Have you ever been to a Men's group?

  • Fireworkz

    Posts: 606

    Feb 26, 2016 1:19 PM GMT
    I'm thinking of joining or starting a men's group.
    Has anyone had any experience of these?

    I'm not sure whether to go to a gay one or a straight/mixed one.

    I'm looking for one that provides support and challenge that encourages men to be their authentic self.
    I'm not looking for a bunch of men getting to together to moan around the camp fire.

    I'm happy to go to a straight one as long as there is not too much focus on sex and women.

    Any experiences?
  • SomeSiciliano...

    Posts: 543

    Feb 26, 2016 4:50 PM GMT
    I attended a New Warrior weekend sponsored by the Mankind Project a couple years ago when I lived in DC. A good friend urged me to join him for a weekend retreat in Pennsylvania. There were about 40 men ranging from early 20s to 70s...straight gay and bi. Sexuality was a topic but was an overlay on broader issues like personal responsibility and emotional availability.

    There were a few 'you have to be kidding me' New Agey cliché moments but overall it was a very positive experience. I am friends with most of the participants and major cities have ongoing MKP chapters. It's funny that you posted this as i want to attend one this spring or summer.
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    Feb 26, 2016 6:10 PM GMT
    Only once, when I first came out in Ann Arbor in the Bicentennial Summer of '76, but it was full of so many weirdos that I left at the break and never went back. I've always been able to make and keep good friends on my own whom I can trust and rely upon, so contrived assemblies like these are superfluous. If they "speak to your needs," fine, join and participate in them, but count me out.
  • Wendigo9

    Posts: 426

    Feb 26, 2016 7:48 PM GMT
    A men's group? is there such a thing left in this day and age? I've been looking to join one for quite some time now, but there are none where I live. RealJock is the only "men's group" I've joined so far, even then it's online and not an "in person" thing : /
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    Feb 26, 2016 10:42 PM GMT
    I've belonged to a number. Most had a specific focus, typically with monthly gatherings:

    For instance: literary (you read a selected book beforehand for evening discussion, consisted mostly of gay college professors); dinner club; motorcycle riders; outdoor camping; bowling league.

    Needless to say, these were all gay men. Activities which always make me think: "WOW! Gay guys are so smart & talented. Maybe someday I'll grow up to be like them." LOL! Unfortunately it hasn't happened yet. icon_sad.gif
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    Feb 26, 2016 11:47 PM GMT
    Only if you count a circle jerk at a sex club. Can't get much more authentic than that. Although I think may have moaned a little.
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    Feb 27, 2016 2:24 AM GMT
    Have you tried meetup.com


    This looks interesting

    http://www.meetup.com/naked-warriors-uk/events/228633390/
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    Feb 28, 2016 10:31 AM GMT
    It depends on the group that you're talking about. My ex and I went to several outdoorsy activities group when I was living in San Francisco. We did like 5 meet ups, different fun events they threw together. Some of the guys just wanna meet new people. I volunteered and hung out at the SF LGBT center for a while too. Now, that I'm single, I tried to go once a month to a gay bar networking gay meet up 3rd Wednesday of the month. But yeah it's mostly single gay men looking to date/make new friends.
  • Fireworkz

    Posts: 606

    Feb 28, 2016 12:39 PM GMT
    Meetup is too open.
    I'm looking more for a closed circle of men who are in it for the long term (6-12 months) and committed to attending each session with the aim of sharing and empowering each other.
    I know a couple of guys who are in some great groups in California but that's too far for me.
    Also it needs non-sexual. It's not about hook ups. Which is why I'd probably prefer a mix of straight, bi and gay guys.
  • FitBlackCuddl...

    Posts: 803

    Feb 28, 2016 2:29 PM GMT
    "Have you ever been to a Men's group?"

    The first real experience I had around "gay/bi" men was at a "men's exchange" group in Boston. Had just graduated from high school and come to the city. Was 18, nervous and excited at the same time. Turned out to be a memorable time. Not many events like this happened in Boston and I missed it. Moved to L.A. four years later. A LOT more structure (and federal money). Was a regular "men's rap group" with a series of VERY GOOD facilitators each week. So good that the room could not hold all of the participants. People drove up from as far away as San Diego.

    Federal money either dried up or the GLBT center officers siphoned it off because these exchanges stopped and then the center itself downsized. Miss them.
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    Feb 28, 2016 2:31 PM GMT
    Fireworkz saidI'm thinking of joining or starting a men's group.
    Has anyone had any experience of these?

    I'm not sure whether to go to a gay one or a straight/mixed one.

    I'm looking for one that provides support and challenge that encourages men to be their authentic self.
    I'm not looking for a bunch of men getting to together to moan around the camp fire.

    I'm happy to go to a straight one as long as there is not too much focus on sex and women.

    Any experiences?


    A gay-bisexual-friendly church I attended in person had small groups for members. There was a men's small group. It was excellent. [Marble Collegiate Church]

    You get your closed group.
    You get your straight, bi, gay mix.
    You got your commitment from members.
    You got your six to 12 months.

    Second, another gay-bisexual-friendly church I attended has discussion groups. [Unitarian Universalism]
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    Feb 28, 2016 7:57 PM GMT
    FitBlackCuddler saidThe first real experience I had around "gay/bi" men was at a "men's exchange" group in Boston.

    And what did you men "exchange"?
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    Feb 28, 2016 9:04 PM GMT
    To my earlier list above I'll add a couple more. Just this morning I saw our neighbor heading out, dressed as cute as could be in his tight softball uniform to play a game in the gay men's league (really highlighted his basket, must have been wearing a protective cup).

    Naturally in the UK you have lots of team sports, and you can build a men's social group anchored by your team. Which can be gay, or mixed with gay-friendly straights. I can't play team sports anymore but I can watch and cheer for my "team", and then we all go out together for pizza & beer afterwards. I still have friendships I formed that way.

    Another one I belonged to might not be to your taste, and not sure how well this might be accepted in Britain: a gay naturist (nudist) club. We had monthly gatherings at all kinds of venues, where we were totally naked. Outdoor picnics and swim parties in the summer at fenced private homes (US suburbia is a natural for that), moving indoors in the winter for dinners, movie nights, or just cocktails with 20 or so guys hanging out (and I mean that in both senses). Or we'd get private use of a bar, or bowling alley, or spa in their off hours

    We also participated in parades, naked but with barrels on suspenders (braces) around us, a US symbol of poverty (you have that in the UK?), and staffing our booth at Pride Festivals, likewise naked in our barrels.

    And BTW, no sex was permitted during these events, and of course no drugs. If a member so much as felt as guy up he could be thrown out of the club.

    HOWEVER, in a wonderful example of double standards, when a house party was over, around 10 or 11, and if the host indicated we were free to stay a little longer as his personal guests outside the official meeting hours, OMG! Orgy time! But not every host did that, and you simply put your clothes back on and drove home, still glad for the company of some really nice guys. Who again, I got to know as friends outside the club.
  • FitBlackCuddl...

    Posts: 803

    Feb 29, 2016 6:32 PM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    FitBlackCuddler saidThe first real experience I had around "gay/bi" men was at a "men's exchange" group in Boston.

    And what did you men "exchange"?


    Conversation...verbal remnants of their life experience.