How to be a manly man, part 2: How to hit on women

The title is somewhat misleading because frankly, I have no idea how to hit on women and this article is about much more than that. Actually, I don’t recall ever having walked up to a girl at a bar or concert out of the blue to hit on them. (How I have always had girlfriends is beyond me… Maybe it’s my sparkling sense of humor. Or my bitchin’ beard.) I’m sure I could have given this article a number of slightly different titles but I figured it’d come off as a bit too pompous had I named it “How to make women happy” or “How to understand women” or anything of the sort.


Story of my life.
Story of my life.


Recently I’ve read some stuff regarding related subjects and talked about it with some people, and I realized a few interesting things. When you randomly ask people -especially if you’re not that close to them- what women want in men, the answers vastly differ. Not counting differences in personality, I have found that men have a tendency to talk about being selfish, making her dependent, having self confidence and being awesome in bed. Women, on the other hand, will say things more along the lines of being thoughtful, sweet, caring, strong and funny. The interesting thing is that when I ask people about this one on one or in ‘safer’ social settings, different answers come up that at times may seem slightly contradictory to the previous answers. Women suddenly admit that they like men to be  aggressive and dominant (especially between the sheets). Men, on the other hand, may suddenly say stuff about being caring, making a woman feel beautiful and *gasp* respecting a woman.

I do realize that, once again not counting individually different preferences, the situation plays a large role as well. Sex, relationships, flirting and the like are all related, but desires in those areas can be very different. In a romantic relationship, it can go from BDSM people establishing dominant/submissive roles to a modern day couple who both have careers and an equal say in every matter pertaining to the relationship. In sex, things can turn 180 degrees. That goes for both men and women. The succesful and assertive man/woman who commands a great deal of respect in daily life may get a great kick out of having ‘degrading’ things done to him/her in bed. Or maybe that vicious, nasty womanizer secretly dreams of tender, chick flick style lovin’ in the sheets like Johnny Depp in Don Juan deMarco.


This is not a chick flick. This is education for men.


At a friend’s party, I once met a guy who mentioned he had a small company where he coached guys how to hit on women efficiently when going out. He mentioned that I was a good example of an alpha male (which made me chuckle, because I never consciously saw myself like that) and he surmised that I was good with women. I replied that I didn’t really know, because first of all I’m not the type that hits on women and second, I never really gave it much conscious thought anyway. You like someone, you do nice stuff for them, you become friends and maybe more – or maybe nothing at all. That was roughly how I felt about it. The amusing thing was that it apparently proved his point, because it was a sign of self confidence, not being needy/desperate, etc. He told me a few of his assumptions about me that would fit the bill, and most of them were creepily accurate. (One that comes to mind was ‘always teasing girls without being afraid of hurting their feelings’, which apparently also gave off an air of self confidence?). Displaying those things (even if you didn’t have it) was one of the key points of his teachings, although he stopped teaching that because he thought it was just ‘fake’, he wanted people to BE self confident and not just ACT like it. So beside the ego boost I got that night -even if I was a bit confused about it-, his insights were interesting and did make a lot of sense.

All in all, one could conclude that it’s just “a matter of personal preference”. I do feel there are some recurring themes that are worth going over in your head though, even if there are many nuances to be made and many exceptions to these rules.

  • Listen. Listening is not just waiting for your turn to speak, it means actively taking in what someone is trying to convey and giving them many opportunities to do so. I always said people should be frank and not mess around with ‘subtle hints’, but everyone does it anyway. Depending on whom you listen to, non-verbal communication makes up 70 to 90% of our communication with a lot of it being subconscious, and then there’s the verbally hidden messages we consciously WANT people to pick up as well. Also, we should always be conscious of the fact that people are generally not as rational as they’d like to believe. (And yes, that goes for men as well). Whole books have been written on listening, but a nice guideline to keep in mind is that if someone responds well to something, keep some focus on that but don’t stop exploring. Actually, that’s good advice for every contact you have with people. This can work with sex,  business stuff, romantic relationships, friendships and probably everything else.
  • Behaving differently in different situations is not the same as faking stuff and there is an enormous grey area between these two. Expect people to do this and you won’t be surprised, disappointed or put off easily. As long as there is no outright, cowardly lying involved, it’s normal. Be conscious of yourself, master it as a skill and always consider whether this could make you unreliable to people. Being reliable is important. So is being able to adapt to different situations appropriately, which is not the same as ‘faking it’ or ‘not being yourself’.
  • Fighting against gender roles or reinforcing them is not inherently right or wrong. It doesn’t really matter whether a woman wants to be in the kitchen or at the top of a major company. It doesn’t really matter whether a man is a stud or a timid family man. It’s more important that people adhere to what makes them feel right, and it’s important to accomodate this in a woman. (Again, this goes for platonic relationships too… Basically it’s important to accomodate this in everyone you care about.)
  • Women like attention from men, but they like it more when a man is passionate and self confident. Dropping everything you love doing to spend some time with her may sound like a great, romantic thing to do, but it doesn’t make you very reliable. (On the other hand, neither does ditching her to get wasted with your friends. Staying true to yourself and your passion and all that jazz is not an excuse to be a dick, but it does add to the explanation of why some women have a habit of falling for apparent douchebags.)
  • “Pain isn’t sexy unless she says it is.” – Timothy Ferris in ‘The 4-hour Body’. Yes, it refers to sex, but it’s a profound and important statement in several ways.
  • Giving what someone really wants is a remarkably effective way to get what you want. If two people give, everyone’s happy. If two people try to take… Let’s just hope they have enough to have taken away then. How do you know what someone really wants then? Listen.
  • Get stronger. I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman who did not like that, either on a shallow or a deeper level. (Unless it was accompanied by an odd degree of narcissism.)
  • Grow some hair on your face. Don’t ask. Just do it.

This post will most likely get a follow up. I’d love to hear some thoughts from other people on this so far.

“Demanding that a woman is weak implies that you need to exert dominance over that woman and if you cannot exert that dominance, then she is unattractive to you. Does this sound like a strong man to you?” – Brandon Morrison from Lift Big, Eat Big.


One Response to How to be a manly man, part 2: How to hit on women

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