Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Is Rome the sleaziest city in Europe?

A couple of days ago, I wasn't particularly surprised when a taxi driver in Rome offered to take me to a special night club. I was surprised, though, when I examined my taxi receipts from this business trip in detail. A different taxi driver gave me the receipt below. I promise you, it IS a taxi receipt, and indeed you can see the word Taxi in the upper right hand corner. However, I bet that it was the large advert stretching from the upper left hand corner and into the middle of the receipt that caught your eye! Somehow, I don't think I can submit it as part of my expenses for the trip, so I guess I'll have to pay for it myself. I certainly don't want to suffer the humiliation of having the receipt refused, perhaps accompanied by an accusation that I'm trying to claim wholly inapprpriate business expenses!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I look too straight!

So I've come away on a short business trip. In the evening although I'm not in the mood for cruising, I'm not going to sit alone in my hotel room all evening either, so I decide to take a taxi into the city centre. It turns out that the taxi driver can speak some English, and after a bit of polite conversation, he asks the inevitable question:

"I take you special night club, you have good time there?"

I suppose I could have asked him for a gay night club instead, but I decide against it. No doubt all the special night clubs will tip taxi drivers who bring them clients, so there wouldn't be any benefit to him in taking me to a gay place!

Anyway, after a pleasant supper in the touristic centre of the city, I decide to take a few nighttime pics and post them here. Can anyone guess where I am, or for extra points identify the buildings or statues in the pictures?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Email from an Asian guy with a relationship dilemma

A couple of weeks ago, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

I have been viewing your blog off and on over the last couple of years. This has been quite therapeutic in times of boredom and I often find it useful to read your advice to other blog-users. Anyway, I needed a sounding board today of course, and thought that instead of being a silent recipient of your invaluable resource, I'd write to you for a change.

Here's my dilemma:

I am an academic, originally from S E Asia, and have been living in the UK for the past 12 years. To be honest, I have dedicated most of my time to work and progressing in my career (though not necessarily by personal choice I must admit). Anyway, I've never really worn my gay label on my sleeve, and being from a country where homosexuality is apparently illegal and given my staunch Roman Catholic (and assertive mother's) upbringing, I never really actively pursued a proper gay relationship. At the same time, I have a high sex drive and have often desired physical contact. Consequently, there were many times I had confused my sexual encounters with a 'proper' loving relationship (a figment of my imagination at times). Needless to say, most of my relationships never go past the one-year mark.

I was reading your advice to the Swiss 'Jewish' guy regarding trying out in numbers. And I consider myself to be fairly open-minded in terms of the shape, size and age of my potential partners. I hasten to add though that my ideal partner should really be around my age... of course, there is a legacy that my first encounter in the UK was with someone who claimed to be much younger than he was, and I found out years later he became a convicted paedophile (I was of legal age at that time of course). Anyway, all this is relevant as it will transpire.

So, during last Summer, as I ended a relationship with an American study abroad student, I went back to my home country and aimlessly cruised on gaydar. To my surprise, I received a message from this rather dishy guy from London (in his 30s). We chatted for a bit, and he knew I was abroad then and that I lived in the North of England. Anyway, my work takes me to the capital city quite frequently and we suggested that meeting for a drink would be a good idea. We didn't do so until the Autumn when I returned to the UK and we ended up having a meal, a few drinks, and bed! I had actually vocalised the invite to my hotel bed for a change (being the passive one, I am surprised... though my heart was pounding heavily yet again with the notion that this could lead to something more). Anyway, we got on fine, and it was soon after this that he confessed his real age (mid 40s), though he (and a lot of my friends) say he doesn't look it hahaha.

Anyway, we've carried on having a relationship. He is by far the best person I've dated so far: mature, thoughtful, loving, gently, understanding of my circumstance, supportive and not to mention a hard top lol! Though we only meet on-and-off, we do communicate virtually (emails, msn and to a lesser extent on the phone) almost everyday. The worrying thing now is that we haven't physically met for 2 months, due to a number of work-related reasons on my part (busy time of the year for academics). At the moment, I am having a mixed bag of feelings. In January, I inadvertently noticed that he was also chatting with other guys. Despite making promises that he will not do so again (though he assured me that this was just harmless chatting and no exchange of body fluids involved), I can't help but feel he is still doing so. At the same time, I am also guilty of the occasional chat with other blokes. Anyway, it is a mixed bag of feeling sexually frustrated, insecure and the fear of losing him. I know this is just silly, as we have now planned for a few trips away together.

Anyway, I thought that the sage in you might be able to advise. Nonetheless, this articulation has made me feel a little better. Hope to hear from you if you reply...

Many thanks.

