Posts Tagged doctor
After my lukewarm date with the doctor, I was ready to get back out there in search for a man.
I’m happy to report, which I’m sure some of you may have suspected otherwise, I was doing a great job of staying off Grindr. Granted, it was a short period of time, but I was thoroughly proud of myself. I felt like I’d joined GA. Every day not having meaningless sex was another day of Grindr sobriety.
Tuesday after work, I arranged another date with Southern Drawl. The last date was a bit crazy. Footsie under the table. Shenanigans in the bathroom. I was curious if he’d be able to behave this time or would he be looking for another quick trip to the bathroom.
We texted during the day to lock things down. I proposed The Breslin. I’d always loved their food, their drinks and their ambiance. He shot the idea down because he said the place was always full of hipsters. I had always been a fan of Sala 19 in the Flatiron District, so I proposed we go there for dinner. It worked out well because it was halfway between our offices. He agreed.
I had to wait at work for him to finish. When he did, I made my way south to meet him. I met him on the street corner, and we walked to the restaurant.
Dinner was very nice. He was well-behaved, and the conversation was good. I told him about my allergist appointment, and he told me about his day. We talked frankly about our last date. We discussed what went on. I learned he’d never done anything like that before. I was also learning about the guys he’d dated since living in New York City. When we originally spoke on the phone, I was under the impression he was new to the gay world. I thought he’d never really dated anyone before. Now, I was learning about all the guys he dated in NYC, as well as the guy he dated through college that he said I so strongly reminded him of and resembled. It was a bit unsettling.
In the middle of dinner, he told me he’d ended things with the guy he was seeing. He explained they’d only been seeing each other for two weeks, and things were never that strong. When I probed him to ask if he left the other guy because he met me or if he did it because he wasn’t satisfied with the previous guy, he told me it was the latter, but part of it was also due to meeting me. A big red flag went off in my head. Would he leave me for a better model?
I still wasn’t sure about him. I liked talking to him. I liked being with him. He was smart. He was nice. He wasn’t flamboyant, however, I wondered if maybe he was too “straight.” He was a bit homophobic. I’m not the most open about my sexuality. I’m not out to everyone at work. I don’t openly advertise my sexuality. However, if he wasn’t comfortable with himself, how could we be comfortable with each other. I couldn’t be sure about him. Was he right for me? I had no idea. Only more time could tell. I was keeping a distance as we moved forward. We had a connection, but was it strong enough to last? Was it what I wanted?
In our conversations, his southern entitlement shined through. It was an incredible turnoff. Where was the southern charm I’d seen so many times in movies. When I think of the ideal man, I think of Matthew McConaughey. He definitely has an ego and self-confidence, but he also exudes charm and sexuality. His confidence is not in your face, and he seems down-to-earth. Southern Drawl fit the other Hollywood archetype — The Southern plantation owner. He had an air or superiority that was hard to swallow. Many times, he laughed off these comments, making them seem like a joke, but I wondered if there was really something deep down that was more genuine. I wasn’t ready to date a snob. That $hit wouldn’t fly with me. I wasn’t going to let him get away with it, and I’d already started calling him on it.
When we finished eating, we split the bill and walked north to the PATH station. I said goodbye to him ont he street with barely a hug. He was uncomfortable exchanging a kiss with me in front of a city of strangers. I wasn’t thrilled by that.
On my ride home, I questioned why I was continuing to see Southern Drawl. He was definitely interested in me, and I was still intrigued by him. I wasn’t ready to write him off just yet, but I didn’t see a lot of promise or potential. I would continue to see other men and continue to see him until I was ready to make a definitive decision.Follow @onegayatatime
In a strike of luck, in terms of my desire to turn my dating/sex life around, the timing of a family trip could not have been better planned. My parents, my sister and I were heading to Virginia to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins. The purpose of the trip was to see the cherry blossoms in Washington DC.
It was a fun trip. I got to see my cousins’ girlfriends and their children, many of which for the first time. Even though the cherry blossoms had already fallen due to an early bloom, it was still nice to get away and relax.
While driving back to New Jersey with my sister, I began attempting to line up dates with all the guys I’d been talking to before I left. As far as going on dates, the trip came at a bad time because it put a roadblock in the momentum. I kept up with the texts from the southern boy I’d gone on one date with so far. We were trying to line up a second date, as well as a few first dates with some other men I’d chatted with.
