How to Lead an Empty Romantic Existence

by Conor Friedersdorf

Do you know what should bother feminists (and everyone else too)? The Web site Roissy in DC, written by a member of the "pickup artist community" that I upset in my prior posts on "the neg." Its author is begging to be the subject of  an undercover investigative piece written by the talented Angela Valdez. (I'd enjoy an Amanda Marcotte post too).

A basic version of Roissy's worldview can be gleaned from a quiz he has devised. "If you are a woman, this test will measure your dating market value," he writes. "The higher the number, the better quality man you can catch. The lower the number, the more likely you will find yourself surrounded by cats." Click through to the quiz and it'll soon be evident why the author blogs anonymously. As a sometime DC resident, I would be fascinated to know which bars he frequents. I'll bet they've got bottle service, which is basically an ingenious douche-bag tax designed by some unknown genius club owner years ago. My favorite anecdote involving bottle service comes from the This American Life episode "The Giant Pool of Money." It concerns a young group of mortgage middlemen who feel special when they pay $1,000 a bottle for Crystal that is delivered to their tables as waitresses hold aloft sparklers. B list celebrities look on. (To be fair, Roissy would never himself pay for bottle service, as his quiz for gentlemen makes clear.)

The tragic thing about Roissy in DC is the emptiness of its approach to women. Hookups, dating and marriage are cast as games that are won by the men who are best able to perpetrate an extended con on a conquest who is misled about his personality, aspirations, level of their affection, etc. Every last detail is contrived strategy, and the inevitable effect of the sundry deceptions is a relationship with someone who doesn't actually like you even if you wind up having sex with or even marrying her.

Give your woman 2/3 of everything she gives you. For every three calls or texts, give her two back. Three declarations of love earn two in return. Three gifts; two nights out. Give her two displays of affection and stop until she has answered with three more. When she speaks, you reply with fewer words. When she emotes, you emote less. The idea behind the golden ratio is twofold it establishes your greater value by making her chase you, and it demonstrates that you have the self-restraint to avoid getting swept up in her personal dramas. Refraining from reciprocating everything she does for you in equal measure instills in her the proper attitude of belief in your higher status.

Doesn't that sound like a fun relationship?