Game: What It Is and How To Get It

Yesterday afternoon, Meg and I were both sharing horror stories from our formative years. Specifically how we were both not even remotely cool, nor did we have very many friends. Luckily, neither of us is Josie Grossy anymore. (This movie has been on E! at least once a day recently, and I’ve watched it about ten times in the past week.) Our awkward middle school selves have matured into awkwardly charming 20-somethings who no longer pee our OshKosh B’Gosh overalls in social situations (but the larger issue at hand being that we are still wearing OshKosh).

So regardless of how much of an asshole I may come off as sometimes, I am fairly competent at making friends. But when it comes to taking friendships further, that is a horse of a different color.

Seriously, I just do not understand the fundamentals of flirting. If you asked me how to get from point A to point B, where point A is a bar and point B is someone’s bedroom, my best guess would sound like a MacGuyver plot, involving a shoestring, tin cans, and bubblegum. And then I would realize I was building a contraption to open a wall safe instead of someone’s fly.

Prior to recently (read: in college, when everyone was perpetually wasted so game never mattered), my strategy was just to be as forward as possible without being completely crass. After 5-6 Busch Lights, I would just outright tell someone that I wanted to make out with them. Plain and simple and to the point. I found that it worked, as people assumed that my tactic was to act like I had no game, and that was somehow endearing. I do, however, realize that this only worked when you say it to someone’s face and not via text message. Because no one wants to put forth the effort for awkward sexual advances. This strategy gets eclipsed, at times, when 5-6 beers turns into 10-11 and you start making out with anyone and everyone. Guys, girls, dogs, a ficus, a buffalo chicken wrap, you name it.

Part of my problem is that I am never quite sure where being friendly ends and being flirtatious begins. True story: my reviriginization ended when I was out at a bar, chatting with my (now) boyfriend, and he says “Ah, it’s kinda late, and I don’t want to have to catch a train, do you mind if I stay at your place?” And literally verbatim, I said “Sure! No problem! I’ve got a futon!” And it wasn’t until we got back to my apartment that I realized he wasn’t sleeping on the futon. Ignorance is bliss, as they say.

But that’s the thing with having game is that you are never supposed to actually make your intentions clear. That’s why pickup lines hardly ever work. (Sidebar: if they has worked for you/on you, I’d love to know). Because a line like “Is there a mirror in your pants? Because I can see myself in them,” clearly states “I would like to have sexual intercourse with you. Please reply.” If someone were to use a tried and true line on me, I would more than likely still sleep with them, simply because that’s such a ballsy way to hit on someone. Of course, first I’d ridicule them for having nothing more original to say than “If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together.” But I find that ridicule is a great way to make it to date #2.

Frankly, I would prefer someone use a line than take the “Silent Bob” strategy of announcing one’s intention. Everyone is familiar with these people at bars or clubs (and if you’re not familiar, then you are that person). These are, usually guys, who don’t say anything to the guy/girl they are interested in. Instead, they use a crowded location as an excuse to unabashedly grope someone. As if your latest gropee is going to turn around and start making out with you, because molestation is so hot right now. Usually, but not always, this is proceeded by intensely staring someone down. You know how mimes are vaguely creepy because they don’t ever say anything? Why do you think not speaking is going to land you a hot hottie? I would be more interested if you pretended to be trapped in a box. But even then, I still wouldn’t sleep with you.

So what’s a guy or girl to do? What do you do outside of college to meet that special someone? Being completely liquored up stops being a socially acceptable method of introduction unless you are on a company retreat or a VH1 dating show. And it certainly does nothing to help you remember anyone’s name if you end up next to them in the morning. There’s got to be hope out there somewhere. So I turn to you fine people, because nothing gives me hope more than our readers. What works for you in the flirtation department? Have you been seduced by a Silent Bob? Have you used a pickup line successfully? How do you bridge the gap between friends and friends with benefits?


Wiggs (The Beholder) said...

