And what's the best way to meet more men?
Well, based on the comments from my last post, the unanimous answer is...
Several guys even shared the story of how they met their current partner by hooking up. Yes, it works!
|Definitely not "meh" but why bother, even for a hook-up?|
With that in mind, I downloaded a popular hook-up app (not Grindr) and created a profile. It's been up for a few days now - and I'm basking in the glow of being fresh meat - yet I very much feel like a fish out of water.
I get that the thrill of hooking-up with someone new can be a huge adrenaline rush, but that's not how I feel when I look at rows and rows of shirtless men. Instead I feel bored and uninspired. "Meh" pretty much sums it up.
Then there are the messages that come in. Quite a few of them have been complimentary and validating - "you're so handsome", "cute!", "you're just my type" - and that's been awesome, but once again, when I look at the men who sent them, I feel no thrill or attraction. I'm grateful for the positive validations...but that's it.
This reaction comes on the heels of a significant Saturday night I had with Yousef. He was away on vacation with his best friend for more than two weeks, so upon his return we agreed to meet for dinner to catch up, then go back to his place to look at pictures from the trip.
Dinner was OK, except Yousef complained a lot. Among other things, he complained about how his friend behaved on the trip (although the friend paid for everything) and he complained about the food at the restaurant where we ate. "I expected something much better than this!" he angrily told the waiter, making it the third time in six he's said that when we've been out.
Once we got to his place, he made it clear he wanted to make-out, and I was OK with that. After a few minutes he led me to the bedroom and pulled off my shirt. The last time we were together we had a shirtless make-out session, so I was OK with that too. But this time, after only a minute or two, he simultaneously stripped off my pants and underwear. At that moment I had to make a decision...do I tell him I haven't had sex in three years and I don't want to break that streak with him, OR, do I relax and act like the mature middle-aged gay man I'm supposed to be?
I chose the latter.
Here's the thing though - I felt very "meh" about the experience. It wasn't a chore, but it wasn't a joy either. Mostly, I felt like I was participating in a ritual; I went through the motions and tried to be "present", but my mind often wandered.
For a while, I kept thinking "I wish I was doing this with Cooper," then, fearing Yousef might notice my detachment, I intently focused on getting him off. I figured if I could do that, at least one of us would enjoy the experience.
Afterward he asked, "What can I do to help you?"
"I'm good," I replied. "It's been a long time. I'm happy to just enjoy the intimacy."
In truth, I wanted to leave. That seemed like the smartest thing to do, largely because it would enable me to dodge uncomfortable questions like, "Can you tell me something you like about me?"
[Poor Yousef. He really is a smart, interesting and affectionate guy. I do like him, but not enough.]
With that story told, I can go back to talking about hook-ups -
One of the primary reasons I've avoided them in recent years is because I fear regretting them afterward. I ask myself, "Why do something that might put my health at risk just for the sake of an orgasm?"
I never have a good answer. All I can think about is how it's better to be safe than sorry.
Also, what most attracts me to men is the chance to feel emotionally connected to them, yet that's NOT the purpose of a hook-up. Which leaves me asking...if I'm unlikely to get what I truly want out of them, why do them?
So..hook-ups are real quandary for me. They may be the best way to meet more men, but should I do them if I'm not really into them? Perhaps the solution is to be open to the possibility, and let things happen from there. I don't know. This is something I'll probably continue to struggle with for some time.