Friday, July 25, 2008

A few years ago I started frequenting gay chat rooms. I know there's a stigma attached to looking for men online, but I think it makes perfect sense. It's a lot easier than cruising the bars. If I get lucky enough to find somebody I think is attractive, they have to think I'm attractive, and then we've got to iron out who's going to do what to whom. That's not exactly child's play when you're surrounded by a ring of Tiny Admirers and ABBA is blaring in your ear. With computers you can do this in the privacy of your own home, where there's better music and cheaper beverages.

I'm not exactly getting a clamorous response, though -- in fact, I haven't managed to meet a guy yet. Somewhere between discussing our sexual identities and agreeing on terminology to negotiate intimacy, my prospective partners disappear.

I don't exactly share the whole truth with my friend Steve, but I admit to some discontent. I show him the JPG I've been sending out. I think I look pretty good, though my niece and Minnie Mouse are distracting.

Steve shakes his head. "That's definitely part of the problem," he says. "You're looking for a man, not Rosie O'Donnell."

He leads me to the bathroom, stands me in front of the mirror, and suddenly I'm the first contestant on "Extreme Makeover: Homosexual Edition." He stipples my face with Preparation H to tighten the loose skin. He strips off my shirt and coats me with bronzer, then paints fake ab lines on my stomach with a mascara brush. He slides a lit cigarette between my fingers. "Nothing's hotter than self-destruction," he explains. I offer to scrape away at my wrists with a broken beer bottle but he says nobody wants to screw Alanis Morissette.

I hardly recognize myself when he's finished. I look gorgeous, but not even close to me. "Nobody expects honesty in photos," he says. "It's a tool to get in the door. And once you're inside, buddy, nobody's going to throw you out." He poses me with my arms crossed and my fists pushing my biceps out. I smile, and he barks at me. "Lose the happy," he instructs. "Happy's the opposite of hot."

The new photos are dark in every sense of the word, but I have to admit they're damned sexy. We pick out the best, and Steve photoshops my email address onto it, to make sure my fans can find me. I send it out to a couple guys I've been talking to on the chat boards of Exactly four days later I turn on my computer and find I've got thirty-nine emails.

"Hi," the first writes. "I found your picture on You're a totally smokin' dude. Do you want to get together and screw?"

I go to the website and confirm that one of my penpals has shared my picture with the rest of the world. Well, that isn't necessarily horrible, I decide. I mean, it's not exactly polite, but at least I'm not naked. My relatives won't run across it. And it sure is getting a response.

Still, there's one minor problem. Though the picture hasn't changed, the filename has. I called it "NiceNTallInNY," and now it's "RoostersAFuckinHotExCon."

All the replies have pretty much the same message, only differing in the attached photos. I pick out the hottest and answer it. "Trust me," I warn, "I'm nowhere near as good-looking in real life."

Half an hour later my email pings. "Hey, Rooster's smokin' hot and modest," it reads. "So, my place or yours?"

My place, I tell him, but my conscience still nags. "Honestly," I say, "my name's not Rooster and I'm not an ex-con. I have a good job, a degree from a major university, and a two-year-old Peekapoo named Snowflake."

The reply comes almost instantaneously. "On the lam, huh? Well, I'm down with that. I won't tip off the feds to your pad."

We agree on nine o'clock that night, and Randy rings my doorbell right on time. He's not inside five seconds before he's totally naked and greased up like a chicken. The sex, to put it bluntly, is mind-boggling. Birds sing, flowers bloom, Jesus waves a friendly hand at us. Randy is a veritable slave to my desires, throwing himself wholeheartedly into pleasing me. We stumble from room to room, coupling in a different position on every horizontal surface. I push him into positions that professional figure skaters would eschew.

"So, you like me?" he asks when we pause to catch our breath. "You wouldn't trade me for a pack of cigarettes?"

"Not a chance," I say. I laugh. He laughs. And when my roommate comes home half an hour later, he learns you can't believe a word the Rooster says.


Y | O | Y said...

I wrote something in a similar vein today, albeit a bit more serious! It's all in the marketing!!!

Yet Another Steve said...

What a terrific story! Only RomanHans would dare to tell the truth. Is there a Chat 101 FAQ we could post this to?

David said...

Do you grease up a chicken? I thought you greased pigs.