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30 May 2008

AskMeChaMen: How do you like to be approached? Silly or serious, just come in and answer.[More:]A friend (female) and I got into an argument about how to approach dudes whilst out and about. She thinks that a girl should just bound up and say hello. I say hover around them without making eye contact and then shout out inappropriate things or mumble something about their socks.

You win.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 30 May | 22:49
Yesssss! My strategy hasn't worked so far but I think those guys were broken.
posted by SassHat 30 May | 22:50
I don't think guys tend to do subtle well - at least in this particular field. I didn't, anyway. There have been a few times when women were interested in me and attempted the subtle approach. I only know this because they told me later on.
posted by bmarkey 30 May | 22:55
Yes, bmarkey, I've heard this too. So what's the ideal un-subtle approach in your opinion?
posted by SassHat 30 May | 22:58
Well, I'm on the bi/gay side of the spectrum, but I can tell you that I'm completely clueless with regard to subtle or even playful hints -- even with other guys.

You have to "hit me with a clue-by-4" (i.e., walk up to me and something that roughly translates as "hey, good-lookin, whatcha got cookin'") before it dawns on me that you might be flirting. If you're not direct, then I assume that you're just criticizing my socks, nothing more.

If you like geeky guys, my guess is that even straight geeks aren't much different than me in this regard. If you like non-geeky guys, then your guess is as good as mine. Though I will say this -- one of the surest signs of genuine flirting, for me, is prolonged and/or frequent eye contact.

posted by treepour 30 May | 23:08
It depends on the circumstances, of course, but yeah, treepour's clue-by-4 is probably the way to go. Talk to them, ask questions, make lots of eye contact.

Actually, there was one time where I got the message pretty quickly. We had been chatting in a bar for a little bit when she asked me if I wanted to see her new tattoo. I said sure, whereupon she proceeded to hop up on the bar, hike up her skirt and showed me the very nicely done peacock she'd had placed directly above her... let's say panty line.

That worked.
posted by bmarkey 30 May | 23:16
Step one: tattoo near vag
Step two: show it

Got it!
posted by SassHat 30 May | 23:25
Depending on the tat, yeah. An arrow pointing straight down might be a bit much.
posted by bmarkey 30 May | 23:29
I make direct and prolonged eye contact with everyone, because I think they're an essential part of communication and I like people to know that I'm engaged. So I guess I flirt with a lot of people by accident!

I do prefer direct, though. Step right up and make your case. Or, even better, dance with me. (I don't do much standing around in social situations.)
posted by mykescipark 30 May | 23:31
a. Prolonged eye contact, b. playful flirtation, and c. appropriate body language. Together.
Otherwise I'm inclined to think that a. is being interested in the conversation and that's it. And b. may just be being friendly/vivacious depending on the situation. And c. can be misconstrued as too many other things. Those three individually I'd generally put down to "that may be their personality." I try not to be presumptuous. The three combined, and maybejustmaybe I'd pick up the clue phone that's ringing. I'm stunningly dense tho. Ex-gf's have commented on that.
There's an exception to the above, but that only happens once every 7-10 years - meeting someone whom I've met before. It's complicated. But fun.
posted by Zack_Replica 31 May | 00:08
Look at it this way, Sass: what have guys done to let you know that they're interested?
posted by bmarkey 31 May | 00:12
Nothing. This is why I'm branching out.
posted by SassHat 31 May | 00:17
Ah. Sorry if that was an insensitive question.
posted by bmarkey 31 May | 00:25
Actually, you know what's really attractive? A sense of humor. Not in a "a rabbi walks into a bar" kind of way, but being able to pick up little bits of conversation and putting a twist on them. Women that can make me laugh are automatically hot - or they would be if I weren't off the market. (And for the record, Science Girl can make me laugh like nobody else.)
posted by bmarkey 31 May | 00:29
On a riding lawnmower.
posted by mullacc 31 May | 00:40
Funny isn't really working for me. I'm hoping to go in a more ice-princess direction.

