Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Crazed and exhausted from desire

I'm plagued by endless thoughts and fantasies, all of them about Jon.

I've been in a state of constant desire for more than a month.  It's been so intense that I'm physically exhausted.  I wish the fantasies would stop; I want off this ride!

I often wonder if my Jon-infatuation is nothing more than desperation.  I have, after all, been celibate for more than two years.  But then I think about the numerous times when our eyes locked and I felt a deep connection.  I also think about our awesome ninety minute conversation.  It was such an intimate experience for me...how could it have been hum-drum for him?  There must be something going on between us, right?  I can't be this obsessed for no reason.
Meet-up groups - much better than bars

The uncertainty of the situation is driving me crazy.  I'm desperate for a resolution.

With the holidays rapidly approaching I knew I'd only have one opportunity to get clarity with Jon before the new year.  I also knew that I didn't have the stamina to endure another month of emotional edging.  For these reasons I was DETERMINED to make my attraction known to him at our next social event.  When the day arrived, I felt so burdened by desire that I almost didn't care what his reaction was, I just wanted to say the words and get them out of my head.

Here's what happened:

I did a reasonably good job of preparing myself in advance.  By that I mean I felt in control.  The last thing I wanted was to appear needy or crazed.  So, as much as I wanted to run up to him, grab his face and passionately start making out the second I saw him, I kept my cool.  In fact, I did my best to ignore him.  I said hi to nearly every other friend; I avoided walking in his direction; and, I tried not to look at him.  I acted that way because I didn't want to be pathetic, but also because I wanted to observe him.  Did he look my way often?  How long would it take for him to approach me?

It turned out that he's a very stubborn (or very shy, or very disinterested) little prick.  He mirrored my behavior.  He subtly avoided me just as much as I subtly avoided him.  Eventually it got to the point where it was borderline awkward.  He was standing with his back half-turned toward me and I was "busy" looking anywhere but at him.  It was a stand-off to see who would say hello first and set the tone between us.  I was determined to win...but the longer I waited, the more aware I became of a magnetic energy pulling me toward him.  I might have imagined this, but I think he felt it too.  I say this because we both hesitated where we were standing...and then slowly gravitated toward each other...all the while acting preoccupied and oblivious.  At least I was acting that way.

I spoke first, deep from my diaphragm, with my chest puffed out.  If I could've gotten away with saying something as inane as "What's up, bro?" I would have.  Instead I went with, "How are you?  What's goin' on?"

The conversation was relaxed and friendly, but also mundane.  I felt I had to be guarded.  I worried that if I talked too much I'd start to gush and that would be bad.  It was too early in the evening to get into anything.

We didn't talk alone for long.  Several other friends arrived at the party and quickly joined us.  Then the "Tom and Cameron Show" began.

One of my friends, Tom, is what I call "a trouble maker."  He's very funny.  He says slightly outrageous things but in a dead-pan way.  When you first meet him, it's hard to tell whether he's being serious or not.  Now that I know his schtick, I sometimes play along or I sometimes call him on his lies.  The two of us can really get into it, especially if we have an audience:

Tom: "I went to a naked pool party last weekend, but I wore my conservative speedo.  The one with the four inch waistband."

Cameron: "Your conservative speedo?  I didn't think you owned such a thing.  I always think of you as more of a two inch man."

Tom: "How can you say that!  I'm a good Catholic and practically a virgin.  What kind of man do you think I am?!!"

Cameron: "Yes, I know, you're almost a virgin - and you're very shy too.  Especially when you go to naked pool parties nearly every weekend."

Tom: "I'm a very popular guy - I can't help it.  Everybody wants to be with me."

Cameron: "I believe you.  Especially when you're wearing your conservative speedo.  You're such a tease."

Etc, etc.

We can go back and forth for a long while, mostly because Tom is relentless.  Lately he's started getting physical. He'll show off his flat stomach, he'll pinch my nipples or he'll put my hand on his ass and tell me to stop grabbing him.  I find our conversations to be very entertaining, but nothing more.  I'm not the least bit attracted to him. I see him purely as a friend and I'm sure he feels the same way about me.  I don't think we could tease each other as much as we do if there was any meaning in the things we say.

Anyway, we quickly got into one of these riffs at the party and Jon ending up being a member of our three person audience.  Jon doesn't know Tom very well and he's never seen us bait-and-poke each other like we can, so I'm not sure what he thought of the conversation.

Another friend and audience member, I think, found us to be a little tiresome.  After about 15 minutes he said quite loudly to Jon, "Aren't Tom and Cameron so cute when they flirt like that?"

I've never thought of our dumb conversations as flirting so I was a little shocked that others might see them that way.  Even worse, the last thing I wanted was for Jon to get the idea that I flirt with everyone.  I quickly looked at Jon to see how he reacted, and I swear, I saw a look of jealousy flash across his face.  It was very fast, and I might be totally delusional, but that's what I saw...Jon was jealous that I was "flirting" with someone else.

After that, I wanted to put an end to the "show" as quickly as possible.  I accused Tom of being a slut and trying to make me one of his conquests.  I then asked the three guys listening to us (including Jon) to please help keep Tom away from me.

Unfortunately, Tom took my words as a challenge and became even more relentless...even as Jon and my other friends made no effort to defend me whatsoever.  This turned out to be a problem because Tom wouldn't leave me alone for the next half hour.

Both with and without Tom's "help" I was able to keep my distance from Jon for most of the night.  I needed to do that because when I spilled my guts it had to be at the very end of the night.  That way if I was rejected I could go straight home.  

At one point Jon and I were having separate conversations with two other people in a small kitchen.  I heard Jon tell the other guy some of the same things he told me during our long conversation in the bar a few weeks before.  That annoyed me. It made me feel less special.

Another time, after a "steal-a-gift" anonymous exchange, I picked up the gift Jon had chosen to look at it.  It was a bartender's mixing glass with different drink recipes printed on it.  Jon was across the room.  When he saw me looking at it he teasingly said, "Cameron, that's mine!  You can't have it!"  That made me happy because, as a rule, people only tease someone when they like them, at least as a friend.  But often teasing is a form of flirting.  Jon easily could have said nothing, which is far more like him, but the fact that he purposefully teased me, I think, is a positive.

A few minutes later, as many people started to leave, I made it a point to ask Jon if he was planning on staying a little longer.  "Ah, ya.  I guess so."

Because Jon committed to staying, I decided to help the host clean up.  The house was a disaster.  Dishes and leftover food were everywhere and a mountain of dirty plates and glasses needed to be washed.  I spent a solid 30 minutes in the kitchen, which made only a small dent in the amount of work that needed be done.  By then it was getting late so I decided to check on Jon.  Well guess what?  He left.  The fucker left without a proper goodbye and no opportunity for me to ask him out.  Gaaah!!

Because the jerk never gave me his contact information (and he's not on Facebook) his surprise departure left me with no way to communicate with him.  I had no choice except to wait another month (or longer) to see him again. I was devastated. Four more weeks of endless fantasies?  Please kill me now and save me from suffering.

But wait!  On the way home I got the brilliant idea to ask a mutual friend for Jon's email address.  It was an awkward thing to do but he gave it to me - without asking why I wanted it, thankfully.  But then, after spending a full day debating whether I should email Jon or not, I decided against it.  His last (crazy) girlfriend had Internet-stalked him and the last thing I want to do is behave in a similar way.  Because Jon didn't given me his email address himself, I didn't have his explicit permission to contact him.  Reluctantly, I gave up the idea.

The good news is that making that decision has given me a much needed sense of control over the situation.  I feel less like a caged animal.  I can do this.  I can wait a month. And if I suddenly feel like I can't, I have the option to break down and send an email.  I'd hate to do that.  It would be tacky and I really do want to ask him in person.

I hope that being forced to wait a month will ensure a better outcome.  I hope I'll be so sick and tired of being infatuated that any resolution, including being rejected, will be a relief.  Objectively speaking, my hyped-up, obsessive attraction to Jon is pretty stupid anyway.  Asking someone out on a first date should be very simple, not like trying to hold an orgasm in for two months.

Anyway - I probably won't post again in 2014, so, I hope ya'll enjoy these last few days of the year.  Let's all have a happy and successful 2015, ok?  That's my plan at least.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Crazed with desire, continued

In my last post I wrote about a guy I recently met through mutual friends...

