Picking Apart The Pickup Artist

A couple weeks back, I wrote a post about VH1’s new series The Pick-Up Artist. At the time, the show had yet to debut, but I nevertheless blasted away at it for being shallow and misogynistic. I ridiculed the so-called “master” responsible for the whole schtick and the fact that he purports to have a foolproof “method” for clubbing women over the head and dragging them back to his cave by their hair. I think I may have even sworn never to watch the show.

Well, I’m nothing if not hypocritical.

So here, in my snarkiest post yet, is a review of The Pick-Up Artist

The premise: this dude named Mystery has perfected the “Venusian Arts” and can seduce women with his calming speech patterns, virile charms and vague idiosyncracies (including ludicrous hats, outdated fashions and what may or may not be fake tattoos and piercings). Eight incredibly nerdy contestants — detailed below — are awkwardly jammed into a mansion together and put through a series of tests and “boot camp”-like personality exercises to see who can survive and achieve the title of Master Pick-Up Artist (and $50,000). With me so far?

Okay. First of all, let me introduce you to your hosts:

It's definitely a mystery... 

Mystery – Erik is the head honcho of the group. As I mentioned in my previous post, he’s a former Dungeons & Dragons geek whose sole goal in life was once to become a cruise ship magician. The guy is the same age as me! And, evidently, he thinks it’s still cool to paint your fingernails black and wear a top hat with a fake tie t-shirt. Oookay. That was so last year.

Uh...

J-Dog – This is Justin, an “instructor” and one of Mystery’s “wingmen.” He’s an engineer and he talks with what may or may not be a fake accent (still too early to call). I grabbed this photo off his MySpace page and it must have been taken before he went through his “flamboyant skunk” rebirth (see below). The funny thing to me is that EVERY photo on his page is of him with a woman. It’s almost like he was soooo desperate to prove his manliness that he had a buddy follow him around and overcompensate by taking pictures of him with every girl he’s ever met. Nice shirt, Jimmy Buffett.

Matador? I call bullshit!

Matador – The guy on the right is Mystery’s business partner, chest hair sculptor and main “wingman” who’s real name is Stan (and that’s an updated J-Dog on the left…looking decidedly more poofty). I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t take dating advice from a guy who looks like Erik Estrada on a Star Wars audition (though this picture looks more like Wilmer Valderrama with a bicycle pump up his ass). 

Those three are the real men trying to teach eight other pathetic dudes how to meet women. Yes…they refer to each other as “wingmen.” Yes, they have “callsigns” for each other like Neo, Moxie and Lovedrop(?). And yes, their company’s website clearly states that:

Matador and Mystery live in the Project Miami mansion and enjoy winging each other night after night.

So far, this whole phenomenon is just a slightly gayer version of Top Gun.

As far as the contestants go, I’m just going to make it easy on us all and give them nicknames based on characters from Revenge of the Nerds:

  • Scott – This is Poindexter, the completely over-the-top nerdy guy who probably plays a mean electric fiddle.
  • Joe D. – Since he’s overweight, kinda slobby and lives in his parents’ basement, I’m going to call him Booger. He’s actually quite charming.
  • Pradeep – Say hello to our Lamar. Sure, he’s not blatantly gay, but he prefers to talk to men at the bars and he thinks going for an “obviously gay” look will make women feel more secure around him. Hmm…
  • Fred – Even though Wormser was an underdeveloped teenager in RotN, this 45 year-old virgin definitely fits the bill of being out of place for his age. Scary moment alert: after getting a haircut he looks like a Russian hitman.
  • Spoon – My favorite character on the show. Sad to say, he’ll be our Takashi if only for his ethnicity (though he’s actually closer to Aaron, the sad sack “Asian cowboy” from this season’s Hell’s Kitchen).
  • Joe W. – Definitely Gilbert. An unassuming blonde who’s just a little too fidgety. Reminds me of David Spade before he discovered (and subsequently OD’ed on) sarcasm.
  • Brady – Let’s call him Lewis. He’s not a bad looking guy, just sort of awkward. Probably has one of those goose-honker laughs too.
  • Alvaro – And then there’s this guy. Seems like a normal enough person, but he’s definitely riding on the wacky train…by Episode 2, he changes his name to Kosmo (with a “K,” because that’s “so money!”)…and decides to pull out some half-assed breakdance moves in a crowded bar. He comes off less nerd and more Beat Street extra. Kinda like John Leguizamo…with a semblance of talent.

As far as plot goes, first the “masters” put their “students” through a trial by fire. They make them each go into a bar and try to talk to people while watching the whole thing on hidden cameras. Parts of it are actually quite painful to watch. And sure, I can feel myself thinking back to times when I felt as awkward as them. Some people are afraid of heights. Some people are afraid of public speaking. But I’m pretty sure all people, at some point in their lives, are afraid of rejection.

After this excruciating exercise is over and the masters have pointed out all of their flaws, it’s time for the obligatory Reality TV makeovers (brought to you by Johnson & Johnson, Vidal Sassoon and Hot Topic).

Somehow, this show has become an eerie reflection of Scientology. And I don’t mean all the alien crap and evil things floating in your bloodstream (Thetans? Midichlorians?). From what I know of Scientology, it’s based on a ritual tearing down of your self-image and then a recreation in line with the cult’s (I refuse to call it a religion) beliefs…and of course you can’t attain true enlightenment unless you can afford it.

These roadside prophets show the innocent ones all the things they’re doing wrong and then gain their trust by promising to fix it and make them whole (and each seminar only costs $4997).

First step to a phoenix rising from the ashes? Peacocking. Right on.

This is where each of the contestants has a chance to reinvent themselves with a new character or “avatar.” They’re encouraged to wear tight clothing, dye their hair ridiculous colors and accessorize more than Madonna in her “Lucky Star” phase. In other words, they’re taught to exude false confidence by dressing up like assholes.

And you can tell that they’re all so easily amazed by this ingenuity. When Spoon walks into the kitchen, one of the other dorks says, without the slightest irony:

You painted your fingernails black? That’s awesome!

The next step is to take part in a “gambit” (what most people would call a “night out”).

