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It is not clear that any of the people involved know what they are talking about.
Dr Petra Boynton, the sex educator and blogger, says that there is “no evidence of effectiveness” for any of the PUA claims.
The terminology often has a militaristic fantasy feel: even aside from the endless US Army-style acronyms, messages in chatrooms detailing pick-up attempts are called “field reports”, and PUAs discuss “field testing” new techniques, as though they were howitzers rather than glorified chat-up lines.
Dr Boynton describes users as “the most vulnerable of men”, and says that the PUA industry is a means of making money from vulnerable people.
The aforementioned Mystery has apparently created a “humour technique” called “The Absurd”, which is presumably different from just being witty like any old AFC, and “microcalibrated openers” for starting conversations.
Like trainspotters, they are obsessed with collecting numbers and statistics; many keep detailed records of every “Close”.PUAs, of course, are the Pick-Up Artists themselves (entertainingly, if you get really good, you can be a Pick-Up Guru or PUG).Before they were initiated, they were just AFCs – Average Frustrated Chumps – like the rest of us.Sartorially, that may mean wearing a fluorescent T-shirt and an asymmetric haircut, or makeup, or platform shoes – Mystery, we are told in The Game, sports the latter.
This behaviour, apparently, is called “peacocking”. The jargon Similarly, like lots of little boys' clubs, the pick-up artist world has developed its own pseudo-technical language.“Closing” means to seal the deal; there are various levels, including NC, or Number Close, where you get her phone number, KC, or Kiss Close, where you kiss her, and of course FC. The dubious ethics If you didn't think deliberately targeting women with low self-esteem was bad enough, a lot of PUAs base their techniques on something called “neuro-linguistic programming” or NLP.