Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More about maintaining a gay lifestyle under the scrutiny of others

After I did the post about maintaining a gay lifestyle under the scrutiny of others, I asked the guy who sent me the original email whether he was satisfied with my advice. Yesterday I received his reply, which can be seen below. For the purposes of posting the reply, I've given the reader the name "Philip", although that's not his real name.

Dear GB,

Last week I had coffee break with a few colleagues. As I'm in pharmaceutical field and my company deals with infectious disease stuff, naturally they talked about sex diseases e.g. HIV and the transmission etc. and later on they talked about the MSM transmission rate.

Suddenly this guy paused a little, looks at me, and says "Guys like Philip must go for testing because he's a gay". He kept laughing after that, and the group all laughed together.

I was like stunned!

I quickly told him to correct his choice of term. And declared among the group that he's wrongly making fun of me.

So, what do you think my life as a gay under the scrutiny of others?

FYI - I did not react that much when he popped out the gay words.

This is a great example of how to behave when confronted with an uncomfortable situation. Unfortunately, I don't think the reader did a very good job, if the purpose was to hide his sexuality.

At the two ends of the sexuality spectrum, namely for the guys who're 100% straight and also for the gay guys who're completely comfortable with their sexuality, neither would complain about the joke. To hide the fact that the reader is gay, I think the best response would be to have made another joke, because that's what a straight guy would have done. The right joke to make depends completely on who is present, and what their personalities are. Since I don't know the guys involved, I've got no idea if any of the following would have been appropriate, but here are a few ideas:
  • " ... actually I'm OK because all I do is let guys give me blow jobs, it's Simon over there who needs to worry with all the arse licking he does!" [Simon needs to be the guy who's always trying hardest to please his bosses]
  • "… actually I don't need to go for testing because my boyfriend is a lesbian!" [ridiculous statement, i.e. just as preposterous as the idea that I'm gay]
  • "… but David needs to be tested all the time because of all those drugged up prostitutes he sleeps with!" [David needs to be the single guy who's a womanizer]
Given the fact that someone has guessed the truth, denying it is a bad mistake because one day the truth may well come out and then the reader loses face for having lied.

Another important point to understand is that everyone makes fun of everyone else all the time. When you're with friends or colleagues, when they make fun of you it's usually because they've accepted you into their group. I said last month that apparently Dutch people sometimes tell jokes about Flemish people being stupid, and in turn Flemish people sometimes tell jokes about Dutch people being arrogant. Long time readers of this blog will know that I'm a big fan of South Park, and there's the following bit of dialog between the some of the main characters that sums it up perfectly. The character called Token, who's the rich black kid, has been complaining that they're making fun of him, but then Kyle says:

Kyle: We're guys, dude. We find something about all our friends to rip on. We made fun of you for being rich for the same reason we rip on Butters for being wimpy.
Stan: And we rip on Kyle for being a Jew.
Kyle: And Stan for being in love with Wendy. And Cartman for being fat. And Cartman for being stupid. And Cartman for having a whore for a mom. And Cartman for being a sadistic asshole.
Cartman: Hey. You did me already.

So someone who may well be gay is likely to have gay jokes made about him, even if he isn't gay. That could well be a straight guy who can't get a girlfriend, but if he's sure that he's straight then he won't be too bothered because he doesn't need to prove it to anyone and he'll simply join in the joking.

Another consequence of the reader's response is the fact that, given that he is gay, he's simply proved to his colleagues that he's not comfortable with himself and his sexuality. If he had been straight, it would have proved something similar, namely that he's not comfortable with himself because he can't get a girlfriend. This will simply encourage more jokes of the same kind in the future, because the people involved have found a weak point, and unfortunately people often enjoy exploiting other people's weak points.

Finally, it's also clear from the reader's description of what happened that none of his colleagues really care whether he's gay or not. That's certainly true in the banking world with one proviso. No one really cares provided that the gay person himself has no issues with it either. But when someone isn't comfortable with themselves then other people pick up on that, and end up thinking "This person isn't comfortable with himself so there must be something wrong with him, and that makes me feel uncomfortable with them too :-(".

Does anyone else have any further thoughts on maintaining a gay lifestyle under the scrutiny of others?

Monday, August 26, 2013

An inappropriate dating technique

A few days ago, I met a blog reader called R for dinner and we ended up spending the night together. However, on the same day that I met R for dinner etc, I'd also met another guy for coffee in the morning. The guy who I met for coffee seemed to be a genuinely nice person, but it also seems to me that he has no idea how to go about looking for a boyfriend.

The first part of this story can be read on the post about when R stayed overnight. But the brief summary is that when I met the guy for coffee in the morning, I told him that I was meeting a friend for dinner that evening, but he then managed to get me to admit that the dinner might turn out to be a date. Then during the dinner with R, I kept getting txt msgs from him to ask me what I thought of R. Worse than that, the following day he actually phoned me up to ask if I'd slept with him.

A few minutes after the phone call, when I admitted that I did sleep with R, the guy that I met for coffee sends me the following txt msg:

Guy: What r h doing day time

It's must have been a hurried txt msg because presumably he means "What r u doing day time". But I have an easy answer:

GB: Need to work!

Almost immediately I get another txt msg from him.

Guy: Tomooorw I mean

At this point I'm pretty fed up with all this intrusion, so I try to be polite but firm by replying:

GB: Please give me a bit of space, as discussed previously it would be nice to see you Monday eve

That does the trick, because he stops sending me messages or calling me. In spite of all the intrusion, I am still prepared to meet him for dinner, and in fact I'm thinking of telling him that he's doing a very bad job at trying to date me! Sometimes blog readers here ask me for dating advice, and I always say that it's important to take things slowly, and play it cool and casual. I still think that that's the right way to date a guy, but clearly this guy is taking the opposite approach. Relationships that get built quickly will break just as quickly.

So a couple of days later, I send him a follow up txt msg to try and work out if we are going to meet for dinner on Monday:

GB: Hey, if you still want to go out for dinner on Monday evening, how about [a restaurant near my house] at 8pm? Lots of places closed due to the bank holiday, but that one seems to be open :-). GB x

He doesn't reply immediately, but a few hours later, he sends me the following.

Guy: Hey. GB. I think we need to leave it as I am not really comfortable with u after the text

That doesn't matter to me, and in fact is instant proof of what I was planning to tell him, namely that relationships that get built quickly fall down quickly. All the intrusion into what I was doing with R suggests that in his mind I already had a relationship with him, and so this txt msg is to break off the relationship.

This txt msg also illustrates another part of the problem. He clearly expects me to understand what "the text" is. But how am I meant to know whether he's uncomfortable with my most recent txt msg where I suggest a restaurant close to where I live, on the basis that there's a slight implication that he'll come back with me after dinner for activities, or whether he's uncomfortable with the previous text message where I asked for a bit of space. Guys that build their relationships slowly learn how to communicate well with each other, but because we've only just met each other, we haven't learned how to do that yet. I decide that since I won't be able to tell him this kind of stuff face to face, I may as well try and tell him something in a final txt msg, in an effort to try and help him for the future:

GB: No problem. One piece of advice which you can obviously ignore if you want: The next time you find a guy that you might be interested in dating, take it 100 times slower and play it cool. Anything that's built quickly can fall down quickly. So take things slowly and build solid relationships over long periods of time. The impression you gave me when you phoned me was of a very needy person, and that's not very attractive. Anyway, good luck, hope things work out with your work and with everything else too! GB x

A few minutes later I get a reply:

Guy: I won't u can say what u want.

