Thoughts on Brandon…And Being Yourself
Back in late August-early September a post appeared by young gentleman called Brandon and it caused quite a ripple and a stir
on the Stickman site. It was an exceedingly well written piece covering the plight of the modern young man and the dating game in the West. Brandon attests that he’s smart, handsome and rich and yet finds it very difficult and time-consuming
to find and date decent women in the dog-eat-dog dating Land of the Free. He rightly points out ‘unrealistic expectations’ as being the root of the problem.
He went on to describe how he attempted to apply his ‘pick-up artist’ (PUA) training in the central malls of Bangkok and found to his surprise that he was resoundingly unsuccessful. PUA training has become popular in the last decade as a branch of other popular self-development sciences such as NLP, life-coaching, positive thinking, etc. PUA training attempts to furnish a man with a repertoire enabling him to get an advantage over rivals when picking up women. It borrows bits from various pop-psychologies (including NLP) and this is then re-packaged, given its own jargon (such as ‘high caliber’ = attractive, ‘closing’ = getting dates / phone numbers ‘kino-escalation’ = being tactile etc) and sold as a product through expensive hands-on practical training and ‘boot camps’. It’s a successful industry, playing on every man’s weakness – his ego’s insecurity and is actually scientifically proven to work, providing that the techniques are applied correctly.
Brandon’s problem in the malls of Bangkok, as others have pointed out, was not his PUA skills but his lack of knowledge of the market he was operating in. He was applying the wrong techniques in ignorance of the social rules at play in that environment. Brandon could have stayed in the malls for a week, approaching a different girl every 2 minutes and would have been 100% unsuccessful, quite simply because unlike in the West, a respectable Thai woman would be extremely uncomfortable about even being seen to accept the approach of a man in public. And even more the case if the man in question was a foreigner.
Brandon then tried his luck in some of the swanky super-clubs in Bangkok (CM2, Spasso) and this is where he found what he was looking for – namely a ‘good girl’ willing to accompany him back to his lodgings – but with a fee payable on the understanding that there would be ‘no strings attached’. Brandon said he paid 10,000B for each liaison, prompting wails and howls of horror from the Stickman readers (myself included) for paying way over the odds and thus perpetuating the cycle of ‘unrealistic expectations’.
Overpaying helps no-one – those that follow Brandon, Brandon himself (he’s now set his stall out and will be expected to continue as he started), and even the girls themselves. They pass up perfectly acceptable pay-days looking for the ‘big-one’ and not all of them have the business sense to play this game well. I’m deliberately writing this in a simple way and I know it's been said a thousand times, but it clearly needs saying another thousand times, otherwise me, you, Brandon, Dana, Old Bill, Stick and all will have nowhere in the world to go and enjoy peaceful, affordable relations with women, be it P4P or otherwise.
Newbies – don’t get into spending contests. The Japanese tendency to overpay is part of their culture and not too much can be done about it, but the rest of us owe it to each other to part with our hard-earned responsibly. One thing’s for sure – that money will unlikely be used in a responsible way by the recipient, but that’s an acceptable part of P4P for most.
What about me then and who the hell do I think I am saying this? I’m not too much older than Brandon but it took me over 35 years to realize ‘who’ I am and be comfortable with that. Some of us realize this earlier, some later and some never. It was the greatest insight I ever had in life – I am who I am. I wasted so much time and energy worrying about my outward image and comparing myself to others. No surprise really, as that’s the way Western society is geared and the way we’re conditioned.
Labouring under my former mindset and for someone with above average looks, intellect, etc, I was spectacularly unsuccessful with women (now we’re getting to it – eh, readers?). Always trying too hard, exuding various degrees of desperation which of course scares off any potential mates. Like Brandon, I tried PUA training. Not the expensive course route but the cheap read-the-book route. I’m used to having to devour manuals in my line of work so book-learning is no big deal. I learned some great stuff from the PUA book and applied some of the techniques with positive results. But I came to the realization that I was having to stay in at least semi-PUA-mode after I had met someone for the duration of our tenure together. In short, I was not being myself in order to get what I wanted. It was exhausting trying to maintain being an outgoing energetic guy, because by nature I’m not. Simple as that. It’s quite a thing to finally admit to oneself and I could never imagine doing it 10 years ago. Know and accept thyself.
