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  • I want: a new hobby | to be more organised | a new career | to be green | a life coach

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    Go speed dating

    I want… a better sex life

    Learn how to seduce

    Simone Baird gets the expert treatmentTwenty-seven-year-old Richard La Ruina, Britain’s answer to Neil ‘The Game’ Strauss, has gone from geek to self-declared ‘master pick-up artist’ thanks to a concerted effort to dissect the mystery of chatting up women. He set up PUATraining.com in 2007 (that’s ‘pick up artist training’) – and some 50 men a month go to him for workshops and residential sessions.
    Having ‘a system’ sounds creepy, but it’s a skill that can be learned like any other
    ‘There’s a structured approach to learning something. Guys want a structure, and my method appeals to guys who have a “one, two, three” step-by-step process rather than a written-out paragraph of principles. Nothing anyone does is natural. All skills are learned. If you’re very good socially, say at a cocktail party, you might think that you’ve always had that ability, but probably when you were a kid your parents sent you to ask a question in a shop or you might have interacted a lot at school, so over time you developed this skill and became comfortable with it. Someone who learns that from me would do the same, but in an accelerated way. It’s making up for the socialisation they lack. It’s only unnatural if it remains a technique.’

    It’s not about ‘The Game’ ‘There’s a geeky side to learning how to be a pick-up artist and a dark side. I could write a lot about why the techniques used in "The Game" are bad. A man using a technique is not being himself, he’s lying, he’s misleading the woman, he’s using a script and he’s relying on that. And he’s also presenting a false image of himself that’s way better than the real one. These techniques are designed to manipulate and create an emotional connection. When you’re playing with someone’s emotions, you need to be a bit careful. And "The Game" advocates using the same technique on a thousand women. I would say “I like this one a bit, I love this one a lot” so I’m not going to use the same one. If I just want to sleep with a girl, I’m not going to use the same technique as if I want a girlfriend.’

    Get off the message boards and get some friends ‘A lot of the guys who learn this stuff in London using online message boards, rather than my methods, generally only know men. They are weird, they have weird ideas about women and they do weird things that limit them. Instead of spending all their time learning new technquies, they should just be out meeting normal people.’

    Have realistic expectations ‘Modern society isn’t helpful. I’m presented with images of women who are exceedingly beautiful. In reality, they’re not that good-looking. Most guys don’t realise that the image has been airbrushed or she’s holding her tummy in. A guy in a small town in England where there are no model agencies, much less models, compares women to magazine pictures. It’s no longer like it was in the past when the farmer’s daughter went out with the shopkeeper’s son, and they were on the same level and then there were the rich people. The job was to have a family. Now romance has become much broader in scope: I look at my relationship and I could get married, or I could go to Brazil or Latvia where the women are very, very beautiful, or find the place where the women are perfect, and where I can find the one I want.’

    Dump the serious chat-up lines
    ‘If you’re a woman and you’re getting approached all the time with “What’s your name?”, “Where are you from?”, “Can I buy you a drink?”, something that is quirky, off the wall or silly is going to be far more effective. Boring, serious and high-pressure lines won’t work. My favourite is “do you think the rock star David Bowie is hot?” I first used it on a mother and daughter in a bar in Covent Garden, and it worked. Another one is, “Do you think this shirt makes me look gay?” ’

    Girls, give the losers a chance ‘Remember that a guy who can get you easily can get any girl easily.’ But can’t you? ‘I wouldn’t say I’m good for women. If I abused my power, a lot of girls would hate me. If a guy is a bit nervous and he approaches a woman, remember that he’s covering up his good points with a nervous-loser exterior. If he’s like that with you, he’s not going to run around with other women or cheat on you with his secretary. Don’t judge so quickly. I’m not a good boyfriend. It’s easy for me to make a women attracted to me, it’s easy for me to know what a woman wants and it’s easy for me to give it to her. It’s presenting my best possible self against my worst possible self.’

    ‘The Natural Art of Seduction’ by Richard La Ruina is out now, published by Pennant Books, priced £7.99 (www.puatraining.com).

    Sort out your relationship

    If you are one of the thousands left frazzled by overspending, in-law overload and boozy rows (three of the biggest problems over Christmas), take advantage of the extra counsellors that relationship-guidance service Relate lays on in January to cope with the deluge of calls from couples at their wits’ end. It’s worth a try even if problems do seem insurmountable – 52 per cent of people who go to Relate resolve their issues. If you’re still at each others’ throats post-counselling, get yourself a decent family lawyer and make a clean break of it. The Law Society recommends phoning a few (they have a search facility for local solicitors on their site) and finding one you feel comfortable with. Fees are dependent on individual cases. Amicable splits can be wrapped up in three or four months, acrimonious ones might take up to a year and a half. Relate (0845 456 1310/www.relate.org.uk), Law Society (0870 606 2555/www.lawsociety.org.uk).

    Pick up a hot date

    On any given night in London there are more eligible men and women trying to get laid than anywhere else on the planet. Alternatives to getting drunk in a bar include…

    Speed-dating events

    These have sprung up all over town like a rash you don’t want to show your doctor. Basically 20 or so men meet 20 or so women in a basement club. You have three minutes each to try not to talk about past failed relationships and what perversions turn you on.Try www.speeddater.co.uk

    Online dating

    This is huge business and is now the country’s favourite method for meeting a life partner. More frequently, it can prove a very quick way of meeting people you would never normally associate with, and with damn good reason. Always meet in a public place. Make sure people know where you are. Don’t arrange to go out for dinner on the first date, or you risk being stuck for at least a couple of hours in dating hell. Go for a quick drink and if that goes well you can always go on to dinner. Make sure you arrange for a friend to ring you halfway through the date. If it’s going badly, say something like ‘Oh my God! I can’t believe it… That’s terrible… Don’t be silly, of course I’ll come straightaway… ’ Try www.udate.com, www.match.com or www.datingdirect.com.

