Friends&Strangers.02 – Shot on mobile

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#noshame #walkofshame

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So most of you out there that know me in real life are very well aware that I have no problem talking about things that most other people would fine shameful, like walks of shame, but this was the first thing that popped into my mind when I decided I wanted to make a new post. The other day I was on the phone with one of my girl friends from back in high school and this topic came up. If anyone in the world knows my walk of shame horror stories, it is this girl. I have been calling her at awkward hours of the night/morning since I was  a freshman at my first college (well maybe a little before then..) We laugh. We cry. We have some awkward pauses. But, all-in-all, I always have a fun story to tell. While discussing my walks of shame from past and present, I realized one thing – “It Does Get Better” (thanks, Trevor Project). But really, you pick up a few tips and trick along the way and I figured I would share them with you. Thanks to life experience and a lot of judgement from on-lookers, my walks of shame have successfully gone from “Lindsay Lohan circa dating Samantha Ronson” to “Mary Kate Olson circa 1 month out of rehab”. I still get the occasional maternal-instinct judgy stares from the 65-year-old Chanel clad women in Society Hill walking their miniature dogs in the morning, but at least now the counter people at Starbucks understand my struggles. Here’s some tips:

1. Accessories to hide the shame – hats and sunglasses. If you have a feeling that you are going to end up walking half-way across the city early in the morning while functional members of society are on their way to office jobs, try to bring these things along with you. This usually only works when it is a pre-planned walk of shame (and where’s the fun in that?)

2. Gum. In the words of Cady Heron, “I have really bad breath in the morning.” Most of us do, let’s face it, morning breath is not cute. No matter how much you go out of your way not to, you may actually need to speak to someone during this long voyage home. You probably already look shameful enough for this innocent casualty. Try not to smell awkward too….

3. Simple outfits. Simple outfits make morning walks home a lot less awkward. You may even be able to blend in with the rest of society. However, if you are like me and dress in theme outfits or simply wear a lot less clothing at night than anyone ever should before 11 PM, this is more difficult to plan out.

4. Morning coffee. You’re probably tired from all of that.. umm… exercise (yeah we’ll use that word) that you got last night. Coffee will help! Also, it will make you look more like you are getting ready to face the day and less like you are on your way home to finally sleep from the night prior. Keep in mind that the more expensive the coffee is, the classier people will assume that you are. I like to go with a Venti iced coffee from Starbucks because it gives my appearance more of a Mary Kate/Britney edge.

5. Stay on your phone (as long as your battery is still alive)! Look down at your iPhone, browse Facebook, follow me on Instagram (@thatjimkid), do some online shopping, anything. Avoid eye-contact with people and look busy all at the same time! In people’s minds, it adds the possibility that you are checking work e-mails and being productive. It also makes the venture home seem shorter. Having your head phones in also helps. Keep the volume down low to avoid worsening that 8 am headache that I know you have.

I mean, logically, you could always just take a cab home, but where’s the fun in that? No stories. No judgement. You would be taking away the joyful reminiscing that those businessmen (and women) feel as they pass you and remember their younger years. That’s just selfish of you! Plus, it’s summer time and a little exercise never killed anyone! So, have a great summer, kids! Maybe I’ll bump into you at 9 AM somewhere in the city. Don’t say hi. We’ll pretend it never happened…

And I know that gays can’t get pregnant or anything, but safe sex is great sex. (That is my public service announcement for the week)

“Hey, I think you’re kinda cute” (First dates)

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So, while sitting outside of Woody’s on Monday night, one of my close friends and I were having a conversation about a new guy that he had just met and the text messages that he was sending him. He was complaining about how some of the texts were dumb and annoying and were making him second think hanging out again. As we went further into conversation, a lot of no no’s came up about what guys do before and during the first date. this is when I got my idea for this blog post: what not to do before and during date number one.

Here’s the scene – You’re walking around Woody’s on a Friday night with your friends. From across the dance floor you spot an attractive guy who doesn’t look too crazy (his shirt is still on) that you’ve never seen before. Jackpot! He’s definitely not in the scene (thank god) so there’s probably no chance of someone throwing a drink on you for dancing with their ex-boyfriend or a dance floor gay boy fight over who saw him first. You grab your friends and get on the floor, pushing past the sweaty messes that have been there all night, to get a spot close to him. You make eye contact a few times and exchange some smiles. He’s also interested. The perfect song comes on (something by Robyn – not too fast, not too slow), so you decide to go for it. You turn around and put your arm around his lower back. He doesn’t pull away in disgust and so far, your outfit is drink-free. You introduce yourself over the loud music and maybe exchange a kiss or two (you know how it goes). Suddenly it’s 2 am and the ugly lights come on. You still think he’s cute and he hasn’t run away screaming yet, so you assume he thinks the same. He asks to see your phone and outs his number in it, then proceeds to call himself from it, meaning its his REAL number. You don’t want to seem like “that kind of girl” and try to go home with him right away so you close with “I have to go find my friends, but it was really nice meeting you! Text me!” He closes with the same. Now what?

1. If you feel the need to text him the same night a simple “It was nice meeting you! Have a good night.” is all you need. If he wants to keep talking, he’ll ask a question in his response, i.e. “It was nice meeting you too! What are you up to for the rest of the night?”

2. Do not text about dumb shit. Small talk is okay every now and then, but I honestly don’t care if you walked to Superfresh earlier and cooked yourself a chicken dinner. And I definitely do not need a picture of said dinner.

3. Avoid – Sex, Politics, Religion until you get to know each other. Now the latter two should be easier to avoid for the majority of us, however do not forget about the first. Please do not ask me if I’m a top or bottom. If I like you enough then you will find that out on your own.

4. It is acceptable to ask what his last name is, but keep in mind that he is going to ask yours too. And he knows why you’re asking. We live in a digital world, so if you want to Facebook stalk him a little bit, that’s okay, but keep in mind that he is going to do the same.

5. Please do not talk to me about your exercise routine. I mean, this one sounds kind of dumb, but you wouldn’t believe how many times it happens. You have a nice body, I know. If you didn’t, I probably wouldn’t have asked you out. I do not care how it happened, I just like to look at it.

6. Do not tell me things about myself that I haven’t already told you. This just means that you took your online stalking a little too far. It’s creepy. Don’t do it.

7. Do not plan your first date to be at a club. Even if you met on the dance floor, first dates at clubs usually mean that you’re only in it for sex. If you get the “I had a lot of fun last night! Let’s meet at iCandy tonight.” text, just don’t answer.

8. Don’t talk about yourself too much. Even if you’re not, act like you are interested in him and his life. As gay men, we’re all slightly self-centered, whether we want to admit it or not. Don’t let that get out of control or you’ll lose his interest really fast.

9. First dates should not end in sex. I mean, I understand that sometimes it happens in the heat of the moment, but you should try to avoid it. Sex on the first date usually means that you’re not thinking past the first date, and neither is he.

10. Do not text other people during a date! This one really annoys me. Stop checking your phone and pay attention to me! You’re here with me, not with your friends. I get it, you have friends. Congratulations! So do I. I am on my phone literally every 5 seconds when I’m not on a date, but when I’m trying to learn about someone else, I put it down and pay attention. It’s the gentlemanly thing to do.

Let’s Have A Kiki… At 4 AM

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Scene opens: It’s 3:25 AM and you’re on the dance floor at Voyeur with some guy whose name you forgot about 15 seconds after he told you dancing to a Robyn song. You’ve sweated out the majority of that Trashcan you ordered from the bar at 2:45 to avoid the mad dash of last call and you’re least favorite tank top is hanging out of your back pocket because “it’s too hot to wear a shirt.” The ugly lights come on and your realize that what’s his name is definitely not as cute as the strobe lights made him out to be. You still give him a sympathy kiss because that’s the polite thing to do and he asks you what you’re doing after this. You make up a story about how one of your friends is staying at your place and you have to let him in and you have work early the next morning etc etc (you know how it goes). He gives you his number and you save it as “Dance Floor. Voyeur. Friday.” and make your escape into the beautiful scenery that is the St. James alley, standing by the dumpsters in hopes that he won’t see you when he finally stumbles out on his way to CBC and wait for your friends. After the 35 minutes of wonderful alleyway conversation someone mumbles the words “Who wants to go to the diner?” You agree because you’re “not ready to go home yet”, not because you want to eat… And this is how the 4 AM Kiki session starts. The walk to Midtown II is quiet, as everyone recaps what happened that night in their heads and decides which details they want to keep hidden forever.You all stumble in in your short shorts and cut-up tanks, stained with the sweaty remnants of your MAC foundation, but this is a judgement -free zone. You’re not even close to the worst they’ve seen that night. The waitress drops off your water, which is gone in about 2 minutes, thanks to the dehydration of 5 hours of dancing and heavy drinking. Now that you’re all seated, the iPhones come out and the pings of Grindr start, although if you haven’t found a boy by this time, chances are that the Voyeur leftovers aren’t going to do it for you. The waitress comes to take your orders and the amount of carbs that your table is about to consume could feed a small African tribe for 2 weeks. One of your friends doesn’t order anything, claiming that he’s “trying to save money”, which you all know means he doesn’t eat more than 500 calories a day, but no one cares because they are all thinking about their own wonderful meal of grease and empty calories. The conversation starts, recapping the night’s “accidental make-out sessions”, drug offers, and awkward bathroom encounters. Jokes are made at a friend’s expense, who is either too drunk to care or just drunk enough to get offended. At least one of your friends starts drunk texting their ex, at which point their phone is confiscated and sneakily hidden under a napkin, where they will not find it all night. Life goals, hopes, and dreams are revealed, but no one pays much mind to that guy because they know he’s going to be a server at a center city restaurant for the rest of his life. At least 15 minutes of this crucial meal time is spent telling one of your friends how pretty he is and that he won’t die alone. Tears are shed, water glasses knocked over, jokes made, and then the bill comes. Cards are whipped out and the girl at the cash register begrudgingly splits the bill for you. As you all walk out to catch your cabs in separate directions, plans are made for the next night. “I never eat like that!” “OMG! I’m soooo full. I’m not eating anything for the next 2 days.” The meal is forgotten and never talked about again, but the stories shared might end up on Gossip Gay Philly the next day. Then the walk/cab ride of shame happens, where you tell yourself that you need to find a boyfriend so that you stop eating your feelings at diners, but you know that the nights would have been nothing if you hadn’t had the shameful stories to tell your friends over a giant pile of cheese fries.

