Upgrades and Airport Club Lounges

So my flight’s delayed. I have a bit of time to spare now. That’s as good an excuse as any to write two entries in one day.

The cutie behind the counter at the Beijing International Airport got me an upgrade. And I didn’t even have to use an upgrade voucher. The social arts pay off once again! :-)

Now I’m in the elite lounge. So far, the best lounges I’ve been in are the ones at the Hong Kong Airport, specifically the United Red Carpet Lounge. They had the best wine, beer, and liquor selection ;-) Air Canada’s international lounge at Toronto’s Pearson isn’t too bad either.

Now to make some last minute phone calls…

Peace and love, The Asian Rake.

The Forbidden City to the Lion City

Had an action-packed week and a half here in Beijing. As everyone in China is gearing up for the week-long October National Day Holiday, I’m leaving town for home. It’ll be the first time I’m returning to Singapore as “home.” Feels nice actually.

I had a super pleasant Singapore Airlines flight to Beijing with a whole row of three seats all to myself. I doubt that’ll be the case on the flight back, but here’s hoping.

I’ll see all my friends in Beijing again soon.

For now, back to work and life in the Lion City!

Social Skills Matter More Than Ever

I found this great article on how important social skills are in determining career success these days. I usually don’t link to blog posts that are two years old, but there are quite a few other interesting posts on this particular blog.

Plus, I’ve noticed that an alarmingly high number of 20-something Singaporeans, Koreans, and Chinese are stuck in the sort of mindset you would’ve found in 1980s America, in which young people are herded into “safe” professions, thinking that job security and the deferred life plan (as Timothy Ferriss so aptly put it) are paramount. Banking, law, medicine. But with the recent crash on Wall Street, even finance is no longer safe. Um, unless you’re truly passionate about your work, c’mon, take a frickin’ break.

Be lost for a little while. Try new things. Try those crazy adventurous things you’ve always wanted to do but are just waiting until “the time is right.” I’ll tell you what: The time is never “just right.”

So few actually take the time to think about what makes life meaningful. Don’t get caught up in the hedonic treadmill!

Actually take a look at the decades of psychological research on happiness. I’m still shocked at how people know so little about happiness studies, and how ignorant we can be about our greatest goals in life.

Here’s the article.

For those using unblock proxies:

http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2006/07/18/social-skills-matter-more-than-ever-so-heres-how-to-get-them/

I hope it vindicates the social arts as useful, relevant, and even necessary to success in life beyond just being good with women.

And here’s another interesting article.

http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2007/11/15/stop-worrying-that-your-twentysomething-is-lost/

Peace and love, The Asian Rake.

Welcome to the New Site!

You might have noticed that www.asianrake.com is finally being redirected here. 

So here’s a warm welcome to all the readers from asianrake.com!

The first thing you’ll want to do is to sign up for the mailing list. You can unsubscribe at any time. I’ll be sending out the substantial posts, like the longer theory and tech articles, as well as any field reports or lay reports, to the list. The blog will be more like a normal blog, featuring updates about my life and various musings. So sign up for the mailing list!

Faithful blog readers will notice that most of the old blog posts are still up and running, though many of the more personal posts and private LRs have been taken down. Those may become available in the near future, but behind a higher security screen.

Also, the Dating 101 audio course is now available. We’ve gotten some really awesome feedback and super positive reviews, so we’re really excited to release it to the asianrake.com readership, as well!

As usual, all feedback is appreciated, either on the blog or to me personally at asianrake “at” asianrake.com

Look out for further changes to the website and future products presenting completely new and original material!

Oh yeah, go follow me on Twitter!

Peace and love, The Asian Rake.

The New Column on Dating Advice

So my first weekly column in the Sunday edition of Singapore’s The New Paper came out. They’re still using that goofy photo. All the girls I’ve asked about that photo, though, said I looked cute, so maybe I don’t appreciate my looks enough, lol.

Here’s the unedited version. I actually have two columns with a total word count of around 600. One is for my musings. The other is for me to answer a reader’s question. If you’ve been in the community for a while, the dating advice should be very basic. A special shout-out to Sebastian Drake here. I also included the first part to clear up my reputation after that sensationalized headline.

Enjoy!

Since last week, I’ve become known as Singapore’s Hitch, which is fine by me.

In certain circles, though, I’ve also been labeled, “The man who had 30 girls in 2 months.” I suppose there are worse things to be (in)famous for.

But as someone who has gone to the other side and back, let me tell you, it’s not all it’s cut out to be. Yeah, it was a hedonistic paradise for a while. But it got tiresome fast. And it didn’t lead to lasting happiness.

I must admit, though, I sure learned a lot about women!

Of course, I realize that this won’t deter some immature guys out there from trying to follow in my footsteps and bag as many chicks as possible. But here’s a fair warning to you aspiring playboys: As with most things in life, the goal is anti-climactic.

