Regular readers will have noticed how little I blog nowadays. You’ve all had a tip-off as to the reasons why with the release of my latest book A Deplorable Cad. It’s a mammoth 150k+ words, the second such behemoth I released in less than a year. Those two projects combined mopped up every last bit of energy I had for writing. The creativity required for writing is finite and must refresh, lest the writer just churn out insipid trash. I could feel this while doing the memoir so I didn’t risk blogging too much. There’ll be another announcement soon enough for the third reason I had nothing left over to put on the blog. Wait and see!
In the meantime, just as I did with Balls Deep, I’ll be serialising the first few chapters of the new book. That’ll whet the appetites of those of you thinking of buying, and placate the freeloaders too. I’d guess the early-buyers will be getting their paperback copies through the post any day now so we’ll soon see how the word of mouth is on the quality.
Chapter One – Rock Solid Game
Jimmy Jambone thumped the long dining room table and said, with an air of finality, “We will call it Château RSG.” As if defying anyone else to disagree, he crossed his long, gangly legs at the ankles and leant so far back in his chair he was almost horizontal.
We liked the name. It was grandiose, mythological, and it spoke to an inherent style. Everything we did was designed to make ourselves larger than life, both to others and in our own minds. Thus we’d hit on a name for our rickety, old house in Hampstead, London, a cavernous former residential care home that had leaking pipes, a collapsing roof and which frequently flooded during heavy rain.
“RSG” came from abbreviating the name of the pick-up coaching company Jimmy had created: Rock Solid Game. Back in 2008 Richard LaRuina’s PUA Training company was the market leader in London and Jimmy had gone along as a student to check it out. He’d been thoroughly unimpressed and considered his own game tighter than every coach bar Rob Beckster. In his typically self-congratulatory style he’d decided, “I can do better than them.”
So Jimmy hunted around the local PUA forums and arranged meet-ups with fellow aspiring pick-up artists until he’d hand-picked the founding members of Sarge School; Tony T, Diamond, Ace, Tomas, and himself. The new group soon built an underground reputation for doing free boot-camps every other month, and by the time I encountered them in the summer of 2009 they were still only charging £99 for two days of coaching. Sarge School would expand to bring in Johnny Wisdom, Mick, Fernando, Lee, and eventually myself. By late 2010 we’d re-branded as Rock Solid Game and presented ourselves as a hybrid of a dating company and a group of rock stars.
Diamond had dropped out, and Ace left for university in his native Poland. The rest of us were now in a house meeting, sitting around a long table in the lounge listening to Jimmy. It was September 2010, and we’d all moved into the big London house a fortnight earlier.
House meetings were as common as a sighting of Lord Lucan, but there’d been a big house party the night before, and we’d all felt the reluctant call of duty to clean up. As the clock ticked on to twelve and normal productive members of society took lunch breaks from their office jobs, the reprobates of RSG emerged one by one from the deep, dark recesses of the house. I suspect several of us lay awake in bed all morning rather than go downstairs and confront the task of cleaning up the mess. It was an entirely different way of life to my previous corporate existence.
Lee was sifting through some lecture notes for an accounting degree he’d started, while Mick picked at his toenails. Tony was at the head of the table, taking slow deep breaths and responding to everything in slow motion as he was wont to do. I was in the kitchen fiddling with the coffee machine and swearing loudly after stepping barefoot onto some mouldy lettuce that had been knocked off the bench where Lee had left it three days earlier.
We all sat around the table and agreed to Jimmy’s suggestion: We’d call our home Château RSG.
The grand-daddy of the PUA industry is Erik Von Markovich, better known as Mystery. Although not the first man to systematise and teach seduction (Ross Jeffries and R. Don Steele were first to market), it was Mystery who shaped the industry into the form we all recognise today. His first book Mystery Method is a coherent, balanced, and beautifully presented total package that draws heavily upon cold-calling sales theory and, oddly, dog training manuals. It displays a degree of rigour and comprehensiveness that earlier writers couldn’t match. He was also the first to move pick-up coaching out of the seminar room and into the live environment of cafes, bars and nightclubs. Mystery invented the “boot camp” weekend in which students are taught early-evening in a seminar room and then taken in-field to watch coaches approach women in bars, then experiment themselves.
However, the main reason Mystery established himself as the premier pick-up artist of the 2000-2008 era was due to him befriending Neil Strauss, a Rolling Stone writer who would write the seminal The Game memoir where he featured Mystery as his mentor and main supporting character. That book was a New York Times bestseller, thrusting Mystery’s persona into the mainstream.
If there’s one thing Erik Von Markovich is absolutely excellent at, it’s gaming other men to fuel his own rise. He even managed to get a VH1 reality TV show called The Pickup Artist that ran two seasons.
Neil Strauss’s book retold the story of his entering the then underground world of pick-up artists in Los Angeles. Mystery spotted Neil’s utility as a talented writer with good connections and quickly brought him into his world. They’d then feed off each other. Neil would learn Mystery’s game while Mystery leveraged Neil’s LA connections to get into better parties and find richer students. It’s a great book, and I thoroughly recommend it. Prior to the advent of YouTube as a platform for small PUA businesses to market to prospective clients, The Game was every PUA’s gateway drug into the community.
The centrepiece of The Game is when Neil and Erik decide to rent a huge mansion in Beverly Hills where a dozen PUAs would live together and hit on girls en masse. They dubbed it “Project Hollywood” and the legend was born. It’s a habit in the seduction community to invent grandiloquent narratives for occasions when normal people would use everyday words. Project Hollywood was really just a flophouse for male virgins, but Neil’s writing had immortalised it. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in a Beverly Hills mansion with a load of other guys, all of whom were going out to hit on women? Compare that to sitting alone on your sofa in a shit-box studio apartment watching The Sopranos on DVD.
I’d watched the show and read the book back in early 2009 when I was a nervous office drone first toying with the idea of becoming a pick-up artist. For me Project Hollywood was living the dream; a gang of expert seducers and hot bitches every night. Later, RSG felt like a rat pack when we all met up on the weekend to teach boot-camps. We’d lounge in a big private room in the East Rooms or Milk & Honey drinking beer, joking around, waiting for the students to show. It was the camaraderie I’d missed since starting my finance career in London and brought into sharp relief just how uncool my pre-game friends were (and of course, myself too).
The idea of doing a similar project sounded cool; get a big house in London, give it a great name, and move in a bunch of guys. Not only would it be fantastic motivation to build and refine our own Game, it would also bring the rat pack together on a daily basis. We figured we could do Project London better than the original Hollywood version.
The dream came true in September 2010.
The story continues soon in the next serialisation post. If you can’t possibly wait because this writing is simply too compelling, rush over to the sales page and get yourself a pristine premium paperback copy of A Deplorable Cad right now.