Posts Tagged family

The Next Chapter

Two years ago, I started this blog. I began writing because I felt alone. I knew there had to be other gay men out there who were looking for the same thing I was, and I wanted a way to connect with them.

grindrAt the time, I just ended my first gay relationship, and I found myself in very unchartered waters. I was already out to close friends, but not publicly. Because I had so few gay friends and a strong aversion to gay bars, I had to find a mate digitally. I began serial dating, at one point going on four dates in four days — And thus, One Gay At A Time was born.

Since the beginning, I have gone on MANY dates and put myself in many situations well outside my comfort zone. I have not only grown more comfortable in my own skin, but I’ve also grown up as a gay man. I got all the hookups out of my system and began searching for a meaningful, long-term relationship.

This blog began as an open forum diary of the daily occurrences I encountered navigating the gay world. I told my side of the story honestly in hopes that others out there would be able to relate, comment and most importantly, realize they are not alone.

76146602_zps62ceb642The time has come for the next chapter of my life and for this blog. For quite some time I’ve been blogging about CK (aka Clark Kent or Superman). You’ve gotten to know him through my eyes in the early stages of our relationship. It’s been some time since I’ve blogged, and I apologize for leaving you, my readers in the lurch. I do not mean to abandon the small community I’ve worked so hard to foster, but I’ve been struggling with the next chapter of the blog.

When I first told CK about the blog, he was very open to and even grew excited about the idea of my writing our relationship. Over time, as you could probably understand, his excitement waned, and we began to argue about the content of the blog.

I had to make a choice between the blog and my man. It’s quite obvious which I chose. As a result, I will no longer be blogging about the specifics of my relationship with CK. However, in lieu of continuing to finish our story in a daily dairy format, let me catch you up on what has happened since July. Here are some of the highlights…

mainbkg_zps523df0c0In July, CK joined my family for our annual beach vacation. While I went for the entire week, he only joined us for a few days. It was the first time we’d spent an extended period of time apart, and with my trust/cheating baggage, it was a true test of my sanity. I was thrilled and relieved when he finally arrived. It was also nice that he would finally get to spend some real-time getting to know my parents.

IMG_1993_zpsb2b4f3f0In early August, I traveled to Miami, CK’s birthplace to surprise his family with a visit to celebrate the birthdays of his two beautiful nephews (turning 1 and 2 only a week apart). I felt incredibly special taking this trip with CK. I was meeting his ENTIRE extended family. Before this point, I’d only met his mother. I was welcomed into the family with open arms and came to grow strong bonds with them over just a handful of days. This was unchartered territory for both of us, as I’d never been brought home to meet the family by anyone other than my high school girlfriend, and he’d never brought a man home to meet everyone before. It could not have worked out better!

232323232fp63599gtnu3276gt776gt25gtWSNRCG37lt862729432nu0mrj_zps06d269c3Around Labor Day, CK and I went on week-long vacation to the Hamptons with 15 of my friends and family. While there, our relationship grew very strained. I felt he was trying too hard to impress my friends. I wanted him to be himself so all of them would come to love the man I knew, not the man I felt he was trying to be for them. By the end of the week, I reached my breaking point. I was so stressed out from organizing the vacation and ensuring everyone was happy that I made myself miserable, and I took it out on the person closest to me. In the penultimate moment of the trip, one night we not only exchanged words but also fists and shoves, as my closest friends and sister witnessed the lowest moment of our relationship.

It took a lot of time for CK and I to figure things out. This wasn’t the first time our relationship reached physicality, but I hoped it was the last. It also took a long time for things to return to normal between CK, me and my circle of friends. My sister wasn’t speaking to me for over a month and my friends had semi-ostracized me from typical gatherings. I burned a lot of bridges on that trip, and I am still working to rebuild them today. You can expect to read about my experiences and feelings dealing with issues such as physical violence in a relationship as one of the topics I will cover in coming posts.

232323232fp54394gtnu3276gt776gt25gtWSNRCG38975388832nu0mrj_zpsb97c8db4In September, CK and I found an apartment in Hoboken to call our own. We moved in together in the midst of Hurricane Sandy’s wake on November 2. Although the experience of moving immediately following a hurricane is incredibly overwhelming, we are both stronger as a result of the experience. In my experience, moving in with a lover is unlike sharing a space with any other. You’ll certainly be reading about my experiences and the things I’ve learned from this experience as well.

