Maybe 10% were spectacular, the stuff of memories and blog posts.
80% were pleasant, just everyday life in a gay neighborhood.
But 10% were Dates from Hell. Sometimes the social event went wrong. Sometimes the bedroom activity was miserable. But most often the guy turned out to be mess.
Here are 16 dates that I would like to forget.
1. Jack Kerouac and his Bratwurst. I spent two weeks hanging out in the Student Union with Jack Kerouac, aka Jurgen, a hipster writer who smoked a pipe and wrote horrible poetry. I finally got the nerve to ask him out, to a meeting of the Quad Cities Writers Club. When I got to his house, I was greeted by his live-in girlfriend! But I did get a sausage sighting.
2. I was visiting Des Moines for my first gay rights march, when I asked a cute guy wearing a mesh t-shirt for a date. He agreed. At the end of the date he said "Follow me home." He drove like a maniac, zooming around corners, running stop lights. Finally I lost him.
3. The Kept Boy who Alan and I picked up at Mugi. He had a fantastic physique, but neither of us realized that he was drunk. And getting drunker by the minute.
4. Mario in the White Room. A neat freak with a pristine white-draped apartment like a hospital room, who made me put my clothes in the washer before we could climb into bed. Where he called me "honey" and was not into kissing (too many germs).
6. The Worst Date in West Hollywood History. Ok, Ryan the Dwarf was nice, and very cute, but everything went wrong: a rainstorm when we wanted to go sailing, turned ankle when we wanted to go dancing, missing the concert, Ryan getting drunk, losing Lane (who was supposed to join us).
7. The Bear with the Pierced,,,. The Prince Albert wasn't the worst thing about the date. Or the swimming pool on a chilly winter night. Or the pot. Or the poppers.
8. The Nastiest Guy in the World. Terrorized an online chatroom with his constant abrasive, abusive comments. I agreed to the date only because I was desperate to move into Manhattan, and he had a room to rent. Actually, he didn't. He lied in order to get me to go out with him.
9. Mario the Teen Model. My first experience with older-younger dating: I was 39, and he was 19. And I learned a valuable lesson: make sure you're back home, kissing on the couch, by 10:00 pm. Otherwise you may end up eating macaroni and cheese in a diner at 4:00 am.
10. Breaking Every Rule of Gay Cruising. This one was my fault: I didn't screen the guy well enough in advance. So I ended up in a half-built house in the swamp, cruised by two crazy roommates and invited to use drugs.
11. The Coffee Drinker. Drank coffee instead of beer at the Filling Station every day. I tried to say hello, and he said "I'm not into a relationship." Then Yuri landed a date with him, and invited me to share!
12. The Huber Heights Horror. This one was his fault. He completely misrepresented himself and his intentions. I drove 20 miles in the middle of the night for a "date." and ended up with a hookup.
13. The Grabby Male Nurse, one of the Gang of Twelve, gay guys who had known each other for years and had all dated each other. This one kept leering and groping, and made every word I said into a sexual double-entendre.
14. My Friend with Benefits. My boyfriend Troy was ok with "sharing," but when I started seeing another guy regularly, something had to give.
15. The Transman and His Angry Inch. Ok, so I read his online profile wrong. Not his fault. Still, what I found down there was rather surprising. And embarrassing.
16. Ricky with a Y, from last November, spent the entire date psychoanalyzing me. Even in the bedroom.
The full list, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood