Why Pickup Artists aren’t as Sleazy as You Think

[EDIT: April 28, 2012. My views on this topic have only expanded so my views may be slightly different from what was written here back in September of 2011. If you want to comment on this entry or chat about it with me, take this into consideration. Thanks.]

There’s a bad stigma that comes with the pickup artist movement. It shouldn’t be that way. Just like every human being has different intent and morals, pick-up artists are no different.

Some will sleep with any women they can get. Others won’t go for a girl with a boyfriend. It comes down to intent.

Pickup Artists Can’t Be Put into a One-Size Fits All Box

To give you an example of an interesting pickup artist, let’s examine Wayne Elise (aka Juggler).
He doesn’t like being called a pickup artist but he was mentioned in a chapter of The Game. He’s all about connecting with others and creating conversation. He even writes for Psychology Today.

For example, on an article called, “Seize the moment with Inarticulation!” Elise states, “When beginning an interaction with a stranger it’s more important to use good timing than to use good content. I’ll say that again louder. IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO USE GOOD TIMING THAN TO SAY ANYTHING SMART, CLEVER, OR EVEN COHERENT.”

That’s a great tip to tell anyone that wants to meet new people because it isn’t about content; It’s about putting yourself out there and saying anything really. It’s not a crime to talk to strangers so why not make it hilarious.

He’s right because the majority of communication isn’t by the words themselves.
It’s about the tone and body language.

Remember the 55-38-7 rule in communication.
-55% of what you say is determined by eye-contact and body language.
-38% is determined by tone, speed of speech, how loud you say something.
-Only 7% of communication is actually through the words.

It’s about the charisma and humor when you do say whatever it is.

Imagine someone saying, “Hey what item are you getting there?” in a very serious tone vs. someone saying, “Hey there grocery person, I’d like to talk for a bit.” in a fun tone. The fun tone wins out because it’s fun.

Who doesn’t want fun?


There are other pickup artists that teach their own methods like Mystery (The Mystery Method) or JT Tran (ABCs of Attraction), which are detailed systematic ways to get women.

There are pickup terms used as well like:
-HB8 (Hot Blonde 8/10)
-Negging (Back-Handed Compliments)
-Opening a set (Approaching a group of girls)

Personally, I don’t like the scripted stuff. Or the typical routines over and over. Or the terms.

However, the outlines do work well and here’s the interesting part: Based on personal experience, I’m certain that they work for the majority of women.

Some personal examples:

1. That girl told me that she was with her boyfriend because he didn’t care much. (Indifference seems to be a turn-on.)

2. My ex was into me more because I didn’t call her that often. (Maybe twice a month?)

3. Had a girl who was interested test me because I was acting indifferent. So it goes. (“Why do you look confused Matt?” Me: I’m hungry. *Then, I grab her granola bar from her bag and eat it.* Then we shared eye-contact at one another for a good 10 seconds.)

4. Used my favorite technique that made a few girls laugh. Tone and mannerisms are extremely important. Also, it raised their interest level pretty high. (After the technique: *Flushed red all over, smiling* “So what grade are you in? Your age? Name?”)

5. I run some techniques with my best friend and she laughs every single time. They’re silly and gets the flirting going. (Yes, I believe that men and women can just be friends. That’s for another day.)

6. Another best friend likes the chase so much. Also, a guy giving puppy eyes is a complete turn off to her.

7. I’ve told random girls from the Rejection Therapy days they’re cute and they rejected me because the chase is done. There’s nothing to win over, nothing to prove, and there’s too much Goddess complex given. Plus, there’s no rapport yet.

*If that’s not enough proof for you:
From Hello to Kiss in 10 minutes.
-Much of it is calculated but like I said earlier: If it’s fun, it’s welcoming!
-The guy is oozing fun and confidence (no fidgeting at all, which goes back to the communicating through body language.)

Of course, with Great Power comes Great Responsibility

They’re teaching guys how to get out there and communicate. They’re teaching them to take action and (hopefully) find self-confidence. Those two things are incredibly important.

*It’s up to the guy to use it to lie their way into the bedroom or have a more honest model. I’m not one to judge “saints” or “sinners.” Like I said before, everyone’s intent is different.

Also, it snaps them back to reality from those bullshit Romantic Comedies.

So why don’t I do Pickup full-time?

Good question.

