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"Who's messing around with romantic courtship?"


by Thom Patterson, February 13, 2012


He's serious. Valentine's Day is Fat Boy's turf and we should keep our mitts off. Couples are playing fast and loose with centuries-old traditions embedded in our DNA. Don't mess with it.

Here's what's got the kid PO'd:

-- Texting is the new love letter.

-- Pickup artists claim they can get a date in three texts.

-- Real kisses are often replaced by cell keystrokes like KOTL (kiss on the lips.)

-- Romantic courtship has been hijacked by reality TV shows like "The Bachelor."

Are these changes cheapening love and romance? Are we seeking easy shortcuts for courtship because we're too busy?

Let's ask some experts.

"We lost our footing somewhere along the way regarding the romance," says Danae Matthews, a San Francisco 20-something who blogs about dating for the online women's resource Women's Health Base. "I wouldn't call it desperate, but it's rushed. We're jumping into things too quickly."

Case in point: more than half of singles have sex on first dates, according to a new poll. "That doesn't surprise me at all," Matthews says

Why all this first-date sex? It's the technology, says sex and relationships expert Laura Berman. When people meet first via online dating sites or by texting, they're likely to flirt and indulge in pre-date sexual banter. That creates sexual tension -- and even a sexual expectation -- that sets the stage for a randy first encounter IRL (in real life), says Berman.

Basically we're moving from traditional courtship rituals like buying flowers, writing poems and sending love letters ... to tweeting stuff like "TD2M" or "LH6." (See text decoder in left margin of this story.)

Who cares? Well, this cultural shift actually might be fueling a serious communication gap that may negatively affect an entire generation.

Berman says she's really worried about Matthews' crowd -- age 30 and under -- who haven't got "enough training and experience about how to be verbally and emotionally and romantically intimate in person." They're communicating one-on-one by typing a lot of the time.

That generation is at higher risk for "a lot of miscommunication, a lot of conflict, a lot of divorces," says Berman. "There's a risk of losing that deep intimacy from eye-to-eye contact, which is so important to mating and courtship rituals so ingrained in our DNA." Without social and emotional intimacy, she says couples lack marriage bonding tools that are crucial to surviving difficult times.

Several celebrity marriages didn't survive this past year. You probably heard about a lot of them, including Katy Perry and Russell Brand, Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian. It's hard to know the real reasons behind Hollywood split-ups, but Kardashian said, "I rushed into something too soon."

On the other hand, celebrity courtship train wrecks are laid out for everybody to see on ABC's "The Bachelor," where 25 women compete against each other to win the heart of one man.

Shows like these corrupt our view of courtship, says CNN's Josh Levs. On the side, Levs also designs unique marriage proposals.

Imagination can turn courtship rituals into lifelong memories, he says. But "The Bachelor" twists this idea to make us believe that courtship is about performance.

"If you go into your relationship thinking it's a performance, you're destined to epic fail," Levs says.

Matthews agrees that reality TV's emphasis on competition hasn't helped her peers. Heightened rivalry within her age group is pressuring singles to stake an early claim on sex partners before someone else snatches them up. Sometimes the need to win outweighs better judgment about their choice of mates. "Competition and insecurities are really widespread," she says.

Romantic Courtship Hall of Fame

If there were a Romantic Courtship Hall of Fame, the cell phone and the Internet would have their own wing by now. Down the hall you'd see Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher who talked about deep spiritual love called "agape." Near the gift shop you might pass the inventors of chivalry -- medieval knights who won the keys to maidens' chastity belts by slaying proverbial dragons.

Oh yeah, and don't forget about a third-century bishop named Valentine who, according to legend, performed illegal Christian marriages in secret. Some say St. Valentine's Day marks the date he was executed by the Romans -- February 14.

As a culture, we've said buh-bye to scented envelopes containing heartfelt love letters written in calligraphy on fine stationery. No more treasured bundles of love notes tied up in brightly colored ribbons and handed down to the grandchildren.

It's enough to make Emory University professor Mark Bauerlein wonder whether Facebook essentially killed the love letter.

"The next generation won't know what they're missing," says Berman. Our post-Internet world is clutching its smartphone with both hands and thumb-typing: "Screw that. We'll invent our own courtship traditions, BTW, RYS [by the way, are you single]?"

Get a date in three texts

If you want to know how men are straying from the classic ideals of romantic courtship, consider Brad Branson.

Remember that character Tom Cruise played in 1999's "Magnolia?" Frank T.J. Mackay was a troubled self-help guru who gave seminars on how to pick up women.

Branson is not Mackay.

But he is an executive coach at Real Social Dynamics, described online as "the world's largest dating coaching company."

Branson travels the globe teaching at "boot camps" for men who want tips on winning women over. Price tag: $2,000.

Check out Branson's "tested," three-step "protocol for texting girls to get the date," according to his website.

1. After getting her number and waiting until shortly after she leaves the bar, he advises texting, "Hey girl, get home safe -- Brad."

2. Next, wait about 36 hours and then text her something you're randomly doing that day. Branson suggests: "Always nice sitting by the pool all day drinking beer.'"

3. Finally, he says you should propose a nonspecific date: "You! We should do something this Thursday."

Baddaboom. Baddabing. She texts back yes! You're in. Thanks dude.

"Some of these things are helpful for guys who are really shy," admits Matthews. "But really, these are just ways of tricking people. Just strike up a conversation by saying what comes natural to you, she suggests. Then let the courting wackiness ensue.

"I feel like somewhere along the way men have lost their game," says Matthews. "There's been a shift somewhere where men think that they can sit back and let the women come to them to show they're viable candidates for dates."

By the way, Alec Banks over at HelloGiggles offers some tips on how to woo men, if you're so inclined.

But let's give texting its due: For busy couples it's so much easier to text something as thoughtful as "I'm thinking of you. I love you." Or, "I'll see you later and we'll get our swerve on."

Atlanta store manager Brenda Hunter allows her 17-year-old daughter Shannon to text and Skype freely with her boyfriend in Selma, Alabama. They only get to meet IRL during holidays. "It allows them to court more," says Hunter. "And the focus of the relationship stays in their heads. It's more spiritual, less physical."

As Berman puts it, "Texting has become a romantic touchstone."

So where are we headed? Will future Shakespeares compose breathtaking sonnets on their Droids and iPhones?

"Use technology as much as you want," says Berman. "Just make sure that you're also exercising your human contact muscle."

Will convenient courtship through technology lead to a resurgence in romance? Matthews says, why not? "I think we all just need to slow down a little bit," she says. "I think we'd all enjoy dating a little bit more."


"Tricks from a pickup artist"

Time Out New York -

by Connell Barrett, June 3, 2010


A pro taught a TONY writer the tools of the trade—and then the “targets” had their say.

For some, picking up women is a pastime. For Jeff Allen, an instructor for Real Social Dynamics, it’s an art form—and a job. Allen penned an exposé on the pickup world, Nine Ball, and his company will feature a guest speaker at this week’s 2010 Dating Conference, a gathering of pickup artists. “More than 60 percent of my boot-camp clients get laid,” says Allen, but he insists the training he gives men isn’t only about sex. “I’m on a fucking jihad against insecurity,” he says. “Men think women want looks or money. But women like you for you.” Get girls by being yourself? We decided try his lady-catching techniques—and let the “targets” grade our game.

Karaoke opener

TECHNIQUE At Brass Monkey (55 Little W 12th St between Tenth Ave and Washington St; 212-675-6686,, my first boot-camp mission was to approach a cute blond at the end of the bar by serenading her with a cheesy ’80s song. Seems toolish, but Allen disagrees: “You’re being logical,” he said. “Dating is about emotion, not logic. Emotions are contagious.”

EXECUTION Karen, 28, hails from Peru and is a recent law-school graduate. I walked up and sang, “Purple rain, purple rain!” I felt like a Bellevue escapee, but she didn’t flee. I talked faster, words rushing out like machine-gun fire: “Hey, nice to meet you, I love Prince, how’s it going…”

RESULT Karen dismissed me with a polite “Nice meeting you.” Rejected! I was free to reveal my pickup assignment: “You were pushy, too persistent and creepy,” she said. “Let a girl breathe.” She was right. Lesson learned: Slow your speech, and make the interaction a dialogue, not a monologue.

