Monthly Archives: May 2011

Beta Bait Music: Trouble Me

I love 10,000 Maniacs, and I really like this song.

However, it’s sad to say it’s classic beta bait – guys may hear this kind of stuff and think it’s what women want, raw and emotionally labile.

Speak to me, don’t mislead me, the calm I feel means a storm is swelling;
Speak to me, there’s no telling where it starts or how it ends.
Speak to me, why are you building this thick brick wall to defend me
Speak to me, when your silence is my greatest fear?
Why let your shoulders bend underneath this burden when my back is sturdy and strong?

Ask yourself if you want to take romantic advice from a woman with Natalie Merchant’s style of frenetic dance moves.

As long as we’re on the topic:

15 Comments

Filed under beta guide, media

A Long-Overdue Reply to Bb Re: Entitled Wives

In comments on a recent post I criticized a particular pattern of thinking with regard to modern marriage:

“I was mostly referring to women who have a warped concept of marriage as an institution where she gets to live her empowered independent lifestyle but her husband is obligated to bend to her wishes…it’s a one-way process.”

Commenter Bb asked (twice in the thread, in fact) if I was theorizing or had actually seen this behavior.

“Out of curiosity, how many women in real life have you met like this, Badger? (I’ve been out of SMP for quite a while.)”

My answer has two parts: the Internet and “real life.”

I have seen an enormous amount of this attitude on the Internet. My informal perusal of Internet discussion on marriage (manosphere and otherwise) suggests to me that this may be the single biggest non-sexual complaint men have about their marriages. You can also find it on the women’s side. Innumerable advice columns field questions of the form “how can I make my husband do/think/be what I want?” You can find it in the petulant complaints at Dating A Banker Anonymous, DateMeDC or the inscrutable Lilly (who without a lick of irony lists cats and shoes as her two loves). Those in the so-called sex poz community also have a deep streak of viewing men as dildos-on-call, where women hold all the freedoms and benefits and men all the responsibilities and accountabilities.

One caveat to this is that we don’t know how many of these women actually feel this way, and how many of them are just running nuclear fitness testing in an attempt to get their man to be more of a leader.

As to my personal life: I know a handful of people like this. Though I try not to. I can’t say I ever chose my friends based on their views on gender roles in marriage, but people with this sort of attitude seem to have other toxic traits, and so I have weeded many of the flightly, flaky entitled people (of both genders) out of my life. However, the stories I hear from coupled and dating men in my life let me know I’m only two degrees of separation from a whole nother crop of them. (I do know a couple of married guys who are not victims of controlling wives but instead are just willingly pussywhipped.)

Keeping away takes some effort though. There are plenty of Sex And The City wannabes walking around the streets of urban America. They can get away with it, for a time, usually because they are hot and surrounded by men who will prostrate themselves for sexual access. They may even snag a relationship or two from a guy who offers “commitment” to hold onto his supply of sex. But there is no real “relationship” where one person thinks they have the right to boss the other person around. As they approach their 30′s, the balance shifts quickly as their looks decline and the “testosterone fog” of sexual desperation lifts among the men around them. The landing can be hard indeed.

Bb continued:

“Even with non-traditional ideas of marriage, it would seem that a woman who’d want to be completely in control of their own destiny wouldn’t think that marriage would be logical. Cuts out of a lot of choice and options for self.”

This does sound like cognitive dissonance. The simple answer to this is that humans are not solely logical; we make life decisions based on a combination of logical, emotional and social factors; even our instinctual mating strategies have a lot of conflict within them. Women want the imprimatur, the impregnable social status symbol, of having a husband (“somebody chose me!!!”) but culture has also told them they shouldn’t take any shit from a man, men are stupid and should be manipulated to her end, and that sets up a conflict when it comes time to actually be married.

That’s why it’s hard to take a person at their word wrt these issues; women can talk a good game about wanting an “equal” relationship or a Captain-First Officer setup or whatever, but whenever conflict comes up still assert that theirs is the only view that should matter. Often it’s not that they overtly, logically think the relationship should work this way, it’s that whenever the chips are down, they viscerally turn to this one-sided ideology that popular culture has pumped into them – one where they are sweet and special ipso facto and the man should grovel for her approval. (People in general are just not very good at thinking in the heat of battle.)

