Anyone doing any online dating needs to learn basic photography skills

Anyone doing any online dating needs to learn basic photography skills. This is not hard: you need a little bit of time, money, inclination, and a camera. The data are clear: better cameras get better results. You need to get better pics to get better results.

Photography is the manipulation of three basic settings (aperture, ISO, and shutter speed) and the knowledge of a handful of other factors (light quality, lens length, sensor size, and framing). That’s it. A reasonable person can learn almost everything important about photos with an afternoon of Googling and experimenting with a camera.

Women I’ve met via online dating consistently say that my pics look better than most guys’ and that I can actually write in complete sentences (they say this is rare, although I don’t know if it is or not). In an age of cell phone pics, a real camera will go a long way to improving your overall rate.

I am not even advocating something like Goldmund’s camera game, which I don’t do and can’t speak to. I am advocating for basic skills that are likely to accentuate who you are and improve your overall outcomes. As with many things TRP, this is another small boost and it will not compensate for weak game, cutting all simple carbs, social anxieties, and other problems that scupper men. A while ago I wrote about why you should ride a motorcycle. A motorcycle and camera in and of themselves will obviously not get you laid and will not compensate for poor fundamentals.

They, however, can augment your overall vibe and, used correctly, make you stand out and be more seductive. Both have skill components that are attractive to women. Judicious use of good photos on social networks like Snapchat may also lead to dead leads coming back to life. I do not advocate using social networks very much as for the most part they are a waste of scarce time, energy, and attention, but today’s reality is also simple: most women are on them, a lot.

For example, if I have a reasonably strong connection or dead FWB with a woman, I will ping them to re-start in six to twelve months. This doesn’t work incredibly often but it is a quick way of picking up some easy lays without much work. If a woman likes a picture (they only look at pictures—don’t bother writing), I assume she wants to sleep with me. Often this isn’t borne out (ha ha! if only it were reliable), but it’s a useful enough heuristic. Women are photo-centric and so being able to shoot good pics effectively, especially with other women (implicit social proof) is useful.

You may not know what camera to get. Here is the open secret: it DOESN’T MATTER. On the Internet camera geeks endlessly argue. Fuck them. I will tell you to start with a used Sony RX-100 III. This camera has a large sensor, a wide aperture, and a flip-up screen that allows for selfies. Women fucking love selfies, so the flip-up screen is key. It should be about $400 – $600. Right now Amazon Warehouse deals offers them for $525.

If that is too high, try an earlier RX-100 version I, which is still a good camera. Something more substantial is an original Olympus EM-5 (original version) with a Panasonic 20mm lens. But the camera isn’t that important and you shouldn’t fixate on the particular camera. If you can score an old Canon or Nikon that will likely work fine.

Obviously it’s also fun to take hot pics of sexy women, but you already know that so I won’t belabor the point. Most contemporary women want to feel like models and want to pose for sexy guys.

Even okay-looking guys usually don’t have sufficiently good pictures, then get frustrated with online dating. Online dating is a photo-first world. Improve your body, improve your style, then improve your photography.

Ride a motorcycle—for fun, transport, and dating

Guys who’re dating should ride a motorcycle. To be sure, motorcycles can be incredibly dangerous, but if you ride conservatively and carefully you will likely only fall once (“drop your bike” in the parlance). Motorcycles also attract daredevils, which likely skews the data on injuries and fatalities. Still, I try to restrict riding to daylight hours and to surface streets rather than highways.

Riding is itself incredibly fun. You can learn how by Googling “learn how to ride a motorcycle in my city.” Courses will cost $150 – $400 or so. Let me emphasize that YOU MUST TAKE A CLASS. You can maybe learn from a buddy w/ a bike but I still recommend the class. If you do not take it you are risking your life and health for little reason.

Ride for yourself but you should also know that women fucking LOVE motorcycles. I have a Zero Electric and it’s amazing. I will never ride a conventional, gas-powered bike full-time again. You can likely find cheap ones online but you will need an experienced person to guide you if you go the used, conventional-bike route.

zero_electric

In online dating, my motorcycle pic gets all the comments and questions (my preferred pic grouping is one shirtless and lifting or running, one moto, one of two girls kissing my cheeks, one involving drinking, adventure, or travel). If you don’t know how to ride I strongly suggest you learn. One of my favorite, go-to comments to women early in the interaction is, “Usually I don’t let women ride my bike till after I’ve slept with them.” Often I let that “rule” slide and ride with them anyway. Because of the geometry of bikes and the thrill of doing it, the ride often acts as foreplay (think about the anatomy). Women who’ve ridden before know it too.

