Guest post by Xander.
The first thing I would suggest is to consider strongly how much investment you are willing to put into nightclubs. I imagine most of you are weekend warriors: you have a regular job and like to go out on the weekends to hit on girls with a few friends. That’s cool; most of the article is for you. But you if plan on spending a lot of time in nightclubs, I recommend becoming a promoter.
Short of being famous, being a promoter has got to be the easiest way to get women. It’s criminally easy. The majority of your time is spent interacting with women, you are automatically more cool and in-the-know than they are, and the constant entourage of women around you stokes their competitive fires and make you an object of their desire. When a girl breaks up with her boyfriend, is she going to rebound with a random stranger? Or you, a guy she’s known for several months? Not only are you attractive to her for the preceding reasons but she knows she can have some fun without worrying about getting too emotionally involved. You are a promoter, after all.
So being a promoter is an easy way to get laid, but becoming a promoter will take some work. I recommend finding a current promoter (they’ll be the ones with 5000 Facebook friends) and attending his events regularly. Dress well and always have girls with you (hire them off Craigslist if you have to… I’m serious). Eventually ask to sub-promote for him, meaning you will bring girls to the club and he will get credited for them. Over a certain threshold and he’ll start paying you. At the beginning you won’t really make much money but you’ll be able to meet girls in a very under the radar way… not by attempting to pick them up but by inviting them out for a night of fun.
If you do decide to go this route, I recommend NOT doing it full-time and having an exit strategy. Most promoters have other things going on and frankly a life of full partying is not a very happy or meaningful one for an extended time. Subjugating your entire life to the needs of your penis is a poor way to live in the long run. And the late nights definitely catch up with you. So have an end game in mind.
For the rest of you who decide not to go that route, let’s get you in.
Getting You Past the Door
First things first. There is no such thing as a guest list. Except in very rare occasions there are no names printed on any list. The sheet of paper the girl at the door is holding has a list of promoter names and a tally for each so the club can evaluate how many people each promoter is bringing through the door. Saying you are not on the list or that the list is closed is a polite blow-off. Ditto for “It’s a private party” and “We’re at capacity.”
What determines whether you get in is how you look (including, unfortunately, your race), how you’re dressed, and the guy / girl ratio in your group. So you need to plan ahead. Dress well, find girls (sister, coworkers, whatever), and show up early.
“But Xander, if I had girls I wouldn’t be coming to the club!” Touché. Have no fear, there’s another option… greasing. Greasing is the practice of paying off someone for entrance. Typically this is going to be a bouncer. At the door you’ll also have the VIP hostess (it’s usually a girl) handling bottle service and sometimes the general manager checking out the line and seeing that everyone outside is doing their job. Neither the VIP hostess nor the GM are generally going to accept greases. So your best bet is the bouncer. Walk up to him and whisper an offer. If he’s going to play ball, he’ll counter or accept. In LA $20-$50 a guy can get you in to most places but again it depends how you look and how many guys you have. Of course different cities vary.
You can also grease the promoter. I recommend messaging him on Facebook ahead of time and offering him money to have him walk you in. Promoters roll to the club with lots of girls (to boost their image with the club and the club-goers) so they can usually sneak in a few guy “friends” interspersed between the girls.
Some places offer dinner or host mixers / events in the early evening which guarantees entrance for the later club night. This can also be a good route when you find them.
[Note from Mark: Another way is to approach women outside on the street near the club. Offer to buy them a round of drinks if they walk in with you. Many will blow you off, but it often doesn’t take long to round up 4-5 girls to masquerade as your “friends.” But be warned, this is a horrible way to actually pick the girls up. It makes you look like a loser and they usually blow you off the second you buy them their drinks.]
As a last resort there’s bottle service. This is a huge rip-off and I don’t recommend it. Bottle service is an expensive way to get into a club, and I’ll be honest, it hardly helps with the girls. The best bottle service is always on someone else’s tab.
Whatever your strategy for entrance, if you are going to nightclubs regularly, you should be getting to know the promoters, bouncers, bartenders, etc. Go on off nights and say hello. It’s a small group of these people that rotate around the clubs in a given city so knowing them gives you status wherever the party goes. If you know the three main promoters in a venue you can get an introduction to probably half the women in the club. Now you are no longer a random club guy you are a “friend of friend.” This isn’t very meaningful to us but it means a lot to women. Speaking of the women…
Picking Up Club Girls
Early pick up dogma focused intently on the verbal aspect of interacting with women. Even now guys usually spend tremendous mental energy thinking about what to say. And yet these brilliant scripts and routines were meant to be practiced in a place where they were least likely to be actually heard, not only due to the loud music but the energy level and litany of distractions in a nightclub. Also part of this strategy was picking a target and focusing your attention on how to get her. This strangely nullifies the chief benefit of approaching women in clubs: volume. A club is the one place where you can squeeze in a lot of at-bats in a short time frame. Best way to find a soul-mate? Probably not. But you are looking for fun you probably don’t care if you have the same musical tastes or opinions about classic Russian literature. If you have, or can build, the stones to approach repeatedly, you can hook up a lot. The high number of at-bats also serves to diminish the sting from any one rejection. Picking out the one girl in the bar a la Babe Ruth’s called shot makes her blow-off quite a bit more painful (particularly after rehearsing your brilliant lines in the car!) Again, silly and counterproductive. Nightclubs are not for sniper rifle approaches, they are for Uzi’s and Tommy Guns. All the best guys I’ve ever seen in clubs (including the majority of professional pickup coaches) were, at the end of the day, largely playing a numbers game.