I’m going to pause right here to point out something obvious: the lexicon. Who the hell needs to make up a new word for “going out?” Mystery’s relying a bit too much on his D&D days here. Avatar? Gambit (funnier if it was a “Quest”)? And then later in the show, he rewards the successful contestants with medallions inscribed with Celtic runes…probably left over from his days as a Hobbit Scout in The Shire? Wow.

I can just see Mystery and his buddies huddling around a rickety card table, rolling obscurely-sided dice and trying to make their saving throws against Cockblocking Third Wheels. Forsooth!

And let’s not forget the pickup-specific terms which glide onscreen like Pop-Up Videos. Things such as “sarging” (meeting women), “routine” (practiced stories and lines), “opening a set” (getting a group of people to talk to you) and “neg” (a backhanded compliment). Seems like an awful lot of homework and book-learnin’ just to get laid.

Then there’s the coaching aspect of the show. For example, when Spoon strikes out “in the field,” Matador gives him this poignant, from-the-heart advice:

Master your fear.

Thanks, Mexican Yoda.

I don’t dispute that there’s some sort of honest validity behind the show. I can feel for the guys when they’re tripping over their own tongues or just too damn scared to come out of their protective cocoons, but the sheer pomposity and absurdity of these “masters” makes my stomach turn. If these blowhards weren’t around, I could see a very sweet self-help show developing from the concept. But the disgusting implications of becoming a master of “picking up” drunk women at a bar is a bit too skeevy for my tastes.

Apparently, others in the (so-called) seduction community share my feelings. This quote, speaking about Mystery, was pulled from another pickup artist blog:

[He’s] the impervious charlatan imposing his will on a room full of guys too unsure of themselves to call him on his bullshit. I did not like him. I would never hang out with him. I would never trust him to even get me a beer, much less trust him to teach me how to find a girlfriend.

I think Matador himself had the perfect quote towards the end of the second episode. He was ridiculing one of the contestants’ technique with this appropriate zinger:

It’s pathetic, it’s needy, and quite frankly it’s rather tacky!

This coming from the guy wearing the Han Solo vest, punk boots and black lip gloss.

I’ve gotta side with Spoon (his last name is actually — no joke — POON) who voluntarily eliminated himself from the “game” after the second episode. While there’s some true merit hidden somewhere in this premise, the gaudy and repulsive candy coating is obscuring the tasty, soothing message inside.

Oh, but what do I know? I’ve only dated a former pro tennis player/model, a Broadway actress and a married women nearly 10 years older than me. I’ve been successfully married for 7 years with two beautiful children. And just last night, I played video games until 5 o’clock in the morning while my wife slept on the couch next to me. What a geek!

That said, if you really want to land hot chicks and become a wild-n-crazy fella, you’d be better off watching some real pickup artists honing their craft in this clip for “Most Beautiful Girl in the Room” from Flight of the Conchords:

40 thoughts on “Picking Apart The Pickup Artist

  1. Fun fact: Mr. Salted loves this show. Loves. Oh, he’ll deny it if you ask him. But he totally loves it. I kind of love it too, in a kind of love that can only be bred from intense, firey hatred of a thousand suns. Give me five minutes with that Mystery choad and I’ll disassemble his confidence quicker than you can say Rogue Druid and have him back rolling the 12-sided dice in no time.

  2. I have a sneaking suspicion that he would just laugh you off and move on to the next, presumably more gullible, female.

    And now you’ve got me thinking of other things I could have mentioned. Damn you!

    BONUS post later tonight…

  3. Most people don’t get it. Mystery doesn’t teach guys how to be real men. He doesn’t teach them how to find that girl with whom you want to have a long and meaningful relationship.

    He teaches them to be that douchebag who leaves the bar with a drunk 7 that thinks she is a 10 and has daddy issues.

    However, I will say that I have seen the “Mystery method” in action and it does work. Which makes me lose a little faith in the fairer sex.

    I was hoping that this show would peek into how big of a bi-polar trainwreck Mystery really is. But, that would be too much to ask.

    Read “The Game” if you want to find out how psychologically boned Mystery really is.

  4. I absolutely love the show, it’s such a guilty pleasure. I also love all reality TV train wrecks.

    This show touches on a slightly more personal level. Last year, I had an opportunity to be present at weekend”boot camp” session. I spent Friday and Saturday evening accompanying a “master pick-up artist” and a “wingman” while they “trained” a very sweet kid how to master picking up women. It was a very… um…. entertaining weekend? Then again, I find rolling my eyes while mouthing “ohmygod” good fun.

    Yes, litelysalted, the right woman can completely confuse the hell out of these Pick Up Artists and instead of laughing and walking away, they do keep coming back. They don’t understand what happens when it doesn’t work and they will try repeatedly until they figure something else out.

  5. My last boyfriend picked up Mystery’s book once. He kept telling me it was “interesting” and “kinda cool from a psychology perspective” for a bit while I kept telling him that anyone who thought those things about women was actually a misogynist. By the time he finished the book, he agreed with me.

    As a pretty girl living in the Miami area with a IQ that outstrips my weight, I’d love to see one of these clowns try and match wits with me. Of course, as a confident and alert individual who is active in making my own decisions, I’m not really their ideal target.

  6. Tanner – You’re so right it’s ridiculous. I had a few friends who wanted me to read this shit, because they thought it was just so great. But the problem is, all it does is teach you how to get women who, quite frankly, suck. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. In the end, it’s just really depressing, and like you said, really makes me think less of the fairer sex. Although I definitely understand how that sounds chauvinistic, I think it’s just a function of our society and how we don’t raise our girls with enough confidence and strength to keep them from becoming more than some kind of prey for the mentally and morally retarded.

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  8. Wait, so these men use twisted psychological methods designed to exploit the insecurities of (often drunk) women with low self-esteem in order to get laid and commenters are saying they think less of the “fairer” sex? Okay!

  9. “…make their saving throws against Cockblocking Third Wheels…”

    Man, that was fucking brilliant. I’d use it, but I don’t have $4,997…can you spot me?

  10. “I think they’re saying they think less of the women for actually falling for this crap. At least that’s what I hope.”

    That’s exactly what I am saying.

