Thursday, August 29, 2013

Happiness!!

The happiest I've been since I came out nearly three years ago was when I was seeing Dean last summer.

After dealing with the antics of my former wife and her idiot boyfriend for several years, it was so nice to be in a positive, happy relationship.

What's ironic is that I wasn't romantically interested in Dean when I first contacted him.  He lived more than an hour away, his picture was uninspiring, and in his online profile, he talked a lot about God and spirituality, neither of which are my favorite subjects. What I liked was that he was exactly my age, that he also had three kids (two very near my kids' ages), and that he'd only been out of the closet for two years.  The reason I wanted to talk to him was to hear about his experiences - especially coming out to his kids and dating men after being married to a woman for twenty years.

When I contacted him, he said he was extremely busy with work.  He said he couldn't meet for a few weeks, but in the meantime, we should stay in touch.  So we did.  Over a period of about nine weeks we developed a long-distance connection, at first through email then later by phone.  By the time we finally met, I knew we'd hit it off, and we did.  During our first date he even made a few jokes about us getting married some day.  Who does that on a first date??!

The more I got to know Dean, the more I realized what a great complementary match we were.  Our core values were very much aligned, although we were yin and yang in other ways.  Our differences made us fit together, both in bed and out of it.  For example, he was chatty, out-going and a little flighty, whereas I'm a good listener, introspective and stable.  Being with him was easy and effortless.  I've read that good connections don't require work, they just happen naturally, and that's the way it was with Dean.

Although Dean had been out of the closet for more than two years, he had almost no sexual or relationship experience with men.  He'd never hooked-up and he'd only dated one guy - for a month.  That relationship didn't work because the other guy lost his fight to stay sober and ended up homeless.

Because of Dean's lack of experience, I felt it was important that we take our relationship slowly.  I wanted to build something enduring, not something that began hot-and-heavy only to quickly crash and burn.  After discussing this, we agreed to a guiding principle for our relationship: to take it one day at a time.  That was his idea, and it was something I ended up really loving, because every day I mentally renewed my desire and commitment to be with him.  I felt like that kept me from taking him for granted - and I certainly hoped it did the same for him.

My one disappointment in the relationship came after three and a half months.  Because he often traveled for work and then (understandably) wanted to be with his kids when he was home, the amount of time he had for me was limited.  I therefore asked him if, maybe, possibly, for one night a month, could we hang out together with his kids?   I explained that there would be absolutely no PDA between us.  The purpose was to spend more time together and to work toward building a comfortable connection between all of us.  Well, after hearing that suggestion, Dean flipped out in a way I'd never seen before.  He very forcefully said, "My kids will never share me!!"

Obviously I'd hit a nerve so I replied, "No problem...I understand...It was just an idea that I wanted to ask you about."  And needless to say, I decided to never ask about meeting his kids again.

Imagine my great surprise when just a few days later Dean took the initiative and arranged for me to meet his kids AND his ex-wife.  I was amazed - and very pumped!  Taking that step was obviously a big deal for him so it proved that he really cared about me and our relationship.

Meeting his kids and ex-wife went well.  The kids were a little shy at first but warmed up quickly.  His ex-wife was polite and gracious, which was all I could hope for, especially after Dean suddenly walked away from us just as we were about to say hello.

The only wrinkle in the evening was that Dean seemed a little stressed, or possibly distracted, the whole night.  When it came time to say goodbye, for example, he only gave me a hug instead of a kiss.  I thought that was odd, but maybe he was worried his kids might see us, even though they were waiting in the car two floors above us?

It turned out that Dean had good reason to be withdrawn.  Just three days later he dropped a bombshell on me.  He said, "The first time we met, do you remember saying that I needed to date more people before settling down?  Well, I've been thinking...and...you were right."

And that was that.

I was (and am) very proud of how I handled our sudden break-up.  Although I was profoundly hurt and disappointed, I never let any of that show.  Instead I told him that I completely understood, that I wanted nothing but the best for him, and that I would be available to him anytime he wanted to talk.

The four weeks following the break-up were extremely difficult.  We'd been talking every day and meeting a minimum of once a week for months, so to have all that contact drop to nothing was painful.  By the third week I realized that I had fallen in love with him...which was something I thought our "one day at a time" agreement would avoid.  Let me tell you, it really sucks to realize that you're in love with someone three weeks after they've broken up with you.

