Monday, June 27, 2011

Save me from “discreet” encounters

Twice in the past couple weeks, I’ve had people approach me via online connections for “discreet” encounters.  (I covered what the term means in a previous post.  Basically, it means the guy is either closeted, cheating, or uncomfortable with his kinks.)  After this, I’m done with agreeing to such encounters.

With the first one, who approached me via a Craigslist ad, he asked during our negotiation exchanges if I was “discreet”, and I made him tell me what he meant by it.  To me, it means the simple stuff — don’t go telling details of what we did, and look/act like a normal person when you come to my place or we see each other out.  To this guy, though, it was “Never connected; never met if asked or not asked” (that is: “You don’t know me, you never saw me, you’ll never contact me.”)  Sorry, I don’t work that way: if I see you in a social setting (be it the gay bar, the supermarket, or a business lunch), I’m not going to ignore you or feign ignorance.  I’m going to say “Hi, how are you doing?” as I would to any casual acquaintance.  If someone asks how we know each other, then I will properly feign ignorance/memory loss: “Heck, I don’t remember, I meet so many people.  It was a few months ago, maybe?”

At the end of our negotiations, he pulled back from meeting (when I was actually on the way there, in fact; lesson: never head their way without a full address and room number), saying he was “too uncomfortable to have any fun”.  My hope is that he realized that he can’t really have his kink cake and eat it too for very long; that the more people he plays with, the less “discreet” he can actually manage to be, and that he’ll eventually overcome his fears (or have a good talk with his partner).  I accepted his apology (at least he didn’t totally flake out), and gave him a mild reprimand/encouragement to realize that his “discreet” requirements really don’t mean anything to most guys: we just want a hot scene and aren’t going to care to give him anything other than a vague acknowledgment in other social settings.

The second guy hit me up on a formal cruise site.  Looking at his profile, I saw that he was from Chicago, but because he keeps his sex life “private”, he only wants to play with guys in Minneapolis.  And further, he only wants to play with guys who are visiting Minneapolis.  In other words, he wants to keep the chance of meeting you in any other context vanishingly small, and also wants to minimize the chance for a repeat encounter.  That’s not keeping your sex life private, that is being embarrassed about the sex you choose to pursue.

I’ve dealt with another guy here in Seattle who expressed a similar but different version of this: he wants to go to play parties, but only in other cities.  He bartends at a local bar and he doesn’t want there to be a chance that someone at the party might be one of his customers.  I can’t say what the concern is beyond that, though — they might expect free/stronger drinks, they might puncture a “tough top” image he tries to project as a bartender, something else?  I find it hard to picture a scenario where the fact that actual sex was involved in how they knew him would make things any different.  (Maybe if they felt he gave bad service, they would have additional dirt to bad mouth him with?  Please, girl, this is the gay community: they can make up plenty of dirt without having seen you in action.)

Going forward, if a guy ask if I am “discreet”, I’m going to say “No, I’m not.  If you have to ask, then I’m not discreet enough for you.”


  1. Playing only with visitors to Minneapolis?

    That sounds like a certain retired politician from Idaho!

  2. In the pre-internet days of 25 years ago, I remember one fellow who I met at a gay bar when I lived in Buffalo NY, in the winter.

    For one thing, just from the cold weather, guys would want to literally sleep together!

    While we were having breakfast at my place, the next morning, he blurted out "I hope you realize that Michael is not my real name"

    And he stuttered as he explains that he "has to" protect his identity, since he is in a local business that his parents own, and in a "sensitive" position.

    He later explained that his family owned 2 butcher shops... something that was quite common in Buffalo in the 1980s.

    And he was so fearful that "knowing him" and using his real first name would destroy his job, and shut down his parents business!

    On the other hand, I was not hiding my name, nor which bank I worked for. In fact, I never hesitated to hand out my business card to people. And I was running a 10 person department, all on my own, without any family support.

    So which one of us had more to lose if we were "outted"?