The Lusty Vegan: How Not to Pick up Strangers in Bars

This is a reroute from my Lusty Vegan column over on www.ieatgrass.com.

For the love of fuck, don't wear this shirt!!

For the love of fuck, don’t wear this shirt!!

When you’re “young,” and you live in a city, it’s sort of expected that you spend a decent amount of your evenings in bars. Being a wall flower by nature, much of my bar time is spent people watching, and because most of the people in bars are trying to get laid, I spend a lot of weekends watching people trying to get laid.

I need to preface this with a few facts you should keep in mind while reading. The first is that I live in a completely brogasmic city, littered with men who work in finance and have well groomed facial hair. Most of them make good money for their age bracket, have nice apartments or places by the shore, and swollen pectoral muscles. I hate to stereotype (no I don’t), but this is what the majority of the men in my city are like.

Tons of women like these types of men. I’m not one of those women. So when I critique these bar pick-up scenarios, it’s important to note that maybe these moves work on some women—they must, right? I suppose they work on the ones who swoon over a well tanned bicep and strategically manicured chin strap.

Chin strap

You also need to keep in mind that most of these efforts in seduction were not aimed at me. This isn’t a humble brag. I’m no man magnet, and I’m certainly not the type of girl these guys normally go for. I spend most of my bar nights dancing erratically, like one of my feet is shorter than the other, and interjecting the bar banter with ill-timed sarcasm that I then have to repeat four times because the bar is bumpin’ that obnoxious Nicki Minaj song about spaceships.

Sorry for the hopelessly long preface, but what can I say? Foreplay is my thing. Here are some really trashy pick-up techniques that I have seen fail hard.

The anti-compliment. Call me crazy, but “you have the nicest tits I’ve seen all evening” is not a compliment. I know that it’s hard to compliment a girl’s physical appearance without seeming cheesy (“has anyone ever told you how beautiful your eyes are?), or comment on their outfit without seeming super metrosexual (“hot shoes”) but go for something organic. And if you’re so drunk that the only organic thing you can think of is “nice tits” then you should probably just keep to yourself.

The pussyfoot introduction. While sitting with my room-mate at a bar a while back, two attractive girls came up to us and explained that, “not to be awkward,” but their two guy friends over there think we’re very pretty and want to come talk to us. They then pointed to some manchildren in the corner. I don’t care if you’re a Chris Hemsworth doppelganger. If you aren’t confident enough to approach a girl yourself, she probably won’t want to go home with you. If any of my guy friends asked me to lay the groundwork for them, I would probably begin to doubt the existence of their genitalia. Also seen this happen when one guy (usually the dude with the gf) comes over to talk to a girl for a few minutes, gets her smiling, and then introduces her to his buddy and slowly backs out of the conversation.

The stingy. Out once, I happened to be waiting by the bathroom listening to the conversation of a pair of bros next to me. They were scoping out some girls at the bar and—I wish I was joking—making a plan to go talk to them AFTER they had bought their own drinks. They watched the girls approach the bar, order their drinks, and then made a beeline for them as soon as the full vodka tonics were acquired. I was so horrified at the stinginess of the entire situation that I stink-eyed them for the next twenty minutes. Seriously—ladies, this is for you too—if you see someone you’re interested in, offer to buy them a drink! It’s an ice breaker, it’s genuine, and it says “I like how you’re put together” without you actually having to say that gloriously awkward statement.

To further my rant, ladies, please try and pick up men at bars! My room-mate is quite skilled at it—a total tigress. It’s fantastically intimidating.

Regardless of who you’re picking up–man, woman, a mix of the two–do it by being sincere, starting a stimulating conversation. And for crying out loud—offer to buy them a drink!

Okay now tell me some bar fails. Go! Or tell me your crazy stranger seducing bar skills!

About the author  ⁄ Zoe

Zoe writes about food and sex on SexyTofu.com.

6 Comments

  • Reply
    December 20, 2012

    Bros are the equivalent of the overly drunken girl with her make-up running. She’ll walk up and slur out a, hey, while counting the buttons on your shirt. Her breath smells like puke and redbull.

    It is VERY rare that I buy a girl a drink. There are an incredible amount of girls that go to bars to flirt and drink for free and then leave and only pay cab fare. I’ll buy a drink after the connection, not as an ice breaker. Clever or entertaining open ended questions are much better anyway.

    I like your work regardless.

  • Reply
    December 20, 2012

    Great post, nice to see that things aren’t so different from London

  • Reply
    December 20, 2012

    I had a guy come up to me and tell me I had the most beautiful eyes he has ever seen and I was like okay thanks and walked away and he came at me yelling that I was ungrateful and yelling at me about being too good for him. I naturally swatted him across the face, first and only time this has ever happened. I later ended up meeting him through friends and we have been friends for years but still, most aggressive and un-welcomed hit on ever.

    • Reply
      December 21, 2012

      Ha! I was out with a girlfriend one night, we were at a pretty deserted bar seated at a table catching up, not prowling at all. Mid convo, some wasted dude busts in and says I LIKE YOUR HAIR and then proceeds to run his fingers thru my friend’s hair. She turns and deadpans him with: “thanks, I work at a wig factory. ” I nearly pissed myself.

  • Reply
    December 20, 2012

    I like your quirky perspective but buying a girl a drink as an icebreaker will lead to one or 2 things. Her taking the drink and making some excuse that she has to go with her friends or her taking the drink and walking off.

    That’s my experience and I only let it happen once, but I still love your work though.

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