Jump ahead a couple weeks to Bali, Indonesia. Not much happened in the intermittent time as I spent most of it weaving my way through Muslim countries solo. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that Muslim countries aren’t exactly a hot-bed of pick up opportunities.
(Note: Technically Indonesia is a Muslim country, but the island of Bali itself is not. Culture-wise, it has a lot more in common with a place like Thailand than mainland Indonesia.)
I arrived in Bali and met up with one of my old friends from high school. He’s a big surfer, so we plan on spending a few weeks just surfing all day and partying at night.
The first night we go out, we’re on the prowl. He had just gotten out of a long-term relationship and I hadn’t gotten laid since the Canadian girl mentioned in part one.
Bali is completely overrun with tourists. The vast majority are young Australians looking for cheap partying and beaches, but you also have your usual suspects of Europeans and maybe the occasional American or two.
We were staying in the main hub of the tourist area, about five minutes walk from an arrangement of clubs. The clubs were designed and catered for tourists and therefore they’re basically 90% Aussies in their 20’s. The rest are Europeans and Americans with random stragglers of retirees hanging out enjoying the show. Also, if you’re up on your recent history, these are the same group of clubs that were hit by suicide bombings in 2002 and 2005.
So we check out a few places. My friend is a pretty good-looking guy and has decent game. I guess pick up artists would refer to him as a “natural,” although, he’ll be the first to admit that he struggles with conversations often and rarely approaches. He’s always gotten by on looks, being a surfer and having a ton of friends. Whenever we hang out when I go home, he often likes to use the opportunity to practice approaching with me, since he rarely does it on his own time, which is cool.
So he’s running around, doing some approaches and feeling good about them. None of them really go anywhere. The girls are mostly friendly, but at the same time not the cutest either. Everyone seems to be in larger groups together. We bounce to a couple clubs and end up on a patio at a place called Sky Garden. We’re both a few drinks deep and have yet to see any talent that has really impressed us.
And then this blond walks by… medium height, very skinny, amazing legs with heels and tiny shorts on. She had the shapely legs where when you look at her from behind, the legs come together at the thigh and then there’s a small separation again right below the crotch (see image above for example). Legs and an ass like that make me weak in the knees. On top of that, she had big boobs for a girl her size and a baby face. Her cheek-bones looked unique to me — that combined with the lack of beer-belly made me pretty certain she was European.
My friend and I do the obligatory creep-stare as she walks past. She was the hottest girl I had seen in weeks, maybe even a month. He immediately starts beating himself up for not approaching and asks me how to approach a girl who is walking by like that.
I start to tell him to “just stop her.” And then I stop and kind of shake some sense into myself. I was falling into coach mode with my friend — basically becoming a spectator for the night. I hadn’t approached a girl all night — which isn’t a big deal by itself, these days I don’t force it if I’m not feeling it — but it’s very easy for me to fall into spectator mode and start observing a friend when really I’m passing up opportunities myself. I snapped out of it. For the first time in weeks a girl I’m actually really attracted to walks by and my default mode is to counsel my friend in approaching her. What was I doing?
We look over and the girl is talking to another girl, who is decidedly not cute. But before I can even broach the subject of who was going to “dive on the grenade” (as The Situation would say), the blond hottie stops talking to the other girl and starts walking back toward us. Time to make a move.
I step in front of her path. She stops. I plaster a smile on and say, “Hey, I saw you over there and wanted to come over and meet you,” and stick out my hand to shake hands, “I’m Mark.”
She looks annoyed. She kind of looks around and says something about having to find her friends.
I say, “That’s cool, what’s your name?”
She says something that I can’t understand and shakes my hand halfheartedly. I ask her to repeat it a few times. She looks bored now and says, in a thick accent, “It’s a hard name for English-speakers, don’t worry about it.” She then starts looking around again.
Not about to give up, I ask “Where are you from?” Back in your home country, this question is usually a dud, but when you’re abroad and meeting someone else who is abroad, it can actually be a pretty strong question that you can milk quite a lot of conversation and interest out of.
She finally looks semi-engaged now and says Norway. I reply, “Cool. Oslo? Lillehammer? Bergen?” She nonchalantly starts, “A town near Bergen,” and then interrupts herself, “Wait, how do you know where Bergen is?” She’s genuinely surprised.
Side note: If you plan on traveling or picking up a lot of foreign girls, a strong knowledge of geography is, believe it or not, a pretty sizable advantage.
I answer her question vaguely with, “I travel a lot.” But more importantly, I leverage her moment of meager interest into something more, “Hey, can I buy you a drink? And after, you can find your friends if you want.”
I state the offer to already remove her most obvious objection, which would be, “I have to find my friends.” I’m basically trying to make it as hard as possible for her to say no here.
As for buying girls drinks. I’ve really come around the last couple years and am a huge fan of it now. Sure, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be a crutch. But if you know what you’re doing, the pros far outweigh the cons. And if used in the right situation, it can go a long way in your favor. I do it quite often these days.
The reason I did it here is that I had finally caught a moment of interest from her, but it could go away just as quickly as it came. If I could get her to commit to 4-5 minutes of conversation right now, I’m pretty confident I can win her over (by the way, I feel this way with just about any girl I meet now). So I used the spark of genuine interest from her over my awesome geographical knowledge (seriously) to get a shot at a full conversation with her.
She looks me in the eyes and thinks about it for a second. Her decision is going to be mostly based on the vibe she gets from me in these couple seconds as she looks me in the eye. Luckily, I’ve been in this make-or-break moment hundreds of times at this point, so fully confident, I don’t flinch or show any sign of doubt. She says yes.
