24 yo guy who lives with his parents in the ‘burbs of Chicago has been emailing me. Hi! He’s sweet and sincere. His issue ironically is trying to find a BF. Seems he’s almost an hour drive to get into Boystown (Chicago’s hood) where trying to have a conversation with someone slightly intoxicated over the thumping beat of “I gotta a feeling” is less than enjoyable. He’s tried the online venues. The ‘net is it’s all too sexually charged for him and he wanted to know what to do. He’s looking to make friends and ‘find that someone special’.
What is evident from my writings is that I’m probably the last person anyone should be asking advice from. But the question he poses is one I’ve often asked myself and wrote about. There’s a real risk of approaching a relative stranger out in the mainstream and hitting on them. You end up doing some akward dance of I’ll show you mine if you show me yours sort of thing. Tedious and time consuming.
Clearly if you’re in ‘burbs or a tiny city, the picture is looking a little grime, hence my only advice to him was he’d have to bite the bullet when he could afford it and try to get closer into the city.
I spent a few months early in 2009 working on a concept for Washington to get gay professional together for semi-regular social gathers at non-gay venues. Doing some math, I calculated there are at least 70,000 gay men in the DC metro area, and looking at JRs on any given night, I don’t see but a 100 or so in there, so figured I could easily get 10,000 to join my free group (I did a bunch of segmentation work – it’s what I do, sorting the fruits into various bin).
My focus would be on the non-bar professional sort (could be any age). I had a professional web site all designed (fully automated) and a young guy who would run it (’cause I don’t have the time to organize the events, but I was willing to invest in it). Well he turned out to be a circuit party boy and was too young to understand the problem I wanted to solve. BTW my solution isn’t new, the UK has Village Drinks and various Asian countries have their Fruits in Suits events. It’s a good idea and if you have something remotely similar where you live, by all means.
Time and help permitting I may want to rejuvenate my plan.