Tickle Me Emo

A Rational reader asks:

I realized some (not many, but some hot) chicks tend to fall for the sensitive sissy – the one labelled as “Wimpster” or “Emo” (I guess you know what I mean).

I think, these “men” are as pathetic as it gets. How do they manage to get hot chicks? I really saw some couples HB+Emo-Kid during the last months.

What do they have in order to attract hot women?
What sort of secret “quality” is it, that makes (some of) these poor, pathetic losers so successful?

Any idea?

You’re pigeon-holing the ‘Emo’ thing as a specific type, when it’s really just a manifestation of an archetype. Emo Game is really a variation of the Dandy. Playing the Dandy has been a time-tested seduction schema for centuries. In the late 70s and into the 80s you could make comparisons to David Bowie or even Jim Morisson (before they were famous) or the Glam Rock phase. You can even compare them to the pensive, Kurt Cobain style Grunge Rock ‘artists’. Emo guys are just the next check on the bill, and in fact I’d say their time is just about up as the herbilicious Indie-Rocker has pushed them to the side these days. Splitting hairs, I know.

But to answer your question, just break it down into understandable dynamics. Why does this type of guy attract women?

Exceptional Emos

First of all, only exceptional guys of this archetype really attract women with any regularity. The sissy-boy, sensitive, Emo guy is only going to get so far if he is exceptional in some way and even then, only with women who have the capacity to appreciate his characteristics. While most arousal cues are universal, women tend to base their learned attraction ‘preferences’ on what they think, at least subconsciously, is within the realm of attainability proportional to their capacity to attract that ‘type’ of guy with some degree of predictable success.

However, the notable Emo (dandy) guy must be exceptional in some respect to pull off his schema. By exceptional I mean they must posess some real demonstrable talents in order to play the stoically tragic, socially misunderstood, artist character. You don’t have to be an artist to play the Emo card, but this is the natural association women apply to the archetype. Remember, women are like casting agents for their own fantasies; the fat kid with nothing to back up his ’emotional nature’ (such as demonstrable artistic merit) is simply an even bigger, whining, ‘Baby Huey’ dressed in drag, mascara and painted nails, and has little success in pulling off the sensitive thing when no one is paying attention to him in the first place.

For the guys that can back up the character (such as Mystery); I can see why this would confuse the average guy wondering WTF is going on. These guys can pull tail and it seems to contradict (again) what women say they’re “looking for” in a guy. Remember that it is a woman’s behavior that is the benchmark of her intent, not her words. So why then do they opt for guys like this?


First of all, guys with this schema tend to place themselves and their passion (or at least the perception of it) above anything else – and this includes women. This is fundamental to the personality type as well as the legitimacy of the fantasy that women want to cast him in. Their passions are literally the ‘other woman’ to the women that are attracted to them. This establishes him in a position of power in that he presents the appearance of being so consumed with himself and his art that he becomes a challenge to her and this is what locks her into his intrigue. He sets the frame for her and she has no other choice but to follow. In so doing this, he places her in a position of him needing her less than she does and she therefore chases and qualifies herself to him.

Secondly, guys of this type have a demonstrated value of creative intelligence with at least the potential for long term successes. From the Evo-Psych perspective, behavioral cues of creative intelligence is sexy for women – it represents a capacity for innovation and survival skills – this is why the starving artist gets laid, often with more variety than does the typical ‘good provider’ male. In respect to women’s pluralistic breeding strategies, Emo Guy makes for a wonderful short-term breeding prospect (good genes), but usually a lousy choice for a long-term provisioning or parental investment prospect. This is the same reason why women will fuck the pool boy, but marry the lawyer. Many an Alpha Widow pines away her late adulthood for the artist boyfriend she left behind for the stable provider.

Lastly, it seems ‘right’ for certain women to want to nurture this ‘artist’ because it plays into the whole romantic, chick crack predestination idealism that so many women want to believe can happen for them. They’re making the world a better place by sponsoring one more male to explore his sensitivity and helping him to fully realize his feminine potential by mothering him and letting him fuck her in appreciation.

At this point I should add a caveat here in that my intent isn’t to vilify the nature of truly artistic men (I count myself among them, and I have played the dandy in my youth to great success). Rather my purpose is to explain the appeal this type of guy has for women. The average salt-of-the-earth guy will (most times accurately) associate a man ‘not playing by the masculine script’ as wishy-washy, effete and indecisive (i.e. effeminate), but the more exceptional characters of this type, the legitimate ones, are some of the most determined and persistent Men you will ever know. Jim Morrison was a tortured, addicted poet, but he was Alpha as fuck.

My advice is to watch by patiently and stick to your masculine guns in this respect. The women that would pass you up for this type of guy are few, very particular, and rarely worth the effort in encouraging them see this dynamic at work in themselves. Hold out for the much more plentiful women that do respond to pronounced masculinity. It’s really only a matter of time until this type of woman tires of the ‘sensitive guy’ after coming to terms with the inherent emasculation and the associated irresponsibility of this kind of male. Very few men can play the dandy indefinitely.

[Now I’ll go sit on pins and needles to await Emma the Emo’s inevitable response.]

Published by Rollo Tomassi

Author of The Rational Male and The Rational Male, Preventive Medicine

36 comments on “Tickle Me Emo

  1. Teehee

    On a serious note, that’s a very interesting analysis of why emoness sometimes is attractive. I always thought it was the desire to understand the emo and natural nurturing instincts, but always wondered why it doesn’t work for betas that much (they are, after all, hurt by constant rejection). But you say it’s because emo guys are more absorbed with other things rather than the girl.

    Also, I find it weird how one guy can complain “why doesn’t anybody love meeee?” and some girls will feel bad for him and want to have sex with him, while another one does the same and is called a total loser who can’t get laid for a reason! It must be something other than emoness itself that is attractive. Could be his fame, or talent, or the fact that he’s a serial killer 🙂

  2. Yes, but also.

    Different tribes. The girls chase and want to fuck the top guys from their tribe, and fear / dislike the top guys from the other tribes, which are also feared and disliked as a whole.

    Say. The girls who like Loki (from the movie) dislike Thor and think he’s a pompous vapid dick, and the girls (the majority) who like Thor think that Loki is a lame ass weakling faggot.


    They would still fuck the other tribe’s top guy. If they had no other choice. Like, if that guy dropped by to say hi and they are not on their period. But it’s not the guy they consume themselves about.

    In short, girls who like agendered angst fueled non mainstream guys, are in that category themselves. The tribe sets the basis and safety needed to build the men’s ladder and the attraction game.

  3. Of note: The emo by rejecting the stereotypical gender role, and creating his own version of masculinity defined by himself sets him apart from the rest of society.

    Women who have “desires” which are not societally approved of often look for people who are able to break the norms. Because, if one can break their own norms, a woman feels they’ll be able to satisfy the desires that the woman does not feel are “acceptable”.

    Oh right, and also being emo means you don’t “count” like all the rest of the “guys”, so she doesn’t feel like she has to count you in the number of guys she’s banged.

  4. Good breakdown.

    Other stuff that applies:
    – congruency (a lawyer dressing emo for the night isn’t the same)

    – frame control (sucking a girl into their world/beliefs)

    – handling social pressure (everyone judging them as gay wussy-men)

    – authentic expression (even if it’s negative)

    – social proof (they tend to hang in specific social circles or at specific bars where over time they’ll know bands that are playing and emo girls that want them etc)

    – peacocking (duh)

    – comfortable with sexuality (semi-gay vibe = less sexually judgmental than Mr Macho)

    – passion (as mentioned in Rollo’s article. Every indie band no matter how shitty they are has at least one or two groupie girls who follow them to every show and love them, cause they have a passion/dream. Does Cubicle-Man working 80hrs/week at a job he hates have a dream he’s passionately following? Nope. So even if Cubicle-Man is rich and indie guy is poor, indie guy is more attractive)

    Lots of little dynamics going on.

