Sunday, December 29, 2013

The art of the soft neg

The neg is a cornerstone concept among the PUA types. It's the idea that you have to tear a girl's ego down a little bit in order to get her attention. As always, the Urban Dictionary does justice with its explanation:

Here's the thing, though: lots of guys who've been rubbed the wrong way by women over a lifetime take the neg as a license to firebomb a chick into surrender. The neg -- which ought to be a gateway drug into the sort of witty intellectual wordplay that gets high-quality women properly hot in their drawers -- tends to turn into a fucktarded fuckfest rather quickly. It's like handing a child a rifle and then immediately pointing out that there's a selector on it for more than just single shot action. It simply doesn't take very long before the child says "fuck precision" and just starts blasting everything in sight.

The neg is a good thing. Witty play is a core component of human sexuality. It's how high-quality women separate the dregs from the real gents. The art of saying something slyly condescending without being offensive is one of the highest demonstrations of value that a man can display.

And it's so simple . . .but in the way that sushi is simple. Sushi -- real sushi -- isn't raw fish. Any moron can sell raw fish and lots of morons do. And the true connoisseur knows it tests for it diligently.

The art of the soft neg in detail

Step One: Find a personal truth. How does she present herself? Is she cutsey? Is she goth? Does she believe she's a successful career woman? What sales pitch does she present that she herself is trying to buy into and is praying that you buy into?

Step Two: Contradict that truth . . . lightly. The neg is not about hurling bombs at people. The trick is to lightly nibble at the edges of her personal truth.

An example: if she presents as tough, then you contradict her toughness. That doesn't mean you knock on her ass and call her "cupcake". It means you lightly hint that you see past that personal truth, and that that's OK. You can tell her she seems too nice to really pull off the whatever tough girl look she's presenting.

Step Three: Meaningfully consider her response. Lots of PUA types will drone on the idea that the chick's response doesn't mean much. They're wrong in this particular case. How she reacts to that first soft neg of a core personal truth is a huge indicator of whether you should stick around for the rest of the show. If the wannabe tough girl doubles down on the tough girl routine instead of either playfully batting the remark aside or complimenting you on noticing the truth, then you need to consider finding the exit because the train to Crazy Bitch Junction may be leaving with you onboard.

Step Four: Refrain from further negging for a bit. When guys neg, they tend to pile on. This is a roundly bad idea. Social-sexual conversations are push-pull scenarios. Push-pull is, at its base, a form of torture. And like all forms of torture, it's most effective when the torturer becomes a safe place for the victim to flee. (In fact, that's pretty much the entire art of domming if you ever get into bondage.) Any good push-pull technique should be about 80% pull and 20% push, with adjustments as necessary for misbehavior and consistency when true misbehavior occurs.

The takeaways

A proper neg says something simple: I see you for who you really are.

Most women are far better attuned to understanding social signals than most men. And both genders tend to see the other gender through the filter of themselves. That means that women tend to overthink the social savvy that lurks behind any comment a guy makes. Women worry deeply about hidden meanings that would make men nauseous.

When a man dials his behavior in right, he signals at once that he understands the woman's emotional world and that he's not bothered by it. There's a thin line between "I see you" and "OMFG let's braid each other's hair!" The neg, when done right, services the need to demonstrate as masculine (little boys pick on girls) while still signalling some social savvy.

Every woman has a core mythical unicorn-monster that she sees as her idealized male. She wants him to be good looking and sexually appealing to all women, but she wants him to be loyal to her. She wants him to tough and strong and ready to kill the next motherfucker that comes down the street, but she wants him to preferably not beat her offspring to death if at all practicable. She wants him to have some sense of the feminine inner world without being pussified.

That's why the soft neg works well. It's a simple statement that yes, I am a man, yes; I can see you as a woman; yes, I appreciate what that means; and yes, I am in control without going off on a reckless bashing spree.

The human brain evolved as a challenge-response verifier for social and sexual combat. To shit test someone is the most human of activities. To neg someone is a step toward saying, "Yes, I see you laid bare and it doesn't bother me." Women, as the arbiters of social success, desire men that can present as masculine and still see past these things. They want you to be masculine, they want them to be feminine, and they want you to be able to live in that world without being a shaved ape with a chainsaw or a sniveling twat who can't quit crying.

Honestly? It's not that goddamned much to ask.


  1. "Every woman has a core mythical unicorn-monster that she sees as her idealized male. She wants him to be good looking and sexually appealing to all women, but she wants him to be loyal to her."

    This is applicable to men too...

    1. 1. Men are much more willing than women to go down market to find a stable mate.

      2. A man is rarely averse to multiple mates if he can get away with it.

      3. Guys move on better after losing an ideal mate. Women obsess about that perfect guy decades after he's gone.