Seduction community

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Pioneers of the
seduction community
Neil Strauss (Style)
David DeAngelo
Ross Jeffries
Tyler Durden
Lance Mason
Zan Perrion

The seduction community is a loose-knit subculture of men who strive for better sexual and romantic success with women through self-improvement and a greater understanding of social psychology.[1]

It exists largely through Internet forums and groups, as well as over a hundred local clubs, called "lairs".[2] Supporters refer to the subculture simply as 'the community'[3] and often call themselves "pickup artists."


[edit] History

The seduction community's origins date back to Eric Weber's 1970 book How to Pick Up Girls.[citation needed] In the 1980s, two California self-help gurus began selling their own advice for meeting attractive women. One, who calls himself "R. Don Steele" a.k.a. 'Steel Balls', focuses on helping men over 35 meet younger women. Another, Ross Jeffries, promotes a collection of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques called "Speed Seduction" (SS).[4] Other gurus established themselves, but lacked contacts with each other.

In 1994, Lewis De Payne, then a student of Jeffries founded the newsgroup ("ASF").[5] This then spawned a network of other Internet discussion forums, email lists, blogs, and sites where seduction techniques could be exchanged.[4][6]

As the original became overwhelmed with spam, a group called "Learn the Skills Corporation" developed a moderated alternative known as "Moderated ASF" (commonly "mASF"), which reports a membership of 20,000.[citation needed] At the same period, in the late 90s, Clifford Lee, a consummate networker, began his Cliff's List Seduction Letter[7] as a central independent voice of the community. [8]

Other seduction teachers emerged with competing methods, and became known within this community as "seduction gurus" or "gurus".[9] The emergent theories coalesced on the usenet newsgroups before being systematically taught by teachers.[citation needed] Two of the most notable of these new teachers were Mystery and David DeAngelo.[10]

David and Cliff of are considered to be the most independent of the seduction community. David got his start with a post to Cliff's List[11]. Mystery is a magician who applied many of the social skills used in stage performance to the art of seduction, creating the Mystery Method. Many of the terms used by the community like "set" and "routine" are taken from the performing arts. David DeAngelo, a former student of Ross Jeffries, is best known for a technique called 'Cocky and Funny'.

In 2005, Neil Strauss wrote The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, an exposé of the seduction community. The Game reached the New York Times Bestseller List, and popularized pickup and seduction to a broader audience, increasing the chances of pickup artists being caught when they used canned material.[12]

On 2 August 2007, Mystery, with 2 former students (Matador and J-Dog) created his own television show "The Pick Up Artist" on VH1.[13] Nick Savoy was supposed to appear on the show but due to a professional dispute between Savoy and Mystery, Savoy did not appear. He is listed as an consultant to the show.[14]

The body of knowledge in the field of "pick-up" has grown exponentially in the past decade as millions of men around the globe have taken an interest in the subject. Many write up their personal experiences and construct theories of the self and of social dynamics to share with other students. The combined material has the hallmarks of an interdisciplinary field of study and promiscuously borrows concepts and terminology from other disciplines in the arts, sciences, and pseudo-sciences. Evolutionary biology, neurolinguistic programming, and the psychology of influence are just a few of the fields that have been mined for concepts and metaphors germane to the practice of pick-up.

In 2008 the Seduction Hall of Fame was opened to reward seduction coaches for their accomplishments in this field: Mystery, David DeAngelo, Neil Strauss "Style", and Cliff from Cliff's List were all inducted for their Lifetime Achievements. [15]

[edit] Concepts

Supporters of this community typically believe that the conventional dating advice for men is fatally flawed.[16] For example, they reject the notion that men should attempt to woo women by spending money on them (e.g. buying drinks, presents, jewelry), calling it "supplication".[17]

They also discourage flattery.[9] They believe that physical looks are less important to women in selection of a partner than they are to men, as evidenced by top gurus who rated poorly with their looks on a Hot or Not style of website.[18]

Many members of the seduction community work on their "game" (seduction skills) by improving their understanding of female psychology, their confidence and self-esteem (termed "inner game"), and their social skills and physical appearance (physical fitness, fashion sense, grooming) ("outer game"). Many members of the community believe that one's "game" is refined through regular practice,[19] with the idea that the abilities needed to interact with women can be improved.

The seduction community has a unique set of acronyms and jargon for describing male-female dynamics and social interaction.[9] For example, "AFC" stands for Average Frustrated Chump (a term coined by Ross Jeffries to describe males who are clueless and incompetent with women).

