Sunday, 22 February 2009

Some Days Are Better Than Others

So Jake, Pete and I decide to go to Buttoned Down Disco as it’s on tonight. However I get my timings completely wrong and when I arrive, there is a massive queue that would take ages. So we decide on Plan B: go to Hoxton.

Pretty much the only place we can get in to is Mother bar, and though it’s not too full at 10.20 I know that it’s gonna fill up later. There are a couple of bands playing there which is new, but once they’re finished it’s standard fare.

For whatever reason we’re all feeling apprehensive and spend a good while not approaching. Eventually I see two girls that look alright and are by themselves and I eventually summon up the will to approach. I go in and have a brief chat with them. I run out of things to say and leave.

And basically that is the story of the night. I approach a bunch of girls but almost always run out of things to say. So it goes.

All in all a distinctly average night. It was a shame that we didn’t get into BDD. What was really the problem was my internal state, and perhaps not lucking on some more friendly girls who were open to chatting a bit more easily. I could have played the dancefloor a bit as well but I didn’t.

Again, I wasn’t in the sweet spot that I hit a week or two ago, and that’s to be expected. It’s ups and downs. The main thing is that I was out and opening, and getting out of my comfort zone. The main thing I needed to change was my state – being in a more talkative state of mind.

So despite the relatively poor results, at least I was out and about and gaining the experience. Next…

Saturday, 21 February 2009

The Thirty-Nine Steps

So we go to Brick Lane, and the first venue as always is Big Chill. Conscious of what happened on Wednesday, I’m eager to open as soon as I can. There’s a group of three girls standing nearby, none of whom are too hot, but would make a good warm up set. I toy with opening them for a while but due to the mingling crowd there logistics aren’t good. Eventually I end up walking round to the back and open them from there.

One of them is drinking what looks like a Bucks Fizz, which has cultural relevance for me (think Eurovision…) so I ask her if it is. Turns out it’s a Bellini, which is close enough. I end up talking to one other girl in the group, who turns out to be Russian. I have a bit of a chat with her and then eject as she’s not all that.

It felt good, and was exactly what I needed to do – have a warm up set. We hang around for a bit and then I spot a couple of girls who look quite cute. I think about going direct with them. But chicken out again. I think about running standard game, but I’ve ruined my own momentum. I don’t open them in the end. Mode One paralysis again.

We move on – going to Commercial Tavern. Despite it being relatively empty for once, i.e. not completely rammed, there weren’t any obvious sets to open. We go to Hoxton. I’m feeling tired. Now that I’m working, I’m finding it hard to keep the energy levels up by the time it gets to a Friday evening. I decide to work through it anyway.

We end up at Ziegfried’s. Straight after we arrive I start talking to two girls who are dancing nearby with my “You look like you’re having fun,” opener. I get a brush off initially but I ignore it and keep going, and they start to come round. I then go to the bar thinking I’ll reopen them when I get back, but by the time I do the hot one has disappeared.

Over the next few minutes we hang around but there aren’t any obvious sets. I just say “Hi” to girls who catch my eye, just to have fun and be sociable. We go downstairs. Jon gets raped by a ladyboy* (*may not be true). There’s nothing happening there either.

We think about going to Mother but by the time we get there there’s a massive queue. But there isn’t outside Electricity Showrooms so we go there instead. We look at the dancefloor downstairs which seems fun although part of it has the worst sticky carpet you’ve ever experienced. Everyone seems drunk.

Back upstairs we hang by the bar. There’s a fair few hot chicks here. No one feels like opening. I reset my thought processes – how do I open? The first thing that comes to mind is the golf opener. I use it on the nearest girl I find, who isn’t that hot but at least it’s practice. Turns out she’s a pretty hardcore golfer, known throughout the links of Kent. She’s got a nice personality but she’s not hot. She’s like an acceptable Jade Goody. She ejects herself, which is fair enough.

After a bit we leave and Liam goes home. Jon and I go to Big Chill again on the way home. It’s noisy, packed, and there’s lots of drunk people. There aren’t any obvious sets at first. We make a move to leave and on my way out I see two cute girls on their own, perfect. They're wearing matching hairbands, so I open them mentioning that. Turns out they’re cute Swedish girls and look pretty young. Not a problem for me, haha! I chat with them a bit but though we chat it’s not sticking particularly well. They’re looking for a late club, but apart from Fabric I don’t know of anywhere. My tiredness isn’t helping me. We do a synchronised eject as they go into the main bar and we leave.

