Disclaimer: These were supposed to be anonymous contributions but I know S. and he was interested in contributing once he found out about the site. In case you’re interested S. is a cross between Channing Tatum and Tom Hardy (more Channing). He’s got very interesting hobbies and is probably one of the smartest men I’ve met. He lived in Canada for a short while but he’s from Europe originally and has a killer accent. Basically, a dreamboat. Over to S.:

How many women have you been with?


What’s your “game?” How do you approach women (online, in real life)?

I almost always initiate things online, via a dating site or tinder (and occasionally even facebook). In my eyes this has many advantages, and overall I think it’s just a better way of doing things. First of all, you know straight off that everyone there is at least open to meeting someone, which is not true in ‘real life’. Second, it really takes the sting out of rejection. Rejection happen frequently and it is a lot easier to take when it’s not face to face. Third, I think it takes a much greater ‘psychological effort’ to initiate a conversation with a stranger in ‘real life’ than it does online.

On dating sites, if I message first, it’s usually short, often with slightly zany humour regarding something in their profile. A lot of girls have extraordinarily generic profiles, in which case I use a non-generic sounding, generic message. The generic profile doesn’t necessarily indicate anything; many of them just haven’t put much time of effort into it, for whatever reason. On tinder, I use the same opening message every time. Writing stacks of messages that are never read or replied to can be pretty soul-destroying, and the reply rate is always low. So I try to minimise the amount of time I spend doing it.

Once they’ve shown interest by replying, they get longer, more interesting, and non-generic messages. They are often a mix of the surreal and the mundane. So, there will be talk about jobs, hobbies, interests, blah blah, mixed in with my latest observations regarding Jon Bon Jovi’s ever-evolving hairdo. Or something like that. I have fun with it :).

I’ll ask them out fairly soon thereafter, probably somewhere between the 8 and 20 total messages mark. I don’t count or anything, those are just fairly typical numbers for when I think she’s ready for it.

First date is always the same place and the same time:
The place – A local bar, 5-10mins walk from my house. It makes it easier to suggest going back to mine later, and cuts down on transit time. A relatively quiet bar where it’s easy to talk. It has couches where you sit side by side – it can be incredibly awkward kissing someone across a table. It also has an upstairs area which most people don’t seem to know about, so it’s a little like we’re in our own world. It’s a good place :).
The time – 9pm. I’m pretty busy, and I find it least interruptive to my schedule for the date to be the last thing I do before I hit the sack.
I think most girls appreciate me just telling them a time and place rather than them having to decide, or having a discussion about it. Incidentally, I find that it works out less often with girls that insist on a different time or place. I have found that they more often have ‘difficult’ personalities (less willing to compromise on anything and more insistent on always having their own way), which I can’t really be arsed with.

I dress smart casual for the date. I usually buy the first round. After that I will happily sit and chat with an empty glass until she offers to buy the next round. It’s not that I can’t afford it, it’s just that the expectation that people will buy you stuff because you have a vagina irks me greatly. It’s a personal gripe. And again, I find that girls who expect the guy to pay for everything are more likely to have a ‘difficult’ personality, the kind that I have little time for.

On the date, I am myself. That’s right, take that, dating gurus! It’s a combination of small-talk, showing interest in the other person and gentle humour. At this stage of the game, it’s about your skill as a conversationalist i.e. can you sit down opposite a stranger and talk for an hour or two and have a great time.

As the date goes on, I have to gauge how interested she is. I think girls think they’re more obvious than they are. I think this is largely due to the fact that different girls show interest in different ways, and in varying strengths. So, while it’s perfectly clear to the girl what all her signals mean, the guy has seen the same signals many other times in different circumstances, meaning very different things.

If I’m pretty certain about it, I’ll kiss them. I do this in the following way:
1. Wait for a pause in the conversation
2. Look directly, unflinchingly at them and say their name. She should turn towards you and look at you.
3. Kiss her.
Once I’m kissing her, if it’s good, I try not to stop. I escalate, slowly. To the point where we’re both fairly turned on, and the question is not “shall I go home with this guy?”, but rather “why are we borderline fucking in a public place rather than at his house?”. This, by the way, is another advantage of being in the secluded upstairs section – you don’t want to be doing this with an audience.

If I’m not as sure, but still kinda sure, I’ll suggest we grab a drink at my place, which is conveniently very close by. If she says yes to this, she’s definitely interested. I repeat the above at my house, and it usually leads pretty quickly to the bedroom.

If I’m not sure, we part ways and if I’m up for it, I’ll later ask her for a second date. If she says yes, she’s definitely interested, and I’ll definitely kiss her/try take her home, as described above.

I think this is a pretty good way of dealing with uncertainty over whether she’s into you or not. It’s only ever happened to me three times, but going in for a kiss to have the girl do the ‘snake dance’ on you is pretty humiliating and hard to brush off. So this minimises the chances of that happening.

