A pickup artist is a person who applies specialized techniques to the task of seducing, or picking up, another person. Generally, this is a heterosexual practice used by men to pick up women. It is important to note that, while being desirable and attracting women is part of a pickup artist's strategy, the main focus of this activity is actively convincing women to engage in interactions more serious than a conversation, such as sharing a meal or engaging in intercourse. Many people find this method of picking up women to be insincere or deplorable, so part of the pickup artist's strategy must be to conceal that he or she is using pre-planned techniques in order to form a connection with another person.
The strategies used by a pickup artist depend on his training and what has worked well in the past with his targets. Even though artists of this type attempt to scientifically evaluate a social interaction in order to achieve desirable results, there is a certain amount of individuality present in each interaction. Given the pickup artist's individual appearance as well as his strengths and weaknesses, very different techniques can be useful when trying to manipulate a target.
Pickup lines, routines, and persuasion techniques are all commonly used in order to gain the target's interest. These strategies have some basis in social psychology and neuro-linguistic programming, but this use of relatively coherent science is not always correct. Most of the time, a pickup artist is concerned only with results, and why the technique works is irrelevant.
Ideally, a pickup artist's techniques would work with a high percentage of women in a wide variety of situations. This is not always the case, even though many of the techniques used focus on reacting to common indicators of interest. Whether interest can actually be predicted through common physical actions is up for debate. Versatility when picking up partners can yield better results, but in some ways goes against the very regular and methodical approach of pickup artists.
There are many problems with the art of picking up partners methodically. Most people go into potential romantic relations with the basic assumption that they are not being played or otherwise manipulated and that the interaction is relatively unplanned. When a person discovers that she is being manipulated using regular techniques, this often destroys any chance at a relationship, even if the connection between the two people was on some level genuine. While the techniques used in this type of game can give the aggressor confidence, they can also sully a potential relationship.