The Player Sh*t Test: Does “Game” Really Work?

This morning I read a post over at Private Man’s blog.

The post offered advice to women on how to spot a player.


A man starts a conversation with a woman who is single….

The conversation continues and gets just a bit more personal. They find out what each person does for a living, how many kids they each have, where they each were born. The man then asks for the woman’s phone number or suggests that they go have a drink. The woman is secretly thrilled yet shows nothing. She should be thinking “This guy started the conversation, What if he’s a player? Maybe he’s one of these pick-up artists who just wants a sexual encounter and nothing more?”

To any woman who finds herself in this situation (and who doesn’t just want a sexual encounter), here’s what she must ask, verbatim:

“What if I told you I was seeing someone?”

A man of good character will back off. He might apologize. He might just say “too bad”. He might even compliment the hypothetical boyfriend as “lucky fellow.” Regardless, he’s respecting the woman’s current, if mythical, relationship. This guy is a keeper.


Here’s my first question. Am I the only one who would consider, upon hearing a line like “What if I told you I had a girlfriend/boyfriend?”, that the person was obviously testing me and would walk away?

I don’t know. For me, it’s that kind of stuff that makes me breathe a heavy sigh and go, “Next!”  There’s a fine line between being coy and smooth and being, well, dodgy. This, too me, feels dodgy.

Question two. If someone tells me they are “seeing someone” is that considered “being in a relationship?” Would it really be a sign that the woman or man is someone of ill repute if they tossed their hat in to that ring?

Finally, so what if he or she “just wanted a sexual encounter.” I mean, say no. Or say yes and maybe end up having a relationship. Are men really so terrified of being “used” in this way? I just don’t get it.

I look at Game like I look at The Rules. Or prayer. (Yes, I just said that.) They’re both used as a way for men and women to feel as though they are in control of a situation over which they actually have no control.

It’s like what we were saying last week about that article on how to get a boyfriend using online dating. Did all those things the woman did with her profile really help her find a guy? Or did she just happen to find a guy, and she thinks her approach therefore “worked?”

Does any of this stuff actually work? Or do we just think it does? And what are the metrics used to define “success?”


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28 Responses to “The Player Sh*t Test: Does “Game” Really Work?”

  1. DC Phil Says:

    Well, looked at quasi-objectively, the Rules and Game are strategies to provide some measure of control to a situation that’s largely outside of one’s control, yes. But, better to have some kind of strategy than just go in blindly and let the fates decide. Personally, I don’t do well with naked uncertainty. I couldn’t function otherwise without some routines, strategies, and modes of thought that provide, at least internally, some measure of control. LIfe throws you some curveballs and you learn to adapt and overcome them when you encounter them again.

    When social interaction was more clearly defined, because there were “rules” and “game” that were mostly internalized, one didn’t seem to have too, too many problems. “Dating” entailed certain expectations and maneuvers, and if you wanted to succeed at “dating,” then you followed them and hoped that things worked out for the best. With the rise of hookup culture, things became deregulated so that few of us know what the hell ot expect or what the hell to do. So, we internalize the Rules and Game. All well and good . . . until you find out that your own agenda butts up against someone else’s agenda. You and the other person might want the same thing, but how to get it with a minimum of time, effort, cost, and bullshit, eh?

    My take on “What if I was seeing someone?” If you are, then why are you even bothering talking to the other person, or leaving the door open to something that you might not want? I find this most ludicrous in those scenarios (which are rare, I admit) where the woman isn’t wearing her ring when she’s out. I had this happen to me once and the woman obviously wanted more, though she didn’t tell me about her hubby until after I had seen her (in public, not between the sheets) twice. On the flip side, the one woman I dated early last year wore a ring on her finger that clearly wasn’t a wedding or engagement ring. I called her on it on our second date, and she replied that she wore it because she was tired of getting hit on while riding the bus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  2. The D-man Says:

    I read the Game and some of the seduction web sites. It’s definitely worked for me. That said, most of the seduction communities emphasize that “success” is not hooking up for a one-night stand.

    Rather, it’s much simpler: did you confidently pursue a girl you find attractive, regardless of the outcome? For a lot of men (myself included) the thought of hitting on a girl was downright scary. Then I learned a few conversational tactics (NOT lying, as some seem to think) and took concrete steps to meet more women in the real world. (Yeah, I went to bars, but also coffee shops, meetups, concerts etc.)

    More importantly, I looked deep within myself to discover what is attractive about me and how to feature it. I also worked hard to banish needy behavior.

