Mailbag: How to fend off the C-block

by GK on July 16, 2011 · 11 comments

Today’s question comes from Barry O’Herlihy:

Ok so, recently I was going through Dirk’s blog and came across his “stop blaming others” post. However, it’s not the post I wanted to email you about, but rather, a line from it where he talks about refraining from using cockblocks as an excuse why she didn’t like you. So that got me here wondering, how should one handle cockblocks in social settings or if her friends/friend tries pulling her away?

It’s always bittersweet when I read the late, great Dirk Manley’s blog. He’s certainly right that it’s a waste of time to be sour over losing a girl to another guy — if you’re good enough at this, you’ll be doing that to plenty of guys yourself.

There are, of course, ways to help yourself when dealing with a woman’s meddling friends or jealous admirers. But this is another of those topics where the pickup gurus make guys believe there’s a foolproof, Mortal Kombat punch-kick combo that will chase away any interloper.

The truth is, no such technique exists. Sometimes bad logistics can be overcome, and sometimes they can’t. Fortunately, I’ve rarely dealt with c-blocking men in San Francisco — they’re often too scared to approach even when the woman is alone and waving a “talk to me” sign. It’s her female friends you often need to watch out for, and a great wingman can help there.

Also, there’s an antisocial streak to this subject. Some guys will call someone a “cockblock” or “obstacle” when maybe that person is just her friend and wants to have a good time with her. After all, the world doesn’t revolve around you and your pickup agenda. Trying to remove a girl from her friends right away is not an alpha-male move; it’s a dick move.

Anyway, in actual c-block situations at a bar or party, a guy should take action depending on the circumstances. Here are a few:

The guy/girl is her friend: I touched on this at the 25:30 mark in my Nerd Nite video. As a certain famous ballplayer learned, you ignore or demean a woman’s friends at your own peril. But if you simply exercise good social skills and win them over, you’ll prevent a lot of these problems.

Still, sometimes her friends will either be jealous of you, jealous of her, or simply be unfriendly and try pulling her away from you. Sadly, many groups of women, no matter how attractive and friendly, will include one of these wet blankets. You still want to kill them with kindness, but you’ll also want to call them out.

Without showing anger, tell the girl that her friend doesn’t seem to like you much, and that you’ll leave if she wants, but you’d like to stick around and get to know her better. Often the girl will acknowledge that her friend is being a downer, and if she likes you, she’ll invite you to stay. At that point, there’s little her friend can do but pout or try to make your girl leave the party. 

I wrote about such an experience two years ago, though I didn’t find out until later that the guy had a crush on her and was trying in vain to make her leave. 

The guy doesn’t know her and is trying to pick her up: I did a podcast with Eastside Mike where he talked about this scenario in New York. Some might go the intimidation route, but if you weigh 147 pounds like me, pissing off a drunk guy is simply not an option.

A little diplomacy will still go a long way. Rather than get into a verbal war where neither of you gets the girl, just be friendly with him for a few minutes while keeping your focus on the girl. Often his game will be so drunken or inept that he’ll hang himself by his own rope — I especially like it when he’s trying Mystery Method or something childish like that. At that point, after you’ve had a little rapport with the girl, you can lead her away.

The other guy flirting with her is better than you: Look, you’re not going to get every girl. She might dig the other guy’s Australian accent or “Lord of the Rings” tattoo and decide he’s the one she wants to talk to. Rather than go all Tonya Harding and club him in the knee, just give the man respect, learn from what he did right, and go to the next girl.

If you have your own tips to share on this topic, please do comment.


1 scn July 17, 2011 at 4:58 am

I got cockblocked recently after introducing myself to a guy-girl couple. It was late in the night at a loud Saturday night party at a vacation spot. They turned out to be just friends so after chatting with them both for a minute, my wing occupied the guy. The girl was flirty and smiling, and after initially balking, she willingly followed my lead to get sexual. Our interaction quickly but naturally escalated into our exchanging personal scoops on our sex lives, her energy as smiling and flirty as ever.

