Months ago I was asked to participate in a survey about gay men all over the world. The guys conducting the survey then compiled all the answers and created an ebook called Around the World in 80 Gays.
What's it really like to be 'a gay'? Does a love of divas and kitsch permeate all, or do we go Gaga over being so stereotyped?
Fascinating, amusing, moving – even a little bit sexy – Around the World in 80 Gays sets out to discover why many of us embrace the bustle and culture of large cosmopolitan cities, why some prefer a more neighborly small town existence, and why others opt for the intimate community of relaxed country life.
But there are also those who have no choice. Those who must simply make the best of living in a place they have no chance of leaving, a place where tolerance and ‘being out’ are nothing more than tales from abroad. Yet where gay bars and clubs are replaced by discretion and secrecy, technology is fostering underground freedoms and friendships that could never have existed before.
From Sydney to Siberia, island paradise to global metropolis, and through liberal democracies to military dictatorships, these collected true accounts of modern gay life and love are an enchanting and enlightening read.
* * In recognition of their tireless promotion of equality everywhere, 20% of the royalties from this book will be donated to All Out. * *
My answers to the survey I filled out:
**pictures were added to my answers just for this blog post. They are not included in the book.
- Are you a native or, if not, why did you move here and how long ago?
I was born in a small city outside of Philadelphia called Doylestown. We lived in Bucks County Pennsylvania till I was about 12, then moved to Lehigh County (Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton) area. I currently live in a very small village called Seisholtzville. It’s in between Reading and Allentown. I’m technically about an hour outside the city of Philadelphia. Since Philadelphia is the closest major city, I visit it whenever I can and stay with friends while I’m there.
- What keeps you here?
I’m here for my family and friends.
- Where’s the best neighborhood and why?
The Gayborhood, which is the gay portion of Philly. It runs from Chestnut to Pine street between 11th and Broad.streets. There are about 11 gay friendly bars in the area that all range from nightclub to neighborhood bar. The area is usually clean and feels safe. Restaurants and other retailers are also around in the area. It’s an enjoyable nightlife experience.
- What do you do in your leisure time?
I read and write of course. Usually I can be found hanging out with friends and checking out the bar scene or a new place to eat. I enjoy concerts, museums and local festivals too.
- What’s the best thing about living in your city?
Usually anything you could ever want is within walking distance or could be delivered to your door.
- What’s the worst thing about living in your city?
Parking is horrible and expensive and unless you live close to center city you will need a car.
- What’s the most pleasant adventure you've had here?
Every year my best friend and I combine our birthdays together and friends from all over get together and we bar hop around the Gayborhood. It is always nice to see familiar faces and meet new ones.
- What’s the most unpleasant adventure you've ad here?
One time I stayed with my friend and we were all out at a bar and he ended up falling on me and I sprained my leg really bad. Of course, it being the city we walked everywhere, so there I was hobbling around town. It took 4 months to heal!
- What would you consider a must-see/do experience?
Philadelphia Zoo is a must visit. The zoo is one of the oldest zoo’s in the country! While you are in town, you have to eat an authentic Philly Cheese steak! Get it with Whiz.
- What would you consider a must-see/do gay experience?
You have to visit the Gayborhood area and visit all the establishments. Every year in July, the city celebrates Pride and every year in October, the city celebrates OutFest. OutFest is a huge block party in the Gayborhood where they have vendors, giveaways and entertainments. It’s always a good time.
- What other cities would you like to live in and why?
I would love to live in Key West. I vacationed there once it’s the right amount of hot boys, beach and friendly locals.
- What’s the best city you've ever lived in and why?
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is great location. The Beach is nice. They have a decent gay friendly area. There are many restaurants and shops you would never get bored. I enjoyed Rehoboth so much I actually based my first book on the area.
- Would you and could you walk hand in hand around your city?
I would feel comfortable holding hands in public in the gay sections of Philly only.
- Is the gay scene (online/offline) welcoming?
Gay men in general tend to be fickle creatures, but I feel as in a whole, the gay population of Philly is very welcoming. During events such as Pride, OutFest and others, gay men in the area always come out to show their support.
- What’s your typical Friday night and/or Sunday morning?
Most Friday nights in the city, involve going out to dinner. If the weather is nice, then the place usually involves being outside dining alfresco style. Club nights start out with the usual haunts like the gay bar Woody’s, followed by iCandy and then end with the bar Tavern on Camac for dancing. After hours there’s Voyeur till 3am. During events sometimes, they are open all night. I’ve already been there till 5am. Afterwards we usually grab a slice of pizza at 13th Street Pizza for Buffalo Chicken Pizza or their Mac and Cheese Pizza.
Saturday nights are usually spent the same way but may involve different places.
Sunday mornings are for brunch. There are places for brunch all over the city and most offer special prices and bottomless Blood Mary’s or Mimosas. Nothing cures a hangover faster than a Bloody in the morning.
- How would you rate the fuckability of the locals and where does one find the hotties?
Cute boys are everywhere and range from cute gay nerd to hot jock. Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest nights at the local gay bars, but it can be overwhelming. If you want to make a true connection sometimes going on quieter nights are best. I met a couple cuties just by going to the local Starbucks for coffee.
- What’s the most outrageous place you've had sex?
I once jerked my ex-boyfriend off in my car behind a Walmart. He came all over the dashboard. Then we went shopping, and bought lube.
- What is your favorite gentlemen’s club?
In Philly there isn't a male strip joint but actually all the gay bars have go-go dancers that dance in underwear. I guess iCandy has the hottest staff. They even have a shower that the dancers dance in. They usually wear white and we all know what happens to white underwear when it gets wet. Sadly though, most of the guys that work there are straight, but you still want to sit on their faces anyway.
- What is the first name of the man you've had the best sex with in your city?
- What’s the best-kept secret about your city?
How beautiful parts of the city can really be. I enjoy walking around the city and some of the neighborhoods are actually pretty. Philadelphia is loaded with tons of history. From the architecture to the historical monuments.
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Tweet Jimi Goninan at @jimifyme