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.
The Entrances and Exits in The Pick Up Artist 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.
That’s how I started my identity as a pick up artist.
I would spend the free time I had in the military reading up on dating advice material after another.
I would read up on everything on attracting girls, self-help, entrepreneurship, and psychology and was determined to turn my life around.
I remembered that I “negged” a girl and she laughed. It was exhilarating at first. Girls were 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. I wasn’t getting kisses or sex or anything of that sort. I just felt more empowered socially.
I got desperate and emptied half my savings and hired a dating coach that promised a “Singaporean method” to finally get the girl. Eventually, through social circles in school and work, I got the first taste of success.
I started dating more girls, I slept with some of them. My notch count was getting higher. I prided myself knowing these little secrets that nobody knew. Eventually, I had a couple of success with girls after a months and it was “proof” that these pick up artist theories worked.
Just like that, If floated in and out of the pick up artist identity over the next few years.
Why Pick Up Artist Techniques Do Not Work
There is a blur and concept of picking up and being a pick up artist that’s not addressed in the dating advice industry.
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 someone else (a.k.a a pick up artist) in order to be cool, be liked or sleep with girls. The whole idea of that is in itself, telling yourself, 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 social interactions that turned out great over the years with me were often myself being a relaxed state and feeling not like a need to ‘game a girl’. What you say: lines and theories are just a vehicle to get you to the core of expressing one’s intentions and needs to women.
- The Objectification of Our Emotional Lives
Secondly, as much as learning social skills has helped me in various aspects of my life. Learning social dynamics and improving in one’s 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 hook close ratios and all of that un-needed percentages comparisons.
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. Socializing is an emotional thing and it’s not something that can be quantified.
Entering the pick up artist community, I went through the whole mystery method thing. It always about said: X + Y = Z. One might argue that it works. Yes, 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 ‘frame’, 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 romantic ones are not built upon lines, owning the frame and half-baked theories. They are borne out of truly connecting 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, it’s still you putting up a front. Subconsciously, it reinforces 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. This means your fuck ups, your failures, what you’re proud of, what do you care about, and your true desires for her.
Social interactions just aren’t a formula that you can break down and then do something to it. It’s really subjective and dependent on one’s current values in life.
- The Metric of Success
Imagine the money, the girls and the respect from guys. 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 master social skills and social dynamics.
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 out with other guys from the pick up artist community, it’s not long before I hear them discuss their sex lives in a quantified manner. “I’ve slept with 13 girls so far, how about you?”. If you could had slept with 13 fat girls, and I choose to be with a plain Jame girlfriend whom I love. 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 completely pointless and meaningless.
- ·Safety and Security
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) 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.
- The Idea of ‘Game’
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 your 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 getting good with girls and the majority of the pick up artist community is the position where he coming from. I come from a position of security, and the rest of the guys come from a position of insecurity. Remember, the fact that you need techniques and lines, subtley demonstrates that you’re inferior. The fact that you need to demonstrate yourself as someone superior, subtley demonstrates you’re inferior.
Your actions and intentions will bleed through. Trust me on that.
- ‘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 approach may 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. Stop looking at socializing as something you’re waging war against.
- ‘You Can’t Go Direct. Direct Game 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 System
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 through passive aggressive means. If you aren’t able to draw clear boundaries in your relationships and you need ‘game’ to get your point across, it’s ultimately needy behavior.
A Loud Minority
There’s a reason why the pick up artist community is much smaller compared to Westernized cultures. The ideas that come along pick up isn’t exactly traditional Asian values oriented.
Asians are also 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. It’s the idea that if you take responsibility for your own behaviour, you can change something about your life, and not everything is left to fate and genetics. Yes, it started out with tricks and lines thought to be able to ‘manipulate’ girls. It was the wrong material, however, the fundamental idea that you could do something with your dating life was right.
Your Real Issues aren’t Addressed
There’s a limitation to pick up techniques. You must confront your own demons.
There’s a point I was feeling like shit-y 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 emotionally invested into. I then started dating them, seducing them and sleep with them in the name of ‘game’. I then 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 who are giving me obvious signs. Looking back, I also passed up tons of dating opportunities because I was too in my head guessing if she likes me or not. P
There are issues in my interactions that I avoid as well: I can’t be physically intimate with a girl who I genuinely am attracted to, without thinking of a ‘game’ technique to touch her. There’s a difference between executing some lame ass routine to touch her and being vulnerable and being physically intimate.
That’s 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.
Those are the real issues: social acceptance, abandonment, emotional maps.
These are the real issues that guys getting into this dating advice pursuit 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.
It’s said that self awareness is like an onion. If you peel one layer back, there are a hundred other layers. One more painful than the other.
However, to get good at this, the only way is through.
The Better Way Forward: The Real Issues
I refuse to identify a community tha are constantly objectifying their social interactions and relationships. I don’t care how good your ‘game’ is.
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.
Engaging one’s emotions are the hardest things to do for the people that bought into this whole pick up artist ideas. They (and myself) probably grew up in families or cultures that emotions were repressed. It took me consistent psychotherapy and mindfulness on my social interactions to actually get better.
I think the people who’re stuck in this area of their life and have resorted to being a pick up artist should ultimately take a good look at themselves.
What inspired to them get into this in the first place? These questions are tough questions to ask. They often lead back to past traumatic experiences and upbringing. It’s often these devils that you have to wrestle with at the end of the day.
Instead of looking at the whole thing as a ‘Game’, instead of thinking steps and steps and steps of getting her, why not think of it as genuinely connecting with her on a human level. Why not think of it as emotional intelligence?
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 his own feelings. It’s painful to do so, but it’s the only way for long term growth.
The majority of the people coming into this are looking for a quick fix. However, it’s the emotional realities that have to be confronted. It took me years to confront the childhood and self-esteem issues. It took me years to be self-aware that I had faulty coping mechanisms in life, that I had self-sabotaged myself out of school, athletics, friendships and relationships.
These are my emotional realities that I’m fighting against up till today, what are yours?