  5. Anytime you find yourself hating on an emo dude with a hot chick, ask yourself why? Then unfuck yourself and stop being a hater.

    Real recognizes real, and if you hate on an emo’s game I think I hear a bit of jealousy going on there.

    That being said, there are plenty of emo dudes not getting puss, just like there are plenty of any other dudes not getting puss. It’s like a separate world- They have their own girls and heriarchy.

    1. So we also shouldn’t hate serial killers because they have lots of female groupies? I think you are a little to focused on the female value-system. Worthless asswipes get some points for their success with the ladies, but the total is still negative one million for being a worthless asswipe

    2. Way to be as retarded as the feminists you oppose. Mischaracterize much?

      You can hate emos all you want because of how fey they are, which I wouldn’t disagree with, or you can get butthurt that such pansies are getting girls and you’re not.

      You belong in the second camp.

  6. Emo chasing is same-sex attraction to secondary sexual characteristics, with the benefit of having access to primary opposite-sex parts. It’s a gateway drug to normal sexuality, as a commenter mentioned above. Pretty straightforward.

    The teenage mind is a hopped-up mishmash until it settles into the skull and becomes comfortable with its sexual role, with many deviations possible along the way. There are no adult emos.


    1. “There are no adult emos.”

      Interesting from many angles. Sooner or later all these smaller tribes get sucked into mainstream.

    2. plus being emo is being a child. you cant be responsible of yourself and be suffering like a leaf to the wind at the same time

  7. Women like men with a mission and men with distinctive identities. And people have a natural tendency to form in-groups. Simple enough. The problem with adopting an emo personality (or hipster, hippie, etc.) is that you disqualify yourself with a lot of other women (and men tend not to respect you, which diminishes social proof). If one was just trying to optimize their chance of landing women, it is not a good route.

    Most emo/hipster/hippie guys I’ve met are uniformly celibate/lucky to land a 6. On the other hand, a small few pull massive tail. But it’s still almost all girls within that subculture. I believe it’s an even more uneven distribution than the sexual marketplace as a whole. I see plenty of normal guys pull emo/goth/hipster chicks, but not vice versa. It probably boils down to the social effect; it’s hard for a normal girl to justify dating someone from those subcultures to her social group unless they’re successful or very alpha, but it isn’t that difficult for a girl from those groups to justify dating a “normal” guy as long as he “appreciates” (tolerates) her subculture.

    Basically don’t be emo/hispter/goth/etc. unless you actually identify with it or can sell it well.

  8. Isn’t this connected with the woman’s mission of wanting to change/fix a man?

  9. If you take away the sensitive nature of these guys, aren’t the rest (exceptional in some degree, passion, ambition, etc.) of the qualities fully masculine?

    Would it not be better overall to lose the sensitivity and keep the exceptional characteristics? The only weak thing most women would see in these guys is their sensitivity, and that weakness is probably what increases the availability (ie her thinking: “he’s not *too* much of a challenge”) of such a man in certain women’s eyes.

    It makes sense to me that this type could attract even more attractive women by dropping the sensitivity.

    1. Scott, the sensibility makes them less available, on this case. It’s sensibility, displayed on huge amounts, about something that has nothing to do with her, but that she can sympathize and emote about.

  10. What are all the archetypes? I’m new to your blog and don’t know the language yet.

  11. Rollo,

    I am also a big fan of Robert Greene’s The Art of Seduction. Can you write a post on the male equivalent of “the natural”? I only have the example of Corey Worthington to go on.

    1. Read the Game by Neil Strauss. It has a few good examples of naturals interspersed with lots of outright game advice and hidden gems of advice as well. I just read it for the first time and am now immediately rereading it to pick up on some of the more subtle stuff as well as writing down and then reading all the books mentioned within the book.

