A search online for “dating tips for men” reveals hundreds of these sorts of sites, generally requiring a credit card. Usually at the top is a picture of a smiling man, with a tag-line like “Learn the secrets that let me charm 173 women in to bed in a year”, and a short article explaining that the author, too, used to be a shy nervous virgin until he discovered the mysteries of Pick-Up Artistry.
There are many different schools, but most trace their inspiration back to one man, Ross Jeffries, who founded “Speed Seduction” in 1988. The movement achieved real prominence in 2005, with the publication of Neil Strauss's book The Game, in which he described his own journey into the odd subculture.
This is a look at some of the aspects of this weird world. A lot of it is harmless, plenty of it is funny, but a large amount is genuinely unsettling. We haven't linked to any of the sites mentioned, as we are not sure that all the content is appropriate.
You can't get far in the world of pick-up artistry without a silly name. The aforementioned Neil Strauss went under the pseudonym of “Style”. His mentor was known as “Mystery”. Others have called themselves “Juggler”, “Formhandle”, “Ice Dragon” (seriously), and perhaps best of all “Gunwitch”.Related Articles
According to the literature, a true Pick-Up Artist stands out from the crowd – hence the preposterous names. Sartorially, that may mean wearing a fluorescent T-shirt and an asymmetric haircut, or makeup, or platform shoes – Mystery, we are told in The Game, sports the latter. This behaviour, apparently, is called “peacocking”.
Similarly, like lots of little boys' clubs, the pick-up artist world has developed its own pseudo-technical language. PUAs, of course, are the Pick-Up Artists themselves (entertainingly, if you get really good, you can be a Pick-Up Guru or PUG). Before they were initiated, they were just AFCs – Average Frustrated Chumps – like the rest of us. They use Displays of High Value (DVH) to impress women with LSE (Low Self Esteem). If she's playing with her hair, it's an Indicator of Interest, or IOI. “Closing” means to seal the deal; there are various levels, including NC, or Number Close, where you get her phone number, KC, or Kiss Close, where you kiss her, and of course FC. See also Kino and Negs, of which more later.
The dubious ethics
If you didn't think deliberately targeting women with low self-esteem was bad enough, a lot of PUAs base their techniques on something called “neuro-linguistic programming” or NLP. It's purportedly a form of hypnosis, similar to what Paul McKenna might use on you if you wanted to think yourself thin. In other words, if this actually worked, PUAs would be hypnotising women into sex. How this would be ethically distinguishable from drugging them is not obvious. Luckily for everyone, research into NLP suggests that it is nonsense anyway; see below.
NLP seems to be claptrap (one psychiatrist, Dr Roderique Davis, describes it as “cargo-cult psychology”, meaning that it was designed to look like science without doing any of the work). But a misunderstanding of complex ideas seems to be at the heart of a lot of pick-up artistry. One PUA, a fat man called Gem, once told The Times that Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene taught him “everything I know about pick-up”. One of the figureheads of the movement, David DeAngelo (or “Eben Pagan”) claims to be an aficionado of Ayn Rand. There is a lot of talk of “alpha males” and “beta males” and “psychological anchoring”. It is not clear that any of the people involved know what they are talking about. Dr Petra Boynton, the sex educator and blogger, says that there is “no evidence of effectiveness” for any of the PUA claims.
The weird techniques
A few of these have become quite well-known already, especially the “neg” or subtle not-exactly-put-down intended to pique a woman's interest and slightly dent her self-esteem; along the lines of “Nice hair. Is it natural?” But there are thousands, ranging from ordinary activities given needless new names to Dadaist surreal touches. The “Kino”, or kinaesthetic approach, just means touching someone. The aforementioned Mystery has apparently created a “humour technique” called “The Absurd”, which is presumably different from just being witty like any old AFC, and “microcalibrated openers” for starting conversations. Some advocate “re-naming” women, simply ignoring their real names and calling them something else entirely.
Although a lot of the teachers in this community, if that's the word, claim that they are just trying to help men be more confident around women, the jargon and the advice often strays into profoundly uncomfortable territory. Women are known as “targets”. One teacher who we have already mentioned says that it is important not to get nervous when meeting a woman, adding: “Ted Bundy, the infamous serial killer/sociopath, didn't feel fear or panic when he saw a target. He felt rage, sexual perversion and desire to kill.” Yes, you have been advised to use Ted Bundy as a role model in your dealings with women. When advising gentlemen what to do when they are alone with their “target”, the same author says, helpfully: “DO NOT struggle or tug or bear weight on her at this stage, as that is considered rape.”
