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VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE by Ashley Mears, a book about club promoters
Club promoters *are* seduction artists
Probably you’ve seen nightclubs, where the owners and managers try to lure you in with the promise of hot, provocative girls who are up for it. Maybe you’ve been inside, only to realize... those hot, provocative girls are few in number, working on the clock, most interested in the one or two Big Men on the scene, or otherwise unavailable. But you can drink pricey drinks and pretend to be a baller through proximity. Sounds great, right? VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE is about the New York City club and party circuit, but it's applicable to guys interested in seduction, because the club promoters are running what will, to knowledgeable guys, be seen as daygame. I don’t think Mears mentions daygame, nightgame, or the seduction arts, but without talking about them explicitly, that’s what she’s describing. Club promoters are part daygamer, part nightgamer, part pimp... the strategies they use will be familiar to any guy who's studied and practiced the art of the cold approach, which is to say the art of seduction.
Daygame seduction artists seek areas where hot girls walk or congregate, which is not the vast majority of the world (there is always a shortage of hot girls and cool guys, and most guys never learn to be cool, exacerbating the shortage). Mears accompanies a club promoter who is doing pickup, and he chooses to hang out "at the corner of Spring Street and Broadway in SoHo, downtown Manhattan." Lots of foot traffic there, lots of pretty girls. The promoter, “Sampson,” who Mears is describing, "guessed that pretty girls [are] stopped by guys like him all the time. Sometimes they were rude to him. He heard ‘I don’t talk to promoters’ with some regularity." That's in the game: most girls say "no" most of the time. Guys are trying to find the ones we can get to “yes.” "In forty minutes on the street in SoHo, Sampson had talked to ten girls. Half the interactions were positive, ending with the agreement that he would send a text message with upcoming party details." That seems like a pretty good ratio, but Sampson is doing what we seduction artists call "indirect game:" he's not directly positioning himself as a guy trying to date and sleep with the girl... he's positioning himself as a guy who's going to bring her to parties.
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The girls who say "I don't talk to promoters..." those are smart girls.
If you have tried cold-approach pickup, you will recognize this, “Some girls find his tactics cute, especially when he flashes his dimpled smile. ‘But,’ he acknowledged, ‘some girls find it repulsive. You're playing the odds.’” No guy appeals to all girls. If you want to succeed, get used to rejection. Romantic success without approach rejection is the domain of women.
Who are the promoters? Even Mears the feminist can admit, "they are charming men, flirtatious, stylish, and persistent." Things that seduction artists teach to men to do, since most men are romantically ineffective. Most men are boring plodders who have never learned what chicks like. Although the men are charming, flirtatious, stylish, and persistent, these promoter guys have to constantly be trying to regenerate their networks, because the club world is bullshit (“girls also questioned the authenticity of the relationships they made in the scene, especially relationships with men...” no shit... you’d have to be a fool not to). Mr. Promoter always has to be scouring for new girls, because the old girls get too old or, more commonly, figure out the scam. A girl can only be taken out at night to "the club" so many times before even the dumbest among them figures out the scam. The scam is simple, and like most "glamorous" things the glamor can only exist as long as the mark stays at a sufficient distance. Almost all nights are the same. The girls get dolled up. Sometimes they get dinner, often a crappy dinner, and often surrounded by people they have no real relationship with and nothing in common with. The promoter's responsibility is to bring energy to the situation. But does the situation really advance girls’s long-term prospects and interests? Of course not. So they drop out. And the promoter must start the cycle again.
The bullshit thing is obvious, “Promoters therefore have two jobs: to capitalize on the economic value of girls and to make it look and feel like they are just hanging out with friends.” Those two jobs are at odds, but I guess there are enough chicks who go along for the ride to make the club world work. A girl who is attracted by the flashing lights and "free" booze will figure the system out, get bored with its superficiality, and drop out. I like my world-system better, which allows for deeper, more durable, and longer-term connections, for the guy who wants to learn how to make that world work.
There are things to be learned from VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE.
