Some test answers from Rob

by GK on November 10, 2010

Before I impart my answers from my post about how women test men, I’m going to give you a special treat. It’s a bonus lecture from my favorite guest professor, Rob Overman, about how he would handle those tests. So listen well:

Question 1 

The correct answer is E — make her laugh.   

When a person isn’t committing to an interaction, it is because of one of three reasons:  

1) She doesn’t like the way you look and no matter what you do or say she will not give you the time of day. Whoops! Tough luck, hombre. But don’t get all pissy and start talking about how unfair the world is or how mean women are. The truth is, we all do this. I judge people based on my first impression of them and so do you.   

2) Even if she likes your look she could have some logistical roadblock that is preventing her from committing to you. Last night I watched the first episode of season two of Weeds. In it, Nancy Botwin, a housewife-turned drug dealer unknowingly sleeps with a DEA agent. Once she realizes how dangerous this is, does she calmly and rationally explain to him how a relationship with him, no matter how casual, with him would put her in a precarious situation? 

 Fuck no. She calls him up and lies, saying that she is too afraid to be with someone with such a dangerous job who could be killed. Of course the DEA agent tries to get her back, but she keeps eluding him because he doesn’t know that she has logistical problems that have nothing to do with her attraction to him that prevent her from being in a relationship with a narc. 

When it comes to dating. we all have things going on in our lives that either speed up or slow down our chances of meeting someone. So even though your girl isn’t necessarily a drug dealer and you aren’t a DEA agent, maybe there is still some unsaid barrier that prevents her from talking to you. Maybe she has a boyfriend, or a girlfriend, or strict parents or maybe she’s just inexperienced and doesn’t know how to talk to guys. Once you recognize that logistics are maybe 90 percent of pickup, you’ll learn that there are ways around them.   

3) She’s legitimately too busy and knows it.  

Get the girl to take her sunglasses off -- except for you, Posh Spice.

So anyways, you’re with this girl in the park and she has those round, Nicole Richie-esque sunglasses on that cover 80 percent of her face and, even worse, she hasn’t taken her earbuds out. How the hell do you know where you stand?  Well, before you can think about getting a girl’s honest logistics, she has to be committed to talking to you. So let’s get those earbuds out.   

Remember, communication is like 80 percent what you do and 15 percent how you do it and 5 percent how big your shoes are. Or something. The point is, don’t try talking your way out of what you can ACT your way out of. So let’s DO something instead of saying something. Look at her, nod your chin like you want her to pay attention, then put your hand up to your own ears and make a motion like you’re taking your own earbuds out. She will follow suit and take her earbuds out.   

Now you’re got some commitment so don’t waste it. Tell her a corny joke, “Hey, do you want to hear a bad joke?” She will say yes. Then you smile and say, “Why didn’t the butterfly go to the party?” She won’t know. Tell her, “Because it was a MOTHball!”   

It’s stupid, the equivalent of a fart joke, but people laugh at fart jokes because they are universally understood; they’re relatable. Anyway, she’ll laugh a little bit so follow it up with another one.   

“Why was the strawberry upset?” Wait a little bit. “Because he was in a jam!” 

So the girl is laughing a little, and that’s all you need. All you need is a REASON to escalate a little bit. Remember back in the day we talked all the time, over and over again about justifiable escalation? Like, you can’t escalate for no reason. You can’t just tell people you like them or like talking to them because they won’t understand what you get from it. Because altruism (doing something good just for the sake of good, itself) doesn’t exist and people only do things when they get something from it.   

So your girl has laughed a little bit, and that’s all you need to escalate.   

Say, “Hey, I like you because you laugh at my bad jokes, and that’s important to me because I always thought I was funny, but it’s even better coming from someone else.  You just boosted my ego a little bit.” And smile like you’re having fun.   

She’ll smile back. Then say, “I like talking to you, you make me smile, but I can’t even really see you because your sunglasses are huge. Take them off for five minutes, and then I have to go.” That’s called a time constraint. Not necessarily a false time constraint because maybe you really do need to go, but it serves its purpose so that she knows you won’t be hanging around all day. Always remember that logistics are playing out in the background.   
 
