You’re a woman standing in a bar drinking a beer when a guy comes up to talk to you. He stands confidently, talks loud and clearly and just seems interested in asking you a question.
With an eager voice, he then says a few things about himself. He likes photography. He studies psychology at Concordia and he sees himself finishing a Master’s degree in a few years.
He’s also asking you questions, and seems genuinely interested in your answers. You don’t feel like you’re being ‘picked-up’ in the way most people imagine bar pick-ups to be: lame lines and flat conversation.
At some point, you ask him where he is going to be studying for his Master’s and suddenly you get only a vague reply – a silent bomb in the middle of all the action.
He starts looking around, suddenly uninterested. Over your shoulder, he sees someone else and smiles – a girl waves at him.
He waves back. Almost instinctively, you reach out and touch his arm to get his attention once again.
If you are a man playing ‘The Game’ you’ve just entered phase two: comfort.
If you are following the right procedure, you’ll soon get to phase three: seduction, and start working towards breaking down the three remaining barriers to, what one Quebec pick-up artist guru, Pierre-Olivier Bousquet, says is the ultimate goal in his version of The Game – sex.
What is the Game?
The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick-Up Artists is a top-selling book written by American journalist Neil Strauss.
He penetrated a secret network of pick-up artists and learned, with the help of several other master pick- up artists (PUAs), how to lose the “average frustrated chump” label he carried all his life.
Each PUA also has his own game name – an anonymous alias to protect the identity of the players. In Quebec, players of The Game adopt similar aliases.
At a Game theory workshop in Montreal, where each participant paid $100, nothing next to the $2,000 often charged per course in London, five young men in their early 20s and 30s gathered together in a small conference room.
In front of them stands their teacher, Pierre-Olivier Bousquet, who is an up and coming Montreal-region Game guru.
He is an eloquent speaker; articulate and fluid, and gives off a sort of self-confidence that, apparently, must come from learning the “Mystery Method.”
He is lecturing from the front of the room where he’s drawn the “game plan.” First invented by “Mystery”, an American pick-up artist, the “Mystery Method” essentially breaks down normal social interaction intro comprehensible steps for those to whom it does not come naturally.
Divided into three columns, and then each subdivided into another three, the board reads attraction, comfort and seduction.
Each stage has different steps, for example, attraction breaks down into three steps: A1, A2 and A3.
In each step, there is a particular goal to cover and a height of attraction and sexual/intellectual tension between the pick-upper and the pick-uppee to reach, before the next step can be passed.
Bousquet compares picking-up women to fishing. He uses an apparently foolproof “bait, hook, reel and release” method, guaranteed to get women interested in whomever the speaker.
These steps, a mix between categories A1, A2 and A3, involve getting someone’s attention, quickly reeling her into the conversation, asking a few questions and suddenly tuning out.
Bousquet points out women will often retaliate by reaching out to touch you, moving The Game from the attraction stage to the comfort stage.
“[Making] her work for you” is then the prime way to fly through the comfort steps to reach those of seduction.
He also tells gamers-in-training that if they do get a woman to the final stage of seduction, they might hit a barrier.
According to Bousquet, women are prone to becoming more emotionally involved when sleeping with a man and therefore hesitate before jumping into bed with a stranger.
Bousquet’s remedy to a woman’s hesitation is a simple reel and release trick.
He says that once you get the woman into your bed, you must feign disinterest when she tells you to stop – get up, read something on your computer or turn on some music.
Bousquet says this fool-proof method gets a woman curious enough to suggest more action on their own, calling it the “freeze out” method.
Who Does It?
Many want to know who pays anywhere from $100 to $2,000 for a workshop on social interaction.
Five pick-up-artists-in-training spill the beans. Under each of their Game aliases, they tell a different story.
“Five” is a communications student at UQAM. He says he has a hard time approaching people, particularly during the day, and usually gets anxious whenever he does approach someone.
He says he is looking for a long-term relationship – something Bousquet does not touch on in his program – and wants to learn how to present himself confidently.
The workshops give him the right incentive by “[forcing] him to get out and approach strangers.”
“Wizard” owns a company that sells Yerba Mate tea.
He started gaming to build self-confidence in business settings.
He says he’s also a “party guy” who loves to organize social gatherings.
Wizard believes many men who find themselves labeled as a “nice guy” simply end up befriending women. The workshop teaches a different approach to cross-gender socialization to shed this label.
“Hunter” studies at Universit