by Tamara Dumas
So many businesses are built to cash in on people's insecurities. From almost every advert on TV to the lighting in fitting rooms that exposes like an X-Ray all your dimples and leaves you no choice other than to hide it all under new clothes; all these tricks just to monetise our insecurities. All to first make you realise how unhappy you are and then to sell you the solution to your problem. The advertising industry has changed dramatically from the time when adverts simply told you: "you have feet; you need shoes". Yes, they didn't sell much those days, only the bare minimum. Now however, almost every advert sells you happiness and confidence, portraying any product or solution as being capable to instantly relieve you and make you utterly happy and Zen, forever. But, as they say, you can't buy happiness in the shop. It is believed that the wholesome relationships and 'true love' will. But, according to Pickup Artist coaches, even this is now for sale. The price? From £10 for a DVD or a book to £450 for a two day boot camp. But is their know-how really that good?
Pick-Up Artists are the solution -they claim- for those who hit rock bottom, obviously. But, when you scratch the surface, they're even more repulsive than you'd expect. They seem to consider themselves to be a secret society of sort. The Pick Up Artists' (PUA) coaches of course are looked upon by 'douches' with social anxieties and complexes of every kind. They are adored and even worshipped. Every insecure geek, dreaming of getting laid one day, draws inspiration from glorified online 'Dating Gurus'.
A quick search of PUA forums and you can find pretty much everything you'd expect from a bunch of guys who enjoy sitting around talking about how to hassle girls. Pictures of successful missions, voice recordings and "field reports" are shining there in all their sad glory.
By the way, they've also coined their own language. If you suspect you may be susceptible to the charms of a PUA, watch out for some of their terms.
Daygame: Daygaming is when a group of hypno-freaks decide to hit Oxford Circus during the day and attempt to bully some strangers into sex using mind games.
AFC: Average Frustrated Chump
BF Destroyer: The Boyfriend Destroyer is a routine that PUA's use to imply that their target's boyfriend is a cad and a loser. Oh, the irony.
Bitchshield: This is what PUA's call the mindset women have when they react badly to being harassed in public.
Negs: Comments designed to subtly reduce a woman's self-esteem so that she seeks your approval.
HB10s: hot babe or hard body 10/10.
F-closing: getting a girl into bed.
Pictures of successful missions, voice recordings and "field reports" are shining there in all their sad glory.
Judging by the number of PUA's on forums, it turns out the world we live in is one where way too many single insecure dudes think women need to be subconsciously coerced in to having sex with them.
Being unable -and unwilling- to join one of their course for reasons very obvious, I can only learn of ins and outs of PUA workshops from numerous written accounts – a lot of them spent a great amount of money on these so-called boot camps. However, what one can observe are 'peacocked' – also PUA jargon - guys 'working' in pairs near Oxford Circus Station.
I appeal to all females – old and young, short and tall – beware of Pick Up Artists in that area any day of the week, and especially on weekend afternoons. Their most common pick-up lines are "I know it will sound a bit random, but I walked past you and..." and, if you pay close attention, you will most likely see their nervous tick as they try to face and overcome all their phobias at your expense.
Every time I see them 'working' on Oxford Circus, I can't stop feeling nothing but pity. As soon as they approach a girl all their taught 'confidence' and 'charming' techniques fly out of the window. You can see them trying to take as little space as possible and frantically trying to remember their lines. Their body language speaks of anything but security as they try to 'neg' you. Not too bad from someone who would otherwise panic within five feet of a living woman. I wonder how long it will take them to become like their fake Don Juan idols. But even then, the so called experienced PUA coaches sound sickeningly cheese-on-toast. Just one example here:
There is always uncomfortable touching which is most definitely not OK; a technique called 'Kino'. Although it's not 'traditional' touching, it is more like placing a hand, rigid with awkwardness. And emphasis on saying things like: "We should go there" and "I'll take you there" – standard PUA techniques.
You will always see them giving a feedback to each other.
I don't know what to say other than if anyone approaches you on Oxford Street and asks for your number, chances are they're either a serial killer, a chugger, or a miked-up Pick-Up Artist. Neither of whom are people to give your personal details to.
And to all those considering signing up for costly PUA boot camp, consider spending money on something more fulfilling. Needless to say, the boot camp will not banish all your issues and insecurities and most certainly won't make you a womaniser overnight.
I appeal to all females – old and young, short and tall – beware of Pick Up Artists in that area any day of the week, and especially on weekend afternoons.