In the world of sex and dating, bartenders are frontline anthropologists. They've seen it all: the professional Tinder dater who's in it for the free drinks. A literal turd on the dance floor. Bathroom sex galore. But what's the romantic phenomenon they most regularly witness unfolding on the other side of the bar? The failed pickup.
Starting a conversation with a stranger is tough; it's a rare dating-world unicorn who can deliver a rehearsed pickup line without sounding like a complete douchebag. That's why most people who give advice on how to pick up women come across as skeezy bottom-feeders. Barkeeps know this all too well -- their bar floors are littered with the detritus of poorly conceived openers. From eye-rollingly cheesy to borderline offensive, here are some of the most misguided pickup lines according to bartenders.
Being way, way too forward
"I've never been into pickup lines. If you want to talk to someone, just go introduce yourself. Not being a thirsty d-bag is the best pickup line you can use. I once saw a random guy ask a random girl, 'When was the last time you were properly fucked?' which of course immediately led to him being escorted out of the bar. He didn't even get to find out the answer. But possibly the worst of all was recently when a woman attempted to take off her sweater and accidentally took off her shirt too, and then asked me repeatedly to 'fuck her in the bathroom' while I was working." -- Freddy Schwenk, Bar Sovereign, Nashville
Using a pun
"I may not be Fred Flintstone but I sure will make your bedrock. I use this one often. Never works." -- David Shenaut, Raven & Rose, Portland
Using so many puns
"I actually heard a couple reminiscing last night about the pickup lines the gentleman had used to initiate conversation with the young lady. He started off with, 'On a scale of ugly to smokin', you're pretty hot.' This was followed up with, 'Why don't we go back to Myspace so I can Twitter your Yahoo before Googling all over your Facebook.' It evidently worked because they are now married and had a great story to tell.
"The real bummer is I don't hear pickup lines anymore because people have already exchanged pickup lines on a dating app by the time they get to the bar. Or they're just too awkward to initiate conversation so they try to buy drinks and send them down the bar, which I've never seen end well." -- Stuart Jensen, Curio, Denver
Bragging about something that you can't actually brag about
"These two were obviously on a first date and had met online. The guy kept telling the girl that people constantly tell him that he looks like Ryan Gosling. He must have literally thrown that into the conversation like 30 times and he didn't look anything like Ryan Gosling. He was in his mid-30s, slightly overweight, and balding. He was like, 'Maybe it's my bad-boy attitude, I don't know.'" -- Jason Eisner, Gracias Madre, Los Angeles