I recently conducted an interview with my friend Tony D, who is a witty, fun human being, and also an incredible dating coach. He runs Absolute Ability, and teaches workshops all over the world on how to meet women. Unlike most dating coaches, Tony’s approach is simple, easy, and human. I took a day’s worth of training with him a few years ago, and he changed my perspective on how social interactions work.
GG = Gutsygeek
TD = Tony D
GG: Why did you decide to become a dating coach?
TD: I never actually decided. It was more that I was broke, and had a pretty girlfriend who was bored because I didn’t have enough money to do fun things with her. I didn’t go to school to get a good education in science or business. My school was 4 years of chasing women around and reading pickup artist literature and writing.
So I advertised on the internet that I would teach guys to meet girls for $400. I sold two in the first week, and I really hated the deal I gave them, because one of my clients was literally a millionaire.
I raised my rates, and now I’m quite expensive. I don’t work as much. So blogging combined with my skillset of being a good teacher in this area let to me becoming a dating coach.
GG: The word Pickup Artist is now associated with something heinous. How do you feel about that?
TD: I try not to say that in public whenever possible, but when you’re doing business online, which is where I find most of my clients, that’s what people google, so I still use the term. But in a way, it is an art form, isn’t it? It’s like you’re performing, entertaining somebody, trying to charm them.
I do think it’s very valid, but the thing is, what women wants to feel like she’s targeted by a pickup artist? I think a lot of women are turned off by the idea, because the word pickup has such bad connotations around it. And there are lots of idiots out there on the internet and in the world who have used the term, and done terrible things, and really ruined it for the rest of us.
I prefer dating coach, but then again I’m not teaching people how to have nice dates either. I teach guys how to approach girls and get dates. I guess I could call myself an approach coach, but nobody’s searching for approach coach on the internet.
And then there’s the other guys with the top hats who I love.
GG: Do you consider yourself a pickup artist?
TD: No, I’m just a man. I like chasing women sometimes when I’m single, and I teach other guys to do it when they’re single.
GG: How do you feel about what you teach?
TD: I believe what I’m doing is a good thing as much for women as it is for men. I’m turning boys into men. Showing them how to get what they want in life.
And it’s not about using women for sex or any of this stupid shit the media is trying to force down our throats. It’s self-improvement, and everything you learn to improve yourself, you can teach your girlfriend, and that’s what I do.
I make my girlfriends read Eckhart Tolle, and ask themselves questions they don’t normally ask.
GG: Who is your average client?
TD: He’s kinda like you Rami. He’s usually not too skinny, not too overweight. Average in terms of looks… But most of my clients are highly successful in other aspects of their life. A lot of people would think that my clients are awkward, nerdy guys, but that’s one out of ten.
Because I”m quite expensive to hire now.
The people that hire me tend to have already succeeded in business, or school, or sports, or something else. So they already believe in themselves. And when they read my blog, where I say “you can achieve success with women too”, they believe it, because they understand the process of achieving something.
It’s not often I get someone who’s a total loser or a total weirdo. I think those people should come out more and hire more people like me, but most of my clients are pretty normal, cool dudes.
I get that question a lot, when people find out what I do. I always say “my average client is you.”
And then they go “I don’t need that, I do just fine. Sally, met her at the staff party, we hit it off. Dated her for two years, I got her.”
But I’m not teaching guys how to meet people in their social circle necessarily, because most of my clients don’t have a social circle.
That’s one common thread between all my clients, 90% of them are software engineers with no social life.
GG: What’s their biggest problem?
TD: A lot of guys overthink it. If you guys wanna get started, read my daygame book, it’s only 5 bucks. If you’re worried about things to say, think about this: do you have a buddy or a best friend? Some people reply “no”, and that’s sad, but to those of you that say yes, do you ever run out of things to say to your buddy?
No, of course not. Then you have the skill to attract and speak to women that you just met. You talk to them exactly the same way you talk to your buddy. If you’re into videogames, you can talk about videogames with girls, but you have to have enthusiasm, and not doubt yourself.
Enthusiasm is game. It’s the guys that start acting all weird and funny around girls that are nervous and in trouble. They can’t think of what to say, heart rate beats fast, they go nuts.
