But there s something of the religious fanatic in him, too. Why, in this open, accepting society, are we so screwed up about dating that Brad Gooch had to publish a book last year called Finding the Boyfriend Within. Like a booby and a failed hawk, I m afraid, but also giddy as a dog chasing squirrels. That s why you see attractive women with guys with bellies. But you must tell yourself you have a right to be here. When he isn t conducting singles workshops, Jim brings guys here to practice getting dates, and he thinks of what we re doing as hunting. I do as he instructs, and my prey glances back. I am most intrigued by a redheaded-woodpecker guy on the couch. It includes I d like to take those eyes home with me, I love your Fire Island T-shirt, and Weren t you in the marathon last year. But I believe meeting potential boyfriends is a technology that men can learn.
But the raven-haired writer at the table by the men s room is cute, too. But he s proud of me and wants to know how I m feeling. Women are more cooperative and accepting. Most men come to the Big Cup to meet somebody, but they have no idea how to do it. Ninety percent of all gay men are too competitive to humble themselves and say hello, he says. Gay men have more anxieties because they had no support while dating as teenagers. I reject them and come up with my own, and Jim approves it. Jim, who teaches everything from spiritual dating to romantic obsession in his formal seminars, leans in. I force myself up, and then, dammit, sail right past him into the bathroom, lock the door, and bang my fist against the sink. When you try to get him to notice you, use a soft focus with the eyes, Jim tells me with big-brotherly concern, not the hard stare you d use in a bar.
A minute later a brown-haired cutie-bird is alighting near us with a copy of Time. But when I tell Jim what happened, his face lights up. We have liftoff, I think, so now Jim hands me his list of icebreakers.james roday and maggie lawson still dating.. A lot of successful professional men tell me that this setting is impenetrable, Jim is saying with missionary fervor. The Gay-Dating Coach In New York, love with the proper stranger requires moxie, steel nerves -- and a sense of humor. Right now he s coaching me at Big Cup, the cruisey coffeehouse in Chelsea that can put even the most confident gay single guy on edge. Once more, Jim suggests I go over and try an icebreaker. He slams his notebook closed, mumbles, and then resumes writing as if I weren t there. I can t just go up to him and say hello, I quack. .
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