Thursday, May 29, 2008

A couple of glasses of Pimms

A bottle of CristalA few days ago, I met up with HBH at the regular drinks event for gay bankers who work in London. We hadn't seen each other since last December, so it was good to catch up with him.

We arrive relatively early and decide to sit at the bar where we're given a drinks menu by one of the bar staff.

"We've got some good promotions on tonight guys, :-)," says the barman eagerly.

Indeed, it turns out that the drinks menu is only a list of the drinks that are on special offer. I'm always suspicions of things that are on special offer on the basis that it's often things that they can't otherwise sell, or in supermarkets it's food which is at the end of its shelf life. So I make a different suggestion:

"Since it's just about the start of summer," I say to HBH, "why don't we go for a couple of glasses of Pimms?"

"OK," he replies with a cute smile on his face, "actually I've never had Pimms so it'll be good to try it :-)."

We get ourselves a couple of glasses, full of all the usual mint and fruit that a good glass of Pimms should have, and settle down into an easy conversation. As the evening progresses I notice that HBH is actually drinking him Pimms quicker than me! A little later and we're into our second glass, and soon he has a question for me:

"So what do you think will happen with all your boyfriends," he asks, "now that you've bought boyfriend S his own house?"

"Oh I don't know," I sigh. "Actually I think I should probably stop calling boyfriend S a boyfriend because there haven't been any activities for ages."

"Well," says HBH with another cute smile on his face, "perhaps activities would be more fun if you had fun with both boyfriend S and boyfriend P at the same time :-)?"

I look at him blankly, completely stunned by the suggestion.

"Wow," he laughs, "you look COMPLETELY shocked!"

"Errr, well ... it's just that that's a thought which is so far from reality for me!" I explain. "They've never met each other of course, and judging by what both of them say they don't much like each other either."

"Well it was just an idea :-)" he replies sweetly.

I'm still thinking about the suggestion of a threesome between myself and boyfriends P and S when another idea comes into my mind:

"You know that I'm going to have to blog about this don't you!" I say, laughing now.

And in fact we've both blogged about the evening now! Judging from what HBH said on his blog, I think he quite likes Pimms :-). But of course, a glass or two of Pimms is always much better when one has the company of a charming guy like HBH!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Eurovision 2008

Following on directly from my recent admission that I'm sometimes a bit of a trekkie, I've got another confession to make. I think that I'm, um, just going to come out and say it ... I enjoy the Eurovision Song Contest :-). Phew, now that I've admitted it I feel much better. Some people think that Eurovision is exceptionally uncool, but then I think that those people take themselves too seriously!

Eurovision has an amazing history. In the 1950's, as Europe slowly rebuilt itself after the second world war, it was conceived by the European Broadcasting Union as a way of promoting international co-operation and mutual understanding of each other's cultures :-). Back then, even linking several countries simultaneously for live TV broadcast was quite a feat. It's obviously evolved a lot since then, from its small beginnings in Switzerland in 1956 when just seven countries that took part, to the huge extravaganza that we saw coming from Belgrade last Saturday night which involved 43 countries.

My favourite song this year was Iceland's "This is my life" sung by Friðrik Ómar and Regína Ósk. The song was a bit Abba like, but then it was the Eurovision Song Contest which launched ABBA on their international career so there's nothing wrong with that. And there was something about the way Friðrik swiftly lifted his forearm as though doing a bicep curl at various points during his routine that had me captivated, although I enjoyed the song as well!

The biggest disappointment of the evening was the poor reception that the UK's song got from the other countries. I thought that it was quite a reasonable entry, certainly much better than France's and Portugal's entries this year, however for some reason we came joint last with Germany and Poland. Never mind, there's always next year :-).

Friday, May 23, 2008

Chelsea Flower Show 2008

Every year since the early 1990's I've visited the Chelsea Flower Show with boyfriend S, and this year was no exception. When the weather is good like it has been this year, it's a perfect day out. It's also a quintessentially English day out, with people drinking pimms, eating strawberries and cream, listening to the brass band in the bandstand, men wearing straw boaters, and with everyone being exceptionally civilised :-). Along with Royal Ascot and the Henley Royal Regatta, the Chelsea Flower Show is one of the events of The English Season. None the less, as long as one is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society it's easy to get tickets!

