FIFTY SHADES OF GREY - 2014 FILM STILL -  Anastasia (DAKOTA JOHNSON) and  Christian Grey (JAMIE DORNAN) - Photo Credit: Chuck Zlotnick  © 2015 Universal Studios and Focus Features. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Back in the early aughts, we had the cultural shart of pickup artists. There were articles, bestselling books, and even a VH1 reality show about it (remember when VH1 was a thing?). Pickup artistry is about generally socially-inept dudes picking up women by using what is essentially psychological trickery.

While I’m in no way condoning or suggesting doing it, I noticed there are some things that guys can learn from the sleazebaggery (sleazy douchebag — feel free to use at will) that is the pickup artist. Here are some pickup artist “techniques” and what you can learn from them:


Kino is short for kinesthetics. This means repeated light physical contact, and, yes, it sounds totally creepy. So creepy that a pickup artist guide actually says: “Don’t touch her for longer than a couple of seconds each time because it will come across as creepy.”

But the takeaway here is that, within reason, don’t shy away from actually touching your date. If you think it’s right to touch her arm at a certain point but are unsure, just go for it. It lets her know you’re into her and is a great way to see if there’s a connection (FYI, if she recoils in horror, you probably don’t have a connection).

The secondary takeaway is don’t be creepy.


A staple of pickup artistry, peacocking loosely translates into dressing like a glittery steampunk piece of horseshit. The idea is that while you look ridiculous, you’re getting noticed in a club that’s full of a bunch of dudes in jeans and untucked button-down shirts.

The lesson here is to do better than jeans and an untucked button-down shirt. Yes, it’s a super-easy date-ready uniform. We get it. But come on, dude, be a grown-up and spend some time on your outfit. Someone once told me that when you’re getting dressed, you’re not doing it for yourself, you’re doing it for the person you’re with. That doesn’t mean you should conform to what you think other people want you to look like. It means be the best version of yourself. So if your thing is goth, ensure your white face-paint is extra pearlescent and be the sharpest-dressed goth your date’s ever seen.

Assumption Building

With this technique, instead of asking a question, you assume something about the person. For instance, instead of saying “Where are you from?” you say “You’re from Tajikistan, right?” Will your date be from Tajikistan? No, it’s statistically impossible. But it’s supposedly more interesting. Plus if you do happen to get it right she’ll be like “Бале! How did you know?” (that’s Tajiki for “yes.” I haven’t learned how to say “Holy balls you’re right, I want to bang you immediately!” in Tajiki yet).

Basically, what this technique is advising is to “be interested in who your date is, and don’t just interview her.” Dating is weird and awkward. Don’t accentuate the awkwardness by rapid-firing questions at them. Do that thing where you talk to them casually and learn about them organically. Ya know, that thing called “conversation”?


This “technique” doesn’t get as much attention as the more outrageous ones, such as “touch her but not in a creepy way.” Which is that, above all, pickup artistry is about quantity. In the book (and in the show) they talk about blasting nearly every viable woman in a bar or club with their techniques ‘til they get a woman gullible — I mean interested — enough to fall for them.

This is directly relatable. If you want dating success, you need to be dating. Yes, you’re going to go on terrible dates. Yes, you’re going to feel like crap when your date isn’t into you. But you have to put yourself out there if you want to have any chance at success. So go on dates, learn what worked and what didn’t (both with how you acted and what you liked/didn’t like in your dates) refine, and repeat. You’ll be bagging all the chicks… without being a douchebag.