I was much happier a year and a half later when I was exclusively dating one really high-quality girl, with whom I was enjoying all the love, sex, and romance a man could ever want.

An interesting observation follows from this.

Men like myself, who have been intimate with a lot of women, are the objects of admiration.

But women who have been with a lot of different men are usually the objects of disdain and derision, labeled as sluts, whores, or “easy girls.”

What a double standard!

A little food for thought…

Peace and love, Dr. Date.

“Dear Dr. Date,
Can you help me? My problem is that I’ve been going on dates, usually a nice dinner then a movie… But the costs are getting way too high. I’m still a student. And now I’m going broke… Sorry to trouble you, but do have any advice?
Thanks, Darryl.”

Death to the dinner date!

Darryl, I commiserate.

The dinner date is a horrible idea, especially for a first date.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had wonderful dinner dates, usually when there’s a new restaurant that I’ve been meaning to try, and I invite a girl along. But I’ll tell you, the dinner itself didn’t help.

The more expensive the dinner, the more pressure you’re putting on you and the woman. The more formal the setting, the more like an interview it will feel, especially if you’re sitting across from each other.

It’ll start to feel like you’re courting her and will bring with it all the severity associated with traditional courting. This is precisely the kind of weighty and serious tone you want to avoid on a first date. Who wants all that pressure? You’re just trying to get to know each other!

Plus, if you eat until you’re full, there’s the good chance you’ll get a little sleepy or bloated or worse! This is definitely not the kind of reaction you want on a date, lol.

The first date is already nerve-wracking enough! Why add extra stress?
Let me give you some better first date ideas. The best first date should include activities that are:

1. Conducive to conversation
2. Cheap and fun
3. Convenient

Look for activities that will allow you to talk with each other. This is why movies are a bad first date idea. We’re busy people. If we spend two hours watching a movie, we’ve just lost two hours that we could’ve spent getting to know each other. You can find out a lot about a person in that time.

Do things that are cheap and fun. This allows you both to relax, and keep things light. Go for a walk in the botanical garden. Go window shopping around Orchard Road or Vivocity. You don’t have to buy anything unless you want to, but you can try on crazy outfits together, share your thoughts on interior decorating, and share a scoop of gelato.

Make sure it’s convenient for both of you. The more effort you put into the first date, the more pressure you’ll have and the harder it will be to relax, enjoy yourself, and be your best self.

The key is to do something you enjoy doing even without your date. I like meeting at coffee shops near my place. We can share a drink, and if we don’t hit it off, it’s just a five-minute walk back home. No pressure. It’s all fun and light. If we do hit it off, we can go explore the nearby shopping areas.

In Singapore, entertainment areas are so close together and so well laid out, it’s simple to find fun things to do in close proximity.

So look for activities that are conducive to conversation, cheap and fun, and convenient for the both of you.

Happy loving!
Your Dr. Date.

Singapore Pick Up Weirdo and Lairs…

I guess when you stand up, you’ll get noticed, and others will try to chop you down.

For those who don’t know, there are online forums of random guys who share tips and thoughts on getting better with women.

These forums are called “lairs.” There are at least three lairs in Singapore alone. These lairs organize meetings for these guys to meet other aspiring “pickup artists.”

My experience with lairs in several different countries has been largely disappointing. Over 90% of the lair members are downright creepy and have major psychological issues. Pickup weirdos.

This past weekend, I got sucker-punched by a new pickup weirdo who introduced himself to me outside a club. He was with a big gang of lair guys, a few of whom I know and count as friends.

When a friend introduces me to another guy, I’ll treat the guy like a friend. I’m friendly. I let my guard down. I let you into my circle. I’ll even introduce you to my girls.

The last thing you should do is to try to AMOG me (trying to assert your alpha-ness and social authority) in front of one of my girls.

Even while it’s happening, I give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this is just the way you are. Maybe you’re new to the scene. Maybe you don’t know that you’re stepping on toes. Maybe you’re incredibly insecure and need to pee on the tree to feel like a man. So I throw you a bone.

But no. The air of superiority, and the naked assertion of ego is unmistakeable.

So you win the little AMOG battle. You pump up my girl’s buying temperature. She gets giddy, subconsciously feeling that two men are fighting over her. I learned something very important about this girl.

But more significantly, that pickup weirdo just lost a potential friend… for now, anyway.

Choose your battles wisely. Especially when there isn’t even a war.

Peace and love, The Asian Rake.

Hot off the press! I’ve been outed ;-)

Here it is. The first time my face is being associated with my handle in public.

Update: I’ve just received a cease and desist order from Singapore Press Holdings for my photographed images of this article. They want me to take down the jpegs. Talk about beating up on the little guy. At least it shows I’m making enough noise for them to care.

From the Sunday paper in Singapore, a feature article on me by Yvonne Phoo, who charmed me into it, wink wink: http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/show/story/0,4136,175939,00.html?

