Players peddle a false love

In her new column, Cary Carr delves into the sketchy world of self-styled “pick-up artists.” An extremely confident – and probably not-that-attractive – guy heads in your direction. He asks you for a dance, which

In her new column, Cary Carr delves into the sketchy world of self-styled “pick-up artists.”

An extremely confident – and probably not-that-attractive – guy heads in your direction. He asks you for a dance, which suggests he picked you out of the crowd of girls who swamp the beer-stained basement. Next thing you know, he’s made his way into your room.Screen shot 2010-09-06 at 9.01.20 PM

It was all a blur of sweet talk, expensive cologne and undying hope that there’s one semi-decent, scum-free guy out there.

Unfortunately, this is how most interactions at college parties end up, unless you are smart about it. So, for female college students, it’s critical to differentiate the bad seeds from the potential boyfriends.

You have to be a pick-up-artist detector. Seriously, girls: We are so much smarter than a group of guys who pretend to be someone else just to convince girls to sleep with them.

First, realize you cannot go to parties expecting to meet someone great. Remember: You got into the party for free, while your guy friends had to cough up $7.

Guys want to cram as many girls as they can into their ridiculously small basements so that they don’t have to keep hitting on the girl they had their last one-night-stand with.

Also, if a guy seems way too laid back – as if he didn’t have to work up any courage to talk to you – he is playing you.

If he really liked you, his heart would be racing, and he’d be stumbling over at least a quarter of his words. Why be with someone who’s sort-of-kind-of excited to talk to you?

Here are some pick-up-artist red flags for you ladies: He will not stop complimenting you, his wingman is trying to pick up your friend and he’s getting dirty looks from the girls all around you – who probably hooked up with him last weekend.

These guys have a million sources out there. There are pick-up-artist forums, videos and even books. At, the “master pick-up-artists” offer a three-day, intensive boot camp, where they do “in-field training.”

These guys actually go to the clubs together and guide each other through their endeavors. Pathetic? That would be an understatement.

The average “PUA,” regardless of his beer belly or creepy mustache, convinces himself not one girl is out of his league. He gets a couple drinks in him, waits until the girl is a little tipsy and goes in for the kill.

Personally, I think a guy who does not rely on alcohol to persuade a girl to give him a chance is much more attractive.

You can find these guys sitting in the classroom or next to you on the train. Maybe they will make a comment about how bad your professor’s comb-over is or how the kid two seats over needs to put on some deodorant.

Wait – normal, friendly conversation can be a gateway to a relationship or even just a fun fling?

Maybe staggering home with a guy, whom you can barely see straight, is not the best idea. Instead, try nervously flirting with the guy in class you think is cute.

Let your face turn red, drop subtle hints and let a little time go by before anything happens. It is way more exciting than having the guy at the party stick his tongue down your throat.
Parties should be a place girls can get their dance on, since that is always more important and much more gratifying than a sloppy make-out session.

So even though there are resources out there for the female pick-up-artist, it’s hardly something we actually need. Well, at least not as much as the jerk in the corner wearing an Ed Hardy shirt and aviator sunglasses.

Cary Carr can be reached at

1 Comment

  1. If confidence is a crime, sue me. Believe it or not, what helps me most with women is actually liking them. I also act like a grown man, something they respond to strangely enough. Maybe I’m a change from the gym bunny college BOYs looking for a Mommy 2.0 to satisfy their every damn need. I stay in shape but I’d rather let the girl be the pretty one. Maybe women don’t really like guys trying to buy them off with the usual niceness displays. Chumps deserve to be “friended’ for boring women to tears with the same old interview questions and trying to manipulate and buy them with dinner, movie, drinks, whatever. Why should a girl waste time with a puppy who’ll jump through any hoop she holds up when she can go for Big Game? The clock’s ticking. Admittedly, some women are more trouble than they’re worth; too many “…and what DID YOU THINK would happen?” conversations but I will date women from 25 to 40, with exceptions from 20 to 60 for exceptionals. One thing I will NOT do is be the jerk I was in MY 20’s.

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