The practice of picking up girls is quite old. Back in the days of the European royal courts, the nobility and other upper class people would take walks in parks and on the public avenues. This promenading gave the men an opportunity to look over the available females. The young girls were always chaperoned, but a lot of suggestions were made by winks, glances and other signals. If a man felt encouraged, he could communicate by written messages, which could be passed on by helpful servants or friends. Secret rendezvous and lovers' trysts were often arranged and, by all accounts, there was substantial clandestine sexual activity. The technique of the pick-up was different, but the overall courtship followed the same general principles as today.

Then came the European coffee houses which were a common hang out and meeting place for men and women looking for sexual adventure.

World War I saw millions of young Allied soldiers in Europe. Separated from their womenfolk and away from the restraints of their own communities, they became sexually uninhibited. Girls in France and other parts of Europe responded and were picked up in great numbers. It is interesting that soldiers can usually pick-up girls, even if they do not speak their language. These were not prostitutes either, but decent respectable girls.

The roaring twenties, World War II, Korea and Vietnam all brought further relaxation of sexual and moral standards.