The Weird World of Pickup Artists


12 Wednesday 12th November 2014

My personal feelings aside, PUAs are definitely an issue of contention in our culture, because they blur the line between a homeboy out to 'get some', and shitheads who say things like this:

This now deleted tweet was written by Real Social Dynamics executive instructor and professional PUA Julien Blanc, whose social media activity has landed him and his 'profession' into some pretty hot water as of late. And by hot water, I mean he was deported from Australia last week on his tour, inspiring the UK, Canada and Japan to begin campaigns to have Julien banned from stepping onto their respective soils.

Julien came to attention earlier this month for his incendiary Tinder and Twitter activity, that was exposed by a tumblr called Tinder's Finest Bachelors. Since the incriminating screengrabs were revealed, he has made all of his accounts private. Which isn't surprising once you've read his musings. He coos sweet nothings about 'needing to cum', but having to hold back because there are 'no girls' faces around'. He kindly offers nutritional tips like, 'that warm load of sweet cum you just viciously gulped down has a thousand calories, in case you were wondering why you were single'. He is, at best, a total fucker. At worst, a seasoned rapist.

Now, call me crazy, but if someone said these things to me at a bar I wouldn't really be down for hanging out. Yet Julien Blanc's techniques are being taught to loads of vulnerable, lonely, paying men. With Blanc's purported sexual history you can bet they're listening. They're watching as well. Footage of Blanc's advice on how to pick up Japanese girls shows him saying "just grab her" and advising dudes to shout "pikachu" at the women. Because, as he says, 'if you're a white man in Tokyo, you can do whatever you want'.

Julien Blanc's predatory techniques got me thinking about all the other Pickup Artists out there. What were their tips? Were any of their skills actually consistent with the law? Surely they couldn't all be like Blanc, even if their motives were more than questionable. 

Before Julien Blanc, there was a brief media flurry over another PUA, Vincent Vinturi, a man famous for defeating Last Minute Resistance. The term refers to the moment you get a girl into bed and she decides not to have sex with you. His book, How To Overcome Last Minute Resistance To Sex: Turn That "No" Into "Yes" And Get The Lay, (which, as a title, is as muddled as Vinturis' understanding of consent) was removed from Amazon earlier this year after it was dubbed a manual for rapists. Vincent let his readers know that a pesky little thing like a woman saying 'no' doesn't have to put an end to your evening's sexual escapades. But don't take my word for it, just ask Vincent! 

“I’ve had situations where a girl is lying naked with me on my bed, still loudly proclaiming that we’re not having sex… Other times, I just forcefully removed the hand, stuck my dick inside, and she welcomed it eagerly once I was in.”

Nice stuff, you piece of shit. If you're not feeling adequately uncomfortable, perhaps we should take a look at Vinturi's definition of rape too:  

"In the modern context, rape is essentially the act of ultimate validation and a rape accusation is the ultimate act of attention whoring." 

Seems legit. Vincent Vinturi and Julien Blanc certainly act like they're in the same league, but surely this can't be the face of every Pickup Artist? 

Vincent Vinturi, master of seduction

I decided to look a little closer to home and found Steve Jabba, an Essex University educated PUA, who realised that once he got his teeth sorted he was pretty good at the whole picking up women thing, sometimes a different girl every week. Jabba, you lad!  

He claims being involved in the Seduction Community has cured him of anxiety and depression, and he believes he can use his skills to help men in similar situations. I can't help but be happy for the guy, mainly because at first glance he is nothing like the vultures giving PUA a bad name. His website suggests he's an All Round Good Guy™, looking for happiness through meaningless sex with strangers. And unless you're a real puritan, there's nothing wrong with that.

But then I wasn't too happy to find his top tip was, 'sort out the low-hanging fruit and go for quick wins at first', though his suggestion that men sport a Cuban heel to woo the ladies was so entertaining it temporarily erased any dismay. Ah, a Cuban heel, the height of sophistication, the aphrodisiac of footwear, the go-to kick for despots and Scientologists, much more practical than a height increasing shoe because, as Jabba says, those can 'fuck up your swagger', and no one wants that. 

Guys like Blanc and Vinturi have made a name for themselves by being total tossers, Jabba might just be a regular dude unaware that regular dudes can have sex by being regular. But all three are minnows compared to the most famous Pickup Artist of them all, Neil Strauss. He penned the PUA bible, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (sweet use of the word penetrating, bro). This little black book was a best seller in 2005, and recounts Strauss' journalistic venture into the seduction community. 

Strauss started out as a journalist, and he entrenched himself in the community as part of an investigation. Thanks to his prior experience as a regular human being, he got very good at being a PUA. Most students don't have that luxury, as only the perennially awkward and frustrated would be desperate enough to pay for this sort of teaching. Strauss just got a nasty case of sexual seduction Stockholm Syndrone. I guess that makes him a little less predatory.

Neil Strauss and BFF Jared Leto

The Pickup Artist community is thriving. At the time of posting 153,721 people are members of the most popular PUA forum on the web. Most of the topics discuss social shyness, anxiety and low self-esteem, serious issues that need more than a quick fix. These men refuse to believe that a little confidence and a sense of humour can go a long way, so they view a woman as a puzzle that needs to be solved, not a person who they can relate to.

The world of Pickup Artists seems to be built on a hierarchy of entitlement and ego, leaving the innocent and desperate at the bottom of the pile until they pay their way up. That's why guys like Julien Blanc will do anything to secure that lay, to get to the top, even going so far as to say he's burying his father to gain sympathy from women. But when you view women as targets, you won't see them as anything else, just as other people won't see you as anything more than a predator.

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