When I was first introduced to Jon I didn't feel any special connection or attraction to him.  He wasn't unattractive, he was just another guy.  But then, after getting to know him a little at several different social gatherings, I found myself noticing him.  Finally, the fourth time we met, I went from noticing him to being overcome with intense desire, all within the space of about two hours.

What made our fourth meeting different from the prior three was that we had our first one-on-one conversation.  It didn't last long, and we didn't talk about anything important, but ever since then I've been lit up like a super nova.

I've been struggling to understand why I suddenly and irrationally became infatuated with this guy. What makes him so special?  I mean, I've lusted over millions of men in the past but this is something completely different.  It's as if my intuition has gone haywire; like my subconscious knows that we're destined to be together.  At least that's how it feels.

Is this guy too skinny to appeal to most gay men over 40?
Objectively, it looks more like a big ol' helping of fantasy and wishful thinking.

In the days following our fourth meeting I did my best to clear my mind of Jon-obsessive thoughts.  I needed to come back to Earth so I could be reasonable and rational the next time I saw him; I had to discard all of my nonsensical fantasies and instead focus on reality.  I knew if I carefully observed his words, actions and body language I'd see the truth as it is, not as I wanted it to be.

It turned out that I saw him again much sooner than I expected - and that meant I was less prepared than I wanted to be.  I had a hard time controlling my fantasies.  Every few minutes a new one would pop into my head and I'd have to try to squash it by reminding myself to stay alert. "Focus, Cameron, focus!!!"

Despite being in a heightened state of arousal for hours, I don't think Jon or any of our friends noticed, which was good. Unfortunately, trying to get a read on Jon with all our friends there wasn't working.  We made eye contact a number of times but I couldn't tell if he felt the same connection that I did.

As the hours wore on I got increasingly frustrated.  My head was filled with questions and I was getting no answers.  Then, quite miraculously, all of our friends decided it was getting late and they were going home.  In an attempt to seize the opportunity to be alone with Jon I said to him, "I'm good for one more beer, if you are."

"Sure, I'll have another."

What?!!!  Miracles actually can happen?!

Well, guess what...one beer became two...and thirty minutes turned into ninety...

To say I was heaven the whole time is an understatement.  I got to spend ninety minutes having a very personal, very real one-on-one conversation with a guy I have the most intense crush on in thirty years.  When does anything that good ever happen???

Even better - the conversation was amazing.  The more he talked about his background and values, the more infatuated I became.  He's very smart, very open, very charming, very patient and extremely modest.  If I could choose personality traits to create a perfect guy, those are what I'd pick.

A story and a highlight:

About three minutes after we sat down this young, 20-something girl stumbled over to Jon and slurred to him, "I hayyyyte cheathas."  Feeling cornered, he replied, "Yeah, cheating is bad," and turned toward me. 

Maybe if the girl hadn't been so drunk she would've taken the hint that Jon did not want to talk to her.  Instead she cluelessly prattled on...and on...and on.  Soon she began to run her hand across his back and down his arm while trying to engage him in conversation.  At first he was very polite but eventually he just stared into his beer, not looking at either of us.  He couldn't look at the woman, because that would only encourage her to keep talking, and he wouldn't look at me, because I was grinning like the Cheshire Cat, fighting hard not to burst out laughing.  Eventually the girl wandered away, undoubtedly disappointed that Jon had resisted her feminine charm.

I found the incident to be very entertaining, for a few reasons.  First, it was funny that this drunk girl was so determined to hit on a guy who, obviously, wasn't in a gay bar to pick up women.  Second, it was awesome to watch Jon politely but firmly shut the girl down.  This was true not only because he did it with class, but also because he had previously told me that he found himself noticing women most of the time, not men. Although the girl was drunk, she was young and relatively attractive.  Pretty much any straight guy would have been all over her.  The fact that Jon wanted to dodge her, I think, says a lot about his sexuality.  And finally, I loved the fact that he clearly wanted to talk to *me* and not the girl.  Many of my other friends would have egged her on, just for the fun of it.

OK, I'll admit it.  What I most liked about the drunk girl was that Jon clearly choose me over her.  Ha!

When she finally left, I teased him and said, "Wow, she really likes you."

"Oh my god.  No.  Don't even say that.  She reminds me of an awful ex-girlfriend.  That's the last thing I need."

So I guess I didn't really win his attention after all.  Bah.

Anyway, that's how the conversation started but it got much better from there.

The highlight for me was when we were talking about his last girlfriend.  He's really fucked in the head about their break-up: they only dated for four months, he knows she's crazy, she's been stalking him...and yet...he still feels guilty about avoiding her.  "Why do you feel so guilty?" I asked him.

"Well, I guess I always try to be the best person I can be.  I always want to 'do the right thing,' you know?"

When he said those words I got goosebumps.  Since starting this blog, 'doing the right thing' has become my life philosophy.  To hear Mr. Perfect echo the same conviction was very freaky - and really awesome.

It was getting pretty late as we finished our second beer together.  I didn't want the conversation to end but it would've been weird to ask him to stay for another round.  Instead, while he was in the bathroom, I pulled out a business card and wrote my personal phone number and email address on it.  When he returned, I handed him the card and said, "Here's my contact information.  I have a very flexible schedule so if you ever have some free time and want to do something, let me know."  I made a point of being very matter-of-fact about it.  After all, we were supposed to be platonic friends having a beer.  I didn't want to risk ruining our budding friendship by hitting on him.  I figured, if he felt any degree of the connection that I did, he'd call.

We hugged goodbye, and maybe it was my imagination, but he seemed to hug me closer and more tightly than any of my friends do.

The next day, I fully expected to hear from him.  We really connected during the conversation, and even if he wasn't attracted to me, it still would have been appropriate to send a polite, "Thanks for the fun conversation" email.  And the responsibility to do that was totally on him since he did not give me his information.

Well...the days have ticked by and he still hasn't called, texted or emailed.  Normally I would say that proves he's not interested, but now that I know how he faults himself for everything, I can imagine him discounting my actions and feeling that it would be presumptuous of  him to call.

I'm taking solace in the hope that I'll get an answer the next time I see him.  This silliness can't drag on forever, it's exhausting.  If I continue to get a good vibe from him then I'll take the risk of humiliating myself by asking him out on a date.  I just need to be mentally prepared to be shot down before I take that risk.  If it ends up being an awkward conversation I'll need to be as chill and nonchalant about it as possible. 

Asking him out is going to be very difficult.  I really suck at dealing with rejection. 

Maybe if I'm able to psych myself up enough, I'll reach a point of healthy indifference and that will allow me to glide through any bad news.

Hmm.

Now that I think about it, maybe the lesson here is that if I can take rejection from Jon, I can take it from anyone.  If true, that would be a huge accomplishment. 

I've got to keep that alternative goal in mind.  Maybe I can gain something big from this experience no matter what happens.

More soon...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Help, I'm crazed with desire!

The last time I had sex was more than two years ago, on September 28th, 2012.

Celibacy is not something I particularly enjoy, but at this point in my life I prefer it to sex without emotion.

If I only wanted sex for the sake of no longer being celibate, I could easily arrange that within minutes.  The thing is, hook-ups don't appeal to me any more.  Been there, done that.  I want to progress in life and with relationships, not regress.

I've also "been there and done that" with fuck buddies and friends with benefits, and while I won't say I'd never consider similar arrangements again, I see those as selling myself short, especially after this long dry spell.  The next time I have sex, I want it to be with someone I genuinely cherish, not someone who happens to be convenient.

To be honest, I had hoped that Shane and I would be burning up the sheets by now, but that hasn't happened, for a number of reasons:

First, although he appeals to me in ways that no man has in the last two years, I don't like how tightly connected he is to his 23yo ex-boyfriend.  They Skype daily and throw "I love you"s around with disturbing frequency.  Clearly, they're still infatuated with each other.

Second, I'm unconvinced that Shane has a strong attraction to me.  I know I check every box on his list, but he doesn't seem to realize that even though we've been through his list together several times.  I don't think I should have to draw a Venn diagram to prove I'm what he wants.

