Having been dragged and pushed into many activities since I was very young, I developed a competitive streak. I got used to winning and knowing that I was the best at something, whether it was getting chosen for a solo at choir or representing the school at competitions for any school subject (except math. I was never picked because I horribly sucked at it. Still do). General praise and admiration and even the envious bitching of my peers got addictive and it carried over well into my teens, which consisted of running for class president (I ended up as Vice, which was what I wanted. In my year the President got snubbed by his subordinates yet carried all the responsibilities. No, thanks), speech and story-telling contests, and becoming a full-fledged gay boy living a socially and sexually active life in the gay community. And that was when I was introduced to what I refer to as ‘the gay games’.
Gays compete, and from what I see it’s a blend of the female form of and the male approach to competition. The most common observable point of contest is the somewhat feminine one of desirability based on physical appearance and characteristics: how many guys have you had, how many want you, how often do you get approached, and so on. And this is performed and discussed in the same way that straight men do sports or whatever it is that straight men compete on: with aggressiveness and gusto. Now, I’m not quite sure if this stems from the testosterone overload of an environment filled with only men (and yes, even the most feminine of gays get competitive. And even bitchier about it. Those things dangling between their legs mean they’re men, too you know) or the insatiable need to constantly prove our worth due to multiple insecurities of an inflated yet bruised ego as a result of years of conflicted struggle growing up. All I know is that as far as the gay games go, at first it was interesting, then it became exciting, then it got really, really boring.
And presently, it’s just exhausting.
Sometimes I wonder if instead of getting me hooked on it, all those early years of being competitive made me see competition as juvenile and ultimately pointless. Or maybe it’s the distaste for the underhanded and sneaky tactics which competition seems to arouse in some people. Or maybe it just has no place in my current pursuit of a laid-back and peaceful existence. Yet still, just because I grew out of it or got sick of it or consider it irrelevant and unimportant, I’m still exposed to it or even pulled back into it and at times I find myself all tangled up in it. As a friend used to say, “No point in running. You inspire competition. For some reason you just make people want to compete with you.” Great. And people question and judge me on not having that many gay friends. Honestly though, I often feel that it’s less about me and more about them. Judging myself objectively, I’m sooo not the cutest, most lovable, biggest dicked, greatest bodied, most sought after gay guy out there and therefore I seriously think that it has nothing to do with my desirability and everything with their uncontrollable need to attain a sense of superiority or power, no matter how superficial it may be, in order to keep feeding their bottomless egos craving for constant approval and recognition.
A couple of nights ago I was staring at a twinkling star (well, at its twinkle some long time ago depending on distance) and I was struck by how we humans are so obsessed by our consequence when in the grand scheme of things our hallowed being and glorified existence are just a speck of inconsequential microdust. In regards to being desired by others, what does it matter? Could your sexual conquests alter the fate of the world? Would your last thought on your death bed be, “Ah yes. I had plowed/been plowed/taken turns plowing and being plowed by a gazillion men. I will now die in peace.” right before you close your eyes for the last time and bid goodbye to your slutty existence? Is that ever a benchmark for a life well-and-fully lived? Granted, I comprehend that it’s nice to be wanted and desired and adored and all those other snacks our egos need to devour to not shrivel and rot away but I also understand that continuously measuring your worth and self-esteem by the fickle standards and shallow opinions of others is a goddamn waste. I’m not one of those who measure people by their achievements or accomplishments, especially if they consist of how many penises have been inside you or how many bodies your penis has penetrated, unless you’re either a professional porn star or a professional whore. So which one are you?
There is one particular reason why competition gets me riled up and annoyed: all that hyped up but basically hollow bullshit has ruined and ended plenty of my already scant gay friendships. From desirability to time in the limelight to petty warfare over who gets to be the Queen Bee, I have gone from irritated to frustrated to unbearably fed up; and at the end I always chose to walk away. Staying on would’ve meant playing the game or deliberately losing just to end the stupid thing or weathering the baits and challenges thrown my way; none of which particularly appealing to me or fitting into my idea of what a friendship entails: mutual love and respect as well as understanding and acceptance.
To participate in a meaningless contest to win a pointless prize is only for witless people. So what does it say about you to keep doing it over and over again? Seriously, when does it end? And really, ain’t you tired yet?