Cliff’s List 4/15/2006
Here is the newest Cliff’s list newsletter. Cliff’s list always
has the most up to date happenings in the seduction community.
Dr Alex Benzer (www.thetaoofdating.com):
THE ULTIMATE BAD HABIT AND HOW TO GET RID OF IT (OR THE TAO OF
Last weekend I had a lot of fun in a motorcycle safety training
course, and it reminded me of some of the stuff that I had
discussed here before.
Learning how to ride a motorcycle, like the acquisition of any
skill, is both fun and challenging. What you have to remember is
that the same thing that makes it fun — namely, stimulation,
creation and establishment of new neural pathways — is exactly
what makes it challenging.
You’re doing something new, so your whole brain is lighting up.
That’s the fun part. And, at the same time, because it’s new, it’s
a challenge — you’ve never done this before.
So don’t you be complaining about the fact that it’s tough, because
that’s not a bug — it’s a feature. Most of the time in life, fun =
It’s also a pushing out of your comfort zone. Remember that
everything that you want is outside of your comfort zone. Because
if it were inside your comfort zone, chances are that you already
have the thing in question (or it’s so trivial as to not even be
desirable to you). So, if you want to learn how to ride a
motorcycle, you have to do things you’re not accustomed to. Like
learning the controls, doing tight turns, counterbalancing and
shifting with your feet.
Now this all may seem obvious to you, but again: it’s the obvious
that we most often tend to overlook. That’s why I make a point of
repeating the obvious. But one thing happened to me that made me
realize something that wasn’t so obvious.
One of the skills you have to master to pass the motorcycle safety
test is the U-turn test. Basically, there’s a box, and you’re
supposed to make two U-turns in opposite directions in the box
without putting your foot down or crossing the lines. Pretty
We got a few chances to practice this test. We’d go in, slow down,
do a figure-8 inside the box, and then return to the back of the
line to do it again.
As it turns out, this was a challenging exercise for me.
Almost every time, I had to put my foot down, or I didn’t get the
speed right and I would venture outside of the box. This was
definitely a skill that required some work.
But this is the funny part: by the third or fourth time I did this
exercise, I noticed something. In order to get back in line to do
the exercise again, I had to double back and make a very sharp
turn. And every time I made this turn, I did it with speed and
grace. And did not put my foot down even once. Never even occurred
to me that it was a problem.
And it was basically the exact same maneuver that we had to do in
So what was going on here?
Let’s go back to the Tranxu quote from the last post:
“When the archer shoots for no particular prize, he has all his
skills; when he shoots to win a brass buckle, he is already
nervous; when he shoots for a gold prize, he goes blind, sees two
targets, and is out of his mind. His skill has not changed, but the
prize divides him. He cares! He thinks more of winning than of
shooting, and the need to win drains him of power.”
That, my friend, was exactly what was happening. Once I was inside
the box, I felt as if I was being tested and observed. I *cared*.
And that’s why I would botch it.
Whereas, when I was just getting back to the end of the line, I was
just doing my thing, steering the bike the way I already knew how.
The way my unconscious knew how.
So let me give you a new definition of ‘caring’: caring about your
results equals getting in your own way. Pure and simple.
Because often what happens when you care is that you start to
override your unconscious mind with your conscious faculty.
Is this a bad thing? Well, let me ask you this: If I were to ask
you right now to get up and walk, but to do the whole thing by
consciously picking every muscle you had to contract and relax,
would that make you a better walker or worse?
You’d probably stumble and fall into a big uncoordinated heap
within two steps. You have no *idea* how you walk, buddy. Deal with
There’s the physiological reason why you’re better off using your
unconscious mind. And here’s the metaphysical one: nothing
forestalls your results faster than lusting after results.
When you ‘care’, like it or not, you are lusting after results.
I brought up the story of my motorcycle lesson because this kind of
thing manifests itself in incredibly insidious ways.
