Lately, I have had a few people contact me by various methods of electronic communication to say that they were coming to Washington, DC, and thought perhaps we could “meet up.” Actually, I have never met up or down or sideways, but that’s a different issue. (I tend to be picky about the proper use of English.)

Depending on the medium used to reach me, I respond differently.

If contact is made through a fetish site (where I have a BHD identity to maintain it as me and not allow someone else to use the screen name and cause confusion or misrepresentation)… I generally reply with a gentle but firm, “no thanks.” That’s especially true if the person’s screen name has these words in it: “bottom”, “boy”, “boi”, or “4you”. These names imply they want to be on the receiving end for sex. I am not interested in meeting “up” (or down, or sideways) with people who are looking for sex. I reply that I am in a monogamous relationship and I do not meet other men who have interests like that.

If someone writes to me through my website, which generates an email, or sends me an email message directly, then that’s different. I read the message for what it says. Something normal like, “I am coming to DC for a meeting, and I would like to meet you for dinner” is better than, “Hey, sexy, let’s meet up at The Eagle at midnight and see what happens.” Seriously, I have received messages like that on rare occasions. I am not a night owl, and I do not go out for such clandestine rendezvous.

However, the lunch or dinner option is a possibility, though probably not likely. I do not work or live in the city, and I avoid going into the city if I can. I am long over giving tours to visitors, thank you, and I do not enjoy social venues in the city. Getting into the city is a hassle, plus I really do not have the time. I work in the downtown of my Maryland suburban hometown and by the time I got on the subway to ride into the city to meet someone for lunch, it would be time to return again.

Further, my partner and I never go out to eat, so I prepare all of our evening meals at home. We prefer it that way for a number of reasons (I’m cheap and on a very restricted diet; he’s reclusive.)

I have also had some guys ask to come visit my home and have a tour of my boot collection. Sorry, I don’t do that, either. My partner and I do not have visitors in our home. It’s really all I can do to accommodate occasional visits from out-of-town family and my mother-in-law. My partner can’t stand having his routine thrown out of whack. We do not entertain other people. Not being drinkers of alcohol, we don’t have friends over for wine or cocktails. I know that not being interested in entertaining is quite the opposite from what most people expect of gay men, but so be it. My partner does not have any friends (at all, anywhere). While I have a lot of friends, I visit them elsewhere — usually on the saddle of my Harley.

I know this sounds strange, distant, and unsociable. It’s what I do to accommodate my ever-reclusive partner who can’t stand social-anything. That’s okay, he makes up for it in many other ways. I consider myself to be sociable and outgoing, but my partner is quite the opposite. I respect him and his wishes for privacy, and the sanctity of our home.

Thanks for your interest. A meet “up” (or down or sideways) probably won’t happen. Thanks, but please understand why I say “no.” It’s not you — it’s me and my respect for my antisocial but otherwise adorable and loving partner.

Life is short: make your limits clear.