Info

As Mystery and I traveled the world doing workshops, meeting all the players in the game, the seduction community became more than just a bunch of anonymous screen names. It became a flesh-and-blood family. Maddash was no longer seven letters of type but a funny, Jeremy Piven-like entrepreneur from Chicago; Stripped was an uptight book editor from Amsterdam with male-model looks; Nightlight9 was a lovable nerd who worked for Microsoft.

Over time, the posers and keyboard jockeys were outed, and the superstars were given their due. And Mystery and I were the superstars because we delivered: Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco, and Chicago. Every workshop made us better, stronger, more driven. All the other gurus I had met clung to the safety of the seminar room. They had never been forced to prove their teachings in the field city after city, night after night, woman after woman.

Every time we left a city, a lair sprung up if one didn't exist already, bringing together students eager to practice their new skills. Through word of mouth, the lairs soon doubled, tripled, and quadrupled in size. And all these guys worshipped Mystery and Style: We were living the life they wanted, or so they thought.

Each workshop generated more online reviews praising my newly acquired game. Each field report I posted triggered a flood of e-mails from students wanting to be my wing. The list of sargers in my phone book was actually starting to surpass the number of girls I'd met.

Most of the time when my phone rang, it was a guy asking for Style. And, dispensing with introductions, he'd ask, "When you call a girl, should you block your number or not?" or "I was in a three-set, and the obstacle ended up liking me and giving me her phone number. Do I still have a chance with the target?"

The game was consuming my old life. But it was worth it, because it was part of the process of becoming that guy in the club—the one I'd always envied, the one in the corner making out with a girl he'd just met. The Dustin.

Before I discovered the community, the only time I'd ever made out with a girl I met in a club was when I first arrived in Los Angeles. But in the middle of kissing, she pulled away and said, "Everyone must think you're a producer or something." The subtext was that she was otherwise too hot to be making out with a slob like me. It shattered me for months. I was too insecure to handle what was, in retrospect, her own form of neg.

But now, when I walked into a club, I felt a rush of power, wondering which woman would have her tongue down my throat within a half hour. For all the self-improvement books I had read, I still wasn't above shallow validation-seeking. None of us were. That's why we were in the game. Sex wasn't about getting our rocks off; it was about being accepted.

Mystery, in the meantime, had gone through his own metamorphosis during our travels. He had developed a radical new form of peacocking. It was no longer enough to wear just one item to catch the attention of the opposite sex. Now, all his items were larger-than-life, turning Mystery into a mobile sideshow. He wore six-inch platform boots and a bright red tiger-striped cowboy hat, which combined to make him seven feet tall. He added skintight black PVC pants, futuristic goggles, a plastic-spiked backpack, a mesh see-through shirt, black eyeliner, white eye shadow, and as many as seven watches on his wrists. Every head turned as he walked down the street.

He didn't need openers. The women opened him. Girls followed him for blocks. Some grabbed his ass; one older woman even bit his crotch. And all he had to do if he was interested was perform a few magic tricks, which seemed to justify his outlandishness.

His new look also served as a great litmus test for women. It repelled the type of girl he wasn't interested in and attracted the type he was. "I'm dressing for the outrageous club girls, the hot slutty girls, the ones I could never get," he explained one night when I accused him of looking like a clown. "They're playing groupie, so I gotta play rock star."

Mystery constantly encouraged me to dress as outlandishly as he did. Though I buckled one afternoon and bought a purple fur vest in a Montreal lingerie shop, I didn't get off on the constant gawking and attention. Besides, I was doing well enough without it.

My reputation stemmed largely from the Miami workshop, where in a period of thirty minutes I put my previous six weeks of hypnosis, training, and guru-chasing into action. It was a night that would go down in the annals of community history. It was seduction not as wrestling but as ballet: a perfect example of form. It was the night of my official graduation from AFC to PUA.

Ckaptah

It was the perfect sarge.

