Thursday, September 22, 2011

Not good with new people. But Grindr...???

As a general rule I like people. When I am around people I know I have a good time. I’m relaxed.

I’m not good with new people. New people scare me. The running joke at work is that it can be years before I remember your name. It’s the whole polite thing that makes me nervous. I’m not very good at being polite. In fact for a Communications Professional it is an outright miracle I’ve ever been able to hold on to a job at all. Let alone be any good at it.

Around my friends or in the office I am possibly the rudest, crudest man in the world. Familiarity for me breeds offensiveness. My ‘go-to-one-liner’ will always be crass. It’s how I role and 30+ years of conditioning.

But online, with the giant buffer of the computer screen, I am nowhere near as uncomfortable with new people as I am in person. Taking even the briefest moment to compose a (semi) polite response makes a huge difference for me. I’m even sure some people who don’t know me in person could actually think I am quite lovely from what they know of me online.

Which leads me to my problem.

I’m newly single as of earlier this year and slowly but surely I’m putting myself back out there again. I’m jumping on the dating Merry-Go-Round. And having been ‘coupled’ for such a long time it’s a whole new world compared to the last time I was single. Now, everything happens online. And I mean EVERYTHING! Especially for the gayers. Just Grindr alone has completely and dramatically changed dating in the gay community.
An example of a Grindr homepage
For those unaware of Grindr… It’s a GPS-based messaging system for the hummersexuals. It’s an iPhone app (the reason why all gayers have iPhones!) that when you turn it on it tells you how far away other gayers are – within metres. It is truly the greatest invention the world has ever seen. And as it is culturally acceptable within the gay community, everyone is incredibly direct about what they are looking for – chat, dates, relationship, a root, any and all of the above. It’s the envy of all straight men.

You check out their pics, you check out what they are looking for, you check out if you know anyone or have been there before. You then instant message with who ever and as many as you want while you find what you are looking for. Basically it means that you can pick up without leaving the comfort of your own lounge. My theory is that it has made gay men the laziest species in the world. It’s easier for the gayers to find ‘company’ than rabbits.
A Grindr profile
But back to my original story.

So I’m putting myself back out there. Chatting to boys all over the place. Online I am somewhat polite, semi-intelligent, mildly amusing. But as you know, in person I am bordering on being a complete asshole. So I’ve been chatting away for a while now but at some point you have to put your money where your mouth is (or where you want it to be) and actually meet the boys your chatting with.
A Grindr chat
Which, finally, leads me to my dilemma. Who I am in person can be very different to who I am online – especially when flirting with boys. When I actually go on these dates, and with the existing familiarity we’ve developed online, is my opening line going to be “What the fuck have you done with your hair?”. Or “Ohhhh, I see you’ve stacked on some weight!”  

I just don’t know if I can trust myself to be polite with new people. On a date. The thought of being polite throughout a whole meal sends shivers of fear up my spine.

This is all too much for a 39 year old to learn.

I am starting to think that my Grindr profile should come with a warning…

“May seem like someone you’d like to meet now but chances are he’ll be VILE by dessert.”

This ended up much longer than originally anticipated so ‘the actual dates’ will become Part 2 of this post at a later date.

Also, its really important to me that you know I have taken all these pics from the Grindr website and haven't breached the privacy of anyone on Grindr. 
Cause that would just be fucking rude!

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