An Idiot’s Guide to Hooking Up with Dudes
Your Neighborhood Perv, Devon McCormack
If you think this is going to be instructional, I apologize for the misleading title. No. This isn’t a how-to column as much as a list of stupid things that I, the Idiot, have done in attempts to hook up with dudes. As I sat around, trying to come up with a topic for today’s post, I thought, What’s some really embarrassing shit I can share with total strangers? What’s something that one day could come back to haunt me if I ever decided to run for a political office? I want to write about that…in as much detail as humanly possible. And as an aside, Mom, if you’ve found this, please keep reading. Perhaps this will give you some insight into all the things I never get to talk to you about. Also, I have some interesting questions I’d like to ask you about your bush from the 70s to now if you ever care to bring up the topic.
Does that count as digressing? It really is a note for my Mom. She’s gonna be so mad if she finds this! Don’t tell her. Unless you actually know her. Then by all means. It’ll be funny. I promise.
What was I going to chat about? Oh, yes. The terrible awkwardness of learning the art of hooking up. This awkwardness transcends sexual orientation. My friend Caroline recently joined a dating app called Bumble, which is some variation of Tinder. Through her, I’ve noticed straight guys have the strangest approaches to wooing girls via apps. Like sending pictures of their bank accounts or their recently deceased pets. I can’t really blame the media for convincing guys that these sorts of approaches work, but I would like to find out who is responsible for this heinous misunderstanding about what is appropriate during app chats about hooking up and/or dating. But who really knows what’s appropriate to send in these instances? Most gay guys seem to think all I want to see are dick pics, and eh…I’ll pass, thanks. Caroline has assured me that dick pics aren’t really a thing that most straight girls she knows are into. And some girls will even dismiss a guy if he sends a dick pic too quickly. Though I find a dick pic unappealing, that doesn’t make me go, “No thanks. Moving on.” It’s more like, “What else you got?”
I was in my early twenties and living in Los Angeles when I started going out to clubs and bars, looking for what most people look for at these places: drinks and tricks. It was incredibly intimidating. Everyone else was so fashionable in their Converse and skinny jeans, dancing on the dance floor like they were too cool to be there. Perhaps most were just practicing for a dance scene in a movie they were preparing to audition for…one day. And they all had these massive biceps and pecs that assured me I needed to hit the nearest LA Fitness as soon as possible so these guys wouldn’t mistake me for something other than a human male. In my Nike sneakers and oversized khaki pants with a deer-in-headlights expression on my face constantly, I might as well have worn a big sign that said “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing!” Looking back, I’m sure this look had some appeal to it. Anyway, this was the douchebag I was back then:
Back when I was sporting that incredibly bright green Hollister t-shirt and some wicked bangs, I was intimidated by the whole idea of picking up guys. Anyone I’d hooked up with previously had been a sort of happy accident. Like finding a quarter on the sidewalk. Exciting. Delightful. And sorta dirty. But I was certain that, since everyone else was doing it, I’d figure it out. I didn’t have any friends who I was out to at this stage in my hookup evolution. Just sort of went to the bar and hung around, watching other guys the way I now watch people at the gym to see if I can steal any good exercises from them. I’d make mental notes as people approached me and worked their own lines. I always thought asking for directions to the restroom was rather clever. However, that just leaves me considering my bladder for far too long, so I’ve never used it myself. But there were some that I liked and I’d try out on other people. Fail. Fail. Fail again. Perseverance is essential, though. I remember as I worked diligently to understand this flirting science, thinking, “I wonder if this is how serial killers approach situations like this.” And then I’d go home and kill a small animal. Just kidding. I’d kill a rather large one. Hahaha. Joking again.
One of the hardest parts for me was just finding a guy to approach. Oh, so many couples go to bars, and I had such a difficult time figuring out who was coupled up and who was just with friends. It felt like I was solving algebra problems constantly—a lot of guessing and checking. One of my earliest experiences was with a cute blond that I saw standing by himself, leaning against the wall at Micky’s (shout out to all my WeHo folks! Eat a carb, for Christ’s sake. ;)). He was in a blue polo and gave me “the look.” This look obviously needs no explanation. It’s an invitation. It’s desire. It’s instinctual. Knowing what it means just comes with the hardware. As I approached him, another, much larger—and incredibly attractive—man…Goliath’s brother, if you will…accosted me and said, “That’s my boyfriend…by the way.” He looked like he was about to beat the shit out of me just for looking at what I guess he thought was his property. I had no experience with anything like this, so I just said the first thing that came to my mind: “Is that a problem if I think you’re both hot?” I learned shortly after that this approach not only gets you out jams, but makes for a lovely evening. I have since used variations of this to survive situations that could have otherwise been incredibly awkward. And I highly recommend using it whenever the opportunity arises. And even if you find it’s not true, it might just keep you from getting punched in the face, which has been a goal of mine since the third grade when Jonathan Larsen discovered his appreciation of using my face as a punching bag (That’s right, Jonathan! Called you out. Hope you and my Mom read this!).
Outside of just finding someone to start macking on (not that anyone says macking anymore)…
(Why the fuck can’t I mack on a member of the same sex? Huh? Fuck you, Urban Dictionary!)
