A member on the forum posted a link yesterday to a fascinating (and rather large) study done by computational neuroscientists on evaluating porn watching habits on the internet and drawing conclusions about human sexuality from it. The study was massive and analyzed over 400 million unique porn viewings. The whole article is fascinating, but one section stuck out to me in particular (my italics):

Q: Why do women prefer stories and men prefer visuals? A: There are two reasons. Both come down to fundamental differences between the male sexual brain and the female sexual brain. One of the most basic differences is that the male brain responds to any single sexual stimulus. A nice chest, two girls kissing, older women — if that’s what they’re attracted to. Any one thing will trigger arousal in a male.

Female desire requires multiple stimuli simultaneously or in quick succession.

It takes more stimuli and more variety of these stimuli to trigger genuine arousal. For a guy, the most common form [of masturbation material] is a 60-second porn clip.

For a woman, it can be a 250-page novel or a 2,000-word story. That’s the way to get multiple stimuli. Stories have greater flexibility to offer a greater variety of stimuli. In male erotica, sex appears in the first one-quarter of the story [or film]. For women, it’s halfway in. There’s more time to develop the character before sex.

Q: How else does male and female sexuality differ?
A: Another fundamental difference between men and women — perhaps the most important defining difference — is that in the male brain, physical and psychological arousal are united. If a man is physically turned on, he’s mentally turned on too. With women, physical arousal and mental arousal are separate. [Research finds that women get physically aroused sometimes even when they find the situation disgusting.] The female brain is designed to be cautious, most likely because historically the woman who slept with the first guy she met might have a harder time raising children; he might not stick around. Women are designed to be cautious and gather more information. That’s why fan fiction is all about exploring the emotions and character of the hero. In romance novels, the heroine learns about the secret inner life of the hero. … The emotional process of revealing true character is what’s so appealing to women.

This is something that I’ve been harping on for a few years now — and as far as I know, I’m completely alone in the industry on this — but it’s nice to see scientific research backing it up. Regular readers will have heard me say it a million times now: seduction is an emotional process; not a verbal process or even a physical process. The verbal and physical aspects of seduction are merely side effects and vehicles to perpetuate the emotional process.

As the scientist above points out, the idea that seduction is a one-and-done wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am procedure is male sexuality projected onto female behavior. The idea that you can walk up, and hit “attraction switches” by telling a story or two and then “babysit” her until she’s ready to go home and fuck you is a pipe-dream, and usually only true in a very small minority of women or women when they’re very drunk.

In fact, most men find out the hard way that the opposite is true. It’s quite easy to walk up to a woman and spark her interest for a few minutes. What’s hard is maintaining that spark and chemistry for 10 minutes, one hour, or 10 hours. Attraction is an ongoing process. And what really drives her arousal isn’t your clever one-liners, or the fact that you got her talking about the fact that she likes to cook (who cares, really?) — it’s the mutual unraveling of true character and demonstration of vulnerability.

I think one reason the whole “Seduction is an emotional process,” hasn’t stuck is because unlike conversations or physical escalation, it’s very difficult to map out how the emotional process plays out. I’m hoping to do this in the next few months and actually provide guys effective ways of learning how to open themselves up to this emotional process more. I think the key is vulnerability.

I know that word probably makes half of you cringe and think, “OMG, beta.” But I’m serious. The more I work with guys, the more convinced I am that the inability to make ourselves vulnerable to create this emotional process really is the root of what we’re all here for. If I can nail down a way to guide guys through that, then I think it will (hopefully) open up a new paradigm in the industry. Or to put it more bluntly… I think once you guys get it, you’ll all agree that it’s some next-level shit.

I did a podcast interview yesterday and we got onto the subject of dominance and attraction. Dominance has always been kind of this murky concept in pick up theory and dating advice and most guys don’t have a strong grasp on it or aren’t completely sure how to exude it. “Dominant behavior” to them usually comes out as some amalgamation of making fun of people, being purposely self-centered, violent burping and unnecessary yelling. No one in the industry has yet developed a clear how-to for dominance and as a result we get a lot of insecure guys misinterpreting evolutionary ideas and horribly butchering the alpha male.

