Thursday, November 26, 2009

Email from a young guy who's just started dating guys

Last week, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

I'm writing for advice, because I really don't know anyone else to ask. I'm a 24yr old male, and have always been interested in men, and women. But I am also, a very anxious and stressed out person. Without going into a massive overhaul of my past history, I've basically managed to go on in life without having any relationships, although at the same time managing to have a large social group. In my early twenties I distracted myself from any sort of real connections by partying, through school, or even through travelling: some sort of achievements, just not on any person to person basis. I'm known for my secrecy and a sort of aura of mystery. My friends all know a little bit of information about me, but no one knows everything. And I like it that way, I don't believe in being an open book. But, it's also become consuming.

Given that information, this past year has been one where I've consciously decided to stop partying, stop distracting myself and actually try to form some sort of romantic relationship (as good as I can) with a man or a woman. This area of my life is so untouched that everything is new to me, where I'm confident and so self assured in certain aspects of myself and life, being romantically dependent or intimate one on one brings a lot of anxiety as I don't have a lot of experience in that area. You may think I'm unattractive or haven't had a lot of people make passes on me, but it's quite the opposite. I just have had a really hard time becoming intimate, due to anxiety and lack of self-assurance, for really no apparent reason. But I'm a person very focused on personal growth, so I've decided to stop ignoring that aspect of my life and be more proactive, because the right person isn't just going to fall into my bed and be perfect.

I've always been more inclined towards men, but have never been in the situation, where I would hope, it would just happen, as I am discreet :-). So, this summer I decided to do some searching, I met this guy online, and we met that same night. He's two years younger than me, very attractive, very fit, just a beautiful specimen, fun, outgoing, completely self-assured about himself, we hit it off. Needless to say, I was more than ready, and he was horny. He made all the first moves that night and it eventually led to the bedroom. It was two hours of passion, I'd never experienced anything like it, but it was nothing short of a great sexual connection/experience.

He moved from the city a week later, and I was left hanging. For him, I was just a guy to hook-up with (at least that's what I assume), for me it was life-changing in a way. I couldn't get that night out of my head for the next couple months. The whole thing threw me through a loop? Why was this so effective on me? Obsession isn't the right word, but maybe I fell for this guy, I can't decipher my feelings. And I think about how he's a part of the gay community, and these hook-ups, especially in a big city, are seen as common. But not for me. Also, I felt a serious connection with this guy, sexually that is. Or was it just built up hormones? Anyways, he came back to town for a couple weeks and we met up a couple times. Had an amazing night again, where we spent three hours naked together fully enjoying each other's bodies, with barely any conversation. And now he's gone again, and I'm left in school with nothing seemingly exciting going on, because our experience was the most exciting experience I've had in a very very long time. But for him it was just a good time, and he's got lots going on in his life. I have school, and since I've given up partying, not a whole lot of anything else. I have no idea how to interact with another guy on this level. Or how to deal with the dynamics of a relationship like this.

Long story short, he's gone happy as can be, and I'm left her stuck in school, with him and our time together constantly on my mind! I'm wondering if I should try and hook-up with another guy, to see if these feelings are just sexually derived, or maybe I have honest feelings for him, but it wouldn't matter because we live in two different cities, I don't know the next time/if I'll see him ever again. Ugh, any kind of advice, inferences, are appreciated. It makes me want to regret ever hooking up with him, but I KNOW that I am definitely grateful for the experience, my feelings are just all over the place now.

What to do... What to do?

After I'd read the first couple of paragraphs, I thought that it was going to be an email asking how to conquer the stress and anxiety that this reader has about personal relationships. It's very common for guys who don't have much bedroom experience to feel like that, because people generally want to be known as accomplished lovers who can satisfy their partners. That attitude naturally makes guys who have little or no experience feel insecure, and hence feel stressed and anxious. However, everyone has to have their first time, and everyone who's already had their first time knows that too! So if that applies to anyone reading this post, I'd say that the best attitude is simply to be honest in advance, because no caring person will mind. Honesty up-front means that one can relax in the bedroom. With that plan, both people are likely to have a good time :-), even if one is much less experienced than the other.

