Tag Archives: back to his

The Parent Trap

Five minutes ago, my date called me a DILF. I heard it quite clearly.

It was supposed to be a compliment.

I know this because my date purred the acronym at me and ran his finger across his mouth, like a negligee brushing against a closing bedroom door.

A DILF. I am 35 years old. I’m not really sure what kind of D I would have to be to have accrued enough years to F somebody young enough to be my son without being arrested, but it is clear my date’s strength lies in buzzwords he has read in listicles, not mathematics.

“Maybe I’ve got daddy issues,” he laughs, each of his 27 years peeling away like the skin of an onion – before my very eyes he is regressing to A-level student.

He thinks this is sexy. He thinks I have a fetish for younger men. He doesn’t realise that he’s not really young enough to be a kink.

He laughs, gurgling like a waste disposal trying to make sense of a baked potato. I should speak before he does it again.

“I’ve heard about the daddy thing,” I say, smiling like a cat who has just spotted the cage to the family hamster’s cage is open. “But I thought it was more about older men and other guys much younger than them. People in their 50s and 60s carousing with twinks.”

“Caroooooousing,” he mimics. He thinks he’s Kaa from the Jungle Book, charming me into submission. He is one half of King Louie’s coconut-shell bra at best. “Twinks!” he mocks again. Continue reading The Parent Trap

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The Wow Moment

Everybody should have their Wow Moment – that one moment in time where you look and feel fantastic and are at your absolute pinnacle of excellence, confidence and desirability. Most people aren’t aware of theirs when it’s happening – which can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you look at it – but if I’m ever going to have mine, it’s now, as I walk into the bar precisely 33 seconds late for my date with a man ten years my junior.

The wow is all over my date’s face as I approach him. I don’t see that look too often, sadly. I am nothing if not realistic; I know the only way I’m ever likely to grace the cover of a magazine is if I become a famous serial killer. But whether his expectations were low, or my pictures were bad, or he’s just really desperate, I have no idea – all I know is that his eyes widened when he saw me. And not in horror. It’s delight. I’ve seen it just about enough times to know the difference.

He’s wearing a blue button-down shirt which looks like it was ironed by a depressed cat and chinos the shade of every unlovely hotel room you’ve ever stayed in.

He is 25, “a musician” and has a name that sounds like a countryside railway station – Clark Deeping or Brent Malling or something like that – and he is tall and sturdy and looks just the right side of sexy-boring. He definitely collects things, I can tell; I just hope it’s not scalps of hapless middle-aged midgets he goes on dates with. He tells me he’s glad I gave up my Saturday night to meet him. Yes, a first date on a Saturday! Very unlike me, but there was something in his jolly-masquerading-as-confident texts that told me it wouldn’t be a miserable evening. He’s wearing a blue button-down shirt which looks like it was ironed by a depressed cat and chinos the shade of every unlovely hotel room you’ve ever stayed in. I have always had a soft spot for sartorial awkwardness, so I am not remotely deterred. Clothes come off, after all.

We have been together for precisely two hours. He has touched my hand eight times. We have had four drinks. Not that I’m counting.

For someone so youthful, he seems a serious soul. There is much knitting of brows and thinking before he speaks. I, of course, am in this ridiculous Wow Moment mode, so am doing lots of what I’m assuming are enigmatic smiles peppered with sparkling conversation. To the outsider I probably look like someone having a stroke while they read out a shopping list. Whatever it is, it is working. We have been together for precisely two hours. He has touched my hand eight times. We have had four drinks. Not that I’m counting.

He asks me how many dates I’ve been on, and I pretend to mull this over in my head, staring into middle distance, as one would expect a person thinking about something to do. After a few seconds, my acting master class moves on to a lying one, and I throw out a number that shows I have experience, but doesn’t make me look like a miserable slut who uses dating as an excuse to go the pub and stare at men’s nipples through their shirt. He tells me he is fairly new to dating – I have no idea whether this is true but he trembles a bit as he picks up his pint so it may well be – and then says he often ends up going home with his dates.
“What an odd thing to tell someone you’re actually on a date with,” I say.
“I am a bit odd,” he replies.
“How odd?”
“Odd enough.”

