How to do the wrong thing right

Howard-Russell-logo-copyDear Howard,
Why is it so impossible to find a decent boyfriend through online dating sites? Am I alone here, or does every gay man have this problem? I’ve joined three of those stupid sites in as many months, but every time I agree to meet one of my “matches” for coffee or lunch, I instantly feel like some sort of escort callboy being flimflammed for a freebie. It’s like every man out there is just cruising around for live porn to hook up with. Nobody wants to actually date.

I’m so over trying to find love through social media. I have an uncle who met his partner “old-school” back before the Internet even existed, and they’ve been together now for almost 20 years. My best friend’s sister is a lesbian, and she’s been with her “wife” now for more than 30 years. What did they do right way back in the olden days that I’m somehow missing? — Scott

Dear Scott,
Well, way back in the prehysterical days of yore when dragons breathed fire from Pangaea’s flat edge in a long-forgotten epoch — that is, the 1990s — people were forced via necessity to actually talk one-on-one with each other. They engaged in an archaic term known as “conversation.”

You might wanna give this “conversation” thing a revival shot sometime, Scott. You’d be shocked and more than a little awed by what miracles of romance can be achieved face-to-face over texting, via zombie-punching buttons from the palm of one’s hand.

Dear Howard,
Recently, here in the gayborhood where I live, a new tenant moved into the apartment adjacent to mine. I was off work the day his moving van pulled up. The man’s in soap-opera-star shape, owns a lacquered black baby grand piano, several waist high alabaster obelisks, a big box of vintage vinyl records (the one on top being Barbra Streisand’s Butterfly), three gargantuan fake Warhols, two Persian cats and one female… wife.

We’re talkin’ rhinestones and glitter practically spilled out his mouth when he pinched his wife’s shoulder. And he did his best Miss America wave up at my balcony, “Honey, look! Hey, hey, neighbor!”

The whole building has been abuzz ever since they set up home, regarding who should be the one to inform him that he’s gay, but he seems oblivious to everybody except his wife whenever they’re out by the pool — in his metallic magenta Speedo — and now I’m honestly wondering if, maybe, he’s one of those rare men just too queer to be gay? — Raymond

Dear Ray,
Of course, we’ve all heard the urban myths of effeminate heterosexuals being spotted from time to time in our midst … although they’re more elusive, frankly, than Bigfoot and far less credible. To spin a rift on a familial mallard phrase known to all: If it looks like Rock Hudson, and if it talks like Truman Capote, and if it walks like the Lady Chablis in a tiara, then it’s probably attracted to penises.

Dear Howard,
I’m worried about my college roommate. We’re both gay, and he’s filthy hot, but his only goal in life seems to be sex, sex and more sex… although almost never with me. Seriously, man, I’m getting kind of tired being his backup booty-call every single time one of his Grindr tricks doesn’t pan out, or whenever one of his two-week-long/love-of-his-life “soul mate” relationships invariably heads south.

I hate to gripe about scoring regular sex with a hottie, but really I’m being almost exploited here, just because my bed’s conveniently five feet away. The only time he seems at all into me is when he’s literally in to me, grunting. I feel like I’m nothing but his ’ho. Advice? — Jeremy

Dear Jer,
“Butcha are, Blanche, you are in that chair!”
— Howard Lewis Russell

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 22, 2015.