Just before the year 2000 an American client of mine, early thirties, had moved from darkest Cheshire to London after a relationship had floundered, and since this was his second long distance relationship that had gone tits up, he decided to seek coaching so it wouldn’t happen again. He arrived in London knowing no-one and was eager to find new friends to socialise with. Due perhaps to the American way of doing things, he was already established on-line, and avidly surfed the web to find non-sexual, non-relationship friends to befriend, and went on to tell me that he had found a great site that did just that. All ears, I asked the name and he said ‘gaydar’. I remember it well as he told tales of meetings with organists at Westminster Cathedral, barristers at the Temple and other non-sexual liaisons that brought back confidence to his emotional esteem and body image. Not many people had internet at home then, only in the office, which explained the flurry of small internet cafes that sprung up in Central London but people really didn’t take notice until EasyJet Stelios saw the market prospects and created a chain of vast ‘easyeverything’ internet cathedrals, one of which was in the Strand, one minute from HEAVEN Nightclub in Charing Cross.
So as we celebrated millennium, the holy triangle of modern day cruising was created – gaydar, ‘easyeverything’ & Heaven. Heaven of course was established decades before, but the positioning of ‘easyeverything’ across the road from Europe’s largest gay club, meant that cruising continued on across the road, as gayers wacked up the megabytes. Stories were shared of guys going on gaydar and standing up beside the terminal to check out trade online, who was doing the same at the other end of the room, even though it was still a ‘friends’ site then with conservative profile graphics and pics, quite unlike the sodomistic displays on view today. What with the likes of gayromeo, manhunt etc, gaydar no longer rules the roost, and with grinder hot on it’s heels for instant gratification, I can see why many profiles consist of one sentence and a cockshot. Now all this flies in the perception that gays are creative, innovative and cheerleaders in the fashion stakes. God help us. Give a guy the chance to write his own press release in 70 words and he becomes as silent as a ventriloquists dummy put to bed. Not just that but a lot of cut & paste is going on with meaningless repeat copy, culled off other buff boy profiles. Even worse “ask me” seems to be gay writers block, or dumbing down to chav up the offer of knob action.
Think differently, to stand out from the scrum. I once placed an ad in a personal column that simply said ” Nosey cow seeks a peek in unusual homes. Dinner would be nice. ” Even I was surprised by the response and trust me, I ate well. Just as it’s easy to duplicate a gym look, club look or indie look in order to fit in, it’s even easier to duplicate a profile look. Just copy everyone else. No one ever asks for a total bastard, they always seek someone open and honest when the writer has knocked 10 years off their age and wonder why they get a cheating total bastard. Try to avoid that ‘good conversation, hot times & horny sex’ lineage, it’s a waste of words and means nothing. It only indicates you have nothing to say and expect everything in return. Don’t be afraid to list your defects. Quentin Crisp always said that the most interesting thing about a person is what your friends call ” the trouble with you is . . . and yes admit that you’re not looking for a saint. Deception seems to be the drug of choice on the dating net these days, so if the shag develops into a date then expect to tell the truth faster. London appears to be awash with ‘open’ relationships that seem ‘closed’ when it comes to telling the truth. On your profile avoid a list of “dont’s’. Bears have a habit of insisting on ‘no druggies” while downing 15 pints in The Kings Arms, and yes it’s amusing to write ‘no snobs”, when writing it down is acting out snobbery in reverse and maybe it’s best to forget about sex at all and get back to basics by returning to finding ‘friends’ instead of shags, as occurred on 90’s gaydar. Then you can converse before backdoor entry and learn to ‘date’ and make better choices about who enters your life.
But before you get to that stage you might consider a different profile to attract a different reader, someone who is more interested in your 70 word bio than a pair of tighty whiteys and an iphone flash in a mirror. What you write reflects who you really are and if you can’t be bothered then you are declining those who do bother. Just 70 words could change your life and change your perception of the internet meat rack. I also suggest you log onto chat at different times of the day, if you keep getting messy mishaps at your door, 4am is not the best time to seek a date mate. Publish your real age, not your gaydar age, put up pics with a date on it or under it and don’t be afraid to put forward an unusual request. Someone will love you for it, it’s just a question of waiting when quality comes before quantity.
It’s that time of year for the holiday romance and time to feel the heat. For some it will be the birth of a long distance relationship based on a flurry of excitement, projection and great sex. Meeting the perfect partner on vacation is tempting but speed bumps need to be in place, before emotions override distance and logic. It’s easy to become a human ambulance wherever we live, or travel to, and romance coupled with a desire to rescue, can end in tears all round. Some of us already have experience of rescuing when it comes to relationships, or feeling the pain, plight, guilt and entrapment of others, especially if he’s young, hung and insolvent.
THE RESCUER is a role within the co-dependent model of relationships and is just as likely to occur with gayers as a str8 dad finding a visa bride. It’s in our genes. In the 1950/60’s torrid gay literature often explored the role between an older upper class gentleman rescuing the young working class ruffian into a differing opportune world, resulting in a father/son type union. The son grows into a man, leaves the father, much remorse, tears, tantrums and resentment (… after all I have done for you…etc ), resulting in the lonely twilight world of homosexual life that novels and tabloids loved to portray at that time before decriminalisation. Nowadays twilight has been replaced with highlighted hedonism as credit cards are spunked for survival, and older gays are no longer dependent on attracting youth. But the holiday romance in third world economics can turn the head for all the wrong reasons. Straight guys think they are seeking a loving lifetime relationship (after a week of scanning profiles) when in reality they seek regular sex with someone beneath them in economic scarcity, to control, demand and rescue. Modern 21st Century gayers can play the same rescue role at any age on the internet except this time it’s not about the class system on the printed page. It’s about wealth and like straight guys the power of the wallet reigns, exploitation in the guise of love, a credit card plane ticket for the new beau in an instant.
I’m sure you have known of guys on Gaydar
in London who have flown to Brazil a week later to “fall in love”, then manipulate every angle to bring the lover home, all within a month. But you don’t need a holiday romance to be the rescuer, plenty of relationships back home start because one has less than the other, less friends, less money, less confidence. Finding a stray dog with no friends to possess or someone with chem habits that need fixing are par for the course for the codependent of any sexuality. Paying your partners credit card bills as an act of love and devotion only enables your partner to be rescued yet again, rarely breeding personal responsibility for themselves. Clients and friends often bemoan that “they have been ripped off” when THEY handed their pin number to their significant other in the hour of need. At the time it was a good feeling to be of value, to help, assist and nurture, later developing into resentment when the investment failed to pay off and the relationship ends. Helping someone out is not rescue or a human ambulance but we all know someone who makes a people-pleasing career of it in order to be liked and loved. If you can’t afford to lose it don’t give it. Helping a lover out is a good thing, but not adding boundaries or payment review is not. Love needs to be practical when it comes to money.
Nurturing a holiday romance in order for it to continue has great value but you need to give time, time, and be realistic. Starting a long distance relationship needs equality and responsibility on both sides. Bringing a lover to the UK or flying off on a whim sounds romantic but it doesn’t mean it’s realistic. I know couples who met this way and have created good solid union through facing realism and shared responsibility, though a holiday romance often remains simply that, a chance to let our fences down, to flirt, to live in a dream space. Remember how many clothes you bought in the sun that look faintly ridiculous on the grey streets of London? Draw your own conclusions.
Some things are just meant to be temporary.