I was standing in the doorway of her dorm room, and I’d returned from my epic adventure to the bathroom in her labyrinth of a dorm.
“Do you want me to eat you out?” I asked.
She shook her head and suggested that it might be time for bed (and for me to go).
And I nodded like the bumbling idiot that I am and left her room and her life for good.
I never saw her again — not in any romantic capacity, at least — for the rest of my four remaining years in college.
This was the first of many pathetic efforts at creating some inkling of a romantic connection between myself and women.
I had many failed efforts at making women feel insecure enough to want to sleep with me.
Several attempts at asking friends out through other friends.
And many relationships under the auspices of the unhealthy delusion that if I was nice enough to them they’d want to sleep with me.
At some point, during the last few weeks of my senior year in college, I recognized that I had very little to lose by being more direct.
By swallowing my pride and being up-front.
To me, that was a terrifying prospect and it still causes me to shake like a baby to this day.
It wasn’t until one girl who I’d been crushing on for the past few months invited me back to her room after I told her, you’re cute that it finally clicked.
This isn’t a fucking game, I thought to myself.
It would be another four years until I finally got laid.
The art of owning your shit.
I was almost 27 the first time I had sex. (Depending on when you read this, I’m 27 now.)
Which means that, depending on your barometer of success in relationships, as a male, I was wildly unsuccessful.
It’s ironic, then, that I’ve written so much about relationships and dating. Right?!
I have friends who, on a weekday, might have more sex with more people than I’ve had in my entire sexual career.
And yet I’d consider myself far, far more successful than some of them, too.
I have friendships around the country and the world with plenty of amazing people. Many of which are, in fact, women.
(And all of this with a perfectly average sized dick, WHATTTTT?!?)
Now, I find comfort and solace in the fact that, depending on your perspective, I got a late start, in some regards.
That I’ll be playing catchup for a few years. (Or, at least, that’s what the insecure piece of my brain is telling me.)
The shame surrounding that comes and goes, but every day I learn to accept that as part of who I am.
For years, I believed in college (and shortly thereafter) that I’d just be weeded out of the gene-pool like every other sad, lonely loser in the universe.
It wasn’t until I tackled my insecurities head-on and started to accept the fact that maybe I was desirable, that I started to challenge that notion.
This is not a fucking game.
I used to devour pick-up artist forums, books, and podcasts on dating, seeking advice on the best way to pickup women.
I kept telling myself, I’m not ready yet.
And I’d go to a party, and try out some of the lines or stories that people suggested: “Hey, random question, but did you see the guy out front on the horse?”
(I stole that from Black Mirror, which likely stole that from a PuA forum.)
And most of them would balk because it reeked of insincerity.
It’s difficult to convince people that you’re interesting and worthy of connection when you’re not a real person.
When the first words out of your mouth seem like a story you’ve practiced.
None of that shit ever worked for me.
I viewed seduction and interaction and communication as a game, not as a human.
And I made excuses: I’m not good looking enough. I don’t have charm or wit.
I’m a piece of shit, I’d think to myself.
I was always the most insecure person in the room. Always out of place.
At some point in life, I stopped trying to be somebody else.
I started to talk and interact with other people as humans.
I stumbled over my words. I got nervous. I didn’t pretend to be put together.
But I displayed curiosity because I’m always curious.
The challenge with trying to be somebody else is that you’ll always lose. Or, you might get what you want for some amount of time, but then you’ll find it far too exhausting to uphold.
I’ve been lying this entire time and I can’t keep it up.
The reality was, none of those techniques would ever be something that would work for me.
Being a human in a world of sub-humans.
I have friends who have – by my own guesstimations – slept with over a hundred partners.
And if we’re judging success in relationships by pure numbers, then these people are fucking prolific.
None of them are particularly manipulative.
They don’t play games.
And they don’t try to use someone’s insecurities against them.
But they do have one thing in common: they are likable and charismatic.
And they treat people like humans, not sex-objects.
They get people and they like people and they like helping other people do what they want to do in life.
They interact with people as other humans, not as potential fuck-buddies.
If there’s one secret in the world of dating and seduction and sex it’s that you should treat people as humans.
(Something I’ve failed at a number of times recently. Maybe it’s because I’m hurting.)
The people who I know that don’t pretend to be somebody who they’re not in relationships kill it.
They own it.
Everything about themselves.
They don’t let someone else’s expectations of who they should be, get in the way of who they actually are.
The difference between showing and telling.
I told her, “I want to fuck the shit out of you,” and a few days later we were both on top of each other naked in her bed.
The thinking, nowadays, is that relationships are a game.
That you don’t want to come off as too eager or too aloof via text message.
That if you tell someone you like them first that you’ve already lost the battle.
Nobody wins in this dynamic.
Because both parties exhaust far too much time and energy avoiding connection.
What I’ve discovered more and more recently is that that approach is bullshit.
That in a lot of ways, being direct with people is the only best way to get what you want out of a relationship.
There’s an obvious distinction between: “Hey, we should hang out sometime, you know?”
And actually saying, “You’re cute and I’d love to take you out for drinks sometime.”
There’s a stark difference between reading somebody’s body-language and asking to kiss them.
And there’s a mountainous divide between making eye-contact with someone and telling them, “I think you’re sexy and I want to fuck the shit out of you right now.”
In the world of pick-up, people might label this as beta.
That beta’s make their thoughts and feelings clear.
The reality is: that’s alpha as shit, girl.
Do what works for you.
I told her, “I have a mega-crush on you – do you want to go out sometime?” and she laughed and said, “you’re too cute.”
And I didn’t care what the answer was. (But it was yes! Then no.)
A few months before that, I would have felt far too insecure to even suggest something that direct.
But I’ve had more and more success telling people how I feel about them and then allowing them to set their own boundaries.
What’s prevented me over the years from approaching people that way has always been the question of what if?
What if she has a boyfriend?
What if she’s gay?
What if she says no?
I wish I could say I’m not deterred by those questions anymore, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
I’m always nervous.
Always anxious about the end-result.
But I care more about connecting with people than avoiding the minor pain of rejection.
Because connection with other humans is amazing.
I know I’m not the smoothest, most charismatic cat in town.
That she might have a boyfriend.
That she could say eww, no!
That in a lot of ways, I’m a total dork.
I was talking to my friend the other day and I told him that “I think the secret to seduction is just to be direct. Ask people directly, you know?”
And he said, “no, no. That’s not the secret. That’s just what works for you!”
And I chewed on it for a while.
I thought about the hundreds of articles and strategies I’d devoured over the years on seduction.
I’d tried them all.
None of them worked.
They felt too stiff. Too disingenuous.
But those things worked for somebody else.
“Huh,” I said.
“I guess you’re right.”
I’d finally found something that worked.