Get physical

TECHNIQUE At the dim, candlelit Gaslight, Allen told me to approach a girl on a sofa and touch her—playfully, not creepily—within the first minute. “Getting physical tells a girl you’re interested,” he says. “High-five her, hug her, throw your arm around her shoulder.” Otherwise, you’re headed for the friend zone.

EXECUTION While Allen occupied her friend, I was able to talk to—and touch—Elena, 21, a quick-witted girl with a hint of Brooklyn accent. We had instant chemistry, heightened by my flirty touching and, yes, high-fiving. She leaned into me. Within minutes we held hands.

RESULT I sheepishly revealed my assignment. How’d I do? “A-plus,” she said, a little shaken. She felt duped, and I don’t blame her. “It didn’t feel like a pickup,” she said. “It was like we were hitting it off. It felt real.” It was. Allen further explained the technique: “The longer you wait to touch, the weirder it is when you do,” he says.

Befriend the friend

TECHNIQUE When you approach a girl with a friend, engage them both. “She can help you or destroy you,” Allen says.

EXECUTION At Pianos, I met both Yafen—a shy 24-year-old who works in real-estate—and her buddy. “You guys look friendly,” I said to both. I soon asked her friend for permission to talk to Yafen, and the friend happily left us alone.

RESULT Yafen gave me her e-mail address, later admitting, “You were intense but funny, so why not? It was weird but fun.” Allen’s point about emotions being contagious was sinking in.

Go direct

TECHNIQUE It takes Liberty Bell–size balls to approach a beautiful woman, look her in the eyes, and say, “You’re gorgeous”—especially if there’s a chance she has a boyfriend on the premises. That’s why the direct approach works: “It shows you’re brave,” Allen says. “Women want men who speak their mind.”

EXECUTION I saw Delphine, 24, a French graduate student visiting New York with some fellow Parisians, mostly men who considered me the enemy. “You’re absolutely adorable,” I told her sincerely. “Thank you,” she said, blushing. We grabbed a seat and talked. She hadn’t noticed me before, but my approach set me apart. We flirted for awhile before a protective countryman swooped in, saying, “She has a boyfriend in France.” Interesting, she never mentioned him.

RESULT “I liked the way you walked up,” Delphine told me. “You were a gentleman, but not afraid. Many times, men watch but do nothing. If I did not have a boyfriend…”


I scored one phone number, one e-mail address, and I never once told a lie. As Allen saw it, the girl who rejected me offered the night’s best lesson. “A guy who’s good with women gets rejected a lot,” he said. “He’s like the boutique coffee shop that some people hate—it’s arrogant, too many hipsters. But the [people] who love it really love it because it’s authentic, and they can’t get enough.”


"From Noob to 'Natural' -- The New Rules for Picking Up Women"

Asylum -

by Connell Barrett, May 7, 2010


A confession: I'm 38, single, and until recently I had never, ever approached an attractive stranger.

I've been lucky enough to date some of the most amazing women, via work or But when I see that Jessica Alba lookalike at the bar, I ... can't ... move ... my ... legs. It's called approach anxiety, and it's taken a toll.

If you figure a guy notices at least five beautiful girls per day, then I have failed to approach 37,000 women in my adult life. I repeat: I'm 0 for 37,000.

I had to act. Not for my sex life, but my self-esteem.

I found Real Social Dynamics, a company that conducts approach boot camps in 250 cities worldwide as well as offering online dating advice.

Many dating gurus mirror the quasi-manipulative, push-button formula described in Neil Strauss's 2005 book "The Game": flashy clothes + scripted material = serious nookie. But Real Social Dynamics purported to teach something a little less militaristic.

Call it Natural Game. Co-founded by Owen Cook (better known as Tyler Durden in "The Game"), RSD is supposed to help guys find their own free-wheeling, authentic dating style, without crutches like fur coats or palm-reading.

It sounded good, so I decided to spend three exhilarating days chatting up New York City women with my guide, a charismatic 25-year-old RSD instructor named Ryan. Keep reading to find out why the $1,500–$2,000 fee was a bargain.

Here are four of the golden rules of Natural Game.

1. Learn to Love Rejection

If you approach, you will be rejected. A lot. The trick, Ryan said in a pre-game session, is detachment from outcome, which is straight out of Eastern philosophy. "If you approach, you've succeeded," Ryan said. "You only fail when you want to approach and don't. So approach. Everything after is icing."

2. Approach With Bracing Honesty

As I anxiously entered a rooftop bar in the shadow of the Empire State Building, Ryan, who has literally approached thousands of women, laid down the law. "No pickup lines allowed," he said. "Walk up to women and say what you feel in the moment. Speak your deepest truth. Women respond to authenticity, not rehearsed lines."

Speak your deepest truth. Cheesy, but I liked the Zen vibe. He said, "Your true self is always coming through, so if you're nervous, don't hide it, or she'll sense something is off. You'll seem incongruent. If you're nervous, be Nervous Guy. That's your approach!" It made trippy sense. Overcoming fear conveys courage, an attractive trait.

Two gorgeous brunettes in black boots sipped Cosmos on a couch. I felt like Richard Dreyfuss entering the shark cage in "Jaws." ("I got no spit") I slid in. "Hi," I said. "I'm kind of shy, but I told myself I would talk to the first beautiful women I saw tonight. I'm Connell." Dorky, but sincere. I braced for a "Buzz off, pal."

"Suuure, you're real shy," one of them purred. Whoa. By being open with my nervousness -- by owning it -- I somehow seemed together, congruent. Could it be that simple?

3. Show Romantic Intent

"The Game" revealed the pickup artist's secret weapon: the neg, a poison-dart remark designed to puncture a beautiful woman's ego while disguising your attraction. Then, with her shields down, you sneak in and game her. Full disclosure: I used to neg Match dates, telling one girl, "I prefer 10s, but I like your personality." What a jerk.

Instead of feigning lack of interest, Natural Game says to approach with honest, ballsy intent. Be love-struck. Be amazed. Be John Cusack in "Yet Another Soul-Crushingly Bad Rom-Com," directed by Garry Marshall.

In Barnes & Noble, a willowy Indian girl exerted a gravitational pull on the retinas of every man in the DVD section. My heart slam-danced against my ribs. I went in. "Excuse me," I said. "I never hit on random girls, but I just had to tell you how stunning you are ..."

"Wow, thanks!" She was beaming. She didn't run or blow a rape whistle. The trick? I wanted nothing from her. Instead, I offered value in the form of a sincere compliment.

4. Assert Your Ideal Reality

On the rooftop bar, I saw Katie, an Ali Larter lookalike with pouty lips and shiny blond hair that tickled her bare shoulders. I was smitten. I approached with a simple "Hi," and we started talking.

I hit the bar to get us more drinks. To my horror, I returned to find Katie encircled by three well-muscled "Jersey Shore" wannabes-and she was loving the attention. I froze. Like a servant, I wordlessly delivered her drink, which she took without acknowledging me. She twirled her hair and giggled for The Situation. I slunk off.

I found Ryan. Should I flirt with other girls to make her jealous, like in "The Game"? Or vaporize the guys with my dazzling wit, showing her my higher value? "What do you want to do?" he asked. "Is Katie your girl tonight?"


"Then go get her. Take her away from them."

I charged into the group, grabbed Katie's hand, and yanked her away, commanding, "Come with me! We have to talk." She didn't resist. The Jersey Boys said nothing.

Leading her to a dark corner on the rooftop bar, I felt ... primitive, like a low-skulled Cro-Magnon dragging a mate to his cave. And I liked it. I sat Katie down. Her energy had changed. She looked at me with big, wet eyes. All along, she'd been testing my alpha-male qualities. I'd passed. But she had one more test.

"Wow, you just grabbed me away from those guys," she said. "Are you always this possessive?"

"Possessive?" I stroked her hair. "I just took what belonged to me." I kissed her. It was easy now.

