Lessons about ladies from the Juggler

by GK on February 1, 2010 · 4 comments

I’m loath to go so long between blog entries, but I’m back to juggling three jobs, not including my screenplay, so my free time is scarce. But stay tuned, because I do have some good posts I want to share with you.

Speaking of jugglers, I spent a day in Seattle two weeks ago with Mr. Charisma Arts himself, Wayne Elise. It was my first time seeing him as a single guy, and watching him lead a portion of our bootcamp in a bookstore reminded me why he’s the social superstar that he is. I can get a little cocky about my instructor credentials these days, but Wayne keeps me humble — not just because he’s my boss, but also because he knows his stuff better than anyone else I’ve met.

I picked the Juggler’s brain for flirting tips that have been on his mind since he turned single, and he gave me a few. They mainly revolve around being in the moment, having the woman’s full attention and making a conversation personal. I thought I’d share them with you here:

Be reactive when you approach: This means not thinking of what you’re going to tell the woman in advance, and simply reacting to what she does when you approach. I’d never thought of it that way, but having seen Wayne do it, I can see why it’s so effective. Mind you, I think openers are overrated — even a bad opener can be overcome as long as your vibe is good — but this is good advice at any point of an interaction.

During the daytime at a bootcamp, I often tell students to simply walk up to the girl, tell her she’s cute and offer to start a short conversation with her. I’ve seen this lead to instant dates and numbers many times, and it’s an eye-opener for guys who think women don’t want to be approached. But Wayne’s way works because it begins the interaction in the best place: in the moment, with the woman’s focus.

Imagine a guy walking up to a woman in a coffee shop, planning to give the same golden opener I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Only when he starts talking to her, she’s startled by him. But he doesn’t acknolwedge this because he’s so intent on his opener, and then he starts talking about his day and asking questions, getting little back from her. Finally, he loses his nerve and walks away.

What’s wrong with his picture? He was being too active. The problem with thinking of your opener ahead of time is that you may be oblivious to what’s actually happening when you approach her. On the other hand, if you approach her with your mind blank and react to what happens, you’re likelier to pick up on the little things, which will show her you’re actually paying attention. Women like guys who pay attention.

If she smiles when you’re standing next to her, mention her smile. If she gives you a serious look, mention that. If she’s singing, sing with her. Then give her a chance to react to you. Which leads me to my next lesson:

 Use silence; don’t let silence use you: I’ve written a little about this, such as in my post about being in the moment on a date. But if a guy is afraid of silence and is constantly talking or asking questions, he’s not giving the woman a chance to commit or react to him. This means he may lose her attention, and if he doesn’t create any silence at the beginning, he may not have her attention at all.

Next time you approach a woman, rather than focusing on an opening line, think about getting her attention first. Wayne gave a good example at the bookstore when, rather than compliment a woman on her jacket as she walked by, he said “Excuse me,” waited until she stopped and turned toward him, allowed some silence to build and then complimented her on it. She actually blushed.

Also, rather than rack your brain about what to say next as she’s talking, just listen to her, and let some silence pass before you respond. She might give you all the conversation material you need.

Win the battle to keep it real: “There’s a Zen battle going on between me and the girl,” Wayne said. “Am I going to make her be real or is she going to make me feel fake?” I know I’ve been there, where it seemed as if the girl and I were having a personal conversation — she might even be asking me questions — but it still felt a bit on auto-pilot.

Wayne’s suggestion: If a woman asks you what kind of work you do, ask her, “Do you really care or are you just making conversation?” This will take her out of auto-pilot real quick, and it creates tension — a vastly underutilized flirting tool. The point here isn’t to show her up — it’s just to make sure that she’s really committed to talking to you. If she is, she’ll shape up and have a more genuine conversation.

One related tip from Wayne: a truly personal conversation should include you and her, not you or her. Talk about your guitar lesssons, but then start talking about what a torrid love affair the two of you will have when you start your own rock band.

I put this into practice that night in Seattle, when even with the flu I managed to hit it off with a cute hipster nurse. I wasn’t in town long enough for us to have a date, but we made sure to plan it for next time. Hint: it involves lots of dancing to indie rock.

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Farewell, and thanks, to a friend

by GK on January 19, 2010 · 11 comments

If you’re more into posts about parties and picking up girls than death and inspiration, feel free to skip this one. But if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to remember someone special. Perhaps he’ll have the same effect on you that he had on me.

