How to Not be the Creepy Guy
I've posted a few articles recently that deal with casual relations. "Do Women Only Want Sex?" cuts to the core of what, specifically, women want from men; "Sexiness is Critical to Casual Relations" discusses some research highlighting how important being sexy is to netting rapid intimacy with women.
A reader sent me an email the other day after reading some of the posts on rapid intimacy, asking if I can help identify what it is he might be doing wrong. An excerpt from his message:
“I just can't figure out how any guy can sleep around without misleading girls about his intentions. With a lot of girls, I feel like I'm in a weird zone where they think I only want casual sex, but that they aren't attracted to me enough, so they don't like me at all (and I don't know whether I'm not attractive enough for them or whether they just don't want casual sex.) In this zone, they don't really want me around cuz they see me just as a roving dick on the hunt. That's what honesty gets you... But maybe I need to be more honest about the side of me that wants to get to know them? How do I even do that? Currently I just try to have fun with people, which is how I got over the creepy vibe, but I still feel like I have this worthless-player vibe.”
Okay, so I have a pretty good feeling for where this gent is. He is, it seems to me, at the point where he's relying on being fun and entertaining to keep women's interest and get them to like him, but it isn't translating well to intimacy, and he feels that without being fun and entertaining, he doesn't have much else to offer and people dub him "creepy."
Kind of a Catch-22: being fun and entertaining means women don't see you as all that sexual, but dropping the fun and entertaining vibe means people don't want to hang around and that certainly isn't terribly conducive to bedding new girls either.
Now, there's a post on this site up about how to be a sexy man, and that's the first place I'll point anyone who wants to know how to start instilling the right kinds of emotions in a woman: interest, curiosity, intrigue, and arousal. And we talk a lot about the drawbacks of being the entertainer guy in "Reactions from Women, or Results with Women? So those are a couple of great places to start if you're looking to get out of the habit of being entertaining and into the habit of being sexy.
But if you drop the fun and entertaining slant, and you end up seeming creepy… what causes that? That's the main thing I'd like to address in this post; basically, how not to be the creepy guy.
How "Creepiness" Works
"Creepy" is kind of a catch-all term for feelings of nagging fear and uncertainty that certain people instill in others, most commonly when we intuit that those others are trying to hide their real motivations. When someone wants something from us but is lying about it, we call him a "creepy guy."
Creepiness is something many newer guys run into, because they
find themselves in the situation of wanting something from people but
lacking the social wherewithal to honestly express their wants without
being too forward or awkward – so they try to conceal them.
To people they might be threatening to in the wrong light, this comes off as "creepy." Some common faux pas that someone described as creepy might make:
A conversation is dying, but he stands there and keeps trying very hard to keep it alive.
A woman has given signals she isn't interested, but he continues trying to talk about very mundane stuff like the weather or the city or his job.
The level of interest he's showing does not align with his purported intentions.
The first two are tied to being a social burden, which we'll talk more about a little below. What that last one stems from is that say a guy is trying to be indirect and not show any interest in a girl, but his body language and behavior is communicating he's very interested, there's going to be a big mismatch between what he's saying he wants (friendly, polite conversation) and what he actually wants (to take this girl to bed right now). That "concealing of the obvious" tends to put other people on edge a bit.
It's not really the "coming on too strong" that's a problem. It's the coming on too strong with a lack of social calibration.
It really all ties back to how socially calibrated a guy is. The
more comfortable he is with people, the more he knows both how to act
with people to get what he wants, and how to present himself in a way
that others find pleasing and compelling but not overbearing.
Being creepy ultimately is about wanting something from people without offering anything in return. Creepy guys do not try to get to know who women really are and give them good emotions. They don't try to sweep women off their feet and make them feel romanced and excited. They just stand there and keep trying to talk to women hoping that somehow by saying enough words women will decide they want them. They offer no value and do nothing positive to interest or intrigue or attract a girl, and instead only want and pursue whatever it is they want (a phone number, a kiss, to take a girl home, etc.).
People don't like people who want to take from them but give nothing in return. When someone picks up that another person is like this, that other person tends to get labeled "creepy."
Things Creepy Guys Do and How to Fix Them
There are some specific behavioral traits creepy guys possess that you'll notice more socially calibrated men do not. I'll list them out here and explain.
Scanning and Staring. Creepy guys tend to scan around a lot, "hunting" and looking for the next woman they'll talk to. This is very obvious to everyone else in the venue, especially women, who have eagle eyes for which guys are staring at them and get creeped out by men who are scanning around and staring them down. More socially calibrated men instead flow naturally into conversation and use their peripheral vision, identifying women they want to talk to without ever looking directly at them.