See, moving from friends to friends with benefits is a different story than landing a random hookup at a bar. In my experience, the transition to friends with benefits usually goes something like this: "I feel like there's tension between us...sexual tension." "But...I don't wanna ruin our friendship!" "This won't ruin it...it'll make it better." [cue slurpy make-out sounds as the camera zooms in on a lit candle flickering on the bedside table]

When it comes to random flirting, I met my husband in college so (thank GOD) I never had to do it in the real world. In college my M.O. was to ride the awkward pauses in the conversations with my targets and eventually put the old suck-face on 'em. It's easy. You just wait until the target stops talking and then instead of responding, you stare at him/her until he/she can't help but ravage you then and there. OR you could do what my husband did when we first hooked up: "Do you want to brush your teeth with me?" It was awesome.

Jennifer said...

I was in a bar in NYC and made eye contact with this hot guy from across the bar. I saw he was with a woman, so I put him in my "All the Good Ones Are Taken" file. Later he came up to me and said, "My friend over there thinks you're cute and wants to know if you'd like to meet him." Then he proceeded to ask me normal questions like, how's your night going, where are you from, etc. It took me a minute, but I realized that his 'friend' was not even remotely paying attention to me. So I said, "Wow, your friend is really not giving me the vibe right now" (or something equally awkward/lame). Then he finally said, "OK, I lied. It was me. I saw you across the bar, and you smiled at me, and I just really wanted to come talk to you."

This is all to say, that was the best pickup experience of my life. The part about the friend was shy/cute, but the clincher was when he just flat out said, I saw you, I liked what I saw, so I came over to say hello. Why is it so hard for guys to do that??? There is no need for the groping, slurring, dirty pickup lines. Just tell it like it is people!

Athena Marie said...

I feel the same way. I am in a relationship with someone and I have said, numerous time, "boy I'm glad I don't have to date in DC." I'm awful at trying to read someone's signals.

However, when i was single most of the men I dated were all friends of a friend.

I wish everyone luck that is dating right now b/c I just don't know how it's done.

Stephanie said...

I have to say, the straight-up approach really does work. Plus it sets an awesome precedent for just STATING THE TRUTH instead of hedging the issue or worse yet, "sending signals". That kind of mess will follow your flirtation right into the relationship and you'll be left feeling like you're in a polyamorous relationship with a 3rd party named Miss Communication.

The night my fiancé and I met, we hit it off insanely well in initial small-talk/conversation, and he took it to the next level by turning to me and saying oh so casually, "So I think we should make out sometime." Which left me sputtering for a reply, laughing over his audacity, and majorly turned on by him admitting that he wanted to.

Lynette said...

the movie references were great.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

To anyone who says that romance is dead, I simply point you to Wiggs', "...ride the awkward pauses in the conversations with my targets and eventually put the old suck-face on 'em."

Romance is alive and kickin'.

Leigh said...

After meeting many possible boyfriends out at night and never hearing from them again, I finally told the next guy that if he did not call me by 4pm the next day to not even bother calling at all... and IT WORKED! :). Long story short he is now my current boyfriend and my hostile pick up approach accomplished many things:

1. It was established early that I am a bit demanding
2. I took away the "should I call and when" factor that unfortunately many people can't seem to get over.
3. Above everything else, I was spared a random text conversation the next day because after meeting some one and getting that "hey remember me" text the next day is a deal breaker because no one wants to have sex with the random texter.

Go out there and start passing out ultimatums:)

Christine said...

Chris, I feel your pain.

I met the "cop" that I've been banging since Easter weekend at the Harp one night. His friend STEPPED ON ME as a pick-up line, and I obviously wasn't feeling it. Later that night, I realized that the non-stepper was cute, I walked straight up to him, and this is the convo that followed:

Me: Your friend stepped on me.
Him: So...do you want me to apologize?
Me: No, I just thought you should know that you're way more attractive than he is.
Him: Oh. So...where do you live?
Me: Down the street. What do you do?
Him: I'm a cop.

And then we left the bar and the love affair between our sexy parts began...