In July 2007, just days after I’d been laid off from my job of 6 1/2 years, I took a two-week tour of the Greek islands. The trip was booked months earlier, and I wasn’t in the best state of mind for a trip of debauchery and socializing. But I hoped that being thousands of miles away from my worries would help me to begin overcoming them. I didn’t know it at the time, but I met someone on my tour who was doing the same thing.

His name was Demetrios, but none of us called him that. We called him D, or “Dirty D,” because of his raunchy sense of humor. He was a 5-foot-7, chubby, Greek bowling ball of fun with a devilish smile and a superhuman alcohol tolerance, and among the 35 of us party kids who traveled together, he was the most liked. Perhaps it’s because he made us feel so liked.

It’s also because he didn’t have a fake bone in his body, and he lived every minute of our trip as if it was his last. After one night of partying, he was the first of us to splash into the resort pool at 4:30 a.m. even though it was prohibited, and that same morning, he climbed into the girls’ bedroom through a window, only to be greeted with laughs. I’ve seen some “high-on-life” people who were putting on an act, but D was the real thing.

He and I bonded my first day there, as we made everyone’s eyes roll by repeatedly quoting “Seinfeld” jokes. I have a video of us singing a horrible, drunken rendition of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” But we also spent time on the beach talking about the horrors of war our ancestors went through. We both chased girls over there — he better than I — but I had a whirlwind bromance with him.

It wasn’t until we parted ways and I returned home that D told me he was spending that year exorcising all kinds of personal demons, and he had done so by having a blast. I used that as fuel to overcome my own insecurities about no longer working full time in a dying industry, and a few months later I found a new calling with Charisma Arts. D lived in Australia, but I vowed to visit him in Melbourne or travel again so we could get into more trouble together.

That never happened, however. We kept in touch, but real life and geography got between us. I last communicated with him when I left a happy-birthday note on his Facebook profile on Oct. 20. He responded with a “Seinfeld” line.

Four days ago, I went to his profile again, only to find a series of “rest-in-peace” messages. Stunned, I e-mailed the girlfriend listed on his profile to find out what happened, and she told me D was hospitalized with complications from Swine Flu in November. Three weeks later, he was gone. By coincidence, our tour guide was visiting me from Australia this past weekend, and I had to break the news to him. This is the second time in less than two years that a friend of mine has died in his mid-30s, and my heart is heavy right now.

I don’t want to waste your time with a bunch of “life-is-short, seize-the-day” cliches. You’ve heard all that. But I will let D speak for himself about his transformation, and perhaps it will inspire you to take the risks you haven’t been taking. (Or at least attempt No. 7 on his checklist.)

D was writing an autobiography (he wasn’t short on ego), and he e-mailed me this excerpt two years ago:

“Hey there everybody, 
Just another philosophical moment and a little bit of background of who Dirty D is. You know i am not just about alcohol and falling off balconies!!!! lol!!!!!
Twelve months ago, yes indeed I had my heart broken again and in a similar fashion to the last time it was broken, so again I found myself climbing back into my cave to shy away from the world that I believed had wronged me. I started to point fingers and shift blame to find solace in my life but it was not working, so instead I was starting to find I was looking for sympathy to mend my broken heart rather than a solution on how I was going to go forwards in life.
As the end of the year began to dawn on me I started to look at life in a different light altogether I wiped the tears from my eyes and simply said never again shall I cry and feel sorry for myself and realised hey, while it doesn’t take 2 wrongs to make a right it does take two people to make a wrong in life.  I started to believe that you must accept blame for what goes wrong you can’t always be a victim. I mean how boring would that be.
As I did this I started gaining a confidence that I never thought I had in me, got up from my desk at work and walked out. I went home that day I studied every problem that My Company had in the last 10 years and was prepared to fix it myself believing it was a way of sorting my own issues out.
After collecting all the data I needed I then approached the CEO at my work telling him these are the problems I have found in my analysis this is how I believe I can fix it – Can I champion it. Several days later he called me back into the office and told me I had a promotion and also told me that the way I spoke to him that day made him at first want to fire me but then saw the work I had put in and the passion I showed that he had to have a look.
I named it project accelerate because sometimes in life like in business you have to go in full force to go forward even if some of the road must be traveled blindly.
My next step was to do everything I wanted to do in the last 5 years and said was going to but never did. I went Skydiving bungee jumping and of course traveled across the world to see sights that interested me and got chased by the bulls.
My life goals have changed and I have ticked off many with many more to come I mean in twelve months I ticked off the following:
1) Move out of home. (By the way I said this on a Monday and had moved by Thursday)
 2) Get a promotion at work or leave altogether.
 3) Go bungee jumping
 4) Go sky diving
 5)Run with the Bulls in Spain
 6)Travel on my own 
 7) Make a sex video with a random girl I pick up, with her consent of course. (GK note: D did this while traveling with us in Santorini. He was a man of his word.)
 8) Live for every moment as if it were my last
I could get hit by a bus tomorrow but the most important thing I would take with me as a final memory would be that I lived and gave eveything my best shot and still came out on top.
I have the knowledge now that even if I lose occasionally I still win cos I tried and gave it my best shot and sometimes to take a step forward in life you have to take several back.”

