Tuesday, July 31, 2007


"I just assumed it was because he's a Northern European guy," says boyfriend number 2, "because I once had another boyfriend from Northern Europe, and he didn't shower enough either."

"What?" say boyfriend number 1 and boyfriend number 3 together.

"Don't put me in the same category as GB!" says boyfriend number 1.

"Or me!" says boyfriend number 3.

"But you guys have a cold climate," explains boyfriend number 2, "so it's natural that you won't be used to taking as many showers as guys like me coming from a more humid climate."

"That's as maybe," replies boyfriend number 1, looking slightly indignant, "but I've been telling GB that he should wash more ever since I've known him!"

"Well somehow I think I've succeeded a bit," grins boyfriend number 2, "because whenever we've been on holiday together, I've made it clear that he can't get into bed with me at night unless he's had a shower first :-)."

"You know, the first time I met him," says boyfriend number 3, "I didn't think that he could have showered before he came to meet me. At the time he told me that he had taken a shower, although eventually when I got to know him better he admitted that he'd lied about that."

"And another thing," interrupts boyfriend number 1, "he's always online. He can't be cruising all the time, but I've got no idea what else he does! I guess I've been assuming that he's chatting to you guys?"

"Actually we used to chat on MSN," says boyfriend number 2, "but we got out of the habit of doing that, maybe a year ago. Now you mention it though, he's also online a lot when he's with me. Whenever we're away together, he definitely spends a lot more time online that I do."

"I think we should try and teach him a lesson somehow," says boyfriend number 3 darkly. "What about ... "

All of a sudden I wake up in a cold sweat. It's not time to get up yet, and boyfriend number 1 is sound asleep beside me, but I've just had the most terrible nightmare. Somehow, all my boyfriends had got together and they were discussing my faults :-(. Heaven help me if that ever actually happens!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Email from a guy with an ex-boyfriend situation

A few weeks ago now, a young guy who lives in South Africa sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

Your blogs have kept me in thrall for some time now, though sometimes I find your views more shocking than I'm used to. I live in South Africa which was, and sometimes still is, a rather conservative community. I find that the advice you tender in reply to the 'Dear GB' mails you receive often at a tangent to my moral 'North', but said advice always seems sound and thoughtful; more often than not, thought provoking. As a result I have decided to write one such letter of my own.

When I was at university, and after having recently broken up with my then boyfriend, I started a relationship with a young man who had only just realised that he was gay. We were similar ages, and I adored him. Our first two years together were very good ones, we were both studying full-time and saw a lot of one another. We grew very close (or so I believe). Our third year together was marked by him living and working a long way outside town. We saw each other every weekend and I was very much in love with him still. At the end of that year, he asked me to move in with him, which I immediately agreed to, since I had been hoping that he would ask for some time, even though I knew career opportunities for me where he lived would be almost non-existent.

We lived together for a year there, away from both our families with only each other to rely on, and I was ecstatic, because he was the one I wanted to be with, though my salary was literally not one sixth of his. But he grew tired of supporting me, and asked me to leave, though it came as a total surprise to me. I was heartbroken, but I knew there was nothing for it, but to pack my things and go. Love or no love.

Since I could not support myself I moved to my parents' house in a completely different town, and even though I hadn't lived with them for several years. It took me a while, but I did manage to get back on my feet, and meet a few new friends, which I find difficult, because I am shy, and a sceptic. I kept in touch with the great love I had lost, and we were on good terms.

Recently though, I moved back to the city where I was at university. I was very excited at first because I love the area and all my old friends live here, only I did not fully realise that they were now my ex-boyfriend's friends as well. He had even befriended the one or two friends of mine that he had never met while we were together.

I have been out with them; and had dinners; and have gone to the movies; but he always seems to be there. I don't mind his presence exactly, since he is a nice guy: fun to be with and good to talk to. I mind that I cannot seem to escape the thought of him, while he is always there. We recently had a bit of a falling out, and I do not think we are exactly on speaking terms right now, me and my once-mr-right. Now I am again pseudo-ostracised even though I live not an hour away of my closest friends. I don't think it is fair of me to expect of our friends to choose sides, so I haven't, and I won't.

The question I was wanting to ask is this: How do I, a young man in my mid 20's, a little shy and a little bruised, go about meeting people? The friends I have that could possibly introduce me to new friends or love interests, have, shall we say, prior engagements with my ex-boyfriend, because his relationships with them have strengthened, while mine have weakened since I have been away. I know nobody else here except a few aunts and uncles whom I am definitely not going to ask for referrals, and my colleagues at work are to be honest christianic homophobes. I am by no means enough of a black belt quite yet to risk my income. Clubs usually bore me, and (sadly) the ones around here are just too sleazy. The Internet is a bust, since the only replies I ever get are solicitations by married bi-guys or men who are far enough my senior to be my father's colleagues, and even those want little more than a quick romp. I am not looking for a romantic relationship, though if one comes along, I won't at all mind. I am just looking for people to invite to dinner and a movie with me or to have a conversation with about something other than work or family. I am too young to feel down because I am sitting at home alone on a Friday night. Have you any advice, or should I pretty much just stop feeling sorry for myself?

Since then, I've exchanged a couple of emails with this guy, and although he's told me a few more details, I think his original email explains his situation every well.

Having thought about this guy's situation a bit, one thing I think he needs to do is rebuild his confidence somehow. In connection with this, I was re-reading the Confidence mirror post that I wrote last month, and it occurred to me that to some extent my sentiments correspond with the so-called Law of attraction. The Law of Attraction was first explained to me by boyfriend number 2 in a restaurant in Buenos Aires, and although I think it's utter rubbish that thoughts attract the corresponding actions "through the resonance of their energetic vibration", I have no doubt that positive thinking has a beneficial effect.

At present, I think this guy has got himself into a situation where he feels like a victim. It's quite understandable because the poor guy had his boyfriend dump him, he was then forced to move back with his parents, and when he picks himself up he finds that the ex-boyfriend has stolen his friends. But as long as he thinks like a victim, that'll be the most likely outcome of his endeavours. To say he should "stop feeling sorry for himself" is unhelpful because when one is feeling down it's not that simple. But as long as someone feels sorry for themselves, they'll probably have something to feel sorry about.