After Sandy exhausted my last modicum of energy, I decided I was too tired to shave my upper lip. CK and I both decided to raise awareness and funds to fight prostate cancer by growing mustaches for Movember. I proudly raised over $500 for charity as a result of my stache, and I was thrilled when we both shaved them off — We both looked like pedophiles.

ThanksgivingFor the first time in my life, I had someone to take home to meet my family for Thanksgiving. Before venturing home, I sent my extended maternal family an email to get the awkwardness out of the way. You’ll be pleased to know my family welcomed him with open arms. I imagine coming out to extended family creates a lot of anxiety for man, as it did for me, so I hope sharing my experiences will encourage more to share the truth with the ones they love.

When I returned to Hoboken after Thanksgiving, preparations began immediately for what would have been my Sixth Annual Holiday Bash. This year, it became Our First Annual Holiday Bash. I finally had someone to share the hosting duties with, making it extra special.

232323232fp7347gtnu3276gt776gt25gtWSNRCG387588--3232nu0mrj_zps6a4623f6Although CK and I spent Christmas apart, after all the festivities with my family, I hopped on a flight down to Miami to spend the rest of the holiday season and New Years Eve with my man and his family. CK’s sister and brother-in-law planned a trip with their two boys to Disney World for two days. After a little persuading, I convinced CK we should join them. I preferred Disney to a raucous gay party any day, and it was truly magical to see Disney World through the eyes of a two-year-old.

In February, CK and I took a romantic trip to Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. Although it seems we can’t go anywhere without having some kind of quarrel like an old married couple, the trip was amazing and couldn’t have come at a better time. We went ice skating, snow shoeing, swimming, hiking, and much more. It was a perfect escape for both of us to get out of the city and away from the bustle of it all after the holidays.

In between, there have been countless brunches, parties, trips, nights out, Broadway shows, fights… Oh yea, and plenty of sex — Can’t forget the sex! Overall, things have been going well for us. You have good days and bad days, but you have to realize the bad days are just there so you appreciate the good ones all the more. I am thrilled to announce, this past Saturday, CK and I celebrated our one-year anniversary at the restaurant we went to on our first date, Frankies Spuntino 570. Although we waited nearly an hour, the evening was perfect, and I look forward to many more years together.

 

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Although I won’t be detailing the specifics of my relationship going forward, I hope to share with you what I have learned along the way. It’s not easy being in a relationship, but then again, the things that are worth it never really are.

To my most dedicated readers who haven’t let me lack of posting stop them from commenting words of support on my blog, thank you. You are what has motivated me to get back into this once again. I feel like many of you have integrated my writing into your daily routines, and I have left you with your morning coffee in hand and no reading material. You will not see the frequency of posts you may have grown accustomed in the past, but I still hope you find time in your lives for One Gay At A Time.

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Nearing the End of My Rope

Tensions were high between CK and I. Nearly every night, we’d find something to argue about. Although it didn’t always result in an explosive fight, there always seemed to be some kind of noise in the background. The honeymoon was officially over.

FightWhen we woke in the morning, CK apologized for the night before, as did I. As we got ready for work, we both agreed underwear was not something we should be fighting about. After making us breakfast, we ate, showered together, got dressed and made our way to the PATH.

A day prior, CK got tickets to see Hot Chip in Brooklyn from a coworker . He asked if I was interested in going. We had already planned to head to Brooklyn to visit Hip since he was recovering from his second hip replacement surgery, so I said, “Sure. Why not?”

StarbucksCaramelWhile we were at work, we nailed down plans via text and phone. Since I finished much earlier than he did, I hopped on the subway and made my way to his office. He wasn’t quite ready yet, so I asked for his coffee order and hit up Starbucks. I didn’t sleep very well the night before, so I needed something to keep me up and give me the energy to be a fun date.

While riding the subway out to Brooklyn, I asked CK if he requested the time off to join my family on vacation. He reacted to the question as if this was some big surprise. I’d only been asking him about it for a solid month. When he asked me to take time off and book a flight to Miami for his nephews birthdays, I did it without question. Now that I was asking him to take time off to be with me and my family, he didn’t think he could get the time off. I was p*ssed! I found it quite selfish. If he’d requested the time when I originally asked, we wouldn’t have gotten into the argument that ensued. As I said, we seemed to be fighting about everything.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe rest of the ride wasn’t pleasant. It grew to far higher proportions when we got off the subway. I wanted nothing more than to get right back on the subway and make my way home. I no longer had any interest in going to the concert, and I told him that. It takes two to fight, so I take half the responsibility, but he was being rude and treating me in a way I wasn’t willing to subject myself to. As a result, I skulked behind him as we walked through Prospect Park. As he yelled at me for not helping him navigate our way to the concert, I shouted back, “Fine. Just go without me! I don’t want to go anymore. I’m not going to have any fun.” I wanted nothing to do with him or Hot Chip.

