The Question You Need To Ask Yourself While You’re Gaming

One of the overblown memes of the game community used to be “was this beta?”  (it’s since become a parody at places like the Roosh V Forum). Guys got progressively more absurd about micromanaging and nitpicking their game, even in the face of great success, desperate to earn the respect of the community at every step of the seduction – and in reality, desperate to head off the hollow criticisms of keyboard jockeys who spend more time knocking other guys’ successful field reports than they do with women themselves.

I recall a case where a guy was vibing with a woman in a club, and she suddenly blew him off and walked out the door. He followed her out, caught her in the street, continued the seduction and wound up in her bed. Then he went on the board and asked everyone “was it beta to follow her out of the club?”

Yes? No? It worked, so who cares? In this fashion, men anxious to qualify themselves to other men got into a pernicious habit of substituting the appellation of “alpha” (or “not beta”) for real results in the field. (Lots of writers are trying to phase out the alpha-beta nomenclature, but I don’t think it will ever die because it’s just such a useful shorthand for sociosexual leaders versus sociosexual followers.)

I got a comment on my recent post about guys who use the “beta” archetype as a whipping boy, an object of self-congratulatory scorn by those who had passed out of the Matrix:

This is a general theme which pervades the PUA community. It goes further when you see aspiring players actively denigrate the betas that they once were. I’ve heard of players deliberately go and try to pick up a beta’s girlfriend in front of them, ostensibly because the guy ‘deserved it’ for having bad game.

Its sick to see how far people take that rejection of their past selves, and I’d like to see more sympathy for betas in general…Its a perversion of thought and a violation of abundance mentality.

I agree that there is some of that beta hate undercurrent (that’s why guys are so eager to check “was that beta?”) and I think it’s somewhat misguided. A guy who is on a game blog or forum, discussing his field work, trying to get better, is going in the right direction. His betatude is a problem to be solved, and he understands that or he wouldn’t be where he was to begin with. Let’s fix his problem, he doesn’t deserve personal slams and contemptuous mocking for it.

Anyway, my point is that “is this beta?” is a dumb question that doesn’t help guys get better in the game. Danger & Play posted recently on “the winning question.” The winning question is, “am I being a pussy?” I find that’s an excellent question for getting me started on things, and is applicable to life in general. However, I’ve gotten better results in the game itself with something else.


When you’re out in the field running your game (when you’ve gotten past the hump of “am I being a pussy”), it’s easy to get anxious about your moves, wonder if you’re playing it right, if you’re being too forward, if you’re forcing things.

In those situations there’s just one simple question you need to ask yourself and it’s not “is this beta?”

The question is, “am I chasing?”

While there are some things you just plain shouldn’t do (like racing to grab the check on a date, not that you should be going on expensive dates until things are serious anyway), the answer to the question is less about the action itself and more about your mindset and motivations.

Chasing is what you do when you perceive an opportunity to be slipping away from you. It comes from a needy place, a sense that you have to qualify yourself to a girl, to make a case that you’re the guy she should be with – a sense that you have to engage her on her terms, not yours.

Chasing is what you do when you agree with a woman’s opinion because you’re afraid your true opinion would offend her.

Chasing is what you do when you keep calling/texting and asking out a woman who is flaky in responding or keeps finding things more important on her schedule than you. You’re either chasing a woman who’s really not interested (and so you’re coming across as annoying and clueless), or you’re playing into her script that she can treat you poorly and take advantage of your time, attention and money. Either way, it’s not a position you want to be in.

Chasing is really born out of a mindset that you aren’t as good as any of the women you would consider dating, and thus your default position is to assume a supplicating pose, to make a case to her that she should consider you if she’s feeling charitable.

Because chasing is about relative power, to answer the question you need to develop a good sensor for the flow and frame of an interaction, an intuition for the balance of power in the exchange. That should come along with the rest of your passive game, the tools you use to tell if a woman is interested in you, to calibrate your game to her personality and to gauge the buying temperature.

It’s important to understand that initiating is not chasing. Aloof game is not just sitting around inertly waiting for women to make the moves. Most women are not going to initiate with you. If you’re very high-value or physically attractive, women may hit on you openly, but a generation of effort to get women to act like men has not succeeded in getting women to pursue like men. The best you can hope, as a strategy, for is that women will make themselves approachable and you’ll be able to make low-risk approaches. Even that is not an entirely sound strategy. You are going to have to go talk to (open) the women you find attractive with no real guarantee you’ll get anything out of the interaction. You aren’t chasing; you are setting up a frame that gives her the opportunity to respond to you.

