Men: Imagine a life where you meet a sexy woman and get her phone number on the first try. Now imagine meeting tons of women, in any kind of social situation, and not just getting numbers but actually hooking up whenever you want.
Sound like an adult movie? According to members of the PUA movement— that’s “Pick Up Artists” to the uninitiated—it’s not a crazy sexual fantasy, but a reality allegedly waiting to happen.
According to PUA, you don’t have to be wealthy, tall, popular, handsome, or even a great conversationalist. All you need are the right techniques, which can be learned from various books, videos or audio recordings that tell men how to flirt with women. In fact, the field is so popular that Amazon.com has a whole section on the subject.
One popular book is Pick-Up Artists’ Secrets: Essential Beginner’s Guide. It claims to help men overcome “approach anxiety,” boost your self-confidence and “give you confidence and self-belief, to reduce the anxiety you feel, and ultimately become a Pickup machine.
A speaker who has made a career teaching men how to meet and seduce women is Harvard graduate Paul Janka. He approached flirting like a science experiment, recruiting his buddies to test various pick up methods and noting what worked for pickups, for getting a woman in bed, for repeat hookups and so forth. His audio books are often cited by men on PUA websites.
There are a couple points that PUA see as valuable lessons, and they generally involve bucking the traditional dating “rules.” The often emphasize:
- Ignoring “the right way” to approach a lady
- When you’re “allowed” to call her and when you should call her
- Going with your gut – because it’s generally right.
The theory is that post-feminist modern women aren’t buying into antiquated games, preferring instead a more direct, confident approach. However, guys grow up these days unsure of themselves because they fear they’re going to make a mistake, and that fear causes failure.
Whether or not these guides actually work depends on the man using them. In the comments, many claim that they did experience a boost in self-confidence, which in itself could be a secret to success. Others note that these books are great for young guys and men who never quite “score” the way they hope; if that’s flirting or getting laid, it’s not clear.
But what is clear is this: The promise turning fantasies into reality is a strong one, and as long as there are men feeling like they’re not living up to their sexual potential, these PUA guides will be going strong.