A fiercely intelligent sex worker goes on a date with a pick-up artist. What could go wrong? Ho-lene Parton | My date with SF's now legendary douchebag with a "rape van".
Being an adventurous and somewhat awkward internet dater in the SF Bay Area, it turns out that I went on a date with this fine specimen of manhood in December. And yes, it was all that you would expect and more. While leaving the house, I told my roommate that it was either going to be the best date ever, or the worst experience of my single life. It turned out to be both, but also an excellent insight into the psyche of the so-called pickup artist (PUA, in their terminology). In case you’re not familiar with my personal history, I’ve been a sex worker for about 4 years now. I’ve been a nude model, peepshow dancer, a stripper, a porn performer, a sensual massage provider, dabbled in pro-dommeing ,and now mostly make my living as an independent escort. While working in the strip clubs, a friend introduced me to Neil Strauss and his book The Game, and told me that the techniques described inside actually worked even better on male customers, and would open wallets like nothing else. I devoured the book, and also the Vh1 reality series starring Mystery, another man famous for his love of furry hats and success at leveraging drunk girls’ low self esteem for blowjobs. Turns out, she was right. Drunk, entitled men really respond to “negging” (backhanded compliments made to prey on insecurities), “peacocking” (wearing bright or outlandish clothes to attract attention, something strippers have been excelling at for years), and other PUA tricks. So when I wound up sitting at a Mission bar next to a self-proclaimed master PUA, I was already armed and ready. He’d messaged me on OkCupid a week or so before, and we’d been carrying on a very tongue-in-cheek text exchange. He’d texted me video from Vegas of bros dancing at a Deadmau5 show, and I’d made jokes about time travel, his awful outfits, and bacon bikinis. From the tone of our conversation, I knew that I would at least come out of the evening with an excellent story. Finally, the fateful evening arrived. Stuck in traffic, I let him know I would be late, and the warning signs started coming fast and thick. 15 minutes after the scheduled beginning, he was already clearly drinking heavily, and I hadn’t even parked.