Pick-up artists are people who study seduction techniques. Both women and men are interested in the topic, but the latest pickup and courses on it are especially popular. The methods taught in the classroom are not always ethical – for example, in order to impress people can be rude, manipulate, and even resort to violence. We figured out where the pickup truck techniques came from and how they harm women.
How did the pickup come about?
Modern pick-up artists are largely guided by the book How to Pick Up Girls by Eric Weber, which was published in 1970. On Amazon, it’s called a “classic” pickup truck. According to the publisher, more than two million copies have been sold worldwide. In the reviews of the store, men write about how effective the advice from the book is.
According to the author, he interviewed dozens of women to find the perfect formula for seduction. Most of the book consists of replicas of girls, which Eric Weber analyzes:
“Why do you think they [women] wear skinny jeans and low-cut blouses? Why did so many of them stop wearing bras and panties? Maybe to look better? Nonsense. They show off their breasts and buttocks to turn you on. Awaken in you the desire to go to bed with them. Every girl knows that if she looks hot, you will try to ‘shoot’ her.”
Eric Weber writes in his book.
The pickup truck began to gain real popularity in the 1990s. Then life coach Ross Jeffries launched his own pickup workshops. The man put neuro-linguistic programming techniques at their basis.
NLP is an approach to communication and personal development. Proponents of the method believe that a successful person is determined by a set of specific features, such as a confident gait. If you analyze and copy these signs, then other people will perceive you as an influential figure. Thus, you can achieve the location of the girl.
Among other tips, Ross Jeffries called for the NLP technique of anchoring. According to him, men should fix positive emotions about themselves in the mind of a girl, and transfer negative emotions to someone else. For example, if there is music that a girl likes, you need to touch it. The pikaper believes that if you do this all the time, then the girl will associate the guy with something good.
Jeffries was criticized by the scientific community. American psychologist Christopher Sharpley believes that many NLP techniques don’t really work. But Jeffreys’ students admired him anyway and even wrote books based on the pickup seminars. A follower of pickup artist Gregory Madison created a guide on how to get the girl of your dreams into bed. Madison told how, in his opinion, to get the attention and affection of a woman in order to sleep with her, or how to respond to a refusal to go on a date so that the girl still agreed:
“[Say:] ‘If you want to meet, name another day when you can come.’ Shut up after that. On the other end of the wire, a stupid chicken will freeze. Now she is cornered and must name another date for the meeting, otherwise it will become obvious what a liar she is. Another option is to break up with this chicken, but at the same time she should experience maximum embarrassment and discomfort, as far as social limits allow, ”
Phrase from the book “How to get the girl of your dreams into bed”
In the 2000s, pickup artist Eric von Markovic appeared under the pseudonym Mystery (translated from English as “mysterious”). Initially, the man worked as a magician, from where he got this nickname, but later began to conduct practical workshops on a pickup truck. Mystery’s students began going out in groups to bars, nightclubs, and malls to meet girls and practice their skills.
According to Mystery, if you approach a group of guys where there is also a girl, you first need to meet and chat with men and only then start talking to a woman. The pikaper believes that such treatment will be unpleasant for her, the girl will feel a lack of attention and will want to make up for it.
Another of Mystery’s contributions to the pickup truck is the invention of the glossary, which is still in use today. For example, he introduced the word neg – something between a compliment and an insult that is said to lower a woman’s self-esteem and at the same time show her disinterest. “Good nails. They are real? Not? Oh, they still look good.” Ambiguous compliments are needed so that a girl accustomed to a lot of attention is more willing to make contact. Allegedly, a woman who receives a lot of compliments will want to ensure that the pick-up artist is also interested in her.
In 2005, journalist Neil Strauss published The Game: Infiltrating the Secret Society of Pickup Truckers. The author talked about the wrong side of the pickup courses of Ross Jeffreys and Mystery. He told how and what men are taught and what techniques they use on women. That same year, The Game hit the New York Times bestseller list, and even more people learned about the pickup truck.
What does a pickup truck look like in Russia
Russia also has its own pickup coaches. So, in 2006, the book “Life without panties” was published. The author of the book is Alexander Kirillov, known under the pseudonym Alex Leslie.
In the book, Alex follows Western colleagues and teaches how to meet a girl, what to do on a date, and how to have sex a couple of hours after meeting.
In addition to the book, Alex Leslie has his own project, Style of Seduction. He conducts offline and online trainings. Leslie’s training includes provocative tasks. For example, to grab an unfamiliar girl by the buttock on the street. According to Alex Leslie, this way you can become more liberated. Judging by the discussions on the site, one of the men is embarrassed to do this, someone claims that you can always tell a girl that you have confused her with a friend.
For girls, by the way, Alex Leslie also published a book called “Hunting for a male.” According to the author, in order for a guy to pay attention to you, you need to ignore his SMS for half an hour and cause jealousy.
