Monday, May 20, 2013

So, how healthy is the PUA Scene?

It's been a while since I actively looked into the mainstream seduction community online. My perception certainly is that while there are new fads like currently Simple Pickup and Roosh, the main players have been on the way out. The other day I researched traffic patterns via Google, and look what I found:

Neil Strauss
This is celebrated author Neil Strauss, on a slow but steady downward slope. The other players --- no pun intended --- in this business didn't fare quite so well. On the other hand, Neil Strauss is quite prominent due to his other books, which helps him keep his popularity up.

Can you guess what the following graph represents?

Mystery Method
It's public interest in Mystery Method. Mystery represents mainstream (idiotic) PUA game more than anyone, given that he was the most prominent character. Thus, this graph is presumably more indicative of the scene than any other. Note the sudden spike in 2007, followed by a continuous slide.

Up next: Real Social Dynamics.

Real Social Dynamics
Things don't look so good either. It was quite obvious that business can't be as good as it used to be, given that they stopped releasing DVD-sets with PUA advice, and heavily censor their forum to keep their members in the dark. On a side note, the graph for "RSD" looks much different, but this is because RSD is more commonly used as an acronym for "repetitive stress disorder". That's what you get if you spend all your evenings writing fake reviews for RSD bootcamps and make up "lay reports". Oh, wait...

When I looked up "Real Social Dynamics", I remembered that Mystery's company was actually called "Venusian Arts". The development is even more dramatic than with "Mystery Method":

Venusian Arts

One of my favorite bullshitter was virgin-turned-PUA Mehow. I haven't looked at his websites for years, but the last time I checked it, it had a picture of him and a Bentley or Maybach, or some other car worthy of a man of his stature. I wonder what kind of car he is leasing nowadays.


Do you remember Love Systems? They occupy a special place in my heart. I had the opportunity of witnessing their incompetent coaches "in field". This made me immediately doubt everything related to PUA. It seems that this graph is lacking some "emotional spikes":


Who's missing? Well, there is Ross Jeffries' "speed seduction", but if you overlay that graph with any of the others, you realize that he never profited from the media hype around PUA. In fact, the graph starts with a downward slope:

Speed Seduction

However, based on Google's data, Jeffries only received a fraction of the interest Mystery managed to gather. Wasn't there once some big fake drama surrounding Ross and Mystery? Well, according to the data, the reality looked more like that:

Speed Seduction vs Mystery Method
"Speed Seduction" is in blue, "Mystery Method" in red.

I'll conclude this post with the other old timer of the scene, David DeAngelo. When he moved on to fake business coaching and rebranded himself as "Eben Pagan", it was an indication that the well had run dry. David D. allegedly makes 40 millions a year. You wouldn't quite guess this is you look at this:

David DeAngelo
He began mentioning those multi-million figures during a time when his popularity was already nosediving. It seems that Google supports a suspicion I occasionally stated, namely that Eben Pagan merely claimed to have made "X amount of money" to give himself some fake credentials and justify his business teaching, just like David D. claimed he was good with girls in order to justify his seduction products. But if you get laid yourself and then look at David D.'s stuff, you wonder whether he counts every time he rubs one out as a notch on his bedpost.

Here's some bonus content, in case you are a PUA shill and want to claim that "Eben Pagan" now surely makes dozens of millions teaching Internet marketing:

Battle of the Gurus: David DeAngelo vs Eben Pagan

"David DeAngelo" is on the red team, while "Eben Pagan" is dressed in blue and trying to catch up.


  1. the pua scene is dying because people are so afraid to take action!

  2. Recent fan, but I don't agree that the PUA industry fall is due to anything more than the economy. It's a product and with people unemployed it would be expected that guys have less time to consider this aspect of their lives.

    1. Those graphs show Internet searches. I'd figure that if you are unemployed, you'd have more time to hang out on the Internet and chase tail. Heck, I remember a guy recently who had a blog with the title, "Pussy Hound on the Dole" (dole: UK English for welfare).

