How to Pick Up Girls in Bars and Clubs
Recently we've been getting a lot of comments from guys asking how to pick up girls at bars and nightclubs. I've even had a few commenters on here asking if any of the material on Girls Chase works in nighttime venues.
Well, that's funny to me, because almost everything I discuss on here was developed, tried, and tested first in bars and clubs.
In fact, to this day, these remain my preferred venue type for picking up. You won't find girlfriend-quality girls hanging out much in these places... and you'll even find some downright crazy girls at times.
But if you want to pull off quick pickups and bring girls home within hours or minutes of meeting them... if you want to put yourself in a venue where much of the screening is already done, and a healthy chunk of the women there are looking for something right now... and if you want to really train and hone and test and refine your skills and abilities with women in a fast-paced, ultra-competitive, extreme-as-extreme-gets environment, bars and clubs are it.
Now if all that appeals to you, well... where do you begin?
If you're new to the nighttime scene, you might not realize yet that different kinds of bars and nightclubs attract different kinds of clientele, looking for different things.
Just as you can expect to find different patrons in search of different meals and different experiences in Mexican restaurants than you can in fine dining establishments than you can in fast food joints, so too does the world of nighttime venues offer a variety of flavors to suit all tastes.
Understanding what these are best prepares you to be able to go out and start using these venues right now to find the kinds of women you most want.
The Different Kinds of Bars
Bars come in three distinct varieties:
- Neighborhood bars
- Dive bars
- Popular bars
Bars tend to not be as suited for pick up as other nighttime venues,
as they're generally smaller, more brightly lit, and more "friendly"
environments that are conducive to groups of friends going to hang out,
have drinks, eat snacks, shoot the breeze, and dance. People generally
prefer beer to liquor in bars.
Of these three groups of bars, dive bars are the most reliable pickup locations, while neighborhood bars tend to be the worst. Here's a look at each.
Neighborhood bars have a tendency to be all over the map, in terms of patrons and expectations. You'll find some neighborhood bars stocked with retired military veterans; some that are biker hangouts; others that college kids stop by in droves to pre-game at prior to a night on the town. Some them will have all of these and more in a single venue.
A neighborhood bar is identified by its large gang of regulars, many of whom know each other; its friendly and cordial atmosphere; and its acceptance of both groups of friends and solo visitors there to pound back some ale and shoot the breeze with bartender and bar-goer alike.
Neighborhood bars include:
- Sports bars
- Irish pubs
- English pubs
- Salsa bars
Generally speaking, these bars are not good pickup locations, with the exception perhaps of salsa bars on a salsa night. You won't find many attractive young women at these locations, and most of the ones you will find are deep into socializing with people they're already friends with. Even at salsa bars, the most favorable of these toward pickup, most salsa classes are held in the early evening, and are more conducive to getting a phone number than they are to picking up girls.
Of the three main categories of bar, dive bars are the easiest spots to pick up a girl at. Why so? Mainly because dive bars:
Attract less image-conscious people (thus, that new girl you've just met won't care as much what her friends think if she goes home with you)
Are darker / seedier types of environments (which discourages from visiting them women who are focused on everything being "perfect" or having a night out on the town with the girls, or who aren't bar "veterans")
Are much more likely to serve as meet markets
The downside (depending on your tastes) of a dive bar is that the women in attendance don't get all dressed up to the nines. The upside of this is that they don't expect the best, so you can still manage to pull from here even if you aren't on your A game.
Because women in dive bars tend to be less concerned with their friends' opinions, or to be bigger participants in modern Western "hook up culture," you'll typically find these venues the most reliable pickup spots.
One other reason that dive bars make such good locations to meet women open to accompanying you home the same night: dive bars attract women more experienced in the bar scene, and the more experienced in the bar scene a girl is, the more open she tends to be to casual flings and rapid pickups.
As dating website OkCupid found in its famous analysis of website data "The Best Questions for a First Date," the only correlation for women between the answer to any question and whether a girl said she'd have sex on the first date or not was for the question, "Do you like beer?"
As beer is an acquired taste, and that it typically takes a fair amount of time at bars and parties to acquire it, and the more often a woman is in these situations, the more opportunities she's giving herself to hook up with men and the more likely she is to get comfortable with the idea, it only stands to reason that the more time she spends around beer (at parties and bars), the more she likes its taste, and the more hook ups she has.
Thus, dive bars: home to female drinking pros... and hook up pros, too.
