Category Archives: dating and field game

Remember That Women Get Approachee Anxiety

Vox Day had a post at Alpha Game last week in which a self-styled omega male reader asked for advice on basic conversational skills. I empathized, as a recovering shy person myself there was a long time where I was paralyzed by my embarrassment at not being able to carry on conversations.

However, the whole topic combined with my earlier post about the personality demands of “beautiful high-quality women” got me thinking about a couple of bad mental frames guys can get into when it comes to approaching women.

SOME GIRLS ARE BAD COMMUNICATORS

When you’re a young dude and especially if you’re not into small talk, it’s easy to blame yourself and think that it’s “your problem” if conversations with girls don’t go very well. Likewise, it’s a point of Girl Canon to assume that by virtue of their sex, girls have great communication skills and are socially top-notch and so any botched conversations must be because the guy is socially awkward or something.

That’s simply not true. Plenty of girls are crappy conversationalists, dealing poorly with topic changes, reading tone, managing cadence, interrupting, listening, or talking about something the other person would be interested in. It has helped me, on the whole, to consistently remind myself that women do not have it all figured out in the game…lots of women have “approachee anxiety,” get nervous around guys, don’t know what to say and so say whatever insipid thought might come into their minds, and otherwise fail at properly shepherding the conversation forward. When you consider the plethora of girls who socialize mostly with other women and in addition aren’t getting approached frequently and thus don’t have much practice chatting with guys, it’s not hard to understand why many of them aren’t that great at the conversation thing.

This goes double for those occasions when a girl is interested in you.  Standard PUA teaching is that a woman will drop stereotyped indicators of interest (IOIs) when she’s into you, such as touching herself, touching you, laughing at what you say, or asking your name. But it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes a girl will respond to the interest of an interesting man with a total unnerved shutdown that looks like non-interest, or a free-wheeling lack of conversational tact. I’ve heard literally dozens of women say how embarrassed and flustered they feel when an attractive guy is talking to them.

It really knocks the pedestal away to remember that it’s only half your fault if the conversation sucks. The past few years I’ve been able to internalize that I’m an interesting, dynamic guy, and if she can’t keep up an interesting conversation with me, it’s HER problem, and I don’t stand for a woman making men feel like they are the ones with the problem because they can’t keep the girl entertained when she can’t be bothered to carry her weight in the discussion.

GIRLS CAN’T READ YOUR MIND

In turn, this discussion brought to mind how easy it is to psych yourself out when approaching by thinking that women have some kind of mind-reading ability and can tell exactly how nervous you are and what your insecurities are and all the rest of it. Don’t go down that path – she may have a bad read or squarely no idea what’s going through your head. This came up in LaidNYC’s interview with Manosphere Radio:

“For most guys, your nervousness is honestly pretty subtle, and girls aren’t experts on male body language. This mythical woman’s intuition, it’s all bullshit – girls don’t have like a magic window into your soul. I feel like guys have this idea that when you approach and you’re nervous, a girl’s gonna know that you’re a nervous low-value virgin or whatever. But in reality, you’re giving her way too much credit.”

Host Peter then quotes Krauser who posits that a bit of nerves can make you a bit more “real” and head off the “player vibe.”

Anxiety in general tends to heighten one’s self-consciousness, and approaching is no exception – that’s one of the outcomes of approach anxiety, you begin to doubt your own value and project your doubts onto other people. For all you know, she spotted you walking in and has already projected onto you her conviction that you are the sexiest guy she’s seen all night. Just walk up to her, say the opener and cast out any thoughts that she’s got you figured out. Some approach anxiety is almost always going to be there, don’t make it worse by making irrational assertions to yourself because of it.

While it’s true that women are going to pick up body language and kinetic cues that you might be unaware of, don’t mistake that for someone having a full informed picture of your own emotional state. People misread cues all the time, and if women had this magical intuition in spades, they’d be dominating all the poker tournaments and arms negotiations.

KEEP IT REAL

I find that recalling these two truths gives me a couple of things. One is a sense of ease that the other person might have as many butterflies as I do. Another is a sense of empathy for her, which helps stave off the adversarial frame of the typical night-game approach and build the human connection I am going for to begin with.

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Filed under beta guide, dating and field game

Reciprocal Scarcity: A Treatise in Two Parts (Part II)

On Friday I discussed a Wall Street Journal article about workplace perks and riffed about how two parties in a market can both be chasing a high-quality/non-fungible and thus scarce resource the other possesses, and that this “reciprocal scarcity” produces a paradox where both sides perceive a critical shortage despite their being, by the numbers, a lot of supply in the field.

The thing is, if you look like the rest of the field…you’re in the “presenter” role, and you have to try to get employers’ attention. You avoid mistakes that bounce people out of interviews, and hope that someone in the process liked you enough to give you the job above a bunch of other cookie-cutter candidates, because when they have more suitors than spots, they start making decisions on ever more petty criteria.