Again, what exactly does that mean? My txt msg said that he can obviously ignore my advice, so "I won't" suggests that he's paying attention, although I suspect that he means the opposite! And then ten minutes later he sends me another txt msg:

Guy: Because I am working on Monday.

Even more random! The guy clearly somehow expects me to be thinking about things in exactly the same way as him, so that I'll understand what all these txt msgs mean. However, because we never really built any kind of relationship with each other, I can't be sure what he's trying to say in any of his recent txt msgs.

I haven't heard from him since, and my best guess is that we won't meet again. However, I still reckon that he's a nice guy who simply needs to adopt a different approach to dating. I wish him good luck in his endeavours :-).

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Email from a gay guy with a relationship problem

A couple of weeks ago, the following email arrived in my inbox:

Dear GB,

Hope you don't mind me writing you email. I have been reading your blog with a lot of joy and interests.

As you might tell from my English I am oriental. I have read your story with Boyfriend T and I hope you are happy and I am sure you will get over it soon. Life sometimes is difficult - and the more joy you get the more hurt you are.

I have had a long term partner. We are like brothers. We care about each other a lot and have the same career drive. However physically we haven't had much since few years ago. He has got very low sex drive while I am high. Gradually, I become easily annoyed because I think I can't get what I want.

Few months ago I was chatting with this guy. He used to be straight and he was 8-9 years older than me. He was in a very bad position - started a new job, paid a lot for his ex-wife and children, about to come out to the fact that he was gay, and about to break up with his girlfriend. He lived very close to me so I decided to pay him a visit - didn't intend to have sex whatsoever.

When we first met he started telling me his issues, his stories and burst into tears. I was comforting him and tried to give him my advice. The day ended with me giving him a massage - something we joked on Grindr when we chatted. It went a little bit further than that. I actually gave him a bj.

Things went from there. We started seeing each other, we became emotionally connected and we had amazing sex all the time. The problem is I am struggling between bf and him. I feel secure with bf and I am used to my life with him, but this new "date" is giving me so much excitement and joy, in and out of bed. And this "date" has high drive but we can't meet every day. So I feel very insecure that he might try someone else.

What would you do if you were me?

If I was this reader, I'd definitely talk to my long term partner about the situation. To start with, I think that he should try and avoid mentioning the fact that he's been seeing this other guy, because that makes a difficult conversation even harder. The first conversation that I'd suggest would be along the lines of the fact that they're not having sex any more, but that the reader still loves him for everything else. The goal would be to agree some kind of open relationship, but exactly how that might work would be completely up for discussion.

The guy with the ex-wife has his life in complete turmoil at the moment, and hence it would be very unwise to think of starting any kind of relationship with him, apart from the casual sex that's already happening. So I don't think that the reader should worry about him at all. The goal is to reach a situation where all the reader's needs are satisfied. The comfortable companionship relationship that he has with his partner is much harder to find than sex, which is very much a commodity these days, especially in the world's big urban centres. So if that other guy finds someone else to give him bjs and doesn't want the reader any more, then the reader should be able to find other men to satisfy his carnal desires.

One of the guys that I met for activities recently was in exactly the same situation as the reader. When I suggested to this guy that I met that he should talk to his partner, he said that all his friends who'd done the same thing ended up separating from their partner, so he wasn't going to talk to his partner because he wanted to stay together with him. I don't at all think that separation is a necessary outcome, because an open relationship might work, but if separation were to happen it might be for the best. For guys with a high sex drive like the reader (and also like me!), sex is such a powerful part of our lives that not getting what we need is slowly but surely completely corrosive on our relationships. So even is separating from one's partner is undesirable, without the right sex it'll probably happen eventually anyway. If it's going to happen anyway, then it's better for it to happen in a controlled manner though discussion, and sooner rather than later.

Do any other readers have any thoughts on this situation?

Friday, August 23, 2013

An enjoyable 24 hours

Shortly after I posted about the possibility of finding a new boyfriend via this blog, I received a cute email from a guy called R with the title "Boyfriend application! :-D". The email started as follows:

Hi GB,

So GB, I came across your blog post on 'Might I be able to find a boyfriend via this blog?'. I have been reading your blog for years now passively and always wanted to meet you but never thought it would be possible until now. I don't want you to dismiss me as I write no blog but I do have Gaydar and Facebook. I have no idea what type of men you go for but I get the feeling I am probably too young for you, having read your post as I have no idea how old you are!

In my post 'Might I be able to find a boyfriend via this blog?', I wanted anyone who was interested in meeting me to have a good idea about how I can find out a lot about them in advance of any meeting. Otherwise a meeting is unfair, because someone who's read my blog obviously knows a huge amount about me. So it was good that R had thought about that, because the last section of his email contained links to both his Gaydar and Facebook pages. I visit both pages and immediately see that he's a lovely looking Indian guy :-). However, he is quite a young guy, so I send him the following reply:

Hi R, thanks for your email :-).

Nice profiles, although as you suspected, if you were my boyfriend it would unfortunately break the N/2+7 rule that I mentioned in my recent post about moving on. However, I don't see any harm in meeting up at some point, because now that I'm single again, I think it's good to keep myself busy etc and I always enjoy chatting to new people :-).

All the best for now, GB xxx

It wasn't possible to meet up before I went on holiday to Italy, but on my return, I contact R again and we agree a day when we can meet up for dinner.

The day arrives and at around 9am in the morning, while I'm wondering what will happen when I meet R in the evening, a txt msg arrives from a Chinese guy that who'd contacted me via Jack'd about three weeks earlier. We hadn't ended up meeting each other when we'd been chatting previously, but for some reason, today the guy wants to try and meet me so I agree to meet him for a mid-morning coffee. We get on OK, although it turns out that he's got various things that he has to do that morning. However, he suggests that I accompany him on all his errands, so we spend around an hour wandering around together. He even ends up holding my hand at one point, ostensibly to stop me crossing the road in front of a car.

"Can I visit your place briefly?" he says, resurrecting a suggestion that was made during the mid-morning coffee, "it would be nice to see where you live :-)".

As he asks me the question, he's caressing my waist underneath my polo shirt, and as I turn round to face him he gives me a long sensual kiss on the lips, even though we're in public with lots of people around. Wow, although I've given guys little pecks on their cheeks in public places, I've never kissed like that in public before! With all the errands that he'd been doing, I'd hadn't been sure where everything was headed, but now I start to think that perhaps I'm going to get to know him better after all :-). We take a short tube ride to get to my house, and as soon as we get inside my front door we kiss each other again, this time much more deeply. I pour two glasses of orange juice, and sitting on my sofa to drink the juice and chat, he starts to rub me in my trouser region.

