Q&A: Should I Open Direct Or Indirect?

Should I open direct or indirect?

I’m going for coaching soon but wanted to get out my second post of the week. I decided I’d cut a corner and self-promote at the same time, so here’s a snippet from my upcoming book (details here).


I often get asked “should I go direct or indirect?” The problem with going fully direct i.e. having a distinct phrase in your opener such as “you look cute/pretty/nice/gorgeous/beautiful/etc.” is the same as going fully indirect: “where’s the nearest pet store?” It shows that you don’t fully understand the Game.

When a straight guy talks to a girl in the street, she knows that he wants to fuck her. The whole “let her know what you want” thing is a misnomer. She knows what you want. She’ll only say “what do you want?” if she isn’t attracted to you. It’s her way of saying your proposition wasn’t up to her standards.

When you use an indirect opener, she thinks to herself “this is another guy who wants to fuck me, but he’s trying to trick me into it.” That’s not to say it won’t work – there will definitely be some girls who will like you anyway – but it’s not optimal.

Going fully direct is a step up. At least you’re being bold and open with your intent. It’s also a great tool for beginners because they will feel as if they have a secret weapon that other guys don’t have (plus it’s easy to remember; here’s a beginner’s guide to opening which I put out recently on Twitter: link). But it introduces a whole new problem: you’ve removed all of the grey area from the seduction by openly declaring your interest. Women love the grey area because it represents plausible deniability. There’s a reason why – in fact there are many reasons why – the apocalypse opener doesn’t work (that’s when you open by inviting the girl back to your place). It’s not going to work, except for in the most extreme cases, because it means the girl has to accept way too much responsibility for sex. The same thing is at play with going fully direct. Again, some girls will of course sleep with you; this works for Daygamers around the world. But again it’s not optimal.

The best way is through the middle. What Krauser called “plausibly deniable direct” and what Torero called “indirect-direct.” Try to make your opener a teasing observation about her which balances your pull (your approach) with a little push (the tease). This also gives you an opportunity to impress her with your creativity, and is something that will help you to stand out from all the “I think you’re fit please take my number” chodes.

So for example, take an opener like “Excuse me… can I just say something really cheeky?… I thought you looked quite nice/cute/pretty/etc… But it’s your red jacket which caught my eye… It made you look like a strawberry…” You can simplify and improve it. Remove the outright “I thought you looked…” statement and jump straight to the strawberry part. If you think what you’ve said has been taken as an insult you can always lighten it with extra statements like “it’s nice.” Then if she reacts positively to that – she smiles and/or laughs – then hammer the tease: “Yeah, it’s like you were sitting on the shelf at Whole Foods and decided to go on an adventure,” (or some other surreal nonsense).

Yours unfaithfully,

Thomas Crown

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