Dating costs money. I guess I am too much of a cheapskate to get laid.
I suppose that young and attractive people can find sexual partners without money, via sugar daddies and sugar mommies. But I am neither young nore attractive.
Although it is not strictly true, I consider myself to be on a tight budget and a fixed income. I have not had a paycheque in almost eight months. Even when I had a paycheque, I did not have much disposable income because I felt obligated to put half of what I made in the bank. The good part of that is that I can continue to live without a paycheque for a while without cutting back on my expenses too drastically. The bad part is that I have to give up on a lot of things, many of which seem to be necessary when finding a romantic/sexual partner.
I don’t have the budget for a cellphone plan. In principle I might be able to get a smartphone and use wifi only, but that would be a big expense (and I would worry about cracking the screen and having to repair the thing or get it replaced). Thus many of the hookup/dating apps (Grindr, Scruff, etc) are out of my reach.
I have a food budget and can even waste a few dollars (like, $5-10 a week?) on junk food without having panic attacks. But the idea of spending $20 or more on a single meal seems prohibitive. The idea of spending $60-100 on an outing (which is what seems to be involved in taking a date out to a nice restaurant) is a big expense — one that I might afford once or twice a year, but not something I could afford with any regularity. But part of the dating scene is convincing a potential partner that you could be a good provider, and part of that is showing off status symbols like fancy dinners. All of that is out of reach for me. That does not take into account the transportation and clothing required to impress others.
In the good old days people went to bars and nightclubs to seek out sexual partners. Putting aside the cost for a moment, I am such a prude that I don’t consume alcohol, and I have never felt comfortable in such environments (among other things, loud music hurts my ears). Sometimes I think that these objections are subconscious defenses against me trying to find a partner, but regardless they feel real to me.
Many people meet at parties. I don’t get invited to many parties, and despite associating with some LGBTQ people at the community centre, I especially don’t get invited to parties with many other LGBTQ people. It takes a certain amount of money to be a good party attendee (eg bringing gifts for the host). Also parties are boring, but if my goal was to find a mate I guess I would have to get over that.
People suggest that getting involved with the LGBTQ community is a good way to meet potential sex partners. From my experiences with the Lurkville LGBTQ community centre, that does not appear to have panned out.
In the worst case I suppose that I could hire a prostitute, but let’s be real: if I am not willing to pay for dinner at a nice restaurant then I would hardly be willing to pay a sex worker for sex, even if I felt that sex was sufficient to meet my loneliness needs.
It may be the case that I am the only single, financially insecure, socially anxious, stay-at-home-homo out there, and that finding mates is a solved problem for everybody else. Or maybe homosexuals like me are just not cut out to find sexual partners, and thus are destined to be evolutionary dead ends. I guess in many ways this is a solved problem; if nothing else Craigslist provided people with mechanisms for arranging hookups relatively cheaply. (Is Craigslist still a thing?)
The solution to meeting people is probably staring me right in the face. But I am pretty sure that I am the biggest barrier to me finding some kind of sex partner. If there was some other way to meet potential partners that even somebody on my budget could afford, no doubt I would find some other reason to reject it. The very fact that this hypothetical mechanism could lead to sex is probably sufficient for me to reject it, given my paranoia around disease.
Putting aside the infeasibility of anybody finding me attractive enough to sleep with, it is unclear that I am willing to put in the effort of even looking for a partner. In that case I should stop whining and be okay with being celibate for the rest of my days. Instead I vacillate. As the immortal lyrics of Paradise By the Dashboard Light phrase it: “What’s it going to be, boy? Yes or no? What’s it going to be? Yes… or…”