The next day, Ryan distilled Natural Game to its basics. "It's about asserting your ideal reality," he said. In life, we tend to exert our will passively: the trip we don't take, the raise we don't seek, the girl we don't approach.

"Last night, you weren't passive. You took right action to create your ideal reality. Actively asserting your reality -- with women, with life -- that is the game."


Inc Magazine's 5000 Fastest Growing Companies

I’m very excited to announce that Real Social Dynamics has been accepted into the Inc Magazine’s “Inc 5000” List, ranking us as the 860th fastest growing private company in the world based in the USA.

Screenshots from the Inc Magazine website of the Real Social Dynamics company profile.

In addition, Real Social Dynamics has been ranked as the 60th fastest growing private company in the Los Angeles area and the 59th fastest growing Consumer Products & Services company in the United States of America.

Over the last 7 years, we’ve grown into a company offering live programs in over 200 cities and 60 countries, consisting of a global network of over 400 people working together, offering almost 1000 live programs every year that has taught over 20,000 live program students, and this is mainly because of the word of mouth of happy students. So I want to also thank all of you for helping us to grow into the world’s largest dating coaching company.

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It all started at 111 Minna with my first neg. 

"I like a good nose that cuts the wind," he said to me, smiling charmingly. 

I faltered for a moment. Was my nose really that jarring?  "Ummm..." 

Running through the conversation with Denise later over coffee, I asked what could have inspired such a strange and seemingly backhanded compliment. 

"Oh, you haven't read The Game?" She laughed at my naïveté. I decided then and there I would meet the masters.

Months later, when my editor suggested one of us embed ourselves with a group of pick-up artists, I raised my hand. I was curious to see what techniques were being taught and tested on women by born again alpha males all over San Francisco. He dared me to take the story one step further to see if their techniques would work to pick up men. I took the bait.

Friday, 2000 hours. Boot camp has begun and I find myself in the sultry lobby of the Clift Hotel, the unofficial lair of pickup training company Real Social Dynamics, where Jeffy (known online as "Jlaix") is king. "Let's get down to brass fucking tacks," he says, drawing us into a full circle around his leather throne and drumming his fingers on the coffee table intently. He's out to get his students laid.

The trainees include Pete, a 24-year-old finance guy from Palo Alto, and Mark, a 29-year-old engineer from San Diego with an Australian accent. Though fairly attractive and seemingly normal, they're quickly stumped when Jeffy asks them what they do for fun. "Ummm.... travel?" I sigh inwardly, thinking about the long and surely awkward weekend ahead of us.

Jeffy doesn't appear to be fazed by their shortcomings though. In fact, he's brazenly confident about their ability to get someone into bed that night if only they follow his orders: approach the woman with confidence, show intent and physically escalate the situation. Still, he warns if they don't treat this like "fucking jihad" and become social terrorists for the evening they could end up with their "dick in their hands" or crying in the bathroom.

Known online for being one of the most volatile and polarizing pickup artists in the game, Jeffy is also one of the most effective wing men around: 63% of his students get laid during boot camp. After prepping the guys with some openers – "I'm sad. I need a kiss." "You're cute. I want to meet you." "What's up, ho? You like Food Court?" (he's kidding, I think) – he hands out some prophylactics and reminds them to speak obnoxiously loud.

We walk into the Redwood Room, and before we have time to take in the white teeth, glittering sequins and flashing lights, he's pushing the guys towards groups of women, watching them flounder like fish out of water. He paces the room, getting angrier and angrier as they flail. "Seriously, I should just return their money and kick them out." They've paid $1,500 each to be there.

Jeffy whisks us out of the hotel and we walk through the Tenderloin while he barks orders like a drill sergeant, expressing discontent with the students' performances. Somewhere along the way, his assistant Greg executes the Tap and Spin, essentially accosting two cute women on the street from behind, yet somehow managing to link arms with them and bring them along on our little journey.

Minutes later we're in Vertigo, where internationals and city folk come to bump and grind to Top 40. The students are a little tipsy now, and too many vodka tonics are making me silly. Jeffy starts counting down from 30, and I remember my mission. I sidle up to a cute German, and engage him in some Pointless Leading, basically dragging him around the bar. "Let's go get a drink." "Let's go dance." "Let's go meet my friend." It’s all preamble to the final instruction: "Let's go home."

Pete walks up to a group of women and busts out a Prince move from Purple Rain . They giggle. Jeffy approaches a Frenchie by dramatically playing with his mullet. She laughs. Mark reenacts a scene from Dirty Dancing with a blonde. Next thing you know they are making out, and then leaving the club together. Jeffy has a big smile on his face. "Mark is totally getting laid tonight." The German leaves with me.

Night one is a success and Lesson One is learned: goofy is good. It really doesn't matter how you approach your target, as long as you do it with the intent of amusing yourself, first and foremost. This is confidence.

Saturday, 2000 hours. I arrive at the Clift Hotel and the guys are already there, watching videos from the night before while Jeffy critiques their interactions. Recording intimate conversations in a crowded bar is not an easy feat, but with a video camera concealed carefully in a black shoulder bag and body mics properly taped to bare skin, no release forms are necessary.

The video switches to Jeffy picking up on a Londoner. He's confusing her with ridiculous statements, and she's loving it. "You smell like England... like tea and crumpets." He's using a tried and true technique, the Push Pull. He gives something, and then takes it away. Like "Wow, you're awesome... sort of." "You seem cool... but maybe you're just weird." "You know what I love about you... nothing."

Every so often, he glances around the bar, distracted. As she tries harder and harder to keep his attention, I realize this is all a part of his master plan. And sure enough, he's demonstrating the Take Away, removing his attention from her to make her want him more. In theory, it's like string for a cat. In practice, or at least in this video, it's working.

As they start to make out, Jeffy explains that half the battle of picking someone up is having a full erection while you're talking to them. Sexual energy is contagious, and he wants the guys to come on strong, like West Nile Virus in a retirement home. He also recommends using Role Play for a similar effect. "Wow... You're so pretty. I want you to be my prom queen. I'll pick you up at your parents' house. Buy you a corsage. Feel you up in the back of my Honda."

The next thing I know the lecture is over and we're blazing through town in cabs and pull up at the Elbo Room. I hadn't expected to arrive in the Mission, but apparently the mix of yuppies, hipsters and Euros there fuels a good success rate for Jeffy's students. I'm just starting to get bored, when I spot a tall, dark and handsome type in an orange cardigan sweater at the bar.

His arm is in a brace, and I tell him not to be so obvious when looking for sympathy sex. He laughs, and we're off to a good start. He buys me a shot and a beer. The banter heightens and at some point I run the We're Too Similar routine that Jeffy taught us. "We should be together. Too bad we wouldn't get along. We're too similar. We'd fight all the time. I guess we'd have freaky make-up sex though." Push Pull.

Arm Brace Guy is hooked, and night two ends with a bang. I wonder, is everyone drawn to an alpha male, even if they happen to be female?

Sunday, 2000 hours. We meet again at the Clift Hotel and the guys are revved up and ready to go. The night before neither of them got beyond make-out sessions, and they want to hit it hard this evening – the last of a balmy Labor Day weekend. They order cocktails and proceed to guzzle them down. Their goal tonight will be to Pull because, as Jeffy puts it, "you can't fuck a phone number."

We arrive at The Matrix and the line is already down the block. Guys in button-down shirts and women in short skirts are all looking for some action.

Inside, it's a gyration sensation, and we down shots and beers to ready ourselves for the sweaty masses. The students spread out and work the crowd, pulling me in to wing once in a while.

The night winds down and one-by-one we leave the club, until all seven of us have convened on the sidewalk. You pull? No. You? Nah... The night is an epic failure, at least in the eyes of the students. We debrief at Grubstake over potato skins and buffalo wings, and Jeffy and his pickup artist friends berate them for not stepping up to the plate.

I secretly congratulate myself. Picking up guys had been so easy. Channeling my inner alpha male had exploded sexual boundaries like a supernova. I thought about all of the lonely finance guys and engineers out there just dying to get hot and heavy, if not land a girlfriend, and how easy they were to coerce.

