There are few events in Seoul larger than Martin coming to town.
When Martin comes to Seoul, all our friends dawn their finest graphic-T, step out of their apartment, and wander down to Money Bean, a little coffee shop smack in the center of Gangnam. Money Bean is our Mecca – it’s a place where some of the hottest women in Asia flock to drink iced-coffees, talk about makeup and take endless selfies. While in Seoul, every one of us is expected to pay homage to this fine establishment at least once. Being Money Bean, though, once is seldom enough.
I found myself here one hot Saturday evening with Martin and Jay. Our plan was fairly straightforward: we would approach as many girls as necessary until we found 3 that would go drinking with us.
The heat outside was excruciating. The sidewalk in front of Money Bean was glowing like a stove-top element, so we made our way to the air conditioned Gangnam Station underground, then eventually settled on a late dinner before heading to Club Octagon. At least any heat in the club would be coming from tiny little booty shorts or sinfully tight white pants.
One of the great things about spending time with Martin is that I always learn something. Sometimes I learn things about myself that I didn’t see before, or ways of talking to women that I can use when first meeting a girl. At other times, though, it comes from a realization I have after watching Martin and our crew work their magic.
Tonight was no different. It’s interesting just how much a guy’s internal state can affect his performance. State is almost an all-determining factor. In a good state, when a guy is feeling confident, lucid, talkative, happy, and friendly, meeting new women is easy – women feel the vibe he projects, and respond very well to it. If a guy has a bad internal state, however, if a guy is nervous, angry, self-conscious, or focuses too much on achieving a certain outcome, the vibe he projects can act as a women-repellent. Women read this state, and assess the guy as undesirable. While we all have these different states from time to time, it can take a really strong internal character to maintain a positive state in the face of adversity, and even sometimes that isn’t enough.
Walking down the stairs into Octagon to get our passes my state had turned sour very quickly. I had been in a great mood at Money Bean and at dinner, but after passing two red Ferraris and a group of Russian models outside of the club I began to feel very unsure of myself. I hadn’t been to a club in a few months, and this was one of Korea’s premier venues.
Martin and Jay, on the other hand, were ecstatic. In every corner of the club groups of tall slender women banded together, giggling and talking, while the few groups of guys there stood nervously near the bar watching them as if at some middle school dance. There must have been two girls for every guy as we walked through, surveying the venue – it was a great mix of people, something rarely seen at any of Korea’s top clubs.
Ten minutes later we sat in Tom n’ Tom’s trying to strategize. Martin was bouncing comments off of girls resting up before their night of clubbing, and we sat back watching the smiles they batted back in return. Eventually he fixated on two girls sitting a few seats over. Jay and I sat and talked and watched him slowly build up the conversation. We could feel the electricity pulsing between Martin and the girls before he finally turned back around towards us.
“I think I’m in love.” His eyes had a wild enthusiasm that I had only seen a few times before. “I mean, look at her.” He turned back towards the girls and smiled.
Jay was talking to me about the quality of girls in Gangnam versus Hongdae, and how learning Korean was so key to dating women here. I was listening to him, but my thoughts were drifting toward the club, towards how easily Martin and Jay had been slipping into conversations with gorgeous women all night, and back inward towards my own mental block when it came to club game.
“Let’s get moving,” Martin said. We made our way towards the exit, across the street, and into a corner-store to grab beers. When I came out of the store Martin and Jay were talking to a group of people on the sidewalk. Jay was busy with a bubbly tall girl who had slid herself tightly into a hot pink dress like a sausage into a pogo. I had never seen such a large corndog before. Martin was keeping the shorter girl busy. We pulled the group over to a couple picnic tables outside of the convenience store to drink our beers all classy-like.
Jay had his arm around Pink Pogo, and a large grin on his face. Pink Pogo was looking up at him and bashfully batting her big brown eyes. l looked back at Jay. His lips were moving with surgical precision, crafting words and sentences used to fill her with attraction, validation, and a feeling of connection. Things were going well. When I finished my beer we got up, strolled past the line-up for the club, then slipped down the stairs and into the bar.
