Why was the "pick up artist" movement so popular in the mid 2000s to 2010s?

My understanding is that that look (and the look of early superhero costumes, in general) was chosen by the artists to mimic the look of circus performers’ costumes.

Sure, but this goes to what I was saying.
Mostly those PUA things were just teaching conversation and confidence methods. “Negging” was not a bit part of it (at least when I got into PUA), it’s just the part that became well known in pop culture*.

As I say, I think it’s a pity, as the former kinds of skills are still useful, to men and women. Hopefully there are sites giving such advice now, but I guess they must be called something else.

* Also, the original idea of “negging” wasn’t to make people feel bad about themselves. It’s just that attractive people may be used to everyone being overly complimentary from the get-go, so the idea was you were just trying to distinguish yourself with some kind of tease, not a real insult.
I didn’t stay in the community long though, so I don’t know if later it morphed into “Insult people so they feel bad about themselves”

On a 101 level some of those techniques absolutely work. Being able to tease women does work, because there are men who never tease any women, don’t know how. It’s not going to work in every situation, but learning to do it is going to help a man.

I’m not saying your definition isn’t true, but this is the first I’ve heard it. I always thought that negging was any form of putdown which manipulated a person’s self-esteem, resulting in the victim being more likely to ‘settlle’ for the manipulator. It would include backhanded cases like the one you describe. But it could also be straightforward: “Gee, those sure are ugly shoes”.

It could also include putdowns that use one’s strong points against them. I (briefly) dated a woman who was a master of that one. E.g., I have a full head of hair, and she would often falsely claim–in front of others–that I spent ridiculous amounts of time and effort grooming and primping it, ala Sam Malone. I guess if a person was wearing a really nice pair of shoes, the putdown would go something like, “So, how many months’ pay did those shoes set you back?”

No. Add me to those people who thought the idea was very different to this.

For example, Stephen Merchant (one of the writers of the original office) gave the example of saying “I like your shoes…I think I saw another girl wearing the same kind”.
Again, it’s not a big part of PUA, but the idea was just that when talking to people who get complimented a lot, you can stand out to them by just “damning with faint praise”. It’s certainly not meant to be at a level where you’re making someone feel bad about themselves, let alone feeling bad being the objective.

Yes, that’s the cad!

From your own link

Feynman was deploying these ideas while working on the Manhattan Project on the 1960’s, and they were described in a book, “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman”, which was published in 1985.

Ya learn somethin’ ev’ry day…

While we’re on the subject, does anyone know if there’s a term for the kind of comment I described above?

Nitpick: the Manhattan Project (on which he did, indeed, work) ended in 1947. In the 1960s, he was working at Caltech.

And the unmentioned step six: Actually put on Physical Graffiti.

I’m not sure there’s a hard-and-fast line between the PUA “movement” and those teaching PUA techniques, on the one hand, and those teaching conversation, how to be attractive, social skills, etc. on the other hand.

I remember reading, and being amused by, the Usenet board alt.speed_seduction back in the 90s.

I seem to be making basic errors lately regarding things that I should have known.

Yes, of course you are correct that the effort to develop the bomb was in the 1940’s. I don’t know why I messed that up.

But, it does add to the assertion that this type of thinking - woman can be “won” with tricks of manipulation - are not (as the OP suggests) a phenomenon that can be limited to recent decades.

He’s like a Svenjolly!

Absolutely agreed. I didn’t know a lot about Feynman until recently, but my understanding is that he was a notorious libertine, at least as far back as the late '40s.

It’s only ridiculous if you describe it that way. It was never underpants over a leotard. It was a circus performer’s shorts over a circus performer’s Union suit. Over time, it just became a change in color from one part of the tights to another. It was never underpants.

Looks like underpants:

Actually, Robin is just wearing an adult-sized onesie along with an alternative jerkin that Errol Flynn refused to wear because his extensive research revealed that it would have been ahistorical for a Notts or Yorkish outlaw to afford red fabric. Batman, however, is definitely wearing blue silk granny panties that he found in Wardrobe, and Adam West was such a phenomenal acting powerhouse of the day that the producers and director didn’t want to tell him how silly it looked.

It wasn’t until Tim Burton took over the franchise and disposed of the traditional costume in favor of the sadomasochistic leather look (taken to perfection in Batman Returns with Michelle Pfeiffer sporting a catsuit that kicked off the modern dominatrix craze) that executives at Warner Bros. admitted that the were just trying to appeal to niche fetish culture but that Burton had really elevated the character to new orgasmic heights.

Today’s Trivial Cinema Trivia Moment brought to you by Fruit of the Loom, the underwear of superheroes. You, too, can enjoy the same comfort and protection that world-saving heroes have when they knock down skyscrapers full of innocent office workers and mid-level managers. Remember, you can’t make an omelet without killing a few civilians, and it isn’t as if their lost taxes are going to affect your bottom line anyway.


What’s actually interesting about that photo is it looks like Burt Ward is wearing a sanitary pad. I see the tabs.

Speaking of sartorials, who needs pick-up technique when all you really need is sexy man onesies ?

(How did these guys avoid being like 1975 Sears boxer shorts model?

Supposedly, he quit drinking around 1949.

The couple guys I knew that were ‘playboys’ or whatever you want to call male sluts [snicker] only trolled for women in known pickup bars - sort of using a pool that is preselected. Women who went for drinks at were there to pick up guys, guys were there to pick up women. Perfect. Have a cheap motel room already checked in to [never take them back to your place, don’t want them getting the idea you may be domesticatable =) ] And they seemed to have a pretty steady Friday/Saturday schedule, decent luck picking up at a minimum 5-6 on the 1-10 scale, and they managed to avoid clingy women [if they don’t know where you live, and only see you in the bars picking up women they are not good candidates for serious relationships.]

Both guys did end up in steady relationships, and married - they met those women at some place other than a meat market [as I remember, Matty met his wife through work, and Jack met his wife through a friend.] So, select your hunting ground for optimal cruising, and you won’t get shot down like you would trying to pick women up in a laundromat or grocery store [which were 2 target locations i seem to remember being discussed back in those days.