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How to Flirt in Korea

October 6, 2011

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Today we’re supposed to talk about how people flirt in Korea but obviously, this is another one of those TL;DRs that we can’t really talk about from experience, akin to our episode about Dating in Korea. Seeing as we’re married, we haven’t dated Korean people, and we haven’t flirted with them, either, nor have they flirted with us…though I bet they’re tempted to, seeing as we’re so sexy. ANG! ANG! *Martina makes a derp face by mistake* I mean… *ANG*

We’ve been asking a whole bunch of our friends on their input for this TL;DR. We’ve asked Korean guys dating Korean girls, Korean guys dating foreign girls, and Korean girls dating Korean guys. We’re taking their words on it, and they’re good, honest people, so we see no reason for them to have lied to us. *narrows eyes and points at the screen* Oh yeah, we’re looking at you guys. We know where you live if you DID lie to us…in fact, we’re right outside your apartment RIGHT NOW!!!! DAH DAH DAH!!!!

Roll Down Your Sexy Window

AYY GIRL! CAN I BUY YOU A DRINK?

Anyhow, the main thing that we learned from them is that flirting is quite different here in Korea. You don’t get cheesy pick up lines, which is a good thing, but you also don’t often get strangers coming up to you and trying to chat with you and get to know you. You don’t make eyes at each other across the room or wink or do whatever it is you single people do nowadays. What do you single people do to flirt with people, anyways, apart from Rolling Down Your Sexy Window and then asking a girl if you can buy her a drink, all the while speaking in your best Dave Chappelle voice? Well, perhaps we’re out of touch. All I know is the concept of schmoozing and chatting is a concept that Korean people finding extremely terrifying. Parties are non-existent in Korea, so how can a high school student get used to the awkwardness of standing beside someone you don’t know and making small talk? If you don’t experience that at a young age, it can be harder to have awkward conversations as you get older. By now, both Simon and I are pros at holding chit chatty conversations with people at parties with zero awkwardness but when we invite our Korean friends (that speak perfect English) to our parties, they often huddle around each other and them look extremely uncomfortable. In fact, they’ve told me it’s an uncomfortable situation because they have no idea what to say. So how can you flirt with someone if you don’t know the basics of how to start an awkward stranger conversation?

There are a couple of reasons why this doesn’t happen in Korea, and one of those is actually due to the nature of Korean nightlife. In Canada, going to a bar meant standing around with a drink chatting with friends and making moon eyes at other people you found hot. Maybe you’d sit in a booth, but that would be if you got there really early, and you probably only use it to pile up coats and purses. If you’re at a fancy smancy bar, you can easily pick out the group of single girls/guys looking to pick up. They’re all dressed to the nines and laughing loudly and happily for everyone to see. It’s like a big neon sign, “hey, we’re single and having fun, buy us a drink, winkwink” You don’t really get that in Korea. Bars are single booth events that you go to with your pre-set group of friends/date with no one standing around (unless you go to a foreign bar…aka, just like home). How can you learn to pick up someone if you’re all piled up in an isolated booth?

And another thing working against the flirting concept is that people in Korea often go out in “couple” groups, rather than a bunch of single girls going out for fun. Even if you’re not dating someone, your friend will set you up on a blind date with a friend they know. It’s RARE that we see 2 couples with their 3 female friends all together, or 3 guys and 2 girls. In fact, group blind dates are a very popular thing to do, and we’ve often heard of 3 girls meeting 3 guys that are friends of their friends on a blind date.

Now if you go to a more clubby area with dancing and drinking, you’ll get more of a pick up atmosphere (although we heard Korean guys are quite un-smooth when it comes to dancing with a girl…) with clearly single groups of guys and girls looking to pick up. But due to the hustle bustle (Korean clubs are fire hazard packed), drinking, sexy haiiiii dancing, the pick up can often be quite direct, “Can I buy you a drink? You’re beautiful, I have a car and I’d love to take you out, can I get your number?” Now while we feel like this drunken attempt to pick someone up is similar in North America, the text messaging concept that follows it is totally foreign to us, but we talk about this in our video so we don’t want to reiterate it here.

Sex Panther

Sex Panther: Illegal in Nine Countries!