Upon further reflection though, I grew somber. If women liked alphas and men liked alphas, were both genders eternally doomed to a cycle of manipulation and aggression? In the end, I found comfort in the realization that alpha-ness never truly lasts. Everyone knows when you fall for someone, the game goes out the window.

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How To Pick Up Girls
from OrdinaryMagazine, 17.09.09

For just $2000 you too could spend a weekend learning the skills, the moves and the secret language of the professional pick-up artist. After that, all you need to learn is how to live with yourself, as Simon Nichols discovered

We are here to Sarge. (Sarge- verb: to pick up women, or to go out to try and meet women). It’s Friday night and the bar starts to fill up at about 9.30. There are four other students and me. We look with nervous anticipation at our two pick-up instructors (PUA’s), Ozzie from Spain and Saad from New York. They sit appropriately at the head of the table. For the next 48 hours, these guys own our manhood.

Ozzie scrolls the table making eye contact with each of us, one by one, and then starts. “If I tell any of you to approach any girls, don’t question me. I don’t want to hear excuses; they’re too hot, they’re too ugly; too fat, out of your league, got a boyfriend, they have a scary older brother with them. I have done hundreds of these boot camps all over the world and I have heard thousands of excuses. Just so we are clear, I don’t care!”

“Do what I say when I say or…,” Ozzie says motioning to the far corner of the bistro, “…there’s the fucking door! If you don’t want to go with me 110 per cent, now is your opportunity to leave.”

No one stands.

“Good,” says Ozzie. “Now if you approach a girl and she ignores you, don’t bail out. If she says that she has a boyfriend, don’t bail out. If you come back to Saad or myself and say, she didn’t really talk to me so I left, we will both say one thing to you, ‘Get the fuck back in there!’”

I can feel my left foot shake under the table and I desperately hope that the other guys don’t see it. Ozzie continues, “The only acceptable situation in which you can bail out is either the girl tells you to fuck off or she threatens to call security. Club owners hate us. We come to their clubs early so we don’t have to pay admission, we don’t buy any drinks and then we leave with their women. PUA’s are bad for business. If we get exposed, we always get kicked out immediately.”

Everyone here has paid $2000 Australian dollars to participate in this training weekend. Real Social Dynamics (RSD), the American pick-up training company teaching us its secrets allowed me in for free on the basis that I write a good story for them. Last night I was at an orientation seminar in the function room of a four-star hotel in Melbourne. With me were about 60 guys (and one girl) eager to learn how to be master seducers. Some of the guys in the audience were quite confident and considered picking up a sport. But most were just shy and socially awkward, looking the way I imagine John Howard, Bob Carr or Bill Gates looked in their 20s.

Although terrified and exhausted after my flight back to Sydney, I feel very lucky to be here. The world of pick-up artistry has interested me since watching Tom Cruise play one of these masters in the 1999 movie Magnolia. Shortly after that film’s release, Master PUA Neil Strauss wrote his international hit memoir The Game and since then, the concept of gaming or sarging women has become almost mainstream. There’s now a whole army of RSD boys who are flown to about 60 capital cities all over the world to run these pick-up weekends. They work Monday to Saturday recruiting, promoting and instructing. But once Sunday rolls around, the boys relax by hitting the clubs to embark on their own personal pick-up assignments. Despite having such cool jobs, Ozzie and Saad seem very stern and humourless.

Ozzie notices that I’m onto my third beer. “No more alcohol!” he says. “You will notice tonight that 90 per cent of the guys here, drink beer and sit at the bar looking at girls but never having the nerve to approach them. We are not like that. We don’t need beer. Don’t buy for yourself and especially don’t buy drinks for any girls. They can buy for you but under no circumstance can you buy for them! Keep your money in your pockets tonight fellas. When I go out I only ever order one beer and most nights I don’t even get half way through it.”

I am terrified about what may happen tonight; the rejection, the public humiliation I have always admired guys who could approach girls effortlessly in clubs but I was never one of them myself. What lies in store for me tonight? Will I get slapped? Will I get thrown out? Can you get arrested for doing this? Or worse, what if a friend of my girlfriend catches me here having a drink thrown in my face by some drunken Veronicas-lookalike?

“Simon,” I feel a hand on my left shoulder. It was Saad. “Will is going to open that four set,” he says pointing at four girls sitting down in the beer garden about five metres from us. “Give him about 20 seconds then you are going to go in as his wingman and neutralize the girl on the left, separating her from the pack while Will games the brunette at the back.”

“No problem,” I say, writing down my instructions.

“And put that fucking notebook away. I don’t care if you’re a journalist, you’re gonna give us all away!”

Will is a really confident guy and not nearly as geeky as the other three in our group. He has neatly cropped ginger hair and wears a long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled half way up his quite sizeable biceps. His shirt is tucked into tight blue jeans exposing a silver belt buckle about the size of a VHS cassette. He grasps his buckle as he strolls around the club and it glistens under the strobes like metallic fire. “Look at that guy strut,” I hear someone in the background say.

Will also has a voice that booms like James Earl Jones in a tunnel. Personally, I don’t think he needs much help with girls. He told me before that he is merely here to up his game. An already frequent blogger, he has written of many of his experiences “in the field” on various international PUA websites. Online, he has met a few random guys from his hometown of Brisbane. This allowed him to generate successful wingman relationships for regular sarging adventures in the Sunshine State.

Ozzie told me in confidence that one of the guys in our group is married. I have a feeling he’s referring to Ted, a sweetly shy guy in his late thirties. He has short sandy blonde hair and has a very big build, like a pre-skinny Mikey Robbins. This is Ted’s second boot-camp and his main goal, he told us, is to be able to walk into a club and be able to get any girl that he wants.

Bryan is a nice guy too. He wears a faded blue surf t-shirt with jeans and sand-shoes. His thinning hair is loosely parted over his crown. I’d guess him to be in his mid-thirties. He tells us that he has a lot of girls who are friends but he has trouble progressing the next step towards intimacy. Basically, like everyone else here, he wants to get laid heaps more.

Will easily permeates the table of girls. I have my brunette in target but there was one thing that I am unsure about, “What should I say when I get in there?” I ask Saad.

“Don’t ask questions! Just get the fuck in there!” he says.

I move in between my target on the left and the blonde on the right, who I fear may be a potential “sniper girl”. (Sniper Girl- n. Girl who shoots down the actions of a PUA; acts as a protective shield for her friends in social situations). Will is already engrossed in conversation with the other brunette across the table.

I gulp. “Do you guys know what time this place closes tonight?”

My target looks at me, smiles and says, “I don’t know; about two or maybe three.” She is quite pretty, like a young Jana Wendt with big, brown beautiful, balsamic eyes.

“I see you have met my friend Will,” I say. “Do you mind if I sit down as well. It’s just that I don’t really know anyone else here?”

“Sure,” she says, moving along. “I like your jacket…” I start to engage in conversation just as Louis, the remaining member of our group comes up from behind, instantly sitting next to the blonde sniper on the left.

“Hi, I’m German. I have never been to Australia before. Can you tell me something about Sydney?” Oh my god, Sniper Girl is about to blow him out of the water. Louis is a very nice guy but he seems ultra naïve and innocent. Louis is what Tobey MacGuire would have turned out like if he was born in Hamburg. I heard Louis practicing his line about “being new in Sydney” to the instructors before over near the bar. I smirked at the time thinking about the hostile reaction such an opener would receive.

“Why sure,” the blonde says. “What would you like to know?” I can’t believe it - he’s in. He is accepted. She even moves over to make room for him, allowing him to relax a bit more. As she explains this and that about NSW, employing her left arm in the story-telling, she put her right arm around him, drawing him close so that he wouldn’t lose the smallest bit of info of her tales. Louis is the king!

My target is amazingly cool as well. While Will and his brunette are laughing on the other side of the table, my target (I forget her name now) and I speak about … actually, I can’t remember what we spoke about. But I do remember that her tongue was bright red from drinking raspberry Smirnoff Black vodkas all night.

