Should You Be Aggressive With Women?

by Eric Disco
Jan 31

“As Hinde (1974), in writing on the biological bases of human social behavior suggests, over-aggression in a male can frighten off prospective mates.”

This lesson is clear to us. Aggression is bad. You will scare her off.

It doesn’t take more than one bad approach, where a woman gets creeped out, for an introverted guy like myself to go into a downward spiral of self-debasement and self-questioning.

I’ve been taught this all my life. I was instructed over and over.

I actually remember the first time I learned this lesson. I was in an auditorium in grade school. It was an assembly where we were watching a movie. I don’t quite remember what the movie was, but the main idea was that some guy was mean to a woman and it made her feel bad. I could feel her pain. “I need to be a nice guy,” I thought to myself. “I don’t want to hurt people.”

Aggression is bad, I was taught. I am smart. I learned this lesson early and I learned it well. At every turn it was reinforced. Through television and movies, but also through my personal empathy with women. I am a sensitive guy. I truly felt for my sister when she related to me how violated she felt when she was catcalled on the street.

The lesson became a medal of honor when things didn’t work out for me with women. I took initiative to approach when I was in middle school. But a few hard rejections and I decided I didn’t want to be the bad guy any more. It was too painful and costly to take this kind of initiative. I felt shamed at my failure. I was a nice guy, I decided. This was my fate and everything would work out in the end.

My approach anxiety grew. Over the years I would occasionally take the initiative to approach a women, just out of pure attraction. But these interactions NEVER worked. They happened less and less. Years literally went by between approaches.

My approach anxiety grew to massive proportions. It turned into a brick wall. I was still inclined to approach. I was still massively attracted to women. And each time I didn’t take the initiative and act on my attraction, I felt a sense of relief. This rewarded and reinforced my behavior the same way a dog treat rewards a dog for rolling over.

I learned my lesson and I learned it well.

But then something happened. Or more so, I should say something didn’t happen. The years went by. And I continued to subscribe to the idea that I should just be a nice guy and things would work out for me in the end. But things weren’t working out for me in the end.

I was unhappy in the few scarce relationships that entered my life. I looked around me and saw that there were guys out there, happy and doing well. And they were aggressive! I would almost use the word “asshole.”

There is another side to this equation that was much more difficult to see. When you are too aggressive with a woman, the result is obvious. You creep her out. You get rejected. You get pushed away. We could easily test this hypothesis over and over.

But what about under-aggression? A lack of assertiveness is a slow-moving disease that creeps up on you with every step you don’t take.

If you move too slowly you are desexualized. If you lack aggressiveness you risk being stuck in friend zone for ever and ever. You lack the ability to create the necessary sexual tension that sparks interest from a woman.

There are ways to be aggressive without being harmful. Catcalling is not pickup. It’s street harassment.

When you banter with a woman, you are being aggressive. You are flirting with her and teasing her, pushing her away, creating conflict.

There is a strong tendency, primate behavior research shows, that alternating friendly and aggressive interactions stimulate the formation of social bonds more so than smooth affiliative interactions. The parting and reunion reaffirms the social bond.

Have you ever heard a Depeche Mode song called Strangelove? It’s always held a place in my heart for what it said: “Pain. Will you return it? I’ll say it again. Pain.”

Most of the women I’d been with haven’t been very good at returning pain. I’m not a masochist. I don’t enjoy physical pain, and have learned to see the danger in emotional pain. But it’s the pulling away that would bring out the emotion in me. Most of my girlfriends could not do it well. They did not know how to pull away and leave me longing. They always just covered me like a wet blanket.

These last few years I have spent trying to unlearn the idea that aggressiveness is wrong. When I began to become more assertive, my body fought me. It took a lot of practice to get past my own fearfulness.

Moving too fast creeps a woman out but moving too slow puts you in friend zone. These days I much prefer to err on the side of creeping a woman out. That way I’ve learned something.

One of my goals for a while was to initiate sexual escalation early on after I’ve approached a girl. When I begin talking to a woman, I move quickly from friendly non-sexual touch with the back of my hand to more aggressive sexual escalation: running my hands through her hair, scraping my nails up her jeans, or putting my hands in her pockets. All within a few minutes of meeting her.

I got rejected a few times. A few girls jumped back. I may have even creeped a few girls out. It’s okay. They weren’t harmed. A woman has boundaries and it’s her responsibility to tell me if it’s not working for her, whether it’s during the approach or other interactions I have with her.