However, if you have some trait that makes you desirable for a particular niche…you will be more of a selector, and employers will fight over you. Those who need someone to do, say, international tax law, or arcane circuit design, or precision welding, or to close deals that couldn’t otherwise be closed, will find themselves adapting to the applicants more than the other way around, lest they be caught entirely without someone to do essential work for their business.

It should be pretty clear to regular readers that this mutual asymmetry also exists in the sexual and mating marketplace. It’s a fascinating analogy, as mates are not fungible commodities either – some people are more desireable than others, which changes people’s negotiating behavior, IOW what they are willing to give for what they get. When you feel your options for mates are scarce, you will instinctively put yourself in a submissive bargaining position, accepting poor mate quality and bad behavior out of fear that you will never convince another person to to love you.

(Sidebar: The “romantics,” as you might call them, are deeply disturbed by this model and reject it. Their concept is of a special, individualized “life force” that matches you lock and key with a soulmate, and that the dating culture is a large-scale randomization that enables soulmates to match up. They see the idea of a mating “marketplace” to be crass and dehumanizing. The truth is, though, that there are physical, structural and contextual factors that predict attraction between the genders, and these can leveraged and modulated by individuals to improve their results. You do not have to be an evo-psych true believer to buy this; The Selfish Gene is pretty well-accepted in the popular scientific community.)

The incidence of reciprocal scarcity in the SMP, obviously, is that the most desirable mates of either gender have strong bargaining power and wide choice. This came up in the Introverted Playboy’s recent post “Women are not the selectors, hot people are”:

“Both hot men and hot women–in other words, the most sexually desirable members of each gender–are the sexual selectors because a large number of people want to date or sleep with them…

If we look at the hottest men, the men who are the most attractive to the female gender, they do not have an issue when it comes to sexual access. They can either generate sexual opportunities for themselves relatively easily, or they have opportunities coming to them with less effort…The least attractive men are the most sexually driven–because they have so few options–and this is what makes them overeager whenever a hot woman gives them a little interest. This creates the illusion that women are the selectors, but what is really happening is that one person is more eager than the other, and as a result, the less eager person has leverage in the relationship. If the man is less eager (i.e. by being outcome independent, living a powerful life that is more interesting to him than getting the next lay, etc), then suddenly the tables start to turn.”

(Cross-blog plug: I really like the IP’s stuff, Badger Hut regulars would probably enjoy his style.)

A key note on the idea of “selection” is needed here. In today’s American society, outside of a sliver of religious sects, sexual selection is the predecessor to relationship selection. The vast majority of men are not interested in dating/having a relationship with a woman they aren’t attracted to. The same goes for women, excepting those who are trying to snag the beta-provider security in their SMP twilight, so let’s say no woman with options is going to date a man she’s not attracted to. In the vast majority of cases, some kind of sexual activity that goes beyond first base is going happen before the relationship is sealed.

So the sexual and so-called “marital” marketplaces are not operating in parallel as much as some kind of success in the SMP is a prerequisite to enter the MMP.

Now, let’s analyze the dual scarcities.

The dominance-and-status basis for male attraction, the strong influence of preselection and female hypergamy, and the horrifically inadequate social training provided to young men in today’s society put only a small cohort of men in the “desireable” category. These men are either nailed down by partners or “unavailable” by virtue of pluralistic availability (i.e. playing the field), and so to a woman seeking such a mate, they are perpetually scarce targets.

This is exactly the source of the feminist Apex Fallacy the manosphere is repeatedly citing (hat tip to Bernard Chapin for coining the term): if you are a woman who is not at the top of her food chain, you are a presenter and the men you desire are the selectors, and their behavior dominates your perception of what men and their lives are like. And select they will. Early on, the Manosphere get behind the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule – a longtime male proverb that “80% of the girls are sleeping with 20% of the guys.” This was never intended to be an absolute numerical description but expressed a Thompsonian verisimilitude of the sexual marketplace that resonated with most men – that the trend of women’s interest went to a small sliver of guys, while the rest are to be rejected with prejudice or tolerated as a secondary strategy when the music is stopping and there’s no handsome hunk offering her a seat on his lap.

Recent statistics that there are more male than female virgins in American colleges seems to back up the idea. (A corollary of the 80/20 rule was “you just have to get into that 20% and you’re set,” reflecting preselection’s power to make a sexually successful male even more desired.)

On the other side of the seesaw, you have reams of indistinguishibly drab beta males, whose mating fields run fallow in one season after another. They have meager means to attract and retain women, and are desperate for female attention and approval. These men are presenters, and the women they desire the selectors (and often the women they desire are of modest SMP “resources”). The results are predictably disastrous; they are the SMP equivalent of fresh college graduates begging employers for that first boost up the staircase, hoping someone will take a chance on them. They will have infinite, and corrosively self-destructive, loyalty and dedication because they are existentially scared of being cast out, of losing their newfound font of romantic attention and sexual access. The female reactions to this behavior are, to put it mildly, extremely negative.

