PUA Skills - Written by Entropy on Friday, September 10, 2010 14:40 - 18 Comments

Pick Up is NOT a Skill

Here’s one of the biggest myths that’s been circulating for years: that picking up women is a skill and that it can be learned through studying it.

It took me years to figure this out, but that’s not true.

Think about it. The analogies that are usually used is that picking up women is like playing piano or learning a language. If you study it enough, you’ll eventually be able to do it.

But really what is the “skill” involved in meeting and dating a lot of women?

Speaking? Moving your feet? Having sexual feelings and emotions?

These are all things that you’ve had and been able to do your whole life.


This is one of the most important and profound realizations that I’ve ever had in all of my years of coaching: pick up is not a skill that is learned… it’s a habit that is practiced.

You already know how to speak to a girl, you just haven’t created a habit of it. You already know how to be sexual, you just haven’t made a habit of it.

Seduction is less like learning to play piano (takes years of study and work), and more like training yourself to write with your left-hand if you were born right-handed. You “know” how to do it already, it’s just that you’ve never done it before, so you’re fighting through a lifetime of bad habits.

I have more thoughts about this than I can fit into this email, so I sat down and wrote a full 30-page PDF report on this realization and how it’s effected my ability with women. You can download it for free at this link (no email required):


Let me know what you think.

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Sep 10, 2010 23:18

Yeah man, I’m not buying this entirely. A guy can talk to girls all his life and still be creepy at it. There’s a guy I see at the inconvenience store all the time. He’s about 40, always talking to women and girls and he’s always uncalibrated.

I’ve been playing guitar for 15 years. I can play some shit really well, and other things not so well, and I’ve been playing them both for just as long. Why am I good at one song and not the other?

To be good at anything you need proper and structured practice.

Sep 11, 2010 1:03

Serendip: I see what you’re saying, but I would argue that calibration is just a person who has developed poor habits as well.

What is calibration? It’s recognizing another person’s emotions, and then expressing yours. These are both things every human is born capable of doing (excluding people with psychological issues). It’s just that many guys grew up in such a way where they never had to do it, or were never apt to doing it.

Sure, there are minor technical skills involved… I would say specific forms of teasing and banter could be considered skills. Humor is a skill.

But outside of that, there’s really nothing involved in seduction that must be LEARNED. Sure, all the techniques and stuff can work, but they’re not specific skill-sets. There are an infinite amount of ways to escalate on a woman. There are an infinite number of things to talk to a woman about. THere are an infinite number of ways to present yourself.

I agree with you that you need proper and structured practice. But both skills and habits require practice. Skills require technical knowledge as well though. Habits do not.

My argument is that pick up requires little to no technical knowledge.

Sep 11, 2010 1:12

If you go on and call it a habit that needs to be formed, were’s the difference really.

You can learn speaking (trust me. seeing yourself on video is painful but very educational), you can learn body language (to some degree). It may at some point move to the unconscious, but that’s just saying you adopted it well. Or are you claiming that driving a car cannot be learned and THEN turned into a habit?

Sep 11, 2010 1:31

Skill = Techinical knowledge + Conditioning
Habit = Conditioning

There is little to no techniical knowledge REQUIRED to pick up women well.

Look at naturals. They’re seemingly “born” knowing how to do it. But no one is born knowing how to surf. No one is born knowing how to drive a car. No one is born knowing how to play violin.

Pick up is a matter of doing things that you’ve always done, but doing them with a different mindset. You already know how to go speak to a woman. There’s nothing to LEARN about it. What has to change is how nervous you are when you do it. How confident you are when you do it.

Sep 11, 2010 1:37

I started down this path of thinking when I went home to see some old friends that I grew up with. These guys were just as terrible with women as I was in high school.

They never got into PUA. They think most of it is ridiculous. But after five years, they’re all as good in field or better than I am and have slept with comparable amounts of women.

How? They just went out 4-5 nights a week for five years. They didn’t “practice” anything. They didn’t “Study” anything. They didn’t write field reports. They just went out over and over and over and over again, got used to the social environments, pressed through their comfort zones and challenged themselves to be more sexual.

Sep 11, 2010 7:26

So is 76 in five years really your number?

The way you talk sometimes I would have guessed higher. Not that I really care about the exact count or that 76 is too low. It’s just that if it’s accurate, it helps me put some of what you’ve written in the past in context better.

Sep 11, 2010 8:52

You say speaking to woman is not a skill. I still beg to differ. I was skeptical at first, but you can really train people in persuasion techniques. I am naturally shy person, but working as a management consultant for 2 years has given my both some one on one training in these topics as well as countless of hours spent in meetings actually trying to use them. Now while I agree that you need to practice it, giving people a toolset upfront is very valuable in boosting this process.