    I also changed my online dating profile to reflect a more confident, flirtatious attitude, and I changed my approach when contacting women online. That definitely worked in the sense that I got a LOT more dates.

    In the past 12 months I probably went on 50 first dates. Most of them didn’t turn into seconds, but that was usually my choice (sometimes hers, though — it’s not like I never get rejected). Recently I found myself dating three different quality women at the same time. I would never have imagined that being possible for me in the past.

    One of them asked to be exclusive and I agreed. I told the other two, they were cool with it and everything’s hunky dory. (I didn’t pull the fade or lie.)

    Check out the Seddit section on Reddit. It’s full of stories of guys thanking the community for their newfound success. Notably, they are NOT stories about how many three-ways a guy had last weekend. Instead they are about socially awkward guys who used to never get dates, took action to improve themselves and now have girlfriends or at least are meeting new women on a regular basis.

    Finally, it’s true that the appeal of Game is the sense of control it hints at. However, anyone who puts it into practices realize very quickly that all it does is increase your odds with a given woman from, say, 5% to 15%. Which means that 85% of the time you still strike out. Nonetheless, you are three times more successful than before.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  3. Mark Says:

    You know this is a loaded question. Right?

    On one hand if he is a little rough around the edges, or even slightly awkward, it’s very possible he wouldn’t get very far. Certainly not to the point that the gal would be secretly thrilled. Why might he be less than totally smooth? There may be several reasons. One of which he isn’t hitting on anything in a skirt. So he doesn’t have the practice to polish his moves that a player might possess.

    If he is a player, or whatever the term you want to attach to this guy is, there are still several ways to go. One such guy may forge ahead anyway. Direct and blunt. This despite the fact that she told him she was seeing someone else. Some women will still goes out with him precisely because he is attractive, and pays attention to her. Yep, seen it happen. More than once.

    Or he might acknowledge that she is seeing someone still giver her a way to contact him if things go South with her current boyfriend. Since more than a few relationships hid a rough spot now and then she may be tempted to connect with the guy in a moment of weakness. After all, she may be thinking that he really did make her felll good about herself and will gloss over the fact that he is a player. The rationale being; yes he is a bad boy type, but maybe he will not be a bad boy to me.

    Finally, there is the scenario that you describe. He is aggressive, but backs off when told she is seeing someone. Yep, a man of character. I’ll agree with that.

    But here is the thing. Instead of proceeding straight up from the outset, the woman just told him something that could be seen by some as a test of sorts. If he is upstanding from the beginning, what might he be thinking if she were to say that in fact there was no boyfriend? That she was merely trying to gauge his reaction to the fictional ‘other man’? Sure, she wanted to see if he was legit and on the up and up. Perfectly understandable. But in doing so, did she engage in something that could be game playing?

    Maybe/Maybe not. Judgment call on this one. He might think that was ok. On the other hand, he might think that this was a hoop he had to jump through. If there was one hoop, how many others are there that he might be facing? Who is more likely to jump through that hoop. A straight up guy or a pick up artist? Indeed, would the straight up guy be more likely look to someone equally straight up?

    Something to ponder.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  4. Gorbachev Says:

    Well, the issue isn’t whether “game” works or not. The issue is: Is it a useful tool to get women to give you attention?

    I’ve found it immensely useful as a psychological tool in what seems like a war: it’s literally something you can use to disarm your opponent with. It sounds aggressive, but it’s not.

    Women, especially those who have a high self-perceived “sexual market value” (a combination of most or all of: youth, beauty, social moxy, beauty, and beauty) are often the ones that, while most highly valued, as, well, most highly valued. They put men through the wringer.

    With a woman of lower SMV than yourself, game can be positively negative. But with a woman of much higher SMV than you, say on a scale of 1-10, you’re a 6 and she’s an 8, you need an edge.

    In this case, you break the perception mold by playing on the sexual script all women I’ve eever known come pre-programmed with. They look for dominant, high-value men. These are ironically not usually the most physically attractive. By mimicking men who just don’t give a damn, who have an easy time with women and who are valued by other women, you gain entry into the land of “maybe I could date him”.

    It’s not even about sex or one night stands. It’s about being considered.

    Almost all women I’ve ever known, personally, have no idea they run on these basic scripts. They just find X or Y man “more attractive” for reasons they find impossible to articulate. Game plays on this level of attraction.

    I’ve learned that listening to what a woman *says* is attractive is almost never rewarding. You need to observe her actions and her reactions. Women who claim to be feminists are in all cases the ones who fall for dominance in men far more powerfully, and this is because they’re disconnected from this internal script.

