Photo by Kim De Souzy
A few weeks ago, I was sitting on a bench in the city doing a whole lot of not much, when a young guy handed me a business card before hurrying away. Written on the slip of cardboard in strong, elegant capitals were words to the effect of, “Hey loser! I am a top-flight, lady-smashing bro and I want you to pay me to teach you how to shimmy up to any girl in the street and convince her to give you a blozzer.”
Naturally I was intrigued, so like any normal person would, I spent the next fifteen minutes googling the fuck out of the email address and phone number printed on the back of the card. As a result of this investigation I discovered an ad posted on a forum. This gave a more extensive description of the service being offered and promised that with this playa’s gentle coaching you would be transformed from the shy, nervous loner you are into a suave seductero, smooth as a freshly-waxed flank and slicker than a soapy eel in an oil bath. From this I surmised that I had just met a living, breathing pick-up artist and, deciding that this sounded like a bit of a laugh (or more probably because I was bored), I called the number on the card and booked a session.
Being a big fan of Sun Tzu, I spent the week between making the call and the day scheduled for my “Pick Up Artist Boot Camp” learning as much as I could about the colourful world of pick-up artistry through more googling.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, pick-up artistry is basically a pastime whose enthusiasts devote themselves to learning and perfecting a variety of simple, psuedo-psychological techniques in order to con women into sleeping with them, without having to connect on any even vaguely human level. From my simpleton research, I have surmised that the majority of these lads become involved in the sport (which is precisely what it is to them) after meeting with very limited success getting their end wet through the conventional, healthy, non-spiteful ways employed by we men who like to have sex with women because they’re people, rather than liking them because they have a convenient, penis-shaped orifice (or three).
On the day of the lesson we met in a café near Fed Square, and once we had dispensed with the regular getting-to-know-you chit chat, he cut right to business by asking me how successful I had been with “the ladies”. My story was that I had wound up in a relationship when I was still in high-school, stayed with her for a few years, and had fallen into another long-term relationship immediately after the first ended. Then, when that relationship also ended, I discovered that I had missed out on the whole seducing girls thing and found myself absolutely useless at getting jam. He nodded and told me that this tale was common to many of the lads he helped out, but promised that there was no need to worry because “this is where [he] steps in”.
He gave me a run-down on how his system worked in a kind of round-about way with some strange analogies and puzzling metaphors. Basically, he focuses on “Daygame”, which is all about wooing girls in the street by stopping them and talking mindless nonsense till they hand over their phone number, rather than relying on rehearsed lines or all those other weird hypnosis-y things like “negging” that all the famous pick-up artists like to talk about. He explained to me that approaching women during the day is usually more effective than approaching them in bars and such because a) there’s less competition, which makes them more likely to listen to you; b) they are not expecting to be flirted with so openly during the day, so their guard will not be up; and c) having the element of surprise on your side means it takes a lot less effort to appear charming.
Talking to them during the day also removes the seedy, alcohol-fueled, neon hue that city nightlife smears on everything, making the encounter seem purer, more open and less like something you’ll regret once you sober up. All of these elements certainly make approaching random women in the hopes that they be dazzled by you seem less predatory, but the fact that the people doing it are aware of this illusion of honesty and use it to their advantage to make themselves appear more genuine only serves to make the whole game a fuckload more sinister. Like how Ted Bundy would pretend to be injured in order to seem unthreatening, which made it easier for him to kidnap, rape and murder unsuspecting women.
He then explained the first step in his lass-catching method with the use of a nifty bubble metaphor. According to my new pal, people walk around in a bubble filled with their own thoughts and stresses and stuff, not paying a huge amount of attention to what’s going on around them. In order to have a conversation with someone you needed to pierce that bubble. The way he liked to do this was by jogging past them, standing in their way and forcing them to stop by saying something like, “Excuse me, hi.” The most important thing to remember when doing this was to be relaxed and very confident, because people pay attention to people who act like they’re in charge of shit. He had me practice a few times on him, fixing little problems he saw in my demeanor and the way I said “Hi, excuse me” (turns out I need to make myself sound more authoritative by putting a downward inflection on my sentences, because if there’s one thing women love, it’s being condescended). Now that my tiny mind was filled with seductive knowledge, it was time for my lesson to begin properly, so we set off to find some babes.