To get started, I feel I must disagree with the guy when he says "the Internet is a bust". Gay guys are in the minority in any city, but as the Internet has grown, it's made it so much easier for gay guys to find each other. By co-incidence, a gay guy from South Africa recently asked for me for some career advice, and although I've done ' Dear GB' postings giving career advice in the past, I'm trying to avoid doing that these days so as to keep this blog more tightly focused on gay issues. However I did reply to the the request for career advice, so I felt it was fair game to ask for some advice in return. When I asked him about the Internet for gay guys in South Africa, his reply was as follows:

There is of course Gaydar.co.za, which is pretty much only used for cruising. Even if someone states on their profile that they're open to lots of options, in my experience it's really only about getting a quick shag. But there are two other options:
1. www.mambaonline.com, which has a dating/chatting section and is free but I prefer
2. www.qmen.co.za. You have to pay to be a member, but you can browse the personals for free. It's much less about sex than the other sites and the people who do subscribe genuinely do want to meet people. So I'd point him in that direction.

Perhaps the guy with the ex-boyfriend situation has tried these web sites, but if so, I can't help wondering what he said about himself in his profile. When he wrote his profiles, was he feeling unhappy, or was feeling happy and positive about life? I can think of gaydar profiles I've seen that were clearly written by someone when they were feeling bad about themselves. So whatever online profiles he has, I think he should review them when he's in a positive frame of mind.

However he does it, just getting out and meeting people, gay or straight, is what he's got to do. Perhaps there are ways of meeting guys through work, the gym, perhaps he can meet new people via his old friends in spite of his ex-boyfriend, perhaps there are social events he can go to as a result of hobbies he may have.

My last thought is about how he needs to behave when he does meet new people. Someone who's regaining their confidence is naturally liable to be quite a needy person. But he must avoid coming across like that, because most people find 'needy' and 'high-maintenance' very unattractive. He's just got to try and be cool!

In fact, the last e-mail the guy sent me said that he had been going out a bit recently, so I feel sure that he'll be OK. None the less, does anyone else have any helpful thoughts for him?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The last Sunday in June

It's late afternoon, on the day before the last Sunday in June, and I'm logged into gay.com. I'm about to log out and get ready to go out for the evening with boyfriend number 1 when a guy who turns out to be called L suddenly starts chatting to me:

L: hi
GB: hi
L: how are you?
GB: fine :-)

His profile suggests that he may be based in a Mediterranean country, so I decide to ask him where he is at the moment. Sometimes I don't mind chatting online to guys who aren't local, but with other things to do, I'm not in the mood for that at the moment.

GB: are you in London?
L: yes, why?
GB: ahhh ok, your bio line says something else!
L: yes born there, but living west lon at d mo
GB: uh huh :-)
L: ok. wat r u up for?

So he's a guy who likes to get straight to the point! Given that time is short at my end, that suits me fine :-). We briefly discuss potential activities, but then I feel that I need to come clean.

GB: One thing, I can't visit today, sorry, is tomorrow morning any good?

He thinks about it for a while, and I'm about to send a "soz m8 gotta go now" message when he replies

L: maybe later, in d eve
GB: tomorrow eve no good for me either, but early lunchtime might work, e.g. 1pm ?
L: I might be out

But then again, he might be in too :-). The guy is clearly up for a bit of fun, if only we can agree a mutually convenient time.

GB: u got any pics?
L: no sorry, I am 32 5ft11 slim/athletic average build dark hair brown eyes
GB: u sound tasty :-)

I decide to trust his description of himself, for now at any rate, and tell him where he can find pics of me online.

GB: how about we swap mobile phone numbers? I could txt u lunchtime tomorrow to see if it's convenient?
L: it depends on d weather
GB: ok, well its up to you, we could swap mobile phone numbers if you want
L: ok

Everything seems to be going well. I tell him my mobile phone number, with strict instructions about when he can use it, and wait for him to give me his.

GB: u?
L: will txt
GB: we agreed to swap mobile phone numbers didn't we?
L: do not worry will txt u tomorrow

Hmmm. I always reckon that online cruising like this is a question of gradually building trust, and as soon as the trust isn't there, it's best to move on.

GB: if you don't trust me, just throw away my number please, you said "ok" to swap, not just me give you my number
L: u r getting horny!
GB: lol - yes but can't visit now, going out soon
GB: but I am getting a bit annoyed that you don't trust me with your mobile number

That seems to do the trick. Within a few secs, he gives me his number and I start to get a good feeling about the situation again.

GB: ok great, well I AM feeling a bit horny LOL, but can't visit now (sorry). Tomorrow is possible, morning around 9am, or lunchtime around 1pm best for me?
L: ok, early morning, big hardon....
GB: sounds good LOL, shall I txt u around 8.30am then?
L: yes
GB: ok great

We carry on chatting for a while, we exchange names with each other which I suddenly realise that we'd failed to do so far, and then he even tells me his exact address. A lot of guys in this situation prefer to divulge their address at the last possible minute, which is understandable because one can never really know who's at the other end of an online conversation. After that, within a few minutes I make my excuses and wish him a happy evening.

The next morning, when I look at my phone around 7:45am he's sent me a txt msg. Well in fact it's a kind of picture message, but I need to access the Internet to retrieve it. It doesn't take me long to find it online, and when I open it there's a lovely pic of a young guy on the beach wearing tight trunks that leave little to the imagination. Wow, I certainly can't wait to visit him now, so I immediately send him a txt msg in acknowledgement

GB: thx for the pic L, u look cute :-). So I'll visit u this morning but pls confirm by 8:45 otherwise I won't have time. GB x

I'm really looking forward to the meeting now, but ten minutes later he sends me another txt msg

L: sorry mate but I have 2 cancel. Got 2 work :(

Awwwww :-((. I'm quite surprised, given that he's sent me the pic too. What a terrible shame! I can't help wondering whether he'd been lying in bed, and perhaps the excitement of the thought that I was soon going to visit had meant that he'd been unable able to contain himself. Anyway, I'm keen to visit him at some point so I send a brief txt msg in response.

GB: no probs m8 another time perhaps! GB x

Feeling slightly horny, I go for my Sunday morning run with the guys from the gym, and when I get home afterwards I'm feeling even more horny so I log on to gay.com again. Within fifteen minutes or so, another guy starts chatting to me.

guy: hey
GB: hi :-)
guy: how's it going?
GB: ok, u
guy: not bad, tks

He's seems like a friendly guy, and it's clear that he's giving me his full attention too because there are very few pauses in the conversation. Soon we've exchanged pics and it turns out that he's a lovely looking Asian guy. Immediately I start to wonder whether it would be possible for me to visit him.

