Category Archives: Online Life

Personal: A different way to have fun on Grindr

Like a lot of gay guys, I have an account on Grindr. I have what I think is a pretty nice profile picture up. The about me section has been pretty boring. I mean, Grindr only gives you 255 characters to work with, and it’s hard to be funny, seductive, and witty with only a couple dozen words — and that’s only if you stick to monosyllabic words! So this has been my profile recently:

Just a pretty dull profile on Grindr.
Just a pretty dull profile on Grindr.

I don’t get a lot of messages or responses on Grindr. Unless you count the spambots I get anywhere from one to five times a day.

Well recently, I ended up creating a second Grindr account.  This one is completely blank. No picture. No information. Not even my age. I won’t post a picture of what that looks like. If you want to know, just download the app. I can almost guarantee that there will be at least five guys near you who have no picture and/or no personal information entered.

So I had this other account, and I soon discovered that guys were contacting me through it. Yeah, that’s right. Guys will apparently line up to contact a completely empty profile while passing by guys who are trying to present who they are and have something to say. But that’s enough bitterness on my part.

Of course, most guys that contacted that profile opened with asking for a picture. (Those that didn’t usually asked in their second message.) I simply told them that I didn’t have a picture to send, figuring they’d go away.  Strangely, not all of them did.  In fact, most of them persisted. So I decided to have a little fun with it.

Sadly, I don’t have a capture of the conversation that really brought out my mischievous side. Because that guy gave me a chuckle, I decided to send him a picture after all and got rewarded with an instant block. But basically, when I told him I didn’t have a picture to send, he asked if I was Casper or something.  (My reply: “Casper? What makes you think I’m friendly?”) So that gave me the idea of giving whimsical responses to requests for pictures. The best one — fortunately I was able to do the screen captures before this one eventually blocked me — is the following:

"Not much. Just doing my part to corrupt everything that's good and evil."
“Not much. Just doing my part to corrupt everything that’s good and evil.”

It amazes me how much some of these guys can really push despite being told no. Granted not all of my exchanges have been as witty. Some I just turned down normally. Even those have been entertaining, though. After all, the butthurt can be something else. Take this fine example:

Not sending pictures on Grindr means you're not really gay, apparently.
Not sending pictures on Grindr means you’re not really gay, apparently.

I haven’t had anyone announce that I must be fat. I suspect it’s a matter of time. To be honest, I’m looking forward to that moment, because I already have my response planned: “Took you long enough to figure it out, dipshit.”

I’m not sure, but I think this guy was hoping that I’d offer him money:

Yes, that's a dick pic he sent as his first message.
Yes, that’s a dick pic he sent as his first message.

He didn’t respond after that, so I’m guessing he doesn’t have a thing for guys with a terrific sense of humor, after all. Le sigh.

I suspect I’ll be having this kind of fun for a while. If I have any more really awesome exchanges (be it butthurt on their part or particularly clever responses on mine), I’ll be sure to send them.

Also, one other good thing came out of this thought experiment. I now have a less boring profile for my other account:

You didn't know The Corruptor of all that is good and holy had a thing for tie-dye, did you?
You didn’t know The Corruptor of all that is good and holy had a thing for tie-dye, did you?

Dude, try to remember I’m a person.

I’m on a lot of sites and mobile apps for meeting guys.  Some of them are “traditional” dating sites.  Some of them bill themselves for “flirting and chatting.”  A few are unapologetic hookup sites (and apps that don’t call themselves hookup apps, but only because doing so would get them in trouble with Apple and possibly Google).

On all of them, I have a fairly nonsexual profile.  No nude or even shirtless pictures.  And while a given profile may give indication I’m open to sex (including sex outside of the bounds of a longterm or romantic relationship), I also make it clear that I’m looking for even more.  Heck even my Grindr1 profile says the following:

Just a funny, friendly, and (allegedly) charming guy who likes to chat, laugh, and see what happens.  Say hi.

For the BoyAhoy/Skout app (which is where the exchange this post is about took place), my “About Me” section is a bit longer:

I’m a wonderful guy who loves to laugh and make others laugh.  I love making new friends and seeing how we connect.

I’m a romantic and often a goofy one at that.  I’m very affectionate, compassionate and caring, but have a wild side to, if brought out by the right guy.

A sample from the book I’m working on:

“You can spend the night if you’d like.” I blinked. I looked at him long and hard. I really did like him, and it was so tempting. He straightened and said, “Maybe I’m being too forward.”

“No,” I added quickly. “Believe me, it’s a tempting offer. And part of me wants to say yes. It’s just…been a while….”

He reached up and took my chin between his thumb and forefinger, gently tilting my face up to his. I held my breath as he said, “Maybe it’s been too long, “ and leaned down. His lips met mine and I closed my eyes. My posture softened as our kiss deepened. I gave myself over to the experience, knowing that I wanted him more than anything.

