I do it every Christmas period. For some unbeknown reason, usually around Boxing Day, I decide it might be a good idea to go in search of a husband. I don’t know what comes over me. It must be the excessive plonk consumed over the festive period.

Or, on a more serious note, it could be the fact that Christmas makes me feel all loved up and warm and fuzzy inside. And gives me the notion that it might actually be nice to fall in love after all.

Although I must confess I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be in requited love. Without wanting anybody to crack out the violins, it has been more years than I care to remember.

iPhone at the ready… Plenty OF Fish downloaded… And snap.

So, there I was on Boxing Day night, staring at the present-less Christmas tree, clutching a bottle of Single Malt Scotch Whiskey. Yes, I know it’s rare for anything other than New Zealand savvy B to pass my lips but I do like to treat myself from time to time.

After my third large Scotch, I stood up determinedly and declared to myself that I would find a husband. Dramatically pressing the buttons on my iPhone, I downloaded Plenty of Fish.

Obviously, I picked my best photographs and kept my profile simple.

“Love to laugh, love to have fun. Love the theatre, the beach, swimming, reading and writing. And I love men!”

Within minutes, a lovely looking chap called Matthew pops up in my inbox. Yes, I know, I just used the word CHAP. I’m clearly getting old. I even used the word DISCO when describing a CLUB the other day.

Anyway, back to Matthew who seemed rather forward.

“Let’s video chat”, he insisted.

Okay, I thought. At least I’ll get to see him in the flesh and it will give me a glimpse of his true personality. It’s so easy to hide behind a keyboard.

As I pressed accept on the video chat, I saw that he was topless. I was in a two-piece pyjama set but each to their own.

The call starts off with small talk and then he pans down his pecs and six-pack. What a body, I think to myself.

And then he comes to his piece de resistance. I see him clutching his fully erect manhood, rather seductively. Now, I’m no prude but in my naivety, I truly believed this video call was to be an initial test to judge our compatibility.

“Watch me wank!” He bellows through the iPhone screen at me.

Being the ever-accommodating gay boy, I oblige. But after his voyeurism, I never hear from Matthew again and I notice that he’s blocked me. Bastard.

Never mind, an extremely cute bloke called Louie pops up into my inbox to distract my attention away from being dumped by Matthew.

Within seconds, I notice that Louie is probably not looking for a relationship. His profile classes him as straight and looking for a woman. What is it with Plenty of Fish and straight men chasing the homos?

Well, Louie was beautiful and willing, so who am I to turn down a chat, gay or not? He started the proceedings.

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“Do you want me to wank for you Sir? I’m so horny Daddy. Can I call you Daddy?”

Being an ex-holiday park entertainer, I’m not one to turn down the chance to partake in performing arts.

“Yes, you can call me Daddy. And you better respect me”, I typed sniggering.

“Okay. Tell me what you want me to do Master Daddy.”

In the meantime, I see another supposedly straight man arrive in my inbox. Terry. He wants me to make a video for him. And he’s certainly precise in his direction. Eat your heart out Stephen Spielberg.

“Have your legs over your shoulders with your wet fingers running over your juicy hole.”

Not being an acrobat, I feared I may have problems in obliging. And being a writer, I’m not opposed to engaging in a bit of naughty talk. But I draw the line at dirty videos. You never know when they might come back to bite you on the bum. Pun intended.

This time I took a leaf out of Matthew’s book and made use of the block feature of the app.

And then, just as I was about to give up, my fortunes changed. An ‘actual’ gay man sent me a message. Darren. And he asks for no dirty talk or sexually explicit videos. He engages in purely decent conversation, obviously on a quest to find love.

We spend a few days sending endless messages to each other. It was going so well. We’d even started to arrange a first date.

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He happens to ask me what I’m giving up for Lent. I inform him that I’m giving up swearing.

“Is your swearing really that bad?” He asks me.

“I’d be lying if I said the C U Next Tuesday word doesn’t often leave my lips. Back off now if you’re easily offended.”

And then Darren showed me that he’s also capable of making use of the block button. What a C…

About the author: Mark Woollard

Mark David Woollard graduated from Brunel University, West London in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing and Journalism. Since then, he has written for many publications as a freelance writer. He has been ‘The Undateable Gay’ for The Gay UK magazine since 2015 where he documents his unsuccessful dating life. He wrote an opinion column for the national Student Times, discussing LGBT issues.

He also writes educational pieces for ‘Massage World’ magazine, giving advice to Reflexologists about treating certain ailments. He authored a novella in 2013 entitled ‘The Fun and Frolics of FIFI a L’Orange’, the crazy adventures of a drag queen.

And is currently working on a series of LGBT books for children and a collection of flash fiction.

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