The Tangential How-To Guide: How to Pick Someone Up at a Dance Club

The Tangential How-To Guide: How to Pick Someone Up at a Dance Club

1. Get a drink.

2. Go to the middle of the dance floor. If your wingperson is of the gender you’re looking to pick up and is good-looking, dance with him or her a little bit, then break off. If not, or not, then break off immediately.

3. Dance casually. The ideal is to look like you’re about to leave if someone doesn’t get his or her ass in your crotch, or vice-versa, right now. What you don’t want is to look like you’re drunkenly dancing out your liberation after a recent breakup—even if you are. Especially if you are.

4. Make some eye contact. This allows you to determine who is (a) cute and (b) DTH.

5. When you find someone for whom the answers are (a) yes and (b) yes, move in. Use your arms kind of like you’re waving beacons to land an airplane, but more subtly. If it’s a glow stick party, you may consider using glowsticks as landing beacons, but you probably shouldn’t.

6. By means of proximity, you and this individual will mutually indicate just how DTH you are. If the answer is relatively, maybe, sort of, sure, then one of you (“little spoon”) will turn around and grind his or her ass into the crotch of the other (“big spoon”). If the ass is presented dramatically and offered, rather than just plowed into you, then back off—that’s a sign of dancefloor irony, and the person probably has a significant other who’s watching from the sidelines and laughing.

7. Dance, don’t just rock back and forth like you’re at a junior-high dance but one of you is facing the other direction. Doing that actually works just fine for picking someone up, but it makes you look absolutely ridiculous. At some point, you will have to set down your drink. That demonstrates that you’re serious about the relationship, and willing to make sacrifices.

8. The next step is for the big spoon to use his or her hands. This is, appropriately, like cooking bacon—it should happen slowly and carefully. If you are the little spoon and the hands immediately grab your boobs (this is true for both men and women), or if you are the big spoon and your partner grabs your hands and immediately steers them into erogenous zones, resist. If the person isn’t going to romance you with at least a three-minute dancefloor relationship, you deserve better. Also, it means he or she is probably dangerously close to puking on you.

9. If things are going well, the little spoon should turn around. Repeat steps 7 and 8, but now in a position where you can smell his or her breath. If that doesn’t gross you out, then…

10. Kiss the girl. Or the boy. Whatever.

Based on field observations made on the First Avenue dance floor (as documented above) by Jay Gabler and Sarah Heuer.