The Phrase That Pays

Men have used oral flattery and pickup lines to attract women since we abandoned the “club and drag” method back in the caveman days. In the novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, by cultural anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, who devoted years to observing the oral traditions of Blacks in smalltown Florida and the Caribbean, an elder tells a young buck that to romance a woman, “You got to know how to talk fuh her.” Courtship rhymes and oral flattery had been passed down from American slavery, and before that, existed in Africa. It comes down to us, generationally filtered, through the urban culture with which many men and women associate the ability to spit game. All of America’s hip vernacular comes from the cities, and since the 1910’s, has given us slang such as hot, cool, jazz, hip, phat, and thick. It permeated blues lyrics, R & B love songs, and the once-common term for the practice became the name for a musical genre of its own- “rap”. Environment is everything, and like that other skill set Americans associate with urban life- basketball, it helps to be born amidst strong players. Yet if you’re roots are more suburban, rural, or smalltown (or not American at all), I’m here to help.

Understand first and foremost that language evokes reaction, whether perceptible or not. How does that help you in the night club? Well, as Salter wrote, words carry associative qualities we have given them, either of “excitation”, or “inhibition”. Even first names trigger implicit reactions, as in those we associate with particular ethnicities (Google “Implicit Association Test” one day when you have a sec). Your spiel can either make her feel good or bad. If you pepper your speech with words you know have the subconscious ability to make her feel calm, warm, or romantic, her responses will be involuntary. Whenever we hear “hot” or “oven”, without knowing it, we feel a tiny bit warmer. Imagine what words such as “kiss” and “dessert” can do when uttered in passing.

You have heard it said that the mind is the most powerful sexual organ

I’m not going to teach you to run linguistic patterns on women, it’s not that kinda party. Simply remember what things spell comfort, fun, or arousal, and get them in there from time to time. And always remember, how you say it trumps what you say- tone is all.



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