Trigger Warning – Pickup Coaches Won't Help You Become Truly Good With Women
Gamer Over – The Last Book On Women And Life You’ll Ever Need
A lot of Pickup coaches will probably hate me after this article or try to argue and defend Pickup…
However, I’m totally fine with that.
My only goal is to save you guys from going deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole that is Pickup
Now I’m gonna warn you because this post will be a crazy long ass novel…
But it could be extremely life changing for you, especially if you’re into Pickup.
If you followed me for a while you know that my favorite book on women, social interaction and self development has always been “Models – attract women through honesty“ from Mark Manson.
I wrote an article about it and still think that it’s one of the best and most life changing books I’ve ever read, but the one I’ll talk about now is even better.
So let me introduce you to the book that I think every man should read, especially if he’s into pickup.
This book is called “Game Over – Love, Sex & Adventure Without Playing the Game“ from John Cooper and It’s based on 6 core principles:
2. Unconditional Giving
4. Emotional Intelligence
5. Projected Desire
6. Masculine Action
I’ll combine my opinion on his book with my experience of being coached by him, because I honestly believe that it’s one of the best things that I’ve ever done in my life.
I’ve been in a relationship for 2,5 years now and got a little rusty when it comes to socializing with people.
Of course this was also due to the 1 year long covid lockdown that almost felt like being in prison and led to depression for many people.
After working through two video courses from John and reading his book I reached out to him, because his philosophy strongly resonated with me at my core.
I now understood that there was a better way than Pickup to interact with women and people in general…
But I didn’t fully understand yet how to integrate the principles of his paradigm called “Social Heartistry“ into my life.
To start off, John is one of the most caring, sympathetic and authentic people I’ve ever met.
Also this coaching was unlike any other Pickup bootcamps I’ve done in the past and I’ve been on many.
It exceeded all of my expectations because the level John cares about his students is insane.
He doesn’t run a “one size fits all“ approach, but puts his whole heart and soul into coaching you and tries to understand you on a deeper level than you could ever imagine.
It felt like just hanging out with a very good friend, no expectations, no drill sergeant like instructions, no win-lose scenarios.
Just him going out with me, inspiring me to take certain actions, explaining to me why I emotionally react how I do and having an amazing time while doing so.
Most pickup coaches will tell you to approach one woman after another, you might even be recorded “infield“ to analyze the footage afterwards.
I believe that all of this is bullshit, because it zooms in on external things.
You’ll automatically be in your head as soon as you try to focus on speaking louder, correcting your body language, creating less distance, teasing women more, asking less questions, etc.
It’s just impossible to be present and in the moment if you focus on your behavior.
Human interaction should not revolve around two people being in their heads, but in their body’s.
That’s where real connection comes from, you can’t fucking connect with someone when you’re logically thinking.
I experienced first hand that the moment when you’re fully autonomous and unconditionally giving yourself to people…
All those external things like the right body language, voice tonality, distance, how quickly you talk, right amount of teasing, projecting your desire etc. will fall into place.
Now Pickup gives you “tools“ to control the situation and giving up control is extremely scary.
But only when you’re giving up control can you be spontaneous and that’s when the magic happens.
That’s how you create magnetic connections with women and people in general.
In his book John talks about the difference between a work and play frame.
Between his paradigm Social Heartistry and Pickup which at its core is based on acquisition.
Between creating win-win situations where you’re autonomous and playing with people, just expressing yourself…
And between a Pickup work frame that creates a win-lose scenario in all of your interactions, as that’s what “gaming“ actually entails.
When you interact out of the Pickup paradigm and try to “game“ women, you automatically create the possibility of failure.
Now what is a Game?
A game has rules doesn’t it?
And in a game there is generally a winner and a loser.
When we choose to operate within the framework of a game, we take on all the problems associated with it.
Simply put, when we run Game, Game runs us.
