Monday, December 19, 2011

Improving the Reward to Effort Ratio

Johnny, a reader of my blog, brought up some interesting points in reply to my post Q&A Afterthoughts.
I feel day game in general has very low reward to effort ratio. Street game is just downright pathetic in this regard. I was initially sold on the idea that not every chick goes to bars/clubs but everyone definitely has to, say, do grocery shopping. Very quickly, after getting my first 10-15 numbers (and all of them flaked), I realized that it is a complete waste of time. You have zero control over the variables involved.
I completely agree with this statement. What is particularly questionable about street game is that you often can’t even make a good guess about basic compatibility because most people have to dress in a certain way for work. Obviously, you’ll do a lot better if you are able to style yourself for a particular audience.

This observation bridges to the second statement Johnny has made:

The issue is the one of reward to effort ratio. A lot of people get dismayed by hearing about these PUA gurus, pulling so many chicks, about how you should have an abundance mentality regarding women, blah blah blah. Something which these guys are not so explicit about is the amount of time they spend focusing on this, and thus their actual reward to effort ratio.

IMO, if some dude is in mid 30s and has been going out, say, 3 nights or more every week for the past 10 years, and then even if he has slept with 30-40 women, it just sounds fucked up on so many levels. First, its a pathetic reward to effort ratio. Second, the reason why one would want to do this for say 10 years, is completely not clear to me. We are not even having a chat about whether these numbers are even real, and the quality of chicks in question.

Anyway, my question is, what do you think are some of the key things which a guy can do to improve his effort to reward ratio? Also, what do you see are some of most common mistakes which guys make that make this ratio crap?
It is indeed the case that hardly anybody in this scene likes to talk about actual numbers. When I was posting on public forums a lot, someone pointed out to me that I had published more “lay reports” than Style, Mystery, and a handful other “big name gurus” put together. I wasn’t aware of this because I never took those people seriously to begin with. But of course, the difference between myth and reality is a great starting point to explore this topic.

First of all, I’d like to remind you that Style admitted, in The Game, that he was teaching Mystery Method before he even had one “lay” using his master’s method. You’d have to be severely deluded to find nothing questionable about that. Compared to this, you should probably applaud Mehow for starting teaching after one (!) “lay”. He admitted this after being publicly questioned, and the sources are to be found in my ebook Debunking the Seduction Community.

Strauss and Mehow are not the only offenders, though. To a great extent, it’s a matter of perception. Some people seem to think that just because someone posts a group picture of himself and a couple of girls in a club, that he has banged all of them. Nothing could be further from the truth, and in fact, for many “PUAs” the regular outcome of the night is to go home empty-handed. They even admit this themselves, if you are able to connect the dots.

For instance, TylerDurden from Real Social Dynamics used to brag about having banged "over 100 girls" in three years. This may or may not be true, and I won’t tell you right now what my opinion is, but given that he also said that this was the end result of going out 1,000 nights in a row (probably an equally exaggerated claim), the ratio is pathetic. Tyler seems to select his coaches on mathematical ability, since the same calculation is presented by Brad Branson, who similarly claims to have been going out “at least 1,000 nights in three years” and, of course, has been with “over 100 women.” You can read this and other fairy tales in his Reddit Q&A.

So, given that “gurus” claim that getting laid one in ten nights is good enough to teach, why do people then feel insufficient? Of course, “one in ten” sounds much less intimidating than “five out of five”, or Mehow’s classic “I can steal any girl from her boyfriend in 15 minutes.” (Sure, and I run faster than Usain Bolt.) In terms of reward to effort, the ratio is still rather bad. You have to remember that those guys claim to live for pickup, so it’s not like us normal guys who like to go to clubs because we like going to clubs, and shag some birds when we feel like it, until we eventually settle down.

But what do you do to improve the ratio? One key mistake, of course also perpetrated by pretty much every "PUA" out there, is to not knowing what you go for. If you dress generic, then this is you. If you go to a mainstream club because you listen to nothing else than what is played on the radio, then this is you, too.