It’s not that it’s young women’s fault, per se, but at some point they need to take responsibility for their own predicament and start to turn in the right direction – toss out Cosmo and actually come to view men as ends in themselves. The first step is recognizing toxic modes of thinking and setting yourself straight. That’s nothing more than we in the Manosphere ask men to do today – turn off the cultural nonsense being pumped into your head, throw away the pretty lies, and learn enough game to be an honest success in today’s SMP.

46 Comments

Filed under junk culture

Musings on Online Dating

One could write an entire blog about online dating. In fact, someone has. The Private Man has covered many details of online dating in great detail.

Online dating is not particularly different than dating full stop, and it is most like real dating in the most banal and frustrating aspects: constant rejection and flaking. It’s quite common that a dude will send out dozens of messages and get absolutely nothing in return.

In that respect, it’s worse than regular singles scene – you have zero feedback except being ignored. You don’t really know where you went wrong, and because you can’t see who they ARE responding like you can in a meat-market atmosphere you have no data to calibrate against.

There is one big win for online dating: unlike in-person pickup where you really have no idea where your target stands, everybody on the site actually wants to go on a date.

…or so I thought. Then I read TPM quoting the wise Workshy Joe who put forth this theory: “The real problem is that women are now using online dating sites as a gauge of their sexual market value rather than an actual way to meet men.”

PHOTO FURY

Don’t use too many photos. One source I read recommended at most five; I’d keep it under eight, and make sure each photo is different in terms of night/day, inside/outside, group/alone, and doing different things.

A fascinating OkCupid last year used empirical evidence to evaluate various (alleged) myths about online dating profile photos. I can’t do it justice here, so just read it.

Susan Walsh recently posted on a study indicating that when looking at photos of the opposite sex, women were most attracted to men who projected a visage of pride or of brooding shame while men found smiling women most attractive.

Upshot: women should cultivate an eager, happy or “flirty” appearance, while men should feature a photo looking away from the camera and not smiling, and both should be doing something interesting.

Early in The Game, Mystery tells Neil Strauss that the smile is a key trait of the alpha male. Does this contradict the photo studies? I don’t think so. 3-D interaction is much different than a photograph; smiling whilst moving around a nightclub or restaurant, making friends, cracking jokes, etc shows a natural comfort with the situation and conveys the tone of “amused mastery” that Roissy advocates. But a smile in a headshot photo, without context as to what you’re smiling about, looks goofy and beta. (The same goes for in-person interaction; if you are smiling when there’s nothing to smile about you look like a chump. You are the prize, so use the smile as a reward for women who are pleasing to you.)

PROFILE QUIRKS

Match.com has a user-interface defect that cuts off your tagline and profile text in mid-sentence, sometimes with maximal effect:

OkCupid markets themselves as a site for more intelligent people, and provides you the ability to back it up in your profile:

CLICHES

Online dating sites are rife with content-free profiles. One online advisor cribbed the top five:

  • “I love to laugh”
  • “I love to live life to the fullest”
  • “I’m up for anything” (Seriously? Pegging? Bondage? Riding down Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit shouting racial slurs out the window just to see what happens?)
  • “It’s really hard to write about yourself.”
  • “My friends talked me into this / I’m skeptical of this whole online dating thing / Some other concession for their presence on the site. “

Another guy posted a satiric profile essay (be sure to click the link for the pictures):

I’ve never done the online thing before but here I am so we’ll see how it goes. About me. I’m not your typical girl next door. I love to have a good time, go dancing with my friends, but also stay at home and curl up with a good book and a movie and someone special in my PJ’s while cooking a good meal at home in front of the fire. I enjoy going to the movies, going to the beach, spending time with my friends, outdoorsy stuff, and having fun. I also love to laugh! I believe in having fun and I think laughing is so much fun! My life is measured in smiles, and right now I’m up to a mile of smiles! I also love flowers, holding hands, puppies, and the fun girly things that girls are supposed to love. That doesn’t make me a hopeless romantic, but I do love romance and I’m waiting for my white knight to sweep me off my feet. I don’t really go to bars and clubs any more even though I used to a lot because I finally graduated and now I have a job. I’m down to earth and I have a good head on my shoulders. I love to travel and the color pink!

