You know the drill. It’s the holidays. You seem to be either stressed or panicked or laughing or crying, or a combination of all of them within the course of a day! With each holiday there is a unique set of stresses and pressures that can make focusing on your dating life almost impossible. With that in mind, we’ve gathered a selection of our favorite holiday-related posts from the past and we’ll be adding to it with each holiday that comes around so it’s a one-stop portal for tips, no matter what holiday is up next! Enjoy – and have a great holiday!
Terrence and John
VALENTINE’S DAY – February 14th
Happy Valentine’s Day to all the hot boys of ManPlay! While I’ll be the first to admit I am not massively into Valentine’s Day whether or not I’m seeing someone at the time, it can be a fun night since it’s the perfect excuse to get out there and do something indulgent. If you’re with someone, there are obviously a ton of things you can do, especially if you’re being clever and thinking beyond the standard dinner out. If you happen to be single, it’s a great time to get your single friends together and hit the town! Whenever I’m single I usually get a bunch of us together and we see a ridiculous romantic movie after having had a couple of cocktails then hit a bar or club to see what kind of trouble we can get into. If you are interested in meeting someone on Valentine’s Day, trust me, there is a plethora of people out there doing the same. Go to any gay bar and it will be crawling with single men and their friends. Now I’m not suggesting people are any more likely to get together on Valentine’s Day than on any other day, but they certainly aren’t less! If things were to progress as well, it would be kind of a funny story to say that you met on Valentine’s Day when neither of you were particularly looking for someone. Lots of places have Anti-Valentine’s Day themed events as well, if you care to take things a step further. Either way, I heavily encourage not staying in and watching some sad gay-themed movie while pretending to forget that it’s Valentine’s Day. Get out there and have some fun and you never know who you might end up meeting!
If you are going out with someone you’re seeing and you’re in charge of planning the evening, I suggest thinking outside the box. Everyone knows the same overpriced restaurants will be full of the same couples that go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day each year. Why not apply some of the same ideas you would have if you were going out with your friends but do them with the man you are seeing? It’s kind of fun to be acting like you are on a secret stealth Valentine’s Day date while doing whatever you feel like. Or I would suggest trying something really different for the night that you haven’t done before, whether it’s taking a cooking class or trying wall climbing for the first time. Doing something really unique will make the evening far more memorable.
So what do you think, gay men of ManPlay? What are your plans for the evening? Be sure and write and let me know what you’re thinking of getting up to. And no matter what you are doing, from everyone at ManPlay I want to wish you all a HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
(original year of publication: 2011)
ST. PATRICK’S DAY – March 17th
Afternoon to all the gay men from ManPlay! If you’re anything like me, you’re gearing up for this Saturday, which is one of the biggest holidays of the year – for bars that is! It’s St. Patrick’s Day, which sometimes seems as though its unofficial title is Mardi Gras or Gays Gone Wild. I’ll admit: I’m a big fan of going out to the pub (aka pubs) and getting a bit wild on St. Patrick’s Day. Since it falls on a Saturday this year, look out! Some of the hot boys I know are going on an all-day spree starting before noon at a couple of gay bars in the city. This seems like a bit much to me so I’m going to try and hold off until at least 5:00! Regardless of when you plan on celebrating, here are a few tips to make sure you handle the day right and don’t get too out of control in case you meet someone you like!
If you’re going on a first date on St. Patrick’s Day (before you think no one would do that – I’ve done it!) be forewarned this may not be the best day to do it. While most people treat St. Patrick’s Day like New Year’s Eve in terms of drinking to excess, this is simply not up the alley of a lot of men out there, so you should go over the plans for the date carefully before deciding if it’s the right time to get together. If your date is going to be judgemental as you slam back another green Guinness, that’s not going to end up being any fun for either of you. Make sure he’s on the same page before you firm up those plans.
Also in regards to drinking (and since we’re talking St. Patrick’s Day here, they do seem to be forever linked in our society) the biggest advice I can give you is to pace yourself. I’ll repeat it again. Pace yourself! If you’re in it for the long haul that night and plan on combining your usual Saturday night cruising into a holiday-with-friends event, then you’re going to want to be sober enough to be able to chat to someone if you find someone you’re interested in. For each pint you have (seriously) follow it up with a glass of water and not only will your stamina be much better but your lack of a hangover the next day will be worth the irritation of having to drink all that extra water. While a solid buzz might give you the liquid courage you think you need to talk to some hottie that’s at the same bar as you, you don’t want to be that sloppy drunk hitting on everyone, even if it is St. Patrick’s Day. Pace yourself and you’ll be be glad you did!
