Pick-up Artists (PUAs)
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What is a PUA and where do they fit on the social scale?
Through the use of subtle social engineering skills amongst which hypnosis and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) along with basic social dynamics and body language, anesthetist | some people have formed a community of what is known as Pick Up Artists (PUAs). These are generally men whom through frustration have resorted to these methods in order to ‘pick up’ women.
The underground world of PUAs was first exposed by Neill Strauss’ book The Game. As someone interested in all aspects of hypnosis I did look into this community as I will look just about anywhere if it will increase my knowledge base and help me to be more effective in my work. Fortunately for me, somewhat contemporaneously to my study of hypnosis I was also undergoing some drastic life changes in all areas of my life. One of these was my intimate relationships. I had divorced and then had two relationships one after the other which were both extremely intense one very beautiful until its unfortunate and somewhat inevitable end, the other extremely stressful and painful yet coloured with flashes of beauty and power so intense they literally changed my views of radical aspects of my philosophies. As a result, after this, I gave myself to a sort of uninhibited search for some deeper meaning in intimate relationships.
I begun a period of my life that was almost scientific in its detachment and approach yet also extremely intimate and self-revealing. I had more intimate encounters in a few months than I had had in the previous 10 years. I also (counter-intuitively to what most men that behave this way do) was extremely direct and honest with the women involved. I never lied to any of them and I always made it clear how I felt (and more importantly didn’t feel) towards them. With only a few exceptions no one was really hurt emotionally and even when this occurred occasionally it was never anything very serious, merely a little bruised ego either for them or for me. Some of these women —all of whom I am grateful to by the way and for whom I did genuinely care though I may not have been in love with any of them— I only saw once. Some I spent a little time with; all were intelligent, capable women in their own right and they were from all walks of life. They ranged in age, cultures, backgrounds, languages they spoke and of course all other details, yet I could not help but notice that for the most part they were all quite beautiful not only to me but to most men. Every one of these women would be considered a great ‘catch’ by the very vast majority of men.
And to be honest it surprised me. I had never considered myself particularly good looking and certainly not a socially skilled person. I am extremely individualistic, never required much social approval and the very concept of peer pressure was as foreign to me throughout my formative years as was evident the absence of girlfriends.
On examining my past I realised for the first time that apparently through luck or chance or some factor I could not identify, though relatively few in number up to that point, I had always been with beautiful looking women. And those I had fallen in love with were without exception well above any kind of norm (in looks, character and mind). I began to actually experiment with this and became more and more selective. Pretty soon I discovered a sense of things that I think few men really achieve in their life. A sense of self-confidence that I didn’t even know I was missing to begin with that can really only come from being validated by women we value. Undoubtedly some people reading this will consider me a misogynist chauvinist pig. I do not consider myself so, and in fact I love women. Nor, unbelievably as it may sound to some, am I a polygamist by nature.
My nature is monogamous. As long as I find the one, and as long as she’s always earning it (and me for her obviously) I seek nothing more than one woman. This period of my life though helped me to realise that. And I am eternally grateful to every woman I have ever had the good fortune to spend any time with. Without women, truly life would have no purpose I think. If it were possible for men to exist without women we would still live in trees and caves.
Which man would do anything more than club some food to death and find a relatively warm place to sleep if it weren’t for women?
Everything that was ever created, invented, built, reached for, designed, fought for…as the French say (but perhaps differently than they mean!): Cherchéz la femme. Behind everything that man ever did…there is somewhere a woman or the thought of her.
By the time that I discovered anything about PUAs I had developed quite happily on my own into a man more than capable to satisfy his curiosity of women. This was a fortunate thing because it allowed me a perspective on PUAs and their techniques that was free of being sucked into the promise of alluring women falling at my feet almost as if by magic. To a degree, I already had this power (insofar as it can be had let’s say) so I could look into and study and evaluate the information with eyes already filled of my own experiences. To sum up PUAs briefly is difficult, however I will try. Initially, most of these guys are frustrated geeks that have broken down social interactions between naturally successful ladies’ men and attractive women. They then practice these routines like social robots and begin to have some success at obtaining sex with these plastic techniques. As their confidence grows they refine the techniques and become more adept at luring an ever increasing series of women to their beds. The more daring then continue into experimenting with multiple partners at a time as well as multiple girlfriends at a time. Some openly, others secretly. By and large though, certain truths remain evident. Even if successful at having multiple sex partners most of these individuals are still what I would consider socially inept people. They may have achieved an ability at obtaining sex from women but that per se does not make them good people necessarily. Or likeable. Or happy. Furthermore, the level of hyperbole in this community is rather extreme; especially when you consider that many of the so called Pick-Up Gurus sell products that supposedly will increase a man’s ability to bed stunningly beautiful women.