“She just broke up with her boyfriend, E! – like a week ago!” Jay had his hand on my shoulder and was leaning into me with star-struck eyes. “She’s just broken up, and lonely…she needs a little of me right now. She’s so into me, too… This is totally going to go down! We’re going to meet back up with those two girls at 1:30.”
“You’ll bounce them out?”
“Yup, this girl is so ready. We’ll bounce them out to my place.”
Jay was leaping through the club now, and the place was starting to fill out. More and more people had begun to line the walls of the club, crowd the bartenders, and shuffle out onto the dance floor. The dull anxiousness was still with me, though. After a little while Martin and Jay had managed to talk to a few groups of girls, but I was still too anxious to approach anybody. I knew that if unless I wanted the night to be a complete waste then I would really have to push myself to perform.
A lot of guys use alcohol to approach women they don’t know. This can be a useful tactic if all you want to do is start a conversation. Drinking while meeting girls can backfire, though. While you gain the courage to walk up and talk to almost anybody, you lose that sharpness, wit, and social awareness that is often needed to take an interaction to the next level. When feeling too anxious to talk to a woman, the best way to overcome it is to just go and do it. It’s really that simple. Sure, you may get a bad reaction… so just go get a bad reaction. Problem solved.
It wasn’t long until I pushed myself to talk to a couple of girls. It went much better than my gut told me it would. After talking to a second group of girls I began to feel better – I began to feel relaxed. I began to feel comfortable and confident. I began to smile. It wasn’t long until all of the little habits that I had purposefully developed while clubbing months before began to emerge – my training began to take over. I was a fighter pilot surging into enemy airspace. I begun instinctively scanning the crowd for other girls I was attracted to. Half way down the bar, Jay and Martin were deep within another group of girls. After collecting numbers we regrouped in the center of the club.
“That girl just checked you out.” Martin motioned for me to look just behind him at the two girls making their way through the crowd towards the dance floor. I spotted them just seconds before they passed – two tall girls, one with a lacy black and red top – but it was too sudden to make a meaningful attempt. I barked something out, but they both just glanced up at me, then glanced back, and kept walking. I watched them for a moment as they made their way through the crowd away from us then turned and followed, pushing through the crowd to get parallel to them. When I was a couple feet in front of them I turned and welcomed them to Korea. Both laughed. The one with the red and black top was fixated on me with a keen smile. Her friend had kept walking, but she stayed planted talking to me flirtatiously. The girls’ hands were still locked together, though, and the friend was tugging persistently. I looked over my shoulder for a wing, but Jay and Martin were too far away. Eventually, her friend’s persistence won-out and both girls disappeared into the crowd.
I returned to where Martin was standing. Jay was talking to a very cute couple of girls and Martin began asking me how the set went. I was beaming. Moments later Jay pulled me into the group to talk to the friend. Jay’s girl was cute, but the girl he had me wing was as cute or cuter. Within a minute I had my hand on the small of her back, and my body up against hers. She was smiling and laughing. I turned to Jay. “Wanna bounce?”
“Let’s go upstairs, it’s too noisy here.” Jay was leaning back slightly, looking at his girl. I followed his lead, and told my girl that we should go upstairs because it was so noisy near the dance floor. Both girls were interested, so I took my girl’s hand and lead her through the crowd, and up the stairs towards the second floor, then stood her up against a glass wall near the VIP section.
“What do you do when you’re not busy being unemployed? You look strong – are you a tae kwon do champion?” Her smile widened, stretching out from ear to ear.
“NOOO!!! Judo!!!!” She laughed, practically yelling with excitement.