Question 2 

So the obvious answer is B, right?  Act like a gentleman with some high self-esteem and of course you will get the girl.  And that’s true. Gentlemen with high self-esteem do get girls. But sometimes the gentleman is too nice for his own good. There’s a story I’ve told often about how I met a girl who was with a drunk friend. My girl and I hit it off really well, but her friend was stupid drunk and my girl had to take her home instead of hanging out with me. We exchanged phone numbers and since the interest was so high I thought No problem, I’ll definitely see her again

But schedules don’t always work out like that. Either I was busy or she was out of town. Something kept getting in the way. It looked like the only way I was going to see her was to break social conventions and just show up. Keep in mind, this is not something you should do for just anyone, but in this case I thought why not.   

And it worked out. I called her up to make sure she was home and then just showed up at her apartment. Happy endings and all of that.   

But that scenario would not have been possible if I only had her work number or e-mail.  And that’s why you shouldn’t just settle for a business card. 

Luckily, most women are smart enough to not hand out business cards to a potential lover, but if you happen to meet a girl who has a stack of business cards in her purse do this: take the business card and say “What’s your cell-phone number?”   

She’ll tell you her number and you punch it into your phone and then call it so that she has your number. That’s it. When you get home, toss her business card in the trash, as you won’t need it anymore.   

Question 3 

Why do we guys get so defensive about paying for dinner? Have any of you REALLY had such a bad experience where a girl just used you for a free meal? I haven’t, and most girls won’t do that. They just want to go out on a date with you, so don’t misread the situation and get defensive.   

Whether you go for dinner or just for drinks, your REAL concern should be on the venue. Pick a place that’s private, where just you and her can sit, alone, and get flirty.  My worst first-date experience happened because of bad planning on my part. I took this girl to one of my fave restaurants. Unfortunately, I didn’t make a specific reservation and, in NYC with its “pack-it-to-the-max” mentality, we ended up in some cramped table for two about 4 inches away from two other couples on each side. There was no such thing as a private conversation because everything we said was easily overheard by the people to my left or right.  

Compare that to when I did it right.  I found a Thai place in the Village that was very affordable and also very dark and private. Plenty of booths where my date and I could sit back and get to know each other in private over a simple meal. As a bonus, since it was in a great neighborhood, it was an easy across-the-street walk to a chill bar where we could get tipsy and vibe all night.  I know I keep going back to it over and over again, but always keep logistics in the back of your mind. 

Question 4 

Start taking off your clothes. 

Ok, maybe not right away. I mean, don’t do anything that’s weird or doesn’t fit the moment, but, at the same time, don’t be afraid to push the boundaries. The best thing to do is say “No” with your mouth while your body says “Yes.” 

Whatever you do, don’t try to “explain” your way in there.   
 
Question 5 

Arghhh, who cares if she has to take her friend home? Tell her (don’t offer or ask) that you’re going to walk her home too. Get in there, be bold, as Eastside Mike would say.  Just tell her that you’re going to walk her home and smile, then sit back and enjoy the ride.

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This is a test … about women testing

by GK on November 3, 2010 · 4 comments

From the moment I got my first pop quiz in elementary school, I hated tests. Still do, in fact. I even hate those emergency-broadcast tests that spring up on TV every now and then.

So when I first started trying to figure women out in my mid-20s, I wasn’t happy to learn that I was getting tested all the time and didn’t even know it. I wasn’t merely being tested, the Community told me. I was being shit tested. I mean, that just sounds nasty, and in my frustration I started overreacting to it in ways that hurt my chances with girls even more. 

Now, it all seems so silly and obvious. Of course women are testing. That’s what life is about, whether it’s applying for a job, going one-on-one against a guy on the basketball court or Jay-Z dissing Nas back in the day. Some of us have it easy, but most of us have to earn what we get by doing something challenging.

