If you are fortunate enough to live in a city with a sizable gay population, you may notice that gay men can often be found in large groups or flocks. Gaggles, if you will. It is a phenomenon that both mystifies me, and fills me with a little bit of envy.
I have recently come to the conclusion that gay men, in general, are pack animals. My field of research may be a bit narrow, but in my own observation, the super-social urban homosexual is oft seen with numerous other gentlemen of similar description. If you go to any typical gay hot spot...bars, clubs, brunch...you will most likely see the boys clustered in groups of four or more. For some reason, few see these as appropriate one-on-one activities. I don't know if it's simply natural instinct, or an attempt to flaunt one's popularity, or a need to squeeze as much social interaction into one single outing, but it's definitely a regular occurrence.
I do think that my poor pack skills turn other gay men off to me. I get shy around large groups that are largely made up of strangers, so if the one or two people I know who invite me along leave me on my own, I shut down. Also, it seems my hearing is not too good, because if I'm out at some hopping joint and the conversation isn't being shouted right into my face, I haven't a fucking clue what's going on. There have been occasions where prospective pack leaders extended an invitation to me to join their entourage, but as soon as they realized I'm not going to submit and follow wherever their flock may go (mostly because my budget often doesn't allow for cover charges), they dropped me. This is, of course, a poor example of a pack leader, but it happens and it hurts.
I would like to be a better pack animal. Not simply for the sake of fitting in, but because being a lone wolf is, well, lonely. I need my private time, for sure, but I also need pack time, and I definitely do not get enough of it. Group outings satisfy a specific need that one-on-one outings do not, and I think I would be a much happier, healthier person if I got them on a more regular basis. Howl if you agree!