  3. I think this is happening because as some women on hookingupsmart I think already saided, the PUA guys are, like it or not, the more feminine guys. Their minds are more wired akin to women than most guys, and they are not gay. So they not only have more ease with the whole picking-up bullshit, they actually enjoy it, whereas the regular guy enjoys sex much more than picking-up or the scene. You know, women enjoy the scene much more than sex, without the scene, even if you are married she might say it's rape (you know, buyer's remorse, or not in the mood). It's the scene not the activity (ie sex) that women enjoy, you know how gay men love to party. So for a lot a guys do all of the bullshit modern women want us to do in order to get laid just seems too much of a hassle for very low quality drunken sex. Like change your personality in order to get sex, spend tons of money on bars, clothes, be an asshole to your friends in front of women so you appear like you make a 7 figure salary to her even though you don't. Shit, all of that to get laid! Any man can get a hot looking hooker for $200 anywhere in the world I don't care what country you are in. No bullshit, just sex. Let the so called alphas play the women's games and fight each other off trying to get chosen by women. Made man (that is man that actually excel in men's games) get to choose in any country in the world. The faster we all realise that and not be hurt by shaming language we can have the power back, until then....

    1. There is a big difference between women cockteasing guys who come on to them, and PUAs getting shot down over and over. Further, I don't at all agree that women don't enjoy sex. It's certainly not my experience. Of course I can understand when some ugly looking woman has to go home with a PUA just to get laid, and then regrets that dude when he fucks her in an incompetent manner.

  4. I don't think the Eben Pagan/David DeAngelo comparison is valid, since the Eben Pagan products cost significantly more than the David DeAngelo products. Some of his business products cost as much as $25k -- his pickup products don't cost anywhere close to that amount.

    I know that he's a charlatan and a dick, but I don't doubt that he's making millions at the moment.

    1. You believe David D to make millions because he claims he makes millions? Maybe you should follow blogs like Salty Droid's, where he documents the fate of various Internet marketing gurus. You know, pesky stuff like run-ins with the FDA, indictment, that kind of thing. People like Perry Belcher, Ed Dale and Frank Kern all claimed they made millions, too, but for some reason they all went bankrupt at one point or another and turned out to have been seriously in the red, with their "businesses" losing absurd amounts of money, while they tried putting up a front of being wealthy and successful.

    2. I do read the Salty Droid. I have been for years.

      The people you mentioned (well, I don't know about Perry Belcher..) are currently making millions selling products designed to teach people how to make money (check Ed Dale's SEC filings - he paid himself over a million dollars in salary for leading the 30dc company).

      Yes, they built their current make money online businesses on lies, but they're thriving now and they're all making a ton of money. Which is what I said in my original post.

      And I still don't think that Eben Pagan/David D comparison is valid.

    3. Fuck, double post, I know, so apologies, but I wanted to clarify my point and put it into as simple English as possible, since it seems you completely missed it.

      The average selling point for 'Eben Pagan's products are significantly higher than 'David DeAngelo's products. As such, comparing the traffic of the two and inferring that there is any sort of connection is an absolute waste of time. 'Eben Pagan' may only have a fraction of the number of customers that 'David DeAngelo' might, but he's making a lot more money from each one.

    4. Salty Droid had a pretty neat exposure of Ed Dale not so long ago. Here's the link for you:

      Here's a quote handpicked just for you:

      "As of June 30, 2011, the Company has a working capital deficit of approximately $1,644,000 and has accumulated losses of approximately $2,768,000 since its inception." (from the SEC filing)

      ...and another one, since it's so much fun:

      "In 2010 the company paid Ed Dale $750,000 in salary and bonuses for his services as that tubby guy who wears dirty shirts and talks into a webcam about social bookmarking the twitters. In 2011 UnderTubby was paid $350,000."

      Guess what, if your company is in the red by a cool $3m you're not wealthy just because you increased deficits by paying yourself a nice six-figure salary.

      There is some more fun stuff to be found, again from an SEC filing:

      "In January 31, 2013, Mr. Edward Wells Dale, the Board Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of 30DC, Inc. (“the Company”) was adjudicated in personal bankruptcy in Australia resulting from claims of personal creditors, which is the equivalent of involuntary bankruptcy in the United States."

      So, which option do you pick: stupid or shill (or both)?

