Back on the article about gym pickup, The Tool (one of our forum members as well) commented in asking about ways he could meet girls in the gym as a member of the staff, without overstepping professional boundaries:
“It was 8 am and this girl wanted to Tan and she had another hour before she could tan (24 hour law) so she begged and i told her to wait another hour, she stayed in the locker room and came out an hour later, she asked If she could tan yet, I told her 5 more minutes and asked her "so what brings you to the gym this early on a saturday? working out before work or to flirt with the guy at the front desk? She said Haha I am not. I said "you totally are and now your lieing about it...jeeze." she said haha I guess I am. anyway jist of it I deepdived a bit and got her digits saying your a cool girl we should get some coffee sometime. she said sure and baddabing.
Anyway as a staff member things like this are risky for I can lose my job if it was ever found out or I made it awkward for a girl. So would you advise that those guys who are in fact the staff not try to pick up girls at their own gym? ”
My advice to The Tool was to use barriers to get these girls chasing him; it was, in effect, this: be a challenge to women.
In the article excerpt from my eBook entitled "How to Challenge Women," I discussed why you want to be challenging women, how it helps you, and what the potential risks are if you take it too far. And I offered a few strategies from the book on not being too little of a challenge.
But what about really being a challenge to women? Is it possible to use conversation and communication to set things up so that women are pursuing you, regardless of whether they were or weren't at first?
Sure, it's absolutely possible.
And, it's a heck of a lot easier than you might think.
"Why does she keep going for guys who don't treat her right?" says the nice guy to his friend, struggling to understand why that girl he likes keeps falling for bad boys despite the fact that he's right there and would gladly give her everything she says she wants. "Why can't she see I'd do ANYTHING for her? I'd give her exactly what she says she wants!"
My guess is that anywhere from 60% to 80% of men in the Western world fall into the "nice guy" category these days. These are the men who'd happily do whatever it is women wanted to be with them - if only they could figure out what women wanted!
But they can't. So, they just keep trying to do EVERYTHING for women, and being confounded when women choose someone else over them.
But women don't want a man who'll do everything for them.
Quite to the contrary.
Women want men that they must work for.
To quote Bogg's and Ray's research on "The Heterosexual Appeal of Socially Marginal Men" again:
“Surveyed women consistently specify preferences for egalitarian dates and/or mates. A common perception is that many of these same women often select consorts who are inscrutable, assertive, and controlling, ultimately bemoaning their choices. Dominance has been experimentally shown to provide initial attraction advantages. The Byronic Hero, a venerable literary model, embraces protagonists who possess extraordinary masculine traits that include dominance but also multiple personal flaws. Byronic Heroes, easily identified and plentiful in popular fiction, appear strongly to resonate with youthful audiences and provide alluring portrayals of heterosexual relations. In a classroom survey employing slide images of paired apparel models and a blind date scenario, collegiate women slightly but significantly preferred models independently judged to project Byronic traits over equally handsome men who appeared affable and conventional. Subject comments on Byronic models uniquely included allusions to sexual and mysterious/rebellious attributes. It was concluded that projections of Byronic masculinity provide initial advantages in the securing of heterosexual liaisons. ”
Even sitting in a classroom, without having so much as met the men, only looking at images of them, women still rated as more attractive the men with the bad boy-esque "flaws" than the equally attractive "flawless" men.
Why? Why is imperfect rated as more perfect than perfect?
If you ask me, there's one reason, and one reason only:
Attainability, Value, and Attraction
Think of attainability as a lens through which your value is viewed:
Too much attainability, and your value becomes too easy to see, and thus not very exciting. There's no novelty of discovering anything new, and a girl can easily reach in and grab whatever she wants. There's no challenge.
Too little attainability, and your value becomes too murky, as if you've intentionally obfuscated it. She feels like you're playing with her, or out of her league. You're too unattainable, and she auto-rejects.
Just right attainability, and she can see enough of your value to feel like you aren't toying around with her, and enough to intrigue her, but there's also enough murkiness on the lens that she can't really see anything, and now she's struggling to wipe away the murk. She's curious; her interest is piqued. She feels like she can get what's behind that lens, but she needs to know what that is, first. Now she's interested... she's desirous... and she's in pursuit.