"AMOG" stands for "Alpha-Male Other Guy" (or Alpha-Male Of the Group): a reference to a competing male, who is usually either befriended by the PUA (Pickup artist), or, if necessary, ridiculed. Some of the concepts in the community are borrowed from other disciplines, such as the concept of social proof from the psychology of influence, and various concepts from sociobiology and evolutionary psychology (such as the term "alpha male").

Books such as The Red Queen by Matt Ridley, Sperm Wars by Robin Baker, and The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller are frequently cited in the community.[citation needed]

[edit] Practices

In The Game, Neil Strauss documents various practices that occur in the seduction community. Members of the community believe in achieving success with women through scientific and empirical means, rather than by relying on good looks or intuitive instinct, or by following societal courtship conventions. The practice of going out with the purpose of meeting females is known as "sarging", a term coined by Ross Jeffries, after his cat "Sarge". A pickup artist can "sarge" alone, or with a wingman.

[edit] Approaching and opening

Pickup artists generally assume the mindset that women are passive and will not initiate, requiring men to begin any interaction by approaching them, but many have also cultivated a sensitivity to direct and indirect signals of sexual interest.

There are many different types of "approaches." Approaches can be directed towards women who are in groups, or alone, and pickup artists can approach on their own or with their wingmen.

Approaching can be "direct" (in communicating sexual interest), or "indirect" (appearing indifferent towards physical intimacy). Approaching can also happen when a woman gives an "approach invitation" (abbreviated "AI"), a favorable body language signal, like eye contact or a smile.

PUAs believe that reading signals like the woman touching her hair, laughing, (termed IOI - Indicators of Interest) and knowing when to "escalate" the interaction to more intimate levels when windows of opportunity arise are essential skills for having success of any nature. The timing of these escalations is thought to be critical because a missed window of opportunity due to tentativeness can serve to dampen attraction.

Alternately, a window can be playfully skirted or even ignored to build tension, providing emotional space in which people can feel comfortable and unpressured. To calibrate interests from a woman, one can ask the AIA question: "Am I Interested". If the woman is, the player can calibrate accordingly and escalate touching and logistics.

"Cold approaching" occurs when the "target" has not given such a notice to the pickup artist. Cold approach can also refer to approaching a person you know nothing about, irrespective of whether they're displaying IOIs. Pickup artists approach either verbally, or nonverbally.

Nearly every pickup artist, even those most experienced, admits to feelings of "approach anxiety" when approaching women; this feeling is exacerbated the longer the approach is delayed. Initiating a conversation is called "opening," and whatever the pickup artist says while opening is called an "opener." Openers can be "canned" (prepared in advance), or improvised.

Members of the seduction community often practice approaching and opening repetitively; some have done thousands of approaches. Strauss describes a pickup artist who did 125 approaches in one day.[20]

[edit] Interacting with women

After approaching and opening, pickup artists attempt to engage the women in conversation. The moment where a woman (or group) decides that they want to continue the interaction with the pickup artist is called the "hook point" (Strauss). Members of the seduction community employ various techniques designed to develop attraction and rapport with the women they are having a conversation with (and the groups these women are in). Techniques can be "canned" (pre-scripted), or "natural" (improvised). These techniques include:

  • "Negs," i.e. remarks, such as backhanded compliments, that are designed to actively demonstrate lack of interest and "falsely disqualify" the pickup artists as potential suitors or, more commonly, to tentatively disqualify the target. Negs are generally advocated for attractive and very attractive women. They are intended for numerous purposes, including slightly lowering a girl’s self-esteem so she’s more vulnerable to pickup, displaying higher value, opening a tension loop, making it appear that the PUA is not seeking approval, framing the PUA as the prize in the interaction the target needs to win over, or for lowering a girl’s "bitch shield" (i.e. hostile attitude to potential suitors), etc. (associated with the Mystery Method)
  • "Cocky & Funny," i.e. statements that combine humor with overconfidence or play arrogance. (developed by David DeAngelo but often used by other methods)
  • "Kino," i.e. physical touching. (origin: Ross Jeffries, from the word kinesthesia) Also noted in Mastering your Hidden Self, a book widely recommended for PUAs, as the word for body.
  • Using routines, i.e. pre-scripted conversations, or actions.; an example would be a pickup artist telling a story (sometimes true, sometimes verbatim from a pickup guru) about himself which has been scripted in advance.
  • Patterns, i.e. hypnotic language derived from sales and NLP designed to influence a woman's subconscious mind, to seduce her, or to otherwise condition her without her knowledge. Patterning can be done spontaneously though is usually completely scripted in advance. (promulgated by Ross Jeffries, Major Mark, Bishop, and many others)
  • Humorous banter
  • "Eliciting values," i.e. finding out what is important to a person, and what they desire. Eliciting values is a technique from NLP for making patterns and other techniques more effective at influencing a person. Rather than using a canned pattern in which someone is led through a predetermined sequence of states, eliciting values uses specific sequences of questions to find out a person's "internal roadmap" that leads to a certain state, and then the pickup artist attempts to "lead" them to that state. Eliciting values is also used to screen for traits that the pickup artist is looking for in women he interacts with, and to assess compatibility if he is looking for a relationship. Alternatively, eliciting values can be used to gain rapport. (origin: Richard Bandler and John Grinder)
  • "AMOG destroyers," (or "AMOGing," "AMOG tactics") i.e. dealing with competing males in the group with backhanded compliments or subtle jibes, such as picking an item of clothing they are wearing and making fun of them for it. "AMOG" stands for "Alpha Male Other Guy (or Alpha Male of Group)," and "AMOG" can also be used as a verb: to "AMOG" someone. AMOG destroyers are designed to establish oneself as the dominant person in the group. A lot of AMOGing comes from simply not acknowledging the other person.(Originally developed by Owen Cook)

Different styles of pickup and seduction use different degrees of structuring interactions. For example, Mystery Method employs a high degree of structure and conceptualizes interaction with women in a series of three stages, viz. attraction, comfort, and seduction, which are each subdivided into three stages also. At the other end of the spectrum, natural game advocates such as Juggler and Real Social Dynamics discourage pre-scripted interactions and value relating to individuals spontaneously with a general awareness of increasing intimacy.

[edit] Field Reports

Some pickup artists in the community write up "Field Reports" ("FRs") and "Lay Reports" ("LRs") detailing their experiences with women which they share on Internet forums for constructive criticism, or to serve as examples for others.[20]

[edit] Controversy

The seduction community has been receiving increased media attention,[21][22][23][24] especially since the publication of Neil Strauss' article on the community in The New York Times,[4] and his bestselling memoir The Game. Response to the seduction community has been varied; it has been called misogynistic, and a review of The Game in the San Francisco Chronicle characterized the community as "a puerile cult of sexual conquest," and calls its tactics "sinister" and "pathetic."[24][25] According to the review, "if women in the book are sometimes treated as a commodity, they come out looking better than the men, who can be downright loathsome — and show themselves eventually to be pretty sad, dysfunctional characters."

Feminists tend to be critical of the seduction community. Beatrix Campbell has stated that The Game "sexually objectifies women," arguing that "in a way these courses are helping men to be a bit less useless in their engagement with women, using charm and a bit of ingenuity to seduce. But the only thing that will help them in relationships is empathy and liking women."[26]

According to an article in Eye Weekly, some feminists believe that pickup "isn't just cheesy; it's offensive."[27] The article cites a proposal put forward by a writer as an alternative to the formula used by expert PUAs: "Shake my hand. [Say] 'Hi, my name is…' Treat me like a human being. Avoid seeing women as conquests and men as competition." In reference to the proposal, Strauss retorted that "If that worked, I wouldn't have had to write this book."[citation needed]

An article in the Houston Press claimed that the seduction community "isn't the lechfest it might sound like." The article quotes the webmaster of defending the community: "It's no more deceptive than push-up bras or heels or going to the gym to work out…This isn't just a game of words and seduction, it's an overall life improvement."[citation needed] Strauss says, "I really think all of these routines and manipulations are just a way for a guy to get his foot in the door so that if a woman connects with him, she can still choose him," and that seduction techniques "can be used for good or evil!"[19][23] He argues that "women are incredibly intuitive — the creepy guys with bad intentions don't do nearly as well as the guys who love and respect women."[24]

Several writers describe observing men in the seduction community first-hand. Some women recount experiences with men they believed to be pickup artists who tried to "pick them up," and some men recount trying out pickup techniques. A columnist for The Independent describes a negative experience with a man she believed was a pickup artist and used a lot of "negs" on her: "The problem is that some guys clearly don't know when to quit."[28]

One pickup artist's approach was so aggressive that the messages he left for a 'target' wound up on the internet, bringing more notoriety and attention to the seduction community. As a result, many felt that this would implicate the approach style and practices of men in general, or more specifically, all pick-up artists.[29]

