The Seduction Game

The Seduction Game: Undercover in the pickup-artist industry

Warning: This article contains strong language and adult themes

Standing in front of the famous Savoy hotel in central London, I wait with a group of students as they finish handing over £600 to the founder and head coach of Street Attraction.

Eddie Hitchens moves himself centre-stage as the men arc around him for their introduction to bootcamp. 

“Hi, I’m Eddie. I’m a heterosexual sex addict… I’ve been doing Game since 2005, been coaching since 2011.”

Warning: This article contains strong language and adult themes

Standing in front of the famous Savoy hotel in central London, I wait with a group of students as they finish handing over £600 to the founder and head coach of Street Attraction.

Eddie Hitchens moves himself centre-stage as the men arc around him for their introduction to bootcamp. 

“Hi, I’m Eddie. I’m a heterosexual sex addict… I’ve been doing Game since 2005, been coaching since 2011.”

“Game” is a multi-million pound business where men teach other men how to pick up women.

There's nothing new about men trying to pick up women.

But in this digital age seduction coaches are selling courses online on how to bed as many women as possible, as quickly as possible.

They are part of a growing global industry linked through a network of internet video channels with hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

In these videos and bootcamps, only the men are taught the rules.

The women aren’t even aware they are part of a game.

A game that can lead to persistent harassment on the street and dangerously blur the lines of consent.

Hitchens signals to the rest of the group to introduce themselves, including me: an undercover journalist posing as a new recruit.

It’s an international mix. There’s a chef from Amsterdam, a former US navy officer, a software engineer from Brazil, a computer programmer  from Dublin, and a doctor from Manchester. Then it’s my turn.

“Hi. I am Michael Gibson,” I say, while fighting the psychological battle to remember my undercover name, “I am a ‘day game’ beginner who has recently broken up with my girlfriend of six years.”

And, just like that, I’m deep into the weirdest experience of my life: a journey into the so-called seduction industry.


Watch the documentary

Monday 7 October at 20:30 on BBC One and BBC One Scotland


“Game” is a multi-million pound business where men teach other men how to pick up women.

There's nothing new about men trying to pick up women.

But in this digital age seduction coaches are selling courses online on how to bed as many women as possible, as quickly as possible.

They are part of a growing global industry linked through a network of internet video channels with hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

In these videos and bootcamps, only the men are taught the rules.

The women aren’t even aware they are part of a game.

A game that can lead to persistent harassment on the street and dangerously blur the lines of consent.

Hitchens signals to the rest of the group to introduce themselves, including me: an undercover journalist posing as a new recruit.

It’s an international mix. There’s a chef from Amsterdam, a former US navy officer, a software engineer from Brazil, a computer programmer  from Dublin, and a doctor from Manchester. Then it’s my turn.

“Hi. I am Michael Gibson,” I say, while fighting the psychological battle to remember my undercover name, “I am a ‘day game’ beginner who has recently broken up with my girlfriend of six years.”

And, just like that, I’m deep into the weirdest experience of my life: a journey into the so-called seduction industry.


Watch the documentary

Monday 7 October at 20:30 on BBC One and BBC One Scotland


A-Game

The rules of the game

This man is now in prison waiting to be sentenced for threatening and abusive behaviour towards young women.

His name is Adnan Ahmed.

But just a year ago, he was styling himself as a “pick-up artist” called Addy A-Game. Ahmed hung around Glasgow city centre with his fellow “wing men”, secretly filming his interactions with unsuspecting women on the street.

One of his university classmates tipped me off that Ahmed had uploaded over 250 videos, including some of those he secretly filmed, on to his YouTube channel, boasting of his sexual conquests.

Behind a list of controversial and provocative titles - such as “closing girls with boyfriends” and “fat girls should blame themselves” - lay long misogynistic monologues, with Ahmed giving out advice for anyone who wanted to watch.

“The reason you’re doing it is to get laid,” he said in one video. “Only the brave get laid.”

This was much more than just one man’s misogyny. This was professional, complete with a sales pitch, lifestyle coaching, and what seemed a bewildering array of jargon: “infield footage”, “LMR”, “number close”, “sarging”.

This is the language of what “pick-up artists” like Ahmed call “Game”. In one video, Ahmed boasted of what he called a “same night lay”. Later in the clip, he filmed a woman sleeping with an unused condom next to her. 