An unsure gay guy undergoing mid-life (30s) crisis

In spite of the way this reader signed the email, it strikes me that this is more of a dilemma than a crisis. He's looking for a boyfriend and has found a good candidate, but the catch is that they live in different cities. It reminds me very much of the situation that I was in with ex-boyfriend P, because we went on lots of trips together, and we didn't live in the same city either. At least in this reader's case they live in the same country, because ex-boyfriend P was a long-haul air flight away!

This reader's situation also reminds me of an email that I got almost 2 years ago about handling hope in a long distance relationship. Looking back now at my response to that email, I'm not sure that I gave a very good reply. One of the key questions there was how can a couple survive in a long distance relationship without a clear plan for living together one day. I think a better answer to that question would be to say that long distance relationships like that are better described as long distance friendships (with benefits), and for that friendship to evolve into a relationship there does need to be a plan to live together at some point. However I still think I was right to say that there's no point killing off such friendships, as long as both people in the friendship continue to derive some benefit from it.

In terms of the reader who sent me the email a couple of weeks ago, I'm wondering whether they've thought about any plan for living together one day. Presumably not, otherwise the reader would have mentioned it, so I'd suggest that the situation would be better categorised at the moment as a close friendship rather than a boy-friendship. Certainly without even a vague intention of living together at some point, I think it's inappropriate to expect any kind of monogamy commitment.

But even if they plan to live apart so that it's not a fully-fledged relationship at the moment, there's every possibility that eventually the friendship could evolve in that direction. To achieve that, effective communication between the two guys involved will be vitally important. If they're already talking about monogamous relationships then I think it should be fine to talk about what kind of future they have together. If discussions about their future together seem premature, then so are any expectations of monogamy. But whatever stage they're at, they need to keep communicating and to be wary of making assumptions about what each other is thinking.

Nowhere is that more important than when it comes to the question of monogamy. Long time readers of this blog will know that monogamous versus open relationships is a favourite topic of mine. I think that too often guys just assume that if they go into a relationship with another guy then it has to be monogamous, because that's the relationship model that most people are most familiar with. My advice, however, is not to assume that a new relationship needs to be a monogamous one, and instead to discuss the issue and go on discussing the issue as the relationship matures. So if their friendship is evolving towards a boy-friendship and they haven't already had a good discussion on this subject, then it's getting a bit overdue!

Lastly, the reader needs to relax and chill out a bit. If he's worrying about losing this guy then it sounds like he's a bit desperate, and desperation is never attractive in a potential boyfriend.

Do any other readers have any thoughts on these matters?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jailbait seduction techniques

Recently, I was chatting about online cruising with a gay friend who grew up outside the UK, when all of a sudden he asks me a different question.

"But when was your first time, GB?"

"What, from meeting a guy online, or do you mean real first time, however I met him?"

"Yeah, real first time :-)."

"Well, I was in my 20's before I did anything interesting with another guy. What about you?"

"Me?" he replies coyly, "I was only 13!"

"Really? So did you hook up with a class mate or something??"

"No, not at all," he says with a quite a serious look on his face now, "Actually, the guy who touched me was 34."

"My god! I had no idea," I reply, genuinely shocked, "But why on earth did you let that happen? Was it a member of your family? Do you think it had any effect on why you turned out to be gay??"

"Let me tell you the full story," he replies calmly. "When I was 13 the building that I used to live in with my parents had a gym with a swimming pool in the basement, but there was also a sauna in the male changing rooms. So at weekends I'd go swimming and afterwards I'd go into the sauna for a few minutes. I often used to see this guy in there who never wore anything, and I guess because I was gay I loved looking at his naked male body. Eventually we started talking, which is how I found out how old he was. Then for a few weekends he wasn't around, so the next time I saw him I asked him where he'd been. He told me that he'd been on holiday in Mauritius. I said 'wow' and asked if he had any photos. He said he'd bring them down to the pool the next day, but out of curiosity, I asked to go up to his apartment to see them instead."

"Well then," I interrupt, "you were asking for trouble weren't you!"

"Yes but you do those kind of things when you're 13! Anyway he took me up to his apartment, and once inside he showed me around before showing me his holiday pics. I studied the pics closely. He was on holiday with a friend but it was a male friend, and there were no women in any of the photos. And then I spotted a painting of two naked guys on the wall. Eventually he wanted me to leave so I thanked him and he showed me out. But once he'd closed the door behind me, I stood there thinking 'this guy is definitely gay'! So I knocked on his door again, and when he opened it I looked him in the eyes and in my sweetest young voice I said 'I always get hard when I see you in the sauna' ..."

"YOU SAID WHAT?" I ask, almost unable to believe what I'm hearing.

"Well GB," replies my friend with a huge grin on his face now, "I knew I was gay! I knew what I wanted!! This is just the story about how I started getting it :-)."

"So in fact it was YOU who seduced HIM!" I reply, bursting out into howls of laughter.

