Neil Strauss & Britney Spears: PUA Tactics in Real Life

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "The Game" by Neil Strauss. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.

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Did Neil Strauss and Britney Spears know each other? What was the relationship between them?

Neil Strauss and Britney Spears met when Strauss interviewed her. Strauss discovered that using his PUA techniques helped Spears get more comfortable, and helped Strauss be more confident.

Neil Strauss and Britney Spears Interview

The techniques Style learned in the community were not just useful for picking up women—the principles were about how to read people and make them feel comfortable. 

As a journalist, these skills vastly improved Neil’s interviewing skills. 

Neil Strauss and Britney Spears met when he was assigned to interview her. Spears was still riding the peak of her late 1990s-early 2000s fame. 

At the beginning of Neil Strauss and Britney Spears’s conversation, Spears was giving few-word answers and hardly paying attention to the questions. Again, Neil had to use his pickup skills to build rapport. 

First, Neil had to engage her. He did some cold-reading, making fairly obvious observations that Spears took as uncannily perceptive. Then, he created a yes-ladder, a series of questions that all elicit a “yes” answer, designed to keep the other person’s attention.

Next, Neil performed a value-demonstrating routine, which was meant to make him stand out—in this case, among other journalists. For his routine, Neil explained to Spears that people’s eye movements revealed which parts of their brains were engaged. 

Finally, he wrote a number between one and 10 on a piece of paper, and he encouraged Spears to guess it. Neil had written down the number seven, because he knew people almost always chose seven—and that’s what she guessed. Spears was amazed at herself for supposedly intuiting the right number, and she was amazed at Neil for showing her this ability she possessed. 

Neil’s techniques worked, and Spears not only opened up and gave a better interview, but she also suggested that they exchange phone numbers.

Style Loses Himself

The impact that Style’s pickup expertise on his life wasn’t all positive. 

While on a trip to New York, Style met up with several old friends from college. Style’s friends hadn’t seen him since before he joined the seduction community, and they were amazed that their formerly awkward friend had transformed into a PUA.

But when the conversation shifted to other things—such as their work and interests—Style was disconnected. Style didn’t have much to add to the conversation if it wasn’t about the game, and he felt that he didn’t have anything in common with his friends anymore. His whole life had centered around seduction for the past year-and-a-half. 

As soon as Style had the chance, he sarged a woman and spent the rest of the night talking with her. When he left the bar with her, Style realized he’d neglected his friends all night.

Neil Strauss and Britney Spears weren’t close friends, but did make a connection. The conversation between Neil Strauss and Britney Spears helped Style build confidence.

Neil Strauss & Britney Spears: PUA Tactics in Real Life

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best summary of Neil Strauss's "The Game" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full The Game summary :

  • The secrets of the Pickup Artist community in seducing women
  • How key Pickup Artist leaders fought with each other and split the group apart
  • What author Neil Strauss took away about women from his years of training

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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