A lot of guys are afraid to approach girls because they fear rejection. As a guy, I struggle with approach anxiety, and will continue struggling until I reach my mid-twenties (I pick the mid-twenties as a cutoff because it seems like the time where a guy’s brain finally matures and he becomes a man).
Starting in the winter of 2011, I decided to embrace the process of becoming less shy around women. I started approaching women to learn to relax and be myself in any interaction. In my experience, the more fun and chillaxed your attitude when you approach a girl, the easier it is for her to relax and feel open to meeting someone new.
So fast forward to the winter of 2012: I’m living in Philadelphia trying to develop my YouTube brand. I took an internship at a local TV station and was trying to find things to do when not working 60 hours a week. One day, I hear a guy use a very cute pickup line on a girl. He said, “If you were a triangle, you’d be a cute one.”
And I crack up hearing him with such ballsy corniness. Suddenly, my mind sparks an idea: why not test out the corniest pickup lines and see what happens?
So I grab my camera, recruit my awesome Russian friend David, and go to a nearby college campus to banter with the random girls we saw. Our intention was to see if we could initiate silly banter with females by using silly pickup lines.
As you will see from watching the video, my friend David had more success than I did, but through the process, we both had a lot fun. Many of the girls we approached cracked up and had a topic of conversation with their friends for the day. One of the girls (the girl working at the café) told me afterwards that she’s a student at an art school and loved the fact that we were YouTubing. A few girls sitting around that we didn’t approach kept looking at us waiting for our corny flirtations. After ingesting the footage, editing the video, and putting it up on YouTube, I suddenly gained a lot of subscribers. They were mostly guys, or course.
Barely a day after my video went up on YouTube, a female fan writes this on the comment section of my YouTube channel:
I don’t know about this. I mean, you’re going after women you have no interest in other than to make a video so people can laugh at them. Most of them just laugh uncomfortably and walk away. This is like one step above cat-calling.
After a brief conversation in the comments section of my YouTube video, I can safely say that she’s no longer a fan of mine. A few days later, I find out that she went on a Korean Feminist blog called “The Grand Narrative,” and called my video harassment.
Besides taking offense to what she thought was my extremely self-righteous tone when I responded to her YouTube comments, her core argument against my video was basically: we guys will never really understand that what we construe as compliments feels like harassment to many women. Her argument generated a huge debate on the feminist blog (with strangers agreeing with her, taking a middle ground, or coming to my defense).
I can see what she means. After all, women are physically weaker than men, and some have had negative experiences with “sketchy” guys harassing them on the streets or in bars. For a woman, there’s inherently more danger in unfamiliar places, so she’s always safer interpreting a flirtation with caution, and being on the defensive when guys approach.
There are some people in this world who understand this and have mastered the art of disarming what they call a “bitch shield.” Neil Strauss, the writer of “The Game” was the person who made the indirect approach famous by writing a whole book about how he learned from a group of pickup artists (PUAs). Guys who understand the indirect approach will see a cute girl, go up to her, and then initiate a conversation and build attraction indirectly. A common situation would be: the guy pretends he needs an opinion and goes up to a girl (or a group of girls), then transitions to a story or some sort of routine that builds value, after she’s hooked and wants to know more about him, he’ll build rapport and trust, isolate, escalate, close etc.
But that approach does not work with everyone. My personality is very blunt, and when I get a burst of courage, I’d rather tell a random beautiful girl I pass on the street that she’s beautiful. I realize my bluntness puts too much pressure on certain girls, and that’s why I thought pickup lines were a perfect tool. To me, pickup lines are a way for me to keep my bluntness but incorporate a little bit of funny chatter in the initial approach. Sure pickup lines are corny, but corniness is safe humor. Using some safe humor to express interest in a girl; what’s better than that?
The other day, I saw a girl sitting outside a library taking a smoke break, so I went up to her and said, “How much does a penguin weigh?”
She didn’t know, so I told her:
“Just enough to break the ice.”
And she cracked up, and we talked for five minutes. She was a really chill and smart girl studying business at a local college.
So that’s basically why I will continue to use pickup lines. After all, I’m not going to change my personality just because a few people get offended.
In the end, what do I know? I’m only 22 and still need a few years before my mind fully matures. Maybe then I’ll look back at this phase of my life and facepalm myself. But until then, I will continue making videos like these:
Guest blog by: Jerry Liu http://twitter.com/jerryliufilms