Occupy Your Bedroom: Tips on How to Pick Up People at Occupy Protests

by: Johnny Gall

Friends and blog readers, if you haven’t noticed already, spring is pretty thoroughly upon us, which means two things. First, it means that you want to sleep with everything that moves. [1] No shame necessary. The warmer weather means that everyone’s favorite body parts have returned to public view. Legs, forearms, necklines, and—depending on the park—nipples have returned to us. It’s a beautiful thing.

Second, the Occupy movement has returned to the public spaces of pretty much every major city, and even though numbers are down a bit from the winter, and the less balanced people are much more present and vocal, there are still pretty significant numbers of active social-justice-minded people out there for you to take out your spring yearnings for sexy times, if you, like me, find social action and mostly black clothing to be sexy.

As someone who makes a point of showing up to Occupy protests every time the cops are giving them more trouble than usual, and as someone who never enters any environment without gauging its hook up potential, allow me to share with you these practical tips to getting some lucky person to Occupy Your Bedroom.

1.     Talk to People

This one should be obvious, but if you’re like me, it is still tremendously difficult. If you’re a fan of the bar or club scene, you know that striking up a conversation in these environments if for no other reason that even an innocuous phrase like “How are you doing?” is always assumed to mean: “Ravage me!” However, Occupy protests are full of really emotionally charged, progressive and usually sexually liberated people, who will not assume that you’re only there to find someone to hook up with. (Even if you are.) Plus, they tend to actually be pretty friendly, in my experience. You’re risking practically nothing by striking up a conversation. But even if that’s a little more outgoing than you’re comfortable with, you can bring people to you if you:

2.     Have Cigarettes

Don’t confuse me. I’m not trying to convince you to pick up smoking. That would be contradicting myself. You should not start smoking to pick up dates. You should not start smoking for any reason. However, if you happen to already be a smoker and you always have a good supply of cigarettes on you, you know that within the course of one smoke, usually at least three people will come up and ask you for one. This is the easiest way to start a conversation ever. You risk nothing. [2] And the vast majority of Occupy protestors smoke, especially since they’re outside all the time. There’s really nothing to lose here. So, if you’re a little shy but still want some dreadlocked God or Goddess to come home with, a pack of Marlboros is your friend. [3]

3.     Learn to Look Past the Exterior

Guys, I can be pretty shallow. And I hate dreadlocks. So much. I’ve only ever seen them work for one person. [4] I’ve seen them do horrible things to the heads of many other people, most of them Occupy protestors. The Occupy movement is married to several somewhat controversial styles and appearances. Though I personally am a huge fan of gutter punks, I understand that some other people may take issue with them, the same way that I take issue with people who don’t wash their hair. But if you completely reject everyone with ripped clothing, dreadlocks or a stronger-than-average smell, you might be missing out on bedding some really cool people, and the chance to explore your own feeling on that musky scent. There’s no reason to write people off.

4.     CONSENT!

Don’t get me wrong, readers: this is by all means an all-the-time rule. However, have you ever had to talk to a Fox News watcher about Occupy? Or any other movement against the income gap? Because I can guarantee you, they will bring up rape accusations within the first sentence, all because some protestors did not know how to respect boundaries. This is, as always, unacceptable. And if the dignity of whomever you’re violating isn’t enough for you to cut it the hell out, maybe consider that you’re tarnishing the reputation of thousands of people, as well as the emotional well-being of at least one, all because you just had to bust a nut.[5] Nice job.

5.     Pimp Your Tent

This is assuming you live in one of the cities in which tents are still allowed, if there are any of those left. But a pretty fancy tent, if you can have one, is a good way to show people that you’re involved. Be creative, but not flashy. This is perhaps the one scenario in which showcasing your monies will not get you laid, so don’t rig up spinners for your tent. Instead, carefully consider how to make it self-expressing, and all the dudes and ladies will be drawn in by your catchy slogans and artistic endeavors.

6.     Be Flashy

Again, I don’t mean fancy suit, stilettos or a Rolex. If you do that, everyone will hate you. In fact, flashy mostly means its opposite. Black clothing seems to go over pretty well for some reason. [6]  However, I do recommend that you spice it up with buttons, signage or whatever you feel like. It turns out people, in their mating habits, aren’t too much more complex than animals. Consider this to be your plumage. Everyone will see the bright colors covering your all black ensemble and instantly be drawn to your superior genetic make-up or whatever. Just don’t take the animal sex vibe too seriously. If you start presenting, you will be arrested. And I will hate you.

7.     Have Fun

Most people are drawn to big personalities. This is especially true in a protest scenario, where essentially the goal is for everyone to try really hard to get everyone else to look at them and acknowledge what they’re talking about. There’s no reason you can’t do this in a really upbeat way. People need upbeat things when they’re surrounded by cops. That’s the best time!

The other night I marched with protestors around Union Square, and as soon as we ran out of chants (which takes about an hour, because there are a lot of them) someone decided to start singing “Eye of the Tiger.” And then everyone loved me for knowing all the words to one hit wonder songs from before I was born.
My point is not to tell you guys how awesome I am. (You already knew that.) My point is that, even though they’re a bunch of cynical, enraged and usually anarchist punks, Occupiers can have a great sense of humor and know how to party; you can get yourself plenty of groupies by learning how to play off of that.

8.     Don’t Be a Cop

Seriously. No one will like you. This may be difficult, because in many other hook-up situations, a good uniform will go a long way. But not here.

However, if you’re looking to indulge in some “Don’t infringe on my Civil Rights!” role playing, you know where to find me.

Johnny Gall is so, so very close to completing his B.A. from NYU in English and Creative Writing. He has hopes of moving on to seminary, and then to ordained ministry and works with several groups which advocate queer equality in the Methodist church. He is a feminist, anarchist, person of faith, part-time librarian and an all-around good guy.

[1] And is capable of consenting.

[2] Except, you know, your ability to breathe correctly.

[3] They are an enemy to your lungs, though.

[4] Of course I’m referring to you, everyone I know with dreadlocks.

[5] Or whatever women bust. Do women bust anything?

[6] I will never understand this. I completely associate social change with bright colors, but perhaps it’s because I’m a bright gay butterfly who wants sunshine and rainbows to rule the world.


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