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On how to ask nicely

When I was at school boys would occasionally, very occasionally, ask me out. Let’s say there were around 10 times this happened. On 8 out of those 10 occasions, they were joking.

Of course we grown-ups can tut and sigh and shake our heads at the cruelty of children, but what’s much better is to recognise what we can learn from it. And like all the best lessons in life, this one could help you get laid. Get your notebooks out, face front and keep your eyes on the fucking blackboard…

Understanding insecurity gives you a way into someone’s pants, because you can push the buttons that make them feel good.

It’s been years since a boy jokingly asked me out, and life’s a bit different now. I’m no longer fat and fourteen and in love with any boy who was willing to put his hand up my skirt during maths lessons, but I’m still a child really. That fourteen year old is just a bit bigger, and is gobsmacked that she has a job, a flat, and the legal right to drink herself insensible whilst livetweeting the Apprentice.

So despite my external grown-up-ness, the memory of these joke-proposals stays with me, as I imagine it stays with any girl who’s ever been shy, covered in acne, or good at science. Now that we’re grown-ups, no matter how hot we’ve become or how confident we are, there’s always a little something that makes us wonder if you’re joking when you ask.

A casual, throwaway, “Fancy a shag?” opens up the mental fight between confidence: “Say yes, say yes, he’s beautiful.” and the insecurity still nurtured by that 14 year old: “He’s joking. Say no. Then run away and cry behind the gym.”

If you ask this question of a lady and you don’t look serious, my money’s on the fact that you’ll probably get a no.

But God, GOD. In the situations where you really want it, and tell me you really want it, it’ll be the hardest thing I ever do to turn you down. There is nothing in this life more attractive than a man who is panting for you. Dripping for you. So desperate to get within 20 feet of you that he’d happily fuck a letterbox if you shouted words of encouragement.

And so, gents. When you’re looking at a lovely lady, and you think she might be out of your league, remember that one day she was probably fat and fourteen. She still wakes up most mornings and winces at her reflection in a mirror. She might worry that she’s got cellulite, or that her tits are slightly uneven, that her hands look old or her eyebrows unplucked or her feet too big for her awkward, stumbling body.

Approaching women is hard, of course. But if you can be the one who strides over with confidence, and says: “You know what? You’re fucking spectacular” then you win. You win so hard your friends will wonder what your secret is. You’ve just made someone’s day, and you could be the one screwing her twelve shades of happy by the time that day is done.


  • Mo says:

    Of course, having that confidence poses a problem if we’re all in the same boat. And, in my experience, most of us are. It doesn’t help matters that those tending to be (outwardly, at least) brimming with confidence are often the sorts of people who induced fleeing behind the gym for a good cry in the first place. What does that teach us? Being a complete tosser gets you laid. No pun intended.

    Except it doesn’t, of course. Well, it does — disturbingly often, in fact — but not being a complete tosser gets you laid too; and somewhat more reliably.

    A chance conversation with some friends in a pub last night caused me to realise something: the reason I gained some confidence instead of being a complete gibbering wreck in the very presence of somebody I found attractive was when people around me grew the fuck up enough to say nice things about me without it having anything to do with sex whatsoever (and vice versa)… and the realisation that underneath it all, we all have the same hang-ups about ourselves. The detail’s different, but the thrust is the same.

    Until you hit that point, the only people who say nice things are those who do want to fuck you, and those that don’t count because they’re related to you. Conversely, any time that somebody doesn’t want to fuck you, that’s a massive blow to what little confidence you’ve got left. And lo, “fear of rejection” is born, in all its self-defeating glory. Nobody ever gets as far as working up that confidence to tell you that you are indeed fucking spectacular.

    So, yes, flattery will get you everywhere. But—and this is a big but—if the only time anybody ever does it is when they want to get laid then nobody will ever get laid.

    To quote somebody I was drinking with last night: “you’re all such fucking beautiful people… and I just have a face like a rat”.