"Yes of course! He didn't want to do anything with me of course, after all I was jailbait back then. 'Are you hard now?' he whispered to me, and when I replied 'yes, can I come in again?' he told me that I was too young. So I started talking a bit louder and pleading with him 'PLEASE :-) :-)' and perhaps to avoid attracting the neighbour's attention he let me back inside! It was the first time that I'd been touched by another guy and I came almost immediately. I felt so embarrassed that I collected my stuff and left as quickly as I could."

"But did you ever see him again?"

"Yes I did. Actually, after that I couldn't resist going back as often as I could!"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Email from Virgin Driver

A couple of days ago, I got a lovely email from a reader who called himself "Virgin Driver". In the email he told me that my blog had helped transform his life, had helped him to come out as a confident gay man, and had also inspired him to blog about it too. Getting emails like that always makes me very happy, and makes me think that blogging is a highly worthwhile activity. Although at the moment his blog is invitation only, he sent me his first posting with permission to use it here in my "Reader's story" category. This is what his first post says:


So, I'm a 24 year old virgin who can't drive, but not for much longer. The thing is I'm gay, but up until a few weeks ago I couldn't really admit that to myself. Of course I've known for years, even started to accept it internally, but three weeks ago something just clicked. I changed from "slowing coming to terms with my sexuality" to being "gay and proud of it" and ready to do something about it and tell people in the very near future.

So why am I blogging about this? Well it's cheaper than therapy for all those years of repressed sexuality, but mainly because the thing that made "something click" three weeks ago was a blog. If this can help another gay person come out and fell happy and confident about their sexuality then it will be worth every word. The last few weeks have been some of the most exciting and revelational in my life and I want to be able to look back and remember how it all felt.

Coming out to myself - properly - was the hardest part (I hope). Unlike some guys who worry that their parents will freak out or their friends will abandon them, I genuinely can't see that happening to me. I also live in one of the best cities in the world to be gay in: London, and I work in an industry where it definitely won't affect my career: Creative.

I have a really caring, open-minded and liberal bunch of friends. There are already lots of gay guys in my extended circle, so apart from an initial shock they should get used to it pretty quickly. Although if I'm honest I don't think there will that much shock, they probably put the pieces of the puzzle together themselves a long time ago.

As for my parents, they're pretty liberal, they like to think of themselves as good, modern, middle-class, open minded people. They've never put any pressure on me or my brother (who I'll get to later) to be or do anything, they just want us to be happy. Even if they initially have trouble accepting it they'll try to happy for me. There's another reason I'm optimistic about it, which I'll get to below. I don't plan to tell them for a while yet, I want to build up my own confidence and have the ability to support them if they need help when I do come out. It took me about six years to accept my sexuality so I can't expect them to be 100% fine over-night, but they'll get used to it.

As for my brother, well that's a different story, but not the one you might expect. The thing is he's gay too. Apparently it's not as unusual as you might think. I've been about 99% sure he was gay for the last few years, but didn't really think about it too much. He was also the first friend or family member I came out to, just last weekend. I wasn't planning to tell him first. But I knew he was gay and I wanted us to be able to talk about it. We're not really that close, but I think part of the reason for that is because up until last weekend there was a great big elephant in the room that is our relationship. I'm not entirely sure how he took it, I thought we would have a really good talk about a lot of things but we only talked for about 15 minutes and then didn't mention it for the rest of the weekend. Maybe he was shocked, he said it had crossed his mind, but I'm very quiet and reserved so wasn't giving any of the obvious signals. I'll have to try talk about it with him some more but we don't live in the same city. He's going to be visiting London in June when he's going to introduce me to his boyfriend of one year.

Well there is so much more I need to punch out on this keyboard, but I think I've written enough for now, coming up in future posts:

Gay support groups (or Gay.A. meetings as I call them)
My early memories and thinking for the first time that I might be gay.
Living in the closet in San Francisco.
Using gay social networking sites.
Making gay friends.
Meeting my brother's boyfriend.
Coming out to my close friends.
Telling my parents.
Going to my first gay bar.
My first date. (happening this Tuesday)
My first "experience" (Although I'm not sure how explicit I want this blog to be, so don't get your hopes up)
Being out at work. ( haven't got a clue how that is going to work yet or if it even needs to happen)
My thoughts on relationships and casual sex (constantly evolving)
Gay culture reviews and maybe some gay rights history too.
And last but not least: learning to drive.

It's all ahead of me and I'll try to share (almost) every detail here too.

Lastly a shout out to the two blogs that have helped me massively so far, London Preppy, who like me was a 24 year old virgin and whose coming out post kick started this whole process and gaybanker whose wisdom, experience and honest blogging helped me take the next steps.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Email from a Londoner curious about gay sex

About three weeks ago, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

I have been following your blog on and off for about a year. I have always found it entertaining and enlightening.

