Guest Post: What Do Pickup Artists Tell Us About Dating?

I’m thrilled to welcome Wang Jia (who you might remember from his AMWF TEDx speech) back to the blog with a post exploring the world of Pickup Artists (PUA).

Do you have something you’d like to see featured on Speaking of China? Check out the submit a post page and then contact me today with your ideas or draft post.

Pick-up artists (PUA) present one of the most controversial issues in the modern dating world. According to Wikipedia, PUA is the seduction community and their goal is to achieve sexual success with women. In the past 10 years, due to the success of the book “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists”, PUA has grown from some thousands of geeks exchanging pickup lines to a multi-million dollar industry.feature Wingmen_1575.indd

While many feel appalled at PUA, I think it provides a unique angle to look at the modern romantic relationship. Though not a PUA myself, I have come across many of them while preparing my previous TEDx speech. [] Some are very helpful to provide me an inside look into the dating world. And I think their argument/explanations are in general sensible and well grounded. Some PUAs are even interviewed by Jocelyn to provide advice for Asian men. [JT Tran interview:]

So why do we have polarized impressions/opinions against PUA?

Though much PUA stuff is self-help and aiming at improving men’s life style, the ultimate goal of PUA is predominantly sex – to have as many “lays” as possible (in PUA language). For many women that is a real turn-off. It seems that many women believe PUAs often play tricks to achieve short-term benefit of having sex.

I see that men’s impression of PUA differs a lot from women. Men often feel that they have some kind of privilege when they are able to have sex with many women. I am no exception. For a period of time, I secretly admired those who can easily find sexual partners, and I was very insecure due to the lack of success. PUA comes in to help. But is that the best way? Has the Western culture set many desperate men to that route?

Are PUAs happier than average men?

Arguably PUA is mainly for those who believe “more women = better life”. As many things in life: the quality is more important than quantity.

Nearly all PUA gurus have sex addiction. They especially enjoy the variety of sexual choices, but they cannot sustain a long term monogamous relationship. Getting married is the end of their life style – a great example is the author of the book “The Game” Neil Strauss, who basically announced GAME OVER when he finally got out of a lot of trouble and married. I think top PUAs are basically different human beings than average men like me. I was always looking for that special one person, and I am very happy to keep her in my life. Some men thought that PUA life style is the happy world. They end up in a deeper trouble.

But to be fair, compared to those men with zero access to sex, PUAs are certainly happier.

Is it true that those people who practiced PUA significantly changed their dating lives?

Some men certainly did, but only those who are disciplined and keep trying for an extended period of time. At the beginning it’s not fun. PUA is like many other skills or professions: theory is not hard to find – still no results without practice. If you are only looking for a shortcut to solve your problems you will be disappointed.

Does PUA prove that we all make irrational decisions constantly in dating?

We are emotional creatures, and we don’t make many relationship decisions based on logical thinking. Is that the fundamental reason why women can be manipulated? Mmm, that’s a good Ph.D. topic for social psychologists. (I reserve it for my next life. One Ph.D. title is enough J) Well, many PUAs do claim that their methods have a neuro-psychological foundation. I don’t think scientific research is that far yet.

Should I believe that PUA can make me a dating master in a short time?

As I mentioned, I don’t believe there is the quick and easy shortcut. Even though 90% PUA sites try to sell you a shortcut/trick/secret. I believe that the right PUA method does give men a workable system to improve. It is A method, not THE method. There are already honesty-based methods immerging. (Ironically, developed partially by ex-PUAs.) And I believe that’s the better direction to help men. Search for names like Mark Manson, Johnny Berba, Johnny Soporno, Nick Sparks.

Would I recommend PUA methods to Asian men?

It depends. If you are fully aware of the potential negativity of PUA, by all means, try it. If you are disadvantaged in some parts of the world due to lack of understanding how dating works, PUA has a lot of good explanations on Western dating processes. But, (a big BUT) I would rather recommend to focus on self-improvement: communication skills, confidence, healthy life style, purpose in life, understanding yourself, etc. – in another word, those things that are bigger than just sex. Many ex-PUAs find that period of life more of a stepping stone to something more meaningful.

