A Typical Date With Lance and Why Intimacy Matters on First Dates

Following up on Honey’s post about safety and my post about keeping it real, I wanted to lay out how I generally do first dates. Much of this involves strategies and tactics that I learned from studying pickup. Keep an open mind, especially if you’re a chick, because this will sound off-putting at first. I’ll draw some conclusions and give recommendations at the end. This post does not cover bar pickups, day game, or other quick seduction methods.

My Typical First Date

I used this format for close to two years and it’s very effective. It’s flexible and you can work towards any goal: a second date, makeout, or same-night-lay.

I set the first date location at a cool but chill place, a bar that I’m very familiar with. Someplace not too busy. I look for a place with a patio or high-tops. We sit and talk, get to know each other. I tell a lot of interesting and funny stories, and if she’s a good conversationalist she does the same. I establish my foundation here and also start connecting a bit more deeply. In pickup parlance, I can do comfort building and some rapport at this point.

Next, I’ll suggest going to another bar or club to listen to a music. Think Irish bar with a band, although a DJ is good depending on what I glean about her musical taste. I usually have 2-3 options in mind prior to arriving. I try to keep it within walking distance. So, during the convo at the first place, I’ll say that I know where a cool band is playing, let’s check it out. She agrees. We go.

At the second place, the real fun begins. I use a lot of incidental touching to continue to build comfort and I escalate the mental and emotional attraction. I always steer the conversation towards riskier subjects, like sex, if I haven’t already done so at the first bar. I have several conversational ladders that I use to get a conversation to steer towards those subjects and make it seem completely natural. Usually we’ll exchange funny stories about getting busted for having sex here and there, past relationships, that type of thing. If I’m at this point, it’s usually on, and I know I can get a makeout at the end of the night if I want it.

After a stretch, I’ll bounce us to location #3, which is another bar or club, someplace crowded, where you have to be close to each other in order to talk. Think party bar or dance club. A house party works too, but it’s a riskier play to drive to a house. Sometimes they flake on a drive. Here it’s all physical, lots of touching, lots of closeness. We’ll make-out. At this point I’ll decide if I want to stop here or push for a lay. I’ll talk about what goes into making that decision in a minute.

With this structure, I’ve basically created three mini-dates in one night, via the bounces and time dilation effect. What do a lot of daters do on the third date? They sleep with each other. This is super effective and every PUA has done this type of date at some point.


  1. Fun.
  2. Lots of chances to get it right.
  3. Flexible.


  1. It’s expensive. You’re paying for drinks, cover charges, and maybe food all night long.
  2. You might get wasted.
  3. Lots of opportunities to screw things up.

Why I Decide What I Decide On The Date

Going into these dates I always have a goal of getting to know her and setting things up for a future meetup. I usually have a goal of a make-out. I never have an end goal to get laid before the date starts. Never. I think that’s too outcome dependent and a little sleazy. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done it, but I genuinely start with a “getting to know you attitude” because I love meeting new people and I love connecting with women.

At some point, though, if things are going awesomely and it looks like she wants to have sex, I’ll make the moves that lead to that. This doesn’t happen often because I don’t push it. The reason being is if we have sex on the first date, I’ll give off player vibe and she’ll have buyer’s remorse the next day. Sometimes not, but a lot of times that happens. There are tactics for negating the player vibe and buyer’s remorse effects, but that’s outside the scope of this post. For me, first date sex is not what I’m about right now.

The Key to Going Further

The key to establishing an awesome connection is by connecting on a mental and emotional level. This is required if you want to dramatically increase your chances of getting future dates with her. Emotional is typically the most important, but I’ve noticed with some women the mental stimulation is nearly as effective (Virgos, this means you). With the emotional, you’re saying and doing things that create a little emotional spike. This can be as simple as a tease (her laughing) or a visualization that makes her feel intensely happy. I’ll try for multiple emotional spikes throughout an evening, like between 10 -20. It’s worth noting, having negative emotions are better than no emotions, and it’s possible to create intense attraction off of a negative emotion like anger.

Here’s an example of spiking: We’re at bar #3 and we’ve been touching each other all night long. I’ll bring her in close and say, “You’re my girlfriend for the next 5 minutes. What makes you such a great girlfriend?” I’ll usually put an arm or both arms around her and look directly at her. Credit Natural Tim.

