This guy sounds like a legitimate sex addict - he seems to be having more sex than he'd really like, with partners he doesn't like, with profound negative impacts on his life, health, and psyche. Getting a therapist shouldn't be considered a suggestion, it should be considered darn-near life saving. It's unclear but it sounds like he had 170-something sex partners in 2016 alone. That's an insane number for someone not getting paid and especially for someone with middling safer-sex techniques.
I really wish SOLO had given us some background (about his family, any political or religious conflicts, coming out, etc.) but he seems to have sprung out, fully formed, as Athena did out of Zeus; only he landed in an apparent wasteland (Seattle!!! Really???) without any opportunities to make friends with other gay men, hang out, etc. So, in his mind, the only option open for him was to hook up.

There's something missing to this story and I'll bet that's something he might eventually reveal to a therapist. Good luck, SOLO.
Where does he find the time????
I was you, once, Solo. Maybe not quite as extreme and it was pre-PreP so I used condoms, but lots of random sex, never a boyfriend. Got into therapy and it did wonders. My mantra became gratification does not equal satisfaction. Good luck. You actually sound like a pretty self-aware and ok guy.
#1 sex addiction is NOT a legitimate diagnosis. Even “Hypersexualism” was kept out of the diagnostic manual...for a reason. Therapists learn techniques for treating specific disorders. This behavior has been found to fit more under “compulsions” which has specific treatment.

#3 Really! His days must be app, swipe, swipe, meet, sex, app...see a doctor, treatment etc.

There are dangerous viruses mutating all the time. HIV is an evolutionary entity. Before mutating to HIV we had SIVs (simian immunodeficiency viruses), which infect primates, and the more distantly related FIVs (the feline strains).

There are many avian diseases (birds--such as SARS), and pig to human viruses (Brucellosis,B. suis, Campylobacter, C. jejuni, Erysipeloid.E. rhusiopathiae--Red, dark, swollen lesions often on hands., Leptospirosis,Leptospira interrogans and six more.)

Most have no treatment...other than a VERY strong immune system or death. ANY OR ALL CAN MUTATE and be direct human-to-human like swine flu or already be transmitted sexually--or just contact or common colds.

Get help. Even chlamydia can cause epididymitis--infection/inflammation of tube behind testicles. The pain alone can knock you down...and you can become sterile. In medicine the “sign” for this inflammation is called the “Chandelier’s sign.” Meaning that palpating the testicles is so painful “the patient will be grabbing for the chandelier.”

Find two full time jobs and another hobby until you get help.
He's not being responsible. Responsible is getting tested, treated, AND using condoms.
Go to a movie, read a book, go for a hike, play a game, join a club, do volunteer work, take a class in something that interests you. Sex is great, but it doesn't make for a full life; a full life takes fulfilling work, good friends, and multiple interests.
Pete05 @4: Out of curiosity, has the therapy led you to find a relationship or at least longer-lasting dating relationships?
LW. Have you tried apps like OK CUPID or Match or POF? Or whatever, I'm not the most up to date. Even just to browse around? Remember most of those people aren't totally honest (if they sound sane and well rounded and ready for a serious relationship, a good hunk of them are lying to themselves, and everyone else). So don't compare yourself, just browse. Don't start sending out emails. Just see what you think.
If you are not actually exhibiting sex addiction/compulsion, this emotional breakdown is simply the realization that it is time to grow up and put away childish things, because you have realized that anonymous casual sex can be fun, but in the end, not caring about people is simply empty.

It is time to become an adult, and look meaningfully at what causes you to compulsively seek out meaningless sex.
Dear LW, it sounds like you are lonely, and using sex to alleviate the loneliness, and it's not working. Eventhough sex can be an intimate act, it can make you even lonelier, like a person in a huge croud who doesn't know anyone, and doesn't know how to change that situation. Perhaps you aren't using a condom because you think that would make you feel closer to the other person, and instead it just make you feel more distant.

