I received my first letter to "So, um, Dave..." today, and, of course, it was from my loyal reader, Kyle, who has made numerous comments on this blog. Here's his message:
Message: So, um, Dave...
If a person wanted to actually date someone, are there any particular places you recommend for them to turn to/go? Grindr seems full of assholes who only want sex with supermodels but I don't want to go to a bar with men running around in their jocks (it's just not my style) either. Is there such a thing as speed dating or something in the gay world?
So, um, thanks... ;)
Location: Tacoma, WA
Grindr does seem to have large number of assholes sometimes. Though, if I were to really crunch the numbers, the number of guys I talk to who are decent far outnumber the assholes by a wide margin. But those fucking assholes stand out so prominently that they kind of overshadow the decent guys. I've made a number of friends through Grindr, and had a few dates as well, but you're right, it's mostly a hookup app, and the guys on there are going to be looking for sex for the most part.
If the bars you're going to tend to only have guys running around in their jocks, I need to know which bars you're going to! There are more low key bars out there. I'm not a huge fan of bars either, but if you go to one on a weekday, rather than a weekend, and make sure it's a bar, and not a dance club, you may find yourself feeling a little more comfortable. The two gay bars that I know of in Tacoma, The Mix, and Club Silverstone, are both relatively low key, especially when compared to the clubs in Seattle. I've been to Club Silverstone on various nights and weeknights have more of a tavern feel, and it seems far more quiet. Weekends are more club like. The Mix is one I've only been to once, and it looks to be strictly a bar, with no dance floor that I could see.
The problem with bars and clubs, though, is that they are usually loud and don't lend well to striking up conversations. You can't really hear one another all that well. But that does give you an excuse to lean in really closely, and maybe put your hand on their shoulder.
I've never tried speed dating. I don't know if that would be my style at all. I'd feel like a stuck record, repeating the same conversation over and over again. A Google search pulled up a few sites claiming to do speed dating services, but I'd have to sign up to really look into it.
I think what I would actually suggest, though, is looking into using Meetup.com to look for social gatherings in your area which may be of interest to you. I was recently turned onto Meetup, which does have an app for smartphones. I've gone to a couple of Meetups which were unrelated to what we're talking about here, but as I was poking around on the app, I did find that there are numerous LGBT types of events for a number of different interests. You could join a Meetup and perhaps make some new friends and perhaps something could develop from that.