He pulled back and looked into my eyes. I nodded. He unlocked and opened the door. I walked in ahead of him and headed up the stairs.

So this is the profile that a certain guy checked out a few days ago before he sent me his first message:

So what are you into

I replied with a variation of my standard reply to this question:

Reading, writing, movies, going for longs walks, going for drives, etc.

Apparently (and not surprisingly), this was not the answer he was looking for, as he made clear with his next message:

Haha ok that’s not what i meant but ok

Well,  yeah, I kind of figured that’s not what he meant.  However, it’s what I felt like sharing about myself at the moment.  (As an aside, other than a handful of pictures, his age, and the fact that he’s interested in men, his profile has “Ask Me” for ever field.  So he’s effectively shared nothing.)

I decided to reply with a simple “ah,” as I still didn’t feel like sharing the information he was clearly looking for or try to strike up a conversation when he’s put no effort into such an endeavor himself.

This is where the butthurt (or at least what I perceive as butthurt) came in:

Ok sorry to bother you I seen you on other sites but obviously your not interested in me take care

Okay, here’s are the problems I have with this response:

  1. Why would I be interested in someone who’s told me nothing about himself that might pique my interest
  2. Why would I be interested in someone who’s first message effectively calls for me to give a laundry list of my sexual interests and/or preferred sexual roles?  Experience has taught me that such a guy isn’t interested in me but merely what I can do sexually for him.  I don’t need long term commitment or love, but I do need to be seen as a person.
  3. If he’s seen me on other sites and bothered to glance at more than my profile pictures, he should’ve realized that last point might be an issue for me.  I mean, every single profile I have mentions I’m primarily looking to chat2 and connect.
  4. Since when has sharing a list of things that I enjoy doing with another person exactly communicated a lack of interest.  Sure, it makes it clear I’m not yelling “take me now!”  But it certainly indicates I’m open to conversing further.

I considered telling the guy all this, but I decided against it.  A while back, I realized I’ve grown tired of trying to explain to self-absorbed men who managed to go at least two decades without learning basic guidelines for conversing with strangers3.  So I just told him to take care and left the conversation.

1One of the reasons I chose my Grindr profile for this example is that it’s the profile that frustrates me the most, what with the app’s ludicrously small text limit.

2I’m beginning to think that most gay and bi guys think “chat” is always synonymous with “sext.”

3Note that I”m not talking about socially awkward or not knowing what exactly to talk about.  I often find those things endearing, especially if someone is struggling to be conversant in spite of that.  But I know a lot of socially awkward people who understand that “what will you let me do to you once I get you naked” is not an appropriate conversation starter.


Synchroblog Review

btg cover.gifNow that it’s past, I thought it would be good to do a review of yesterday’s synchroblog event.  It was an excellent experience and overall, I felt it went quite well.  Wendy and her sponsors did a fantastic job putting it all together and the participants wrote some wonderful posts, some of which I will highlight in a moment.

The one thing I was somewhat disappointed in was the fact that despite the efforts of a couple of us (including Wendy), the event seemed primarily geared towards Christians.  As far as I know, Christine Bakke, YewTree, and I were the only three non-Christians who participated.  This is probably due to a number of reasons.  For one, those who sponsored this event were Christian and therefore had the most Christian contacts.  Then there’s also the fact that it’s much harder to convince a non-Christian to participate in an event to encourage Christians and gay people to talk to one another.  On the whole, we non-Christians probably don’t see as big a need for such conversation.

More troubling, however, is that I did feel there was a certain undercurrent even among many of the participating bloggers that this was about gay and straight Christians talking with each other.  I saw more than one post in which the sentiment seemed to be that the foundation for such conversation was the fact that those involved were all “brothers and sisters in Christ.”  While this is a fine sentiment and I’m glad that some people were able to find that common ground, that doesn’t extend the conversation to the rest of the gay community — those of us who don’t consider ourselves “brothers and sisters in Christ.”  So perhaps it may be a while longer before the entire gay community will find a welcome in the greater community.

Having said that, I wish to be clear that I don’t mean to be too critical because of this.  I think that this synchroblog was a great next step in the overall dialogue process.  And I have confidence that even my concerns can be addressed as that dialogue continues.  I think we all just need to keep plugging away with patience, compassion, and a bit of understanding.

One of my favorite posts was over at Focused Conversations, which demonstrated a deep and practical understanding of the Golden Rule.  Sandy tells of her own wedding and the people who supported her and helped her with her wedding, despite the fact that they felt she was making a bad choice.  In retelling that story, she comes to a conclusion which she applies to same sex marriages:

I understand the desire to declare your commitment to your loved one in
a formal ceremony. Whether or not I think it is the right thing doesn’t
take away from that. As a Christian I live with that tension.

