Sunday, July 12, 2009

Email from a gay student in the UK

About a week ago, I received the following email from a gay student:

Dear GB,

I have been a reader for almost a year now, but have never written before. Your advice to other people has been immensely useful to me too. I even discovered Gaydar through your blog! I am a second-year undergraduate student studying economics. I'm from a Latin American country and only moved to the UK for uni.

A few months ago I met a guy who was just finishing sixth form. After pictures, phone calls, and long emails, we scheduled a meet-up in London. He pulled out five minutes before the agreed time (knowing I travelled over two hours to get there!), but a few hours later called and profusely apologised. We met the following morning. He arrived 40 minutes late, but when he finally got there he was a dream come true. He told me he wasn't out, and refused to hold hands. We spent around 7 hours of bliss together, in a long ramble around London. He kept looking into my eyes and, from my perspective, really seemed to be enjoying himself. When it was time to leave (both of us had to leave around 4), he didn't want to go, and we let three trains leave without us. Then, he kissed me, smack in the middle of the tube platform.

The following day, he called and told me he didn't want anything romantic. I couldn't believe it and we had a long conversation on the phone. At this point this turned into an obsessive crush. I basically told him it was alright but kept insisting to myself he didn't really mean it. That day I left for my country, half the world away, for Easter. I called him once or twice a week for five weeks, and we had long enjoyable conversations. I didn't hide my intentions, and talked about meeting up when I went back. I would think of him every five seconds. But, he disappeared again, the day before my arrival to London. After a few emails he finally responded: originally he did want to meet me and only chickened out because he was so nervous about the meet-up. However since then he hasn't been interested. He'd only been pretending because I seemed so distressed during the telephone call the day after our meeting. Since then he's been out of my life, and we parted on pretty civil terms. I've sent two more messages in the following eight weeks, unresponded. I had never been like this with anyone, and am normally quite blasé with relationships. I got into quite a depression, partly because of this.

Cue a few weeks later. I start talking to a guy in Gaydar, and by the third message or so I realise he is this guy's brother. They share a last name, look ridiculously alike, share a mixed background, and have each other befriended on Facebook. I am not nearly as obsessed with this one, but am still quite interested. Although we're only chatting (and, ominously, refused a meet-up right before my coming to my country once more, now for Summer hols), he promptly responds to my messages. He is older, more mature, and potentially more interesting to talk to. But, should I tell him I know his brother? The former did make it clear his family didn't know. But by now, both brothers could instantly figure out that I know that they're brothers from the information I have from them.

All this comes together under the frame of a broader and far more important problem. Although I am out to my close family and friends in my country, and openly gay in the UK, I've never really had a proper gay relationship. However, I've had a "girlfriend" for the last 8 years, and to many people we are still introduced as a couple. She's the first one who found out I was gay, and throughout she's been more of a life companion. We are very much alike, almost brother and sister. She has become very understanding and even encouraging of gay forays, but still has some instinctive underlying problem with me going out. She also worries quite a bit about me, and gets distressed whenever she feels I'm not being truthful or forthcoming with my retelling of what's going on with my life. I do tell her about most things. The thing is, we very much behave like a married couple, sans any sex (although, disturbingly for me, she keeps secretly yearning for hugs and friendly kisses, and before I clearly set out that it should stop). I really like it. She is someone I can trust, someone I can tell my life to, and someone who shares my precise cultural background and knows my life story inside out, and therefore understands me better than anyone. We often talk of what our children would hypothetically be like, and after years of talking about that (and having a stuffed bear 'child') I have a strong wish to make a family with her, the kind of family that would give me legitimacy in this macho culture, that would make everyone in my family happy, and that would give me the children I so want to have and keep me from the loneliness I so deeply fear.

At the same time, the tension is mounting. Most worryingly, she has not had any sexual partners ever, or even serious dates, in spite of my actively trying to get her to date, and she's approaching her mid-twenties. She has a limited social life here and little ways or motivation to find guys. This is either extreme celibacy or utter lack of interest, and neither can be healthy. Meanwhile, I'm doing just a bit better, but still have not had a proper gay relationship. I have no such thing as a sexual technique, and can barely deliver or enjoy a blowjob. I shrieked in pain for 45 mins before deciding being a bottom is not my thing. I've done my best, going to saunas and clubs galore, but I feel I'm wasting everyone's time. I feel I need a proper boyfriend, someone I fancy and that's patient, to teach me the ropes.

All in all, life's getting stressful and disappointing. Two years of trying to be openly gay have yielded not one good relationship, a lot of disappointments and intrigues and pain, and tumbling self esteem (and I'm on the good-looking side of things!). I've now figured how to come across sex, but can't even do it. Furthermore, I don't spend more than two months at a time in any particular country. Now I have two months in my country ahead of me, and can't enjoy the gay life here for family reasons, and from fears of word coming out to the wider public of my being gay and consequent shaming of my "girlfriend". To make things worse, she's moving to London in September, for a year's stay. This dilemma has dragged on for years, and the various options (cut all ties with her and stay in the UK? Stay 'friends' but have an openly gay life in UK/my country? go back to my country and to the closet, and have my family?) have been dogging me for years. Just when I think I can lead a happy, independent life in the UK, I start realising how much I feel as a foreigner in the UK, and how lonely I'd feel, and how much I need to go back to my country. And then I'm back, and I feel burdened and trapped and not myself. One good thing is that I have a European passport, due to family background, in addition to the one from my home country. Hence, I can stay in the EU indefinitely without any visa issues. But I don't know what to do. I don't even know if I should do anything.

