Looking through about two hundred ads will usually pan out to me sending forty emails. This usually translates into ten responses; about seven of those will send pictures. Out of the seven pictures, four will be attractive enough to “hang out with”. Out of those four, one guy will actually respond and it will work to hang out. Kevin is my .5% today.
As time goes on, I have become pickier with whom I hang out. I have to raise the stakes so that I will derive enough pleasure to ignore all the pain. Kevin is a “straight acting” bisexual guy. An aspiring filmmaker from California in his mid twenties, stuck in St. Louis over the holidays. He says he’s a sex addict; adds that he more so than others because he’ll do it with either sex. He’s a step up from the usual.
It’s a cold day in January as we leave Buffalo Wild Wings. We’ve made small talk for an hour or so. I made the mistake of touching his leg while in the restaurant. “Not in public,” he chastised as he pushed my hand away. This raises the stakes higher. I don’t let him see the adrenaline rush I get by him saying no.
As we walk out to the car, the wind howls, piercing through my clothes. The whole process of hooking up has become a game for me. It is a power struggle; the stronger the opposition, the higher the thrills. Physical beauty, how straight they are, and sexual ability all add to the power factor. If they have sex with me, then I see it as overcoming their power. My mind has derived a way to accrue some kind of self-promoting value.
We get into the car, and I drive off down an old country road. We drive by fields of dead, dried out corn stalks; they radiate a beautiful golden hue in the late afternoon sunlight. Every once in a while Kevin directs me to take a left or a right. I place my hand on his thigh. This time he does not push me away. As my hand wanders up his leg and to his crotch, he lets out a sigh, “I’ve been waiting for that.” I feel this flood of endorphins flow through my system as I get these words of approval. I try deny the fact that I’m chained to his desires. It is easier to ignore when I feel his hand settle on my leg, and start working its own way up.
We drive around for half an hour until we decide we have to find somewhere to pull off. We sit in the corner of an abandoned parking lot, facing a concrete wall and a bunch of trees. None of the trees have leaves, they are in stark contrast to the bright blue sky. The cramped confines of the car add to the excitement of the moment. My head bobs, and my tongue swirls. Moans of ecstasy drift to my ear.
A while later, I drop him off at his place, and begin my drive home. I have half an hour to ponder everything; this is dangerous. After all was said and done, he told me that it was the best blow job he ever got. This simple statement more than made up for the fact that I didn’t orgasm. I tell myself that it just shows how much power I have over him. He couldn’t even get me off. I tell myself these things to ignore the fact that I don’t have power over me. I like to deny my own enslavement to sex.
Craigslist has a tendency to swallow up hope. One of my friend’s told me a story of a cannibal in Texas who would cruise craigslist to find his victims. This story prevented three weeks of hookups, but I eventually ended up back on the site. In addition to risk of serial murders, the risk of catching disease should be enough reason to stop. Unfortunately, it is through my own irrationality that I so eagerly pursued the various guys that compound the problem. There is some sort of self destructive loathing which drives me. It all fell into place with that “one last kiss.” I am destroying myself with every ounce of power I cultivate. I am my own worst enemy; sacrificing my soul to strangers so that I can have enough power to do it again.
But then I stumble upon hope in the most ill-fitting packages. I find stories of sons running away from home, and squandering all they had; a picture of a woman who thinks that she will someday fill that empty void with just the right man; or a wife who scorns the husband who loves her and tries to sell herself back to the slavery which was destroying her in the first place. I see me in each of these stories: the self destruction, the unfilled void, the foolish squandering, and the scorn of my first love. And because they each found hope, maybe I can too.
Its kind of humiliating to say that I am not enough for myself, but it’s the conclusion I’ve come to after one too many nights of another pointless sexcapade. After a long sojourn, I am finally feeling my thirst to go home. I am stumbling back to Jesus and wondering about his living water; the water which flows like a fount to eternal life. I want to encounter grace. I suppose the only response to an irrational problem is a slightly irrational answer. A God who would look on a wayward human and say, “Yes, I’ll suffer and die for you. Even though you’ll scorn me, I’ll rescue you when you most need it. You’ll have to fight with me, but I promise I’ll get you home.”