Like: "'They [promoters] know how to talk to women,' Leila said." Which is what girls say about guys with game. Lots of guys never learn; game is their education. "Leila was an ideal pickup for Trevor, since she was new to the city, lacked her own friends, and had never heard the criticisms of promoters before." That's like the traveling tourist girls daygamers or nightgamers find... in town for a short period of time, looking for adventure, and outside the gorgon stare of their bitchy, slut-shaming friends.
Mears acknowledges that the guys are skilled... she has bad texting game, so one of the promoters corrects her,
Even better, he suggested, would be to use key words like big party or cool party, and sushi. Models love sushi. And I shouldn’t use words like organize. “These are models. They don’t understand academic words, you know; models don’t have the attention for that. Just say we’re throwing a big party.”
Mears is a chick, so she’s never needed texting game... the club promoters are guys and they text all day every day.
Personally, I'm not into clubs, but this sounds appealing, "Nightclubs are in the business of channeling a crowd’s emotional energy toward collective effervescence." Most nightclubs, most nights... most of the people in them look kinda bored, most of the time... for Mears, “Taking notes was easy, as everyone is constantly tapping on their phones inside clubs.” People on their phones all the time is a sign of boredom, not collective effervescence. One cool thing about sex parties is that phones are almost always forbidden, so people are living in the moment and interacting with one another, instead of staring at their phones.
Mears’ ideology blinds her... like, “Other thrills of the VIP world are harder to explain, as they involve taking pleasure in things that initially seem to be conceptually at odds with women’s empowerment." Haha, do all women want to be "empowered," or do they want to be hot, with lots of hot men to choose from? A lot of girls’s fantasies and choices are not politically correct or woke. They’re primal, they’re evolutionary, they’re real. Good seduction artists often learn to disregard the politically correct feminist nonsense that comes out of girls’s mouths and pay attention to what and who the girls do... what they really want, not what they say they want when they are playing the social game. Most chicks I’ve been with would be appalled to learn what I know and have seen. In another section of VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE Mears does get a little closer to the truth, “There was something incredibly enticing about being invited to become the object of rich men’s desires. Girls put this into words obliquely by telling stories of how struck they were by displays of wealth around them.” Chicks like money, sure, although guys vastly overrate the power or importance of money. Most of the guys paying four and five figures to be in nightclubs appear to be chumps, not ballers.
You have to ignore Mears’s race-obsessed, racist interests, and focus on what she's observing, instead of the racist ideas she applies to everything. Her perspective is annoying, like reading something from the 1850s that stops to mention how African Americans are bad, but that's the modern academic perspective.
“Ignore what girls say, look at what and who they do” is an important concept... "In interviews and informal conversations, girls downplayed their interests in meeting men. Romance was conspicuously absent among the girls’ stated motivations for going out." No one will admit what they're doing: everyone is getting close to sex for money, but everyone wants to draw a line between themselves and those who are doing that, even though they're a step removed from that. I think it'd be more honest to cross the line and admit it. Have an orgy in which the rich guys pay and the hot girls are hot. Seduction artists sometimes emphasize honesty, but the club world is one of lies, and the most effective way to lie to others is to first lie to yourself. Which everyone, men and women, is here doing.
Club promoters aren’t monks, you will not be surprised to hear, “promoters have sex with a lot of girls. All male promoters continually touched, kissed, hugged, and leaned in close for selfies with girls.” Preselection: “Leila was attracted to Santos because of his looks, but in addition, she explained, she was excited by the very fact that Santos chose her among many other potential sex partners.” Guys with options often like to exercise their options, “Most promoters formed romantic unions with models or good civilians, but it was difficult to maintain them so long as they were perfecting the craft of charming girls for a living.”
Who succeeds in clubs? People with something to bring to the table. You gotta bring something to the party: be a hot woman or a rich man. You can be a rich woman but what do independently wealthy women get out of nightclubs? Nothing. Unfortunately, Mears's feminism prevents her from coming to the obvious conclusions. Some of the models are justifiably dumb,
Hannah, a part-time model, part-time Abercrombie clerk, and part of Santos’s crew, looked shocked when she heard the bankers paid $50,000 to rent the villa just for the weekend: “Why? What’s the point?”
