Breaking Stereotypes: Gay Boxing
There's a new boxing club in New York breaking old stereotypes called Velvet Gloves where gay men can work out in a very different way now, and meet people in the process. Here's an interview with Vance Garrett, the guy who started the club.
I’ve wanted to do something with and for my group of friends outside of the typical scene for a long time. All of us have been to the parties and clubs, and that can be great, but I think we collectively have wanted something else to do that’s fun -- but won’t leave you with a hangover -- and fits with our current lifestyles. Working out and wellness in general is important to many of them, and while conditioning for boxing requires being in the best shape possible, I don’t think many would want to step into a traditional boxing gym. Also, boxing has always been a tough man’s sport. It has been marketed as gruesome and intimidating yet it is one of the most beautiful sports to watch. The athletes are as graceful as dancers. It allows you to develop self-defense skills, builds confidence, and is physically AND mentally challenging. So I wanted a club that was tailored just for them-for fun, social guys who want the best workout possible in the best environment possible.
You can read more here. I would join. I jog four or five miles every morning because health clubs annoy me. I'm out to work out, not socialize. I don't have time. But I've never been to a club where I don't wind up either ducking behind something to avoid someone, or stuck in conversation for at least twenty minutes. Velvet gloves looks like serious working out.
And for those of you who think this is something new. It's not. Gay men come in all sizes, shapes, and varieties...not just what you've seen on Sex in the City.
I've actually incorporated a gay boxer character in one of my books, The Actor Learning to Love. It's a recent novel in the Bad Boy Billionaire series.
Grindr, Rape, Philly
I actually saw this on my local news the other night and was surprised I didn't see it anywhere online. It took a while, but I spotted it this morning and thought I'd post about it for those of you take chances with web sites like Grindr or Craigslist. A man from Canada who was visiting Philly decided to hook up on Grindr and got more than he bargained for. He was held up at gunpoint, and sexually assaulted.
It didn't end there. The men then walked together about 15 blocks through the city, with the victim being forced to purchase Visa gift cards and make ATM withdrawals totaling $3,000. Finally, inside a busy bar at 20th and Walnut, surveillance cameras captured the struggle between the two men as the victim escaped.
You can read more here.
I also saw that an Allentown, PA man was murdered while trying to sell his car on Craigslist last week. The guy met a potential buyer from Philadelphia at his place of business, and then he was shot to death and the car was stolen. I get my tenants through Craigslist, and I actually sold my Jag through them recently, too. However, you don't know what screening is until you've contacted me through Craigslist. I turn down far more people than I accept because they did something offhanded during the e-mail process. A huge red flag for me is when someone wants to meet too soon, or call too soon. It's e-mail and only e-mail in the beginning. Those who are serious don't mind that. Those who are up to no good, back off. The back and forth e-mail process for me when looking for a tenant or selling anything on CL takes at least a week. And even then I always meet at a very busy, crowded public place for the first time.
You just can't take anything for granted, especially if you're visiting a rough, vicious city like Philadelphia. Those of you who live in different places don't always realize how we live here, and what we have to deal with. All of your worst fears about cities like Philadelphia are most likely true. All of the worst things you've heard are probably true, and even worse now because most have never recovered from the economic depression. Don't trust anyone, especially from an online hook up.