I was never really a fan of gay bars, discos or clubs. When I was younger I was (now that I look back) quite a ‘pretty’ boy. Unfortunately, I never fully appreciated the significance of this, struggling as I was to a) fully come to terms with who I was and b) being fairly crap at meeting people and forming some sort of lasting relationship (I have been very, very fortunate in my life, I do know this).
The problem with the ‘gay scene’ is that it is, more or less, like a meat market. The young(er) guys waltz around showing off their wares’ whilst the older guys stand to the side and eye them up. Then, if they are really attracted, they may make a move – but, let’s be honest, it’s nearly always purely for the sex; the good looking guys, generally, airheads (as it is in the straight world, I guess) and the more intelligent guys looking, well, more geeky and, certainly less attractive.
Since I had a little intelligence, I always thought of myself as one of the geeky ones.
I know, I know, this is all generalisation. Not everyone is like that. But it did ‘put me off’ the scene quite a lot and, apart from a few years at the start with M and then at the end of M and I, I didn’t really do the scene.
And, now that I am exactly one of the older guys, I certainly do not want to be doing it again.
And so, given that there must be other guys my age who think the same (although that may not be true, of course), I thought I might try the on line stuff.
So far, I’ve signed up to two sites. I have a small problem here. I don’t actually have any ‘gay’ friends (here, anyway) and, therefore, don’t know the etiquette involved.
On one of the sites, there are opportunities to ‘wink’ at one another. Now, for me, this means that you think the other guy is attractive (in a variety of senses since my photo hasn’t been ‘approved’ yet so no one can ‘see’ me – only what I like, am like, etc.).
But does this, on the gay on line dating scene, mean something else? If so, why the hell is someone from New York winking at me? What possible purpose could it serve? Should I wink back or not? I mean to say, I am not going to be travelling there to see if we ‘get on’, stuff that for a lark! So what was the point? I am certainly NOT looking for pen friends (I have enough problems keeping in touch with people that I know well, as some of you may know – what with me being a typical English bloke and all). So I don’t really get it at all.
As a result of the ‘winking’ thing, I’m now a little concerned that, given the sexual promiscuity on the scene in general, that, should I meet someone, they will expect sex that moment, which is certainly not what I want (hell, for that I can just go down the road)
So, do I make that plain from the start? If we get on and I am sexually attracted to them then maybe but not immediately I clap eyes on them!
My worry is that this is just another facet of the same scene – another meat market. One of the sites I purposely did not go on is, more or less, used for one-night stands (so to speak), apart from other reasons which I won’t go into here.
So, here I am, already invited down to the southern(ish) part of Italy; being winked at every five seconds; emailed; looked at; scrutinized – I’m not at all sure that I like this much. However, there’s a life to get on with so it has to be. At least, on these sites, I can be certain that they are men looking for men, which is a huge step forward, I suppose.
And, who knows, maybe I’ll meet some really nice people (they can’t all be camp, screaming, psychotic, axe-murdering, weirdos, can they?) and make some friends? And, maybe it’ll be fun finding out.
I have to be honest and say that my limited experience indicates that the French and Spanish seem more into this on line thing and, looking at the photos, maybe I should be moving to one of those countries for they are hot’ – see there’s my gay superficiality coming out again. Damn.