So I don’t get defensive now if I think an attractive girl is testing me, whether she’s doing it consciously or subconsciously. I’ve got my own screening process for her, and often, we want each other to pass. There are some girls, of course, who don’t want you to pass and are merely playing you or simply want to be left alone. But if you know how to react to that, you’ll screen them out quickly.

For the student in all of us, I thought I’d offer a pop quiz of my own. The following are some real-life tests women have given, followed by some possible answers. Of course, life isn’t as simple as a multiple-choice exam, and the wrong answer can be the right one. But consider my answers a guideline.

I’ll come back next week with the answers (hint: there might be more than one answer to each).

Question 1: You stumble upon a gorgeous girl in the park, and she’s wearing large sunglasses while listening to her iPod as she lies down on a blanket. You swallow hard, walk up to her and squat next to her as you say hello. She acknowledges you and doesn’t tell you to leave, but you’re asking all the questions and she’s not saying much in response. You can’t tell how engaged she is because you can’t even see her eyes, and her earbuds are still on. What do you do?

A: Don’t change anything. Just keep talking to her and hope she loosens up.

B: Sharply tell her that she’s being a bitch and that you’re not some chump like the other guys who approach her, so she shouldn’t treat you like one.

C: Tell her that you’d like to keep talking to her, then ask her to take off her glasses and earbuds because it feels weird when you can’t tell if she’s listening. Offer to leave if she wants to be left alone.

D: Put on your own sunglasses and earbuds, lie down next to her and say in a mocking female voice, “I’m so pretty and important! I will not pay attention to you and you’ll just hit on me anyway! It’s great to be meeee!”

Question 2: You meet a girl at an after-work bar and you have a half-hour of fun, slightly flirty conversation. It’s time for you to go, but before you do, you tell her you’d like to talk again and suggest trading phone numbers. She responds by giving you her business card, which only has her business number and e-mail address. What do you do?

A: Laugh in her face and say, “I don’t think so! You’re not brushing me off like that. Give me your real number or this ain’t happening.”

B: Take her card and plan to get in touch with her that way. After all, she must know you’re interested, so there’s no need to say anything.

C:  Tell her that while you’re sure she’s a wonderful real-estate broker, you’re looking for a date, not a house, and ask if she has a personal number she can give you.

D: Any of the above.

Question 3: You got the number of a cutie on the dance floor last night, and now you’re calling to make plans with her. You’d like to have a quiet drink at your favorite dive bar. When you call her, she suggests going for dinner. What do you do?

A: Ask her if she expects you to pay, because if so you’d rather not go to a restaurant.

B: Tell her you’d prefer to make dinner alone that night, but you’d love to go for drinks with her and you’d be open to dinner on a second date if all goes well.

C: Tell her you’re not going to be her sugardaddy, so she should stop trying to use you.

D: Ask her where the nearest McDonald’s is so you can take her there.

Question 4: You’re on a second date at your apartment, where you cooked dinner and are now watching a movie. You pretend to yawn as you put your arm around her, she gives you a knowing smile, and suddenly you start making out. You’re heading toward second base and hoping to take at least third tonight when she suddenly withdraws and says, “We’re not having sex tonight.” Boo! What do you do?

A: Start sobbing gently.

B: Jokingly say, “After I made you crab cakes?”

C: Pause and tell her you never said anything about having sex, but there’s no pressure and you’re open to whatever happens. Then, after you start making out again, tell her more explicitly what you want, try taking it further and see how she responds.

D: Tell her, “We’ll see about that.”

Question 5: You’re at a friend’s Halloween house party and have been getting to know Sexy Cinderella for a couple of hours. You haven’t kissed yet because you couldn’t get alone, but the vibe between you is strong. She says she’s going to walk home soon, but she’s not sure whether her friend will walk home with her. What do you do?

A: Jump up and down and say, “Me me me!”

B: Ask her if she’s trying to have sex with you.

C: Offer to walk her home.

D: Don’t say anything, because she’s probably testing you.

Good luck!