Ahmed was even posting audio recordings online of him having sex. It didn’t appear that the women knew they were being recorded. Their consent for these recordings did not seem to be much of a concern.

“She’s like why are you putting a condom on?” he told viewers of one video. “Plausible deniability. They want you to take the lead. Remember this is not rape... Listen to her actions, her body… not her words.”

Targets

I tracked down two women who had been approached by Ahmed.

Both said that their encounters with him had stuck with them. 

Beth (pictured) was walking home alone through the main shopping street in Glasgow city centre after finishing her shift.

It was a dark November night and Ahmed stepped into her path.

She was 17 at the time. Ahmed was 37.  

"He was like, ‘oh are you Russian?’ Beth recalled. “He was mentioning when he was in Ukraine or something and he had hired prostitutes. He was saying that I’d be like ‘better than prostitutes’. [He had] just a horrible manner.”

He said his name was “Addy”. He kept on asking for her phone number.

He kept trying to touch her.

“I’d said no countless times,” Beth said. “I gave excuses and he was like: ‘Oh it’s fine, like, just give me your number, whatever’.”

Beth was shaken and thought that he would leave her alone if she agreed to give him her number.

“He knew I was going to the bus stop, and he knew I’d be alone for around an hour waiting for my bus.

"So I stayed on the phone to my mum for around 30 minutes beforehand talking her through the situation, and her just trying to give me peace of mind."

Beth knew this was not just a chat-up. It felt wrong. 

“It’s not harmless,” she said. “I spent like the whole night kind of terrified.”

I tracked down two women who had been approached by Ahmed.

Both said that their encounters with him had stuck with them. 

Beth was walking home alone through the main shopping street in Glasgow city centre after finishing her shift.

It was a dark November night and Ahmed stepped into her path.

She was 17 at the time. Ahmed was 37.  

"He was like, ‘oh are you Russian?’ Beth recalled. “He was mentioning when he was in Ukraine or something and he had hired prostitutes. He was saying that I’d be like ‘better than prostitutes’. [He had] just a horrible manner.”

He said his name was “Addy”. He kept on asking for her phone number.

He kept trying to touch her.

“I’d said no countless times,” Beth said. “I gave excuses and he was like: ‘Oh it’s fine, like, just give me your number, whatever’.”

Beth was shaken and thought that he would leave her alone if she agreed to give him her number.

“He knew I was going to the bus stop, and he knew I’d be alone for around an hour waiting for my bus.

"So I stayed on the phone to my mum for around 30 minutes beforehand talking her through the situation, and her just trying to give me peace of mind."

Beth knew this was not just a chat-up. It felt wrong. 

“It’s not harmless,” she said. “I spent like the whole night kind of terrified.”

A friend of Ahmed secretly filmed him as he approached 20-year-old Emily, a Glasgow-based student. Ahmed then uploaded the video to his YouTube channel.

Emily (pictured) only found out their  conversation was available online when I told her.

Her experience is something I’ve heard from many women who have experienced street harassment. 

“The ridiculous thing is, in that entire conversation I’m sitting there trying to figure out a way to let him down gently,” she explained. 

“We don’t want to be called ‘a bitch’ for rejecting someone. We don’t want to be called ‘rude’ for just closing the interaction down.”

In the video, which has since been deleted, Ahmed boasted that if he had met Emily on holiday, he would definitely have had sex with her.

Or, as he put it, it would have been a “same day lay”.  

“That infuriates me… for him to so painfully mis-read that is frustrating,” Emily said.

“Men assuming that women want to have sex with them is part of a considerably larger problem in our society. He probably didn’t think much by it, just saying this person’s a ‘same day lay’. That interaction was completely misreading my signals.”


Emily and Beth were not alone.  I made a video for BBC Scotland’s digital platform The Social on what I’d found out about Ahmed. It went viral with about two million plays online in the first few days.

There was a demonstration on the streets of Glasgow led by a group of concerned women. At the Scottish Parliament,  First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she had been “shocked and appalled” by what she had seen in my report.

And women kept coming forward. “This man stalked me for months waiting outside my work”... “This guy asked if he could ‘walk me home’... then got so aggressive with me”, “I told him my age and he kept talking to me. He was such a freak”. 

Nearly all the stories were about uncomfortable encounters. Many seemed to cross the line from persistence to harassment. Some - it later turned out - were criminal.

