Putting yourself out there online for one to get interested in you, for magic to happen, for a hookup to be actualized is – I’ve come to realize – hard work. Especially, in this gay clime where no one trusts anybody. I’ve always regarded shooting your shot as an art, something you’ve got to have a lot of charm to pull off, to get a guy who initially knows nothing about you to trust you enough to meet you halfway for your chemistry to build up. And when I hear stories of guys who are able to frequently hook up with guys, especially on online platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where there’s no official hookup community, I salute them.
Someone once told me that it was a Top thing; that the chase should be done by the Top after the Bottom, or the Top after the Versatile, or the Versatile after the Bottom. And I all Bull. Sexual attraction and the prerogative to pursue it does not belong strictly in anyone’s purview. And I say this, bearing in mind that for a very long period of my dating history, I’ve never had to pursue anyone.
I mean, sure, I’ve flirted a lot with guys online. But I don’t consider that shot-shooting, because that flirtation has to happen with a doing intent. Chyking is you endeavouring to get someone’s attention from your place of randomness, and also following up with an apparent need to get the other person to hook up with you, and being coy with the things you say and the innuendos you drop to encourage him does not qualify.
All that changed a while ago, when I met Leo on Grindr. As it turns out, nothing makes a dude determined to take the reins of a hookup process than the thirst of someone really, really hot. Leo was really, really hot.
He was actually the one who said Hi to me first on Grindr. He sent to me: “Hello gorgeous.” And he got my attention. And for a while, we idly chatted, with no real intent for me to pursue this. I mean, he said hi first, right? So he should be the one to initiate the conversation, the one to keep my interest, the one to supply information about him first for me to reciprocate. The one to send his pictures first.
Ah yes, the picture exchange. The moment Leo send me his pics, he had me on the hook. I was galvanized into action and basically took over from him. with no experience on how to pursue someone, I just went at it, being lively and bouncing from topic to topic to keep our chemistry alive.
First day, second day, third day, a week, and all was going well. Then it was that time when we seriously began talking about getting together. And that was when the roadblock started sanding my garri. Leo asked me for my social media contacts, even furnishing me with his. But I told him I wasn’t on Facebook or any social media for that matter. (I know, I know, even Pink Panther will come for me at this point for having expectations when I wasn’t giving the right commitment.)
But in my defense, which I went on to explain to Leo, I was at the time recently kitoed. And that experience was so scarring, I exited all social media platforms. I just wanted to escape the places through which I could see myself getting victimized. Even deactivated my WhatsApp. Before I explained my reasons and told the kito story to Leo, when I told him I wasn’t on any platform, not even WhatsApp, he of course didn’t believe me. Saying that everybody was on WhatsApp at least. But after my narration, he appeared to understand.
He made some empathetic noises that consoled me over my past. But dude was still averse to meeting me. Feeling desperate, I told him I didn’t mind coming over to see him. At least, that would mitigate the danger he felt he would expose himself to by getting together with me. I told him to pick a place of his choosing, and I’d be there. He could even confirm my identity from a distance, seeing as I’d already sent him tons of my pics. I felt really bad that this whole thing was getting shot down to hell, because I’d gotten to like him very much. It wasn’t just about his looks; it was the way we flowed, the way he made me be more me with him than I’d ever been with anybody else.
Because I was not going to give up, I searched for ways to prove my genuine gayness to him (whatever that means). I asked him if he read Kito Diaries, and he said yes. I told him I read the blog too, and then I name-dropped, talking about how I was friends with Delle and Mitch. I mean, those are basically KD celebrities, so name-dropping them should surely guarantee me some legibility. I went further by asking him to even contact them or Pink Panther to verify that I was Sage Philip. Heck, he should ask Pink Panther to connect him to Sage Philip, and then he could get my email address or the same phone number with which we’d been talking.
But Leo was not here for all that plotting of the Pythagoras theorem. To him (and I really couldn’t blame him), it was simple: prove yourself to me by yourself, or we ain’t getting down.
His reticence and eventual diminishing interest in chatting with me – you know, the monosyllabic responses to my chats – became proof that he had made up his mind that we wouldn’t be getting together. At this point, I got really, really mad at this country for all the ways it had wrecked our community so much, that the organic process of online hookups was no longer a thing. If we lived in a more tolerable society, Grindr would have been enough. We would have gone on from there to getting together and fucking like rabbits.
I was not happy. And it seemed Leo wasn’t even interested in at least staying friends with me. I would call him and he would respond with, “Hello, who’s this?”
HE HAD DELETED MY NUMBER! 😭😭😭
I was disappointed, because there were so many things I’d imagined doing to Leo in the privacy of a bed. Randy, dirty things that would now no longer be actualized because, Nigeria.
I had to give up and stop chatting him up on Grindr or calling him. but sometimes, because the image of his attractiveness wouldn’t let up from my mind, I would flash him or tap him on Grindr. He never responded. Dude had moved on.
And I was left with a raw feeling of pain over the fact that the first time I shot my shot at a guy, it all ended in tears. My tears. And it just gives me a whole new appreciation for those who always do it, who always put themselves out there, sometimes without achieving anything in the end. It’s just really tough out here in these streets, guys.
Written by Sage Philips