According to a (very attractive) volunteer at the Castro Country Club, I, my friends am a “hottie!”
My thought to that declaration is, “Duh! Who doesn’t know that I’m a hottie?”
My answer to my thought to that declaration is, “I don’t (always) know, or more precisely, believe that I am a hottie.”
Depending on how I am feeling on any given day, I see myself as drop-dead gorgeous or monstrously hideous. Rarely is there a happy median to this particular issue.
One of the many consequences to my many years as a crystal-meth addict is that I’ve aged myself a few more years beyond my 41-years. The fact that I am HIV+ with and AIDS diagnosis doesn’t help; I am a bit gaunter than I would prefer to be – and when I get sick, I become so noticeably sickly and sallow looking that there are some who have believed at those times that I had relapsed and/or was strung out on drugs. Even when I don’t get the proper amount of sleep, I can become so pale that the bags under my eyes look as if I am part raccoon.
On the other hand, on days when I have slept well, had at least three solid meals the prior day, do my hair and put that extra shine on my shoes, I walk around like the most handsome cock in the barnyard!
This topic has been on my mind since I recently made the decision to put myself back on the dating market; I have signed up for several dating (not sex) websites, I say hello to more people I do not know and I am even contemplating calling a young man who had expressed interest several months back (the only reason I let so much time lapse in this latter case is because of the little drama I went through the last part of last year – and now I am experiencing that awkward feeling of calling someone after having not called in so many months).
The hard lesson I have been relearning is that I am not everyone’s type. And while that gets frustrating sometimes, especially when I read a profile that makes it seem the person whose profile I am reading makes it sound as if we would at least get along on a date, decides that they have no interest in meeting. That was a fact that was much more difficult to accept when I was younger.
In my active addiction days when I would frequent (ahem!) adult-oriented social clubs which specialized in dark-corners, when I was young and pretty, I could have nearly every man in the place interested in ‘spending time’ with me. However, if there was one attractive man in whom I was interested yet was not interested in me, I would spend the entire night chasing that person and trying to convince them otherwise. No doubt to the sacrifice of potential relationships (even those of the one-night variety). If I could not convince that man to change his mind, I would end up going home wailing, “Nobody likes me!”
I still have the occasional passing thought that I am going to be romantically alone for the rest of my life, that I am too unattractive for any other gay man to have a serious interest or that anyone who dates me would only be doing it out of pity. Fortunately, I have enough recovery to myself immediately after that thought that I am just trying to make myself feel bad. And, since I would not tolerate anyone else treating me derogatorily, I certainly will not tolerate it from myself – therefore, I tell myself I do not have permission to insult me like that.
So far, I’ve only had two first-dates from the sites – neither of which went very well. Naturally, that did nothing to improve my self-esteem on this issue. And, being the good addict that I am, it wants me to use those two experiences as an excuse to give up on ever finding true-love again.
However, I know that, just like anything else, dating is a process. After all, isn’t the entire point of dating that you spend time with people you figure out with whom you do not want to be with so that when you do fight ‘the one,’ he stands out that much more from the crowd?
Then there is the paradox of, ‘the best way to find love is to stop looking for it.’ The problem with that statement (for me) is that in most of the places I spend my time, the majority of people surrounding me are either already in relationships, have a different definition of ‘date’ than I do, or are newcomers – and no matter how attractive I find someone (on all levels) I will not date a newcomer.
Add to this mix that, for me, it seems that dating has actually become increasingly difficult as I get older. I don’t know if this is because I was a just a little slut when I was a ‘baby gay’ or because I’ve become more discerning as I’ve matured. Or maybe it’s a little of both. Either way, dating is not as easy as it used to be.
As for certain men to whom I find physically attractive not being physically attracted to me, well, I suppose it is best to just chalk that up to ‘the things I cannot change.’ (I also want to be clear that, while I admit that I do need to be physically attracted to someone to become ‘involved,’ looks mean nothing if it is not backed up with intelligence and personality.)
Of course, there are those fleeting moments when, no matter how bad I am feeling about my attractability, that make me feel as if I am the most eligible bachelor of the year.
One particular incident happened two weeks ago when my poker buddies and I took one of our group out to a farewell dinner at The House of Prime Rib. When we were finished with our meal and the bill had been paid, we started to make our way to the exit. When I walked by table at which were seated a handsome man and equally lovely lady, the lady flashed me a big flirty smile and a wink! Granted, not exactly what I am looking for, but a flirt is a flirt!
Finally, all I have to remember if I ever start to get down on my looks again is to the Castro Country Club so a (very attractive) volunteer can tell me that I’m a hottie!