Pickup artist training will make you feel bad about yourself

Here’s the dirty little secret of pickup artist training: it actually works (for both men and women), but it may well make you feel like shit about yourself. Maybe you don’t care. Maybe you just want the digits. But just in case you want to get laid and feel like a better person, you might be interested in the results of an academic study on the topic. A PhD student in Mainz, Germany, trained 17 men and 23 women in the pickup and flirtation arts — specifically, how to apply evolutionary psychology principles to the pickup scene, how to make body language work for you (lots of touching), and how to combat anxiety. He then sent his students into the wild, with the men instructed to gather digits and the women instructed to gather drinks invitations. The before-and-after stats showed that men went, on average, from 1.07 phone numbers to 3.67 per hour, while women’s drink-invite average went from 1.65 to 3.1.

Naturally, the experience made them all feel better about their dating skills. In addition, the men said they felt more intelligent and attractive, and the women felt more intelligent and confident. (Intelligent? Really? Or do they mean superior?) So where’s the downside, you’re wondering. Well, the men said they felt selfish afterwards, and the women felt dishonest and less responsible.

We guess that professional pickup artists would say that all’s fair in love and war, and that guilt (or other negative feelings) can be easily overcome. In fact, overcoming this is probably just the final step in PuA training. Buzzfeed quotes one PuA blogger who writes that “there is NO AMOUNT OF CHEATING, DUPLICITY OR CONNIVING YOU CAN DO AS A TRAINED PICKUP ARTIST WHICH CAN MATCH THE SHEER AMORALITY OF A WOMAN.” (Note: “amoral” to a pickup artist means “won’t sleep with me but sleeps with someone else.”)

Reading that blogger’s quote made us feel queasy, though — we can’t imagine that this sort of thing helps many decent guys get over their guilty feelings. In fact, we bet that just reading advice like that will make them feel even worse about themselves. So here’s another idea: Maybe you could just get your grandmother to set you up on a blind date instead. Instead of guilt, you get that warm fuzzy feeling of making a sweet old lady’s day.