It is, annoyingly, rather common for the girl to engage in a game of ‘sexual brinkmanship’ once you’re in the bedroom. Essentially she doesn’t want to ‘give it away too easily’, or can’t quite make her mind up, or something else. I used to think this was funny in my younger years, I’d just do everything I could to get them super turned on and chuckle to myself watching the internal dilemma unfold animated by their facial expressions. Now I find it extremely tedious and annoying. The phrase ‘shit or get off the pot’ comes to mind. There appears to be a common belief that it is a good thing to not put out too soon, or to make the guy wait for it. I can’t speak for other men, but I find girls like that… well, tedious and annoying. I have much more respect for girls that fuck when they want to fuck, with no regard for probably misguided pieces of conventional wisdom.

This may all seem somewhat Machiavelian. Perhaps it is. It’s a method that’s been shaped by much painful trial and error. The problem is that there is a huge, gaping chasm between initial interest and sex. The journey between the two can be fucked up in a multitude of different ways, and women are pretty unforgiving. A single stray sentence, a misstep or hesitation can get you blown out of the water at any time. The net effect is that it often goes nowhere with two people that might be very into each other, and because of trivial, ‘logistical’ reasons. Making the big moves can be extremely nerve-wracking, and you don’t want to be trying to figure out what to do when you’re nervous. Better to know exactly what you’re doing. So I don’t see a problem with going to effort to do things in a way that make it less likely for it to be ruined for a stupid reason.

Is there something that you do that women tend to fall for?

I’m not sure that I could point to one thing in particular.

What is that you would like women to know that you would never admit to/ say in public?

I have found that most of them are bad at sex. I assume most men are too, but it’s only women I have experience with. This has been a huge disappointment for me. When they are bad, it is almost always because of passivity/inactivity, or what I call the ‘dead fish’ approach to having sex.

I almost always find that my relationships with women, romantic or otherwise, become ‘burdensome’ to me. It sounds like a horrible thing to say, but it is unfortunately how I feel. I find that women tend to make a set of demands on me that often grows over time, to the point where they become a set of chores that I have to carry out to keep them happy. It’s kinda shitty. I find male friendships very refreshing in that sense, because there are zero expectations. And I typically find greater intimacy in my male friendships – they think more like me and they understand me in ways I don’t think it will ever be possible for women to.

Do you like sleeping around (if you do) and if yes, why? (Or I mean, I know why but maybe go deeper into why not a relationship.)

Sort of. On the rare occasions when it happens, it’s really nice finding a girl who’s fun to be around and that you can have wild, crazy sex with. On the other hand, seducing women is a massive time sink and very often an exercise in getting dicked around. It’s a lot of effort and it is unfortunately the norm for the sex to be disappointing. I constantly find myself questioning whether it’s worth it. And introspecting about the reasons why I might think it is. I have no doubt that, for whatever reasons, men tend to feel like ‘winners’ when they’re fucking lots of girls, and like ‘losers’ when they’re not, and that has no small part to play.

My previous answer touched on why no relationship. I have always been pretty happy on my own, and somewhat stand-off-ish when it comes to other people, even since childhood. I don’t like to place my happiness/life outcomes in someone else’s hands.

Would you sleep with someone you wouldn’t want to be seen in public? (Because she wouldn’t be conventionally attractive)

Depends what ‘in public’ means. I’m never going to sleep with someone who I’m that embarrassed of that I can’t walk down the street with them. That’s a terrible way to be. On the other hand, I would not take the majority of women I sleep with out with my friends. It’s not that I’m ashamed, it’s that it’ll make hanging out with my friends less fun.

How do you turn down someone’s advances?

It obviously depends how it’s done. Face to face, it’s rare that anything more than a polite ‘no thank you’ is needed. Online I tend to just not message back. I prefer being let down with a non-reply rather than an explicit ‘no’, so that’s what I do. Though I realise some people prefer the clear ‘no’.

What was your experience like with women in Canada?

Not great. I don’t want to generalise to all of Canada, since it is surely a vast and very diverse place. Kitchener/Waterloo wasn’t good though. First of all, there were very few women on dating sites/tinder. Really surprisingly few. Kitchener/Waterloo has a similar size population to Edinburgh, and there is a virtually inexhaustible supply here. I have my own theory as to why that is, and it largely revolves around the differences between North American and European cities. North American cities suffer from urban sprawl, which I think perhaps makes people more likely to stay in their little home enclave and less likely to want to interact with other people.

Secondly, and at the risk of sounding like an ass, I found there to be far fewer women around that I found physically attractive. Again I have my own theory about why this is so. I reject the idea that some nation’s women are genetically more attractive than others (with the exception if you actually do find women of certain races more attractive). I think it’s a cultural thing. I found that women in Canada put a lot less effort into their appearance. In my experience they often dress dowdy, no makeup, etc. Now, there is certainly a balance to be struck here – it’s also not good at the other extreme where they cake on make up with a trowel and take 3 hours to get ready. But I think Canadian women on the whole are on the wrong side of it. I take some pride over my appearance, and it’s nice when girls do the same.

