Between the Sheets: How to pick up girls at parties (a guide for Northwestern men)

Tonya Starr, Columnist

An attractive female is on the couch at a party, taking a break from the dance floor where she’s just left her girlfriends. She’s about to get up when, from out of nowhere, an unfamiliar guy appears. He fires up some seemingly innocent small talk about majors and hometowns. Next thing she knows, he’s got a sweaty arm wrapped around the back of the couch, threatening to caress her, ignoring the obvious body language as she angles herself away from him.

This guy, whether he intends to be or not, is what I’ll refer to as the over-insistent douchebag. He’s prowling. He’s determined. And he can make or break a girl’s night depending on how insistent and douchebaggy he decides to be.

I know what you’re thinking — the girl can just get up and leave, right? Well, yes. She could do that. But in order to not come off as a self esteem-destroying monster bitch, she has to wait for a break in this guy’s rant about Tech elevators before pretending to go to the bathroom. She can run and seek refuge on the dance floor, but the over-insistent douchebag will find her and surreptitiously move in, convinced the successful small talk gives him permission to progress and accost her with his pelvis. She now has two options: Swap places with a girlfriend (dick move), or stride away without explanation (also a dick move).

And this is assuming our damsel is sober enough to refuse her suitor. In worst-case scenarios, women who are too shy or too drunk to stand up for themselves might submit to the over-insistent douchebag, landing themselves in unwanted hook-ups or something far worse.

Can we avoid you, over-insistent douchebag? Usually. Should we have to? No. Generally, parties are not environments in which women hold the power. So guys, this is a plea to help us change that. Here are some girl-approved dos and don’ts for how to conduct yourselves at parties:

Do: Approach a woman in a group setting.

Don’t: Approach a woman alone. It corners her and pressures her to keep talking to you, even if she’s not into it.

Do: Offer to get her a drink.

Don’t: Walk over with one. Again, unnecessary social pressure.

Do: Get introduced by a mutual friend. Or go alone with a reason to talk to her  (i.e., she’s wearing a T-shirt for a band or a sports team you like).

Don’t: Appear out of nowhere and introduce yourself. It creeps us out and makes us feel objectified.

Do: Ask for her number at the end of the night.

Don’t: Ask her to come home with you. The optimal time to make decisions about sexual consent is not 3 a.m. Call her in the morning. Get dinner. If she still wants you after lucid conversation, have all the sex you want.

Alas! Over-insistent douchebags no more. Thanks, guys.