Saturday, 31 January 2009

A Dearth of Targets and an Impromptu House Party

So I meet up with Liam and Pete in Richmond as it seems right to try out something new. Padraig and later Arran turn up and join us too.

I have broken one of my Resolutions by getting stoned before going out but then hey, it’s my first week back in work and it seemed a good enough reason to celebrate, seeming as I still haven’t had a drink all year and I then had two weekend nights left before I could drink again, damn fate toying with my emotions.

Anyway despite that I was more or less clearheaded in terms of game at least, thinking and feeling as good as I did sober which never used to be the case.

So we head out to the bars and pretty much everywhere in Richmond was either empty or full of blokes and ugly chicks. After bar hopping the whole place we decide to move to Fulham to see what’s happening there.

Turns out that it’s mainly the same, with the exception of the evergreen Elk (and I guess the Slug, though there’s no point in going there – for me at least). We hang in the Elk a bit and the energy of the group is completely dead. I’m dancing a bit to try and keep my energy up as much as I can but it’s not rubbing off on the others at all.

While everyone’s choding out in the corner, I spot a hot chick sitting on her own at the corner of the table. She was pretty much you’re textbook hot blonde Aussie chick, good body, pretty face, comfortably a 7 if not more. She was the hottest girl in the place from where I was standing. I had to open her.

I went up and started with “You look like you’ve lost your friends.”
She said, “Nah, they’re just at the bar getting served.”
“OK cool. Well you can hire me to be your friend for a few minutes.”

We then talked random stuff for a few minutes. It was so random that I didn’t know what the conversation was about. Mainly because I couldn’t hear a word she was saying. Funnily enough despite that she was laughing a bit and seemed to be cool with the situation. However I finally stalled out as I had no idea what was going on and she got a bit distant.

I think she was actually with a guy though I was unsure whether they were friends or sordid lovers. Could have asked.

So it was back to hanging with the guys. Someone sipped their drink. Someone let out a sigh. Another had a thousand yard stare. Yeah baby, we were on fire.

The dancefloor was encroaching towards us and soon enough there was a group of girls gyrating sensually a couple of feet away. There was a group of four with one fat, one average, one hot and another I can’t remember in it. I can’t remember what I opened with but got chatting to the average one.

She was Portuguese and couldn’t speak English so well. At first I was unsure whether she was just putting it on, and she had the kind of comedy foreigner accent that an English speaker would use. But she actually was foreign scum. I chatted to her for a bit and then the hot girl started dancing with her to kinda drag her away (a cockblock shit test perhaps?) and so I ejected.

After that we moved position and took our circle of fun to another part of the bar. There, we all stood around looking at stuff. I tried dancing for my energy levels, but it looked even more incongruous than normal now that we weren’t at the edge of the dancefloor.

We moved on from there though I think that was a mistake. It was the only full place around that had girls in it. Yes most of them were on the dancefloor but we have to make those kind of situations work for us. We can’t keep on making excuses about having the “right situation.” You’ve got to take the situation as it comes and make it work for you as best you can. Plus, I like to dance!

After splitting the group and bouncing around another range of bars, we ended up in Suburban which is kind of a hidden rough diamond. It’s not big and it’s not stylish but you tend to get a group of people in there having fun, and a fair proportion of girls.

We walked to an area where there were some people dancing. I tried my high energy opening-a-set-on-the-dancefloor opener that I first invented and used on the fly in Bangkok when I was slowly getting myself in state. “Hey, you guys look like you’re the ones having the most fun in the club!” I said with an arm round the shoulder of one or two of them and joining in the dance. There was more chat about how awesome everyone was and I high fived one of the girls.

Strangely I felt self-conscious about my dancing so didn’t hang with them on the dancefloor. After that we pretty much happily choded away by the side of the dancefloor. Liam went and did a set, which I think was his third for the night. Pete I hadn’t seen open, nor the other two guys.

Thoughts Part I

I think tonight was abetted by a few factors. (1) there weren’t that many women or hot women in the venues we went to, except maybe one. (2) It was a group of five we should have split to smaller groups. (3) Of the five, almost all of us were low energy. That’s chodesville by default.

For my part, I’d opened three sets. I seem to be opening more high energy at the moment, which I think is good for me and gets me into state too. I’m very conscious that I’m plateauing at the moment, opening and ejecting soon after. I think I stuck in set a bit longer this time than before, but only by a tiny amount. Also, I’m not worried that I’m plateauing. I mean in one way when you think, hey, I’ve had one night stands before and I’ve had girlfriends, so I know how to do this so I should be doing it all the time. But thinking like that only leads you to ask why you aren’t doing that, which focuses too much on your weaknesses.

I prefer to think that yeah I’ve done it before, but the lack of consistency means that the methods aren’t subconsciously written into my system yet. Plus in this game every set has it’s own unique set of circumstances, and once it a while it all aligns successfully with your skills and assets. You need experience to deal with the variety of situations, and consciously codify it in some way so that you know what works.

Secondly, this is often more about delivery not content, i.e. it doesn’t matter about the content of the method, that’s a crutch to hang your belief that this can be solved. But really you don’t need to method, you just need the belief. Easier said than done. But it’s worth bearing in mind, and also means that you don’t have to worry about whether the method is correct. That’s a glib comment and not universally true, but has some truth in it.

Thirdly, most of your learning is done on the plateau. If I look back to my last plateau, I was going out sarging a lot, but I got into a pattern of essentially not really opening at all. Maybe one set a night. Looking back now I can see that I would often rely on my wings to open a set and then I would join in. So I was talking but I wasn’t opening. Also I was fucking up my game in other ways, like getting stoned or too tired from exercise like a hardcore swimming session, which both killed my game.

When I went travelling I subconsciously reflected on this and realised the few changes that I needed to make. I had to change parts of my lifestyle slightly so that I had the best chance I could of being up for sarging. I needed to force myself out of my comfort zone and open, something I’d always known but hadn’t pushed myself to do. And other things but these are the most relevant factors.

Now I’m on a new plateau, opening and starting a conversation, but not staying in set and ejecting too soon afterwards. I need, once again, to go outside my comfort zone and stay in set as long as I can.

I guess with this the belief that’s holding me back is that if I stay in set I’ll end up just standing there looking bored, boring the girl and choding out. So I need to focus on forcing myself to stay in set and forcing myself to talk. And then focus on talking in a way that will achieve my goal: creating attraction, creating comfort and seducing her or closing her. I’m so focussed on how I’m coming across it’s taking up all my mental energy, which I could otherwise direct at seduction.

Back to the Report

So I drove home and dropped Pete off, only to find there was an impromptu mini-house party going on at home. To set the scene: There were three of my flat mates, about four of their various friends, and my German Chef neighbour. They were all drunk and half were doing coke. I was hanging in one room with Chef and a few others.

In the kitchen there was my female flatmate and one of her friends was this cute English chick who had a very pretty face and a sexy petite body as well. She was all cute and giggly and like a little ball of fun.

Anyway she was in the kitchen and then at one point she comes into the living room saying that her mate had told her to come in here (plausible deniability anyone?) . Now there’s me and Chef on one sofa, and my other flatmate on another. Where does she sit? Right in between me and Chef. Automatic touching (kino) from her as she’s right next to me (and Chef).

She then proceeds to talk about random drunk chick stuff and I chime in as best I can. But I don’t currently deal with these situations well. A girl is very subtly coming on to me and I need to escalate, but I’m in a room of people and there’s a lot of self-generated social pressure.

Somehow it gets worse as my flatmate and I start talking about loads of stats to do with space and supersonic travel (I mean, crick crack at it’s finest, huh?). It was never going to help. After a while her friend came and took her away.

Thoughts Part II

I should have cut the threads and gone into comfort and teasing. Or shown her my “sausage collection” in my room.

This has been a long report.

Monday, 26 January 2009

I Think it Would Be Funny to Take Your Girl…

So I didn’t even go sarging last night. But I had a couple of experiences that are relevant for game. I basically went out for a meal with my neighbours. To set the scene, I was hanging out with my mate Chef, who is my neighbour, and his flatmate Aussie Guy who is also a friend invited me to join them for a meal in Fulham. So it was me, Chef, Aussie Guy, his girlfriend Yank, and three more of his friends – a couple and another guy.

