The Game Summary and Review

by Neil Strauss

Has The Game by Neil Strauss been sitting on your reading list? Pick up the key ideas in the book with this quick summary.

Maybe you’ve always been a very bright individual. And a helpful one too. Perhaps the nicest one, in fact. Yet, you never got laid and you might still have some trouble accomplishing this. Naturally, you’ll wonder why this is the case. You’ll question how to turn things around and potentially seduce all the attractive people around you. How about learning from those with experience; discovering the pick-up tactics that thousands have successfully employed for years? This book summary provides you with insight into the rise of a seduction community in the United States during the 1980s – a society that the author knew well. He knew the members, gurus, and all about their controversial seduction methods.

In this summary of The Game by Neil Strauss, you’ll learn:

  • the predicament behind pickup lines,
  • how a guru got paid for having sex, and
  • how a leader of the community convinced women it was a privilege for them to sleep with him.

The Game Key Idea #1: A Community of Pick-up Advice

Anyone who went to high school could tell you that some kids are more popular than others. While circumstances improve for many people as they get older, some find themselves bound to a life of unpopularity, struggling to ever get any action. Luckily that all can change, but it helps to know that men have always been focused on the mechanics of seduction. It is because everyone is not born remarkably handsome like James Dean, and many have to rely on their wits to attract women. That suggests seducing women who wouldn’t usually consider them attractive. For example, think of Casanova, the guy who won over one after another woman’s heart – and bed – using nothing but sheer charm. The first to openly discuss modern tactics of this subject matter was Eric Weber, who published a book titled How to Pick Up Girls in 1970 – and the race was on. The following decades saw the birth of an entire online community centered on one thing: helping men around the world trade tips on becoming pickup artists or PUAs. This organization utilized blogs, websites and chatrooms to exchange advice regarding seducing women. Exactly how much information has been passed around?   When the author was new to the community, it had already boasted over 3,000 online posts, which amounts to 2,500 written pages of seduction advice. And it’s only grown exponentially ever since!   But while the internet was just the beginning, the web-based seduction community soon became a physical reality. That’s because while the online community allowed for the sharing of experiences and guidance, some gurus were given more respect than others, and taught their own methods of seduction.   It was for this reason the seduction community branched out from its virtual roots and began operating in the real world. During the early 2000s, gurus started to hold workshops created to teach men how to pick women up in the field.   And if you don’t have the time to attend a workshop?   No big deal; just continue reading to learn about the broad range of pickup tips and tricks.

The Game Key Idea #2: Hypnosis as a Seduction Technique

As you may imagine, the seduction community, with over 30 years of growth and expertise under its belt, has developed a variety of methods for attracting women. One of those techniques is hypnosis – a practice Ross Jeffries applied frequently and often taught to others. So, who is Ross Jeffries? He’s essentially the founder of the pickup community: author of countless books and seminars during the 1980s. His unique technique, Speed Seduction, employs a combination of hypnosis and psychology. This is how it works: The primary concept is that emotions can be manipulated with gestures and word patterns. This notion indicates that a man can arouse a woman by speech alone, and be successful enough that she’ll want to go to sleep with him. For instance, Jeffries demonstrated his technique for the author once by asking a waitress to recall the last time she felt attracted to someone and to locate that emotion in her body. Jeffries then pointed out to her how that emotion grew with time, lifting his hand to illustrate it. The logic behind this was centered around the idea that the waitress would be prompted to feel that same emotion whenever he lifted his hand. Well, he accomplished that and left with the waitress’ number. However, Jeffries isn’t the only expert at using hypnosis to seduce women. PUA duo Steve P. and “Rasputin” are also adept practitioners at this method. While Jeffries was the first to seduce partners with hypnosis, Steve P. and Rasputin took the practice to new heights by applying sophisticated and creative tactics to get what they desired. At one point, Steve P. was getting paid to have sex with women because he could convince them that his use of hypnosis could make them orgasm on command and even make their breasts bigger. And what of Rasputin? He focused on increasing his self-confidence to a level where women were convinced that it’d be a privilege to go home with him.

The Game Key Idea #3: Manipulating Social Dynamics

Hypnosis isn’t for everyone and fortunately, there are plenty of other methods. One such technique is the use of social dynamics to transform yourself into an object of female desire. Just take a tip from Canadian pickup artist, Mystery, who practiced this technique with excellent results. How did he do it? Mystery manipulated social situations so significantly that women couldn’t help but fall for him. His approach was rather simple: Find, Meet, Attract and Close, or FMAC. The first step is for the PUA to find a woman that he’s attracted to. Then he meets her by joining the group she’s in and presenting himself as an “alpha male.” For example, he says a memorable line with a smile that directs the entire group’s attention to him. Then, to attract the woman, he ignores and negs her – subtly insults her – to build her insecurities up and make her desire the attention that she’s accustomed to receiving. Simultaneously he wins the favor of the group by way of jokes and entertainment, growing so well-liked that the woman perceives he’s the center of attention. At this point, the pickup artist leads the woman away from her group, perhaps under the guise of apologizing for poor manners. He then entertains her as he did with everyone else until she presents at least three indications that she’s interested, like a hand squeeze or asking for his number. Finally, the PUA closes by casually asking the woman if she’d like to kiss. Either she does and the deal is sealed, or he says he has to go and leaves with her number.

