Tinder/Grindr/other meat market approaches to dating kids seem to use these days just come across as so alien to me. That isn’t to say that I am against meeting someone and quickly taking it to the backseat of my parents’ car, but I guess I am starting to feel like a dinosaur in the dating world. I was once great at meeting people at bars, shows, while walking my dog, on Myspace/Friendster/Makeoutclub or whatever the somewhat chic places used to be for the awkward twenty-somethings in the early 00s. Thankfully, yet unfortunately, for me those days are now long in my past.
I recently reread some very interesting instant messages from ten plus years ago. They involved me talking to a female friend about having her come over so I could do it to her in some less than savory orifices. You may be asking yourself, “Why would I ever think to do that in the first place?” To that I can only answer – it worked more than once. Somehow, I conditioned myself into believing that it was acceptable. Maybe it was a period of my life when I happened to look more appealing to the fairer gender – or maybe people in Baltimore are really easy – but for a handful of years in my early twenties, I was obsessed with the idea of sex. I wasn’t attached to the idea of responsibility, feelings, relationships or anything constructive, but sex I could definitely wrap my mind around. It was fun. I wasn’t into one night stands with randoms, but if any of my friends were into the idea it would work as long as there was no baggage or awkwardness involved. It seemed to have rules similar to Fight Club. Once feelings started to rear their ugly head things had to be stopped immediately. Plus the first rule always seemed to be that we just don’t talk about it.
At the time I had insurance through my job at the music distribution company I worked for in Baltimore, MD. Being insured didn’t seem to stop me from being any less reckless, but it did allow me to get regular STD check ups. I am not sure what prevented me from catching a kid all of those times, but whatever it was it didn’t keep me from catching chlamydia. Like a street drug, it was called the clap, and I had it. I am not sure who shared it with me, though, so I was about to break the number one rule. I had to call the people that I had sex with to talk to them about the sex we had together and, unfortunately, the resulting sexually transmitted infection. An infection that at least two of us would end up having. I wasn’t mad at anyone, and they shouldn’t have been upset with me, because the handful of people I spoke with could have been the giver or receiver of this nasty little condition. Thankfully enough for all of us involved, it was a very treatable situation.
A couple of the people outright refused to talk to me about it and I am not sure if they even believed that I was serious. One cried, one yelled at me, and another said that her boyfriend was going to be pissed (that one surprised me a little), but at the very least I had to tell them. Afterward, I happened to learn some very important lessons on what it means not to be a douche bag, though I never did figure out which party originally had or ended up with our infectious little friend.
In the present, I try to live by the code that I wouldn’t do anything I’d be uncomfortable telling my mother about. We shouldn’t be ashamed of anything we do. Sex can be a healthy part of any relationship and should be enjoyed whether it is with a significant other, a friend or even alone. I also strongly recommend that everyone look into what consent means and talks about it freely as well. Opening up a better dialogue about such things is the first step to a healthier, safer sex life for everyone.