What It's Like To Be Gay And Single In The 21st Century

What It's Like To Be Gay And Single In The 21st Century


There’s a joke about gay dating that encapsulates the difference between how men and women approach romance. It goes like this: What do lesbians bring on a second date? A U-Haul. What do gay men bring on a second date — What second date.

In the difficult journey that is the search for a boyfriend, it’s generally easier to find a man who wants to be tied up, and humiliated for sexual pleasure than it is to find someone to cook at home with and watch “Scandal” together. As gay men, we have a surplus of opportunities to fulfill our sexual urges in a variety of new and exciting ways, making the thought of settling for one person hardly enticing for many in the community.

But should you wish to trade meaningless sex for his and his towel sets, actually finding someone who wants the same comes with more obstacles than Lindsay Lohan’s path to sobriety.

First, there is the claustrophobically small dating pool. Let’s begin with the fact that only 5% of the population is gay (or at least will admit to it). Half of them aren’t thinking past their next hookup, half of that won’t be sexually compatible, and maybe a tenth of what’s left are people you wouldn’t mind getting to know over coffee. That leaves approximately seven people in your city as potential mates.

Now the question is how to find these seven gentlemen suitors. Likely your friends don’t have anyone for you or you wouldn’t be single. There is the chance that you could meet someone at work, and this is probably still the best and most organic way to meet.

That leaves two main options: meeting someone at a bar or online. Personally, I’ve been going out to gay bars since I was 18 and I’ve never met anyone in that setting that wasn’t more than a hookup. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but more likely you’re on some combination of Grindr, OKCupid, and my new favorite, Tinder.

At first blush, you might think you’ve discovered the island of lost men – so this is where they keep all the handsome single guys. But soon one discovers this is really the disenchanted forest of beasts. Because gay men have been finding hookup buddies online since the internet was invented via chatrooms and Craigslist, there is a prevailing stigma against taking anyone seriously encountered in the virtual world.

This means that even when you think you’ve find the perfect guy – you both like Beyonce, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Karaoke Singing – there is a slim possibility that it will ever go further than a swipe to the right.

Welcome to the world of online dating, which I’m told is just as awful for straight people as it is for gays. On these virtual meeting grounds, we’re judged to varying degrees on superficial criteria. The picture(s) you choose to represent yourself, a brief blurb with Shakespearean copy such as “Masc4Masc,” “No Asians,” and “No Fat or Femme”.

Among many gay men, “hung?”, “looking?”, and “bottom?” are all considered charming conversation starters with a complete stranger. These apps are a microcosm of the demoralizing experience that is men dating men.

In real life, most gay men are just as superficial as their online personality. We’re a minority obsessed with subset categorizations: top/bottom/bear/otter/twink/jock/daddy/platypus (I made only the last one up). Granted, everyone straight or gay has a “type,” but finding a normal guy who is not predominately defined by his sexuality is the most rare of all.

So let’s say against the odds you find someone that tickles your Tinder, you arrange for that momentous first date, and they actually show up instead of standing you up an hour before. Within the first 0.5 seconds of seeing the person, you’ll each know whether there exists the remotest possibility of this going anywhere. If there so happens to be that mutual magic spark, the journey has only just begun. Will they kiss you at the end of the night? Will they call again? Who should call? An agonizing devotion of self-doubt prevails.

One would think dating between two men should be, for lack of a better phrase, straight-forward. There are no gender barriers that confuse conversation, no destabilizing monthly hormonal mood swings, or disagreement when one person wants to watch “Looking” on HBO and the other ESPN, just two guys who probably both want to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. But there are also no rules, no applicable dating wisdom passed down from parents. Instead, we’re alone in traversing a wild, and sometime treacherous terrain filled with bears, pigs, otters, and silver foxes. Oh my….

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Riverdale: Taking Teenage Angst to a New Level

Like any good show, I can't live with it, and I can't live without it.

Riverdale, CW’s hit TV show based on Archie Comics, is coming to the end of its second season. Although I didn’t start watching it until months after the first season came on Netflix, I was immediately a fan. The characters are not only gorgeous, but also intriguing. They each have very distinct personalities. The core four characters are an unlikely group of friends who bond over the horrors that befall their small town.

Archie is the lovable redhead football player. Betty is the innocent but dangerously curious school newspaper reporter. Jughead is the brooding loner from the other side of the tracks. Veronica is the new girl from New York that is accustomed to a swanky lifestyle.

