Book Review: ‘The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists’ by Neil Strauss

Posted: 21 August 2011 in Book reviews
Tags: , , , ,

‘The Game’ is ultimately the journey of a man from being socially retarded to becoming a social superstar. By becoming submersed into the world of pickup artists (PUA’s), he alters his persona (wardrobe, personality, etc) to eventually become a demigod of seduction. Along the way, he discovers that all is not roses in this world of seeming self-enhancement and soon unveils the travesty created after he and his comrades try to turn their new world into a quasi business.

Well, that is the gist of the book in a nutshell. In three sentences I was able to break it down. Of course there is a lot more involved in the story such as how he got to that point and what actually transpired before his dream came crashing down. Also, even while the premise can be broken down so simply, the journey from beginning to end is filled with such complexities, that it would take ages to break it down into a minimal description. But I shall try.

For starters I shall introduce you to the main characters: Style (Neil Straus) and Mystery. These two are featured throughout the entire book. Style is the actual author of the book so hence this is his story. Mystery aka Erik James Horvat-Markovic (Erik von Markovik) is Style’s mentor, teacher and eventual close friend. These two traverse the world together holding classes teaching guys how to become more attractive to women and ultimately get them into bed.

Now along the way you will meet various other characters such as Extramask, Ross Jeffries, Sin, Papa, Tyler Durden, Herbal, Playboy, and many many many girls. Through all of his interactions with mPUA’s (Master Pickup Artist’s) such as Mystery, Ross Jeffries, etc, he develops his techniques which will then be copied by the likes of Papa, Tyler Durden and thousands of other AFC’s (Average Frustrated Chump).

Once the community starts to expand, Style creates the concept of Project Hollywood, which later expands to places all over the globe. A house is rented and Style, Mystery, Papa and Herbal all move in. It was originally just the four of them until Papa began moving more people in, such as Playboy, Xaneus, many others and then eventually Tyler Durden. Style could have never seen how toxic the place would become. In time, the house would split, Mystery would be forced out and then many others left because the ideals they had moved there for all but disappeared as soon as Tyler Durden arrived.

When it comes to the content of the book, the seduction technique can be broken down into a variety of steps. Of course the book is broken down into 13 steps aka chapters. Despite each ‘step’ being a part of the seduction technique, the actual chapter content has little to do with chapter title. They more or less are used as a method to break up the story into digestible portions.

Step 1: Select a Target

As the book denotes, the women these men are aiming for are not the reputable ones that you’d be likely to take home to your parents. No, the girls these men were aiming for were the easy types that were hot (8-10 on the scale of 1-10) and appeared hard to get. In order to have maximum success, you needed to approach your choice in a matter of seconds upon seeing her.

Step 2: Approach and Open

There were many different options to approaching and opening detailed in the book. Various scenarios were displayed depending on whether the girl was alone, with friends (girls) or other dudes. The one thing expressed in the scenarios where she was with other people was that you never completely acknowledge her. You can also ‘neg’ her, offer her a backhanded compliment, in order to appear non-interested. The ploy is to make her more interested in a guy who is not seemingly interested in her.

As for openers, many different techniques were discussed but the most popular with Style were the ‘Best Friend’s Test’ and the ‘Girlfriend Test’. Whichever method was used, the aim was to engage the girl in conversation in a casual fashion. The problem found with teaching the AFC’s the same techniques was that eventually, all the girls would end up hearing them and new techniques would be required (see Chapter 3 of Step 11).

Step 3: Demonstrate Value

This step is important as it sets you apart from all the other guys hitting on the girl. You are something different. You are not some meathead who thinks solely with his junk rather than his real head. At least that is what you are wanting her to believe. In order to accommodate this, a new skill or talent is required. As Mystery was proficient with magic, he recommended his students to learn some magic tricks, which is exactly what Style did. Once the girl(s) was(were) engaged in conversation, the magic tricks were employed to get them further interested in you as someone worth their attention.

Step 4: Disarm the Obstacles

This can refer to resistance or other guys and even AMOG’s (Alpha Male of Group). You can do this in a variety of simple ways. You can impress her with your new skills via the aforementioned step or simply bow out and go chat with other girls. Bowing out is vital as you do not want to look desperate. Also, as you have already impressed her with your new skills, by bowing out she will develop more interest in you as you once again act you either have no interest or are not concerned one way or the other. Plus, once she sees you chatting up other girls, she will get jealous and try to win you back.

Step 5: Isolate the Target

If you have a wingman, this step can go rather smoothly when the girl is in a group or with one other person. Having ‘negged’ the girl and acquired her interest with your skills or other methods, you then begin to show her more interest. With the use of the wingman, he (or she depending on the circumstances) can entertain the other person/people while you focus your attention on the intended victim thus isolating her focus from the group onto you.

Step 6: Create an Emotional Connection

Having isolated the girl, it is now time to create that emotional bridge. You will need that connection in order to draw her in. If she thinks or believes that you are only interested in her for sex, unless she is a whore to begin with you will never reach your final destination. You are going to need to open up to her and have of sorts a real conversation. You can take pictures or whatever props necessary to help create the bond, but no matter what you do: NEVER LIE.

Step 7: Extract to a Seductive Location

Now that the emotional connection has been made. It is time to isolate the girl further. As noted, this could mean a back corner or a booth; somewhere slightly withdrawn and dim from lack of light. This enhances the illusion of being alone in order to seal the deal.

Step 8: Pump the Temperature

As the name suggests, make the situation hot. In order for that to happen, words will often times fail where touch is required. Hence…..

Step 9: Make a Physical Connection

This includes such things as caressing her skin with your fingertips to stimulate the nerves, biting her neck (which in my mind is kinda weird), or whatever method you feel appropriate at the time.

Step 10: Blast Last-Minute Resistance

If you sense hesitation at all, act like you she is the driving force and that you are the one resisting. If she feels that you don’t want her, she will want you more and end of giving in.

Lastly Step 11: Manage Expectations

The main goal of all this bruhaha is to obtain a kiss-close and a number-close. Of course the number-close is the most important but the kiss-close is a great addition. A kiss-close is getting a kiss/make-out and a number-close is getting the girls number. While sleeping with her is the ultimate objective, you are not aiming for that on that night. Of course it all depends on the situation which at times leads to sex on that night. Either way, once you have obtained the number-close, you move on to the next set, rinse and repeat.

As denoted in the book, these are methods to interact with girls and get some action. You should be building confidence and bettering yourself all throughout. The one thing this book expresses that these methods are in no way designed to find you a girlfriend, merely hook-ups. Not to say that hook-ups can’t/won’t lead to a relationship, but the methods do not teach you how to maintain the relationship once it reaches that level. They are merely tools to satisfy your carnal desires.

Overall, I found the book somewhat amusing and also disturbing at the same time. I may not be the most assertive when it comes to dating, but I have no issues interacting with females. I accept that there are men out there who need help developing confidence and social skills in order to interact with girls, but the fact that such a community exist somewhat disturbs me. But I guess in reality it shouldn’t surprise me. Either way, this book is an entertaining read nonetheless. I found Mystery to be quite annoying and Style to be interesting. I did find some definitely vital points, but the sad thing is that I had to wade through the filth in order to find them. That being said, I should put a disclaimer stating that this book is highly graphic at times. I would say borderline pornographic. If you are not into reading that stuff (as I am not despite having read it not knowing what to expect) I would be very wary. For those interested in reading, I hope I left enough to tantalise your mind. If so, enjoy 😉

  1. […] than ‘The Game’ (which is more or less a book about a guy and his foray into the world of pickup artists), this is […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s