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The Cartoon Pickup Artist

by GK on October 25, 2010 · 1 comment

I always wished “South Park” would do an episode mocking the whole PUA culture, much as they did with my beloved “Jersey Shore” recently. But I wanted to pass on a funny animated short that my friend did.

We’ve all made fun of the classic pickup routines by now — you’ve seen the “Alias” sketch, right? — but I did get an extra laugh out of seeing them done with a digitized monotone. Considering that routines were devised as one-size-fits-all lines for any guy to use on women, the sterile setting just makes them look sillier.

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The Failure of Don Draper

by GK on October 20, 2010 · 3 comments

Before I start kvetching over the season finale of “Mad Men,” I just wanted to follow up my wedding post by saying I had a truly memorable time watching Rob get married last weekend. I’ll never forget golfing with the guys on Wedding Eve, fist-pumping with Eastside Mike in the car after the wedding, and tearing up the dance floor at the reception.

I was especially flattered that Rob trusted me enough to have me read a short sermon from the altar during the wedding, which was far from my comfort zone. It was a great honor, and I’m thankful to have not screwed it up (no, I didn’t read it in the voice of the “Princess Bride” priest). For all my criticisms of marriage, I have no doubt Rob will be happy for a lifetime in his.

Now, on to the show Rob addicted me to. This season of “Mad Men” has had me captivated because of the highs and lows of Don Draper, and when I wrote my previous post about him, he was on a notable high. It appeared, and I hoped, that he was on the way to making significant improvements in his life and having a transformative relationship with Dr. Faye Miller. I’ve rooted so much for Don to end up with her that I’ve felt like her pimp.

The coach in me was optimistic about Don’s potential for change, even though I’ve seen firsthand how tough it is for people to break old, self-destructive habits. Finally, he seemed prepared to stop running away from his past and grow from it.

Then the “Tomorrowland” episode happened, and I was just as bummed out watching it as when I saw Anakin Skywalker turn into Darth Vader. Don was so close, but he failed.

Why do I say he failed? After all, he ended up getting engaged to the younger, hotter girl who’s smitten with Don, claims to have copywriting aspirations (though I think she just said that to get in his pants) and seems far better with his kids than Faye. Hell, she seems absolutely perfect.

And that’s the problem. In keeping with his visit to Disneyland, Don impulsively chooses the fantasy woman who will do whatever he says over the real woman who would have challenged him. Faye and Don were equals who understood each other; Megan is a fuckable Mary Poppins. Like Betty, she doesn’t know Don, and Don knows Megan even less. It’s ironic and sad that Don can have affairs with strong, independent women, but he can only marry the ones who are beneath him.

So many of us choose the relationships or careers that make us look better over the ones that make us better people. I figured Don would learn his lesson after Betty, but it looks like he has years of pain and therapy ahead of him. Faye was right about two things: Don would remarry in a year (though not with her) because that’s the type he is, and he only likes the beginnings of things. Megan is sure to find that out.

The only enjoyable part of the episode was watching Peggy and Joan snicker at Don and the cliche he has become (see the above clip). Then again, seeing Don reduced to a punchline like Roger Sterling shows you how far he’s falling.

Boy, I think I sound more bitter than Faye right now. Don, you’ve broken my heart.

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A wedding shouldn’t be a funeral

by GK on October 13, 2010 · 4 comments

I’m hearing wedding bells — not for me, of course.

In a few hours I’ll be flying to Michigan to attend the wedding of one Rob Overman, while reuniting with a few other ex-Charisma Arts Superfriends. I’m not sure what kind of high jinks will ensue, and which girl will be my dance partner, but I can’t wait to find out.

As my faithful readers know, I’m much more versed in discussing dating and bachelorhood than marriage. But I’ve found myself discussing the latter a lot more in recent weeks. I had one awesome group conversation with a couple of people who had been married, and in another case, I had to stop dating a girl once we found out she wanted to get married a lot sooner than I did. 