Third, Shane successfully applied for a job transfer back to his hometown which is located more than two hours away from me. If we were to start dating, the burden of the four hour commute would fall entirely on me.
Desire: a shirtless Ryan Kwanten

All things considered, and in the immortal words of the Magic 8 Ball, "all signs point to no" - as in: no, Shane and I almost certainly won't be getting together anytime soon.  That's disappointing...but it is what it is.

In other news, I recently had an odd experience with another guy.  I'm not sure what to make of it.  Maybe you can clue me in?

Jon and I met through mutual friends.  He's 39 and a part-time single dad; he has an 8 year old son from a 12 year straight marriage.

I don't know the full extent of his history with men, but I do know that he's hooked up numerous times over the years.  I also know that he struggles with internalized homophobia.

Earlier this year Jon was in a rocky 4-month relationship with a very emotional, very demanding woman.  He felt like he was walking on eggshells with her much of the time.  Because the woman wanted their relationship to be more serious, he decided he had to be open with her about his attraction to men.  When he told her, she was so upset that she spent the next several days combing through Craigslist's M4M ads searching for proof that Jon was cheating on her.  When she found what she was looking for, she confronted him.

The problem was, Jon wasn't cheating, nor had he posted any ads on Craigslist.  The girlfriend refused to believe him.  Eventually, to prove his innocence, Jon had to drop his pants and do a full "penis vs. picture" comparison to show her that his dick didn't match the one in her "gotcha!" Craigslist photo.

That incident was the turning point for their relationship.  More than ever, Jon realized that the woman was unstable and not someone he wanted to be involved with in the long-term.  A few days later he broke up with her - and she's been relentlessly pursuing him ever since.

I've met Jon four different times.  The first time I saw him, I didn't find him attractive.  His balding pattern is very much like my father's and any man's resemblance to my father is a major turn-off.  When we started chatting, however, I found his story to be pretty interesting.  He was obviously carrying around a lot of baggage, so as he talked, I eagerly listened.

It turned out that he had a lot to share, including deep emotions that he'd been holding back his entire life.  In fact, the more he talked, the more emotional he became, right up to the point where big tears were glistening in his eyes as he said,  "I can't be gay.  I don't want to be gay.  I've worked so hard...all my life...not to be gay."

Seeing him in pain was extremely moving.  It was one of the most raw and honest emotional displays I'd ever witnessed from another man.  It left me speechless - and a bit overwhelmed.

Thankfully, two other friends were also listening and they both stepped up to comfort him.  After a minute, one of them cracked a joke to break the tension in the room and that worked beautifully.  Jon laughed heartily, as if a huge burden had just been lifted from him.  Shortly afterward the conversation moved on to more frivolous topics.

The second time I met Jon, he talked more about his ex-girlfriend, who he had barely mentioned before.  As he described her behavior I said to him, "Wow, that sounds like Borderline Personality Disorder."  He had never heard of it so I told him what I knew.  He responded with, "That's really interesting.  I'll have to look that up."  Then, the next time I saw him, he came straight up to me and very enthusiastically said, "You were SO right about my ex-girlfriend's personality disorder!  I read everything I could about it and now our dysfunctional relationship makes so much more sense.  Thank you!!"  He seemed genuinely grateful, which made me happy.

That same time, the third time we met, nothing else of significance happened but I did notice that Jon actually has a very chiseled and youthful face, despite being follicularly challenged.  I found myself admiring his strong cheek and jaw bones, and his wide, expressive eyes.

The fourth time I met Jon was last week.  He and a few other mutual friends had arrived at a gathering before me, so I said hello to all of them as a group.  Then, a few minutes later, Jon made eye contact with me, which compelled me to ask him what was new. That was our first one-on-one conversation and, quite unexpectedly, I soon found myself mesmerized by his deep blue eyes.  As he talked, I enthusiastically nodded, but to be honest, I was barely listening.  All I could think about was falling into his beautiful eyes.

As other friends arrived at the gathering, I turned to say hello to them and thereby (and unintentionally) ended the conversation with Jon.  Feeling bad about that, I made a plan to chat with him again later, which I did.  Mostly we talked about his work and background.

That conversation lasted less than ten minutes...but for reasons I can't explain and don't understand...by the end of it, I felt very powerfully drawn to him.

Unfortunately we couldn't talk any longer because I'd promised to bring another friend to a train station and the friend was anxious to leave.  It wasn't until I walked out into the cool night air that I fully realized just how captivated I was by Jon's presence.

After I dropped my friend off and started the 40 minute drive home, my imagination went wild thinking about Jon.  Normally I'm a very rational thinker...but not that night.  I couldn't control my thoughts, they just keep coming at me: Jon and I kissing passionately...me stripping his shirt off...the two of us joyfully and playfully trying to dominate each other... me taking control of him...him submitting to me...our eyes intently locked on each other as we're face to face...the sensuous glory of a long, passionate kiss that marks the beginning of a hot, athletic romp...an animalistic fuck that culminates in fantastic and simultaneous orgasms for both of us.

The mental pictures were so vivid it was like watching a movie.

I was so absorbed in my thoughts that twenty minutes passed without notice.  When I finally did snap back to reality, I didn't stay there for long -  great sex turned into a relationship.  How often would we see each other?  Where would we meet?  How comfortable would he be with himself?  Could I imagine introducing him to my kids? Etc, etc.

Even after I arrived home, the thoughts wouldn't stop.  The hunger to be with him was so intense I had to take the edge off immediately.  I went straight to my bathroom, dropped my pants and furiously beat off until I reached an orgasm that couldn't come fast enough.  As I climaxed I felt more relief than pleasure, mostly because the intensity of my desire had been so overwhelming.

"What was that all about??" I wondered.

It's been several days since then and I still don't have an answer.  Am I just THAT horny?  Is eye contact with an attractive man all it takes to send my imagination into a frenzy?  Or, is my sudden infatuation a product of something hidden within my subconscious?  I mean (and maybe this is wishful thinking) I have this idea that we shared a silent, meaningful connection. Not necessarily an emotional or sexual one, more like a magnetic one.  I felt like I was being pulled toward him, by an unseen and irresistible force.

I've never experienced anything like that before so I don't know what to make of it.  I've lusted after plenty of men I've seen or met before, but never like this.  It feels different.  It's not just lust and that makes me wonder if it's pheromones or some strange intuition that we're highly compatible.

The irony is, to even imagine that we'd be compatible is bizarre.  One thing he said last week was that he's realized he came out to his girlfriend because he needed an iron-clad excuse to break up with her.  It was the only way out of a relationship he didn't want to be in.  By confessing that he exaggerated his attraction to men to escape from his crazy ex, he seemed to be saying he's not gay. A little later he also said he pretty much notices only good-looking women, not men.

These statements suggest to me that he's got a long way to go before he'll be ready to try an emotional relationship with a man.  If ever.  And he's even said as much:  "With men, it's always been 'just sex.'  I don't know if I'm capable of anything more than that."

In normal circumstances I would never consider having sex with a guy in that state of mind.  And even if I did fantasize about sex, I definitely wouldn't imagine being in a relationship with him.  I need a guy who's comfortable in his own skin, not someone who's likely to freak out when faced with the responsibilities of true intimacy.

The other (and final) bizarre thing about how I feel has to do with the beginning of this post.  Remember how I said I wasn't into hook-ups, fuck buddies, or friends with benefits?  Well, apparently I am if Jon is. All I need is his invitation and I'll be naked and ready to go in an instant, regardless of how cheap and empty the sex might turn out to be.  Basically I'm willing to have any kind of intimate connection with him, even if it's entirely on his terms and with no strings attached.  And I'm willing to do that because...well, I don't know why exactly...just because he's gotten under my skin?

To feel this way is weird and totally unexpected.  I don't know what to make of it...or if any of it's real.

Having said all of this, I'm going to try to not make a big deal out of it.  I'm going to assume I'm delusional until proven otherwise.  The next time I see him, which will be in a few weeks, I'll let whatever is meant to happen, happen.

In the meantime, I really need to take a cold shower - or twenty.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Wives willing to try an Open Marriage

Just within the last year, I've noticed a pattern among bi- and gay-married men who are in their late 30s and early 40s: many of their wives are willing to give an open marriage a try.

