My own journey

Fourth year: New standards

My fourth year came around and I had to start my bachelor's project. With a 5 month project ahead, it was important for me to be able to focus it on something I was passionate about, and making game design and implementation a significant part of the project also gave me an additional project for my resume. To further help maintain focus and motivation, I'd be working with another student from my year who complimented my habits and abilities well. Since this was formally a computer science project, we brainstormed how overcoming various programming challenges might open new design options, and found that a heavy AI-emphasis would allow us to make an interesting variant on the DOTA genre. The scope of this project (including playtesting and benchmarking our AI) turned out rather big, but it was a fun experience that we could throw ourselves at with a passion. I had originally also signed up for some rhetoric courses in the same semester, but quickly lost my motivation, when I saw that my seduction journey had already left me with stronger presence and more powerful communication than I was experiencing from those who were to teach us. Since the practical value seemed marginal, I dropped those courses and instead devoted myself to the bachelor's project full-time.

The project went pretty well, aside from my motherboard, graphics card and RAM all dying, simultaneously with me getting an intense bout of the flu, 9 days before deadline, and my partner picking it up as well a few days later.This was a bit tricky, seeing as how the processing time for extension applications was 14 days. By now in the habit of sidestepping the messy bureaucracy though, we found a helpful professor who knew the person who knew the person who had the authority to take one look at my partner's slightly less ill face and immediately order us to pause our efforts until we'd recovered. With the added benefit of being able to re-acquire a computer in time for my computer science bachelor exam, we wrapped up the project with excellent results and a fun game.

The social environment was also offering new opportunities: A co-operative show between all the cabaret groups at our faculty widened my network considerably and also brought me in contact with a number of geeky and exciting women who shared my passion for performance and comedy. I started noticing how it was becoming natural for me to consider myself attractive to the women I found most inspiring. One epiphany was actually noticing how one such amazing woman was clearly fascinated with me and yet wasn't fully responsive to my play and flirting. It was liberating to no longer see that as any failure on my part, but just get a distinct sense that "This one's broken". I later came to realize that this indicated women who were already in relationships that satisfied them on every level. This realization was both liberating in the sense that I didn't have to fear breaking up any genuinely happy relationships (that's not possible) and also proved fun when I befriended such truly satisfied couples: I've known less than a handful of such couples and they were, without exception, between very developed people who had found a partner they truly deserved and appreciated. So when I did hang out with people in such relationships, I of course had all kinds of fun using my newfound perceptive abilities to make them aware of their partners' strengths and potentials on even deeper levels.
  The engagement in the social environment wasn't without the occasional frustrations or disappointment: I offered to assist with the leadership of an even larger cabaret cooperation, looking forward to the experience, but when the main coordinators turned out incapable of both independent initiative and responding to any sort of communication without 2 weeks of delay, it became clear that there were conditions when I would have to be willing to disentangle myself in time, even if that also meant being willing to let a project die.

Meanwhile my relationship had continued to improve and I decided to go exclusive with her, though this wasn't something that had happened from a position of strength on my part, so much as simply because I wasn't dating any other women. I did realize that I wanted a close relationship though and that, while I wanted to experience multiple women, I also needed to at some point gain some experience with actually being in closer relationships, which the distance in my previous relationship was preventing. One of the experiences I made in that regard was that, spending most of my time at her place and with her, I was in retrospect losing part of my own individuality because I didn't prioritize maintaining my friendships to the same extent and I frankly didn't maintain a healthy amount of company outside of our relationship. Leading from that, I also made the realization that in order to maintain active desire and personal balance in a committed relationship, I have to still continually enjoy the company of a variety of women - even if not necessarily sexually. While I loved her and felt far more happy in that relationship than ever before, things eventually grew strained and we broke up after 9 months, when it had become a long-term priority for her to live a quiet life on a distant island with her parents, and I stuck uncompromisingly to my long-term desire for life near a city, without too much distance from friends and new possibilities.

