Me at any given Pride event: “Ooh, that guy’s hot. But so is that one. And there’s one who’s even hotter! Wait, how is it 3 a.m. already? I wonder if that first guy is still here.” What’s in my bed when I fall asleep that night? Me and half a pizza. Oh, who am I kidding? An empty box.
At the many meat markets of Pride, sometimes the intoxicating mixture of excitement, fresh cuts from out of town, and whatever literally intoxicating mixture we’ve imbibed can have us in a rainbow fantasia.
On the one hand, we’re experts at multitasking; I can dance, cruise dudes, chat on Grindr and hold a drink while maintaining basic conversations with my friends (“SAW THIS DJ ONCE IN SEATTLE!!! GOT ANY GUM?!”) all at once. On the other, I can’t necessarily perform any of these activities with enough focus to have a rewarding experience, particularly when it comes to meeting strangers, which is the primary unique opportunity Pride provides.
Here’s a list of suggestions for minimizing those distractions and maximizing opportunity, because the internet, because lists.
Forget about hooking up
Desperation reeks. Remember, this article is about pulling quality trade, not any trade. If you want to hook up, you can. If you want to meet someone you might be interested in seeing again, or at least hanging out with when perchance one of you visits the other’s hometown in the future, then visualize: not going home with some rando by party’s end; rather the more achievable goal of meeting one cutie to talk to within the next hour.
Make a beeline for people who are having fun
Just because they’re not hot dudes you want to hook up with doesn’t mean you have to ignore them. Plus, some of them might be hot dudes or have friends who are hot dudes, so bonus.
But the point is that if you focus on having fun – and not on scoring – you’ll not only stand a chance of making new friends you wouldn’t have met otherwise, thus expanding your social and maybe professional circle, but you’ll actually increase your chances of scoring.
People who look like they’re having fun are attractive. People who stare at orange and black phone screens are not. This is a win-win proposition.
If you manage to engage someone cute, focus on him
Flirt, duh. Here you two are, drowning in a sea of undulating flesh like you’re in a Gustave Dore painting, and you’re having a brief moment where neither of you is looking past the other for the next, hotter guy. Seize it, this guy is your guy tonight. Don’t tell yourself you can do “better.” Better than what? You’re just talking, no harm in that. Ask him lame questions like where he is from, what he does, and if he brought friends. And do NOT ditch him mid-conversation to go take another hit of whatever-it-is in bathroom, because he will move on.
Don’t be really clingy, of course. Diffuse the energy by gathering your two groups of friends together to dance and/or hang out. None of this guarantees he’s not going to ditch you at some point, maybe he thinks he can do better than you! But if he does, a) you never wanted him anyway, b) it’s Pride, just raise your gun again and shoot into the barrel.
Bring friends who share these goals
Your best friend may be your best friend, but he may also be a massive peen troll. Bring at least one other friend who isn’t constantly on the lookout for cheap tail, ditching you every 10 minutes to go strike out – or not strike out, leaving you alone at the party altogether. Ideally what you need is a sort of social butterfly, not someone you have to babysit.
This person needs to be completely comfortable with the chance you might leave them alone for a bit while you do your thing, should an opportunity arise which cannot be ignored. But remember, you’re not here to flit around throwing yourself at everyone. This person should be thought of as an aid to making new friends.
You don’t need to be alone to put the mack on some stud – this friend’s charisma is social lubricant and can help you all have a fun time together. Naughty private time comes later and to set that up, you need only lean over and whisper, “What are you doing after this?”
Did I mention forget about hooking up?
Look, I know it’s basically the whole point. I do. But you have to be able to have a good time in the event that you don’t score. As I’ve said, this is the attitude that makes you the most magnetic anyway. Don’t turn your radar off – be open.
Smile, focus, and yet relax. Turning a trick tonight doesn’t reflect how attractive you are, and settling the gift of your precious and rarefied sexuality on a guy simply because he is willing often makes you feel the opposite. Take advantage of this chance to actually connect with interesting people. (And connect with a condom first.)
Now go get you some.