But she then drug her male friend over and told him that I’d introduced the topic of sex. On cue, he then cockblocks me, under cover of killing me with kindness himself. Just trying to help me, he asserts, he begins unsmilingly lecturing me about how foolish it is to get sexual with a women before the third date, blah blah blah. At one point putting his palm up into my face just one inch away, supposedly to teach me what it feels like to a women to talk about sex too early.

I was ready to punch him in the face for being such a dick and for obliterating the vibe. Perhaps I could have killed him with kindness back for another 5 minutes but then it would have been just a passive-aggressive war.

Or I could have said, “I’m sorry you feel that way. I have no problem talking about sex politely when the topic is of mutual interest,” but that would have gotten us into some sort of debate or cast a negative light on the girl.

For lack of a good option, I smilingly and confidently told the truth which was, “Now I am feeling bad, so please excuse me,” and I left. I figured if the girl wanted to find me at the party, she would, but of course that didn’t happen.

Reading this article, maybe I should have made it a question posed to the girl, “Now I am feeling bad. Should I leave?” However, even if she asked me to stay, I don’t know if the guy might have stayed right there in our faces, making continued escalation with the girl impossible.

Not sure how I should have handled this situation.

2 GK July 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm

That’s a tough spot, scn. It would be very tempting to mock the guy for what he was doing, but then he’d be even more likely to spoil it for you. Yeah, getting the girl’s input might have helped … if she still wanted to talk I would have tried getting her away from the guy, or at least getting her number. But that may have been a no-win situation.

3 Rob July 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Remember Admiral Ackbar and remind yourself that it’s a trap. Talking sex too much too soon, even if she initiates (actually, especially if she initiates) gives warrant for her to throw up red flags. You didn’t deserve them, but girls are defensive for a reason: they can’t just toss it to everyone. Or it would have no value. Ignore the guy and what he said. Whether good intentions or bad what he did was a dick move.
Talking about sex is a hard thing to calibrate, but 9 times out of 10 being conservative then flipping the switch to manwhore once we’re in private has worked better than just being raunchy at the start. Unless it’s closing time, trust and comfort come before skeet skeet.

4 Hill July 25, 2011 at 12:09 am

“A key that opens many locks is called a master key. A lock that can be opened by many keys isn’t a very good lock” — Plato

I think she caled him over because she wanted to put the breaks on any wrong imprssion she might have been giving you by talking about sex. I think the bes tway to handle tht would have been to thank him for his advice and then asked her if talking about sex was makin her unfcomfortable because you were totally flirting with her and didn’t want to say anythin gthat scrwed up your chances while explaining you’re comfortable talking about this stuff and think some taboos are stupid. Her reaction would have let you know whether she was into you or not.

5 scn July 28, 2011 at 9:29 am

Rob, I’m surprised to hear you say that. One of our commandments is “thou shalt escalate.” I led her and she followed. I don’t want to start thinking female interest in sexuality is only real if it takes a long time and hard slogging to get there. Especially at a high-energy Saturday night party at a vacation spot where I’d expect some girls might be open to hooking up casually without much preamble, just based on vibe.

Hill, you are saying I triggered her anti-slut defense so she called the guy over. That feels like a good interpretation of what happened. However, Wayne teaches that anti-slut defenses are only triggered when I assert or imply she is interested in sex. At no time did I do that, I only spoke of my interest in the topic. When she balked, I readily and sincerely moved away from it. A few minutes later with her mind obviously whirring, she re-raised the topic herself and led me back to it. I executed textbook Charisma Arts technique of creating desire in her mind that should not have triggered her anti-slut defenses.

