Eat Crow

I will turn your face to alabaster,
Then you’ll find your servant is your master,

–Sting, “Wrapped Around Your Finger”

But fret not, there are apparently some pretty good recipes out there.

In my last post (which I recommend you read or this one won’t make any sense), I described an interaction I had with a sexy little redheaded actress.  I took a poll among my readers at the end of the post, and as of this writing 73.39% of males and 68.18% of females selected the option “Martel took the beta bait.  Loser.”

A couple of the comments gave me credit for a decent recovery to a weak beginning, but the general consensus can be summed up by Titanium:  “No game. You had her on a pedestal.”   A blogger I respect commended me for being “splendidly candid” in my admission of failure.

Earl admits in the comments that he’s uncertain in his judgement because he’s unaware of “the context, body language, vocal tone, etc.”  This is true; I intentionally left out a lot.

And among the factoids I left out was that fifteen minutes after this interaction, we were outside, and Emma was pressing her body against mine with her hands on my butt, even though she wouldn’t kiss me because she had a boyfriend (chick logic).  After a few minutes outside, she drove me home to pick something up, and then we went to her apartment “to help her pack”.  “Helping her pack” consisted of holding one end of the tape down on a couple of boxes until her roommate went to bed.  After her roommie went to bed, Emma and I went to the couch.  My only complaint that night was that the couch was right next to her roommate’s door.  Fortunately, her roommate was a pretty deep sleeper and didn’t drink many fluids that night.

Yet, didn’t I do everything wrong?  Or at best almost recover from a really stupid flub?

One could make such a case, but the overall context leads me to believe otherwise.  We got along fairly well before the interaction I described, but it was only afterwards that she started teasing me more aggressively, throwing straw wrappers at me, squinting, playing footsie, and biting her lower lip.  Before my “mistake”, I thought I might get somewhere with some luck.  Within three or four minutes of making my “mistake”, I knew it was on.


My Game skills can be summarized as follows:

Approaches & starting conversations:  Below average

Getting a phone number if a conversation somehow actually gets under way:  Average

Converting a phone number into a “date”:  Downright awful

From the start of the date until a kiss:  Expert

Endgame:  Supreme with conservative girls, above average with relative sluts

In short, once I get a woman alone in a restaurant or coffee shop, if I’m not a natural, I’m pretty damn close; all such interactions conclude in the time and manner of my choosing.  And when I’m with a woman one-on-one, what I did with Emma is the type of thing I do all the time, and during my more successful periods, this is the type of guy I am.

So when I first learned about Game, I got downright confused.  By doing what seemed like Game’s opposite, I could be incredibly successful, yet almost the exact same techniques also burned me and damn near rendered me an omega.  Defy Game and feast, defy Game and famine.

Until I learned that even when I thought I was defying Game, I wasn’t.  It’s just that when I’m playing the Game my way, I’m not just playing cards.

Stage Directions

Before I explain why what I did worked, I’ll add some context.  In Emma’s honor, I’ll include improperly formatted stage directions to my dialogue.  One thing to keep in mind is that the conversation flowed much more quickly than it may feel like it flowed when you read it.  *Bold within asterisks* indicates Emma’s facial expression.

Martel:  So how do you think things’ll go out there?

Emma:  I’m really worried about the competition.  (very sincere) *genuine worry, almost looks like the beginning of tears*  I know that I can really act, but so many of the girls out there as so beautiful, I don’t know how I’ll ever compete.

Martel:  (matter-of-factly, looking at the food, glancing at her, then back to the food) What are you talking about?  You’re gorgeous.

Emma:  *The worry gradually gives way to the “I’ve got this guy!” face, you know, the one she gives when she’s about to disqualify you* Compared to some of them out there, no way.  I’m just–

Martel:  (abruptly, annoyed) Don’t be a dumbass. *Shock* (an understanding tone, much like you’d use with a six year-old who’s nervous about going on stage before her first dance recital)  Depending on your expression or the light at any given instant, you can go from pretty girl-next-door to exotic siren to classic beauty and back again. *Wow, this guy really seems to care, or appreciate me, or something* (absolutely DRENCHED in sarcasm, as if mocking a 19th century poet). You’re like the perfect mix of biology and art. *Is he fucking with me?*

Emma:  But out there they’re so–

Martel. (bored)  Yeah, I’m sure they’re hot.  Whatever.  (with an eye roll as I turn in my seat as if I’m about to leave) You’re a knockout, *I’ve got him, I know it!  More compliments coming!, but something’s…wrong*  but you’re being an idiot so I’m changing the subject.  *Did he just call me an idiot?  I thought he worshiped me?* So when you’re trying to get roles in commercials or whatever, do they have a theater scene out there, or how does that work?

