My friend Tom, who also happens to be my coworker, has all the dating/hook-up apps. He uses them frequently and is rewarded with the outcome of regular dates with potential Prince Charmings ready to sweep him off his feet; fantasy weddings, picket fences, and matching gravestones await the suitor who can meet his standards. He'll show me pics and talk about the conversations he has, leading to optimistic dates with visions of fantastic romance. He literally goes on tons of dates—several a week—and the next day I'll politely inquire as to the outcome. Sometimes it's a heartwarming tale with hopes of future endeavors, but more often than not it's another wasted effort with some random imperfection faulting that it won't (can't?) go any further. Which inevitably leads me to ask, "Well, did you at least get laid?"
I know the answer is always going to be "no." And at some point in this ongoing cycle, it has occurred to me: this guy constantly goes on dates and never gets laid; meanwhile, I constantly get laid and never go on dates. It made me long for sweet moments and innocent romance, like in coming-of-age movies where the cute boys coyly skirt the tension and fall into slow kisses without immediately giving in to primal sluttiness. Like many in today's “the next best thing is right around the corner” culture, I've found that most of my romantic relationships start with sex, and can potentially lead to more once we've determined the D is good and we can stand the sound of one another’s voices for longer than the five minutes it takes to put our pants back on afterwards.
So, in an effort to test my perception, I decided to make a cognizant effort to meet someone and go on a date before having sex. I lay before you those tales.
Date One: The Asheville Twink
I met Ricky, a smokin' hot Latin boy whose only body hair lead an extravagant trail to his crotch, at Mary’s earlier this summer. We caught glances several times, and once his army of friends backed away, I swooped in to throw some game. We flirted shamelessly and even exchanged a super sweet kiss before his friends returned, poised to exit to their next destination.
Numbers exchanged, we ended up meeting for dinner the next evening. Excited at the prospect of my first real date in a very long time, I picked him up, met him at the door with an umbrella since it was raining, and we found our way to Top Flr for mussels and cocktails. The conversation was mostly fine, but I wasn't sure if I was becoming annoyed or suspicious that he really wouldn't tell me anything about himself; it felt as though every question I asked was skirted with a sly or sarcastic re-direct. His forwardness with general flirtation was equally matched by his evasiveness to provide actual substance in the grand exchange of ideas.
You might imagine this behavior would indicate that he just wanted to fuck, which I was naturally happy to oblige, but sadly that was not the case. The night ended with my dick hard in his hand just long enough for us to make out and for him to swoop inside his apartment. We hung out two more times and both nights reached a similar climax, which is to say, hard dicks and no climax at all.
It wasn't the holding out on sex that deflated my interest (well, not entirely). It was pretty clear this wasn't going anywhere for all the obvious reasons that two people just don't have enough in common to warrant continued effort. He still sends me X-rated snaps teasing that we should get together, and as nice as that ass is (seriously, it's stunning), I know how I'll just end up at home, alone and hard, wondering why the fuck I didn't learn the first time.
Date Two: The Silver Fox
Dan and I had been cruising one another at the gym for a while, him changing out of his shirt and tie, stealing glances as I knowingly lingered in my underwear to ensure he got a good look. It wasn't until fate would have us side by side on the elliptical that we would actually speak and exchange numbers.
The businessman fantasy was in full effect as he picked me up for our first official date in his SUV, treating me to dinner and cocktails at a tasty spot in the Highlands. The evening was quite fantastic: flowing conversation, shared interests, philosophy, flirtation, eye contact. . . it was all there. Chivalry and tequila quickly lead to shameless parking lot lust, and the return to my place for continued adventures of the naked variety.
We took our time exploring one another’s bodies with our hands and mouths, exchanged blow jobs in the 69 position, and shot simultaneously all over his chest while I jerked our cocks in unison. It was basically the perfect date! And at the end, he had to get home to his two kids. Needless to say, between his job and kids, availability for us to get together has been few and far between.
Still, we manage to get together every now and again for a great meal with the promise of hot sex afterwards.
