The seduction community is a subculture of men, primarily communicating on the Internet, who strive for better sexual success/access with women. Members of the community often call themselves pickup artists (PUA). It exists mostly through Internet newsletters, marketing (e.g. ads, seminars, one on one coaching), forums and groups, as well as over a hundred local clubs, known as "lairs".
The seduction community's origins date back to Ross Jeffries, who promotes a collection of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques called speed seduction (SS). Other gurus established themselves, but lacked contacts with each other. In 1994, Lewis De Payne, then a student of Jeffries, founded the newsgroup alt.seduction.fast (ASF). This then spawned a network of other Internet discussion forums, email lists, blogs, and sites where seduction techniques could be exchanged.
The original alt.seduction.fast became overwhelmed with spam, and a group called "Learn the Skills Corporation" developed a moderated alternative known as "Moderated ASF" (commonly "mASF"). During the same period, in the late 1990s, Clifford Lee began his Cliff's List Seduction Letter as a central independent voice of the community.
Other seduction teachers emerged with competing methods, and became known within this community as "seduction gurus" or "gurus".
"The Community" was brought more into the mainstream when, in 2005, Neil Strauss wrote The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, an exposé of the seduction community. The Game reached the New York Times Bestseller List, and popularized pickup and seduction to a broader audience.
Seduction lairs are an underground meeting group for men devoted to the study of seduction as it is taught in the seduction community.
Lairs first began as study groups soon after Ross Jeffries released his first products and began teaching sometime in the early 90s. They became widely known after the release of The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss. Hundreds of lairs exist.
A "lair" typically involves two elements: an online forum and group meetings. These elements are used as resources for men who want to learn to become well-versed in how to successfully attract women.
Lairs are often places that 'seduction gurus' will visit to promote their wares by speaking and advising the group as is mentioned by Neil Strauss in The Game.
Supporters of this community typically believe that the conventional dating advice for men is fatally flawed. For example, they reject the notion that men should attempt to woo women by spending money on them (e.g. buying drinks, presents, jewelry), calling it supplication. A lot of the theory is based on evolutionary biology, focused on sexual selection.
Many members of the seduction community work on their "game" (seduction skills) by improving their understanding of psychology, their confidence and self-esteem (termed "inner game"), and their social skills and physical appearance (physical fitness, fashion sense, grooming) ("outer game"). Many members of the community believe that one's "game" is refined through regular practice, with the idea that the abilities needed to interact in this way with women can be improved.
The seduction community has a unique set of acronyms and jargon for describing male-female dynamics and social interaction. For example, 'AFC' ("average frustrated chump") is a term coined by Ross Jeffries to describe males who are typically clueless and incompetent with women.
Alpha-Male Of the Group (AMOG): a reference to a competing male, who is usually either befriended by the PUA, or, if necessary, ridiculed. Some of the concepts in the community are borrowed from other disciplines, such as the concept of social proof from the psychology of influence, and various concepts from sociobiology and evolutionary psychology (such as the term "alpha male").
In The Game, Neil Strauss documents various practices that occur in the seduction community. Members of the community believe in achieving success with women through scientific and empirical means, rather than by relying on good looks or intuitive instinct, or by following societal courtship conventions. The practice of going out with the purpose of meeting women is known as "sarging", a term coined by Ross Jeffries, after his cat "Sarge". A pickup artist can "sarge" alone, or with a wingman.
Approaching and opening
Pickup artists generally assume the mindset that women are passive and will not initiate, requiring men to begin any interaction by approaching them, but many have also cultivated a sensitivity to direct and indirect signals of sexual interest.
Members of the seduction community often practice approaching and opening repetitively; some have done thousands of approaches. Strauss describes a pickup artist who did 125 approaches in one day.
Some pickup artists in the community write up "Field Reports" ("FRs") and "Lay Reports" ("LRs") detailing their experiences with women which they share on Internet forums for constructive criticism, or to serve as examples for others.
The seduction community has received increased media attention, since the publication of Neil Strauss' article on the community in The New York Times, and his bestselling memoir The Game. Response to the seduction community has been varied; it has been called misogynistic, and a review of The Game in the San Francisco Chronicle characterized the community as "a puerile cult of sexual conquest," and calls its tactics "sinister" and "pathetic." According to the review, "if women in the book are sometimes treated as a commodity, they come out looking better than the men, who can be downright loathsome — and show themselves eventually to be pretty sad, dysfunctional characters."