GB: where in london r u mate?
guy: west london, zone 2
GB: cool, not too far :-)
guy: what u up to?
GB: just chilling
guy: cool

Some guys really hate it when one gets down to business too quickly, but other guys prefer the direct approach. While I'm trying decide how to play it with this guy, he sends me another message.

guy: so, not looking for *fun* then? :-)

Well of course I'm looking for fun!

GB: a bit of *fun* might be nice :-), u know where I can find some?
guy: well could always visit me :-))

So he'd solved my dilemma for me, he's the kind of guy that likes to discuss business early on! We discuss the potential activities and everything slowly falls into place. Soon we've exchanged mobile phone numbers, and he's told me his exact address too.

guy: say about an hour from now my place?
GB: I might be able to get there in 30 mins, is that OK?
guy: sure
GB: ok see u soon
guy: i am just going to take a quick shower
GB: no probs, I had shower an hour ago at gym :-)
guy: in a bit
GB: yeah, see you soon m8, x

Ten minutes later I'm in a cab on my way to visit him, so I send him a txt msg to let him know I'm on my way:

GB: In a cab now, see you soon :-), GB x

Almost immediately I get a reply

L: Hi. How's ur day been? Still horned up?

WHAT? This wasn't the reply I was expecting! It’s the guy L who was unable to meet me in the morning. What on earth can I say to him, because it sounds like he's wondering about my availability? Before I can reply to L, I get a reply from the Asian guy too

Guy: gr8, ready and waiting

Suddenly, a sneaky thought comes into my mind. Both L and this Asian guy live in West London, which could just be a fact too convenient to ignore. I decide to send L a txt message which keeps my options open:

GB: Hi L, thx for txt msg, I just got back from the gym :-). I might be able to visit u this afternoon if u want, if I don't end up meeting a friend, not sure yet. Might u want me to visit, and if so, what times are good? GB x

If it's an exceptional session with the Asian guy then I'll be all spent, so the best thing to do would be to visit L another time. But if it's just an ordinary, good, satisfying session, that might just put me in the mood for ... who knows? Anyway, the first thing to do is to concentrate on the encounter that's already been arranged, so I turn my mobile phone off in case L sends me any further txt msgs.

Soon I've arrived, and I'm buzzing up to the Asian guy's flat. He releases the door and lets me in.

"Second floor," I hear crackling through the door intercom.

When I reach the second floor, I spot the guy that I've come to visit peering out from behind his door. I smile at him, and he grins back at me.

"Nice to meet you," I say as he closes the door, and as he turns towards me I give him a gentle kiss on the lips.

He smiles back.

"So where do you want me then?" I ask.

"Let's go in here :-)". He leads the way into a large, light and airy room, containing a large double bed.

I always find that shoes and socks are the most irritating items to remove when visiting other guys for fun. Other items of clothing can be removed during the course of the activities, but removing shoes and socks spoils the natural rhythm of getting to know each other, because it always takes me far too long. So once inside the room, I immediately sit down on the bed to take my shoes and socks off, because he's already barefoot.

"You got here quite quickly," he says making conversation as I put my socks inside my shoes and then safely to one side.

"I took a cab!" I confess, answering his question. Some guys seem to think taking cabs is a bit decadent, especially using them when visiting guys for fun, but this is a very smart West London neighbourhood so I reckon I'm safe telling him the truth.

He smiles, and I stand up and look him lustfully in the eyes, smiling too.

"So, nice to meet you," I say, and I lean forward and kiss him again, slowly but deliberately. Next I lower my hand to caress the bulge that's gradually appearing in his trousers, and while we kiss, he reaches inside my shirt and gently rubs my chest.

Soon I've forgotten all about L. And after another five minutes, I'm naked with the Asian guy on the double bed, and we're enjoying each other's company even more. He loves kissing and so do I, especially while fondling other parts of his anatomy! We have a lovely time together, and eventually lay there together, both feeling quite satisfied :-).

"Do you like cuddling?" I ask him, hopefully. I always enjoy cuddling up to another guy after activities.

"Actually I've got a few things I need to do this afternoon, sorry!"

I guess that now we've had our wicked way with each other, his mind has turned to other things :-(. Never mind, it was still very enjoyable. I put my clothes back on and after my customary glass of water, I make my excuses and leave.

Out on the street I turn on my mobile phone and immediately it buzzes with a txt msg, sent about twenty minutes previously.

L: Horned up here...

and then another which was sent only five minutes ago

L: u been pumping hard at gym? Mmmmm

So clearly, he DOES want me to visit :-)! And not having had a cuddle with the Asian chap, I find myself hankering after the soft touch of another like-minded guy. I decide to send him a short txt msg.

GB: I could visit you now if you like? Pls let me know before 14:45 though! GB x

That gives him just under ten minutes to make up his mind, which will hopefully be enough time. I don't want to hang around on street corners for too long without a clear idea of where my afternoon is going!

I'll obviously get another cab, so while I'm waiting for L to respond, I wander along the streets looking for a good place to find one. A small mini-roundabout, a few minutes walk from the Asian guy seems to be just the place. I stand on the corner by a closed restaurant and notice that a vacant taxi seems to pass by every minute or two. But why hasn't L responded? Soon it's 14:45 and no txt msg. 14:46 and no txt msg. I see a cab in the distance and stick my hand out to wave it down, deciding that home is going to be best. But as I jump into the cab my phone vibrates and another txt msg arrives.

"Where to mate?" says the cabbie.

"Hang on," I say, looking at my phone.

L: Ok, U coming by tube?

Perfect :-).

"Not far," I say and give the taxi driver L's address. I then send L a quick reply

GB: I'll grab a cab so see u in 15 :-)

And in less slightly than 15 minutes I'm buzzing his flat, wondering whether L will be able to tell that only 30 minutes previously I'd been with a cute Asian chap. Standing outside his flat however, I wait for a while and no one answers the door. I can't believe that L has stood me up, so I phone him. Luckily he answers after a few rings.

"Hi L, it's me, I'm outside buzzing your flat number but you're not answering!" I explain.

"Didn't you get my last txt msg?" he asks, "the entry system is broken! Hang on I'll come and let you in :-)."

