The Pickup Industry is Dead, Here’s Where the Seduction Community Failed Men

The concept of seduction is nothing new.

It’s an indelible part of human nature and one of the main reasons you’re alive today, reading this article. If there is an attractive woman somewhere in the world, you can rest assured that some man at some time is going to attempt to talk with her and escalate the interaction.

However, since the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, the age-old game of seduction has been disrupted. The scales of power have tipped. Women are now graduating college at a higher rate than men, finding new opportunities for employment, and receiving the (long overdue) equality for which they fought so hard.

And these are all great things for society.

However, they have come with an unintended and unforeseen consequences. As a result of the shifts in power, men in the 21st century have been left with no clear “guide” to help them achieve the romantic lives they desire and successfully navigate the increasingly complex game of dating and relationships in this new era.

Due to the massive disparity in gender dynamics between our generation and previous generations, there are no clearly defined “standard operating procedures” for meeting, attracting, and entering sexual relations with women. Our father’s advice, regardless of how sound it may have been, simply doesn’t work in our modern world.

Social media platforms have further exacerbated the confusion by granting women the ability to select partners from a seemingly endless pool of men who ‘like’ and ‘follow’ her on Instagram, Facebook, Tinder or Bumble.

Divorce rates remain close to 50% for decades. Most of the relationships you see in everyday life are only tolerable at best. The masses of men have become weak, timid, and uncertain and the masses of women have allowed their newfound power to spawn entitlement, superficiality, and an unwarranted sense of superiority.

Movements like MGTOW, third-wave feminism, the “red-pill” and countless others have acknowledged the challenges and sought to remedy the problem. But none have succeeded.

However, there is one solution that rose above the noise and at first glance, seems to offer men a viable path towards success with women.

A set of strategies for meeting, attracting, and seducing women. A self proclaimed “holy grail” for men everywhere that will help them build an abundant dating life with the women he desires.

I’m referring, of course, to “Pickup.”

What Is Pickup?

Pickup is, quite simply, a set of tools and strategies designed to help men meet and interact with women. And even though it didn’t take on any specific dogma or gain public infamy until the late ‘90s and early 2000’s with the advent of the internet and private forums it has always existed.

Photo Credit: The Sharpe

However, the most recent iteration of pickup, complete with in-depth YouTube tutorials, word-for-word scripts (that often sound more like a sales pitch than an honest conversation), and subtle psychological manipulations, has taken these tools and strategies to an extreme.

Instead of being seen for what it is, a tool, pickup has become a religion for many men….an almost cultish organization with strict rules, procedures, and hierarchies. It has transformed from a solution for a particular problem (e.g. struggling to meet and flirt with women) into the solution for all of men’s romantic problems.

And this is where it’s become problematic.

The Problems with the Pickup Industry

Pickup, when treated as a cure-ALL for men’s challenges, poses a very real threat to one’s ability to enter into and maintain positive and mutually beneficial relationships with high-quality women.

Although it might not be easy to see at first glance, since results do occur and it seems as if progress is being made, there are several glaring problems with the pickup community as it stands today. Instead of serving to help men regain their power, these realities exacerbate the confusion and frustration men already feel.

As the old saying goes, “The dose makes the poison,” and right now, the pickup industry has overdosed on its own medicine. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest problems within the industry…

1. Pickup Prioritizes Mechanics Over Psychology

One of the first, and most profound problems with the Pickup Industry is the inordinate amount of focus it places on the mechanics of seduction.

The opener you use. The lines you deliver and how you deliver them. When and how you should break the ‘touch barrier’. The specific phrases you use to get her back to your home or apartment.

While these mechanics might be important to someone just starting out, inside the spectrum of skills necessary to achieve long term success in romantic relationships, they simply aren’t enough.

Tony Robbins says that, “Success in anything is 80% psychology and only 20% mechanics.”

And he’s right…

To achieve any goal, the mechanics you implement do matter, but they matter far less than your mindset and emotional state regarding that goal.

In the world of entrepreneurship, the business plan and strategy you follow matters. But without the right mindset, without an attitude of abundance, resilience, diligence, and patience, even the best plan and strategy in the world won’t make a damn difference. Because you will not be able to make the strategy work.

Without the right mindset and psychology, the best plans simply go to waste. This is true in business, it’s true with your body, and it’s true in the world of dating and relationships.

You can know exactly what to say, when to say it, and how to say it. You can have every line you’ll ever need memorized and recorded by heart. You can have a bulletproof strategy for escalating an interaction from “Hi, my name is…” to “Let’s go back to my place.”

But none of that matters if your psychology is working against you.