There are however a few notable exceptions. A few of these men naturally evolve beyond the “just get as much sex as possible” part of things and go on to explore their own personality and psyche to some deeper and more meaningful levels. Though they may still consider themselves PUAs and though they may not be in committed relationships, to my knowledge every one of these (few) guys is completely honest with the women they date about what they do and how they live. In other words, the ladies in question are not tricked into anything but rather go there by choice. A few of these PUAs are essentially social scientists to some degree and in these cases I think the contribution they give womankind is a very positive one because they honestly and caringly educate women about their own minds, bodies and emotions and do so lovingly and not selfishly or from a need to ‘get one over them’. A few of these are also bona fide hypnotists. So far, the only one I personally have had any direct contact with and whom I would consider a genuine person goes by the name Hypnotica or Rasputin. His real name is Eric Von Sydow and he’s a very unusual guy. Definitely on the extremes, and I like extreme people generally if they also happen to be internally balanced. Which I think he is. He is honest with the women he seduces about the (im)possibility of long term relationships and his penchant for having multiple sexual encounters with different women on a regular basis. He is not misogynist by nature (which sadly a surprising number of PUAs are, regardless of their claims otherwise) and I do believe he genuinely enjoys women. Not merely sexually, but relationally. I can relate to him quite a bit as to some degree I have walked the path he has chosen for a short while and I could see the appeal in certain regards.
Certainly, unless I could have met a woman that was self-actualised in her own right and also fit my own personal philosophy of life in general, I would also have remained on that path. I dare say that if Eric ever meets the right woman he too may one day settle on just her. Then again, perhaps if you live that way long enough it becomes progressively harder to trust in that undefinable and invisible essence of the human spirit which for myself anyway, I consider as analogous to true faith and which I believe is essential for a lifelong relationship.
I do not believe we are biologically designed to be monogamous or indeed have mutually exclusive life-long relationships. What I do believe, is that we can chose this anyway, and indeed it may well be a test of our ability to evolve meaningfully as human beings to be able to do so. Perhaps in time the sexual monogamy will not be essential if human beings ever evolve enough to be able to relinquish many of their pettier emotions, but even so, I believe life-long relationships are a requirement for entry into the next higher sphere of human consciousness. In this view then, the continued sexual liaisons with many different women without ever choosing one with which to have a life-long relationship, while extremely entertaining, is ultimately empty in terms of progressive evolutionary steps one might take that include procreating.
How do PUAs relate to the use of hypnosis?
So where does this leave hypnosis? Could a hypnotist use his skills to get a client into bed? Well, it depends on the hypnotist and more importantly it depends on the client. To some degree the ability to perform hypnosis is related to the ability to create a deep and intimate connection with the subject (regardless of the sex or even sexual orientation of the subject). In a clinical setting sexual attraction between the hypnotist and the client can be a problem for the therapy. In such cases a therapist should in most cases simply excuse him or herself and forward the patient on to a colleague. It is not my view that this need always be the case as long as the therapist has achieved a level of self mastery concerning his emotions, sexual urges and above all sense of ethics, though of course, not doing so can open a therapist to charges of improper or inappropriate behaviour, which from a professional point of view are obviously not anything any therapist would like to have to deal with.
To return to the pressing question though: Could a hypnotist use his skill to have sex with a client?
The short answer is YES. The more accurate answer is: IF THAT CLIENT WANTS TO. In other words it is NOT possible for a hypnotist to use his skill as a hypnotist in order to have sex against the client’s will to the very best of my knowledge. In researching hypnosis I have to date not found a single case where this has actually happened. I have come across several cases where unethical hypnotist behaved improperly with a client (and in none of these cases did the behaviour ever lead to anything more than improper suggestions or at most inappropriate touching, never full blown sexual intercourse) however in every instance the client was fully aware of this, and in most cases took appropriate action, which ranges from legal action to simply changing therapist. Even in these cases the extremely vast majority was simply a case of the client getting nothing more than an eewwww type feeling at some inappropriate suggestion or innuendo of the hypnotist. In at least one or two of these cases —which are in any case relatively rare— this feeling may even have been innocently induced by the hypnotist due to a peculiar make-up of the client and not have been a genuinely inappropriate come-on by the hypnotist. My personal belief is that if on first meeting you have any sense of creepy type discomfort with a therapist, simply excuse yourself and go to a different one. As a therapist in a professional setting I will not work with any client that gives me such a feeling, and certainly if any client of mine ever had such a feeling towards me I most certainly would not want to work with them.
