The Hook-up App guys…

Ran across an interesting article on Huffington Post titled “Notes From The Hook-Up Apps: 9 Guys Who Take All the Fun Out of Them.”

After all – the apps themselves aren’t necessarily the problem.  We’ve all been on them or some internet incarnation of them at some point in our lives.  The problem is certain people who use them… and ruin them for the rest of us.

As contributor Jeremy Helligar points out, it’s not the guys who ask the cliche questions like “Looking?” but the following nine guys that are the true problem

1. The Validation Seeker: He’s the app equivalent of the bar queen who brags about how many boys he kissed last night. Quantity over quality… or anything else. He leaves the distinct impression that he approaches guys/swipes right just to see how many of them will respond/swipe right, too. He’ll rarely actually talk to any of them. He’s like a social media addict who obsessively courts Facebook “likes” and Twitter/Instagram “followers” and uses them to measure his/her personal worth. The more, the merrier he might be, but everyone involved ends up sleeping alone.

2. Mean Boy: He’s the one most likely to list restrictions (No oldies, no fatties, no fems, no blacks, no whites, no Asians…), anything to make himself feel superior to everyone he’s rejecting. Even if you make it past his velvet rope, he’ll find ways to make you feel inferior, too.

About a year and a half ago, a work colleague introduced me to a guy who snubbed me to my face while gushing about me behind my back. He went on to have a one-and-a-half-night stand with a very good friend of mine, to whom he revealed his (and Mean Boy’s) dating mantra: “Treat ’em mean, keep ‘em keen.” Yep, he actually said that, and he eventually put those words into action with my poor pal.

Alas, I don’t play that dating game. “The more you ignore me, the closer I get,” Morrissey sang on his biggest U.S. solo hit. Great song, but I can’t relate. Neither pining nor stalking has ever been the best use of my time.

3. The “Polite” Responder: For some reason, some guys insist on being rejected outright. No response doesn’t send a clear enough message, so they follow up with question marks until you block them. Defeated but still defiant, they add a familiar request to their profiles: “If you’re not interested, just block or say so. It’s only courteous.”

Oh, the beasts these Mr. Manners have spawned. Personally, if a guy ignores me, unlike Morrissey in the aforementioned hit, I move on to one who doesn’t. But not so fast. Just because he responds, doesn’t mean he’s interested. A lot of them are just being “polite,” offering curt, blase responses to your follow-ups without making any discernible attempt to keep the conversation going.

I once called out someone on it and asked him why he responded if he wasn’t interested. He said it wasn’t me; it was his exhaustion from work. It apparently depleted his energy and ability to offer an online tone that couldn’t be interpreted as gruff and slightly annoyed. So why was he on Grindr and not in bed at 11pm then? I’d rather be ignored.

4. The Compulsive Chater: On the plus side, this one might be blessed with the gift of gab. It’s always nice to bypass sexual positions and penis size, but if smallish talk isn’t going to lead anywhere, shouldn’t you at least be near an open bar? Even though he’s probably the one who approached you and may actually live only blocks away, it’s near impossible to score a date or even a hook-up, because he’s all talk, no meet.

5. Bored/Boring Guy: Hey… How r u… What’s doin… Where you at… If communicating in three words or less is your thing, here comes your man. He’s not really looking for anything. He’s just here because he’s got a phone and functioning WiFi, and there’s nothing better to do. Good times, right?

6. The Pic Collector: Like I recently told one suitor requesting XXX pics, if you’re dying to see a big black c—k, Google “big black c—k.”

7. Mr. Catch Me If You Can: For me, this guy is the most frustratingly unattainable because he’s so good on paper. He’s typically handsome, quick to respond (and not in that detached “The ‘Polite’ Responder” way), engaging, and he’s often online, which would seem to indicate availability.

Don’t get it twisted, though. He may be seemingly free and presumably “looking,” but he’s not available. He’s never available. So busy, he keeps reminding you, though he’s rarely too busy to be on the grid. Grindr may very well be the only place in the world where someone who’s working part-time at a backpackers hostel while looking for a full-time job has a more jam-packed schedule than someone who runs a Fortune 500 company.

