We Old Heroes, Warriors for the Young... The following manuscript was written by Hanus Pollak at the Terezin concentration camp in 1944. We were saving it to run in July, but now, with the insane killing going on in Syria, rapes and displacement all over religious ...

Getting her phone number - photo by Jeffree Benet
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Little Black Book full of blank pages? Follow this 12-step program and get her number every time...

So you are an intimacy dwarf. So most of your disposable income goes to buying tokens at the Video arcade. So you terminate relationships by peeling yourself off the bar floor.

So… you don't know how to get a girl's phone number. You're not alone. You're very, very alone. Just don't tell me you've really tried and that it's inconceivable to procure the telephone number of an attractive woman. Tell it to an attractive woman. She may feel enough pity to slide you those six, seven, or eight digits. Not likely, though, I've tried.

For the sake of disconcerted, forlorn, tragically hard-up men everywhere, namely me, I've conducted some painstaking research on the science of number retrieval. You're stuck with the easy part. Buy yourself a little black book and follow this twelve step program.

1. Prove that you're only slightly insane. 

Women tend to lose interest in a machete-wielding stalker, even if he has firm pecs. To allay her apprehension, the absolute first thing you need to do is provide her with your history and try to identify anything you might have in common.

It's a given that she'll feel safer the sooner she knows where you work and whether you have any mutual acquaintances, so unemployed loners should muster up more than 'nowhere' and, 'nobody.' You could also take the bold route and relieve her fears with a direct frontal attack:

I found it advantageous to carry a written recommendation from my therapist that listed my moderately benign illnesses. Generally, girls would laugh heartily, respect my candour and offbeat humour, and playfully add a few more neurosis to my list.

2. Make a mundane first impression. 

Don't bother trying to concoct that transcendent opening line. Girls generally interpret this as a forced charade, reeking of insincerity. Contrary to what many believe, most authorities on singles interaction prescribe opening with just about anything mundane to start a conversation-as long as it's not rude or riddled with sexual overtones. 

It helps if you are in a place of common interest, like an art exhibit, cooking class, or poetry reading. if not, look for a conversational aid on her body that arouses you, excluding her breasts. Clothing for instance. Her Donna Karan sunglasses. A book.

Ask about it, but not with a conversation-halting yes-or-no query, like "Is that a good book?", or "Are there big words in that thing?" Make it open ended, like "What's that book about?" or "Is that novella purposefully sculpted as derivative of Dickensian prose?" Keep it simple, and along the way try to institute Rule number One.

3. Use your thing.
Consider carrying around some props to serve as a conversation piece. You can employ them in your potential introduction, or, ideally, she'll come to you. I know someone who carried around an intriguing stone amulet from South America to great effect. More mundane objects can work as well, like you laundry. 

While folding, hold up a really cool T-shirt that you picked up at a vintage second hand store and ask "Do you like this T-shirt?" After she says yes, give it to her- tell her it's a bit to small for you and you never wear it anymore. In one such effort, once I had the girls attention, I nonchalantly offered to help her fold her laundry. 

She obliged, and after twenty minutes of depreciating my pathetic wardrobe to her amusement, I got her to give me her number. A producer friend of mine likes to carry around rough essays that he's scribed, then asks women if they'll read them and offer feedback, thus luring them into his world. Ladylike accessories can also be a shrewd choice, since they're of mutual appeal.

Try sporting some cool jewelry. Even better, wear nail polish. It's hip, highly noticeable, and proves you are not out to be a macho man. You may even be mistaken for gay, the preeminent threat remover. (You may discover that you are gay, which relieves all pressure of getting numbers from the female race).

4. Establish that you are an idiot. 
You know everything about everything. A given. So fake it. Women appreciate men who admit to not knowing absolutely everything about every topic. Ask questions. Give her the power, but remain shrewd. Take the gym for example, a traditionally tough place to meet women. 

You board a stationary bike next to that of a hard body. Tell her you don't know how to program it, and see if she'll set you up on a high-level hill course. She'll be impressed with your veracity. Keep talking. Soon you'll be riding together in a sensuously rapid rhythm, bellowing, sweating, and panting. 

I prefer asking girls to instruct me on free-weight exercises, since this involves them touching me for free. Don't restrict this rule to the gym. Try these: "Which aisle has the fat-free yogurt?" (potraviny), "Which stop let's me off at the Charity for Disadvantaged Children?" (metro), "Can I donate organs here?" (hospital waiting room). The possibilities are endless.