To really boost your ratio, given that you have taken care of the absolute fundamentals like being (somewhat) in shape, and having your own place in a good location, you have to make an active effort in finding girls who are compatible on some level. I’ll just run you through some bullet points now, since I have explained this process in great detail in Minimal Game:

- some similarities; could be as simple as liking the same kind of music (this is your “entry point”)
- equal or higher socio-economic status (less important for hook-ups, but even for flings, it starts to matter)
- comparable level of beauty
- roughly similar height; ideally you are two to three inches taller than her (this measure may include her height in heels in a club)

Many guys go wrong by going for girls who are out of reach for them. Of course, you can now say that I am “negative” and “tell people to settle for scraps.” However, there is a competition going on for girls. The most attractive ones normally have no shortage of suitors, and if you think that a little bit of “game” will compensate for your lack of popularity, looks, and money, then you’ll be in for a rude awakening. Yet, this is where so many men fail, and they do so because the allegedly easier option is so much more tempting. Eventually, though, they will learn, due to their utter lack of success, that they have been sold snake oil.

This resentment, albeit with a focus on relationships, is mirrored in a recent post by Assanova on RealMadeMen, "Getting a Girlfriend 101”:

One constant theme that keeps coming up with single men, is that the women constantly flake and they can't seem to get anywhere with them. What that tells me is that either most men don't understand what I'm about to tell you, or they do, and are completely delusional about where they really stand.

I'll tell you guys, outside of a social circle type setting, game is completely useless when it comes to getting a date or a girlfriend. And I don't need to tell you that game is useless outside of a long-term setting, because the results speak for themselves. Most of you have to approach tens or hundreds of women, or go outside of America, just to get one single date. There's absolutely no point in arguing because I am right, and like I said, the results speak for themselves (and please, don't come at me with a guy who is already comparatively attractive, popular, or has money, and try to use him as an example of "game" working.).

Now that you're ready to listen to the truth that I speak, understand that a woman will only date you if one of three things occur: you appear to make MUCH more money than her (and are willing to show it by spending some serious cash), you look MUCH better than the men that approach her (it doesn't matter if she is fat; what matters is what the men who approach her look like), or you appear to have a MUCH better social life than her.
So, to repeat: If your “ratio” sucks, then it’s probably because your foundations are severely lacking. If your ratio doesn’t improve after you’ve fixed it, then you probably don’t market yourself properly to your audience. Thus, improve your looks as much as you possibly can, make sure you’ve got a stable income, and maintain a circle of friends. This is the bare minimum you have to do. If you fail, then you may nonetheless boast with having been with “over 60 women in ten years”, but leave out that you had to go out over a thousand nights, and approached probably 10,000 women. (I know of at least one guy like that, and a few others who I suspect might be similar but haven’t bothered to probe into their history.)

Now some may object that you want to have a “quality girlfriend” and don’t really care about the number of girls you sleep with. This is a different objective, and hardly one a “PUA” who boasts about the almost proverbial “100 women” can claim to follow. Yet, the process is the same, and the only difference is that you will turn down, or not react to, the many women who would want to get with you.


  1. "Yet, the process is the same, and the only difference is that you will turn down, or not react to, *the many women who would want to get with you.*"


    When I last heard you say something like 'game doesn't matter', I thought you were being overly negative. The part of the quote I emphasized is something very important, though. You probably say something about this in your book too (which I have but haven't read yet - I'm just too tired right now of reading about pick up stuff, even though you probably have a number of excellent points to make). Anyway, I think this can't be put clear enough, since a lot of guys (including me) like to think of pick up as the magic pill, when apparently being able to express yourself in a free, not-too-shy way is enough (given the basics being ideal), even if it won't enable you to pick up just about every girl you meet. However, in reality who would want to pick up a girl he doesn't have any 'click' with? Better just go for the interested ones.

  2. I agree with all of this and I admit that I'm pretty much screwed when it comes to dating , but some particular events from my life make me wonder. If I act 'cool' and 'chill' (nothing sexual) to girls they may or may not flake on me , however , if I act like an a-hole with too big ego ,who only wants to get to theirs pants it usually grabs their interest , which is peculiar to me. Once I made up my mind that I hate two particular hot chicks who came to the party : they said what's up and I told them straight off the bat that I don't like em and I will maybe like them when I get drunk.
    Later that night I was constantly followed by on of this girls who started to cling to me and tried to makeout with me.

  3. Thanks for this detailed post!

    Its amazing how life sometimes comes around a full circle. I am sure if you were to put a knife to the throat of a random guy on the street, and asked him what he felt women like in a guy, he would probably say looks, money and power.

