How Not to Hit On Asian Women

This week’s writing prompt is social etiquette. There is one social gaffe that is, sadly, near and dear to my heart: approaching Asian women in the bar scene. The Asian fetish nursed by men for decades now in the US has led to some disastrous come ons. The fetish doesn’t bother me. Everyone has a type. I will say though, that you and I will have a less miserable night if you don’t make it obvious you have a broad attraction to a minority demographic. In that interest, let me share a few tips on how not to approach Asian women without appearing ignorant and being offensive.

How Not to Hit on Asian Women


photo credit

  1. Do not greet us in a random Asian language. Most times you’ll pick the wrong language and even if you get it right, it’s a turn off how presumptuous you are. If you would like to show us your Asian vocabulary, how about smoothly asking us what our ethnicity is first?

  2. Does “Ching Chong Chang” even mean anything in any language? Don’t do that. Don’t make fun of us. I don’t care what Mr. E, the Pickup Artist says.

  3. Do not mention everyone in your life who is Asian. We do not care if your brother’s girlfriend is Chinese or Korean. We do not care if you know someone from Bangkok. There are no brownie points for knowing one of our “kind.”

  4. Do not call us Lisa Ling or Lucy Liu or Miss [insert Asian last name here].

  5. If you ask for our name and we give it to you, do not act surprised and ask us what our “real” name is. (Yes, Jerkface, my name IS Linda. Sorry to not fulfill your stereotypical expectations.)

  6. Do not assume we’re not from here. Some of us were born here, you know? Asking us when we came over to the States is NOT a good opening line.

Question: What is the funniest pick up line you’ve heard?

  • I’m always amused how complicated race relations are in America. I think the things you listed here just show a person’s ignorance or stereotypical thinking or both. But then again, aren’t pick-up lines always kinda lame? Even, if you approach someone of your own race and try to say something, it will seldom be something intelligent (please women, don’t be too hard on us, God gave (most of) us squirrel brains AND you expect from us good pick-up lines? :P). Ok, I’m joking here. Point 5 is so American. I would never assume that or even, if I did, I would not say it, hehe.

  • Nino,
    You’re very right. Pick up lines are lame. I think the best ones are the ones just starting an honest conversation. Simply saying “Hi! How’s your night going?” seems to work. No need for gimmicks! That is unless they’re funny.
    – Linda

  • ha! i love the confusion between taiwan and thailand. that’s always a fun one for me.

  • Terri,
    Lol I haven’t run into that confusion yet. Or maybe I have and I blocked it. I remember a cookbook author was inspired to start cooking Asian foods/start educating people about Asian foods when she was in a Thai restaurant with Bangkok in the name. She overhead a girl said she was in a Japanese restaurant.
    – Linda

  • ooooh I have so many funny ones (I’m chinese)

    (perverted voice): “I LIKE Japanese….*wink*”

    (in NYC, yelling across the street): “SEXY CHINESE!!!!”

    “Hi, I’m into korean women.”

    or variations of those…or asking where I came from repeatedly, or asking if I worked at a salon/foot massage place (WTF?)…etc.

    • Linda

      Diya,
      Haha you have me cracking up. ALL of them are terribly hilarious.

      I’m sure you are SEXY CHINESE!!! But manners!

      – Linda

  • I get really annoyed when this happens to me too. Some good ones I’ve heard are:

    “Ni hao!” – I’m Korean.

    “Konichiwa!” – I’m Korean.

    “Girl, I’ve got Seoul for you!” – Okay, have to admit that one was clever.

    Your “Ching Chong Chang” comment had me laughing so hard. It’s so true!!

  • Linda

    Hahahahahah Jessilyn, I’m going to steal the Seoul comment next time I put the moves on Alan who’s Korean. I love it!
    – Linda

  • Nev

    Speaking of #4 (Do not call us Lisa Ling or Lucy Liu or Miss)…I actually pissed off Lisa Ling (the real one) because I called her Lucy Liu:
    http://www.nevblog.com/texas-film-society-hall-of-fame-awards/

  • Linda

    Nev,
    I remember and love that story of yours haha.

    p.s. still keep oct 21-23 open!
    – Linda

  • Linda,

    There have been countless times I’ve been approached with these ignorant remarks/questions. Anyway, I’m sure they’ll find your post useful. Funniest pick up line was actually a guy hitting on laura through text: “you look beautiful today.” (laura freaking out and thinking to herself, how the heck does he know what I look like today?)..seconds later she receives another text..”wanna know how I know? because you look beautiful everyday”..sweet yes, creepy yes.

