Thursday, March 17, 2011

From Bad, Good: Part 1

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.


  1. JESUS Rob! This one made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up (of which I have more than a few)! Talk about a crazy person! Jeeze!!

    Now for the happy ending...

  2. Buck,

    Yeah, it's crazy how obsession will control your behavior. I never directly engaged with the guy after I blocked him, but he kept coming after me for the longest damned time.

    Be careful out there.

  3. Wow Rob,

    Crazy! I now hear the theme song to Halloween. goose bumps on my arm!

    No more crazies for Rob please!
    bye dollface!

  4. I had a local guy on Manhunt that alsways used to send me messages to me saying I wa fat, ugly, and probably never had sex because of it...EVERY time I happened to look at his profile. I finally just blocked him and decided I probably get MORE sex than the poor schmuck! LOL


  5. Orodrigu,

    It was pretty creepy all right. Let your prayer for no more crazies be heard!

  6. VersBareCub,

    I would not at all be surprised if you were getting laid more than that asswipe. Bad attitude turns off more men way quicker, and much more effectively, than a few extra pounds.

  7. The sad thing is, you were just an outlet of a whole mess of shit in that man's life -- really having nothing to do with you at all. Sounds like he was storing up crap since Johnny stole his rollerskate key back in third grade. Sorry for the annoyance and stress.

  8. Sadly, I too have been in a mess with a stalker like this guy. There are some really dangerious people out here. Be carefull out here people.

  9. I'm appalled at what you went through in this episode, Rob...
    I'm sorry to say I've encountered one horrifying stalking / harassment episode. There are crazy people out there and the sad thing is, they feel they are normal and completely justified in acting this way...
    I am also always disgusted at how ill-mannered men can be on these sites...

  10. Loki,

    Yeah, that's totally true. I might've been the locus of his discontent, but very likely it had nothing to do with me at all. No need to be sorry, though. Unless you're HIM.

  11. 5:13 Anonymous,

    There are some dangerous and scary people out there. Everyone needs to be careful!

  12. FC,

    The bad manners of guys on websites is one thing—unfortunately, some men feel that the remove of the computer screen gives them free license to be total dicks. Stalking and harassment is completely different, as you know—and it seems as if over the course of my life I have attracted my share (and then some!) of stalkers.

  13. Rob, I'm so glad I read these 2 posts out of order - the happy ending first, then the stalking nightmare.
    I've had a weird week myself with guys acting strange online, so at first this was sort of cathartic to read. Then it just got creepy and scary.

  14. The weirdest thing for me was that a crazy/schizophrenic could get so many others involved in his grudge. Is it my imagination, or have electronic media made it harder than ever to separate insanity from what used to stay hidden? Drawing the lines may take more insight than ever.

  15. Mark Mann,

    In the words of Jerri Blank, "I have something to say!" About the encounter you wrote up last week, anyway.

  16. 4:18 Anonymous,

    I have always been convinced that I have attracted more than my share of creepy stalkers throughout my life, though I only have my own experiences to go by. They've been pre-internet and post-.

    And I'll tell you, I would take the internet stalkers anytime. They might be able to reach a much larger audience more quickly if they decide to get ugly, but it's also relatively easy to block them from contacting you on a website. Plus, they never really get up off their asses.

    The guys who put the effort into stalking you by, you know, actually stalking you around town, are the ones who are real trouble, and likely to do something everyone will regret. And I had too many of those in the pre-online days.

  17. Damn! One of the sad aspects of internet sites is just the issue you write about (awesomely well! even with it being a simple recounting of the facts): people, for whatever reason, unable to functional within even simple social parameters. Those with real problems, substance abuse/addiction, have even fewer hurdles to prevent them from causing others, and themselves, more problems. And then the technology allows for even further aggrandizement. The work the 'victim' then has to face to keep out of the way is ridiculous, to say the least.
    Thank you for not giving up in the face of this crap, and throwing in the towel. That was lucky for me!
    I do like how you ended this one, though! LOL!