5. Pretend you want to be friends. 
Several disreputable chums of mine emphatically advise the brotherly approach. "I tease her playfully, making sure not to compliment her because that's what she expects." says a lawyer pal. 

"At the end, I tell her that I've enjoyed talking to her, that I'm really not really looking for anyone, but that we should be buddies." 

I've seen these heathens consistently get numbers and get laid. In my investigations, I concluded that immediately establishing no sexual interest disarms her, and although she may be somewhat suspicious of your intentions, subconsciously she's probably not looking for a 'pal' either. During that initial cup of cappuccino, you are free to transform into the brooding, suggestive, horny b*stard you really are.

6. Resort to elementary school behaviour.
Being cute in a childlike fashion rarely fails, since it's almost entirely non-menacing. Here's a very specific tip that works about 75 percent of the time, no joke: Pass her a note. if you're at a restaurant alone, have your waiter serve as an envoy, and let your immature imagination run wild. Write anything you want, leaning toward something a fourth-grader would say.

It's always good for a flirtatious giggle (especially when she's in the fourth grade). If she writes back, you're set. at the end of your second note, ask for her number. Later, have a friend call her to find out if she 'likes' you.

7. Assure her you will actually call. 
Although you would never guess, some women hesitate to give you their number for the very same reason that you hesitate to ask for it. "Many women fear the eventual rejection, should you not call after she gives you her number," says one secretary I know. 

Cater to their insecurities. if you think things are going well, be specific about when you're going to call- "I'll give you a ring Friday to see if you have time for coffee." Or call her instantaneously. 

Point to the nearest pay phone, announcing your intention to leave her a message the second she hands you the number. even more appropriate is to grab her hand and stride gaily to the phone exclaiming, "Come on, let's call you together!"

8. Give and ye shall receive. 
Many women would rather take your number first, even if they're not aware of it. It instantly relieves them of the burdensome prospect of having to dodge unwanted phone calls and takes away the pressure of having to decide on the spot whether or not she wants to go out with you. In this scenario, a business card can also be an impressive gadget (assuming you're not a clown school instructor). 

The bonus of this technique is that you are now relieved of the terrifying encumbrance of having to phone her. As a backup, make sure that you memorize her last name. if she doesn't call in roughly a week, consult the telephone book.

9. Get tough (optional).
Rich Gosse, director of the world's largest web site for singles (, advocates a radical approach: Once you know that you're interested in her, pull her aside (generally in a bar or a club) to command her full attention, then abruptly ask her on a date while you still have a good rapport, before you ask for her number.

"If she says yes, then get her number to confirm it," he says "If she won't set a date don't ask for her number, because she probably doesn't want to go out with you" Be tactful- many women can be turned off by overt aggressiveness. In one not so happy hour, I got three numbers as well as two cocktails on my head. So if you try this, bring a change of shirts.

10. Know your place. 
Don't discount any locale as a potential scoring opportunity. Places like hardware stores and street fairs are highly effective because women aren't expecting the come-on and their usual defences aren't up. Plus, there is no competition. A mosh pit is a superb location to be her knight in shining T-shirt. 

One night at a concert, I kept my eye on a petite beauty who was repeatedly being slugged to the floor. After heroically helping her to her feet, I finally asked if she wanted to take a breather and get a beer in the back of the hall. She obliged, and by the encore had scribbled her number on my arm. 

Other locales: airports, unemployment offices, weddings (not your own).

11. Always talk to complete strangers. 
The inverse of risk is solitude. Guys who don't get numbers, rarely get laid, and end up hating themselves later for not asking her now. There is simply no point wasting time for fear of rejection. Women generally like to be pursued. 

It's flattering, even if they're not interested - assuming you are not unpleasant about it. And the more you try, the more self-assured you get, and the easier the whole endeavour becomes. Soon you'll be surprised that you held back for so long. 

And eventually you'll become confident that almost every girl you approach is nearly as desperate as you. Plus, for every few no's, there's bound to be a yes. Besides, there are a thousand reasons why a woman might respond in the negative to a romantic request without it meaning that you did something wrong. She's probably just not attracted to you in the slightest.

12. Lie. 
There are endless ways to do this successfully. Here are a few: The pity pitch. Example "I have twelve weeks to live." And the vocation as decoy. Example "I'm writing an article on how to get a girl's phone number. I'd like to call you sometime … for input."

- Models Richard Martinez and Cathy Walker, photo by Jeffree Benet
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