Stick to positive comments. Nobody wants to date cynical, bitter people–that’s what friends are for.
From a reader: First off, I’d like to congratulate you for being such a medically correct funny, heartless gay bastard. I like your column so much I went out to buy your queer-ass ebooks. But I digress… I have to sound off! I think gay dating has gone stale for me and I’m in dire need of help. I find myself asking the same boring questions, like, “When did you come out, are you out to your family, what do you do, or secretly, WHEN are you gonna do me?” I desperately need some conversation starters. How can I get to know someone without sounding like a scratched record?
— Hate repeating repeating myself
Dear Repeating Repeating:
The answer is to cut the canned crap and talk about what happened the day of your date—what you saw, experienced or felt. And stick to positive comments. Nobody wants to date cynical, bitter people–that’s what friends are for.
If you’re too nervous to wing it then remember a few fun-to-answer questions. For example: Bring up the X-men movies and ask, “Whose power would you rather have—Storm or Wolverine’s?” It’s just a version of the classic question, “Would you rather be able to fly like Superman or be invisible?”
I always say Superman. Here’s why: See, one day Superman flies past Wonder Woman’s penthouse suite where he sees her naked in bed, lying on her back. Superman thinks to himself, “I’m faster than a speeding bullet. I can fly in there, have sex with her and be gone before she knows it.” So in an instant, Superman flies in, does the deed, and flies back out. At this point, Wonder Woman sits up and says, “Did you hear something?” “No,” replies the Invisible Man, “but my butt is killing me.
God, I love sneaking a bad joke into my columns. Seriously, the best way to avoid conversational Ebola is to use “Multiple Threads.” That’s fancy talk for bringing up lots of subjects and bouncing from one to the other without actually finishing them. Almost everyone uses “Multiple Threads” with their close friends but revert to single threads in tense or awkward situations.
A single-thread conversation goes like this– You: “Have you seen the new hotel downtown?” Him: “No, is it any good?” You: “Yes, it’s pretty cool.” In other words, the conversation is B-O-R-I-N-G.
If he were your best friend, you’d have a multiple thread conversation that would go something like this—You: “Have you seen the new hotel downtown?” Him: “No, but I tricked in the building next door.” You: “Christ, you’re a walking petri dish.” Him: “I heard the hotel’s pretty cool.” You: “Yes, they’re naming the restaurant after you—Slutsky’s.”
You start a multiple thread conversation by gently switching subjects with your date and then going back to the original one. If he’s talking about his job, interrupt him with a, “Oh, oh, before you answer that, did I tell what my boss did today?” Tell your story quickly and go back to the original thread. Another technique is to stop your own story, ask him an unrelated question, then go back to your story.
Multiple threads add energy and zest to conversations. Just make sure you’re giving him equal time. Otherwise, you’re going to bore him to the point he’ll ask you a question you’ll never forget: “Do you mind if I ask the waiter for his number?”