Dating is hard. Regardless of your sexuality, it is a difficult thing to do, to meet someone for the first time and well hopefully build up a bond. When I first started discovering who I was sexually, I was interested in dating at all, I mean my intention was to go out there and just have as much fun as possible. That subsequently led to quite a lot of sexual encounters that had no romantic or non-sexual aspects to them.
After a while though, things changed quite drastically. I realised that I didn’t want to keep feeling that emptiness you get when you hook-up with someone. You know that dirty feeling you get afterwards when you feel guilty and then its worse if you actually like the guy and he doesn’t want to “hook-up” again.
Having that feeling again and again is dreadful and this is what made me decide to start dating guys, rather than just having sex. One of the guys I went on a date with was over the last summer. We had been chatting through an app for a while and had bumped into each other on campus as well. We agreed to meet-up for coffee, the most generic date idea of them all.
It was a really wet day and it was quite a walk for me to get to where we were meeting, however I had a good feeling about this date, so I didn’t mind in the slightest. I got to the coffee shop and I could see him walking down the road in the distance. We hugged and made brief smalltalk. We sat down and started talking even more, he was a nice guy — you could tell he came from a good background, he was smart, quite sweet and was well-dressed, I mean that is typically what I go for, but I knew that there was something missing, but I could not tell what it was.
We carried on talking for an hour or so, I mean I didn’t want to look rude or anything. We both knew a few of the same people, which is a consequence of going on a date with someone who goes to the same University as you. He seemed quite interested in me, but I was not the best at telling these things.
After the date had ended, we hugged again and went our separate ways. I couldn’t fault the guy for the quality of the date, but I just knew I did not want to see him again. It made me feel overly picky and like a bad person, I mean there was a pretty decent guy in front of me, someone who was an all-round good person, yet I didn’t want to take it any further. What was wrong with me?
Then it dawned on me, there was no spark at all. I mean if this guy were in my class, i’m confident we would probably be friends, but there was no sexual attraction on my part towards him and nothing that made me go “wow”. He was nice, but there was little more to him for me.
To The Guy Who Was Nice and Nothing Else, I say sorry for being a bit of a jerk when you tried to contact me afterwards. I should’ve have just been honest, instead of trying to play it cool. I’ve seen the guy around since and we both awkwardly try to avoid one another, I mean he’s not someone I think about really at all. But still, I wish I were not such a bad person with men, it is my biggest fault. But i’m confident that i’ll find a nice guy soon enough who will be nice, and who will also have a spark.
One of the things I envy most about straight people is how broad their dating pool is. Not only is there less gay people, estimated to be about 10% of the population, but we also have the top/bottom issue. If you’re not familiar with this terminology, without trying to sound crude, some guys prefer to do the penetrating during anal sex, while others would rather just receive it, as well as those lucky ones out there who are versatile, meaning they do both.
About 18 months or so ago, I was looking for a hookup when this really stunning guy appeared on that infamous app. He was absolutely stunning, both visually and emotionally. At the time he was doing the exact same MA that I am now doing, he was smart, had a really cool ‘international school’ accent — you know the type that sounds quasi-American — which was complemented by him having an amazing smile and a beautiful face, seriously he is one of the most attractive people I have ever seen.
Anyway we agreed to meet-up at where he was based, which was his student accommodation. As it was during the Summer break, it meant that campus was far quieter than normal, which was actually really nice. He told me where to meet him and I could see him waving from his window, one hand pointed at me, the other clutching onto a cigarette (I suppose no one can be 100% perfect). We spent ages chatting to one another, bonding over a shared interest in current affairs, he spoke about where he came from and why he had decided to come to the UK, as well as what his career prospects were. I promise that I don’t always sound like a job interviewer.
After a while, he implied that we should have “some fun”, we went to go ahead with it, when it dawned on me that both of us were bottoms. This made things incredibly awkward as it meant that we couldn’t have full-on sex, which at the time, I was absolutely gagging for. However, luckily enough, we could do other things which were still pretty fun.