When I go out in a group, I don’t get much attention from the ladies as there’s always going to be louder, funnier, better-looking, more garrulous and charming fellas in the pack. And that’s OKAY!! One of the best bits of advice from the PUA book was simply: ‘have fun’ for real. What do I mean? Well – instead of being envious of or trying to compete with the ‘funny guy’, enjoy his shtick and laugh heartily. Women like seeing guys that look like they’re having fun, but so many blokes don’t get it. Look around a bar / club when you’re out and check out guys ‘on the prowl’. A lot of them look like they’re not having any fun, they focus too much on their single priority, it becomes all-consuming and they look like Rafa Nadal on a bad day! This even goes for Westerners in Bangkok where the ratio of men : women is very favourable and women of negotiable virtue are all around! Take a look round a go-go, beer bar, show club or hi-so joint and you’ll see lots of chaps are taking it all very seriously.
I came to Thailand for the first time six years ago with a workmate. That trip just blew my mind completely and the abundant encounters with good girls, bad girls and otherwise allowed me to live out some serious fantasies. In fact, I remember saying to a pal that I’d just done ten years worth of living in 2 weeks! I’ve been back twice a year since and I’ve had quite a few adventures – nearly all good and only very few bad. Nothing beats ‘that first trip’, but I still manage to re-capture some moments of those heady days as I do things in moderation and try to avoid the traps that lead to one becoming jaded. I’m making up for lost time women-wise and know that I’m incredibly lucky to be in a position to travel to Thailand as a free single guy. I know I’m the envy of workmates and friends who don’t have such freedoms.
Do I have more confidence with women now? Yes, but it’s still hard to find agreeable attractive mates in the West. The Thailand Hunch is just plain old Hunch when he comes back home, and I’m just now getting to enjoy that phenomenon of being completely invisible to young women! The very few liaisons I’ve had with Western girls (I love Western girls by the way and marvel at their beauty even when I’m in Thailand) have always been as a result of some type or degree of a bold move on my part. I had the flu on the night I met first long-term girlfriend, and after my friends had bored her and her pretty friend for about an hour, I had to change seats to sit next to her as I was feeling so ill. If it wasn’t for my flu, I would have never done that, and ended up with a year long relationship.
Another time, at my brother’s wedding in New York, a guest asked me what I thought of Tony Blair. I trotted out some fairly uninspired, simplistic, received-wisdom opinion and thought nothing of it. A half-hour later an attractive fifty year old approached me and insisted I danced with her daughter, as she was quite ‘taken with me’ (the daughter that is, although I wouldn’t have said no to the Mother, either!). I couldn’t believe my ears. The young lady was the one of the stunning Maids of Honour. When I got over my disbelief and danced (very badly) with this gorgeous young lady, she said she’d over-heard me talking about Blair and was impressed because ‘most guys I know wouldn’t articulate like that’. Her long clingy black dress had two small, tasteful cut-outs on each side near the waist, and I can still feel the tingle go through me when I laid my hand on her creamy bare skin. Sheer luck that she’d heard me in a rare moment of being the centre of attention. Dated her for six months.
About a year ago, I was fortunate to be on a work junket in Las Vegas and even luckier to get into an exclusive sky bar with VIP table / bottle service. A world away from the usual circles I move in. Girls came over to work their way through our bottles, and one delightful young strumpet sat next to me. We got on okay until my boss said ‘for f**k’s sake, put your arm round her’. I did this with some hesitance but with assurance once I was past the point of no return. I didn’t get my arm broken off. Then, again out of character, while complimenting her on her shoes, I ran my fingers over them and then halfway up her calf. An hour or so later I heard her say to my boss when I wandered back in unseen from the terrace ‘Where’s Xxxxxx? I want my birthday-sex with Xxxxxx’. That moment ranks pretty highly in my love life. All because I did something a bit bold. I wouldn’t have put my arm around her in a million years if my boss hadn’t said what he’d said.
Trips to Thailand did play a part in this third encounter because I was able to follow through what I started to the end without losing my nerve. This is because I’ve become ‘de-sensitized’ to being in close proximity to attractive women. This is another great nugget of PUA training and one that definitely works – I can vouch for it. Get used to their presence, make ‘mistakes’ in their presence and learn by doing.
Of course, I realize I’ve contradicted myself in this piece, telling people to ‘be themselves’ and then giving examples of times where I achieved results by acting out of character! Those waiting for some clever wrap-up will be disappointed! There isn’t one! I’m probably just trying to say that the whole game we try and play is full of contradictions. I simply HAD to say something about Brandon’s submission and kind of meandered off somewhere else after I said it. Nothing original or inspired, just thinking out loud, really.
So to all readers out there, be yourself, enjoy yourself and DON’T OVERPAY!!
Peace out, all. You too, Brandon.
I really enjoyed this and absolutely agree that being yourself in life is critical. Who cares what others think of you – so long as you live your life with pride and dignity. I believe that you will only be truly happy if you are true to yourself.