Demystifying “Pick-Up” (Guest Post)

My friend Sebastian Callow, owner and operator of London’s Authentic Man Within, shares my thoughts on the concept of ‘pick up’ (and the industry) being typically way over complicated and unnecessary. Here he outlines how a “PUA” would breakdown him meeting a girl, rather than what actually happened (infield video).

Demystifying “Pick-Up” (+Infield Breakdown)

Woman eating

First of all, it’s not “pick-up”.

When you’re hungry you go pick-up a sandwich from the delicatessen and when you want to read the news you pick-up a newspaper from the corner shop

You don’t pick-up a woman because a woman is not an object, and the very act of perceiving her that way degrades your ability to naturally vibe and connect with her as a living, breathing, sentient being.

So if it’s not a pick-up, what is it? An approach?

No, an approach is something very serious that happens between businesses when something needs to be proposed or requested, for instance when one department ‘approaches’ another about a request for funding.

When you strike up a conversation with a woman it’s not serious and formal and there’s nothing to be proposed or requested. It’s a case of letting your attraction lead you into conversation and allowing the interaction to unfold as it may, directed only by your intention to get to know her, to vibe with her and to flirt with her.

It’s not a pick-up, it’s not an approach, it’s simply … talking to a woman!

Doesn’t that sound easier somehow? A lot less pressure and complication, no?

If it does sound easier to you, you can be sure that you’ll have a lot more confidence about it. Psychologists have proven that people respond with significantly greater or lesser confidence to tasks that are perceived as easier or harder (Hard-easy effect)

And that’s just the label! We haven’t even begun to consider all the theory, tactics, techniques and should’s and shouldn’t’s that go along with 99.9% of pick-up theory.

How much more difficult does your perception of the action become when you feel you have to demonstrate higher value, convey active disinterest, show pre-selection, do an assumption stack, or whatever else is on the latest menu of do’s and don’ts in pick-up theory?

To give an example of just how complex or simple the perception of talking to a woman can be, I’m going to give you two breakdowns of the interaction in the clip below.

The first will be laden with over-the-top pick-up terminology, unnecessary analysis and even a few made-up bits just to make me sound like a true PUA (why anyone would want this label I’ll never know). The second will be simply the essence of the interaction and the underlying factors which drive it and make it work.

Breakdown #1 – How a “PUA” would analyse this …

– The pick-up commences by garnering her attention with an NLP technique called ‘pacing reality’, whereby I state exactly what’s going on for her, “I know you’re on the way somewhere.” This allows her to enter the interaction in a state of agreement, and of course under my seductive trance!

– I then follow-up with a ‘direct opener’. This is where I directly state my interest by saying, “You’re beautiful, I thought I’d come say hi!” This sets the underlying frame that I am an alpha male who chooses what he wants, thus setting up the buyer/seller dynamic whereby I am the buyer and she must sell herself to me, like buying a car.

– Subsequently, I tell her that she sounds Australian even though she’s English. This is a discreet ‘neg’ whereby I make her feel uncomfortable about the way she is speaking, lower her self-esteem and thus make her more susceptible to perceiving me as a man of ‘higher value’, and more easily manipulated and coerced into sex. Mwahaha!

– I DHV by making a couple of jokes about her film career, playfully suggesting, “Should I know you?” And engaging in a brief role play and ‘future-projection’ whereby I say, “When you’re rich, we can get married.” This last comment helps subtly create the perception that I am ‘the prize’ and that she must work for my approval.

– Upon her telling me that she’s in a film about bipolar disorder I suggest that she played the role of the person with bipolar, another neg in order to further lower self-esteem, just in case it wasn’t low enough already.

– When she mentions psychotherapy I then take the opportunity to DHV a little, telling her about my psychology studies and my travels and generally showing her what an awesome, super-cool guy I am. It’s true, I am awesome!

– She mentions she’s travelling to New Zealand and I ‘neg’ her one last time about her accent, saying, “You’ve already got the accent.”

– We then ‘fluff talk’ for a few minutes about health foods, her dogs, where we both grew up. This serves the purpose of using up a bit of the obligatory 7 hours that a woman must always spend with you before she’ll sleep with you (please refer to the book “The Game” and the ‘seven hour rule’). No woman has ever slept with a man in less than 7 hours in the history of evolution… FACT!

– I then ‘number close’ with the line, “You seem cool, maybe we should meet up sometime.” This shows ‘active disinterest’, because you “seem cool” isn’t the same as actually being cool and “maybe” meeting up isn’t the same as actually meeting up. It’s important for me to be somewhat disinterested because of ‘cat-string theory’, which is another excellent pick-up theory created by a psychotic magician.

Breakdown #2 – What actually happened …

– I see a woman who I am attracted to, I run over, stop her and express exactly how I’m feeling about her, “You’re beautiful, I wanted to come say hi!” As I speak I try to feel the words that I’m saying, as opposed to just saying them without any connection to the feeling she has inspired in me. This manifests in a little variance in tone and pitch as I speak and a big smile on my face.

– I allow my curiosity about her to lead the interaction, asking her questions that I’m genuinely interested in knowing the answers to (as opposed to asking from a place of ‘I don’t know what else to say’). First of all I quiz her on her unusual accent and then on her film career. She opens up and talks pretty soon, so I allow her to speak and chip in with the occasional expression of humour and gentle teasing, and later share a little about myself.

– After a few minutes, the conversation subsides into a very relaxed state and we simply vibe with each other and enjoy each others company before exchanging contact details. After we exchange details I hang around for a while and get to know her a little more.

How do the two breakdowns compare?

Okay, okay, so the PUA analysis was a little tongue-in-cheek. I made it this way because I was finding it very difficult to take seriously, but funnily enough, if you look at the way some interactions have been broken down in the past by the pick-up community you’ll find a lot of similarities.

The problem with these perspectives is over-analysis, over-complication, misinformation, and most importantly, missing the essence of the interaction. The essence of the interaction is, after all, the most important part.


PUA = Pretty Unnecessary Actually

Pick-up theory focuses way too much on tactics and techniques and the words and information that are exchanged, and not at all on the energy that is attached to the words.

When you shift your focus away from the words and information that are exchanged and focus instead on the energy that is attached to the words, you begin to understand interactions with more depth and clarity and express yourself with a power that was previously lacking.

This mindset will help you to understand why sometimes a compliment has a positive effect and sometimes not, and why sometimes asking a ‘boring’ question will garner an animated response and other times not.

It’s not about the words, it’s about the energy.

A compliment has a positive effect when it’s a pure expression of how you’re feeling, rather than being said in the hope of a favourable response.

A question garners an animated response when it arises out of genuine curiosity, as opposed to arising out of the confusion of not knowing what to say.

When your conversations are empowered by positive emotion that emanates from the present moment, they have a sense of aliveness and vitality to them. And when you’re repeating pick-up lines, tactics and techniques, your conversations have all the aliveness and vitality of a limp dick.

Start to focus on the energy that you’re giving out in your interactions as opposed to the words and you’ll notice a big shift, not just in your ability to relate to women but in your overall sense of self-esteem too.

Expressing yourself through feeling is much easier said than done, but it’s powerful and it’s real and it’s expressing yourself in a way that’s absolutely and intimately you. It’s not about repeating lines or deploying tactics, it’s about becoming better and better at making your external expressions most closely match your internal state.

The closer you get to this, the greater the sense of ease and comfort you have within yourself. And that, ultimately, is what will yield you the most success with women and the most happiness within yourself.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *