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A pickup artist, commonly abbreviated PUA,[1] in seduction community is a term used to describe a man who is or who at least strives to be skilled in meeting, attracting, and seducing women.

The use of pickup in this context, slang for making a casual acquaintance with a stranger in anticipation of sexual relations,[2] dates from at least 1970 and the book How to Pick Up Girls by Eric Weber. The phrase was also popularized by Pick-Up Times, a short-lived 1970s magazine and the 1987 semi-autobiographical film, The Pick-up Artist, written and directed by James Toback.[3]

The term pickup artist (PUA) is also associated with the seduction community, a male subculture based on the goal of improved sexual and romantic abilities with women. Pickup artists develop pickup lines similar to, yet more complex than the stereotypical pick-up line. Routines and gambits are developed to stimulate attraction switches often combined with techniques derived from neuro-linguistic programming. Natural PUAs or Natural Gamers use both self-help and an understanding of social psychology to achieve this. They aim to improve their seductive capabilities through the development of attractive lifestyles. The culture surrounding pickup has spawned an entire industry servicing those who want to improve their social and seduction skills with consultations and in-field training. What makes this industry different is that people learn skill sets to meet the women they want, instead of being set up by matchmakers. There is sufficient interest in pickup that some dating coaches like Adam Lyons, Jordan Harbinger and Owen Cook have become PUA instructors full-time and have gone on to found companies that offer training for PUAs such as Attraction Explained, The Art of Charm and Real Social Dynamics, respectively.

The term pickup artist received increased attention in 2005 upon the arrival of Neil Strauss's best selling book, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, also in 2007, from the reality television series, The Pick-up Artist, shown on VH1, starring Mystery, JDOG, and Matador, well-known pickup artists from the seduction community. The Pick-up Artist has since aired its second season, and there are also a number of PUA related movies currently in development. In Europe, the term became more widely known with the release of a Channel 4 documentary called The Rules of Seduction, which examines the British pickup artist culture looking at the background and motivations of both the PUA coaches and their clients.

See also


  1. ^ Strauss, Neil (2005). The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. ReganBooks. ISBN 0-06-055473-8
  2. ^ "pickup". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language Fourth Edition. 2000. Retrieved on August 26, 2007
  3. ^ Strauss (2005), p. 124, 144.

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