      You an "think" that your points are valid all day long. It still doesn't make it so. You don't even get the basics of business right, or you assume that the people you're arguing with online have no clue. Here's a basic lesson for you: it is generally much harder to sell a much more expensive product. Why's that so? Well, for starters, because it's easier to find someone who is able to shell out $50 than someone who can afford a $25k product. With the latter, in the case of Eben Pagan, though, you have to find someone who is not only sitting on cash (or has credit available), but who also lacks common sense.

    5. Congratulations on regurgitating a post that I already read. You can copy and paste - well done.

      Here's a question for you - who do you think has more of an income available to spend on "personal development and learning"? Random dudes who want to get laid? Or business owners and entrepreneurs looking to expand their business? He's catering for completely different markets with his different personas, hence why comparing traffic and interest in each persona is a massive waste of time. Which was my original point.

      Out of curiousity, I downloaded a copy of one of his most recent seminar courses from TV, a course that costs in excess of $5k per copy. He had a room packed full with hundreds of people, each paying him in excess of $15k to be there. It seems Pagan has found an audience with a lot of cash/credit available.

      And on that note, I'm done. I think you made a poor comparison in your original post, and I still do. That's all I said in my original post, yet you went off on wild tangents thinking I wrote something that I didn't.

      Your blog did help me break away from the PUA world, and I'm thankful for that, but man, you have an irritatingly abrasive personality.

    6. You claimed the Internet marketers are millionaires and I showed you that your reading comprehension is lacking. There is a big difference between being a millionaire and running a company that accrued 3$m debt in addition to being bankrupt.

      Your logic is flawed, and you allow yourself to be deluded by superficialities. Entrepreneurs with well-functioning businesses don't look to Eben Pagan because he has nothing to tell them. Further Eben Pagan and his buddies don't target entrepreneurs and businessmen but the gullible. Salty Droid documents this in great detail. Here's a link for starters:

      "She’s real. She’s 56 :: she makes $26,000 per year :: she’s recently divorced :: and she doesn’t have a computer or Internet access at home. She saw The Hansen Report – Anthony Morrison Edition infomercial on television and ordered the book. The book hasn’t arrived yet :: but the Mark Shurtleff approved Utah boiler rooms have …"

      Further, it's easy to fill a room. You shouldn't assume that every attendee has paid the sticker price. Among PUA companies, it's common to have their inters act as customers on boot camps. One or two guys sign up, but since this wouldn't look so good for the clients, they bring in two or three more bodies. Further, for video recordings, it's not uncommon that you get paid for pretending to be part of the audience. One of the guys living on my floor when I was studying in London made something like 20 pounds an hour for sitting in a chair and keeping his mouth shut.

      Welcome to the real world.

  5. I read your blog, so I must like it somehow.
    But your statistical skills are way off.

    All that you show is, that some of the PUA buzz words and scene heroes of the late 2000s are now generation less buzz.

    What you would have to show though, is that there are no new buzzwords and new stars. That should be lot harder (and since I only read three blogs I cannot help you there)...

    The topic itself is obviously still of interest:

    Also you would need to show that 2007 is normal so that 2012 would be decline. Perhaps 2012 is normal and 2007 was just a height, probably due to the movie "the pickup artist".

    Not saying your conclusion is necessarily wrong, your method though is flawed.

    1. I was talking about the known names in the mainstream PUA scene, and I don't think I have missed any. You could only say that with Mehow I added one person that was only hoping of riding on the coattail of Mystery. What those graphs show is that interest in them has dramatically declined. In the introduction, though, I do acknowledge that there are other fads, like currently Simple Pickup and Roosh, but if you compare those with Mystery Method, you see that they have a long way to go. They are nowhere near as close as Mystery was at the height of his popularity:

      The graphs you link to are about the general terms "pick up girls" and "get girls". I was specifically talking about the seduction industry, though. Your graphs only support my position because interest in the general topic "pick up girls" has been increasing --- which may just be a reflection of the growth of the Internet and overall increasing search requests --- but interest in those PUAs has taken a nosedive. This means that people are still interested in picking up girls, but not in Mystery Method, Venusian Arts, and all that other nonsense. If you now consider that the Internet overall is growing, then the decline of Mystery et al. is even more dramatic.