So we get our drinks and we sit down together a nearby booth and start talking. She asks where I’m from and I tell her the US. She’s never been. I’ve never been to Norway, but my knowledge about it surprises her. Her geography sucks (didn’t know where Boston or California were), so I drew a map on her leg with my finger and pointed to all of the major cities. Then did the same with Norway to find out exactly where her town was.
She’s young (19) and it begins to show through. She seems a bit insecure and inexperienced. After a few more minutes, she starts asking me about why I approached her the way I did (very direct) and how it took her by surprise. She asks not in an accusing way or in a “she’s testing me,” way, but out of genuine curiosity.
I told her point blank that I thought she was very beautiful and that’s why I came and talked to her. This is the type of statement that is all about HOW you say it (with confidence and genuineness) for it to “work.” A huge smile beams across her face and her Scandinavian cheeks turn bright red. She looks away shyly.
So much for hot girls being bitches.
(Note: I’m pretty sure this route wouldn’t have worked nearly as well had she been American. Scandinavians are by nature, more shy, reserved and don’t just come out and say things like that to each other very often. I’ll get more into this later. But for now, just remember the Pacino quote: “When everybody goes one way, I go the other.” I.e., if she’s not used to guys directly complimenting her or being upfront, then that’s probably a winning strategy.)
She says, “You’re very aggressive.” I ask, “Does it make you uncomfortable?” She says, “a little,” and pauses… “but I like it too.” I smile and take her hand in mine, she squeezes back and leaves it there. We smile at each other. The bubble forms. The rest of the world begins to disappear.
We continue to talk and drink for most of the night. Her friends came over and she introduced me to them. One of the guys was not too happy to see me there holding her hand, but he didn’t interfere. After a little while, they left us alone.
She actually made the first move and kissed me, which was a little ironic I thought. I asked her to dance a couple times, but she seemed unenthusiastic with the idea.
What shone through most about her is that despite how beautiful she was (the local Balinese guys would later give me thumbs up signs and yell “NICE!” as I walked with her down the street… awkward), she was young and like many young beautiful girls, very insecure about it. But unlike American girls, she handled this in a down-to-earth and shy fashion, rather than the faux sass and “bitch shield” attitudes that American girls feel obligated to maintain.
As a result, she genuinely beamed whenever I complimented her, and although she rolled with my teases early on, didn’t respond very strongly to them. So I stopped. I was just really nice to her, but openly affectionate and sexual at the same time, which she seemed to not be used to at all.
I bounced her to the patio, introduced her to my friend and tried to hook him up with her friends to no avail. And then the three of us bounced to another bar. More drinks, more talking, my friend eventually went home and before we knew it the sun began to come up.
She had asked me much earlier where I was staying (just down the road). I didn’t press the issue at all until it became apparent it was time to go home. I asked her where she wanted to sleep — a nice open-ended question that can easily be interpreted as, “where do you want US to sleep?” or “where do YOU want to sleep?” depending on the situation.
She says she wants to go to my hotel, but she just wants to cuddle. She says “cuddle” with the most adorable mispronunciation. I couldn’t help but agree. I’d say 75% of the time, a “let’s just cuddle” turns into sex anyway. So count me in.
We go back. My buddy is snoring in his bed. We crawl into my bed and immediately start kissing and making out. I’m sure most girls have to know what’s going to happen in the back of their mind when they do this, they just want to play dumb. I mean, you say you don’t want to have sex, but you and a guy agree to get half-naked in a bed together and passionately kiss and grope each other for hours until you fall asleep pressed against each other… how they can claim they don’t see the sex coming, I have no idea.
Anyway, unsurprisingly, we have sex. An awkward situation happens when my buddy wakes up in the middle of it. Being the good wing he is, he recognizes what’s going on and pretends that he was waking up anyway and says he’s going to get breakfast. Before he heads out, he slyly adds, “I’ll be back in about 30 minutes” as a not-so-subtle cue to me to take care of business and then stfu so we could all get some sleep.
She ended up hanging out for pretty much all of the next day and we had sex again in the afternoon. She said it was her first one-night-stand and seemed genuinely uncomfortable with the idea that she may never see me again.
The takeaway here is that what’s often taught in pick up advice is that the hotter the girl or the “higher status” the girl, the more aggressive you have to be with teasing, negging, bantering, kino or what-have-you. What I’ve found over the years, is that personality, culture and self-perception trump superficial traits such as looks. The best-looking girls are often the most insecure about their appearance and the attitude they give you is often just a thin veneer to protect a very innocent and sensitive self-esteem underneath.
You can combat that with humor and teasing, but you can also side-step it and try to connect with her in such a way that she drops the front, and opens herself up to you genuinely.
I’m not saying one strategy is better than the other — I use both — I’m just saying that there are multiple ways to skin a cat… as we say in Texas.
The trick here is to try a couple things in the first few minutes and see what she responds positively to, and then stick with that. Not only do different women respond to different styles of flirting, but the same woman will often respond slightly differently to you as she does to me, even if we say or do the same thing. Every woman is different, and as we’ll learn in part three, you can never judge a book by its cover.
The skill here is not execution, but adaptation. And the sooner you can recognize the factors in each circumstance (her personality, the specific environment, her current mood/attitude, and how you’re coming off and presenting yourself) and then adapt on the fly to what’s going to give you the best chance with her. I noticed early on that this girl, despite obviously very accustomed to getting attention from from men often, was at-heart a little shy and far more comfortable when I genuinely told her how I felt about her than trying to game her or be super smooth.