Beijing’s most eligible go up for auction
“How much do you think you’re worth and why? How do you feel about being 'man candy?’ What kind of woman do you think needs to buy a man?” Our questions are meant to test Mauricio Morales’ modesty, but the 29-year-old member of the Mexican Men’s National Beach Volleyball team competing in the upcoming Olympic Games knows the direction the conversation is heading and simply laughs.
“I think I’ll fetch at least a couple hundred kuai. I mean... I'm from Latin America,” he says. “I’m going to be in the Olympics. And I’ve got the whole 'physical thing’ going for me.”
Brian DeSpain, a 25-year-old who runs a sports equipment-manufacturing company, one-ups Morales. “I don’t know the going rate for an auction, but I would say ￥3,388,” he suggests. “That's a good number in China. I was going to round it off to an even ￥4,000, but four isn’t such a good number.”
These questions and answers might seem outlandish in any other context, but not when discussing Beijing’s Charity Bachelor Auction, an event meant to showcase some of the city’s “most eligible” from around the world.
Morales and DeSpain are two of 15 single men who will be hitting the stage, hitting the bar and hopefully hitting it up with the expected crowd of 300 in attendance as they put their bodies up for sale. At least, those are the numbers event organizers Pilar Busto and Allison Johnson, co-founders of The Speed Dating Specialists, have pegged to turn up at the Kro’s Nest June 28.
Getting on stage and showing some skin is not a prerequisite to being an eligible bachelor. As Busto puts it, they didn’t go to talent agencies and grab every “hunk” in the building. They did, however, upload a video on YouTube.com to give the curious a sneak preview of the goods. “We wanted men who were very charismatic, with strong personalities and were sensitive to the situation in Sichuan,” she says.
Busto and Johnson are using all the proceeds from the event-￥100 ticket at the front door and any money spent to buy the bachelors-to donate to the China Children and Teenager’s Fund, which is currently aiding children devastated by the earthquake that struck western China last month. Busto calls it a fun way to help contribute to a meaningful charity.
“The ego won’t be hurt if I don’t get the rate I predicted,” says DeSpain. “It’s all going to charity and I’m there for a good cause ... and to excite some ladies.”
Where: Kro’s Nest
When: Sat, June 28
How Much: ￥100 at the door. Bachelors are extra.