An excellent reply. Barman, drink number five, please.

He suggests moving on somewhere else. Given that he has done everything but write “You are going to see me naked later” on a Post-it note and pass it to me, I pretty much know it’s a sure thing, but am intrigued by how much effort he’s going to put in. I play as dumb as I dare, letting him decide where we go. Which direction will he take?

He suggests a place that I happen to know isn’t too far from where he lives. I’d congratulate him for being so smooth if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve played this game so many times before. And with more subtlety. But for a near-novice, he’s doing pretty well. I reward him by pretending I haven’t caught on to his ruse.

Getting off in the middle of the club like the teenager I’m glad I never was.

We arrive at a club that sounds very loud from the outside. I wince, but we queue behind lots of fashionable people who are talking about haircuts and DJing and chlamydia. To my surprise, the girl on the door smiles widely at us and we are waved into the club. I have no idea why: he’s dressed like a member of the Oxford rowing team having Sunday lunch with his parents and I’m sporting what I call my ‘date-boring’ look – a simple polo and slim fitting cords.

My threads are dull to make my personality – and my eyes – stand out more. It’s a boring old tactic, but a well-tried one. And what do you know, within minutes of our arrival, it becomes apparent it’s doing the trick.

Without so much as a warning, his face is on mine and I stand awkwardly – although enjoying myself immensely – spilling my beer all over the floor while we go to town on each other. Getting off in the middle of the club like the teenager I’m glad I never was. The Wow continues.

We break apart and sit down at a table occupied only by one very drunk girl who is trying to do cocaine off her hand, but spilling it everywhere every time she exaggeratedly hiccups. Ignoring her, my date leans in and whispers: “I just want to rip your clothes off right here.”

I can’t help but laugh. First of all, what he’s just said is totally fucking preposterous; we’re in the middle of a club, music is banging and drinks sloshing left, right and centre. Also, I am not the kind of guy that men want to tear the trousers off. In a way, I’m flattered, but it rings hollow. See? My Wow Moment is happening in front of my very eyes and I don’t want to believe it’s true. Perhaps his confession that he takes a lot of his dates home make me feel less special.

However, if this young buck thinks that clumsy line will work on me, who am I to knock his confidence? I’m going to leave life’s harsh lessons for another time – tonight I’m going to have some fun.

“Probably best not to do it right here,” I smile, idly playing with the open neck of his shirt. “How long will it take to get back to yours?”
“About 15 minutes.”
I break into my last enigmatic smile of the evening. And then: “Let’s try to make it 10.”

Stats: 6’3″, 25, brown/brown, Gloucestershire
Pre-date rating: 6.5/10
Post-date rating: 9/10
If the date were a song: Betcha by golly wow

A truncated version of this post originally appeared in the monthly dating column I used to do in Gay Times magazine. I now answer GT readers’ dilemmas and dole out relationship advice. Take a look at the Gay Times website to see when the next issue is out.

Image: johnwennerberg on Flickr

The Reluctant Casanova

Stats: 31, 6’, brown/light brown, London
Where: Soho, W1
Pre-date rating: 8/10

I lean forward on my hand and do my best ‘interested’ face as tonight’s contestant, dark-eyed, floppy-haired Matthew, regales me with stories about his ex-boyfriends. Well, I say, boyfriends – he’s dispatched them with a fervour and speed usually reserved for delousing a nit-ridden child.

“I just can’t seem to tie myself down to one person,” he drawls, his eyes flicking to all corners of the room – no doubt scoping it out for any other, sexier men, just in case this date doesn’t turn out well.

“What are you doing on a dating site, then?” I ask, much less confrontationally than he deserves.

“Well,” he shrugs, “I suppose at the time I really do think I want to settle down, but when I get into it, it doesn’t really happen that way.”