Popular bars include:
- Dance bars
- Music bars
- Piano bars
- Karaoke bars
- College bars
These are basically the big, hopping bars that attract large crowds of attractive / fun-loving young people. In terms of pickup reliability, popular bars are somewhere above neighborhood bars, and below dive bars.
Popular bars attract a more "mainstream" clientele; that is to say, not the older and mixed crowds of neighborhood bars, and not the "bar veterans" of dive bars, but rather your run-of-the-mill, ordinary folks out for some fun, drinking, partying, socializing, and dancing.
The disadvantage of this is you get people less experienced with the bar scene, which means a lot of women with reservations about hooking up in front of their friends. And, because people always come to popular bars with friends, and because they tend to have reservations about hooking up with strangers in front of those friends, this makes picking up in popular bars a lot more challenging than in dive bars.
On the plus side, you can find flashier / more "done up" girls in popular bars than you will in dive bars (not necessary physically prettier, but typically better hair / clothes / make up; "hotter," if you will). And you can sometimes pull - but usually that happens later at night, when everyone's somewhat drunk and a girl's friends are all over the place.
You'll tend to find that the most fights happen at popular bars, too; just as popular bars attract immature women inexperienced with the bar scene, they also attract a lot of immature men who easily become drunk, sexually frustrated, and aggressive. So long as you're ready to sidestep aggressors and calm things down after finding out a girl has a boyfriend only after he comes up and puts his hands on you, and you keep your wits about you, you'll be fine.
Just remember that people tend to roll in big groups at popular
bars, so tread a little lightly if you're there by yourself. These
places can still be fun, and you can sometimes pick up from them, if
you don't drink too much and you keep your head screwed on straight.
The Different Kinds of Lounges
While technically considered bars, I'm including lounges here as a separate category, mostly because they tend to attract very different crowds and have very different atmospheres than most bars.
The three kinds of lounges are:
- Hotel bars
- Cocktail lounges
- Hookah/shisha bars
Unlike bars, people don't come here to drink beer, or to party (except in the case of some hotel bars); rather, they're here to relax, sip a cocktail, and make conversation.
Dress codes at lounges are more upscale; while you may be able to
get away with t-shirts and loose-fitting jeans at most bars, in a
lounge you'll want to have at least
a button-down shirt on - if not a blazer or fashionable coat on top of
it. And forget about anything
that doesn't hug your frame; looking
good is more important than feeling comfortable in a lounge.
For all the glamor of a hotel bar - imagine the mystique of meeting some beautiful woman staying at the hotel, all alone in the room paid for by her company, whiling away her night with a martini and a cigarette at the bar - they're actually surprisingly difficult to pick up at compared to the other lounge options.
Partly, this is because there simply aren't a lot of lonely businesswoman travelers out there manning the bar at their hotels. And partly, this is because the hotel bars that are popular - e.g., the Ivy Hotel bars, the W Hotel and its bars, the Hard Rock Hotel and the bars it has there - tend to be trendy lounges akin to the "popular bars” discussed above where young people new to the bar scene come to see and be seen with large gaggles of their friends - not to meet somebody new.
So, while you'll often see and hear of lots of "hot" girls in attendance at these, you'll also find them much harder to pull women home from than other lounges, despite the often larger numbers of women present.
Women in hotel bars tend to have their "shields" up, ready to deflect incoming male suitors on autopilot, no matter how stylish, attractive, or smooth those male suitors may be. That's because they aren't being dismissed because the woman has actually gotten to know them and thinks they aren't her type; it's rather because she's working off the assumption that every man who bothers to approach her here is "gaming" her, or a "playboy."
Best advice for picking up in hotel bars? Get there early, before the women present have switched into autopilot dismissal mode. You still stand a chance of meeting girls on a human-to-human basis at this point, rather than having to break out your A game just to say "hello" like you will later on in the night.
Cocktail lounges are the dark, smoky places filled with stylish
furniture, ambient music, and people interested in people. Because
they're so similar in clientele and behavior, I'm including wine bars
the "cocktail lounges" category here.
Of the three main types of lounges, you stand the best odds of picking up girls here, at the cocktail lounge; better than hotel bars, and better than hookah bars.
