Saturday, 27 November 2010

Gaydar - The Official Messenger (Part II)

Sex is a weapon and should not be toyed with. Not in the way this disturbing wave of gay twenty-somethings are treating HIV – as though it’s nothing more than a bout of flu (I’ll touch more on this in a later edition) – but when it’s used as a game. I’m guilty of it as much as the next person, so I really am due no sympathy for it being used against me. Or am I?

It turns out the ‘reason’ my ex logged on to Gaydar so soon after the break up was to intentionally hurt me. It was a deliberate attempt to gain back control of the situation and put two fingers up at me for seemingly giving the impression that I was over it and going about my daily affairs (literally) unhurt and unscathed.

Break-ups often become a game of chess with things said or done out of insecurity and malice for effect. You consciously act or react to the opponent’s last move with the intent of taking them down. You forget the bigger picture and piece by piece, the game goes on with no end in sight.

My issue, perhaps an issue I need to look at closer, is that I felt able to move on in a sexual sense before I saw he’d ‘beat me’ to Gaydar. That move, on this chess board of a break-up, disabled me very effectively and for a while I struggled to come up with a proportionate response.

I find that in a community where promiscuity is particularly high, we (gay men) often validate ourselves though sex, mistaking or using it as a replacement for love. It’s an effective way of getting short-term gratification, affection and approval when it lacks so heavily in our relationships with others. Of course it depends on how much importance you place on sex, but if like me you have a particularly high sex drive, fulfilling that need, whether it’s with one or multiple partners, probably keeps you happy.

After taking a step back I’ve re-emerged as a wiser man, realising that at the end of every game there’s always a loser. When emotions this deep are involved, sometimes the winner can end up very unhappy and remorseful, too. So I’ve brought the game to a quiet halt. I never wanted to play it in the first place. My intentions were never to hurt him; I wouldn’t deliberately cause someone I love that sort of suffering. I even told him, whilst shivering with shock, that he should put some new photos on his profile because the old ones don’t do him justice.

Perhaps one could interpret that as a clever move of mine, totally intended to confuse him while I plan the next one – a red herring – but it wasn’t. If anything, it was a white flag, a subliminal message that I’m tired of this, that I love and want the best for him, that I’m dying to make up and have amazing sex again, that I want us to be friends and if nothing else, bring this to an end.

There is still no end in sight. Maybe deep down I don’t want to see the end of this, but whatever happens, I can’t allow him to keep using sex as a threat – I don’t deserve it.

I’m on Gaydar to fulfil a need. He’s on there to stop me.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Gaydar - The Official Messenger of a Relationship's End?

That’s it. The penny’s dropped, along with my heart to the pit of my stomach. And it aches. I didn’t expect it would have this effect on me, but I’m shocked, saddened and almost numb. It’s been a week since the fifth and final break up and I ‘just’ remembered Gaydar exists. So before logging in and changing my profile status to ‘single’, I venture to my freshest ex’s profile to find he ‘last logged in’ today, for the first time since we met 14 months ago.

I’ve been lucky enough to find two of my long-term partners on this dating-cum-social networking site, consecutively! I spent the most influential six years of my life with the first; he’s my soul mate and will always be my best friend. The latest, possibly a rebound, was the first man I took to my place of birth on the island of Madeira to introduce as my partner to my entire family.

I gave my little sister away at the altar on the same holiday. Listening to her translate the vows the priest spoke to her husband brought tears to my eyes. The words seemed to have so much more impact in my native language. It was then I decided I wanted to marry my newfound love.

But it’s over. We both knew it couldn’t work and decided to go our separate ways for the sake of avoiding resentment and keeping a friendship. Of course, it wasn’t that simple and straightforward. It was a bitter and angry break up. We said some horrible things to each other, launched character-assassinating tirades at one another, and eventually exhausted ourselves before mutating into civilised human beings again. Why then was it so hurtful to see he was ‘back on the market’ by the date stamp on his Gaydar profile? What is it about Gaydar that made it so ‘official’ the relationship was well and truly over?

Perhaps it was because he beat me to it. Not beat me to Gaydar, but to giving a public impression he was over it and ready to move on, which only strengthened my argument that I loved him more than I felt he loved me. It wouldn’t have had the same effect if I’d seen his relationship status changed on Facebook, but then Facebook isn’t a sexually-driven social networking site, and this is where I found the answer.

I’ve concluded that there are only two types of monogamous relationship. There is the ‘exciting and sexual’ relationship, and the ‘emotional and stable’ type. And never the twain shall meet. This is not to say that there is no emotion in a sexual relationship, or likewise, that emotional relationships are sex-less. Just that my experience (and I’ve had a lot of it for my age), has led me to believe that emotional relationships will outlast highly sexual ones.

The element of monogamy in what’s been one of my most sexual relationships to date is what crushed me in this break up. It’s the ultimate betrayal, and the more sexual the relationship, the more hurtful the idea of your partner sharing that intimacy with another person. That’s where Gaydar comes in – after the dramatic break-up of such a sexually volatile relationship, the only thing he’s looking for on Gaydar is sex. 

It must be. That’s what I’m doing...