Although I have no hard data to back it up, I believe this is a broad, generational trend.  If you think about it, many of these same women, who graduated from high school in the '90s, have been trailblazers on the whole marriage equality issue. Most of them (like the rest of the country) were opposed to it in the early 2000s, but now, as a generation, they're staunchly in favor of it.  No other generation has had such a big change of heart.  Older people are still more anti-equality and younger people have always been pro-equality.

This accepting attitude, I believe, is leading more young women to seriously consider their husband's request to give an open marriage a try.

Are open marriages in this generation working any better (or worse) than they did in the past?

It's too early to tell.  At this point, all I know is that more young couples are trying it.  It's going to take time to see if it works for them in the long-run.

In the past, most successful open marriages have been couples in their 60s, 70s and 80s.  Older women have been more willing to consider the idea because marital security is more important to them than monogamy; they'd rather have a non-monogamous husband than no husband at all.

Because younger women have many years of married life ahead of them, it's going to be interesting to see if this new trend toward open marriage blossoms or not.  It seems to me that, more than ever, the pressure is on husbands to walk a very fine line.  How do you make your wife feel genuinely loved and appreciated while you're out getting a portion of your needs met with someone else?

There's no easy answer to that question.  It might seem easy, in theory, but in practice it's much more difficult.

Based on my experience as the monogamous spouse in an open marriage, I have some thoughts to share on the subject.  These are some of the issues I faced, as I (reluctantly) supported my wife's struggle to find happiness and fulfillment in our marriage:
Because I never had anything to gain from having an open marriage, the only good outcome in my eyes was for my wife to decide to be monogamous again. 

Although there are couples who do it, I can't imagine raising children in a household where both parents are not monogamous.  There's just too much to juggle.  Kids need stability and constant attention.  If both spouses are dating others, who is going to be the at-home "rock" of the family?

The reality is that, in most open marriages, one spouse is monogamous (the wife) and the other is not (the husband).  This happens not only because women already tend to be the more hands-on parent, but also because they're straight.  It wasn't their idea or preference to have an open marriage in the first place.  The primary reason they're doing it is to keep the good relationship they have with the man they love, not because they have a need for extra-marital fulfillment.

This lopsided dynamic creates a situation where the monogamous spouse is working harder than ever to keep her family together, yet there is no personal pay-off for her.  She merely gets to keep what she already has.

At first, that might seem like enough, and it usually is, for a time.  But for me, as months of my wife's non-monogamy turn into years, the question I kept asking myself was, when is this going to end??  Truly, the only payoff for my patience and understanding was being able to imagine the day when my wife would say, "You're the only one I need."  As that day seemed to grow more and more distant, the more resentful I became.  Why should I put up with all this shit if I'm going to spend the rest of my life being her doormat??

Inevitably, I think, monogamous spouses in open marriages come to want only one outcome: a return to monogamy.  The longer that payoff gets delayed, the more frustrated and resentful the monogamous spouse is likely to become. 

My wife's happiness was a breeding ground for my misery.

Logically and lovingly, I wanted my wife to be happy and I was willing to compromise to make that happen.  Little did I realize that her happiness would twist itself like a knife in my heart whenever I witnessed it.  At first, I was able to brush off the small hurts.  But over time they started to pile up.  Part of the problem was I didn't want to be angry with her.  There was no point to that, really. She didn't CHOOSE to be attracted to another guy, any more than I could choose to be attracted to men.  Instead, I focused a lot of my hurt on myself.  I felt unworthy.  I felt like I was less of a man.  Less of person, really, because her boyfriend was such a loser.  Yet, for as bad as he was, she couldn't wait to spend time with him.  What did that say about me? Nothing good.  Also, I really hated myself for not speaking up for what I wanted.  And, I felt like I was getting what I deserved.  In all ways, it was ugly, and 98% of that ugliness came from within me.  My wife didn't abuse or insult me.  I did that myself.

Although my wife's boyfriend was a despicable asshole, and that amplified my misery, I still believe the "she's happy when she's leaving" dynamic applies to other open marriages.  As I've said, my wife didn't say or do anything that was particularly mean or cruel.  The mere fact that she was happy being with someone else was all I needed to feel bad about myself.  I'm sure some straight wives have enough self-confidence so as to avoid this problem, but I don't think most can, and when they can't, the self-hating misery becomes a cancer within the marriage.  It grows unseen until it's nearly impossible to overcome.

Are we a partnership or not???

The primary reason I agreed to an open marriage was because I loved my wife and I wanted her to be happy.  I also thought that if my wife was happier it would make our partnership stronger.  It didn't.  In fact, the opposite happened.  As she spent more and more time away from the house, I took up more and more responsibilities.  In less than a year I became a defacto single parent of our three kids, ages 8, 10 and 14 at the time.  Of course I was resentful sometimes, but more often I was focused on keeping up appearances for the kids' benefit.  Between regular work, work at home, and the work of pretending everything was just great, I eventually turned into an emotional zombie.  Feeling nothing became the best alternative to feeling anything.  Looking back, I was miserable.

Yes, it was good that I was willing to compromise to try to make my wife happy, but it was worse to paint myself into a resentful, self-hating, and lonely corner.  I know open marriages can work for some people, but mine certainly didn't work for me, despite my initial willingness to go along with it.

Most people, especially those who know my situation, would think they'd do a better job of being in an open marriage than my wife did.  They're probably right.  Even so, they shouldn't be quick to dismiss my experience.  After going through this I've learned that my feelings were not unique.  It turns out that there are very few straight wives in open marriages who don't struggle with resentment, frustration, impatience, self-hate and loneliness.  I've come to the conclusion that those feelings are part and parcel of the open marriage beast.

For those men who are determined to make an open marriage work, I strongly suggest that they expend maximum emotional energy on their wives.  There has to be a payback of some kind for the sacrifices being made, and it has to be perpetual, otherwise resentment will take hold.

All this said, I might sound like I'm anti-open marriage.  I'm not.  I actually applaud the idea for those who are willing to consider it.  The reason is, an open marriage will eventually bring all the hidden issues out and force the partners to deal with them.  Long-term open marriages only work when the marriage works.  If the marriages don't work, opening them up will make that clear, and with the ambiguity gone, both partners will be OK moving forward with a different solution.  Agreeing to open a marriage is, therefore, a path toward growth and out of stalemate.  For that reason alone, it's something that many loving-but-struggling couples should consider.

If you have any thoughts about what makes an open marriage work (or not), please share them below so others might benefit from your experiences.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I might not actually be gay after all

Ben Hobson in his coming out video
A few weeks ago in the post "Straight wife needs help: How did this happen?" I wrote about 25 year old Youtuber Ben Hobson, a young dad who gained notoriety earlier this year when he published a riveting video about coming out to his wife.

The video was so unusual, and so captivating, that it was reblogged by a number of different sites, including the Huffington Post.  Because of all the publicity, the video quickly tallied more than a half million views.

Well, guess what?
That video and numerous others on Ben's Youtube channel have been deleted.

Apparently Ben's had some second thoughts about his sexuality, as he explains in a tumblr post on the right.  (Now is a good time to read that.)

I learned about the tumblr post from an article on Queerty.com which you can read here.

If you look at the comments at the end of the article, most of them are highly critical of Ben.

For example: "I am horrified that he used inheriting bipolar disorder from his dead mother as an excuse for fooling around with guys and proclaiming he’s gay. That’s the lowest of the low. He’s just another idiot who can’t take responsibility for his actions."

And: "what a loser. He got his 15 minutes of fame by claiming to be gay. Then when that 15 minutes was up, he was desperate for more attention so he slithered back to the straight side of things. In
actuality I don’t think he was ever gay and was simply looking for fame and money.  I really feel sorry for his children. To have a father this desperate for attention will most likely result in a sad and pathetic upbringing."

Others were more sympathetic: "I cut this guy a lot of slack. I knew I was turned on by men long before I actually became involved with one. This guy has complicated his life to the extreme. He may be in limbo for the entire time his children are growing up, possibly longer. A responsible person might easily rationalize their sexuality for their kids and not be conscious of their true motivation. I think he should get away from all outside influences and follow his heart. If he’s gay, he’ll always be gay, but being gay is not a guarantee of happiness in his case. It will all work out eventually, but that may take years. If we gay people just wish him well, we will have done the right thing."
 
