If you're in college, or you ever went to college, you're familiar with a phenomenon that's known widely today as "hook up culture:" the Western tradition of getting together for quick flings and casual intimacy with your friends.
The way it's supposed to work is, you go out and get drunk, and you wake up the next day with some girl you're friends with. The two of you smile and laugh about it and then go about your lives as if nothing had happened. Or, perhaps, you hold a late night study session, and then the night goes a little later than either of you expected, and you end up in one another's arms. And then, the next day, maybe it's a little awkward, but again, you smile and laugh about it and shrug it off and it's on to the next one.
But there's a problem with this idea of hook up culture, and it's a problem that drives lots of men crazy pulling their hair out and throwing monkey wrenches into their own efforts to bring women into their lives.
The problem is, hooking up with friends is that it doesn't quite work as advertised. In fact, more often than not, it doesn't work at all.
The Fiction About Hook Up Culture
We've all seen the movies. Wild sex-fests where every friend screws every other friend of the opposite sex. You hear the stories about the guy who shags every girl in a social circle. It seems like all you have to do if you want to make it happen is get good enough at social circle stuff, and then that magic will become yours too.
But it turns out it doesn't quite work that way. You get good at social circle... and then you get really good. And as you get better with women, you find yourself sleeping with all kinds of girls really fast from outside your circle. But the better you get with women and with socializing, the further from success with girls you're friends with, it feels... in fact, you notice that they keep getting more and more reserved around you.
You can tell they like you, but they police themselves increasingly hard around you. What gives?
There is this myth it took me a long time to realize was a myth regarding "hook up culture" and hooking up with friends. The myth is that it's really easy to hook up with friends when you're cool and fun and sexy and you don't care.
But the myth is wrong.
Take a moment and think back over your experiences, if you've got a bit of a background in getting together with girls at this point. Of all the social circle hook ups you've had, how many were with women you knew well... and how many were with women on the periphery of your circle? Women you'd just met that night, or perhaps only once before?
I can see all the experienced guys out there nodding with me. Yep – women hook up with guys on the periphery of their circles. They don't have flings with men they know well.
Sure, it happens. Everyone who's been in the game a while probably has a tale of some girl he was friends with forever that he finally overcame the friend trap and bedded, and it was spectacular. But how many of his closer female friends did this happen with? Maybe one. Maybe two. For most guys, it's probably none.
Almost every girl you take as a lover who comes from your social circle, you'll find, comes from the edges of your social circle – not from the center of it. Girls like:
- The girl who's friends with your friend
- The girl you bump into at a party
- The girl you kinda sorta knew from class or work or some activity you're in
- The girl you met once or twice before but didn't really talk to all that much
Girls like that. It isn't the girls you're close with that you hook up with. It's the ones you aren't close with.
It took me a long time to get this. Most men still don't get this. It's why you see so many guys plowing gargantuan heaps of time and resources into trying to woo women they've known forever, and not getting anywhere. It feels counterintuitive to say it, but the fact is, a guy is going to do much better with a woman he knows less, whom he's invested less in, and who sees him as less of a permanent fixture in her life.
Because once he's become a fixture in her life, she doesn't want to upset the balance of things. She wants to maintain the status quo – and the status quo is, the two of them are just friends, and that's where she'd like to keep it.
An Oft Overlooked Disconnection
Men are risk takers. Women aren't. Men often forget this.
Think about it like this. There's one woman and two men. One of the men the woman knows very well and is comfortable with. The other she hardly knows. Who's she more likely to hook up with?
If you think it's a trick question, that's because... it kinda is. Most folks – heck, almost everyone out there you talk to – is going to say, "Well, OF COURSE she'll hook up with the guy she knows! She's comfortable with him, and that other guy's a complete stranger!"
But women are not risk takers. They're risk averse. And when a woman looks at a situation like this, her mind is looking at the risks. Here's what it says:
Oh wow, I really like John, he's so cool and charming and sexy, and I've been into him for a long time. But if I sleep with him now, I might lose the chance to be with him later, or I might lose him as a friend.
This other guy Chris, though, I don't know a whole lot about him, and he's just okay... but I don't think I'm ever going to see him again, so it doesn't really matter what happens. He is kind of cute and funny... okay, maybe I'll go for him.
And then boom, she goes with the other guy she hardly knows that she likes a lot less, and the guy who knows her well goes home alone and curses the gods for not making any sense. He's put so much time and effort into this girl, and she goes home with that dirt bag she just met instead of him?
There are probably about 3 billion men the world over who've been driven crazy by things like this at least once each, and oftentimes many more. This happens to just about every guy. It comes from a common disconnect between men and women.
Men's goals are to sleep with as many attractive women as possible. Simple enough. You might see yourself as wanting to find your dream girl, but if you happened to know three girls who met your dream girl criteria, and they all wanted you... would you take only one and turn the others down?
We're men. It's simple with us.
Women's goals are also to sleep with attractive partners, yes, but in addition they want to keep a lot of men in standby, for a variety of reasons. Those men on standby can help them in their lives, do them favors (like I mentioned in the post about Shopping Guy), or serve as backups if things fall through with their man or they go through a dry spell or emotional turmoil. Women put a lot of time and effort into building their stables of men on standby.
This is very important to realize as a man. Women will sleep with you if you do things right, but if not they're often just as happy to keep you around as one of their backups or social supports.
It's not that they're trying to use you, any more than you're trying to use a girl when you want to sleep with her. Just like you're thinking, "Of course she's going to have a great time in bed with me; I'm great!" girls are saying to themselves, "Of course he's going to love being my friend; I'm wonderful!"
And that's where the disconnect occurs.
The Secret to Hooking Up with Friends
Then what about the guys who do succeed at hooking up with friends? What's the secret?
There's one big, important secret all the men who do great at hooking up with female friends of theirs know that all other men don't know:
They know not to become a fixture to women until they're prepared to strike.
Men who hook up with friends don't spend a lot of time hanging out with those friends all the time. Unlike the guys who try to win women's hearts by just being around them constantly and getting to know them super well, these guys instead only make brief, sporadic appearances, and often speak very little to the girls. Maybe a few jokes here and there... and that's it.
They don't get to know the girls in their circle very well, if ever.
But wait, you might say – aren't I a huge proponent on here of deep diving and getting to know girls profoundly and intimately? Why, yes I am. I am indeed. But recall that I'm also a big proponent of moving very fast with women.
There's a reason for that: if you get to know women well but don't move fast, you become a very good, very close friend of theirs, and a fixture in their lives.
And that makes you far too valuable to risk losing over something as trivial as sex.
So, you'll notice that any friend of yours who's reliably good at hooking up almost never gets to know a girl... until the night he takes her home. Only on that night does he pay any attention to her and get to know her and talk to her and flirt with her. Then, he closes the deal, invites her home, and they get together.
Until that night, he was on her periphery. Until that night, he was not a fixture in her life.
That's the secret. The secret to hooking up with friends is remaining on their periphery until the moment you decide to make something happen. That way, you prevent yourself become a fixture, and prevent yourself from running into women's risk-averse no-sex-with-good-friends policy that's flummoxed so many men over the ages.
Just don't get too close with her before you do anything with her, and you're golden.
What about the girls you're already close with? Well, keep them as friends. Or, if you don't like them much as friends, simply fade them from your life and find other people to fill your time with. It's a far more efficient use of your time to fade out women you've become a fixture for who aren't going to do anything with you and instead bring new women into your life you don't have that baggage with.
And next time, of course, just make sure you move faster and proactively look to move women and invite them home and close deals with them. You'll thank me for advising you do so, I promise!