What in God’s name did gay people do before the Facebook?

It was the Homosexual Stone Age. We had to club boys over the head, drag them back to our caves and then try to seduce them with our strong-browed, if occasionally effeminate, homosexual wiles. One out of every four (maybe more) days, our troglodyte belligerence would yield success, and our prey would actually turn out to be queer just like us folk. No wonder the Christian Right thinks we’re a corrupting influence. What choice did we have?

And on the eighth day, Al Gore invented the Internet, enabling God’s blue, pixelated prophet to deliver us the Facebook, and he saw that it was good. Mark Zuckerberg civilized our homosexual world. We started eating with knives and forks. We discovered toilets and stopped pooping in the woods (except on FOOT. Fecal impaction is seriously scary guys, seriously). We discovered that condoms aren’t just for contraception. The Facebook’s civilizing power revolutionized the plight of the GaYalie. We don’t need to kidnap innocent young men and try to convert them to our sinful ways. We don’t even need to meet men to find out if they’re ’mos.

We’ve got “advanced search.”

Search Criteria — Sex: male. Interested In: men. Enter. Bingo: You’ve got the exhaustive list, including all the queers too good for the GaYalies Group, but not too good to let us know they’re into a little swordplay.

This is Mark Zuckerberg’s gift to man-on-mankind. This is the roster. And if you want to get in the lineup, if you want the chance to choke up on someone else’s bat, you’d better sign up. Sex: male. Interested In: men.

There are some obvious exceptions to the rule:

1. The most common and perhaps most frustrating exception is the misleading straight man. He’s “in a relationship” and therefore only interested in meeting “men.” As friends. Clearly. Anyone who thinks this is acceptable logic ought to be banned from technology. The question is completely unambiguous as far as I’m concerned: If you’re interested in men, you’re a big gay. “Looking for friends” my ass.

2. Then there’s the infamous one-day-gay. We all get our hopes up: there’s a new gay on the list. That hot football guy finally came out of the closet. But on closer inspection, football boy’s interests include “‘Brokeback Mountain.’ And hardcore gay sex. With dudes. And butt sex. And gross shit like goats and pigs and chickens. And other gay stuff.”

(A note to any frat boys who happen to have read this far: The fake-gay profile hijack isn’t funny. It’s just cruel. Don’t mess with our list.)

3. Then there are those mystery men. When Zuckerberg asks them in whom they’re interested, they remain mute. Asexuality is a myth. And no straight guy is afraid to admit that he’s interested in women. We’re on to you. And we’re holding the closet door wide open for ya. One small step for ’mo, one giant leap for your sex life.

So the list isn’t perfect, but it’s easier than stalking the freshman co-op meeting. And it’s slightly more thorough than the Duke’s Men rush list.

Granted, these days the Facebook has become a freakish cybercult:

Since when did “poking” someone become an acceptable way to flirt? I’m at BAR on a Tuesday, making eye contact with some guy. He’s into me. Smile. Head-tilt. He finally gets up and walks over, gives me a big grin. He’s totally going to buy me a drink. And then he sticks out his spindly index finger and pokes me in the forehead. Never happened, of course, and it never should. Poking is not acceptable flirtatious behavior.

But now the Facebook is totally on our side. Have you checked out the new format? Alongside the gay mafia, Zuckerberg stalks you and everything you do. He’ll let us know that you’ve changed your “interested in” listing immediately, so we don’t even have to deal with the usual five-minute lag time.

By senior year, we know who all the options are, and we’ve hooked up with most of them. Except for those damned happy homos with dates on Valentine’s Day. We haven’t dated them because they’re dating each other. It’s just selfish.

So the options are freshmen and closet cases. The freshman-senior thing is a little too altarboy-priest for my taste. And if someone’s just emerged from the closet, they’ve probably got a lot of “issues.” I don’t pack light myself, but I’d prefer not to carry someone else’s oversized baggage.

So even the new recruits don’t really alter the Yale homosexual topography for the jaded seniors.

Of course I say this all intellectually, but all bets are off when some stealth ’mo flies under the Facebook radar. We’re all suckers for surprise romance. It’s rare, but I’ve heard tales. Anyone off the roster has the element of surprise on his side. Which is infuriating to seasoned, sanctioned, listed Yale gays.

But the map is charted, and I doubt I’ll discover new territory this year.

Unless I venture into no man’s land: that spot on the map with a picture of a sea monster over the inscription “uncharted waters.” It’s the last holdout against our list: grad school. Manifest Destiny has begun; more and more students begin graduate work having joined Facebook as undergrads. But the waters are far murkier here than they are for Yale College.

Those willing to dust off their gaydars and abandon the Facebook’s comforting guidance can revert to their more primitive side: scoping the gay grad parties, crashing the OutLaws meetings and Google-stalking former a cappella boys.

What’s the fun of civilization if we can’t walk on the wild side every now and again? Just try not to club anyone on the head. Those law students will sue your ass.

Chad Callaghan knows when you’ve been sleeping (and with whom). He knows when you’re awake (and where you are). He knows if you’ve been bad or good (in bed). Thanks, Mark Zuckerberg.