My feelings are very mixed.  Ben is obviously (or has been) confused, but the way he explains and excuses his decisions is ridiculous.  "I gave in to the society stereotype."  Really??

What's most remarkable to me about Ben is that he's NOT remarkable.  Over the years, I've met many men whose closets have had revolving doors.  Ben's big mistake was inviting the public into his chaotic life.  By doing so he put tremendous pressure on himself, at a time when he really should have been trying to lay low.  It's not surprising that he's now decided to pullback and unplug.

On his Facebook page, Ben said he was "discovering that I like girls more than I like guys" and he ended that post with the hashtag #sexualityisfluid.

Some might say that sexual fluidity is a bullshit way to excuse running back into the closet, and to some extent, I agree.  But I also think that sexuality, like desire, happiness, sadness and every other emotion or mood, is not static.  Sometimes, for reasons that can't be easily explained, we're unusually horny or grumpy or giddy or passive or thin-skinned.  So, of course, there will be times when men are about as interesting as a pet rock and women seem to have a special glow.

The big problem, as Ben is discovering, is how the hell do you make major life decisions if it feels like your attractions are constantly changing?

Well, here's what one of my friends did...

Although he first realized he was sexually attracted to men in his early teens, he got involved with a woman in college. Shortly after they graduated, they got married.  His work life was intense for many years so they never had kids, but he still found time to fool around with men on the down low.  At age 36 his wife busted him for cheating when she found incriminating Craiglists ads and emails.  Relieved, in a way, to be caught, my friend confessed to his wife that he was gay.  Shortly thereafter he came out to his family and his in-laws.

As you would expect, the process of being discovered, coming clean and then coming out was an emotional roller coaster.  My friend weathered all of that very well, largely because his wife was totally supportive.  What an incredible woman, right?

That's exactly what my friend thought.  He was so overwhelmed and reassured by her love that he found her more attractive than ever.  Their marital sex life blossomed and they had numerous discussions about how they both wanted to continue their marriage.  The wife was in favor of staying together but she was adamant that the marriage stay monogamous.  To be certain that staying together was the right decision, they agreed to try an investigative period where my friend could openly date men and decide if he really was gay.

As is typical with my friend, he embraced the opportunity to date men with gusto.  Within days he posted a profile to OKCupid, made multiple connections on that site and set up several dates.

Two of the dates actually happened and both went well.  My friend liked the men and he enjoyed connecting with them.  But he didn't feel anything sexual or romantic with either guy.

Based on those two dates, my friend decided that he'd be foolish to give up his wife, who clearly loved him so much.  Now, he and his wife are living together, just like any other monogamous married couple.  Is he happy?  Yes he is.  Does he think he'll ever want to hook-up with men again?  He's not sure.  He says that stress and depression trigger his desires so he's determined to avoid those, and should they happen, he'll be very open with his wife so that she can be extra supportive of him.

The way I interpret my friend's story is this: he had two dates with no romantic connection and based on that vast amount of experience, decided he was better off being straight.  Is that sexual fluidity?  I don't think so.

Is my friend wrong to get back with his wife?  Is he in denial of his true self?  Is his marriage destined to implode?  I have no idea.  I do know from my own experience that emotional connections can be more powerful than sexual orientation; being gay doesn't mean you have the inability to fall deeply in love with someone of the opposite sex.

What bothers me most about my friend, and about Ben, is that they're in such a hurry to validate their sexuality that they're completely oblivious to how love and attraction actually work.  Plenty of straight people go out on good dates that only have platonic vibes.  Yet how many of them, after two such dates, decide they must not be straight after all?  None!!!  And why not?  Because to do so would be ridiculous.

But I see closeted men use that exact same logic to conclude they're not gay all the time.  Dating is not easy.  Making enduring romantic connections is not easy.  Falling in love with someone awesome is not guaranteed.  Loads of people, of all kinds of sexuality, go decades without ever meeting the right person.  Decades!

Because sex is so much easier to find than love, it explains why so many "curious" and "bi" men believe they're more straight than they actually are.  For many, it's impossible to imagine that they could fall in love with another man.  It has to happen before it can be believed.

So Ben, I'm sorry that in your few months out as a gay man that you didn't fall for another guy.  Now that you're straight again you're free to find love with a woman.  Hopefully, in twenty years' time, she won't mind that you two seldom have sex and that you jack off to only gay porn.  It might not be an ideal life for either one of you, but hey, it's a lot better than being gay, single and lonely for a few years.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

"Shelter", "Latter Days" and TWO new movies

"Brokeback Mountain" may have been nominated for eight Oscars and won three, but there are two other films in the m4m genre that are even more popular: "Shelter" and "Latter Days."


The most recent release among those three movies was "Shelter" in 2007.  In the seven years since then, the only m4m movie I've heard about that's been well-liked was 2011's "Weekend."

I thought "Weekend" was decent enough, but I found the 2012 bisexual film "Angels of Sex" to be more interesting.  Unfortunately, neither film has the emotional punch that make "Shelter" and "Latter Days" so popular.

Well, at long last, a newer movie has been made that, I think, is at least as good as "Latter Days."  It's currently available for free on Youtube.  Who knows how long this link will continue to work, so I suggest that you watch it now.  And when you're done, watch the sequel linked below.

I watched both movies "blind." I didn't read the descriptions and knew nothing about the story or characters in advance.  I strongly suggest that you do the same.

The first film starts off slowly, so be patient.

Enjoy!


Enjoy even more (at least I did):

The sequel.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A "not safe for straight wives" commercial - Have you seen this?

The Youtube caption reads:

Las Vegas means: no assumptions, no judgment, come as you are, be who you want and do what you like.  When you visit Las Vegas, we encourage you to embrace who you are at your very core. 
 A Las Vegas vacation will push your comfort zone and create unforgettable moments.

Embrace who I am at my very core?  Push my comfort zone?  Create unforgettable moments?

Seriously...       Wow!

Most married, closeted guys go through years of anguish, withdrawal and depression before they begin to embrace who they are. 

Who knew they could skip all that and just book a trip to Vegas with their wives???

Friday, August 29, 2014

Cruising Incident / Dating Realization

I cruise a lot, but not for sex.

I use eye contact to try to communicate with other men who are attracted to men.  For example, when a good-looking guy walks past me, I try to catch his gaze for a fraction of a second.  If I do, and if he's attracted to men, I'll see that in his eyes.  If he's not attracted to men, or not attracted to me, or just generally clueless, his eyes won't communicate anything.

I got into the habit of doing this many years ago when I was in the closet.  It was a fun way to feel less isolated.  Whenever I made meaningful eye contact with another guy, even if we never spoke, I felt a kinship.  Although I have plenty of bi and gay friends now, I still enjoy the hide-and-seek dynamics of what I call The Gaydar Game.

99.6% of the time, when I ping someone, there's no connection.  On those rare occasions when a connection is made, the ping is almost always a weak one. A weak ping is essentially a gay hello. We acknowledge each other but there's no lust or intensity involved.  Instead, our eyes confirm that we're attracted to men and we move along without further interaction.

On extremely rare occasions, I get a strong ping.  That's when a guy's eyes enthusiastically say, "Yo, I like what I see!"

Strong pings are wild!  They make my heart beat violently, cause sweat to shoot out of every pore in my body and overload my brain as I frantically try to decide what to do next.

It's been a long time since I've had a strong, memorable ping.  I forget most of them because nothing ever happens.  The intense stare might be there but we can't communicate because one of us is with someone else, or, we're in cars going in opposite directions.

Recently, I got a strong ping and found myself totally befuddled. The guy was alone and available and so was I.  This meant, for the first time since I've been single, I had the opportunity to spontaneously meet someone new who seemed to have an interest in me...

Here's what happened:

I was in suburban shopping mall, in a city with a microscopic gay population.  It was a weekday morning and I was there killing time before a meeting.  After hitting up all the better stores, I still had time to fill so I went to Macy's.

I'd only been in the Men's section for a minute when I saw an attractive guy in his mid-30s walk out of the fitting room area.  I pinged him and he was oblivious.  Not gay.

A few seconds later, another guy, this one in his mid-40s, came out of the same set of fitting rooms.  As he walked past me, I saw him turn his head and stare at the first man.  I didn't have to ping him.  From the way he watched the first guy I knew he was gay.

