Within 15 minutes of meeting, most girls know where to place you – either as a friend or potential romantic interest. Even if they’re not sold on hooking up yet, they can feel if there’s chemistry there.
That’s why when you’re interested in a woman you need to move things forward sexually. This is commonly known as “escalation”. As the depth of your conversation progresses so should your touching, proximity, and overall sexual intent. You start casual and get more personal.
By doing this, you build a connection gradually and smoothly. It gives her a chance to accept your advances or let you know she’s not ready or interested. Going suddenly from zero touching to trying to kiss her is awkward and more stressful on you.
Many guys are afraid to escalate because they don’t want to jeopardize their chances. The catch-22 is that waiting actually decreases the likelihood that something will happen.
If she’s interested, delaying only frustrates her, bores her, or makes her think you aren’t attracted to her. If she’s not initially interested, touching can help generate that necessary spark. And if she’s not interested at all, you find out early on and stop wasting your and her time.
The two critical components of sexual escalation are:
Physical – Touching her. Making physical advances. Getting a first kiss. Having sex.
Logistics – Leading her somewhere else with you. Getting her number and out on a date. Having alone time. Bringing her back to your place.
There are other ways to escalate such as sexual compliments and statements of interest but these two are absolute. If you cannot kiss her or even get her alone to see you, you’re not going to be intimate.
Both of these build her investment in you. Every time she willingly accepts your physical advances or complies with your leadership (logistics), she is opening up to you. She is trusting you more, showing vulnerability, and creating a deeper connection.
Below are general guidelines on when you should escalate from my years of experience. They are not set in stone. I understand you can break all the rules and still succeed, but these will give you the best chance.
Note: For the physical touching levels, please use this article as a reference.
Meeting a girl at night (bar, club, party, networking event)
Accepted touching levels: low, medium, high.
(At networking events, high level touching is borderline and depends on the dynamic.)
- Within 1-2 minutes: Break physical contact barrier. That can be a simple high five, introductory handshake, casual touch to emphasize a point, etc (low).
- Within 5-15 minutes: If she’s with a group, direct a personal statement or question to her. Shift your body language toward her. Initially you want to talk to everyone but soon create a one-on-one bubble of conversation. This allows the start of personal interaction without distraction. You can get into more forward touches (medium).
- Within 10-30 minutes: Lead her somewhere with you. Invite her to grab a drink, grab some fresh air, or take a seat away from the music. This allows for deeper conversation, closeness, and heavier physical contact (high). This is a great way to go for a kiss since it’s private and she won’t feel judged around her friends.
- Within 15-45 minutes: Go for her number. You should continue talking and hanging out after so it doesn’t feel like that was your only objective, even briefly. As long as the interaction is positive, the longer you are together, the more likely she’ll respond in the future.
- Within 10-60 minutes: Kiss her (high) if you’re comfortable kissing at a bar. At this time, you’ve already touched her in less forward ways and built up to this moment. If she’s been receptive, simply lean in during conversation, kiss her, and roll back to discussion. You can periodically kiss her again now.
- Within 30 minutes-2 hours: If you’re looking to have sex the same night, you should push to go somewhere else. Grab a bite together, hop to another bar, or invite her to hang out or watch the new Passion Pit video at your place. Moving together is huge and shows serious investment on her part.
Meeting a girl during the day (shop, park, library, etc)
Accepted touching levels: low (initially) and medium, high (instant date)
Unlike the nighttime, you want to keep touching casual and to a minimum at first. A handshake, high five, or quick touch on the shoulder is plenty.
If you decide to ask her to hang out then and there (instant date), then you can progress to higher levels of physical contact. Kissing may still be optional depending on the environment (public location vs more private like a park).
- Within 2-15 minutes: Go for her number (often 2-5 minutes) if you’re planning on leaving.
- Within 5-15 minutes: Go somewhere else for an instant date, unless you’re already sitting together. “I’ve got half an hour to kill, join me for a coffee.”
After getting a phone number
Before you’re seriously dating a girl, the phone is just a medium to see each other again.
- Within 20 minutes-24 hours max: Text her. The three day rule is BS. If a girl is interested, she wants to hear from you.
- Within 1-2 days: Call her if you like talking on the phone. Chat with her, rekindle the flame, and setup a date within 30 minutes of that conversation.
- Within 1-5 text exchanges: Invite her out on a date. Don’t text for days or weeks on end.
Meeting a girl via online dating
Once you get a response to a message, you want to offer plans and get her number ASAP. She’s on a dating site looking to go on dates. Waiting will pigeonhole you as a guy who is only there to give her attention. Moving forward weeds out the girls who aren’t serious about meeting up.
- Within 1-6 exchanges (back and forth) – Invite her out on a date and get her number. I find 2-4 to be the sweet spot. You can also suggest jumping on chat early on and going for her number there. The point is, do not send 50 messages back and forth.
- Within 20-60 minutes of chat – Invite her out on a date and get her number. Since conversation is being exchanged rapidly, you can get flirtier and deeper quickly.
On first and subsequent dates
Accepted touching levels: low, medium, high
- Within 5 minutes: Break the touch barrier (low), unless you’ve already kissed. A welcoming hug or kiss on the cheek (depending on previous interaction) is a great way to start. Guys are often scared to hug, but if she’s on a date and won’t even hug you, you’re gonna have a bad time.
- Throughout the date: Escalate your touches from low to high as long as she’s receptive. Keep escalating until you…
- Within 1-3 dates: Go for the first kiss. I would advise you should attempt it by the first, if not the second date. Latest is by the third and chances drop significantly after that.
Do not wait until end of date to kiss, do it by latest 2/3rds of the way through. It’s spontaneous, takes the pressure off her at the end of the date, and leaves a strong impression. It lets the romantic dynamic continue for the rest of the adventure.
- Within 1-5 dates: Have amazing sex together. I hate putting a number on this because I understand everyone is different and it’s a huge step. But, if sex is important to you and you’re not looking to wait until marriage, you should at least try.
You don’t have to have to make sex your first date goal by any means. If you’re making out and having an awesome time, you’re fine. I find 2-3 dates is where it naturally happens, 4-5 being the outer edges. After that, it often indicates she wants a committed relationship first or potentially has deeper, underlying issues.
A basic rule of thumb about escalation is that as long as she’s receptive, continue on. If she hesitates or tells you “not yet”, then pull back, keep building a connection, and try again in a few. If she sternly tells you to stop or gets upset, you need to respect her wishes and back off.
When in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of being a little too forward rather than too reserved. You need to learn how to show genuine interest and see if she feels the same way. By making your intentions known through action, you’ll always get your answer.
Want to become more forward and assertive with women? Talk to me for a free strategy session.