I flirted with pick up artist techniques when I chanced upon the book ‘The Game Neil Strauss’ off the local bookstore when I was 19 years old. I had just came out of a disastrous breakup I was reeling in depression, self-victimization, hurt, and anger.
I felt like that for a long time.
Learning Pick Up Artist Techniques and Entering the Community
It was as if I picked up the bible. I was hooked on the idea that you could do something about your luck with girls. I was hooked on the idea that as long as you did certain things, you could get a girl in bed. It like a formula to sex.
I would then go on to spend all the free time I had in the military reading up on dating advice material after another. I read up on everything on attracting girls, self-help, entrepreneurship, psychology, philosophy and was determined to turn my life around.
I remembered that I “negged” a girl and she laughed. It was exhilarating at first. Girls are actually finally finding me funny now! After all, a girl laughing meant she was interested in you right? Well, she stopped texting me on the phone in a few days. Months passed, I still wasn’t getting kisses or sex or anything of that sort, however, I just felt more empowered socially.
I eventually got desperate and emptied half my savings at 19 years old and hired a dating coach that promised a “Singaporean method” to finally get the girl. Eventually, through the system of accountability, a lot more weird stares and embarassing moments, I got my first taste of success. I started dating more girls, slept with some of them.
My notch count was getting higher. I prided myself knowing these little secrets that nobody knew. I didn’t really go around telling my friends what I was on to either, cause I tried and some of them will just laugh it off. Eventually, after repeated success with girls after a couple of months it was “proof” that these pick up artist techniques and theories worked.
Just like that, I floated in and out of this sub culture over the next couple of years.
Your Real Issues aren’t Addressed
However, there’s a limitation to pick up artist techniques that the dating advice industry rarely talks about
It came to a point where I was feeling like crap despite racking up a number of successes. That’s because because I based my self esteem on the pick up artist/ player or ‘self development’ persona.
I noticed that I was able to attract girls that I wasn’t exactly emotionally invested into. I then started dating them, seducing them and sleep with them in the name of pride and ego. I also reached a point where I thought I got this getting good with girls thing down.
Where the truth is completely opposite of reality.
I noticed that I am still not going for girls that I’m genuinely attracted to, and second guessing my interactions with girls that I was actually attracted to were are giving me obvious signs. Looking back, I passed up tons of dating opportunities because deep down I still felt I wasn’t good enough.
I realized I couldn’t be physically intimate with a girl, without thinking of a hundred lines or techniques technique to touch her. There’s a difference between executing some technique or line to touch her and genuine physically intimacy.
I figured because pursuing a girl I am genuinely sexually or emotionally attracted to, rubs against my emotional maps of rejection and abandonment. It’s not a sure win anymore, as opposed to going for girls that I’m less invested in and it wouldn’t sting from being rejected.
These are the real issues: social acceptance, abandonment and your emotional maps.
These are the real issues that guys getting into this dating advice thing should confronting and look into in the long run. These the issues that they avoid, focusing their time and effort on lines, techniques and routines.
Okay, if you need more proof, let me delve deeper.
The Pick Up Artist Techniques That Do Not Work
There’s nothing inherently wrong and bad about learning how and talk to an attractive stranger.
However, it’s another whole different issue when you’re identifying yourself as a pick up artist, using lines, routines to trick girls into bed.
- The Idea of a ‘Pick Up Artist’ Self
Firstly, the idea that you have to adopt a serperate identity (a pick up artist) in order to be cool, be liked or get girls to like you is in itself, telling yourself that you as a human being, you’re not worthy of affection, attention from the opposite sex.
It’s still feeling unworthy at the end of the day.
Of course, I’m not unrealistic and saying that there is nothing to done and only to be. I’m referring to a more identity level and self-image thing. Pick up artists tend to fall into the pure “pick up artist” self and isolate themselves from the world around them.
The romantic interactions that I had that turned out great over the years with me were often myself being a relaxed state and feeling not like a need to remember some line or technique. Ultimately, what you say, your fancy lines and theories are just a vehicle to get you to the core of expressing your intentions to her.
- The Objectification of Our Emotional Lives
Secondly, as much as learning social skills has helped me in various aspects of my life. Your emotional life is not one to be studied or to researched like a mathematical equation where quality, meaning and significance of social interactions are traded for objectified metrics such as hook close ratios and all of that un-needed metrics.
