Imagine convincing a lovely stranger to sleep with you within a few minutes of meeting them – or seducing three women into sharing their telephone numbers in the time it requires to finish a set white.
These are the type of promises created by the UK’s professional pick-up artists (PUAs) – and they are not just words, but additionally stunts which are filmed in true to life and shared on YouTube to prove that it works. Seduction is big business. The men behind these videos often lead lavish lifestyles teaching others to accomplish the same, charging around £3,000 for a week’s worth of lessons.
Do these men have probably the most enviable occupation on earth? Or may be the public backlash that often includes this type of work a) justified and, b) more hassle than it’s worth?
Pick-up artistry hit mainstream awareness after Neil Strauss ‘ best-selling book THE OVERALL GAME was published in 2005. The book details Strauss’ life as he learns a number of psychological seductive routines taught by eccentric PUAs with bizarre nicknames such as for example Mystery” and Tyler Durden”.
It sparked worldwide intrigue at that time, but in modern times even Strauss has changed his position and today’s PUAs are distancing themselves from its subliminal ideas.
“Area of the PUA scene is approximately manipulation. That’s why it really is viewed as creepy,” says 27-year-old Michael Valmont , who has 46,000+ YouTube subscribers and claims to possess dated a lot more than 200 women. Girls don’t wish to be manipulated. I don’t condone that.”
“I discovered THE OVERALL GAME and the primary lesson I got as a result is that people can transform.”
If you see the YouTube channels of modern PUAs, many titles talk about overcoming anxiety, approaching women with honesty as well as tackle subjects like erection dysfunction
Nevertheless, Michael describes his skillset as superpowers” and runs a weekly event called the Saturday Sarge”, where a large number of student PUAs descend onto the streets of London to practice their pick-up lines. He says he was painfully shy before he started studying seduction.
Johnny Berba , 32, has a similar backstory. Having suffered from social anxiety through his teens, he discovered The Game and spent years practising seduction on the streets of London, sometimes for up to 14 hours a day.
The former shelf-stacker can now charge £90 an hour for one-on-one coaching, but it’s not all sex, money and YouTube superstardom.
He recently featured in BBC3 documentary Britain’s Most Sexist Men, accused of teaching harassment and promoting hatred against women. For many people, the line between pick-up artist and misogynist is still heavily blurred.
You need only witness the controversy around infamous PUA Julien Blanc , who was banned from entering the UK in 2014, accused of promoting sexual assault against women. Who aspires to that?
I don’t get upset with people who criticise me,” Johnny says. What I teach affects every area of our lives from success with women to socialising at home with your family. It’s not socially acceptable or normal to do it but people need to try it and see for themselves.”
If there has been a PUA witch-hunt, it hasn’t had a damning effect on their bank balances.
Their main income comes from live bootcamps, where students are instructed to approach women and are given immediate feedback. Bootcamps take place on the streets, as well as in bars and nightclubs. If you’ve seen Hitch, starring Will Smith, you’ll know how it works.
Other PUAs, including 31-year-old Simon Spencer , have paid-for areas of their website featuring hidden camera footage of live pick-ups. The women being approached don’t know they’re being filmed, although their identities are concealed. These are broken down in intricate detail, from the opener all the way to getting a girl’s number or even leading her home.
If it sounds sinister (and not all that different to what Strauss was promoting a decade ago), PUAs point to the fact that they’re helping lonely guys who lack the confidence or social skills to enjoy dating.
“I’ve helped men of all ages improve their dating lives. I had one client who had been married for 15 years, another who was a virgin at 30 and now lives a normal dating life,” says Simon.
Michael tells us his greatest success was helping a client with muscular dystrophy lead a healthy dating life. Another client suffered from Crohn’s disease and had a colostomy bag, yet now dates freely.
So what advice does a professional PUA have for us normals? And could it be really mysgonist? We’ll enable you to decide…
Ignore canned lines and focus on honest gestures. Girls can sense when you wish something from their website or you’re nervous concerning the outcome, so just focus on enjoying the procedure of meeting women,” says Johnny.
Avoid becoming ‘the interviewer’, asking question after mundane question, rather than expressing your personal personality, says Simon. He doesn’t flirt or tease, he just allows them to speak about what they would like to discuss. He’s afraid of showing his intent in the event he loses her.”
More than anything, focus on building confidence so as to summon the courage to chat up a woman to begin with.
This is clearly no problem for the coaches. All three boast that they’ve bedded a huge selection of women. Last ROMANTIC DAYS CELEBRATION, Michael fiImed himself successfully approaching women with only a rose in Westfield Shopping Centre.
Men aren’t direct, particularly in Britain,” he says. Women love a man who’s bold and courageous enough to get this done.”
Whatever you think about their practices, perhaps that is the only PUA lesson you truly need.

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