Obviously, it'd be much better if your attainability isn't too high (no challenge), and isn't too low (auto-rejection), but instead is just right (the perfect balance of attainable and challenging).
And these men with Byronic traits tend to be exactly that.
If you had to put each of the following three boxes from above, who'd go in which box?
Kyle, a great guy who goes out of his way to do whatever women ask of him. He drives female friends around town, helps them with their projects, and is ready for dinner, parties, or going out on a moment's notice. Kyle frequently finds himself wishing he had more success with women, but he believes that if he just keeps spending time around them and being as helpful as possible, at some point he's bound to start finding success.
Clive, a perfect example of an all-around great guy. Clive's in great shape, he's friendly, smart, charming, fun, and straightforward. He's one of those guys you feel like Mother Nature blessed with unfair advantages in just about every department. Clive doesn't have any great hidden secrets or a "damaged soul;" his life, rather, is an open book, and he's happy to let anyone who wants to read it.
Flip, an attractive guy with a checkered past. Flip's perhaps not what you'd consider naturally good looking, but he has a certain edge about him that you notice the moment you first meet him. Flip has his own rugged style about him, an air of devil may care, and a tendency to shrug off insults, challengers, and those wishing him ill-will like beads of sweat. Flip's developed charisma about himself over the years, and when he steps in the room everyone notices - and wonders what, exactly, his story is.
That's right - Kyle's the nice guy who's too attainable and no challenge for women at all.
Clive's the guy who's too good to be true and out of the leagues of most girls. He's also not all that interesting, mysterious, or captivating, so he paradoxically struggles to be seen as a lover despite his laundry list of good qualities.
Flip, on the other hand, is just right; he's attractive enough that women want to get to know more about him, mysterious enough that they never really feel they've found out everything there is of interest about him, and just attainable enough, due to his flaws and vulnerabilities, that girls feel like they can get him.
Here's this perfectly imperfect man, with imperfections that must be overcome. The girl needs to "save" this guy from his checkered past and his flaws.
He's the bad boy that nice guys sit there and fume over the girls going crazy for.
Working for Love
We know that women want men they have to work for. And they need men who are in that "just right" range of attainability that puts men almost out of reach... but not quite.
A big part of being maximally attractive to women is being just attainable enough.
That is to say, you want to be an achievable goal to women (and not completely out of a girl's league), while still being a challenge to women enough that it doesn't feel like a shoe-in to get you.
Why do women value men they have to work for more highly? In fact, it's true of ALL humans (and mammals, for that matter): the harder we have to work for something, generally speaking, the more highly we value it.
Imagine I showed you into my house and pointed out two coffee mugs sitting there on a cabinet overlooking the den. One mug, I explained, I'd spent years scouring shops and listings for in vain, before finally having a friend locate one for me in a remote part of Canada. I'd had it shipped out here from there. The other mug, I told you, I'd won at a raffle at some party I'd gone to.
Which mug would you assume is more valuable? Almost certainly the first, right?
Yet, I haven't told you anything about either mug's value. I haven't said what they're made of, if they have any special designs, what their retail market prices are. You just know that one mug I worked really hard for, and the other I didn't, and you assume the one I worked hard for must be a lot more valuable.
The amount of effort put into attaining something factors in directly to how high we calculate its value.
This is why, among collector's objects (coins, stamps, trading cards, etc.), the most valuable items are quite often the rarest objects. It isn't any special property of the object itself that makes it so valuable... it's the level of difficulty in acquiring it.
Same deal with your value as a man. If there are a million other nice guys in town just like you... that makes you not so rare.
So how do you start being a challenge to women and getting them working to acquire you? How do you know how to challenge enough, and when you've challenged too much? And what do you say - and do - to make yourself into that kind of challenge women want so much?
To be a proper challenge to women, you need a handful of things:
- To be able to read whether a woman sees you as too much or too little challenge
- To be able to both pull away and push ahead
- To be able to inspire women to chase
I'm going to cover each of these sections below.
