No Hookups?

January 20, 2012 in General

I was sitting in Albert Park the other day, enjoying the sun, having some lunch, the scent of dope floating through the summer air, playing with the phone,  idly looking through Manhunt, Recon, Gaydar, Scruff, Grindr etc and noticed a few profiles saying “No hookups” and then I posted on facebook “I just don’t get guys who use sites like Scruff or Grindr and say ‘No hookups’”.

And so many of those profiles have a headless body-shot, and locked pics sitting there too.

It was just an idle throwaway line, a little query that popped up in my head, sitting in the sun.

Boy, did it  get a response! I think there were over 70 comments on it the last time I looked, with guys from NZ, Australia, the USA, Canada all chipping in. And what a range of opinion.

Some went along the lines of “Not all homos are skanks and some of us actually like to go out for dates without ending up fucking” to others saying “These sites are designed for hooking up and anyone who says they’re not there for that is deluding themselves.” A few insults got tossed around as well. As one friend in Sydney said “You’ve opened a hornets’ nest!”  The passion and strength of the differing opinions really surprised me.

Guys, guys! Please – play nicely!

It seems to me to raise that old debate that goes on in homoland – do we fuck too much? Do we define ourselves by our sex-lives? Are we so fixated on getting laid that we can’t form ordinary loving relationships or even go on a date that doesn’t end up with sex?

Or should we just embrace the fact that we can fuck around as much as we like and still have solid, happy relationships as well? And that is the truth for a lot of men – nearly all the guys in LTRs I can think of are not monogamous, and don’t need to lie to their partners about it either. And it is just so easy for two guys to meet, whip it out and have fun, then say “Oh, I’m Jack by the way”. Someone once said cumming together for gay men is like shaking hands for straights, and that can be the case, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Some guys obviously don’t like the more highly sexualised parts of gay life. For them it’s a scary and often sad place where they don’t find what they want – love. Some of us want to settle down with one man and have a white-picket fence and kids and a poodle. Some of us would slit our wrists at the prospect. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know I lean towards the latter camp. I don’t think there is anything wrong with hooking up as much or as little as you like, and I don’t think having a full and busy sex-life stops you from finding love either, in fact I know it doesn’t. Like anything in life, you need to monitor what works for you, like anything, you can let it take over and that isn’t a good thing usually.

And sure, these sites all get used for all sorts of things, not just hookups. I set up a time for coffee with a mate on Recon the other day, have swapped jokes with friends on Scruff, chatted to strangers on the other side of the world I’m never going to meet on Grindr. We don’t just use these sites for hooking up, we use them for whatever we like. And sometimes if you’re new in town they can be good to meet people and find out what’s happening, where to go – and yes, you can make friends that way. And even lovers. I know a few guys who’ve met their partner off these places. I have never hooked up off fb though when I think about it – but I’m sure some of us have.

Over the centuries we have been experts in turning social spaces into cruising spaces – we had to, because we were on the outer, we were persecuted (we still are in fact) we had to hide and pretend to be something we weren’t. And finding a fuck is often easier than forming a relaitonship, especially in those bad old days. So we have a cultural history of being adaptable, even if we’re not all versatile.

But I’d still argue that basically these site are set up for gay men and if you give us a space we don’t just decorate it and make it pretty, we tend to start fucking.

No Hookups?


    1. Chris says:

      Great post. I agree with whats said here especially about it not being a good thing to let it take over you life, you do need to ensure you are okay with what you are doing and what makes you happy, regardless of what that is exactly.
      Its got me thinking anyway.

    2. Hamo says:

      Spot on Michael. I’ve been on both sides of this debate-frustratedly defending myself on a ‘networking’ site because a horny guy’s upset I can’t meet for a fuck right away, and the opposite-defending the friendships I’ve made thru fucking, to moralistic types who’re adamant we should get to know someone first.

      To both I wanna scream “chill the fuck out!”

      Right, off to check out the FB discussion :)

      • Luella says:

        Ho ho, who woldua thunk it, right?

