Lester Brathwaite gives up on the hookup:
“My looks, as validated by the very men I was rejecting, gave me license to be more selective. As I grew more selective, my profiles grew less playful. I erased my face. I added more shirtless pics and naked pics; I worked out harder; I left my descriptions blank so I would have nothing to blame for a guy not messaging me back, other than his own ‘preference.’
. . .
Was it something I said or didn’t say? Am I not muscular enough? Am I not masculine enough? Am I too black? Not black enough? Guys that I would strike up a casual conversation with immediately became potential boyfriends. We would either meet and have sex and I’d never see him again or we’d casually text until one or both of us lost interest. Some times, we’d meet and I’d face my rejection in-person. Were we to meet in another, less sexually-charged way, things would probably be different. Giving all the goods off the bat, however, takes the surprise and spontaneity out of meeting each other.
But these apps and sites have rendered me completely unable to interact with guys in any other way because they cater to my insecurity. My insecurity about talking to guys. My insecurity with coming off too effeminate or too needy. My insecurity of attracting someone without using my body. It’s one thing to be rejected based on a picture and a headline, but to be rejected based on something more substantial like personality is a soul-crusher. I broke myself down and I beat myself up and I compromised my values and what I believed in in order to satisfy my all-consuming sexual desire. I recognized that this desire was just a desire to be less lonely, which explains why I would often get attached to someone so quickly and so easily.”
Image from the essay