Guest post by Xander.

“How the hell could you front on me? There’s a thousand you’s, there’s only one of me”

– Kanye West

Consider this thought experiment. Imagine a beautiful woman. She grew up in a mid-sized town in Minnesota where she was always the prettiest girl in school. Prom queen, cheerleader, even her biology teacher turned into a bumbling baffoon around her. Her whole life people told her she was gorgeous, ascribed qualities to her (some real, some imagined) that made her feel exceptional, and generally made the world cotton for her perfectly manicured toes to walk on. Maybe she went to college where she enjoyed sorority life and dated the bartender at the local post-game spot. In her early twenties she decides she’s outgrown the town and moves to the big city to pursue her dream of being an actress (LA), model (NY) or kept woman (Miami). Mostly she’s looking for fun and adventure and fulfilling the destiny that she was meant for something more than getting married after school and settling down with her on-again, off-again ex-boyfriend.

She’s excited to experience the big city and fantasizes about meeting someone famous and ending up as tabloid fodder. She finally meets some cool girls through work and starts frequenting the latest spot that she’s read about in magazines and on TMZ. It’s very exciting at first; the people dress well, she sees the celebrities she was hoping to see and she hardly makes it into to work in one piece those first few weeks. But she realizes quickly that she’s not in Minnesota anymore. While the nights are fun and the drinks are free, she looks around each night and realizes that there are a hundred girls that look just like her. Same Bebe dress, same hairstyle copied out of InStyle magazine and same pair of Louboutin’s that she can’t afford. She can’t help but feel…disposable. Another nameless, faceless mini-skirt in a room full of them, shepherded around like cattle by a promoter.

The feeling she gets from the men she dates, if you can call them dates, is that they view her as a completely fungible commodity. They want to have sex with a hot girl and are not that particular about which one. They don’t put forth much effort and don’t seem to mind much when she ignores them for a bit when she’s angry. She can’t help but feel very…..ordinary.

Within a few short months, she’s already over the scene. She knows every promoter, she’s been to the afterparties, she’s met the D-list celebrities, and it’s all the same night after night. She doesn’t even really enjoy clubbing anymore and realizes that none of the people she considers “friends” would visit her in the hospital if she broke her foot. She just doesn’t know where else to meet guys and going out is marginally better than staying home by herself.

Maybe she does this for a while, rotating venues and even friends periodically. While she’s been going out almost every weekend and has dated lots of guys, the girl who was never single back home now hasn’t had a boyfriend in the three years she’s been here. Despite constantly being in a crowded venue, she’s never felt more alone. This is reality for most of the girls in nightlife.

Reality Check

Underneath it all, she's just looking for a little affection... like the rest of us.

Most of the girls in a club on a Friday or Saturday night are not what you would think of as “club girls.” They are girls just like the ones in the preceding parable. They don’t do coke (maybe adderall to lose weight once in awhile) they aren’t hooking up every single weekend, and they aren’t hanging out with anything remotely resembling an “A-list” crowd. Most of them work jobs or go to school and while they love to tell you about some celebrity they hung out with or some mansion party they attended, their lives aren’t really all that fabulous.

It’s worth noting that there is a certain small segment of the female club-going population that does live that life. They get flown out to party in exotic locales, they “date” famous men, they don’t have real jobs, and they often get paid for sex one way or another, either via a (probably married) sugar daddy, in exchange for drugs, or in actual transactions of prostitution. These are the real “club girls” and they should be avoided like canker sores. They’re like vampires, soulless creatures who suck life-force and resources from anything and everything around them, without regard or scruples or anything that could be construed as humanity. They generally come from poor backgrounds (although occasionally very wealthy ones) and end up as trophy wives or mistresses (see the Real Housewives series for a glimpse into their future).

Each girl in a club is slightly different. You are best served by treating them as individuals rather than trying to lump them into some preconceived idea of what kind of girl goes to a club. Because the reality is that most women in their 20’s residing in major cities go to nightclubs at least occasionally. The more frequently she attends, the more likely she is to exhibit characteristics of a club girl in part from the effect frequent club-going has on her and in part because women with these characteristics are more drawn to clubs in the first place.

