Indirect Vs Direct Vs Clever Openers: Which Is Best?

A reader sent along a link to a study which attempted to clarify which kinds of approach “openers” (pickup lines or greetings) worked best on women. The science, while far from conclusive (results were based on women’s self-reported preferences, so usual caveats apply), is finally having a say in this eternal debate between direct and indirect game advocates. Funny enough, the actual study was done in the ’80s. A lot of great, illuminating stuff about human nature gets forgotten, especially when the zeitgeist is so suffocatingly PC.

Women prefer innocuous opening lines vs direct or clever lines.

Men prefer women to be direct.

Via Scott Barry Kaufman:

In the ’80s, Chris Kleinke and colleagues analyzed the effectiveness of 100  pick-up lines across a number of different settings, including bars, supermarkets, restaurants, laundromats, and beaches. They found three main categories of openers: direct gambits, which are honest and get right to the point (e.g, “I’m sort of shy, but I’d like to get to know you“), innocuous gambits, which hide a person’s true intentions (“e.g., “What do you think of this band?“), and cute/flippant gambits, which involve humor, but often in a cheesy, canned way (e.g., ”Do you have any raisins? No? Well then, how about a date?“.)* 

Both men and women agreed that cute/flippant pick-up lines were the least attractive. Women, however, preferred innocuous lines and had a greater aversion to cute/flippant lines than men, while men had a greater preference for direct opening gambits than women. This basic pattern has been found over and over again in a variety of settings, including singles bars .

Eric Barker, the guy who runs that fantastic repository of helpful science, notes that mentally tired people are less receptive to clever pickup lines. If you’re churning through garbage hour and hitting on tired girls, keep it simple. A brief comment about something in your shared environment is all it will take.

So cute (aka douchebag) lines are the worst. No surprise there. Those kinds of lines are spit more for the entertainment of a guy’s buddies watching nearby than they are for the purpose of attracting a girl.

Clever lines you aspiring William F. Buckleys might be tempted to use are wasted on tired girls, and likely on any girl with an IQ under 120, which is most of them.

Direct openers aren’t as bad as cutesy openers, but girls still prefer the indirect strategy from men.

The abiding truth that game practitioners keep coming back to (and that science often confirms) is that girls don’t want the nuts and bolts of their seduction revealed to them; they want men to just *know* what they like and give them the *feelings* of being successfully seduced, and that means men must maintain plausible deniability about their sexual intentions, even if feminists shriek that such a mating strategy amounts to “manipulation”.

[Editor: Chicks dig being manipulated!]

Direct openers may work in some niche situations, and on certain types of women, but for most women the direct approach robs them of that feeling they love of being swept up in a romantic moment that ostensibly began as a “ships passing in the night(club)” fortuitous, random meeting.

Or it could simply be that direct openers automatically and instantaneously, by transparently communicating a man’s desire, lower his value vis-á-vis the girl he is hitting on, because she knows exactly how much he values her, and this knowledge gives her all the hand in the interaction. And girls don’t really crave the having of hand in budding romantic situations, despite their claims to the contrary. If the nature of woman is to love the thrill of winning over and eventually surrendering to an aloof, dominant man, then it makes sense they would prefer their seductions are blurred with a gauzy filter of mystery, ambiguity and uncertainty.

This study would seem to validate the efficacy of Roosh’s “elderly opener” tactic, but as the CH reader averred, direct openers should be part of your arsenal even if they aren’t the most broadly effective, because there will be times when indirect openers are ridiculous and self-defeating.

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