As soon as you play any kind of Game, you instantly bring about the binary response of a 50% win 50% lose scenario.
The PUA lingo holds this dualism in place, especially the key operational concept of “rejection“.
● We see the woman and “approach“ her:
She could respond = WIN
She could ignore us = REJECTION
● We get into a conversation and ask for her number:
She gives it to us = CLOSE
We ask and she politely declines = REJECTION
● We text her later that day and ask her out:
She says she’ll meet us = WIN
We text her and she doesn’t reply = REJECTION
● We go out on a date with her in the evening and as we start to “escalate” she tells us:
She has a boyfriend and thought we were just friends = FRIENDZONE = REJECTED
We touch her more and make out = SUCCESS
● We take her back to ours:
We have Sex = SCORE
She won’t let us “bang her“ = LAST MINUTE RESISTANCE = REJECTED
We have created a punishment cycle for ourselves if we fall on the wrong side of the fence.
A completely unnecessary punishment.
And we then generate an increased fear of that happening again labeled “approach anxiety“.
How fucked up is that?
Besides, no matter how “natural“ Pickup tries to evolve…
The deeper you get into it, the worse you’ll become.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness.
Hate cannot drive out hate.
You can’t go further into atheism to arrive at monotheism.
You can’t fuck your way to virginity.
You can’t evolve ego-driven action to arrive at egoless joy.
You can’t hunt your way to connection.
There’s an old Shakespeare line that applies here:
“You can’t lose if you don’t play the game.” Romeo and Juliet act 1 scene 4.
So guess what, when you dig deeper into Pickup you just maintain the same base-level foundations.
Deeper and deeper into acquisition.
Deeper down that rabbit-hole.
More techniques and methods.
More hunting, more fear, more desperation, more grasping, more approaching, more pain, more lack, more consuming of Pickup theory, more despair.
And of course more pumping money into Pickup companies to help you “overcome approach anxiety“ or teach you techniques to “never feel rejected again“.
Here is the thing most guys don’t understand…
The language we use MATTERS a lot.
And the pickup lingo shapes and creates the reality of guys who have adopted this Pickup worldview.
It creates a duality, traps you in fear and if all of this wasn’t already enough, it’s the same that is also being used in war.
Approach, Disarm, Set, Target, Obstacle, Wingman, Infield, Field report, Close.
The PUA clings to these concepts like a soldier clings to his weapons.
And guess what, when we use and express military language, what do you think is the perception of women that this language is anchored to?
Do you think it is seeing women on a level playing field and wanting to play and merge in an exciting and loving way?
Of course not!
Instead, It is an unhealthy feeling of revenge and retribution.
Wanting to get one over her to avoid ego death.
Similar language is used in nerdy MMO’s that I’ve played in the past like World of Warcraft, war games, and real-time strategy computer games
Now you might say:
“But it’s just semantics, get over it!“
However, what many guys who do Pickup forget is, it’s not the language in isolation.
Smoke is just smoke, but it must also come from fire.
The language we use is a spoken metaphor for an unconscious intention, which is operating under the surface.
In other words, language is a description of our perceptual view of the world, which we carry around with us.
And our perceptual view of the world dictates how we show up and interact with it.
If we operate out of the Pickup paradigm, we have an unhealthy view of the world, which is based on pain, fear and survival.
That perception and paradigm expresses itself with words and those words then reinforce the fucked up paradigm.
They are also like anchors, or hooks, and they hold us locked in a view that we must seek release from
One of my favorite quotes from Lao Tzu that explains this perfectly is this:
“Watch your thoughts – they become words.
Watch your words – they become actions.
Watch your actions – they become habits.
Watch your habits – they become your character.
Watch your character – it becomes your destiny.“
While “rejection“ is probably the worst word of them all in the Pickup community, another horrible one is “approach“.
I always thought this language was harmless and fun to use, because it’s a secret language that outsiders don’t understand.