The only way to stop doing things that hurts yourself, is to find ways to stop the self destruction. Please take Dan's advice, delete all the dating apps, stop hooking up for a while and go do other things. Start small with making yourself go without hooking up for one day, then two days, then a week...Keep yourself busy doing other things, volunteer for something you care about, take an art class, plant a tree, work on your garden, go look at the ocean, read. Reading is great, you can find people in books who have faced what you have, feel as you do, and that will make the world feel less cold and empty. It really doesn't matter that they might be fictional, the authors who wrote about them exist. That means there are someone out there who do understand, and you are not alone, you're not a freak, you're not a bad person.

Give yourself time to think, and really try to find out why you're so lonely, yet so afraid to form real relationships. Be kinder to yourself. Find a good counselor to help you. It's really important to have someone you can talk to whom you're not afraid will be judgmental and condemning. And please, LW, give yourself a break. You're just like the rest of us, imperfect people who are trying to make it through life. Try to love yourself.

I am sorry, but on this matter, the OP is a complete dick. I think Dan was way too nice to him. Who gives a shit if he could be infected with more STDs (as if five in one year is not enough). He is infecting other people! He is a danger to the public. Some of the poor men he hooks up with may have no idea of the risk they are taking, who knows how he presents himself. I am sure he doesn't lead with "I sleep with 172 people per year, without protection, and average 5 STDs a year. Let's go!" It is simple math, take 172 people, consider the amount of days in a year, and the gestation time for the average STD, and he is infecting at the very least 82 people a year. This is really gross behavior, and merits a stronger response. I don't give a damn how many people he sleeps with, but he should give a modicum of a shit about his partners' safety.
This guy is a cautionary tale for any and all people thinking of having unprotected sex with random strangers. He is literally a walking infection...HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea as well as a toxic soup of who knows what. Caveat emptor folks!!

And for you, SOLO. You're self esteem must be so low that you would have to look up to see a snail's ass. PLEASE get thee to a nunnery (or at least a good therapist) before you do any more damage to yourself or the people you come in contact with! Yikes!
The OP's behavior is reckless and indicates a deeper issue, which Dan addresses perfectly without any shaming. But I think it's wrong to blame him for infecting others. He's hooking up with people seeking bare back and who prefer it. If you have unprotected sex with someone, you are taking that chance, and the OP doesn't say he knew about the STI status at the time etc. Obviously anyone who has has unprotected sex with a new person nearly every other day is likely to have an STI. But the same can be said of a person who has unprotected sex with a new person every month. The problem is the unprotected sex. You take that risk- you can't blame others. I really don't understand the obsession with bare backing. Luckily I don't have to deal with any of that.

Also as you have all pointed out, it sounds like the OP doesn't do anything else. Just work, scroll Grindr, hook up. People find all sorts of ways to escape. I'm always disturbed by how many lonely people there are that simply work, come home, watch shows, sleep etc for years and years by themselves. Plenty others do it with substance abuse or porn or food. Fall into a pattern like that and it's hard to get out of it. Sounds like the OP is like this, only with hookups. Yes to everything about needing hobbies, friends, etc. Sounds like he knows that but it's hard to do. I'm sure he's thought of that before. He needs outside help. I wonder if he has any friends? It's hard to start looking for partners when you don't even have friendships. I suppose you can lose the ability to have relationships at all. If he has a friend he trusts, maybe they can help get him out of this cycle, at least in the beginning when it's going to be hardest to break the habit. I hope he manages while he's still young.

Emma @ 15 - "You take that risk- you can't blame others. "

