While it’s obviously a celebration of the best in queer cinema, Inside Out is also a great place to hook up. Over 10 days of screenings and parties, there’s a bounty of babes ripe for the plucking. But going from fleeting glimpses to landing in the sack isn’t always as easy as it seems. Below, we’ve assembled some useful tips on landing your rush-line crush.
Dress for success
While film festivals often conjure visions of red carpets, Toronto’s premiere gay cinematic event is a more laid-back affair. Turning up in head-to-toe Versace will make you stand out in all the wrong ways. Keep it cool and casual, with a nod toward practicality. Long waits in line give license for more sensible footwear. And going from the blazing sun to over air-conditioned theatres means that dressing in layers is not just a stylish statement.
Put down your phone
Your plethora of apps can come in handy for finding guys close by. But if you have to stare at a screen to hone in on homos at a queer film festival, your gaydar is in serious need of repair. Leave your phone in your pocket and pay attention to who’s around. You might even make actual eye contact with someone.
Watch what he’s watching
Over the course of the festival, you’ll definitely cross paths with the same guys over and over. Once you’ve identified your crush, keep tabs on what films he’s seeing. Sauntering up next to him at a party and asking, “Hey, didn’t I see you at blah blah blah?” is an ideal icebreaker.
Ask about an opinion but be cautious with offering yours
Trading notes on what you’ve seen is a perfect way to keep the conversation rolling. But be wary of slagging anything. With the plethora of local artists around, you may very well be shit-talking his best friend’s movie, which will dramatically drop your chances of getting into his pants. Instead, focus on what you liked or are excited to see. Nobody wants to screw a negative Nancy anyway.
Don’t assume anything
Like any flirting situation, approach the encounter without assumptions. Just because he’s at a film alone doesn’t mean he’s single. But just because he’s always there with the same dude doesn’t mean they’re together. Any decent guy who’s unavailable will gently make that clear a short time into the interaction by mentioning their boyfriend/husband/vow of celibacy. Toss your hypotheticals and just strike up a conversation.
It’s a frustrating rule of flirting, but the best way to snag a man is to split while it’s still going well. Because it’s a festival, you’ll almost certainly run into him again. Unlike a conventional bar situation, there’s no need to seal the deal right away. Instead, ask what else he’s planning to see and part with a wink and pledge to see him there.
While there’s often another opportunity to meet up, the window might be small if he’s from out of town. Visiting filmmakers and producers tend to only be around for a few days on either side of their screening — so if you know he’s not local, don’t wait too long to make your move. And who knows? You may get the chance to sport your Versace when you end up as arm candy for his next premiere at Cannes.