Man of Mystery
How to drive women wild . . . or maybe just away

By Gene Weingarten
Sunday, January 27, 2008

I recently attended a three-day seminar on how to pick up women and get them into bed. The class was taught by a few professional pickup artists. The main instructor was nicknamed "The Don." The most important thing you need to know is that there is nothing at all disreputable about this enterprise, according to The Don, who would not let me use his real name because under no circumstances did he want his relatives, potential girlfriends or prospective employers to find out what he does.

The other thing you need to know is that, even though the 12 students each paid $3,000 to take this class, they are not pathetic losers. At least none of them admitted to being losers, though they all did own up to woman-acquisition troubles. Here is how one described his situation:

"I've been seeing a girl for a year, but every time I act on my feelings, she changes her phone number."

This man was in the T-shirt he was planning to wear when the whole class went out to a bar that night, trolling for babes. It had two lines of printing on it. At chest level, in big letters, it said "The Man" with an arrow pointing up. At belly level, in big letters, it said, "The Legend" with an arrow pointing down. (The Don gently suggested that he change.)

It's hard to summarize three days of lessons in just a few words. Oh, wait, actually, it's not: The trick to picking up and nailing a woman is being ready, able and willing to lie.

Your first lie is to make up a chick-intriguing pretext to talk to them (e.g., "My buddy broke up with his girlfriend by text message. Do you think that's okay?") You might have to lie some more to create a "vulnerability routine" that establishes your sensitivity. Here's one routine The Don said had been used to great success: Start by telling 'em you were raised in poverty by a single mother. Then talk about the time the electricity got turned off and you sold your toys so you could give your mom $15 for the power bill, and, when she cried, you thought you had done something wrong.

But this class was not just about lying to women. It was also about groping them.

A major part of "The Mystery Method," which is the name of the course The Don teaches, is that, contrary to conventional wisdom, women want to be touched by men they do not know; that touching their hands, arms, hair, small of the back, etc., delivers an irresistible sense of intimacy.

Armed with the necessary knowledge, we all went out to a meat-market bar, and, under the tutelage of several instructors, the students tried to hit on women. One guy moved in on a really cute blonde.

As far as I could see, he was doing okay. They were talking. But it turns out he was failing miserably.

"He needs to be going for kino!" an instructor grumbled. In the patois of the seduction industry, "kino" stands for "kinesthesia," or touching. Something needed to be done! Something subtle but effective! So, pretending to be on his cellphone, the instructor walked behind the student and yelled into the phone: " Kino! Kino! Kino!"

But the poor slob couldn't bring himself to do it. The instructor pulled him away.

I know that the Mystery Method must work, or weenies wouldn't shell out three grand for it. So make of this what you will: I spoke to the hot blonde later; she is an organizer for a national feminist group. She said the guy was making no headway because she recognized every single thing he'd said as a line and because "he was so forward but also so nervous that it didn't add up."

What would she have done if he'd started touching her?

"Run," she said.

Now, I personally never thought groping and lying was much of a strategy for winning a woman, but, as the oldest and ugliest guy in the room, my opinion had no weight at all. So when I told The Don that I thought I could get some young, pretty woman to kiss me on the lips within three minutes of meeting her -- no one has that kind of instant success, not even the instructors -- he laughed derisively and dared me.

I went off and found two hotties. Under The Don's watchful eye, I spent 2 minutes 10 seconds talking them up, and then bent in and got a full lip-kiss from each. The Don was flabbergasted.

"Okay," he said, grudgingly, his pain evident, "I admit you've got some game."

What I hadn't told him was that about 15 minutes beforehand, one of the women had recognized me as a Post columnist. I asked her and her friend if they'd participate in a friendly little sting to put some misogynists in their place.

Okay, so it was sort of a lie by omission. Sorry, Don.

But, as you taught us, lying a little to get what you want is okay. Right?

Gene Weingarten can be reached at weingarten@washpost.com.

Chat with him online Tuesdays at noon.

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