Exactly. With all the information we have access to nowadays, you can't blame anyone but yourself for getting an STI when you're willingly having unprotected sex.
@15, are you serious EL. What's all this obsession with bareback. Before AIDS, it was the normal. Women had the pill. I hate condoms, and I don't even have to wear them. Has that super fine one come out? I heard an Australian team was working on it.
Though yes, this boy is being reckless. He needs a collective hug, poor darling.
Addiction or compulsion, this young man feels compelled to act out this way. Why not try the AA style group, SAA isn't it. Like with giving up grog, one day at a time.
I feel broken in ways too, honey, we forgive ourselves and move on.
BBRTS has a disproportionate share of hard drug users and bug chasers. If LW isn't actively weeding them out, he's putting himself at a much greater risk for STIs. And, if he gets inseminated by the wrong guy, could end up inadvertantly tweeking himself.
Emma@15 ~ ...But I think it's wrong to blame him for infecting others...
Yes, you get what you sign up for, but I would hazard a guess that most people are hoping their sex partners will show at least a microscopic bit of care for their fellow human beings and not go out of their way to carelessly put others in danger. As "Law & Order" would say, SOLO shows "reckless disregard" for the trusting fools that he fucks. Once again, caveat emptor.
@9. Yeah, LTR for the past 15 years. Monagamish.

Wow, so judgy. Guy is getting tested every three months. That is better than most.
LW Dan failed on this one. 1. Hep-B have you been vaccinated? Get NOW if not. Gardasil-9-valent: ditto (prob. too late but might as well). 2. Condoms condoms condoms every time you hook up. I know guys who've had thousands of partners with zero STIs but they ALWAYS play safe (even for oral). 3. Sounds like you never learned to relate to other gay men except sex. You need some friends. Just friends. 4. Consider FWBs before BFs. 5. Therapy, the only thing Dan got right. 6. Try dating websites. Go on a date where sex is NOT on the table! You need to build some social skills. 7. You live in an area where you can find gay social events that are not organized around sex, where a BF might happen (gay). But also try some social events where there might not be exclusively gay men. Sounds like you're lonely in general. Good luck!
@21 by a BF might happen (gay) -- typo. I meant a BF might happen at a gay social event, but go to stuff that's primarily social organized around something that interests you and is gay-specific but that's not primarily around sex / dating. e.g. gay democrats, gay geeks, gay gaymers, gay whatevs - so you'll make new friends, and maybe a BF or a hookup that might repeat rather than a rando.
Yes I'm serious, Lava. I didn't say "why would anyone prefer the feeling of sex without a condom" as that is obvious. I said I don't understand the obsession with bareback. We aren't living in a pre-sti world or a pre-hiv world. Though with prep I think most people can reasonably hope to avoid hiv infection now just like they can reasonably hope to avoid pregnancy.

But I'm asking about the obsession with bareback during casual hookups. Most of us fluid bond with people throughout our lives, but when you are having multiple random hookups it seems so risky to prefer bareback with those strangers that I wonder if that's part of the thrill. Or it's just a case of preferring the enhanced pleasure every single encounter to the point that you are willing to risk your health, and I don't understand that. But like I said, I don't have a dick. While I don't use condoms with my husband, we definitely had the agreement to use them to use them with others or else to not have penetrative sex with others. If he ever broke the rule, I don't know. Says he didn't. I never did. We get tested fairly regularly anyway. People who go out actively seeking unprotected sex with strangers- I don't understand that. Though according to some friends, it's extremely common now among gay guys. Maybe it is among women too now and I'm just a dinosaur.
"I take full responsibility for my actions" doesn't mean much to me if all that means is he understands that his actions are why he "contracted" various STIs multiple times. Full responsibility would require acknowledging the dozens of people who went on to possibly contract STIs from him during the months between rounds of testing and treatment.
Maeggyn @13: Don't forget that it takes two to not use a condom. It's not just SOLO who's going around barebacking everything in sight, it's his partners who are equally lax in asking him to use condoms. Why should he care more about his partners' safety than they do?

Lava @17: I agree with Emma. SOLO is 27. There is no "before HIV" for him. In my nearly 30 years of active sex I can count the number of partners I had whom I trusted enough to get tested and stop using condoms on, probably one hand, definitely less than two. Condoms are a given when you're having casual sex. (Though I admit, some of the guys were fully ready to proceed as if they weren't. I guess Ricardo's right about men being idiots.) That's one incentive towards finding a more committed relationship, the reward of not having to use condoms.

