Finding Lust with a broken gaydar

In my black book you’ll find a collection like no other. There are architects, and drug dealers. Millionaires and guys with no fortunes that will ever be worth writing about.

When you live in a place (Lagos) where only the incredibly daft would go about the sating of their passions without reserving a thought for discretion, it helps to know who’s gay and who isn’t.

If you were hoping for the ultimate guide to spotting gay men, this isn’t it.

The only gaydar I’ll ever claim to possess is incredibly self involved. It only pings if you’re curious about me. If you’re gay and you don’t fancy me then you’re dead to my heart and my penis. I take no delight in knowing that we’re similar.

In the pursuit of love and other disasters, I have learned many a thing — all of them useless. Every experience uniquely intoxicating and equally damning. In love there is no reason. There is no greater joy, no greater pain and no greater catastrophe. I wonder if it is because of its unlikelihood that I seek it relentlessly.

Let’s say that there’s a gay man in every hundred, and of that hundred, I’m only likely to be truly attracted to one in a hundred, then there are 1000 men in Lagos that I could love. The chances are slim indeed. It is far more efficient to seek people who can satisfy my lust than it is to go hunting for the one.

There was one in Sip, a popular but truly atrocious nightclub in Victoria Island. He stared at me so fiercely that I feared his gaze would burn my face. There was nothing subtle about it. As flattered as I was, I glared back as if to say that I’d be perfectly thrilled if he self combusted and died. My glare only fueled his excitement. As I walked out of the club angry that he’d been so bold, he grabbed me. With my head pressed against his mountainous pecs, my left hand crushed against his 8 pack, and my right hand brushing the devil’s tool my restraint failed me. My restraint failed me all the way to the back seat of his Honda somewhere in Festac.

There was another in Lotus. Good conversation and shitty beer have never failed anyone in the pursuit of sex. I recall that my knee brushed his knee before slipping between his legs. At that point there was nothing more to be said. I woke up in a bed that wasn’t my own with a hangover that was not of this world.

Those two pale in comparison to my memories of Federal Palace Hotel. I cannot tell you if I was there for a wedding or a funeral, although both are known to inspire passions that are all but uncontainable. A combination of the powers of the lagoon and the two bottles of champagne we’d stolen led to a truly baffling, but not intolerable entanglement with the husband of one and a father of two. It is also the greatest waste of a hotel room I have ever known. We didn’t make it past the door.

These adventures all have one thing in common. Interest was expressed and reciprocated.

When it’s 3am and I’m at Vapours (another club) and a guy I do not know particularly well asks what I’m doing after, I raise an eyebrow. What on earth could I be doing after Vapours when it’s 3am and I’m in a pretty monogamous relationship with my bed?

It’s even more obvious when they ask how I’m getting home, or offer to give me a lift when I have not expressed the need for one. It’s a so will we be going to my house via yours, or when we get to mine would you like to inspect the rigidity of my mattress situation.

Most telling are the eyes that linger, to what end I do not know, but no man looks at another for an hour without first consulting his penis.

If all that fails, there’s Grindr, Manhunt, Manjam, Gaydar, Tinder, Adam4Adam, Jackd, Bgclive, Bumble and a thousand I haven’t heard of yet. And if you’re not one for relationships that find their beginnings in cyberspace, then overwhelming displays of campness, or the rumour mill are as good places to start as any. Fire is typically smoke’s predecessor.