In a non-professional or experimental/self-educational setting I may of course specifically choose to work with someone that DOES give me a creepy eewwww feeling, but that is because I am an extreme person and I want to go beyond the accepted ‘normal’ range of skill with regards to hypnosis. To my advantage I can say that as a result of my willingness to push the envelope, I have had the pleasure of having professional hypnotists that have done therapy work for decades refer patients to me even in their specific and particular field of interest whilst openly admitting that they thought I had a talent they respected.
PUAs in general (with some examples of their “effectiveness”)
As an aside, I personally find PUAs somewhat distasteful because I find lechers absolutely repulsive and to my view many of these guys have at least a low-level stench of lecher about them that no amount of NLP or Hypnosis cologne can hide. However, from an educational point of view, it is good to find out what they are up to. Ladies especially might want to take note. And a few of these guys are actually good people. The others are not necessarily bad or evil. Just a bit desperate and sad actually. And they are at least trying to find a way to be less so, so all in all if nothing else they at least have the courage to try and better themselves, which is more than what most socially maladjusted persons will do. Though I may find their methods a little bit creepy sometimes, I don’t really stand in judgement of them (or much of anyone really, despite my chauvinist pig, elitist, misogynist, bigoted and biased sounding opinions).
Some PUAs of course do not just prey on women, but also on sexually frustrated, socially maladjusted men. It is not unusual for these PUA gurus to charge several hundred dollars or even thousands for seminars, books, videos, or other products that supposedly will teach your average sexually frustrated, socially maladjusted geek how to become a modern Casanova. To be fair, some of the people in this scene do go on to become socially normal, sexually successful and relationally honest people, and that can only be a good thing and I suppose if some of these PUAs help with this transformation then the cost of it is mostly irrelevant. On the other hand, it pays to research some of these self-styled gurus, at least for entertainment purposes, since under some scrutiny, some of their claims to sexual superstar status become laughable.
One example perhaps might be Mehow, one of the self-styled gurus who is perhaps the most prolific marketer of PUA products. By his own admissions scattered here and there it is possible to piece together his own story. Disastrously inept with women he was trained by the well known guru of The Game fame known as Mystery before he went on to set himself up as a PUA guru himself. Mehow has been in the pick-up community pretty much to the exclusion of everything else (it’s his day job as well as his lifestyle) for some 10 years. He also has spent by his own admission about $500,000 of what seems to mostly be daddy’s money to set himself up in the “PUA business”. Again by his own admission in 10 years of hard partying day and night full-time and being trained by the biggest and best Pick-Up Artists in the world, gaining invaluable knowledge of body-language, NLP and who knows what other mystical seduction arts of his own invention, and spending half a million dollars essentially on this sexual crusade, what is Mehow’s tally? By his own admission again, as of about mid 2009, Mehow had had carnal knowledge of “something like 30 to 40 girls”.
Now, a gentleman never reveals how many notches he has on his belt, so let’s just say that personally, I am absolutely certain that if I were to spend $500,000 for the sole reason of getting as much sex from women as possible, with the proviso that I not use prostitutes of course, within two to three months I would be able to have organised to have 30 naked girls in one giant bed with me all at the same time. And I would still have change left over. Even if I had to have that giant bed purpose built.
The only reason it would take that long would be because you would have to persuade normal women that if they accept to be one of the 30 women, instead of dinners and dates they would simply get $5000 for one night and $10,000 if they are one of the ones you actually manage to have sex with in say the 24 hour period this hypothetical one-man orgy would take place over, before you pass out from exhaustion. No Hypnosis involved at all you see. And even in the most optimistic of cases, I’d still have $200,000 left over. So I think you can tell that either PUAs of his ilk are terribly poor hypnotists, (to say nothing of the ability to use simple maths for the purposes of economic common sense) or else you don’t really have too much to worry about from hypnosis in terms of it being used to mind-control you into getting naked with your therapist without your own wish to do so.