The Hook Up: How to Ask a Girl Out


Hi, Hookers! (That came out wrong.) Hi, Uppers? Hooker Uppers? Hooksie McUppdidoos!

Because a lot of you have asked, in one way or another, “How do I ask a girl out?” I’m going to devote this week’s column to that specific conundrum, in lieu of individual questions. Cool legumes, as nobody says? Great. Away we go.

Before you ask

Before you straighten your bowtie or lace up your Doc Martens to ask that hottie out for tofu noodle soup or whatever, make sure your confidence is on lock. Meaning, don’t:

  • fidget endlessly
  • slump your shoulders into a sad parenthesis
  • look at the ground

But do:

  • take up space: Stand with your legs and shoulders somewhat apart.
  • look her in the eyes. This not only projects confidence, but increases intimacy.
  • make sure you look and feel your best

Gauge her interest

As you’re talking to her, is she also looking you in the eye? Is she asking you questions in response to yours? Is her body language becoming more open? If so, it’s very possible she’s interested in you and would be open to sharing her phone number or a beverage at some later date.

If, however, she answers your questions with terse, one-word replies, or is staring off in another direction, wondering where her friends went, you might not want to attempt a love connection.

If you’re not sure though, err on the side of asking. You never know. She might just be shy and awkward and not be used to babes talking to her.

image1illustration by Natasha Miren

Ask her already!

This may seem obvious and a bit Doyes R Us, but it’s actually the most important tip. And it’s amazing how often queer ladies skip this crucial step. Let me be clear: You have to actually ask out your crush. With words and everything. Do not just look at her and hope she gets “the message!” You’re not playing sexy charades. You’re not the world’s most erotic mime.

While we’re at it, avoid saying vague things like, “Let’s hang out sometime.” That is precisely the kind of language that lands you in a three-month purgatory of ARE WE DATING OR JUST ENGAGING IN ACTIVITIES WHEREBY WE PUT THINGS IN OUR MOUTHS AND NOT THE SEXY KINDS OF THINGS?

You want to avoid this limbo. Hence, be concise and clear. “Do you want to get dinner/go to this funky music show/drink wine and make macaroni art and maybe make out?” are all better questions than the elusive hang out. “Do you want to go out sometime?” is even better.

I know that last one is scary, but think of all the time you (and your friends’ and acquaintances’ time) will save if they do not have to parse every conversation, nuance, or fork-sharing escapade for hidden, sexy meanings.

Learn to take rejection in stride

While we’re on the subject, realize that some people will say no. That’s just a given. In fact, that’s PREFERRED. You don’t need THE WORLD to date you. You need one person (or, fine, a few, depending on how Shane you’re feeling that day).

If you accidentally ask out a straight girl, do not despair! It happens. At best, she’ll be flattered, and at worst, a rejection from a het lady should not be taken personally. It’s not you. It’s that you don’t have back hair and smell like Axe bodyspray. Different strokes, y’all. Same goes for any dudes who may have asked you out not knowing you don’t play for team Wangville.

And remember, you’re no worse off now than you were before you asked. In fact, if it’s the case of a looooong crush you’ve had on someone, finding out she’s a no is possibly even a perk. Now you know and can devote your time to pining for somebody else, somebody who might reciprocate your feelings. HOORAY.

Plus, as someone who has been rejected A LOT OF TIMES, I can say that it really does get easier. That initial sting never goes away, but you’ll find that, once you do it a few times, it’s not as big a deal as we make it out to be.

Do it in person if you can

It’s so very tempting to ask out a lady via text, Facebook, Snapchat, whatever, because we are using those things all the time (except me—I still don’t get Snapchat). But asking someone out via a third-party platform means you run the risk that she could IGNORE IT, misinterpret your intentions, or take three days to get back to you.

I stupidly asked a girl out via text and had to wait an agonizing four hours for her to reject me. I could literally do nothing else but look at my phone for all those hours. It was the worst! Don’t be me. Take the initial sting (or elation, if it’s a yes!) over hours and hours of wondering if she’s going to respond to you at all.

Do it!

Now go on and give it a shot. Ask two attractive ladies out that you see in the next week. Just two. Don’t just read this and nod and then do nothing. Life is short and you are short on babes adoring you probably. Do it, and let me know how it goes.

Anna is a freelance writer in Oakland. Get overly personal emails and haiku from her at Or Twitter @annapulley. Send her your Hook Up questions at