I am a 23 year old Londoner, born and bred. I'd like to describe myself as relatively normal and down to earth. I don't lead my life by excesses but rather indulge in them from time to time. I keep fit and active and have varied interests including women. I have in recent times become more aware of certain urges that I have felt towards other men which previously I wasn't in touch with. I am intelligent and open minded enough to view these as opportunities for further exploration rather than worrying pathologies but I am faced with a dilemma and wondered whether you might be able to help?

I want to explore sexual activity with other men but I am not prepared to do so in an open and obvious way. Society's obsession with sexuality means that I fear having to commit myself to other people's assumptions about who I am or what I do before I have even had the chance to try anything. From my own investigation I am aware that anonymous or rather impersonal sexual encounters are quite normalised within gay society and this is something that I think I would like to take part in or experience. I don't know quite what to do or where to do it. The idea of a sauna (Chariots etc) seems a bit daunting and Hampstead Heath strikes me as too open and potentially dangerous. The more I read about your experiences in your gym the more I think that the informality and more subtle nature of that environment would suit me... I really don't know.

Can you shed any light? Provide any advice? Even some hints and tips and how and what to do.

Any help is very much welcomed.

Best wishes,

When I received this email I sent the reader an immediate reply, warning him that it would be a few weeks before I'd get round to replying, and asking him if he'd seen the old posting that I did about how gay men cruise gym saunas and steam rooms. Within a day or so I received his reply:

I checked that blog post out and I think that's the kind of thing I am looking for, perhaps it was the inspiration in the first place, in fact it may have come up on a google search and that's how I found your blog ... aah memories. I guess I just have to find the right gym with the right sauna.

Looking forward to the reply. Keep up the good work and thanks again for your help.

Reading this reader's first email in detail, he makes some good points. Even in modern liberal societies like we have in London guys don't grow up wanting to be gay, so it's understandable that this reader doesn't want to be perceived as gay yet, given that he's not sure. But he should bear in mind that straight guys who're confident of their heterosexuality will sometimes adopt things that have become fashionable in the gay community, so there's no need to put a lot of distance between himself and gay culture. Admittedly though, whatever bits of gay culture that move across to the straight world, having sex with other guys won't be one of them!

I've never been a fan of outdoor cruising in places like Hampstead Heath. However if a guy who's looking for anonymous gay sex knows how to identify other gay guys in that kind of situation then it's probably not too dangerous. But as a novice cruiser it would be much harder for him, so since there are other options I'd agree that he should look elsewhere.

It's a pity that he finds the idea of visiting Chariots too daunting, because in many ways places like that are the epitome of anonymous encounters. Walking up to the door and paying the admission fee is probably the hardest bit, but once inside, in the first few rooms it just feels as though one had walked directly into a men's changing room at a gym. They give you a couple of towels as part of the admission fee, so if I ever go I'll keep one of those towels in my locker so that I've got a clean towel to dry myself with when I take a shower just before leaving. When one goes in, one basically strips off and puts all one's clothes and shoes in the locker, and then wanders around with a towel around one's waist. Since the locker rooms are quite open, shy guys will wrap the towel around themselves before removing their undershorts. My recollection is that the locker keys in Chariots are on tough elastic bands, so what a lot of guys will do is wear them around their ankles to avoid losing them. If they wore them around their wrists of course, the keys might end up making a noise if they manage to find interesting things for their hands to do!

One good thing about places like Chariots is that one doesn't need to work out who's gay and who's straight, because it's safe to assume that everyone is gay. The problem with gym saunas and steam rooms is again that novices will find it hard to tell who's interested in a bit of fun. Also, a novice probably won't give off the right signals to any gay guys that are in the sauna, so the novice may be interpreted as a straight guy with the result that activities won't start while he's around. In fact horny gay guys can end up resenting guys that they think are straight if they hang around the sauna, because it prevents them from hooking up with other guys that they have identified as gay!

However, long time readers of this blog can probably guess what my favourite solution to this reader's curiosity is, namely gaydar. Anyone can get a free account (called a guest account) on gaydar, although one needs to give an email address. If the reader doesn't want to use any of his existing email addresses when signing up then he can simply create a new one using a site like gmail or yahoo. I'd recommend having a picture or two to load onto the system, although to preserve anonymity it's quite acceptable to leave one's face out of the pics on one's profile. Again one advantage of this is that one doesn't need to work out who's gay. It's also more comfortable than places like Chariots or gym saunas, because one can meet in the privacy of your home of the other guy's home.

Yet another idea would be to pay an escort. Escorts are available on gaydar, and can also be found in magazines like Gay Times, which is readily available. However I think paying for fun takes a lot of the pleasure out of it. None the less if a guy decides to pursue this option it could all happen very quickly, because the other options all require mutual attraction and finding that can take time.

