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Speed Queens

(Photo: Cincinnati Jamie on the prowl.)

When Cincinnati Jamie pulled up in front of the Hilton one evening in October with a spent Austrian airline pilot in the passenger seat, I tried to be demure. As he got out of the car, I told Herr Pilot, “When I blog about this, I promise only to refer to you as number three.”

I had walked across my downtown Chicago neighborhood to meet Jamie for a ride up to Lincoln Square to satiate a mutual Queen City chili fix. I knew well it wasn’t the only satiating going on that day.

“My word, can you at least try to be a bit more taciturn next time?” pleaded Jamie as we pulled away down Wacker. “He didn’t know there was already a number one and two.”

“Weren’t the wet sheets a tip-off?”

“Look, Michael, let me have this. I’m a big guy; it’s not as easy for me as it is for you thin boys. And after all, it’s the only regular aerobic activity that I get…you want to try for number four?”

I demurred.

My late-afternoon lead-up to our chili run was no less lustful. An hour before, online acquaintance Vanity Vince recounted in great detail his similar attempt to conquer Chicago’s gay dating scene in a single day.

“They’re all lined up right now: one, two, three, four,” he said with some glee. “All over the city. Some are dinner, others are coffee. I’m giving myself an hour to run between each one.”

“What if you hit it off with one of them?” I asked.

“They can have an extra half-an-hour and then I’ll just tell the taxi to step on it.”

“Where are you starting?”

“Lakeview, then Lincoln Square, then Lincoln Park, then Uptown.”

“Why didn’t you schedule all your lakefront dates back to back?”

“Three dates in a row practically in the same neighborhood? Don’t you think that’s a little gauche?”

I’ve often wondered whether my own love life would go more smoothly if I had that speed-dating gene seemingly so common in the gay community. Line ’em all up, check their teeth, pat their rump, and trot them around for a trial run, one by one. Like race horses, only with condoms and better shoes.

I’m just not wired that way. I’m the kind of guy who finds it sexier to learn what’s in a guy’s head and heart before I find out what’s in his boxer-brief Calvins. I blame my mother, she always told me being a good boy was a virtue. Unfortunately, sex on the first date is what sells in the homosphere. And by date, I mean booty call.

Not that I’m above a good romp in the designer Egyptian cotton sheets. A listen to my first (and so far, last) podcast will learn you the details about my first (and so far, second) post-heartbreak summer of love. And by summer of love, I mean summer of booty calls.

But as any lovelorn queer will tell you, booty calls don’t tend to be followed up by follow-up calls. Experience shows if you’re looking for Mr. Right in the gay community, you’re not going to get far if you keep turning him into Mr. Right Now.

It’s not just Jamie and Vince. Most of my gay male friends seem to think mutual masturbation and simultaneous climax are the hallmarks of a good first date.

I think it’s a guy thing more than anything else. Straight or gay, let’s face it, in the timeless words of RuPaul: mens are dogs. The gay community even has a joke about it:

What does a lesbian bring on a second date? A U-Haul.

What does a gay man bring on a second date? What’s a second date?

Actually, downtown friend Robert to Trot does seem to have a few of those. Probably the randiest gay man I’ve ever met, I’ve often wondered how he manages it.

“Oh, honey, I don’t expect to find a husband anymore anyway,” he confided during a recent visit to his downtown digs. “I’ve just shifted my definition of date a little further south, if you get my drift. Here let me show you…”

As Robert walked toward his bathroom, my inner pencil immediately traced an escape route to his front door.

He reached under his vanity and pulled out a box of scary. “This is my freezer bag of Nair–in three scents mind you, and this is my freezer bag of Rid, you know, in case of emergency.”

“You’re kidding.” I doubt enough air came up my windpipe for him to hear my reply.

“And this is my Cipro. There’s three guys before Monday, so I half-expect I may catch something bacterial and I just want to be prepared.”

Mom also always told me to think before I speak. That day at Robert’s, I finally took her advice. I paused and considered an appropriate response.

“Dude, I’m never using anything made out of cloth in your apartment again.”

No, the gay speed-dating life definitely isn’t for me. So I keep plugging away, online and off, trying to be flexible in my own personal husband-hunting criteria. But not overly permissive. Dogs? Kids? Expunged records? Bring ’em on. You’re 40, you live at home, and you’re still in the closet? Next!

I wish I was joking about that last one. He honestly couldn’t understand why I didn’t think he was a catch. It’s almost enough to make me consider dating women.

As if I’d share a closet.

Categories: Best Of Chicago Carless LIFE Love

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Mike Doyle

I’m an #OpenlyAutistic gay, Hispanic, urbanist, Disney World fan, New York native, politically independent, Jewish blogger in Chicago. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I write words and raise money for nonprofits. I’ve written this blog since 2005. And counting...

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16 replies

  1. I agree with Matt about getting “sex out of the way”. My last long term BF, Luis, started out as a one-night-stand and we dated for almost 3 years. My current beau, Omar, was a friend and fuck bud for several months. Every time we met up for sex, we spent more and more time chatting, listening to music or talking about films. The sex was great, but not the sole reason for our contact. We are now working on a relationship and its nice to know that we are physically compatible and can concentrate on the emotional side.
    Speaking of “Sex and the City”, I was once branded a hybrid Samantha/Miranda by my friends (some now former friends!) Why?? I didnt trust men, but would fuck any man who dared to come home with me!
    What struck me, on New Year’s Day, when I was lying on the couch watching Jane Campion’s “Sweetie”, was the line when the Seer tells Kay that “courage and sex….thats love”.
    Its taken my COURAGE to open up myself to Omar, we’ve already conquered the sex.
    2009 is feeling like a lucky year for me!