This guy, the second guy, was decent looking.  Blond and somewhat tall.  He wasn't exactly my type but he was well within the range of guys I'd consider dating.  After he checked out the first guy, he walked to the cash register to pay for one article of clothing.  Because he had his back to me as he walked, he didn't see me until he turned toward the female cashier.  Once he did, we were facing each other, about 40 feet apart.  Just for the heck of it, I shot him a quick-but-telling glance.

He noticed me but didn't respond in a particularly strong way.  For that reason, I expected him to pay for his purchase, turn his back to me, and walk away.  Only he didn't do that. Instead, he took his purchase and walked in my general direction.  Then he started "browsing" through a nearby rack of clothes.  Who does that?  Who buys something and THEN immediately goes back to browsing?  Clearly he decided to cruise me.

As soon as I realized that, my heart jumped into my throat and a thin film of sweat covered my body. Basically, he called my bluff and now I had to decide what to do next.

What to do next??

PANIC.

The good news is that I didn't turn tail and run. Instead I stalled for time.  I needed to think.  What did I want to happen?  What should I say to him?   Was he looking for a hook-up or would he be willing to talk over coffee?

I couldn't make up my mind what to do; I wanted something to happen, at least for the sake of following through on a strong ping, but I wasn't exactly sure what.  A coffee date would be my normal goal, but in this situation, asking for that felt awkward.  "Hi!  Want to have coffee??"  Weird.

To keep encouraging the guy, I gave him a series of quick looks, then slightly turned away each time.  I was trying to use body language to say, "I'm a total chicken.  Please approach me and make the first move."

He did approach, but not as boldly as I would have liked.  Instead of walking straight up to me, he slowly browsed in my direction.  As he inched closer and closer, I got more and more nervous.  What should I say to him?  What did I want to happen?

The answers wouldn't come.  I was paralyzed with anxiety.  All I could do was flip through rack after rack of clothes, pretending to look at them.

My blond friend was surprisingly patient.  He followed me for at least five minutes, which is a very long time for this sort of cruising.  In the past, I've had guys follow me for a minute or two but then they give up when they realize I'm all eyes and no action.

Many thoughts raced through my mind in that five minutes, including some that were very surprising.  I actually became so engrossed in a new realization that I lost track of where the guy was standing.  When I looked up, I didn't see him.  Then, as I turned around, I nearly gasped aloud when I realized he was standing right behind me.  Unnerved, I put my head down and walked about twenty feet away.  When I looked up again, he was gone...never to be seen again.

Both angry at myself and relieved to be off the hook, I walked back to my car to contemplate what had just happened.

Mostly, I think my behavior was ridiculous and immature.  If I was in a gay bar and got the same strong ping from the same guy, I wouldn't have been nearly so flummoxed.  To be panicked because we were in a suburban department store was stupid.  Why didn't I make some kind of small talk with him?  What's so hard about that???

In truth, I never thought of making small talk, which would have been the logical thing to do.  Instead I obsessed about asking if he was free for coffee.

Overall, my lack of game while under pressure was very disappointing.

But what about the realization?

It began with the question of what I wanted to happen.  As I thought about that, I considered the best-case scenario:

I didn't want to hook-up, I wanted a first date.  If I got one, then what?

We'd start dating.

Then what?

We'd get serious.

Then what?

I'd have to tell my kids, parents, friends and family.

Then what?

I'd irrevocably change everything in my life, all for the sake of one new person.

And what would happen if, after all that, the relationship fell apart?

I might regret having ever met him.

What's the realization?  That maybe I shouldn't be meeting strangers in department stores, and more generally, that maybe I shouldn't be meeting anyone, ever, because it's extremely unlikely that everything will work out perfectly.  Either my hopes will crash and burn, OR, they'll be realized - and my life will irrevocably change in frightening ways. 

As you can see, it appears that the only kind of relationship I'm willing to risk is one that is certain to succeed.  If I can imagine any chance of failure, then the risk for pain and regret is too high.  I'd much rather be safe than sorry. 

No wonder I'm so unmotivated to date.

I understand that this attitude is unhealthy.  I just don't know how to get over my fear of relationship failure.  I did everything I could to make things work with both Gabbie and Dean, and in both cases they dumped me anyway.  Is it any wonder that I'm reluctant to put myself out there?

I don't want to be this way.  I need some positive dating and relationship experiences to get out of this funk.  I need to be willing to take more chances.  I just wish I wasn't so plagued by fear. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Straight Wife Needs Help: How did this happen???

I recently received the message below as a comment from an anonymous straight wife.  In it, she tells her story and asks if anyone can help her understand her husband's behavior.  What would you tell her?  Please share your feedback in the comment box below.
I am 45 years old and been married for 25 years to the same man, we have two beautiful daughters. I have been faithful to him in every way. My husband is 46, a tradesman who worked away for much of our relationship. Just over a year ago he came home on his turn around, we were having a wonderful day and all of the sudden he said "I'm leaving, there is nothing to talk about and I am not coming back". He packed his car and left. One month later came back wanting to come home. He had been drinking excessively for the last 3 years and I thought that was the problem for his sudden mood changes. I would not let him come back but told him I was not giving up on our marriage. 10 months after our separation (we were on speaking terms some up and downs but getting along well) he was at our home, I had moved out with our 16 year old daughter, I couldn't financially afford to live there and he was giving me no support. I showed up unannounced which was not unusual but this time he had a man there. I come to find out that he has been living (not just dating, has a home) with this man for the past 4 years, we were only separated for not even a year. He admitted to me that day that he was having a relationship with this man but when I went back the next day he denied everything saying he was just someone to communicate with. He continues to put the blame on me and I can't understand why. So I thought maybe you or another gay husband could fill me in on how he justify what he has done. Was he gay from day one, is every memory and moment of my past just a lie? Was I just a cover so no one would know? Was my life, my happiness not important? Did it repulse him to be with me?
Here's my response:

Anonymous - I'm very sorry to hear about your situation.  You've been blind-sided.  Not once, but twice.

Blind-side betrayals are traumatic events.  The pain can be worse then getting run over by a truck.  At least with a truck you get taken to a hospital.  After a blind-side betrayal, you're often left alone, wondering what the hell just happened.

The most important thing for you to know is that what your husband has done reflects on him, not you.   Sexual orientation is not learned.  Your husband has always been attracted to men, although he may not have been fully aware of it.  The fact that he decided to leave after 25 years does NOT mean you are an undesirable woman.  All it means is that he couldn't hold back his attraction to men any longer.  It's like holding a giant inflatable ball under water.  You can keep it submerged for a very long time...but, inevitably, it pops up to the surface.

Love and sex can be very complicated, especially for men who are not strictly straight or gay.  I can't imagine that your husband doesn't love you.  You spent 25 years together and got along well.  That has to mean something.  People can be fake-nice or fake-loving for short periods of time but not for decades.  This means that every moment of your past was NOT a lie, it just wasn't the full truth.

Were you a cover?

It depends on what you mean by 'cover'.  Some women want to know if their husband had a premeditated plan to use them.  They imagine their husband saying to himself, "I'm gay, but because that's not socially acceptable, I'm going to find a gullible woman to be my beard."

I can only remember one man ever admitting he did that.  Every other man's story has been rooted in wishful thinking or denial.  Wishful thinkers say to themselves, "My attraction to men will go away or won't be important if I marry a woman I love." Deniers don't believe (or don't even comprehend) that they're attracted to men.  In their hearts, their decision to marry a woman is completely sincere.

Based on what you've said, I don't know whether your husband was a wishful thinker or a denier.  I'm not sure that it matters.  You can't fake 25 years of intimacy.  He cares about you...but sexually, he's more attracted to men.

Was your life and happiness unimportant? 

This is a difficult question to answer.  Yes, your life is important, but human nature makes us selfish.  A hungry man may be willing to give his food to his starving wife for a long period time, but when does he start to hold back because he convinces himself he's more hungry than she is?