-I’m really fucking shallow, relationship-wise. If I practiced more, I’d probably do better but I don’t like to do too much pickup stuff if I’m just trying to be friends or I’m not attracted that way.
-I’m not that refined yet due to said lack of practice.
-I’m about learning the process of connecting with people, social barriers, etc. to share ideas and figure out what people do and what makes them so damn fascinating.
-How pickup artists function is good to learn about but isn’t the only thing that should be learned.
-Experiments are more fulfilling for me at the moment.

Then again, I never liked anything so black or white. I’ll take a shade of gray, thank you. I use some elements most of the time. You’ll have to figure that out.

[Note: I was opened up to the whole topic by reading The Game (not an affiliate link). It’s a great read and really eye-opening to see Neil Strauss’ account of his experiences in the community.]

Masafumi Matsumoto
Masafumi Matsumoto

Here's some thoughts I have on this topic. Just to give you and other readers some background, I got to know about the world of pick up artists in 2008, read some of the major materials, took an online course, applied what I learned in real life and eventually realized that this whole PUA thing is disturbing especially when what you want to learn is to have meaningful relationships with people you really love. Neil Strauss says the best way to win the game is to leave the game. There are things you can learn from going through that game phrase like I did, but you can win by taking a completely different approach to seduction as well. I was never fully into it and I was carefully selecting what to learn and what to use as well. I dind't use routines, and what I did was a direct&honest approach. So, I thought I wasn't affected by the shady side of this whole thing. But I was wrong. Let's begin with the terms they use. I agree with you, Matt, regarding the terms they use - I didn't like them and dont' like them at all. HB8? That's really degrading women even if you claim your intent is different. Also, that's approval seeking and showing insecurities as well - if you look at PUA forum posts, you'll find posts that say things like, "Oh, I made an approach last night - she was only HB6, but, you know. Actually, she rejected me. But her HB4 friend was all over me. Don't judge me yet! Because I managed to number close with a HB8 later on! Well, she flaked on me though. So, how can I score a HB10?" Sure, they may have their own checklist and ways to rate women they meet... but I bet most of them are afraid of what other guys think of them when they aren't scoring women of the higher rates. But my point is... really, what the hell do people mean by phrases like "scoring women" and "getting women"? Women are not possession or targets of your game. I can imagine some people coming back by saying "Well, many women want to be chased and they play the game as well! Haven't you heard of The Rules?" Of course, if there are mutual interests of playing games, that's fine. But my general response to that is this whole game mentality is getting in the way of connection making and working against these people. Whether we admit it or not, the game mentality involves some kind of manipulations. It's safer that way. If you can get someone fall for you without doing much work on your side, then you've got nothing to worry about, because you will not be rejected! If you figure out how to read indications of interest and know when it's safe to make a further move, you'll be safe! If you know when to demonstrate higher values or when to touch the girl you are interacting with... you'll be safe! BUT you are losing the real fun of authentic interaction by playing the game. I used to think this way. It's OK to learn these techniques, because eventually you will get better and will not need to rely on these techniques. Until then, you can learn what works in a comfortable environment. It's like a practical way of personal development as well. So, why not? If you learn these teachings carefully, there's nothing immoral about it! Now I think this way. If your aim is to get better with women, go and talk with women. That's all you need. You don't need to be in a comfortable environment. Learn from every woman you meet. Appreciate every woman. Of course, you will be attracted to some and not to the others, but being attracted and celebrating women are two different things. You don't need to learn any techniques, because what you really need is to be able to show up right there and to listen to women. Listening can be a tough thing if you have to distract yourself by thinking about impressing them or how to close the deal or whatever. Also, you don't need to cover up your nervousness by fake indifference or by negs. You will learn more by being present as who you are. Sure, they are teaching guys how to get there and communicate. They are teaching them to take action and find self-confidence. But if those guys simply want to learn how to get there and communicate and want to learn to take action and find self-confidence, they don't need PUA materials. It is impressive and fun to be able to meet someone on the streets and kiss straight after, but that's now what most guys need. But they get impressed and start thinking they want that. Or they watch a video of PUA getting a phone number from a cute girl and they think to themselves that "Wow, I need to learn how to get a phone number from a cute girl like this!" No, you don't need to, unless what you want to do is to collect phone numbers. Phone numbers don't mean anything unless there is a strong connection. But many guys don't understand that when they start out. Instead of learning to make women fall for you, I believe it's much, much better to learn to fall for women. That's not a beta or needy approach IF you really appreciate and celebrate women. What I am suggesting is not for every man either, but it's much more fun that way. When you love women, women will love you. It's much simpler that way and you will have women backing you up rather than hating you for manipulating them.