There are certain books which people from all professions turn to for career advice. This is because the most valuable lessons in life are human truths and therefore universal. Once we’ve understood these, we can figure out the best way to apply them to our own circumstances. Sometimes Shakespeare, Ovid or J.K Rowling explain things better than our tutors. US DJ, Charlamagne Tha God, phrases it well in his book Black Privilege: “there is incredible power in subjects that don’t seem to pertain to you”. As a female writer, I think that’s an important point to stress upfront when approaching this topic…

In 2007, writer Neil Strauss published an autobiographical book which caused quite a stir. It’s title was: The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. In it, Strauss exposes the two years he spent as a successful ‘Pickup Artist’; a period of time in which he developed the ability to swiftly seduce any woman he chose. During this period his identity was validated by the notches on his bedpost and his rankings on the online forum ‘Mystery’s Lounge’, where pickup artists all over America swapped tales and techniques from ‘the field’. I’d heard about the book a while ago but what with all the business books I wanted to read it had fallen quite low down the list. Though easy to understand why heterosexual men grabbed it off the shelves, I wasn’t looking for a cheats guide to bedding women. What did attracted me however was the idea that we, as people, can be so easily manipulated. How, in a society where we all desperately believe in our individuality, could a group of men guarantee seduction through glorified chat-up lines? What are the specific details of their approach? Are Strauss’ techniques gender exclusive or could I see the rules of The Game working on men as effectively? The only way to find out was to read it.

One thing is clear from the first chapter and that is that Strauss is a professional writer. He writes seductively, drawing you into his world and his perspective. Certain sentences capture the imagination as he admits to the addictive fascination with ‘picking up’ to someone like himself who had grown up a typical dork. The greatest lesson Strauss and his accomplices learn from all of their training and practice ultimately boils down to confidence. The first lesson he is taught is to smile. Whilst not exactly groundbreaking, its explained that, “by smiling, you look like you’re together, you’re fun and you’re somebody.As with any book every reader will have different take aways but below are some of the quotes and passages I found most insightful. Things which made the book worth my while and I’ll be committing to memory. Perhaps some I’ll even apply to my own seductions. Though don’t expect any ‘field reports’ from me; a lady rarely tells.

He opens with this quote from Gloria Steinem: “The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.”

“A pickup artist must be the exception to the rule. You must not do what everyone else does. Ever.”

“you have to act like you are the prize”

“In order to excel at anything there are always hurdles, obstacles, or challenges one must get past… Those who push themselves, and are willing to face pain, exhaustion, humiliation, rejection, or worse, are the ones who become champions.”

“Usually what you wish for doesn’t fall in your lap; it falls somewhere nearby, and you have to recognise it, stand up, and put in the time and work it takes to get to it. This isn’t because the universe is cruel. It’s because the universe is smart. It has its own cat-string theory and knows we don’t appreciate things that fall into our laps.”  

“You can’t lead without being able to follow.”

“Seduction is the art of setting the stage for two people to choose to reveal themselves to each other.”

“A lot of problems in society come from the fact that we all have such strong drives, but we live in a culture that discourages us from exploring them.”

Helena Rubenstein (quoted): “There are no ugly women; only lazy ones.”

“Victory belongs to the person with the strongest reality and the most decisive actions.”

“The world is what you think it is.”

“I’ve never trusted collaborations, because most people in this world are not closers. They don’t finish what they start; they don’t live what they dream”

“Pickup is a linear process: capture the imagination first and the heart next.”

“If there was anything I’d learned, its that the man never choses the woman. All he can do is give her an opportunity to chose him.”

****
 
Lexy is a writer, DJ and marketing professional living in London. She is a gemini and a feminist who loves coffee and leather trousers. Instagram.com/lexonthedecks