Posts Tagged Aussie

Closing Ceremonies

This year was the first time I was fully participating in Pride Weekend, and I have to say, it was certainly starting out to be an interesting one to say the least. Going into the weekend, I was petrified my relationship with CK wouldn’t survive. A lot of that due to the baggage I was still carrying around from my previous relationships. The guys from my past didn’t appreciate me, and I didn’t want to go through that again. That wasn’t helped by a few comments CK had made to me in full disclosure. Let me point out, he never gave me a reason not to trust him, however, he never gave me a reason to trust him either. It would take time, but eventually I would learn to trust him.

Overall, I had a good time at Matinee. I may not have been able to realize that at the time because I was so stressed throughout the night, but looking back from a relaxed state, I am able to recognize I was having a good time. When we got home that night, we had an even better time. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with everything that went on that night, but I was thrilled to be in the arms of the man I loved. We had amazing sex that night. It seemed to be a turning into a trend. Our sex life was indescribable. The passion was without parallel. We were both strong men, so tossing each other around came easy and provided fun and excitement. We even pulled out a reverse cowgirl or two. To put it succinctly, it was epic.

We slept in the following morning. We both had a long day. My exhaustion came at my own hand from mental anguish. CK’s exhaustion came more from hip gyrations on the dance floor. I was happy to relax for a bit with some light pillow talk. Before the weekend began, CK mentioned going to Alegria Sunday night. I told him right off the bat, I would not be able to do that. I had to go to work Monday morning, so that was not something I would participate in. Again, I didn’t really want him to go without me, but I wasn’t going to stop him.

We got a really slow start, and it took a long time for us to get out of the apartment. A part of me wanted to see the parade since I’d still never quite seen it before, but once again, I was going to miss it. In the big picture takeaway, I was alright with that as well. We walked from Hell’s Kitchen down to the Village to see what was still going on. Along the way, I spotted Hunter Parrish of Weeds fame coming out of Starbucks and pointed him out to CK. Once we got down to the Village, we came upon some of CK’s friends from Miami and stopped to chat with them for a bit. They were headed to Alegria that night and encouraged us to join them. CK turned to me and asked how I felt about the idea.

I was ready to kill him. The part of that interaction that bothered me the most was the hypocrisy. When I had done something of a similar fashion, CK was sure to point out how unfair that was and how uncomfortable it made him. Now, he was doing the same thing after we had a long conversation about avoiding putting each other in that exact situation. I gave him such a look. I think he picked up on it rather quickly and told them he wasn’t sure what we were doing yet. He told them he’d hit them up and try to go. They commented, “Yea… You’re not going to show up,” through a chuckle.

After that, we reached out to Hip to see how his day was going. The night before, he met a cute Aussie, and they were heading to the unofficial after-party at Work. CK and I were anxious to get the details on how the night went. He wasn’t far from us, so we stayed put while he made his way toward us. He greeted us with big hugs and began detailing his night. We were all feeling quite peckish, so we decided to grab a bite to eat a few blocks away. On the walk there, CK literally almost trampled an incognito Matthew Broderick, looking quite disheveled I might add. We sat outside Cowgirl and ordered food while we talked and took in the sights passing us by. We were right at the end of the parade route, so it was quite the sh*tshow. Apparently, the day was also full of celebrity sightings. While we ate, Hip noticed Colin Farrell walking up the street away from the parade. This of course spurred a whole new conversation about Colin’s sexuality and prowess.

It was a fun day, and I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end Pride Weekend than with my boys. It was the perfect cherry on top to a long weekend. We had a gay ol’ time joking, laughing and judging the sh*t out of the people who passed by. I drank my fill of people watching while I chased it down with fried chicken.

Overall, I had a good time at all the Pride events. Granted, the weekend stressed me out so much I probably should have been put on anti-anxiety medication, but I still had a good time. I opened me up to trying similar experiences down the road I wouldn’t have before the weekend. I was slowly coming out of my shell and finally beginning to bear some of that gay pride, and it was only going to grow from there.

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An Evening Matinee, Pt. 2

The party was in full swing. Matinee had a huge turnout, and some of my suspicions were already confirmed. I was in for a long night.

As the evening progressed, CK ran into a handful of people he knew. I was very leery of many of these people because I assumed the majority were previous hookups and fellow circuit party enthusiasts. My guard was up. No one was going to make a move on my man without me having more than a few words to say. One previous hookup in particular was starting to weird me out. I would catch him staring at CK across the crowd, which turned me into a guard dog. I wasn’t going to let CK out of my sight.