In summary, my recommendation for guys curious about gay fun would be to use online cruising web sites like gaydar, or visit somewhere like Chariots. However if they want to try activities in a gym sauna, they need to try especially hard to identify the other gay guys, and then not to be seen as a barrier to fun.

Do any other readers have any useful thoughts?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Can I help cure your hay fever?

One morning a few days ago, I wake up in bed next to a new friend. Outside I can hear the familiar happy sound of the dawn chorus :-). Inside, however, every now and then I can hear my new friend sniffle slightly :-(.

"Are you awake," I ask quietly, moving over to put my arm around his mostly naked body.

"Uh huh," he replies lazily, "but trying to get back to sleep again!"

"Good idea :-), but are you OK?" I ask sounding concerned, "it sounds like you've got a cold or something."

"Actually I think it's just hay fever. I guess I need to ejaculate again."

"What did you say?" I reply startled, "Did you say 'ejaculate'??"

"Yeah, apparently it's a cure for hay fever."

The warmth of his body feels so good next to mine. Slowly, I move the hand that's just started cuddling his chest down towards his legs.

"Well then," I say mischievously, "perhaps I can help cure your hay fever :-)".

But as soon as I start fondling him downstairs, his hand grabs my hand firmly and moves it back up to his chest again! I guess he's not in the mood for a hay fever cure :-(.

Later, I decide to do a bit of research online to see whether there's any truth in his theory that ejaculation cures hay fever. There seem to be several articles on this subject, most recently one in New Scientist with the title Masturbation could bring hay fever relief for men. Apparently, a neurologist called Sina Zarrintan from the Tabriz Medical University in Iran thinks that ejaculation should help hay fever because it causes constriction of blood vessels all over a man's body, including both genitals and nose. That should soothe the swollen nasal blood vessels that become irritated with hay fever, hence freeing the airway for normal breathing.

I don't know if it actually works, but one thing's for sure. I've got an interesting new chat-up line :-).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I'm in a meeting at work this morning when suddenly my boss makes a comment about a well respected guy who works for another bank, and who we all know.

"Actually, that guy hasn't been very productive since he got married to that young woman a few years ago!"

We all laugh, because my boss is clearly implying that instead of making money for the bank that he works for, he's got better things to do!

"But he broke the rule," my boss continues, "because she was only 25 years old when he must have been about 52."

"What rule are you talking about?" I ask.

"N/2+7," replies my boss cryptically, "where N is the age of the man. No man should marry a woman who's younger than N/2+7. So this guy's limit should have been a woman aged 33!"

"But who says?" asks another colleague, "I've never heard that before!"

"It's just a reliable rule of thumb," says my boss confidently, "something's just bound to go wrong if you break the rule. Hasn't anyone else heard of that before?"

We all shake our heads and soon the meeting moves on to work related matters. But for the last few minutes of the meeting I'm thinking about the rule that my boss mentioned.

It even seems sensible for young guys. If a guy is 18, the rule would say that his female partner shouldn't be younger than 16, which works in the UK at least because that's the age of consent. The rule was stated for heterosexual guys and marriage of course, but even so, I can't help wondering. Perhaps it's also a sensible rule for gay guys?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Email from a guy with a crush on a guy with a boyfriend

About four weeks ago, I got the following email from another blogger:

Dear GB,

I am a fellow blogger and an avid reader of your blog. I have read many times your advice that you have dished out to fellow gayers. I thought maybe you could offer me some of that wisdom.

I have just got out of an 18 month train wreck of a relationship. The details I won't go into right now. A few weeks ago I met a guy at a party and there was an instant spark. He was smart, funny and attractive. He made it clear to me from the get go that he would like us to hook up. I liked him so I didn't shoot him down. It was only when he introduced me to another guest at the party that I realised they were a couple. Him and his boyfriend had seen me before and had discussed inviting me to a threesome.

I vetoed the idea because I was not sexually attracted to his boyfriend. However through out the party we kept sneaking off to chat and to kiss. The more I got to know him the more I realised I liked him. Not just sexually. He even called me after I left to tell me he enjoyed my company and that we should meet again soon. But he also made it clear that nothing would ever happen with us without his boyfriend's involvement. I was disappointed to say the least. He knows that I have this crush on him.

They guy is in his thirties and is a philosophy teacher. I am in my twenties. Ever since that night we have kept in contact via text message. The content is always ambiguous and only once or twice has he even mentioned his attraction to me. I can't get this guy of my mind. It's crazy because I don't even know him. I don't understand why he keeps up the contact but yet still makes it clear that nothing will ever happen with us. Well he says this but then will subtly mention us hooking up! He knows how I feel about him. Why does he want to prolong it? If nothing is ever going to happen then would it not be best to cut all contact. I cannot help but reply to his messages when he sends them. I get a little flutter when his name pops up on my phone!

I cannot continue this because it's driving me crazy.