Bon voyage, buddy.

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Getting your mack on at the museum

by GK on January 12, 2010 · 1 comment

The more I look at venues for socializing and dating in San Francisco, the more I’m seeing that museums have become the new bars. That suits a nerd like me just fine, and it might suit you.

I’m a strong advocate of dance clubs, at least if there’s 80s music involved. But if the bar or club scene is too advanced or just too loud for you — and it is for some of my students — I suggest checking out your local museum calendar for evening events. If you’re in a decent-sized city, there’s a good chance you’ve got something.

Some benefits of a museum party: you can drink, but the energy level won’t be as frantic, it probably won’t be as crowded, there are conversation topics all around you, and the women are likelier to have a respectable education. Or at worst, they went to UCLA.

For you Bay Area types, I thought I’d list off some options in San Francisco that happen regularly:

NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences (Every Thursday): I gave this one my approval last spring. It isn’t quite the hot spot it was then, but it’s still mighty good. If you can’t make conversation out of watching penguins have sex as you and her drink wine, I have nothing to tell you. There’s dancing, and if you’re on a date and want to find a place to get frisky, there are plenty of nooks and crannies upstairs.

Friday Nights at the de Young (Every Friday): I haven’t been to this one in a couple of years, but I was impressed with it (If I get a cute woman’s number anywhere, even at the DMV, I’m impressed with the venue). It’s a chill, lounge-like atmosphere with some kind of live singing or dancing, usually of the exotic variety. And if you want to make an instant date of it with the girl you just met there, you can check out the King Tut exhibit until March.

SF Museum of Modern Art (Every Thursday): The museum doesn’t make any big deal of it, but it stays open every Thursday until 8:45. You could do a lot worse for a happy-hour spot, and as with most museums, there’s plenty to talk about. It’s modern art, so you can interpret that canvas of squiggly lines any way you want. This place is better in non-stormy weather, when you can take advantage of their rooftop bar.

After Dark at the Exploratorium (First Thursday of the month): I haven’t been to this place since I was but a child, but it appears to have lost its innocence right along with me. They’re offering “adult-oriented programming,” and their next event is called “Sexplorations: Exploring Nature’s Reproductive Strategies.” I can’t vouch for it yet because I haven’t checked it out, but I give them credit for trying. It looks like they’ve got some other cool stuff here, too.

OK, folks, put on your stunner pocket protectors and go mingle!

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On teasing women

by GK on January 5, 2010

A recent student of mine wanted to understand “push-pull,” one of the tools in the Charisma Arts toolbox.  I’m a guy who likes simple language — witness how with the Big Four, I advise talking about yourself and telling her you like her instead of focusing on “I statements” and the “SOI.”

And whether you call it push-pull, negging, cocky-funny or whatever else lives in the seduction lexicon, I just like to call it teasing the girl. I remember it better that way. Some guys have asked me straight up if teasing women works. I suppose it does, in the same way that conversation or kissing works — it’s all about how you do it. 

I subconsciously understood that girls like to be teased when I was in junior high and I noticed that although a girl would hit a guy making fun of her, she did it with a smile. But I didn’t know why, and I didn’t understand myself enough to know whether I should do it. I was too busy watching sports and reading horror books.

Now, I can sum up why teasing works on a lot of women — it adds unpredictability and tension. Have you ever seen a good movie that didn’t have a villain or some challenge? I can’t think of one. If we know what’s coming at every turn and there’s no conflict, we tend to lose interest. Same idea here, except you’re both villain and hero.

