Fear and loathing in the pickup industry

Another summer has now come to a close and another game season is over. Our heroes have bragged all about their successes, 7s have been described as 9s and in private, everyone is mulling over their failures and learning points. The streets of Eastern Europe, as the weather now cools, will soon become repellent to the day gamers. These streets that once attracted hordes of young men in top hats are now a repellent, driving them back to their normal lives and office jobs. Girls between the ages of 18 and 24 will once again be able to walk from H&M to Costa Coffee without being pounced on by some young hungry wannabe announcing ‘OH. MY. GOD’, then choking back a guffaw, circling his finger in the air and rolling his eyes, pompously exclaiming with a smirk ‘Those shoes. That bag!’

I began my final jaunt with the ever hilarious John Bodi. I’d met him and Nick in Warsaw a few months ago. I’d wanted to see them both again before I got back to work and luckily Warsaw worked for all of us. John was particularly keen to do another jaunt and Nick had students on and off, jamming his schedule, so I arranged to go to Belgrade with John, with a loose plan to maybe catch Nick at the tail end somewhere if circumstances allowed.

Bodi had given me a sneak preview of his second book before the trip. I’d read it all in one sitting, reading out the best bits to JJ and we both loved it. It’s great to read these memoirs because they are very accurate retellings of a very enjoyable period of my life. When I read them what strikes me most is that as ludicrous as they seem, they’re all true. Minor exaggerations for effect here and there, but what we thought was normal behaviour was clearly preposterous from the point of view of a third party. We thought it was absolutely normal, indeed inspirational, to don our best suits in the evening, wear fake designer watches and sit in a room smoking cigars.

If we move slowly and talk in deep voices, no one will guess these watches are fakes

While in Belgrade, Bodi remarked on how he was now ready to write the final part of his trilogy. I got the eerie feeling on many occasions that he was observing me intently for fresh material. I’d eat pizza and slop some on myself and shrug. He’d stare and smirk. Shit, was that going in his next book? Maybe I’d get up late and walk around in only a towel drinking vodka and apple, eating chocolate but talking about how I was high value. He’d just stare at me with interest.

‘You’re going to lampoon me like this in your next damned book, aren’t you?’, I’d wail, half drunk at 11am.

He’d just laugh. Now terrified of doing anything ridiculous that may be immortalised forever in his next book, it was like a game of cat and mouse as we rolled around the streets of Belgrade.

We met some people, Bodi did some sets, we stayed out late, got up late, discussed plans for the future. We ate, we drank, we danced, we listened to Stefan Molyneux (Bodi banned me from listening to Peter Schiff). We had a whale of a time.

Ironically, the most fun people we met were three crazy English girls. They stopped us in the street to ask directions and we walked them to where they were going since they were so ludicrously friendly and had no idea where they were going. They barely knew what city they were in. They were like three extremely silly teenage daughters. We genuinely decided to friend-zone them and just enjoy their company and it was really nice to hang out with some fun girls for a few days with no game plotting seeping in.

It was very interesting how Bodes and I telepathically sensed when the conversation was veering too much towards red pill. At one point, I thought I’d pushed it too far when I gave them a five minute explanation in support of Donald Trump. Interestingly, the girls nodded and largely agreed with me, but one of them went quiet and when we left the cafe, she walked a few yards ahead. We mused that they may have been offended by our Trumpiness, but no, they met us again the next day and were just as friendly and enthusiastic.

Every now and then, 3 or 4 times a day Bodi would roll off and do a set. I’d sit and watch. I was impressed with his haul. I think he hit 50 opens and he had 4 pretty decent leads, all hot girls, all texting him to various levels of enthusiasm. Add a lay to that haul and it was as good as I used to get in my heyday. 1 lay in 50 opens and a further 3 solid leads for long game would have been acceptable.

‘If you lived here and had more time to work it, you would be sleeping with at least two of those in that haul you have there.’ I reckoned. ‘Two weeks work, two hot girlfriends. That’s the truth of it.’

John and I did our introspection on what he wants and how to get it, he did his blog post on girlfriend hunting. It was the first time I saw him actually enjoying game and a lot I saw of him in set was really impressive. We discussed the pros and cons of different modes of street game, the differences in r and K selected skirt, the kind of lifestyle we want going forward. The jaunt model is fun when you’re young, a few weeks here and there clacking as much (largely r selected) skirt as possible. Or holing up in one town and playing a slower game, doing less sets, more natural, more under the radar, building up a genuine social circle, hunting maybe a more K selected and higher quality girlfriend.

