How Do You Find a Date or Sexual Partner? Just Ask!

How do you get a date or even find a hot hook-up partner? Does it require special dating advice, charm, or personality? Do you need to be beautiful, handsome, or have on just the right outfit? For sure, these things can help…but they are not the essential component.

Today I’m going to share with you a little secret. The most persuasive and influential move you can make in any dating or sexual situation, whether you are a man or woman, is to ask for what you want. In fact, asking is where influence starts (and sometimes ends).

Actually asking, however, is where most people fall short. They assume that the odds are stacked against them. They predict that rejection is almost certain before they even make the attempt. But, according to the research, they are probably wrong…

Research on Requests for Dates and Sex

Researchers Hald and Høgh-Olesen (2010) investigated individuals’ acceptance of various dating and sexual requests. Research assistants of average attractiveness were asked to introduce themselves to strangers of the opposite sex in public by saying, “Hi, my name is [NAME]. I am sorry to disturb you like this, but I have been noticing you around and find you very attractive”.

The research assistants were then asked to randomly make one of the following requests:

  • “Would you go on a date with me tonight or during the week/weekend?”
  • “Would you come over to my place tonight or during the week/weekend?”
  • “Would you go to bed with me tonight or during the week/weekend?”

When individuals in a relationship were excluded from the count, 68% of men and 43% of women agreed to the date. Also, 40% of men and 21% of women agreed to going to the assistant’s place. Finally, 59% of men (but 0% of women) agreed to casual sex. These figures roughly correspond to an original study on the topic by Clark and Hatfield (1989), who found more of a 50/50 split in agreement to a date, and similar patterns of response to the other requests.

Don’t count women out on agreement to sexual requests though! A follow-up study by Conley (2011) investigated the type of sexual requests above more thoroughly. The author found, when participants were asked about actual casual sexual offers in their real lives, women reported accepting 40% of the time.

Furthermore, an “experiment” conducted by an Austrian journalist found that 6.1% of women actually proceeded to have intercourse with a stranger making such a request (see Voracek, Hofhansl, & Fisher, 2005). Yes, he really had sex with them. In addition, if you include the women who responded with a date request or phone number back to him (but didn’t have sex immediately) and subtract the women who said they were “in a relationship”, the positive response rate would be closer to 21%.

How to Apply This to Your Love Life Requests

A person of average attractiveness, using a pretty bland introduction and approach, has about a 50/50 chance of getting a “yes” response to a date request from a complete stranger (who is single). Let that sink in for a minute. Literally HALF of the date requests to single strangers could get a “yes” response. That is probably a lot better odds than you were originally thinking. If you’re thinking about sex as well, don’t forget that those requests are pretty successful too (up to 59% of men and 40% of women said yes, depending on the experiment).

Therefore, if you want to maximize your chances of getting a date (or sexual partner), follow these simple rules:

1) Do the Asking – The above research says loud and clear, whether you are a man or woman, it all starts with you asking. Everyone has a better chance of getting what they want if they ask for it. This is true for all genders and sexual orientations.

2) Find Someone Single – Your chances of success are better with someone who isn’t paired up. This isn’t to say that you won’t ever get a yes from an attached individual, but your chances are much lower. This is supported by Hald and Høgh-Olesen (2010), who found that single participants were much more likely to agree to a date. So, keep your eye out for potential partners that are available and looking for love.

3) Look Your Best – All of the above studies were performed with research assistants of average attractiveness. So, you don’t have to be a model to have good results. Nevertheless, it is important to look your best – especially being clean and well-groomed. So, take a shower, groom well, and look healthy and vibrant.

4) Be Polite and Warm – The original research by Clark and Hatfield (1989) and work by Voracek, Hofhansl, and Fisher (2005), also point to two additional variables. The first, is that all study requests are very polite. The second, is that requests are usually performed in safe, public locations. Therefore, being pushy, crass, aloof, needy, or creepy doesn’t work. Neither does being demanding or acting like a “diva”. Simply be relaxed, sincere, and genuine in your request. It also doesn’t hurt to ask in a safe and comfortable place. This increases the comfort and receptivity of your potential partner.

Making a more sexual request requires two more steps:

5) Create Comfort and Safety – Physical and sexual safety are a primary concern for someone considering sex. According to Conley (2011), this is particularly true for women. Therefore, if you are looking for sex from a partner, make sure you are even more attentive and warm to them. Respect their space and feelings. Especially, do your best to look attractive, groomed, and physically healthy.

6) Be Pleasurable – Both men and women agree to sexual encounters with individuals they find pleasurable (Conley, 2011). This doesn’t mean that you need to go out and read a dozen sex manuals (although a bit of information couldn’t hurt). It also doesn’t mean bragging about your sexual exploits (that is in poor taste). It means to again be receptive, caring, and concerned about your partner’s needs, wants, emotions, and interests.


Ask for a date and you will receive. So, go out there and make a request. Ask for what you want!

Also, with a couple of added steps, your chances of hearing a yes increase dramatically. Someone out there is looking for you. They want to date you and be with you. All you have to do is ask.

Please leave me your thoughts. Share, like, tweet, and comment below.

Until next time…happy dating and relating!

Dr. Jeremy Nicholson
The Attraction Doctor


  • Clark, R. D., & Hatfield, E. (1989). Gender differences in receptivity to sexual offers. Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 2, 39-55.
  • Conley, T. D. (2011). Perceived proposer personality characteristics and gender differences in acceptance of casual sex offers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 309-329.
  • Hald, G. M., & Høgh-Olesen, H. (2010). Receptivity to sexual invitations from strangers of the opposite gender. Evolution and Human Behaviior, 31, 453-458.
  • Voracek, M., Hofhansl, A., & Fisher, M. L. (2005). Clark and Hatfield’s evidence of women’s low receptivity to male strangers’ sexual offers, revisited. Psychological Reports, 97, 11-20.

Photo: Kiss Me by Scented_mirror at

© 2011-2012 by Jeremy S. Nicholson, M.A., M.S.W., Ph.D. All rights reserved.

About Dr. Jeremy Nicholson

My name is Dr. Jeremy Nicholson. I am a Doctor of Social and Personality Psychology, with a research and writing focus on influence, persuasion, dating, and relationships. I also hold Master’s degrees in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Social Work. I currently lives in Boston, Mass.
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