BEN PAYNE, MAN CODE Volume 19: Pickup Artist Bootcamp

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bill-swift - May 14, 2011

By:  Bill Swift

EDITOR'S NOTE: I had this not particularly brilliant idea not long ago. You've seen all those Internet ads directed at helping guys be better at being guys, anywhere from email spam to Facebook ads to, oh, if this applies to you, ads you might see pop up on porn sites; I've always wondered if there wondrous claims to enhancing the male lifestyle, from head to toe, and parts in between, actually really worked. So, I tasked our new and only drug-free intern, Ben Payne, with tesing out some of these 'male lifestyle enhancement' claims as a service to our readers pocketbooks and peace of mind. I balked at the first eighteen suggestions Ben brought back for his first field experiment, because they were either too dangerous, too expensive, or involved same-sex midgets. But the nineteeth, I liked.

You know those dude-with-hot-girl teasers you see that assure you for a few shekels you can learn the secrets of how to pick up women (and then doing something something thereafter), those have always intrigued me. So, I sent Ben out into the field as my guinea pig, for a weekend bootcamp to learn how to pick-up sexy ladies.

This is his report...

BEN PAYNE, MAN CODEVolume 19: Pickup Artist Bootcamp

Picking up women is all a matter of science, like physics, biology, or Sabermetrics. at least that's the heart of the pitch of the various advertisers promising to sell you the secrets to upping your game with the ladies. (Read 'upping your game' anyway you like, but we all know if you're paying money for these secrets, the end goal is to get some coupling action.)

I was never very good with book learning; you don't get a job at Egotastic! by being in the top half of your JuCo class. So, the idea of spending an entire weekend in school was pretty daunting, but I was promised that by Sunday's eve, I'd be hauling in the hot lady stank by the barrel-ful, or at least one or two, which would be exponentially better than my past few days... weeks...err, months. I chose the PUA Training bootcamp with Adam Lyons . He's British the dude who gives the tips on getting yourself over to a chick's house late at night to watch a DVD on the promo video at the header of our article. In fact, these guys all seem to be British dudes (or Euro sounding) and I'm wondering if that's not half the battle to picking up girls in the first place -- a foreign accent?

NOT WHAT I HAD ANTICIPATED. The training and the classes were not at all what I expected. I mean, this guy Adam was pitching sheer mechanical science. From hands-on (literally) techniques to introducing yourself to women at bars and clubs or wherever, to what to say, how to stand, what to do, to keep and raise their interest, and how to close the deal to get them locked down for the evening, or, in the least, handing out their digits for follow-up contact. It was some serious psycho-scientific shizz.  The super secret principles of 'social proof' revealed to the paying seminar attendees.

And, very detailed; including role-playing scenarios, like being a football player learning a brand new playbook in the first day of Spring camp. X's, Y's, arrows, vectors, how to maneuver girls in groups, how to work the wingman job, how to stand, how to sit, how to shake hands, how to text, how to date, the whole shebang. Then, we took the training from the classroom into the field where mentors watch us work our newfound 'game' and gave us pointers on where we effed up or things we could've done better. It was field training in picking up women. Odd? Yes. But insightful? Yes, that too.


  • When you got out on the town, go out with groups of friends, it makes you seem cooler and provides a far better foundation for breaking into other groups of friends (female targets). Much better if your group of friends includes girls, gives you instant social cred with the new girl you're trying to pick up.
  • Tease girls, verbally. Tease them until they start playfully hitting you. Once they're hitting you, physical rapport has been established and you're halfway to home.  (You can also achieve this physical contact with high-fives or fun handshakes, anything to touch, it crosses an important boundary right away)
  • When texting a girl, always use emoticons (because girls often misread subtext in text) and always phrase texts in question form, to elicit a response. Never text more than once per return response. Always a 1:1 ratio.
  • Don't take a girl out on a fancy first date; it raises the expectations to the point of being uncomfortable and only will serve to disappoint her down the road. Build it up over a couple or three dates.

MY IMPRESSION.  These guys aren't just making shizz up. Sure, much of the training is just common sense that if you sat down for a few hours and thought about you could probably come up with much of it on your own. But, you could also teach yourself Ukranian at home too I guess. The classroom environment puts that knowledge right into your brain and being around a bunch of other dudes all there for the same purpose, well, that's just the kind of peer pressure sometimes you need to get into any new thing, or get into some trim, as it were.

THE UPSHOT. I went into this not completely cynical of the whole 'learn to be a pickup artist' bootcamp but pretty wary. I came out not completely won-over, but definitely surprised by the depth of training actually offered in a weekend. Here's the thing, if you're a single dude and you're not pulling in the ladies to the degree you would like, or any degree at all, well, you've got to do something. Sure, working out a lot, getting a great job that pays you good cash money, buying fashionable costly clothes, and whitening your smile will probably help you get lady-action a ton more in the long wrong, but that's all kind of hard, and not readily available to everybody. On the other hand, if you can kind of do those other things half-way, and you can get yourself to a PUA bootcamp for a few Benjamins and a weekend of your time, it seems quite likely you're going to be getting more ladies than you are now. You can quantify for yourself what that's worth.

And, yeah, I did meet a couple lovely ladies during the course of the weekend, did get their numbers and exchanged some setups for dates. No, I did not close the deal on anything during the weekend; I don't think anybody did in our group, but the promise was to 'meet and successfully pickup' and I have to say that mission was accomplished.

Ben Payne. Out.

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