A Closer Look

There are certain themes you’ll see repeated if you approach enough women in nightclubs. For starters, nightlife attracts superficial people. It’s a stereotype that’s deserved. But let’s take one step further and examine what that really means. In this case, it means that the women will for the most part be more concerned with appearance. In fact many of them spend most of their waking day thinking about appearance, both theirs and others. They’re constantly counting calories consumed and burned, trying to stave off food cravings for the things they can’t eat (they are perpetually trying to lose weight after all), are constantly are reading fashion magazines and blogs to keep up on the latest trends, and are going shopping every weekend to make sure they look their best. They often work in appearance-focused jobs – make-up artists, hair-stylists, aestheticians, spas/gyms/fitness, retail/fashion(especially fashion students if you live in NY or LA), PR., media, and of course modeling and acting.

In part because these women tend to be younger (most are in their early to mid-twenties), they are often not very good at life yet. They are constantly late and disheveled, they voice every mild annoyance throughout their day, they forget their ID’s, are late on their bills, get parking tickets frequently, and are among the most broke people you have ever met. You’ve never seen a group of people less willing to reach for their wallets than these girls. As a promoter, you could pick them up in stretch limo and pass them free drinks in bottle service all night but ask them for a dollar to tip a waitress at the afterhours diner and they will look at you like you just asked for their mother’s kidney.

Besides not paying for things, the favorite pastime of these girls is name dropping and humblebragging. Get used to it and learn how to deal with it. In part because they’re young, they are likely to have few accomplishments from which to derive real self-esteem. Consequently these girls are constantly pinging for validation via a bombarding of name dropping and humblebragging. Many of their stories revolve around wealthy or famous people they have met or parties they have attended. She will refer to a famous person as “my friend” even if that person wouldn’t remember her name if he saw her again. She’ll brag about the special treatment she got at a club or restaurant. I often thought about selling t-shirts that said “I know the owner” because judging by how often I heard the phrase I think I could have made a killing.  A girl that used to come out to my events once posted on her Facebook wall “Ugh, all these Oscar parties and I don’t know what to wear it just makes me want to curl up in my pajamas and stay in.” These kinds of comments are common and said without irony. They are also bullshit. While they may have met Drake once or went to a party at Wilmer Valderrama’s house, they were likely nothing more than background aesthetic, little different than the fern in the corner or the artwork purchased at Zgallerie. And they know it.

These name drops and humblebrags are often best dealt with by either ignoring them completely or making fun of what is such an obvious play for validation.

Examples

Her: “We were out at The Mondrian and Rob Kardashian came up to me – “
Me: “Who’s that?”

Her: “This house had an infinity pool and 4 levels and an indoor basketball court”
Me: “I bet I could save money if I went on food stamps. How do you get those?”

Her: “What are you up to?”
Me: “Dinner with a coworker at Dan Tanas”
Her: “I know the owner”
Me: “Can you DVR Boardwalk Empire? I forgot to set mine”

Often these girls will seek to differentiate themselves from the other women in the venue or from the club scene in general. They’ll say things like “I don’t really go out” or “I’m not your typical LA girl” or “I hate drama,” or “I don’t date guys I meet in clubs.” But much like the cliché “I don’t normally do this,” these statements are often in direct opposition to reality. Week after week, these places are filled with women who “don’t go out” who are very “typical LA girls” (by virtue of the fact that they are saying they are not typical), who love drama and whose last boyfriend approached her at a club. And the more vocally and ardently she states these things, the more likely the opposite is true, like an anti-gay evangelical who gets caught soliciting gay sex in a rest-stop bathroom.

Like nightlife itself, much of what is said and done by the women should be viewed as a smoke screen. As the saying goes, I believe none of what I hear and only half of what I see. Because in truth while they love to imply that they are living the celebrity lifestyle, you’d be shocked by how many of these girls end up on eHarmony. Because beneath the desire for the glamorous life is still that girl from Minnesota who is looking for a normal guy to lie on the couch with and watch romantic comedies.

In part 3 we’ll be expanding on this, examining how a man can succeed with these women and how to thrive in nightclubs without losing your soul or your savings…

Continue to Part 3
Go Back to Part 1

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32 Responses to Exposing the Nightclub Industry Part 2: Club Girls

  1. Brandon says:

    This article does not belong on postmasculine.

    Mark, this article does not reflect the kind of world view you espouse in your book, on the forums, and on practicalpickup. I could imagine seeing a post like this on any random mediocre pickup-artistry blog.

    You’ve always championed the idea that women are nuanced, and while some trends can be expected (“demographics”), you shouldn’t treat them as their stereotype. This article stereotypes all club girls as petty, ditzy, vogue-obsessed narcissists lacking self-awareness and direction in life.