    2. Downward trends everywhere you look yet that dude tries to pull wool over our eyes by referring to general search phrases. here's sex and porn:
      both are up (and interest in porn is now higher than interest in sex. Says the internet. :P)

      Then shill logic 101 leads to the following:

      1. interest in sex is high
      2. ???
      3. PUA scammers still make profit

      That anonymous dude has quite the gall calling saying your method is flawed. Truth is that he's only embarrassing himself.

    3. Sorry I missed this discussion (but thanks for the new post to remind me of it).

      Thank you Aaron for your reply.
      As I said in my original statement: Your conclusion might be right, I just don't think your graphs show it conclusively. It's 'anecdotic evidence'.
      But now you say that you know there are no new big PUA-Scene buzzwords. As I said, since I only follow two PUA-related blogs besides yours - and those are offbeat - I wouldn't know and take your word for it.

      What made me criticize your post was probably mainly the headline "decline of the PUA scene". If that had read "decline of the PUA industry" I wouldn't have posted.
      It might be, that
      - the scene is more mainstream now and the niche industry in less demand
      - the scene has moved on to blogs or facebook or whatever
      - the scene has moved on to a more grown-up approach on picking up women, an approach that left the 'old stars' behind as dinosaurs.

      As you say yourself: "What those graphs show is that interest in them has dramatically declined." That's what they show. If you define the PUA scene by those terms, then the PUA scene is in decline (as compared to 2007). But if your definition of PUA scene were wider, its decline remains to be shown.

      I'll read your new post now and will further comment there if I feel the need to do so.

      2. To the other anonymous:
      Yea. Read my post again. Try to understand.
      Aaron, can it be that by now you have worshipers just like Roosh?

    4. Well, I'm using some very specific data, namely the data Google provides. Of course you are free to refer to a different data set to make your inferences.

      Granted, I make conjectures based on Google's data, but this was acknowledged in the blog post.

  6. Dude, I really get a kick out of this blog. You're doing men an honorable service by exposing PUA for what it real is and I hope it's completely weeded out of the market some day.

    Some of these commenters sound like shills. That or they can't yet admit that they've invested rediculous amounts of time into magical thinking. But take it from me: My life is quite noticably more peaceful having given up on the seduction community.

    One thing I've learned is to be a more critical thinker and to be wary of snakeoil salesman. If I ever start my own business, I'll look for ways to give people honest and rational formulas to achieve a certain outcome. Take the plunge and leave the insanity behind if you're still a PUA advocate of any form.

  7. Some are undoubtedly shills. The "big" companies in this scene are always looking for "interns" who are tasked with writing fake reviews and polluting the blogosphere. From the comments you also realize that they are all pretty stupid, which makes it a source of entertainment.

    1. Yeah, just look at the dude above shilling for Internet marketers.

  8. Sleazy when you gonna address Jeffy getting outed for being a alcoholic racists fattie chaser?

    thank me later

    1. This was an amusing read. Money quote:

      "His response was that he was busy promoting his clothing line in vegas and I should text him. Note: all of his t-shirts say "beast mode" on them. At this point I figured I would probably be better off not meeting him and it was only later when he reached out again that I decided, fuck it, YOLO!""

      (No, PUA fanboys, she did not meet him in the end.)

      I don't want to spend any energy on Jeffy, though. Some weeks ago there were some posts floating around documenting how he tried to bang some absolutely hideous woman off OK Cupid or some site like that. She was so ugly that I had to reflexively close the browser window.

    2. Where are the posts about Jeffy tried to bang the hideous woman your talking about?

    3. Check this out:

      But don't scroll down and look at the pictures if you've just eaten.

  9. Some years ago, when I heard that David D. does regular seminars with hundreds of guys playing four-figures to listen to him, I had only little doubt about his claim to be a millionaire. I assumed the sales of the DVDs far exceeded the interest in the seminars.
    Nowadays, I believe he is not rich. Just look at pictures on PUAhate. There are several explanations about where the money went: discounts, marketing, commissions and stupidity. Or maybe he is reasonable and spends it peu à peu to have some more years to live off the money (and no, being able to live off your savings for 10 years does not make you filthy rich).

