NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - For men seeking some romance over the holidays, pickup artist Neil Strauss has some advice -- prepare well, because attracting women is not luck but an exact science.
Strauss was named the world's greatest pickup artist three years running after infiltrating a sub-culture of men known as the "seduction community" for a book "The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists" published in 2005
Now Strauss has returned in time for the holiday party season with a two-volume book, "Rules of the Game: Master the Game in 30 Days," giving wannabe pick-up artists practical guidance on how to approach and attract women.
"Really it is all about being confident and competent, being interesting and interested, and don't be desperate, needy or reaction seeking," he told Reuters.
"But all those components have a lot of pieces to them and the skill of walking up to a stranger and having them want to talk to you is tough."
Strauss, 38, based his new book on a 30-day program he delivered online to 13,000 men that aimed to get them to be able to approach a woman and get a date in 30 days. Only 2,000 finished the so-called "Stylelife Challenge" as -- rather like a diet -- many dropped out along the way.
Strauss listed the top five rules as an example.
Rule One. When you walk into a room look like you are having fun and don't look around for attractive women.
Rule Two. Have a simple question to ask people, like who sings a certain song, so you can move around the room easily.
Rule Three. Get there early because it is less intimidating and by the time people walk in you will already know people.
Rule Four. Have a place to go after the party that is fun so you can invite other people.
Rule Five. Be well groomed and have a style.
"Even if you are a huge, corpulent guy you can get a nice suit, spray tan and wear a bit of jewelry and you will look like a powerful guy. Bigness can be power, not just obesity," he said.
Strauss, who declined to give numbers to back up his title of world pick-up artist, said he saw the dating game as a social science that could benefit all kinds of men.
This could range from 30-year-old virgins, to men coming out of a long divorce or relationship with their confidence shattered, to men who never learnt to talk to women.
"I didn't used to have these skills. I was an in introverted cloud. I'm 5 foot 6 inches tall, bald with a big nose and I was insecure about the way I looked," he said.
"But I realized in this community that for better or worse I was voted the best pickup artist in the whole community. I realized it had to be about personality."
So far his research has not led to a full-time commitment.
"I'd like wedding bells to ring but I'm still looking," he said with a laugh.
(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; editing by Patricia Reaney)