Monday, September 01, 2003

"It's like amazon, but for sex"

I've always had mixed feelings about Gaydar. I still can't work out if it is the internet's killer app, or just The End of Civilisation as we know it.

There's something fantastically reductive about it. You get a page to say everything possible about yourself, to talk about your wants, your needs, and your aspirations. You can even put up pictures to convey a true picture of yourself....

And yet, you get entries that are just a picture of an erect penis and nothing more. No text. Apart from perhaps a token indication that the person likes "sex and food".

Who are these people behind the penises? I happen to know one (not, I rush to point out, through gaydar). An actor friend (real name: Dickie. I kid you not), has a gaydar profile that is something like "/thickcock" and it is just a picture of his thick cock. Well, several pictures. From different angles. But it still looks like an indifferently cooked quorn sausage.

It's just alarming, frankly. Dickie is a mature adult. He's a startling actor, he's witty, complex company. He can sing, dance, and read books with small print and few pictures. But, when asked to sum himself up as a potential mate... all he can do is the online equivalent of shoving his todger through a hole in a toilet wall.

I can't claim complete innocence here. I log onto gaydar about once a month. Oddly, it's rarely with the explicit purpose of sex - it's actually to catch up with a guy in Sheffield called Linten to chat about his kitchen units (we're both doing up our own flats, and quite like talking about the boring form of drilling and screwing). But I have ended up ordering men off gaydar. Always with mixed feelings - after all, I'm wouldn't order shoes online, so why sexual partners?

It's not something I ever feel comfortable with - if I ever chat someone up over gaydar, I try and stumble towards some form of elegance. I was surprised on Saturday to receive three unsolicited offers - the most eloquent of which was "Hey, cum round and worship our cocks." Since it was from a couple, I can assume that it was the work of two hands. I'm being careful with the phrasing there.

All that said, I did end up inviting an Australian called Byron round for grubby athletics yesterday afternoon. You could say we threw down a blanket on the moral highground.

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