Thursday, 31 July 2008

Return to Cheapskates

So I decided to go to Sasha’s talk on day game and hook points. I brought Jake along too (so Sasha owes me a tenner!) and we watched the show. Sasha clearly has his own comedic personality down and properly refined, so that was awesome to see in person. He had tons of great lines. However how transferable they were is unanswered in my mind. Also, I forgot to bring a notebook, so I didn’t manage to take any notes. Bit of a schoolboy error there.

Anyway after that we decided to hit Cheapskates as the last time was so good. We were soon opening sets left and right. Opening was really easy. We were both in a good state and having fun. I watched Anchorman again the other day and was desperate to use the “I think you should know, I’m kind of a big deal” opener as I thought it would be fucking funny. I used it a few times and perhaps unsurprisingly it didn’t really work! I think it needs a bit of knowledge of the film from the person I’m talking to, and probably a healthy sense of humour, and ultra-tight delivery from me.

In this anything goes atmosphere I used the San Jose opener again the response was “That’s a terrible song!” Well frankly, she’s wrong! She was ugly too, so that’s probably why…!

We played our opener challenge game again, this time the subject was “spanners” and the opener that Jake created was “Can spanners ever be sexy?” I think everyone said yes, which is a bit worrying in a way!

We opened couple of girls, one slight above average and one fat chick who at least was friendly and not a cock block. Jake was nearer the better looking one so he got stuck in there. There were some games of thumb wars played, for the first time ever for me. At least I now know how to play it! I actually won a couple of games with some random Aussie that we bumped into.

Jake played the guess a number game with the fat chick and got it right with the seven. She couldn’t believe it, so I explained how it worked. We then tried it out on a whole bunch of people and no one chose seven, completely disproving the theory! It was the Law of the Sod in full effect.

It’s becoming apparent that I’m getting deeper and deeper into this, and particularly the sub-culture that surrounds the LSS, which is a good thing. I saw so many of the same people at the talk that were at the Natural Within seminar. And then I saw Doctor Yen and I think Steve Jabba for the first time, in the club. The chances are if someone’s wearing a hat in a club, they’re a PUA. That’s my rule of thumb anyway.

So Jake number closed the average looking chick, which is the first time he’s done that so I was really happy for him. For some reason I wasn’t sticking in any sets plus my good old intimidation was kicking in a bit, so at midnight we decided to head home. I must have opened more than five sets which is cool, plus I had a lot of fun so that was all cool as well. Lots of coolness all spread around and stuff.

  • Need to stick in sets for longer still. And escalate.
I got home and my new flatmate had some coke, and we ended up taking it and talking about everything under the sun until five in the morning, which was a bit unexpected as I don’t do coke anymore after I became addicted to it. But he’s a really cool bloke. But we won’t be taking that shit again, that’s for sure. It’s a minor miracle that I’m not completely trashed today.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

A footnote to the previous post...

Apparently the HB10 shooter girl told Jordan that we were sexy dancers, and that hopefully she could have a dance with us the next time we are there...! So it was the dancing that gave us the social proof, or rather a DHV of our sexiness.

I'll try and write a post on my dancefloor game and how I do it. A tough challenge without using visuals but I'll give it a go!

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Awesome night, massive social proof and valuable lessons learned

So over the weekend I attended a seminar by The Natural Within, espousing natural direct game. To be honest apart from at a few points it was telling me stuff I already knew, however what I now realise is that subconsciously it allowed me to both be more myself and more comfortable with myself, and be aware and access my masculine nature (comfort, security, leadership, confidence, power) that comes through as a part of that.

Outside of that I didn’t really go out Saturday as I was tired and not in the right state of mind, and Sunday I was at a barbeque at my neighbour’s where apart from testing out a bit of my new alpha qualities there was nothing to mention sarging-wise.

So Monday I go to check out Tiger Tiger as recommended by Kingy and Andre. Earlier in the day I went for a swim for the first time in ages, and this must have done something to help my posture and body language. Well that tied in with me wearing a shirt. I’ve decided to start wearing shirts more often when sarging as I think I look better in them, despite the fact that I love wearing T-Shirts. I think this was born out by the results, plus that everyone I knew that I saw that night complimented me on it. Good posture plus good shirt equals results!

So I met up with Jordan in Tiger Tiger. Now Jordan is a very different person from me, high energy and excitable where I am low energy and laid back, I am probably more in my head than he is, and therefore maybe a bit more observant. He goes for peacocking whereas I just try to look good. And he has attention-seeking dancefloor game where I’m more into contact dancing (more explanation on that to follow). So I had my concerns about winging with him alone. But as it turned out it worked really well, as you’ll see.

After chatting for about half an hour Jordan spots a couple of girls and we decide to open them. One is pretty hot, about 7.5 or 8, and the other has nice boobs but not so pretty a face. I go direct with “Hi, I’m Charlie” we introduce ourselves and Jordan goes straight into the five questions routine. After a couple of weeks he’s finished explaining the rules and we go for it. The girl gets it wrong on the fourth question and we’re in. Jordan keeps on randomly mentioning “It’s the power of the mind, you see,” as though he was Derren Brown or something. Luckily the girls only notice its irrelevance once, and I manage to distract them at the other times. We do some normal chat for a bit and as the girls were sitting and we were standing I say to Jordan “Let’s grab a seat,” the girls are like, “Oh yeah, come and join us,” and we go and sit down (a.k.a. lock in).

Once seated Jordan with his high energy keeps the conversation going at full throttle. I kinda sit back a bit and interject with the odd relevant comment here and there. It works well, and we’re both getting attention from them. Then Jordan rapidly takes the conversation sexual with his “Italian kiss” (which sounds like pure BS to me!) and “sensitive neck” routine. I take this as a chance to add in a quick improvised Ross Jeffries-style imagination routine to help explain the concept: “Imagine a man comes up to you. He gently brushes the hair away from your ear, whispers something softly into it and begins to kiss your neck. You know how good that feels?” “…Yes…” “That’s my girl, now suck me off!” (…I didn’t say that last line…).

At some point the girls ask me if I know any touch-based skills. I reckon that now wasn’t the time to start talking about the deep spot or how to make a woman squirt, so I used touching the back of the arm that Grant talked about in the seminar. I think I did it wrong as she didn’t rate it. I think I should have used the palm of my hand rather than my fingertips.

Around this time a group comes and sits at the table next to us. As they pass a hot chick in the group gives me massive eye contact. I don’t know what I’m doing, but something’s going right. The social proof of the girls, the shirt, the posture… I’m on it tonight.

Anyway after a bit I am getting a bit bored as we’ve spiked their interest and unless we kiss them now we’re going to feel like dead wood. So we tell them that we’re going to look round the club for a bit. We do and the club is empty and so we go and chat at the bar. Andre arrives and we say Hi to him and his mates. Jordan tries the five question routine on another set of girls but fucks it up. They weren’t particularly interested (and he didn’t calibrate to that) and he takes about six months to explain the idea. Afterwards I point this out and show him how to explain it easily. I open a girl nearby with it and set it up in three sentences. My first question is “What’s the capital of France?” She replies with “Paris,” and then promptly ejects herself out of embarrassment. Hilarious!

The Turkish girls are dancing now and we go to join them. Here our contrasting approaches to dancing come to the fore. Jordan likes to breakdance and has a style of dancing that I don’t rate personally (I asked a random chick to rate him out of 10 on his dancing, she gave him a 3) but given that he has the courage to do it, it gets him some attention, even if it isn’t good attention. The other problem with this is that you don’t do breakdancing in pairs with a girl, it’s done on your own. So while he’s doing that, I’m dancing with the girls, spinning them, doing a bit of very bad salsa, just generally having fun and getting quite sexy with them. This is a way better approach to dancing in my opinion.

Either way, the key thing about this is that it was still quite early, there were a few people on the dancefloor but no one was very active. We were the people having the most fun in the club by a long margin. This provided us with a massive amount of social proof. Literally in every direction I looked, there were girls looking at us, wanting to fuck me. It’s like nothing I have ever seen before. It was awesome. We were lording it over the club, as Tim from RSD calls it.

And the social proof was about to pay of big time. At one point I go to the bar to get a drink. As I’m waiting, I get slapped on the arse. This can only be a good thing (unless you’re in a gay bar…). I turned round and one of the hottest girls that was looking at me when I was on the dance floor was there with her also pretty hot friend. Now that's my favourite kind of opener. She was a 9.5, really slim, beautiful face and clearly of mixed race, with a very light caramel tan. One part coffee, three parts milk. And she was 18, a mere 13 years younger than me. Fucking funny!

I start talking to her but quickly I find myself digging a hole of routine conversation, asking them about what she does and so on. I was actually quite impressed as she was an intelligent girl and not some dim party chick like a lot of the girls can be in these places. I was trying out a bit of qualification (e.g. “Who are you?”) which I picked up at the seminar but it wasn’t clicking. I think I was subconsciously scared of escalating in case I lost her, which of course happened. I kind of accidentally bored her off, something that’s happened to me in the past…

What could I have done differently? I could have physically escalated. I could have introduced high energy sexual teasing into the conversation. I could have isolated her and got physical. I could have at least number closed and given the opener I should have easily kiss closed. Even Jordan got the number of the other girl while I was talking to mine. It was a big fuck up but a huge lesson and a validation of the social proof that we’d managed to create.

After that while still at the bar Jordan tries the five question game on a shooter girl, who was a really friendly 9.5 or 10 American girl. She was awesome and the kind of person I would marry in a second. He does the five questions routine on her and she wins the game, so he has to buy a shot off her! She has a boyfriend and without Jordan (who’s leading the conversation) doing any boyfriend destroyers it’s a “next”.

We rejoin the Turkish girls again on the dancefloor and again I see another hot girl mime “That’s the one,” as she points at me. Fuck man I am so money tonight. However shortly after there is a turning point. The Turkish girls are now drunk (they got too excited?) and as the bar gets busier the remaining social proof we had starts to evaporate. Some other guys (PUAs? Probably knowing this place…!) come and dance with the Turkish girls and try to take them away from us. I let them have a go as I seriously don’t care that much, but although they have a dance they can’t keep them and they come back to me.

Sometime around this point I lose Jordan (the place is very busy now). To get away from the other guys me and the girls go outside, I also get the chance to cool down. I try to get their number at this point but it’s no dice. They’re drunk and I probably waited too long, didn’t escalate enough anyway.

After that my state, which has slowly been decreasing since I blew it with the 9.5 girl is pretty low. It’s midnight so it seems like a sensible time to go home. So no numbers or kiss closes, but a lot of social proof and I got opened by one of the hottest chicks in there. Fucking hell.

Points of note:
  • Escalate, escalate, escalate
  • Contact dancing is money
  • Social proof is sooo powerful
  • Shirts are the way forward
  • Confidence and masculine power are key
If anyone has any tips, please leave a comment!

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Pick-up Cybernetics

So I meet up with Ciaran on Thursday to do some day game, but I’m out of sorts once again and can’t get my mojo rising. Ciaran’s a joy to behold though, he’s happy to run up to girls who have gone past and talk to them, with no concern over whether that makes him lower value or not. And he’s a machine, he must have approached about 10 women in each hour I was with him.

He gets a couple of numbers so fair play. However I think he could change his tone of voice a bit to sound more natural, he’s a bit routine-y at the moment. I meet up with another guy called Stavros who’s more on my wavelength. I approach a hot Kensington girl direct but immediately run out of things to say. But the direct opener works and she’s flattered.

Later that evening I go out with Jake. We’re both excited as we have always had good nights out in the past. However Thursday nights are a tough venue choice for me. I chose Zoo Bar as I’d heard it’s good, but the music is too loud for me to hear Jake let alone any girls. We decide to quit and try our luck elsewhere. Jewel is empty, Porterhouse is closed and we end up in some random Spanish bar that has nice décor and some people but is basically empty of approachable sets. We call it a night.

On Friday I actually put into practice the visualisation exercise as detailed in Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz.This was recommended to me by Alex and David DeAngelo, and someone told me that MPUA Braddock quoted this as the source of all his success. That’s enough word of mouth recommendation for me to try it.

So I sit down in my room and close my eyes, and spend 25 minutes imagining how an excellent night would be, over and over again. It requires a bit of concentration but I do it.

Wow. I am now in an amazing mood. All the thoughts of having really great conversations with women, having them into me, smiling and so on, getting the kiss closes and bringing them back to my place to give them multiple earth-shattering orgasms, just really puts me in the most awesome sociable mood. I can’t wait to get out of the house and hit the bars. I feel fucking fantastic. Happy, confident, and loving life.

I meet the guys and we go to Jewel. I am in a great mood and have a chat with the guys and have a bit of fun and a laugh. Then by total coincidence Adam (a.k.a. Ace of Spades) who I went to Salsa with appears in the bar. Perry is there as well all dressed up in this PUA gear this time. We say “Hi” quickly but he’s in set with one hot and one fat bird, and they go back to it. For a minute I get my intimidation thing going but it passes again.

The bar isn’t full today, probably the sunshine effect, so there aren’t loads of sets. I do a couple of warm up sets just to start things off things moving. One set I open doing a weird “staircase” approach which is silly as, but I don’t care as I’m having fun. The set opens just fine. It’s all a bit surreal.

Then Liam spots a couple of girls down the end of the bar. He fills me in on his fancy dress opener and we go in with it, two on two, double team style. It opens well and we start chatting random stuff to the girls. Somehow we get on to talking about their jobs and we role play with one girl as a spy and the other being an admiral in the navy. Just random fun shit. I do the best friends test on the girls and they do look at each other, it’s cool. At one point Liam does his DHV of me being in a band, but there’s no strong reaction from it. I need to expect a better reaction I think, there must be something in my subcommunication that doesn’t make it work.

I qualify them asking about an interesting event that has happened in their lives. They talk about when they went skydiving which is great as I have a good trust routine for that – I’d love to do it but I would shit my pants. That’s pretty much what they did. There’s a bit of a connection there. I also talk about by bungee jump in Bali, Indonesia. They tell me about their travels in Thailand and I talk about my future trip there, and they give me some tips.

I do a soft neg of the hotter girl (7.5) that she looks like my cousin, which she does, which is surreal as she has the same name too. Of course the correct line is that she reminds me of my niece. Doesn’t matter though. Oh yeah, and I’m doing kino (or touching as I like to call it) for once. Yay! I remembered! They’re about to leave so I ask for the hotter girl’s number, but time it badly just as she’s bending down to pick up her bag. But I keep my cool and she gives it to me anyway. NUMBER CLOSE!

Elsewhere in the night the Bulgarian photographer from the previous week is about. She doesn’t remember me so as she takes my photo I ask if she’s Bulgarian. It’s a massive DHV and she gets really excited, and Liam has to stop himself from laughing as it’s very underhand and sneaky of me! I talk about my Bulgarian friends from when I was in Amsterdam but can’t take it anywhere.

The guys aren’t feeling it as they haven’t had much to open or much success. There’s a couple of blond girls that Claudio opened who brushed him off quickly. I go to open them as a test and because the others won’t. I open on high energy as that’s where they are, with Pirates versus Ninjas, though I get it wrong at first and say Pirates versus Vampires, which is a cross with Peter’s new Vampires versus Werewolves opener. Again it doesn’t matter.

One of the girls semi-shit-tests me saying “Are you taking a survey?” So I say just say “Yes” and keep talking. They both choose Ninjas so I talk about how that makes them fashion conscious because of the all black outfits. They ask me if I’m a Psychologist (which of course I am), I tell them that’s what my degree is in and they tell me they’re studying it currently at LSE. Connection time! I find out that they are from Greece and we chat a bit longer then eject. But it was a good ego boost to get through their bitch shield…

So a good night for me. I will call the girl as she was quite attractive, which is nice.

What I learnt:

  • Positive visualisation before the event is FUCKING MONEY! Everyone should do this.
  • Almost all of the routines I did are based in truth. There’s usually something you can find that connects with any girl.
  • I did kino and shit!I was going with the flow well and it didn’t matter when I made mistakes as long as I was comfortable with it.

Friday, 25 July 2008


To read this post in full effect, please listen to this:

Ai Chihuahua!

OK so I meet up with a guy called Adam from one of the forums, and from his posts it looks like he’s well on his way to becoming a full-blown pick up artist. Turns out he’s dyed his normally black hair peroxide blonde, and he certainly has a very distinctive look!

He’s a proper PUA and for once I don’t have the full blown intimidation that I normally get with those kind of guys. Well, maybe just a little bit, but nothing I couldn’t deal with. I fix this mainly by initiating conversation with him, which is what I haven’t done effectively in the past. He’s a cool guy with a whole bunch of energy to spare and very sociable.

Again a thing I see with him that I see from a lot of the guys that are good with this stuff is to talk and keep on talking, machine-gunning the victim with things to say and fun stuff, getting a reaction out of them. This is definitely a skill I need to work on.

There’s another guy called Perry who has a kind of crazy vibe about him. He opens a Russian chick as soon as we walk in and is soon dancing sexy salsa style. Oh yeah, we’re at a Salsa lesson venue, by the way. And there are a lot of hot chicks here. This is a surprise as the last time I was there it was full of fat, frustrated chicks. So this is a good thing.

While we’re waiting for the class to start I open a Russian chick (there’s a lot of them here it seems) but she doesn’t speak much English and she has a boyfriend. You know I do think I have a bit of a thing about Russians. It always seems there’s something slightly dodgy about them or something. Maybe it’s the Polonium they keep in their back pockets. It’s just prejudice on my part, I’m sure there are some nice ones out there somewhere, it’s just I haven’t met them yet.

I start talking to another girl, just asking about what the deal is with the classes. She’s Italian and friendly and really hot. We just start getting into a good conversation when one of the salsa dancers knocks a glass of red wine over her friend’s white top and it’s game over as she goes to help her friend clean up.

Anyway I have my beginner’s salsa lesson and it’s a good laugh. I learn a few steps. I can hardly hear the instructor though so I have to concentrate very hard on what he is saying. So he gives me all the attention. After a few goes I have the basics down.

After the lesson it’s all about the mingling as most people hit the dancefloor for a group line dancing session, while the rest stand around in a different section and chat. It’s then that I see Kev, a mate that I haven’t seen in about a year, so I basically spend the rest of the evening catching up with him and telling him about game.

There are a couple of other events though. A Lithuanian girl that Adam talked to right at the start reopens us and we chat. I mention “ish-ve-cahrter” which is Lithuanian for “cheers” but she doesn’t get it. It kind of ruins the connection although she wasn’t that hot…!

Inside Adam gets me to pick out some girls for him to open. I choose a couple of girls on one table and he goes to open. However there’s a misunderstanding and he picks a different table where there are twenty girls all sitting on together and he opens them instead! He has balls. I like balls. He stays with them for a good while. Later, after I leave, he gets the number and kisses one of the girls. They were all pretty hot so it's good work from him.