Gay Club Etiquette (It’s Not That Hard…)

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Okay, so it’s officially Monday and the weekend is over. I’m home from my regular Sunday night at Sinful Sundays at Tabu early so I decided why not write another blog? After being in NYC last weekend for Pride and going back out in Philly this weekend, the topic for this new post was slightly obvious… GAY CLUB ETIQUETTE. There are a lot of things that you should and probably should not do while out in the scene, especially on the weekends, so I just wanted to take some of my time and make a list. These are just MY opinions and you might not agree, but here goes:

1. “Sandals are not shoes!” -Blair Waldorf

I get it, trust me. It’s hot. You don’t want to wear shoes, but you’re going out. FLIP FLOPS ARE NOT OKAY, unless you are on the beach. 1. You are, without a doubt, going to get stepped on, a lot. 2. You’re at a bar! There are broken glass bottles everywhere. Do you want to risk that? 3. THEY DON’T LOOK CUTE! Ever. On anyone. I’m not sorry….

2. Please go somewhere else with your super branded t-shirts.

I know that Abercrombie, Hollister, and Aeropostale might have been okay at some point when you were in the 12-17-year-old range, but you are an adult now. Please portray yourself as such. You don’t have to wear expensive clothes, no need to rush out and buy an Italian made suit or anything, but try to avoid having large words, of any kind, written across your t-shirt. It’s just tacky.

3. The words “excuse me” will get you very far.

If you simply try to push past me at a club, I do not care how big or strong you are, I will purposefully not move out of your way. It really isn’t too hard to simply say “excuse me” and I will move. No need to be rude and pushy!

4. This one’s for the ladies – If you can’t walk and dance all night in your shoes, do not leave the house in them.

You leave your house, looking really cute, in your brand new 8″ Jeffrey Campbells. GET IT GIRL! But please, think about your night in advance, you are probably going to spend the majority of it dancing, standing, drinking, and walking to other bars. If you can’t make it through all of that in those shoes, take them off and put some cute ballet flats on. And NEVER take your shoes off at the club. You’re better than that…

5. Do not beg for the men who take your money to let you in for free

If you are not on a guest list and do not have a free admission ticket by the time you are supposed to be paying, just pay. No one is going to give you a break, especially if they do not know you. They have all been doing their jobs for a very long time and have heard your exact story 25 other times that night. All you are doing is holding everyone else up from getting inside and having a good time.

6. Please be able to handle your liquor and know your limits

You are in public! Chances are, if you’re at a gay club, it is not your first time drinking. You should know by this time when to say no. No one looks cute barfing in the Voyeur bathroom or getting escorted out of Woody’s because they fell down the steps. NO ONE!

7. Tip your bartenders no matter what

If you do not have enough cash to tip, don’t get a drink in the first place. They work hard all night serving you messes and deserve a little appreciation. Also, keep in mind that the more you tip, the more the bartender likes you, and when bartenders around here like people, they make their drinks stronger and stronger. So, if you want a good drink, keep tipping.

8.If you are not a drag queen, do not get on the stage during a drag show

No one paid $5-7 to see you perform anything! And if you’re drunk enough to jump on stage, you probably have no idea how to dance.  Just saying, leave the performing to the performers, please!

9. DO NOT EAT THE VOYEUR HOTDOGS

I don’t care if you haven’t eaten in the past 3 days or if your boyfriend just broke up with you and is blowing someone else in the bathroom, Voyeur hotdogs are never okay. 1. They’re bulk hot dogs on a machine in the dark corner of a smoke-filled gay club 2. Voyeur only has them out to abide by the law (have to serve food to serve alcohol after hours) 3.You’re breath is gonna be nasty! For the rest of the night…

10. If you find yourself at an event, get photographed, by someone else.

iPhone pictures in Instagram don’t count. Philly is a small town, but when you’re out in the Gayborhood, usually people are drunk. They won’t remember you’re name the next morning, I promise. You want to make it known that you were out, without being obnoxious. Get in a FameLust picture. You know it’s going to end up on Facebook. You also know that those people you met last night are going to look at them to remember who you were. Always look presentable and people will start to remember you.

These are just a few of the tips I wanted to give, and I’m sure there will be a follow-up post at some point that will list some more. Keep reading and maybe post some comments! Thanks!