    (She doesn’t, incidentally, she’s lovely).

    • girlonthenet says:

      Bloody good point on the complimenting thing – some people do this stunningly well, and handing out believable, individual compliments is a genuine skill that should be nurtured and encouraged. (On an unrelated note: you are an articulate as well as a beautiful man)

      Re: the difference between being arrogant and being confident. What I’m mainly getting at is that the ‘fancy a shag?’ approach is usually the one used by the sort of kids who used to be dicks at school, and often as grown-ups boys try to ape this nonchalant style. It has the double-whammy effect of :
      a) making them feel like a cool kid and
      b) allowing them to pretend that they weren’t really serious if they get turned down.

      So yeah, I see what you mean – you shouldn’t get laid just by being an arrogant twat. But by being sincere and complimentary (which naturally requires confidence) I think you manage to :
      a) get laid more often and
      b) provide genuine ego-boosting flattery to women, even if they happen to reject you.

      So, the conclusion of this is that you’re right that some people are 24-carat dicks, but the main point of this entry is to persuade the ones who aren’t that you don’t need to pretend that you are cool in order to get laid.

  • Dan S. says:

    Great advice, as daft as it sounds, it took me ages to realise I didn’t have to act like an arrogant twat to get girls to like me.

    PS. You write like a (dirty) angel “Dripping for you. So desperate to get within 20 feet of you that he’d happily fuck a letterbox if you shouted words of encouragement” Fuck me that’s good

  • Martin @brightnomad says:

    I have learned through my own complete lack of verbal filters (outside of work they just fail and in work they struggle) I end up telling people what I think and feel. Which actually gets me really nice friends in the long run; just not many.

    When it comes to potential partners I’ve usually ended up dating them because I’m the one who told them how attractive they are. Some of them have never had that and this makes them like me. I’ve got broad taste in women (or broads to make that sound funny) and as such see beauty where other guys just conform to what they are told is beautiful.

    Also I’m tired of men and women being told by fashion they have to follow certain rules to get a partner. It’s really easy. Tell them you like them; if they like you and you can work out what kind of relationship you want. It happens of it’s own accord.

    The difficult bit is getting the 2 factors to coincide; so if you never tell them you like them then you’re never going to get to find out if it could work or not.

  • C.B.B says:

    Another insightful read. I remember similar experiences. As a teenager plucking up the courage to ask someone out only to be knocked back in the most cruel, humiliating and public way. But then as a boy people expected you to take that in your stride, brush it of and come back for more. It’s not the rejection, although that’s bad enough on its own, but the way it’s done. And that happens 2 or 3 times in your teens and it can affect you for years. Maybe its because I was a shy kid, but for 3 years from the age of 15 I didn’t ask anyone out at all. And even now, years later, part of me still thinks it going to happen again.

  • Notmyrealname says:

    Load of bollocks!

    I’ve been secretly in love with someone for 3 years, and now she’s single and hates herself. We fooled around a bit, and the other day she said she loves me.

    I was surprised, confused and so happy I almost cried. Every day I see her I tell her how spectacular she looks and instead of it getting her to give me a chance, all I’ve got is a cold hearted stunning girl who says she loves me but treats me like a pet.

    I want her more than anything in the world. And she knows it. I’m by no means the best she can do, but I’m the best person for her. I’m sure of it.

    The point I’m trying to make is it doesn’t matter what you say to someone, it’s who’s saying it. This girls’ ex’s were pricks, and treated her terribly, but she kept putting up with it. I want her, for her, she doesn’t have to make an effort, fuck, she doesn’t even have to shave her legs for me if she doesn’t want to, but even though I don’t think I’m too hideous, I just can’t get her to even start to give me a chance.

    • girlonthenet says:

      OK, that sucks, and I have massive sympathy for your situation. But I’m not sure that it works as a counterexample that destroys the point I’m making in my blog post. The point I’m making is that you’ll have more success if you ask nicely rather than affect a casual attitude that makes the woman wonder if you’re serious.