Our conversation is going great until her fiancé shows up and I know that I have to abandon ship. Ozzie and Saad jump me as soon as I leave the table. “That was good,” says Ozzie. “I think she was really into you. If we had more time I could show you how to pick up a girl right in front of the boyfriend or husband. But for a first attempt that was very impressive. One thing though. Don’t open with the line: What time does this club close? It’s lame.”

“Well, what should I say?”

“How about, ‘Hi, my ’s Simon. How are you tonight?”

“I can’t use that! The girls will tell me to get lost straight away.”

“See that two-set over there,” he says pointing to two blonde girls sitting by themselves under one of the pub’s heaters. “Open them right now. Use that line!”

I make my way over, preparing for the onslaught of rejection. I just can’t say the line so I stand at the girl’s table until they are forced to notice my presence, stop their conversation and look up at me.

“Can we help you?” says the blonde on the right.

“Um…” here goes, “My name’s Simon. How are you girls tonight?” I feel like an aristocrat or the participant in an arranged marriage. This must be how Prince Philip courted the Queen.

“I am very well,” says the girl on the left. “Would you like to sit down with us?”

What, are you serious? “Yeah, if that is ok with you guys,” I say.

“Where’s your beer, Simon?” asks the girl on the right. “Aren’t you drinking tonight?”

“It’s a long story,” I say. “And you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

The girls turn out to be sisters and we hang out with another of their guy friends for about an hour before they leave to go to the dance floor. They invite me to follow but I feel it best to touch base with Ozzie and Saad first. “That was good,” says Ozzie. “What I liked the most was that you weren’t threatened when the other guy sat down with the girls. You spoke to him until he felt comfortable with you then you refocused back to the blonde on the left. Good focus. Good technique.” Thanks coach.

By two in the morning I am exhausted and desperate to sit down. I have approached about 12 groups of girls over four hours and was only majorly rejected once. (A blonde surf girl had blatantly turned her back on me. When I persisted, she loudly called me a “praying mantis”). The other guys are also tired but they appear to shine with pride; not one of them was rejected at all. Will even has invitations to go home with two different girls but he has decided to stay with us and debrief. “After all,” he says. “I am here to get the most out of the course.”

“I am very proud of this group,” says Ozzie. “You are all very sensitive and supportive of each other … and committed! I like that. It’s nice. Now go home and get some sleep. You have much to learn tomorrow.”

The following night we were to meet at Darling Harbour. I arrive five minutes behind schedule and Ozzie is pissed. “You’re late,” he says firmly. I feel it best to say nothing.

While waiting in line for the club, Ozzie looks me up and down. “You look too formal,” he says. I am wearing the same black woolen jacket that the girl had complimented me on the previous night (maybe she was in fact hinting that it was daggy?).

“You have to look like you are here to party,” says Ozzie. ”You look too conservative, like a guy who is trying to dress up to impress girls too much. You will look like every other guy in there. Get a jacket like Saad’s” Saad has a brown corduroy collared pull-over with black leather patches on the elbows. It does look cool in a retro kind of way; like he is a muso or a funky advertising executive.

Once inside, we assemble at the back of the beer garden for our briefing. “Tonight we are gonna employ Kino,” instructs Ozzie. My foot starts to shake again. I know what Kino is. It is when you approach a girl by putting your arm around her before initiating any other conversation. Kino comes from the term Kinetic Energy. By touching a girl there is an instant transfer of energy between your body and hers and this supposedly works on a sub-conscious level establishing a rapport between you and your target. It is also a good way to get in close to a girl and jump-start the courtship dramatically. If she doesn’t push you off, you could be making out within half an hour… or less (and it also signals to other guys in the club that this chick is taken).

This technique is patented by the boys at RSD and is referred to as The Claw. It works like this; you wrap your arm around a girl, gripping her side tightly while making a right angle at the elbow. After the successful administration of Kino, the inside of your elbow should tuck up against the girl’s spine while your shoulder nestles up against her shoulder. The success of The Claw depends on it being executed in a way that doesn’t look sleazy. If she looks at you strangely or a guy-friend comes over to see who is making his girl-(who is a)-friend uncomfortable, it is important that you don’t lose your cool. You can high five the other girls or guys in the group, then grab them all in a group hug, saying something like, “I am sooo happy to not be working tonight!” Then you go back and place your arm around the initial girl while talking to the other members of the group. This gives the infiltrated group the vibe that “this guy is not being sleazy, he’s just a touchy-feely kind of dude who likes to party.”

Earlier that day, Ozzie had shown us some home movies of him employing this technique in different clubs around London. We were sitting in the restaurant of a classy Sydney hotel having a late lunch when Ozzie pulled out his laptop, to show his “footage from the field”. The videos played out and he kept asking us questions in his loud Spanish accent. “Which guy is the bigger Chode here?” (Chode- n. An individual who has poor social skills and very limited success with women, a.k.a. “AFC” – Average Frustrated Chump.) “Which guy is more likely to get laid that night?” “In this situation, who do you think is being cock-blocked?” (Cock block- n. and verb. A person who interferes with or hinders a pick-up artist’s game, whether accidentally or on purpose.) I noticed the waitresses repeatedly smirked as they walked past our table.

The briefing continues: “Again,” says Ozzie. “No excuses! Most guys fear wrapping their arm around a girl straight away because they think that they will get rejected immediately and kicked out of the club. I can tell you that that hardly ever happens.”

Now, in the club, it’s time to see if that’s true. Saad instantly walks up to a group of three blonde girls, giving them a group-hug from behind. The girls turn around looking a bit startled but before they even have a chance to open their mouths Saad says, “Hi, I’m from New York and I love this town. This is my friend Simon.” He then grabs my arm pulling me, totally disorientated, into this blonde triangle.

“Hi Simon,” asks one of the blondes. “What’s your friend’s name?”

“Oh,” I stutter. “His name is Saad [long pause] and he is from New York.” I turn around nervously to bring him back into the conversation but he is gone… faster than Kevin Spacey at the end The Usual Suspects.

He truly is a Master. Anyway, I am in with this group of girls and the next two hours fly by. I have snuggled my way into a group of about 20 people and I’m getting along with the guys in the group just as well as the girls. But I haven’t targeted anyone yet and I certainly haven’t employed The Claw. I know that somewhere out in the crowd of clubbers, Ozzie and Saad are watching and as soon as I leave the group, they will appear from behind a strobe or from under a table and hit me with some severe criticism.

Finally, a number of the girls venture to the bar leaving me at the table with just one of the other guys. I soon feel a hand on my shoulder.

“What the fuck are you doing?”” says Ozzie. “We are here to talk to girls not guys.”

“I know,” I say. “But the girls are at the bar right now and they are buying me a drink.” His shoulders drop, his jaw relaxes and his eyes appear to twinkle with pride. “OK. Get back in there! Good work!”

I can’t do it though. I just don’t have the courage to grab a girl on the back. Also, I know for a fact that my girlfriend Clare’s brother regularly drinks at this club. How can I explain this - him coming in here and catching me with my arm around two drunken backpackers from Brazil?

“I am on assignment. Of course Clare is cool with it. Yeah, I swear that she knows about it.”

The situation is too absurd to even contemplate. I just have to keep my focus. So far I was doing ok within the course. Saad had already told me last night that, despite not touching any girls, I had attained the rank of gang-star. But unfortunately, he had said, I was still a long way from the title of pimp.

The night eventually closes and we debrief on the jetty at Darling Harbour. It’s about 2.30 in the morning, I am absolutely exhausted but I can’t help feeling proud of myself for sticking it out. Unfortunately, Ted had been escorted out of the bar by security about an hour and a half earlier. It appears some of the clientele had become uncomfortable through his excessive use of The Claw and consequently complained. He understandably feels a bit down about the way the whole thing played out but we all immediately show our support, like family and friends at an intervention.

“I can’t count the amount of times that I have been kicked out of bars all around the world,” Ozzie tells Ted. “And you know who got security onto you. It wasn’t girls. The girls were enjoying the attention. It was guys who went and got the guards. They obviously felt threatened by you.” This makes Ted look up, smiling once again. His eyes come back to life under the beautiful lights of the harbour.

