On being a man

by GK on November 13, 2009 · 6 comments

I was thinking of one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies, “The Godfather,” and how it relates to what I’m teaching. No, not the line about leaving the gun and taking the canoli, though this is sound advice in general.

It’s early in the first “Godfather,” when the Don’s godson complains about a movie role he might not get and wonders what he should do, and Vito Corleone gives him some great advice, accompanied by a slap in the face: “You can act like a man!”

Come to think of it, that’s essentially what I needed to learn when I first discovered all this community hoo-ha seven years ago. The closest thing I had to a male role model was Larry Bird, but that was useless unless I wanted to work on my jump shot. I was mature in some ways, such as my career, but socially I had much to learn.

And when I gaze across the landscape of guys trying to learn social skills and woman skills now, I see much the arrested development. Sadly, I think some of the same guys who are being paid to teach this stuff only contribute to the problem.

So hear are some of the lines I draw between manly traits, and not-so-manly traits (mind you, we all have some of these flaws. None of us are perfect):

A boy constantly asks for permission and apologizes before he acts. A man apologizes only after, and only when it’s warranted.

A boy lets things happen to him. A man makes things happen.

A boy worries about what people think of him. A man concerns himself with what he thinks of others.

A boy seeks approval. A man gives it, and justifies it.

A boy says what he thinks people want to hear. A man speaks from the heart.

A boy wonders whom he should be. A man knows who he is.

A boy represses his sexuality with women for fear of failure or being judged. A man knows that true failure and bad judgment come with NOT expressing himself sexually.

A boy complains about his friends, family or job keeping him down. A man dumps negative influences and seeks out those who will enhance his life.

A boy tries to impress people by talking about how cool he is. A man impresses people by showing, not telling.

A boy thinks he should be cool and collected all the time. A man knows his uncool interests and mistakes make him relatable to the right people.

A boy likes “Star Trek.” A man likes “Star Wars.” (OK, just making sure you’re paying attention.)

A boy sees failure as a reason to quit. A man sees failure as inevitable on the way to success.

A boy dresses the way he thinks he’s supposed to dress. A man wears what is best suited for him.

A boy does nothing and wonders what might have been. A man takes pride in knowing the result, whatever it is.

A boy tries to be funny. A man lets humor find him with honesty.

These are the ones that come to my mind right now. If you have some other examples, feel free to post them in the comments.

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What is GK’s game like?

by GK on November 10, 2009

An e-mail I received from overseas during my recent hiatus reminded me of a post I’d been meaning to make — to explain my “game,” so to speak. It goes like this: 

“I know you don’t use relating too much. but do you use the open-ended-question vacuum  reward ( relate )? I would be glad if you can say how your gameplan looks like.  Do you also use disqualifications? I don’t know what to use and what is unnecessary according to the juggler method?”

The e-mail also began with, “I think game is a stupid word.”

This may seem ironic coming from a guy who has “game” in his blog title, but I agree. Guys who have spent time with me, and even those of you who have only read me, have some idea of my personality and the way I express it when I’m socializing. But for those of you wondering what I’m like with women and with friends, I’ll explain it here. I hope you’ll see that “game” is just a small part of me, and that you’re better off not trying to imitate me.

The question focuses on how I apply Juggler Method, which is of course the inspiration for Charisma Arts and my paycheck as an instructor. Thing is, Juggler Method really isn’t what I’m teaching. Nor is it the Big Four, which is a condensed version. Nor is it any particular technique. I’m teaching guys how to go after what they want in their social lives, and in particular how to lead. The tools are grounded in Wayne Elise’s method, but they vary by the guy, and they’re interchangeable.

What is not interchangeable is you. That’s my big problem with so many of the services being sold out there — they homogenize a guy’s unique traits with a cookie-cutter approach that’s dependent on a certain style or technique. The bootcamp I took over three years ago was not immune to that, though I think we’ve made some big strides since then. I don’t care how charismatic the instructor is — trying to become his carbon copy is a perilous road that can be tough to return from. You’re better off getting to know yourself and emulating that.

Now, I’ll get off my high horse and just answer the darned question.

If I were a car, I’d be much closer to a Cooper Mini than a Ferrari. I’m stylish, but understated. I was a shy emo kid in high school, and I’m still no extrovert. The usual adjectives tossed around to describe me include “down to earth,” “easy going” and “low key.” This is especially true if I’m in a relaxed setting, though as I’ve written here before, I can flip the switch in a louder place.