A month later I learned that he was not in fact a cop and that he had lied about his last name, but I continued banging him, because let's be honest, I will put up with just about anything for a guy that's good in bed.

You can read about it here: http://allabouttheafterparty.blogspot.com/2009/05/patches-ohoulihan-update.html

althiels said...

wait...whats wrong with OshKosh B’Gosh?

Anonymous said...

I met my boyfriend by meeting up with a group of people at a bar, one of which was a good friend of mine. I was the only one there that was sober, so naturally, everyone volunteered me to drive. We were ready to move onto the next bar, but one guy, who I thought was kind of cute, hadn't paid his tab yet. I walked up to him and said, "If you pay your tab right now, I'll make out with you." He walked straight over to the bar and paid his tab. We've been together for 2 years.

On a side note, the other weekend, I went out with my friends (boyfriend not in attendance). From behind me, a guy grabbed the scarf I was wearing and made out with my face. No awkward staring, no uncomfortable grope, just a surprise face raping. Horrible. Ballsy, but oh so horrible.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, it's hard for guys to do that because some of us are terrified of getting shot down and losing any confidence we worked up to say something in the first place.

Unknown said...

I agree with anonymous there. I like to keep my expectations low and assume I'll fail because when I get shot down it's like "meh, time for the next one!" and I can stay ballsy enough to keep trying. The problem with that attitude is that when things DO work out, and she's flirting back, I'm like a dog that finally caught the car, all "shit, what now?" The awkward stage is the jump from blatantly flirting to making that first move. Once you're there the rest kind of goes on autopilot, and your body's all "oh yeah, I remember this," a la Chris's LAST post. Anyway, I think the key is confidence, not cockiness, and be prepared for failure. Wow that wasn't nearly as uplifting as it sounded in my head.

LifeIsThisIt said...

The most endearing and successful pick-up line ever used on me was this:
Crowded party, didn't really know the guy but we knew each other through friends and both suspected we were interested in each other. He sidles up next to me and says, "Um, can I ask you something?", me: "yeah", him: "Can I borrow $20?" Never spoke to the guy before in my life but this completely broke the ice we both laughed and eventually . . . he made a bed for me using his own hands and carpentry skills, after many nights on a futon on the floor.

Matt D said...


copy and paste into a word document so it looks like you are working on some long ass mission statement for work.

Jennifer said...

"I'm glad I brought my library card because I am checking you out."

francis said...

Great sight-fun reading-thanks! Francis http://Francis@geothermalanswer.com

Nate said...

@francis And good spelling!

That was totally unnecessary. I'm sorry. But I couldn't resist.

J said...

when i was a freshman in college, i asked a boy if he wanted to play army. he said "what's that?" i said "u lie down and i blow the shit out of u." i think the only reason it worked is cuz i'm a girl. idk any guys who would say no to that. i originally heard it from the guy's point of view (i.e. i lie down and u blow the shit out of me), but i think if a guy used that on a girl, he'd get a prompt slap in the face or kick in the balls :)

Phil said...

Anonymous, I get that some guys are afraid of getting shot down and it affecting their self confidence, but comedian Katt Williams said something along the lines of, "its self esteem, its the esteem of yourself, how can i mess up how you feel about you." To be honest, you have to walk the line of being cocky and funny, women go for that thing, they can sense confidence, and if you don't have it, you're not gonna get anywhere with them

Claire said...

After reading through all these comments, I have come to the conclusion that confidence is the overwhelming factor. Confidence and a promise for a makeout, it seems, but isn't that a great start to a beautiful relationship?

My favorite hook-up I ever had while in college was surprisingly initiated by me, not the boy. I just happened to sit down next to him at a party, we started talking baseball, and he told me his name was Tyler. I told him that it is my favorite name and also the hottest name for a guy. I'm not sure if he thought I was making that up or not (even though it's true), but it must of worked since the best makeout and hookup of my life followed. Therefore, honest compliments will get you somewhere!

Annemal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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