Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Email from a family man about gay pleasure

Around the start of August, a reader sent me an email with the title "Gay pleasure". The text of the email was as follows:

Dear GB,

I've only just discovered your blog. It's impressive. I had googled "oriental gay sauna story" and there it was - a link to your friends Amsterdam experience. Then I read the rest of your writing. I envy you.

I was promiscuously gay at school. Then followed about 30 years of being straight after which during the last 10 or so years I have returned to being increasingly gay again.

I'm still in the closet - with a family to be otherwise is difficult - but I adore particularly slim smooth Asian/oriental guys. I have a special friend who is a Chinese tgirl and who is completely uninhibitedly sexy!!

But I'm keen to learn and do more. Where to go and how to do it?

I'm mature and tall with dark hair and a short greying beard but my body is fairly smooth. I'm not obese but not skeletal either!! I have yet to try a sauna as I am not yet confident enough. Will my age, size and small penis put guys off?

What I really like to slow soft tender kissing and undressing and being naked in bed with a like-minded guy. It's the returned affection that excites me.

I'd love to know how/when you began and also any advice you might have.

Please do reply. Yours,

Within a few days I'd sent him a reply, and in my email I'd included the following paragraph:

My interpretation of your phrase "family man" is that you're married with a wife and children, and if so I have the impression that there are quite a few married guys like you who realise in their middle age that they enjoy gay *activities* with other guys. Although I had problems accepting my sexuality, I was in my 20's when I came out so my situation is very different to yours because I never even had a girlfriend, let alone got married.

After a couple of days I received his reply:

Dear GB,

How sweet of you to reply!! I'll look forward to reading your advice/comments!!

I'm hopeless at Gaydar and so am searching for other ways to meet guys. The old Philbeach Hotel was great but sadly has closed. If you know of any cute oriental guys who are looking for a shy sensitive affectionate older man for fun then please introduce me!!


I'd never heard of the old Philbeach Hotel, so we exchanged another couple of emails in which he told me it had been a huge gay friendly hotel in Philbeach Gardens near Earls Court. He said that on Monday nights they used to have an open bar for tgirls and their admirers, and that there's now a raunchier version called Sweet Wednesday at Central Station behind Kings Cross. I'd never heard of either event because as an ordinary gay man I'm interested in men, and not at all interested in men that look like women.

Long-time readers of the blog will be aware that boyfriend K and my previous two boyfriends are Asian, so I do know something about gay Asian guys. The younger Asian guys that I know, actually all the younger guys that I know, are very internet literate and big users of smartphones etc. So when the reader says that he's "hopeless at Gaydar", it's not very helpful. It means that he's avoiding inhabiting the kind of places where he's likely to find gay guys that he's interested in. Perhaps more importantly, it also means that he's likely to seem like a complete dinosaur to the younger generation, and dinosaurs aren't very attractive creatures.

However, if this reader does want to try and become a little more tech-savvy, Gaydar may not be the best place to start. I'm always amazed by my friend Close Encounters, who admitted to me a few months ago that he's got at least 14 different gay cruising apps on his smartphone. These days, smartphone apps rather than web-sites is the way to go! The most famous mobile gay cruising app is of course Grindr, but the one that I'd recommend for this reader is Jack'd because Jack'd seems to be slightly more popular with Asian guys than Grindr.

Another thought is that the reader should go on holiday to Asia. The bank robber Willie Sutton is quoted as saying that he robbed banks "because that's where the money is" (although apparently he never actually said it)! So if someone is interested in Asian guys then they should visit Asia. The most gay friendly tourist destination in Asia is probably Thailand, so that would be a good place to start. Indeed, one gay friend of mine visited Phuket and fell in love with one of the younger Thai guys that he met there. So my friend kept on visiting this guy in Phuket, and eventually the two of them became boyfriends.

Thailand would also be a good choice given that the reader is interested in tgirls because the country is famous for its ladyboys (กะเทย in Thai). I don't know how much TV the reader watches, but a year or two ago the UK TV channel Sky Living did a series of documentaries about ladyboys. The documentary featured some British guys who had moved to Thailand to make a new life for themselves living with ladyboy partners. One guy was called Scott, and he helped his partner set up a ladyboy bar in Pattaya. I also recall that there was also another British guy who had previously been married to a woman in the UK. I can't remember the name of the other guy, but I do remember seeing one episode where the guy's son went to Thailand to visit his father and meet his father's new partner.

