Matt Forney
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PUA Lairs in New York City: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This is a guest post by Kid Strangelove. Kid originally published this article at his own blog on August 3, 2010, but he deleted the site a while ago so he could focus on other projects. He asked me if I’d be willing to re-post some of his articles on my blog and I said yes.

Facebook has a funny way of connecting people. After adding Neil Strauss as a Facebook friend months after reading his infamous book The Game, I began receiving lots of random friend requests from other wannabe PUAs around the world. Yes, there are plenty. Just search Facebook for the last name “PUA”: you won’t be disappointed. It wasn’t long before I got my first invite to a PUA lair event in NYC. With my game a bit stagnant and my curiosity piqued, I decided to check it out. I figured I might learn something new. What followed was a little shocking.

First off, the meeting space was in a dance and acting rehearsal center, and the first thing I saw when I walked in were dancers of all ages. Was I in the wrong place? Nope, there it was: the familiar look of peacocking, in full presence. I had never really seen intense peacocking ’til that day, thinking that the infamous Mystery and Neil Strauss pic was just a tall tale.


This exists.

Then I heard some really small skinny dude talking about a yoga class he took and how it lifted up his spiritual presence. I was not really surprised, considering Neil Strauss verbally dick rode all those spiritual guys in The Game. But hey, I was there and I had an open mind.

Luckily for me, the guys that spoke at the very first lair meeting I attended were Rob Judge and Zack Bauer, two guys whose philosophy on girls influenced me to this day. So I figured, what the heck: I’ll go to a few of these. Now, one year later, I can give you a good description of what goes on at these places, so here we go: the good, bad, and ugly of lairs in New York City.

The Good

  • The speakers, knowing they have very little time to talk, usually give you their best material. You really save a lot of time, money and effort in learning their secrets, without the need to filter through marketing bullshit. I heard that Richard La Ruina (aka Gambler) had a reputation for being more of a marketer than a coach, but when I heard him speak, he really got to the core of what his philosophies were about, and I actually learned something.
  • You can potentially meet good macking buddies. A lot of times friends of yours won’t be down to go out on certain nights, and I absolutely hate going out macking alone, so it’s good to meet a few people that want to be solid wingmen.

The Bad

  • A huge chunk of the people that attend lairs are socially inept in one way or another, and therefore make shitty wingmen. From lifelong nerds to fresh-off-the-boat immigrants with incomprehensible accents to people who think verbal game is the end-all-be-all of self-improvement (and therefore do not concentrate on their appearance), PUA lairs are a menagerie of losers. You can tell that a lot of these guys need help. On the bright side, however, they’re usually able to make positive improvements in their style and game. But I don’t want a protege: I want an evenly matched wing, or better yet, someone better than me.
  • There’s no follow-through with many attendees. I talked to a bunch of people there about potentially hanging out and got emails, numbers, all sorts of other contact info, but I only ended up hanging out with a small percentage of guys I met. Turns out winging is also a numbers game.
  • There’s a lot of weird jockeying for status. Everyone wants to be the next great PUA, so they brag, gloat, and dress up to a Sunday afternoon lair meeting like they’re going to a Saturday night fashion show. It’s kind of odd how much effort these men put into impressing other men. Now, this is “bad” and not “ugly” because yes, people lie (that’s bad), but trying to live up to the hype and impress someone else might be extremely motivating to some. It was for me, because it kind of brought me back to my good ol’ team sports days. Still, it felt weird.

The Ugly (This Section is Very Important)

  • People lie and embellish the truth. There was always a question and answer session before each meeting. I could tell a lot of these guys were exaggerating or straight-up bullshitting. My bullshit detector is very strong, but an absolute beginner might believe the hype. It’s like keyboard jockeying, live and in front of you!
  • Some Instructors are horrible. I think I’ll let my friend’s post on Heartiste’s blog answer that. I was there. The presenter was Nick Sparks of The Social Man. And everything in that post is true.

So all in all, it was an entertaining experience. Would I recommend it to others? Sure, because going to these meeting represents a proactive step in getting better with girls, which we can all respect. Just keep in mind the points I outlined above.

Now, how can you find a good NYC lair? Well, I’ve taken care of everything for you, my loyal readers:

  • Pickup Artist Events: the newest but most well-organized bunch. Their instructors are top-flight popular guys (they had Brad P., Adam Lyons, Juggler, Gambler, and more guys you’ve heard of), and they organized a Pickup and Dating conference in NYC. The downside is that a lot of people that attend are fanboys of various instructors, but in their defense, I have yet to go out with any of the people I met there (been getting steady action on my own from around the time they started). Still, a solid place to learn.
  • NYC Wingmen: they have been around for longer, but their speakers aren’t as well known as the other guys. However, this is the place I met my most solid wingmen. Highly recommended for that. I haven’t gone there since Pickup Artist Events popped up, so things may have changed.
  • AFC to PUA: I have yet to check this out, but supposedly the guy that runs this, Nathan PUA, allegedly choked out one of of his former students. You read that right: a student went through a bad bootcamp, then got strangled for it. And this dude runs an NYC lair. I am now intrigued to see what kind of shitshow they run.

Hope this helps. Who knows: you might see me at one of these events. I’ll be the guy whose advice is mostly ignored because it makes too much sense.

Read Next: How to Meet Girls at Art Galleries in New York City