I think he understood I was serious and responded by apologizing. “Can we just get past this tonight?” he asked. “Do we have to sacrifice our entire night over this fight?” I didn’t want to just put on a happy face and grin through it. I was angry, and to be honest, I wanted to go home out of spite. The concert was something he wanted to go to, and just as he didn’t put in the effort to come with me on vacation, I wasn’t going to come to the concert. I realized how unproductive this would be, so I agreed to go (not before numerous attempts to make my way back to Hoboken).

ConcertWhen we finally made it in to the concert, CK bought me a few beers, and we cut through the crowd to watch the concert already in progress. Surprisingly, I started to have a better time. Admittedly, I’d never heard of the band before we arrived, and I didn’t recognize any of their music. The fighting ended, and CK was being affectionate. We even made a few friends while moving from place to place among the crowd and managed to bum a smoke off some nice guys.

When the concert was over, it was far too late to visit Hip. I felt really bad considering he was the original plan and reason for the trip to Brooklyn. I wasn’t thrilled we sacrificed his visit for a concert, but in the end, it was CK’s decision.

On the walk to the subway, we found ourselves in a situation once again that birthed yet another argument. When we were a safe distance away from the situation, I began to calmly explain how p*ssed I was at him. Once again, he didn’t think it was a big deal and almost brushed it off as if I was overreacting. I didn’t care. To me, it was so much more. I told him explicitly how much I didn’t like these types of situations, and he completely disregarded those feelings. I don’t think he consciously acted in spite of my request — Quite the opposite. I don’t think he was thinking at all.

After arguing about the matter the rest of the way to the subway, I decided I wasn’t going to engage him in conversation any longer. Clearly I wasn’t getting through to him. We rode the subway with a large group CK decided to befriend. I wanted nothing to do with them. When he asked me questions or tried to introduce me, I simply ignored him. If he wasn’t going to take my feelings into consideration any longer, I wasn’t going to regard his either. I began to wonder if this was something we’d ever get passed. Maybe we were just inherently different. Maybe he would never be able to see things through my eyes. I began to think about what it would mean to end things. Obviously that would be my last resort, but I began to prepare myself for that possibility.

FriendsArgueI was also in a tough spot because I was spending the night at his place. By the time we resurfaced in midtown, CK finally realized I was ignoring him. He started to get irritated by this, and yet another fight broke out between us. This time, I didn’t care. I went nuts. I didn’t care who saw us fighting or what they heard as I laid into him. We argued back and forth about the severity of the incident at hand for some time. He didn’t realize it, but as each of these incidents came up, my tolerance for them dwindled more and more. Toward the end of the argument, I think CK finally got a clear idea of the zero tolerance I had left. I’m not the most bending person (and that’s an understatement), but this was one sticking point I wasn’t going to bend on. I didn’t care how small the infraction. He had a choice, and he needed to pick me.

He finally understood my stance and apologized for everything. He didn’t think this fell under my umbrella of discomfort. He finally understood that nothing in this realm would be acceptable to me. We were able to civilly walk the rest of the way back to his place, but the conversation was certainly nonexistent.

When we got back to his bedroom, I brushed my teeth, stripped down to my boxer briefs and climbed right into bed. CK finished what he needed to do before bed and climbed into the opposite side of the bed. That night, we didn’t go to bed fighting, but there wasn’t a lot of love in the bed either.

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Thanksgiving

Today I am thankful for many things.

I am thankful I am a gay man who is comfortable in his own skin.

I am thankful to have a man in my life – The love of my life, even if it isn’t always smooth sailing.

I am thankful for all my readers, especially the dedicated ones who offer support and comments.
I truly love these! Keep em’ comin’!

I am thankful for all my friends and family and the support they give me on a daily basis.
I’d be nowhere without them.

I am thankful to be alive. Thankful every day when my eyes open and breath life in for one more day.

And lastly, I am thankful for Thanksgiving cards like these!!

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Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself

It had arrived. Although this would be my third year “participating,” I was legitimately scared. I wasn’t sure why it was so scary, but honestly, I was petrified for so many reasons.