I still had a lot of anxiety after he told me he didn’t go to the last circuit party because he wasn’t sure what might happen. It was honest, but it didn’t exactly instill confidence in me. I wasn’t holding it against him, because after all, he was forthcoming. But, that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to be hypersensitive.

Speaking of infidelity, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of one of the newlyweds I’d met earlier in the night with his tongue down another man’s throat. I scanned the crowd for his husband, and he too was sucking face. My heart sank a little. I was so thrilled to have met a gay married couple because it is something I long for. But, judgment aside, after witnessing their definition of marriage, it brought the idea I would never find a man who shared my own definition of marriage back to the surface.

Since Hip was still recovering from hip replacement surgery, he needed periodic breaks from all the dancing. I can’t tell you how happy I was to have him there. Every time he took a break from the dance floor, I joined him. I needed a break as much as he did. While we stood on the sidelines, I complained, “When is this lozenge going to kick in!?” We chuckled a bit while watching CK search the crowd to try to find us until I finally got his attention.

Hip wasn’t the only other guy I knew there. I’d been texting with my ex, Broadway, who I am still friendly with. We rarely see each other anymore, but when we do, it’s completely platonic. I learned he’d be attending, so I suggested we at least take a minute to say hi. I also wanted to introduce him to CK so they could both put a face to the name. We managed to find each other in the crowd over the phone and exchanged a hug. He introduced me to the guy he was there with, and I introduced him to CK. It felt a little forced for some reason, so I didn’t dwell on the conversation, and we said goodbye.

As the night continued, I began to feel the effects of my lozenge. I was very happy because I mellowed me out. I was in a good state from there on out. That is until others in the group pulled out some of the stronger vices. It was my first time witnessing this. I don’t feel I’ve lead a sheltered life, but my friends and I just never put ourselves in those situations. I felt quite uncomfortable. A big part of that is the unknown — I knew very little about it. Another part of it stems from resentment. I feel a sense of, “Am I not enough that you feel the need to heighten the experience?”

I tried to turn a blind eye to it and get on with my night. CK really wanted to be there, and he really wanted me to have a good time. I wanted to give him that. I wanted him to see me enjoying myself, so that’s what I did. I worried about the things I could control and tried to forget the rest.

We danced and danced and danced. We had a really great time dancing. Natasha Bedingfield performed, and I even saw my favorite Twitter couple, @AustinWilde and @AnthyRomero. I pointed them out to CK, and he suggested I go say hi. I put myself in their shoes and refrained. They were there to have a good time, just as I was, and I didn’t want to bother them.

Another round of substances made a pass through the group, and once again, I was feeling on edge. This time I wasn’t as good at hiding my lack of comfort. CK was really good about checking in with me to make sure I was alright and having a good time. When I told him how my lozenge made me feel great, he chuckled and gave me a kiss.

The night was coming to a close. Sure, it was stressful as all hell, and when it was over, I felt incredibly relieved. Relieved and exhausted. It takes so much out of you to be so anxious for so long. But, looking back, I did have fun. After experiencing that and XL the night before, the next go around would be far less stressful. I would a least know what to expect. People began making their way back to the ferry to hit up more club parties in Manhattan. Before we left, CK and I snapped a few romantic pictures with the city skyline in the background. This part was easy. I could stop worrying and finally let myself be engulfed by the love I shared with CK. In the end, that was what mattered. When he was happy, I was happy. This was something he’d been looking forward to for months, and I hoped I delivered.

While we were away from the crowd, CK pulled me in to discuss our plans for the remainder of the night. Originally, we discussed going to Work (Peter Rauhofer was spinning) at Roseland, but to my surprise, he suggested another plan. “Baby, tonight’s been amazing! And I know Work’s gonna be off the hook, but if you’re game, I think we should go to a really exclusive after-party. Getting on the guest list is nearly impossible, but we’re on it.” Without another beat, he said, “Let’s go back to my place and make love till the sun rises. Words cannot express how welcome those words were.

When pointed out how I felt bad abandoning Hip, I suggested we get back to him. Of course, I was thrilled to learn he met an aussieMan on the dance floor who took quite a shining to him. They were having a great time together, and I couldn’t have been happier. While I loved having Hip there, I worried he felt like a third wheel with CK and I. That doesn’t go to say he should have. I loved having him there. To be honest, I don’t think I would have made it through the night without him. He is an amazing guy, and he really deserves an amazing man to make him happy. It also just so happened the aussieMan had an extra ticket to Work, so Hip became his plus one.

