20th Century Cocks

Do you ever go to the cinema, and after the trailers, you think you’re watching the first few seconds of the film, but actually, you’re just watching another logo video for one of the film production companies? And the film still hasn’t started yet.

Some logos are obvious, like the 20th Century Fox thing, or the MGM lion roaring. But other times, I’m like “Oh, look at that lovely person fishing! I wonder how they’re going to be connected to the story! Oh, it’s just the Dreamworks logo.”

Or “OK, it’s starting, look at the city skyline, wow! Oh, Miramax.” 

Sometimes you’re like “Oooh, OK, here we go. OK – a snowy scene! Interesting – I thought this was set in the desert? Oh – Snowman productions.”

Or “Cute hedgehog! But what’s that got to do with a gritty domestic violence film? Oh – Hedgehog Films.”

I think dating can be a bit like that.

I keep going on dates where I think the first date is going to be the start of the story. 

But then it just turns out the story still hasn’t started yet. It’s still just the advertising.

A couple of weeks ago, I went on another Logo Date.

I had mixed expectations beforehand. From his OkCupid profile, he looked like a rock star.  He looked handsome, and in every photo he really looked like he was in a band.

Everything, from the way he was dressed, his hairstyle, to his demeanour and what he was doing (e.g. walking along a beach in a leather jacket and sunglasses while handsomely sneering) – not one photo would look out of place in the in-lay card of a CD.

He described himself as a film-maker.

When I looked at his profile, I thought he would either be exceptionally pretentious, or he might be the man of my dreams – as a teenager, I always wanted to go out with a rock star.

He sent me the first message, which made reference to my username in a funny way. He asked about my job, and then told me he “used to be a musician.”

That explains the inlay card. 

Then, we arranged to meet, that Friday. He suggested a “hidden gem” in Soho.

When I was getting ready, on the night, I was having a bad face day.

“Fuck sake” I kept muttering to myself when I looked in the mirror.

I decided to go for a breast-orientated outfit to draw attention away from my face, and also got my legs out a bit too.

When I walked through the living-room, Flatmate Joe said I looked really nice. I said “maybe that’s because it’s incredibly dimly lit in here.”

Then I perked up and added “actually, Soho is pretty dimly too, isn’t it!”

I got on the train. 

I came out of Piccadilly Circus station, and for a moment I stared sadly at the patch of pavement where I met Whippersnapper for our 8th date, when we saw Rogue One together. I remembered being torn between overwhelming joy at seeing him, after being away for Christmas, and sadness when it dawned on me he was empty-handed, and hadn’t got me a Christmas present.

I started walking to the bar where Rockstar-Film-Guy suggested we meet, in Soho.

I saw him standing outside. We said ‘hello’ to each other and did the half hug, half air-kiss thing.

“It’s horrible in there! Let’s go somewhere else!” He said.

OH. He is incredibly camp! 

He had booked a table at his “hidden gem” but it wouldn’t be ready yet, so we decided to walk to a different bar.

He was wearing cool, geeky glasses, and he had a moustache. He had quite long hair, which I liked. He was about the same height as me. He was wearing a long black coat, and carrying a leather bag that was somewhere between a satchel and a handbag. When I commented on it later, he told me it was originally a case for binoculars.

As we walked down the street, we chatted about our days. It was a Friday, so I’d been at work. He told me he had been ‘deconstructing films and then lay in his hammock reading Aristotle.” I told him I had done a risk assessment.

We got to the bar, and I waited while he got us drinks.

Soho is a part of London that is renowned for its gay bars and sex shops, although, like the rest of London, it is gentrifying and changing.

I’m not sure if the bar we went to was a gay bar, or if it was just that everyone in it seemed to be gay.

I know not everyone believes in it, but I think I have quite a good gaydar. There seem to be a lot of gay men in my field, and I feel like when I meet someone new I just get a feeling straight away about their sexuality, and it seems like my feeling usually turns out to be right. 

I felt like, that night, we probably looked like a gay man having a drink with his female friend, not that it matters what other people thought.

As I waited, I took my phone out of my bag and realised I was accidentally phoning someone. Of all people, it was an old school friend, who is a lesbian and recently had a baby with her girlfriend.

Literally everything on this date is gay! 

I tried to send her a Whatsapp message saying sorry for accidentally calling her, and promptly accidentally video-called her on Whatsapp.

Rockstar-Film-guy came over with our drinks. We carried on talking about ‘deconstructing films’, and then moved on to how London is gentrifying.

All British people have the weather as their safe, go-to topic of conversation, when all else fails. In London, talking about gentrification is a bit like talking about the weather.

We soon got onto politics, and it quickly transpired we had the same views, which was nice.

I was really enjoying the conversation. We finished our drinks and headed to his ‘hidden gem’. He was being cagey about what it was.

He found an anonymous, unmarked door on a side street, with a bouncer outside. This was the hidden gem. He talked to the bouncer about our booking, and I noticed a sign above the door saying “there are no prostitutes at this establishment”.