My first interaction with Pride Weekend was a mistake. I was making my way to Governor’s Island for a polo match with my family when we found ourselves “stuck” in the parade route. The following year was the first year I was out when the weekend came around. It wasn’t pleasant as I witnessed my relationship crumble before my eyes like an out-of-body experience. I missed the parade that year, but I got a sampling of the other aspects of the festivities.

My fear was grounded mainly in the unknown. While I am a gay man, I do not participate in the typical gay culture. I’ve never been a big fan of gay clubs and what goes on there. I come from a background of a traditional relationship. In the gay world, that is like finding a diamond in the rough. The clubs seem to be the antithesis of this. They are a hot-bed of drugs, promiscuity and raunchy behavior. I know all gay men who go to bars don’t fit into this stereotype, but this stereotype is founded in truth. While I’ve been to a handful of gay clubs, and my comfort level was rising, I still had no idea what to expect. Never before had I been to a circuit party. I was venturing into the abyss, and this caused me incredible anxiety.

While I have learned to let go of the men in my past, I still carry the scars of my relationship with them. They’ve all hurt or used me in some way, shape or form. My biggest fear in life is being alone, and this fear is fed by thoughts of cheating, which is birthed from my baggage. The idea of CK with another man broke my heart. I had clear definitions of cheating, but there were worse things floating through my imagination — Like cheating in a form I feel is unfaithful, but the offender does not.

My relationship with CK was building a great foundation, however, the cement was still wet. We were only dating two months and ten days — Very young for any relationship. In the first month, I had strong suspicions I wasn’t the only man entering his bed. Things didn’t always line up and some of the clear indications were there, however, our relationship was still just forming. I knew there would be a transition period. While he told me he was only interested in me, and I was the only man entering his bed, I was aware how we met. I was also aware of his intentions before we even met through his first major slip-up on Grindr. I couldn’t expect monogamy from the first night — That wasn’t realistic.

While I was fairly understanding and looked the other way early on, I was not going to tolerate infidelity as our relationship progressed and strengthened. For starters, my heart wouldn’t be able to handle the pain, and lastly, it wasn’t safe for my health. I needed to trust him to be faithful. Outside the heartbreak, frankly, we were having unprotected sex. We’d been tested, but there are no guarantees. I trusted him with my life, literally, and if he was sleeping with other men, he was treating my life carelessly.

I sincerely had a feeling his intentions had evolved, but I couldn’t be sure how he would react when faced with temptation. I hoped I was the only man for him. As a result, I was petrified for the life of our relationship. I’d watched my relationship with N publicly combust the previous year, and I didn’t want a repeat.

I’m sure many of you reading think I am overreacting. It’s just a party… It’s just a parade… It’s just a weekend… Well, not to me. To me, it was a litmus test for the strength of my love for CK. I didn’t want that love to be tested, and I didn’t want to have to make a decision that could end my relationship with CK. He was my Superman. He was my world. If I lost him, my world would come crumbling down.

We had plans to go to a huge party at XL Friday night, Matinée circuit party Saturday, and the parade Sunday afternoon. I was venturing into this unknown abyss with faith and hope I could persevere. The thought of CK dropping X and losing control of his inhibitions with some other guy caused me great pain and panic attacks. The idea of another man’s hand groping his package caused me panic attacks. Picturing him dancing shirtless against another shirtless man caused me panic attacks. Every time these scenarios and many others entered my brain, my heart rate would increase drastically, I would start to sweat, and I would get light-headed.

All this added up to me being petrified and frustrated. When I asked CK what clothes I should pack to bring to his apartment for the weekend, and I didn’t get any cooperation or help. It all became overwhelming. To begin with, this wasn’t something I was looking forward to, and his lack of cooperation made me lose my sh*t. “Okay Babe. I’ll talk to you in the morning. Have fun tonight!” I said on the verge of tears as I hung up the phone on him.

I think that was the wake-up call CK needed. I don’t think he fully understood how much anxiety this all created for me. I voiced my frustrations for weeks leading up to Pride Weekend. I told him I was going out of my comfort zone, but I was willing to do it as long as I got some hand-holding. I needed help to get over this. It was just another fun weekend for him, but it was a big deal to me.