People who have had dealings with PUAs often use the same term to describe them: “trainspotters”. Like trainspotters, they are obsessed with collecting numbers and statistics; many keep detailed records of every “Close”. The terminology often has a militaristic fantasy feel: even aside from the endless US Army-style acronyms, messages in chatrooms detailing pick-up attempts are called “field reports”, and PUAs discuss “field testing” new techniques, as though they were howitzers rather than glorified chat-up lines. Dr Boynton describes users as “the most vulnerable of men”, and says that the PUA industry is a means of making money from vulnerable people.
Cold reading is a consummate skill with those who are well-schooled in pick up artist techniques. These are quite simply statements that are also truisms. You can use horoscopes, for example. These are comments that may be true about almost anyone, and they basically simply explain our human experience and our basic insecurities. They may also include thoughts or fears that people have, and you can use them to gain authority over your girl's world, and to demonstrate an understanding of women.
Cold reading, in addition to being one of the top pick up artist techniques, can also win you points in the attraction phase of a relationship. Even if the woman doesn't agree with your comment, you can still start a conversation about your impressions and where they came from. You don't want to seem like a mystic when you're cold reading, so don't use them too much. Just one or two of these comments in a typical conversation can work great at attracting a girl.
There are a couple cold reads that work especially well as pick up artist techniques. One starts out with telling a girl that she seems to you like a person who has many acquaintances, but few close, close friends. You bet she only has like one or two people she can really fully trust. Tell her that she seems like the type of person who might build walls around herself, but once she lets someone in, they are probably in for life. Tell her she is probably a very loyal person.
Nothing about that story is especially interesting or intricate, but the story can apply to lots of people. Most people only have a few friends that they really think are close, and most women do take some time to get to know people.
It's an accurate cold read.
Another cold read will have you telling the woman that you can tell she's very independent, and probably the kind of person who does what she wants to do, even if everyone tells her not to.
That cold read is one of the shortest pick up artist techniques, since most women like to think they are very independent. You are using positive stereotypes, and no negative ones. When you do cold readings, use the phrase "I understand" a lot. You want to show the woman that you understand what she is about, and what's important to her
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NightVision . This to me is a very important post. Not only is it applicable to PU but all so in other areas of social interaction.
Yesterday I did a brief outline on what was in the sales literature on handling objections. Today I am going to attempt to address closing (this is a much more difficult task). It is not an easy thing to write about. There are whole books out there on this stage of the sales process alone. Suffice to say that it is by far the most important. You can be perfect at the other 5 steps, but if you can not close, and ask for a call to action then you can not sell (or get a fuck).
In fact salesmen say that there are 2 types of people in sales: The salesman (who is better than simply an ordertaker; at least he can so some things on his own. if he is good he can generate leads, meet and initiate conversation, elicit values, support the sale, handle objections, and attempt to close). The other type is The Closer (he is the man that can really deliver. He can sell, charm and hold the customer to the deal). Closing a sale is the most important skill a sales person (or PUA) needs. You can be charismatic, come up with the best leads, have incredible presentation skills, but if you can't close, you can't sell (or PU).
There are three steps to closing a sale and they are:
A. Recognising the Time to Close
B. Deciding on Your Closing Technique
C. Making the Closing Statement
In recognising the time to close you need to watch your customer. (Needless to say, Value needs to have been created first but some customers may know they need your product before you open your mouth. You can just walk up to the customer and close. I have seen guys just walk up take a girl by the hand and lead her out of a bar without a word. CLOSERS). You close too early (value has not been created or objections have not been overcome) you loose the sale. You close too late, the customer is out of their enthusiastic state, you will fall flat on your face again. Watch her state and see the opportunity. In fact the whole time you are with her you should be looking for that window of opportunity to close. Closing is the only reason you are even there.
Some relevant closing techniques from sales I will outline below, but there needs to be a technique. In the PU situation, I would use them for a #close, or a date close (i.e. getting her out of the bar, or the supermarket queue into a coffee shop or your home to see whatever it is that you say you want to show them). It is a call for action. I make the reservation that you should not use a verbal close to get her answering the question "Shall we go and fuck?". This defies chick logic. Just get her to your house. The closing statement needs to be smooth and delivered with confidence. This is not a time for Umms and Ahhs. Once you have decided on your technique, you are ready to make the closing statement. It is time to ask for the order (or number or to leave together). There are some considerations that you should understand so that your efforts to close will be successful:
* Stay in your normal discussion mode and tone. Don't telegraph what you are going to do by a change in posture or tone of voice.
* Remember that you are asking for the order but don't pressure for a sale. Move slowly but deliberately to the next step in the process, if there is one.
* Expect your close to fail if you have not provided the value needed by the prospect. Don't discount the failure, learn from it and do better next time.
* Ask questions if the close fails to determine what went wrong and see if you can salvage the situation (the more high pressure the close you use, the more you are going to have to work to retrieve the situation).
