Friday, August 22, 2014

What PICK UP lines work and what don't? Conversations with Spencer!

What PICK UP lines work and what don’t?

Aloha everyone!

Well this week in Conversations with Spencer, we’ll talking about Pick Up lines.  

Do they work?  

Why do men use them?  

What do women this of them?  

Best and worst?  

Do men spend ages thinking up the perfect line? How many women have used them? Why DO we use them?  

Okay, in my personal experience, they don’t work on me. Or I completely miss the cue for them. Or misinterpret them into something quite warped.  


I was once at a party and this gorgeous guy Rod leaned into me and said, “What would you say, if I said, I really liked you.”  

I stomped off.


I thought he was taking the mickey?! Okay, I might have had a few drinks and wasn’t very lucid. Afterward I thought, You idiot!!! He was interested in you! Duh. (We did actually get together, despite my stomping off and thinking he was pulling my leg.)  

And here’s me making a complete balls up of it again: A guy in a nightclub asks me, “So, what do you think of body builders?”  

“Can’t stand them,” I said. “Ghastly. Ugh, not my thing.” I shuddered.  

As his face fell and turned to abject horror. I took a really good look at him.  

“Oh shit, sorry,” I said. “You’re a body builder, aren’t you.”  


I mean, how the hell can any guy have confidence when there’s probably several thousand of me out there who don’t get the cue, say the wrong thing back or muck it up? And why DO men use them anyway?  

I think this subject came up because Spencer said his best pick up line, turned out to be ‘Hi, my name’s Spencer.’ He married that lovely lady.  

And I agreed. Why can’t men just be straight forward? And do they spend hours rehearsing lines in their heads? Do they practice them in the mirror? I have to admit I’ve used pick up lines myself at times.  

My favorite one though from someone was probably this:  

“Where’s your boyfriend?” 

“I don’t have one.” 

He does a double take.  

“Why did you give me that look?” 

“Have you looked in the mirror lately?”  

Thank you Zane, one of the great loves of my life. J 

So, Spencer, over to you. Tell us why men go to such hoop jumping for the pick up line? That if you’re unlucky to use on me, you’ve got a good chance of being rejected on. 

Meg: Did it hurt when you fell from heaven? (would that work?) 

MEG: I might think it was cute and give someone a chance. IF they interested me. 


I have to start out with a disclaimer that I am from a time when the relationship between young men and young women-actually let me classify it properly-between boys and girls was much different than it is now. I was in those clumsy tween years in the early 1960's when girls weren't supposed to call boys (on the phone, anyone remember phones?), when activities were segregated, and sex role stereotypes in full force. Back then the "cool" guys had lines. I'm sure they rehearsed them but a cool guy would never admit it. I think that's where the idea that a woman is going to fall for a line gets started in a guys head. He hears about how it worked for another guy. He doesn't hear about the flame out failure. 

Why aren't guys straight forward? Do you remember in the movie "Tootsie" how Jessica Lange's character was waxing philosophical to "Tootsie" about wanting a guy to be direct. Then when Dustin Hoffman does that she throws a drink in his face. 

If you step back just a bit, the 'line' is a low risk way for a guy to begin a conversation. 'How about those....'(fill in the name of your favorite sports team) didn't work. What would draw a girl’s attention? The perfect line. If she rejects the line, she’s not really rejecting you. Guys have fragile egos. The 'line' protects the ego. Someone has to speak first. "You had me at Hello" didn't happen until the 80's. 

I have a couple of millennial boys, 23 and 20. They never talk about girls to me (like why would they?) but observing how they act around girls tells me that the beginnings of relationships are much different now, much more relaxed. Both my boys have been what we would call "chick magnets", they are good looking, confident and pleasant to be around. They didn't get any of that from me. I was a mess at their age. I freely admit to being captivated by female allure since a very young age, so I was a self conscious babbling wreck around a pretty girl. 

