Greg’s go music

by GK on May 20, 2010 · 1 comment

I’m a creature of routine before a night out with my friends. Pushups and dumbbell curls, check. Shower, check. Big dinner — with no garlic — while watching “Flight of the Conchords,” check.

That leaves getting dressed and leaving my apartment in the right mood, and you can bet I’ll have my laptop blasting something upbeat during that time. I thought I’d pass on what’s currently fitting the bill for me, and they’re both from one of my favorite artists.

LCD Soundsystem is pretty much standard listening for any hipster, and I’m no different. His new album, “This is Happening,” isn’t my favorite of his works, but it’s got a couple of bangers:

Pow Pow — I know the Black Eyed Peas put out a song with a similar title, but from this position, I can say this track is much better.

Drunk Girls: I love a dance song with a message. James Murphy mixes profound observations “Drunk girls know that love is an astronaut/It comes back but it’s never the same” with juvenile ones “Drunk girls wait an hour to pee.” And he’s right each time.

And it’s hard to knock this call to arms for every bar: “Oh, Oh, oh, I believe in waking up together/So, oh, oh, That means making eyes across the room.”

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Around the same time I read about the whiny San Francisco women represented in that SF Weekly article (and the whiny SF men and women on its comments page), I found a corresponding blog that’s gained some local popularity. The name says it all: Why There Are No Girls in San Francisco

Whoever this Samuel Snodgrass is, and he may be several people, all that sexual frustration must make him a great writer, because I’ve enjoyed reading it. I have no doubt he’s being tongue in cheek at times, too. And while I’m going to ridicule the blog here, I’m doing it as I would ridicule a good friend who’s acting a little lame. He, and all other complaining SF guys, should know better. 

I’m climbing on my Gucci-saddled high horse again, but I’m reminded of the season finale of “Mad Men,” where Don Draper is offended when Conrad Hilton moves his hotel account, and Hilton retorts, “I got everything I have on my own. It’s made me immune to those who complain and cry because they can’t. I didn’t take you for one of them, Don.” 

Be less like this guy ...

So I’m going to get a little Connie Hilton on you here. I understand the challenges for single SF men — I am one of them, after all — and I experience them often. I don’t object to WTANGISF and their male brethren because they’re totally off base; I object to them because they’re complaining about the food without bringing anything to the table. They dream of living in some mythical fantasy land where hot women throw themselves at them on the street — or as they call it, New York. And for them, I have little sympathy. 

I was in a hell far worse than San Francisco’s dating scene. I was living in San Jose — Man Jose to the locals — as a mid-20s virgin working five nights a week, including weekends. To me, San Francisco was a beacon of babe-itude one hour to the north, and I would make that hopeful drive on Thursday nights and get a fleeting taste of the social life I could enjoy if only I had better luck. Or a better schedule. Or better game. 

... and more like this guy.

But complaining got old, and soon I realized I had to make my own luck. So I started using my vacation days to get occasional weekend nights off, and as I had no friends, I started inviting myself to random SF social outings I discovered online or through people I met. I met attractive girls at these outings, and while I still lacked the courage to make anything happen with them, that would change within a year. I started Project 52, and once some unsuspecting girl did take away my V card, the floodgates opened, and my love affair with San Francisco women began. It continues to this day, even through my dry spells, and my own complaints. 

I’ve had two long-term relationships and many shorter-term ones with girls I’ve met in SF. All were smart, pretty, stylish and lots of fun. Many of them I met at dance clubs, where  they’re supposedly at their scarcest and bitchiest. So I would suggest to the Samuel Snodgrasses of the city that if they’re not scoring, they’re probably not trying. Or they’re hanging out in the Marina too often. 

I mean, seriously. You’re going to spend an entire entry lamenting how those SF Weekly girls didn’t approach you at the Tipsy Pig? Why didn’t you talk to them? Furthermore, unless you’re a tourist or a stock broker, what are you doing looking for girls at the Tipsy Pig in the first place? Hanging out in the Marina, unless you’re a 6-foot-2 ex-frat boy, is the ultimate rookie mistake. It would turn me into a Negative Nancy, too. 