"So are you interested in dating me?" he asks, unbuttoning the waistband of my trousers and pulling the zip down.

"Errr, yes of course," I say, slightly distracted by what's going on downstairs, "you seem like a very genuine guy to me :-). But I only split up with my boyfriend a few weeks ago. At this stage I'm not going to commit to date anyone exclusively. In fact, I'm actually meeting another new guy for dinner tonight :-)."

He frowns, as though he was hoping for an exclusive dating commitment. However, he then suddenly reaches inside my undershorts and gets my willy out!

"I'm really looking for a boyfriend at the moment," he says, randomly caressing my willy as it hardens up, "and I don't want to waste my time with someone if they're not interested in me as a potential boyfriend."

"Let's go out for a nice dinner soon," I say, now almost completely distracted by what his hands are doing, "I think that's the next step, is that OK?"

"OK sure :-)," and with that he puts my now erect willy back in my trousers!

"Sorry to tease you," he continues, "but you know that I've got a lot to do today, so I really need to get going. This guy that you're meeting tonight, are you having a date with him?"

"Actually I'm not really sure how best to define it," I answer honestly, "although I suppose that it may turn out to be a date!"

A short while later, standing just inside my front door, we kiss each other deeply again. But then he opens the door and we say goodbye to each other. His manipulation of my trouser region was a bit bizarre and leaves me feeling mildly frustrated, although I decide not to finish off the job that he left undone!

A few hours later, and I'm in a taxi on my way to meet R. We'd exchanged a couple of txt msgs during the day to confirm all the details about when and where we're meeting. However, I deliberately hadn't sent him any pics or links to any of my online profiles, so that I could keep some mystery about what I look like until the last possible moment.

"Hi, I'm GB :-))," I say, walking up to R with a big smile on my face, "I hope you're not disappointed, now that you know what I look like in real life?"

"I thought you'd be probably dressed a bit smarter," replies R, looking me up and down, "since you're a banker!"

"I've been reading your blog on and off for years," he continues, as we walk towards the restaurant that he's booked, "so I had built up a mental image of you. The reality is different of course, but reasonably in line with what I was expecting :-)."

At first, conversation is a bit difficult, but it gradually becomes a bit easier as we get to know each other. Once seated in the restaurant, we order a bottle of wine, and soon we've ordered some food as well.

"You're a bit of a snob about wine, aren't you GB," says R with a grin on his face, "telling that waiter that the wines on the wine list are a bit 'young'!"

"I'm sorry," I answer defensively, "it's just that I keep a wine cellar at home that's got red wine that's much more mature than what's available here. But I'm just joking around, if mature wine had really been important I'd have suggested a different restaurant :-)."

To start with he's got quite a lot of questions for me, wanting me to fill in some of the details that I deliberately leave out of my blog posts.

"You never say what kind of activities you get up to!" says R, looking at me inquisitively.

"Well I'm not a fan of all that Top versus Bottom terminology," I answer, "because I'm far more interested in the guy's personality than what role he prefers for anal sex. Orgasms are great but they don't last very long. However, you can cuddle a nice guy all night :-)."

"I know what you mean!" answers R, "I'll try anything once, but sometimes it's the spooning that I'm really looking for :-)."

We take a long time over dinner, and as we gradually get some of the wine inside us, the conversation flows much more easily.

During the course of the evening, I get a couple of txt msgs from the Chinese guy that I had met for coffee in the morning. First it's simply

How is the guy

and I excuse myself briefly from chatting to R to send him an answer

Fine, having dinner now :-)

but then he asks:

U like him or it's OK or it's not ur type. Lol

What on earth is going on? I know that this guy held my willy briefly, but we've only spent about two hours in each other's company and he's asking questions like a jealous boyfriend.

"I met a guy from Jack'd for coffee this morning," I say to R, "and I told him that I was having dinner with someone tonight. I'm pretty sure that he wants to be my next boyfriend, because he seems to be worried in case I like you!"

"Wow, but how do you get all these guys falling for you?" asks R, with a bit of a jealous tone in his voice.

"Don't ask me, but I don't think I'm interested in guys like him. He's trying to rush into a relationship at a ridiculously fast pace, and it's VERY uncool!"

At several stages during dinner I notice that our knees are touching under the table, sometimes for quite long periods of time. That kind of touching can sometimes be the precursor to a lot more intimacy, and if either of us were straight we'd almost certainly change our position to avoid that kind of touching. However, as gay guys who're slowly becoming comfortable with each other, neither of us feels the need to behave like straight guys.

"I'll pay for dinner :-)," says R later, when it's time to leave.

"Oh you don't have to do that," I protest, "I'm more than happy to pay half, or all the bill …"

"No," interrupts R decisively, "I chose the restaurant so I'm going to pay!"

"OK, but shall we go for another drink somewhere?" I ask.

"Yes sure, that would be nice :-)"

"In which case, let me pay for the drinks at the next place!"

We find a nice bar just around the corner from the restaurant, which has great views of the river.

"I wonder if they do cocktails here?" I say out loud, as we find a table, "Perhaps mojitos would be nice? Anyway, what would you like to drink?"

"Surprise me!" answers R, "as I said earlier, I'll try anything once!"

"OK, let me go and see what they've got :-)."

It turns out that they don't do any cocktails, so I end up getting a bottle of Chablis.

"We don't need to drink it all," I say when I get back to the table, "after all, a bottle of wine each is quite a lot in one evening!"

"We're certainly both going to be a little drunk if we do," replies R, but he's smiling so he doesn't seem to care.

As the second bottle of slowly wine slips down, we find ourselves becoming slightly more touchy-feely with each other.

"You'd look good if you shaved your head," says R, rubbing my hair all over with one of his hands.

"I don't think that's my style," I say, "I've certainly never imagined myself with a shaved head."

"Well I think you'd look good anyway!"

And then, shortly afterwards:

"Why don't you grow your sideburns a bit longer?" and as he asks the question he strokes the side of my face where he's suggesting that I don't shave.

"I suppose I could do, but I guess I've just got used to having them short like this :-)."

Looking up, I smile and look into his eyes, and find that he's doing the same to me. No doubt all the wine has had an effect because our heads are suddenly quite close, and then it happens. We kiss each other deeply! Before today I'd never given another guy a proper kiss in public, but now I've done it twice, and with two different guys as well!! I look round but no one seems to notice, and if they have noticed, they certainly don't care.

"Would you like to see where I live?" I ask, smiling at him. I know that it might not be a good idea inviting a blog reader back home, but thanks to the wine, I don't care.

R nods his head and smiles at me.

"It would be nice to have someone to cuddle tonight :-)," I say still smiling, although I'm thinking that if I do get him into bed with me, I'll probably find it impossible not to touch his willy!

"Yes it would," answers R, "as you know, I do like spooning :-)".

Within half an hour, we've taken a taxi together and we're back at my house. I give him a small unused toothbrush to use, that I'd been given by an airline at some point when I'd been flying business class, and soon we've both used the bathroom and are climbing into bed wearing just our undershorts. Immediately R moves into a spooning position facing away from me, so I wrap my arms around him tightly around his chest and kiss him gently on the back of his neck.

"This is nice," I say quietly, "I really miss going to sleep cuddling a nice guy like you!"

We lay like that for a couple of minutes, with one of my arms resting under his neck and curling up to hold his chest, and the other arm lying on top of him and reaching down to hold his stomach. But I can't resist, here I am with a gorgeous young Indian man in my bed, and there's no reason why I can't try and take things a bit further! Slowly the arm that's lying on top and holding his stomach reaches further down to investigate what might be inside his undershorts.

"Mmmm :-)," I say, feeling the outline of his hardening equipment through his undershorts, "that feels very nice :-). Perhaps it would be even nicer to sleep without wearing our undershorts?"

I move to remove mine, and without a word, he does the same. Soon we're kissing and cuddling and starting to play with each other. We don't hurry, and nature gradually takes it course :-).

"I guess I was a bit naïve!" says R afterwards, "to think that we were just going to cuddle all night!"

But I don't feel at all guilty, because R was a very willing participant :-). We spend the rest of the night cuddling each other, with either my arms wrapped around him, or his arms wrapped around me, or cuddling each other face to face, or just lying by each other side by side gently touching one another.

"I'd be happy to date you," says R the next morning over breakfast, "if our ages were a bit closer."

"Well indeed," I reply smiling at him, "I think that's an accurate assessment of the way I feel about it too! But in any case, I hope we can be friends :-)."

He smiles back at me, but then I notice something.

"Oh no," I say, looking at my mobile phone, "I've got yet another text message from that persistent guy that I met for coffee yesterday morning!"

I send the persistent guy a bland reply while R goes to have a look in my wardrobe. He doesn't want to go to work wearing the same shirt as the day before, but luckily he manages to pick out a shirt of mine that fits him sufficiently well that it won't be obvious that he didn't go home last night.

"It's been good meeting you GB :-)," says R as he's leaving, "and have a good day!"

"You too!" I say, giving him a peck on the cheek, "take care :-)."

A little later, shortly before 9am, I hear my mobile phone ringing. I pick it up, and I'm amazed to see that it's the persistent guy that I met for coffee yesterday morning.

"… so did you sleep with him last night," the guy asks.

It's absolutely none of his business!

"But did you?" he asks again, after my first attempt to evade the question.

"But I thought you were a shy guy!" he says, once I've admitted the truth.

So as well as asking inappropriate questions, he's a bad judge of character too!

I manage to end the phone call after a couple of minutes, and then I reflect on everything that's happened over the last 24 hours. Overall it's been very enjoyable :-). I've given two different guys proper kisses in public for the first time. The gorgeous young Indian guy definitely more than made up for the intrusive behaviour of the guy that I met for coffee. But in one way it was also good to meet that guy for coffee. I now know that at least there's one guy out there who would be prepared to be my boyfriend!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Email from an Asian guy with a confidence problem

Just before I went on holiday with my Thai friend B, I received the following email:

Dear GB,

I hope you're well.

I have been reading your blog since I first discovered that I am gay in university back in 2007. In many ways, your blog have been inspiring to me and had helped me made it through my gay ordeal by giving me that connection with the gay world.

It's now 5 years down the road and I would like to think that I'm more comfortable with my sexuality and have come a long way since. Although, I am yet to "come out" to many, I no longer have suicidal thoughts of being different (which is definitely a good thing). I have since attended lots of networking events, parties, clubs and put myself out there in the gay scene. I even might have met you in one of the inter-banking drinks (if you attend them).

Never in a million years would I imagine myself writing to you for some advice. But here I am … lost as ever again.

Well let's start with online dating. I have been using Grindr since 2010. To be honest, I have no idea why I'm still on there, maybe it's just the slight glimmer of hope of the possibility of meeting my knight and shining armour on there. Now the problem with Grindr; there is a massive racial based preference/to an extent hate that is actively publicised and marketed in profiles on there. Most of the time, I will come across a profile saying "No camps, fems or Asians". I for one never indicate my ethnicity on my profile and only have a picture of a headless torso (yes, don't judge me!). As a result, I normally get lots of messages streaming in and compliments on my toned torso. The conversation normally fizzles quickly once I tell the person that I'm Asian. I would either be immediately blocked or will be having one word uninterested responses which is incredibly frustrating given the fact that we have been chatting for ages before. This has a huge impact on my self-confidence and the way I look. No one likes rejection - and it gets frustrating if it's constant rejection based on race. I get comments sometimes saying "Oh, you should have said you were Asian. I don't like Asian" or "Asian, f*** off".

I am not ashamed of being Asian, in fact, I am very proud of it. I would also like to think that I'm not an ugly person. I get compliments in clubs but I would never ever think of myself as good looking.

The whole thought of the gay community having the perception on us Asians of being "feminine" and being "less desirable" had impacted my behaviour in a lot of ways. It had affected my dating life. When the occasional rare date comes along through Grindr, I find myself to be very guarded and protective. I try to keep my dates on their toes to ensure that they never take me for granted. This means that I do not normally develop an emotional connection with any of them and the relationship will fail eventually. As for meeting people, I normally am too nervous to approach someone I like to strike a conversation with the fear of being judged.

I have no idea what to do now. I have spent almost 3 years dating in London which takes up a lot of my time and effort without getting anywhere - perhaps I'm destined to die alone?

I want to stop using Grindr but I do not know of other ways to meet guys? I do not have many gay friends and I'm not out to my straight friends so I couldn't go down the natural route of being introduced and matched with someone. It is also very unlikely for me to meet someone to have a decent conversation in clubs such as Heaven etc.

What should I do? Thanks.

First, some of these issues have been discussed before. In particular, the following posts are relevant:The first of these two posts is particularly relevant. In that post, I suggested that guys who don't want dates or hook-ups with Asian guys are racists, but as a result of a couple of comments I accepted that I was wrong about that. Not wanting to go with Asian guys is simply a preference, in the same way that some guys only want dates with hung guys or older guys etc. The best example of that is that I don't want dates with women (because I'm gay), but that doesn't make me sexist!

However, given that the reader is proud to be Asian, I don't understand why he doesn't make it clear on his profile? Doing that should stop most of the rude replies. Also, it would be good if he could show his face because that would make it clear too, although I understand why a lot of people don't want to put their face pics on their profiles.

Regarding face pics, ex-boyfriend T had a solution to that which worked well because it made it clear that he was Asian without giving away his true identity. He used someone else's pics! I can't recommend that, because it's dishonest and because the other person will obviously object if they find out, but the pics were sufficiently similar to him that I didn't notice when I met him for the first time.

Another thought is that the reader only seems to be using Grindr. Now that I'm no longer in a relationship, I've now started to look at all the different dating web sites, and it's clear to me Grindr probably isn't the best site for Asian guys to use. For a mobile app, Jack'd seems to be much more popular with Asians guys and guys looking for Asian guys. Similarly, for a web site rather than an app, there's Fridae. My guess is that the reader will have more success if he starts using those web sites.