To this day, the subject vexes me. Marriage seems on one hand so unnatural and archaic, yet its romance endures, and I can’t help but feel I will choose it someday — or possibly have it chosen for me by a woman I don’t want to leave.  Why do we run — like lemmings, some might say — toward an institution with a 50 percent failure rate in the U.S.? Higher, in fact, if you include unhappy marriages?

Are we the problem, or is marriage the problem?

I don’t know the answer to that, but I do have personal reasons for being leery of marriage. My own parents divorced when I was 4, and I’ve seen the harmful effects it can have on people — from the financial and emotional pain of divorce, to the quiet desperation of staying in a joyless union, to children lacking a strong male role model (as I did).

But did marriage itself bring about these kinds of hardships? Or were the couples doomed either way? I guess it depends, but my main criticism of marriage involves the very phrase that makes so many people yearn for it: “Till death do us part.”

You see, death takes a lot longer these days. The average life expectancy in the U.S. is over 78 years, almost 10 years older than in 1960. In 1900, the life expectancy was 49 years. Not to be crude, but it’s easier to ignore a spouse’s nagging for the sake of raising children if you know you’re kicking the bucket before you turn 50. That presumption might be what kept Al Bundy with Peg, by the way.

But to stay with, and stay faithful to, that person for 50 years or longer? It seems you’d have a better chance of taking down a casino in Vegas.

Of course, happy married couples do last that long, so I’m not suggesting you blow all your savings on blackjack just yet. But I think we’ve doomed marriage for many people by treating it as some sort of trophy or finish line — something you can relax after accomplishing.

Disney was full of shit. You don’t just live happily ever after. Married or not, a serious relationship takes work, compromise and adaptation. Problem is, when you’ve taken a vow for life, where’s the motivation for that? So many folks — especially women, but men as well — seek the security of wedded bliss, but I think security is overrated. It breeds complacency. And complacency is relationship cancer.

I see it in the NBA all the time, when a guy gets a huge guaranteed contract and stops playing hard. Or in the case of Gilbert Arenas, he gets a $111 million deal and starts doing crazy things like bringing a gun to the locker room and now, faking an injury.

Some married couples recognize this, and I think it’s a big reason why they stay together. I know one that keeps a “Basket of Spontaneity” that contains a bunch of fun things to try in the Bay Area, and every week they pick from it. 

Many others do get lazy, however. I find that ironic, because they forget to do the very thing that got them a partner, and the very thing I taught so many guys: how to seduce.

If I ever do get married, I already know what song I’d want for my first dance at the wedding. Not some syrupy ballad, but “One More Time,” by Daft Punk. Because I can’t stomach the thought of “One Last Time.” That kind of commitment shouldn’t mark the end of something, but the celebration of its persistence.

I know Rob understands that, and it’s why I congratulate him. Strike up the band, buddy. GK is about to take over your dance floor.

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As I mentioned in my last post, I do wish I’d gotten around to coaching women on flirting. But it’s nice to know that a girl I met a few nights ago didn’t need the help. Perhaps this story will give you an example of what I’d teach a woman: how to clear the path and make it easier for a guy to approach her.

Miss Single Girl, tear down this wall!

Of the five girls in her group that I spotted by the bar, she definitely was the standout. Only problem was, she was also the least accessible. She was pinned against the bar by her friends with their backs to me on one side, and on her other side a bunch of dudes were ordering drinks. I might as well have had to climb the Berlin Wall to get to her. And we know how long it took to bring that down.

Some might have suggested I get a conversation started with one of her friends and “pawn” her off, and I would have done that if necessary. But I don’t like treating girls as chess pieces if I can help it, so I chose to be patient for a few minutes and talked to my friend.

Then, like Moses parting the Red Sea, my patience was rewarded when the girls walked toward the middle of the bar. Even though they were in a circle formation, I had no excuses left. So I approached my desired girl and one of her nearby friends with some half-assed remark about how a lot of guys in the bar were wearing plaid (which was true).

