Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in Communication



Major Advisor

Heidi M. Reeder, Ph.D.


Manda Hicks, Ph.D.


erin d. mcclellan, Ph.D.


In 2005, Rolling Stones editor and New York Times writer Neil Strauss published a New York Times bestselling book titled The Game outlining his experience infiltrating the pick-up artist community in Los Angeles. The launching of this popular book was followed by the formation of companies that teach heterosexual men dating and relationship skills. From manipulation tactics to true social skills and personal growth, these companies are numerous and varied in what they teach men about dating and relationships. Masculinity norms of Western culture have been shown to discourage men from seeking help, especially for romantic relationships. These new forms of dating and relationship help specifically for men are marketed to them using masculine language. Men can also learn about these programs via the Internet without anyone knowing. Therefore, men may be more likely to seek out these programs than other forms of help, even if they don’t openly discuss their participation with everyone. This study examined the experiences of eighteen men who have taken part in one of these dating and relationship trainings and explored how it has influenced their lives and relationships. I used qualitative methods and conducted semi-structured interviews. The participants revealed that because they decided to attend the six-day Art of Charm Boot Camp as part of a commitment to make positive changes in their lives, several important changes occurred. They became much more social, more self-actualized (through the lens of learning heterosexual dating dynamics), gained a supportive community, and experienced exciting new realities.