A guy walks into a bar and approaches a woman who is alone, looking bored. He asks, "Are you having fun?" and the woman responds that she is.

"You should let your face know," the guy says.


"It's so ridiculously horrible," laughs Adam Lyons, describing the most awesomely bad pickup line he has heard men try.

To Lyons, who last year was named "America's No. 1 Pickup Artist" at the Pickup Artist World Summit, pickup lines have no place in a true seducer's repertoire. They bomb when they're recognized as such, and they're easier to smell than ever, thanks to secrets divulged in Neil Strauss' book, "The Game," and the VH1 reality show "The Pickup Artist."

Even once-interesting openers ("Who lies more, men or women?") have gone the way of "Come here often?" and "What's your sign?" Still, there is an art to approaching the object of your affection, he said. It involves not so much a line as an opening sequence.

The easiest approach, Lyons said, is typically a question such as "Is there anywhere good to eat around here?" You can open with a compliment or observation on something you both are experiencing, such as a crowded bus. The trick is to turn that interaction into a conversation, a transition most easily accomplished by making an observation about the pickup-ee ("That's a really interesting accent; where are you from?"), followed by questions that convey kindness and genuine interest. (Some people call this "regular social skills.") Attitude is crucial: Smile, make eye contact, speak slowly, Lyons said. Ultimately, you want to project confidence.

"You should be happy and playful, a little sexual and fun," said Justin Marks, co-host of "The Pickup Artist."

Asked their favorite opener, Lyons and Marks said: "Hello, my name is ..." It may represent an anti-gimmick, anti-pickup line era.

And it's about time the fellas wised up.