Long periods of denial often play out like a dam breaking.  Everything is fine and then *wham* it's total chaos and disaster.  From your husband's point of view, that's why he blind-sided you.  He wasn't trying to be cruel, or to intentionally ruin your life.  What happened was that his interior dam of denial finally broke.  Once that happened, he basically said, "Your survival is up to you and mine is up to me."  That's a shitty thing to do to another person, especially to someone you've pledged to care about more than any other person, but breaking dams cause panic.  There's no reasonable excuse for what your husband has done, but, it also wasn't something he did out of malice.  Weakness yes, malice, no.

Did it repulse him to be with you?

Probably not.

Think about this: if you, as a woman, loved another woman, but were not sexually attracted to her, would you be repulsed by her?  Lack of attraction is very different from repulsion.  It seems to me that if your husband was actually repulsed he would've asked for a divorce many years ago.

Anonymous, you might not fully realize it, but you're in a state of shock.  It's going to take time for you to adjust to what's happened.  During this very difficult time you need to take care of yourself.  Don't worry about your husband - worry about you.  Toward that end, please know that you are not alone in this situation.  Sadly, there are many other straight wives out there.  Only they can truly know how it feels to be blind-sided the way you have been.  Don't hesitate to seek their support.  A number of cities have local support groups, and even if yours doesn't, there are several places to go on the Internet to talk to other women in your exact situation.

Again, I'm sorry about what your husband has done.  As painful as this is, you will recover.  In fact, it's very likely that you'll meet a new man who loves you both as a person and as a woman.  Then you'll find true happiness, as Michelle (another blogger) has.

Cameron

Here's a link to a young video blogger, Ben Hobson, who came out to his wife after a few years of marriage.  He explains his thinking in several different videos.  She even appears in a few of them.

Here's a link to another young blogger who knew he was attracted to men, and had sexual experiences with them, but recently married a woman because he knew he couldn't live without her.

Monday, July 21, 2014

First Date in a Year Update

In my last post I wrote about Shane being in love with his ex-boyfriend and their plan to spend a week together at the end of July.  I wondered what I should do, if anything, in advance of their rendezvous.

A few days after I posted that entry, I felt like a fool.  Not because of anything I'd said, but because I'd even written about Shane at all.

Here's why:

On July 6th he responded to a message I sent a few days earlier about an upcoming event.  His reply wasn't very substantive, except that it ended with a polite "we should have dinner soon."  Thrilled by that idea and eager to get a date booked as soon as possible, I immediately forwarded him my schedule for the upcoming week.

I think my enthusiasm came off as desperation.  He didn't answer for two days and when he did, he said, "Wow, sounds like you have things planned out very well." Followed by,  "My dog is sick, I'm not sure how available I'm going to be for the next week or so.  I'll be in touch as soon as I can."

His dog is sick???  

Sure he is.  He probably ate some kid's homework and now has such bad stomach cramps that Shane will be totally preoccupied 24/7 for two weeks.  That would be the perfect excuse for Shane to give me the polite brush-off until his ex-boyfriend arrives.  

Even if it is the truth, how does Shane know how long the dog is going to be sick?  Not available at all for a week or so?  Unlikely.  There's clearly something else going on here.

Those were my thoughts but I didn't share them with Shane.  Instead I sent him best wishes for his pooch's full recovery.

At the same time I decided I wouldn't contact Shane again unless he contacted me first.  I'm not going to chase him.

Several days passed and I didn't hear anything.  Then the weekend came, and still, nothing.

I had plans with friends on Friday night but was glad when they were cancelled.  I was in no mood to go anywhere, talk to anyone or do anything.  My mood worsened as the weekend dragged on.  By Sunday afternoon I was deep in the depths of self-pitying, self-hating misery.  It was as if the whole year I'd taken off from dating had done no good; one vague rejection was all it took for me to be absolutely miserable.

Pathetic.

Sunday night I resolved to take another six to nine months off from dating.  Clearly, I'm too immature to try again soon.

I expected my dark mood to continue on Monday, but for some reason it didn't.  Instead I felt good.  I don't know why, I just did.  As the day progressed and my attitude stayed upbeat I began to wonder if I'd turned the corner with Shane.  Maybe I was done agonizing about him?

By Tuesday afternoon, there was no doubt about it.  It no longer mattered if I heard from him.  The hurt of his rejection was over, and even better, I now knew that the time I took off from dating had made a difference.

Shane has been, by far, my biggest crush since Dean.  To get over him so quickly is fantastic.  It's a clear sign that I'm ready to get serious about dating again.

***

Much to my surprise the sick dog email wasn't the last time I heard from Shane.  Just this past Friday I got a text from him that said: "Hey stranger!  You free for lunch today?"

As it happened, I was free.

We ended up spending three and half hours together.  First we had a long lunch, then we took a drive to a pub near the ocean.  We would've stayed together longer, except I had to get back to work.

It was an awesome date, on multiple levels.  First, his sick dog story was true.  He said he spent nearly $10,000 on veterinary intensive care.  He could be lying or exaggerating about that, I suppose, but he showed me pictures of the facility and his dog's daily progress.  Listening to him talk about how much he loved his dog was very touching and a major turn-on.  Deep love, sincerely expressed?  That's the kind of man I want in my life.

We also talked about his ex-boyfriend.  I made my pitch, which was that Shane should use the time with his ex to convince him to give a long-distance relationship a try.  The way I see it, if Shane propositions his ex, the outcome will be good no matter what.  Either they'll get back together, or, Shane will take his ex's rejection more seriously and be ready to emotionally distance himself.

My favorite part of the date was watching (or really, feeling) Shane's body language.  On our prior two dates he was always very respectful, which was nice, but it was hard to tell if he was attracted to me or not.  On this date he touched me multiple times when he didn't need to.  His touches were subtle, but they definitely made me feel wanted.  I have no doubts now that he's interested.

Finally, and I didn't fully realize this until after we parted, but the whole three+ hours I was on a sexually-charged endorphin high.  I felt his absence the second he drove away, and once I was back in the office, I couldn't concentrate on anything.  I was all keyed up.  Incredibly horny, really.

So, ya.  After that date, I'm crushing on him more than ever.

Unfortunately, unless he surprises me somehow, his schedule is so busy that I may not see him again in July.  Then, I'll be gone from August 2nd to 11th.  This means our next date isn't likely to happen for a month.

That might be a good thing.  Because I'm hoping Shane can get things better clarified with his ex, it's probably best that I don't see him again before they have their week together.

The other goods news is that, although our date went exceptionally well, I'm pretty confident I can handle disappointment too.  My hopes crashed and burned once already, yet I recovered within a few days.  I feel like I can do this dating thing.  I can deal with disappointment and rejection.  With or without Shane, I'm on a much better path.

Friday, July 4, 2014

How to Vanquish the Ghost of a Boyfriend Past?

It looks like my relationship with Shane is going to remain platonic in the near-term.  His schedule has only allowed us to spend an hour together in the last ten days, and although he texts me on occasion, what he says is more friendly than flirtatious.

Still, I have hope for the future.  He's asked me three different times to describe the kind of man I find attractive.  Each time it's felt like a loaded question, like he's wondering if he's my type.  Why would he keep asking unless he's been pondering our potential?  He's also repeatedly mentioned, with awe, the length of our first meeting.  Whenever he brings it up I want to say, "Yes Shane, IT MEANS SOMETHING!" but I hold back because that's a realization he needs to have on his own.

I'm also hopeful because he recently asked if I was available to go on two different cruises with him, one for four days in July and another for eleven days in September.  Because Gabbie can't cope with watching the kids for even one night I quickly declined both offers, but after thinking about it, I'm wondering if I could get away for four days.

Overall, I feel like Shane and I are circling each other.  Neither of us is willing to pounce just yet (that is, be direct), but we're certainly thinking about it.  I know I am.

In addition to wanting to be confident that Shane's interest in me is natural and authentic, the other reason I'm holding back is because I worry that he's too hung-up on his last boyfriend.  He denies that he is, but the hurt and longing in his voice say otherwise.  I think his denials are more about convincing himself that he's moved on than they are the truth.

Speaking of Shane's beloved ex, I think he's a bit of a bastard.  He broke up with Shane a year ago, after three and a half years together, because he was moving two thousand miles away for school and didn't want to maintain a long-distance relationship.  Yet, that's sort of what they've done.  They Skype at least twice a week and the ex still calls Shane by a pet name.  Even worse, the ex is coming to visit for a week at the end of July, right around Shane's birthday, and they're planning to spend the whole week together - in bed.