Another popular pick-up community in Russia is the Russian Model of Effective Seduction. On the site you can find both dating courses and trainings to excite girls. For example, coaches are taught to put girls into a trance, in which women will supposedly be more inclined to contact. According to reviews , the methods worked only for those who had no big problems with communication before, but failures could, on the contrary, confuse other guys even more.
Judging by the information on the website, RMES has trained more than 150,000 graduates. However, some pickup artists were still dissatisfied. So, one man read a book by the founder of the RMES, Philip Bogachev, where the courses are being promoted, and anonymously spoke about the disadvantages of the classes and their uselessness. One of the points of criticism was the attitude towards girls.
“Women are reduced to vicious and greedy cadavers, completely unsatisfied. With built-in calculator. It is highly doubtful that such an attitude will lead to success with women.
written by an anonymous user on LiveJournal.
The RMES techniques themselves can be traumatic for men as well.
“I looked at him [the student with the prosthetic leg] and took away the crutch. And he said that he had to go. Through pain and tears. And he gave a kick to go faster in the field. And he went. Not so quickly, not so enthusiastically, but I went. And walked all these days without a crutch,
A quote from the founder of RMES Philip Bogachev from his book “How to become successful, earn money and like girls.”
There are many other lesser-known pickup schools in Russia as well. The principles of their work are approximately the same.
Who and why goes to pickup courses
Men’s pickup courses fall under different requests. There are classes for seducing a large number of girls in order to sleep with them, and techniques for finding the perfect companion and maintaining a relationship with her. Courses for beginners, as a rule, are designed for emancipation: how not to be afraid to approach on the street and respond to refusals.
Prices for courses vary depending on the format: about three thousand rubles for video lessons, about 20 thousand for participation in group training, and around 100 thousand for “individual lessons to the result” with a well-known trainer.
Pickup coaches often rely on their experience and “author’s methods”. There are masters who claim that they have a psychological education. They claim to rely on their professional knowledge. Some coaches post certificates of completion of courses in NLP techniques or hypnosis from other pick-up artists on websites and teach this to their students.
What does a pickup truck lead to
The attitude towards women taught in pickup courses is often consumerist. For example, according to pickup artist Lucio Buffalmano, every girl has her own sexual market value – this is the level of her attractiveness. The more attractive the girl, the better the pick-up artist becomes. His own value is enhanced by the fact that he was able to attract the attention of a spectacular woman.
“Men attach great importance to ‘rank’, and a beautiful wife helps them to occupy higher positions in the social hierarchy. So yes, a ‘trophy wife’ is a thing.”
Pickup artist Lucio Buffalmano talks on thepowermoves.com
Pick-up artists also have their own vocabulary. They call the process itself a “game”, and the girls they want to seduce – a “goal” or “target”. In Russian-language books, you can see the appeal of “chicken” or “heifer”. Neil Strauss, author of the bestselling The Game, admitted in 2015 that pickup artists treat women as objects.
“The rules of The Game are to treat a woman more as an object than as a person – now I see this very clearly. Apparently, my self-esteem was so low that I tried to increase it by being content with the bodies of other people, without thinking about any other contact. And interacting with women was just an opportunity to feel better, not an opportunity to connect with another human being.”
says Neil Strauss in an interview with Quartz.
This attitude can harm women. According to the Council of Europe, sexism causes a feeling of worthlessness, changes behavior and leads to poor health. Some manifestations of sexism create an atmosphere of intimidation and insecurity. Women and girls may therefore be more tolerant of violence against them.
A pickup truck can also be harmful for men. Social anthropology researcher Melanie Gourarier believes that becoming a great seducer is, first of all, to realize oneself as a “real man”. This can allegedly be achieved by acquiring qualities that society perceives as masculine, such as dominance and a tendency to compete.
According to Melanie Gourarier, what is important for men is not so much the fact of seduction as promotion in the hierarchy of masculinity. While the pick-up courses are ostensibly about seducing women, they actually focus on relationships between men. The goal of a pick-up artist is not just to find as many mistresses as possible, but also to get approval from colleagues. Toxic masculinity means that if girls are not interested in you, then you are not a very successful man.
Men are forced to constantly compete for rank and promotion, which can be overwhelming and cause permanent discomfort. If “raising the rank” does not work out, a person’s self-esteem can suffer greatly.
Renunciation of trust
The race for more sex partners can make it hard for pickup artists to build close, trusting relationships. This is also evidenced by the term T10D , which exists in the pickup community – it means “sleep with ten other girls.” Men are advised to resort to this tactic when they realize that they have become attached to one woman – so as not to “lose their grip.”
Alex Leslie offers to sleep with several girls at once in order to get rid of attachment to one woman. “Her importance is fabulously reduced at this point,” the pick-up artist says in a video on his YouTube channel.
