“I’m never drinking again. I swear.” Lies. I rubbed my swollen eyes and took a long look in the mirror. This was the grand-daddy of hangovers. The Big Kahuna. The type of hangover where you come to, more than wake up. The type of hangover where it feels like you there’s a tiny elf inside your head slamming your brain with a small hammer. Or like you’ve been hit against the head with a bag of hammers. You get the idea.
My night of binge drinking had concluded with not one lucky girl in my bed, but two.
It was a successful night, but how much of it could I actually remember?
Did I remember the nasty sex with the two Hollywood roommate girls?
Could I even really relish the memory?
Did I even have a REAL memory of it?
You know how drunken sex happens. It’s good, but rarely great, because it’s spotty at best. There are flashes when she unleashes her breasts and you might remember when you first touched that lovely opening between her legs, but then blackness envelopes the rest.
So why do we do it?
Why are we so intent on slamming shots and poppin’ bottles until the night becomes a blur of approaches, some make-outs and a few titty grabs, with possibly some real sex involved?
My theory is that people like us have addictive personalities combined with a penchant for risk taking. Combine alcohol with our personalities and we become super vampires who really come alive when darkness falls and the strobe lights of the nightclub envelope us like a beautiful stranger’s embrace.
I’ve drank hard for the better part of a decade.
I would have an occasional brew here and there in High School, but once I turned twenty-one (the legal age for drinking in the US for non-US readers), I started slamming drinks and rarely stopped since besides breaks of a month or two here and there.
The reason was simple: I enjoyed the taste of alcohol and enjoyed how my naturally outgoing personality shone even brighter with a few drinks in me.
The very first sip was always the best and a genuine smile would appear on my face as soon as vodka touched my lips. Hell, it still has that affect on me now if I choose to drink.
The drinking for me started with the pastime of attending a Big 10 University.
The university I attended was ranked as the #1 party school in the country within 3-4 years of me attending and while the faculty was intent on cleaning up the image, the students were happy and proud to carry the ‘honor’ of being a party school through our four years of attendance. I not only welcomed it, but celebrated it. Drinking was my weekend past-time.
While I studied hard during the week, worked out five days a week and attended my classes like clock-work, come Thursday night and you’d find me at a college bar, or club getting smashed. I was never foolish enough to schedule classes for Fridays (you party types know this ‘rule’), so my Thursday nights began my drinking and it didn’t stop until the wee hours of Sunday mornings. I wouldn’t drink during the day and would get up and hit the gym, but my weekends were blocked out to black out one could say. Sunday nights was recovery, usually with a sexy girl in my bed watching movies, then another week of grinding before doing it all over again. Weekend after weekend for years.
After college, the drinking turned more into a means to an end. The end being getting laid.
I knew how to pull sober, but drinking and a crazy night out was enjoyable, so why not?
After multiple ‘tragic’ breakups, the drinking turned into a way to deal with the pain.
You might know the feeling.
You roll out for a night out, do some shots, make some moves on the sexy girls in the bar, then somebody looks at you the wrong way and your night turns to shit, so you turn to the bottle. By the time you get to the bottom of it, you’re playing your ex’s favorite song on your laptop and you’re an emotional mess. Been there, done that many times.
The alcohol became a temporary solvent for internal pain that I had yet to deal with.
Years passed and after dealing with my internal issues and finding peace within myself, the drinking stopped being a solvent and started to become fun again, just like the early days in college. But then something else happened: my hangovers started to get brutal.
Sure, I learned the hangover cures and while some worked and most didn’t, it still depleted my energy for the next day.
Instead of getting up at 10am and hitting the gym like I would do in college, I’d find myself dragging myself out of bed at 2pm and feeling like hell the rest of the day while simultaneously wasting it as well. It got the point where I knew if I drank hard on a Saturday night, then Sunday would be shot completely.
As you age, your body doesn’t handle hangovers as well as your younger self could. You older G’s can testify to that. As I approached my late twenties, I realized that in order to stay productive seven days a week, then I would need to cut back. I didn’t stop drinking except for a few weeks here and there to give my liver a break every few months, but I learned how to pace myself, but sure, I still would go on some benders every once in a while almost defiant against my body’s cry for me to chill the fuck out on vodka. Addiction to the bottle can be tough, but a battle worth winning.
Eventually I learned to tame the beast enough to know that it all came down to choice. I could choose to get hammered, or I could choose to pace myself, or I could choose to just not drink at all. The pacing was easier than refraining completely, but refraining completely was the real challenge so I accepted it. How that unfolds and how my story might help you is next up.
The Science Behind Liquid Courage
The biggest obstacle to cutting out drinking for players comes down to the first approach. Quite simply, the term ‘liquid courage’ is that after a drink or two, our inhibitions are lowered and the anxiety we might feel approaching a beautiful girl sober is diminished greatly, or might even disappear completely.