We in the Manosphere are continually warning and coaching men to develop a mindset of abundance and avoid the mindset of scarcity. By a quirk of psychology, if a man acts in a manner congruent with having a lot of options, enough women will see him (and treat him) as a man with options for him to level up his bargaining position and have a chance at some success. It is truly amazing to watch a humble, mild-mannered man assume an affected posture of social dominance and outcome independence and see his fortunes with women improve. (Again, the romantics would say he’s tapping into some kind of core value buried deep inside him that people are responding to – but no, he’s simply exhibiting behaviors that are known to increase his perceived social value.)

As I once noted in a comment, the overall selection auction goes something like this:

  1. The top men take whom they want (who are happy to go along)
  2. The remaining top women pick the best greater-betas
  3. The middle betas and below then take the women they can get (who go along grudgingly)

So there’s a scarcity mindset at every rung relative to the rung above it. Even the men at the top perceive some scarcity, because their personalities and tastes for variety are insatiable (that’s part of why they are up there). Note that the women in step 2 are put in a position of relationship leadership that the empirical evidence suggests women are not very keen on.

In other words, just like in the job market, the mindset of sexual-marketplace scarcity can and does go in both directions. It’s easy to get wrapped up in cognitive bias by telling yourself, if you’re a woman for instance, that men have it easy. Men don’t have it easy, the small subset of highly-desired men have it easy (the apex fallacy lives), as do the most desired women.

My friend Captain Capitalism has undertaken some original research to determine the exact terms of the SMP’s interpersonal bargaining: he polled his male readership for their age and approximately how much time they spent pursuing women. The results were predictable but useful – guys in their mid-20’s to early 30’s spent almost a quarter of their free time pursuing women, with the results falling off such that by age 50 or so, guys were putting in almost no effort.

The numbers suggest that the age at which men perceive the most benefit from female pursuit is in the young adult years, however it also suggests that they are relatively weak bargainers at that age which itself motivates the intense effort to meet and date girls.

FURTHER READING

I penned two earlier posts that overlap with this Treatise, and rather than stuff their hyperlinks into the new text, I figured they were worth outboard citations in their own right.

Reflections on Frost’s Analysis of the Sexual Revolution

Decoupling Intimacy and Commitment

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Filed under dating and field game, junk culture, original research

The Basic Skills Test For Game

Amid an explosive discussion at Dalrock about the knowledge of game in wider society*, commenter Jack penned a brilliant treatise on the basic outline of a good game toolbox. It’s as simple as three steps.

1.) Active Disinterest and how it utterly drives women crazy. (ignoring calls, proper frame control, taming your desire to overtly advertise your interest to her. eliminating your desire to emote)

The first detailed writings I saw on this exact topic (save for Leykis 101’s crude tips like don’t answer the phone on the weekend) were from Mystery. The problem is this: you can show a lack in a woman by not talking to her and not being around her; however, she won’t have any reason to get interested in you because you are not in her space. To get around this, Mystery developed a series of gambits to to stay socially engaged with a woman but to exude an aura that you were not actually interested in her. For this he deployed the body rock, isolating a woman in a group setting, and the neg. No game blog has arrived until it’s had a long and pointless debate about negs, and almost every discussion gets it wrong at some point. A neg is not about “lowering a woman’s self-esteem.” It was designed as a display of non-interest, a comment that a man who was into the woman would never make (the word he used in an oft-quoted post on the matter was “snub” – to deny someone attention).

Among many other men, I can vouch for seeing a woman’s interest in me take a dramatic tick upwards when I withdraw signals of my own attention and interest, watching her eyes scramble as she tries to find a way to get it back. It’s a bit disheartening to really internalize this lesson – you realize how shallow many women really are in this arena, and you recognize that in all those years of seeing women go nuts for guys who couldn’t give two licks about them, at least some of those cases were little more than the denial of attention itself (combined with even a modest kernel of attraction) – the girl wanting something shiny she couldn’t have.

I can also vouch for the converse – myself and many others have seen first-hand in our own love lives how even a smidgen of too much interest too early can and will punch us a one-way ticket to Celibacy Point. The need for today’s men to show a distinct LACK of outward interest in a woman he’s actually pursuing has been observed, noted and even encouraged by today’s young women. Men who are paying attention learn that a true emotional disclosure and logistical investment is dangerous to his sex and relationship prospects. And then today’s women complain they can’t get a guy to open up and stick around. You got what you ordered, girl.

As Roosh tweeted pithily: “The game is so fucked up in USA that if you push the wrong button on your phone and accidentally call her, she may write you off completely.”

The extreme version of showing lack of interest is instilling dread. Even accounting for Roissy’s trademark hyperbole and overstatement, a true dread campaign is a last-resort measure whose efforts would be better spent capturing the affections of a new, more cooperative woman.

2.) Women shit testing you and how you must pass these shit tests to be seen as higher value. (her bringing up other guys, her testing your frame, her stirring the pot, her testing the boundaries)

Much has been written on fitness testing and I don’t want to rehash too much of it. I really liked the idea of fitness testing as a girl “rubbing up against your manhood” – sometimes it’s not a test but rather an induction for you to display traits she knows you have but enjoys seeing/experiencing again.