Also, Adam asks me what my kiss close routines are. I don’t really think of them in that way, and given that I haven’t kissed anyone since starting this in earnest, haven’t needed to yet. Thinking about it now I have used Mystery’s “Would you like to kiss me?” on a date before, and it worked. Usually I just lean in when the time is right, similar to knowing when to ask for her number (I’ll do my straightforward number close post soon…). Adam mentions that he has loads, and quotes the “Close your eyes” one as an example. Maybe I need to collect a few of those myself.

Anyway I go to leave. Perry challenges me to open one more set, so I do with Pirates versus Ninjas. It opens well and Perry cuts in, I turn that into a chance for me to leave.

What I learnt:

  • Need to work on the constant stream of teasing banter skill.
  • Being distracted by catching up with old friends will not make your night about gaming.
  • Might need to have a few kiss close routines in my back pocket.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

All you ever need to know about pick up

Alex Descends into Hell for a Bottle of Milk

So by Saturday I’ve finished the weed which is a huge relief. I meet up with Peter and Jordan who as ever wants to go to On Anon. Well I haven’t been there in a while so I suppose I can put up with it for one night to see if it has changed at all.

Well this night it’s busier that I remember it was when we were last there, which is a good thing. However the fact remains that the quality is very low. For every hot chick there’s about ten that are nothing to text home about.

Either way before we get there Peter tells me about an awesome little opener: Pirates versus Ninjas. I don't know what his opener was but I made my own: What would you rather be, a Ninja or a Pirate? From that I can go into the benefits of both - Ninjas would win the fight and have a cooler outfit, Pirates have the wine, women and song and travel the world (and sodomy). I’m reading a book on history at the moment and it points out that the British Empire was formed from piracy (i.e. looting the Spanish). So they’re empire builders as well. However I didn’t know that then and I probably wouldn’t mention it while I’m chatting someone up…

So I’m on a roll with this opener. I use other ones as well but this one is the most fun. I open an HB6 with it and move on to Daleks versus Cybermen. She thinks Daleks are too scary, which is cute. I stay talking to her for some time which is good. She’s a nice girl though not too hot. I don’t feel anything in particular for her but she’s interested in me.

I ask for her number but she honestly doesn’t know it. So I respond with the classic “What’s the best way to keep in contact with you?” She tells me to put my number in her phone, which I do. Two number closes in three days. They don’t really mean anything but they’re reaching my goals and they’re like warm up sets so it’s OK. At least I’m escalating to a close of some sort.

I am largely of the theory that numbers don’t mean shit. That’s not completely true but kissing is better and fucking is what it’s all about anyway. But it’s a step in the right direction and that’s what this is all about – progress.

I meet up with a new guy Tom who’s Aussie and I get on well with him. We terrorise the club a bit. Upstairs I get a drink from the bar and open two girls next to me with Pirates versus Ninjas. They go to sit down once they have their drinks while I wait for mine. Tom reckons we should reopen them, so as they both chose Pirates I suggest that as he’s dressed in black he opens with “I come from a long line of Australian Ninjas and you have offended me, my family and my shaolin temple.” I think that’s awesome. Anyway we reopen and have a chat with the girls. They’re not really into us massively though they are talking. I can’t really hear what’s being said anyway. We stick in for a fair amount of time though. But the girls aren’t that exciting even though one of them is a 7.5 / 8 so we eventually eject.

After a while we’re running out of steam so I decide to call it a night. As I pick up my bag I thought I heard Tom say that there’s some hot girls nearby. I decide to open them with Pirates versus Ninjas, and I’m halfway through the opener when I realise that it’s the set we’d just opened! It’s hilarious and we all have a good laugh – well me and Tom anyway! Turns out he said it was the same girls, not what I thought he said.

Things I’ve learnt:

  • A lot of girls have low value for me, i.e. they’re not hot enough or they’re not interesting enough. Not sure what to make of that. I am coming to realise that my standards are a lot higher than most peoples’, and maybe that’s holding me back a bit.
  • When I can get to use my surreal humour in sets it’s the most fun for me.
  • I am sticking in with sets for longer instead of just ejecting
  • I am number closing on a more regular basis.
  • I need to have a few DHV routines down to help with staying in set after the opener. At the moment it seems like I’ll have to add in opener after opener rather than DHVs.
  • Tom’s a great guy but not available for day game unfortunately.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Jewel in the Crown

So I meet up with the regulars in town and we head to Jewel where we had a good night the previous week on a Friday. For my money this place is the best venue in the West End, as it has hot chicks, low music volume so you can talk easily and different sections of the bar so you can open different sets. It was busier and not as many hot chicks as the previous week, but still some opportunities. However I was still in recovery mode from the illness to be fair and still not totally up to scratch.

I talk to a couple of girls as a warm up, using the hair opener I think. Then there are two hotter girls that Peter wants to open but he’s still cold so he doesn’t want to do it. I can feel the draw of my legs taking me forward (remember that the first 1000 sets don’t count) and so I go and open them, probably with the same thing, but I don't stay in set.

I can’t quite remember what happens next, but I don’t open for a while and hit the low energy again. Fargo comes up to me and forces me to open a few more sets. We go for geek. We ask questions like “Who’s your favourite Doctor?” “What’s more scary, Daleks or Cybermen?” “Which series of Star Trek is the best?”

Truly, you’d think they are the worst questions to ask for pick up. We get no brush offs and actually have answers to all of them. We don’t bother to give a reason for asking. In a way, it’s a kind of qualification question – we’re asking them to see if they have the right answer. Of course there is no right answer. We’re just making it up on the spot. This is winging, in the sense of winging it. Improvisation is the business. It’s more fun that way. It also allows me to get my surreal sense of humour into the mix, which is becoming a strong point for me and something that I want to work on more.

I think I open a girl seated with a large group of people, with the Star Trek question. She’s into it straight away. Fargo, with his higher energy and deep, perverted love for Deep Space Nine gets stuck in quickly and geeks out in a massive way. She’s a huge geek too (apparently big into Babylon 5) and it’s truly a match made in the stars (geddit?!?!). A few of the larger group wonder who these guys are but she’s into Fargo and when one person talks to her he includes them in the conversation, and there’s no problems. They were too nice (i.e. middle class) to get offensive anyway.

I go back to the other guys and say my farewells as I want to get the last tube home. When I go back to Fargo the group have largely detached themselves and it’s just him and the girl. I go home and have a sleep.

What I learned:

- Don't be ill, and don't smoke before going out (I'm like Sideshow Bob and rakes with that last one... (check out the Cape Feare episode for more details))

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Busted in Camden

So I meet up with Andre for a bit of day game in the late afternoon. Rather than hitting the street we decide to open in Yates in Leicester Square. To be honest I’m still feeling shit and for some reason I’m now intimidated by Andre which wasn’t the case before, damn this insecurity! Again I think the smoking has something to do with it but I’m near the end of my stash so that won’t be a problem much longer.

So Andre pushes me in to some sets which is kind of what I need. Most of them aren’t hot but Andre opens a two set of HB7/8 Aussie girls with the opener “Do you think men can have multiple orgasms?” We have a good chat and things go well. Later, while Andre is in the loo they get to leave. I ask them for their number but they say they have boyfriends. Well at least I tried…

Andre pushes me into another set of 3 Colombian girls. They aren’t particularly hot but very, very friendly so I have a nice chat with them. I number close the leader but as she’s not hot I’m not that bothered about it. I don’t quite see the point of number closing girls I’m not interested in but I guess in a way it’s like warm up sets.

We go for a walk and I demonstrate the dental floss opener to Andre on a random girl. Turns out she’s Finnish so I say “Perkela” (Fuck off in Finnish) to her and she laughs. You roll the ‘r’ at the front of your mouth if you want to try it. Andre tries the opener on a hot chick standing nearby but doesn’t stay in the set. We watch a guy on a ten foot unicycle juggle machetes and then a real chainsaw which was cool. He manages to scare a child to death in a long routine that I won’t go into here. I’ve opened five sets and number closed in the day game session so that’s good work.

Later on I meet up with a new guy Marc in Camden. He’s a really cool guy and we get on well. We start in the Dublin Castle but it’s fairly empty. Marc opened three girls who were all 8+, but they were here with a band and got distracted once the band arrived. We leave and he opens a rock chick waiting for a gig outside the Underworld. We both vibe with her for a bit though he loses the thread on some of the cultural reference points that I’m aware of and he isn’t (e.g. that the Underworld holds mainly noisy rock gigs). He gives me kudos.

We go to the Good Mixer but once again it’s dead on a Thursday. A girl gives Marc IOIs so I open her first with the hair opinion opener. Marc joins and she soon turns her attention to him. While they’re chatting the group that she’s with starts talking about pick-up. I listen in while the girl and Marc keep talking. They’ve busted us! I hear comments like “They don’t look like PUAs…” etc. But the girl and more importantly Marc are oblivious to this all and keep on talking. The group are about to go and Marc finishes up the conversation by asking one of the group if he’s seen any famous people in Camden. He says Neil Strauss. It was hilarious! Anyway we split and try another venue.