Reading Your Attainability
If you start dialing down how much of a challenge you are when you already aren't much of a challenge, you're going to shoot yourself in the foot nice guy style by making yourself far too attainable (and far too uninteresting).
On the other hand, if you start ratcheting up how challenging you are when you already seem largely out of reach, you're going to throw girls into auto-rejection and soon find out what "bitterness" tastes like coming from women scorned.
Thus, one of the most important abilities for being able to challenge women properly is the ability to read where your attainability is at with any given girl.
Can't you just learn the right things to say and do and say and do those same things with every girl and you'll be fine?
No... because every woman you meet is going to view you differently and place you somewhere else on her sliding scale of attainability.
You might meet some ugly girl out at a bar, and she considers you way out of her league, auto-rejects before you even say hello, and the moment you start talking to her she treats you like the scum of the Earth.
Next, you may meet some beautiful girl, who also considers you out of her league, and she acts cold and aloof, fearing rejection.
After her, you meet an ordinary girl surrounded by loads of male fans and friends, and she sees you and automatically pegs you in her mind as another probable fan, and immediately writes you off as "no challenge." She's very nice and polite to you, because she doesn't want to hurt your feelings - after all, it must suck never being able to be with someone as amazing as her.
Right there alone, you have two women whose league you're out of - one ugly, and one beautiful - and one who thinks she's out of YOUR league - an ordinary girl with a lot of "just friends" male worshippers and emotional validators.
And you can't go just off of looks, or any other characteristic - one girl might think you're out of her league, and the next girl who looks exactly like her may think you don't have a shot in hell with her, while the next girl after that who looks exactly like those first two girls may think you're just perfect for her.
You can't go off appearances. You need to be able to read and adjust on the fly.
How do you read attainability? You look for:
- Aloofness: if women are acting distant and uninterested to you.
- Compliance: if women are
complying when you ask for investment.
- Enthusiasm: if women are
acting excited and interested to be talking to you.
- Rudeness: if women are acting spiteful and catty toward you.
If you need to remember those when you're out meeting women, just think "ACER" - aloofness, compliance, enthusiasm, rudeness.
Aloofness is bad (you want less of it), compliance is good (you want more of it), enthusiasm is good (you want more of it), and rudeness is bad (you want less of it).
How do you know where your attainability falls with any given girl? Use ACER. If a girl is:
- Aloof +
- Compliant -
- Enthusiastic -
- Rude +
... she's in auto-rejection or close to it, and you seem unattainable.
- Aloof -
- Compliant -
- Enthusiastic -
- Rude -
... you're in "no challenge" land and in real danger of entering the friend zone.
- Aloof -
- Compliant +
- Enthusiastic +
- Rude -
... you're exactly where you need to be with her, where she's neither aloof nor rude, but IS both compliant and enthusiastic about being with you and talking with you.
Being a Challenge to Women (and Being Less of One)
Once you know where you stand on attainability, you've either got to be more of a challenge... or less of one.
- If your attainability could use a little reducing, be a challenge
- If your attainability needs to be boosted, be less of a challenge
- If your attainability is perfect, keep doing what you're doing
Much of the time, your attainability is going to be a little off, since you're approaching women and that's an uncommon thing to do. The very nature of approaching means you're going out on a limb and making it clear that you're interested; you may come across as the one who's chasing, or you may come across as someone who doesn't see her as a human being and merely as a sex object.
It's common to approach women and have them be somewhat aloof at first. This is actually auto-rejection, not no-challenge. They don't know you from Jack, assume you're just another guy who doesn't care about them and is only trying to get in their pants, and feel disgusted thinking how impersonally you're treating them.
So, you respond by being equally aloof - you:
- Act aloof not long after opening / you slow open
- Give girls the bored look when they act aloof
- Don't chase and don't get involved
This is not how normal men behave after the approach, and it intrigues most women into wondering if you aren't actually different. They'll begin viewing you as a person and not some stereotypical man who's chasing sex, and your attainability goes up.