Q was not insensitive btw. That was just some of my fine brand of sparkling wit.
posted by SassHat 31 May | 00:42
See, I told you I was slow on the pickup. :)
posted by bmarkey 31 May | 00:46
Preferably from downwind and/or from out of the sun.
posted by ooga_booga 31 May | 01:15
From the air. With ground troops at the ready in case of an ambush.

(actually, direct approach is the best. It's incredibly flattering and takes a big load off the guy, since approaching a girl is a nerve wracking experience)
posted by jonmc 31 May | 07:19
Ears sharp, head up, bright eyes, "happy tail", no signs of uncertainty; be neither overeager bounder nor shrinking violet. (Adapt as much of that as seems relevant.)

Really and honestly if you were asking about me in particular then truth is a completely successful advance, courtship and capture could be carried out easily, so: (1) "I made you supper, please come and eat it", (2) "Would you like dessert? There's pie", and (3) "I've set a date for the wedding, are you OK with that?"
posted by Wolfdog 31 May | 09:17
I'm not sure I like being approached by strangers when I'm out and about.

But I'd make an exception for you, SassHat.
posted by box 31 May | 09:49
Your friend's got it.
posted by eamondaly 31 May | 11:26
Ears sharp, head up, bright eyes, "happy tail", no signs of uncertainty

I love the idea of "happy tail," Wolfdog. It perfectly expresses that state of being.

As for direct vs. indirect, I can only speak from experience: the approach that's worked best for me is a combination of standing around mumbling to my socks (though you left out the deafening internal cursing of self), followed by bounding up to say "Hi!"

If you're interested in someone, you're probably doing all the body-language communication unconsciously, anyhow; walking up and saying "Hi!" will:
- underscore your interest.
- show him you're willing to be active, not passive.

There are certainly some men who want to be the pursuer, not the pursued. This approach also helps screen them out of my potential dating pool, which I consider a plus for all concerned.

And sometimes even "direct" isn't direct enough. Heck, despite months of flirting, The Fella didn't think I was interested in him even after I asked him out. He just thought I was incredibly gregarious and friendly.
posted by Elsa 31 May | 13:33
Oops, I failed to see that this was addressed (for obvious reasons) only to MeCha men. I am a fool.

Or I was just bounding up to say "Hi!" in full happy-tail mode.
posted by Elsa 31 May | 13:38
Go up and talk to him. Several times during the conversation mention that you're single. Flirt, such as resting your hand on his arm or hand.

If that doesn't work, then pointedly ask him out on a date.

This, of course, assumes they're interested in you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher 31 May | 14:38
Funny isn't really working for me.

Then there is no hope left in this world.
posted by Eideteker 31 May | 22:09
If the maximum in directness is saying hello, I'm not sure where that leaves me... I always prefered for a woman to walk up, tell me why they think I'm so great, and then ask me out.
posted by scarabic 01 June | 00:05
Another vote for the direct application of clue-by-four.

A highschool girlfriend first came to my attention in a near-accident, where I almost knocked her over the top of a waterfall and we grabbed arms to steady ourselves. (Oh, hi!)

It was *years* before I figured out she had contrived the introduction.
posted by Triode 01 June | 01:40
Very very direct. If you have something that's physically good (nice bum, nice boobies, for example), you walk up and sort of stick that part quite provocatively into view. "Hi! I like you, do you like me?" If that yields a positive response, "Do you want to play?"
posted by Meatbomb 01 June | 08:30
Gosh Meatbomb, next thing you're going to suggest that I rub his pee pee.
posted by SassHat 01 June | 13:29
As a clueless guy, I'd say approach me and just talk to me. It's flattering for one, and I'm probably interested in you too.
posted by reenum 01 June | 15:51
SassHat: the women who have rubbed my pee pee have consistently had very good responses from me. Just sayin'.
posted by Meatbomb 01 June | 15:53
Do what you feel like, but the more subtle you are, the less chance there is that the message will actually get across.
posted by grouse 01 June | 17:45
posted by dg 01 June | 21:29
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