In part two we looked at the demographics and psychology of club girls. This will of course inform how we approach them. Club girls don’t want to be known as club girls and they certainly don’t want to be viewed as interchangeable sex organs. So what do they want to be known for? I’ve found a significant number of them have artistic or creative interests. We’ve already mentioned that appearance-based jobs and interests abound in this demographic. They often view these endeavors – hair-styling, fashion, etc – as artistic (and they are). The woman who cuts my hair calls it her “art.” Sometimes they are interested in writing, painting, or photography. If you can engage on these creative topics and speak intelligently about them you can often connect with these girls. You’d be very surprised how many club girls in Hollywood enjoy going to LACMA.
Another effect of their focus on appearance is that they are going to be less forgiving about yours. A girl who spends every day reading food labels, counting calories, reading about diets and working out is going to wonder what your excuse is for being 20 pounds overweight. The good news is that although we often think of looks as something immutable, they aren’t. You don’t need to have a perfectly chiseled Jon Hamm jaw line to be good looking. Much of being good looking is just being fit. If you are muscular and sub-10% body fat, unless you look like Shane MacGowan, chances are you are going to be good looking. Add in solid grooming and a cool haircut and you are now ready for the women of clubs. And these are all things you can control.
The same goes for your clothing. Club girls spend a lot of time thinking about fashion and looking their best. A wrinkled, vertically stripped button down from 2001 isn’t going to cut it. Put some real thought into your look and make things easier on yourself.
Beyond putting effort into your appearance and approaching, picking up girls in clubs is less about what you do and more about what you don’t do.
Don’t insult her – Six years of bad pickup artists telling girls they are hot but not that hot or that her perfume smells like tuna fish has brought nice guys a little more back in vogue. She’s had enough guys trying too hard to tease her into submission that a normal conversation is likely to be refreshing.
Don’t use money to impress her – If a girl has gone out for more than a week then she’s had guys blatantly brag or use money as a means to convince her to like him. If you have read this site you already know all the obvious reasons why this won’t work. Let her found out how baller you later, Rockefeller.
Don’t smile too much – A study of internet dating showed that women prefer pensive or brooding men over smiling ones. I think this goes doubly in person, where the visceral feeling of someone wanting something from you is often triggered from a smile and overly effusive greeting. You need to smile a bit to avoid scaring or creeping her out but after that keep it in check.
Don’t overestimate your competition – If there are two key things that I’ve learned in all my time in clubs it’s that women look vastly different during the day than at night and that no one with anything going on in their lives is spending significant time in clubs. Most guys envision their competition as wealthy, famous, international men of mystery and nothing could be further from the truth. While the rich and famous occasionally frequent these places, most guys that women will meet are 30k millionaires, drunk meatheads, and douchebags who can’t shut up about how “hot” she is (I’ve also found most girls don’t like the word “hot”). Trust me when I tell you that real people with money or real status are found few and far between in nightclubs.
Don’t assume – I harped on this before but it’s worth repeating. If you think you can look at a girl across the bar and know what kind of girl she is, whether she’s promiscuous or pious, smart or dumb, on drugs or a teetotaler, let’s me save you a lot of time. You don’t know shit. I’ve met Ph.D’s, doctors, world-saving philanthropists, writers, and Harvard MBA’s in nightclubs. I’ve had women quote Shakespeare and talk about the debt crisis. Making assumptions about any one girl from the outside is mental masturbation, period. Leave your stereotypes at the door.
Loud Noises – Guys often complain that it’s too loud in clubs. I can ALWAYS shout into a girl’s ear loud enough for her to hear it. The bigger issue is the energy and attention. It’s hard to captivate a girl with what you are saying when your competition is a club going off. But it’s done every night so don’t let this be an excuse. As far as the volume, most clubs have areas, usually smoking areas, that are relatively quiet. You can post up there.
Dancing – Some guys think dancing is required at clubs. While it’s useful to be able to handle a little two-step in rhythm or at least be able to grind effectively, it’s definitely not required. No one is expecting you to breakout a You Got Served routine or something you saw on Dancing With the Stars. In fact, one of the best club pick up artists I ever saw was staunchly anti-dancing. “The king doesn’t dance,” he said. Make no mistake, you can pick up in a club without ever dancing.
Facebook – Once again, the role of social media can’t be ignored when approaching, meeting, and dating the women you meet in nightclubs. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and foremost expert on romantic love, posits that the internet and social networking add a more “natural” element to meeting strangers by offering insights into their personalities and social connections beyond what one would know from meeting someone in a bar. While I’m not sure that’s what club girls have in mind when they look you up on Facebook, I do know that no matter how good your game is if she looks you up and you have 12 friends and one picture of yourself in the bathroom mirror, your number will be deleted faster than you can say Friendster. Club girls use Facebook frequently so a good profile and a few friends in common can give her the comfort she needs to meet up with you outside the club.
Despite all its foibles, nightlife is popular for a reason. The crowds can be annoying, the people can be vapid, and the drinks can be expensive (bring a flask). But at the end of the day there are few places that engage a man’s senses quite like a club. The music, the friends, the drinks, and of course, the women. Yes, the women, done up like dolls, skirts hiked, hugging their feminine curves. Young and hopeful and fun, unspoiled by the weight of unmet expectations. Nights out are the ones you remember. For all their pains, clubs offer an opportunity. When you’re 40 and out of the game you won’t remember Brenda the girl you winked at on Match.com and went on a handful of reasonable dates with. You’ll remember the twins in Miami, the ride in the empty 5 train to her place in SoHo, the bouncer that threw you out of the bathroom stall for trying to drag a girl into it, and the moment when a beautiful girl said “yes” to you for the first time. So drink up and enjoy. The next round is on me.
Xander resides in West Hollywood, CA where he still, occasionally, goes clubbing.