PUA methods come from real world experiences and they give good examples of how practice + feedback can take you to another level. This method is similar as in many scientific fields. I explained this in my recent TEDx speech “ Chemistry of Relationships”. []

(This TEDx speech is not about PUA. But my next TEDx is coming. And my plan is to bring up the PUA topic.)


There is often no yes-or-no answer. The existence of PUA has deep-rooted reasons in human society. Many questions remain. How do you think PUA will impact our dating world in the future? Have you met a PUA? Please give your opinion here. I am interested to hear! Questions are welcome. I am happy to comment. And it may help me to prepare my speech. But keep in mind, I am just an amateur PUA expert.

Wang Jia delivered a TEDx speech on AMWF: Western Women, Eastern Men ( He also blogs about the chemistry of relationships at

Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

Interview with JT Tran & Alice about New E-Book “Online Dating For Asian Men”

It’s true — online dating is unfair to Asian men.

But try telling that to the high-powered exec in Shanghai who e-mailed me a few months back, saying he didn’t have time for anything else but finding women on the Internet. Some guys are busy and online dating — even if it is racist — is better than nothing.

Or does it have to be that way?

What if Asian men could improve the online dating odds? What if there was a way for them to achieve results that could match or surpass those of white men?

That’s what JT Tran (aka “The Asian Playboy”) and Alice Zindagi of ABCs of Attraction are promising in their new e-book Online Dating For Asian Men: The Scientific Method to Dating Girls Faster, Easier and With Less Rejection.


I sat down with JT and Alice to learn more about their e-book, from why they’re calling it “revolutionary” to some of the online dating tips they’ve uncovered. (Disclosure: JT Tran is one of the advertisers on my site.)


You’ve called your online dating experiment “revolutionary” when it comes to online dating. How is it revolutionary?

ALICE: Our experiment is revolutionary because the dating world almost always fails to acknowledge the difficulties of dating for minority communities, especially Asian men. Everyone knows that dating when you’re a tall, handsome white guy who looks like a carbon copy of Channing Tatum or Bradley Cooper is basically playing the game on easy mode and that being short or different is practically an online death sentence. But the majority in America have grown up with white privilege and they don’t realize that having a different race requires a different approach, especially when the media emasculates Asian men. You can see the direct result in every online dating study ever done that shows Asian men are universally the least responded and contacted group of men out there. OK Cupid did a study that showed AMs receive a lowly 22% response rate with Asian women responding even LOWER to Asian men than they did to other races. There are numerous products and services out there designed to help men improve their online dating game, but Asian men have been almost entirely left out of that equation. Until now that is.

JT: I’ve actually always avoided online dating and discouraged all my clients to stay away from it as well. Online dating was so slanted against Asian men that I felt that it was completely pointless to even try. It’s far easier and more enjoyable to meet real women in real life. However, I would get literally hundreds of emails every year from my fans who desperately wanted internet dating help. I resisted until Alice showed me the pet project that she had started on. And from there it exploded into the monstrous research project that you see before you: over 3000 messages sent, over 60 profile pictures tested, and a dozen profile descriptions written. We finally cracked the code and were able to achieve results that not only matched Caucasian male response rates, but also in some cases, SURPASSED THEM. If you had asked me if it was possible for AMs to completely conquer online dating and beat every guy out there, I would have said that was impossible. But not now.

Where did you get the idea for this online dating experiment?

ALICE: The idea initially surfaced when the Creepy White Guys tumblr made the rounds on Facebook in 2013. It’s basically a collection of screenshots from some of the creepiest white men with yellow female fever. I wanted to see if I could provoke the same results, so I created my own set of profiles but I didn’t encounter any racism until I made specific mention of having an Asian male preference. What was more interesting than the racist creeps, however, was the fact that Asian men were nonexistent in the absence of an Asian preference, but they flooded the inbox when they discovered a girl with a stated preference for Asian men. It was then that I realized this could potentially be a problem for Asian men in online dating if the only women they were contacting were Asian women and the rare non-Asian woman with a stated preference for AMs.