      • Plaktor says:

        lkthieat1202Possible insight or at least a new perspective:So much of what was promiscuous to me I had to re-evaluate once moving from the U.S.ofA. to Europe.As I read this blog entry I was reminded of how views of sexuality and promiscuity are so subjective. So much of what I grew up thinking was slutty dirty etc is now what I think of as a Friday night out. What I love about your blog is how you raise the important question:Does the lack of equality the gay community faces have an impact on how the community behaves and views itself?I had not that of that before but now I’m obsessed with the idea. Would gay men be less promiscuous if they did have an end game? It would be interesting to know. I lean towards yes. I was raised to believe in marriage and have always thought about finding that one person. Even though in my home country it’s not legal, it’s always been a plan of mine. I do wholeheartedly believe this hope or dream effects how sexually active I am. I tend to move slower then a lot of my friends because I’m usually waiting to see if something long term is possible with the person. Another reason gay men may seem sex obsessed is because what else are we to talk and obsess about? That’s meant to be sarcastic btw. My point being, straight people have t.v. shows and movies displaying for them all the many possibilities life have. They have parents to look up to, they have sex education in school. Gays have porn. The world defines our lives as being sexual. The world doesn’t tell us we can be a mystery writer solving crimes ( ABC’s t.v. show Castle), it doesn’t tell us our plane might crash on a island (LOST), it doesn’t even tell us we can have coffee with our neighbors who happen to be our best friends (Friends). What it does tell us is we like to get naked and f**k each other up the ass.If that’s all you know, that’s all you’re going to talk about. That’s a sad reality we are faced with.I hate to be a person who only points out what’s wrong. So allow me to also throw out into the world and specifically the gay community some advice. Don’t wait for the world. The gay community has to take it upon themselves to make changes. The world is not going to educate a 15 year old gay boy about safe anal sex, so gay community make some safe sex websites targeted to gay men. Gay community, since the world is reluctant to tell your stories, tell them yourselves. Show the world that gay men are doctors, lawyers, students struggling to pay off loans, soldiers, etc If the gay community can’t change the world maybe it can at least look inside itself and make some changes for the better. And who knows, maybe the world will follow that example.Remember when African Americans were fighting for civil rights, they didn’t march down southern streets with fried chicken blasting soul music. The men marched in suits and ties and the woman in dresses. They gave the world no choice but to view them as equals. Different but equal. If they could changes things then the gay community can change things now.

    3. Ted says:

      I just find the whole thing a little sad, to be honest. Sure it’s cheaper than hitting a club and dropping cash on booze, taxi fare etc, but I find these plaintive defenses of over sexualisation pretty unconvincing.

      As a gay guy in my early 20s, I’m certainly no prude, but arguing that ‘fast find, fast fuck’ is an inherent part of being gay because we’re a non normative sexuality sits very uncomfortably with me.

      • Clawrance says:

        “Let’s be hnesot, they’re ‘choosing’ a situation that they know will never lead to procreation.”The lack of the other sex is not infertility. But your comments suggest that you think that homosexuality is a disability on par with infertility. The lack of the other sex is the main feature, rather than a broken part, of the one-sexed relationship type, right? I mean, the lack of the other sex is not experienced as a lack, if the choice is same-sexed. But it is a lack for the purposes of fertility and procreation.So take care not to confuse categories. Perhaps you were trying to form a close analogy. But, if so, take care not to compare a difference in kind with a difference in degree.Anyway, a husband and wife can still provide for the solidarity of fatherhood and motherhood; they don’t overturn the core meaning of marriage. Their conjugal relationship is definitively an integration of man and woman and has societal significance as a type of relationship that arises from the two-sexed nature of humankind, the opposite-sexed nature of human generativity, and the both-sexed nature of human community.Arrangements that lack one or the other sex, by choice or not, are always, constantly, nonfertile — without the other sex. Whatever the merits of such arrangements — sexualized or not — they disunite fatherhood and motherhood where children are involved. That is a difference in kind, not a difference in degree.Fertility is variable rather than constant. That’s just how humankind is built.Consider that we begin life pre-fertile, grow into fertility, then mature into sub-fertility and eventually infertility. But always this is predicated on the two-sexed basis of human procreation. Hence the significance of the bilinear basis for marriage.In contrast, the lack of the other sex is not dependant on the number two. A lone individual is nonfertile without the other sex; a same-sex twosome, threesome, or moresome, likewise. A parade of thousands of persons of the same sex is nonfertile.Nonfertility is not bilinear. Fertility is bilnear — as is the diminishment or impairment of fertility.People get this, instinctively, but given your comparison it becomes necessary to ponderously explain the obvious.That said, I doubt you think that two healthy lesbians are just the same as a woman who has undergone lifesaving surgery — for cancer, for example. There is both the set of qualitative and the set of quantiative differences — based on kind rather than degree.The special status of marriage is not designed to disparage other types of arrangements. Society merely has good reason — special reason for special status.Now, if the type of relationship you have in mind has its independant claim — a special reason for special status — then, it ought to be as simple as stating its core meaning, its essentials, and justifying the boundaries you’d draw around it.

