Alex talks a lot about the importance of maximizing your SMV (Sexual Market Value) for online dating. Everyone should take steps to maximize their appearance. of course — but what if you’re naturally an average looking or below guy? Truth is, not every person can be in the top 20%, even at their best. However, lots of research and data show that the sexual market is considerably more challenging for guys who aren’t part of this elite crowd.
I know something about this challenge. I’m barely 5’6″ tall, 30 years old, and slim but certainly no in the shape I’d like to be. I manage these as best I can (working out + diet, wearing elevator shoes when I go out, turning off my age on my Tinder profile, etc.), but overall, I know I’m an average guy who needs to put his best foot forward.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to optimize your results online. This article offers a few concrete tips that should improve any guy’s results on Tinder, but especially those who, like me, are not a “top 20% guy” in looks.
1. Understand a girl’s reality on Tinder.
If you haven’t yet, ask some of the women in your life to share their messaging screen from Tinder. Even average girls have an inordinate amount of matches and attention from men. Even average girls have hundreds of matches. Yet, at the same time, most guys are really terrible in their messaging, giving you a window of opportunity.
Many guys send “hi” or “hey cutie” or “wow you are sexy”, etc. The theme of these all being that they don’t stand out among hundreds of other messages a woman has in her inbox, and thus will end up getting no response.
2. Make your opener message stand out, using creativity and abstraction.
As mentioned in #1, girls have a TON of messages on Tinder. Often, the reason you’re not getting a reply isn’t because she found you ugly or your profile uninteresting, but because she’s literally got 100+ other guys also messaging and competing for her attention.
Therefore, your first message must stand out and should be creative. The way you do this is by noticing something about the girl in her profile — her pictures or her bio — and then commenting in a unique, abstract way. Put another way, you want to notice something about her that other guys wouldn’t typically notice or comment on. Or, you want to comment on something other guys would notice, but take it to a slightly more abstract level than those guys normally would.
Here’s a quick comparison example for you to consider:
You: “I love your curly hair”
This is the typical, boring, compliment opener that a ton of guys might send. The vast majority of the time, you’ll either get no response, or possibly a low-investment “Thanks!” back.
You: “You’re changing a stereotype”
Her: “What’s that?”
You: “Curly haired girls. I was never into them”
Notice the hook that “You’re changing a stereotype” is. It gets her interest, and makes her curious to know more. It’s also a bit more abstract, allowing you to compliment her but in a unique and non-needy way. (Credit to Indian PE for the above opening sequence.)
3. Focus on building investment first and foremost.
My process, built from carefully combining the Alex and David’s teachings in PWF with lessons I’ve learned from 1:1 coaching with Indian PE, starts with Investment Building. I’ve discovered that you need to build a lot more investment as a lower SMV guy, before a typical girl will agree to meet up with you.
Your ultimate goal of Investment Building is to get her to bite on the concept of a date. So, from very early in the interaction, you want to be baiting her with the idea of the date. Once she is really invested in the idea of having a date with you, then you’re ready to move the interaction forward (toward sexualization, and eventually, closing the meetup).
Your messaging strategy during Investment Building should be to keep things light, interesting, and somewhat intriguing. The key is properly balancing being “fun” and even “funny” with also “keeping it real” at times. If you go too far down the “fun”/”funny” path, you come across as the prototypical dancing monkey. But if you go too far down the “keeping it real” conversations, you’ll quickly become boring and her attention will turn to one of the other 500 guys pursuing her.
You can see some examples of this date baiting strategy in action in the screenshots below. She’s into the concept of the date almost immediately, but she keeps asking me some questions, so I message her for a while on Tinder to build up investment. Then, I bounce her to text, coming back to the date. She clearly asks when the date will be, which is my signal that she’s bitten on the concept of a date, and I can move the interaction forward.
4. Save sexualization for after she’s invested and baited on the date.
Alex and David typically weave sexual screening in with the overall messaging process, which they call “vibing.” I largely consider sexualization / screening a separate step, because immediately sexualizing without investment is considerably riskier when you’re not a particularly attractive guy. Intuitively, this should make sense: if you’re a ripped, great looking, 6’2″ guy, a typical girl is going to be much more open and much quicker to jump your bones than if you’re a skinny-fat, slightly above average, 5’7″ guy.
I sexualize using the Sexual Compliance Ladder techniques I’ve outlined in my prior post. In short, you want to take baby steps forward with sexualization rather than huge leaps forward. This way, it’s a lot easier to dial it back and keep a girl invested if she’s non-compliant with your attempt to sexualize.
How far should you sexualize with a woman? Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer here. I’ve successfully closed girls with literally no sexualization before, and I’ve closed girls who I sexualized with very heavily. The key is to try to understand her prototype, with a feeling for her likelihood to be DTF, and adjust accordingly.
If you’re new to this, or if you don’t have much abundance in your life, I’d encourage you to focus on being less aggressive with sexualizing. The more abundance and experience you have, the more you can push the envelope.
5. Learn the difference between soft and hard closing, so you can date close optimally!
Once you’ve built a satisfactory amount of Investment (she has agreed to, and is even excited about, the concept of a date) and demonstrated Compliance, you’re ready to start closing the actual date.
One of the biggest mistakes I see guys make is hard closing before they soft close. It’s a mistake I made a lot, until Alex drilled into my head the importance of the soft close.
Soft Close – Getting her to further invest into the concept of the date in her mind.
Hard Close – Nailing down the specifics of date, time, location (logistics).
“Do you like wine?” is a soft close, “Come over at 8 PM tonight to share a bottle of wine with me” is a hard close. The soft close lets you get your ‘foot in the door’ with the girl, getting her to say yes to something small, before you then work up to the big ask — the hard close.
Lastly, I like to use phone calls as part of my Soft Closing routine — the more I’ve done this, the more I’ve come to appreciate it. The reason I consider phone calls to be part of Soft Closing, and not earlier in the process, is that I prefer to have built up some investment and compliance before trying to get her on the phone.
Now Available: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Laid as an Average Looking Guy
I’ve also written a detailed, 12-page guide on this topic, which is now available exclusively to members of the Playing with Fire Mastermind. This is a supplement to the Playing with Fire product itself and teaches you how to further maximize your texting techniques even more … Especially if you’re a guy who’s below average, average, or even somewhat above average in SMV. Get immediate access here!