As for my game plan, it varies. I feel no shame about having a quiet night out where I stick to my friends. During the day, I often keep to myself and write at my local Starbucks (much as I’m doing now). I only go out two to three nights a week, because anything more would tire me. However, when I do mingle, I make sure to do that soon after leaving the house, so I get in the right mood.

This may not sound like your typical episode of “Entourage,” and indeed my life doesn’t revolve around glamor. But I also enjoy a fulfilling, busy social life with high-quality friends and women. And I continue to have some wild times. So I must be doing something right.

I tend to build to a slow boil when I meet a woman I like. I’m not overly sexual or challenging with her, though I do love double entendres and playful jabs, and I usually build a friendly, fun vibe with her before I do any serious escalating. If I had to rate between 1 and 10 how sexual I am in words and touch during the first meeting, it’s probably a 7. These days I avoid kissing her or taking her home the night I meet her, as I’m more concerned with having a real connection that will lead to a date. However, if I’m at a dance club or in another city, or if she’s just too damned fun, I might accelerate this process.

Regarding specific techniques: How much do I vacuum with an open-ended question? Not much. However, I often create silence after I’ve been making statements, because I’ve committed more to the interaction that way, and I’m likelier to get commitment back. I don’t like doing most of the talking.

I find relating and rewarding to be utterly boring with someone I’m just getting to know. I’ve already made that clear.

I disqualify more than the average guy should, which is why I rarely teach it. I think disqualification is best reserved for these situations: when someone puts you on a pedestal, or they’re challenging you in some way. Unless your name is George Clooney, active self-deprecation is rarely sexy.

I do practice what I preach with the Big Four, though I’m not consciously doing so. Nor am I consciously going by any script. That’s the beauty of being where I am now — I’ve reached a very satifsfying full circle. I came into this stuff with only my personality, then experienced lots of trial and error while internalizing the stuff that helped me come out of my shell, and now I’m back to just expressing my personality.

Likewise, I help each guy determine how much of this stuff is right for him, so it becomes less about a method and more about self-expression.

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GK lives (plus a couple of reviews)

by GK on November 9, 2009 · 2 comments

Before I go on, I want to deny some rumors that have surfaced during my long blogging drought: I was not kidnapped by aliens, brainwashed by a cult that worships Transformers or laying in a chocolate-induced coma. I’ve simply been busy with some things.

But last week I finally finished my screenplay (the first draft, at least), and I intend to resurrect myself here. First off, I want to do a little bragging. Two students of mine have posted reviews on the Charisma Arts forum in the past week, and they reflect the different successes that can be had when working with me.

The first review is from a guy who did private instruction with me in San Francisco four months ago. At the time, we were both worried it wouldn’t be a success, because his interactions during our time together were pretty discouraging. He’s 5-foot-4, but he was feeling even smaller than that because of a lifetime of confidence problems.

Four months later, and it’s a different story. I’ll let him tell it:

“1. I cut off ties with the negative influences in my life. So family and friends that sucked, I stopped dealing with. I stopped Mental Masturbation online(most email, facebook, online seduction blogs, stupid time wasters..etcetc) I stopped drinking. I stopped going home after work just to watch movies. What I realized that I was just uncomfortable being alone.
2. I started talking to anyone. Whether it was a farm laborer (Im a farmer), or the president of an important company I deal with I didn’t discriminate. I am now friendly to everybody. Telling people I liked them works wonders!
3. I went out to coffee shops, gyms, bookstores and just bullshitted with people I didn’t know.

THE RESULTS: Within 3 days I came across 3 beautiful women. When I interacted with them, I lead the conversation. Each girl excitedly pressed her number into my palm, without any pickup lines or seduction techniques. Just genuine interaction and leadership within that interaction.

I am now seeing a gorgeous personal trainer, who just got introduced to my family this weekend. Everyone around me was jealously asking “How did you pull this off?”

Easy…. I took GK’s advice and focused on LEADING!”

I was thrilled to hear about this, and it goes to show that a guy’s performance with me isn’t the most important factor. It’s how he applies what he’s learned when he gets back home.

