The Problem With 'Railway Romeo' And What To Do If You Meet Him

Ladies, dry your tears. No longer must you spend your lonely nights swiping left on Tinder (for the 374th time) or squander another night with some schmo you met at a dumb bar or something equally unsavory.

Railway Romeo is here! Even if you don’t want him to be. (Does anyone want him to be?)

According to the NY Post, there is a man in New York City who believes he’s like, a straight-up slayer when it comes to scoring digits from ladies on the subway. Brian Robinson, who the NY Post lovingly refers to as a “subterranean seducer” (screaming internally) has this so handled, in fact, that he’s allegedly gone on dates with 500 women from the subway. Robinson isn’t particularly good-looking, nor does he seem super employed right now, but he has a very detailed method, a “gift” that’s been working for him since 1999. (Although if we do some math that works out to about one date every other week, which just isn't that impressive. Our own resident sex+love writer Giana more than eclipses that.)

But in case your interest is still piqued, here’s how he works his magic on the female mind:

“I would always say, ‘Is this local or express?’ and then say, ‘I hear an accent: Where are you from?’ [...] “No matter what place she says, say, ‘Wow, I’ve always wanted to visit your country/city, etc[...] “I have to get off at the next stop and would love to continue this conversation. Can I get your e-mail address?”

Oh, sorry. Are you still here? I just came back up from vomiting profusely at everything in that paragraph because it so so so so so so so gross and it’s bringing back long-suppressed memories of similar dudes I’ve encountered who refused to step off. Jesus H, can't I just live? In short: Robinson won’t take “no” for an answer and will do his best to coerce any who cross his path into giving up their email address. Robinson is that guy. Who won’t. Back. Off. Also, email?! 

In a conversation with the NY Post, Robinson elaborated on the glorious details of his proven methods:

  • Don’t ever try during rush hour.
  • Always carry a loaded MetroCard; pay for her ride if she’s fumbling at the turnstile.
  • Always wear a suit and carry a briefcase — it communicates strength and security, even if you live with your mom.
  • Ask where she’s from; if she’s from NYC or somewhere local, just say, “I thought you were French.”
  • Limit the chitchat — once she’s engaged and you’ve developed some dialogue (1 to 2 minutes), say, “I’d love to visit with you longer…but my stop is approaching…do you have e-mail?” Once you get the number or e-mail, get off, even if it’s not your stop. Leave her wanting more.
  • Wait 60 hours before contacting her. Most men text/e-mail immediately. Throw her off, make her wait.

During the Post’s ride-along with Robertson, a handful of women reportedly gave him their numbers, but he’s also reportedly been threatened with mace. God help this ass-cheese should he ever cross my path, if I were to be armed with mace. (Note to self: get mace.)  I’m surprised he hasn’t been super-punched Mortal Kombat style yet. 

The sad part is that much of Robinson’s canned speech and his uncomfortably persistent M.O., probably sounds all-too-familiar to a lot of women. What Robinson’s doing is street harassment, but in a slightly more insidious fashion because it's under the auspices of subtly and wooing. Whereas a street harasser may come at you with “nice tits” or “sit on my face,” guys like Robinson try to take the nice-guy approach and persist and persist and persist and persist and persist until they get their way, because you just happen to be there, which somehow gets misinterpreted as an open invitation to be quietly harassed. 

Unwanted, guilt-trippy, can’t-take-rejection chit-chat from guys like Robinson isn’t something women can always readily avoid, but if you’ve encountered a public transport weirdo and can’t get away, there are some proven (by me) ways to shut that shit down:

  1. Take out a tissue and loudly blow your nose. Closely examine the contents of the tissue.
  2. Burp. Fart. Any kind of bodily gas will suffice. The people around you might hate you for it, but you’ll succeed in confusing your opponent and getting him to step away.
  3. Spin in circles, flailing your arms wildly.
  4. Start humming “My Heart Will Go On.” Loudly.
  5. Take a deep sniff of your pits within view of your opponent.
  6. “I don’t do email, I fax.”
  7. Jam those earphones in as far as they’ll go.
  8. Adopt a Fran-Drescher-as-The-Nanny laugh
  9. Whip out your handy copy of The SCUM Manifesto.

May your public transport journeys be safe and free from unwanted picker-uppers. But seriously, when in doubt, hit ‘em with the SCUM. 

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