Thus, pick-up artists are deprived of the opportunity to openly talk about feelings and really get closer to their partner. Men avoid their emotions and suppress them. In the long term, this can cause psychological harm, including depression.
Also, students of pickup courses set themselves up in advance that they only want sex from women. Therefore, it can be difficult for a person to enter into a trusting relationship, even if he really wants them.
“Now, being on the other side, I see how I was unknowingly affected by forces that made me obsessed [with a pickup truck]. Even when I thought the ‘game’ was over, it still held me back.”
talks former pickup artist Neil Strauss about how he rethought his relationships with women.
Pikapers use manipulation to achieve their goals. For example, the “far-closer” technique, when a guy moves closer to a girl, then pushes her away to get attention. Or methods of lowering self-esteem so that a woman supposedly stops looking down on a guy when meeting. Manipulation, according to psychologist Jacqueline Johnson, can reduce self-esteem and make a girl doubt her adequacy.
Men can also lie to get their way. So, in July 2022, the girls told on social networks how pick-up artists deceive them. The same guys sent out the same voice message to women en masse. In it, they claimed that they deleted the profile from Tinder because they fell in love at first sight. Men made a lot of compliments, shared their sexual fantasies and convinced that they really want a serious relationship. However, the profiles of guys on Tinder actually did not disappear anywhere, and phrases about serious intentions were sent to several women at once.
Some techniques may threaten women’s safety. For example, ” Take it and don’t ask . “ The method is that on a date, a guy without asking should kiss a girl and quickly start undressing her, otherwise she “can close and skillfully resist.”
Pick-up artists also have the term “resistance at the last moment” – when a girl refuses sex, although, according to the man, everything went to him. Coaches are not advised to retreat. One way is to make the girl feel safe and then try to get her to have sex again. But there are also recommendations where they offer to get consent with the help of pressure. For example, pickup artist Lucio Buffalmano advises telling a girl: “We are together now, and you should also do your part to make me happy.”
Alex Leslie offers to start masturbating right in front of the girl if she doesn’t want the guy to touch her. Allegedly, then the man in any case remains the winner, and the woman – the loser.
“They will treat it the way you treat it. Women are very flexible in this sense. They adjust their beliefs to the man. You start to move on to sex, she starts to think that it’s normal to behave like that, ”
tells Leslie at his training.
There were cases that went to court. In 2016, pickup coach Adam Smith raped a woman while intoxicated. After the incident, she found out that the man was blogging about a pickup truck.
“Men blogged about their interactions with women, bragged about how many of them they slept with, encouraged each other with advice and talked about how they should manipulate and objectify women.”
The victim told the court.
What to do if you encounter a pickup truck
If they get unwanted attention on the street
There is no right way to react to pickup trucks. Some men may leave you after the first refusal, others may continue to insist on getting to know you and not let you pass on the street.
Anita Roberts, founder of the Safeteen violence prevention program, suggests three steps for street harassment that can help with pick-up artists:
Maintain a neutral facial expression while maintaining direct eye contact. This will make it clear to the person that you do not like the actions that he is taking.
Raise your hand in front of you. Say “stop” and draw a line between you.
Use “I-statements” . Keeping a neutral expression and tone, say “I want you to move away from me” or “I didn’t like this comment.” Repeat your message several times, be firm.
If the pick-up artist does not hear a refusal, continues to insist on getting to know each other and his attention becomes more intrusive, you can try to find a safe place. If a man is stalking you, RAINN, an anti-sexual assault organization, recommends going to a store, cafe, or apartment building lobby. There you can ask for help from employees or guards.
In Russia, there is also the Call Galya project. You can see on the map the establishments that have joined the project. There, say the phrase “Call Galya”, and the employee will be able to take you to a safe place or call the police.
If you suspect that a person is using pickup techniques on you on a date
Pick-up artists often use manipulation. According to the American psychologist Jacqueline Johnson, a manipulator, if he does not get what he wants, can play on guilt or deliberately deceive. Here is what a specialist advises to do if you suddenly suspect that you are being manipulated:
Become aware of your true emotions. Pay attention to how you feel around this person. If you are experiencing negative emotions, such as self-doubt, fear, or guilt, take your time away from the person to think clearly about what is happening. For example, if you are in a cafe, you can go to the toilet.
Keep only conversations on the topic. Manipulators often steer the conversation in the direction they want. This can be done either to distract you from the real problem or to achieve your own goals. By staying focused on the topic, you can prevent the conversation from moving in a direction that is uncomfortable for you. If you feel uncomfortable, speak directly about it, and the man changes the topic or continues to insist on his own, do not hesitate to say your feelings several times.
Set boundaries. Gently but firmly communicate what you don’t like and won’t tolerate. If the person does not hear you and continues to insist on his own, you can stop the date. You don’t have to be around the person who makes you uncomfortable.
It is also important to ensure your safety. If you feel that a man is ignoring your requests and becoming anxious around him, try to find a safe place or call for help.