This routine can be a very intense, fun moment. It causes my heart rate to increase. It causes her to imagine us being together in a positive way, and it makes her think about her own qualities as a partner. This is a moment of intense reflection. At this point we might be holding hands and I might end the moment with a kiss. Sounds a little retarded on paper, but it’s wonderful when done in person. I always learn a lot about the girl at this point. And it’s fun.

I can’t over-emphasize how important the mental and emotional connections are for getting past the first date. If you only have conversation and no spikes, you’ve really got nothing, just a foundation and some basic attraction. Which means you need a second or a third date to establish the emotional connection. Guess what the problem is here? She’s dating other guys and disappears. This is what women are referring to when they say you didn’t have “chemistry” or that “spark.” There’s no emotional spiking going on. The conversation could have been great, but in the end great conversation is ephemeral. This is why I say the concept of chemistry is bullshit. There’s only skill and having the balls to take emotional risks on first dates.

I said this is my previous post, in a competitive market you must do more than get to know the other person on the first date, you must get intimate at least in a small way. If not, she will disappear. Attractive women my age have lots of options, and a solid first impression and good conversation is not enough.

My latest date with the hot girl I met on Match was a great date by most standards. There was attraction and we had amazing conversation. Amazing. But, because I was in a weird place that night, I didn’t do any emotional spiking. I have yet to get another date with her. Why? She checks her Match.com account and reads another two dozen emails and goes on another handful of dates. She ends up with the dude who had better game and got the makeout on the first date. Or she ends up with the dude who is 2 inches taller or has the higher salary. I’m forgotten and it was like our meeting didn’t happen. My game simply wasn’t good enough that night. From her perspective, she says that we didn’t have chemistry and she moves forward. I feel bad because I was trying to be cool, authentic, and non-player-y and it didn’t work at all.

Final Thoughts

All of that stuff I described above is a ton of work (albeit fun), often times expensive, and a royal pain in the ass. I don’t particularly like having to use tactics to meet, attract, and relate to a great gal. Don’t get me wrong, I love having fun and I don’t mind working for something, but when it comes to my intimate relationships, I want it to happen naturally, too. I want her to meet me halfway with the workload, I want her to take an emotional risk, I want her to flirt with me and make me feel cool emotions, and I want her to share in the mutual seduction, because that’s what chemistry is. We want the same things, really. I mean, that great guy she’s looking for? I was right there, sitting in front of her.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    I don’t think this is offensive at all. What is sort of sad is that if this is how things have to work, clearly there are a lot of women out there who are expecting to be wooed without having to do any of the work themselves. I think it would be lovely if women took more initiative.

    On my first date with Jake, we met at a microbrewery and had beers on the patio (my suggestion, interesting how we think alike, Lance). Then he invited me to a houseparty, which we went to (he had to drive because I’d walked to the bar).

    I knew that he was someone I wanted to see again before we left the bar (which was very rare, and interesting in light of what you say because we sat across from each other and there wasn’t really any touching).

    So when he told me that he was moving a couple hundred miles away less than a week later, I invited him in and initiated sex because I was afraid that if we didn’t have sex right away, then we’d never see each other again.

    He invited me out the very next night and said that he wanted us to continue dating over the summer. I agreed and said that if we were going to be driving back and forth to have sex with each other, that neither of us should be having sex with anyone else. He agreed that we’d be exclusive.

    This was smart because he got at least 3 fuckbuddy offers within a week of moving (his internship was in his hometown) and was also approached on MySpace by other women who wanted to date.
    .-= Honey´s last blog …A Typical Date With Lance and Why Intimacy Matters on First Dates =-.

  • Nicole

    Damn! Jake must be a stud!

  • http://dadshouseblog.com dadshouse

    I love incidental touching, mental stimulation, and emotional connection on a first date – but only if it’s organic. i.e. it arises naturally, and isn’t pre-planned or staged. Granted, I will occasionally remind myself to ramp things up if I’m connecting with a woman and want to help things along. But I much prefer a genuine, solid connection.

    I will say, I hate interview dates. So if the touching and connection arise on the first date, go with it! It’s nature taking course.
    .-= dadshouse´s last blog …College Application Essay Humor =-.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    Yes – he was cleaning out some old files this weekend and I was sitting with him, and he had probably 50 or more scraps of paper with different women’s phone numbers (mostly people he didn’t even end up calling or remember anything about).

    He is, I think, what they call a “natural,” since he has never strategized too much about dating and always seems surprised that so many women find him attractive.
    .-= Honey´s last blog …A Typical Date With Lance and Why Intimacy Matters on First Dates =-.

  • Sara

    I think this is pretty interesting, not offensive. Do you have any advice for women on what to do for a successful first date in sort of the same vein?

  • http://www.singleinoz.blogspot.com ozgirlkim

    Amazing how our dates are somewhat parallel at the moment Lance (well your last two post have hit home!).

    I went on a date on Saturday night and it was not great at all. And the easiest way to summaries is that he didn’t know your game plan.

    He is a good guy (which is why I have agreed to a second date – a tip lock it down at that first date!) but something was missing. That something was exactly what Lance has describe above.

    Interestingly he suggested that he cook me dinner for that second date. I said no because that something lacking made me not want to put myself in an awkward situation in his house. But a week ago (before I meet him) I would have said yes..
    .-= ozgirlkim´s last blog …Aussie men need to man up! =-.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Lance

    Honey, your first date with Jake was basically my exact first date structure, down to the hookup at the end. And you’re right, no serious physical action, you guys might never see each other again. That’s the way it goes.

    @Sara: If you like the guy, find him attractive, or otherwise have the idea that you’d like to see him again, do some work on the date and FLIRT with him. Remember, it’s a mutual seduction. Let him know he’s cool and give him signals to advance. If you’re dating several guys at once AND looking for a relationship as an end goal, pick one and let the other guys know you’re off the market. That’s the considerate thing to do.
    .-= Lance´s last blog …A Typical Date With Lance and Why Intimacy Matters on First Dates =-.

  • http://dadshouseblog.com dadshouse

    I agree with Lance’s advice to Sara. Women should leave the guy with positive signals on the first date that he should keep pursuing her. Non-verbal gestures are huge.
    .-= dadshouse´s last blog …Male and Female Dating Perspectives =-.

  • http://blogs.marinij.com/katwider Kat Wilder

    Lance, while I appreciate the fact that you’ve thought things out as opposed to walking through life obliviously as many of us do, you have left nothing Zen about your approach to the moment. You’re basing “moves” on what you’ve already laid out, instead of being in the moment and deciding what feels good at that particular time and then deciding what’s next (if anything).

    And, if there is drinking occurring at place No. 1, 2 and 3, then there’s also a substantial amount of booze happening, too, which flavors people’s actions, reactions and thoughts and is thus potentially troubling.

    Intimacy can be created without having to plan for it; in fact, I think the most genuine intimacy is one that happens exactly when it’s unexpected

  • http://honeyandlance.com Lance

    Kat, I don’t disagree with anything you said in your comment. Describing date structures and “game” on paper makes it sound soulless, and I certainly didn’t imbue it with any of the subtle emotion or Zen that you’re talking about. And I know exactly what you’re talking about. My dates do in fact have a lot of soul to them and there’s plenty of opportunity for organic, unexpected intimacy, it’s just not written on the page.

    I will say this. I think it’s a mistake to never think about dating and relationships as an activity that is quantifiable or structured. There is and there are, and using that knowledge can only help you. I liken it to playing soccer. You can be a supremely talented soccer player, but in order to play good team ball and win you have to embrace all the X’s and O’s and work within a system. Once you’ve achieved mastery, the system becomes second nature and your individual game shines. Good team soccer then becomes one of the most beautiful activities to behold.
    .-= Lance´s last blog …A Typical Date With Lance and Why Intimacy Matters on First Dates =-.

  • http://blogs.marinij.com/katwilder Kat Wilder

    OK, you are right.
    And I like to think of dating along the lines of soccer, too. In fact, I have a WONDERFUL game plan for David Beckham …
    .-= Kat Wilder´s last blog …Honey, those are fighting words =-.