  11. Misogynist is a very overused word today. Anything that empowers men can and has been said to be misogynistic. Mystery is awesome. Don’t playa hate. We all know that women are drawn to men of high value. Women use what they have to get what they want all the time, why can’t men. If a man is unsucessful with women chicks call him a loser, if he goes out and tries to better himself he’s chauvinistic. Now there’s a double standard.

  12. I agree with lownlazy…
    Women use so casually and so frequently their abilities to exploit and manipulate men it is considered socially acceptable (or in men’s cases, tolerated). Some women may not even realize that it is a common tool they utilize against men because it had been so ingrained in their social upbringing that it is probably subconscious for many. Rarely will anyone object when a woman exploits a man for their gain. Examples can be large scale to small such as this common scenario: When a woman knows of a guy that likes her, but she is not interested in, some women have no qualms about asking him to go buy her a soda (or if in a bar a drink) then brushing him off with no intentions of continuing any type of relationship (friends, more than friends etc…).

    How can anyone judge a person, who is not naturally gifted with social abilities, for learning how to improve themselves by learning to be social or (even more basically) to simply approach someone? People who have the natural abilities simply say “Be yourself” and those who don’t are shallow. It is easy to say “Be yourself” when that works for you but for some they have to learn it because their selves involve traits (that were instilled in THEIR social upbringing) that are misconceptions on what is actually required to attract females.

    Many people who learn the art of pickup are guys who want to use it for good and simply meet women and overcome their fear of speaking to them. As well as learning to be interesting and to know what to say to a woman so they have a inkling of a chance to break past the barriers women put up to block nice guys out. I have heard people say all you have to do is walk up and say “Hi, my name is…” and that is all they have to do to speak to a female. Yet being nice and direct is (often unintentionally) interpreted as needy and those guys are shut out.

    Yes some may use the innocent Pickup training for sleeping around but when a person does so because they are a natural and required no instruction it is less frowned upon and it is viewed that it is because they are simply that desirable so you can’t blame women for sleeping with them but when a person learns how to do it he is seen as a “Player” who tricks women into sleeping with them. And if you believe that the women are somehow duped into sleeping with them you are severely discrediting the intelligence of women. Keep in mind you are basing your information off of a reality show and now the whole picture. Bars are not the only venue used to pick up women. Some people chose bookstores, libraries, markets, parks, town centers, malls, colleges, etc. And because the success rate of pickups are equal in those areas, and if you still believe that the women are not Choosing to sleep with the pickup artists because the actually want to and are being tricked instead, then (once again) you seem to have a low opinion of the intelligence of the average woman.

    Lastly I am embarrassed by the writer of the article who barley critiques the actual show but attacks and makes fun of all involved in the show, even the contestants, with insults that sound as if coming from a High School Jock who is actually intimidated by nerds and intelligence. Making jabs that Mystery played D&D, and a loose attempt to associate Matador with Star Wars (I can only assume to go along with the nerds, bad mentality). It also seems that the writer attempted to cover up the apparent animosity towards nerds by throwing in a sorry “I play video games so I am a geek” save. I don’t understand how a person who apparently was not paying attention to the show could do a review on it. He only towards the end described the show then as his “review” threw in some more wise cracks but never once had constructive criticism included. And there were the incessant D&D and Starwars references as if he could not be creative enough to come up with nerd subject matter other than that. Oh sorry he did mention Revenge of the Nerds. Then he came up with compelling (but unrelated to the show) evidence discrediting Mystery with his one comment from a random guy who disliked him (because without a unanimous love he is a hack). The writer did not pay that much attention to the show otherwise he would have understood that the intentional outlandish attire is meant to draw attention and show that a person who can look ridiculous but not care must be confident and never mind that it works. I think it is laughable that he then attempts to be blasé (but obviously proud) of his few conquests suggesting that he would know much about the subject (of course in a childish sarcastic way) as if compared to Mystery or Style or other MPUAs who have slept with hundreds of women (no exaggeration) including celebrities, models, strippers and all kinds in between.
    And did he say “I’ve only dated… and a married women nearly 10 years older than me.”? Lol first (assuming he meant what he actually typed) he is saying he dated a married woman (implying slept with), which would contradict his anti shallow and misogynistic attitude (not to mention simply bragging about these women as if they were trophies) because it would mean she was cheating with him. AND she was 10 years older than him as if that is an accomplishment to brag about.

  13. I think the saddest thing is that women raised in the US are normally so rude.

    You go to other countries & women are so much more feminine & friendly.

    The fact that guys mostly dont realize that is the saddest part.

  14. great comeback, dbj

    ultimately what Mystery & co are teaching is plain old ‘self improvement’.. they teach guys who just ‘don’t get it’ how to improve themselves… in amongst the silly clothes and scripts is a framework for nerdy, unsocial guys to be sociable, meet people, and even GO TALK to that girl… and it’s pretty meanspirited to want people to forego such a thing and expect those guys to masturbate themselves to death in a lonely room somewhere

    someone like litelysalted might feel she wouldn’t be fooled by all this stuff, but it’s only about helping yourself become an interesting, attractive, fun guy that people get a real buzz out of being around… it’s not about ‘fooling’ anyone, in fact it’s no more of a deception than a woman wearing makeup or a wonderbra… human beings trying to find a mate by making the best of what they have… and you have the balls to sit your keyboard and sneer at that? well done

    you’d be surprised how few people who’ve taken the time to learn & understand the ‘Mystery Method’ actually want to lay hundreds of women they picked up in a bar… most of those guys actually just want ONE great girlfriend, and they would like the ability to get the one they want, rather than the one they had to settle for because they had no choice in the matter

    you blogging type people might sniff at that, but I don’t think self improvement is something to be sneered at… if you don’t need it, then good for you, you must be perfect already

  15. What bugs me the most is that those boys obviously think they deserve the hottest girls. The nerve. What do they have to offer? They come off as totally boring and unoriginal, none of them are conventionally attractive, and most are too young to have figured life out, and some of them still live with their parents (…Hate to tell ya, boys, but the hot girls want the rich guys).

    The presumption of guys like that really irritates me. There are tons of regular women who would probably like some of those guys, but they wouldn’t even get a second glance from guys like that because they aren’t “hot”.

    But what else should one expect from VH1? This is the station that unabashedly shows “The World’s Hottest Bodies” back- to- back with “Celebrity Eating Disorder Crises” (joking, but you get my point).

