Friday, December 23, 2022

What’s the gay male equivalent to a “mistress”?

When a married man regularly has sex with a woman who’s not his wife, the English language has a word for it. Any fluent English speaking reader knows that the woman is called a “mistress”. In recent years I’ve been spending some time in Thailand and I now know that there’s a similar word in the Thai language too, namely เมียน้อย which literally means “little wife”. In Thai, the male equivalent to a “little wife” might be a “little husband”, i.e. ผัวน้อย. But in English, calling a single gay man a “mister” if he regularly has sex with a guy in a gay relationship seems a bit odd to me. Can anyone think of a better word?

Sunday, December 19, 2021

What's the definition of a gay slut?

It's late at night in a downtown gay bar, and we've all had a bit too much to drink. There's me and boyfriend K, my old friend D his husband W, and a relatively new friend called N with his young boyfriend R.

"R just asked me if you've ever been a slut?" N asks me in a matter-of-fact tone of voice. The tone of voice seems slightly inappropriate given the nature of the question.

"Well," I giggle, unfazed by the personal nature of the question, "it depends when you mean by slut?"

While N is considering his response, I consider my dating and cruising history and can't help volunteering a simple answer to the question.

"Whatever definition you think is appropriate," I continue, "the answer is probably 'Yes'. My relationship with ex-boyfriend S came to an end after 18 years because I couldn't keep my trousers up!"

"I think a slut is a guy who's had two different cocks on the same day," says N, ignoring my confession, but answering my request for a definition of slut :-).

"Shouldn't that be 'two or more'?" I query with another giggle.

I glance over at D and W who had been listening to this conversation, and having heard N's definition, they've both got guilty looks on their face.

"I'm not a slut because I'm a virgin," says boyfriend K playfully. Everyone laughs, because boyfriend K is most certainly NOT a virgin!

Although N's definition of a gay slut is ostensibly quite a good one, it strikes me that most gay men go through a promiscuous phase during which they're likely to have two (or more!) cocks on the same day. And a definition of slut which includes pretty much all gay men seems a bit unhelpful.

Even though I doubt that I have any blog readers anymore, if anyone happens to see this post and has a better definition of slut, then please leave a comment :-).

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Email from a reader who's single again

How many times a year, does a blogger need to blog so that they can call themselves a blogger? I still like to think of myself as a blogger, but at present I'm only managing one or two a year, which probably isn't enough!

In any case, last month I got a "Dear GB" email from a reader who had emailed me three times previously. The new email was as follows:

Dear GB,

I hope you're well. How's retirement? And boyfriend K?

I can't believe it has been 9 years since my first email to you (here) and a couple of years since the subsequent ones (here and here). I recently saw you post a reply to an email and figured I'd share this on the off chance that you might see it and respond.

Interestingly, a couple of months after my last email to you (in 2014), I got into a relationship that would last 5 years. We broke up late last year and I've found myself dating again. Much of the behaviour that I mentioned to you in 2014 (i.e. pushing people away, finding faults in them, and mistrust) is re-appearing. Notably, during the 5 year relationship, my ex mentioned multiple times that he felt as if he was a placeholder and I was always looking for someone better.

What I've learnt since then (which was the focus 2014 email) is that I have a dismissive-avoidant attachment style. I've traced it to childhood experiences, moving around often and being raised by a single parent (who was often travelling for work) which resulted in me taking care of myself and avoiding close emotional attachments. Toxic masculinity and being a bookish misfit may have contributed to repressing my emotional needs. It goes without saying that I should be seeing a therapist (which I'll likely do once the pandemic is over).

Anyway, 6 years since we last spoke and newly single, I'm curious about the following (considering your vast experience with long-term committed relationships and as an agony uncle for gay men):
  1. What made you decide that Boyfriend K was the one? How have you stuck by that belief?;
  2. What do you look for in a long term partner? Were those expectations ever fully met?;
  3. Any tips pertaining to my situation? :)
It may be noteworthy that I currently live in a country that criminalizes homosexuality (and has no anti-discrimination provisions), which means that most men are seeking instant gratification and see relationships as liabilities. Then there's the prevalence of transactional relationships in both gay and straight dating scenes, which does nothing to ease my mistrust. I've considered moving to a more liberal environment. However, part of me wonders whether that's a form of self-sabotage in itself (by chasing an arguably less attainable goal that simply finding someone nice where I am; plus I've spent years in the gay scenes of European cities while I was studying, it's not particularly easy to get into a relationship there either).