However, this encounter, has made me think about how hard it is for gay men in general. Not only do we have a far smaller amount of men that we can date, but even within the gay community we are not sexuality compatible with every guy, making it even harder — I know I shouldn’t complain.
Unfortunately, I have since lost contact with this guy and even though we only met a handful of times, partly because he was leaving the country a couple of months after we first met, we built a unique bond. It was great to meet someone who was deeply intellectual, yet charming and funny also. This was complimented by him liking my innocent demeanour, my “British accent” (I don’t think I really have much of one) and the fact I was the only person in the UK he had met who pronounced his name right.
To The Guy Who Was Also A Bottom I say that I really am sorry for the both of us in that we could not have been more sexually compatible, I mean I know nothing serious would have ever come of it, but if I look back and think about guys I regret not being more intimate with, he is definitely top of the list — what is even worse in this case is that I have since discovered that I sometimes have the urge to top. Alas, I did not know it then.
Earlier this year, I briefly dated a guy. He was over 6 foot tall, really skinny, but really sweet at the time. We had been chatting for a while on an app, and we worked out that both of us had a class that ended at the same time. So one day after that class we met up and went for coffee. He was really nice, a good sense of humour, smart (he was a law student) and was a good listener, what wasn’t there to like?
To be honest, at the time, I liked him quite a bit. It was the first guy I had been on a date with for quite a few months. I like the fact that he was actually pretty intelligent, something that seems to be rare in the guys that I have thus far dated. After the day, we hugged and agreed to meet-up again.
It was a good three to four weeks before we saw one another again, as we both had exams and essays to do. We had planned to go for coffee again (I know, I should’ve thought of something more interesting and different), however everywhere was so busy. So he was like “do you want to come back to mine?”, I accepted and we proceeded to walk to his place.
We carried on talking and I realised why I liked him in the first place, he was still really smart but had a slight sassy attitude, with a sarcastic undertone, which I really found funny. We hung out at his place for a while, drank coffee and he showed me his art collection.
However, things went badly very quickly. After a while, we started making out, which was fun, I must admit. But then he said “Can I fuck you?” Never had anyone asked me that so directly, I was flustered and unsure of what to do. I replied “No, i’m sorry”. His face changed instantly and soon after that I left his place.
Later on, I found out that he had blocked me on all forms of social media. I know I rejected that advance, but by no means did it mean I was not interested. When I like someone, I want to get to know them a lot more before we actually go down that road, if I was just looking for a hook-up, I probably would’ve accepted, but I knew that in this case that was not what I was looking for.
In the months since, i’ve seen him around campus a few times. One time, we both literally bumped into one another. I politely moved out of the way and smiled, he kept his head down — he could not bring himself to look me directly in the face. I find that kind of sad.
I get that he was embarrassed that I said no to him, however the way in which he reacted afterwards made me see a different side of him that I didn’t like.
To The Guy Who Couldn’t Look Me In The Eye I say, its a real shame that you were so dismissive so quickly in my response. If you had taken the time to understand why I said no to you, we might have lasted and it could’ve been something more meaningful (which you initially said you wanted). I don’t think of this that often, but the way I reacted was definitely a turning point for me, I realised that I could reject sex and learnt that I wanted more from a man that his penis.
One thing that all of us will remember is the first person we were ever intimate with, whether it was through a romantic relationship or just a random hook-up or one night stand, its something that is hard to erase and defines the route your sex life goes in.
My first time was about halfway through my first year as an undergraduate student, I had finally discovered more of who I was as a person, I had finally built up the courage to start talking to men. I decided to join that infamous app that is popular within the Gay community for ‘hookups’. I had been on the app for a couple of weeks, I spoke to a few men, but nothing ever emerged out of it, until one day I got a message from a really attractive guy. He was an Arab/Italian mix, he was about 5ft 11 and had a very slander frame. His photo was nice, he was smiling, well-dressed and looked friendly.