    If you don’t want to fall into this sexual trap (being sexually attracted to dominant men who are well-liked by other women), then you need to be aware of it and find other means of exciting yourself around other types of men.

    All the men I’ve ever known who engage women have far better luck, with fr more attractive women, after incorporating the *attitudes* inherent in Game. The specific routines and tools are irrelevant.

    It’s the attitude that makes all the difference.

    This is an instinct for women. It takes courage for both men and women to recognize that sex is a deeply hard-wired process in the human brain. While it can be trained, like hunger and thirst and so many things, we are essentially animals, and this is no more true than with sex.

    Once you realize this, and look for the patterns in the world around you, you realize that women have at least two approaches to mating, not one. The first is the sexual approach, and this is the “feeling IN love” method. You can love but not be in love; if you want to be in love, you need this drug-like induced miasma of very primal emotions.

    The second is resource acquisition. This mode is the one you often hear about and what women directly address It need not be physical resources. It’s about supplying direct needs: Care, support, children, lifetime goals, money, travel, opportunities, etc.

    A smart man recognizes the important of #2. A very smart man recognizes that this will only motivate a women so far. It’s the reason for so much divorce. If you carefully play #1, you can guarantee greater loyalty.

    Some women require hard game. They’ll tell you X guy really turns their crank, and he’s clearly an asshole to her. Other women have the same mechanism, but you need to calibrate it carefully. Some people like the volume turned up high; some don’t. We all need some volume to hear anything.

    The keys are:
    – Dominance (with or without understanding; I’m not talking assholery here, though it can be)

    – Perceived high value for other women: This is a form of narcissism in women, and a woman’s own narcissism is tone of the he greatest tools you can use to win her heart. Confident women want loyalty from a high-value man who gives it to her, though he clearly has may other options. Weak women will settle for a man they can control. The trick: Keep her emotionally insecure by casually illustrating your value to other women. For some, they will forgive affairs because the other woman was very hot and the fact that you came back to your women indicates that perhaps she is hotter than the hot affair. For most women, just being actively flirted with by other women is more than sufficient.

    The nexus of hell for men is
    – failing the shit-tests of women. A woman will constantly, endlessly test you. You need to occasionally resist her tests and pass them by showing dominance. This is why feminists and the hard-core often fall for assholes: The assholes are the only ones who can resist the constant pushing by the woman for dominance. Most female humans instinctively want a more dominant male human as a mate. If he can’t (at least subtly) dominate his mate, then how can he dominate the rest of the human males?

    Such men become the Yes-Men of the sexless, throwaway marriage.

    Athol Kay goes on at great length about how to use game to ensure both affection, love and loyalty from women in marriage.

    Game is just a psychological tool, an attitudinal shift, for men. It’s critical for men to realize that they have options.

    Much of modern dating and feminism is designed to restrict male options (especially among conservative feminists) or is a resistance to the basic program found within women – not men.

    A website like this one:

    Is a reaction not to men, at all. Fundamentally, it’s a woman reacting angrily to the program inside herself and other women. It’s a generalized hatred of heterosexuality, and ultimately, of sexuality itself. Albeit, her position is of extreme fear and hatred, but women AND men with low Sexual Market Values or who have lost out in this war for mating opportunities (through abuse or sexual assault, too) often arrive at this kind of generalizes human sexuality self-hatred. It’s why whiny men’s groups often sound like the same hard-core feminist groups, in tone and form: they both hate human sexuality as it comes pre-packaged, because they’ve lost out as a result. Many of the most vocal male and female extremists are unattractive, or have personality disorders that render them unsuccessful with the opposite sex. This is just as true for gay and lesbian relationships: Some people just can’t win, and they lash out. It changes their perspective. Standard sexuality (even standard gay/lesbian sexuality) becomes oppressive – to them. Rape victims and men who have been thoroughly abused by women, and there are a lot of both, also often arrive at the same place.

    Game is a celebration of the raw, unadulterated power of sex.

    A man with good game is a man who is likely extremely well-loved by women – or a woman.

    It doesn’t mean he’s a player. But if you date the attractive guy, you need to know he has more options than you. This in and of itself makes him more attractive, but the fact – he has more options – also makes it more dangerous.

    But the instincts want what they want. You want that “click” or “fire” or “feeling”? Then —

    Game is a good way for a man to generate it in a female.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

    • JTL Says:

      Excellent analysis.

      “I’ve learned that listening to what a woman *says* is attractive is almost never rewarding. You need to observe her actions and her reactions.”