Date Three: The Lyft Driver
Hallelujah for great customer service. A friend and I called up a Lyft to take us to Burkhart’s for Tossed Salad one Sunday evening. My heart skipped a beat when I got in the passenger seat next to this dreamy white boy with bleach blond hair, playing good music to boot.
Along the ride we shared our mutual admiration for all things Harry Potter, and I was certain we were meant for romance! "Are you guys going to need a ride later?" he asked.
For whatever reason I responded, "Yeah, but we don't know when, so we'll just hail a Lyft when we're ready." Dumbass. How had I missed my opportunity??? Oh, the folly of it all!!!
So like any passive aggressive faggot, I left a comment with my rating: "Thanks for the great ride! You're pretty adorable, it's a shame I didn't have the courage to ask for your number!" Days went by and I get an email response from Lyft Customer Service:
Oh, how the fates have played this game of courtship! It's inevitable, I'm going to marry this man! I played it cool when I called him later that evening, and we set a date to hang out that weekend. Off handedly, I mention that I am going to Smyrna to pick up a piece of furniture from an antique store, and invite him along. So goes our hour-long trek to Smyrna, our hour-long time perusing the antique shop, and our hour-long ride back to Atlanta.
I wish I had some captivating way to end this tale, that we've been together ever since and already discussed china patterns, but alas, there was simply no spark between us once we were together. We didn't really have a whole lot in common, and after he said something unintentionally racist as we were just starting our ride back to the city, I was more than ready for the ordeal to be over. We haven't kept in touch.
Date Four: The Hungry Hole
AJ and I casually met at the Faerie Midsummer event back in June, but it wasn't until a couple months later that we caught one another's eyes at the restaurant where he works in Midtown. He reached out on Facebook and I was really optimistic about what might come of a romantic entangle.
We met for dinner at Ammazza on Edgewood and things were off to a great start with flowing conversation and a sweet, shared energy circling the encounter. I did think it was strange when he used cocktail napkins to pick up and eat the fried appetizer we ordered, a behavior that was elevated when he pulled away from my hand when I attempted to touch his hair. "There's grease on your fingers," was the excuse he shared, and I chalked it up to some form of germaphobia that was mostly inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.
We ended up at a speakeasy down the street, where his evasiveness to touch quickly disappeared as he pushed me against the wall and started a passionate make out session, complete with exploring hands, up my shirt and down my jeans. We decided to take things back to my place and it got sleazy at an epic pace. After ample foreplay, I turned him around and furiously ate his ass before assuming the position with my hard cock against his now slippery hole. He told me he wanted me on my back, so as I lay down on the floor, he came upon me and threw his ass down on my cock, taking complete control as he wildly rode me.
The intensity of it all had me worried he would buck down too fast and snap my dick in half. After some time I attempted to take back domination of the situation, but my maneuver was thwarted as he once again directed me to sit on the couch, where he perched himself greedily on my lap and fucked himself till we both came. It was honestly a very strange encounter, and I felt more like a prop than a participant.
He went home afterwards and texted the next morning: "Good morning! Last night’s dinner was great! And it was fun getting naked with you. If you're open, I'd like to get to know you as a friend. I think sex might not serve that purpose very well. I hope to see you soon. Enjoy your day!" I responded, "Sounds good, have a great day as well." To the surprise of no one, neither of us have made an effort to pursue one another, friendship or otherwise.
And so my adventures in intentional dating yielded one friend I casually keep in touch with, one fuck buddy, and two lost causes, which I would say is a pretty good track record. As the romanticized age-old art of dating seems to manifest less and less in my life, it was a good reminder that discovering that I'm interested in pursuing someone after a sloppy night of sex is just as validating, if not more so, than the uncertainty that comes along with meeting a stranger for dinner.
I would never be so pessimistic as to abandon the opportunity for love and friendship however it may present itself, but I can't help but imagine that in this wild world of love and lust, I'll realize my prince has come, after we've cum.