For all the sweeping statements the blog makes about SF women’s unapproachability, I don’t see any examples of a guy actually trying to approach a chick. And that’s the common flaw of my frustrated SF friends — they’re slumping, but they’re not making an honest effort, and when they do it’s with a negative vibe. Which feeds their slump and SF women’s stereotype of men as wimps. 

Reading all the reasons why women suck here is like hanging out with that guy who keeps complaining about “the ratio” in the bar and doesn’t talk to the one or two cute girls that no guy is talking to. It’s onerous and ruins my own mood. 

Perhaps the problem is all the brain power among SF guys. Being the mathematical whizzes they are, they’re quick to point out how the odds are against them. And they’re right — there are more guys than girls in just about any bar we visit here, and as the night ages, the ratio does get worse. 

But so what? Is your game so poor that you need the ladies lined up 10 deep? Do you not see almost every other guy picking his butt in there? All it takes is one hottie to make your night, and she’s often there for the taking. And if you’re going to constantly blame her iPhone for not making a move, I’d say that’s natural selection weeding you out. 

A guy who needs all the conditions just right for him is no better than Vince Carter — spectacular when everything’s going his way against bad teams, but hit him just once and he’s a bawling mess. I’d suggest taking a page out of Han Solo’s handbook when flying through an asteroid field: “Never tell me the odds.”  

One reason I was losing interest in coaching, and why I have trouble making regular blog posts, is that I don’t like talking about this stuff every day. I’d rather go out and live my life. I can recall attending my Charisma Arts predecessor’s bootcamps soon after I took my own, and I’d see the same clumps of guys hanging around at a bar, talking about girls instead of talking to them. I eventually got out of that scene and found friends who were willing to mix things up. I can’t make the analogy of aimless talk to masturbation, because at least the latter involves doing something. 

I’d continue flogging this point of view, but it’s too easy. Instead, I’m just going to rattle off some reasons why there are girls in San Francisco: 

The day game: Ironically, this is the first reason given on WTANGISF, and it confounds me. I made my bones as a social coach helping guys meet women here during the day, and I can’t imagine many cities offering more opportunity for it than San Francisco. Pick any busy area — Union Square, Polk Street, Union Street, Dolores Park, Haight Street, etc. — and attractive girls are there. We have a different music, food or art festival almost every weekend.  

Most of my students who had never even tried meeting a girl during the day walked away with an instant date, a phone number or at least the best approach of their lives. Sure, women shot them down too, but if true beginners can have that kind of success, the Snodgrasses of the world should as well. So if the bar scene isn’t for you, the good news is you don’t need it here. Just man up and talk to someone. 

The 6s may think they’re 9s, but the 9s don’t: We’ve been over my dislike of rating women with a number. And I do see truth in the complaint about average-looking women in SF overrating themselves. But if you’re complaining about the 6s here, why aren’t you aiming higher? Of the women I rate as a 1 (and looks matter a lot to me), I don’t find them to be stuck up at all. The hotter ones tend to be more insecure (often too much so), in my experience. 

I’d suggest Mr. Snodgrass spend a couple of weeks in L.A., where I grew up. Not only do the 6s think they’re 9s, but also the 9s think they’re 12s, and unless you’re a producer, you’re liable to be seen as a 3. I’ll take SF girls any day, thank you. 

While it may be true that SF lacks the runway-model, designer-label, ditzy demographic of places like L.A. or Miami, I don’t feel much of a loss there. I find it funny that many of the SF guys who complain about the lack of such women have little in common with them. Cute, pretty and beautiful — with brains and humor — are still in abundance here, and that works for me. 

And I’ll say it again — if you’re so unhappy with girls’ looks here, I suggest you grow up, stop looking at them as numbers and start looking at them as people. The hot ones might just start looking at you differently, too. 

80s nights: Anyone who says clubbing sucks for meeting girls is clearly going to the wrong spots. If I walk into a club playing house, techno or strictly hip-hop, I probably went there by mistake. There are multiple 80s-themed nights every Saturday here — Bootie, That 80s Show and Leisure, to name a few — not including Thursdays at the Cat Club. I’ve met lots of fun, normal, attractive girls at these places. A girl I met at Bootie recently conceded it must be like shooting fish in a barrel there if you’re a straight guy who can dance. And she’s right.