      This is such common knowledge within the “pickup” or “seduction” community by now that it’s almost a cliche. The larger culture still misses this. There is a disconnect between what women say they want, and what they actually respond to, for two major reasons: (1) female sexuality is complex and revolves around feelings and experiences, which are inherently slippery and nebulous, and (2) what women truly desire often runs against what is socially acceptable or considered “normal.”

      Many women fantasize about things they would never dream of admitting to others in their lives, for instance. Our nature (including women’s nature) as polygamous/ polyamorous vs. social expectations of monogamy are a prime example of this.

      Sex is a thing from nature. It is not man-made and therefore it is very difficult to understand it on a conscious level. Expecting a woman to randomly explain what she wants in a man (or men) is like expecting a man to calculate off the top of his head the ideal hip-to-waist ratio, lip thickness, and distance between eye and eyebrow he wants in a woman.

      Yet a man knows a hot woman when he sees her, and a woman knows a hot man when she meets him.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

      • DC Phil Says:

        I’ve always said this about “types.” If you were to ask me to describe my “type,” I couldn’t. However, I can point to it and say, “Yeah, she’s cute. I’d bang her.”

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      I just…I still don’t get it. Why do you want a woman who requires all this thought and effort?

      A woman will constantly, endlessly test you.

      No. Some women will constantly test you. Again I have to ask why you just don’t find the woman who doesn’t do this stuff?

      Am i alone in the fact that none of the women I know are shit testers and they’re either all in seemingly good relationships or married? Maybe that’s it? That all the healthy women are taken and you guys are just fighting over the scraps?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        Women who are single are single because they will not settle on a realistic option. They want something “better” than what they can actually achieve and/or they want something that doesn’t exist at all in reality. So, they set traps to ensure failure. Same for men. A person that is in a “stable” relationship is, by definition, one who has chosen to accept less than perfection because the real relationship is more valuable to them than the fantasy or the ideal. Nature is brutal and favors some over others, as Gorbechev’s comment suggests. Not everyone gets a trophy.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

      • JTL Says:


        “Game” was developed by men who had no social skills and no natural ability with women. I was 20 when I first asked a woman for her number. It’s not that we want women who require all this effort. It’s that, for us (or for me as I once was), all women require all this effort. When you’re a 20-something virgin and you’ve never even held hands with a girl, and can barely maintain a conversation with a stranger, dealing with women inherently requires a lot of thought and effort.

        However, from that lack of knowledge, these PUA guys have developed some very valuable insights into human social relations and sexual dynamics. The kind of insights you won’t get unless you’re coming to the process from an outsider’s perspective.

        Now, as far as testing, maybe the problem is with the word “test.” Perhaps it’s not the best word to use. When you hear “shit test” you probably think of some high maintenance airhead in 6 inch heels who enjoys manipulating guys at a bar to see how many free drinks she can get.

        But a shit test is really just an example of resistance–which all women do, as they have to. For example, I put my arm around a girl for the first time and she says with a skeptical tone “hmmm, getting quite familiar here, aren’t we?” That’s a shit test. She is testing to see if I’m confident enough to follow through, or if I’m going to be thrown by her little resistance and skepticism. A lesser man will be thrown by it (i.e. fail the test) and move his arm away or say sorry or whatever. Which signals low sexual confidence and unfamiliarity with how women work.

        Women do this naturally, they don’t make a conscious effort and say “now I’m going to test this guy.” But in terms of the attraction and seduction process, that is the function it is serving–weeding out the confident, attractive men from the unattractive ones.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

        • The D-man Says:

          Exactly. “Shit test” is an unfortunate term, but it’s true that women test your confidence unconsciously.

          For example, most women like when the man takes the lead in setting up a date instead of saying “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” If the guy doesn’t do this, she won’t necessarily dump him immediately, but a man who does take the lead is more attractive.

          With my current gf, we had a fairly heated disagreement on our second date. Not an argument per se, but I challenged some of her beliefs (and she mine, I might add). She later said she found it really attractive that I was willing to stand my ground and not just acquiesce or try to change the subject. We still disagree about this stuff, but in a way that makes for interesting conversation, not a test of wills.

