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Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser: Long Interviews with Hideous Men Paperback – March 26, 2012

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Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser: Long Interviews with Hideous Men + The S&M Feminist: Best Of Clarisse Thorn + Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475098685
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475098686
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

This book reads like a novel.
In other words, there is something for everybody in here... jump in, the waters fine!
The GOOD * Her writing is INCREDIBLE.
Sam Greenberg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 12, 2012
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 By Kristina H on 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 By Ron Tennis on April 7, 2013
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 ESBaller on January 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
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 through this complicated and sometimes disturbing sub-culture. The stories of her sexual adventures are hot, but never gratuitous. I turned the pages so fast I hardly noticed the academic slant of the book.

In terms of analysis -- Thorn does not fall victim to the stereotypical feminist pitfalls. Most notably, she spends as much time praising the positive aspects of Pick Up Artist (PUA) culture as she does critiquing it's flaws. I picked up the book expecting to despise PUAs -- but Thorn's nuanced approach to her research makes it impossible to sum-up my feelings in one word. 'Confessions' left me more enlightened than embittered, more curious than angry.

I think this book deserves a spot in the feminist canon, and on your shelf. LOVED IT!
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