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The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists

My GoodReads rating: 4 stars

"The Game" is a surprising and irreverent look at pickup artists and how they operate. Sometimes it was hard to tell whether this was BS or not - but a few of my friends have had pretty good results! There are a bunch of tactics in here like "peacocking" and "negging" - but for me the most interesting part was how Strauss got into the psychology of both men and women and discovered what they actually want. (an entrepreneur friend of mine says that this is the best book on sales that he's ever read).

At the same time, I was certainly suspicious about parts of this book. The pickup artists tended to live at home with their parents and have really crummy lives in general. Strauss says that obsession with pickup leads to this degradation in quality of life. "Miraculously" he rises above that and finds a great girlfriend and has a successful life... the ending felt a bit forced to me too.

My highlights below:


A pickup artist must be the exception to the rule. You must not do what everyone else does. Ever.”

“It took me ten years to discover this,” he said. “The basic format is FMAC—find, meet, attract, close. Believe it or not, the game is linear. A lot of people don’t know that.”

After approaching the group, he continued, the key is to ignore the woman you desire while winning over her friends — especially the men and anyone else likely to cockblock. If the target is attractive and used to men fawning all over her, the pickup artist must intrigue her by pretending to be unaffected by her charm. This is accomplished through the use of what he called a neg.

The purpose of a neg is to lower a woman’s self esteem while actively displaying a lack of interest in her — by telling her she has lipstick on her teeth, for example, or offering her a piece of gum after she speaks.

Peacock theory is the idea that in order to attract the most desirable female of the species, it’s necessary to stand out in a flashy and colorful way.

“But how do you kiss her?” Sweater asked. “I just say, ‘Would you like to kiss me?’” “And then what happens?” “One of three things,” Mystery said. “If she says, ‘Yes,’ which is very rare, you kiss her. If she says, ‘Maybe,’ or hesitates, then you say, ‘Let’s find out,’ and kiss her. And if she says, ‘No,’ you say, ‘I didn’t say you could. It just looked like you had something on your mind.’”

“Yeah,” he said. “Be the dancing string.”

The fundamental precept of NLP is that one’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior — and the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of others — can be manipulated through words, suggestions, and physical gestures designed to influence the subconscious.

As players, we stand at the gate of a new era: the survival of the smoothest.”

The best predators don’t lie on the jungle floor with their teeth bared and claws out. The prey is going to avoid them. They approach the prey slowly and harmlessly, win its trust, and then attack.

It was a simple structure that allowed me to determine the direction in which I needed to take a girl: First, open. Then demonstrate higher value. Next, build rapport and an emotional connection. And, finally, create a physical connection.

The girls leaned in toward me, thrilled by the idea of an innocous test. Guys in the community have an expression for this phenomenon: I was giving them “chick crack.” Most women, they say, respond to routines involving tests, psychological games, fortune-telling, and cold-reading like addicts respond to free drugs.

Helena Rubinstein once said, “There are no ugly women; only lazy ones.” Since society holds men to less rigid standards of beauty than women, this is doubly true of guys. Give a man like Sweater — or any man — a tan, better posture, whiter teeth, a fitness regime, and clothes that fit, and he’s well on his way to handsome.

“And as far as I’m concerned, I’m getting out at the top. I’ve come to understand that without commitment, you cannot have depth in anything, whether it’s a relationship, a business, or a hobby.”

In the field, one quickly learns that everything that was funny at age ten is funny all over again.

I’ve never trusted collaborations, because most people in this world are not closers. They don’t finish what they start; they don’t live what they dream; they sabotage their own progress because they’re afraid they won’t find what they seek.

the strong live off the weak and the clever live off the strong.

But after watching the auditors, I began to think that perhaps routines weren’t training wheels after all; they were the bike. Every form of demagoguery depends on them. Religion is pickup. Politics is pickup. Life is pickup.

Somewhere along the line, sarging became seen as the goal of pickup. But the point of the game is not to get good at sarging. When you sarge, every night is a new one. You’re not building anything but a skillset. What got me laid on my birthday was not sarging but lifestyle. And building a lifestyle is cumulative. Everything you do counts and brings you closer to your goal. The right lifestyle is something that is worn, not discussed. Money, fame, and looks, though helpful, are not required. It is, rather, something that screams: Ladies, abandon your boring, mundane, unfulfilled lives and step into my exciting world, full of interesting people, new experiences, good times, easy living, and dreams fulfilled.

According to the books I’d read on cold-reading, all human problems fall into one of three areas: health, wealth, and relationships, each of which has an inner and an outer component. For the past year and a half, we’d been focusing solely on relationships. Now it was time to get every cylinder in our lives firing. It was time to follow through on Mystery’s codeine-addled ramblings and join forces to work together for more than just HB10s. We were greater than the sum of our cocks.

But the truth is that the fantasy is often better than the reality. I had just learned that lesson. Most men eventually learn that lesson.

If there was anything I’d learned, it’s that the man never chooses the woman. All he can do is give her an opportunity to choose him.

We were all searching outside ourselves for our missing pieces, and we were all looking in the wrong direction. Instead of finding ourselves, we’d lost our sense of self. Mystery didn’t have the answers. A blonde 10 in a two-set at the Standard didn’t have the answers. The answers were to be found within. To win the game was to leave it.

Max Nova

Max Nova

I love books! My reading theme for 2017 is "The Integrity of Western Science." I'm also the founder of www.SilviaTerra.com.

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