In my 30's after my first marriage ended I was much more socially adept. Some great sage told me that the best way to meet women was to learn to dance. I always loved swing music so I learned how to dance. The sage was right. "Would you like to dance?" was about as cool as I could manage but it worked very well for meeting women. My guess is, it would still be good advice today, especially for baby-boomers who by death or divorce find themselves back in the dating scene. 



I have to agree, that someone asking me to dance, will often get my interest. However, there’s a bit of a caveat to that. I don’t like being approached by a guy that I haven’t shown one wit of interest in so far. I.e. I haven’t looked at him, stared at him, looked away, smiled, held eye contact of any kind. I am often floored as to why anyone would approach me when I haven’t given the slightest indication that I’m interested. Trust me, most women in a ‘on the prowl’ situation have scanned everyone in the room for a potential mate. J

So if I haven’t made eye contact with you, or noticed you—you’re not even in the running! I actually find that insulting. Why would you approach me when I haven’t shown any interest in you? Is it arrogance? I’m so wonderful, how could you resist me? Or what? I find that strange.  

A guy is much more likely to have a chance with a woman he’s already made SOME sort of connection point with. A smile, a look, SOMETHING.  

In saying that, at a ‘dance,’ I will accept a dance invitation from just about anyone. I love to dance. If I went to a salsa club, I’d dance with anyone that asked me.  

My guess is that if a 'line' ever worked for a guy it was because the woman was interested in him to begin with and brushed it aside with a smile. It turns out that was the case with my most successful line. Study after study shows women to be more facile with words. Why do we guys have to speak first? 

MEG: Well, that’s an interesting point in itself. I think because we’re still heavily conditioned to think that men should make the first move. Again, when I think about it, I’m not sure why? You know we women aren’t that keen on being rejected either.  

Okay, example. A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a young friend of mine and he said he was a great kisser. Several women had told him this. I teased him and questioned him. Okay, I flirted with him! Even though I’m twice his age. He mentioned that he’d always found me attractive and I took it as a nice compliment, but probably wouldn’t have made a move on him. Why? Because I’m older. I’m not sure why that should be an element. I’ve nearly always gone out with younger guys.  

Okay, so fast forward through part of a movie, watched on the bed and he had to go home. As we’re leaving the bedroom, he turns, takes my face in his hands, and kisses me passionately. And yes, he’s right, he’s a GREAT kisser. I would go so far as to say, one of the best on record so far. Holy shit!! He blew my head off. And a good kisser can take me all sorts of places.  


So, did I do a “Mrs. Robinson” on him, or did he seduce me?  

We couldn’t decide in the end. LOL. 

I think he seduced me. But would I have made the move first? Probably not. And that is some ingrained part of me that says, ‘a guy has to make the first move.’ And yet, I haven’t always been like that. I once left a napkin in a pizza place for the manager that said, ‘You’re spunky.’ LOL. Can’t you tell I’m from the 80’s. He asked me out the next time I went in. But why the reticence now?  

And again, I wouldn’t make any sort of overture to a guy unless I was getting SOME signal of interest from him. Of course, we know that I also miss signals of interest from him! LOL. And I get things muddled up.  

I was once in Rarotonga and got chatted up by the bar manager there. Well, I thought I was being chatted up and that he wanted to meet me for a drink later in town. When I said, ‘Where, should I meet you?”  

He said, ‘Whatever bar.”  

And I thought, Oh, you jerk. Like I’m going to tromp all over Raro looking for you. You blow!!! You can’t even tell me the name of the bar! 

Exit, me in a huff, as usual. LOL. 

Okay, so here’s the punch line. When he found me at the resort the next day, he asked why I hadn’t turned up. It um…turned out, that the bar he wanted me to meet him in was called the…’Whatever Bar.’  


LOL. Strike another one up to me for sheer dumbness. So, reading this and other things where I’ve realized afterward that someone WAS interested in me, I’m not sure any of us are good at this chat up line. Either a) delivering it successfully or b) accepting it successfully.  

Are we just so self conscious or nervous that we don’t take things in. Or what?  