The Game Key Idea #4: Learning From Gurus To Become One

When a man who’s spent his whole life failing with women suddenly finds a way to easily seduce them, success can quickly grow to be all-consuming, and that’s exactly what happened to the author. He became obsessed with mastering every tip and trick the pickup community could offer, almost forgetting a world existed outside of his new passion. Here’s what happened to him: After learning about the community, the author signed up for a workshop directed by Mystery. The event cost $500 for four nights complete with pickup advice at various clubs throughout Los Angeles, and limo service. After this first taste, he got hooked, striving to meet every pickup artist he could and attend many more seminars and workshops. After the author had studied under each guru, he amalgamated their methods to make his own routine. It’s comprised of an opening, a demonstration of value, building an emotional connection and ultimately building a physical connection. The opening is designed to quickly get a woman’s attention. For example, that could be asking her how she feels about speaking with an ex. Demonstration of value convinces the woman that the PUA is an interesting, dynamic type of person. For instance, he might do a rune reading or magic trick, something that most guys wouldn’t be able to do. Then, to build an emotional connection, the PUA must listen to the woman and learn more about her, before moving on to the final step of building a physical connection. That suggests getting to go back to your place or hers, which can be accomplished by asking for a lift home for example. Once there, it’s wise to talk more until she’s comfortable. From that point on you can get physically closer to the woman, perhaps by complimenting her scent and sniffing her neck. Before going hog wild with these strategies, continue reading to uncover what other knowledge the pickup community has to share.

The Game Key Idea #5: Creating a Shared PUA Living Space

The men had shared their pickup expertise online and in intensive workshops, hence the next logical step was to build a more permanent community, which is how Project Hollywood was born. It was an endeavor by the author and Mystery to pick up girls without actually picking them up. It didn’t play out as they expected it to. The author recently had a birthday celebration where all the woman practically threw themselves at him. It made him realize the true goal was to develop a lifestyle that made women come to him without him having to do any work. So, he and Mystery, who he was good friends with now, reached out to two other PUAs, Papa and Herbal, both of whom joined the project. They established Project Hollywood, a shared villa in Los Angeles where pickup artists could live collectively. The concept was that women would come to the house of their own volition because of its status as a lifestyle hub. Unfortunately, Project Hollywood was a complete failure because of the clashing egos. The idea behind Project Hollywood was a good one that even inspired similar projects in San Francisco, Perth, and Sydney, but the participants quickly discovered that having more than one alpha male – much less a house full of them – was a recipe for disaster. As a result, Project Hollywood rapidly declined into a repugnant frat house that scared more women off rather than drawing them in. No one followed the house rules, like asking approval for guest stays over two months or not hooking up with another person’s date. Instead, Papa was fitting as many people as he could into his room, Herbal started dating Mystery’s girlfriend, Katya, which caused Mystery to move out, and the author also left the house upon discovering that Papa was turning houseguests against him to limit his competition.

The Game Key Idea #6: The Change in the Focus of the Community

One might assume that a group of men united by their determination to entice women would be quite focused on females overall. Yet, the pickup community was created entirely around men and their egos. Men that need seminars to attract women aren’t exactly what one would call “the social type.” So, while the tricks of their trade helped them to bring women home, they failed to adjust their social circle to include more females. In fact, exactly the opposite happened. For example, Papa joined Project Hollywood with the intention to build a harem of women in his bedroom but ended up sharing the space with five men. The author had to face the fact that this lifestyle meant spending most of his time with horny men instead of women. An additional problem lay in the fact that almost every man in the community was attempting to be an alpha male. Each of them was vying for recognition as head guru and looking for followers to inflate their egos. Every guru worked hard to promote their individual technique as the only true method, and their struggle was directly tied to the fact that the pickup community had become a lucrative business. Consequently, the community grew much darker as time passed. While in the beginning, it was more about picking up women and doing it with class, the circumstances gradually changed. Many got sucked so far into the lifestyle that they were dropping out of school and quitting their jobs to focus fulltime on it. Not only that, but violence and disrespect toward women began to be a norm. This meant that pickups became about getting drunk and into fights and less about seduction. A pickup artist named Jlaix started posting stories about getting thrown out of clubs and blacking out from drinking too much. So, are you still interested in joining the pickup community? Well, if you so, don’t depend on it to be a path to genuine love. Moving forward, we’ll uncover why seduction techniques can’t deliver real romance.

The Game Key Idea #7: Why Using Routines Doesn’t Work in the Long Run

PUAs’ techniques might seem like magic tricks for getting laid. However, solely relying on these techniques is a sure path to disappointment. Like all tricks, seduction is unsustainable, and when midnight strikes don’t be surprised to find that your carriage has turned back into a pumpkin. That’s because every routine has a limit. Mastering lines to build confidence and join social groups is okay, but you do run the risk of repeating yourself or another PUA, which is an incredibly awkward experience. For instance, the author once attempted to join a couple of groups in a club on Sunset Boulevard using pickup lines. The only issue was, every group he targeted had already heard his lines because the masses of men taking classes at Project Hollywood had previously been there. But this problem pales in comparison with the reality that using a routine to pick up women will never help you to find love. Routines are exactly that – routines: they’re inauthentic and people can feel it. Routines also rely on the assumption that all people are the same and will react identically. But what about the individuals that respond differently? You run the risk of scaring off the love of your life by treating them like any other mark. The author almost lost his chance with Lisa, a woman he was especially attracted to. He tried his methods on her, only for it to put his sincerity into question. It was then, after two years of picking up women and going as far as getting Britney Spears’ number, that the author found someone who responded to his routines contrarily. This meant there was only one thing for him to do: To get Lisa, the author had to return to his socially awkward, pre-pickup personality. And guess what happened? It worked for him!

The Game Key Idea #8: In Review

The key message in the book: The 1980s saw the emergence of a seduction community where men exchanged advice on how to pick up women. This community produced a wide variety of techniques, some of which are highly effective, but practicing these methods might be a disastrous idea in the long run. Suggested further reading: Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov Why Men Love Bitches (2000) debunks myths of male-female relationships, giving you real, insider tips on how to keep the man you want. This book summary reveals why it’s important to regain your independence, and why it’s advantageous for both you and your relationship.