Just as a long, cumbersome appendage on the end of a male bird is costly evidence of its survival abilities (something peahens want in their offspring), a person is said to peacock when he or she wears attention-getting clothes. This prompts others to interact with him or her. If you “peacock,” girls will look at you more often, while lowervalue guys will make sniggering comments. This means that there will be more social pressure on you than you would normally experience, which can be used to your advantage.
You demonstrate higher value when people perceive that you’re accustomed to this social pressure and otherwise unaffected by it. Even though you’re wearing nonconformist clothing, you can still survive in this world! Women will think, Wow, despite that “tail,” he’s still here; he’s still alive! They will perceive this as social dominance.
The key is that people must see your personality as congruent with your “peacocked” image. A man with a top hat and a feather boa, a woman on each arm, surrounded by laughing friends, looks like the man. Everyone in the room will notice him, and women will whisper to one another and want to be introduced to him. But the same man in those same clothes sitting alone in the corner will look like a social
By the same token, “peacocking” should be a unique and dominant expression of higher social value; otherwise, it not only loses its desired effect but also can actually work against you in the field. One guy dressed to the nines looks like “the man”; two guys decked out that way look gay. That’s why I come in like a rock star, but my other friends just wear something cool—for example, new boots, or an oddlooking chain, or a new jacket with something cool spray-painted on the back. Successful peacocking takes preparation and thought; at any time, somewhere in the world, an MM instructor is taking someone
shopping to find a look that works for him.
You don’t have to wear a top hat right out of the chute, but as my friends’ example suggests, try wearing at least one item of clothing curious looking enough to get people’s attention. It may be used as a lock-in prop, which I will discuss further in chapter 6. What’s more, it will allow women to comment, for good or bad, if they wish to strike up a conversation.
For example, if you’re talking to a woman and she senses the conversation winding down, she may suddenly say, Oh, that’s a cool necklace.” This is her way of continuing the interaction in a perfectly reasonable way, while reserving some element of plausible deniability, that is, keeping the responsibility for anything that might happen “on you.”
On more than one occasion I’ve had women walk up to me and tell me that they either loved or hated my goggles. Either way, I would reply, “No, you don’t; you’re attracted to me.”