“Everybody did really well tonight,” says Ozzie. “Sure some girls won’t talk to you but who cares? Most of the girls in there - and most of the guys as well - have really boring lives. They work all week and look forward to dressing up and going out on the weekend and getting drunk. Maybe they’ll meet someone and maybe they won’t. We teach you guys how to provide a bit of excitement to these girls’ lives because, trust me, they always seem to be attracted to the life of the party. They want someone to offer them something a bit different to what every other guy in there does. And then we take them home and fuck them.”

“They’re sick of the same old guys, using the same old approaches and the same old lines. What you have seen after this weekend was that what we teach really works! Real Social Dynamics was started by geeks who couldn’t approach women and wanted to learn how to get laid! Always remember that. If those guys can make a success of this then you guys will be fine. It just all depends on how much effort and focus you want to put in from here. Be disciplined! Be hard on yourself and the future is great. I promise you that.”

Ozzie’s right. Not one of the girls I had approached over the last 48 hours seemed really that interesting. Most of the girls were quite pretty but not many of them seemed that passionate about their jobs or their lives in general. Maybe that’s why they seemed so easily excitable when Ozzie or Saad made one of us do something off the cuff - like when Ozzie got Will to grab a pretty girl’s hand before even talking to her and dragged her onto the dancefloor. The girl laughed but her guy friends soon dragged her back to their table and shepherded Will away.

Maybe it doesn’t matter how you approach a girl, as long as you deviate from the traditional, getting drunk and then complimenting the girl in a boring, lacklustre way, like, “You look just like Angelina Jolie.” Maybe girls are repulsed by that kind of behavior and they just want guys to try a little harder, to make them feel a bit special. Maybe they want to be swept off their feet. Maybe this is what RSD teaches to the world. The skills themselves aren’t that difficult but maybe RSD just forces guys to put in a little more effort.

As I swagger out of Darling Harbour I feel like a returning soldier. Over the past two days, have chatted up numerous girls and feel proud of my efforts, but also strangely, a bit empty. I have been up the mountain and looked over and seen the promised land - but I have to admit, it scares the shit out of me a little bit. Sure these girls all seemed to like me but was it me they were actually attracted to?

In the space of 48 hours Ozzie and Saad have carefully sculpted me into this carbon-copy RSD personality; they hammered out all my dorky chat-up lines, altered my dialect somewhat, stopped me from smoking, improved my posture so that I could pounce into The Claw at a moment’s notice and eliminated my need for a drink or two. They chewed me out, made me over and psyched me up, before sending me out on the prowl.

Sure I was successful with the girls but I just didn’t feel like myself. In truth, I feel a bit lost without all my little idiosyncrasies. Maybe I do dress a bit too conservatively. Very possibly I do drink too much. Perhaps my chat-up lines are a bit too corny. But still, that is who I am. That is who my friends like going out with for a good time. And for some reason, that is the person my girlfriend fell in love with.

One thing is for sure though, if my girlfriend and I ever break up, I will never be comfortable with her heading back out onto the single scene. The thought of Ozzie infiltrating a dance floor at one of my local clubs, armed with nothing but his exotic accent and a water bottle, patiently watching Clare from afar, just waiting for the perfect moment to open up her three-set of friends, remark how he is Spanish and doesn’t know anyone in Sydney and then dive straight into The Claw…

Poor Clare. She wouldn’t know what hit her.

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“How to get your pickup game straight in just one weekend"

BY Kevin Purcell, September, 2006
The Aquarian -

Picture this, it’s Friday night so you hit the scene with a few of your buddies, dressed to impress, with the hope of meeting someone special. When you’re at the club, you start downing drinks so your confidence grows and midway through you spot a lady of interest. Insecure, overcome by limiting beliefs and afraid of rejection, you decide against approaching. You go home unfulfilled and unsatisfied only to repeat the process again on Saturday.

As bleak as this reality might seem, there is hope. Dating gurus, once in a similar situation, are extending their hands to those in need in hopes of guiding them toward overcoming their dating troubles (for a nominal fee, of course). Through seminars, literature and in-field workshops, these gurus promise to address shortcomings and direct students toward success with women.

Despite the bustling market, the topic of male dating advice remains taboo. Experts, instructors and students alike all refer to themselves through aliases. Please note that the characters mentioned in this article are no different and seemingly irrelevant information like age have been barred from reporting.

I, like many of you reading, have select areas of challenge with regard to dating. Approach anxiety has always been an issue. I also have the limiting belief that women of significant beauty are off limits and unapproachable, despite my attractive physical appearance. To overcome these insecurities, I turned to Real Social Dynamics.

Real Social Dynamics (RSD) is one of the industry’s leaders, which specializes in in-field workshops where coaches train clients to go from average guys to certified pimps in just three days. The RSD coaches spend a portion of time teaching technique, but the primary focus is the application of such “book smarts.” Instruction is personalized to address clients’ weaknesses and is very intimate with a single coach never instructing more than three students at a time. This helps to ensure that each student will walk away a changed man rather than the same guy with a few new pickup lines and $1,500 less in his pocket.

My experience with RSD began at a posh mid-town hotel, where I met my instructor Sam, two students and a RSD intern. Sam was a powerful young man, built like an offensive lineman with an aura that conveyed confidence and experience far beyond his years. He was not particularly personable, but as I would later discover, he did this because he had tremendous ground to cover in just a few days.

The two students came from drastically different paths. One was a successful businessman whose failed engagement from years prior left his dating game in the dust. The other was a greasy haired college senior, who decided to use his Atlantic City winnings to fund his transformation from average college dude to on-campus pimp. Sam would transform both into dating pros right before my eyes.

One of our first tasks was to walk around the hotel silent, repeating in our heads “I don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks about me.” This mentality, it was assumed, would help lower the wall of anxiety and make us less prone to the pain of rejection. Alongside this was the idea that your own personal value determines the value of those you attract. So if you see yourself as a seven out of ten, you will only be able to attract women who are sevens. Like soldiers responding to a drill sergeant, when asked “What are you?” we were instructed to loudly proclaim, “A fucking ten!” Silly as it may appear on paper, it seemed to work.

Eager to experiment yet still a bit skeptical, we headed to the eastside. By the time my taxi arrived at the location, the two students had already approached their first set. The apprentices took to the game like fish to water. It was truly incredible. An hour earlier, they had listed approach anxiety as a major obstacle, but with the help of Sam (and perhaps the motivation behind their monetary commitment) it was no longer an issue. As the night progressed, Sam evaluated each interaction, noted shortcomings, provided solutions and guided the students toward escalating each step.

By the close of day one, the younger student left with several numbers (one taken in front of a boyfriend), while the other had a couple numbers and one with extremely strong potential for further relations. I did not find much success due to my extreme selectivity, but I did enjoy opening a set of interns from the fashion industry. Shortly after I left the conversation, a beautiful young woman opened me. How’s that for social proof? 

Day two followed the same structure as day one, only the focus turned from approaching to making out and possibly completing the deal. For this we hit the lower eastside, where the potential for such physical relations appeared significantly greater. The secret to this was to implore the same techniques learned the previous day, but also to dramatically shorten the distance between you and the target to the point that you’re mere inches apart. When combined with triangular gazing (a technique derived from our limbic system), the result is often a kiss and perhaps much more.

Once again, both students left with phone numbers and the younger student succeeded with the make out assignment. Interestingly, while the intern and I observed their courting rituals, two British women approached us looking for fun. They came to the right place… however, the conversation quickly turned to alcohol as they implied we buy them a round. No, no, no. In a flash, the intern responded appropriately with “We don’t buy girls drinks,” resulting in their immediate departure. Newsflash: Chicks play guys for drinks. Note: A pimp does not buy drinks for women. They buy drinks for him.

Day three involved an entirely different dimension: daytime gaming. From afar, the notion of approaching during the daytime might seem unnatural, dangerous, awkward, and potentially more embarrassing. According to the RSD folks, this could not be further from the truth.

