In defense of dance clubs

by GK on July 28, 2009 · 4 comments

Just leave the leisure suit at home.

Just leave the leisure suit at home.

Some might find it ironic that although I’ve earned my greatest success as a Charisma Arts instructor from teaching guys how to connect with women during the day, I’ve had much of my personal success this year on the sugar-stained floors of dance venues. That’s right, easy-going Greg does have a party side.

Although I’d met women at clubs in the past — I even met an ex-girlfriend at one — I wanted to become more consistent with them. I’d say I’ve done that the past couple of years, and in doing so I’ve developed a fondness for dance joints. Not just for meeting women in general, but for meeting high-quality ones.

The club scene gets a bad rap for boasting random types of women, and I’ll concede I run into some weird or ditzy ones there. But I’ve also come to this stunning conclusion: even normal, educated women like to dance. And I know I like dancing and educated women. So the match works well for me.

This year alone, I’ve connected with the following women in nightspots that had dancing: a biotech professional, a law school graduate, a doctor, a financial-services professional, a pharmaceutical sales rep, an art student who was about to move to Paris, and an accountant who travels the world. Those are the ones I can remember, anyway. So brain cells and DJs can indeed mix.

I think one reason I’ve had so much fun at dance venues is that I stick to my kind of scene. I avoid the hard-core hip-hop or house joints in favor of music I actually enjoy dancing to: 80s, indie-rock, some hip-hop and other danceable pop music. I was compelled to write this after spending a night at Bootie, a well-known event at San Francisco’s DNA Lounge. I find it challenging to not have a fun time there, and I danced so much Saturday that my skinny tie was barely on by the end of the night. Of course, that’s because the accountant girl kept pulling on it.

I’m all for good conversation, and I realize that many guys avoid dance clubs because it’s harder to talk there. But there are times when I like to transcend words with a woman. One of the greatest turn-ons for me is seeing a good-looking, smart woman express herself on a dance floor. I find it easier to express my attraction by just locking eyes and joining her, and by the time we do talk, we’ve bonded in an immediate way that would be hard to get anywhere else. Dance is foreplay, in my book, and a man who can hold his own with a woman that way can expect some great experiences to follow.

I’ve been meaning to put out a little club survival guide on this blog. I’ll get around to that soon.

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Personally, I can’t stand those lame “7 ways to make a woman purr!!!” magazine headlines and their banal article contents, but I’m breaking my rule on this one. I’m talking about flirting tactics that I used to run when meeting girls several years ago but have outgrown now. Kind of like when Michael Jordan stopped hogging the ball and started passing (and winning) more. I’m not saying I’m the Michael Jordan of social coaches — Larry Bird was my favorite player — but here’s my list:

  1. Hugging and high-fiving: I lump these in together because they’re essentially the same kind of act. I used to do them because I wanted to keep the interactions fun, and I thought they were forms of “kino” — that is, touching women. And I guess they can accomplish that, but these are things I do with my guy friends, and I’m certainly not trying to flirt with them. I see hugging as a ticket to the friend zone if you’re not careful. Also, I see a lot of guys abuse the high-five or fist bump with women in bars — it can look forced and cheesy. If you want to be sexual with women, try touching them, looking at them and talking to them in more sexual ways.
  2. Relating to women’s emotions: I hesitate to even call this flirting, but it is something I did with women, with little success. Read my post on relating for an elaboration.
  3. Use the word “sexy” to show interest: I think the word is getting a bad rap these days, and I’ve been kicking it while it’s down — see my recent article on showing interest. I think sexy is a perfectly good word to use with a woman. But like a lot of other guys, I was relying too much on that word to make the interaction sexual, when that’s really not what it’s for. I’ve found more direct ways to make my interest clear now.
  4. Try gimmicks like palm reading or cold reading: Oh, now we’re digging back to the early part of this decade, when I was a true Paduwan. I think I still have some notes on palmistry somewhere, and I actually used to do this with girls. I’ve since locked away my crystal ball.
  5. Text flirting: When I was first texting women, I was stunned to see how fun (and dirty) they could be over text, and I thought I’d hit the jackpot. “Imagine how they’ll be when we’re actually face to face!” I thought. But I learned quickly that if real-life flirting is the Euro, text flirting is the Peso. Some of those girls would text me back any time, but they wouldn’t make plans to see me. And even if they did, text flirting didn’t make things any different in person if we didn’t yet have a sexual relationship. So now I show my interest in person and use texting as a tool for making plans.

If you’ve outgrown similar things, I’d love to hear about it.