On my way out a flyer girl is giving out details of a place open until seven… fate, why do you tempt me so?!?


Well it was an improvement on Wednesday. Opening anything and everything, that’s the way forward. Opening girls who I’m not attracted to, that helps with the social warm up. I feel this is a step back in the direction of where I was a couple of weeks ago, I can feel it in my bones again.

Opening the Rift

So I’d read Mode One, the definitive book about going direct, or, to be more precise, being honest with your intentions with women. It helped reinforce a number of things about going direct, mainly that it takes balls, that in itself is attractive to women, you’ll get rejected more but you shouldn’t let that stop you or affect you, and it build attraction much more quickly. Great stuff.

So I was thinking about using it, but there was a bit of a catch. You have to be honest. So you have to find women that you find attractive. Also, your inner game has to be 100%* and your calibration has to be good.

(*Even if it’s not, you’ll have to break through your own confidence level to attain that 100%, you can only grow by doing. It’s Catch 22.)

Anyway so I met Liam and Jon at Porterhouse for a bit of midweek game. There was nothing going on there so we went straight to Jewel, and there wasn’t much there either. So we go to Roadhouse.

There were a fair few people there, but as it was still relatively early in the evening there wasn’t much mingling and people were seated or in their own groups. But that wasn’t the real problem for me. The real problem was that they were showing the Brits on every screen in the place, and on a special giant projector screen as well.

Now for most people I guess this wouldn’t be of much relevance, but I love awards ceremonies and I love the Brits. It’s about music after all and that’s totally my bag. I simply couldn’t concentrate on game and I immediately regretted coming out in the first place – I’d’ve much rather been at home watching it on TV. And the Pet Shop Boys were going to receive the Lifetime Achievement award. It was clear the evening was a write off.

But we hung around a bit and Liam and Jon opened a set each. I winged Liam for a bit so at least I talked to someone. But apart from that I wasn’t adding much really as I was more interested in watching Kings of Leon, and the Ting Tings doing a good mash up with Estelle. Décor update: the new toilets are like a spaceship, which is great. We decide to leave.

We go to Tiger Tiger. It seems strange that in the whole of London there’s hardly a bar that has anything going for it mid-week. Where are these places? Anyway we arrive in TT. Immediately there are two pairs of girls that are checking us out. Only problem is, they’re not that hot.

And this is where the rift between the ideal of Mode One and the reality of how hot girls are in real life starts to separate. I’ve known for a while that my standards are probably too high for my own good, and that it results in me not opening enough. Mode One has only reinforced that situation. Not opening means not talking and not talking means not practicing, and not practicing means that I wouldn’t have approached a hot girl even if she had been there.

So for all Mode One’s good points, in terms of application for me I need to apply it only in certain situations. And when those situations aren’t present – i.e. when there are only average girls around – I need to open with “standard” game, or small talk, to get the social juices working. Well I guess I learnt something at least.

We have a chat and talk about game and I encourage Liam and Job just to focus on one thing. From my experience since the start of the year it’s helped my game a lot and I’d like them to experience the same thing. I give them tasks to do to work on this, and they give me a task too.

I then have to split as I need to go to bed. In retrospect we should have opened the two pairs of average girls, and there was a table of four girls by the front door that we could have opened as well. We could have brought the party something rotten, and had an awesome night of flirting, but Mode One was holding me back. Next time.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

My Bloody Valentine

So I had been texting the girl I met in Jewel the previous weekend. We arranged to meet up on Saturday – Valentine’s Day! But that meant nothing, it was just a date and it happened to be on that day.

So we met up at Hammersmith and we walked to the Dove – but the whole place was packed out. So we go to the Old Ship. But it’s closed. WTF? That better reopen in time for the Boat Race, that’s all I’m saying. So we go to the Black Lion and grab some armchairs by the fire.

As is so often the case, she’s not as hot as I remember her, though she isn’t bad by any means. But she is noticeably older than I remember. Turns out she’s 36, which is a bit much for me. Plus, she’s a Christian. Not a too dogmatic one thankfully, though still, it’s not something I want to deal with.