There’s not much going on in the other venue other than a huge salsa lesson that we’re not part of. So we sit and chat a bit about game. Marc tells me of this time when he was flirting with a girl and they had everything in common. Everything he talked about she was into too. This kept on going and he thought it was a sure thing. Then he said something and she wasn't into it. This hit him like a brick and he didn’t know what to say next, so the whole thing fell apart. I mentioned that the whole basis of his (brief) relationship with this person was based on commonalities, and then once that wasn’t the case, the whole thing fell apart. He should have tried to develop the relationship based on other factors, like his value to her for example. Or humour. You know the deal.

I sound like a guru.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

There’s an Art to This…

So after a few days of feeling ill I decide to get back into it. I meet up with Trev for some day game. He suggests going to a gallery and trying our luck there. Sounds interesting so I give it a shot.

Now let’s talk a bit about me...! When I was a kid I was good at art, and loved modern art. I remember going to the Tate as a kid (there was only one Tate back then) and really loving the modern art. It excited me greatly and while my parents trudged round the boring historical sections (though I didn’t know about Turner at that stage) I hung out in the modern art part, looking in awe at these big explosions of colour and paint, and loving it.

So I ended up doing Art at A Level. And at my school if you took Art then you took History of Art as well. This was all cool as the art stuff I was good at, and then learning about the history behind it as well really helped me gain a greater appreciation of the how and why behind the pictures, and the people that created them. It also introduced me to a whole bunch of artists I had never heard of like Paul Klee and Tom Phillips, who became some of my lifelong favourites since then.

Anyway what all this education really taught me, along with a lot of my own thought after that, was that modern art was bunk. Now that’s not to say that I stopped liking it, I did still like it, it’s just that I’m a little cynical about it. You see, back in the old days of “traditional” art, it was essentially a sort of marketing, advertising, or a tool to promote messages. These messages were the concerns of the time. Essentially art was used to communicate power, whether religious, political, financial etc. The top bishops (or whoever) would get the top artists of the day to paint pictures to glorify god or something like that. Or a rich merchant would get the top man to paint a picture of him in front of his worldly goods to show off how rich he was.

Well that was all great and good but then along came photography. This little box of tricks did one thing that all these artists had spent years learning to do. I call it pictoral representation, i.e. making pictures look like things in real life. So now the rich merchant could take a photo of himself in front of his house or what have you and he only had to sit there for a few minutes and then it was done.

So what you find is at exactly the point that artists no longer need to pictorially represent reality, the visual aspect of the work becomes more and more abstract. The first people to do this was the Impressionists (Monet, Manet, Pissarro, Degas, etc.) and they started off a process that led to a gradual disintegration of the pictoral aspect, via Cubism, and the disintegration of meaning, via Surrealism and Dadaism, to complete abstraction with Abstract Expressionism. After this came Pop Art, which was a celebration of the superficial, and after that came Conceptualism and Post-modernism, which essentially states that Anything Goes. Anything is art. You could seriously piss on the floor in the middle of a gallery and call it art. Indeed Duchamp famously and far-sightedly exhibited a urinal as art, and many artists in recent years have exhibited shit as art, with one Turner Prize winner using elephant dung in one of his works.

So this great, visually amazing stuff that I loved as a kid, it was all rubbish (I could have told you that you might say – which is true, but I’m talking about my experience and this will all come to a relevant point in a few paragraphs hopefully). I mean, people still gave it meaning. I became an expert at the pretentious art critique, providing meaning to works that I’m sure some artists actually thought “This might be fun – splash a bit of paint here – hey, that looks cool!” (In fact this is pretty much Damien Hirst’s approach and he’s done it very well). You can see it in the pages of Time Out. A key phrase to look for is “explores themes of…” as in “The work of [Artist X] attempts to explore themes of loss, betrayal, heartache, sunshine, the global economic process, sexuality (which usually means it’s really fucked up), power, corruption and cheese.” They didn’t have to write that. They could have just said “Wank.” It’s all just vacuous bullshit trying to justify making a bunch of rubbish interesting and important.

So I developed my own school of art appreciation. It basically works by saying to yourself, “How much fun do you think the artist was having when they made this?” and “How much fun is it for me to look at this thing?” It pretty much takes it back full circle to where I was at the start, looking a big swathes of colour and thinking, “this is cool”.

In fact I tell you this now – whenever you look at a piece of modern art from now on, never look at the description on the plaque telling you what to think. Look at the work and make up your own mind. It is literally just as valid.

So why am I telling you this? Because the weight of this realisation always hangs over my head when I go and see modern art. I go and I look at it, and I think it’s fun, and I enjoy it a bit, but in the back of my head I kind of know it’s bunk. And that gives me a background feeling of existentialist angst that I still haven’t managed to erase.

There’s also the fact that the time when I was most into art was when I was at school, and this brings back memories of how everything else was pretty much miserable then.

Either way, what this means is that art galleries are pretty bad for me when it comes to sarging. I went to the Hayward Gallery with Trev for the Psycho-Buildings exhibition, and outside of my feelings for art galleries there were pretty much no hot women to game. The gallery was mostly empty. There were one or two really cool pieces of work, like the “houses at night” piece and the “time tunnel” piece (I have a separate theory that all art reduces back to Doctor Who references, which is true by the way), but for game it was 10 quid wasted. I tried walking around on the South Bank for a bit to try to open some girls but my mind and my energy was gone (it can be surprisingly tiring walking around a gallery). Having just stayed on the South Bank in the first place would have been better.

Given my experiences in the National Gallery in recent days I think galleries in general are bad for me at the moment. One day I know I will get a cold-approach-day-game-same-night-lay from a gallery (most likely the Tate Modern) but I need a general skill increase before then.

“We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.” Pablo Picasso

“An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them.” Andy Warhol

Monday, 14 July 2008

How to find a bunch of cool wings

Well I'm still ill today (coughing up a lung according to my flatmate) so here's a post about how to find wings.

If you’re starting out in pick up, there’s a good chance that your mates either don’t know about the community, don’t want to get involved for whatever reason, or you don’t want to tell your mates what you’re doing (though it might be worthwhile). So you’ll need to find wings that are guys that you haven’t met before. Luckily there are lots of ways to do this.

  1. Find a bunch of pick up / seduction forums. There is more than one. Do a search on Google, you’ll find some links between forums in threads. About five should be a good start.
  2. Post a new thread saying that you’re looking for wings
  3. Post replies in existing threads looking for wings.
  4. PM (personal message) guys in threads about wings asking if you can wing with them.
  5. Be honest about where you are in terms of development and what you want to do.
Not everyone will reply for various reasons. Don’t worry about it, keep on contacting new people, don’t hassle the old ones as there are new people posting all the time so there will be more chances in the future.

Now you may think, but what if everyone I meet are complete social misfit losers with greasy hair who only talk in algebra and still live at home with their parents (after all, they’re not getting laid)? Well there are a few things to mention about that:

  • Essentially that is negative thinking and something you need to work on as part of pickup anyway
  • If anyone is actually like that, then just because you meet them once, doesn’t mean that you have to meet them ever again.
  • I must have met over 20 people in the few months I’ve been doing this, and not one of them has been weird in the sense that I couldn’t relate to them or didn’t want to meet them again. So it’s most likely not worth worrying about anyway. Of the people I’ve met of course there are some that I get on with better than others, and some that are more out there than others, but they’re all basically good people.
At the start, take up every offer you can get, so you can have a feel for what people are like to wing with and what works best for you. Some people will be better than you, others worse, sometimes both but in different areas. That’s OK. You can learn from those who are better, and you can teach those who are worse. Teaching is actually a good way for you to learn about yourself as well. Don’t just be a value taker.

After a while though you’ll get to know some wings who are better for you than others. Some though not all will feel the same way about you. Usually these are people who are on the same wavelength as you, have the same sense of humour, and are often (though not always) at the same level as you.

You’ll also find that you end up knowing a lot of wings, and there is a chance that every Friday and Saturday night you’ll end up in a bar somewhere, with about nine guys or so. That, frankly, is way too many. I think two is great, anything up to five is doable depending on the location. More than that and you’re going to chodesville on a robo-horse. So you’re going to have to manage the number of people you go out with. This is the point that I am at!

Also, because of the posts that you’ve put up you’ll keep on getting contacts from the new people coming into the community. If you have a large group of wings then it’s probably best not to respond to them. It’s a harsh world but they’ll find other people that want to wing with them.

Finally, when you start out you may be thinking, hey if only I can find a wing who is a master PUA then he can teach me everything and I’ll get good really quick. Well, if this happens then great. However the chances are slim. Think about it – most of these top guys get paid to teach this stuff, why would they do it for free? One of the facts of life is that newbies will blow everyone out of a good set no matter how good the other guy is. Top PUAs won’t want to waste their time doing this. So expect to meet people mostly like yourself. However as you hang out and develop, you’ll all learn from each other and this will be beneficial in its own right.

Of course if you can find the top guys you could make friends with them so they want to teach you. But don’t ask me how to do that...

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Pick Up in the Land of the Plunging V-Necks

So I make plans to meet up with Fargo for gaming in Brick Lane / Shoreditch to try out some new venues. As ever on a Saturday I get a bunch of texts from other people who want to come out and play. I really need to decide on a better way to manage this as once again we ended up with about nine people (if you include Canadian Liam and Jonathan who we met on the street) and that’s about seven people too many in my opinion. I bring along my German neighbour as he’s a cool guy and a top bloke, and doesn’t get out much because of his job, so what better way for him to have some fun than to go to some cool bars, meet some other guys, and speak to random girls? He doesn’t know anything about pick up though, so it should be interesting.

