Black Sheep Bandit: S2 E1


After a winter repairing and upgrading the passion wagon I hit the open road again for some northern exposure in Scandinavia.

On route to the ferry over to Europe I stop off at a riverside near London. An Irishman called Johnny invites me aboard his canal boat for a fellow Black Sheep Bandit tour and a few beers.

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Watch Season 1 of the Black Sheep Bandit here

Action Always Beats Intention

“Hi Tom,

I found your work as I was (am!) trying to incorporate cold approaching in to my life. I’ve had some good action over the years, but its been through work, hobbies and online, around 1% from approaching cold (massive room for improvement!).

BUT but what I stumbled across was inspired advice, observations, wisdoms, quotes on living & learning, life adventures, dealing with the weasels and ‘The Black Dog’, taking action rather than procrastinating… just saying FUCK IT and doing it, pushing though the doubting voices, ignoring the chattering negative mind, knowing that I’ll be up and down but its the way you deal with it that matters. Now I listen to your podcasts 75% to hear about life hacks / reminders of taking action. Thank you, man.

I’m an advertising exec, mid 40s, lucky to have worked over the world to start offices –  London (I’m from XXX), Stockholm, New York, Shanghai, San Fran (full of blokes – crap), Sydney and Tokyo. Great times, lots of girls. But what truly gives me energy and happiness is my hobby, oil painting and travel (great way to meet girls too). Well, I’ve been looking for a way to rebalance my life around my hobby, not my hobby around my work.. but didn’t have the balls to do anything about it, until your podcasts.

And now I’ve quit my full time job (I have lots of savings), am headed back to XXX from Tokyo (amazing city, but tough to find friends / a social life) to start my new life of freelancing for a 3-4 months then painting for about 9 months… anywhere in the world (likely an academy in XXX or XXX this Autumn). Its happening, its tinglingly exciting and scary, but if I don’t try I’ll never know and it feel fucking great.

I just wanted to write to say thank you for you wisdoms, ponderings, book recommendations, quotes, advice, all so generous and selfless. You are a total legend and you’ve helped people like me more than you know.


PS. It seems learning to paint is very much like the game ‘theory over practice’ issue. Everyone is watching how-to videos, waiting for the right colour paint tube, canvas, scene, weather, model… but its all about GETTING OUT THERE AND FUCKING PAINTING EVERY DAY. One of your podcasts put this in to place for me – something about Motivation follows Action.

Anyway sorry for the ramble, keep well!”

Road Hustle

Living and working out of a converted van has been a different kind of hustle to just the daygame pickup. Aside from the “Where do you go to the toilet?” and “How do you shower?” most asked questions, the third one is about parking for the night.

If you’re out in nature then it’s simple. Just pull over into a forest road, next to a beach or in a rough parking spot by a lake. That’s the whole point of having the van in the first place. I don’t need a campground or an RV park because I’m carrying my own water tank and using solar to produce power.

Masurian Lakes, Poland

Find a place to park before sunset. Make sure it’s on level ground as even a degree or two will tilt the bed and affect your sleep. Orientate the vehicle so you’ve got a cracking view from your window.

Lower Tatras, Slovakia

Parking up for the night in a city is much more of a challenge. It’s why I did a “stealth” van conversion with the vehicle looking as boring and normal as possible from the outside.

There are many techniques to the stealth van hustle. First of all, aim to be “hidden in plain sight” by looking like a builders’ van:

Hanover, Germany

Separate the cab from the rest of the van with a blackout curtain. Have blackout blinds on side windows. Throw a high-vis vest and scruffy items onto the dashboard.

City parking spots are usually metered during the day but free from after 6pm until the following morning, so arrive late and leave early. You shouldn’t have to pay.

Use quiet residential side streets rather than noisy main roads. With other vehicles around you’ll blend in more and be less of a sitting duck. To go unnoticed don’t park in the same spot two days in a row.

Broadstairs, UK

Enter the van from the cab, never the side door, so as not to attract attention. Park so you’ve got a clear getaway just in case, and sleep with your keys next to you so you’re good to go.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Use common sense. Avoid sketchy areas and dark abandoned sites. Keep the noise down. Pick up rubbish around the van so people don’t assume you’ve dumped it.

