Monday, March 19, 2007

The Five Levels of Player Status

Having made reference to the five levels of Gamesmanship, as it relates to Players of The Game, we thought it appropriate to delineate what those five levels actually are and what differentiates them.

The Five Levels of Player status one can achieve in The Game are: 1.) Rookie 2.) Novice 3.) Poseur 4.) Playboy 5.) Gentleman

Remember, not everyone moves through the Five Levels of Gamesmanship. Some get up to Level Three, with even fewer advancing to Level Four. Still fewer, the self-actualizing elite, attain Level Five status. For reference, think George Clooney or Sean Connery as Level Five Players. Smooth, in control, admired and full of conviction. Bill Clinton is another good example. Keep in mind, though, there are far more men that never see past Level One or Two. These are the sad majority of men that have subscribed to the fallacious notions we’ve been reviewing about women being the prize, beautiful women are hard to get, a man should woo the woman, etc. Let’s examine their mentality.

Level One: Rookie
This describes the young boy who, through no fault of his own, is a bumbling ball of nerves and unfettered sexual desire around girls. At 15 or 16 and still a virgin, due to lack of experience the Level One Rookie adopts the society-wide mentality that women are the prize to be wooed and sought after. This destructive mindset leads him to more frustration and a prolonging of the Level One status—and more importantly, mentality—that will only end once he gets laid. Two things happen then. Either he latches onto the “prize” that finally agreed to spread her legs for him and, not knowing his true value yet, commits too early, leading a ho-hum life of insurance sales, overdue mortgage payments and joyless sex. Or, he wizens up, observes the more experienced students of The Game who are a little more advanced in Levels, and begins to view himself as the prize and women as his reward; his reward for becoming a student of The Game and continually advancing himself through the Five Levels. This takes years, but the critical decision is made early on: Insurance sales and a shrieking overweight shrew, or a bevy of admirers and a life of self-actualization.

Level Two: Novice
Once the cherry is popped, so to speak, a whole new world opens up. The Rookie, no longer a virgin, moves now to the Level of Novice. While still unsure of himself and uncomfortable around women, he is now able to at least communicate, if immaturely, to the opposite sex. His desire is expressed blatantly and without deft or skill. Whereas the Levels Four and Five Players see sex as a gift they bestow on their innumerable conquests, the Level Two Novice still views it as a treat he receives for behaving. Like a lap dog receives a bone, if he kowtows to his master, so, too, does the Level Two Novice get thrown his “bone” if he kowtows to his. This phenomenon is twofold and it will take a strong mindset to overcome all the social and parental programming that creates and perpetuates this lap dog/master mentality as it relates to sex/companionship. Our media culture and uberfeminist society inculcates young men via movies and television to “respect women” and treat them like a queen. The first thing that Level One Players learn is to what? Ask a girl to the dance. Take her out. Show her a good time. Then, maybe, just maybe, he’ll “score”, or “get lucky”, or “hit third base or possibly even a home run”. Keep in mind, however, the implicit umpire/referee of this whole game is who? The woman! Most men, check that, boys, tool around between this level and Level Three all their lives, both with women and with life in general. They are never able to rewire their reality to fit the self-actualizing thinker, and thus spend their lives resenting and vilifying the very same guys they tried vainly to become. Level Two Novices need to make that leap of faith into the inconceivable—that women are just as lustful and desirous as men and of men—before they can reach the next Level of Gamesmanship, the Poseur, or The Bad Boy.

Level Three: The Poseur
Also called The Bad Boy, Level Three is not a bad place to be. For one thing, a lot of men don’t even get to this level. They’re either married by this point to the first girl who said yes, or still trying to figure out why the girl they lust after seeks the attention of The Level Three Bad Boy that could give a rat’s ass about her. The Poseur, having bedded his share of women, either through lying/cheating/manipulating, has acquired some skill at this point, both in getting women into bed and leaving them fulfilled once there. If you only make it to this level, you are ahead of more than 75% of the men out there. The trouble with the Poseur is that he is just that. He has defined himself by his conquests. His self-image, the very essence of his confidence is derived from women’s approval of him. Still hung up on making his numbers grow (women he’s bedded), he has not formed a true identity for himself, as his whole existence relies on playing a role to get women into bed. Whether it’s the good-looking asshole that is too hip for the room or the misunderstood writer that women seem to dig, these poseurs wear their artificial identities like badges around their necks, hoping to be noticed and/or loved by some impressionable piece of pussy. They know neither what they stand for nor what they won’t stand for, and so invariably end up being the center of drama and emotional turmoil with their relationships with women. As we’ve seen before, drama and emotional turmoil are the polar opposites of Level Five Gentleman’s emotional control, cool detachment and desirelessness. Level Three Poseurs, while they do get laid, need to dissemble the truth, indeed themselves, in order to do so. They are incapable of expressing genuine human emotion in the fear that their armor of artifice might get chinked. If they feel exposed, they feel weak, if they feel desired they feel strong. Walk around a bar or club one day and spot the guy in his late thirties/early forties that knows everyone at the bar. Women flock to say hello to him, he smiles ear-to-ear and he’s there almost every night. Occasionally he’ll even end up taking someone home. This guy is Level Three. Liked by everyone, hated by himself. It’s ok to spend some time in Level Three, even years, it is a great place to be now that you’ve honed your game enough to get laid and have some fun with women. Just be careful to respect The Game enough not to spend your life there or create your identity around it, as Level Four awaits…