Pete05 @20: Great, I'm happy for you!
If hundreds of partners, no condoms, and getting tested is "better than most," any desire I ever had to be a gay man has just vanished completely.
Fan @25: I don't know if some gay men are idiots because of this reckless behaviour, or looking for intimacy. Also this disregard for their health may be a sign of self loathing, family and culture have instilled in them that being gay is the other, that there is something dirty about loving and desiring other men. Those messages constantly repeated that your true self is wrong.
The erotic charge between men appears very strong, finding a balance between that and having love needs met, maybe the socialisation doesn't prepare a lot of males for that.
Yes I know the time line Fan. It just struck me as funny EL calling going without condoms an obsession.
Personally, having lived the first shift (from non-condom use to systematic condom use), then the second one (from systematic condom use to the current "couldn't care less" attitude) in the gay population, I think it's misguided to interpret the latter through the lens of self-loathing etc.

This explanation was valid thirty years ago when some gays just wouldn't switch to condoms with excuses such as "we all have to die sometimes", but it's not the same thing that's happening now. BDF points out @ 25 that "SOLO is 27. There is no "before HIV" for him", but there's something more to it: there is also no "before HIV medication" for him. He was 6 years old when efficient, life-saving drugs appeared on the market. He probably hasn't lost anyone to HIV, and if he knows someone who has it, the general attitude is that it's a bummer, but something one can live with and not have to worry about much after the first year, when you have to adjust to your treatment. Even better: once you're undetectable, you can have bareback sex all you want without the fear of transmitting it! (Although this is not strictly true, as some people become detectable again and need to change their drug regiment, so they're able to transmit it for a while without being aware of it... but human nature being what it is, most people just hear the part that they want to hear.) For example, a FWB seroconverted last year and 1) he was actually glad to no longer have this sword of Damocles hanging above him, and 2) as soon as he became undetectable, he announced it proudly to me with the clear subtext that we could now have BB sex.

The fact is that for an entire generation of gay men (or two), HIV is no big deal. And since information about antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis is not really being spread as much as it should, they just don't understand what's the worry.

BDF @ 25 - Of course I'm right (lol).
regimen, not regiment, of course

The dangers of early-morning commenting...
There's a marriage equality bullshit survey going on in my ugly country right now and I sure wouldn't want to be getting subjected to the humiliating crap being spun by the no compaign, Ricardo. Attitudes which sit just below the surface all the time.
You can't rule out some gay people being reckless with their hearts and their health when subjected to so much negative focus.
Lava @ 30 - But the thing is, this absence of concern about HIV is pretty much, if not universal, at least rather widespread internationally, even in places where gays aren't subjected to so much negative focus. So of course we can still see this, but it's nowhere near as prevalent as in the 80s. It's most definitely not the reason why such a high proportion of gays no longer use condoms.

Fear of dying a horrible death after having been abandoned by everyone was the motivation to use condoms. Now that this stimulus as mostly been removed, an awful lot of gays no longer care.
has mostly...
@28. Ricardo. I'd agree with your analysis about the transition to condom usage and the transition away from it pretty much word for word.

I've had low standards in the past about who I've had sex with (though never racking up the totals of the LW), while insisting on condom use. It's earned me vituperation, abuse, the threat of violence and sometimes missed sex. But I internalised a creeping, crippling fear of HIV and was going to stay the ultra-cautious side of the line. In my ways I'd come over a fussy, unsympathetic pedant in whatever context I moved in. And I'm still not comfortable with BB outside longstanding or committed relationships.

In my periods of promiscuity, I didn't think I was 'good enough' for a relationship. Or I thought I was good at other things, not relationships. I was (good enough--of course). Probably I'd feel SOLO thinks he isn't good enough. And almost certainly he is.
Harriet @ 33 - "In my periods of promiscuity, I didn't think I was 'good enough' for a relationship... Probably I'd feel SOLO thinks he isn't good enough. And almost certainly he is."

And that may factor into his promiscuity (from the looks of it, I'd say it does). I just don't think it necessarily factors into his having BB sex (but you seem to agree with me on that).