8. The Ghosting Gay: He’s the one who actually meets up with you, maybe even goes on a date with you. He might even call out your name during sex. He acts like he’d love to see you again and might even tell you to stay in touch, breaking the unspoken “NSA” rule. But after his clothes are back on, he disappears from your life as abruptly as he entered it, possibly blocking you once he’s safely out of sight.

On the rare occasion that you do hear from him again, he’s probably only seeing if you’ll respond (see “The Validation Seeker” above) before the ghosting begins. And if you reach out to him first, he might respond once, maybe even twice (see “The ‘Polite’ Responder” above), before the ghosting begins.

You may see him weeks, months, a year later. If he doesn’t pretend he’s never met you, he might actually go home with you, beginning the ghosting cycle all over again. An accidental hook-up is as good as it’ll get after the first one. He’ll never be a dependable f—k buddy, much less a friend with benefits, because that would require him to stay in touch, and he’s just not that into you.

9. “Wired” Guy: While he’s typically a nocturnal animal, this one lurks during daylight, too, particularly if you live in a tourist-heavy city. He’s drunk on life, love, whatever controlled substance he can get his sweaty, shaky hands on. He’s pretty easy to spot because he mangles simple words and sentences in ways Autocorrect/Predictive text could never dream of, and his profile is typically suspiciously bare.

The good news is that if you’re too busy sleeping or living your offline life to catch your window of opportunity, you’ll probably never hear from him again.

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Honesty in dating

Yes, I’m stealing another of kevinatkinson’s posts.  What can I say – he writes good stuff.

The post below is titled “No more than just a one night stand, no regrets no future plans” in which Kevin discusses a guy he met on Grindr that ultimately turned into a one night stand.

But Kevin brings up an interesting theory – that in his experience, two men who prefer the same sexual position aren’t compatible.  Curious to hear some other’s thoughts on that.

But the last paragraph is why I love Kevin’s writing and why I asked him to join our team here at Sex, Love, and Labels.  Stop being the right person for someone else, and start being the person you already are.

 

Alright. So, in my return to writing, which happened earlier this week due to me having feelings and the life…I return to actually writing. About stuff, and things, and whatever blah blah stuff. Today I get to write about dating, and how no matter what people say…you can’t just change to make things work.

So. A guy on Scruff about 5 months ago messaged me. Hot in that way that you ALMOST question why they’re so interested in you. Either it’s an end to a means or they’re just desperate levels. I don’t ever say no to really attractive people messaging me, so I responded. Through very few messages we determined that we were the same sexual position preference. He was very inquisitive to whether I would ever date another top? What if we found bottoms to top together? I was very honest to him: I’ve dated other tops, and it hasn’t worked for me. Dating someone who is the same as you sexually often times doesn’t work. You both gravitate to the same moves, same desires, same tendencies. So you’re left with a lot of moves that no one is satisfied by. Or half of the routines done on “So You Think You Can Dance.”

I ended the conversation after making it pretty clear that two tops dating hasn’t worked out well for me, at least in my experience. Months passed. Seasons changed. The Gay High Holidays came, rose, and set. Fall actually came to San Francisco. And suddenly a message appeared on Scruff from this same very hot guy. Saying: I really think we should try.

Bold. I was impressed. Bold says a lot about a man. He was clear: maybe it’s worth being sexually incompatible to find a man that you connect with. What if beyond sex it was actually about that spark and down the road hope you can find which makes it worth it, not whether you’re a top or a bottom? He dared me to think: well, why not?

So I said yeah. Why not. Let’s meet for a drink.

We met for a drink. He a beer, me a gin and soda. We connected. We talked. Laughed. Kissed over our drinks. Kissing was good, so we went back to his place (conveniently a building over) and hooked up. The sexual interactions were awkward yet genuine. Two people jockeying for dominance. Decent orgasms, and then a delightful cuddle: quiet, close, and comforting. I left, we kissed at the corner, and I made my way home.