I’m puzzled, but more intrigued. Why would a potential date try to present themselves as such an emotional fuck-up on the first meeting? Is it a misguided attempt at a boast? And yet I can’t help myself; I have to find out more.

“And so how does it happen?” I find myself blurting.

He raises an eyebrow in what appears to be a well-practised move. My buttocks clench. “Same thing happens every time,” he says. “They fall in love, I get bored, and I break their heart. Every. Fucking. Time.” His eyes rest on me as he finishes his little speech.

I laugh out loud at his conceit. I think I’m a bit drunk already. He certainly is. “And pray, oh mighty one,” I mock, “just how many hearts have you broken?”

He takes me through the trail of destruction he’s left behind him, and I imagine his bedroom wall lined with pelts of his previous conquests – a tattooed arm here, an ironic haircut there.

I can believe the prospect of never having his mouth on you again would lead to much weeping and wailing. He’s so pretty, so charming (at first), that you’d be reluctant to let him go. But let him go you must, before he drives you totally mad.

He may think he’s ruining their lives when he ditches his latest fling, but in the long run he’s doing them a favour – being in love with such a heartless work of art would be an expressway to insanity.

I have already decided I’ll sleep with him, purely to see what it would be like but I almost don’t want to give him the victory he so obviously expects.

Although I really want to break the mould and be the fly in his ointment, I’d only be taking a scalpel to own nose if I were to go home alone. Do I care whether he does a celebratory fist pump as I leave, his run of bedpost notches unchallenged?

While I’m not eager to further feed his monstrous ego – it’s already morbidly obese – sometimes itches should be scratched. I prefer my disappointments first thing in the morning, with a whole day ahead to ruminate before shrugging them off.

Not for me a frustrated bus ride home on a rainy night, with a cold duvet at the end of it and a sleepless night of “what if” beyond.

“OK,” I say. “I’ve heard enough. Let’s go.”

We leave the pub, but I don’t let him hold my hand. I’m fairly certain my heart, encased as it is in my iron will, is sure to remain intact. But I may as well let him have a crack at it. He’s got one night only.

Post-date rating: 7.5/10
Date in one sentence: This damaged Casanova comes up against the hardest heart to break.

– A truncated version of this post originally appeared in my monthly column in Gay Times.

The Better Offer

Stats: 29, 5’8”, brown/hazel, Cheltenham
Where: East London, E1
Pre-date rating: 7/10

My date has just got back from New York. I know this because he mentions it every five sentences. The shimmering neon is still visible in his starstruck eyes, and has blinded him to the fact that my own glazed over some time ago.

I tune back in to hear him telling me, in a rainy Tuesday monotone, about a go-go bar he went to in the East Village and quickly zone out again, my eye wandering over his shoulder to someone standing in the distance. That someone looks familiar. Hotly familiar. We catch each other’s eye and stare a millisecond too long. I remember. Why, we went on a date only the other week. As I recall, he turned up looking hotter than hell, ate a burger, spat most of it over me and then left me the morning after with an oniony taste in my mouth I couldn’t shake for days. So far, so normal.

The gay world is too small, I sigh. I decide to refocus, however, on my current date, who is in full flow about a carriage ride through Central Park. It’s not that New York is boring – it’s one of my most favourite places on Earth. Yet my date is recalling his trip with all the vigour of a bank teller warning me the next direct debit to leave my account will send me overdrawn. I hold in a yawn so hard that my lungs start to sizzle. My phone buzzes. A text message. Guess who?

“You look bored. Fancy a drink?”

I glance over to where my observer is standing. He looks mischievous. He raises his glass and gives me a lopsided grin.

I turn back to my date and start to weigh things up. I’ve not been great company. I’m unresponsive. He deserves better. Plus, he picked his nose and wiped it under the table when he thought I wasn’t looking. The SMS intruder, on the other hand, looks a lot more fun.  I’m no pushover, though. Let’s make him work for it. Plus, it’s my round and I don’t want to look stingy.

At the bar I reply:
“Well, look who it is. I’m actually having an outstanding time, thanks.”