You might know the feeling.
I knew the feeling.
It’s what I call the Player’s Trap.
The Player’s Trap is what happens when we become physically dependent on a specific course to get us into ‘state’ to approach.
Yours might not be alcohol. It might be drugs. I hope for your sake it’s not, but I’m sure there are players out there who feel the need to smoke weed, or pop a pill before a night out so that their anxiety is lowered. For others it might be the need to go to the gym before going out for the night.
I had a client who would get severe anxiety if he didn’t hit the gym and get in a quick pump before hitting the clubs. For him, that was getting into ‘state’. While it’s great to workout, what happens when he sees a beautiful girl out during the day when he’s on his lunch break? He would freeze.
Over the period of a couple of months during the six months I coached him, I helped him overcome this psychological obstacle that was impeding his game to a severe extent.
Another version of The Player’s Trap is your clothing.
I ‘preach’ on the importance of dressing well, looking sharp and displaying the best version of yourself when you’re out, but should you be entirely dependent on rocking a suit in order to approach a girl?
Of course not.
While you should look your best for YOUR sake first, your entire confidence should not be dependent solely on your external, but be concrete internally first and foremost. The external is a mere reflection of how you feel on the inside and like it or not, people are judged within milliseconds based purely on their appearance.
However, you should be able to approach girls whether you look tattered after working on your car, sweaty after leaving the gym, or your best in a tux at a wedding.
When a player’s game is rock-solid, the elements surrounding him does not affect his game, it merely might change the strategy he utilizes.
Now that you understand what The Player’s Trap is, we can dive into the science behind why alcohol is the biggest Player’s Trap.
“When you drink alcohol, the alcohol you consume binds to a receptor in the brain that increases the activity of GABA, a chemical found naturally in the brain. The effect on GABA is dose-specific, meaning the effects differ depending on how much alcohol you’re drinking.
At first when you begin drinking, alcohol acts on GABA in a way to boost dopamine levels. Dopamine is like the brain’s reward chemical – when you do something enjoyable, dopamine is responsible for that feeling of reward and satisfaction after. It’s what makes you more likely to engage in that enjoyable behavior again because you want to feel that reward again.
THE EARLY STAGES OF DRINKING
In the early stages of drinking, this surge of dopamine makes you feel euphoric and have an overall sense of well-being. In addition to increases in dopamine, alcohol also acts on GABA in a way that impairs the activity of circuits in the brain that are associated with anxiety and fear.
More alcohol consumption dampens feelings of anxiousness and fear, which makes it difficult for us to compute how risky a situation is – if something doesn’t seem so scary, it might not seem like that big of a risk (like driving a car drunk, jumping off of something, or driving too fast). So between feeling more euphoric, less anxious, and less fearful, it’s no wonder why alcohol makes people less nervous in social situations.
THE ANGRY DRUNK: AGGRESSION
While alcohol seems to make most people more friendly and giddy, drinking too much alcohol and lead to the other end of the spectrum: increased aggression. Heavy drinking is often associated with violent and aggressive behavior, but mostly among those who are aggressive in the first place. A main issue is that alcohol might make you interpret situations less well, leading to people becoming angry over things they might normally not worry about. This can result in aggressive behavior.”
Now that the science is clear behind WHY we feel more courage to approach when drinking, I’m going to dive into a specific how-to of what you can do to combat this, roll out sober and still get laid.
You don’t actually need the alcohol, you just think you do.
If we know that alcohol helps us get in ‘state’, then the solution I searched for was HOW to get into ‘state’ without touching alcohol.
How could I hit the club sober, roam around and find some sexy girls to approach and not talk myself out of doing it? Because that’s what alcohol does, right? It quiets our inner fears and that damning voice inside our head that loves to whisper complete shit right before we approach a girl.
In fact, here’s the most common ones that I’ve ‘heard’ and my clients have told me about:
- “She doesn’t like guys like YOU”
- “She’s going to embarrass you in front of EVERYONE”
- “Dude. Just stop. You don’t have a chance with her. She’s out of your league”
- “You look weird without a drink in your hand”
- “Bartenders HATE when you don’t order a drink. You look like a schmuck”
- “What are you even going to say to her?? You have NOTHING to say”
- “Whoa bro, you’re not as cool without some drinks, so chill”
I’m sure you have your own ‘custom’ ones that pop up ten feet away from the girl as you’re walking up, but maybe you recognize some of these.
THE FEAR FACTOR
To put it quite simply, it’s fear.
We have a flight or fight instinct within us.