I am long out of the dating scene and hope I never have to go back to it but my wife and I were at a Christmas party talking to another couple—a young guy I work with and his wife-a second wife. Somehow we got onto the topic of pick up lines. He told us when he met her, he reached back to the collar of her blouse and looked at the tag and said, "Just as I thought...made in heaven." She married him. Long live the line. 

So I guess it really comes down a guy wanting to show interest and trying to project that he's cool. I think any guys reading this would like to know what does work, if lines don't. 

I think women's pick up lines are much better then men's. What's your favorite?


Okay, things I’ve used. I’ve ‘lost’ my keys and had the guy help me ‘find’ them. That one works well in all sorts of situations. Because you can chat as you flit around trying to find the keys and judge how flirty the situation is. Then you can ask them out for a drink or something.  

What else?  

Actually, sometimes I don’t use a line. Sometimes I ‘smolder’ at them and they just kiss me. So that seems to work well. LOL. The ‘smolder’ is long held sultry eye contact, the smile, no talking. It’s really hard to resist kissing someone if you’re interested with a ‘smolder.’ 


What else? God, this is hard, isn’t it. These days I think I try and be a grown up. Which means, I tend to be somewhere I can talk to someone and get to know them, without having to ‘cold call’ approach them, or them me.  

I don’t think I could stand going to a pub or club now and trying to attract someone’s attention. And I think meeting someone new over the internet is excellent for dating. So that does take a lot of the initial ‘chat up’ line or ‘pick up’ line stuff out of the equation.  

I’m thinking back to past lovers and how it all got going.  

Aaron – met him on the internet, he commented on me flying a bi-plane. That worked, I love flying. Actually, a man who’s actually interested in ME as a person is a HUGE ‘pick up line.’ There’s some really self absorbed men out there.  

Kimo – I met him at a retreat, and was introduced to him on the first day. We stood and ‘smoldered’ or stared at each other. Contact! 

Neil taxi driver – I got a ride home in his cab and was moaning that men aren’t romantic anymore. He said he’d show me romantic. I agreed and he took me out on a Saturday night to a quiet bay, a bottle of wine, glasses and slipped Glenn Miller into the cassette deck (yes, we’re talking ancient history here.) That REALLY worked for me. I love wartime music. And hell, it was romantic.  

Rod – he was the ‘What would you say if I said, I really liked you,’ person. I stomped off. He slept with my friend instead and I stomped off again. He finally, poor man, managed to have another go later at getting me to believe him. LOL.  

Tim – the smolder 

Zane – the smolder.  

Peter – I met him through a group of friends and we got talking throughout the day.  

Nige – the smolder.  

Another Nigel – the smolder.  

Jeez, I’ve used that one a bit, haven’t I? LOL.  

I’ve just realized I don’t really have a ‘pick up’ line. I watch them. I flirt. I make eye contact and look away. I smile. I bite my lip. I smile with my eyes. I smolder… 

And if they’re interested, they come over and talk to me.  

LOL. So my question is: Cast your mind back. Do you pick up clues like the stare, the look away, the blush, the smolder, the eye contact? Why would you approach anyone that was showing no visual signs of knowing you even exist on this planet? I’m always a bit stunned by guys who approach me and I’ve shown no connection with them at all? Why would a man put himself in that position of rejection?  


I guess the smolder works for you. 
Going back to ancient history (the 80's) I missed a lot of signs. I never saw a couple of the classics in-person that I had read about in some men's magazine or maybe it was Cosmopolitan (that I read at the doctors office): when a woman i s interested in a man she unconsciously runs a hand through her hair over her ear. Apparently this gesture releases pheromones. Another one I never saw was a woman making eye contact and as soon as you make eye contact with her she looks away and blushes.

What I noticed most was if a woman was comfortable in your presence she would stand closer than usual social distance. If she was really interested she would reach out and touch your arm when making a point, but quickly pull it away. 