So that’s all you need to know to successfully flirt in Korea! Next time you break through Xiah Junsu’s security guards, you’ll know exactly how to flirt with him. Yoohoo! I have some bananas to rub, for yoo-hoo! Ha! No. Anyways, if there’s anything that we’ve missed, please let us know, and please, tell us your awkward and embarrassing pick up stories in Korea! HURRAHH! We were hoping there would be something interesting that we can talk about, like a special flirt move, like a Korean version of the wink and the gun, or a “HOWYOUDOIN” or something, but nobody told us anything like that. Maybe because it’s top secret, or just too powerful to talk about, like Ron Burgundy’s Sex Panther? Guise? We promise we won’t laugh! Any insights here would be greatly appreciated, for both us and for other people reading this :D

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How to Flirt in Korea

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  1. U GUISE, YOU DO KNOW SOME1 VIRGINIAN.
    Micky Yoochunn.
    Hurhur. 

    4 years ago
  2. Just a quick note – when Americans make fun of something related to Virginia…it’s almost always West Virginia.

    4 years ago
  3. I dunno simon you kinda scarred me for life xD jokes lol …..Man you and martina are like my new heros -Ahem of course TVXQ is always number one-…but with some exceptions xD

    4 years ago
  4. Wow that’s interesting

    4 years ago
  5. lol I am latina and some of those things have happend to me in the US and I have found it to be kind of creepy… like the surprised note on my locker or in my work area and what not… Or the surprised text message from someone I don’t know that somehow got my number.  I am completely straight forward so I guess none of this would work out for me if I go to korea and date… (;_:)

    4 years ago
  6. really random question….ive watched a lot of korean shows and i notice that skinship is very common between men(holding hands,linking arms, etc.). is skinship also very common between females? & is skinship between opposite sexes frowned upon?

    4 years ago
    • they have a video about that somewhere, but ur kinda right.  over here, it’s completely acceptable for couples and boy-girl friends to b touchy and affectionate, but skinship between 2 ppl of the same sex is a big no-no most of the time.  take that and switch it around, that’s how it works there.  it’s considered a bit impolite for couples to b overly affectionate or kiss in public (tho i guess it does vary depending on which area ur in).  however, when it comes to same-sex friends?  kissing, hugging, holding hands, sitting on laps…perfectly acceptable!  hope this helped.

      4 years ago
  7. So if women flirt they are considered loose women?

    4 years ago
  8. I went over the video again and I realized something. I hate texting. I think my personal record is 10 SMSs in a month :(

    4 years ago
  9. Really, Korean girls don’t flirt?? I see some of my girl korean friends flirting with their oppas constantlyyyy!! Maybe because they’re in america though ><

    4 years ago
  10. I live in Virginia!!!!!!!!!! Lol, just had to say that.

    4 years ago
  11. In korea is it commen to c a group of boys and 1 girl hanging out with each other? =O would dat b WEIIRRRD? cuz here in da USA i hang out with guys alot…( <- i hate saying dat -_- )

    4 years ago
    • yes. it’s common.

      4 years ago
    • Me too… It’s like the girls are afraid to approach me.. it didn’t use to bother me but now it does a bit… Basically all the guys are comfortable around me because I’m not excessively loud or anything. But I know ho to have fun and I love sports and whatnot. Plus because I’m not American, the guys take pleasure in teasing me about every little thing that I don’t know about America.There are only two of those friends that accept my K-pop and Korean outbursts.
      P.S. I’m not Korean. :)

      4 years ago
      • awww thats sad. i usaully hang out with da guys just because i dont know who 2 trust.
        girls can b mean >_<. like this new student she alrdy got a rumor about her! doen my best to protect her.

        4 years ago
        • =O omg same here i’m sensitive to! i cryed in the music vid haru haru T_T
          my advice to you is friends ( true friends ) would make you stronger so if there was something said about you or something bad happend they’ll be there to carry your worrys with you =D so dont be afread to get hurt ( its part of life like it or not )

          4 years ago
  12. living in korea and having dated a number of guys here i have experienced every pick up scenario, including:
    -the oppa
    -what’s a girl like you doing in a place like this?
    -where are you from? how old are you? you have boyfriend?”
    -we are only friend” (followed 20 minutes later by, “i love you.” and two days of  “can i come to your house? what are you wearing?”
    -drunken love texts from co-workers at 4 in the morning.
    -drunken confessions of love screamed across restaurants during office dinners
    -someone walking up to me and shoving their tongue down my throat

    and my all time favourite
     him: “you do korean”
    me: “not very well”
    him: “i don’t english. you, me language exchange.”
    me: “right…language exchange…I don’t want to date anyone right now.”
    him: “no, no. no like, no love, just language exchange”.
    me: “i don’t speak korean and you don’t speak english. how do you expect this to work?”
    him: “괜찮아.괜찮아. body language!” 
    we’ve been together for two and a half years.

    yup. don’t let them fool you. they have an arsenal of techniques. it just depends on the guy.