What makes cocktail lounges so conducive to picking up are the following things:
People go to cocktail lounges to relax and talk, rather than to dance and party
Most people in cocktail lounges are open to meeting new people
Music sets the tone for interactions, and the music in cocktail lounges (ambient and house music) tends to be the music most conducive to seduction and building and creating sexual tension
You'll find that women in cocktail lounges tend to be attractively dressed, open to meeting strangers, and often somewhat older than the women you'll meet in hotel bars (e.g., 21+ in a hotel bar; 24 or 25+ in a cocktail lounge). Women in cocktail lounges tend to be classier women than you'll find in dive bars, but similarly experienced with nighttime establishments and similarly open to casual liaisons.
That means, when you ask her to leave with you and join you for a nightcap, she won't flip out and tell you in a dazed panic that she needs to ask her friends first (as women at hotel bars and popular bars are wont to do), and instead will simply look you in the eye, smile like a minx, and say, "Sure... why not?"
Known as hookah bars (or lounges) in most of the United States, and shisha bars in the U.K., these establishments cater to laid back clientele there to relax, smoke some flavored tobacco, have a few drinks, and chat.
While hookah bars aren't quite as conducive to same-night pick ups as regular cocktail lounges are (as women tend to be seated more with groups of people, and thus more "entrenched"), you'll find that, on average, they're somewhat easier to pull from than hotel bars.
This is because they attract a clientele that straddles the
middle ground between hotel bars and cocktail lounges. While the women
you'll meet here aren't quite as experienced with going out as the
women you'll meet in cocktail lounges most of the time, they
tend to be more experienced and comfortable with it than the women in
hotel bars, and, thus, more open to making new acquaintances and more
open to doing something with
those new acquaintances.
Hookah bars tend to be more "casual" than either hotel bars or cocktail lounges, inasmuch as people dress a bit less formally at these and act a bit more relaxed. However, you can still find classy, modernist hookah bars with ambient music and well-dressed women - and these tend to be your best bet for picking up that night at hookah lounges.
The Different Kinds of Nightclubs
I break nightclubs down into three unique categories:
- Dance clubs
- Player's clubs
- House clubs
There's nothing "official" about these terms, but they correspond roughly to the types of venues you'll encounter.
Nightclubs offer some of the most "extreme" environments you can pick up in, featuring quite often more worked up women, more jealous boyfriends, more sexual energy, and significantly shorter escalation windows than almost anywhere else. If you weren't too sure if the mantras on Girls Chase of moving fast and attraction has an expiration date were accurate, a few rounds in a nightclub will settle all doubts.
Here's what you can expect in each one of these venues:
"Dance clubs" I define as super loud, often very dark nightclubs that serve as little more than big dance halls for throbbing, sweaty scores of men and women. Dance clubs play LOUD popular music, hip-hop, and techno, and feature little sitting or talking area and LOTS of dance floor space. If I could pick any single nighttime venue that was best-suited to what many women want out of their bar/club experiences and worst-suited to what most men want out of their bar/club experiences, it'd be the dance club.
When you read online reviews of a nightclub and see scads of women leaving 5-star reviews that read, "OMG! This is THE best nightclub EVER! Don't just go here... go here RIGHT NOW for the TIME of your LIFE!!!" that's a dance club - and when you hear these things about it, you're either going to have one of two reactions:
Inexperienced Club Guy: "Whoa, women are having such a GREAT TIME here... this is probably the best place in TOWN to pick up at!"
Experienced Club Guy: "Whoa, women are ecstatic about this place... that means they're getting reams and reams of attention from countless men, brushing these suitors off left and right, dancing and making out with others like crazy and then walking away like nothing, and basically feeling like all-powerful princes who call the shots with every man they see and leave every single guy wanting more. This place is probably the worst place in town to pick up at."
The reason that women love these places is because they get mountains of emotional validation from the volumes of horny drunk guys present. The reason that men keep going to these places is because they get dances and make outs and feel women up, and keep thinking that they almost got there and that next time they're going to seal the deal.
Slow down, Casanova; you're not thinking logistics here.
Like we discussed in that sexual tension article, kissing women acts as an extinguisher, or a
"release," for sexual tension. Once you've kissed a girl, she
knows she's got you, and she doesn't
need to keep going on with you.
Is it possible to pick up girls at dance clubs? Of course.
Is it advised?
No, absolutely not.
When I used to teach pick up in-field to guys, and I'd have guys
signed up for boot camps or one-on-ones, we'd usually do part of the
boot camp at a dance club, simply because there were so many women
to approach, and then we'd do the
rest of the session at a house club or a cocktail lounge or a wine bar,
because that was where the guys would get results.
