Command Presence

A few years back I went to a popular martini bar for a mixer event that one of our agencies was throwing for my company. It is a very upscale bar, all the waitresses were easily HB 8s & 9s and the bartenders looked as if they got the job based on how close they resembled male models. If you know any about Central Florida and the sordid details about Tiger Woods’ affairs, this was one of his primary spots for a hook up. Whenever I’m in a professional / social outing such as this I tend to pay attention to social dynamics and take mental notes. I’m almost always in behavioral observation mode (which sometimes bugs me I’ll admit) and I apply these observations to what I know. I sometimes feel like Jane Goodall in Gorillas in the Mist when I’m at promo events. This night was one of those instances.

At the time I’d been studying what is called Command Presence. If you work in law enforcement, emergency services, or served in the military you’ll know this term. My brother was formerly in law enforcement and he explained it as taking control of, by appearing to have, authority in confrontational or high stress situations. When a cop stops you for a speeding ticket he is trained to instinctively adopt a Command Presence when approaching your car. This is what makes people think cops, generally seem egotistical or arrogant, but it’s this ‘presence’ that leads them to this. Google search ‘command presence’, there are hundreds of articles on it.

I decided this evening to experiment a bit with Command Presence. Rather than wear my usual club crawler attire I wore well tailored suit and tie with some very expensive dress shoes. I never wear a tie, even at work. I’ve always felt a good physique is the best form of peacocking and this met with a lot of success in my past, but a man in a well tailored suit projects a different presence and prompts different (though favorable) responses, not only from women, but men as well.

Command Presence is founded on the associations with an appearance of authority, so it helps when you actually do own that authority. I’m the art director for a major brand of vodka and liquor import company and this place had the full line of bottles I designed, as well as their proprietary vodka being my creation. I am the ‘authority’ in this regard and this is always an easy ‘in’ with club people. Within the first 5 minutes of being there I’d gotten multiple IOI and AIs from an exquisite brunette (HB 8.5 easy) after a deliberate push to use Command Presence and taking with her.

Next was the HB 9 waitress that led me up to our VIP section. Maybe 24 y.o. and absolutely stunning, she pulls me away from the bartender and kino-walks me to where our party was meeting. This isn’t a stripper, or a paid hostess, she fetches drinks. She initiates convo with me and I use my art director routine that worked with the bartender. All time I maintain an air of authority and take the fatherly role with her. She’s visibly impressed, more IOIs, and goes off to bring me a martini.

Later I’d met up with some web agency people and some coworkers from my office. We’re launching a new micro-website that I worked on with them. I worked with most of the creative team, but I hadn’t met the PR or research people. One of these was a fantastic blonde named Tawny. Maybe 25, an unbelievably hot HB 8.5, had a boyfriend, but not present. Our logistics girl was a squat, Puerto Rican lesbian and she whispers to me that she could get her before I could. I reminded her I was married and wouldn’t take her bait, but it was game on from that point. She already knew who I was so that angle was done. I got good eye contact from her and caught her looking twice before I introduced myself formally. I then went Dean Martin on her and added the Command Presence to my ‘knowing all about her’ attitude. She ate it up and it was at this point I had to dial it down because she was talking about sticking around after the party had broke up and I wasn’t about to consolidate anything.

One thing I think older single guys miss out on is exploiting the maturity and wisdom that younger women expect them to have. Think Rat Pack guys, Dean Martin, Sinatra, Hefner, these guys were PUAs well into their 60s (even when they were married). Sure they were celebrities, but modeling that attitude into your 40s can take you a long way with younger women.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) the Command Presence thing was working almost too well. At about the point I was trying to separate my attention from Tawny the waitress brings me a martini. This engagement made for one of the more fascinating observations of female communications I’ve seen. Tawny was sexy and in a busness casual outfit that certainly made her hot, but waitress (never got her name) is in tight black form fitting pants and a tight halter displaying a great rack and a perfectly flat stomach with navel piercing.

I’ve previously gone into about how women communicate on levels that men are rarely aware of and here I had the perfect opportunity to see this in actions. Facial gestures, applied kino, innuendo, subcommunication, you name it was all there. Tawny of course has the high ground because waitress is on duty and thus is in a service role, but wow.

