My Thoughts on Simple Pickup

by GK on October 6, 2011 · 21 comments

I generally avoid pickup-artist-related content — it’s one of my favorite parts of being retired from regular coaching. But when Tre Tre sent me a Salon article about the Simple Pickup guys on YouTube, I felt compelled to investigate.

I’ve watched all 19 videos on the Simple Pickup channel (I’m making this my excuse for why I’ve taken so long between posts), and I suspect I’ll be contradicting myself here. Because I was genuinely entertained by the guys, and I do think they have something important to teach. But the videos aren’t really meant to be educational. Kind of.

You see what I mean?

For the uninitiated, here goes: Simple Pickup are three ordinary-looking Southern California guys — Jason, Jesse and Kong — who appear to be in their mid-20s. The slickly produced episodes are spent coming up with outrageous-yet-honest ways to flirt with women on the street in the pursuit of phone numbers, and they collect many of them. In the process they made me laugh more than a few times.

To get an understanding of their “Jackass”-like stunts, just watch the opening seconds of the above video, where Jason gets on top of a cafe chair and shouts a random Internet meme, then uses it as an excuse to approach a girl.

The threesome also offer tips on how to talk to women, such as making eye contact. Just from Kong’s LOL-inducing impersonation of Mystery, I can see they’re well aware of the seduction community, and much like Jon Stewart, they straddle the line between entertainment and information. Their popularity is undeniable — they’ve got almost 130,000 subscribers.

So, do they get the GK stamp of approval? If I actually had a stamp?

I could make two reviews here: one review of Simple Pickup as entertainers, and one of them as role models on how to meet women. Because a Salon article with the headline, “Are these the greatest pickup artists of all time?” and the stance that Simple Pickup videos are the answer to frustrated guys seeking help, is no small claim.

Ever picked up a girl while dressed as Harry Potter? These guys have.

The entertainment part is, well, simple: these guys are a riot. Unlike so many of the self-absorbed pickup dudes out there, they seem like normal, fun guys I’d enjoy hanging out with. They mix bravery, vulgarity and humility, and I can’t think of another show like it. If you don’t mind cringing at hearing a guy in tight shorts tell a girl she likes semen on her face (she’s not offended), you’ll enjoy this.

Evaluating the videos’ instructional value is much trickier.

The underlying message of the show is that a guy can say anything to a woman, as long as he believes in it, and connect with her. Well, not anything. But they’re generally right — getting a woman’s number  is easy and should be fun.

As inspiration, the videos are tough to beat. They’re aimed at a younger crowd, but if at any age you can’t get in the mood to meet women after watching the guys flirt with wrestling catch phrases, you might as well consider castration. I know I’ve headed out with a hop in my step after watching them.

While it’s easy to question the guys’ game  when the videos are so highly edited, I’m no hater: they seem legit to me. I’ve been close enough to the industry to know of some staged pickups on camera and I can smell a fake — this doesn’t look fake, and there are some teachable moments:

  • Their overall vibe and body language is well worth studying. They display just the right amount of indifference, fun and confidence.
  • While dressed as a “Jersey Shore” douchebag, Jason does a great job of showing commitment in getting a girl to stop and talk to him, even when she had to feed her parking meter.
  • When they’re not going for shock value, their approaches are straightforward and charming, such as Jesse’s approach that led to walking off with a girl (one of the few closes that go beyond a number).
  • Jason gives a textbook example of approaching a girl who’s sitting with another guy.
  • Though I’m sure much of what they say is scripted for humor, they also respond with wit when challenged. Such as here.
  • The way they laugh off being rejected is perhaps more instructive than anything.
  • We don’t see much seduction out of them beyond phone numbers, but they do have one nighttime video in Vegas where they each appear to pull women to their hotel rooms, and they make it look good.

I should add that all this content is free, and the guys are generous about responding to their viewers. That’s more than I can say about all the seduction gurus who charge a king’s ransom for their products with little to no engagement.

Now, for the criticism. There’s an abundance of content over context here, and if we’re going to call the men of Simple Pickup instructors, the show could use more of the latter.

