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Streets are like playgrounds – especially for adults!

December 2, 2011

Talking to a good-looking stranger on the street seems like a no-go to you? You would be surprised how smoothly and funny it can work out. Jean-Baptiste Trannoy aka. Blusher, an Amsterdam-based Dating Coach, teaches the skills of seduction to inexperienced men and women in individual coaching sessions, bootcamps and seminars since the launch of his company in 2008. He just celebrated the release of his first DvD, which shows hidden camera real-time pick-ups in the streets of Paris, feedback from the girls and detailed explanations. So it was about time that Jean-Baptiste’s extraordinary life and the experiences that taught him his seduction skills hog the limelight.

By Marlene Werner

Damply vibrating air surrounds us, filled with chatter of the clientele in a dimly lit, wooden café inAmsterdam’s swanky Museumsplein area. Night starts to fall while a thunderstorm prefigures at the outskirts of the city by periodical lightings illuminating the little room. I am facing a tall, maroon-haired guy, with features reminiscent of a young Yves Montand, exuding a genuine sense of confidence through his pleasing eloquence in words and gestures and simple, but elegant attire. His overall black outfit is broken by a pair of blood-red leather boots. His name is Jean-Baptiste Trannoy, a French-man and declared womanizer. How one knows that? He made it his profession to teach inexperienced men and women the art of seduction.

Before starting our conversation he gets a drink at the counter – a Duvel – while flirting subtly with the middle-aged, blonde bar-lady who seems smitten by her vis-à-vis, whereas I am impressed by his display of ease and naturalness.  He is living up to his alias “Blusher” right in front of me, as he exits the situation with leaving a hint of red on her cheeks.

How he got to the point to be comfortable around women – a characteristic that makes the average, introverted, on prepackaged opening lines-reliant guy green with envy – unfolds in the following hours of conversation.

“One of the first groundbreaking events in the development of becoming Blusher was a trip to Germanywhen I was 15 years old. It was a warm day, and I was standing near the shore in Rostock, just at the intersection of the normal beach and the FKK-area, which I didn’t know at that time, so I was like: ‘Whoa, what is happening here?’ I was listening to Great White or some other hard rock band and I made a promise to myself. It was a very teenage hormone-driven idea: ‘my dream in life would be to be able sleep with any girl I want.’ And to become a rock star,” he says, smirking like being 15 again.

The years to come were filled with adventurous conquests and some painful embarrassments. After leaving his parents at age 17 to live and study inParis, the quest to better social skills seriously began. “I learned what not to do,” he says. “When I lived on my own, I started to be able to get girls. I practiced every day for about 4 years, and that mostly in the streets, because bars and clubs were just too expensive inParis. The street is for free, you go out and see a girl you like, and you go and talk to her. Considering what I looked like at that time, it was kind of brave: long hair, really, really skinny, 17-years-old, wearing Doc Martens and a hard rock shirt. What made me think that it was possible? Several encounters with women during the summer that really boosted my confidence. In the first place, I would have thought that they were out of my league for about the next couple of years.”

In that sense Blusher is a prime example of learning by doing. Still, he describes his initial skills as a “limited tool-box”, since it was never ensured that what he had done one time would work out again. “I didn’t really know what exactly worked and what not. I did a little bit of everything every time again, hoping it would work. I was like someone who knew 3 chords, I could play the blues really well, like a simple harmonic structure. These 3 chords were: eye-contact, getting a little tipsy and having enough social intelligence for being a good conversationalist at a table with a lot of girls. Basically, there was still a lot to learn.” According to Blusher, what was lacking was structured reflection about what exactly was going on in these social interactions with girls and which patterns led to success.

Upon meeting one of his best friends and wingman ever at a business school inRouen, a mutual passion for seducing women made the two young men inquire further into what exactly it was that made them more successful than their peers. “We were partners in crime; the following years were really like a quantum leap for both of us. He had game and I had game, and with this I don’t refer to how many girls we got into bed, but how much fun we had doing it and how much we liked talking about it. For the first time, I had an actual dialogue about this. When you don’t talk about what you are doing, you don’t learn,” he says, subtly implying the usefulness of seduction coaching.

