On August 7th I made the announcement about the Man In Demand Seminar I’d be speaking at along with Christian McQueen, Tanner Guzy from Masculine Style and Goldmund, whom I’d done the impromptu interview with while he was passing through Reno towards the end of July.
In that blog post’s comments a bit of criticism was leveled at both Christian McQueen and myself for agreeing to speak at this conference and in that discourse I promised readers the following:
I’ll tell you what Joe, I’ll give a personal, honest and objective review of the whole conference when it’s done. I’ll make sure I’m present for all the talks (which I was going to do anyway), and I’ll watch that all the money goes where it’s suppose to go (primarily paying for the venue – it’s spendy even by my standards).
If anything is shady, if anything is off the books, if any of the men who attend want to opine about it, you’ll know and read about it here.
You see, I have always had an open forum; if you want to say you got ripped off, be the first to post it here. Unlike other forums and Disqus threads, I neither edit, censor nor ban any critical opinions. I’ll pull blatant spamming, but the integrity of TRM is based on an open exchange of ideas.
So it’s not my rep on the line, it’s everyone else living up to their own. I have confidence in each of the speakers to deliver what they will. If they don’t, I and anyone else who chooses will let you know.
I don’t do this for a living Joe. If the manosphere shut down tomorrow I’d be making the same scratch I do now.
So here now is my honest and objective assessment of the entire conference.
Before I get into the breakdown of the entire weekend I want to first address that not one speaker at this event made money from it. I wont speak for the guys, but I know how much I spent on a flight, my three days accommodations, my transportation (not cheap in Vegas) while there, my food expenses, my drinks, etc. All this far exceeded the marginal profit (about $330) we each made from our appearances once the venue, insurance and security was paid for.
Christian provided all of us with the financials every step of the way up to and after the event sold out inside of 19 days after we announced it. Christian promptly paid us after the event sold out, a full 3 weeks beforehand. Each admission was $46. Divide that by 4 and each man there payed a mere $11.50 per speaker.
This was Vegas. The venue was everything (and more) than I expected. We wanted it to be affordable since travel and accommodations don’t come cheap. Beyond the basic admission we had a limited 4-person VIP dinner at Sinatra in Wynn’s Encore Casino Resort with the 4 of us for a bargain $98.
That said, everything was above board with Christian, all the speakers and every man who attended.
I put a bit of money out to make this happen, and for me it wasn’t anything concerning, but I know it was a stretch for some of the speakers as well as some of the attendees. I’ve always viewed money as currency. Not in the formal sense that money’s a currency (duh), but rather how money is like a current – as electricity is a current – and an energy with which I can do things.
This event was something I wanted to do. That’s not me trying to be magnanimous, it’s just how I approach things I think are worthwhile. And this seminar was most definitely worth my investment.
Here’s a Vegas tip if you’ve never been; practically no one rents a car if you’re flying in. If you get a good one, stay with the same driver. The company I work with usually has me set up, but on this trip I got two good taxi drivers, Allan and his brother Jairo. Get their cell numbers and stay with that guy while you’re out. They appreciate it, and you get info on where cool shit is happening.
I wont bore you with the flight or my first night in town, but suffice to say the room was comfortable as to be expected and conveniently located where I needed to be. My evening was spent reviewing my talk and writing out points on flash cards. I treated myself to a couple of IPAs at the hotel bar and met a very hot bartender named Candace. She was 26 and we promptly got into conversation about her LTR ex-boyfriend, her son and where she was on the Preventive Medicine timeline. I mention her here because I gave her a copy of both my books and she seemed fascinated by them.
Jairo dropped me off at our venue at around 8:45 Saturday morning. I was pleased to see the security guard we’d paid for was right in front on the street and immediately directed me to the conference room where I was greeted by Christian and our stunning events hostess (easily an HB 8.5 brunette). I then meet up with Goldmund and Tanner and settled in for the start.
