He has the lines to get a woman into bed, the charm that makes her not care that he’s a player. But does this still work in today’s “liberated” world?
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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, that may sound gross. But if you were watching the dance (because it was so much more than words), what Mark just told her was that there was nothing about her he wouldn’t mind tasting.
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 wonder, even though we know we could be eaten alive — or at the very least, left with some blushful memories.
The best 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 when he’s flirting — until his girlfriend kicks him under the table, leaving a bruise that never heals.
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 —guys who teach other guys how to have game for themselves. There’s even an annual Global Pick-up Artist Convention where $299 buys you 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 one and 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 most women like? A man who is confident and comfortable 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.”
Few will disagree that a man with game will have a more active sex life than a man who fumbles, bumbles and stumbles with the opposite sex. “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!”
Still, it may all come down to how you define “having game” and whether it comes naturally or was learned at a “how to pick up women” course. If game means a man is capable of creating an engaging conversation with a women, if he actually listens to what she has to say and responds in a way that proves he was listening all the while simmering with subtle sexual promise — in short, if he makes her feel like Scarlett 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), a single Angeleno in the dating scene 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.
Copyright © Kim Calvert/2016 Singular Communications, LLC.
Kim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.