how to stop a pickup artistHave you heard of the “seduction community?”

Even if you haven’t, there’s a good chance the guy you’re dating has. But here’s the real question …Is he using those methods on you?

Maybe you want to be seduced. After all, it sounds kind of romantic. Why wouldn’t a guy work hard to seduce you.  Shouldn’t you want him to?

Well, I’ll leave that decision to you after you’ve read what I’m about to tell you. As your dating and relationship coach, I feel an obligation to shed light on a potentially dangerous situation.

You need to know what male dating coaches are teaching men about dating women. Some of it’s good, old-fashioned, sound advice. But some of it has the potential to block any kind of real relationship from developing.

And that’s why I’m about to show you some of the dangerous stuff guys are being taught about women. To do that, I’ve brought in my friend, Amy Waterman, who has seen the inside operations of the seduction community.

She’ll open your eyes to the dangers you need to watch out for. And she’ll show you how to turn these misguided men toward healthy modes of interaction with you.



Here’s the special report from Amy…


Back in a previous life, I studied men’s dating advice.

I knew all the guys teaching other men how to get good with women. I bumped into the legendary David DeAngelo from Double Your Dating at a conference in L.A. I went to lunch with Neil Strauss, AKA the pickup artist known as Style.

I was on Skype interviewing Carlos Xuma, David Wygant, Zan Perrion, Dave M and endless others.

I knew exactly what the world’s top dating coaches were teaching men.

And I hated it.

Men aren’t any different from us. They want to perfect their dating technique, too. So they’re also reaching out to dating coaches and experts for advice.

But the advice they’re being given may shock you.

John Gray claimed we’re from different planets. When you look at what men are teaching other men about women, you might begin to agree. We can’t be from the same species.

Professionals in the field of psychology, including practicing counselors, don’t teach one thing to men and something else to women. Relationship skills are relationship skills.

So why is there such a vast gulf between the popular dating advice being given to men and women?

It’s simple:

Both camps want their clients to get results, but how they define those results is completely different.

The dating advice given by self-styled gurus comes from experience, not theory.

Men teach other men what works in their experience. They’re not coming from a background in psychology or science. They’re not committed to a professional code of ethics. They just want to get results. For most of them, “results” can only mean one thing:


A notch on the bedpost.

When you begin to look seriously into what men are learning about women, you realize that “getting the girl” does not mean the same thing to a man that “getting the guy” means to you.

For women, “getting a guy” tends to mean finding someone for a committed long-term relationship.

For men, “getting a girl” usually refers to getting her into bed.

Of course not all men prefer one night stands to relationships. Not all women prefer a committed relationship to just having fun.

But a lot of popular dating advice tars everyone with the same brush. Men want just one thing. Women only want a ring. Political correctness doesn’t come into it.

Men’s dating advice is having a HUGE impact on what men expect from their encounters with women. It’s affecting how men behave and what they believe about you.

You need to know what men are teaching men about women.

And you need to know what to do if you fall for a guy who’s learned his techniques from professionals.

Are you ready to find out how men are learning how to play the dating game?

Be warned. It’s not comfortable.

How Boys Learn vs How Girls Learn

As women, we’re so lucky.

We grow up with a network of other chatty, opinionated, well-meaning females to help us learn about men and what to expect in relationships.

We learn about the differences between the sexes beginning in the playground, when boys push and shove and pull girls’ hair. It’s clear from a very young age that boys play differently to girls.

It’s not just a stereotype, according to The Female Brain author Louann Brizendine. Girls really do tend to value cooperation, sharing, and being nice. While their dolls are enjoying a tea party and a nice chat, the boys are racing across the playground, shoving each other and testing their physical prowess.

As a result, girls reach their teenage years with a great deal of knowledge about how to relate to other people. When puberty hits and the first boys begin to look their way, they’re prepared to test the waters of relationships. After all, they’ve been relating all their life.

But boys are absolutely clueless.

Impressing a girl with his physical prowess or social status is just about the only thing a boy knows how to do. So teenage boys play sports, fight, and compete to get female attention.

Then, if a girl smiles in their general direction, they’re flummoxed. What is supposed to happen next?