That said, I've been highly promiscuous most of my adult life... because I enjoy promiscuity (with a condom). It fulfills my need for excess, which has always been a part of my personality. And it never prevented me from having relationships when I felt I had met someone who was a good candidate and the feeling was mutual. So I most definitely think a lack of self-confidence does not systematically explain promiscuity (which is not the same as saying it never does).
I think it's a stereotype that promiscuity and a low self-esteem go hand-in-hand. I think it's much more complex than that. I'm sure there are people who seek attention that way or confuse sexual attention with intimacy or that have some sort of self-destructive streak and a sense of shame. Also I think people just fall into habits and seek distraction and easy immediate pleasure as an escape (which seems more the case with the LW). So it's probably good to keep those things in mind.

My own periods of promiscuity though were very different. I had a lot of sex with different men because it was fun- the excitement of meeting them, the actual raw desire for the physical body, and the pleasure of the actual sex. The sex itself was sometimes great and sometimes a little disappointing. If I was looking for a sure thing, just pleasure, I've been in a satisfying relationship for almost all of my adult life, so if it was just the sexual pleasure I wanted, I could have just chosen to wait and sleep with my husband or to use my vibrator until we were together again. Especially since random hookups, the sex is hit and miss. But it wasn't just the sexual pleasure. It was - to varying extents in varying circumstances- the thrill of meeting someone, the joy of flirting, the mystery of another person's life, and just the more physical desire for bodies of really beautiful men. The whole thing is exciting and fun, and the random aspect of it - having sex with someone you don't really know and usually won't get to know- wasn't an intention. It's not like I was avoiding intimacy or felt I wasn't worthy of intimacy. I was just already in a relationship and so that need in my life was already met. Plenty of people who are capable of healthy intimate relationships with others have casual random sex - sometimes when they are single, sometimes on the side, sometimes b/c they are busy with other things and don't have the time/need for relationships. And I think it's worth pointing out that plenty of people who really would like to have relationships but have trouble meeting others STILL need sex- and that doesn't mean they feel unworthy or have internalized shame or whatever.

My experience is that when men are in a sexual relationship with someone, they are sometimes cautious and assess risk, at least as much as women. But when men are about to get a random hookup, they will basically go along with anything. I've never had a man refuse to wear a condom, but I've never (or rarely) had one insist on it. They just took my word for it that I was on birth control even though they don't know me, and if I'd been willing to have sex without a condom they'd have been willing too. Likewise with even less severe and more immediate risks- like if we were in a place that could disturb others or that we could be caught- I've never had a hookup guy de-escalate and say "No, as much as I'd like to, this isn't an appropriate time/place" whereas as a woman I've done that several times. I just think (generally speaking, and with the bias that we are filtering for people that have casual sex in the first place which of course isn't all men or women), men are far less likely to consider anything beyond their immediate desire/pleasure when they are having sex with someone new.

It's not that I don't understand how condom-less sex happens. It's that I'm surprised that it's actually a sought-out preference. I get it rationally. It feels better (and it's probably a huge difference for the person with the dick) and the risk isn't the same now. But for those of us who lived through the plague years (and I only saw the tail end of it), it's just hard to wrap our brains around it. That sort of generational trauma sticks with you.
And in case I wasn't clear, I almost never had unprotected casual sex. My point was that I was the person who insisted on the condom- usually the man would've been down either way. But unlike Harriet, I've also never had a man respond negatively when I told him to wear a condom (in a hookup). So I think I see what she's getting at regarding shame and self-destructive behavior. If you were selecting for the sorts of sexual partner who would be abusive in that way (again, if it happens once or twice, it's them, if it's repeated, it's probably something you are influencing) then this is probably linked to your feelings of unworthiness etc and I see what you are saying. But the promiscuity is another thing altogether- I had guys who were more generous lovers than others or who had less appealing personalities than others- but I never had hookups that left me feeling abused or hollow or shameful or threatened. Promiscuity does not have to be associated with those negative feelings.

