Monday, May 10, 2010

How to Be a Total Man Magnet

Normally, we urge our readers to avoid Cosmo like the 34-year-old nephew your mom’s friend has to set you up with.

But we stumbled upon an article on the Cosmo Web site, titled, unsurprisingly, How to Be a Total Man-Magnet.

We’ve never quite figured out how Cosmo sells its business model to its readers (after all, if the writers are going to solve all your sexual and romantic problems in three to four issues, why would anyone by a one-year subscription?).

But some of these tips were not the dumbest things we’ve ever read, so we decided to share them with you.

Tip #1: Go out in groups of no bigger than three.

Cosmo says: “Larger groups of girls are supertough (read: intimidating) to approach. Three is a good number because your two friends can keep each other company when a guy walks up to chat with you.”

We say: We’ve talked about the validity of the he’s-just-too-intimidated argument before, but we’ll grant that most guys aren’t going to approach a group of 20 women, no matter how big their balls are.

The real issue is, why are you going out for the sole purpose of meeting guys? We’ve talked about the difficulty of meeting men in bars, and how the only thing you’re guaranteed to have in common with a guy in a bar is a shared love of alcohol. Couple that with everyone’s impaired ability to make a good first impression after a few G&Ts, and you’ve got a less-than-ideal place to pick up a new date.

Our advice? Go out with as big a group as you want. If you spend that much time strategizing about picking up guys in bars, you’ll probably project a sense of desperation that’s going to overshadow any strength derived from carefully calculated numbers.

Tip #2: Hold a drink in your hand.

Cosmo says: “Guys don’t want to be used. Meaning: They don’t want to buy you a drink right off the bat. My clients and I used to look for the girl with half a cocktail. That way, if she finishes her beverage while chatting with my guy, he could offer to buy her another to keep things moving.”

We say: This is ridiculous. Again, if you’re going to all this trouble to arrange the tiniest details to maximize flirting, the other half of your glass is going to be filled with desperation. And as soon as the guy gets a whiff of that, he’s not going to want any refills.

Tip #3: Smile genuinely.

Cosmo says: “So obvious, right? But I can’t stress it enough — and I can’t believe I ever acted aloof in an attempt to seem sexier. Now I know that women smile all the time naturally (when we’re nervous, when we’re trying to be polite, etc.), so if you don’t do it at all, you look like an unapproachable bitch.”

We say: Misogyny aside, Cosmo actually gets this half right. We’re constantly urging our readers to play hard to get, but you need to master the art of appearing both uninterested and extraordinary friendly. Guys aren’t attracted to women who come off as, well, bitchy. So smile. Be polite. But don’t give him all of your attention, and don’t flaunt your availability, sexual or otherwise.

Tip #6 (yeah, we skipped a few): Make positive small talk.

Cosmo says: “Once I started studying other women, I couldn’t believe how negative some of us appear. When you’re out on the town, you’re supposed to be having fun, and any complaint (“It’s hot in here!”), pessimism (“There will definitely be another terrorist attack”), or snarky quip (“Look at that chick’s belt — so 2002!”) pretty much pokes a hole in the fun-girl aura you should be projecting. Some better small-talk topics: recent vacations, favorite bands, hilarious movies. You can hit him with your deep, dark world-view some other time.”

We say: You don’t need to down a bottle of Xanax before you go to the bar, but most of us prefer being surrounded by people who seem happy. If you think the Cohen brothers have taken a turn for the worse, you don’t have to pretend that you loved A Serious Man (even if he did). But if you find yourself playing Debbie Downer, try to throw in a few positives for good measure.

It might seem easier to come across as intelligent or thoughtful by criticizing everything that comes up in conversation, but it’s actually a lot easier to arbitrarily hate everything than it is to come up with a reason for why Avatar was worth seeing.


  1. At first I disagreed with the notion that men aren't attracted to bitchiness, but then I realized that if a woman is bitchy to someone she wants to get closer to, it's: a) disingenuous, and b) strange when it turns out the woman is not such a bitch after all. So yeah, being bitchy has its downsides.

  2. There's an article entitled 7 Reasons On Why You Should Date A Geek. Geeks are really adorable but could use the tips in this article!