If you have limiting beliefs and ‘invisible scripts’ running through your subconscious that prevent you from taking action–or cause you to take action from the wrong place–the results you achieve will be hollow at best.

When you have beliefs like:

  • I’m not the kind of man who is good with women.
  • I’m not good looking enough to attract the women I want
  • I’m short, fat, ugly, broke (insert your favorite pejorative self-description)
  • Beautiful women only date men with lots of money.
  • All women are crazy

It will be impossible for you to achieve the long term results you desire because your mind is working against you.

A man who believes that he is of high-status and has an abundance of value to offer the world interacts with other people–especially attractive women–in a way that is fundamentally different from that of a man who believes he is unattractive or unworthy.

And no number of tactics and strategies can compensate for broken self-beliefs and negative thought paradigms.  

If you are dependent on a woman’s validation to feel like enough of a man, no number of tricks or gimmicks will help you keep a high quality woman in your life.

If you simply feign confidence and swagger while still viewing yourself as a weak and unconfident man, your outward actions might help you manipulate a woman into casual sex, but will be insufficient for you to become the type of man who can authentically attract an abundance of amazing women into his life that want to be there.

Worse yet, most of your social interactions will not abide by the “rules” of Pickup. Eventually, you will arrive at a point in a conversation, at some time, where your lines fail you. The tricks don’t work. The strategies aren’t there. The mechanical ‘she says, I say’ game of pickup will be insufficient to progress the interaction to a real connection.

And when this happens, you will miss out on countless amazing opportunities because the fundamental teaching of pickup is to “be ready” and always have something clever to say instead of “be present” and enjoy the moment wherever you are.

Because the mindset of a truly masterful lover and grounded man is one, first and foremost, of presence.

Of falling deeply into the present moment and engaging with women from a place of aliveness, curiosity, and presence. Not thinking about what to say next, but experiencing the moment in its entirety and trusting that the words will come naturally to you.

And to execute pickup mechanically, it limits your ability to be fully present which hinders your ability to attract the women you most desire. You cannot be in the moment, fluid, and enjoying the experience. Instead, you must rigidly adhere to the tenants of the game, constantly looking for IOI’s (indicators of interest), reciprocation, compliance, and opportunities for escalation like it’s a complex math equation.

You aren’t really there, you’re in your head, trying to force the interaction to progress towards a random lay or an exchange of phone numbers.

Let me tell you, the most unforgettable experiences and nights of my life were never the result of using a specific line or manufactured rehearsed story. They were all a natural byproduct of falling fully into the present moment. The nights where I was most present, most engaged, and most curious about whichever woman was accompanying me were, without comparison, the greatest experiences I’ve had.

And unfortunately, the tenants of pickup are diametrically opposed to these types of experiences which pushes you further and further away from your desired goal.

You learn what to say and do for each specific scenario. But you don’t learn how to think about what you should say or do and develop a healthy mindset and attitude towards the women you desire.

2. Pickup Creates an Unhealthy Dynamic and “Zero Sum Game” for Women

When you’re out trying to “pick up women”, you are, by very definition, attempting to take value without consideration for her experience.

You aren’t looking to share an experience or provide equal or greater value and positive emotions. Instead, you’re out to serve your own self interest by taking something (typically in the form of sex or a phone number) from an attractive woman. And women can feel this in your energy, words and body language.

Instead of going out and thinking to yourself, “I am a strong grounded man with an amazing life and so much to offer…I wonder with whom I can share an incredible experience tonight.” You think, “I want to get laid… let’s go out and use these tricks to manipulate a woman back into my bed.”

Although this might not be the conscious narrative running through your head, it is the narrative taught by pickup which determines if you succeed or fail.

And the problem with this narrative is that the woman always loses.

Because men abiding by the ‘rules of the game’ have little to no interest in her. They only have interest in what they can gain from her.

Image Credit: FashionBeans

Instead of thinking to themselves, “I’m going out to have fun, meet interesting people, and share a positive experience…if sex happens, it happens, but I’m not worried about it.” They think, “I’m going out to meet as many women as possible until I can get laid regardless of who the women is at her core.”

Listen, women like and want sex just as much as men–some studies suggest they like it more than men. And there is nothing inherently wrong with casual sexual encounters or one-night stands.

However, the problem arises when these encounters become the goal of your night instead of a natural byproduct of connecting and sharing positive emotions with others.

When you go out trying to take something from women…needing their sexual consent to feel validated as a man…making a sexual encounter the sole aim of your night, you are missing out on all of the gold in front of you and some of the best experiences life has to offer.