We all rode the ferry and the subway together until we reached Hell’s Kitchen. After an exchange of hugs, we parted ways. CK and I walked home blissfully hand-in-hand. CK may get a little bent out of shape when I say this, but that was my favorite part of the night. I was always happiest when it was just the two of us. True, we are both social beings and love being surrounded by people, but there’s nothing quite like some quality time with my man! I really did love him!

When we got home, we were both quite exhausted, however, we weren’t too exhausted to take advantage of each other before dozing off. But, that’s another story for another day…

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Ozzy Bonobos

Today, I am bringing you a tag team post created for you by myself and another one of my faithful Australian readers, J. Argenta. I hope you enjoy.

Recently, I posted about Bonobos. As a result, one of my readers, J. visited the site and did a little shopping.

“I’m one of his avid readers and couldn’t help but check out the Bonobos site after he spoke so highly of it! I found some great stuff on there, but when I got to the checkout and it was $91 to get stuff shipped to Australia! — More than the pair of pants I was going to get. I was basically a stranger and hoped what I was about to ask wasn’t too strange, but I asked if he wouldn’t mind placing the order for me and sending it over for me? I offered to transfer you the money to cover it all and do so before he placed the order. I just don’t happen to know anyone in America and figured the shipping would be cheaper this way. I knew it was a long shot, but I hoped he would be comfortable with this.” – J. Argenta

This posed many challenges. I wanted to help him out. I was totally game to do whatever I needed to do, but this would certainly force me to give up anonymity. He would need to know my name and address to mail me payment. I didn’t feel comfortable breaking down the fourth wall.

I thought about how else I could help. I knew as a blogger, I had a certain level of power. I could reach out to the Bonobos PR team and see if there was anything they could do. I sent them an email:

Hey there Bonobos PR team. 
I am one of your biggest fans (I bought the Shortboards – Lapis Lazuli and ABSOLUTELY love them! and have since bought some pants and hats because I love how everything fits me well. I digress) I have an odd request to make. I am a blogger. My blog mainly (but not limited to) attracts a specific audience, but one that fits well with the Bonobos brand — the gay community. You can check out my daily blog at onegayatatime.com. That being said, I love Bonobos products and am not shy about telling my readers about this. In one of my posts, I mentioned your brand and how much I enjoy it. Afterwards, I received an odd email from one of my readers in regards to your products. 
[I attached his original email]. 
I’m not 100% comfortable making this transaction for him, but I was hoping maybe by reaching out to him I could help him solve his high-priced shipping problem. I told him I would reach out to you and see what you could do for him. I work in media, so I know the value of word-of-mouth. You can expect me to continue to speak positively about your products in my blog and can be assured I will make special note if you find a viable solution for my reader. Thanks for your assistance with this issue.
I look forward to hearing from you!   
— O.G.A.A.T.

I was CC’d on an email to the Ninjas who take care of this, and they replied back, “Done. Thanks.” I was surprised how brief the response was, but I decided to wait and see what they sent to J. Argenta. I also asked them to keep me up-to-date with what they were doing so I could share the positive story. I got an email in response:

Sure no problem. Sorry about the curt email. Your message was forwarded to us from the PR team so I though I was giving her a direct reply. My apologies if that came off as short. I can definitely keep you updated. I didn’t know your friend/fan’s name but I shot him an email outlining our international shipment options (we actually pay for outgoing shipments but have to do it manually due to shipping negotiations and site shortcomings). 
Thanks for reaching out on this.
Cheers.  

— Nick

“I told O.G.A.A.T. they offer free international shipping, but because of ‘how the young program is and various logistic negotiations/planning/tweaking,’ Bonobos covers the cost of shipping manually in the form of store credit. Nick also said I would have to cover customs charges, but I’ve never had to do this with other international orders from other sites. I’m not sure if other sites maybe cover this cost or just include it in their selling price.” — J. Argenta

I emailed the Ninjas again and told them the issue:
Because of this, I think you may be losing a sale and a customer, and I am disappointed in how this problem is being handled. I was hoping to report a viable solution on my blog with a happy story of great customer service to match a great product, but as of now I can’t do that. A store credit of $91 doesn’t sound like a viable solution to me. The problem would just represent itself when he attempts to apply said store credit. I would hope you would further investigate this issue or possibly escalate it to a higher level. I look forward to hearing a happy ending to this story.
Thanks for your help!

