Tuesday, 20 June 2017

No-Ass Ark

Let's face it. After two catfishings, three ghostings and a whole lot of smart-asses, I have no other option but to build an ark. An ark where I will also like to put the silent-bobs, the monosyllabic Joes and the tinder scrapbookers.

I have always found dating fascinating, both as a painful process we all decide to put ourselves through but also as a sociological experiment that pretty much reminds you how eff'd up we all are.

The reality is that dating is not an easy feat and when you add a layer of technology things become even less personal. I have been single and ready to mingle for almost a year now, and although the majority of my dating experiences have ranged from bizarre to entertaining I have also been reminded of the superficiality and vacuousness that comes with being gay.

In the non-scientific experiment that has been my dating life for the past year I have learned that most people are incapable of expressing what they want beyond having a frantic tumble and asking what you are into. Mind you, if you are a fuck and chuck kind of guy then online dating is where it is at.
That is if you are willing to navigate an array of weird interactions, fake profiles and a whole lot of conversations that go nowhere.

It seems that collecting matches and woofs is the new version of self-love for some and expressing our distaste for some groups also seems a way people like to connect with others.

I refuse to sign in for an abs adoration culture and believe me there is nothing wrong with being in great shape and having a healthy lifestyle but there is plenty more to life than a six pack.

I refuse to engage in monosyllabic conversations with people that are looking to "connect" but are not willing to put the time or effort.

I refuse to be put in a box by a swipe, a woof, the way I look or where I come from.

I refuse to feel good because I have certain amount of matches.

For a group of people that has been marginalized, mistreated and abused over the years we tend to do the same with each other. We treat each other in such a superficial and disposable way. We all seem to be looking for the same, a companion, someone to talk to, a friend, someone to have sex with;  but the reality is that no one is willing to put the time and respect that it actually requires.

So here is to less swiping and more trying to meet people in an old fashioned way. In person. By connecting with each other. By engaging. By talking. By not putting each other in a box.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Charcuterie Bored

Sometimes if it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be.

Usually all the signals are right there in front of you but most of us choose to ignore them.

Signal #1: Not a texter. In the age of phone app dating you have to be okay with texting. A self professed caller might sound romantic but there is something about the early stages of dating awkwardness that texting takes away. Plus who talks to us on the phone beside our moms?

Signal #2: He cancels our first attempt to meet because it was Halloween. Apparently Halloween is still for some, the gay Christmas. Two months later he texts (this was a three text exchange by the way) to ask me if I am still single. We set another date. I cancel because I prefer to attend my work Christmas party instead. New year arrives. Third time is a charm, right?. We finally set a date. It is happening.

Signal #3: Your first date is just okay. First dates can range from scarring to awful to okay to pleasant to amazing. This one was just okay. The equivalent would be a Tim Horton's coffee. Not great but it does the job. Enough to have another one another time. Double double anyone?

Singal #4: On our second date the conversation although more fluid is slightly repetitious. He, although quite cute, is not what you would say a charmer. The goodbye kiss, well, let's just say that was enough for me to ask for a third date.

Signal #5: On the third date, at a bar, he decides to comment on the hockey game that was on one of the screens and stop talking. After an awkward "hey bud, do you want me to drink my beer at the bar so you can watch the game" convo he decides to join me back on our date. I decide to ask him for a fourth date, mostly in an attempt to Netflix and chill.

Signal #6: I make dinner (I am a good cook but this time I buy it and reheat it. This date is not worthy of my cooking skills). I buy fun snacks and a set up a charcuterie board. Yes, let's not forget I am gay and we kind of go all out on these things. He arrives empty handed. (insert sound effect here). Big no no. Like seriously.
 Then when I offer a nice chocolate for dessert he goes and eats it all without offering me any of it. He also eats a whole bowl of cashews. Who does that?

Signal #7: He gets more excited about Lady Gaga's super bowl half time show than anything we have talked about in the past three dates. When I attempt to kiss him. He stops after about 10 seconds. May I remind everyone this is THE FOURTH date.

In the last fifteen minutes of the date he finally comes out his shell. Playful and fun. Too little too late. A couple of texting attempts from him are met with a non-chalante not interested attitude from me.

I am bored.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Word of Mouth

6pm - After a couple of days of texting, the cute guy you've been chatting with finally asks you out. 

7:30pm - He makes a reservation for a nice restaurant near your condo for the next day at seven.