    Plenty of women go to the clubs because their friends dragged them there. Or because they just wanted a high energy night dancing. Or, sure, because they wanted some validation. But that doesn’t mean they’re ditzy, obsessed with their appearance, or ambitionless.

    PracticalPickup appealed to its readers because it understood the nuances of women, because it avoided the superficiality of other pickup websites, and because it presented the whole picture of becoming an integrated man. I think the author genuinely tried to follow the values Mark claimed PostMasculine would, but missed the mark by trying to make the article engaging through too much narrative and rhetorical flourish.

    • Mark says:

      I think you’re being a little harsh. From the article:

      “Each girl in a club is slightly different. You are best served by treating them as individuals rather than trying to lump them into some preconceived idea of what kind of girl goes to a club. Because the reality is that most women in their 20’s residing in major cities go to nightclubs at least occasionally.”

      “Because beneath the desire for the glamorous life is still that girl from Minnesota who is looking for a normal guy to lie on the couch with and watch romantic comedies.”

      As always, these things are in degrees. Xander was a promoter in Hollywood for 10 years, and nothing he’s written contradicts my experience thusfar, even if he’s making some broad generalizations.

      I think his point is to show that these super hot women you see in these $40-cover clubs aren’t these mythic creatures, but are usually pretty normal girls, trying to get attention and affection, just like us.

      That’s what I take from it.

      • Xander says:

        I would add that your comment is heavy on projection – “petty,” “ditsy,” ambitionless,” etc are your assessments not mine.

  2. David says:

    An interesting article, though hard to quantify. The opening paragraphs may or may not be true.

    I live in Prague – do you think what you wrote applies in other countries? I remember a club in Budapest (which Mark also went to) with girls like you described here.

    Looking fwd to the next artile, though I personally won’t invest much in ‘club game.’

    • Mark says:

      I would say places like Mecca and Za Za Su aren’t too different David.

      • David says:

        I haven’t yet been to Mecca. Za Za Su – ok, worth a second look during the academic year when all the (Russian) students are in town (btw if you come back to Prague, do so once everyone’s back from vacation).

        For some reason I’m more enthusiastic to go clubbing when I’m in cities like Budapest. I’ve never seen so many beautiful girls as I have at Bed Beach.

        That said, saying hi to a girl by the river or in the historical streets in the middle of the day is much nicer : )

    • Xander says:

      I imagine the experience is similar in high end clubs all over but like all human beings I’m limited to my own narrow experience, which is in the states.

      • Matt T says:

        I saw “Mecca” and thought of the holy city, and I was thinking “that’s the last place I would expect a nightclub”.

        Then I realized what was going on.

  3. Shawn says:

    Great article . How long did it take you to figure this out?

  4. Edmond Dantès says:

    I enjoy these “exposing the nightclub industry” articles as they give you insights into an industry that most of us don’t know as good as we’d like to think.

    Both articles gave me a lot of “aha-moments” and I gained new informations and viewpoints that I didn’t have before reading Xander’s texts.

    My doubt is simply if you can apply this way of thinking to every nightclub around the world. But I can’t remember Xander writing something like that, so you have to keep in mind that this counts for his experiences with nightclubs in America. (I hope I am right here, otherwise correct me)

    • Mark says:

      I think it’s important to note (And perhaps we should put a disclaimer in the articles) that the kind of clubs he’s writing about are some of the high end mega clubs mainly found in cities like: NYC, LA, Miami, Vegas, London. And to a lesser extent in cities like Boston, Chicago, San Diego, Dallas, etc.

      If your idea of a night club is 2-for-1 beer night in Fort Lauderdale, then yeah, you’re not thinking of the same place.

  5. towncrier says:

    Interesting article….but I miss practicalpickup. :-(

    Hope we’re not heading towards Askmen-clone status.

    • Phazer says:

      These guys are writing truth bombs. Far from anything you will read on any other site. Good discussion on here but I think people freak out when something doesn’t immediately resonate with them. Read everything with an open mind and come up with your own conclusion.

    • Mark says:

      If this site ever resembles AskMen.com, you guys have permission to come hunt me down.

      But I don’t think that will happen… because we can actually write well… and you know, write about interesting stuff that matters. AskMen is just thousands of pages of useless fluff. If anything, the goal here is to be the anti-AskMen

  6. Byron says:

    Excellent article, gents. I think it’s important to note that there are only a handful of cities that have “true” nightclub scenes like what’s described here…thank God. :)

    Still, it’s important to note that *everybody* goes to nightclubs. Sure, the people there might seem superficial, but they’re people too, just like us. Even the stiletto-ed blonde with the hair extensions and micro-skirt.

