Seduction community

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.Rowan Pelling: Seduction? Any woman with her own hair and a bottle of vodka can do it - Columnists, Opinion - It exists largely through Internet forums and groups, as well as over a hundred local clubs, called "lairs".Resource not returned Supporters refer to the subculture simply as 'the community'Going online to learn the fine art of flirting | Technology | The Observer and often call themselves "pickup artists."

The seduction community received an increasing amount of press-coverage since the publication of '''', by journalist and pickup artist Neil Strauss (known in 'the community' as "Style"), which reached The New York Times' bestseller list. Strauss has described the community as a "men's self-help movement."


The seduction community's origins date back to Eric Weber's 1970 book How to Pick Up Girls.Denver - News - Game On In the 1980's, 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).Reviews of Ross Jeffries Speed Seduction Courses Other gurus established themselves, but lacked contacts with each other. In 1994, Lewis De Payne, then a student of Jeffries and an associate of Kevin Mitnick, founded the newsgroup ("ASF").Who is Lewis De Payne? This then spawned a network of other Internet discussion forums, email lists, blogs, and sites where seduction techniques could be exchanged..Metroactive Features | Neuro-Linguistic Programming 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.Houston - News - Keeping Score

Other seduction teachers emerged with competing methods, and became known within this community as "seduction gurus" or "gurus".Montreal Mirror : The Front Page : Sex The emergent theories coalesced on the usenet newsgroups before being systematically taught by teachers. Two of the most notable of these new teachers were Mystery and David DeAngelo. David and Cliff of are considered to be the most independant of the seduction community. David got his start with a post to Cliffslist, with Cliff being a central force in the community. 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. On 2007-08-02, Mystery, with 2 former students (Matador and J-Dog) created his own television show "The Pick Up Artist" on VH1. David DeAngelo, a former student of Ross Jeffries, is best known for a technique called 'Cocky and Funny'.

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 and 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.

Other notable "seduction gurus" go by names such as Juggler, Zan Perrion, Tyler Durden, Style, Carlos Xuma, and Frank B Kermit .


Supporters of this community typically believe that the conventional dating advice for men is fatally flawed.Resource not returned 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".Resource not returned. They also discourage flattery.Montreal Mirror : The Front Page : Sex 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 websitehref=\"\">puapics.whi... Beautiful? (Template:verify). 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,Q&A with author Neil Strauss | - Culture - Books 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.Montreal Mirror : The Front Page : Sex 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.


In '''', 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.

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 - this is called an "IOI" (indicator of interest). PUAs believe that reading these signals 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.

"Cold approaching" occurs when the "target" has not given such a notice to the pickup artist. 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.

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:

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.

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.. Others, specifically Mystery and Stevie PUAStevie PUA have released 'sarge' audio of themselves 'sarging' in the field as a model to others. Some audio has included 'full closes' (i.e. sex).


The seduction community has been receiving increased media attention,Danger: pickup artists ahead - Los Angeles TimesOperation pick-up - Men's style - Times OnlineRevealed: the dark arts of the ladykiller - The Scotsman especially since the publication of Neil Strauss' article on the community in The New York Times,HE AIMS! HE SHOOTS! YES!! - New York Times 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."Girls, if you see this man, run a mile | By genre | Guardian Unlimited Books 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." According to an article in Eye Weekly, some feminists believe that pickup "isn't just cheesy; it's offensive." 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."

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."Houston - News - Keeping Score 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!"Q&A with author Neil Strauss | - Culture - BooksRevealed: the dark arts of the ladykiller - The Scotsman 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."

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." 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:

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." For an article for the Times Online, Hugo Rifkind participated in a seminar by Neil Strauss. Rifkind describes initially struggling with seduction techniques, eventually learning to attract women's interest, and then feeling guilty. Rifkind writes, "After a little more practise, 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?" One of his readers responded, "Teaching would-be social failures how to be suave and charming messes up the natural order of things. There are people born with these qualities, to whom women are attracted, and with whom we want to/do reproduce. But, if you teach a nerd how to be a cool guy, all of a sudden we're reproducing with nerds, which will only lead to an increase in the world's population of nerds, which will keep these people in business...forever. Brilliant."(


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.

In popular culture

See also


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