We talk about everything under the sun. I try to explain my view of metaphysics, but I don’t do a particularly good job of it. I describe my newly-formed view why India is so over-adorned, pluralist and chaotic based on the fertility of the land, though I don’t do a good job of that either. There is lots of comfort building. I try to move the conversation sexual a few times, but it doesn’t go anywhere. I need to work on that.

We go through a couple of drinks and a couple of hours. I’m talking a lot and my sore throat is suffering. At one point I go to the loo and hang there for a short while just to give my throat a rest.

I give her my drugs history and a few other bits and pieces, though not the ladyboy story! I talk about my depression and lack of confidence in the past. She tells me that I come across as very confident. Which is nice, and I guess I do.

After ages she has to go to meet friends, so we walk back to the station. On the way back she tells me she wants to ask me a question… where is this going I wonder… does she want a quickie? She tells me that she’d like to invite me to church tomorrow. Humph. I let her down gently. That’s not my thing. I’m not going to turn into a bible basher, and though I believe in something that some people might call god, it’s not god as she knows it, and it’s about as far away from dogma as it can possibly be.

We hug goodbye and kiss on the cheek. Unfortunately I don’t think this one’s worth pursuing.

I’ll come flying like a spark to inflame you

So I’ve been a bit ill for most of the week. It started on Tuesday with aches in my bones and a sore throat, which slowly developed into a cough, a sort throat and occasional sneezing.

I’d also had a pretty hectic week, working until 10 one day, though Friday afternoon was enjoyably relaxed. I’d been debating with myself the whole day whether I would go out as the previous night’s sleep was constantly interrupted by random bouts of energetic coughing, but I had been more or less OK during the day.

As ever my rule is “If in doubt, always go out,” so I did. We were off to Hoxton and although the traffic was pretty bad (it took me the best part of an hour to get there) by the time I arrived I had got myself into a good state and I felt pretty energetic.

We met at light bar briefly then headed to Cargo. It was the full gang: me, Jon, Liam, Pete, Greig (who had resurfaced after a few weeks of doing his own thang) and Jake. I’m really glad Jake’s joined us as he approaches very naturally and easily, and it’s good to have that vibe around to encourage us all. Plus he looks more French than he used to, which is pretty cool.

However my initial energy isn’t sustained and soon I’m feeling a bit blocked in my approaching. I manage to talk to a few girls but only a line or two each. My heart’s not in it.

One really awkward thing I’ve noticed is that when I’m sarging with Grieg is that my game suffers. It’s for two reasons: it’s more fun to chat shit with him than to talk to girls, and if we’re both considering opening girls, he’s more likely to do it before I get the chance, therefore preventing me. I need to sarge away from him. Or perhaps open before he does!

Anyway once again I get distracted by the music. There’s a band playing who are OK, but the drummer is excellent (and the sound engineering is first class too). They’re called Principles of Geometry and are, or course, by law as this is Cargo, electro. Doing my research on the interwebs thingy I find out that (a) they are French and despite that, (b) they are really good recorded as well.

I think the difference tonight from when I’ve been approaching well recently, is that there’s not that underlying energy and fun, carelessness (not giving a shit) and happy go lucky spirit that’s served me so well. The illness has brought this on a bit. But it’s good that I can now see this. I need to have this feeling, or know how to get to that feeling, when I’m out of state.

The best interaction of the night comes when Greig goes to the bar to get a drink for both of us. I’m on my own, so what else is there to do but open? I turn around a see a girl sitting on her own. I haven’t thought of an opener so I go with “Hey, how’s it going?” She’s nice and friendly and we have a good chat. Halfway through Greig comes up and gives me my drink and leaves me to it. After a while I find out that she has a boyfriend, so there’s not much point in pursuing it much further. I thank her and tell her I’m off to find my friends.

I meet up with the others and we have a chat. Greig’s feeling incongruous as he really likes his girl in New York, so he has less incentive to actually sarge other girls. Well, frankly he needs to man up! It’s fairly late and I need my rest so I decide to head back.

The next day it turns out Greig ended up snogging a girl, which just goes to show, er, something or other. Apparently he opened with the Sarkozy opener, which is gold. Sounds like a chess move. Although he snogged her when no one else was around, so it’s probably all LIES!!!


