As is to be expected from a gay Guy over 30, rejection is an integral part of my daily routine. After all, most 20 year olds believe there was a time I roamed the Earth with dinosaurs.
I rarely initiate a conversation with anyone on Grindr, but when I do it’s usually with someone younger and in my opinion cuter than me. Sometimes I am successful. Other times not so much.
I do however maintain one very simple rejection policy: If a Guy ignores me or tells me he’s not into me, I will not hit up that same person again. Ever. I simply don’t enjoy rejection enough to make a habit of it, which is hard enough as it is when you’re a gay Guy over 30.
Equipped with a reasonably good looking body and a not at all unattractive face by dinosaur standards, I spend quite some time rejecting people as well. Most Guys that hit me up are old enough to have experienced the last ice age. Some are even over 40!
My policy for rejecting is akin to the one for rejection. When I have no interest in someone, I either ignore them completely or, if they’ve taken the effort to say something nice, I tell them politely, with a smiley to ease the pain. This too I do only once.
And that’s where things get interesting. And irritating.
For reasons I often wonder about the gay scene is riddled with Guys who don’t take No for an answer. In fact, it seems perfectly normal for people of all ages to keep sending me the same opening line, the same dick pic, the same ass pic and the same grainy face pic over and over and over again. My dating apps are filled with hundreds of unread messages.
It baffles me why someone would set himself up for rejection at regular intervals. No means no, does it not?
One night, as I was aching for some fun in a gay sauna, someone reached for my testicles. Up till that moment it had been a slow night for me. I had seen some Guys I fancied, but all of them had avoided me as one would a T-Rex. Still, the Guy currently grabbing my testicles was by no means the kind of prey I had given up my night’s sleep for, so I pushed his hand back the way it came and proceeded walking as if I had somewhere else to be.
To my annoyance, said testicle grabber went in pursuit of me and it wasn’t long before he started touching me again. When I turned around to say something about it I was greeted by a friendly, slightly desperate, but nevertheless inviting smile, and I started thinking: Maybe I should lower my ridiculously high standards. Maybe this Guy is the universe’s way of telling me I need to learn how to settle. Granted, the string of rejections that had preceded our encounter no doubt fueled my lenient attitude, as I empathized with this Guy and his not exactly pretty face but not at all half bad body that could have been less gross were it not for its random snippets of chest hair.
No one likes to reject someone. Rejecting the same person twice is even harder. And my ego wasn’t going strong that night.
So I listened to my frail ego, which I often mistake for the universe trying to tell me stuff. The Guy I had rejected before now became Guy #152. I don’t really remember what we did exactly, except that it was brief and heartless, and in many ways still a form of rejection. Afterward, Guy #152 asked for my phone number, to which I said I wasn’t sure if we’d be seeing each other again. He pointed out the odds of us seeing each other again would be bigger if he had my phone number. To settle the issue of us ever seeing each other again, I gave Guy #152 a kiss on the cheek and told him we’d let fate decide if and when we’d meet again. The universe hasn’t brought us together since.
Feeling regret over the fact I had committed pity sex because I once again mistook my ego for the universe I found myself in a steam room later that night, where Guy #153 came out of nowhere and pushed his penis into my mouth. I angrily pushed him away and turned my head down, a rejection as obvious as they come.
Still, Guy #153 was undeterred, almost as if he could see my insecurities and subsequent lack of defenses. As if me rejecting him hadn’t just happened he donaldtrumped his way to my lips once more and stuck his penis in between them with a sense of entitlement that would have gotten me mad on any other day, but when I looked up to take a look at the Guy I was now more or less giving it to, I saw that his face might have been somewhat attractive had it not been for his beard. Maybe the universe was talking to me again. After all, why else would I be aroused by Guy #153’s dominance?
The arousal lasted for about five seconds, after which I realized I was only susceptible to dominance because I so happened to lack a backbone. The very thing that turned me on I now resented, so I pushed back Guy #153 a second time and said: “You’re welcome,” referring to the 5 second blowjob I had just given him. Guy #153 laughed, this time accepting the rejection, and went on his way.
No means no, but a lot of gay Guys continue making endless efforts to turn a no into a yes of sorts. I guess it makes sense: When sex becomes a commodity, most people set up camp in the gray area, whether they’re rejected or the one doing the rejecting.
Counting on people’s lack of self esteem seems to be a genuine hunting strategy, online and elsewhere. That’s why I have hundreds of unread Grindr messages that keep piling up, because people anticipate the day my ego renders me defenseless.
Defenseless, or older than 40. Whichever comes first.