They begin to warm up to you and ask you questions and show interest.
What about the opposite though? The girl you approach who's NOT rude or aloof, but also doesn't seem super excited to talk to you and doesn't give you investment when you ask for it? This girl views you as not very challenging, for whatever reason.
It's worth knowing the "why" for training and perfecting purposes, but for immediate purposes of troubleshooting attainability, it doesn't matter. All that DOES matter is that you start being a challenge with this girl.
Acting aloof here doesn't work very well. When you try being aloof with a girl who already sees you as "no challenge," it doesn't inspire chasing; it gets viewed as "cute" or "pouty."
Instead, you must be directly challenging, e.g.:
Compliance stacking and finding ways to get her investing, even if it's very small amounts, and escalating that investment until you are moving her around and getting higher levels of investment out of her
You can best think of it this way:
When a girl is cool, rude, and/or aloof with you, tone it down with her, be calm, minimize investment, and get her comfortable around you with you being very chill, relaxed, and not pressuring her or asking for anything out of her at all to let your attainability rebound. Think of this as "taking the pressure off."
When a girl is friendly, uninterested, and/or nice with you, turn up the heat, get more demanding with her, really grill and probe her on her background, dreams, and motivations, suggest that she's pursuing you, and escalate investment from her to shift yourself out of being too attainable. Think of this as "putting the pressure on."
You can use these challenge "gear shifts" to rapidly change how women see you and make them alter their perceptions of your attainability and how difficult it is to get what they want from you.
Inspiring Women to Chase
Once you've repaired attainability and you've got women feeling like you're just within reach, how do you then get them pursuing you?
The secret is being a challenge to women in a few specific ways that encourage them to chase.
Our three tools for doing this are:
- Using barriers
- Creating scarcity
- Applying time limits
They work as follows:
#1: Using Barriers
A "barrier," in seduction terminology, is a not-insurmountable obstacle that you employ to get women to pursue you. These are best used when you're in a situation that it's easier for the woman to deal with herself.
For instance, you might be invite a girl home, but she's surrounded by friends and you know if you ask her plainly and simply to accompany you back, it's going to be a problem. So, instead of doing so, you say:
“You know, I'd really love to invite you somewhere alone with me where it'd be just the two of us, and we could have drinks and talk and hang out just us. It's too bad all your friends are around.”
What this does is to:
Tell her what you'd like to do to her / with her
Set a barrier up that stands in the way of this happening
Communicate to her exactly what she needs to do to make it happen
This is far more effective than simply saying, "I'd like to take you home," because it follows up with, "But I can't," then gives the girl an action to take if she'd like to make it happen.
If she takes that action, and finds a way for the two of you to leave together despite her friends (in this example), she's buying in and committing to what the two of you will do together.
Then, no longer is this simply what YOU want to do... but it's what BOTH of you want to do.
Obviously, you need well-balanced attainability mixed with attraction and a fair amount of investment already for barriers to work - they won't inspire women to action early on when they're still on the fence about you. Girls need to be excited about and ready to take whatever the next step proposed by the barrier is in order to take it.
#2: Creating Scarcity
Creating scarcity is best done by contrasting yourself with others.
You never want to insult other men or other people, or it looks like you're trying to take out the competition; but a few offhand remarks like, "Most guys are weak," or, "Most people don't really know what they want," allow women to more clearly recognize the things about you that set you apart.
Of course, this only works if these traits actually set you apart. If you say, "Most guys are weak," but you don't exactly seem the pinnacle of strength and dominance yourself, well, she's going to shrug her eyebrows as if to say, "Huh?"
But if you actually are the opposite of the trait you point most people out as having, women recognize this and instantly become a lot more aware of your scarcity.
You can show how impressive you are night and day, but if you never point it out by contrasting it with what almost everyone else is doing and being, the contrast never fully registers.
Make it register by making a few points.
(Obviously, if your whole conversation is, "Most people are this," and, "Most people are that," you're going to wear that one out pretty fast. Use it sparingly to get the right level of contrast running without overdoing it)
#3: Applying Time Limits
Anything that reduces your availability or the probably time window a girl thinks she has to land you works here.