Jump two days. I ask how his week is going over text. A quick and simple response:

It’s going well. In kindness, I’m not interested in moving forward.

In my wonderful me, I say “Cool. Kindness is appreciated,” when all I wanted to tell him was “DIDN’T I FUCKING TELL YOU MONTHS AGO THAT I DIDN’T THINK THIS WOULD WORK?!” Fortunately I didn’t. I like to think I have enough decorum left in me to not make that misstep.

Ultimately, this moment is essential for me. It reminds me to trust my instinct. The moment we talked, I knew this guy and I wouldn’t work long term. Or at all. And through determination (from him) and desperation (from me) we met and all of that was confirmed. From both sides.

I’m not hurt or devastated by this, thankfully. If anything it’s fully steeled me to be exactly me. Changing one’s self to match a person has never been high on my priorities, and this revealed very clearly that I should never do so.

Ultimately, dating is a test of just how honest you are to yourself. Who are you? What do you stand for? How do you bring that authentically to the world? I think that’s the part of dating we all forget. We get so intent on being the right person for someone else, not the being the person we are. Which ultimately leaves neither party happy, and in the end leaves us bitter and sad.

Being Ugly: Chapter One

Hey, its Will again. It has been literally ages since I wrote my first post for this blog, and literally the entire world has changed, and when justgngr told me I had an old unpublished post in here, I was kinda scared of what I didn’t remember writing… but here it is. Lightly edited and an actual lending added, hope you enjoy:

I have an inkling that the main reason I was asked to contribute to this blog is that I have a perspective that its founder doesn’t – I am an ugly gay person. Now, obviously, justgngr is gay… but he’s also very good looking. The world runs differently when you’re good looking – that applies to all people, regardless of sexuality – but it is amplified in the gay community.

I’ve been fat my entire life. The shopping trips I recall as a little kid were always in the “husky” section. A bookish, mildly-effeminate chubby kid, I was naturally a target for ridicule and derision in school from my peers. Truthfully, I didn’t really have any actual friends until college, so I may have missed some of the usual socialization milestones. I could carry on a grownup conversation, but didn’t know anything about how to be a kid – my non-classroom times were spent eating my PB&J in the bathroom or an empty classroom.

Some time in high school, puberty hit. Along with the realization that I was gay came the realization that everyone disliked me because I was ugly AND gay, not just ugly… but in addition, puberty has an evil way of magnifying one’s insecurities. I started growing hair in all the usual puberty places, but also on my shoulders and back, while at the same time started losing the hair on my head. Balding at 17 is not a good look, I promise you, but for the chubby gay 17-year-old with patches of hair on his jawline trying to fuse with the patches of hair on his shoulders, it just makes you look like you’ve decided to give up on any chance you ever had of getting laid.

Which is a bit odd because I lost my virginity right around that time. To a guy. From the internet. I had a great time – someone actually wanted me! To be quite honest, that’s all that sex has been for me since – knowing that for those 10-20 minutes, someone actually wants to be around you, even if it is just to get their dick sucked.

But hey, at least, for those few minutes, I get to feel sexy…

I’ll be exploring this topic much more moving forward, so lets just call this Chapter One.

 

The thirst is real…

Curious what people think about this post on Cocktails and Cock Talk, There Isn’t a Sea Big Enough to Drown Out the Modern Epidemic of Thirsty Gay Men.

A little excerpt…

Listen, if you’ve got a good body and you put the hours in at the gym, then fair play to you, you should be proud of anything that you worked hard for. Nobody is crucifying anybody for a shameless selfie once in a Blue Moon. But it’s the endless rotisserie of near-naked desperation. Don’t you have anything to say? Where’s your voice?

overheard

One of the cool things about “Looking” is that after the first season, a lot of people – shockingly, liberal, open artists who live in New York and L.A. – said to me they didn’t know that gay people could have sex while facing each other. One of the great opportunities of the show was to illuminate male intimacy in sex and just sort of intimacy in general that wasn’t in sort of a porny, salacious way.

~Jonathan Groff

New contributor intro

Hello Sex, Love, and Labels readers!

