The Birth of PUA Openers
When the book The Game was published in 2005, what caught the attention of most readers were “PUA openers”. Openers were simple conversation-starters that guys could use to approach a girl they didn’t know.
There had been “chat-up lines” before, of course, but they were jokes, deliberate tabloid-headline bad puns that were never intended to be used1. The Game, for all its flaws, actually told men what to say. And, by and large, the techniques worked.
Since the book came out the topic of these openers has grown unwieldy with variation after variation and a new flavour-of-the-month with every new “guru”. So I thought it’d be helpful to give a quick overview of these PUA openers and let you know where we stand at the LSA.
PUA openers can be broadly divided into “direct openers” and “indirect openers”. Today we’ll look at indirect openers.
Indirect PUA Openers
Indirect openers contrive a reason to start a conversation with a girl that is not the real reason that you want to approach her (presumably that you fancy her). The don’t look any different from how you’d get chatting to anyone: a guy, a girl you don’t fancy… Unlike direct openers, indirect openers can be sub-divided into another four categories:
Opinion Openers: Ask the girl, or group of girls, a question which requires a female opinion: “My friend is going to propose to his girlfriend and wants to make it really memorable. What are some really romantic things he could do?” The question you’re asking could be legitimate, but typically the opinion opener is made up- certainly the ones immortalised in The Game were almost all invented. Although they’re rather old hat now, opinion openers really did take the “pick-up” world by storm all those years ago.
Situational Openers: Utilise the situation to find an excuse to say something to her: ask her if the seat next to her is free; offer to help her carry her bags up the stairs; ask her if you can read her paper; ask her if the book she’s reading is any good.
Observational Openers: Make an observation about something that the two of you can see, hear, taste or touch: the music that’s playing in the bar; a weird-looking guy standing near you; the great smell of fresh coffee, or waffles, or a barbecue; the colourful cocktail she’s just ordered; how hot it is in the tube.
Functional Openers: Ask the girl to do something for you: ask her to hold your drink; ask her to watch your coffee while you go to the loo; ask her the time; ask her for directions; ask her where the next bus is going.
Benefits of Indirect PUA Openers
1. You give her a chance to check you out, listen to your voice and see what you’re like before deciding if she likes you.
2. You don’t need as much confidence to approach indirectly.
3. It’s hard to be rejected outright so it likely won’t harm your mood.
4. The content of the indirect opener can be useful in “carrying” the conversation for the first few minutes.
5. Situational/Observational/Functional openers sound very natural when well-delivered and can start a conversation with a very pleasant vibe.
Drawbacks of Indirect PUA Openers
1. Opinion openers are well-known now and you may find that the girl calls you out on being a “PUA” or using a “PUA opener”.
2. Situational/Observational/Functional openers require you to think of what to say in a short space of time.
3. You get less credit for your approach than by approaching directly. You’ll often still have a fair bit of work to do to get her attracted to you.
4. It can be difficult to transition to anything sexual/intimate if you have opened indirectly.
The LSA Take on Indirect PUA Openers
At the LSA we teach conversation-starters / openers the opposite way to most companies. Most companies advocate using indirect openers at first as “training wheels” to get into low-risk conversations with girls and practise conversation skills. There is some merit to this approach.
We believe guys should start with direct openers. If direct is going to work for you, you might as well find out straight away- opening direct is stronger, simpler and more masculine than contriving a reason to start a conversation with someone
By all means experiment with indirect openers if you are struggling with direct openers. But don’t waste your time on an inferior technique that you might not even need
- I’m talking about the likes of: “Do you have a map? Because I keep getting lost in your eyes…” and “Did it hurt when you fell out of heaven?” [↩]