I agree with much of the advice the guys dispense in their five “Simple Tips” episodes. But I didn’t care for their first one, which is about how to touch a woman. While you can kiss a reluctant girl right away in a club or pull her closer when she moves away, it doesn’t mean you should. This might especially mislead guys who aren’t club-goers or who are just not that aggressive. It’s one time where the show’s stars seem too “pickupy” for my taste.

Finally, getting a woman’s number — that’s the show’s title — is so easy, it’s not necessarily an accomplishment. If the guy didn’t connect with her or rushed the conversation, often a woman would rather hand over her number and not respond rather than outright refuse him. I’ve always emphasized instant dates over numbers with guys, and that’s where the real results come.

Now, perhaps the Simple Pickup guys would say the numbers are beside the point. What they’re really teaching is how to behave confidently around women, and I might buy that argument.

But because we rarely see an interaction that lasts more than a few seconds at a time, it’s tough to know what happened between the approach and the number or how long they talked. Or if they actually date any of these women. For instance, we see Kong end up with a number after she had initially turned him down. But we don’t see what happened in between, and like so many of the numbers they get, we can’t tell how solid it is.

Showing the meat of a conversation might make the show less entertaining, but it would make it more informative for a beginning guy.

Maybe that’s the ultimate stunt the guys haven’t exploited yet — use no stunts at all for one episode. Broadcast an interaction from start to finish and show how you can connect with a girl without the dick jokes.

So yes, I’m contradicting myself. Despite the Salon article’s contention, I don’t see the Simple Pickup guys as an evolutionary leap in teaching men how to connect with women. There’s still no substitute for in-person coaching. But if I have to choose between them and so many of the PUA gurus out there, I’ll gladly put on some Spandex and join them in their next adventure.

 

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My thoughts on Simple Pickup, revisited « PUA Central
February 24, 2013 at 12:33 am

{ 20 comments }

1 Parker Lee October 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Great Review GK. Whole-Heartly-Agree :)

2 GK October 7, 2011 at 3:14 am

Thanks, Parker! It’s great to hear from you.

3 Aaron October 8, 2011 at 10:52 am

Haha – These guys are hilarious and you are spot on Greg. This just made my saturday morning and I’ll be passing on castrating myself to go hit on some women.

Also to your comment about the “how to touch a woman” video above (agree with you there)… also the beginning of http://tinyurl.com/3oe3n7d they answer the deluge of comments they got about how this seemed like rape… it’s quite a funny start to the video, especially after you watch the video above. Not to mention this was a good video on how simple it could be to approach girls during the day.

4 Ra October 11, 2011 at 9:08 am

Well, they certainly know how to have fun. And they present the right attitude about it going into it. I definitely think it’s very educational and thinking about the steps in between would have some guys reverse engineering what to say should girl A respond with a left hook instead of a right jab while a Club X as opposed to Bar B. That they don’t motivates guys to go do something instead of reading pick up material.

Here’s a video my brother made about picking up chicks while driving. He’s promising to record every step from number to date to sex.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z84XxRJ0ue4

5 GK October 12, 2011 at 12:02 am

You’ve got a ballsy brother, Ra! I only watched that one episode, but how successful was he at getting dates with those numbers?

6 Sal October 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm

The “mystery” video made me laugh so hard!! Kinda reminds me of Ali G or Borat, in that they’re doing ridiculous things and the expressions they get from strangers is priceless.

But yeah there’a some pretty good inspirational stuff here too. Hopefully they’re dating some fun girls who are into their fun style. If a girl is willing to meet up after having an outrageous interaction then dates with her must be a blast. People who are a little outrageous & nutty are my kinds of people.

7 Ra October 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm

He’s actually pretty successful! Of course, he doesn’t end up going out with all the girls he gets numbers from. But he goes on enough dates and has met several ex-girlfriends to where he’s got a pretty packed dating and sex life.

With those girls from the video specifically, he’ll be following up with them in episode 2 and beyond.

8 Ra October 18, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Episode 2 in case you wanted to see if any of the girls got back to him:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsHCwWx0x50&feature=player_embedded

9 Mike October 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm

One thing about the indian guy in the videos. He seems fine with losing every girl. He wants them, but doesn’t need them. He’s not afraid to offend them or say something stupid. The other guys say offensive stuff, but it’s obvious they care if the girl walks away.

That’s powerful.