I used to think I wanted someone to complete me, but now I know I’m complete by myself. I’m not looking for anything serious, friendship at first, but if something serious develops then we’ll see what happens ;) I want someone who is honest, loyal, fun, witty, sincere, trustworthy, and doesn’t want to play games. (If you’re a player, please look elsewhere because I won’t have sex with a guy unless he buys me dinner at least three times.) Honesty is my biggest thing…you only get ONE chance with me so please pay attention.

My match would be a serious guy with ambition, but also tall, ambitious, intelligent, confident, active, really handsome, sexy, humorous, well traveled, successful, and make me laugh. Also must be able to hold a good conversation. I want someone respectful, independent, has a great family because family is important, and who treats me like I’m special. Did I mention that I love to laugh? I do LOL!! Also, please be taller than six feet, I’m not attracted to shorties, and make over 100k, or at least 75k, that would be good too. Thanks guys, drop me a email, I’ll look forward to hearing from you LOL!

He comes clean: “I just wrote a 400 word profile and it said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Believe it or not, I lifted parts of every one of those lines from actual profiles. Ladies, if your profile reads like this, you’re not marketing yourself properly. All you’re selling is your pretty face via pictures and we’re ignoring your profile because it’s total bullshit. If the pics are the only thing the guy can focus on, you’re only attracting on a sexual level. And you wonder why guys just wanna f*$# and run?”

GROUP REJECTION PARTY

The Private Man just posted this video of two young women perusing PlentyOfFish profiles and pointing out what is wrong with all the guys.

You don’t need to watch more than the first two or three minutes to get the idea, and to capture the lesson that applies to game, online dating, in-person dating and everything else in life: haters gonna hate. There are just simply going to be people who don’t care for what you are selling. Don’t listen to their criticisms; that they are not buying is the only information you need. Women who reject you for superficial reasons are doing you a favor by taking themselves out of your pool.

I truly believe one of the big reasons for dating failure is people being afraid they’ll be made fun of, and so instead of being unapologetically distinctive, they adopt a risk-averse motif designed to not offend anybody. As a result they are maximally pleasant but minimally attractive to everybody, instead of being distinctively attractive to a small subset of enthusiastic prospects. (These are the people who are absolutely dumbfounded when they are told that negs and qualifying work as attraction tactics.)

For dating success, men and women both need to get comfortable not being liked by everybody and with the idea that some chick (or dude) behind a computer screen might laugh at them on the comfort of their own home. Confident, successful people always have haters, and they show you are doing something right because haters are either rivals who are scared you will move in on their territory, or people jealous of your drive and accomplishment.

I mean, there are people who don’t find Giselle Bundchen attractive (incidentally, I am one of them.) That doesn’t mean she doesn’t make millions to be photographed or that her husband doesn’t want to put one in her end zone.

For what it’s worth, I’m not nearly as negative about these women as some other people are, because honestly we all judge partners we deem unfit harshly inside our own heads. What I do think is crass and without character is that they posted the video on the Internet with a disclaimer that reads “we know we are bitches.” In any case karma is coming and that right soon. They are young, reasonably thin and not busted, which brings a lot of male attention, but they are not particularly stunning and so are in for a big surprise when they hit their late 20′s and find that they can’t cop that attitude and expect to get the same flock of orbiters.

I also think this is a good example of how the female herd acts against the interests of its members. Viewing profiles alone, either of these women might find some of these guys endearing, quirky, or otherwise worth at least going on a date with. In a pair, they are playing an interlocking one-up game of rejection for sport, with a faint whiff of sick intrasexual competition trying to talk one another out of being interested in any of these men. It’s like the worst thing that could happen to either of them is that the other one gets a boyfriend and leaves her out in the cold.

A PROFILE I RECENTLY REJECTED

The woman is pretty, her top photo is of her shooting an AK. Quirkily interesting things on her profile. But she starts with an insulting disqualifier – “Ugh, so it’s come to this: I’m on a dating site.” And ends with this:

You should message me if:

  • You are single…no, I will not join your threesome.
  • You are a confirmed non-douchebag.
  • If my profile hasn’t scared you off.
  • You know what you want in life as opposed to bouncing around from one unrealistic pipe dream to the next.
  • Please don’t be a psycho

How charming. I don’t have a lot of time for women who fitness test before we’ve even met. Tough call but she didn’t get a message from me.

