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When summer looms, it's time to take stock guys. You are going to have to go to the beach at some stage, and even worse you are going to have to take your shirt off, unless you want to look like you are concealing something. If you want to meet girls on the sand then the very first thing you must do is GO TO THE GYM. I cannot say this more clearly, sort your body out. If you begin in April, 3 months of training will lead you into a confident packed July. Certainly you will feel a great deal better about yourself anyway as I know miracles don't happen over night.
Then I have to mention body hair. Whilst amassing body hair as one gets older may be nature's way of keeping us warm, a huge mountain of hair over your shoulders and back simply will not do. Women generally don't find to attractive so lose it. Where do you lose it? Straight down to the waxing salon my friend. It may hurt, but only once every six weeks and girls have their legs waxed all the time so pull your self together. Gyms often have an area that caters for waxing and if all else fails get your mom or sister (perhaps not your father!) to do it with a home waxing kit. It will take a few minutes and make a huge difference to your desirability factor.
Okay so once your body and hair cover are in good shape also consider a tanning salon for 3 sessions if you are pale. Going on the beach and being seen from outer space is not cool and neither do you want to waste a week or two of meeting time getting a tan. Get to a tanning center and a few sessions will ready the skin pigments for more rapid tanning (so I am told so don't sue me!).
So, now that you are primed lets get down to the beach and meet some babes:
First of all, the beach is often full of girls and they are often as bored as everyone else. We can pretend that the beach is a fascinating place and it is when we are looking at people we fancy but just laying in the sand for 10 hour stretches isn't interesting in itself. Though it is a good place for a sleep. No, my friend, girls are waiting for you to stroll past and entertain them, even if it's only at third hand.
The first thing to point out is that the beach is generally a relaxed place full of chilled-out people who are half-dazed, half-hungover, half-blinded by sunlight and half-asleep. So to make an impression you are going to have to do some approaching to make things happen. Now the first thing to point out is that ogling the bathing beauties isn't going to get you anywhere. For heaven's sake man haven't you seen breasts before?
Let us be clear, a girl in a bikini is displaying her body. She may not fancy you and she may be after a good tan, but she is attractive and attracting all the same. So what you have to do is not smile, or leer or letch, you have to go and make nice direct conversation. Don't walk past and simply say "Hi there", you have to go for a chat and make nice general conversation whilst listening carefully for everything she has to say to pick up on any clues about her availability and interest. Oh and by the way - if you are holding your stomach in and breathing shallow, she already knows you are looking like and idiot. And if you are more worried about your all over tan than she is about hers, forget it.
So it is time to take action. Spot a girl you like who is as clearly available and single as you can gather and then go over for some light conversation and you will need to inject it with some good humor and intelligent observation. If she has a friend you may go over with your mate in tow too but that can be a recipe for disaster because if her friend doesn't like your friend, their discomfort will lead to her friend dragging your beach babe away. Sadly, as many guys know, a beach babe is often accompanied by a beached whale.
So go it alone. Go for a chat with your sun-creamed damsel and be witty and charming. Do not lay on her sun lounger and take over, offer to get her and her friend a cold drink whilst you are there. Let them stay where they are, don't invite them immediately to joining your 50 other male friends unless they really seem keen to do so. The fact is, you may well dazzle the girl with your pecs and abs but you are still going to have to use some dynamic conversation to get her laughing. Make your initial contact fairly brief but enough to stir her interest. Then initially retreat to play games with your mates in the surf whilst she looks on and discusses your potential with her friends. Later, it will be time for a longer visit for better conversation.
When you go to the beach, guys, forget the ever-so-brief Speedos. Apart from the fact that you will put almost every single girl on the beach off you due to you not leaving anything to the imagination, your packed-lunch needs to retain an air of mystery as this stage. So put it away and leave the Speedo thongs at home. When you are an Olympic swimmer you can put them on again. Get your surf shorts on (preferably a stylish make) and let them flab in the breeze. Surf dudes are cool for very good reasons. By the same token, any form of colored sun block across the cheek bones should be lost. You will look like an idiot.
As for sunglasses, you may usually look like Bono from U2 with your fly-like shades but not here, my boy. Instead get yourself to the mall or surf shop and buy some cool shades that don't have red neon lenses with fractal mirror effects so the girls thing you are a loser. No, if I can sum up this paragraph, it's stylish, stylish, stylish! You may think well it's the beach, this doesn't matter. But girls notice everything and that includes you so unless you wish to remain single, take heed of what I am telling you.
So, you are in shape, you are dressed well, you are subtle and you are confident about making opening conversation. There are things that you can bring to the beach that may help you in your beach babe quest. Consider these without looking like you are building Everest base camp:
Drinks Cooler - Perfect for your beers and the offer of a refreshment for the girls. The perfect opener.
Sun Cream - With that tanned hairless back, you now need someone to rub cream in, so use one of the oldest lines in the book to its greatest effect. "Hi, do you think you could assist me by rubbing some oil on my back". You will rarely get refused if you select carefully.
Ball - The simplest round device can end up uniting a whole section of beach in a volleyball tournament or football match. They are useful even just to throw in the surf, though I once did use a coconut in Malaysia (very heavy when full of water!). Basically, always be armed with whatever toys can entertain. The exception is water pistols. Girls do not like being splashed with water so forget it.
Radio, CD Player - Good and bad. You want to bring music to entertain the troops but you do not want to play music wars with every other beat box on the beach. By the same token you also do not want to ram your musical tastes down the throat of everyone within half a musical mile. So work on the subtleties of having a radio to attract, because it can. Do NOT lay about with a personal stereo on as you will remain single (and deaf) forever.
Boogie Boards - Go to the stall near the beach and buy a minimum of two of these foam-fantastics. These are those things like you used to learn to swim with but now jazzed up to roll about with in the surf for a spot of belly surfing. If you have a collection then hand them out to the lovelies you like and invite them in with you. Girls are rarely offered this kind of opportunity so take the initiative. Now.
Beach Towels or Rug - this means something to lie on to build your base camp. Anything will do except the 6 feet versions with imprinted pictures of naked blondes. Once again, your mates may love it, but the girls will think you're an idiot. Style, style , style fellas !
Do NOT ever bring a deck chair or lounger with you onto the beach. You are supposed to be a man. You should be swimming and playing sports mainly and if not you should be chatting to the girls you like. Wearing mirror shades may be fun for girl spotting but to all the women on the beach you will be classed as a pervert and ignored so lose them. Any invasion on the beach of a video camera is also useful in displaying you as a perverted voyeur so lose that as well. Girls will immediately think that you will be posting the footage a few hours later onto a seedy site on the web. If you can't wear it or put it in your mouth, it's unnecessary.
Whatever you do, ensure that you include the girls you are interested in, in sports and activities on the beach. It is always nice to be included and just because she looks like a mermaid or bikini goddess doesn't mean she prefers to sleep all day. If she can laze about on your surf board in the shallows or play ball in the waves, then make the offer. After all, she can always smile and say no. And what's the problem with that?
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at Girl's Weekly, Australia