    4 years ago
  13. Dude, from Virginia. Don’t be hatin’ 

    Anyway, interesting video. I think in general though when you go to a club you aren’t looking for a long-term relationship but just a shallow hook up. 

    4 years ago
  14. Simon…ur shirt.

    4 years ago
  15. aaaannndddd…..today i think MARTINA had the coffee!! :D
    this was interesting….thanks for sharing!!  i think i’d find it strange to go out a multi-date group, but i think i would actually be more okay with that than the american style of picking up in a bar. i’m not a bar person and would find it incredibly awkward to have someone hit on me….so the group date might work in my favour.

    4 years ago
  16. *WHEW* Its a good thing girls don’t flirt in Korea because I am flirting REMEDIAL…and of course I plan to be in Korea very soon. YAY! I don’t have to worry about looking like a “Flirting REMEDIAL Waygooken” in front of all the schmexy Korean Oppas! ^,*

    4 years ago
  17. Oppa is Korean for “Older brother,” an honorific, but is also used as an endearing term for a girl to a guy when dating. It’s similar to Onii-chan in Japanese. Oppa can imply family relationship, close friendship, or dating. But it’s only said by younger women. There’s a male version, Hyung, as well.

    4 years ago
  18. re: “Korean girls don’t flirt, they are flirted upon”….hahaha! that spudgy ‘interaction’ was funny. :)

    Well, I can understand, culturally, how that scenario came about —-► NeoConfucianism/patriarchy has a way of branding both males & females into heirarchy…gender roles. Presumably, females within this limiting social-sphere are *ok* with it. From a western viewpoint – it would seem to create an environment where guys are always relied upon to make the first move….and frankly, (ladies, you know what I’m talking about) ….many men won’t approach you unless they’re certain you’re highly receptive to their advances. (no one likes to get shot down in flames….although we’ve all certainly met the kind of blockheads who just don’t get it, no matter how many times you shoot them the ‘stank eye’…haha)You either end up with a stalemate…OR….the girl HAS to give off welcoming vibes ~ ~ ~. So, I’m going to guess that Korean girls have some sort of stealth-flirt-signal. Also….I really dislike the idea of *having* to have a blind date in order to go out with a group. People usually know within the first 10 minutes of meeting someone if there’s any attraction….if there’s NOT, then you have to spend the whole evening paired-off with someone, when you really just want to laugh & play with your buddies….awkward ~ ~ ~

    4 years ago
  19. lol my name is virginia!

    4 years ago
  20. Peculiarly, a ‘flirtation’ situation occured not so long ago. My best-friend and I walked past Morning Glory (It’s a store — particularly common around Sydney, Australia — with all sorts of cute Korean stationery and accessories) and ‘Love Is Ouch’ by 2NE1 was playing, so loud, it caught my Blackjack attention. I, of course, fangirled then a store clerk fanboyed in return. He kept persuading us to enter the store, but since we were on a tight schedule, we politely denied. When my friend and I came back a few moments later, bursting with curiousity and interest, we came back and he greeted us so openly. It was the most enthusiasm I’ve ever seen from a Korean guy, to be honest. He initiated a conversation despite his thick Korean accent and, by Australian standards, flirted with us. And not so subtlely because next thing you know, he’s asking for our numbers, taking pictures with us, serenading us with our guitar, offering us all these offers to perform in his store (we went that day to shoot our rendition of ‘Lonely’) and asked to meet us again. Judging from the fact that we were ‘underaged’ (pedo-oppaarrrrrr) denied politely and quickly made our way out the store in a fit of giggles. My friend is convinced that he was quite interested yet I merely passed it off as being friendly and that maybe it was the Korean way of just being friendly :}

    4 years ago
  21. Vid made me smile like always :) I feel like i’m missed so many videos… I had gall bladder surgery almost two weeks ago and while i’ve had a lot of time at home, i’ve been a bit out of it and i’m not really sure what i’ve been watching/reading this whole time…. weird lol. I feel a bit better now though :D 

    4 years ago
  22. No, that’s living out my fantasy.