In the other thread a person using the name “LuvBeer” said, “My first date basically consists of a motorcycle ride, makeout session, then back to my place.” A golden comment. I’ve done dates like his. If you take her out for 10 – 15 mins of riding, you should find a good place to pull over, pull off her helmet, and kiss her passionately for a couple minutes. It’ll feel natural and exhilarating to her.

Riding a motorcycle will obviously not fix broken fundamentals of personality, weight, social presence, etc. You cannot buy your way out of who you are. But riding a motorcycle is super fun, makes a super fun date or part of a date, makes you look badass in the eyes of women (who almost never know any better) and is a fun, low-carbon way of getting around. We should all be trying to lower our carbon footprints. I get opened all the time when I dodge into stores with my helmet.

In many cities a motorcycle will have to complement a car rather than substitute for it, but if you live in a dense urban area with good public transport and good Uber and Lyft, you may be able to ditch the car full-time. If you must have a car and bike you will raise your costs, which sucks, but I think it’s worthwhile for guys who can hack it.

Public transit is underrated for guys because it offers a way to chat up women you happen to run into during your day-to-day life. In a car you won’t be able to open the cute straphanger. Game is best run in open, fluid interactive situations—the opposite, in other words, of car cities and car commuting.

How to use Seeking Arrangements for fun and profit

In a thread on “Want to experience the nonstop attention, validation, and abundance that today’s young women have?”, someone suggested that Seeking Arrangements is a good way to do it. I concur, mostly.

Seeking Arrangements is oddly similar to normal online dating, and it’s an amalgam of normal-ish girls and outright pros. The latter will be more business-focused upfront and want to talk about money, rates, etc. I usually let these go and focus more on the non-pro girls (who are also usually younger).

You need to list income, net worth, etc. I exaggerate mine somewhat (you need to, for the same reason women lie about their age, plus I am not showing these women my tax returns), and I use variations of the online dating pics I already have. These are effective. The fatter, older, and uglier you are, the more SA is like standard hooking. The younger, fitter, and more attractive you are, the closer it can be to online dating. Again, the key word is “can,” because you still need game.

You also NEED:

  • Ultra-strong frame
  • High level of assertiveness.

If you lack either you will be owned. Sex workers are masters of frame and if you don’t maintain extremely strong frame, she will crush you. A guy always needs to maintain the idea that she needs him more than he needs her, and that is more true in paid situations.

When I meet girls from there I suggest that we get a drink and see if we like each other. For girls under 21 I know bars where we can meet w/o them getting carded. If they balk and demand money talk first I move on cause they’re likely a conventional pro. I know where to find those and how to negotiate with them—if I want one of those I will find one.

If we get a drink and I like the girl and she’s as described, I do standard game, bar one, then bar two (which has a dance floorish area where I can do some dancing and what not), then back to my place (if I can get her there). Like I said, this is mostly standard game, lots of talk about their experiences / dreams / desires / etc. Sometimes towards the end I will slide $20 in their underwear if they are money-driven and whisper shit like, “There is more where that came from.” Usually I put $100 in an envelope before I leave; if they come back and we have sex I give it to them and set a next meeting time, ideally by putting it in their phones. If the girl seems not interested in money, I will skip the money.

Usually if we have sex once we’ll have it more than once, and if the girl is compliant and not bitchy the sex is almost always decent. I have a kind of specialty in going down on girls, which I both enjoy and have practiced to apparently unusual heights. I also am good at balancing talking to girls about what feels good and just nailing them senseless.

Guys cannot treat a girl like a programming problem where we stop every 10 seconds to ask her something, but different girls like different things. Some girls have very delicate nipples and lightly touching them is great. Some like it much rougher. Etc. I also like taking girls to sex shops, buying butt plugs and ropes and shit like that, and then using it on them. Girls who have never had sex with buttplugs in them LOVE it. As with all dating, guys who are extremely good at sex will find retaining girls. And many SA girls will be less focused on money, obviously.

Once that dam is broken SA girls, and one in particular, will usually let me do whatever else I want, mostly going bare, taping sex, and taking them to sex parties; I know that the first is fucking dangerous and I just don’t care because I love it. But it is not something I would do w/ standard-issue escorts because it is too dangerous, and it is not something they would let me do (or not except for a lot of money, and even then I wouldn’t).