Much to my surprise, the chat intensified very quickly, he suggested that we meet-up only after one day of talking — normally, I wouldn’t rush into something like this, however I knew that he was real as I had seen him around campus before and thought he was really cute. I met at his place, which was about a 25 minute walk from where I live, I remember the day vividly as the rain was torrential and I got absolutely soaked.
I arrived at his place, but there was a problem with his intercom. He greeted me at the door and there was a really awkward exchange of words — it was evident that both of us were extremely nervous and this was not in our typical character. He took me up the stairs to his flat and we sat on his sofa and started talking for a while. He was a really nice person, quite socially awkward (just like me), but there was little awkwardness when we started talking.
We spoke about all kinds of things ranging from current affairs to our university courses, to his flatmate who wouldn’t let him have a study desk of his own — which I still find incredibly odd to this day. After we had been talking for a while, he suggested we went to his room, I nervously accepted. We sat on his bed and carried on talking, then I took off my shoes and tried to ease up a bit.
He then encouraged me to carry on getting undressed, which I did in an incredibly nervous manner, he started to get undressed as well. We snuggled under his quilt for quite a few hours, it was really nice — especially since I was cold and wet by getting caught in the bad weather, plus it was January meaning it was genuinely freezing outside. He was the big spoon, I was the little spoon — which made sense as I was shorter than he was. This carried on for sometime, we made out quite a bit, had some sensual stroking of one another, it was really nice. There was relatively little actual sensual contact.
Overall, it was a really nice experience. It eased me into what it would be like to be with other men, something up until this point I had little experience with. While at the same time, making me more confident in who I was as a person and confident in my body.
To The First Guy I say thank you for making the experience of being with a guy so good, yes I know you can’t fully count it as the ‘first time’ as there was no penetrative sex. But i’m classing it as my ‘first time’, it is the thing I will always remember if i’m asked about my first experience with someone else of the same-sex — It will be etched on my mind forever and I am thankful that it was a positive experience, rather than some of the horror stories you hear from other guys.
If you’re a gay, or bi, male of a certain age, then you’ve probably used (or at least heard of) Grindr. The place where hope goes to die. Even though my blog is primarily about discussing the impact that men have had on me over recent years, I felt the need to discuss the app that has made me a terrible person.
Most people who sign up to Grindr, such as myself, are mainly looking for fun — but there is also room to look for dates etc. When I first joint the app as a curious 19 year old, I was optimistic and polite to guys who contacted me. If I was not interested in a guy, I would simply reply “Hey, thanks for the message, but you’re not really my type. Sorry, but good luck” or something along those lines. At the end of the day, we’re all similar, we’re all gay or bi and looking for something, I felt it was important to be polite to other gays, we’ve all been through the collective struggle of being oppressed, abused and treated liked crap, so why do we treat one another so badly?
After being on the app for a while, I started to fall into the trap. I started to be mean to guys, without really realising it. If a guy contacted me, who I was not interested in, I would simply block him, or even worst, simply ignore him and hope he went away. Sometimes I would even be a tease — that makes me sound utterly terrible.
At the time, I was not away that this was even going on. . . but since leaving the app and reflecting on the way I acted while I was on Grindr, I realise that it contributed in making me such a bad and mean person, something I loathe in myself to this day.
I know its naive, and false, to solely blame a single app on a behavioural change, but the access that Grindr gives someone, a nervous confused teenager (which I was at the time), allowed me to treat other gay men as if they were disposable people without any feelings at all. It is far different to other dating apps in the market, such as Tinder, in that you can contact anyone within a certain radius of where you are — and you can contact them time after time, as opposed to the ‘matching’ mechanism that is dominant on other apps.
Don’t get me wrong, I did have some success while on Grindr. I had some pretty good hookups, made one or two other gay friends (that have been really helpful recently), as well as going on a date, occasionally. But overall, it is a cesspit for the meanest and darkest sides of human behaviour.