I said in the interview that I’ve come to the position (partly through experience; partly through reading a shitload of psychological research) that dominance is actually inextricably linked to vulnerability. It’s counter-intuitive, and I believe that classic PUA theory literally has it 100% backwards from the truth.

Dominance (or strength, or confidence, or whatever you want to call it) isn’t hiding your faults or your mistakes. Dominance is being comfortable with your faults and mistakes. Think about it… what do you think when you think about a “dominant” person? Someone who is pro-active, who sticks his neck out, who let’s his opinion be known, someone who doesn’t apologize for who he is. These are all acts of vulnerability.

What is approaching aggressively? It’s an act of vulnerability. After all, you know you’re going to get rejected often. What is escalating aggressively? It’s an act of vulnerability. You’re showing your desires and intentions and opening yourself up to be rebuked. A person who is dominant is comfortable with their vulnerability. I was going to save this concept, and indeed it’s literally the cornerstone of my upcoming book (which will hopefully be complete within a couple weeks and will hopefully be marketed to a mainstream audience). But I’ve been unable to keep the ideas from leaking out a bit and this study reminded me of it. So there it is. Stay tuned…

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44 Responses to Dominance and Vulnerability

  1. gmorocco says:

    Wow! Amazing post. The last part really made a huge connection for me. The funny thing is that when I taught to a group, I had a very similar concept when it came to body language. I realized that most confident body language comes down to being ok with exposure and vulnerability. I.e talking fast, walking fast, speaking too low, standing in fig leaf position, putting hands in pockets, lowering our necks, etc are all ways that we protect ourselves. The reason most open or slow postures look confident is because we are unprotected. I’ve just never thought about it to that extent (i.e. applying it to all dominance). Its a very freeing way of thinking about it

  2. Kenji says:

    Seriously good stuff. A lot of community teachings are indeed “vulnerability-averse” – and for good reason. Vulnerability is so easy to get wrong both in execution (contrived “alpha males” pretending it doesn’t exist by eliminating vulnerable behaviors) and motivation (“nice guys” unknowingly playing the vulnerability card to maybe hopefully one day perhaps get that girl).

    Awesome take on how vulnerability and dominance are sort of holons of each other.
    Defo interested to see where this is going, and a very well-articulated article man.

    Best,

    -Kenj

  3. Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt says:

    You know, I saw you remark on your forum the other day about the misunderstanding of vulnerability, and how you saw a post coming.

    I couldn’t fall asleep last night because I stayed up tossing and turning in bed, thinking about vulnerability, what that meant, and it’s impact on pick-up and relationships and it made a lot of sense to me.

    I made a couple connections that I thought I’d share.

    1. Why are women attracted to musicians, actors, quarterbacks, etc.? Ok, so money, good looks, and fame are often connected with those things – but also think of the emotion going through a girl’s head when she’s watching a man she loves on stage performing, competing or putting on a show with tons of people watching. He’s putting himself completely on-the-line, vulnerable, being judged by a massive crowd of people who are waiting to either watch him prevail or fail – compacted into an hour-and-a-half show. Talk about an emotional rush.

    2. Long lasting relationships. How do you keep a relationship interesting after 5, 10, 15 years? Especially if vulnerability is the corner stone of a lasting relationship. By 10 years into a relationship, a women knows everything about you; your trials, tribulations, successes and failures. You no longer have anything to reveal to her. So where’s the fun? The fun is in creating new vulnerabilities together. The fun is when you and your women take on a new endeavor and set a new goal in which the two of you can succeed or fail, together. I’ve never been in that long of a relationship – so I’m purely theorizing – but in my mind, I see it as a situation where you get to be your woman’s hero, and she gets to be your support and cheerleader as you experience a vulnerability together. Maybe that’s misogynistic, or even possibly overly-romantic. I dunno. Just a thought.

