The seduction community itself originated with Ross Jeffries and his students. In the late s, Jeffries taught workshops, promoted a collection of neuro-linguistic programming NLP techniques called "speed seduction" SS , and published a short book of his techniques, How to Get the Women You Desire into Bed.
In , Lewis De Payne, then a student of Jeffries, founded the newsgroup alt. The community was brought to greater mainstream awareness with the drama film Magnolia , in which Tom Cruise portrayed a charismatic yet embittered and emotionally troubled pickup guru who was loosely modeled on Ross Jeffries.
The Game reached the New York Times Bestseller List , and made known pickup and seduction techniques to a wider audience. Within the community, seduction lairs are underground meeting groups 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. These elements are used as resources for men who want to learn to become well-versed in how to successfully attract women. For example, they reject the notion that men should attempt to woo women by spending money on them e. 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. The community claims that these concepts derive from scientific 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 ".
Pickup artist[ edit ] A pickup artist commonly abbreviated PUA is a person who practices finding, attracting, and seducing sexual partners.
Such a person purportedly abides by a certain system deemed effective by that community in their attempts to seduce partners. The use of pickup in this context, slang for making a casual acquaintance with a stranger in anticipation of sexual relations, was popularized by the book How to Pick Up Girls by Eric Weber,  and by Pick-Up Times, a short-lived s magazine, and the semi-autobiographical romantic comedy The Pick-up Artist , written and directed by James Toback.
The pickup artist Roosh V has self-published 14 books describing techniques for seducing women. The culture surrounding pickup has spawned an entire industry servicing those who want to improve their social and seduction skills with consultations and in-field training. In , following widely supported public petitions, U. These range from approaches that are very indirect, and which stress starting with casual conversation before building into a flirt, to methods in which attraction is communicated very openly and directly.
Most PUAs acknowledge the distinction between so-called "inner game" and "outer game", where the former relates to techniques directed towards increasing one's self-confidence and mindset, whilst the latter are about actual interaction with real people. Inner game may involve taking greater care in one's looks and presentation, identifying and neutralising self-defeating mental habits also known as "limiting beliefs" , and developing mental routines to build confidence. Outer game involves actual interaction with individuals and groups of people, from body language to conversation.
The pick-up artist may frequent a self-help group and converse with MRA's men's rights activists , incels involuntary celibates , and other PUA's to discuss seduction tips. Members of the community believe in achieving success with women through putatively 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. The Mystery Method describes seduction as a linear process involving three stages establishing attraction, building comfort, and seduction each of which involves a variety of techniques. Conor Friedersdorf lambasted the use of negging by pick-up artists, but admitted that, based on his observations, negging did appear to be effective at generating attraction from some women.
This includes tactics from those which are mutually beneficial — such as being okay with the woman being on her period — to "callous manipulation" and rape. Members of the seduction community often practice approaching and opening repetitively; some have done thousands of approaches. Strauss describes a pickup artist who did approaches in one day. Criticism[ edit ] Having a notorious reputation outside the community, the PUA movement has been described as sexist,  misogynist  pseudoscience,     and subterfuge.
Long Interviews with Hideous Men , criticizes the PUA community as frequently "absurd and sexist", "pushy and problematic" and encouraging adversarial gender roles. However, she also argues that PUA tactics are worth understanding because they are not unique to the PUA community, but instead represent society-wide beliefs and patterns and strategies of human sexual behaviour.
Currie is specifically critical of men giving women the misleading impression that they are interested in engaging in a long-term, emotionally profound, monogamous romantic relationship when those men know in reality that they are really seeking to engage in some form of short-term, non-monogamous, casual sex with these same women. 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".
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 Avoid seeing women as conquests and men as competition. The article quotes the webmaster of confidentup. This isn't just a game of words and seduction, it's an overall life improvement.
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. Catherine Townsend, writing for The Independent , describes a negative experience with a man she believed was a pickup artist and used a lot of "negs" on her: According to the article, Dolly was: That they want to get laid, too?
Guys have always wanted sex and will continue to want sex. 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. As a human being and, perhaps more crucially, as somebody with a girlfriend, I feel like absolute scum. In The Game , Strauss describes the competition between seduction gurus. Academic research[ edit ] An academic paper on the community, published in by Eric C. Hendriks in the journal Cultural Analysis , details the value system guiding successful members of the seduction community based on an international study including participant observation of bootcamp and "lair" meetings in Germany.
Research by Nathan Oesch of the University of Oxford Department of Experimental Psychology confirmed attraction and seduction principles, as described in Strauss' books on the subject, do have a factual basis in social, physiological and evolutionary psychology.