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How to look for her wedding ring

by GK on July 20, 2009

This post may seem remedial to some, but I’ve been reminded lately that it’s still necessary. I think every guy goofs up now and then by forgetting to look for a woman’s wedding/engagement ring before approaching her — I know I have. Sometimes I have no choice because her hand is obscured, and if I wait too long I’ll miss my chance. I can usually recover from that sort of mistake, anyway.

If you don't want her to show you her OTHER finger, watch out for the ring.

But I’ve noticed lately that some of my students, and many other men out there, don’t even realize which finger to look for. So here it is, guys: look for the fourth finger on her left hand. Just like this couple to the right. Unless you live in a non-Western country, this will tell you if she’s married or engaged. It’s an old tradition, and it’s based on the ring finger supposedly having an artery that leads to the heart. (Like so many other romantic ideas, this isn’t true. Not that I’m anti-romance.)

Now, if you do forget to look and she has to point to her wedding ring with an amused look on her face, just don’t overreact and you’ll be fine — blunders happen in the heat of the moment. And if you’ve followed this advice, you might be surprised at how eager she’ll be to flirt with you anyway. And if you find that she is married but left her wedding ring in her hotel, like a woman I met in Vegas once, she’s really eager to party. Watch out for those ones.

One caveat to all this: some single women will wear rings on their left ring fingers — either for style or to throw men off their trail. Just look closely at it — if there’s any bling, it’s probably a wedding ring. If there isn’t any gem on it, she might be fair game, although some wives keep their bands modest.

Now don’t pull a George Costanza and walk around with a wedding ring of your own just to attract chicks, OK?

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Podcast: How to get over a breakup

by GK on July 17, 2009

Harry, our instructor from across the pond in England, recently got out of an exclusive relationship, and I have a hunch that men all over Europe are locking up their girlfriends in response.

I thought Harry would have some great insights for guys who are facing a similar experience, so I invited him onto the GK Shares Game podcast. Women and men alike admire Harry for his honesty, and he’s true to form here. Among the topics we wrestle with are how to pick up the pieces after a breakup, whether to stay in touch with the ex, and how to handle new women. And I couldn’t help but ask Harry about his recent fasting from, shall we say, self-love.

Podcast with Harry

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The Wingman Rules

by GK on July 5, 2009 · 4 comments

Just like in "Top Gun!"

Just like in "Top Gun!"

Lately, I’ve been teaching some younger guys who don’t have much experience meeting women in bars, and they’ve been curious to know more about wingman etiquette. So I thought I’d play Moses and trot out 10 commandments for anyone who’s curious. Every now and then I have to train a wingman of my own, and if you ever want to roll with me, respect these rules:

  • He who approaches, gets first pick. This is the cardinal rule, and it’s one I remember breaking during my own bootcamp when I didn’t know any better.  I won’t stand hanging out with a guy who makes me take all the risks and then tries poaching my girl. Remember that this is a team effort— don’t put yourself before the team. If there’s any doubt about which girl I want, I will show my wingman by repositioning myself in front of her. There’s one exception to this rule: If I’ve already had my chance with her, and I bail out or bomb, then it’s OK  for the wingman to take his shot.
  • Don’t just be a wingman. Be a friend. In my earlier days, I’d hang out with guys I shared little in common with, other than our mutual desire to pull women. But somehow, this would affect our interactions — kind of like how a talented basketball team won’t win games if it has bad chemistry. I’m proud of the fact that the guys I meet women with now are also guys with whom I watch movies, learn guitar or attend baseball games. The women we meet can tell that we really do like each other. 
  • Don’t be a downer. Please, please leave your personal problems at home when we’re hanging out, so that we can have fun. Smile and talk to someone, for chrissakes. Women can smell bad vibe from across the room, and I don’t want your smell on me.
  • Observe before you approach. If you see that I’m already one on one with the girl I want, there’s no need for you to enter, other than to briefly make me look good in front of her. Don’t hover around us. On the other hand, if you see another guy getting between me and my girl, be a good wingman and occupy him.
  • Don’t steal the lead guy’s thunder. A wingman has a supporting role — don’t try to hijack the conversation or get all the attention when you enter. Just put your arm around the lead guy and let him introduce you.
  • Don’t get into a conversation with the lead guy’s girl. Even if you’re just being friendly, it will damage my game and guarantee that you get a tongue-lashing from me. 
  • Don’t start group conversations. This can be OK at the beginning or when discussing a venue change, but if I’m trying to escalate with her, I need to be one on one with her. So help me do that by occupying the others.
  • Be willing to jump on the grenade. I know, few guys want to be the one talking to a less attractive, uninteresting or unbearable girl. But there is such a thing as karma, and if you help me out, you can bet I’ll return the favor.
  • Don’t bail while you’re still needed. Even if your girl is bragging for the fifth time about being accepted into Harvard Law, stick it out until you’re sure I don’t need you. If you’re absolutely dying, feel free to whisper in my ear and I’ll try to speed up the process.
  • Don’t get too drunk. If you start slurring your speech or making inappropriate jokes to the group, that will reflect badly on me. So help me look good by being your usual cool self.