The reader asks whether his "… age, size and small penis [will] put guys off" in a sauna situation. I'm sure it's true that young, lean, well-endowed guys will be more popular. However, it's generally true that somewhere there will be guys who would be interested in someone like the reader, although as discussed in the previous paragraph if it's Asian guys that the reader is interested in then it'll be much easier to find such guys in Asia. If he does manage to visit Thailand then I would recommend that the reader visits the Babylon sauna complex in Bangkok. As far as I know, Babylon is still the best gay sauna to be found anywhere in the world, and nowhere that I've ever visited comes close.

Nearer home, if the reader wants to visit a standard gay bar in London then I'd suggest Ku bar in Chinatown near Leicester Square. Ku bar and the Yard are the favourite gay bars in Soho for the younger Asian gay guys that I know.

Lastly, I can't help thinking that at some point the reader should try and be more honest with his family about his sexual preferences. I'm sure that we all understand why he feels the need for secrecy, but over long periods of time, living a lie with his family is likely to have a very corrosive effect on his happiness. It's very sad to hear of a middle aged man who can't be honest about what he wants with people that are close to him in his life. If he doesn’t try and sort it out at some stage, then my best guess is that he'll end up as a bitter and closeted old queen :-|.

Do any other readers have any thoughts on this subject?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Feeling nuts :-)

Earlier this month, I got an email from a guy who's involved with a movement called #feelingnuts. The movement is about preventing testicular cancer, which I know is very important because of the experience that a friend of mine had.

A few years ago, this friend of mine was in bed playing around with his boyfriend, when his boyfriend felt something unusual in my friend's testicles. This was very lucky because it did indeed turn out to be testicular cancer, and as a result of this early detection, my friend is still alive today. He ended up having the offending testicle removed and replaced by an artificial (prosthetic) testicle, so that if you look at my friend when he's got his pants down, he'll look like a normal naked guy. I've never felt my friend's artificial testicle, but I'm reliably told that it feels convincing too!

So to all the guys who are reading this, check yourselves and you boyfriend(s) regularly :-). The six steps that you need to follow can be found in this the following handy video:

Please watch and share the video with all your friends. And finally, in case it helps, the #feelingnuts movement can be followed on all the usual social media web sites:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Email from a guy who's in love with an attached man

At the start of June, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

Recently discovered your blog and I'm addicted! You give great advice and I love reading about your relationships. I am in a situation that I hope you can give me some advice on.

I'm in my mid-twenties, and am newly out to some family members and close friends. I met a guy six months ago via a hook-up site. We had fun and established a "friends with benefits" type situation. He has a boyfriend for many years, and they are in an open relationship. I knew this going in and had no problems with it. However, after a couple months in I have developed strong feelings for him.

I shared these feelings for him and he was very kind and understanding about things. He was honest and told me he doesn't feel the same but he liked our arrangement and friendship. I told him that I would be fine and that I wanted to continue to see him and we have since resumed our "friends with benefits" arrangement.

I am confused and am unsure of myself and my emotions. We text almost daily and I really enjoy having him as a friend and do not want to lose him. There are days when I feel I'll be OK, but also days where I hate myself for getting in this situation to begin with. He is in almost every way my ideal guy but he has made it clear he does not feel the same and would never leave his boyfriend.

Am I playing with fire, waiting to get burnt? I'm afraid my feelings will only intensify and I will get hurt badly down the road, but I can't convince myself to end things with him either. What should I do?


After I'd read his email, I couldn't help thinking that it was already too late for him to avoid being "burnt" as he put it. So I sent him a reply in which I included the following paragraph:

My quick thoughts are that your arrangement with this guy won't ever go any further. But I can't help wondering whether this guy has any single friends which he could introduce you to. If you like this guy, then it's possible that you may like some of his friends, so perhaps you could use him to help you find the boyfriend that you deserve? In any case, I think you need to find other guys to date, because the longer that this goes on the more that you'll be hurt :-|.