  7. jose says:

    As a man who has also been in the NY club scene since about 2001 i can say this article is on point. Yeah i agree this is talking about the high end clubs.. Not the lil bars where u can wear whavever you want. This is other level stuff right here. Good shit. Bring on part 3. Cant wait to get your perspective.

  8. Nicholas says:

    Hi Xander,
    Nice job, nicely written and generalizations minimized and called out. It’s impossible to write a story about “club girls” and keep it PC. So I found that you struck a nice balance.

    I have never lived a “clubbing” lifestyle, but I think I have been well familiar with the women you describe in this series. You describe the “pro’s” as “like vampires, soulless creatures who suck life-force and resources from anything and everything around them.” And in my expereince it’s not an either-or proposition. Many stick their toe in the water and retreat in disgust. But any also go a little further – it’s a spectrum, I think. depending on the level of narcissism and denial.

    But in the end it’s a Rorschach test anyway. They are the inkblot and we project onto them what we need them to be. That’s wy the wise man let’s each girl be who she really is, not who he wants or needs her to be.

    Look forward to more from you…

    • Xander says:

      Thanks. And you are right on both counts. The same girl can go through a period of clubbing and submit to its superficiality and then later grow out of it and become more down to earth.
      And agree with your 2nd comment as well. Women, especially in a club, often become the canvas for which men project their issues (usually with mom).

  9. rob says:

    Can you also discuss the layout of certain clubs and how that affects things. Some clubs are essentially one big dance floor. But others (the more exclusive ones ) are a lot smaller and have a lot of tables for bottle service. This latter is where I have trouble because a lot of girls girls are huddled around the bottle service table and seem to be only interested in interested with their group.

  10. Cameron says:

    For me the question is, if nightclubs are filled with such dumb, vacous women, then why go?

  11. Splinter says:

    Holy fucking shit. I’m loving this series. Only three articles? I want more!

    I know she was outside your focus for this article but I was interested to hear more about the girl who excels in the high-end club scene and chooses to remain there indefinitely. Who is she? What’s her background? What’s she looking for? How does she spend her days? What brand of tampon does she prefer? Does she ever find herself standing alone on the patio of some mansion in the middle of a crazy party, glass in hand, staring out at the dark night sky struggling to name that driving need that lies deep inside her and which urges her deeper and deeper into the magnetizing underworld of the insanely rich, and wondering who or what will ever save her from her misery? What happens in that moment when she turns to go back inside the house to rejoin the party? I need to know!

    I feel like you guys could write a fantastic book on the lives of the characters from this world. Better yet, a series that you share on this website so we can all be cheap and not pay for this fascinating diversion.

    This article fascinates me because it’s pregnant (that’s right, I just dropped that $20 word, so what?) with all the intensity and need of our search for happiness in this bewildering (that’s money, too, try urban dictionary if you haven’t heard it before) modern world. No srsly. The irony is that the very people we (or at least I, in all my lonely embarrassment) want to be, the people who are most successful in this high-end club environment, appear to be those who have least found the happiness they seek. I love the Minnesota girl who goes back home because I feel like she’s the one who came away understanding something (if only in the negative sense – i.e., ‘I won’t find my happiness here’) that the others, who stayed and are ‘successful’, didn’t. That’s my theory anyway and I know I’m right. And most importantly my theory makes me feel good because if the Minnesota girl, who actually, you know, had a chance to make it in a high-end club scene, where I’ve sometimes wanted to be but felt I had no chance at reaching, wound up going home to spend time with the rest of us losers because she wasn’t happy there, maybe my life’s not so lame and maybe I’m not such a big stupid loser (i.e. penis face) after all.

    Okay, one more time, if Post Masculine churns out stuff like this constantly I will never leave my bed room. Don’t do that to me it’s not fair.

    • Dizzy says:

      I can tell you, unequivocally, what happens right now:

      She puts her game face back on (remembering why she moved out here, and all the people back home — family, friends, enemies — she needs to validate herself to for her life to have meaning), goes back inside, and gets introduced to a big-name pro ball player. they “date” for a while, she comes on too strong (constantly texting him and sending him little sexy/booty pics), he loses interest, and moves on to the next one.