 I hope this helps the uninitiated.

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One for the album

by GK on July 1, 2009

I’ve been meaning to post this picture, taken by a friend visiting my home state earlier this year. I ♥ you too, Bubi.

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On being a student again

by GK on June 26, 2009 · 2 comments

Yes, folks, the Mighty GK has turned another year older today. I’m not going to reveal my age so overtly here, but if you look up the number Larry Bird wore, that’ll tell you.

I bought myself a little birthday present last week, and I intend to make it a big part of my life. It’s a gorgeous red electric guitar, and I can’t play a lick of it yet. But I’m going to be taking lessons and practicing as often as possible. My rock-star days, or at least my cover-band days, can’t be that far away.

It occurred to me that it’s been a while since I tried learning something as a total beginner, and it made me think back to 2002, when I first started learning the skills I’m teaching now with Charisma Arts. And believe me, as a card-carrying member of the V club, I was a beginner back then.

Guitar or no guitar, this is just an excuse to get Joan's picture on my blog.

As the weeks and months roll by and I get to know my guitar better — I’m naming her Joan, after that other curvy redhead on “Mad Men” — I’m going to try remembering the following tips I learned as a student of charisma. I tell these to my students all the time:

  • I’m going to read and hear as little as possible. Knowledge comes from experience, not from theory or a book.
  • I won’t measure my progress against anyone else. We all have our own path, but the long, twisting paths can be the most fulfilling.
  • I’ll accept that I might be bad at this for a while.
  • If I am bad at this for a while, I won’t let that stop me. I’ll keep trying because I’ll know that my big breakthrough might be just around the corner.
  • I will set realistic goals for progress every step of the way. I won’t try to be a hero right away, lest I get burned out.
  • I won’t be a perfectionist. I’ll always look to improve, but I’ll also give myself credit for everything I did right.
  • I won’t let this overwhelm my life or let it become my entire identity. I’ll keep the balance I had before.
  • I will use this knowledge to score with women.

Funny how I keep learning skills that involve that last one.

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When boyfriends appear

by GK on June 23, 2009 · 1 comment


This had happened to me before, but only rarely. Over the weekend I was getting my flirt on at a local club called Vessel with a comely spitfire of a redhead who looked and dressed like she was straight out of 1963. The vibe was good between us, even though she fessed up that she has a boyfriend. “I might break up with him in a week,” she later added. So if you’ve read my previous posts on women with boyfriends, you know the ball was still in play.

What she didn’t tell me until it was too late was that her boyfriend was entering the premises. Soon after I learned this, I was right in the middle of asking for her number when she pointed behind me, and I looked up. Way up. There he was, all 6-foot-5, 290 pounds of him.

I think this nightmare image is one reason why guys shrink from approaching women, be it day or night. And it’s bound to happen to any guy sooner or later. But with a little charm and common sense, I find the nightmare rarely becomes reality. Keep these pointers in mind:

  • Be precise about your logistics: Don’t expect the woman to tell you her boyfriend is near. If she likes you or is friendly, she may not. Even in the bookstore, with him in the next aisle, I’ve had to be the one to ask. 
  • Keep your cool when he appears: Don’t bolt as if you were caught in the middle of a diamond robbery. With that redhead’s Bluto of a boyfriend, I immediately turned my attention to him and warmly introduced myself.
  • If he’s hostile, kill him with kindness: It’s easy for me to stick with this rule because at 147 pounds, I’m much more of a lover than a fighter. With Bluto, I told him he was a lucky guy to have her and made some chitchat with him before walking away. Thankfully, he wasn’t the hostile sort, and most boyfriends aren’t. In the 10 percent chance that he is, I’ll stay friendly until he looks like an absolute fool in front of his girlfriend. I’m pretty sure I cost one guy his relationship by just being nice to him while he tried to intimidate me in front of his girl.

If you’re feeling daring enough, you could try distracting the boyfriend briefly and quickly getting her number — I helped my friend do that once. In this case, Bluto didn’t take his eyes off her, and I ended up meeting an art student and partying with her the rest of the night. No boyfriend there, thankfully.

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