David Stuart


It’s so complicated.  
(Not always, and not for all of us.)
But being single and relying on hook-up culture to meet our needs... that’s complicated.
But you – you manage it very well considering. You’re awesome. 
No one would ever know. You’re very good at hiding it, at putting on a good show. 
Your profile reads like a brilliant, sexy confident, all-round good bloke.
And it works. It gets interest from the ones you’re trying to convince.
The performance that accompanies it? Also awesome. Completely convincing. 
He didn’t see the body flaws that you try to hide. He didn’t even see that you were self-conscious about them.
Awesome. That would have been a disaster.
He didn’t see the clumsy awkward ugly school-kid that you really feel like. You’re really good at hiding that.
You figured out what role to play, when to change positions and what to do in reciprocation.
You were clean here, and groomed there. You’d made vigilantly sure of that, in advance.
Your hard-on didn’t let you down, and that awkward time interval between both orgasms worked out just fine.
There was a nice feeling after. 
Great. That’s what it’s all about. And you deserve that feeling.
And he didn’t see through the performance at all. Brilliant. You lived up to everything your profile promised. Everything your community expects of you.
That’s amazing, you really are good at this. Lots of practice I bet, trial and error served you well today. No rejection happened, and you lived up to the sexy standard that you promised, that was expected of you.
I am not being sarcastic. 
It’s phenomenal what you do. It’s an extraordinary feat to pull off, and if it goes wrong... I know how that feels. That could be disastrous. It’s like a rejection from your own community, and that hurts; hurts like hell.
It’s a great performance. It’s an easier performance to give on chems, I know, but gosh, to pull it off sober... that’s amazing.
Again; this is not sarcasm.
Don’t underestimate how talented you are. This is important. You’ll need to have faith in your talents, because I’m going to suggest something that will require you to be your best self, your most talented self.
What. If. Sex could be better?
Maybe the above IS your definition of good sex. Sure, I get it. Your sexy profile was affirmed by your community. You are a sexy man, an online community agrees. In bed, your sexiness was affirmed and confirmed. Score. I get how important that is, and I’m pleased you’re good at it. I know the stakes. 
I know the isolation and loneliness that happens when it fails. A failure can take you right back to your teenage awkwardness and freakiness. 
But what if...
What if the guys in bed with us, online with us, were exactly the same?
What; that never occurred to you?
What if those guys, with all that power to destroy you, to make a fool of you... were just as scared and busy performing as you were?
What if they were terrified of you? Your performance IS that good, remember. Frighteningly good.
Here’s the bit where I need you to remember your amazingness, your talents.
And I say it with love.
Stop thinking about yourself. The guy in bed with you, online with you, is terrified. Like the rest of us. Like you. He needs you to be amazing today. He needs you to break the ice, to stop the performance, to be real and human and vulnerable.
He needs your permission, to stop this impossible, if brilliant performance. Let him be flawed, let him be imperfect and a bit scared. He could convince you otherwise with his honed performance; but don’t put him through that. Let him confide these beautiful vulnerabilities to you, convince him you’ll find him sexy and amazing – not in spite of these things, but because of them. It’s that trust, that extraordinary thing that happens between two naked people that makes sex so, infallibly amazing.
And you have the power and talent to do it.
I get it. You’ll need to be brave, to take the first step like that. But I know what you’re capable of. 
You’ve been rejected and rejected. 
And rejected. 
But you’re still standing. You’re still trying. You’ve not given up.
You negotiate chem invitations every day. You endure the hate and cruelty online, you’re kind to the underdog when you can be. You negotiate safe sex and HIV stigma every week, gosh every day, and you’re still standing. Still believing it can happen for you. You’re still out there. Gosh, you’re amazing. People reject you for not having abs, you get laughed off dance-floors, and no one ever seems to want to sleep over with you after the orgasm.
But you’re still out there, trying. You still believe it’s possible. In spite of it all... you’ve not given up.
You inspire me.
So I know it. I know how amazing you are. My faith in you, in what you can do, is absolute. Yours has to be too.
Be better. Be kind, be a generous, great gay man. I know you. I know what you can be. I know it because I am the same. I am your community.