      She then meets a less popular, though still starting pro ball-player, who gets traded, and she moves to Miami to “be” with (though not live with — she seeks out her own apt, which if she’s “good” is paid for by another ball-player/actor she used to mess with in the area. See: “follows”.) Shortly after her move there, some sports-gossip blog photos surface of him “going ham” at a club one night with 3 bitches all over him. She confronts him about it in a confrontational manner, in an attempt to “put him in check”; it doesn’t work out. Inconsequentially, upon landing in Miami she gets linked up with the Dominican baby momma of a famous rap producer, who she immediately makes her presence in the city known with. The clubbing continues.

      After so much more clubbing, so many more parties and so many more stale nights, and just as her magic (see: “other people’s”) money starts to run low, she flies out to LA (where a friend/family member resides) for 2 weeks, for a “change of pace”. She finally meets and settles for a second-string rookie who plays for the clippers, assumes the role of “mother” to his 3-yo daughter of his ex, gets married, has two kids with him of her own… then ends up living in separate houses — followed by separate cities — a year-and-a-half later (shortly after coming to the startling realization that this chick might “have issues” and the introduction of some “unforeseen” marital friction, he gets traded… and it was “decided best” / arranged that she remain in LA). She has the kids.

      However… her living/child-rearing digs are sizable and in a good neighborhood, equipped with a cook, a maid, and a mexican nanny who does most of the “leg” work. Her friends and family back home (largely unaware of the frailty of her marriage), think she has “made it”. Leaving her with not much else to do but work-out, make her regular spa/hair/mani-pedi appointments, shop, bask in the security of her (pending & prenupt-less) union… and partake in her newest activity, along with her Dr. prescribed life enhancement: day-drinking / Vicodin.

      …This of course being a work of fiction, conceived purely for entertainment purposes, and is coming from a place of no personal, familial reference, what-so-ever.

      • Dizzy says:

        Fyi – I am aware and could inform you on her tampon brand of choice… but it would be extremely suspect were I to relay such information.

      • Splinter says:

        Conceived purely for entertainment purposes – and highly entertaining! Thanks, Dizzy. So your take seems to be that there really is no such thing as the ‘successful’ woman from that scene. Even the most resilient ones only wind up getting passed along until they are sort of out of the scene altogether (if I’m getting this right). It’s a really, really sad story. Basically the woman does not seem to find anything that she is really looking for.

        For me there is a contrast between this woman and some of the harlots of ancient Greece. I once read somewhere that there were some such harlots who became well-educated, affluent, and highly influential in public life. They would only take on one client, usually a high-ranking politician, and if that relationship failed for whatever reason they would of course move on to find another client of similar stature. So I don’t know if these women found much happiness but they certainly seemed to succeed in some sense – they came to have power and standing in their own right. The woman in your story seems to fly high into the air only to fall precipitously.

  12. Rick says:

    Cameron,

    “For me the question is, if nightclubs are filled with such dumb, vacous women, then why go?”

    Its easy man they are hot, hot, hot!

    You will find some of the hottest women in night clubs.

    So when is the third article coming out? Now that you have teased us, we want to know how to pick up these hotties

  13. [...] and to be the cool kid they never were in high school is/was projected onto the the women they meet in nightclubs and they attribute their same needs for validation onto the women they talk [...]

  14. [...] that we’ve discussed the landscape of nightclubs and girls you’ll find in them, it’s time to prep you for surviving and thriving in these modern day Gomorrah’s of house music [...]

  15. dinkum says:

    so you are basically lumping all girls who go to nightclubs into one category? –Stupid! Not all girls who go to nightclubs have self-esteem issues. You don’t know anything you are talking about. Your analysis is completely misguided. Further your education and get a real job, don’t waste time talking about subjects you know nothing about. You are narrow and one-sided. The real world is filled with much more interesting and varied girls than your pathetic portrayal of them.

  16. [...] Continue to Part 3 Continue to Part 2 [...]

  17. [...] to certain individual women, some of whom cluster in certain locales (like say, I don’t know, sleazy clubs). All of the men who make these statements have a history of rejection or emotional trauma [...]

  18. Flower says:

    I like clubbing and I found this description really strange because it doesn’t apply to me or any of my friends. But then I saw that it is about high end clubs in America and I am from Eastern Europe and I go partying to cheap places. It’s completely different. No celebrities, nothing like that. I just like going out dancing and dressing up. When we meet with friends we usually have dinner (and drinks although I personally don’t drink) and then later go to a disco to dance the night away (boys and girls together). I now go to salsa parties very often because well, I love dancing. I take my life very seriously, I work and study, so do my friends. We just go out to dance and that’s it. But no, we don’t go to high end clubs and we have no interest in them whatsoever.

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