By James Callaghan

Anyone who’s ever moved to London from elsewhere would agree that there’s nothing quite like the ‘big smoke’. It’s massive, it’s filled with opportunities, art, culture, beautiful architecture, music, history… the list goes on. With all of these things that this great city has to offer, why is it that so many of our gay brothers are looking for one thing; SEX! Hard sex, dirty sex, hairy sex, smooth sex, bareback sex, spanking, spitting, fisting, sounding, pissing, shitting… sex, sex, sex, sex, sex… and the more the better. The bigger the cock the better… I swear one day, even sitting on the Shard won’t be enough for some bottoms.

These days, unless you’ve been blessed with a 9-inch, fat and (usually) uncut cock you are doomed. And then there’s the drugs issue. It seems that these days, even if you are the 9-inched horseman, unless you can bring your own Tina, Meow Meow or G, you might as well chop off that cock of yours and use it as a dildo. 

A friend put it exactly as it is last week: “When I was a young gay boy things were different. Erasure was the pinnacle of queer music, and G-A-Y was at the Astoria, where homos from all over the country would meet. You’d take a bit of Speed, drink a lot of Red Stripe, and end up snogging a hot guy with the hope of yet another possible new relationship, and receiving a call on your landline the next day still gave you butterflies.” Ah, how times have changed.

Maybe the countless short-lived romances that London has thrown at me in the past five years have desensitised me but I long for the good old days when I did get those butterflies from the guy I was seeing. “Got Meow Meow or Tina?” is the 2013 equivalent of “care for a cuppa?” and weekend-long bareback chems parties are the London gay man’s new idea of making ‘friends’. Friends? Yeah right! You are elbow deep in someone’s butt canal one weekend but I’ll be damned if you even acknowledge that same guy’s presence if you accidentally run into him at Tesco the following Wednesday. Where will it end?

Give it five years and we’ll all be hooked on to wireless technology that eats, sleeps, shits and fucks for us. We are doomed to life in a darkened Virtual Reality Sweatbox, plugged up to a drip infusing us with the latest chems drug on the scene, all available for home delivery on the latest iPhone app for £7.99 per month or a discounted £39.99 for an annual subscription. 

Today, sex among the gays has become more transactional than withdrawing money from a cashpoint. And it’s only getting worse. In my two-year long love-hate relationship with dating apps (I’ve installed and deleted Grindr more times than I’ve had wanks, and believe me I have those on at least a twice daily basis... and that’s if I am having a busy day), I’ve noticed a massive change in the way people communicate. I don’t just mean when they are at a party or out in a bar (glued to their phones half listening to their friends and half looking for the next hook-up).

Oh don’t even get me started on that… no, I mean the way that people interact on those apps. It’s become the most soul-destroying method of communication known to mankind. Because you hide behind a picture (and most times you are lucky if you even get that), guys don’t think about the person behind the profile any more. They look at their ‘opponent’ as an object that they can potentially use and, if that object is not instantly available or is not the type they want to use, it’s the red X button without the bat of an eyelid.

You are lucky if you even get a ‘not interested’. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not Grindr or Scruff’s fault – those guys are geniuses for coming up with such intricate technology. It’s the way people use them that hurts, objectifies and eventually ruins people. It’s all about self-gratification and self-satisfaction. What kind of example does that world give to young gay men who have not had the guts to come out yet? They would immediately think that this is the normal form of interaction between gay men today – good luck to them.

London is amazing but you need to pace yourself when you first arrive here. Take it easy! By all means, dabble in flings and in and out of the gay scene, but watch out because once you become hooked, you become desensitised and it becomes that much more difficult to keep your eye on the ball. Go after your dreams and make meaningful and lasting romantic relationships and friendships.

My intention is not to put people off London, not in the least! I love London but what the average gay guy has turned into over the past five years of my life here scares the hell out of me and repulses me. We are gay. We’ve won the battle to be free and accepted. Why do we have to make it difficult for ourselves again? Why do we not unite and support each other rather than fight against one another and put each other down constantly? 

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UPDATED: Read: 'A response to 'London Fucks Up Gay Men'