The first thing I did, really as part of broader research, was look for community. Because of Google and so much information available at most people’s fingertips, I wasn’t worried about finding the information I sought. Finding others, flesh and blood, can be tougher.
NORM (click here for the site) is the National Organization of Restoring Men. The site is packed full of information – much of which can be overwhelming to someone new. Under the NORM Locations link one can find contact information listings for groups local to where you live … unless you live in Indiana. I think for us Hoosiers, the closest options are either Ohio (somewhere) or Chicago, if I remember correctly. That was instantly disappointing.
I’m a resourceful guy, though, for the most part. And when I want something I find a way to get it. For me, the next best shot in the dark was Craigslist, which isn’t something I’d necessarily recommend – for obvious reasons and reasons less obvious. But that’s what I did. If I can, I’ll come back to this post and add the exact wording of the ad I placed. It was in the “Strictly Platonic” section of the site under the “M4M” area.
I knew there would be guys respond who had a million things on their mind, foreskin restoration not one of them. That kind of thing doesn’t bother me – I recognize it’s going to happen and handling it is as easy as telling them to piss off.
The response from the Craigslist ad, so far, has been decent. A slow trickle of replies at the pace of something like one a day or every couple of days for the first few days and things are slowing down now. I’m thinking to post / repost once a month. So far, one guy said he was interested in restoration but almost as quickly confessed that he really just wanted to find a sex friend AND that he didn’t actually think his foreskin “would ever stretch that far.” I have no idea why he even answered the ad and he’s definitely out. There was another guy (“Jim Swails”) who responded to the ad by sending a handful of penis pics mid-jerk and a sentence that read, “I was never circumcised and it feels good.” Yeah, thanks for that, Jim. You’re out, too. Fuckhead.
Thankfully, the rest of the replies (which amount to maybe another five men), were sent from guys who seem entirely sincere as of yet. Each one who answered the ad and seemed like they weren’t just farting around received an email from me with a questionnaire. The questionnaire was something I put together – mostly by myself – to gain information from these brothers so as to gauge where they are with restoration in regard to knowledge of the process, how much they’ve done so far, and what their intentions and hopes out of the group are. This questionnaire was actually used to help weeds out one of the guys mentioned above. As of this post, I’m still waiting on one guy to email his back but the rest who showed interest have filled it out.
Tomorrow I’ll be meeting with two or three of them individually and might connect with a few others in the coming week or two. With this group, so far, I think forming a regularly-meeting, cohesive collection of men will be particularly challenging. The responses have come from an assortment of sexual orientations – the largest representation being from closeted bi men. And the other, like these bi men, are not willing to be “out” at all about their restoring efforts – which I can sympathize with to a degree since I still have my own reservations about letting the world know. Between discretion wanted for sexual orientation and discretion wanted in regard to restoring efforts, I’m foreseeing trouble in conducting meetings.
Somewhere like Starbucks would make a decent meeting place – groups often gather there. We wouldn’t be causing a lot of noise or anything to draw attention to ourselves, but could still gather there and have discussions. Except that is likely way too visible for most of these men, who are surely apprehensive with the idea of chatting about foreskin restoration in public. So coffee shops are out, methinks.
The next option that comes to mind is a member of the group hosting our meetings. But that route not only requires the aforementioned hurdles to be overcome, but also that a member is willing and able to host.
In a phone conversation today, it was suggested by a member that meetings could (if nowhere else) be conducted in a hotel room. He suggested that everyone could chip in and then a hotel room afforded based on the collection taken. In theory I think this could be a great idea, it would certainly afford everyone the privacy I sense is wanted, but in the back of my head I’m afraid the guys of the group would read too much into that and either make inaccurate assumptions about the real nature of the group or would develop some unsavory hopes.
Once these initial individual meetings have gotten out of the way, I think it will be easier to connect these guys in a collective meeting. I’m sure there will be future posts related to this matter.
Thanks for reading.