It probably wasn’t worth going out when I was feeling ill.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Jigsaw Falling into Place

So I was planning on meeting up with an old friend and going to a gig by a friend of his, but that fell through when we found out that it was actually in Birmingham. I don’t like to venture out to the provinces, it’s another world out there… *shudders*. So instead I meet Pete, John and Liam at Porterhouse. I decide to tube it as the night bus services are pretty good from the centre of town. Probably a mistake as delays on the tube meant I was half an hour late!

I’ve been rocking the shirt while I’ve been out recently and it seems to be working, but I felt like a change so I wore a nice bright t-shirt that I hadn’t worn since before I went travelling. There was a bit of a risk that it might look a bit camp as the workouts I’ve been doing have made me a bit bigger, but I thought fuck it, I’ll do it anyway.

We go straight to Jewel for one as it’s on the way to Zebranos. We’re standing around chatting when Liam challenges me to open. I use the Detroit opener (which is actually the bar opener: “Do you know where Detroit bar is? Apparently it’s near here,”) as we’d just been talking about it. I start talking to a couple of girls, one not hot at all, and another kinda nice looking – not hot-hot but not unpleasant either. Definitely gets a tick.

Turns out the not-hot one actually knows the (fictional) place, and proceeds to tell me that it’s actually somewhere within the bar we’re actually in. Now this is an usual response. I think she may have misheard me. I make a joke about there being a portal in time and space and then transition to something random. We continue to talk.

A few minutes in and I suddenly realise to myself, hmm, by now I would have normally ejected, but I’m still talking to them. It feels good. It feels like I thought it would feel: normal – the kind of thing that I was talking about at the end of the last post. So I keep talking. The not-hot one wanders off and I talk to the other one some more. I move her around a bit as the people in the room shift around us (leading…). We talk about her job – a teacher – and what kids are like when they’re five, which is some quality comfort talk.

At just the right time Pete taps me on the shoulder and tells me that we’re moving on – I ask him to give me a couple of minutes. I basically wrap up the conversation and finish my beer, and then ask for her phone number. She complies. A number close! Huzzah! It feels good, and at the same time it feels like it was always going to happen.

OK pause. I want to talk about faith. Faith isn’t something that we talk about much in today’s society, from my perspective that’s probably because it’s tied up in religion, but maybe also because it sounds like something wishy-washy and indistinct. But faith has always served me well. As Idlewild said, Hope (which is faith in the future) is important. If you want to do anything that you can’t do now you need to have faith.

You need to have faith that you have the physical capacities to do it. And short of flying or becoming a world champion in a sport that you’ve never competed in all your life, the chances are that you can.

There have been a few times in my life that stand out as times when I’ve used faith in myself to encourage myself to attain certain skills or achieve certain things that I’ve wanted to do, but haven’t ever done before. I learned to play guitar when I had no natural ability for it. It was extremely frustrating, but I got there.

Even more faith-related was when I was first in a band and writing songs (which I also had to learn) and then teaching the songs to the band so they could play it the way that I wanted them to. Of course, you heard something fantastic in your head, and then the bassist comes out with a completely different bass line, and the drum pattern isn’t how you want it to be, and it all sounds completely different. It’s frustrating as now you need to tell you friends what you want them to do, and they may not want to.

Well I had to have faith. Faith in more than one thing. I had to have faith that the other band members could do the song justice. They had to have faith that my vision would work (it might not after all). But above all I had to have faith in the process – that is, I had to know that over time as we practiced playing and arranging the song, that it would become something good. And it usually did.

As a side note we soon discovered as a band something called “second practice syndrome”. This refers to songwriting, where as a band we’d either just written through jamming, or had been taught a song. At the end of the first practice we’d all be playing it and thinking, fucking hell this sounds great! We’re totally awesome.

And then you’d come back to the next practice a week later, and you’d all be eager to play the song. And you’d play it, and it would sound shit. Like a piece of crud. And you’d think, “I thought this song was good, but now it’s shit. Maybe we were wrong. Let’s ditch this and write another.” But they were, all of them, deceived.

Because we’d lost the tightness, lost the subtleties of phrasing, lost the energy or whatever from the last practice. We had to have faith that we could make the song sound as good as it did the first time. And, of course, eventually we would get there.