Consciously or not, we spend a huge amount of our lives trying to
gain approval. We’ve gotten so used to this that sometimes we
forget why we care about this approval in the first place.
Now, I could go into all the subtle ways in which you kiss up to
your boss, try to make your friends think you’re cool or make a
show of being a good citizen. But this newsletter is about dating,
so let me focus on that.
Chances are very good that if you are male and reading this
newsletter that you have spent your entire life trying to get the
approval of women. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty.
It all starts with the greatest woman of them all: mom. She brought
you into this world, she taught you everything you know. And from
day one, your survival depended on her approval.
Luckily, she already liked you from the start, but that didn’t stop
you from trying every little trick in the book to endear yourself
to mom. Admit it: even as a grownup today, you could probably make
a list of two dozen things you do (or don’t do) to keep mom happy.
Then you grew up a little, and started noticing the cute little
girls running around. And you wanted them to like you. And the
model you had for making that happen was “get her approval” — just
like you did with mom.
If this is all old hat to you and you’ve already broken out of this
model, congratulations. You are a far more developed, aware human
being than most of the people on this planet.
But chances are that you, like me, have vestiges of this behavior
still operating. So what I want you to do is this: actually make a
list of all the things you do in your dealings with women, ranging
from the smallest scale stuff to the big stuff. Do you wear
cologne? What kind? Where do you live? What kind of car do you
drive? What do you wear when you go out?
Now in a column next to that, I want you to be perfectly honest
with yourself as to *why* you do that thing you do. You have only
two answers to pick from: you do it because it makes you happy and
enriches your life; OR you do it because it just might make girls
like you better.
So the two possibilities to the answer ‘Why?’ are ‘Because of me’
and ‘Because of others (especially girls).’
Now you have the list. And a useful exercise is to just go through
it systematically and, one by one, expunge all those behaviors that
are there to get approval from girls.
Because every bit of time and energy that you spend on getting
approval from others (girls or otherwise) is time and energy you
can’t spend on making you happy and enriching your life — what I
Funny thing is that every week I get letters from guys saying that
their most successful outings are when they’re all grungy,
unshaven, in a total “I don’t give a damn” mode and they just show
up somewhere to watch a game or chill out. And, lo and behold, some
dream woman materializes and won’t leave our man alone.
Does this sound familiar to you at all?
So the practical lesson is this: replace the approval-seeking
mindset with the “let’s just see what happens and have fun with it”
mindset. Instead of lusting after results, you are watching the
fabulous, miraculous experiment called Life unfolding around you.
Now, am I saying that you should deliberately ignore your hygiene
and dress poorly, because that’s how you’re going to be successful
with women? Nice try, but that’s just another (somewhat smellier)
way of getting approval.
What matters here is *intention*. Why are you doing what you are
doing? You could do anything and no matter how ridiculous it is, as
long as it comes from a wellspring of deep self-acceptance, then
it’s empowering you. It adds energy TO you. If it’s just another
bait for the world to like you back, it’s taking energy AWAY from
I went through a lot of stuff in this letter, so let’s summarize
the key points:
1) Any new journey of learning will be both fun and tough.
There’s a lot of new information and potentially foreign ways of
looking at the world and dealing with it in The Tao of Dating
(http://www.thetaoofdating.com). I don’t expect you to learn it all
instantly. Take it easy on yourself, avoid judging yourself, and
enjoy the process.
2) The whole purpose of The Tao of Dating is to get out of your own
way so you can get to the success and fulfillment you’re already
programmed to achieve. Have faith in the workings of the universe.
Learn to practice surrender. As Lao Tzu says in Chapter 48 of the
Tao Te Ching,
“In pursuit of knowledge, every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao, every day something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things, until finally you arrive
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.
True mastery can be gained by letting things go their own way.
It can’t be gained by interfering.” And if the surrender thing is
not working, it means you’re not surrendering nearly enough.
3) As a practical manifestation of the previous point, do the
exercise of writing down your approval-seeking behaviors and
resolve to get rid of one of them per week. Write the behavior in
question down, stick it on your cell phone or wallet, and become
aware of its presence in your life. Then either replace it with
something more useful and fulfilling or reframe it such that it’s
not about approval-seeking.
Example: if you’re one of the people who wears those ridiculous
strategically-ripped designer jeans (the 1980s ended once, and they
will again) because you think people might think you look cool in
them, either chuck them and wear non-perforated pants, or only wear
them on hot days because they provide better ventilation. Be a
trend-SETTER, not a fad follower.
4) Raise your standards. One way of getting rid of the ‘caring’
phenomenon is to raise your standards such that they are so much
higher than those of anyone who could be observing you that you
couldn’t possibly be worried about what they think. Your goal is to
lead a fulfilling life according to YOUR standards, not those of
5) Work on the non-doing. As an extension of Exercise 3, resolve to
systematically rid yourself of artifice. Tricks and techniques are
cute and can get you short-term results, but they are real
impediments to long-term fulfillment (those who know what I’m
talking about, give me a holler).
They’re like training wheels — they help you get by, but very soon
will get in your way.
And, the live Tao of Dating seminar is finally coming — June 2-4
in Los Angeles! We’ll have a series of f r e e preview teleseminars
leading up to it, so look out for them — you can sign up at
I thought it would be helpful to me to start sending in some field
reports, successes and failures. This e-mail has definitely helped
me rethink and reconstruct my game, for which is still in rAFC
state, and even if it hasn’t, it has certainly given me
entertainment during the monotonous classes I attend when not
sarging (I’m actually sitting in one of these classes as I type).
Anyway, on to the good stuff.
It was a Saturday night in January, and I had plans to go to out
with my dorm mates, TKMC, Stevo, and Shoy. Stevo and Shoy are both
athletic, tall and have dark-black complexions. Apart from that,
they have very separate personalities: Stevo is pretty shy and is
an AFC in almost all respects, constantly getting roped into lame
friendships and needy girlfriends; Shoy is a complete natural, in
complete command of his personality, and juggles random hookups and
his Asian 9 girlfriend. TKMC is roughly 5′, Indian, and not
particularly att ractive, but is probably the most confident,
fun-loving guy I know. He’s the physics nerd that DJs and MCs on
Awesome dudes, and fun to get hammered with. Stevo and I had been
invited to a birthday party at Au Bar for a mutual girl friend. I
can’t particularly stand this girl, but I knew she had some hottie
friends and the open bar was too much for any of us to resist. The
party started at 10, so we arrived at 11, but turns out the
birthday girl had to have a line outside of her own f-wording party
and didn’t show up till 11:15. Bitch.
We get in and immediately head to get a drink, as the open bar was
ending at midnight. Au Bar has a very chilled out vibe despite it’s
pricey-ness–lots of couches and draperies, pan-Asian style, with a
nice dance floor and a long bar. As we got in, no one was on the
dance floor and only a few people were scattered on the couches. As
we got our drinks, I opened a girl next to me, who was a 6 at best,
but I thought it’d be nice to warm up or maybe use her as a pawn
Me: So how to do you know the birthday girl?
Chick: Oh, we went to summer camp together, blah blah blah
I saw pretty quickly that this girl was less entertaining than
watching paint dry, so I decided to f-word with my friend.
Me: Hey, do you know Stevo?
Chick: No, BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!
I know, that’s not a very nice thing to do, but Stevo needs to be
forced into most social situations as is, and I’m not a very nice
person I guess. Shoy flies solo in most cases, so TKMC and I took a
lap and spotted 2 HB 8.5s. TKMC knew the 3-second rule
intrinsically before I told him about it, so we were off. I tried
the same opener as I did with the chick I ditched Stevo with, which
I realized instantly was a mistake, as these girls had no
affiliation to the birthday party. Au Bar’s a posh spot, and I was
f-wording stupid to think that our friend had rented the whole
place. I tried to salvage the set by talking up our friend’s party,
but it quickly became a crash-and-burn. We decided to get another
round, and there Stevo gave me an enthusiastic “What the f-word?”