An article in San Francisco Magazine recounts the experience the blogger "Dolly," who is the "author of the popular sex blog The Truth about Cocks and Dolls" had with the seduction community. According to the article, Dolly was:

[...] put off by PUAs at first. But after she met more, including two from San Francisco, she wrote a letter to the Village Voice defending them, in response to the paper’s negative article on the subject in March. “PUAs try to create a fun, positive, and exciting experience for the woman,” Dolly wrote. “The credo many follow is ‘Leave her better than you found her.’ What’s so bad about that? That they want to get laid, too? Guess what? Guys have always wanted sex and will continue to want sex. You can’t fault them for finally discovering methods that are successful.[30]

Jaimal Yogis, author of the article reports trying out some of the teachings of PickUp 101 and describes "having an epiphany: I can talk to anyone."[30] For an article for the Times Online, Hugo Rifkind participated in a seminar by Neil Strauss.[22] Rifkind describes initially struggling with seduction techniques, eventually learning to attract women's interest, and then feeling guilty. Rifkind writes, "After a little more practice, my 'game' is improving dramatically. I can open with fluency, and there’s an injection of confidence which comes from knowing exactly what you are going to say next." When he attracts a woman's attention, "she is — quite honestly — looking at me like I’m the most fascinating person she’s ever met. As a human being and, perhaps more crucially, as somebody with a girlfriend, I feel like absolute scum."

After spending three days immersed in a Mystery Method seminar, Gene Weingarten expressed his uneasiness about "a step by step tutorial for men in how to pick up women, make them comfortable in your presence, and bed them, ideally within seven hours of your first meeting" and wondered aloud, "Is there something inherently wrong with the notion of seduction as a classroom-taught skill, complete with a long hierarchy of 'lines' that work, seemingly spontaneous topics of conversation that are anything but spontaneous, tricks for seeming 'vulnerable', and tips on how to behave so as to deliver subtle but effective nonverbal inducements to intimacy?"[31]

Steven Poole, in his review[32] of The Game and The Layguide, finds homoerotic traits among the community, venturing among women and returning to share tips and stories with other pickup artists.

[edit] Commercialization

The media attention and rapid growth of the seduction community has led to commercialization and competition. Teachers of seduction tactics sell workshops, books, e-books, DVDs, and CDs over the internet. In The Game, Strauss describes the competition between seduction gurus.