If your van doesn’t have a toilet or shower then park up for the night at 24 hour gas stations or truck stops, but these are nowhere near as scenic as wild spots or city centres.

Lake Vortsjarv, Estonia

What happens if you get the dreaded knock on your van door during the night? Depends where you are who it is (after peeking out of the window) but on the two occasions it’s happened to me it was easily diffused by being polite and ignorant.

The first knock was in a wild spot near a lake on the Polish-Lithuanian border. Polish police just wanted to check the vehicle wasn’t abandoned. After showing them my license they wished me good night and left me alone.

The second knock was in a car park next to a beach in Denmark. It was the Danish military telling me I was parked in a naval base. They pointed me to another site down the road and again wished me good night.

Lake District, UK

There are apps and websites that list good free parking spots (such as this one) but I prefer having no fixed plan and stumbling across ones myself.

For more information on the van conversion and how I’m using it for my work and daygame then watch this episode of the Black Sheep Bandit:

Morphing Motivations

When you start out daygaming you’re usually lacking in experience when it comes to sleeping with girls. You have a point to prove to yourself. You want to make up for lost time.

The ball starts rolling as you’re out there infield racking up the approaches, then contact details, then dates, and finally lays. You want to shout these victories from the rooftops.

Perhaps you start a blog or a YouTube channel. You get more and more ambitious with your wings. The pressure’s on to outperform each other which raises both your game but creates a subtle stress. You send a “+1” text to your wing which you know will annoy him.

If a guy gets laid in a forest and doesn’t post a “+1” to his wing or Twitter, did it actually happen?

Ego grows, which you quickly realise women find attractive. This then leads to better results in your pickup which in turn fuel the ego further. Motivation for daygame morphs in other directions.

In the last couple of years the popularity of daygame has meant it’s become more and more like a competitive sport. The same trend from hippy hobby to league tables and medals happened in many sports from surfing to rock-climbing.

I recognise I’m partly responsible. A natural byproduct of writing lay reports and filming infields over many years is that others will want to do the same, only better, faster, more efficiently. It’s how any pursuit evolves and should be embraced.

The downside of making daygame competitive is that the art of pickup is sacrificed for the science. Flow is replaced with pressure. The original spirit of the subculture can be lost if we don’t remember what the original motivation for its birth was.

“The reason I climb is to get the hell away from the people down below who are talking about climbing”  my friend Ed said about why he’s a mountaineer. Daygamers including myself could learn a lot from that comment.

Black Sheep Bandit Update

UK -> Netherlands -> Germany -> Denmark -> Sweden

I packed up the van in Wales and set off last week for Europe via a stop in Hertford to film Episode 1 of the new series aboard a canal boat with an Irishman called Johnny.

From Harwich it was an overnight ferry to Holland with Troy Francis. We drove up to Hamburg for a night of degeneracy.

After leaving Troy in Germany I drove north to Denmark and up to Copenhagen across the Baltic Sea.

From there I crossed over into Sweden to begin my Scandinavian wilderness adventures properly. The aim now is to head to the Finnish-Russian border 500 miles from where I am so I’m within easy reach of my Slavic daygame destinations.

Series 2 of the Black Sheep Bandit will begin in the next few days once I’m driving less and editing more ;).

Tom Torero Texting A-Z

Strap yourselves in for a lengthy post showing an entire text flow with a girl in Russia from meeting her to sleeping with her. It gives you a good overview of the way I work leads over the timeframe of a week using text pings, photo pings and audio pings.

Because it’s Russia the usual sharp witty banter of Europe is replaced with more stoical comfort. I’m playing the two (or even three) date model there so the pinging is slower. I’m also building a harem this year meaning that it’s not just a one-hit-wonder scenario. You’ll see elements of deep conversion employed in the texting to keep girls around.

Look out for the usual texting rules about mirroring investment, matching emoticons and timings, plus avoiding neediness. If you’re still struggling with the basics of text game then watch this for a reminder.

