What you need to know
Pickup artists have been a fact of life for nearly 40 years and the latest iteration is an Englishman in Asia on YouTube. The pitchforks are out. Why?
Dora the Explorer is a seven-year-old Latina who travels the world with her monkey, Boots, and solves a riddle in each episode of the popular children’s TV series. Nick the Explorer is a 20-something Englishman who travels the world with David Bond, a “pickup artist” formerly known as David Campbell. They travel around Asia and pester women until the locals turn on them and they flee the country with their tails between their legs.
Nick and David are currently in Mumbai, India, attempting to solve once again the eternal riddle of how to have sex without strings and not pay for it. They film or stream their adventures and sell how-to videos through Patreon, the membership business for media people that helps them get paid for content.
Prior to this they created a media storm by calling Taiwan girls “EZ.” They also put up a website, “taiwangirlseasy.com,” which charges US$17 for instant access to “raw” date clips “too crazy for YouTube.” The introduction reads: “Taiwan girls are easy to meet, easy to get on with, and easy to have fun with.”
They drive traffic to their sites by using “trigger” words to get people upset, or buzzwords to lure them in, like: “Taiwan girls easy,” “tw appledaily” (the Taiwan media that roasted them), “cjayride” and Chinese characters like “(女朋友, girlfriend),” “女人想吃羊肉” (girls wanna eat Western meat) and, oddly, “成吉思汗” (Genghis Khan). They post sniveling “apology videos” and then disown them, gleefully saying they were gaming the system – which is probably true.
In this endeavor they claim to have been inspired by Twitch streamer “Cjayride” who was flamed for sharing a hot tub with local ladies; and the anonymous Brit who nearly caused an international incident by throwing banana peel out of his car window, in Kenting. For these ne’er do wells, bad publicity is great publicity and therefore monetizable
“Flesh searchers” have hunted down Nick from the safety of their keyboards. The YouTuber “Taiwan Lovely” went so far as to create a Wordpress blog dedicated to him. Taiwan Lovely claims that Nick’s real name is Nicholas Coakley and he’s from Pontefract, in West Yorkshire. His father has worked in the drinks business for 40 years, according to his Facebook page and is happily married, presumably to Nick’s mother.
The parents were informed of Nick’s naughty adventures and by all accounts they aren’t best pleased with their errant son. He’s been erased from dad’s FB page but is still on mom’s and refers to himself as “Nick BC.” His profile picture updated in May shows him wearing a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap, against a background of the Union Jack and the slogan, “I’m proud to be voting Conservative.”
On his FB page, Nick claims to be an assistant director at Dentsu Aegis Network, which is a media company in London (though they did not confirm whether he worked there), and to have studied Japanese at Oxford Brookes University and Tokyo Kasei University. This could be true because Nick does speak some Japanese in his Tokyo pick-up videos. He has lived in the United States, where he presumably picked up his faux American accent and likely enrolled on a pickup artist (PUA) course. Obviously, he was a failure in this department. Why else the need?
Nick’s “how-to” videos are liberally sprinkled with the argot of pickup artists, such as “negs” that reduce women’s self-esteem to make them more pliable; comparing hand sizes to make women feel more feminine; F-closing or sealing the deal in bed; and HB-sizes, like HB10, which is a hot babe or hard body 10/10.
By chance, I encountered the pair a month or so ago, as I was cycling with the kids on a trip to Jasons supermarket for baked beans and olives. If it sounds mundane, it is. There they were, David with a camera and Nick the Explorer in his signal red Trump cap. As we all waited to cross the road, they goofed around. It was obvious they were YouTubers or streamers and I seem to recall telling the kids this was the future of media. Which would be hugely disappointing.
David was allegedly dating a for-profit bar girl, so his PUA skills must be feeble.
If this is the future, it’s infantile, confrontational, populist and anti-intellectual. The only raison d’être is clicks and monetizing them. The more sensationalist the content the more popular. It’s a race to the bottom, creating unpleasantness and division, treating people like ciphers and refusing to take responsibility for their actions.
Nick and David try to hide their identities and cover their tracks because they know they are in the wrong and are afraid of getting caught or being held to account. Which is why they can’t stay anywhere long. In Thailand, where they were based before moving to Taiwan, they were sued by a girl. David was allegedly dating a for-profit bar girl, so his PUA skills must be feeble. I did get in touch for an interview, but they didn’t call back.
That said, they don’t appear to have broken any laws, or expressed any views that haven’t been said before. PUAs are an old story, with a TV series and 1980s film, all based on the original 1970 book by Eric Weber, "How to Pick up Girls!" Really, they’re just incels (short for "involuntary celibates") using a new medium and exploring new territories.
As for those who claim the girls are being duped and filmed without giving permission … well, a man with a GoPro on his head and the red recording light on is a fairly clear indication that it’s live. In a perfect world everyone tells the truth but the dating game isn’t always that.
Which is why it’s a little perplexing as to why everyone is getting so upset. This kind of story is typical tabloid fodder, designed to sell papers (now web pages) and advertising. It does provide a service in terms of some information, but basically the louder the noise, the bigger the sell.
Locals on the hugely popular bulletin board systems like BBS inevitably take umbrage and rain fire and destruction down on anyone who offends the integrity of Taiwan’s women. Which is also odd, since the country has a longstanding and largely unaddressed problem of wife beatings and toxic masculinity, as emphasized by recent stories of men chopping up women into little pieces and dumping them in trash bags.
In the above video, Nick suggests he and David used fake accounts to stoke expat rage against his antics.
Then, there’s the expat FB group pages exploding with invective, and threats of tarring and feathering, beatings and neutering. You have to wonder whether they have a vested interest in distancing themselves from such predatory sexual behavior, as if the exotic lure of “yellow fever” is something that only others suffer from. Perhaps it’s an exercise in “how PC can you be.”
Trolls, flames and pitchforks. It’s vanishing rare to find women talking about this. It feels like impotent male rage and fuels engagement through the oxygen of publicity, spreading the discontent even further, so that Nick and Dave can make a living monetizing their dubious content.
As one commentator added, it appears I’m doing the same. Which is a fair point, but not my intention. I would say women be warned so Naughty Nick and Dirty Dave can’t do what they do. If they break the law, tell the police. Threatening behavior is potentially a crime, even if it is online. Does all the self-righteous indignation and anger make us feel better about ourselves?
PUAs are essentially Dementors that suck the life out of romantic happiness – and are best avoided.
Read Next: (Re)Naming Yourself in Asia and Beyond
TNL Editor: David Green