[edit] In popular culture

  • The movie Hitch, February 2005, starring Will Smith, directed by Andy Tennant, shows the life of one-on-one dating coach that portrays the good nature of the pickup lifestyle and business.
  • Columbia Pictures is making a movie based on The Game.[33] (Article date: February, 2006, no announced developments since)
  • There is a prospective reality TV show The First Three Minutes[34] in the works, in which pickup artists from the seduction community help other men to pick up and seduce women.
  • The episode "The Score" in season 4 of CSI: Miami involves a guru teaching his students.[35]
  • Channel 4 produced a single episode of a TV show called "Seduction School", in which three guys, one short, one tall, and one fat, were instructed by Juggler.[36]
  • Channel 4 produced a documentary called "First Cut: The Rules of Seduction", which followed the progression of Ian on a bootcamp lead by Richard La Ruina of PUATraining as well as documenting PUA Training's Adam Lyons' appearance at the World PUA Summit in Los Angeles.[37]
  • In Summer 2007, VH1 aired a program called The Pick-up Artist,[38] where Mystery teaches eight "socially inept men" his techniques for attracting women.
  • In the movie Magnolia, Tom Cruise stars as seduction guru Frank T.J. Mackey, author of Seduce and Destroy, a character Ross Jeffries claims was based on him. In The Game Strauss interviews Cruise who stridently denies his character was in any way based on Jeffries, although he admits director Paul Thomas Anderson was aware of Jeffries.
  • In the show "Keys to the VIP" (a show where men compete as "players"), the pickup judge "Peachez" uses the term "seduction community" (episode 5) and he regularly uses concepts from it (e.g. "rapport" and "closing") while commenting on the contestants. Cajun, an instructor with Love Systems recently went on as a contestant and won. The video can be seen here
  • In 2007, Zan Perrion played himself in the movie Let the Game Begin, starring Adam Rodriguez (of CSI: Miami), Thomas Ian Nicholas, Stephen Baldwin, and Lochlyn Munro.
  • In 2008, Richard La Ruina played himself (Gambler) in the movie We Need to Talk About Kieran about a man who turns to Pick Up Artists after being cheated on by his girlfriend.
  • In 2008 Ed Helms playing Andy Bernard in NBC sitcom The Office in the episode Business Trip repeatedly states himself as the wingman of Oscar Martinez who's apparently gay and has currently no interest in 'picking-up' other 'dudes'.
  • On October 17, 2008, Sirius Satellite Radio launched "Game On" with hosts Jordan Harbinger and Joshua Pellicer from The Art of Charm, teaching listeners how to improve their "game," and master the social skills to attract and interact with the opposite sex. [39]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Pelling, Rowan, "Seduction? Any woman with her own hair and a bottle of vodka can do it", The Independent, Sept 4, 2005.
  2. ^ "Official List of Worldwide PUA Lairs"
  3. ^ Strauss, Neil, "Go On, Pull the Other One" The Guardian, Feb. 15, 2004.
  4. ^ a b c Strauss, Neil, "He Aims! He Shoots! Yes!!", The New York Times, 25 January 2004.
  5. ^ Who is Lewis De Payne?
  6. ^ Forman, Bill "Working Overtime on the Seduction Line", Metro News, February 8, 2006.
  7. ^ Cliff's List - Private Seduction Letter
  8. ^ Yuen, Jenny, "Disgraced doctor is T.O's seduction guru", Toronto Sun, April 13, 2008.
  9. ^ a b c Gravenor, Kristian, "Seduction for Dummies", The Montreal Mirror, July 14, 2005.
  10. ^ Who Is David Deangelo?
  11. ^ [1] David's Start in the community
  12. ^ Levitt, Aimee, "Cock and Awe", River Front Times, April 9, 2008.
  13. ^ IMDB THe Pickup Artist (2007)
  14. ^ Official Savoy-Mystery Dispute Documents
  15. ^
  16. ^ Introduction[dead link]
  17. ^ Q046[dead link]
  18. ^ Beautiful?
  19. ^ a b George, Lianne, "Q&A with Author Neil Strauss, Maclean's, August 29, 2005.
  20. ^ a b Strauss, Neil, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (2005), ISBN 0-06-055473-8, p. 298
  21. ^ Netburn, Deborah, "Danger: pickup artists ahead", LA Times, August 31, 2005.
  22. ^ a b Rifkind, Hugo, "Operation pick-up", The Times, September 3, 2005.
  23. ^ a b Spencer, Liese, "Revealed: the dark arts of the ladykiller", The Scotsman, September 12, 2005.
  24. ^ a b c Ganahl, Jane (2005-11-25). "Ahead of the game". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved on 2006-12-22. 
  25. ^ Behr, Rafael, "Girls, if you see this man, run a mile", The Guardian, September 25, 2005.
  26. ^ Johnson, Andrew (2005-08-28). "Passing on 'foolproof' pick-up tips. Is this 'grooming' for adults?". The Independent. Retrieved on 2006-12-22. 
  27. ^ Morris, Dave (2005-10-13). "Get laid, get fucked". Eye Weekly. Retrieved on 2006-12-22. 
  28. ^ Townsend, Catherine (2006-03-28). "Sleeping Around". The Independent. Retrieved on 2006-12-22. 
  29. ^ TheYoungTurks (June 27, 2008). "How a Cheeseball Stud Picks Up a Woman". YouTube. Retrieved on 2008-07-04. 
  30. ^ a b Yogis, Jaimal (2006). "What does it take to get a date in this town?". San Francisco Magazine. Retrieved on 2006-12-22. 
  31. ^ Weingarten, Gene, "The Gene Pool: Sex and Deceit", The Washington Post, March 5, 2008.
  32. ^ Poole, Steven, "Sad sack artists", The Guardian, October 22, 2005.
  33. ^ Siegel, Tatiana, "Weitz putting 'Game' face on", The Hollywood Reporter, February 24, 2006.
  34. ^ F3M Press Release
  35. ^ della Cava, Marco R., "Pickup artists point the way", USA Today, August 15, 2006.
  36. ^ "Seduction School: Size Doesn't Matter." Channel 4. 2006-8-3. Retrieved 2006-11-27.
  37. ^ "First Cut: The Rules of Seduction" Channel 4. 2007-11-3. Retrieved 2007-11-27.
  38. ^ The Pick Up Artist,
  39. ^ Newswire, PR (2008-10-15). "SIRIUS' Maxim Radio Launches 'Game On,' Exclusive Weekly Show Devoted to the Art of Meeting and Attracting Women". SOA World Magazine. Retrieved on 2008-10-15. 

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

Personal tools