Most men try to make themselves infinitely available to women. "I will be right here, waiting for you!" go the song lyrics. A lot of popular music contain lyrics like that. The guy's so reliable that he's just going to WAIT for her... how romantic!
Your lyrics will be more like, "Take it or leave it, babe... I ain't got time to waste."
Imagine two girls:
Girl A tells you, "I'll wait for you as long as you need! You just call me or text me anytime!"
Girl B tells you, "I like you, and I want to be with you. But I'm not waiting, so choose."
Which girl has your respect, and which girl are you most likely to actually want, desire, and date? Girl B by a landslide... not even close.
Why's it work this way? Well, we tend to intuit that the more valuable a person's time is, the more valuable the person himself is.
So, if your time is so value-poor that you're willing to wait around for a girl, or spend a lot of time pursuing her, then you must be value poor as well.
How do you apply time limits then, to get around being that sad little man who's perpetually available?
You can do this with:
Laser focus on the person you're talking to. Truly busy people tend to be some of the most focused you'll meet. But wouldn't you expect busy people to be distracted? In some things, occasionally, yes; but with socializing, if someone lets others interrupt and distract him, he's simply communicating poor control of his time and attention. You can get his attention any time, simply by interrupting him and asking for it. If you're zeroed in on whomever you're talking to though, girls will know they can't get your attention again simply by breaking your circle, and will know they need to use what time they have with you to advance things.
Not being available for social functions. Women will sometimes test you out to see if you'll be a good fit for their friend zones by inviting you to accompany them to social functions. You should always politely turn these down. Make it clear that the only time you have available for them is one-on-one time... don't waste time being a part of their group.
Slow correspondence response times. Taking a little while to respond back to phone calls and text messages helps to establish some scarcity. Not responding to emails and Facebook messages and texts and other things some of the time (or much of the time) will do this as well. When you're actually truly very busy, you'll do this naturally anyway. When you're not there yet though, you can still slow down your responses so as not to seem overeager.
- Telling women you're moving out of town or not sticking around. If this isn't the case with you, obviously, you can't really use it, but if you're leaving town even in a year or so, letting women know in conversation that you won't be around forever creates some time limits for things to happen in.
One thing I don't advocate is the "false time constraint," where you tell a girl soon after opening her that you've got to be going soon. Saying this presumes that the girl doesn't want you there and wants you out of her hair; it's used to "buy you some time" to win her over.
But if you're hanging around meeting women who don't want you around... you're doing things wrong.
Skip the FTCs and focus in stead on being less available and being zeroed-in on girls when you are available. Make your time quality time, and limited quality time.
This is how you create the nonverbal feel of someone in high demand, and really get girls chasing after you.
What's Being a Challenge to Women All About?
Some people might tell you this is about "playing a game" or "seducing her."
Far from it.
Being a challenge is about flirting and intrigue. It's not a game; it's part of human mating rituals. Women are attracted to men who challenge them; men who do not challenge them don't switch on the mating dance (and then these men get frustrated that women don't want them and complain about how women go for all these "bad guys").
Is it a game if a man tells a woman he'd like to kiss her passionately, it's just too bad there are so many people around? No. He's flirting and telling her what she needs to do on her end (express interest; help get alone with him) if she wants the same thing he does.
Nor is it a game for a man to be zeroed in on women, or taking a while to respond to messages (if he's genuinely busy, that is; you might consider it a game if he isn't, though).
It's also NOT a game to point out that you are not like most people.
Remember, correcting attainability and being a challenge is about:
- Reading attainability (too high, too low, or just right?)
- Being a challenge, or less of a challenge (putting pressure on or taking it off)
- Inspiring women to chase (using barriers, scarcity, and time limits)
Keeping a close bead on attainability, monitoring it, reading it, and keeping it balanced with challenging women is how you keep intrigue up, auto-rejection down, and get girls going with you - and hordes of nice guys wondering why women keep pairing off with "bad boys" like you.