Okay, now for some of the techniques. See my post "Field report: A killer #close including overcoming BF objections" http://www.fastseduction.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi?action=retrieve&grp=1&mn=97026921569650 for a field report using many of these techniques. I know the close is far from perfect, but you can see my sales training shining through in it. It includes the yes ladder, an invitational close (crossed with the puppy dog, "try me, I am free"), fear factor close and pre-emptive objection strike (I'll be discrete). I reckon that I got the fuck largely on the strength of this close.
The main reason customers say "no" is a fear of making a decision. They say "no" even if they want to buy from you. So, when a customer says "no," you must re-sell by creating more value, or building up the required state and close again. In order to do this, you must have more than one close to use. Otherwise, they will leave and go fuck your competitor. Here are some:
The Power of Suggestion Close (called in NLP, time distortion) Help your customers to see themselves using your product. Speak to them as though they already owned it, and tie in a hot button benefit to its use: "When you use these vitamins and herbs, after only a few weeks you'll notice that you have more energy and that you feel healthier." or from in a pattern "Imagine us at the coffee shop laughing together and having a good time, and later you being at home feeling that you had a really good time and enjoyed yourself spending time with me over coffee. Now when you think about what I am saying, and all those feelings that I am talking about, doesn't it just make sense that we go and have coffee together now?"
The Direct Close. (high risk, she could say "no", then she owns that no, and you have to prove her wrong.) The obvious and most frequently used close is the direct approach of asking for the order. Once you are sure in your mind that you have done everything possible to overcome objections, and if you feel that you can fulfill the prospects need, go for it. "If we want to continue this conversation another time, I will need your phone number, here is my pen."
The Invitational Close. If you want it, you have to ask for it. Don't just wait for the customer to say, "I'll take it." They don't. Create the value, then invite them to do it. Say, "Why don't you give it a try? Go ahead and do it."
The Option Close. The more options you give someone, the better your chances to close."Our truck is in this area twice a week, do want delivery on Wednesday or Friday?" "Do you want this charged to your Visa or MasterCard?" "I'll be in your area on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, which would be a better night for us to catch up and have coffee?" These choices require a commitment and "no" is not offered as an option.
The Yes Ladder Close (TokyoPUA calls this one the yes-set). The yes ladder close builds a chain of "yes's" to questions the salesperson asks to help lead the customer into saying yes to the sale. To put the customer in the habit of saying yes, ask questions you're sure will get affirmative answers. See that field report for an example.
The Puppy Dog Close (also called the Free Trial close) This close gets its name from the pet store closing technique of letting customers hold the animal they want to make it harder to resist, and even let them take it home for a week. This close lets your buyers see for themselves your product's quality. Make sure your customers hold, taste, feel, wear, try out your product, take it home for a week even and bond with it. Let the prospect use your product or service for a specified period of time with the understanding that you will pick up a signed order after the trial period.
The Fear-Factor Close. This is very powerful because you are playing on people's uncertainties, insecurities and fears. People want products and services which minimize their risks whether it is personal or property related. "This water purifier will protect you and your family from some of the deadliest forms of bacteria in the water." Hard to implement, but I did it with that $5 close in the field report.
The Readiness Close This close checks the client's "buying temperature." With it you can also find out if you are on the right path with your presentation or if you need to change course. The great thing about this close is that it doesn't end your presentation but instead tells you what direction to go.
A. "Does this make sense to you?"
B. "How do you feel about this so far?"
C. "Is this what you wanted?"
D. "Is this an improvement for you?"
Not sure how to implement this last one, and have been thinking about it because it is so LOW risk.
Any ideas? Comments / suggestions / applications / more closes are welcome.
P.S. There are guys out there in this group who obviously can not close (Ray is the perfect example. his Foxhunting crap I have read, but his handling of objections only delays his need to close by dragging the thing out. He is scared as shit of this step in the process, the call for action, and works out complex strategies so that he feels like he is doing something, but it never leads to the close. Realise that you NEED to close, and it is the only reason you are even there).
Friday 14 November 2014 07.15 GMT Last modified on Wednesday 22 February 2017 18.23 GMT
It’s not a good time to be a pick-up artist. or the sort of bloke who relies on his “wisdom”, or whatever it is you’d call that noxious guff they emit on a regular basis, like a cow with irritable bowels. On one hand you’ve got Julien Blanc, provoking such a strong backlash with his seminars on using violence to attract women that he’s literally being thrown out of countries. On the other, you’ve got the Dapper Laughs, with his ITV2 show about how to chat up women being cancelled. along with several live events, following a campaign and footage of him saying some horrific things to a woman at one of his gigs.
The perils of “banter”, eh?
But overlooking the wider social implications of these events, the immediate consequence is clear: two powerful figures in the world of the pick-up artist have been seriously limited or eradicated altogether. This leaves something of a power vacuum. And what if you’re a man who wants to fill it? Perhaps the thought of there being thousands of women going about their day without being the target of lechery or harassment brings you out in a cold sweat, and you want to do something to prevent this.
