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Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser: Long Interviews with Hideous Men [Kindle Edition]

Clarisse Thorn , Beautiful Disasters Photography
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Book Description

There's a huge subculture of men who trade tips, tricks, and tactics for seducing women. Within the last ten years, these underground "pickup artists" have burst into the popular consciousness, aided by Neil Strauss’s bestselling book "The Game" and VH1’s hit reality show "The Pick-Up Artist."

Some men in the seduction community are sleazy misogynists who want nothing more than power and control. Some are shy wallflowers who don't know how to say hi to a girl. The one thing they all have in common is a driving need to attract women.

Clarisse Thorn, a feminist S&M writer and activist, spent years researching these guys. She observed their discussions, watched them in action, and learned their strategies. By the end of it all, she'd given a lecture at a seduction convention and decided against becoming the next great dating coach. In "Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser," Clarisse tells the story of her time among these Casanovas, as well as her own unorthodox experiences with sex and relationships. She examines the conflicts and harmonies of feminism, pickup artistry, and the S&M community. Most of all, she deconstructs and reconstructs our views on sex, love, and ethics — and develops her own grand theory of the game.

* * *


Clarisse Thorn is a sex-positive educator who has delivered sexuality workshops and lectures to a variety of audiences, including museums and universities across the USA. In 2009, she created and curated the ongoing Sex+++ sex-positive documentary film series at Chicago’s historic feminist site, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. She has also volunteered as an archivist, curator and fundraiser for that venerable S&M institution, the Leather Archives & Museum. Clarisse's writing has appeared across the Internet in places like The Guardian, AlterNet, Feministe, Jezebel, The Good Men Project, Role/Reboot, and Time Out Chicago.

Find Clarisse's blog at, or follow her on Twitter @ClarisseThorn.

Cover image copyright 2005 Beautiful Disasters Photography.

Product Details

  • File Size: 585 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1475098685
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007I5HRQU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,686 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
For a couple of years now, Clarisse Thorn has been interviewing and hanging out with the community of pick-up artists, a community she finds fascinating and... well, from a feminist perspective, sort of problematic, too.

Clarisse dissects the pick-up artist movement in a way that's easy and intuitive to read for people who aren't familiar with it, and does a good job of balancing insightful feminist critique with generosity toward her interview subjects. Readers will probably have different reactions to that balance-I fully expect this is a book which some PUAs will call irredeemably vicious and some feminists will find frustrating for its light hand. I come down somewhat more grouchy and skeptical than Clarisse Thorn does in the narrative, but I don't think that's a barrier to reading the text; in fact, I think Clarisse's generosity makes the analysis much more interesting than it would otherwise be since it creates subtle, highly finessed arguments.

Clarisse's analysis is as interesting, easy-to-follow and well-laid, but the most compelling thing in this book is not the analysis itself but the way in which Clarisse uses memoir to supplement her analysis. Clarisse is a brilliant sex writer with what appears to be (on the page, at least) an unflinching ability to reveal herself through writing. That talent is highlighted here as Clarisse fleshes out scenes that create a parallel emotional and intellectual journey, allowing the reader to travel with her through the insights and frustration of her time on the fringes of the pick-up artist community.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some Gems of Insight, But Too Bloated January 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Clarisse Thorn takes us for a ride within the Pickup Artist (PUA) community (alternatively called the "Seducation Community"), analyzing PUA techniques with a feminist S&M lens.

Here is the good bits first:

Clarisse has a very unique way of analzying PUA tactics, using not only feminist theory but practices within the S&M community. That was an unexpected treat, since I was unfamiliar with Clarisse's writing prior to reading the book. I particularly liked her take on the famous freeze-out technique.

She has an easy-to-read, engaging and personal writing style that many reader will enjoy. Since Clarisse used her own love life as a parallel for the PUA community, you feel like you get to know the woman behind the name.

But here's the bad:

At times, Clarisse's writing can get a bit repetitive, especially towards the end. That was a shame since it overshadowed some of the great insights that she had. For example, at the end of every chapter, Clarisse adds a tl;dr section, which not only unnecessarily beefs up the page count, but is a bit patronizing to the reader.

When I started the book, I had expected a rigorous analysis of PUA techniques from a feminist perspective. There was some of that, but there was a lot of discussion aobut Clarisse's love life and friends that seemed superflous at best, self-centered at worst. It got so bad at somem points that I skimmed ahead to the stuff that I came for: PUA tactics. Even at the end, it's not clear why Clarrise decided to focus so much on her love life in a book about PUAs.