Emma:  *Some weird clenched thing with her mouth that almost looks like a smile, as if to say “I want to push the issue, but I can’t”* (awkward pause) Ummmm, I’m not really sure how that works, yet.  My friend Stacy out there says that…

Blah.  Blah.  Blah.  The End.

Of course she tried repeatedly to get more compliments out of me the rest of the night.  Did she get them?  Yes, and even better ones, but only after she gave me more visuals to work with.


As we learn Game, we learn of the danger of giving too many compliments, and the danger is real, very real.  We also learn about drama whores craving an attention fix and the necessity of not falling into their traps.

If you don’t learn these and other fundamental lessons, you don’t know Game.

But another lesson we should learn is that beta bait goes both ways.  Ace gives his “thread winner” award to Anonymous’s response of “Hey, they have sweet potato fries here! I love those things”, which is a great response.  Furthermore, Ace write eloquently about the necessity of not falling into her drama, of not letter her “‘bad moods’ [wrongly or rightly] to stick to him.”  Again, correct.

Though that’s not what I did.  Along with the quest for the tingle, a woman also has the desire to get a men to disqualify themselves, to pedestalize her, to wallow in her crap with her, to inflate her ego at no cost to herself.

Alphas don’t do this, and that’s what makes them attractive.  I don’t do it either, but I’m really good at making them think that maybe they can pull it off or disqualify me.  She’s always about to trap me but never quite pulls it off, her hamster’s always near the finish line but never crosses it.  I use the desires of her frame against her.

Until she gives up, exhausted.

The Pedestal

The dangers of complimenting women and/or helping a woman with her problems are among the first things any man learns about Game, for both typically indicate weakness and supplication on the part of the male.

However, when we discuss these very real pathetic tendencies on the part of most beta schlubs, we often confuse these reflections of weakness with weakness itself.  We’ve got to recognize that to many women, perception is reality, so if we’re not really careful, we’ll leave the impression of weakness even when we’re not weak.  That’s why we’re taught not to even go there, and usually you shouldn’t.

Yet these are tools, and if used properly, they can get you what you want.

Helping Her

With virtually every one of my successes with women, at some point before getting her, I’ve played the role of confidant or something similar.  Only a cursory examination would lead one to believe that I’ve got to be lying (or they’ve all been ugly), but I am telling the truth.  How can this possibly be?

I never fall for her crap, that’s how.  I don’t help or listen in order to curry favor, I don’t have some deep desire to save her, I won’t even inconvenience myself, and somehow they can smell the difference between me and some dillhole who’s hoping to leverage it for sex, who’s offers of assistance barely disguise a deep need for validation.  To me, it’s interesting conversation (or at least a lot more interesting than reality TV talk), and the moment it’s no longer interesting for me, I change the subject.  I’ll let her vent to the extent that every woman has to vent, but as soon as I know what’s what, I tell her what’s what.  She finds herself able to “express herself” and is left with a viable solution or two, so when I tell her it’s time to move on, that I’m not here to be her damn sounding board, she’s got no choice but to agree with me and drop it.  Drama simply isn’t tolerated.

Note what I did with Emma.  I heard genuine concern in her voice; she was scared.  I wasn’t seeking some way to save her, I simply saw a self-esteem issue and rectified it.  Yet along with my concern I expressed anger, ambivalence, annoyance, and I was in control, not her feelings.  My push-pull put her in my power, yet she was better off for it.

Proper frame-control renders you the king.  Using that control for mutual benefit is what makes you a good one.  All women crave a king, but some kings rule better than others.

In sum:

Bad:  Let her take control, do whatever you can to help, hope it pleases her.

Good:  Don’t even let her talk about it.

