Are you just another AFC ("average frustrated chump") trying to meet an HB ("hot babe")? How would you like to "full-close" with a Penthouse Pet of the Year? The answers, my friend, are in Neil Strauss's entertaining book The Game. Strauss was a self-described chick repellant--complete with large, bumpy nose, small, beady eyes, glasses, balding head, and, worst of all, painful shyness around women. He felt like "half a man." That is, until a book editor asked him to investigate the community of pickup artists. Strauss's life was transformed. He spent two years bedding some fine chiquitas and studying with some of the North America's most suave gents--including the best of them all, the God of the pickup "community," a man named Mystery.
Mystery is an aspiring Toronto magician who charges $2,250 for a weekend pickup workshop. He is not much to look at: a cross between a vampire and a computer geek. But by using high-powered marketing techniques he's turned seduction into an effortless craft--even inventing his own vocabulary. His technique sounds like a car salesman's tip sheet: his main rule is FMAC--find, meet, attract, close. He employs the "three-second rule"--always approach a woman within three seconds of first seeing her in order to avoid getting shy. Other tricks: Intrigue a beautiful woman by pretending to be unaffected by her charm; also, never hit on a woman right away. Start with a disarming, innocent remark, like "Do you think magic spells work?" or "Oh my god, did you see those two girls fighting outside?" And finally, the most important characteristic of the pickup artist--smile.
After two years, Strauss ends up becoming almost as successful as Mystery, but he comes to an important realization. His techniques were actually off-putting to the woman he ended up falling in love with. And they never prepared him for actually having a relationship. After a while, he ran out of one-liners and had to have a real conversation. Still, The Game is a great read that may help some AFCs come out of their shells. --Alex Roslin --