Which makes what follows all the more important In a study published last November, Dr Peter Jonason, a psychologist at the University of Western Sydney, found that the biggest turn-off for women was a slovenly or dishevelled appearance. M ary Balfour, award-winning dating coach and director of Drawing Down the Moon Matchmaking , has been pairing young professionals for over 30 years.
The Art of Picking Up Girls (and Other Dangerous Things)
She believes that when dating, even the smallest aesthetic imperfection can give the wrong impression. I'd say that clean fingernails are an absolute must. And, if you're unsure about your breath, get an honest opinion from your dentist. And it's this high-status judgment that leads to the attraction," said Elliot in his study.
H owever, the dating experts are quick to warn daters of overdressing. Balfour, who believes that "dating dress code is a minefield", says: "I think a touch of red is good, maybe socks, to create interest and a talking point, but overdressing makes you look needy. And the science agrees. H owever, whilst Mary Balfour reveals that a permanent 'please like me' smile is a big turn-off, she also warns men of the perils of not smiling at all. Let it suffuse your face after a moment's reflection, or in response to something the woman you are talking with has said or done.
D espite being told that openness is key in relationships, science tells us that playing 'hard to get' may just get you got. H owever, while there might be advantages in being emotionally closed, further research suggests that you should be physically open. Keep your hands visible at all times and ensure your chest is in an 'open' position, as this will make you appear trustworthy and honest.
But, ensure you correctly read her body language, and work off that. Don't come on too fast. Science suggests that you are more likely to succeed in wooing a woman in a bar if you approach her slowly and calmly — however furiously your heart may be beating. It really works, and she'll probably admit to being nervous too and you'll both have a laugh. S o relax your face, actions and pace of conversation, and prepare to deliver that all-important opening line Lyons claims he's slept with models, actresses, celebrities and Cambridge graduates.
Recently he pulled Miss Poland. Well, Miss Poland He pulled a recent Big Brother contestant just to prove that he could, but he didn't sleep with her: "She's not hot enough for me.
The London Seduction Society, of which Lyons is a leading light, is now the largest PUA community in the world, with around 3, registered members. The LSS web forum, closed to non-members, is alive with discussions of nights spent "sarging" for hot chicks, tips for getting a "ripped bod" or a male multiple orgasm, and advice on how to pick your "wingman". YouTube, too, is brimming with PUA material, including a clip of Lyons performing the "second kiss close". Lyons earned his title as the country's top picker-upper at the International Seduction Summit in Los Angeles last August.
The accolade came to him not as a result of the notches on his bedpost, nor the many numbers in his address book, but because of the quality of his blog posts. LSS members not only found his advice useful, they also thought his anecdotes convincing compared to some of the far-fetched fantasies of his fellow bloggers. He'd only been a PUA for 18 months.
I have a very competitive personality. He makes a living from this and from his regular seminars with the seduction school, PUA Training. But PUA techniques, from The Principles of Attraction to The Mystery Method , all sound to the untrained ear like variations on old themes like "be confident" or "treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen". The gym's there, you know how the weights and the machines work. But if you find that you're not actually doing a workout and you want someone to come and push you through it, you call me. As Lyons sees it, there are four phases leading to a successful pick-up.
The first is "comfort", in which he establishes a level of perceived intimacy during a brief conversation that would otherwise take weeks or months. Luckily for his unsuspecting Parisian victim, he spoke her language: "I heard a French accent, so I built a rapport based on that. I know enough French to cause some trouble. I've always had a knack for languages. Next comes the "rapport break". He teases the girl about the company she works for, telling her he's never heard of it. She's forced to defend herself and thus prove herself to him. By engineering this symptom of attraction, he tricks her into thinking she is actually drawn to him.
This is "building attraction", and it's quickly followed by the final phase: "escalation". In this case, the "number close". He never utters the words 'phone number', because it's a phrase so closely associated with the pick-up. In the age of texting and Facebook, this gives her myriad options, all of which Lyons has made tactical provisions for. He shows me a tame text from a former conquest and boasts that he could quickly and easily transform such an unpromising exchange into a sexual encounter.
