Sunday, September 05, 2010

Email from a young gay virgin

A couple of weeks ago, a reader sent quite a sweet email:

Hi GB,

I am a fan of your blog and I've been following it for some time now. I always look forward reading your posts. Actually, I found your blog site by accident when I was googling about gays in finance, and found it in one of the searches. I read a single post and it immediately captured my imagination. Your prose is quite lucid and not too intimidating. The stories you share about your personal life are entertaining in a good sort of way and I especially like the advices you dispense to your readers. I think this is where much of your character is shown, how you carefully think about the nature of the problem and the solutions you give and the genuine concern to the individual who wrote to you. In fact this is what I like about you: that you seem to genuinely like people. It shows in your blog so it doesn't come across as a self-indulgent vehicle, unlike so many others out there.

I am thrilled that you have found boyfriend T, he seems to be doing you a world of good. I hope that your love for him will finally inspire him to come out to his friends and family, that would be so romantic! Less this become a long effusive letter from a rabid fan, I think this is my queue to say goodbye and I hope that God would bring more blessings in your life. Here's hoping that we would read more about it soon!

Sincerely from another avid Asian fan,

So I sent him a polite reply, in which I asked him if he was gay, and within a day or so I received his answer:

Dear GB,

I'm so thrilled you've responded. I'm a 26-year old out gay man from the Philippines. Chinese-Filipino to be more accurate, we're a little more liberal here, my family has accepted me and I don't think I've encountered any blatant homophobia in work.

I was first going to write an agony letter to you but it's more of a worry then an agony. But I'll go ahead and tell you nonetheless so I can get another perspective perhaps?

You see, out as I am, I've had this little problem with my friends and well intentioned acquaintances about my single status. Often I get this look of disbelief from other people when I'm getting know them when I tell them that I have never had a boyfriend at all and a bigger shock that I am still a virgin. My friends being the good friends that they are all laugh about it. All my friends either have boyfriends of their own or have had boyfriends in the past. That leaves me the only virgin in my group. I've asked them to fix me up but they all seem to be a little apprehensive about doing so because they know how choosy I am. They can't seem to find someone that would be suitable for me and yes I am a bit choosy. To give you a perspective on how choosy I am I've dated 4 guys for the last 5 years and nothing ever came about it. Two were pity dates and the other two made me irritated with them in the end. I've tried the online thing and I've no luck there. I haven't given up hope you see but I would now like to focus on my career path, so I am studying for the CFA level 1 exam for this December and maybe I'll take the GMAT next year. So I don't think I'll have time to date for some time. I have no problem with this but recently a former office mate of mine died suddenly from what it turned out to be a lingering illness. He was an out gay man in his late thirties and he seemed perfectly healthy a month ago before he resigned. We're all shocked, I guess he didn't want people to know that he was seriously ill when he resigned. One cannot help but think about the inevitable and how uncertain the timing is. This has somewhat unnerved me and I guess I am questioning my priorities in life. After all I don't want to end up a dead 40 year old virgin.

Anyway thanks for the indulgence. Best wishes to you and boyfriend T!

And then, to my great surprise, a couple of days after that he sent me a short video of himself where he told me a bit more about his situation. I was genuinely touched by that gesture, because previously no one had ever sent GB a video of themselves!

In the video, he told me that he wasn't completely innocent because he'd actually kissed a couple of guys. However, it sounded as though the guys were not very good kissers, because he told me that they were quite wet. I reckon good kissers are very sensual without being wet! Beyond that, he went on to say that he once ended up in a mutual masturbation situation with a guy that he really fancied. I would count mutual masturbation as a sexual activity, but it turned out that in his case neither of them came, so I'd probably agree with him that he can still count himself as a virgin after all. In fact, he'd been hoping that the guy who he got into the mutual masturbation with would become his boyfriend, but the guy dumped him the day after the failed session. He now has the view that he's not even going to try and have sex with anyone unless he feels that they both love each other.

Having read his emails and watched his video a few times, it seems to me that he's putting up a lot of barriers in terms of finding himself a nice boyfriend. For example, he says that he's not going to have much time to look for one, and even more than that he says that he's very choosey. Perhaps his past experiences have understandably left him with a fear of rejection, however there's no doubt in my mind that to some extent all the barriers that he's created for himself simply prove that he's avoiding the issue for some reason.

Why should he bother to look for a boyfriend? Quite simply, he should bother because life is much more rewarding when you've got someone to share it with. That applies to one's successes, but it probably applies more to one's failures when a good boyfriend will be able to provide valuable support. It also applies in the bedroom! And when people get older, it's well known that people with partners live longer because they've got so much more to live for :-).