We’re out having the meal and doing usual chat. The last time we were all out we were watching the American Football play-offs (the semi-final for the SuperBowl). Yank’s team were playing and though she’s normally a cool, easy going, fun chick, when she watches her team play football she amusingly turns into foul-mouthed white trash, swearing like a trouper at the screen and getting really wound up. It’s hilarious. “You don’t get paid $20 million a year to drop the fucking ball!” was one memorable quote. Her team lost.

So that was last week and it transpires that Aussie Guy said that he thought that me and another of his flatmates (French Guy) were offended by her behaviour. Well I can’t speak for French Guy but I thought it was funny and certainly no problem. In fact I think it was really Aussie Guy who was offended. So Aussie Guy asked her not to do that again.

So as me and Aussie Guy always have a bit of banter I thought I’d take him to task on this, or rather, let him know that I wasn’t offended (thereby undermining his argument) and said that I hoped we could watch American Football together again one day because it was fun.

Looking back on it, it all looks a bit underhand from my part! But I did honestly want to watch American Football with them again, so that was authentic. Anyway so at one point when I wasn’t speaking to anyone I decided to cut a thread that Aussie Guy was having and let him know the situation. Can’t remember where it went but the basic idea was that he understood my message.

Anyway this is all just a set up for later.

Later on in the meal we were trying to work out where the waitress was from as she had an unusual accent. “I though you were going to ask her,” said Aussie Guy. Sounds a bit like a challenge to open a set, doesn’t it? So when the waitress was next at our table I asked her straight up, “So where are you from?”

Turns out she was from Brazil, but had been in London for eight years. She was about a 6.5-7 by the way. So after I asked her where she was from I then kept her in conversation for a minute or two. But near in mind that the whole table had stopped speaking to listen to the conversation that only me and her were having. So that’s two strangers having a normal conversation, being watched by six other people. And all of them are thinking “Are they flirting with each other?” Well that last bit’s a guess on my part, but it felt like that. But the main point is that there was a lot of social pressure, and I was handling it.

After she walked away someone actually made a comment about me chatting her up (can’t remember the exact words). So I said “Yeah, it’s gotta be done.” There was a lot of secret admiration from the guys (again a guess on my part but you know…)

Anyway fast forward to the end of the meal and we’re in hell. Or should I say The Slug in Fulham. On Australia Day. You can imagine the scene – a bar crammed full of drunk Australians behaving like idiots. It’s not as bad as I feared actually but thankfully we only stay for one drink (though I don’t drink of course as it’s January).

Anyway while we’re there and Aussie Guy’s at the bar, Yank comes up to me and says that girl who just walked past goosed her. “What did she do?” I asked.

“She goosed me,” she said
“What, so she copped a feel?” I wanted to direct the conversation more sexual. One of my current aims.
“Well, she grabbed my ass”
“How?” and Yank reached round and grabbed a handful of my ass.
“Oh, so it was like this,” and I reached round and pretended to grab her ass (I didn’t actually touch her, but we were both thinking about it). “Well at least she didn’t grab your boobs,” I said, and then mimed doing that as well.

I can’t remember what she said after that but she leaned in and said something into my ear. As she did this she put her hand inside my jacket and hoodie, and touched me on the side of my torso. She liked touching me.

I left it there. A few minutes later we were all talking about something else, and again she leaned in to say something to me. This time we were standing right next to each other, she drew me in with a hand on my shoulder, and I just stood there as our chests had the slightest of touches. Then I drew in my hips and we touched there as well. There was a lot of sexual tension. And we were standing right in front of Aussie Guy. It had to stop. I was kind of pushing it to see how far it would go. All of us were thinking “Is this being friendly, or flirting? When’s Aussie Guy going to get pissed off?”

Anyway that was all that happened there. I think they did have words after Chef and I left. I’m not going to go back there as I don’t want to piss my friends and neighbours off, but it was an interesting experience and lesson.

Then when I was back at Chef’s flat (next door to mine) I was hanging out in their living room and their other flatmate Fresh-off-the-Boat Oriental Aussie Chick, or FOB for short, was in the living room. A bit of history:

Shortly after FOB moved in, she basically initiated sex with Chef when they were both drunk and watching a movie in his room. Since then they’ve kinda been fucking on and off, but Chef’s just using it for occasional sex, and she kinda fancies Chef and I think basically wants to bang his brains out all the time as well as being affectionate towards him. She’s always doing favours for him and is currently trying to arrange a weekend away to Hamburg with him, even paying for his (£10) flights. Needy? He doesn’t want to have a relationship with her.

So anyway people come in and out and eventually it’s just me and her in the living room. I’m watching Skins on TV and we’re not talking when she starts a conversation with me. At first it’s just normal stuff, but then I realise I can practice my teasing with her, as that’s something that I’m working on at the moment as well. So I start to tease her.

Again I can’t really remember what it’s about or what I say, but I basically just play around with her. She’s loving it and laughing her head off. I think I do a good job of it.

Later on, Chef and I are in his room getting stoned and playing Guitar Hero. I’m celebrating my new job with weed as I can’t get drunk. And Yank and FOB come and join us. FOB partly because she wants to flirt with Chef, who doesn’t give a shit and it totally unreactive. Which of course makes FOB work harder for it.

Anyway I’m focussing on playing Guitar Hero so don’t make much of the situation. And that’s all there is to relate.

Thoughts

Well there were a lot of unexpected game-related experiences on this evening, and the interesting thing is that I didn’t go out explicitly to try these things out, they all happened in the moment. Which is great, as it means that it’s becoming a more natural part of my behaviour.

And they all went off successfully. There was a bit of alphaness and standing up for what I believe in, and being a fun guy (American Football). There was coping with social pressure (Waitress). There was kino and sexual escalation (in The Slug). And there was teasing (FOB).

A productive night.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

I Take Two Steps Forward, You Take Two Steps Back

So arrangements are made to meet Liam and Peter in Hoxton. My flatmate is meeting a friend in a bar nearby so I bring her along with me. We’re a bit late but I eventually meet them in Ziegfried. While my flatmate’s there it’s a bit hard to open as (a) I have to look after her a bit – I can’t cut conversation and open as that will just look weird and (b) my flatmates know nothing about this and I don’t want them too in case they think it’s a bit lame (one of my flatmates is a super-natural).

Funnily at one point my flatmate asks me how I know Peter and Liam. “Oh, I met them on an internet forum about how you learn to pick up chicks. Yes, I’m 32 and still lame at that!” No, I didn’t say that – I used my normal line of how I met them through another friend, which always seems to work.

Anyway after a while her friend turns up and she happens to be a hot Indian chick. Interesting! I’ll have to ask her to invite her around sometime! Shortly afterwards they both leave and we’re left to our own devices. The venue’s pretty crowded but there’s not many chicks, and they generally aren’t that hot. Oh yeah, an old work colleague was there. Liam points to the set that she’s in, but no, probably not a good idea to open them I think!

So upstairs is pretty crap so Liam and I head downstairs while Pete’s in set. I spot a group of four girls looking at me – I’m wearing a mildly interesting shirt so I guess they’re looking at that (well. either that, or how amazingly hot I am…!). It’s enough of a MASSIVE IOI for me to go and approach them. “Hi” I say, as I haven’t really thought of an opener, and don’t really need to since I know they’ve been looking at me.

I approach with a smile on my face and good confidence and that’s all I need to se the tone of the interaction, and they respond positively.

Again I don’t really remember what I say after that but we have a chat, we talk about my shirt (they confirm that they were looking at it) and I get to know them. Liam joins and as I introduce him to them it kind of blows the set apart and I’m left talking to Liam! Oh well.

I then spend the next few minutes trying to get Liam to open. It doesn’t work. Shortly afterwards Pete rejoins us and we decide to move on.

We go to Light and although there’s a fair few people there, there aren’t many obvious sets. Pete opens some drunk girls and seems to have a good interaction with them. But nothing’s taking my fancy. Then Grieg calls and he ends up joining us.

Once he’s here we of course get into our ridiculous banter and that’s good fun but there’s no sarging. Liam decides to go home, and given that there aren’t many options in the venue we go to the Big Chill again.

When we arrive there, Grieg immediately goes into a set of guys (…!) and Pete ends up talking to SuperLanks and his girlfriend (as well as another girl who he games I think) and I’m left on my own.

For some reason my state has completely crashed. Everyone seems to be chatting except me, and I start to feel like shit. I look around for a set to open but I can’t see anything and can’t seem to find the motivation. I’m totally in my head and it’s an unwelcome reminder of how I was before, and how I imagine Liam is at the moment. Damn, it’s annoying.

