Northwestern University Asian- Spring 2012- The Asian Playboy

NU Asian- Spring 2012- The Date Doctor

The Asian Playboy

“World’s Best Asian Pickup Artist” JT Tran breaks down the ABCs of attraction. By Kerri Pang

Asian men have small penises.
Fact? Nope, says Vietnamese-American pickup artist JT Tran, who calls the claim the biggest stereotype people have about Asian men, and the one that aggravates the special treatment of Asian men. “We’re considered as effeminate and not as dominant,” Tran says.

Such an image damages Asian men’s chances in the dating arena, Tran says, and it’s his job to help.

With this philosophy, the self-proclaimed “Asian Playboy” is on a mission to see everyday Asian men become their own heroes – by training them through boot camps run by his company, ABCs of Attraction. Tran, based in Los Angeles, was voted the Best Asian Dating Coach for four consecutive years at the World Pickup Artist Summit. But, Tran says, “This was never intended to be a business.” In fact, his current field has little to do with the college degree in aerospace engineering he obtained from the Florida Institute of Technology. Following graduation, Tran moved to California and took up a six-figure salary job as a rocket scientist. He lived beside the beach, began surfing and drove around in a luxury car. Yet, as ideal as his life was, one component was missing: the dream girl. Despite trying mixers, happy hours, blind dates and even speed dating, no girl wanted to date him.

Even eHarmony rejected me because I was too cerebral and analytical,” Tran says, laughing. “I realized I sucked with women. That was my turning point. No one liked me.”

That was nearly a decade ago. Today, Tran is the founder of ABCs of Attraction, a company that aims to equip Asian men with self-confidence and the practical ability to attract women they desire. Self-described as the “Asian dating coach,” Tran explains the teaching method as an all-encompassing, holistic approach that deals with how men think, act and speak.

These boot camps are three days and three nights and they suck,” Tran says. “What we’re doing is essentially pushing these guys to grow and become the men they were supposed to be.”

Tran remembers delving into the party scene four to six nights a week while still holding a 9-to-5 job as an aerospace engineer. His explorations, both adventures and misadventures, went into his blog, one that evolved to gain a large following of Asian-Americans. “It wasn’t simply all braggadocio,” Tran says. “Essentially, I had the first Asian-American dating blog from the male perspective.”

Given his results-oriented mind as an engineer, Tran studied the psychology behind dating and bases the programs of ABCs of Attraction on psychological studies. He implemented the methods in the real world and documented his results.

I put myself out there and was not afraid that I was going those issues. I’d have good nights, and I’d have just humiliating nights,” Tran said.

The blog also gave Tran his first unofficial client: a Chinese-Canadian mother who was worried about her oft-bullied son. Given the vast need for a practical and active solution for the struggles that Asian men were facing, Tran found an increasing number of opportunities to be a spokesperson on the issue.

People started coming to me because no one dared to ask the question of how race affected dating. And if it does, what does one do about it? Do Asian men really need a specific Asian dating coach? “Yes!” he says. “The issues that Asian men face are different from what Caucasians face.”

According to the Pew Research Center, three in 10 Asian newlyweds in 2008 married outside their ethnicity or race. Within this category, the rate of out-marriage among female Asian newlyweds was twice that of male newlyweds. As society reinforces these stereotypes, Asian men are increasingly unable to break out of established labels. According to Tran’s experience, the biggest stereotype women have about Asian men is how they only date within their race. He says that it is based on the psychological concept of heuristics, where women simply do not consider Asian men as potential lovers because of that pre-conceived stereotype.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. As Wayne Gretzky said, ‘You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take,’” Tran says. “The mistake is not trying, not putting yourselves out there [and] trying to protect your ego instead of embracing risk.”

Nevertheless, it is inevitable that Tran’s identity as the “Asian pickup artist” entails a negative connotation. Some may view his lessons as gimmicks and presume that pickup artists like Tran are womanizers. However, the founder offers another perspective. We’re all confident around our friends, but all of a sudden guys get nervous talking to a beautiful girl. In that scenario, he is not being true to himself. He has become someone who’s scared, anxious and unconfident,” Tran says. “We’re simply giving him the ability to be himself in front of her.”

The journey doesn’t stop there. Tran refers to ABCs of Attraction as a mechanism of social change and says addressing Asian men’s struggles in the dating sphere touches a larger social issue. One of Tran’s pupils, 23-year-old Ben Junya, moved to California from Illinois less than a year ago after being inspired to pursue greater dreams by Tran’s boot camp. Junya attests to the larger picture and purpose behind ABCs of Attraction. I learned not just about pickup but how to structure my life, to use my powers for good and not evil, to leave people better than you found them and how you have to improve your lifestyle if you want to attract women,” Junya says of his experience with the program.