I finally started to heal about a month later, following an exchange of emails between us that I initiated.  I felt even better when we traded emails again in February of this year.

A thought that also helped me feel better was that Dean was so obsessed with work and his kids that he didn't have time to date.  This was confirmed when we emailed in February and he said he'd only been out on one date in four months, and that was with a guy he wasn't attracted to but couldn't avoid any longer.  "Poor Dean," I thought, "He'll be old, ugly and unwanted by the time he wakes up and realizes that age matters a lot when you're gay.  It's bad enough to be 46.  Just wait until he's over 50."

Another reason I felt better about our break-up was because I had just started dating again and was pretty optimistic about my prospects.

In early June we communicated again, when Dean emailed me out of the blue.  Wow, was I ever thrilled to see his name in big bold letters in my inbox!  I literally held my breath as I opened the email.

It turned out that his message was very friendly but he didn't say anything of substance.  That was both weird and alluring.  Why had he suddenly decided to email ?  Did he miss me???  Was he testing the waters with me and my situation because he wanted to date again?  Was he just being polite?

I'm still not sure what prompted him to reach out.  My best guess is that it was business related.  I say this because exactly a year earlier I had arranged a contract for him and it was time to renew or change that contract.  Although he never mentioned business in the email, I suspect that he wanted to know "if we were good" before he decided what to do about it.  Whatever.  The actual reason he emailed isn't important, what matters is how he responded when I asked him what he'd been up to...
He told me that he'd been seeing someone "for a while."

He said that the guy was "much younger."

And, "Can you believe it?  He says he's in love, wants to get married and have kids." 

At that point, I had to stop reading because my eyes were starting to water.  Crying because that fuck-wad had an awesome, in-love-with-him boyfriend was just not going to happen.

While fighting back the tears, I continued reading...

"I've told him that I'm not ready for any of that.  In fact, I know he's not the one.  I keep telling him not to get too attached but he doesn't seem to listen.  I will say that hanging out with him is a lot of fun!"

Whew!!!!!!!

Sort of.

The more I read and reread what he wrote, the more I realized how shocking his update was.  Here I'd been soothing myself by making fun of his dating naivete - and the fucker found someone before I did!  How did that happen?? And a younger guy?  And in love with him?  WTF?!!!!!  I just couldn't believe it...especially since I'd been putting a lot of time and energy into meeting new guys and was getting absolutely nowhere.

I really wanted to be chill about his news, so when I replied, I very casually asked how they met, how long they'd been dating, and...(what I wanted to know most of all)...had he introduced this guy to his wife and kids???

His answers were: they met through Gay AA (not a surprise - Dean's entire social life revolved around that group), they'd be going out for "a few months" (dammit, I wanted an exact number - it had better be less than the four months we went out), and, yes, his boyfriend had met his ex and his kids.  They really like him!

FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, and: FUUUUUUCK!

After reading that, I had to take a few minutes and collect myself.

***

It turned out that I needed many days to collect myself.  And even now, the hurt still burns deep inside.

Please remember how I started this post: "The happiest I've been since I came out nearly three years ago was when I was seeing Dean last summer." 

All that happiness has now been permanently shot to hell.  Here's why:

Dean KNOWS that this guy isn't the one and he KNOWS that this guy is going to get hurt, especially the longer they're together AND YET...they're having great fun hanging out together.  Worse than that, he had no problem introducing this guy to his wife and kids, and quickly too.  And I'm certain the kids see him all the time, unlike the one-time meeting I had.

In comparison to how he treats this new boyfriend, I was just a piece of dog shit on Dean's shoe that he couldn't wait to scrape off.

Seriously - every fundamental rule that Dean had for dating someone has been thrown out the window for this guy even though he knows the whole relationship is destined to crash and burn!  Compare that to what I got: two minutes with his wife and an hour with his kids, which, it turned out, was all it took for him to cut me loose just days later.

Dean's email might as well have said, "Not to be too mean about it or anything, but our relationship was worse than dog shit for me.  The instant it started to smell I had to throw it away."

To which my reply is: "Oh, in that case, I'm never going to tell you that those four months were the happiest I've been in years.  And I'm certainly never going to tell you how good it felt to be genuinely liked AND WANTED by someone, especially after getting dumped for an illiterate, criminal, drunk, violent, fucking asshole after spending 25 years together.  Thanks for sharing the truth, Dean!  Now I know that I'm less desirable than an old turd rotting in a gutter because both the people I'm in love with had no problem discarding me. And best of all, I've been dumped by someone from each gender so there's no doubt where I fit in among humans - I'm the shit you step on and can't wait to shake off."

