Like a lot of gay men, I seem to be stuck doing guys I don’t want to date and dating guys I don’t want to do.
Take this guy I met playing volleyball. We went up to block a shot and we both fell down. We had a “Love Boat” moment when I grabbed his hand to help him up. There were wedding platters in his eyes. There were bedposts in mine.
So we went on a date. Or rather, he went on a date. I went on a hunt. The guy was my type the way Arial is the New Yorker‘s type: Easy on the eyes, making you impatient to get to the end. But as much as I liked him sexually, I didn’t feel any other connection. And thus, I was hurled into the basic gay dating dilemma: Do you have sex with someone you’re physically but not emotionally attracted to?
The answer, of course, is yes. Oh, God, yes. But the problem with bedding someone who wants a wedding is the pain created by mismatched intentions.
I remember him saying, “Let’s do something, dinner, a movie.”
“I can’t really do anything until eleven o’clock,” I’d tell him.
“Well, you can’t do anything at eleven o’clock at night on a weekday except have sex and go to sleep,” he’d say.
*”Exactly,”* I’d say to myself.
And so, whenever he asked me out he’d hear a knock on his door around eleven. Once your inner pig comes out, it’s hard to coax him back in.
He eventually broke it off, as he should have. I wasn’t the bad guy but I wasn’t doing him any good either. When you fall in love with someone who just wants to fall in bed it’s time to call it quits. I know; I’ve been on the receiving end of it, too.
Like this guy, “Ted.” I loved everything about him except his body. I tried to do the chick thing — you know, have sex with a guy even though you’re not physically attracted to them because they’re kind and smart and loving and that’s what you want in a man so what’s a few minutes of Ugh-ness.
Well, it didn’t take. I tried but I just couldn’t do it. I even invoked the “Three Date Rule” to buy some time to let my emotional attraction morph into sexual desire.
I don’t know how women do it, but if I’m not attracted to a guy physically I can’t have sex with them no matter how emotionally attracted I am to them. I guess that’s the main difference between men and women. For men, intimacy is a consequence of sex; for women it’s a pre-requisite.
Maybe that’s why so many of us gay men are single for so long. If we could direct our sexual desire from physical to the emotional we’d lead more fulfilled lives.
But how do we do it? Too bad we can’t call up biological electricians and have them re-wire us. The truth is that it’s beyond easy to find someone you want to date AND do. The problem is that those guys generally don’t want to date and do you.
When you’re gay, being single is never because you haven’t found the right guy. It’s that your “Mr. Right” thinks you’re “Mr. Fright.” Poetic justice, really. For every man you reject there’s a man that rejected you. On and on, the cycle goes unbroken.
Dating would be so much simpler if our sexual desire obeyed our emotional attachments. Until they do, hope, like a certain body part, will spring eternal.