Swingcat’s Open Loop Theory

February 4, 2004 by  
Filed under Analysis, Articles

**Reposted from the first Lair, original date: 12/16/03
**Image removed

YEEEEEEAH! Damn, I’m buzzed. Just heard one of my favorite shows — Carnivale — got renewed by HBO for a second season. I swear, if I only had HBO on my TV and no other channel, I’d be happy. Their original programming is the best on TV! Carnivale, coupled with The Wire and the Sopranos are a few of the shows I set everything aside for to watch. I am really jazzed! You can find the announcement at the Hollywood Reporter by following this link:

Carnivale Renewed

Now, someone had to go on the SS list and start blasting my favorite fall season show by saying its too frustrating to watch. In fact, he said that it was an example of going too far with “open loops.” Now, what they’re doing discussing Swinggcat terminology on the SS board is beyond me, especially considering that Ross is a stickler for not talking about other people’s products (but since Swinggcat used to be his top student, I guess he’s making exceptions). Anyway, this discussion brought up an interesting point about open loops.

For those of you who don’t know what an Open Loop is, its a verbal form of creating insecurity, anticipation, and a need to qualify through the use of creating an open ended story. Yes, that’s a round-a-bout explanation, but its the best I can do from memory. Swinggcat has a whole chapter in his book about open loops that explains it better than I ever could. But an example of an open loop would be something like:

PUA: “You know, this place reminds me of when I was in a german sex show with my girlfriend.”
HB: “You were in a german sex show? What happened?”
PUA: “Well I was in Germany because I love McDonalds ice cream, and I made it a personal goal to try McDonalds ice cream in every country in the world. Don’t you just love ice cream?”

So what’s happening there? You set up the fact that you were doing something exotic and forbidden, but you fail to pay it off and start talking about something silly and stupid. But the whole time you’re doing that, the other person will be thinking “Yes, but what about the sex show!!!???” and if they ask you, you start talking about something else, never quite giving them what they want. That’s an open loop. Its an interesting hook that someone wants closure on, and you’re the only one who can give it to them, but you don’t. You make them work for it. Its a very sneaky, subtle, eeeeevil way to get people to qualify themselves to you. They’ll be saying shit like “Please tell me! Pleeeeeaaaaase!” And you can grin and say “I’m not sure you’ve earned it yet.” Hopefully you’re smart enough to know what that implies.

So anyway, on the SS list, there was a lot of talk about how open loops are ineffective because they are so frustrating. What many fail to understand is that open loops are MEANT to be frustrating, and that is why they feel that way. Open loops create insecurity and anticipation, two very important factors in attraction.  If you get pissed off when someone uses open loops on you, it means its working.

But there is an argument that people who intuitively use open loops end up creating an atmosphere around them that ultimately drives people away instead of attracting them, and therefor open loops should not be used. I think the important word here is “intuitive.” People who do this stuff intuitively are destined to mess it up because they do not have a conscious awareness of how this shit works.

Open loops are a way of creating drama.  They are meant to rope other people into your reality by giving them just enough to get interested, and then taking it away so they actively pursue you.

When you have a conscious awareness of how open loops work, you can use them to attract people to you.  When you do not, you can over use them and cause people to become frustrated and angry because they realize the hopelessness in their pursuit.  Women tend to overuse this tactic because they are emotional creatures and easily distracted by stimuli (this is a bit of an over-generalization here, but I’ve found it is  fairly accurate for attractive women).  It also goes towards creating drama and turmoil in their personal lives, something many women crave and create.

I think the use of open loops is a valuable tool in seduction.  I’ve seen some extremely talented Pick-Up Artists us it to great effect. But I tend to agree that if overused, any of these skills become ineffective and even detrimental to your pick-up.  That’s part of the trick to being good at this, is knowing WHEN and HOW to use these tactics.

For more information on open loops, you can either try and catch reruns of Carnivale, or buy Swinggcat’s book at Real World Seduction.



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