Sorry for the long email, and my ambiguous problems!

Best regards

I always thought that there must be some genetic element to homosexuality, so my guess is that the guy who the reader met on gaydar recently is indeed the brother of the guy who he met in London previously. The behaviour of the guy he met in London sounds like he can't handle the idea of being gay at the moment. When the reader is in front of him, the reader is everything the guy wants, but at other times the guy can deny the truth and pretend that he's straight. Everyone becomes more confident of who they are as they get older, so the older brother seems like a much better bet.

In terms of telling the older brother about the younger brother, I suggest that the reader should ask the guy whether he has a younger brother, using the excuse that he might have met him through another friend somehow. For the sake of the younger brother, I don't think he should tell the older brother that his younger brother might be gay, because I doubt that the younger brother has come out yet. However if he can establish that the older brother is out to the younger brother, which is quite likely, then he should send the younger brother a message to say that by chance he's ended up meeting his older brother on gaydar. Of course, that would only become necessary if the reader started developing a relationship with the older brother.

Regarding the more serious problem of the reader's "girlfriend", one good thing about this reader's situation is that his sexuality isn't in doubt. One sign of this is the fact that he's been living as an openly gay guy in the UK for a couple of years. But a more telling sign is the way he had a crush on the younger brother, because that proves to me that he falls in love with guys, not girls. Who someone falls in love with is far more important than the kind of sex they have, and whether they make a good bottom or not! The reader also talks about his female friend in quite a detached way, so I'm convinved that the reader is 100% gay.

Another good thing about this reader is that, from what he told me privately, it's clear to me that he's not going to have a problem making his own way in the world and supporting himself. It really helps being able to support oneself because there can be concerns that family or employers might not treat a gay guy very well, so the more independent one can become the better.

The fact that he's definitely gay, with the ability to support himself, means that I think he should now come out to the wider community back home in his home country. If he's totally out, then it won't be possible for him and his female friend to be introduced as a couple. By moving things in this direction, he'll be making a statement to his female friend that he's not available for anything other than friendship. I see no reason to break his friendship with her, but given that she seems to be in love with him, he needs to become more adamant that he's not available.

I don't think he should worry about the fact that he hasn't yet had a good gay relationship yet. I feel quite sure that he'll eventually find himself a nice boyfriend. But it's exactly like the song that Diana Ross sung, "You can't hurry love, no, you just have to wait"! Although getting a boyfriend would also help with the problem of his female friend, thinking along those lines isn't a good idea because it increases the pressure and makes the idea of a boyfriend even more important.

If he's going to stay in the UK though, a British boyfriend would be ideal because that would help him feel less like a foreigner here. Indeed, I was chatting to my new boyfriend T last night about this subject. Boyfriend T said that he feels that he belongs here and is part of the community when he's with me, but feels like an outsider when he's at work. It's obviously hard to move and settle in another country, so if a relationship with local guy becomes possible it would be a good idea. However, if he continues to feel like a foreigner in the UK but doesn't want to return to his home country, given his Latin American background perhaps he'd feel more at home in Spain.

Lastly, if a guy wants to try being a bottom during anal sex, then he has to relax. Otherwise, if he's tense it will undoubtedly end up being painful. Some guys get lots of pleasure from being fucked, which is apparently to do with the stimulation of the prostate gland through the wall of the rectum. Not all guys experience this phenomenon, however, but no doubt it's the guys who do who are the most enthusiastic bottoms!

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this reader's situation?


Anonymous said...

Briefly, the reader needs to sit down, cool off, take a good, hard look at his life, and come up with a smart plan.

He wants a good, fulfilled life, preferably with a cool BF on his side, hot sex, etc..

Gaydar and its lookalikes are all cool and good. Yet, you want to be able to weed out the flakes, fakes, and other dudes who are out to waste your time, even before any such waste occurs.

A guy who chickens out, comes 40 minutes too late is NOT your BF material. He is signalling this on all frequencies loud and clear.

You know who the BF material is, and go for it, or keep on searching for it. Focus your time, energy and strength on it.

Success (very much like failure) tends to be contagious. Your "GF", "Old Friend", etc., needs a little break. Do not spend more time with her than absolutely needed. Great as she may be, she is really your past, and judging by her behavior, not your future. Tell her to get her act straight, find a real BF, and pretty much do the very same thing you are doing: sort out your own life.

Suspend 'the two months in every country' program. You need time and stability to achieve your goals. Being on the fly, may sound very cool but is not conducive to seeing your plans come through.This will be a huge turn off for your prospective BFs, unless they do the same.

Make it a point not to discuss your past relationship with your prospective dates, tricks, BFs. This is always really wrong, and most irritating to the others as well.

Even if you strongly suspect that you may have "dated" a brother of your present romantic interest, keep this (and all the other similar bits) to yourself. You can release that specific information, once this becomes necessary. A guy giving out personal info on his past affairs is mostly sending other guys packing right away.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I can't believe I'm going to say this, but...

If you think you might want to bottom and having a 'real life' sh*g didn't work out, how about trying either a finger (your own) or a *small* toy first. Use lots of lube, too.

Some people just don't like bottoming. If that's the case then you don't have to do it. It's not a requirement! You can still get a passing grade on the exam!

I can't imagine not liking a well-performed bj, though. That's a little odd and suggests that the whole sexual arena has some issue attached.