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“The columnist sounds as righteous as Mother Theresa when she gave up on fun and embarked on a mission to save the poorest of the poor. Interestingly, Mother only travelled first class or with private jets until she died. As it turned out, there was a limit to the suffering she was prepared to endure, and it didn’t extend to the economy class experience.” These were my thoughts the moment I finished reading a column about do’s and don’ts of casual hookups by our very own Fifi Goldberg. Of course, I subconsciously aimed to justify my reckless and unresponsible approach to casual dating. As I have no dignity left in me, I will self-sex-shame myself on all the DON’Ts that I DO when it comes to hooking up and then get on with my life, seemingly unscarred by it all.

Get to mine in half an hour

I DON’T take my time. I travel the world for work. I have a limited time dedicated to casual hookups when I’m at home. I blame getting old on this one. I’ve spent most of my adult life waking up in the morning with a paramount thought: “How am I going to have sex today?” It’s time-consuming stuff! Now, two and a half years short of 50, my priorities have changed, and I’ve almost reached Nirvana; that’s how peaceful it’s inside my head. I don’t meet guys before I’ve had two espressos and then lunch and a possible workout, and I’d NEVER arrange to meet anyone after 9:30pm because the whole ordeal would drag past my bedtime or mess with my Netflix routine. I aim to connect at my place when I meet, IN PRIVATE and ASAP. That’s why I am a homeowner! Therefore, when I chat with men, I limit my dating messages exchanges to: “Hi, where are you AND can you get to mine within half an hour?” Which lead me straight to my next point.


I don’t need to find the best dating site because I’m looking for a casual hookup! A basic Grindr membership would do. No extras. I’m happy with covering only a radius up to a mile away from home. Mine are opportunistic hookups, a bit like when I go to the local supermarket, and besides fresh fruit and vegs, I aim to bring home with me some natural beef. The ideal casual hookup would be someone on the bus, passing by downstairs on his way home after work. The bus stop is opposite my building, on the other side of the road. All that’s needed is to hop off, Big Bus Tour London style. I have it on my CV under OTHER: “I speak three languages, and my address is a sexual touristic destination in a street that appears on the Monopoly board.” One more thing: “the best dating site” doesn’t exist, as my friend Nick, a severe dater of over 30 years, confirmed to me in a moment of weakness. It’s the same people on every dating site, with different bios and photos depending on which of their multiple personalities they are in the mood to embrace. Such a waste of money. I’d invest in a therapist instead.

Jailbird fantasy

I don’t want to know anything about my casual hookups; it would ruin the fantasy. My favourite one is a man I’ve met for over five years. We do it regularly, once or twice a month, when he calls me out of the blue with a withheld number, 007 style. I still have no idea who he is. I don’t know his name, what he does, or anything about his life, nor do I plan to find out. Mind you, my friend Jack has outdone me on this one. Once, he hooked up with someone who “wouldn’t travel, ever.” He ended up having sex on a stained mattress with no bedsheets or pillows, with a man wearing a police tag on his ankle. That man gifted Jack a jailbird fantasy realness he will never forget. He also gave him gonorrhoea, but it was worth it.

Forgetting safety is part of the appeal: I don’t tell my friends. Well, I do, but AFTER I meet. It happens the moment they leave, in a “you have no idea what just happened” kind of way. That’s what my friends are there for, to share and proudly laugh the most unjudgmental laughs ever.


I don’t use condoms unless I must. I believe in communication. I ask/answer questions and make an informed choice based on what I find out. Sometimes I decide not to have sex at all. We are all adults; we make choices and take accountability for our actions. Homosexuals have survived the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Anything treatable or that doesn’t have the power to kill you is not a significant source of concern. Lately, I’ve had a surge in popularity with guys in their mid/late twenties. I love their approach to sexual health. When I tell them that I am HIV+, on medications, and undetectable, there is no shift in their behaviour leading to abuse, stigmatisation, ghosting, or rejection, like it used to be in the past: “That’s great, I can save my PrEP on you!” It’s the usual, matter-of-fact response – no fear in their eyes nor any judgment. If anything, they are thankful and protective that I have disclosed my personal medical history to them. Mind you, if they live in squalor the way I used to in my mid-twenties, it’s only a matter of time before I catch crabs.

Here you have them, the DON’Ts I love to DO. But, despite them, for the past nine years, I’ve been in a civil partnership with a 31 y/o Brazilian man who aims to work hard, die rich and leave me all his money. We don’t live together, of course! As the late and now eternal Queen Elizabeth II has taught us, the secret to an enduring partnership and long healthy life is to give space to one another. And to ALWAYS sleep alone in your bed.

About the author

Mario Forgione

Mario Forgione is a part-time cabin crew, a carer and a blogger. When he doesn’t pretend to work as an excuse to explore the world, Mario campaigns for causes close to his heart. His work has appeared in publications including Attitude, DNA, FS, GMFA and Out in the City.

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