  16. Chip is right… Whether he was accurate or not when describing the underlying tone of the review, I did get the same impression of dbj’s attitude, though that may not have been how dbj actually felt, that is what came across.

    If you read The Mystery Method – Venusian Arts Handbook by Mystery you would see that The Pickup Artists DISCOURAGE targeting drunk women and actually refer to that tactic as “Fools Mate” (for metaphorical similarity to the Chess Gambit that allows someone to take advantage of an inexperienced player and win in only 4 moves). The book states that the “Fools Mate” Tactic only works on “drunk girls and those who have the propensity towards having one night stands”. Then goes on to say: “Instead, both chess champions and venusian artists prefer to play a solid game.”. Some actually treat pickup as a game and like any game it is more fun when it is challenging so they would be doing themselves a disservice to target those who are unintelligent, easy, or drunk. It is also encouraged that the Pickup Artists stays sober themselves so as to sharpen their game.

    In response to the comment from Tanner saying: “He teaches them to be that douchebag who leaves the bar with a drunk 7 that thinks she is a 10 and has daddy issues.”
    This comment does not make sense to me because the Pickup Artist is the judge of whether he thinks she is a 7 or a 10 (because it is HIS opinion on how he rates her appearance), so if the drunk is a 7 who thinks she is a 10 the PUA is deliberately choosing a 7 and the girls opinion of herself is irrelevant and has no baring on how he rates her (her thoughts do not change how she actually looks to everyone else), because the rating is solely to characterize her appearance and not her personality, intelligence etc… Also 7s are generally understood as cute and attractive but not supermodel hot, so attempting a 7 is nothing to scoff at or be ashamed of.

  17. Genny, when you commented on your IQ and that “as a confident and alert individual who is active in making my own decisions. I’m not really their ideal target.”, (though I know you could definitely hold your own) you have no idea that the typical pickup artists are very intelligent, and many probably have an IQ that would wipe the floor with the average person because it is the Geeks, and Nerd’s who are social outcasts, and socially inept. They are also intelligent enough to figure out how to fix their problem by researching it and then create a system that actually works. So though you disagree with what they are doing I would not make the mistake of underestimating them by assuming that they are imbeciles. Also the intelligent woman would more likely be their target as intelligent men are more attracted to women that are equals, because lack of intellect is annoying to them.

    Because lets remember that the majority of Pickup Artists are NOT guys trying to sleep with as many women as possible (though there are those creeps too) but to find the RIGHT woman for them (pretty, intelligent etc…), these are the “Nice Guys” that never got anywhere and previously never had a chance because women wanted “to just be friends”, and they are STILL nice and respectful, and are only using the Pickup Artist method to learn how to get out of the social rut and have the confidence and the knowledge to successfully speak to and attract a woman. What is taught is not Trickery but modifications to their personality to become interesting, to know what to say and what not to say to come off as needy, too nice, unconfident, and generally unattractive to women. Women’s impressions of someone who approaches them could make or break their chances especially to those who are what you would call “genuine”, if they are the typical boring nice guy they will more likely be rejected or categorized as “a friend”. So what is so wrong with trying to change that? Why is everyone hell bent on preventing nice guys (who deserve someone) from having any success with women? Why not get the real picture before judging them? No one belittles a person who has had bad grammar all his life then makes an effort to correct his problem.

    Kay said: “They don’t understand what happens when it doesn’t work and they will try repeatedly until they figure something else out.” I agree that they will come back repeatedly but the rest is inaccurate. They are taught to practice, over and over, and If they have a keen understanding of the pickup process they WILL understand what they did wrong because it is accutley obviouse when the moment they have failed has occurred. They will then figure out what they need to fix their mistake then go back in and practice again until the next mistake to decifer. So they do not, “figure something else out”, they figure out the very thing they did wrong and correct it. And does the act of “figuring it out” mean the man is a jerk? Is he shallow because he does not have the natrual charisma, and social understanding that some have, and has to work for it? All they are doing is Working to aquire what some are gifted with, which I think is more respectable than those who do not have to try.

  18. I think it’s hilarious how you can spend eighteen paragraphs talking in circles. Is that what this “method” teaches?

    Instead of changing anyone’s mind, I think you’re actually proving my points.

    For fuck’s sake, they call themselves PICKUP ARTISTS! What does that imply to you?

    It MAY be different if they called themselves “Self-Improved Men” or “Guys With Confidence” or “Former Geeks Who Think They May Be Kinda Normal Now But Only Through Sheer Trickery and Lies.”

    Fortunately, all the women I know call them “Douchebags.”

  19. Shorter deadbeatjones:

    “Oh, it’s not ME that’s dissing these jerks. It’s ALL THESE WOMEN I KNOW that are dissing these jerks.”

    Awesome. Keep attacking. It tells me a lot more about you than it tells about the people you’re discussing.

  20. Mmm…good reading comprehension skills, champ. Didja pick that up from Mr. Mystery too? I’m sure the ladies will be impressed by your SAT scores.

    I’m completely dissing these guys and will continue to do so. Maybe you didn’t pick that up in the lengthy review I posted? Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll get to know me better through the blog. Some day we may even trade friendship bracelets and hold hands while watching the sun set.

    Unfortunately, these suave and macho he-men don’t hit on me at the bars (unless I’m just going to the wrong bars…it’s hard to tell with the way Matador and J-Dog are mincing about) so it’s ultimately up to the women to diss them in person.

  21. deadbeat,

    I understand that you won’t post this but I just wanted you to understand (wishful thinking). Does your comment: “I think it’s hilarious how you can spend eighteen paragraphs talking in circles.”, mean you don’t like to read? So instead of actually reading the comment you assume they are talking in circles and then bluff by “calling them out”on suposedly being repetative?

    Lol, ha-ha! Whew, I just saw your comment: “Mmm…good reading comprehension skills, champ.” Oh man that cracks me up. Okay, okay, I’m fine now. I just think it is funny that you are trying to dog somone on that which you clearly have more difficulties with it yourself. Or was that an encouraging comment to yourself, to make you feel better?

