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Sleazy and cheesy?

The art and science behind attraction and seduction

by Kory Stone/Business Manager


The pick-up arts are a great way to better oneself personally and socially as well.
Stock image from Martin Boulanger

It is the time of the year in which couples rejoice in each other and single people are often left wanting someone to share the season with. Maybe a little studying of the pick-up arts can help. Shows like “The Pick-Up Artist,” staring Erik von Markovik ( a.k.a.“Mystery”), and books like “The Game” by  Neil Strauss (a.k.a. “Style”) have brought to light what was once an underground field of study – the study of seduction.  As cheesy as it may sound, the pick-up arts are often rooted in the sciences – biology, psychology and sociology. Pick-up artists are actually trying to understand personal/social dynamics and evolutionary processes. One of the most recent studies conducted by Nathan Oesch and Igor Miklousic in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology found considerable evolutionary support for the overall pick-up model of dating.

In an article from Psychology Today, Dr. Jeremy Nicholson  – a social and personality psychologist with a research and writing focus on influence, persuasion, dating and relationships – stated that “Though any technique, tactic, or dating strategy is not a fool-proof, never-fail, approach,  learning the sciences of the pick-up arts can definitely increase ones chances of the someone liking or even loving you.  They work by tapping into evolutionary and psychological mechanisms.”  So the science of seduction is legitimate, but is it moral? Or is this science a way to manipulate or trick the people into liking, and or sleeping with you?  Well, that depends.  We are all manipulators already in some form or another.  The question to consider is “What are your intentions and how do you leave others feeling?” On one hand, the pick-up arts are filled with people whose sole purpose is seek pleasure or their own personal gain without much thought of others or the damage that they may leave in their wake.  On the other hand, the pick-up arts are a great way to better oneself personally and socially.

Ironically, a good portion of the best teachers in the business were once considered social rejects.  At least half – if not most – of the lessons taught in the pickup arts are focused on oneself – building “inner game,” that is. It is building traits that people tend to find attractive- things like style, confidence, humor or rapport among others. It is about becoming the best you, whatever that is. It is about taking what strengths you have and building upon them.  The other half of the coin is building your social muscles, or learning to read, react and communicate positively in social environments whether it is one on one or in a group. It is about learning things like body language, vocal tone and social dynamics.  All traits which can give a person leverage of power to be seen as attractive in many if not most social environments, from work to the club.

However, as Voltiare once said “With great power comes great responsibility.” When many come across the pickup arts are only looking to become a little better at attracting others, or to increase their options for a more suitable partner. If one’s goal is to learn the pick-up arts in order to simply have “fun,” there is nothing really intrinsically wrong with that. The moral problem arises when one stops seeing people as people and only as conquests or means to an end they wish to achieve.  Follow some simple rules: if someone is looking for a relationship, do not lie; be honest about your intentions. There are plenty of people who are looking for the same thing.  Do not try and steal or seduce another’s romantic partner even if you could. Have respect for other relationships. Basically, a good rule of thumb, as I once heard said on the “Art of Charm” podcast is “Pick-up should be about picking people up to their best potential and having fun socially, not just trying to get something.”

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