Another issue is that guys who say that they're choosey often have unrealistic expectations of what relationships are all about. They'll spend all their time looking for Mr Perfect, and consequently miss out on all the great relationships that might be possible with guys that don't fit their preconceptions of who they want their boyfriend to be. I'll freely admit that I was the same when I was looking for my first boyfriend. However, I spent many wonderfully happy years with ex-boyfriend S, even though in many ways he was the opposite of the kind of boyfriend that I thought I wanted when I was looking for him.

In his video, the reader mentioned a post that I did a couple of years ago, titled The gaydar advantage. That post argued that when one is looking for a boyfriend then it's good to have activities with lots of different guys, because the intimacy that comes from encounters bypasses traditional dating so that it's much easier to work out whether a relationship might work. It worries me that this reader has decided that he'll only get intimate with someone once they've both decided that they love each other. "Love at first sight" is possible, but more often love grows as guys get to know each other. A lot of guys won't bother getting to know someone who's got such strong preconceptions about what's got to happen before they can get intimate.

It's easy to see how the reader has ended up with his current views, given what's happened to him in the past. As a result of all that, he's anxious and nervous. Somehow he needs to learn to relax in connection with all his issues, which of course is easier said than done. Telling someone to relax is likely to have the opposite effect :-(.

Regarding the sexual aspect of being with another guy, one thing that might help is if he tries to remember how natural it is to cum. I bet he's done it hundreds of times on his own, just like all the other guys in the world, and just like all the guys that he's going to be in intimate situations with. In that context, a couple of guys helping each other to cum is the most natural thing in the world, and nothing to get anxious about.

I'm not saying that that the reader needs to lower his expectations, but I am saying that he probably needs to adjust his preconceptions about how to fulfil his goal of finding himself a good boyfriend. Somehow he should try and meets lots of guys, because my expectation is that the best boyfriend for him will turn out to be someone that he initially thinks is inappropriate. Along with that, he needs to stop putting barriers in the way of his future happiness. If one is single, the time to starting looking for one's boyfriend is always now!

I hope that this reader will find some of my above comments useful :-). But do any other readers have any thoughts on his situation?


Anonymous said...

I would agree that having a shopping list for qualities in a potential boyfriend is counterproductive - for one thing it limits your options when you could be having lots of fun, and secondly what you're looking for might not even be good for you in the long term!
My few relationship experiences happened completely accidentally and in most cases we had nothing obvious 'in common', nor were they that physically attractive to me at first. Very commonly a bond of affection or attraction arises over time and may not be at all in evidence on a first meeting.
Making yourself available to experience is therefore a good way to go (which is not to say that you need to be a total slut lol!)

Fickle Cattle said...

Sensible advice. I'm from the Philippines as well, and his situation is not that different from a lot of people I know.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the reader needs to fundamentally change his approach. If you are busy and have no time to meet other guys, date, etc., than agree with it and admit to yourself that this a fact of life. You cannot have all you want at all the times.

Yet, it seems that most people manage to have reasonable careers and they, too date in the process. If so many other guys CAN do it, why should the reader feel that he cannot?

Being picky and choosy is all good and fine to a point. Once you realize that this is taking you nowhere, you want to be reasonable and reasses your own position. Trying to reach for the stars may lead you nowhere despite the popular myth to the contrary.

Furthermore, searching for a BF as such is usually a most counterproductive strategy that you may have. BFs are made - not found. A number of guys will run for hills, if you approach them telling you that you are looking for a (perfect) BF. You have already chosen the carpet and the drapes and the furniture and the china pattern. Now, they only have to agree to it and off you go into your (and not his) version of gay marital bliss. Honestly, if anyone approached me that way, I'd be running for hills. And running fast.

Being a young virgin is fine. Focusing too much on it is not. Most people will assume that there is something wrong with a guy who is mentioning that to start with. Again, some will run for the hills, too.

A more laid-back, down-to-earth approach usually works better. You are looking for a quality guy in your league for some fun, going out, making friends and possibly more. No direct plans, conditions, stories of inexperience and "being difficult, too busy, too special, too choosey".

They say, 'there is plenty of fish in the sea' for a reason. Describe yourself as someone who is most likely to be a waste of time in real terms, and you'll end up seeing that prophecy fulfilled before your own eyes.


Gay Chat said...

I'm actually amazed by this reader who sent you this mail... he's not like others... i always like demure gay men.

my advice is don't worry about being laid... it'll come at the right place and the right time at the least you expect it.

so proud of gay men who never deny their true self.

Anonymous said...

My advice would be to have sex. Once you've done it once, that's it... no more virginity. After that you can reprioritise and realise it wasn't such a big deal.

In the immortal words of Edina: "people have it off, sweetie!"

Sex (for most people) is a fundamental requirement for happiness.

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner, sub/dude said...

God only gives bawls to those who see the need for humility. God blessa youse -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL