Updated: Dec 11, 2019
Pick-up artistry is a set of techniques used by people who want to “pick up” (attract enough to have sex with) other people.
There are very simple routines to go through:
Have something interesting and distinctive about you (a technique called, and I am not making this up, “peacocking”), and work the room in a lively way. This shows you are open and valuable socially. This is key.
Draw in your target by telling them something interesting about them. Use astrology, a made-up “personality test”, anything. Be very attentive.
Then “Neg” (short for negate) them. Compliment in a backhanded way. Insult or snub even. Do not buy them anything.
Your target now doesn’t feel like they are working at a job (“I’ll be nice to you and buy you a drink so that you will like me and get me laid”); now they are playing a game for attention and approval that is in short supply, and the hope is that their need for validation will kick in.
You’ve set up an arcade where the currency is emotions and esteem. The target will start trying to get you to like them, get you to give your attention and approval, etc.
Because you have social value established, your opinion has weight, and because your approval is scarce instead of abundant, your target will feel the “need” to work for it.
People do unpleasant things for pay and pay to do fun things, instead of the other way around. Make them feel like they need to pay to play, or work to have fun with you, instead of you paying them to do something they'd rather not. That is the principle here.
When you finally consent to have a fling with them, use them and then move on.
I haven’t done these things personally, but evidently they work well on large portions of bar-going patrons. Neil Strauss and Mystery have made lots of money teaching people these concepts, but they aren’t new. Someone taught scientist Richard Feynman back in the 1950s or before (his book, Surely You Must Be Joking, Mr. Feynman is awesome).
Some people have a lot of fun and excitement with the thrill of the chase, night after night. But that isn’t everyone’s style.
Some people pick one person at a time (more or less) and then follow these same steps repeatedly over a longer period of time. Are you in a relationship with a pick-up (con) artist?
They are interesting, charismatic, funny, exciting, smart, eccentric...perfect really. Everything you could possibly want.
They brag about their friends and seem very popular and likable. They are really built up in your mind (not necessarily a warning sign, but usually necessary for the next steps).
They are really interested in you, sometimes almost obsessed (but not in a way that really creeps you out, it’s super endearing and feels like you’re flying).
They open a whole new world to you of things you didn’t know (although you also have a surprising amount of things in common).
They love to teach you, especially about yourself, and how the world works, and how you fit in it. There seems to be no expectations on you, and you just want more.
You are in bliss with them. This is pure magic.
Then...before you really notice it...They start to have problems with you and want things from you, and ask you to promise things no one should or could fulfill.
Instead of being insulted and turning on your heel, your work hard to "improve yourself". They are the expert. They are brilliant. You want that unadulterated enamor they had for you to return.
You try to prove yourself. You work hard to meet expectations.
You can’t be too needy, or wrong-way needy. You can’t disagree or complain. They show you how easy it is to move on from you without a second thought—they are valuable and there are lots of other people around. You step back in line.
They get with you.
You kind of live together. The relationship feels intense but you’re always walking on eggshells. You get abandoned. Then a text... They take you back...It never feels like something that is going to or was ever even really meant to last (despite the words you say to each other) and you can’t really relax.
You are always wrong or at fault somehow. It’s painfully clear you’re a pain in their ass. The damage you do in the relationship is always worse than anything they could do, so they are always justified in the disrespect they give you and never have cause to apologize.
They will decide how, if at all, hurtful they have been.
They are more logical and brilliant, or holier, more experienced, and wiser, or whatever they use as their platform of authority, than you, and so they do not need to listen to or seriously consider your point of view.
Their needs are priority number 1; they will decide which of your needs are important.
You should be honored to do for them; if you aren’t then just stay away.
Compliments, gifts, even every day empathy or helpfulness are very sparing.
You feel isolated and alone...you feel ridiculous as family and friends keep telling you what a terrible deal you have, and yet...there you are, going home with them again, another chronic one night stand with them until the next time you get excised....
Of course, as I’m sure you’ve realized, this is just the lovebomb-pedestal-devalue-discard steps that a relationship with a narcissist goes through. But, as Andre Gide so expertly explains, "everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again". Maybe this is a new way of thinking about it that will help you catch it in it’s early stages, or help capture that state of disgust that frees you to finally move on.
Watch out for these tricks.
Have you been in a long-term pick-up artist con job? Did it kind of feel like a one-sided game? What do you see now were warnings?