It disturbs me how few sleazy people are aware how they are perceived. You can be as nice a person as you like, as generous, kind, and loving as you please – failing to express it in a socially acceptable way will leave you with few friends, let alone the kind of friends that do that thing you like.
Don’t open with a pickup line. You shouldn’t need, or use, a pickup line. The aim of a pickup line is to get someone you don’t even know to sleep with you, which is transparent and not particularly classy. If you are genuinely that single minded, try to see a non-sexual conversation as getting to know the person for basic reasons such as where they live, the likelihood that they will have a disease, whether you will be compatible and have the same intentions. Starting out with the implication that sleeping with them is your sole focus is offensive and degrading. Have a conversation. Enjoy casual flirting and the fun of the chase. That’s what people like. Being put on the spot is uncomfortable and intimidating.
Have no expectations. If you spend money or time on someone, you can’t view this as their ‘owing’ you anything. You have chosen to spend that time and money, so unless they have explicitly discussed expectations with you, you cannot place unwelcome expectations on them. For the same reason, be very wary of people expecting you to purchase them a drink early on- they are likely to ‘pay’ for it by spending a short amount of time with you, and then bugger off. Viewing interactions with people as transactions will only bring similarly minded people into your life, as opposed to people who want to see you because they like you.
Watch where your eyes are when conversation lulls. The single most offputting, upsetting thing (as a woman, I don’t know about men) to deal with when in the presence of someone you don’t know well is prolonged eye contact with no conversation. Unless faces are being pulled, prolonged eye contact often leaves your face frozen in a slightly off-putting, uncomfortable expression. Unless the person you’re talking to really likes you in a romantic way, they will glance all over your face, picking up every flaw that they dislike, and then look away. You will make them feel uncomfortable in your presence and they will struggle to understand your intentions. If you aren’t actively talking to someone, don’t stare into their eyes; if you find yourself staring into their eyes and aren’t about to lean in for a kiss, shrug it off by giving a bit of a laugh. This can also force the conversation into avenues you want to pursue, with little compliments when they ask why you’re laughing.
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Don’t bounce from one person to another, trying your luck. In any situation, be it a party, lecture theatre, bar or casual hangout, if you are trying to get someone to like you romantically, other people will pick up on the vibes. Upon testing the waters and giving up, the best thing to do is remain the life of the party- you’re there to have some fun, try to at least pretend getting laid is not the end goal. Making it apparent that you are out to find a partner will severely limit your options- noone likes to be second best, or have others looking at them as if they are. Further, people uninvolved in your interactions will quickly label you with concepts which are not enjoyable. I have no objection to people (safely) having as many sexual partners as they please, but being known as the person who will try it on with anyone that will talk to them will quickly erode the likelihood of any genuine connections… or getting laid.