Like the active disinterest of point #1, fitness tests are the pitching of a power struggle in which the winning move is not to play. The fitness test is all around us; once you know to look for it, you see all sorts of these tiny synthetic power struggles all around you. Fitness tests are set up as a double-win situation – if the guy passes, the woman feels secure in her man’s strength and social wiles; if he fails, she usually gets a freshly-revealed chump to do something she could have done for herself.

The trouble is that guys have been taught from their youth that the way to “earn” a woman’s love is to serve women’s most petty requests in holding their purses and doing for them anything they ask for in either a squeaky tone of voice or an enraged yell. Plugged-in guys don’t understand that in a lot of cases, women secretly want you to say no – the way to her heart is to deny that which she is asking. Sometimes they don’t even know that’s what they want, until you do say no and they feel this comforting wave of security come over them – the test was itself subconscious, but she feels the satisfaction of the man passing it.

Fitness testing and frame were key discussions in one of Roissy’s most important posts, “Relationship Game Week: A Reader’s Journey.” In this tome, Roissy quoted at length the comments of Keoni Galt (under the pseudonym Dave From Hawai’i) in which he described employing some game techniques to transform his marriage from a typically henpecked, naggy enterprise into a once again happy and productive partnership with a fully-functional sex life. I’ve called this “the most important post in Manosphere history,” as it took the techniques and mindset of PUA game directly into the marital sphere – abjectly lapping the milquetoast work of dozens upon dozens of relationship-psychology and self-help authors across a generation. It really is worth a full read.

Athol Kay has a few good nuggets on fitness testing. One is that not everything is a fitness test. Another related one is that you can do some favors from your mate without worrying about losing her attraction, but no request should be serviced if it’s an unreasonable request, or is delivered in an unreasonable tone of voice. Some would say this is treating your woman like a child; I rather see it as demanding an adult woman to exhibit the same manners that we try to inculcate into children we’re raising to be responsible adults.

3.) Approaching and asking for the number. (you cannot hit if you don’t swing, women want you to approach, the vast majority of men NEVER do it.)

It’s not that complicated. If you’re going to pursue women, you need to meet them first. You need to get over the anxiety. You need to ask for the money, so to speak. You see a woman you like, you start talking to her, and make sure to give her an opportunity to see you again. Think about it: your typical blue-pill man probably makes less than 50 real approaches IN HIS LIFE! Go to any singles bar any night of the week and see how many guys are standing around holding their dicks peering over at the girls they lust after but wouldn’t dare actually make a move on. If you are a regular, habitual approacher, you are in the top 5% of men in the sexual-marketplace inventory simply by that fact alone. You are making your future happen – be in charge of your own life.

Jack wraps it up:

Once I understood those three core concepts, I’ve been able to pull far hotter chicks on a much more consistent basis, which eventually leads you to a place that every man must be in order to feel comfortable in his skin around his hot girlfriend and thus be able to keep her…..A mentality of abundance.

Which is the ability to internalize the thought that if this chick i’m with dumps me, screws me over or withholds sex, I can replace her. It might take me a month or two to find someone else of equal sexual attractiveness, but I can replace her and she knows it. It is not a belief that can be faked, because a woman can smell a fraud.

And that my friends is game. And that is where you must be mentally in order to have a healthy and sexually active relationship.

The man is spot on. I made the point in the Dalrock thread that most guys do NOT want to be long-term players, picking up new chicks on the regular and filling a black book with booty calls. Sure, it sounds like a nice fantasy, but most guys don’t have what it takes to really enjoy that kind of lifestyle per se. Most guys who get into game are doing it for exactly what Jack describes – not the abundance, but the abundance mentality. The confidence that they don’t have to be solely at the mercy of their woman’s choice; if they wind up single, they can find another woman of equal value without much trouble. Paradoxically, that kind of confidence is what can keep his one woman satisfied with him. Nothing turns a woman off like the idea that she is her man’s only option.

What these men are looking for is the tragically unfulfilled promise of the blue pill philosophy – that he can have a healthy relationship with a decent woman if he’s willing to put in a little bit of effort. Once you’ve climbed the hill of getting your mind and your game right, it IS a “little bit of effort,” a non-consuming aspect of your well-lived life.

Active disinterest, fitness testing, and the need to approach. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

*My opinion, which is mirrored by a significant sample of commenters on the thread, is that the knowledge of game is becoming mainstream in the culture, yet its practice and adoption continues to be among a distinct minority. Myself and others independently likened it to the obesity situation in America – despite the fact there has never been MORE freely-available information and plans and strategies to eat well and work out, there’s clearly a small (ha) group of people getting more fit while the general public balloons.

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The Close Line

One of the typical struggles in the novice gamester’s experiences is getting the number smoothly.

Now, some guys insist that in night game, a number is next to worthless. To be honest, I’ve found that in a bar/club environment when you’re dealing with a woman who is inebriated and acting out of what she perceives to be her character, she may get your call or text the next week and decide she wants to forget that night entirely. Part of the fun of going out for girls is the dressing up in costume and “playing” someone else for a bit. That means she’s going to see whatever bond she may have forged with you as incongruent and not redeemable for further contact.