Anyone who knows anything about anything knows that you are most likely to find babes in and around major shopping centres, so he led me to Melbourne Central (which he referred to as “[his] playground”), and we started prowling. The caper went like this: he’d point at any woman that rated above a 6 and I’d jog over, ask an inane question (in an authoritative manner) and try to keep talking to them for as long as I could. This mostly resulted in some very awkward and vaguely threatening behaviour on my behalf, and most of the women I spoke to seemed to kind of suspect that I had some ulterior motive, but also seemed unable to identify what it was, or even what I was doing to make them feel that way. They left looking bewildered and unsettled. After each time, Coach Cock-Man and I would reconvene and he’d give me more tips and a lot of hi-fives.
I suspect that Misogyniagi was growing bored of watching my fumbling amateurish attempts to be charming, because he suddenly decided that it was time to demonstrate how his “thing” looked when done right. The moment we saw a lass he deemed acceptable, he stopped her in her tracks with the immortal line, “Excuse me, hi! I saw you walk past and I just had to say you look really pretty today.” He then proceeded to babble utter, dribbling rhubarb at her saying stuff like, “I like your tights, purple is so cool!” After about five minutes of his mindless rabbiting, she was only too happy to hand over her phone number, at which point my mentor let her continue on her way and informed me that she was “done” and he would take her for a drink (and presumably a box-smashing) in a week or two.
He told me that in order to be successful in collecting numbers and positioning women to want go on dates with me, it was vital to establish the conversation as “romantic” right from the very first word. To do this I needed to stop acting like a confused tourist and start telling strangers that they were beautiful. He told me that that this boldness was vital as it would also make me appear ballsy and self-confident, setting me apart from all the sad wankers who are too scared to approach women and treat them like they’re mildly retarded.
To further this image of myself as a confident, self-assured man with whom a girl would be eager to make orgasms, I would also need to speak mostly in “assumptions” rather than questions. So instead of asking, “How are you?” I was to say: “You’re having a good day?” and invite her to agree. This concept was also applied to the bits of the conversation where I’d try to get to know her by saying things like, “You study science, right?” instead of asking her what she studies because (according to Misogyniagi) if I managed to guess correctly she’d be impressed by my telepathic skills and I could act all smug and alluring, and if I guessed incorrectly, she’d ask what it was that made me think that which would push the conversation along and present me with more opportunities to bombard her with flattery.
This idea struck me as quietly derisive and pejorative, because insinuating to a woman’s face that she’s so shallow and one-dimensional that you can make assumptions about who she is and what she thinks just by looking at her is kind of just a subliminal, veiled insult. I found myself amazed that by talking down to women in this repulsive fashion my new friend was able to make so many of them think that they like him. However, Misogyniagi emphasised how useful this tactic was in conjuring up a conversation out of thin air, and after bro-ing out with him for almost two hours, I realised that his reliance upon “making a conversation out of nothing” stemmed from the fact that he had next to nothing interesting he was able to talk about and very little substance to say about anything (beyond his advice on how to score puss).
I spent the last thirty minutes of my time with him trying to use these techniques on unsuspecting passers-by and fighting the urge to jump into the nearest shower and scrub my skin raw with a wire-brush. I did manage to have a few nice-ish conversations with some sweet enough girls, but by this point my heart really wasn’t in it and the whole thing kind of fizzled out.
I think the main reason that I find pick-up artistry and pick-up artists so detestable is that the entire point of the whole exercise is not to develop yourself into a valuable and worthwhile person which plenty of women will naturally be attracted to, but to learn a set of tricks with which you can use to mislead women into thinking that they find you attractive, only long enough for you to cum inside them. This is not to deny the fact that there are plenty of women in the world today who love having no strings attached one night stands with as many men as they can, and it’s obviously an enormously positive thing that we live in a culture that is beginning to celebrate sexually-empowered, confidently-promiscuous women. However, there is a vast difference between two independent adults exercising their sexual freedoms together in a way that is mutually pleasurable, and one person reducing another to a sex toy with a pulse for their own selfish gain.
There’s no denying that PUA obviously works if you keep trying it for long enough, and if you’re a dude and despite everything I’ve said thus far you’re still thinking that it might be something you like to get involved with, then just search PUA in Google for a steaming slice of reality pie. Now do you really want to be counted among this carnival of megalomanic cock-heads, borderline paedophiles and nerds who look like magicians? I sincerely fucking hope not! Look at this sweaty pile of shit-stew posing like the Princeton yachting society just named him “Premier Playboy of the decade”. I’d wager anything from my bollocks to a mauve crayon that he services photocopiers for a living and his favorite movie is a Lynx ad. You don’t want anything to do with these vile specimans of humanity, because while they may sleep with more women than you do, there are plenty of alternative ways to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling sex-life without being a chauvenistic oxygen-thief whose own cock is desperately trying to crawl into any warm, damp hole it can find to try and hide from the contemptible waste of space that it has the misfortune of being attached to.