Your emotional life isn’t something that can be quantified.
In the short run, these behaviours might actually seem to be working, but in the long run, you’ll find out that you’re the same low self-esteem person that relied on those lines and theories to get you anywhere in your social life.
Entering the pick up artist community, I went through the whole mystery method thing. It always about said: X + Y = Z. You may have had some success in the short run.
However, it it works not because of those lines or behaviours. But rather, those lines or behaviours allowed you to hit on a girl openly for the first time in your life.
If you’ve always relied on lines and theories to get you anywhere in your social life, you’re not going to be happy in the long run. Relationships, friendships, and romance aren’t built upon lines or half-baked theories. They are borne out of a genuine emotional connection with another individual.
Yes, unfortunately, these things work on low self-esteem girls and it’s easy to go down this route.
However, at the end of the day, you’re still putting up a front. You’re still reinforcing the fact that you are not enough as you are. You’re still putting on a character in your social interactions instead of engaging your true self.
You can read a brilliant article done up by The Rawness. He talks about psychological terms such as codependency, narcissism, self loathing issues, childhood dynamics with parents and how all of them intertwine with pick up artist techniques and community.
Here’s an insightful quote from the article:
“Or you decide to learn as many manipulation techniques as humanly possible by reading a ton of strategy books like those of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu and Robert Greene. What this all boils down to is one thing: fear of rejection and trying to protect one’s ego by mastering the outcome in your head beforehand.”
– The Rawness
- The Metric of Success
It’s not uncommon to see people from the pick up artist community swearing by the game, going out 6-7 times a week, dedicating a huge portion of their life to this area of their life. I’m partly guilty of this, well, imagine the money, the women and the respect from the guys. Which young male in his 20s doesn’t desire that?
It was a metric of success that I measured myself by for years. If I wasn’t off making new friends, I was off chasing some girl. Or either that, I should be travelling to some new country to explore the world, in the name of ‘self development’.
When I was hanging some of the guys from the pick up artist community, it’s not long before you hear them discuss their sex lives in a quantified manner. “I’ve slept with 13 girls so far, how about you?”.
You could had slept with 13 fat girls that you weren’t even interested in, and I choose to be with a plain Jane girlfriend who loves me, have mindblowing sex with and don’t drive me crazy. Who would have been the better man? Who would have had the better ‘Game’?
The metric of success in the pick up artist community is pointless and meaningless.
- ·Safe, Secure and Non Manipulative Relationships
You’re never going to really improve your life circumstances if you don’t have safe relationships in your life you can rely upon.
When you mix a bunch of pick up artists (who suck at relationships that’s why they are in it) who sees you as an object, a ‘wing’ to go out with and not a real fucking human being, you’re highly likely going to end up in toxic friendships.
You’re never going to understand genuine friendship and authentic relationship.
Ironically, something that you probably got into the community to seek out in the first place.
‘Invisible Scripts’ in the Pick Up Artist Sub-Culture
- ‘Let’s GAME Tonight!’
Where are you coming from when you want to get good with women? Are you coming from a place of inferiority or a place or security?
The fact that you need to ‘demonstrate higher value’ or ‘neg her’ just means you see yourself as someone who is inferior to her. Someone with true confidence doesn’t need to go about demonstrating higher value or actively look for derogatory insults to bring her ‘value’ down.
The largest difference I see between my philosophy towards attracting women and the majority of the pick up artist/dating advice industry is the position where I am coming from.
I come from a position of security, and the a lot of them come from a position of insecurity. Remember, the fact that you need some flashy technique or line subtley demonstrates that you’re inferior.
Here’s another catch-22: the fact that you need to demonstrate yourself as someone superior, subtley demonstrates you’re inferior.
Your actions and intentions will bleed through.
- ‘You Need to Isolate Her’
I always hear pick up guys saying: ‘You got to isolate and distract their friends whilst being in the nightclub.’
I don’t agree with this. Firstly, on a technical level, your intentions will bleed through and the girls your approaching is going to get defensive. Secondly, if you’re in Asian culture, she’s going to get worried about her friends (and her friends are going get worried about her) when she gets separated from her.
So both ways, you’re fucked.
- ‘You Can’t Go Direct. Expressing yourself directly only Works if You’re Tall and Good Looking.’
