Talk about this:
1. Hudson Fireworks
Everyone knows it's total bullshit that Brooklyn and Queens are getting cheated out of our god-given right to sit on our roofs and watch free fireworks. No offense, Jersey-ites, but you've got your own. Odds are good that your party will have plenty of outer-borough residents peeved about the continuation of Hudson River fireworks.
2. Whatever Food Is Being Served
Everyone loves to talk about food these days. "Is this grass-fed beef?" is like the "What's your sign?" of our times. Whether it's complaining about the grocery-store burgers, ("Did you see Food, Inc? It really changed my perspective on a lot of things"), admiring the Greenmarket produce ("OMG chioggia beets! My favorite!") or making fun of the unbearable food snobs ("Did you hear that guy talking about beets? Who fucking cares?"), people really like to talk about their food opinions. Bonus points for anyone with an unusual diet, they will happily chat for an hour about eating what cavemen ate or whatever thing.
3. Patriotism, in the Vaguest Way Possible
America! Freedom! Something! Do you like my red white and blue fake eyelashes/jumper/cupcakes/sunglasses? Me too! Let's make out. USA! USA! USA!
Avoid talking about this:
1. Politics/Wars/Troops/Patriotism, in Any Specific Way
The days of riding "Yes, We Can" straight into some starry-eyed young thing's pants are long over. Whatever your and your potential hookup think about our political situation, as a whole it's depressing as shit. I feel like even Fox News correspondents' boners sag a little when they think about the long, awful slog to November 2012. Avoid.
2. All of the Rape Cases in the News
Best case scenario, you both end up depressed and not wanting to get within 500 feet of sex. Worst case scenario, you find out the person you are considering making out with is a rape apologist monster. Ugh either way.
Look, I know it's a good conversation starter. Everyone wants to talk about what someone said on Twitter, or who @ messaged them, or recycle some witticism or quip that they already thought of and said but get to say again without sounding like they're quoting themselves because the conversation is about Twitter so it's totally on-topic. I get it. But please, just do me this favor and don't be that person trying to chat up a potential sex partner about Twitter. This one is more for my sanity than for your lucky-getting, but if I have to spend a week in the hospital getting a fork removed from my eye, then I won't be here to give you guys sex advice, and that's worth something, right?