So, then, faith. I’ve spent some frustrating nights out in the field. In fact, most of last year was shit when it came to sarging. What I now know, is that I had to make some quite simple lifestyle changes to make sure that my mind and body were in an acceptable condition to go out sarging. I was inadvertently fucking myself up in various ways. But thankfully travelling solved that, almost without trying.

Another thing I realised is that I had success, but it was inconsistent. I knew I could get lays and kisses and phone numbers, but it wasn’t something I could turn on at will. I had to go back to basics. I was using my random successes to protect me from my fear of failure and therefore not trying. I realised I wasn’t opening enough – I was allowing others to open for me, then I would join in the set.

So the start of this year was focussed on that. I got that handled. Then I always knew I ejected too early. That was and probably still is my main sticking point. I also knew that I was having boring conversations, so I needed to tease and joke around more, which I’ve always wanted to do anyway. So I did that. Touching (kino) is something that I sometimes still forget to do, which was the case here – when I said goodbye I should have kissed her on the cheek, but as I hadn’t been touching her it didn’t feel right. So I still need to do that more.

But I stuck in, I talked, we had fun and I took her phone number. All the pieces fell into place. And it didn’t feel like a big surprise. It felt normal. And I was happy.

And this is kind of where the night turned, and I know why. I rested on my laurels. I knew I had a phone number, so my work was sort of done, so my motivation dropped. What I now realise is the old part of me that didn’t like to open and was low energy and feared failure was allowed free reign once more as I’d given myself slack. I need to keep thinking about the next set if that happens again.

That’s not to say I didn’t open. I was hanging out with Jake (who had joined us) and he went to the bar to get a drink. I was standing there like a lemon in the middle of the room with no one to talk to. I turned round a there were a couple of girls right behind me. Proximity alert perhaps? Maybe. One was hot, the other wasn’t but a really nice person. “Hello,” I said. “You’re drinking rosé wine,” I astutely observed. And then we started talking about random shit as ever.

Shortly after Jake joined in and we all introduced ourselves. We kind of talked for a long while which was great as it meant that I wasn’t ejecting again. But then I kinda got bored and eventually after a good time, the girls left to go to another bar. Looking back now what I know we did wrong is that neither Jake nor I took the lead. I wasn’t really thinking about closing or escalating as I’d already got my number (I know, why wasn’t I getting more?) As Jake said afterwards, it was my set as I’d opened it, so I should have number closed the hot one – he didn’t as he believed (correctly) that it was my set. But I didn’t care. A missed opportunity as there was no reason not to get her number – I just wasn’t paying attention. Plus we need to improve our winging skills.

I don’t think I had any memorable interactions after that, and just before midnight I decided to take the tube home as I was feeling tired. Plus after my dry January whenever I drink beer I notice my clarity of thought diminishing. I prefer to sarge without alcohol.


Well this is the night that it all came together. I know one telephone number isn’t all that, and this all seems like a lot of hyperbole in that respect. And I always find it funny when people say “that was a SOLID NUMBER CLOSE!!!” when the only definition of a solid number close is if the girl responds to your text after the event – you can never tell at the time. But at least I took the number, and that’s a step forward. And it happened so easily, in a way. It was a learnt or a structured close, not a random, lucky one. I was reaping what I had sown. I had faith in the process.

First number close since New Year’s. Back of the net.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

There Goes the Fear

So Liam arranges a Brick Lane session again. I drive out there again even though I’m drinking. I think I now prefer sarging more or less sober as I’m more in control and can really experience what’s going on, calibrate and learn from it. I meet Liam and Jon in Exit and they are a bit low energy again. I try to enjoy myself, we’re here to have fun and I like to have fun. I guess this is self amusement. OK let’s pause.

Growing up in my twenties in London, I was more or less concerned with experiencing the hedonistic pleasures available for those that choose them. As you can probably guess alcohol and drugs played a large part in that. Also going out. I wanted to go out a lot. I had a saying, “If in doubt, always go out.” That’s because for a shy, insecure person like me, it was an effort. I remember the first time I went to a nightclub, and the sheer overwhelming fear and disorientation I experienced. But I stuck with it.