So the first step when you approach a girl, you breathe, and you say “I’m actually kind of nervous, I don’t do this often.”
Now you have nothing to hide. That might not seduce the woman, but this is your rehabilitation to become a normal guy.
It’s really normal for a guy to walk up to a woman and say “hey, you’re cute. My name is Tony.” But use your own name. (laughs)
GG: Let’s say you have a stable girlfriend. How do you justify going out and meeting girls as a job?
TD: Well, I have to screen for girlfriends now. Because a lot of good girls have never dated someone like me. I’m not really a bad boy, but they have to be cool with the idea of my job, which is very important to me. A woman has to be open-minded.
I also tend to screen girls for bisexuality, and often they say “no I’m not into women.” But after we start dating, and I give them some enjoyable experiences, like good sex for example, they start to change their tune, and say “I do find women kind of pretty.”
What I try to do is get them to follow my lead. I set expectations very early on in the relationship, so the woman knows what I want as a man. I think our society has really brainwashed men into thinking we really need to please the woman, do whatever she wants, or she’ll leave them.
The thing is, I don’t have time to change my entire lifestyle to have a girlfriend. If she wants to be with me, she has to adapt to my lifestyle as well. I’ve broken off a few relationships because the girl couldn’t handle my job. I have to travel a lot, and it’s hard on them sometimes.
So it’s about being honest. If I’m in a monogamous relationship, I don’t cheat on my girlfriend. I was in a monogamous relatinoship for two years while I was doing this job. She got pissed off at me for getting phone numbers while working, but I told her I wasn’t calling the phone numbers. She didn’t believe me, and that caused some drama.
I find that quite often I have to train, and I hate to use this word, but I have to “train” my girlfriends. Just like they train you, when they teach you things about yourself. For instance, your girlfriend might make fun of your nosehairs, and you give her a snappy comeback. But then later on you go and you trim your nosehairs. (we both get a good laugh here)
So she’s improving my life, and at the same time I’m teaching her to have an open mind as well.
GG: Would you be open to another monogamous relationship?
TD: Absolutely. I’ve never been the kind of guy that has to have harem, even though I have multiple girls in my life right now. If you do what I do, eventually you’ll meet a lot of girls.
I have this girl I’ve been seeing and she jokingly asked: “what kind of girl would want to date a pickup artist?”
I replied: “you.”
Then half-joking, I said: “if you want to be with me, I get to sleep with whoever I want, and you don’t sleep with anybody else.”
She kinda laughed and said that’s so stupid. But she came back to me later on after having some problems with another guy she was dating, and said: “you know what I like about you Tony? At least you know what you want.”
Because other guys have no clue what they want, or they can’t communicate it.
So if you want to date multiple women for a while, you just tell them that’s what you want. You say: “if you want to join me and be with me that’s cool, if you don’t I understand.”
Don’t lie about it.
GG: Do you have anything you’d like to add to this interview? Something I forgot to ask?
TD: Read my books! Hire me. I’ll help you get girls, I’ll travel to your city. I’m based in Vancouver, but I’ll go anywhere in the world for the right price.
One more thing: a lot of your readers are gamers, and the way I see if is if you can get really good at playing videogames, you can get good at almost anything in life. You can take that gaming skill, and turn it into a career, or turn it into something that can help you meet girls.
And there’s nothing shameful about wanting to improve yourself with women. A lot of people are afraid of commenting on my blog for example, because they don’t want anyone to know they have trouble with women.
There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of when you’re trying to improve yourself.
Some friends or family might give you a hard time, and try to shame you for it.
“”You’re fine just the way you are, you don’t need to do that weird stuff, you don’t need to approach women,” they’ll say. When that happens, look at those people and ask yourself why they’re trying to hold you back from happiness.
You do what you need to do to be happy in life, and sometimes that means approaching a lot of women trying to get more sex, or just a girlfriend. You might have to approach a thousand women just to get a girlfriend.
And it’s scary at first, but in the long run it becomes a lot of fun and very rewarding.
Just try not to be a dick with people. Call the girl back if you sleep with her.
Be sure to check out Tony’s site at Absolute Ability, and hit him up if you’re curious about getting some hands on training. I guarantee he’s worth it.