When they walked into the VIP area of Miami's Crobar, everyone noticed. They were both platinum blondes with well-tanned fake breasts and identical outfits—tight white tank tops and tight white pants. How could anyone not notice? They were what the PUAs would call perfect 10's, and they were dressed to turn men into beasts. This was South Beach, where testosterone levels run high, and the pair had been whistled and hollered at all night. The girls seemed to enjoy the attention almost as much as they savored shooting down the men who gave it to them.

I knew what to do—and that was to do what everyone else wasn't doing. A pickup artist must be the exception to the rule. I had to suppress every evolutionary instinct inside me and pay them no attention whatsoever.

With me were Mystery and two of our students, Outbreak and the Matador of Love. The rest of our pupils were sarging on the perimeter of the dancefloor downstairs.

Outbreak went in first, complimenting the platinum twins on their outfits. They brushed him off like a gnat. Next, the Matador of Love moved in with the Maury Povich opener. He too crashed and burned.

Now it was my turn. This was going to take every bit of confidence and self-esteem that Steve P. and Rasputin had hypnotized into me. If I showed even a flicker of weakness or doubt, they'd eat me alive.

"That tall one isn't a 10," Mystery leaned in and whispered to me. "She's an 11. This is going to take some hardcore negging."

The girls strolled to the bar, where they began talking to a transvestite in a black tutu. I moved in, not even glancing at them, and greeted the transvestite as if l knew him. I asked if he worked at the club, and he said no. It didn't really matter what I said to him: I was just maneuvering into position, pawning him for the two-set.

Now that I was in range, it was time to neg. "That girl over there is biting your style," I said to the 10, the shorter of the two. "Look at her." I pointed to another platinum blonde in a white outfit.

"She's just got the same hair," the 10 replied, dismissively.

"No, look at her outfit," I persisted. "It's almost the exact same."

They looked over, and here was the make-or-break moment. If I didn't come up with something good to follow, I'd lose their interest and be branded just another weirdo. So I continued with the negging. "You know what?" I told them. "You both look like strange little snowflakes."

It was a bizarre, cryptic comment, but now I had their attention. I could sense it, and my heart began to pump faster. I continued with what I knew all along would be my true opener: "I have to ask you something. Is your hair real?"

The 10 looked shocked, then recovered her composure. "Yes," she said. "Feel it."

I pulled it gently. "Hey, it moved. It's not real."

"Pull harder."

I complied, and yanked it so hard that her neck jerked back. "Okay," I said. "I believe you. But how about your friend there?"

The 11's face reddened. She leaned over the bar and looked me hard in the eye. "That is really rude. What if I'm bald underneath here? That could really hurt someone's feelings. It's disrespectful. How would you feel if someone said that to you?"

The pickup is a high stakes game, and to win you have to play hard. All I had done so far was commandeer their attention and provoke an emotional reaction. Sure, it was a negative one, but now we had a relationship. If I could turn her anger around, I'd be in.

Fortunately, I happened to be trying to make a point to the students and was wearing a black mod wig and a fake lip piercing—just to show that looks don't matter. It's all game.

I leaned over the bar and stared the 11 down. "Well," I told her. "I actually am wearing a wig, and I am bald underneath here."

I paused, and she looked at me with her mouth open. She didn't know how to respond. Now it was time to reel her in. "And I'll tell you something else. Whether I go out totally bald, in this wig, or in some crazy longhaired wig, it doesn't change the way I'm treated by other people. It's all your attitude. Don't you agree?"

Everything I say in a pickup has an ulterior motive. I needed to let her know that unlike every other guy in the bar, I am not and will not be intimidated by her looks. Beauty to me was now a shit test: It weeded out the losers who got dumbstruck by it.

"I live in Los Angeles," I continued. "It's where the most beautiful women in the country come to try and make it. You look around a club there, and everyone's good-looking. It makes this VIP room look like a dive bar." They were words I'd learned, almost verbatim, from Ross Jeffries. And they were working.