Hannah really can't figure it out? I have a theory that most men can't understand most women and vice versa, which Hannah's statement is consistent with. Hannah doesn’t 100% get what it’s like to be a guy… or what it’s like for a guy to slide into a hot young chick like Hannah… it’s divine. It’s the nearest man gets to God.
I can't imagine many guys extroverted enough to be a party promoter reading this far into Red Quest. To be one you have to be talking to people all day, every day, and then you have to go out all night (“While some promoters seemed genuinely energized by the excitement of nightlife, many also found it exhausting work that they simply could not enjoy every night”). As a promoter, your job is to corral pretty girls, almost of whom are extremely flakey, to visit clubs, parties, after parties, and after after parties, and that skill is an inflated, distorted form of game. You also have to pretend to the girls that what they're doing is not a job, even though everyone is making money off their beauty except the girls themselves.
Amusingly, for a book that is written by a "feminist" author, girls don't like female promoters, and they don't like the very rare women who are spending in clubs. Chicks mostly don't want to follow other chicks, they want to follow guys, a theme regular readers (who I can't imagine to be party promoters) know: it's up to the guy to make things happen. Ashley can't admit that, however, so she has to do a ton of shucking and jiving to try and explain away the female inability to make things happen and make large groups cohere. It's a pretty funny read. Maybe the funniest thing is... hot girls don't need the promoters. They can just show up at the club. They can go in a group of their ultra hot friends, if they want. Ashley talks about how hard it is for female promoters to do the job... but she can't admit that chicks like being chicks, and they like being led by a man. Get that down... and the rest makes sense. Mears doesn’t understand the female desire to be led and told what to do. Her feminism blinds her. Fortunately, you have Red Quest here to decode feminism into reality.
Most of you are familiar with r/K selection theory, in which some animals specialize in very low parental investment and hyperactive mating strategies (r), while others specialize in very high parent investment and mostly monogamous mating strategies (K). People can be categorized similarly, with women more K, on average, and men more r, on average, although of course there are numerous distinctions. This nightclub world is extremely r, and r-selected girls are most susceptible to its lure. In humans, strongly r-selected behaviors tend to bore people after a while, and people begin to feel lame and shallow for pursuing them too much. Excess r-selected behaviors are detrimental to forming real, long-term relationships and communities. The club world that Ashley talks about has probably been dead for the last year, since COVID hit, and I don't know if it'll return. Why should guys spend a couple Gs minimum at bullshit nightclubs when they can hire a girl from Seeking Arrangements of the same caliber and type, but get the guaranteed outcome? I don't know, and that "I don't know" is linked to "I don't know if it'll return." The guys who do it might not know. Creating a "glamorous" environment for chicks is a great idea, but the return on investment might not be there, in Ashley's environment.
The promoter's real reward is in pussy, as in, he gets to f**k some of the gorgeous chicks. But he can't be too transparent about it, and he has to wait for the chicks to more or less signal to him their readiness to be f**ked. If he's too direct about trying to f**k every hot chick, he won't have a quasi harem to bring to the club. I kinda admire the promoters. They've got a hard gig, a gig I couldn't do without going crazy. I'd not be able to talk to the sheer number of hot morons they do. And the way these guys works. They make regular players, determined ones, look like slackers. Managing a few young, dumb girls is hard and annoying enough. Trying to manage dozens, hundreds at a time... I'd go mad. Not be able to do it. It's like reading about European explorers who got shipwrecked in horrific places and somehow survived... I admire their skills but am not sure I'd have survived the trek through the ice, jungle, etc. I'd have probably been the guy building the ships, or doing the banking & insurance, that kind of thing. And the repetitiveness of what the promoters are doing: I don't think I'd be able to keep the fresh sparkle that separates the true players from the wannabes.
VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE a pretty okay book, and it also explains how rich guys can use their money to indirectly create or tap into ecosystems of pretty girls. Buy a nice condo in a highrise, buy into nights or tables at "the club," host afterparties with grifter promoters and their hot girls, try to f**k the girls, rinse, repeat, keep showing up on the circuit. There's a fundamental phoniness to the enterprise I don't love: I like sex clubs cause there's a fundamental honesty to them. You're horny, I'm horny, let's do this, with less pretending than usual. Human social life is full of pretending, and Ashley is pretending (that feminism or marxism isn't bullshit), the club guys are pretending, the hot girls are pretending... it's a hall of smoke and mirrors and indirection. Young chicks are most susceptible to smoke and mirrors and indirection, not surprisingly, and yet despite that, the question, "Why bother?" keeps coming back to me. The emperor has no clothes.
I've spoken about the dark and light sides of game... when people criticize seduction, they're usually emphasizing the dark side, which is real. When people defend it, they're usually emphasizing the light side, which is also real. Increase the resolution and you often realize that some conflict can be resolved by looking into a deeper level of abstraction than the one the conflict operates at. Game, energy, vibe, power, they can substitute for looks,
Eleanor never expected that she would sleep with a certain promoter, because, she explained, “Like, when I first met him, I was like, ‘[He’s] so unattractive.’ But,” she said, “there’s something about him, like, meeting him, interacting with him. And I think he knows it, too. I mean, these promoters, the good ones, they know exactly how to work it. They know exactly how to communicate with girls. It’s like, because it’s their job. You know, when you become a salesperson, each year you get better and better. And that’s what the promoters do.”
She didn't expect to sleep with him, but he had good game, good seduction skills, and good social proof... and so, "It just happened." Game and seduction are practicable and learnable skills, like sales, but most guys never deliberately practice those skills, leaving wide openings for the rare guys who do. Imagine an amateur guy fighting a guy who trains in BJJ and boxing... the amateur guy is likely to get his ass kicked. Practicing works. That most guys never practice seduction represents a huge arbitrage opportunity for the rare guys who do (like many of the guys reading this, I guess and hope).
The promoters have realized what players have too, which is that, in order to do success nightlife/sex with girls, you need to spend some time with them during the day. Otherwise you seem like a weird sex wraith to the girls. So the promoters are always taking them to movies and beaches and shit like that. More social players know that one or two exposures to a girl, when you aren't super overtly hitting on her, can open her up to you when you meet her at night. The girls often want a window into your world, a window that online dating doesn't generate... if they can see into your world a bit, they're much more likely to want to spread their legs for you. Promoters know girl psychology probably better than all but the very top players. They are chasing a certain kind of girl, probably one who is a sensual party girl without much of a brain, but they know even those sensual party girls want something to hold onto, apart from partying.
The promoters are all doing abundance and pre-selection. They have a bevy of girls, then pick one at some point to f**k for a while. Because they have choices, they can take the high-percentage shot and let girls who are neutral or maybe not that into them come around.
Overall there is much to be learned through VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE, despite the author’s racism and misandry. The vast majority of guys writing online appear to be solitary dudes with minimal social circles and a strong desire to sleep with lots of chicks, despite often not having the social world a lot of hot chicks want. More guys should probably try to integrate their social and sexual lives better... arguably that is what I am talking about in the sex club book... I think I've also historically underestimated the utility of having (some) drugs available. Delicious Tacos has pointed out that cocaine makes sluts, or brings out the sluts, or something like that... that kind of thing can work, but then what? You wake up in the morning, and what? You feel terrible, maybe there’s some terrible girl next to you, and then you have to deal with each other. Or you can’t, and you repeat the process, over and over, until you can’t keep repeating the process. What then? Most guys never seem to master the art of women, which Red Quest can help men with, but once you achieve mastery, there are new mountains to climb.
If you know any books that should be discussed here on Red Quest, please say so in the comments or send me a message.
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