***

So, um...yeah. 

My self-loathing hit a new post-puberty high in June and I've spent the last ten weeks or so slowly recovering.  To help with that I took down my online dating profile.  I'm way too thin-skinned right now to deal with any more rejection, even the meaningless stuff.

***

About two weeks after that email exchange with Dean, I remembered something he said during our third month together: "To be honest, you're not really my type."

At the time, I blew that comment off because I thought he was saying that he was surprised to like someone outside of his usual type.  Now I realize I should have taken his words much more seriously.

When you meet someone new and they ask you out but you're not interested, what's the easiest way to reject them?  You say, "Sorry, but you're not really my type."  It's a "nothing personal" rejection.

Well, bullshit it's not personal.

When a good friend points someone out to you and you respond, "He's not my type," the only thing to base that judgment on is the person's looks.  And that, actually, is what "not my type" is almost always about - looks.

Dean and I spent four months together and had a lot of sex - really good sex, for me at least.  But now I get it.  Dean didn't dump me because he was afraid of commitment.  He dumped me because he was never really attracted to me.  I was just an experiment.  He had so little experience with men that I happened to be a useful warm body.  Once he learned enough, there was really no other reason to keep me around.

Yep, I get it.

***

As an epilogue to this very painful post, I have to say that another thing I "get" is that self-loathing, self-pitying types are universally unattractive.

I need to get my shit together. 

Which is what I'm doing.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Why Some Married Men on the Down Low are not Cheating

Here's a recent comment, posted on Married Men on the Down Low:
I asked my wife what she defined as cheating, is it just sex with other people? and she said "going outside the marriage for things you could be getting from inside the marriage". So no, not just sex, kissing, hugging, loving, those types of things constituted cheating as well.

So I discussed "pegging" with her. (her wearing a strap on device to have anal sex with me, as though I'm the female, and she's the male.) She was appalled, disgusted, and completely uninterested.

So no, I'm *not* cheating when I let my boyfriend have anal sex with me. Its not something I could be getting from inside my marriage. There is no kissing, hugging, loving, etc. It doesn't overlap in any way. I never have an orgasm, I don't even get an erection. I'm always safe, and we're both disease and drug free. There's no risk of STDs.

Besides, its not sex I'm looking for. Its abuse. Wonderful beautiful abuse. I get the verbal and emotional abuse from my wife, but she won't abuse me physically the way I need. 


I am not gay. I am at most bi-sexual. I LOVE having sex with my wife. She gets me rock hard all the time. I can't get enough of having sex with her. Other hot women turn me on, and make me rubber-neck. I never check out guys. I think many men who engage in this behavior are like me seeking to reproduce physical abuse from their childhoods. And people think that spanking their children is a good thing. I need beat now as an adult because I was beat so much as a child. Its how I feel "normal". 
I wonder how many other married men have anal sex with an abusive boyfriend just because it makes them feel normal.  I've never really heard of that before, but maybe I'm naive.

There are other aspects of this comment that I am familiar with.  One is that there's a lot of variability in how people define cheating.  Is a kiss cheating? A passionate hug?  What about masturbating to thoughts of someone other than your spouse?  What about putting a penis in your mouth for just a minute or two?  There is no universal definition for cheating.

It seems to me that in an authentic, loving marriage, the couple would discuss and agree to a definition - which is exactly what this man and his wife did.  And based on his report of their discussion, he is clearly not cheating.  Or at least he doesn't think he is.

I won't go so far as to say the man is delusional, however, I'd be far more convinced if he disclosed his activities to his wife and SHE decided he wasn't cheating.  It seems rather disingenuous to me to claim fidelity to an agreement but then to hide an activity which (supposedly) would be acceptable.  If it's not cheating, why not tell her?

So, yeah...creative definitions of what doesn't constitute cheating are pretty common among men on the down low.  No surprises there.

What interests me most about this man is his how he separates a certain sex act from his sexuality. He even says that the sexual act is not about sex at all, but about physical abuse.  It's for that reason, in addition to the fact that he doesn't have an erection or an orgasm, that he very logically labels himself as "at most bisexual."

