PUAs, of course, are the Pick-Up Artists themselves (entertainingly, if you get really good, you can be a Pick-Up Guru or PUG).
Before they were initiated, they were just AFCs – Average Frustrated Chumps – like the rest of us.
A search online for “dating tips for men” reveals hundreds of these sorts of sites, generally requiring a credit card.
Usually at the top is a picture of a smiling man, with a tag-line like “Learn the secrets that let me charm 173 women in to bed in a year”, and a short article explaining that the author, too, used to be a shy nervous virgin until he discovered the mysteries of Pick-Up Artistry.
The aforementioned Neil Strauss went under the pseudonym of “Style”. Others have called themselves “Juggler”, “Formhandle”, “Ice Dragon” (seriously), and perhaps best of all “Gunwitch”.
The clothes According to the literature, a true Pick-Up Artist stands out from the crowd – hence the preposterous names.
There are many different schools, but most trace their inspiration back to one man, Ross Jeffries, who founded “Speed Seduction” in 1988.
The movement achieved real prominence in 2005, with the publication of Neil Strauss's book The Game, in which he described his own journey into the odd subculture.