Shortly afterwards, the door opens and finally I get to see L face to face. Since the beach photo that he sent me was taken, he's grown a small beard and it really suits him. He smiles at me, and beckons me upstairs to the first floor. For some reason we don't speak until we're inside his flat.

"So we managed to meet up today after all!" he says smiling, "let's go in here :-)".

We move into his sitting room and almost immediately he starts kissing me. And he's a great kisser :-). I wrap my arms round him, and he wraps his arms round me, and still standing up we kiss some more. Slowly I edge my hands under his t-shirt, rub his back, and then move to lift his t-shirt over his head. Breaking away from the kissing, he doesn't resist me.

"Thanks for coming over," he says as I sit down to take my shoes and socks off, "I think we're going to get on fine :-)".

And indeed, before too long, we're sitting down on his sofa in just our undershorts, getting to know each other. Kissing is clearly what he enjoys the most, which is fine with me :-). We don't rush, and ten minutes later we're still both wearing our undershorts, although with both of us, there's clearly something staining to be released. Eventually though, nature takes its course, and then we just lie there relaxing in each others arms both highly satisfied.

"So you must have been in the area?" he says afterwards, "to get here so quickly."

"Yeah I was visiting a friend," I said, "but he had a few other things to do so I thought I'd come over and see you :-)"

Well, any guy that I meet for fun is a kind of friend!

"Well, I'm very glad that you came to see me."

I didn't feel like there was a strong connection between me and the Asian guy, but this Mediterranean guy is definitely someone that I'd like to see again.

It was a very memorable Sunday. I'm not usually that greedy, but I don't see the harm in being slightly greedy just every now and then :-). As the old music hall song goes, "A little of what you fancy does you good"!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Is there a medication to stop people being gay?

A couple of weeks ago, I received the following email:

Dear GB,

I'm new one and I'm not good at english. So pls understand my mistake. I do wanna ask you that What make gay and Is there any med for cure. Pls reply me. I don't have knowledge and I'm so afraid of being gay. And I would like to know the cure.
Waiting your reply.

When people send me 'Dear GB' emails, I usually want to think about their situation, and then write a reply online so that other people can give their views too via comments. But with this guy, I felt I needed to respond immediately, so I sent back a reply as follows:

I understood your English perfectly, so I hope that you understand my reply. Asking for a "cure for being gay" is like asking for "a cure for being tall". 'Gay' is just another attribute of someone, just like 'tall'.

When someone first thinks they might be gay, most people in that situation don't want to be gay, because for a while life is much harder. It's much easier to be straight because most people are straight, and it's easier to fit in than to be different. But when someone realises that they might be gay, they frequently have to reassess the whole direction of their life, which is hard.

The people who try to suppress their gay feelings usually can't do it forever. Perhaps it's possible for a while, a few years, even many years, but eventually it's too hard to keep hiding it. Once they accept that they're gay, and that there is no cure, they can move on and learn how to enjoy their lives being a gay person. Up to that point, most people aren't really happy, which is a shame.

It's also true that not everyone who feels attracted to people of the same gender is gay. It may just be a phase they're going through, or they may be bisexual and have feelings for both men and women. But again, if they just ignore their feelings, frequently it causes problems later because there's a part of their personality that needs to be investigated before they can achieve happiness.

I hope this helps. GB xxx

Does anyone else have anything else to add?

More about condoms and erection problems

Don't take them all at once!A few hours ago, a guy left a comment on my old posting about condoms and erection problems. This is what he said:

I have the same problem [as the guy in the posting] and because of that, at 36 I have been a bottom for 20 years, when in fact there is a big part of me that is all top that I want to experience. And for me it comes from pressure put on me by early sex partners, which I put on myself subsequently throughout my life. I have been seeing a therapist and am trying to find someone I feel safe enough to try with who will not make me feel bad if it doesn't go well. You seem like he could be very safe with you.

As for me, if anyone has any advice on how they overcame this psychological block, please post. thanks.

When I read the comment, I wondered whether it would help to use Viagra to get over the psychological block. Even if this creates a dependency on Viagra, I think it's something that older users have anyway, so perhaps that wouldn't matter.

Do any readers have any further thoughts on this one?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A few random encounters

It's been a few weeks since I posted a story about an encounter with another guy. I've been getting a bit behind in blogging about that aspect of my life, although the truth is that I haven't been meeting that many new guys.

Rolling the clock back to last March, after the Pakistani guy came a lovely straightforward British guy. We met on gaydar on the second Saturday of March, and he was a breath of fresh air :-). I'd been chatting to the guy who almost didn't meet me a couple of weeks before, and he was dithering about whether he wanted to meet me again or not. Still, I prefer him to dither online rather than when I'm actually on my way to meet him which is what he did on the previous occasion! But then a guy who lives about 15 minutes walk away contacts me, boyfriend away on holiday in Asia, needs a bit of fun in his absence, so do I want to visit him? I do! Everything falls into place almost immediately and we had a lovely time together :-).

"We did discuss what we'd do about sex while he was away in Asia," he tells me afterwards, "and we agreed that meeting other guys wasn't a problem. Best to be upfront about it, eh!"

Well exactly. Why can't all guys be as straightforward as this lovely chap?

Then on the last Saturday in March I met an American guy who was over here on business. It was a pretty dull encounter, although we both got the usual satisfaction out of it. The only memorable thing was what he said was about Los Angeles afterwards.

"I know it's my home town, but honestly, don't go there! Well, perhaps for 10 mins to get the standard tourist pics if you can be bothered, but leave immediately after!!"

Anyway, I'm happy to be convinced otherwise, if any readers from Los Angeles want to make a case from the opposite viewpoint?

It was two and a half weeks later before my next encounter with someone new. It happened before work on the Thursday morning, and was quite an interesting occasion.

"I'm not sure where we can go," whispers the guy as he lets me in through his front door.

"How about your bedroom?" I suggest, whispering too. Well, it seemed rude not to whisper given that this guy is whispering to me!

"The problem is that my flatmate is asleep in the room next door," replies the guy looking a bit sheepish, "and I don't want him to catch me with another guy in my bedroom." And then in a very hushed voice, "he doesn’t know I'm gay!"

Walking into the main room on the first floor, it seems very laddish. There's a pool table in the middle of the room, and even a basketball net screwed high up on one of the walls.