If you look at trolling and cyber bullying, its classic that people say things to other people that you would not say in real life, the power of a phone or laptop protects you from face to face contact. The same can be said for Grindr, when you look at the photos of guys, they don’t feel real at first, they don’t feel like people who actually have emotions and feelings. . . when in reality they obviously do.
Nothing can be done to change this, its the way that modern technology has progressed. However, To The App That Has Made Me A Terrible Person I have nothing to say, other than that I feel much happier now that i’m not using Grindr. I also say to people who are on Grindr, and those within the gay community as a whole, let’s be kinder to one another. We’re not all going to get along all of the time, but if we just start acting terribly to one another. . . what are we really achieving?
P.S. — I’ll probably be back on Grindr by next week. It always happens.
About a month or so ago, I went on a really good date with an incredibly nice guy. An anomaly of the dating pool that I have seen thus far. We agreed to meet for coffee one day after my class, it was a really good date — he was a great conversationalist, consistently made eye contact with me, he smiled throughout the whole date and was slightly flirty (but in a classy way). He was incredibly attractive, an Arab/Hispanic mix, who had these stunning brown eyes and a perfect facial complexion that was accompanied by a stunning smile, the type of guy that visually and emotionally I typically go for. However, something was missing. . .
Only like ten minutes after the date had ended, I received a message from him saying that he wanted us to meet-up again. It was rare that I get to the second date stage, if I am wholly honest, and I immediately accepted as I thought I wanted to see him again and hopefully see this develop into something more meaningful and long-term.
I started to do one of the most dangerous things you can do in dating and relationships which is overthink. I started to analyse every aspect of this guy, from his hobbies (which included kickboxing and amateur-dramatics) to his long-term career goals. There was genuinely nothing wrong with him at all. . . but I just couldn’t bring myself to go on another date with him.
A few days after this, I heard from him again, he was hoping to plan the next date, however I came up with some bullshit excuse to avoid it in the short-term, I just couldn’t make up my mind on what I wanted. I know I overthink a lot, I mean at the end of the day, it was only going to be a non-formal date. . . what could possibly go wrong?
Then I realised what was wrong. . . I liked the idea of this guy, more than I actually liked him. I know that’s something that is commonly heard and since I had been single for about eleven months when I met him, I think there was a natural urge by me to try and find something meaningful again. I feel like a terrible person for brushing him off in the way I did, when he asked again about a second date, I acted as if all I wanted was a hookup (as I knew that he would not like that). . . which he subsequently didn’t.
To The Guy I Liked The Idea Of, I firstly say sorry (I have the habit of apologising, it seems) for messing you about in the way I did. I’m honestly going through a turbulent time in relation to sex and relationships in that i’m having a crisis of not knowing who or what I want and when I want it. In this scenario I was a complete ass-hole and all I can do now is try and learn from this mistake and put this experience to good use in the future.
This is going to be hard to type. Sometimes someone enters your life and they have a lasting impact, whether they are aware of it or not, and it’s the starting point for a new trajectory that follows and stays with you over time. This post is about that guy, my first ever proper crush. The Guy Who Made This Happen.
When I say The Guy Who Made This Happen I mean it in the literal sense as he was the one behind the inspiration for this blog, but also because he is the person who shaped me into who I am today, which in part I like, but at the same time I hate the fact that a single person has shaped and defined me so much. However, after many years of keeping it to myself, I finally feel ready to tell the story about this guy. For the purposes of this post, the guy will be referred to as Taboo, this is because its a way of concealing his identity, as well as it being the nickname I gave him when I had my crush.
It all started when I was a fifteen year old, I was in my final year of school and was confused about my sexuality and who I was. This had been going on for about a year or two at the time, however it had finally started to materialise. I was going about my normal day to day routine and it was just a normal Wednesday when I had English first period. The class that day consisted of us rewatching a film of the book we had been reading in preparation for our exam later that year.
