Not that long ago I opened up one of those apps that locates nearby guys for you based on GPS information—Scruff or Growlr, it probably was, since I don’t use Grindr any longer—and I had a nice conversation with a good-looking guy in the vicinity. Nice, but brief. He said I was handsome; I said I felt the same about him. We established that we lived within about twenty-five miles of each other. He asked if I had a big dick. I let a picture do the talking on that one. We both agreed that we should meet sometime, and swapped phone numbers.
And that was it. I flipped off my tablet and went to bed.
The next morning I woke up and looked at my phone. I had ten texts from the guy, spaced out over the hours normal people are sleeping. Are you awake? read the first. Message me if you’re awake when you get this, read the second. Then, I’m up thinking about you and if you’re awake, could you text me back? And so on. If my phone didn’t automatically go silent at ten o’clock and night and keep quiet until nine the next morning, I sure would’ve been awake (and slightly ticked off) at getting a fifth text at four o’clock in the morning, that’s for sure.
When I awoke to all those texts, I found my interest had naturally cooled overnight. I logged onto whatever app it was I’d found the guy, and within seconds—seconds—of logging on, the guy was sending me messages. I’ve been texting you, he said. Maybe you aren’t getting my texts? Your number is ###-###-####, right? Are you around this afternoon? Hello? Are you there? I was feeling disappointed in the guy and hounded and getting a sense of deja vu from earlier in the calendar year, so I just sat there and tried to think of what to do. Then my phone buzzed. I’m trying to talk to you on Scruff (or Growlr or whatever it was), it said. Maybe you aren’t getting my messages there?
Mikey, my brother, said not so very long ago that I get off on being pursued. Which is correct. I’ve spent a lifetime being the one chased. But he very quickly added that if someone pursued me too much, I get turned off even more quickly.
Also true. And even by the most lenient standards, this guy was pursuing me a little too much. A little too hard.
And, as it turned out, a little too crazily. I decided rather than reason with someone who was turning out to be a freak after a brief conversation, I’d cut my losses. I blocked him on the app. I made the decision to ignore the texts (and eventually, phone messages) the guy was leaving for me, because answering them would merely let him know that he actually had the right phone number. For a week I got upwards of twenty messages a day that got increasingly weird. I remember one that ran, From the wilderness an a-rooooo! of the wild wolf cuts through the night as the beast searches for his lost mate.
All I could really think was, what the fuckety fuck, dude?
Eventually, I’m glad to say, it all came to and end when, after over dozens of texts and voice mails he texted with a long and snippy diatribe against me that concluded, When we first talked I THOUGHT you were a nice guy who wasn’t going to turn out to be like all the other assholes in my life but I guess I was WRONG about THAT. I wanted to text back, When we first talked I thought you were sane, but I guess I was wrong, too. But I didn’t.
The whole affair sounds like comic fodder for another of my Department of Odd Encounters-tagged blog entries. But when it was happening, I was really quite shaken, and frightened. I didn’t address it directly in my blog earlier this year when it was going on, but for a couple of months I had a very serious issue with a seriously unstable stalker—and I’m not talking about some random dude leaving unkind remarks on my entries, or someone who exists only as digital bits sending me endless text messages. No, I mean a real-life, local, out-of-his-fucking-mind stalker, who went out of his way to let me know he was tracking my activities both online and in real life. I was genuinely afraid for a period of time I’d come home and find a pet bunny boiling on the stove. And that’s all I have to say about him.
I’ve had stalkers of varying strengths all my life, from the ones who merely moon from afar when they see me, to the ones who stare at me balefully in public locations and leave me notes assuming that I correctly interpreted their stern and forbidding glares as The Look Of True Love, to the ones who follow me around a campus or a town, to the outright freaks who contact me at every turn and see no harm in ‘showing up’ at Macy’s when I’m shopping there and then ‘just happen to be driving the same route’ when I’m taking the back roads home.
I’ll be honest. I don’t get it, guys (and gals—because I’ve had plenty of female stalkers, too). I don’t understand how it’s ever okay to send someone a dozen text messages overnight when you’ve just virtually met. I don’t understand how a person justifies, in his own head, cyber-stalking someone and then bragging about it to the object of his affection—or how he ever imagines that it’s A-OK to creep around behind someone and monitor his whereabouts. I don’t get the mentality. I can’t fit it into any of the little boxes of rationality and sanity that organize my own life. It’s just unfathomable.
I was sexually assaulted, years ago. I wrote about it in these pages. Sure, I’m flattered when someone pursues me, but because of my experience, there’s a limit. Cross that, and I’ll automatically choose the closest and most convenient—and I won’t be coming back to give a guy a second chance.
Enough venting on that topic. Let’s get to some questions from formspring.com. (And again, if you don’t have a formspring account, feel free to send me your questions via email. Just, you know, not two dozen of them via text, overnight.)
Okay since you like some perversion, what is your take on water sports?
My take on water sports is that it's too mainstream and vanilla to be classified a perversion.
Guys pissing on, or in each other is just another form of sex play. It's not scary; it's not particularly dangerous. From a sensual perspective, the sensation of warm wetness on the skin is pleasurable. Sharing piss can be exquisitely intimate; it can also be used to establish or reinforce dominance and submission. Like any sexual tool, the locus of excitement comes about more from how one uses it, than the act itself.
A lot of people have very strong toilet taboos from their childhoods, but you know what? A lot of men grew up being told that anal sex is a bad thing. Judging from the numbers of butt-up photos I see on Manhunt, they managed to get over that taboo. Fear of piss, can also be overcome, and so can calling it a perversion.
Have you ever fucked outside in the rain? If so, did the rain add anything to the experience?
I suppose I have fucked outdoors in the rain, though it wasn't deliberate; there have been plenty of times I've been caught in a park by a sudden downpour, though.
In these cases, the rain hasn't exactly added anything, save for the constant need to wipe the water out of my nose and eyes.
In other words, it wasn't like a Rhianna video or anything.
Do open relationships work?
If both partners work at it, absolutely.
Part of the narrative of our sexually-repressed culture is that sexual satisfaction can (and indeed, must) be achieved only in a monogamous union. Anything less than that is, in the knee-jerk popular conceit, failure.
With that message so firmly pounded into our heads from our youths, it's difficult to wrap our brains around the notion that many couples have arranged their lives outside the dominant narrative to include open relationships. For these couples, the arrangement isn't a 'second-best' compromise; it's not an admission of failure or a confession that things didn't work out as planned. It's a working system that keeps the couple together, that makes both parties happy, that often enhances the relationship, and that even can keep the sexual flame burning strongly between the two.
An open relationship is not going to work if both people don't want it, and it's especially not going to work if one person is being dragged into it by the other. And it's going to feel awkward in the initial stages, and as if it isn't working, as the couple puzzles out exactly what their own rules and boundaries are going to be—especially the first few times that either person ventures out to be with someone else.
Persistence and negotiation will pay off, however. With effort and with time, an open relationship can definitely work—I know many couples who have had such arrangements for decades, and to insinuate that their relationship is less equal to any monogamous couple's is ignorant and derogatory.