Thanks a lot on this. The points are very helpful.Hey guys, good thread. The important thing to realize is that peacocking is relative to the environment you're in. Let's use some evolutionary biology to explain.
Costly signaling theory is a term used by academics to describe the phenomenon whereby animals "signal" their sexual fitness with indicators that are costly to obtain or maintain. In a nutshell, the idea is that if you have the ability to waste energy on such costly and conspicuous display, you have good genes.
The common example is the Peacock's feathers. Contrary to popularly-held belief, it is not the attention that the feathers draw that is attractive.
Rather, it is the fact that a big, brilliant display of feathers is heavy, requires sufficient nutrition, and is otherwise costly to maintain. So a male peacock who can maintain such a bouquet has clearly demonstrated his ability to thrive, and his genes are probably good ones.
"Peacocking," then, in the classic PUA sense (i.e. what Mystery wears), is not attractive to females because it draws attention. Rather, in some environments, it represents a style of attire that would only be worn by a man whose social skills could pull off such an outfit. He is signaling that he will be a fun, confident man.
But the attractiveness of any signal depends on the value systems of the women and the environment.
You see, evolutionary psychologists have three identified different types of conspicuous signaling:
1.) conspicuous waste: signals that flaunt superiority through mass and are flagrantly wasteful, like Hummers and "McMansion" homes
2.) conspicuous precision: signals that flaunt superiority through design and are the result of precise engineering, such as a custom-tailored suit or "green" products like hybrid vehicles
3.) conspicuous reputation: signals that flaunt their superiority through exclusivity, such as a Harvard degree or an Hermes belt
So in general, for example, Americans is more into wasteful signaling, whereas Japanese are more about precision signaling, and in emerging capitalist economies (i.e. China, Russia) signaling is more about reputation. Again, broad generalizations, but fairly accurate.
When you consider the type of women you'd like, you have to consider which type of signaling is going to be most attractive to them. And of course, this depends on what *you* value. I don't think there's any particular right or wrong (well, a 10 MPG hummer is hard to justify these days), but it can be helpful to look around the places where you're trying to meet women and figure out which signals are going to be most effective at drawing their attention.
Of course, there is crossover amongst traits. A Patek Phillipe watch is both precise and has a strong reputation.
And there are some traits which are universally attractive. An attractive face is good because we are a social species who communicate through our faces. And a well-maintained body indicates fitness for many reasons: its maintenance requirements and the type of work required to sculpt it (precision), its representation in popular media (reputation) and the caloric intake required to maintain it (waste).
Hope this is helpful!