          Oh and in my experience a girl who calls you a player is really saying she’s intensely attracted to you.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

          • Mia Says:

            I definitely agree with your take on a man taking the lead in setting up a date. I went on a second date with a guy who just wouldn’t make any decisions about what to do, where to go. We eventually settled on a movie followed by dinner. When we got to the restaurant, the kitchen was closed, and they said all they could serve was salads and desserts. He asked me if that was okay, and I said yes, as I just wanted a salad. We sat down, and after I ordered, he (for the first time) gave an opinion…that he’d rather go to an all night diner, where he could get whatever he wanted. He wanted to leave right then, and I said that if he wanted to leave, he’d have to tell the waitress before she put in our order. He waited until she came back (with my soda), and then gave me a hard time for throwing down a couple of bucks for the soda since we were leaving. We got in to our separate cars to go to the diner, and on the way, I called him up and said that I felt more like going home. Alone. And that’s the last time I went out with him.

            A wishy-washy man, who is unable to make a decision about where to go on a date is not someone who is going to be easy to make plans with in the future. It’s not that I want a he-man, take-charge controlling type, but I definitely want someone who has an opinion, and can make plans. This is supposed to be the fun part, right?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

      • DC Phil Says:

        You might be confusing deliberate shit tests with unconsciously-done ones. Some members of the Game community focus on the latter because it’s tied into evolutionary psychology, which has some credence if you observe some of it at work in real life. Shit tests could include the much-discussed:

        “Do I look fat in these jeans?”

        “What does she got that I haven’t got?”

        In general, the purpose of the shit test is to see how well you, the guy, can take the curveballs that the woman throws at you. Is it childish? I guess, looked at a certain way. But, if the woman is trying to separate the wheat (good guy) from the chaff (player), it might be valuable.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

        • M Says:

          If that’s true, then those who pass these tests (players) are the ones who get the girl. Yes, it is a way to separate the wheat from the chaff, but if you go home with the player, what’s the point?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. Gorbachev Says:

    JTL is correct. The shit test is something that all women do. If you think you don’t, it just means you have the wrong idea about what I mean.

    Women do this all the time. It’s connected to the sexual attraction instinct. It operates on that level. It’s not in the familiarity/brotherly sisterly love that emerges (hopefully) with a long-term mate.

    Athol Kay writes about this extensively. While you’re not picking up your wife in a bar, a little unbalanced push-pull and resistance resistance (pushing back against your wife’s pressure) will inevitably heat up the bedroom. The trick is to calibrate it well: You don’t want to be an asshole, but you want to activate this Mate Response instinct.

    In other words, don’t be a pushover. Make her feel slightly unbalanced sometimes. She’ll try to please you; When you do something nice, make it oddly random. It’s the same technique you use to train dogs, or children – or yourself.

    Men are fundamentally no different, when trying to get other men to perform in a hierarchy. The difference here is you’re working on sexual response in a woman, so it’s a very specific calibration of a psychological technique to a particular person.

    Women do this to men all the time. Men decry it. Instead of doing that, it’s better to recognize it and use it on your woman.

    Oddly, most people are entirely unaware that we do these things or that we experience them. Our conscious mind spends huge amounts of time trying not t identify these things.

    You need to watch women and men interact very carefully to see it going on. The shit tests are endless.

    They never, ever stop. In minor ways, they proceed all day. The trick is to manipulate them.

    My significant other is hugely vain. Instead of attempting to undo this flaw, I use it. By playing on her vanity, I’ve engineered the most bizarre situations, and she’s thought it was all her idea. And I can keep her off balance by alternately acknowledging and denying her vanity.

    Indeed, we love each other; but there’s no debate that game has helped me keep the fire burning bright.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      The shit test is something that all women do. If you think you don’t, it just means you have the wrong idea about what I mean.

      No, I understand what you’re referring to. I get it. I’m not impaired. I’m saying that the women who tend to use the shit tests are usually of the high maintenance/pain in the ass variety, so why are you working so hard to woo them?

      Women do this all the time. It’s connected to the sexual attraction instinct. It operates on that level. It’s not in the familiarity/brotherly sisterly love that emerges (hopefully) with a long-term mate.

      Correction. Some women do this all the time. This in a nutshell is the problem I have with all this stuff. You guys have preconceived ideas about women as a whole. Just like women have their own preconceived ideas about men. i.e. “all men want sex.”

      But it’s mostly just the women that have a distorted perception of themselves or mucho, mucho baggage that act like this. Yet, for whatever reason, you guys still pursue them. That’s not so bad. What’s hypocritical is that these are the same women you berate and criticize and call entitled or slutty. All while acting as entitled as they are. You could just shoot lower. But you guys want these women, the difficult ones, the testers.You guys don’t want the 5’s or 6’s. You want the very women you criticize.

      I just don’t get it.

      I understand that game or charisma might help build a man’s social skills. It’s just that I think there are easier ways to do it that doesn’t require all this thought and analysis.