But if you can’t move the encounter further along (either through a location bounce or a trip home to attempt the seduction), your only option is to get some contact info so you can try to pick up the pickup later. And in day game, escalation is almost always off the table, so getting a number is THE end goal of the day-game encounter.

DON’T ASSUME A FRAME OF MEEK RELUCTANCE

I think guys have frame problems with number closing because in night game, you only go for the number if you’ve been stymied and thus rejected in some way. It takes some effort to keep bad game from leaking out in a dripping, underwhelming “well what if I got your phone number and maybe we can you know meet up later and like have a coffee or something?”

As with other factors of game, it’s important to not take the premature end of the night personally; she could have promised to drive her friend home, she could be ragingly hot for you but had a bad experience with her last SNL, perhaps her friend cockblocked you and she’s going to make it up to you next time she sees you, or maybe she’s just really tired and knows she can’t make it happen that night. A lot of these are bullshit that guys tell themselves to salve the pain of rejection, but no matter what, you won’t get anywhere getting butthurt or angry that you’re not getting laid that night.

It’s important to understand that it doesn’t make you beta to have closing anxiety; lots of guys who are very successful with women do, and in fact the game writer Dagonet (The Quest For 50) said he broke out of a game rut when he started going after hotter women who gave him that heart-pounding-in-his-chest feeling. My track coach had a saying that if you didn’t have some butterflies, you probably weren’t ready to race as you hadn’t properly addressed the magnitude of the competitive event. You get a little nervous? It’s OK. (What DOES make you a beta is if you can’t execute the number close with a woman who is signalling that she is interested in you.)

SOFT BUT BOLD

So, how about that number?

I’ve cribbed a line from Roissy and dannyfrom504 that has brought me much success, and fits well with my “still waters run deep” style of presentation.

After announcing your intention to leave (or receiving hers), say “would you like to continue this conversation later?” This has to be said with outcome-indepedent nonchalance, or she’ll get that trying-to-save-face-from-a-rejection vibe we just talked about. Her body-language reaction will tell you if she’s about to give you a pity number or actually wants to see you again. Then you hand her your phone and have her punch in her number and name (bonus opportunity for some cheap kino at the same time).

This line is great because:

It makes clear what you want without being domineering: There’s no permission-seeking wishy-washyness like “maybe we can hang out sometime?”

It’s overtly non-sexual: Unless you’re talking with a bona fide slut or the sexual boundaries of the conversation have already been breached, you have little to gain and a lot to lose by going sexual in your close like “why don’t we get together again and finish what we started.” And if it’s a daygame approach, a sexual close is a non-starter.

It’s subtle: At the same time, it feeds the hamster – by giving you her number, she’s not committing to a “date” or anything serious and heavy like that, just to “continue the conversation,” which itself leaves her wondering what your intentions are. You both know in your gut that it’s more than just more chatting, but she doesn’t have to rationally acknowledge it, which maintains uncertainty and thus helps keep her anticipation level up. You are already setting up the quasi-spontaneous “it just happened!” frame for your next encounter.

It’s tempting: Rather than begging her to give you a chance to seduce her, you are offering her another chance to roam emotionally with you.

Think of a good saleman’s frame when closing a customer. He isn’t asking for what he wants, he’s giving the customers what they want, which causes them to give him what he wants ($$$) in return. And what they want is not just whatever product is at hand; it’s the sense of comfort and security that life is going to be better, that they have something new in their life to feel good about. That’s where you’re going with “let’s continue this conversation later,” a little piece of hope that she has something exciting and original to look forward to amid all the herbs and betas trying to supplicate their way into her pants.

One final thing for night game: once you’ve locked up the number, excuse yourself politely and tell her “it was nice talking to you.” Then turn your body, face the door, and as you begin to walk away, give her a smack on the tail on the way out. That will get her tingling, introduce rapid-fire contrast game, and most importantly, she can’t shit test you about the escalation because you’re already gone.

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Field Guide: Don’t Ask A Lot Of Direct Questions and Don’t Talk About Work

When I was in graduate school I began to be subjected to work as a core conversational topic. What department you were in, what research you were doing and when you planned to finish became regular banter topics. This pattern was actually an unwitting form of systematic humiliation; almost no graduate student finishes as quickly as they like nor are as pleased with the content of their work as they hoped. I sum it up with a strip from PhD Comics:

In school this game took on a sort of existential purpose, filling the space of polite discussion but at the same time lacking any significant meaning. None of us were all that concerned with other people’s work, and with the rampant impostor syndrome infecting our subculture, we didn’t want to face our own work either. It was a bit like the joke that “in Communism we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.” Put more simply, it also meant that we had run out of genuinely interesting things to talk about.

It was a perverse sort of prisoner’s dilemma, we all had an incentive to confederate in propping up what bit of meaning the system could provide us, and you couldn’t afford to defect unless you were guaranteed to compensate for the loss of social cachet (in effect, the only option was leaving school entirely where your collegial social value no longer mattered); meanwhile you along with everyone else knew everybody was doing it wrong.

