In the autumn of 2007, I was sitting in my room in University when my good friend Andrew came in, smiling and clutching a book, which he offered to me.
Only the night before, I’d been telling him about some problems I’d been having with my then girlfriend of 4 years. “You HAVE to check this out” he said. I looked down at the black leatherbound edition and read the words “The Game” embossed in gold on the cover.
I devoured the book in about 48 hours and literally couldn’t contain my enthusiasm. Was this real? Did “pickup artists” really exist? Having just finished a course on biocultural psychology, where I learned all about the interaction between evolution, psychology and society, the theories proposed in The Game made perfect sense. I searched around on the internet, and, lo and behold, there was an entire community of pickup artists on forums everywhere. It was real!
Over the next few years, I dedicated myself to the study and implementation of all the information and advice I could get about how to become a “pickup artist.” From forums, to eBooks, to videos, to audiobooks, and everything in between, I developed an encyclopædic knowledge of the subtle differences between all the various flavours of what essentially was the Mystery Method.
It sounds pretty crazy, and it was. But I credit the study of the pickup arts with giving me the motivation and incentive to start working out, improve my body language and posture, dress well, think about making great first impressions, become more social, make female friends, learn NLP, and generally go down the path of self-improvement.
However, did any of this actually get me laid?
Surprisingly, the answer is NO. Despite knowing a lot about pickup, having a few pretty cool wing-men, and going out a lot, even the new-and-improved me wasn’t faring any better than the old one. After two years of being a self-proclaimed “pickup artist,” I’d slept with just two new women (total bedpost notches = 3), neither of whom (sorry girls) would rank any more than a 5 on anyone’s scale.
But, looking back now, I know that my lack of success was not due to something I was missing. In fact, it stemmed from some of the limiting beliefs that indirect methods, such as the Mystery Method, unwittingly instill into almost every aspiring pickup artist:
Limiting Belief 1: You have to “create attraction” BEFORE you can telegraph interest, qualify or sexually escalate.
Limiting Belief 2: You have to “raise your value” and/or “lower her value” before she will become attracted to you.
Limiting Belief 3: You have to follow the steps correctly. If you don’t get the girl, it’s because you’ve failed at one of the steps.
Limiting Belief 4: A great pickup artist (who knows how to do all the steps correctly) can get ANY girl.
Let’s take the popular technique of “negging” as an example. The neg acts as a “false disqualifier,” making the girl think you’re not actually hitting on her, while at the same time “lowering her value” with a sly insult. It’s the basis of “active disinterest”—engaging her in conversation, but saying that you’re not interested.
The problem here is that you are interested. You’re just pretending you aren’t.
The problems with pretending you’re not hitting on her until you get the sense that she’s attracted to you are numerous:
- You get “in your head” and constantly look for signs of attraction rather than focusing on the interaction at hand and actually LISTENING to what she’s saying
- You spend so long not hitting on her that you get worried about when it will finally be the right time to do so. This makes it more and more incongruent and more awkward, eventually getting yourself into the “friendzone” through lack of escalation.
- You assume your “attraction building routines” are what’s causing the attraction, rather than the possibility that she was ALREADY attracted to you anyway. In reality, all you had to do was spend 5 minutes showing her that you’re a normal guy who likes her, and you’d have had a far higher chance of getting to know her intimately.
- You assume the hot girl has more “value” than you from the very beginning simply because she’s hot.
- You’re starting your entire interaction with this girl based on a LIE. You’re not going up to her to ask a “female opinion” on some debate you’re having—you’re talking to her because she’s HOT and you’re attracted to her! The first few seconds you start talking to a girl, especially in a club or bar, she knows exactly what you want. Women are not stupid, in fact they are far more attuned to subtle social cues. You can’t fool them into thinking you really want to know “who lies more.”
The idea of an “emotional progression model” is incredibly attractive to the kind of man that will end up getting involved in the pickup artist community. A guy who is probably quite nervous in a social situation because of its inherent complexity will look at a structured, logical, linear progression, and therefore something that could be learned exactly. They may think that following these steps exactly will guaranteed their success, as if pickup were like a video game.
The big PUA companies love teaching models like this because they’re simple and easy to explain, and more importantly, when a student isn’t getting results, they can say, “Oh well, it’s because your sticking point is between A3 and C1, so you just need to buy our new product focusing on qualification and comfort, and then do another bootcamp, and you’ll learn C1-S3 and be there before you know it!”