So we meet up at Fargo’s flat where he’s deep into playing some Guitar Hero. He then wonders off and talks to his flatmate for ages – slightly bizarre. Anyway everyone turns up and Jordan starts eulogising on his latest thoughts about game. My German mate is entranced at the lines and thoughts coming out of him – it’s funny to see someone have his first peek at what is possible with game…

Anyway after a while we head off to Big Chill. It’s OK in there, it’s just a bit too loud and there are some but not too many hot chicks around. To be honest I’m spending most of the evening looking after my mate, making sure he’s OK with everything as I want him to have a good time (as he’s done loads of favours for me in the past so I kind of owe him). So everyone starts to do their worst. Fargo is on the case, opening a chick with a parrot on her shoulder, amongst others. Jordan starts dancing to the strange, perplexing rhythms in his head. Steve goes around talking to loads of people and is really enjoying himself. I’m not sure what Jake gets up to. The other Liam stands around a bit. I don’t know how to get this guy to approach, but he needs to. He’s awesome when he’s in set and he’s the best dressed of all of us, but he doesn’t do much.

Anyway after a while I find myself standing next to two black haired girls that are dancing. Some guy comes up to the less attractive of the two, talks to her for a bit and then walks away with her. I don’t know if he knew her but it didn’t look like pick up. Either way, he left the more attractive girl on her own, so there’s an opportunity to open. She was pretty hot and I think a few guys standing around were thinking of opening her. Something I’ve realised recently is that when I am thinking of opening someone and I’m not sure about it, I kind of pretend that I don’t have control over my legs and they walk me over to the girl by themselves, kind of forcing me to open. I can also do this in a cool, relaxed way so that I don’t get nerves. And I don’t seem to be too intimidated by looks either, which is great. This girl was a 7.5 / 8 I think.

So she looks French so I open with “Es-tu français?” Turns out she’s Polish (again!). Incidentally, opening someone by asking if they’re a certain nationality is great. If you’re right that’s awesome and a great DHV and connection. If you’re wrong they’ll normally tell you the nationality and you can go from there, and they’ve already bought into the interaction. We chat about random shit for a while and that. Then she wants to go and find what happened to her friend, and she ejects herself.

Could I have number closed her? I could have tried.

After a while in Big Chill Greg wants a change of scene as it isn’t that great there. We do a stop off in Exit bar, right next door to where my brother used to live on Brick Lane 15 years ago. While on a smoke break with my neighbour some people poke their heads out of the window, so we have a quick chat with them and tell them the story. A nice little connection. But the quick stop turns into a couple of drinks, and then I have a sneezing fit. I’ve been ill since Wednesday evening and despite signs that it was on its way out it looks like it’s still here. We stay out a bit longer but I’m feeling rough so my neighbour and I catch a cab home.

Thoughts on the night:

  • It was never going to be a big night as I was dealing with non-sarge related factors (i.e. my neighbour)
  • We need to reduce the group size. Two well matched people works well. Three or four isn’t too bad either. Seven is too much.
  • Only opened one set so doesn’t really meet my objectives of opening five people. But at least she was hot and at least it went fairly well.
  • Need to number close on the slimmest of chances.
I’m feeling even worse today so I’m going to take all of Sunday off and recover, hopefully I should be back on it on Monday.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Spittin’ game

So after taking Thursday off sick, I was back in the game on Friday, determined to do two sessions for the first time in the seven day challenge! I arranged a bit of the usual day game with Alex, and set off into town.

I arrived before Alex did, so started to walk around and test my ability to open solo. It was still fucking hard. I also became aware of a lot of the negative thoughts I had about opening that seem to pop up when I try solo day game. Things like “She’s too busy to talk to you.” “She’s got her bitch shield up.” “She’s sitting down so I’m going to have to sit down next to her and that will seem really weird.” All of these I know are either bullshit or irrelevant but at the moment I’m thinking them automatically and also feeling the accompanying negative emotions, and it’s preventing me from opening.

This is something that I need to work on as I know I can open in day game, it just seems that I can only do it when I’m winging with Andre! I’m sure there’ll be others but he’s the only wing I’ve successfully opened with so far. Andre – we need to do more winging! But what I’m going to have to do is to learn to do this solo by whatever means. Maybe I need to imagine I have an Andre with me when I go out, even when he’s not there. That sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it?

So then Alex turns up and we have a chat and then start to wonder round. I offer to show Alex round the National Gallery and give him my tour of the development from the Raphaelite academic style to Cubism, based on the changes from the industrial revolution and photography. This is all very well but we’re not picking up chicks. We go back outside and wonder round. Alex is walking very slowly so it makes it hard to wing – you’ve got to be on a similar wavelength and indeed pace. Again not much is happening but I do force myself to open five people (one being a half-open from a flyer chick) and that’s enough to allow me to go home and cook dinner.

I think with Alex he’s just started seeing this girl that he picked up in the first fortnight of trying game, and really, deep down, he doesn’t want to go out and pick up more chicks when he’s seeing another girl. It doesn’t fit into his morals. We did have a chat about this in the past, where he asked me if it was OK to see one girl and go and pick up others. I mentioned that as long as everything is clear and honest with the girl, and she understands, then it’s OK. This may be the case, but I really think that it’s Alex that isn’t comfortable with it, and it may be best for him to focus on his one girl for a time.

Anyway, later in the evening I meet up with the usual reprobates in town. We go to Digress but there’s not much happening there tonight. So we relocate to Jewel in Piccadilly. It’s not mega busy but there are enough girls around. We all talked and chatted and generally got ourselves into state. Jordan got laid last night after he performed at a gig – pure rockstar game! He also mentioned a great opener for people with closed off bitchy appearance: “Hey guys, quick question, why is everyone so miserable in here?!?” He used it and the girl responded by completely melting her own shield and laughing and smiling. It’s an awesome little routine. After chatting for a while pretty much everyone gets stuck in to sets.

I can’t remember if it was a dare from someone else but I open a chick behind me, ordering at the bar. She was hot but really closed off and didn’t want to be approached. I opened with golf and she didn’t play. Was this the end of the interaction? Oh no! Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned this week (from Python) it’s that you just need to keep talking, and the social pressure of not being a sourpuss when someone else is having fun is too much to remain in that state. This is a massive learning point for me.

So I hear that she has an Australian accent and ask her where she’s from. Australia she says. No shit. So I ask her what part. Melbourne she says. She’s still looking glum. So I say that Melbourne’s my favourite city in Australia, and she tell me that it should be, in an arrogant, dismissive way. Well, pomposity always create a chance to prick a bubble, so I then said that Melbourne was my favourite Australian city, until I found out that the people were so arrogant! I said this in a fun and amusing way, and then she laughed. I can’t remember what we talked about after that, something about sport I think, but she ended up smiling and I had broken through her bitch shield.

As we were standing around a bit later, I decided to test out the San Jose opener once again. I know I’d said I’d retire it, but these girls weren’t that attractive (they were OK, nothing special) so I thought I’d give it a shot as a test run. Funnily enough one of the girls bought into the idea quickly, and we started to role-play a little bit on the idea of me needing to find out from people in bars, how to get to San Jose. I can’t remember much of the details but that was the idea. After it stalled I asked the girls where they came from. It was the most unsubtle transition, and I could almost hear the gears crunching in my head, as though I’d forgotten to engage the clutch. Anyway I stuck in there for a bit and had a bit of a chat, and kept going for a while before ejecting as I had no intention of number closing. But that was so far the best response to the San Jose opener that I’ve had! (Jake had a good run with San Jose when he opened an American chick later - she got the joke and said she could give him directions!)

So near where we were standing there was a large group of people, mainly girls but one guy I think, who were having a party. After a while some of them were up and dancing, no doubt encouraged by Jordan’s Michael Jackson moves. And some of them were quite hot. So at one point I get the balls and go and approach one girl with “So who’s birthday is it?” Turns out that it’s no one’s, they’re just out for a party tonight. So I start talking to her, finding out about her. She’s from Poland, just arrived over here two weeks ago. She asks me what I do, I tell her that I’m the guy who makes the holes in Swiss cheese. She doesn’t believe me (thankfully) but we start to riff on it, making jokes about it and role playing. I tell her I don’t get paid but I get to eat all the cheese that I take out for free, so that’s a really good benefit. We talk about the bar we’re in, and I tell her I love the décor (which I do) as it has a psychedelic-Arabic feel to it (Arabadelic anyone? No? OK…), which is my favourite kind of décor. Turns out she’s an interior designer so we connect on that point. At various points I ran out of things to say, but I just kept forcing it and saying whatever came into my head, routines or otherwise, just to keep the conversation going. And it went well, she was enjoying herself and we had fun. And she was hot, about an 8 or 8.5 I would say. I can’t remember why or when I ejected, but I did. But afterwards I knew I had to go back and get her number, and I knew that she would give it to me.

So I rejoined the guys and talked about some stuff as you do. I joined Canadian Liam in a set of four girls who had just turned up. Liam tried to direct me to help him open with a Fancy Dress opener (and I completely misjudged it!), but it was clear a millisecond after we opened that the set would tank, and Liam had barely said two lines when one of the girls brought out a shoe and all the girls started to look at it. Yes, we were officially upstaged by a shoe! It’s not every day that you can say that! But then, shoes are like crack to women.

So after a while (prob 20 mins) I go back to find the Polish girl and she’s not around. I ask one of the others in the group where she is, turns out she’d gone for a smoke. Five minutes later I go back and ask her if she’d ever been round… the National Gallery(!). She says she hasn’t so I tell her I’ll take her round, and then the classic, “What’s your number?” She gives it to me and mentions that she’s only free on Sundays. I tell her I can’t do this Sunday, but we’ll pencil in next week. NUMBER CLOSE! DATE ARRANGED! HOT POLISH CHICK! Ladies and gentlement, we have a winner!

