I’ve written a lot about the pick-up scene – usually about the negative side of things – but there can be good sides to. One of the things that was the most helpful back when I was in the pick-up scene wasn’t what I was learning, but being part of a lair1 Now granted lairs had problems in and of themselves, but part of what made it helpful was that it was a place for guys to come together and generally be supportive of one another. There was an often shockingly diverse group of people – different races, ethnicities and social classes – who were coming together to learn and to share.
To be sure, we were coming together in the context of “We are doing this to get laid” and framed sex as an “us vs. them” mentality, but it was a support structure, with men supporting and encouraging other men.
And most men don’t have that. Most men don’t have many emotionally intimate connections in general, and even fewer with other men. Even more so, we have few connections with men where we can let our guard down and be our true selves. We put our emotional needs on our romantic partners and – often – on our female friends instead. Many men, even men with seemingly strong social circles, are often desperately lonely. What men need – more than almost anything else – is a place where we can learn to open up to one another.
Our health and relationships may actually depend on it.
- Yes, I know. But it’s what they were called. [↩]