That’s utter rubbish. You can express yourself honesty and authentically regardless of looks or height. In fact, you might even come off as more polarizing if you’re not exactly that good looking or tall, and you’re willing to be completely authentic and honest with her.
I also get some feedback that I’m considered ‘good looking’, hence it might be my good looks that helps me with my ‘game’.
Just to give you some insight, my first year in ‘game’ was spent dolling myself up with nice looking clothes, hitting the gym, and ‘looking good’. I still didn’t get laid.
In fact, I’d argue that good looks may even work against you. Girls may call you out for being a player and she’s going to project all sort of stereotypes onto you.
- The Punish and Reward Conditioning in Your Social Interactions
There’s a common pick up artist technique where you ‘punish’ or ‘reward’ someone socially based on if he or she reacts positively to you.
Firstly, that’s a shit poor form of boundaries, secondly, it’s manipulative.
If you’re unhappy with someone, you should express yourself and openly confront about it with him or her. You shouldn’t ‘punish’ bad behaviour. That’s just passive aggressive. If you aren’t able to draw clear boundaries in your relationships and you need ‘game’ to get your point across, let’s just say you’re not really confidence after all.
The Better Way Forward: The Real Issues
There’s a reason why the pick up artist community is much smaller in Asian cuyltures compared to Westernized cultures. The ideas that come along pick up isn’t exactly traditional Asian values oriented. Asian culture is stereotyped to be more group-ish, cliquish/ introverted. Well, that’s true to a certain extent.
What the PUA community did right was to introduce the idea of self-reliance.
Self reliance is idea that if you take responsibility for your own behaviour, you can change something in your dating life and not everything is left to fate, luck or genetics. Yes, it started out with tricks and lines and the ability to ‘manipulate’ girls. It was the wrong material, however, the fundamental idea that you could do change and influence your dating life was helpful.
I don’t care how good your ‘game’ is. I don’t care how many women you’ve been with. I refuse to identify with a community that is constantly objectifying their social interactions and relationships.
I can’t stress this enough, but you’re going to end up like the person you hang around with the most. His or her beliefs and worldviews are going to have a huge influence on you. This is heavily researched in psychology.
So, do you want to constantly be around some pick up artist who not only sees women as objects, but also sees all of his relationships (including you) as something that can be manipulated. Or do you want to be around with friends who appreciates and respects you as a human being, for all your strengths, flaws and weaknesses.
I know there are idiots who prefer the former, cause deep down, they don’t relationships as something that can be safe and supportive. They see relationships as something to be earned, bargained or traded. They believe deep down they deserve to be disrespected or unvalued as a person, and only then, they’ll be accepted or loved.
Ultimately, the people who are stuck in this area of their life and have resorted to hardcore pick up artist techniques should ultimately take a good look at themselves. Engaging your emotions is one of the hardest things to do for the people that bought into this whole pick up artist culture. They (and myself) probably grew up in families or cultures that emotions were repressed.
It took me years consistent therapy and self awareness to actually get better.
How to Grow From Pick Up Artist Ideas: Your Real Issues
What inspired you to get into this in the first place? These questions are extremely difficult questions to ask. They often lead back to past traumatic experiences, childhood and upbringing.
You may think, Marcus, that’s not me. However, over the years, I promise you that there’s something there that you haven’t gotten in touch with.
Lastly, instead of looking at the whole thing as a ‘Game’, instead of thinking of it as something you need to stress over, why not think of it as a side effect of expressing your desires and genuinely connecting with another woman.
Fixing the external behaviours is easy, behaving is easy. Feeling and engaging is not.
For long term happiness and growth, you must engage with himself, you must question and introspect your own beliefs feelings.
It’s the only way for long term growth.
The majority of the people coming into this are looking for a quick fix.
My parents almost divorce and financial issues early on in my life probably led me to overcompensate in this area in my life. Growing up in a extremely strict Asian family didn’t help either, grades and external success were valued over affection and connection. The horrible break up that I went through with my ex-girlfriend during my teenage years probably influenced me to avoid commitment in my romantic relationships up till today.
It took me years to confront my own issues. It took me years to be self-aware that I had faulty coping mechanisms during my childhood all the way up to my early adult life.
These are my emotional realities that I’m fighting against up till today, what are yours?