Find out what it means to me. The tale of my first Grindr date, inappropriate times for small talk, and a gamer's perspective on doing 'bum stuff'.
Do you ever find yourself realising that the best bit of an experience is often the anticipation, the build-up, the run-up, rather than the experience itself? I’ve felt like that about sex for a while now, to be honest. That might be because living in a big city can be a bit like working in a cake shop. There’s all these tasty treats just lying around, waiting to be tasted, all moist and with sponge that’s springy, but yeilding to the touch… Sorry, lost my train of thought.
So, yeah, for me, a lot of the fun and the excitement is in the buildup. It’s very easy to get all up in your head during the actual shagging, thinking about the wrong things, or over-thinking the right things, rather than just enjoying everything that’s happening and really going with the flow of the whole experience. There’s nothing worse than an awkward shag where you’re both just kinda slightly scowling at each other and grimly going for it in the hope that one of you will cum soon. Not because it’s awful, and you wish it were over, but just because you’re not feeling it as much as you thought you would…
It’s never like in the movies, is it? Good lighting, gentle gasping as tender loving happens between two people who’re falling in love. There’s never the awkward pause in proceedings while someone rummages in the bedside drawer for a condom, struggles with the wrapper and fiddles it into place, grabs the lube, gets it everywhere, all the while the other one is laid there, ankles in his hands, dum de doo… Small talk
It’s easier if they’re on all fours, of course, because then you can just slide a magazine in front of their face or offer them a selection of hot and cold beverages while you’re rummaging around and sorting everything out back there.
Although I don’t like to start off like that. It feels a bit impersonal. Besides, during the first minute or so, it’s best to be face to face, while you get everything right. One of my lovers plays a lot of computer games, and he refers to that as the ‘tutorial’ stage - like with any new game, you have to take a minute or two to work out what does what, how to do all the different moves you might use, things like that. Much harder to do that while someone is enjoying a hot beverage. If you get the angle wrong, or get a bit too enthusiastic too early on, they might spit green tea all up the window.
What the fuck was I talking about?
Oh, yeah, the build-up being important. I guess it’s a context thing. Like when a nice restaurant offers a delivery service, so you can have the great food you loved to eat out, but in your own home. Only then, as it slides out of the plastic packaging and plops onto the plate to sit staring sadly up at you, do you realise how much the experience of the nice restaurant helped you to enjoy it. Maybe you dressed up, by which I mean put clothes on, you had to go to the place, charming waier, nice wine, good lighting, a nice table… All of that adds to the experience. Rather than sitting in a dressing gown in your scruffy kitchen, staring down at the pathetic lumps on your non-matching plates thinking “I can’t believe how much I paid for this…”
Christ, that’s depressing. Can’t remember where I was going with this. Oh, yeah, sex is often better with the context of a date, or flirting, or just the fizz of meeting a hot guy in a bar, or whatever. Not necessarily because it might lead to something more, but just because there’s more to it than just ordering it from your phone and remembering to put a dressing gown on when you open the door. It’s about self-respect. If, occasionally you want to be just a dick looking to shoot or a willing hole ready for someone to chuck one up then fine. On occasion. It can be fun to play those roles occasionally. Just make sure it’s not the only thing you’re doing, because if it is, or you’re having any sex where you come away feeling anything less than fulfilled, it might be that you’re not respecting yourself. And if you don’t respect yourself, your sex partners are going to be the kind of person who isn’t going to respect you either, and that’s a bad thing. Like I say, on occasion, playing the horny cockpig or whatever can be hot, as long as it is just playing a role, and not the only way you know how to have sex. A sex life that didn’t acknowledge any other part of who you are would be like having a diet that was only McDonalds. And that shit isn’t even food. Respect yourself enough to have great sex, however and whenever you want it, and make sure that you’re being respected by the people you have sex with. And if not, don’t have sex with them. It’s that simple.
Another example of this is being out at a club and any guy you fancy not being interested. That sucks, and we’ve all been there. But the thing to do at that point is never to get off with a minger that you don’t fancy, because at least he’s into you.
This is the McDonald’s option again. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but you’ll feel manky in the morning.
I remember the first person I ever met off of Grindr, a long time ago, when I was still learning all this myself, and he was a complete dickhead. An expert on everything, always happy to interrupt the story I was telling and just generally preferred the sound of his own voice to anyone else’s. (And yes, I am aware that I’m telling you this on a podcast that I produce entirely by myself. This is different, for reasons that I’m sure I could think of if I put my mind to it, now shush because I’m talking.) So, yeah, we ended up going back to his. I told myself it was because I wanted to get something out of the evening, however annoying it had been upto this point, but mostly it was because I didn’t want my first Grindr meet to have been a complete dud, because Grindr was all about meeting guys for sexy times, and if I didn’t get some sex from a Grindr guy, then what did that say about me? I thought it would mean I was a failure as a gay. So, we went back to his. I nipped to the toilet for a wee and a quick freshen-up. (Always wash your penis before expecting anyone to put it in their mouth, boys. Not rocket science.) When I got back to the bedroom, he was already laid on his bed, naked. He didn’t want to kiss, or cuddle, or anything, just wanted his dick sucked. I’m not exaggerating. He actually pulled a pillow over his face when I tried it.
That was the point when I saw what was happening. I was here, with this disinterested and uninteresting man who I wasn’t in any way attracted to, as he laid there expecting me to service his needs without any thought for mine, and I realised why. Because I hadn’t respected myself enough to say “Well, this was awful, goodbye.” two hours earlier, he’d picked up on that, and now I was expected to give a miserable bj and be grateful for the opportunity. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh to him; we all have our stuff to deal with. But that’s the point - this was his stuff, not mine. So, once all of this had clicked in my head, I got up, grabbed my coat and walked out without saying a word. I like to think he’s still lying there right now, wondering what’s taking so long for me to get started. Although probably not, as this was almost a decade ago, so you’d think he’d have got the hint by now.
So, yeah. Respect yourself enough to know when going home alone is better than the alternative. Because if you don’t respect yourself, no-one else will.And if you’re out in a club or bar and there’s no-one you fancy interested in you, when those voices start to bubble up saying you’re so unattractive. The only guy here who’ll have you is that minger over there. Everyone else thinks you’re disgusting, then you respond “Shush you, if the hotties in this place are fine with missing out on the brilliance that is me, then that’s their loss. I am tremendous, and deserve better than just hooking up with a minger because he’s the only guy here who’ll have me.” then walk out with your head held high.
Just remember to say it in your own head, not out loud, or things might get awkward.