Finally, it's definitely hard for guys who're on their guard all the time to find boyfriends, because people have to lower all their barriers to develop loving relationships. Lowering his barriers is something that the reader will have to work on. One thought is that perhaps he should try dating other Asian guys. That should help build his confidence, and with another Asian guy he'll hopefully find it easier to drop his guard.

Does anyone else have any thoughts for this reader?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dinners and dating

Since I split up with ex-boyfriend T, I've been trying to move on with my life by meeting new guys for the occasional encounter. But I've also now started meeting new guys for dinner too :-). Of course, even if I find someone appropriate, it'll be many many months before I would want to consider calling them my boyfriend. Nonetheless, since I've always enjoyed meeting new people, I figure that it doesn't hurt to meet someone for dinner because it gets me out in the evening and hence stops me brooding over the end of my relationship with ex-boyfriend T!

So far, I have two sources of guys to meet for dinner. One is the Asian dating website fridae, and the other is this blog. A couple of weeks ago, I said that in some circumstances I'm now prepared to meet people who email me as a result of reading my blog, and so far I've had a several requests. Most of the requests are just for guys to meet me rather than a request for a 'date', but that's perfectly fine with me because as I said, it's usually fun meeting new guys socially :-). One nice thing is that some of the guys who've asked to meet me are guys that I've written Dear GB posts for in the past. Over the years I've built up pen-pal type of friendships with several such guys, simply as a result of all the emails about their particular situations, so it's nice to be able to finally meet a few of them face to face.

Amongst all these new guys, there's also my Thai friend B, who I went on holiday with last month. Although I really really like him, and although I think that we've always got on very well together (particularly well on our recent holiday), some of the things that he's done recently suggest that I won't be able to turn the friendship into boyfriendship. That's a big pity :-(, because in my mind there are lots of reasons why we'd be good for each other. However, since there seem to be lots of other guys to keep me occupied at the moment, I'm not going to let the situation with B worry me too much!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Activity report

Before I became boyfriends with ex-boyfriend T, long time readers of this blog will know that I used to enjoy finding a variety of guys to enjoy intimate moments with. In some ways, it was a kind of hobby of mine :-). However, the hobby gradually came to an end as my relationship with ex-boyfriend T deepened. From early January 2010 until last month when I split up with ex-boyfriend T, I was completely monogamous and faithful to him. That fact would probably astound some of my old readers if they haven't visited my blog since 2008, because back then, I used to do postings about how monogamy should not be a requirement for a successful gay relationship! In general, I still believe that that's true.

Different people find different ways of coping with the end of a domestic relationship. I have no intention of becoming a sad old guy who spends all of his time in gay saunas and cruising online, but nonetheless, for me I'm sure that trying to resurrect that my old hobby is a good way of moving on. I'm equally sure that for some guys it would be a bad thing to do. But in any case, finding two guys for fun on the same day, shortly after the split with ex-boyfriend T was, for me, very cathartic :-).

A few days after I met those two guys, I'm logged into Jack'd when suddenly a young guy send me a message wanting to meet up with me urgently. He's two stops away from me on the tube. Thirty minutes later he walks through my door, and ten minutes after that he leaves. A reasonable, albeit purely functional encounter!

However, a few days later, I find myself indulging in a much more interesting experience. I'm chatting to this guy on gaydar, who lives about twenty minutes' walk from me, when suddenly he asks me an interesting question:

Guy: do you mind if I get you naked, put a blindfold on you, and tie you up a bit?

How do you tie someone up "a bit"? Surely you're either tied up or you're not! In any case, that sounds a bit extreme to me.

GB: sorry m8, I'm not into bondage stuff
Guy: I just like to dom it about a bit, it’s a real turn on for me
GB: but I'm not a sub
GB: although perhaps a blindfold would be interesting
Guy: OK great, try the blindfold

So about half an hour later, I'm kissing this guy and we're both stripped down to our undershorts, when suddenly he's slipping a blindfold over my head! I don't resist, and I actually find the whole experience very horny, not knowing where the next titillation or whatever is going to come from. Needless to say, we both have a very satisfying time :-).

A couple of days after that another guy from gaydar, who's slightly older than me, ends up visiting me at home. But when I get him into my bedroom, I suddenly remember that there are a few potential problems meeting new guys like this, beyond the possibility of catching a STD. His breath doesn't smell that good :-|. He doesn't have really bad breath, but he does have slightly bad breath :-(. However, he seems like a genuine kind of chap, and since he's made a journey to visit me I can't bring myself to tell him that I can't go through with the encounter. So I avoid kissing him, and in terms of the rest we both reach a satisfactory conclusion. Afterwards, we end up talking:

"Wow, that was great :-)," says the guy while he's still lying there naked on my bed, "I think I could go again …"

But of course I'd rather not!

"Do you have a boyfriend or regular partner?" I ask, deliberately changing the subject.

"Actually," says the guy smiling, "I've been with my boyfriend for over twenty five years!"

"And does he know that you meet guys like me?"

"It's not a problem for us," he replies, "Neither of us do much NSA, but we both enjoy a bit of variety occasionally :-). I'll tell him that I met you later."

"I split up with my boyfriend a couple of weeks ago :-(," I say, "we'd been together for 4 years."

"Sorry to hear that," says the guy, "but a sexy guy like you won't have any problem finding a new boyfriend! But take your time, and make sure that you have a bit of fun for a few months first :-)."

That's a nice ego boost! We chat a bit more, but we both have other things to do, so after another five minutes or so he heads off.

My most recent encounter was with a cute Argentinian guy, which a happened a few days before I went on holiday with my sister and her family. Using the gaydar feature that shows how close other guys are, I'd worked out that he lives quite close to me, so I'd exchanged a few online messages with him. He was keen to meet me, but he seemed to have quite a busy diary. Eventually though, he was able to fit me into his schedule, so one morning he comes round to my house for a cup of coffee.

"I think you live quite close to me," I say, while we're chatting with each other on the sofa in my living room, "is that right?"

"Yes, it only took me fifteen minutes to walk here :-)," he replies.

Before the guy arrived, I'd been studying his profile on gaydar, trying to read between the lines to work out what kind of guy he is. None of the pics on his profile were at all cruisey. Coupled with everything else on his profile, it seemed completely implausible to me that he wouldn't already have a boyfriend, so it's time to find out whether my theory is correct or not.

"I bet that you live with your boyfriend, is that right?"

"Yes, how did you know?" asks the guy looking mildly impressed.

"Oh, I've been round the block a few times," I laugh, "and sometimes my intuition can be quite good at this kind of thing :-). I'd also bet that your boyfriend isn't entirely happy with you meeting other guys like this?"

When I looked at everything on this guy's profile, I'd simply guessed that it's a similar situation to the relationship that my colleague P has with his boyfriend D. And much to the dismay of my colleague P, D hasn't been faithful to him for ages!