    • Mark says:

      Absolutely agree with both.

      And think about it this way… if you can’t be comfortable with your own problems and flaws, how is she ever going to feel like you’ll be comfortable with hers?

  4. hilanoga says:

    Regarding the emotional part – I’m sorry, but duh :)

    I’ve always said that the best pick-up experience (for me) is when I feel like I found a new friend for one night. I like to feel like the other person enjoys spending time with me, regardless of the fact that I have a pussy. I like to know that we can hold an interesting conversation for more than half a second and that we care for and respect each other enough to want both of us to have good time while keeping our boundaries.

    We don’t have to want to spend the rest of our lives together (or even the morning, my god, I’m not a morning person), but I generally prefer that the people I fuck will be the kind of people I will be glad to meet on the street a couple of months later and say hi.

    One of the things that bother me with pick up methods is the way so many of them are built to imitate these things. I just don’t understand why for the average PUA women are means to their pussies, and not people he can genuinely enjoy spending an hour with before fucking without all the pretence.

    I think that this last point was missing from your article. The last thing we need is men figuring ways to DHV (Display Heartbreaking Vulnerability) as part of their ESR (Emotional Seduction Routine) or some kind of shit PUA acronym like that. Emotions are about human beings communicating with other human beings, and vulnerability is just a small part of that. When men stop thinking about pick up as going to war and start enjoying the company, the “emotional seduction” will follow.

    • Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt says:

      Hil – totally agree with you.

      In response to your first comment “Regarding the emotional part – I’m sorry, but duh” – haha, this shit might be intuitive for you…but you gotta remember, men are emotional retards. We’re born with an instinctive understanding and penchant for hunting, killing, competing, figuring out how mechanical shit works, and blah, blah, blah (insert lay understanding of evolutionary biology here). I’m not saying all men are this way, or all women are that way – but it’s definitely a general trend. It’s no coincidence that 99% of the men you meet are scumbags just trying to get into your pants, and seem to have the emotional intelligence of a rock – just like it’s no coincidence if you show a baby boy a picture of a fire-engine or a face, he’ll tend to look at the fire engine, while a baby girl will tend to look at the face. It’s not like we understand the emotion and just choose to ignore it. We just have different wiring. So cut us a little slack ;)

      As to your second comment on this understanding becoming another gimmick in the “pick-up-artist” tool-kit. I definitely understand your concern, and agree with you that using this understanding in such a manipulative way would be disgusting and hurtful. But I don’t think that’s what Mark’s all about. I think if you read Mark’s stuff for long enough, you can see that he is genuinely trying to help guys get a better emotional understanding of the world and of themselves – and through that process develop confidence, desire, and genuine compassion for females – and that method inevitably leads to getting girls in the most constructive, positive, healthy way possible.

      • hilanoga says:

        Actually, I can relate to the way men think. I am an awful emotional retard myself (even my male friends tell me that), and I’ve been in a very similar situation a couple of years back, so I understand completely why men are drawn to pick up theory.

        This is exactly the reason I can’t stand these theories. I know too much about the kind of mindset you need to be in to seek them.

    • Mark says:

      This is one of those things that I imagine to any woman (or any well-adjusted man) it sounds like common sense… but the PUA community is basically a self-help community in disguise for men who are horribly out of touch with their feelings and sexuality. That’s WHY they’re drawn to pick up techniques — they’re basically trying to find a way to connect with women without actually having to open themselves up to an emotional connection.

      Of course most of us don’t realize this until much later (if ever).

      And yes, the second vulnerability becomes a “technique,” then it’s power goes right out the window. But I would hope you’d have enough faith in me by now to assume that I know better than to fall into that trap.

      And if you don’t, perhaps read this to understand where I’m coming from better: http://www.practicalpickup.com/pickup-artist

  5. Kevin says:

    If the podcast you did the interview for is up already, could you post a link to it?