And maybe I am just stubborn, but trust me, many do NOT know how to speak to a woman. These days, I habitually call up people just slightly below the C-suite (and occassionally C-levels as well) generally get from them what I need (it helps that my employer has oodles of standing in the industry, but you can only hide behind the employers standing for so long, if are not convincing yourself it soon falls apart;) but I still cannot get over my approach anxiety in a bar (note that I have been in a soso LTR since 7 years now), on a plane or even in the lounge at the airport.

Sep 11, 2010 11:48

“Pick up is a matter of doing things that you’ve always done, but doing them with a different mindset. You already know how to go speak to a woman. There’s nothing to LEARN about it. What has to change is how nervous you are when you do it. How confident you are when you do it.”

This is exactly what I’ve been thinking lately. I just have to act with women that I’m attracted to in the same way I act with women that I’m not attracted to. In a nut shell, I shouldn’t care about the outcome; then I could keep my cool.
To diminish my anxiety about this issue, now I talk to SEVERAL different girls that I’m attracted to, if it doesn’t work whit one of them it’s gonna work with one or more of the rest.

Sep 11, 2010 12:51

Birds and insects don’t study ebooks on how to fly around because their wings were evolutionary created to fit that function. Nor do they study on how to fuck. Just as nature had already instilled in all healthy humans with the ability to walk, it too has imbued upon us with the ability to talk, touch, feel sexual, desire to connect emotionally, etc. Infants don’t academically study for hours on how to walk. They just do it until it feels natural. It’s innate because our legs were evolutionary created for walking…the legs’ structure/form fits the function. Pickup is the same. My way of looking at Entropy’s argument is that pickup is an extremely, extremely easy “skill” to learn because it’s already evolutionarily an innate thing in all healthy humans.

Sep 11, 2010 13:41

I didn’t read the entire .pdf link, but I read enough to understand what you’re conveying, and I agree 100%.

I like how you mentioned the naturals you know who were terrible with women in high school, and how it’s about doing things you’ve always done…just with a different mindset.


PS: If you guys think pick-up is tough, just wait until you want a great relationship.

Sep 11, 2010 21:12

@Kevin: Interested to know where you heard that number. It’s not far off, but it’s not correct. You have to remember, I was in a long-term relationship for two years. And even though I slept with other women during that time, it was far, far fewer than I usually do when I’m single.

Honestly, I think once a guy hits 50-60 or so, lays after that start offering diminishing returns experience-wise. It was around then that each new girl that I slept with seemed to stop affecting me and my self-image. Guys in the 15-30 range usually vastly overrate themselves though.

@nipnip: I will concede that there are minor “skills” involved with conversation and flirting… but I would argue these things icing on the cake and not necessary to getting laid. All that’s necessary to getting laid is an ability to convey your sexuality and a large level of being socially comfortable. You don’t need to be humorous or persuasive to do that.

Sep 11, 2010 23:09

@Entropy: That 76 in five years number is from the beginning of the PDF report you just posted.

Sep 11, 2010 23:57

Oh yeah. Haha. That doesn’t count pre-community lays (5) and the few I’ve gotten since I wrote that report. So you do the math.

But like I said, my self-conception hasn’t really changed in the last 25 or so. They’ve just kind of happened. Whereas the difference in my self image between 15 and 30 was huge.

Honestly, the only guys I’ve ever met with 150-200+ have some serious neurotic/addictive tendencies going on. I probably will hit 100 soon, but the thought of banging 300 women these days just sounds like a ridiculous amount of unnecessary time and effort that I could be spending doing other more important things.

It’s quality over quantity for me these days. And by quality, I mean emotional experience, not just looks or social status.

Sep 12, 2010 22:11

I remember reading somewhere here before that you said you were pretty pimp back in college but once you got out of college picking up got hard….what was it that you were doing differently that was fucking you up?

Sep 12, 2010 22:14

Couldn’t rely on my social circle anymore.

That and house parties are the easiest place on earth to get laid… especially if it’s your party.

Sep 14, 2010 12:15

I think the point of your post is correct, though the title is misleading, but let’s not get into a semantic debate.

It’s not about learning something new, it’s about removing the bad things that you’ve learned accidentally when you were growing up that are getting in your way.

Matt T
Sep 21, 2010 1:51

@Entropy: regarding your high school friends: I’m not buying that they simply got that good just by going out. There has to be something more that explains such a transformation. I think it might be a change of looks.

Or maybe they’ve been out in the field so long that, by accident or design, they’ve figured out things like the M3 model, cocky/funny, how to DHV and how to neg, that you shouldn’t supplicate, blah blah. They just don’t employ formalized, codified methodologies like we do.

Sep 21, 2010 14:16

Mind blowing, i also agree that pickup is not a skill. If it was it would be impossible to master because there are so many variables.

The idea the it is just a question of making it a habit also makes learning the whole thing a lot easier.

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