Before I go and write anything of any significant substance, I just wanted to introduce myself.

Hi, I’m Will.

I’m a fat gay subby kinky bottom who’s been on PrEP for about 18 months.

I’m 32 years old, and while I’ve had a large number of sex partners, I’ve never been on a date, and definitely never had a relationship.

Yeah, so, that, in a nutshell, should give you a window into what to expect from me. I’ll write about being big in a community that values chiseled torsos, being a bottom in a community where “masc” is the only way, being a sub who’s also a type-A control freak, being kinky in a world where people dont talk about “that stuff”, being on PrEP when people think that means I’m just a slut, and about being a total dating virgin – while very much not being a sexual virgin.

I’d like to thank justgngr for the opportunity to write for this great blog – I hope I can contribute to the conversation in useful and thought-provoking ways!

I’m A Gay Man Who Loves Sex (And Here’s Why That’s Suddenly A Problem)

Noah Michelson – the Editorial Director of The HuffingtonPost Voice – wrote an interesting piece yesterday with the same title as this post.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of some of the things I’d love to explore on this blog and have other people blog and comment about. In his opinion piece, Michelson laments the growing movement among gay men to play “sex police” – and no, that’s not a sexual roleplay activity. Michelson references articles in the New York Times and the Elite Daily where “policing” of non-monogamous sex, judging the objectification of men by other gay men, and demonizing sex shops in the New York City “gayborhood” of Chelsea.  He point blank asks,

How about instead of demonizing sex and the people who are looking for it and having it, we demonize our society that labels the sight of a bulging crotch (plastic or otherwise) as indecent and embarrassing and threatening.

American society has had a long standing aversion to being open about sex (aside from a few decades here and there), owing largely to our puritanical roots and our continued insistence in some parts of our nation to limit discussions on sexual education. But Michelson delves deeper, making the claim that now that marriage is on the table for same sex couples, the community has forgotten that sexual liberation has always been a cornerstone of the gay rights movement, and the community feels that in order to obtain the same rights as our heteronormative counterparts, we must behave just like them as well.  We must stop being promiscuous, join stable monogamous relationships and that promiscuous gay men are giving a bad name to the gay men who “are current in, or are actively pursuing, romantic relationships and revere notions of monogamy and family.”

Listen, I’m the first person to believe that monogamous relationships are the way to go, but I’m not about to tell the entire gay community that it’s my way or the highway.  I may not agree with everything that Michelson says, in particular, I think he’s guilty of a little of the same rhetoric that he preaches against when he says,

Can you be queer and want a monogamous relationship and two kids and a chocolate labradoodle curled up at the end of your bed where you have sex once a week in the missionary position after the 10:30 rerun of “Seinfeld” has aired? Of course you can.

But I think he’s ultimately right in the end.  Gay men who expect the rest of us to “strive to attach a different kind of value to sex, one that does not use it as the sole basis of our collective identify and mode of communication,” are essentially making the exact argument that our straight counterparts lobbed against us as reasons for defending “traditional marriage”. Because the gay rights movement wasn’t about becoming just like heterosexuals; it wasn’t about blending in to heteronormative society.  It was (and still is) about obtaining the same rights as opposite-sex couples and being viewed as equals in the eyes of our government. That doesn’t mean we need to abandon ourselves in the process.

So, Michelson is right when he says,

Sexual liberation comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes and flavors and we should all be able to do whatever we want (as long as everyone involved is consenting and no one is being hurt — unless they are asking to be). But the second you start telling me that I’m a bad guy — and what’s more, a bad gay — if I don’t ‘revere notions of the family and monogamy,’ we’ve got a big problem.

So, let’s make a deal: I won’t ask you to have more sex with more people or have sex the same way that I have sex or wear a jockstrap in public or visit a sex shop or try Boy Butter. But you have to stop telling me and everyone else that it’s unsavory to want sex simply for sex’s sake or how it is or isn’t OK to find it or how often it’s OK to want it and with whom and where. When you do that, you’re buying into the same broken nightmare we’ve been fighting against for years.

Penny for your thoughts….