The Singular Man
He has the lines to get a woman into bed, the charm that makes her not care that he is a player. But does this still work in today’s world?
We were sitting next to each other at a big community table at a trendy Westside restaurant. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop. Mark was reeling her in as surely as a fisherman sets the hook and plays the line. It was a wonder to behold. He gave her focused attention, then turned away, momentarily distracted, only to turn back to her again with even more dazzling charm.
She knew he was a bona fide flirt but he did it with such finesse that his sincerity wasn’t relevant. She was sure that similar episodes had unfolded before, but all that mattered now was the moment, and at this particular moment, Mark was making her feel like the most desirable woman in the world.
It looked something like this:
“You like chocolate?”
“Well, of course,” she responded.
“Have you ever had those mint-flavored chocolate espresso beans from Trader Joe’s?”
“No. I don’t like mint.”
“But you like chocolate?”
“Yes, I do. Dark chocolate.”
He got up from the table and left. I thought it was done — his desire for candy trumping his desire for her. But 10 minutes later, Mark returned, in his hand a box of mint chocolate espresso beans, which he placed on the table before her. He peeled off the lid and offered her one, popping two into his mouth. She politely agreed to taste his favorite candy, but then removed it from her mouth and placed it on the napkin, wrinkling her nose.
“You really don’t like it?” he said, cocking his eyebrow in mock disbelief. As she shook her head No, he picked up the partially eaten, wet-with-her-saliva mint chocolate candy and finished it off.
Now, if you weren’t there it may sound like a “eww” moment, but for those like me, watching the dance (because it was about so much more than words), what Mark just told her was that there was nothing about her he wouldn’t mind tasting for himself.
Then, as the pièce de résistance, he pulled out a bar of solid dark chocolate, her favorite, still pristinely wrapped in gold foil, and placed it in front of her, watching closely as delight filled her eyes.
Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is an example of a man with game — defined by the Urban Dictionary as ”a measure of smoothness with the opposite sex” and also as “lines or moves you use to get the opposite sex into bed.” In either case, it works — as long as it’s delivered with the correct balance of confidence, humor, charm and subtle, yet sexual, savoir-faire.
The repartee is different in each situation, but what remains the same is the way most women respond. It doesn’t matter how many times they’ve ended up in the sack when they weren’t expecting to, most women like “game” because it’s engaging, fun and as rare as a white panther. Stumble upon a man with good game and we’re transfixed with awe and wonder, even though we know we could be eaten alive — or at the very least, left with some wicked memories.
The best at it seem to have been born with it. Ask them about their “game” and they’ll deny they have it, confusing their ability to have a long-term relationship with “having game” — two very different things. A man with natural game can’t even tell most of the time when he’s flirting — until his girlfriend kicks him under the table, leaving a bruise that never heals. His natural ability to attract the attention of women always interrupts what’s cooking on the back burner on the relationship stove.
Other men try to learn game. They’ve seen it in action and know it’s a tool that would serve them well — if only they could master the technique. And just as there are relationship coaches for women, there are “pick-up artist” instructors for men — men who teach men how to have game for themselves. There’s even an annual Global Pick-up Artist Convention — held most recently in Washington D.C. last March — where for $299 you get two days of classroom training followed by practice “in the field” under the watchful eye of your “got game” instructor.
Singular magazine writer Barbara Bloom attended the 2010 Pick-Up Artist Convention in Los Angeles. She described it like this: “At first glance, this provocative program seems like a sinister underground community of womanizers, but look closer and you’ll find hundreds of socially awkward males, just trying to learn how to be outgoing and more confident.”
And really, at the end of the day, isn’t that something that most women like? A man who is confident, comfortable and capable with the women in his life?
Dennis Neder hosts a radio show called “Being a Man,” and says he teaches men how to have game, among other skills. “It’s not enough to be charming,” Neder says. “It’s a matter of speaking in a way that resonates with women — in your own language — and touching on the key points that create real feelings and emotions. It’s not tough to do, but it is a real skill. Some learn it but most don’t.”
Martin Reed, 45, grew up in Los Angeles and claims he was born with game, but agrees that it can be learned. According to Reed, an average-looking man who has game will fare better with women than a man who thinks his good looks are enough.
“I have several good looking guy friends who attract women in droves,” Reed says, “but they have no idea how to treat women, how to keep women or even how to engage in conversation to meet someone new. I am a very good listener,” he says. “I know if I listen closely, women will reveal things. I can engage them in a conversation about what they say. I am also very patient and that helps immensely — and did I mention it also takes tremendous confidence?”
Reed added that for the most part, single men in Los Angeles, the only city where he’s ever dated, do not have game. “They get used to dating online and they lose that ability — if they ever had it — and then they get much too shy approaching women.”
Few will disagree that a man with game will have a more active sex life than a man who fumbles, bumbles and stumbles through any interaction with the opposite sex. The same goes for a man who is so self-absorbed that he can’t even hear what a woman is saying — words that a man with game will seize upon and use to engage her interest with such finesse that a warm buzzing in her lower abdomen makes her want to lie down on the floor with him, then and there.
“It’s a lot like dancing,” says Albert Blondeel-Timmerman, who works in the television industry and has been single since his divorce in 2003. “You’ve seen those guys out on the dance floor who are just doing their own thing, completely out of touch with their partner. And then you see the guys who are actually dancing with a woman. In the previous case, the woman is bored and tolerating him, in the latter; she’s floating on air. That’s game!”
But Ashley Mucha, originally from Dallas and now living in Los Angeles, says that the “new” game is not having any game at all. “Game is put on by men who are afraid that being themselves isn’t enough to score a woman,” she says. “Any woman who is worth her keep in this town knows when the man in front of her has ‘game’ and she knows to run away. Smooth and fake no longer cuts it.”
Still, it may all come down to how you define “having game” and whether it comes naturally or was learned at a $299 “how to pick up women” course. If game means a man is capable of creating an engaging conversation with a women, that he actually listens to what she has to say and responds in a way that proves he remembers what she said, all the while simmering with subtle sexual promise — in short, if he makes her feel like Scarlet O’Hara in a scene with Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind — he likely has a more interesting sex life than his clueless brothers.
Ben (who asked to be identified by his first name only), is a Los Angeles single man in the dating scene and summarized it this way: “I don’t have it, but I know guys who do. Having game is a guy working a woman, who before she can say “I’m not that kind of girl” — she is.”
At least for the night.
What do you think about men who “have game”? Please add your comments below and be sure to take our “Guys with Game – Good or Bad?” poll.
Copyright © Kim Calvert/2012 Singular Communications, LLC.
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