Most guys think that nightclubs are a great place for action, yet they don’t seem to have much luck. Even though bars and nightclubs are ground zero for pick-up artists, being successful at it is not always as easy as it seems.
So, rather than have you waste your time figuring out the situation’s basic principles yourself, I, as always, am happy to pass along the wisdom of my many nights working the scene for digits or takeout.
1- Pick the best real estate in the nightclub
Remember the three fundamentals of business: location, location, location? How many times have you seen hot women in a bar from afar, but were stuck at a table with your friends? You want to be mobile and ready to nonchalantly get near a woman who interests you. You want a spot with good visibility and high traffic, so as to be able to interact with more people than if you’re holed up in a booth in the corner. In the pickup game, it’s also good to have an excuse for being where you are — in line for drinks at the bar, or for the restroom — so as not to look like a stalker. Consider yourself in the picking up business, and adjust your location to take advantage of traffic patterns and sight lines accordingly.
2- Befriend the bartender/barmaid
Buy him or her a shot at the beginning of the night to get on his or her good side. This will help you get faster service when you want to buy a woman a drink, or just want to order for her to be chivalrous. Being connected, especially at a hot club, also makes you look like a big shot, which can only help your chances. And who knows, you may just wind up picking up the barmaid.
3- Forget the canned icebreakers
Pickup lines are lame. Women consistently rank honesty and a sense of humor very highly as desirable qualities in a man. A pickup line seems too premeditated, which makes it seem dishonest, and to women, dishonesty is threatening, not funny.
The only thing you can do to break the ice is react to or comment on the current situation, preferably in a humorous way. Humor is your fastest route in. Being in line, as explained above, is one obvious context to comment upon to someone near you — “I think I might have to cancel my retirement if this line doesn’t move along” kind of thing.
Otherwise, ask her to resolve a question you and your friend were wondering — or decided to wonder for icebreaking purposes. For example, you could ask if, in her opinion, the person across the room is committing a fashion crime with his/her getup, which naturally leads to an opening compliment on your target’s fashion sense, ostensibly the reason you want to know her opinion. There are millions of possibilities when you’ve got spontaneity, confidence and humor in your corner.
4- Don’t go at it alone
Three is a good number. More if you can. Use a wingman, and a Kamikaze Pilot to put out fires, if you can. You can also use a wingwoman, which can really help, given that having attractive female friends makes you look appealing to women in general. If your wingwoman is drop-dead gorgeous, that could be intimidating to women, but not if you explain that she’s a friend. The fact that you’ve got such a hot friend you can restrain yourself around (say something like, “I just know we work better as friends. I don’t need to go there with her.”) reflects well on you.
5- Meet all her friends
If she’s with a group of friends, don’t simply pick her up and ignore her friends. Introduce yourself to the group. As you will likely not talk to many of them very long, first impressions really count here. Make a joke about whether there will be a name test later on, or in a noisy club, if a woman introduces herself as Sandra, lean in and say, “Sorry, Bernice, was it?” This joke underscores the idea that it’s too loud to actually talk to anyone who isn’t beside you. You’ve thereby charmed your target’s friends while also earning the right to talk only to her.
If you’re with your buddies, introduce them to the women also. Let both groups mingle, rather than simply picking up one of the girls.
6- Ask her to buy you a drink
Be original and ask her to offer you a drink, for a change. This demonstrates confidence and creativity. Being a little cocky and unconventional — while still suave, interesting and interested, of course — works. Otherwise, you could be just any generic guy with this year’s “in” shirt and hairstyle, trying to pick her up.
7- Dance your way in
If she’s on the dance floor, put yourself in her line of sight. Get in her vicinity, then into her dancing area naturally. At first, be sure to respect her personal space. Once you’ve gotten and held her eye contact for a bit, extend a hand to her as an offer to dance with you.
Eventually you can take up regular arm-in-arm dancing positions, but make the dancing itself the pickup move. Don’t use the closeness as an excuse to grope or start a full-on conversation. Hold your cards closer to your chest and save the intimate touching for later, once you’ve closed the deal. Then it’s not groping; it’s foreplay.
8- Don’t pick up another man’s woman
Don’t cut another man’s grass. If a woman is there with a man, and she seems to be flirting with you, let her make the first step to you. Don’t move in while he’s gone to the bathroom, for example, as this can create very awkward situations. Do unto others, you know?
But even then, be careful. If a guy’s got a flirtatious girlfriend, let him work it out with her, not with your jaw, which will definitely set back both your ability and desire to pick up. There are plenty of fish in the sea, especially since, as a player, you’re not looking for “the one.”
9- Deal with a c*ck block
If another man moves into your territory and puts a move on the woman you’re working on, react swiftly. Don’t give him any importance and go about your business. Let your friends help you block him from the group.
Alternately, if you can clearly tell she finds him annoying, look in her eyes and tell her you’ll be right back. This shows you’re confident in the impression you’ve made on her and gives her the time to be fully annoyed by the other guy while also eagerly anticipating your return. That anticipation is building you up as much as hanging out with her ever could. Plus, you get the chance to save her from an uncomfortable situation.
10- Deal with bad company
This could be one of many women: an ex-girlfriend, the unattractive girl who’s infatuated with you, the overly chatty friend of a friend, etc. If she’s cramping your style while you’re trying to work the crowd, deal with it pronto.
You could feign interest in your conversation with her, call someone else into it for their opinion, then excuse yourself. This is clear enough without being straight-out rude. You could also use this boring time with her to figure out your icebreaker with someone you’ve spotted across the room, then tell her you just saw someone you’ve been meaning to talk to. At that point, you’re ready to go straight up to the other woman and give it a go, which means you haven’t even lied to Annoying Girl.
The possibilities are endless, but the point is, don’t be too nice and waste your time talking to a no-go — and be seen talking to her by other women you might want to work, who will then think you a) are interested in the dud, and therefore b) have bad taste.