If you want someone to be interested in you, you must first be interesting.
I wouldn’t have predicted that my friend Amanda and I would have spent last Saturday night at an exclusive house party up in the Hollywood Hills, followed by skipping the long line at the hottest new club in Los Angeles. Yet that’s exactly what happened.
And it all started with a joke.
The Man, The Myth, The Legend
First a bit of background Neil Strauss is the author of a rather famous book called “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists.” He was a rock critic who was painfully shy and considered himself unsuccessful with women. That was until he plunged himself into the underground world of Pick Up Artists (PUAs), a group of men dedicated to the fine art of attracting and seducing women.
After the book, Neil started up a website called the Stylelife Academy. Under the auspice of how to pick up girls, it seemed he was actually out to teach men how to be more confident and interesting.
I found his theories intriguing, so I signed up for his newsletter. (The full story is in another blog post.)
Last Minute is the Best Minute
Fast forward to last week. Neil decided to throw a party for the third anniversary of his website, Stylelife. An email went out to the whole list. The challenge: Explain what you would get the website/community for its birthday. The reward: An invite to an exclusive LA party. The catch: Bring a girl. This was a party, not a pick up event.
Ah yes, the joke. Immediately, without hesitation, I forwarded the email to my dear friend Amanda who writes a blog titled “Dating is Miserable”. I suggested that going to this party might make for a great blog post or two. So we worked together to craft the finest answer we could. After all, what would you get for a website that was out to teach men how to be successful in all aspects of their life? Simple:
For Stylelife’s birthday I would get it a fine suit, a well-mixed cocktail, and a blow job from the coat check girl and her sister, but you know… only if she’s hot.
We joked about what would happen if we got in. The invite clearly instructed us to only reply if we were serious about going. We were only 65% serious about going. We did it for the laughs.
Everything was good fun until the Friday evening. Around 7pm, I’m at my local Bourbon Appreciation Club meeting and catching up with some friends when I happen to glance down at my phone. I have an email from Neil’s marketing manager saying we were invited to the party. Then came the kicker. We were invited to first meet up at Neil’s house before going to the club.
An Irrefutable Offer
Without a second of hesitation, I called Amanda and told her the news. I believe her incredulous response was something along the lines of “Shut the fuck up.” I merely replied, “Check your email.” Amanda said she would call me back in a few minutes.
30 seconds later my phone rings. It’s Amanda. She says that we can’t not go to this party (the bad grammar was entirely intentional). Did we really want to remember that time we turned down the opportunity to party in Los Angeles with a famous author and a bunch of professional pick up artists? That’s not a story you want to tell your grandchildren.
So we did the responsible thing. We reserved a car at 8pm on a Friday night, cancelled our weekend plans, and packed a bag.
Enter the Hollywood Hills
On our way down we started to imagine what kind of situation we were getting ourselves into. Amanda expressed concern that party would be packed full of sleazy douchebags that would hit on her all night long while strippers and porn stars did coke off each other’s asses in the background. I started to wonder if this was a PR stunt and they rented out a huge house up in the hills that would soon be packed to the gills with desperate wannabe PUAs.
The reality couldn’t have been further from those mental images.
We had some trouble finding the place in the twisting roads of the Hollywood Hills, so we rang up the marketing manager and he met us outside. We walked into a beautifully architected home that seemed perfect for entertaining guests.
There couldn’t have been more than ten people when we arrived. Neil was carrying on a light conversation when we arrived. We were introduced to Neil. He warmly greeted us and introduced us around. Then he invited us into the kitchen where he first offered us homemade beef jerky and then proceeded to mix us both drinks. Let it be said that Neil Strauss knows how to make a good first impression.
So much for that “huge rental house” theory I had. As it turned out, most people seemed to know each other. The original email spoke true; only a very few select people were invited to this party.
We spent some time mingling with the other guests and playing with some of the clever toys laying around, like the Mindflex Levitating Ball game. Around 11, Neil came around and said we should head down to the club before things got too crowded. Again he was very conscientious about his guests. Neil told us he was headed down to the club first to get everything set up. He said we were on the guest list and shouldn’t have any problems getting in. However if anyone had a hard time getting in, Neil said we would rally everyone and go to another place nearby. The simple sentiment that the guests were more important than the venue went a long way.
No Line, No Waiting (Sorry, Lindsay)
When we approached the club, the line outside looked pretty impressive. There were plenty of good looking people who were waiting to get in. There was a moment of curiosity as Amanda and I approached. Neither of us go to nightclubs very often. What is the etiquette? There are two lines? Which one do we wait in?
When in doubt, ask. We approached the nearest bouncer and asked. We were directed to a very large and stern man with a clip board. He checked the guest list, checked our IDs, and then quickly ushered us in with three sentences strung together: “they’re at a big table inside, don’t know where, should be easy to find”.
Wow. This club was everything I had imagined it would be. The design was sleek, dark, and modern thanks to the Edison-style lights and deep-mahogany wood trimming in the main room. We didn’t spend much time in the billiards room, which seemed brighter thanks to a light grey motif. You would expect a place that hosted the Victoria’s Secret party (and refused entry to Lindsay Lohan) would be a sexy and classy joint. We were not disappointed. Plus they had one of the best DJs I’ve heard in ages. He really knew how to mix a set that kept the dance floor moving all night long.
After a while, the party dissipated as the couples started pairing off. Amanda settled into her drink and, as the designated driver, the night had finally hit that surreal point where everyone else in the club is clearly having a different experience than you are.
We wrapped our night with Amanda whipping out her phone and recording us walking through the parking lot to “prove” her sobriety. She then got very excited to tell me exactly how the lyrics of Ke$ha’s music was like breakfast cereal. I pulled out my own phone and started filming as well, knowing full well she would be tempted to delete it upon morning review. And no, you will probably never see either version.
Wow. That could have been five blog posts (or an entire chapter in a book).
This story surely beats the one we could have told about that one time we passed on going to LA for one night for some website party. Thanks to everyone in LA for being so awesome. We had a blast and cannot wait to party with everyone again.
P.S. The rockstar weekend continued. We managed to go to another party Sunday night, literally within 20 minutes of getting back to San Francisco! But that… that is another story for another time.