Anyway I need to do something and Grieg’s flatmates plus some friends are here as well, so I start talking to one of them, who turns out to be a friend of Grieg’s Aussie flatmate.

Grieg’s flatmates are pretty cool and I’ve always sort of felt intimidated by them, which is totally my belief and not reality. I always deal with these situations by trying to make friends with them so as to disprove my belief. So that’s exactly what I do. I have a chat with Sam, Greig’s ex-flatmate who is a fairly hot chick. I have a good convo with her though she’s high energy and I’m not as much. I briefly talk to his Argentian flatmate and then finally to the Aussie guy, who it turns out works in the same industry as me.

I’ve heard Greig talk about him before as he’s pretty “alpha,” and he is: tall, good looking and peacocked with fashionable dress and a crazy Shoreditch haircut. Nevertheless I have a chat with him and it’s all good.

By then it’s time to go home so I say goodbye to the people I’ve just made friends with and make a move. A partial recovery from my unexpected state crash.

Thoughts

I think we were a bit unlucky tonight as there weren’t that many sets to open.

However more importantly I started off the evening fairly well but then (strangely after bantering with Grieg for a while) my state completely evaporated and I couldn’t open. I felt intimidated by the people around me, I felt low value and afraid of getting blown out.

I couldn’t snap straight out of it so I did the next best thing – talked to people to oil the wheels of sociability. It was better than nothing.

Looking back on it I find it hard to understand why I was like that, I haven’t been like that for a while. I guess it’s like investing money, your net worth may increase over time but sometimes you’ll have days where it goes down. The next time it won’t be like that.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Many a Hand Has Scaled the Grand Old Face of the Plateau

So I was hired for a new job today which is cool. It obviously put me in a good mood, and I had a huge desire to celebrate by going on the piss big time, but I’d sworn not to drink in January, so the first of Feb’s going to be a big night…

Anyway I meet up with Grieg, Jon and Liam in Brick Lane. Grieg gays out big time as he needs to find a job or something. Priorities, priorities…! Anyway, it’s me, Jon and Liam.

So we go to Big Chill to start with. One thing I’ve noticed about myself recently is that when I go into a venue nowadays, I do it with my head held high, with a smile on my face and with a relaxed air about me. It’s projecting a calm confidence from within. I can remember years ago when I first went out to clubs and the whole experience would be a stimulus overload and not really very enjoyable. I’d just be wallowing around in my own insecurities and limiting beliefs.

It’s like even recently I didn’t like going to bars where the music was really loud. But so what? There’s not much I could do about it so I have to accept it. There’s a phrase I find I’m using a lot which is “I’ve got to make it work for me.” Every time there’s a problem or something I don’t like that I can’t change, I ask myself how can I make this work for me? (i.e. Acceptance)

In loud clubs it’s simple, you’ve got to talk louder and I have to lean in more as I can’t hear what people are saying. Some people see leaning in as a bad thing, but I don’t have a choice so I’m not going to worry about that. I’ll just have to use other areas of game to make up for it (if it is a problem, which I’m not convinced it is anyway).

Another thing is that if you look at people’s faces in clubs, a lot of them (though not all) are looking annoyed, angry, frustrated, aggressive, generally negative. And before, when I saw them, I would for some reason take it personally. Similarly if someone was having fun or a guy was really good looking, I’d feel insecure that I was having as much fun or wasn’t as good looking and take it personally again. It seems ridiculous in retrospect but there you are. Now if I see someone looking angry or hot (or both), I feel the force of their emotion directed towards me, or the response that almost automatically appears, and then feel how it has absolutely no effect on my core inner self. This isn’t a confidence thing (though that is a by-product). In a way, however much you destroy the ego there’s always “you” underneath, and that can never be affected.

So I walk in happy, at peace, excited, feeling good, and with some energy. I’m sure the coke (a-cola) helps too. Just after we walk in Liam suggests pushing me into set. Without really thinking about it I go for a wander to look for someone to open through my own volition. A few paces away there’s a group of girls dancing in an unusual way to the dub music that’s playing – it looks like they’re dancing in slow motion.

“Is this the slow motion dancing area?” I ask. I can’t really remember what they say in response but we start talking. The girl is very warm and friendly, and she’s actually “initiated kino” or rather, is standing so close to me that our arms are touching. I maintain the contact as I find out that she and her friends are from Colombia and that she’s a fashion student. We chat for a bit and then I eject. Oh yeah, she was really hot, a comfortable 8 and would be a 9 if she lost a few pounds. One of her friends was a 9…

I meet up again with Liam and Jon and we chat for a bit. As I leave the set I notice one other hot girl in a different group blatantly check me out – social proof. We move around and where we end up there’s a group of girls standing nearby us and I’m sort of waiting for either of the other guys to open them. This is a bit silly as once again I’m kind of more concerned about other people that myself. Too much of a nice guy I guess.

Anyway they don’t open so I decide to. I see that one of the girls has something written on her hand so I go up to her and say “Hey, I wanted to know what’s written on your hand.” It’s probably one of the lamest openers ever but as anyone who knows anything about this game will tell you, it’s not the content but the delivery that matters.

Anyway it says “I pay for sex” on her hand, which is interesting. I respond with “That’s cool, as I’m quite strapped for cash myself.” She laughs a bit and we start to have a chat. I stay in there for a bit and then eject again (I know…).

I rejoin the others and walk through the bar again. As I walk past the Colombians I high five the one I was talking to. We go outside and Jon opens someone briefly. I chat to Liam and Jon about my current thoughts on approaching and limiting beliefs, hopefully to encourage them. Main point: it doesn’t matter if you get blown out, and in fact that’s a good thing (Investment in Loss etc.).

We head to the Commercial Tavern which is a nice cool venue with great d├ęcor and crockery on the wall, as you do. As I walk past two girls one comments on the other’s dress. “Not bad” I say as I walk past. We exchange a few words but I don’t stay there for long. We go up stairs and again I try to encourage the others to open but nothing happens.

We go to Home and Industry but they’re both pretty empty. We go to Light which is quite busy. Liam opens someone with the fancy dress opener. I do the same though the girls are Essex slappers and a bit stupid so it doesn’t go anywhere.

I open someone at the bar while ordering drinks with “Are you drinking Sambuca?” This is the amount of thought that goes into my openers these days. After a while there aren’t really any more sets to open so we decide to return to Big Chill.

We grab some seats and Jon gets me to open a girl next to me about another girl in the bar who is bravely wearing some bright leopard skin print leggings. They have been looking at the same girl and we have a joke about that. Somehow we get into a chat about India and I tell her about where I’ve been, and even show her a video of the Thar Desert that I have on my phone. The girl is from South Africa and has a very pretty face. I could have number closed her but I didn’t. She was with her aunt, though that’s just a detail and has no impact on the game situation.

That was pretty much it for the night.

Thoughts

I felt great and confident and I felt that I had opened more sets than I actually did. I’m opening like a breeze and I’m still quite surprised with how easy I’m finding it. I open with the simplest things, usually the first thing that comes into my head, and the rest is taken care of by the delivery and body language.

The bad points are that I’m still ejecting far too early and usually still sticking to normal conversational topics. I need to get blown out after the opener as it were.

I need to not care about whether the other guys are opening, they are old enough to look after themselves. They did open eventually after all. They also need to be a bit more high energy and enjoying themselves. Hey, everyone’s a critic.

I really wanted to fuck the Colombian girl in white, and probably the one in blue as well. I could have tried.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Glass Onion

So I had lunch yesterday with a girl I met in Goa. She’s really fun and hot, but I’m already in the friends zone with her I think. Still, it will be good to have a hot chick as a friend that I can invite out to various functions and use as social proof and a pivot. Cynical, eh? She’s good fun to be around as well. And I guess she likes my company.

So after the lame weekend I know I need to go sarging again. Wednesday is probably my best chance for mid-week game this week. I toyed with the idea of inviting Jake out to Salsa as I haven’t met with him for ages. Then Liam texts me to ask if I’m up for going out tonight, so I take the path of least resistance, suggest Salsa to him and we go for it.

I arrive later than planned due to parking problems, but it’s OK. We’ve missed the start of the 8 o’clock class so we hang by the bar. Nearby there’s a girl standing on her own with her back to us. It’s a prime opening opportunity. I think about it for a bit, have a few twangs of nervousness and then go for it. I ask her why she’s not dancing. She missed the start of the class too.

We start having a pretty normal conversation and I introduce her to Liam. She’s pretty average looking, not ugly at all but not hot either. Conversation, conversation, conversation. Nothing sexual.

