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The gay scene

Chatting up

The key to chatting up a guy is patience but, since we’re usually thinking with our dicks and driven by an uncontrollable urge to shift our load by morning, we can move very fast.

Unfortunately, this can be at the expense of some common sense stuff that can help a first meeting get off to a flying start. On some of the larger scenes we can also compromise our chances: if one guy doesn’t fit the bill within a nanosecond, we move on to the next. This sort of behaviour can become habitual and you’ll miss out on some great men.

Unless you’re carving notches on the bed post, it’s the quality not the quantity that counts. How we connect with other men varies enormously but if you like someone let him know. If you don’t he’ll never know what he’s missing. The looks… the glances… the ‘ballet’ around the venue to find better vantage points (from which to see or be seen) or to engineer a close encounter... are all part of the ritual to reduce the possibility of rejection. (Of course, if we could handle the rejection better, more of us would go straight up to a guy, say hello, and take it from there).

We often aim to find a balance between showing interest, casually ignoring him, and making our intentions clear. Eventually though you should do something about it, if only to spare yourself the nagging doubt as you go home alone.

Furious Saint Jack | Dir. Ethan Roberts (US) | 2014 | 3m 38s

Many of us have developed our own individual styles of chatting to and picking up men and so the following suggestions may seem contrived. But, if you go through the following points, you’ll probably pick at least one thing you could do better (apart from him).

Everyone has an opening line and it’s not as if we haven’t heard them all before – particularly the crap ones. Even if it’s terrible, you’ve plucked up the courage to say "Hi!" and that’s more than he’s done if he’s just standing there waiting for you to make the first move. However, just for the record, here are a few chat-up lines that didn’t quite work out as intended:

  • "Is that a gun in your pocket or are you pleased to see me?" "It’s a gun."
  • "What would it take to get a kiss from you?" "Chloroform."
  • "My friends have told me about you..." "What friends?"
  • "What’s your idea of a perfect date?" "The one I was having before you came over."
  • "Got a light?" "Yes."

In the first instance, conversation should be easy-going and relaxed and any questions should be straightforward. If you start with something clever or devastatingly witty you may catch him off-guard or put him on the spot. He may then feel he needs to match you and if he’s shy or out of practice then you’ve immediately put him at a disadvantage. On the other hand, some guys do it to sort out the men from the boys, so if it works for you do it – but you know the risks. Here are our chatting up tips:

  • Your voice should be friendly, confident and relaxed – not pushy, smarmy or over-eager
  • Find out his name, remember it, use it every now then and don’t forget it
  • Keep the eye contact going
  • Get him to talk about himself but don’t turn it into an interrogation or forget that you’re part of this too
  • If you don’t want to talk to him be polite, firm and honest
  • Consider your body language and observe his. Unless he’s been explicit about what he wants, don’t get too close in the first instance. Believe it or not we all need some time to get accustomed to being in each other’s space. Instinct and practice will let you know when it’s time to get closer, particularly if his hand wanders on to your arse or crotch.
  • Mirroring each other’s body language can also help relax you both. For example, taking a drink when he drinks and re-positioning yourself when he does generates a comfortable rhythm between you. Mind you, it needs to be casual – not a comedy routine.
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