A field report is, as I understand it, the term used in the seduction community and pick-up artistry to refer to an account of what you did to pick up a “girl” and what the outcome of those moves was. It is something of a misnomer to call this a field report in that sense, as shall become clear, but in terms of putting into practical use some of the material I have been gathering in my SCW programme, it seems worthwhile for me to keep a record of what, exactly, is happening.
Today I was in town and decided that I may as well wander around and see how much of the great advice I’ve been gleaning from Hayley Quinn’s freebie material, from Daygame.com, and from my own questioning and introspection, I could manage to deploy.
This falls into three sections.
The first is more of coming up with openers using the OAR system, and trying to get better at doing that. I still seem to be at a staircase wit phase: coming up with the words I wanted to say only after I’ve started to feel creepy or else the woman in question is lost in the crowd. I did see a video of Tom Torero of Daygame.com demonstrating the “Unconventional Interruption” in which he jogs down a street through several gaggles of people to catch up with the woman he wants to stop, which indicates that this is something to do with me as much as it is to do with anything objective or social. But it is beyond my ability to respond that way just yet.
Partly, this is to do with investment, which in turn depends on attraction. One of the frustrating things about all the PUA advice I’ve found so far is that it appears to take the man’s attraction for the woman he’s approaching for granted – it’s a fixed, static entity towards which one wishes to orient that attraction levels of the female party. There’s no consideration of how acting in a certain way might affect or alter the way in which the person doing the picking-up feels about or relates towards the person zie is picking up (gender-neutral pronoun because Hayley Quinn or another woman could also be picking up). Many of the techniques suggested are such that I would lose respect and attraction for a person if I were to attempt them. Be that as it may, Quinn rather helpfully points directly at the issue in one or two of her videos. She repeats an adage that I have seen in various types of dating coaches’ advice blogs: “Men’s attraction is like a switch; women’s is more like a dial.” The assumption is that a man responds almost instantaneously, or flips between binary states of “interested” or “not interested”, whereas a woman takes time to warm up to the idea of sex/attraction/whatever, and it is a linear, or at least continuous, progression rather than a flip of states. This frustrates me, because I feel sure that in this regard I am much closer to the “dial”, or female”, version than the “switch”/”male” version of attraction levels.
Quinn uses the “switch” model to justify or lead into telling men to say simply whatever that initial specific spark of attraction was that made them choose this woman over that woman. This, to her, is part of the “integrity” element of her principles. She argues that normally, that initial, honest, reaction is often buried under seeking some appropriate line – if you can hold onto it and say it, then (she argues) people (women) recognise the authenticity and respond well to it. This works well if attraction is an instantaneous or binary switch, triggered by some identifiable prompt in the environment (such as a specific feature or behaviour by another person). If, however, attraction works as a slow-burning acceleration (the “dial” model) then it’s much harder to pinpoint any kind of trigger or prompt, because it is an accumulation of elements that produces identifiable desire.
In particular, appearance, while it is a consideration, is relatively unimportant to my attraction levels (it’s more important when I’m interested in a man, I find – not sure what that means). Personality is the strongest factor, and prior to a conversation there’s very little to go on with that. For me, the idea of an approach isn’t “I want you” but rather “Do I want you?” Great from the point of view of PUA advice saying, “Make her qualify herself to you” but actually a bit rubbish in terms of “follow your instincts”. I suspect that this is why I usually respond to an overall impression of appearance rather than targeting one aspect. With the majority of women for whom I eventually arrived at staircase wit openers, it was unclear what attracted my attention, and in many ways there was nothing immediately distinctive to point to and use as a hook for the “OAR” formula. Or maybe there was, but I wasn’t keying in on it quickly because that wasn’t what actually drew my attention. So it takes a few seconds of looking for me to arrive at something genuine that I can hang the line on.
And if I get there quickly, I have to build an assumption. Maybe this comes naturally to others, but for me it’s an intellectual exercise that requires work. I don’t like to stereotype people, so the tools of assumption aren’t quite there. “Make up a story” is easier, but that leads to assumptions like “you look like a spy on a secret mission” – which might well work, if I can carry that energy or that fantasy through the conversation, I guess, or if I can find a way to link that into the Relate phase of Quinn’s OAR system and draw it back to a more normal conversation topic. (And yes, that is a genuine “assume” line that I came up with today. On the figurative staircase, though.)
Probably the best chance I had was one of the few “instant attraction” moments I felt on the day. She was tall and wore an amazing black dress that looked like she was going to an evening dinner party or something, it was truly distinctive in the middle of a shopping mall. Just the surprise alone was a great impetus to open. But this still fell down to a “staircase wit” situation. While the “assume” part was all ready to go (dinner party, posh engagement, classy person), I got hung up on the word to use to describe her in the dress. I eventually settled on “slinky”, which was the absolutely perfect adjective to describe what I was seeing and responding to. However, by that point she was literally on the stairs (well, escalator, anyway) and a crowd between us. Curse my slow-witted thesaurus brain!
The second segment involves less theorising, you’ll be glad to know. This segment is about being more approachable and open myself. What happened was that as I was making for the entrance of the shopping mall (so this was just a few minutes before the “slinky” staircase wit) I met the gaze of a middle-aged woman. Rather than immediately glance away, I have been working on feeling more comfortable meeting others’ gazes, as some advice-givers suggest that this is a good way to make connection. I was also smiling, again, to appear friendly and open. It seemed to work.
“Hallo, smiler!” she said to me. I was actually a bit nonplussed by this. “Hi,” I replied. “Nice tie!” she said, and then she was gone into the crowd. So, I think that means that the “approachable” aspect is working. Maybe?
The final segment is where it almost all came together. This was the second moment in which I got an instant attraction going. This time, a woman came out of a shop a few yards in front of me. She was looking at her mobile phone, so I thought, “won’t bother her”. But then she looked up from the phone and smiled this huge, bright smile and that was it. That was what I could observe, I could assume, I could relate to it. She walked on past, I turned, I jogged past, gave it a count of 4, turned to face her directly. Just the way Tom Torero describes in the video/blog post linked above.
She didn’t see me. Her head was down, her nose buried back in her mobile. In the count of four she had gone from head up to head down and I, a substantial figure to say the least, was directly in her path and yet invisible to her. I had a second or two at most to decide how to handle this unexpected circumstance, otherwise she would collide with me and that would be Bad. I gave it a half-second to see if she would notice my presence, but after that I could not justify to myself staying put, I had to abort, move out of the way, and continue nonchalantly down the street as if nothing happened.
To me, this is a big breakthrough in terms of the Courage part of SCW. I had been absolutely ready to make the stop, start a conversation, with a stranger, just like that. That it didn’t actually work the way I hoped is beside the point to that aspect.
It was the high point, and although I hoped for more, it was back to the occasional “staircase wit” event after that, so I came home. Still: this counts as progress. I’ve shown that I do have the gumption to go after a conversation, as long as I can figure out how to start it. I think I want to pay more attention to how my attraction is working, and see if I can get a better sense for what’s going on when I see someone I might approach. And work on just processing what I’m seeing more quickly so I don’t end up stranded on the figurative stairs all the time!