Being aggressive and seeing what worked and what didn’t calibrated me to become a better lover. Without it, I would have been stuck in friend zone, or worse, stuck to the wall of the bar with a beer in my hand, watching the world go by.


posted in Embarrassment and Rejection, Sex and Escalation

29 responses
John Doe says:

Nice post dude!

Nicolas says:


artie says:

I totally agree, my problem is quite similar and have made a conscious effort to be more aggressive as well. Like Eric, I’ve been the nice guy for the better part of my life, and it really hasn’t panned out for me either. Finding a balance between niceness and assertiveness has been nearly impossible for me. However, I’ve netted results the few times that I’ve gone away from my nature (Mr. Nice) and really have gone all out (total aggression). Sometimes, it’s an all or nothing proposition for me.

I could give you a couple of examples, but there’s one that truly sticks out. I’m in technical support and my job entails visiting people’s desks to solve their PC issues. The Treasurer of our company had hired a fairly attractive new assistant and of course she needed technical assistance. As soon as I entered the office, I got a vibe from her. Her boss was at a meeting and the office was isolated from the rest of the department. She was overly nice and a bit flirtatious. I truly am a nice guy, but like Eric, I didn’t want to be this lovely girl’s “friend”. At this stage in my life I was feeling frustrated at my past failures. I was going to take a different approach with women. She kept her flirting and at this point, the secretary was leaning over the desk in a very provocative manner. Something inside my head completely snapped and I totally went for broke. I raised my arm as high as it could go, and with all my might, hand wide open I slapped her in the ass as hard as I’ve ever hit anyone!!! It seemed like my life flashed right in front of me!!! Thoughts of being fired, sexual harassment, her yelling and accusing me, all flashed in before my eyes. Truly frightened and almost panicking, I was relieved when she turned to me and said, she’d been waiting for me to that.
Needless to say, I went out with this girl and had a great time.

I’m not advocating violence toward women or risking your job like I did, but in this one instance, it worked out for the best. I got a really good vibe and went all out!

Pink says:

You know it used to be when I was a kid, that I was – or thought I was good with picking up chicks.

During my teens I did alot of acid and E and hash… I guess…. I got a little wierded out by the world…. uptight…. nervous…

It’s take literally years to de-esculate myself from all that craziness…

Very, very slowly I’m trying to re-learn the skills I had, or thought I had with women…

This website helps… it reminds me of what it was like to truely prowl and revel in the act of prowling.

Today I opened two girls… which is two more then the three previous months….

I’m going to try the core tennant of this site for a while – namely – try to open a girl everyday.

See a girl on the train to work – just say fuck it… take a chance and go talk to her…

Better to crash and burn then to watch the world go by what ?

mark says:

hahahah….. I’m a nice guy and i can tell you Ive got girls left and right. Okay often just friends, but that can quickly turn into something.
Here’s a tip- if you are not gonna kiss her, than most likely she isnt gonna go for it either. If you kiss her, she might like it :)
And compliment your woman, but dont over do it, no woman or man wants someone who is a roll over and doesnt have any opinions or anything.

Good guy approach works, but dont let her bull doze all over you nobody wants that.

Clint says:

Man, I totally hear you as far as learning to be under-aggressive in childhood, and having it affect your adulthood.

It’s been the same with me, though to a greater degree.

I turn twenty-six this year, and I’ve never approached a girl in my life.

mrflowaman says:

fuck me. This entire website is an eye opener for me. I want to thank the people for setting up a website like this. I was really outgoing as a young teen i was working in a restaurant and wanted to do adult things while my other friends were playing there playstations. I had pretty much discovered how to be extroverted, friendly, talking to random people all the time. Long story short, in my first relationship with a girl i done everything that this website teaches you NOT to do.
I was clingy, needy, passive ,that relationship ended with her going out with other guys who were not needy, not passive infact they treated her badly and guess what she still went back to them EVERY time.
In the mean time months passed and i was still emotionally distraught trying to figure out where i went wrong and why this happened.
Looking through this website its soo fucking obvious and deep down i knew why but just could not accept it. Since then I have never had a girlfriend and never really got it together with any chicks.
However reading this website has got me thinking to how i was when i was younger working at my cousins restaurant mixing with older people i was outgoing, and slightly cocky which makes me sad to think I have just wasted about 7 years of my life and can count on one hand the number of girls i have approached.
BUT not now, i REALISE what i have done and need to do to get out of my own social rut and be that kind of person i was before but smarter. There are still a lot of steps i need to take before i get to my goal of nailing a chick from a cold approach, but sure as fuck I will not EVER go back to the way i was after my break up NEVER EVER AGAIN.
this is me- the pheonix rising from the ashes,,,,watch out ladies……………….

