Before I move on to a treatise on craigslist etiquette, I'd like to assure everyone that I'm completely over the annoyances that I wrote about yesterday. In fact, yesterday I was already completely over being annoyed at the cute young Asian guy. I was still a little bit annoyed at the Northern Virginia couple, but only because one of them hadn't then finished sending me lame emails. Also: Virginia. I've learned not to hold on to disappointments. I can't say that it was a particularly easy lesson to learn, but the difficult parts were some years back. Nowadays, it's noteworthy when I get upset at all. I used to say that I'd rather be the sort of person who could get hurt than the sort of person who's inured to emotional suffering. I don't say that any more. Some might say that the fact that I can still get upset is a sign that I'm not entirely cynical, but that would require more introspection than I'm willing to waste. I don't, though, think of myself as a particularly cynical person in general. I'm cynical about large institutions (governments, mega-corporations), and I'm cynical about guys on craigslist, but I don't call that being hardened: I call it relying on the available evidence.
Anyway, I had a guy flake on me last night, and it didn't bother me a bit. I suppose my equanimity might be due to the facts that a) I wasn't expecting him to follow through, and b) I was pretty sure that Nike was going to text me again asking to hook up, but I prefer to attribute my calmness in the face of non-performance to enlightenment. Anyway, after choir practice went late, there was, indeed, no call from the scheduled guy, but there was a text from Nike. He said that he wanted "just to suck." At this point, I just assume that "just to suck" includes an extended session of making out, and that was really what I was in the mood for. The truth is that Nike is very easy to want to fuck, but actually fucking him is more effort than it's worth. Plus, he gives awesome head. But I also know that he expects me to push back, so I returned, "I'll try not to fuck you, but I can't promise. You have such a fine ass." He appreciated that.
It was a great session, too. We made out for nearly half an hour, and much of that time was spent with me on top of him, pinning him down. He responded with particular enthusiasm whenever I grabbed his wrists and held them securely down over his head. Then I let him spend about twenty minutes going down on me, then -- following a perfunctory pseudo-fuck where I barely penetrated him -- we made out some more while I jerked myself off. I came like a geyser.
Nike never cums, but maybe he's saving that for his girlfriends. He showed me some picture of a young, cross-dressing top who he met in a sports bar and who wants to be his boyfriend. Nike's not interested, but he thought maybe I'd like him. A cross-dressing top. 0 for 2, Nike. (For the record, I have nothing against cross dressers -- or tops -- but I'm not turned on by women, and I'm even less turned on by ugly women.)
Anyway, earlier yesterday, I sent the hot older submissive whom I last played with over a year ago an email, and he responded that he'd prefer to play early in the morning, and followed up with:
how about blind folding me before we go upstairs?
And I replied:
Oh hell, yes! Did I blindfold you before? Would you also be willing to be tied to the bed? I have some very nice leather wrist and ankle cuffs that I use. Entirely optional, of course, but lots of fun. If you like, I'll leave the door unlocked and the blindfold near the door, and you can walk in, strip down to your jeans, and put the blindfold on and tell me you're ready, and you won't even see me.
I was blindfolded the last time. I've never been tied up before, but that will produce added excitement. Everything sounds good. I'll call you before I leave around 6:45 Sat am.
I'm never up that early, but I'm up for that. Looks like I might get that bound Santa hat picture after all.
So, I had a topic here, right? Oh yeah, craigslist etiquette. I'm sure there are some absolutes in the world of etiquette, but in most cases, what's considered proper is highly dependent on context. What you wear to a black-tie event, for example, is not what you wear in a business casual environment. I'm not saying that being in an anonymous environment gives you license to be rude. Plenty of people obviously do believe that, but I don't. But I do believe that what counts as rudeness has to take into account the realities of the environment.
Hooking up on craigslist (Warning! Clumsy analogy alert!) is like a chemical reaction. You've got all of these reactive molecules casting about for a complementary reactive molecule to help fulfill their chemical imperative. Now let's say that you're molecule A1. And out there, among the mass of hungry chemicals there's your ideal counterpart, B1. If you hook up with B1, you form the A1B1 compound, a compound of exceptional joy and stability (for forty-five minutes or so). But there are also molecules B2, B3, B4, and, well, you get the idea. The A1B2, A1B3, etc. compounds aren't as great as A1B1, but they work. You're out there on craigslist sending and receiving messages from bunches of molecules. You're hoping to find B1, but you have to balance the relatively minor detriment of settling for a B2 or a B3 against the catastrophic outcome: no B at all. And you have to do all of that in a limited time frame (i.e., while your ad is fresh). So while you might temporize a bit when you hear from that first B2, after a little time has passed, you might decide that B2 is more than good enough. Of course, in the interim, B2 might have found A2, his ideal counterpart.
And that's what you're up against. A guy who's expressed some interest on you might suddenly find himself with more attractive options. Or you might still be early in the negotiations, and he may decide that he has to go with a slightly less attractive option who is nonetheless more of a sure thing. You have to try not to get upset about this sort of thing: there's no arguing with science.
The craigslist shuffle isn't inherently rude, but that doesn't mean that anything goes. You shouldn't say that you're definitely going to hook up with someone unless you're sure that you can follow through. And if there are no foreseeable circumstances under which you'd truly enjoy hooking up with a particular guy, then leading him on is stupid and a little bit mean. What you don't have to do is to explain yourself to everyone, unless you're canceling on an appointment, or unless you want to. If, for example, I get relatively far along in the negotiation process with someone but I'm short of committing to a time and place, and then I find someone more suitable or more reliable, then I'll often tell the guy what happened. Most guys appreciate the honesty, and many of them will seek me out the next time around.
And if a guy gets upset because he lost out to somebody quicker, then that becomes his issue, not mine. In fact, it's good to keep in mind the wisdom of Meatloaf: there ain't no Coupe de Ville hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box. You're dealing with an anonymous site dedicated to arranging NSA romps, so you can only expect so much. It's kind, and probably smart, to hold yourself to a higher standard than is common for the environment, but if the flakiness of the guys who use craigslist causes you undue and/or lasting pain, then you should be looking somewhere else. Or possibly for something else. Not every one is cut out for no strings.