After this my state is sky high and I have a lot of fun with the guys and everyone else. I reopen the shoe girls with “What’s the story with the shoe then?” and find out that it’s one of the girl’s boyfriends had bought her a really nice pair of shoes. I didn’t recognise the name so I asked if they were better than Jimmy Choos, apparently they were much better. Interesting fact, shoe fans.

Later on a Bulgarian photographer opens us, takes our picture and gives us her card, I try and engage her in conversation for a bit. She’s not bad looking but the convo doesn’t last long.

Right at the end Canadian Liam wants to open again. Just then a two set appears at the bar behind him, I push him in. He hooks with one of the two girls. He’s there for a while and I want to practice my winging skills, so I go in, say “Hi” to Liam and start talking to the nearest girl. We have a nice chat and all of that. She’s from Brisbane, over here, I can’t remember what she’s doing, blah blah blah, just talking normally really. I eject as I was about to leave anyway.

Jordan immediately comes up to me and says “Did you get her number?” I didn’t. “She was showing you massive indicators of interest, fingers in her hair, that kind of thing.” Fuck. I’d completely missed the signals. Could I have number closed her? I could have asked, and that’s the important thing. As 60 once said, you should try to number close all the time, soon it won’t mean a thing and that’s when it will happen the most. And I think I could have number closed her.

I say my goodbyes and head home. A productive night. Five sets opened in the day and night, one number close (total since starting focussing on game: 2! Yay!). Things I’ve learned:

  • Keep on talking. Keep on spitting game. It almost doesn’t matter what you’re saying, but you got to keep on talking at the start until she engages and it starts getting more two-way.
  • Getting into state with the boys worked well tonight. People were laughing and enjoying themselves before we’d even stared opening girls, and that was really important.
  • Still need to research into the structure of game a bit. I want to become aware of the A2/A3 cross over, and mix and match that with the structure proposed in Magic Bullets
  • Still need to practice some routines, five for each stage I reckon. Although having said that I am slowly building up a little repertoire of my own, some self-generated, some nicked for who knows where. But let’s turbo boost this a bit with some practice and research.
  • I really, really like how we have a group forming of regular sargers that are all getting to know each other better, and we can compare notes, exchange ideas, support and so on. It feels a bit like the early days of the community as Neil Strauss described in The Game. I have a good feeling about this. As mentioned before it’s almost like a Learning-mind version of the Mastermind concept that Napoleon Hill describes.
One other thing to mention is that I have been reading Psychocyberneticson recommendation from Alex, and it’s really interesting. It’s not much that I haven’t heard before, although it always helps to be reminded of these things. But it does recommend the old visualisation movie technique of how your goal will look, in as much detail as possible. It also recommends to imagine how you would feel, act and be different if your goal was achieved. In particular that last one – how would I feel if I knew I could go out tonight and get hot girls attracted to me, flirt with them, number close them, kiss them, fuck them? How does that feel? Pretty good huh? Like you can do that all the time, without thinking about it, without it being an issue. Yeah, I'm going out tonight, Probably going bring home some hot chick and fuck her brains out. You know, the usual. Now keep that feeling with you, and rehearse in your mind a successful sarge. You don’t need to know the details at this stage, work it out over time. But feel the result and keep refining the movie until it is the best and most precise version you can make. Do this every day for 21 days for 30 minutes at a time.

I did this on the tube on the way in to day game today, and although the day game didn’t go so well, the night game was particularly good.

So today again I’m feeling shite, sneezing everywhere. I’m going to have to forsake day game today so I might be able to go out tonight. Let’s hope so.

Last night after I came back I listened to this awesome song:

“Throw those curtains wide, one day like this in a year will see me right” Elbow – One Day Like This

Friday, 11 July 2008

How to get good at anything (including pick up)

So yesterday I was ill with some weird virus thingy that made me not want to move at all. So I didn’t. This seven day plan thing isn’t quite going to plan, but I’m keeping up the focus and will put in the effort one way or another and will do seven days, even if they’re not all at once.

Anyway instead I thought I’d write my much-threatened “How to get good at anything” article. First, a little history. Let me take you back to the heady summer of 1992.

As a kid at school, I was lucky enough to have what you could call a natural academic intelligence. All the subjects put before me I more or less got to grips with very easily. I wasn’t the top person in everything in school, but I was pretty good. I was in the top sets for everything. I remember I had some problems with English comprehension but that was about it. Until 1992. Up until that time, when I took my GCSEs, everything was more or less easy, academically speaking, and I got good grades.

After that however came A Levels, and the step up in effort and ability required took me outside of my natural abilities to the point where I actually had to do some work. This was a big shock at the time. Even a subject like Maths, that I always had a natural affinity for, was now mind-bendingly difficult and required a lot of effort and concentration. Even Art, another top skill of mine, took me outside of what I was used to. Which neatly brings me to my first example.

In Art, I always had a natural ability to draw things, make interesting designs, use colour well, that sort of thing. But then came oil paints. I’m sure most of you are familiar with painting using poster paints or water based paint from school. Well I found water based painting easy. But then came oil paints and although it’s still paint, the different texture, consistency, drying rate and even the practical aspects like using turpentine to clean the brush were foreign to me. The first picture I created using oils was flat, non-descriptive, bland, essentially a non-entity when it came to good art.

This was a blow, as something I’d taken for granted – my faith in my artistic ability – was now challenged. But art was my thing and I knew that I had to solve this. So what did I do?

Well unfortunately this happened too long ago for me to remember the precise steps that I took. But here’s roughly what happened. I looked at how other people used oil paints and copied parts of their technique. As I was also studying art history at the time, I saw how the greats like Turner, Constable, Matisse, Picasso, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Monet etc. all made sketches in oil paint to get a handle or feel for how the subject matter translated into the medium, so I started to do the same. And I practiced – even 15 minutes spent painting a small self-portrait taught me a lot about the skills and techniques that I needed to make the paintings come alive. So I became an awesome painter, focussed on oils for my A Levels and achieved an A. I also had one of my paintings chosen by the head of department to be kept by the school as an example to future generations of what good art is. That last fact is one of my happiest memories and an achievement that still makes me very, very proud to this day.

Well, that’s all great and dandy I hear you say, but what the fuck has that got to do with pick up? Good question, though I’m sure you may be ahead of me on this one (if not, stay tuned).

From my A Levels onward, there were many other skills that I had to gain after that, from learning to socialise with people from different backgrounds, to driving a car, to learning to play guitar and write great songs, to becoming great at job interviews, to keeping fit and healthy and developing the physique I’ve always wanted, to becoming a good new media project manager and having a successful career, I’ve learned how to get good at these things, and thus learned how to get good at anything.

Now that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Also, this information is nothing new. These ideas have been taught and repeated many times over, and I’m not the first to say them. You probably know all of these ideas already, it may be that some of them you haven’t explicitly expressed on a regular basis. But it’s worth reminding ourselves from time to time if you’re not getting the results you want, and need to find that extra special something to take you to the next level sometimes. I know I do.

So here goes:

  1. Practice. Sounds obvious but often the best medicine for us and the one we want to take the least is to practice. “Practice makes perfect. Perfect is a fault. In Fault lies change.” That’s a quote from the R.E.M. song I Believe. And change is what this is all about. Speaking of which…
  2. Change something. You may be doing the groundwork and putting in the effort, but not getting anywhere. So you need to change what you’re doing. What you should change often doesn’t matter – take an educated guess. Try a different approach. Think about the problem from a different perspective. If you’re still stuck then you can always:
  3. Do some research. In the internet age and indeed with many bookshops out there, you have a wealth of information out there. For pick up specifically there are loads of free resources. Do A Fucking Search. Read The Fucking Manual. There are millions of sites out there. And for the stuff you have to pay for, you can download some of it illegally anyway. Though of course I completely condone that sort of behaviour. Like, totally. You may find stuff confusing and contradictory at first, but everything has a grain of truth and you’ll start to see the bigger patterns eventually.
  4. Find people with the same problem. Easy to do for pick up – hit the forums, email people, take the initiative and arrange sarges. This helps you understand that you’re not the only person in the world who doesn’t have the skill set yet, and you can both learn as you both progress and mutually support each other. You can also help others, which gives you a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside. It’s like Napoleon Hill’s “Mastermind” concept but adjusted and repositioned for “Learning-minds” – if you get my drift.
  5. Find people better than you at the skill and learn from them. This is a bit harder to do (as most mPUAs charge for their services) but persistence will get you there. You’ll have friends who are naturals. You can pay for a bootcamp if you want but make sure you have some spare cash! Or you can delve into the community and make friends with them.
  6. Persistence. There’s a quote from somewhere that goes “90% of people give up just when they were on the cusp of achieving their goal.” I’ve no idea how they could have measured it, but it reflects a greater truth: If you give up, you’re guaranteed to fail. If you try, you may or may not get better, but ironically it’s the only way to get better.
  7. Patience, or Faith. Things don’t happen overnight for you. Your friends and acquaintances will think that you have when they see you in six months, but they haven’t been living your life. This ties in with the Buddhist concept of Acceptance. Don’t be upset if things don’t progress in sharp, upward, linear fashion. Almost nothing goes like that. You’ll have bad days, but they don’t matter. When you’re looking for something, you don’t know where it is, but you have faith that you will keep on trying until you find it. That faith is very important and useful in so many situations. Some call it self-belief.
  8. Goals. Make sure you are clear on what you are trying to achieve. So simple yet so often overlooked. What do you really want? What will that get you? Why is that important to you? How does that sit with you morals and ethics, and beliefs about reality? It’s important that you are doing things that are congruent with you, as otherwise you’ll subconsciously sabotage yourself. Also, imagining your goal completed and what your reality would be like then will help you focus on it, believe it’s possible and make it real.
  9. Obstacles. Often you’ll come across problems that you’ll find hard to solve. Often this will be accompanied with a lot of negative emotions – frustration, anger, depression, fear and so on. Don’t worry about this – it’s natural. Remain objective about the negative emotions, your mind isn’t used to going outside of its comfort zone, and that’s normal. Review points 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7 … and then get back to work, bitch!
  10. Have fun. Meeting girls is fun. Going out is fun. Gaining new skills is more than fun, it’s awesome. How could you ever not enjoy yourself?
So to relate this to my situation. I’ve decided to focus on gaming and getting good with women. I’ve successfully made friends with a bunch of wings and can regularly go out with them. I’ve looked into venues that are best for meeting women so that I can go out as much as possible (still working on this really). I’ve opened girls and groups. I have my goals down. So that’s what I have done. But recently it’s been the status quo. I need to develop.