While the woman has to hear that you like her, she also has to believe it. I’m reminded of a line from the TV series “John Adams,” where Benjamin Franklin says, “The English love an insult. It is their only test of a man’s sincerity.” Push-pull is thus named because it accomplishes teasing and liking her at the same time. You might do it with your male friends often without realizing it.

All that said, I tease simply because I have fun that way, and it’s a natural part of my personality. I advise you to likewise make it less of a conscious technique and rather an honest expression of yourself. And don’t overdo it. Teasing is like using black pepper — it adds some needed spice, but sprinkle too much and the dish is ruined.

So, let’s talk about some examples of good teasing and bad teasing. Since I know myself best, I’ll provide examples that I’ve done. For you, a different balance might be best, and you might need to learn what that balance is. That’s one way that taking private instruction or phone coaching with me helps (shameless plug).

Good teasing

  • The point system: Maybe it’s my sports-loving nature, but I like using points in my flirting (in fact, I’m coming up with a scoring system for guys when they’re socializing. Stay tuned). So I’ll often tell a girl she gets a point for X quality — liking football, wearing sexy glasses, etc. Of course, I can also take away points: “You haven’t heard of The Smiths?” OK, you lose a point for that one. Good thing you already had two points for not liking Marina bars. You still have a positive score.”
  • The backhanded compliment: “You went to UCLA? Well, nobody’s perfect.”
  • Turning the tables: Women like to accuse us of hitting on them or showing some kind of concern of what we’ll do to them. I like to beat them to the punch. Some recent examples: (I met her after she offered my friend and I their bottle of wine at the bar) “You were totally picking me up right there, weren’t you? (pause) I’m glad you did.” OR (after my friends had left the club and I was sitting alone with her) “I hope my friends are leaving me in good hands … I don’t want you having your way with me in the back alley. At least not until the first date.”
  • The verbal push, physical pull (or vice-versa): This could be telling her she’s a pain in the butt or that I hate her, while smiling and pulling her closer to me. You could do this the opposite way, too. Or you could playfully push her away when she says one thing, but then pull her back in a few moments later.
  • Nitpicking: This is where being a good listener helps. Women will usually reveal one or two frivolous traits about themselves, such as being bad with directions or having a slight foreign accent. I’ll make an inside joke of such traits and tease her off and on throughout our relationship.

There are other examples, but I can’t reveal my entire bag of tricks here, can I?

Bad teasing

  • Teasing traits that are important to her: If, for instance, she does charity work for the blind and you mock her for it, or you accuse her of being slutty, this might not go over so well. Stick to lighter, more generic traits to mock.
  • Scripted teasing about her looks: If you’ve read “The Game,” you know what I’m talking about, but an example would be, “Nice nails … are they real?” Now, this sort of stuff can work, but from what I’ve seen, it’s like a Jedi mind trick in that it works best on the weak-minded — your strippers, insecure club girls, etc. Good luck getting a confident, professional woman to fall for that stuff. Also, it’s ineffective if you haven’t built any rapport with her yet.
  • All push, no pull: Remember, she should know you’re attracted to her in spite of your teasing. If all you’re doing is mocking her, she’s likely to leave whether she likes you or not. Years ago, I went overboard with that stuff, such as when I told a girl wearing a blouse with pink and black stripes that she looked like a gay referee. She turned red and ran away.

And remember, women love to tease too, so be sure you can take it as well as dish it out. I’m sure you’ll put all this to good use — just don’t get a big head about it!

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A man’s hookup guide for New Year’s

by GK on December 25, 2009 · 4 comments

Usually it’s other guys living vicariously through me, but for one night I’m counting on you bachelors. 

In years past, I’ve relished being a single guy on New Year’s Eve. It’s a night when the tables are turned and single women become the aggressors. Not all, of course, but many of them. For some reason, they can’t stand the idea of not kissing a guy at midnight, and even the young ones can turn into temporary cougars. Some will cry at midnight if they can’t make it happen. I’d feel sorry for them, but it’s a fair trade-off for the other 364 days when we need to take more initiative.

I discovered this on NYE 2002, when I hadn’t kissed a woman in about two years and was hanging out with one girl I’d liked but shown no interest in. My dry spell might have continued had she not asked me after midnight, “So are you going to kiss me or not?” That kick-started a fun year for me, and meeting randy women on New Year’s became something of a tradition.