    So far you have not included an intelligent thought in what you call a “review” nor in ANY of your responses to the multiple people who have disagreed with you. You are not even able to coherently support yourself when challenged. All you give us are ambiguous statements such as: “I think you are actually proving my points.”, as if we will be intimidated and shut up.

    Please elaborate on what you mean when you say “proving my points”? Exactly how have we done so? Did you think your “Um…what?” comment actually made me look like an idiot, or yourself as you could not articulate a defense? I don’t mind if you again chose to omit this comment as you did when I first asked you what it was you did not understand so that I could help you. Or were you embarrassed that though I wrote a detailed comment, you still did not understand it, so did not want people to know that I needed to hold your hand and spell everything out for you.

    Apparently from Sages comment you did not comprehend what he meant by “What is taught is not Trickery but modifications to their personality to become interesting, to know what to say and what not to say to come off as needy, too nice, unconfident, and generally unattractive to women.” To reiterate what he said: YOU SHOULD READ about the issue before you can acurately critisize it (both the comments, and the books). Or are you deliberatly ignoring the truth to save face and “stand by” your previouse statements?

    The reason they call themselves Pickup Artists is because that is exactly what they do and they are not ashamed of it because what most of them are doing is not shamefull (thoug some that are disgracefull as well). They are not trying to sell their image on a telethon and tack on more PR friendly titles such as “Self-Improved Men” or “Guys With Confidence”. Also those titles do not describe what it is they DO but what they have done (imporved), or how the feel (confident).

    You think coherent though is halariouse but you embrase childish and thoughtless insults and are proude of women actually refering to people as “Douchebags”. I am impressed by their calliber of intellect when they pull out Grade School insults instead of thoughtfull contructive critisizm. I mean all these women are saying “We are better than you so you do not deserve to be in a relationship, and we don’t care that you are a nice, intellegent guy, you still dont deserve anyone”. That just souds like women who have a chip on their shoulder and a control problem. Why do smart, nice guys not deserve to be in a relationship with attractive women? THAT is more shallow and heartless than any of the pickup artists I have heard of.

    I would LOVE for you to put together and INTELLEGENT rebutal because I am embarrassed for you. I mean, I am only 23 and I am running cirlces around you.

    If this actually posts:
    To Miss Manners,

    You have the worst manners for someone who claims to have any. How full of yourself are you when you say: “What bugs me the most is that those boys obviously think they deserve the hottest girls. The nerve. What do they have to offer?”, and “(…Hate to tell ya, boys, but the hot girls want the rich guys).”?

    First, what do YOU have to offer besides looks (assuming you have that)? You sound more shallow than most people I have heard of. You say “The nerve.” As if it is rediculouse and insulting to think that a good, smart person should ever be caught with an attractive woman? Wow. And you top of the lowness by adding “but hot girls want the rich guys” Wow again. You really put females in a great light when you put it that way. However what you say is true women are attracted to High Value guys and (ONCE AGAIN) if any of you actually read about the Art of Pickup you would know that is one of the main things taught to “Display your High Value” (whatever you have going for you show it off) and that is one reason why they are so successful.

    “There are tons of regular women who would probably like some of those guys” What is this the 1700’s? What? Do we have to stay in our social class now? Is this the woman’s version of “Know your place”? I thought society got over that a while back. But if it makes you feel any better we are technically Improving ourselves to be in the right class to get impressive women. The Art of Pickup would not work if we werent ACTUALLY attracting anyone.

  22. *le sigh*

    First of all, Chip, please invest in a dictionary or maybe write your replies in Microsoft Word so you can spell check them…it’s kind of hard to understand someone’s point when you have to first spend an hour deciphering their nonsensical scribblings. Too much worky-worky makes me sleepy.

    However, this sentence did entertain me: “You think coherent though is halariouse but you embrase childish and thoughtless insults and are proude of women actually refering to people as “Douchebags”.

    What the fuck?

    I’m am actually proud that you’re embarrassed for me and that you feel like you’re running “cirlces” around me (whatever those are). I’ve accomplished something important in life by allowing the mentally handicapped to have a forum here on my quaint little blog.

    Listen, asshat, I don’t care how you try to sugarcoat it, the truth of the matter is that this business is a huge fake. You try to make a spectacle of yourself by dressing up like a blind drag queen and then you prance around telling rehearsed stories to drunk girls in bars. You’re not being yourself by any stretch of the imagination. There’s no substantial “transformation” involved…it’s just simple parlor tricks to get into a cute girl’s pants and, a few hours later when the roofies wear off, she wakes up to see a fat dude in Underoos and a Darth Vader mask wheezing beside her while eating Funyons. Take that, hot chick who wouldn’t talk to me while sober!

    What you’re honestly doing is messing with the natural order of things. Sure, I think Jessica Alba is gorgeous. But I don’t believe, by any stretch of the imagination, that I’m somehow being unfairly treated by not getting the opportunity to fuck her. It’s just not my place.

    Yeah, when I was younger I probably would have been scared to approach someone like her in a bar, but that’s just a basic principle of society. It’s the same reason why you got stuffed in a locker by the jocks in high school. Live and learn.

    Don’t sit at home and cry on your Donkey Kong pillowcase because you’re not hooking up with supermodels. Go out and find someone who has similar interests, someone who finds you attractive for who you are and have a meaningful relationship with them.

    When you boil down the sheer ridiculousness of making up callsigns, creating codewords and rehearsing dialogue you’re left with a sad roleplaying game that literally screams GEEK.

    And then to think that the term “Pickup Artist” isn’t just a way to make yourself sound smooth? Please. That’s like trying to make up a girlfriend to impress your buddies and then, once they call you on it, telling them “You wouldn’t know her. She’s not from around here.” Ice cold, Billy Dee.

    I never once said that nice, intelligent guys don’t deserve to get laid. Hell, I’m a Mensa member, comic book collector and porn addict…but someone married me (though the dashing good looks, witty repartee and enormous unit may have had something to do with that).

    If you learned how to read, I know you’d find parts in my review where I say I can empathize with these guys. However, that doesn’t change the fact that anyone who saunters into a bar wearing a cape and calling himself Ramrod deserves to be labelled a douchebag.

