Monday, November 21, 2011

Blog Post - I Am a Sex Tourist Pig (Berlin, September 2011)

The social code between a man and his Manhunt tricks can get murky. This became apparent to me two months ago in Berlin as I sat stunned, on the receiving end of an assault of text messages, trying to understand my obligation and assess my blame.

My phone had been vibrating and chiming at intervals that day, or at least since I had woke up at 2 o’clock in the afternoon to announce text messages from Brad. By 4 o’clock his pique had escalated to this...

WTF? Is this about your cock on your terms on your schedule??...Are you really a prick?

By an equivocation made up of white lies and delayed text responses (which I blamed on AT&T routing to the German carrier), I had tried to diffuse our one-sided dust-up. I’m sorry I missed you and I just got your text, sort of things.

Throughout the day the idea of sex with Brad again, for a second time in many, many months, had started to give me a dread. I wanted to creep away from my promise to meet up with him again.

By early evening, I had decided not to keep our “date” although I had not been that direct. I had suggested he come meet me at the bar rather than his flat. As I walked to PrinzKnecht, an unpretentious Berlin gay bar, to meet some new friends (friendly Parisians), Brad fired a fusillade that hit my phone as five separate text messages:

I am trying to hook up with yiou now. But the point is you dont want to meet now, right? Lets try some honesty here.

--2 seconds later--

Ok. You are a fucking prick. You send me a text telling me you are in a 3some! Then you want to blow me off tonight because you need to recharge. Then yo

--3 seconds later--

u only offer to meet on your time and your terms. And you lie about not seeing the text i sent you earlier. I dont think i've ever been so disrespected

--4 seconds later--

by a stranger. Guys should reduce you to your cock. Because you behave like a royal prick. Shame on me for feeling bad that i had to work last night and

--5 seconds later--

couldnt meet you. You are nothing more than a sex tourist prick.

I had met him in NYC many months prior through Manhunt, while he was in the States on a work trip. He was an American ex-patriot living in Berlin. He was an attractive man: forty-something, lean, sinewy, handsome, white, middle-American type of man. We had some good sex and light conversation in his hotel room one evening after work in the middle of a week. I added him to my “buddy list” so that we could hook up again should his work bring him back to Manhattan.

Folsom EU prompted our near reunion. Folsom in San Francisco is an annual celebration of leather and fetish that gives license for men to gear up and meet and play. This is the European sister event in the capital of Germany where kink is already unhinged at any time of the year.

After I had booked my travel I hit up Brad on Manhunt to try to reconnect. He jumped at the opportunity and, this is the moment when my sense of ick emerged, he insisted on having my first two nights in Berlin once I arrived.

I was going to Folsom EU alone and had no agenda other than to gear up and drop into the rabbit hole like a leather clad Alice. Not having plans or people binding me, it was difficult to defer to his pre-booking the two evenings. So I said sure. Hookups planned in advance always go into the calendar as tentative anyway. That’s the online sex experience and I don’t hold my tricks or my self to the standards I keep with friends or even acquaintances.

I arrived in Berlin the morning of September 7th, which coincidentally was my 41st birthday. Brad was MIA that night and that was a minor relief. The next morning, er afternoon, when I woke up I popped open Grindr (an app that uses GPS to establish proximity and immediacy at the moment of horniness) and it started to light up like a switchboard. A compact, muscly German with a shaved head and a goatee chatted me up: “Looking?” And soon after, “I’ll be at your hotel in 20 minutes....and can I bring a buddy.” I hadn’t been awake 20 minutes at the point. I dissolved a Viagra under my tongue for faster effect and showered and then my guests arrived.

They stayed for a couple of hours of sex with a few substances in the mix. The whole scenario was so debaucherous and immediate that it still pleasantly shocks me. In America there is a lot of negotiating about when and where (“host” or “travel;” everyone wants their sex delivered to them in NYC). The gay sex stateside just didn’t happen that easily. It could be easy but not completely without effort.

Maybe the European gays took their sex in stride or it had been a by-product of Folsom where kink and sex and fetish went to mingle and celebrate for a week. Also, Berlin was a city of non-stop sexual availability and indulgence. The bars all had backrooms and in many places it was more backroom than bar.

Brad re-emerged by text as I was “taking a break.” I told him how I was preoccupied, figuring the context of our acquaintance and the spirit of Berlin and Folsom would make that acceptable, treating us like members of a fucking brotherhood. Turns out he didn’t find my high-jinks amusing. Later when I tried to worm out of our meeting he let me know...

I moved heaven and earth to make sure I could be free for fucking tonight.

But I was sexed-out and he wanted me to travel to his place. I invited him to meet for a drink at PrinzKnecht and take it from there. He balked. (This was all by text. Never once did we talk.) And that’s when his condemnations went over-the-top.

Was I “nothing more than sex tourist prick?” Did I deserve that condemnation? I had tried to be polite albeit indirect. Folsom EU is sex tourism. It’s not just sex tourism. What is the norm where a week is spent dressing in leather; going out to bars and clubs where sex and fisting is not just available but anticipated and expected? Add to that excess depravity, apps on iPhones and iPads that made men available immediately in the intermission between sleeping and going out again.

To receive that kind of vitriol was upsetting to experience regardless of my culpability. To then feel mostly blameless somehow made the whole episode that much more confusing. I suspected that I was getting the sewage from other disappointments in his life. Still, I was rattled that night and intermittently for a few days after. Although I didn’t feel responsible for his bile, I did assume some guilt for having inspired the fury and hurt palpable in those messages. Instead of being nice I cold have been forthright, honest. Maybe that was my fault. I kept pondering about the etiquette and integrity we owe to each other in a realm that is purely or mostly just sex, largely virtual, and transitory.

The next night I saw Brad, across a bar, the next night at Lab.Oratory, a sex club spread out through a cavernous, abandoned factory building. The number “950” had been marked on my arm. It was meant for me to use when claiming my clothes later that night as I had stripped down to a leather jock strap. The club suspended admission at 1,000 men that night despite a queue a ¼ mile long outside.

We saw each other for a second before I could avert my eyes and look away. Lab.Oratory was large and crowded so avoiding each other was possible and, I felt, rationale. I turned around a moment later and there he was talking to a new friend of mine who was standing next to me. My new friend then turned around to introduce Brad us!? I didn’t know if they knew each other or whether Brad had maneuvered this awkwardness.

“Do you know....?” my friend said to me.

“No. I can’t. I won’t,” I sputtered out and walked away. I suspected that Brad wanted a reaction and I refused to satisfy his bad behavior. I spotted him again again that night, once-or-twice, but he kept a distance; lurking in corners and staring, or at least that’s how I experienced it.

I did not see Brad again the rest of my week in Berlin.

Two months later the episode nagged at me. A hook-up, a no strings attached tryst, was not a situation where I would have expected a blowup of ethical relativism. In the vapor of Manhunt and Grindr what do we owe each other? Nothing, except to enjoy each other and endeavor to please one another in our fleeting moments together. And everyone should have a pleasing orgasm if he wants one. Pleasing. Pleasant. Sexy. Fun. That is all we can expect and nothing is guaranteed. That’s all I will agree this context. That is my social contract with the men I meet for sex through the Internet.


Jason W said...

Cheaters BEWARE! This could be you.
Check out how these people lost it after being cheated on.

Jason W said...

Cheaters BEWARE! This could be you.
Check out how these people lost it after being cheated on.

Kierra Jill said...

Lol I feel you. .I also meet someone at Adam4Adam and everything's okay.