More than a dozen women gave details to the police following the publication of my report. Within two days of the video being published, Ahmed had been arrested and charged with a string of incidents of threatening and abusive behaviour.

A friend of Ahmed secretly filmed him as he approached 20-year-old Emily, a Glasgow-based student. Ahmed then uploaded the video to his YouTube channel.

Emily (pictured) only found out their  conversation was available online when I told her.

Her experience is something I’ve heard from many women who have experienced street harassment. 

“The ridiculous thing is, in that entire conversation I’m sitting there trying to figure out a way to let him down gently,” she explained. 

“We don’t want to be called ‘a bitch’ for rejecting someone. We don’t want to be called ‘rude’ for just closing the interaction down.”

In the video, which has since been deleted, Ahmed boasted that if he had met Emily on holiday, he would definitely have had sex with her.

Or, as he put it, it would have been a “same day lay”.  

“That infuriates me… for him to so painfully mis-read that is frustrating,” Emily said.

“Men assuming that women want to have sex with them is part of a considerably larger problem in our society. He probably didn’t think much by it, just saying this person’s a ‘same day lay’. That interaction was completely misreading my signals.”

Emily and Beth were not alone.  I made a video for BBC Scotland’s digital platform The Social on what I’d found out about Ahmed. It went viral with about two million plays online in the first few days.

There was a demonstration on the streets of Glasgow led by a group of concerned women. At the Scottish Parliament,  First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she had been “shocked and appalled” by what she had seen in my report.

And women kept coming forward. “This man stalked me for months waiting outside my work”... “This guy asked if he could ‘walk me home’... then got so aggressive with me”, “I told him my age and he kept talking to me. He was such a freak”. 

Nearly all the stories were about uncomfortable encounters. Many seemed to cross the line from persistence to harassment. Some - it later turned out - were criminal.

More than a dozen women gave details to the police following the publication of my report. Within two days of the video being published, Ahmed had been arrested and charged with a string of incidents of threatening and abusive behaviour.

Bootcamp

When I first began investigating Ahmed, I did not know that he was part of a wider seduction industry. 

I’ve since discovered that he is just one of dozens of pick-up artists online. They share seduction techniques and cross-promote each other’s YouTube channels. 

When it came to promising quick results, one group stood out from the crowd: Street Attraction. This company offered what they describe as bootcamps that would have men “attracting beautiful women within two days”. 

Students were promised online tutorials, follow-up guidance and one-to-one lessons on how to master their masculinity.

Street Attraction had more than 110,000 YouTube subscribers. Its founder Eddie Hitchens even charged for viewing one of his secretly recorded sexual exploits. 

“Recording such intimate stuff in general isn’t easy,” Hitchens explained in one video.

“If a girl knows that she is being filmed she obviously won’t act in a natural way and most certainly won’t allow herself to be seduced for fear of her reputation being ruined.

"Because we [Hitchens and his accomplice] wanted to capture real reactions it had to be filmed covertly. Guerilla-style.”

What’s more, Street Attraction had trained Adnan “A-Game” Ahmed. The bootcamp he attended was filmed and uploaded on his YouTube channel.

That is why I ended up outside the Savoy hotel in central London at a training course for aspiring pick-up artists.

It was a sweltering day and I was wearing a thick quilted-coat to hide a camera and microphone. 

There were six students at the bootcamp and my coach was Street Attraction’s founder Hitchens.

The first task was to approach a woman within 30 seconds.  

I, like the rest of the students, dispersed across London Bridge which was awash with uniformed police and colourful protesters taking part in an Extinction Rebellion event.

Eventually, I bumped into a couple of women who were standing watching one of the spray-painted bandstands where musicians were doing a sound check.

I had no idea what to say. It was the first test of the day and I was already struggling. I asked a couple of women whether this was some sort of gig. 

“No,” one smiled, “this is a protest.”

My question was so naive that it actually worked.

I was chatting away and eventually the other woman offered me a flyer.

The conversation ended politely. I said my goodbyes and returned to the pack.

When I first began investigating Ahmed, I did not know that he was part of a wider seduction industry. 

I’ve since discovered that he is just one of dozens of pick-up artists online. They share seduction techniques and cross-promote each other’s YouTube channels. 