When you're getting paid to train a guy, you want to make sure he sees results, and most of these guys who are learning how to pick up only ever go to dance clubs because they feel more anonymous and easier to approach in. But they're also significantly harder to get results in.
A good rule of thumb for dance clubs is this: take whatever girl you normally get at a cocktail lounge, and subtract two points. Or whatever girl you normally get during day game and subtract four points.
Normally I'm anathema to the very flawed 10-point scale of rating women by looks, but for the sake of clarity if we use it here that'd look like this:
If you normally pull 9s during day game, you can expect to pull 7s in a cocktail lounge, and 5s at a dance club (6s on a really lucky night)
If you normally pull 8s during day game, you can expect to pull 6s in a cocktail lounge, and 4s at a dance club
... and so on, and so forth.
Now, it is possible to pull the really hot girl from a dance club for a same-night lay; but, it's very difficult. Because of the charged emotions and the tons of men repeatedly approaching her, you're best able to pull same night from a dance club if you have perfect logistics.
That is, if you're staying in a hotel right next door to the club, or your apartment's a block down. You've essentially got to get her out of there and alone with you and escalating before the emotional high wears off, and it doesn't last long.
Because you don't have any real connection to go off of in a dance club... just emotion.
What about dance floor game, you might ask?
Same problem. It's emotional spiking. You might get a club make out, but once you've done that for a while you'll soon realize that kissing girls in nightclubs actually makes it harder to get them out of there going home with you.
As you reach mid-pull, she starts coming out of the cloud of emotions and realizing things rationally... and suddenly, she knows the two of you are leaving to have sex, and she isn't sure if that's what she wants to do. So, she objects; she protests; and then, she begs off and leaves.
Dance clubs are very tempting, I know; almost every aspiring nighttime pickup artist gravitates toward them eventually, for the number of scantily clad women they contain and the just-out-of-reach feel of those women, who will dance, touch, kiss, and flirt like crazy.
You can pull - sometimes, at the end of the night. But generally,
this is only with mid-level girls who are drunk and sloppy, confused
and stumbling around. Not fun, not pretty, and not the kind of girl you
really want to take home, unless you are very much looking forward to a
night of drunk loving, morning-after hangovers, and non-metaphorical
walks of shame.
Trust me - there are better options out there for your nightclub enjoyment.
The player's club is what I call a club that isn't really a dance club - its music isn't quite deafening enough, and there's too much floor space dedicated to non-dance floor activities, like bars and tables. This is the kind of nightclub I first cut my teeth in, in a venue named exactly that: the Player's Club.
Player's clubs tend to be more relaxed than their wild cousins the dance clubs, with people moving frequently back and forth between the dance floor and the other areas of the club, which are more lounge-like. If you get there early, you can typically grab a spot at the bar while things fill up, although you typically won't want to stay there long once the crowds start coming.
Like dance clubs, player's clubs tend to play a mix of popular, hip-hop, and techno music (often badly mixed), though the volume is at tolerable enough levels that you can shout some conversation with girls. It's still rather difficult to talk here, and you'll find that attention spans aren't the greatest, and escalation windows still aren't the longest.
Women are slightly more open to meeting new people in player's clubs than they are in dance clubs. The secret here is to be ready to quickly peel a girl away from her group of friends and get her moving and sitting somewhere with you.
You'll still find it logistically difficult to pull - player's clubs are similar to popular bars in that girls are usually there with groups of their friends - but you'll still have an easier time of it here than you will at dance clubs.
The crème de la crème of nightclubs, if your interest is in picking up new women to share fantastic sexual experience with (as opposed to, say, dancing the night away).
When I moved to Washington, D.C. in 2006, I had absolutely zero interest in house music. I was a fan of rap; it was what I listened to, almost exclusively, with a little Bob Marley thrown in for good measure.
The house clubs of D.C. changed all that for me.
Why'd I become a huge fan of house and ambient music? Simple: tons and tons of good experiences tied to this style of music.
Emotional anchoring works on everyone, and when you've had consistently great experiences tied to a specific type of music, you come to love it.
