The playerâs journey is a lonely one. Since we first sit on our motherâs lap giggling and cooing, we are lulled into the comforting fantasy that people care about us. I used to think a motherâs love is the only genuinely selfless unconditional love in the world but even that is a fantasy. The reality is we are truly alone in this world.
The only person who will put your own interests front and centre is yourself. Thatâs a harsh realisation, and most of us spend a lifetime avoiding it, protecting all of those pretty lies.
I was never lacking a loving family, so forming secure attachments didnât scare me. However, from around twelve years of age my best friend (and most popular kid in school) was uprooted as his parents took a job one hundred miles away. Suddenly I had no social coattails to hang on to and my slight weirdness was no longer shielded by a protective association with him. I gradually drifted out of the âcool gangâ and into the âoutsidersâ group. And there Iâd stayâfirst as a metaller, then a punk, then an anarchist, and finally an ex-pat.
So Iâd always felt somewhat alone. Iâd always had my little social group, but we were all outsiders. My extreme introversion compounded this fact, so Iâd enjoy holing up in my bedroom watching zombie movies or reading voraciously. Then, at university, I started boxing. Youâre never more alone than when you step through the ropes for a fight and the bell rings. Neither your coach nor your sparring partners can help youâItâs just you against the other guy.
Ironically, learning to seduce women is equally lonely, and we try equally hard to persuade ourselves it isnât. In the beginning you believe youâre the only person trying this âgame thingâ and that you must be weird. You canât tell your friends or theyâll laugh at you or pull you down like crabs in a barrel. God forbid you tell your workmates! There are online meet-up groups of like-minded men learning game but even then itâs more like a collision of independent particles than a bonded molecule. Even now, in a situation where some of my best friends are the worldâs most prominent professional seducers, arranging holidays together is like herding cats.
So I just accepted that most of the time Iâll be alone in this journey. Even when with a succession of beautiful young women, Iâm alone. I never quite give myself over to the pair-bonding.
In August 2009, not long after my first boot camp, I was yet to come to this realisation. Iâd been watching instructional videos and reading textbooks on game, thoroughly immersed in my new hobby. I was already zoning out at work, physically present but mentally absent. My work became that thing to be finished as soon as possible in order to make time to browse the latest Game blog posts, and then Iâd rush home on the Underground mentally scheduling the eveningâs DVD fare:
- 7pm: Food, eaten on my sofa while watching Mind of Mystery.
- 8pm: RSDâs Flawless Natural.
- 9pm: Interlude to play video games.
- 10pm: Something from David De Angelo until his droning voice made me sleepy.
There was just so much material to consume, I felt Iâd never get it. Imagine going to juggling school and the first class is how to keep six balls in the air. It was overwhelming but also exciting. For the first time in my life I felt like I had a real shot at dating hot girls. Once Iâve taken a bite out of something Iâm as relentless as a lock-jawed terrier.
I hadnât really gotten to know any of the guys from Sarge School (theyâd later re-brand as Rock Solid Game, or âRSGâ), the ones who Iâd later become good friends with. I didnât want to go out on my own without a wing man, and I was also searching for âkindredâ spirits, I guess, guys who wanted to learn this stuff as badly as I did, or guys who I could learn from. Either way, I made the somewhat naÃ¯ve decision that it would be a good idea to go in search of these people via an âundergroundâ community of Pick Up Artists called The London Seduction Society. These men met online in what were called âlairsâ to discuss the game and their supposed conquests of women. Hindsight is of course 20/20. At the time, I assumed it was an exclusive Members Only club of master seducers.
Oh, how wrong I was!
There was an approval process where I had to fill in an online contact form answering some questions before being granted membership to the forum. I actually worried they wouldnât take me, thus carefully crafted my responses. What if they said no? Would I miss out on a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from Londonâs greatest womanisers?
They let me in, and I posted on the meet-ups sub-forum for a wing-man to go out with. While nodding off during an interminable conference call at the office, my phone vibrated. There was a text message from an LSS guy called Diego Armando (the first two of the football star Maradonnaâs full name, not his real name). Heâs been hanging out in London, allegedly picking up girls, and asked if I wanted to meet. After work the next evening I was standing outside Liverpool Street train station watching the rush hour commuters fly past on their way back to the tree-lined streets of Essex. In the distance I spotted a shavenheaded Mediterranean guy with a grey polyester suit and awkwardly hurried walk. He introduced himself as Diego and my first illusion was shattered. He was quite a few rungs below RSG on the Coolness Ladder.
We started opening girls around the station, but nothing really went anywhere. I did get the number of a Spanish girl called Irati whom I ended up eventually getting into my bed wearing a Japanese schoolgirl outfit but, incredibly considering that circumstance, she was one of the ones that âgot away.â
Before long Diego and I were in a nearby wine bar. It was a pretentious place, one of those where the wine is âreassuringly expensiveâ and itâs impossible to visualise any of the dishes merely from the menu description. Groups of work colleagues stood around unwinding over a beer before a train home. There were a lot of office girls, hence our presence. Low quality girls, according to my standards today, but my standards werenât all that high back then. I was a little bit desperate.
It only took a few minutes until I was chatting to a trio of girls near the bar, asking their opinions on Paris and New York to ease my way in. If I met them now, I would consider them as I do most office girlsâtoo masculine, too chubbyâbut not having had sex for six months puts some urgency into the drive to get laid.
Diego waited until the conversation was rollingâthe set has âhookedâ, in the Game parlanceâand then joined us. It seemed to be going pretty well when all of a sudden, inexplicably, he pulled a deck of cards out of his back pocket. A full deck of playing cards, and he started doing magic tricks. I was standing there slack-jawed in shock, wondering what the fuck this dork was doing. It was just weird. The girls were looking at him like he was a freak as well. One of them even said, âYou really just happened to have a deck of cards in your back pocket?â
This was my introduction into the delusional and downright odd world of pick-up forums. Diego was trying to emulate one of the most famous PUAs in the worldâMystery, who was by trade a magician before he got into the game. Mystery was the star of a reality show on VH1 called âThe Pickup Artistâ and generally considered a father of the seduction community. The difference here was that Mystery is an actual magician. Diego was a mobile phone salesman for Carphone Warehouse. The girls rapidly lost interest and left. Nothing went right and the ill-fated partnership with Diego died that night.