How Pickup Artists Work

How to Play "The Game"

Ross Jeffries' Speed Seduction technique echoes throughout Neil Strauss' "The Game" and Erik von Markovik's "The Mystery Method." Certain nuances might differ, but each share the same premise of teaching hapless men how to seek out, isolate, approach and converse with women. Moreover, most PUA strategies are framed in evolutionary theory to serve as supporting evidence for why women inherently shouldn't be able to resist a PUA's advances [source: George].

In a nutshell, the common PUA line of thought is that women seek out strong-willed, domineering mates who can protect them and their offspring, just like our primitive ancestors did [source: Clift]. Due to the heavy reproductive investment women might make if a one-night stand results in pregnancy, some women might resist PUAs' sexual advances. That's why these men must be so skillful at demonstrating masculine worth. Also, this theoretical foundation of PUAs as a male-by-nature hunting game explains why female PUAs don't exist [source: Harrell].

Von Markovik outlines the best-known PUA game maneuvers in his book "The Venusian Arts Handbook." If a Romeo-in-training goes to a bar looking for a lady to chat up, here's the step-by-step breakdown of the interaction:

  1. The PUA spots a "set," or group of women to approach. According to Mystery's "group theory," attractive women are always out with company, not alone.
  2. He approaches the set within three seconds (the "three-second rule") to evoke spontaneity and self-confidence.
  3. Next, he delivers an opening line, such as "Oh my God, listen to you guys, this is just like watching 'The View,'" or "I've only got a minute, so I've got to tell you about ... " [source: Markovik]. Mystery recommends including a false time constraint in the opener to stoke a woman's anxiety that her potential suitor might leave.
  4. After ignoring the romantic target by talking to her friends, the PUA tosses out a "neg," or a critical remark her way to give the appearance of being disinterested. Something like, "Your hair is beautiful. Is it fake?" would work.
  5. Once the target assumes the PUA isn't into her, she'll naturally want to gain his physical affection. At that point, the PUA can use magic tricks, mind reading, word games or other such "chick crack" to provoke her sexual interest further.

Of course, PUAs' slick -- and not-so-slick -- stratagems don't always stick. For that reason, "The Game" also teaches men how to handle rejection, which is arguably as important as finessing their way into a woman's bedroom. How PUAs perceive a woman's refusal to accept their advances also strikes at the heart of why "The Game" is often characterized as misogynistic and unhealthy.