Your advice is (as always) very much appreciated. Regards.

It's always nice to get emails like this, and looking at the email in detail, the reader asks a lot of questions. The first question he asks is "How's retirement?". My blog post two years ago said that I was happily retired from banking, however I'm still not retired from work in general. Otherwise I'd probably find time to blog more! In any case, without doubt, life after banking is good :-).

The second question that the reader asks is "And boyfriend K?". I'm happy to report that we're still together after almost 7 years :-). So the answer to that question is "Still wonderful :-)".

The other questions that the reader asks are a bit more serious. He asks "What made you decide that Boyfriend K was the one?", "How have you stuck by that belief?", "What do you look for in a long term partner?" and "Were those expectations ever fully met?". However, I think those questions imply an inappropriate selfishness, because the questions are all about whether the needs of the questioner are fulfilled or not. I think good long term relationships happen when a couple work well together, compensating for each other's weaknesses as well as fulfilling each other's needs. I don't have a set of criteria against which I evaluated potential boyfriends, or against which I now evaluate boyfriend K.

I really hate the expression "follow your heart" because it's so glib, but perhaps it does describe the way I ended up with all of my boyfriends. More concretely, I think what I was always looking for was mutual empathy, but I never sat back and thought about it in those terms. When I meet any guy for the first time, after a short while I usually know whether we're on the same wavelength or not. If so, I'd wonder whether we can become friends, and when I was single I'd also wonder whether we might become boyfriends. Of course, after just one meeting I'd never know whether a relationship could possibly work. But if I felt we were on the same wavelength then it would be worth trying getting to know them better, and trying to work out how they felt about me. Ultimately one never knows whether a relationship will work until one tries. However, I'm the sort of guy who likes having a boyfriend, so I'd always like to give it a try instead of overthinking it.

I won't pretend that I never quarrel with boyfriend K because sometimes we do. However, when we've resolved the situation after a big disagreement, I usually look back and feel that the final outcome is better that what would have happened to either of us on our own. In most situations, two heads are better than one.

After a big quarrel with boyfriend K last year, I remember him asking me why I wanted to stay with him. My answer was that whoever my boyfriend is, we're bound to quarrel from time to time. When there are so many good things in a relationship, it's pointless ending the relationship just because there are occasional bad things. A different boyfriend would just mean that the occasional bad things would be different. It's important to accept that none of us are perfect, and that perfect boyfriends don't exist.

Regarding the reader's situation, I was curious about his comment that he lives in a country that criminalizes homosexuality, so I sent him an email to ask him which country he lives in. Eventually the reader replied, and it turns out that a gay male friend of mine married a man from that country and the two of them now live in Europe. They were married in Europe too, and without thinking about it, some of their friends who were at the wedding posted some wedding photographs on Facebook. Those photographs were then accidentally seen by some of the man's friends back in his home country, and the photographs attracted a huge amount of homophobic abuse :-( . So I am tempted to suggest that, if at all possible, the reader should try and move to a different country where homosexuality is legal and tolerated. I find myself wondering, how many happy gay couples does the reader know who live in the country? If the answer is very few, and if the reader wants a long term boyfriend or husband, it suggests to me that he won't find one in the country where he's living at the moment.

Apart from that, based on my own approach to relationships, I would just suggest one thing. When he's interested in a guy as a potential boyfriend, he shouldn't just think about himself. Try thinking about what would make the other guy happy as well :-).

Do any other readers have any thoughts about this reader's situation?

Sunday, November 24, 2019

The unexpected ladyboy

"No GB," says boyfriend K, "it's the woman over there that is O's brother!"

We're at a large house in a small village to the west of Bangkok in Thailand. It's the 60th birthday party of O's father, and all of O's family are here. Judging from how busy it, everyone from the village are probably here too. O is the eldest and only daughter and I'd been told that she has two brothers, so I'd been trying to work out who they are.

"Umm, brothers are normally male," I say looking confused, "or am I missing something?"

"He's transgender," says boyfriend K laughing, "and that's his twin brother over there, the guy with the white shirt with the purple collar."

Looking at the beefy guy that boyfriend K is indicating, it seems completely implausible that he's any kind of twin with the woman on the stage.

"Born 5 minutes apart," says O, joining the conversation.

Both boyfriend K and O nod at me, so I have to accept the truth about what they're saying.

"But not identical twins, surely?" I ask.

"Actually yes, they're identical twins," answers O calmly, "although they don't look much like each other now. When they were growing up, only family members could tell them apart!"