Escalating is also not chasing. Just as above, you cannot expect women will do the escalation, as a general rule. All that Gen Y feminist stuff about “enthusiastic consent” is a bunch of hooey – even women who positively want sex with you are often not going to take on the burden of pushing it forward, but will respond to your sexual leadership. An over-eagerness when escalating IS chasing, and a major cause of blown seductions (one of my go-to escalation moves is to spontaneously back off on the sexual energy and see if she responds by bringing it back up).

Investing modestly in a woman is not chasing, not necessarily at least. When you buy a woman a drink on a date, are you doing it because you’re a high-value guy inviting her to be a guest in your space for the next hour, or because you’re afraid if you don’t do what she expects she’ll reject you? One is chasing, the other is not.

Chasing, again, is action taken against what you perceive to be a widening gap of interest.

If you’re chasing, check yourself. Take a deep breath. Back off a bit. See if she fills the gap.

Approach, initiate, escalate, invest. Just don’t chase.


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14 responses to “The Question You Need To Ask Yourself While You’re Gaming

  1. This is totally brilliant. Not just the chasing part and distinguishing it from steps in the sedu=tion process (excellent), but also, and especially the over the top beta shaming. I understand shaming an obstinate feminist mangina, but many of these shamed betas are guy who really are trying to embrace positive masculinity and enlightened self interest. You are right, we should help the willing, not punish them for trying.

  2. Infantry

    Wow, kudos for the mention Badger.

    In reply to your comment on the other post, I don’t hate blue pill guys, but I don’t have much time for them when I’m looking for girls unless they’re willing to learn. Honestly, a guy that is trying to improve himself, no matter his level of skill, is worthy of respect.

    Re: Game cannibalism
    I really subscribe to some PUAs changing their coping mechanism to narcissism as per The Rawness’ manifesto. Hardcore flagwaving PUAs tend to develop personality disorders from what I can see. I almost got sucked into that circlejerk hivemind myself back in the day. You’d need to reject any sense of empathy to think its ok to attempt publicly cuckolding some guy that’s done nothing to you. Even back in my darkest days I never considered doing such a thing.

    Re: ‘Was that beta?’
    You’re talking about guys overthinking everything they’re doing. Its tricky because to get to a stage of unconscious competence you need to go through conscious competence. There’s no way around it, but overdoing it leads to guys shooting themselves in the foot by acting in situations where they would have succeeded if they just relaxed back into ‘autopilot’ and went with the flow.

    Something I’d like to see you talk about it is the way that a long term dedication to game, abundance mentality and ‘not chasing’ can lead to intimacy avoidance. Back in my blue pill days I always used to wonder about guys with ‘commitment issues’ and why they would ever want to cut away from getting close to a girl. Now I know why.

    If you get close to a girl and feel that you don’t have the ‘upper hand’ in your relationship, you reflexively pull back and try to cut ties to avoid oneitis. The girl must think ‘he really likes me, so why did he disappear?’.

    It’s one of those long term issues that I’ve become aware of recently and its only really a problem if you got into game to eventually attract a woman for a long term partnership (like me). When you’ve spent so long training yourself to cut away, how can you really get close to someone?

  3. xclampa

    The first thing I thought about when I read this blog entry is that there’s a difference between not-chasing and staying away from the game in general or trying too hard. Not chasing might mean a lot of work, just like you wrote, but only the kind like investing, escalating etc.

    For example – is practicing push-pull enough of a game? is it chasing?
    Not in my opinion. And as a general rule nothing that comes easily is worth having, right? Taking charge, even if it means retreating, and devising a strategy, leading on and working the ropes is the healthy way.

    What’s interesting is that it takes time and the right mindset to appreciate ‘game’. Taking one’s pleasure in choosing the victim, seducing him or her and releasing the tension at just the right moments. It’s not just women who sit around and wait. I’ve seen men so oblivious to their needs, wants and who had so little in the way of pursuing those that it frightened me.

    Lastly, I wouldn’t agree with your generalization about women. We’re not submissive creatures incapable of initiative. The problem lies somewhere else – feminism notwithstanding there are fewer outlets for us to learn the game and not be passive. Women’s magazines and lit are fairly ‘teen’&fashion or too deeply psychological, emotionally factual to present them with an enabling set of skills.
    That might just change soon – cities are ripe with single women in want of a little game and an object of the game.