6 Hill July 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I not saying you triggered anything. I’m saying she probably felt she gave the wrong impression. Which clearly she did. You thought she was into you. Enjoying a conversation about sex and saying “I want to sex you” is two differnt things. I’ve often hit on a girl after getting the guy’s okay only to find out later they’re actually sleeping with eachother. Friends with benefits still go on dates and they still act like boyfriend/girlfriend occasionally. She just enjoyed speaking about sex with you while not wanting to sleep with you. Whether she was actually available or not is anyone’s guess, no matter what the words are that come out of their mouths. You may have asked for logistics doing your part, but there’s not guarantee you’ll gett he truth as an answer when you do ask. You cannot control her. You did your part, she did hers too. Another girl in a different situation might have jdone it differently.

7 GK July 28, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Thanks for the inspired comments, guys. You’re all right in your own way, and I can’t say whether anything could have been done with that girl to create a different outcome. I’m sure you’d agree, scn, that textbook technique doesn’t matter if she’s not interested in you or the logistics are too tough.

8 scn July 29, 2011 at 11:37 am

That’s true. In this case she did seem flirty and interested and she confessed she hadn’t had sex in a long time so she was not sleeping with the guy. But the entire interaction was all of 15 minutes long so the plot may have indeed been thicker and her logistics more complicated than I had a chance to uncover.

9 Rob July 29, 2011 at 6:29 pm

scn, of course you don’t want to slog it out. And you shalt escalate. But escalating isn’t just talking sex, it’s about making the right moves to get you there. And that doesn’t always mean run towards it full speed. But 15 minutes is nothing. One of our other (possibly less mentioned) commandments is “Thou shalt do no more than 3 to 4 sets per night.” Because anything more than that and you really don’t have time to get something “real” going. Unless it’s closing time and she is DTF with the next dude she sees, it takes time for her to let her guard down and talk to you genuinely. The first couple of minutes you’re not even talking to the real her, just the fake her that she shows to guys at the bar or randoms. In a 15 minute interaction, I wouldn’t even believe a word she said.
One thing some chicks do as a shit test is start talking sex early on and see if the guy jumps on board. If you fall for it that’s not leading, it’s following.

10 scn August 12, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Rob, sorry for the delayed response, I just read your comment. Unfortunately, the blog doesn’t indicate when new comments have been posted to older articles.

I found what you just said rather momentous. 3 to 4 sets a night means about 60 to 90 minutes per set. Really? In a night I normally might do a dozen or more sets lasting 5-25 minutes each. If one is running over 30 minutes, the opportunity cost of all the girls I’m missing out on talking to starts to weigh on me. I feel a mounting pressure to get an indication of her interest for doing something that night, get her phone number for a date, or cut her loose.

I’m also piqued by your notion that up to the first 15 minutes of what she says is just her fake self she shows to randoms. This certainly jibes with what I’ve experienced, and it would help explain why I have such trouble getting personal during the 5-15 minutes I’ll talk to a girl. But I thought our whole modus operandi was to charismatically induce her to have a real conversation with us from the start or within the first few minutes.

If up to the first 15 minutes is expected to be throwaway talk, what have we accomplished by having it with her? How should we handle making throwaway talk with her versus the real talk we’ll save for later on? Or are you saying we should expect to spend up to 15 minutes of effort to get her to bring out her real self during which time we continue put our real self out?

11 GK August 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Hey scn, I thought I’d answer this question for Rob just in case he’s busy. I totally agree with what he said, by the way.

You really do a dozen or more sets a night? No wonder you’re getting frustrated! That explains a lot.

Try not to look at the first 15 minutes of a conversation as “throwaway.” It’s just natural that a person isn’t going to be that open with you when they don’t know you yet. They still can be fun to talk to during that initial time, though.

Stop trying to “charismatically induce” people into things. This is real life, not a laboratory. From the way you describe your nights out, you sound impatient and agenda driven, almost like it’s a job. I’m sure girls can sense that. Some CA guys make the mistake of wanting “deep rapport” with girls they just met, and it comes off as creepy or needy.

Charismatic people are charismatic because they show a real interest in people and they’re not trying to get something from them right away. Just have fun with the journey and be as real as you can, and chances are she’ll follow.

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