Many years ago when I was a young gay man, the internet wasn’t ubiquitous and HIV could kill you. Many of the state based AIDS organisations ran discussion groups for young gay men. Essentially the model was that a young gay man could come along to a discussion group for under 25yos, meet other gay men, with a facilitator teaching people about safe sex. The goal was to educate people about safe sex (critical in the 1990s) and for them to form some healthy connections with other gay men.

Different states called it different things – Young and Gay (Vic), Toehold (QLD), Inside Out (SA), etc. They don’t really exist anymore:

“We ran a series of workshops aimed at men aged 16-26 which covered coming out, relationships, the scene and sexual health. This work was supported by a social group for men in the same age bracket called Toehold. Toehold met weekly for non- scene social events such as coffee and movies. The last implementation of Step Out yielded a very limited number of enquiries, with only one who was interested in participating in the workshop. Toehold’s numbers slowly dwindled, and when the facilitator left and no one chose to replace them the group ceased all activity.

When I did it I was a bit older than some of the other participants  – as I wasn’t living out of home until I was 22. I met some great guys, fucked some, was friends with others and overall it was a really good experience.

I was reflecting on this today, as we regularly get younger guys coming along to Soxster parties, often to explore aspects of their sexuality. Nothing makes me happier than when they become friends and start hanging out together outside of events. Last week a group of truly adorable young men who had met through Soxster arranged to all go to Wet on Wellington together – and they clearly had a great time. A little bit of drama as they learn to negotiate boundaries, but it’s so nice.

So I guess that’s just something I would like to point out. Good sex parties aren’t just about having fun but also making connections outside the bedroom. It’s really important for young men. They might find a playmate; a mentor; a boyfriend; a cuddle buddy, etc.

It’s such a great outcome. Sex is fun but it can be so much more.

Now there is a downside. Sex is highly intense. Some boys form connections – we need to manage what happens when people decide to date, break up, become infatuated, etc. Younger guys often haven’t learned the critical lesson that you really don’t want to date someone who doesn’t love you as much as you love them. It’s lesson we all need to learn the hard way.

When attending a sex party I’m not saying you’ll find a new friend, lover, fuck buddy, cuddle buddy, confidant, mentor, dom, sub, kinkster or bottom. But you might.

(Just don’t expect to find a young hung, dom top – they’re fucking scarce 😜)

Photo of Fang and Nexxus, boyfriends who met at a Soxster Party 🥰