(Adapted from the book.)
Most guys are familiar with one-on-one dating, and models for players doing one-on-one dating are widely available. The skills learned in one-on-one dating apply to two-on-two dating. Simple ones include avoiding politics; searching for common ground; understanding hopes, dreams, and aspirations; listening more than speaking (if possible); having stories to share (if possible); etc. All the stuff from How to Win Friends and Influence People, as well as many other books. It’s also helpful to gauge the experience level of the other couple, cause if they’re highly experienced, it’s easy to accelerate towards sex. If they’ve never done a “full swap” (the men have sex with each other’s woman), go more slowly, take more time, and let them ramp up towards it.
There are two critical parts to two-on-two dating: your girl has to be devoted to being on the same team as you are. In addition, she has to be willing to help you succeed with another couple.
Lots of couples with a bi girl in the mix will hunt for a single girl. Single, attractive girls are called “unicorns” for a reason. They can be found, but demand far outstrips supply, which is also why couples who do non-monogamy separately usually have unhappy experiences: the woman is inundated with offers, while the men gets no offers. So the “couple dates another couple” dynamic leads to a stable equality in a way that two individuals trying to date separately doesn’t.
Some of the guys who read here are learning the non-monogamy ropes; most of this is in the book, but I thought I’d excerpt it here for whoever is curious. The person whose Twitter DM inspires it, knows who he is.
Couple-to-couple dating usually happens when contact details are swapped at a party, or when a couple finds each other online (it’s also useful to watch for a guy who tries to get your girl’s contact info: if he does, just tell him that you handle dates). If you’ve met at a party, regular phone numbers or email addresses are typically used. As of this writing, most people online seem to have Kik accounts; people like Kik accounts because they’re relatively anonymous, though I’m sure that the company could be subpoenaed for information about the person behind the pseudonym.
Couples from parties are, in me experience, more reliable and less likely to flake, but some will. First dates are not unlike regular first dates, except harder to coordinate, because they require the schedules of four people to mesh, not just two people. They’re also more likely to end in sex, if everything goes well.
If your girl is aligned with you, it’s useful to evaluate the other couple, even if they already meet your looks threshold. For example, if the guy is a blowhard, or doesn’t show reciprocity, or is disrespectful of you, your girl, or his girl, it’s time to leave. In normal dates, it’s somewhat common to fight through some amount of female bad behavior, much of which may just be a shit test, but if you see bad or indifferent behavior, it’s time to bail. Some girls will come out on dates at the behest of their primary partner, but if she seems bored or uninterested, it’s time to run: she will probably not want actual sex.
Some guys will also pretend to have a girl, then show up to a couples date alone, saying that his girl is out of town. When that happens, leave, obviously.
Remember the fundamental rule of sex clubs: value-for-value. Guys only bring value if they bring a hot chick with them. In normal, 1:1 dating, “value-for-value” is a little bit different, as the guy is assessing the chick’s physical attractiveness and sanity, while the chick is also assessing the guy’s physical attractiveness and sanity, but she’s also assessing a lot more about his social world, his emotional world, his dominance/prestige, etc. Guys who attempt to “give” too much value in the form of paying for expensive dinners, giving gifts prematurely, etc. are actually demonstrating lower value. With 2:2 dating, the value proposition is about two guys bringing two hot chicks to the situation.
There are a fair number of “pic hunters” or “pic collectors” online, and for that reason I’m reluctant to send nudes in advance, in most cases. Sometimes, if the vibe is good, I will, but I minimize that by saying that we prefer to meet each other in person.
It’s good to think of yourself as a guest in someone else’s relationship, and for them to think of themselves as a guest in your relationship. If they don’t conduct themselves appropriately, it’s time to end the interaction. Interaction problems are especially common among new couples who have no social script to follow, and in new couples it’s common for one person to be more excited about non-monogamy than the other person, leading to conflict. That conflict may be submerged at first but will emerge the closer the evening gets to sex. At clubs, I have seen guys start crying the first time they see their partners have sex with someone else, and I’ve seen the same from women. Most people don’t know how they’re going to react, which is why doing this while married or cohabitating is so dangerous for novices.