Substituting in as our coach was Rocky, a newly trained instructor who had just completed a grueling two-week initiation process. In contrast to Sam, Rocky was tall and wire-thin. His style of dress was minimalist with a nice pair of jeans and undershirt, topped by an old Yankees hat that concealed his hair that had gone four days without washing (two girls over those days). Also his nose dripped incessantly due to having undergone nasal surgery the previous week. Despite his less than stellar appearance, his attitude and commitment was beyond impressive. He was tremendously enthusiastic, genuine and determined to deliver as a coach. As he instructed us on technique, routine, and the courting process, the students hurriedly scribbled down notes as they tried to take down every crucial point.

Following the valuable instruction was what we all signed up for… the makeover! Perhaps that was not the leading motivator for signing up, but the students certainly needed the consultation. One student showed up in a bland, Hawaiian patterned shirt – the type elderly people wear just before they pass away. The other fared no better and wore a painfully ugly orange polo shirt supported from below by clunky sneakers that featured different colored laces.

Luckily, a quick visit to a trendy boutique transformed the oddballs into far more fashion-intelligent pickup artists. Rocky, along with two interns, helped guide the students on what styles fit their bodies and by the end, they were fully transformed both internally and externally.

Fortunately for me, Rocky took me in as a student and wanted to see me in action (previously, I was more of an observer with the intern). I immediately recognized that this could have great potential. After he provided me with a couple openers, it was off to Washington Square Park where I would experience both the weekend’s high and low points.

With Rocky’s faith in me, I approached a woman who sat alone reading a copy of Business Week. Easy, right? Not exactly. After I opened with the suggested situational opener, I inquired as to what she was reading. Innocent, right? Nope. Like a rabid dog backed into a corner, she scowled “I don’t like to be bothered.” My immediate ejection was welcomed with support from the guys only to be followed by dropped jaws after reporting that she did not like to be bothered.
Visibly shaken and ready to call it quits, Rocky took me under his wing and opened another girl only to answer a fake phone call and leave me alone with the prospect. After an hour of laughing, teasing, deep eye contact and applying the tips taught by RSD, I had her number. When I rejoined the squad, my performance was analyzed and evaluated, only for Rocky to conclude that I could have completed the deal that day. Nice to know…

Although we were only together for three days, it felt weird saying goodbye to the clients and instructors. It was like we were all graduating into manhood. The students who began as lost guys left as accomplished, confident and secure men. They no longer felt uncomfortable approaching women and, in many cases, succeeded with those they approached. Without hesitation, I can say that in only three days RSD was responsible for developing their dating lives well beyond what they were able figure out elsewhere or on their own.

Above all the instruction and experiences, the most valuable advice came from Sam on day one. To paraphrase, he said, “Do you know why fat chicks are fat? It’s because it’s easy. They want to be thin and know that life would be better. The problem is that when they exercise and diet, their bodies go through so much pain, they quickly stop and return to the comfort of television and Häagen-Dazs. The same goes for dating. The beginning is really uncomfortable, but over time it will all come together.”

Every weekend, RSD conducts bootcamps in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Sydney similar to the one chronicled in this article. Thousands of clients have attended their live programs as young as fifteen years old all the way up to men in their seventies (if that is not testament to their trainings, I don’t know what is). Also, be on the lookout for the group’s first published book The Blueprint being released later this summer. If it is anything like the Jay-Z album, you will be picking up H to the Izzos in no time.

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“Mastering The Game"

BY Joe Zigfeld, February, 2006
Edge Magazine


Is there a science to seducing gorgeous women? Yes, says a growing movement, and its methods can be mastered by anyone who's motivated enough. I'd heard about such techniques for years, but usually dismissed them as the bullshit of snake-oil salesmen out to exploit gullible guys.

But when I learned that a former New York Times reporter claimed he had burst his shackles of involuntary abstinence and scaled the heights of alpha male-dom, I had to know more. In the book The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, Neil Strauss (co-author of Jenna Jameson's autobiography) details his journey from dud to stud. He convinced me that a coherent body of practical “stud-ology” is indeed available to the average guy.

Two seduction experts, known as Tyler Durden - after Brad Pitt's Fight Club character - and “Papa” figure prominently in The Game. They're the founders of Real Social Dynamics (, a firm that operates “boot camps” combining instruction with

nocturnal forays into the field, where you apply what you've learned under the watchful eye of your teacher.

I decided to take one of their Manhattan boot camps. My instructor was Tim, a young Heath Ledger-type from Australia. How could this dude, who probably scored left and right on his looks alone, teach me how to seduce an “SHB” (super hot babe, one of many terms in the pickup-artist lexicon)? But he was such a forceful presenter, I suspended all my doubts and gave him my full attention. He was like Patton revving up his troops for battle.

I'm 5-foot-5 and not blessed with movie-star looks. But I do have a gift for bullshit. As Tim went through different techniques, I started to see how they could help me improve my batting average.

After the day's formal seminar, we went to a noisy bar on Manhattan's East Side. I introduced myself to Liz, a redhead from Minneapolis, Minn. She wasn't pretty, but she was clearly drunk and cute in a kooky way - the type who'd have no qualms about dancing on the bar. She immediately put her arm around me and made me feel in sync with her. But what really impressed Tim was that Liz bought me a beer. Thus, I had succeeded on one of Tim's basic points: A true alpha male gets girls to buy him drinks, not vice-versa.

Liz further enticed me when she announced that she was bisexual. But when I asked her to name her fantasy babe, it wasn't Angelina Jolie. Or Jessica Simpson. Even Paris Hilton would have been a turn-on. But no, Liz's ideal girl was Ellen DeGeneres. When I think of threesomes, Ellen is not who I have in mind. But we kept flirting, and Liz eventually gave me her card and asked me to call her.

This was another coup in Tim's eyes. But as cool as Liz was, she wasn't that much different from the type of average-looking girls I usually end up with anyway. The real test of Tim's training would be getting an SHB.

Later, after Tim and the other students went home, I headed to a midtown lounge, Prey, where I could have a conversation without screaming. I made sure to follow Tim's seduction rules as much as possible. Check out the action.

Rule 1: Big Smile
I walked into Prey with a huge grin on my face. (I hate my smile. But seduction theory puts a lot of stock in strolling into a place - smiling confidently - like you “own it.” The only way to get more comfortable with your smile is to keep doing it until it becomes second nature.) Maybe I looked like an asshole, but I literally forced myself to grin and bear it. I immediately spotted a gorgeous brunette at the bar. She looked like Eva Longoria with a pair of huge bolt-on stripper breasts.

Rule 2: Three Seconds and Counting
Now that I'd noticed her, and she'd caught me looking her way, I had seconds to make my move. Otherwise, she'd write me off as another “AFC” (average frustrated chump) who didn't have the guts to act decisively.

Rule 3: Kick Her Off Her High Horse
I approached her with a delicate maneuver that easily could have blown up in my face. It's called “negging,” a form of “damning with faint praise” in order to throw an SHB off-balance.

“You seem a bit out of place,” I told her. “What do you mean?” she asked. “A lot of the girls here seem glamorous,” I replied. Her face was turning red. I had to soften the blow. “Don't get me wrong. You're attractive. I think you know that.” Instead of blowing me off, the woman - Donna - seemed intrigued, and engaged me in a long discussion about what makes people glamorous.

My “neg” had been an effective opener. Why? The theory is that SHBs are used to having guys slobber over them. Although their self-image depends on it, any guy who praises them too soon defines himself as another chump looking to get into their pants. But doing the opposite gets her wondering, “Why isn't this guy drooling over me? Why doesn't he find me perfect like everyone else does?” Done right, it virtually compels her to try to win you over.

Rule 4: Show ‘em Shit
At that point, Donna's attention was waning, and she turned back to her friends. I tapped her shoulder and asked her if she'd ever been “cubed.” “What's that?” she asked. “It's a method of giving you deep insights into your subconscious. Very powerful stuff.” I'd regained her interest. She was eager for a cubing, and I gave it to her.