Later, he proves his point by showing me a sexually explicit message recently received from yet another girl. He once, he claims, played Cyrano for a friend who was pursuing a Hollyoaks actress, securing the fellow a date with just three dirty texts.
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Lyons is convinced that what he teaches his pupils is actually a skillset familiar to women. Far from being sexist, he explains, the game puts men in touch with their feminine side. Women have books and magazines full of social technique.
Men just have 'how to pleasure her in bed', 'great chat-up lines' and 'what car to drive to impress girls'! Every female has had a lifetime's practice at social manipulation; the game just levels the playing field. Joss, who dances like a toddler at a wedding reception and requires regular pep talks from Lyons throughout the evening, seems nonetheless to be drawing a blonde HB10 under his spell. Taylam is a cocky young man who tells me he's a master of the direct approach, bragging that he can have sex with a girl within a minute of meeting her.
You're teaching him how to chat up my mate'. And I said, 'I can't believe you're picking on me. It's a Saturday. Do you think I work Saturdays? It's my day off! Anyway, tell me three interesting things about yourself Biggest breasts ever. An awesome chick. Psychologist Oliver James, author of Affluenza , suggests PUA techniques are not as universal as their exponents would have us believe.
Criticism of the PUA community often focuses on the sinister potential of game theory, but Neil Strauss is unconvinced. If you go into the game right, you actually become more honest. He has a knack for self-publicity. On his website, he offers a potted autobiography, describing his idyllic childhood with a doting mother who, to support the family, held down three jobs as a secretary, a taxi driver, and an exotic dancer.
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After his parents split, Lyons lived with his mother, but they fell out dramatically according to Lyons when she sided with her boyfriend instead of her son over a financial dispute. Now, Lyons visits his elderly father every day without fail. But he hasn't spoken to his mother in more than five years.
THE ART BARS
He's candid about the effect this episode had on him. Girls have a hell of a long way to go before they get to know the real me. She was a friend who'd never found him attractive "in that way". Now, of course, she fancies him, but he's not interested. After all, he says, "she's not hot enough for me.
They're desperate for emotional intimacy, and they're hoping that the solution will be physical union. But the intimacy [of the PUA] is confected intimacy. Lyons is adamant that he isn't a player, the kind of man who will lie to women simply to get laid. He doesn't believe in one-night stands, ensuring before he sleeps with anyone that it will not be a one-time-thing, but that they are also happy to have an open relationship.
See a Problem?
He has a policy of per cent honesty with all his girlfriends, hence they are comfortable sitting by as he recounts his sexual exploits. He doesn't drink or take drugs, and the bombshell he tells me he's only slept with around 30 different women since joining the community, though he also claims to have turned down 80 already this month. He goes for regular sexual health check-ups, and quotes Spider-Man to explain his reasons: "With great power, comes great responsibility Lyons' inner nerd never really went away, but nowadays he's a nerd about pulling girls, which is a marginally more socially acceptable pastime than his first love.
It's going to be hardcore. I'm not convinced Lyons is nearly as smooth as he says he is. He runs a side business, helping club promoters to attract punters by filling their venue with beautiful girls, lured by the promise of free entry and drinks all night. Smoke and mirrors are his stock in trade. But he believes his own hype, and that may be half the battle. There's a tendency to demonise these guys, but when they really get into this stuff they start taking Alexander Technique courses to work on their posture, improv courses to be more spontaneous, going to vocal coaches or personal trainers or learning about spirituality.
It sets them down a self-help route that they would have sworn off before. It's a good way of learning that you can talk to anyone, but realistically you want to build a healthy social life and stop being afraid to tell someone you fancy them. The Independent's Millennial Love group is the best place to discuss to the highs and lows of modern dating and relationships. Join the conversation here.
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