As a Thai-American, Junya was drawn to ABCs of Attraction because it was geared towards Asian men. He attributes many struggles that Asian men undergo to their “tiger moms,” and is intent on socializing his children in the future so they will not have to suffer the same complexes many Asians do. When I go out at night and I see a pretty girl and approach her, she automatically thinks that I’m an asexual creature because I’m Asian,” Junya says. “ABCs really taught me to embrace being Asian and not be afraid to stretch my feathers out and show the world who I am.” Junya’s testimonial points to how the dating issues Asian men face stem from deeper underlying sources shaped by cultural upbringing. Even worse, such fundamental issues are hindrances not only to dating prospects, but also to opportunities in society. 
To Tran, this realization is especially crucial for college students, who are at a formative stage of their lives. College students should start to realize that specializing in academic prowess will still leave them handicapped when they enter into the real world,” Tran says. “Confidence in dating women also translates into confidence in the job.”

In fact, Tran thinks that college is the time when it will be the easiest to get a date, a girlfriend and subsequently get married. He encourages Asian and Asian-American men in college to solidify their values and identity while they are still able to do so. If you don’t get the groundwork settled, you’ll suffer from a deficit for the rest of your lives, spending time trying to play catch-up. It’s like compound growth: You want to get your deposit in as early as possible,” Tran says. “You don’t know what the edge is until you step off.”

The Asian Playboy is coming to Vancouver

The ABC’s of attraction and the Asian Playboy have been causing a stir in the pickup community for quite some time now. Billed as the only holistic form of pickup up, The Asian Playboy aka Jerry Tran has garnered the reputation of being one most popular pickup artists and was voted The World’s Greatest Asian Pick Up Artist. Now you can be part of the experience and witness what he does best at one of his 3 days boot camps that will hit Vancouver on July 9th 2010.

What can be expected?

When you sign up for one of The Asian Playboys boot camps you can expect to get an extensive 30 hours of training over the course of 3 days and 3 nights which include seminars and field training at local clubs where you get to hone the skills that you have learned from the seminars. Your performance at the club is then honed and critiqued; giving you the best odds at bringing your game up to an A game. You also get interactive drills, phone consultations and a free Bootcamp Workbook. The three day course runs just under $1000 dollars Canadian which is quite reasonable for all the material you will be receiving.

Worth checking out

While this program is meant for Asian men it is believed the guidance that is taught will work for men of any ethnicity or age. So if you are new to the pickup community or just want to brush up on your game meeting and seducing women this may be one to check out.

You can check out more about the ABC’s of Attraction and the Asian Playboy at www.abcsofattraction.com.

How To Score with Hot Babes

At a Holiday Inn Express in Addison, I went to a $300 seminar that supposedly teaches men how the female mind works. Now I’m scared for women everywhere.

Asian playboy calls me on my work line.

“This is the guy you’ve been speaking to,” he says carefully, then pauses. I pause, too. I have no idea who it is.

He speaks again: “About the group I’m involved with? The seminar?”

Of course! Asian Playboy! I’d been communicating with him via e-mail for a few days, trying to convince him to allow me to attend his workshop. He runs an outfit for dateless men called Natural Attraction, teaching The Game, a step-by-step method for scoring with hot babes (or, in The Game’s parlance, HBs). These men aspire to become pickup artists (or PUAs, pronounced “pooh-ahs”), and they pay money to learn, supposedly, how the female mind works.

Online PUA communities, called seduction lairs, can be found from here to China, claiming millions of members. The Dallas chapter is small, but Asian Playboy says that under his able leadership, it has recently tripled in size, up to 128 members. Think of it as a lonely-hearts club with a Dungeons & Dragons twist.

For this phenomenon, we can thank Neil Strauss (aka Style, because everyone uses a pseudonym in Game circles), for unleashing the secrets of sex-seeking machines into the mainstream. His book The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Professional Pickup Artists, published in September 2005, spent six weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and told of his life inside the PUA Game, living in a grotto-like frat house called Project Hollywood under the tutelage of a man named Mystery, who claims to be the greatest pickup artist in the world. Mystery, like Asian Playboy, also teaches men how to score with women. His Las Vegas “special boot camp” costs $2,750.

I wanted to infiltrate the secret society, learn the lingo, see the technique at work in the field. Asian Playboy (APB for short) was calling to find out my angle, my level of interest, and, most of all, my sincerity.