  12. Emo is dandy aesthetics and narcissism fused with dark triad antisocial behavior. The hipster can be considered the modern direct equivalent to the dandy having swapped the all consuming drive for aesthetic with authenticity. As such, the hipster, and his less evolved cousin the beta herb, is an actor incapable of deriving meaning from his own action and seeks out the reactions of others. An emo can still draw in a woman with his “woe is me” act because his convictions and mission are centered firmly around himself.

    Indirect Game is associated with the dandy, both are compelled to astonish. Useful for driving in the initial wedge of interest, such behavior quickly becomes grating. In PUA parlay “dancing monkey”. Camus on the matter, “perpetually incomplete, always on the fringe of things, he compels others to create him, while denying their values. He plays at life because he is unable to live it.”

  13. Wow.
    This blog really has no peers as far as intelligent, thought provoking posts ( yeah – referring to you Rollo) and the comments too. This one ( from “a simpler place in time” directly above ) really got me a-pondering…

    “actor incapable of deriving meaning from his own action and seeks out the reactions of others.”

    It made me consider how much of my life is can caught up in the reactions of others to my actions.
    The peril being getting distracted by the reactions to a degree that you lose your own plot and play to those reactions vs living your life/goals and seeing the reactions to it in the perspective that’s appropriate. Like the blur of trees you see roadside while speeding down the highway in your car – going to your destination.

  14. There is a personality test called ” True Colors: Keys to Success” and there were four personality types. There was an orange impulsive risk taker, a green logical leader, a gold rule follower, and a blue artist. Naturally I rated the correct masculine order as green-orange-gold-blue but I think that missed the point.

    In a boxing match it can be the case that the fearless bull will get KTFO by somebody who understands the meaning of pain and the ability to sense it in others. The tactical warrior can be confused by awkward disruptions. The well disciplined soldier can get caught by an innovative attack.

  15. This ‘Dandy’ archetype you’re speaking of, what would you attribute their success to be from? It’s almost as if they’re the ‘peacock’ of the human sexual market place; preferred by women because they’d love to have a son who can pull as much tail as the ‘M’ creative artist type from your case study article. Any thoughts on the evolutionary psychology of the phenomenon you’re detailing?

  16. I love this, the “real” man: they may need your manly work-every-day paycheck; and FEAR you as a real MAN wants to be feared,and fuck convincingly, if you only knew how boring the smart ones think you are.
    Hey, you’ve got physical control of her, that’s what’s real, right?

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  18. This makes a lot of sense… In my teens I used to be primarily attracted to this kind of guy, haha! I believe it was a mix of the factors you’ve described, as well as emo/goth guys seeming more “Alpha” than the regular guy, and me being simply a emo/goth myself around that time. I belonged to that subculture, so naturally the “rules” were a bit different. Anyhow, over time I got over it. I still have some kind of soft spot for the gothic aesthetic in one way or another, but I am not part of the subculture anymore, and would rather date a guy who is not, either.

  19. Hey Rollo, I’m a natural get it kind of guy and in my teens i always made the right move without knowing it, however in my 20’s, I’m 27 now, instead of playing the “Game” and passing girls tests i decided to have some tests of my own and i found that even if i had a girl chasing me and qualifying herself to me all it took was saying something like “I know you’re just fucking with my head” when she would offer up the final test and she would go cold or just me going cold on her after having her chasing me and instead of fighting for the man they really want they would just jump into the arms of some beta loser to validate and simultaneously try to make me jealous (which never worked on me as i have always been stoic from a very young age).

    What I’ve gathered from this is that women really have no loyalty or will to fight to get a man they really want unless he is in some manor chasing her.

    Based on this, the fact that women arent even really that good at sniffing out the true alphas as i have fooled many into believing i’m not alpha and I’ve seen many betas do it the other way, and also that we’re now in a gynocentric order and you have women advocating for immoral and selfish shit like slut acceptance and abortion, I’m of the opinion that we, as men, should be taking back control and putting women in their place instead of just jumping through their hoops or playing “the game”

    Would you be of a similar opinion and if so how do you think we could go about doing this!

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