Yowza says:

There’s an old saying:

“Treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen”.

It’s a funny world guys.

R says:

Ok, what has worked to me the best it’s been… anticipation!! As you can tell, you have to calibrate with not too slow or shy, not too direct and agressive.

When you see the gap and then jump in there with the right speed and body language you don’t wanna give it all, in fact, you want to show you know what’s about to happen slightly and then step back. Depending on the girl’s response the step back can be to take your hand back from her hair, pockets, etc.. or if she seemed too nervous, step back, do something else, look around slowly, lean back and get back to normal convo.

After 1-2 min, go back to what you were doing, but this time differently, and then do it! Anticipate another thing on her, like a slighly kiss, step back, wait for 5 seconds, and kiss her slighly before going for the big kiss…

I don’t know how to describe it because there are 1M situations, but keep in your head the word anticipation, it build all the sexual tension you’ll need. PROMISE.

des says:

I always think of the black widow. She attracts the males and eat them after mating. Or a female dog or cat, she purrs and rolls around with her tail up in the air giving her sex organ for sniffing and when she is approached she hisses and growls when mounted. Yeah right.

The males who finally mate with bitches like this or the female cat don’t shy away, they keep coming unabated. Same applies here, women call you names and be arsewipes but you have to establish your dominance in a nice way. If your frame is strong what she wants is submit. I think most of it is test whether they know it or not.

Bajao says:

Wow…this is pure fu—ing gold! And your prose, Eric, is a thing of beauty!

[...] Allow me to recommend this article: Should You Be Aggressive With Women? (Warning, the art may not be work-safe.) [...]

GEKL says:

well didnt help me much tho im good in telling stories i might didnt understand good what u r saying.

district says:

so… I’m a girl and I agree with most of this article. It’s not about being dominated or anything, but I think most girls prefer aggressive guys. their just hotter!

Johanna says:

Confidence does not have to be aggressive. But I agree with the part about men being desexualised. When a man is too feminine he becomes like a girlfriend. Nobody wants a pushover.

So catcalling is harassment but putting your hand in a girl’s pockets and hair isn’t? That would seroiusly piss me off. Guys need to be very careful with physical contact when they dont know a woman. You say they were not harmed. You are wrong. Every time I get harassed by a guy I trust guys less and less. Respect is a keyword.

Natalie says:

I agree about the early physical contact. You have to read the girl well first and make sure she would welcome it. Many, including myself, would be put off and find that sleazy. It gives off vibes that you are only looking for sex if u get too physical too soon. If you are approaching a woman you don’t know in a public setting its already obvious what your intentions are and there’s no need to fear the “friend zone”. If she’s not a stranger, in which case it is not obvious, u can flirt heavily and gently touch her arm once or give her shoulder a little squeeze, something respectful like that. But words alone go a long way.

Mike says:

Great blog, Eric.

A good middle ground for Nice Guys is that over the course of any date, you have to put your arm around her from time to time, squeeze her at least once, and occasionally slip your hand down her back (over her clothes), until she tells you otherwise. That is respectful but assertive.

Even if she isn’t that into you yet or views you as a friend, she probably won’t mind you doing this. Her reaction will tell you whether you ought to go for the kiss or wait for next time. And if she does seriously object and gets mad at you, then her walking away and cutting the date short will have actually saved you problems.

And you lose points by NOT even trying.

jay says:

Ugh this has been my conundrum my entire life… it’s like “do i kiss her and she yells ‘rape’ or do i not and she yells ‘p^ssy’?” don’t wanna creep her out and piss her off but don’t wanna be stuck in the friend zone either… it hard to discern where the hell the ‘line’ is…

Tz says:

“jay Says: Ugh this has been my conundrum my entire life… it’s like “do i kiss her and she yells ‘rape’ or do i not and she yells ‘p^ssy’?”

Woah! I think that’s a common fear among guys, but women (well, almost all women) won’t yell rape if you go in for a kiss. The most they’ll do is turn away or say they don’t feel that way about you, blah, blah, blah. As far as holding back and not going for the kiss, I really don’t think that makes women classify you as a pvssy. In general, they put the blame on themselves, as in “Why doesn’t he like me? Am I ugly? fat? etc” So it can actually create some good tension. My general rule is that I don’t go for the kiss on the first date. It puts the pressure off and I can just enjoy myself and have a good time. And if there’s chemistry, it creates that tension and leaves her longing for the next date.

