A pick-up-artist is a man, who sees himself as a master in the “art of seduction”; who is able to get women into bed, even if they don’t really want to. There has been an increase in the pick-up scene worldwide for over 20 years. Men take seminars where they learn how best to seduce girls and women, and share this information in groups, internet forums, and even on television (for example, in the USA). There are also occasional pick-up coaching sessions for women, but the whole thing is predominantly a misogynistic male movement.
In principle, there is nothing wrong when men (or women) want to learn how to flirt, and how to attract and find a partner. Whether for one night or for life, everyone is free to do as they wish, provided their partner wants the same thing.
Sometimes the pick-up scene is about overcoming shyness and getting to know someone. The problem with this scene, however, is that old, stereotypical, and extremely misogynistic images of men and women resurface. According to the pick-up-lesson, women are looking for alpha-men: The strongest, most dominant, and most assertive. Furthermore, women who like these men are seen as submissive when they meet a man who takes the lead. The pick-up scene is based on pseudo-scientific theses, e.g. from behavioral biology. For pick-up artists, role models are, for example, the alpha males among the gorillas , where the strongest male is the leader and the only one allowed to mate with all females in the group.
Pick-up-coaching is about presenting yourself as dominant and self-confident as possible, to have a better effect on women. Women are called “pick-up-cats” and are divided into different types. Tips given in such seminars range from strategies about how to start a conversation, how to interpret women’s reactions or how to make them feel comfortable, to psychological methods which turn off their will. Techniques are taught about how to manipulate girls and women, how to gain control over their emotions and awareness, and make them have sex with a man when they don’t really want to; sometimes even completely undisguised, through sheer brutality and violence.
In 2014, this topic received a large amount of attention, because a girl, Jennifer Li, saw videos and read statements from an extremely misogynistic pick-up-trainer, which made her so mad, that reported about it on Twitter. In his videos, for example, the trainer recommended yelling at women to distract them, then simply grabbing them and pressing their faces between his legs – as if for oral sex – and demonstrated this in live situations. “I ran through the streets and pulled their heads to my cock,” he said in a video to his seminar participants who were intently listening. He also published pictures that show him choking a young woman, and he boasted about how he forced women to have sex with him; in other words, he raped them.
Jennifer had great success with her tweets. There was a global outrage about the sexist and inhuman practices of this pick-up-trainer; some newspapers even labeled him the most hated man on earth. Australia banned him from entering the country when he wanted to offer his seminars, and in Germany there was a call to not provide any more rooms for his seminars - called “boot camps”. Unfortunately, this trainer is not an isolated case; he works for one of the many “pick-up-companies” who train and employ large volumes of trainers of his kind. In Germany, these seminars have become a profitable business, for which men of all ages spend a lot of money.