The second review is from a guy who took a bootcamp with me last month. He’d taken instruction with another company, and he failed to approach anyone during it, which left him feeling even worse. I persuaded him into working with me, and he made some great breakthroughs during our brief time together. He walked away with three phone numbers in one day, but that was hardly the most important part. Here’s a highlight detailing his first approach:

“After neutering all my excuses he finally pointed to a real cute girl sitting on the steps by herself. He told me to put one foot in front of the other and I was off. I touched her on the shoulder and nervously stuttered, “hey, I thought you were really cute and I just wanted to come say hi” The space in between my opener and her reaction was maybe a second or two. In that space my mind showed me a flipbook of all the horrific responses that were possible from public humiliation to pepper spray. Then, she shyly smiled and said “oh, ok”. We chatted for a bit and I was too nervous to implement any of the other stuff we had talked about but for me this was huge. In three hours with GK I had accomplished more than I had in 3 days with the other boot camp. I was truly stoked and had dispelled a big limiting thought I’d held for a long time.”

These are the kinds of stories that keep me in this racket.

On to some more self-promotion: I’ve only got a few bootcamp slots available this year, as this weekend’s San Francisco event is sold out. I have one spot left for my Seattle bootcamp Nov. 21-22, and two spots free for San Francisco Dec. 12-13. So if you’re interested, get in touch with me.

Now that I’m done selling myself, I’ll hook you up with some content soon.

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Cooking with GK: dijon lamb chops

by GK on September 29, 2009 · 2 comments

It’s been too long since I posted a date-approved recipe, so here you go. And I maintain my promise of making a video for one of these, but it’s just quicker to post it this way.

lamb

When it’s done right, I’ll take lamb over beef almost any day. I love its tenderness and aroma, and I can use all kinds of strong flavors with it. This recipe includes dijon mustard, which gives the chops a real kick. And as with any date recipe I’ll endorse, this is easy to make.

The ingredients are these:

  • 4 to 6 lamb chops
  • 1 lemon
  • Garlic powder
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Dijon mustard
  • breadcrumbs

And this is how you prepare them:

  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Trim fat from the lamb chops. Rub both sides of the chops with lemon, and sprinkle them with the garlic powder and pepper.
  • Mix together the parsley, mustard and breadcrumbs, and rub the mixture all over the chops. (A great chance to get your hands dirty with her!) 
  • Place the chops in a pan coated with cooking spray and bake them uncovered for four minutes at 500 degrees.
  • Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Pair this dish with some salad, rice or couscous, and a full-bodied wine, and you’re all set. Just keep some breath strips around, unless you want her tasting the mustard on you later.

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Whew! Trying to juggle three jobs, a screenplay, a blog and a social life is giving me a triathlon-sized workout, but I wanted to make at least one sermon this week.

Maybe it’s my news background, but I like to write only about topics that are current to me. And for some reason, I’ve had the same talk about physical escalation with a handful of guys recently. So that’s what I’m going to cover.

These guys have all been meeting or dating women but not been sexual with them. They’re not looking at them sexually, touching them sexually, or talking about sex. As a result, they aren’t having sex, and they’re losing the girl. I was no math major in college, but I see the equation there.

From what I witness, the reasons why guys are not sexual with women usually revolve around these rationales. They don’t want to be creepy or sleazy. They want to be gentlemen. They see her as girlfriend material, so they don’t want to make it all about sex.

These are all valid concerns, and an uncalibrated guy can indeed botch it up by being too sexual. But in trying so hard not to come off as a certain kind of guy, these men are presenting themselves as something else that they are not: asexual. They are neutering themselves and their desires, which is as sexy to a woman as a man who never doubles down in blackjack.

The irony is this: if you are not sexual with a woman yet are making romantic gestures such as buying her dinner,  trying to see a lot of her, or holding her hand for prolonged periods, that is much likelier to creep her out. It’s like you’re anointing yourself her boyfriend before the first kiss, and it doesn’t make sense. During my Dark Ages with women, I brought them Tootsie Rolls to class every day, took them to Disneyland or played songs for them, yet I never let them know what my direct intentions were or made a move on them. Not surprisingly, they all distanced themselves from me.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you see a woman as classy or girlfriend material, that only makes it more imperative that you don’t come off as relationshippy. I assure you, there’s a good chance that with the right guy, that classy woman is a depraved sex goddess who wants to be lusted after. There’s no debate in my mind — sex comes before love, and a woman wants to end up with a sexual man. 