      You need to watch women and men interact very carefully to see it going on. The shit tests are endless. They never, ever stop. In minor ways, they proceed all day. The trick is to manipulate them

      You’re not Jane Goodall, for Christ’s sake. This is what I mean. You keep talking like people just don’t understand how hard it is or what you deal with. We do. Many of us do. I see this stuff daily because of what I do for a living. I think some of you over think to the point of being paranoid. You think everything is a test.

      By playing on her vanity, I’ve engineered the most bizarre situations, and she’s thought it was all her idea. And I can keep her off balance by alternately acknowledging and denying her vanity.

      Again…why would you want someone who is vain and insecure?? This is what I don’t get. Congrats. You found a chick who is easily manipulated. How is this an accomplishment or healthy?

      Indeed, we love each other; but there’s no debate that game has helped me keep the fire burning bright.

      What fire? That’s not passion or intimacy. It’s manipulation and dysfunction. Why would anybody want that????

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 9

      • The D-man Says:

        I see this stuff daily because of what I do for a living

        Which I think distorts your perception as well. I don’t spend much time thinking about shit tests, but I’ve definitely learned to tell when a woman is testing me. They are not necessarily high maintenance unless they keep coming back to the same thing over and over. In which case I’m out.

        Gorbachev’s description is a bit over the top for my tastes as well, but the truth is that everyone manipulates each other. Women usually do it by stroking a man’s ego. Not to mention more superficial things like push-up bras and high heels.

        With an old girlfriend who always ran late I found it was useful to simply lie to her about what time we had to leave. She eventually figured it out but didn’t get angry. She was actually glad that I found a useful hack that got us where we needed to be without it devolving into an argument.

        Was that manipulation? Yes. It also led to better harmony in the relationship.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    • jeff Says:

      As someone who has studied game for years, I avidly disagree with the spirit of Gorbachov’s comments. First most “game” that guys refer to is also considered old school for a reason. It has alot of unhealthy mindsets like not showing interest, that you come in at a lower value, that women’s behavior correlates with a number etc.. Alot of writers have moved beyond such mentalities and have acknowledged the differences of women and approaches. (i.e. rob judge or mark manson)

      In my experience actual tests are very rare. What guys consider “tests” are usually a girl bantering with you(because she likes you), a girl not trusting/ comfortable with you, or a girl actually not being interested in you. A girl who actually gives a test is relatively rare, and someone you want to avoid. This idea that women are always testing you is an unhealthy mentality to have.

      If a girl says she has a bf when she doesn’t. She is probably not interested or worth pursuing. (if you are looking for a girl)

      Women are different and they also respond to different guys in different ways. The irony is that you may never see a certain type of women because the game you use screens for certain types. Or you may take something as a shit test that isn’t. (i.e. an honest disagreement or discomfort)

      Its way more important to be able to connect, to have a lifestyle/identity, to be comfortable taking lead, to not be needy, and to be ok having your own opinion/ thoughts(Iow personality).

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  6. Mary Says:

    What I’ve learned from this thread- men who do/use “The Game” also enjoy
    Wroting really long comments.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

    • The D-man Says:

      it’s such a misunderstood topic that you have to get into the nitty gritty. Most women think it’s just about picking up insecure women in bars and have a very negative attitude toward it. But the women I’m most attracted to “get it” and usually want to learn more about it (which leads to them borrowing my copy of the Game).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

      • Mary Says:

        As someone who’s read “The Game” and many of it’s precursors- men have been trying to pick up women for a long time after all, I can say that none of those books was about picking up someone like me. Which is fine. So I really don’t have a dog in this fight, but damn, you guys sure nerd out on this.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

        • DC Phil Says:

          Yeah, we can sure nerd out on this, I confess. Some people out there have warned that this is somewhat borderline cultish behavior, so it’s best to take some of it with a grain of salt. And, since the PUA community is out to make money (some, not all), it’s even doubly important to always keep caveat emptor in mind.

          On the other hand, the general stuff out there is meant to serve a purpose. Sure, guys have been picking up women for years now. But, society and the people in society have changed, facilitated by upended gender roles and new technology. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of debate. It’s a good thing that Moxie has taken the time to write about it, in a fairer and more balanced approach that, hopefully, serves both men and women well.