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Filed under beta guide, primary sources

Hot Lines For Your Next Date

The latest post here at the Hut linking an audio clip of a sloshed West Virginia woman calling a radio program was undoubtedly the source of much mirth for the readership.

However, there is real practical value in the clip as well. Roissy recommends taking a pose of “amused mastery” as a slogan for gaming the opposite sex. To that end, a man could do worse than to throw any of the lines used by host Tom Leykis to maintain the flow and focus of the conversation. Try some of these on your next date. Be sure to stop by and let us know how it worked out.

You don’t know what my first name is?

You could use a good spanking right about now, I can tell.

I don’t wear underwear.

Do you have a regular booty call?

You don’t like the way I think? Why not?

Cause you’re drunk!

Rrrrreally…

Are you horny right now?

You’ve already said that about four times now.

Listen to you!

What did I just say to you about my underwear?

What you need is my handprint on your ass, that’d wake you right up.

Come onnnnn!

Are you on medication or are you drinking?

You’ve been drinking tonight, it’s so obvious! (nice neg to use if you get booty called by a woman)

I don’t understand what you mean…

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Filed under off the donkey rails

Blogging Under The Influence

Over the past half-day the most successful thread in Badger Hut history became a one-on-one coffee klatch blog bomb between Laverne and Shirley. Watching the discussion develop, all I could think of was this:

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Filed under media, off the donkey rails, this is just funny

Regarding This Morning’s “Anything Goes” Post

Executive Summary: some of you were had, and might want to look up “sarcasm” in the dictionary.

In any event, the satiric point of the post was that there’s always a social cycle of decadence and morality. Social conservative and trad-con types seem to believe that pre-pill America was a uniform time of common morality and sexual continence (you could argue that feminists see an oppressive dystopia in the same uniform manner, that no woman ever had an orgasm or a job before 1960).

Even the most banal review of modern history shows the truth.

There were the booze- and sex-soaked roaring 20′s (Fitzgerald’s heydey),

the privation of the depression,

the patriotic war era,

stuffy postwar materialism,

then the societal adolescence of the 60′s,

the swinging (sexually at least) seventies,

then the decade of AIDS that shut off the spigot,

the safe sex era and “didn’t inhale.”

Now we’ve got the hookup culture and a bunch of boomer parents wringing their hands that their kids might be doing the same sexual adventuring they did in their young adult lives.

Now heaven knows, anything goes.

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Filed under history

Update To Friday’s Field Report

So Eastern Boy smooched the cougar chick at the bar Friday night. Good for him.

He asks me Saturday what his next move should be.

I told him to send her a text saying exactly this: “what are you up to tonight” (no ? mark). This sets up an opportunity for him to meet her somewhere or invite her to wherever he’s going to be, but also hints he’s not all that invested so she doesn’t have to feel bad if she turns him down.

Instead he texted something like “it was nice talking with you, let me know if you want to go out sometime.”

FACEPALM.

Why this response was wrong:

The woman made out with him within an hour of meeting him. That’s a nuclear IOI. The ball is in his court. She’s waiting for him to keep being the outrageously confident guy who stole first base; within reason, she’ll probably follow his next move.

Instead, he throws the ball (and his balls) back into her court. He forces her brain to consider the question “do I want to go out on a date – not just go out, but initiate it – with the guy I made out with at the bar last night?” He’s basically calling up her hamster from the minor leagues and telling it it’s pitching on one night’s rest.

Anything could have happened. They could have gone home with each other that night. They could have decided they liked each other and arranged a real date later in the week. They could have decided they weren’t a good fit, enjoyed a tasty beverage and gone their separate ways.

Now we’ll never know.

Men, lead. If she wants you to stop or doesn’t want to follow you, she’ll let you know (you better read that signal right, BTW). Until then,  don’t ask her; don’t tell her. Just lead.

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Filed under beta guide, dating and field game, off the donkey rails

A Song For Our Times

I just came across this track.

Check out some of these scandalous lyrics. Isn’t this a perfect description of today’s licentious cultural cesspool?

In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking,
But now, God knows,
Anything Goes.

Good authors too who once knew better words,
Now only use four letter words
Writing prose, Anything Goes.

