Erotic Pick-up Lines from the History of Literature and How To Properly Use Them

Painting by Frank Dicksee

Painting by Frank Dicksee

NOTE: Use with caution.

  1. When you’ve spent the last half hour trying to break the ice with the attractive person cuddled up with a book in the coffee shop and they get up to leave:

“In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” (Fitzwilliam Darcy to Elizabeth Bennett in “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen)

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  1. When the person you’re trying to chat up mentions a lousy ex:

“You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.” (Rhett Butler to Scarlet O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell)

  1. When an alluring person walks past you on a park alley (ideally, in spring, and with actual cherry trees present):

“I want
to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.” (Pablo Neruda)

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  1. When you want to keep it subtle while talking about relationship goals, making the other person wonder “Do they mean meeee?”:

“Pillowed upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,

Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever — or else swoon in death.” (John Keats) 

  1. To someone who’s being bossy (in case they are not a female with dark hair, feel free to adapt):

“Tigress adored, indolent fiend, lie there,
There on my heart now, merciless and strong,
I wish to run my trembling fingers long
Through the black tangles of your heavy hair.”

(Charles Baudelaire)

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  1. When you desperately want to be noticed, but wish to maintain some semblance of badassery:

“Come to me now. Drive off this brutal

Distress. Accomplish what my pride

Demands. Come, please, and in this battle

Stand at my side” (Sappho)

  1. To the attractive cashier, when they scan the jar of honey you’ve just bought:

“were I allowed

to kiss your eyes

as sweet as honey

on & on, three thousand kisses

would not seem

too much for me” (Catullus)

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  1. When the person you’re trying to pick up pretends they haven’t noticed how hot you are, but they totes have:

“You have yet to touch
This soft flesh,
This throbbing blood —
Are you not lonely,
Expounder of the Way?”

(Yosano Akiko)

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  1. When you decided to join your friends on a hike, even though the great outdoors terrify you, because their attractive new acquaintance is coming, and then you finally get a few seconds to try and charm them (don’t forget the sweeping gesture over the visible landscape):

“Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another’s being mingle;—
Why not I with thine?” (Percy Bysshe Shelley)

  1. When you’re shy but trying to convince someone that, ahem, still waters run deep (as was the case with the author of this quote):

“Wild nights – Wild nights!

Were I with thee

Wild nights should be

Our luxury!

Futile – the winds –

To a Heart in port –

Done with the Compass –

Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden –

Ah – the Sea!

Might I but moor – tonight –

In thee!” (Emily Dickinson)

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Anca Rotar is a Romanian-born writer, over-thinker and caffeine addict. She is the author of two books, Hidden Animals and Before It Sets You Free, both available from Among her interests, which she finds it hard to shut up about, she counts fashion, yoga, city breaks and deadpan sarcasm. She is also currently studying Japanese, so wish her luck. You can sample bits of Anca’s creative writing here.

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