The reason I think the ex is a bastard is because he's stringing Shane along.  If he genuinely cared, the ex would commit to the monogamous relationship Shane wants, but he won't do that.  Instead he milks Shane for affection and sex, at his convenience.  How is Shane supposed to heal and move on when he's treated like that?

I told Shane I thought the ex was being cruel by shutting him down and then leading him on.  Shane agreed, but will he do anything about it?  Probably not.  He just keeps repeating that they're not together, that they're never getting back together, and that he's actively looking for a new partner.  That's his brain talking, not his heart.  "We'd still be together now if he hadn't moved away," - that's how he really feels.  Because his head and heart are so conflicted, I don't know which to trust. 

Perhaps the next three weeks will clarify things...

Depending on how aggressive I choose to be, the ex's visit at the end of the month could be considered a deadline.  Do I push Shane to reconsider his one-sided relationship with his ex?  Or do I keep my mouth shut and instead try to spend as much time with Shane as possible, hoping that a romantic connection between us develops?  What if things go very well between Shane and his ex?  Wouldn't it be safer for me to maintain a little distance until the ex has cum and gone?

My thoughts on this are all over the place!

Normally, I'd be content to be patient.  My  relationship philosophy is that the "right" outcome will play out naturally.  If Shane is interested in me, I'll know that, sooner rather than later.  If he's not interested, I'll figure that out too, only it might take longer.  But the specter of his ex standing between us makes me question whether being too passive would be a mistake.  Do I risk getting stuck in the friendzone if I don't make my feelings known before the ex arrives?

If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions on this situation I'd love to hear them.  Surely I'm not the first person to face this dilemma.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Shane doesn't think Tom Daley is that hot (unbelievable and shocking!!) - Says he's too full of himself

Monday, June 16, 2014

First Date in a Year

A year ago I decided to take a break from Internet dating.  I'm so glad I did.  I just wasn't enjoying the process. I felt like a product on Amazon - and a rather unimpressive one at that.

I'm still not ready to go back to on-line dating.  If or when I do, I won't be focused on it.  Meeting guys socially works about a billion times better for me.  As proof of that, I've made nearly 20 REAL friends in the last year, which is more than I made in all the years since college combined.

The problem with meeting guys socially is figuring out whether we have a mutual, more-than-friends interest in each other.  A few guys have really confused me, leaving me uncertain as to what my next step should be.

My instinctive strategy has been to take no chances. I got badly burned by Dean, my one boyfriend since coming out, because I hit on him too quickly.  He abruptly ended what I thought was a great relationship after four months because he wasn't attracted to me.  That break-up happened 20 months ago and I still haven't recovered from the shock and pain of his rejection.  I never want to put myself in that situation again.

Another reason I've held back with questionable guys is because they're questionable in the first place.  If I'm unsure about them, isn't that a clear indication that we shouldn't date?  Aren't sustainable attractions powerful? Don't they develop naturally because of their own momentum?

I used to be convinced that a "wait-til-it-happens" strategy was the right one, but now I'm not sure.  I had a recent epiphany where I realized how important flirting can be.  Because I don't flirt, do I come off as being too aloof?  Is that why I get confusing signals?  But then I ask myself, "Why would I flirt with guys who are supposed to be friends?"

Is there anyone else out there who finds crossing the more-than-friends barrier extremely confusing???

***

My original plan for this post was to write about three different men I've met socially who, because of their behavior, have made me wonder if they're interested in me.  Two of them explicitly said they wanted to be platonic friends...but then in subsequent interactions they've done things that might indicate otherwise.  I've been so confused!

Recent events, however, have caused me to change this post.  Instead of writing about three guys, I'm only going to write about one, Shane:

The first time I read Shane's on-line profile was well over a year ago.  In addition to being age-appropriate, a formerly married guy with kids, local and attractive, he said his best quality was his loyalty.  After getting dumped by both Gabbie and Dean, "loyalty" is now a major turn-on for me. 

He also said he was into monogamy, which really cemented him in my mind as someone I had to meet.  The problem?  He was "currently in a great relationship but always looking to meet new friends."  Bah!!

Although he was coupled, I still seriously thought about contacting him.  Then I got to thinking...what if our meeting went so well that I developed a big crush on him?  That would be a problem.

Ultimately I decided not to message him because the chances for a good outcome seemed slim.  We'd have to click in a mutually platonic way, and given how much I already felt attracted to him, that didn't seem likely.

Well, a few weeks ago, Shane joined an on-line social group that I happened to belong to.  As soon as I saw him there, I logged into the dating site to see if he was single - and he was.  Awesome.  Even better, on the social group's site he said he intended to come to the next meeting.  I couldn't have asked for a more relaxed way to meet him - so much better than the usual on-line dating BS.

It turned out that Shane did not attend the meeting.  I went home very disappointed, and even worse, the next opportunity to meet him wouldn't be for another two months.

As much as I tried to be patient, I couldn't stop thinking about him.  Finally, after a long internal debate, I decided to email him.  I wanted to be as low-key about meeting as possible, so instead of asking for a date, I invited him to meet other formerly married men at a local mixer.  His reply was fast and enthusiastic, but unfortunately, he couldn't go. Instead he suggested that we meet for coffee. I took him up on that offer immediately.

We ended up meeting for dinner five days later.  I, of course, thought of it as a date.  He, I assume, thought of it as meeting a potential local friend.   It was torture waiting all week for that date.  The whole time I couldn't concentrate on anything else.

I'm happy to report that the dinner went well.  We talked for two-and-a-half hours and I felt like there was genuine, mutual chemistry.  The highlight of the meal was when he described his 'type' as "skinny and bookish, under the age of 50." 

As he said that, he didn't seem to realize that I fit that exact description.  It wasn't a flirtatious comment, it was a statement of fact, and hearing it made my hopes really soar. No man has EVER described their type as anything close to me.  Most age-appropriate guys (those over 40) like beefy, hairy men, not twerps like me.  For anyone to say skinny was appealing was a minor miracle - to hear Shane say it was un-fucking-believable.

The next day I emailed him to say "thanks for dinner" and "I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you."  He replied very quickly and said we should have lunch sometime soon.  I said that would be awesome.  Then, just two days later he texted me at 10:50am and asked if I was available for lunch at 12:15.  You bet I was available!  Lunch went well too.

The next day I emailed him again and told him about a social event I planned to attend the following night.  Would he like to come?  He said he would.  It was a 40 minute trip each way so I offered to drive him.  He took me up on that offer. 

The night went well, especially the ride home.  He brought up the subject of open relationships and how every gay couple he knew had one. I said I wasn't surprised, but that it wasn't for me.  He said he felt the same way.  As we talked more about it, I felt like we really understood and appreciated each other in a deeper, more connected way.

After that highlight, saying goodbye was a small disappointment.  There was no hug and no friendly pat or squeeze on my arm.  Instead he simply jumped out of the car, said, "Thanks for driving - have a good night!" and walked away.  It felt very platonic.

"Oh well," I thought, "I shouldn't make too much of it."

So I didn't... until the next day... when I couldn't think of anything else.  Is he interested?  Is he not?  I really had no idea.  Then, at about 2pm, the door to my office opened AND THERE HE WAS.

"I have just two minutes, and I happened to be nearby, so I thought I'd say hi."

He did only stay for two minutes, and we didn't talk about anything interesting, but right after he left I did a big fist pump and said excitedly to myself, "HE'S INTERESTED!"  No one stops by unexpectedly like that, especially when they just saw you the night before.

That was three days ago.  We've traded a number of texts and emails since then, but I have to say, the vibe in them has felt rather platonic.  And... the more I think about every positive thing he's said, the more I wonder if I'm hearing what I want to hear.  Looked at objectively, nothing he's said has unambiguously indicated he has any romantic interest in me.  So, I remain very confused.
Shane's type: RJ Mitte

I like Shane as a person so much that I really don't want to wreck our developing friendship by hitting on him.  I've got to have a clear sign that he's interested in me.  I misunderstood the depth of Dean's interest in me - and I paid for it dearly.

I also keep coming back to the idea that if we're meant to be together, that will happen naturally and inevitably.  I don't need to be in a rush. I just need to be watchful and patient.

If only it was that easy...