Where am I going with this?

My conversations to this point with both Nick and John this summer could be summed up as follows:

‘Game is great, game is useful, game is fun – and it’s a lot of hard work. The reality is a lot of sets that go absolutely nowhere. If you can get your ration down to 1/50 (genuinely quality, hot women), then you’re doing really well’.

We then took a break to Zagreb for a few days for a function I had to attend, before getting the overnight train back to Belgrade. Upon arrival back in Belgrade, Bodes got some urgent phone calls and immediately had to fly home to Newcastle meaning a couple of hours after we’d landed back in Belgrade, he was gone and I was completely alone in the city with two weeks left until my flight back to Manchester.

Alone, but not for long. Nick texted, ‘My mate Jake is in town, he’d like to meet you’.

So I rolled about with Jake for a few days. He was another cool guy and interesting to talk to. Being a good looking fella, he got lots of IOIs. Then in addition to Jake, I bumped into Brokinetic. He was coming from a different position to Jake, he didn’t have looks to trade off. He was Indian, shorter, a decent looking lad but more towards the average.

But despite all this both these men also had a similar tale to tell.

‘Game is great, game is useful. But it’s a lot of hard work. It’s not a short cut. It may even be a long cut. You can have a lot of ‘nothing but frustration’ before you get the hot set.’

And the hot set may have just been a yes girl, leaving you with the niggling sense of dissatisfaction that it was chance, not game, that got you the points on the board.

Jake, after a couple of days of hard work, got his hot set. Late one evening he iDated a cute little brunette, so I walked off looking for a place to get some food.

Crossing Republic Square, heading for one of the restaurants I heard a voice behind me.

‘Jimmy, hey, Jimmy’. Then someone pounced on me playfully. I spun round. It was Steve; he was laughing all over his face.

‘I didn’t know if it was you or an old woman when I saw you’, he ripped.  ‘I didn’t know you were in Belgrade’.

‘I thought you were in Warsaw’, I said.

Apparently he’d left Warsaw. He’d been in Belgrade a week and amazingly we’d simply not seen him. So we went for dinner and it was like having John back. We caught up, laughed about the mansion, and discussed future plans.

‘I’ve only just got back into approaching, I’m really trying to get my enthusiasm back, it’s not been that easy these last few years to be honest. I’ll tell you, the girls here aren’t easy either’.

I added, ‘Let me guess. A lot of hard work, nothing guaranteed, sets that go nowhere. You can get results but you have to work for it’?

Can you see how this is stacking up? From a new guy like Brokinetic, to the great Steve Jabba* – game is not shooting fish in a barrel.

What about my recent trip to Budapest with Lee? A guy who is actually a male model and has years of game and coaching under his belt. Two weeks with me in Budapest, 50 sets 1 lay. And I got him that lay! I opened the girl for him; I even took her on the date for him!

Since Belgrade I’ve had many chats with good pickup guys who I have seen in set in the past. It seems when I talk to any guy who’s put the hours in and they will all say the same thing. Just yesterday Tomas in Poland tweeted a photo of a rainy empty street. He’d had a day of very few approaches and nothing to show for it. I spoke to a former student and now friend of mine in Edinburgh. A cool guy with confident game, he told me:

‘Yeah it’s not easy I reckon I am 75/1 with a bit of luck. Been on a bit of a dry run lately’.

I rounded off my trip in Zagreb with Steve and my girlfriend. We were just hanging out and talking. It was really nice. It was like we were normal middle aged people, not pickup artists. It was about this time that ‘Deepakgate’ kicked off. It had been bubbling away for a few weeks, but in Zagreb the heat turned up.

For some reason, of all the scammers out there, Deepak had set Nick off.

‘Where are you?’, he’d What’s App me urgently.

‘Err, just at home with JJ, why’.

‘Good. I want you to watch this Deepak Wayne infield. Break it down, tell me what you think’.

As ludicrous as it is, five 40 year old men arguing online over who can score the most 25 year old women, there is a serious side.

New guys don’t know. They don’t know what to expect of this game thing. When someone is claiming extravagant success, it gives people false expectations. They look where they are and can’t see the progress. After 6 months when they are still no closer 15 to lays a month with a stream of Playboy bunnies, they think they’re failing.

I am trolling contributing a lot on Twitter now. Someone said on there the other day (I think it was Garzero) that you can spot the genuine guys, because they’re the ones complaining how hard it is.

Deepak has some good points. He is strangely compelling and can be quite charismatic in set, but he doesn’t get hot girls and his game is beginner level at best.