  2. Well, I’d been in monogamous relationships before I met my current beau, and, at the time that I met him, I didn’t know for certain we’d end up together. In fact, I was in a good deal of denial of my feelings toward him for a long while.

    Even when not ‘dating’ or ‘hunting,’ I’ve found that sometimes the only way to get a person–okay, a man–to listen is to get the sex out of the way. We’re often so caught up in the tension (Does he find me attractive? Attractive enough? Are we compatible?) that we spend more time “playing the game” and flirting back and forth (I brushed his arm, is that okay?) than actually listening to each other. Once the sex is out of the way, everything suddenly feels a lot more relaxed. Post-coital conversations feel a lot freer and natural than the verbal tap dances we excruciatingly put ourselves through.

    This isn’t to say that I would recommend just boinking every attractive potential partner. I personally will chat up a person online forever, testing their mental capabilities before meeting in person. But by then, is that still considered a ‘date’? The definition of ‘date’ has evolved. Long gone are the days of “Let me introduce you to my mother’s neighbor’s son.” By the time I met a guy, I had usually talked at length with him, so sex on the first ‘date’ didn’t feel quite so strange. We already knew each other.

    But even with all that said, you have to do what works for you. I was never a Sex & the City watcher, but I have to assume that if both the slutty one and the wholesome one could find their individual happinesses, then there’s hope for all of us.

  3. “spent Austrian airline pilot in the passenger seat”

    MD, I can’t stop laughing. Seriously, I am going to get a letter from the manager’s office about my noise violation. Chuckling for 10 minutes.

    You must get Cincinnati Jamie and I together & exchange notes.

  4. yep that was the misadventure that scared me “straight”…at least now I CAN look back on that and sort of laugh. It definitely has affected my desire to play the game anymore, and all in all, I’m happier having gay friends (sometimes with benefits) than a gay boyfriend. Works for me, but obviously not for most.

  5. Matt, you are the unique sort I have often admired who is comfortable with an open relationship. That’s not something within my own comfort zone, but I have no problem with a couple choosing together to maintain those kinds of sexual boundaries. Perhaps the “sex on a first date” rule doesn’t apply on those grounds?

    Tony, I remember a bit of the story but it’s been awhile? Care to elaborate here? I can’t stand the rituals much either–you probably remember I don’t have much patience for small talk for small talk’s sake.

    But I can’t help but wonder whether your dating disillusionment has more to do with a potential gay Nordic suitor deciding instead to run away to explore a consensual tie-up in a white-power suburban dungeon while international police searched high and low for him (hmm, maybe I remember more of the story than I think). After a snubbing like that, who wouldn’t want to give up the husband pursuit?

  6. Remind me to count my blessings that I live 600 miles from you and you don’t know every detail of my private life anymore (except what you might read in the Daily News about missing Norwegians from time to time 😉 ) After that misadventure, I certainly gave up on ever finding a life partner.

    I don’t know whether to admire or feel sympathy for you for still trying to “date” gay men. While I am all in favor of gay marriage, the trite rituals and codes of “dating” in American society, gay or straight have become anathema to me. Sex is quite nice now and then thank you, but do any of us need the trauma of what is called “dating”? Life is too short for that!

  7. Part of me feels compelled to say something… and the other part thinks I should just keep my big mouth shut. Tales from my early 20s would send you screaming.

    Without divulging too much, I’ve always attempted to deal with people on an individual basis. Some can only handle being friends, some are only capable of a sexual relationship, others can successfully sustain both aspects, and then there are those who can’t do either. It all depends on each person.

    Admittedly, I was never a “husband hunter.” Of course, it was when I was NOT looking for a partner that I found one.

    And for your information, yes, we DID have sex on the first date.

  8. [Ed. note: The following slightly edited rebuttal comes from Robert to Trot, in response to the above post.]

    I appreciate your embellishment of our discussion at my downtown digs last week, but to clarify a few things:

    1. [Regarding the use of “Honey”,] lies, lies, lies!

    2. [Regarding the use of Nair,] lies, lies, lies!

    3. [Regarding the use of Cipro,] lies, lies, lies!

    4. [Regarding the potential for bacterial infection,] lies, lies, lies!

    And while we’re at it, regarding the rest of that weekend, it turned out to be five successive days of men, including a Brazilian Monday and a garden variety Mexican that left an hour ago. And I managed to squeeze a nice Jewish man in Sunday and have another scheduled for Friday.

    [I always feel it best to close with the truth.]

  9. RcktMan, that’s ’cause you keep running back to Mr. Wrong (except for last time.) Let go! Let go! And sit a little closer to me, while you’re at it.

    Lesbo-a-Go-Go, I am dying to go see those burlesque videos of yours. Hmm, maybe I’m changing already?

    Meh, not that it would do you any good 😉

  10. That last one almost had me spit out my coffee. It’s as hysterical as it is true to life.

    I stand behind my “thin boys” quote from you.

    I will concede your ongoing relationships with numbers one and three.

    And by relationships I mean booty calls.

  11. A few things…

    A) I am still friends with two of the three from that day and maintain ongoing relationships with them, including the airline pilot.

    B) You insisted on meeting me at the hotel to meet my Austrian.

    C) While you are smaller than me, I would never include you with the “for you thin boys” group.

    D) You being “demure” is like Ethel Merman singing Killing Me Softly.

    I think I smell sour grapes. 😉

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