The girl knows. They’re supposed to go out together and have a drink and have a nice chat. Her dolls have been doing that for years. That’s how relationships work. You spend time together, you’re nice to each other, and you build up trust and friendship.

But that’s not how a boy’s relationships work. He’s more likely to insult his friends, challenge them, or even fight for dominance. The world of feminine relationships mystifies him, but he doesn’t dare ask his friends. They’d just make fun of him. Besides, they don’t know any more than he does.

Once upon a time, a boy’s father or uncle or even older cousin would have taken him under his wing and showed him the ways of the world. But most teenage boys don’t have a male role model they can trust to talk about girls and dating.

Enter the seduction community.

What Is the Seduction Community?

The seduction community (also known as the pickup community or simply “the community”) is a modern phenomenon. Casanova has nothing on these guys.

The community came of age with the World Wide Web in the 1990s. It burst into popular consciousness in the first decade of the 21st century, thanks to Neil Strauss’ New York Times bestseller The Game and VH1’s reality series “The Pickup Artist.”

Before then, men searching for dating advice found slim pickings. Ministers wrote marriage manuals, and Dear Abby gave sensible advice to young men in relationship dilemmas.

It wasn’t until 1970 that the first pickup guide for men was published: Eric Weber’s How To Pick Up Girls.

Picking up girls wasn’t the same thing as courting a girl with the goal of proposing to her. It wasn’t about capturing the interest of one girl at all.

It was about capturing the interest of a LOT of girls. It was about developing charisma, personal presence, and a persona that drove girls crazy.

In other words, it was about becoming a player.

As women, we hear the word “player” and immediately cringe. Players are sleazy. They don’t respect women. They use cheesy pickup lines. Or do they?

Let’s try to put ourselves in a man’s shoes.

Try to imagine you’re an 18-year-old boy. You’ve never had a girlfriend. You’ve fallen in love with several different girls at school, but none of them would give you the time of day. It doesn’t help that you’re painfully shy, weedy, and no good at sports.

You watch these girls strut down the halls with their jock boyfriends. You notice that these guys act like complete jerks and the girls don’t even notice. You can’t understand why a girl wouldn’t want a nice guy like yourself. You’d bring her flowers and write romantic poetry and tell her she was beautiful every day.

You’re surfing online one evening when you come across a website. The website is plastered with pictures of beautiful women, inviting you to enter.

The website tells you that all these women are waiting for you. You don’t have to be rejected any longer. No matter what you look like or how badly you’ve done with women before, you can walk home with the hottest girl in the club, right under the noses of the jocks and jerks.

You simply have to memorize a few techniques. You have to learn a new vocabulary. And you have to learn strategy that’s more chess than football.

You abandon your old life without a second thought. You click the button.

You’re in.

The Guy Who Wasn’t Worth Your Time

As women, we know what it feels like to be invisible to the opposite sex.

how to spot a pickup artistWe may remember walking our high school halls, clutching our books and hoping a boy would notice our new hairstyle or new lipstick.

But that experience doesn’t help us in understanding what it’s like to be a guy.

His problem isn’t getting noticed. His problem is getting rejected over and over again.

For him, rejection is worse than invisibility. It’s one thing for girls not to notice him. It’s another thing to get up the courage to go up to a girl and open his mouth to say something … only to watch her turn away or shoot off, “I have a boyfriend,” without a second glance.

It hits him in the gut. It punches back his self-esteem.

He finds it harder and harder to get up the courage to approach the next girl. Some men give up altogether, succumbing to what is known as approach anxiety.

Men live in a different dating world to us. Even though it can feel like they have all the power, many guys feel just the opposite.

They feel that women have all the power.

Women have the power of choice. They can crush a man with a look … or make his dreams come true with a smile.

For him, even the nicest rejection is still a rejection. And not all women have the time or patience to turn men down gently. The more attractive a woman is, the more male attention she gets. She can become curt or rude in deflecting male advances.

A guy who’s been rejected over and over again by attractive women is particularly vulnerable to the promises of the seduction community.

The community promises him that he will soon be able attract the kind of beautiful women who right now don’t give him the time of day. In fact, the community whispers, these techniques work best on beautiful women such as models.

The community promises him that he won’t have to continue risking rejection. Instead, women will begin pursuing HIM. He’ll get to choose among the women throwing themselves at him.

No guy is immune to the lure of promises like that.

Even the most romantic, naïve, tender-hearted guy alive would be interested in hearing how he could overcome rejection.

So who is in the seduction community? Are they all “bad guys” who are studying manipulation tactics in order to take advantage of as many women as possible?


Although some guys join because they want to learn how to exploit women, many more become involved because they’re good guys with good hearts who just want to know how to stop the pain of rejection.

A New Brotherhood

In the late 1980s, the infamous Ross Jeffries began teaching seduction workshops.

He argued that his techniques enabled any man to bypass a woman’s natural preference for certain guys over others. He taught neuro-linguistic programming to hypnotize women into feeling attraction for anyone.

The newly launched World Wide Web gave Jeffries’ seduction students a way to network online and share ideas. The seduction community spread like wildfire. Men met up in “lairs” in major cities across the world to go out on the town. They practiced seduction techniques on women in clubs and bars, then analyzed what worked and what didn’t.

Being a pickup artist (PUA) was akin to being an amateur scientist and taken just as seriously.

PUAs practiced approaching as many women as possible to achieve a goal, such as getting her phone number, a kiss, or an invitation back to her house. They documented their experiences in “field reports,” which they posted online and discussed.

What felt revolutionary about the seduction community was its inclusive nature. No one was turned away. It didn’t matter how little experience a newbie had. All that mattered was his enthusiasm for learning.

Certain pickup artists rose above the pack to become mentors or “gurus.” One of those gurus was Style, better known in the real world as the journalist Neil Strauss.

Strauss wrote an exposé of the seduction community that reached the New York Times Bestsellers list in 2005. VH1 filmed Neil’s mentor, Mystery, to capitalize on the interest. It was released as the 2007-8 reality series “The Pickup Artist.”

As Neil explained in his book The Game, the community served a real need for men in its early days.

It created a sense of brotherhood. It taught men to pursue personal excellence, inside and out. It played an important role in the modern men’s movement, helping men regain their sense of personal power amid the confusion of gender politics.

There’s no initiation ceremony or rite of passage in modern society that marks the transition from boy to man. Young men feel stuck. No one is systematically teaching them confidence, going after what they want, and dealing with rejection.

No one, that is, except the seduction community.

Learning to pick up women helps guys learn how to be men. It gives them the social skills, conversational skills, self-discipline, and polished look that they desperately need to be a success in the world.

The only fly in the ointment of this big happy male bonding fest is:

What about the women?

Do  Pickup Artists Make the World a Better Place?

True confession:

I don’t go out to bars and clubs. I don’t live in a major city, either.

So the chances of me bumping into a pickup artist in action in my everyday life are pretty slim.

I’ve had to go out of my way to pursue interviews with pickup artists. The men I speak to are usually online entrepreneurs who teach workshops, create programs, or take groups of men out on the town to practice their skills.

Across the board, the pickup artists I’ve met are intelligent, well-presented, passionate about their work … and depressingly ordinary.

Reading their work, I’d hoped that I would experience some of their charismatic power myself. Instead, I just found that I liked the guys.

Really liked them.

They seemed like good guys, trying to do something good for humanity.

They honestly believed that the men they trained would become better boyfriends for the girls they eventually ended up with. Women shouldn’t be criticizing the seduction community’s methods when they clearly showed they preferred the results.

In many ways, I could see their point. What woman wouldn’t pick a polished, confident, interesting guy over a bumbling, insecure, geeky one?

It brought up a lot of questions:

Would you stop dating a guy if you learned he’d studied seduction techniques?

Why is it okay for women to read books on how to get a man to propose, but not okay for men to download e-books on how to get a woman into bed? Aren’t those double standards? Is that really fair?

Women are more willing to admit they’ve studied and used dating advice. But it’s a lot more common among men than we think.

I find that most guys have browsed dating advice online. They do it for the same reason women do. It’s everywhere. The headlines pique curiosity.

