The Controversial World of Pickup Artists and the Health Hazards of Mask Usage

Reg B

Hatched by Reg B

Sep 28, 2023

4 min read


The Controversial World of Pickup Artists and the Health Hazards of Mask Usage


In recent years, two seemingly unrelated topics have gained significant attention: pickup artists and the safety of wearing masks. While these subjects may not appear to have much in common, both have stirred controversial debates and raised concerns among individuals. This article will explore the history and practices of pickup artists, shed light on the potential dangers of wearing masks for extended periods, and discuss the criticisms surrounding both topics. By examining these issues, we can gain a better understanding of the societal dynamics and health risks involved.

The Rise of Pickup Artists:

The concept of pickup artistry can be traced back to at least 1970 when Eric Weber published "How to Pick Up Girls!" This guide encouraged men to meet women through the art of seduction, marking the beginning of modern pickup artist practices. However, it was Albert Ellis, a rational emotive psychotherapist, who wrote "The Art of Erotic Seduction" in 1967, preceding Weber's work. Ellis' book also provided guidance on how men could engage in successful pickups.

In the early 1990s, Ross Jeffries revolutionized the pickup artist community by introducing neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques known as "speed seduction." Jeffries' workshops and book, "How to Get the Women You Desire into Bed," garnered attention and established him as one of the pioneers in the field. Shortly after, other pickup teachers emerged, leading to the formation of a community of "seduction gurus."

The pickup artist community gained mainstream awareness with the release of the film "Magnolia" in 1999, where Tom Cruise portrayed a charismatic yet emotionally troubled pickup guru loosely based on Ross Jeffries. Journalist Neil Strauss further publicized the community with his bestselling book, "The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists," in 2005. Strauss revealed the inner workings of the pickup artist community and brought its techniques to a wider audience.

Criticism and Controversy:

While pickup artistry has attracted a significant following, it has also faced intense criticism. Feminist BDSM writer and activist Clarisse Thorn has described the PUA community as absurd, sexist, and problematic, highlighting its encouragement of adversarial gender roles. Thorn argues that understanding PUA tactics is essential because they reflect society-wide beliefs and patterns of human sexual behavior.

Other dating coaches, such as Sebastian Harris, publicly condemn the misogynistic tendencies within the pickup artist community. Furthermore, the UCLA Center for the Study of Women argues that PUA culture is inherently misogynistic and exists on a continuum of sexist behaviors, including rape and murder. These criticisms have led to ongoing debates surrounding the ethics and legitimacy of pickup artistry.

Mask Usage and Potential Health Hazards:

In a separate but equally contentious area, the safety of wearing masks has become a topic of concern. A study conducted by researchers from Jeonbuk National University in South Korea revealed that disposable medical-grade masks can release toxic volatile organic compounds (TVOCs). These chemicals were found to exceed the recommended safety limit by eight times.

TVOCs, when inhaled, have been linked to health issues such as headaches and nausea. Prolonged exposure to these compounds can even lead to organ damage and an increased risk of cancer. Surprisingly, the study also discovered that disposable masks contain up to 14 times more TVOCs than cloth masks, raising concerns about the potential dangers of prolonged mask usage.


The controversial world of pickup artists and the health hazards associated with mask usage both shed light on the complexities of societal norms and practices. While pickup artistry has faced criticism for promoting sexist and adversarial gender roles, the safety of wearing masks for extended periods has become a subject of concern due to potential exposure to toxic chemicals.

In light of these issues, it is crucial to approach pickup artistry with a critical lens and foster discussions on consent, respect, and healthy relationships. Simultaneously, individuals should consider the potential risks of extended mask usage and explore alternatives, such as using cloth masks that have been found to contain fewer TVOCs.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Educate yourself: Take the time to understand the underlying principles and beliefs behind pickup artistry. Engage in open discussions and critically analyze the ideas presented within the community.
  • 2. Promote healthy relationships: Focus on fostering respectful and consensual interactions with others. Challenge harmful gender roles and promote equality and empathy in your relationships.
  • 3. Prioritize safety: When opting to wear masks, consider using cloth masks that have been found to release fewer toxic volatile organic compounds. Regularly wash and replace your masks to ensure cleanliness and minimize potential health risks.

By addressing these topics, we can work towards a more inclusive and respectful society while prioritizing our health and well-being.

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