The Game, revisited

Periodically, my email inbox reminds me of my not-distant-enough past. To wit: emails from self-styled dating gurus, so-called spiritual “leaders” (this means YOU, David Deida!) and invitations to Bikram yoga retreats. For the most part, I chuckle to myself, hit “delete”, and go about my business.

Sometimes, though, I reflect on my time on the periphery of “the community,” as Neil Strauss dubbed it in The Game, and wonder what those dudes are up to, i.e., what new marketing schemes they’ve come up with. I got close enough to a number of the biggest names in “The Game” (and some latecomers) to smell the Drakkar Noir*; Zan Perrion, Dave M., Grant Adams, Brent Smith, Lance Mason… plus I’ve interviewed David Wygant (for this blog, and a column), and (God help me) even tried a couple of Ross Jeffries’ courses. I’m still not convinced any of these guys had more than confidence and a good marketing plan, but more to the point,  the only one I actually liked on a personal level, whom I thought was a good guy, was Zan. Now, I’m not saying a guy has to be likable (and we’re talking subjectively here) to learn from, but to resort to the political red herring: of all of them, who would I want to actually sit down and have a beer with?

For all my investigation (or, as I prefer, “research”) into their techniques, the only one I found to be effective, at least for me, was David Wygant’s, and his advice didn’t consist of much more than motivational talks to give me the balls to go up and talk to people*.

So I guess the question I ask myself, the question I can afford to ask myself now that I’m firmly and happily (gasp!) ensconced in a relationship, is: for all the hundreds, perhaps thousands (I don’t want to think about it!) I spent on phone coaching, Internet correspondence programs, conferences, books and Marc Jacobs cologne, did it help? Did I get even anything approaching my money’s worth? Would the outcome have been any different had I, say, used that money to buy original comic book art or a boat instead?

But maybe a better question is: did I enjoy the journey? I have to say, it was an adventure. I’m sure if I had been in a better place in my life, like Hawaii, I wouldn’t have had to resort to seeking help from total marketers, I mean strangers. I found myself in some exceedingly odd situations though–in a hotel room in San Francisco with top dating gurus/coaches, and the hotel security guard, who came to warn us to keep it down so the Hong Kong flight attendants across the hall could sleep; in Everett, just outside of Seattle, in a hotel room with the sex educator, attending a David Deida conference; at the Cactus Club watching Zan work his magic on the waitress. Also, there were those nights at Celebriteez, hanging with the guys from Lifestyle Transformations, and a couple of tantric sex classes conducted by Tanya… all it all, it was a pretty interesting experience. There were some lessons in human nature, too–you can be a successful dating guru, with money and women at your disposal, and still act like a total putz, at least on your email subscriber list. Not to mention any names, Mr. Speed Seduction.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough about this subject. I did learn a lot; I don’t regret a minute of it, only a few hundred dollars. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go sell some stuff on Craigslist. A dog-eared copy of The Game, anyone?

*With apologies to my colleague Michael K., from whom I steal all my Drakkar Noir references.


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October 2008

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