Some of the girls I suspect will be on the payroll in some way. There is a lot of weird editing and long mutes in set for no reason. I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I’ve never had to mute an infield outside of the basic name and number. Deepak has extended mutes all the time. I think he’s saying things like ‘I run an agency, would you be interested in a job’ or some other such disqualifier or bribe which facilitates the girl staying in the conversation.

There is also a trick here, and I’ve seen used before, where you juxtapose all your footage over a few days into one montage and it looks like you’re killing it. Kind of like a ‘best bits’. No one notices that you’ve simply mixed 10 blowouts with two number closes. They just see a guy killing it with the girls.

Ultimately he’s just mostly hitting up ugly skirt. Once in a while he might genuinely do well with a hot girl, just out of volume. Take a look at he and his mate Michi, if you watch their videos, well just ask yourself, are these guys clacking hot skirt all day in all day out when you’re not? Is there really a system out there that could get these hopeless guys laid like rock-stars so easily?

There’s always been bullshit in the pickup industry. Outside a core few, I think they’re all a crock of shit. I wouldn’t look to any of the coaches for advice. I’d look at guys who aren’t being coaches. Guys like Roy Walker Daygame. I’ve never met the guy but I took a look at his blog and there he is, chipping away, not claiming to be anything special, occasionally whining about how hard it is. If I were new to game I would be dropping him a line and going to wing with him.

That’s exactly what I did when I started, only no one had blogs back then, we just posted ads on Gumtree and met through word of mouth. ‘Give this guy a call, I went out with him once, he’s good’. When I started out in pickup, there were no coaches in London at all. There was just PUA Training. That was it. Everyone at that time learned from each other. That’s how we got good. The second pickup school in London after PUA Training came with me and my crew; then came a third, PUA Method.

‘Wow, there are three boot-camp companies in London now’, we whistled.

Game isn’t a short cut really. It’s as hard as any other method; it just gives you more control over your dating life. You choose who you approach, you give yourself more choice, the more you work the more you get.

Game is years of rejections and setbacks, but every rejection and setback you ever encounter makes you that bit more like the guys who eventually got good at it. The guys whose blogs you read and admire.

I was, and still am, a huge Mystery fan. Whenever a girl flaked on me at the last minute and left me holding my dick in the rain outside some far flung tube station on a Wednesday night, I take some solace in the following thought

‘I bet this is exactly how Mystery used to feel too as he was earning his stripes. He knows, and I know, this feeling… because we have both been out here doing it’.

Back in 2007 when all this was new to me and I was unsure and there weren’t 500 pickup blogs to compare myself against, every failure I suffered was like I was earning some kinship with a distant hero.

*Just as an aside, if you want to see the stone cold epitome of cool, watch this video just at 04:50. Compare that guy to the two pencil necks at 00:15 in this video and ask yourself honestly – ‘Who do I believe?’ You don’t need to see the infields.


  1. What was the actual thinking behind dressing up in 3 piece suits and smoking cigars? What did you think it would achieve? Still, even if it achieved nothing practical, it was probably fun.

  2. Have you guys got any photos of those green leather couches? They sound awesome, particularly juxtaposed against the way Bodi describes the house as a run down derelict hospital out of a Silent Hill game.

  3. >> Someone said on there the other day (I think it was Garzero) that you can spot the genuine guys, because they’re the ones complaining how hard it is.

    Wow… I must have been AMAZING last summer as I dragged my ass back to life. Things are better now, but all I did was howl/moan all summer (not the good kind of howling/moaning). I don’t know if that was bad luck, or me getting my vibe in shape. Painful summer.

    >> You choose who you approach, you give yourself more choice, the more you work the more you get.

    This particular point is something I have been thinking about a lot lately… yes, this is a huge part of why the work of game is worth it to me… to pick the girls I want to connect with.

    But there is this thought that “girls always choose.” And at some level, as we pour out volume, both could be true.

    Rivelino was talking about a 23yr old SDL he had recently, and he said “3. chose the girl who liked me, not the girl i liked.” was one of the things that got him laid. She was attractive, but he liked someone else, but went were the attention was. And it worked.

    These concepts – choice vs looking for IOIs/whatever – are not mutually exclusive, but I’m wondering how much we do is swimming upstream.

    Kicking these ideas around…

    1. “These concepts – choice vs looking for IOIs/whatever – are not mutually exclusive, but I’m wondering how much we do is swimming upstream.”

      i like K’s simple term, we are flipping over stones.

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