The death of picking up women and why this isn't necessarily a good thing


It was September 2005, Neil Strauss' revolutionary book which delved into the mysterious world of attracting women, 'The Game', had just been released. Suddenly a movement of men erupted, solely focused on improving their chances with the opposite sex and Strauss became an overnight success.

The death of picking up women and why this isn't necessarily a good thing

Within the next 5 years, the world of 'pickup' was consistently moving from strength to strength, almost every major city in the US, Europe and Australia had a 'lair', an inner network of men who would discuss attracting women and organize events. These men could often been seen operating at clubs and bars together on Friday and Saturday nights, building their social circles and status.

The death of picking up women and why this isn't necessarily a good thing

Many coaches and companies emerged to ride the success of this new wave, some of which bringing in millions of dollars a year. Notable ones included PUA Training and Real Social Dynamics. An honorable mention is Simple Pickup, who achieved great success on YouTube by bringing a 'lite' version of pickup to the masses with their funny videos.

Nevertheless, as the culture grew, concern from the outside mainstream society also grew. It seemed like men being the logic crazed things that they are, were viewing women as some kind of code that once armed with the secrets of 'game', could be cracked, resulting in unlimited sex. Of course, you don't need me to tell you that this type of thinking is complete bullshit at best, whilst also dehumanizing to women at worst. But unfortunately the pickup movement did unfortunately attract many men who had this way of thinking.

Things hit a low point in November 2014 when videos emerged of RSD instructor, Julien Blanc, appearing to treat women like sex objects. The entire pickup industry was brought into shame and was hanging by a thread. Blanc was forced to apologize, but it didn't stop him being banned from entering many countries.

I myself had just turned 18 at the time and having recently gone through a breakup and lacking in happiness, I looked to pickup as a way of increasing my social confidence. I'd never dared to approach girls during school and always relied on girls making all the effort and approaching me. Pickup seemed to give me a way to take charge of my dating life. But like many, I was turned off pickup after the Julian Blanc affair, to the point that I cancelled my ticket to a RSD seminar I was due to attend (lucky I did this, because it ended up being complete chaos and those who did attend were shamed and attacked by feminist groups)

Since this time, the rise of feminism in recent years has made it harder and harder for pickup to be seen as a viable way of succeeding with women. Because of the actions of a few, the entire culture has been shamed to the point that simply approaching a woman is deemed to be perpetuating a culture of rape. Pickup artists have gone from being considered suave operators who had the eyes of women to a collection of fuckboys and festering creeps.

The final nail in the coffin came in 2015, when Neil Strauss, the man who started it all, released his book called 'The Truth'. In this book he talked about how the game had ruined his relationships and made him a 'sex addict'. He has since left the world of pickup behind.

The lairs have since dried up and we find ourselves in what I consider to be a dark time. The divide between men and women couldn't be any greater. On one had we have radical feminism and the other hand we have Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), many MGTOW guys are actually ex pickup guys who became disillusioned with game and ended up resenting women, which I find to be a very sad thing.

The death of picking up women and why this isn't necessarily a good thing

I'm not here to say that pickup was perfect, far from it. However at its essence it developed a core drive for men to increase their confidence and charisma, becoming a more desirable prospect for women and thus bringing men and women closer to each other. It wasn't all about having sex with as many women as possible, certainly it might have been for some, but many guys used pickup to give them the confidence to talk to that girl they'd been crushing on for years...Resulting in many happy relationships and even marriages. It resulted in far more productivity and bettering of oneself than the often toxic MGTOW community who talk about how happy they are whilst simultaneously bitching about women at every opportunity.

Thank you for reading ~

The death of picking up women and why this isn't necessarily a good thing
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Most Helpful Guys

  • englisc
    I discovered it back in 2007, after reading The Game myself. At the time I was a really anxious, socially awkward 16 year old kid, struggling to understand why I couldn't just be normal and get a girlfriend like most guys my age.

    I got into pick-up, read tons of material, and eventually put it into practice. Eventually I got to a level where meeting women wasn't a problem at all. However in order to do that you have to use a bit of common sense and not take the idiots seriously. There are some good guys, but you have to be able to tell the difference.