Feminists tend to be critical of the seduction community. Beatrix Campbell has stated that The Game "sexually objectifies women," arguing that "Nowhere from its description do you get a sense of men being helped to be human in an easy and agreeable way...it's not about having any rapport or relationship... the only thing that will help them in relationships is empathy and liking women."
According to an article in Eye Weekly, some feminists believe that pickup "isn't just cheesy; it's offensive." The article cites a proposal put forward by a feministblogs.org writer as an alternative to the formula used by expert PUAs: "Shake my hand. [Say] 'Hi, my name is…' Treat me like a human being. Avoid seeing women as conquests and men as competition."
An article in the Houston Press claimed that the seduction community "isn't the lechfest it might sound like." The article quotes the webmaster of fastseduction.com defending the community: "It's no more deceptive than push-up bras or heels or going to the gym to work out…This isn't just a game of words and seduction, it's an overall life improvement." Strauss says, "I really think all of these routines and manipulations are just a way for a guy to get his foot in the door so that if a woman connects with him, she can still choose him," and that seduction techniques "can be used for good or evil!" He argues that "women are incredibly intuitive — the creepy guys with bad intentions don't do nearly as well as the guys who love and respect women."
Several writers describe observing men in the seduction community first-hand. Some women recount experiences with men they believed to be pickup artists who tried to "pick them up," and some men recount trying out pickup techniques. A columnist for The Independent describes a negative experience with a man she believed was a pickup artist and used a lot of "negs" on her: "The problem is that some guys clearly don't know when to quit."
An article in San Francisco Magazine recounts the experience the blogger "Dolly," who is the "author of the popular sex blog The Truth about Cocks and Dolls" had with the seduction community. According to the article, Dolly was:[...] put off by PUAs at first. But after she met more, including two from San Francisco, she wrote a letter to the Village Voice defending them, in response to the paper’s negative article on the subject in March. “PUAs try to create a fun, positive, and exciting experience for the woman,” Dolly wrote. “The credo many follow is ‘Leave her better than you found her.’ What’s so bad about that? That they want to get laid, too? Guess what? Guys have always wanted sex and will continue to want sex. You can’t fault them for finally discovering methods that are successful.—
Jaimal Yogis, the author of the article, reports trying out some of the teachings of PickUp 101 and describes "having an epiphany: I can talk to anyone." For an article for the Times Online, Hugo Rifkind participated in a seminar by Neil Strauss. Rifkind describes initially struggling with seduction techniques, eventually learning to attract women's interest, and then feeling guilty. Rifkind writes, "After a little more practice, my 'game' is improving dramatically. I can open with fluency, and there’s an injection of confidence which comes from knowing exactly what you are going to say next." When he attracts a woman's attention, "she is — quite honestly — looking at me like I’m the most fascinating person she’s ever met. As a human being and, perhaps more crucially, as somebody with a girlfriend, I feel like absolute scum."
After spending three days immersed in a Mystery Method Corp (now Love Systems) seminar, Gene Weingarten expressed his uneasiness about "a step by step tutorial for men in how to pick up women, make them comfortable in your presence, and bed them, ideally within seven hours of your first meeting" and wondered aloud, "Is there something inherently wrong with the notion of seduction as a classroom-taught skill, complete with a long hierarchy of 'lines' that work, seemingly spontaneous topics of conversation that are anything but spontaneous, tricks for seeming 'vulnerable', and tips on how to behave so as to deliver subtle but effective nonverbal inducements to intimacy?"
The media attention and rapid growth of the seduction community has led to commercialization and competition. Teachers of seduction tactics sell workshops, books, e-books, DVDs, and CDs over the internet. In The Game, Strauss describes the competition between seduction gurus.