Over the years I've met several transgender people, including a male colleague who eventually became female. Nonetheless, I feel slightly stupid that I had no idea the woman on the stage had been a man.

"So was he a ladyboy before he became a woman :-)?" I ask, trying to sound knowledgeable about ladyboys and transgender people.

"He still is a ladyboy," says O laughing, and she holds her hands in front of her, palms facing each other about 8 inches apart. "It is this big!" She says grinning at me.

I burst out laughing, amazed that O knows such an intimate fact about her brother. I want to know how she can be so confident about her brother's size, but I decide not to ask. I've had enough surprises for one night!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Another enjoyable night in Bangkok

"Dream Boys, Hot Males, Fresh Boys, New Boys … " I say to my friend C as we wander down a road in central Bangkok, "if one wanted a guy from a place like that, how on earth would one decide?"

"I mean, 'dream boys' sound good," I continue, "presumably they're the kind of perfect guy from one's dreams, but do you want a guy that's new or has been used before? So perhaps 'fresh boys' are better, because 'fresh' presumably means 'unused' :-)?"

I'm with my friend C, who's also known as the blogger Close Encounters, and we're walking down an alley in central Bangkok. The alley is full of bars where scantily clad young men work, often putting on X-rated shows for the bar's customers. And of course, I'm quite aware that the guys inside all the different bars here will be much the same, in spite of the different bar names!

"The guys standing on the stage in side that bar didn't look that happy," says C.

"Indeed :-(," I say, agreeing with C, "and the drinks in these places will probably be quite expensive. Let's go somewhere else!"

Soon we're sitting down outside Telephone Pub, in Silom Road Soi 4. We order some beers, and looking around, we can't avoid noticing some of the other customers.

"This tourist in front of us is definitely being chatted up by a money boy," I say quietly to C.

Close Encounters surveys the situation and nods his head.

"But I think it's actually the other way round," replies C, "it's the tourist who's making most of the effort, not the money boy!"

This bar is possibly exactly the same bar that I visited when I went to Bangkok ten years ago. Back then, my Thai Friend B thought it was OK for tourists like me to hook up with money boys. On that occasion, I did end up with a lovely Thai guy in bed with me :-), but whether he was actually a money boy or not was unclear!

Back to today and the tourist in front of us reaches out and touches the object of his desire gently on the arm. I have to agree with C that the money boy isn't trying to sell himself, instead the client is hoping to buy. I can't help wondering how much money will change hands, but whatever the amount, it doesn't matter. Just as B recommended me ten years ago, both sides will get what they're looking for.

Part of the fun of being in bars like this is watching the other customers, so we decide to move to another table where we'll have a better view.

"That could be another tourist with a money boy over there," says C before he takes a sip of his beer, "can you see them? They're opposite us, immediately to the right of the table with three guys on it."

"Oh yes, very probably :-)," I reply grinning. "They haven't reached the touching each other stage yet, but the money boy has got his legs wide open. Perhaps he's hoping that his knee will make contact with the tourist's knee!"

We start chatting about other things and a little later, when we look back at the table opposite, we see that the money boy's knee has indeed made contact with the tourist's knee.

"Where is boyfriend K tonight?" asks C, losing interest in money boy seduction techniques.

"He didn't want to come out tonight in case he drinks too much!" I answer truthfully, "We've flying out tomorrow, and he doesn’t need a hangover. Boyfriend K can be a bit of a party animal, sometimes he doesn't know when to stop!"

The conversation moves on, and when I glance over at the table opposite, they seem to be touching each other more and more. Just friendly pats on the forearm or shoulder, but exactly the kind of thing that one does when getting to know another person, as a prelude to more intimate activities.

"So what are you planning to do tomorrow?" I ask C.

"Not sure yet," he replies, "but this is Bangkok, I'm sure I'll find something interesting to do :-)"

"Actually you've never been to Babylon, have you?" I say, "As far as I'm aware, it's still the best gay Sauna complex in the world :-), so if you have nothing else to do I'd certainly recommend it!"

But before C can answer, he indicates with his eyes over to the table opposite where the money boy and tourist were talking and touching each other. The tourist is standing behind the money boy now, and massaging his shoulders. And then suddenly, with a smile and a kiss, the tourist takes his backpack and wanders away towards the main road. The money boy looks slightly upset.

"He looks quite cute, don't you think GB?" asks C.

"Yeah, I guess, but with money boys you can ever be sure where they've been!"

