It’s true what they say. Divorce is a big adjustment; maybe one of the biggest ever. During those first few months after parting ways with my long-term partner, getting laid became the primary focus of all my days. Close friends even feared I had become some sort of sex-addict.
Dar and I had been in a long-term monogamous relationship for 22 years—I suppose I was a kid in a candy store—hell, I actually had a boy in my apartment less than 24-hours after I moved in. What followed was a cavalcade—Ryan, Mike, Julius, Jerry, Chen, Ryan2, Max, the nameless one, etc.—that winter, chasing men consumed the bulk of my time.
It also consumed me! I participated in most of the stereotypical promiscuous gay antics. I engaged in sexual activity high on poppers, high on weed, bareback sex (no rubber!), sex with more than one partner, sex in public places (gym washrooms, showers, steam-rooms). Yup, I suppose I had become an addict. I seemed to have become obsessed with the act of screwing.
Long, lonely, sleepless nights showed it was not the act of bunking I was actually chasing. After I began bedding down with both my phone and my laptop, I tackled some heavy contemplation and realized it was truly about the before and the after.
Yup, you guessed it: intimacy. That’s what I was hot for! I also came to learn that in the hard-core, single gay world, a guy has to really put out to get any tenderness back at all and even hook-ups didn’t mean there was any type of cuddling or caressing afterward.
It is rough out there! Pillow talk was like a thing of the past, if it indeed ever did actually exist in these circles. The fag community can be cut-throat and backstabbing. It can be a cruel and nasty and toxic environment. It can be the world of anonymity, glory-holes, hate-sex, drop-and-block and fuck-and-go. It can be the world of “text me your dick-pic” and “bend over so I don’t see your face” and “Holy fuck, I gotta get home to my wife!”
During this phase, I felt the need to adapt. I told myself that, like it or not, I was in the thick of it. It felt healthier to not love or hate this society, but to merely accept it.
My ex told me it killed him to see me like this. It killed me to kill him. During the heat of a rare post-marital argument, he informed me I was not the man he was married to. He told me I was once a sweet angel and that he didn’t even recognize who I had evolved into. This, in turn, made me wonder if this is what I had become—a fallen angel.
I was in rough shape at this time. I was suffering from relentless, ongoing chronic back pain and nothing cured it. Nothing! Not meds, not chiro, not physio, not anything. Good intimacy sometimes dulled it. Sometimes!
At this time, I discovered the gay male hookup app Gryndr. At least the mindless and shallow online interaction kept a guy entertained enough and the empty hours passed faster. The casual chit-chat killed the loneliness for a while. There was profound isolation during that period.
Many friends in my broad spectrum abruptly went MIA. Stats show that both divorce and nagging pain lead to sufferers spending countless, endless hours and even days on end with little or no social interaction. I can certainly verify this.
The back pain had me off-work, so I didn’t even have the privilege of going off to a job to socialize. Those days were a thing of the past to me. No decent employer wants a sick employee around. As far as friends, it is only the die-hard besties that remain in these cases; the ones who truly care. Divorce has a way of making a guy learn who actually matters. Pain and separation are cruel and nasty filtering systems.
I finally set-up a profile on the infamous singles website, Plenty of Fish. Perhaps there was some type of new Mr. Right out there in all this nasty mess. I carefully worded my profile, since I recognized I was not seeking lust, but more for those feelings of being cared about—kisses, cuddles, gentle conversations. There is nothing like sensing one is wanted or needed. Nothing! It is the next thing to heaven!
There is a wide margin between screwing and intimacy. This period of my life only went on a few months and it became profoundly empty. I felt old and ugly and decrepit. As one particular one-nighter pointed out, I was 46-years-old and, in the gay world, that’s close to being a centurion.
Experts told me this is the time when a person should cling to loved ones. They told me to coffee with them, text them, and chat with them on Facebook.
My thoughts: You can’t cuddle with a Facebook chat-box.
Wes Funk is an award-winning Saskatoon-based, dark fiction writer. He is also the host of the Saskatchewan-wide literary-themed talk-show, Lit Happens. Wes’ first novel, Dead Rock Stars, has been incorporated into various curricula and is celebrating a rebirth in its new illustrated edition format.