The Art of Picking Up

A Common Sense Guide for Heterosexual Males

Written by Sky

As an interested observer and sometimes subject of the mating/dating game between males and females, it is clear that the bar/club scene is a common way to meet men/women. Not that the bar/club scene is the best venue for this, necessarily, but it happens. Though I've never been involved in a relationship with a stranger I met in a bar, the eternal optimist in me truly believes that sometimes it does work out. The guys I know often complain that girls are mean to them and these guys don't like dealing with repeated rejection. But how are these guys approaching girls? If you approach a girl properly, and don't get her number, you should at least get a respectful rejection or even make a friend. However, from my experience, guys are not getting the response they want because they are going about it all wrong. I do feel that the heterosexual males of the world (or at least Toronto) need some advice on how to go about "picking up.?

Now when I say "picking up,? I am not referring to trying to obtain a one-night stand. If you want that, you should let he know that that's all you're looking for (and be prepared to get slapped/punched in the face a couple times before finding a taker). When I refer to picking up, I'm merely referring to "obtaining/giving contact information from/to a person of the opposite sex for the purposes of dating, where dating may or may not lead to a relationship." Before I begin, I'd like to apologize to all the homosexuals reading this for my repeated hetero references, but I really am only familiar with the heterosexual dating game. Please take what you can from my guide, and I'm sure others would invite your insight into the homosexual dating/mating game.

  1. Do not leer. Now while this seems blatantly obvious to anyone with at least one brain cell, some people really need to be told. Do not stare so hard at your "target" that you burn a hole through her. If you stare hard for a prolonged period of time she's only going to think you remind her of that guy on the subway that no one wants to sit beside. Oh yeah, and she'll run away... just like she did from the guy on the subway.
  2. Do not get drunk if you're trying to meet women. I for one, rarely drink if I'm going to clubs. I can promise all of you, that a drunk guy--regardless how hot or amazing--has zero chance with me if he is drunk, drooling, or slurring his words. Having one or two drinks to loosen up is fine, but women want to know that when you talk to us, you're not looking at them through beer goggles. Also, guys tend to go after anyone at the end of the night when they drunk and realize they've spent the whole night checking everyone out, without having the nerve to approach anyone. Women don't like being your "last-ditch effort" as it makes us feel less than special. The only way you're going to succeed (if you are in fact drunk) is if your target is drunker than you. Furthermore, if you take a shot at someone early in the night, and it doesn't work out, you might make a new friend even if you don't get contact info (it's rare, but it can happen). The key is confidence (not over-confidence), and if you try earlier in the night you automatically get brownie points for confidence.
  3. Dancing with someone without asking, or rubbing her, or grabbing her behind, arm, thigh, etc. is not a pick-up line. C'mon guys, success only comes with respect. While some guys may enjoy having their behind grabbed without having been asked, most women don't appreciate it. Nor do we appreciate you shimmying up to us from behind. If you want to dance with us, ask us. If we say no thank you, smile and walk away. If we say yes, keep your hands in appropriate places (waist, shoulders, or back is fine), without rubbing us suggestively. Keep at least a few centimetres of space between you and her, as you might make her feel uncomfortable if you're too close. And PLEASE don't assume that because she's dancing with you that she's interested. I'm sure you'll agree that sometimes a dance is just a dance.
  4. Do not talk about how gorgeous and out of your league your target is while standing so close that she "accidentally" overhears you. There are a couple reasons for this. Firstly, girls don't like guys who lack confidence. To clarify, as much as women don't want to admit it, we like penises. So, why chop yours off in front of her before you even get to know her? Secondly, you look like you're in high school. (My apologies to those currently IN high school... but what the heck are you doing in the bars/clubs? No one wants you there!) Remember the days when it was okay to tell your best friend to tell that really hot girl that you liked her? Notice that those days are GONE? Having her overhear you is a lot like having your best friend or wingman tell her you like her--way uncool. Which brings me to #5...
  5. Do not have your wingman near you when you approach her. We know it's hard to approach someone, especially if you find that person horribly attractive and out of your league, but you really have to do this on your own. It's scary, we know, but you do get points for having the nerve to do it on your own. You're not going to bring the wingman on your first date (unless you're a loser), so you have to learn to talk to the girl one on one ASAP. Remember, confidence is good and insecurity is not so good. But if her friends are constantly trying to get in between you and her, chances she wants them too. Take the hint!
  6. Talk to her with the same respect as you would expect someone to talk to your mother or your sister. What would you do if someone looked your sister up and down and said: "damn that's a fine ass!"? Clearly, you'd make him regret the day he was born and probably train your sister to be the next Ali so she can whip future losers into shape. So why would you talk to someone else's sister that way? And remember, a lot of women wear those pointy-toed shoes these days... you don't want to get kicked in the family jewels by a pair of those.
  7. Talk to the face, not to the chest. Now I know most women (myself included) can be sneaky bastards and wear low-cut tops with push-up bra. And, I know you can't help but look, but please check us out when we're not looking! We know you're going to do it--in fact we expect and want it--but when you talk to us or attempt to make eye contact, please remember that the eyes are above the neck! (Yes, I know it makes no sense that we both want and don't want you to check out our breasts, but you've probably learned by now that women make no sense sometimes. It's just the way it is.) And, NEVER look her up and down WHILE talking to her! Attractive women are often thought of as being dumb purely because we are good-looking (heck yeah I said "we"). Talk to us and let us know you're interested in our minds... at least some attractive women's minds are worth knowing.
  8. Do not try to sell yourself by telling us about how rich you are or about your high-powered job. Frankly, no one but your parents and gold-diggers give a shit. This only makes you look like your money/job is the ONLY thing you have going for you, if it's one of the first things you bring up. (Yes, I realize that you most definitely have other good qualities, but you should present them first--not your money.) Talking about your money makes you look like you're stuck up, trying to prove something, an asshole, and a loser. Intelligent women don't give a hoot how much money you have, and chances are they are independent and don't need your money anyway. And, keep in mind that if the girl gets turned on by how much money you have, she's going to milk you for whatever she can get.