“What about meeting in the morning?” I ask Asian Playboy, looking at my calendar.

He laughs. “I don’t wake up in the morning,” he says. He suggests we meet instead at happy hour at Chaucer’s in Addison.

“How will I know who you are?” I ask.

“Wear something pink,” he says. “I’ll find you.”

CHAUCER’S IS A STEAK AND SUSHI RESTAURANT DECORATED WITH PLASTER busts of Roman characters and fake ivy. Waitresses wear a Goth fem-bot uniform of black knee-high boots, black micro-minis, and tiny black tanks. I am way overdressed, wearing clothes.

I spot the only Asian man, in the bar outside on the patio.

“Are you Asian Playboy?” I ask timidly.

“It depends,” he says. “Who’s asking?”

It is him. I can tell by the voice.

There is a man sitting next to him, a man I will know only as Captain Jack. I nod my hellos.

“So you want to attend a PUA seminar?” Asian Playboy inquires. He is sipping raspberry sake. He says if I am allowed inside The Game, I will have to adhere to certain parameters. For instance, I will not be allowed to describe the distinctive jacket he is wearing, because “everyone” recognizes the jacket and would immediately know whom I was writing about.

I agree to this term, but I tell him that I have some ground rules, too. First, I need someone inside the lair to give me a real name. They tell me that Jason “Danger” Bailey is my man. A newbie who’s been gaming for less than a year, already he has real PUA potential.

“If I were a girl, I’d sleep with him,” Asian Playboy says. This is not a joke.

The two men allow me to advance to the next phase of my approval process, which essentially involves meeting Asian Playboy’s partner in Natural Attraction, a man named Prophet, and buying them many margaritas at Primo’s on McKinney. (A PUA cardinal rule is never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, buy a woman a drink when you first meet her.) Finally, it is decided that I can attend a PUA workshop, time and place TBD. I am instructed to look for an e-mail from Asian Playboy in the next week.

When it arrives, it says, “1) The first rule of Fight Club … You do not talk about Fight Club! 2) The second rule of Fight Club … You DO NOT talk about Fight Club! 3) If this is your first night in Fight Club … you HAVE to fight.” I am to meet the lair at 4 pm at a Holiday Inn Express in Addison.

THE NATURAL ATTRACTION WORKSHOP INVOLVES FOUR HOURS of classroom time, followed by four hours of “field training” at a local club, plus individual follow-ups later that night at IHOP. The cost for the workshop is $300, alcohol and dinner at Chipotle not included.

I head to the inexplicably named Belmont Room at the Holiday Inn Express. Prophet stands at the head of the class, writing his course outline on an easel notepad. Eight guys, more than one wearing a t-shirt tucked into khakis, sit silently at the back of the room, which has a green floral carpet. Plastic cups filled with tap water sit on tables with pleated, mauve tablecloths.

“Before I teach you the basics, you’ve got to learn what it means to be human,” Prophet begins.

He asks us all to take out a piece of paper.

“I want you to write down three goals you guys have for yourself. One, what you want to do with these laws of attraction in 10 years. Two, where you want to be in one year. And, three, where you want to be tonight.”

As we write, Prophet passes out reference texts: Sexology, Why Men Love Bitches, and The Art of Seduction.

We are asked to read our goals aloud to the class. Captain Jack volunteers to go first.

Before the workshop, Captain Jack told me his story, how learning The Game transformed him. He sounded almost born-again. In the weeks and months after his divorce, he told me, he found himself lonely and unable to connect with women. “I would get all dressed up and go to bars and spend hours just drinking alone,” he said. “Later, driving home, I’d be almost in tears. I felt like such an outsider.” But today Captain Jack is a lair expert. Newbies look to him for tips on “peacocking,” an over-the-top dressing style used to attract women. Only the most confident of men are advised to attempt peacocking. Captain Jack prefers a loud shirt and an acid-washed cowboy hat.

In the workshop, he tells the class that in 10 years he hopes to be remarried, maybe adding to the kids he has from his first marriage. But, in the short term, he would really like a relationship with a bisexual woman who will pleasure him with hot threesomes.

A skinny Asian guy stands to read next. “In a year, I’d like to be where Captain Jack is now,” he tells the class.

Eventually, we get around to the basics, how The Game is actually played. Natural Attraction teaches a simple ABC process for seducing an HB: “A” stands for “approach”; “B” for “buying temperature”; “C,” “comfort”; “D,” “direct interest”; “E,” “escalate and extract”; and “F”—“F” you can imagine. APB and Captain Jack explain that it is simply a method to teach guys to be cool around women, to cut out any “creepy vibe” or “friend vibe” they may or may not know they give off.