Giving too much of their body. Creepy guys come on very strong and give full body attention most of the time. That is, they point both their feet, their torso, and their head and eyes directly at the person they're talking to. This is like what many salespeople do when you walk into a store, and it makes you feel cornered when they do that to you, right?
Well, a guy turning his body on full blast to some girl he's just met makes that girl feel exactly the same. Learn to talk to women over your shoulder and open them with the side of your body facing toward them, rather than giving them a full frontal.
Being overly serious. Sexy men typically have either an extremely steamy, sultry vibe about them, or they have a puckish playfulness mixed in with sexual undertones. Women react very well to this. Creepy guys, on the other hand, usually don't smile at all, and seem dead serious.
When a man approaches a new woman, she has no idea what his intentions are, and men are generally bigger and stronger than women and thus potentially dangerous to them. Smiles disarm; but creepy guys often forget to smile and instead barrel in with a serious expression on their faces and alarm women. You mustn't forget to smile.
Being a social burden. The concept of the social burden is a pretty interesting one, and one I'll probably do a post on at some point. Basically, when you've just met someone there's often a fear that you're going to stick around and not leave and be a burden on them socially, even if you seem like a really cool guy. Socially calibrated men are very good at defusing the fear of the social burden, and thus move past this quite quickly. Less experienced men are often not, and hang around giving full, unflinching attention to a new woman and hanging onto her like a bulldog.
There are ways to adroitly hang onto a woman while simultaneously defusing the fear of the social burdens, which I'll cover more in-depth when I get a post on this up, but for now, suffice it to say that speaking slowly and with lots of pauses is a very good place to start. It allows women to relax and know that they'll be able to get a word in and end the conversation if they need to, which is freeing for them to know and alleviates much of the fear.
Being truly indirect verbally, while communicating interest nonverbally. Most new guys prefer using indirect – not coming out and stating their interest in a woman – because they haven't figured out how to do direct yet without coming on too strong, and indirect feels a lot safer and less intimidating. And indirect is certainly fine, so long as at some point you start communicating your interest.
The stronger your interest comes across via behavior and body language, the sooner you must verbally communicate or at least imply interest. If you continue beating around the bush and trying to act uninterested while your behavior and body language implies otherwise, you'll be deemed "creepy." Circumvent this by verbally or implicitly confirming to women that yes, you admit you're interested.
Being afraid. There's a psychological term called "emotional contagion" that discusses the absorption and internalization of the emotions of those around us, and the one thing that many creepy guys have when they're talking to strangers and new women is fear. And when a man is feeling fear, he communicates it; the expressions on his face a are a little tighter; his voice trembles a bit more; he thinks about conversation more slowly and his conversation comes with more hesitation; and he puts out plumes of pheromones filled with fear chemicals that women pick up on.
If you start communicating fear, women pick up on it – and become fearful themselves. Compound that with standing there trying to force a conversation with a woman you're afraid of – ack, no good; the girl feels like something is very off. Unfortunately, not much you can do about this one aside from bite the bullet and go talk to the girls you find most intimidating, until you reach the point where they frighten you no more.
Moving Beyond Creepy
The best way to get over creepiness, of course, is to develop a high degree of social calibration and social intuition. I strongly recommend dropping routines and fun and entertaining stuff if you're doing that and focusing instead on becoming a talented conversationalist.
It will be a bit harder for a while if you've been doing that other stuff, and you'll get fewer extreme reactions from women and might see a drop in your results for a while if you've been getting some with some other stuff, because the learning curve's a bit steeper. But you'll quickly advance as a conversationalist once you start trying and, man, let me tell you, once you're good with conversation, you will blow away all the guys trying to entertain.
You must also seek to romance women. Provide them great emotions and a great experience! That's what you need to be looking to do. You're not there to take; you're there to give. Quick, casual intimacy happens when a man creates the proper emotions in a woman to make it happen. Even the women who are desperately looking for a man to go to bed with will not go to bed with just any man most of the time; usually they're looking for a man who knows how to push the buttons they need to have pushed in order to accompany him home and become his lover.
So, if you ever feel like you're giving off a "worthless player" vibe, take a second and ask yourself what value you're providing to women. If the answer is not much, start zeroing in on how you can provide value to them. You should target things like excitement, connection building, and sexual intrigue. See the article on "How to be a Sexy Man" for more on this.
Once you're providing value to women, and being honest about your intentions, the risk of being dubbed a "creepy guy" becomes less and less, until eventually it disappears altogether, never to be seen again. Then you'll the one women come to to point out a guy and say, "Ah, that guy's creepy!"
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