Editors' Note: Guest blogger Zack Rosen is a founder and first full-time employee of The New Gay, an alternative queer resource based in Washington, DC. Bilerico is happy to have him back again as a guest blogger.
In a recent post for The New Gay, an online resource for alternative queer events and ideas, staff writer Ben Carver wrote a post called The Single Guy. He presented a fairly objective account of a single gay guy's foray into oodles of unemotional sex. The narrative withheld most judgments on the experience. Our readers did not. Commenter after commenter indicated that experience sounded "bleak" or "like looking into hell with the lid off."
This opinion is not just limited to some off-handed comments on a website. Most guys I know who are in serious relationships talk about their frivolous single phase as if it was a stint in a Cambodian jail. Like the strains and indignities of the unattached gay life were so miserable that their end is as relieving as a hemorrhoid removal.
I don't think I've had the traditional gay single life, a fact of which most longtime readers of The New Gay are aware. Because I bitch about it all the damn time. But still, even though it can be lonely or frustrating there are aspects of wanton sluttery that sound really appealing to me. It sounds like a part of one's life that, disgusting as it might be, needs to be gotten out of the way. I wouldn't even trade my boyfriend's little toe for a night of Manhunt fun or bar-cruising but I am curious what the experience was like for others. My friends that have done such things never speak of them fondly when I ask them to tell their stories.
"I'm so glad those days are over." "It was the worst." "Trust me, you're lucky to have skipped all that."
I don't buy it.
It makes me imagine some guy meeting his friends for brunch one morning and saying "Uch, the worst thing happened to me last night. I met a guy at a bar and he gave me a blowjob. I'll never be the same."
As one friend rubs his back in consolation, his other buddy says "You think that's bad? I have three dates next week. Three dates! It's...It's...."
As he struggles to properly express his horror at the prospect, their fourth friend, heretofore quiet, begins to let out wrenching, shuddering sobs. As his chest shakes and the tears trickle down his cheeks, he manages to choke out "I fucked a guy last week. He had really nice arms. Then I fucked him again in the morning!" As the group wallows in their own misfortune, the waitress hurries back to the kitchen for a round of chocolate ice cream and xanax.
Does this sound accurate? It is really easy to say in retrospect that a lot of dating and random sex sucks. At the time, though, I think men get something out of it. They wouldn't do it if they didn't. They get sex or comfort or conquest or validation or any of the billion possible medallions that one hangs invisibly around their neck as they walk back home in the morning from a house they've never been to before and will never go to again.
There are very few instances where someone holds a gun to your head or a dick to your mouth. The "Queer as Folk" life isn't for everyone and I know many people that have skipped it all together. But for those that did make a choice to go out and sample the local fruits: Why are you so quick to turn your back on it?