There's this guy. He's called The Pickup-Artist. Or something similarly cheesy. He had a show for a while where he showcased his business technique of teaching men how to pick up on ladies.
He had copycats, and alas, some of them operated out of San Francisco. Specifically - Medjool Restaurant/Lounge/Nightclub/Whatever in San Francisco's Mission District.
The Pickup Artist teaches simple principles. Which start with -
1. Only approach women in pairs.
Why? Because one woman is desperate and a group of women isn't interested. Women in pairs are either on the prowl or waiting for a third member and amenable for conversation.
The pickup pupils are easy to spot. For one, because they have the look of a racer at the start of a line, body tense, ready to pounce. For two, because they religiously operate on the next principles.
2. Only approach women as a pair.
Why? Because one guy is creepy but a group of guys is creepier.
Now the key to this approach is...pay attention....
3. Engage the women with an open-ended question.
Often the two guys will feign an argument. One will say, "You've got to be kidding me! No no! I disagree." They will then pretend to notice you for the first time with raised eyebrows and all, and say, "Oh, you, what do you think? Is Star Wars or Star Trek better?"
This is the part where the women respond. The answer doesn't really matter. Because the two guys will let you have, max, 3 minutes of conversation. Because the next principle is really important.
4. Be congenial, thank them, and walk away.
This is key. No one likes an overstayed welcome. The men are careful not to ask for personal details like your name. Besides, the guys really don't want to have a conversation with you about which franchise is better (incidentally, I feel its an unfair comparison given the mediums serve different purposes). What they want to do is bump and grind on you. Giving us the final principle.
5. Wait until you spot the women on the dance floor and dance near them, thus giving you the opportunity for recognition and scoring.
I've debated the merit of the pickup artist with my friends. Especially given that for every douchebag who joins, there is a guy just looking for a way to connect with someone else but is shackled by shyness.
But I constantly come back to the same problem:
This isn't a sincere exchange.
I've heard the argument that sincerity doesn't matter at the beginning of a relationship. That the start is just negotiation and navigation of societally accepted norms until you can reveal the "real" you.
But if we all know we are hiding the "real" person, if dating is just killing time until someone tolerates you enough to *really* tolerate you, then can we shed the tapdance?