At Chelsea, all the exhibitors and designers who create the show gardens go to extraordinary lengths to implement their ideas. Everything in the show gardens is built just for the five days that the show lasts for, and then torn down immediately afterwards. For example, look at the stone arch in the top picture below, which was the central feature in a courtyard carden titled Mist-placed. In its broken down state, the arch with its moss looks like it's been there for many decades. No doubt the moss is real but it's all only been there for about a week! The aim is always to win a Gold Medal, to establish the designer's horticultural credentials. Although quite a few gardens do get Gold Medals, others have to make do with Silver-Gilt, Silver or even Bronze medals, and in rare cases no medal at all.

This year, I was amused to see that garden designer and TV presenter Diarmuid Gavin failed to get a gold medal for the third year running! In the first year that he designed a show garden for Chelsea he got a Silver Medal, then almost made it to Gold the following year with a Silver-Gilt, but crashed back to a Bronze this year. I can't say I disagree either. His designs always seem to incorporate some grand but absurdly inelegant features, which always strike me as failed attempts to make positive artistic impressions. This year there were huge umbrella sized metal daisies, as shown in the second picture below, but although some people might like them they didn't impress me. I think he may have been embarrassed by the fact that he only got a Bronze medal because when I visited the garden it wasn't on display!

The other two pictures below show my two favourite show gardens this year. One was a tribute to George Harrison, the former Beatle who died a few years ago. The other was called The Reflective Garden.

As usual, myself and boyfriend S spotted lots of other gay couples at the event. But of course, although I suppose there's a weak link between flowers and effeminate gay men, this event has nothing whatsoever to do with being gay. None the less, I always enjoy it so I do recommend it, especially for any readers who enjoy gardens and horticulture :-).

A courtyard garden: Mist-placed

Diarmuid Gavin only gets Bronze with The Café Garden

Update 26-May-2008: Just for Monty, here's my picture of Jamie Durie's Australian Garden for Fleming’s and Trailfinder’s :-). The hole in the pond, visible on the bottom left hand side of the picture, was most curious!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Close Encounter

A few days ago, I went out for supper with occasional London blogger Close Encounters. I don't usually meet people face to face when they know about this blog, however I do sometimes make exceptions for established bloggers. Although I've been in intermittent email and MSN messenger contact with Close Encounters for well over a year now, we'd never actually met, so as we were both at a loose end last Saturday night it seemed like an ideal opportunity.

"You know that I look a lot older than my Avatar, don't you?," I warned him in an email on Saturday morning.

"I'm sure that I can deal with your age," replied Close Encounters shortly afterwards, "You may have more false preconceptions about me than I do about you!"

So I booked a table in a decent restaurant and the scene was set.

I arrive first, and I'm sitting in the restaurant bar when Close Encounters arrives. Finding out what another blogger looks like is simultaneously both an exciting and a tense moment, just like a blind date! But face to face he looks very much like the solid reliable guy that I was expecting, and it doesn't take long for us to settle into an easy conversation.

"You know, you're the sixth blogger that I've met now," I tell him while we're looking over the menu, "and they were all interesting guys :-)".

"Well I hope I don't disappoint you!" replies Close Encounters, looking slightly nervous.

But of course he doesn't. The nice thing about meeting other bloggers is that neither of you need to introduce yourselves to each other. So during the course of the evening we chat about just about everything imaginable, ranging across the people and boyfriends in our lives, work, gym, Internet, and of course blogging.

"You know, I found your old encounter posts quite uplifting when I first discovered them," says Close Encounters at one point during the evening, "I haven't been an out gay guy for nearly as long as you, and reading about a gay guy just having simple wholesome fun helped reinforced the notion that I wasn't doing anything wrong by doing the same thing!"

"Well, you've got quite a few encounter posts of your own now :-)," I say, "so in turn I guess you're now helping the next generation of gay guys too!"

It was a great evening and almost before we knew it, it was time to leave. Hopefully we'll meet up again at some point. As my relationships change with boyfriends P and S this year, I think I probably need more contact with dependable guys like Close Encounters!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

GB is watching you

In the privacy of their own homes, people will type quite interesting things into Internet search engines, thinking that no one can see what they're doing. But of course, people like me who have web sites can see! Thanks to, which is the web tracking service that I use, when someone lands on this blog from a search engine I can find out where in the world they are and what it was that they typed in that led them here :-).