Some guys will even admit they’ve tried a tip or two. But they’re quick to disavow any allegiance to a particular school of advice. They’re independent thinkers, not slavish followers of self-help.

I’m sympathetic to both sides of the dating spectrum. I feel for the women who just want Prince Charming to fall from the sky. I feel for the men who’ve retreated online because real world dating is too depressing.

As women, we sometimes forget that men are human, too. They lose courage. They flake out. They don’t know what to do to get our attention and keep it.

If men were better supported, then perhaps they would be better boyfriends. Perhaps we women would have a better dating experience if all men received some form of dating coaching.

I’d simply like women to have a say in the kind of advice men are receiving.

Because, right now, men are teaching other men about women without any female moderators reviewing their material. This is an all-guys club. They’re not interested in a female opinion.

In fact, many seduction gurus caution men to never take a woman’s advice.

They argue that what women think they want is not the same as what they actually go for. If a man took a woman’s advice, he’d end up in the Friend Zone. He’d be the kind of nice, romantic, thoughtful guy that gets ignored in favor of jocks and jerks.

Much better to take a scientific approach, they argue. Go out in the field and test what works. Experiment. Observe how women actually respond, rather than how they say they’d respond. In the process, you’ll discover universal truths about women that women themselves aren’t even aware of.

Yep. Pickup artists would have us believe they understand us better than we understand ourselves.

Do they?

Let’s find out.

Women According to Pickup Artists

The seduction community has a very strange blind spot:

It ignores the fact that most women are normal.

Instead, the community focuses exclusively on exceptionally beautiful women. Or, in their lingo, “hot babes.”

They employ a rating system where a woman is referred to as an HB7, or a “Hot Babe” whose attractiveness rates 7 on a 1 to 10 scale. (A 10 is the equivalent of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.)

For pickup artists, these exceptionally attractive women make more desirable targets, because they’re harder to approach. Women who are used to a lot of male attention tend to reject guys right off the bat, without bothering to be polite.

Much of the seduction community’s strategy focuses on cracking those difficult scenarios. If a guy can approach and seduce an exceptionally beautiful woman, their thinking goes, he can do it with anyone.

In particular, seduction strategy focuses on what to do in bars and clubs. Although there’s some information on “day game,” or approaching a woman during the day, most pickup strategy is designed for urban nightlife.

The problem is:

The kind of “hot babes” these men are targeting in bars and clubs are nothing like most women.

If you’re like many busy women, you might be tucked up in bed watching Netflix on a Friday night. You might spend Saturday hanging out at a friend’s house. You may not have the time, energy or money to go out regularly. When you do go out, you may avoid bars and clubs.

Good for you. You’re avoiding the pickup artist’s main stomping grounds.

If you’re normal – and by definition most of us are – you may not rate highly enough to trigger a pickup artist’s radar. They’re not interested in HB5s and 6s. They’re going after the HB8s, 9s and 10s.

Feeling queasy yet? Me, too.

Even worse, you might be a nice girl who talks to every guy who makes the effort. Pickup techniques backfire with nice girls, because many of them seem just plain rude.

Take the classic “neg.”

A “neg” is a negative compliment. A guy tells you something that sounds nice, then reverses its meaning with a sarcastic jibe. For example: “Love the hair! It’s just like my crazy kid sister’s.”

Pickup artists claim that negging works on beautiful girls, because these girls are so used to hearing compliments that a man who’s not impressed by their looks stands out from the crowd. But for normal girls? It feels rude and uncalled for.

David DeAngelo’s “cocky-funny” technique taught a lot of men to act like jerks by saying outrageously rude things in a funny way. After all, if it’s meant ironically or in good humor, it’s not offensive, right?

(Much later in life, David DeAngelo got married to an exceptionally smart woman and had a daughter. He released one last program called “Love: The Final Chapter.” He got the point … finally.)

Targeting Your Weak Spots

how to spot a pickup artistBut let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you do end up in a club on Saturday night with a group of friends. A guy approaches you.

