Rise & Grindr

Rise & Grindr: Going For Gold

Rise & GrindrNickname: The OG (Olympic Gymnast)
Date: First & Second
How We Met: Ok Cupid!
Rating: 8/10


With a few dates under my belt (so to speak), I was starting to get into the groove of my new sexual identity. After my night with Bonjangles, my date with Shark Week and the emotional roller coaster “Joe” took me on, I was completely exhausted. But I had agreed to meet a cute gymnast from Ok! Cupid who I’d struck up conversation with the night before.

My wallet was feeling the sting of the dates prior in the week and I really didn’t want to invest too much money, or time for that matter, into another date gone wrong. After talking myself in and out of canceling on him, I finally chose a dinner spot that had a casual feel so it wouldn’t break the bank, but didn’t sacrifice atmosphere… and didn’t have a dollar menu.

When I showed up at the restaurant a few minutes early, I grabbed a cocktail from a friend of mine serving behind the bar and took a seat at our table in the back. When he arrived, I was initially impressed that he matched the photos he had sent. Our server came to take his drink order, he opted for a Dr. Pepper. Really? “Oh great, I’m in for a dull night,” I thought.

Conversation stalled and I got the feeling he may have not been as impressed with me as I had been with him. After I exhausted all small talk, I was surprised when he asked if I was up for an after-dinner coffee and stroll around one of Nashville’s landmarks. Despite the lack of liquor and quiet start to the evening, I was blinded by his cute appearance and agreed to continue our date. I quickly paid the tab, hoping the change in location would bring him out of his shell, and we were on our way.

“Mind if I smoke before we hop in your car?,” he asked.

A little turned off as I anticipated the ashtray kiss to come, I waited patiently while he consumed his cancer stick. On the car ride to our second destination, he began to open up and I realized we had a lot in common. We walked around the Nashville landmark, sipping lattes and talked for, what seemed like hours, about our childhoods, previous dating history and family. As he opened up, I started to feel that I’d picked a winner.

My exhaustion from the week’s busy dating schedule had settled in and we made our way back to his car. When we arrived where our date began, he started, “I’m not good at reading signs, so if you want to see me again, you have to be the one to make the move.”

“We will definitely see each other again,” I said as I gave him a hug.

“I’m planning to sleep in the morning, but I would love to see you tomorrow,” he explained.

“Sounds good to me. Text me when you get up and we’ll make a plan,” I concluded, desperate to get back to my place for some shut eye.

The next morning –and after a lengthy night of sleep– I joined my friends for brunch at Tavern to gush about my hot new gymnast and recap the night before. When our third round of blood-orange mimosas hit the table, I got a text from him. “Where are you?!,” it read. Huh?

After a string of strange texts back-and-forth, I learned he thought I was going to text him to make a plan in the morning and thought I had blown him off. After reminding him of his plans to sleep in, I made the effort to show continued interest and left brunch to meet up with him while he ran errands around town. We shopped most of the day and though we hadn’t yet shared a kiss, I spent most of the day searching for ways to flirtatiously touch him. I was hungry for what this gymnast was serving.

After a casual dinner, which he insisted on paying for, he invited me back to his house for a movie — which I of course assumed was code for ‘let’s get it on’. When we got to his place, he started unloading the shopping bags from the days adventures. I asked him to join me on the couch when the final bag had been emptied and and he immediately leaned in for a kiss. A peck. The kind you give your brother when your parents force you to uncomfortably greet each other. The next 20 minutes was spent pecking our way through one of the oddest make out sessions I’ve had… with anyone. Despite the attempts my tongue made to part them, he refused to open his lips. “Do guys not use tongue?, Was I doing something wrong? The questions plagued me, making the awkward moment even more so.

Tired of attempting to break apart his pursed lips, I ended our Junior High make out. It was late anyway and our non-sexual makeout had only worked up his desire for a smoke, so I ended our day together and headed home.

I’m not sure if I craved the challenge to improve his kissing skills or if I was just willing to put it aside, seeing that our chemistry seemed on point in all other areas, but I as I drove home I couldn’t wait to see him again. As he requested, I sent him a text to let him know I had gotten home safely and asked to see him again in the week. “Duh!,” he replied, “see you tomorrow ;).”

And just like that, it looks like I might be going for the Gold!

Article written by:

Gary Bradshaw

As a single man, newly experiencing life as a homosexual in the Bible belt, Gary Bradshaw anonymously shares stories from his dates, online encounters and much more. Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

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