Dating Handbook: Pickup Lines and Driving Stories

Dear Tom and Ray:

Listen up, you knuckleheads!

Concerning great "lines" to use in picking up "chicks" (and the "turkeys" who call them that), you're succumbing to a common myth that men have about the importance of "the line" in picking up women.

We ivory-tower academics know a lot about this, because we've done RESEARCH. Ahem!! A fellow named Timothy Perper actually got a Guggenheim fellowship a few years ago to hang out in singles bars and watch the abovementioned chicks and turkeys perform their mating rituals. He wrote a book about it called Sex Signals: The Biology of Love and reached the following conclusions:


  • WOMEN, not men, make the first move in courtship.
  • They walk into the bar, scan it visually, and then sit within sight of the men they think they might want to meet.
  • Then they emit signals (studied recently by Professor Monica Moore in St. Louis and by Profesor Naomi McCormick, recently at SUNY Plattsburgh) to attract the attention of these men.
  • One signal is the "hair toss" (like you see in shampoo commercials). Another is the "clothing adjust" (absentmindedly pulling on the shoulders of their blouse).
  • Men respond to these signals by approaching the emitting women and feeding them a "line." If the man is one the woman wants to meet, the line "works"; if not, it doesn't "work."
  • What the "line" says is almost irrelevant.

So, stop wasting your time, my time and that of your other listener by talking about lines. Tell men to read that book and learn the signals. That way they can only approach women who have already signaled their interest, and EVERY LINE WILL WORK!!

Or you can have them read the "Courtship" chapter in my book, Sexual Landscapes: Why We AreWhat We Are, Why We Love Whom We Love (Scribners, 1987). This is not a shameless plug, because my book, like some of yours, is out of print (unless, of course, enough people steal it from the libraries that already have it, thus triggering a massive flood of orders, and causing the publisher to pick up the paperback rights). I'll send you a copy of that chapter this week.

By the way, ask your mom how she met your dad--I'll bet SHE has an interesting story to tell!!

Mostly sincerely yours,

Jim Weinrich
--with a Ph.D. from the most prestigious university in Harvard Square

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