    After all the PUA advice in the world, it has come down to the same thing. If you want reasonable options with women in your life focus on those three - looks, money and power (or socio-economic status), or basically choose environments where you fare better on these three metrics than the other guys.

    All the key PUA lessons, I think it can be summarized in very few bullet points -
    - Focus on improving your looks, money and power and choosing a better environment as per these three metrics
    - Have realistic standards
    - Focus on receptive girls
    - Approach lots of women. Don't fantasize over one girl
    - Rejection doesn't matter
    - When you like a women, state your intentions clearly (aka being reasonably aggressive)

    I honestly now believe that this constitutes more than 90% of "game". Yes, being cocky-funny or learning a cool escalation technique might improve your chances 1-2% or might have helped in a particular situation, but broadly I think this is it.

    PUA is a numbers game, but that is a useful mentality only if you are going after girls where you have a reasonable shot. It is only then that the other 10% becomes important. If one keeps approaching girls way out of your league, no amount of game matters.

    As a guy who does not have any natural advantages, realizing this doesn't feel good at all, as I no longer have the PUA fantasy to cling on to that given all the things I lack, I can still pull lots of very hot chicks. Having said that, part of this is liberating as I can now start living in reality and focus on things that actually matter.

  4. jcz,
    there are further implications, too. For instance, "game" will only help you with ONS and flings, but in the long run, you will be limited by your socio-economic status. Maybe I'll write about this in a separate post.

    your observation is correct. Yet, you should also take into account that this kind of behavior is only attractive to a certain subgroup of women. However, it's an interesting topic and I'll address in a separate post.

    thanks for this fantastic statement! It really made me happy as I don't often get to read such sober and realistic statements. I especially like your conclusion as it expresses the empowering view of a realistic approach to seduction, as opposed to living in a PUA lala land. The truth sets you free.

  5. 100 girls in a 1000 nights is horrible! Considering that guys like Tyler Durden teach pickup as a job, and probably approach 20 women a day. The normal guy goes out for 3-4 hours when he goes out. I imagine tyler going out for 6+hours a night.

  6. Good, realistic post.
    Very sobering.

  7. James,
    100 girls in 1,000 nights easily translates into 100 girls out of 20,000 approaches (with a very conservative estimate), or 1 in 200. But that's nothing compared to a guy who gets celebrated on RSD Nation for an even weaker ratio:

  8. Hey Aaron, just like to say I really like your blog, your insight and your knowledge in general with women.

    Just a reminder, I believe I posted before on your forums as "TheRealist":

    It was a pretty bad post, I'm not going to lie, but, I was going through a pretty rough time after getting dumped by my girl. And listening to delusional bullshit seemed to help me.

    Haha, well guess what? I really am sick of being a pushover nice guy and am totally down for whatever now.

    The thing is, I'd like to see your insight on coaxing girls into sealing the deal. They go in for the kiss ;)

    For most of the time I've been approaching women, or being approached by women. I would sexually escalate with body language, tone of voice and generally trying to do as much as I can to get her horny, with no physical escalation.

    But, even though I think I'm pretty sucessful to get a few girls doing this, I would like to increase my success rate overall... by doing nothing!!! ;)

    You may think what I am trying to do is silly, but, like really. Who wouldn't want a girl that would hop on your dick, no questions asked ;)

    Best Regards and Keep up the good work.

  9. DayGame can be very rewarding if you do it right. Yes, it has a very low reward if you *indiscriminately* hit on everything in sight.

    What a lot of guys don't get is that there are a ton of women who are giving you a ton of signals to approach them. When you go to a busy mall, there are bound to be at least a few chicks whom you'd catch staring (if you paid attention)... and if you're in a store or supermarket, you will often have girls often end up hovering around you (she's always looking at the same aisles as you are by some "coincidence".)

    Also, it's only low-reward if you do full-on-approaches on random women. You can still do random women, but just throw remarks and do pre-approaches. It's not a huge effort.

    If you just say "hi, hey there" with a smile and move on, you've made no effort, but you have done a very good test. You've let her know it's ok to give you signs to approach her.

    If she has ANY interest, she will seek you out later, like come to your aisle and smile at you... or follow you into the store you're going in.


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