- ^ a b c d Strauss, Neil (25 January 2004). "He Aims! He Shoots! Yes!!". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 12 May 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5ydDj9R8U. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- ^ Jay Valens (3 March 2002). "alt.seduction.fast FAQ and history". http://www.fastseduction.com/asf-faq.shtml. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
- ^ Bill Forman (8 February 2006). "Working Overtime on the Seduction Line". Metroactive. Metro Publishing Inc. http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/02.08.06/nlp-0606.html. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- ^ Jenny Yuen (13 April 2008). "Disgraced doctor is T.O's seduction guru". Toronto Sun. Sun Media. http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2008/12/31/7891486.html. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- ^ a b Kristian Gravenor (14 July 2005). "Seduction for Dummies". Montreal Mirror. Communications Gratte-Ciel Ltée. http://www.montrealmirror.com/2005/071405/news2.html. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- ^ Aimee Levitt (9 April 2008). "Cock and Awe". Riverfront Times. http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2008-04-09/news/cock-and-awe-st-louis-pickup-artists-rule-the-roost/3. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- ^ Alex Molotkow (2 April 2008). "Portrait of a Pickup Artist". Eye Weekly. Star Media Group. http://www.eyeweekly.com/city/features/article/22843. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- ^ "Lair List". Fast Seduction 101. Learn The Skills Corporation. 10 July 2010. http://www.fastseduction.com/lairpage.shtml. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- ^ a b George Lianne (29 August 2005). "Q&A with Author Neil Strauss". Maclean's. Kenneth Whyte. http://www.macleans.ca/culture/books/article.jsp?content=20050829_111329_111329. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- ^ Megan McArdle (12 July 2010). "Pickup Artists: The Girliest of Men". The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company. http://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2010/07/pickup-artists-the-girliest-of-men/59578/. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
- ^ a b Strauss, p. 298
- ^ Deborah Netburn (31 August 2005). "Danger: pickup artists ahead". Los Angeles Times. Eddy Hartenstein. http://www.latimes.com/features/lifestyle/cl-et-game31aug31,0,1782296.story. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- ^ a b Hugo Rifkind (3 September 2005). "Operation pick-up". The Sunday Times. Times Newspapers Limited. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,20029-1766167,00.html. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- ^ a b Liese Spencer (12 September 2005). "Revealed: the dark arts of the ladykiller". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/s2.cfm?id=1923372005. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- ^ a b c Ganahl, Jane (25 November 2005). "Ahead of the game". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/09/25/LVGPHEQA941.DTL. Retrieved 22 December 2006.
- ^ Rafael Behr (25 September 2005). "Girls, if you see this man, run a mile". The Observer. Guardian Media Group. http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/biography/0,6121,1577189,00.html. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- ^ Johnson, Andrew (28 August 2005). "Passing on 'foolproof' pick-up tips. Is this 'grooming' for adults?". London: The Independent. http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/books/news/article308631.ece. Retrieved 22 December 2006.
- ^ Morris, Dave (13 October 2005). "Get laid, get fucked". Eye Weekly. Archived from the original on 26 June 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20060626123314/http://eye.net/eye/issue/issue_10.13.05/arts/artsweek.html. Retrieved 22 December 2006.
- ^ Malisow, Craig (2 June 2005). "Keeping Score". Houston Press. http://www.houstonpress.com/2005-06-02/news/keeping-score/2. Retrieved 27 October 2009.
- ^ Townsend, Catherine (28 March 2006). "Sleeping Around". London: The Independent. http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/article354165.ece. Retrieved 22 December 2006.
- ^ a b Yogis, Jaimal (2006). "What does it take to get a date in this town?". San Francisco Magazine. Archived from the original on 21 October 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20061021021508/http://www.sanfranmag.com/archives/view_story/1306/. Retrieved 22 December 2006.
- ^ Gene Weingarten (5 March 2008). "The Gene Pool: Sex and Deceit". The Washington Post. Katharine Weymouth. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/community/groups/index.html?plckForumPage=ForumDiscussion&plckDiscussionId=Cat:a70e3396-6663-4a8d-ba19-e44939d3c44fForum:a8bc6fd8-cf9f-43ca-99a4-05fdb4342697Discussion:86aaac5a-5b7f-4a26-9cb9-03b94121ca42. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- Strauss, Neil (2005). The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. ReganBooks. ISBN 0-06-055473-8.
Seduction community Concepts Key people MediaThe Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists · The Mystery Method See AlsoLove Systems · PickUp 101 · ABCs of Attraction
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