Well, now. It's been three weeks since I started this pickup rampage, and although I still have a long way to go before I get to where I want to be, I've made a huge amount of progress.
Unfortunately, finding a tactful way to report this progress is difficult. People have made comments insinuating that my approach (having quantifiable goals every day) reduces girls to numbers rather than people. In the beginning, that's essentially true. If I approach ten girls and each interaction lasts less than a minute, they aren't much more than numbers to me.
On the other hand, once I actually spend time with a girl, I start to like her as a person and consider her a small part of my life. Even if we're only together for a short time, I get a little protective and feel like I owe her respect. So, for that reason, I basically won't blog about anything that goes on with a girl beyond getting her number. That extends to aggregating events that happen after I meet a girl, because I'd feel awful if a girl read something here and thought that she was just lumped into a category. I'm not the type of guy who tries to rack up notches on the belt-- I only spend time with girls if I genuinely like them, and I'd hate for a girl to think otherwise.
That all means that I'm going to keep reporting on my progress, but it will cover only early game and aspects of the process that apply only to me. You can infer from that that I'm dating/sleeping with a lot of women, no women at all, or somewhere in between. Doesn't really matter.
With that caveat out of the way, let's get started.
Last week I got an email from Mystery, who had read my post about my progress with pickup. The email read:
If you want, I'm doing a Vegas bootcamp this weekend - come hang, you'll relearn some shit and get some Vegas infield practice.
If you know anything about pickup, you know that you don't turn down an invitation from Mystery. Within a few hours, my friend/wingman-extraordinaire and I had booked hotel, car, and flights for a week in Vegas starting the following day.
I hadn't been to a Mystery seminar since I helped teach them. Since then my skills atrophied and Mystery's presentation got better. He was sick for the first couple days, but his protege Discovery really picked up the slack and gave some awesome talks. I took notes.
Most of the material was stuff I already knew, but didn't have in the front of my brain. Seeing it all was extremely valuable and really got me in the right mindset. Before the first day's seminar started, I was nervous about going to a club. By the end I couldn't wait.
We got to the club around midnight, and one of the instructors didn't realize that we weren't exactly average students, so he started giving us a pep talk. I didn't want to be disrespectful and say "Hey, do you know who I am?" so I did the next best thing-- opened a set next to us.
My first nighttime set in eight years.
The girls weren't particularly attractive, but they opened up in a second. Within thirty seconds I was locked in and they were touching my arm. Oh yeah, I thought, night game is what I was good at. Maybe I didn't actually lose everything.
Encouraged, I walked around until I saw four girls sitting together. Not extremely attractive, but the best in the club. No hesitation, I walked up and popped that set open, too. Again, within a couple minutes I was locked in. It was all coming back.
We stayed with those girls for four hours until the bar closed. They asked why we were there, so we told them. One rule I have is that I never lie or distort the truth (except for a canned 30 second opener, which I generally later tell them was just to start a conversation). They were, of course, intrigued. They commented that we would never need a seminar like that. It's funny how often, when I'm on my game, girls tell me that I couldn't possibly have ever had problems with girls. If only you knew, lady...
Another highlight came at the end. By then two students were talking to two of the girls and my wing and I were isolated on couches with ours. A black guy came up and very aggressively started hitting on my girl. At first I joked around, saying that they should hook up. He didn't really know how to respond to that, but could tell that I was mocking him. At a certain point he started being outright rude so I got in his face, told him he was making her uncomfortable, and needed to leave. I was only being brave because an instructor was sitting to my right, ready to intervene if he started a fight. If this guy and I were alone in an alley, I would run.
The situation escalated until he threw down his jacket and threatened to fight me in the bathroom. Probably one of the most bizarre threats I've ever received. I laughed and told him that I wasn't going to fight him over a girl he didn't know. That made him even more angry and he stormed out after yelling one last thing that I'll never forget:
"Oh yeah? What are you going to do when I come back with six niggas THIS THICK?"