As for the LW, the fact that he's seeking BB makes me think that Ricardo's interpretation is more valid and I agree with the statements above about addiction. I don't mean sexual addiction in the way that people have physical dependency on a substance, but rather in the way that people can form really terrible habits of seeking immediate pleasure and distraction from larger problems- just like gaming or watching TV or surfing the net or overeating/drinking is for huge chunks of the population. It sounds that for a decent looking young gay man in a gay-friendly city, attaining casual sex isn't too much harder than binge-watching Netflix- and while both can be quite a bit of fun in moderation, if that's what you are doing with all of your spare time, then you are probably in the habit of existing in a place of seeking empty immediate distraction.
EmmaLiz @ 35 - "I think it's a stereotype that promiscuity and a low self-esteem go hand-in-hand."

As everyone who reads my comments should already know, low self-esteem is absolutely not my problem.
@Ricardo, yes I was agreeing with you. It is not my problem either, and my own promiscuous behavior certainly was more similar to yours. I was responding to Harriet.
@34, 35. I don't think low self-esteem is always present in the company of promiscuity--even emotionally unsatisfying or hollow promiscuity. Promiscuity can easily be a matter of habit and compulsion. It can arise, as others have said, through not knowing how to have friendships, to explore common interests, even to set a basic value on yourself--to state, for instance, your political beliefs or standards, or to feel able to police homophobic or other offensive comments. There's instead a default to sex--'let me suck your dick'--that's unlikely to be refused, but in which, in other ways, asks for and offers little personal and particular.

I can only speak from my own experience, looking back on the first major period of sluttishness in my life. It was in my twenties, later than an 'exploration phase' for many gay men. Why I had so much sex was that I found I could, psychologically and practically, have so much. Before I had limited myself. Though I was having lots, I wasn't at all able to negotiate satisfying or exciting sex--actually some of the excitement was overcoming my trepidation about doing it on my partner's terms--in their bed, in their apartment, at their direction. I'd just come back from living overseas, where my life had been very pursed; and this was a whole new world. New scene, new me. My life was not well-integrated at all, and I was aware of this. Once when I saw someone who'd fucked me on the fringes of an academic gathering, I was mortified and blanked him. I had a sense of self but remarkably little sense of the social, of solidarity, community, politics (other than theoretically. My graduate work was on these things).

Of course there will be many differences with the LW's experience. But it sounds as if he's also now ready for sex that's better-integrated with the rest of his life. Or even to get a 'rest of his life'. Which is good and may now be necessary. He _can_ be someone a lover cares about. He should start thinking what kind of person he would like as a regular lover.
EmmaLiz @ 38 - Yes. I was just adding a little something to your argument (and to my earlier comment).

Your explanation of the thrill of hook-ups is pretty spot-on.
@35. EmmaLiz. Barebacking was always a sought-out preference--in the late 80s and 90s. It was partly about queerness and not accepting stigmatisation. It was an embrace of abandon and, as I saw it, among HIV-positive men had elements of being in love with the death-drive. Personally I found it scary. At a certain level now I find it hard to believe in PreP. It's occasioned bigger shifts in how I relate to sex, in a way, than retrovirals.
Harriet, I know what you mean about finding it hard to believe in. What Ricardo described above about some men actually finding it easier to be positive has been the experience of my friends as well. It's still really hard for me to wrap my mind around it on a gut level even though rationally and medically I understand it perfectly.

Your description of early "sluttiness" is similar to mine, but I think I learned to negotiate it a lot faster. For me, I had to because I had to deal with the possibility of getting pregnant and the anxiety around that, so I think this is why women more typically always associate sex with risk assessment and caution- you have to figure that out really early on. I'd assume gay men in the 80s would have a similar pattern, but that might be my projection. I didn't know barebacking was a sought-out preference in the plague years. I was very young then and my peers were terrified and had it beaten over our heads to use condoms. It was older gay men in the community and in our families that were dying, and while it was very visible and terrifying and upsetting, they were all people older than me with whom I would not have discussed sex. Among my own peers, even the queer ones, we just accepted that condoms were a necessary thing, though of course I have no idea what others were really doing and since this is all pre-internet I have no idea what other people were seeking.

