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The pickup line: Is there one that ever works?


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Dal chicago tribune

So a guy walks into a bar and approaches a woman who is alone, looking bored. The guy asks, "Are you having fun?" and the woman responds that she is.

"You should let your face know," says the guy.


"It's so ridiculously horrible," laughs Adam Lyons, describing the most awesomely bad pickup line he has heard men try — really, men have used it.

To Lyons, who last year was named "America's No. 1 Pickup Artist" at the Pickup Artist World Summit, pickup lines have no place in a true seducer's repertoire. They bomb when they're recognized as such, and they're easier to smell than ever, thanks to secrets divulged in Neil Strauss' book, "The Game," and the VH1 reality show "The Pickup Artist."

Even once-interesting openers (a favorite: "Who lies more, men or women?") have gone the way of "Come here often?" and "What's your sign?"

Still, there is an art to approaching the object of your affection, he said. It involves not so much a line as an opening sequence.

The easiest approach, Lyons said, is the functional line, typically a question such as, "Where's the nearest Starbucks?" or "Is there anywhere good to eat around here?" You can also open with a compliment or observation about something you both are experiencing, such as a crowded bus.

The trick is to turn that 10-second interaction into a conversation, a transition most easily accomplished by making an observation about the pickup-ee (e.g., "That's a really interesting accent; where are you from?"), followed by relevant questions that convey kindness and genuine interest in the person. (Some people call this "regular social skills.") Attitude is crucial: Smile, make eye contact, speak slowly, Lyons said. Ultimately, you want to project confidence.

"You should be happy and playful, a little sexual and fun," said Justin "JDOG" Marks, who co-hosted "The Pickup Artist."

Asked separately to name their favorite opener, both Lyons and Marks had similar answers: "Hello, my name is …"

It may represent the advent of an anti-gimmick, anti-pickup line era.

And it's about time the fellas wised up.

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