The world has gone mad today
And good’s bad today,
And black’s white today,
And day’s night today,
When most guys today
That women prize today
Are just silly gigolos

And though I’m not a great romancer
I know that I’m bound to answer
When you propose,
Anything goes

When grandmama whose age is eighty
In night clubs is getting matey with gigolo’s,
Anything Goes.

When mothers pack and leave poor father
Because they decide they’d rather be tennis pros,
Anything Goes.

If driving fast cars you like,
If low bars you like,
If old hymns you like,
If bare limbs you like,
If Mae West you like
Or me undressed you like,
Why, nobody will oppose!
When every night,
The set that’s smart
Is intruding in nudist parties in studios,
Anything Goes.

If saying your prayers you like,
If green pears you like
If old chairs you like,
If back stairs you like,
If love affairs you like
With young bears* you like,
Why nobody will oppose!

*are bears like cougars in this instance?

This just shows how far American values have fallen since before the 60′s. You’d never seen a dignified performer like Frank Sinatra schlepping this dreck.

I looked up the plot of the show:

“The story concerns madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. Billy Crocker is a stowaway in love with heiress Hope Harcourt, who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.”

Sounds like a ripoff of Titanic. Isn’t anyone original anymore?

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Filed under media

History Lesson: On The First Officer and the Vice President

At the latest Hooking Up Smart thread, Athol Kay’s “captain and first officer” model came up. A commenter dubbing herself Stargate Girl (don’t know if she’s related to this girl) said:

Hrumph. I am not always a “first Officer”. I can step up to Captain just dine, thank you (sic)*.

The excellent OffTheCuff responded with a very interesting point:

My wife, the huge Star Trek fan… and I know this better than you?? Riker doesn’t become Captain when he has the bridge, though he’s in full command of the ship.

In the military, the first officer (or XO) doesn’t become the captain unless the captain is killed or captured. The presumptive succession of command duties is actually thought to have been a major advantage of the American military in World War II vis a vis the Japanese and Germans, who are alleged to have wandered aimlessly in the event the CO was taken out in battle.

Anyway, this got me thinking about the American vice presidency. The VP is a weird position; it was apparently invented on the spot at the Constitutional Convention. Until the 12th Amendment, he wasn’t even on the president’s ballot, he was simply the second-highest vote getter in the electoral college – a way of further moderating the majority rule whose power the founders were anxious to limit. (To get a feel for it, note that some states still elect their lieutenant governor separately.)

Where things get really interesting is how the Veep is defined if the president is incapacitated. The original constitution didn’t really nail down the issue. The duties of the President “devolved” to the VP, but it was unclear if the VP would actually become the President or simply a custodian of the presidential duties (“Acting President,” a much different frame of authority) until the subsequent election.

This was all academic until 1841, when William Henry Harrison died a month into office. Daniel Webster sought guidance from the Supreme Court. Despite political peessure to the contrary, John Tyler arrived from Williamsburg and took the oath of office, asserting himself to be the President, full stop.  The series of political fortunes that had sent him to the height of power earned him the nickname “His Accidency.”

Minutiae: to prevent overwhelming regionalism in favor of powerhouses like New York and Virginia, the Constitution required that each elector cast two votes, which were required to be from separate states. Thus the reason the VP must hail from a different state than the president (which is why Dick Cheney changed his voter registration from Texas to Wyoming shortly before joining George W Bush’s campaign).

Though he is privy to all information the POTUS gets on national security, the budget and whatnot, he’s not really the second in command. He’s more like a special advisor, a political helpmeet. He is president of the Senate (the world’s greatest collection of blowhards), but his only real power there is as the tiebreaking vote. Another factor is the personalities of the particular POTUS and VP themselves; Dick Cheney and Joe Biden have filled very different roles under GW Bush and Barack Obama respectively.

*(As an aside, women who are endlessly insistent about “I’m the boss of me and no one should be able to tell me to do something I don’t want to especially not some man just because he’s my husband” – which appears to be a lot of women on the Internet and something that modern feminism trains them into – should think hard about whether they are really cut out for marriage in the first place. Getting married means signing up for a lot of tacit responsibilities you may not want to do at the time, but you agreed to do them for the good of the team. In the same way that men who are not ready to lead the marriage need to think hard about getting involved in marriage at all.)

