The Death of the Pickup Artist: A Eulogy

Gentlemen. It was fun while it lasted—even if you could only stay a minute before you had to get back to your friends.

Let us remember the good times, like when your stripper ex-girlfriend drove that Maserati off a modeling shoot and you had to protect her from a gang of your jealous ex-girlfriends who were trying to put you under a love spell. (By the way, do you think spells work?)

Even if your nails weren’t real, they were still nice. I guess.

On this day, September 30th in the 2000th and 10th year of our Lord, we say goodbye to our friend The Pickup Artist. He’s done the ultimate take away. Rest assured he’s in a better place…and yes, that was a DHV.

The Pickup Artist is no longer someone who walks among us. The term, once a secret endearment to men on the Internet, has become a label of satire and shame. To aspire to be a PUA—or the ever-lofty mPUA—is now, ironically, the most rAFC you could do. Because The Pickup Artist is dead…

Let me explain.

The death of The Pickup Artist is something myself and my associate, Mr. Zack Bauer, have known for some time. In fact, Zack and I were very much like the dudes from Weekend at Bernie’s. We knew The Pickup Artist was dead, but we briefly went along with the “charade” that he wasn’t.

We lugged him around on our shoulders. We brought him out to the club and let hilarity ensue. We followed him around for wacky shenanigans for our own amusement and enjoyment.

But we always had a sneaking suspicion The Pickup Artist was dead. Then, one morning about 2 years ago, I had it confirmed. On that morning I was sitting at my kitchen table, sipping a cappuccino with a girl The Pickup Artist would have probably labeled an HB9.

This was a dolled up beauty from Los Angles, who was visiting New York for a few days. I’d spotted her on the street outside a pretentious nightclub and approached her.

My approach would not have made The Pickup Artist proud—God rest his soul—as I immediately communicated my burning desire for her, did not generate the requisite social proof needed to approach a woman of such “professional beauty,” and I failed to FTC, DHV, neg, or qualify. I just followed my instinct—my drive. It led us both back to my bedroom at the end of the night.

The next morning I had to ask. She was an LA native—a beautiful woman in her prime during the golden age of The Pickup Artist. She must have known The Pickup Artist—if not intimately then certainly hilariously.

So I asked.

“It’s no secret you’re a beautiful girl,” I said. “You probably get approached by a lot of dudes in LA. Do you have any funny stories?”

She smiled a cruel smile. I knew there were stories behind that smile. Stories about The Pickup Artist. She laughed, “How’d you guess?”

“Oh I just had a feeling,” I said, hiding a chuckle behind a sip of cappuccino. “So come on, I want to hear your best failed pickup stories.”

She put her coffee mug down and unloaded. It started small. Stupid openers. Idiot insults. Obvious attempts to brag.

Then, seeing my approval, she expanded. Poorly executed magic tricks in nightclubs. Strange touches—with an emphasis on awkward high fives and unnecessary dance spins. Strangely dressed men who appeared gay—who said they were gay—but then tried the old switcharoo.

I exploded in laughter. She giggled, loving that I was loving it.

“Oh!” she exclaimed, slapping my hand. “Here’s the best one…”

I was on the edge of my seat.

“This one night, a guy comes over to us. He was like super nervous. Me and my friends thought he was probably gay—the way he was dressed. So he comes over to us and asks if can ask us something quick, like he wanted our opinion or something. Honestly, he looked so nervous we felt bad for him.

So he starts telling us about one his friends who said ‘I love you’ when he was drunk or something. It was a really stupid and pointless story. An obvious attempt to talk to us. We were trying to be nice because we felt bad for him.

Anyway, my friend had just gotten a new phone and she was texting on it. He asked about the phone…like about the service or something. Then he asked to see the phone to check something. My friend handed him the phone and he dialed his own number!”

I gazed at her astonished…yet (sadly) not astonished.

“Oh but here’s the best part,” she laughed, her voice building to a crescendo. “So we see this guy later yelling at all these other guys. It’s like this nervous guy and these three other guys making a huge scene in the bar. We find out later on that this guy was some sort of pickup line instructor. Like Hitch…only way creepier!”

I almost feel out of my seat when she said it. I was rolling with laughter.

“It’s not that funny!” she said after a few minutes, trying to calm me down.

“No,” I gasped in between laughs. “It is…you just don’t understand…I probably know that guy!”

She looked at me with bug eyes. Was she confused? Afraid? Intrigued? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that look—that OMG-I-can’t-believe-people-act-like-this-and-you-know-them look—signified the death of The Pickup Artist. For me, that’s when everything I suspected was confirmed: Pickup Artists don’t do it for the ladies. They do it for the men. On the Internet.