The room was pretty hot at first (air conditioning problems), but our hostess resolved it before Goldmund had got halfway through his talk. I had a few men kind of tentatively look me up and down when I got into the room as if maybe they were wondering if it was me. This was my first public appearance so it was a bit strange for me as well. I was oddly more nervous when I first got into the venue and began having men ask me if I was Rollo Tomassi than when I started my actual talk 5 hours later.
As promised I took a seat in the back of the room and did my due diligence by taking notes on each speaker. Goldmund was first and in all honesty he built his talk up much more than I’d expected. What I knew was that he’d give a recounting of his trans-American trek he did this summer. What surprised me was how in depth he went about how getting out on the road both frees and educates a man about himself.
Nothing causes a man to learn more about himself and teaches self-reliance than putting yourself out in the open with only your wit and perseverance to sustain you. Goldmund’s talk was more than just an adventure guide and some video about the women he met and banged along the way. He made an effort to grow from it, not to mention meet and interact with many manosphere personalities along the way.
I was very impressed with his insights about his trip, but also that he made it accessible for the men who were present, many of whom (myself included) were 10-20 years his senior.
I’ll confess, I wasn’t aware of Tanner and his Masculine Style blog until Christian had mentioned his name as a possible speaker for this conference. I looked him, and at first I thought, well he’s a ‘style guy’ – I was wrong. Both on his site and during his talk Tanner brings not just style advice for men, but presents it in such a succinctly Red Pill way I was forced to rethink a few of my own TRM principles about bearing, physical presence and appearance.
I daresay I learned the most from Tanner of all these talks. Granted, Tanner is a professional style consultant and works directly in men’s fashion, but he doesn’t simply suggest men wear this or that; Tanner explains why men should dress to be impressive and why men should care about their appearances.
It’s easy to quote the 48 Laws of Power about dressing the part to have others consider your status, but it’s important to grasp the Red Pill dynamics that go along with demonstrating our strengths, our status, our accomplishments and why what we wear indicates this.
I should add that during Tanner’s Q&A session (easily as long as my own went) I felt compelled to make the point that guys who hate on other men for being concerned with what they wear was in fact a form of intrasexual combat. Tanner had an example of some of his forum haters telling him “only fags worry about their clothes” and “real men don’t think about fashion”; essentially ‘just be yourself’, be manly, wear jeans and a t-shirt and it’s all good. I made the comment that this type of SMV disqualification is comparable to fat girls telling slightly less fat girls they look OK being fat on FaceBook to hold them in place and hinder any ideas of attempting to improve their SMV.
Christian’s talk, rather speech, surprised me most. I don’t think I was alone in expecting the Playboy game talk in some manner would be forthcoming from Christian, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. He was well prepared with a speech, he primarily read, and had obviously given a great amount of consideration to.
He began with suicide and divorce statistics and wove these facts into what I can only describe as a call to arms for men in reclaiming their masculinity. If he’d left it there it would’ve made an emotional impact enough (his voice choking with emotion during some moments), but the import of his speech was also about men defining masculinity for themselves in a feminine-centric culture that aligns itself against them from ever unplugging from it.
I’ve come to expect the happy-go-lucky Game proponent with the Rat Pack swagger to be larger than life from my 2 interviews, but Christian dropped that persona for this speech and it made his point for him. Goldmund described it as inspirational and motivational, and I’m thankful for Christian for being that at this event – it’s what was needed to round out the line up.
I should add that my good friend Sam Botta took it upon himself not only to fly out from L.A., but he also brought his MacBook Pro and some pro audio equipment to record me. He warmed up by doing a test run on Christian’s speech and while I don’t know when it’ll be available I think the recording will speak volumes about Christian’s actual maturity and the seriousness he’s capable of. It will surprise many of his critics.
Well shit, what can I say about myself that wont sound like I’m glossing myself? As I mentioned I was very nervous when I first got to the event in the morning and had men I’d only just met ask me to sign their books and let me know how grateful they were for my work. After a while I felt like I was more among a group of old friends than guys I needed to impress and that nervousness turned into a comfort kind of like speaking to a family gathering.
