[Sunshine Mary and I collaborated on a blog titled “Avoiding, spotting and resisting players: Advice for young women. I think we’ve provided some good, starter advice for young women, at least, those who hope to avoid cads and players. I originally re-blogged what she posted, but have decided to post it entirely myself. I’ve made a few additions, which will be noted throughout.]
Given that the risk of divorce increases as a woman’s number of premarital sex partners increases, a wise young woman will not be sexually active before marriage. She also will not waste her time searching for a boyfriend when what she really wants is a husband. And in order to find a husband while remaining chaste, she needs to avoid players.
Why should young women avoid players? Dalrock recently explained the importance of a young woman not looking for a boyfriend if what she really wants is a husband:
The difference between looking for a boyfriend and looking for a husband changes her original search criteria toward players.
This is true; if a woman is looking for a boyfriend, she will tend to be looking for a man who makes her tingle (feel sexually aroused) with little regard for his character and intentions. If you are a young woman who is serious about marriage, you should be looking for a husband – not a boyfriend – as this will orient your search criteria away from players. However, even a woman who is looking for a husband may be unclear on what characteristics and behaviors she should be avoiding in a man.
Young women who are committed to pre-marital chastity and are serious about marriage should learn to discern between players who will actively seek to seduce them and other men who are making the effort not to entice her into sin. Players work hard to get around a woman’s anti-slut defenses and last-minute resistance; a non-player will be looking for ways to help you make sure the two of you don’t get into an overly-tempting situation.
The reason to avoid players, if you are a marriage-minded young woman, is because they are not interested in marriage. They are interested in uncommitted sexual relationships, something they often euphemistically call “dating,” and one night stands (ONSs). Players will often strike you as intelligent, witty, and charming. They will be the most agreeable of men, but you must understand that they have many little tricks which they will use to seduce you. Many players laugh about how the young women they seduce so often say things like:
I don’t know how it happened. I usually don’t do this!
You may not know how it happened, but he sure does. If you don’t want to be played, you need to avoid players. Instead, look for a man who is himself looking for a wife and not a girlfriend.
One thing that may help with avoiding players is avoiding places where players commonly go to look for women.
1. Don’t hang out in bars and night clubs.
2. Avoid the typical destinations for Spring Break, where players and promiscuous women are likely to congregate.
3. For college-aged women, attending fraternity or similar house parties may be unwise because of the heavy alcohol usage and hook-up culture. Use your judgment.
However, just avoiding these places will not guarantee that you will not encounter a player. They are not sparkly vampires who only come out at night, and you well may bump into such men in the grocery store, at the coffee shop, and at church, where they will most certainly be keeping an eye out for you. Players usually come across as extroverted, friendly, and socially-confident and will approach you to establish rapport even if they do not know you. This is referred to as “cold opening” a woman.
Of course, not every man who speaks to you is a player, and most players will not come right out and announce that they are after uncommitted sex. If you are going to avoid players successfully, you need to know how to spot them.
Zippy agreed with Dalrock that just looking for a husband rather than a boyfriend will weed out the players:
Dalrock is fond of suggesting…that if a woman isn’t looking for casual sex, she doesn’t really need to know how to spot a player. It is an excellent point worth repeating — something for women to keep in mind more than men, really.
Unfortunately, this is not quite true. There are a few players who have publicly said they try to be honest about what they are after, but there are others who admit that they lie about their true intentions. Because some players have no problem lying about what they are after, a young woman needs to be able to spot them.
Spotting a player, that is, a man who seeks to sleep with you without commitment, can range from the ridiculously easy to the frustratingly difficult. Unfortunately, there is no single piece of advice that, once received, will alert you that a man is unquestionably a player. Venturing forth in this sinful world will require a constant watchfulness and awareness of your surroundings. Before getting to specific indicators that a man might be a player, it is important to understand that there are two general “categories” of players.
The first is the so-called “natural” player; this is a man who is self-taught. He developed his craft (the art of seduction) through nothing but force of personality and trial and error. The natural’s abundant personal experiences with women have left him intimately familiar with the fairer sex.
The second type goes by many different names, but perhaps the most familiar is “Pick-Up Artist”, or “PUA”. This man has studied how to seduce women, using a variety of available resources such as books, the internet, seminars and even multi-day “boot camps”. Some learn everything through these resources, while others use them to buttress their existing knowledge and experience. In the latter case this experience, and the skill they have acquired, is far less extensive than the “natural” player.
It should be noted that these aren’t “neat” categories. Some naturals will study what the PUAs teach, and some PUAs will develop a lot of skill at seduction over time. As a general (though not universal) rule the PUA is more easily spotted than a natural, and is less of a threat.
Having gotten that out of the way, here are some possible indicators that a man is a player. Some of them are innocuous enough by themselves, but in combination with other signs should be taken as a sign of danger. [DG: These are not necessarily bad traits, but they can be indicators that a man is a player. Also, many of these traits are what women will want to have in their husband. Careful judgment is key here. Until you have a firm idea about a man’s character through reliable third parties, be careful.]
1) He knows just what to say. A man who always knows the right thing to say, the right line to make you laugh or smile, is a man with an abundant amount of experience with women. A minor indicator by itself.
2) He sexualizes the conversation immediately. This means that within the first minute of a conversation the man takes it into immediately obvious sexual territory. This doesn’t mean that he makes a direct proposition; rather he tries to get the conversation to center around sexual themes. A major red flag.
3) He gets a lot of female attention. Players, especially the good ones, can easily gain the attention of other women. A man with a constant swarm of women about him, especially attractive women, is benefitting from pre-selection (the tendency of women to find attractive those men who other women find attractive). Players know how to use this to their advantage.
4) He wears funky clothing. There is a tactic practiced by some PUAs called Peacocking; it involves wearing strange and garish [DG: here is an example. It doesn’t mean simply a snappy dresser.] outfits in order to draw attention onto themselves. The attention and stares this behavior draws are its very goal, as they give the player a chance to distinguish himself from the crowd. This is a major red flag.
5) He tries to isolate you. Skilled players know that the key to plying their craft is to isolate a woman from other people. This prevents other men from making a move, your friends from coming in to rescue you, or other women from otherwise interfering in a desire for the player themselves. Players understand how essential one-on-one conversation is to seduction. In its simple form this means trying to persuade you or guide you away from the crowd towards a quieter spot of whatever location you find yourself at. A more significant form is found in an invitation/suggestion to leave that location and go somewhere else. The latter is a huge red flag.
6) He has a wingman or two. Skilled players will operate in pairs or small groups in order to aide their seduction efforts. A “wingman” can help keep other men away from you, distract friends and keep other interferences away from your conversation. Look to see if he has one or two buddies that arrived with him and are working in concert.
7) He is skilled at keeping a conversation alive. Keeping a conversation going when the original subject matter is exhausted is a possible warning sign. A player understands that in order to seduce a woman, he needs to make her feel comfortable with him. Part of this involves a constant, amicable contact between the two of you. The longer he can hold your attention, the better.
8) He breaks rapport with you and then reestablishes it quickly. One technique used by some players is to find some reason to break off a conversation at a high point. By leaving at a high-point, your last memory of him will be that positive moment. Then, after a short break, when he resumes the conversation he starts off from a strong position. If a player can do this several times- reach a high point and then break away, only to resume again, he can create a strong rapport with a woman.
9) You find him really comforting after knowing him only a short while. By itself not a danger signal, but combined with other warning signs this probably indicates that a man is a player (likely a natural). Creating comfort is key to seduction, and if you find yourself comfortable around a strange man after a short while you should be on your guard.
10) He constantly finds ways to touch you. Touching, also known as kino, is a prime method that players use to build attraction and comfort. They will often start with minor, seemingly innocuous touching at first, such as near the hands or feet. Then they will work their way up, towards the upper arm and leg, eventually moving to the face and torso. This constant touching is very effective, and a man who can get away with it makes for a very skilled player. Be on guard against this.
