09. Escalation

The problem most guys have with escalation is that they’re thinking in terms of the DiCarlo escalation ladder. Each of these steps is a Micro Escalation. Guys asking about micro escalations want to know how you go for it to move for the next base and how exactly you should position your hand, the speed, velocity, amount of pressure, etc. That’s just the wrong way to be thinking about escalation because the answer to all those “But how do I touch her?” questions is as simple as it is unfulfilling:


Have you gotten sufficient IOIs to go ahead? Okay, then go ahead. Then gauge her response and calibrate. How do you know if you got enough IOIs? Experience. How do you make your movements non-awkward? Experience. How do you calibrate? Experience.

Most people are somewhat awkward their first few times, and most people are also not so awkward that it even matters. Instinct will get you 95% of the way there if you let it. There’s a reason why our species is still alive, and it’s not because people are closing their eyes and thinking of England.

So if the physical how-tos of escalation aren’t what’s important, what is? Macro Escalation. Multiple screening layers and timing. I know, not nearly as sexy as talking about how to grab a boob.


I’m starting with screening because the idea of escalation being how you round the bases is just silly. Escalation is how you move from one phase of the interaction to the next and most guys have absolutely no screening process. If they see a cute girl that is the entirety of the screen. If she turns out to be a complete bitch or is a logistical nightmare he might eject, but other than that he’s thinking only in terms of getting past her screens. That’s a terrible mindset to have.

Just think for a moment of how one-directional that process is and what it says about you. It basically says that you have shit for standards and that you don’t really care what the girl is like. Do you think a girl wants to be with a guy who’s got low standards and who doesn’t even care what she’s like? Nope. Here’s the screening process you need to both demonstrate you have some respect for yourself and for the women you’re talking to.

1. The Opening – Initial Physical Attraction

There’s no way around this bit of the nitty gritty. You’re choosing who to approach based almost entirely on finding them physically attractive. What’s important to remember here is that you’ve decided only to approach. You have not decided that you like her. You don’t even know her yet, so how could you?

2. The Hook Point – Personal Connection

You’ve opened, you’ve said a few things, she’s said a few things, and after a couple minutes you should have a good idea whether or not you want to keep talking to this person. It’s basically a question of whether you like the girl’s vibe. This is the second screen, you’re deciding if you want to get to know this person and invest your time and energy in the interaction.

3. The Pull – Physical Connection

Now that you’ve had a chance to actually get to know the girl you’re finally ready to decide if you want to get physical with her. There should have been some light kino earlier on, but this is the point where the physical contact takes on sexual tone. And if you don’t know what that means: experience.

The problem a lot of guys have is that they answer Yes to Screen 1 and immediately also answer Yes to Screen 3 and completely bypass Screen 2. Don’t do that.


Now that you know what the different stages of escalation are, you can learn when to transition from one stage to the next. I’m going to steal this directly from Juggler because I think he nailed it. You escalate on her high points in the interaction. A high point is basically any time she’s putting effort into the conversation. If she tells a joke, that’s a high point, even if the joke was bad. Now the fact that the joke was bad might make you not like her personality and decide you don’t want to escalate, but assuming you’re still in to her, the high point is when you shift into the next stage of the interaction.

Whenever you shift gears the girl is naturally going to think “what caused this change?” The answer you want her to give herself is “Because I just did something to get him to like me more.”

Compare this to the alternative, escalating on your high point. You tell a great joke, she laughs, you kino and tell her that she’s cute (a micro escalation). That’s your instinct, right? You just scored a point so you get to move to the next square. Nope. Now she’s asking “what caused this change?” And the answer she comes up with is “Because he’s following a set pattern that has absolutely nothing to do with what I bring to the table.” Oops!

Just a final clarification: You don’t Macro Escalate on every high point she has. That’d be silly. What you do is talk to her enough to decide that you do want to Macro Escalate, then you look for an opportunity to do so. While you’re still in the process of deciding, you can Micro Escalate on her high points, and you can Micro Escalate if you’re waiting to overcome logistical obstacles.

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