So I went out a lot. But I didn’t enjoy it. It seemed a bit of an effort. I tried to get my fun from other people. And I wasn’t getting that other bit of hedonism that I was mainly missing out on – sex. Insecurity about my seduction abilities also meant that I wasn’t enjoying myself when going out.

Things got really bad and I ended up addicted to drugs and clinically depressed. Luckily I managed to quite easily get myself out of that situation and back on track. I was in a flat share and every few months one flatmate would move out and another would join. An Aussie guy moved in, who also liked to go out, but, noticeably, had a lot of fun, and usually it only involved alcohol.

Anyway our senses of humour matched and we went out a lot. And then one day I noticed it. I was having fun. I was out in a bar (it was Elk Bar in Fulham, funnily enough), and I was actually having a good time. I was with good friends, some of whom were my flatmates. I didn’t care about seeking out drugs. I was drunk but not totally wasted. I didn’t really care about sex, but I was having fun. The epitome of “Don’t give a fuck.” And as any social artist will tell you everyone wants to be where the party’s at.

I got a couple of lays out of that period. The Aussie guy pulled a whole bunch of girls, though he frequently veered into “average quality” it was still better than nothing. And good practice, huh?

OK fast forward back to the main story. Going out sarging, like the night in Richmond, can be, for some people, a chore. It’s absolutely key, for me at least, to have fun. Now in the past I would have relied on other people to provide that. But these days I seem to be generating it more and more myself. Again it is the very essence of self-amusement. Frankly if I’m out on a weekend I want to fucking well enjoy myself. So I’ll find fun in anything and everything. Good music and a lively venue helps.

So despite the others walking their own path and being more chilled out, I made sure I was having fun. We went to Big Chill but it was filled mainly with guys. We stopped off briefly at Commercial Tavern but despite it having the best décor of any pub in the world, it’s not an easy place to meet random people, mainly as it’s so packed.

So we headed off to Cargo, a place that I’ve always loved and for me is probably the definitive original Shoreditch / Hoxton venue. It’s large, it plays cool music, there’s a lot of chicks and plenty of them are pretty hot.

Just after a while Jake arrives which is cool as we’ve not met in about six months and I had a lot of fun sarging with him last year. He reminded me of the random word opener game that we used to play, and the solid gold opener that came out of it: “Do you play Golf?” Awesome. We chat and catch up, I tell him how I rely on instant inspiration now for openers, though of course there’s a few that I end up using regularly – nationalities, situational are the main two. After all, that game was invented to learn the skill of inventing openers from seemingly useless situations.

To demonstrate I open the nearest girl I can find, easily a 7 Indian chick, who is texting. I use the dumping by text opener and I don’t get it quite right and it isn’t that smooth, but I have a chat anyway. I eject when her boyfriend returns…

Later I open a chubby chick on her own with a keyboard on her top – I ask her where the rest of the band is. We end up talking rubbish and by the time her friends arrive we’re doing David Attenborough impressions, which is actually quite hard in a noisy club…!

Later on we’re all standing next to a group of five pretty hot young looking chicks, who are all in party mode and enjoying themselves. Pretty much a hard set to open, but I go and do it anyway. It goes pretty badly but I stick in there just chatting lines to see if there’s a reaction. I think I start to turn the situation around a bit but then I eject.

Afterwards I find out that Jon had just opened them. Plus it looked like a lot of guys were sheepishly hanging around nearby. A tough set, but at least I did it. I should have stuck in there to see if they were up to my standard …

Jake then suggests we open two dyed blond girls that were fairly cute and whom Jake had spoken to earlier in the coat queue. As we approach them I actually get distracted by a girl sitting next to them and open her instead. She was wearing smooth black leggings so I ask her if she sprayed them on. We joke about how to wear them and I get to touch her legs and get things a bit sexual by talking about smearing her legs with oil… Anyway I jump out of that after a bit and rejoin Jake.

I chat shit about them being sisters given their hair and some random rubbish related to that. Anyway after a bit we eject and end up watching the band (the amusing Ou est le Swimming Pool?) for a bit. When we go to leave there I notice that the blond girls are standing behind us. Proximity factor set to full? Aye-aye, cap’n!

