The game book on dating
Intrigued by the subculture, he starts participating in the online discussion groups, mainly out of frustration with his own romantic life.
As he becomes more and more involved in the romantic community, Strauss attends a bootcamp conducted by a man identified only as "Mystery".
Another tactic, one for which became particularly famous, was the art of “negging”—that is, giving a woman a semi-insulting compliment so that you a) distinguish yourself from the pack of people she’s accustomed to have hitting on her, and b) slightly lower her self-esteem to the point that she wants your approval and is vulnerable to your advances. I was surprised when I first read  that in addition to being a sort of how-to manual for picking up women, it’s kind of a Neil Strauss coming-of-age story. Gilsinan: If I read it right, you start out scared to talk to women, you learn all these techniques and score a lot, and then, to spoil it, you meet this woman for whom none of it works and you fall in love and swear off your player ways. I think more people have heard about than have actually read it.
This is a subtle thing, and it’s not the same as being bluntly mean. If, however, you say something like, “Those shoes look really comfortable,” you may have started a conversation, even if the response is, “They’re not. ”That’s how I ultimately read the book—the tactics were about starting conversations with people you had no business talking to. Tinder has happened, Strauss is older, and he knows not all of the book ages well; he now calls some of the techniques he documented—and used—“objectifying and horrifying.” He’s married to a woman he loves very much, for which his pickup-artist friends of yesteryear might accuse him of having a case of “one-itis.” For was also a numbers game: Hit on enough women and eventually one of them was bound to succumb to your advances. I don’t think I’ve gotten any angry emails from people who’ve read it, per se. Strauss: Obviously I was a journalist, this community [of pickup artists] already existed, and I went in to describe my experience of it.
Obviously, it was important not to seem desperate while applying these very detailed rules you learned in a self-help book. What follows is a condensed and edited transcript of a conversation I had with him recently. So I think all of a sudden there were these horrid ideas that people read about in became the origin of those ideas. You’re like an Eskimo.” It explains: “Negging women is ideal for really hot girls – 8s, 9s, and 10s. Here are a few lines that women I interview have had used on them. It offers more stock lines, like “I like that outfit you’ve got on, but your shoes don’t really match.” “Your nose is a little red.But rather than experiencing a backlash, the article was roundly praised.When his book was published in 2005, it proved equally successful.
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I speak to Rebecca*, who admits that she fell for negging when it was used on her in a bar.