DeAnne Smith and “Playing” it “Cool”

Listen. People are going to try to tell you to play it cool with girls. I’m not about that. I say go the other way. I say play it hot. Don’t be afraid to be the last one to text. Don’t be afraid to be the first one to text. Did you have a great time on that date? Tell her. Don’t wait. Text her while you’re still out with her. Text her before she gets out of the car. Text her before the date. Pre-text. That’ll make a statement. Text her before she even gives you her number; text her before you meet her. Be original. Be bold.


Appear eager. Put effort in. Show up on the first date wearing a t-shirt with a picture of her cat on it. No. Show up wearing a t-shirt with a doctored photo of your cat and her cat, to demonstrate what it might look like if your cats had kittens together. It doesn’t matter that they’re incompatible sexes for that and spayed and/or neutered accordingly. It’s the thought that counts. And the thought is this: Let’s merge. Let’s get together. Let’s mash up our cats. Really cute things could happen if we took some of what you have and some of what I have and jammed it together either in a photographic simulator program or in real life. We could also jam our genitals together and see what that’s like.

Meet her family. Bring her to meet yours. So what if your family lives in another state or in another country? Pack your bags and get on that plane. Don’t waste time. Are you carrying on your bags? Put liquids, aerosols and gels in containers of 100 ml/100 grams/3.4 oz or less. Think of little things to make the trip go smoothly. Have a stash of ginger candies in case she gets motion sick. Let her know you’ve thought of everything. Let her know she can depend on you, whether it’s on earth or at a cruising altitude of 37,000 feet. When you’re up there, be poetic. Say, “Right now, we’re closer to the moon then we’ll ever be” and kiss her. Don’t be afraid to kiss her. Kiss her square on the mouth, like you’re in a ’40s movie and you’ve had enough of flapping your gums, this ain’t a line, she’s got the prettiest peepers you’ve ever seen, she’s the swellest gal you know and dagnabit, you’ve got the hots for her. Kiss her like you mean it. Kiss her like her mouth is the sweet ocean air and your mouth is a dolphin’s moist blow hole and you need this to not be dead.

Go old school. Bring her flowers. Roses are traditional, but they’re also boring. Get creative. Go for tulips, daffodils, irises. The flower, of course, not the circular structure in the eye responsible for its color. That would be inappropriate and gross. Save that. Giving her irises is a huge commitment. Start with tulips. You don’t need to rush this.

But rush this. She’s not going to be there forever. Don’t be afraid to look uncool. Don’t be afraid to look desperate. Don’t be afraid to look afraid. Let her see the fear in your eyes. Let her see you sweat. Let her smell your adrenaline. Can she smell your adrenaline? Tell her to smell your adrenaline. Say, “Smell my adrenaline.” Lift your arm up, angle your armpit into her face, and let her take a whiff. It doesn’t matter if that’s where adrenaline is or if it even technically has a smell. You have a smell. She’s getting to know you on an animal level. This is natural. This is good. You don’t need to be afraid, unless you are afraid, in which case, that’s fine. You’re you. You’re just human. She’s probably afraid now, too. Suddenly you have a lot in common. Relationships are built on that.

But be uncommon. Be different. Don’t be like other people. Be gentle. Be sweet. Be tender. Stroke her hair, the downy hair on her cheek, right at the jawline, with your pinky finger. Better yet, with a feather. Stroke the hair on her cheek with a dainty wren’s feather you found lying majestically on the moss in an old growth forest or next to a half-eaten french fry in the food court at the mall. Whisper sweet nothings to her. Whisper literally nothing. Make it all meaningless silibants: sssssss-sss-sssss-ss-s-sssssss. Right in her ear, right into her brain. Make her whole head tingle. Whisper until your tongue goes numb and then keep whispering. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Play it hot. You got thissssssssssss.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


I care a lot about my hair. Unrelatedly, I say short, funny things at

DeAnne has written 22 articles for us.


  1. You’re laughing, but I decided to ask a girl out after telling her all of my camp-scapades like they were benevolent natural disasters at the party where we met. Tornadoes with very nice-smelling hair, was essentially my opener. And she went out with me anyway.

  2. I am 100% willing to fully commit to this approach in the name of science. Look out ladies and gentlefolk, I’m brushing up on my cat photoshop skills right now

  3. I resent this article for implying that I will never travel to the moon with my lover. I’ll show you.

  4. Don’t be afraid to insert the cherry into her hoo-haa from your cherry jar like they suggested in the 1954 “Female Homosexuality” book reviewed by Riese… Chicks dig that shit.

  5. Why wait until the third date to be arkward and creepy about your super premature feelings for a girl, when you can be too intense right from the start, and save yourself some trouble?

    • Nothing exudes confidence more than premature unsolicited sharing and flat out assuming that she likes you just as much as you like her, or more, or admitting that you have spent some time stalking her and her friends on social media to get “to know her better” and casually dropping priveleged details into your nonchalant conversation with her. This is all very attractive and daring.

  6. My lesbian self prior to being extremely committed wishes this existed back then. Maybe now my wife wouldn’t tease me as much about our first kiss?

  7. I haven’t heard relationship advice this good since I stopped reading Cosmo!

    Totes gonna use that dolphin blowhole line – gaydies dig marine mammals, right?

  8. I think that dog might be my spirit animal… My inner eclectic 80 year old is already adding the hat to her wardrobe.

  9. Definitely doing the cat tshirt thing. But it would be both of my cats mixed with her dog.

    Hopefully she won’t run screaming.

  10. Pretty sure this approach is 90% of how my girlfriend wooed me, so, success? On the other hand, I just realized that an email she wrote me 3 days after we met had a link to the wikipedia article for Soulja Boys’ “Kiss Me Thru The Phone”. Had I noticed it at the time, it might have given me pause…

  11. “We could also jam our genitals together and see what that’s like.” now THAT was smooth.

  12. I have to try out the close-to-the-moon thing next time we’re on a plane. Might gloss over my insane fear of flying.

  13. effin love this.

    “Start with tulips” and possibly this will lead to two lips :)

  14. This advice wasg questionable at best… (props if you got it, shame on you if you didn’t )

    Also, jam and genitals should not be in sentences together. Definite no-no.

      • I would say many of us know and love your jam and genital combos a la the vajimjam joke! Does that even count? Va-jim-jam. Is that how it would even be spelled? Vaj-im-jam? Either way, gentials and jam. Yes-yes indeed.

  15. “Whisper literally nothing. Make it all meaningless silibants: sssssss-sss-sssss-ss-s-sssssss.”

    I do this to Carly ALL THE TIME. And we are married now. So.

    Great advice DeAnne. We should probably petition Adobe to add a “Cat Mash-Up” filter to the next version of photoshop.

  16. haha this is actually great advice. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and sincere even if it seems a little crazy. Shoutout to anyone who actually photoshops her cat to their t-shirt for a first date and scores a second one.

  17. currently this is everything i’m doing to the girl i just met on saturday and i can say that it is totally working

    • UPDATE. i literally printed out this article and had her read it aloud to me on our free public transportation date last night. basically this was the best date ever.

      • this budding relationship is either going to go smashingly, or end in a firestorm of emotional drama

  18. this is the kind of advice that has given me a sense of accomplishment even before I start, and kudos to you, DeAnne.

    I’m going for the sibilant SSSSS’s as a convo starter. and filler.

  19. Why would anyone refuse to date someone who did this? I WANT SOMEONE LIKE THIS.

  20. you make me want to ask out the girl from my class i’ve been talking to for a few months and pining inside every time i do.

Comments are closed.