    PS: He is despicable for scamming people with a seminar at his wedding.

  10. But surely you can't talk about the health of the entire field by looking at people past their prime, right? That would be like saying "searches for BBC Micro are down, so no one's buying computers anymore."

    Granted that 'pick up' is a general word and will always be searched, the term 'PUA' has always referred to this subculture since the days of 'The Game'. And searches for PUA are quite constant.

    Maybe forums and things are more popular now?

    1. I did acknowledge that there are some new fads, like Simple Pickup. However, traffic-wise they are nowhere near the former heights of, say, Mystery. Also, the fact that the people in the second tier either quit or transitioned into self-help is quite telling.

  11. Stunning findings. I rarely ever agree with your Sleazy, but I agree with the graphs posted although they're google's.

    I've never been a fan of David D, and I always wondered why he's moved onto something different.

    Irony is also with all of the sites mentioned, they don not seem to be active.

    RSD had banned me from their forum not long ago, so I see how the censoring goes.

    I believe that guys should not have PUA coaching as their day jobs. It's just not gonna be profitable.

  12. What about Adam Lyons (AFC Adam)? He's been all the rage for some time and I know more newbies than not who swing straight for his $1,300 bootcamp.

    I was hoping to see a chart of this guy, because he is, after all, "The Number One Pickup Artist in the World."

    He's also raised the price of his bootcamps! They used to be about $900. Generally if someone's business is struggling, they can't well raise the price for the same product.

    I took his bootcamp in DC in late 2009 and was so disgusted by everything I wrote this review:

    This guy is a pure charlatan. He was largely nowhere to be seen while he left the show to "Junior Coaches" etc that would mainly just talk down to you and tell you why what you were doing so wrong, "because you were trying to get the girl!"

    Just check out the video at the top of

    If this guy's demeanor doesn't scream "Scam!!" I don't know what does.

    You're supposed to approach a girl and ask a question about what does she do/where's she from. When you get an answer you're supposed to jump back and yell "Oh my God!! My sister's from there!" or something like that.

    His BS "in-field" videos are little more than over-acted-up sketches of him just getting flaky numbers, with no insight on where it goes.
    Adam himself admits that getting a phone number means nothing.

    I'm telling you, this guy continues to get heralded time and time again by all of these game sites.

    It was a pretty easy guess that Mystery Method, and Neil Strauss, the "old guard" as it were, would be on their way out.

    I'd be interested to see stats on Adam Lyons, and curious if they'd be similar.

    1. I don't think AFC Adam was ever as big as Mystery or Style, given that those guys had extensive mainstream media coverage. I mainly heard of that guy in association with some extremely shady business practices, some of which he openly shared with the guys who promoted him (and, no, not all thought this was cool).

      There are probably quite a few guys with the name "Adam Lyons", but when I run a Google Trends search for "Adam Lyons PUA" and "AFC Adam", then both don't look so good:

  13. RSD doesn't seem to be doing bad actually in terms of traffic. Go do an alexa lookup.


    The reason I'm comparing to avoiceformen is because I actually have access to the logs on AVfM and know the actual stats for AVfM so I can use it as a reference point. AVfM gets almost a million in monthly traffic.

    And yet, Rsdnation has twice the alexa rank. Also if you set reach to 6 months or max, you will notice that overall, they seem to be holding steady in traffic, they've had no actual loss in traffic over the 3 years it displays.

    1. Thanks for pointing this out. Alexa stats are quite unreliable since they largely depend on users who have the Alexa toolbar installed, and from then on Alexa uses statistics to make guesses about the traffic of those sites, if I'm not mistaken. Nonetheless, RSD Nation seems to be doing quite well. However, if you compare AVfM with RSD Nation, the former is in the lead:

  14. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  15. The PUA industry may be feeling the effects of the economic recession/depression, but the market (average frustrated chumps/incels/hetero-cis-normative men who can't figure out how to get laid without paying for it) will always be there. It's not like they teach men how to approach women and make your sexual interest in her known while minimizing your chances of rejection in public school, for instance.

