What is “The Game,” by Neil Strauss, About?
“The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists” is a book written by Neil Strauss – a reporter who goes undercover to engross himself in this underground world of pickup. Underground what?… That’s right there is a whole entire secret world of men who literally center their lives around learning the art of how to pickup and seduce women. Spilling all the tea about this secret lair is exactly what Strauss does in his book, “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists.”
In addition to offering insight into the “secret underground world of pickup,” Strauss noted numerous tips, tricks and tactics used and taught by the masters of pickup across the world. So does the book the game actually offer worth while advice? While many of these tactics seemed ethically questionable at best, there were a few pointers that actually seemed like solid advice.
Listen To The Podcast
In episode 204 of the Boom Tequila Podcast, we talk all about The Art of Pickup and “The Game,” a book by Neil Strauss, and the tricks used by professional pickup artists. We are spilling all the tea from this book and talking about the advice that stood out most from this book… some good and some a little terrifying
Pickup Tricks & Tips The Stood Out
While, probably a majority of the advice outlined in this book falls under questionably sound guidance, there were a few things that stood out more than others… and not all of them were bad. We are going to break down what stood out most to us and offer a female perspective on the suggestions outlined in Strauss’ book.
I knew there would be some sketch things in this book, but I was a little surprised at the number of tips and tricks that actually seemed like pretty solid guidance. So, lets break down some of the winners…
I.O.I.s (indicators of interests)
This is basically putting a name and some general rules to the things people say and do that show whether or not they are interested in or attracted to someone. Examples here would include things like – squeeze her hand, if she squeezes back.. IOI. Other examples included whether or not she asked questions such as “what’s your name” or “are you single.”
While there is actual research to back up some of the meanings behind body language, I’m not sure that simple questions like this would truly indicate interest… but I think for the purposes of whatever tactic was being used, they might be a queue to indicate which script should be implemented, based on the response, questions asked or level of engagement.
Overall a better understanding of body language and communication could help you… if it doesn’t make you more awkward. There is something to be said in the fact that once you know something, you can’t really un-know it. Where things might feel natural now, as soon as you understand specific rules or queues, you can’t not see them and they can impact how you interact. Basic understanding is probably good, but dive too deep and you may not be able to get back.
The three second rule
This rule basically states that you have three seconds to engage once “identifying a target.” The thought here is that if you wait longer than three seconds, you overthink it and basically make it weird. And honestly… it’s probably true. The encouragement to put yourself out there and just go for it is probably one of the hardest things for a lot of people. This also leads us into our next point which is…
Don’t be afraid to fail
We’ve all heard this, but easier said than done; however accepting that failure is a part of the process enables you to continue and push forward towards success. If a target is shuts you down, you identify a new target, move on and run another script. While I don’t love the rhetoric of women as “targets” to “run scripts on,” the overall concept and advice to not let failure hold you back is solid.
Most of the guidance in this book would probably fall under bad advice if you were really looking to start a flourishing relationship, but I don’t think that was really the goal. A little sketch and womanizing, sure… but this one really stood out as a WTF moment. Does this work? I don’t know… maybe. But is it shady AF? Abso-freaking-lutely.
Cognitive manipulation to seduce women
The tactics that stood out as most concerning were those centered around the concept of cognitive manipulation. Methods described involved utilizing the concept that people can be subconsciously influenced through behaviors, words and other things. The model outlined in the book went like this:
- Start with a scripted opener
- Elicit her value
- Find out her trans word is (the trans word is the word that can be used strategically with plotted manipulations influence someone subconsciously).
- Then go into one of the secret patterns… While Strauss did not detail specifically how to elicit someones values and uncover their trans word, he does walk through some examples of how these methods were used and the very effective results they solicited.
And the questionable
OK, so arguably a lot of the things Strauss discussed were questionable, but we’ll stick to just a few that stood out.
Cat string theory
This theory is centered around understanding the balance of communication reciprocity and the balancing act of give and take. Strauss asks “have you ever seen a cat play with a string?” He continues, noting “it chases the string as long as you’re dangling it, but as soon as you drop it the cat is disinterested. It only wants the string when it is just out of reach.” This analogy is used to explain the balance often required to keep someone’s attention or at least not come off too desperate.
How this would play out
As soon as a girl turns away from you, don’t chase the attention… She may then feel like she has to work for you. “Be the dancing string.”
One positive to the Cat String Theory model is that it does (at least on the surface) respect the boundaries of “the target” by not insisting or pushing things too far, but this still feels a little deceptive when considering the motive and intentionality behind it.
The “kiss close“
The “kiss close” is one of the simple scripts that was explained and it goes like this… You ask “Would you like to kiss me?” Then your follow-up varies based on her response.
- Yes > Kiss her
- Maybe or hesitates > Say “let’s see” and kiss her (like, “well let’s find out if you’d like it…”)
- No > Say “I didn’t say you could. It just looked like you had something on your mind.”
There were several “openers” referenced and while some were okay, several stood out as misleading. For instance, one tactic outlined was to approach a target with a line such as “can I tell you something?” Once she inevitably says “yes,” you offer some interesting bit of information, such as “people probably assume you’re more of a good girl type, because you have a u-shaped mouth…” This particular opener, while it seemed to work, it was also indicated that this idea was totally made up. If we separate out the part where you spark conversation with interesting info… this would have been grouped in the good pile, but as soon as that “interesting info” is also a total load of BS… well that’s where it becomes disqualified.
Another misleading opener that was referenced in The Game was to approach a girl with a statement along the lines of “if I weren’t gay, I’d have you.” The thought here is that she thinks your gay, you become instantly non-threatening and she can loosen up a bit… then as drinks ensue and you disclose you are not actually gay… by that point she already thinks you’re great and doesn’t care, but now she’s looking at you in a new light. This one I think falls into the questionable category for (hopefully) obvious reasons.
Erin is ambitious, sarcastic and optimistic. She values authenticity, education and personal growth. Read More…