When it came to promising quick results, one group stood out from the crowd: Street Attraction. This company offered what they describe as bootcamps that would have men “attracting beautiful women within two days”. 

Students were promised online tutorials, follow-up guidance and one-to-one lessons on how to master their masculinity.

Street Attraction had more than 110,000 YouTube subscribers. Its founder Eddie Hitchens even charged for viewing one of his secretly recorded sexual exploits. 

“Recording such intimate stuff in general isn’t easy,” Hitchens explained in one video.

“If a girl knows that she is being filmed she obviously won’t act in a natural way and most certainly won’t allow herself to be seduced for fear of her reputation being ruined.

"Because we [Hitchens and his accomplice] wanted to capture real reactions it had to be filmed covertly. Guerilla-style.”

What’s more, Street Attraction had trained Adnan “A-Game” Ahmed. The bootcamp he attended was filmed and uploaded on his YouTube channel.

That is why I ended up outside the Savoy hotel in central London at a training course for aspiring pick-up artists.

It was a sweltering day and I was wearing a thick quilted-coat to hide a camera and microphone. 

There were six students at the bootcamp and my coach was Street Attraction’s founder Hitchens.

The first task was to approach a woman within 30 seconds.  

I, like the rest of the students, dispersed across London Bridge which was awash with uniformed police and colourful protesters taking part in an Extinction Rebellion event.

Eventually, I bumped into a couple of women who were standing watching one of the spray-painted bandstands where musicians were doing a sound check.

I had no idea what to say. It was the first test of the day and I was already struggling. I asked a couple of women whether this was some sort of gig. 

“No,” one smiled, “this is a protest.”

My question was so naive that it actually worked.

I was chatting away and eventually the other woman offered me a flyer.

The conversation ended politely. I said my goodbyes and returned to the pack.

This is what pick-up coaches call a “cold approach”.

I was told it does not matter if I fancied the woman or not.

Hitchens pointed out a “target” and we were sent to approach by blocking their path.

The bootcamp students were now mic'd up so that Hitchens could listen in and critique our performance.

Not that the women knew that.

The irony was not lost on me. I was using covert filming to expose a group who were secretly recording women. I had to ingratiate myself without implicating myself to maintain my cover.

And the approaches made me feel uncomfortable. All the time, I kept on thinking about my sister and cousins and what they would think if they were on the receiving end of the students’ advances.

Dr Rachel O’Neill, an academic at the London School of Economics, has studied the seduction industry for 10 years. 

“There’s an idea that seduction essentially provides a blueprint that men can follow as a way of interacting with women,” Dr O’Neill later told me.

“So you’ll be given a more or less scripted set of lines, routines that you can follow.

“Most training camps now will spend the majority of their time out on the streets, in bars, cafés, museums, any public space, actually practising these techniques, putting them into action.

"And that means often unwillingly drawing women into these interactions.”

Some of the women we were told to “approach” looked like teenagers and I told Hitchens I thought they were too young.

I am 31, and I did not want to approach someone who looked half my age.

Hitchens, who was 34 at the time, took me aside to explain why I needed to be less selective.

“Doesn’t matter,” he told me. “Even if she’s underage, it’s not illegal to stop someone...That was a good target.”

Dr Rachel O’Neill, an academic at the London School of Economics, has studied the seduction industry for 10 years. 

“There’s an idea that seduction essentially provides a blueprint that men can follow as a way of interacting with women,” Dr O’Neill later told me.

“So you’ll be given a more or less scripted set of lines, routines that you can follow.

“Most training camps now will spend the majority of their time out on the streets, in bars, cafés, museums, any public space, actually practising these techniques, putting them into action.

"And that means often unwillingly drawing women into these interactions.”

Some of the women we were told to “approach” looked like teenagers and I told Hitchens I thought they were too young.

I am 31, and I did not want to approach someone who looked half my age.

Hitchens, who was 34 at the time, took me aside to explain why I needed to be less selective.

“Doesn’t matter,” he told me. “Even if she’s underage, it’s not illegal to stop someone...That was a good target.”

LMR

Day two of the bootcamp. We sat on the steps of Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square and listened to coach George Massey (pictured) tell us about the day’s lesson on “LMR”.

LMR stands for “last minute resistance” to sex. It is regarded by the pick-up artists as a women’s token attempt to reject sex - an obstacle to be overcome. 

