Gay History 101- Decades Before GRINDR, There Was “Club Goldenrod: For Male Swingers!”

In the very pre-internet days of the 1970’s.  Other than driving to a major city or going to the local parks men’s restroom the only way for some men to meet other guys to fool around with was through a magazine called Club Goldenrod: The Magazine for Male Swingers.

Almost totally forgotten now the magazine was full classified ads from horny and many closeted men looking to hook-up 


Some of the ads with photos shows some hot guys with big cocks, and it’s doubtful they were doctored, as this magazine was published before Photoshop!

What’s all interesting is the variety of guys: there’s not attempt to conform to a beefed up gym bunny look with a hint of scruff and tattoos, or even closer to the time period of the magazine, a gay macho look.

There are also some transvestite ads (that have to be seen to be believed). 

Some of the terminology in the ads is a piece of gay history itself: guys call themselves “French” or “Greek” (not the nationality!)

The way the magazine worked was that ads were broken up by State.  Those who were brave enough to write an ad paid by the word was assigned and CG mailbox number.  Some would send pics but never with a face.  If you saw an ad that you liked you’d write a letter to the man advertising, place your letter in an envelope and write the guys ad number on the front and then place the envelope into another envelope and Club Goldenrod would forward your letter to the ad number owner. The whole process took about 2 weeks. (Talk about blueballs!)

So when you argue about how hard it is today to meet a guy.  Remember Club Goldenrod and maybe you’ll learn the meaning of the word patience.






Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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2 Responses

  1. In the late 70s through the 80s Blueboy, Honcho, Mandate, also had ads and mail services for men to connect with one another by state or locality.

  2. I’m old enough to remember when it was Greek active/passive and French active/passive.

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