The plan of action that only the most ruthless cads use (and that requires the highest level of sophistication) involves the exaggeration of their good faith. In their endeavour to beguile women, they appear to be civilised and genteel than they are in reality, display more consideration and thoughtfulness than they usually do, and pretend to be more soft or compromising than they actually. The reason why this ruse works so well on women is because such demonstration of candour, openness, and forthrightness carries the message that the man is not looking for an ephemeral love story, but is rather seeking to settle down with a permanent mate. The willingness to act himself and to communicate his feelings to her in a direct and outspoken fashion – these are just the signals a woman needs in order to appraise a prospective partner’s characteristics so that she can feel confident about his intentions.
Another standard manoeuvre playboys like to utilise is the amplification of their emotional commitment towards the woman they desire. The modus operandi is quite simple: By expressing feelings of involvement and intimacy or by uttering formulae like “I love you”, “I miss you”, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you”, etc. they intend to excite their prey’s sensations, thereby boosting the probability of sexual intercourse. Although men do not necessarily have to go so far in their choice of words, the calculation is likely to pay off, because the illusion is totally in line with both women’s expectation to gain access to his assets (exclusively, if possible) and their ideal of the integration of sex, romance and love. It is therefore not surprising to see that many people have tried this twist. In a survey among college students, 71 percent of the male admitted that had “exaggerated the depth of their feelings for a woman in order to have sex with her” (versus only 39 percent of the women asked). But even this number seems to be low compared to the 97 percent of women who declared to have been the object of that same tactic (i.e., that “a man had ever deceived them by his exaggeration of the depth of his feelings in order to have sex with her”) at the hands of men.
Inversely, women’s knowledge of a man’s prior commitment is commonly recognised as being a main impediment in the seduction process. Any indication that his resources may already be allocated elsewhere (i.e., to another female or to her children) interferes with his capability to attract partners, even free-and-easy ones. With women having a clear preference for long-term engagements, marital obligations, in particular, become liabilities in the hunt for casual sex and obviously weaken his charm and desirability as a mate. Most men are fully aware of this detail, so married regulars of single bars normally ensure, as a matter of precaution, to remove their wedding rings before entering the premises. In the same spirit, it was established that the single most effective technique among men to denigrate competitors and to make these less attractive to women, was to tell everyone that a rival already had a serious girlfriend.
Given the pressures and built-in urges to procreate, it appears, from an evolutionary perspective, that men have no choice but to falsely inflate their resources and amplify other required traits. This has lead anthropologists to think that natural selection provided an advantage to men who were particularly skilled at misleading women and tempting them into sexual intercourse. In the face of so much knavery and perfidy, females developed their own protective devices designed for detecting deception. And so they adapted to this task and became very good at spotting male lies and overstatements, which now enables them to discover insincerity and penetrate any disguise. It has indeed been established that women have evolved a great sensitivity to lies. They do that by sensing subtle behavioural irregularities, noticing the fastest dart of an eye, or spotting contradictions when the spoken message of their interlocutor does not match the expression in his glance. Therefore, male readers out there should make no mistake: Thanks to the millennia-long training of their brain, women are true experts in reading faces, interpreting the tone of voice, decoding non-verbal gestures, assessing emotional nuance, and so on. Today it is no exaggeration to say that the probability for a man of being caught lying when he is just trying to score with a girl is fairly high – even if she does not want to admit it (to) herself. But this is another story.
And as things happen in the game of evolution, the match between men and women does not end here. While females brought forth advanced deception detection skills, they exerted strong pressure on men to become slicker and better pretenders. And thus keeps going the co-evolutionary upgrade, with each incremental enhancement in one sex bringing about a reciprocal mutation (in psychological terms) in the other. Adaptation after adaptation, men and women mutually assist each other in sharpening their deceptive faculty on the one hand and their counter-deceptive senses and intelligence on the other. The very existence of the present book offers the best proof that the biological arms build-up between men and women still persists. As long as the collision of both genders’ sexual strategies is not resolved, there are excellent reasons to believe that this arms race will continue to be fought out at full strength for the sake of human progress.
Related proverbs and citations:
gǒu zuǐ lǐ tǔ bù chū xiàng yá
A dog’s mouth emits no ivory.
Look not for musk in dog’s kennel. An enemy’s mouth seldom speaks well. A filthy mouth cannot utter decent language.
huáng shŭ láng gĕi jī bài nián méi ān hăo xīn
Not for nothing does a weasel pay a New Year visit to a chick.
Not with the best intentions.
guò hé chāi qiáo
Dismantle the bridge after crossing it. Remove the bridge after crossing the river.
Be ungrateful and leave one’s benefactor in the lurch. Cast somebody aside when he has served one’s purpose. Discard one’s helpers after their help is made use of.
zuì wēng zhī yì bú zài jiǔ
The drunken gentleman’s desire is not about the wine.
Kissing the baby for the nurse.
To have ulterior motives.
má gǎn dǎ láng—liǎng tóu pà
Fight a wolf with a flex stalk.
Refers to situations where each party is fearful of the other.
nán rén kào de zhù, mŭ zhū huì shàng shù
Reliable men are as rare as flying pigs.
yòng rén bù yí, yí rén bù yòng
Don’t suspect someone you employ, but if one is suspicious, don’t employ him.
I trust those who are of use to me.
shàng liáng bú zhèng xià liáng wāi
If the upper beam is not straight, the lower ones will go aslant.
A crooked stick will have a crooked shadow. A fish rots from the head down.
If a leader sets a bad example, it will be followed by his subordinates.
 Buss (2003), pp. 103-105
 Cited in: Buss (2003), p. 154
 Cited in: Buss (2003), p. 106
 Brizendine (2006), pp. 65, 119
 Buss (2000), pp. 44-46