          I think it’s sad, though, that there are many guys out there who are clueless to get women because they’ve never had strong male role models in their lives and because no one took the time to sit them down and go over sex, sexual dynamics, and what they must do to be the best man they can be in life. The opposite, of course, is true in women’s case, though there’s been more of the “you go girl!” bullshit at work that attempt to inflate how a woman sees herself and, in the process, puts men down. That’s not fair for anyone, if they’re looking to build healthy relationships, sexual or LTR.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  7. Gorbachev Says:

    I nerd out on all this because I spend most of my time watching people. I work in media. I’ve spend the vast bulk of my life watching what other people do. The mating and dating dances are fascinating.

    Shit tests are major: Wife pushes until husband gives way; young son pushes hard until he finds limit when dad smacks him and grounds him for a week; then the testing stops for a while. Indeed, men do the same thing: They’ll push buttons to test limits all the time. Guys do this more or less constantly to each other. I do it at work: just how much can I be late, how often, until there’s a comment from a coworker or my boss? Is five minutes okay? Okay then, how about ten minutes next Tuesday?

    The shit tests can be as simple as not returning a phone call. My SO does this more or less all the time with her sister. One thing my SO is not: abnormally insecure. Neither are her friends.

    This is not restricted to women, which is what angers me about game commentary. men do it to. The only difference is that women evaluate “mateability” using this. That’s all.

    And the choice most women make, even women who change their strategies over time, is for someone with a bit of bad boy.

    The higher the (self-perceived and reinforced) sexual value of a woman, usually, the more she’ll want a bit of bad boy. Tests have also shown that women also biologically respond to bad boys more when they’re ovulating: They’re seeking bad boy sperm. Lots of studies now confirm this: They wear clothing considered more risque, engage in more flirtatious behavior, engage with men they normally wouldn’t, enter more socially high-risk situations.

    In other words: Younger, more attractive and ovulating women seek out a higher than normal (for them) Bad Boyness. It may not have anything to do with the stupidity of the young. It may be biological. it makes sense and has a solid evolutionary logic, one that’s observable in other species of primate, as well.

    We are, after all, just complex monkeys.

    Anyway, on the bad boy thing, and the habit of sexually attractive women to go after them:

    A recent post.

    It’s disturbing, and the remaining question – if that 7.8 or 8 is a bitch and is hard to be with, why do you not choose the 4.5 or 5 who would be much easier to handle?

    Okay, then.

    Answer in the form of a retort.

    Why choose an attractive 6′ tall guy instead of the less attractive but otherwise fine guy who’s slightly shorter than you?

    Hormones want what they want.

    I’ve known a few relatively unattractive women in highschool who grew into stunning women in their late 20’s and 30’s. They make the best mates, as a rule: they become sexually attractive (meaning, the Schwing test is passed, and no matter what a man says, this is pretty much the big one for sexual attraction and is outside the zone of conscious control), and they tend not to have the self-important self-entitlement attitude.

    I realize that STWYS’s point is good: We go after these difficult women who need constant massaging to keep them by our sides. Yeah, yeah.

    But you need to exercise this in some way all the time. So why not pick the pretty girl, if you get the chance?

    And as far as geeking out, well, some of us come at the same thing from different angles.

    Some of us aren’t bad boy enough. Some of us have to think about it.

    And some of us are just geeks under the skin. We like to think about stuff.

    Like a very complex species of rat or monkey, humans are endlessly fascinating.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

    • jeff Says:

      Those are not examples of shit tests. The bigger issue is that you see them as such, instead of something less manipulative.

      For example, I might not return a call because I’m busy, not that interested, or forget about it. Is it a shit test? NO! I’m late for work because I procrastinate. Is that is a shit test? No.

      The issue is not that a women tests a guy. The issue is that a guy just shouldn’t be a needy pushover that simply rubber stamps every things or that doesn’t bring up issues that deserve attention. Its not a battle its about having a stand that may or may not agree with hers. Relationships still require negotiation.

      One thing that I disagree about in this discussion is the assumption that behavior correlates with looks. There are plenty of 10s that see themselves as 4s and vice versa. Attractiveness doesn’t dictate the way they see themselves. There are plenty of ugly women in Boston(my hometown) who see themselves as models. I’ve also met some super attractive women who are sweethearts. Attractiveness affects things like their frame and how many guys hit on her, but how she interprets that experience can differ. This is why I would say to go for the attractive woman. You can find attractive women with personality who are nice. Why not go for both looks and personality.