“You have to be the one to lead,” Massey explained. “The whole vibe is you take responsibility for it. ‘Yeah, I know, I am just an animal I couldn’t resist’”

In one of his videos, Hitchens stated that you should “carry on escalating” if a girl says that you are “going too fast”. Hitchens then goes on to say: “If she says, we’ll definitely have sex next time, you can reply with: Why waste time? It’s arrogant to assume that there will be a next time.”

“There’s an idea with LMR that women put up a certain amount of supposedly token resistance prior to having sex,” explained Dr Rachel O’Neill. “And this is something, again, under seduction logic that women do as a way of trying to safeguard their reputation. And the thing that’s really worrying about this is that it creates a situation in which a woman’s ‘no’ can never be legitimately heard as a no.”

Massey introduced us to the next coach Richard Hood. Massey called him the “King of LMR”. Hood sounded more like a high-pressure salesman than someone genuinely interested in what a woman might want. 

“When you get to the apartment tell her to take her shoes off – as soon as you walk through the front door – you start taking your shoes off, it’s basically the first part of escalation,” he told us.

“Some girls can be annoying. If they are already in their shoes and their jacket they’ll be like ‘okay, okay, that’s enough for tonight… we will leave the rest for next time’...Obviously that’s frustrating” 

He told us that men can be too preoccupied with consent. 

“Sometimes guys are a bit too shy or a bit too scared to keep pushing forward [be]cause they [men] want like… they want so much consent. I mean that they want lots of like… a written permission slip from her like, you know, ‘it’s okay that we go all the way’. ‘Cause it’s a nuance, obviously, you have to… you have to feel out the right moment, and sometimes it is your job to push things forward and lead.”

I asked criminal barrister Kate Parker for her professional opinion on teaching men how to overcome last minute resistance to sex and showed her some of the coaches’ videos.

“I think it’s really troubling, because it’s encouraging these young men to bypass any red flags that are put up by these women and that they should be sensitive to and alert to, and responding to,” she told me. “From what I’ve seen, there doesn’t seem to be any sexual offences there, yet. But the more they teach last minute resistance, and the more they teach these young men to ignore any signs of lack of consent, the closer we’re getting to sexual offence territory.”

The head of Rape Crisis Scotland, Sandy Brindley, told me: “I think pick-up artists are really doing men no favours at all recommending these techniques... And my advice would be this, this is not the approach to take because you could end up facing very, very serious consequences.”

Day two of the bootcamp. We sat on the steps of Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square and listened to coach George Massey (pictured) tell us about the day’s lesson on “LMR”.

LMR stands for “last minute resistance” to sex. It is regarded by the pick-up artists as a women’s token attempt to reject sex - an obstacle to be overcome. 

“You have to be the one to lead,” Massey explained. “The whole vibe is you take responsibility for it. ‘Yeah, I know, I am just an animal I couldn’t resist’”

In one of his videos, Hitchens stated that you should “carry on escalating” if a girl says that you are “going too fast”. Hitchens then goes on to say: “If she says, we’ll definitely have sex next time, you can reply with: Why waste time? It’s arrogant to assume that there will be a next time.”

“There’s an idea with LMR that women put up a certain amount of supposedly token resistance prior to having sex,” explained Dr Rachel O’Neill. “And this is something, again, under seduction logic that women do as a way of trying to safeguard their reputation. And the thing that’s really worrying about this is that it creates a situation in which a woman’s ‘no’ can never be legitimately heard as a no.”

Massey introduced us to the next coach Richard Hood. Massey called him the “King of LMR”. Hood sounded more like a high-pressure salesman than someone genuinely interested in what a woman might want. 

“When you get to the apartment tell her to take her shoes off – as soon as you walk through the front door – you start taking your shoes off, it’s basically the first part of escalation,” he told us.

“Some girls can be annoying. If they are already in their shoes and their jacket they’ll be like ‘okay, okay, that’s enough for tonight… we will leave the rest for next time’...Obviously that’s frustrating” 

He told us that men can be too preoccupied with consent. 

“Sometimes guys are a bit too shy or a bit too scared to keep pushing forward [be]cause they [men] want like… they want so much consent. I mean that they want lots of like… a written permission slip from her like, you know, ‘it’s okay that we go all the way’. ‘Cause it’s a nuance, obviously, you have to… you have to feel out the right moment, and sometimes it is your job to push things forward and lead.”

