Goukon/Konpa Dating in Japan
(image : hokuromura)
Konpa (コンパ) and Gokon (合コン) are interchangeable words that refer to:
a drinking engagement with an evenly matched male to female ratio for the purpose of fostering romantic partnerships*
(*male interpretation: boning)
These events are like group blind-dates, except that the male and female organizers must already know each other to some extent or the thing could have never been arranged in the first place.
Type 1: Salarymen vs. OLs
After a long day at the office, each contingent, typically of about 4 people, heads to the izakaya with high hopes. They've been promised by the organizer that their counterparts will be kawaii or kakkoii. Upon arrival, there's typically a bit of disappointment on both sides.
Girls often arrive late because they're girls and it's Tokyo. Members also sometimes cancel at the last minute (ドタキャン), which fucks up the ratio.
After sitting in boy-girl-boy-girl-type format, there's the inaugural toast (乾杯) followed by introductions (自己紹介). Boring salarymen and OLs will have memorized some 'interesting' tidbit to mention (e.g. I love ironing!!!) that they hope will intrigue their audience.
Good hosts will ensure members stay socially-lubicated (drinking) and talking. It's kind of like speed-dating except not speedy and often there's no seat change (席替え). Be progressive and get people to move around (suggest this to the organizer before starting even) so you won't be stuck beside the yellow-toothed fatty from Saitama for 2 hours.
Type 2: Pervy Shitfest
The word konpa inspires fear in the minds of some girls. They imagine a bunch of dudes trying to force them to drink and then take advantage of them. This type of konpa exists in varying degrees depending on the particular subculture involved.
But this strategy is of course nothing new. Nor is it specific to konpas. These less-rigid/messier konpas are very similar to nomikais.
Once you put down the 3,500 yen for the two-hour nomihoudai (unlimited drinking session), shit gets pretty yabai (mental). Judging by the pavement at night, a lot of people end up throwing up instead of hooking up anyway.
My best Japanese friend is a konpa pro. If there's a victory to be had at konpas, he's the champion. He'll attend two or three a week. He worked for Shiseido, the cosmetics company, which is suitable because he's probably given a facial to every girl affiliated with the company. On a Wednesday night, he'll tell me he's dead tired and then recount how he went to a konpa after work in Ginza and ended up back in his apartment at 3am shaving some OL's vagina. He's part of something like a 'konpa team', and I'm pretty sure they have premeditated strategies and set lines they retell at every konpa to produce maximum benefit.
The Miura is my man but he admits that his conquests don't bring him any lasting satisfaction or meaningful happiness. Such is the fast life.
1) Dudes end up paying
It's like this really:
- you want hot girls at your konpa
- hot girls (or girls who think they're hot) don't pay for things
- men get stuck with paying 5,000~8,000 yen each
2) The chicks often aren't even single
They attend because:
- they want free food/drink
- they were pressured by the female organizer to fill the female quota
1 — Be careful what you promise the people you invite. The members of the other sex will almost always be less attractive than you were promised. Chances are that you'll end up apologizing to your friends for a wasted night.
2 — If it's summer, do your konpa outside as a picnic. This will reduce costs and make it easier to move around/run away.
<- konpa in yoyogi park. one girl bailed so the organizer chick brought this slobbering bastard instead.
3 — Have low expectations or be desperate enough to lower your standards. (Or prepare an excuse to leave early and skip out on the massive bill that'll need to be paid at the end).
I guess our bane as humans is that we typically hold ourselves in unrealistically high regard. We all think we're hot shit.
If you were cloned as a member of the opposite sex, would you fuck yourself?
Think about it.
In closing, konpas do serve a valuable function. People in Tokyo are often too busy working to find a partner (outside of their circle of workmates) and social norms don't exactly encourage talking to strangers on the street or in the train. I'm not a konpa pro, but I'm pro-konpa. Organize one and give it a try. The worst that can happen is that you'll burn 8,000 yen and get puked on.
– Minoru Kusoda
Your correspondent on the scene