At one point an old work colleague called Antonio comes up and speaks to me. I have a good catch up with him, which was cool.

After a while it’s time for our dancing lesson. It all comes back to me pretty easily. I try talking to the girls as we partner up. It’s not easy, as you’re trying to learn the steps, sensing the girl’s movements and reactions, and then holding a conversation too. I exchange a few words with most of them. There are two hot girls. One I find out later has a boyfriend with her, the other is the instructor. Boy, her ass can move.

The instructor compliments me on my dancing. I like. At one point I squeeze her hand and she squeezes back. Hmm. I never see her again after the lesson. Would have been interesting to have tried to game her!

After that we wander about a bit looking for sets. There are a lot of guys here and most of the girls are with partners. There’s one table of about twelve girls in the restaurant. There’s a box with an inflated condom in it. Situational opener, yah? “What’s all this about?” I ask. Turns out it’s a hen party, obvious in retrospect. The girls ask me to bite a sweet off her bracelet, so I oblige and they take photos while I do it.

The set isn’t hooking so much, so I eject. I could have forced myself to stay in though, indeed I could have locked in by just grabbing a chair, sitting down and talking to them. Comfort zones … failure …

We scout about a bit more looking for girls. We think about leaving. As we’re walking up the stairs I spot two girls standing by the side. They’re hot. One of them looks at me and I detect a slight (i.e. MASSIVE) IOI. We walk up the stairs and I think about going back to open them. I look to see where they are and one of them clocks me directly checking them out. A second later and that girl is dancing with some other guy, leaving the second girl on her own. I have to open her. I head down.

I ask her if she doesn’t have anyone to dance with. She mishears it as though I’m asking her to dance. That’ll work too. We start to salsa but I’m more interested in talking to her. Plus we’re not gelling in the dancing area and eventually stop.

Turns out she’s German and, with the brief few phrases I squeeze out, she thinks I’m German too. But it’s normal conversation time once again. I think I’ve found my next sticking point after opening. Anyway eventually the conversations stalls and I leave. She was a good 7.5 incidentally.

Thoughts

I was opening well when the opportunity presented itself. Opening is less of a problem now. Also I was opening when I was in the middle of talking to Liam, which was a problem I had before. I do feel a bit guilty ditching a friend to open girls, but hey, that’s why we’re here. And I’m sure we’re all old enough not to be offended. I hope.

So the next problem is the attraction / comfort / seduction sequence. I kind of presume attraction anyway (perhaps falsely). Comfort is kind of OK, though it’s perhaps not as good as it could be. I need to focus on the connection more. Then seduction is kind of non-existent.

Talk to Liam about this afterwards he mentions that a video we recently saw suggests talking about normal stuff while having a sexual subcommunication. I should try to work on this. I guess I fear coming across as creepy. I need to discard that limiting belief. I also fear getting it wrong and getting blown out. Comfort zones again. Get used to failure. The same thing in a different area.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Lame-Ass Weekend

Well I’m a bit disappointed in myself. The two most important days for sarging – Friday and Saturday – have gone to waste? How?

Well on Friday I didn’t get much sleep the previous night. In fact I was so tired I even had a snooze in the afternoon, such is the luxury of my current lifestyle. However it didn’t solve the problem and I still felt like crap.

Despite that though I arranged to meet up with Pete at Jewel as I fancied a change from a Hoxton weekend. By the time I arrived they had started charging at the door – a mere £10. Well I didn’t fancy that frankly, and luckily Pete agreed to go somewhere else.

We met up with another guy called James I think, who at 20 was a fair bit younger than both of us. We went to a couple of places – Waxy O’Connor’s , Cocoon (which looks good for a day 2) – but nothing was grabbing us.

Although I should mention something that happened for the brief time we were in Waxy’s. James had done off to check the price for On Anon, I went to the loo while Pete waited in the bar. When I returned Pete was talking to two girls. Not having thought of anything to say and not being in a gaming mood I just stood there and said “Hello,” with a slightly ironic Michael Stipe-type grin (watch Tourfilm to get an idea what I mean). A couple of seconds later I though, “Well, I better talk to these people or I’ll look odd,” so I started talking to the girl nearest me.

She had black hair and bright blue eyes, with a pretty beautiful face. Though later Pete told me that he didn’t rate her at all, I thought she was strikingly beautiful. Although a bit flat chested, but you can’t have everything.

So I had a brief conversation with her. Turns out she was an au pair from Macedonia (also know as FYROM) which must be the first Macedonian chick I have met. Anyway we spoke briefly before the girls, who were on their way out anyway, said goodbye. As my girl walked away she held eye contact with me for longer than was necessary. She seemed to be saying to me “I want to meet you again,” or, “Take my number.” Or perhaps “Fuck me now.” It was a split second thing though and I didn’t manage to capitalise on the situation, so it passed.

So anyway Pete, James and I ended up in the queue for Digress. I’m not a massive fan of that place, it’s a bit average. I was toying with the idea of ducking out, going home and leaving Pete and James to get on with it when James said he was going to meet up with a mate and go to On Anon, leaving me with Pete. Well now if I went home I’d leave Pete on his own, and I asked him directly and he didn’t want to sarge on his own, so I felt compelled to stay with him.

So we went in a bought a drink (a Coke of course). There were a fair few girls in there, though the majority were in mixed sets and it seemed hard to open. Though almost all of them were distinctly average, with not much that made me excited. So Pete and I drank and chatted about everything, and didn’t open.

I had convinced myself by this stage that I wasn’t going to open anything that night as I wasn’t in the mood for it. But looking back I really could have. After drinking the Coke I wasn’t feeling that bad, and I could and should have opened. What was that about comfort zones…?

So we went home after that, and it was particularly lame. From not having been in the mood to open, and then probably being able to but convincing myself not, it was a distinctly poor night.

So then, Saturday.

Well I didn’t receive any calls from anyone, and I didn’t bother to send any texts either, so I didn’t arrange anything. It looks like everyone was doing their own thing anyway, and it probably would have been hard to find a wing.

So when my neighbour called and suggested we have an evening of getting stoned and playing Guitar Hero the decision was easy. It was good though as he’s a chef and I convinced him to cook me a pasta dish (he doesn’t usually like to cook on his days off), which was good for him as otherwise he would have spent £10 on take out and the total cost for both of us was £5 exactly. And he’s got no cash. So it was win-win.

Other than that, when I play Guitar Hero I always think how similar it is to pick up – learning a new skill and all that. I might write a post on that some day.

Friday, 16 January 2009

What Immortal Hand or Eye…

So I’m all set for a night playing Guitar Hero and getting stoned with my neighbour when I get a text from Nav, suggesting we go out again tonight. Well, I’ve gotta say yes, so I do. It’s too easy to stay in. Needless to say, I manage to get in a bit of rocking and smoking before I have to make my dinner.

That isn’t necessarily a good thing, as if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my escapades last year, it’s that getting stoned and then going out to chat to girls is like tar and feathers – they shouldn’t be mixed. However I stopped smoking a while before I went out so I wasn’t too stoned anyway. And in case you’re wondering, I fucking rock at Guitar Hero.

Anyway so I drive into town and eventually find a parking space in St. James’s Square. I meet Nav in Tiger Tiger, and today it’s a lot busier than it was on Tuesday. We gotta open and Nav sees two girls sitting at a high table. He goes in and starts talking to the hotter of the two. I’m now standing on my own a few feet away, looking a bit like a lemon. I toy with waiting for a few minutes before joining him, but it’s just delaying the inevitable and so I decide to head in sooner rather than later.

It’s a bit awkward as there’s not much space for me to join, but I stick with it and start up a conversation with the other girl. I like to call this winging. So I have a chat with this girl, we have a good conversation with high energy and I talk with enthusiasm about travelling and stuff. She’s into it but I’m not feeling any sexual vibes and even though this girl is Italian, she’s a bit average looking. But I probably should have tried to make it more sexual in some way.

After a bit we check out of that set and go and stand in the middle of the empty dancefloor. I explain some of my comedy dance moves to Nav, which is great for social pressure and gets some attention from the girls. A few of them eventually join us on the dancefloor. Now although this place is busier that on Tuesday, there aren’t really that many girls there (there’s loads of guys) and none of them are particularly hot.