Jake has to go and we find the others in the coat queue. We leave, Jake goes home, the rest of us head off to Light Bar but it’s pretty empty. I open a girl in a large group that look like they’re having a lot of fun by asking them what they’re celebrating. Turns out that two of them are returning to Australia. I talk to one of them about the weather and sun. For some reason we start talking about Prince Charles. “You’re hotter than he is,” she says with a gleam in her eye. Wow. That makes me feel good. Unfortunately she’s not that hot. But still. Ego boost!

After that Liam leaves and Jon and I go to Big Chill for one last set. We have to jump over a table to get in as the bouncers are taking ages to throw some big guys out. Jon opens a large group of young girls, but they’re a bit closed off. They look barely 18. Fresh meat.

Jon challenges me to open two seated girls near us, one of which was pretty but plain, if that makes sense. Can’t remember what opener I use but my deliver isn’t that smooth and it goes OK but it’s not getting better. I eject.

Afterwards I notice a girl eyeing me up and I look directly back. She keeps looking at me. Another ego boost – though again she’s not that hot so I don’t approach. And that’s pretty much our night.


To quote Paul McCartney, “It’s getting better all the time.” Opening even more sets and staying in for slightly longer each day. Opening feels like fun. I’m having fun with the girls. They’re loving it. I can feel it, I can taste the future. I honestly can. I told Jon how happy I was feeling as we left last night, and I mean it.

I’m starting to see consistent progress and results. And again yes, objectively I’m not closing or getting laid, but it really is a case of one step at a time for me.

I’m now starting to see where I eject from sets and why I’m doing it, which basically boils down to if I stay in set I’ll fuck it up. Which is of course completely self-sabotaging. I can now feel myself pushing against that barrier. I’ve seen myself stay in sets that aren’t doing well, and manage to start turning them around. After all shit tests and the like are there to see how much of a man you are. They’re there to judge where your inner game is at. If you’re going to take this on, you’re going to have to be the kind of man who can take this on. It’s a koan, deal with it. And that’s also great. Because these challenges change you. Improve you. Make you better. I’m probably feeling more confident now than I have at any other time in my life, and it feels awesome.


So after the not-that-successful experiment of Richmond we decide to return to the familiar territory of Brick Lane. I’m feeling tired from the late night before, and not really in state. We start off at Big Chill.

I need to change my state. There’s a below average girl standing near me who looks like she wants to be opened. That looks like a good warm up. I chat to her and she’s into it, as I suspected. However she’s getting full on and seriously not hot so I have to eject and walk to another part of the bar!

That’ll do for a start. Then there’s another below average drunk chick that’s eyeing me up as well. I’ve started to notice this more and more lately – I’m getting eyed up by girls more often. Albeit not always the hottest girls…

A bit later and I spot a hot chick and think about opening her. She’s in a mixed group and they’re high energy, having a highly animated conversation. I start to experience negative thoughts: “I’ll be disrupting their good time.” “They’re not going to want me to talk to them.” I decide to go and do it anyway.

I go in with a high energy, and a commanding presence that I’ve been developing and seems to be working well, ever since Goa. I open with nationality and chat to them about random stuff, about India. Girls love India, they all want to go there, mmm, spirituality. It goes well. I eject and think about opening them later (I don’t get the chance).

Later on Liam challenges me to a set. I see that one of them is texting and I catch the word “wee” in the message. I open on nationality, “Are any of you Scottish? I saw you and thought one of you were,” with the commanding presence again. Turns out the one texting isn’t Scottish, but one of the others was. I chat with them high energy and get them laughing. It works well again and though they’re nice girls from Scotland / Northern Ireland they’re only average looking so I eject.

We move to Light Bar, but there aren’t many sets. Pete starts another challenge in a hilarious way, running off to be first to open a set. I decide I may as well join in, for the practice. I open a set with the bar opener. Even though one of the girls is German, for some reason my Aufhebene Fähigkeiten (leet skillz) weren’t working today.

We call it a night after that and head home for my first beer since new years. I have a good night’s sleep.


Lots of sets opened. Check. Get them laughing and tease them. Yep, more or less. High energy. Check. Feeling confident. Check. Touching. More or less. Staying in set longer. Well a little bit, yes, but though I’m not sticking in for long periods of time (only a few minutes currently) I can feel the way forward now, and I can see that I’ll be staying in set longer and longer. And closing. And fucking. It feels good.