This guy is a pro. He smoothly engages you in conversation. You don’t even think about escaping. You find yourself laughing and chatting with this handsome stranger, who’s so much more vibrant and interesting than anyone else in the club. He’s better dressed, he’s a better conversationalist, and he’s led such a fascinating life.

You glance over at your girlfriends, and they give you a big thumbs-up. They can’t believe your luck. You can’t, either.

Pickups artists understand our weak points. They know that our greatest fears include:

  • Being bored.
    Which is why they spend a lot of time developing interesting talents, hobbies and anecdotes to charm women.
  • Being stuck with a guy who won’t go away.
    Which is why they often tell you straight up front that they have to get back to their friends in just a minute.
  • Not having anything to say.
    Which is why many pickup artists used to ask for a female opinion on something, just to get a discussion going.
  • Being creeped out.
    Which is why they make it clear that they don’t want anything from you. They’re just having fun, and you seem like a nice girl. But there are plenty more fish in the sea.

Other recommendations from the pickup community include:

  • Never offering to buy a girl a drink
  • Ignoring the fact she has a boyfriend
  • Being nice to her friends so they’ll support her in going home with him
  • Alternating between interest and disinterest so she’s never sure where she stands

Do these recommendations actually work?


We do automatically think less of a man if he buys us a drink or gives us a generic compliment. It’s nice, sure, but it’s predictable. It’s what all the other guys do to get our attention.

Saying you have a boyfriend is a time-honored way of letting a man know you’re not interested. It may not even be true. Even if you do have a boyfriend, you’re probably not averse to chatting for a few minutes with a handsome stranger. So is it so terrible when a guy ignores the comment you made about your boyfriend? Maybe not.

No girl is going to ditch her friends for a guy. But what if that guy came over and charmed the entire group? What if your friends were open-mouthed in awe that this amazing guy was hanging out with you? Wouldn’t they be supportive if you wanted to leave with him?

Lastly, nothing is creepier than a guy who thinks you’re the love of his life when you’ve just met. A man who comes on too strong can be quite unpleasant.

A man who likes you, but not THAT much, is actually easier to be around. If he shows a little interest then backs off, it gives you a break to decide for yourself how you feel about him.


Are these men manipulating us … or are they just learning from experience?

Is it their fault that what actually works best with most women isn’t the same as what we want them to do in our ideal world?

It’s up to you to decide.

Can You Learn Something from the Community?

I made a sweeping generalization when I said that there were no women in the seduction community.

Of course there are women:

The girlfriends of the pickup artists.

These girlfriends know exactly what their boyfriends are doing. In most cases, they’re extremely supportive. They wouldn’t be with a man like that unless they were on board with what he’s doing.

I spent some time with one of those girlfriends. She was absolutely lovely, and her brother was involved in the community, too. She was interested in getting involved as a wingwoman, a girl who goes along with guys to bars and clubs to help them chat up other women. But she also wondered how single women might be able to benefit from these new ideas.

In her perspective, men had taken their dating futures in their own hands, while women were still largely going to outside experts for advice.

Was she right?

Could the seduction community have anything to offer women?

Women have known for thousands of years how to maximize sex appeal through makeup, fashion, vocal tone and physical movement. When I grew up, little girls were expected to take ballet classes to improve their posture and learn to move with grace. It was silently understood that those traits would maximize feminine allure later in life.

At a cursory glance, men are way behind the times. There’s very little evidence that men have paid any attention throughout history to the best ways of attracting women. They were more likely to steal a woman (like Helen of Troy) and then have to fight a war to keep her.

But there is one new thing the seduction community is doing that women aren’t:

It’s treating dating as practical science, not theoretical psychology.

On its online forums, the community collects the field reports of thousands of men across the world, then formulates strategies and systems based on what actually works in practice.

It’s empiricism in action. Gather lots of data, observe patterns, then attempt to build a working hypothesis.

The seduction community is results-oriented. It doesn’t care why something works or whether it should work. It doesn’t propose ideas on how it should work in an ideal world.

Instead, it asks: does this achieve the desired result or not? That’s all that matters.

And that’s exactly why there will be no corresponding seduction community for women.

Would any woman in her right mind agree to go on date after date with random men, recording her experiences for other women to debate and discuss?