I let her look around, then continued: "And do you know what I've learned? Beauty is common. It's something you're born with or you pay for. What counts is what you make of yourself. What counts is a great outlook and a great personality."

Now I was in. It was the girls who were dumbstruck now, not me. I had entered their world, as Jeffries once put it to me, and demonstrated authority over it. And, to ensure my position there, I threw in one more neg, but softened with a slight compliment, as if they were winning me over: "And you know what? You have a great smile. I can tell that underneath all that, you're probably a good person."

The 10 sidled up to me and said, "We're sisters."

A lesser pickup artist would have thought that his work was done, that he had won them over. But no, this was just one more shit test. I looked very slowly at both of them, and then took a chance. "Bullshit," I said, smiling. "I bet a lot of guys believe you, but I'm a very intuitive person. When I look at you both, I can tell you're very different. Too different."

The 10 broke into a guilty smile. "We never tell anyone this," she said, "but you're right. We're just friends."

Now I'd broken through her programming, moved her away from the auto-pilot responses she gives to men, and demonstrated that I was not just another guy. I took another chance: "And I'd be willing to bet that you haven't even been friends for that long. Usually, best friends start to have the same mannerisms, and you two don't really."

"We've only known each other a year," the 10 admitted.

Now it was time to back off my game and fluff a little. However, I made sure never to ask questions; instead, as Juggler had taught me, I made open-ended statements that led them to ask me the questions.

The 10 told me they were from San Diego, so we fluffed for a while about the West Coast and Miami. As we talked, I kept my back to the 11, as if I were less interested in her. This was classic Mystery Method: I wanted her thinking more about me, wondering why I wasn't giving her the attention she was so used to. Nothing in the game is an accident.

I think of a woman's interest in me as a fire, and when it starts to die out, it's time to turn around and stoke it. So, just when the 11 was about to walk away to find someone to talk to, I turned around and delivered a beautiful line: "You know what? When I look at you, I can see exactly what you looked like in middle school. And I'm willing to bet you weren't so outgoing or popular then."

Sure, it was a truism. But she stared at me flabbergasted, wondering how I could possibly know that. To seal the victory, I laid out one last beauty-neutralizing cold-reading routine. "I bet a lot of people think you're a bitch. But you're not. You're actually shy in a lot of ways."

She began to give me the doggy dinner-bowl look, as the PUAs call it. It is the look that is the goal of any approach. Her eyes glazed over, her pupils dilated, and she just watched my lips move, entranced and attracted. I noticed, however, that the more interested the 11 became, the more kino the 10 gave me.

"You're interesting," the 10 gushed, pressing her breasts against me. I could see Mystery, Outbreak, and the Matador of Love rooting me on in the background. "We have to hang out with you in L.A."

She leaned in and gave me a tight hug. "Hey, that'll be thirty dollars," I told her, disentangling myself. "This shit ain't free."

The more you push them away, the more they run toward you. "I love him," she told her friend. Then she asked if she and her friend could stay with me next time they were in L.A.

"Sure," I said. But as the words left my mouth, I realized, too late, that I should have made my hospitality more of a challenge. There's so much to remember and juggle during a pickup that it is hard to get everything perfect. But no matter. She gave me her phone number, and I gave her mine.

You may have noticed that I haven't been referring to these girls by their names. That's because I never introduce myself during a pickup. As Mystery had taught me at that first workshop, I wait for the woman to introduce herself or ask for my name. That way, I know she's interested. So, as we exchanged numbers, I received my first real IOIs and learned that the 10 was Rebekah and the 11 was Heather. Now it was time to separate the two of them and see if I could get enough IOIs to kiss-close Heather.

A guy they knew suddenly showed up and bought three shots—for Heather, Rebekah, and himself. I held out my empty hand and looked around, pretending to be hurt. Heather, who I was slowly realizing was ac tually a sweet girl beneath that laboriously wrought exterior, took the bait. "Don't mind him," she said, pointing to their guy friend. "He's just rude."

