I have no luck with women.
Valentine’s Day is usually a day of self-contemplation for me as I watch pink hearts in commercials, store specials, and Facebook posts. I see photos of couples on my newsfeed, guys who were single a few years ago, and ask myself, “How do these guys find girls?”
I wait for the St. George shuttle bus inside the Instructional Building doors on a Friday afternoon. The guy standing next to me asks whether he will get to St. George by 5 p.m. We’re waiting to catch the 3:35 shuttle, so I tell him he probably will. We start talking about the St. George campus, how this is his first time taking the shuttle, and our plans for the evening. I tell him I’m attending an astronomy symposium and ask him what he’s doing.
“I’m actually teaching people pickup,” he says.
“Pickup, as in women?” I ask. He smiles and nods.
“Precious” (as his goes by in pickup circles) is a professional pickup artist who teaches men—mostly college students—how to seduce women. He usually teaches the two-night course on Friday and Saturday evenings. The class begins at 5 and moves on to a practicum at a club in Toronto at around 10. He charges $200 per student for a course.
“It’s actually how I’m paying for my UTM tuition,” he says. We hear the shuttle bus arrive outside and walk towards the doors. He tells me he’s a second-year finance and economics student at UTM.
My curiosity is too much. We board the shuttle and I ask him if we could meet for an interview about what he teaches. He agrees.
I meet Precious at the Starbucks in Streetsville a few weeks later. I arrive first and sit in the back of the store facing the front door. He comes in, chats with the girl at the counter, gives his order, and comes to the back. We start talking.
Precious started learning “the game” in grade 11 from established companies in Toronto after fumbling a chance to date a girl he liked since grade nine.
“Every year she would have a different boyfriend. Grade nine, she had the total jerk. Grade 10, she would go for the complete wimp. Then grade 11 came and she asked me out, and after all that time I was just ‘Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God’—psyched myself out and I lost it. So then I realized I need a game plan,” he says. “I thought: all these assholes get the girls, so why can’t nice guys have the girls? So that became my inspiration. I want to do it for the good guys.”
He made friends through these companies, practiced “approaches” hundreds, even thousands of times, and eventually started teaching people how to do it.
“That’s my story. You start as a nice guy and then you work your way up,” he says. “I’m going to tell you now, it’s the slowest progression you’ll ever see in your life.”
Precious tells me the five stages of pickup: approach, interest, attraction, comfort, and seduction.
For men like me, Precious outlined some tips on how to get women interested.
First, some terms:
A set is the number of women in a group. A group of three is a “three set”.
Approach anxiety is when men panic about approaching and talking to a woman. For the majority of the students he teaches, approach anxiety is the biggest problem.
“Just be confident in what you’re doing and you’ll be fine. Don’t second-guess yourself,” he says. “You are your biggest enemy when it comes to women.”
Approach over the shoulder as if you’re heading somewhere else and only turn your head towards the set with your feet facing away. Feet are very important. Always make it seem that you have something better to do and they caught your interest.
Openers are the first thing you say to a woman. They can be of four types:
Situational: talk about something that’s going on around you.
Opinion: ask the set for a female opinion about something.
Indirect: start a story that gets them interested or do cold reading. Ask her when she last took a risk, read her palm, or make a guess about the ring on her finger.
Direct: be direct about your intentions. Something like, “Hey, you girls look cute.” And go from there.
Demonstration of higher value consists of stories about your life, fictional or non-fictional, that you tell to get the set interested in you. Choose words that show emotions and aesthetics.
DHV stories must have two things: preselection, where you talk about other girls in your life, be it friends or ex-girlfriends, and social proof, where you talk about other girls who are interested in you.
Create a false time constraint by saying you have to be somewhere or you have to meet up with friends. This increases your value.
Negging is the infamous backhanded compliment; for example, “You should bring your hair up; it’ll bring your eyes out more.” You can also “body rock”, which is looking away from time to time as she speaks to you, causing her to try and validate herself to you—not vice versa.
The hook point is when you’ve created enough interest that the girl or set wants you to stay. Once this happens, do two things:
1. Control the area you’re in. For example, if the set is in a corner and you have your back to club, switch places with one of the girls so you have full view of the club.
2. Reward her behaviour when she does something you want her to do. Turn your body towards her, pay more attention to her, and so on.
Precious also said what to do:
• Compliment a girl’s energy or personality rather than her looks. It’s much more intimate.
• As a beginner, approach as many sets as possible.
• Seem different from the other people. Ask yourself why she should be with you in particular. And then communicate that reason in how you approach her.
• Touch her hands, waist, or hair whenever appropriate.
• Carry a cheat sheet of different openers and DHVs. (Almost everyone in the business carries them.)
• Be conscious of everything you do and mentally note the feedback to each of your actions.
• On a scale of 0 to 10, go for women who are between 6 and 10 both in looks and personality. After the pickup, you should enjoy meeting up with the person.
• Always add value and positive energy to the conversation. Body language says a lot about energy.
• Don’t sit like you are anxious; relax. Act like you own the coffee shop, the club, or wherever you are.
• Avoid women sitting alone. She’s probably waiting for someone—a boyfriend or friends that don’t know you. You’ll spend more energy trying to stay in once they come.
• Don’t touch anyone with a fiancé or boyfriend.
• If a girl shows interest in you, don’t keep going with your routine. Shut up, isolate yourselves, and close.
• Don’t be intimidated by big guys. Never get scared, but don’t push if there’s a guy in the set that’s drunk and getting physical. Walk away.
Precious stressed the point that rejection is not to be taken personally. All it means is that you didn’t make yourself seem interesting enough this time. Learn from it and change. Every pickup artist gets rejected. Let go of your ego and start taking rejections.
I was unsure what to make of all this—the idea that there’s a “game” you can play to get women to react a certain way. He says the point is not to trick women into bed but to have the choice to make meaningful relationships and build your confidence so that you’re the best you can be.
“Be ambitious, be amazing, be as awesome as you possibly can. Be happy and be smiling. Don’t strive to be someone you’re not,” he says. “Remove rejection from the equation; it’s not a big deal. Nothing is ever a big deal for you. Hakuna matata.”
We finish our interview. Precious invites me to a club with him and his wingman on Friday and Saturday night to work on my newly learned pickup skills. I take a rain check—I have to work, finish writing this article, and study for my term tests before reading week.
No wonder I have no luck with women.