I got back to town on a Monday afternoon and tried to dive right into the dating. One of the guys I’d been chatting with was a doctor I met on Grindr. We exchanged pictures. He was very good-looking, very well-spoken and very charming. His response to my picture was, “Matthew McConaughey party of one?!” I was incredibly flattered, and suggested he consult with an optometrist friend. Although he had some promise, I wasn’t all that excited to meet him. I was going in with an open mind, but the fact that he was a doctor was somewhat of a turnoff. He would have no time for me, and I have come to realize I need someone who will be around and spend time with me.
We texted back and forth to nail down plans. As the workday was ending, I asked him what he wanted to do. He responded, telling me, “I honestly feel like I need a quiet night in. A bit drained here but would definitely like to have you over for drinks and conversation if you are up for that?” It was a bit unconventional, but I told him I was game. He gave me his address, and we set a time at 9:00pm.
I made my way into the city, bottle of red wine in hand, and walked to his apartment. I called Boston, and he shocked me by picking up. I wanted to hear how his birthday went and catch up. He further shocked me with a story involving an on-duty officer and himself that made me so proud. It was nice to hear Boston letting loose.
As I walked up to his apartment, I hung up with Boston. He lived in a very nice building. He answered the door, and we exchanged hugs. He had a gorgeous place. I came in and made myself comfortable on the couch while he opened the bottle. I felt quite overdressed when I noticed him in sweatpants and a t-shirt. I was jealous. I removed my shoes and sat Indian-style on the couch.
He was far more attractive than his pictures. His tight t-shirt showed off his chiseled body, and his face and smile looked very similar to Taye Diggs. I was slightly mesmerized.
It wasn’t long after we began talking that he let his guard down. The flamboyance came bubbling up, and it was really turning me off. I immediately lost my attraction for him. I could see us being friends, but I could never date someone like that.
We sat on opposite ends the couch talking the whole time. I learned about his job and what he does in his free time (which wasn’t much since he didn’t have much of it). He told me his specialty, and that dominated a majority of the conversation from then on out. Ironically, his specialty was relevant to me, and we got on the topic of safe sex and HIV for over and hour. It was incredibly educational on two levels. I learned a few things about HIV transmission and the disease itself, and I learned how little I know about the stuff I was so cavalier about days prior. I thoroughly enjoyed our talk, but I wasn’t attracted to him as a potential man to date. I would, however, love to keep him around as a friend.
It was late, and I needed to go home. He needed to go to bed. He walked me to the door, and I said goodbye with a kiss. He pulled back and made a comment on how he wished he’d only done that sooner. He really liked it and came back in for more. He was a good kisser too. I walked to the PATH and then walked home, and it took me a while to get there.
The next morning I noticed a text from the doc. “Off to sleep here, but just wanted to say thanks for an awesome date! I really had a great time meeting you.” I apologized for my lack of response and told him I was at the allergist to getting poked with various things to find my allergies. We exchanged small talk on the subject, and the conversation fizzled out. That was the last I’ve heard from the good doctor…Follow @onegayatatime
Today is another Fast Forward Friday!!!
Hope you are enjoying these. It will help bring the blog a little closer to real-time. If you’re keeping up with the stories chronologically, please skip down to this morning’s post first, then read this one. I think it’s a good one! Enjoy!
Back to your special edition of One Gay At A Time…
On Friday, my last night in San Francisco, I made plans with Swinging D*ck to come to my hotel. We talked about grabbing dinner before staying in for the night. However, he casually invited me to come out with him and his friends when he realized he had to go out for a friend’s birthday. I was apprehensive since it was a torrential downpour outside. It hadn’t rained for three months prior, but now it was raining for three straight days. This trip was turning out to be an epic fail.
I graciously accepted his invitation and waited for his call to tell me where to meet them. Hours passed, and I didn’t hear from him. I was all dressed up with nowhere to go. I decided to run out to grab dinner at In-and-Out when dinnertime passed by. That’s when I finally got a text. He told me they were going to Lookout in a bit. He would text me when they were leaving, and I could meet them there.
I ate my burger in my hotel room and made my way outside to hail a cab. Luckily I wasn’t out in the rain too long.
When I arrived, I made my way to the second story bar and began looking for him. After two minutes, and noticing a lot of men scoping me out, I found him in the crowd on the other side of the bar. I walked over and said hi with a big hug. He introduced me to his friends. They were all very nice. I wasn’t sure exactly how much they knew about me.
I ordered a beer before I was told we would be moving on for the night. It was back out into the rain. Apparently, we were headed to a house party for the remainder of the night but not before popping into a liquor store for some beer. We hopped in a cab and made our way to the party.