As she called the bartender over and ordered me a shot, Rebekah threw her a dirty look. "Remember our rule?" she whined.

I knew what their rule was: Girls like this love it when guys buy them drinks. But David X had taught me better: Girls don't respect guys who buy them drinks. A true pickup artist knows never to buy meals, drinks, or gifts for a girl he hasn't slept with. Dating is for tools.

"We promised not to buy any drinks on this trip," Rebekah whined.

"But you're not buying a drink for yourself," I told them. "You're buying one for me. And I'm different from all the other guys."

I'm not really that arrogant, but in the game there are rules. And the rules must be obeyed, because they work.

Suddenly, Mystery walked toward me and whispered in my ear, "Isolate!"

"I want to show you something," I said to Heather, as I took her by the hand. I led her to a nearby booth, sat her down, and performed the ESP experiment. Behind me, I saw Mystery punching his fist into his open hand in slow motion. It was a code: the signal to phase shift, to slow down and move in for the kill.

I told her about soul-gazing and, with house music and dozens of conversations blaring around us, we stared into each other's eyes and shared a moment together. In my head, I imagined her as the pudgy middle school student she used to be. If I'd been thinking about how beautiful she really was, I would have been too nervous to sully her with my lips, as I was about to attempt to do.

I slowly moved my head toward hers.

"No lips," she said, quietly.

I held up my index finger, placed it against her lips, and said, "Shhhh." Then I kissed her—on the lips.

It would have been the most beautiful kiss of my life. But I was so lost in the seduction that I forgot I was wearing a fake lip ring. Worried that it would fall out (or, even worse, end up on her lip), I pulled back, looked at her again, and then nibbled on her lower lip.

Her tongue darted out of her mouth. "Hey, not so fast," I told her, as if she were the one hitting on me. The key to physical escalation, David DeAngelo had said in his seminar, is always two steps forward, one step back.

We made out carefully, and then I returned her to Rebekah at the bar. I had a workshop to wing, so I told them both that it was a pleasure meeting them and I should rejoin my friends. We confirmed our plans to spend a weekend together, and I left with my heart singing.

The Matador of Love was the first person to run up to me. He took my hand in his and kissed it. "In India, we put ourselves prostrate before people like you," he said, flapping his arms excitedly. "You've given me a new meaning on life. It was like watching John Elway do the two-minute drive. You knew he had game before, but in that moment he really proved it. You got the Super Bowl ring."

For the rest of the night, I was on fire. Women who hadn't even seen me with the platinum non-sisters were opening me. They could smell it.

When I ran into Heather again, I asked her, "You're not a thief, are you?"

I removed my necklace and very slowly put it around her neck. "This is still mine," I whispered, kissing her lightly. "It's something to remember tonight by. But I want it back next time I see you. It's very special to me."

As I walked away, I knew I'd just made her night.

It didn't even matter whether I got laid or not, because this was the game artfully played. It was exactly what I'd been working so hard for. I just didn't realize that I'd ever be able to pull it off so smoothly or that, in the process, I was creating a hunger that could never be satiated.

Chapbih

After another two months of workshops, I flew back to Los Angeles for a break. But I grew restless sitting at home alone. There were clubs and bars full of sets to be opened, each one a potential new adventure. The compulsion to sarge consumed my body like a fever.

Fortunately, I received a call from Grimble. He was at the Whiskey Bar and had started talking to Heidi Fleiss, the former Hollywood madam who'd recently been released from jail for pandering and tax evasion. She wanted to meet me.

I slipped into a custom-made suit I had recently bought, threw my prop bag over my shoulder, and dabbed a different cologne on each wrist. I had a feeling this was not a casual call.

When I arrived, Grimble was standing next to her at the bar. He was wearing the exact same floral-print button-down shirt I had met him in, except the silver had faded to gray from so many washings. Three buttons were open, and his hairless chest was thrust further out than ever. Like a baseball player, he seemed to believe it was his lucky shirt.

