Another tactic, one for which became particularly famous, was the art of “negging”—that is, giving a woman a semi-insulting compliment so that you a) distinguish yourself from the pack of people she’s accustomed to have hitting on her, and b) slightly lower her self-esteem to the point that she wants your approval and is vulnerable to your advances. I was surprised when I first read  that in addition to being a sort of how-to manual for picking up women, it’s kind of a Neil Strauss coming-of-age story. Gilsinan: If I read it right, you start out scared to talk to women, you learn all these techniques and score a lot, and then, to spoil it, you meet this woman for whom none of it works and you fall in love and swear off your player ways. I think more people have heard about than have actually read it.
This is a subtle thing, and it’s not the same as being bluntly mean. If, however, you say something like, “Those shoes look really comfortable,” you may have started a conversation, even if the response is, “They’re not. ”That’s how I ultimately read the book—the tactics were about starting conversations with people you had no business talking to. Tinder has happened, Strauss is older, and he knows not all of the book ages well; he now calls some of the techniques he documented—and used—“objectifying and horrifying.” He’s married to a woman he loves very much, for which his pickup-artist friends of yesteryear might accuse him of having a case of “one-itis.” For was also a numbers game: Hit on enough women and eventually one of them was bound to succumb to your advances. I don’t think I’ve gotten any angry emails from people who’ve read it, per se. Strauss: Obviously I was a journalist, this community [of pickup artists] already existed, and I went in to describe my experience of it.
The bootcamp consists of Strauss and other participants approaching women, and then Mystery and his counterpart, Sinn, giving them corrective advice on their behaviors, body language, and what to say.The book may have ended with Strauss, and various other members, leaving the community – some of them, including Strauss, even denounced its techniques. He was there at the start and he would be there at the end.To look at, Jeffries isn’t your typical ladies’ man.The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (also known as The Game: Undercover in the Secret Society of Pickup Artists) is a non-fiction book written by investigative reporter Neil Strauss as a chronicle of his journey and encounters in the seduction community.The book was featured on The New York Times Bestseller List for two months after its release in September 2005, reaching prominence again in 2007 during the broadcast of the VH1 television series The Pickup Artist, which was hosted by Mystery, Strauss's mentor in the book.