    As a side note, I once had a guy try to pick me up by telling me how much money he had, how he was a trader on Bay Street, had an awesome condo, and a hot car. I told him I didn't care, and that he should tell me something about himself that I DID care about. He was so stumped he didn't know what to say. This was obvious, as his response was: "shit, I really wasn't expecting you to be smart too. C'mon, how many times do you see a hot girl and expect her to be smart too?" Which ties into the next rule...

  9. Do not assume that because a girl is hot, that she's also dumb. I know there is an alarmingly high statistic of good-looking women (and men) who are dumb as a post, but there really are a lot of smart, hot people. Assuming she's dumb will only make you look even dumber if you're wrong (and make her angry if you're right)
  10. The funny guy always wins. Don't give us a line unless you're deliberately trying to make us laugh. If you make yourself look a little silly (all in good fun), it's actually charming. Women always like guys who make them laugh, and who can also take a joke. Besides, if you make a bit of a fool of yourself, we feel less self-conscious and more open. Taking yourself too seriously and trying to be cool or a sexy stud is NEVER charming! (Unless you are a sexy stud, in which case you really shouldn't have to try so hard.)
  11. Shower before going out, do a breath check, and a nothing-hanging-from-nose check. 'Nuff said.
  12. Don't overdo your appearance. If you look like you spent more time getting ready than your target did by making each spike of your hair exactly perfect so it doesn't look perfect... well we don't care. (However, if it makes YOU feel better about YOURSELF, go nuts.) You should not be spending more time getting ready that your target. Women like guys that aren't too pretty, because we're afraid to mess you up. If we think we're going to wrinkle that super expensive shirt by hugging you, we're not going to hug you. If we think we're going to impale ourselves by running our fingers through your hair, we're not going to run our fingers through your hair. Get it? Guys say they like women who are natural and don't wear a lot of makeup. This is a parallel concept.
  13. Wear nice shoes, that preferably match your outfit. Now I know this is superficial, but we do notice your shoes. If you're wearing nice pants with a pair of crummy running shoes, we'll notice. Then we'll spend more time wondering why you did that and what it says about your personality, than actually listening to what you have to say. You don't have to wear super-fancy or expensive shoes, but make sure they are clean and nice-looking. Don't detract from your charming qualities with such a little, yet noticeable, detail.
  14. Be YOURSELF!! Please, if you listen to nothing else, please listen to this one. Don't take yourself seriously. We hate that. If you try to be sexy, you'll fail. Sexiness is something that comes from being comfortable with who you are (even if you are someone who likes to wear nice pants with crummy running shoes), and is different from person to person. Wear something you feel comfortable in, because it will make you feel more comfortable (but still remember the shoes). Don't wear that t-shirt you hate just because your friend's say it looks good. She's going to have to see the real you eventually. Besides, you never know what someone is going to find attractive about you, and you never will unless you be yourself.
  15. Finally, learn to accept rejection gracefully. If you followed all of my above rules, you will either have success, or at least a nice, respectful rejection. (My sincerest apologies to all those that didn't get that, but I really have not control over the rest of the female race. If you do follow the rules above and she's still mean to you, she's obviously not worth salt and I personally think you're a great guy). The really nice girls are the ones that will help you along once you break the ice. If they're not helping you out with conversation, either they are too shy for you or they aren't interested. Move on, it's not your job to make her come out of her shell - it's hers.

I really hope that this helps all guys who have had unsuccessful pick-up attempts. Feel free to disagree with me and call me a demanding feminazi, but the above represents what works and doesn't work on me. And, I know I've blatantly ignored the fact that girls should get off their butts and pick up guys too, so I invite all you guys to tell us what we ladies should and shouldn't do/say (but if you tell me to wear a low cut top and bend over, it's just not going to happen).

Finally, to all guys who don't approach girls...don't be scared! If you're nice, we'll be nice. But, if you're rude and disrespectful, we'll respond in kind. To all women who are mean to the guys who make a good effort... please get surgery to remove the large object shoved up your arse! And, to all who made a really good attempt, regardless of the outcome, my hat is off to you.

May the force be with you.