Posts Tagged promiscuity

Match.com: Singles in America

Continuing with this week’s Valentine’s theme, I want to highlight a study I had the privilege of learning about this weekend while attending Sweets in the City, an event hosted by Single Edition.

SinglesinAmericaMatchcom_zps167573c9107 million Americans are single, and match.com is trying to understand them. Under the guidance of Dr. Helen Fisher for the third year in-a-row, match.com has commissioned a national relationship study, Singles in America. After asking 200 questions to a perfect cross-section of the U.S., they learned fascinating new things you may or may not have heard in the news as of late.

I was shocked to learn both men and women judge each other first by their teeth, followed by grammar. It’s refreshing to know that in this day and age, communication is still important. Still, I’m surprised to see teeth topped the list (as well as proud of my pearly whites).

As a gay man who wants to one day get married, it was also refreshing to hear that commitment is back in style — 90% of those open to marriage believe they can stay married to the same person forever.

As Dr. Fisher reported the results, she was most-surprised by the increased emergence of friends with benefits. As a 28-year-old, I didn’t find this particularly surprising, having had my own FWB relationships.

In related results, virginity is no longer a core value in the dating world — If anything, it’s an obstacle. Gone are the days where the first instance of intercourse between couples occurs on the night marital consummation. I think it’s only natural that people want to test-drive the car before they buy it these days, even though women are less likely to admit it.

Sexting was a particularly interesting territory in the digital age. Although most singles believe sexting could jeopardize their careers or privacy, they still partook in this social taboo, proving love conquers all (including reason).

JustMarriedGayMenMy favorite statistic was that gay men fell in love more often than anyone else. We were more romantic, more experienced in “love at first sight” and more likely to be “deeply in love” with a long-term partner. Lastly, we had sex with the same frequency as other singles, finally proving the stereotypical perception of gay promiscuity is outdated.

I’m curious if this is due to wider acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage, or if this has evolved naturally. Dr. Fisher made a point about not making a point of discussing homosexual responses as a separate entity because there are very few differences from the heterosexual responses. We’re not all that different after all.

The most shocking results were that women desired independence and men sought commitment. Single men fall in love faster and want to “move in” together sooner, while women still want to hold onto their girls’ night out.

Hear Dr. Helen Fisher’s own interpretation of the facts from Saturday’s event below:

This post was sponsored by the fine folks at match.com. Be sure to check out all the fun, fresh video clips at Singles in America.

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Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself

It had arrived. Although this would be my third year “participating,” I was legitimately scared. I wasn’t sure why it was so scary, but honestly, I was petrified for so many reasons.

My first interaction with Pride Weekend was a mistake. I was making my way to Governor’s Island for a polo match with my family when we found ourselves “stuck” in the parade route. The following year was the first year I was out when the weekend came around. It wasn’t pleasant as I witnessed my relationship crumble before my eyes like an out-of-body experience. I missed the parade that year, but I got a sampling of the other aspects of the festivities.

My fear was grounded mainly in the unknown. While I am a gay man, I do not participate in the typical gay culture. I’ve never been a big fan of gay clubs and what goes on there. I come from a background of a traditional relationship. In the gay world, that is like finding a diamond in the rough. The clubs seem to be the antithesis of this. They are a hot-bed of drugs, promiscuity and raunchy behavior. I know all gay men who go to bars don’t fit into this stereotype, but this stereotype is founded in truth. While I’ve been to a handful of gay clubs, and my comfort level was rising, I still had no idea what to expect. Never before had I been to a circuit party. I was venturing into the abyss, and this caused me incredible anxiety.

While I have learned to let go of the men in my past, I still carry the scars of my relationship with them. They’ve all hurt or used me in some way, shape or form. My biggest fear in life is being alone, and this fear is fed by thoughts of cheating, which is birthed from my baggage. The idea of CK with another man broke my heart. I had clear definitions of cheating, but there were worse things floating through my imagination — Like cheating in a form I feel is unfaithful, but the offender does not.

My relationship with CK was building a great foundation, however, the cement was still wet. We were only dating two months and ten days — Very young for any relationship. In the first month, I had strong suspicions I wasn’t the only man entering his bed. Things didn’t always line up and some of the clear indications were there, however, our relationship was still just forming. I knew there would be a transition period. While he told me he was only interested in me, and I was the only man entering his bed, I was aware how we met. I was also aware of his intentions before we even met through his first major slip-up on Grindr. I couldn’t expect monogamy from the first night — That wasn’t realistic.

While I was fairly understanding and looked the other way early on, I was not going to tolerate infidelity as our relationship progressed and strengthened. For starters, my heart wouldn’t be able to handle the pain, and lastly, it wasn’t safe for my health. I needed to trust him to be faithful. Outside the heartbreak, frankly, we were having unprotected sex. We’d been tested, but there are no guarantees. I trusted him with my life, literally, and if he was sleeping with other men, he was treating my life carelessly.

I sincerely had a feeling his intentions had evolved, but I couldn’t be sure how he would react when faced with temptation. I hoped I was the only man for him. As a result, I was petrified for the life of our relationship. I’d watched my relationship with N publicly combust the previous year, and I didn’t want a repeat.

I’m sure many of you reading think I am overreacting. It’s just a party… It’s just a parade… It’s just a weekend… Well, not to me. To me, it was a litmus test for the strength of my love for CK. I didn’t want that love to be tested, and I didn’t want to have to make a decision that could end my relationship with CK. He was my Superman. He was my world. If I lost him, my world would come crumbling down.

