Before I begin answering questions, I’d like to start with a little primer, my Prime Directive of dating. Dating is like looking for a job. Men are the ones applying, and women are the HR people. We ask for their attention, and they say Yes or No. When I was applying for literal jobs, I understood that it didn’t matter how broke or hungry I was. That wasn’t the company’s problem. Their problem was finding the right employee for them. So, they had the right to turn me down for any reason. Talking to women for romantic purposes is a lot like that. It doesn’t matter how lonely or horny a man is. It’s not her problem. Her problem is finding the right man for her. So – and this is my Prime Directive – A woman has the right to turn down a man, for any reason.
This, of course, goes against the thinking of many young men who are used to watching shows in which the main character wins a woman’s company as if it were a prize. Those shows can be a pleasant escape from reality, which brings me to my point that they are not reality. A woman is looking out for herself as surely as is a man, and that’s natural and proper.
And now, to the questions:
Q: How do I get that (attractive woman) in the (sci-fi character costume) to (fornicate with me)?
A: I decided to use parentheses because I imagine many convention-goers using rather different terminology. It’s a side note, but phrasing makes a man look much more like a gentleman, which often counts.
Anyway, the answer for which convention-goers must prepare is: You probably won’t.
Going back to my comparison for a minute – Imagine you own a store, you’re wealthy, you’re at a convention, and every goofball in Creation is coming up to you, asking you for a job. They’re trying to stuff their names and numbers into the seat pockets of your jeans, and when you tell them you have enough employees already, they’re not qualified, or you just want to enjoy the convention without having people get in your face, they get morally outraged, because they think you’re put on this Earth to get them a job. This is what it’s like for an attractive woman in cosplay at a sci-fi convention.
If she wants to talk, great. If she finds you worthy of her time, and wants to grab coffee later, even better. If she’s cool with holding hands or other flirting, hey, something might be happening. There are certain levels, only instead of conquering a level, as in a video game, you basically have to get the woman’s permission to go to the next level. You have to earn it, and the tough part for men is, sometimes we can give it our all, but not get permission, and the only thing to do is to leave her alone and say, “Better luck next time.”
Q: But she’s really, really hot!
A: Yes, and she really, really has the right to say No. Next question.
Q: Isn’t she asking for something by dressing up as Princess Leia from Episode VI?
A: Sure! She’s asking to be looked at and complimented, both in a tasteful manner. Next question.
Q: So, how can I tell if she’s interested?
A: In this case, it’s a better idea to figure out how to tell if she’s NOT interested. Some signs are her turning away, looking at her cell phone when you’re trying to talk to her, talking to other people when you’re right in front of her, looking for someone she might know, or – and this is very important – saying, “I’m sorry, I have to be somewhere”, those are signs it probably is a good idea to back off. The whole “Never quit” attitude does not apply to talking to women, believe me. Once a man turns a woman off, there are no comebacks.
Q: Why are these women even here if they don’t want to fly my TARDIS?
A: I don’t know. Maybe to enjoy the exhibits and to get an autograph or two? Asking them, and showing some genuine interest in their answers, might actually help you earn their respect and, possibly, coffee afterwards. Just don’t get your hopes up – I said, might.
Q: But Captain Picard and Wolverine always get the girl!
A: I tried to explain, this isn’t a sci-fi show, and even if it were, neither of us is Captain Picard or Wolverine. We’re not even Patrick Stewart or Hugh Jackman, which I’m sure many women would find close enough. Next question.
Q: This is stupid. I drove all this way with four of my buddies, spent all this money, and wore my favorite “Doctor Who” T-shirt, and I might not even get any.
A: In the words of Yoda: “That is why you fail.”
(Note: Because of something Dr. Kuszewski noted, I wanted to make a few small disclaimers.
When I said a female is “looking to be complimented”, I meant to say that people like to be noticed, and to receive compliments. I also meant to note that women are not asking to be groped or harassed by wearing a nice costume but, at most, would like to be noticed and to receive compliments, as long as they’re in good taste.
My comment about men generally doing the pursuing comes from my general life experience, and that of people with whom I’ve spoken about the subject, and from learning as much as possible about contemporary culture.)