      It’s supposed to be a way to encourage guys to think about the girl’s insecurities when they’re asking her for a shag – it is in no way a surefire guaranteed recipe for long-term emotional success. None of my blogs are, and I’d be extremely surprised if anyone actually followed my advice and ended up in a relationship with the person of their dreams.

      I’m sorry that you’re in this situation – unrequited (or partially requited?) love is a terrible thing. Have you spoken to her about it? To be honest, in your situation (which I’ll readily admit I know little about – just the details you’ve given me above) it sounds like you could do with getting a bit of distance yourself. If you’re as keen as it sounds, then perhaps telling her that she’s treating you like crap will have the double benefit of

      a) showing her that you can be assertive and aren’t just her ‘pet’ and
      b) making her think properly about whether she wants to be with you.

      Because it’s all well and good that she’s with you, but if she’s with you and not making the most of it then you probably have to ask whether it’s worth it.

  • Malcolm says:

    Saved as a favorite, I enjoy your blog! :)

  • Owen says:

    I’m tending toward the ‘bollocks’ view too, I’m afraid. Some girls like this approach. Some don’t. Some girls like this approach from certain men who look a certain way and some don’t. Etc etc.
    I’ve known girls who love confidence and despise shyness – others who are the total opposite. Some girls like nothing better than feeling they are the centre of your Universe; others are get hot when you treat them like they’re worthless. Needless to say the same can be said for boys. And gays. And lesbians.

    Any book, article or urban legend that tells you ‘THIS is what women/men like” is being hopelessly optimistic at best and disingenuous at worst.
    Men and women are a lot more heterogeneous (forgive the pun) than most people imagine: if you said “people like [insert generalisation]”, or worse, “[insert racial group] like [insert generalisation]” then no-one would take it seriously. But as soon as we divide our confoundingly complex species into two gender groups then suddenly everyone thinks it’s simple. It’s not.

  • Owen says:

    Having said all that, I personally stick to being complimentary when I feel like it’s warranted and not when I don’t – and being sincere always. Pretending to be someone you’re not means you only ever get girls who think you’re someone else. And who wants that?

    • girlonthenet says:

      Hmmm. Much as I like disagreement, I worry that perhaps the reason I’m getting it on this post is that I haven’t properly expressed what I mean.

      Firstly – please take whatever it is I say as a reflection of my own experience and opinions rather than something that I think is a cast iron rule to live by. Generally what I’m saying is that ‘in my experience, this approach is far better’ – not guaranteed, not in any way accepted by everyone, but better. Just as I’d probably say ‘girls like it when you’re nice to them and listen to what they say’ I wouldn’t mean ‘all girls like this’ because some, presumably, like it when you’re completely silent. Anyway.

      What I’m getting at with this blog is the difference between the super-casual approach adopted by guys who are terrified of a knock-back or trying to show they’re cool and the approach that makes girls (fuck it – *people*) potentially think you’re joking. A throwaway chat-up is easily brushed aside as a joke or as something you weren’t that fussed about if you get turned down – you haven’t invested much in it. I think the person you’re approaching can sense that and be a bit more hesitant to say yes.

      However, if you fully commit to asking someone out then I think you’ll get a far better response. OK so I write from a girl’s point of view, but I strongly suspect that chat-ups coming from either gender to either gender work best when the chat-up-ee can genuinely sense the commitment and desire behind it – they know that their answer is more valuable because you’ve fully committed to the question.

      But, y’know, this might also be bollocks. Again – is just my opinion. If anyone actually follows all of my advice then we’d end up with a world full of people like me, and that would be fucking catastrophic. =p

  • Owen says:

    After having read your clarification and seen those pictures of you in the the long stockings I now find myself in agreement.

  • I suggest adding a facebook like button for the blog!

  • Genesis says:

    Wow, this post is good, my younger sister is analyzing these things, thus I
    am going to let know her.

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