  6. JoeMac says:

    I’ve observed that its very important to either 1) get the other person to trust you, or 2)have them discover that you trust them. People change once one of those things occur to them. Some examples,

    1) One of you sharing a secret to the other
    2) Doing the smallest of smallest little favors
    3) Telling them something personal that you don’t share with people
    4) Telling them a dirty joke
    5) Telling them or showing them something special that you’re into, even if its super nerdy, awkward, etc. (within reason)
    6) saying something embarrassing about yourself
    7) The most effective thing I’ve discovered,a straight in their face, 90% of people respond positively even if they’re total strangers, “Hey, can we skip the chit chat and me ask you a personal question. Its totally fine if you feel uncomfortable answers.” People, no matter who they are, spill their guts to you if you go about it that way. When they ask ‘Why do you want to know this?” I respond with “I’m genuinely interested in you and am curious. But if you’re uncomfortable, its totally cool” I cant explain it, people, no matter who they are, spill their soul to you.

  7. JCZ says:

    Wow, to me, this blog post really stands out – boy, do I recognize this! The fun thing is, I quickly found out that becoming a ‘PUA’ wasn’t anything for me. In fact, I find myself not focusing on that stuff at all at the moment. But during the past few years I did invest time in it.

    And now that I am more able to meet and connect with women, I find myself being confronted with my vulnerability all the time… Which feels uncomfortable at times, but then, for the first time in like seven years I’ve fallen in love again (probably in vain, but time will tell). Thought I lost the ability. But investing in the whole ‘picking up girls’ think did enable me to show my vulnerable sides again.

  8. Peter Phoenix says:

    Hi Mark, love all your writings. Here are my thoughts:

    - Dominance and vulnerability must have a balance, within yourself and in relation to the girl you are interacting with. Too much dominance and it seems like you are a closed off asshole, too much vulnerability and you seem like a pussy.

    - Vulnerability must come from a place of strength. You cannot share your weaknesses and secrets to a girl hoping that she will feel sorry for you. You share because you trust her and decide that it is time that she knows a little more about you.

    - Vulnerability creates reciprocity. I opened up a little bit emotionally to my girlfriend and it tore down a few of the walls she had. She said she had never opened up to guy fully. Also leads to really great sex.

    Great article: http://roissy.wordpress.com/2009/01/29/vulnerability-game/

    Read the bit where he talks about soft dominance: http://krauserpua.com/2010/12/21/calling-in-more-expert-help-he-man-meets-skeletor-part-two/

  9. Mark says:

    I disagree that there’s any balance. They’re the same thing. What changes is your intention. If you open up looking for sympathy and for her to “save” you, then that’s going to come off needy and unattractive (although some low self-esteem girls are into guys like this). If you open up and share yourself as a means to connect with her, then she’s going to love it.

    There’s no balance, only intention.

    And hate to say it, but disagree strongly with those articles. The Roissy one is pure manipulation and not actual vulnerability (only the appearance of vulnerability). Roissy’s obviously a very smart guy and obviously gets laid. But the more of his stuff I read, the more I think he’s a pretty sick individual.

    The krauser one I guess has the right idea, but it’s dressed up in all of this ridiculous language about how women need a castle and safety and all this nonsense.

    Women just want to know you, the real you. And when you show the real you without inhibitions, that turns them on. That’s it, really.

    • Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt says:

      To put it crudely, and just re-say what I think Mark was saying in different words

      - attractive vulnerability = vulnerability + confidence

      - Unattractive vulnerability = vulnerability without confidence

      In the first one, you come off as comfortable with your vulnerabilities. Everyone has vulnerabilities, but having confidence WHILE being vulnerable really stands out to women because it sub-communicates sooooo much. For one, it makes you seem like someone who has conquered your weaknesses. Or at least you’re at a level where you have a good enough understanding of your weakness to work on them successfully. Furthermore, it shows that you’re someone who confronts fears and challenges head on. The only way to develop confidence in a situation that scares you is, obviously, to confront that fear – so in a way, you’re showing a woman that you’re someone who takes on the world on as opposed to being intimidated by the world.