Quick as a flash, he’s back at me:
“You’re full of it. Your eyelids are drooping. Again – do you fancy a drink?”

I’m so excited, I almost fancy I can taste onion in my mouth again. But I’m not a ball of knitting, to be picked up whenever he’s bored. I haven’t heard from him since our date. And so I reply:
“Maybe I do. You never called.”

In a heartbeat comes the retort:
“Neither did you. Consider this the call. What’s your answer?”

Touché. I return to my date smiling to myself, but knowing I’m beaten. That’s a good answer. The cocksure bastard.

But how to extricate myself from the king of Manhattan? We sip our drinks for another 5 minutes until I spot my date stifling a yawn and see my opportunity.

“I’m a bit tired,” I say. “Do you mind if we call it a night?”

My date nods a little too eagerly – clearly he’s not head over heels in love with me either – and we leave the pub, the texter’s eyes burning into us. Out of the corner of my eye I see him reach for his phone. Ideally, I’m aiming to be standing in front of him before he can even type “WTF?”

As I say my goodbyes to the Big Apple enthusiast, I feel my phone buzz angrily in my pocket. And then again. Eventually I see the date into a cab and victoriously turn back to the pub, texting the words that will get me my ‘Access All Areas’ pass deep into the fires of Hell:
“Yes. Pint. See you in 5.”

Post-date rating: 4 for the guy I started out on the date with. A solid 8 for the one I ended it with.
Date in one sentence: If you can’t love the one you want, love the one you’re with – unless someone hotter is standing in the corner.

A truncated version of this post first appeared in GT magazine, where I write a monthly column about my dating experiences. Find out when the next issue is due on the GT website.

Awkward! Three situations guaranteed to give you that ‘morning after’ cringe

We’ve all been there. You wake up, slightly disoriented, amid bed linen which feels unfamiliar. Strange sounds emanate from a mass not too far from you. As you open each eye slowly, cursing them for the amount of time they’re taking to adjust to the light, you realise you’ve done it again – you’re back at theirs, for the first time. It’s the morning after the night before.

You may have no regrets at all at the dawn after a night of passion, and the person lying next to you may be the one you’ve been dreaming of, but even if it’s a one-nighter, there’s still plenty of opportunity for mortification. Behold a mere 3 things you’d really want to avoid the morning after.

Messy flat
As if waking up in a strange place wasn’t bad enough, having to contend with your date’s dubious household hygiene standards can take awkwardness to a whole new level. On the nightstand, a flat glass of Diet Coke, empty food wrappers of brands you didn’t think they still made any more, and enough dust bunnies to make a life-sized model of the tornado from the Wizard of Oz.

You creep through to the bathroom only to find there must have been some industrial accident: a shower curtain in shades of green and orange never seen in nature; the remnants of what appears to have been a cat’s Jacuzzi party in the bath plughole and a toilet bowl that, were it sentient, would bring its owners to trial as war criminals.

Tip: If you’re having someone back, have a whizz round with a cloth and a bin bag. If you’re the one confronted by the mess, make sure you’re wearing rubber gloves if you plan on seeing them again.

Lack of a quick exit
If there’s one thing you want after a one-nighter (or the first of many nights), it’s the ability to beat a hasty retreat. Awkwardly dressing while they watch? Getting discovered creeping out? Opening the bedroom door to find a houseful of roommates eating breakfast and staring at you like you just fell from the sky. If you can (and are sober enough or not engrossed in ‘the moment’), pay attention to the way you get into the place, as you’re sure as hell going to want to be exiting as painlessly as possible, at twice the speed.

Tip: If confronted by stunned flatmates or, even worse, a rogue parent or sibling, pretend to be a workman who has been doing essential, erm, overnight repairs. This may mean you to have to dress in overalls for every date you go on, just in case.

Regret
We know that you’re ultra desirable and no end of bright young things would be desperate to wake up with you, but sometimes, well, you can’t guarantee that the guy at the next pillow is going to be glad to find you there.