No need to impress with your car: You can drive a red Cavalier and that’s just fine with most girls here. Heck, you don’t even need a car. I’ve had SF dates on the bus and wasn’t judged at all for it. Try pulling that off in L.A.

The nerd factor: Maybe it’s porn’s fault. But it seems a lot of local guys are aiming for the square peg to their round hole (seriously, no pun intended). If you live here, you’re probably a geek — so why are you so obsessed with finding a girl with the looks and personality of a sorority queen or the Best Actress at the AVN awards? If you’re not a Type A guy, you’re probably not going to last with a Type A girl. 

Some self awareness would go a long way. Then you might realize that the best girls for you are right under your nose here in San Francisco.  That geeky-yet-cute girl wearing the casual top and jeans with boots at the other side of the cafe may not dress like a runway model, but she might have a lot more in common with you than the one who does. And commonality is an essential ingredient to chemistry, which is an essential ingredient to getting laid or in a relationship. Her flirting skills may need work, but chances are yours do too. So give her a chance.

I don’t claim to be above complaining — I’ve done it too during my slow periods. And some may think that I’m overlooking the data with all this macho talk. To an extent, I am. It’s easier to cop out by blaming circumstance and living alone than it is to do the work and face rejection or disappointment. But I guarantee you there’s a lonely guy in every major city wishing he were somewhere else. 

I’ve had my adversity, too. Have you been mentioned in a magazine as the guy “fragged” by a girl because you were coaching guys, only to read about her hooking up with another pickup guy in the same article? Well, that happened to me early this year. Didn’t stop me from meeting some awesome girls since then, or from keeping my humor intact. 

To Samuel Snodgrass, and to similarly beaten-down single guys living in my favorite city, I present a challenge: If you truly think there are no girls here, look me up. I’ll arrange for us to spend some time together — no charge, of course — and I will point out every good-looking woman I see. I will then dare you to contend that there was no one you could have talked to that day or evening. If you’re right, I’ll apologize. But if not, my request is simple: quit complaining, and start acting.

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This is a topic I’ve been wanting to cover for months. For all of San Francisco’s sophistication — its cuisine, wine and culture — we seem to be resorting to some childish temper tantrums when it comes to one thing: hooking up. Or, rather, not hooking up.

Both sexes are guilty of this, and I’ll get around to the guys later. But this one is for the ladies, and after giving two smart women some love on my blog recently, it’s time for some tough love. (I’m sure my gay and lesbian friends here could use the same discussion, but since my expertise is in hetero relations, I’m sticking to that.)

I’ve heard all the complaints from women out here. All the good ones in San Francisco are taken, or gay. Guys are too vague here and don’t have the guts to show interest. Or they’re immature and just want to play the field into their 40s.

I’ve especially wanted to write about this city’s love of whine since reading the popular SF Weekly article earlier this year, an entertaining piece where a famous pickup artist takes some frustrated local women on the town to pick up men. (I have a more personal reason for taking an interest in that article, and I’ll mention it in my next post.) I love the idea of sarging for guys — if women approached more men, they’d be a lot less single. One girl approached me at a club as I was taking a break from dancing eight years ago, and she became my girlfriend for a year.

But centuries of hard wiring and decades of pop-culture programming are tough to break, and I can see why most of you girls just can’t do it. I have a little chivalry in me, too, and if I were a woman, I’d probably want the man of my dreams to get the conversation started. A little machismo is a good thing. It even worked for the homeless guy in that article.

So no, that’s not the bone I have to pick with you. You should want a man with some cajones, and I know San Francisco men aren’t exactly the best endowed in that area. I feel you, and I’ve tried to help.

But you could make it a little easier for us sometimes. When I watched that scene in “Hitch” where Will Smith says he’s just trying to help women get out of their own way so they can meet a great guy, I nodded my head in agreement vigorously.

So here are some friendly suggestions that women might learn from, and guys might feel some catharsis reading.

We’re not all gay: I know we dress well, smile a lot and like to dance, but just because our shoes match our belts doesn’t mean we like belts and whips. Or that we’re lacking in manliness. Though I must say, I kind of like being mistaken for gay because it makes demonstrating my staunch heterosexuality that much more fun. At any rate, don’t presume a man gay before straight; get to know him first.

