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THE LOWER HALF OF LA MEN

A few weeks ago, Thrillist came out with an issue about TheLek.com, a new LA-based online dating site. Intrigued by the clever name - and, okay, sorta desperate – I clicked on the link. There it was - "lek {noun}: a place where animals gather for courtship behavior." Right away, I smelled a marketing rat and wikipediaed that shit, uncovering, “A lek is a gathering of males, of certain animal species, for the purposes of competitive mating display.” Ah ha! The true definition of Lek doesn’t seem to mesh so smoothly with the LA dating scene. Take a look at Justin Bobby and Audrina. Kate Moss and Pete Doherty. Heidi Klum and Seal. (Chronic childhood skin disease is no excuse in this town.) Undeniably, the females of our species are far advanced in competitive mating display practices. There’s no “cock” in peacock anymore. But as I continued perusing the wikipedia entry, my faith in the TheLek creators/namers was restored: “A strict hierarchy accords the most desirable top-ranking males the most prestigious central territory, with ungraded and lesser aspirants ranged outside. Females come to these arenas in due course to be fertilized, and normally they make their way through to one or other of the dominants in the centre.”

Ok, so I don’t know anyone looking for fertilization, but the rest rings pretty true. After all, I can’t think of any other city where a man’s actual physical location is planned to communicate complex information regarding his coital capabilities. Hollywood, yes. West Hollywood, probably not. Smelly t-shirt, but behind the velvet rope = good. Three-piece Armani suit, holding the velvet rope = bad. I signed up and got into the game. My search criteria: Men, 24-29, within 10 miles of my zip code, 5’11 and above (I’m 5’9, and I need to account for my own height-based self-consciousness and male overestimation). TheLek.com turned up 16 matches. Not great, but not bad for a newly launched site. But as I began trolling through profile pictures, I recognized something strange: I already knew 8 of my matches on the dating site. From my real, flesh and blood life. Evidently I’ve already worked my way through half of the eligible men in this city. I’m 24, and I’m screwed. Or, as the case may be, not screwed. On the upside, I no longer feel bad about booty-calling the same guy every damn weekend. Apparently, there’s no one else.

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