so I told him we should go find some other girls. A 2-set with a 9
and a 7 was going well at my opener (Looks like the party is right
here) but Stevo was like a deer in headlights, and could not bring
himself to utter a word. They got bored quick. I snapped at him for
being a wallflower and he surprisingly rose to the challenge, and
approached another 2-set of 7s on the side of the dance floor. Both
were blonds, one slightly skinnier than the other. His set, so he
got the skinny one. We ended up isolating pretty quickly, and I
can’t say exactly how he macked it, but he pretty much started
dancing with her and let his body do the talking. I wasn’t about to
bust a move just yet–I wanted to make sure this girl was good to
go. Turns out these girls went to NYU with our birthday girl and
were on the equestrian team with her. After a neg about her
clothing, a palm reading and a little fluffing, TKMC appears with
the most amazing, spontaneous DHV gimmick I’ve ever had the
pleasure of pulling off:
TKMC: (to me) excuse me, are you JMack?
Me: ummm, yeah
TKMC: No, I mean are you THE JMack, the best f r e e style rapper
at Columbia University?
Me: (Noticing the girl is listening intently) I don’t know if
anyone would go that far…
TKMC: (interrupting for perfect effect) No way man! I’ve seen
you’re videos on iTunes and s-word, you’re amazing! You gotta spit
**TKMC and I love hip-hop and f r e e style whenever possible. The
music playing was extremely conducive to dropping some rhymes. This
was not putting me on the spot in anyway.**
Me: I don’t know, I’m just trying to have a good time tonight
TKMC: No man, you have to.
Chick: Yeah! Please!
So I dropped a few rhymes. They were far from my best, but that
didn’t matter. The din of the club was loud enough to drown out my
voice anyway, and no matter what I rhymed, TKMC was quick to
scream, “HOLY s-word! OMG, HE’S AMAZING.” Meanwhile, the girl was
eating it up. She couldn’t believe I had such an unique talent that
received recognition from complete strangers. Yeah, TKMC wasn’t a
stranger, but the talent was real! TKMC ejects soon after this, and
after dancing with the girl for a minute I’m hooking up with her on
the dance floor. I number closed her soon after that, as did Stevo
with his girl. We ended up running into them on the way out, where
two other guys were gaming it to them. I quickly killed their game
and they wandered off, but sadly we would not be seeing these girls
again. We did a little too much dry-humping on the dance floor, and
I left Stevo in charge of making plans with them the next weekend,
which was a mistake. I knew his girl felt a little slutty after
wrapping her legs around Stevo on the floor. My girl had a
tongue-ring, which I had visualized on my dick throughout the
night. f-word it.
Turns out TKMC got a # close and Shoy got 2, so we were all riding
high on our good luck and the 5 rounds of drinks we had. We
realized that it was 12:30, and McSorley’s, the third oldest pub in
America that serves great beer (light and dark, that’s all they
got), was closing at 1. We split up the cabs, and I’m with TKMC and
Shoy. We end up getting out of the cab about 6 blocks early, and
walk by a music venue which I forget the name of, and notice a
5-set, 3 girls two guys. Game on. I open with the party line, which
the girls thought was funny since they were sitting on a stoop. The
guys were flabbergasted that we were approaching them, betraying
their beta natures. We were all working well until a bouncer came
from the venue to tell us to keep moving. Despite Shoy’s superior
size, he can’t handle alcohol with the same tolerance as TKMC and
myself. He begins trash talking the bouncer, the girls bid a hasty
retreat, and TK and I start dragging him down the street and
apologizing, as 2 other enormous bouncers started circling us like
We’re a few blocks from McSorleys, and I notice 3 guys and 2 girls
walking in the same direction, and they are Indian, and I know
TKMC’s been fiending for a woman of common heritage. I yelled out,
“Bengali, what what?!?!” the set burst open. TKMC played it pretty
laid back, asking what part of India she was originally from (and I
was dead on when I guessed Bengali, which is what TK is, how
f-wording tight is that?) I immediately swooped in on what looked
like her boyfriend, started talking about anything to distract him.