The odds aren’t against you: Both genders in SF use this as a crutch. Yes, the gay population is higher here, but so is the male population as a whole, especially at meeting spots like bars and parties. I’m surprised if I find myself at a bar or even a dance floor where the women outnumber the men. And if you’re really hunting for guys in the Castro, I have to question your strategy. The rest of the city is crawling with single, smart dudes. So stop using that as an excuse. And in an emergency, there’s always Man Jose to the south.

You’re not perfect, and neither are we: You might blame Disney for creating an inflated expectation of men; I don’t blame you for it. We’re not even Prince, let alone Prince Charming. But I blame Disney for making many women think they’re Cinderella. Newsflash, Miss Thang: you’re not a princess. Monarchy is antiquated for government, and it’s likewise antiquated for relationships. We’re all just common folk trying to get along here.

I’m as picky as the next guy when I’m scanning a room of women. But if you haven’t even talked to anyone yet and are claiming “There’s nobody I’d want to bone with,” maybe you can’t see the good men because you’re too busy looking down.

I know you like your gadgets in the Bay Area, but men are not an iPhone app. You can’t customize us according to your preferences (it’s one reason I dislike online dating). We’re flawed and lumpy and nerdy and we don’t always know what to do. Once you accept that, you can better differentiate between flaws you can put up with, and the ones you can’t. Once you get past the shyness, I’d say San Francisco men have a whole lot to offer.

But if you want a guy who’s rich, and tall, and assertive, and sensitive, and has lots of free time, and has a great body, and likes the opera, and paints, and will remember your favorite Jane Austen novel, I think you might want to shop for the perfect cat instead.

And I know women here deny being too picky. But I’ve met enough of them to know they can be.

Bring something to the table: This is related to the Cinderella sense of entitlement that I referred to earlier. I can see why women here have a high opinion of themselves. They’re cultured, successful and have intimidating levels of education.

But then again, so did lots of my male students with Charisma Arts. As those guys had to learn, your resume doesn’t get you very far in a conversation, and if you want to mate with someone of high quality, social skills are essential. I remember one blonde bragging to my buddy at a bar about her Harvard degree, and he walked away from her on the spot.

If there’s one personal complaint I have with San Francisco women, it’s that their flirting IQ is lacking. East Coast women flirt with bluntness, and Southern women do it with smiles and touches. Both ways work, as does the sophisticated wit that so many SF girls have when they show it. But I don’t care how good you look — if you’re just going to stand there and make platonic conversation while I crack all the jokes, I’m not calling you. And asking me questions about myself isn’t enough. I want to know what makes you you. So take a page from the Big Four and talk about yourself a little.

It seems like career women in their 30s here especially have this problem. I almost exclusively date 20-somethings not because I only want hot young girls, but because I find 20-somethings to be more normal. 

Help us approach you: You want us to take the initiative? Fine, I’m on board with that. But you could take those oversized sunglasses off in the mall. Or smile when you see me from across the bar. Or stop texting and fiddling with your iPhone. Or take your iPod off when you’re on the treadmill or the bus. If you want us to be your white knight, at least take off some of your armor.

Stop acting like you don’t want to be hit on: I was at a restaurant with a date last week and this girl next to us was complaining to her girlfriends about this “creepy” guy following her on the street. But my companion and I agreed that she wasn’t saying that to complain; she was saying that to brag. I actually read a San Francisco woman saying that if a guy approaches her in a bar, he’s not worth talking to.

It reminded me of an old “Saturday Night Live” sketch where a homeless guy looking into a restaurant is making lewd gestures toward three of the four women inside. Each one acts like she’s offended, but the fourth one is so hurt for being left out that the other ladies had to pay the homeless guy to hit on her too. Yup, that’s women in a nutshell.

You see, we men are literal people. When you say it’s wrong for us to approach you in virtually every social and non-social situation, we tend to think you mean it. So guys become chicken-sh*t about walking up to you, and then you complain about how you can’t meet a good guy. It’s a vicious cycle, and it could breed all intelligent people out of existence if we’re not careful.