"This is Style," Grimble told her, flashing a shady smile that was a little unnerving to a friend, but to a certain type of girl was no doubt a turn on. "The guy I was telling you about."

Heidi was attractive but hard, like only women who've had to fend for themselves in Los Angeles can be. I wondered if he was trying to set me up with her. She seemed like an odd choice. I try to avoid women who've served time.

She reached out and shook my hand firmly. "So," she said. "Show me your stuff."

"What are you talking about?" I asked.

"Grimble here says you're a pickup artist. He was telling me about what you teach. Let's see what you've got."

I flashed Grimble a dirty look. He'd sold me out. "Why don't you show her?" I asked Grimble.

"I have a girl here," he said, flashing a cruel smile and nodding to a petite Hispanic woman in four-inch heels. "Besides, she can see me on Elimidate."

Grimble had told me months ago that he was going to test his seduction skills by auditioning for the dating show Elimidate. I just didn't realize he'd gone through with it—and actually been accepted.

"When's it airing?" I asked.

"Tomorrow night."

"Who won?"

"I'm not allowed to talk about it. You'll have to watch."

I searched his face for a clue, but he betrayed nothing.

"Well." Heidi prodded. "Go pick up a girl. I bet I can get anyone you can."

It looked like I would be competing in my own Elimidate that night. I was exhausted from months of travel and constant pickups, but I wasn't going to pass up the challenge.

Heidi spun around and approached three girls who were sitting on the patio smoking. The battle had begun.

I opened a nearby three-set—two men and a lady who looked like an an-chorwoman in search of a camera—with the cologne opener. Afterward, I asked the usual fact-finding question: "How do you all know each other?" Unfortunately, she was married to one of the guys in the set.

Just as I was about to eject, Heidi marched in.

"So," she asked my former target. "How do you know Style?"

"We just met him," she said.

"You looked like old friends," Heidi told her with an obsequious smile. Then she turned to me and whispered, "They're boring. Let's move on."

As we left, I asked how her three-set had gone.

"The girls were all twenty," she said. "I could have turned them out in a half hour." Evidently, pickup to Heidi Fleiss meant recruiting girls as escorts.

Minutes later, she was in another group. I had to give her credit: She had no fear of approaching. I decided it was time to humble her with the awesome power of my newfound game.

She was kneeling on the ground in front of two women with gold glitter lightly dusting their cheeks, talking about local restaurants. I walked in with a new opinion opener I had made up about a friend whose new girlfriend won't let him talk to his ex-girlfriend from college.

"Is she being fair?" I asked. "Or is she being too possessive?"

The point was to get the glitter girls talking amongst themselves, but Heidi blurted, "The guy should just fuck both girls. I mean, I always put out on the first night."

The line must have been part of her routine; it was the second time I'd heard her say it. I also noticed that she always kneeled on the ground after approaching, so as not to intimidate the girls. I was glad Grimble had called: Heidi Fleiss was one of us.

In recent weeks, I'd figured out my own routine. It was a simple structure that allowed me to determine the direction in which I needed to take a girl: First, open. Then demonstrate higher value. Next, build rapport and an emotional connection. And, finally, create a physical connection.

So now that I'd opened the set, it was time to demonstrate value and blow Heidi out. I ran a piece I'd invented after meeting the fake sisters in Miami—the best friends test.

"I have to ask you guys: How long have you known each other?" I began.

"About six years," one of the girls said.

"I could totally tell."

"Rather than explain, I'll give you two the best friends test."

The girls leaned in toward me, thrilled by the idea of an innocous test. Guys in the community have an expression for this phenomenon: I was giving them "chick crack." Most women, they say, respond to routines involving tests, psychological games, fortune-telling, and cold-reading like addicts respond to free drugs.

"Okay," I said, as if I were about to ask a serious question. The girls huddled in closer. "Do you both use the same shampoo?"

They looked at each other to decide on an answer, then turned to me and opened their mouths to speak.