I found Canadian women more conservative then British women. They seemed to be more concerned with being ‘chaste’ or ‘virtuous’ or whatever you want to call it. I think these are silly, archaic concepts. I think if you want to fuck someone, you should do it with no regard for what other people think. It’s annoying to have to bang your head against this mindset.

Finally, I feel like there was a sociocultural gap that made things a bit shitty. I think I would often make jokes or say things that I found fairly innocuous, that Canadian girls would often interpret as being rather ‘out there’. I think it was just a cultural thing – in Britain I feel like we have a culture that values zany wit. In Canada I feel like small talk was more the norm.

Of course everything I’ve said here comes with a big caveat. My sample size wasn’t exactly big, and it’s possible I just didn’t have great luck.

Any other anecdotes you want to share?

Yes. I want to share the story of ‘How I got here’.

I suppose that I have sex with more girls than most guys. Though I haven’t slept with an astronomical number. This may be because I was a very late starter, and actually a fairly unlikely candidate for a roving lothario in my early days.

I was utterly clueless when it came to women in my teenage years and into my early 20s. I think I had poor social awareness and more broadly just had no idea what to do. So, for example, the first girl I ever fancied in high school; I reasoned that if she liked me, she’d do something about it, since I obviously had no idea. She did like me, and for the next, ooh say 2 years, I continued to admire from afar. One day it apparently occurred to me to do something about it. I asked her to go out for lunch together, at recess. She shut me down really hard. Of course whatever interest she had in me had died a long time ago. It hurt pretty bad; the words ‘never fancied you and never will’ still stick out in my head.

Let’s fast forward several thoroughly girl-less years, which included highlights such as being one of three people who went to prom without a date, and having my parents think I was gay. I have just turned 18 and I am in Brazil for 4 months learning Brazilian jiu jitsu. I was at class one day sparring, and there was a super hot Brazilian girl there selling her gi. I would later find out that she was quitting because the guys in the class kept on hitting on her inappropriately. She was staring at me a lot and I didn’t know why. A Brazilian friend of mine who spoke English was talking to her, and after the class he called me over to maybe work out a deal over the gi. He basically chatted her up for me, and I ended up with her number (this is the sort of miracle it took for me to get an ‘in’ with a girl back then). We went on a date not long after.

We were on the beach in Copacabana, at night. She kissed me. It was my first. It felt weird. Then she took me back to her house. She had sex with me. Also my first (when it rains, it pours).

I didn’t feel good afterwards. In fact I felt pretty icky. In the morning, she kissed me goodbye and when I got home, the first thing I did was wash my mouth out and take a shower. We never met up again, but not for lack of her trying. And that was my first time.

Fast forward several more girl-less years. Highlights include the sudden realisation, at the age of 19, that men are supposed to do the chasing. A genius I am not. I felt that I had more or less learned to live without women by this point. I was terrified of showing my interest in girls, but not because of the possibility of rejection. It was because I had internalised the belief that women find male sexuality an inconvenience at best, and a direct threat at worst. I was terrified of being labelled a creep or a sleeze-ball, of inflicting that upon another person. Then I met Will.

Will was an older guy I trained Brazilian jiu jitsu with, who to some degree had been and still was in a similar position. Except he had an answer. He had spent a great deal of time consuming pick up artist (PUA) literature.

I read ‘The game’ by Neil Strauss. You have to understand, that to a 19/20 year old guy who had spent the last 5/6 years suppressing my sexual desires and feeling like a loser for not being able to get women, this read like the holy grail. Surely this ‘PUA’ stuff is the answer!

So, we set about hitting on women. Lots of women. Everywhere. Pick up artists tend to have ‘routines’; memorised pieces of dialogue, stories, jokes etc that they use over and over. I tried this once and immediately didn’t like it. I can’t tell you how disingenuous it feels to have a choreographed conversation. I never did it again.

Nonetheless, we took some of the broad principles and tried to apply them. And we had a great time doing it. It was a great rush of excitement at first; being able to go up to a random girl and get her interested in you feels great, especially for a young guy starved of female attention. We didn’t actually sleep with many women at all. It became about the excitement of talking to girls, being outrageous and ridiculous and seeing what we could get away with.

I look back at myself at that time and think I probably came across as a cocky wanker. Anyway, over time this stuff gradually became less fun. The thrill of having girls attracted to us became old, and the ever present possibility of being shut down in brutal/humiliating fashion started to make it not worth it. And I increasingly came to see our antics as juvenile.

Fast forward a few more, quasi girl-less years. I make my first internet dating profile. At first I made lots of mistakes; bad photos, bad messages, bad timing. Over the course of a year or two I perfect the art. I have sex with lots of girls. And gradually this dictum from Oscar Wilde seems more and more appropriate:

“There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it”