Better (f you’re looking for more than a fling):  Make her know that your ability to control her is what makes her happy.  It’s good for you to be king.


The same principles apply to compliments.  Usually, they’re about “I hope if she knows how pretty I think she is she’ll like me.”  That’s why we don’t like them.

When I complimented Emma, that was not my intention.  I just thought it was stupid for her to doubt her attractiveness.  Then I thought for a moment and recognized that she’s about to take a legitimately scary step, so I made a genuine attempt to reassure her.  After that, I made it into a joke, for after recognizing that I had the power to make her feel good, I had to pull back a bit, to put the power back in my court through a humorous threat of dread.  She wanted more poetic compliments, so I gave her an ordinary one (“knockout”) and then made it clear, that’s it.

Granted, she was feeling vulnerable, so under other circumstances, the same words may well have put me in the friend-zone.  However, the entire rest of the night she begged me to reassure her about her looks.  I held back and gave her what she wanted when I wanted, how I wanted, often, but not always, mixed in with negs.

But by morning, she felt beautiful.


I didn’t provide complete context, and none of this stuff is necessary if your goal is to be a player, so in a sense none of my critics are wrong; I entitled the post Eat Crow because for whatever reason I love that phrase.

My problem was that I used these supplementary tools as primary ones; compliments delivered at the proper time and in the proper way can cement a bond, or even accelerate the formation of one, but delivered at the wrong time or in the wrong way, they’ll make you seem weak, even if you aren’t.

But recently I’ve decided that I simply can’t turn this stuff off.  This last weekend I met a girl in whom I have only moderate interest, and I used this stuff a bit just for practice.  Since then she’s texted me seven times and called me four.  I’ve only texted her back once.  If I were a prick, I could literally have a slave.

Yet I’m not a prick, and I don’t want to be.  I want to use this stuff on a woman who deserves it.  When you’re able to back it up, this mix of Game and “beta schlubness”, it gets them attached.

Nobody believed I got anywhere with Emma (except Frank, oddly enough).  If I ever explain my Endgame, you’ll tell me I’m nuts, that what I recommend could never work.  But it does.

I understand why you voted how you did in my poll, but Emma’s not the only one who knows you’re wrong.

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20 Responses to Eat Crow

  1. donalgraeme says:

    So I guess a strong close can more than make up for a weak opening then. Always good to know. I know that a few PUA’s say something similar, that your openers aren’t all that important, so long as they can get the ball rolling.

    • Martel says:

      Often true, but in this case it wasn’t an “opener” in that we had already been talking for a while. Also, on it’s own it would have been weak, but as part of the overall structure of the conversation, it actually added to the strength.

      Soft, hard, push, pull, fast, slow, back, forth. Each tool has its counterpart, and in a strong frame, “beta” traits can add depth instead of weakness.

      You’re right that without the follow up, the initial line would have flopped, but without the initial line, the “recovery” that made her head do backflips wouldn’t have been possible.

      • A♠ says:

        “You’re right that without the follow up, the initial line would have flopped, but without the initial line, the “recovery” that made her head do backflips wouldn’t have been possible.”

        You utilized a conversational feint.

        To one skilled enough, an extremely viable tactic [as you know].

  2. A♠ says:

    Forgive me, but I’m going to be pedantic.

    I absolutely did say “splendidly candid” but I did not, as you know, use the word “failure”.

    Nor did I vote in your poll.

    Would I have chosen “You took the bait”?


    Were it not for the “Loser” added to it.

    Nor did I comment on you or your actions, specifically.

    The reason I bring all of this up is very important to me:

    Like many areas of human endeavor, someone must suffer so that others may benefit.

    Had you not kept facts from us [even the best detective can’t solve a mystery with insufficient clues, by the way] and said post been an example of such suffering:

    You should be praised for your sacrifice [hence “splendidly candid”].

    And actions should be taken so that the sacrifice was not in vain [hence, my follow-up words].

    Now that’s out of my system:

    I’m glad you found my posts helpful and that you appreciated the commendation.

    I value your respect.

    • Martel says:

      Correct, you did not use the word “failure”, and if you want me to re-word it so that I don’t leave that impression, let me know and I will.