This is when Nick really went above and beyond to clarify the situation and make sure he had a satisfied customer. He quickly sent me a reply:

Hey again,
Let me start off by saying that I don’t think your friend will have to pay duties. Sorry about the confusion here. I think maybe there was a miscommunication on our part. Basically the deal with customs is that we (or any company/site/vendor) have no control over duties and customs charges. These are determined solely by the host countries and reimbursing recipients for customs/duties is a legal ‘iffy’ area.
[He then went into detail on international shipping and customs policies, as well as breaking out costs and examples].
So basically our feeling was since we lack the ability to predict or control customs costs in other countries we would make it up to the customer by not charging them for international shipping a la the store credit option. I think the confusion here might have been due to when and how the store credit is applied.
The idea was that the most viable way of compensating for our systems/logistics shortfall was to offer a free shipping service until we could finalize a partnership with an international shipper.
Sorry for the long-winded email, I just wanted to make sure I was specifically answering your concerns in regards to, “The problem would just represent itself when he attempts to apply said store credit,” since the store credit actually resolves the problem of shipping costs, not make it worse.
I know it’s a bit of hassle if you’re an international customer which is why we really do try to do as much as we can at the moment given the resources available to us. It’s a big headache on our end as well as we would love to develop an international customer base (pants = the universal language). It’s just proven to be a much bigger bag of worms than anticipated and therefore has been much slower going in terms of negotiating with a shipping agent.
The short answer for your friend is that he will only pay for his clothes, we will cover shipping, and as far as I can tell he won’t have to pay for duties (though again, my knowledge of Australian customs law is cursory at best). The only catch is that he has to shoot us a quick email or give us a call so that we can drop the credit to cover shipping into his account. 
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to shoot us another email or give us any feedback. I always love talking shop. 
All the best.
— Nick

I was duly impressed, and I let him know:
Hey dude. Thanks for the explanation. I indeed appreciate the long-winded email. You know your sh*t. I also appreciate the time it took to write and explain. I’ve passed along the info to my reader. I will continue to give nothing but rave reviews going forward of Bonobos and will not the extra effort you made to make a customer (and myself) happy.
THANKS!

He replied once more:
No problem dude. I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. We’re definitely a little behind the eight ball when it comes to international shipping so your (and your friend’s concerns) were well founded and we appreciate you keeping us honest. We’ll be in touch and feel free to give us a holler any time you have a question.
Best.
— Nick

I relayed this information to J. Argenta to make sure he knew how this would go down.

“I finally understood what they were talking about. It all sounded good! All this for a pair of pants! But, I thanked O.G.A.A.T. for being so persistent and placed my order. It’s nice to know there are people out there willing to help out a stranger in need (of some new pants).” — J. Argenta

I was happy to hear the transaction come to a positive outcome. I am happy to bring the story to you and highlight Bonobos customer service on this issue. They once again proved they are a company with not only top notch products but also top notch service. They really went above and beyond to help an Ozzy out who needed a pair of pants…

I’m Jason by the way. I live in Australia, obviously! Hello! I’ve got a blog as well — Not one that I advertise much at all, but I’ve sort of been branching out a bit with it lately. Not sure if it would be your type of thing — It’s a bit random really, just about everyday goings-on, and things that I find interesting like racism and gay-related things. I wrote my own little gay life story a few posts ago after coming across so many gay-related blogs. Anywho, check it out if you like — jaargenta.blogspot.com – and I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

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The Horror!

Touchdown! After a long flight of writing a lot of blog entries, I finally landed in San Francisco. I was very happy to be away from New York. This was forced time to clear my head. It would be impossible to try to find a guy for a date from thousands of miles away, and I needed a break. Don’t get me wrong, I want a man to call my own, but the process of finding one is exhausting.

I rode to my hotel with a very chatty driver. He had lots of questions and comments for me. Many of the comments referred to women and our “shared” desire for them. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was gay. I just let him continue talking. It wasn’t that long of a ride.

I got to my hotel, and took my good ol’ time getting to the office. They didn’t know exactly what time I landed, and I’m sure they wouldn’t have any work for me yet anyway.

I was right. When I arrived at the office, they had no work for me the entire afternoon. This worked out quite well. It allowed me to update the blog and go for a nice long delicious lunch I didn’t have to pay for. When the workday was coming to a close, I made my way back to my hotel.

I’d been on Grindr all day hunting for a guy to either meet for a drink or have some fun with. Nothing was turning up. I recalled the last time I was out there. Originally, I had the same luck. That is, until I picked up signal from San Francisco. No such luck that day.