He held his hands out to specify the width. And then he left. If the thick niggas ever came, I didn't see them. When it was all over, my girl looked at me doe-eyed and whispered, "You handled that so well."
Anyway, that's about the one field report that I can share. Another one went well enough that we'll be seeing the girls again, and most of the rest were mundane enough that they don't warrant description.
The biggest takeaway I got from Mystery's seminar was how important body language is. Mystery and Discovery demonstrated it so powerfully that it really got cemented back in my mind as a top priority. Simply putting the weight on your front foot rather than the back foot can completely wreck a set because it seems aggressive. It's a delicate balance between signaling your intent and making the girls comfortable.
I've also learned, as a byproduct of getting further along in set, that I haven't really lost much in terms of what happens after the first fifteen minutes. Once it comes time to sit down, cut the games, and start building comfort, I still shine. At the end of the day, I live an interesting life, can tell a good story, and am actually interested in getting to know people.
Opening remains the hardest thing for me, getting to the point where they don't want me to leave (called the hook point), is still challenging, but after that I feel at home. It's nice to know that while I do still have a lot of ground to cover, most of that work is limited to the beginning stages. Nothing like a clearly defined problem to solve.
A concept I've really been thinking about is that the glory is in the approach. Regardless of what happens next, the approach is what separates the men from the boys. As I watched students in the field, I realized that I had full respect for those who approached, even if they got blown out every time. I didn't respect the (very few) who made excuses and didn't throw themselves to the wolves.
At one point, the girls we were talking to knew why we were in Vegas and wanted to see an approach. With no hesitation, I approached a five set with a really ineffective but personally amusing opener. It bombed, as expected. The girls loved it. They know that the glory is in the approach, too. Then one of them tried the same opener.
Of course, the journey hasn't been completely without difficulty. I've taken two days off-- one when I got to Vegas, I played poker instead of going out because I wanted to pay for my trip and knew I wouldn't have time to play poker once the seminar started. I also took a day off yesterday because I really needed to get some work done. I'm not proud of this, but at the same time I'm extending my month by a few weeks, so overall it's not a huge deal.
More concerning is an increasing feeling of complacency. When I started this, I had no girls in my life. Now that's not entirely true, and I can feel my motivation slacking a bit. I'm still getting out there, it's just not an oh-god-I-need-to-do-something feeling anymore. To fix it I plan to sit quietly and think about what my goals are and why I'm doing it.
The last negative aspect of this mission is that it's severely impacting my work. I did almost no work at all when I was in Las Vegas. Even on a good day it's cutting out at least three hours of time I could be working. I think it's worth it, and killed my work for months in advance to prepare for this, but it still doesn't feel 100% great. That said, SETT is coming to this blog VERY soon.
I have six days left in the official month-long challenge. It's hard to believe I've been doing this for so long, and almost equally hard to believe how far I've come. The last night in Vegas we went to a mega-club, XS, and I felt like I owned the place, dancing, talking with people, and spinning girls around. Just three weeks prior I would have kept to myself and felt awkward. Let's see what I can milk out of these last six days before I go into overtime.
A note about commenting: You can say whatever you want. I approve every comment that has even a shred of substance to it, even if it's obnoxious and negative. However, I suspect that most of the negative comments are from people who DO NOT actually go out and talk to girls. If you do have a negative comment and want it to be taken seriously, include an honest description of how many COLD approaches you do per week.
Big thanks to Mystery, Discovery, Lovedrop, and the rest of the crew. Letting me and my wing come along and crowd the field a bit was a huge favor, and it really benefitted us both. We're supremely grateful.
I'm working on another really long post that's not about pickup, but I didn't get it ready in time because of the workshop. Soon! It's about the process of becoming a profitable poker player.
Oh yeah, I met Kevin Mintnick, who happens to be in the middle of reading The Game. Really nice guy. finally got one of his cool business cards.