We had plans to go to a huge party at XL Friday night, Matinée circuit party Saturday, and the parade Sunday afternoon. I was venturing into this unknown abyss with faith and hope I could persevere. The thought of CK dropping X and losing control of his inhibitions with some other guy caused me great pain and panic attacks. The idea of another man’s hand groping his package caused me panic attacks. Picturing him dancing shirtless against another shirtless man caused me panic attacks. Every time these scenarios and many others entered my brain, my heart rate would increase drastically, I would start to sweat, and I would get light-headed.

All this added up to me being petrified and frustrated. When I asked CK what clothes I should pack to bring to his apartment for the weekend, and I didn’t get any cooperation or help. It all became overwhelming. To begin with, this wasn’t something I was looking forward to, and his lack of cooperation made me lose my sh*t. “Okay Babe. I’ll talk to you in the morning. Have fun tonight!” I said on the verge of tears as I hung up the phone on him.

I think that was the wake-up call CK needed. I don’t think he fully understood how much anxiety this all created for me. I voiced my frustrations for weeks leading up to Pride Weekend. I told him I was going out of my comfort zone, but I was willing to do it as long as I got some hand-holding. I needed help to get over this. It was just another fun weekend for him, but it was a big deal to me.

After a few minutes, he called me back. We discussed things a little more rationally, and CK’s tone changed. He finally realized I was struggling and tossed out the life-preserver. Now that I knew I had him in my corner, I was a little more relaxed, however, I still wasn’t completely comfortable. It was going to be a long, stressful and exhausting weekend both physically and emotionally. I bit down then and there, and braced for impact as I packed my bag and walked out the door.

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Stood Up

I’m not sure what it is about the gay dating world, but no one seems to have a sense of commitment. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to plan a date with a guy I clicked with on adam4adam.com or Grindr, and last minute, they either canceled, or just went completely dark. I have been cancelled on three times as often as I have gone on dates. I know the gay world is more prone to promiscuity, but c’mon guys! Lock it down. Either show up, or be man enough to own up to the reason why you can’t show up.

A little background about me: I’m a very nice and forgiving guy. You really have to screw me over to get me p*ssed off at you. I give countless chances to redeem yourself. I may be a doormat, but I have also found if you give people a second chance, you may be pleasantly surprised.

A few of the guys got more chances than others, quite simply because they were gorgeous. Even if we didn’t hit it off, I wanted to go out with them to just stare at them. Others fell by the wayside after a few attempts. I was getting to the point where I scheduled 2 dates a night because I knew one would back out last minute.

Like with dates, I give roommates more chances than they deserve. Since I moved to Hoboken, I’ve been a revolving door for roommates. I’ve had 11 roommates in 5 years at 2 different apartments. When the time came for my one of my roommates and I to find yet another replacement roommate, I turned to my tried and true friend, Craigslist. At this point, I could be a professional Craigslister. Not only have I written my own posts, but friends have requested I write theirs after their own return no quality results.

One respondent to my ad included his Facebook profile link. When I clicked the link, I immediately noticed how hot he was. He had an amazing body in his shirtless on the beach profile picture. As I scrolled down to the bottom of his info page, I noticed it said, “Interested in men.” I assume the Facebook link was his subtle way of addressing his homosexuality.

This was definitely a pleasant surprise. I was in desperate need of gay friends, and a new gay roommate could be a lot of fun. It would also make the coming out to a new roommate thing less awkward for me.

I reached out to him, and got no response. (Here is where my tenacious personality took over where most would have given up). I sent him an follow-up email explaining I was gay and thought it would be great to have him meet us and check out the apartment. Apparently that was the bait I needed to lure him in. We all clicked, he loved the place and agreed to move in.

When it came time to sign paperwork, all of a sudden, he backed out. He gave me an excuse about the possibility of his job transferring him to North Carolina in a few months.

Fast-forward 6 months later to me cruising Grindr. To my amazement, who do I find? Mr. North Carolina. I sent him a message just saying, “Hey. What’s up?”

He responded, “Hey man. Very hot! What’s going on?”

I debated whether to play games for a little while or to tell him who I was. I responded, “You know me btw…” And I told him who I was.

Ten seconds later, I received a text message from him, “You??? Damn, you look good man!”

We started chatting, and I asked him if he wanted to go out for drinks sometime. I was attracted to him physically, but after he bailed on living with me, unfriended me on Facebook, blocked me on G-chat and AIM and stopped answering my text messages, I wasn’t so sure he was relationship material. I wasn’t expecting anything to happen, but if it did, I probably wouldn’t fight it.

We picked a Friday to go out for happy hour drinks. When 5:00 rolled around, I texted him. Of course, I got complete darkness. No response. No explanation. Finally, I gave up and went home. I texted him on Saturday to see what happened. Instead of just being honest and texting me Friday to say, “Hey, I’m kinda tired. Can we reschedule?” he decided to come up with an elaborate story.

We still texted, but after the second time he bailed on me, I told him the ball was in his court as far as the next time we would hang out.

Later, he texted me about his awkward living situation in which his roommate was sexually harassing him. So, when I got the news of yet another roommate moving out, I reached out to him. He came to Hoboken for a barbeque at my apartment and to hit up the bar scene. We got along great. He agreed to move in. Just goes to show, if you give people another chance, they may surprise you.

Finally, I would have a gay roommate/friend/wingman. However, this of course would pose a whole new load of drama in my life, but that’s another post for another day…

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