      • Turco says:

        Very itenresting post and issue. I like how you look at your own reaction and thoughts about this.I do believe that kids can be raised by gay couples just as well as by parents of both sexes. But it’s our vision of family that is being questioned here.I’m glad the article you mention focuses on the importance of the quality of how people parent their kids. That’s what matters most and makes a difference, not the logical role each parent should have within the family.I’d like to ask a question, put your very good post a step further by asking whether gay parents parent their child better ? Maybe yes. What I mean is that unlike parents of both sexes, gay parents have to ask themselves the question of how they’re going to parent their child and therefore probably pay an extra attention to their child’s self esteem and developement.Thanks for this post, it gives credibility to gay couples who have children and it’s a good thing in my opinion. Says: I was adopted when I was 23 months old and when I about 12yrs old Brenda converted my Mom. This didn’t bother me too much, except someone new was taking my Mom’s attention.I am now 32yrs old my Mom and brenda are still together 18yrs later and they are my parents, in my eyes, they went through all the tough times,adolscent times,life on the wildside and the stress I put them through.They did put good values and a firm foundation to come back to and I like to believe I am well rounded father of 3,open minded,optimistic,sympathic,empathatic and alot of good character traits I owe to my lesbian parents and my own life experiences.My kids love Grandma and Grandma Gus, (only my 9yr old get it) I feel it is more about what they have to offfer , stable enviroment,love,encouragement,loving household etc. I do not think it really matters as far as same sex. more parenting skills in general Says: Thanks, Laura and Johnny. Laura, I think you may have a point in that gay parents may even be better parents since they have to ask more questions about their roles. Johnny, you’re a living testament to what good parenting can do/make!Lisa Says: I would have to agree with Johnny! I am a lesbian parent and my girlfriend and I are raising our daughter well. We are only 22 yrs old, which is young, but I do believe we are doing the best we can. Our daughter is 2 yrs old and we are always told by doctors and other professionals that she is smarter than the average 2yr old. She knows all of her colors, can count to 100, can speak some spanish(some colors and numbers), knows her ABC’s and so much more. Now, I’m not saying she’s so smart because her parents are gay, but I am saying that the fact that she has two mothers does not impare her.amelia Says: hello, I am 14 years old and i need some help please?I think I am a bisexual but im scared of what people will think of me if I tell anyone. my parents and one of my sister know but what about everyone else. can anybody help me.

    4. matt says:

      I agree with Ted. I find the whole throw-away attitude to sex and monogamy really sad. As a 20 year old gay guy who hasnt ventured out much into the ‘gay world’, it doesnt make me want to. Even on this website all the advertising in for sex places like the ‘closet’. How fucking degrading is that.

      Gay people dont deserve marriage at this rate.

      • Donia says:

        Hey Yoel,I sbmltued across your blog a few weeks ago.It’s interesting when you write more articulate, better informed, and somewhat more intelligent than your baseline internet gay. I’ve recently found myself logging off or at worst blocking people who lack the basic conversational skill. If you’re going to ask me for sex, at least use punctuation!I’ve found whichever website I’ve used, I will receive the you’re different, I like your honest profile messages per usual, but under that relaxed face, those messages come with a question; So what are you looking for? That’s the point I know that nothing is different, regardless of where I go.Maybe I’ll give Thingbox a go!

      • Valeria says:

        “The 2nd entry in the dioinetifn is an addition.” Congratulations, you finally just admitted that SSM is an expansion to traditional marriage, which was exactly my point. Since it is an addition, it is therefore illogical for SSM to depend “on marriage meaning less, rather than more.”These justifications have all been gone over before, and are hardly arbitrary. The precise challenge for morally serious people is to make rational distinctions between what is arbitrary and what is essential in important social institutions, and not get caught up in slippery slope logical fallacies.SSM advocates all basically agree the essential meaning of contemporary marriage is a lifetime legal commitment between two unrelated, consenting adults to take responsibility for each other (and their children, if any) and to share their lives and home together.1) Why two? This was already well covered in “Perry is a Friend of Monogamy” where James and Isfoster have already discussed this topic.2) Why unmarried? If you are already married and attempt to marry someone else, that is bigamy which is currently illegal, or polygamy which is covered above.3) Why unrelated? I would think child incest bans are a no brainer. Adult incest marriages are unnecessary because a next-of-kin relationship already exists, establishing legal rights for medical treatment and visitation, as well as inheritance. The purpose of marriage is to establish this relationship between un-related parties. Fathers should therefore be barred from marrying their sons as much as their daughters. Where more distant next-of-kin relationships exist, such as first cousins, as long as there are no medical issues related to having children, couples in most states are already allowed to go before a judge and petition for a marriage license.4 & 5) Being a minor or mentally incompetent disqualifies someone from marriage because the kind of consent and responsibility that marriage demands can only be achieved by adults.To exclude gays and lesbians from marrying their partners is discrimination. However, it is logically, morally, politically, theologically, socially possible to include homosexuals within the existing institution and still retain a bar against polygamy, bigamy, incest, and child brides.

