Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Girls don’t appreciate creepy pickup strategies: Female students share their worst bar stories

UMaine Law students Marpheen Chann (LEFT) Toye Akinjiola and Carlos Medina attempt to flirt and chat up an annoyed and non-reciprocating Abby Kohle, a senior communication major in a simulated situation at the Great Lost Bear. This image is meant to highlight the uncomfortable situations that average women may find themselves in while attempting to have a peaceful drink at a bar.
Francis Flisiuk | The Free Press
UMaine Law students Marpheen Chann (LEFT) Toye Akinjiola and Carlos Medina attempt to flirt and chat up an annoyed and non-reciprocating Abby Kohle, a senior communication major in a simulated situation at the Great Lost Bear. This image is meant to highlight the uncomfortable situations that average women may find themselves in while attempting to have a peaceful drink at a bar.

Posted on February 10, 2015 in News
By Francis Flisiuk

Bar and clubs are usually the stereotypical hot spots to pick up women and with Valentine’s Day around the corner, the nightlife in Portland is sure to be filled with thirsty dudes looking for some last minute love. But how do women feel about that?

Based on the experiences of several female students the general consensus is grim: a good portion of men are over-aggressive creeps when it comes to their strategies for scoring dates.

“I’m sure every girl has been hit on, one way or another, in a creepy fashion,” said Nicole Downing, a sophomore art major.

According to Downing, “creepy behavior,” can be anything from prolonged stares, the use of pickup lines, to unwanted touching and grabbing. From the accounts of female students, these behaviors happen far too often and can discourage girls from feeling comfortable in the dating scene.

“Men suck,” said Sarah Morrell, a marketing and business management graduate. “The best ones are either taken or gay.”

“Straight staring makes me uncomfortable,” said Andreanna Anderson, a former USM student. “One of the worst things is when a guy is just staring at me from across the bar.”

Anderson said that once while out in the Old Port, she had a random guy that she never met before come up to her and immediately start groping.

“He just walked up and grabbed my ass and casually walked away,” said Anderson. “I wouldn’t go into the bars looking for my future husband.”

Anderson considers this behavior disrespectful and attributes it to an overabundance of male confidence. Anderson is quick to point out these kind of men, because according to her they are usually the ones that will call you “babe,” or “sexy,” before even learning your name. For her, men that employ that tactic are an instant turn off.

“I really hate it when guys come at me super aggressively and over confident,” said Anderson. “I don’t like guys that think they are the hottest thing on the planet.”

Abby Kohle, a senior communication major, also has had some experience with aggressive men and said that only when she tells pursuers that she has a boyfriend, will they leave her alone.

“It’s really degrading because they’re not respecting me, they’re respecting my boyfriend,” said Kohle. “I know a lot of girls that lie about having a boyfriend just to get them to back off.”

As far as pet names, like “baby,” “sugar” and “sexy,” Kohle considers them all to be disgraceful. According to Kohle, if a man doesn’t ask for her name, or address her by her name, she ignores them. Kohle described the men that employ that kind of approach as cocky instead of genuinely confident.

“Confidence is something everyone should have inherently,” said Kohle. “But when you talk to a girl you should give her your attention, instead of making it all about you and getting her to like you.”

Pickup lines were cited as particularly cringe-worthy methods of seducing women by nearly all the women interviewed. Kohle finds them demeaning to her gender.

“I was at LFK once and met a guy outside while smoking a cigarette,” said Kohle. “The first thing he said was, ‘I’m Alec, a lot of people hate me.’ It was the worst pickup line ever.”

“[Pickup lines] work for men some of the time,” said Rachel Zahn, a music graduate. “I’ve always thought it was cheesy, but some girls who don’t get much attention go for it.”

Zahn thinks that crude, lewd and cheesy behavior might be because some men go through a lot of rejection and don’t know how else to act around women.

“Going through a lot of rejection isn’t even an excuse for the behavior,” said Zahn. “I’ve learned to not even put myself in those situations, it isn’t my duty to take responsibility for those actions.”

Despite the cheesiness of pickup lines, some girls enjoy them, but only if they’re humorous enough.

“I kind of like them because they make me chuckle,” said Anderson. “A sense of humor can go a long way with me.”

Rylee Doiron, a musical theatre graduate, told a bar story about a guy who improvised a line based on the drink that she ordered. The guy approached her, looked at her whiskey drink, and said ‘Lady after my own heart, drinks her scotch neat.’

“I had to give it to him that he paid attention to what I was drinking and found a common ground that we could easily make conversation from,” said Doiron. “My good experiences with guys at bars have only been when they actually notice me and say something that doesn’t have anything to do with my appearance.”

According to Doiron, as long as a man is respectful and treats her like a human being instead of just a piece of meat, then she’s more inclined to like them.

Men like Brandon Owens, a recreation and sports management graduate, and his friend Cody Rohde, a senior sports management major agree and understand that women usually have a “wall of caution” around them when talking to strangers.

“Girls are on their guard a bit more,” said Owen. “Men don’t know what it’s like on their end.”

Owens said that if somebody expresses disinterest in him at a bar, then he immediately stops flirting to avoid coming across as weird or creepy.

While Rohde spoke out against pick up lines and simply hitting on girls, he did say that he’s been persistent on occasion when trying to win a girl’s favor.

“I try to read the vibe a girl is throwing at me,” said Rohde. “If she says no in a serious manner, I’ll back off. But if it’s a playful no, then I might try to persist.”

Anderson offered some advice to anyone looking for a Valentine’s love within Portland’s bar and club scene and said to approach a girl and compliment her, but about something other than her physicality.

“If she’s wearing a nice dress, say something about it, because that girl probably spent a long time picking that dress out,” said Anderson. “All ladies love compliments.”

2 Responses to “Girls don’t appreciate creepy pickup strategies: Female students share their worst bar stories”


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.