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Neil Strauss could rub elbows with rock stars, but he couldn't talk to women. So when the former New York Times reporter and ghost writer (he penned Jenna Jameson's How to Make Love Like a Pornstar, among other celeb titles) heard about a document detailing the secrets to getting girls, he decided to delve into the underworld of men obsessed with seduction and make himself a stud. The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists is part memoir, part how-to guidewith tips on what to wear as a conversation starter, what to use as an opener ("If I wasn't gay, you'd be so mine," apparently works because she'll figure out you're straight after you get her talking), and how to ignore the woman you're interested in just enough.
My friend tries these techniques and they aren't working. What's he doing wrong?
As soon as I see guys out, I can tell who's going to succeed and who's going to fail. You have to have the right energy. People think it's just the magic lines, but you have to fix yourself first. Even though I'm out of [the game scene], I really care about these guys. I think learning this makes sense for a certain kind of person who needs to become more confident.
Do the pickup artists really become better people though?
I see people come into it and really blossom; they become charming and cool. Some people get really lost and try to be other people though. They start out as nice guys and end up looking like creeps in feather boas.
A lot of the techniques are memorized opening lines or tricks. Doesn't that keep guys from revealing their personalities?
Most courtship rituals are a game. You don't normally play guitar outside of someone's window or set up romantic dinners. That's romance.
Can women use these tricks on men?
They totally work. If you're the woman whose friends get all of the attention [from guys], try a personality test or a psychic reading and capture the attention. I would be out and think I was attracted to one woman in a group and then I would realize that one was really funny. So women can demonstrate value.
Why do men need this book?
Women have the whole culture of Sex and the City and Cosmo to learn this stuff. For men, it's totally underground. This is leveling the playing field. These guys who weren't popular in high school can learn to be popular.
Is this like a magician thing? Are the other pickup artists going to get mad at you for revealing their secrets?
No, for two reasons. A, half of the women would say that won't work on me, and half of the men will say there's no way this could work. And also, we can't help what attracts us. It's not specific. I've traveled all over the world and these methods are effective.
So there's no extra stuff you're not telling us about?
When I wrote my book with Motley Crue, I had one ground rule. You can't hold back anything. Readers can tell. So, no. I put it all out there.