JT: All credit goes to Alice. Once she showed me what she had started, I gave her carte blanche to crack the internet dating code. I directed her to a perform a series of experiments using control profiles (White Males) and Asian profiles (one of them being mine). We also experimented with attractiveness level (Athletic, Average, Nerdy) and 9 types of openers. After a while, it took on a life of its own and became this massive undertaking. I was not only surprised with some of the data we were getting, but also really excited that some of the results were bearing fruit and showing me that internet dating for Asian men was not hopeless at all.

Alice of ABCs of Attraction.
Alice Zindagi of ABCs of Attraction.

Could you share with us some of your results? What surprised you the most?

ALICE: In general, the global response rates (that is, the averages from every kind of opener we tested combined into one number) were higher for white profiles than for equivalent Asian profiles. We expected this. But what we found to be interesting was that profiles of men who bordered on being nerdy or even fobby did better than profiles of average men. When we took the fobby men and cleaned them up with better haircuts, styling, and poses, their results were actually lower. These results indicate that, at least now, being a bit nerdy can be an advantage, which is a huge godsend for a chunk of the Asian male population. With the increasing acceptance of many elements of typically nerdy or fobby subculture and fashion, such as gaming and even heavy glasses, this is less surprising.

JT: A great many things surprised me. There were certain things I had assumed would make for a better online dating experience. For example, the most successful type of pictures wasn’t what I had originally thought: that of a well-dressed man in his profile picture or being surrounded by women. Neither scored very well. Or the type of openers (i.e. email conversation starters) that worked the best also surprised me. Using my own profile, I could at best only achieve a 30% success rate (equal to a white male). But when combined with the most optimized picture, optimized profile, and optimized email opener, I got a 40% response rate! Almost 200% more than the average 22% that Asian men get. When combined with the success rate of asking her out and getting her number (date template of which is included in the book), I could realistically GET A DATE EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR A WEEK by only working at it for an hour.

Can you give us a preview of one or two pieces of advice you’re offering men?

ALICE: Don’t try too hard to be sexy. It’s true that men who are classically handsome are going to have better results than men who aren’t. If you look like Takuya Kimura, you’ll get better results than William Hung. That’s just the way the genetic lottery is played and there isn’t much you can do about it. While you should make an effort to change the things you can, like your hair or fashion, when you try too hard you can often forget to be you and might lose some of the charm or quirks that draw women to you. If you’re not classically attractive, it’s not profitable to focus too much on your looks. That’s why it’s better to emphasize how interesting you are and give girls a different perspective. A picture of you rock climbing, dominating a basketball court, or wrestling a grizzly bear speaks more volumes than a bathroom selfie showcasing your $200 KPop haircut.

JT: Don’t try to have extended conversations online. I discovered that once a woman started to respond to my emails, I could easily get her number within about 3 emails and setup a date. Anything more than that risked getting lost in the friend zone or, even worse, risked you getting Catfished (a scam artist who intentionally targets Asian men because of our reputation for spoiling women). Any real emotional and romantic connection will come from when you go on your first date with her. It’s a lot easier than you think to ask for her phone number and go on the first date.

JT Tran (aka "The Asian Playboy") of ABCs of Attraction.
JT Tran (aka “The Asian Playboy”) of ABCs of Attraction.

Many of the men who read my blog are not native English speakers and therefore when they write to women online, their English isn’t going to be perfect. How much do you think that matters to women in online dating?

ALICE: Proper English is only important to a certain degree. If your grammar and vocabulary are so bad that you have to use Google Translate to construct a sentence in English because you don’t actually speak it, then you might have a problem and I would recommend taking a break from online dating to pursue an English class. But there’s nothing wrong with not typing perfectly. If anything, some girls can be intimidated by perfectly written English. It can make you look like you’re trying too hard and can put the pressure on her to match your perfection. Errors and mistakes are fun. People like emoticons. People don’t waste time with perfect punctuation if it’s not an essay for school. You have too much time on your hands if you do. As long as a girl can understand what you write, she’s not going to care if it’s written perfectly.