After a few minutes, he called me back. We discussed things a little more rationally, and CK’s tone changed. He finally realized I was struggling and tossed out the life-preserver. Now that I knew I had him in my corner, I was a little more relaxed, however, I still wasn’t completely comfortable. It was going to be a long, stressful and exhausting weekend both physically and emotionally. I bit down then and there, and braced for impact as I packed my bag and walked out the door.

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Deep Passionate Love

It had been some time since I got to spend some alone time with Clark Kent. I didn’t see him Monday, but the following day at work, we texted each other constantly counting down the minutes until we’d be together again. I was going to his place after work. I knew he was horny, but I had a long day at work. I was a bit tired and waited to relax and lay around together. That wasn’t the case.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. We fooled around in bed for some time before he asked if he could f#ck me. I got into position, and we went at it. Something was different this time. He was going much deeper than usual. This didn’t hurt or provide discomfort. It actually felt good. When we were finished, we hopped in the shower to clean up.

Afterwards, we returned to the bed, and this time, it was my turn. He laid on his stomach with his back arched waiting for me to mount him. It was incredibly hot. The sex this time was a bit different as well. I was going deeper inside him. He expressed his pleasure derived from this and commented on how hard I was the whole time. The sex that night was purely amazing. We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and each other. Our chemistry was right on that night.

The plan was to spend the night in Hoboken. I had a Groupon to use up for a restaurant on the waterfront, Trinity, so we stopped there on the way back to my apartment. The conversation over dinner was great. We were both feeling very casual and catching up on everything we missed being separated over the weekend.

In the middle of one of our conversation I accidentally slipped the phrase “my kid.” I was hoping to gloss over it, and he wouldn’t notice. When I finished my sentence, he inquired, “You want a kid?” I explained that I did, but the timing was still to be determined. I turned the question on him, and he expressed the desire to have a kid. That’s when I told him my plan that would work should we decide to raise a child together. We both had sisters. I proposed that if his sister donated an egg, and my sperm fertilized it, it would be of the blood of both our families. That way, neither would be detached from that child. It would be a part of both of us. The same would work with his sperm and my sister’s egg. It does create the Aunt Mommy problem, but I still think it’s a great idea.

Everything just felt right. This guy was great. My mention of having kids one day didn’t even scare him off. If anything, he said it turned him on. Where did he come from? What did I do to deserve him? He was purely amazing.

When we finished, we walked home to my apartment. We talked about the sex we had earlier that evening. We discussed the deep penetration and how much pleasure we both got out of it. I loved our frank conversations. We could talk about anything.

When we got home, he passed out immediately. I stripped him of his clothes and got him ready for bed. I wasn’t quite ready yet. I had something to say first:

I said, “I have a word that is on the tip of my tongue. I find myself wanting to say it on numerous occasions, but I’m just not sure if I’m ready for it yet. We only know each other for a month, and I’m not trying to rush things, but I just wanted you to know where my head was at. I’m exceptionally fond of you. I love spending time with you. I love being with you. I love getting to know you…”

In a few moments, after dozing off, he woke again. He turned to me and had something to say. He stopped himself short. He wasn’t sure if I’d said something to him or if he dreamed it. He didn’t want to say it aloud in case he did dream it, but I insisted he tell me. I know he was analyzing what I’d said earlier, and I wanted to be sure he heard me.

Sure enough, it was what I’d said before. He asked me if it was real or not real, a line from The Hunger Games. I assured him it was very real. With that, we exchanged a passionate kiss, turned out the light and went to bed.

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Another Boring Date

Tuesday night, I was happy to be home. My date with S.D. wasn’t bad, but it helped me realize he wasn’t the guy for me. We had too many differences of opinion.

I noticed on my calendar Broadway‘s birthday had arrived. I made sure to call him to wish him a happy birthday, but he didn’t answer. If I recalled correctly, he was in California for a vacation. I left him a message and told him to call me when he had a free second. I didn’t hear back from him for over a week. I was a little disappointed, however, we still maintain a friendship. His friendship is important to me.

On my walk to work Wednesday morning, I checked my Grindr messages. I began to chat with one guy, but that’s another story for another day…

I had a date planned that Wednesday with a guy I chatted with on OKCupid, but he ended up bailing on me at the last-minute. This time, I had no one waiting in the wings. I debated just lying low and going home after work, but another part of me didn’t want to waste a free night. I thought I’d reach out to my current roster to see if any of the guys were free to meet. I figured I might as well get a first date out of the way while I had the time. I was really looking at dating like a job. This was bad policy, but with someone like me who has a busy schedule, you gotta do what you gotta do. I sent out feelers to the guys to see who was available to grab a drink after work.