I’m sure that sounds all touchy-feely, but I don’t know how else to describe it. In between speakers I had men come to me, ask me questions, show me appreciation, tell me their stories about their lives and so on, so it put much more at ease. As the talks went on I saw that there were men attending who were obviously my senior – I’d guess late 50s maybe early 60s – as well as young men in their 20s, and this also put me into a family frame of mind.
I understand that my presence was a big draw for this conference. I’m humbled by that, especially when I have men in the military, men and their sons, men on the Vegas police force and men who’ve seen decades more of a feminine-centric society than I express their gratitude for my writing and ideas.
Still, going last has it’s disadvantages, not the least of which was that I’d taken notes of all the speakers’ talks ahead of mine. My head gets filled with things I think need to be expanded on, areas I thought should be explained better, and this then leads to my mentally rewriting my own talk and trying to jot down things I now want to cover too. I had to make a conscious effort to repress this, but I’m afraid some of it found its way into my talk.
As you might guess, I talked about what I know best and this is the influences of Hypergamy on women, men, society, etc. I didn’t mention it, but I had titled my talk Hypergamy – Micro to Macro the night before and this was my basic outline. I began by defining terms because I didn’t want to presume every guy in the audience was entirely familiar with my interpretations of what Red Pill, Alpha/Beta and Hypergamy mean in my referencing. This turned out better than I thought because it sparked a lot of ideas and later discussions while I was in-speech.
For a while I entertained the idea of simply making my speech an hour long Q&A session since so many men had hit me up with such great questions between talks and I really wanted to go into more detail. Instead I opted for sticking to building up Hypergamy from its evolutionary psychology and biological roots in ovulatory shift behaviors, through the personal and sociological implication. After this I held a Q&A and this really developed into the group discussion I’d hoped it would. So in the end I got a happy compromise and I hope I got to all the questions every man had.
As I said, Sam Botta was my hero for recording the audio of this. He told me I went on for 133 minutes and I can tell you it seemed to blow by so much faster. I will make that audio available for a reasonably purchasable download once Sam has it mastered in order to be fair with those who attended.
It was an honor to meet so many diverse men who’d also made an effort to make this event worthwhile. And while none of us made money from this I think every man there profited from the experience. I met a father and son, I had lunch with my commenter Rugby, I met commenter Jeremy, a Vegas police detective, a former Marine pilot who told me he would be insisting his sons read my books before they graduated high school, and so many more who I don’t have the space to mention here. Thank you for oming to this.
There were no “leaks” of where the venue was to be held. There were no publicity stunts or pandering to contrived social agendas. There were no bomb threats or feminist protests, and, as promised, no video or photography of our guests. I’m proud to say that this conference was well designed and well executed in a luxurious location with every effort made to ensure the anonymity of the men attending and all with the intent of helping each of us collectively learn and grow in a Red Pill awareness.
The VIP after-dinner at Sinatra was fantastic and some of the best camaraderie I’ve had with men I’d only met in person a few hours prior. The women at Encore were top shelf and the martinis were too.
I should also mention that at Encore I was ‘coined’ by one of our Air Force guests who was stationed in South Korea and was in Vegas for the event. Up until this time I was unaware of the significance of receiving an Air Force coin, but it was the highlight and honor of my weekend.
Things We Could Do Better
Finally, at the end of the seminar we had a group Q&A and bluntly asked everyone what we could do to make a (possible) annual event better. Among these comments were a meet & greet or a group lunch which I thought would be good, but also I’d like to open up the VIP into a larger collective gathering in the evening.
My thoughts would be a larger venue, and of course a longer time frame for registration. Maybe a 2 day event over a long weekend with 6 or so speakers would be ideal.
So with that I want to thank all those who attended one last time here. A Man in Demand was as it should be, a collective experience and a collective discussion and that requires all of us being present and relating.
Goldumnd has a great write up of the event here, and Christian gives his thoughts here too. Also, Tanner had a funny video of his trip to the event here.
If you attended or you have and ideas or comments about this being an annual gathering you’d like to see please let me know in the comment thread. If I missed you or you were one of the guys I met or mentioned in this review please let me know.