Most guys do want to commit: We just want to be sure it’s with the right person. And we don’t want to be forced into it. If you’re chasing rich playboys who you know are non-committal, don’t blame the rest of us.

Date an Asian guy: It’s pretty much understood here that Asian guys have an uphill battle in the dating scene, both with Asian and non-Asian girls. Part of it is cultural — a lot of Asian men are raised to be polite and career oriented, which hurts them with women — but I think it also reflects some negative stereotypes. Now, we all have our preferences of what we’re attracted to — my friends mock me for avoiding most Asian girls, in fact — but face facts, ladies. If you’re denying a large chunk of the male population here without even giving them a chance, you’re making things a lot tougher on yourself. So take an Asian guy for a test drive. I hear they’re pretty durable under the hood.

The SF boys are on the chopping block next.

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My new smell

by GK on May 6, 2010

I should apologize for the lag in posts. Work has overwhelmed me during the week, and I’ve spent my weekends enjoying my social life. I’ve literally had to choose between going on a date and writing a blog post a couple of times. I hope you’ll understand why I chose the date.

One of those girls did help my blogging, though. She gave a positive review of the new cologne I picked out. OK, she said it smelled a little like perfume, but she still liked how it smelled it on me.

For you guys who are cologne newbies, I should explain my selection process. My skin packs more oil than Saudi Arabia, and dudes like me need to choose a fresh, summery scent over a spicy, wintery one. This is because oily skin tends to make the scent stronger.

Lots of girls complimented how I smelled when I wore my cologne of 2009, Gucci by Gucci. But I wanted to mix it up, and fortunately I found a solid replacement that claims to smell like a mojito. It’s Guerlain Homme, and while I can’t drink it, I do think it’s a solid cologne.

I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re going for a macho, powerful scent. But for a metro guy like me, it suits me fine. It’s light, but it also lets you know it’s there. And unlike Gucci by Gucci, one spray will last you the whole day (no marketing slogan intended).

If you’re wondering what kind of cologne is best for you, I suggest spending an hour at a department store or Sephora and taking turns spritzing cards. When you find one you like, try it on your skin, and see how it smells a half-hour later. If you still like it, that’s when you’ve found a keeper. Guerlain should do as my scent of 2010, at least until I trade her in for a younger model.

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A letter for us guys, from Big Red

by GK on April 20, 2010 · 4 comments

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Be yourself, and she’ll follow

by GK on April 14, 2010 · 3 comments

Another week, another guest blogger here at Club GK. And unlike Augusta National Golf Club and the Catholic priesthood, we do accept women.  

Actually, the writer I’ve invited would probably prefer to be called a girl — that’s one thing I like about her. Her name’s Vivian, and she runs a wit-laden dating blog called Bread and Boys. Two of my favorite things are cheese and girls, and I’m thinking I should buy the domain name while I still can.

Full disclosure: the two of us have starred on each other’s blogs before, but only as subject fodder. I discovered her site last year after she wrote a post justifiably slamming me for pulling a disappearing act after dating her. (I’d blogged about her first.) Looking back, her point is valid: disappearing is not one of Spider-Man’s superpowers.

Anyway, I’m honored to have her here, and I think you’ll enjoy her debut. I know a lot of us late-bloomin’ guys have been conditioned to distrust any girl advice from a girl, namely because a lot of the advice she gave us was vague at best (“Oh, I should be a gentleman? Thanks!’), and misleading at worst (“Buy fancy dinners and flowers? You got it!”). But I think guys who are discovering all the dating and pickup material that men are producing, which is often one size fits all, would be well-advised to consider what Viv has to say. So I’ll just let her say it:

Taking a stroll down guy-aisle, I see books, manuals, and seriously scary self-help gurus struttin’ their wares galore. After reading their promises to: Get the POWER to ATTRACT the relationship you want; How to Meet and Attract Women, Anywhere, Anyplace, Anytime; How To Exploit Her Inner Psycho…you’d think women were crazy, creepy, and scary monsters that need to be poked, prodded, and seduced into your man cave. But it shouldn’t be all about the thrill of the hunt and gettin’ the girl. It’s more about getting the girl who complements your own unique quirky-cool-dashing style.