So don’t insult her and yourself by sending a false image of yourself. Speaking of doubling down, the great Vince Vaughn makes my point in “Swingers,” where he advises Mikey not to talk about puppy dogs and ice cream. Among his many golden lines about women: “Respect, my ass. What they respect is honesty.”

Another line I love is from my favorite current TV show, “Mad Men.” It’s from the pilot episode, and it’s spoken by Ken Cosgrove: “You’ve got to let them know what kind of guy you are. Then they’ll know what kind of girl to be.”

This is so true. That seemingly conservative woman may only be conservative because she’s following your lead. If you play it safe and not double down, why should she reveal herself? On the other hand, if you just let her see that she is turning you on, don’t be surprised if she gets a lot friskier.

As an instructor I’ve helped a couple of late-in-life virgins trade in their V cards quickly, and you probably know my story by now. As tough as it seemed during my struggles, the line between getting the girl and not getting her is actually very thin. It came down to having the guts to take a chance, and when I began to do that, the rewards — including the relationships — became great.

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Succeed or fail? It’s your choice

by GK on September 16, 2009 · 4 comments

A common question I’ve been asked, from students and curious friends, is this: “Are some guys hopeless and can’t be helped?”

You might find my answer to be against my financial interests, but the answer is yes, some guys cannot be helped and shouldn’t take instruction with me yet. But it’s not because they don’t look good enough, or live with their parents, lack a job or aren’t cool enough. It’s because they are their own worst enemy.

Nerd alert: Remember that scene in “The Empire Strikes Back,” when Luke has to go into the cave and asks Yoda what’s in there, and Yoda says, “Only what you take with you”? And then when he finds Darth Vader in there and chops his head off, he discovers Darth Vader was him all along? Yup, that’s what I’m talking about.

Not to take the responsibility off me, of course. A great instructor can work around a guy’s flaws and help him find the confidence to succeed, anyway. And I’ve done that — I’ve got the reviews to prove it. But even then, it started with the guy choosing to take risks and learn. It’s tragic, but occasionally I’ll see a guy who has all the potential in the world — good looks, a warm personality, interesting career and hobbies — the kind of guy women dream of meeting. But his social life and skills with women are stuck in neutral because he doesn’t like himself enough to take a chance and talk to someone.

We’re all like Luke. What we take into that cave, we will find in there. When I took my bootcamp with Charisma Arts three years ago, I had only sporadic experience with approaching women, or groups of guys for that matter, and leading them. I was scared but enthusiastic and open to trying new things, and over time I got the results I was looking for.

Similarly, your success is ultimately up to you. If you have a good attitude and are willing to try new things, it’s simply a matter of when, not if, you’ll improve your social life. But if you don’t like yourself and are unwilling to make the effort it takes to make a long-term difference, you’re really better off not buying any of the instruction or products out there. You won’t find any magic pills.

But if you fit into that latter category, don’t take this post as a condemnation. Take it as an invitation. It’s not too late for you — it’s never too late to start making an effort. Get to know yourself a little better. Ask yourself the tough questions that will help you become happier with yourself.

Then, once you have an idea of yourself, know what you want and are willing to take some chances, I’ll be here to help you take the leap. And screw that line about the grass being greener on the other side — it’s amazing on this side. I wish I were here sooner.

One of the “ah-ha” moments I had in my journey came years ago, when I was talking to a cute girl in a bar, and I nervously asked her if I was her type. “Give yourself more credit,” she said. It didn’t happen overnight, but I did. I believe you can too.

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Don’t be her shoulder to cry on

by GK on September 15, 2009 · 8 comments

My apologies for the long gap between entries. I’m close to finishing a screenplay I started two years ago, and I’m giving it most of my writing time. So I might be posting here less than usual for the time being, but don’t fret. GK’s still got your back.

On to today’s topic.  Even we instructors admit to making mistakes in the heat of the moment — at least those of us who aren’t deluded. And last weekend I goofed up in a way I hadn’t in a long time.

Follow Justin's example

In my Dark Ages, when women would put themselves down or complain about their problems in front of me, I’d make the mistake of reassuring them they were attractive or trying to play counselor. Funny, but I never hooked up with any of these girls, and I sure didn’t have fun this way, either. God bless ’em, but women do go fishing for compliments sometimes.

