Sex Nets: Pickup Artists vs. Feminists
Are sex-positive feminism and pickup artistry inherently opposed? Are they possibly dependent on each other? In recent years, the popularity of the pickup artist movement has placed the subject in popular cultural locations such as MTV and Oprah. The internet is ever birthing new discussions on all sides of the debate, and the realities of social media and geolocation technologies makes finding and building niche communities easier than ever. Are these methods helping average guys score, or is it an avenue to breed sexual predators? For or against, people from many backgrounds are weighing in on a discussion that is rooted in the most basic mediums of the web. Join a panel of men and women ranging from seasoned pick-up artists, to outspoken feminist bloggers, to those who straddle the line. No longer talking at each other, these experts in their fields will debate with each other the realities of the new sex rules, and what these rules mean in the context of a mediated life.
Voted 'Least Likely to Ever Get a Girlfriend' in highschool, Adam Lyons was obsessed with Star Wars and the role-playing strategy game Dungeons and Dragons, which didn’t exactly thrust him into the arms of many girls.
After a great deal of practice in the field Lyons decided that cheesy pick-up lines were all wrong and there was a better way for men to go about dating. Instead of trying to trick hot chicks into liking them and promising guys they can bang supermodels, Lyons decided to radically change the game and create a genuine approach to teaching guys how to find love in the real world. Applying his own studies in psychology he developed a method focused on building each man’s personal charm and create great success.
His passion has spawned a mini-empire with thousands of followers that have found love through his realistic approach. In 2010 Lyons was voted the #1 Pick Up Artist in the World and has been recognized as an international affiliate member of the American Psychological Association.
Lyons practices what he preaches and married his beautiful wife Amanda who has become one of the world's lead female instructor. He is now living in the United States and runs a thriving Relationship Coaching business with Amanda, revolutionizing the way people date and manage their love lives. Lyons is the founder of Attraction Explained, LLC. and the CEO of PUA Training.
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist, feminist gadfly, and social media master working out of Brooklyn, NY. She writes for Slate, Reuters, The Guardian, RH Reality Check and Alternet, amongst others. She has written two books: "Get Opinionated: A Progressive's Guide to Finding Your Voice (and Taking a Little Action)" and "It's A Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments". She spends her exceedingly rare spare time as a vinyl-loving music snob.
Charlie grew up a tomboy. By middle school she was surrounded by boys who were distracted by girls, but had no idea what to do with them.
Frustrated that the other girls couldn’t see how awesome her guy friends were, she took it upon herself to give the nice guys a chance. From hand drawn diagrams of female anatomy to kissing lessons behind the big tree after school, she turned a rag tag group of D&D geeks into a… well, if not exactly sexy, smooth players, at least slightly more confident teenage boys. After hearing sordid tales of make out sessions in high school bathrooms and getting thank you phone calls years later from grateful girlfriends, she was hooked.
Having spent years refining her techniques on guy friends and exes, Charlie now writes professionally about dating and relationships at www.CharlieNox.com. In addition to working with clients one-on-one, she also leads workshops on dating, seduction, relationships and erotic writing. She has taught on college campuses, at national conferences, in her living room, at downtown bars on a Saturday night, and once at a picnic table at a state park.
Due to demand, Charlie has most recently expanded her business to include coaching women as well. She finds that the things that make us attractive to other people are universal.
Clarisse Thorn is a feminist, sex-positive educator who has delivered sexuality workshops and lectures to a variety of audiences, including museums and universities across the USA. In 2009, she created and curated the original, ongoing Sex+++ sex-positive documentary film series at Chicago’s historic feminist site, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum; she has also volunteered as an archivist, curator and fundraiser for that venerable S&M institution, the Leather Archives & Museum. Clarisse's writing has appeared across the internet in places like The Guardian, AlterNet, Feministe, Jezebel, The Good Men Project, and Time Out Chicago. As of December 2011, she is the Sex + Relationships Section Editor at the gender-focused website Role/Reboot.
In 2010, Clarisse returned from working on HIV mitigation in southern Africa. Lately she has been researching modern dating culture in the USA through the lens of "pickup artists" or the "seduction community". She has JUST released a brand-new ebook about her life among the pickup artists titled "Confessions Of A Pickup Artist Chaser: Long Interviews with Hideous Men." IT'S $2.99 DURING SXSW ONLY, AND SHE'S RAISING THE PRICE LATER, SO BUY IT NOW! And tell all your followers to buy it, too.
Kristin Cerda is a writer, artist, and educator living and working in Austin, Texas. Issues of science, language, and body politics occupy much of her work, and she lectures on feminism and hybrid writing. Her work has appeared in Out of Nothing, Sprawl, Chronometry, Interstice, Omnia Vanitas Review, and her hypertext poetry lives at wretchedsymphony.com. She holds a BA from Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School and an MFA from CalArts, where she studied at the Center for Integrated Media. This is her first appearance at SXSW.