Endlessly searching for "a good black man" is tiresome. Not only for black women. Finding a committed and loyal brother has become even more unlikely for gay men since the explosion of hookup sites and gay dating apps. Because while you're not looking at the first meeting, he's already back on Grindr, trying to fit in another sexual exploit on his way home. So is black gay love dead and all trust eroded? What's behind it all?
We Don't Date Anymore
Dating seems out of the question in these modern times. Even when two people enjoy spending time together, no one wants to commit. Well, there might be something better around the corner. The best you can hope for these days is a semi-regular f**k buddy until he finds a bigger tool elsewhere. And, like buses, a bigger appendage is always somewhere around the corner.
But building a future on the strength of dick size or 'hot' sex is hardly the basis for a lasting relationship. Yet you can't tell most gay men that particular truism. It's a bit of a mess between the brothers on this side of the Atlantic. So, what does a self-respecting UK black gay man do?
The only black gay men many of us ever see in long-term gay relationships are those dating white partners. We try, therefore, not to doubt that brothers are out there who have been happily committed to each other for decades. But if they exist in a UK context, we never see them. Except, perhaps, the odd recently coupled duo looking for a threesome online. But each of them might well be coupled with someone else by next month.
Looking to America For Answers
We Brits tend to look to America for everything. Things are always infinitely better over there, we tell ourselves. So, we never give a chance to anything that may be right under our noses at home. In the past, many of us used to flit over to New York, DC or Atlanta regularly. However, we're well into our middle ages now, and the diminishing returns are hardly likely to justify the means when we calculate the total cost of two weeks of bedhopping.
Despite their greater numbers, even our African-American same-gender-loving cousins are experiencing connectivity issues in this new digital age. Wasn't it the American blitz of Black Breeders and barebacking brothers hooked on porn that started this new "B-B-C" craze for disconnected sex in the first place? But, I dear say, that's another story for another day.
We Don't Know or Love Ourselves
Few of us believe that loving black gay relationships can exist on this side of the pond. "I don't do black", some British black men will tell you on A4A or any of the apps. Weird how disconcerting that still can be even when you hear it so frequently. I'm still trying to figure out what it is about Great Britain that makes British-born black people stop wanting each other in such large numbers.
Maybe it's the same old divide-and-conquer rule from the days of empire at work. It's hard to tell. Black men's representations on TV still show them hankering after white females. But, unlike in America, British society regards mixed-race couplings as a sign of racial progress. The racial progress I would like to see in our society would show successful black couples just as frequently as anybody else.
What we do know, however, is that a majority of black men, especially those of Caribbean heritage, tend to favour relationships with people from other racial/ethnic groups. To the same extent, this tendency to date' outsiders' is not reflected in any other section of British society. So it would seem that British black people have a problem dating each other and that this is true whether they are heterosexual or gay.
Unsupportive Black Gay Networks
It seems we've always thrown shade in black gay spaces in Britain. The places we inhabit as black gay men have always been filled with tension and barely concealed bitterness towards each other for as long as we remember.
Whether we were at a private house party or in a commercially-run nightclub or bar, it didn't matter. Once you had filled a place with black gay men, there was always a sense of envy and competitiveness that both repelled and attracted us in equal measures. It's the unpleasant vibe that kept many of us away.
Even today, some places that claim to support black gay and bisexual men are extremely cliche and unwelcoming if you don't happen to be part of the in-crowd. On a professional and personal level, these black gay support networks remain unbrotherly with every man for himself.
Fetishism and A Crisis of Connection
Many gay spaces have closed in recent years, with many resources moving online. The network of black house parties that used to sustain us has largely fizzled out. Funding no longer exists for sexual health promotion projects that target black gay and bisexual men with events and activities to help bring the community together. There are no physical spaces where we can meet and socialise beyond the odd club night for teeny-boppers every second blue moon.
Since brothers don't engage much with each other online, white gay men have been out in force hunting for the next big black cock. Many of us might feel flattered by the attention of men who otherwise cross the road to avoid us in the streets. Even I only ever seem to attract white men online these days. I guess it's a sign of the times, and even so, it's always purely about sex. They don't even say "hello" anymore. It's straight in there now with "how big are you?"
Or maybe a picture of his gaping arsehole and the words "breed me" or "horny" with or without a question mark. "My boyfriend wants to try his first BBC," one messaged me last week. "I bet you're huge!" I could write on my profile 'Black Men Only,' but I think that's a step too far. Yet, I wonder why white men deem it appropriate to send me unsolicited pictures of them taking anonymous big black c**ks. As if to say, I'm down with the brothers. Does that approach ever work for them?
Ain't No Love in Black on Black Hook-ups
It can be even worse when I attract a black man on the apps by what may seem like a strange fluke or miracle. I'll get a picture of a prick with no face pic or introduction. And that's not life. I mean, what happened to our natural connection? Where's the brotherly love? It's as if the sexual demands of white gay men are dictating the behaviour of black gay Brits, affecting how we see ourselves and each other.
Some point to a similar dynamic among a reported 48% of straight black men in inter-ethnic relationships, usually with white female partners, and who raise mixed-race children in a bid to fit into British society. Except that with gay men, there are very few relationships going on between the races; it's just sex. It's as if the black men are walking dildos to be used and discarded at will.
Perhaps my British brothers love to see themselves as the "Big Black Buck." Sadly, the Mandingo or Black Brute of white imaginations does nothing to fuel my fantasies. Drug-fuelled interactions don't help the situation and only further highlight a growing crisis of connection with hookup apps. It seems clear from brief interactions online that both black and white gay men are watching far too much porn.
Don't Blame the Dating Apps
You would think that gay dating apps should be more helpful in connecting men who want more from life than a string of one-off casual hookups with random strangers. I can't be the only brother in Britain who is tired of receiving butt-naked selfies of white men on their knees, spreading their butt cheeks apart and enquiring about the size of my BBC.
Don't get me wrong, and I am just as unimpressed by the comparatively few c**k pics I receive from black men alongside an introductory "Hi" if any, message at all. When you've seen one stiff dick, you've seen them all. At fifty-six years old, I'm interested in something more meaningful than another quick roll in the sack with yet another horny man.
Who would have thought I'd still be single at my age, not having had a meaningful relationship in seventeen years? I never did like the so-called gay scene or gay culture, to be honest with you. There is no denying, however, that I do adore men. A good man, they say, is hard to find, and hookup apps don't make that prospect any easier, especially not when you're seeking a good black man above all else.
A Good Black Man in Conclusion
My father always said, "ask for what I want." But my friends tell me I should move to America if I want a relationship with a good black man. They point to the trend whereby black men in Britain tend not to date other black people. And they suggest that I either opt for a white guy or move back to Africa and hide in plain sight. Moreover, they say, "you'll have more chance of a long-term relationship in a homophobic environment than in these permissive western cultures."
Hmm. According to the Office of Statistics, some 40,000 black gay and bisexual men live in England and Wales. I only want one, I tell them. Surely black men loving black men is not statistically impossible, even for Britain. They look at me and roll their eyes. Drop me a line in the comment box below if any of this chimes with you or not.
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