Yes, coming face to face with someone who last night was all over you but this morning clearly preferred you with a few pints behind you. Or maybe he was caught up in the moment and now that moment has definitely come to an end.

You can usually tell if the night before won’t be turning into a happily ever after. Talking in clipped sentences; no offer of a cuppa; getting up and walking out of the room, only to come back into it showered and dressed; saying how “tired” they are and telling you the best bus routes to take home. Like they care.

Styling it out can be difficult, but just shrug and get on with it. Pull on your socks, locate your shoes and breezily say your goodbyes as you open the bedroom door, no need for whys and wherefores and number-swapping. Oh, you’ve walked into a cupboard. Never mind. Try again. Another cupboard. Crap. What did I tell you about ensuring you had a clear exit? Don’t look at him, just open the next door and walk forward. It has to be this one, right?

Tip: Hang your underwear (a sock will do – you’re not a stripper) on the handle of the door that gets you out of the bedroom so you know where to look. Make sure you hang it on the inside, too – you don’t want the rest of the household knowing your SHAME.

Coming soon: The perils of ‘waking up second’.

The Christmas Fling

Winter. Brrrr. Mulled wine and Christmas shopping, festive drinks, tinsel and coupledom.

I’m trying not to think about what the festive period is going to be like without a significant other – it’s best not to – but I’m wary of starting something at this time of year. Being alone in winter can be quite scary, but I don’t want to over-compensate, or see romance where there is none, just so I won’t be flying solo during party season. Draping tinsel over a ‘maybe’ shouldn’t make it a ‘yes’.

Nevertheless, here I am on the dating site being very cautiously wooed by our latest contestant. He’s neither brash nor particularly confident but he can’t seem to say a thing wrong. He’s sweet, intelligent, funny and, from his limited number of public pictures, handsome.

He’s a journalist and we talk about pretty much anything, settling into a jocular tone very early on. I don’t ask him out for a drink because I sometimes worry something so perfect electronically can turn out to be only a disappointment when flesh comes into play. If he asks me, however, I won’t say no. The games you play with yourself and others. How beautifully time-consuming and utterly pointless it all is.

He does ask, and my hand is forced.  The date is a long time in the making: conflicting diaries and last-minute work commitments mean that the first meeting is delayed twice. By the time we do meet, December is on the horizon. I am to meet him on a Tuesday night in a pub in a beautiful part of London that’s brimming over with Christmas cheer and ambience. Continue reading The Christmas Fling

The Keen Bean

The fag-end of summer approaches over the horizon and I have fair torn through the dates in the last 4 or 5 weeks. To say I’m weary by this point is an understatement, and when this guy gets in touch and starts whispering virtual sweet nothings, I’m fairly indifferent.

He doesn’t have a lot to say for himself, and when he does his grasp of grammar isn’t a huge selling point, but he seems a  decent guy and in the absence of any other stimulating suitors, I think I might as well. When I accept his invitation to meet him for a drink, he seems genuinely pleased – excited even – rather than playing it cool and being non-committal, which is kind of a plus after being on the receiving end of so many dreary attempts at ‘mind games’. How refreshing to meet somebody who isn’t going to a date with a gun at his head – myself included. So we agree to meet after work for a couple of pints on a late summer’s eve.

The day arrives and by the time I am heading to the date, it is pissing it down. Summer is having its last laugh. It’s warm, yes, but the rain is torrential and east London looks very sorry for itself as its entire population’s denim cut-offs and flip-flops are drenched in the bucketing rain. If there’s one thing guaranteed to put me in a shitty mood it’s arriving somewhere wet, if you know what I mean, but I try to push these natural urges of fury to one side and paint myself all sunny and smiley in my mind so I don’t give the date the wrong impression – or should that be the right one?

And there he is, waiting for me. He’s fairly attractive, his profile pictures being a true representation of what he looks like, so another point in his favour. (It’s really rare.) He’s dressed in a contemporary style that doesn’t scream fashionable and looks like he knows his way around a bar of soap.

Continue reading The Keen Bean