It sometimes takes a special person to realize how her own situation at one time mirrored that of another person’s and to place herself in that person’s shoes.  Sandy’s willingness to be such a person spoke a lot to me.

Over at Based on a True Story, Nathan takes a similar approach and draws parallels between his own relationship with his wife and same-sex relationships:

My relationship with my wife runs very deep and there are plenty of
factors that play into it. If my relationship was all about sex, it
would not be much of a relationship. We know though, that a part of
marriage and relationships runs a lot deeper than just what happens
with our bodies. One of the more beautiful parts of a marriage is the
commitment and covenant to each other no matter what life brings. We
should be affirming and blessing mutual covenants of love between any
person and not denying them of a basic human need. We need to focus on
what we affirm rather than what we want to get rid of. Why are we so
bent on taking away all the good in a relationship? Is it just to prove
our theology? Is it just to satisfy our own desires for holiness to be
met around us?

In doing so, Nathan actually attacks one of the most damaging stereotypes about gay people:  The idea that our relationships are just about sex.  Nathan’s willingness to challenge that stereotype and then ask very hard questions about the implication of opposing relationships that clearly have a lot of good in them is superb.

Of course, not everything was perfect.  Despite some great posts, there was the occasional argument in some comments.  Some people wanted to argue over what constituted compromise or capitulation, while others wanted to discuss who (usually the other side) needed to do what in order for their to be dialogue.  Some even questioned if dialogue is possible in the end.  But that’s okay.  This conversation is long overdue and it’s the kind of conversation that is never going to go perfectly smoothly.  And that’s okay.  The important thing is that people are still talking.  Hopefully, that will remain the case.

And hopefully, people will continue to listen.

A Capella Music and Star Wars! Who can beat that?

My brother-in-law sent me a message on Facebook this morning of this great a capella tribute to Star Wars. The tribute was made by a young man named Corey Vidal.

Corey originally put his tribute up on YouTube, but it was taken down due to copyright issues. He’s trying to get it reinstated. In the meantime, I thought I’d embed another a capella piece he’s done that is still available on YouTube.

Life gets interesting

This afternoon, I decided to go to the psychic fair at the Henrietta Holiday Inn. While there, I decided to get an aura portrait reading (that’s where the psychic sketches the colors in your aura and explain what they mean and how it’s affecting your life) by one of the people there. The theme of my reading was that I need to begin working more on integrating my spirituality into the rest of my life. This wasn’t a surprising message, because I’ve been getting it from different angles. In fact, over the past couple of weeks, I’d say the gods have gotten more aggressive about this message. In fact, I think they’ve gotten to the point where they’re basically saying “do this or we’re going to do it for you.”

For example, a couple Saturdays ago, Marina invited myself and Rudi (a former dancer in the company) to come to her home for lunch after the beginner’s jazz dance class. While there, I mentioned that I had to run to Psychic’s Thyme at some point that afternoon. Of course, the other two asked me what that was, so I told them. I ended up telling them about my spiritual interests, which fascinated both of them. I ended up telling them about a couple of my experiences with seeing spirits (to my credit, I’m getting better at being open about the fact that I’m developing my abilities as a medium). By the end of the discussion, they both decided they want me to give them a reading after next Saturday’s class. And Marina has gone on to tell at least one other person (a student in her intermediate class) associated with the company about my interests. I suspect that by the time she’s done, everyone in or associated with the company will know. Hopefully, they’re all as open-minded as Marina and Rudi were. (Actually, I’ll be happy as long as no one tries to perform an exorcism on me.)

The second example of this came during this past week. When I got a break from work, I decided to quickly check my site stats for this blog. While checking them out, I discovered that someone visited my site from work on Thursday afternoon. I was quite surprised by this, and quickly confirmed that it wasn’t a visit I made myself. As I dug into this (I even downloaded the server logs for that day so I could check the parts of my domain that my two Sitemeter accounts don’t cover), I discovered that my visitor must have found my site at least somewhat fascinating. While they read only a couple of archives and two individual posts from this blog, they also visited my Dear Lover, Journey (I guess I’m out at work now!), my main site, and my photo albums.

I’m not sure how they found my site. The logs indicate there was no referring site, which suggests they typed the address in directly. I asked the two people at work who I thought it could be, but they admitted that they didn’t even know I had my own website. So I’m completely mystified. I really don’t care that someone from work read it all. They didn’t really find out anything I’m trying to hide. (I’m smart enough to avoid posting anything I want to keep secret.) Though I do hope that they talk to me about it at some point. I’d like to know who it was, especially considering the significant amount of surfing they did.