But I still remember how every time when a “wingman“ that I went out to “game“ with told me to “approach“ a woman, I immediately felt afraid and got stuck in my head.
Internally it felt like my ego could die and like I’m about to go into war against women, because I needed to get something from her otherwise I would lose.
I couldn’t understand why this happened and didn’t realize that it was subtly holding me into an acquisition frame.
We think that it is something admirable when we use the word “approach“, specifically in a Pickup context…
That it represents us courageously moving closer to the woman of our desire like a brave warrior.
But we forget the word “approach“ no longer has the conventional dictionary definition anymore.
It actually takes on the Pickup subculture definition and now means “going towards someone in order to TAKE a REWARD from them“.
Let me ask you a few questions…
Do you approach your mum in the kitchen?
Do you approach the barista when ordering your coffee?
Do you approach your best friend?
Do you approach your phone on the table?
Do you approach your shoe when you tie your shoelaces up?
How about that bunch of bananas over there?
No? But how do you make contact with it if you don’t approach them then!
By using the word “approach“ we heap a huge amount of expectation on ourselves and are now attached to this act of taking a positive result.
Therefore we become outcome dependent on it in order to “survive“ = Work frame
If approach just meant moving closer to something, then a successful “approach“ in Pickup would be walking up to a woman and getting slapped by her in the face (that would still be successful as we would have achieved the act of the “approach“).
But clearly in Pickup that is an unsuccessful approach, as we did not reap any sort of positive result and made our way up the acquisition ladder of getting her number, a date, sex.
That’s why in Pickup there are “approach coaches“ to help.
I’m sure we can all draw closer to a brick wall, a tree, or a phone booth.
We don’t need any “approach coach“ for this.
The difference is we don’t need anything back from these objects, but we do from the woman in question.
This is why the Pickup definition of “approach“ creates a different meaning and all the baggage that comes with it.
If I told you the following things, what’s easier to do?
– Can you approach the bar, work around the obstacles, lock in, wait till you get an IOA (an indicator of availability from the barman), open him with a statement of intent to buy, then transition into the order, and close?
– Or can you just get me a beer?
Those two examples are actually the same thing.
You would have to do all those small steps to come back with a beer, but which is easier?
Doing those multiple checkpoints or just getting the beer?
Guys that get into “game“ end up tying themselves in knots, over-intellectualising and mechanising everything, exhausting their interactions by breaking them into these sequential, conscious steps.
Paradoxically, this is only creating more hurdles and increasing the amount of necessary checkpoints to hit in their interactions.
The more you define and label something, the more boxes you create, the more you fragment and compartmentalize…
The more you separate and limit yourself.
All you are doing is creating more semantic blockages inside your mind and paralyzing yourself.
It is like trying to clear the house of the mind, by throwing more bricks and mortar into it.
On top of all of this, Pickup also has some extremely damaging long-term effects.
They are not always noticeable in the short term, which is due to these mini-victories and because of all the elements of Pickup that keep you trapped in the paradigm.
But as you continue, your brain and social skills are getting seriously messed up as you constantly apply dehumanising strategic thinking to your interactions with people.
You are becoming more and more anxious and desperate.
You are feeding the part of you that feels incomplete – the ego, and the ego needs to acquire and take.
You’re basically becoming a social parasite
Cutting out the rest of the world, including women.
Distancing, creating “us vs. them“ and your heart closes.
At its core it’s like an addiction.
Based on trying to fill a hole within yourself with women, pretty much like a drug addict does with drugs.
Getting laid and feeling great for a moment on that Dopamin high, until it fades and you need another “lay“ with a woman to feel good again.
And yeah it works.
I’m not even going to argue with that as I’ve done it myself for many years.
But it’s definitely not healthy.
Heroin addicts can argue very convincingly that their fix makes them better socially, and makes them enjoy life.
