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Why I’m Not a Pick Up Artist (FAQ)

I compiled this page of answers to Frequently Asked Questions to address questions I am still commonly asked. I credit the help of Christian Hudson of The Social Man in thinking about these questions and answers.

You are welcome to write to me at: david “at” auratransformation.org

How did you get into all of this?

I have written extensively about my background in the About Me page on this site. When my now ex-wife and I separated and the divorce seemed inevitable, I was very lonely. Instead of continuing to wallow in self-pity, I decided to take action and rejoin the dating scene as a thirty year old. But I had no idea what I was doing in that area. So as a good academic, I did thorough research, read all the literature I could find, got private trainers, and logged in hours of practical experience socializing. It turns out a lot of the most effective techniques are as simple as the tips in the classic Dale Carnegie book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

What is it that you do?

I help men find happiness and fulfillment. I do this by…

1. Assisting them to understand themselves. To be attractive to others, a man has to know who he is and be confident in putting forward his best, most authentic self. He has to be open to meeting and connecting with new people, rather than being defensive, needy, or arrogant.

2. Coaching them in learning new social skills. We weren’t all born with the ability to captivate others through conversation. I know I certainly wasn’t. But when you can feel confident in your ability to walk up to strangers and have them like you, it changes your whole life for the better. I used to be very shy and reclusive until I discovered how to connect with people, make new friends, and engage in friendly banter with women.

3. Helping them become leaders of their own lives. A lot of men walk around looking for something else to fulfill them–a woman, or the next video game or movie, or whatever else they can latch onto. They don’t take charge of their own lives, go after what they want, and live the life they dream about. Why do men get needy or desperate with women? Because they feel that the woman gives meaning to his life, that she completes his life, and that without her, his life is meaningless.

But a man should be happy and fulfilled with his own life first. While healthy, loving relationships are a part of that, they shouldn’t be the only thing. For example, if a woman is treating a man badly–and I’ve been in a few relationships where I let myself get stepped on, for sure–a man needs to respect himself enough to say ‘enough is enough’ and walk away, just like he should be able to do that with a friend who steps on him or a boss who mistreats him. But if that woman becomes the center of his life, and if he feels like he can’t meet and connect with someone who will love him for who he really is, then he might stay in that relationship for too long. So he has to take charge of his own life and work on becoming content with himself and becoming his ideal self.

As a dating coach, what do you do to teach men how to meet women?

As a dating coach, some of my main aims are to…

1. Teach men how to flirt in a fun way without being rude or cheesy. Flirting is a natural form of communication, but most men don’t learn this skill because they are afraid of women or don’t have the opportunity to practice it. So I take them through intensive program where they gain over a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and new social experiences in a single year or even a weekend. For 1:1 private coaching clients, this effect is magnified exponentially. I push them to break through their own, self-imposed boundaries of what they’re allowed to express. And most of them find that a friendly smile and a genuine expression of how they feel is all they need.

2. Coach men in how to connect with other people. Most men want to have real relationships. There are a few scoundrels out there who just want to seduce women and leave them, but those guys are missing the whole point. To look into a woman’s eyes without fear, and to truly connect with her, is one of the most magical experiences in the world.

3. Help them make new friendships. Intimacy isn’t confined to male-female relationships. I have a few very close male friends who feel like brothers to me, who I know would support me in good times and bad.

Is this about getting laid?

What most guys truly want is female companionship and a strong connection, not casual encounters. I found that most of my clients were really looking for real romance and companionship

Is this about tricking women?

That’s a common misconception. If you think about it, most guys don’t know what they want in a women beyond her physical appearance, so this is much more about learning about yourself and what you’re really attracted to and what you really want and then becoming the man who can attract that.

Does it really work? Do you have successful clients?

Since 2007, I have worked with hundreds of people worldwide on almost every continent, including East and Southeast Asia, North America, Europe, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. And consistently, they contact me to tell me that they are much happier, that they are dating women with whom they share a strong connection, and that a whole new world of possibilities has opened up to them. In fact, several clients have gone on to become engaged or married to women they’ve met thanks to the work they did with me. Some have even become proud fathers!

What are your qualifications?

This is a funny profession because there is no governing body or set of standards required to coach men to be better with women. Over the past few years, a lot of random people have popped up, masquerading as dating coaches, so you’ve got to be careful.

Usually, guys started by hearing my story and identifying with it. Then they checked out the classic articles on my website and listened to my audio programs, and these helped them out tremendously, so they knew that my advice works. If they needed more personalized feedback, we’d start a dialogue over email, and as I got to know them, I’d tell them exactly what I could or couldn’t do to help them. So by the time I was actually working one on one with a client, we already had a decent relationship, and they trusted that I’d be able to help them.

You were an academic in the humanities. Do you think your academic research relates to your research in the arts and science of dating?

Yes, it certainly does. My field of specialty is Chinese religion and philosophy. And I have found a great deal of commonalities with Confucian, Daoist, and Chan Buddhist theories of self-cultivation, especially in relation to the themes of spontaneity and unselfconsciousness. In fact, I have already started publishing academic papers on these topics. Btw, the “doctor” in my moniker refers to my Ph.D. in Asian Cultures from one of the top programs in the world.

What is a “Rake”?

No, it’s not the garden implement, haha. Quoting Robert Greene’s insightful book, the rake refers to “a great female fantasy-figure–when he desires a woman, brief though that moment may be, he will go to the ends of the earth for her.” His greatest weakness is his overwhelming love of women. Paradoxically, that is also his greatest strength.

How many women have you been with?

Haha, a true gentleman never kisses and tells. What I’m focused on right now is having a quality relationship with a woman whom I really care for.

Have you ever made any mistakes? Do have any regrets?

In the realm of relationships, sure, I’ve made some mistakes. Well, actually, I’ve made a LOT of mistakes! And you can track how I’ve matured over time by going through the years of blog archives. But learning from mistakes is an important part of life, too. And so far, things have turned out pretty well.

Do you respect women?

I absolutely love women, and for that matter, people in general. Developing skills in this field has let me connect with many more and a lot of very interesting people. I’m confident about who I am and what I bring to any friendship, relationship, or social situation, and that’s exactly what I want for my friends.