  4. wudang

    Great post Badger. Infantry, read this post by Xsplat for good thinking on intimacy and closeness. Men need to learn to feel strongly without crumbling:

    This is also a very, very good game resource to learn about good game without shutting down:

    The article on equanimity you can find on the article section on this site very precisely describes how you feel intensity without crumbling and being needy. It is the way all emotions should be felt:

  5. mikec74

    Awesome post. If I had to distill and summarize everything I’ve learned and believe into 4 words, it would be “Build Value” and “Don’t Chase”.

  6. mikec74

    I’ll expand on the “Build Value” part. I think one big difference in schools of thought is “Lifestyle Game” versus “Tactical Game”.

    In my mind, lifestyle game is about the building real value. It is about developing your career, getting to the gym and hitting the weights, dressing stylishly, getting the right haircut and grooming, and yes making sure your place looks good, and not like a loser lives there. This is building real value.

    Tactical Game is about the negs, and the routines, and all that stuff.

    I think having the basics of Tactical Game is necessary, but having that nailed down with NONE of the lifestyle stuff is like having all icing with no cake.

    Based on what I’ve observed in my own life and guys I’ve known, if you really want access to high value women, you’ve got to build some real value to go along with the purely tactical stuff.

  7. Infantry

    Thanks Wudang, I’ll check it out. Some of what you said about feeling the full intensity of emotions without crumbling resonates alot with me.

  8. Glad you liked it, Mike. This part really resonated with me:

    “Based on what I’ve observed in my own life and guys I’ve known, if you really want access to high value women, you’ve got to build some real value to go along with the purely tactical stuff.”

    Guys really need to balance the practice of game with building real value, because women will respond to both (and ideally they respond to a mix of both). A guy with good wardrobe, job, etc, really stands to move up when he gets his game in order, a guy who is middling in “core value” factors is going to have a much tougher time.

    You might provisional access to some high-value women, but think about the guys who regularly have really hot (and/or freaky) women around them: guys with wealth, very good looks or fame (music/sports/notoriety). If you want to make it a serious goal to consort with those women, you better find a way to break into those social circles, and working a lot on your real value and a bit on your game is going to pay off, in the long run, more than the other way around.

    It’s like investing; there’s no free lunch, and you might hit a boon at some point, but over the long haul, you’ll reap the returns that are reasonable for your system and risk profile.

  9. The One Reason

    Beta-bashing indeed seems to be the MO in parts of the manosphere, sometimes also in the unhelpful nature of comments. I fail to see the deeper advantage of such an approach, but perhaps tough-love type advice can jerk the losers into full potential. Or not.

    Chasing is indeed a rather good catch-all term for behaviours to be avoided and easy to ask oneself periodically. The danger of lowering one’s social value by continuing plowing a dead lead is also something useful to remember.

    As for agreeing on an opinion, full-on (fake) agreement is of course supplicating, but I guess that calibration is called for sometimes. The severity of the “disagreement” would depend on the meaningful value of the issue, especially if in the process of comfort-building. A non-committal “Mmh” as a reply to something largely trivial and meaningless might not wreck one’s credibility one way or the other, yet help avoid a potential snag at a critical juncture.

    Good points also on the 2nd link to passive gauging of a woman’s interest; I can recognize these subtle signals in everyday situations, manifesting sometimes even in a desperate want to be approached. Yet covert with plausible deniability of any signalling.

  10. Candide

    I’d say, never question yourself *while* you’re gaming her. Running a suboptimal game with confidence is always far better than having self-doubt. You can do all the analysis you want afterwards.

    In dancing, for the guys (leaders), we have a saying: “if you lead it wrong, lead it strong.”

  11. The “beta” or in this case “chasing” designation while useful are still approximations/generalizations of behavior and thus do not apply in some key cases.
    There is only one question a gamer should concern himself with… “Am what I doing going to increase my opportunity to get laid?” And this includes the effect of asking the question itself while one is gaming. In other words if second guessing every action while on the pull, screws up your chances to get laid, then you shouldn’t reflect in real time, but simply act.

  12. Pingback: Linkage Is Good For You – 8-5-12 | Society of Amateur Gentlemen

  13. Joe Commenter

    An over-eagerness when escalating IS chasing, and a major cause of blown seductions (one of my go-to escalation moves is to spontaneously back off on the sexual energy and see if she responds by bringing it back up).

    The takeaway is an awesome technique.

  14. love this. this is perfect for me right now. thanks man.

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