Within a few hours he'd sent me the following:

Hi GB - awesome getting a reply from you so soon! Thanks so much !

I have broached the topic of him introducing some friends of his who are single to me but he kinda shrugged it off in the past. I don't think I would want to bring it up again.

I feel pathetic because I don't want to give up what we have even though I know the feelings are one sided. I'm rational enough to understand feelings can't be forced, etc. The moments we share I cherish so much. I've never felt this way for a guy before that it scares me.

Take care !

I was glad that the reader had had the idea himself of trying to get his lover to introduce him to potential boyfriends, but I was disappointed and somewhat surprised at the casual way in which his lover seemed to have declined. However, it made me feel more strongly that the "friends with benefits" relationship wasn't good for the reader. So I sent the reader another email to tell him that I'd do this "Dear GB" posting for him, and at the bottom of the email I said:

It'll probably take me a few weeks to get round to doing the posting for you, so meanwhile, just think about this. If this attached guy really cared for you then he'd want you to be happy. By keeping you available as a "friend with benefits", and also by not introducing you to guys who might be able to become your boyfriend, then he's being exceptionally selfish. How can you love such a selfish guy?

Again reader replied quite quickly:

He's told me that I shouldn't not see others on account of him, and that we'll still meet even if I do. Maybe I'm just blinded but I truly don't think he's being selfish at all. A friend of mine who I shared this with did tell me that no truly good person would continue this friends with benefits relationship knowing one party is more invested than he is.

Her advice and where your advice seems headed does make me think. Perhaps my sense of judgement is just impaired.

Thanks for your responses. You're awesome ! Look forward to your posting.

A few years ago, I think I said that straight guys learn all about love and relationships in their teenage years, whereas that doesn't necessarily happen for gay guys. Gay guys and girls may hide their sexuality while they're teenagers, and in that case they don't learn how to handle their emotions until they eventually come out. My guess is that's exactly what's happened to this reader, because he said that he only recently came out, and it sounds very much as though he's got a teenage crush on this guy that he met on the hook-up site. So as he rightly started to wonder in his last email to me, his judgement is indeed impaired.

It seems clear to me that the guy that the reader has the crush on hasn't been very good for the reader. The reader must have told the guy that he only recently came out, and I had been that guy, I like to think that I'd have done much more to help the reader start enjoying a gay lifestyle. Instead, the guy declined to think about whether he had any friends that might become the reader's boyfriend, and has continued the "friends with benefits" arrangement even though he must surely know that the reader is going to end up hurt.

The emails that I exchanged with the reader were trying to push the reader to realise this all himself, and in his last email it did indeed seem like the reader was starting to wake up to the reality of his situation. It's been several weeks since we were last in contact, so I hope in that time he's been able to start looking for other guys, and spending less time with the guy in the open relationship. But if he is still seeing him, then my advice would be to stop seeing him immediately!

Do any other readers have any thoughts about this?

Friday, June 27, 2014

GB featured in Evening Standard Magazine :-)

A few years ago, I did a phone interview for a journalist who worked for London's Time Out Magazine. The result was that I was one of the bloggers who was featured in an article called "The Sex Diaries".

History has now repeated itself, but this time it's the turn of London's Evening Standard Magazine! Today's issue contains an article called "Sex on file" and one of the bloggers who gets a mention is me :-). They've taken an extract from quite an old article (Black tie), and although it might have been better if they'd used something a bit more recent, it's nice to get a mention :-).

Email about relationships and fear of intimacy

Last month, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

We've communicated a few times, and I appreciate your insights in relationships, gay male interactions, and other issues.

