flicker (noun): a gay man residing in one of America’s major gay urban ghettos who’s seemingly got it all, the looks, the bod, the persona, the stable of friends and roving lovers, who projects a visage of contentment but, in reality, just isn’t quite happy where he’s at, and thinks by moving to some other gay urban hotbed, – hence the phrase, to flick around – his life would be so much better.
Recently a handsome muscle bear from L.A. hit me up on one of the hook-up websites. “You’re my type to a T,” he glowed. We traded a bit of E chitchat and I found out that he had lived in Lauderdale about the same time I’ve been here and left a year ago because he wanted a LTR and was tired of “guys not willing to commit.” But he conceded he was getting a bit bored with L.A. (he had lived there before) and was now considering another move to Palm Springs.
Then it hit me. As I dwelled on his handsome face and bod I realized I had seen him many times in one of the local bear bars. He had always been surrounded by his little coterie of fellow steroid clones, but never once in all those Friday nights had he ever even given me the eye or said, “Hey.” Ah, but moving to L.A., that would change everything. If not, there’s always ….
Then, there is a sometime fuck buddy of mine who says he’s had it with Lauderdale and wants to return to the romance of his youth by moving back to either New York where he came out and still has plenty of gay friends, or San Francisco where he blossomed as a muscleman bartender when Castro was just coming into its own. Now my buddy is highly intelligent with an IQ of 120 but did little with his brains and frankly doesn’t have a pot to plant flowers in as they politely put it in ‘50’s movies. But still he fanaticizes about living in two of the most expensive places in the country, with no dossier, no real professional job experience, and certainly, while still a hot man, no longer Sugar Daddy fodder. Like returning to a past that no longer exists would somehow make his future. NYC’s once seedy West Village, home up to the late ’90’s to some of the hottest leather/levi bars in the world is now high rise condos and urban planning, and the Castro, Gaydom’s Babylon from the sixties onward is today home to yuppies and baby carriages. As they say, you can’t go home again.
We’ve all known or met or heard of guys like this. Guys still hot into their 30’s, 40’s and even 50’s whose perpetual sex appeal is both a blessing and a curse since it allows them to continue playing the game long after they even really want to or should. Or deludes them into thinking there’s still time to find Mr. Right. They may work for a company where transfers are easy, or have a business of their own that’s movable like online sales, landscaping, power-washing or deep tissue massaging, since they never really lay down roots in one place all that long. Actually not being chained to professional obligations or pension plans or the corporate ladder makes flicking around easy. And so they do, from one gay ghetto to the next, a few years in one place, a decade in another, two months in the third, going through lovers and relationships like handi-wipes, all the time searching, waiting, hoping. For what? For who?
These guys may think they’re sincere when they insist they want a LTR or, if not that, some deliriously happy existence. Whatever the hell that is. But are they for real? Are they willing to give as much as they expect to get? For most of them, commitment is sharing a fresh bottle of poppers with the new guy they’re screwing and letting him have the first sniff.
Just one question: do they ever tell someone on which gay ghetto catwalk they want their ashes scattered?