But I get your point- if gay men were seeking anonymous bareback in the 80s I can't imagine there wasn't an element of self-destruction there. I didn't know that. But I also think that our age colors our inability to see that younger people do not feel this way. I don't see the self-destructiveness nor internalized homophobia / misogyny / low-self-esteem in this generation as much though I'm not out fucking them so what do I know. And again, when you remove the generational trauma, it's really just that I don't understand why people aren't worried about other STIs, not HIV. Though I suppose we all do it to a certain extent. If you are going to have sex with even a small number of people in your life, you are very highly likely to get both HPV and herpes regardless of condom use, and it's a risk we all just take even though it sucks. I mean, I'm not going to become a nun. Basically then I just try not to think too much about it and go to the doc annually to make sure I don't have cervical cancer. It bothers me, but what else can I do? So I imagine the mindset is something along those lines.
What a surprise! Lots of blaming going on, lots of loaded words. "Sex addict" is a hugely loaded phrase with no actual evidence behind it, and "promiscuous" and "slutty" are hugely loaded words used by traditional religious prudes as well as partially progressive people who still think having lots of partners is icky or dirty or sick.

Since SOLO is in the hookup world, and many people have found partners in the hookup world, he needs tips on how to do that - how to include partner hunting with dick hunting. He won't benefit from being sex-shamed or told he's mentally ill, and neither of those is justified by his email.

So, how to change your behavior in the hookup world? Part of that is to include in your profiles that you're hunting for sex partners who can also turn into friends with benefits, with an emphasis on the friends part. Having a fuck date followed by dinner together should be on your profile menu. Lots of guys won't be interested, but some will, since you're not the only one out there hoping to find a partner. "I want to fuck you senseless / I want you to fuck me senseless and then go out together for some fried chicken at Sam's Diner" may very well work with the men you want to meet.

Explicitly just looking for a partner seldom seems to work on hookup sites, but looking for friends and being open to more if it happens has worked for a lot of men. So say that's what you want. What are your interests that might be shared with other guys? You can try different profiles on different sites and see what works - "I want to hook up with guys who are into quantum physics and want to fuck me" or "I want to fuck guys who collect 1940s Tepco ware" or whatever your interests are. You won't get as many hookups, but you might find a friend, FWB, or eventually a partner with the same interests (or who just likes your sense of humor).

You can also, sometimes, just cruise for a dinner date or someone to go for a hike with or whatever. Approach that hot guy and ask if he's up for whatever it is you want to do at the moment. "I'm not in a fucking mood this evening, I'd rather go to dinner. Want to join me?" Most won't, a few will. And if his response isn't rude, you can approach him again some other day with some other suggestion. Why not? The worst that can happen is he thinks you're a dork, but so what? If he doesn't respond the way you want he's not the man you're looking for, so his opinion does not matter. The next guy may think "Finally! This is great!".

And if there's a deafening silence which persists through the next few months (it's not likely to change overnight) even though you're making the effort - well, then you can switch to other venues and take other people's advice on how to branch out. But try the venues you know, first.

If you get chlamydia or clap again along the way, so what? Those are just bacteria who have incorporated human horniness into their reproductive strategies. Being colonized by them has nothing to do with who you are and is NOT something to be shamed by, no matter what the pretend-sex-positive commenters on here say. They wouldn't say the same things about catching a cold from someone you have sex with, and that's far more likely. No one here has said you should wear a face mask over your nose and mouth when you fuck, but some have gotten all upset and shouty that you don't wear a condom. That's more revealing about their attitudes about casual sex than it is about your behavior.

Relax, look at finding a partner as a fun project, and start experimenting with how you approach men, knowing that it may take awhile to hit on a workable strategy for yourself. Good luck with it, and have fun!
And another point about cruising site profiles - don't list a bunch of things you don't want. Don't do a rant about heartless guys or flakes or meeting too many men you don't connect with emotionally. Do be positive about what you want - sex with men who are likely to have more in common with you. Men who could turn into friends as well as fuck partners. Men who like to fuck with the same men again and again. Men who are open to the thought of a relationship with someone eventually.