When I left grad school and entered the working world, I was disappointed to find that the “what do you do” question had taken on a whole new level of conversational meaning in afternoon happy hours and genteel dinner parties. It was no longer a mutual backscratching, a collective acquiescence to the shared ennui; rather it was more likely a passive aggressive invitation to show your cards early, laced with the air of cutthroat competition and status jockeying, of subtle plays to one’s superior income or “juice” (social proximity to important figures).

Fortunately, when still in school I had formulated a simple personal policy to deal with the situation: don’t talk about work. It was very simple and easy to implement; once on a ride to a picnic with a student group, another student turned to me and opened conversation with “so what are you doing for your research?” I told him on the spot that I was sorry but I had to go to sleep, and instantly napped it up with my head against the window.

DON’T TALK ABOUT WORK

When you’re out meeting people or flexing your game against the ladies about town, work discussions are a sure way to get put in the “cubicle drone” box instead of the “mysterious dashing fellow” box.

If someone drops in the “so what do you do,” they’ve probably run out of interesting things to talk about and have decided to play a beta-bait “let’s get to know each other” script. However, don’t sleep on the other, more nefarious purpose of interrogating you about your work: to investigate your social status and probable income. You can see where I’m going with this, that with what seems like an innocent question, a crafty woman might be asking you to save her the effort by disqualifying yourself from her potential mating pool.

Fortunately, you don’t have to assume the worst to motivate yourself to find other conversation topics. You just have to realize that talking about work is boring, and lends itself to an encyclopedic discourse that is either value-neutral or negative.

Besides, you shouldn’t want to discuss it at length; if you’ve been doing it right, you work your workday so you can go home and enjoy yourself, unburdened by the stresses of the day until you come back to the office in the morning.

In the same way that you avoid paying for women’s dinners by not going on dinner dates, the key factor here is to, quite simply, not talk about work. This can be easier said than done, and when you find someone who is REALLY concerned about what you “do,” you’ve got someone you’re better off walking away from. If it’s a deep concern of hers on the first meeting, you can be damn sure that you’ll be subjected to an unbroken sequence of lifestyle fitness testing and status pressures throughout the life of whatever relationship is possible with someone with that kind of either rocket-powered hypergamy or (conversely) strictly work-based life values.

Anyway, the best way to deal with this question is to treat it like a fitness test, and respond innocently with an answer so ridiculous and over-the-top they can’t help but tingle.

Give them a bullshit job title and description. Remain in character as long as possible. Options to riff on include:

  • You’re an agent in a semipro midget football league (talk about how hard it is to find enough talented players to fill rosters)
  • You’re in a Gordon Lightfoot cover band (talk about the difficulty of maintaining authenticity over decades of changing vocals and styles)
  • You’re a security consultant for Wolfgang Puck restaurants (discuss the challenges of keeping the recipes safe from wannabe-Slugworths who slip into the kitchen offices on the way to the bathroom)
  • You were involved in constructing the world’s largest guitar (“luckily we found someone who could play it, but on condition of absolute secrecy”)

You want to channel Owen Wilson’s dinner speech in Wedding Crashers where he convinces Christopher Walken and the rest of the well-to-do hosts that he and Vince Vaughan operated a charity where homeless people spun yarn into thread for other homeless people to make marketable garments out of.

(Notice the fitness-test trap question: “so is it just about the money?” Also does anybody else think this scene was ab libbed?)

If bold mendacity doesn’t get people off the scent, provide a concise, unapologetic description of your work, without expecting anyone to be impressed by it, and then change the subject. You don’t want to get on the topic long enough for people to ask follow up questions or to start poking fun at you and put you on the defensive.

Notice that I haven’t said anything about whether your job is cool or not. That’s because it’s immaterial to whether you should talk about it or not. If your job is menial, boring or low-status (let’s not kid ourselves; most jobs, even well-paying ones, are at least one of these), you definitely don’t want to lay that out in social company. In close friend groups or more intimate moments, sure. But even if your job is cool, you don’t want to lead with high status and value first. You can cultivate a mysterious edge and be different, the guy who DOESN’T want to talk about his job; and then when people find out you really are a badass, the effects of the understatement will ripple through the group like a shockwave.

DON’T ASK DIRECT QUESTIONS

Going again in the direction of providing the emotional adventure: you don’t want to get in the position of being asked interrogative questions (see above), and you certainly don’t want to be the one asking said questions. Nothing can dry up somebody’s social juices like the feeling she’s on the spot.

Here are some questions that can get you started. (I keep a few of these phrases ready in my mental pocket in case the conversation lags and I need to jump-start it.)

  • When did you last sing to yourself?
  • Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
  • Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

My high school English teacher was all about “assertions” in our essays. “Don’t just write facts down on the page, make assertions, and use facts to support them!” She taught me, after much roughness, how to stick to a point and make the argument not just in the topic sentence or the thesis statement but in every phrase in the work.

