Be a Contrarian not a “Peacock”

Weird emo peacock freak

So there have been a lot of guys writing books and giving seminars who call themselves “Pick Up Artists” the last ten years or so.  If you haven’t read any “pickup books” by these so-called “pickup artists” (PUAs) this article may not make a lot of sense to you and may want to familiarize yourself with some of the suggested reading at the bottom of the article.  We certainly have read plenty of these books but don’t identify ourselves, nor want to be identified as PUAs in any way.  We find those guys tend to focus on only the act of meeting a girl for the first time in some bar and fooling her into being interested.  They definitely have some good tricks but generally they’re just gimmicks.

One of the gimmicks of these guys is the concept of “peacocking.”  It was a PUA named “Mystery” that coined the term “peacocking” after the peacock’s method of attracting a mate with its large fanned out multicolored tail.  He surmised that the same concept probably works with human females if you could just find a way to stand out from the crowd.  However, Mystery’s way of standing out was by dressing like a flaming douchebag which we feel is totally unnecessary and at times counter-productive (i.e. there are certain girls that while very high quality just won’t buy into that shit no matter what – Mystery would disagree but fuck him, that’s just his ego talking).  We generally like girls that have and appreciate quality in a mate and don’t just chase after shiny objects.

Mystery’s idea of peacocking would be to do things like wear a top hat, aviator goggles and a pink feather boa and he recommend that his readers do it too.  That’s just fine if that’s what floats your boat and it will work sometimes if you have the frame and congruency to back it up (two terms we will discuss in depth in another article) but we believe that there are other ways to get the same effect that will work in a wider variety of social situations.  The biggest problem with Mystery’s style of peacocking is that it won’t work for most people.  It takes a special kind of guy to put on an absurdly ridiculous outfit and strut around town without losing some measure of confidence.  When it comes to social situations of any kind confidence is number one and body language is an important subset there. So the bottom line is that Mystery’s peacocking for most people is counter-productive.

This is where we would like to introduce the similar but different concept of being a contrarian rather than a peacock. Being a contrarian simply means being different than everybody in your particular environment.  In fact there are two basic ways you can do this if you aren’t naturally a contrarian in your natural environment: You can change the environment you’re in, either by traveling or just going to places you wouldn’t normally go in your own home town or you can change something about yourself.  Travel is the most obvious way – if you’re the only foreign guy in the bar that makes you a novelty right there.

A great anecdotal example of changing your environment comes from my own personal experience.  Back when I was in college before I had enough money to travel or do much anything else I somehow happened upon a goth a party in a local club.  My “going out” style and dress was closer to Charlie Sheen in Wall Street than the guy pictured below which represented the average party-goer there:


I felt very uncomfortable in this club at first but after a few minutes I realized nothing bad was going to happen to me.  After I was confident they weren’t going to beat me up for not having 8 inch tall platform boots and a pound of metal attached in some fashion to my cranium I began to take great interest in examining the strange creatures roving around in this club listening to some form of techno that you can only dance too by jumping up and down and shaking your fist angrily in the air.  Something jumped out at me immediately, besides the guys that looked like our friend above, there were a surprising number of hot chicks wearing very little clothing often made of skin tight PVC .  If you want to see a good approximation of what many of them looked like just go checkout Just because I’m more like a yuppie than a goth doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a good tramp stamp accented with tongue and clit rings and perhaps a nice pair of fake tits, on the contrary it has become my kryptonite of sorts.  Perhaps it had to do with the addiction I developed at these parties in my formative years.  Side note: be careful with these girls if you don’t want to end up like Jim Jefferies:

You can easily fuck up your ability to have real relationships with otherwise perfect “good girls.”  Like most good comedic material, it’s funny because it’s true.

Back to the goth party: As my night went on I realized two things, first that I was the only person in the place wearing “normal” clothes and second that the girls were more open, friendly and easier to get phone numbers from than anywhere else I’d ever been.  I didn’t know why at the time but you bet your ass I took note.  I was a relatively shy college kid not very good with women but I was routinely going to this particular club on goth night and picking up girls with huge fake tits that looked like strippers (or maybe they were, I never asked).

It wasn’t until a couple of years later when I read about the concept of peacocking that I figured out what was going on.  I had no game at that time, the only thing I had going on was that I looked different from everybody else and I was self-confident enough to be walking around in there looking different than everybody else.  Or to put it another way, I was way more confident walking around in the goth party in my sport coat than I would have been wearing a top hat, a pink feather boa and aviators goggles in martini bar in the W Bar in Manhattan full of a bunch of yuppies. Do whatever works for you but I will go out on a limb and say that a nice well dressed guy with solid game and some special skills can pick up lots of girls that Mystery can’t with his top hat and pink feather boa.  To me personally, Mystery looks like just another featured photo from in most of the pictures I’ve seen.

If you have two even remotely connected brain cells you may be able to figure out just one of many reasons why it’s easier to pickup chicks in countries besides your own.  Best of all are countries with few western tourists even if you’re not from a western country.  The problem is that the girls get turned off to foreigners in general in places that have high western douchebag or drunken asshole football fan (DAFF) traffic.  Prague is still great city but it’s nothing compared to what it used to be.  It’s a big world and you can always find “the next Prague” somewhere.

Being a contrarian doesn’t end with picking up chicks, like most of the topics and concepts we discuss here, it’s a life skill. We will discuss it more in other articles now that you understand the basic concept.

Recommended Reading: The Game by Neil Strauss

A brilliant memoir from one of America’s best writers, and the one PUA who we are big fans of.  Essential reading for dudes today.

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