"What about doing it on that :-)," I suggest mischievously pointing at the pool table. I'm about to make a joke about potting a hole in one, but luckily the guy responds to my comment almost immediately.

"Are you mad?" the guy whispers sounding terrified. "Look, let's go up to my bedroom, but please please, you gotta be quiet!"

While he's speaking I realise that pool and golf are different sports!

After that, most communication is by eye-contact. When I get his trousers off he's wearing aussiebum undershorts, and as I pull them down I can't help thinking about the horny advert that GBD put on his blog last year. Somehow the need to be quiet with a straight guy asleep next door makes the situation especially horny, and we have an unexpectedly quick session together which is very enjoyable.

A week and a half later, it's the last Saturday in April and I end up meeting an Asian guy for a bit of fun in East London. His sister is away so he's got the flat to himself. It's a satisfactory event, although I have to do most of the work. Afterwards he clearly wants to get rid of me, so I don't hang around.

After that, going into May and June, I didn't have any encounters with any new guys. However throughout this period there were various repeat performances with a few guys that I've met before, as well nights with boyfriend number 1, a few trips to see boyfriend number 2, lunchtime visits to boyfriend number 3, and the occasional visit to my gorgeous Japanese masseur.

And then came the last Sunday in June, which turned out to be a particularly memorable day :-). But I've run out of time now, so I'll have to blog about that on another occasion!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Do all gay relationships start with sex?

Yes, its all about sex!
A few weeks ago, I received the following email:

Dear GB,

I'm a regular reader of your blog. After I came out, I was very cautious of the gay life, as societal stereotype has it as a promiscuous lifestyle. The opening line of Queer As Folk says it well: "Yes, its all about sex".

I've always steered clear of anything that's gay after I came out, hoping I can "straighten" myself out with prayer. Until last year when a "straight" friend of mine came out to me. He's more accepting with his gayness, and I've kind of taken on his attitudes towards life. I suppose I really came out to myself then and accepted that maybe I should give gay life a shot.

So I've been more open to relationships. I've joined a few dating sites, which I find totally useless (mostly because I get old guys hitting on me, and most profiles are just dead). Plus, having been in a straight life all my life, and having many great straight friends, I don't see myself becoming all gay and purple, and starting a new gay life with gay friends. Suffice it to say, I'm gay and I'm trapped in the straight world, and don't want to leave it - mostly because there's nothing wrong with it.

But in a straight world, people date, and people find lovers. As friends find lovers, I'm left alone, wanting someone special also. I'm not wanting this just because my friends are dating, but because, after accepting myself, and opening myself to the possibility of gay relationship, I've started to think about the possibility, and am now kinda itching for it.

OK, I'd better get to the point. I'm wondering if all gay relationships start off with sex? It seems to me that the straight pattern of dating is absent in gay culture. What I mean is: boy meets boy, boy has crush on boy, boy ask boy out and become friends, boy and boy become boyfriends. And somewhere done the line, boy have sex with boy. But it seems to me that gay relationships only spring out from "the guy who I slept with from that party" or some sexual encounter. Is it possible to start a gay relationship by just meeting guys, falling in love the traditional way, get to know each other and leaving sex until we really have feelings for each other. After reading two other fellow bloggers views, I agree that I don't want to throw away my first time on some recreational fuck.

Or maybe boys will always be boys, and would not be able to control themselves but have sex before any real feelings have developed.

I know I sound kinda like a chick, but don't get me wrong, I do think sex is important (and fun), but I just don't want to do things that I'll regret later.

Sorry for the long email. Its not really a problem, just a thought I had, and I'd would like to hear your thoughts on this (since you've been through this).

It's an interesting question, and I think the answer is "No, not ALL gay relationships start with sex". But I must confess, my own experience is very much along the lines of what the reader is suggesting, i.e. sex comes first! Although it was a couple of weeks before I managed to get inside boyfriend number 1's undershorts when we first met, I met both boyfriend number 2 and boyfriend number 3 online and we'd had our wicked way with each other almost immediately :-).

However, I can definitely think of a few friends of mine who became boyfriends with a guy after having been friends first, so it is possible. In the blogging world, it's also clear that both HBH and GBD have been dating, rather than screwing around.

Anyway, since the original purpose of this blog was to write about encounters with other guys, my experience in relation to this was always going to be skewed towards the promiscious end of the spectrum. But I'm wondering what the experience of everyone else is. It would be great if a few guys could leave some comments on this subject ... ?

Friday, July 13, 2007

The annual City boys run

I'm the guy in shorts :-)It's that time of year again, the time of year when lots of cute and handsome City guys take their trousers off, put on their running shorts, and dash round the 5.6k course at Battersea Park for the annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge. Needless to say, some of your favourite bloggers took part :-).

This year, due to an injury I got in an aerobics class at the gym last week, I decide to visit my physiotherapist for a lunchtime check-up on the day of the event.

"You should be OK," my physio tells me as he expertly prods my calf muscle in a way that seems designed to inflict the maximum amount of pain, "just make sure that you warm it up properly beforehand."

"Errr, thanks," I say through gritted teeth.

"Actually," he continues, "we get far more business out of the Chase Corporate Challenge than any other running event, even the Marathon!"

"Really," I say surprised, trying to make conversation in the hope that he'll ease up a bit on the prodding, "how come?"

"Well, the event always seems to be full of various office rivalries, forcing people to push themselves harder than they should given that for a lot of them it's the only running event that they do all year. It's all 'No way am I gonna let that bitch from Finance beat me this year!'."

And it turns out that I find myself forced in that kind of situation. There are a few guys from my area at the bank who are running, and a few other guys not running, but when I get back from the physio it turns out that the guys who're not running have started betting with each other on the relative performance of the guys who are.

"You're not going to let that wimp beat you, are you GB?" asks one guy who's clearly backed me to beat one of my colleagues.

"Look mate, I'm not on top form," I reply, "and I've just been to the physio too, I've got a dodgy calf muscle at the moment :-(. That 'wimp' as you call him is also quite a bit younger than me!"

"But you're not the kind of guy to let little things like that bother you!" he continues, "I've got every confidence in you :-)."