The post is long and the text flow complete because I wanted guys to see the amount of work typically needed to take a girl from start to finish. Some guys still presume it’s a Tinder style “Wanna smash?” level of messaging when in reality it’s a lot of focussed effort each day.

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I stop this girl on Thursday 7th March in Russia on a snowy street mid-afternoon:

After the initial approach around 16:00 I take her on an instant date to a coffee shop. She speaks almost no English so we’re using Google Translate on our phones to communicate.

The first Tom & Jerry photo is sent during that i-date when we’re exchanging WhatsApp numbers. This cat-and-mouse theme will be prominent throughout the texting and dating.

Later that evening I send the official feeler message to see if she’ll reply. It’s in Russian because of her nervousness with English. I ask her if she bought a new book. Her reply tells me it’s a solid number and that she wants to chat. The half bracket “)” is a Russian smily face. She’s used Google Translate again to respond.

I reply with a photo ping from my balcony. It’s rapport building but also gently seeding a future date (tea) and a future bounce (to my place).

I ask her what she’s up to that evening to get a ping-pong texting rally going for momentum. This saves a lot of scattered texting in future days when the initial energy has fizzled out.

Note how I’m teasing her about being a boring girl who just watches TV soap operas with the old lady (“babushka“) she lives with. This will be a subtle qualification routine I use throughout the texting and dating.

I begin to introduce the theme of adventure and risk taking with my ping about the climbing documentary. From our i-date earlier that day I know she loves the outdoors and wilderness travel. This theme of being “wild” and “free” is very useful for a player, as you’ll see later.

My photo ping and caption about “mountain adventures” is seeding a van trip with her later in the year (I’d already mentioned my van travels on the i-date). It’s also emphasising the carefree, risk-taking hobo vibes that a player needs to stress. See how she plays along. She’s craving such wild adventures and sends me a handful of photos from her past travels:

I send her photos back from my van travels and adventures, again to build not only rapport but to seed future trips with her. Once a girl has bought in to the whole concept of the van then it makes everything much easier down the line.

In Russian she replies “Damn, that’s very cool!!!” My pinging work for night is done so we end things there. She’ll go to sleep with her head full of thoughts about the British man who stopped her on the street, took her for an i-date and told her about mountain adventures.

The following day just after 11am I ping her with “Fun in the lab?” as she’s a laboratory assistant at a university. She replies with a selfie for me from the lab, a big green light…

I reply with a selfie of me (good to jog her memory once the initial magic of the street approach is over). The caption says “black again” as a throwback reference to us joking on the i-date about being metal-heads and closet goths.

She’s replying quickly and asking me questions (a sign she wants the chat to continue) so I know that the fish is on the hook and it’s now my job to propose a date request. Once you’ve got compliance you have to escalate. Just lots of chatting back and forth over messenger would be the opposite.

I dip my toe in the water for a date request by asking “Are you working this weekend?” She tells me that Sunday is her day off and asks if I’m free…

Our alternating Russian-English is another example of mirroring investment. It’s a pain in the ass to copy-paste sentences from Google Translate back into WhatsApp so we’re both shouldering the burden.

I reply saying “Sunday for whiskey and melancholic music” as callbacks to what we discussed on the i-date about both liking whiskey and her depressing taste in music (Finnish metal and Marilyn Manson).

She replies with qualifying herself that she’s “not so melancholic” and that she “loves fun too,” both of which are more green lights. Getting a girl to jump out of a box you put her in is what playful qualification is all about.

I send her a cheeky GIF of Marilyn Manson clapping and winking, again as more callback to our i-date. Using these animated pings sparingly is a powerful technique if you can find a suitably appropriate one from Google images.

Later that day before midnight I see that she’s online so I tentatively ping her again to see if she’ll bite. It’s effective to get her going to sleep thinking of me. She tells me she’s going to bed. I say goodnight in Russian and she replies positively:

It’s now Saturday, two days after I’d daygamed her, so I had one more day of pinging to go before the planned Sunday date. She pinged me first that morning (a green light) and my photo ping was something creative back.