It shouldn't be monkey-see, monkey-do

I seriously despise the folks that say, “Dating…it’s a numbers game.” Unless you’re a financial wiz, and numbers also happen to get her all hot and bothered, this is NOT cool to say to a girl. However, the ones who believe it’s a numbers game are easy to spot; sarging on anything that moves. That’s like throwing poo on the wall to see if it sticks. Monkeys throw their poop as a defense mechanism and when they’re mad. You will never impress a quality girl by flinging poo. Dating is also not a version of the economic principle of supply and demand, because surrendering yourself to the magic that happens by expressing yourself honestly will actually allow you to say “this is where the MAGIC happens” like those cool kids on MTV.

If you’ve ever been wrapped up in a moment with a great girl, it’s like a stampede of unicorns where impossible feats of abracadabra are born — simply magical. And a good way to increase your percentage of these magical moments is by figuring out if the girl right for you before setting foot on Never Never Land. I’m just saying there’s no use practicing on a girl that you’re not truly into because you’ll be flying on autopilot when the right girl comes along and she’ll hate that you’re acting all fake.

So here’s the truth, from the lips of a seriously cool (average) chick — us girls, we’re not looking for perfection. Every once in a while Hollywood decides to make a movie to tell me that He’s Just Not That Into You. That any boy in possession of all his marbles would inherently KNOW to call the girl when he likes her and then would proceed to chase her down until she’s won over by his sheer awesomeness. But what if I don’t like playing with all the marbles?!? The damaged and broken are much more interesting…awkward and geeky are back in vogue! Do what feels natural, for you. I understand the principles of upping your game and learning the art of conversation, but never forget who you are in the process. If you’re a sweet talkin’ Goodfella, or fist pumpin’ guido — that’s perfectly acceptable. Imperfections are sexy. So rock that dimple you got from falling off the upper bunk bed. Because the right girl will think it’s pretty darned sexy too.

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Baseball season is back, so it makes sense that I’m going to the bullpen on this post. I want to get some different perspectives for you folks, and the one guest blogger I had to have was Dirk Manley. He’s making his GK Shares Game debut today.

I’ve been a fan of Dirk for years on the Charisma Arts forum, and more recently on his blog, Being Manley. My only problem with him is that his common-sense advice on women is so spot-on and well-articulated that I’m a little jealous.

Like any good relief pitcher, Dirk’s a great closer, and for you guys wondering how to escalate things with a girl, whether it’s five minutes or five days after meeting her, this is some million-dollar wisdom. You can try all the fancy-schmancy, passive-aggressive techniques you want, but coffee is for closers only. Are you man enough to take it? I know you are. Enjoy:

Hey guys,

Greg asked me to write a little something about escalation.  And since he’s one of the few instructors in the community I respect, I couldn’t refuse. 

The first thing to realize about escalation is that it’s not about what she wants.  That is, when I escalate, I care more about expressing my desires for her than if I lose her as a result of making my desires known.  Now, I’m not gonna rape her if she rejects my advances.  One of my biggest turn-ons is knowing she wants me.  Call me needy, but I like women who are attracted to me.  At the same time, if I am turned on, I’m gonna make a move and not wait for her to tell me it’s OK. 

Lets say I’m at a deli.  She’s the cute short blonde ahead of me.  At this point we’re still strangers.  So how do you take it to that next level, potential mate? 

It takes brass you-know-whats to be a closer.

Well, how do you know you want her just yet?  Sure she looks cute, but is that all it takes to get you turned on and ready to get busy?  If so, just say hi and be direct.  But me, I need more than that.  So I wait a bit and look for anything that interests me.  If I can’t find anything, I might try being direct, but even if I don’t and she disappears, I don’t sweat it.  She did nothing to interest me, and if I’m not interested, I don’t waste my time. 

She orders a salad to go.  A salad!  Doesn’t she know it’s not cool to order a salad in a deli?  I don’t even know if I want her anymore.  So after she looks at me place my order for a heart-clogging pastrami on rye loud enough for the pope to hear, I give her the stink eye.  Now something incredible happens.  Her discomfort turns into laughter to release some tension.  Which gets me laughing a little because hey, laughter is contagious. 

