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by Katie Peachesa April 11, 2020 3 min read

Understanding Negging: What Is It, And Who Does It?

By Tatyana Dyachenko

Most of us have heard of "negging" by now, what with the pickup artist community having made its trade secrets so accessible, but what is negging actually all about? Why is it getting an increasingly bad rap?

First laid out in full in Neil Strauss' book, The Game, negging is the practice of gently insulting a woman so she might be more vulnerable to your advances. The emphasis is on the gentle here. Pickup artists aren't looking to be mean, just to undermine a girl's self-confidence and pique her interest; to give the impression that they're a prize she should be pursuing and not the other way around. They'll insinuate that her dress is tacky or her hair is untidy. They'll point out that her nose wrinkles when she laughs or suggest that her friend is somehow prettier: all little things to make her self-conscious and ostensibly, looking to the pickup artist for approval as a result.

If this all sounds a bit sleazy, it's because it is. The idea that a bit of well-placed ridicule will have a woman falling at your feet, because you're clearly such a confident, masculine man has become a bugbear for women the world over, made worse by the fact that plenty of guys still try this tactic when looking to hook up. Sites such as seductionscience.com tout the virtues of negging as a means of scoring whilst justifying it as merely a way of "getting around her bitch shield"; not at all a form of manipulation, perish the thought! The result? Plenty of offended women and plenty of men looking like jerks. Despite this, negging continues to be popular and even successful. Why?

Many men have found that success in dating is not simply a matter of being confident and likeable and watching the ladies line up. All too often your archetypal nice guy gets turned down because he's coming across as needy or boring, while a complete douchebag pulls all the girls because he's rocking a certain mystique. Sadly, whilst women announce that what they really want is a nice, caring, considerate guy, the x-factor which sees badboys hooking up and nice guys being rejected is the badboy's ability to come across as exciting. He may be an utter tool, but he knows how to pique their initial interest. Because of this we have plenty of otherwise great guys trying cheap manipulation tricks and plenty of sleazeballs duping women.

The irony is, that behind all the pickup artist tricks ranging from pseudo psychology to faux palm reading (I kid you not) there lies a simple truth: women enjoy confident men and they enjoy flirty banter, both of which negging is trying to simulate. Women want to be intrigued and impressed by a suitor but they don't want to feel that he's putting her on a pedestal right from the get go; that he's interested in her but not dying to hook up. They are not averse to being teased or flirted with, but they don't want to be insulted or find out they're being manipulated. Light-hearted flirting and fun from a man with genuine self-confidence is far more successful than any formula for hooking up could ever be - so men, take your cue: forget about negging and put your time and effort into being your charming, flirtatious selves. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Katie Peachesa
Katie Peachesa

Katie Peachesa is a sex and lingerie blogger based out of the urban chic Wapping in the heart of East London, United Kingdom. In her spare time, Katie enjoys photography, yoga and fitness, a bit of boxing, traveling, keeping up with the latest fashion trends and mudlarking and exploring pastoral settings. You are likely to find Katie in an artisan cafe in Brick Lane on a Saturday afternoon furiously typing her next article on her laptop whilst she is sipping on her flat white and drawing inspiration from the hustle and bustle in the heart of creative London. Katie runs the "Fashion Life Mag" and has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Allure, Grazia, Tatler, Evening Standard and other popular media outlets.


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