I asked criminal barrister Kate Parker for her professional opinion on teaching men how to overcome last minute resistance to sex and showed her some of the coaches’ videos.

“I think it’s really troubling, because it’s encouraging these young men to bypass any red flags that are put up by these women and that they should be sensitive to and alert to, and responding to,” she told me. “From what I’ve seen, there doesn’t seem to be any sexual offences there, yet. But the more they teach last minute resistance, and the more they teach these young men to ignore any signs of lack of consent, the closer we’re getting to sexual offence territory.”

The head of Rape Crisis Scotland, Sandy Brindley, told me: “I think pick-up artists are really doing men no favours at all recommending these techniques... And my advice would be this, this is not the approach to take because you could end up facing very, very serious consequences.”

Confrontation

Five months after the bootcamp and I was back in London - this time as a BBC journalist to challenge the pick-up coaches I had met.

After weeks of refusing to engage with me, I found Eddie Hitchens coaching another group of men. I asked why he pressurised women into having sex. He was outraged. 

“That’s completely wrong,” he said. “That’s completely wrong. You have twisted it completely out of  context… Bro. It’s an art. It’s an art... It’s completely consensual.

"We actually help men…so if anything we help prevent rape culture to help prevent them get involved in anything illegal or non-consensual.”

Richard Hood denied teaching men how to pressurise women into having sex and said all the women were recorded with their consent.

“We never film girls. We’ve had actresses,” he told me. So you’ve done nothing wrong? “Correct” And you don’t think you’re breaking the law? “Of course not.”

After I spoke to Richard Hood, Street Attraction deleted the secretly filmed video I questioned him about.  

Then, shortly before my documentary film was to be broadcast, YouTube removed more than a hundred videos posted by Street Attraction.

A YouTube spokesperson told me the platform had “terminated the channels Addy A Game and Street Attraction.

"YouTube strictly prohibits explicit sexual, graphic or harassing content.

"Nothing is more important than protecting the safety of our community, and we will continue to review and refine our policies in this area.”

Another Street Attraction coach called George Massey later told me he saw his role as “helping people in the dating field”. If he has ever said anything inappropriate to a man seeking support, he said, no-one has ever told him. He said he gets letters of thanks from men who are now in healthy relationships. He added: “I don't claim to be impervious to error”.

Hitchens denied telling his students that they should approach teenagers. 

“Not true,” he said. “The thing that I teach is exactly this.  Find out how old the girl is before you do anything sexual, anything flirtatious… You guys are basically misrepresenting what we’re doing.  It’s absolutely disgusting and we’ll see you in court.”

Five months after the bootcamp and I was back in London - this time as a BBC journalist to challenge the pick-up coaches I had met.

After weeks of refusing to engage with me, I found Eddie Hitchens coaching another group of men. I asked why he pressurised women into having sex. He was outraged. 

“That’s completely wrong,” he said. “That’s completely wrong. You have twisted it completely out of  context… Bro. It’s an art. It’s an art... It’s completely consensual.

"We actually help men…so if anything we help prevent rape culture to help prevent them get involved in anything illegal or non-consensual.”

Richard Hood denied teaching men how to pressurise women into having sex and said all the women were recorded with their consent.

“We never film girls. We’ve had actresses,” he told me. So you’ve done nothing wrong? “Correct” And you don’t think you’re breaking the law? “Of course not.”

After I spoke to Richard Hood, Street Attraction deleted the secretly filmed video I questioned him about.  

Then, shortly before my documentary film was to be broadcast, YouTube removed more than a hundred videos posted by Street Attraction.

A YouTube spokesperson told me the platform had “terminated the channels Addy A Game and Street Attraction.

"YouTube strictly prohibits explicit sexual, graphic or harassing content.

"Nothing is more important than protecting the safety of our community, and we will continue to review and refine our policies in this area.”

Another Street Attraction coach called George Massey later told me he saw his role as “helping people in the dating field”. If he has ever said anything inappropriate to a man seeking support, he said, no-one has ever told him. He said he gets letters of thanks from men who are now in healthy relationships. He added: “I don't claim to be impervious to error”.

Hitchens denied telling his students that they should approach teenagers. 

“Not true,” he said. “The thing that I teach is exactly this.  Find out how old the girl is before you do anything sexual, anything flirtatious… You guys are basically misrepresenting what we’re doing.  It’s absolutely disgusting and we’ll see you in court.”


