I’ve a secret to tell. And it’s bad.
One of those “If-you-tell-anyone-else-I’ll-have-to-kill-you” ones. Er, not exactly, but you get the gist, don’t you?
We’ve all done it- In a moment of desperation, after a particularly poignant break up, or on one of those bad hair days. It creeps up on you, unexpectedly, and before you know it, you are at it, like a mad rabbit caught in frenzy, scrambling to your laptop, and going to the place of no return.
Planet Romeo. The bane of homosexual existence, but such a necessary evil- It’s like a double edged sword, that. The standard gay dating site, they label it. Some call it a simmering sex pot (at least I do), some call it a social networking tool. We all know which category I fall under. (Hint: I already called it.)
Don’t get me wrong; I found a handful of interesting friends there, but it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. For every one interesting person you connect with (for lack of a better word), you have to sieve through a hundred hopefuls, all with ‘a place’, or worse, a bed. I this really what being gay is all about- truckloads of mindless sex, with every Tom, Dick and Harry?
I don’t think so. At least not in all its entirety.
Sue me for being a hypocrite, but I’ve enjoyed my fair share of narcissism through the site. Who amongst us doesn’t know the thrill of logging in and seeing a dozen unread messages? Which of us has not done the happy dance when that particularly cute boy you’ve got your eyes on pings back? (I haven’t if you haven’t.) Two weeks into Romeo, I was hooked, like a teenager- eyes glazed over with internet porn. It seemed wrong, but yet so perfect. It was everything I could ever want, all in the confines of my computer, or better still- my smart phone. And then the cracks began to appear. The messages piled up, overflowing and scary. And the repulsion sunk in. Was this what life would be? Playing connect the dots with a string of strangers? Wasn’t this one step away from going to the local bathhouse, or sneakily creeping about the back alley streetlight? Safe sex and common sense aside, was I one step closer to being the post-rehab Britney Spears?
I logged out, head hung in shame; and swore never to go back.
I went back in three days. Hungry like a wolf, Like the Duran Duran song.
Over the next couple of years, I tethered in and out, deactivating every few weeks in a hissy fit, having had one of those “ I-am-better-than-this” moments; only to go back, weak and wallowing, staring wide-eyed at all the newer profiles, with greedy eyes and a lustful heart. It was a vicious cycle, like a hamster ring with no end.
I had a friend who has a couple of profiles there. “For variety,” he said with a huff and a puff, when I asked him why. He’s no big bad wolf, at least not the only one. “It’s just a given, this behaviour- it’s almost expected out of us,” said he, and I struggled to find a counter argument.
It should be, especially with all the anticipated momentary joy and unattached affection, but yet, this emptiness persists – People come, and people go. We mistake lust for love, and love for lust- perhaps this is as good as it gets?
No; definitely not. We don’t need to give love a bad name and if a road to retribution is necessary, then so be it.
For all of you who think this is a lost case, is there any solution?
Well, only one- this Romeo should die, fully and finally.
That’s the only way to get your Romeo and Juliet, without the dramatic sad ending, that is. Think about it, because I certainly will.