Level Four: Playboy
If you ever attain this Level of Gamesmanship then you are in the top 3-5% of men who have tackled The Game. Consider this a great accomplishment, as you are in exclusive company. The Level Four Playboy has mastered himself to the extent that he sees himself as the prize. For the most part, he views human interactions, particularly with women, as ones in which the other party is benefiting more than he is. Having truly internalized the notion of himself as the prize, above all else, his interactions with women have become more spiritual in nature than sexual, as he has sublimated that desire to the extent that the women now pine for him rather than vice versa. Thus begins the auditioning process of who “qualifies” for his time, who is deserving and who will win the Casting Call Lottery in his audition for a lover. He is deft in the bedroom, living in the moment and, having bedded countless women, knows the female form like the back of his hand. His respect for women will not allow him to let a woman leave his lair unfulfilled. It is a reflection on him that he refuses to entertain. The Level Four Playboy has turned inward to find his personal identity and he finds his strength and sense of self from his work, his passions in life, the values that he upholds and finds dear and the spiritual principles that he strives to live up to every day that he wakes up in the morning. For this man, strip every single woman away from him and he will not feel like any less of a man, as he has not attached his identity to them or their approval of him. Curiously, invariably, it is at this moment, when the desire for approval ceases, that it begins to show up in great abundance in one’s life. Find this man at a party and/or social scene and he commands the room with silent authority, not because of all the people that like him. Rather, because their opinion of him is entirely irrelevant. Incidentally, for the Level Four Playboy social scenes begin to take different forms, too. Seldom will you find him at a low-rung dive bar or dance club. Elegant social settings, networking functions and upscale dinner parties is where this man gets his social digs. The consummate Player/Person. What else is there, you ask? Level Five Gentleman…

Level Five: Gentleman
The Level Five Player, or The Gentleman, as he will be referred to, has taken the principles of Gamesmanship and applied it more holistically to every facet of his life. His relationships with other men, though platonic, are deep-rooted and genuine. His network of social contacts runs deep and rich, having jettisoned those people out of his life that did not contribute to it. He has managed, through great effort, to eschew any person or part of his life that did not service him in a positive way. He has learned this from the principle of prizability, having put himself first before all else. His attitudes and ways with women are much akin to the Level Four Playboy. What separates them is that the Level Five Gentleman has attracted abundance into his life in all its forms, not just the female. He is financially abundant, intellectually abundant, abundant in sophistication and elegance; he has abundance of love and friendship from his family and extended friendship network. His passions for work and play nourish his equally voracious appetite for spiritual enrichment. The man’s depth of knowledge with all things political, worldly and topical runs deep, as does the breadth of his personal life experience. He is well-read beyond compare and treats his body as the temple for his soul, nourishing it with regular exercise and nutritious intake. The Level Five Player lives EVERY day this way. For illustrative purposes, think James Bond as the prototypical Level Five Gentleman. The Soulful Assassin who you wouldn’t mind watching your kids for the weekend. Allow it to be reiterated that the level Five Player, The Gentleman, an oft-used word seldom deserved, is a rare breed indeed. From my personal experience, for a man to reach this level before the age of 40 is highly unusual, but in rare cases by 35 if the extraordinary commitment required is there. I am saying this for two reasons. One, because we were all meant to exist on all five levels for a certain period of time. This is called growth. There is no overnight potion that will transform Joe Blow into James Bond.

So if you identify with some of the lower rungs of this ladder of Gamesmanship, fret not. Live each day as it comes and continue to learn and grow. Most levels—certainly 2-4—but really all of them, take five years to graduate from. Be patient, it will be a trait that will serve you well as you move up in Levels of Gamesmanship, and the days and weeks will pass soon enough. Typically, ages 15-20 typically comprise Level One, 20-25 Level Two, 25-30 Level Three, 30-35 Level Four and 35-40 Level Five. Only at the tail end of each of these ranges does one begin to fully understand the meaning of the Level at its fullest. Remember, it is not what level you are at today, but rather what you do today to get to the next level tomorrow.

On what level am I, you ask? Still learning. Each and every day.


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