  23. Lol oh man, well I guess you gave it your best try…

    I like how you tried AGAIN to fabricate some kind of errors on our part. First when you claimed that Sage was talking in circles in Circles when he wasn’t and you had NO response (as usual) when challenged on it. NOW you are claiming that you had to “Spell Check my work”. PLEASE point out to me where I made a minor error?

    Lol Frankly my concern with you has never been with something as petty as SPELLING ERRORS lol. I hope you feel like a big boy by finding those mistakes. Yet you STILL don’t have any response to YOUR inability to read and comprehend what is being conveyed. I think it may have something to do with the statement you made in reference to yourself: “Too much worky-worky makes me sleepy” Aww is thinking hard does it hurt? I’m sorry.

    Oh and this is the SECOND time you seemed to have been confused about Circles. I will educate you. See when you say “Talking in Circles” I’m not sure what you thought it meant but what it actually means is the Person is repeating themselves or rephrasing the same information over and over. I could tell you did not understand that because Sage never did anything remotely like that. Also when I say running circles around you, it is a metaphor for me surpassing you so completely in reading, comprehension, and ability to criticize constructively that it is much like a person running in a race so fast that they are able to run in circles around people. Does that make sense or do I have to dumb it down even more for you?

    “I’ve accomplished something important in life by allowing the mentally handicapped to have a forum here on my quaint little blog.” Once again you are getting off task. This discussion is not an Acheivement face off, just one regarding your lack of ability to compile an intellegent review, and/or comment responses.

    Asshat? *Aplaud* Even after all this you still fall back on sensless insults. It show sticktoitivness, I respect that.

    Once again I don’t think you understand the meaning of a word. Sugarcoat suggests that I am falsifying information to make something more impressive or less offensive. Everything I have stated is fact drawn directly out of the very Training books of PUAs. I have backed up what I say with direct quotes from the books but I guess you conveiniently overlook those to stand by your position. What would be a good antipodal phrase to Sugarcoat? Crapcoat? Because that is what you are doing when you blindly without fact, or any accurate information, criticize and mock something you don’t understand.

    Man! This is great how we have repeatedly brought to your attention that Pickup Artists DISSUADE persuing Drunk, High, and Easy, Women. First because in the end for those who are trying to establish a meaningfull relationship they do not want that type in their lives. Also it is more challenging to Pickup a Clear Headed, and Intelligent woman. As far as the canned material to spark up conversation. That is used for newbies just starting out so they do not freeze up. If you read anything about it you would see the Overwhleming encouragement to incoperate stories more accurate to their own lives and fase out the conversation starters. But I guess you can ignore the above in your crusade to Crapcoat reality.
    Oh and I love your never ending Starwars references. I am starting to be entertained by them.

    As Sage so acurately pointed out this is NOT Mideval times! What is with everyones perception of Place, Class, Roles… If you knew anything about physcology you would understand that our fears, and missgivings about being worthy enough to interact with beautiful, and famouse women are not meant for life in the present. It is hardwired feelings established to avoid rejection, back in tribal times when rejection could have very well meant no one would mate with you and thus you could not procreate and your genes would be filtered out of existence. Also it is there to avoid approaching a woman who may be taken and the Alpha Males response would be to kill you. In this society if you are rejected there is no harm no foul because there is a massive amount of selection available.

    When you say: “If you learned how to read, I know you’d find parts in my review where I say I can empathize with these guys.” I was perfectly aware of your attempts to save yourself from (unsuccessfully) looking like an insensitve jerk. But I disregarded them when they directly followed you harsh and unfair insults towards the contestants. I knew what you were saying was a facad when you chose not to target only the MPUAs that you claim were the only ones that you have a beef with.

    “Hell, I’m a Mensa member”. Wow either you are lying or they made a mistake. Because I would think a Mensa member would at least occasionally come of competent. Please tell me what other prestigiouse titles/awards you have achieved. I think I may just change my mind if you impress me enough.

    “(though the dashing good looks, witty repartee and enormous unit may have had something to do with that).” You do realise that when you have to bring to our attention these trats, people don’t belive you because they are most likely not true, and in fact it sugests that not only are they not true but that you are actually lacking in those areas and you are insecure about it. So far your wit is a clear example of what I mean. But thanks for sharing.

    If you are the intellectual that you claim to be then all I can say is stop hating yourself/life or others like you. Don’t be jelouse that they are actually DOING something about their plight. Don’t resent them because they have success with the types of women you could never have gotten. I know that life may have been hard for you and you resent that but don’t take it out on others, and demand that they should go through the hardships you have, like some kind of right of passage hazing. It’s time to get out of Highschool, and stop with the namecalling/insults when attempting to cover up your inability to respond insightfully. It’s time to stop attempting to bring down bright people because you are either intimidated by it, or you resent your life for being punished for having been one. It is time you rid yourself of perceptions of classes, and places (I hope you don’t think the woman’s place is in the kitchen). So grow up.

  24. I like these litle dissagreements. I am having fun. I mean you make a comment, then I pick you apart. It gives me something to do. Oh and I wanna play your game. You try to find all my mistakes (I left some for you). And you tell me what they are and I will give you a prize. But don’t get your hopes up I don’t have anything as amazing as your Mensa title, it will be more like candy or some other treat.

  25. Yes, you’re absolutely correct, Chip. There’s just no way I could ever win in a battle of wits with you.

    You are truly the master. I bow down to your utter genius.

    Now could you please put your helmet back on and stop eating all the sand in the sandbox?

  26. lol I am no master or genius (yes I got the sarcasm), I only have an IQ of 125 but that is why it should not be that hard to drop the childish insults: (“Now could you please put your helmet back on and stop eating all the sand in the sandbox?”), and focus on an adult response or at least an adult insult. You don’t even have to be too smart to at least be adult in some form or fashion with your responses or your reviews.

    All I wanted was for you to back up your big talk with some logic/support to your claims.

    Well this has been fun but we can’t go on like this forever so… Until next time.

  27. Well, I’m glad you FINALLY got the sarcasm (though the piece you focused in on was probably the least sarcastic of our little back-and-forth).

    Just a few things before I get into the final reaming of your nonsensical line of thinking: You never said you ran “circles” around me. In fact, you said you were running “cirlces” around me. You obviously didn’t get your own misspelling or my blatant sarcasm there. And, just for your information, the antipode to “sugarcoat” would be being blunt and honest, which is a concept the PUAs can never possibly understand because doing so would make them disappear back into wallflowers.

