It's tricky to draw the line with technology, to accept a certain degree of gadgetry and gizmos in your life, while saying no at a certain point. For instance, I’m fine with facebook, but I’m terrified of the iphone. I’m okay with exchanging occasional text messages but cannot wear a Bluetooth device on my ear. I’m scared of turning into a robot, giving over more and more of my silence to the frenetic and scrambled mania of compulsive email checking and internet surfing.
In the past ten years, as the internet has become more and more integrated into the way we meet sex partners, I think it’s useful to think about the various ways our interactions are shaped by technology. At a sex club or bar, we’ve got to be a little more on our toes about getting up the nerve to talk to someone. We’ve got to be a little more forceful when we want to get out of a conversation. And sometimes we take a chance and go home with someone because we’re aren’t up for saying no. There’s more anarchy in those live situations. Sometimes, someone can talk their way into your evening if they have charm or the guts to talk dirty.
It’s totally different on the internet, where you can just ignore someone’s message or make up a white lie excusing yourself from the electronic courtship. “I have to go to bed,” “I have to get up early,” “a friend just called and needs me to run an errand.” Have you heard these? Have you said them? I find more and more men online moving into the single line email as a means of communication. Essentially sending each other text messages, not wanting to waste a few sentences unless they felt it was a sure thing. I worry that we’re losing those mating muscles, the skills gay men have acquired over centuries to locate one another and connect.