      You have my respect because you’ve earned it. I can’t say I completely “get it”, but I get enough to recognize that you notice a layer to things that most people don’t see.

      Besides, you’ve used both Rush’s Red Pill song and a “There Was a Time” in a post (I don’t care what anybody says, I love Chinese Democracy)

      • A♠ says:

        No need to change it [although I appreciate the offer].

        My point was made and understood.

        Good enough for me.

        “You have my respect because you’ve earned it. I can’t say I completely “get it”, but I get enough to recognize that you notice a layer to things that most people don’t see.”

        Thank you.

        As time passes, I have no doubt I’ll start to be more and more understandable to you.

        (I don’t care what anybody says, I love Chinese Democracy)

        Most people don’t like it because it’s not really a Guns & Roses album.

        They’re correct; it isn’t.

        It’s an Axl Rose album [listen to UYI 1&2, while reading who wrote what songs. You’ll see what I mean].

        However, it is an excellent album, regardless.

  3. earl says:

    I’ve learned my lesson from too many stories on the internet or even telling stories through email that just words are only part of the story.

    So I judged based off words…throw the other stuff in and you get the full picture. I’ve done the compliment-insult see saw before and it blew up in my face because I wasn’t nonchalant about it.

    But it is a good lesson that you shouldn’t toss beta traits to the side…it irks me to see PUAs thinking you can kill them off anyway. You can’t…but you can use them to your advantage.

  4. If I ever explain my Endgame, you’ll tell me I’m nuts, that what I recommend could never work. But it does.

    I’ve had enough “accidental Game” experiences in the past to believe you. I started treating one girl like total crap and she just ate it up like mad. It started as a joke was obviously always meant that way, but the more serious it sounded, she more she liked it.

    On another note, I got you listening to that Synchronicity album again, huh?

  5. Johnny Caustic says:

    Awesome post. Also, one of the most fun uses of a web poll I’ve seen.

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to incorporate more “push” into my game; this is really good food for thought. I can think of several times when “Don’t be an idiot” could have been pretty effective.

    • Martel says:

      It was a bit of a rope-a-dope, playing on preconceived notions, making myself look bad in order to prove a point, etc.

      You allude to a technique I’ll be getting into later, the “insulting compliment”. Stuff like “you’re way to beautiful to present yourself like such a trendy dipshit” or “for a woman with such a uniquely insightful mind, you sure do like talking about meaningless blather a lot”. I love those.

  6. Stingray says:

    I don’t have some deep desire to save her, I won’t even inconvenience myself, and somehow they can smell the difference between me and some dillhole who’s hoping to leverage it for sex

    There is a difference and it’s pretty stark. It’s in the man’s face, his eyes, his gestures and posture. A man leveraging for sex tends to be quite open in order to feign honesty. Open eyes, a bit of a slack face (trying to convey disbelief at her claim to not be pretty enough), a forward posture. Women get the validation they want from this with an under tone of annoyance because with a woman like Emma, she gets it all the time and even though she gets the validation, she knows where it’s coming from. The validation might just be a line to get into her pants and in this case she really was doubting herself. She may have been stunning but in Hollywood, big deal. Most of the women are stunning and she had every reason to be insecure about her looks.

    Martel didn’t do this. He stated a fact about her being beautiful. In my minds eye he says it in a way as if he’s telling her the sky is blue. Then the annoyance is just icing on her cake and “Don’t be a dumbass” is perfect. Shock, Awe . . . Who is this guy who tells it to me straight and then puts me in my place? Who is this guy who is not fawning over me? Wait .. . . . Did he really mean I’m pretty? Did he. . . . Wait . . . . What’s going o . . . . Does he think I’m pretty????? (welcome to hamsterdom. The thing, when spinning, is not good at completing sentences). I must know!

    Martel successfully made the swap to her qualifying herself to him. This is where women should be and where, when we know what we are doing, we can shine. That’s why she was all snuggly to him afterward. It was her turn to get him to choose her.

    The fact the Martel was genuine in wanting to help her and did it matter of factly shows a man who is dominant yet still caring. It’s that rare man between player and beta schlub. Anonymous’s comment was perfect and will get her attention and display dominance, yet for someone like Emma it will put up her player vibe as well and some women will put up a guard once that vibe is turned on. Martel was well on his way to keeping her guard down. This is why Charming players are so dangerous.