I still have to pry myself out of the Tawny predicament and lead a bit about the boyfriend, to my surprise she says he’s not really her boyfriend anyway, “more like a friend.” Now I’m in trouble, but I hold the Presence and give her the principled opt out “it’s a Tuesday night and I probably shouldn’t even be drinking because it messes with my morning workout” Oops, shouldn’t have added the last part, but that was my non-Presence slipping in. I excused myself around 8:30pm, but not without her letting me know she hopes I’ll drop by their studio sometime soon. Pfeww,..

I posted this to encourage older guys to adopt a Command Presence as a means to interact, but it doesn’t have to be an act for you. The part of the story I ommitted is that while I got a lot of female attention this night, I also got solid in networking with some very influential men who picked up on this. They sought out my association. I could say it was an Alpha thing, but I think it’s about the application. I have legitimate confidence and I expressed it with my attitude, expression and appearance. Yes, I have legitimate authority in this instance, but I owned it in a way that was respected. Too many, tragically older, men are afraid to own their authority and/or confidence.

Amused Mastery & Command Pressence

As I began with, this experiment was from a few years back, and since then I’ve seen how Command Presence dovetails very well into Roissy’s principle of Amused Mastery. Amused Mastery is a good compliment to Command Presence. It tempers the ass-holish impulse that can result from taking Command Presence too far. It smooths down what can be taken for arrogance.

I think a lot of guys get hung up on the term “aloof”. The word conjures up the idea that a guy has to pretend to be looking down his nose at some girl he’s interested in in a lame effort to get her to qualify to him. When people read how a guy needs to perfect being “aloof” they tend to think “haughty” or feigned disinterest. Throw that term away right now, because you don’t want to be “aloof”. What you want is Amused Mastery.

Amused Mastery puts you into a position of maturity while still remaining playfully approachable and forcing a woman to qualify to you by acknowledging your mastery of her (really all women by association) and your surroundings. An attitude of Amused Mastery implies to women that by virtue of your maturity and/or authority you’ve “seen it all before”, you already know what women mean when they say or do what she is doing, and it’s amusing to you. You’ll play along, but only so far as to cleverly poke fun at her attempts to get you to qualify to her. It means you never take her seriously, like a bratty sister.

I’ll admit I never fully appreciated the potential of Amused Mastery until I had a daughter. I find myself naturally using it with her because that’s the actual, unforced relation I have with her. Especially now that she’s 13. However, I also notice my wife finds Amused Mastery just as appealing, to the point that she includes herself in my Mastery over my daughter. Command Presence is useful when others are only peripherally familiar with you, Amused Mastery is what you need to employ when you’re dealing with people who have familiarity with you.

It’s particularly effective for older men / younger women Game. Assuming you’re in reasonably good shape and have some degree of affluence, being older gives you a degree of authenticity. With maturity comes an expectation of knowledge and experience for Men. I’ve used Amused Mastery with my “pour girls” at promo events and it’s like cat nip for them. You become that Father figure to them (FILF?) that they crave, but can’t seem to get from younger guys.

25 comments

  1. This is why most women in their 30s and 40s (and when I say women, I always include beta schlub males in the same descriptive) don’t understand how I can possibly meet and date women half my age.

    If I put on a sport coat and dress shirt (no tie, typically), they’re always tailored to within a millimeter of perfection. I’ve had more than a few women open me with “you look powerful, what do you do?” when I wear a simple combo. Hell, even my jeans are tailored (if you haven’t tried it, do so immediately).

    But the clothes do not complete the man. When a woman sees a guy dressed powerfully, her expectations rise just as high as their desire for dominance from him does — if you’re a beta schlub wearing a suit for work, she’ll walk all over you within seconds.

    Command presence means posture, eye contact, dominant head nodding (head back, not chin down), slow movements, no fidgety hands or foot tapping or leg crossing and bouncing.

    Be slow and meticulous in response, generate a throaty voice that projects (it’s great when someone from across the bar tells you to keep it down, but the gals you’re talking to don’t realize you’re being loud at all),

    Average broads don’t get it, don’t like it, and self-project their low value to a man with command presence. Hot women eat it up, because it’s so rare.

  2. Really excellent point, but what can steps can you take to develop Command Presence. Is it a combination of intrinsic confidence and actual authority, or what? How do you turn it “on?”

  3. Ahhh….my favorite martini bar….

    In a place like that it is almost necessary to have that kind of a presence. Chicks go there looking to hook up with the next Tiger Woods.