Someone can argue very convincingly that the only way they can talk to women and get laid is with a little chemical helper
Hard to argue with them if that’s the only way they have ever interacted with women.
But it’s just a correlation, not causation.
They take coke, they talk to women.
Talking to women in any shape or form occasionally leads to sex.
“So sniffing coke gets me laid, right!”
Would you ever agree that this is the cause of sex?
Would you ever agree this is a wise way to go about self-development and building a beautiful and healthy life?
No. They’re trying to fill a hole, fooling themselves, and taking, taking, taking.
Just like a Pickup artist.
Pickup is a serious addiction much like drugs, alcohol, nicotine.
We do it to try to fill a hole, a void in ourselves, which we have not addressed.
We feel sad, lonely, guilty, unloved, envious, empty, fearful, hopeless, unfulfilled, angry, hurt, insecure, etc.
We get “approach anxiety“, we feel “rejected“ and unwanted, desperate and victimized.
Imagine again the Heroin addict who is desperate for his hit to feel balanced.
He is then presented with two different coaches:
1. Hey man, if you work with me, I can make sure you get your hit by the end of the weekend.
Not only that, but you’ll never run out of heroin ever again.
2. Hey man, if you work with me, you will never NEED heroin ever again and live a balanced and harmonious life.
What do you think most heroin addicts would choose at that moment?
Try offering an obese kid a Coca Cola or a green smoothie.
This is the difference between Pickup and John’s philosophy Social Heartistry.
The first option is the quick fix, the band-aid solution that doesn’t last forever.
And the second example is the real work, the real success – autonomy
It takes a lot longer, but it stays permanently.
Our society is based on quick fixes and impatience.
Many guys would rather take steroids, than achieve their physique naturally.
People would choose junk food for the quick dopamine high over healthy food.
They would take drugs to feel good and forget about their problems instead of trying to fix them.
Most guys in nightclubs drink alcohol to be able to have fun at night, stop caring what people think and muster up the courage to talk to women.
But don’t forget one important thing:
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
The Pickup community is there to metaphorically give you the skills to get your heroin hit.
It’s creating a cult of needy guys, who are avoiding taking the loving action of healing their own childhood wounds.
Once we do the work on ourselves, we are empowered, we are grace-filled, and we feel at one with others and with ourselves.
We have an aliveness, we radiate outwards rather than parasitically acquiring from others.
Once we reach a true place of wholeness, our view of women moves from “target/set“, to “goddess/sister/ally/friend“.
Our energy moves from parasitic actions of taking, to symbiotic actions of giving/creating/sharing.
We move from trying to control to surrender, from working for a woman to playing with women, from fear to love.
Now you might argue how I always did:
“LOOK! Pickup is getting results for guys – so it works, right? It has developed guys. By doing Pickup, guys are getting laid, they’re getting more confident. Normally, they wouldn’t have spoken to women at all.”
Well, let’s imagine you are staying at home, living in your mum’s basement playing World of Warcraft all day long just like the old me.
Pickup doesn’t exist, but one day I told you to go out and pickpocket 100 people on the street.
So up to that point you didn’t really leave the house or talk to people at all.
By getting out there and pickpocketing 100 people, you would learn about body language, timing, awareness, social dynamics, emotional intelligence, touch, spatial awareness, getting outside your comfort zone, overcoming nerves and so on.
It would develop you in a myriad of ways.
But would you then turn around and tell everyone that pickpocketing is the way forward – That it’s the best way to develop yourself as a man?
You would be training yourself with some extremely unhealthy mental habits:
You would be continuously taking from people.
You would be constantly thinking of the result = getting their wallet or purse.
You wouldn’t connect with anyone.
You would have a win/lose mentality.
Sometimes you’d get a “result“, but what kind of result would that be?
Do you think you would become the kind of person people want to invite into their lives?
You might say:
“But pickpocketing has developed me as a man! I’ve approached loads of women and I even got laid because of pickpocketing. It must be the only way!“
Can you see how this would be close to madness?
