My contribution, at the time and at the table, was the four-second rule. If you can sustain eye contact with somebody for over four seconds, you have one foot in the door.
In my experience, this is true every time. Think of people you’ve crossed paths with on the street. You look at them, they look at you; that’s second one. Then, one of these things will happen:
Two seconds: They/you will look away.
Three seconds: They/you will stop and consider, ultimately looking away.
Four seconds: You’ve gone the distance. Whatever happens next will depend on a number of factors, but at the very least you know they’re not indifferent to you. Whoever’s brave enough could crack a smile and see where that takes you.
I said “in my experience this is always true” but considering the company I was keeping, I should’ve specified it’s a gay male experience. It is how you spot straight men as a homo. They won’t make it past second two. They’d be terrified to look at another man for longer than it takes them to recognize him as friend or size him as foe.
But, it is also how you spot the gays. They will either make it to second four or let you know in no uncertain terms just how unattractive they find you by second three. “But women are different”, I continued. “They weren’t taught to fear closeness with one another, even though society sure seems hell bent on pitting them against each other”.
I can’t empirically know if this works between women for it is precisely the way men have been brought up in this bullshit patriarchy that makes the four-second rule a rule. The lesbians agreed, but seemed disappointed.
⏤ What about straight men?
⏤ You know how they swipe right at every single woman on Tinder? Like that, but with their eyes.
Also, who cares.