I’ve recently been back on some of the gay dating websites. It’s cold and I’ve been single (mostly) since last October. It’s an easy way for me to find a tall, well-built, non-smoking gay athlete in my area – without having to trawl the gyms and suss out who has a rainbow sticker on the back of his Jeep. It’s also the best way to advertise what I’m into (and not).

For example: I’m completely monogamous and not interested in an open relationship. I love clubbing and dancing all night, but I don’t find it conducive to getting to know anyone better (especially when I can’t even hear what my friends are saying on the dance floor).

So I’ve re-registered on two of the usual sites and created some interesting cyber-personas to advertise my ‘wares’. One of the best-known sites was not particularly rewarding in my search for beefy fruits but the other was unbelievably forthcoming; both in messages (34 the first day) and prospects. (Or so I thought…)

Yes, I get lonely and yes, I am “looking”. But I’m also very choosy (a fatal combination). Thus I’ve not enjoyed much success in my online pursuits. I’m quite happy to remain single rather than settle for someone who doesn’t get my engine/heart revving. But I’ve also noticed some interesting things about what gets my interest piqued and my eyelashes doing the “Madame Butterfly”.

I’m relatively superficial. I want someone taller than me, attractive, masculine and athletically fit. My own middle is more ‘marshmallow’ than the more admirable and sexy six-beef-bricks, neatly stacked below a pair of ample pecs. Yet, this is what I want!

One night, after some shallow correspondence, I had an insistent “messenger” request a picture of my body via Blackberry messenger. Without a moment’s hesitation I whipped off my shirt and got my housemate to take it. I clearly didn’t make the “grade”; within moments of sending it the messenger deleted me off his contacts list and disappeared. My body was too “average” for him.

Later that same night (being a Saturday) I was invited to various houses to ‘service’ various ‘open’ couples that were high on the chemical “cat”. I recognised one of the couples: both exceptionally good-looking and urging me to come over and do all sorts of interesting things. Things that had my head spinning; like Mika Stefano, backstage during a CK underwear shoot! (I give a big up to Mika for making himself into a brand.) They probably have eight per cent body fat between them – most of it being in their very substantial ‘man tassels’.

These gorgeous guys didn’t care that I was sober and not on drugs. All they required was that I be “well-hung and willing to go to them”. But they seemed nonplussed about my little tummy and other flaws and they almost appeared desperate and even a little depraved. I declined, despite a longing for the experience to draw from in my work. It was a sexy idea. So risky, so naughty! But my gut just knew it would end in disappointment. They looked so perfect. Like two Ken dolls in a Barbie mansion. They have looks, money and each other; yet their eyes seem to reflect so much discontent.

Similar proposals kept rolling in. Equally gorgeous men requesting no-strings, “chem” or “cat” sex. And yet, I’m a ‘poofy’ Pinocchio with plenty of strings who’s let himself go and doesn’t even drink anymore. It couldn’t really work.

I cannot condemn drug users; at one point my life was as checkered as a chess board. Thanks to these bygone dodgy dealings I know that it’s very difficult to enjoy a truly healthy relationship with yourself and with your loved ones when you’re at the mercy of an uncompromising and unceasing craving. Be it a line of something or a bottle of vodka, in the end, no matter how much they ‘love’ you, they will usually choose the poison over you.

“Part of me thinks that if I gymed harder and became more athletic looking I’d find love…”

I’ve never encountered anyone “recreationally” entrenched into drugs and/or booze, who was able to maintain a positive self-image and be a loving and supportive partner in a relationship for any significant length of time.

I understand that not everyone is to be written off as a “junkie” and there really are those who can partake once in a blue moon. (I’m not a moderate person so this has never been an option for me.) And I have met a few beautiful and talented guys who have had the gutter calling them by name and, somehow, managed to overcome their circumstances and turn their lives around.

I love a bad boy at the best of times, and a “going concern” is a huge turn on for me. But I am neither a masochist nor deluded and so I ignore many of these muscled “sirens” that call to me from their jaded cliffs; pursuing them would result in me dashing my vessel against the rocks.

I know that I am not unattractive. I’ve been blessed with my father’s lovely eyes and a face that is generic enough for me to have shot a few commercials. My packaging is cool but I am also quite proud of what’s been cultivated inside my head and heart. And this is where popular culture and I seem to take different off-ramps from the highway of life.

It seems it’s not cool to really dig who you are. Self-deprecation and self-criticism is rampant. I’ve heard ripped, beautiful straight men complain that they’re too fat or not yet ripped enough to their own taste. Everybody has placed a super-sized order of self-dissatisfaction (occasionally, myself included) and we’re all sharing it like someone with the flu in the lift of a pepper factory.

Promiscuity, infidelity, body dysmorphia, reckless escapism, substance abuse and unprotected sex; these are the new pastimes of some our most attractive, accomplished and educated members of the gay community. Some of us seem hell-bent on throwing ourselves to the dogs (wearing an Abercrombie & Fitch outfit) -despite knowing better.

I don’t necessarily want an angel or a monk to hold hands and cuddle with on the couch. I just want a guy – he doesn’t have to be a saint – who likes who and what he is. Someone interested in his own health and well-being, physically and emotionally. Accepting of his own shortcomings and willing to work on them.

The pretty, promiscuous, muscular and popular party animals I find in the clubs and on the net are so attractive to me – they seem so expendable, like a testosterone takeaway; instant gratification. I can only guess that this is because they’re manifestations of my own buried desire to throw all caution to the wind and annihilate myself with hedonism.

I want to be loved. I want to love. But I can’t love just anybody and those that I do feel something remarkable for don’t seem to return my feelings. I see behind me the lovely faces of the generous, attractive men that I have snubbed and have been unable to ignite any passion for. I‘m in pain because I am rejected and yet I’m causing others the same pain.

Part of me thinks that if I gymed harder and became more athletic looking I’d find love. But admiration and lust are not love. Part of me thinks that if I had more money or education I’d find love. But envy and being resourceful is not the same as love.

I’m engulfed in an abundance of love from my friends and family but I want a very specific and different kind of love. I flit and float amongst my friends but I want someone with whom I can rest. I laugh and play and work with my close-ones and colleagues but I want someone who, on his chest, can take the full weight of my head at the end of the day.

I want someone to build with, someone e

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