How Not To Pick Up A Guy At A Party

Of all the places where you could possibly pick up a guy, a party is a pretty safe bet. After all, presumably all the guests have been vetted, and if anyone seems interesting, you can get the 411 without even Googling. Asking the host about their friend may be old-school, but it’s also effective. After all, his Facebook page isn’t going to tell you he left his last girlfriend for a guy or that the red spot on his lower lip is marinara sauce, not the herp (or vice versa).

But parties are also fraught with rules that you don’t have to worry about if you’re scamming for man-flesh at a bar. At a bar, you’re surrounded by strangers you’ll never see again. At a party, everyone’s going to remember (and remind you) if you behave badly. So here are a couple tips to help you avoid getting crossed off everyone’s guest list. Use this opportunity to perfect your come-hither stare.

Though it’s been a few years, I still remember gazing at this bed-headed hottie on the other side of the room. He was smiling my way and I thought things were progressing nicely until my friend Ann walked up and whispered in my ear, “Do yourself a favor and don’t ever make that face again.” I went into the bathroom and re-created my sexxxy stare in the mirror. Oh my. Being surrounded by pals is awesome—they’ll tell you when you have spinach stuck in your teeth, if you’ve tucked your skirt into your thong and when you’re contorting your face into that of someone who might be portrayed by Juliette Lewis in a movie for the Lifetime channel.

Just because he’s famous, you don’t get an a**hole pass.

Did you ever notice how, when certain short guys get loaded they pick fights with the biggest dude at the bar? This is a similar phenom to how certain people react around famous people; in a lame attempt to prove how cool and unbothered they are in the face of fame, they actually wind up behaving like jackasses. A young lady I know (OK, me—but it was a really long time ago), once marched up to Matt Dillon and drunkenly ordered him to fetch me a drink. Not surprisingly, Matt demurred. Also not surprisingly, he didn’t ask me out on a date or even try to make out with me (and I would’ve!). Famous friends are a rare commodity, so if you alienate one of your friend’s FFs, take it from me—you’ll be the one who gets banished.

If you meet Mr. Right, don’t make him Mr. Right Now.

Say it actually does happen. He’s there. Mr. Perfect-Pants. The electricity is sizzling, the conversation is scintillating, his ass is fine and you’ve never met someone who “gets” you like this guy does, etc. Calm down and keep it in your pants, sister. One or two stolen kisses in the corner is fine. A quick grope by the pool, go for it. But monopolizing the only bathroom for a round of naked Twister is decidedly not OK. Nor is “borrowing” the hostess’s bedroom. If you have to go there, go home.

Only invite one date at a time.

This would seem to be common sense, but when you’re seeing a few different people casually, you never really know who’s going to show up, so why not hedge your bets? I stupidly invited my Plans A and B to a party at my house. Naturally, Plan B was the one who showed and while I was happy to see him, I was also busy entertaining and watching the door for Plan A. I foolishly left Plan B alone with my friend Alyssa (who had no idea he was my date), who told him that she really hoped my date (Plan A) would show up. Guess who went home with Alyssa, and guess who stayed home alone? Yeah, that’d be me. And yes, I realize I deserved that.