Is there a science to seducing gorgeous women? Yes, says a growing movement, and its methods can be mastered by anyone who’s motivated enough. I’d heard about such techniques for years, but usually dismissed them as the bullshit of snake-oil salesmen out to exploit gullible guys.

But when I learned that a former New York Times reporter claimed he had burst his shackles of involuntary abstinence and scaled the heights of alpha male-dom, I had to know more. In the book The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, Neil Strauss (co-author of Jenna Jameson’s autobiography) details his journey from dud to stud. He convinced me that a coherent body of practical “stud-ology” is indeed available to the average guy.

Two seduction experts, known as Tyler Durden – after Brad Pitt’s Fight Club character – and “Papa” figure prominently in The Game. They’re the founders of Real Social Dynamics (, a firm that operates “boot camps” combining instruction with nocturnal forays into the field, where you apply what you’ve learned under the watchful eye of your teacher.

I decided to take one of their Manhattan boot camps. My instructor was Tim, a young Heath Ledger-type from Australia. How could this dude, who probably scored left and right on his looks alone, teach me how to seduce an “SHB” (super hot babe, one of many terms in the pickup-artist lexicon)? But he was such a forceful presenter, I suspended all my doubts and gave him my full attention. He was like Patton revving up his troops for battle.

I’m 5-foot-5 and not blessed with movie-star looks. But I do have a gift for bullshit. As Tim went through different techniques, I started to see how they could help me improve my batting average.

After the day’s formal seminar, we went to a noisy bar on Manhattan’s East Side. I introduced myself to Liz, a redhead from Minneapolis, Minn. She wasn’t pretty, but she was clearly drunk and cute in a kooky way – the type who’d have no qualms about dancing on the bar. She immediately put her arm around me and made me feel in sync with her. But what really impressed Tim was that Liz bought me a beer. Thus, I had succeeded on one of Tim’s basic points: A true alpha male gets girls to buy him drinks, not vice-versa.

Liz further enticed me when she announced that she was bisexual. But when I asked her to name her fantasy babe, it wasn’t Angelina Jolie. Or Jessica Simpson. Even Paris Hilton would have been a turn-on. But no, Liz’s ideal girl was Ellen DeGeneres. When I think of threesomes, Ellen is not who I have in mind. But we kept flirting, and Liz eventually gave me her card and asked me to call her.

This was another coup in Tim’s eyes. But as cool as Liz was, she wasn’t that much different from the type of average-looking girls I usually end up with anyway. The real test of Tim’s training would be getting an SHB.

Later, after Tim and the other students went home, I headed to a midtown lounge, Prey, where I could have a conversation without screaming. I made sure to follow Tim’s seduction rules as much as possible. Check out
the action.

Rule 1: Big Smile

I walked into Prey with a huge grin on my face. (I hate my smile. But seduction theory puts a lot of stock in strolling into a place – smiling confidently – like you “own it.” The only way to get more comfortable with your smile is to keep doing it until it becomes second nature.) Maybe I looked like an asshole, but I literally forced myself to grin and bear it. I immediately spotted a gorgeous brunette at the bar. She looked like Eva Longoria with a pair of huge bolt-on stripper breasts.

Rule 2: Three Seconds and Counting

Now that I’d noticed her, and she’d caught me looking her way, I had seconds to make my move. Otherwise, she’d write me off as another “AFC” (average frustrated chump) who didn’t have the guts to act decisively.

Rule 3: Kick Her Off Her High Horse

I approached her with a delicate maneuver that easily could have blown up in my face. It’s called “negging,” a form of “damning with faint praise” in order to throw an SHB off-balance.

“You seem a bit out of place,” I told her. “What do you mean?” she asked. “A lot of the girls here seem glamorous,” I replied. Her face was turning red. I had to soften the blow. “Don’t get me wrong. You’re attractive. I think you know that.” Instead of blowing me off, the woman – Donna – seemed intrigued, and engaged me in a long discussion about what makes people glamorous.

My “neg” had been an effective opener. Why? The theory is that SHBs are used to having guys slobber over them. Although their self-image depends on it, any guy who praises them too soon defines himself as another chump looking to get into their pants. But doing the opposite gets her wondering, “Why isn’t this guy drooling over me? Why doesn’t he find me perfect like everyone else does?” Done right, it virtually compels her to try to win you over.

Rule 4: Show ‘em Shit

At that point, Donna’s attention was waning, and she turned back to her friends. I tapped her shoulder and asked her if she’d ever been “cubed.” “What’s that?” she asked. “It’s a method of giving you deep insights into your subconscious. Very powerful stuff.” I’d regained her interest. She was eager for a cubing, and I gave it to her.

The technique essentially involves having people imagine a cube and other objects in a desert, then interpreting to them what the images mean. For example, if they see their cube as made of steel, they have a resilient nature; if it’s made of glass, their ego’s fragile. The interpretations are largely bullshit. Cubing is mainly a device to convince the girl that you have a “gift” for seeing into her soul. (For instructions on cubing, see

Rule 5: Leave ‘em Wanting More

Donna loved her cubing. She even wanted to take a crack at cubing me, but I teased her that she’d “have to earn that right. Only special people can cube me.”

“You don’t think I’m special?” she asked. “I don’t know yet,” I said. “I still need some convincing. But we’ll save that for another time. I have to go.” She seemed disappointed, much to my delight. Getting her number was a piece of cake. I called two days later. We made plans for the weekend.

All the rules went out the window on our date. She’d polished off half a bottle of wine before I got to her apartment. “Nerves,” she said. Instead of catching a movie as planned, we bought more wine, went back to her apartment and got totally bombed. My recollection of what followed is like a video that keeps skipping frames. I remember having sex, but it seemed more like a hallucination than a memory. The only tangible evidence was the used condom I found next to me in bed in the morning. After our date, Donna didn’t return my calls. Hence my new challenge: Work on my post-seduction skills.