It was slightly awkward because I was now a friend of a friend of the host. I was hoping everyone would be okay with my attendance. Luckily, only the entrance was slightly awkward. After that, I was in my element. I talked with my friend, his friend, and many other men at the party. It was the biggest sausage fest I’d ever been too. I think there may have been two women there versus the fifty gay men.
I met some interesting people and one very sexy man who looked a lot like Steve Pasquale (Sean Garrity) from Rescue Me. Swinging D*ck is a smoker, and when I drink I’ve been known to smoke the occasional cigarette, so those were nice breaks where we somewhat stepped away from the group and could talk more. He really was a sweet, intelligent guy. I learned a lot about him talking to him on Skype, and I only wanted to get to know more.
The night was beginning to draw to a close. For one, I had a flight to catch in the morning. Secondly, the birthday boy/host was ready to hit up the bars. Everyone was getting kicked out. S.D. told me he had to tell me something when we got outside. We walked away from the party to find a bodega to get him cigarettes. As we did, he took the opportunity to confide a big secret he’d been walking around with.
He pointed out to me how standoffish he was the previous night, how he had to leave early and how he changed plans from coming to my hotel that night. Then he told me all this wasn’t because he wasn’t attracted to me — Quite the opposite. The reason was because he was HIV positive.
My heart immediately sank, and not in a selfish way. The compassion I felt for him in that moment was so great, I can’t even begin to explain.
Apparently I know very little about HIV. He told me he’d been “positive undetectable” for a year and a half now. I never heard that term before, but deduced its meaning from its name. I also did the math in my head and realized he contacted it just after he started talking to me on Skype. I put two and two together and realized that’s why he was so depressed when I was talking to him. My heart was breaking for him.
He explained that he is on medication, and the doctor told him he would lead a very normal and full life for the remainder of his time on this planet. I was learning a lot about the treatment for HIV. I realized I needed some education, and I was happy I had someone so amazing to teach me.
A large part of me wanted to cry and give him a big hug because I couldn’t imagine what he was going through all this time since being diagnosed. The larger part of me was upset because he felt he couldn’t just tell me outright from the start.
He didn’t know how to tell me, nor did he want to. He thought I would treat him differently or stop being his friend. I told him he needed to give me more credit than that. He was an amazing guy, and nothing changed between us.
He started to explain his strange behaviors I wasn’t even noticing. When I asked him back to my room, he was very leery because of what might happen, but he still wanted to be with me. So, he agreed. When we were fooling around, he said he was purposely taking more time to please me so I wouldn’t even have a chance to please him. When I went for it, that’s when he really said he had to get going. It wasn’t because he wasn’t attracted to me. It wasn’t because he didn’t like me. “I think you’re amazing,” he added. It was because he was scared. I understood completely.
When I asked him to come to my room a second night, he talked to his friend about it. “I don’t know if I can tell him,” he told his friend. His friend told him to do whatever he felt comfortable with. He actually invited me to come out with them that night in an attempt to set me up with his friend. Looking back, I did feel as if I was being sized up as the night progressed. However, I was not feeling him in the slightest.
When we were at the party, he encouraged me to go with the guys who asked me to come with them for some fun because it would get him off the hook. I wasn’t the slightest bit interested in them either, however their compliments were always welcome. 🙂
I never noticed all this, but I jokingly reprimanded him for going through all those charades instead of just telling me as a friend. Of course I would understand. I told him about all my skeletons. I would have hoped he’d feel comfortable telling me his.
We continued to walk to the bar everyone was heading to. He told me about how he contracted it and how bad the situation was. He admitted that’s why he was so depressed when I first started talking to him. It all made sense now.
When we arrived at the bar, it was time for me to say goodbye. I had an early flight, and it was already two in the morning. We talked a little bit more, gave each other a big hug, and made out a little bit. It was hard saying goodbye. I felt we had so much more to talk about. But I needed to go. We kept coming back for just one more kiss before we finally parted ways.
As I walked towards my hotel searching for a cab, I thought about what just happened. My heart was still breaking for him that he had to go through that. I wish I’d known sooner so I could have been there more for him. I was so proud of him for finally finding the courage to tell me. I was starting to think he just wasn’t into me a little bit, but that’s not important. What is important is that I have a friend I love dearly and will always be there for, no matter what happened to him. I just hope he knows that!Follow @onegayatatime
Since my parents were staying with me to help me settle in after a move, I was relegated to the couch. Luckily, my roommate was out of town for work at the same time. Before he left, I asked if he minded if I use his bed.
