Thursday, 31 January 2008

Dave: Treat 'em Mean

Just as the ‘Tree of Knowledge’ pops up in the mythology of every practised religion, so does the ‘Treat ‘em Mean’ mantra from every successful pulling-merchant.

An old friend of mine, whose arrogance is unsurpassed even by the most heinous celebrity chef, regularly preaches this me. Usually over the phone as he’s sneaking out of his latest conquest’s apartment in the early hours of the morning after.

He’d say it’s not about charm, or even confidence (he’s one of those typically insecure arrogant guys. Arrogance and confidence are two very different things). He’d advise rudeness. Not as in hurling insults at the poor girl, commenting on her dreadful taste in shoes. For starters, that would just make you sound gay, wouldn’t it?

No, what he meant was to appear disinterested. He’d say to glance around the room while she’s talking to you. Never under any circumstances seem keen. In fact, goes as far as to convince yourself you don’t even like her before she’s spoken.

Now being the humanitarian I am, I always refused to believe women love being treated improperly. Still do, I suppose. Sort of. Perhaps it’s a blind faith in womankind? Or a fantastical hope for my own behalf? It’s just that I think all people should be treated with equal respect. As long as they recognise my rightful position as master of the human race.

Naturally I put it down to the specific type of dreadful girls he must be going for. The kind I wouldn’t share cyberspace with nevermind personal space. Alas, this proved not to be the case.

I’ve never approached a woman I fancied and whom I didn’t know. Apart from this one occasion. I just wanted to test the over-hyped theory. I expected either I’d do it wrong – not offensive or dismissive enough. Or I’d hit the bar perfectly and she’d be a charming young woman who now feels utterly offended and thinks I’m scum.

So I was in a pub, and this voluptuous brunette was flirting outrageously with these dopey students, getting free drinks out of them (student loans must be much larger than in my day) then giving each a very predictable brush off. This was enough to rile my senses and I must admit that using negativity as a source of ‘courage’ to approach her definitely worked. Otherwise I would never have spoken to her. Now I understand what women mean when they announce we should simply go up and talk. Quite literally that, it seems. There’s no need for humour, politeness, or, as my friend suggests, charm.

So I swan over, as if I’m looking for a fight, for christ’s sake. And lunge in with some accusation of her ‘playing’ the poor sods fawning over her. To this day I can’t recall my actual words, such was the self-disgust I felt. Priding myself on being a decent man, I’ve buried that part of the memory. What I do remember is that I was brutally offensive. There was absolutely no charm involved. No intrigue she could’ve possibly felt. Yet, she responded. A conversation was brewing. Either that or a potential fight.

Unfortunately, I had to keep reminding myself not to like her. And sustain my obnoxious manner. And the more this appeared to entice her, the more I truly began to lose any semblance of interest in her. And when she leaned in to kiss me I found myself rebuffing this attractive woman. So basically I’d finally talked my way into a stranger’s knickers and talked myself out of them before I’d even stretched the elastic. It transpires treating them mean simply makes me feel unclean.

Well, my friend’s advice definitely works, but it’s not for me. I’ll just have to continue my adopted method of hanging around suspiciously until the right girl takes pity on me and decides to engage me in conversation. And more importantly, finds my nervous stammering, as I marvel at the rarity of having been approached, particularly alluring.


Lilith said...

I think I know your friend! Or at least someone very similar.
Unfortunately, yes, some women respond well to arrogance and agressivity -I know I did. Once. But guys, I don't think it's worth trying out the technique if you are not born that way. Personally, I think that girls who experienced the "treat'em mean" type of guy won't go back there for the coming decade, and the next bloke who lacks respect in his approach should consider himself lucky if he gets away without a wine stained shirt or a mean little line about his genitals. (By the way, about yesterday's post: No, us women don't care about the size, but yes, we know you might!)

Clair said...

Lovely to read about someone who thinks Neil Strauss' methods of attracting the laydeez is as lame as us girls do.

Misssy M said...

I must say that I've had that approach tried on me, but at the time I just thought the men concerned were complete dicks. Why come up to me just to be downright rude to me? Why engage my company then be off-hand about it? Frabkly I don't want to waste my evening with that. I want someone to make me laugh.

I must be outwith of the grouping that responds to this kind of bollocks. There is a huge difference between teasing banter and genuine rudeness. Teasing banter however...well it's pretty much a guarantee of success in my experience.

I've seen it work with the most unlikely lads with the most surprising women.

Anonymous said...

Some girls like it... I know I sure as hell don't.

I like feeling attractive, interesting, and wanted... If a guy doesn't look me in the eyes when I'm talking, I'm out of there. It really depends on what kind of girl you want.

single student said...

Theres a fine line, I want a guy who looks like he has a bit of backbone and would stand up to me, but I also want him to behave as if I'm the most interesting and beautiful person in the room!

Just don't appear needy is the key!

Anna said...

It may work on some types of gal, not on me. It's attractive when a guy has the confidence to look me in the eye and let me know that he's interested!

If he was acting disinterested, I'd assume that he just wasn't. And he was rude, my evening would be ruined and he wouldn't stand a chance.

Boy said...

I don't think I could do treat 'em mean. If I like a girl then it's fairly obvious, and I fear rejection in a big way, so it's not for me. I go for the hilarious taking the piss out of myself approach.
Eek. I'm going to be single forever.

Pepe said...

There is nothing new about playing the "tough guy". Some women like guys who act "tough" and that's a fact. I don't know if that's because that sort of attitude gives them an impression of strength and masculinity.

On the other hand, we must bear in mind that trying to start any sort of relationship with somebody -however short and superficial it may be- is like negotiating a deal, and when we negotiate a deal we should never appear overly keen or we'll be "cheapening" ourselves. That's as old as the world!

But one should be careful not to overdo things. I've known cases of people who started a relationship with someone with a very *un-keen* attitude, even bordering on indifference. Then things went on and when they began to be really interested in the other person, the other person took his/her emotional revenge.

At the end of the day all these *strategies* sound like a load of bullshit to me. If someone is interested in me and I'm interested in them, that's ok. If not, goodbye and thank you very much, I'll look somewhere else. I don't have time to pretend I am what I am not, nor do I have any inclination to get involved with people with a sadomasochistic streak -not my line.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, as much as I despise the arrogant, "treat´em mean" types, I do get why this works with so many women. Fact is, most woman enjoy the hunt as much (or even more) than men. An easy prey is just no fun. I want a guy that doesn´t need me (you barely know me, dude) nor is desperate to hook up with some random female. If I´m flirting with someone, I like to see them slighty curious and a bit attracted. But rude and aloof, never. Guess some women just can´t tell them apart.

Ms. Mary Mack said...

Last weeks whole episode of "Ugly Betty" was all about that ! (I'm not sure if you guys have that in England, I think you guys are english?)

Lily Lane said...

Rude men are welcome to go fuck themselves.

I'm initially attracted to a man who smiles at me and makes a little lingering eye contact, especially if it's the kind of smile that makes me feel like we have a secret from everyone else in the room.