There is something intriguing and curious about the title ‘pickup artist.’
That curiosity led me to explore the most popular and probably the most definitive text about the world of the pickup artist or PUA.
Neil Strauss, in his book The Game, dives deeper than any other.
An accomplished journalist, Strauss did more than any journalist was probably willing to do. He not only immersed himself in the underbelly of the most notorious, but he also became rose to become one of the best known and accomplished PUAs in the world.
He did this by penetrating their underground society. A small niche’ of “seduction psychologists” that were testing and using methods to attract and ultimately have sex with as many girls as possible. They used all of the most available and effective tactics and techniques: behavioral psychology, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), overdressing (peacocking), magic tricks, card tricks, mind games, jokes, rehearsed conversations with impromptu scripts.
A trick for every situation. A method for every possible outcome.
It was by most accounts very effective. It was also manipulative and wrong but the guys that practiced pickup always felt that it was just a way to level the playing the field. A way to talk to girls that wouldn’t talk to them otherwise.
Many considered pickup a call to action, a way to move guys towards conversations and away from the back corner of the bar where they would sit in pitiful isolation.
I found the story to be interesting for its entertainment value and it shows that a simple shift in mindset can get anyone to do anything. A bunch of shy and hopeless guys can make a shift to be more outgoing if only they banished their fear and resentment.
However, as the tone of the story evolved, its entertainment value started to drop off for me. Everything that was practiced only produced temporary results and towards the end of his experiment/immersion/reign, Strauss started to notice how it was all falling apart (turns out guys with emotional problems shouldn’t be instructed on manipulative techniques for seducing women).
The part of the book I found most interesting was Strauss’s complete and unending goal of becoming the best. The way he systematically approached that goal was worth noting.
5 WAYS TO MASTER THE GAME
1. Seek out a mentor (or another crazy master pickup artist).
He sought out mentors from the get-go. He recognized the importance of real-world influences. He sought out every single mentor he could find and learned as much as possible from each one, noting both their strengths and weaknesses. As you can imagine, some of the mentors he found only had a few pieces of valuable information.
2. He read, practiced, refined and repeated.
He kept honing his skills until it he moved through each line, each trick and each girl with unmatched precision. He read every single book that he could find on the topic of behavioral psychology. Most other PUAs just wanted to know one-liners and what to do in various scenarios. His insight was above and beyond all others, which is why he became the best.
3. He always self-evaluated.
Even after being successful and gaining his own little Army of wannabe pickup artist, he still maintained the position of a learner. The one that was always open to improvement.
4. He never lost focus on his goal.
Too many early pioneers of the pickup world started to hold seminars while creating their own “methods” to sell to newbies. Strauss kept focused on his goal of learning and applying his knowledge. By doing so he became an authority. He didn’t become an authority by declaring himself as an authority.
His decisive edge came through action.
5. He never became an expert.
He maintained his ability to be personable and infused “real-world” points of interest into his pickup lines. This became the reason for his sustained success. In essence, he created a method that was genuine and impossible to fully replicate.
This realization came to fruition because Strauss was focused on deliberate action. He studied and studied and studied, but at some point, he realized that you had to get out there and just talk to girls.
You can replace the context of the quote below. Just by trying, no matter how badly you may fail, you’ve dramatically increased your odds of success.
So simply by approaching and saying something, no matter how badly you may bumble, you’ve dramatically increased your odds of being with her. – Neil Strauss