    I may as well be speaking Swahili to you at this point, huh?

    Let me lay this all out for you in simple terms that even you can understand: This is my blog. What I write on here are my opinions on things. I am not a news outlet. I do not purport to offer hard facts on any sort of topic that I am not already an expert in. Therefore, your position that I am not mustering a fact-based response to your incessant prodding is flawed from the start.

    Much as I can never convince a born-again Christian that there is no God, I will never be able to make you see my way of thinking. You’ve already made your decision and that’s fine. If you’ve had limited success with picking up women by lying to them and pretending to be something you’re not, then of course you’re going to believe that it’s the greatest thing since the Roman Empire.

    You claim that you have “facts” and “direct quotes” from “training books.” Yeah, and I can pull scripture from the Bible about turning water into wine (or for that matter, quotes from Dr. Seuss about eating Green Eggs & Ham with a goat or on a boat) but that doesn’t make it credible.

    Like religion or Republicans or any other cult, you’re going to believe what you read and hear because, somehow, it fits nicely into that empty little place inside your soul. You can twist decades-old psychology (yes, that’s how you REALLY spell it) to fit your views and you can modify magician’s techniques to gain attention.

    I can spend my entire life telling you “the sky is blue” but if you respond “no it isn’t and if you can’t explain to me why I’m wrong then I must be right” there’s absolutely nothing I can say that will matter.

    I can’t even fathom that I have to explain this concept to someone of such supposed high intelligence.

    And if you think that insulting someone is childish, you obviously are not a fan of history. If someone refuses to try to understand you and keeps spouting off the same baseless drivel, the level of debate automatically begins to lower in an attempt to find some sort of common ground. When all avenues of goodwill are exhausted, you’re left with nothing but “Yes it is, dummy” and “No it isn’t, jerk.”

    If you don’t like what I have to say, then don’t read it.

    Besides, I’ve already laid out my beliefs on the topic. I wrote a very long and detailed review of the show and offered my opinions on why it is or isn’t a good concept. All you’ve done so far is tell me that I’m wrong and then tried to get me to explain to you why. Please, if you’re such an expert on the topic, offer up some meaningful statistics. Show me some honest interviews with real (sober) women who have fallen for this blatant chicanery. Inundate me with some neutral third-party insights on how wonderful and effective this method is and how it has revolutionized modern society.

    Or, better yet, stop trying to sound so gosh-darned smart and just settle back into your Frito and Mountain Dew-induced haze and leave the rest of us non-mouthbreathers alone.

    I already know you won’t do that because you’re one of those annoying internet trolls who always has to have the last word. But guess what, pal? I control the comments!

    So, go have another “lol” on me and then find someone else to dazzle with your superior intellect and wit.

  28. one of my problems with the ‘seduction community’ is that there’s a juvenile sensationalist streak going through it all… most guys get involved in it because they’re basically lonely… dbj, I know your blogging persona pours scorn on lonely guys (do lonely women get the same treatment?), but there’s nothing wrong with trying to build a better life for yourself… when you step away from your keyboard and have a quiet moment without ‘being in character’, even you must admit that

    I agree that the superficial ‘PUA’ stuff is silly, shallow & exaggerated… (and when translated into a VH1 programme, it’s inevitably going to look ten times more shallow), but like you said, calling it the ‘men’s self improvement guide’ doesn’t really grab much attention… far better to talk about ’10’s, Playboy models etc

    and you’re 100% right, the ‘Mystery Method’ is the kind of thing a D & D playing loser would concoct (it is, he did)… it seems offensive that someone would come up with a ‘flowchart based system’ to describe the ‘magical’, ‘mystical’ stages of courtship, but you have to talk to people in a language they understand… and these guys will only ever begin to get their foot on the ladder of the amazing (and it truly IS amazing) world of ‘interacting with women’ (and understanding how women think & communicate) if they can slot what they’re doing into their mental map of the world… yeah it’s geeky but these guys ARE geeks, albeit geeks who’re trying to make their lives better… women are always saying “men don’t listen or understand what i’m saying”, yet when they TRY, the most vociferous opponents seem to be women (like your co-bloggers here)

    basically dbj, I agree with you on most of what you say, but I still think you’re (or your ‘blog persona’ is) being pretty mean spirited 🙂 you’re kicking people when they’re down, and well, it needs to be said

    I can also tell you that you’re wrong if you think that learning this stuff is totally worthless… most of what these ‘seduction gurus’ teach is actually about how NOT to behave.. not so much ‘how to simulate alpha male qualities’, rather ‘how to stop coming across as such a dweeb’, and I can’t begin to tell you how much better my life has been since I stumbled across this stuff… my skepticism (huge skepticism, far bigger than yours dude 🙂 ) slowly eroded as I saw there really is something to learn here… underneath it all, the core is no more controversial, shallow or deep than ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’… this is just the version written in Martian, not Venusian

    personally I think David Deangelo has more interesting stuff to teach about the mechanics of ‘attraction’… there’s none of the juvenile silliness, scripts, bravado & exaggeration of the Mystery Method… the core of David D’s stuff is the mantra ‘Attraction Is Not A Choice’… simple phrase, but a paradigm shift for guys who think A. you can logically convince a woman to be attracted to you, and B. women can CHOOSE who to be attracted to… that’s why I kinda smile when I read messages from women who claim they’d ‘never fall for that stuff’… because that may or may not be true, but they also might have less choice in the matter than they think…