What you want is hookups that may lead to strings attached of one kind or another - not NSA fun with guys who seriously don't want anything but sex. So say "I want to fuck with single men who like to make friends" or something to that effect.

Good luck!
'...the .64s they've rounded up to The Ones...'
Ugh, Dan, doesn't matter how many times you repeat this it doesn't make it true.
@42. EmmaLiz. I don't see the same degree of internalized homophobia, or just self-doubt, among a younger generation either. These are people I might mentor at work, rather than (other than very occasionally) go to the same concerts or nightclubs as they do. The mentorship would be defined in terms of queerness, rather than my acting as a moral lodestone for young men, partly because of shifts in the culture, partly because of my femme presentation (which it's beyond me to change).

@43. ECarpenter. I know you would have thought others were slut-shaming more than I was, but I was not using the words 'promiscuous' or 'sluttish' with any pejorative coloration. I like your advice.
ECarp @ 43 - I'm promiscuous, I'm slutty, and I'm fucking proud of it.

The meaning of words always depends on the context.
EC @43
If you get chlamydia or clap again along the way, so what?

There are now untreatable strains of the clap, for one thing. Also, the people you are infecting with chlamydia or (possibly untreatable) clap may not appreciate it.
@46 I thought your comments were fine. What horrified me was @1 who came out of the box spouting drivel about sex addiction and life-and-death therapy. When I read "It's unclear but it sounds like he had 170-something sex partners in 2016 alone. That's an insane number..." and I thought, hey, this guy is seriously ignorant or carrying a heavy burden of sex-shaming himself.

SOLO is certainly doing his bit to raise the general level of happiness in the world, but I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with lots of sex partners (170 is not a big number - that's less than one every two days. It's not like he's having sex all the time), as long as they're treated with respect. The issue is not the number, the issue is that he wants something different now. So he needs tips on how to do something different, without being told to drop everything and head for a therapist or an AA-type meeting or a bible-thumping church to rid himself of "sin".
@48 Yes, there are "untreatable" strains of clap; your body will recover from them on its own, but there aren't antibiotics for them. And they're not common - it's not likely he will get one of those strains.

There are also untreatable strains of flu, and untreatable strains of colds etc. etc that your body has to recover from on its own - but people treat official STIs very differently from diseases which are often spread by fucking but which are not associated with sex in people's minds.

You're right that no one likes to get an infection of any kind - but microbes are sneaky, and if you hang around with people at all, you will be infected by microbes which also hang around people. This does not mean that people are bad if they are unwittingly used by some microbes to spread more microbes, and does not mean you should avoid people.

SOLO gets treated if he discovers he's infected - that's moral and ethical and good. You are reacting to an irrational cultural distinction between diseases which doesn't really map to the actual biological world of diseases.

@ 50 - "there are "untreatable" strains of clap; your body will recover from them on its own"

Will it really? If those bacteria evolved sufficiently to resist all known antibiotics, why couldn't they overcome the body's defenses? How about untreatable syphilis?
EL @35, your second paragraph perfectly describes why my spouse and I prefer a relationship that is monogam-ISH rather than strictly monogamous. Occasional, unplanned hookups can be incredibly stimulating and fun, even if the physical sex is not always as good as what we get at home. They can also help to keep a decades-long partnership from becoming too humdrum in the bedroom, especially since we have always maintained a marital policy of do-ask, minute detail, occasionally with demonstrations.

EC @50, excellent point. Everyone fears catching an STD from a random sexual encounter, when you are actually more likely to catch a bad virus or bacterial infection by simply kissing or coughing on an infected partner, condom or no. Back in the dread-filled 1980s, a gay friend who is an MD told me I was much more likely to develop Hep A from eating out in restaurants than to contract AIDS while having sex with condoms.
EC @50
Yes, there are "untreatable" strains of clap; your body will recover from them on its own,

Gonorrhea - CDC Fact Sheet. See under "What happens if I don’t get treated?".
EC ~ "...170 is not a big number - that's less than one every two days..." "there are "untreatable" strains of clap; your body will recover from them on its own..."

OMG. what color is the sky in your world?

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