It’s a well written and fair portrayal, though I don’t think the photo does me justice, lol. That white circle in the photo is where they inserted info on how to contact me with questions. Btw, the print version had a cool full-page caricature of me based on the poster for the movie, “Hitch.”

EDIT: So the page with the article has expired. I’ve pasted the text of the article below. You can find the Asia One version here. The comments are hilarious.

Play on, The Asian Rake.

By Yvonne Phoo

ELECTRIC SHOW

DR DATE’S CLAIM TO FAME

Snagging 30 women in two months

September 08, 2008

GIRLS and boys, meet Dr David Tian, a smoothie who could well make your dates sizzle - and possibly lubricate the process of getting you hitched.

He is no matchmaker. But he does claim to be able to make Singapore men more suitable suitors and, thus, ease Singapore’s procreation woes.

His services hold the promise of solving the never-ending gripe among Singapore women about the way Singapore men behave.

But can this 31-year-old really turn crass into Casanova?

His claim to fame? He claims to have been intimate with 30 women in two months.

His qualifications? By day, he lectures Asian Culture in the National University of Singapore.

By night, he is a lifestyle consultant. His job is to train men on how to attract women, how to date women and how to maintain relationships with women.

Sounds familiar?

Recall Hitch, a movie starring Will Smith, about a dating consultant.

Dr Tian’s consultancy services include boot camps and one-on-one sessions, over the phone or via e-mail.

This month alone, he has already been booked for services worth $10,000.

Dr Tian’s clients are men in their early 20s to early 40s, from Singapore and Beijing.

Boot camps that cost from US$1,500 ($2,120) a person are booked via the websites thesocialman.com and www.powerofbeingasian.com.

Fork out more money and you get private one-on-one consultancy.

So what makes Dr Tian such an expert? Can he really make a Greek god out of Mr Singapore Geek?

His resume: Three years of learning from self-help books, personal time with American self-proclaimed dating expert Christian Hudson, the founder of thesocialman.com, and his experience with Beijing women.

Depression after his failed marriage spurred him into becoming a lifestyle consultant, much like the script from Hitch.

Dr Tian said: ‘I believe in something called social freedom which I think many men in Singapore lack. It is to be able to put aside one’s ego and not be afraid of making mistakes.

‘I discovered social freedom when I was at the lowest point in my life. I didn’t care what people thought of me.’

An ex-client, who gave his name only as Brian H, is a 23-year-old IT consultant in Los Angeles.

He wrote of Dr Tian after undergoing four months of private coaching: ‘David turned my life around. As an Asian guy in America, I had a lot of trouble talking with hot girls. But David showed me my limiting beliefs, how they were tripping me up, and how to overcome them.

‘Before I met him, I could barely look a girl in the eye. But now I’m dating two girls and meeting more every weekend!’

Born in Taiwan, and raised in the US, Dr Tian moved to Singapore from Beijing last month, where he was doing his archival research and dissertation for his doctoral thesis.

At 31, he is sitting nicely at the top of the education rung, holding two master’s degrees and a doctorate in Asian studies.

He has fellowships with Ivy League institutes such as Harvard and Princeton.

He speaks and writes Japanese, French and Classical Greek, apart from English and Chinese.

His bachelor pad, a rented apartment at The Sail at Marina Bay, has a commanding view of the city.

Okay, so he’s bright (we checked his qualifications), and lives in luxury (yes we did check out his bedroom).

In his website, Dr Tian claims to be ‘specialised in meeting, attracting and pleasuring Asian women especially high status, high quality, high value women in East Asia, including China, Singapore, Japan, and Korea’.

How does he propose to change men’s lives?

‘First, I enter my client’s life, observe his daily habits- his hobbies, the way he speaks and thinks, right down to how he eats… Then I slowly deconstruct his life from within and train him to develop a new lifestyle that is appropriate and beneficial to his life.’

Dr Tian shared with The New Paper on Sunday an example of a man who would require some lifestyle training: ‘Either he finds that he can’t seem to maintain a relationship with a woman, or women turn away even before he can speak to them.’

Growing up

Dr Tian can identify with the situation. Growing up, he felt like the odd one out as an Asian raised in an upper-middle class ultra-conservative fundamentalist Christian family living abroad.

He was awkward being smaller physically compared to his peers, and had self-confidence issues.

He got married and separated shortly after, leaving him depressed. It took psychiatric treatment from two doctors before he could recover.

Then he met Mr Hudson, who helped turn his life around.

He started blogging about his encounters with different women.

Dr Tian wrote in one of his blogs: ‘I guess in the land of men, I still am the odd one out. But this time, it’s in a good way, at least if you consider something like 10 per cent of the men in this world have slept with over 90 per cent of the women and the top 1 per cent have slept with more.’

The Electric New Paper, Singapore – The Electric New Paper Show

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.