I thought about the other weapon in my arsenal. I could pull up adam4adam.com and see who was in the area. I managed to find a few sexy men to message. It was only a matter of time before one of them messaged me back. A few did, but many of them were flakes. A few of them were unattractive as soon as I saw their faces as well. I asked a few to hang out, and the ones only interested in sex, I proposed coming to my hotel. Some of the guys on Grindr offered bl*wjobs, but I was looking to get it in.

One guy was very willing to make the journey to my hotel, and he was a bottom and looked pretty sexy. I told him to come by and gave him the details. I had one failsafe. They would not be able to come up to my room without me picking them up from the lobby. If I was unsatisfied with what showed up, I could hop back in the elevator and shut the door. That’s terrible, I know, but you never know what will show up when push comes to shove.

I was doing it again. I ended a relationship and simply fell back into old habits of hooking up outside of a relationship. I wasn’t thrilled with myself, but I was giving myself a free pass while in San Francisco.

I would have to put off dinner until after my evening tryst arrived. I was hungry, but I wouldn’t have time to get dinner before he came by. When he arrived, I collected the man from the lobby. He was a good-looking Aussie.

We got up to my room and talked about where we were from and our stories. He sat on the bed and talked with me. He seemed like a pretty cool guy. He was a bit of a vagabond. I liked his traveling experience. I was envious of it.

When the moment was right, we both went in for a kiss. This was followed by LOTS of kissing. Lots! He seemed quite nervous. I was trying to get him to relax a bit. I took my time with him gently feeling his body. He was a good kisser. This was a good sign.

Slowly I began peeling off some of the many layers he was wearing until we were both naked. He had a decent body. He was skinny, but not exactly muscular and defined. The kissing became more passionate and the petting grew heavier. When we were pretty far along, I whispered in his ear, “I want to be inside you.” He responded the same sentiment, so I reached for the condom and lube I had in the nightstand drawer.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. Now I know I say this in a lot of posts, but this time, it may be too graphic for even those who are normally turned on by my warnings. Just be forewarned. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so!

I inserted myself inside him. He felt great. He seemed to really be enjoying himself as well. We were about two minutes in when something didn’t feel quite right. I took a whiff of the air, and immediately knew what was wrong. I looked down in horror, and it was all I could do to keep myself from vomiting all over this man.

I immediately pulled out and hustled to the bathroom. We both knew what was wrong. I tossed the condom in the trash and began scrubbing myself. I casually suggested a shower. I was trying to maintain my composure so this man wouldn’t feel worse than he already did. This was horrific, but I still had the man’s ego in the back of my mind.

He suggested I go first. I’m not sure why. All I could think about was his uncomfortable state while I showered. He made his way to the toilet and took care of himself while I washed up in the shower. When I finished, I left the bathroom so he could do whatever he needed to do.

I was still a little shaky and trying not to think about what just happened. I’d encountered this before, but never to this extent.

When he emerged from the bathroom, you could have knocked me over with a feather. He actually suggested we keep going. I was speechless. I didn’t know what to say. At this point, I no longer had the man’s feelings in mind but only my own sanity. I told him, “No. I think I’m done for the night.” He didn’t stop apologizing. “Don’t worry about it. It happens. Part of the territory,” I reassured him while he got dressed.

And then, when I didn’t think this man could surprise me any more than he already did, he suggested we grab food since he hadn’t eaten anything yet either. “No. I think I’m just going to order room service or something but thanks,” I added.

Just as he was walking out the door, my phone rang. It was San Francisco. I explained to my departing guest that I needed to take the call and gave him a wave goodbye. I couldn’t wait for him to be out of my sight so I could stop thinking about what happened.

“Helloooooo. How are you? Are you Grindring?” he said as I picked up the phone. All I could think in the back of my head was, if you only knew! I simply replied, “I’m single. I can do whatever I want.” We talked about our schedules for the week and planned a night we could grab a drink together. He suggested we meet in The Castro since I didn’t make it up there during my last visit. Once our plans were solidified, I hung up and tried to figure out what to do for dinner.

Joe’s Crab Shack was a block away and was one of the few places still open at that hour. I decided to go there. This would be the second mistake of the night, as this was the worst seafood I’d ever had. I couldn’t finish it. I was literally wiping the seasoning off the crab legs with paper towels, and I still could barely tolerate them.

If this was a sign of what was to come from my San Francisco trip, I was going to lock myself in my hotel room when I wasn’t at work. The positive was, it certainly couldn’t get much worse…

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