“It’s about conveying your personality and understanding how women act and react by their body language and their responses,” Captain Jack says. “A lot of critics think we’re trying to pull the wool over women’s eyes, but that’s not it. It’s about getting to the same level of social skills as the women we are attracted to.”

“It’s not a science. It’s an art,” adds APB, smiling.

Our art lesson focuses on our night game. In other words, how to act in a nightclub to woo women: “how you chill” and how to dress, APB’s territory; how to bring a woman emotionally closer (hint: tell her a sad story involving your dead best friend), Prophet’s territory; and, most important, how to perfect the “sarge,” or how to hit on an HB. For this last one, each guy walks to the front of the class and demonstrates his opening line on me, the closest thing around to an HB.

Captain Jack tells the class that a great opener is ,“Your tits are cute.”

I frown. “There’s no way that will work,” I tell the boys.

“It worked last night,” Captain Jack says.

The guys look at me, then at Captain Jack, and without a doubt the room tilts in his favor.

I am the only woman in the Belmont Room, and no one wants my opinion on how to approach women. The irony appears lost on everyone.

The lesson continues: at stage F, a man must determine whether his conquest is an ONS (one-night stand) or LTR (long-term relationship). This stage is very tricky. That’s why Prophet teaches ways to avoid LMRs (last-minute resistances), excuses a woman has for avoiding sex. LMRs are also referred to as ASD (anti-slut defense), which is what lair Fast Seduction defines as “chick logic, to relieve the guilt from having sex too quickly with a man.”

The men in the class are silent. They are busy taking notes. After dinner at Chipotle, it will be time to change into our “sexy night-game clothes” for field training. The tension is palpable. I am scared for women everywhere.

IMAGINE A 13-YEAR-OLD BOY’S VERSION OF A GROWN-UP BAR, AND YOU’VE got a good idea of what Carsons Live in North Dallas is like. There’s music, loud and lots of it, all styles. And themed rooms and chicken wings and champagne and sexy women in miniscule outfits who dance on the bars whenever the urge strikes.

This is the setting for our field training. Asian Playboy secured in advance a VIP table for us inside the Vortex, Carsons’ dance club that spins techno remixes of “Jesse’s Girl.” I order a drink (the first of many, none of which is paid for by any PUA). Asian Playboy tells us not to hit on the waitresses because he was working that scene and has already slept with two of them and is, in fact, working on a third.

The PUAs-in-training dressed themselves. One donned an all-black suit with a banana-yellow Batman tie. Another wore a sweater that Bill Cosby wouldn’t touch.

Prophet sits beside me in a booth and points out a guy through the window separating us from the pizza-parlor part of Carsons. The obvious non-PUA is attempting to hit on the beer-cooler girl, an unseasonably tan woman with a tiny outfit so badly ripped and torn that one might assume she headed to work directly after a bear attack.

“I would try and close her, but you can’t,” Prophet says. “The club has bodyguards watching her. Anytime a guy talks to her for too long, they send a bouncer in to run him off. There’s not enough time to Game her.”

Meanwhile the newbies are going crazy. They pounce from set to set (groups of girls) with the energy of hyperglycemic junior high students, opening and closing as quickly as they can. They never sit down to chill, as they were taught.

“We don’t use lines,” Asian Playboy says. “Lines don’t work.”

Instead, the guys use openers. Asian Playboy demonstrates for me.

“Okay,” he says to a set of girls by the dance floor. “Settle a bet for me. My friend and I were just arguing about who would win in a fight, James Bond or Indiana Jones. I say James Bond.”

The set of three girls giggle outrageously, as if it is the funniest thing they have ever heard.

“Hey, that really worked,” I tell him later, amazed.

“Yeah, but those girls were dogs,” he says. “I only used them as a warm-up.”

Meanwhile I spy our 21-year-old college student newbie walking with the grace of a Storm Trooper across the room. His opener goes something like this: “Who lies more? Men or women?” When he says it, he moves his arm up and down stiffly, like an action figure. We tried to work on this during the seminar. His colleague, an Asian newbie who had driven in from Houston to learn The Game, preferred the opener, “If a girl kisses another girl, is that cheating?”

On the opposite side of the room, a Russian guy (The Vigo) isn’t having much luck and quickly becomes distraught. When Prophet returns to our table escorted by a couple of girls with bad boob jobs, I really think The Vigo might cry. I feel sorry for the guy. So I give him the pep talk of his life, telling him he is awesome and he could get any girl he wants, including the ones with boob jobs.

