• Aled Rees

The Italian Catfish

Updated: Aug 1, 2020

Like many of us millennials, we resort to logging straight back into dating apps once we have come out of a relationship. We tell ourselves that we won’t do it and that we need some alone time, however within a week or so we find ourselves login back in.

For us gay gentlemen we tend to stray back, like a dog with its tail between its legs, to that dreaded piss-yellow masked app, that is Grindr!

I was in my mid-twenties; I had my fair share of dates and of course one-night stands!

Hey, I’m human!

But most of my dates and flings came from actually meeting guys in bars and clubs. I had, at this strange of my life, never actually met anyone off Grindr before, purely as they guys all seemed rather strange.

I should elaborate, when I say strange, I mean extremely perverted and somewhat desperate for attention. The guys would either have faceless profiles or most commonly start a conversation with a dick pic. I must be odd, but I have never found a dick pic satisfying.

To be honest, I’ve always wondered why?

Why send a photo of your John Thomas to another person?

I believe straight guys also do this to their girlfriend. Well, I know for a fact they do. I will add at this stage, if any straight men are reading my blogs then I have a confession to make.

All your girlfriends share or show your dick pics with us!

Yes, it’s true.

If your girlfriend has gay friends then the chances are that they have shown your naughty pics to them are extremely high! We have seen your willy!

What are you meant to say when you receive a dick pic?

Oh, that’s nice, I have one of them too, or my favourite, Oh, that’s a nice angle? How did you manage that?

Men are very innovative when it comes to taking a dick pic! Some of their photography skills are second to none. It’s like they think the final image, in all its high def glory, will, at one day end up in the Tate modern.

Saying that, with all the ones I’ve received through the years, and the ones a friend of mine has, we could gather them all and make a fabulous exhibition. I think this could be a future project.

Yet again, in true, Justaled fashion, I digress from what I originally planned to write.

I re-joined Grindr, after a continual list of poor dating choice. Note the re-joined, this was probably my 1000th new account. In true tradition, I would join, stay on the app for around 2 weeks before I would instantly delete my account from sheer boredom, But there I was, single and ready to mingle within a 30-mile radius.

Distance for the gays is everything! It can’t be too close, and it can’t be too far, it has to be just right! Yes, we are the gay men are the real goldilocks…..Well especially if there are 3 bears involved.

A week had passed, and I was still on Grindr! I was now swamped in Phallic Photo and messages from men old enough to be my grandad asking me to sell my used underwear to them! Which, I have you know, I never did! However, now I’m thinking…. Why the hell didn’t I!! I could have been the gay Ann summers, well the used pants version.

I chatted with a few guys, but nothing serious as the majority of them either didn’t have a profile picture or were “straight” and wanted to experiment with their insecure and cosseted feelings, then one day, this handsome Italian chap messaged me.

It all started with your usual, hey! How are you? Blah blah blah the standard stuff, but this time the conversation was much longer. We started talking about our jobs and our hobbies and what we were looking for, etc.

No sexual images were sent, he seemed a gent and always had something interesting to talk about. He also had a profile photo! I know! He had a profile photo and I will add, he was drop-dead gorgeous. Talk, dark hair and beautiful greenish eyes, and a smile and jawline to die for. It was becoming too good to be true, but that just the syndic in me.

I would regularly check his profile just to make sure he was real. His profile would say that he was athletic build, around 6ft 2 and worked and lived in Swansea, which I could forgive of course! But he sounded like my type.

I still hadn’t met anyone off Grindr at this point but I was prepared to meet this Italian gent, so we arranged a date. We decided to meet for a drink at one of the Bars in Swansea on a weekday.

I remember, as it was a workday, and I couldn’t think of anything but the date whilst I was at work. My mind was in overdrive and my anxiety was creeping up on me. I’ll never get the hang of dating and trying to keep cool whilst on them. The whole process feels so judgemental, in which it is.

The initial process if you and your dating judging each other from the moment you meet to the moment you leave. So many procedures to adhere to, do you hug when you meet? Do you kiss? Who buys what and when? Etc so many questions, so little time.

I arrived at the pub, took a moment outside to catch my breath, then walked into the bar area. I looked around and couldn’t see him. I messaged when I got to the pub car park and he assured me that he was inside waiting for me.

I looked around, walked through the bar and restraint area, but there was no sign of him until then, when something or to be more precise, someone was pulling at the bottom of my shirt.

I turned around, looked around, then readjusted my head and looked down! And that’s when I heard in an Italian accent, Ciao Aled, It’s great to finally meet you!

He must have only been 4ft something, the guy was tiny! I for one don’t have an issue with him being small, I have an issue with Liars! And so far he was proving to be a Liar but I thought I would give the devils its due and forgive him for this.

The more I looked at him the more I thought, you are completely different from your profile photo. He went to grab us a pint, and o whilst he was away, it was my chance to log onto my account and check what his profile photo was! Did I mistake this guy with someone else? Did I imagine this 6ft 2 handsome chap??

I logged back in, but no! I was right! The photo that was on his profile was not him! If anything, he was completely the opposite to the chap in the profile pic! The only truth this guy had told me was he was Italian and from what I could gather from his accent, this was the truth.

Still, being me, I gave him yet another chance and so I remained on the date. It the least I could do as he bought a drink and I’m not one to refuse a free pint.

We started chatting, for around 5 minutes before he took out his mobile and started messaging someone on it. I was not impressed. I carried on chatting to him and he acknowledged my being now and again. He finally put his phone down and started to chat directly to me.

I will add at this stage that I have never heard anyone say the word “LOL” out in public, in an actual conversation.

This could just be me, but I’ve only used LOL in text and never in spoken work. Everything I said to him, he would answer with, OMG babes you’re so LOL! I think I may have thrown up at this point, if I didn’t then, I am now, as I write this awful awful conversation I had to endear.

Everything with him was, OMG babes you’re so LOL! Each time these words came out of his lying mouth, it felt like someone scratching their recently polished nails down an overly chalked blackboard.

I sat there thinking, this is officially the word date ever, but I still found myself sitting there listening to his dreadful noise but to add to the audacity, every time he wasn’t talking he was on his mobile messaging his friends.

I think an hour had passed, it could have been only 10 mins but felt like a full-on hour, but as this date, my pint was finished and I was ready to leave this joint. I made up a story that I had to leave, I think he heard me over his texting, but I got up and was ready to leave.

He got up also and approached me with a hug! As he grabbed my lower half, and I looked directly at the top of his yeah, he whispered that It was a fabulous date and he couldn’t wait to see me again!

Were we on the same date??

This was the WORST date in the history of worst dates! I couldn’t say a word back, for once in my life I was SPEECHLESS. I just walked out of the bar and got into my car.

All I remember was seeing him stand there in my dust cloud as my car sped into the horizon.

The moral of the story is:

A) don’t catfish people, its not a clever move when you're on a dating site and then you plan to meet that person! It's not going to end well for you or the person that's coming to meet you.

And of course...

B) If you do manage to go on a date with someone, pay them some attention. Have a conversation and get to know each other, even if you don’t fancy that person, they have gone out of their way to meet you and sitting there constantly on your phone is, quite frankly BLOODY RUDE!

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