Early in the afternoon the snow clears and the sun comes out. She messages me to celebrate:

I reply with a photo ping and then roll off. She photo pings that evening continuing the Tom & Jerry theme. Note that I haven’t seemed overly keen with details for Sunday’s date, just presuming it’s going to happen. I send her a teasing Tom & Jerry GIF back:

Sunday morning she pings me first, I reply and then go for the date request by suggesting the venue and time. My best hit rate in Russia has been the two date model but still doing two venues on the first date and walking her past my front door is still the rule for me.

She shifts things to 13:00 but that’s not any consequential frame control so I go with it:

The first date is a coffee in the first venue sitting next to each other on a sofa and her leaning in on me. From there we go to a second venue for a beer where we again sit next to each other. After that I walk her towards the metro, passing my front door and suggesting she come in for a smoke on the balcony. She predictably declines and that is that.

Early evening she pings me wilderness photos of wild Kamchatka in eastern Russia which we’d been discussing. A green light that she was up for the next date.

I reply with my own photo ping of wild adventures, again hinting at the theme of van life:

Later that evening she wishes me goodnight, and I once again use the grandmother tease:

The photos of herself she sends me are another green light for investment:

She’s pinging solidly and I know it’s just a case of keeping things ticking over with regular contact until I can get her out on a second date.

I ignore her negativity and let her further invest by not replying immediately. She mentions my travel videos that I gave her a link for on the first date (another good “remote DHV” trick to keep you in her mind).

She knows I’m going back to Moscow for a few days which helps because of the “power of the push”

I date request for Tuesday evening, this time making the seeding clear for a bounce home with a video clip ping of my balcony.

The “cigar and whiskey” line is another clear prompt for the bounce home. She then has a minor emotional wobble about only being able to talk through Google Translate.

My response is again light-hearted with a Harry Potter GIF and the caption “Google Magic”

I ask her in Russian what time she finishes work and she says 18:00, so I set up the second date logistics with a bar 5 minutes from my place.

I wish her goodnight with a quick evening audio ping (low and slow voice to get her thinking of me before bed) and she wishes me goodnight too.

The next day I’ve checked to see if she’s still on for that evening with a morning ping and her further investment tells me that the date is happening.

The photo ping of whiskey solidifies that fact she’s coming back to mine after the first venue.

The second date goes to plan, as you’ll see on the documentary. In the bar we’re sitting next to each other, my arm around her, playing with each other’s hands. She won’t kiss me in public but I sense that the bounce is on after a couple of beers.

In the snow we walk outside for a smoke then to my front door. There’s a slight hesitation as I open the main door but she comes in when I remind her of “whiskey on the balcony.”

Once inside she’s like a cat, taking her time to explore the apartment, smoke on the balcony, sit on the bed, drink whiskey together, watch part of a horror movie on Netflix whilst kissing and cuddling.

Hands wandering over clothes. Then under clothes. Clothes off, then P-in-V and another notch on the belt. Later that evening she sends me a thank you ping – a good sign for her cumming back for more.

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Do you always need that amount of texting to get laid? No, but for a typical Russian daygame scenario with two (or even three) dates then this is normal. To keep plates spinning over time in a harem situation you’re also going to have to have this skill-set in place.

If you’re new to daygame and need the basics of how to text and the common mistakes to avoid then go to my free texting guide

The Mule (2018) Film Review

Another Black Sheep Bandit film to review after watching it in the cinema earlier this week. Clint Eastwood directs and stars in “The Mule,” a movie based on the true story of Leo Sharp, an unlikely 90 year old drug runner for the Sinaloa Cartel.

In a similar vein to Robert Redford’s “The Old Man & The Gun” the film is a predictable heist story but with tension sustained until the end. Whilst Redford’s portrayal of an elderly bank robber has a suitably Black Sheep finale, Eastwood’s film sadly succumbs to the saccharine plot cleanup for mainstream audiences.

It’s still definitely worth a watch for the cheeky antihero vibes and a stellar soundtrack. Clint Eastwood’s direction here might not be nuanced but his performance is still vintage cool.