      In the second, if you don’t have confidence while being vulnerable, you come off as needy. You are someone who is either too scared to take on his vulnerabilities, or you’re someone who has tried, failed, and been too hurt by that failure to try again. Thus, as Mark said, it comes off like you’re “reaching out for help.” Men who desperately seek help from anyone who will listen are not leaders, and all pua’s know that women are attracted to leaders ;)

      In conclusion, I gotta get out more.

    • Jimmy says:

      “And hate to say it, but disagree strongly with those articles. The Roissy one is pure manipulation and not actual vulnerability (only the appearance of vulnerability). Roissy’s obviously a very smart guy and obviously gets laid. But the more of his stuff I read, the more I think he’s a pretty sick individual. ”

      Besides this and a lair which I browse, Roissy is all that I read. For some reason, what he says and how he goes about saying it jives with me completely – maybe this indicates I’m a sick individual, too. I’ve heard of certain writers attracting certain audiences…lol

      • Mark says:

        Roissy is logical and pragmatic. But he’s also incredibly misogynistic. In my mind, anyone who tries to argue that relationships are a waste of time for purely economic reasons and with loose references to (incorrect) evolutionary psychology, seeing the world in black/white — or ahem, in alpha/beta — that’s a sad and angry person.

        He’s a great resource if you want lots of casual sex, and don’t really mind cutting some ethical corners to get it. But his advice will absolutely dismantle any opportunity for a healthy relationship with a woman.

        • Matt says:

          “loose references to (incorrect) evolutionary psychology”

          I want at least one concrete example of this. Most of the time he uses research in order to back his assumptions.

  10. Peter Phoenix says:

    Is it possible to over-do vulnerability?

    I think if you share too much at once a girl can feel too much responsibility and it can freak her out. Baby steps.

    • Mark says:

      Yeah, you can. But I think you’re referring to vulnerability (as well as those articles) by a more conventional definition. I see it as something more…

      I think I’m talking about it in a broader, more general sense. For instance, taking a girl by the hand and leading her to another venue is a form of vulnerability, because you’re opening yourself up to her not following you. Guys who are afraid of their vulnerability will never get up and move a girl like that… they’ll just sit there and chat her ear off about the weather or something.

      Like I said, it’s a topic I’m going to go into depth much further. But thanks for the comments like this. This is the problem with getting into the emotional process of things, because these words like vulnerability, dominance, masculinity, leading, etc. mean so many different things to so many different people. So stuff like this helps me to define it more clearly.

      • Peter Phoenix says:

        I start to see where you’re coming from.

        To me, taking a girl by the hand to another venue is more about leading and NOT being a pussy, I don’t feel vulnerable at all, it’s more about taking a risk. The way I’ve been educated in this sort of stuff reads more like: If she doesn’t want to go somewhere else she: doesn’t like you that much/it’s too early/doesn’t want to leave her friends.

        • Mark says:

          So what’s the difference between taking a risk by leading her to another venue and taking a risk telling her about your grandmother dying?

          I’m wondering where “vulnerability” starts and “not being a pussy” ends here… because to me they look like the same thing. You’re expressing yourself and your desires. And she can take it or leave it.

          • B Man says:

            Taking a risk, by definition, = being vulnerable. You not feeling it doesn’t mean she doesn’t notice it. I think your post is a good example of the “confident vulnerability” Brett mentions above.

  11. Pushit says:

    You could have summed up your definition of dominance with “If you’re going to dish it out, you need to be able to take it.”…or for the christians “Do unto others as you would like done unto you.”

    I literally spent months at a time, and overall YEARS teaching myself to take it because I came from a very sensitive mother. It wasn’t until I got used to taking shit that I finally became able to tease and neg. Before that all my pickup convos had a serious tone to them. Once I could ‘take a punch’ so to speak, I became less serious and worried because I wasn’t afraid of girls making fun of my skinny wrists, thinning hair, inappropriate jokes etc.

