It occurs to me as I lie in my bed early one morning, that I may be looking in all the wrong places. I mean, I’m hoping to meet someone out in hook-up bars and hook-up sites. This is where the whole thing of being gay kind of blows. Because when you really look at it, that’s all you’ve got to work with.
When I tell my straight male friends about the amount of sex that gay men have, well, let’s just say that it’s no wonder that they hate us.
Guys want to sow their wild oats into everything that moves. Women want to settle down and start a family. These two things are in conflict. But when it’s just guys and guys, you have a meeting of minds. A common mission.
Blowjobs are a handshake amongst my people, they are the bread and water delivered to the table while you think about what to have from the menu. They are not Happy Birthday, they are Happy Tuesday.
In fact, not that long ago, I was sitting with a group of writer friends talking about Diary and complaining about the fact that the production company wanted me to put a sex scene in when to me it’s obvious that the lead characters are already having sex. Then all my straight male writer friends corrected me. No, no, you need that scene in there, so that the men in the audience know that she’s given herself over.
I point out that the lead characters are dating and so of course they are fucking. They tell me about the 90 day rule. I am literally dumbfounded.
This leads to a conversation about how many women they have all slept with. One guy was up to 17 women. The alpha-stud guy had hit 35 and there were mumblings of respect around the table. The other guy had slept with 7 women but the last one is now his wife who we all agree is an Amazon.
Then they ask me how many guys I’ve slept with. Well, I don’t know, define slept with, I ask. This makes them all a little uncomfortable as they contemplate what exactly two guys do in bed together. But we net out at basically anything where you get at least semi naked and there is mutual enjoyment. I am literally unable to come up with a number. They push me to at least hit a ball park.
Me: Ok, well, a thousand. I guess.
There is silence.
Me: Maybe it’s more like 800. I don’t know.
I then point out that they have to realize that I grew up in one of the gayest cities on earth and I’ve been at this full-time for over 20 years. And that I go after a very willing audience. And that that’s kind of a normal number for a guy who’s been single for a good chunk of those years. Imagine, I said, if women felt the same way about sex that you do.
They ponder this utopia. Then nod their heads. Then I seem to be buying the next few rounds for my crimes.
For the heterosexual readers, this may sound like the grass is greener, but therein lies the rub. Because when you are ready to just settle down with someone, you have a few more hoops to jump through. Which are usually on fire. Here’s the best way I can describe it.
In the pool of gay men in LA, I like the bears, which are a small circle within that. In that small circle, I’m looking for one who’s interested in guys that look like me, who’s single, who is actually looking for someone, who is reasonably smart and most important, funny. Not funny is a deal breaker; if they can’t make you laugh, it’s doomed. And when I think about this it seems like I’m dropping down in the circles of hell a la Dante’s Inferno.
So where do you actually really find someone who is looking for something more?
They got me with their late night ads. I was weak, I was eating ice cream and feeling a little sorry for myself.
So I sign up. Here’s the thing that wins me; you have to pay to be on the site and it’s only for people looking to meet someone else. If you get a reputation as just seeking out hookups, you’re off.
But then the numbers factor comes into play again. Of all those shrinking circles I spoke of, add one more. The guys that meet all my criteria also need to be on match.com. 20,000 people a day might be joining up, but they aren’t gay men in LA. Of what I like, there’s about 9 total. So I message them all. One replies back.
We banter back and forth a bit and swap numbers. We set up a date. His name’s Scott and he’s a producer. So off to a coffee I go.
We arrange to meet in a cafe near my place and his work. I walk in and see him at a table. The second I lay eyes on him I know this is not going to work. I truly believe in that first blink moment, that the exact time you lay eyes on someone or something for the first time, you know instantly what it’s all about.
I feel fatigued and disappointed, but that’s not his fault. So I walk to the table, sit down and we chat. Or rather he does. Actually he talks. At me. For two solid hours.
Scott talks more than any person I’ve ever met, and I come from a family of talkers. I myself have been known to free associate for hours on end, but this guy is fucking Yoda.
And the annoying part is that he’s really obnoxious, and I mean, really obnoxious. I think my favorite excerpt from the night was when he was in his, “everything America has given the world” part of his diatribe.
Scott: Tomatoes too, we totally gave you guys those.
Me: Ah no, Scott I don’t think that’s right, I think those came from South America.
Scott: No, we gave them to the world.
Hmm, well considering the fact that I have no interest in sleeping with him and he has no interest in what other people think, I decide to correct him on it.
Me: Actually Scott tomatoes are from South America, the Spanish spread them to what’s now Mexico, then took them back to Europe where they spread out from there. I’m pretty sure they came back to the States through the Caribbean.
He blinks a little.
Scott: No, I’m pretty sure we gave them to you guys.
Me: What, Australia? No, the British brought them when we were colonized. Or maybe the Italians.
Scott: NO, I mean like, you guys. We gave them to you guys.
I take this in for a moment.
Me: Scott, in your head, is there America and then the rest of the world is one big group called, “you guys”?
Scott: (shrugging) Well yeah, that’s kind of how the world works.
Oh, sweet Jesus. I’m eating cake with a xenophobic moron.
I decide to wrap this up pretty quickly and soon we find ourselves out in the car park saying our farewells.
Scott: So I think this went really well and I’d love to see you again.
Ah, here’s that tricky moment. Do you be honest and just say you repulse me and I really have no desire to see you again? Or do I do the LA thing and go yeah, and then never respond to his phone calls? Or do I do the Karl thing?
Me: Tell you what Scott. We’ll go on another date if you can tell me one thing about myself that’s not on my profile.
Me: Come on, one thing. Where am I from in Australia? Do I have siblings? What music do I like?
Scott: Is this about the tomato thing?
Me: What’s my last name?
He thinks for a moment too long.
Me: That’s why we won’t be going on another date, mate.
Then next morning, I go to take my profile down off Match and I see there is one message from Scott. He’d written to let me know what an asshole I was. What a sweetie.