This time when the ball drops, I’ll be attending my cousin’s wedding, dateless (it’s a long story). I can hope for a cute bridesmaid on the non-family side, but I’m not holding my breath. So it’s up to you to carry the torch for me. But I’m here to help. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Read my club survival guide: A lot of the same principles apply. New Year’s parties are typically high-energy affairs, so you’ll want to be prepared for that. And it’s even more important to consider logistics when cabs are scarce and some venues may get sold out in advance.
  • Plan a pre-party and afterparty. The pre-party is for friends and girls you might be interested in. The afterparty is for … well, I hope you know what it’s for. Try to have an even number of guys and girls at the afterparty, just so no jealousy issues arise. Make sure you have some snacks and drinks on hand, and have your gatherings near the party venue. If you have no other choice, spring for a hotel room. You might be glad you did.
  • See who’s checking you out: This is good advice on any night, but available women have a game plan on New Year’s especially, and they won’t waste time making their interest clear if you just look at them. So make and keep eye contact! If you like what you see, send her a smile and she’s bound to smile back. Do this in one or two laps around the venue, and you’ll have an idea of who’s available.
  • Act fast when the party starts. Not that you can’t meet a girl after midnight, but a lot of the good ones will get taken or get drunk by then. For reasons I’ve already stated, though, you should have no problems rounding up some prospects. In fact …
  • Don’t necessarily go for the first girl to hit on you: This can trip you up if you’re not used to it. If you like Girl A but Girl B is somehow thrust upon you, don’t feel obligated to make her your kiss (at least not your only one). Talk to her for a while, but politely tell her you’re going to keep mingling some more.
  • Wingman rules go out the window: Again, there’s a bit of a time constraint on New Year’s, so while I might help my friend with the spare girl for a little while, I can’t take a bullet for him the entire night. Your friend should understand, and he probably won’t need you all night. Still, I’d make it up to him if necessary by helping at the afterparty (which you have planned, right?).
  • Make your intentions clear to save time: If you’re not sure whether she’s on board for kissing or anything else, make sure she knows what’s on your mind. Just saying, “I hope you’re a good kisser — midnight’s just 30 minutes away,” can suffice.
  • Kisses alone don’t mean much: Club/party makeouts have a lower exchange rate anyway, but this is magnified on New Year’s. Sure, she kissed you, but chances are that’s all she wanted from you if you haven’t built any rapport. Now it’s time for you to lead, unless you want to risk her going back to her friends. In fact …
  • Consider NOT kissing her: This is my usual policy when meeting women I’m interested in dating. I found it interesting that last year on NYE, I made out with two girls, but I ended up dating another whom I didn’t kiss that night.  I don’t think that was pure coincidence. Finally …
  • If you’re seeing someone, bring her out: Sure, the lure of kissing a stranger can be fun a time or two. But it’s just cheap fun, usually, and it doesn’t compare to kissing someone I know and like. So don’t be afraid to make a date of it. My favorite New Year’s memory, in fact, is telling my then-girlfriend that I loved her for the first time as we danced to 80s music. Oops, that doesn’t support my playboy persona! Forget I said that! Kiss strangers!

I hope that helps you. Make me proud.

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You can lead a woman to water …

by GK on December 16, 2009 · 1 comment

I’ve been reluctant to write about my personal experiences with women lately — a couple of them have been longer term (though not serious). But I can at least hold up a recent short-term wound I received from a girl as a teaching tool.

She was tall, pretty and a hipster like me (though a hipster 10 years younger). Our first date a few nights ago was great. First dates are my specialty — I could take out one of those vapid “Jersey Shore” chicks and still turn it into something stimulating. But I did make a faux pas this time — I told her about my coaching gig.

I usually save that nugget for later, but from what she’d told me the night we met, she seemed open minded. She liked “The Game,” and she even wants to be a sex expert. Or something like that.

As I often do when I like the girl, I made our second date before the first date ended, and she was more than game. Until two days later, when I got the text message from her, saying she’d looked me up online and decided she couldn’t date a “professional pickup artist.”

My first instinct was to protest being called that. I recall my college degree and resume being in journalism, for one thing. And my typical nights right now revolve more around reading Stephen King, writing my screenplay or watching Netflix than they do number closes.

But I have met and dated a lot of women, and one thing I’ve learned is that you can’t talk a girl into wanting you. I’ve seen even the pickup gurus forget this with particular women they had crushes on, and it never went well. I had all kinds of good reasons why there’s much more to me than teaching seduction, but by her own admission, her choice wasn’t logical. And that’s the way these things often go: an emotional reaction that can’t be reasoned with.