JT: This is why I think meeting people in person is so much better for Asian men because you can communicate with someone using just your body. About 33% of my clients are ESL so I’m not going to teach them useless verbal routines in order to hold a conversation with a girl. Instead, he can communicate with her using his body and subcommunication. Having said that, however, there are templates in Online Dating For Asian Men: The Scientific Method to Dating Girls Faster, Easier and With Less Rejection that they can use. There are screenshots and even transcripts of conversations that go from initial contact to getting her number that anyone can use regardless of their English skill level.

Where can people buy a copy of your e-book?

JT: They can pick up a copy right here online.


Thanks so much to JT and Alice for this interview about Online Dating For Asian Men: The Scientific Method to Dating Girls Faster, Easier and With Less RejectionTo learn more about their work, visit the ABCs of Attraction website.

Ask the Yangxifu: Rec’d Websites/Links With Dating Advice for Chinese-Western Couples

“You should check out this website.” That’s what I’ve been telling a number of readers who send me Ask the Yangxifu questions — I refer them to some of the fantastic sites that I follow and admire. So I thought, maybe it’s time to do a brief post and spotlight some of my favorites?

Western Wives, Chinese Husbands. I’ve dubbed this article, which I compiled together with the generous help of three other yangxifu (including Melanie Gao and Jessica Larson-Wang), “everything you wanted to know about dating Chinese men but were afraid to ask.” Whenever I hear from a woman new to the dating scene in China looking for comprehensive advice, I always send this along.

The Love Life of an Asian Guy. Ranier Maningding dishes out some of the funniest advice around, and speaks to both Asian men and the non-Asian women who love them.

My New Chinese Love. Whether you’re a Western woman dating Chinese men or a Western man dating Chinese women, you’ll find friendly advice from Jeff Cappleman and his Chinese wife that covers everything from courtship to weddings.

Middle Kingdom Life’s Guide to Dating Chinese Women. For the Western men dating Chinese women, I often send them straight to this incredibly comprehensive guide.

Candle for Love. This forum was created to help Americans bring their Chinese loved ones over to the US (and navigate the whole visa process). But it’s also a good sounding board for anyone grappling with cultural conundrums in their relationships — especially Western men dating Chinese women.

Asian Man White Woman Magazine. Founded by JT Tran, the Asian Playboy, this magazine bills itself as the lifestyle and dating site for AMWF relationships — and offers advice written by JT and white female bloggers. I also interviewed JT, and I frequently send this interview to Chinese men seeking advice on dating Western women. (Disclosure: I’ve written for his site, and JT is one of my advertisers).

What sites or articles would you recommend? Sound off in the comments!


Saluting Blogs Written By Asian Men

(Screenshot from

Since it’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month here in the US, I didn’t want to miss this chance to give a shout out to blogs I follow and link to written by Asian men. Since this is by no means an exhaustive list — and I’m always looking for more great reads — please comment in on your favorites so I can add them to my reader! Continue reading “Saluting Blogs Written By Asian Men”

Ask the Yangxifu: Chinese Boyfriend Seems Too Chinese To Western Girlfriend

A worried Chinese man
When a Western woman tells her Chinese boyfriend he's "too Chinese," he wonders -- is "too Chinese" unattractive to Western women?

Seborga asks;

my fiance has been together with me for 4 years. she always mentioning that it won’t be possible for her to be together with me if I were too Chinese. Since I have been overseas for 13 years since I was 16, she thinks I have the same wave length of thinking as her. I had few western gfs, and most of them taking “Chineseness” as something very negative. So does that mean thinking and behaving as a total chinese is very unatttractive in the eyes of mainstream western women? Continue reading “Ask the Yangxifu: Chinese Boyfriend Seems Too Chinese To Western Girlfriend”

Ask the Yangxifu: Chinese (and Asian) Interracial Wedding Dos and Don’ts

kissing my Chinese husband at our Chinese wedding
Tip #7 on my list? Have fun -- or, in our case, steal a kiss at your Chinese wedding. 😉

For those of you with a Chinese wedding in the works for the new year, this article — titled 7 Interracial Wedding Dos and Don’t for Your Asian Groom — is for you.