As I spent the next month drawing my lessons from the relationship, but it also became clear that I should have heeded some of my doubts:

Despite certain incompatibilities or red flags that I overlooked, I also realized that there were many things I admired in her and would be looking for in the times to come:

While I learned a lot about my own preferences in women and how to handle/avoid specific challenges in the future, by far the most important lesson from this relationship came from a close friend, who pointed out that I had not allowed myself to show vulnerability in the relationship. I was so focused on constant seduction and displaying the facade that the PUA-mentality encouraged, that I wasn't truly letting her inside, letting her see my mistakes for what they were and the congruency and sense that came with that - as well as the relief of also giving her room to show vulnerability and openness to a greater extent. Worse, I was still sufficiently marked by PUA- and poverty mentality, that my continual seduction at times involved subtly degrading or limiting her, rather than blatantly building her worth. It was a painful lesson but a valuable one and since then, I've been able to be the man who doesn't have to hide his "faults", but expects to be accepted and appreciated with all of those oddities or lessons included, and I've enjoyed being able to lead to a far greater extent by continually building my partner rather than ever feeling I would have to hold her down in any way.

The breakup left me with a lot more room for my friends and my own development, and I became more deliberate in building my social circle. This was one of the most empowering things I did, and the most essential step was cutting out intermediate links to the persons I wanted to associate with; most people are in old social structures out of habit, so rather than continuing to accept that, I would take the exciting women whom I'd meet once or twice a year through a friend or a friend's friend, and just blatantly say that I found them exciting company and wanted to invite them to join on various geeky events. Part of the credit for this ability goes to Scot McKay, who helped me accept on a deep emotional level that approach anxiety was irrational (details in the dating-section) and that I held great control over my own outcomes as long as I was willing to take the initiative upon myself. The fact that I had formed my room so I was able to host these events (often just for 4-6 people - boardgaming or the like) was also an important piece for me, and things simply got a lot easier when my reaction to meeting a potentially exciting woman wasn't to feel forced to act at that moment, but just to invite her to join in the stuff with me and my friends.

This newfound time also finally gave me room to check out hypnosis, which David Shade had recently convinced me to finally give a chance, after years of sort-of trusting him about its usefulness but frankly feeling quite intimidated by the topic. I started off with the Mark Cunningham DVD seminar included in Secrets of Erotic Hypnosis and was blown away by how powerful and accessible it was - and how the sexual applications were just the tip of the iceberg. Even having just learned it from a DVD, I was able to take my first steps at applying hypnosis and also experienced personal gains by using self-hypnosis to help me let go of old limitations. I started following this up with some of Mark Cunningham's other programs and was sufficiently impressed that I was determined to find an opportunity to learn from him in person at some point.

This increased freedom from limitations and inhibitions, both through hypnosis and my general development, quickly became apparent as the cabaret came around once again. This year, rather than requesting any roles in particular, my priority became to get those that the directors thought I would either be really good at and/or really challenged by. They didn't disappoint, and gave me the lead in what was by far both the most ridiculous and dirtiest sketch of the year - which frankly came as a bit of a shock to me, albeit a fun one. My progress really became apparent when I was able to launch myself at it with a passion, and, rather than acting concerned by the judgment of others, expose myself fully. The results came promptly as my co-actors spent the entire week of rehearsal alternatingly rolling over with laughter and accusing me of enjoying the role way too much. Over the following years, the directors would repeat this success, by casting me for similar roles, which required recklessly exposing oneself to wanton ridicule, and as I became still better at letting go and enjoying those roles, I was consistently met with great admiration for the courage to do so, rather than judged for the blatantly ridiculous, uncool and low-status actions of my characters. I rationally knew that there was a power in daring to step outside social conventions and skipping straight to the fun or interesting stuff, but this was the point in my life when I truly started getting in touch with this on a gut level.

Tutoring came around again, this time placing me as the most experienced tutor in a smaller and far less experienced team than usual. This was a great opportunity to step into more of a coordinating role among equals, and help both engage and teach the new tutors in what was involved in making such a trip, as well as building on our experiences from the previous year to make something even better and farther out in terms of theme and games. One of the presentations we usually give on such a trip is our so-called "life-presentation", in which 2 tutors tell about themselves, the challenges they've faced in their own studies as well as their experiences in handling them. Having given such a presentation twice before in a somewhat generic though fun and useful manner, I this time decided to change the scope completely and attempt the ambitious undertaking of also sharing the many great experiences and developments I had been making alongside my studies (in a slightly censored edition). I blew the timetable completely, but received an overwhelmingly positive response to sharing not just experiences as a student, but also the sense of constant options and the life expertise I had been amassing at a rapid pace over the past few years, even if it was (and still is) a continual journey. As my social circles eventually started seeking my advice and recommended resources to a still greater extent, this presentation would become the precursor for this site.

Next up: Fifth year: Full circle (Coming soon)

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