Of course, I’ve had it the other way plenty of times — women going for me when they probably shouldn’t have. So I have no reason to complain. And neither should you.

Any time a girl tells you “no,” whether it’s for a dance, a date, or to loosen her bra strap, just go along with it. But this especially applies if she says she’s not interested. Protesting or trying to persuade her will only make it worse. You might as well try reasoning with the weather.

But if you just let it go, and carry on with your life, you’ll meet more women, and just maybe, that first one will notice how strong and fun you are, and reconsider. By then, she might even need to talk you into it.

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Here at Club GK, I don’t watch much TV, unless it’s “Mad Men,” football or a Netflix movie. But after two episodes, I’m already captivated by a show that offers an unintentional lesson for guys who want to understand female attraction better. It even taught me an important lesson: JWOWW isn’t attracted to me.

"I think we've got a situation over here!"

"I think we've got a situation over here!"

The show I’m talking about is MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” which is to trashy reality TV what Picasso is to painting. I’m hard-pressed to even describe it, but I guess you could say it’s like “The Real World” with steroids and a fake tan. And it celebrates one of the most maligned demographics in the pickup and dating world: the douchebag. But in this world, douchebags get all the girls. To quote one of the ladies in the cast, “If you’re not a guido, you can get the (fudge) out of my face.”

Of course, douchebags aren’t limited to the Jersey Shore. If you’ve checked out your local bar scene, such as the Marina out here, there’s a good chance you’ve found them with young, hot-looking women on their arms. Heck, there’s a Web site devoted to this phenomenon. And plenty of more tasteful chaps (myself included) have been shot down by those same women, leaving us to wonder what we were doing wrong and what the douchebags were doing right.

More specifically on “Jersey Shore,” the cocky, muscle-bound, spray-tanned, Ed Hardy-wearing, overly gelled dudes are called guidos, which until now I thought was an ethnic slur against Italians. Except these Italians wear the term like a gold medal, and the girls consider it their ideal. 

The lovely Jenni, a.k.a. “JWOWW,” hides her male ambitions no more than she hides her implants: “I think it’s my mission to hook up with the hottest Jersey guido.” So, no interest in a skinny, non-Italian San Francisco social coach? Shucks.

I think a lot of guys have expended a lot of time and money in seeking to be the man who attracts hot, not-very-deep girls like JWOWW. After all, she looks like a 10, so she must be worth having, right? (See my post on rating women.) These guys have worn flashy clothes that don’t suit them, in nightclubs they don’t really like, practicing a cocky attitude that doesn’t reveal who they really are. And if they’re lucky, they take the hottie home for a night or two before she realizes he’s not the real thing.

Nope, I’m definitely not JWOWW’s type. The thing is, a man with some self-awareness might realize that she isn’t his type, either. Just one look at her clothes would rule her out for me. Hot women like her are female douchebags, so it makes sense that they’d gravitate toward guys like them.

And I say this with all sincerity: good for them. At least they know who they are and what they want. The guys on “Jersey Shore,” excluding the ridiculous one who calls himself “The Situation,” may not be the kind of guys I’d want to party with, but I admire their confidence. Douchebags think they’re desirable, so it’s no surprise some women do, too.

The good news is, there are plenty of attractive women who can’t stand douchebags, and they prefer down-to-earth, sweater-wearing guys with Transformers collections. And that’s where I come in.

So if you want to improve your game without learning a single technique, take some time  to figure out exactly what kind of woman you want, and how that kind of woman could relate to you. Because a lot of times, that’s really all it comes down to. It’s why I choose clubs that play 80s music over house.

Some women will never go for you, but the ones who are most like you probably will. So just go where those girls go, and give them the gift of meeting you. If that fails, get a spray tan.

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The downside of rating women

by GK on November 27, 2009 · 7 comments

Before I step on my high horse — with its Gucci saddle — I’ll admit I’m a repeat offender on this one. I think it’s an innocent game much of the time: two guys see a gorgeous woman walk by, and as soon as their eyes return to their sockets, they feel a need to rate her looks.