My man-on-man assessment of Pickup Artists may seem condescending, but that’s not my intent. It’s the most honest way I can describe what so-called Pickup Artists do when they go out.

See, Pickup Artists don’t go out to meet women they’d like to take on dates. Sure they may get #-closes. But the emphasis isn’t on the girl—it’s on the #. This way, they can run back on the Internet and brag about the number of #s they closed as if they’re racking up bonus points in a videogame.

“That’s unfair,” I can hear The Pickup Artist yelling from his coffin. “I’m getting her number to time bridge!” Sure, that’s what Pickup Artists convince themselves they’re doing—but they’re not. If you have more than a fifty percent flake rate, chances are you’re only taking girls’ numbers to feel that rush of satisfaction that you “#-closed” her.

Let me ask you this, Pickup Artist: If you weren’t allowed to tell anyone you got that girl’s number, would it still be cool? Would you still take her number and run like a thief in the night? Or would you shift your focus from getting #-closes to actually trying to get girls.

In fact, that brings up an important point: Why ARE you doing this? Why are you studying pickup material, involved in the community, and reading this blog? Is it to meet awesome women? Or is it to get the awesome approval of guys?

See, almost every guy will scream at me, “It’s to meet awesome women!” But what do those same guys scream when they do meet awesome women…”LAY REPORT BRO!!!” These same guys who claim they’re out to meet women are the first ones on the Brag Express with a one-way ticket to Bro-town whenever they do anything that resembles meeting an awesome woman.

But it’s not your fault.

I once rode the Brag Express, too, and I know why we men end up on this needless Bro-town detour. We believed The Pickup Artist was alive and healthy. We bought into the idea that we too could become artists of the pickup. So we got wrapped up in the subculture, picked up the lingo (unfortunately that’s the only thing most aspiring pickup artists pickup!), and created our clandestine Internet names.

And what did it get us? Endless nights of feeling weird? A phone full of phone numbers who ignore us as if we’re Bruce Willis in the Sixth Sense? A bunch of man-acquaintances we know by their Internet name?

Oh, and don’t please say, “But it’s a process!” I don’t buy any of that regurgitated self-help nonsense. This isn’t self-help—it’s meeting hot women. If you don’t know the difference, you must have missed the title of this article: THE DEATH OF THE PICKUP ARTIST.

As those who know me very well know, I ring the death knell of The Pickup Artist because I want to see guys actually meet and attract awesome women. And The Pickup Artist will not help you do that. In fact, the first thing any guys who wants to meet and attract awesome women has to do is sift through his intentions. He must remove any inkling of “Bro-town” from his approach. I challenge you not to tell a soul about your “infield accomplishments” for a full month and see how much better you are at attracting quality women.

Don’t revive The Pickup Artist. Let him rot in his grave where he belongs. If you want to remember him, here’s how you should remember him:

Don’t be fooled by the fuzzy hats and the carefully-crafted DHV stories. The video above perfectly demonstrates what The Pickup Artist is really about: a guy who’s out to impress other guys. “Me and her GOT IT ON! WOOOOO-WEEEEEEEEE!!!!”

Getting to the conclusion, I’ve known The Pickup Artist has been dead since that morning 2 years back. However, I restrained myself from eulogizing his passing because there was no definitive moment I could point to and say, “Here’s proof The Pickup Artist is dead.”

That is, until this year’s “Pickup Artist World Summit”…where this abomination occurred:

I admit these guys were brutally set up to fail. And given the atrocious situation, they did decently well…for Pickup Artists. But this clip demonstrates the shortcomings of The Pickup Artist—the death of The Pickup Artist—because it shows 5 men who were trying board the Brag Express to Bro-town.

The only reason these guys went on a morning news show was to impress guys. The only reason these guys clowned it up with their horrible scripted lines was to impress guys. The only reason this entire fiasco happened is because these Pickup Artists were so wrapped up in impressing guys, that they willing walked themselves into a slaughter.

And so that ends the Life of The Pickup Artist. He’s dead.

Now, long live guys who just want to meet awesome women! (Click here if you want learn more about how to take the “PUA” of out of meeting women!)

And if you want to master the philosophy to meet awesome women and remove yourself from Bro-town once and for all, check my FREE newsletter:



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  5. Gibletpie   •  

    OMFG, this post ROCKS! Every word was awesome. Respect.

  6. Rahul Bhambhani   •  

    Incredible post man. That’s all I can really say.

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  8. Allan Mckeand   •  

    Really exciting articles. I enjoyed examining it.

  9. Arnold   •  

    I disagree a bit with this post.
    Writing FRs & LRs help you in examining yourself, and see what your sticking points are and where you can improve. And you can post them to get feedback from other people, which also helps you imrpove in meeting women.
    Another reason for sharing your success stories, besides getting feedback, is because people enjoy talking about their hobbies & interests. If you’ve always failed in meeting women, and now you’re very successful, you’ll get excited and you want to share it with others.
    Reading FRs, LRs & success stories can also be learnful for other guys.