    4 years ago
  23. Great, guess I know where to move, since I lack the ability of flirting. XD

    4 years ago
  24. Ohhh yeah causing cancer lmao

    4 years ago
  25. thats not fun …. i like talking with strangers girls or boys doesn’t matter. but is is just flirting or is friendly conversations as well?

    4 years ago
  26. Oh! You know who else is from Virginia? U-KISS’s Eli. 

    4 years ago
    • he is????? i didn’t know that my aunts from there oh snap i have a connection to Eli *has fangirl moment* ok ok back to normal…..>.> that’s really cool >.>

      4 years ago
      • Yeah, I can’t remember where I saw it but he said he was from Fredericksburg which is about an hour away from where I live… >.> Haha. I think it’s only worth fangirling over if he were to come back and visit.

        4 years ago
  27. Opa Translates to “big brother”, it’s formally a title of a korean female would call an older korean male when they are friendly with each other or related by family.  It runs a wide variety to how it is used in pop-culture today.

    Also I have some cousins that are Korean natives in Chon-ju who are the total Shallow Gongju types (princess complex) they didn’t feel their university have enough potential suitors aka MONEY so they retested to get into different universities.  So digusting.

    4 years ago
  28. Martina, are you hinting that you want us to write you a juicy tabi fic? :P

    4 years ago
  29. Nice video once again but “Korean guys dating Korean girls, Korean guys dating foreign girls, and Korean girls dating Korean guys” so it works for foreign guys dating korean girls too?

    Well when i get the chance of dating a korean girl i’ll tell my imput to you guys hahahaha XD
    Let’s see if my sexy and latin window will work hahahaha XDDDDD

    4 years ago
  30. … did martina say “write a fan fic”?  Martina … I love you.  I’m so sending you peanut butter cups as soon as i get home.  i’ve had a crappy week and that one line made my burst out laughing.

    4 years ago
    • YAY PEANUT BUTTER CUPS!  Maybe you can write a fan fic about sending us peanut butter cups?  DOUBLE REFERENCE TO FAN FIX = DOUBLE PEANUT BUTTER CUPS!

      4 years ago
  31. Dang, maybe maybe we should have that group blind date thing in America because going out to have fun with your dating friends is just a little awkward…..

    4 years ago
  32. LOLed so hard guys. I’m from Virginia. Maybe they would like that here… (Hey! Now you know someone from Virginia!).

    4 years ago
  33. A few weeks ago I was at a dance bar in Sinchon and a native Korean guy walked up to me and attempted to ask me to dance.  When I said no, he grabbed my phone out of my hand and dialed his phone from mine.  I’ve been terrified for about a month to pick up any unknown numbers ;__;

    4 years ago
  34. Korea = Doing it right xD

    4 years ago
  35. The twitter tag “I Love It When You Call Me Big Oppa!” actually made me cry laughing. Well done. Just further reinforcing my belief that there is a secret connection between Korea and 90’s R&B/hip-hop. 

    4 years ago
  36. Hahahaaa I’ma go to Korea, and I’ma Roll down ma Sexyyy window and I’ma watch as all the guys flood to come ask me if I want a drink. :D jahaa

    4 years ago
  37. Omg Martina’s wookie call? How is that NOT attractive/appropriate? Hhahahha. 

    4 years ago
  38. What do Korean guys find attractive ? 

    4 years ago
  39. Yay Virginia!

    4 years ago
  40. Oh Man!  Girls Flirting in Korea is easy, they make little bets that they know they will lose like, let’s play some billiards and even  if you are a pro they will lose on purpose to make the guy feel all manly and then she’ll have to do something dumb like hold his hand or kiss on the cheek. 
    They also ask guys to sing songs with them at Karaoke that are Cutsey or a love story to show they like them. 
    Or once again they purposely put themselves at the boy’s mercy if they are drinking with a group of friends call “black knight” (hookee sah) for him to take her drink and then she has to do a favor or something for him (Korean native guys never ask for anything dirty unlike my Korean/American friends at Yonsei ~kee kee~)

    4 years ago
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