    Besides the air of pretension they try to cultivate which I don’t care for (it’s in a fucking shopping mall for christ sakes!) I’m not a dress up kinda guy so for me it just doesn’t suit my style. And in a place like that the only other way to play it would be to go the opposite direction and their nazi dress code won’t allow for that.

    As for older men using this to their advantage, I totally agree. Don’t be insecure about your age. On a subconscious level chick dig it. If you adopt this “presence” and don’t make a big deal out of your age it will only work in your favor.

  4. To practice:

    1. Address everyone as though you were the father of a close friend of theirs. Familiar but a gentle step above.

    2. When dealing with Men – never back down in a debate until you are shown to be wrong. Then admit it quickly, concede the point and give a very brief, sincere ‘thank you’ for his insight.

    3. When dealing with Men – when you bust on one another, if someone gets a good jab in on you (that you know you can’t top), smile, chuckle and say “nice one.” Then move the conversation forward.

    4. In groups – unless someone obviously knows better than you, make decisions for them when the time comes. If anyone balks, ask for a better course. If they fail to quickly provide one, go with yours.

    5. Practice smirking. Not smiling – smirking. Use it with women frequently. They rarely listen to a Man, anyway. Make that your default reply when needed. A slow, gentle head shake can be added now and then.

    These should give you a good starting point.

  5. Keep in mind:

    Most people want to follow, not lead.

    Because following is safer, carries far less accountability and requires far less courage.

    If someone knows better than you:

    Choose to be led.

    But never follow.

  6. Just as (young) men need Game to compensate for what they should have learned from the father that feminist no-fault divorce robbed them of, so do (young) women hunger for the loving but authoritative father figure that their mothers never let them have.

    FILF… heh

  7. excellent essay. command presence + amused mastery is a killer combination.

    also, didn’t know you were an art director! we work in similar fields.

  8. @asf

    “Really excellent point, but what can steps can you take to develop Command Presence. Is it a combination of intrinsic confidence and actual authority, or what? How do you turn it “on?” ”

    well, the #1 answer to that is actually be accomplished at something. notice that rollo has command presence in a bar because of his professional accomplishments:

    “I’m the art director for a major brand of vodka and liquor import company and this place had the full line of bottles I designed, as well as their proprietary vodka being my creation. I am the ‘authority’ in this regard and this is always an easy ‘in’ with club people.”

    susan actually had a good post about this, she called it:

    passion, mastery, display, connect

  9. Damn it, man, if only I had read this 14 hours earlier. Well, there’s still time, and other opportunities. I’ve been developing this – without having a name for it – for some time, and old bad habits or new uncertainties keep slipping in to trip it up. Last night, a fit of false humility (regarding an actual talent) cost me some potential social standing. Some, because it probably came off as genuine modesty, as befits someone who doesn’t want to come off as arrogant; but I immediately knew that a slightly different tack would have given stronger results without being an ass. Ah, well.

    What would be outstanding are your thoughts on amused mastery, especially as it relates to command presence (this article covering the other way around pretty neatly), or how it would specifically be used in relating to a wife or daughter.

    Excellent work, here.

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  12. I call this “Patrician Frame”. It shows a lot of entitlement to having one’s opinions, wishes, and words viewed as important. Young women eat it up.

    A man recently rebuked me for something that a young woman did to me recently. None of it was his business, but I nevertheless deflected his accusations that evening. Last night I confronted him by saying that he was funny and laughing at him in front of another man. My thumbs were hooked in my pants pockets and I was standing tall and wide. He is actually taller and responded by leaning back and crossing his arms and lowering his face slightly.

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  14. I think command presence combined with my looks might be why I get IOI’s from women even though my social skills are rudimentary. I just have confidence. I literally DGAF if I mess up a social interaction. It’s funny that this has so much more meaning reading it the third time.

    @Rollo

    Seems like you martini’s. I myself enjoy Gin martini’s. In case you’re a gin drinker you need to find a way to get a bottle of Back River Gin. Best thing that I’ve ever put in my mouth.

    http://www.sweetgrasswinery.com/winesandspirits.html

    It wins all sorts of Gin competitions. The guy is kind of a legend. He started distilling whiskey about 7 years ago. 3 more years. Longest wait ever.

  15. You really don’t even realise what a pig you are, do you? Those women you’re ‘rating’? They think you’re an idiot. In this case though, you appear to be an idiot with money, so why not let you think you’re just fine. Or alternatively, they’re doing their jobs. They treat everyone like that, you’re not special. Good luck with it dude, you’re going to be a lonely old man.

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