    The trouble with the PUA community is that many of the so-called experts would struggle to get laid in a brothel. They have no business teaching guys how to get better with women when they're no good themselves, and they're so fucking weird. Some of them are delusional and genuinely believe that they're good, while others are just looking to fool gullible men into buying their bullshit. That's the only "game" they have, convincing other men that they're good with women.

    Think about the kinds of guys who go there to get help - they're usually guys with low levels of social awareness. Completely clueless. Many of them are probably autistic. That's why they're so easily scammed and this makes it even more fucked up.

    The things most women worry about when it comes to the PUA stuff e. g. tricking women, manipulating them etc. aren't really things to worry about because those are the kinds of techniques taught by weirdos, and they just don't even work. The "techniques" such as "negs" for example, where a guy makes back-handed compliment to lower a girl's self-esteem. Doesn't work, it just makes you look like an asshole. And it was this guy, known as "Mystery" who came up with that:

    The death of picking up women and why this isn't necessarily a good thing

    He literally goes out dressed like that, and performs magic tricks to try to get women. That should tell you all you need to know.

    The good ones however will teach you things such as self-improvement, how to be authentic, no tricks or manipulative bullshit. Most of all how to be normal while you do that too, rather than saying and doing weird shit.

    The PUA community has died down because many have gone on to marry and have kids so they're not active anymore. Many others have been exposed as liars. Of course when so many people say that what they learned from a certain guy didn't work people become suspicious and look deeper. This has caused a lot of distrust towards it understandably. But there are still some good ones out there, and the information is still there for those who want it. It helped me a lot that's for sure.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Kkaos

      Very well said, I agree with you. Especially the stuff about Mystery haha.

  • lightbulb27
    Excellent take! I had no idea the whole thing imploded. Like anything, it can go a bad direction and certainly, the men were abusing women from what I saw. But within it... they decoded women and I myself learned a great deal so that got past my roadblocks and could engage with women. We have to learn, how and where do we learn? There are women out there "playing the game" as well on both sides, it's not like it is one side abusing women, although they sometimes were.

    We need courses/training like this, not really pickup, but building confidence, understanding the opposite sex, how to have successful relationships, deal with issues, be the man, etc.. Feminists will choak on some of it... but we are opposite sexes.

    Reality is... it has to be done in private, government does not want men being succesful with women or productive relationships with offspring. At 8-9 billion humans, we face an exponent curve. You think they are going to train people how to be productive and make many offspring? Nope, they will do the opposite in every way possible so we fizzle out a bit. That to me... is what is going on, by intent plan or indirectly.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Kkaos

      Couldn't agree more with what you've said here. Thanks a lot, appreciate it.

    • Unit1

      "We need courses/training like this, not really pickup, but building confidence, understanding the opposite sex, how to have successful relationships, deal with issues, be the man, etc.. Feminists will choak on some of it... but we are opposite sexes."

      I get what you mean. None of those "how to be alpha" or "become the bad boy, that every woman will get wet of" or any of those bullshit dating coaching.
      There is some senior around here, who keeps posting links to the rational male blog. I've taken some reads from it and it seems the kind of thing, that young men could benefit from in scoring with women.
      It includes some examples (some with a YouTube video), explaining what's wrong in these examples and how a confident man would handle the situation. Unfortunately its infected with those ambiguous alpha/beta bullshit terms and it's a whole book!

Most Helpful Girl

  • That_Skinny_Chick
    I sympathize with men who are sold the lie from childhood onward that their worth is determined by how much they "smash"

    I've seen guys shame eachother mercilessly in highschool for admitting their virginity. toxic/false masculinity like that is real and i feel bad that its led so many men to buy into these scams and cultish subcultures.

    Mental health is a crisis issue in America, that much is certain.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Kkaos

      True. A man will be shamed for having too little sex and a woman will be shamed for having too much. The double think is ridiculous.

    • englisc

      I think that just as Kkaos said in the take, women and probably some men to misunderstand the reasons that guys get into it in the first place. When I first got into it, as mentioned in my own comment I was an extremely anxious kid with poor social skills. Like any normal 16 year old I just wanted a girlfriend like most other guys - that's completely natural - but I was stuck wondering why I couldn't. It was depressing. And it had nothing to do with wanting to "smash" as many women as possible at all. The large majority of guys they get into it for the same reason.