“She’s a 10!” “No, she’s a solid 9 but no more!” I’d joke about decimals being inserted into the debate, but they’re often a part of it. And of course, were the guy to actually hook up with such a woman and tell his friends about her, I’m pretty sure the first number he’d use to describe her wouldn’t be her grade-point average. If you’ve read any online “field reports” detailing men’s endeavors with women, you’re likely to have read the term “HB 10” somewhere. Even though so few of us would actually use a term as corny as “hot babe.”

I’ve heard some call this a sexist habit, but sexist isn’t the word I’d use. For one thing, I’ve found that women judge other women’s looks much more harshly than with a 1 to 10 system (at least we don’t use negative digits). Also, like many people, I love rating things — whether it’s the best “Rocky” movie (“Rocky IV”), the best novel (“The Great Gatsby”) or the best pie (pumpkin). So it’s no surprise that where sex appeal is concerned, the whole “Ginger vs. Mary Ann” debate lasted for decades.

Then again, “Ginger vs. Mary Ann” kinda gets to my point: just what are we rating? If it’s sheer hotness, or which one I’d rather take back to my tiki hut for a night, I’d say Ginger wins easily. But Ginger always struck me as more than a little unstable — as hot, cast-away actresses go — and if I’m thinking beyond one night, I have to vote for Mary Ann. She’s probably the better cook.

And there lies my biggest complaint with a rating system: consciously or not, we’re letting other people’s standards for women define our own. This can be a tough habit to break.

I see much in my Charisma Arts students that I saw in myself during my 20s. We’re turned on to this new, bolder way of living, where we can have any woman any time. At least, that’s what we think before we learn better. But it’s true that beautiful, high-quality women ARE an option we can choose, which is inspiring.

But many of these guys are still learning what kind of women and relationships they want — it’s a vulnerable point for them. Add to this the mixture of a rating system and the male ego, and you have guys who are living not to impress themselves, but to impress friends and strangers. I think it’s sad to hear them lament how they “haven’t had that 10 yet,” as if they’re Captain Ahab searching for a White Whale in a mini-skirt. It’s the same reason why I loathe the idea of sharing my “score” for how many women I’ve had, which other guys do. I suppose the “archery of pee” contest can’t be far behind.

The more experience I got with women, the harder it was for me to pick out a 10 on looks alone. Even  the celebrities who men lust for don’t count as 10s for me because they’re just images, and often airbrushed ones. (Except for Aishwarya Rai, the Indian actress to the right. She’s a 10.) Although I have my physical type, I’ve alternately been attracted to women who were curvy, thin, brunette, blonde, white, dark and even tall. Often, I disagree with my buddies on who the hottest girl in the group is (a great trait to have in your wingmen, by the way).

The thing is, I like flaws. Certain ones, anyway. I’m definitely in the Sir-Mix-A-Lot camp when it comes to women’s posteriors. And I’ve witnessed plenty of hot-looking women who were downright unsexy — just about any trip to the hip-hop club is bound to reveal them. (Suggestion: don’t wear 3-inch heels if you can’t walk drunk in them.)

And before I can declare any woman to be in the uber-attractive category, I need to see what she’s about. Is she witty? Does she carry herself with a certain confidence? Stylish? Friendly to people when she doesn’t have to be? And do we just plain get along well? I am a picky, superficial male, but these factors matter a lot to me. If I have a choice between a  7 who has those qualities — heck if I know what a 7 looks like — and a 10 who doesn’t, I’ll take the 7, thank you very much.

Of course, maybe you’ll meet a woman who looks like a 10 to you and does have those traits. Lucky you. The problem is, if you treat her like she’s the perfect representation of womanly beauty right away, you just might come across as needy. And no, I don’t think asking if her nails are real will help.

Because of all this, I like the idea of ditching the 1 to 10 system and rating women a simpler way: she’s either a 1 or a zero — a yes or a no. Some of the same variations apply, but at least it should help those Captain Ahabs stop worrying about how hot she is versus every other girl on the street, and it won’t put women on any undeserved pedestals.

Bow chick-a-bow-bow!

Bow chick-a-bow-bow!

Using this system, I’m going to reveal my celebrity crush to you: it’s the hilarious Kristen Schaal of “Flight of the Conchords.” She of the cute-and-quirky-yet-strangely sexy persona, whose stand-up routine I attended in San Francisco this month. Kristen, no man short of six beers will call you an HB 10, but you’re definitely a 1 for me. Look me up the next time you’re in town. Seriously. I don’t care what my friends say. You’re a hottie.

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