I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with Anthony Johnson, aka Dream, one of the top young social artists in the country and the organizer of the 21 Convention. The 21 Convention, originally started as a pickup convention for guys under the age of 21, has evolved into a full blown, all-inclusive event that covers attraction, fitness, nutrition, and personal development. Dream and his team are working hard to make the 21 Convention the biggest and best recurring event on attraction in the world, and with their projected lineup of top shelf speakers, they may achieve that lofty goal this summer. Read more about the 21 Convention and see the lineup at the21convention.com.
I originally found Dream through his blog, The Dream Lounge. There were two things that separated Anthony from the rest of the pack of blogging PUA’s. Firstly, he was young, 19 at the time I started reading. Dream’s stuff was fresh, intelligent, and he tackled his subjects with curiosity and a critical eye. Secondly, he didn’t just write about picking up chicks. His blog delved into life hacking, fitness, and a variety of other subjects. You can find the old blogspot version of his blog here and the new Dreamlounge.net here. I recommend them both. One of my absolute favorite posts, the one that prompted me to ask him for an interview, is where he talks about ditching shoes and trying barefoot running.
Not really sure what to expect from a 20-year-old PUA, I sat down with Dream over a long lunch and let the recorder go. I was pleasantly surprised at what a cool cat he was. He really wasn’t a pickup artist, or at least he didn’t flaunt that side of his personality. I found him to be a down-to-Earth guy, very easy to connect with, and exactly the type of critical thinker that I sensed from his writing.
Do you consider yourself a pickup artist?
I’m not a big fan of labels, especially pickup artists. Being labeled a pickup artist will attract a lot of weird shit into your life. So no, I wouldn’t say I’m a pickup artist. At a certain point in my life, I did identify with that heavily. At this point, as far as women are concerned, me going out to bars and stuff, I’m just a guy that goes out.
How did you get into pickup and the community?
I was going to my senior homecoming and this girl said she would go with me and she was really hot. My reaction was like, Oh my God, what do I do now. I went to my computer and did a search on “how to dance at a club.” It pulled up a link to Fastseduction.com. I read about how to dance and it was part of a guide on pickup. I read all this stuff on Fastseduction and it was so unconventional. It hooked it me real deep. Over time, I got into more books, I read The Game, I joined forums, TOP Lair, started going out a lot more. Things just kind of went from there.
How good were you with girls prior to getting into the community? Did you have trouble attracting women?
I was absolutely horrible with women. I was either too scared to talk, way too needy/clingy, or just an asshole. Never anywhere in between. Obviously, I was a virgin, and had kissed a total of three women upon finding the community. Long story short…my social life was next to non-existent and women avoided me like the plague. I was bad with women, and it wasn’t a secret.
And, of course, I played a lot of World of Warcraft.
You said something earlier that being a PUA attracts weird shit into your life. What do you mean by that?
Weird shit is manipulative and not helpful to your learning process. If you think you can manipulate a girl’s emotional state with words and touching her a certain way, even if you can, it’s weird. In the long run it’s going to hurt you and the people around you. Normal stuff can still be tactical stuff. Inner game material is normal to me. Getting your life handled, that’s normal.
How does someone go about getting their life handled?
It’s different for every person. The biggest thing is that you don’t have any big clouds looming over your head about stuff you should be doing. Are you sick of being lonely and not having a girlfriend? Go out and figure out how to meet women. Are you overweight? Lose weight and quit talking about it. Do you hate your job? Quit, figure out stuff now, not later.
How skilled are you at attraction and pickup? How many hours did you put in and what types of things did you do to acquire your skill?
Hmmm, a tough question to answer. Maybe its better left for readers to conclude on their own.
My time spent “in-field” is borderline insane considering I’m only 20–literally thousands of hours. I literally spent 3-5 nights a week approaching my first year-and-a-half of college. And not just a few a night….a ton. At the end of that time period I still didn’t have the ability to bring women home that I found attractive in the same night (and this was something I always had stuck in my head since finding the community, the infamous SNL). So, out of frustration, I opted to go out every single night for 4 months straight or until I hit 3,000 cold approaches. Three-and-a-half months in, and nearly half a dozen Same Night Lay’s later, I hit 3,000 approaches.
While I’m not claiming this was the most effective way to learn this stuff, that’s what I did, and it worked for me.
Other interesting things I did included a lot of traveling and meeting up with guys who were more experienced. I met this 17-year-old who went by “Devious” in San Fransisco. I traveled to SF in December of 2006 to hang out with this supposed high school master for a few days. He did not disappoint when he pulled a girl our age into a bathroom during the middle of the day for a quick BJ–in less than 5 minutes.
He then walked me through the same process but I only got as far as a makeout…boo hoo, right?
Finally, I’ve written a lot in the “community”, both in blogs and on forums. I would estimate I have well over 10,000 posts floating around all the community forums I’ve been on over the years, many of which were simple journal entries detailing my nights out.
As far as women go, what are you looking for right now? A girlfriend? Multiple girlfriends? Just keep it casual?
I’m at a sort of transition point in my life right now and have been for months. I’ve been hooking up with women still, but that inital “excitement” from my SNL jump start has definitely faded. You could say I’m interested in having my first GF, but at the same time I’m not a big fan of marriage, or even long term monogamy for that matter. I guess I’m just facing the question at a young age, what the fuck do I do with my life now?
Talk to me about dating and relationships. Where do you think this is all headed in the future?
I see a lot of relationships that are love-hate, it’s a constant flux up and down. 9 out of 10 relationships are like that. In the future, I think that will change, there will be more pure, more true relationships. Even though it might not work out in the end, along the way it won’t be so up-and-down. And even if you do breakup, you’re still on good terms. You said you and your girlfriend broke up awhile ago, you guys are still cool with each other, you’re still friends. You’re not hating each other and then getting back together and then hating each other again. I feel like a lot of people my age are stuck in that cycle of love and hate.
I think you do have to go through some love-hate relationships to learn from them. But in the long run, you want it to be pretty stable. If it’s up and down, even though it makes you feel alive, all that drama and crap, it doesn’t work. It’s always going to mess up in the end. In the long run, you have to find somebody that you balance out with and make it pretty steady. You need more balance, more love, more patience, don’t be selfish.
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