      I don't think it has to do with false/toxic masculinity, just anxious guys being genuinely confused as to how to talk to women and date in the modern world. The dating game has changed a lot of course over the last few decades after all.

    • Unit1

      This problem is not present only in the US. I'm sure its a problem literally everywhere.
      Idiocy is not limited to a certain region.

      The gender wars is best left out for the others to fight and get damaged by the feminazis and rabid MGTOW.

    • Show All

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • MzAsh
    Pickup started as how men can improve, approach, and meet women but unfortunately it went off into being more about how men can lie their assed of and get naive teen girls drunk enough to sleep with them after one night at the club. The skeezy men ruined it for you, so thank them.
    • Kkaos

      That's true. Another big problem were the socially inept losers who didn't know when to give up and ended up harassing women. None of them were replicating anything that a successful person would have taught them so I don't know where they got their crap from (other than each other). Thanks for the comment.

    • DWD94

      Why be against PUA tactics though if it helps guys get laid? I'm not talking about the harmful behaviors that border on sexual assault/harassment. That stuff is wrong. I'm mainly talking about things like pumping&dumping, lying to women/telling them what they wanna hear so they'll sleep with you, talking to multiple women at once. If it helps them get laid, why be against it?

    • MzAsh

      Men only think they want to get laid easy, and they do but they don’t appreciate or respect the women who do.

      My career as a writer and a relationship consultant is helping women to command better respect by being hard to obtain.

      Men don’t like it at first, but they love it in the end.

    • Show All
  • Oram52
    Its just gone more underground I think instead of being mainstream or out in the open. My cousin is into this PUA stuff. Used to send me stuff. I didn't really get much of it tbh, seemed a little quirky to me. Different techniques, models etc they were designed to bring about specific results. There were negative things like negging as well which feminists picked up on and manipulated.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with picking up women, chatting up women, wanting to have sex with women. If guys go out and talk to girls they'll see this feminist hysteria doesn't exist in real world. Women love attention. Most women understand there are some sleazy guys but most men they interact with are decent guys. So any negative focus on PUA stuff should not be taken as an excuse to not be proactive.

    I think PUA community themselves are to blame. They didn't dissociate and distance themselves from negative aspects. There was also the problem with negative aspects in Manosphere like red pill guys, many of them blatantly misogynist. They were also on one hand offering ways to hook up with girls but at the same time calling them hoes and sluts. I've seen even PUA guys calling girls sluts yet have no problem hooking up with these girls. Its hypocritical and counter intuitive for themselves.

    You're right minority ruined it for majority but I don't think it were just few bad apples or small minority. These people were decent margin of PUA community. As soon culturally we saw rise of political correctness PUA ended up in firing line, and were roasted by feminists and others.

    I personally don't think the material they come up with has any considerable impact in getting them girls. I think once some frame work is provided to these guys they go out and interact with girls. They gain confidence, their conversational skills improve and they gain more experience. This experience not the techniques what helps them. They need to emphasize developing personality and characteristics, focus on emotional intelligence. From little I've read and seen about PUA stuff over 80% of guys come into this community just to get a girlfriend.

    I don't think PUA community is gone, there is a lot of PUA stuff and they're making good money. Many guys in the age of social media are even worse at social skills than before, so they find there way into PUA stuff. They're just gone underground I think. Once PC culture dies they will start working in the open again.
    • Kkaos

      You've definitely made some good points here and I agree with you. I've noticed the companies that are still around have tried to broaden their market appeal to women as well by hiring female coaches. The networks I was in have all died, I remember one was peaking at 300 online users at one time back in 2012 and now it's lucky to get 5. Perhaps they'll attract more interest once they get the confidence to get back out into the open again.

  • Ellie-V
    Stuff like this is why I support nuclear war. The human race just needs a do over. No matter what it is, people just take shit way too far. No one knows how to have a balanced middle ground. Just toxic all around, men and women.
    • Gotta love someone who feels back about the lack of "middle ground" but who calls for genocide.

    • Ellie-V

      Genocide is a much more beneficial extreme than women falsely accusing people of rape and men turning to violence over not having sex.

    • Kkaos

      You sound like a doomer. Basically society is fucked, the world is fucked and those who know it and who aren't obsessed with modern day consumerism are simply waiting for some big catastrophic event to completely destabilize everything so we can start over. Fair enough lol.

    • Show All
  • VaIiant
    I'm sad we now live in a society where women are no longer seen as a priority and of value, and where men are no longer expected to chase women. I will never be one to approach a man, call me sexist all you want. If a man doesn't have the courage to make the first move, well.
    • You not wanting to make the first move on a guy has something to do with you not having to deal with rejection? I mean, there is power in being the one that get's approached. You get to chose, he is the one being evaluated and it's a ego boost. Putting yourself in that position is hard. Not everyone can do it.

    • Oram52

      As a guy I do agree with you. But what do you think about PUA then, also what about feminist hysteria?

    • I'm not afraid to approach but 99% of women are not marriageable so i don't bother unless i have a reason to think she might be worthy of marriage.

    • Show All
  • MackToday
    Men should meet women, date women and select a mate to form a family. They should not "pick up" women using some manual full of tricks a human trafficker might use to catch victims. Loose sex tears down the civilization that we built to help us survive. If we do that, competing civilizations will simply take over.
    • Kkaos

      I think that's a misconstrued idea of pickup. There are no secret tricks that will get women to like you, anyone claiming that is simply doing so as part of some phony marketing scheme. What you can do is improve your social confidence and become a more desirable person to be around and that's essentially what genuine pickup teaches. It also applies to many other facets of life, such as job interviews.

      I realize there may be a reputation that these guys just want to have 'loose sex', but pickup is essentially just the process of "meeting women", what others do afterwards is up to them. I know a few who are now in committed relationships.

  • ronaldo75
    Nah fuck that. My life's crowning achievement isn't sex and women anymore. STOP PUTTING THAT MUCH VALUE ON PUSSY. it's 2019 for fucks sake. How are MGTOW toxic? They give women exactly what they say they want - for men to leave them alone. men are dogs. men are pigs. men are disgusting... but then white when men walk away?
    • Kkaos

      I wouldn't say pick up means your life revolves around women necessarily, I know it sounds counter-intuitive. For instance the first time I did it, I didn't even message the numbers I did get. For me it was simply the process of developing my self confidence and social skills. But that's not to say I didn't find enjoyment from talking to attractive women either, I did. It made me happy, even when I got rejected I was happy, because I was out having fun and challenging myself.

      If you're happy without women, all the power to you. I wouldn't say all MGTOW guys are toxic, but I look at the main MGTOW communities online and the common trend is negative talk about women. It's like the guys are constantly looking for reasons to make themselves feel better about ditching women, I don't consider that happiness, I consider that resentment.

  • hellacray
    What lairs are you talking about? You make it sound like some sort of cult.

    Also this is so stupid I mean women shame men for approaching women. Yet women never approach men.

    I mean the whole point of having "game" is because women created it.
    • Kkaos

      Haha it does sound 'cultish', I guess any group will develop their own lingo and for whatever reason they liked the sound of 'lair'. Despite it's name it was all pretty innocent stuff. Usually networked on forums, attend group dinners where they'd discuss life, careers, women etc. Have guest speakers and obviously go out and be wingmen for each other in bars etc.

      You've got a good point. There are plenty of women who simply wait for men to make the moves on them. You can't have it both ways.

    • hellacray

      I'm just surprised that there's meetings for something like this.

      Well hey thanks to women pick up artists stay in business.

  • Pulimuli
    Pickup is good to increase social confidence but not much else. If you are like me when i was younger you have a hard time talking to people you dont know, especially women its good practice to just talk to random strangers to see that its actually not a big deal

    It will However not make women attracted to you just because you display 'confidence'
    • Kkaos

      Yeah true. I'd say it can build on attraction that already exists, but never create it from nothing.

  • DDpsy
    I can still pick up most women, carry them around... then throw them quite far. Unfortunately, that indeed becomes much harder as time passes since 50%+ of women are overweight or obese. One needs a strong fucking back these days.¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Craftsman
    Increasing self-confidence and the ability to communicate with the 'opposite sex' was indeed a noble goal. The problem is that some started trying to make money at it, and that lead to the newest guy trying to top the ones before, taking it from a helpful position to something utterly insanely stupidly ridiculous at times. I've heard there's similar stuff for women to get successful with men, but not nearly as demeaning as that taught to men on the prowl.
    The thing is, we are all humans, and have our insecurities. When we all treat each other as human beings to be with rather than conquests we get much happier. Pickup lines don't work well, in my experience. Honesty does. Both sexes, I think, have BS filters enough to sort out the real people from the pretenders.
    • Kkaos

      I agree, well said. Thank you for the comment.

  • bamesjond0069
    The death of pickup is its one thing to pump and dump a skank at a night club, its another to lie to and pressure girls who are trying to be good girls and make false promises and dump them. Somewhere men started treating ladies like skanks and skanks like ladies.
  • AircraftCarrier
    I used to be a MGTOW or throw (teens going their own way) but then I realised that it was just a developmnetal phase built on irrational prejudice. I think we need to restore this art, when we go with our biological programming we are often all happier.
  • ChefCurry
    Women are just pissed off there are more attractive women and they'll never be them. Guys are pissed off it's the same guys getting laid over and over. But I'm over here cooking food and saying fuck you all lmao. People need some real hobbies and stop being such little pussies and worrying what others think about them
  • No_Archons
    Women have been bitching about men for the better part of a centurt, mgtow is a natural reaction. How dumb would a man be to chase a woman these days?
    • Kkaos

      I don't think men should chase women, however a mutual interaction where both parties are putting in effort is good.

    • Step 1 woman should be worth chasing lol... sexbots will spawn a new gen of women who are worth more than their puss

  • Liam_Hayden
    The death of the pickup would be a good thing. At its core it treats people like they are objects to be used for pleasure.
    • Kkaos

      How much time have you spent with this sort of thing in order to reach that conclusion? It's very difficult to get someone to like you enough in order to give you 'pleasure' whilst simultaneously treating them like an object.

    • Oram52

      We are by nature "objects" then, both men and women. Your comment makes it seems like women don't enjoy being picked up or casual sex. If we didn't desire each other as objects our species will cease to exist.

  • monkeynutts
    Very good take, it's a topic that doesn't get discussed often, and not from your perspective.
    • Kkaos

      Thanks, appreciate it.

    • Being a pick up artist to me just means you are a man who is able to create a rapport with a woman quickly, and also to establish trust, respect, and an attraction.

      I don't think this acquired and learned skill will never stop being useful.

  • Robertcw
    Pickup isn’t dead. People have just forgotten how great and fun it can be.
  • HungLikeAHorsefly
    You know, I've been pretty critical of the PUA movement because I feel like it reinforces the idea that appealing to women is what makes a man and that the pursuit of sex is the penultimate goal to be achieved. Men should be improving themselves to be better people; getting laid is just a side effect of that endeavor.

    But you make a good point - if the pursuit of sex gets dudes to improve themselves *when they otherwise wouldn't have*, then maybe it's not so bad. I just don't like the idea of a bunch of one dimensional guys wandering around thinking that's all there is to being a man.
  • Browneye57
    This is all news to me. But then I've been off-market for some 30 years. Oh dear.
    You guys are FUCT. ;)
  • Kyle_Apricot
    So, what are you complaining for? Whinnying doesn't solve problems. You think there's a PUA void that needs to be filled minus those issues, then fill it.
    • Kkaos

      I wouldn't consider this anywhere close to whining or complaining.

    • Are you going to do something about this issue?

    • Kkaos

      Depends what you class "doing something" as. Would I encourage guys to approach girls they like? Yep. Would I start up my own coaching business? Definitely not.