Some guys may want to work on getting girls without paying for them from SA, etc., but to be honest I think that’s a waste of time, unless it arises organically; the better girls are on there for a reason and I think it is better to keep them coming back for money and action. The ones who I’ve kept on the hook all say the same thing, that they love the sex and the money and the two together are the best.

The variability of SA is incredibly high. Many of the girls are lying about their weight / age, as always happens online. Some are deceptively less attractive in their online pics, and they are more attractive IRL. Seems bizarre but there it is. Total trailer trash girls (who I mostly avoid) will congregate there too. They are usually easy to pick out via their pictures.

Pros (or women trending in that direction) will negotiate rates, sometimes absurd rates; I will go to $250 on the date if I’m really in the mood and she’s really beautiful but that is uncommon.

The downside of SA is that it can combine the flakiness of online dating with the cost of conventional hookers. The upside, however, is that there are often young uncertain girls who can be played like conventional dates, which I’m pretty good at, and they can be gotten fairly cheaply.

The girl I am seeing now is wildly gorgeous and I’m just doing $500/mo direct deposit. I usually see her every other day to four times a week. It’s been fantastic so far and I’ve dropped off SA. I’ll also buy her lingerie and other sex-related stuff but don’t do the whole designer bullshit thing. I have run into the girls who are really pumping for expensive bullshit and I just let them go, usually by ghosting. Let them be someone else’s problem. At the end of the day it’s all about cost-benefit.

I think guys who have money and are in good shape are highly in-demand on SA. Most guys have neither and some have one or the other. I’ve had girls complain that most of the guys they meet are poor losers; in other words, they are getting flaked on more than the guys (haha, reversal of the world order).

With my latest, the one on the plan, I don’t know what she’s doing on her time off and I’m sure many of you will assume the usual. That may be true. If so she is very good at scheduling and logistics.

I also love the swingers scene and swingers parties, but it is very hard to find good ones. Most of you hate that shit but the way I look at it is simple: there are really only two sets of girls, girls you’d think about LTRs w/ children and ones you wouldn’t. I have kids already, two older ones and one infant from an older woman (a post for another time) and I really just want to do dirty dirty shit in the bedroom, get laid a lot, video tape the sex, etc. When I’m not working I’m working out or cooking or reading or chasing tail. I just don’t care that much about a given woman’s monogamy and if she flakes, whatever, I get another one, sometimes hotter.

If you are an older guy and you have cash and you are not doing some ego thing about getting laid (Nick Krauser is an ego-driven guy; I just want to nut in hot girls. Simple man, simple pleasures), spending small amounts of it to get with hot 18 – 24 yr old girls is a pretty good use of money. I know lots of guys who spend $10K+ per year on cars and vacations and boats and big houses and dumb shit like that. Waste of money IMO. The marginal return on investment is NOT THERE.

I know a lot of guys who got divorce raped and would LOVE to have hundreds of thousands of dollars in the form of lifetime earnings or even the million+ dollars lost to their ex-spouses. Who’s smarter, the guy who doesn’t get married and sometimes pays to play, or the guy who does and loses so much $$$$ to someone who he doesn’t even like anymore (and who probably doesn’t like him)? I know lots of guys who take their bitchy materialistic wives on costly vacations and they don’t seem to get shit out of it except hassle.

Anyway I am not going to convince any of you who hate paying for it. Or those of you who love the chase and get an ego thing out of it. I do think that if you contextualize paying for sex, it can end up less expensive AND better. I see guys who slaved away through med school and residency who’re overweight and ugly dating and marrying land whales in their mid-30s. No thanks. What was the point of all that effort again? Same w/ engineers, CS guys, finance guys, oil guys (oh my God, the oil guys and their fat wives). They are pussy-poor and cash rich. Er… we live in a market economy. Use the one to get the other. The number of hot girls w/ no money and poor decision-making skills is outstanding.

I also think it is not worth paying for it in most cases if you’re a young guy and doing okay in terms of game, body, and life. Paying for it is for 35+, maybe 40+. If you’re in your 20s you need to be developing the skills to NOT pay for it, and invest any extra money you can in the stock market. At my age it is possible to get young hot girls but it is hard (I have done it, free and clear, but I cannot do it online and I have way more misses than hits, even though my friends imagine me being some kind of baller player dude).

