who-meQUESTION

I have so much better luck meeting guys online than offline that I’ve completely given up going to bars. I’m 48, very healthy, active, good looking, and blessed to look 35.

Here’s my problem: When I put with my true age on my profile I get no responses. Absolutely zero. It doesn’t matter if it’s GrindR or Mister or all the other ones in between. If I lie and place the exact same words and pictures (only this time saying I’m 35), I get lots of responses. LOTS. It’s the exact same me…only the real me gets zip and the dishonest me gets plenty. I’m at a loss as to how to proceed. Even people my own age don’t respond to my 48 year-old ads, but they respond to my 35-year-old ads. I think the whole gay community is fucked up.

I don’t believe in being dishonest. I don’t want to start a relationship where the first thing I say is a lie. I don’t even want a one night stand if I have to be dishonest to get it. But I also don’t want to be without sex for extended periods of time. What should I do?

ANSWER

Dear Truth:
Dude, I dedicated my book to a friend for “teaching me how to lie about my age.” If you think I’m going to tell you to grow a moral spine, you got the wrong guy.

The thing is, I understand your dilemma. Gay men have a phobia about age. Whatever you say after forty they hear as a communicable disease. So if you say “I’m forty-three” they hear “forty-leprosy.” They’re more afraid of catching age than AIDS.

So here’s my advice: Lie. Yes, that’s right. I’m advising you to lie. It’s an indispensable tool for living. You literally could not function in this world without lying. Check out Jim Carrey’s movie, “Liar, Liar” if you want to see how constantly telling the truth can ruin your life.

All lies are not created equal. Some are harmless, some are harmful. Learn the difference. You’ve equated lying about your age with, say, lying about your HIV status or your marital status. Age is a state of mind anyway, so what if you feed people the fantasy that they’re responding to a 35 year old? You might actually end up teaching them it’s possible to fall in love with someone despite an initial resistance to their age.

Okay, now let’s get into some sound lying strategies. Always take ten years off yourself. When you’re drunk and he asks you what year you were born you don’t have to deal with complex mathematical formulas. And believe me, when you’re drunk, simple subtraction can leave you paralyzed. My 10-year strategy makes it a simple equation. Let’s say you were born in 1959. It’s 1959 + 10= 1969. You were born in 1969! No amount of martinis can tear the logic off that one. In addition to not having to do the addition, there’s another reason to stick to the 10-year rule: It’s better to look old for 32 than young for 42.

Another option is to learn the art of omission. Who says you have to offer your age in a profile? If someone asks, tell them you don’t think age is important. Tell them you’re always too young for some people and too old for others so you’d rather move on to more interesting topics. Like what you’re going to cook them for breakfast if they stay the night.