  10. Ken lucas   •  

    Two Things:

    1. This ”pickup vid” was totally embarassing. The guys looked like desperate horndogs who’d say and do anything to get laid.

    2. Rob: Major props my brotha for telling it like it is…”The Pickup Artist” truly is dead!!

  11. Jeff   •  

    Hey Guys, you are spot on with your article about PUA. It makes me cringe that I got sucked into it. One question for you is why do you guys still use fake PUA names? I’m not being a wise guy as I really like what you are doing but… It seems like you need the names as your trying to teach guys to operate from a sincere place.

  12. Michael117   •  

    Well,the thing I noticed about the approach of the PUAs on the show was how sneaky and “gamey” the PUAs were. It’s as if these guys were hiding behind a slick routine. That said, I’m not sure that this way to impress guys though, as I can’t imagine any of my friends would have been impressed by the PUAs on the show.

    This I think the way the PUAs acted really came from, instead. Guys in The Community are taught to believe that most dudes are unattractive to women (which isn’t quite true–a lot of amazing girls have boyfriends who are many ways just regular dudes who don’t study this stuff), so Seduction Community guys associate “basic masculinity” with unattractive, and so they work hard to “cover it up” with routines, such as what was seen on the video posted.

  13. Mav   •  

    Although you made some valid points, I mostly disagree. Your post basically just sets up straw men arguments against PUAs and then knocks them down. First of all, a lot of us pick-up students DO get same night lay or escalation, just like your example. You make it seem as though we only get phone #s, write reports to impress other guys, and that’s it. The techniques that you’re trying to sell and teach are probably no more successful than other PUA instructors out there: sometimes your students (and you) will only get a number close, and other times, you get same-night lay. Surely you’re not claiming that your methods will allow your students to bed the girl the same night 100% of the time they go out. That would be false and absurd. I myself have met girls in clubs from out of town using PUA techniques and then escalated and they went home with me, just like you did with your LA girl. I didn’t just get their numbers. However, before studying PUA methods, I would never have escalated because I didn’t know how to, and would settle for a phone #, hoping to take her out on a traditional date, etc.

    Regarding the KTLA pick up video above, it’s only an “abomination” as you call it because it was obvious to anyone 5 seconds in that the premises were completely flawed. The whole thing was set up not to get that chick to be picked up by anyone. It was designed to ridicule the whole PUA thing, from the condescending and sarcastic tone of the reporters and the blonde herself, to the almost circus atmosphere. If that chick was out in a real-life situation in a real-life bar, she might have been open to some of the PUA’s lines and routines, but in front of the camera and an audience at home, do you really think she was gonna be serious about it and would allow any of the PUAs there to pick her up? Yeah, right. Besides, who the hell is she anyway as a test subject – why is she on that experiment? Isn’t she married, too? It wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Ray   •  

      I agree totally with what you said. I am by far no expert on picking up women, but even I could tell that this attempt at a pickup experiment was flawed from the get-go. while I agree on some points with Rob that the nomenclature pickup artist and its accompanying associations have become sort of a caricature, one simple fact remains…without the community or it”s structure on how to approach, pick up, and seduce women, more than half these guys (including me) would not have the know how or balls to approach women. This video proved nothing except that these guys gave men a bad name picking up women. Shows like Keys to the VIP displayed that tactics and routines applied properly do work on women. It’s just that women feel manipulated when they discover that a routine was used on them to pick them up. Women still respond more favorably to a guy with an edge over a nice guy and it is most nice guys out there who come to pick up websites to learn instruction on dealing with women. Just like the classical martial arts which is considered out-dated today do people say the same about Ross Jeffries Speed Seduction, Mystery Method, etc… In a few years someone will be saying that about your method; It’s the nature of the business. Let’s not forget that at the time they all had a working system and some tenets of their system is still workable today so lets not bury them with the dinosaurs just yet and adopt Bruce Lee’s philosophy…accept what’s useful and reject what is useless so we can keep evolving and stay viable for years to come.

  14. JT   •  

    A year later and the bromance has actually intensified! Weird haha.

    What did happen though, is that the guys who were already considered “normal” before ever knowing “PUA” were steered away, and found other alternatives to improve.

  15. Lars   •  

    I’m a Natural with years of experience and abundant success, with the results to prove it! Naturals are always looking for ways to improve results. The Community has different approaches and provides both excellent and bad advice. Have the balls to find out what works for you!!! It’s a numbers game to find what works the best for you. Get off your ass and try different approaches.

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