Late in the afternoon, I get an email from GBD. We have a history of occasional correspondence with each other, which has developed into a kind of competition where we try to beat each other by writing emails which divulge the minimum amount of information about ourselves:

Hi GB, I seem to remember that you like running. Are you taking part in the JP Morgan corporate challenge run? if so, i'm the cute runner in shorts ;) LOL!
I hope you're well, mate. Take care. GBD xxx

Damm! Brilliant serve!! What on earth can I reply? Eventually I manage

Yes GBD, I'm doing it, I'm the handsome guy in shorts so lets look out for each other LOL :-). GB xxx

but it's weak, just copy-cat, if this went to adjudication I think this rally would definitely be a victory for GBD!

We arrive at Battersea Park in good time, and while everyone is milling around the hospitality areas, I decide to make my running experience count and head off to the start line. One of the problems with these events is getting past the slower runners, but if one begins near the front then everything is much easier and one will almost certainly run a much better time!

The race itself is good fun as always. Although I'm disappointed with my time, at least I manage to ignore the pain increasing in my calf muscle long enough to finish the course. But will my time be good enough to beat any of my colleagues?

While searching for the other guys who were the subject of the bets of our lazier colleagues, I spot another bunch of guys wearing T-shirts with name of cuteCTguy's bank on it, so I wander over to see if he's around. And sure enough, I spot him chatting to a particularly cute guy from the gym that he goes to.

"Oh hi GB," says cuteCTguy smiling.

"Hi cuteCTguy, so did you do a good time this evening?"

He tells me his time, which turns out to be highly respectable.

"Not very good I know, but I'm still quite pasta heavy after my recent trip to Italy :-(," he explains.

That's as maybe, but you're still several minutes faster than me at the moment!

Eventually, I manage to find the other guys from my area at the bank.

"Hey GB," says the younger guy who I'd been trying to beat, "so how did you do?"

Although he looks very sweaty and tired, he's got a big grin on his face! I decide to tell him my time and get it over with.

"Awwwww," he exclaims, "Damm!! Very close though :-)."

He tells me his time and it turns out that I beat him by less than half a minute.

"Where were you though," he continues, "I couldn't find you anywhere before the race?"

"Oh," I say grining mischievously, "I managed to get a spot right at the front :-). I was looking out for you, but I couldn't see you anywhere so I just assumed you'd headed off without me."

"Right at the front?" he says in disbelief, "that's cheating! No wonder you beat me!!"

"Not cheating mate, just making sure I was able to maximise my advantage :-)."

Overall the event was great fun, but I'm going to have a real battle on my hands if I'm going to try and beat that guy again next year!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Email about handling hope in a long distance relationship

The world is getting smallerA couple of weeks ago, I received the following email from one of my readers.

Dear GB,

I have to say, what i like about your blog is that you have a distinct point of view but, aren't concerned about trumpeting it to the world. You just be yourself, and every person you describe has their own place in your world. To be able to do this seems to show real self-assurance, and also great respect for others. Its very cool - I raise my hat to you!

I have a relationship puzzle that i'm trying to process - perhaps you can share some insight? I hope i don't ramble on. Here goes.

I'm a gay guy in India running my own small media business, and am in a relationship with an European expat, who moved out of India 6 months after i met him.

So that was all the time we lived in the same city together, and it was very good - we spent most nights together, and traveled a lot within India. It was great fun - we are the same age, and have the same outlook socially and culturally, both being reasonably well-traveled and well-informed.

In the year since he left India, we've both taken trips specifically to be with each other, every few months. So the relationship is fairly serious. Since I have other friends in his country, my trips there are filled with meetings, visits and general fun and socializing, besides basically being with him the entire time.

Luckily my work is do-able on the Internet, so i can work when traveling. He has a desk job, and its harder for him to come to India.

I have to say it was 'love at first sight' for both of us. I'd also say that when I heard he was leaving in six months, I wanted to run away in the other direction. I didn't, eventually, but i was very slow in 'falling in love' over the next 3 months - i was protecting myself - which he knew. But then it got to the point where neither of us could resist it anymore, and his last 3 months in India for both of us, were see-saw swings from a sweet happiness, to quiet panic and despair over his leaving.

We are both monogamous in relationships, by nature - and we both don't believe in long-distance relationships. And yet here we are, a year and 8 months later, between a rock and a hard place.

You are in a long-distance equation. How does one approach such a relationship, when living together is going to be very difficult to achieve. When the normal expectations of 'moving in, living together, sharing a life and friends' cannot be met, how does one visualize the long-term? Is it possible to? What should one change in ones generic expectations of relationships?

Sometimes i think we should both see other people in our respective cities. As of now, that goes against instinct, and in any case we both seem to have endurance to hold, until we meet every few months. I trust him, and he trusts me.

In any case, its not the logistics of sex that are the issue, its the logistics of maintaining an emotional connection over long distance. He's got a moving job, his country doesn't support gay marriage, and I'm not interested in emigrating to Europe. I like living in India, and Europe is always great for holidays! So right now its tolerable, maybe even ideal, at this early stage in the relationship.

But bluntly, what do we think we're doing?

Its very Brokeback Mountain, but without the guilt!

Apologies if its not coherent, i'm venting some general frustration here! Anything you have to say, even in general, would be nice.

Stepping back and thinking about this situation, it's amazing that these days, long-distance relationships like the one the reader describes are possible. Day by day, as communication links improve as traveling becomes easier, the world becomes slightly smaller. None the less, to use the reader's words, it's still a 'relationship puzzle'.

He's right that one of my boyfriends, boyfriend number 2, lives in a different country to me. Because I've also got boyfriend number 1, the arrangement that's been agreed between myself and boyfriend number 2 is that we're part-time boyfriends. We're constantly in touch via email, we speak once or twice a week on the phone and we see each other when we can. I obviously can't be a full-time boyfriend to him though. But perhaps one of the biggest differences between my situation and the situation that the reader finds himself in is that I encourage boyfriend number 2 to look for a full-time boyfriend.

For some people, long-distance relationships can have some advantages, and the reader who sent me this email might be that type of person. Running one's own business is usually very demanding, so the advantage of a long-distance relationship is that when the couple aren't together, they can devote long periods of time to their work activities without being neglectful of their partner. I often think that a long-distance relationship suits my boyfriend number 2 for that reason.