    When you’re able to back it up, this mix of Game and beta schlubness, it gets them attached.

    My one nitpick with your post, Martel. There is no beta schlubness in what you did or what you do. This might sound unimportant, but it’s not. It’s a very big deal. Sincerity backed up from a place of strength is something amazing to behold. There is NO beta schlubness involved even though the actions might be the same. The place from where these actions come, the intention, is what matters. Not the action itself and this is where a whole lot of guys in these parts get confused.

    • earl says:

      “It’s that rare man between player and beta schlub.”

      This is where every guy should ultimately end up…the balance. They shouldn’t be so aggressive it scares the girl way…or so anxious that they do nothing and the girl doesn’t notice them.

      PUAs sell it out like you have to get rid of beta traits because that is a “weakness”…when in fact they are weak as well. The actual weakness is that betas are aggressive with their emotions and players are aggressive with their dicks. They are two sides of the same coin. Both guys will get women with their tactics…but they won’t keep them. If guys have a weakness…it isn’t the action involved…it is their reaction to their actions via their emotions.

      I’ve learned my lesson the hard way by going way too much with both tactics…and succeeded spectacularly. Women were there but then left. I’m going to start experimenting with it because I just learned it…state things without having too much emotion involved. Like you said…telling her she’s beautiful is like saying the sky is blue. Getting her phone number is like saying water is wet. Hanging out with her is like the sun rose in the east this morning. This stuff should be normal…and the world does everything to tell you it’s abnormal.

      • Alan K says:

        Earl, I think that you need to rethink this point:

        It’s that rare man between player and beta schlub.

        The idea of “balance” isn’t quite right. One set of traits naturally flows from the other. They are not in opposition. Stingray did a good job of explaining the relationship:

        Sincerity backed up from a place of strength is something amazing to behold. There is NO beta schlubness involved….

        This is a better way to see it. Observable confidence (whether as an alpha, or a beta, or whatever) flows from a sense of internal value and accomplishment. As long as you don’t shoot yourself in the foot, behaving like an AFC, sincerity is very effective. If you can speak to women in their native tongue (laced with various emotions) without getting lost in the tall grass, then you are surely in, my friend.

        Game techniques fall away when our masculine behavior is set on “automatic.” Always start from a place of strength and everything else will follow more easily. I think that this is the essence of Martel’s game, as he describes it. It matches my own experience. Cheers.

    • Martel says:

      @ Stingray: I just KNEW there was a reason I thought you were wise. Girl, you rock!

      You’re right in that I should have put “beta schlubness” in scare quotes. (and I just might) With the quotes it implies your point, which is one I agree with.

  7. jamesd127 says:

    Like teasing a cat with a feather – you almost take the beta bait, you almost fail the shit test, but you do not – so she pursues you, strewing more beta bait, applying stronger shit tests.

  8. Pingback: Malcolm’s Lament | Alpha Is Assumed

  9. Four Aces says:

    What you’re doing is push-pull, as simple as that. Push pull sort of gets girls to chase you, esp when you combine it in verbal, BL, etc. I read the first post (first time here) and thought the same thing, you gave too many compliments, but the last line was good. I love calling girls who don’t expect it dumbass, retarded, shithead, etc.

    I don’t tend to careen toward the brink of beta as much as you do, but to each his own. If you want considered feedback, you’re better off recording your sets and uploading the audio.

  10. Wald says:

    Well then – it turns out my initial assessment was more correct that my second assessment – though the lack of information (and thus not a complete story) was noted both times.

    Well played Martel.

    I am very curious about your game as I find some parallels between your experiences (The Quiver) and mine.


    • Wald says:

      Upon further analysis – I realize there exists yet another layer.

      “When I first got back from my most exciting trip to Europe, my SMV took a massive hit. At first, it wasn’t too intensely painful (although for some reason almost all of my successes were either natives of Ireland or ethnically Irish), but soon enough I was almost as “unlucky” as I had ever been. Back to lower beta.”

      Not only did you feint the girl, but you feinted the reader. Almost everyone was pre-programmed to think that you had failed with this girl due to “lower beta” tinted glasses.

      Again, well played.


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