Likewise, you don’t want to be in a “conversation” that is like a mutual information drop. Instead you want to be leading someone through your affective assertions, with soft leading questions instead of direct pointed ones. Don’t stay on one topic too long, and don’t apologize for changing the subject. Factual exchange is not the aim (nor is coming out right in an argument), it’s the opening of interpersonal boundaries – using little nuggets of her own personality as anchors, as markers on the path through a vibrant, sensual trail.

As Roissy has said:

You are ROAMING all over, taking her on an adventure. In this world, there is no need to finish thoughts or draw conclusions. There is only need to EXPERIENCE. You’re grabbing her hand and running with her down an infinite, labyrinthine alleyway with no end, laughing and letting your fingers glide on the cobblestone walls along the way.

When you can make her feel something, the piddly details of your job or what neighborhood you live in fade to the background – you occupy a pole position in giving her that most distinctive experience, an emotional rush.

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Bad Game Is Really Difficult To Watch

For most guys, it’s tough to watch another guy get rejected. It’s another matter, however, to come to an advanced understanding of game and thus be able to predict epic disasters on sight, and have to live through powerlessly watching the trainwreck.

It’s a bit like when I saw “Apollo 13,” and despite knowing no real details of the mission, I knew there was going to be a disaster somewhere. Thus the opening of the film was forty-five hellish minutes in which I tried to ignore the general tone of glee and waited for the other shoe to drop. Once the oxygen tanks blew off the side of the spacecraft, I relaxed, able to finally enjoy the sci-fact thriller I knew I had lined up to see.

I got that same feeling of nauseous anticipation when I saw “Alpha Male vs Beta Male,” a short clip commissioned by Roosh illustrating the contrast of chumpism and game. In each clip I knew the beta male was going to humiliate himself. It was all I could do to keep from covering my eyes.

The same feeling happens to me at a bar when an inveterate beta is at the next stool in vicinity of a lady, or when I see a pair on an obviously awkward “date” at the next table in a restaurant. Bad game is really difficult to watch for a number of reasons, one being that it reminds me of a bygone era of my own abject failures and not the least of which being that bad game is largely avoidable and preventable.

It is fun and interesting to hear Roosh’s exact lines from his book “Bang” said out loud by a guy on camera.

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A Dating Disaster Diagnosed

Over the weekend Moxie advised a man who had been milked for a free night out. His story reads like an advertisement for a course in dating logistics.

“Met a girl online and we exchanged a few emails and phone calls and set up the date. Since I recently moved to her area, I suggested we go to a Houlihans or TGIFridays for drinks since I didnt know any other places. Besides, I was familiar with those establishments atmosphere wise and price wise. She then said she preferred a wine bar she frequently goes to instead. I agreed.

We each had 2 glasses of wine (way more expensive than Houlihans or Fridays) and after 2 hours she said she had to leave. The conversation up to that point I thought went very well and there was even some minor shoulder touching when we spoke. SO at that point I knew I enjoyed it more than her. When the bill came, she didnt offer to pay but did say thanks.

When I walked her to her car, I got the cheek kiss and a hug. At that point it was obvious she wasnt interested and we parted. The next day she sends me an email saying I was sweet but not right for each other.

Now the questions. Since she didnt feel anything, should she have stopped after the first glass of wine and maybe had water or soda instead? If she did order the second glass, should she have at least offered to pay when the bill came? This bugs me because she upped the ante on my original suggestion to a more upscale place from Houlihans to that wine bar. Had the same scenario played out in my original offer, it would have cost far less.

I feel like she was in a win-win situation. She gets a potential connection or else a free night at an upscale place. She says she dates frequently and has been on all the dating sites for years (she told me this in person on the date). Sounds to me like she knew exactly what she was doing. Am I being too sensitive about this? At least I found out about a cool new place for any future second or third dates with another girl.”

This case provides a useful roadmap for correcting a number of all-too-typical dating foibles. I’m going to start at the end and work backwards, tracing points at which he could have improved his outcome.

When the bill came. By the time the check came, you had a feeling you enjoyed it more than her. That means the likelihood of a second date or even some escalation on the first date was slim. So you should have asked to split the check, cut your losses and moved on. There’s no sense in making an investment towards future goodwill that you’re never going to collect on. If she protests, remind her that the wine bar was her idea, that she wanted to go there. Should she have offered to pay her share knowing there wasn’t going to be a second encounter? The question contains a false premise – she should have offered to pay her part of the tab regardless.

I can hear the criticism now – “but that’s so rude to ask her to pay! Women don’t like that, it’s not claaaaassy.” OK, so what? A woman who wants to see you again will be popping out of her skin, it’s just not that difficult to tell. If she’s not giving off those signals, then you have nothing to lose except the cost of entertaining a woman who has no interest in seeing you again. I accept a small financial outlay as a skid-greaser towards later dating experiences with a woman (where I expect the investment to even out one way or another). If it’s clear there’s no later experience coming, I’m no longer interested in such generosity.

Guys get into this mindset where they think they’ll dispatch a bad date by ponying up cash just to make it go away. I’ve been there, you just want to get out of there so you get the bill covered as quickly as you can, have an awkward side-hug and go home. But that just perpetuates the modus operandi that it’s the man’s job to sing and dance and the woman’s job to judge the performance.

