I’m a huge eavesdropper. I listen in on a lot of things, but one of my favorites is girls talking amongst themselves when they think no one else is listening. Over the years I’ve culled countless hilarious gems from their conversations.

Not long ago, I was on some public transportation and noticed that a girl was talking on her iPhone. She was, give or take, a 7 on the 1-to-10. From the tone and cadence of her voice, it was clear that she was talking to a female friend. I was only getting half of the conversation, but it was pretty easy to fill in the gaps. The overall theme was that our girl was discouraging her friend from going out with some guy she had declared “kind of lame.”

It was obvious there was an asymmetry of opinion. At a certain point, she raised her voice and said:

Look, I don’t think it’s a good idea to be going out with these randos anyway. This is part of the reason I haven’t been dating lately.

I was (visibly) shaking my head, though no one else seemed to notice the statement, or think anything of it if they had. Just as I was feeling bad for the poor, unsuspecting sausage who was having his well poisoned by this mean-spirited, cockblocking friend, the coup de grace dropped. Our girl told her friend that she was getting another call.

By now, I was standing close enough that I could see her iPhone screen. As she looked down, I read:

Matthew (OKCupid)

She ignored it, and went back to her friend, without missing a single step. I looked around to find the hidden camera, certain that I was on some sort of prank show. My stop was next, and I gathered my stuff, recalling something that I learned when I first “swallowed the red pill.”

When you stop and think about it, it’s amazing any man gets laid. At every single turn, there’s something trying to stop your penis from penetrating a vagina. Often, those are things you can see. The fat friend, the crabs-in-a-bucket male opportunist, the bartender, the bouncer, the white-knight interventionist, the hovering roommate. Even your own friends—especially if they’re unsuccessful, beta types—are often working against you, either out of jealousy or simple ignorance.

If life is a video game, trying to get laid is that same game set on the highest difficulty. Enemies coming from every direction, things moving super-fast, and ultra-resilient bosses.

But, on top of all that, there’s also a whole set of invisible forces you rarely think about. Her mom and dad don’t want you banging their daughter. There are entire websites devoted to discouraging men from talking to women on the street. Workplaces and schools routinely set “rules” (not laws) preventing consenting, legal-age adults affiliated with them from having romantic engagements. Other women—who don’t even know your target—don’t want a complete stranger going home with another complete stranger. “Are you okay?” “Do you want me to call you a cab?” “Where are your friends?” The list goes on.

And, as we see here, a girl’s friends are tirelessly working behind-the-scenes, while they’re off-the-clock, to prevent the bang. I don’t know if the girl on the train had ever met this guy before, but she seemed intent on them not connecting. She likely succeeded.

Then, I see people trying to shame guys for approaching and working on multiple girls, or for honing up their game to help them even the playing field.

But never let anyone make you feel guilty for doing what you have to do—within the bounds the law, of course—to get laid. The forces against you are more numerous, powerful, and tenacious than you, one man, realizes and can take on unaided.

Read More: “You Didn’t Have To Make Things Awkward”