Any advice?

Indeed, all the txt msgs must be very distracting so the reader clearly needs some kind of resolution!

In any situation like this, it's useful to try and work out where the other guy is coming from. From the information supplied, my guess is that the other guy is firmly committed to his boyfriend, with a relationship where they're allowed to have sex with other guys although only in each other's company. Actually, judging from the tenacity with which the other guy's been pursuing the reader, my guess is that they really enjoy having threesomes with other guys! I'd also guess that the other guy has picked up on the reader's strong attraction for him, and is trying to leverage off that to get the threesome he wants. He can smell the fact that the reader is very interested in him, so like any good hunter, he's after the kill! He probably is attracted to the reader, although probably no more than any of the other guys that he's talked into threesomes, and certainly nowhere near as much as the reader is attracted to him.

One course of action would be to try and break the connection. Just by failing to respond to his txt msgs and phone calls the other guy would lose interest eventually. A better way would probably be to ask him not to get in touch unless he's interested in a hook-up without his boyfriend. If the reader can be firm and clear enough about why he needs to break the connection, the guy should respect the reader's wishes. The only problem with this course of action is that the reader's attachment to the guy is likely to take a long time to fade. Which is why, if it were me, I'd follow the other course of action.

Even though I prefer 1-2-1's, I'd do the threesome just to see how it all turns out. Indeed, in a recent comment, LWW pointed out that I'm a bit like Oscar Wilde because I can resist anything except temptation! But for this reader, there are probably more good possible outcomes from that scenario that bad ones:
  • If it goes badly, that'll probably cure the reader of his crush.
  • Once the guy has had some activities with the reader, he may just add him to his list of conquests and then lose interest in him, leaving him in peace.
  • In spite of the reader's indifference to the guy's boyfriend, during the activities he may discover that the boyfriend has hidden talents that make him a vital component of the experience.
  • He won't have to live the rest of his life wondering "what if ...".
  • It may turn out that the boyfriend just likes watching, and even if the reader thinks he doesn't like being an exhibitionist for another guy like that, he may discover that he actually really enjoys it.
  • ...
Although it's true that one possible outcome is that it'll just deepen the reader's desire for the guy who's already made it clear that he's only available in conjunction with his boyfriend, I reckon there are many more scenarios where the result will be some kind of resolution and closure. In any case, if he really has got a very strong crush on the guy it probably couldn't get much worse anyway, so accepting the invitation and succumbing to carnal temptation won't do much harm!

Do anyone else have any useful thoughts for this reader?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Yesterday was the last day of this year's London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. In previous years I hadn't paid much attention to it, however this year Close Encounters asked me to go along and see three films with him. I was happy to accept his invitation :-).

The first film we saw was called Investigating Desire, a collection of seven short films ranging from 4 minutes in length to 20 minutes. It was a very eclectic mix but about half way through, during the short changeover period between two of the films, I feel I need to make an observation:

"Um," I whisper to Close Encounters, with a slight giggle in my voice, "this is basically pornography isn't it, dressed up as a set of arty films!"

"There's no grunting or groaning," replies Close Encounters quietly, ever the serious film buff, "so it can't be porn!"

Not that I'm complaining of course, I see nothing wrong with enjoying a bit of porn every now and then :-).

To my mind, the penultimate short film of the collection was the most unusual, and also in fact the shortest. It was called Dan's big hands and after the films before it, I thought I had a pretty good idea what Dan's big hands would be good at! It turned out to be a kind of video which accompanied a song. The song started out
I want to get lost in Dan's big hands,
Lose myself in Dan's big hands,
So far so good, but with lines like
Round my neck, tighter yet,
I ended up feeling very confused! Is that meant to be reference to Erotic asphyxiation??

The next film we went to see was called Fariytale of Kathmandu, which was a documentary about gay Irish poet Cathal Ó'Searcaigh on one of his visits to Kathmandu. It was a very disturbing film, because it turned out that Cathal Ó'Searcaigh spends his time there befriending boys who're only just over the legal age of consent. For sure he helps them by buying them things, that's the charitable work he does there, but then they seem to end up back in his hotel room for activities. Although many of the boys don't seem to mind too much, none the less it feels very much as though they're being taken advantage of. Indeed, the premise of the film is that although his behaviour is legal, nevertheless the relationship with the boys is an exploitative one, akin to or equal to sex tourism. Perhaps the most disturbing fact is that Cathal Ó'Searcaigh doesn't see anything wrong with his behaviour, otherwise he wouldn't have invited the filmmaker to Nepal with him!

Lastly, we went to the closing gala of the festival, where the film Baby Love was being shown. To my surprise, as we're sitting down a familiar voice suddenly says to me:

"Hey, GB, how you?"

