The Best Damn Pickup Guide Ever!

Tired of the same old lame pickup advice—and still going home with Rosy Palm night after night? These girl-approved tactics will change your luck.




Bartender Making Drink

It’s as good a place to start as any.

Poking some fun at her cocktail is a good way to show off your sense of humor and build up sexual tension.

The Approach

Take the long way to the john and do some recon—i.e.,figure out if she’s with a guy. Don’t make contact too soon (stalker!); just mosey on over when her drink is almost empty. Be confident, as if it would never occur to you that she wouldn’t want to talk to your fine self—smile, and make eye contact. Assurance is key, because if you act like you’re not sure she’ll want to talk to you, she’ll smell your fear. Order a drink, and cast an eye on what she’s sipping. Then drop a casual remark: “Is it true that girls who drink cosmos can’t hold their liquor?” “What are you doing drinking a green apple martini in July?” Whatever her answer, swing straight into, “Well, then, can I buy you another?”


Seal the Deal

Getting her a drink buys you five minutes of talk time. The key here’s to make her feel that you’re interested in getting to know her, not just whether her bed squeaks. This is where a lot of lesser men fail—they forget to ask follow-ups that indicate they’re listening. Remember: The conversation will go easier if you phrase your questions so they elicit more than a yes/no answer: “What’s your best drinking story?” If you find yourself in an awkward silence, don’t panic. Turn the deadly pause around with this advice from Susan RoAne, author of What Do I Say Next?: “You can hook a woman by telling her you’re not usually quiet, but you feel tongue-tied around her. It’s charming and self-effacing, and women respond to that.”

Wrap it up with a second drink offer. If she accepts, she’s signaling that the field is wide-open. Once you’ve got her sipping that second round, cut to the chase and ask for her digits.


Escape Hatch

Talking to her is as exciting as a Lifetime marathon? Pull the plug: “Now that you’re settled with that drink, will you excuse me? My buddies are waiting.”




Magic Trick

It worked on Claudia Schiffer..

Women like guys who know how to have fun—and being the center of attention endows you with irresistible charisma. Girls see others getting some of your lovin’ and want it for themselves. That’s why mastering bar tricks is the ultimate girl magnet. But don’t listen to us. “If a guy is having fun without me, it makes me want to be part of it,” says Sara, 25. “I’m more likely to hang around and want to talk to him.”


The Approach

“I once watched a guy entertain his buddies by levitating an olive and exploding a straw,” says Maria, a Philadelphia bartender. “Halfway through he was surrounded by girls who all wanted to figure out what he was doing. It was the most effective pickup technique I’ve ever seen, and he didn’t even get off his barstool.” (See below for how to.) Once you get a shtick going, pad the audience with buddies to cheer you on. Then look around for a babe. Turn to her and say, “Hey, you in the audience. If you can guess how I did this last trick, I’ll buy you a drink.” Chances are she can’t, so offer to show her and buy her a drink anyway.


Girl-Approved Bar Tricks

Levitate an Olive “…using only this brandy snifter.”
1. Upend the brandy snifter over the olive.
2. Grasp the stem, and rotate.
3. Keep it spinning and begin lifting the glass.
4. Dump the olive into her martini.

Explode a Straw “…with my finger. Here, wear these goggles.”
1. Pinch both ends of a plastic straw shut.
2. Twist from both ends, forcing air to center.
3. Keeping air in the center, show your new pal.
4. She flicks it hard and bang! You’re in.


Seal the Deal

After you explain the trick to her, try to shift the conversation away from the gimmick and toward her. (So you don’t come off as some David Blaine–ish freak.) The transition is easy: “So, enough tricks. Tell me about you.” Keep the conversation going by following up on whatever she tells you; it’ll make her think you’re paying attention. After a drink, take your leave. But invite her to see your next “show”: “We hit the bar crawl pretty regularly. Why don’t you give me your phone number and I’ll let you know what’s going on next weekend?” Keep your delivery ultracasual and you’ll score a sexy new assistant.


Escape Hatch

If you’re finding yourself more entertaining than you’re finding her, excuse yourself to the john. “And now, I’ll make myself disappear—nature calls.”




Tough Guy holding a Pool Stick

But do you have the balls?

Pool, darts, pinball, and other bar games are perfect crutches for guys who quake in the face of more proactive advances: They offer an alternative to blatant leering, and you can take out any rejection anger on the game. It’s also a statement of independence. “I’m most likely to notice guys who are having a great time not scoping out all the women in the bar,” says Kat, 29.


The Approach

Try “accidentally” bumping her with your pool cue. We’re talking about a gentle tap; don’t maim her. It’s a guaranteed opening, because you’ll need to apologize. Back up your bait with the intercept: “Oh, whoops, did that stick bump you? Sorry about that. Want to play a round and get me back?”


Seal the Deal

If she doesn’t want to play, insist she let you at least buy her a drink after your game. If she agrees to play, the game gives you a conversational focal point. Yeah, yeah, you need more. Try: “Who do you think would be a better pool player, Madonna or Christina Aguilera?” Sure, it’s random. She’s more likely to respond to a surprising question than a standard one. (“Come here often?”) When things come to a close, tell her, “We need a rematch. Can I get your number?” Sweet and simple.


Escape Hatch

If the chitchat is making you want to impale yourself on your pool stick, tell her you’ve got to sit out the next round and hit the bar for a drink.




Pub Fighting

Every girl craves a daddy figure.

Your target has been cornered by a creepy guy who won’t stop staring at her boobs. (“Hey, lady, they started it.”) Help her get away from him and you’ll have a bond from the start. “If a guy helps me ditch a jerk, I’m grateful,” says Meg, 21. “It tells me he pays attention and will be protective.”

The Approach

First, assess the situation to figure out whether the babe really needs rescuing. Check her body language: If she’s angled away from him and sending imploring looks toward her friends, she’d rather be elsewhere—proceed. If they’re sharing a shirt, hold back—he may be her Siamese twin. Once you’ve established that she’s cornered, your next goal is to weasel your way between them. Spill a drink on yourself and ask for a napkin. Or tell her she looks familiar. Yeah, she’ll know it’s bullshit, but it’s allowable because she’ll be grateful for the diversion.


Seal the Deal

Assuming she has any sese, she’ll most likely invite you to sit down and turn her attention to you, and the two of you can edge out the horny bastard who was there first. Offer to buy her a drink. She’ll see your gestures as chivalry, not as the come-ons they are. Play up your protector vibe by telling her, “I always feel like I need to rescue people. My ex”—oh, look, now she knows you’re single—“used to tell me how she hated when her friends left her alone talking to some loser all night.” You’ve identified yourself as girl-friendly, so back it up with a joke—this one shows you can say “wedding” without cringing: A cop stops a motorist for speeding. “But, officer,” the man says, “I can explain.”

“Just be quiet,” snaps the officer. “I’m going to let you cool your heels in jail until the chief gets back.”

“But, officer, I just wanted to say—”

“Keep quiet! You’re going to jail!”

A few hours later, the officer looks in on the man in his cell and says, “It’s lucky for you that the chief is at his daughter’s wedding. He’ll be in a good mood when he gets back.”

“Don’t count on it,” answers the man in the cell. “I’m the groom.”

When it’s time to take your leave, say adios: “I’d love to help you out again sometime…maybe over dinner?”


Escape Hatch

If she’s more trouble than she’s worth, your line is, “Glad I could help. Better get back to my friends now.” On to your next conquest.




Lady Sitting on Toilet Bowl

Literally. We mean it.

You’ll need to head for the bathroom sooner or later when you’re drinking, and, statistically speaking, you’re going to find a lot more women waiting in line than men—a captive audience. Plus, she’s already getting ready to take her pants down; you should be there when it happens. “I once talked to this guy in line,” says Laura, 29. “He entertained me the whole time we were waiting, asking silly questions and joking with me. We eventually left together.”