Spoilers ahead:

In the first season, a murder shakes the town, and the young detectives scramble to find the killer of their classmate’s brother. Startling secrets are revealed along the way, and the circumstances surrounding the murder are dark and disturbing. The first season was intense and captivating, causing high expectations for season two. With great expectations comes great disappointment.

Season two kicked off with a new conflict: a killer referred to as the Black Hood. Although he never killed that many people, he struck fear into the minds of Riverdale’s residents. An interesting aspect of this character was his motive for murder. He aimed to rid the town of sinners. Based on my understanding of the word, that would mean killing everyone. Thankfully, he had a more specific definition: sexual predators, drug dealers, etc. The core four had plenty of sins that could have gotten them killed, but they all survived until the Black Hood took his last breath.

The Black Hood storyline disappointed me because of his creepy obsession with Betty. The bond he formed with her brought out her dark side, which should have stayed suppressed until she could get professional help.

Another disappointing aspect of season 2 is the apparent lack of consequences for actions. The four teenagers have plenty of skeletons in their closet, but aren’t paying for their ill-advised decisions. In my opinion, the worst are the two girls: Betty and Veronica. Betty’s dark side, cleverly referred to as Dark Betty, reveals some deep-seated issues that she should really see someone about instead of becoming an underaged webcam girl. Veronica’s sketchy, rich father becomes a regular in season 2 after being released from prison for fraud. He conducts shady business dealings in Riverdale, eventually involving his daughter in his (borderline) illegal business. Talk about a bad role model.

Veronica deals with most of her daddy issues by running to her boyfriend, Archie, for some love-making. Frankly, they do too much of that. Given that they’re 16 and it seems to be the only constant in their relationship.

Also making an appearance in season 2 is Betty’s long-lost brother. He introduces her to web-camming and kills someone “in self-defense,” so it’s safe to say he’s not my favorite character. Also not my favorite is Penelope, the promiscuous mother of neglected Cheryl, whose father killed her brother in the first season. Her role this season is as a courtesan to the lonely men of Riverdale.

There are many other undesirable storylines in season 2, including an FBI agent hiring Archie to collect information to prove Mr. Lodge, Veronica’s dad, is conducting illegal business. That ends with an unexpected yet unsatisfying twist. Archie has plenty of information to convict Hiram since he was taken under his wing as a sort of “intern,” if you will. However, Archie stays loyal, which causes me to question his morals. Maybe Veronica is right for him after all.

Although the second season has been a bit of a letdown so far, I will continue to watch it in hopes of it redeeming itself. I’ve come this far, and I’m not the kind of person who can just stop watching a show as intense as Riverdale.

I'll sum up with an explanation of Riverdale I saw online:

"Riverdale is a post-apocalyptic, soft-core porno set around the Scooby-Doo universe."

Riverdale airs on the CW at 8/7C on Wednesday nights-Episodes are available to stream on the CW app

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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7 Artists You Need To Add To Your Music Palette ASAP You Wouldn't Find On Your Own

Looking to listen to something new?

1. Kali Uchis

Kali Uchis will give you a great music high. Her music is the most chill considering she has one of the most soft angelic voices. She’s almost like a mini Colombian Amy Winehouse with a twist, but with more indie pop and R&B related sounds. Has worked a lot with Tyler, the Creator and even some with the Gorillaz.

2. Circa Survive

A Pennsylvania based alternative post-hardcore band that gives you a bit of Mars Volta vibe. A little less metal, but the right post-hardcore band you should be listening to.

3. Jorja Smith

British singer from Walsall, West Midlands that has worked with Drake, Kali Uchis, Preditah, and others. New artist with a great old and new R&B vibes. Very wholesome voice to on a walk to class.

4. Dounia

Lil small R&B vocalist slowly rising up from the underground music scene.

5. Karnivool

Perth, Australia based band. Very tool inspired progressive metal.

6. Toka

A little known Soundcloud artist from the states who dabbles in grime, future garage, and dubstep.

7. The Garden

A healthy dose of weirdness with lots of synthy melodies, awesome bass riffs, and jester themed music videos. Punk band from California founded by the Shears twins who also have their own side projects as well.

Cover Image Credit: Kali Uchis / YouTube

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