In all honesty, I don't want to understand the physical abuse aspect of the man's down low activities, however, the clear separation in his mind between a gay sex act and his sexuality is something that really fascinates me.  It seems to be a common phenomenon; I can't count the number of times I've read stories about men who have sex with dozens, or even hundreds of men, yet they see themselves as straight.

Women, as a rule, never believe that.  Their sexuality does not work that way.  For them, sex and emotion are closely linked so it's impossible for many of them to imagine that any straight man could have sex with another man, even once, and still be genuinely considered straight.  Authentically straight men, they say, don't have sexual contact with other men, ever.

I know what women think and the logic they use, but I'd really like to hear from the guys who have sex with men but are straight.  I wish a few of them would clearly explain why a man who mostly (or even exclusively) has sex with men is not mostly gay.

I'd also like to understand why sex with men is not cheating, yet it's still something that must be hidden from wives.

These are not facetious questions.  I really would like to understand the answers well enough to be able to explain them to others.

Please, share your thoughts and experiences in the comment box below.

Friday, August 9, 2013

My Bisexual Boyfriend: Advice Needed!!!


This request for advice was posted as a comment within the last 24 hours.  Please help this woman by posting your reply in the comment box below.

Someone please help me! I want to hear from more people like this. 

My boyfriend of 3 years and best friend for 7 years told me a week ago that he was bisexual. I found online accounts and some porn. On the accounts he was having online sex with men. I'm terrified that he might be gay and hiding it. We've always had a deep love connection and I truly believe that he does love me. I wanted to leave him and he begged me to stay saying that watching gay porn every so often was enough. 

Before I found out, our sex life was okay but had died down a little bit. Now that he's told me I feel more connected to him on a personal level and the sex has been great. Our love though has always been strong. He does everything for me. He works and pays for me while I go to school. He puts up with my bitchy attitude. He says that he would rather die then ever be without me. The one thing that scares me more than anything is the fact that we are each others first. What if he wants to experience what it's like to be with a man? 

He tells me that he doesn't want to and he really is attracted to women more then men he just likes to look at porn but would never actually want sex. I don't know if this is the truth or him denying his own feelings. I'm terrified. I never thought that my life would be this complicated and painful. I really want things to work out between us. However, I can't trust him ever again and I don't want to waste my time with someone who ultimately might end up leaving me. 

I get on here and read stories about guys who truly loved their wives and just couldn't make it work and it scares me. He says he feels like a weight has been lifted off his chest now that he's told me. That's really great for him but now I'm worried constantly. I tried to talk him into doing different stuff in the bedroom...involving more stuff with his butt and he gets angry and doesn't want to do it! so does this mean that he really does just enjoy looking at it and talking about it or is he that far into denial. I'm so scared about our future.  - Mackenzie

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Six Weird Dates

More than one person has told me that they're not interested in my posts about bi-married men and their straight wives.  "Write more about you," they've said.

OK, I will.  For now.

The last time I provided an update on my dating exploits was in late March.  Since then I've met six more guys, all at their request, and each one has provided me with an "interesting" dating experience.

Below are six stories that, together, undoubtedly say a lot more about me than the men I've met.

***

One
I met this guy in April.  He was a little younger than me, 42, and he had only been out of the closet for two years.  He had never been married.

We had a pleasant dinner on a Friday night, then wandered over to a nearby gay bar.  We spent about 45 minutes at the bar, but talking was difficult because of the loud music.  I had to drive home so I nursed a beer while he downed three whiskey shots in quick succession.  As the alcohol kicked in, he got a little physical by touching my back and arm.  I liked that!  I hadn't been touched since Dean broke up with me in early October, so I enjoyed the attention.

The guy was interesting and relatively attractive but I didn't feel especially drawn to him until he started touching me.  I wasn't sure if that was usual behavior for him, or if he was actually interested in me, so to try to find out I started touching him too and asked him to point out a few guys in the bar that he thought were attractive. I wanted to know how close I was to his type.

At first he said he didn't see anyone he liked.  Then a really tall, extremely muscular guy walked by, and he emphatically said, "That's what I like - lots of big muscles!"  I laughed to myself because I'm shortish (but taller than him) and lean.  I'm definitely not a bodybuilder.

Yet he continued to flirt with me.

Within a few minutes, he was leaning against me, his back pressed against my front, with my arms wrapped around him.

We happened to be standing in a spot where lots of guys were pushing through the crowd trying to get past us.  Soon we were tightly pressed together at the edge of the bar.  After standing that way for about two minutes, my date turned around and gave me a very thorough, full-body pat down: arms, pecs, abs, crotch, ass, thighs.  When he finished he said, "Let's go."

