Title

I’m Here to Meet a Wife

  • Wang Huanyu founded Puamap, a program that purports to teach its students how to seduce women. He introduces a program on the first day of training, in the three-bedroom apartment where the 12 students and three mentors study and live together, in Chengdu, May 16, 2015.
    Wang Huanyu founded Puamap, a program that purports to teach its students how to seduce women. He introduces a program on the first day of training, in the three-bedroom apartment where the 12 students and three mentors study and live together, in Chengdu, May 16, 2015.
  • A Puamap mentor, Brian, teaches students how to chat with women, October 3, 2016. A week-long Puamap program costs 7,000 renminbi (U.S.$1,055).
    A Puamap mentor, Brian, teaches students how to chat with women, October 3, 2016. A week-long Puamap program costs 7,000 renminbi (U.S.$1,055).
  • A student takes notes during Brian’s class, May 16, 2015.
    A student takes notes during Brian’s class, May 16, 2015.
  • Software engineer and Puamap student Jiang Shuai gets his hair styled at a salon, May 15, 2015.
    Software engineer and Puamap student Jiang Shuai gets his hair styled at a salon, May 15, 2015.
  • After updating his hairstyle, Jiang (center) poses for new profile photos for his social media accounts, May 15, 2015. Improving one’s online presence is an important part of Puamap’s course.
    After updating his hairstyle, Jiang (center) poses for new profile photos for his social media accounts, May 15, 2015. Improving one’s online presence is an important part of Puamap’s course.
  • Brian shows a student how to take a better selfie at an art-themed park, May 16, 2015. According to the mentors, online profile photos should reflect a ‘high-quality’ lifestyle.
    Brian shows a student how to take a better selfie at an art-themed park, May 16, 2015. According to the mentors, online profile photos should reflect a ‘high-quality’ lifestyle.
  • Students head back to their apartment after shopping with mentors on a bustling Chengdu commercial street, October 1, 2016.
    Students head back to their apartment after shopping with mentors on a bustling Chengdu commercial street, October 1, 2016.
  • Puamap founder Wang instructs the students how to seduce women on dating apps, May 15, 2015.
    Puamap founder Wang instructs the students how to seduce women on dating apps, May 15, 2015.
  • Students check a woman’s profile on the popular dating app Tantan, May 15, 2015.
    Students check a woman’s profile on the popular dating app Tantan, May 15, 2015.
  • An employee at a technology company in Chongqing rests in the dormitory after the day’s courses, May 18, 2015. He said he couldn’t find a girlfriend because he was too shy towards women. He participated in Puamap because his family wanted him to get married.
    An employee at a technology company in Chongqing rests in the dormitory after the day’s courses, May 18, 2015. He said he couldn’t find a girlfriend because he was too shy towards women. He participated in Puamap because his family wanted him to get married.
  • The mentor Le Jie introduces himself to a woman and asks for her phone number, May 17, 2015. He says he does this daily, to ‘maintain’ his skills.
    The mentor Le Jie introduces himself to a woman and asks for her phone number, May 17, 2015. He says he does this daily, to ‘maintain’ his skills.
  • Mentor Lao Tong (left) and a student search for ‘targets’ to approach at a shopping mall, May 17, 2015.
    Mentor Lao Tong (left) and a student search for ‘targets’ to approach at a shopping mall, May 17, 2015.
  • A student kisses a woman he met on the dating app Tantan, at a karaoke parlor, May 18, 2015. The students’ final exam involves inviting at least two women they meet in the real world or on Tantan to a party at a karaoke parlor.
    A student kisses a woman he met on the dating app Tantan, at a karaoke parlor, May 18, 2015. The students’ final exam involves inviting at least two women they meet in the real world or on Tantan to a party at a karaoke parlor.
  • A woman invited by a student pours beer into a glass at the party, May 18, 2015.
    A woman invited by a student pours beer into a glass at the party, May 18, 2015.
  • Mentors and students play drinking games with women they invited, May 18, 2015.
    Mentors and students play drinking games with women they invited, May 18, 2015.
  • Two mentors chat with women they invited in the elevator as they leave the karaoke bar, just past midnight of May 18, 2015.
    Two mentors chat with women they invited in the elevator as they leave the karaoke bar, just past midnight of May 18, 2015.
  • A PUA mentor’s wallet, May 17, 2015.
    A PUA mentor’s wallet, May 17, 2015.
  • A student with two women he met earlier in a nightclub and invited to his hotel room, May 19, 2015. Later, he tried to sleep with one of the women, but she refused.
    A student with two women he met earlier in a nightclub and invited to his hotel room, May 19, 2015. Later, he tried to sleep with one of the women, but she refused.
  • A woman glances at Puamap’s students on an escalator in a shopping mall, May 15, 2015.
    A woman glances at Puamap’s students on an escalator in a shopping mall, May 15, 2015.

The Fei doctrine goes something like this: Chinese girls love Korean TV shows, saccharine melodramas like Boys Over Flowers or Hi! School: Love On, where men are romantics or rakes, and women are always drama queens. On screen, resistance is not just normal, but expected; bedtime can be tearful. When a reluctant girlfriend is pushed against a wall and forcefully kissed (a common TV trope), her lover is making a classic romantic move—the tutor Fei Ge calls it “the attacking position.”

“If you don’t teach her a lesson, someone else will,” Fei explained during his two-hour “Sexual Assertiveness” session, concluding a week-long tutorial offered by Puamap, a team of “professional” seduction artists, marketers, and makeover men. One of those lessons: “Start by kissing her on the neck. That’s why girls always shower before they go out, by the way.” His short spiky hair a flashy cobalt-gray, Fei is a slender man who specializes in “Tui Dao,” a mating style that translates as “push down” or, generously, “get laid.”

At Puamap, clients learn to “map” their way to success under the tutelage of local experts who have adapted Western techniques for the mainland market. In both the United States and China, such classes cater almost exclusively to men interested in women, and not vice versa. From forums where overseas students swapped tips about sex, the online pickup artist (PUA) business has grown into a movement whose followers, men seeking love but lacking the skill to achieve it, represent a base so wide it transcends class. In parts of rural China, single farmers must raise 100,000 yuan (about U.S.$15,000) to afford a bride. In cities like Wuhan and Beijing, busy millionaires spend that much simply to view potential wives in swimwear. Elite men pay matchmakers small fortunes to find women of the “perfect” age (26), skin and teeth (flawless), and sexual history (none). And in Chengdu in southwest China, I spent a week in October 2016 with a group of bachelors who’d spent U.S.$1,055 just learning how to meet them. . .

Continue reading. . .

Robert Foyle Hunwick

Features

12.20.17

Pickup Artists with Chinese Characteristics

Robert Foyle Hunwick & Wu Hao
“If you don’t teach her a lesson, someone else will,” Fei explained during his two-hour “Sexual Assertiveness” session, concluding a week-long tutorial offered by Puamap, a team of “professional” seduction artists, marketers, and makeover men. One...
Topics: 
Urban Life
Keywords: 
Gender