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Filed under history

Field Report: Geek Game

“Looking for a lover who will come on in and cover me” – Bruce Springsteen

Some coworkers from my old job invited me out with them in our (uncomfortably preppy) neighborhood. I readily accepted as I had never been to the particular joint they were going and wanted to see if they could have any more luck with women than their recent history. (One guy was engaged, which I leveraged to introduce him to to Athol Kay’s material.)

Is this some smashing-success field report, with slam dunk routines in it? No. It does, however, illustrate the dozens of incremental social exchanges that make up an evening. In one sense, game is the art of recognizing those exchanges and capitalizing on them for your social benefit – a girl is free for a few seconds to be opened, a guy slips his game and can be AMOG’d, a woman flashes an IOI across the room. A lot of people go through a party or a pickup with no real concept of the small picture, looking at the big goal (number, close, exit strategy, etc) instead of threading a pastiche of small sequences together the way a musician gets from measure to measure.

NIGHTCLUB ONEITIS

The first thing I could tell was that one guy (let’s call him Eastern Boy as he hails from east of the Danube) was getting a oneitis case for a woman he hadn’t even talked to, a late 20′s woman known as Glasses Chick for obvious reasons. The three-second rule had been broken about a hundred times over; he ran a continuous outer monologue about her body language, position and availability – and never went to talk to her. All the while I exlpained various game principles by way of example – body language, set theory, competing frames. I quizzed the guys on the Indicators of Interest (IOIs) – fidgeting, touching herself, touching you, asking your name or other questions, comfort in your personal space, laughing at lame jokes, continuing the conversation or a tingling gina (difficult to detect in public). Gameless guys could do a lot worse than begin their quest by simply memorizing the IOIs and bailing if they don’t get them in the opening phase.

THE POWER OF ESCROW

Finally tiring of the oneitis, I loaded Eastern Boy with a Mystery gambit – “give me $20, and I’ll give it back to you when you talk to that woman, or any woman.” He declined, so I flipped the script, took out my Andy Jackson fake ID[link to $20 bill] and handed it over to him.

I went to the men’s room as a pretext to scout the environs. Read an email from Susan Walsh while at the sink; Susan’s a nice lady so it boosted my confidence. I came back out; having seen no better sets I planned to open Glasses Chick one on one but she was occupied by a strapping dude. (Eastern Boy had predictably stayed on the bench.)

SWAP MEET LOUIE

Instead I noticed two women (one married) I had seen ordering at the bar earlier, carrying matching Louis Vuitton purses. When I returned from the john, they were at the window table with their backs to our backs. I took my seat, then spun around.

“Excuse me, I noticed you both have Louie,” then with a sly teasing grin, “…is it real?”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gZr6w82zAA

I had a backup story ready about buying fake accessories in NYC (got a great pair of $10 shades) but didn’t need it as they beamed with pride – “it IS real!!!” They told me about the single woman’s ex-fiancee who bought hers for her. They told me where they were from, a town near where I once had a summer internship (more rapport) and we fluffed about the local flavors and sports teams. They told me their girlfriends were coming to take them to another bar soon and how awesome that bar was. They were pleasant to talk to.

CASHING OUT

As I anticipated an awkward silence was imminent, I said I had better get back to my friends and held out my hand. “It was nice talking with you.” They gave me their names unprompted and asked mine, at least a vague IOI.

Eastern Boy gave me my $20 back and I tried to play it cool as a fistbump came my way. Mystery had a bit where he said that it’s important for a guy to be discreet on his way out of a successful set; it’s a DLV to show you felt lucky it had happened, not to mention activating her anti-slut defense with locker-room backslapping.

I recounted my opener – a ripoff of Mystery’s fake nails neg – and one of the guys reacted with derisive shock: “dude, you can’t call their stuff fake!” Another guy said he could call ten girls right then and they’d all tell him they wouldn’t talk to a guy who said that. This despite the fact I had just successfully opened a set with it. I told him you’d get one set of answers on the phone, and another set of answers if they actually got opened by a guy with a halfway decent frame (sadly, white-collar male America is full of well-dressed hard betas).

I explained the purpose of an opener, to get open-ended conversation moving. It also gives them an opportunity to either DHV themselves (I won’t try to explain the conspicuous consumption of designer labels but I know it’s important to the women who carry them) or humorously come clean about living on the cheap (sometimes it builds trust and rapport to admit you are faking it). On the other hand, if they wanted to be offended that I asked, I’d just close the set and go back to the guys – it’s happened before and will happen again, and I don’t really have time for people whose egos are so easily pierced that way.