My very first night in a house club I met a stunning Peruvian girl
who'd go on to become my first real girlfriend and to-date the girl I
dated for the longest period of my life. On frequent visits after that,
I picked up numerous girls same-night, and met a great deal more. No
other type of venue in D.C. held a candle to these. At my favorite D.C.
house club, I had a same-night pickup ratio of about 25%; not bad for a
guy with a beer gut and a baby face who was still for all intents and
purposes a beginner (and I was picking up some pretty cute girls,
Living in San Diego, again, my most reliable pickup location was a tiny house club / lounge. I ended up picking up same night or meeting a girl I'd later sleep with even more frequently than at the D.C. location. I had great luck at another big house club there, too.
Everywhere I traveled after that, I kept finding house clubs consistently the easiest places to pull from. My pull rate narrowed the gap as my skills improved - I found it easier to pull from the more challenging venues, while my pull rate at house clubs continued improving, though not as fast - but house clubs remained the easiest places to extract women from.
Why is that?
When I was new to learning seduction, I found that most of the other
guys learning pickup kept going to the more "mainstream" venues,
heading to dance clubs and popular bars, and kept not getting laid.
And I'd tell them, well, look, why don't you come to these house clubs with me, you'll be amazed how much easier it is there! Not only that, but you'll be able to amass a bunch of experiences going from meet to lay, build up your skill level, and build up your confidence levels, so even if you really, really, really prefer the girls at dance clubs and popular bars, heck, you can go back to those places armed with better everything!
And these guys would just keep declining, and I'd run into them years later and I'd be picking up chicks left and right and dating gorgeous women with incredible personalities, and these guys would still be twiddling their thumbs at dance clubs or popular bars, still no better at picking up than they were years before, or they'd be locked up in a monogamous relationship with some rather rotund woman who appeared for all the world to be the one wearing the pants in the relationship.
That's because house clubs are considered "underground." They're not places you go if you're a normal, social circle-having, play-by-the-rules-being type of guy (or gal).
Instead, at house clubs, you get all the rest: everything from
weirdoes to beauty queens, all the people who don't want to go to the
more mainstream places because either A) they won't be accepted, or B)
they'll be mobbed by sloppy drunk guys without style, grace, or charm,
and unlike faux "hot" girls dressing up to make themselves appear more beautiful for the sake
of getting attention, they're legitimately beautiful women who don't need more attention from random
men, and prefer to go somewhere they can disappear, relax, and be
treated like normal human beings.
What makes house clubs great for picking up, then? The following:
Ambient/house music creates a sexual vibe. If you've ever spent time in a house club, you'll know right away what I mean when I say the pulsating rhythm and deep bass used there creates a very sexual vibe. Where pop music creates "dance the night away!" vibes, and hip-hop creates "grind-'n'-fight" vibes, and techno creates "go crazy dancing and jumping!" vibes, house and ambient music create "move fluidly and get turned on" vibes. In fact, this is the only music I recommend if you want to play music back at your apartment when alone with a girl, too.
House clubs have an atmosphere that lends itself to conversation. Women are less "on guard" in house clubs that at pretty much any other type of venue. People get into conversations here; random men with random men, random women with random women, random men and random women. Everybody socializes... it's normal. A house club isn't like a dance club, where you go with your friends and dance the night away... rather, you go to a house club to meet, connect, listen to the DJ, and compare notes on other house music experiences.
You're much more likely to meet women alone here. You'll just about never meet a girl by herself in a dance club, but women come alone to house clubs all the time. While a girl would feel overwhelmed and threatened alone in a dance club, the more relaxed air and clientele of a house club make her feel relatively safe flying solo. She might be there just for a drink... but often if she's there alone, it's because she's there to pick up too.
Women are far more comfortable slipping off into the night with you. Whether that's to go grab a seat on the closest sofa, or to hop in your car and head back to your place, women in house clubs have a lot fewer reservations about breaking off from their friends and going with you than they do in dance clubs. Partly this is because house venues attract a more experienced-with-nightlife clientele, and partly it's because things are just more comfortable in house clubs and she's more comfortable saying, "Okay."
House clubs are the most likely candidates to be "meet markets." Most cities have meet markets, but it's not usually the places you hear about. You won't find most real meet markets listed on Internet discussion forums; in fact, the last time I checked on San Diego, one of the toughest places to pull from was listed as the city's #1 meet market on most lists! This is probably due to women voting up places as "meet markets" the places where they get approached by the largest number of men... as opposed to the place where they actually meet the most men that they go home with, or go on to date. Reactions vs. results.