Nav chats to a couple of people. He goes off to meet a friend and I chat briefly to the hottest girl on the dancefloor (from Brazil) but nothing happens. Nav’s friend Mike joins us, then Nav goes for a smoke, telling me to get Mike to open. I point out a girl to him and suggests he approaches her. He heads off … and ends up talking to a guy! Whatever floats your boat I guess!

So with Nav smoking and Mike camping it up I’m once again left on my own at the bar, looking all citrus. I have Mike’s drink with me so I decide to go over to him and give him his drink back, and then open the girl I originally pointed out as he’s standing next to her.

She opens really well (can’t remember what I used) and we have a bit of a chat. I remember for the first time in ages to touch her, brushing my hand against her arm and tapping her on the shoulder. I move on to doing a spin and pretend waltzing. I’ve forgotten how to salsa so I need to go back to that place, might call Jake up for it next week. The chick is only here on holiday goes back on Sunday. Plus she’s not the hottest so I decide not to close and meet up with Nav again.

I open a girl nearby on a table who’s looking bored. “Where’s the party?” I ask her. It’s not delivered well and the positioning is awkward, so the set pretty much bombs. Oh well, at least I tried. Next.

We head upstairs and there are a few girls on the dancefloor. Nav quickly gets engrossed in a conversation with one girl. Mike starts going high energy on the dancefloor, and ends up talking to a couple of Korean chicks. Nothing’s really grabbing my fancy though and I start to chill out a bit.

After this has been going on for a while, we meet again by the bar. Mike challenges me to talk to a girl at the bar. I can’t think of anything to say but go up to her anyway. She’s wearing a monochrome leopard skin print top, so I say “Is that made out of real snow leopard?” She looks totally shocked that she might be wearing real fur, even though it’s plain for all to see that it’s not real. It’s not even furry! Some people have no sense of irony.

I can’t remember what I say after that but I actually turn it around and get a good reaction. But then I’m stuck for things to say and the conversation kinda dies.

After that we’ve pretty much talked to all the hot girls in the club, and it’s even emptying out a bit. I can’t see much more happening tonight, so I decide to head home.

Thoughts

Well it wasn’t a spectacular night by any standards, but at least I went out and at least I opened and tried things out. I was doing kino at one point which is something I often forget to do, so that was great. It’s all grist to the mill and I’m glad I put in the effort.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Danish Pastry

So Jordan messages me for a bit of day game and in the same way that I like being forced into set, I like being forced to game. So I do my best Danny Wallace / Jim Carrey impression and say “Yes, man.”

So I meet up with Jordan and he gives me the run down on his technique, pretty straightforward: direct opener, interview questions, create commonalities, something about your last girlfriend (cheeky but genius), then insta-date and close in any way possible. All good.

So we go walking around and to be honest I’m actually feeling crap. I didn’t sleep too well last night and I’m knackered as fuck. All I can think about is drinking something stimulating. Like tea. But I try to push through. With his third set in two minutes Jordan hooks and ends up insta-dating her and that’s as much of an excuse as I need to go home. Which is OK as I’ve already made plans with Nav to go out tonight.

So I head home, drink some tea, watch a bit of Skins (I’ve started watching it after seeing Dev Patel in Slumdog Millionaire, and it’s pretty good). I meditate for about 15 minutes, make my supper, eat it and head out.

I meet Nav at Tiger Tiger and right from the start it’s clear we’re on a similar wavelength which is pretty much essential with wings. We chat for a bit and then Nav opens a girl at the bar. While he’s there I’m on my own, sitting there like a lemon, but in a totally awesome, completely alpha way of course.

Anyway there’s a group of four girls nearby who switch from a high table to a low one which makes them much easier to approach. I look at them and they’re not too bad, sixes or sevens all of them. They look Scandinavian, but not blonde or blue eyed enough to be Swedish or Norwegian, and not ugly enough to be Finnish. They must be Danish.

Intermission: when I was doing day game with Steve last Thursday I found I was opening by guessing people’s nationality, something I like to do anyway, as I like to revel in the variety afforded to us Londoners. But I think I’m pretty good at it, and can usually get it right. Though don’t ask me to spot the difference between a Slovenian and a Slovakian. Resume.

Anyway as they sit down at the new table one of them looks at me and there’s a slight acknowledgement from her. That’s all the invitation I need. I was pretty sure these girls were Danish, so I approach them, saying “Are you guys from Denmark?” Well a ton of kudos for me as it turns out they are. And they’re really friendly.

So I sit down and have a chat with them, and shortly afterwards Nav comes and joins us too after he’s finished with his set. Then we talk for HOURS about everything. Man we were there for ages. There was a good energy to it though and they were into us. There were a few times when I ran out of things to say, and although I was silent for a short period of time, they would either open me or I would eventually think of something and it would pick up again. It was a good test for me, as I’m someone who is usually only too eager to quit early.

At one point me and Nav go out for a “cigarette” and a bit of guy-coding. It’s hard to escalate given the logistics – four of them, two of us, we’re outnumbered! We reckon we can get their details and then get them out another time and use them as social proof if nothing else. While outside Nav spots a hot Ukranian chick and opens her direct. While he’s there I return to the table. He manages to take her number which is pretty good.

So a few years later we exchange a some of our details and we make arrangements to show them a few cool bars and nightclubs, as they have just freshly arrived in London and given that they’re at Tiger Tiger (as, indeed, are we…) they obviously don’t know the cool venues. Shortly after that they decide to leave which for me is a blessed relief as I can’t be arsed talking for so long usually.

Nav noticed that we’re getting interest from another table of girls as the social proof is pretty high. Hmm, replicating a past success here. The patterns are emerging… Anyway we leave that for a bit and head upstairs. Nav notices three girls sitting in a booth and we try to think of an opener. I’m not feeling “hair” or “ninjas versus pirates” so I try to think of another.

The one that pops into my head is “dumping by text message” but I can’t remember all of the details. We decide to go for it anyway. Plus the girls have been looking at us so that’s all the excuse we need, again.

We go in and although I deliver it pretty atrociously they totally buy into it from the first word and are totally engrossed as to what the protagonists should do. It’s chick crack in its purest form. Anyway we chat with them for a bit and it turns out they’re 19, which we guess completely incorrectly. They’re not that hot though, so when they go to dance we leave them behind.

We head back downstairs and Nav’s keen to talk to the group we saw earlier. They’re not doing much for me and I want to catch the last tube, so I decide to head out. Nav’s umming and ahhing a bit and it’s clear that he wants to approach them but isn’t comfortable without a wing. I give him the tiniest of pushes and he decides to stay behind. I hope it went well…

Thoughts

  • Opening sets early at Tiger Tiger (on weekdays) gives you good social proof and works wonders for that and your confidence.
  • I’m getting more attention from chicks even before I approach them. I put this down to confident body language. And looking amazingly hot.
  • Opening is getting easier and easier.
  • Meditation rocks my game
  • Getting higher energy into the openers and chats, which also works wonders.
  • I’m finally seeing some progress.
  • Oh yeah, I CLOSED!!!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

I am the Revelation and I am the Light

So we decide to go to Buttoned Down Disco at Koko, as it was awesome when I went there last time, which was a good few years ago now (and not at Koko). However I have also been to Koko twice for Club NME, on New Year and with some old friends also ages ago.

It’s only as I’m in the queue for the cloakroom that I realise that I’ve forgotten to change out of my shitty t-shirt that I had been wearing during the day, and put on a proper dress-up shirt and that. Doh! Luckily it’s not too bad – it’s actually a t-shirt from the Waitangi Day Circle Line Pub Crawl from 2007, a day when I consumed more drugs in one day than I have ever done in my life, and paid for it severely for all of the following week – at worst it makes me look like a Kiwi, most people wouldn’t even register it I reckon.

Anyway, one of the main reasons for going to BBD other than because it was cheap, was that it is full of hot chicks. In fact I would go so far as to say it is the venue with the largest proportion of hot chicks that I have ever seen. Don’t tell anyone else!

The only bad factor is that the music is pretty loud, though that doesn’t make it any different from 75% of the venues in London. And the way I see it I need to be able to deal with that kind of situation anyway.

So where was I at mentally? From the previous night my main focus was to open any and every set of vaguely good looking girls (6 and above). I needed to force myself to open, and not worry about rejection or any subsequent part of the game, just open, open, open, so that it becomes a habit, I’m unconcerned about the results, I’m not making excuses not to approach, I get the experience and I start to see the patterns.

As a secondary goal, it was probably to have a higher energy. Both Jon and I were far too laid back on Friday night, partly due to circumstance but partly due to not getting outside our comfort zones.

