Racking the Shotgun: The 100 Proof Method
I’ve had a dating profile for about a decade that I have never taken very seriously. I’ve written all kinds of stuff on it in these 10 years, stuff about me that was light and funny, even stuff that was completely not representative of me.
If you’re wondering why I would do that, the goal was to find a pattern in the types of responses I received. The responses I got while the profile was “faked” were typically lackluster, boring, unadventurous, and nobody ever said anything to me once that piqued my interest. What I got was a bunch of “nice guys” who could only compliment me on my eyes, or ask me how I liked living in LA. After the all of the yawns, I decided to try something else.
I changed my essays to short and sweet to show how little stock I put into the whole thing. Messages did improve, but I got messages from guys who were also totally disinterested in the online dating platform. But in mutual disinterest —and with an inbox of 126 unopened messages— I realized this was an even worse plan. It wasn’t worse just because I found the responses to be boring, but because I had become bored with a tool I used to sharpen my understanding of social dynamics. This is something I have found intriguing and have been testing since I was a teenager. My insatiable curiosity on the subject matter was halted, and had stalled out. I was ready to try another approach that would give me the messages I wanted to receive from the types of people I would have legitimate interest in talking to, hanging out with, or even dating.
Now, I should mention I’m a huge fan of efficiency. I hate small talk, I’m upfront, I have an off-beat sense of humor, and a soft spot for men who can make me think and make me laugh with uncouth, un-PC jokes. Most importantly, I need someone who isn’t going to get overwhelmed by someone like me when most people do. To be fair, I’m pretty intense and over the top. However, instead of toning it down to collect more bees with honey (as the axiom goes) as most people do, I saw this as another opportunity for an experiment. What I did next was write the most overwhelming, honest, over-the-top profile on record for my dating profile. Let’s call it my “100 Proof” method.
The 100 Proof Method
With 100 Proof, the method is to be overwhelming, and perhaps even intimidating to prospectives on this dating site. The goal was to receive less messages.
Why the hell would someone put a dating profile up with the express purpose of receiving less messages? What kind of girl would do that? But before we delve into that, I need to introduce you to Perry Marshall, marketing great, and the guy that coined the term “Racking the Shotgun”.
The “Rack The Shotgun” story: In a noisy club in Las Vegas, a professional gambler pulled a sawed-off shotgun out of his jacket, racked it, and looked around to see who recognized the ratcheting sound and turned their heads. He said to his protege, “John, the people who turned their heads are not marks. Do not play poker with them. Gamble with everybody else.” In essence, ‘Racking the Shotgun’ means doing something to select for a specific type of person, or recognize a specific type of person. Marshall applies this principle to marketing, while I apply it to dating.
I don’t want or need the validation of everyone liking me. No, I want the right people to like me. For efficiency, I wanted to rack the shotgun.
I’m able to do this from a place of greater understanding about myself, and my needs in any type of relationship. I recognize that the type of person I am suited for should see my profile, and instead of cower (or write to me that I’m such a “total bitch”), they either recognize that it is carefully planned for this purpose, or they accept the challenge. Because someone who can take my 100 proof— in all of its complexity and intensity— can handle my 90 proof, 80 proof, and so on.
This is a highly efficient method for selecting for quality prospects who display a modicum of self-confidence, intellect, and attractiveness. Bonus, I don’t have to read so many boring emails and I am highly engaged and entertained.
Why You Don’t Want to Copy MY Style
My over-the-top style, I should warn you, is not for everyone. But the idea behind it may be. My profile is unabashedly and shamelessly true to my character, and I am at times overwhelmingly over-the-top— so in effect, I offer a fair representation of me at my most extreme. I am racking that shotgun for me. So, if someone who didn’t share the same type of personality and gruffness and lust for biting banter (and dead baby jokes) took cues from my profile, or someone wasn’t as extreme as I can be, they would be racking the shotgun for mates who won’t fit in the long run. That would not be efficient. Efficiency is key.
However, let’s say you’re a huge Star Wars nerd and you’re socially awkward reading this. Let’s say you hide your love for Star Wars until a few months in of dating, but eventually you will have to come out with it, and what if your new partner finds Star Wars to be absolutely loathsome? I’ve seen this sort of thing happen so many times where are people are afraid to show their true selves for the fear of not being accepted. I would implore you, then, to experiment with racking the shotgun with Star Wars. Perhaps even say “I love Star Wars so if you can’t handle the references, don’t even bother messaging me.” It’s forceful, it’s strong, but if it’s true to you and it’s your 100 Proof— you may want to implement it so you, too, can experience the benefits of racking the shotgun.
Hey, this may be the exact thing that you need to attract the attention of the closet cosplaying Princess Leia.
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