I followed him out of the bar and into the middle of the street.  Once we were safely in the center of it, he paused for a moment, and without looking at me he said, "I'm tired.  I'm going home."  Then he walked away.

It took me a second to realize that I'd just been dumped.  Once I understood, I joked to myself,  "I guess I didn't measure up!"

***

Three
This guy was a little older, early 50s, and had been out of the closet for a long time.

One thing I appreciated about his background was that he'd never lived in San Francisco.  Just as I've learned that I'm naturally more comfortable with formerly married men, I've also discovered that suburban gays are more my speed than urban gays. A number of urban gays I've met, all white professionals over the age of 40, have had an edge to them that makes me feel inferior and judged.  I've also found that, even if these guys say they're open to dating someone with children, they're not exactly excited by the idea.  The questions they ask imply that raising a kid is like conducting an 18 year science experiment.

Guy #3 was definitely a suburban gay.  He was relaxed and open and easy to talk with.  I totally enjoyed our two hour lunch, but as with others guys I've met, I didn't feel particularly drawn to him.

As I sat there contemplating my feelings about him, I wondered if I was truly being open-minded, because as much as I tried, I couldn't get over his basketball-like build.  If he was more physically appealing, would I like him more?  Probably.  Was that reason enough not to see him again?  No, it wasn't.

One unexpected thing the guy said was that he had plenty of friends and he was only dating to find a partner.  That didn't mean he expected an instant relationship, he said, but he felt it was important to be honest about what he was looking for.  Although I understood his attitude, I wasn't sure how I felt about it, or really, him.

The next day the guy sent me a kind and polite email wherein he said he enjoyed meeting me and he was open to meeting again --- provided that I could foresee the possibility of a long-term relationship developing.  That really flummoxed me.  I literally didn't know how to respond.  On the one hand, I found it hard to imagine that I'd ever become more physically attracted to him.  On the other hand, if he had simply suggested another date, I would have gladly met him again.

Ultimately, I decided to tell him that I was uncomfortable making a commitment to a potential long-term relationship after one date.  I said I'd be glad to meet again, but I couldn't make any promises beyond that.  In my view, that was a reasonable reply.

He sent a (mostly) gracious reply but was firm about wanting the goal to be a LTR.  Because I was so reluctant to embrace that idea, he said, he thought it was best that we not meet again.

I'm still not sure if he was smart to reject a second date.  Would it have been a waste of time or engendered false hope?  Or would it have led to a third date, and a fourth?

***

Four
This guy was 50, my height (which I like), and had a really smokin' body.  He was decent looking; not someone who would have normally caught my eye, but appealing in his own way.  Most of our date was spent on a 90 minute walk of a bay trail.

The conversation flowed easily and the guy was very likable.  He was easy-going, intelligent and mature.  I really enjoyed meeting and talking to him.  But, was there a genuine connection?  Certainly not an electric one.  Could something develop over time?  Possibly.  Would I be glad to see him again?  Definitely.

One of the most memorable qualities this guy had was his impeccable manners.  He was extremely polite at all times and really surprised me by walking me back to my car at the end of the date.  I try to always be very polite but it never occurred to me to walk him back to his car.  The walk-back was so unexpected it made me wonder if he was interested in a second date.

I got my answer the next day when he sent a message that contained only two sentences:

"Thanks for hanging out yesterday. I enjoyed the walk and the talk."

With no mention of any kind of next step, it was clear that he didn't want to meet again.

Because I like to leave the door open for a second date whenever there's a possibility that chemistry could develop, I told him that I also enjoyed our walk and I'd be happy to meet again.

I haven't heard from him.  I don't think I ever will.

***

Five
As with all the guys that I'm writing about here, this guy messaged me first.  He was, however, the only guy who I thought was a better-than-average potential match before we met.  He was 52, had never been married and lived near me in the suburbs.  We agreed to meet for gelato on a Friday night.

I arrived at the gelato store right on time, and when I scanned the people in the area, I didn't see him.  Then I saw an older, white-haired guy walking straight toward me. "Is that him??"  I wondered.  Even as he shook my hand, I starred at him in disbelief. Was this the same guy from the profile pictures?!  It took me a few seconds, but I finally saw the resemblance.  Why did he post such old pictures?  I hate that.  It's a stupid tactic because, sure, you might get more people to message you, but then they'll be pissed or disappointed when they meet you and see that you look 6, 8, or in this case, 10 years older.