As is usually the way with these kind of things, it's surprising which posts regularly get the hits. For example, my old post about CFNM gets usually gets a few hits a day, as does my old post about pubic hair trimming. provides lots of information, although unfortunately it doesn't tell me the gender of the person using the search engine. In many cases one can guess. Also, although only 28% of my readers are from the USA, that country has provided most of the examples below. The examples are situations were people have typed english sentences into the search engine, and for some reason Americans are more likely to do that. Anyway, here's a selection of searches that led people to this blog:

[Atlanta, Georgia, USA] if i like to eat my cum, does that make me gay?

[Raleigh, North Carolina, USA] does enjoying sex with a guy make me gay

[San Antonio, Texas, USA] can two girls (a lesbian couple) have a child with both of their eggs combined and a sperm

[London, UK] where can i get a gay man to wank me off

[Crewe, UK] i want to wank off my best mate

[Edmonton, Alberta, Canada] i don't think my boyfriend is perfect

[Boca Raton, Florida, USA] how i can test my boyfriend to see if he is gay

[Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA] how to make love to a gay man when you are gay

[Scottsdale, Arizona, USA] peeked at penis in boarding school

[Chatham, Massachusetts, USA] this guy was looking at my cock in the gym shower

[Stafford Springs, Connecticut, USA] can all men twitch their dick?

[Sydney, Australia] i'm moving in with my partner and we are buying a bed together, who should get it if we split up

[Feasterville Trevose, Pennsylvania, USA] i'm 13 years old. should i cut my pubic hair?

[Camarillo, California, USA] i hope my boyfriend is bisexual

[Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA] my boyfriend keeps making the excuses that he doesn't want to have sex. is he gay?

[Manchester, UK] gay man 27 looking for a woman for session with another man

[Englewood, Colorado, USA] do men with big dicks prefer gay sex?

[Sacramento, California, USA] phone numbers and addresses of guys wanting their cock sucked

I can't help wondering whether any of these people found any answers on my blog, or anywhere else on the Internet? Certainly for some of those questions, writing me a Dear GB email might have yielded better results!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

You're the most gorgeous guy in the galaxy :-)

A few days ago, a reader left a comment asking for a post about chat-up lines. Although I don't usually pay much attention to anonymous comments, I've decided to make an exception on this occasion. However, I've got a confession to make.

I'm not very good chatting up guys face to face! I suppose I used to be OK at it, because I met boyfriend S face to face so I must have done something right :-). However, that was back in 1989. Since then, although I've met a few guys for fun and found some other boyfriends too :-), all the initial contact has been online rather than face to face.

By co-incidence, an old Star Trek Next Generation episode was on cable TV a couple of days ago, and in it there was a chat-up scene between two of the characters. Will Riker tries to show the young Wesley Crusher how to chat up girls by using a chat-up line on Whoopi Goldberg's Guinan character. It went something like:

"You're the most beautiful woman in the galaxy," starts Riker, looking deeply into Guinan's eyes.

"Surely that's too corny," says Wesley quietly in disbelief.

"Oh no," says Guinan smiling, looking seductively into Riker's eyes, "that works :-). Tell me more ..."

But do gay guys like to be flattered with implausible one-liners like that?

There are some advantages to using that kind of chat-up line. To deliver such a line in a meaningful way and with good eye-contact requires a lot of self-confidence, and self-confidence like that is very attractive. Lines like that have clear intention too, whereas if one just tries to get chatting to a guy by asking him what the time is he won't necessarily know that you're interested in him. Also, if you imagine being on the receiving end of such a line it's going to grab your attention as long as the guy telling you that you're the most gorgeous guy in the galaxy seems to be sincere. And that's all one needs, something to grab the other guy's attention so that a conversation begins :-).

As this example suggests, rather than the line that one uses, it's other things that are probably more important. I reckon confidence is top of the list, but eye-contact is important too, as well as a good smile, sincerity and so on. Also, whatever line one uses, I reckon it's important to think ahead and work out what one's follow up lines will be depending on the most likely answers. For example, if one goes for a simple "Can I buy you a drink?" which is also a clear indication of interest, everything will be fine if the guy says "Yes" but having a response for "No, I'm all right thanks" is crucial, if only as an exit strategy to avoid losing face.

As I said above, I don't think I know much about picking up guys face to face. It might be fun to try and develop some expertise in this area, however with boyfriend P and boyfriend S in my life at the moment I'm not looking for any further connections. So do any readers have some thoughts on the best way to pick-up guys in offline situations?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Oi, you're in the middle of the bed!

Perhaps working out which side of the bed to sleep on is the easy part. What happens when the lights go out, after any activities, is interesting too.