Published in the AMWW Magazine, this article, written with the Chinese/Asian men out there in mind, covers what you should keep in mind before you say “I do” to your lovely bride. Here’s an excerpt:

Once my Chinese boyfriend and I became engaged after a long courtship, visions of an interracial Asian wedding in his whitewashed, bucolic country home in China danced through my head. I longed to experience a traditional, intimate Asian wedding, just like his mother and grandmother had done years before. But with a personal twist — a Buddhist vegetarian banquet, prepared by a chef from one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in Shanghai.

Little did I know, I would end up having a big, fat Asian wedding banquet in an urban hotel in China, with more than 200 guests and a menu of carnivorous delights, including a turtle standing on all four legs.

While this isn’t the usual Q&A I feature on regular Fridays, it does provide a lot of answers to any interracial or cross-cultural couple planning a Chinese wedding. To learn more, read the full article at AMWW Magazine.

P.S.: The Q&A will be back next week, promise. In the meantime, keep those questions coming in, and, as always, thanks for your support. 🙂


Do you have a question about life, dating, marriage and family in China/Chinese culture (or Western culture)? Every Friday, I answer questions on my blog. Send me your question today.

Ask the Yangxifu: Dating Advice for Chinese Men from JT Tran, the Asian Playboy

JT Tran, the Asian Playboy
In this exclusive interview with Speaking of China, JT Tran offers dating advice for Chinese men on everything from sexuality and confidence to personality and approaching women.

In lieu of the usual Q&A, this week I’m featuring an interview with JT Tran, the number one Asian Dating Coach for Asian men.

JT has been featured on ABC, Chicago TV, VH1’s The Pick Up Artist, Asian Week, D Magazine, Nichi Bei Times, Entrepreneur, Harvard, Rutgers, Wellesley, to name a few. He offers hands-on coaching through his bootcamp seminars with the ABCs of Attraction. And, just recently, he launched the AMWW (Asian Men & White Women) Magazine to provide dating advice for Asian men in every stage of the relationship (in full disclosure, I’ll be writing for the magazine starting this January). Regular readers may also remember I reviewed his free audio dating CD and eBook in December (which are still available for download).

I talked with JT about a variety of subjects, from sexuality and building confidence to having personality and just approaching women. I’m confident you’ll find the conversation as enlightening and enjoyable as I did.

Since this is a monster of an interview, I’ve broken it down into topics, so you can click your way through to the information you want to know most:

Continue reading “Ask the Yangxifu: Dating Advice for Chinese Men from JT Tran, the Asian Playboy”

Ask the Yangxifu: Review of Exposing the Myth Behind Why Asian Men Can’t Date White Women

Chinese husband, Western wife, singing karaoke
My review of the CD "Exposing The Myth Behind Why Asian Men Can't Date White Women" (and the accompanying e-Book)

This week, I’m pre-empting the usual Q&A, to give you a review of the free audio dating CD, “Exposing the Myth Behind Why Asian Men Can’t Date Western Women,” and free e-book, “Enter the Pickup Artist Preview,” by JT Tran, the Asian Playboy.


Over the past year, I’ve gotten a lot of e-mails from Chinese men, who are desperate to know one thing — how to date Western women.

And so I’ve answered, from advice on how to meet Western women in China or America, to how to approach Western women in China, to even dishing out my suggestions for a Chinese student pursuing a brunette here in the US.

But the truth is, as good as my answers are, there’s much more to getting in a relationship with a Western woman than being in the right place, and having the right approach. That’s because you can fail for so many other reasons — because you don’t have the confidence, or you lack personality, or you don’t know how to hold a conversation, or you have the wrong body language.

Fortunately, there’s an Asian brother out there who understands. JT Tran was once, as he puts it, a “textbook nerd” who studied engineering in college here in the US, and had absolutely no clue on how to get American women. He was even rejected by eHarmony for being “too analytical and cerebral.” That was the wake-up call that jumpstarted his own transformation into the guy now known as “the Asian Playboy” — the number one dating coach for Asian men.

Asian Playboy? Continue reading “Ask the Yangxifu: Review of Exposing the Myth Behind Why Asian Men Can’t Date White Women”