Despite my bad first impression, the more I talked to this guy, the more I got to like him.  He was smart but not pretentious, and he was somewhat geeky, but in a way that I found appealing.  One thing that he talked about at length was how much he liked to dress up for different events.  He even showed me some pictures that he had on his phone.  No, he wasn't a drag queen.  His idea of dressing up was more Comic-Con-like.  Once he was a pirate, another time he was James Bond.  As the pictures proved, he took his costumes very seriously.  Playing dress-up is not really my thing, but his enthusiasm for it made for an interesting conversation.

As we talked more in-depth about ourselves and our lives, I surprised myself by thinking, "This is the kind of guy who I could really grow to like."  He was very optimistic, empathetic and earnest.  If we were ever to be a couple, I felt like we'd never fight because we'd always be extremely considerate of each other.

Because he came across as being a little insecure, I felt like I was in control of our destiny.  I felt like I had to decide if I could ever grow to be more attracted to him.

The day after we met he sent me a nice text that said, "It was so fun meeting you.  I hope I didn't talk your ear off, it's a really bad habit!  I hope you enjoy your weekend."

I answered the following day, but by email.  I said that I enjoyed talking to him and, no, he didn't talk my ear off.  I also asked if we could communicate by email rather than text?  I explained that I seldom text.  At the end of the message I gave him my personal email address so we didn't have to use the dating site.

Well guess what?

I haven't heard from him since, either by text or email.

***

Six
I was surprised when this guy asked to meet me.  He was 42, tall and arguably the best looking guy who has ever contacted me.  Despite his relative good looks, he quickly showed himself to be a little spastic.  He always sent two emails at a time: the first one, a hurried message, and the second one, a correction of something minor he mistyped or was vague about in the prior email.  After the third set of double emails, I decided that was his usual communication style.

We met in a coffee shop.  I was about two minutes late and didn't see him when I arrived.  Then I noticed the shop had a second floor balcony, and just as I looked up and saw him, he jumped out of his seat and bounced down the stairs.  When he was about twenty feet away, he waved and loudly said, "Hello!"  Then he apologized at length for not seeing me the minute I walked in the door.  As he concluded his apology I expected a handshake, or possibly even a hug (he seemed like an enthusiastic hugger), but instead he ordered some coffee for himself.  Once we both were served, I followed him up to the balcony where we began to talk - or more accurately - where he talked and I listened.

The conversation was pretty standard stuff.  What was odd was that I never felt like he was interested in me or in anything I said.  Why did he ask to meet if he wasn't interested?  Why did he send so many emails?  Why did he run down the stairs so enthusiastically when he first saw me?

I felt like his indifference was proven when, about 50 minutes into the date, I started to tell him my story.  He didn't respond to anything I said about being married for twenty years, or having three teenage children, but when I said that my wife's affair had caused me to come out, he immediately sat up straight in his chair and said, "Oh, now that's interesting!" as if nothing I'd said before that had been.  His sudden enthusiasm gave me a little hope that we could have a deeper conversation, but just minutes later he said he had to go.

We exchanged pleasantries and said goodbye.  There was no handshake and certainly no hug - not that I expected there would be.  Although we'd had a perfectly pleasant conversation, I didn't expect to see him again.

Following a first date, it's my habit to send a message to the guy that essentially says, "I enjoyed meeting you.  I'd been happy to meet again, if that's something that interests you."  It's a polite and authentic gesture, but it's not worthy of a reply if the guy is not interested.  To my surprise, Spastic Good-Looking Guy did reply.  He said, "I enjoyed meeting you.  I'm going to pass for now."

So I learned something new: given the choice between being ignored or being told I'm a "pass", I'd much rather be ignored.

***

Two
There's a reason I'm writing about this guy last and out of order.  Unlike the other guys, he gets a name, Hugh.  He's 41 and English, but of Northern Indian descent.

When Hugh first messaged me, I was ambivalent about meeting him.  His profile was meager and his one picture was uninspiring.  Ultimately I decided I had no good reason to refuse him, so I took the plunge, mostly for the sake of being open-minded.