"The answer doesn't matter," I cut them off. "You already passed."

"But we don't use the same shampoo," one of the girls said.

"But you both looked at each other before you answered. See, if you didn't know each other well, you'd keep eye contact with me. But when two people have a connection, they look at each other first and communicate almost telepathically before answering. They don't even need to speak to each other."

The two girls looked at each other again.

"See," I exclaimed. "You're doing it right now."

They burst out laughing. Big points for Style.

As the girls started telling me how they'd met on the plane the day they'd moved to Los Angeles and been inseparable ever since, I looked at

Heidi Fleiss kneeling there uselessly. The girls seemed to have completely forgotten about her.

But Heidi was no quitter. "So," she announced loudly, "are any of you girls gonna fuck him?"

Ouch.

In one sentence, she had humiliated me. Of course none of the girls wanted to fuck me—not yet. I hadn't even made it halfway through my sequence, and even if I had, the comment still would have blown me out. "Hey, I'm not that easy," I responded, recovering a little too late. "I need trust, comfort, and connection first."

Heidi and I walked away together. She clapped a hand on my shoulder and smiled. "If I left here right now," she said, "they'd follow me out like a line of ducks."

Seconds later, she was in another two-set. I dashed in after her, and the competition was on again. She was sitting with a balding man who said he was a stand-up comic and a heavily peacocked woman with long gumball-blue hair, an impish voice, and a wickedly smart sense of humor. Her name was Hillary, and she said she was performing a burlesque show the following night at a club called the Echo. She was so interesting, I hardly needed to game her. We just talked, and I took her phone number right in front of her date. Then Heidi invited them to a party and gave Hillary her number. She wasn't going to let me walk away victorious.

"I could have her working in a day," she said. She always had to get the last word in.

Some people are born to be rock singers. Others are born to be teachers. "I was born to be a madam," Heidi said. "I'll always be one."

Every time she left a set, she was convinced she could have turned the girls into hookers or extracted them to her house—even though those days were now behind her. By the time we left the bar that night, we had competed for every girl in the place. And I'd learned that there's a fine line between pimp and player.

Grimble and his date came up to me laughing afterward. "That was the sickest thing I've ever seen," he said. "I can't believe how much you've changed. You're like a new man." He gave my forehead a slimy kiss and then negged me. "You held your ground pretty well, especially considering she had an advantage because everyone recognized her."

"Well," I replied. "Let's see if you do any better on Elimidate tomorrow."

Chapiah

It was a red-letter day for the seduction community. Tonight on Elimidate, Grimble would be paired with three other eligible bachelors to compete for the favor of a lingerie model named Alison. Our entire lifestyle was at stake. If he won, it would prove that the community really did have a social edge over the jocks and studs we'd felt inferior to all our lives. If he lost, then we were just self-delusional keyboard jockeys. The fate of PUAs everywhere was in his hands.

I sat on Grimble's couch and watched the episode with Twotimer. Where the other guys on the show tried to suck up to Allison, Grimble leaned back and acted as if he were the prize. Where the other guys bragged about how successful they were, Grimble took the advice of his new guru and claimed to be a disposable lighter repairman. He made it past the first elimination.

During the second round, a waitress brought a bottle of champagne to the table for Alison, courtesy of Grimble. She was shocked, especially since Grimble hadn't been trying as hard as the other guys. He made it past the second elimination.

The final round was on the dance floor, which I knew would seal it, because Grimble and I had taken salsa-dancing lessons together. When he dipped her to the floor and scooped her back up, taking her breath away, I could see it in her eyes. He had won.

"Congratulations," I told him. "You have vindicated the good name of PUAs around the world."

"Yeah," he said, with a cocky smile. "Not all models are stupid."