So we head in. To be honest I don’t remember the precise sequence of events, but the rough idea is as follows. The first memorable event of the night is when I see a hot chick standing on her own, waiting for someone. She was hot, and pretty close to my ideal for what I look for in a (British) woman: very pretty face, hot body, well dressed (fashionable but not slutty), and (when I spoke to her) intelligent. Immediately I was thinking about what to open her with, and simultaneously why I shouldn’t approach her:

“It’s my first set of the night and she’s hot, I need to warm up on other chicks.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“It’s early, there’ll be plenty of other chicks to open during the night.”
“She’s waiting for her boyfriend.”
“Her friend is going to come back to her while I’m talking to her and interrupt.” (Ironically this actually happened, but of course it was no reason not to approach anyway…)

And so on. I was umming and ahhing for a minute or two when thankfully Pete lays down the gauntlet for me: “Go and open her or I’ll open her instead.” That was the kind of motivation I needed (in fact he only needed to say the first half to get me going, but it all helped!) and I was off.

I went up to her and made a joke about her dress (not really a neg). The noise and my delivery meant that she didn’t really get it. I hung in there anyway and talked about a few other things, who she was there with, where her friends were, etc. She was with the DJ (i.e. high value in the venue) and we talked but I couldn’t really hear what she was saying. Then her friends arrived and it was over.

So it went pretty badly in terms of closure, but in terms of opening and forcing myself out of my comfort zone it went very well. We go around and open a few people here and there, and none of them go amazingly well, but at least I’m opening and learning to get used to my fear and discomfort, and ignoring my reasons for not opening.

It’s funny, all these reasons for not opening that I’ve had in the past were obviously stopping me from actually opening, and thus learning. So easy to understand in a logical sense, so different to experience when you’re actually in field. And of course why was I avoiding opening? To protect my ego. More on this at the end.

I open a group of girls dancing around their handbags by asking them if I can join their group if I have a handbag myself. Again there are comprehension issues, but we work it out in the end. One of the hot girls in the group seems interested in me, but the confusion had thrown me a bit, and I don’t do anything with it.

After a while we chill out for and enjoy the club for what it is. Man, I love the music in this place, just the right mixture of indie and dance. While we’re relaxing in one part of the club, The Rapture’s House of Jealous Lovers comes on and I can’t resist my natural dancing urges any longer – I’ve got to dance!

I hit the floor and it’s pretty crowded, there’s not much space to move but I do what I can. The song is awesome and it ends, We Are Your Friends by Justice v. Simian comes on and angels descend from the heavens and the deserts bloom. I jump around like a loon and generally enjoy myself. For some reason about 12 girls in two groups end up in front of me. Subconscious placing on their part? Maybe. It’s good for my confidence to think so.

Ironically for a song about friends, I’m there on my own and it isn’t lost on me. Two chicks actually come up to me and start dancing with me, telling me that they’re my friends in time to the lyrics(!), which is nice. They’re not too hot though so I don’t take it anywhere.

Later on we’re in the bar at the top and Jon forces me into set with a bunch of girls waiting at the bar. I go up and talk to them about how long it takes to get served here. They’re into it and we chat, it turns out they’re studying at UCL like I did so we chat about that. They start asking me questions which I guess in some methods is a “hook point” or for some people a MASSIVE IOI. They go to leave just before I decide to ask for their number.

Everyone was opening. Grieg was a social machine as ever. Pete did his thing once again. I’d like to call his method stealth game, there’s no reason for it, it just sounds good. I opened my fair share, and, Behold! Jon was opening regularly. And he had a fair bit of energy. It was awesome to see.

There was a point where Grieg had opened this girl he’d spoken to earlier, and while he was talking to someone else in the group Jon talked to her then dragged her away to another part of the venue. He’s accidentally amogged Grieg. It was hilarious. We decided to name the situation where someone has been accidentally amogged as being “Swissed.” Lolzorama.

It was around 1, we’d all put in a fair amount of work, so we decided to leave. A productive night.

Thoughts

One thing that I had spoken to Jon about the previous night, was how to simplify what we’re doing in the field. Essentially there’s only three things you need to do: open, talk (communicate / connect) and close. And the talking’s optional! Everything else is calibration or footnotes. Yes there are tricks that you can employ like SS, tension loops, storytelling and so on that can swing the odds in your favour, but these are details and not the essentials.

So while I was reading a whole bunch of stuff on the internet about decoding blueprints and the like, I was still making myself excuses not to approach. I hadn’t even got the first step down. Sure, I’d had the odd night of glory: the RSD bootcamp that I took was an orgy of opening and I acquired many phone numbers, and there was another night shortly afterwards where I had taken coke for one of the first times, when I number closed three times without saying much more than “Hi, I’m Charlie, how’s it going?” albeit with tons of energy (the drugs) and good body language (ditto).

So I thought I had that down but really I was kidding myself by living off past glories. I know I’m a cool, social person but getting that across in field isn’t second nature to me. I can do it with travellers in Thivum train station in India, work colleagues in Amsterdam, Irish guys in Bali and the clientele of Roof Bar in Bangkok, but that’s expected frankly. In field is a different matter. But it will come, and is coming.

So, ignoring the reasons not to approach, and approaching anyway and getting blown out, is fine. Essentially, it’s opening sets without protecting my ego. It’s a big chunk of the puzzle solved for me (although only a small step in terms of actions and results). I’ve always known it but not felt it, not experienced it. A few things slotted into place. An article on the highs experienced at bootcamps due to being forced to approach loads of times, followed by the lows caused when you can’t force approaches on your own. Jeffy’s question of “what do you need to take away to make yourself better at pick up?” rather than learning new tricks (i.e. the simplification talk with Jon). Brad P’s ebook on chucking down to your level and focussing on the current sticking point and not the whole shebang.

Once again having a clear head from not drinking meant that I could judge the situations and my reactions to them reasonably, and I didn’t dismiss the night too early. If I started thinking negatively I could check my thoughts and turn them round, whereas before I would have taken that as an excuse to buy another drink and not care what I did for the rest of the night.

Later I thought about it and realised a few things about myself. Protecting my ego has been a huge factor in this. It’s been holding me back. Giving up the night to drink protects my ego, from preventing me approaching to the drunkenness hiding my emotions. You could say that the whole of my drug use throughout my life has been used to destroy my thoughts so I don’t have to think about the damage my ego is receiving from not getting what I (it) want(s).

When really I should face up to reality and not care about my emotional reactions, and let the ego get used to the changes. It’s funny how you can have low self-esteem and self-worth, and yet at the same time have a massive ego that needs protecting, which perpetuates the low self-esteem. Crikey, we were built strange.

I did meditate in the afternoon before I went out sarging on this day. I don’t do it enough and maybe these revelations that I’ve had are partly due to that. I don’t know.

With the reasons not to approach now reduced, I can now concentrate on the acuity of what to do in the approach. I.e. on the modalities of my communication, being confident and having high energy, thinking about what to say, judging the situation and so on. This is the next chuck: the communication / connection bit. I need to work on this now. As well as maintaining the approach mentality.

This is the Waitzkin Investment in Loss idea bearing fruit in practice, and seeing it for the game and the skill set that it is.

This post is way too long, isn’t it?

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Quoted for Truth

I just saw this post on a forum and it struck a chord with respect to what happened last night, so I thought I'd post it here to remind myself:

Alright dude here it is. Pickup is a persona, it's not about lines, routines, etc. It's a mindset. When I go out, I open everybody with high energy the moment I walk into the door. I bring positive energy into everyone I talk to. Sure, my looks have changed a small bit since learning about this shit, like hairstyle, clothing, accessories, but I look essentially the same. But the way you look and the way others perceive you are two totally different things.

Like I said, it's a mindset. When you walk into a random bar/club and initiate positive interaction with the first 20 people you see, that venue suddenly changes. It becomes a house party and you are the host. Girls will open you because they want to join the "party". They want to be cool, they want to be socially validated. People WILL take your state, that's a fact.

If you are a boring chode, then whomever you talk to is going to be a boring chode. If you are a high energy, positive, happy person, whoever you talk to is going to accept that frame and take it on. Otherwise they would look plain fucking retarded. You know the feeling of being in state? Feels amazing right? Well, when you're in state, those people you talk to become "in state". You make them feel amazing and people are drawn to you. It's all about having the balls to do whatever you want, in a positive, fun, leading, ballsy way.