My wife says that women have a great sixth sense, they know when a guy is going to get lucky. I guess I relied on that more than anything. 

I love the great lines women use. My top three. At number 3: At the bar. I had made some casual eye contact with a woman while my buddy and I were scanning the territory. A little later she and another woman approached us and she said, "Are you guys gay or something?" I said no. She said, "Then why haven't you asked us to dance?" I laughed, but imagine the opposite, "Are you ladies a couple of lesbians?" 

On two number 2. I was at a conference and met a woman who was very friendly. We spent some time talking but there wasn't much opportunity to do anything else. I was a speaker at the conference and also an officer in the national association. I had way too many official duties.  At the end of the conference as everyone is leaving, she stepped up to me and whispered in my ear, "The next time I see you I'm going to get your clothes off of you." I wish I could have had a picture of my face. Unfortunately I was in a very bad relationship at the time and didn't think a fling would do me any good. I never saw her again. 

Number one actually happened to a friend of mine, way back in college when I found meeting women impossible. A group of us gathered on Friday evenings to play basketball, then go drinking. On the ride home Eddy was unusually animated telling us about the hot girl he met who asked him over for dinner. The last thing she said to him on the phone was, "Rest up."  

I have used all three of those vignettes in my stories. My MO is often a slightly clueless guy who falls into the clutches of a sexually aggressive woman.  I've done several stories about the older woman, younger man- which has always been one of my fantasies. I really could have benefited from meeting an older, experienced woman when I was a young man, so I guess I'm acting out my fantasies in my stories. I hope some of our female readers will share stories of the lines they used to seduce guys. I'm always on the hunt for good material.  


You're story about the Whatever bar is funny - fodder for a romance story. Save that in the file. 


LOL. Thanks Spencer. So again, have we reached any conclusions? The Pick Up line possibly doesn’t work very well. Try to ACTUALLY make SOME kind of contact before you just throw some random line at someone. Because honestly, once you’ve got the eye contact going on, Going up and saying, “Hi, my name is Bob,” will be just as effective as anything else.  

And we’re out of space and people’s attention spans for the day. LOL. But next week we think we’re going to look at the older women/younger man scenario. I have real life experience with it and Spencer has real fantasy experience with it. So this should be interesting. Thanks as always to all the readers who come and read our Conversations with Spencer each week. Much appreciated!!! J  

Aloha Meg and Spencer!



  1. Meg:
    Great graphics. Fun stuff but we haven't done the 21st Century credit. I am not qualified to speak on the topic of lines that gays and lesbians use on each other-do they even use lines or are they beyond the clumsy behavior of us M/F folks? Hope our readers will share any lines M/M, M/F, F/F

    1. Aloha Spencer!

      Sorry for the late reply. I've been writing all weekend and haven't come up for air much. Thanks on the piccies. There's some fun ones this week. :-) Judging from the lack of response - NOBODY uses pick up lines anymore. LOL.

      But who knows. :-) Fun topic anyway. Aloha Meg :-)

  2. Great post! and really funny graphics!

    It isn't really a pickup line since my future husband and I were already having dinner together, but it made me consider him seriously:

    "I'm always looking for someone to travel with." (This was after two hours of my hanging on his every word as he told me tales of his adventures in Europe and Asia.)

    I lived on the opposite coast and had three other lovers at the time. I was trying to get rid of him (nicely of course) because I thought my life didn't need more complication.

    Obviously I was wrong!

  3. Aloha LIsabet!

    Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting. :-) Glad you enjoyed it and the graphics. :-)

    :-) Love it! I'd defintely fall for that line for. You had me at - Do you have a current passport! LOL. Thanks for sharing that with us. :-)

    Aloha Meg :-)

  4. An outstanding writer. I'm delighted that we have him scheduled for an interview on It Matters Radio.

    1. Aloha Ken! :-)

      Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting. Much appreciated! :-) Spencer and I have a lot of fun with these Conversations with Spencer talks. :-) I like his stories too.

      Thanks and aloha Meg :-)