Anyway, so I've been out to friends since I was 15, and I'm now 20. Throughout this period, I haven't come out to my family, and I'm not likely to do so anytime soon since I come from a very conservative Muslim family. I've dated a few guys, and slept around a lot, but never really had a relationship. There were 2 attempts lasting more than a month, both of which failed dismally because I never invested in them so I ended up cheating, not caring about the other party, and leaving the first chance I got. I suspect that those 'relationships' even lasted longer than a month, 4 months with one and slightly over a month for the other, because I knew they wouldn't lead to anything. In the instances that I've actually connected with a guy, I've managed to push him away much much faster, and with such skill :). There's usually a lot of pressure and, simultaneously, I end up feeling inadequate, plus feeling that I'm being conned somehow, and setting out to ruin his opinion of me, besides finding fault with everything about him (too short, too tall, too smart, too good-looking, too considerate, etc.). I've been told that this constitutes a fear of intimacy, the causes of which I'm not sure of. Thing is, I actually do want to be in a relationship. I'm not desperate or anything; I do quite well alone cause of less drama and insecurities to confront, but I also realize that my current situation may be unhealthy and detrimental to future happiness. I know you're not a mental health specialist so I'm not asking for a diagnosis and a prescription, but I would greatly appreciate your opinion and suggestions, including how to handle future cases with potentials, and maybe a few anecdotes of how you've dealt with such issues.

Kind regards,

I didn't recognise the name that he put at the bottom of the email, or the email address, so I sent him a reply in which I asked him when we'd communicated in the past. In the email, I also included the following thoughts about his problem:

In terms of mental health specialists, one thing that occurs to me is that you've made your own diagnosis. I think that's a very good sign for you :-). I can tell from your email that you're a smart guy, and in these situations working out where the problem lies is more than half of the battle to sorting yourself out.

Another thought is that you should try and build your self-esteem. The fact that you say that you feel inadequate suggests that your self-esteem could be better. I know that some guys with low self-esteem sabotage their relationships because they don't feel worthy of having a nice boyfriend.

Within a day the reader had sent me his response, in which he told me that I'd done a couple of "Dear GB" posts for him in the past. The first post was in 2011 with the title Email from a frustrated young gay guy. Looking back at that email confirmed to me what I thought from reading his latest email, namely that he's a smart guy, because that old email was very well written and entertaining. The second "Dear GB" post, with the title Email about Asian-discrimination and penis size was also very well written, and in terms of the number of comments it received, it was a very successful post for this blog.

Once cause for concern is the change of tone that's evident between this reader's first email and the email that he sent me last month. The first email had a happy-go-lucky feel about it, the second email contained some disillusionment, whereas his last email is saying that things aren't really working out for him.

My second boyfriend (ex-boyfriend P, a.k.a. boyfriend number 2) was a Muslim, so I know something about the problems that the reader must face. It could well be that family pressure has a lot to do with the way he feels about his life. The fact that he's not Out to his family is the first important thing that he mentions in the email here, and now that he's grown up a bit, there must be some (or more) family pressure to conform and lead a straight life. It's hard for anyone to develop lasting relationships in that environment, so the amateur psychologist in me does wonder whether that is the source of his fear of intimacy.

However, the reader's behaviour with friends and on the gay scene suggests that in private he doesn't have a problem accepting the fact that he's gay, and that's obviously a good thing. I think he's right that his "current situation may be unhealthy and detrimental to future happiness", because having a life partner is a very natural for most people. My own experience suggests that that in the long term people are much happier if they end up in a good relationship. But how can he achieve that given his Muslim background and (perhaps) unsupportive family?

He hasn't told us anything about what he studied (or is still studying) as a student, whether his work life might end up being related to his family in some way, or whether he's going to try and follow his own career. Obviously in his situation it would probably be better to try and follow his own career if possible. Beyond that, it seems to me that the best course of action for him is to do what I suggested in my recent email to him, namely to build up his self-esteem. That simply means trying to make a success of all the different projects and activities that he's involved with. Success in one area of life naturally flows in other areas because successes help to build confidence.

In my response to the reader's first email, I already told him to take any potential relationship slowly, and that's certainly always good advice. Apart from that, I'd simply suggest being open about the issues that he has at the appropriate time as any relationship develops. For example, whenever I find myself dating, eventually the subject of past boyfriends comes up and why those relationships failed. The next time that happens to this reader, he might consider opening up about the kind of things that he put in the email here. Honesty and trust are two of the most valuable commodities in any relationship so he certainly shouldn't try to hide anything.

Do any other readers have any thoughts on these matters?