And take heart in the words of Keith Richards. I was just reading an excerpt of his biography and he says he’s never put the make on a girl in his life because he doesn’t know how to do it. “Meanwhile I’m putting the make on in another way-by creating an aura of insufferable tension. Somebody has to do something. I knew how to operate amongst women, because most of my cousins were women, so I felt very comfortable in their company. If they’re interested, they’ll make the move. That’s what I found out.”

Axel says:

I reckon you gotta err on the side of creeping her out to learn, mate!

Cameron says:

Johanna, Eric wouldnt just walk up to a girl and put his hand in her pocket, he would touch her in the arm or maybe the side of the stomach to begin with and see how she responded. Its about respecting women by treating them as the sexual beings they are.

muted says:

this past year i’ve finally realized why my ugly ass friend get’s chicks. its cause he is a dick and not afraid to offend them, but always making sure they know he’s just being funny. in fact last summer i was seeing a chick, and i was so good to her, the perfect gentleman, i had been working on her all summer (she had just gotten out of a long term relationship) and then my friend steps in and in about 2 weeks they’re dating. yeah my friend is a douche but hey it worked for him. but lets be clear me and him are no longer tight bro’s, i can’t trust a guy like that, but i dont hate him anymore because i realized how i screwed up and he had it right.

I also like that idea of approaching at least one or two chicks a day, just to talk. should help me get over approach anxiety hopefully. i’ll have to try it.

Zhelyazko says:

Damn Eric. Thank you a lot. Hope I can be as persistent as you and get over myself and stop being the nice guy.

Can I ask you a question ? When you go for the kiss do you ever ask if a girl wants it or just go for it ?

Eric Disco says:

When you go for the kiss do you ever ask if a girl wants it or just go for it?

No, you don’t want to ask. One way I like to ‘test’ if she’s ready to be kissed is by playing with her hair. If she’ll let me play with her hair, she’s ready to be kissed. I’ll say, “Who does your hair? I love it.” And I’ll reach over and touch her hair.

If she rejects you when you go for the kiss, that’s okay. Just pretend it never happened. Be 100% cool with it and try again in a little while.


[...] Should You Be Aggressive With Women? | Approach AnxietyThere is another side to this equation that was much more difficult to see. When you are too aggressive with a woman, the result is obvious. You creep her out. You get rejected. You get pushed away. We could easily test this hypothesis over and over. [...]

Al says:

This is a key probem I’ve suffered from. I think there’s a difference between being sexually aggressive in the right way, and stalking someone, but women expect men to be a bit forward, no matter how much the media and overly-sensitive feminist types try to tell us otherwise.

Thanks Eric! Clearly we’ve been lied to!

Justin says:

I tend to meet girls online since I am not very good at picking up girls in person. I responded to a girl’s post on CL on Friday, and we ended up having a good conversation. it then went into sexual talk, and we both talked dirty to each other. The next day, I e-mailed her and we chatted. But, I could tell that she was disengaged. It turns out that she thinks that I am too much of a nice/pleasant guy and she prefers more aggressive guys. She specifically noted that she thinks that I am certainly attractive. I find it dubious how she could determine that I am not aggressive in 2 chats. And, how would aggressiveness manifest itself in such a short period of time? it just doesn’t seem to make sense. I was genuinely interested in us getting to know each other, so I asked her some questions and kept the conversation going. Also, how exactly can one define aggressiveness when it comes to online chatting?

dave says:

Justin – I am hardly the guru and could never advise you, but based upon my own many past failures , the process HAS to be more enjoyable to you or will not do any of this and it will ALL seem very tedious and unpleasant. Good luck!

david says:

I have the opposite problem I am super aggressive by nature and super confident. Living in NYC I often approach girls on a weekly basis on the street, subway, bar, supermarket, etc. I have met and slept with quite a few woman, but now I’m at the point where I want love and not just sex. I been in the game for so long I’m tired of sleeping with a girl for a month and then I lose interest or she does and sometimes I become a super aggressive, assertive asshole who feels I can be real G with these woman an say” time is money baby, I can’t be wasting time sitting around with you”. So I have toned back my intensity or am trying and hopefully taking things slower will allow me to keep woman around longer.