I found myself having a conversation with a friend about making friends. My friend is in a wonderful three year relationship and finds making strictly friends in the gay world all but impossible. The problem becomes compounded when you live in an area without a gay epicenter, leaving the only option in meeting other gay men to be the apps like Grindr and Scruff, or websites like Adam4Adam.com. These products while being advertised as a way for gay men to communicate easier and without stigma or fear, are really nothing more than a way to interview and meet for sex. They are hook up sites and ones I’ve enjoyed on more than one occasion; But it you are left with no option, are these the sites for you?
I can’t say I don’t go on those sites just looking for friends. After a certain age, it can become very difficult to meet people with similar interests. We are pretty much trapped in our daily lives of work, established friends, and limited time for new hobbies. The idea of wanting to spice things up while staying completely clothed becomes appealing but going out of your way to try a new gym, bar, or route to work seems daunting; so from the privacy of my room I can shop for a new friend like I shop for a new pair of shoes. There are different sizes, different colors, all with descriptions and how to care for instructions. Friendship, love and sex are now a product to shop for as easy as pizza and can be at your door as fast as your GPS dating app can figure out the miles away.
I grew up in the days of dial-up. American Online chat rooms were my entry into meeting other gay men. I had to lie about my age as most of the “men” were men. I was the only sixteen year old boy trying to learn to kiss another boy, and learn more about why I’m different and how come it was wrong as I was learning more and more in the 80s. It seemed so lured at that age as these 30something and beyond men wanted to see my dick and ass and go over The Joy of Gay Sex with me, chapter by chapter. I think about it now and wonder why I am so frustrated but the disingenuous men on these apps and realized it was that way from the beginning. The way gay men speak to each other is the same as it’s always been. It was always been a double speak for whatever ulterior motive they were aiming for. Friend’s meaning sex, relationship meaning friends with benefits, and sex meaning many different thing and somethings not even sex. The gay culture continues to breed what we continue to bitch about.
It was interesting to speak about these things with another gay man experiencing them and wanting another way. The idea of honesty comes to mind but while there are a few honest souls on those sites, the wade through causes too much bitterness and distrust. Even as I write this post I get a notification on Jackd from my latest “Let’s cuddle” double talker. We had sex last time, we will have sex this time and it makes me lose respect for him more and more, but what can I say, I am responding to it, allowing his behavior and the community to continue in this way.
I have to admit this post is more of a rant and indictment on the gay community. I hold us in a higher regard, realizing the shared struggle for equal rights as my African American ancestors did in the 50s and 60s. I see the progress we are making for marriage equality and positive visibility but these apps, and sites, and how we treat each other as product and entertainment does nothing to help the cause. And while we aren’t all activists or role models, like black people we are all judged but the actions of one. If one black man is a criminal, they all are criminals. If one gay man is a sex crazed whore, they all are sex crazed whores. I didn’t make the rules but I’m living in both realities and it becomes exhausting.
So I decided to stay in the middle. I use the apps and sites being as honest as I would be having met at a cafe or grocery line ( which is more how I want to meet my husband ). I do who, or your ass. Your face will do.at I have to do to meet and dream for real friends, real love, or real sex if that’s the mood I’m in. And I try to be as non threateningly gay and me in the world so I can be approached by that daring man interested in speaking with me.
But I must ask if you really want to be my friend, Don’t show me a picture of your dick, your tors