Nowadays, I’ll either agree with her self-flagellation (Her: “My hair looks like crap!” Me: “Yup, I have to say it does”), or I’ll give her a one-sentence reassurance (“I’m sure you’ll find a great guy”) and change the subject.  

I forgot to do that recently, though it wasn’t with a woman I was interested in. While at the bar alone I met a couple of women — an attractive-looking chef (a chef! I love food) who interested me, and her female friend. The friend was playing cupid and had already invited me to a dinner party where both of them would be, and as I enjoy making allies, I took some time to get to know her.

I was having fun with that because she was talkative and shared my naughty humor, but then she started beating herself up for being single and not being attractive enough. Rather than follow my own advice, I kept reassuring her, and the more I did it, the more she continued. Then she asked me if I found her pretty, and perhaps at my wit’s end, I blurted out a compliment that offended her. I won’t say what I called her here, but it starts with an “F” and ends in “-able.” So use your deductive reasoning. (Hey, I’d be flattered if a woman called me that, but that’s why men and women are different.)

Anyway, I reluctantly apologized for it, and the party is still on. But it was a good reminder of this: When getting to know people, be the fun guy, not the emotional tampon.

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When you talk, be like Mike … Tyson

by GK on September 5, 2009 · 1 comment

As in my last post, I’ve got an unusual source of blogging inspiration. I recently watched a documentary that I surprisingly loved, and I can’t think of a more powerful example of talking about yourself, one component of the Big Four.

The role model for talking about yourself? Mike Tyson.

In almost any other way, Tyson is hardly a role model. He has committed some of the worst mistakes a man can make, going all the way back to his childhood. And after I almost walked into him at a Vegas nightclub earlier this year, I can say he’s possibly the scariest-looking guy I’ve ever seen. Indeed, the words “Tyson” and “animal”  or “crazy” have become synonymous.

But then I watched the documentary “Tyson,” which is basically 90 minutes of Mike Tyson talking about his life, with no narrator or interviewer. He talks with his famous lisp and high-pitched voice, and he mangles a few words as usual. But after watching it, for the first time I could see Tyson as a complete human being. In a weird way, I could even relate to him.

Being relatable is at the core of talking about yourself. Whether you’re getting to know the hot woman at the coffee shop or having a job interview over coffee, it’s important for the other person to get a three-dimensional portrait of who you are. And that’s accomplished by getting beyond the facts and getting into emotions and details that will set you apart from every other guy. Even making yourself vulnerable.

The main emotion that seems to define Tyson is fear. Bullied as a child, he says he wanted so much to avoid humiliation that he became a bully himself. I won’t get into how he details his life as a teenage delinquent and eventually finding a mentor and becoming a boxing prodigy, but I found it mesmerizing to hear Tyson discuss it, because he does so with such disarming honesty. Sometimes the honesty leads to too much information, such as when he talks of having gonorrhea on the night he became the youngest heavyweight champion ever, but the man seems incapable of lying.

Even as one of the most intimidating boxers ever, Tyson was still afraid. He describes the moments before a fight this way: “All during training I’ve been afraid of this man. I think this man might be capable of beating me. I’ve dreamed of him beating me. For that I’ve always stayed afraid of him. The closer I get to the ring the more confident I get. Once I’m in the ring I’m a god. No one could beat me.”

Think about that kind of fear the next time you’re getting anxious about approaching the cute blonde at the bar.

Tyson doesn’t blame anyone but himself for his downfall as a great boxer, and for all the embarrassing incidents he’s had along the way. But after hearing him talk about why he snapped and bit Evander Holyfield’s ear, I could relate to his anger and see why he did it. And he lays himself so emotionally naked about all his sins — including those with women — I actually believe him now when he says he was falsely convicted of rape.

In the DVD’s audio commentary, the director of the film talks about how he gauged interest by seeking out women who were most repulsed by Tyson. With the women who said they had no interest in watching  a Tyson movie, he offered them a deal: watch the first five minutes, and if you don’t like what you see, you can leave and get $100. But if you stay and watch the whole thing, you get nothing. Each time, the women were hooked enough to stay.

If a man as scarred and demonized as Tyson can intrigue women like that just by talking about his life, imagine what you can do.

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