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Cock Block.

Cock Block.

How To Spot A Quote-Unquote Professional Pick-Up Artist On The Prowl.

By Cory on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 12:10 PM

It's around 8 p.m. on a Friday night in North Dallas. But Triumvirate isn't getting ready to go out. Not just yet anyway. Neither are his cohorts, guys who refer to themselves with such ridiculous names as Morpheo, Tango and Voyager.

Before hitting the town with their military-like handles on so-called "sarging" missions to strategically pursue intercourse, they meet in the back rooms of places like Spring Creek BBQ to talk shop, give each other advice, discuss new tactics, share field reports on nearby bars and secure one another as their wingman for the night.

These men are part of the local seduction community, a semi-covert network of single men who prefer to call themselves pick-up artists (or PUAs for short), and they can be found in bars all over the Metroplex on a nightly basis, systematically searching for women to approach.

This is not a recent phenomenon by any stretch.

Ross Jeffries, the so-called father of modern seduction, has been spreading his methods for nearly 20 years. He is perhaps most famous for coining the term "sarging," a phrase meant to invoke the cat-like exploration and playfulness his pet cat Sarge had with his environment. It's a mindset he believes all men should embrace when on the prowl for hookups. It should be noted at this point that Sarge the cat is said to have since contracted feline AIDS.

But for all these men's practice with approaching and running "sets" on women in bars, even the PUA with the most sharply honed skills can be spotted and thwarted once one knows what signs to watch for.

Because, listen, guys who refer to books like Marcus Meleton's Nice Guys Don't Get Laid, Lew Burke's Dog Training, and Robin Baker's Sperm Wars as their bibles deserved to be cock-blocked just a little.

We recently sat in on one of these closed-door PUA meetings, in which the aforementioned Triumvirate gave us tips on how to pick up women and how to prepare your place for when you bring them home.

Aside from making us ashamed of our sex -- seems that the longer each guy has been involved with PUA, the bigger the misogynist and/or sexist he admits to being (somewhat to his credit, Triumvirate frequently refers to himself as an asshole) -- we did pick up a few tips. Like what our female friends should keep an eye out for if they want to avoid jerks like these.

One of the most widely-known methods, even to the non-PUA savvy crowd, is the practice of "peacocking." This technique calls for wearing some outlandish bit of clothing, or carrying around some sort of outrageous accessory. For instance Mystery, who hosted the VH1 series The Pick-up Artist, often sports a ridiculously oversized fuzzy top hat. The theory is that an accessory like this not only makes one stand out, but gives women an obvious thing to comment on if she's interested in starting conversation.

In Dallas, the peacocking items we heard discussed were more subtle, but no less obvious. For instance, Triumvirate suggested everyone at his meeting start wearing pinky rings at all times. We were also advised to have a fascinating tale at the ready on how we acquired the jewelry -- perhaps during one of our alluring vacations around the globe. Another guy who had been coming to these meetings for what sounded like years took things a step farther: He wore a thumb ring as well, leading us to the conclusion that the more rings a guy is wearing simultaneously, the faster a woman should run.

Much of the rest of the meeting centered on preparing our cars and residences for a female presence. The longer we practice the PUA methods, Triumvirate promised, the less attractive we would have to be to score an HB (read: hot babe). Until then, we were advised to cut out those late night trips to the Taco C on the way home from the bar, and instead encouraged to keep a bag of fresh fruit in the car so as to cut down on the temptation. Honestly, most single dudes we know have enough trouble getting in their daily serving of fruit at home. But, alas, if you reach into a guy's glove box and an apple falls out, you should probably begin preparing your escape.

Another thing to keep an eye out for is that guy that is just a little too prepared. Have you ever encountered that guy that ready for absolutely every situation, no matter how unforeseen? Not even the most loyal boy scout would have thought to pack a swimsuit in his trunk before he left the house this morning, but Triumvirate suggests this very thing for his clients. Hey, you never know when a girl's going to have a hot tub at her place! Or so goes the logic here.

On a similar front, Triumvirate also advised us to keep our homes ready for guests -- meaning that we should have snacks in the fridge, plenty of booze on hand and no dirty underwear on the floor. His biggest point of emphasis was cleanliness of the bathroom -- or as he saw it, an unwritten test all ladies give prospective partners before deciding if he's worthy to sleep with. In his experience, a lady will go from in-the-mood to in-her-car-and-headed-home the minute she spots the first hint of a soap ring in the tub.

Most single guys we know do, in fact, own a toilet brush. But rarely have we ever actually seen one in use. Point being? If a guy tells you he "never does this" (meaning he never takes women back to his place after a first date), and there's not a single pube to be found anywhere in his bathroom, chances are he was expecting you (or someone as susceptible to his moves as you ended up being) to wind up there.

Our advice if a bathroom looks a little too clean? Since you're in the bathroom anyway, linger just a bit too long in there and, if you're feeling up to it, make some gnarly vomiting noises. Trust us, he'll believe you when you come out and say you "just need to pass out."

These warning signs, of course, just mark the tip of the proverbial iceberg here. The PUA culture has evolved into a complex network of message boards, literature and social groups constantly developing new routines and methods of faux psychology to coerce the opposite sex into bed. We've admittedly only barely scratched the surface here on what to look out for.

Really, the only surefire way to avoid a pick-up artist in his tracks is to stay off his turf. In Dallas, that means keeping to places like Deep Ellum, where even the most seasoned veterans like Triumvirate fear to tread. When we told him -- undercover, of course, as a fellow PUA of his --- that Deep Ellum is where we tend to "sarge," he seemed completely baffled.

"How do you guys deal with those art chicks?" he asked, flabbergasted.

Those tattooed, artsy chicks, he bemoaned, are just way too flaky. He's never had any luck with them.

Or any girl with any semblance of self-esteem, we imagine.

So and Sos.