It's been seven years since I was last single, and a lot
has changed since then. I'm no longer a cute twink, but I am still young at 29;
in fact, I feel like I've grown into my looks and I'm more confident than ever
before. But going out as a single guy is a lot different now—and not just
because it's somewhat strange having younger guys look at me like I'm an
When I was single in my early
twenties I would go out with friends, we'd meet new people, flirt, and if we
were lucky get a phone number. If you didn't get a number and were still
feeling frisky when you got home, then you might jump online and hit a couple
chat rooms (or just pull out your favorite DVD for some quality alone time).
Now it's like that flirting game is gone. Guys hit the bars with friends to
hang out, not necessarily to meet other people. And you can't usually talk to
them because they're glued to their phones, faces shining in a ghostly light as
they use mobile apps to see who's nearby and looking to hook up. It was a
little annoying at first, but if that's the way things were now, and I was
single, then I figured I needed to join the new gay digital age.
"No Fats, Femmes, or
Faggots," one profile requested. I ran my finger over my phone's screen to
slide the image up and down for a second, just to confirm that my eyes weren't
playing tricks on me.
"Tired of flaky queens. Looking
for something deeper," one earnestly stated. Then the person added,
"Must live in the city, have a job, and be 29-35."
"U in shape, hot, bottom?"
asked another. "Great! If not, C ya."
"No Asians!" a third read.
"Don't even waste my time."
Online profiles have always been
specific, with guys making it very clear what type of man they're looking for
while at the same time describing themselves for the reader in (hopefully)
honest terms. Similar cruel or ugly conditions could often be found when I was
single as well, but back then there was an emotional and physical distance;
this person was at home, maybe not even in your city, so it was easier to brush
him off as a jerk with issues. Today the man could be in the room with you—his
face photo may even be present on that app—and he's perfectly fine letting you
know that he's "not into nelly rice queens looking for a daddy."
(Yes, that's an actual quote.)
Nevertheless, I searched around and
found a handsome guy who didn't have all that garbage on his profile. I sent
him a text and this was our exchange:
Hey. How old?
HIM: Really? You look older.
ME: Yep. Real age, real photo.
HIM: Did you read my profile?
ME: Yeah. You read mine?
HIM: I'm only into ripped guys. Sorry. You got a better pic you can send?
Here's the worst part: I told him to
hang on and started scrolling through my phone to see if I had a hotter photo
than what I was using for my profile. For whatever reason I wanted this guy to
like me, be interested in me. I wanted a shirtless one, something that showed
him just how sexy I felt about myself, and after asking him to hold on for a
minute I found one and sent it off. Then I got this reply: "Thanks
As I read those two words I wondered
what was wrong with us gay people. We complain that the only images
representing gay men are of sexy studs with ripped muscles, and yet that's the
guy we demand when we're supposedly looking for love online. We don't have the
balls to meet one another face-to-face, but we can flippantly brush aside
another human being simply because of his photo, his hairline, his ethnicity,
or because his profile sounds too boring, bitchy or slutty. We've all done it
to some extent, myself included, and we make the excuse that we don't want to
waste our time, that we're just being honest, and yet we're forgetting that
there is a real person on the other end of this conversation and our ugly words
can really screw with someone's self esteem. Is it any surprise, that so many
of us throw up a bitchy shield so that we can protect our own egos while
simultaneously preparing ourselves to knock down the next guy who may take a
swipe at us?
If we ever want to get away from
"flaky gays" and experience real, meaningful relationships, then
perhaps it's time to grow up and start giving each other the respect we want
for ourselves—both online and in the real world.
SOURCE: GAY DOT NET