  • robocop666
    The man you need to research is player supreme he teaches material that the pickup community wants to hide from people. He was invited to the events in that book and he refused. What Neil Strauss teaches is dangerous its total garbage and doesn't work.
  • GreatnessBack
    I used to be a reader of the pickup art. I read lots of articles on getting women and the like. However, I was never good at it to the same degree. It was until I read this one article that changed my outlook on it.
    To summarize, it basically said, I'm a man and she's a woman. My masculinity KNOWS how to speak to her femininity. I did NOT need a lot of tricks to get the girl. I just needed a few concepts like an innate confidence and courage. This landed me my wife and that was a decade ago.

    in my opinion, most of these PUA guys are still insecure inside trying tricks to get girls and are wondering why they are failing. They use the tricks to get the girl, but cannot keep her once the facade fades.

    It's a damn shame.
  • Pejtu
    You stupid to believe that ever worked dude "the game" ;)
    I believe u got 0 experience with women and u believe this haha :P
    • Kkaos

      Not quite sure what you're talking about. I never went into an analysis of what 'works' and what doesn't. But you're welcome to believe whatever you like.

  • Jimhflmn
    Ignore mgtow. It is simply feminism for men, and is thus a blight on normal women and men.
  • Bananaman177
    At first guys were thrilled to find a way of manipulating women just like training a dog.

    But eventually once every guy realized how easily programmable women are, that you really can train them just like a dog, and get them to beg for treats.

    It kind of took all the thrill out of it, when you know that the woman you're talking to is just an automata, an NPC, responding to your manipulation in pre-programmed ways. Men lost all respect for women once we figured out how basic and animalistic they are.
  • zagor
    I don't think PUA was ever as big a thing as people made it out to be online.
  • Good take
  • iFarted
    Ohh shit, joe from JK.. they came a long way.
  • ForbesMagazine
    Feminists should be sent to the Yukon.
  • Anonymous
    What exactly is pick up? Sound like a cult. Are pick up guys dangerous?
    • Robertcw

      No. They’re not dangerous at all. If anything they’re less dangerous than the guys out just being roust naturally.

      Pickup artists are socially awkward men who struggle with women, and so via trial and error reverse engineer methods and tactics that produce results with women. Every time someone figures out something that works, he shares it with the community so they can all go out and emulate it and find their own success too.

      In many ways they are actually competing with the guys naturally good with women for women.

    • Robertcw

      Being rowdy* naturally

    • Robertcw

      They are usually very safe to be around. All their personas are just facades to create sexual attraction in the moment. out of character pua’s are harmless men. Perhaps they have social anxiety or are geeks, or something to that effect or whereabouts.

      For an example of pickup, look up the ‘simple pickup’ YouTube channel.

  • Anonymous
    Guys should just do what they’ve always wanted deep down, which is to pick up each other.
    • Yes. Lol.

    • Apparently they already are.

    • Robertcw

      What makes you say that?

    • Show All
  • Anonymous
    Cool take man. Thanks for writing it. I do think you missed something BIG though. I'm pretty sure what REALLY did in pick up wasn't the feminists but technology. Tinder killed pick up.
    • Robertcw

      That’s for sure.

    • Kkaos

      Thanks for bringing that up, you're very right. I was going to add that in but realized it could be a whole new subject in itself. Especially with how money hungry tinder is these days and the fact many guys are having no luck whatsoever given how superficial it is.

      I think tinder has its place, but it's a sad thing if staring at pixels is now the substitute for real life interactions.

    • Anonymous

      That's the thing. The fact that many guys won't get great results with Tinder lead us back to two of the really important elements of Pick Up which are self improvement and sociability.

    • Show All
  • Anonymous
    Look up Chris Parker, he actually knows his stuff and lacks the narcissism that seems to fuel Julien Blanc. "Pickup" is a blank slate term onto which people can project whatever they want. There's no single "pickup manifesto" that the whole community latches onto, and many of the "manipulative" fringe elements are actually looked down upon by guys in the community who see through the marketing hype and understand women's nature.
    • Kkaos

      Awesome, thanks. I'll check him out. You're very right.

  • Anonymous
    Went through a breakup at 18, lucky you, many guys out there don't have girlfriends at all until well into their 20s or even older
    • Kkaos

      True, I certainly wasn't expecting anyone to feel sorry for me though.