  • Linda

    Rose,
    Oh my, I would have freaked out like Laura too! Too funny. I emailed you a flirty fail to not out anyone I know. :)
    – Linda

  • I hate when I say I’m whatever ethnicity and then they try to bust out their language skills… It’s like… uh, good for you. *insert eyeroll here* :P

  • Linda

    Suki,
    Lol. I tolerate that I think because I’m guilty of that. I don’t hit on people with foreign words but if you’re telling me you’re Persian, I will say hello in Farsi and tell you I know how to say “fart” too. Ha :) I can be obnoxious :(.

    – Linda

  • This was embarrassing to read…

  • Linda

    Martin,
    I’m sure you don’t have to worry about your lines…
    – Linda

  • @Linda: I think he does. He’s a guy, right? So yeah, he does :-P

  • I remember one time I was on my psychiatry rotation, and I was working with a pretty little Viet girl at the time. We both discharged a patient, and right before we left, the guy said “You know ladies, I used to live out in Vegas, and the last time I had two beautiful Asian women in my room, I had to pay a LOT of money for it.” CRACKED. ME. UP.

    Ok, that was actually genuinely funny, haha. Having people tell me I look like Sandra Oh (I’m not even Korean! And she’s ugly! Gah!) drives me nuts.

  • kim

    my favorite, circa NYE 2007(?):
    “TOKYO DRIFT! muahahahaha

  • @Nino,
    Aw :) No lines needed! Just say HI!

    @Cindy,
    Too funny.
    Re: Sandra Oh, I do not see it!

    @Kim,
    I TOTALLY forgot about “TOKYO DRIFT!” Hahahah. That is a hilarious line. Hahahha. Aw. I kind of miss him and we only ran into him for a minute if that.

    That was NYE 2007/NY 2008 :) Good memory
    – Linda

  • I really like the “I got Seoul for you” one.

    Must. Find. Korean. Girl.

  • Martin,
    Put that line in your pocket!
    I can’t wait to use it with my dude. I may have to text him, HI SEOUL MATE” hahaha
    – Linda

  • Leanne

    I can only laugh at this just cuz of the circumstances. I’m working in the ER Sat night and this guy comes into the trauma room after getting the crap beat out of him. He’s strapped in a cervical collar and I’m immobilizing his neck and getting ready to turn him so the docs can check his back when he opens his eyes, looks into mine and says, “You’re Asian, right?” I say yes and he replies, “You guys are so cool, you’re good at math!”

  • Linda

    Leanne,
    Hahahahah :) Love it. Someone asked me if I ever felt professionally discriminated against because of race. I told them not really since the stereotype helps us professionally. We’re good at math and have good work ethic!
    – Linda

  • Jennifer

    in line with #3…

    “so like, are you chinese or korean or what?”
    me-“chinese” (ok he gets some brownie points)

    “oh cool. yea i knew a korean once”
    me-“um, ok” (and goodbye brownie points) “see ya”

  • Linda

    Jennifer,
    lol “I knew a Korean once..”
    I guess guys think it gives them some credibility or something. Knowing someone who is Asian might get them somewhere. Am really loving the comments from the Asian women.
    – Linda

  • Vishy

    I saw this post on the list of ‘Favorite Posts’ on the right, and thought I will read it. I enjoyed reading it very much. I liked all the points of advice you have given, especially the 2nd, 5th and 6th ones. I can’t believe that people still ask what one’s real name is.

    • I agree Vishy re: real name. I think when it comes to ignorance re: race, all you need to do to remedy, is to come out of your comfort zone and be exposed in an open manner. A respectful conversation where defenses aren’t up for either party.

  • LOL, awesome.  And, I’m sure you watched the Ching Chong Ling Long song after Alexandra Wallace’s rant right?

    I heard the fever is strong in Texas!

    You should come out to SF!

    • I did watch that video! And some hilarious responses! The Fever is strong in
      Texas. They either really LOVE us or really HATE us. ;)

      I love me some SF.

      Thank you for coming by, Financial Samurai!

  • Junior

    I feel you.  A corollary to this is girls that are “in” to black guys.  No, I don’t look like Taye Diggs, but you can buy me a drink.

    • Junior

      *are