It was working out quite well for me. Smiles offered me his bed Thursday night, and my roommate was nice enough to allow me to use his the other two nights my parents were staying with me.
We woke early that Saturday morning. We had a lot to do, so we got started with breakfast and began our day.
My mother finished unpacking the kitchen and washing dishes while my father and I got a jump on my closet. Since I had it designed and all the boards were cut to size, it should be a relatively simple project.
We were making good progress when I realized I needed to take a break so I could deliver the chicken soup I made for Smiles the night before. I texted him, “Morning babe. How you feeling? Gonna be home in a little bit? Gonna swing by and drop something off for you. :).” He was awake and responded relatively quickly: “Going to crawl over to see the doctor, then straight home. Should be back about 12:00.”
I asked him how he was feeling since he was in surgery only a few hours earlier. “OK. Sore, but can move,” he responded. “Will you bring over Tylenol? I can’t go out again to get some, and I need it for swelling,” he asked. I was more than happy to be able to help him. I felt guilty I wasn’t there when he woke up from surgery. I originally planned to, but with the move, it became difficult. Luckily, one of his other friends was able to be there.
SH*T! I didn’t want her to beat me there with soup. Chances are she made chicken soup too, because who makes anything else when someone is sick or recovering. The race was on. I needed to get there first. I didn’t want to be the superfluous soup. I wanted to be the primary.
I quickly packed up the soup and added some of the brownies my dad made. I ran down the stairs and hopped on the bike. I was off into the tunnel. It would take me only fifteen minutes to get to his apartment. Hopefully I would beat her there!
When I buzzed at his door, his friend answered. DAMNIT! She beat me. I was so disappointed. She came down to let me in since the buzzer wasn’t working. We chatted while we descended the stairs about how we hadn’t seen each other since the Hamptons for the film festival.
When I walked in the door, Smiles was sitting on the couch eating a bowl of soup. I noticed the take-out containers on the counter and realized she didn’t make soup. She’d only brought him soup for lunch.
I showed Smiles the large Rubbermaid of soup and placed it in his fridge. I also told him about the brownies, and he asked me to bring them to him now.
I came into the living room and gave Smiles a kiss. I sat while Smiles and his friend continued their conversation about work. I noticed a very large bouquet of flowers by his bedside and eucalyptus next to the couch in a vase. The arrangement was gorgeous, and I immediately felt guilty and outdone. I know it wasn’t a competition over who cared more about him, but in my warped mind, it was. (I later learned he bought the flowers himself before the surgery since he’d be so homebound).
While sitting and talking, another friend arrived. I was also taking every opportunity to wait on Smiles. I gave him the Tylenol, got him water and cleared his dishes. I learned he was the one who brought Smiles home from the hospital. We’d met before, so I said hi. The four of us sat and chatted a bit about a funny scenario involving Smiles, his straight friend and a girl from the night before.
After a bit, he had to be on his way. The conversation changed from Smiles’ movie project to a new work project he was getting into. I moved across the room to help massage a knot out of Smiles’ back. I was crouching next to the couch in an uncomfortable position, so when I couldn’t take it anymore, I made a move back across the room. Smiles then moved over on the couch and asked me to continue. I was happy to be doting on my man.
The time came where I ha to get back to my parents and moving in. I already stayed past the time I told my parents I’d be back. I’d been waiting for the opportune time to head out. I was under the impression his friend/coworker was going to leave shortly, and I wanted a little alone time with Smiles. When that didn’t happen, I had to bounce.
I kissed him goodbye and told him I’d talk to him later as I made my way out.
When I got home, later in the day, I received a text from him. “Thank you for coming over and making soup. Yay.” I told him I was glad to see he was okay and to think nothing of the soup. “Ya know, those brownies aren’t going to make it to tomorrow. Haha,” he added. We joked about what it might do to his system.
I was happy to see him in good sorts and glad he was surrounded by friends. I was also happy I got to show him how much I cared about him, even though I was insanely busy getting settled in my new apartment. He’s a good man, and he deserves special treatment every once in a while.Follow @onegayatatime
Since ending my slew of hookups, I decided to put full effort behind building up a new roster of guys. This time it would be for meaningful dates, not meaningless sex.
Over the course of a month or so, I corresponded with a guy on adam4adam.com. He seemed like a really nice guy — Almost too nice. But, what the hell? I hadn’t done the nice guy thing yet, so why not give it a shot?