    Classified ads

    Most magazines and papers have lonely hearts ads in them somewhere near the back, just before the prostitute sections. As with internet dating, it’s difficult to get any idea of what people are like until you’ve met them, but do make sure you understand the hidden codes. If they say they have a ‘GSOH’, they haven’t. ‘Cuddly’ usually means overweight, as does ‘well built’ and ‘medium’.

    Casual sex

    There are increasing numbers of websites and classified sections devoted to NSA (no strings attached) sex. What this lacks in subtlety it makes up for in excitement, STDs and the opportunity to experience random acts of mugging. Try www.gumtree.com or www.craigslist.com/london.

    I want: a new hobby | to be more organised | a new career | to be green
    | a life coach

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‘There’s a geeky side to learning how to be a pick-up artist and a dark side. I could write a lot about why the techniques used in "The Game" are bad. A man using a technique is not being himself, he’s lying, he’s misleading the woman, he’s using a script and he’s relying on that. And he’s also presenting a false image of himself that’s way better than the real one. These techniques are designed to manipulate and create an emotional connection. When you’re playing with someone’s emotions, you need to be a bit careful. And "The Game" advocates using the same technique on a thousand women. I would say “I like this one a bit, I love this one a lot” so I’m not going to use the same one. If I just want to sleep with a girl, I’m not going to use the same technique as if I want a girlfriend.’ ‘A lot of the guys who learn this stuff in London using online message boards, rather than my methods, generally only know men. They are weird, they have weird ideas about women and they do weird things that limit them. Instead of spending all their time learning new technquies, they should just be out meeting normal people.’ ‘Modern society isn’t helpful. I’m presented with images of women who are exceedingly beautiful. In reality, they’re not that good-looking. Most guys don’t realise that the image has been airbrushed or she’s holding her tummy in. A guy in a small town in England where there are no model agencies, much less models, compares women to magazine pictures. It’s no longer like it was in the past when the farmer’s daughter went out with the shopkeeper’s son, and they were on the same level and then there were the rich people. The job was to have a family. Now romance has become much broader in scope: I look at my relationship and I could get married, or I could go to Brazil or Latvia where the women are very, very beautiful, or find the place where the women are perfect, and where I can find the one I want.’ ‘If you’re a woman and you’re getting approached all the time with “What’s your name?”, “Where are you from?”, “Can I buy you a drink?”, something that is quirky, off the wall or silly is going to be far more effective. Boring, serious and high-pressure lines won’t work. My favourite is “do you think the rock star David Bowie is hot?” I first used it on a mother and daughter in a bar in Covent Garden, and it worked. Another one is, “Do you think this shirt makes me look gay?” ’ ‘Remember that a guy who can get you easily can get any girl easily.’ But can’t you? ‘I wouldn’t say I’m good for women. If I abused my power, a lot of girls would hate me. If a guy is a bit nervous and he approaches a woman, remember that he’s covering up his good points with a nervous-loser exterior. If he’s like that with you, he’s not going to run around with other women or cheat on you with his secretary. Don’t judge so quickly. I’m not a good boyfriend. It’s easy for me to make a women attracted to me, it’s easy for me to know what a woman wants and it’s easy for me to give it to her. It’s presenting my best possible self against my worst possible self.’If you are one of the thousands left frazzled by overspending, in-law overload and boozy rows (three of the biggest problems over Christmas), take advantage of the extra counsellors that relationship-guidance service Relate lays on in January to cope with the deluge of calls from couples at their wits’ end. It’s worth a try even if problems do seem insurmountable – 52 per cent of people who go to Relate resolve their issues. If you’re still at each others’ throats post-counselling, get yourself a decent family lawyer and make a clean break of it. The Law Society recommends phoning a few (they have a search facility for local solicitors on their site) and finding one you feel comfortable with. Fees are dependent on individual cases. Amicable splits can be wrapped up in three or four months, acrimonious ones might take up to a year and a half. On any given night in London there are more eligible men and women trying to get laid than anywhere else on the planet. Alternatives to getting drunk in a bar include… These have sprung up all over town like a rash you don’t want to show your doctor. Basically 20 or so men meet 20 or so women in a basement club. You have three minutes each to try not to talk about past failed relationships and what perversions turn you on.This is huge business and is now the country’s favourite method for meeting a life partner. More frequently, it can prove a very quick way of meeting people you would never normally associate with, and with damn good reason. Always meet in a public place. Make sure people know where you are. Don’t arrange to go out for dinner on the first date, or you risk being stuck for at least a couple of hours in dating hell. Go for a quick drink and if that goes well you can always go on to dinner. Make sure you arrange for a friend to ring you halfway through the date. If it’s going badly, say something like ‘Oh my God! I can’t believe it… That’s terrible… Don’t be silly, of course I’ll come straightaway… ’ Most magazines and papers have lonely hearts ads in them somewhere near the back, just before the prostitute sections. As with internet dating, it’s difficult to get any idea of what people are like until you’ve met them, but do make sure you understand the hidden codes. If they say they have a ‘GSOH’, they haven’t. ‘Cuddly’ usually means overweight, as does ‘well built’ and ‘medium’. There are increasing numbers of websites and classified sections devoted to NSA (no strings attached) sex. What this lacks in subtlety it makes up for in excitement, STDs and the opportunity to experience random acts of mugging.