Wednesday, September 04, 2002

I think I need to change some of my habits - my attempts at finding "dates" of various sorts is just irritating, humiliating, and downright nonproductive. I don't know of the "right" way to do it, but certainly the on-line attempts don't work for me. Getting a feel for whether I want an actual date (as opposed to a mere sex hookup) is nearly impossible for me. I rarely get any sense of who a person is from a profile, a few emails or a few minutes or even longer of Instant Messaging. Actually, while I know I'm not so great in expressing myself in the written form, I am usually very turned-off by most personal profiles that I read. I joke about the "UB2's," guys who describe themselves in detail and then require you to be just like them. I mean, if it was something like "good self-esteem with a healthy dose of modesty; enjoy turning my partner on, and making him smile out of bed as well; affectionate; opinionated but trying hard not to be judgmental kinda guy - UB2" - well, then, maybe. But maybe not - ugh, why the UB2 part - don't you want someone who is different from yourself? I suppose if you were talking about shared values, rather than physical characteristics, or personality traits, then that makes sense to me. Last night, after a rather nonproductive late night of searching outside of this apartment, I came home to an email via one of the free on-line dating services:

"Hey there I like your look man. Do you like masculine, affectionate, down to earth Black men ?? Take a look not only at my photos, but read my profile, let me know if there is any intrest."

I have to admit pausing at the word "masculine" - another of my pet peeves - I just assume that if you need to use it to describe yourself or your desired mate, then you have "issues" with masculinity, and I won't fit the bill or be compatible with you. But, on the other hand, folks often just use the words they see around, and I need to not get too hung up on one word, perhaps a genuinely harmless one. So I clicked on the link and checked out his on-line profile, which was neither good nor bad (well, he does go on a bit about oral hygiene). but of course, ended in the dreaded Hiv Neg U B 2 please.

Gosh, I have never, EVER been asked that in person from a potential date. And I don't know if it's merely a matter of it's really that important to guys, but in person it's too scary to ask, or too embarrassing or difficult to deal with the answer/consequence - and the online thing gives you that ability to ask and "require" the stuff you can't bring yourself to ask about in person - and therefore, if "not a match" as they say, you can simply type those words at the other guy, or ignore their instant messages, or log off, or whatever other mature methods of dealing with a rather serious and personal issue that is. I've mentioned this "pet peeve" of mine in the past, and have had it misinterpreted, apparently, judging by a few emails I've gotten. Perhaps its my age, and I don't mean merely how old I am, but more that I've been having sex for over 20 years, have been doing my best to have "safer sex" for most of those years, and I guess I just ASS-ume we all do that. But it's as if I am in a time-warp, where I am acting like it's 1987, where we don't know anyone's HIV status, and you act accordingly. And because we didn't know, we "risked" falling in love with someone who may well be poz, and could get sick, and yes, could die, or infect us. And not everyone dealt with those scary thoughts well. And then it got even scarier - now we can take a test, and require others to take it, and reveal the results to us, and decide who to avoid. Maybe I'm crazy, but my own little ridiculous method of calculating my odds at finding a good partner have meant that after I have eliminated anyone under the age of 35, and various other silly factors, there ain't that many left in the potential pool. If I start to calculate out anyone who might make life difficult, those with substance abuse problems, who smoke cigarettes, who have or may get a disease, who ride bikes on busy New York streets amongst the most dangerous cabdrivers in this county, who eat at McDonalds and have a few extra pounds.... well, maybe I'll be safe, but I'm afraid I will be very, very lonely. Life can be very difficult, and scarey, and I want to find a grown-up who understands that, and despite all my numerous flaws, and all the potential difficulties ahead of us, knows in his heart that life with me is a helluva lot better than life without me - that's what I hope to give, as well.

And I've had a handful of dating offers because of this blog I started so many months ago, and while quite complimented at some of the nice things a few guys have said, in all honesty, I have a hard time with the idea of being at this huge "disadvantage" before even meeting - I know very little about someone, and they may have read months and months of my thoughts and views on various, mostly personal, things. They've seen a bunch of pics, and if I say so myself without much modesty, some good pics, at that (I shed the modesty as the photographer, not the model)! Obviously, I only publish the good ones, and believe me I have drawers and hard drive file folders full of some pretty awful stuff - and another thing, I really don't just hang around the house all day in a leather cockring and jockstrap! I am almost always in boxers, and put off as long as humanly possible the trip into the shower, just lingering around here sipping coffee and scratching my ass. But seriously, it's not so much that someone may have lots of info about me, but its more complicated than that. They have a certain skewed view, one based on my ability to write, and perhaps embellish, and then their own world view interpreting that. And much more importantly, it's not a dialogue, it's not in person, where I am actually participating, and we are getting to know each other. And people misread things all the time. Friends of mine have thought I had sex 6 times in one week, cuz they didn't read closely enough to see one entry was a dream, another a remembrance, and the others all part of the same actual act adding up to one sex date in that week they thought I had 6!

I guess this is where the rambling part of the BLOG TITLE comes from - I am going nowhere with this train of thought, but am merely frustrated in my desire to find a companion, and frustrated with myself and my inertia about changing habits that might at least give me better odds at finding someone who's values I share, who's pillow I caress, who's stomach I rest my head on and giggle about the gurgles from our dinner that I made for us right here, in my home. I realize this is common, and we all have times when we feel isolated, and that there is no one out there like me, and no one out there who will like me, and dare I say it, LOVE me....