Sex and sensibility

We need to stop slut-shaming each other for putting out too soon

Some gay men relentlessly pursue sex with strangers, then use getting what they want against the guys who give it to them.

Catering to a guy’s sex drive doesn’t guarantee he won’t turn you loose post-afterglow. According to a 2017 Groupon survey, men are nine times more likely than women to be down with first-date sex, while 70% think you should wait until at least the fourth date. Clearly, the quasi-virginal mate is still an aspirational thing.

Gay men are probably less likely than straight men to lose respect after a first-nighter, but if you’re looking for Call Me By Your Name-style romance that lasts past summer break, only fools rush into bed.

And so the sex dilemma goes for a gay man living in various big cities, from New York to Buenos Aires to Bangkok to Cape Town to Sydney to Belgrade. I’ve lost suitors in each one by keeping my clothes on and chased away others by taking them off.

Miloš fell into the latter column. He was a beautiful, 28-year-old Serbian with gray-flecked brown hair who hit on me in one of Belgrade’s hippest coffee bars, invited himself over to my place (less noisy and smoky), and swore he wasn’t looking for sex. Relieved because I hadn’t changed my underwear before going out, I played along.

“I never do this, but you seem like good guy…. You shouldn’t let stranger into your house. It’s OK this time because I’m a cop,” he said, pulling out his badge and handing it to me.

At the end of the 30-minute getting-to-know-you first act, he kissed me, launching into act two. Too bad he isn’t wearing his uniform, I thought as I settled into his clutch. Predictably, it soon landed on my crotch.

“I thought you said you didn’t want to have sex.”

“I know. I know. I don’t. I’m sorry. I’m being bad.”

Each time I gently pushed away one groping hand, the other would take its place. The octopus cycle continued for a half hour before I gave up and let him stick his tentacle hand under my Bonds briefs. Within an hour, he’d gotten me out of them. Afterwards, we cuddled for one minute tops, in awkward silence.

“What are you thinking?” he finally asked.

“I’m just enjoying the moment.”

I was really wondering when he would leave now that he’d gotten what he wanted.

I didn’t have to wonder long. He was out the door within 15 minutes. He wouldn’t even kiss me goodbye on the lips. I didn’t expect to ever hear from him again. I figured I’d forfeited that possibility the moment I let him take off my Bonds briefs.

I still sent him a text message a few minutes after he left, just in case:

It was nice to meet you. WhatsApp me sometime if you want to practice your English.

He responded moments later:

What did we do? I feel terrible. I really didn’t come for sex. It was wrong. I thought you were good boy.

Maybe we can see us again but only as friends. Is OK?

As I read, I fumed. Had I fallen through a #MeToo looking glass? Did I land in an imaginary world where guys like Aziz Ansari send their versions of “Grace” texts telling them they regret letting their lust rule before friend-zoning the women for not overthrowing it?

I was infuriated on principle. Despite the language barrier between us, Miloš’s meaning was clear. After instigating pretty much every aspect of our tryst, he was slut-shaming and friend-zoning me in two texts.

I felt like a high school girl who loses the boy that takes her virginity on prom night because she was too “fast.” Gay men can be just as hypocritical about sex as straight men, and I have the blow-off texts to prove it. I could read between Miloš’s lines: By giving it up so quickly, I confirmed that I’m low-quality, no longer “good boy.” It may take two to tango nude, but I was the one being slut-shamed and rejected for it.

Related: Man Who Slept With 400 People Refuses To Be Slut Shamed, Says There’s No Such Thing As Too Much Sex

Why are some gay men so weird about sex with strangers? They pursue it relentlessly, then use getting what they want against the guys who give it to them. It’s why many of us to refuse to even entertain the possibility that a Grindr hook-up could lead to something more. If he’s that easy, he can’t possibly be dating material.

Is there a certain amount of self-loathing involved? Do we disrespect ourselves as much as we disrespect the guys who put out for us? Judging from the rest of our exchange, Miloš was saving most of his disrespect for me.

So… you come over to my place after saying you aren’t looking for sex, and you can’t keep your hands off my crotch while you are here, I wrote to him after taking a few minutes to cool off.

We end up naked because YOU push it, and then you say you just want to be friends because I’m not good boy?

No, I do not want to be friends, because you are not good enough to be my friend.

Yes, I went there, and he gave back as good as he got.

Maybe you need to stop blaming others for what goes wrong and start looking at your own actions, he responded in curiously flawless English. Maybe then you’ll see that the problem might be you.

I wish you the best.

I wondered if he had been looking in the mirror (and at Google Translate) when he wrote that. I had considered my actions. I’m still considering them. That’s why I’m writing this.

I hadn’t blamed him for anything that happened until he used it to friend-zone me. I regretted giving in to his groping and my own desperate need for affection. But couldn’t he have just ghosted me like a normal guy?

I decided to do unto him as I wish he’d done unto me. I deleted him from my phone after ignoring his final text apologizing for offending me. Then I vowed to be more adamant the next time I swat away a hand that goes too far south.

If I’m going to feel dirty after hooking up, I’d rather it be just because I didn’t change my underwear beforehand.

Related: What are the rules when it comes to hooking up with a friend’s Grindr date?