Meanwhile, back in Glasgow, Adnan Ahmed's trial has concluded.

One 18-year-old victim who gave evidence described being stopped in a shopping centre by Ahmed, who is now 38.

“He put his hand on my back, at my waist. He put his hand on my cheek and tried to kiss me. I threw my hands up and asked him what he was doing. There was no conversation at all. Then I asked a member of the public if I could stand next to them because I felt vulnerable and isolated. He was bigger than me so I was scared to cause a scene.”

Giving evidence, Ahmed said his approaches to women were harmless and said that he stopped as soon as he found out if they were 17 or younger.

The jury disagreed.

Ahmed was convicted of five charges of threatening and abusive behaviour and was remanded in custody for sentence.

He had already spent nine months on remand in jail.

While the case was going on, Rita was at court to support the women. She was one of the women who had blown the whistle on Ahmed’s activities, and it was her call to the BBC that set me off investigating A-Game.

Rita had thought she knew “Addy”.

They were both students at college in Glasgow where they were studying towards a degree in social work. They both lived in the Glasgow area, they shared a car pool to class.

That was until Ahmed missed a day of college, giving one of Rita’s classmates the opportunity to show the rest of the car pool exactly what Addy got up to in his spare time.

Rita was shown a series of images of Ahmed with half-naked women from his Instagram account and YouTube channel.

“I was kind of in floods of tears and thinking, what is this, is he like a pimp or is this a prostitution ring?” she said.

“I started looking at the videos and I just felt sick. I felt physically sick. It wasn’t about how to chat up a girl, it was much darker, much darker. They [the women in his videos] don’t know they’re being filmed. They don’t know they’re being recorded. So, right from the off it’s seedy, it’s underhand.”

This is the era of #MeToo. Women are fighting back against male harassment. Women like Rita, Beth and Emily are finally being listened to.

“I’ve realised, you know, it’s a universal problem” said Rita. “I just want women and young girls to be aware that there are these predatory men, in our colleges and in our workplaces."

Meanwhile, back in Glasgow, Adnan Ahmed's trial has concluded.

One 18-year-old victim who gave evidence described being stopped in a shopping centre by Ahmed, who is now 38.

“He put his hand on my back, at my waist. He put his hand on my cheek and tried to kiss me. I threw my hands up and asked him what he was doing. There was no conversation at all. Then I asked a member of the public if I could stand next to them because I felt vulnerable and isolated. He was bigger than me so I was scared to cause a scene.”

Giving evidence, Ahmed said his approaches to women were harmless and said that he stopped as soon as he found out if they were 17 or younger.

The jury disagreed.

Ahmed was convicted of five charges of threatening and abusive behaviour and was remanded in custody for sentence.

He had already spent nine months on remand in jail.

While the case was going on, Rita was at court to support the women. She was one of the women who had blown the whistle on Ahmed’s activities, and it was her call to the BBC that set me off investigating A-Game.

Rita had thought she knew “Addy”.

They were both students at college in Glasgow where they were studying towards a degree in social work. They both lived in the Glasgow area, they shared a car pool to class.

That was until Ahmed missed a day of college, giving one of Rita’s classmates the opportunity to show the rest of the car pool exactly what Addy got up to in his spare time.

Rita was shown a series of images of Ahmed with half-naked women from his Instagram account and YouTube channel.

“I was kind of in floods of tears and thinking, what is this, is he like a pimp or is this a prostitution ring?” she said.

“I started looking at the videos and I just felt sick. I felt physically sick. It wasn’t about how to chat up a girl, it was much darker, much darker. They [the women in his videos] don’t know they’re being filmed. They don’t know they’re being recorded. So, right from the off it’s seedy, it’s underhand.”

This is the era of #MeToo. Women are fighting back against male harassment. Women like Rita, Beth and Emily are finally being listened to.

“I’ve realised, you know, it’s a universal problem” said Rita. “I just want women and young girls to be aware that there are these predatory men, in our colleges and in our workplaces."


Watch the documentary

Monday 7 October at 20:30 on BBC One and BBC One Scotland


Credits

Author: Myles Bonnar

Photography: Marc Ellison and Getty Images

Producer: Marc Ellison

Editor: Matt Roper

Publication date: 7 October 2019