While in the 21st century we rarely are in positions of real danger, our minds still haven’t fully evolved to the point where it can discern that a pretty girl isn’t the same as a woolly mammoth. Chalk that up to possible past fear developed through experiences of getting clubbed over the head by the village alpha if you approached his girl. Regardless of how those instincts were developed, we know without a shadow of a doubt that there is no real consequence for approaching the girl, besides possible social isolation. But let’s examine if that really is a consequence as well…
You see, social isolation is a real fear (although the fear is fake) that many average people carry as a burden. This is why people for the most part are conformists and followers, because they don’t want to be excluded from the pack, i.e. the group of normal people in a social gathering. When you eliminate that fear, then you realize that everything holding you back from approaching when sober, is completely fake. Yep. It’s all fake.
She’s not going to toss a drink in your face.
The crowd of people with their heads buried in their smartphones could really care less about your existence and even if they happen to glance up from their screens won’t take the time to laugh out loud at you getting rejected by a girl.
We as humans constantly over value our importance to others, especially socially.
We are so consumed with ourselves it never occurs to us that everyone else is also consumed with themselves.
To put it bluntly: people in 2016 don’t give a rat’s ass if you get rejected or not.
They are generally wrapped up consumed with themselves and their immediate social circle that they’re conversing with.
I want you to try something as an experiment.
Go out tonight and approach 10 girls stone cold sober. Whether they’re in groups, waiting at a bus stop, walking down the street, or standing at the bar; just approach.
Keep track in your phone under ‘Notes’ how many cold rejections you got, soft rejections you got and how many girls were at least curious about you. I can’t guarantee of course, but I would bet that you won’t have large groups of people laugh out loud at you cold approaching some girls.
In fact, if anything, the other guys will be looking at you with grudging respect because they wish THEY had the balls to do that.
I also would bet that you won’t get a drink tossed in your face and you won’t get cold-cocked in the face.
Let’s say worse case scenario you did get punched right in the eye by a bully bitch: you will survive and you’ll laugh about it later!
I’ve made thousands of approaches and got punched just once and it wasn’t even the girl I was flirting with. It was her bull-dyke girlfriend who stomped across the dance floor and popped me. Even then, I laughed, got her thrown out of the club and went on with life. So think about that: ONE time out of THOUSANDS of approaches. The odds are with you, the crowd doesn’t care and the only way to discover that your fear is fake, is to silence it. I’ll explain how to do that right now.
THE GETTING ‘IN-STATE’ TRICK
We now know that the fear and the annoying little bitch voice in our heads is merely an illusion and is not indicative of our reality. Since we are men and choose to look at the world through glasses of truth, then we can tell that fear to chill the fuck out. We still need to get in-state, but silencing the ‘voice’ is part of that.
Here is a ‘trick’ that has worked for me and for the first time I’m revealing it to you.
It’s a simple plan, but will work differently for each of you. I’ll explain.
The plan could be just 5 steps, or 10, but the steps 5-10, or even 15 is entirely dependent on your personality.
Here are the 5 main steps:
- Recognize that worry and the byproduct (fear) is a form of procrastination. When you worry about cold approaching sober, then you DELAY approaching and eventually just talk yourself out of doing it.
- As soon as you walk into a club, bar or party, immediately approach the first PERSON you see and say ‘hello’. This should be a casual, “What’s up?” or “Hey”. Whether man or woman, just approach the first PERSON your eyes land on. Pro-Tip: start with the bouncer asking the simple question: “How’s your night going?”
- Immediately after engaging that first PERSON, then approach the first GIRL you see. DO NOT THINK. I don’t care if you walk up and mumble gibberish, just get it out and keep it moving.
- Immediately after engaging that first GIRL, then approach another GIRL and do the same.
- Immediately after engaging the second girl, then approach the third GIRL you see.
Do no less than 4 immediate approaches as soon as you walk in a joint.
-First the FIRST PERSON you see.
-Then the FIRST GIRL you see.
-Then the SECOND GIRL you see.
-Then the THIRD GIRL you see.
Repeat immediate approaches to girls saying a simple “What’s up?” until you do not hear that ‘voice’ in your head anymore, or feel that anxiety inside. Now here’s the key part of this process:
You MUST do it within seconds of entering the venue.
That means you say “What’s up” to the first person, then the following THREE girls you approach you do it quickly. Now, this does NOT mean you run around the club like an idiot, but you move confidently and with purpose. Re-read that last sentence.
I’v discovered that the real stumbling block for players when attempting to game sober, is time.
Yes, time delays absolutely spike the anxiety level in a man, thus the solution is to get at least 4 “What’s up”, or “Hey”s in BEFORE your anxiety spikes.
This is the equivalent to jumping into cold water, or wading in slowly.
Wading in will only increase your anticipation of the PAIN that the cold water will bring when it hits your balls. On the other hand, when you get four quick mini-approaches out of the way (and for some of you it might take ten, or even more and that’s okay, just don’t stop until the anxiety dissipates), then you’re ‘jumping into the cold water’ and the sooner you’ll warm up to feeling social.
This seems simple and it is, kind of. It’s simple to explain, but you have to actually do it and continue to do it until you realize that cold approaching sober is actually fun because you turn that anxiety into a rush, similar to sky diving, or doing something that might seem terrifying, but once you do it, you realize it’s a blast.
Now here’s some things to clarify and help you understand this clearly:
- These are MINI-APPROACHES: you’re not getting into long drawn out conversations. Just say “What’s up”, or “Hey”. You can tweak it depending on your confidence level, but I’m giving you the basics so if you have severe anxiety approaching sober, than this will get you going.
- There should be mere SECONDS in between these mini-approaches. Don’t say hey to someone, then go post up at the bar for five minutes, then start again. That will NOT work. The secret to this working is the within the time limit that you do it. In other words, the more of these you do in a shorter period of time, then the quicker your anxiety dissipates and you start to feel in ‘state’.
- When you feel your anxiety calm down and you feel better from the mini-approaches you did, then make your NEXT approach last longer. Actually open the next girl and spit some game. If she rejects you, then you might instantly start to feel that anxiety again, so guess what? Repeat the steps. This will start to ‘re-program’ your mind into understanding that there is no real reason to fear and it will become NATURAL for you to approach after doing this over and over and over. Eventually, you won’t even need to count your mini-approaches: you just will do, thus becoming game and game becoming you. You will be game.
Some more tips that helped me and some select clients overcome gaming while sober are these little tricks that can help you feel more natural in a party environment while sober.
- Get a GLASS in your hand
This one was really big for me.
It feels weird to not have a drink in your hand if you’re used to drinking, right? So instead of standing there with nothing in your hands, do this: order Soda Water with a lime. You can also substitute the Soda water for actual water and lime and it’ll pass for vodka and it’s healthy. No one will be able to tell that you’re not drinking, because it’ll look like you’re drinking Vodka-Soda with lime and this will help you relax since you don’t seem like the only sober cat in the club.
Now after a bit of rolling out sober, maybe you’ll feel confident enough to tell people straight up you’re sober and don’t drink and that’s totally fine too, however, I will caution you that in a party environment drinkers hate to be reminded of sobriety when they’re out.
It’s a buzz-kill.
When people go out to party, they want a united spirit of everyone in the bar, hence why that drunk you see stumbling down the street tries to drag everyone into his shit because he’s “on one”. It’s even worse if a girl is out to party it up and have a good time and you announce that you’re sober. This can cockblock you. Just play along.
- Throw shots over your shoulder
I don’t know who originated this trick, but I learned about it from a VIP Host in Vegas, back in my Vegas hosting days. Since the clients always want to have a great time and they want you to do a shot with them when you stop by their table to check on them, throughout the course of a night you could get totally smashed if you took them up on their offers. Most clubs, if not all of them, forbid hosts and employees from drinking while working, so what’s a host to do?
You don’t want to get fired and you don’t want to offend your clients because they’re dropping thousands of dollars on the table.
Here’s what my buddy showed me to do: when everyone raises their shot glasses to toast and then tosses them back, you simply toss it over your shoulder, but aimed at the ground.
Now you want to make sure you don’t have a person standing right behind you, because you’ll douse em, but you just toss it over your shoulder, but pointed at the ground while still holding onto the shot glass.
When everyone’s heads come back down from having taken the shot, then your glass is empty and they’re clueless.
They’re happy and none the wiser. You can use this on girls obviously, or even with your buddies if they’re pressuring you non-stop to drink.
- Tip the bartenders extra well
If you tip them well, explain you’re trying the sober thing out and are cool, then they’ll jump to get your order just as quick as if you were ordering a round of Macallan 18 shots, because they KNOW you’ll tip them well, even for that Soda water and lime you keep ordering.
It’s not that non-drinkers irritate them, it’s that most morons order a coke and leave nothing on the bar, because they think, “They didn’t make a drink, so why should I tip?”.
Tip and get served fast when you do take a girl to the bar to get her a shot before you take her home.
- Hold Frame
Yea, even Frame comes into play with this. Look, it’s not the easiest thing to roll out sober IN THE BEGINNING, but after you get comfortable doing it, you’ll feel better, your wallet will thank you, you won’t get hangovers anymore and you’ll find that your game prowess will skyrocket. But, the key is that you are secure in yourself and hold Frame if people try to bash you for it.
You might get some knuckleheads who mock you, but just smirk and say, “To each their own”, then go approach the baddest chick in the bar. It shows strength and you being in control. Even if you decide to keep drinking after reading this, knowing that you CAN stop and actually doing it for a period of time will help you detox, give your liver a break and give you even more confidence.
I hope you enjoyed this insight into sober game and I wish you the best on your journey to try it out.
Here’s to Sober Game! (I’m raising a Soda Water and Lime drink)
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