Excruciatingly Average

So it was just Jon and myself as other people had life problems to sort out. The weather was fucking freezing despite suggestions that it was getting warmer during the day.

I read my resolutions before I left, and thankfully as I was waiting for Jon to come out of his flat I spoke to a girl who was lost and helped her with her directions.

After that we hit up Exit for a drink and a chat. There were two girls sitting near us who weren’t that hot, but I knew I had to open them. Jon went to the loo at one point and so I gave it a shot while he was away. I opened with something lame about a bow that one of them had a bow in her hair. They were a little shy so I just had a brief conversation with them and then split.

We moved on to Big Chill but it was rammed and really hard to approach girls as there was usually a solid wall of guys in between us and them. We moved on from there after a while and went to a new place (for Jon – in the past I had been there a couple of times during my coke phase; I remember vomiting into the sink from coke abuse on one occasion … good times …) called Home, but it was dead empty in stark contrast to Big Chill. There was one set there though which I offered to Jon but he didn’t want to take it, so I had a quick go.

I asked them what time the place got busy, and we had a brief chat about that. They were actually hot but the conversation was very factual and in my mind I was already set to leave so it didn’t really go anywhere.

After that we went to Industry which is a place I’ve been wanting to do to for a long time, as it looks quite cool. Unfortunately crunchy credit, freezing temperatures and a lack of post-Christmas pay cheques meant that it was pretty empty too.

There were two or three girls who were sitting near us that I could have opened, but I didn’t drag myself away from the conversation with Jon to do it. I failed to break out of my comfort zone.

We decided to move on and while I was putting my jacket on Jon opened a random girl in a group of people. We had a brief chat with her but she wasn’t that hot at all, but good practice all the same.

We moved on to Mother, and as it was hitting 11.30 – 12.00 the place was starting to fill up. There weren’t lots of hot chicks around though, but some. Again I was finding it hard to open. All the sets were mixed. There was one set of three not-that-fit girls that Jon was thinking of opening but in the two minutes it took to think about it, they were opened by some other guys in the place. Fair play to them. Three second rule and all that…

After that we decided to call it a night and it was distinctly average. So what went wrong?

Well there weren’t that many people out tonight except at the Big Chill which was packed and hard to move around in anyway. We were to a certain extent a victim of circumstance but this isn’t about the world handing girls to us on a plate, we need to go out and force the issue, particularly in situations like this.

I wasn’t taking responsibility for finding myself comfortable talking to Jon, and not pushing myself to open when there was a slight opportunity there. In a way I was enjoying the conversation too much, or not wanting to cut it cold to go and approach, which is silly really as that’s exactly what I need to be doing.

I would also keep offering the sets to Jon to see if he wanted to open, partly because he doesn’t open enough and I want him to improve, but partly because I’m sickeningly self-sacrificial and probably subconsciously protecting my ego. I need to be clear about what I want and go out there and take it.

Low energy was a problem too. It partly comes from resting in the conversation too much. However after three cokes I had a bit of energy and could have happily made a fool of myself on the dancefloor. I didn’t, and I should have.

We need to go out earlier and stay out later. Nine ‘til twelve isn’t actually that long especially when there aren’t that many people out. Seven ‘til two could be a lot more productive I think.

In summary:
  • Open despite having a conversation with someone else
  • Talk to guys if there are no girls to talk to. Or talk to mixed sets.
  • Arrive earlier and stay out longer
  • Open with something fun and interesting, rather than talking about factual, "directions" type stuff.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

You Say You Want a Resolution, Oh Well, Y'know, We'd All Love to See Your Plans

So here's a condensed version of my gaming resolutions from my previous post, to be read before every time I go out on the pull:

Read these resolutions before going out
Get out of my comfort zone
Investment in loss
(a) learn to not let failure affect you adversely
(b) to learn how to do the thing you currently can't
Open lots of sets and try stuff out
Open every set no matter how hard
Rise above being rejected
Get rejected from every girl in the club
Stay in set forever
Have a few routines to hand
Practice visualisations: I deserve hot women
Notice and act on IOIs
Open one set before talking to anyone you know

The Tourist

So a few days ago Steve texts me saying he wants to do some day game. Having returned from travelling I know I need to get back into this. For the Christmas / New Year period I’ve deliberately not been pushing myself, and getting used to being back in London. I’m currently living in my “ultimate slacker” routine of getting stoned, exercising, surfing the net and watching DVDs. But it couldn’t last.

I’d run out of DVDs and was starting to get a bit restless. I needed to venture out again. So Steve’s text came at just the right time. Also Jordan’s progress has inspired me, and I know I need to put the effort in. Also I’m now armed with my resolutions and newfound awareness about what my weak spots are and what I need to focus on, so this was a good thing.

As I learnt from the previous time I was out, I read my resolutions before I left the house. I reminded myself: get out of your comfort zone. Investment in loss. Learn to get used to rejection, and work out what you can do for the next time. It’s that simple and something I’ve always known, but it’s now something I feel as well.

I’ve set myself a new sub-resolution as well, which is to open a set before I even start having a conversation with anyone I’m out with. I tell this to myself and although I fail to do it, I am gearing myself up for it in a good way.

So I meet with Steve and we have a brief chat as we wonder around looking for prey. After a few minutes I suddenly spy a couple of cute chicks and I open them with a comment about the weather. They don’t really stop but we exchange a few lines of conversation. They turn out to be from Spain. Man, I have a big thing for Spanish girls, the cute ones are so hot!

But that’s put me in a good mood. I broke out of my comfort zone and did it. We then proceed to wonder around the centre of town looking for chicks. I find that since I was last out doing day game, I have a much better sense of awareness of who is around me, and where the hot chicks are so I can approach them in time. Partly this is from having better posture so my head is held higher, partly it’s about being relaxed and in control of my emotions so that I don’t get frustrated by people getting in the way (which is my standard street emotion, when I am walking to work for example).

There aren’t loads of people around, the streets are a bit empty, but every now and then we spot a hot chick. Of course I don’t open every opportunity, but I do what I can. Steve pushes me into set a couple of times, which is awesome of him. Steve gets into a bit of a lull, so I push him into set too.

Then to help both of us he sets a challenge to open five sets in ten minutes. That’s pretty much impossible but it’s enough of an incentive to pretend to try. I immediately open a couple of Turkish girls walking next to us by guessing that they’re from Turkey, and it turns out I’m right! I chat briefly to them, like most people around here they’re tourists, and when that happens for some reason I turn into my tour guide persona and ask them if they’re having a good time in London and so on. I need to amend that reaction in some way.

I open another older chick on her own, she’s a tourist from Denmark. Again, I become Mr. Tour Guide. Anyway shortly after that one I open another set by guessing that they were from Eastern Europe (not exactly hard). Turns out they were from Slovakia, and the one I was talking to was hot – proper ice queen beauty with a hot face, tallish and slim, and pale, pale blue eyes of Slavic wonder matching the winter sunlight beautifully.

We have a brief conversation – she starts asking me questions right from the start, which I guess in some people’s experience is a MASSIVE, MASSIVE IOI!!! For some reason I don’t progress this much further, but it’s a nice ego boost to have the interest sent my way.

After a while there’s not many people around and I start to get hungry, so we call it a day.

Well, compared to the last time I went out day gaming, it went a lot better. I wasn’t walking around in a haze of stoned inaction. I could clearly pick out the hot chicks as they approached, which was a big problem for me before. I even forced myself to stop and talk to people on my own volition (as well as having Steve push me into set). I didn’t really get any bad reactions although that’s not necessarily a good thing. I opened about six or seven sets which is as many as I’ve ever done in the day. I also dropped my standards for opening, which was a great benefit as it kept me in the talkative, opening mood.

The bad points were that I was ejecting too early as ever, and that I wasn’t taking every opportunity to open that I had. Certainly didn’t have any full conversations with people, or escalate to a close of some sort.

But overall It went better than expected, and better than most of the previous times I had done day game before I went travelling. Onwards and upwards…

Sunday, 4 January 2009

I’ve Been Driving in My Car

Something interesting has come from combining two things that have happened since I’ve returned from travelling. The two things are receiving a sat nav for my car, deciding not to drink for the whole of January. The upshot of this is that I can drive to a night out, and not have to worry about getting the last tube or an expensive cab home.

So the plan was to go out to Hoxton. I entered my car and set up my sat nav. Of course I do actually know the way to Hoxton very well, but as it’s so new it’s still a thrill to be told where to go by a tidy English girl’s voice.