What I haven’t done much of is staying in set for longer than a few minutes. I need to plough. I need to close. I need to get seductive. So how am I doing this?

I’m increasing the frequency that I go out. I will do some research on material so that I can have lots to say. I will do some research on how to be seductive. I will do some research on structure, that is missing currently. I will continue to research into having the correct attitude. I’m starting to get to meet some mPUAs so that will help me improve. There are probably other things that I have forgotten but you get the general idea.

So hopefully you can apply that to your own life. Have fun as well. Good luck. Please let me know if this helps.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Back to Square One

So after a poor day yesterday I needed to change my approach a bit to make sure I didn’t have another bad one. I didn’t smoke or do anything too strenuous in the day. I still did a bit of yoga and that felt great. I arranged to meet with Jake in town, with an idea of going to Cheapskates, as I’d read about that venue on another forum as being a good mid week venue. How right they were…

On the tube on the way in I saw a fairly hot girl sitting directly opposite. I noticed she was looking at me and I should have opened but I didn’t. Never mind, other chances will come.

Once I met Jake we had a beer to catch up on stuff, which put me in a much better mood than going straight in. Once Cheapskates was open we went in and as ever at the start it was pretty quiet. But we had a ultra-cheap beer to pass the time (£1 each! An alcoholic’s dream!) while the place slowly but surely filled up.

As ever with Jake we talked about creating random openers. After a long and circuitous discussion over what we should use, I thought that “Do you play golf?” would be an awesomely fun opener to try out. Golf is, after all, such a strange sport that I’ve never enjoyed, and its fashion sense is so fucked up, there’s just something that is inherently amusing about it, at least for me, and that’s the most important point. (Actually I'm a big fan of the Ryder Cup, but that's as far as I go.)

So I stopped a girl who was walking past with a tap on the shoulder and asked her if she played golf. Turns out she did! Had a quick chat with her as a warm up. Jake opened a group next to us, turned out to be a couple and one single chick. Jake spoke to her for a good while but she wasn’t that hot so we ejected after that.

Seeming as golf was going so well, I decided to try the San Jose opener. But to be honest it’s an in joke that only I get, and it’s hard to do anything with it. The one time I used it went like this:

Karlos to 3 girls: “Hey, do you know the way to San Jose?”
Girl 1: “Um no, I’ve not heard of it.” To girl 2: “Do you know where San Jose is?”
Girl 2: “No, perhaps you could ask at the bar?”
Karlos: “OK, thanks anyway…” eject.

I’d like to revive this when I’m better at game, and I’d love to get a close out of it. For now I’m going to drop it though.

So after a couple of warm ups, we then went around and practically opened every spare set that we could find. And it was great, almost every set opened up really well, good reactions, lots of smiles and interest from the girls. Turns out lots of girls were into playing golf, although I think some of the ones that I talked to had been set up by Jake to tell me they played when they didn’t, as part of his take on the routine. But we didn’t sort out where we were going to take that approach, so that needs a bit of work as it kind of petered out.

But like I said the girls opened well, and they were for the greater part hot. Cheapskates is definitely doing something right to get that kind of clientele. It’s definitely a venue I’d go back to as well. I can see my self closing in that venue, possibly for a SNL as well. Well I’m gonna try, dammit! I also opened five sets (might have been more actually) so I’m in keeping with my goals. It’s good to be back on the road again, although I’m still no further along the path than I was before, but still it felt like a good night.

Thoughts on the night:

  • Silly, fun openers that you enjoy are the best
  • Cheapskates is a great mid-week venue
  • Jake is a great wing for me
  • I need to plough through the conversations in the first 5-15 mins. Follow Python’s example and just keep talking rubbish!
  • Still need to escalate. Still need to number close. Still need to get seductive.
  • Need to “gel” with wings when both going into set, so we have an idea of what each is saying and can fit in with the flow of the conversation.
  • I sometimes tap girls on their shoulder to get their attention but need to continue the physical contact after that to increase the comfort and attraction.
  • I do need to revisit the structure of the sarge, particularly A2 and A3, and have some backup routines to use when the conversation lulls.
  • I opened five sets, and they all went pretty well. Yay!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

So the seven day sarging challenge… how is it going?

Well I often set myself these goals and all too frequently they turn out to be too challenging. But that’s OK, coming across these obstacles are beneficial in knowing how to effectively push myself, and how to keep to plans.

Anyway what happened on Monday? Well truth be told, I was feeling shit after a weekend of excess – a friend’s 30th birthday party on Saturday and an all-day lunch / drinking session with the family on Sunday made me the worse for wear by Monday. The only consolations were that Rafa beat Roger and that Lewis won the Grand Prix and took the lead of the championship again. But I digress. I was feeling like crap and there were a lot of admin type things to do, including booking my trip to Vietnam (O for awesome!) so I decided to push it back a day. Plus the weather was shit.

Tuesday my battle with motivation nearly got the better of me again, as my neighbour invited me for a smoke and it would have been too easy to have spent the day at home. In fact I had kind of made up my mind when I received a text from Python who invited me out and I knew I couldn’t turn it down, for my own sake.

So I head out but the smoking combined with a pretty hard swim I’d had earlier meant that I was almost falling asleep on the tube on the way there. I was definitely in a low energy state. I met up with Python and for the first time I met with a very experienced PUA, one that looked the part in shades and gelled hair, and we went straight into game rather than talking and getting to know one another, which is what usually happens. Interesting learning point there.

However the fact that I hadn’t got to know Python was distracting me, and that was another learning point. Surely my game didn’t depend on whether I had “got to know” the person next to me? I’ve always had it in the past and it made me feel good, but that was also to counteract the bad feeling I might have from not approaching or not having anyone to talk to and feeling social pressure in a bar. I just realised that I was depending upon my environment too much.

I saw Python approach and number close and what surprised me wasn’t that it was possible (as I’ve done it, just inconsistently) but what Python said and how he said it. He was essentially just talking random shit the whole time. Sometimes it didn’t even make sense to me! That was a real surprise, it was unlike any pick up style that I had seen before. All the naturals I know use conventional conversation, teasing, high energy stuff. Python had a high-ish energy about him but it was less about what he said, more the fact that he was actually saying something. Interesting stuff. I don’t know what I can learn from that other than there’s no “right” style, you’ve just got to find something within you that works, and there’s more than one way to do that.

I also notice that Python only approaches girls on their own (i.e. no groups) as this makes it easier to stop and chat to them. Then I notice that my perception when walking through crowds is completely focussed away from spotting hot single girls coming towards me. I’ve noticed that I’ve almost always opened groups of two girls or so, I need to vary this a bit.

Anyway we walk around and Python opens up the odd girl here and there, and then I find myself becoming intimidated. This is a problem I’ve always had, namely around jealousy, where others doing things that I want to do better than me gives me negative emotions and thoughts. This is a core issue in my inner game, and something that I haven’t yet properly found a solution to. At least I’m aware of it, and I’ll try and become more and more objective to it over time. Any tips or suggestions please let me know! The mature voice for this is motivation I guess.

We go into the National Gallery which is a bit surreal for me as it’s connected with insecurities from my childhood. I’m identifying a bit with that, aren’t I? God, this post is bringing up a lot of shit. Interesting stuff. Python opens up a couple of chicks but now my AA is massive and I can’t seem to open at all. Python disappears and I suspect that he’s venue changed with a girl, later turns out he has. In a way it’s a relief as there is less self-generated intimidation. I decide to get outside again and do more street game.

I decided on this challenge that I would open MINIMUM five sets each session, and I’ve only opened two by this stage. As this is a goal that I know I can achieve I determine to open another three. My AA is so bad though I can only contemplate opening with “What’s the time?” type questions. I also decide to use this time to focus on opening hot single girls. This is actually really hard, as I have to change my whole perception and focus on the people in the crowds, rather than where I am going etc. This is a big outer game / technical change, and it takes some good time to adapt to.

After spending ages on this I eventually get used to spotting the single girls, assessing quickly if they’re hot, and then opening them before it’s too late. There aren’t that many around that I can see, so I have to lower my standards a bit, but I get my three in the end. It was actually really hard work! I felt tired afterwards but I’m happy I did it.