If this seems over-explained, imagine trying to explain conventional dating, in full, both the subtext and context, to someone who’s never done it before. The basic idea seems simple, but the complexities are sufficient to fill numerous books (most bad, like The Rules) and be the subject of endless gossip. I’m trying to prepare guys for most eventualities.
I spent some time doing two-on-two dating, but I make minimal effort in that domain. If I’m on the market, I’ll typically give one or two apps or websites a look once a week. Today, Feeld is probably the most common app, followed by OKCupid. SwingLifeStyle.com used to be the most common site, but its dated feel dissuades most couples in their 20s. I’ve heard people discuss SDC.com. By the time you read this, some other apps or websites may be common; the dating world changes fast enough that what’s true today may not be true tomorrow.
It’s typically bad form for opposite-sex individuals to contact one another directly. That is, it’s common for guys to talk to each other to make arrangements, for groups of all four people to talk, and for girls to talk to each other, but when a guy contacts the other couple, it’s typically for surreptitious one-on-one sex. Players know that, usually, the most difficult time moving a girl to sex is the first time. After the first time, the guy doesn’t “count” as a new guy, so the girl is much more pliant. Even guys who can’t articulate the situation like this are aware of it, so after a couple-to-couple swap, a fair number of guys will try to arrange sex. That’s where your girl should tell you, “Hey, Joe just texted me to meet up one-on-one.” Then you can either tell Joe to f**k off, or you can ask his girl if they’re also dating separately.
This is a game theory problem. In a two-couple, four-person situation, there are strong reasons to defect, for the sake of the sexual novelty. But a hot chick brings automatic value to the situation, so it’s usually bad practice and bad game to let her go sleep with another guy, one-on-one, with no reciprocity.
Finally, a word on flaking. With a typical, one-on-one date, there are only two possible flaking parties. With a two-on-two date, that number increases to four. Beyond that math, many more people are attracted to the idea of consensual non-monogamy than are ready to execute the idea. In many couples, one party will be far more into it than the other, so the one party will get online, create a profile, start chatting, set up dates, etc., only to have the other party veto the whole thing at the last minute.
In addition, some couples like the idea of consensually f**king other people in theory, but when the moment of turning theory into practice arrives, they no longer like it so much. Flaking and ghosting online typically care no consequences, so people are more willing to engage in bad behavior. Expect a lot of flaking in this domain.
When a couple flakes, I’ll sometimes shoot them an email about the next sex club I’m going to and when I’ll be there. They can show up, or not. This might sound like a waste of time to players used to the normal dating world, but sometimes a couple I’ve interacted with online will show up four or six months later and be down for a great swap. The cost to me is low: I have a list of potential couples on email, kik, and text; I send them all the notice a week or two before the event or club night; and then if they show up, great, and if not, I’m not out much. If the girl is ugly or my girl doesn’t like the guy, we can be polite, say hi, and then fade into the background or move on to other couples. For some couples, the email or text saying, we’re going to the ____ Adult Club, is sufficient to get them off their asses. Others never show, and that’s life. Online life is flakier than real life.
There’s one club in particular where I’m somewhat known (and popular) for bringing in newbies, because I’ll use the above strategy. Couples can debate among themselves whether they want to show up or not. If they cancel two hours before the date, which is sadly common, my girl and I don’t care.
It’s not worth taking flaking seriously: assume you’ll see more flaking rather than less. I don’t spend a lot of time chit-chatting online. After two or three exchanges, I propose a time and place to meet. If they can do it, great. If not, I move on, and I’ll keep them around for party invites. Enough quality chicks and couples have shown up after six months of invites for me to keep up the practice.