"But you can't be absolutely sure that he's a money boy, can you?"

"Well no," I admit, "but it seems quite likely to me."

"Actually, he's occasionally glancing over at us now :-)."

"Well if you want a money boy experience, we could invite him over to join us :-)," I suggest, "As far as I'm concerned, what happens in Bangkok stays in Bangkok!"

"Indeed GB," agrees C, "but one of my friends back in London likes to remind me that that's only true if you don't have to visit the clap clinic!"

We continue chatting, looking at the various other customers of the bars in the alley, but I also notice the money boy glancing at us.

"You're right," I admit to C, "he is looking at us now and then. If you're interested in him, then we should invite him to join us."

"No! Then we'd have to make small talk. I'd rather just take him back to my hotel and fuck him :-)! I've got a better idea."

And with that, C pulls out his phone and starts looking at his gay dating apps.

"Look at him checking his phone all the time," explains C, "I bet he's looking at his apps, I wonder which one he's on …"

C, bless him, is on ALL the gay dating apps. Long term readers of this blog will know that I've used some of them in the past, but having been with boyfriend K for 6 years now, I'm quite out of touch with that world.

"Wow," says C, "this is such a target rich environment, one of the best places I've ever been for finding a guy online. There are loads of men within only a few meters :-). Hey, look at this pic GB, that's not him is it?"

"Yes it is!" I answer, looking at a photo of a slim young topless Asian guy on a beach somewhere, "that's definitely him."

Soon C is chatting to the money boy on Hornet.

"Since he's been looking at us a lot," says C, "I'm going to ask him which of us he fancies."

"OK," I say, "and what's the answer?"

There's a short pause while C waits for the money boy to answer.

"He says he likes the look of both of us!"

"Well what else was he going to say?" I reply, "A money boy isn't going to offend a potential customer, or rule out the possibility of a threesome! I wonder if money boys charge more for threesomes?"

Ignoring my question, C continues chatting online with the money boy. Although I used to chat to guys online a lot, I always preferred chatting face to face. So it seems mildly bizarre to me that at this point both C and the money boy know exactly who each other are, but still prefer to chat on an app even though they're within only a few metres of each other.

"Now he says that it looks like you and me are boyfriends!" says C, updating me on the conversation.

I laugh at the suggestion that me and C are boyfriends, but I'm not surprised that we look very comfortable in each other's company. I've read C's blog, and he's read this one, so we know all each other's secrets!

"I've got a flight tomorrow, and I don't want to be a gooseberry," I tell C, "so I'll go home if you promise to let me know how much money he asks for, even if he says it's for his sick mother?"

"Ha! But I don't think he's a money boy GB," protests C. "Anyway, of course I'll tell you what happens :-)."

As I walk up the alley towards the main road, I smile at the money boy and blow him a quick kiss. He smiles back at me with a big grin on his face.

I get back and go to bed with boyfriend K as usual, and when I wake up there are some messages on WhatsApp from C timed at just before 1am.

C: Just said goodbye to the guy. He wasn't even Thai, he's a tourist too!

C: And he didn’t ask for money for his mother :)

C: Thank you for a fun evening

I send a quick reply

GB: Poor guy, he didn't even get to sleep in a comfortable bed for the night!

A little later I get a reply

C: Ha ha - I’m sure he had a comfortable bed at his own hotel.

A couple of days later, I get an email from C to tell me that he's done a post on his blog about the evening. I find it fascinating to read the same events described from C's point of view. Surely it wasn't me who first suggested that we visit the erotic gay bars?

Thinking about the night now, I realise that when I used to use the gay dating apps, I was usually hoping for more than what C looks for. Perhaps C sometimes looks for more, but on this occasion C clearly just wanted sex. He didn't want to chat to the guy in the bar beforehand, and they parted company soon after the activities finished. But I was always interested to get to know the guy much more. I did enjoy starting out by meeting up face to face to chat about whatever, during which time the body language would help me work out what kind of guy he was. After any activities, if the activities had been enjoyable and were at night then I'd love to fall sleep with the guy so that we could wake up the next day together. I love feeling the warmth of a naked man, lying in bed next to me, and to this day it's still true that I sleep less well when I'm in a bed on my own.

Ever since I first met C, he's been happy as a single guy, whereas I've usually had one (or more!) boyfriends. So my conclusion is that our different approach to hooking up with strangers is directly related to our desire, or lack of desire in C's case, to have boyfriends.