I’ve been contributing to SBM for about four years. In this time we’ve have many different events. We have sponsored speed dates, happy hours, round table forums, and various other shindigs all over the east coast. After these events conclude, women will approach us and give the same review: “This was an excellent event, but you NEED to bring more men next time!” At first, I would inform the ladies that we exhaust our resources to attempt to make the ratios more favorable to them, but after a while even I got frustrated. We hold these events and they end up looking like a young black professional women’s upscale version of a music video. I’m serious, it’s like a “Tip Drill” with couth and class, if you will. No matter how many pics we post or the word of mouth accolades from the men that attend our events, men are still apprehensive about showing up to these types of functions. Knowing that there was no simple answer, I employed the help of SBMs event evangelical, Slim Jackson, to dig deeper into this issue. Pause. Slim what saith ye?
Man, it’s crazy and it’s frustrating. It’s crazy frustrating! I’ve lost sleep over this. Everyday I’m hustlin’. Everyday I’m hustling…to recruit men to support an event chock full of quality women. Doesn’t matter how I describe the function (By the way, are black people the only ones who call events functions?). The response is either a lie (No doubt. I’ll be there) or “Eh, I don’t know man. Sounds like some desperate sh*t.” What is desperate about coming out to talk to the opposite sex? How can that be any more desperate than hanging around the club at let out trying to score in the bottom of the ninth? F**k outta here wit that.
But of course it’s not that simple. I’ve learned another reason men are reluctant to come out to these type of events:
Men Don’t Like Being Told How to Date
If you want to push an event with the purpose of single mingle, you can’t have any variation of the word “date” in the title. Men see that and they assume they’re gonna be pushed through some routine or awkward ice breaker, when they’d rather just be sipping, chilling, and hawking. Men want to express interest on their own terms, on their own time, without provocation. They don’t want to hear rules and procedures.
Dating events get a bad rap, except for the opportunistic reality shows. Everybody knows the Bachelor really isn’t on there to find love. He’s on there to make money. As for everything else, we get used to seeing images of the less than palatable, chattable, and savory trying these speed dating events in order to seek what they couldn’t find elsewhere. It’s not so much that men expect desperation as much as they expect the cream of the crop on whatever night they’re out. They don’t expect to find the cream of the crop at these events, so they miss out on some good corn (I know women aren’t corn).
Men are unable to take an event at face value
Whenever we’ve hosted events, the comments I get from some dudes are comical. They really believe that every event we throw is an undercover match.com ponzi scheme! It isn’t that serious fellas. Sometimes, a happy hour is just a happy hour. When we educate about sexual awareness, or engage on dating forums, we are looking to make our blog, and our brand, tangible. We are more than just six dudes who write good online. We like to provide outlets for social interaction in real life as well. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. As I explain to dudes we invite to our events ad nauseum, our events are an oasis. Whether you choose to quench your thirst, or remain parched, is up to you. We aren’t forcing or pressuring you to do anything. In high school, you could tell a dude “come to this event. They are usually dope and madd women will be there!”, and that’s all you needed! Now, I think that dudes kick excuses, don’t want to appear “thirsty”, and opt out of attending. If we threw wack events, I’d chill on any criticism, however, I see this trend everywhere else.
This isn’t a plea for more men to attend our events. This is a realistic and observatory view of a problem that women would like to see rectified in the future. See fellas, they are ASKING for you to show! I always comment to Slim, Sprads, and Jay how I never knew this many single, beautiful, professional women existed in New York. Well, the law of averages would agree, but seeing is believing. I don’t know how that could turn off a heterosexual man from attending an event. Not to mention that our events are actually QUALITY events! Either way ladies, we tried.
Men, what makes you apprehensive about attending events sponsored by sites like ours? Ladies, what do you think would change the dynamic in your favor? What can we do (if anything) to make these events more enticing for men to attend?