The technique essentially involves having people imagine a cube and other objects in a desert, then interpreting to them what the images mean. For example, if they see their cube as made of steel, they have a resilient nature; if it's made of glass, their ego's fragile. The interpretations are largely bullshit. Cubing is mainly a device to convince the girl that you have a “gift” for seeing into her soul. (For instructions on cubing, see

Rule 5: Leave ‘em Wanting More
Donna loved her cubing. She even wanted to take a crack at cubing me, but I teased her that she'd “have to earn that right. Only special people can cube me.”
“You don't think I'm special?” she asked. “I don't know yet,” I said. “I still need some convincing. But we'll save that for another time. I have to go.” She seemed disappointed, much to my delight. Getting her number was a piece of cake. I called two days later. We made plans for the weekend.

All the rules went out the window on our date. She'd polished off half a bottle of wine before I got to her apartment. “Nerves,” she said. Instead of catching a movie as planned, we bought more wine, went back to her apartment and got totally bombed. My recollection of what followed is like a video that keeps skipping frames. I remember having sex, but it seemed more like a hallucination than a memory. The only tangible evidence was the used condom I found next to me in bed in the morning. After our date, Donna didn't return my calls. Hence my new challenge: Work on my post-seduction skills.

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“School For Seduction”

Men's Health Magazine -



You've Read How They Do It Stateside, Now Learn How To Find Yourself a Private Pulling Tutor Back In Britain.

MH's Resident Lothario, Frank Elson, Attended A London Seminar And In-The-Field Workshop With International Dating Coaches Real Social Dynamics To Brush Up On His Technique

I'm wincing like a boy being prompted with a poke in the back to embrace an elderly relative.

A female voice hisses, "Approach NOW!" in my ear and, like the reluctant child, I'm forced to face my demons: in this case, two rather attractive blondes.

This is my introduction to the "field work" of a Real Social Dynamics course. My class consists of six students but, unlike anything I ever experienced at school, we each have our own strict, demanding and also rather attractive tutors.

Tonight, we're putting our learning to the test.

Prior to hitting the streets we were taught the theory behind meeting and attracting women.

This took the form of a two-day seminar, with instructors explaining the required techniques involved.

We learnt how to start conversations.

Evaluating which women to approach is near impossible. Even the most warm and welcoming barely dressed women have boyfriends.

Apparently, an authoritative presence and a female-opinion opner works best: "Hi, I need a female opinion. Who lies more: men or women?"

It's the sort of issue on which a woman can't resist sharing her views.

Once you're off, you share some stories that appeal to the emotional and imaginative parts of a woman's psyche, thereby creating physical tension.

After that you take charge and sweep her away for a night of unbridled passion.

Well, that's the theory.

The reality proves to be different.

It begins with me stopping two bemused Estonian students while trying to remember my opener.

I stumble over the opinion question but it eventually limps out of my mouth and, much to my amazement, they don't give me the "fuck you" brush off I expect but instead start arguing over it.

Unfortunately, my initial success means that I momentarily forget what to do next, but still they smile at me, make their excuses and leave pleasantly.

"That was very good," says Roxanna, my instructor. "But you have to learn to be louder or you'll never get any attention when we get to the clubs."

Evaluating which women to approach is near impossible. Even the most warm and welcoming barely dressed women have boyfriends at the bar, in the toilet or on the dance floor.

It's a fleshy manfield.

But despite my protests, Roxanna isn't about to take no for an answer and we head for a club in London's West End.

Perfect Pick-ups

Roxanna's a tall, slim Mexican, who wears a low-cut top and cut-away denims.

It's a look that undoubtedly gives us novice pick-up students kudos when making our cold approaches - a man with an attractive female friend is less threatening and thus more appealing, I'm reliably informed.

I use the openers with single women, pairs, even the raucous members of a hen party.

Roxanna is always there right behind me whispering in my ear: "Stop moving so much... Look, she's interested... Tell another story... Okay, leave now."

She's relentless about making me approach; every time I head for the bar she's on me. "Why are you stopping? Look, those two there - GO!"

Later, the whole group forms a circle to celebrate.

Everyone has approached 10 or more women each during the evening and many of us have phone numbers.

Before the seminar, most seemed incapable of stringing two sentences together in front of a woman they fancied.

I feel high, I feel powerful.

I feel ridiculously excited.

I can see that this is really going to make a difference to my dating life.

We're all elected members of the Pick-Up Club and there's a feeling of camaraderie.

First rule of Pick-Up Club: you must approach! Second rule of Pickup-Up Club: you must approach!

Even without the alluring Roxanna by my side to bully me into the initial approach, I've continued to live by the rules.

I regularly stop women in the street and I have no problems starting conversations in clubs.

I've had four dates in the last two weeks, one with a particularly stunning lawyer who I'm seeing again.

The course has taught me a valuable truth: you must always make the move.

Live by that diktat and you won't regret it.


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“Men Paying To Learn To Be Appealing ”

The Sunday Telegraph -

by Sam De Brito, JANUARY 16, 2005

AUSTRALIAN men are paying as much as $1600 to be coached in the art of picking up women by highly skilled dating instructors.

Los Angeles-based company Real Social Dynamics (RSD) offers three-day "boot camps" that train men how to approach and attract women.

"Most guys fumble their way through interactions with women and have no idea how sexual chemistry works," says Tim, one of RSD's local instructors.

Life skills ... The dating game's
not all wine and roses.

"Attracting women is a skill set that can be learned and mastered like any other talent - and that's what we're here to teach guys."

RSD puts theory into practice "in the field".

On meeting dating coach Tim, aka "The Chariot", I thought: "What the hell can this kid teach anyone about women?"

At 20, Tim is an average-looking Melbourne boy who works in finance. Yet within an hour, I'm watching him do things I've never witnessed before.

Tim's student for the next three days is Steve, 23, a public servant from Adelaide who is decidedly awkward and reserved.

"Most guys link their self-esteem to the way women react to them, and it's the completely wrong frame to come from," says Tim.

"I look at the world as a playground. When you talk to women, you're shooting hoops.

"Sometimes you get it in the basket, sometimes you miss, but you learn with every shot you take."

Tim says the biggest adjustment any man needs to make to be successful with women is internal: "You've got to have fun and make it fun for the girl."

Even before a man approaches a woman, she's made judgements about his social value, says Tim, who declined to be photographed, saying anonymity was essential for his work in public.

Rich men, rock stars and handsome guys already have this value, but the rest of us are left to slug it out using body posture, sappy dialogue and vocal tonality.

"Alpha males - that tiny percentage of guys who know what's up with women - act a certain way, and you can learn it," says Tim.

Give-aways such as talking too quickly and laughing at your own jokes tell a woman clearer than capital letters that you're needy.

"The vast majority of women prefer men who are in control, confident and funny," says Tim.

"Not everyone is naturally like that, so we teach you how to fake it 'til you make it."

RSD coaches say the best way to initiate a conversation is with a "neutral opinion opener".

"Women love to give their opinions on a topic, especially if it's emotionally charged like, 'Do men lie more than women?' " says Tim.

"Instead of asking boring questions that girls have heard a thousand times ... we involve them on an emotional level."

Steve is taught to do this through a variety of "hot" topics and psychological games that on many occasions had women saying: "I've never met anyone like you before."

"Women want to experience these reactions with men. It's incredibly refreshing for them," says Tim.

"It also makes any man, no matter what he looks like, an attractive partner."

Over the course of a weekend, three things become apparent about Tim and RSD's methods.

1. It's a numbers game. The more women you talk to, the greater your chance of finding a female you like and who digs you.

2. Tim has an uncanny charm with women. Almost every group he approaches is stoked to talk to him and enjoys his company.

3. It's rubbing off on Steve. The guy who had struck me as awkward 72 hours earlier is now scanning nightclub crowds like a gunslinging Clint Eastwood.

In just one weekend, Steve has talked to hundreds of females, compiling an expanding library of experience on what women want.

He has also made a fundamental discovery that, Tim says, will set him on his way to success with the opposite sex.

"The most important thing is having a positive mind set and having fun," says Steve, pocketing a skater girl's phone number.

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“Tim Samuels meets Julien”

“RSD Instructor Todd was on the
Bethenny Talk Show”


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