I came into Bootcamp a skeptic. Why did I need someone to teach me how to attract women, I thought, when I'd been having successful social interactions with people my whole life?
Fast-forward three nights, and I'm confiding to Sarah: "I haven't had a chance to say thank you; what you guys do for guys like me is amazing. It's nice to know someone recognizes that we weren't all born with the ability to pick up girls."
What happened in between? Only one of the toughest, most up-and-down rides of my life.
Six of us met up at the ABC LA headquarters the first day. I had come the furthest of any of the participants (I'm from Washington, DC) and I had the least experience with pickup. We ranged in age from 23 to 37, anywhere from 6 months to 5 years in the community.
Lectures were useful and informative, and we were expected to take "copious notes," since the slides that APB was lecturing from weren't in the workbook. Some useful things in there, but book learning is only theory--the proof is out in the field. At the end of each day, we got an hour or two to shower, grab dinner, and get ready to go out. We had assignments for each night--open a certain # of sets, use these openers, isolate x number of girls, etc.
And then we hit the clubs. I immediately realized on Night 1 that this was going to be a challenge. I froze up upon getting to our first venue, and it took 2 of my fellow bootcampers to get me opening sets. To be honest, this was the first time I had ever gone out with the express intention of meeting girls. By our second venue, I was much more comfortable, dancing with girls, having a good time--even landed a phone number, although we weren't supposed to close anyone that night.
At the end of each night, we debriefed over some late-night munchies. My first night, my debriefers told me that I needed to amp up my sexual directness to prevent from going into the "funny guy" territory. Pump up the kino and be more aggressive about BT.
Night 2 was the low point for me. I was getting shot down, rejected, and by the end of the evening, was literally skulking around in a corner. Still, I had managed to get two numbers, was working on particular aspects of my game, and--as uncomfortable as it was--was growing. A lot.
Night 3 was more chill. At that point, 3 of our bootcampers had gone home. We hit a venue frequented by lots of PUAs, and saw guest appearances by alumni as well as famous figures in the community. That night, I was in it, and my new skills were on full display. Opening sets right and left, shrugging off rejection, direct openings--all of it. I felt like a totally different person.
So what's the verdict? At the end of the day, bootcamp is all about the first step: admitting you need help. I almost didn't do that, and I almost missed out on a big experience in my life.
Bootcamp won't turn you into a PUA overnight. It teaches fundamentals, and not even things that you don't already know. But it helps that someone has sat around and thought about all of these things, put them together, and flattened the learning curve just a little for those of us who weren't born with great game.