As I've said before, I don't usually sleep very well when I'm on my own, because I'm so used to having another guy to cuddle up to while I'm trying to get to sleep. But if we're in a big bed together, will he come over onto my side for a cuddle, or should I move onto his? If I'm with a guy that I've slept with a lot like boyfriend P or boyfriend S, they know that I like to cuddle up when the lights go out so we'll usually meet in the middle. They both tell me that when I fall asleep holding them in my arms, I somehow naturally move back onto my side of the bed. But I've got no idea how it happens :-).

When I wake up though, whether it's in the middle of the night for some reason or in the morning, I may find that I've got less than half the bed to myself! Luckily I'm not the kind of guy who regards the middle of the bed as a strict boundary, as long as I'm not being completely pushed out of the bed. In that situation I'll usually just snuggle up to them again and try and remember, if they ever complain about me moving onto their side of the bed during my sleep, that they're guilty too. Snoring is another problem of course, but again, most guys will snore sometimes depending on what position they end up sleeping in.

In terms of cuddling, it's always interesting to see what happens after a casual encounter. More often than not, guys that I've met through gaydar or expect me to leave quite quickly once the activities are over! None the less, there's still a reasonable number of guys who like to doze and cuddle with me afterwards, and I always feel that those are the kind of guys who make the best boyfriends :-).

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Oi, you're on my side of the bed!

When my relationship with boyfriend S first began, we used to change which side of the bed that we slept on all the time. Back in those days, we had a futon which was crammed up against a wall in quite a small bedroom, so whoever got into bed first would move over next to the wall to make room for the other person. Even when we moved into a bigger place and got ourselves a proper bed, we didn't much worry about which side of the bed we slept.

One of our more 'precious' friends found this very odd. During the 1990's he stayed with us for a few days, and just after he arrived, he found something in his luggage for me while he was unpacking.

"Hey GB, I've brought that book that I mentioned for you if you want to borrow it?" he shouts down.

"OK sure, can you leave it on our bed while you're upstairs?"

"Yes OK," he replies, "which side of the bed do you sleep?"

"Oh either, just leave it in the middle I guess :-)."

"WHAT?", he says, sounding shocked, "you don't have your own side of the bed??"

"No not really, what's the point of having one's own side?"

I guess it was because this guy leads a very ordered life that he couldn't imagine not having his own side of the bed if was in a relationship. But perhaps it was because of the way he over-organised his life that's prevented him from ever finding a boyfriend. On another occasion when I stayed with him, I recall being told off for putting the jam back in the fridge on the wrong side of the correct shelf!

In recent years though, myself and boyfriend S have settled down to sleeping on the same side of the bed each night. But occasionally, if we've moved the furniture in the room around for example, we've agreed to swap sides going forward just for the fun of it :-).

With boyfriend P, it's been a bit different. Although he'll say that he doesn't really mind which side of the bed he sleeps on, in the past he did tell me once that he has a preferred side! So whenever we go to sleep together, I'll remember which side he prefers and try and take the other :-), but it's not a firm rule.

To me, ALWAYS sleeping on the same side of the bed with a boyfriend is a bit sad. It's a small indication that one's life has perhaps become predictable, and hence boring :-(. So if you've got a partner and you're reading this, the next time you go to sleep with him or her why not make sure it's on the opposite side of the bed to last time? If nothing else, it'll give you a chance to approach the customary activities from a new angle!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Email from a guy who received a message on gaydar

Last Friday, I received the following email asking for my advice from a reader who I've corresponded with in the past. Perhaps the surprising thing is that I myself have never been in this situation:

Dear GB,

I received this message on Gaydar this morning:

Hi you!!! Well I take it you are XXX....?
Just wanted to inform you that I have been involved with YYY since August last year and I understand you 2 had something going?
Would like to know when this happened since me and him are working through our issues and trying to have a healthy relationship.
Came across your nr on his phone, confronted him and yes, it seems to me you 2 have regular contact and obviously I don't approve of it. no hard feelings and sure you would understand. Take care.......

Well I certainly "understand" ... but ... some months ago this guy's partner contacted me on Gaydar and we had an awesome one-night stand. It was one of those rare chances where everything just seemed to gel and we had a great time! For a few weeks we had contact via text messages, sort of "How are you buddy?" etc etc and that was it. Hadn't heard from him for two months and now this!

