A fellow commenter from another site recently wrote to ask me to recommend a “beginner’s guide” to Game, and I realized I didn’t have a good answer. So as someone who gives the impression of knowing something about the topic, I thought maybe I should write up a blog post on it, which turned into a discourse on my journey from clueless to clued. So here goes.
As a pedestalizing white-knight of the first order in my youth, I think my first encounter with anything like Game was about 20 years ago, when someone at a company I was contracting for was passing around a red folder with “Speed Seduction” scrawled on the front. He had downloaded and printed out Ross Jeffries’s “Speed Seduction” manual. The title was appropriate; the focus was on seducing women and doing it quickly. He talked about NLP (ways to communicate subliminally by altering the cadence of your voice), mirroring techniques (matching your breath and movements to hers to build rapport), stuff chicks dig like magic tricks and palm reading that give you a chance to hold her hand, and so on. Things that work, but that take a fair bit of practice to do right.
I never really did any of that but it opened my eyes to the idea that women could be understood, that maybe they weren’t unknowable special snowflakes after all. That led me at some point to lurking in the Usenet discussion group alt.seduction.fast. Again, the focus was on seduction, but they got more into how to approach women, specific techniques like getting past AMOGs and cock-blockers, and how to handle last-minute resistance. It was still mostly extroverted — how to talk and act with women to attract them, which wasn’t really what I needed. But again, it showed me that understanding and success were possible.
I think I ran across other Game materials for a while, but nothing really stuck in my memory until “Double Your Dating.” I suppose if I had to pick one thing that helped me the most, that would be it. I got the book, but also downloaded the video of a 2002 DYD seminar, which was key for a few reasons.
First, DeAngelo was kind of a geek who figured a lot of this stuff out from observation, collecting data, and study — the way I do things. He was also an ordinary-looking guy: not ugly, but the kind of guy women wouldn’t notice if he didn’t speak up. Most of his guest speakers seemed pretty ordinary too. So there was a sense of, “If they can do this, so can I.”
Second, he was the first one I recall talking much about internal frame and changing yourself to be more attractive, rather than focusing just on techniques. The first half of the seminar was all about improving your confidence and understanding the biological foundation for what’s going on. Some of it was cheesy New Age affirmation stuff, but not too much. Some of his catch phrases, like “attraction isn’t a choice,” were instrumental in shifting my viewpoint. (A huge one for me was, “What she thinks of me is none of my business.”) The second half got more into techniques; but even there, it was more useful than what I’d seen before, because instead of memorizing lines or learning to read palms, he talked in general terms. One of his best pieces of advice might have been, “If you don’t know what to say, say ‘Hi.'” In other words, get out there and approach women; you can’t succeed if you don’t try. Stop waiting for lightning to strike, which is what I’d been doing.
Now, I’m not saying run out and get the DYD DVDs, because everything he talked about is available for free on numerous Game blogs now. (I don’t even know if they’re available for purchase anymore.) A lot of what seemed revolutionary then is taken for granted now anyway.
Another guy who helped was Major Mark Cunningham, a hypnotist and therapist. I never got into the hypnotism stuff much, but one thing he said really struck me: out of thousands of married women who had come to him for treatment, only one or two didn’t express a desire to cheat on their husbands. It was just one data point, but one that chipped away at the pedestal.
I should point out: a lot of these guys, including the three I’ve mentioned here (especially Major Mark) struck me as charlatans to some extent. There was always a whiff of the snake oil around them, and the MLM methods that most Game authors used didn’t help that image. But like a blind squirrel finding a nut, the snake oil salesman might stumble over a real remedy, and that’s what I sensed from these guys. They might have been just trying to make a buck, but they’d also stumbled over something that was true.
After that, I’m sure I read other materials, but nothing jumps out at me. I continued to follow discussions online, which had moved from Usenet to blogs and forums. More importantly, I started using it myself. One of the guest speakers at that DYD seminar was into online chat, and he made a point that stuck with me: Online, there’s always another girl. Pop up 10 windows and say hi, and if one doesn’t respond well or at all, close the window and pop up another. Who cares? For a guy with a tendency to fast one-itis, like me, that was great advice. Start talking to them before you get attached, before their response matters enough to you to keep you from acting natural.
Another thing I have to credit to DeAngelo (though I think he credited it to someone else) was the Bratty Little Sister Frame. If you have a little sister (I did), think about how you treat her: you love her, but you don’t treat her like a princess. If your little sister asks if her ass looks fat in those pants, you say, “Like a Mac truck,” and she still likes you.
Those two things, probably more than anything else, got me over the hump of talking to women and being cocky and irreverent in the way those guys talked about. And it worked. Pretty soon I had women I’d only been chatting with for an hour bringing up sex, and it didn’t take a whole lot more effort to get them to meet. My shaky pedestal crumbled to the earth. I went from being a guy who got a girlfriend every few years, usually while too drunk to be shy, to dating a few at a time for a while. And I did it by being cocky, negging them, and generally projecting that I didn’t give a damn whether they came or went.
Since then, I’ve picked up things from many different sources: Alpha Game, Roissy, Dalrock, and various other bloggers and commenters. But in recent years I’ve kinda lost interest in the nuts and bolts of Game. The fact that it “works,” and what works and what doesn’t, are pretty well settled in my mind, so I don’t have much interest in arguing them. I’ve turned more to related topics, like the God-ordained foundation for the traditional male and female roles that the success of Game reflects, the way it intersects with other social issues like feminism and HBD, and ancient writers who touched on the truths of Game long before it was called that.
I suppose the question that interests me most is: why didn’t I get it sooner? Or less self-centered-ly: why don’t guys get it sooner, and what could be done to help them? I come from a fairly old-fashioned home, where my dad went to work and my mom stayed home to raise us, and it was that way through most of my family. I read plenty of books and saw plenty of movies where the guy got the girl not through compliments and gifts, but by being or becoming more masculine. I watched girls I loved go running back to the abusive or neglectful boyfriends they’d just been cursing. All the data was there, but I missed it, reframed it as something it wasn’t, or somehow didn’t think it could apply to me.
That’s something that I think is still an open question. How much of it is environment, and how much is innate? How much was I simply the kind of guy who would pedestalize women no matter what my upbringing? If so, how did I get that way when my father and grandfathers didn’t act that way? And if so, how much can really be done to snap guys like me out of it before they come to some sort of epiphany at their own speed? I don’t have anything more than vague guesses about those things.
One difficulty with recommending a beginner’s guide (even if I knew of a few) is: what kind of beginner? I was a fairly good-looking guy who generally got dates when I worked up the courage to ask, so mostly what I needed was something to make it less scary and make my view of women more realistic. An extroverted guy who doesn’t mind approaching women, but who is kind of dumpy and tends to repel women, would need a different guide. If there’s one source that would be equally useful to both of them, I don’t know what it is.
I guess that’s not a very good answer, but there it is. Maybe that means I should write one.