"Sort of Oriented Toward Bareback Punchf**king": This Essay Might Actually Get Author Laid

The Gay Modern Love Essay Contest continues, and a last-minute entry might very well double as a performance-art project. We're taking bets on how Rod's Valentine's night will unfold... "All I really know is that Craigslist has a personals section, but I'm not really familiar with it..."

So I wake up after having this dream about going to dinner for a date. It was mostly a dream about this guy I met from Tel Aviv last year that was just so totally my type other than the whole living in Tel Aviv thing. But it made me long for something more.

Taking fifteen minutes after I woke up... Wait. That's a lie; let's start again.

After jerking off, I switched the webpage from Xtube to Craigslist. (If you're noting the fact that I didn't clean up after masturbating, I don't care about your judgment.) All I really know is that Craigslist has a personals section, but I'm not really familiar with it. So I spend fifteen minutes writing the posting and let it go out into the Internets.

Around lunch there are several responses, one of which I find acceptably well written. With an acceptable picture. Criteria are being met; it's exciting. Giddy with the results. I check back to re-read my ad. At this time I sort of learn: Craigslist m4m? Sort of more oriented toward bareback punchfucking than a dinner date. But I'm happy with my result and make dinner plans for last night.

Can you hear it? Can you hear the wake-up call that is about to ring?

In my giddiness, I'd agreed to go to the Upper West Side. I hate the Upper West Side. The well-written emails? How could I not recognize that they were basically my own words repeated back to me? And should I not have recognized that the resolution on the picture indicated that it was at least three years old?

But I'm not an asshole. I agree to sit and eat. "How about we just get appetizers? I'm not super-hungry," is the first clue I throw. The conversation is mostly about me. I've already forgotten my date's name. I'm staring at other men at the restaurant. The longer this continues, the more of a lout I may become. At last the check arrives and is paid.

Around one corner he mentions owning his place on 75th, and although the inner gold-digger in me is very briefly intrigued, the clothes on this man remind me that he bought it fifteen years ago when it was cheap. I wish him well and start texting away on the iPhone to single friends making plans involving scotch. Good scotch.

The emails from that ad are still coming in. And I haven't deleted it. But dating just to have a date on Valentines? Contrary to my waking dream-state thought, it's a concept that can suck my cock. [Rod Townsend]