My friend gave me some helpful wingman support, and a couple of hours later, I walked out with her number. We had drinks tonight, in fact, and she told me she intentionally had her friends move toward the middle of the bar to make her group more approachable.

I don’t know how many women can muster the fortitude to go up to a guy, but any woman with some awareness can do a thing like that. This lovely blonde did, and thus she laid claim to one of the Great Moments in Female Pickup History. It wasn’t quite as impressive as what  Dave Chappelle’s character did, but it got my respect.

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GK’s Pregame Playlist

by GK on October 1, 2010

It’s been a tough year for party music — if you’re looking for something other than Lady Gaga, at least — but I wanted to pass along some new songs that might suit your pregaming needs:

Chromeo — I’m Not Contagious: Their entire new album, Business Casual, is full of sweet electronic dance songs, but this one has some particular swagger to it. I’m looking forward to walking up to a girl and saying, “I’ve got the kind of love that knocks you down.” If she’s really cool, she might recognize the lyrics.

Twin Shadow — I Can’t Wait: Yet more 80s revivalist dance music, but you know that’s what I like. As with the Chromeo song, I’m digging the cocky-yet-sensitive guy at the club: “Her face to me, I see she’s asking for a dance/You know she loves my moves.” Highly recommended for getting in the mood to take over a dance floor.

Freddie Gibbs — National Anthem (Fuck the World): This one’s for you bad-asses. I’m selective with my hip-hop, but Gibbs is an exceptional talent who should go a long way. The lyrics tell the typical hip-hop story of the underdog, but the way he delivers them — slow, then with a breathless ferocity — is great for an adrenaline rush.

!!! — The Most Certain Sure: A funky song from my favorite funky band. And I like the empowerment of a guy who gets stabbed in the back but feels liberated enough to go out on his own. Recommended for you solo pregamers.

OK, I delivered the songs. Now you go out this weekend and deliver the awesomeness.

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Thank You, Nerds

by GK on September 29, 2010 · 2 comments

Lately I’ve felt as if my waning days as a social coach are flashing before my eyes — one girl I’m dating turns out to be close friends with a guy I once coached, then I perform at a gong-show karaoke contest to find out one of the judges interviewed me for the Eye on the Bay TV piece this year (I still got gonged).

And as promised, last week I stood before 120 fellow nerds — potentially hostile ones — to explain and defend the pickup-artist culture that I’ve mostly left behind. Eleanor Roosevelt once said we should do one thing that scares us every day, and I’d say I crammed a month’s worth of fright into that appearance.

But it’s all the more reason why I had to do it. And much like Rocky won over the Russians to end the Cold War, I found common ground with my audience on a controversial topic. Nerd Nite turned out to be a lot of fun, and it was a memorable cherry on top to my days within the Community.

 I’ve been promised video of our shenanigans, and I’ll pass it on to you guys once I see it.

Coincidentally, I benefited from one of the very concepts I explained: social proof. My buddy Bart was putting on the event, and he gave me a warm introduction that got me off to a friendly start with the crowd: “GK is not a douchebag,” he assured them. I guess you had to be there, but it really did help.

My presentation included a slide comparing routines to the Dark Side of the Force, a fantastic question-answer session where the women present were especially engaged, and best of all, a 10-minute skit where I combined PUA terminology with seducing Bart in a wig. We even got an AMOG to try interrupting us. I don’t think Bart (or his wife) will ever forgive me for putting him through that, but it was still worth it.

I wanted all along to show a mainstream audience that it wasn’t just boa-wearing weirdos who learned this stuff, but also normal guys who just wanted to improve their social skills. I think I managed to do that.

In the process, I learned something, too: I wish I had coached women, at least once. I’m skeptical about how many girls can actually pick up guys, but I would have liked to try teaching it, and from the questions I was getting from the women there, I think there’s some demand to learn those skills. If nothing else, women with better flirting skills in San Francisco might placate whiners like this.

Anyway, there’s a Nerd Nite in cities around the world, so maybe I’ll make this presentation a traveling circus. Which guys want to wear a wig and let me hit on them?

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