She’s back in the potential mate category.  She doesn’t take herself too seriously and I can make her laugh, which makes my ego huge, which makes something else a little bigger. 

But now what?  Do I just go over and introduce myself?  Do I say something clever and witty?  Well, yes.  Anything works.  She’s already laughed and I haven’t even done anything but express contempt for her faux pas.  She’s into me, so anything I say and do will work. 

So I do what any self-assured, self-confident, introvert would do — I raise my brow and ask “a salad?” mockingly. Why tease her?  Because it’s the first thing on my mind.  If I say the first thing in my head, I don’t have to think about what to say.  The first thing in my head is my instincts telling me what to do.  My instincts have never led me wrong.  Yet my fears kept me friendless and sexless for 25+ years.  And, I can say this without ever having met you, the same goes for you, even if you don’t know it yet. 

Then I invite her to taste my meat.  Of course, I don’t use those words.  I could, but I’m not clever enough to think of that on the spot.  I invite her to take a bite out of my sandwich before she leaves.  It is, after all, the only reason to eat at this deli, and she ordered a salad.  Simple, boring, but good enough.  Why?  Because I believe in the tenet “always be closing”.  Those who accept my invitations want me.  Those who don’t accept either need to warm up or aren’t interested.  Regardless of their desire, I only have to close to find out which camp they are in. 

But the invite I make, the close I go for, depends on what I want and the amount of time I have.  For example, she ordered it to go, so I wouldn’t ask her to eat with me*.  And it takes more than a cute girl who laughs at my jokes to get me naked.  Not much more, but more.  So I don’t ask her back to my place for a quickie.  I don’t even ask for her number or a date because I don’t know if I’d enjoy talking to her let alone dropping $20-$30 on drinks or food and a couple of hours of my life.  I value myself and my time that much. 

So I make an invite to take a bite of my sandwich which keeps her around till my sandwich gets here, which gives us a chance to flirt and otherwise decide if I really want her (which I haven’t yet decided at this point).  She could reject my invite and me.  But the point is that I make myself open to rejection.  I express my desire while not worrying about losing her.  If I lost her over some food, what other problems would I have to deal down the line?  I come out on top regardless of how she reacts to my invite. 

But let’s say I get the feeling she’s into me, just not into tasting my meat — yet.  Well, I could say something like “you’ve soundly rejected my offer of meat, so how about a drink instead?”  I don’t bother with saying “I think you’re sexy because of your sense of humor” or any such thing.  If I didn’t think she was attractive, I wouldn’t flirt with her.  I wouldn’t ask her out.  I don’t have to justify my actions to anyone.  But if she asked why, I’d say it.  “I think you’re cute despite having awful taste in food.  Maybe you have some other redeeming qualities.”  I’m not afraid of letting people know my reasons, I just don’t feel compelled to do so every time I express my desires.  This helps me focus on closing rather than distracted by thinking up justifications, clever or otherwise. 

So now we’re at a bar, we’re laughing, and flirting and touching each other and all around having a good time.  How do I make that move from awesome date to awesome mate?  I just make it!  I’m having a good time, so I like her.  And she likes me!  If she didn’t, she wouldn’t be out with me.  If she didn’t, she’d look like she wanted to be somewhere else.  And if she did, I’d let her go.  I got better things to do than to try to impress Debbie Downer, even if she was into me.  Like wash my car.  But she likes me.  And I like her.  So I say it first.  Or maybe I do it first.  I let my eyes slide down to her cleavage (she’s showing it off for a reason, AND, if I didn’t want to look at her cleavage, I’d find someone whose cleavage did interest me and not waste her or my time).  Or I tap her lightly on the butt when we walk to the dance floor.  Or maybe I do my favorite move and while I’m holding her hand, I caress her palm with my middle finger while letting my eyes say “I want you.”  Or I just say “Hey, what flavor lip gloss are you wearing?”  Or even “I’m going to kiss you in 5, 4, 3, 2…”  And then kiss her. 

