Antonio Sabato Jr., the 41-year-old former model, soap star and celebrity playboy, is known as much for bedding Pamela Anderson, Jennifer Love Hewitt and, yes, Madonna as his 1992-to-1995 role as Agent John “Jagger” Cates on “General Hospital.” He’s now the chief romance officer and celebrity wingman for international dating Web site anastasiadate.com. His blog is titled “Tips From a Celebrity Wingman” and offers advice on how to make a move if you happen to find yourself brushing shoulders with starlets.
While he continues to act (Sabato recently appeared on the television series “Castle”) and has recently given up his playboy lifestyle for his wife of one year, Cheryl Moana Marie, the actor was inspired to start his blog because he felt a lot of American men were striking out. “I’ve been dating both Hollywood women and beautiful ladies around the world for years, so I knew if I was given a chance, I could really help [men] out,” he says.
That sounds great — until you realize that Antonio Sabato Jr. was a Calvin Klein model in 1996. That might give him an advantage over regular Joes.
He says when he met Madonna, whom he briefly dated, he was set up by mutual friends. “Can you imagine having a friend say they have someone they want you to meet, and it turns out to be Madonna?” he asks. “It wasn’t that I met her at this posh venue that sealed the deal — it was confidence.”
(It might also have been his abs.)
Sabato encourages men to remember the three Cs — that is, confidence, curiosity and courage — to go outside what they feel comfortable with. So what’s a confident, courageous way to approach someone who, if not Madonna, seems a little out of reach?
Some of Sabato’s tips for men include:
1. Get to know a woman through online conversations before meeting her. This helps weed out matches who are fundamentally wrong, and the anticipation does wonders for your mutual attraction.
2. Date outside your comfort zone. Think past your city, town and country borders. The trend of international online dating has made meeting women from different cultures easier than it ever has been before.
3. Know how to flirt in the modern, online dating age. For instance, begin with an assertive greeting — pick something like, “Hello there,” rather than something cheesy like, “My heart skipped a beat just looking at your photos.”
4. Once you get the conversation going past “Hello there,” Sabato suggests reversing gender expectations. He says many women have certain habits when they meet men, such as expecting a guy to be looking for sex, and trying to determine whether he is a good relationship candidate. Men can make those behaviors work in their favor by showing that they understand the dynamic. For example, when meeting a woman, a man might jokingly “Tell her she’s moving WAY too fast and that you like to take things slow, be wined and dined first.” Or, “If she says she likes something — for instance, the color green, tell her you know all about girls who like the color green — they’re trouble and that you swore to yourself you’d never date them again.”
5. Tell her a story — it should be long enough that it takes a few minutes — that communicates something about your personality and how much you love life.
And what if you want to seduce a woman as beautiful as Jennifer Love Hewitt, whom Sabato dated in 2003?
“Most women don’t tire of being called beautiful. But if you have reason to believe that won’t work — try to compliment her intelligence.”