Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Computer screen love affair

Filed By Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore | December 04, 2007 4:10 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: 1970s, blow buddies, Craigslist ad, gay sex, sex clubs

Okay, here's the problem with craigslist: even when I just open that monstrous men seeking men window to scan the first page of postings -- 100 postings, looking at the photos just in case -- even when I do that, it becomes my whole day. I mean it's only 15 minutes at a time, but I'm sending a reply here and there and then I'm barely thinking about anything else. Even though I never hook up on craigslist, no one ever responds and then when they do respond I can't decide if I'm attracted to them anyway. In person, I'd probably be attracted to half of them, but staring at a photo on the screen plus a few numbers and positions and thinking about what would happen if I actually went there -- then it's already over.

Why am I on craigslist anyway? I want social and sexual engagement in the world, that fluidity and potential and spatialness when I'm actually embodied. And out in the world. A lot of people lament the loss of 1970s gay sexual cultures, especially people like me who were born in the ‘70s. But actually I have no nostalgia for something I never experienced, especially when I've heard that in many ways the codes of masculinity and conformity were even more rigid then than now. I actually miss the possibilities of the mid-late 1990s, the time when I did experience the hope of transcendence in an engagement with the gestures of public desire. I mean when I cruised, and it was fun. Of course there were problems -- of course it was never enough, I mean the connections far sparser than they should have been, even in the crowded spaces clambering for that embrace, yes. Embrace of cock down throat or hand on neck or tongue to tongue, dark sky up above or the back walls of some bar like a hug, when anything could tease and then it was a done deal. What I mean is that now people have desocialized themselves away from cruising, sometimes I walk outside on the streets so gorgeous with buildings and other people's memories, I stare into any eyes that come my way to see if they are the eyes but it so rarely happens that way anymore. Everything has been emptied out for the computer screen love affair.

But anyway I'm on craigslist -- I figure why not post what I'm looking for, I mean post that I don't know what I'm looking for. I give it the headline: Maybe a childlike vulnerability in my eyes there's a gentleness. I add pictures that I think are sexy -- a glowing fluorescent tube in a black ceiling, red lights on another ceiling, blurred colors, the back of my head with my orange paisley sweater. One person responds, I'm not sure if I'm attracted to him but I say so anyway. He doesn't reply. Then I'm looking at the postings again, again and again and again until I realize I need to ban myself until 2008 -- maybe I should try 2009, but I like to pick goals that I’ll succeed at. Remember -- I banned myself from that terrible sex club called Blow Buddies until 2008, that was around June and I thought maybe I'd get to 2008 and never want to go again. I thought maybe I'd have figured something else out by then. I guess I still have a month-and-a-half, but right now I'm thinking I'll be there as soon as January comes around -- I miss going to sex clubs, I mean I don't miss that one but I don't know where else to find a concentrated number of people looking for sex in the moment right then the moment. At least if I go back, then I'll know whether I have to ban myself again.

Mattilda blogs at

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Mattilda, don't waste your precious time yearning for the 1970's ...

... unless you are built like a Colt Studios model, or at least a lumberjack, look good in tight 501 Levi's and a red flannel shirt, have a carpet of curly brown chest hair from neck to groin, a thick dark mustache and/or beard the average chainsaw could not cut thru, a dick that is at least 6 inches in diameter and 8 inches long (flacid, of course --- when erect, there is no such thing as "Big enough!"), and can swagger in workboots with red laces and soles 2-inches thick.

As you might guess, I don't qualify for quite a few items on that list, and I was there during the '70's ... and I feel as if I missed them just the same as you might.

It was like watching a gay version of "Desperate Housewives" on TV ... for so many of us, the '70's gay phenomenon was totally a spectator event, no matter how fervently we tried to participate.

Now, don't get me wrong ... I'm not saying that is any better.

Oh, A.J., don't worry -- I don't yearn for the '70s at all, for exactly the reasons you've described -- and with so much candor and charm! And I love the Desperate Housewives comparison, although I've never seen the show -- the one on TV, that is.

But I do you yearn for something I have experienced, however fleeting -- that public engagement with the possibilities of sexual splendor -- so I'm still searching...