Recently a fellow compatriot in the snow science community mentioned that “it’s hard to find a woman in this field who isn’t stunning.” And he’s so right. A room full of fit, smart, active ladies is more than any outdoorsy guy could ever hope to find, yet several times a year we all come together for conferences and other events and there we all are, together, all in a group. Seems like a no-brainer, but it came to my attention recently that men in our industry don’t know what to do when faced with such a bevvy of delights. The only explanation for straight men in the outdoors/snow science industry being single is that they either want to be single, or simply don’t know what to do when they finally get the chance to actually talk to women face to face, without skis or climbing gear or a snow pit to guide the discussion.
Don’t worry, boys! I’ve been to a lot of industry conferences and trade shows and stuff, and I can tell you what’s what. I’m here to give you a no-bullshit tutorial on how to ensure you don’t have to trudge home from the industry social or trade show happy hour alone and sorrowful, just you and your hand. From personal experience, I can tell you what really, really works on us outdoorsy girls. If you find yourself not being able to get a date off a calendar, you obviously just don’t know the tricks of the trade. So read on for my inside tips on the best ways to woo your way into the hearts of the women of the outdoors as you sally forth on the trade show or conference circuit:
1. Think of a stunning opening line. Blurting “Are all women in mountain towns taken?” one sentence after exchanging names and handshakes is a good strategy. That lets the woman know that you’re both actively looking AND prepared to have low standards. He doesn’t care if you’re breathing, only if you’re single – now THAT is a turn on. After dropping this line on her, don’t take her stunned expression and lack of response as a rejection – she’s probably just amazed at your super sexy desperation. That, coupled with the fact that she knows you’re only in said mountain town for a few days, assures her you’re only looking for a one-nighter so she’ll be rid of you soon, and most definitely will seal the deal.
2. If you happen to find yourself lucky enough to be actually talking to one of those backcountry babes, make sure she knows you’re no pushover, not just some schlub so enamored of her presence that the conversation is actually important to you and that your interest is genuine. You absolutely want her to think you’re a sleazy creep. You can accomplish this in many ways; however, one of the most effective and decisive tactics is to take advantage of the proximity of a famous person, say, Fred Beckey, and, after cornering your lady and leering at her, cut said lady off mid-sentence so you can drool all over Fred when he walks by. We’re all really impressed you’re on a first name basis with Fred, who seems quite taken with the notion that he’s never seen you before and has no idea why you’re telling him to call you. Extra credit if you finally let poor Fred go and swing back to the woman you were talking to and ask her what her name is, again, even though she told you just twenty seconds prior. This time, don’t let her walk away – make her literally wrench her hand from your grasp. She’ll like this game of “hard to get” so much that you’ll never see her again.
3. Definitely treat the women at the event like objects. Use a lot of female-centric nudity in your product presentations. Approach the entire event like a frat party. Whatever you do, don’t do anything without drinking alcohol and be sure to comment loudly and often about how there are more men than women around. Women really dig it when you use phrases like “sausage party”. It makes us feel wanted and appreciated, and shows us that you have no real interest in the boring science and just want to drink and score with us. That, of course, is why we’re there, too – to be hit on, obvio. Take your sweet time reading name tags, especially the ubiquitous conference ones that everyone wears around their necks. Look closely. Women will be impressed that you so thoroughly want to learn their names.
4. If you happen to be attending a fund raiser at which there are a lot of women present, DON’T get out your wallet when the hat is passed. Pretend you are destitute and poor, a simple graduate student, perhaps, without a pot to piss in. Be sure to hide the microbrew you’re drinking behind your arm while you make your claims of poverty. Do NOT buy a raffle ticket without insisting on being guaranteed to win something. Women are super impressed by stingy dudes, especially at fundraisers meant to benefit women’s causes. We admire your strength, not letting yourselves get bilked out of your hard earned money by a silly thing called charity! You’re there because there’s a movie showing/industry event/swag to be had, why should you be forced to contribute any cash? You showed up, didn’t you? What more is expected of you at a fundraiser, anyway?
5. You don’t look sexy without a beer in your hand. Women LOVE to be literally shoved aside as you stampede for the free beer. While you’re stampeding for the beer, don’t forget to graciously “buy” a lady a beer with your extra free drink ticket. Sheepishly asking for one of hers after you drink your first beer in two swallows will just make you look endearingly needy.
Bonus Tip: No matter what, never, ever, ever just be yourself. The outdoor industry has no place for actual personalities and genuine feelings. Make sure everyone knows you’re awesome. Drop a lot of names, pepper your speech with jargon, talk about nothing other than your sport of choice. When you see her eyes glaze over, you’ll know you’re winning. Definitely restrict yourself to industry topics, no one around has any other interests whatsoever. You’ll be booted from the club immediately if you admit you like to read or that you’re a talented baker or that you play the violin or that you painted one of the art pieces that hangs on the wall. No one gives a shit. If it’s not sponsorable by Red Bull, my god, just shut the hell up about it.
There you go! You’re welcome, guys. Any further coaching will be available by seminar; stay tuned for my speaking schedule. I just might be visiting a conference hall near you!