In this example, if it helped you with women, it’s merely a correlation, not causation.
Here’s another example.
If you go on most dance floors, you will notice men that hover around pretty women.
They start to slowly get closer and closer to them like they’re playing “the Mr. Wolf” game,
yet rarely do anything
It’s unattractive, needy and repels women.
Now let’s say you did the “hovering“ approach 100 times and then occasionally got laid from it.
You could argue strongly that hovering works.
And you will continue to hover religiously.
But it’s not the hovering that implicitly works.
It was other variables outside of the hovering that worked.
Similarly, doing Pickup is currently seen by many as the only avenue for taking masculine action with women and so it is obviously mistaken for the causality of an eventual sexual encounter:
Just because we end up in bed with a woman and can retrospectively say we “Picked up a woman last night“, doesn’t necessarily mean we were “Doing Pickup“ at the time when we shared deep intimacy with her.
This took me a very long time to understand.
Perhaps you are at this point in your evolution too.
This is one of the main reasons why guys stick with doing Pickup.
And I wasn’t different, until I read John’s book, went through his two courses and then reached out to him for a coaching.
Let’s say you’re stranded on an island, are starving to death and someone handed you a rotten apple.
You are so hungry you ravish this apple
And because this rotten apple contains some basic level of nutrition, it keeps you alive.
When someone says, “Hey man, that apple isn’t good for you” you could argue “Hey, but it works, I’m no longer starving and it saved my life!”.
Pickup is that rotten apple and it isn’t good for your body.
Because there is currently no other perceived outlet for men to talk to women other than through the Pickup context of acquisition, they will take that option.
Much like drinking salty water, it feels like it’s quenching your thirst, but will always create more of a thirst and will destroy your insides.
But I totally understand why guys get into Pickup…
Because when you’re not in control of a conversation with women, but act spontaneously from the heart and body you’re vulnerable and that’s fucking scary.
However, let me clarify one thing…
Vulnerability doesn’t mean being a crybaby and complaining about your problems all the time.
It means being raw, having standards and boundaries, not caring about what others think and taking risks to be possibly “rejected“ for your true self.
It’s the strongest thing you can actually do and highly magnetic to EVERYONE, not just women
Because most people in today’s society have masks on or a shield around them as a defensive mechanism to avoid getting hurt.
Now John’s entire philosophy is based on unconditionally giving like the sun
When the sun emits a ray of sunshine, it has no agenda and doesn’t want anything back in return.
If someone gets a suntan that’s fine, but the sun doesn’t suddenly feel “rejected“ when someone steps into the shade.
Why would it? It’s the most powerful autonomous being in our solar system.
He calls it “Sun Energy“ as opposed to “Black Hole Energy“ that constantly needs and drains energy around it.
When coming from sun energy, you empower yourself to the point where you feel like the sun.
Imagine you had a million dollars and wanted to give them away to one lucky person when you felt inspired to…
You would be excited, walking around possibly making someone’s day.
If someone rejected your gift, would you feel sad they didn’t take it?
Hell no, because you would know how valuable what you had to give is.
Also even if they didn’t take it, you wouldn’t lose anything as you would still have the million dollars.
One of my favorite quotes from his book is:
“Someone who’s got a hole in the heart needs to take and someone who’s wholehearted can give, endlessly – like the sun“
John also talks about healing yourself instead of using coping mechanisms and distractions to avoid actually feeling the pain of your past that gets triggered.
Most people distract themselves with alcohol, drugs, Junk Food, TV, games…
And of course sleeping with as many women as possible, or collecting “lays“ as it’s called in Pickup.
Those are all ways of escapism, because they’re afraid to be with themselves which could lead to feeling the pain from their childhood again.
To finish off I want to talk about my experience with John Cooper’s coaching which opened a whole new world for me.
For the coaching John flew from London to my city Hamburg in Germany.