So how do you find your city's real meet markets? Simple - you look. Often, in the course of your explorations of less "popular" venues, you'll find the ones that still attract sizeable crowds, but that are surprisingly easy to meet people in, get conversations going, and get compliance from the kind of women you like. Voila - meet market found.
For these reasons, you'll tend to find that house clubs have some of the best pull-to-visit ratios you'll experience. If you want the best odds of pulling when you go out, go to a nightclub that plays exclusively house and ambient music.
Venue Layout Specifics
When you're gauging a venue to discern how good it's going to be for pick up, you want to look at a few logistical elements in the venue's layout:
- Number of floors
- Centrality of the bar(s) as opposed to the dance floor(s)
- Whether there's a catwalk or not
Obviously, bigger is better (more room to spread out, wander around, and more capacity for women to fill into), but the other ones aren't quite as naturally intuitive.
Size: bigger is better. The larger the size of the venue, the more women it can fit, and (unless it's a place in the process of failing), the more people you can typically expect it to get. A good size also means more space for people to spread out; you don't want a totally empty bar or club, but trying picking up in a mosh pit and you'll realize that the more people there are, the more women are on guard, and the less open to meeting strangers they tend to be.
Seating: look for lots of empty chairs and sofas. There's nothing less conducive to picking up girls in bars and clubs than bars and clubs with nowhere to sit. You know the ones; they're mostly big dance floors, with a few VIP tables scattered about, or a few seats at the bar, and that's it. Look for ample seating; the more space there is to sit down, the greater the likelihood that there'll be somewhere to sit once you're meeting women and ready to move girls.
Narrowness: narrower is better (to a point). Here's one that might surprise you: narrower is better when your goal is to pick up. The very most popular bars and clubs tend to be ones with lots of big, wide, open space - but these tend to make women feel exposed, vulnerable, and more on-guard. They're also not very suited to naturally "bumping into" women as narrower places are. Obviously, you don't want somewhere that's so narrow it hardly fits anyone in; but look for venues narrow enough in most places that it's easy to meet women in them without having to close a big gulf of space, or stand there uncomfortably without a wall or bar or railing to comfortably lean against.
Number of floors: 2 to 3 is ideal. The great thing about multiple floors is the ability to move among them, keeping things "fresh." Once you've spent much time on a floor, you'll find you've approached a number of the women there, but changing to another level often means a lot of new women to approach. One floor is too few; you're liable to get trapped in a place that's tapped out. But more than 3 floors is usually too many; these places are too big, too confusing, and tend to lead to too much defensiveness from women. Look for venues with 2 or 3 different floors to spend time on.
Centrality of the bar(s): look for central locations. Venue layouts tend to favor either a centrally located dance floor (most nightclubs) with a bar off to the side, or a centrally-located bar (some clubs; more common in bars and lounges) with the dance floor off to the side. You want to look for the centrally-located bar(s) and relatively marginalized dance floor(s), as the central location is where people tend to congregate, and pick up is a lot easier and more consistent off the dance floor than on it.
Catwalk: look for these. Something you might not think to look for, but I highly suggest you do, is a catwalk. Catwalks tend to replace dance floors on upper levels, with a setup commonly being a dance floor on the first level, and a catwalk ringing the dance floor and looking down over it on the second. What this tends to mean is that the second level of the venue is entirely devoted to standing and socializing, with nobody dancing - prime choice for picking up. Additionally, women scattered around a catwalk looking down tend to be in reflective moods, and more open to meeting new people.
When you find a venue with most of these attributes, you'll often have a winner. When you find a venue with all of them... well, check the crowd, but assuming there are enough attractive women in attendance, you've almost certainly found a great place to pick up.
Bars and clubs are both straightforward places to pick up at, and a little challenging and intimidating when you're new. Because of the sensory overload most of these places have to offer (especially nightclubs), and the sheer volume of drunk and sometimes intimidating strangers, they can seem a bit much, especially when you're more accustomed to day game or meeting girls at parties.
So how exactly do you approach meeting women in these venues?
Simple: you need a game plan for the night, you need to identify which women you want to meet, you want to screen women out, not in, and you need your process down.
Your Nighttime Game Plan
When I was still new to going out at night, I tended to fall into one of two patterns in how I approached a night out:
I'd either spend all of my time in ONE (1) venue, or
I'd spend all of my time bouncing from place to place to place.
I later started realizing that most of my pickups happened on the relatively rare outings when I visited two (2) venues only, despite the fact that they made up only a fraction of my nights out. I realized that on these nights, I was using one venue (the first) to warm up and get going in, and one (the second) to really burn the house down in and swing the bat hard.