Even long distance relationships have benefits for the people involved. Thinking about my situation in connection with boyfriend number 2, even though we don't see each on a day to day basis we still provide each other with emotional support. He knows he can rely on me, and vice-versa. I'm particularly lucky of course because if anything terrible ever happened to boyfriend number 1, I've got boyfriend number 2 to help me through the situation. Another fact is that when we do see each other, the sex is more passionate than it would be if we saw each other all the time!

The reader who sent me the email should derive all these benefits from his long-distance relationship, plus one additional benefit. If physical proximity ever becomes important to either of them, then they can always decide to try and work out a way to live in the same city. No doubt the European guy has skills that would make it possible for him to get a visa to live and work in Delhi if he wanted to. And although the European country where the European guy lives doesn't allow gay marriage, there may be other ways for the Indian guy to get a visa to live and work there, particularly if he's a businessman looking to employ a few people rather than take the jobs of the locals.

My experience is that slowly, one's priorities change. So I see no reason to kill off this long distance relationship just because of the distance. I reckon they should occasionally discuss this issue, but eventually it will either too burdensome on the guys involved and die naturally, or the guys will change aspects of their lives to make it easier. There are so many possibilities in terms of what they could agree, for example perhaps they should both see other guys in their respective cities when they're not together. But even that is no reason to break their connection, because their relationship still provides them with enormous benefits. Its really nice to know that somewhere in the world, there's someone who loves you!

The reader asked a lot of questions in his email and I don't really feel that I've even scratched the surface of this huge subject. So does anyone else have any other thoughts on long-distance relationships for this couple?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A light supper with boyfriend number 2

A few weeks ago I went to the theatre with boyfriend number 2. We were going to meet a friend of his afterwards, but it turned out that the show was quite long so in the end it was just me and boyfriend number 2 who went for a snack supper afterwards.

"How about this place?" I say to boyfriend number 2 after we've gotten sufficiently far away from the crowds emptying from the theatre. It's a Thai restaurant, so knowing that boyfriend number 2 is keen on spicy food, it seems like a good bet. We go inside and a cute Thai waiter shows us to a table.

"So what did you think of the show?" asks boyfriend number 2, once we're settled.

"I was captivated," I say honestly, "I didn't look at my watch once. And the leading actor was GORGEOUS wasn't he?"

I smile knowingly, and start thinking that it might be quite nice to examine the contents of the leading actor's undershorts! Somehow boyfriend number 2 can tell what I'm thinking.

"What is it about you English guys?" asks boyfriend number 2, "Why is sex so 'taboo'? You can't talk about it in a matter-of-fact way. It's not just your attitude GB, all the English guys I've been close to are like that!"

"Really?" I say surprised, "so do you think we're slightly warped somehow?"

"Well yes! Think about a penis for example, it's just a penis, but to you English ..."

"Well, I guess so," I say.

But inside I start thinking, "No it's not, it's not JUST a penis, it's a hugely interesting piece of anatomical equipment, full of exciting possibilities and naughtiness!!"

I try to stop myself smiling, as I begin to realise that perhaps boyfriend number 2 is right.

"What are you smiling about?" asks boyfriend number 2 with a slight giggle.

"Errr, oh I dunno, I was just thinking about what you just said."

"Or masturbation, another example," says boyfriend number 2 smiling too, "It's just masturbation, isn't it, so what?"

And again, a big grin slowly creeps across my face as I start thinking, "Masturbation, masturbation :-), guys doing it to themselves, doing it to each other ... :-))".

I catch boyfriend number 2's eye and he can tell what's going on inside my head.

"Actually," says boyfriend number 2 laughing now, "I guess I'm quite fond of this English attitude, it's very endearing!"

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Email from a young woman with boyfriend worries

Most of the Dear GB emails I get are from gay guys, so it made a refreshing change when I received the following email from a young woman a couple of weeks ago:

Dear GB,

I like to think I am just a normal girl, intelligent, kind and not too bad to look at, but the truth is that while most people my age are in a serious relationship, about to get married, or married, I...


it's embarrassing...





This is the first time I have ever admitted it openly.

My problem is that the longer I go without a relationship, the more it frightens me and makes me feel unwanted, somehow unattractive and sad. I am usually quite shy in nature but this situation makes me be even more insecure around guys.

Another point is that what a guy may be expecting from me is probably not what I'm prepared to give him, I need to go slow.

Perhaps this seems stupid and you wonder why I wrote, but I'm sure some gays can identify with being scared of doing something you've never tried before, and with the feeling of loneliness and sadness.

Please give me your opinion and advice. Thanks.

I felt that an indication of her age, ethnic background, and location were important to do a good job for her, so I immediately replied asking a few questions. I guessed that she was in her mid 20's, which she confirmed, and regarding the rest she said

"I am Caucasian and a native of Italy, but have been living and working in London for 2 years. I have a good job, share a flat and lead a normal life. I don't think there is really anything strange about me, despite the fact I have never been in a relationship."

I've given this situation quite a bit of thought, and I reckon that there are two main possibilities to discuss. On the one hand this young woman might just be slightly shy, and perhaps never ended up being in a position to develop friendships with suitable boys when she was younger. But another possibility is that she never put herself into situations where she'd get more involved with boys because deep down perhaps she's gay. So I've got some advice for both possible situations.

If she's not gay, she does still have a problem, and I think there are some similarities to the problems that gay people face when they start to come out. The fact is that she feels that she's got a terrible secret, namely that she's never had a boyfriend, and as long as she feels it's a terrible secret she won't be able to make any progress. It's another example of the Confidence Mirror, this young woman feels very uneasy about the situation, and as a direct result of this, potential boyfriends will be put off. She can't expect other people to like her until she likes herself.

In fact I can see a lot of straight guys being really keen on the possibility of a relationship with a young woman who's never had a boyfriend. I guess it's unusual, which makes it special in a good way. If a guy is dating and searching for a woman to spend the rest of his life with, is he more likely to want a Carrie Bradshaw or a nice shy Italian girl? I'm sure lots of guys would prefer the shy Italian girl, even if they have to go slow to start with!

So I think she has to find a way to "come out" as a girl who's never had a boyfriend to one or two close female friends. It's completely analogous to a gay person starting to come out as gay, they feel terrible to begin with, but just telling a single person helps a lot and makes the perceived problem seem less important. But I reckon that as long as she tries to hide the situation, it will remain the most important thing in her personal life, and she can't move forward.

