7 Ways To Spot A Pickup Artist

how to spot a pickup artistYou’re out for a night with the girls and you get approached by a charismatic guy who’s wearing a silly hat and chatting up your friends. You wonder why he’s completely ignoring you. Chances are, this guy is a pickup artist.

Would it surprise you to learn there are actually websites, online forums, books, and even workshops devoted to teaching guys how to pick up women and get laid?

These guys are known as pickup artists, or PUAs for short. They’ve actually got a huge list of abbreviations in the pickup artist world. For example, SHB refers to “super hot babe,” and AFC means “average frustrated chump,” as in all the guys out there who can’t score the SHB.

If you know what to look for, spotting these trained pickup artists is actually pretty easy. Here’s a list of some tell-tale signs that the guy approaching you is actually a PUA.

1. Peacocking

One of the most obvious signs is what is known in PUA terminology as “peacocking.” Just like male birds who display their colorful feathers to attract a mate, PUAs put on an elaborate visual display to attract the ladies.

PUAs often wear a completely ridiculous hat, hairstyle, or outfit that gets your attention and serves as a conversation starter. Or they might be holding some random object, such as a bowling ball, that they want you to ask them about.

2. False Time Constraints

When a PUA approaches a group of girls, he’ll often use what is known as an FTC, or “false time constraint” to put them at ease. He’ll make up some excuse why he can’t stay for long so the girls don’t get uneasy about how long this new stranger is going to be taking up their time.

He might say something like, I’ve got to go meet up with some friends at another spot, so I’ve only got a minute, but can I get your opinion on something?”

3. The “Neg”

In PUA lingo, a “neg” is a backhanded compliment intended to show disinterest so a hot woman doesn’t realize she’s getting hit on.  The “neg” also aims to bring a hot woman down a notch, using reverse psychology to put her down just a little bit so she feels like she has to prove her worth to him.

The purpose of this little trick is to turn the tables on on a woman so she feels like she has to prove herself, rather than the other way around. A “neg” is not supposed to hurt her feelings, but rather be a playful, teasing comment, such as, “I just saw a girl outside wearing the exact same outfit,” or “You’ve got big ears, but don’t worry, it’s cute, just like a bunny.”

4. He Excludes You

A PUA will often talk to everyone in a group except his target. Being accepted by the target’s friends makes him appear safe and more appealing. Since hot girls are used to getting attention, they will wonder why he’s ignoring them.

The ultimate goal of befriending everyone in the group and excluding one girl is to make her wonder what makes this guy so great that she isn’t worth his time. This is an example of a DHV, or “demonstration of higher value.”

5. Kino (Casual Touching)

Kino is a key element of the pickup and is used to establish a precedence of touching. PUAs use kino to put women at ease, by finding casual ways to make physical contact that don’t creep women out.

For example, they might suggest little games, such as a thumb war, or they might offer to read your palm. The PUA will slowly escalate the kino touching to build up a girl’s interest so that when he goes in for a kiss, he’s already built up the connection with her and it’s not awkward.

6. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

NLP is kind of like hypnosis and is used in communication to influence a person subconsciously. One method is to use hand gestures to build associations with certain feelings. A PUA might get you thinking about something sexual while using a specific hand gesture, and then use that same hand gesture while talking about himself later on.

7. Prepared Responses

A PUA will often ask a question to which they already have prepared a response. For example, he might ask if you want to kiss him. If you say no, he’ll respond, “Good, I wasn’t going to let you anyway.”

They will also prepare responses for when women comment on their peacocking items. For example, if a girl makes fun of his ridiculous hat, he would have a retort ready to go. He might look her up and down and respond, “Well at least I made an effort.”

Now that you know some of the signs that a guy is a PUA, it’s worth mentioning that not all PUAs have bad intentions. Yes, a lot of PUAs are just trying to talk their way into your pants with no intention of ever seeing you again.

But there are also some guys out there who are just socially awkward and learn the PUA techniques because they genuinely want to meet a woman to eventually be in a relationship.

So how do you know the difference? If that guy with the goofy hat that came up to you and wanted to read your palm gradually worked his magic until he had you making out with him in the corner of the bar and keeps trying to get you to come back to his place, he’s probably just looking to get laid.

About Adrienne Mansfield


  1. It’s not about deceit or fooling anyone. It’s about creating attraction and enabling a guy to stand out from other men. Women get dressed up and put on make up to make themselves more appealing and attractive to a man so why can’t a man do things to make themselves more appealing? A bit of a double standard maybe. Anyway,, we are all adults. If you don’t like the guy or find him interesting or think his approach is not genuine or if he is only after one thing then by all means tell him you are interested but that could be any guy. It’s just that so called puas are often better at getting and keeping a girls interest. Women who present themselves better and get dressed up and have great personalities are better at keeping a man’s interest.

  2. I was recently peacocked by a married man with whom I have
    had a mutual attraction for a while.
    He has been trying to get into my pants, but I have always resisted
    the temptation.
    I sell magazines to him, and think I will put a large picture of a
    peacock in the next one he buys, and hopefully, he will decide
    not to come and buy anymore from me.
    He is obviously a cheater, I feel sorry for his wife.