10 scn December 7, 2011 at 7:31 pm

These guys are my heroes. Not because they are good. They actually are crude and fairly bad at seduction per se. Not because they create desire in women. They actually bewilder and annoy most women. In fact what they do is borderline street performance instead of pickup. They just do their own schtick, almost regardless of what she says or does. It’s not a real interaction. They are not genuinely engaging her nor building anything together with her.

Having said all that, they are still my heroes nevertheless. Because they have conquered the fear factor. They take a big handful of wiggling bugs and cram it into their mouth. All the most sophisticated and civilized seduction techniques in the world still rest upon a foundation of being willing to put your balls out there and get them kicked by women in return, which _will_ happen. That’s what these guys like to show off – that they can take it in the nuts and keep on charging.

And it’s startling to me how many women are willing to give their phone numbers to them, especially on the heels of the crude, insulting statements blurted out to their faces. I think it’s a testament to how attractive women find the muscle of bravery/fearlessness/indifference above all other supposedly desirable qualities like respectfulness, listening, caring.

I met a woman at the bar who told me she was feeling nauseous. Are you ill, I asked? No, she replied. Is it that time of the month, I asked? No, she replied. The conversation continued without missing a beat, but she knew and I knew that I had crossed the line of civil discourse. I demonstrated I didn’t care about what she thought of me. I did that on purpose. It made an impression. Just like the Simple Pickup guys.

If seduction is a numbers game where even a brilliant seducer will only connect with 10% of women he approaches, yet a different 10% of the same women he is approaching will kick him in the nuts for even trying, then Simple Pickup style fearless approaching is not an optional skill to have. But it’s the most lacking skill in most guys. And it isn’t really taught anywhere.

My goal is to simultaneously have both the big insensitive balls of the Simple Pickup guys for approaching while also having the sensitive, smart sophistication of the GK/CA style of seduction to use after the initial approach. Then I’ll clean up.

11 GK December 8, 2011 at 1:24 am

scn, it’s good to hear from you again! I agree, fearlessness and indifference beat sensitivity no matter what the mainstream dating experts say.

I’m not sure I’d draw a huge line between what the Simple Pickup guys do and what I do/teach. I’ve met many women on dance floors, and I doubt anyone would call me sophisticated with some of those approaches. :) But certainly, there’s a balance.

12 Bill November 7, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Your’e reviewing their marketing videos. The videos on their site are totally different and far more down to earth.

13 Doug December 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm

What do you think of their videos now? Their videos on their website are more educational and informative, rather than the entertainment stuff on Youtube.

14 GK December 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm

That’s a good question, Doug! I actually haven’t checked them out lately. I’ll let you know what I think.

15 Brent January 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Well I agree , I would like to see one without the vulgar stuff even though it’s funny. You have to admit they are the only ones doing video pickup like this so you can see it. That is really cool.

16 Mauer February 7, 2013 at 12:40 am

These guys are awesome! You are right: They aren´t monsters of pick up like Mystery, Style or Cajun, but their system (so near to David X) it´s easy, and their ideas to be confident incredible useful. I have 1 year of practice on picking up and I have never advanced as quickly. Their true value is that create in yourself, the perfect mentality to pick up: “Don´t give a shit”. And other thing: It´s reaaaaaally fun! The transition to be out to your comfort zone is easy than other method. It´s important to use, know and mix all the systems, but, in my opinion, SPU are a really good choice to start.
By the way, if you see their section Project Go (Uncut footage with specific situations, podcast, etc) you will se they have more to offer than laughs. These guys knows a lot of shit about the pick up community. Trust me.
Great post!

17 Anonymous May 26, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Now they have project GO where they show the conversation, but that’s no free

18 GK May 29, 2013 at 8:46 pm

That’s true! I mentioned Project Go in my updated blog post about Simple Pickup.

19 Daril December 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm

They are maybe not the best but at lease they can prove it and even if they are not perfect (who is?) we can still learn from their mistakes.

As for Mytery and his TV show, I can’t stand that repressed faggot and his show are as stupid as it get.

20 darren May 12, 2015 at 6:33 pm

THESE SIMPLE PCKUP GUYS ARE THE WORST!! LOL

THEY’RE GAMING 5’s and their lines are awful.

just awful game.

ill take chase amante, joshua pellicer, or RSD over these clowns/ pretend pua’s anytime

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