Avast! It's International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and us salty dogs on board the good ship FHM reckon it's time for our trademark relationship advice to spread out across the seven seas. If ye be a Pirate, ye be thinkin' of becomin' a Pirate or you've just been pressganged and you're readin' this article on yer Blackberry in the moist darkness of a ship's hold, we've got some tips for you should you want to set sail on a voyage of romance with a beautiful maiden.

Love on the decks

Now the sea can be a lonely place, for most womenfolk aren't as hardy as us rough-n-tumble men, so on board ship is a poor choice for romance. If a woman's managed ter survive on a pirate ship, she's most likely one of yer red-haired Captainesses and would refuse the advances of some low-down salty jack like yerself. If the demon of lust does possess ye, though, the followin' humble-minded openers should help:

“Yarr, Cap'n, I reloaded all yer flintlocks just as ye asked. Tell me, how do ye get yer crimson hair to stay so lustrous and managable out here on the windswept ocean?”

“Cap'n! Boarders on the port deck! Have I ever told ye how beautiful yer mouth looks with a cutlass held between yer teeth?”

“Aye Cap'n, I cleaned our yer parrot's cage this mornin'. What a wonderful pet ye've got there - it reminds me me of my own beautiful dog who was sadly killed in a powder explosion not three yar ago. Did ye ever lose a beloved pet to an explosive mishap?”

Remember, red-haired Captainesses are powerful, independent women so startin' slowly and buildin' up a rapport is the best way to get into their cold, black hearts – many of them might be lookin' fer companionship, and a kind word and thoughtful act here and there can do wonders. We'd advise ye not ter take the strong, confident approach, though, as more often than not it can be misconstrued as mutiny and earn ye a one-trip to the smotherin' watery embrace of Davy Jones.

A pirate captain and friends
The Cap'ns got himself a beauty, here, but you're more like the gormless lubber on the right who doesn't know how ter hold a cutlass. Let us change that

Shore leave

Of course, as every good pirate knows, the best place ter meet womenfolk is on shore. The minute ye step off decks, ye'll no doubt be assailed by a gaggle of doxies and tuppenny Jens eager to soak up some of yer exotic pirate mystique (and yer share of the booty, no doubt). But be wary, Jim Lad, for these misbegotten tantric engineers pave the route ter folly and a whole host of itchy, unpleasant diseases you don't want to have ter deal with on a six-month ocean voyage.

Instead, when you're out and about tearin' up Tortuga (or somewhere similar), do yer level best to keep watch fer unattached women. Livin' as they do in coastal areas, they're no doubt goin' to have heard all yer old-fashioned Pirate chat-up lines before, such as “Yarr, how about you walk MY plank” or “Aharrr, how about ye splice MY mainbrace?” Such hackneyed old standards will no doubt earn ye a slap in the face from today's modern lady. Try these on fer size:

“Arrr, yer eyes flash with the mystery and intrigue of the darkest stormy sea. Tell me my girl, does the fabled eight-limbed kraken, devourer of ships and men alike, lie in wait?” (This be what modern social engineers call a “Neg”)

“Tell me my beauty, can ye settle a bet? Hairy Pete over here reckons that Blackbeard killed four hundred men before the accursed Navy hunted him down, but I know it to be close to five hundred. Surely a woman of such intelligence must know of Blackbeard's murderuous exploits?” (Of course, we all know that Blackbeard killed more'n a thousand men, but lettin' her say that will be a nice opener)

“I can't help but notice ye were wearin' a ring on yer little finger before the cabin boy nicked it and ran off ter pawn it fer rum. Did ye know that the ancient Pirates used ter venerate their heathen Gods by wearin' rings on different fingers? I'll need her hand ter demonstrate, for a shark ate most of my fingers back when I were a boy.” (establishin' physical contact is important and ye can develop that shark story later on in the evenin' when she inevitably asks about it)

Makin' yer excuses

Bein' a pirate ain't just a job - like bein' an accountant or a software technician - but it also be a way of life. You'll break yer fair share of hearts as you're called back out to plunder and savage your way across the sea by your profit-hungry Captain, but it's important ter let them down gently and make sure that next time your bedraggled vessel limps into port, they're in a good mood ter see ye again:

“Yarr, my darlin', I must leave ye now for the accursed black spot be upon me, and I have ter flee else a bloodthirsty hit-squad of scabrous pirate bounty hunters descend upon this tavern and burn it ter the ground. Perhaps if I clear my falsely-accused name I'll see ye again one day.”

“Do ye see this map? Yarr, I know it looks like I just drew it on a napkin, but it be valuable indeed. This map marks the fabled treasure chest of Cuthroat Jim McBastard – vast riches beyond yer imagination contained within – and I must set sail upon the morrow and secure it. Perhaps one day I'll be back with my own ship, who knows?”

“Yarr, I'm not really in a place where I can commit to a long-distance relationship right now. I still be reelin' from a breakup with me old girlfriend and I think that I'd end up hurtin' ye, and what we've had be to precious to spoil.”

In Conclusion

We've but scratched the surface of this difficult issue, but we hope that we've been of some help ter ye in yer romantic endeavours. May yer sails fly straight and the wind blow true, me hearties!