    (and no offense, but ‘women who keep blogs’ are not the kind of women I’m personally interested in interacting with anyway, blogging requires the sort of anally logical, egocentric traits that I came to dislike so much in myself & others, and that i’m displaying right now by writing all this 🙂 )

    the other thing to recommend about David D is that he teaches stuff that applies when you’re actually in a relationship… Mystery’s famously hopeless at actually maintaining a relationship for any length of time… and in my mind there’s no point going to all this effort just for a one night stand (secret fact: most guys studying this stuff just want the ability to get and keep ONE fantastic girlfriend, not a string of easy lays.. but again, that isn’t sensational enough to get people flicking over to VH1)

    dbj, I appreciate the fact that you’ve let this discussion go on, and it’s great to see a perspective from someone outside ‘the seduction community’ (not that i’m in the community)… unlike some, i’m not offended that you didn’t treat the show with any respect (it’s a stupid & fairly generic VH1 reality show after all), but felt I had to chime in (again)

    maybe it should have been shorter, but… ah well 🙂

  29. Sage: “the Pickup Artist is the judge of whether he thinks she is a 7 or a 10 (because it is HIS opinion on how he rates her appearance), so if the drunk is a 7 who thinks she is a 10 the PUA is deliberately choosing a 7 and the girls opinion of herself is irrelevant and has no baring on how he rates her (her thoughts do not change how she actually looks to everyone else), because the rating is solely to characterize her appearance and not her personality”

    Mystery would disagree. One fundamental principle of the Mystery Method is that very attractive women (call them ’10’s if we must) ARE different, personality wise… and you use that fact (and the way guys behave towards them) as a way of distinguishing yourself from all the other guys sniffing round

    I don’t think 7’s ever think they’re 10’s unless they’re strippers or dancers and consequently get treated like 10’s by guys…

    many many many 7’s ACT like 10’s because it makes them feel powerful… hey, a 10 could have virtually ANY guy she wanted, who wouldn’t want to be in those shoes?

    but (drunk or otherwise) it doesn’t mean she carries herself with the mindset of a genuine ’10’, and a woman’s opinion of herself is COMPLETELY central to the success of MM… it works by slightly alienating (let’s call it ‘visibly not being overimpressed by her’) the 10, the one girl who EVERY other guy in the place tries to build comfort with, and make her think ‘no-one else brushes me off, what makes this guy think he’s so special?’… that doesn’t work with anything up to a 7 or 8… being slightly rude to her won’t make any difference because it’s not an unknown occurrence… unlike the 10 she’s not had the ‘princess treatment’ all her life

    doing a ‘neg’ won’t build attraction, when done properly what it does is gain you a little slice of her attention… a window of opportunity in other words, which very attractive women don’t grant easily… (they couldn’t do, they’d be inundated with bores all night)… for 7’s you don’t need any of that, most of them are grateful of attention from any semi-normal guy

  30. (I’m going to ignore your second comment, because it made my eyes roll up in my head in boredom…7…10…blahblahblah)

    I completely agree with your assessment…except for the part where you say I’m being mean-spirited.

    Granted, part of the reason to have a blog and a “blog persona” is to make fun of things and bring stuff into the light of day that you may be reticent to voice under regular social circumstances (though I would proudly spout off every word that I’ve ever written…I guess I don’t really have a “blog persona.” This is just plain old me.).

    There is a certain level of ridicule involved and the general feeling of “haha, I’m better than you.” However, I’ve been kind to the contestants (though the more I watch the show, the more I suspect that they were picked to fit specific archetypes…or they’re just plain acting).

    Where I refuse to back down is in my overall disdain of the so-called “masters.” If it looks like a douchebag and acts like a douchebag, I’m going to call it a douchebag. I don’t care if it’s the Queen of fucking England.

    And it’s all just mumbo-jumbo anyway. Until this show hit the airwaves, I had the very slimmest awareness of this “community.” That, again, makes it seem quite dubious to me or more like a group of guys hatching wicked plans in their parents’ basements.

    Another commenter tried to compare it to relationship tips in Cosmo or on Dr. Phil, but the difference is that those outlets don’t hide what they’re trying to do. Not to mention the fact that I only know a handful of women who watch those shows or take those magazine articles seriously.

    If everyone would quit trying so fucking hard to be unique and different, they may find out that what they are is even better.

    I will gladly shake hands on this one with you, sir.

  31. I can’t stop watching this show for some reason. Mystery’s outfits are enough to keep me laughing. I want to know wtf the was thinking when he put those ridiculous goggles on his head. Yea, I know that makes me SO hot.
    However, it is nice to see those guys get a boost of self-confidence in their lives. I just hope they don’t turn into womanizing a**holes.

  32. Has anyone considered the main people defending Mystery’s (aka Eric’s) b.s. theories and practices are just pissed off people who spent 5K to have some wanna-be Tommy Lee pseudo rocker w/ lipstick tattoos and lame goggles to tell them how to start a conversation, such as great gems like “do you floss before or after you brush?”

    Believe it or not, my friends would die laughing (and have, considering situations we’ve encountered) if someone asked us such a question on a Saturday night in a banging club.

    It’s preying on the ugly, the insecure, the needy. Everyone has a price. Eric (aka “Mysthery”..ever notice how with his lisp it almost sounds like Misery? Ironic?) just learned how to tap into it.

  33. To put it simply, boys like “Mystery” deserve all the gullible, shallow, whorish women they can get..and that’s all they will ever get.. they are doomed to go through their entire lives without a single meaningful relationship, male or female. And while those types are out getting laid and hanging around the pool, the rest of us will go on forming real solid alliances and concentrating on the more serious business of the world.

  34. Hey all,
    I am a fan of mystery, however–
    I did find all this pick up gumble a worthless crap–
    All change when I read neil strauss book–the game–
    which was just really good literature. I was shocked to find out last year that these people exist! And man, like when the book came out–mystery was suicidal, now his not– so, props to him who changed his depresion and turned it into a guide to help people– He even left bootcamps because of fakers who are taking his teaching for money, but thats another story.
    Now, from someone you guys never met– this shit works. I met and landed 2 flight attendants, both good relationships and even more than expected—now great friendships.
    And, yes they were intelligent-non alcoholic people.

    Now, props to this blog, I was just reading all this geek, jock and Darth vader talk, (funniest shit I ever read–had to tell my friends, lol) that I had to comment. So, yeah Dead Beat Jones, this pick up gumble thing is lame, but — I got laid, met good people in the way, and was furtinate to get the girl I WANTED, AND IT WAS MY CHOICE, not hers****(u are right, we are messing the right order of things!)
    She likes your blog and thinks its halarious!. Well be getting married in Jan.08—
    be well,
    M.

  35. If being ncie isn’t getting you the girls! And you get dumped for some rude a**hole, than I guess this is what you have to use.

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