Is Cold-Approach Pickup Sexual Harassment?

– by Wes Colton, Introvert Unbound

Man touching shoulder of uncomfortable woman co-workerFor months, sexual harassment has dominated the news cycle. Kicked off by allegations of movie producer Harvey Weinstein propositioning young actresses in exchange for film roles, accusations have rippled across the entertainment and political landscape.

I’m not going to comment on what may or may not be going on in these many cases. Instead, I’d like to discuss whether today’s sexual/political climate means the end of cold-approach pickup.

There’s no question that we’re living in a time when men’s behavior towards women is being scrutinized like never before. However, instead of this spelling the demise of cold-approach pickup, I’d argue that pickup is more important than ever.

Let’s be clear off the bat—some members of the “PUA community” can be aggressive rather than assertive, pushy rather than charming, and sinister rather than mysterious. These are the guys literally dragging women out of the front door of the club who are slurringly, stumblingly, pukingly drunk; the guys who keep grabbing women when they’ve made their lack of interest clear, and the guys who refuse to accept “no” for an answer. These schmucks don’t have a woman’s best interest in mind and if they end up being nailed for what they’re doing, that’s a good thing.

However, these jackasses aside, cold-approach pickup can go a long way towards improving male-female interactions.

A lot of the trouble that arises between the genders is the result of misunderstandings.
Thanks to biology, your average man isn’t as good at reading faces, body language, tone of voice, or other social cues compared to your average woman. What women assume to be willful ignorance on the part of men is often just plain ignorance. Guys who are experienced in cold-approach are often much better at noticing when a woman is uncomfortable or simply uninterested. Your average dude, who doesn’t have hundreds to thousands of approaches under his belt, is far less equipped to accurately read a given social situation.

What’s more, someone well-versed in cold-approach is often better at picking up on subtle cues as to whether a woman wants him to physically escalate or not. Unfortunately, a lot of times a woman might be uncomfortable with what a man is doing, yet not verbalize it. And that’s where a lot of guys get in trouble.

It’s also worth mentioning that a guy who has been doing cold-approach for a while often has multiple options with women, and therefore isn’t driven by the sexual desperation that causes some men to ignore a woman’s discomfort.

Truly, a lot of what causes women to feel unsafe and uncomfortable around a man stems from nothing more than simple awkwardness on his part. These men often don’t have any bad intentions, they are simply nervous and not sure how to behave, usually due to a lack of experience. Ironically, the recent slew of sexual harassment allegations is actually making men more nervous and therefore more likely to act weird and creep women out.

Despite the sexual/political climate, I don’t believe for a second that the vast majority of women all of a sudden don’t want to be approached by men. As always, women want to be pursued by men…that they find desirable.

So the best way to make sure that a woman doesn’t feel harassed when you approach her is to work on yourself, hone your social skills, and become the caliber of guy she actually wants.

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