Matchmaker's mark

At an outdoor bar, we put our dating columnist to the test. Can she help three guys score in three hours?

Julia Allison: Matchmaker

On any given summer night, men at outdoor bars have four general goals: (1) Enjoy the weather; (2) enjoy their buddies; (3) enjoy the alcohol; (4) get laid. Given the obscene amount of time men have collectively spent trying to figure out the most expeditious way of achieving No. 4—years of monosyllabic discussion (“You bang her yet?” “No.” “Sucks.”), whole books devoted to the art of the pickup (like 2005’s best-seller The Game)—you’d think they would have mastered it by now. Um, no.

So on a recent Saturday night, I decided to put my dating columnist life on the line, hopping down to Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden (29-19 24th Ave between Crescent and 24th Sts, Astoria, Queens)—a huge outdoor space with beers and, yep, more than a few sausages, both the edible kind and the kind that needed my advice.

My goal was to turn the trendy prevailing wisdom—never buy a girl a beer, or tell her she’s attractive, or in any way make it obvious you want to sleep with her—on its head. Of course you want to sleep with her! And maybe she wants to sleep with you too. Also, she’s thirsty. You might as well buy her a damn beer.

tip 1

Use the obviously contrived come-on

You know, like “Baby, those must be space pants, ’cause your ass is outta this world!” The crazier and cheesier, the better. Keep it light, get her laughing and you’re in.

I asked Tom, 21, an engineer from Hoboken, to try out a crazy line on two ladies. “Do you want to dance?” he asked one plaintively, following up with a laughing “Please tell me you two are lesbians!” The women loved the invite, thought the lesbian line was borderline funny and ended up on either side of him, kissing his cheeks for a photo op. Then, caught up in the moment, he yelled out, “Now suck my cock!” They were less than thrilled. With those four little words, he murdered his own game. RIP, wanker.

tip 2

Surround yourself with hot women

I spotted my next guinea pig, Kevin, a 31-year-old fireman, drinking beer with two friends. Would he let me hang out with him to see if arm candy would work in his favor? He would. We walked around the place, looking for single ladies and letting them get a glimpse of us together, but when the time came to finally approach a potential pickup, having a hot woman next to him didn’t help much.

What happened? I couldn’t figure it out. Matt, 35, a teacher, explained to me, “Girls always want what they can’t have. She’s looking at him thinking, He’s a six, she’s a nine—what does he have? They want to figure it out!”

“The key is, you can’t walk up with a good-looking girl,” he continued. “You have to just be seen with her, then approach solo. And explain very quickly that she’s just a friend.”

Ahh. I send Kevin to do just that, pointing out a gaggle of four girls. He starts chatting them up. They’re leaning in, they’re laughing. Nice. I feel like a pimp when he comes back and says, “The one to my right would have gone home with me.” Score.

tip 3

Buy her greasy food

You’re at a beer garden, so offering to buy a girl a beer could be too obvious. A hamburger, on the other hand, is sort of cute. Very low-key. And she’ll feel obligated to talk to you for more than four minutes. The truth is, every girl wants to scarf french fries, but no girl wants to order them. Use this to your advantage.

I got Kevin’s friend Jason, 35, a bar owner, to buy two cute blond ladies burgers while Kevin made nice. They happily munched while the guys laid it on thick. After they parted ways, I asked Kevin how it went. “If you want to know if I’ll sleep with them by the end of the night,” he said, “the answer is yes.” Kevin certainly had no lack of confidence, but I was watching the women’s body language—and, despite their onion breath, I wouldn’t have bet against him.

Females, would any of the above have worked on you? Talk back to letters@timeoutny.com.