"Well, actually we haven't discussed it," he replies. "Actually, I've got a big problem , because I still love him but we don't have any sexual contact anymore :-(. I'm not sure whether he's worked out that I meet other guys for fun or not. He knows that I've got quite a high sex drive, though, so he must have his suspicions …"

We're chatting to each other like old friends, which is mildly frustrating. Even though this guy has already got a boyfriend, I'd definitely like to get to know him better, because he's an attractive guy with a lovely personality too :-). And in any case, if he's going to be unfaithful anyway, it may as well be with me at least once!

I slowly move closer to him on the sofa, and then at an appropriate moment, I reach out to touch him on his arm. I leave my hand there, and he catches my eye, smiling.

"Actually, can I use your toilet?"

"Yes of course," I reply, and I tell him where to find it.

I decide to sit there on the sofa. He's finished his coffee, so when he comes back from the toilet, that'll be the natural point for him to leave if he wants to.

"That's better," he says sitting back down on the sofa, slightly closer to me than before.

Without saying anything, I simply put my hand back on his arm, and move towards him even more. He looks me in the eye and we kiss. Soon we're upstairs in my bedroom and we both have a good time!

"Don't you think you should discuss all this with your boyfriend?" I ask him afterwards.

"I really don't want to," he replies, sounding certain that it's not a good idea. "I've got a few friends who were in a similar situation, and once they'd discussed things properly with their boyfriends, they all ended up splitting up. I don't want that to happen to me."

I can't help thinking that one day they'll split up anyway, and perhaps it would be better for the two of them if it were to happen sooner rather than later. But in any case, it's not really any of my business.

Since my break-up with ex-boyfriend T, I can't help thinking that I've been lucky in that I've had a bit of fun with quite an interesting and diverse set of guys :-). It's nice to know that one day, when I'm ready, there are some nice guys out there who might make a nice boyfriend for me!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

On holiday again

I'm now on holiday with my sister and her family. Back in the spring, my nephew (who now has a girlfriend) suggested that should all take a holiday together like we used to when he was much younger. The last time that we had a family holiday like that was back in 2005, and all of us always enjoyed it, so we decided to try doing it again :-). Even before I split up with Ex-boyfriend T, he was dubious about whether he'd be able to come along with us due to all his other commitments. However, my family were keen to invite ex-boyfriend S to come along, because we were boyfriends for such a long time that they all regard him as part of the family. Luckily he was available, and so we've all ended up coming away on holiday together again. Below are a couple of pics from the area where we're staying. Does anyone want to guess where we are?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

How to maintain a gay lifestyle under the scrutiny of others

Back in June, before I went on holiday with my Thai friend B, I received an email from a long time reader of this blog. He had seen the pre-holiday post about the state of my relationship with ex-boyfriend T, and was emailing me to encourage me not to give up on that relationship. I was very touched to get this email :-). Of course, since he sent me the email my relationship with ex-boyfriend T has unfortunately come to an end :-(.

I sent a reply to the email, and after a couple more emails, I agreed with the reader that it can be hard to make gay relationships work. During the email conversation, he asked an important and interesting question, and I asked him to expand the question into an email which I could post on this blog. The result was the following email:

Dear GB,

How do we maintain long term gay relationships under the scrutiny of others (both gay and straight)?

Scrutiny comes from close family and friends who don't believe in gay lifestyles. From colleagues who find it hard to understand that a man of a certain age continues to claim bachelorhood with no intention of getting a girlfriend, from governments that do not allow gay marriage, from public who are curious or confused or angry about gay male relationships. The context of this question is not just limited to the culture where I'm from (Asia), but could apply everywhere.

Please do not quote high level theory about ignoring others, living my own life, moving to a gay friendly city, taking pride as being gay etc. these are high level ideas that people may wish to follow but most likely unable to. We are all human beings, with family ties, colleagues, friends etc. We are not living alone on an island.

Being single at older age gets scrutiny. Being attached with a man also gets scrutiny.

I personally don't think those married gays are enjoying the attention that the world is giving to them. Who does not want to live peacefully and choose the life they feel more comfortable?

People are born in this world to survive. To survive we have to make difficult choices. Choices that lead to survival or happiness. Best if it leads to both survival and happiness but then it is no longer a difficult choice.

GB, appreciate your advice. I don't think there's a universal answer.

The reader starts his email by asking about maintaining gay relationships under the scrutiny of others, but he quickly moves on to the broader question about how to live life as a gay man. So I'm going to try and answer the broader question, namely how can one maintain a gay lifestyle under the scrutiny of others. The majority of the problems that gay guys have in their relationships are similar to the problems that arise in straight relationships. The real problem is how to live as a gay man, especially if one doesn't want to come out to everyone.

A few years ago, I answered a related question with a post called Conversational Evasion Techniques. Anyone interested in the issues posed by this long time reader's email should certainly read that old post. However, the question that I'm trying to answer here is broader, and consequently requires a more profound answer. Some people are able to follow what the reader calls "high level theories", but I accept what the reader says, namely that most people have no idea how they could ever make those ideas work.

Looking at the reader's email, I think that part of the question is being framed in the wrong way. Towards the end of his email, the reader mentions survival, and that gives an important insight into the way that the reader is thinking about his life. His attitude derives from a kind of siege mentality, where one feels that one is constantly under attack, and survival with perhaps a bit of happiness attached is the best that he can hope for.

People like the reader, who don't want to disclose their sexuality for whatever reason, feel under attack whenever a situation arises where an out and proud gay man would naturally disclose his sexuality. Obvious examples of such situations would be when a new friend or colleague asks a gay man whether he has a girlfriend or not, or when a gay man's mother asks him when he's going to get married. For someone who doesn't want to disclose their sexuality, the only question they hear in any sort of situation like that is "Are you gay?". Gay guys who're not open about their sexuality then feel under intense pressure to avoid disclosing the truth, and consequently they often don't give a good answer, even if they think that they do.

As an aside, ex-boyfriend T is a perfect example of a gay guy who does badly in those situations, although I know he thinks that his performance is acceptable. It's exactly the same as all those anti-gay politicians who get caught being gay, because they're also trying too hard. People who try too hard to avoid any association with anything remotely gay go to the top of any list that I'd compile of likely closet gay guys. Real straight guys don't have anything to prove, so their response to those situations is completely natural.

Although closeted gay guys might feel under attack, the fact is that in most of those situations, the intention behind asking the question is benign. Furthermore, in a situation like that where the question is indeed meant in a benign way, the siege mentality can result in an entirely inappropriate response. One obvious example (that I mentioned in my previous post about Conversational Evasion Techniques) is that when a new colleague asks a guy if he has a girlfriend, the new colleague is usually trying to make friends because they're trying to establish some common ground. Most guys are indeed straight, so discussing wives and girlfriends is a way of building a bond with another straight guy. Similarly, when a mother asks her son when he's going to get married, it may well be that her real concern is for his long term happiness. The best way of responding in all these situations is to try and work out what the underlying intention is for the particular situation, and armed with that knowledge to deal with the situation is the appropriate way.