The best advice I got from a woman was that sometimes cheesy can be good.  Since then, I made it a point to not hide any natural cheesiness.  My point is, I do exactly what expresses my interest as simply as possible.  I don’t try to make my moves subtle or covert.  I don’t try to be smooth.  I don’t chat up everyone in the bar, showing her how cool I am or otherwise impress her.  I only go after what I want directly and simply.  I close.  And by trying to close, I find out if she’s 1) into me, 2) into me but wants to take it slow, or 3) not into me. 

When it comes time to go back to my place or hers, it’s the same deal.  “Wanna come up for some coffee,” “want to see my stamp collection,” or even a simple “want to come in?”  Anything works if she’s into you.  And if she’s not into you, nothing works.  Not even “I’ve got a check for a million dollars with your name on it”. 

Go for the close, and you’re a step closer to getting the women you want. 

Just know who and what you want. 

*But even if I did ask her to eat with me knowing she’s ordered to go, it’s not a deal breaker, I just change the invite after she lets me know.  This isn’t high school.  You’re not gonna be strung up on the flagpole for asking something stupid.  And she’s not going to put you in a do not date category because you asked her to eat with you when she ordered to go.  Learn to roll with the punches.  Life ain’t perfect.  And neither are you.  Stop trying to be perfect.  Acknowledge your imperfections and go after what you want anyway.  Those people are far more interesting than Peter Perfect and Mr. I’m-Not-Good-Enough.

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Is pickup dead? Never!

by GK on April 1, 2010 · 2 comments

With the relative Armageddon surrounding Charisma Arts, I’ve noticed some people declaring this whole “pickup” thing dead. I’ve been doing some musing on the topic.

Guys just aren’t going to pay $1,500 or more to learn how to meet girls in this economy, they say, and the whole culture of peacocking clothes, “alpha” body posture and opening lines is outdated anyway. Mystery is more of a punch line than a role model to many folks, the message boards where guys share conquests and techniques are drying up, and all the so-called secrets of seduction — sold unscrupulously for thousands of dollars as DVDs — are common knowledge now.

I agree with just about all this. The teaching material I discovered as a frustrated virgin eight years ago is the Myspace to a Twitter culture. Only the true newbies are still into palm-reading or reciting cocky lines, and even CA teachings such as relate-reward and disqualification seem overrated to me now (though at least they’re useful social skills).  

The idea of having any girl you want by practicing the right maneuver on her is increasingly seen as an unhealthy fallacy, as it should be. If I were to write a book on how to attract women, I would struggle to make it even 10 pages long, because there isn’t much to say other than “be yourself” and “lead.”

Perhaps the “Community” aspect of this whole thing, with its techniques, tricks and field reports, is receding. And I’m glad about that. But I don’t see it evaporating, either. I may be retired, but bootcamp coaches still abound — especially here in the Bay Area — our local Lair still packs in wannabe pickup artists, and Mystery and Wayne (along with some newer pickup stars) can sell out a seminar in any major city. And plenty of people who aren’t plugged into that nerdier, less-mainstream side of things want to know more about attraction.

And that’s cool with me, too. Because the idea of picking up the opposite sex (or same sex) was around long before the lingo was invented, and it’s not going anywhere. Jeez, cavemen were literally picking up chicks. And with plenty of single-parent children like me out there, someone’s got to tell it like it is. Even the shadier likes of Mystery and DeAngelo have taught me something valuable.

So easy, a caveman could do it.

 Where I hope this all leads, and I see it already happening, is to a more organic place. Where pickup is less a skill than a natural state of being, and people are tailoring the technique to the person rather than the other way around. Over the course of my instructor days, I became less interested in teaching a method, and more interested in just teaching a guy what he had to know to be happy. To express one’s unique self with honesty and passion is a hell of a lot more attractive than being alpha. This I have learned, and this I would teach.

But “pickup” dying? I don’t think so. There’s a reason why Cosmo Kramer called it “the timeless art of seduction.” As long as men and women yearn to connect with each other, or simply bed each other, we’re going to talk about it, learn about it and practice it. A co-worker of mine in another job, who is a middle-aged woman, recently told me the story of how she met her husband of 15 years on a cross-country flight. She got the conversation started by asking him what he was reading, and they had a date set by the time they landed.

Now that’s how you pick up someone.

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