His eyes were constantly darting between his girl and me, but he
was too polite to break f r e e of my boring conversation. Shoy
was doing a kind of GM style thing to help TKMC. Anytime the girl
said anything with the remotest reference to TKMC, Shoy would grab
their bodies and push them together, saying, “oh, you’re both
Bengali, kiss, make love, kiss!” Shoy caught up with me while TKMC
excused his drunken friends and number closed her. Wingmen unite!
We got to McSorley’s and pounded as much beer as we could drink.
McSorley’s is not the spot to sarge, as it is overflowing with
stingingly drunk AMOGs. We were planning on hitting another bar,
but Shoy got sick and we had to take him home (vomit flying out of
the cab window and barfing into a cup of water at a diner were the
highlights of that). In reviewing my game, I’d say my weakness was
that I got too far into the seduction in a place where I couldn’t
f-word. And maybe a little karma from sacrificing Stevo to the
boring chick. Comments are, of course, appreciated.
I’m at this bar, there’s a stagette going on. This girl approaches
me and says she’s raising money for the bride and if I pay her a
dollar she’ll let me eat one off her neck. Now I’m no more
interested in this girl than a park bench, but I like to practice
so I start cracking jokes and (can’t remember exactly what
happened) but she said something along the lines of “You think
you’re so hot but you’re not.” And walked away, throwing me off so
I didn’t get a chance to come back. So I thought to myself I need
to be better prepared and handle it bit differently.
Just so happens, I’m in the same bar a few weeks later, there’s
another stagette going on, and some smokin’ hot girl comes up to my
friend and I with the future bride, and says we can pay $2 to eat a
candy off her neck. So I look at her, and say something along the
lines of ‘there’s no chance, she should be paying me to eat the
candy off her neck. How much are you payin’ me?’ Both of them
were shocked for a second.
This is where I really began to see how this Seduce & Conquer
(www.seduceandconquer.com/seducewomen) works. Now I was interested
in the hot friend, but the future bride who has yet to say anything
at this point gets closer and is giving me googly eyes (this is the
look chicks give when they’re into someone). My friend keeps the
conversation going with the hot girl and I’m paying attention to it
so I can jump in and work her. Then I notice the bride pulls up a
chair facing me, and sits down. She doesn’t take her eyes off me.
The bride isn’t hot so I’m not interested and paying more attention
to the other conversation. So she starts rubbing my leg with her
foot, and won’t take her eyes off me.
So it’s pretty plain to me at this point that she’s good to go,
however even in my sauced condition she’s not hot enough. Since I
wasn’t interested and she was getting on my nerves (it p iss es me
off when chicks I don’t like stare at me, talk to me, etc.) I
pulled the pin and walked, planning to work the hot friend later
but I didn’t end up seeing her again.
While at one time I wouldn’t have known what happened, it makes
complete sense now that Payton Kane has taught me what the hell is
going on. Most guys jump at the chance to pay to eat candy off a
girl’s neck, and the hot friend made it that much more appealing.
When I did the opposite, it completely threw them off and the bride
was instantly att racted. I was the only guy that night who
provided such a challenge, and unfortunately I would expect her
future husband is already boring her and letting her control him.
She wanted me so bad she was giving all the signs it was go time,
and when one didn’t work she increased her efforts till she was
sitting in front of me rubbing my leg.
I have to admit, even though I’ve had some experience with S & C,
this really opened my eyes to how effective it is when used in the
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About MikeStoute Michael Stoute here, and at your service. I am a writer/editor/lover and a fighter. My words are weapons of wisdom so watch out, you may learn something...or better yet, maybe you can teach me something! Have a question? Please try to leave it in the comments, it will get a faster response than an email. Otherwise, Email Me