So I meet with Pete, Liam and Gre---, sorry, Fargo, and have a quick chat with them before heading out to Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen. There seems to be a lot of guys around but the place is filling up. I need to open some sets. I think someone points one out to me and I go and open it. I use the hair opener and it hooks but I don’t take it further as I’m not feeling anything from the girls. They tell me to keep my hair short. I think I need a haircut anyway.

We wonder around a bit more and I can tell the intentions that I had when I wrote my resolutions are now somehow lost in a vague cloud of memory, as a familiar feeling of approach anxiety and general inaction seems to hover over me like a bad smell.

Luckily however I’m not drinking so my thoughts in the moment at least remain clear and I deal with the situation as best I can. There doesn’t seem to be much happening in HSB&K so we decide to try Ziegfried von Underbelly. It’s closed for a private party.

I show Mother to the guys as they’ve never been there before. The place is empty but still looks cool, and there are a few hot women in there, it’s just that the place is pretty dead. I walk them past Hoxton Pony, which is surprisingly closed. Has it folded? The public needs to know!

Grargo takes us to the Blue Last which I’ve never been to before despite walking past it many a time. As we arrive there a random girl starts talking to me with a pretend hand-microphone. We fluff for a bit but as the place is pretty static and Pete and Feig don’t have anyone to talk to they decide to head for Light.

For some reason I eject from the group that I’m talking to, another sticking point. I was opened, I should have stayed in there. Practice… We meet the other guys near Light as that place is closed as well. We decide to cut our losses and head for Big Chill.

It’s as crowded and as noisy as ever. A few people are in sets, a few of us wonder around. Eventually I persuade Liam to force me into set. He picks two cute girls, one is wearing a furry jacket. I open her about that and though she’s playing on being annoyed that everyone is talking to her about it, I jump in on the joke and it breaks the ice well. I end up chatting to them for a while until they blow me out to go for a fag. I was about to number close one of them before they left but the moment passed too quick. Funnily Pete pointed them out earlier and I didn't rate them then. Having seen them close and spoken to them they were actually pretty cute.

I thought about opening two hot chicks sitting on a table near us but one of them was on the phone for ages so I didn’t. Should have waited until they had finished and then done it anyway. Need to break through that comfort zone…

So here are the learning points I picked up from tonight:

  • Re-read my resolutions just before going out. This will help me remember clearly why I am doing what I’m doing, and what I want to get out of it.
  • Force myself to open. Luckily the guys are pretty cool when it comes to forcing me to open when I ask them to. But really, ultimately, I need to generate this for myself. But it doesn’t hurt to ask for help for the time being.
  • Stay in set for as long as possible. The old “blow me or blow out” gambit. The ego loss from having girls become bored of me or whatever should be insignificant by now.
  • Close! A simple “What’s your number?” should suffice.

All in all, tonight was a good night for me to get back into the “traditional game” in bars and so on. It was good to have one set at least go fairly well, and of course the mysterious case of being opened in the night-time (instead of actively opening) occurred once again. Man, I must look hot. But it was also good to go out with a clear head and be able to catch myself if I veered into negative thinking. This non-drinking thing may have something going for it...

Epilogue

So here’s the follow up on the numbers I took on NYE. I texted them both today (Sat) for the first time. The girl I met on the tube I texted with a straightforward text reminding her who I was, making a comment about NYE and then suggesting we meet for a drink. The girl I met in the club I did the same but in a more sexual way. I mentioned that she danced sexy and ended it with an “x”. Reasoning that as she opened me on NYE she was pretty up for it already.

I haven’t received a reply from the last one yet, so that looks like it’s not happening. The tube girl did reply and after some texting back and forth about when to meet, we’ve kind of left it open as nothing was matching. I’ll come back to her next week. Only thing is that she has stated that she wants to meet “as neighbours” (she lives on the next street to me) which kind of says LJBF to me. I’ll still meet her anyway and see what happens. It won’t hurt to have a hot female friend that lives nearby if it comes to that.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Nothing Changes on New Year’s Day

…except my results…

So as an amend to the previous post, one of the other resolutions that I’ve made this year is to open girls when I am going about my daily business. E.g. going to the shops, to work or whatever. This will be a big one for me as usually when I walk down the street I’m totally focussed on where I’m going and mostly concerned about people getting out of my way. I need to change this by adjusting my awareness to the whole scene and picking out the hot girls.

I’ve been practicing this for a few days now and although I haven’t opened any girls I am getting a good idea of how to do it and rehearsing things in my head.

Anyway, on to last night. So I’m out with my old friend Jimbo and his missus. I hadn’t arranged anything for New Year’s so there was a few texts sent in desperation on the day before, and luckily Jimbo was generous enough to invite me along, and there were still tickets left for the venue.

We were going to Club NME at Koko in Camden. I’d been there once before about two or three years ago and found the girls really easy to open and pretty hot, and the music wasn’t horrendously loud. So I was happy to be going back, though I hoped it could maintain its reputation.

So we arrived there and slowly worked ourselves into the night. We were on the dancefloor early which no doubt made people notice if nothing else. There were some hot girls around and I noticed a few people looking at me.

I don’t know if something significant had changed – maybe it’s the tan, maybe my new exercise regime is paying off, or maybe it’s the new patterned shirt that I was wearing – but these days I seem to be getting a lot more looks from women without having to do anything. This makes life a lot easier when it comes to sarging.

Anyway we watch Pete and the Pirates and then Reverend and the Makers (they played Heavyweight Champion of the World just after midnight, it was class). I’d been drinking a bit and dropped two halves of a slightly speedy pill. I wasn’t fucked but happy and enjoying myself, and doing something that I love – dancing to indie music with good mates.

So we were at the side of the venue, dancing, and there were a few people sitting nearby, round the edge. Completely at random this girl who I had noticed look at me once before (though I wasn’t paying much attention) suddenly comes up to me and asks if she can dance with me. Result! She’s young, probably 20-22, pretty face and dresses like an indie chick. This is New Year. It’s the most DTF time of the year for single girls (and guys hey) and this girl wanted it, and had chosen me.

I was running my pretty standard dancefloor game, with a bit of extra touching thrown in thanks to Jordan’s advice. Pretty sexy. She wanted it.

But there was a catch. Her friend. Grumpy cockblock supreme. In retrospect I could have tried to farm her off to some random AFC standing nearby but I didn’t think of that at the time (and it might not have been possible). At one point I thought my girl was trying to set up a threesome with her, but as she was communicating only through the medium of finger pointing I can’t be sure. But this other girl wasn’t happy and I pretty much knew the score.

I said to my girl, “Look, I don’t think you’re friend’s going to let anything happen. Let me take your number and we can meet up another time.” And I number closed her. After that I was getting lots of looks from all the girls sitting nearby – social proof rides again - though none of them were that hot. But they wanted it too.

So that was pretty cool. Anyway at some point we leave and head back to the tube. I leave my friends when I change at Leicester Square to the Piccadilly Line. On the next train, after a couple of stops, I notice a hot Desi (Indian) girl sitting diagonally opposite and looking at me. She’s looking hot, with a very classy dress sense (and not bling thankfully) and seems friendly. There’s a drunk camp dude who’s causing a commotion a few feet away and we exchange looks and laugh about it.

After that dies down she’s still looking at me so I know I have to do something. So I wish her a Happy New Year (it’s my patented “New Year Opener” © Karlos the Marmoset MMIX) and she responds in kind. I strike up a conversation and we chat about India and work and stuff. She’s a freelance management consultant, and so well placed to be my sugar mummy…! There’s a pause in the conversation and she asks me if I have a pen.

“Why?” I enquire.
“Because I might want to get your email,” she replies. Coy to the last.
“Ah, I don’t have one, but I have a phone.”
“Cool, you can call me and I’ll save the number.”
“OK, but there’s no reception down here…!”

Anyway it turns out that we’re getting off at the same stop, so once we’re out we exchange numbers. We then walk down the road and it turns out she lives slap bang on the next road down from me. It’s mildly embarrassing as we’re following each other down the road but it’s cool. I say goodbye and kiss her on both cheeks.

I then spend the next four hours trying to come down off the pill at home, which is a lot of fun.

Anyway two number closes in one night is the best result that I’ve had for a long time. Well, since Bangkok in October in fact, and before then I don’t know when. And it’s actually my first night out and first proper night on the pull since returning from travelling. 2009 has got off to a good start. As Chris Martin says, start as you mean to go on.