After the booking issue was resolved, we went down the stairs into a dimly lit basement, and into a bar.

We were ushered into a booth in a corner, and we started looking at the menus.

“It’s really cool in here, isn’t it?” I said cheerily.

He said he was glad I liked it.

The bar served cocktails and desserts. I chose a cocktail with absinthe in.

We stayed there for at least a couple of hours. I really enjoyed his company, and the conversation flowed easily. He was intelligent, interesting and seemed like a nice person. He was interested in my job and we talked about that, but I didn’t feel like I had to become his therapist, which was good.

It turned out he used to be in a band, but they hadn’t quite made it. 

At times, he seemed a bit like he wasn’t very down to earth, like when he talked about lying in his hammock reading Aristotle.

And often, I just couldn’t help thinking about how camp and effeminate he was. In a lot of ways, I didn’t care. I find men more attractive when they have traditionally feminine qualities, so it’s not like I was disappointed he wasn’t a testosterone-fuelled thug.

At one point, he brought it up himself; he told me he plays rugby, and said sometimes other players are surprised to see him on the pitch, as he’s half the size of everyone else, and sometimes still wearing makeup and nail varnish from the night before.

I know that being camp and being attracted to men are two completely separate things. He was on a date with a female, so presumably he is straight.

When I was at school, in the 6th form, one of my best friends was a guy called Sam. He was very camp. Sometimes people would say to me “he’s got to be gay, right?”

I would always say “Look, the only person who knows whether Sam is gay or straight is Sam. He says he’s straight, so he’s straight. And it’s none of our business.”

Then I introduced him to my friend Becky. They got together and eventually lost their virginity to each other. Five minutes after the sex, he said “do you want to watch the Exorcist?”

Then, after she left his house, he completely ghosted her for a week. He was an early adopter of ghosting, as this was 2002. Ghosting with Nokia 3210s.

She cried so much she had to be taken off her till in the supermarket where she worked, the following Saturday. Eventually she went to his house in person to find out what was going on, and he dumped her.

Now he’s married to a man.

So the moral of the story is that someone’s sexuality is not our business (but if they sleep with us it’s kind of relevant), and you can be camp and straight, and the only person who knows is the person himself. But sometimes people aren’t sure themselves.

Although, Sam was 18 and Rockstar-Film-Guy was 36, so he’d had twice as long to figure it out.

I went to the toilet. I looked in the mirror and saw my makeup was holding up OK. I thought about how the date was going, as I washed my hands. He was handsome but for some reason I was struggling to imagine kissing him.

I wasn’t sure if it was the moustache?

Or the feeling that I might be his beard?

After a while, we left and went to another place in Soho, for a change of scenery. This time it was a posh restaurant with a nice bar.

Soho seemed like an interesting location for him to have chosen. He kept talking about how much he loved Soho. It’s like if everyone thought I was more religious than I am, and then I suggested a date at a church.

Again, the conversation was great in the new place. We talked about all kinds of deep and meaningful things.

He suggested we get something to eat, but we both decided against it in the end.

It was about 1am when we decided to leave. We’d been together for 5 hours. We walked back to the tube together, chatting away. 

Suddenly, we were at the station. I was going inside, but he was going to get a taxi.

We abruptly said goodbye, hugged for a second, and he mumbled something about doing it again sometime.

A couple of days later, I hadn’t heard from him. I did want to see him again. He was handsome and I enjoyed his company.

Maybe he doesn’t subscribe to traditional dating gender roles. I thought.

I sent him a text. My casusal pre-text was a link to a Youtube video we talked about.

After a few hours, he replied, with something about reading in his hammock, but he didn’t ask me any questions or seem keen to keep the conversation going, so I didn’t reply to his reply.

I assume I wasn’t the woman he was looking for.

Another false start that was just advertising and not part of the story.

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20 thoughts on “20th Century Cocks

  1. It’s so fun to read your accounts and your take on dating in London. We (Americans) don’t typically use the word “camp” so I had to look it up!

    Separate from this, it sounds like you had a nice date, and we all need good normal dates to balance out really bad ones. I’m sorry you haven’t heard back from him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe he’s bi! Strange that I just had this conversation with my date last night. He learned that one of the women he recently went on a date with dated both men and women.

    Well, regarding Rockstar-Film-Guy….back to the drawing board! Even good dates are hit or miss. :-/

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So interesting to read y’all comments and see that we all experience the same “inner self talk”
    Honestly I just wish people would be honest at the end of a date. How hard it is to say ” hey I had a great time and I really enjoyed your company but there just was not chemistry” Every person on this planet who dates understands there has got to be chemistry. Sometimes it is there, sometimes it is not, sometimes you know why and sometimes you don’t but at the end of the day if there is no chemistry then let the other person know and move on. NO Chemistry is NOT personal it is just a thing!!
    Okay I am getting down of my bandwagon now, sorry, did not mean to hijack your post, I always love reading about your dates in England, makes me wonder what my life would have been like if I had stayed in the UK

    Like

  4. Pingback: Giving up on dating | Dater Analysis

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