When I was single, I developed an aversion to “playing games.” If both parties understand the basic transaction involved, it’s a simple yes-or-no proposition, and excessive negotiation is just a waste of time. So I never would have engaged in any of those psychological manipulation techniques that PUAs discuss — at least not consciously and deliberately. Looking back now, I realize that my habitual sarcasm might have in some way resembled what PUAs call “negging,” but in fact I was more likely to engage in excessive flattery. There is a way of flirting that involves compliments so over-the-top as to be startling, and to make a woman doubt your sincerity. Likewise, you can learn to insinuate danger — risk, excitement — in a way that frightens off the faint of heart, but intrigues the adventurous.
At times I’ve thought I should actually teach what I know, but it’s probably better to keep it a trade secret, shared only with my sons.