I grab The Vigo’s hand. “Come on,” I command. “Let’s go sarge some women.”

I take him to a table filled with girls and overhear one say the words “happy birthday.” Bingo. I tell The Vigo to give me one second to warm them up. When I give the signal, he will walk over and sing “Happy Birthday” to them. He nods, and I go to work. I speak quickly to the girl at the end of the table.

“Listen, can you just help me out?” I say. “My friend, he’s been a family friend forever, and he just sucks with girls. Can you act happy when he sings ‘Happy Birthday’? Please? It’ll make his whole night.”

When The Vigo scuttles over and squeaks out the most uncomfortable version of “Happy Birthday” I have ever heard, the nice girl smiles and claps and pretends to be charmed. And when it is over, I drag The Vigo the hell out of there. But, man, the look on his face, he is glowing. A girl smiled at him.

God bless that girl.

“Go, Vigo, go!” I think as I watch him recount the hilarious story of his conquest to his peers.

Because, look, I don’t loathe these guys. I feel sorry for them. None of them is evil, just confused. If one of them would just take up a co-ed sport, maybe get a haircut or a new pair of jeans, he’d be fine. Instead, out of desperation and loneliness, each has spent $300 to learn a bunch of acronyms.

Later in the night, as the rush of the sarge begins to wear off and the spin of alcohol sets in, Asian Playboy plops down in the red corner booth and puts his head on my shoulder. He tells me all about Prophet’s girlfriend troubles. (Yes, Prophet has a girlfriend.) Asian Playboy says the girlfriend doesn’t like Prophet to sarge, but he won’t stop. Asian Playboy says she doesn’t think they’ll last, which is sad because Prophet really believes she’s “the one.”

That’s when he starts piteously whining about his own troubles with The Game.

“I’ll never find a girl,” he tells me. “Every time I meet one, I know exactly what she’s going to do and say next.” He’s rolling his head back and forth, clearly oiled. “The Game is just too good.”

Asian Playboy Defies Stereotypes

LOS ANGELES (Wireless Flash – FlashNews) – Despite cultural stereotypes, Asian guys can be as hot and sexy as any other lover.

So says JT “The Asian Playboy,” a master pick-up artist who teaches nerdy, shy guys how to be successful with women through his intense bootcamps in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

He teaches communication and confidence skills and then takes dudes to “the field” – bars and clubs – for hands-on learning.

Though he’ll guide anyone through the world of women, JT works primarily with minorities, and 75 percent of his students are Asian.

He embraces the motto “be successful because you’re Asian, not in spite of it,” and believes guys can use their culture to score.

For instance, since Asians tend to look younger than they are, JT recommends using the “Asian discount,” to their advantage.

He often tells women that “if you kiss an Asian guy you become 10 years younger yourself,” which always ends in a lip-lock.

JT hopes that through his bootcamp, Asian stereotypes can be broken and his fellow boys can be regarded as Casanovas.

CPR TV Interviews JT the Asian Playboy

In my first ever TV interview, I flew out to Chicago late last year and met up with VIA TIMES founder, Veronica Leighton. So enjoy this two part cable segment that I did for the Chicago Phillipine Reports TV, a local cable network serving Chicago’s Filipino/Asian/Hispanic communities.

Don’t forget, you can catch me speaking at Harvard University, next Wed on Feb 11th. It’ll be held at Harvard Yard, the Emerson building, Room 305.

Finally, catch my Valentine Day interview on the ABC Boston Cityline show! Details here.

In Part 1 of this TV interview, I talk about how and why I founded the ABCs of Attraction, how to exude confidence, my ideal girl, how to deal with racism in the pick-up and dating scene, how big is the ABCs of Attaction (programs are held globally in major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Toronto, London, Australia), how the ABCs is the “finishing school for men”, Asian parents, emotional intelligence, and how Asian men are underrepresented in high positions of power.

In Part 2 of this TV interview, I talk about my former life as a rocket scientist, how to be rich/powerful/influential, dating & pick-up advice, social obligations, the Kickstart Opener, directing the conversation, getting past the hook point, don’t buy girls drinks, what’s the ultimate goal in pick-up, helping virgins, dating black girls, what do women think of pick-up, having female assistants during the bootcamp, how being confidence translates to success in all areas of your life and how to contact Asian Playboy at the ABCs of Attraction.

P.S. I want to thank our awesome Chicago alum Kyle for taking the time to record the TV show. Thanks bro!