Another eye-opening experience was his involvement in the Rocky Horror Picture Show replication shows inParis. After a casual visit of the show because of personal interest, he started chatting with the cast and was asked whether he wanted to join. He did not know the lyrics too well, but was on stage the next weekend, impersonating Frank N. Furter, the extravagant transgender main-character with a weirdly intoxicating sex appeal. “I goofed around with the audience, kissed girls on the backseats; it definitely makes you come out of your shell impersonating this sex animal. It kind of blew my mind, suddenly I had groupies. What it made me realize is that women are sexual beings too, they have this inner sl** and want to have a good time because it’s good fun. That was kind of a big discovery for me at that time.”

During this time he did not look for long-term relationships, but did not feel guilty about it anymore as was the case before. “I learned that it’s not always meant for forever. That does not mean that the two of you cannot make it a hell of a good time.” Upon asking whether these ideas had been mutual for him and the girls involved he responds: “What made the difference is that I became a lot clearer about my intentions from the beginning, that is not playing the card of acting like looking for a long-term relationship and not promising anything. This is what a lot of guys are doing; thinking women need to be convinced into having sex. What I learned is that seduction is about co-creation not persuasion. It’s about two people being drawn to each other, let it happen, it’s beautiful. You are building something together – even if just for one night.” For the first time he could square his lifestyle with his conscience, after the discovery of the inner sl** paired with honesty about his intentions.

The refinement period of his skills occurred during an unintentionally prolonged summer vacation on an island inGreecewhen he was around 26 years old and had just moved toAmsterdam. “I was stranded. When I tried to get money from the ATM, it didn’t work and I was wondering how I had managed to spend all my money, not realizing that the ATM was broken.” As he did not just try to retrieve money a few days later, he had to come up with another way of financing his ticket to get back home. “First, I washed dishes in a bar, and then they put me in front of the bar to get clients in for free shots and so on, to populate the bar. And then that’s when I used and refined my skills. This time was like a teaser of what I am doing now.”

At that time Jean-Baptiste was employed as a business analyst at a larger company inAmsterdam, according to him, a job that “crushed his soul”. While working for the bar in Greece, making a mere €20 aday and getting a warm meal every night, he realized that one can love one’s job, that something else existed next to making a living as an accountant.

Something he learned from luring pretty tourists into bars was that an approach, to be successful, should be personalized. Most of his colleagues were putting on the same old, lame show of screaming like an old market-wife, while JB was observing passers-by and targeting particular groups of girls with personalized comments about their attire or the situation. “I would just talk to them normally without showing any commercial intent. If I asked them if they wanted to join me for a free shot, all of them did.” Eventually, his boss even sent him to teach his method to the other guys.

The final milestone in the Blusher transformation was the discovery of a French website and forum dedicated to the topic of seduction. “I was bored at work and just typed into google what I was going to do that night ‘draguer des filles – picking up girls’ and I found this forum where guys were exchanging tips about how to pick up girls. While browsing through some of the posts, I noticed that they were exactly talking about what I was doing practically every night.” JB started posting regularly for the website, making himself a little VIP due to the success of his field reports, which described his weekly adventures. “Until that point I had a mosaic of experiences that I could finally make consistent, put in boxes, and thereby see what I did right. It made me going from a leap of faith every time I talked to a girl to being self-confident about it. I guess, what I am doing now is a mix of the two,” he tells me.

After a short period of thought-gathering while smoking a cigarette outside and playing with a slightly overweight orange tiger-cat that seems to belong to the bar, Jean-Baptiste adds some final thoughts: “What is most important is you have to want it. You have to have this boiling desire in your stomach that makes you want to conquest the world.”

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