Unfortunately, the insight that most of the time other people aren't surreptitiously asking whether one is gay is the easy half of the answer to this question. Whatever the situation is, how can the gay guys who don't want to disclose their sexuality frame a response that will seem as natural the response of a genuinely straight guy? It is possible, but to be able to do that, the gay guy has to have become completely comfortable in his own skin so that he knows who he is. The more comfortable a guy is in being gay, the better the guy will be in responding, even if he doesn't want to disclose his sexuality. In the early stages of coming out, one isn't sure about a lot of things. Guys will be thinking "Am I really gay?", and perhaps "I'd rather be straight, so is there a path that will take me from *bi-curious* to straight?", "What on earth will everything think of me?", and "How on earth can I survive as a gay man in a straight world?" and so on. In that period of self-doubt, gay guys will naturally have the siege mentality that I mentioned above, and unfortunately some guys find it hard to move on.

For the gay guy who doesn't want to come out to everyone in his life, simple acceptance of the fact that he is gay isn't enough for him to be able to live under the scrutiny of others. To start with it's likely to be a grudging acceptance, and that's certainly not sufficient. He needs to get to the point that being gay is no longer an issue for him. He may well choose not to come out to some (or even most) people in his life, for example because he may be living in a country where homosexuality is illegal, or perhaps because he doesn't want to disappoint his parents. However, if he can reach the point where he's completely comfortable in himself about his sexuality so that he's started to focus on other issues in his life instead, then he's reached a point where he can be more objective about his situation and handling scrutiny will be much easier. At that point he'll know that he's made the right choice for himself, he'll know who (if anyone) needs to know about it, and he'll know that it's not the business of anyone else to tell him otherwise.

The key to reaching that point is to find ways to build confidence. Confidence that being gay is beyond his control, but that since he is gay he needs to learn how to make the most of it. This takes time, but my suggestion would be to do at least one gay thing each day. Guys who are new to being gay might start by trying to admire images of good-looking guys and not feel guilty about it. Going to a gay venue and enjoying the social company of other gay guys is another idea. If there are any people that a particular gay guy can come out to, then he should do that once he feels sufficiently comfortable about himself. Best of all, there's no substitute for enjoying the intimate company of another gay man and feeling good about that as well :-). But however a guy builds confidence in his sexuality, what I call the confidence mirror is important in dealing with scrutiny. If the gay person under scrutiny has high confidence in the way that they're leading their life, then any people that they're talking to will subconsciously pick up on that and tend to leave them alone. Similarly, a lack of confidence will lead to more and more scrutiny. However, as long a particular gay guy genuinely knows that he's doing what is right for him, then he'll be able to deal with other people in an appropriate way.

However, confidence in being gay is only part of the solution. To be good at living under the scrutiny of others one needs to have confidence in one's own self-worth as a member of whatever society one lives in. So one should try and succeed in one's job and career. Everyone, both gay and straight, have various issues that they need to tackle at various stages in their life. For most people, the path to full self-acceptance and self-knowledge is a long one, and for a guy that is gay working out how to deal with it will just be one of the obstacles on that path. Where does the path ultimately end up? A fundamental question for everyone to ask themselves, both gay and straight, is as follows:
Given who I am, given all my talents and all my shortcomings too, how can I be the best person that I can possibly be?
Maslow's pyramidA good way of thinking about this is by reference to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The long-term reader who sent me this email is focusing on survival, which is at bottom of the pyramid. What we should all be trying to do is to work our way up to the self-actualised level at the top of the pyramid. Those are the people who've really worked out who they are, and as a consequence they've worked out how to be the best possible person given all their attributes.

We can't all be great people like Nelson Mandela, or great scientists like Alexander Fleming. But if we find the right path, each of us can fulfill his or her potential and be the best possible person given all our attributes, both positive and negative. Realising one's shortcomings is important. For example, in my case, sometimes I lose my temper and as a result I can occasionally be unnecessarily rude to people. I do try and work on that shortcoming, and as I get older and hopefully wiser I find that I lose my temper less. However, one consequence of that is that I'm completely unsuitable for any role which would involve media scrutiny, because I'd end up having problems like the UK politician Andrew Mitchell. On the positive side, I've still got a passion for the subject that I studied at university, so when I can I focus my energy on that. When I first realised that I was gay I would have put that attribute on the list of my shortcomings, but now I regard it as a positive attribute, for example because it gives me perspectives that my straight friends and colleagues don't have. And so on.

Early in the email, the reader says "... do not quote high level theory about ignoring others, living my own life". However, what I've tried to do is to show what the path is towards that so called "high level theory". In summary, my short answer to the reader's question is that to live life as a gay man under the scrutiny of others he needs to grow in his confidence as both a gay man and a worthwhile and productive member of his community.

Do any other readers have any other suggestions?

Update 13-Aug-2013: In response to the reader who left the first comment, if you read my post carefully, you'll see that I am NOT saying that people need to be 'out' to climb the Maslow pyramid. Self-actualized people know who they are, and whether other people know or not isn't important to them. The confidence that a gay man needs to develop is simply that he himself is gay, that it's the right choice for him, and that no one else has the right to tell him otherwise. Or to put it another way, he needs to lose the guilt that he may feel for not being straight, and then he can be much more objective about his situation. In a tolerant Western society, coming out to some or all of one's friends and family probably makes a lot of sense these days, but e.g. in the homophobic countries that still exist in Africa then it's probably not appropriate. Although coming out to people helps build confidence when it goes well, it's not necessary because there are other ways to build confidence.

Most people will have some issues to overcome in their life. It really doesn't matter whether the average gay person has more or less obstacles than the average straight person. Who would you rather be, a person who lives in a third world country and who doesn't know where their next meal is coming from, or a gay guy with a promising career working for a homophobic firm somewhere in the Western world? It's very much a case of "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger", and viewed from that point of view, the gay person who successfully deals with the gay issue will be a more complete person than a straight person who hasn't had any difficulties to deal with.

In this context, I always remember the cuckoo clock speech from the classic film "The third man":
"… in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock!"
However painful turmoil may be, I for one enjoy the creativity that comes out of it :-). And it may well be that my response to this reader's email is better than it would have been had I not split up with ex-boyfriend T recently!

GB xxx

Update 27-Aug-2013: Follow up post More about maintaining a gay lifestyle under the scrutiny of others.

Update 1-Sep-2013, spotted this article on the BBC news website today: Abraham Maslow and the pyramid that beguiled business

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Trying to move on ...

A couple of days after I split up with ex-boyfriend T, I have dinner with my friend Close Encounters in Soho. I get to the restaurant first, but I don't have to wait long before he arrives:

"So sorry to hear your news about ex-boyfriend T," he says as he sits down at the table, "how are you feeling now?"

"A bit lost," I say honestly, "anyway, how are you?"

"You know what they say, don't you?" says Close Encounters, ignoring my question, "You can't get over anyone until you've been under someone!"

"I haven't heard it expressed like that before," I chuckle, "but it's a good point!"

