Social networks have ignited with criticism of online groups which purport to teach men seduction techniques. Opponents say some groups, such as Return of Kings, use misogynistic and slut-shaming language against women.
She said: “It is really unfortunate that seduction often gets lumped in with misogyny – it is because there is a lot of really offensive material on the internet.
“I read an article online which listed ten types of woman the author would never sleep with. It was so misogynistic. There have been been a lot of articles like that recently.
“The best pick-up artists are the people who approach the people they want to be with as an act of generosity.”
Last month a row erupted on Twitter over a widely-shared article entitled ‘24 Signs She’s a Slut’. Signs the article advises men to analyse include breast size and the presence of tattoos and body hair.
Reacting to the ‘24 Signs She’s a Slut’ article, Twitter user @roisin_kelly20 said: “This has to be a joke because it’s so disgusting.”
@clare_nash said: “Seriously, maybe the worst thing I’ve ever read.”
@jeremyduns said: “Utterly horrifying that people think this way”
@firefire100 said: “No rap song has ever been this misogynistic.”
‘24 Signs She’s a Slut’ appeared on the website returnofkings.com, founded by prominent internet pick-up artist Daryush Valizadeh, the American author of such books as ‘Bang: The Pick Up Bible’, ‘Bang Iceland: How to Sleep With Icelandic Women in Iceland’ and ‘Don’t Bang Denmark’.
Mr Valizadeh, 34, also has a blog, where he writes under the name Roosh V. The blog is one of 12 websites flagged for misogyny – hatred of women – by the American civil rights organisation the Southern Poverty Law Centre.
Miss Leigh said: “Any writer who uses misogynistic language loses me. I have no interest in being offended and feeling angry.
“I have better things to do with my time than read articles with names like ‘Don’t Bang Denmark’. I think sweeping generalizations about ethnicities are problematic and offensive.
“Misogynistic attitudes generally hold back men from finding enjoyable and fulfilling sexual relationships.
“If the point of sex, for misogynistic seduction experts, is to prove their masculine identity, can they be said to be enjoying sex? How can you connect to someone if you’re harboring resentment and anger towards them?
“I believe that sex and seduction is about exploring potential for pleasure with another person. It needs a sincere curiosity for what makes your partner tick.
“You have to make someone feel safe with you – I don’t see how you can do that if you’re harbouring a secret hatred for them.”
Mr Valizadeh dismissed claims that Return of Kings is misogynistic.
He said: “Anything that criticizes women for their negative behaviour will automatically be labelled as misogynistic.
“It’s quite a stretch to say that we hate all women just because we share a strong dislike for fat women or Indian women. On the other hand, you can’t go a week without reading articles complaining about men for not ‘manning up’ or for playing too many video games instead of attending to a woman’s emotional needs.
“But when you do the equivalent to women by complaining that they are too obese, have too many tattoos, or have ugly haircuts, you are using ‘hate speech’.”
He said the article ‘24 Signs She’s a Slut’ was designed to help men identify suitable partners.
He said: “I believe that the word slut objectively signifies a woman of loose sexual morals, and thanks to free speech laws we are able to poke fun at these women while helping men identify them in the wild.
“It takes no mental feat of strength to understand that women who are loose with sex and have dozens of sexual partners will be more tempted to cheat in relationships. Our article helps men understand which women are good for fun and which are good for something long-term.
“Detractors to the pick-up arts construct a narrative that these men are simply bitter and angry, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.
“We learn these skills in order to better connect with women, and if you truly want to create a bitter and angry man, simply deny him effective tools that allow him to have intimacy with the opposite sex.
“The men I meet who are most content tend to have the most satisfaction with their sex lives. This can only come from studying and understanding women with an open mind, not an angry heart.”
Miss Leigh, from New York, first started writing about seduction techniques for women in 2007 when she realised that best-selling pick-up technique books for men, like ‘The Game’ by Neil Strauss, gave absolutely no advice for women.
Her book, ‘The New Rules of Attraction’, offers advice on creating and maintaining new relationships. It has won thousands of fans since it was published in 2011 when it was described as the feminine answer to ‘The Game’.
She suggested that male pick-up artists often make the mistake of regarding women as adversaries who need to be tricked into seduction.
She said: “A lot of male pick-up websites suggest that female sexuality is really elusive.
“They teach men that you need a special code to crack these women open, that they need to be disarmed before you can pick them up.
“But women don’t need to be tricked into having sex, you don’t need to do some sort of Vulcan mind-meld to get someone.
“You just have to approach them and say, ‘I am about to make your world awesome.’”
‘The New Rules of Attraction’ is published by Sourcebooks Casablanca.
Pictures by Ron Douglas.