Dating Power Dynamics: How PUAs Use Them

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "The Game" by Neil Strauss. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.

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What can the PUA community tell us about dating power dynamics? How do PUAs use dating power dynamics to improve their strategies as PUAs?

Dating power dynamics are things such as confidence, gender roles, and social skills. PUAs utilized common knowledge about gender roles—like that women were taught to be submissive.

Read about the strategies formed by PUAs that took advantage of these dating power dynamics.

How Do Dating Power Dynamics Work?

Power dynamics in relationships are an important part of dating. Society teaches women to be submissive, which causes many women to make themselves seem less imposing and even less intelligent in an effort to appear more attractive to men. This was part of the reason negs worked in seduction, because it played up this power hierarchy between men and women, and one of the dating power dynamics.

But some women rejected the usual dating dynamics model—and Lisa was one of them. Lisa had inner confidence that didn’t rely on validation from anyone else. Negs bounced right off of Lisa because she could dismiss them without a moment of doubt about who she was or how awesome she was; if the guy negging her didn’t see that, it was his problem. 

Soon, Style and Lisa began spending more time together. They had common interests and great chemistry, but even after spending multiple nights together, talking in bed, Lisa wouldn’t let Style kiss her. 

Negging didn’t work. None of his routines worked. Freezing her out didn’t help. She was adamant. The power dynamics in relationships was something Style had previously understood, but now he was baffled.

Style began to doubt himself. He prided himself on his ability to kiss-close women within a half-hour of meeting them. Style wondered if Lisa saw through his techniques to the man he’d been before he joined the community, the man who was insecure and afraid of women’s power to reject him.

Style’s Seduction Tactics Push Lisa Away

When Lisa went out of town to play with the band, she asked Style if they could have dinner together when she was back in town. Still relying on his seduction strategies, Style gave a cocky-funny response—but it backfired, and Lisa was turned off by Style’s obnoxious reply. 

Style managed to salvage dinner plans, and he eagerly prepared for the night Lisa was scheduled to return to LA. Style waited at the airport, but Lisa never showed up. He called, but she didn’t pick up the phone or return his messages. Style was confused because Lisa seemed immune to dating dynamics.

Style found out later from Love that Lisa had come in on an earlier flight. He was still confused as to why Lisa had stood him up. 

A couple days later, Lisa called Style to say she was back in town. She offered no explanation or apology. Style felt sure that things were over between the two of them—she clearly wasn’t interested. 

Style was on his way to Miami with another PUA, so he spent his trip sarging and sleeping with women in an effort to get over Lisa. He used the massage routine to instigate another threesome, and, for a moment, he was on top of the world and dating dynamics were working for him. But as soon as it was over, he felt empty. Style realized that he had no real connection with any of the women he’d spent the last two years sleeping with. This was one of the ways he evalutaed the power dynamics in relationships.

Dating power dynamics often come into play in different stages of a relationship. As you can see, PUAs depended on these dating power dynamics to be successful.

Dating Power Dynamics: How PUAs Use Them

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Here's what you'll find in our full The Game summary:

  • The secrets of the Pickup Artist community in seducing women
  • How key Pickup Artist leaders fought with each other and split the group apart
  • What author Neil Strauss took away about women from his years of training

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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