I let him stay at my house, because hostel prices are through the roof here.
We spent the entire 3 days together and he showed me how to fully embody and live the 6 principles that he teaches.
I really loved and appreciated how much time, effort and preparation John put into this.
He even prepared a little journal of 30 pages for me with questions to answer, where I could write down my experience on each day.
It also included a few pages where his philosophy of Social Heartistry was explained and pages where I could write down and reflect on what I’ve learned from the coaching afterwards.
The coaching with him really opened my eyes to the possibilities and a different way of interacting with the world, women and people in general.
I was used to interacting most of the time from my head instead of being in my body and pickup was one of the reasons for that.
Also I’m not gonna lie, it was extremely intense and brought me to my mental and physical limits.
But I don’t regret any second and honestly think it was the best coaching I’ve ever done when it comes to social interaction.
The coaching was split into a day time and a night time session with 1-2 hours of rest in between those.
Everyday we went out for around 13 hours and came back home at 5/6 AM the next morning.
The reason for it was obvious, he wanted me to get the maximum amount of value out of his coaching, since we only had 3 days together.
On the first day I kind of thought it would just be like any other coaching I had before, like him telling me to “approach“ people.
However, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It was deep shit and felt like we were just two good friends enjoying our time outside.
He really took his sweet time to understand my behavior and my thought patterns on a profound level.
Sometimes we would eat pizza in a restaurant and sit down to talk about situations that just triggered something in me emotionally.
It almost felt like next level therapy combined with social skills coaching.
Unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
During the day and at night we had fun talking to so many people, men and women.
But all without doing a single approach and most importantly, without feeling the duality of a win-lose paradigm.
In fact at night we had multiple hour long conversations with women that definitely were a great memory and learning experience.
Obviously they didn’t go anywhere, because I’m in a happy relationship and didn’t have the intention to lead it further.
But it showed me a lot about myself and what’s going on within my body regardless.
John taught me that as soon as I am in my body I can flow and attract all kinds of people…
Because I’m able to unconditionally give my personality to them like a gift or the sun.
My biggest problem was that most of the times I would interact from my logical mind, trying to control situations and plan everything through to stay safe and avoid pain.
I couldn’t be spontaneous and handle it if things didn’t go as planned.
In fact, I was heavily disconnected from my body.
One of the days we sat down in a park and meditated, afterwards I could feel my emotional body in social situations for the first time in years.
And damn felt it good, everything seemed effortless, I could enjoy little things and didn’t need to strategize.
I was free flowing, having fun and playing like a kid on a playground.
This vibe and behavior was insanely magnetic to people.
There was no need to focus on all those conversation strategies, it happened naturally and people loved me.
Thanks to John I now know how to fix my deepest issues.
Obviously It will take time as it’s not an overnight thing.
But we put together an action plan for the next few years and I can finally see what exactly was holding me back.
It’s almost as if I used to be in an endless pitchblack tunnel, trapped in the pickup paradigm, but now I can see the light at the end of it.
All the Pickup coachings I’ve had in the past just got me more into my head and made me feel more disconnected from people, especially women.
However, unlike my previous Pickup coachings I don’t regret any second of the coaching with John.
Also, he completely over delivered and put all of his energy into helping me.
He is one of the most caring, sympathetic and authentic people I’ve ever met and I’m so happy that I reached out to him.
I’m grateful for this experience and honestly believe that every person should get a coach or mentor in areas where they aren’t where they want to be yet.
At the moment I’m working with a business coach, a Yogi guru, a therapist, a personal trainer and a social skills coach.
They all helped me immensely to develop myself further in different areas and saved me a ton of valuable time.
I hope this post could make you understand why Pickup isn’t the right and healthy way.
And I also hope that his book will be as eye opening and life changing for you as it was for me!
Thanks again John, I’m extremely grateful for this experience and to have learned the way of the Social Heartist from you! Much love