Let me clarify something before I begin:
I’m not ashamed of who I am, but on many occasions I am ashamed of what I do. Shame is the reason I don’t write this blog under my name, it’s the reason this blog can be about the personal topics that it is, heck, it's probably the reason I am writing this blog in the first place. I said from the start that this would not be a “here’s every detail of my sex life” blog, and I am not seeking anything more than my own honesty. Yes, I write about sex, but when I do it’s as part of a bigger picture, because in so many cases lust is the reason I mess up. Lust is my crux. I won't ever write about my sex life just for the sake of it; there is always something more.
I have grown up in a binge generation. Bred within me is an attitude of reckless excess: to drink more, fuck more and live life fast and hard. I see the self-destruction, on regular occasions I feel myself relentlessly letting go, and yet.. I wouldn’t have it any other way. At the base of my being are these cravings that I so often find myself powerless to resist because I'm unwilling to do so. I guess a testament to this behaviour is the fact that I have never properly “dated”. Even the night I met my boyfriend we slept together, and a relationship subsequently developed from that event.
Within the circles I exist, this is the Age of Fucking. The “first kiss” has become a movie convention, and a fading one at that; these days in the real world such a notion is giving way to the first sex. During my initial Grindr phase that I was in the midst of a year ago, after some friendly chatting a fresh-faced and well-to-do guy asked if I wanted to go for a drink. I suppose at a stretch that could be defined as a “date”, but after four beers I was tipsy and within three hours of meeting we were back at my flat, naked in bed. The notable fact was that he had valiantly proclaimed “We shouldn’t have sex tonight” since we had just met, but those honourable intentions went out the window faster than I went down on him. I mean, he was on Grindr, so I'd be surprised if he was expecting a romantic, drawn-out courtship.
Technology – and I'm referring to these apps in particular – has drastically exacerbated this convention, but it is simultaneously a cause and result of this facet of society. Taking Grindr as an example, it succeeds because of sex, it exists because people want sex. I mean, take the name itself, which its creator has stated comes from a coffee grinder. "It is a little bit rough – not to mix, but to grind. Our design, logo, colouring – we wanted something a little bit tougher, rough. It’s also very masculine. It’s a masculine word, sound." (source - Xtra)
The definition of this apparently masculine word: "to reduce (something) to small particles or powder by crushing it." Perhaps in this context meaning the egos of men that, upon repeated rejection, come out of Grindr as pulverised dust.
While I'm on the topic, it's the same with Scruff. Grabbing someone by the scruff of the neck? Another tough and masculine word, which obviously equals "sexy". Manhunt brings in a predator-prey dynamic, or maybe a countrywide search for a sex offender. That must be hot these days.
It doesn't seem too hard to come up with names. How's about "Manhandle" or "Backhand"? Maybe "Meatmarket" or "Slamr", ooh or for the upper classes of French cruising: "Saucisson". This is fun.
But I digress; the fact of the matter is that they work. They really work. And if you're in the market for what they offer, there is no easier access to the horde (whorde?) of eager strangers. I should point out that by no means am I judging, because I like many others have thrived on the experiences that Grindr offers up. It's like a great big sandbox to stick my head in.
Now, considering my relatively limited collection of one-time suitors, it is safe to say I have only had a mere mouthful of the smorgasbord that is laid out in our sleazy world. There is so much more to be tasted and I find I can have an unhealthy appetite. So the concept of a abstinent date has thus far remained kind of alien to me, though it is one I’d be open to trying. But whatever way my mind is programmed means that I find it hard to distinguish the sex from the date – if I find someone attractive, one of the first things I want is to have sex with them, then get to know them, maybe. Priorities aren’t so clear-cut these days, everyone is entitled to their own. Whether I’ll develop self-restraint in the future and be able to make it to a second date before I find my boxers round my ankles, well that remains to be seen, but I won’t be losing sleep over it. As it stands, the equivalent of the first date – for me at least – has always been sex, and I like it that way. There are few things more instantly personal than getting naked with someone. Hopes and dreams can be discussed afterwards if desired.
Now, massive credit to the people who go about the traditional dating process, maintaining their dignity and ideals. Fair play to them, I wish I had their patience and resilience. But for me [cliché incoming] sex is like a drug, and there are so many different types, different batches just waiting to be sampled. Also, I really shouldn't understate that I have had a relationship for almost 3 years after what I presumed was a “one-night-stand”, so I find even this method can proffer long-term rewards. And in the meantime you get quick, easy fun that – in its own way – can reveal much about you, though admittedly not always things you are glad to know..
Maybe I’m hanging on furiously to the stage of my life that permits casual, risky fun without incurring heavy judgement. Maybe a few years down the line everything will be in order and my life will be settled and have direction. The drug-fueled weekends and jumping from bed to bed trying to outpace regret will be a thing of the past. I’ll have a career, a relationship I have no doubts about, and a direction in life. One day I’ll get there, however many beds that need hopped in the long term. If it comes down to it, I won't be afraid to do the legwork – either clothed or naked – to find exactly where I want to be and who I want to be with. Because in this world it's increasingly likely I'll have to, and I'm more than happy to play the game.