March 1997
s m u g
by Leslie Harpold

Laying on the Love Rap

Lonely? There may be a reason. If your love rap doesn't have what it takes to cut the mustard, it'll be spank mags and C battery powered accoutrements for you till you get the love rap all polished and in good working order. Talking to girls isn't as easy as it used to be, and talking to boys is no picnic either, I assure you. The rules have changed since the days when all you needed to get a little trim was a zodiac medallion, a van, and some Binaca.

Various diseases and the shifting of social norms have forever changed all that, and now getting someone's attention has become a Herculean task. Keeping it is downright Sisiphysian.

What are people looking for? I took a straw poll of my girlfriends and they said they were looking for a fun guy who wasn't too needy, who could both appreciate poetry, support himself and chop a little wood should the occasion ever arise. I asked my male friends, and they said that the ideal mate for them would vaguely resemble Winona Ryder, doesn't always want to talk about her feelings, supports herself, and lets him pick the music all the time.

How to convey that on first meeting? Chicks are naturally paranoid - having their mothers and gym teachers constantly warn them that men are just out for one thing - sex (or in the case of male musicians, two things, adding a place to sleep to the list). It's not that they don't want the sex too, they just want someone who will return with bagels in the morning instead of using the opportunity to drive home and contemplate whether or not he had mentioned his last name or workplace in the course of the previous evening's festivities. I know these guys are in the minority, but there are enough of them out there to kind of spoil it for the nice guys like you.

Men are naturally suspicious of women who hit on them, fearing she'll be too aggressive and domineering and want her turn at selecting the CDs to bump uglies to. It all evolves too quickly into a Mexican standoff, neither party wanting to give an inch.

So - here are some pointers that work both ways when trying to do the mating dance, sniffing cautiously around one another trying to determine such vital factors as temperament, taste in music and IQ while trying not to succumb to hormonal urgings to go into the bathroom and get down and dirty right there.

Men: The "I'm so sensitive and I Really Care about women and feminism" rap is a dog. We've heard it too much and have assumed the Missouri pose - in other words, show me don't tell me. Retire it now before laws against that particular come on are enacted. All it makes us think is "Is this a man who wants to get spanked?" and shake in disgust.

Women: Hey gals, chick to chick let me confide that showing just how "wild" you can be by knocking back shots with the boys or dancing on the table will only frighten the horses. Conversely, immediately grilling them about their intentions after all the boy does is say "Hello" is similarly counterproductive. Both sees need to chill out a little bit.

The easiest pick up line is one word, and it's a word you have been muttering like a mantra since you were about four. "Pez?" A dollar's investment can get you better results than a puppy or a motorcycle or a leather halter top will any day. Simply walk up to your scope and offer them a Pez. Everyone loves Pez and no one is afraid of them. At least not now, although I see the potential for Pezphobia creeping in if - when the statute of limitations runs out - OJ says "All I wanted was a Pez". For now, we are fortunate enough not to have to take that too literally.

Don't Be Yourself

Being yourself in it's purist form would involve scratching what itches on an ass needed basis, or openly whining about fucking up your nails when you were trying to paint them in the car on the way out. Best to save the real you for a few weeks after you've started getting to know someone. In social situations where the butt sniffing ceremony is being performed - best to be your best you - remembering that is this is a person that you are just meeting, you can feel free to throw out your best one liners and bon mots.

The Friend

The smartest love raps I've seen are done not to the object of desire but to the friend of the object. Remember that for every unattractive person there is a foxier friend somewhere. Best you be nice to all parties concerned. Nothing makes you look better than a vote of confidence by the friend of the one you're interested, and that frees them up to have someone to blame if you do indeed turn out to be a jerk.

And - I hate to mention this - because we all know that SMUG readers have been shown in national polls to be the sexiest people on earth - maybe if you take the time to make friends with people you're not attracted to, they will one day introduce you to someone who turns your crank at full speed. The payoff may be delayed, but these sort of rewards tend to be more bountiful than the scores you make on your own.

Don't talk about the internet. Nothing inspires less sexy fantasies about what hanging out with a person will be like than thinking about them typing, or marking up some HTML. Photoshop can be a little sexy, but unless you're sure your audience will get all the lingo, best to leave the geek speak behind. Have a question ready to ask the person once you screw up the courage to get their attention. Tip: "Do I look fat in this?" or "I seem to have misplaced my congressional Medal of Honor" is not acceptable. So - go out and mix it up kids. No talking about your exes or your bills, and as I stress eternally in the Posedown, wear good shoes.

To be more than honest I can only vouch for these tactics being effective as of 11/96. So I'm trusting the readers to write me and tell me if anything has changed. I haven't seen daylight since we began SMUG, so I may be getting a little rusty.

back to the junk drawer

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