The truly incredible experiences are never forced. They are a natural byproduct of an authentic interaction between two people enjoying life. They are a win-win for the woman where she feels like she got something from either exchanging numbers or sharing a sexual experience with you.

And unfortunately, pickup as a solution reduces these types of experiences from taking place.

3. Pickup Is Unsustainable and Downright Overwhelming

If you were to grab a copy of the ‘average’ pickup book or online course and actually follow the instructions inside of it, your life would look something like this:

-6:30 am: Wake up, workout, check Tinder and direct message any new matches or women you made the night before.

-8:00 am: Leave for work and listen to pickup material in your car.

-9:00 am: Work and respond to any messages from women.

-12:00 pm: Lunch break. Go to a local café and do at least 5 cold approaches.

-1:00 pm: Return to work. Follow up with the women you successfully approached at lunch and try to set up a few more dates.

-5:00 pm: Leave work and go directly to a local bar for happy hour. Do at least 5 cold approaches while nursing your drink.

-7:00 pm: Go on a date you set up earlier this week. If it goes well, try and take her home. If it doesn’t…

-9:00 pm: Go to another bar. Buy another drink. Do 10 more cold approaches and attempt to “pull” a girl before closing time.

12:00 am: After failing to “pull,” you uber to the club across town and go to it. Do more cold approaches. Buy more drinks.

-2:00 am: Stand outside of the venue when women are leaving and hope to take a drunk woman home as she stumbles outside.

– 3:00 am: Go to bed, alone or with a stranger and then wake up and do it all over again.

Now…I’ll be the first to admit it. The pickup lifestyle can be fun…For a while that is. However, after months of this lifestyle it becomes exhausting and you fall victim to heavy drinking and substance abuse to continue going out. All in an attempt to fuel your ego with as much casual sex as you can find, and over time it starts to lose its luster.

The thrill of new sexual partners wears off and becomes dangerous to your health (as you start looking for more and more exciting ‘thrills’). The reality of your actions and the unsustainability of your lifestyle begins to become apparent.

Going out becomes a chore. Approaches become mechanical and dull. The sex, when it happens, feels empty, rushed and void of real intimacy. And you, despite your growing number of sexual escapades, feel exhausted and burned out, meanwhile your other hobbies and passions suffer.

Compounding all of these problems is the fact that, despite your best efforts to fight the pressure, the more you go out, the more you are around women who use recreational drugs and engage in damaging lifestyles. To impress them (and sleep with them), you start taking part in some of these same activities.

I’ve seen countless friends struggle with addictions they picked up as a direct result of pick up. Friends who were once paragons of discipline and personal-accountability have been reduced to little more than narcotic-fueled party boys, doing anything and everything they can to score another lay and bolster their fragile egos.

After a while you may begin to think you just don’t have what it takes to succeed with the pickup lifestyle since the “gurus” are telling you that it can be done. Yet the main reason why the pick up “gurus” online continue to do it is simply because they are being paid to do it. If the money was out of the picture they too would stop the hectic pickup lifestyle and adopt a more balanced approach.

Pickup, when treated as the solution to your romantic life vs. a set of valuable tools to be implemented into a more comprehensive well-rounded life, is unsustainable for even the most disciplined enthusiast in the long term. You can’t go out ad infinitum and expect to maintain a complete life. The long nights, partying, and constant emotional challenges of trying to sleep with a new woman every third night of the week will eventually drain you and leave you with one of two options.

Either go ALL IN on pickup. Give up your hobbies, passions, and social circle. Engage in borderline sociopathic behaviors in an attempt to fill the hole in your life with casual sex and an increasingly higher ‘lay count’.

OR…put in the hard work to develop yourself as a man and find a healthier, more sustainable solution that integrates into a more progressive and balanced life.  

4. The Pickup Lifestyle Stunts Your Growth

The greatest problem with pickup is that the transformation one experiences by following its tenants are, at best, superficial.

Yes, you may develop more social confidence and find it easier to approach and talk to women. You’ll probably boost your self-esteem a bit and feel less anxious in social settings. But at the end of the day, you are still the same man, living the same life, dealing with the same internal problems.

Although you’ve boosted your ego and added a few notches to your bedpost, you haven’t grown or changed on a visceral level. Your sense of purpose remains weak and obscure, your self-esteem and core confidence (although artificially inflated) are unchanged, and YOU are no stronger, more grounded, or more alive then when you first started the journey.

When you make women the sole focus of your life you cease to be attractive to women, especially high quality women.

Women do not want to be the center of your life. They want to be a partner in your existing adventurous life. They want you to have your own hobbies, passions, interests and they want to join you on the journey.

They don’t want to be the journey themselves.