      The issue isn’t that attractive women want a bad boy per se. It’s that they want someone with a personality and his own opinions who isn’t needy. They want a good guy with edge. We only get this absurd “nice guy vs jerk” paradigm because bad boys fit these qualities better than “nice guys.” For example, they’ll have an opinion or take a lead. I put “nice guys” in quotes because “nice” has nothing to do with being good(not being a jerk). Women call a guy nice because he is unattractive but inoffensive. (often as a result of neediness/ submissiveness/lack of personality) In fact, its often just another form of manipulation: “I’ll do this for you in hope of reciprocated interest.” They are not opposites. And neither is a good option. True, some women do want a genuine jerk, but that is more related to how they see themselves. Most women with a good self esteem just want a guy with his shit together who has personality and isn’t a suck up/ push over. (Note women can be conceited/ self-entitled and have a low self-esteem. In fact, they are often connected)

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    • Angeline Says:

      Just like the ridiculous scenario and test above is going to *select* for players, not weed them out, this endless analyzing and strategizing for how to spot and deal with ‘shit tests’ means … you spend 100% more time with someone who perpetrates shit tests than you should. Shit test: insisting the guy make a phone call, make the plans, storm the castle. Not a shit test: wanting to have enough indication of interest on his part to hint or flirt or welcome that first overture. Shit test: continuing to make him make all the moves. Shit test: demanding your boyfriend go shopping with you, listen to endless drivel about your friends or even worse, reality TV. Not a shit test: wanting boyfriend and family and friends to meet up, and enjoy each other, because they’re all important to her, and she doesn’t want to have to constantly compartmentalize her life to see family/boyfriend. Shit test: insisting on this meeting 2 dates or 3 weeks in, or some other arbitrary timing. Not a shit test: walking away from knowing, intentional manipulation.

      The other thing that often occurs to me when I read the various PUA bloggers (for lack of a better term – I know that’s an incomplete tag) is how much it echoes the old, old advice given to women about men (not just dating). Keep some mystery, some distance. Don’t show your hand too soon. Don’t be too available. Don’t expect him to be interested in or be subjected to your petty housewifely concerns. The oddest thing about it is the guys who actively employ “game” and also rail against this old fashioned behavior. While still expecting old fashioned, low number, coy girlishness. A psychological puzzle indeed. “You’re not Jane Goodall, for Christ’s sake.” SNORT! No, we are not simply complex monkeys. Unless we choose to remain at that lesser evolved level.

      I’d like to point out I’m not criticizing the old fashioned rules, and as someone with a son and brothers the state of femininity today makes me sad for them. I think it made sense to examine The Rules, and toss out the rotten, gamey parts, and replace with common sense and integrity. I don’t think that’s what happened though. Like anything else that was chucked out in the 60s and 70s, we threw it ALL out. So that being feminine became a concession, a defeat of emancipation. Modern dating, hear me whimper.

      tldr: the tactic above not only will not weed out ‘Players’, it also places *her* firmly in the Player camp.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  8. Phoenix Ember Says:

    But you need to exercise this in some way all the time. So why not pick the pretty girl, if you get the chance?

    Yes. Moxie, one thing I think you overlook with your (otherwise quite reasonable) advice to men to “just shoot lower” is that the women you believe these guys ought to be aiming for aren’t going to return their interest. Every woman wants the best man she sees—we’re all agreed a woman should “never settle,” yes?—and is generally going to filter out the rest.

    I see this in the real world all the time. Guys talk about a woman being a “6” or an “8” or an “10”, but it seems woman divide men into only two categories: attractive and unattractive. Unattractive men get no action at all, while an attractive man catches the interest of pretty much every gal.

    Once a man works his way up into the “attractive” camp, then (by learning how to handle a woman’s tests, among other means), he might as well start with the most attractive woman he can find and go down from there. In the long run he’ll have invested about the same amount of effort no matter whom he ends up with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. The Private Man Says:

    “No. Some women will constantly test you. Again I have to ask why you just don’t find the woman who doesn’t do this stuff?”

    Certainly not all. But enough women do this so men have to learn some specific social skills in the context of dating and relationships. The women who don’t do this stuff are simply too rare to build a strategy that doesn’t involve responding to a woman’s testing.

    “You’re not Jane Goodall, for Christ’s sake.”

    Good one! Some guys really do analyze this too much but analytical guys do that sort of thing. I am certainly guilty of that to a certain extent. I also go out and enjoy the spontaneous social interactions with women and often completely forget about Game. Yet there are also times when I consciously use certain social skills in order to get what I want in the context of dating. To be honest, it’s not just sex that I seek. I actually am looking for a relationship.

    As women are taught about make-up, hair care, and fashion, men should be taught the skills that will make them attractive to women. My blog has all sorts of posts about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  10. The Private Man Says:

    Hey Moxie, please fix my tags… I screwed it up.


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  11. Mr. R Says:

    In the interest of this post, I present:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

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