My roommate just recounted an interesting experience to me.

Many are the people who use online services to go cruising for sex, and gay men are some of the most consistent users of this particular aspect of the Internet.

My roommate is one of these people (and I won't deny that I've also used the net for this purpose from time to time), and while working from home today, he was also hanging out in a gay chat room online.

Someone popped into the room with the nick of KID4$$$$ and his online profile suggested that a) the male in question was young (no older than 20) and b) he was willing to have sex with men of any age as long as they could pay for it. My roommate says this is a fairly frequent occurence, the money usually used to salve the conscience of a closeted young man. After all, if someone's getting paid for sex, it doesn't mean they're gay ... just employed.

This person's online identity caused quite a bit of uproar in the chat room. Most people expressed extreme distaste that someone, no matter their age would so flagrantly prostitute themselves.

My roommate noted that at least any monies paid to this person would go directly to him, whereas everyone in the room seemed to want to deny the fact they were actually using, and paying, their respective ISPs to pimp for them. After all, was not everyone in the room there for one purpose? Was that purpose not anonymous sex? Were not all the people in the chat room paying some entity for the privilege to access that chat room?

This got him nowhere ... except possibly a free hummer from the grateful KID4$$$$. We'll see.

There's just so many things wrong with this scenario, I don't even know where to begin, and it's one of the most frustrating aspects of online communication. The 'net makes it far, far too easy for any individual to explore, safely and privately, their most twisted sexual fantasies. These fantasies, long-repressed and long-denied, are powerful, addictive, and now easily acted-upon in a manner which allows the person addicted to these experiences to deny they ever take place in reality. The legions of men who hook up online get together, fuck, shoot a wad, smoke a cigarette and return to their "ordinary" lives with a facile ease that seriously ... seriously ... frightens me. This is one aspect of the 'net that serves only to encourage some of the more deeply-rooted prejudices our society, including homosexuals, have about homosexuality itself. After all, if it's this easy to have your cake and eat it too, then no one will ever feel the need to talk about what it is they're doing ... until, eventually and inevitably, they get busted by a loved one. And by then it's usually too late to save any involved.

One more thing frightens me. A question often asked these days right before one agrees to hook up with someone else.

That question is, "Wrapped or unwrapped?"

Barebacking is on the rise, folks, and this question is indicative of that. "Wrapped", of course, means that one insists on using a condom during sex, whereas "unwrapped" means you're risking death, even in this day and age.

What frightens me is the number of people who quit talking to my roommate when he answers "wrapped". I'm afraid he'll succumb to temptation if the number of men who reject him for being safe rises any higher. That number, according to him, is about fifty percent.



It makes me afraid. It makes me angry. I want to grab everyone who asks (and answers, so we have to include my roommate and best friend here) this question and scream at them, "What is wrong with you? You think one orgasm is worth a still-fatal disease? Do you honestly think protease inhibitors are a cure for AIDS? What is FUCKING wrong with you??"

Sometimes, I'd love to see the 'net crash and burn. I'd love to see its utter demise, its collapse, and thus see these unsavory aspects of information exchange denied to those many people who cannot, for whatever reason resist this particular type of temptation.

Maybe then some true advancement in our society will take place.

I just hope no one I know dies because it's easier than ever to get a blowjob these days.