7:35pm - You feel a tiny pulsating pain in the corner of your lip.

7:37pm - You use your camera phone to see if you have anything on your lip. You find nothing. 

8:30pm - The pulsating pain comes back.You ignore it.

10:00pm- While brushing your teeth you discover what seems to be the beginning of a mouth pimple. You try to squeeze it in a moment of hysteria. You make it worse.

10:05pm  - You start thinking about cancelling your date. After all, a mouth pimple looks quite similar to a cold sore and who wants to see that on a first date.

10:07pm - After more squeezing. You decide to put some of your secret ointment that your mom brings from back home whenever she comes to visit.

10:30pm  - You put more ointment before bed, because, why not? The pimple is already there and it won't go anywhere. 

Next Day

7:00am - While working out you see your reflection in the mirror. There it is. A red spot in the corner of your mouth. You start practicing mouth movements to hide it. After realizing that you look stupid, you consider cancelling again.

8:00am In a desperate attempt to minimize the mouth pimple you do another squeeze. You make it worse. You put more ointment and reluctantly pick a nice outfit.You pack your lunch for work and also pack your ointment for further applications during the day.

9:30am You take a picture of your face. Send a text to your best friend. Ask how bad it is.
You best friend says "its not that terrible, stop touching it" You ask him if you should cancel. He says to just come clean to your date and  nonchalantly mention that your mouth pimple is not a cold sore.

10am You stare at yourself in the mirror at work until someone comes in the washroom.

10:30am You text another friend for a second opinion. She compliments your outfit. Disregards your pimple.

11:30am It takes everything in you to not squeeze that bugger when you go back to the bathroom.

1pm More ointment.

2pm You think of funny ways to mention a mouth pimple. They all sound awkward in your mind. 

3pm You consider wearing a turtleneck that covers half of your face. 

4pm More ointment.

5:30pm You make yourself a gin and tonic searching to forget about your pimple.

7:15pm You meet your date. Make a joke about how your mouth pimple is not a cold sore. Its very awkward.

7:16pm The date makes a joke about how after you have dessert you can both go together to the clinic and check your mouth herpes.

7:17pm You smile and realize that it is all going to be okay.

10:00pm You say goodbye to your date with a hug after two hours of chatting and laughing. 

10:05pm You walk home wondering if he will want a second date with you and your mouth pimple.

Next Day

3pm Your mouth pimple is gone and so is your date. He ghosted you. 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Everybody deserves a shot

The thing about dating via your phone is that you have to be ready to go on a date pretty much at any time. I always try to have a list of places to go in different parts of town just in case I ever have impromptu dates.

Good thing I do.

Sometimes when you least expect it one of the five conversations you have on the go in your apps actually turns out to be a winner. It suddenly goes from monosyllabic to clever banter to flirty emojis in a span of two hours and sooner than later you are sneaking out for a "convo" break at work.

Now, I am not one to go on impromptu dates but when an gentleman from down under gets all my jokes, I gotta ask him out for a drink and what better option than the local speakeasy.

After setting up a meeting point and realizing that I seem to have a thing for dates with guys with accents we go on our way to the bar. The bar is in a basement, it feels like something that you would see in New York. It's cool vibes meets a wall of booze.

Before we take a sit, a young Scottish bartender lets us know that we can only sit at the bar as there will be a speed dating event happening and all the other seats in the premises will be taken. I take this with a sign of relief. If my date goes terrible it wont be as awkward as what is about to happen.

The crowd starts to arrive and it is a mix of desperate and nervous. I am in confidence heaven. My date is chatty, charming and we seem to be hitting it off.

That is until the Scottish bartender interrupts us to chat about the random people he deals with every day. At first I am annoyed but then I get into it. This guy has stories for days and both me and my date seem to enjoy the break from you know, breaking the ice. Apparently the Scottish bartender thinks we are cool as he decides to give us a free round of tequila shots.

The speed dating on the other hand is not going well. A guy keeps coming to the bar to get refills of beer. The men are all standing by themselves awkwardly. The women are chatting in groups. Me and my date are laughing and sharing stories.

A new bartender arrives. Her name: Katrina. Another charmer. She does the best Mexican accent and apparently has lived in Australia. She decides to pour us a shot of whiskey. Which makes the Scottish bartender jealous and decides to join for another round of shots, so he "does not feel left out". I like this place.