    People don’t like Rocky because he’s a skilled fighter, they love him cus he takes a punch and keeps on going.

    • Mark says:

      “People don’t like Rocky because he’s a skilled fighter, they love him cus he takes a punch and keeps on going.”

      Very true… it’s a universal human trait that we’re all attracted to.

  12. unsexyMF says:

    This vulnerability stuff is what Lance Mason was talking about in one of his Pickup 101 videos from a couple years ago. He was telling a story about his dead dog and bawling his eyes out as a way to connect with women from the standpoint of vulnerability. Lance is one of the more empathetic “PUAs” I think, in part, because he’s a California guy. Even though Lance was a bit ahead of the curve on that point, I’m still not crazy about the idea of rehearsing emotional stories just to get women into bed.

    • Mark says:

      Yeah, me neither.

      In the past, the PUA community has covered vulnerability (look up Captain Jack’s “heartmelters” sometime if you want a laugh) purely in the context of, “if you say stuff like this, she’ll get all teary-eyed and want to fuck even sooner.”

      That’s not the context in which I’m talking about here. In fact, that’s more or less the polar opposite of where I’m going with this.

  13. Jimmy says:

    “But I’m serious. The more I coach, the more convinced I am that the inability to make ourselves vulnerable to create this emotional process really is the root of what we’re all here for. If I can nail down a way to guide guys through that, then I think it will (hopefully) open up a new paradigm in the industry. Or to put it more bluntly… I think once you guys get it, you’ll all agree that it’s some next-level shit. ”

    Oh my god, I think I’ve been lingering on that but couldn’t verbalize quite as good as you had put it together, as it is above.

    I’ve observed that the more vulnerable I let myself be, the less I care about how people perceive me (and it could just be me…) but I’m almost met by disdain from my close friends from high school (who all I assume are emotionally stunted). It’s almost like there’s a constant need of them needing to put down one another, that I think I participated more in before. Not even jokingly sometimes so much as it is compensatory.

    And this kind of corresponds with a notion in my head that, “Life is all projections” – all we have and all we can work with is our internal world. Our lives are subjective, and what others say need to be interpreted for comprehension. So if we allow ourselves to be more emotionally vulnerable, we can communicate with others in that manner. If we weren’t, that idea of ‘being vulnerable’ may not come up, or we’d be so fearful of it that it’d be avoided altogether.

  14. Mark says:

    “I’ve observed that the more vulnerable I let myself be, the less I care about how people perceive me…”

    Yes! This is exactly what I’m getting at. And the less you care about how people perceive you, the more attractive you become.

  15. A guy says:

    Might that be, what women think of, when they say: “Just be yourself.”

  16. Nicholas says:

    This article and the comments resonated well with me – thanks, good stuff. I liked Pushit’s Rocky analogy, too.

    There is this connotative association of vulnerability with weakness, but as used here and now it is the opposite, I think. The opposite of vulnerability is to seal off the parts of you that you believe are too weak and therefore subject to injury. But vulnerability, as used here, says, “Here I am for better or worse, and I know I am strong wnough to handle whatever comes my way.”

    Look forward to your new book.

  17. Kiko says:

    I’ve been thinking A LOT about all of this stuff in the last months and i agree with most of the stuff here, i’m really grateful for reading this as sometimes i started feeling like i was going mad for thinking in such a totally different way than most men in my social circle (and even society in general) think. I really do believe now that it all boils down to starting really being yourself (like a poster above said), doing what you feel like doing, saying what you feel like saying. To really grow you must come in touch with your real emotions and that is a very hard process as i believe that a necessary step is dealing with a lot of emotional baggage (maybe not everything but most of it), stuff that emotionally scared you in adolescence and maybe even in childhood that at first sight might not even be so important. In perspective i think that this is the REAL self-help.
    And thank you for this blog, really, its amazing because of posts like these, it’s real

  18. Leo says:

    If seduction is AN EMOTIONAL PROCESS why physical escalation is so encouraged in the community? I know you have to avoid the friend zone ASAP but sometimes escalating aggressevily has back fired to me. In some cases I can tell that women wnat me to get to know them better little by little and when I escalate aggressively they get disapointed and run away. In other cases being aggressive has helped me a lot. I think it boils down to calibration, testing the waters, knowing when to advance and when you have to back up, but keeping the interaction going forward.

