, which they can't weasel their way out of. Then listen the way callei said.

And callei NAILED the bad in bed part. A lot of these techniques are used in other contexts by salesmen. If a salesman has something you want, you will come get it. He doesn't have to put any effort into tricking you into liking him. If these boys were good in bed, they would probably be there with a girl.


Re: Playing Games
by feralucce (Iwouldliketokillyou@gofuckyourself.com)
on Jan 25, 2004 - 02:28 PM
(User info | Send a Message) http://feralucce.webhostingpal.com/
well... honestly... there is a great way to avoid this... get to know someone first.... a true predator, like a shoplifter, will fly off at the first sign of customer service...


Re: Playing Games
by Psychopixi (psyche.at.psychopixi.dot.com)
on Jan 25, 2004 - 03:00 PM
(User info | Send a Message) http://psychopixi.com
These guys are rather handy in some cases though, especially for getting drinks in, or for making other gals jealous. When you've got what you want, you can just leave - without giving your number.

I would feel guilty for using them, but in the end they deserve it.


Re: Playing Games
by MystryssRavynDarque (A1Mandi04@aol.com)
on Jan 26, 2004 - 09:17 AM
(User info | Send a Message) http://kauai.vibechild.com/~amanda/
Sadly, for the first time, this happened to me. I went to a club here last Monday, where this whole scenario was played out, with me being the victim to the icky crime. I have certainly learned a lot through this.


Re: Playing Games
by BlueLinn (avilinn@yahoo.com)
on Jan 28, 2004 - 07:11 AM
(User info | Send a Message) http://www.geocities.com/avilinn/index.html
well, a guy once said I looked like his dead friend who died in a car wreck a year ago... :l


Re: Playing Games
by Zander (zandriod@aagothic.net)
on Feb 01, 2004 - 06:35 PM
(User info | Send a Message) http://www.angelsofdeception.com
from what I understand it seems as if a relationship with an nlp'r wouldn't last that long.
espeicially if your only tricked into lovong people.
but just because people are alike doesn't nessaccarily meen they'r manipulating each other.
still I wouldn't want to fall in love with some one who wasn't in love with me back.


Re: Playing Games
by peatski (adam@madeira.plus.com)
on Apr 18, 2004 - 12:46 PM
(User info | Send a Message)
This could be a predator or an over sly fox, unfortunately... deviousness is usually evil but not always...


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