Plus, I look at most guys my age and they Can. Not. get a hot 18 – 25 yr old girl. Period. I know it’s possible, like I said I’ve done it before, but it is HARD. Until recently my bread and butter have been ~32 – 40 yr old women from online. I should write a guide about that. The ones who are in good shape are IMO still pretty good, and let’s be honest: ten seconds before I come I don’t give a shit as long as she’s good enough.

Again, what I am saying about SA is NOT ALWAYS TRUE and it will take you some dates to get used to it. The girls on it range from stone pros to genuinely confused teenagers. Often you will not know who you date until you get out with them. Going rate for good escort sex in my area is $200 – $300/hr (I don’t know why guys would spend more than an hour but go figure). Higher in LA/NYC/SF. It seems possible to get good escorts for as little as $150/hr but that is much dicier and IMO not worth the drama or problems.

As you can tell I kinda like SA because it allows me to leverage above-average money with above-average (not stellar) game.

tl;dr: You can do well on SA but it takes skill as well as money and has some peculiarities. Your game still matters.

The evolution of monogamy in response to partner scarcity: don’t marry

If you bother reading TRP you should also be reading evolutionary biology. Nature has an article, “The evolution of monogamy in response to partner scarcity,” that postulates “fitness payoffs to monogamy and the maintenance of a single partner can be greater when partners are rare. Thus, partner availability is increasingly recognized as a key variable structuring mating behavior.”

Previous papers have speculated that child investment caused humans to become more monogamous. This paper has an alternate theory, however, with important implications for modern dating life. The authors say:

we show that when partners are abundant, multiple mating, and not pairbonded, males generally see the greatest fitness returns to their strategy. On the other hand, when males are abundant and partners are rare, males that pairbond generally do best.

In most of today’s world, however, partners are abundant, not scarce. People’s behavior changes in response to scarcity. So we should see more multiple-partner sex, which is indeed what we are seeing. We should see less male investment in any individual woman, which we may or may not be seeing. The authors write:

Accordingly, in humans, we contend that the transition from males mating multiply to providing paternal care possibly passed through an intermediate step of male mate guarding in response to partner rarity. This interpretation is consistent with recent phylogenetic analyses of primate social organization, indicating that bonded relationships (i.e., pair-living) derived from an earlier state of multi-male/multi-female groups61,62. Pairbond formation through mate guarding provides a mechanism to ensure paternity certainty and a possible avenue to open up paternal care to selection. Once pairbond duration lengthens, the reproductive interests of males and females may become aligned.

We do see why marriage today is not a good idea. Potential partners are everywhere and the growth of online dating has only made this more true. At the same time, while the authors don’t discuss this, it is likely that ancestral humans had powerful means of dissuading defectors from monogamy via violence—and both men and women could be punished that way.

In contrast, you cannot viably punish mating defection via violence in the modern U.S.; if you do you will likely go to jail, or worse. I’m not arguing that this is fair, I am arguing that it is true. Today there are no sanctions that enforce monogamy for women.

Now look at contemporary marriage from a woman’s point of view: if she cheats and gets caught, she can still walk away with half the property that’s jointly owned; the kids themselves; and she’ll likely get a large share of the man’s income for the next two decades in the form of “child” support. In other words, modern marriage rules reward her for cheating and reward her for divorcing. That is worth keeping in mind for anyone who thinks marriage is a reasonable outcome.

In today’s world males likely see higher returns by seeking multiple women rather than one, and women will often interpret heavy investment as a sign of weakness rather than strength.

As a man you are only as good as your options. If you make sure you are living in a world of abundance (as happens in cities and liberal arts colleges) you will have a very different experience than if you are living in a world of scarcity (as happens in rural areas and technical colleges). Optimal mating strategies change based on your environment. We have collectively created an environment that encourages promiscuity and discourages male investment in women.

I really enjoy this promiscuous as I am not interested in monogamy, but those of you who still believe that monogamy is a viable route in the contemporary U.S., Canada, and Europe should know what you are up against.

Don’t get married. If you do, you have only yourself to blame when the system screws you horribly.

The archive

A year ago I started writing on Reddit about what it means for men to live, date, and die in contemporary society. At the time I just threw off some random fluff posts, but as I kept writing between parts of my job, I began to realize that I was creating a body of work that should live somewhere beyond the Reddit ghetto. This is that place. Maybe some of you will stumble on here through search and see what you have always been missing.