If you're a guy and you've ever had trouble getting a date and turned to the internet for help, you've probably run across some of the materials and sites available from some of the Pickup Artist (PUA) gurus out there. There's a plethora of them, from the Mystery Method, David Deangelos's Double Your Dating (or Eben Pagan's DYD, I'm not sure what his name really is) to Real Social Dynamics, The Art of Charm, and literally dozens more. The one thing they all have in common is they want to sell you something, and it ain't cheap.
I'll give them credit, they do offer some interesting advice on social skills, but there's one big lie, or a huge sin of omission, that they don't tell you. Quite simply, you don't really need their help in many cases, and in some cases their instruction is absolutely worthless.
I've watched guys interact in bars and in public with women, and I've observed enough men pick up women to know that you don't need special social skills or understand the art of pickup to do so. I've seen guys who have no PUA skills whatsoever consistently take women home. If you believe the PUAs, this wouldn't happen. You would be told the guys who get the girls are "naturals" and have some innate skills you could copy to pick up women. Sorry, it ain't so. Any guy can pickup a woman provided they meet two criteria.
First, the guy must not be a chump, "nice guy", a scrub or any of a variety of negative descriptions that mean one thing: they have an unhealthy attitude towards women and relationships. In general, this unhealthy attitude involves one thing, that is, putting a woman on a pedestal and worshipping her. When an Average Frustrated Chump, or AFC as the PUAs call him, approaches a woman, he gives the woman all the power and appears weak and ineffectual. She is on a pedestal and effectively his goddess to be catered to and obeyed. He has no power unless she gives it to him. No woman wants a guy who is emotionally and psychologically impotent. Being an AFC is the best way to avoid getting any women; it's a negative characteristic that acts against you. All you need to do is not worship women and retain your own self esteem when confronted by a woman and you've met the first criteria. Eliminate that negative and you're halfway there.
Now if you have an unhealthy attitude that demeans women, you're not a chump. If all you want to do is have sex with them and discard them, you're not a chump. In this case you still have some personal power, and you've still met criteria one. This attitude might not be very appealing, but it does work. You still appear to have some esteem and personal power to the woman.
Admittedly, the first criteria is pretty hard for some guys. Dr. Robert Glover, of No More Mr. Nice Guy, has an entire book, new website, and therapy practice dedicated to the recovery of "nice guys". Being an NG (nice guy) sounds like it should be a benefit, but in fact it's not. It's a distorted view of women and relationships and reality in general. It is entirely different from being a "good guy". Girls date and sleep with good guys and bad guys, but nice guys end up in the friend zone, or become GWAPs (Girlfriends With A Penis) and never have natural physical relationships. It isn't pretty, I know from experience. I suggest you look at Dr. Glover's materials for a more detailed explanation of the NG.
Given that a guy meets criteria one, that is, he isn't a chump, all he needs to do is meet criteria two and he'll pick up a decent number of women. Criteria two is where the big lie of the PUA comes into play. In order to pickup and date women, you must meet a minimum level of physical attractiveness, or as I like to call it, the MLPA.
Nobody wants to admit there is a MLPA, but there is a point below which no amount of pickup skill will get you a date. Simply put, if you look like a troll, or are obese, no amount of pickup skill will get you laid. Period. The PUAs like to claim that anybody can pickup women but I have NEVER seen a PUA demonstrate their techniques using an obese or troll-like guy. Never. Average guys, yes. below the MLPA, no.
I have seen a PUA demonstrate the most bizarre and awful approach to a woman and claim that the approach works. They don't mention that the guy was well above the MLPA, and above average looking. If an average or below average guy had tried that same approach, the girl would have run away.
Now most guys do not look like a troll, and most guys looking for dates are not obese, so this shouldn't be a problem. 99% of guys do not fit this criteria. In fact, I'll estimate that 80% of men are average looking. Fortunately, women in general have a very liberal definition of average looking, and you're probably a lot better looking to women than you think you are. If you are average looking, and not a chump, you'll get an average amount of women with no PUA skills whatsoever. If you're above average, you'll get an above average number of women. It's that simple, but no PUA with a seminar to sell will admit to it.
Do you think Brad Pitt studies pickup? Or Josh Hartnett? Orlando Bloom? Of course not.
If you don't believe me, go to any bar or club and spend an evening as an observer. Get close to a handsome guy and listen in on his conversations with women. If he's anything like some of the men at my local pub, the women will throw themselves at him and he probably has no particularly well developed social skills. There's a handsome gym rat at my local bar that gets women all the time, yet his conversation skills and ability to read the reactions of women are practically non-existent. Even the average guys with little skills get women. No PUA skills needed.
I don't want to completely dis' the PUA; their lessons can be valuable and their skill sets will improve a guys chances with women. You can choose Erik von Markovic's formulaic "Mystery Method" or a more integrated approach like available at Real Social Dynamics, or one of dozens of others and it will improve your chances with women. If you're below average looking, these skills are almost mandatory, provided you're above the MLPA. If not, you're better off spending your money on a gym and personal trainer, or on plastic surgery. Furthermore, if you're average or above, these skills will increase your chances with women tremendously.
Sure, I know you're like Muldur from the X-Files; you WANT to believe the PUAs can make you better with women, and they will. The more skills, the more women if you first meet these two criteria. Just don't believe all the hype and understand your own limitations.