Guarding against being tempted by a player is a tricky business. Many of them have far more experience penetrating your defenses than you will have setting them up, as has previously been explained:
…the female brain might work in such a way that if a woman were to find herself in a position where she was under the influence of a man with a dominant, masculine frame, the rational part of her mind stops working properly. She can’t think straight. The only things running through her head are base instincts, with desire for the man being the most paramount. If the woman is isolated, away from friends and family or other sources of moral authority who might be able to constrain her behavior, then she might not be able to say “No” to the man if he presses her. She will eventually yield to him.
The important thing is that she might still be a “good woman”, or even a “good Christian woman.” She might believe that fornication is a sin, and that pre-marital sex is wrong, and that she should save herself for her husband. She might be wearing a promise ring, or whatever talisman supposedly will protect her virtue. But it doesn’t matter. Against such a man, without an external moral source, she cannot prevail.
Most importantly, he doesn’t have to force her. Just use the powerful lure of his dominant masculine frame […] a woman simply cannot face the temptation of a Dominant Alpha Maleand resist his charms forever. If her goal is to resist temptation, to not give in, then she must escape, she must move through or past that temptation. In essence, she needs to get away from him. As long as he is nearby, and without other sources of moral authority to guide her, she is vulnerable. This is the central message of Jesus in Matthew 5:29, to remove from our presence those things which lead us to sin.
Most players will come across as masculine and dominant, so if you think you are going to be able to resist them just because you have identified them, think again. You need to have a strategy. Here are some quick tips:
1) Use the buddy system. Whenever possible, when in a location where players might be present, go with a friend or two. Then stick with one another at all times. Players need to get you alone with them in order to really pull off their seduction. If they can’t get you alone, you have largely thwarted them. Remember, there is safety in numbers.
2) Don’t get isolated. While it might be ok to go a corner in a larger room, avoid leaving a crowded room for an empty one. Always have other people present, especially your friends.
3) Guard your phone number. Don’t give out your phone number to a man you’ve just met. Even better, don’t give it out until you have heard about the character of the guy from other, older women and from male friends and family. Same with e-mail.
4) Get a second opinion. In line with the previous bit of advice ask others about a man before agreeing to meet him in the future. Don’t ask your peers this, but instead older women and male friends and family.
5) Stick to public places. Until you have a better idea of a man’s character, only agree to meet him in a public place, like a café or a park. And make sure that the meeting is during the day or early evening. For early evening encounters, always set a hard time that you will need to leave by.
6) Never go to an unknown place with a man. If you aren’t familiar with a place, don’t go there with a man you hardly know.
7) NEVER GET DRUNK. EVER. Nothing has caused more women to lose their virginity or add another notch to the bedpost in the last few decades than alcohol. Drink to enjoy the taste and have a good time, but drink responsibly. Never get drunk, and when going out with friends, make sure one of you is the designated sober person.
8) Don’t drink at all in unsafe environments. If you do drink, make sure it is amongst friends or in a safe place. Basically, don’t drink when there are a lot of strange men around and few people to watch out for you.
9) Wear modest and feminine clothing. Players prefer to target easy marks. So don’t appear to be one. If you want to draw the attention of good men, and not players, wear clothing that good men would expect good women to wear.
10) Maintain a healthy distance. Keep some space between you and men you don’t know well. This reduces the rate at which they build comfort, and makes it more difficult for them to “kino” you. Also, don’t let a man you’ve just met touch you anywhere other than the hands. Reserve hugs for women and men you know. And even if you’ve known a man for a while, in order to avoid the temptation to hook up with an acquaintance who happens to be a player, do not participate in even mild sexual contact, such as making out, with any man to whom you are not engaged.
Scott and Mychal at The Courtship Pledge
Something which didn’t make it into the post which SSM uploaded was a bit of snark on my end. I originally had a few lines in that made the point that if a woman isn’t sure if a man is a player, she should ask herself if she finds him attractive. If the answer is yes, then the odds are that he is a player. The reason for that snark is of course due to the fact that there are relatively few “Righteous Alphas” (a borrowed term) out there. Those men who are “good men” unfortunately also tend to be “nice men”, which consequently means they are unattractive. Leaving, of course, the field of attractive men to the players and cads. While more true than not these days, it is my hope that what Deep Strength, Chad and I are doing lately might be a move towards correcting that. The key, as it has always been, is to rely on trusted friends and family to help you screen for a man who would make a good husband.