Tuesday evening was band practice so there was no sarging anyway. Wednesday day game was in the Village Hall due to rain* but I have something set up for this evening…

What I learnt:
  • Experiment with going straight into approaches when meeting up with guys as an alternative to chatting.
  • Whether you know your wing or not shouldn’t affect your game
  • Don’t smoke or do hardcore exercise before going out on a sarge
  • There’s no right style to game, find one that works for yourself
  • Approach single girls in day game. Learn to focus on them
  • Transmute jealousy into motivation. Become objective towards the jealousy identity
  • Become separate from childhood insecurities. It’s a protective voice that’s helping you avoid fear, but it restraining you in your experience of reality, making excuses for me, and producing fear where none exists.
  • Everything – motivation, learnings, change – comes from inside me
*i.e. called off. Is rain a lame excuse to avoid doing day game? I should find a shopping centre somewhere…

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Do you know the way to San Jose, HB?

So having made up my mind to rehearse and practice routines, I then stumble across a couple of posts on the LSS that make me change my mind (you may need to register to access the posts). The first was the age-old debate between natural v. routine game.

Now I find it especially frustrating when those who propose one way of thinking say that those who think the other way are idiots or some other playground insult. It’s sloppy, juvenile thinking. But outside of that, the various points raised in the thread, and equally importantly the links to other posts started my cogs moving. Particularly the link to this post quoting Toecutter that blurs the distinction between routines and natural game. Indeed, most natural friends of mine who are unaware of the game have their own “routines” that they use with girls over and over again.

What it then transpires is that what you’re learning is not the routines or specific things to do in certain situations, it’s the mindset, and the acceptance of the experience of learning the mindset. The mindset is things like, have fun, be the party, not give a shit about anything, get out of your comfort zone, amuse yourself, ploughing, rejecting your assumptions, staying in set as long as possible, experimentation, being comfortable with rejection and plenty of others.

Learning natural game in a way is like a baptism of fire. For all the so-called pain and threats to your ego that you have to experience, it is only really a washing or burning off the extraneous uselessness of your personality so that next time you’ll be better, or at least different. Then consciously and subconsciously you’ll become the person (rather than the line-learning robotic actor) who has this sorted. I.e. the guy who fucks loads of chicks.

Finally, I read all seven pages of a thread where a poster called Tiger puts himself through a 30 day go-out-every-day challenge to learn natural game. It’s great as you get to objectively feel the highs and plumb the depths with him, and you can actually see the development over time, which is really important and very inspirational for me.

So it was this in mind that I headed out last night for some field practice. Despite being stoned when I arrived, holding a conversation with Fargo was enough to snap me into a more sociable state, and I started to feel the excitement of sarging and I could feel my surreal sense of humour coming to the fore.

For some reason over the last two days I have had the phrase “Do you know the way to San Jose?” in my head – just that line and that part of the tune, as I had never heard the whole tune before. (I checked it out on YouTube yesterday and it’s a sweet song.) So being in a surreal mood I decided to use that as an opener. Mainly as it amused me, for no logical reason. At one point Swiss Jonathan challenged me to open a set, so I did and tried it out. Can’t say it worked fantastically well, but at least I opened. Now I have a response prepared:

“Do you know the way to San Jose?”
“Er, no!”
“Yeah it’s funny, isn’t it, no one seems to know. I don’t think it actually exists, that’s the catch…”
(continue with inane, deranged ramblings ad termino)

Anyway, outside of this I wanted to use tonight as a dry run for my seven day challenge next week. The idea of the challenge is to go out for both day and night game every day for seven days (except Tuesday evening when I have band practice). The aim when going out is as follows:

  • Have fun
  • Feel good (independent of environment)
  • Always open
  • Stay in set until blown out or close
  • Escalate
  • Open at least five sets in each session, unless there is a kiss close or more.
  • Experiment with routines but focus on natural game
  • Be comfortable with rejection
So with these ideas vaguely in mind I went out. I was very keen to open at the start but kept on stalling for a bit. Fargo mentioned that I was an inspiration to him at one point, I think because of my optimism mainly, and that I was like a self-help coach. Which I know is true, and it’s true because it works (see my future post on How to Get Good at Anything). So the good vibes were with us.

We started in Lab on Old Compton Street and I did the San Jose opener as mentioned above, and then when I was getting drinks I had a fairly straightforward convo with a girl at the bar which I was about to number close but then logistics (mainly holding drinks in both hands) got in the way. I don’t think it was too solid anyway, it was more of a warm up.

After that we went to Bar Soho which was a bit rough and ready but at least busy with some hot girls in it. I think I opened two or three sets. I went for a walk at one point and saw this one girl who was standing on her own. I opened her with “You look lonely” and started chatting about random stuff. On more than one occasion I felt like ejecting but forced myself to stay in there. As I did I could feel both the connection between us growing and baptism of fire of my own limiting beliefs about myself burning away, which was a bit surreal. But it was a great feeling. I stayed with her for about five minutes and then ejected. Still, it was longer than I would have stayed in set on another day. Looking back now I could have stayed with her and isolated her. She was a bit drunk so I don’t know if she would have been coherent for long, or whether I would have felt like I was taking advantage of her, but I guess there was only one way to have found that out.

I also got rejected and didn’t feel bad. There was a girl dancing near us that I think Jonathan wanted to talk to, he wanted to ask her a question (can’t remember what) so I went to ask her. She immediately cut me off with “We’re here to dance tonight, thanks,” so I left her to it. But I didn’t feel bad at all, my mood was unaffected. I later saw her dancing with a big east European looking guy, so I guess she was taken.

I caught the last tube home though I could have stayed out and opened more sets. But despite no substantial results it was a good night and bodes well for my challenge next week.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Update on My Sarging Goals and Objectives

So a while back I listed my SMART objectives for the next few weeks. They were all timed to end in June or July and as we are now at the end of June I should review them and revise them for the next two months. And, well, it’s not pretty.

So here are the original goals, divided into June and July:

  • By the end of June I will have number closed 5 times
  • By the end of June I will have researched and implemented how to turn my conversation seductive, and used it five times.
  • By the end of June I will have gone sarging solo twice.

  • By the end of July I will have number closed 15 times, 5 times with girls who are 7 or above
  • By the end of July I will have been to ten new venues for sarging, and have put together a list of venues for each day of the week that has the hottest girls
  • By the end of July I will have opened ten girls hotter than a 7.
  • By the end of July I will have kiss closed ten girls.
  • By the end of July I will have gone sarging solo five times.
So let’s assess the June objectives:

By the end of June I will have number closed 5 times
I have number closed once. Poor showing.

By the end of June I will have researched and implemented how to turn my conversation seductive, and used it five times.
I haven’t done this.

By the end of June I will have gone sarging solo twice.
I haven’t done this.

So a pretty poor display overall. I think this is partly because the goals were set too high, but also partly because I haven’t had enough focus on or put enough effort into this game / sarging thing at all.

So far I have been going out with the intention of opening, and for the most part using natural game, as I have been reading some information about natural game and it looks quite interesting and powerful. However to really implement natural game you need to have the fundamentals down, cast-iron inner game, and usually tons of experience.

My results so far have been mixed to “ordinary” (as the Aussies put it). I’m basically bumping along a very low altitude plateau, and not really improving. I have an idea for a post that I want to write called “How to Get Good at Anything” which is based on my experiences of other areas of life where I have developed a skill and achieved results, and what I’ve learnt from it.

I’ll probably write that post at some stage, but the most relevant points to my development of sarging are:

  • If you’re on a plateau, try doing something different
  • If you’re on a plateau, try increasing the effort put in
  • Remember that all results will come in time
So, to that end I have decided to do the following:

  • Rather than relying on (my non-existent) natural game, I will go back to the fundamentals, read “Magic Bullets”, mind-map it so I actually specifically remember it all rather than just letting it pass in one eye and out the other (as it were), create or find some routines and practice them at home before going out.
  • Go out a lot more, on my own if necessary. I’m going to set aside next week as a dry run for some pretty intense gaming. The whole week I’m going to go out every day, for both day and night game, and in each session I will do AT LEAST 5 approaches. I have written out a timetable covering the four main areas of my life: pick-up, health, money and music, and have specific times and tasks for all of these, with the emphasis on pick-up.
After next week I will assess how effective that week was, and draw up another timetable for the week after, adapted based on the things that I have learnt.

One thing on routines v. natural game. Natural game theorists say you don’t need routines if your inner game is tight, you can say anything and it will work. I have no doubt it’s true, as I’ve pulled with some random comments in the past, but I’m not consistent. This is because I still have a lot to learn, calibration and acuity to develop, which will come with time. The way I see routines are like cheat modes on computer games. When I used to play computer games, I had this one game (Retrograde) and I found really hard and couldn’t play for more than a couple of minutes without losing all my lives. So I found the infinite lives cheat and began playing away. I soon got through a few levels and was enjoying the game. Then one day later I was playing away, when I suddenly realised that I’d gone through most of the levels and I hadn’t put the cheat mode on. I was now actually good at the game, and I wasn’t cheating.

That’s how I see routines and natural game. Routines are like the cheat mode, which can get you some success and learning experience so that at some point in the future you can discard them and just play normally. In fact I now remember Style has said that routines are like the training wheels for riding a bike – once you’ve got the hang of it you can take them off and you’ll be OK.

So that’s the approach that I need to take now. Back to square one and get some structure to my game. Then after next week I’ll draw up some new objectives for the future.