To my surprise it's my colleague M, seated right behind us next to his new boyfriend! It's really good to see him, although so many scenarios suddenly start rushing through my mind. Close Encounters knows all about how I really met M, however M's new boyfriend just thinks that we know each other from work! And neither M or his boyfriend know about this blog of course!! What had we been discussing before M noticed me? Luckily, before the opportunity to give away any more secrets presents itself, the proceedings begin. There are a few speeches about how well the festival has gone, an interview with Vincent Garenq who directed the film we were about to see, and then finally the film itself.

Although the film addresses some serious issues, it's also a comedy. The plot is a bit contrived, engineered to make the happy ending possible, but none the less it's very enjoyable. In a nutshell, the gay pediatrician wants to be a father in spite of his boyfriend's strong veto, but eventually it all happens and all broken relationships get mended :-). It very much reminded me of my own paternal aspirations, although since I don't have a boyfriend now, I seem to be further away from that than ever :-(.

Luckily no opportunity for socialising arises after the film, and we bid farewell to my colleague M and his boyfriend almost as soon as we've stood up. Close Encounters needs to rush off, so I go out onto the street to find a taxi. Soon I'm travelling back home, but on the way when I turn my phone back on, I receive a txt msg from a nice guy that I met recently called V. He can go out on a date with me the following night after all, so I start feeling a bit happier. And in spite of the fact that I'm right back at the start with V with numerous hurdles to overcome, I feel even happier when I recall one particular fact about him. V has a lesbian sister, who therefore might one day might need a father for a child, and a friend or boyfriend of her gay brother might be an obvious choice! Even though I'm not getting any younger, there's still hope :-).

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Email from a guy who wants a boyfriend

A few weeks ago, I received the following email from a guy that seems to be a relatively new reader:

Dear GB,

Let me begin with how I found your blog in the first place: by searching under "monogamous gay relationships" on google in hopes of finding a dating site where gay men are not just looking for sex! Your blog came up. I loved the posting on the Paris trip!

Now, some background: I am a 29-year old guy living in Geneva, Switzerland. I 'm Canadian and moved here for my current job, which has me in a banking environment – all be it in a very small office with little contact to the outside world. I've been out since my mid-twenties – to family, friends, and all who care to know.

I am desperately (big word) yearning to meet someone with whom I can share every day life. Sex too. But I find that lately, I am more and more turned off from the gay scene, from casual sex, and from gay dating sites which merely provide a home to those looking mostly for sex. I guess I'm just really low key, and I'd love to find someone similar. I want everything that the quiet good straight girl dreams about – including the guy ;)

Before I come off as a sob case, I should preface the preceding paragraph with a few facts: I am searching for a cute, handsome, intelligent, professional guy that can flirt with me mentally AND physically. I just can't seem to find one. And also – if he's Jewish and English speaking, that'd be even better! Finding one that I like, and that likes me – a needle in a haystack!

I don't have many gay friends, and my social circle in Geneva is quite small – like the city itself. I am open to meeting guys in other cities – Zurich, Paris, London – wherever – but they seem less open to meeting anyone outside their own. And why should they? There's plenty around them!

Tell me: where can this picky-come-desperate mama's boy find his man?

On the face of it, this email seems a lot like the email that I posted last week. However, the situations of the readers who sent the emails are completely different. Last week, the reader's problem was more that he wasn't yet comfortable being gay. However the reader here has a different problem.

Many years ago before I met ex-boyfriend S, I had a very fixed idea of the kind of guy that I wanted for a boyfriend, much like the reader here. However, when I fell in love with ex-boyfriend S he had few of the characteristics that I originally thought I wanted. Even though he was smart, he hadn't been to university, so he didn't have a profession like I did. Like the reader here, I'd been looking for someone with a similar background to me, but the guy I ended up with was completely different!

I'm not suggesting that the reader should lower his standards at all. But I am suggesting that he should be open to many more types of boyfriend that he's probably open to at the moment. No doubt this reader is Jewish, so as an example, a nice Muslim boyfriend would be a much better idea :-). I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before but my ex-boyfriend P was raised as a Muslim, and although I'm not Jewish, I was raised as a Christian. Similarly, my ex-boyfriend R is Hindu.

I think there's often some truth in the idea that opposites attract. For gay relationships where the gender of the people involved is the same that means that it's good if the two guys come from different backgrounds, or grew up in different countries for example. Of course they need to have things in common too, but I don't think it's good to have too strong idea of what kind of boyfriend one wants, or to go looking for someone who's very too similar to oneself.

I'm a big fan of playing the numbers game, and meeting as many guys as possible in as many different ways as possible, and seeing what happens. I also think it's important to be relaxed and cool. Indeed, the last sentence of the reader's email summarises his problem. "Picky" and "Desperate" are both very unattractive in a potential boyfriend. On top of that, "Picky" narrows the field unnecessarily. So if he is desperate he needs to chill out.