When it comes to planning your outfit for the night, I think it’s a smart bet to show that you’ve got the holiday spirit but not go overboard. It’s very easy to show you are a fan of St. Patrick’s Day and are out to have fun without wearing every tacky green thing in your closet that you can find. Not a turn-on for potential suitors, for certain. Wear one piece of green (no Kiss Me, I’m Irish! shirts, please!) and I would suggest a nice mint green or something a bit lighter that will keep you from looking too tacky. There is plenty of time for that as well once you hit your destination with the green beer and menu items and the inevitable swag items that are sponsored for the day that seem to be given to everyone that’s out and then surface as part of embarrassing pictures later. Less is more when it comes to your wardrobe!
Above all, the most important tip I can give is to have fun and relax. If you’re out with your friends, make sure you are spending time and enjoying your time with them. Other single gay men that are in your vicinity will be attracted to how much fun you are having and will want to chat to you, not because you are looking around desperately for someone to talk to other than your friends. By relaxing and having a good time, you’re respecting your friends, enjoying the holiday, and, I would argue, increasing your chances of having someone want to talk to you. You never know where the night will go – so just go with it!
What do you all think? What are your favorite memories from years past of the holiday? What are your plans this year? Be sure to discuss with others in the chat rooms of ManPlay (especially if you are without plans at the moment!) and then let me know afterwards how it all went!
(originally published in 2012)
HALLOWEEN – October 31st
Thanks for taking a break from searching the gay personals of ManPlay to check in on the latest news and gossip. As Halloween approaches, there are always people stressing about costumes at the last minute and guess what? I’m one of them! I’ve been searching long and hard thinking about what would be the best option for me at this late stage. It’s always tough because there is the debate between looking like the sexy gay man you are or really getting into the spirit of the night and dressing as scary as possible! Here are a few standbys of the ‘holiday’:
The top three gay costumes in one picture! Firefighter, sailor and pirate. I think we can all attest to having been at least one of these at one point or another, right? I can confirm I’ve been two of them! Recently too!
Not too topical, but still great (and pretty sexy!).
If you’re in a hotter climate, how about just wearing your gym outfit that you use anyway (or have stuffed in the back of your dresser)?
And I think we all know the best costume ever:
So what are you boys wearing? Let me know in the comments!
(original year of publication: 2011)
CHRISTMAS – December 25th
Welcome back from another weekend, gorgeous gay boys of ManPlay! Hopefully you were all able to get your gay chat on over the course of the weekend and meet up with a couple sexy men as well. I know I did! But that’s a tale for another time. However, with two dates of my own this past weekend I started thinking about the cost of dating. In terms of dollars and cents. Let’s face it: We are all watching our spending a little bit more these days and dating can seem an extravagance that some might figure they can do without. Not I!
Christmas hurts your wallet
It’s no secret that over the holidays everyone takes a serious dip into their savings at a time when all of the sudden it seems necessary to buy a Christmas gift for everyone from your postal carrier to your second cousin (twice removed) and all of the sudden the Christmas bonus you got at work has not only disappeared but you are out tons more money with very little to show for it. In the midst of all this madness, does it really seem like a smart move to take out a hottie you met online to the new hotspot that everyone is dying to get into? Not really. I started talking to a couple of my colleagues about ways to have a great time dating and still keep the creditors at bay.
Go for cute, not hip
Instead of attempting to impress your date with the new bar/restaurant/club that everyone has been talking about where you’re bound to pay $18 for a mediocre martini and lackluster service, why not impress them with your knowledge of the best hidden gems in your area? I for one would much rather end up discovering a hole-in-the-wall with atmosphere that I never would have stumbled upon left to my own devices than going to the place that is on every Top 10 Must Try list with more buzz than actual accolades. So what if there is sawdust on the floor and a jukebox that classifies Dolly Parton as Rap. Start up Two Doors Down and kick that sawdust around like you’re in a romantic comedy dance sequence. I always go for fun over pretension and am sure I’m not the only one. Also considering you are hardly alone if you are watching your budget, this is a place your date will likely be happy to know about because he’s more likely to return to it than the posh place-of-the-moment.
Check your local listings!
