The anniversary came and went without any grand romantic gestures, or even a lesser romantic motion like the standard dinner-and-a-movie routine. For many people this would indicate a downward spiral, but for me it was simply confirmation that I had already hit rock bottom. You see, this anniversary marked the year since I had last had sex. Yes, that's right, this gay man went through a full year sans boning, getting some or, for my UK audience, having it off.
Don't read me wrong: There's been the odd fling -- I'm not dead -- but 365 days have passed since I last "topped" or "bottomed," as it is known colloquially amongst us gay men. It's not that I took a vow of celibacy or that I'm sitting around, sadly waiting for someone to love me or at least suggest rubbing one out with me. I could probably have a lot more sex than none at all, although I realize that I'm not setting the bar particularly high. It's just that when it comes to actually doing the deed, the logistics overwhelm me. Not the sexual logistics -- here's a pole, there's a hole, thank you very much -- but navigating the murky waters that get one from "have we met before?" to "your place or mine?"
Like most people, I was more willing to experiment during my college years. I created profiles on popular men's "dating" sites to try to eliminate the guesswork from sexual satisfaction. A profile picture and a star badge exclaiming "I don't have STDs!" and you're good to go. More than anything, these sites seem to be an excuse for gay men to exploit their inner porn star, and I quickly found myself feeling vulnerable and misguided, confused by my own impulses and disappointed by my failure to realize the narrowness of the way I was presenting myself and the responses it would elicit. More importantly, I was still sexless, unable to make the leap from chat room to bedroom -- or to "coffee date (sexual)."
I've since moved from the certifiable gay wasteland of my co-ed years in rural Virginia and taken up residence in a veritable gay paradise, New York City, but my sex drive hasn't gotten the memo. The stress of constant job hunting, frequent apartment hopping and new-friend making means that sex, while a potentially welcome respite, isn't a priority.
The funny thing is that most gay men I know in the city have online dating profiles. Grindr, the mobile dating app that uses state-of-the-art satellite technology to help you find your next blow job, is particularly popular. At this point in my life, I've never seriously considered using Grindr, as I can't figure out how to shorten my profile blurb: "Hi! I am indeed looking for sex, sort of, but just generally -- and really, aren't we all? Also, I don't necessarily want it right now, and I don't necessarily want it with you. Let's chat!" There's something inherently self-defeating about the dynamic of drafting up one of these profiles, converting my well-rounded self into a list of stats that I hope will resonate with someone who, really, just wants to sit on my face. Instead, I've decided to abstain from it all and hope that my acute Sleeping Beauty syndrome is cured one day by a Prince Charming who will ride up in a peanut-oil-powered vintage Land Cruiser and take me in his chiseled, vegan arms. Speaking of self-defeating...
So how does a gay man whose spirit animal is Zooey Deschanel's impression of a dolphin find sexual satisfaction in New York these days? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, I'm holding down a job, settling in with new roommates and keeping myself open to possibilities -- but, like, super-hot, non-threatening possibilities who aren't necessarily looking for commitment but who also aren't afraid of it. Let's chat!