By SHIN TOKURA
When we played a game at the gokon after one girl left. Photo by author
Have you ever heard of gokon? Gokon (pronounced goh-kon) is like a group date. It is an opportunity usually for singles to meet new people of the opposite sex. During gokon, a group of boys and girls usually go to a pub together to drink and chat. Some say that three boys and three girls is a perfect ratio at a gokon. The purpose of having gokon varies among people. Some want to get a partner. Others want an one-night stand. Or just to have fun.
Last week, I went on my first gokon with two other boys and three girls. The boys were my classmates. One of the girls is a friend of one of my classmates. The rest of the girls are friends of the girl. Gokon is usually held among strangers, and I did not know any of the three girls. I did not expect I would enjoy it because you could say that gokon is gathering of losers in the struggle for love. However, it was not bad at all. Although my friend and I were late, it was quite enjoyable.
After we introduced ourselves, we started to drink quickly, everyone got more relaxed and we enjoyed talking about where we live, part-time jobs, hobbies, families, and our ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends. In a few hours, we started to play games. Because the loser had to drink, we got rather drunk. At 9:30pm, a girl left because she had a curfew. We kept drinking until 10. In Japanese culture, men are supposed to pay all or pay more than girls, but we split the bill equally and went to a park nearby. We rode the swings and the slide in the dark at 11, and we yelled than talked. It must have be a nuisance to the neighbors. Then, somebody suggested going to a boy’s house and staying over night because his house was near the park. We agreed with no reason except for drunken force.
In his house, we played a game using an app. While we played the game, girls had their textbook in their hands to prepare for an exam the next day, but there was no moment when they studied. We kept chatting until very late at night and I fell asleep. I had heard somebody talking in a small voice during the night. Even three days after the gokon, I still chat with one of the girls online.
This was my first time gokon experience. Everyone was sensible throughout the experience. The result of gokon is still developing. Possibly someone will get together in the group. However, whether I will get a partner or not, I really enjoyed it and I want to have another gokon again soon.
A typical image of gokon is rowdy. Apparently a final goal for some men is omochikaeri, which means “take home a girl” to have sex. One understands why 70% of women have experienced an awful gokon, according to statistics. It is because of these men, who try to make women drunk and take them home. To stop this kind of awful gokon and let girls enjoy the gathering as much as boys, you have to remember a couple of things when you are in gokon. You should not be so drunk. It is better be sober enough to see yourself objectively so as not to make the gathering an awful experience. What counts is to enjoy gokon itself. Not everyone gets a partner at gokon, so you can say a gokon is successful if you enjoy it and make new friends. Lastly, you should not focus only your favorite person. If you do so, other people will feel left out and also your favorite person will think you can not think of how unselected people feel.
Although I wrote a couple of things you have to mind, you do not have to be so nervous. If you go to a gokon, just have fun. Let go. Find someone who likes you as you are. Good luck!!
P.S. It is a pity that nothing has happened to me so far one month after the gokon. I am planning to have another gokon soon.