So yeah, it would seem that everything in my life is coming together. I think I’m okay with that, though. I’m just a bit shell-shocked.

Another great synchroblog

Last month, I posted a bit about a synchroblog wherein a number of Christian bloggers talked about Christianity and Paganism and discussions between members of both faith groups. This month, the same group is having another synchroblog, with the topic being about Halloween this time. So far, I’ve read a handful of posts from the event and enjoyed them thoroughly. The link above is to Sonja’s post, where anyone interested can find links to the rest of the participants’ blogs.

I’m not going to say much about the synchroblog yet, as I’m still reading. I expect to have many thoughts to share by the time I’m done. I will briefly note that Sonja’s daughter cracked me up with her “emergency vampire protection” though.

Quite a surprise

Today, I dcedided to play around with the information that Xinu Returns provided about my blog. I discovered that some search engines reported a link to my blog from this page. So naturally I decided to check it out. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was a cut and paste of my blog entry about ritual nudity. (I reread that entry and still love it, by the way.)

I have to admit that I’m rather flattered that someone found something I wrote so worthwhile that they put it up on their site. It’s nice to get that kind of compliment. Of course, I also would’ve liked it if they had contacted me to ask permission. I would’ve gladly granted it to them. (Though I might’ve offered to polish the rough edges first, as I was writing informally for my blog rather than working on what I would consider a high quality article meant for publication).

And of course, I would’ve also told them how I’d like to be credited for it. Currently, the page gives no authorship information, though I will note they graciously included a link back to my original blog post. I’m thinking about contacting the site and asking them to add a note of authorship to the page.

The only other thing that bothers me is that it’s posted under the category of “Traditional Craft.” While I can certainly understand why they put it in that category, it does leave me concerned that someone might get the wrong idea — namely that I’m claiming to be a Traditional Witch of any kind. (At this time I’m not.) And I hate even implying (or having others imply on my behalf) that my occasional musings on such topics are in any sense authoritative. Because to be honest, they’re not. So I may also ask about having some sort of disclaimer added in addition to my name.

An amusing case of mistaken identity

A while back, Seething Mom was kind enough to post a link to my coming out story on her website. Apparently, this has led at least one other blogger to mistakenly assume that I’m Seething Mom’s son.

I discovered this fact this evening when I checked my site statistics and saw a large influx of visitors from Rising Up Whole. Naturally curious as to who’s linking to me, I paid a visit. And while I’m certainly grateful for the added attention the post over there has brought to my story, I’m sorry that there’s been a bit of a confusion over the relationship between myself and Seething Mom.

So to clarify to anyone who might be confused, Seething Mom and I are just friends. I found her diary originally through a mutual friends. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of communicating with her via blog posts and comments and even a couple of emails. However, I am not her son. I only wish I was. 😉

I’m getting a laptop

I’ve decided that I’m going to run to Best Buy after work tomorrow. The plan? To spend part of my tax refund and buy a laptop computer. It’s occurred to me that I’d really like to have one. I often like to go to places like Equal Grounds and Spot Coffee to hang out and relax. And it seems to me that it would be nice to be able to work on my writing projects, including my online projects, while relaxing at places like them.

Granted, I already often take my journals there and write by hand. But having a laptop would allow me to type things up directly. And in cases where I’m at someplace that offers a wireless Internet connection, I can even directly upload my content while I’m there.

This is a great solution to one of the problems I’m currently facing. I want to get out more often, an create opportunities for socializing. And yet, I have a number of writing projects I want to keep up with. Getting a laptop will hopefully enable me to combine the two in a creative way. And perhaps my writing in public will occasionally help generate conversation.

Finding a new home for religious discussions

The powers that be over at the Paintball Review Forums decided to permanently remove the Religion and Philosophy forum. (They also axed the World Politics forum, but I tended to stay out of there as a rule, and don’t mind it’s disappearance.) I have to admit that I’m a bit saddened by this. While I certainly respect PBR administration’s right to make this decision — and even admit that they probably thought long and hard before making the decision — I can’t think about the handful of awesome, respectful, and insightful posters there. I’m going to miss that.

Anyone who has spent any time at any sort of religious forums quickly discover that creating an atmosphere that attacts and keeps the kind of discourses people can truly enjoy are few and far between. So when you find such a place, you tend to latch on to it. Oh, don’t get me wrong. The R/P forum at PBR had its problems But compared to a lot of places, it really managed to rise above the “noise” and get some great discussions going.

The only other forum that I can think of that might come close to that is the CPPA Forums. Unfortunately, it’s a forum that tends to focus on Christianity and it’s promotion — and rightfully so. That means that I can’t be quite as open and forthright as I felt I could be at PBR. So I guess I’ll need to start looking for a new place.