The 5 Worst Pick-Up Artist Acronyms

This article first appeared on, but the site reorganized. Read another of my Guyism articles here.

Pick Up Artists are what happen when nerds decide to get laid but forget to stop playing videogames first.  They claim women can be reprogrammed into sex with complicated gambits which flip a set “attraction switches,”  at which point they might as well say “I roll my twenty-sided dice for sex.”  Flipping switches is how you open the secret door in Zelda, not panties, and we hereby apologize for unleashing that analogy upon this earth.

They use the phrase “neuro-linguistic programming” to cover how they think pickup lines don’t just work, but are the basis of an entire life strategy.  The self-titled “seduction community” uses more acronyms than a World of Warcraft guild during tax season. As people who can talk to outsiders without filing Field Reports (FR, and yes, that’s one of their acronyms) we went through their lists of initials to find the five stupidest.  But brace yourself: even FR, the idea of excitedly telling your internet friends about every single time you talk to a girl, didn’t come close to what’s on this list..

Note: Everything in italics is a direct quote from a PUA guide.

1.  3s 

The “three second rule” tells you everything you need to know about Pickup Artists before we even get to real letters, instructing artists to approach any woman they meet within three seconds.  “Any hesitation will give you more time to falter and come up with fear-based excuses in your mind. It also give your target time to think negatively about you.” On the surface it’s good advice – get over yourself and talk to people – but the phrasing is educational. This is for people who know that the longer a girl looks at them, the worse things will go. And “target”?  You’re taking someone whose idea of social interaction is memorizing a list of instructions from the internet, and turning them into tit-seeking Terminators lurching at anything with a womb on a shorter fuse than the average grenade?

2.  AFC  

For many the AFC is the American Football Conference.  For others it’s the Ambassadors For Christ in Canada.  Then there are the pickup artists – who get less action than either – for whom it’s “Average Frustrated Chump.”  Again, their definition of the average man as a sex-starved idiot says more about the definer than the defined. It’s their instant insult for non-PUAs, us idiots who don’t believe in a secret psychic cheat code to unlock blowjobs.  If you’re going to call us dumbasses with a three letter code phrase you had damn well better be a Tom Clancy character, not someone who pays for internet sex tips from this:


3.  GM Style

GM stands for “Grandmaster”, which either means an extraordinarily skilled martial artist or a dungeon master who wants to run his orc campaign above ground.  Before you decide which, here’s the most famous PUA:


That’s the face of Pick Up Artistry, the best they had to offer.  Worse, “GM Style” is to be a relentlessly offensive asshole who won’t take no for an answer, described as “Think Pepé Le Pew but more vulgar and non-stop.” Since Pepé was a rapist skunk we’re going to have to recommend against that.  And warn you that the entire PUA thing may have been invented by one guy trying to score by making  every other man in the world look worse.

4.  HB 

Hot Babe.  We’re not kidding. They not only use the phrase “Hot Babe”, they use it so often and so seriously they needed an acronym.  Turning a “Hot Babe” into an alphanumeric code  could only get further from  sex by adding numbers and sub-classes – which they do!  A target is only a HB if it scores 7-9 on their exclusive 10-point scale (why yes, they do argue about how that’s rated online), while a 10 ranks as an SHB, or Super HB.  You know things are going badly when you want to discuss women and end up talking about Kryptonian pencils.


5. Neg

Not actually an acronym, but you can’t discuss PUAs without mentioning negs. To “neg” is to insult a woman, grin, and wait for her to suck you off.  The original idea of “Hey, maybe if you stop calling anything with breasts a princess and begging her to touch you” has some merit, but when you start throwing around sentences like “No more than 2 negs on an average HB (7-9/7-9), a maximum of 3 on a super HB (10/10)” you wight as well sell your sex organs to science.

Neg hits, or more commonly negs (short for “negative hits”), are quick, sometimes humorous remarks used by PUAs to get past the bitch shield of hot women.

A drunk flasher on a psychologist’s couch doesn’t reveal so much.  These guys don’t just subscribe to the whining of “nice guys finish last”, they publish the magazine of  “all women are bitches” collect it in leather-bound idiot volumes of “only assholes get the girl”. They’ve internalized more poison than someone taste-testing batteries, and are even less fun to kiss.

More Guyism with The Worst Legal Defenses Ever Attempted, more admirable men with The Most Manly Names In Use Right Now, or more online assholery in Adventures Of Internet White Guy Commenting On Equality.

3 thoughts on “The 5 Worst Pick-Up Artist Acronyms

  1. Knowing basically nothing about the PUA “scene”, I ran into a PUA’s channel on YouTube. I was disgusted to find that this man’s technique involves running the same dishonest conversational snares past each younger-than-he-is female, then complaining that some women (er., bitches) don’t respond as he thinks they should. This sordid rigamarole is accomplished in a public place, with a hidden camera recording the whole exercise for later posting on YouTube.

    It seems to me that secretly filming the prey animals (as he seems to regard any female of reproductive age) is very dirty hunting. I would like to find a way to make the public see that this is happening, and hopefully stop it, or at least make it a known disgrace.

    What do you think?

    • Pointing out how PUA “techniques” are basically beginner sexual assault training is one of my standard practices. And depending on where you are, filming people without their consent can be various levels of illegal.

      • Is there any organized opposition to the practices of these budding psychopaths with their PUA “community” of criminals?

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