Three shots and a couple of drinks after. I am still talking to my date. We have gone from getting to know each other to now making fun of each other. Judging by how no one from the speed dating left together. We have already won.

Scottish bartender tells us that we are soon going to be joined by a group of ballerinas and bellerinos (as he likes to call them) from the National Ballet of Canada. Just cause my date hadn't been random enough. This is when I learn that my date does ballet as a workout. Good to know.

An array of beautiful women and really tall sculpted men arrive.

Katrina brings me a beer and my date, a wine....That we did not order. Courtesy of the principal dancer from the National Ballet of Canada. What? He decides to join us for quick and awkward convo. Which is followed by me and my date exchanging funny glances and laughing.

After chatting with some of the other dancers and meeting someone I went to school with ten years ago and getting Katrina's phone number while still chatting with my date, we decided to call it a day. That's when the manager brings us another round of shots because "We have been there all night and we are fun."

My date is wasted. I am not. I walk him to the subway. We say goodbye.

I think I like impromptu dates.

Friday, 11 November 2016

It's all phoney

Who needs a matchmaker when you have a smart phone.

Our phones are now our gate to dating. Our own personal encyclopedia. Our shield from weirdos. Our wingman.

When dating through an app we can use our phones to hide. To be assholes. To pretend to be the best version of ourselves. We can be anyone. A blessing and a curse. A double edge sword.

I have been guilty of all of the above. I use the fact that I am not in front of my possible date as an opportunity to impress. I have been known to google obscure facts about Korea or rewrite a text four times in an effort to be super witty and impress whoever is on the other side. I also have at times not answer to a sweet message from someone that is not my type.

Let's be honest, Who doesn't love to be able to block the riff raff. Avoid those we don't like. We can't do this in real life but we can do it over the phone.

It is all sweet and dandy until you have to actually go on a date with someone and be yourself. Never a problem for me but certainly a problem for my first Tinder match. We are going to call him H.

H's Pre-Date Personality Over Text
Great pictures. Super cute. A fashionista who loves his family and likes to flirt. Very chatty. Clever at times but mostly sweet. Very into telling me how handsome I am and how much he wants to meet me.

H's Post-Text Personality During the Date
He is wearing jogging pants. Takes me to a coffee shop because "Why going for a drink at a bar? it's not like we are going to marry or something". Looks at his phone literally the whole time. When he is not looking at his phone he talks about his ex and how much he misses him. Gets teary. Goes to the bathroom three times.

When I ask him "Why did you make me come all this way for a date if you are not really into it?" He says "Because I wanted to meet you".

I miss my phone. I want to hide behind it.

Enter OkCupid Date with L

L's Pre-Date Personality Over Text
Nice pictures. Guy next door with an edge. Witty. Super clever. Hilarious. Gets my obscure pop references and is very forward and flirty.

L's Post-Text Personality During the Date
Does not look like his pictures. More of a guy next door who you want to stay behind that door. Although the wit is still there, it is of the obnoxious kind. Very on. Very loud. Still very funny. Constantly talks about his job at a bank as if it is the equivalent of volunteer work in the third world. One of those dates that you are entertained but don't know what to do if you should stay and have drink or go home.

I guess the next time I will go to the bathroom and text him so I can engage his phone personality.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Sleepy and Hollow

When all else fails. Join another app.

Enter Grindr. The land of headless torsos (maybe Ichabod Crane is real after all), silent bobs and the proverbial dick pic.

Back in my non-single days I remember reading about how Grindr changed dating for the gays. Well, so far it has not done anything for me. Grindr is like a dive bar where not a lot of dancing is happening. Nobody has a face and barely anyone talks.

Funny thing is, once you are in more than one app you start to see the regulars. You know, like that guy at the Starbucks in the corner of your street who likes a triple shot americano or that lady you always see on your way to work. But here it is the same smiley guy you are not interested in talking to.

What is funny about online dating is that people's personalities change depending on what app their are using. Romantic on OkCupid. Sarcastic on Scruff. Asshole on Grindr.  This is my non-scientific assessment.

Just for the record. I am pretty much the same in all of them. Jaded with a side of fun and a sprinkle of sarcasm. Moms love me.

My first Grindr interaction has pretty much set up every single one after that:

Headless torso with perfect abs: "Sup"
Me: "Hey, how are you?"
Headless torso with perfect abs: "Fine"
Me: "Do you happen to have a face?"
Headless torso with perfect abs - (dick pic)
Me: (block button)


Cutie with blue eyes: "Hey handsome"
Me: "Hello!"
Cutie with blue eyes: "Do you have another picture?"
Me: "yes" (I send a smiley yet mysterious picture of myself)
Cutie with blue eyes: "Another one?"
Me: (I send one of me being funny dancing with a Beyonce cutout at a grocery store)
Cutie with blue eyes:"....but do you have one of you naked" (such a charmer he is)
Me: I dont do nudes
Cutie: (blocks me)


RandomPairOfLegs: (dick pic)
                                  (dick pic)
                                  (dick pic)
Me: (block button)

And the list goes on and on and on. Sometimes instead of dick pics they send bums. I actually prefer a bum pic. But if I had to choose I pick a decent conversation.

Now. There is always exceptions. Enter classical pianist with a PHD. Great smile. Okay manners. Good banter. We basically talk about everything from Trump and the american election, his love for baroque music, to the best Indian food in Toronto. We exchange pictures. Lots of flirting.

Three hours later. We are still messaging. So far so good. I ask him for his number. He says he is not a texter. So I say let's  go for a drink the next day. He says yes but might have to see his family. "Stay tune. Will confirm with you tomorrow" her says. Next day. I log on. He has blocked me.

Whatever you are asking yourself right now?.... I already did.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Knot for me

After taking a break from the apps for a couple of weeks. I decided to brave it and create a profile on Scruff. An app for guys looking for guys that have a beard, a moustache or simply are on the hairy side of things.

I first did some research to see what people were writing on their profiles. I saw everything from a list of please don't talk to me if (some people are very picky and just plain racist) to really long novels about everything they like...everything!

I decided to go with a short but concise list of things I like. If they care to know more they will ask, right?

Not long after setting up my profile, I got my first woof. A woof is the app's version of a Facebook like or the ubiquitous swipe right. Yay. I am woofy....to someone....3,235miles away! Where is that? The Seychelle Islands?

A couple of conversations that-did-not-go-anywhere after I got a message from a very cute 24 year old. Here is the thing, we all have a cut off age for dating. (it is your age divided by half plus seven) Mine is 25. This rule is there for a reason but when someone tells you "you are totally my type" you sometimes make exceptions. Who wouldn't? Rules are there for a reason.

What followed was as a very aggressive pursuit from the young lad. Two drink invites and a picture of his bum and I was still on the fence.  Here is the thing, people love to send pictures of their appendages, of themselves naked or partly naked. I personally do not get it. If you want to see me naked you have to at least buy me a drink, at least. So, I don't do nudes....ever. Gotta leave something to the imagination.

After a very uninteresting conversation about quinoa salad I got the third invite. I finally decided to say yes. We then set a date and place.

I usually try to be on time for dates but for this one I was early and I got to sit in a patio and wait for ten minutes. Drink in hand of course. He was ten minutes late. Arrived in a bike and looked nothing like his pictures. Way younger, way skinnier and not as masculine as he aggressively portrayed himself over his messages.

My question is. Who starts a date by saying "you have resting sad face, I almost did not park my bike and kept driving" Even if I have a resting sad face, which I do not, you don't break the ice with that line.

What followed was typical twenty four year cockery or millenialisms. "I am great at this, and awesome at that."  "I hate my job and my bosses do not give me an opportunity to grow". What else did I expect from someone in their twenties?

What I did not expect was when he got all fifty shades of gay on me and asked me if liked to by tied up. Yes, ladies and gentlemen. I was asked that on a first date. He kind of allured to his kinks over the messages we exchanged but I thought he was just being flirty. This guy went full on Christian Grey on me and described what he would like to do with me, on our first date.

All I could think was. "Too soon and NO GRACIAS!"

The good thing about millennials is that they have a short span of attention and he decided to end the date after the conversation went boring when I declined his offer to tie me down, no pun intended here.

We said goodbye and went on with our day. I then asked myself, how did I get roped into this date?

He texted the next day. A picture of his quinoa salad. Why? I do not know.

I did not hear from him until two weeks after when he texted me again to ask me if I wanted to share a bottle of chardonnay with him. Followed by "Can't wait to tie you up". Apparently he had a great time on our first date.

I did not, plus I do not like chardonnay.