Burner Bro

“Dude, your eyes are awesome! I usually get compliments on mine, but seriously bro, yours are freaking amazing.”

My inbox on facebook contained this odd message about a week ago. Facebook is not a dating site. I’m not on any dating sites right now. Have not been on a dating site in about a year. Why would some guy write to me on facebook, in a way that was apparently intended to be flirting?

Wait, was it flirting? Was the guy even gay? Maybe he was just some guy with nice eyes paying a compliment to another guy with nice eyes. That can happen, right? It hasn’t happened, at least not yet, to me, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.

I clicked on his profile. We have exactly one friend in common. Which is how he saw my photo. I’d commented beneath a political article our friend had posted. He responded to my comment, then sent me the note.

This mutual friend is one of those Burning Man types. In fact, he lives the Burning Man life. Spends all day at Venice Beach. Not sure what he does for money. He plans for his trip to the desert months in advance, then posts dozens of photos at the post-burn events. All of them. It’s a big deal for him.

As it is, so it would seem, for this guy who likes my eyes. Whose name is J-Sun. Or at least that’s the screen name he uses, but no… I see from his friend’s comments that J-Sun is what he prefers to be called in real life as well.

J-Sun. What is he, a license plate? Okay, so he’s a guy named Jason who decided to change his name to something that was revealed to him during a vision quest in the Nevada dessert. In the sun. Get it? Jay Sun. Oy.

Yes, I know I’m being judgmental. I’ve never been to Burning Man, but I did date one of those guys once. Called himself Osiris. We were not a match. Every time I walked into his apartment, the smog of marijuana was so dense I would keep taking off my glasses to clean them, thinking the lenses were covered with fingerprints.

Osiris used AA speak when he talked. Bumper sticker slogans masquerading as profound insights. Be the change you want to see. Anger is danger without the D.

Wow… deep.

J-Sun wears an old fashioned cigarette lighter on a chain around his neck. The kind you may have seen in movies from the 1930s. Silver. Slender. A beautiful object, actually. I don’t think he’s a smoker. It’s not a practical thing. It’s symbolic, probably. Something to do with embracing the burn.

In many of his photos, he is shirtless. Like our mutual friend, he lives at the beach. He has a rather nice body. The kind you find on most surfers. Smooth. Muscular. Lean. What is especially impressive here is that J-Sun is not a young man. He doesn’t give his age, but he’s gotta be late forties. Maybe early fifties.

My guess would be that he has had a career in some corporate field, and then decided to chuck it all. Move to the beach, change his name, make new hippie friends, and start worshipping the sun.

More power to him. Really. Good for the guy. He certainly looks happy. Smiling in every photo, drink in hand. So, at least he won’t be using AA speak.

He also appears to be straight. Okay, fine. That makes this easy.


Nothing else needed. A simple thank you for his compliment. Perfectly innocent.

“Oooooh, man. I just want to spend all day staring into your eyes. Where do you live, bro? I’d love to gaze at them in person.”

Or, maybe not.

Yikes. What is it with guys over a certain age? They send these messages that are meant to be romantic, but are really just stalker creepy.

If this were a dating site, I would not have responded in the first place. I only wrote back to him because we have a friend in common. That, and I thought he was straight. Now what do I do? I could simply ignore this last message. Would that be rude? I could make it clear to him that I am not interested. Tell him that I’m straight. Or have a boyfriend. Except I’m not straight, and I don’t have a boyfriend.

Besides, what’s wrong with a guy hitting on me? It’s been a while since I’ve gone on a date. Not that I’m going on a date with him. He’s just letting me know he finds me attractive, and that’s hardly a crime.

I look over his photos some more. He’s not a bad looking guy. Not a type I would go for, but there’s nothing wrong with him. As is the case on those dating sites, he has posted a profile photo with a very handsome pal of his. Why must gay men do that? What’s the point of drawing an unflattering comparison between yourself and your much hotter best friend? Am I supposed to be tricked into thinking you are better looking than you are? It doesn’t work that way. You’d be better looking if you were not standing next to a guy that I do find strikingly handsome. Why couldn’t he have written to me?

I try composing something non-committal. Something vague and generic. I’m not good at vague and generic. Forget it. I’ll just wait a day or two and then try being funny. I’m better at funny.

“Gee, that sounds like the start of a suspense thriller. Main character gets an email from a stranger, is then kidnapped by some Russians. Winds up tied to a chair, being interrogated in a darkened room. He knows nothing about the microfilm.”

