“Ghosting” Gay Style
When Charlize Theron recently broke off with Sean Penn, there were no tearful goodbyes or knock-down yelling matches. No, Charlize just stopped replying to Sean’s insistent e-mails, texts and voicemails. You know, the silent treatment, or what those in the dating/sex game call “ghosting.”
Well, we gay guys are painfully familiar of that form of the cold shoulder, and while modern technology may have put a new spin on it, “ghosting” has been going on for eons. Hell, when I was in my twenties, I had a hard-on for a guy in Manhattan who I screwed around with a few times and who gave me the impression he wanted to make something more of it. Well, a month into our “thing,” I called his number and all I got on the other end was Jeffrey feigning some phone problem as if he couldn’t hear me. After three tries over a space of several days, little naïve me got the message. That was one of my first entrees into the Gay School of Hard Knocks.
Today, if I see a guy on the web who’s looked at my profile more than twice and who I find interesting, I’ll message him, maybe twice, but if I get no response or a wishy-washy one like “visiting a sick aunt in Bosnia, but promise to connect in this lifetime…” I BLOCK HIM. If you don’t want the real me, you ain’t getting the virtual me.
“Ghosting” is also a great way to stop ex-lovers or cyber-stalkers who keep trying to mind fuck you in their tracks. You see, the worst thing you can do is tell them to fuck off because that shows they’ve gotten under your skin. No, instead get under their skin by using the Theron approach – no response.
But I must admit there have been times when you don’t expect it from the guy. Like with Tim, a sizzling fuck buddy of mine, broker than shit, who was hot to trot about coming over to my place for an all-dayer, but who was nowhere when I texted him repeatedly the morning of to confirm. I never heard from him again. All these scenarios ran through my mind. Had he gotten mugged? Arrested? Killed in an accident? Or, most likely, evicted from his apartment he hadn’t paid the rent on for three months? Who knows? Many a time, the hottest guys are the biggest losers.
Undoubtedly the cruelest “ghosting” that I experienced, and just recently in fact, was with Dean, a regular fuck buddy of mine with whom I had developed an emotional attachment, and I thought him with me. When I told him I would be taking a cab the morning of my sinus surgery because I had to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. and couldn’t expect anyone I knew to get up that early to drive me, Dean willingly volunteered. In fact, he insisted on it. “No one should go to a hospital for surgery alone in a cab,” he said as we parted the Friday night before my surgery. He promised he would touch base on Sunday, but my text to him on Saturday night and texts and call to him on Sunday produced absolutely no response. Finally, at about six Sunday night, I texted him one last time that I was booking the cab and did just that. The following morning at 5:15 a.m., I took the cab alone to the hospital. (No problem, it’s not the easy things in life that make you stronger – it’s the hard ones.)
And my most poignant “ghosting” experience? That came with Mitch, a hot meth head buddy, who promised to connect after he got back from a Memorial Day weekend drug fest in Key West five years ago. When he didn’t respond to my voice mails or web messages or texts, I finally ventured to the flophouse he was living in to learn from the manager that the reason he hadn’t replied was because he was dead – a victim of his own habit. You see, driving back from that weekend, Mitch fell asleep at the wheel after having probably been wired for days, and drove his little car right into the water.
Dead at 42.
Now, you have to admit, that’s “ghosting” for real.