Of course, this reader seems to have got past that hurdle. So having read the email in full, I sent him a reply to tell him that I'd do a "Dear GB" posting for him. At the end of the email I had one quick piece of advice for him:
Don't worry, just relax :-). I think you're probably just like a little kid who's never (or hardly ever) had chocolate before, and has suddenly discovered how nice it is!
In fact, I think the reader already knows most of the answers. As he said, hooking up with other guys for fun is common in big cities. Not all guys like that scene, but it's definitely available for those that want it. More importantly, he wonders whether the connection that he feels with the guy that he met is "just built up hormones". I think the answer to that question is likely to be 'yes'. We're all programmed to enjoy sexual contact with other people, so if someone has avoided that in their past, then when they start dating it's all going to seem very exciting.

This reader also says that he has no idea how to interact with another guy on the same level as the guy that he met recently, or how to deal with the dynamics of a relationship. But then, he had no idea beforehand how to interact with the first guy either, and that seemed to go all right because he got a repeat performance. In terms of dealing with the dynamics of a relationship, I think the basic principle for him should be to take things slowly, and see how things develop. At his age, he's got plenty of time to find himself a boyfriend (or girlfriend), so in fact he can even afford a few mistakes.

So I definitely think that he should give internet dating another go. Even if he has to meet lots of guys to find another that he finds as appealing as the first guy that he met, its all going to be valuable experience. Straight people typically learn about all this stuff while they're teenagers, but guys that are interested in other guys often don't get that chance at that age, so they have to start learning it when they finally do start dating guys.

In fact, I'd say that for this reader, all the difficult choices are behind him. He's taken the plunge, he's met a guy and had some fun with him (twice!), so his subsequent experiences should be much easier. Above all he should relax, and try and enjoy himself. After all, sexual contact between like-minded guys is very enjoyable :-).

Does anyone else have any thoughts for this reader?


Nik_TheGreek said...

I agree with you GB.

Everybody felt something similar after his first sexual experience. The guy doesn't know if the new feelings he's having are caused by this particular guy or not. He's also afraid to lose him in case he never finds them again which is also normal. In time he'll see that there is no reason to feel so stressed about human relations. Everything will be just fine

He should be thankful that his first sexual meaningful experience was that good though. Most people's isn't.

Will said...

I agree that he's already made the big breakthrough; after years of no experience, he somehow found within himself the courage to let go and have at it--pretty comprehensively from his description.

But that was one guy; he does need to be with some others to know more of the range and depth of M2M sexual experience. Should the first guy recycle into his life occasionally and want to get together again, fine, but he needs not to build from that.

He's lucky that his big connection with his first was physical rather than emotional. A lot of guys fall for the first man and THAT can be difficult when the other says thanks for the great sex and takes off. Your correspondent had a great time sexually and I bet he'll turn out to have the initiative and courage to find gentleman #2 and go on to a successful sexual connection with him as well even though he thinks he's a bit at sea.
I don't think so. I think he's in a pretty good situation right now--much better than he thinks he is--and I wish him the very best.

Will said...

ooops--typo. "he now has to build from that" is what was intended.

the immigayrant said...


I'm really thankful for this post.

I'm 22 yo, and I have never been in a relationship or had sex too. So I think I might be in his shoes someday.

Thanks, Mr Banker!

Godfrey said...

I'm 25, and a year ago I was exactly where this reader was. I hadn't had sex yet, but had just started to date and thought I was really into the first guy I hit it off with. He ended up getting back with his ex though, but I was hung up on him for a few months. I think this reader needs to just see more people. I still am getting over the stress and anxiety of not being as experienced as most of the guys I see, but I have noticed that I'm beginning to see a change in that. If this reader is in New York, he should definitely contact me btw. As I too am still looking for someone serious. :)

55MadsonNYC said...

I'm in a very similar situation as the reader was, along with the emotional dis-conectedness. I thought I had moved on and decided to focus solely on woman but I know I will always be curious about experiencing something more intimate with men. I'm finally ready to explore this part of myself which I have largely ignored for much of my life. Reading the reader's story was almost like reading my own.