The Approach

Bond en route to the bowl. The first thing to remember is you’ve got a max of five minutes to make enough of an impression that she’ll want to talk to you away from the line. Lucky for you, women are more receptive when they’re alone and bored, and there’s a sense of camaraderie when you’re both stuck waiting to whiz. Take advantage of it. Claim you saw the girl ahead of her go in with a copy of War and Peace. Jokingly threaten to help her out by busting in to see what’s taking so long.


Seal the Deal

Next, escalate the banter. Exchange tips about other bathrooms you have known. Advise her to avoid the filthy stall next door. Ask if she’s thinking about hanging out at the bar all night, because if you’re stuck in line again, you’d enjoy the company.

When you’ve exhausted the potty talk—which will take all of 60 seconds—keep her entertained by asking funny questions. Find out what she drinks, where she likes to hang out—other than the bathroom line, of course. Entertainment is in short supply when you’re waiting to take a leak, so humor will take you far. When the bathroom is finally vacant, if you’re in front of her in line, offer to let her go first, proving you’re a gentleman. If she’s first, stick around till she comes out and say: “You made the wait way better. Want to meet up at the bar for a drink? Just give me a few minutes…”

Escape Hatch

Looking to, well, dump her? Say, “I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be in there a long time, if you know what I’m saying. Chili rocks!”



Body language expert Jan Hargrave helps you read a girl’s come-hither clues.

Get Closer

If a girl turns her body toward you or crosses her legs in your direction, it’s a sign she’s drawn to you. If she angles her body away, keep moving—nothing to see here, folks.

Take a Hike

If she can’t keep eye contact or is constantly shifting, back away. She’s signaling that she’s uncomfortable…or that she has crabs. Either way, cut your losses.

You’re In

If she’s talking too fast, dribbles her cosmo, or plays with a napkin, she’s nervous…but digs you. (Or is terrified—did you forget to take off the brass knuckles?)

Touch Me

If she touches her lips, subconsciously she wants to touch your lips. Here’s your chance to “accidentally” brush her arm and subtly move into her personal space.

Take Me Home

When a girl slowly kicks her leg back and forth, it’s a cue she’s getting into seduction mode. Groping is also a pretty good indication. Check, please!
—Jaclyn Gleisinger

Fine Detailing

Before you go out, be sure to suit up properly—the ladies are watching your every stitch.

Baseball hat

“A baseball cap says frat boy or jock,” says Mary, 24. “That could mean he’s chill or that he’s stuck in frat rock mode—not boyfriend material.”

Bad haircut

“This guy’s a cheapskate,” says Luann, 28. “I mean, how much does a guy’s haircut cost, anyway? Can’t he just splurge the seven bucks for the trim?”

Old piercing

“An earring hole without earring says the guy was once kind of a rebel but now he’s more straight-laced and professional,” says Devon, 29.

5:00 shadow

“Facial hair growth looks sexy,” explains Jane, 28. “It makes a girl think about making out with him—and whether or not the hair will scratch.”


“It sounds cliché, but buttoned-up shirt equals stuffy guy,” says Elle, 25. “He’s not confident enough, and that often means wishy-washy sex.”


“A watch makes you look more responsible and thus more attractive to women,” says Ilise, 27. “But it could also mean you’re completely anal.”

Cell phone clip

“The cell phone clip is up there with the pocket protector,” Jen, 27, explains. “Makes me think this guy would rather fiddle with his laptop than fiddle with me.”

Pleated pants

“Pleated pants are the Members Only jackets of the millennium,” says Karen, 27. “So in other words, get a fashion clue and go for flat-front pants or cool jeans.”

White socks

“White socks? He’s cute but clearly clueless,” says Hillary, 24. “Sure, the tube socks look horrendous, but a girl knows that’s easy enough to change.”

Retro sneakers

“He’s either a true hipster (poor) or a rich dude trying to look like a hipster (poser),” says Wanda, 26. “Either way, I’d rather be hit on by a guy in nice shoes.”


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