When meeting and seducing women becomes the primary goal of your daily life, they are instantly put on a pedestal where she’s up there and you’re down there. Even if you get results, you have allowed women to dictate your self worth as a man.

This attitude doesn’t deepen your purpose or convictions. It doesn’t help you address the root cause of your insecurities and need for validation from women. It doesn’t give you the abundance mindset and self-confidence to filter out women—especially attractive women—who do not meet your values or core beliefs. It doesn’t build your backbone or light a fire in your belly to become the strongest version of yourself.

To enjoy the deepest and most fulfilling relationships possible–whatever those look like and whatever dynamic they adopt–learning a few new pickup lines or leveling up your style simply isn’t enough. You must go deeper.

Attracting and keeping the highest quality women in your life requires that you undergo a fundamental transformation on the inside from who you are today to the man you are capable of becoming. You must build a richer and more exciting life–one that a high-quality woman would be excited to join you in.

You must go all in on your purpose, develop passions and interests that supersede ‘getting laid’, and develop the core of your personality to become someone who naturally attracts high quality people (both men and women) into his life.

However, most men are unwilling to do this, quite simply, because it goes against our innate biological drive for safety. Change is uncomfortable, uncertain, and hard.

It’s hard to engage in the deep personal work to build your masculinity and evolve as a human being. It’s hard to face your fears, insecurities, and inadequacies, and address them instead of running from them. It’s hard to accept that the way you are living today is insufficient to fuel the man you want to be tomorrow—and more importantly it’s hard to do the work required to change it.

It is hard and there’s no escaping this fact, yet it’s also the most rewarding part of life and where men will find the most growth.

5. Pickup Leaves You Stranded in Your Relationships

Think of your favorite Pickup coach or, if you aren’t familiar with the industry, just Google a few of them and go to their social media profiles.

Now tell me…what do you see?

Odds are, if they still run a company related to pickup, there are plenty of cool pictures in exotic locations. Maybe a video or two of them kissing multiple girls or sitting in a club with a couple of women. But nine times out of ten, you will notice the complete lack of one thing.

A fulfilling and happy relationship with a high quality woman.

And those few PUA gurus who do have a spouse or long-term partner, you’ll notice that they no longer teach pickup because, they’ve recognized its superficial shortcomings and got out.

One of the greatest problems with pickup is that, although it might result in situational improvements (e.g. approaching a girl at a bar or knowing how to escalate for a one-night stand), it does not result in the improvement or growth of your life as a whole. And, when you decide you’re ready for a long term relationship, pickup abandons you.

Look at the PUA leaders from the last decade and you will notice that 90% of them do not have a lasting intimate relationship with a high-quality woman or if they do find themselves in one, it almost always ends prematurely. They will either settle with a woman who does not align with their personal values and beliefs (but she’s attractive), or they will continue the pickup lifestyle indefinitely, filling the void with an endless stream of new women with whom they share little connection.

And therein lies the biggest problem with pickup. Yes, it might help you attract a woman. But it does nothing to help you become the kind of man who can keep a high-quality woman in his life, which for most men involved in pickup is their real goal.

It’s kind of like lottery winners.

Studies have shown that 90% of the time, lottery winners will end up exactly where they were before they won within a matter of years–that is to say, completely broke.

Why? Because even though they got large sums of money. They did not develop themselves into the type of person capable of managing and effectively investing that amount of money. They have millions in the bank with $30,000 mindsets, beliefs and habits. And the results are almost always catastrophic ending up right there they started in a few years time.

Similarly, relying on pickup, you might be able to enter into a relationship with an attractive and high-quality woman. It might last for a few weeks, or even a few months, however with time, your lack of groundedness, growth in life and character development will come to the surface and slowly bring the relationship to an end.

Pickup teaches you how to approach a woman, but it doesn’t teach you how to set boundaries or get your needs met in a healthy way inside of a relationship. It teaches you solely how to get from her and not build something with her. More importantly, it doesn’t give you criteria for determining which women fit into your life romantically and which ones–regardless of how attractive they might be–you should filter out and friend-zone (or cut off entirely).

The metric of success in pickup is the physical beauty of the women you seduce. It doesn’t matter who she, what she values, why type of character she has, or what her lifestyle is. If she’s a “7” or above, then, according to pickup, you should approach and sleep with her.

This is not only superficial, but incredibly risky. I can’t tell you how many people I know whose lives were ruined by an STD or unwanted pregnancy with the wrong woman.

Pick up teaches you how to start a car, but not how to drive it to its destination. It helps you capture the attention of the woman you want, but it doesn’t show you how to develop a healthy relationship with the women you want.

And this is why, as it stands today, pickup is dead.


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