Once I realized this, I ended up making this a part of my default nighttime game plan: go to two venues, and two venues only, no more, no less.
A little later, I began experimenting with nighttime street game, and achieved some of the fastest pickups in my life. I started viewing street after bars and clubs closed as so reliable that it became my default "back up plan;" if I really wanted to pick up, and couldn't do so in a bar or a club, I could probably do so on the streets afterward.
These days, when I recommend a guy set up a nighttime game plan, I recommend he set one up like this:
First venue: get comfortable approaching, and talk to a fair amount of new people here. Get here early.
Second venue: arrive here once you've warmed up at Venue #1, but before the main crowd shows up. Begin meeting people while it's still empty and women's defenses are still lowered. Do your best to pull here.
Street: in between venues, and after the second venue lets out for the end of the night, approach women on the street. Strike up conversations, then immediately look to pull.
You'll want to be focused on talking to lots of girls, and the first venue is what you'll be using to get warmed up and doing that. No worries if you have a bit of approach anxiety; you'll get that sorted in Venue #1. And no worries if you come off a bit stiff or unpolished when you're starting up for the night; by the time you reach Venue #2 you'll be humming (while most of the rest of the guys just showing up for the start of their nights are all thumbs with the girls).
You'll also want to decide how big an impact alcohol is going to have in your evening; while sex and alcohol are decidedly linked, drinking too much is a recipe for a bad night (that doesn't result in you picking up, or at least picking up any especially attractive young ladies). I have a few friends able to mix copious amounts of liquor with successful picking up, but these friends are friends who've been drinking copious amounts of liquor for very long times and retain a great degree of control over their mental faculties even as they drink most of the competition under the table.
Unless you're a drinking pro, my advice here is to keep it to a couple of drinks a night, and nurse those drinks. A slight buzz helps get you going more easily, be wittier, more relaxed, and more on-point; being even a little drunk though is going to mean you're off your game and making mistakes.
Identifying Which Women to Approach
Also known as "target selection" by some of the more technical students of seduction, identifying the women you want to meet is something that can save you a lot of both time and hassle, and up the odds you go home with a new girl you like.
The problem with this, though, is this: you won't be able to do it without much experience. You need to be socially experienced in order to have the social intuition necessary for sifting through the various different signs and signals you're getting from all the women around you.
For instance, a man new to the bar scene may see a scantily-clad woman and think to himself, "Oh! There's a girl who CLEARLY wants to be picked up tonight!" only to find that he spends a lot of time with her and never gets beyond flirting with her.
Conversely, the same man may see a woman dressed in a t-shirt and baseball cap and think to himself, "Meh, that girl doesn't want anything," only to be surprised to watch her leave with some other man an hour later. "Maybe he was her boyfriend?" the guy asks himself, knowing full well he wasn't.
The fact is, the flashier she's dressed, the higher her expectations are for her night - and for YOU. She's expecting a night of heavy doses of attention, men drooling over her, and only the most perfect Prince Charming sweeping her off her feet.
If she's dressed down though, that means her expectations are virtually non-existent. She isn't going out to be the pretty, shiny object... she's just going out to go out. And that means that any attractive men she meets are a bonus.
I've long since adopted a personal philosophy of, "When you really want to pick up, approach the dressed-down girls first."
The dressed-up girls are good for practice. And you will get these girls... sometimes.
But for the absolute best return on the investment (of your time, effort, and energies), approach girls who are dressed down. I've picked up lots of dressed down girls who were every bit as attractive under their unexceptional clothing (or more so) than the flashy girls were as lots of other men who wanted to pick up were busily competing for that one club queen off over there shaking her booty and waiting for the next man to approach and try his hand at her.
But once her clothes are off, it doesn't matter how flashy they were... all that matters is how good she looks without them.