We went out that night to see Hillary perform. Since my crush on Jessica Nixon in sixth grade, one-itis had been a regular part of my life. But in the past eight months, I hadn't felt even a tremor of one-itis. In fact, every woman I met seemed disposable and replaceable. I was experiencing seducer's paradox: The better a seducer I became, the less I loved women. Success was no longer defined by getting laid or finding a girlfriend, but by how well I performed. The bars and clubs became, as Mystery had coached me at that first workshop, just different levels on a video game I had to get through.

I knew Hillary, in particular, would be a challenge. Not only was she sharp and cynical, but she'd seen me run around picking up women all night with Heidi Fleiss.

Grimble and I sat in the back of the Echo and watched Hillary strip. She was dressed as a gangster, with a machine gun water pistol and a form-fitting pinstripe suit over a garter and matching panties. She had a classically curvy body that suited the art form. When she saw me in the back of the room, she sashayed over, sat on my lap, and sprayed me in the face with the water pistol. I wanted her.

Afterward, I joined Hillary, her sister, and two of her friends for drinks at a Mexican bar called El Carmen. As we talked, I took Hillary's hand in mine. She squeezed back. IOI. Grimble was right: A new me had evolved.

She took a step closer to me. My heart began to hammer against my chest, as it always does during the two parts of a pickup that give me the most anxiety: the approach and the kiss.

But just as I was about to tell her about animals and evolution and hair-pulling lions, disaster struck. Andy Dick walked in the bar with a group of his friends. One of them knew Hillary, so they joined us at the table—and suddenly my game evaporated. Our connection was eclipsed. There was a brighter, shinier object in her field of vision. When we rearranged ourselves, Andy Dick somehow ended up between us, separating me from Hillary.

He was all over her in an instant. It happens in Los Angeles: Celebrities hit on your dates. In my AFC days, I stood by helplessly and watched one night at the Whiskey Bar as Robert Blake slipped my date his phone number. But I was a PUA now, and a PUA wouldn't stand by helplessly and watch a celebrity molest his date.

Why was I constantly battling tabloid stars for this girl?

I stood up and walked outside. I needed to think. I'd given Heidi Fleiss a run for her money the night before, so I ought to be able to take out Andy Dick. It wasn't going to be easy, though, because he was so loud and obnoxious. It was clear from the moment he arrived why he'd become a star: He loved attention.

The only chance I had was to become more interesting than he was.

Grimble was outside, talking to a woman with curly, unkempt brown hair. He reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a pen and paper. He was about to number-close.

Suddenly, the girl broke away from Grimble. "Style?!" She peered at me, incredulous.

I looked at her: She seemed familiar. "It's me," she said. "Jackie."

My jaw dropped. It was the stinky-footed comedian whose hotel room I had run out of. My first semi-success story. Either this was a miraculous coincidence, or we were running out of fresh women to sarge.

I talked to her for a while about her comedy class, then excused myself. I couldn't lose any more time; every minute was an inch higher up Hillary's thigh that Andy Dick's hand was moving. And I had a plan to stop it.

I walked back to the table, sat down, and ran the best-friends test on Hillary and her sister, which diverted the attention to me. Then, after discussing body language, I suggested we play the lying game. In the game, a woman comes up with four true statements and one lie about her house or her car. However, she does not say them out loud; she merely thinks them one at a time. And by looking for a variation in her eye movements, you can usually tell which is untrue because people look in different directions when they lie than when they're telling the truth. All through the game I teased Hillary mercilessly, until her body language closed off to Andy Dick and opened up to me.

Andy asked me what I did for work (I didn't realize this at the time, but it was an IOI), and I told him I was a writer. He said he was thinking of writing his own book. Soon he completely forgot about Hillary and started bar-raging me with questions, asking if I'd help him. He was my fan. And, as Mystery says, own the men and you own the women.

"My biggest fear is being thought of as boring," he told me. That was his weakness. I had beat him by being more interesting than him—and by having value to him. The tactics had worked, even better than they had the night before with Heidi Fleiss. Only I didn't realize just how well they had worked.

Andy slid closer to me and whispered: "What are you? Straight, bi, or

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