I have been on Gay.com for three weeks now. I am so completely over it.
My first attempts at dating my own sex were seven years ago, in Boston, through the newspaper. At the time I had been interning for a hip weekly that ran personals, and before long I started responding to them. I ended up dating one kind soul for about six weeks and stalking another until it scared him away from me and me away from myself. I imagine today he either has a great story to tell at parties or lives a traceless life in South America under three different names. The punch line is I can’t remember his.
After that I forbade myself from meeting men in any form but face-to-face. I figured I was safer that way. I didn’t have to imagine what I was looking for in Mr. Right when I could just sense it from Mr. Right in Front of Me. It gave me wonderful license to lie to myself: “seeking smart, attractive, and kind with a feel for danger” looks great in print but gets you nowhere when your heart wants “fat, broke, bald, armed and angry.” Honesty seems to like the third dimension more than it does a user profile.
Well, 3-D ain’t all it’s cracked up to be, either. Not when you’re a ’mo. The bars get old—fast—and when you realize you’re becoming an alcoholic one “boyznight” at a time, you seek non-wasted methods of meeting others who might also want more than a hangover. Enter Gay.com.
The screen name I chose is Bjondblief. This is pronounced “beyond belief” and is meant to say 1) I dig Scandinavians, and 2) the letters b and j can indeed coexist without alluding to oral sex. It’s the name I used on AOL as a kid before getting my whole family kicked off for writing the following comment in my profile: “I am an AOL staff member and I want your password.” (Remember: an AOL staff member will never ask for your password.)
I had high hopes for my first chat session. Without the thumping of club music and nightlong beer bust beer, I was sure to meet my soul mate: the Edina to my Patsy, the He-Man to my Orko, the Antichrist to my False Prophet. Or maybe just a cutie. Armed with a winning photo and a type speed of 80wpm, I entered U.S: Men: Pacific: Nevada: Las Vegas 2 (since 1 was full).
And, lo! The IMs followed. SuckyMcDickSuck, NiceBiBoiToi, VirilityDrugLoveBug — all wanted to say hi. I found myself chatting with dudes I could dig a lot faster than I thought, and warding off the creeps with “Thanks for the IM, but I’m actually talking to a friend right now,” more frequently than I’d anticipated. Things were going well.
So well that I gave my e-mail and phone number to a few guys I wanted to meet IRL. One turned out to be bogus—surprise, surprise—but two turned out to be honest, sweet guys I genuinely wanted to see again, who genuinely wanted to see me again, too. The problem was I wouldn’t let them. I now understand why.
After much introspection, I have reached the conclusion that I view anyone truly capable of comprehending and appreciating me as a total threat. Any man who meets the meticulous qualities I tell myself I want in a long-term boyfriend is immediately avoided. Personal history dictates I would rather pine over a mediocre-looking halfwit than open myself up to someone who might actually make me happy. Because happiness is bliss, and I fear bliss may be ignorance.
I fear it beyond belief.
Homer Marrs performs for the comedy theater The Second City on a cruise ship somewhere in the brave Atlantic. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.