Sometimes, out of a barren patch of ground, life springs. Small at first, and scrubby blades of glass. Given enough time, though, even little flowers will eventually bloom. This time of year, with spring around the corner, it’s nice have a little hope.
Which is my way of getting around to saying: I blocked a guy on a website and it led to one of the worst few months of my online life. But it also ended up with me getting some really good sex last week. Funny how that works, sometimes.
I admit freely to being trigger-happy with my block buttons, sometimes. If a guy is rude me on Manhunt or Adam4Adam or somewhere, I’ll hit the button that hides him from view, permanently. If a guy dicks me around or is a no-show, he’s blocked. If he’s too persistent after I’ve gently turned him down, or if he shows any signs of insanity, I hit the button. I block because life is too short to have to put up with incivility and weirdness on the internet; I block because even when I say no, some guys don’t know when to stop wheedling. At any given moment, my list of blocked men is three times the length of my list of friends.
A couple of months before I originally started this journal, a guy from Adam4Adam contacted me. He thought I was hot and wanted to get together. What did I think? I checked his photos, which were of a furry older guy—decent shape, for a man in his late fifties or early sixties. Sure, I told him. If we could work out a time, I’d be happy to hook up with him at some point.
What followed was about two weeks of constant harassment. I’d log onto the site to check my mail and within seconds I’d have three or four letters from him. Are you looking for NOW?, they’d say. I am looking for NOW. Are you MAN enough to meet???
At first I’d reply to say, no thanks, I’m not available now. Then, after a week of the importuning every damn time I logged on, I explained patiently that usually I preferred to set a date in advance, and that only very rarely was I looking for an instant hookup. When the Can you do it NOW?! letters kept coming, however, I began to ignore them completely. The problem was that if I ignored him on Adam4Adam, I’d get emails from him on Manhunt. Maybe you didn’t see my message on A4A but are you looking for NOW? Or BBRT. I messaged you on A4A and Manhunt but I am looking for NOW or are you playing games with me?!
So I blocked him. On every site.
That should’ve been an end to it, but instead he created a second profile on Adam4Adam so he could ask me why I had blocked him. I blocked that profile. He created a third profile to shriek at me that I was a game player and he was going to make sure the world knew what a vile human being I was. I wrote back a final message saying, quite calmly, that I’d asked him not to nag me for ‘now’ every time I logged on, and since he had proved incapable of it, I didn’t intend to talk to him any more. And I never did.
However, what followed made for a miserable few months. I started receiving messages online from people I didn’t know asking things like, Dude, what did you do to ______? When I checked the harasser’s profile, I saw that he’d posted a little rant using my screen name saying that I was a game player and an evil son of a bitch. Well. I contacted the site’s help desk, and reported it as harassment. Apparently they sent him a letter of warning or something, because within a day his profile had been amended so that my profile name was no longer in it. Instead, there was a long rant in all capital letters about how some people on the site were evil and needed to be stopped because they were obviously crazy and out to get everyone in trouble.
For a month I had to do this shit. He’d start a profile, use it to rant about me, and then I’d report it to the site administrators. He’d get a warning, and then he’d write another screed about crazy freaks who were out to harass him. Things came to a head when I made a trip to visit my dad in Virginia. I changed my Adam4Adam profile to reflect my new location. I woke up in my old twin bed the next morning with a mail account stuffed full of messages from Richmond guys. I hear you’re a game player, they’d typically read. I’m not down with game players, so don’t contact me while you're here. Or, I heard you were bad news but you sure have a great cock. Are they even your photos? I didn’t have to wonder for long why the sudden spate of mails, because down in my box was a message from the freak himself. The message said that he was writing all the men of my dad’s hometown to inform them that a game player had come to town, and that under any circumstances they were not to meet me, because I would agree to hook up with them and then block them, just for fun. Furthermore, he had heard from a reputable source that my photos were not of me, and that I was lying about my age and my weight, which he had heard was considerably above two hundred pounds. He finished with a flourish in all capital letters that warned people to keep away from me or suffer!
Yes, in his zeal to send out the word about me to everyone with an Adam4Adam profile in Richmond, the dumb-ass sent his mass email to me, too.
The letter was written in a mixture of capitalized words and multiple exclamation points common to the crazy and the schizophrenic. I very calmly forwarded it to the Adam4Adam people and requested they do something about it once and for all. They very kindly deleted all the guy’s profiles, and banned him from the site for what turned out to be several months.
You’d think it would’ve stopped there. But no. The guy lay low for a while. He removed any references to game-players from his descriptions. He stopped viewing my profile. It was a few weeks later, though, that I started getting messages from another guy on BBRT, a southern fellow named Mel with a genial face and a beard. He said that he was a friend of my harasser and that he had heard I lie about my HIV status. I wrote back a blast of an email that informed Mel that if his friend wanted to slapped with a slander suit he should by all means feel free to keep spreading that rumor.
Mel immediately sensed he was in the middle of something bigger than himself; he had the good sense to realize, also, that he’d been used by his friend to try to get at me. Over the course of a few weeks our talks became more cordial. I stopped regarding him as an instrument of the devil. He conceded that his buddy had an issue with alcohol. It was a slow adjustment for the both of us, but once he allowed that his buddy had a bit of a problem, and once I stopped associating the hostility I had for my harasser with my much more neutral feelings for Mel, we actually started to become friends.
And then, as friends on BBRT do, we had sex.