This puts the blame squarely on the student for screwing up the system, not something inherently flawed in the system, the student, or maybe even the girl herself! This is a great way to sell lots of specialized products for every single facet of interaction (opening, comfort, phone and text, daygame, club game, etc.) but it likely doesn’t address the core issues that may be preventing the student from achieving the success he wants.
Fundamentally, what’s really counterproductive about this whole way of learning, is it creates the mentality of “if I just learn this material, then I’ll say exactly the right thing at the right time to convince this girl to like me and want to sleep with me.” The whole thing is upside down! If you’re supposed to be the prize, if you’re so high value, if you’re so alpha and confident, then why on earth are you worrying what the right thing to say is to make some girl like you?
Finally, the big gurus or master pickup artists, with all the commercialized hype, have to sell the idea that their system is 100% foolproof. They have to sell the idea that, if performed correctly, their system can turn normal guys into chick magnets capable of bringing home any woman they desire.
Of course, we know this MUST be false. Some women, regardless of how “tight” your game is, will simply not be attracted, or be in a committed relationship, or something you do may remind them of their ex-boyfriend who treated them badly, or a million other reasons.
Again, the mindset is that the mPUA can control everything within the interaction and guarantee a 0% chance of rejection. The very idea of a rejectionless pick up attempt is ludicrous. Without rejection, you’d never even begin the learning process that is absolutely necessary to even master the basics of any skill – seduction being no exception.
After learning the Direct method, my results immediately skyrocketed. I went from a guy who was struggling to scrape a new (often quite average looking) girl every few months, to setting up 3 or 4 dates with new girls every WEEK.
Nothing else changed, I was still just the same guy, with the same personality, looks, and job. And nothing I did was particularly unique, exceptional, or complicated. Fundamentally, it was a simple mindset shift that replaced those limiting beliefs with new empowering ones:
Limiting Belief 1 : You have to “create attraction” BEFORE you can telegraph interest,
qualify or sexually escalate.
Empowering Belief 1: Confidently displaying your romantic interest and sexual intent to a girl is one of the most attractive things you can do. It’s the most honest way to begin an interaction with a woman you’re interested in, and even if they reject you, they will respect you so much more for being up-front with them.
Limiting Belief 2 : You have to “raise your value” and/or “lower her value” before she
will become attracted to you.
Empowering Belief 2: Your “value” is already exactly as high as you believe it to be—it’s within you, and has nothing to do with what others think of you. You don’t have to bring anyone down to feel better about yourself, and you don’t have to impress or prove anything to anyone. Simply act how you want to act, and if people want to join in the fun, then great. If not, so be it. You are good enough, and if the people around you don’t see that, it’s their loss.
Limiting Belief 3 : You have to follow the steps correctly. If you don’t get the girl,
it’s because you’ve failed at one of the steps.
Empowering Belief 3: There are certain things that will help you, and certain things that will hurt you. But, fundamentally if a girl likes you she’ll give you plenty of opportunities, regardless of the “steps” you follow. If she’s not into you, no amount of perfect routine-following will make her suddenly become attracted to you. If it doesn’t work out, SHE failed to recognize how great you are, and that’s HER fault, not yours.
Limiting Belief 4 : A great pickup artist (who knows how to do all the steps correctly) can get ANY girl.
Empowering Belief 4: No man on earth is universally attractive to ALL women. No man can talk his way into every woman’s heart (or panties!) Some women will simply not be into you. But that’s ok, because for every one of those, there’s a woman around another corner for whom you are the perfect type!
So, how have my interactions changed?
Before I adopted the direct mindset, I was constantly pushing myself into talking to girls I found attractive even though I was really nervous. If she wasn’t interested, I’d take it really personally and start analyzing what was wrong with me. Was my body language off? Did I come in too “obviously?” Maybe I just wasn’t attractive enough?
If I did get into a good interaction, I’d be so happy that it was going well that I’d just keep things at that level—having a pleasant conversation and not taking things further. To take things further, of course, would risk that terrible “rejection” I was so worried about!
Now, I simply go into every interaction with a woman I find attractive with a direct compliment, making my romantic intentions clear from the start. What I’ve found is that the rejections are pleasant, and the women often thank me with a smile for brightening their day. As for the girls that are interested, they are already very attracted to my confidence and honesty, and I can proceed with the confidence that I can move things forward and escalate.
This has even carried over to my social life and business in general: When I meet people in social situations, rather than worrying if I might be accepted or criticised for my actions (and therefore possibly staying silent or toning myself down) I instead just display my personality. What I’ve found is that acting more authentically and naturally with people actually makes me far more accepted and leads to almost universally positive reactions towards me.