What Do Female “Pickup Artists” Know About Flirting That You Don’t?

If you’ve been to bars in major metropolitan cities, chances are you’ve come into contact with a “pickup artist”: a dude who is trying to get your number by following a script. Whether he learned about pickup artistry from Neil Strauss’s book The Game or that VH1 show, “The Pickup Artist,” the guy macking on you is focused on one goal — getting women, including you, into bed.

But the opposite is not true in a “pickup artist school” for women: in fact, London’s Flirt Diva Academy focuses mainly on flirting. According to “flirt coach” Sue Ostler, flirtation is “lighting the spark to your personality and letting people see it shine through” and her Flirt Diva Academy services women ages 16 to 60 in classes like “Bag A Boyfriend” and the “Flirt Masterclass.” Or they can partake in a “Flirt, Schmooze & Shimmy” tour to hone their technique in the field at London’s hottest bars.

Helen Croydon, a journalist for the Times of London, braved the elements and a “Flirt, Schmooze & Shimmy” tour one evening. What she learned will surprise you …

  • Look like you are enjoying yourself.
  • Make note of your surroundings so you can comment on interesting-looking cocktails or the music.
  • Make eye contact, hold it for five seconds and maybe even smile or wink.
  • Lean inwards while you chat.
  • Use the “AEIOU” theory: Ask a lot of questions, use your Ears to listen, show your personality by using “I” statements, be animated like saying “Oh, my God!” and make the person you (U) are talking to the focus of your conversation.

Hmm, most of this advice is so obvious — look like you’re enjoying yourself, really? — that you would assume the only women who actually need to hear it are the ones who live in the proverbial attic with 17 cats. But sadly, if this academy exists, it probably means there is a market for it.

Would you ever hire a “flirt coach” or attend a “pickup” school for women? [Guardian UK]