Absolutely not. Talk about wasting time.

We enjoy breaking down the details of our dates with our girlfriends, but it feels too personal to share with random strangers.

Besides, for most women, the goal is not to master hooking any man’s heart in 15 minutes or less. The goal is to meet someone who really lights her fire, then make him (and only him) fall in love.

That’s another place where the seduction community goes in the opposite direction to women.

They believe it’s a disease to get hung up on any one girl.

In fact, they even have a term for it: oneitis.

Oneitis often brings men to the seduction community, but the community stamps it out of them. Men swiftly learn that the new seduction skills they’re studying are not for use on the one particular girl they want to win over.

According to the community, being hung up on any particular girl puts a man’s self-esteem at risk. It places his future happiness in her hands. The community teaches that men are in charge of their own happiness. A man must never base his self-worth on female approval.

To master the art of seduction, men learn to see women as replaceable. If one girl doesn’t bite, no worries. Move on to the next.

Men are encouraged to approach random girls in the street to practice their skills, even if they’re not in the least bit attracted. In fact, being too attracted to a girl can prove a hindrance for beginners. The more he’s attracted, the more likely he is to mess the whole thing up.

Most women would find it distasteful to chat up a man they weren’t interested in. Life is short; spend it with people you care about.

There aren’t many women capable of seeing boyfriends as interchangeable parts, either. It’s tough to find a decent guy. You don’t want to let him go once you’ve found him.

So, if oneitis is a disease, then it’s one we wish more guys would catch. Falling for someone is divine.

What You Can Do

Now that you know something of what men are teaching other men, what can you do about it?

If you spot a man using pickup techniques such as negging, call him on it. Ask him where he learned it and why he thinks it works. Be up front about how it makes you feel and how you’d prefer to be treated.

Talk to the men in your life about their exposure to these concepts. Do they think the seduction community is a good idea? How should men be learning about women? Is there anything women could do to make it easier for men to build a relationship?

Don’t be afraid to take an honest look at how you treat men. If your behavior inadvertently supports the seduction community’s beliefs, then take steps to change.

Do you dismiss nice guys as “just friends” while secretly admiring the “bad boys” who treat you like a jerk?

Do you often reject men out of hand, or do you make an effort to appreciate his courage in approaching you?

Do you tend to judge a guy by his appearance and dismiss guys who are badly dressed or a bit awkward?

Do you automatically assume a man is a catch if he’s surrounded by women, while also believing that a man who’s not popular with the ladies isn’t very desirable?

Do you find yourself working harder to charm a man who’s a little bit aloof or runs hot and cold?

The seduction community has one thing right:

Women do tend to fall for jerks. Even when they know they shouldn’t. Even when they know they’re being treated badly.

Having clear boundaries helps you stay clear of men who are just playing you. Know what you’ll tolerate and what you won’t. Don’t be afraid to speak up if a man is making you feel uncomfortable or small.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to walk away. You don’t need bad relationships in your life, no matter how cute he is.

The seduction community has another valuable idea to offer us:

We shouldn’t place our future happiness in a man’s hands.

No matter how amazing a man seems, he’s not the key to our dreams. We hold the key. We create our future. His approval shouldn’t make a difference in how we feel about ourselves.

It can seem cold-hearted, but it’s not. It’s about putting ourselves first. It’s about realizing that the only relationship that we’ll keep for our entire life is our relationship with ourselves.

Men come and go. But you’ll always be there for yourself. It’s strange how learning to love yourself makes finding a man less important. When you get the love you need from inside, you don’t need it so much from outside.

It’s been a decade since the seduction community broke into front-page headlines. These days, you’re just as likely to come across scathing criticisms or exposés of the sordid lives of so-called pickup gurus.

Even Neil Strauss, the best known PUA of them all, recently released a book about his struggle to give up the lifestyle he’d been used to. The Truth documents his difficult path to monogamy and family life in the suburbs.

They all get there in the end.

Even if these men started out thinking it was about getting women, being accepted, or living the lifestyle of a player, they learned the truth was so much simpler.

It was just about being loved.

And, lucky for them, you’ve never forgotten it.

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