Crème de Pêche, excerpt

Adam Armstrong • Memoir

I’m in search of the perfect candle. My task is daunting. (When is searching for a pleasant candle not?) But I feel up to the challenge. I’ve finally moved to Los Angeles, after scooping up my bachelor’s degree a couple months earlier, and tonight I have vowed to christen my apartment with my first West Coast Grindr hook up.

For the uninitiated, Grindr is a social networking app used by gay men for dating and sex. A user can upload a picture, and list his height and weight, along with writing a short “About Me” section where he can be as quippy or straight-to-thepoint as he’d like to be. In an attempt to make online dating in the gay community both convenient and hair-raising, the grid of profile pictures is organized based on the user’s geographic location, with the app going so far as displaying how many feet away other users are.

My vetting process for finding guys has not been rigorous, exactly. If a guy assured me that he could be at my place in fewer than 20 minutes, chances were high that we would suck each other off. My messaging routine lacked foresight and vigilance—not to mention subtlety:

Me: Hey
Him: Hey
Me: How are you?
Him: Good. You?
Me: Good. Horny?
Him: Yeah. Into?
Me: Vers. You?
Him: Top only.
Me: Cool. Cock and face pix?
Him: Yeah. You too?
*both send cock and face pictures*
Me: Nice
Him: Yeah

Perhaps some men found the lack of nuance endearing.

But now I can be different.

This time I will actually ask questions that pertain to more than just how
sexually stimulated he is or the size of his dick. I will engage. I will ask about his
life, where he’s from, where he’s going, and what sort of candles he buys.

Emily Gilbert