    5. Michael Stevens says:

      I am not advocating one stance or another Matt, just looking at how social forces tend to push us to certain behaviours. Some love the hyper-sexualised nature of gay life, others find it cold and alienating and seek other ways of living – I have no problem with that.

      And I do appreciate you taking the time to comment on what I write, thanks.

      • Tasnim says:

        “The margiare law does allow all mothers the choice to become married mothers. You would choose a nonmarital same-sex alternative. My argument does not encourage you to become a mother out of margiare nor does it preclude you from making the choice to become a married mother. But I understand your priorities might lead you to make the choice to become an unwed mother.”Yup, just like black people used to have the choice to get married as well. If their priorities led them to “choose” someone of another race, then that was up to them, since nothing was precluding them from choosing someone they could legally marry. I think that’s why the SCOTUS upheld that law, right?As far as the whole “procreation” argument, you cannot stand behind this if you do not support any kind of testing or requirement of ability and intention to have children. It’s inconsistent. If margiare is simply about promoting responsible procreation, then why allow people who are categorically unable to do so? Let alone people who simply don’t want to.Say a woman has had a hysterectomy, I’m sure you would support her right to marry any man of her choosing. I can’t imagine that you would tell them they couldn’t “consummate” their margiare, or that they shouldn’t be considered a family if they decided to have children through other means. So what’s the difference? Why should they be entitled to get married any more than I should? Because they “look like” a couple that could potentially procreate? For someone who keeps telling us how “arbitrary” our definitions are, you should know better. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I know plenty of lesbian couples where one of them is more masculine, and I’m sure lots of people who didn’t know better could assume one is a guy. So to tons of people they would “look” fine. Does that count? Should we have some sort of judging round before people get married? On the other hand, I’ve seen straight couples where at first glance I think that the guy is another girl, so maybe I should pick those people out and inform them that their margiare is no longer valid.”Looking” like they can procreate seems to be an unreliable system, besides the fact that you should be calling it selfish anyways. Let’s be honest, they’re “choosing” a situation that they know will never lead to procreation. And for what, the “bennies”? Where’s your outrage? How dare they try to apply the term “margiare” to their relationship when it pretty clearly isn’t, according to you.Or is there something more there? Would you possibly be willing to admit that their inability to have children doesn’t change the fact that they have a natural, legal right to commit to someone that they love, of their own choosing, and to vow to spend their lives together and to start a family together? And that maybe this understanding of human relationships is important both to them and also to the rest of society?If you really believe in the importance of margiare, then please stop trying to convince everyone that love, commitment, and family should not be considered as important elements of margiare. Is making babies important too? Sure, why not, but we already allow plenty of people to get married who can’t do so, or simply who don’t want to. What you’re saying basically amounts to, “Only people who can make babies, or people who can’t make babies, are allowed to get married. So you can’t, because you can’t make babies.” And to me, that’s just a ridiculous argument.

    6. To Ted & Matt – totally get where ur coming from guys, and when I was 20 I had the same view on sex and monogamy. I now see those views as left-over stuff from the straight world that I was programmed with as a child/teenager. I think most gay men, as they get older, start viewing sex, love, and hookups in an entirely different way to the ways you guys view those things now. But each to their own, you will have your own journeys.

      • Rask says:

        That thing with eye-contact is acutally true. Funny story was when I got the vibbs from this jock:ish guy and we locked eyes a bit too often. But I thought I was just mistaken.. THEN, then I saw a few days after that he was on grindr. So sometimes I guess we underestimate our possibility to read body language , but then I’d never just walk up to someone random in a metro or something. Would you walk up to someone that you thought was gay? I mean I’d be kinda scared if someone did, or it depends I guess.

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