It has come to my attention that there is a movement afoot called Pick Up Artistry. It has been afoot for a while now, but there seems no shortage of members.
Apparently, with sufficient skill and paid-for advice, men can learn the magic words and actions that will instantly make any woman they like fall into their arms or open their legs.
Pick up artistry is a big earner in the US and has spread elsewhere. Basically, men take advice and ‘training’ from blogs and videos that sell sure-fire formulas that promise 100% success with 100% of the ladies 100% of the time. Or something like that. There are celebrity pick-up artists like Mystery, Neil Strauss and many more, who are the leaders of the movement and appear to be making the most money.
Pick Up Artist (PUA) programs typically sell for between $9.97 per month and $2997.00, and some of the customers are very hooked in, sometimes paying for multiple programs from multiple PUA idols.
In many cases, the Pick Up Artist is so skilled that he can do this even without having a good grasp of language or logic. For some interesting examples, see Dating Advise For Men.
There is even a TV show about it (see picture of spunks).
Or this pick up artist convention in California where, I suppose, the pick up artists practise on each other. Following on the success of the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention, this event promises to be ‘The Most Historic Event in PUA History!’
This historic event only costs $749 (earlybird price) or $2,997. It includes sessions such as ‘What It Means To Be A Natural’ and ‘Excavate to Dig Down and Know Your Deepest Self’. I shit you not.
The thing is, I’m a feminist, and a marketer and a writer.
From the point of view of a marketer, there is something so enticing about a product or service that a customer is very ‘hooked into’. Customers spending large amounts of money for products which are hard to copy, which have low production costs, are total winners – as long as they’re not wrecking the environment and renting to shreds the fabric of society or just causing plain old pain to people.
From the point of view of a feminist, the whole pick up artist scene is either revolting or counter-productive, depending on how I’m looking at it at the time. Either it’s yet another instance of the war on women, whereby man becomes super-man and woman becomes super-objectified, or it’s another distraction for real men who really would like to know how to relate to women, but who live in a mass-media-mediated patriarchy and therefore would need the equivalent of winning the lottery to stumble upon the idea that love comes from getting to know a real person, male or female.
From the point of view of a feminist-writer, it’s HILARIOUS. A group of privileged, moneyed (relatively), self-centred people whose major downfall/achilles heel is that they need to spend all their waking time and spare money to manipulate another group of people (everyone else who is of a different type) in order to feel normal.
(Of course, the most popular way to feel normal in the Western world is to have a roof over one’s head, be free of violence and abuse, have enough food to eat and clean water, be able to regulate one’s body temperature, talk on the phone or the internet, and cuddle up the couch with a loved one or a favourite pet.. And feeling normal in poor countries equates to food, safety and hygiene).
Here is a choice selection of some of the funnier PUA comments on reddit:
For the past 4-5 years, I’ve been immersed in PUA and self actualization material. My life has improved in several ways as a result, but I have yet to have a wholesome sexual experience. (self.seduction)
I’m living with parents and won’t move out till next spring. The problem is my parents don’t let me out of the house other than for school or other things that are needed. I have zero experience with women, but it’s something I would like to work on. I don’t know whether to try to hit on girls now knowing it most likely won’t go farther even if we hit it off, or whether to just wait when I move out? Thoughts?
So, as you can see, it’s pretty funny stuff.
It’s also pretty lucrative.
I went to entrepreneur school for a while, and I have to say, having groups of cashed-up customers with a tangible, proven means of marketing to them is pretty attractive. I mean, earning yourself a nice new Mimco based on income from some mid-30’s loser who’s sitting in his bedroom at his mum’s place (using her broadband) is a pretty sweet idea.
1. What’s the business model? In particular, what business model would most suit their appetite for gaming (not gambling) in combination with their cash and their sense of privilege?
2. How do you ensure that the business does not end up disadvantaging the members of the boy-man’s family, or society generally? How do you build the business without intensifying or normalising patriarchal ideas?
Or do you just write the content to suit really, really stupid PUA gamers, knowing everyone else will see through it?