    1. It's quite certainly a shrinking market. The people in the B-team basically all disappeared or switched to lifestyle coaching. Mark Manson is a prominent example of that, but there are plenty more. The other day I received some spam from "Nick Rogue" who used to peddle bootcamps in Las Vegas with his special "same night lay" method. His current sales letter is about "life hacking". I don't have the link at hand, but it was pretty hilarious in its stupidity.

    2. So what about the "AFC" market then? Have they turned to online porn, fleshlights, and paid escorts to squelch their sex drives instead of PUA skills? Sadly there remains no side-effects-free 100% reliable way to squelch the male sex drive.

    3. At this point I can only conjecture, but I'm tempted to say that online porn, flesh lights, and simply paying for sex are among the reasons why a larger percentage of men refuse to "man up" and marry some average/below average woman. Also, note that the mainstream media doesn't like any of those sexual outlets at all, and "feminists" actively oppose them, attempting to start one campaign after another. The latest fad was the "porn is bad for your brain" campaign, and then there was this book by Hymowitz, collectively denouncing men as immature boys and trying to command them to "man up".

  16. I am so happy to have found the idiocy of this scene early on. The straw that broke my back is when I started hanging out with someone who wanted me to be their wing and assured me that he was having epic nights going out and that he had slept with 100+ girls in his life. This idiot had internalized almost every single PUA material out there that he could quote things verbatim. Being that he was my height (5"8) and bald and was getting as many women as he claimed to be getting excited me. I was hopeful at the prospect of hanging out with him and learning and benefiting.

    Well it didn't take long to see a pattern. Every time we would hit the clubs, my "wing" (and I use that term loosely as he would just go at it alone as soon as we hit any scene) would consistently hit on the most unattractive girls in the club. Consistently. And he would later brag about his conquests. He would tell me that he got that "cute" girls number and I would be thinking what cute girl? That beast with the thinning hair?

    One particular time when we went out I approached a girl and apparently leaned in while talking to her. Well my wing vehemently instilled the notion in me that I should not lean in while talking to a girl. Because by golly leaning in is the death knell when talking to a girl, lovedrop said so so it must be true! And his advice was solid because of all the, and I quote "abundance" he was enjoying. And abundance of what? Heavy unattractive women that were just happy that someone was talking to them?

    All of my success with women has come from just looking as good as I possibly can, and being as normal and fun as possible and letting the chips fall where they may.

    The PUA scene is a joke and I'm glad people are starting to realize it.

  17. Thought you'd find this interesting:

  18. Interesting stats, but can be deceptive. Declining interest in various pick up artists is not an indicator of anything more than a declining interest in various pick up artists. It does not indicate that guys are less interested in learning how to pick up women. Not sure if that's what you were getting at or not, but this post caught my attention as I'm involved in the marketing side of this niche.

    While you'll see a decrease for searches for "speed seduction," and "mystery method," you'll find that searches for "pick up girls" have actually increased. Similarly, "how to meet women" has also seen a slight increase since 2004. "How to talk to women" has been fairly consistent over time. The interest is still there.

    The vertical is still fairly large. It's just that it's shifted away from the older programs to things like the Tao of Badass, which does phenomenal volume. It's the #1 grossing product on clickbank. Vin Dicarlo's offers are also enormous. Those guys are buying traffic like crazy, huge traffic. But I think those guys are the exception than the rule, most are not doing nearly as well.

    As far as your commentary on Eben Pagan, you seem to be in disbelief over his sales claims. I can tell you that he wasn't BS-ing, DYD really was banking fucking hard at one point. (Not sure about these days.) I don't believe it was 40 million though for DYD, pretty sure it was around 20 per year in its prime. His new business stuff also is super profitable, I can tell you that. But it's not dependent much on organic search volume, most of his traffic comes via affiliates who send the bulk of his traffic. He is a very shrewd marketer and has a team of very good marketers. His abilities as a "PUA" however are obviously questionable.

    Nevertheless, those are still interesting stats that I noticed myself. Some of the interest in 2007, 2008 might have been artificially inflated because of "The Pick Up Artist" tv show. Also The Game was released a couple years prior, and it was a heavily marketed book.

    1. So, what's your proof regarding David DeAngelo's sales?

      According to Google, Vin Di Carlo's popularity surely is declining:


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