Why Pick Up Isn’t Universal
Believe it or not, pick up advice isn’t universal. It really revolves around English-speaking culture: US, UK and Australia. It was invented by this part of the world, based on the women in this part of the world, and unfortunately straying too far out of it leaves you screwed pretty quickly. But as with traveling in general, throwing yourself into social and sexual situations completely outside of your norm can do wonders for exposing you to new ways of thinking and aspects of life you never would have been otherwise exposed to.
I spent the last winter living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The purpose of the trip was little more than to get away for a while and brush up on my Spanish … but the stories of the nubile and sensual South American girls obviously enticed me. I was recently out of a two-year relationship and more than ready to get my “creep on” as the Situation would say. And what better place to do it than Argentina?
I entered the country naive and hopeful, convinced my American wit and wallet combined with my pick up knowledge and charm would treat me very well there.
Boy, was I wrong…
Argentinean women are a full step up from those in the US in terms of looks. They tend to be very skinny and somehow manage to have tits twice the size as you’d expect on women their size. Height can be an issue, as can the faces at times … but all in all, the average Argentinean girl off the street puts your every-day Plain Jane back home to shame.
Buenos Aires is considered the partying Mecca of South America. Sprawling in size, liberal and modern in build, and a vibrant populace with strong European influences has created an intersection of some of the best qualities you could look for in a city as a strapping young lad.
Cost of living there is 1/3 of that in the US night clubs are going off until 6AM during the week and until 8AM and even later on the weekends. The clubs are twice the size of the biggest mega-clubs Las Vegas and NYC offer. And then of course, on top of that, you have the beautiful women.
Well, here’s the reality check, along with the obligatory life lesson at the end:
Buenos Aires kicked my ass. Hard. For the amount of time, effort and energy I put into trying to pick up women down here, I probably would have laid at least 10 different girls in the United States.
That’s no exaggeration, 22-23 nights out over two months, all 6-8 hours in length, all in packed venues. The amount of time and effort I put in for the little I got in return (a couple tourists, and two Brazilians, one Argentinean) is really not much to get excited about.
Unfortunately, from a Western pick up perspective, Buenos Aires falls way short of its hype. In fact, it’s actually deceiving in that it’s not even that great. The problem is cultural.
To begin, Argentinean culture is notoriously stand-offish and reserved. Every foreigner I talked to from Brazilians to Colombians to Mexicans to Germans complained about this. As a result, Argentina is very social-circle oriented. People have wide networks of friends, but only hang out and talk to them.
On top of that, Argentinean men are insanely aggressive. It’s not uncommon to literally wait in a queue for a girl to finish rejecting 2-3 other guys out before you go and take your turn at her. Even splurging for tables and VIP service yielded nothing but a few pesky girls hunting for cocaine.
It sucks that it took me over an entire month to figure this out. Looking back, I was trying to shove my classic American-style game into a completely foreign culture and set of standards. I was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, and as a result, I just beat my head against the wall repeatedly – and unfortunately the head did not belong to my penis, and the wall did not belong to a uterus.
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About Mark Manson Mark Manson is a writer and dating coach from Boston. He spends most of his time abroad visiting exotic places and fornicating with exotic women. He's also the creator of the acclaimed Mark Manson website.