“Let’s do it! I’d love to tie you up!” Devil horned emoji. Wink. “Where do you live?”

No. No. That’s not what I…. okay, slow down, pal. Enough with the demands for my address. Seriously. What the hell is it about gay culture that dictates all gay men must be ready at all times to hop into the nearest bathroom stall and have sex with any male who indicates he might also be gay? What the fuck? That’s how all those damn creepy old white republican politicians end up on the six o’clock news.

Look, I get it. The guy has walked away from his nine to five life to fully liberate himself. That probably includes his new identity as gay. He’s been watching Grace & Frankie. Now he just wants to have fun, and is no doubt meeting plenty of gay men willing to play.

I send him a conversational two sentences, asking how he knows our mutual friend. Maybe he’ll take my subtle hint, and realize that not everyone drives in the fast lane.

Nope. “Where do you lay down your head at night, magnificence?”

Yuck. More misshot romance. How do I make this guy see that I am not interested in hooking up?

“Pretend you’re talking to Donny Osmond.”

“Aw, man! Now I really want to meet you. I’ll wear my bell bottoms, and let you take them off…”  Wink, wink. Tongue hanging out emoji.

He is not catching any of this. I go back to his profile and once again look through his photos. Read some of his posts. What is it about him that I don’t like?

It’s not his age. Really, it’s not. We hear lots of older guys saying that gay men don’t want to date old men, but the truth is that old men don’t want to date old men. If those guys would look at men closer to their own age, they might not be met with so much rejection. Besides, there are plenty of younger guys looking for an older type.

Since I am neither old nor young, none of this applies. Anyway, this burner is hardly your typical older man. He’s in great shape.

It’s not even the burner bro dude thing. Sure, we are not a match, but that is no reason not to become friends, or even go on a few dates. I have some burner friends. We manage to get along fine.

At the risk of sounding superficial, it isn’t even his appearance that bothers me. Although I don’t find him attractive, he’s a perfectly decent looking guy. Also, some people don’t photograph well, so there is the likelihood that he’s better looking in person. That happened with my first real boyfriend. I was pleasantly surprised when we met in person, after a few weeks of online courtship.

So really, what it comes down to is the insistence that we hook up right away. For sex. That’s the turn off.

Maybe I’m not normal here, but I’m not looking to fuck some strange dude who sends me overly romantic love notes. I’m interested in the real thing. True romance. Send me the love note, sure, but dial it back a bit. Let’s talk. Feel each other out. Then go on a date. Just a date. No hopping in bathroom stalls for a zipless fuck. Fear of Flying was decades ago. We should have moved on by now.

I decide to wait another day or two and then suggest we meet for coffee. Someplace public, in the middle of the afternoon. Let him see that I am being friendly, and that is all.

“Count me in, bro. By the way, I give a really good deep muscle massage. Can’t wait to get my hands on you…” Blushing emoji. Hands.

Imagine being a woman, having to deal with icky come-ons every single day? Now I’m certain this guy used to be straight. He’s merely transferring his moves from one gender to another. Expecting better results. Since all gay men are promiscuous. Good grief.

Here, I stop responding. If he really wants to go an a date, an actual date, then he’ll write again. Without any sexual innuendo.

That was a few days ago, and the story could have ended there, but a strange thing has happened. I’ve begun dreaming about him. Erotic dreams. Extremely arousing erotic dreams. What’s so bizarre is that we have not met yet. I’m dreaming about some guy I’ve only been writing to. Some guy I don’t even find attractive.

In the dreams, though, that doesn’t matter. In one of them, he puts me over his knee and spanks me for calling him Jason. Instead of J-Sun. He keeps spanking me until I get it right, but both words are pronounced the same. Jay-son. So the spanking continues.

Other dreams involve actual sex, and it is like nothing I’ve ever had in real life. The few times I’ve had a proper boyfriend, I’ve somehow managed to draw to myself guys with issues in the bedroom. That’s a whole different story for another time, but I can’t say I’ve ever been with someone who knows how to have amazing sex.

Based on these dreams, I suspect J-Sun knows how to have amazing sex. What’s more, the dreams have an out-of-body quality. Upon awaking, and for a few moments after, I’m not sure if they were just dreams, or if they really happened. Which brings up an interesting question. If we have been meeting on some astral plane for really amazing astral sex, then how awkward will it be when we are sitting across from one another in a cafe in real life?

Guess there is one way to find out.



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