    • Ethan says:

      As has been mentioned here above, physically escalating IS making yourself vulnerable. Do you ever feel sparks or adrenaline as you begin to make a move on a woman? Those are feelings of putting yourself out there, defenseless. There’s a number of reasons why a girl will “reject” your advances but you have to remember empathy is a two-way street. If you aren’t reading her emotions (or don’t care) then there’s a big miscommunication between you two and she will flee. The reason I might personally slow down the physical aggression is if I can’t read her emotions correctly. In laymen’s terms, I’m not reading her signals and pushing further is risky enough to make her leave.

      P.S. Great articles and site Entropy, some really insightful things here.

      • Leo says:

        Reading her emotions….. Hmmm! That’s what I’m trying to say, you have to see-feel or even create a situation where she wants to be kissed, hugged, holding hands, whatever. But yeah, definitely you have to make yourself vulnerable. What it’s “funny” in my situation is that I have women attracted pretty quickly to me BUT even though they are very attracted to me they don’t allow me to phisycally escalete, her attraction towards me doesn’t mean: come and feel me up. It means I’m interested in you, come and get to know me better (comfort) and create a proper situation to escalate when I trust you enough. I’m always trying to keep attraction and comfort going at the same time if it’s possible because I don’t want to fall into the friend zone. Again, I think it’s a matter of calibration.

  19. B Man says:

    The ideas in the post became reality for me over memorial day. Backstory: I’ve been dating a girl for a few months, but we didn’t hang out over the weekend. Instead, I spent time with my roommates and a bunch of their friends who I’d never met. Met a cute girl in the friend circle and just started talking with her. I was speaking softly and calmly, but with sincere, almost bittersweet, eye contact the whole time. In mind I had 60′s sincere & humble game. She was asking me all sorts of these major qualifying questions (she is over 35 and looking for a long-term) and I just told her the *truth*, even about my dating, that I’m not sure where it’s going, etc. Also, I have nothing to brag about — right now I’m out of work and looking for a job…she didn’t even care. Later at the bar a guy is gaming her, he goes to the bathroom, I start talking again *with emotion* while sitting next to her and she just leans over and kisses me. Next night, at another party, *she* proposes we sneak out the back…end up at her place…a great makeout but no sex…because the story isn’t complete yet. Forget the one-nighter. Just stay with it over that initial storybuilding hump, even if it takes 3 or 4 dates, and you are in… And when you have the ability to take your choice of lady along for the ride, all of a sudden you can be more choosy…and find the *right* connection. Yes?

  20. mike says:

    this is a great post and website. the whole seduction community sorely needs more content along these lines. well done. a thinking, intelligent, and even spiritual approach to pick up!

  21. Dharma Montgomery says:

    Here’s a question for you:

    Could you share some thoughts on vulnerability in terms of attachment personalities? In other words, is it only the secure attachment type that can display the sort of vulnerability you refer to in this article? or is that something some of even the other attachment types can express?

    ps: True vulnerability is sexy. I once referred to a guy’s approach towards me as “a bull in a china shop”. He may or may not have cared if I rejected him or not – but he came at me with a fervor, and confidence, that knocked me off my feet and he’s held my attention for a long, long time now.

    • Mark Manson says:

      That’s a great question.

      I would say that avoidants are afraid to make themselves vulnerable because vulnerability creates intimacy. Anxious types share themselves but they’re unable to be accountable for their own feelings and needs, instead displacing them onto the person of their affection. So while anxious types are comfortable with intimacy and disclosure, they’re sacrifice their identities to do it, and their expressions aren’t authentic.

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