We agreed to meet up for drinks and maybe a bite on Friday after work. This was my first non-half-day Friday in two months, so it wasn’t a hassle to schedule something that evening. I wouldn’t need to commute back into the city for the date. He lived on the Upper West Side, so we agreed on a spot at the northern end of Hell’s Kitchen.
I arrived at the bar before him and waited for him to arrive. When he did, we decided the bar was a little packed to be able to hold a conversation. We crossed the street and sat outside a Mexican bar/restaurant.
We ordered chips and guacamole and beers and chatted a bit. I asked him to remind me what he did again. I went into the date very blind. I should have at least looked back over his messages on a4a, but I had a hard enough time scheduling the date in the first place. Maybe I wasn’t putting a full effort into finding a guy this time around after all.
He explained he was working his way towards becoming an anesthesiologist. I was very impressed, but a big red flag popped up in the back of my head. I have never been thrilled with the idea of dating a doctor because they don’t keep regular hours, which makes it difficult to spend time together or plan getaways. I began to ask about his schedule and what he does with his time off.
I was very surprised to hear how much free time he has. He talked about hiking trips not only in upstate New York, but also in other countries. He explained he had mainly regular hours with the occasional outlier.
The conversation started getting more relaxed, and we were really finding common ground. I kinda thought about this guy as a wildcard, but he was really surprising me. There was still something holding me back. I was realizing that I wasn’t truly an equal opportunity dater. I was actually quite shallow. I saw this guy in front of me with a lot of things in common with myself, but I just wasn’t physically attracted to him. He was kinda cute in his own way, but it just wasn’t doing it for me. He was a lot shorter than me as well.
As we chatted, I thought in the back of my head how great he would be as a friend, but that’s a tough transition when you’ve asked someone out on a date. How do you tell them you just want to be their friend? That says, “You’re fun to hang out with, and we can do a lot of things together. But, I just don’t want to sleep with you because I don’t find you attractive.” Not the nicest impression to make on someone.
When we finished our beers and the temperature dropped below a comfortable level to remain sitting outside in short-sleeved shirts, we parted ways. It didn’t end with a hug or a kiss. We simply just said goodbye and went our separate ways. I felt a little guilty, and I wasn’t ready to cut him from the roster, so I sent a followup text: “Very nice meeting you tonight.” He responded with the same sentiments and suggested we find time to meet up again. I agreed. In the end we never communicated again. What is meant to be will be, and what isn’t, won’t.
After saying goodbye to him, I went on with the rest of my night — Another date I was meeting down the street…Follow @onegayatatime
This is the hardest blog entry for me to write because it reveals the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me, so I’m going to keep it short. Many of my closest friends do no know this, so I am sure I will get many lectures and comments after posting this. But in the honesty of my blog, I owe it to my readers to be completely forthcoming.
When I went to San Francisco, I had unprotected sex. THAT IS THE SINGLE DUMBEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE IN MY LIFE. Regardless of consequences, I will never allow myself to get into that situation again! I felt so comfortable with the man I met there, but how could I be so stupid. I even had a condom in my valet bag.
The day I got back to New Jersey, I went to the local hospital clinic and had an HIV test. Luckily, it came back negative. I was sweating bullets while I waited for the result. At the time I thought I walked away unscathed, but would later realize the consequences of my actions. On a side note, these days, you can get a free HIV cheek swab test at countless locations. There is NO excuse not to get tested regularly.
I also want to use my mistake as a teaching experience for others. I was under the impression you could only contract things like chlamydia if you were “receiving.” I was wrong. Even if you are the one “giving,” you can still contract an array of diseases you never even want to think about.
The problem came about when I noticed a slight burning during urination that eventually evolved into a discharge. I apologize for the graphic description, but again, I hope others can learn from this. I went to the doctor and was prescribed three different drugs and a urine and blood analysis. He topped it off with numerous lectures simply stated, “Always use a condom!” All of which I deserved. After a few days, time away from work to see the doctor, money for the prescriptions and a lot of stress, everything cleared up.
I tracked the contraction back to San Francisco. He was the only man I had sex with since breaking up with the guy I was dating. Since we were in a long-term relationship, we had unprotected sex, but the timing was nearly impossible for it to be Broadway. We were both tested regularly and had built up enough trust to make that step. San Francisco assured me he was recently tested as HIV negative and disease-free, but apparently, he was mistaken. We never discussed the infection. I’m not sure if he had symptoms on his end and would blame me, but he was, without a doubt, the source of my problem.
Do yourself a favor. Do your homework about the consequences of bothunprotected and protected sex, and ALWAYS USE A CONDOM!