Can the Sparkling Wit: How to Talk to Men

With the holidays upon us, it’s more than likely you’ll be called upon to put on a special frock, attend parties, and actually interact with other people. But how? 

Never fear! I have some quick ‘n helpful tips for ladies from a new resource in the Hersteria library: Your Power As a Woman: How to Develop and Use It. (The title is admittedly oxymoronic – putting “power” and “woman” together? I mean REALLY.)


1. Completely Change Your Voice

“Remember that the over-husky voice of many years ago is out. That was a little something which, no doubt, came out of the era when a speakeasy was a speakeasy and a voice was a lulling as the shout of a racetrack tout. Then came the sinus era, when we all went as tinny as the French and as raspy as a flock of macaws.”

So, retrain your speaking voice to resemble something between congested French and a strangled macaw. Easy enough.

how to listen

2. Know Your Audience

“Never conduct a conversation with a woman in the same manner as you would with a man. No wise woman does. If you must be witty, be witty with your women friends – never with a man.”

Remember: If he knows the real you, he will never love you again. 

3. Keep Him Engaged By Not Engaging

“The best rule for you to follow in talking with a man is to be a good listener. Let him finish the thought he wishes to express. Try not to interrupt. In this way, you’ll be able to make intelligent comments and, when necessary, ask intelligent questions. By intelligent questions, I don’t mean, ‘How much money do you make?’ ‘What do you have in the bank?’ or ‘Don’t you think I’m lovely?’

Talking with a man can be a problem. A large number of men don’t like ‘The Girl with the Intelligent Question.’ They’re more attracted by ‘The Girl with the Right Answer.'”

The Right Answer being: “Can I get you another Manhattan?” 


And remember:

Talking too much WWII ad


(image via Blog Tips)


Dating for Duds: If She Says ‘No’

mystery date snowboarder

Sorry, Popular Guy – I have to wash my hair that night.

“Boys have a lot of pride (so do girls for that matter) and they hate to have a pin stuck in it. (Who doesn’t?) Having ample grey matter, they realize that in asking for a date they run the risk of being slapped on their egos with a brisk, ‘No!’

Just between you, me, and the gatepost, the risk is pretty slight – but in all fairness we must recognize that it is there. Most girls love to date and adhere to the philosophy that the more parties and boy friends the better. In fact, boys, ‘No’ is one word that is few girls’ vocabularies.”

Date Data

Meanwhile, the rest of this book is pretty much dedicated to telling girls how to stop the boys they’re dating from getting too fresh. Le sigh.

How to Compliment a Lady, 1600s-Style

elizabethan courtship

“Hey girl. I bet under that kirtle and bumroll you’ve got some mighty stately Thighes.”


Tired of doling out the same, worn-out compliments to your lady friend? Take a page from The Academy of Complements (1663), written by John Gough. These lines are sure to quicken her breath and redden her cheeks, if you know what I mean.

“Her womb, mansion of Cupid and Summerhouse of pleasure.”
“Liquorous rolling eyes.”
“Her Cheeks are spread with Spices and Flowers.”
“Her breasts are the soft Pillows of love.”
“Her breasts are soft and tender as the Pelican’s.”
“In that sweet dimple, when she smiles, Cupid hath pitch’d his tents.”
“Her Thighes are fit subjects for the pleasant Songs of youthfull Poets to acquaint the world with.”
“Her legs as stately and firm as marble pillars.”


(via The Academy of Complements and Ask the Past)

Dating Disasters: Should You Go Dutch?

hersteria_big deal going dutch

“Maybe you feel a little guilty knowing that at least three-fourths of Bill’s allowance goes down the bottomless pit labeled ‘steady dating.’

Should you share part of the burden? If so, how? Some girls have gone topsy-turvy on this score and have established a revolutionary system in which the girl pays 50 per cent of the bills.

Sounds wonderful, but almost always it flops. Boys usually like the system at first, but after a few dates in which they play second fiddle, they begin to feel like sissified heels and their eyes begin to wander to the glamor girls (not gold diggers) who make them toe the mark.

In the beginning the girl feels important and useful, but about the third date she begins to feel she is not out with a masterful, masculine boy, but a real Caspar Milktoast. Can she idolize this sort of boy? No! Emphatically no! Soon she is looking down her nose at him and admiring the fellow who will date her only half as much but will take the lead in everything.”

Date Data

Takeaway: Sharing and equality will only bring ruin and send everyone running to unhealthy, controlling relationships. (Side note: Is there such a thing as a “masterful” teenage boy?)

(Image via Collecting Children’s Books)

Adventures in Pickup Lines: Klee vs. Cosmo

bad pickup line

[The following is presented as an example of a “successful” pick-up line to be used in an art museum.]

“Stare at bizarre abstract for five minutes, then nod in judgement, poking cheek in tongue.

YOU: My five-year-old brother has a better notion of line and perspective.

SHE: (eyebrows raised): Better than Klee?

YOU: You don’t believe me? Look! (Pull folded charcoal line drawing of city skyline from your coat pocket.) Have you ever seen such a display of sweeping vision in conjunction with a draftsman’s precision…

This line may be a bit shaky unless your kid brother is in the same league with Klee. But maybe not, because she probably knows nothing about art. After all, Cosmopolitan sent her to the museum to look for men, not for culture.”

The Sensuous Man


Well, obviously. It’s not like “culture” is going to teach you 101 ways to please a man.

Have a particularly bad pick-up line to share? Please comment!


Other pickup tips from The Sensuous Man:

The Pickup Artist

Adventures in Pickup Lines: Ladies Love Seamen

(image via Comically Vintage)


Unwanted Attention: Smile When the Wolves Come A-Whistlin’

archie wolf whistle “Here’s another scene for your mind’s eye. Half a dozen boys are congregated on the steps of Ye Ole High School. A captivating co-ed saunters by. What happens? You know! Six low wolf whistles are sounded.

Why? Well, as the boys would phrase it, it’s because she’s so — er, a — well you must admit she certainly is! Of course, if you happen to be the girl in question, it puts you on the spot. Just how are you supposed to respond to pass this test with flying colors?

If [the girl] looks neither to the right nor the left but marches self-consciously on, she is apt to be the target of even more whistles and wolfish remarks. Boys are thrilled when they can get a rise out of a girl. On the other hand, if she makes some playful retort, the boys are apt to get the idea that their wolf calls are appreciated — even welcomed.

The ideal solution seems to be for the girl to acknowledge the dubious tribute with a sweet smile (not coy or coquettish) and walk on, thus letting them know that she is not flustered, but neither is she unduly impressed.”

Date Data


Welcome to the Madonna/Whore complex of simple, everyday strolling.