Also, this book needs a better editor. Not only was it bloated, but the author uses terminology that is simply incorrect. For example, "USA men and women" should be "American men and women.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book because I used to be in the Pickup Community and I was curious what a woman would have to say about it. The Community can help guys with social anxiety improve their ability to meet and interact with attractive women (that is what got me involved). Unfortunately there are a couple of downsides in pickup as well. One is that it can encourage guys to be robotic and scripted: geeks with techniques. Another more serious issue is the misogyny espoused and practiced by some of the PUA gurus.

Thorn does a good job of sharing the good, the bad and the (sometimes very) ugly of the pickup world. She fully immersed herself to the point of not only interviewing some of the key players but actually engaging with them in the field as they practiced their craft. Although Thorn is frank is saying she comes from a feminist perspective, she is scrupulously fair in her characterization of the individuals in this subculture. She gives full credit to the teachers who help their students gain confidence with women through an understanding of social dynamics (picture an IT engineer who just doesn't "get" women or how to relate to them). On the other hand, Thorn creates a vivid picture of misogynistic gurus and their practice of using psychological pressure to try to get a woman to submit to sex when they have last minute resistance.

Overall this was both a good read and an informative look at a community that most people only know from seeing Mystery's VH1 series "The Pickup Artist".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Dan
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a really interesting book. I had read a excerpt somewhere on the internet and was intrigued. How would a woman who could be so dominant react to silly routines and lines that "PUA"s tried on her? How did their attempts at picking her up interact with her feminist ideals and conecpts of manliness? Then throw in some interesting BDSM and intense romantic relationships and you have this book. It's a MUST read for anyone who is interested in the topic of dating.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Clarisse does a great job of having an entertaining story, coupled with lots of insightful nuggets regarding pick up artists, feminism, S&M, and all sort of other topics closely... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Benjamin Armistead
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend it highly
This was a highly interesting book. It was well written and was an interesting combination of the author's observations on both the PUA and BDSM communities, and her assessment of... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jacob M Majikes
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightfull
The book provides a very honest and intelligent view of the "seduction community" and tackles the problems from the changing gender roles in contemporary society. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Pedro Ivo de Souza
5.0 out of 5 stars Educational and introspective
Looking at the pickup artist community through the lens of a feminist and S&M perspective is as awesome as it sounds, since you get to learn a lot about all three topics over the... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Kyle C. Evans
3.0 out of 5 stars Can't get into it
Clarisse is a great writer. But I just couldn't get into it. I tried. I also tried to read Neil Strauss's "The Game" but it just made me feel so horrible sorry for the... Read more
Published 22 months ago by DancerNinja
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not very helpful
The book is ok. You will not learn much about how to pick up women. So don't buy the book hoping to learn about that.
Published 23 months ago by Picky Buyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Come for the PUA stories, stay for the critique on gender...
I originally picked up this book because I saw a few episodes of The Pickup Artist and I just couldn't help but wonder why people would do such a thing. Read more
Published on January 15, 2013 by Adaya Adler
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, hot and feminist
This book reads like a novel.

Despite the solid feminist analysis (and OH! it IS solid) I found myself equally enthralled by the story of the author finding her way... Read more
Published on January 15, 2013 by ESBaller
2.0 out of 5 stars Book worm...
This book has lots of useful insights. I have found it hard going to read but hope to finish it one day...
Published on December 29, 2012 by Irene Agosti
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful!
Clarisse Thorn's "Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser" has clearly never seen the desk of a proper editor. Read more
Published on November 13, 2012 by Anonymous
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More About the Author

Clarisse Thorn writes and speaks about sex, gender, new media, and communities. Her writing has appeared across the Internet in places like The Guardian, AlterNet, Feministe, Jezebel, Ms. Media, The Good Men Project, The Rumpus, Role/Reboot, and Time Out. She has delivered lectures across the USA, from museums to universities to SXSW-interactive.

In 2009, Clarisse created and curated the four-year-long Sex+++ documentary film series at Chicago's historic feminist site, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. In 2010, she returned to the USA after working on HIV mitigation in southern Africa. She has also volunteered as an archivist, curator and fundraiser for that venerable S&M institution, the Leather Archives & Museum. Clarisse spends most of her time in San Francisco and Chicago.

Find Clarisse's blog at, or follow her on Twitter @ClarisseThorn.

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