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In Defense of the Bar

These days I really love the bar. I realize that to some extent I’m preaching to the choir here, but I also know there is a subset of aspiring pickup artists who are like me, in that their relationship with the bar has been somewhat strained. I’m sure you know who you are; you think about going to the bar like you think about going to the dentist: you realize it’s in your best interest to go once in a while, but you know it will leave a bad taste in your mouth.

I blame it on my youth. In high school, like many of you I was not one of the cool kids. I never really got picked on, (probably because I practiced Karate obsessively and my demeanor was what could generously be referred to as “standoffish,”) but I wasn’t interested in sports; I was interested in politics and Nietzsche and Jimi Hendrix and whatever nihilistic pseudo-intellectual bummer of an angstfest I could get my mind on. Sure, I was jealous and resented the cool kids for getting all the hottest girls, but I had no interest in participating in what I saw as their shallow and inane lifestyle and value system (not that I would have known how to be “cool” if I had wanted to be). Life was Serious Business! Getting laid would have been a waste of time if it meant listening to pop music and playing beer-pong.

In college I developed a healthier attitude towards life, but my prejudices towards popular culture and society survived. I had the good fortune to live with some of the most brilliant and creative people I have ever met, however these people were not terribly experienced when it came to women. My friends valuable skills in advanced mathematics and fluency in C more than beauty in a woman. There’s nothing wrong with that. Really. But this social circle did not improve my relationship with the bar. We were pretentious. We talked about going to the bar like going to the zoo. “Oooh look at the primates beating their chests and grunting to find a mate!” It might be amusing to go to the zoo and watch the animals fling poo at one another once a year, but most of you don’t see a really hot orangutan and want to bring her home for some sweet monkey love. For years the bar has represented everything I hated about high school.

Before you all think I’m the biggest dick on the planet (I’m pretty sure Nikki Knight is a bigger dick than I am), let me say I’m not nearly as judgmental as I once was. I definitely held unfair preconceptions about people who go to bars. But ultimately, here’s what I want: I want a woman who is smokin’ hot, athletic and curvy, but who also has great taste in music and can argue with me about any intellectually stimulating topic I bring up. Honestly, does this describe the women I meet when I go to a bar or club? Usually not.

So why am I defending the bars and the clubs? Why do I go? Why should you go? The answer is obvious, but those of you who are like me will so often forget: practice. You know that. So why don’t you do it? I mostly got into this stuff on my own and only recently dipped my toes in the larger pickup community, but I’ve already seen this so many times: guys will sit at home reading and studying how to be successful with women, and when they finally go out to the bar filled with people they have hated since high school, they are frustrated and disappointed when they don’t take home a woman who lives up to their picture of perfection. It’s so easy to revert to your old prejudices and say the clientele wasn’t your crowd, and that going to bars is a waste of time. You’re missing the point. If you’re like me, you saw a bunch of tits and got distracted.

These aren’t the tits you’re looking for. You’re supposed to be practicing. Focus. Deep down you already know this, but all the reading you do isn’t making you better with women. It doesn’t count as practicing. All that studying does for you is gives you a strategy. Here is an abbreviated list of skills you can practice at a bar, regardless of whether or not the person you are talking to is someone you could see yourself dating:

-Dealing with uncomfortable situations.
-Behaving in ways/saying things you may be conditioned to feel are
socially unacceptable.
-Getting rejected and not letting it ruin your mood.
-Sustaining a conversation with someone who isn’t giving you very much
to work with.
-Telling captivating stories.
-Having attractive body language.
-Etc.

The second you stop practicing those skills and start worrying about whether you’re going home with your dream girl is the second you stop making progress. You may be looking for a very particular type of girl, and you may (correctly) think that your chances of finding her in a bar are slim to none. But how exactly do you expect to get a girl like that if you aren’t comfortable with those skills? You can read every pickup article out there five times and have a rock solid intellectual understanding of every little detail and technique and skill, but it’s humbling to realize that knowing intellectually what you’re supposed to do doesn’t translate into results when you see the girl and your adrenaline is pumping and you your heart is racing and you start making excuses to not go say something.

Ultimately, when you are in class with a girl who has your favorite band’s T-shirt on, or you’re getting coffee and there’s a supermodel reading a book you loved, you’re going to be much better off with a couple hundred “throwaway” interactions under your belt than if you abandoned the bars as an intellectual wasteland and only talked to the one girl per week (if you’re lucky) who you ran into during your day to day activities that was an obvious match.

I’ve got a bunch of field reports pertaining to this topic, but I’ve rambled enough for one post, so they will have to wait.

So go to bars. Practice. And don’t get distracted. These aren’t the tits you’re looking for.

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