Despite their apparent complexity and widespread use, the methods of pick-up artists are largely pseudoscientific nonsense. so what better way to achieve dominance (which is the most important thing, after all) than by using actual science?
What follows are some simple but scientifically valid techniques to help you become the sort of person your mother would have likely hated.Confidence
A pick-up artist needs to be confident. There’s no chance of you controlling a potential sexual partner if you’re riddled with doubts and anxieties. You may have noticed that many well known pick-up artists resemble a walking bag of sadness that’s been sponsored by Gillette, but they don’t seem to care. And why not? Confidence, that’s why.
There are many psychological approaches to improving your confidence. but the best way may be to exploit the Dunning-Kruger effect. which shows that less intelligent people are more confident and certain in their opinions and behaviour. The obvious solution, therefore, is to make yourself less intelligent. Stop thinking about anything beyond your own immediate needs or wants, ignore the views and input of others, and avoid exposing yourself to anything that might suggest you’re wrong in some way. Before you know it, you’ll have no idea why you shouldn’t be confident.
This intelligence lowering can start whenever you like. If you read to the end of this piece and feel that it is helpful advice, then you’re well on your way.Priorities
It’s important, to be a pick-up artist, to get your priorities right. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. often referenced in discussions of human motivation, places “sex” at the very bottom, among physiological needs, meaning it’s one of the most basic of human drives. While this position is often deemed controversial. you should actually increase the emphasis on it. All other physiological needs (food, water, sleep etc) should be considered as necessary for the obtaining of sex. Because without regular sex with random partners, how can you call yourself a man?
It’s really easy, actually. Obscenely so. But let’s not dwell on that.Entitlement
It’s not enough to just want sex and feel confident enough to get it; you have to believe you deserve it. A sense of entitlement has many consequences for behaviour which will make being a pick-up artist easier, so you need to convince yourself that you’re not violating the rights of innocent people via harassment and aggression; you’re simply taking what is owed to you. After all, you’re a man, stood there with a penis and everything, and it would be a crime to waste it.
But then, it’s also a crime, an actual and much worse one, to force yourself onto another human being who does not wish you to do so. Which leads to the next point …
A successful pick-up artist will need to get rid of any existing notion that women are independent humans with autonomy or free will or anything like that. A human with free will might use it to say “no”. So it’s important to reduce women to something less than human.
There are many routes to this, but society itself helps via objectification theory. which argues that objectification of the female form by society leads many women to develop a sense of inferiority and lack of self-worth, and thus they end up prioritising the needs of others and reducing autonomy. This allows a pick-up artist to use moral exclusion. where groups of others (in this case, all women) are thought of as inferior or sub-human to the point where the moral standards don’t apply to them. So you don’t need to worry about moral concerns regarding your behaviour towards them.
You can keep this objectification maintained via things like emotional prejudice. Subtle, complex secondary emotions are the preserve of real humans like you, whereas cruder, primary emotions like fear and anger can be demonstrated in animals. And women so often express these primary emotions, eg they’re always angry around you, for some reason.Dissonance
One problem with wanting to be a pick-up artist is that you probably have some sense of self-worth and think of yourself as a decent person. but being a pick-up artist isn’t really compatible with this. So how do you justify these ridiculously awful behaviours towards women?
You could argue that you’re just not confident with women, and the techniques and methods of a pick-up artist are an effective substitute for what you lack in confidence. After all, they work don’t they? Arguably yes, some do claim pick-up artist techniques do work. But so does anthrax. The effectiveness of your methods doesn’t excuse you for using them.
Resorting to pick-up artist techniques because you’re intimidated by women is like using heroin to treat a toothache because you’re afraid of the dentist. It may provide a short-term solution and some fleeting pleasure, but you’re actually doing yourself a great deal more harm in the long run, and your rotten tooth is still there.
Perhaps you feel validated because women have hurt you before and don’t deserve respect or consideration? Hate to have to break it to you, but that’s not what happened; some people hurt you, perhaps brutally, and they happened to be women, a type of human, and humans can be awful. Your own negative experience, however traumatic, doesn’t justify stripping rights from half the human race.
Perhaps you actually do feel that pick-up artist techniques are fine because you really are an awful person.
Fair enough, at least you’re honest. Now please go and be repugnant somewhere else.
Some pick-up artists or their supporters may be angry about this piece because it makes crude and unfair generalisations about a large group of people for the purposes of fleeting entertainment. Not fun when that happens, is it?
Dean Burnett says this entire piece is actually an elaborate example of “negging ”, so any pick-up artist who complains is basically admitting their methods don’t work. He’s on Twitter, @garwboy