Neil Strauss

Now, if I met that person who was 100 per cent deep into The Game [using rehearsed lines and psychological tactics to pick up women], I don’t think I’d like him. But I know I had to be that man to become the person I knew I could be. For me, it was a shallow path to self-esteem.
A pick-up artist gave me a good piece of advice: the three most important things in a relationship are honesty, trust and respect, and if you don’t have those, you don’t have love. I have found that to be true. A friend said recently that you should date someone for a year, live with them for a year, then get engaged for a year before getting married. To me, that seems sensible.

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3 Responses to Neil Strauss

  1. shinichi says:

    Regrets of a pick-up artist

    “Shallow path to self-esteem” … Neil Strauss on his pick-up artist past.

    interviewed by Robyn Doreian

    Sydney Morning Herald

    https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/regrets-of-a-pickup-artist-20110328-1ccv9.html

    My childhood was spent in Chicago apartment blocks. The most memorable was a 72-storey building where we lived on the 42nd floor. We were so high up that the windows didn’t open and sometimes the clouds were below the rooftop.

    Growing up, I was watched by my parents and strongly critiqued. Instead of saying they loved me or showing physical attention, they would joke that I had a Roman nose – that it was roamin’ all over my face. Teasing was their way of showing love, but then you are young, sometimes you can’t tell the difference.



    As a teenager I was a guy who was trying to belong, yet never belonged. I was scrawny and wanted a nose job. Each night, at 15, I would go to bed and wish that I would live long enough to have sex.

    My first crush was on a girl called Jessica when I was in sixth grade, but I was made fun of for following her wherever she went in school. Years later, at a school reunion, the first thing she did was make fun of my hairline.

    High school was equally barren. My friends and I called ourselves the “V Club” because we were all virgins – it was like a bad teen movie. We would sacrifice any amount of dignity to lose our virginity and yet it never happened. The girl I took to the prom ended up leaving with another guy.

    The main reason I went to Vassar College was because it had recently gone from a women’s school to co-ed, and I figured I had a good chance of having sex. That didn’t materialise, but in between transferring from Vassar to Columbia University I met a girl and, at 21, finally had sex. Because I didn’t know when it would happen again, I dated her for a couple of years.

    Music was always my thing and I became a rock journalist for The New York Times and Rolling Stone. I didn’t go on tour with wholesome artists – rather, decadent sex-obsessed bands. I gave myself every possible chance to interact with women and if I couldn’t interact, at least I could be around people who were having these adventures.

    Around 2002 I read the How to Lay Girls Guide on the internet and discovered the online pick-up community. Soon after, I signed up for my first workshop with a guy named Mystery. When I went out with Mystery, I watched him walk up to a girl and then walk away with her number or even make out with her. I thought, “Wow, this is possible and learnable”, and it changed my life.

    As I mastered pick-up techniques, I invented “Style”, my alter ego, and in the course of two years Style become more popular than I ever was, especially with women. I then wrote a book, The Game, about my experiences.

    While living this lifestyle I met Lisa Leveridge, the guitarist for Courtney Love’s all-girl band, the Chelsea. Lisa was like no other woman I’d met. When she walked into the room, it was like the seas parted. There was something about her that was just more complete than other women. After The Game was published in 2005, we lived together for a while. It was perfect, but after two years the relationship had run its course.

    I met my current girlfriend, Ingrid, a foreclosure seller and swimsuit designer, at the Chateau Marmont [hotel, in West Hollywood]. There was that energy in the air and we both knew it. We have been together a year and she has just moved in with me.

    Now, if I met that person who was 100 per cent deep into The Game [using rehearsed lines and psychological tactics to pick up women], I don’t think I’d like him. But I know I had to be that man to become the person I knew I could be. For me, it was a shallow path to self-esteem.

    A pick-up artist gave me a good piece of advice: the three most important things in a relationship are honesty, trust and respect, and if you don’t have those, you don’t have love. I have found that to be true. A friend said recently that you should date someone for a year, live with them for a year, then get engaged for a year before getting married. To me, that seems sensible.

    While I am impulsive in many areas of my life, marriage is not one of them. It’s a step I’ve not yet taken, as you want it to happen just once and to be married for the rest of your life, for your kids. Like my teen goal of hoping to stay alive long enough to lose my virginity, I want to stay alive long enough to have a child. After all, that’s the reason we’re all here.

  2. shinichi says:

    Neil Darrow Strauss, also known by the pen names Style and Chris Powles (born March 9, 1969) is an American author, journalist and ghostwriter. He is best known for his book The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, in which he describes his experiences in the seduction community in an effort to become a “pick-up artist.” He is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and also wrote regularly for The New York Times.

  3. shinichi says:

    The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists

    by Neil Strauss


    You may notice that I haven’t mentioned my personality. This is because my personality has completely changed. Or, to put it more accurately, I completely changed my personality. I invented Style, my alter ego. And in the course of two years, Style became more popular than I ever was—especially with women.

    It was never my intention to change my personality or walk through the world under an assumed identity. In fact, I was happy with myself and my life. That is, until an innocent phone call (it always starts with an innocent phone call) led me on a journey into one of the oddest and most exciting underground communities that, in more than a dozen years of journalism, I have ever come across. The call was from Jeremie Ruby-Strauss (no relation), a book editor who had stumbled across a document on the Internet called the layguide, short for The How-to-Lay-Girls Guide. Compressed into 150 sizzling pages, he said, was the collected wisdom of dozens of pickup artists who have been exchanging their knowledge in newsgroups for nearly a decade, secretly working to turn the art of seduction into an exact science. The information needed to be rewritten and organized into a coherent how-to book, and he thought I was the man to do it.

    I wasn’t so sure. I want to write literature, not give advice to horny adolescents. But, of course, I told him it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at it.

    The moment I started reading, my life changed. More than any other book or document—be it the Bible, Crime and Punishment, or The Joy of Cooking—the layguide opened my eyes. And not necessarily because of the information in it, but because of the path it sent me hurtling down.

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