"But will I still remember how to find guys online?" I ask, with a hint of desperation in my voice.

"I'm sure you will!" replies Close Encounters confidently.

"Yes I suppose I will," I answer, echoing his confidence in my voice now, "after all, I managed to get a nice European guy from gaydar to visit me at home this afternoon :-)."

At hearing this news Close Encounters bursts into laughter.

"Seems like the old GB is back in business after all!" he says grinning, "but don't forget that apart from web sites like gaydar, phone apps like Grindr and Jack'd which work off your current location are also popular."

"Maybe that explains it," I say cryptically.

"Explains what?"

"Well, this afternoon I got the impression that the average age on gaydar has increased in line with my own age! A bit sad really, because it suggests that the majority of gaydar users spend their whole lives cruising on the web site, and never end up in a relationship. And perhaps the younger guys are mostly on the new mobile apps?"

A few hours later, I'm back home and I've managed to get Jack'd installed and configured with a simple profile, including a couple of recent pics. Jack'd is a bit primitive, lacking the features and sophistication of web sites like gaydar, but on the plus side there seem to be a lot of guys online so I guess the features that it does have must be adequate. I try sending a few messages, and I even get a couple of replies, but no opportunities to meet up with anyone materializes. I'm about to go to bed, when suddenly I realize that a guy (who turns out to be called L) has initiated a conversation and sent me a message:

L: Nice pics

I check out L's profile and he looks lovely, although perhaps a bit young to be a boyfriend of mine. In my mind, I always remember my boss's N/2+7 rule.

GB: Thanks. I'm new to Jack'd, but a friend recommended it over dinner tonight. Are you near me?
L: I'm based in Soho, fancy popping over?

Wow, this app IS good :-). And even if he's too young to be a boyfriend of mine, there's no harm visiting him to find out whether we want to get to know each other a bit better! Having come back home from dinner in Soho earlier in the evening, within ten minutes I'm heading back to Soho in a taxi to visit him in his apartment.

"It's GB," I say into the door entry system, "can I come up?"

I look up at the sky, because it seems to be trying to rain. "Come on," I think, "I don't want to get wet!", but almost immediately I hear the door make a buzzing sound and I push it open. As I walk up the stairs, I hear the sound of a door opening, and walking round a couple of corners I suddenly I spot L peering round his door.

"Hi, thanks for inviting me over :-)," I say smiling, trying to break the ice.

"Thanks for coming!" replies L, smiling back.

As I walk through the door into his apartment, I instinctively put my hand up to caress him gently on his shoulder, and I smile as I look into his eyes. Maybe I can remember how to do all this! Touching the other guy helps to break the ice even more, and reduces the possibility that we'll both just sit there chatting, feeling too uneasy to take things any further.

The apartment is quite small, with a sofa-bed in the main living area that's already been made up into a bed, and with a kitchen tucked in at the back away from the windows.

"Do you want something to drink," asks L casually, "although I'm not sure what I've got!"

He looks in the fridge, and after a short discussion, we both settle for a glass of orange juice.

"So where are you from?" I ask, as we sit down on the sofa-bed. I take off my shoes and socks to make myself more comfortable, and soon we're both lying back and chatting easily.

"Well I was brought up in the English countryside," replies L, "but both my parents are ethnically Asian."

He tells me what the background of each of his parents is, and it turns out that they're originally from different parts of Asia. I start laughing.

"Amazing," I say grinning, "your father the same ethnic background as my recent ex, and your mother has the same ethnic background as my ex-boyfriend before him!"

"Oh, sorry to bring back bad memories," says L defensively.

"No, I've got lots of happy memories of both," I reply, "and it certainly wasn't the ethnicity that caused the relationships to end!"

We're now lying quite close to each other on the sofa-bed, and while we chat, I occasionally put my hand out to touch his arm or hand at what seem like appropriate points in the conversation. Our legs occasionally touch too. But he's holding a cushion in his lap in front of him, which seems like defensive body language, so perhaps the evening won't have the conclusion that I'm hoping for.

Soon L finishes his orange juice, and reaches round to find somewhere to put the empty glass, and I spot an opportunity. I reach over him to place my glass on the same shelf, and with the extra closeness that comes from this manoeuvre, we start kissing each other.

"Err, why don't we make ourselves more comfortable," says L after several minutes of kissing and cuddling and wandering hands.

I get up off the sofa-bed to take off my trousers, and when I turn round, L is standing there completely naked with an enormous erection between his legs. Removing my undershorts too, it becomes clear that I'm equally excited and jumping back onto the sofa-bed, nature takes its course :-).

"Shall we have a bit of a cuddle?" I ask L after we've cleaned ourselves up, "I'm not in any hurry."

"Yes of course :-)" replies L smiling at me, and soon we're both lying there feeling very satisfied, with L's naked body nestling into mine as I wrap my arms around him and relax with my head on a pillow. The rain that seemed imminent just as I was arriving is now beating down quite heavily outside, but we just lie there feeling safe in each other's company, enjoying the moment. Even so, occasionally a tear creeps into my eye, as I lie there thinking about all the good times that I had with ex-boyfriend T.

Eventually the rain stops and it seems like time to go home. We talk about the possibility of meeting again while I'm putting my clothes on, and as I'm leaving I give him a quick peck on his lips.

"Really nice to meet you," I say, "and perhaps see you again :-)?"

The rain has made the streets outside feel very fresh, and I wander towards Oxford Street looking for a taxi. Although I miss ex-boyfriend T enormously, at least two encounters in one day is a small start at trying to move on.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Might I be able to find a boyfriend via this blog?

When I got up this morning, I discovered that someone had left a comment on my most recent post which asks a very interesting question:

GB, now that you're single again, how do we start applying to be your boyfriend?

Ages ago I did a couple of posts (1, 2) about meeting up with people who find me through this blog. Those posts suggest that I almost never do that, mainly because if someone has read my blog, they know so much more about me than I know about them. However, the truth is that I wrote those posts quite a long time ago, and recently I've increasingly been ignoring them!

The original exception that I made was for guys that also have blogs, so that I'm able to level the playing field by reading their blog. But in fact, I've also now met a few guys who first got in contact with me when they sent me requests for advice that I answered in "Dear GB" posts.

Although I don't think it makes sense to "apply" to my boyfriend, asking to meet up to see whether there's any basis for a friendship *might* be all right. The reason for my caution is that the original problem still exists, namely that anyone who's read my blog has effectively read my private diary, so something needs to be done to make things more even.

Regarding the guys that I met who had originally sent me requests for advice, I got to know them as a result of extended email conversations over a period of many months or even years. But it strikes me that it doesn't need to take that long. For example, these days a lot of people have facebook timelines, and that is a kind of blog. People also have dating profiles on sites like e.g. gaydar and all the others, and those profiles also give a lot of information about people.

Anyway, in summary, I guess the answer to the question is that these days I am prepared to meet people that have found me through this blog :-). Start by sending me an email. However, if anyone does want to meet me, please have a good idea about what you're going to do so that I can find out a lot about you in advance of any meeting!