  3. Women have been playing these tricks since 10th grade. Now men are finally catching up and using it back on females.

  4. Woemn who go to clubs are grown women and know what they are doing. Many of them are out to meet men. None of the tactics mentioned here or are subliminal or even in the same category as some guy slipping a pill in a woman’s drink or some kind of hypnosis or something. Is it trickery? I don’t know. Is it trickery when a woman puts on makeup so the guy only sees what she looks like after spending two hours on her looks? How about insisting that the man pay for the first date or the first five dates? How about insisting that he buys a drink? As they say all is fair in love and war. Most women would rather go out with a confident guy, even if had to learn those skills than some clueless guy who she isn’t really attracted to thereby wasting the time of both of them. The bottom line is no woman is going to go home with a guy she doesn’t want to or a guy who she isn’t into. Plus do women really go to clubs looking for long term relationships anyway? Most puas do eventually want to meet the right woman. Just like many woman are often ok with mr. right now so are men ok with ms right now.

  5. So if you spot a PUA and you are a HB, isnt that a complement? If someone has tried for over 6months, i guarantee you that is NOT a PUA, it sounds like AFC. even a normal guy would not try for that long

  6. I have to say that there are normal guys that do these without them being pickup artists. For example
    1. Peacocking: Some guys like attention so they dress to get noticed by everyone like rockers with big Mohawks or blue hair and people who love Texas wearing cowboy hats.
    2. False Time Constraints: Not everyone that gives a time constraint is lying, it can be a true time constraint.
    3. The neg: Some guys have been flirting this way since they were children. Like your mother use to say “he’s only making fun of you because he likes you”
    4. He excludes you: Some guys are so shy they’ll talk to everyone instead of the girl they’re attracted to. He might not be a pickup artist he might just be shy.
    5. Kino (Casual Touch): Some guys are touchy feely… With everyone.
    6. NLP: I agree with this one
    7. Prepared Responses: Some guys are witty and can come up with fast responses or they’ve heard what you said so many times that they already have an answer.

    Pickup artists study what normal guys do that girls like and copy them. So just because you see a guy doing these doesn’t mean he’s a pickup artist he could be a normal guy. If it comes off as fake, then it most likely is fake and he could be a pickup artist.

  7. This as*h*le is attempting this on me now. He has NLP’d KINO’d me. And all of the above and you know what he’s been doing it for about 5 months now. And still hasn’t gotten laid so is he doing this to be with me or have sex with me? Now I’m gonna play his little game and right before he thinks he’s getting laid I’m gonna let him know I know what he was doing. Preferably after he has already gotten hard 🙂 lol I’m going to enjoy this!

    • Rational_beast says

      I have one that tried in 2008 for the full year, (failed) and eventhough I’ve moved cities, he calls me up twice a year ever since with more magical and engaging words hoping he’d get in my pants. These guys don’t give up easily. But I think we should indeed give’em taste of their own medicine LOL If we’re so emotional and easily led, then I suggest we teach them a lesson:) Hope you enjoyed it lol

  8. Well, without PUA techniques there are really no other ways for a guy who’s not a 9 or 10 to have even a slightest chance of being accepted by another 9 or 10. Even with the most charming guy he will easily get shut off before he has a chance to prove himself. The funny thing is that the PUA probably slept with a bunch of girls before so he can give you a great time during sex and it has no strings attached as a one time thing so there’s not much point in rejecting a PUA if you spot one.

    • Adrienne Mansfield says

      A lot of women are not looking for a “no strings attached one time thing.”

      • I would not say that… Almost every woman has wanted it at one point in time. There is nothing wrong with it if she does, it’s her choice 🙂

        • Who wants a lover who rates her and other women on stereotypes of beauty?

          The blonde, buxom, skinny woman.

          This is misogynist. And racist. And sizist. Shall i go on?

          The whole thing is demeaning and gross, rating oneself and others on meaningless qualities for the purpose of one night stands and using the other person sexually. Then manipulating such women into bed by playing emotional/psychological games (dishonesty.)

          Could these men be any more shallow and ugly in their hearts? And not knowing how to treat others or how to find happiness? Looking for it in hook ups?

          What woman-haters, cons, and losers.

    • Rational_beast says

      Yeah, just like dressing a monkey in a crown doesn’t make it a king of the jungle, a guy with no personality will not suddenly become a man of value because he’s learnt a few lines and tricks. This is a short game and any girl will figure out the truth (I’m not talking about genuine guys who are for some reasons socially awkward). This is pathetic, false advertising and is manipulative especially if the woman they’re after is looking for a genuine relationship. And Frank, you don’t need to use NLP to get a woman who’s after sex in bed, you do that to get the rest manipulated into it.
      But I do get you. Splashing out $50 for a 2 weeks course is so much easier than, hmmm… being yourself and maybe developing personality. It’s cheaper than getting a sports car, but to me, you may as well stick a sock in there LOL Thanks for keeping me entertained 😉 :*

  9. Socialkenny PUA says

    I must say that this is an accurate take on the PUA community and what we teach and advocate. Mystery is the godfather of this :).

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