Bigger cities like London, San Francisco and Sydney may have more gay guys living in them, but that doesn't necessarily help. Ex-boyfriend P used to think that in cities where there are lots of gay guys, the abundance of choice means that most guys can never commit to relationships, because however good a potential boyfriend is it's always possible that one might meet an even better candidate the following day! So as a capital city which isn't too big, I'd have thought that Geneva would be a great place to meet a boyfriend.

I guess I'm just saying relax, open up, and try and meet as many guys and types of guys as possible, especially guys from different cultures and backgrounds. But do any other readers have any thoughts on this subject?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Protestors demonstrate near the Bank of England

Earlier today, I couldn't resist walking down to see the G20 demo outside the Bank of England. Risking life and limb, your intrepid correspondent managed to climb onto a traffic light and snap the picture above. Sorry to say, not much happening at the moment I took the pic, but I'm pretty sure that the RBS branch that got attacked is the one visible on the near right hand side of the pic!

A continuing dilemma

I hadn't seen my colleague P socially with his boyfriend D since just before Christmas, so a couple of weeks ago, we agree to have dinner together and catch up with each other. The last time I'd met D, he'd been eager to find a way of getting to know me better, but that was almost three months ago now so I hoped that it had all been forgotten.

When the day arrives some other gay friends are free too, so we all end up meeting up for drinks after work in a smart City wine bar, before moving on to a nice little Italian restaurant that P and D had been to before.

"Any idea where the toilets are," I ask P while taking my coat off, and placing it on the back of my chair.

"Errr yes, GB," replies P, "see that door over there behind you? It's through there!"

Leaving P with the others, I find the gents without any difficulty, but as soon as I walk in I know that I've made a mistake. I should have realized that D had headed off to the toilets as soon as we got inside the restaurant, but I wasn't chatting to him and it just didn't register with me. So as I unzip at the urinal, the only other person in the room is D, standing at the urinal next to mine.

"This is nice :-)," says D, with an expectant tone in voice.

"Um, so how have you been?" I reply, trying to conduct a normal conversation.

To my relief, D zips up and moves over to the hand basin to wash his hands.

"I've been with most of P's friends you know :-)," says D, ignoring my question.

"But does P know?"

"He knows about a couple of them!"

Shaking his hands dry, he walks over to where I'm peeing and before I can do anything, he pops his head over my shoulder and glances downwards.

"That's a nice sight :-)!"

"Honestly, what are you like!" I reply, refusing to let myself get annoyed. I'm not worried by guys looking at me when I’m naked in the gym changing rooms, so I'm not going to worry about D either, in spite of his lecherous intentions.

For a short while D just stands there, watching me as I zip up.

"Come on, gives us a kiss!" he says, as I move over to wash my hands.

I don't say anything but when I look up to head for the door, D is standing in my way smiling at me.

I walk over to him, with the intention of walking past him to rejoin P and the others, but he doesn't move. Instead, when I'm within range, he leans his head forward with the clear intention of kissing me. I give him a quick peck on the lips, hoping he'll be happy with that, before taking a slight step backwards.

"You make me so hard!" he says in a soft, seductive voice, "I'm hard now!"

My problem, of course, is that D is a nice guy and I do find him attractive. While I'm pondering the situation, D takes my hand and places it on his crotch. Suddenly I can feel his hardness, and I like it :-). This time when D leans forward to kiss me, I don't resist! But a few seconds later, I come to my senses.

"Look," I say, coming up for air and taking another slight step backwards, "this isn't the time or the place, is it!"

"Awww," says D looking mildly upset, "I guess not :-(."

"Good, so let's go back an re-join the others!"

Back at the table in the restaurant D sits next to me, just like on the previous occasion, and apart from the occasional rub of his leg against mine, nothing particularly exciting happens. But when I get home, the txt msgs start:

Hi GB, nice seeing u. Do u want to have a drink with me next week, P is away from wed till Sunday so am free. D

Now I'm back home though, I clearly remember deciding NOT to pursue activities with D, so I try and decline:

D, you're such a naughty boy! I'm very worried about what P would think, because he's very conservative, and because I don't want to lose you as friends. Surely you've got enough prospects for *fun*. In any case, I'm sure it would eventually be an anti-climax if we did meet without P. GB

But D refuses to give up:

Don't worry about P, he is fine .. We can have a lot of fun first and maybe in the future a 3 some .. Am sure I can make u really horny and vice versa am hard now.

And half an hour later, when I haven't replied I get another:

We can try at least if it didn't work fine.. And am sure we always be good friends mmm

And then a week later, when P is no doubt away, we exchange a few more txt msgs!

It seems to be as I feared. Unless I give in to him and his manly charms, I'll always be on his hit list! So perhaps I should surrender and get it over with? After all, he is a nice, sexy looking guy :-).