Dear Anon-O-Box: Asking Out Women At Conventions

Dear Anon-O-Box,

It’s been a few years since my ex-fiancee and I broke off our relationship, and I’m finally ready to start dating again. The problem is, being pretty geekish, I’ve been trying to come up with areas I could meet a girl who also has geeky interests.

One idea that has crossed my mind is asking out women I meet at cons. On one hand, it seems like a good idea–the women there more than likely share my interests and since this is anonymous, I have to admit that a lot of cosplayers are pretty good-looking, costume or no.

Here’s the problem, though–I really don’t want to be “that guy.” You know, the boor who goes around making women feel as though they’re just sex objects, or just making women feel uncomfortable.

So my question is, can I ask out someone who I meet at a con? If the answer is yes, can you give any advice on the subject?

Thanks very much,

Looking but Unsure

e answers:

You can definitely ask out someone you meet at a con!  There are always “We Met at ___ Con” love stories – in fact, there was a story on CNN a while back about geeks who found love at Dragon*Con.

But first, let’s go over the “that guy” list (for those who may not know they’re “that guy”).

That guy:

  • Stalks the costumed girls around the con floor… and then into the hotel.
  • Asks for lots and lots of photos.
  • Makes lewd comments.
  • Talks to breasts instead of faces.
  • Jokes about having sex with whatever character she’s dressed as.

While girls who dress up for cons know what they’re in for (especially if the outfit is particularly tight or revealing), it’s still no reason to be that guy.

Unfortunately, it is a little “that guy” to walk up to a complete stranger and ask them out. But since you’re at a convention, you automatically have conversation material!  If the girl in question isn’t busy, there’s nothing wrong with striking up a conversation about her costume, the character it’s based on, and then from there… wherever the conversation ends up going!

First Conversations: Get The Hint

You do need to know how to read body language to prevent from slipping from “nice guy” to “that guy who won’t go away.”

Look for the following signs to let you know you’re on the right track:

  • She’s adjusting/playing with her hair.
  • She turns to face you directly.
  • She leans closer to you.
  • She mirrors your body language (you drink from your water bottle, she drinks from hers).

But warning! These signs mean she’s looking for an out:

  • She turns so her side faces you.
  • One foot is slid forward (like in the direction she’d like to go – away from you!)
  • She crosses her arms across her chest.
  • She looks at her watch (or her phone), or looks toward the door.

If you notice her showing signs of wanting an out, thank her for her time and let her loose.  If she seems to be digging you, then you can ask her what she’s doing for the next meal.  If she accepts, awesome. If she seems nervous, you could suggest going out with a group of people or perhaps meeting up for an evening activity (movie night, dance, whatever else is going on at that particular con).

But OMG, you couldn’t possibly do that!

A little too shy for that?  Now, I’ve never been to a convention in costume, but I have friends who do cosplay and they will tell you that some of those costumes get REALLY HOT when you’re walking around on the convention floor.  If you’ve found a girl you like and you’ve already chatted her up about her costume, you could always come back a few hours later with a water bottle for her.

“Hey,” you say, “With all those layers, you must be dying. I figured you could use a cold drink.”

Sure, she may check the safety seal (I’d be shocked if she didn’t!), but once she realizes you’re not trying to roofie her, you’ll probably win some brownie points for being thoughtful.

If she turns down your offer, at least you have a water bottle.  Win-slightlylesswin.

The Importance of Cards

I think everybody attending a convention should have business cards, even if they’re not for business purposes.  They are a great way of remembering who you met and how to get in touch with them later.  I know that when I’m cruising around a convention for a weekend, I meet so many people that I can’t keep them all straight. Business cards help a lot!

Make a geeky contact card with your information – name, email, Twitter, Facebook, blog, phone number – whatever you’re comfortable with handing out.  VistaPrint has free cards (if you don’t mind their watermark on the back), and moo has adorable mini cards that seem to be pretty popular lately.

Give out your card if you take a picture of a costumed girl and let her know that she’s welcome to email you if she wants the full-size file of the picture.  You may be lucky and pick her up as a Twitter follower or a Facebook friend after the con.

After The Con? What Good Is THAT?

Plenty good!  If she’s local, you may still be able to meet up.  If she’s not local, you can build up a relationship via email and chat, flirt through cyberspace (where rejection hurts a bit less, so we can be more forward!) and then by the time the next convention rolls around, you could be sharing a hotel room.  Or at least, you could try dating in person.

The weekend of the convention isn’t the last chance you’ll have at being in touch with the cosplay girl of your dreams. The important things to do that weekend are to get the conversation started and give her a way to continue it once you’ve gone back to mundane life.

Readers… Any Thoughts?

Guys – Have you had any luck picking up women at cons? What’s your M.O.?

Ladies – Spill some stories. Worst pick-up lines? Best? Did you meet your love at a con?

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