Thursday, 14 June 2012

The Final On-line Hook-up?

Note to Reader:  I wrote the essay below some time ago, before I opened this blog.  In it, I recount a hook-up at my home that went awry.  Only recently, the world learned of the horrific murder of Jun Lin, allegedly at the hands of Luka Rocco Magnotta.  Facts seem hazy, but it appears that the two men knew each other for some time before the murder, a murder that was filmed and posted on a gore website.  I and my friends who have welcomed strangers into our homes for hook-ups wondered how we had avoided inviting over a psychotic like this Magnotta character.  The story I relate below is of an experience that is nearly comical in contrast to Jun Lin’s killing, and yet it still had me thinking about the dangers of hook-ups.  The question I pose to readers is:  Did the Luka Rocco Magnotta crime make anyone out there skittish about inviting a guy over for a hook-up?  Is it the end of hook-ups?

How is it that one knows they’ve reached the end of an era?  How is it that you wake up and find that what used to work for you no longer works?  Is that just a part of getting older?  I had always loved hook-ups.  Hunting a guy online and having him come over.  Or going over to his place.  The thrill of the hunt, the thrill of the unknown.  So often, though, I was disappointed with what I found in reality once he arrived at my door.  I rarely, if ever, thought of the dangers – how did I know that a psycho killer wasn’t going to enter my apartment?  That is the power of sex.  And the down low, illicit nature of an online hook-up was part of the thrill.  Sexual adventurism at its height.  Some would say sexual stupidity at its height.  But there is something undeniably hot about a guy showing up at your door, as if you had ordered a pizza, and willing to drop his pants and have sex without the preamble of dinner and a movie.  Without the effort of even going to a bar.  A guy who, like you, needs sex and will go sight unseen (except for pics seen online) and go clear across town to be with another horny guy. 

Like drinking, when does it stop being a fun lark and start being an addiction?  I always thought I was in control, when in reality, an online hook-up steals your control – you don’t know if you’ll really like what shows up, you don’t know if they’re mentally balanced, etc.  After a long while, after years of this, I had to ask – Was the dog wagging the tail, or was the tail wagging the dog?

Don’t get me wrong – some of the hook-ups I’ve had have been fantastic, wherein I lucked out and had a great time.  But that great time was often followed by a hollowness that I would seek to fill in with more hook-ups.  But recently, I had a hook-up that beat all hook-ups.  And the utter surreal nature of it had me questioning whether I could continue to let unknown men into my home.

Let’s call him Greg.  On a Friday night, I was on and he was the only guy online that night that caught my eye, so I messaged him.  I’d like to start now by mentioning one of the red flags that cropped up, red flags that I chose to downplay.  In one of his two pics, his eyes were closed.  An odd picture to put up, but eyes open or closed, he looked cute.  He looked street tough, with shaggy hair topped with a ball-cap, a few days growth of stubble, wearing a hoodie, approximately 25 to 28 years old.  He didn’t message back right away, but when he did, I was somewhat taken aback when he alluded to coming over and playing right away.  Some nights while hunting men online, that was exactly what I wanted – zero small talk bullshit, just a plan to meet and screw.  But on this night, I wasn`t there yet – perhaps I needed a few more drinks to get me to that point.  On this night in particular, I wasn’t looking for an immediate hook-up.  I think I was already wearying of them, so I asked if he’d like to grab a beer the next day, the next day being a Saturday.  He agreed.

The next day, I called him, and he was still on for meeting.  Turns out that he lived with his parents quite far out in the suburbs, but no problem – his dad would drive him to the nearest subway stop so he could get downtown to my place.  “Um,” I stammered, “does your dad know that he’s driving you to a hook-up with a guy you’ve never met in person?”  “ Oh sure,” he replied, “Mom and Dad both know.  Mom gave me a condom.”  Hippie parents?  Negligent parents?  He was a full-fledged adult, but this sounded ridiculous.  But I let the red flag go.  Just because my parents would have had a coronary at the thought of me going to meet a stranger for sex didn’t mean all parents thought this way, did it?

We sexted a bit, and he phoned to say he’d cut his cock shaving.  “It’s all your fault,” he told me.  “I want you so bad, that I couldn’t concentrate on shaving.  Hey, why don’t we just skip the beer and I’ll just come to your place.  If we don’t click I’ll just leave.” Dear Reader, you know I said “ok”, don’t you?   I told him that I had previously arranged to hang out with my sister at about 9:30, so could he be here by 7?  He said no problem – he had other friends that he could hang out with in the Village after.  But if we clicked, would I like to get together after I was through at my sister’s?  Could he crash at my place, since it would be too late to get the metro back to the burbs?  We hadn’t even met yet, and already he was arranging a sleep over.  I, who don’t know how to say no when I should sometimes, said “sure”.

He arrived and knocked on the door, and I took a deep breath.  When I opened the door, I would see the real deal, and that would make all the difference.  I stealed myself and opened the door, and was disappointed.  It was him, the guy in the pictures I’d seen online, but it wasn’t him, you know?  I had endowed his two pictures with qualities that didn’t exist in reality.  But I smiled and let him in.  He was wearing a ball cap, a t-shirt and torn jeans.  I was wearing a black tank to show off the muscles, and jeans and a ball cap too.  He kissed me right away, and the kiss did not taste good.  There was no chemistry, right from the get go.  Still, ever the host with the most, I let this stranger in and offered him a beer.

He drank like a fish, and finished the first beer in record time.  Why in hell did I feel the need to be so accommodating that I quickly offered him another?  I could tell that he was really attracted to me – he told me so.  I couldn’t bear to tell this guy who had come all the way from the suburbs that it wasn’t working.  Instead, I was going to make it work, putting my own needs and desires aside in a misguided attempt to be a nice guy to a fellow sexual traveller. 

Against my better judgement, we began to fool around and our tops came off.  His chest revealed a non-descript tattoo on the left pec.  He straddled me and we kissed, rubbing each other’s crotches through our jeans.  He was out of shape and said he was working to get rid of the winter fat.  At this point, I was on automatic.  I’d been down this road so many times that, like a housewife doing her conjugal duty, I just wanted him to get off and go.  And so he lay down on the couch, and I struggled to undo his belt.  Finally getting that off, I slowly undid the zipper on his jeans, and began to pulling the jeans aside to release his cock and start sucking it.  And that’s when I noticed the red blotch.

“Dude,” I said, “I think your cock in bleeding.”  “No,” he answered, “I cut myself shaving, but it should be scabbed over by now.”  Was he implying that I should go ahead and suck a scabby cock?  Had all of this sunk so low that it was now going to be about sucking a scab?  Did he really believe that I would do it?  It was an epiphany.  Ten years of hook-ups had led to this moment, and I took note.  At what point would I say to myself that enough was enough?

But the cut had not scabbed over, not at all.  He was bleeding, and I told him so.  He stood up and looked and saw that I was right.  The blood began to drip on his jeans and narrowly missed my carpet.  I told him to head to the bathroom, and luckily, only when he hit the tile that led to the bathroom did his blood hit the floor.  Carpet saved.  I got him a wet cloth, followed the trail of blood to the bathroom, and found him trying in vain to stop the bleeding with tissue.  Was this going to need stitches?  But the wet cloth stopped it, and he deposited the bloody cloth in my sink.  A present for me?  How thoughtful.

He pulled up his jeans, which showed a large blood stain on the crotch.  I assumed that he was mortified that this was happening in a stranger’s home – wouldn’t anyone be?  But he wasn’t apoplectic with apologies – he was quite cool about it, at least outwardly.  Lord in Heaven, why I didn’t tell him to leave and go home?  I gave him a pair of my underwear since he had been commando, and put a towel on my leather couch for us to sit on and actually offered him another beer.  I wanted to appear to be the guy who could handle crazy situations like this and put him at ease, feeling that if the tables were reversed, I would hope my host would not freak out.

I had to wipe the blood off the floor.  He said, “I’m negative, just in case you’re worried about the blood.”  I didn’t answer him, I just wiped the blood spots as carefully as possible.  I humourously asked him how mortified he was feeling, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst.  He, surprisingly, because of his apparent ease with the situation, answered a 9.  Secretly, I was thrilled that something had intervened to prevent me from having unwanted sex with him.  Instead we chatted for a while, and he had a fourth beer.  I said that I needed to get going to my sister’s – would he be going home to change his pants and see how his cock was healing? “No, I’m gonna text my friends and hang out in the village while you’re at your sister’s.  But hey, I grabbed the wrong wallet on the way out the door and this one is empty.  Could you spare me $20?”  I gave it to him so I could be absolved of all responsibility.  What I worried about was how much he was wobbling after the four beers I had served him.  “I’m really feeling it because I had a few beers with my dad this afternoon while watching the game. “

He left and quickly texted me to say that I was attractive.  I texted back asking where he was going.  He wrote, “Dunno.  Maybe to the baths for a few hours?”  He was going to go to a bath house with a bleeding cock.   And he seemed to expect that we would see each other again later and that he could still crash at my place for the night.  Lord help us all.

Shortly thereafter, I texted him to say that I would be hanging with my sister for the rest of the evening and that he wouldn’t be able to stay at my place for the night.  I did this early enough so that he could still catch the subway home if he was so inclined.  and for the first time in ten years of actively having hook-ups, I looked in the mirror and asked myself what the fuck I was looking for that I would open my home to this kind of experience.  What bleeding wound did I possess inside that made me create a space in my life where such things could happen?  The experience would almost be funny if it weren’t so damn tragic.  I’m a slow learner, but it finally dawned on me that I had reached an impasse.

Greg texted me the next day, apologizing for his bleeding and hoping it didn’t freak me out too much.  I was glad that he was ok – I had, after all, sent him out of my apartment drunk and bleeding.  I played it cool and texted that I was glad he was alright.  And neither of us communicated again.  I, however, began communicating with my higher self.  The idea of letting a stranger in the sanctity of my home became anathema to me.  Sexually, I would need to find other ways to satisfy myself because online hook-ups were seemingly more and more discordant with what I needed.  The song was ending, and I needed to learn a new melody.

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