…I also learned that I had to establish what I was looking for in a hookup at the bar because it’s incredibly awkward when you get back to their place and…
TRICK: I just want to cuddle…
ME: Cuddle with penises?
Trick shakes head.
MY BRAIN: Then get a fucking stuffed animal!
To keep things from becoming awkward for myself, I have since learned a few things that have to be dropped casually into conversations. The following is a simulated conversation to illustrate the sorts of things that need to be established before I hook up with anyone:
TRICK: What’s your name?
ME: Devon. This place is really cool. By the way, I give the shittiest blowjobs ever.
ME: Like if that’s what you want, you’re going to wake up wondering why you’re dick was fighting with beta fish all night.
ME: Hahaha. Jk. But not at all. Just breaking the ice. So…everyone out here eats Mexican food all the time. Are your bowels a fucking wreck right now?
ME: And I just got my second penicillin shot two days ago, so just keep that in mind…Where are you going?
Takeaway here is just that I had to learn to express what I wasn’t willing to do and what I was physically incapable of doing while encouraging my person of interest to do the same. This prevented either of us from reaching that awkward moment:
TRICK: Can you stick that inside me?
ME: Hahaha. You’re looking at my hand.
TRICK: Why is that funny?
Not to say there’s anything wrong with that, and perhaps in a future post I will provide instructions on how to satisfy someone’s fisting needs. However, definitely something I would like to know before I get back to the house.
Fortunately, gay culture has developed a lexicon to help expedite this getting-to-know-you process….something that takes some getting used to.
TRICK: What are you looking for?
TRICK: Hahaha. No. I meant, what are you into?
ME: The gay kind.
TRICK: No, like…top or bottom?
ME: I’ll be removing all of my clothes, if that’s what you’re asking.
TRICK: What? No. Like do you want to be fucked or get fucked?
ME: Can I only do one?
TRICK: Are you versatile?
ME: Oh, no. I’m really bad at yoga.
TRICK: Are you from this planet?
ME: Hahaha. Yes. Why? Who have you been talking to?
TRICK: Whatever. Are you clean?
ME: I took a shower before I came out.
Obviously I have never been this oblivious within a single conversation, but spread these out throughout some early conversations, and you’ll get the right idea. Of course, dating apps have only complicated the lexicon even further. Everything is some three letter word. When I first started hopping on these apps, I didn’t know what half of them fucking meant, and I’m amazed that anyone else did. It was like I had to learn how to code fucking HTML just to hook up with someone I met online or on an app on my phone.
DDF W MASC VERS 2 BTM
Most can decode this fairly easily, but when I first saw these “words,” they just looked like garbled nonsense. Thank God for Urban Dictionary, right?
It’s been years since those early days of figuring out how to navigate hooking up, and since then, I feel confident with the basics, but of course, things are always evolving and transforming. From what I’m seeing with some of my single friends, something is happening on Snapchat within the gay community, but I sure as hell don’t understand it. But Grindr and Scruff are always amusing and promising. I acknowledge that Tinder has some value for the more datey sorts, but I’ve always avoided relationships like the plague…because they kind of are a plague (way too easy to catch and incredibly difficult to get rid of). Needless to say, at the end of the day, it’s still just the same old idiot here trying to understand what’s going on in the world. I guess as I’ve grown through all this, I’ve discovered that I don’t have to know and understand everything, and that I kind of have to be okay with being out of the loop every once and a while. Also, the world isn’t filled with a bunch of psychopaths who are going to scold me for not understanding what some jargon or code means or what some new app is all about. In fact, most gay guys I’ve met are incredibly nice, and if I’m just straightforward and ask questions, they’re quick to help. And even if I’m teased for not understanding something, it’s in a playful way, not a, “Oh my God, you’re such a fucking dumbass, and we’re going to send you to back to GAY 101.” That would be ridiculous. You only get sent back to GAY 101 if you do something really bad…like ask who’s singing when “Waiting for Tonight” comes on at the club.
That said, I think I’m gonna wrap it up here. Thank you all for stopping by today and looking forward to your comments. Oh, and if you like my posts, you might like my books as well, so check them out. Check me out on Amazon. Also, feel free to stalk me on my social media accounts. That isn’t to make light of stalking, though. I had a stalker once. He stopped when I kept returning his calls.
Meet Devon McCormack
Devon McCormack spends most of his time hiding in his lair, adventuring in paranormal worlds with his island of misfit characters. A good ole Southern boy, McCormack grew up in the Georgian suburbs with his two younger brothers and an older sister. At a very young age, he spun tales the old fashioned way, lying to anyone and everyone he encountered. He claimed he was an orphan. He claimed to be a king from another planet. He claimed to have supernatural powers. He has since harnessed this penchant for tall tales by crafting whole worlds where he can live out whatever fantasy he chooses.
A gay man himself, McCormack focuses on gay male characters, adding to the immense body of literature that chooses to represent and advocate gay men's presence in media. His body of work ranges from erotica to young adult, so readers should check the synopses of his books before purchasing so that they know what they're getting into.
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