Male ‘pickup artists’ have been doing it for decades. Why couldn’t I?

By Rebecca Andrews

“I went on a date with a real-life Hitch!” my friend Lisa shouted in my ear, splashing champagne on my dress. “I totally fell for him but then found out what he did for a job. I felt like the biggest idiot!”

We were at on the dance floor and 11/10 drunk.

“Dude, you went out with a dating guru? GIVE ME HIS DEETS!” I shouted back. And she did, by way of Instagram handle.

The following morning I Insta-duced myself as “Lisa’s friend who needs your dating advice.”

What for? I like to partake in dating experiments and the night Lisa spilled champagne on me, I’d decided I wanted to try “Negative Dating

What is negging?

Negative dating — also known as ‘negging’ or “The Neg” — is a form of emotional manipulation that uses insults or backhanded compliments to put women on the back foot, make her feel unwanted thus fueling her to seek the neggers approval.

  • “You’re pretty, for an Asian”
  • “You remind me of my little sister. Cool”
  • “Shame that dress shrunk. It’s really nice”

It sounds mean, extremely immature, and in truth, it’s really unattractive. So why does it ever work on women?

According to Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler (friend of Freud), the main motives of human behavior are superiority and power, partly in compensation for feelings of inferiority — meaning we want people to believe we are great, and also to tell us so.

Thanks to Neil Strauss’s book The Game, in which he wrote about his experience infiltrating a group of pick-up artists (also known as PUAs) and exposed their dating techniques, there is loads of information on the topic: how to neg a woman, what you can say, how to bring her down a notch with just a few phrases … but, I couldn’t see anything written by women about how to neg men.

Would it work if I put my thing down, flipped it and reversed it?

The expert’s advice

Lisa’s ex Madison had been working for four years as a consultant for Real Social Dynamics, the international ‘leaders’ in dating advice for men. Charging up to $2000 for IRL sessions, and coaching over ten thousand guys, he was technically a dating expert.

But one technique he does not advise on is negging.

“It’s a very old and basic technique. No one really does it anymore,” he said to me over the phone. “But it’s still effective emotionally. Essentially it is playing hard to get, a seduction idea that has been around forever, preying on low self-esteem.”

I needed to know from Madison the key things men think about before they go on a date, i.e., weaknesses I could hone in on.

Here’s his advice:

  • Presentation: their hair, clothes, body, style, i.e., is he attractive?
  • Situation: ability to organize a cool date and afford the night out, i.e., can he provide?
  • Social hierarchy: where he ranks in his group, i.e., men are all primates still.

His final tip: “Use the words ‘real man.’ If you throw something about what a ‘real man’ would do in a situation, or that your ex was a ‘real man’, he will freak.”

So, now that I knew where to aim, I was ready to neg.

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