Online, I’m the cockiest piece of shit you’ve ever met. I’ll upload provocative picture after provocative picture to my Instagram like I’m the most confident girl in the world.
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On Tinder? I’m The Fonz.
But in real life? I fear social interaction with the same intensity in which Peter Pan fears growing up. The most terrifying form of social interaction? Bar flirtations.
“That girl over there, the tall one in the distressed jeans? She’s so my type.” I’ll say to my friend Eduardo.
“Go talk to her!” Eduardo will say brightly.
“Hell no!” I’ll screech as if he’s suggested I get behind the bar, strip down to my thong, and shake my bare ass at the crowd.
Eduardo will ignore my dramatic opposition and will proceed to strut over to the hot stranger with his long Bambi legs (what is it about gay men and fabulous legs?) and I’ll feel fight or flight level panic flood my body.
“Don’t do it,” I’ll hiss.
He’ll turn and wink at me. “Too bad, bitch.”
“Excuse me?” He’ll tap hot stranger right on her hot shoulder.
“Yeah?” She’ll croon, to cool for school, sexy swag dripping out of her pores like chic slime.
“That girl” He’ll say, grinning and pointing to me. “She—”
And before he can say anything else, I’ll beeline out of the bar and disappear into the night.
Or that’s the old me.
About five years ago, I found myself desperate. Desperation is a powerful emotion. When you’re desperate enough to change something, you’ll change it, even if it’s the hardest thing in the world to do. Desperation is how hopeless alcoholics get sober and socially anxious lesbians find love.
I was working as a Sex and Dating writer for a popular publication and part of the gig was to get out in the world and date. And write about those dates. I wanted those clicks and those viral dating articles weren’t going to write themselves, babe. Plus, I was lonely. I was ready to meet someone!
For the next year, I went on as many dates as possible and flirted with every gay barfly in town, all in the name of research. By the end of the year, I had figured out how to talk to girls in bars even when you’re shy and not used to human interaction because you live/work on the internet (yes, I’m looking at you). So after much deep, painful, effective research, I came up with a no-fail guide to hitting on girls at bars!
Try it this weekend. I dare you. Meow!
1. Wear something completely of character.
When I’m everyday Zara garb (shiny leggings, Dr. Martens boots, crop top, faux fur coat) I act like everyday Zara. However. When I’m wearing something different (high waisted pants, red lippy, hair up) I no longer act like everyday Zara. You know how we’re always so loose and free-spirited on Halloween? It’s because we’re wearing attire that’s foreign to us, and suddenly the script of who we are has been drastically edited.
Apply my deeply researched Halloween theory to hitting on girls. I’m not saying you need to be in a f*cking costume, but even just wearing a different lip color or sporting a blazer in lieu of your usual leather jacket can shake shit up. Something unlocks inside us when we change up the window dressing; we drop the old narrative and suddenly are free to explore all the different sides of ourselves.
2. Channel someone cool.
This is similar to the Halloween theory but more internal. I want you to close your eyes. Think about the coolest girl you know. It could even be a character in a movie. Pretend you are her.
When I’m feeling especially shy, I like to pretend I’m Angelina Jolie in the late ‘90s. Angie was fiercely outspoken. She took up space. She was confident in her sexuality and would tell intimate stories about her taste for bondage to news reporters. She gave zero f*cks. When I channel Angie, I feel chatty, teeming with moxie. I suddenly, too, give zero f*cks. And when I give zero f*cks, I act like my authentic, crazy self. And when I’m my authentic, crazy self—that’s when I get the girl.
Please don’t feed me any of that “don’t tell me to change!” bullshit (snooze). I refuse to entertain that garble. What you’re currently doing isn’t working so stop winging and act like your icon, honey.
Chances are, your icon is a wildly authentic individual. So take a page out of her book and be a wildly authentic as well. I dare you.
3. Don’t get too sh*t-faced.
The worst thing you can do when you’re trying to flirt is be a drunk. You might feel cool AF when you’re wasted, but to the outside world you’re just sloppy AF. Your reaction time is massively slowed down. You won’t be able to accurately read her energy or her body language at all, so you likely act like a creep. Being the local bar creep is not a reputation I want for you.
4. Don’t travel in a large pack.
Traveling in a large rat pack of lesbians might not work in your favor when it comes to hitting on a girl in a bar. Personally, I steer clear of large packs of lesbians because I find them to be terrifying and intimidating. Not only that, but no girl will approach you because she’ll not want to disturb “girls night out.” Plus your head won’t be in the game when you have to worry about all of your hot mess friends spilling drinks on themselves and getting kicked of bars and weeping vodka tears in the bathroom.
Bring one or two friends, at the very most. If you’re a real baller, go alone. Nothing is sexier than a girl alone at a bar. You will exude confidence and mystery, both of which are essential ingredients to be sexually attractive.
5. Be bold.
If you’re painfully shy and not used to IRL interactions, you need to start out with a BANG. Go in for the KILL. Rip the Band-aid OFF. Dive into the dangerous WATERS.
If you see a girl who looks interesting and sexy, walk right up to her. Introduce yourself. Ask her for her name. Ask if you can buy her a drink. That kind of directness is so refreshing, I promise. Plus, you’ll know where you stand right from the jump. If she digs your vibe, she’ll say “sure!” and she’ll be thrilled, especially if she’s super hot. (No one talks to super hot girls. I used to live with a model, so I know these things.) If she isn’t down, she’ll say no. And a woman saying “no” to you is awesome. When she says no, you will stop wasting your time and move on to the next.