By Anthony Paull
There was the most fascinating report on NPR not too long ago that talked about the current climate of dating and how, across the country, college campus women were fed up with men – because instead of going on traditional dates, men would simply opt to meet the lady at the bar, buy her brewski on nickel-beer night and then take her back to the ole frat house to bop her brains out.
I know. I know. Lucky girls, right?
Well, these girls desired more from their beaus than a “buy me a beer and I blow you” night. They longed for the more traditional model of dating: one where being escorted to dinner was involved before taking in a movie. The trouble is, this was hard to find. Those smart college men, they just wanted to party, telling the girls, “Hey, we’ll be at (fill in the blank) white-trash townie bar. Meet us and we promise to save you some boiled peanuts and beer!”
The state of affairs saddened the girls. They reluctantly agreed to the men’s requests, but inside they felt like cheap, dirty whores. Still bravely, they bottled up their spiraling emotions by turning to the bottle in order to alleviate their guilt for allowing their bodies to be ravaged by these men for such little reward. Hence, this helped heighten the percentage of “binge drinking” college women nationwide; according to a Harvard study, nearly matching their male counterparts.
So all in all, the outlook seemed grim for college women. But where has that left, dare I ask, collegiate gay men?
“In rehab,” says my newest, coolest mate, Randy. Recently, we met at the bar, where over a cocktail he boldly confessed that though he loves the attention he receives from college boys, he knows that they’ll offer him no more than cactus butt and a canker sore on his lip in the morning. Still, he refuses to stop opening his mouth for them, even though it upsets him because he’s looking for more than a one-night sham.
“Then why do you keep doing it?” I ask.
“The drinks,” he confesses. Pointing to his fruit-garnished glass of sangria, he whimpers with baby talk. “They talk me into it. They’re always so convincing.”
“Well, have you considered not drinking?”
“Because I like forgetting what I do …”
Yes, you see, Randy has done many things that he can’t remember. It’s all a fuzzy, wet dream. Bits and pieces come to him every now and again, but most of it is a blur – kind of like when you struggle to recall what really took place during the movie “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
“For instance, I’ll remember talking to a guy at the bar. I’ll remember the head of his penis. But I won’t remember his face or his name,” Ryan tells me, clearly intoxicated. “Like I could have slept with you last month and I wouldn’t even know unless you pulled out your peter.”
“That sounds like a line,” I reply.
“Yeah. Maybe. So uh, tell me, was I good?” he flirts.
“Veeeerrrry good,” I purr, teasing him. “Look, I even have the canker sore on my lip to prove it!”
“You twit!” he laughs, with a wink. Then with barely a goodbye, he floats to the dance floor, having been prompted by a friend he thinks may be a past trick. Randy can’t remember who the guy is, really. Later, he informs me that he thinks he met the guy online, but he can’t remember if he’s the one with acne on his butt or the one who collects Pokemon cards. Still, he’s excited with the thought of having someone in his bed tonight. But aren’t we all? Isn’t that what gets us into these predicaments?
The truth is, we’ve all been Ryan and we’ve all been that sad girl who longs for romance, but will settle for a warm body in the bed and cold sore on the lip in the morning. So why do we do it? Is it the alcohol? Nah, the alcohol just gives us permission to do it without having to accept the responsibility for it.
So what then?
Well, it may be a number of reasons. Maybe we don’t think we’re ready to commit to a real relationship, and bar hook-ups grant us a quick fix when we feel alone. Or maybe we like a little more variety in our dating diet than our puritan hearts would like to admit. The truth is, no one goes to the bar piss-drunk looking for a long-term relationship. You think I’m wrong? Well, take a moment to think about it.
Would you get intoxicated before going on a job interview? Then why would you show up drunk to interview the person who you’d like to share your bed, your butt hole, and your life? If you’re looking for more than a hook-up, then hook yourself up with a better game plan than drinking-’til-he’s-cute at the bar. Until then, quit feeling bad for yourself, and have fun with each drunken hump and bump along the way.