Wow! I am truly blown away. Anonymous’ piece on cruising Malcolm X Park (“The Secret Garden,” 8/25) is maybe the lushest chunk of writing that the Washington City Paper has run in many a month. Anonymous really hit the bent nail on the head, besides. Though my cruising days are long past, “The Secret Garden” eloquently prompted me to ponder once again what it is that I simultaneously love and hate most about male homosexuality: In broad and general terms, what you often get is naked male sexual energy—predatory, insistent, passionate, and superficial—unhampered and uninformed by the biological, social, and emotional factors that women typically bring to the erotic equation. By no means for everyone, stalking the nocturnal urban jungle in search of that perfect shot of anonymous sex can be a rush beyond compare. And the perils posed by police decoys, gay-bashing beastie boys, and remorseless viruses only perversely enhance the thrill.

Erica Jong’s celebration of the “zipless fuck” in Fear of Flying notwithstanding, straight guys usually have to pay cash money to experience this variety of urban adventure. But, as Anonymous confirms, there is no free lunch, not even in the Garden of Paradise. The very innately masculine qualities that make anonymous queer sex so free and easy can also eventually transform the late-night manhunt into a stale and empty ritual. The willingness not to connect emotionally before mating can devolve over time into a learned inability to connect. In any event, this is largely a game for the young, dumb, and full of cum. Not only is the aging lion increasingly less likely to make the kill, but, with any luck, life and experience have made him less inclined to expend his waning energies tracking such ephemeral prey. But, in its time and place, what dark and rich and compelling times we can spend in the secret garden.

Thanks to Anonymous for writing such a brave and eloquent article.

Shaw