(This chapter’s a little short, but the links will keep you busy – but come back and finish my book!)
There had been books that purported to teach men how to pick up girls. They had inventive names like… How to Pick Up Girls. The advice was, however, not very useful for most men; they pretty much recommended doing what girls (and women) say they like. That didn’t work out too well.
The Dawn of a New Age
Richard Bandler and John Grinder, by studying family therapist Virginia Satir, hypnotherapist Milton Erickson, and others, developed Neuro-Linguistic Programming. NLP was a way of modeling brilliant and effective therapists to produce rapid psychological change, without having to understand how or why it worked.
A man – let’s call him Ross Jeffries, though that is not his real name – was of a good height and brains, but scrawny and less successful with the ladies than he would have liked. Upon discovering NLP, and finding it worked for some personal issues he had been having, he decided to try using it to “program” himself to become a real ladies man. OK, this is where it gets weird.
Young Ross started getting cute girls and beautiful women to do sexual things with him – sometimes going “all the way” – and, sympathizing with the plight of… oh, let’s call them Average Frustrated Chumps, he created “Speed Seduction”.
Well, there certainly was a market for this product. Young men (and some not so young) starting paying this “Ross Jeffries” to teach them how to transform themselves like he had done. One of these created a website for the students to trade reports of their results applying the teachings, called Alt.Seduction.Fast.
This was like the scientific method, but supercharged. In the scientific method, someone will create a hypothesis, test it, analyze the results, and report those results by publishing in a journal. Then, other scientists will read about it, and some will try to replicate the results. Then they report their findings. This process can take anywhere from months to years.
The seduction students would run through that process in a matter of days. One would say he’s going to try a pick-up technique, go to a club that night and try it, then post the report on the net that night or the next morning. The others would go out to the same club or different clubs and test it the very next night. Ideas developed rapidly.
This environment attracted intelligent, intellectual, well-read types like moths to a floodlight. Among them was a mildly successful magician who would become famous as just a word. He learned Jeffries’ system, tested it, found it wanting, and set about correcting what he saw as its faults.
The Mystery Man
Professional writer Neil Strauss, having worked for the New York Times and Rolling Stone, was assigned to do a piece of investigative journalism on this nascent community which was quietly thriving unbeknownst to mainstream society. An absurdly tall figure with a penchant for outlandish headgear, calling itself Mystery, informed Neil – now rechristened Style – that he would become the world’s greatest Pick-Up Artist.
The members of this community got so good at picking up hot women in bars and clubs that they began to challenge themselves. They started to wear unusual clothing and/or accessories. This only seemed to help them in their efforts, so that the “peacocking” got more and more outrageous in an effort to discover what amount of ridiculousness would finally ruin their chances with their targets. There was no limit. The techniques worked.
So they started to lie to women – not to talk themselves up, but to talk themselves down. For instance, one liked to say he drove an old rusty station wagon and worked as a garbage man – part time. Still got laid. This led to a belief in the community that Game could make all other factors irrelevant. This was very unfortunate, for once Game left home and ventured out into the world, things turned out to be very different than they had seemed.
Having proof of concept, this new generation of PUAs started to teach their techniques. The first group of customers were men who had success in life but not with women; they would pay thousands of dollars for a weekend seminar, and it was well worth it to them.
However, as with everything, once a market has been established, the parasites come out of the woodwork: guys who were not interested in Game but only in the money that teaching Game might bring. However, there was a problem for the parasites; the actual masters of these techniques had the original demographic pretty much locked up. Businessmen and computer programmers with six figure incomes – smart guys – knew who was good, and word got around quickly. What to do?
The parasites needed to expand the market. So they started targeting men who were not as successful in their careers. These customers had a few thousand dollars, but they could spend it on either taking women out on dates, or on a weekend seminar to learn Game, but not both. So the parasites told the potential customers, “Don’t spend money on women; don’t take them out on dates; don’t even buy them drinks.”
Websites sprang up to prey on these desperate men. “Get laid with a beautiful woman tonight! We’ve got the secrets! My name is blah blah blah, and I studied guys who are naturally good with women for months. Only $349.99 – click here to download INSTANTLY!”
Game as it is described in Style’s book The Game and on many blogs and other websites, and in PUA workshops, was developed in and is ideally suited for hitting on hotties in the club. Hence, all the stuff about “negging” to get through her “bitch shield” (a very sci-fi concept anyway) and overcoming the “anti-slut defense”; also, the way they use the concept of “social proof” is all about positioning yourself as a leader or a cool guy that everyone loves, because these are strangers. There is no social connection (see Ch. 7: The Score). Some of it translates to real life as it is lived by most men, some of it… not so much.
And none of it is about getting a girlfriend or making a relationship work. If you got her with pick-up techniques, then decide you wanna keep her, that transition can be real tricky. (Strauss, to his credit, describes both the charlatans and the relationship issue in his book.)
There is no reason to spend money you don’t have, when you can learn all you need to know for free. If the information in this book isn’t enough, here are some sites you can try.
I have learned a lot from Roissy‘s blog (including the comment threads), but be warned – it’s not for the faint of heart.
UPDATE 9/11/11: Roissy is now Heartiste
Although she is a 50-something mother, I found Susan Walsh’s blog Hooking Up Smart to provide a really nice balance to Roissy. (now Heartiste)
Total noobs should maybe even start with http://www.succeedsocially.com/.
The Other Book
Sperm Wars by Robin Baker. I got my copy at my local Border’s. (The Woman will have sex with two men within a day or two of each other, so that their respective sperm can duke it out inside her body – and may the best man win.)
Copyright © 2010 by Jeffrey Brauer. All rights reserved.