No Sex And Upstate New York
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No Sex And Upstate New York

A modern-day reincarnation of Carrie Bradshaw's classic column

No Sex And Upstate New York

Around the age of 12, when I was deciding whether or not to be gay, Satan appeared on my left shoulder. “Ramsssey,” he said with that telltale lisp. “Come over to our side. We have crazy partiessss.” He made a strong case, bouncing up and down on my shoulder with six-pack abs and form-fitting Calvin Kleins. An angel popped up on the other shoulder and was going to warn me about something, but Satan interrupted- “Shut up, you crusty-ass bitch!’ The angel was pretty crusty. She disappeared, and from that moment forward I was gay.

Unfortunately, 10 years later, I think I have realized what the angel was trying to warn me about. “There will be a lot less options!” she was probably going to say. Yes, I am getting to the point where I am incredibly frustrated that gay men have approximately 1/10 as many potential mates as our Heaven-bound peers.

When I first started college, I obviously tried to find a potential mate among my classmates. But I didn't make any meaningful connections with the handful of other gay men at the school. Also, you know what they say about small liberal arts colleges- the odds are good, but the goods have a lot of chest hair. They aren’t wrong. After one year and three lint rollers, I tried to set my sights beyond Perimeter Road.

Although a world-class destination for those seeking to find white people wearing gauges who feel comfortable using the n-word or girls who speak to horses as if they were people, it turns out Saratoga Springs is not exactly a gay mecca. After quickly running out of options on Tinder and getting tired of watching the little picture of myself sending out waves of digital pheromones into the abyss, I downloaded the gay ‘dating’ app Grindr. My woes would only continue. One of the first people I found on Grindr was named ‘Mr. Big,’ but he wasn’t nearly as romantic as his namesake. A second was a recent transplant from a foreign nation, and after I rejected his advances, he told me that I was the reason why American youth were falling behind the Russians and the Chinese. "You must be stupid," he added. "What kind of grades do you get in school?" “Bs,” I said optimistically. He typed back-“That’s not good at all."

(For the record, I was in the Honors Forum for a semester before taking my talents elsewhere. But they haven’t changed the door code- DM me if you’re interested.)

I spent my summers doing internships in larger cities, where I was lucky enough to date some really cool people. I tried to maintain these relationships after I rowed back up to Alcatraz but it was all in vain.

First there was ‘The Banker’ who I met in NYC. Let me be clear; he had a god-awful personality. He said such abhorrent things as: “I’ll listen to anything but rap.” “I like the Pentatonix version better.” “I like one of the characters on Girls.” Although he had the personality of a manila folder, he had this other endearing quality about him that was impossible to quantify without a ruler. We stayed together for a few months until he thought Miley did a good job hosting the VMAs.

Most recently, I dated a guy who was studying to become a prosthetic doctor. We spent a glorious few weeks together over the summer; I helped him write his papers and in turn he let me make jokes about amputees. I thought we had a real, significant connection, so after returning to school I arranged one weekend to drive and visit him. It was a very long drive- there were 4 empty Mickey D’s Shamrock Shake bottles in the back seat by the time I arrived. Anyone who has tried a cup of St. Patrick’s Sin knows how crazy this is- it takes at least two hours for the neon green chemicals to ooze through your system, burn through your stomach lining and then make a disgraceful exit, and even longer to convince your body to submit to the experience once again. In any case, once I got there, we were having a grand time until he asked me hand him his phone and I saw a notification pop up: “You have a new message on Grindr!’” My heart sunk. We broke up but I still needed a place to sleep. Later that night, wide awake in bed, I re-activated by own Grindr profile. Back to square one.[1]

As I sit here late at night, sipping coffee and chain-smoking while I type this out on my chunky MacBook, I can’t think of any Carrie-isms to sum up my thoughts. I realized before I could love someone else, I needed to love myself? No, I do love myself. It’s not good enough. I realized that I was the problem? Perhaps. I’m too judgmental, I'm quick to right people off, and I think very highly of myself. But I don’t really feel like changing. I guess I'll just have to accept the fact that, as a gay man, I might have to wait a little longer than other people to find 'the one.' I made my bed with Satan and now I must lie in it, alone.

But when my soul mate does show up, he has a lot of fucking explaining to do. Where the fuck were you at, bro?

[1] For those of you who still believe in love, Grindr is set up as a series of squares in a grid, showing people on the app in close proximity to you. When you open your Grindr, your personal picture appears in the first square. Here, our author makes a tremendous pun involving the location of his picture on Grindr and the metaphorical concept of ‘starting from square one.’

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