“Why aren’t you at the Olympics in London?” She howled with laughter, so I stood back, lifted my hand, and told her to punch it as hard as she could. “Come on, tough girl! Let’s see those tae kwon do skills.” She swung and hit it hard. I pulled my hand away quickly and faked being hurt. “Damn, girl! You’re sexy! I love a girl who can beat me up. Where have you been all my life?” She was giggling and yelling excitedly. I took her hand and spun her, then dipped her nearly parallel to the floor. She shrieked with pure bliss.
We collected numbers then left the girls there so we could meet back up with Martin. While we could have brought those girls anywhere we wanted at that point, I wasn’t interested in leaving Martin by himself in the club, and Jay already had plans to take Pink Pogo home in what he guaranteed was a sure thing.
Back down on the main floor of the club, Jay spotted Pink Pogo and her friend. Not wanting to deny a brother a good time, I assured him that it was okay for him and Martin to bounce the girls out of the club – I would stay behind and talk to a few more girls before heading home. Instead of leaving me stranded, though, Martin said he would return after helping Jay get his girl into a taxi without her friend. That way Jay would leave the club with a promising prospect, while Martin and I could search for hotter girls. I watched the two of them walking their girls up the stairs towards the exit of the club.
Ten minutes later I received a couple troubling texts.
Ain’t looking good. – 1:34pm
Jay’s trying to – 1:36pm
hold on – 1:36pm
Shit my girl just pulled away – 1:40pm
Ah! Fucking hate that! All those girls out there, too – 1:43pm
Coming back down – 1:44pm
Martin trudged down the stairs of the club with a scowl on his face. Around me heavily intoxicated people were dancing to a Calvin Harris remix, and lasers were piercing smoke like a 1980s sci fi film.
“What the hell happened?”
“I went to kiss her, then she pulled away… in front of everybody. I HATE that! She wasn’t even that good, either!” What irony. After a night of attracting some of the hottest girls in the club, after a night of women floating around him like planets orbiting a brilliant sun, Martin lost out to a short pock-faced girl with a nose like a parakeet he had only talked to so he could help a friend. I guess no matter how good you are, you’ll have your moments.
Jay came back down next. When he walked up to us he didn’t even lift his eyes.
“What the hell happened?”
“She wouldn’t leave with him,” Martin said. Jay just stood there in silent disappointment.
“Shit, that sucks.” His eyes were lost in a distant haze, fixated on the floor of the club. I waited for some reaction, some acknowledgement that he was at least still conscious.
“It was a sure thing.”
“You know there’s no such thing as a sure thing. You were just setting yourself up for disappointment.” I thought it was reassuring but I could have been wrong.
“It was a sure thing.”
“Come on, man, there’s a lot of girls here. Let go talk to some!” After a few great girls I was still beaming, and moving to the music now. Jay wouldn’t look up. He pulled out his phone and began flipping through digital Korean language study cards. I looked at Martin. “It’s as if Jay and I have changed personalities in the last two hours.” He laughed.
Martin started talking to another group of girls while I was busy texting a girl I had met weeks earlier. She wanted to meet up in Itaewon. “This is our friend Jay,” Martin was saying. He’s sad because he just broke up with his girlfriend. Jay struggled to smirk. The girls looked at him, then away, then back to Martin. I slid my phone back into my pocket, and engaged the girls. They looked back up at me and burst out laughing when I suggested they were McDonald’s coworkers. They stood there sucked into the conversation, wondering what I would say next.
After a few minutes with them none of us were really interested anymore. I slid my phone back out of my pocket, hammered out a few words, then slid it back into my pocket.
“I’m going to go – I want to meet my girl in Itaewon.”
I left Jay and Martin in the club and made my way up the stairs. Outside of the club I spotted an orange taxi and waved it over, then sank into a dark leather backseat. I slid my phone out of my pocket again, and checked my Kakao messages. The Tae kwon do girl’s contact information had finally popped up, so I opened up her profile and looked her picture. She had an intoxicating smile, perfectly placed under large brown eyes. I laid my head back on the headrest and felt the pull of the car as it took off into the city.