Someone pointed out a pair in front of the bar, to which I explicated the three-minute rule: if you don’t anticipate being able to hold a set for three minutes, don’t enter. In this case they were waiting to order drinks, and as soon as the bartender was ready for them they’d turn away from any new guy talking to them. Mr “don’t-talk-about-fake-Louie” asked if you could buy the drinks for them to keep them focused on you. I facepalmed. I had to explain that trading resources for a single woman’s time, especially one you’ve barely talked to, is a major DLV. That’s not even Game 101, that’s what was in the reading you were supposed to do before the first lecture. (Did anybody do that pre-reading in college? I know I didn’t.)

It began to feel a little like Office Space, where the hapless protagonists look up money laundering in a dictionary.

THE MOTHER NEG

Two early-middle-aged women walked by our table and with a couple of hellos, we had them hooked into our conversational loop. (That made us 2 for 2 on the over-thirty crowd.)

One of the women had a distinctive stylish watch. I said honestly, “oh, my mom has that watch!” Don’t-talk-about-Louie nervously shushed me and told me not to mention my mother; I literally waved him off and told him I would explain later, which I did. Suffice it to say it’s a neg in the classic Mystery definition, a comment with neither positive nor negative value that simply shows you are not captivated by her frame. Just like the purse comment, it’s plausibly deniable as a totally innocent observation. I complimented her, but offset the DLV of the compliment with a brief mention of my mother (your mother is someone with whom no woman, whether she’s sleeping with you or not, wants to be compared.)

The women worked for a competing firm, which gave us rapport to fluff about the industry and joke about hiring each other (big firms are always poaching mid-level talent).

Eastern Boy began chatting up one of them. As he moved from across the table to right next to her and they got even closer as the bar packed tighter, her friend insisted she was “just being nice.” I concurred as I had yet to see any positive IOIs.

I noticed a new pair of girls at the adjacent table munching pizza. Slim and pretty but very young and somehow empty looking, I was not expecting much. What better time to practice? As I leaned over to initiate, Engaged Lady warned me “oh no, don’t embarrass yourself!”

Gesturing to open space, I said “we’re having a good time over here, would you like to join us?”

The girls looked at each other with a nauseous glance. “Well we’re having a good time over here.” [Our tables are two feet apart.]

“You can take the pizza to this table…[I pointed at our companion] she’s having a good time with us!”

The girls dithered without really knowing what to say. After a couple of seconds I shrugged and said unreactively, “suit yourself.” They kept talking at me (maybe they had thought of a delayed-reaction comeback), but by mid-sentence I had turned back around and rejoined the original conversation. No malice, not defensive, not with a Parthian shot, I just turned around and went back to what I was doing. Apparently I had not embarrassed myself after all, as Engaged Lady changed her story to compliment my frame: “I really admire your confidence.” I played it off as just part of my deal.

CLOSE THE DEAL

Eastern Boy and Marketing Babe continued to get closer with escalating kino including her hand on his shoulder and his hand on her waist. Engaged Lady reiterated the same story: “oh, she’s just being nice.”

I responded with incredulity: “For 45 minutes?!? I couldn’t be nice to those girls behind us for more than five seconds!” No sooner had I said that than I looked over at them and noticed them kissing – on the lips, with their eyes closed. If she was just being nice, it would be the nicest being nice I’ve ever seen.

I don’t know how drunk they were if at all, but sober or not they were definitely in the lovers’ intoxication. Hi-Yo dopamine.

ENDGAME

Baby steps. Is this some virtuoso pickup example? Not at all. But I got to catch up with some pals, met a few interesting folks and a guy did have a taste of the real success that had been eluding him for a long time. I also “picked up” the guy next to me in a totally non-sexual way – he was a freelancer in a field of interest so I got his contact info for professional purposes and to cement a new friend. Interesting how the guys most critical of (very mild) game were the ones who talked to zero single women all night. The positive for me is that I was completely non-outcome-focused. I was there to enjoy spending time with some friends, not !close some liquored-up tart blowing off steam from her corporate workweek. One of the guys and I tapped out at the location bounce and went back to our places; I got home early enough to type this report and prepare for another social event tomorrow morning.

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