My question is: should and how do I react to this message? I obviously don't want to compromise my friend and cause problems in his relationship. Should his boyfriend be going through his phone records etc etc? I personally believe we are all entitled to our privacy even if we are in a relationship. I don't have to share everything with my partner and I accept the same from him. I don't believe that we were intended to be monogamous, but that's a long story.

You have often written about these problems (which seem to be the core problems of relationships) so what do you think my response should be? Or should I simply ignore the message?


What a fascinating situation. I must agree with the reader that the guy who sent him the gaydar message shouldn't be going through the phone records of his partner. If monogamy has been agreed in a relationship and one party to the relationship has concerns about cheating on the agreement, I think the best course of action is a direct discussion on the subject rather than underhand snooping into the other persons affairs. Then if the suspicious person doesn't believe the answers, that probably signals that the relationship is at an end because the trust has disappeared, just like in the story I wrote last month.

So what should the reader do? In my immediate response to the email last week, I suggested that the reader should contact the guy who he had the one night stand with, and now I've thought about it a bit more I still think that's a good idea if he wants to try and help the couple sort themselves out. It might be best to phone rather than sending a txt msg, because that way the reader could be sure he was communicating with the guy that he had the one night stand with. Although I like emails and txt msgs, it's clear from the gaydar message that was sent that electronic forms of communication might not reach the right person in this situation!

If the reader does manage to contact the guy with whom he had the one night stand, there would be two purposes. Firstly it would be good for the guy to know that there are trust issues in his relationship, given that his partner has been through his phone records. If the guy wants to save his relationship he would then be able to try and address this. Secondly, by contacting the guy they could decide on whether to reply to the gaydar message or not.

Gaydar messages have a feature that allows the sender to be notified when a message has been read, so almost certainly that feature was used when this message was sent. Given that the sender knows that the message has been read, perhaps the best message to send in response is something non-committal such as

Regarding your recent message, I don't know who you are so, if you have any problems with your partner I suggest you discuss them with him.

Another gaydar feature allows online messages to be blocked from particular people, so I think that it would be good to use this feature here, to avoid future messages from the sender. Ultimately the issue is between the sender and the guy who the reader had the one night stand with, so the reader should try and exit the situation as quickly as possible.

Do any other readers have any thoughts on this subject?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Electronic communication

What we now call snail mail must itself have been a revolution in its day. Instead of having to visit someone who was possibly in a different country, one could communicate by sending them a letter.

These days, I think it's amazing how quickly one can communicate in written words using email and txt msgs. With smart-phones and PDAs, as long as there's a decent mobile phone connection one can send and receive both email and txt msgs everywhere. But is electronic communication overused? For example, in an office environment some people will send emails to people sitting next to them, rather than talking to them face to face. Is that too geeky?

One advantage of written communication is that one can carefully craft one's words so as to convey one's exact meaning, whereas with verbal communication it's easier to accidentally say the wrong thing. I think that was always true, but now email and txt msgs make written communication so much faster than it used to be, I feel electronic communication can be preferable to verbal communication. Certainly when faced with the prospect of a telephone conversation or sending an email, email has some distinct advantages, for example one never has to worry about a bad mobile phone connection making it hard to understand what's being said. Electronic communication is also less intrusive because a phone call demands immediate attention, whereas emails and txt msgs can be answered at leisure. With email one can also say the same thing to many people simultaneously, whereas organising a meeting to make the same thing possible verbally can be difficult or even impossible, with the Cc versus the Bcc field in email headers providing a further level of sophistication.

The reason that these thoughts are in my mind at the moment is that myself and boyfriend P communicate a lot with emails because we life in different countries. Recently, we discussed the direction that our relationship is headed in and whether it has a future, all by email. These are very difficult subjects where face to face communication can be hard, because one really doesn't want to say the wrong thing accidentally. Perhaps because we feel at home with email, having these discussions electronically is much easier for both of us. But again, is having deep meaningful conversations by email a bit geeky?

The fact is, digital technology in many forms is gradually extending its reach further and further into our everyday lives. Geeky behaviour is probably on the increase in all walks of life. When I think about this, I generally reach the conclusion that eventually the human race will evolve into something like the Borg from Star-Trek. All we need is an electronic interface to our brains so we can access the Internet and email just by thinking about it and we we're pretty much there, because the Internet is already all around us in the mobile phone networks. I don't necessarily think that it would be a bad thing either, with one proviso. If I'm going to become a Borg, I just hope that I manage to have better dress sense!