When identifying women to approach, then, look for the standard stuff:
- Women who are looking around a lot / distracted / disinterested with friends
- Women with open body language / feet, heads, or bodies open to the crowd
- Women who look calm (not über-excited, nor depressed)
... but also look for these things:
- Women who aren't being as flirtatious
- Women who aren't dressed quite as flashy
- Women who aren't being the "main event"
While ovulating women tend to be both hornier and more flirty and flashier in dress, as discussed in "What's the Best Way to Pick Up Girls? Get the Ones Looking for You," these women often attract suitors to them like moths to a flame, which means you're going to be facing:
Fierce and determined competition (men can "sense" fertile women, and compete hard for them)
Women with higher "walls," their defenses in place from being swamped with men approaching them
Women with more fickle taste, with lower tolerance for mistakes, shorter escalation windows, and more fleeting interest in specific men
In other words, these flirty, fickle women you'll see men climbing over one another to compete for in bars and clubs are absolutely, positively fantastic to test your skills out on and push your boundaries with, and provided you're already at an intermediate level of skill you'll learn lots from them when trying to pick them up.
However... even with an advanced degree of skill, you'll only on occasion be able to actually land these girls, and get them invested in you and leaving with you and going home with you and going to bed with you.
The rest of the time, you'll just end up frustrated, wondering why it's so hard to pick up in bars and nightclubs.
Well, when you're going for the same girl that half the club is too, and you're not already a pickup pro, that's the equivalent of asking yourself why it's so hard to win the NBA championship when you're not even in the NBA yet.
Is it possible? Yes, absolutely. Is it likely, when everybody and his brother, including guys with better looks, who are smoother with women, and more experienced than you, are trying their luck as well?
No, not really.
So if you're in "pick up TONIGHT!" mode, and not "learning and pushing boundaries" mode, focus on the girls with the traits we talked about that signal them as the easiest for you to pick up.
Screen Women OUT, Not In
Most guys new to pick up have a very simple philosophy when it comes to screening:
Try to help as many women as possible pass their screens.
As a result of this, they end up with tons of women available to them... hardly any of them the right ones.
Believe it or not, not every woman out there is open to being picked up at any given time by any guy who comes along and smiles the right way and says the right things. Throw Brad Pitt or George Clooney in a nightclub and ask them to pick up one particular girl you point out, and they might be able to... but even with the advantage of fame added onto their good looks and great charm, there's a good chance they get a "no."
This isn't a reflection on them, and it isn't one on you when you get rejected by girls... it's simply the way things go; not all women are open to being picked up by all men, all the time.
A girl might say "no" to Brad Pitt, but "yes" to George Clooney. Or she might say "yes" to Pitt, but "no" to Clooney. Or maybe she doesn't like Hollywood very much, and she says "no" to both men... but "yes" to you. There are a million different things that can happen with a million different women.
Thus, why you want to be pushing for investment and for girls to move with you quickly into an interaction: to screen out the ones who aren't interested, and to get the ones who are interested in you rapidly upping their investment and growing accustomed to following your lead.
Having Your Process Down
The last part of this, of course, is your process: you need to know what you're doing with women if you want to pick them up and take them home.
We've discussed process a few times on here, but for the sake of simplicity I'll lay out a straightforward process (the one I followed for years in bars and clubs, until my targeting was good enough that I could be more selective more easily) right here:
Do a fair amount of approaches to get warmed up and build social momentum
Keep moving and meeting new women, working to get quick investment and move them, screening out non-compliant women and women who aren't especially interested in you
- Get her sitting down with you soon into deep diving, if you
aren't seated already
Continue escalating investment from the girl, getting more compliance, and screening her via deep diving
Once she seems ready (anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour, normally), invite her home
Kiss her within 10 minutes (ideally, sooner) of getting her into your place
Escalate to sex
This is simple and straightforward, but most guys don't have a process like this.
Fact is, if you armed every guy with a simple process that took him from meet to close, I guarantee you the number of men picking up women regularly would rocket sky-high.
But, as a reader of this article, you're in a rather unique position... because most men will never take the time to figure out what their process ought to be.
Instead, they'll just "wing it," and repeatedly go home empty, alone, and frustrated.
How to Pick Up Girls in Bars and Clubs TONIGHT
You'll notice that most of this article is focused on the types of venue, with only about a quarter of it on your actual process.
That's partly because so much of the pickup process is covered in various other articles all over this site (see: "How to Get Girls;" "How to Pick Up Girls," etc.), but also partly because the venue really DOES make a huge impact in the kind of night you're going to have.
If you're spending most of your time in dance clubs and popular bars, like the majority of men out there, you're going to be fighting an uphill battle every time you go out to pick up.
By diversifying your taste in venue - and by getting a game plan and process down, and by better identifying which women to meet and screening out the ones who don't want what you want - you enable yourself to do what most men struggle crazily to do and still fail to do:
Pick up pretty new girls, and take them home with you.
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