When she insisted you change the plan. There’s a certain tackiness to being asked out and then requesting that the location be changed to better suit your tastes – trying to upgrade an invitation is a harbinger of flakiness and perpetual dissatisfaction. (If she really used the word “prefer,” that’s pushy and entitled language, as if her desires alone should carry the day.) There’s also a small fitness-test aspect to it, in that you’ll lose points if you fold and she perceives you don’t have any confidence in your original plan. But the bigger issue is that it sets up a frame of reference in which she is in the driver’s seat to insist on being entertained, where she’s dating not to get to know you but to have fun on someone else’s effort, and that’s not a frame in which you are likely to come off as attractive or desireable.

The thing is that you DO need to make the date fun for her, but you need to be inviting her into your life, not acting as her cruise director – so if she insists on dictating the terms of the engagement, you should probably invoke the abundance mentality and back away from the deal entirely. As Moxie said:

I don’t think you gals understand….these guys don’t have to go out with you. They likely have plenty of other options.

Choice of location. Now, in her post Moxie went off on this guy as “cheap,” and she throws in snarky references to Olive Garden and Dave & Buster’s just to rub it in his face.

I don’t think that’s exactly the point, and quite frankly I find girls are way too hung up on “cheap” as if money grows on trees for the express purpose of being plucked by men and subsequently delivered to women. Especially for today’s economy when frugality should be a personal virtue of everybody (don’t let your desire for women shame you out of watching your dollars).

The point is that the perception of Friday’s and Houlihan’s is of places you go when you are on a budget and don’t have anywhere better to go. (What’s interesting is that they themselves are chain knockoffs of Fern Bars, highly distinctive yuppie hangouts of the 1980’s.)  And besides, she’s been there before, not to that particular restaurant but to that kind of generic, anonymous place. It’s unclear if he actually told her he “didn’t know any other places,” but in any case his suggestions communicate a lack of knowledge, imagination, or both. One of the benefits of dating in a new area is that it will (or should) get you acquainted with all sorts of vibey places for dessert, ice cream, and unusual beers or cocktails. Browse Yelp and Urbanspoon, and subscribe to a couple of local food blogs. Admittedly, this gets tough if you’re dating in the suburbs and don’t have a lot of mom-and-pop options or places that cater to young adults. Make it work however you can though, a little uniqueness game goes a long way. You can find a lot of places that are just as inexpensive as a midlevel chain but are much better experiences. Think like a hipster.

Incidentally, you’ll want to read Moxie’s thread for the harsh invective from women (including Moxie herself) about how “cheap” and “clueless” the guy was. OMG, can you believe he tried to take her to a chain restaurant?! This kind of shallow status consciousness is unfortunately typical in large sectors of the dating world. Since we have to assume and plan around this sort of bear trap, no woman should get any first-date presumption of being girlfriend material; every woman you date has to start out on Ladder 2, with an option to move to Ladder 1 if she earns (proves) it.

NO DINNER DATES

This date didn’t involve dinner per se, but this is a good time to talk about them anyway. The bottom line: don’t do them, at least not with women you haven’t slept with yet.

I don’t know when or how “dinner dates” became cultural de rigeuer for early dating, but they are a total non-starter in today’s climate. Early dinner dates involve too much sitting down chatting and not enough action, excessive investment of time and money, too little opportunity for kino escalation and put too much pressure on the opening encounters. It’s probably the most effective way to put your provider foot forward and thus get instantly moved into the Boyfriend Zone or worse yet the Beta Orbiter Zone.

For a man who has broken out of blue-pill betatude, it’s difficult to understand the degree to which other men’s minds are stuck in failing dating patterns to the point they can’t imagine anything else. I was approached by a friend recently who asked how to avoid paying for a woman’s dinner on a date. “Don’t go to dinner on the date,” I replied plainly. He was momentarily astounded – the concept of breaking out of the dinner-date script had not entered his mind.

“CHEAP DATES”

As an aside, I have long found it interesting to hear women describe themselves as “cheap dates” – the assumption is that it’s the man’s job to wine and dine her, and that she’s somehow doing him a favor by lowering her level of expectations and saving him some money and trouble.

I used to be really heated up about this topic, but I’ve hit a streak lately of dating women who are very low on the dating-entitlement factor, who offer to pay half (not as a shit test) and are more concerned about my company than where I’m taking them. Part of it is me projecting a frame that is not confused with a wine-and-diner, but another part is plain good luck. Either way it’s been very refreshing.

LESSONS LEARNED

This dude, after telegraphing that he wasn’t on top of his dating game, allowed himself to be bullied into switching the meeting place and then got stuck with the tab for a woman that wasn’t into him. Whether this was all a ruse just so she could get an evening at her chosen wine bar, or if she lost nascent attraction and got what she could on her way out of the arrangement, is unimportant; his moves alone all but determined she wasn’t going to be interested in him by the end of the night. The solution: own the plan, go to a place that is distinctive but where you don’t have to spend a lot of money, and don’t stay in one place too long while the bill climbs and the energy declines.

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