Not just an expression to find out when your favorite television program is on. It’s also beneficial to see what is going on around town as there are often very cheap (or free!) fun activities going on all the time that don’t require you taking out a loan to afford. Forget those expensive theater tickets and see what some local troupes are offering. Skating is a cheap and romantic date as is strolling around and looking at department store windows or Christmas decorations in an area known for going all out in that department. Don’t forget, you DO get points for creativity!
Now, what do you think of these suggestions? What’s been the best (cheap) date you’ve ever been on? Be sure to let me know in the comments and discuss with the other members of ManPlay online!
(original year of publication: 2011)
Everyone knows the second Thanksgiving wraps up, people start thinking of another kind of wrapping. The second Black Friday rolls around it means it’s time to stop thinking of Thanksgiving turkey and start thinking of gift-giving. It seems with each passing year, regardless of the financial climate of the country, there’s more urgency placed on not only finding a suitable gift for everyone on your list, but the perfect gift, one that encapsulates how you feel about that person in a considerate and carefully planned way. What about the men you meet off of ManPlay? Do you decide to exchange gifts? Doing so or not can be as complicated as deciding whether or not to have ‘the talk’ about the standing of your relationship.
Giving gifts can turn out to hurt you
Exchanging gifts certainly takes things to the next level. I remember a couple of times over the years where I thought I was seeing someone who could turn out to be my gay romeo so I wanted to casually get him a present around the holidays. Not only was there not a present in return either time (which I was perfectly fine with) but the act of giving the gift itself turned into an apparent issue for both recipients. In both cases they read way more into the gift than was necessary and made it seem like I was expecting so much in return for the gifts that it negated any of the goodwill that I felt when selecting them.
So how do you know what to do?
It depends on how serious you are about the person and what message you want your gift to convey to the recipient. If it’s a casual hookup with someone, but you feel like being a nice Santa, feel free to get a sexy little gift that you can both use together, if you catch my drift. While a gift like this is obviously practical and one that is fun for both of you, it’s likely not going to be very expensive or has much meaning behind it beyond the obvious. If you have been seeing someone that you quite enjoy and think it could turn into a relationship with some staying power, it might be a good idea to broach the subject of gifts at some point and see how he reacts. Again, it doesn’t have to be a big gift that is expensive or difficult to obtain to show that you care about him. The best type of gifts are the ones that are something that you remember your man saying he wanted or was interested in, because it shows you pay attention and made a note to come back to later.
So what are you thinking, gay men of ManPlay? Be sure to let me know in the comments what you think the rules of gift-giving are!
(original year of publication: 2011)
NEW YEAR’S DAY – January 1st
With every holiday season, inevitably we start to think about resolutions that are usually considered in the time between Christmas and before New Year’s Eve. When it comes to your dating life, the start of a new year often leads people to consider what they want to see different for the next 365 years. If you’re single this year and aim to get a serious boyfriend in the next year so as to not spend the holidays alone again, you need to think about what your best options are to achieve your goal.
How are you going to go about it?
If you could just magically get a boyfriend through the desire to have one then ice cream sales would plummet and the whole romantic comedy genre would cease to exist. Though it would be lovely to just come up with a dream man and have him appear before you, it does take a bit of effort. Online dating is clearly where the most success stories come from now. It’s just a much easier way to look at your options, hit up gay chat rooms, and see what people look like before even meeting in the flesh. If you think your profile could use a little work, take some new pictures, update the information you have about yourself on there and give it a general 2012 spruce-up!
Consider going Gold
The Gold memberships on ManPlay are great if you’re really serious about finding someone great, quickly. With tons more features than a regular membership, we get letters all the time from members who are so glad they upgraded their accounts. The more ways you are putting yourself out there and are being seen online, the better.
Eyes wide open
While people often say you find love when you’re not looking for it, it’s important to keep your eyes peeled for potential partners everywhere you go. Whether you’re at a co-worker’s party or on the subway, it never hurts to be alert and seem approachable. No one wants to talk to someone who seems depressed and sour. A smile truly does go a long way. It never hurts either to get the word out that you are looking. Asking friends if they know anyone that would be a good candidate for you is a solid method. A lot of times people get so busy with their own lives they never see the potential for a love match until the idea is presented to them that you’re interested in the possibility of being set-up on dates.
No matter what your resolutions are, it’s a good time of year to reflect back on the past and think about what you want to see different for the future. If that happens to involve a change in your dating life, hopefully ManPlay will be able to help you in the process. As ever, be sure and write us to let us know of what you’re loving on the site and what you’d like to see different. You hot boys of ManPlay are very important to us and we want you to meet all the sexy men you can handle!
(original year of publication: 2011)