Lots of gay guys wish they knew how to chat up straight guys, but the truth of course is that we don't have the attributes that straight guys are looking for! So I don't know how to advise her in this respect, but asking a close female friend for advice who does have experience is a natural thing to do. When she does this, the advice will hopefully be useful, but it's the confidence building that's the most important thing for her to get out of it.

The other possibility of course is that she's gay, even if she hasn't consciously realised it yet, and perhaps she prefers girls to boys. She says she lives in a flatshare, and I can't help wondering if it's an all female flatshare. Another indicator is perhaps that she's been living away from home. The gay issue can result in people moving away from their home and family, either to stop persistent questions about opposite gender boyfriends/girlfriends, or to allow them to explore their true sexuality.

To get a female view on this, I decided to ask the young gay woman who wrote to me a few months ago when she was having difficulties in her sixth form, relating to an article she'd written about coming out. So I sent her all the information (having deleted this woman's name and contact details), and after a couple of days I got a reply. I started by asking her how the issue that she'd written to me about was now, and this is what she said:

Hey GB :),

All has blown over now and, and apart from the whiff of homophobia i now get from my head of sixth, it's fine.

In terms of this woman...if she was gay i think she'd know it by now, unless she was from a conservative or religious family which may lead to her repressing it. If that's whats happening then i can't help but think the email wouldn't be about never having had a boyfriend but about being secretly gay...I'm sure you might have felt it, it's one of those things that just doesn't go away until you address it..i don't think you could preoccupy yourself with the dilemma of never having had a boyfriend into your mid-late 20's.

But then of course i might be wrong lol!

If she does feel like pursuing the gay route then there's a really friendly charity/organisation called pace (http://www.pacehealth.org.uk/) that run several groups. Girlesque is for women aged between 20-26. I've met several of the women that go and they are really lovely people.

Hmm...if she was planning to meet some gays then that would probably be her best bet (it's held in central London as well, so easy to get to) as The Scene can be just the tiniest littlest bit intimidating when you first start off.

Pace also do one-to-one drop in sessions if she wanted to talk about anything.

My personal advice, though, would be for her to get some male friends. Start talking, networking, eventually dating and playing the field. It's about feeling comfortable with someone and maybe she's never had a BF because shes just not comfortable around men.

Is there anyone she fancies at work or something? That might be a good starting point.

OR she could be asexual. lol. That would be different.

Anyways, it was nice hearing from you and i'm always open for advising the ladies as, fab though you are, you're not one of us!

When I saw this reply, it did occur to me that Italian families can be quite religious, so perhaps she IS trying to pretend that she's not gay. In any case, if she has any doubts it wouldn't do any harm to do one of the one-to-one drop in sessions, because it's bound to be on a 100% confidential basis. Even if she's not gay, another advantage of a confidential counselling session would be that it would give her an opportunity to "come out" to a complete stranger as a woman who's never had a relationship, which might be easier than a discussion with a close friend in the first instance.

Does anyone else have any other ideas here?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Email from a gay guy with relationship issues

Just over a week ago I received the following email:

Dear GB,

Was researching for Gay London information and came across your blog, and am totally fascinated by it! You have given me a lot of insight in terms of the modern gay life in a metropolitan environment, especially in respect of relationships.

I have been with my bf for 7 years and we moved in together around 5 years ago. I must say that our relationship has fallen downhill since then, and now it has come to a point that we almost don't have sex anymore. We don't have any common interest. I am virtually not allowed to go out and see those friends that he doesn't like. He gained at least 40 pounds from the first day I knew him. When we talk about my career, he sounds more like my father than my partner, and he's 37 and I'm 34, so there's not such a big age gap.

But the rest is good: he is mentally strong, career successful, good-looking (not model good looking but he has style), socially capable, can speak 4 languages, and, most of all, he loves me (or at least that's what it seems).

My love to him is definitely not as intense as 7 years ago, but every time I questioned his love to me, he said that he loves me more and more, and he could not live without me. His explanation for not having sex is his loss of sexual desire, but of course I know he has been fooling around.

Of course there is a strong emotional attachment between us, after all we have been together for more than 7 years. Of course we are not the only sexless couple on this earth, no matter gay or straight. But sometimes I feel like I'm stuck, and I am not sure if he is the one I wanna spend the rest of my life with. I am not sure if I'm not ready to give up on fairy tale / hollywood style of love yet, or if I'm just an ungrateful son of a bitch.

I hope this email is not too long to bore you, but what I need is someone like you who has definitely been there and done that to spare a few minutes and give me some advice.

This guy then went on to suggest in the final paragraph of his email that perhaps he could meet me for a coffee sometime, because he's going to be visiting london soon. But of course, as long term readers of this blog will know, I don't meet guys who know that I'm GB except in a very small number of cases where the other guy is an established blogger. Still, he did tell me the name of his gaydar profile, and he is certainly a very attractive guy :-).

His situation reminds me a lot of the 'Dear GB' email that I posted in mid June. Perhaps he saw that, and then thought about his own situation and decided to write to me. Everything I said there applies here, so I don't think there's anything wrong having a relationship either mostly or wholly based on companionship. In any big city where lots of gay guys live, sex is a commodity, but love and companionship are much harder to find. However, if he does stays with his current boyfriend, I do think it's better to formally adopt some kind of open relationship, rather than fooling around behind each other's back and pretending that it's not happening.

What concerns me about the this guy's situation though is that he says there's no common interest, and that he's virtually not allowed to see friends that his boyfriend doesn't like. It sounds as though his boyfriend gets a lot out of the relationship, but if the guy himself isn't getting either the sex or the companionship he wants, then he should probably try and find a new boyfriend to share his life with. If he stays with his boyfriend just because the boyfriend says he can't live without him, he's wasting his life if those feelings aren't sufficiently reciprocated.

Perhaps he should try imagining how would he feel if his boyfriend was involved in some terrible fatal accident? If there's more sense of excitement from the freedom rather than a huge sense of loss, his connection to his boyfriend probably isn't strong enough to justify continuing the relationship at this point.

I can't help wondering what originally brought this couple together? Was it just the sex, or was there originally some common interest too? If so, perhaps that common interest can be found again?

So I reckon the guy needs to negotiate both an open relationship and some change in the companionship aspects of the relationship. Seven years in a gay relationship is an achievement, so it's worth seeing if the relationship can be saved rather than throwing it all away. But without sex or any common interest, there's bound to be a better match for him somewhere out there.

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