I was instantly bored, I mean we had already watched the same damn film three times over my time at school and I was not going to get anything else out of it. My eyes started to wonder around the room, one of my favourite things to do is people watch. Around me I saw people starring at their phones, starring at themselves in their phones, as well as those, like myself, who were just starring into space — probably in despair of having to rewatch this film.
However, there was something very different this time. Someone caught my eye in a way that someone of the same gender had never done before. . . I could feel myself starting to develop feelings for this boy in my class. A new side of him appeared, a side I really liked. The way I felt about this guy manifested over the coming months and it become stronger. At first, I just thought this was going to be something that lasted only a couple of days, however it grew stronger and stronger, beyond what I ever thought it could have.
I started feeling something for this guy in the October of that year, by January I could not keep this news to myself, I had to find a way of letting it out to someone. By the end of January, I had told one of my closest friends about how I felt about Taboo. The response from my friend was not negative, but at the same time it was not overly positive either. At that point, I realised that I was starting to lose control of the situation.
I had to find a way of taking back control of the situation and letting the news come out on my own terms, rather than letting it be heard through a third party. By coincidence, one of the people who I had revealed the news to was going to be tutoring Taboo that weekend. I had a lightbulb moment when I asked my friend to reveal to Taboo that I was into guys, rather than women — without revealing that I had a crush on him. My friend instantly accepted and I started to get the confidence that I previously had back, I finally felt more in control. However, this did not last for long.
The next week Taboo came up to me and started talking, he had found out that I was sexually into guys, he was really friendly and supportive. However, my friend had revealed to him that I had a crush on another guy in my year and he started to quiz me on it. I regret not just saying at the time that I had a crush on him, at least it would’ve come straight from the horses mouth, however I just played it cool and successfully deflected the conversation onto another topic. After the conversation with Taboo I actually felt very confident, he was really positive about my sexuality and he dealt with it in a way that was better than I could have ever imagined.
The next morning. . . everything changed. I was waiting outside my class like normal, when Taboo walked past, he briefly spoke and gave me that smile that instantly made me feel so good. This crush had become so intense and I honestly had no clue where it was going to lead. I carried on with my day normally, however I overheard a conversation in my first class, the cat was out of the bag. . . everyone knew that I liked Taboo.
I was panicking, I was confused, I had no clue on what to do next or how to react. I did not show any emotion and just carried on with my day normally. On the way to my next class, I walked a different route, I did this as normally I passed Taboo on the way and I didn’t know how he was going to react. As I was walking, I had abuse hurled at me — the classic homophobic tripe of “faggot”, “bum-boy” — you get my drift. I carried on, like normal, I knew everyone was talking about me, but I just tried to block it out and get through my day.
In the days that followed, every time I saw Taboo he went the other way, when we were both in the same class, he moved further away from where I was sitting (which didn’t help when literally everyone else in the class was looking at what was going on). Some of his friends said cruel things, but overall things weren’t overly bad for me. The aspect that hurt me the most was that he didn’t even seem to react, he didn’t say a word to me.
Even in the years that have since passed, Taboo never spoke to me again, I can’t blame him, my crush did not just impact me, it impacted him as well and I will always respect the fact he never directly said anything mean or cruel to me.
There are two things I would want to say to my first ever same-sex crush, the first is sorry. I’m sorry for involving you in all of this, I regret it so much. The other thing I would say to him, if I got the chance, is thank you. Thank you for being the first guy I ever had a crush on, thank you for being the person who made me feel good for so long. Thank you for just being you.
Even though the crush subsided as time went on, this guy is always going to be a part of me, he shaped who I became in the years that followed and I know that if it was not for that crush, I would not be the person I am today. Although this took place many years ago, I felt the need to finally let it out in a different forum. Even if no one else reads this, I feel like I can finally let go of that chapter in my life.