Tony D is a Vancouver based author and dating/lifestyle coach. Born in 1978, he overcame his own shyness and anxieties by practicing the techniques found within self-help and pickup artist products. Whereas other coaches preach specific techniques for meeting women, Tony D doesn’t believe there is one “method,” instead subscribing to the notion that we all have unique strengths, and by recognizing these core strengths one can develop them.
Tony’s first book, A Thousand Tiny Failures – Memoirs of a Pickup Artist, was published in January of 2014, along with a short self-help book, I Hope it’s Sunny Out – A Guide For Meeting Girls in the Day Time.
Interested readers can learn more at AbsoluteAbility.com.
Resistance. It took me two years of false starts before I let go my doubts, insecurities and just wrote the damn story, which took three months. It was just like, okay, here’s what happened. Once I actually started I wouldn’t let the negative internal chatter take me off course. So I avoided all poetry and flair at first. One of my girlfriends read it and she said, “It’s a really good story, but it’s not art.” I was like, “Oh yeah? I’ll show you.” Re-writing took me another year because I’m slow, and I wanted it to be art. I wanted people to read it and say, “Wow. What a great book.”
In A Thousand Tiny Failures, you discuss your relationship with your father, who died when you were 21. How do you feel his presence (or lack thereof) shaped who you are today?
I think everyone has daddy issues. We love them, we hate them, we aspire to be them or escape them. But in the end all we can do is look back and go, yeah, that happened. You are the product of your experiences, and placing blame on your parents won’t help you in the present. It’s hard to say how much of our parents influence shapes us. Quite a bit I’m sure.
When it comes to meeting members of the opposite sex (and when it comes to publishing), rejection is an inevitable reality, at least now and then. Have you ever faced an especially harsh rejection, and how have you learned to accept the feeling of being told, “Not interested’?
One of the themes of this book was rejection. I’ve faced more rejection in dating than anyone should ever have to, but that’s okay. The PUAs like to say there is no rejection, only feedback. You have to go first. You have to believe in yourself, because nobody will believe you if you don’t believe yourself. Nobody would believe I wrote a good novel if I didn’t believe it was good. No girl would date me if I didn’t believe I was worth it.
I don’t think you ever get used to facing rejection. It always sucks but you learn not to hang on to it. You let it go, keep your chin up and move forward. Like, this book was accepted by two agents, who then refused it. I didn’t get depressed. I was excited because two agents liked my book! That meant it was pretty good. That meant I could self-publish and build my own hype. When a girl rejects me I think good. That means she wasn’t right for me. She has no idea how fun, smart, funny, sensitive, and good at banging I am. Narcissism works well if you use it as a tool.
What was it that drew you towards the seduction community, and was there anyone in particular that inspired you?
I saw a documentary on TV about pickup artists. I was desperately lonely and horny and it seemed really enticing. I did my first approach the next day and never looked back until I wrote about it six years later. The guy who first inspired me was named Wayne Elise Juggler, a really smart man. Since then, there are dozens of coaches who have inspired me. Too many to count. Mystery, Tyler Durden and all the coaches at Real Social Dynamics. Dj Fuji, Tenmagnet and Love Systems, Mehow, Brad P, Simple Pickup.
The list goes on. But I am primarily a writer, and my influences are many. For this novel, I was inspired by Charles Bukowski, Ernest Hemingway, David Foster Wallace, Cormac Mcarthy, Anne Frank, Augusten Burroughs, Neil Strauss, Tucker Max, Leo Tolstoy, and more. I’m a big fan of Pulitzer winners.
Anne Frank seems like a bit of an outlier in that list. What role did her writings play in inspiring you?
I just think she’s a wonderful writer. She wrote in the first person and I learned a lot from her. It’s also a very powerful, emotional book for me.
How have your methods for meeting women evolved over the years?
Bars, malls, cafes, friends, parties. If I see a girl I want to meet, I make sure to meet her by whatever means possible. It’s a rule I have (when I’m single).
For you personally, what are the short-term and long-term goals of pick-up artistry?
I don’t really think about women all that much. I think about business, health, wealth, art, friends, travel. Six years ago my quest was to bang as many willing and sexy women as possible. This was because I had a deep hole, a lack of experience with women, and horrible insecurity. I would actually like to be hit by lightning and meet some beautiful, brilliant creature that would take my breath away and make me a good boy. I don’t want to be a damn pickup artist. I want to be a man, with power and choice, love and loyalty. But a good woman is hard to find. Or maybe, I’m still not good enough. That’s why I write. I want to be a big shot I suppose, make a living off art. If pickup provides the free time away from the 9-5 job, then I’ll use it.
What does “being a man” mean to you, and how does it differ from being a pick-up artist?
I never tell people I’m a pickup artist. When I can sell enough books I won’t teach pickup anymore. For now, it really beats working in a restaurant. I just want to be a man who writes, speaks, and teaches. I think any man who ever approached a few women out of desire is a pickup artist. I know plenty of men who are far better than me at it. Other than teaching the stuff off my blog, I hardly think about pickup anymore.
Is there anyone in your past who was the stereotypical “one that got away”?
Hundreds. Not like they got away. More like, they went away. I reached out with pickup artist ninja skills… but they didn’t seem to care. Sniff.
What is a typical bootcamp with Tony D like?
Sixteen hours of approaching strange women. I used to teach nightclubs and bar game, but now I prefer daygame better. I teach them how to walk, talk, dress, think and act. It’s fun and scary and changes their lives.
Are there any student success stories that you’re particularly proud of?
All of them! I’ve seen so many of my old clients succeed in life. The ones that stick with it and work hard, they always succeed. The ones that quit, I don’t ever hear from again anyway. Most of my students are just regular guys. Most are students, or professionals. Lawyers, doctors, policemen, dentists, students; 18-60 years old, I’ve taught them all. I’ve had quite a few adult virgins lose their virginity after training with me. I’ve had many guys meet girlfriends that they are still with today. It’s a very rewarding job.
What are you working on next?
Well, I’m torn between creating dating and confidence products for the coaching business, and making art novels. I have this book idea about backpacking across southeast Asia, which I did last year. One story from that adventure is in A Thousand Tiny Failures. I’m not sure if it would help my coaching business at all, and my resistance is strong. I’d like to publish a novel traditionally so I don’t pigeon-hole myself as a pickup artist. I’d rather be remembered as a general artist, and not just a seducer of women. Follow my mailing list and blog, and I’ll let you know what I do next. I blog a lot.