I have been fascinated by our online sexual interactions since the early days of sites like gay.com, when we used the chat rooms, then the other hookup sites like NZ Dating. They all make scratching the itch so much easier. I even did my MA thesis on what gay men were doing in sites like those.
Then smart phones changed the game again. Suddenly you could carry hundreds of potential fucks around in your pocket. Men from around the world. It made hooking up overseas so easy.And who knows, maybe you'd even date someone and fall in love! It has happened. I know people who've met that way.
Yet the other day I deleted all of them.
It's not that I'm a sudden convert to monogamy, or believe that you can't have a loving relationship in the context of an open relationship. I have plenty of friends who do just that.
It's just a sense that I really don't want anyone else at the moment, which given the miles of cock and acres of arse I've had in my life might seem a surprise. It's certainly surprised me. I"d see hot guys around me and think "objectively yes he's hot, but actually he's not who I want" - most out of character.
When I think about my life as a gay man, monogamy is probably the only thing I haven't done. .Maybe it's my new fetish.
But seriously, being in love and having that love returned makes it all different.
One thing I realise is that I did use the apps as a way to stay in touch with friends, they were just another messaging platform sometimes, especially when mates were overseas. I had a few long distance friendships with guys I was never going to meet, stuck in small towns in the USA or the Middle East, chatting away over the years. The apps are about more than just sex, that's always been apparent. They build community and connections as well as getting us laid.
If I had nothing else planned for a weekend afternoon a bit of fun via an app was always there to help spend the time. But now I look at my phone far less often than I used to, no checking who's around to get naked and play.
It's made me consider just how much of that behaviour was simply a habit, a response or even an avoidance mechanism. But I don't judge myself for it.
I've always maintained the thing that makes us gay isn't just the obvious differences of what we like to do with our bodies, it's about who we want our primary emotional relationships to be with.
It's about love. And when love and sex come together, well, I can tell you it's pretty amazing.