We met in a coffee shop and talked for two hours.  That might seem like a long coffee date but lunch with Guy Three and the trail walk with Guy Four were of similar lengths.  As with all of these guys, I enjoyed the conversation with Hugh, and I would have been happy to meet him again, but I didn't feel particularly drawn to him.  Well, that's not entirely true.  Near the end of the date we were talking about exercise and he said he was a long-distance runner.  To which I replied, "You have a stronger build than most distance runners I know."  And he said, "Yeah, I do.  Here, feel my bicep."  It wasn't a flirtatious invitation, he was just showing off a little...but, wow!...what a turn-on it was to feel his rock-hard bicep!  As soon as I let go, I wanted to reach out and grab him again.  (But of course I didn't.)

As I walked back to my car twenty minutes later, I was still thinking about his granite-like arms.  I had never been so captivated by biceps before.  I think it was because I didn't expect him to be that buff.  It was sort of like accidentally copping a feel of Clark Kent - you don't expect a lot but after one squeeze you're like, I gotta get me some of that!

So ya, more than anything else, Hugh's bicep made me want a second date with him.

Just as I did with most of the other guys, I sent him a polite post-date email that said I enjoyed meeting and talking to him, and I'd be glad to meet again.  A day later he replied with this text: "Hey Cameron, I had a great time.  I met someone a few weeks ago but would love to keep in touch and be friends.  You're a great guy!  Dinner sometime?"

He met someone a few weeks ago???  Although he told me he had scheduled other first dates for that week, he certainly made no mention of already seeing someone. Bizarre!  What should I make of it?  I really felt like he was lying, maybe just to let me down easily.  But why bother?  Why not just say he felt more of friendship-vibe?

I pondered his text for a day and then answered him back: "Dinner would be great.  Let me know when and where would be good for you."

Because I really felt that his story about already seeing someone was bullshit, I assumed his dinner invitation was bullshit too.  I was wrong.  The following day he suggested a second meeting where he'd cook for me if I came to his place.  "Hmmm," I thought.  "That sounds like a dinner-then-sex invitation."  So of course I said, "I can't wait!"

Hugh doesn't drink.  He claims that he's only had a little wine four or five times in his life.  I'm not a big drinker either, but while he was cooking and the two of us were alone and standing in close proximity, I was dying for a glass of wine to help me relax.  I really had no idea what to expect from this "date" because his  text and invitation were so contradictory.  At one point, while he was cooking and had his back to me, I had a very strong urge to wrap my arms around him and start kissing him from behind.  But I didn't do it.  I kept waiting for some kind of signal from him about whether the dinner was a pretext for something more.  I waited and waited, but nothing he said or did gave me a clue.

Finally, after dinner, I got my answer.  He said, "Do you want to sit down and talk for a bit?"  I said, "Sure," and I followed him to the living room.

In the living room he had a sofa and two armchairs that faced each other, about five feet apart.  Obviously we'd sit on the sofa and get to know each other better, right?  Wrong!  Much to my disappointment, he sat in one of the armchairs and indicated that I should take the other one.  Choosing the safe-distance-from-each-other armchairs instead of the sofa immediately killed all the ideas I had about rubbing my hands all over his muscular body.  Which was probably a good thing because nothing he said or did that night gave me any reason to think he was interested in anything other than a friendship.

Hugh and I have met four more times since that night.  For our third meeting, we took a nighttime stroll on the beach.  Although we were alone and the setting was quite romantic, we did not embrace or walk hand-in-hand.  For our fourth and fifth meetings we had dinner in different neighborhoods then wandered around afterward.  For our sixth meeting we had brunch, then he invited me back to his place.  Once again he wanted us to sit separately in the armchairs, not together on the sofa

After all those meetings, and all the hours we've spent together, he's never once said or done anything that has suggested he has any romantic interest in me.  Nor has he mentioned seeing anyone else.

Now that we've seen each other so many times, most of the time when I'm with him, I don't think about rubbing my hands all over his body and slowly peeling his clothes off.  But sometimes I still do, especially when he's looking away from me.

This friendship (I guess that's what it is) is one of the strangest I've ever had.  I don't have a crush on him, there is no palpable sexual tension between us, and 90% our interactions feel solidly platonic, but every so often I have a very strong desire to kiss and touch him.  

Clearly, I have mixed feelings about our friendship.  I'm at the point where I'm content to keep my expectations very low and just see what happens.  Eventually I'll either see him as just a friend, or, one day I'll finally give in and attack him, just to see how he responds.  In the meantime, it's been fun getting to know him.