4 min

A trip to the Meet Market

Meeting the Commander-in-Chief

I met the most fascinating man the other day. He is a sweet, intelligent man full of wit and savvy. We can chat for hours about anything and everything or simply nothing at all. He is a man of confidence and ability. He is very considerate and always asks how I am. He is a gentlemen and his name is Commander-in-Chief.

As part of my resolution to reintroduce myself to Vancouver’s gay society, I have calculated a fail-safe plan of action. I decided to place an ad on a popular website and, for the purpose of not revealing specifics, will simply call it the Meet Market, which, in my opinion, is a better name for it anyway.

When you become a member of one of these sites, a lot is asked of you. Are you a top? Are you a bottom? Do you enjoy threesomes and orgies? What’s your position on leather and nipple clamps?

Horny, undersexed devil that I am, I had no trouble responding to such queries. With the blood draining from my head and entering the nether region down below, I promptly listed a bevy of interests and kinks that made me blush.

Yet, I may have lost track of what this whole exercise was supposed to be about. I hadn’t actually meant to seek an instant hookup, but I soon found myself torn between two competing goals. On the one hand, I wanted nothing more than to meet some dudes, engage in light conversation and perhaps grab a cup of coffee. But my thoughts of affable human interaction kept giving way to a compulsive need to feed.

Unfortunately a website such as this one was not conducive to playing both fields. I could not keep track of who I wanted to chat with and who I wanted to chomp on. In my earnest attempts to make friends out of strangers, I annoyed pretty much everyone I came across.

Commander-in-Chief was one of my more confused prospects. He was a professional man in his late 30s who enjoyed working out, painting, reading up on local history and had a healthy fetish involving tube socks. What he gathered from me was that I was a timid, incurable flake with a penchant for long pauses and vague responses.

I didn’t want to be a flake. I didn’t want to send out mixed messages, but I did. The cyber liaison soon came to a crashing halt.

The problem was, I was doing very little to actually extricate myself from my familiar surroundings. After several weeks on the site, I still wasn’t having much fun, let alone feeling more connected to my homo brethren.

A chat with a prospective friend and/or shag would soon be muted by my own unwillingness to venture out and take the next step. The thought of meeting someone in the flesh felt like a direct threat to my sense of security.

I realized I needed to give myself a push. I told myself that I was as prepared as I would ever be. I told myself it was time. I decided to meet Commander-in-Chief.

I worked myself into a frenzy getting ready for my first pseudo-date in quite some time. It took a day’s worth of preparation to build up any sense of self-confidence. But in the end, I must say I looked damn good. I even convinced myself that I was an attractive buck with a bewildering wit.

Too bad we decided to meet at his place.

It sounded like a good idea at the time. I assumed the confines of his abode would be more favourable than a crowded coffee shop or boisterous nightclub. I thought we would be able to talk a little more openly and be frank with each other in a way we couldn’t be with scads of people hovering around us.

I’d be lying if I said the possibility of making out with him five seconds after showing up at the door had not occurred to me. I’m only human–an incredibly sexually frustrated human.

The night was doomed the moment we met face to face. The relative ease of our web conversations gave way to an impenetrable feeling of awkwardness and feigned politeness.

We sat on his couch trying desperately to salvage some form of conversation. We gulped our wine, as if the inebriated buzz would rescue us from the torment of each other’s company.

Because we hadn’t met in a public space, a fast retreat from one another became difficult. He could not very well kick me out of his home and I was at a loss for a means to kick myself out.

Our first 10 minutes with each other stretched out to an eternity. The hands on his grandfather clock seemed to move backwards as the night reversed to day and time began to turn on itself.

At a loss for stimulating conversation, I brought up the way we had met.

“What do you think of the Meet Market? Are you on there often?” I asked. A handful of questions that could at least absorb a cluster of time.

Silence. Then: “Pictures on there can be misleading,” he said.

Should I take that personally? Was he talking about me? Unfortunately all I could do was agree with him. So we continued to sit there, after subtly insulting one another, smiling and staring at the carpet.

After a little more than an hour, I figured it was high time to make my desperate escape. Mustering up the lame excuse that I had an early start the next day, I threw on my jacket and practically ran for the nearest exit.

An uncomfortable evening led to an equally uncomfortable exchange of goodbyes. With my back to him, I was taken aback to hear him utter, “I’ll call you sometime.”

My first encounter with manfolk in a long time was not what one would call a rousing success, but it was something. I felt as though I had officially re-emerged. This did not carry with it any dramatic flair: a chorus of angels was not singing my praise, dozens of people did not pour out onto the street and shake my hands and a radiant light did not shine from the heavens above. However, it was my first honest attempt at rejoining the land of the living.

I think I am ready to move on from the whole personals website thing and meet guys another way.