Tag Archives: Pareto Principle

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF A NIGHTCLUB

Nightclubs are a pervasive part of our culture, and no matter where you go around the world, each country has adopted the nightclub as the benchmark of their nightlife. They are an excellent social venue and attractive to both genders, as they offer the promise of a wonderful experience on every visit. For women, nightclubs are a great place to dance with your friends and meet guys. The prospect of meeting attractive women is primarily what drives men to nightclubs, and the atmosphere and experience cultivated by a nightclub is designed with these factors in mind.

1) Nightclubs are dark.

I don’t know many adults that are afraid of the dark, but this mostly applies to when they’re in their own home. When you put a person into a room packed full of strangers and then turn off most of the lights, you’re going to increase the anxiety and fear of everyone in that room.

2) They’re crowded.

Most nightclubs pack in people as much as fire regulations allow, and the dance floor of a nightclub is prime sexual marketplace real estate, so this is where most of the patrons will be. When you’re in the dark and in a crowded place, your sense of personal comfort decreases and your anxiety increases.

3) They’re loud.

The third way that nightclubs impact your comfort level. A loud atmosphere where you can’t hear anything but the music and a few random snippets of shouted conversation decreases your personal comfort level and increases your anxiety. The human ear was not designed to live in an environment as loud as a nightclub, so even though you might only be in a club for a few hours, this exposure is enough to put you on edge. A loud environment hampers our ability to communicate, which can frustrate us and cause further discomfort.

So, knowing that darkness, close quarters, and excessive noise contribute to fear for visitors at a nightclub, the question now becomes: why do you manufacture fear?

Alcohol.

Nightclubs create the problem and then sell you the solution.

Girls go to nightclubs to dance and possibly meet guys. Guys go to nightclubs to meet girls and possibly dance. Since the onus is on guys to approach and meet girls, the pressure on them is much greater. Since alcohol reduces inhibitions, it is the natural choice to boost a guy’s courage towards interactions with the fairer sex.

In a situation where the three major anxiety and fear inducing factors are taken away, say at an outdoor barbecue, a guy may still need a few drinks to muster up the courage to speak to a hot girl. Factor in an environment of increased anxiety and discomfort, and you amplify the need for alcohol, which is why binge drinking has become so commonplace at nightclubs now. I won’t even begin to touch on the influx of MDMA, and now cocaine, in recent years, but essentially, music alone doesn’t produce enough of an emotional high, so many people are now pushing it to the extreme with these drugs.

In addition to providing alcohol, nightclubs first lure in male clientele with the premise of meeting beautiful women there. Promotional photos seen on the nightclub’s website or Facebook page are all filtered: the bulk of them are of attractive girls at the club, with a few pictures of groups of guys having fun or guys posing with the girls there.

Higher profile nightclubs even hire attractive girls to simply go to the nightclubs to increase the quality of women there; these women are essentially plants in the crowd working to get guys there to purchase more drinks and drive drink sales by flirting with them. And it works wonders: no motivating factor sells more than sex does, but fear is a close second. Combine the two, and you have a potent combination, so it’s no wonder why the nightclub business is booming.

The reason why nightclubs are so successful is because of an economics principle I spoke of in an earlier article. The Pareto Principle (more commonly known as the 80/20 rule) is a tool that can be applied to a variety of large sample sizes. Essentially it boils down to this: 20% of x is responsible for 80% of y. For example, many businesses find that 20% of their customers are responsible for 80% of their business. Why do you think virtually every major retail or fast food company tries to push a loyalty program? They want to add you to their 20% of regular customers so that they maximize the amount of business they receive from you. This same principle can be applied to a nightclub, and more specifically, hookup culture.

Think of your group of friends extended. Let’s say you’re moderately popular at school and have about 50 people you consider friends, or at least drinking buddies. How many of them routinely hook up with girls? How many occasionally do? How many almost never do? If you happen to roll with a group of guys who are all tall, handsome, and confident, your results may be skewed. Now if you were to increase your sample size to a more statistically relevant level, say, your entire campus, you would actually find that 20% of the guys are responsible for 80% of the hookups. This means that the remaining 80% of guys on campus are left to scrap over 20% of the total hookups that will occur.

Quite a shocking revelation, but when you apply the math and put on your nightclub owner’s hat, it makes perfect sense. Eighty percent of your male clientele are likely lacking with their current sex lives, so 80% of the guys walking the streets at night are actively buying what you’re selling: a chance to hook up with an attractive girl. And due to the Pareto Principle, no amount of alcohol, cologne, or cheesy pick up lines is going to radically shift that, so the majority of the guys walking through your doors will also leave empty handed that night. Many will be bitter because of that, but sex is a powerful motivator, and most guys will be back next week to try again.