Ironically, two of the guys responded. One was in Hell’s Kitchen and the other lived in Jersey City. I wondered if I could schedule them both in the same night. Hell’s Kitchen would work out because I could just take the bus home, and Jersey City could work if he came to Hoboken to grab a coffee or a drink when I got home later. I wasn’t all that psyched about the guy from Hell’s Kitchen, so I assumed it would be a short date and work out.

The first guy picked a nice restaurant, Pier 9, at the north end of Hell’s Kitchen to grab a drink and maybe an appetizer. It just so happened to be right across the street from his apartment. We met just inside the restaurant. I wasn’t excited by what I saw. He wasn’t unattractive, but he wasn’t attractive either. That being said, I wasn’t writing him off based on looks.

He was a regular here. He knew a lot of the wait staff, and they took good care of him. We grabbed a seat and began to chat.

The conversation was pretty relaxed. We both decided to order wine, and since it was happy hour, we split a bottle at half price. We also noticed a great edamame appetizer on the table next to us and ordered that to split while we got to know each other. It was a very nice place, and the wait staff was super sweet to us. They could tell we were on a date and treated us as such.

We talked about our jobs, our families, life in the city, etc. It was nice conversation. Nothing was forced or awkward, but there was no spark either. He seemed like a really nice guy, and we agreed on a lot of things. I could see us getting along really well, but more in a friendship capacity than a dating one. I could see him being a good date for Sunday morning brunch to talk about the weekend and talk about guys.

We were there for a decent chunk of time. The date lasted about an hour all said and done. We finished the bottle and the appetizer and decided it was time to head out. I could tell he didn’t find a strong connection there either. I had to initiate the goodbye hug, and there certainly was no feeling behind it. This would make things easier. We left with the same expectations of not hearing from the other much after we parted ways.

As I walked to the bus, I started texting the guy from Jersey City. We’d talked more than a few times before. We’d become Facebook friends, and I was supposed to see him on Hoboken St. Patty’s when he was attending the gay party across the street from my apartment, but he never made it. I asked him to an unconventional date. I lined it up for him to come to my place and just relax with a glass of wine. He agreed that sounded like a great idea, so he came over shortly after I came home. We were finally making time to meet up in person…

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Is This Really Working?

Since my last date with Southern Drawl, he had been bothering me for another date. I was trying to take things slow with him. I wasn’t gaga for him by any means. He was growing on me a little, but he still left a lot to be desired.

We made plans to make plans after work Tuesday evening. I left work when he was about finished after trying to bang out a blog entry and made my way downtown to his office. I waited for him on the street corner to finish work for about ten minutes when it began to drizzle. I had not expected rain at all and had no umbrella. I was growing impatient. I called him, but he didn’t answer. Finally, I noticed him walking up to me at a very slow pace with his headphones attached to his phone.

Normally, I would greet someone I’d gone on this many dates with a kiss, but not him. He was too self-conscious. He was not out and was not comfortable with public displays of affection. This bothered me. I needed someone who could love himself enough to not care about everyone else.

We decided to walk downtown on the High Line. I climbed the stairs, and he walked behind me. We took a nice stroll south to find a place to grab dinner. We didn’t have a place in mind, but we had a neighborhood — the West Village. We talked about our days while we walked. Once again, he made a crack, and I didn’t respond well. It was always hard to gauge his sense of humor. We never seemed to be on the same page. If I joked back, he would tell me I was getting defensive and loud. It was insulting. He obviously didn’t get my sarcastic sense of humor.

When we reached the end of the High Line, we descended the stairwell and walked to find food. We passed more than a few places that looked good, but they didn’t have any available tables. They were either too crowded or they appeared non-desirable. We finally came to Frankies 570. I had been there, and the food is amazing. I hesitated going there for a solid second because I already had memories with Smiles there. We shared a really nice meal there one night after work. Then I thought about it, and it made more sense for me to expunge those memories. I could overwrite them with new ones. I didn’t exactly have positive associations with him. I felt used by him as a meal companion.

I suggested it to S.D., and we perused menu before going in. He agreed on the spot and was seated by the front widow at a nice table for two. We ordered drinks and chatted casually. It was nice to sit and relax and just talk about things and my day. We discussed his coming trip home. He was very excited. This would be the last time I saw him before he left. He told me he’d be sending me a lot of pictures from home and would call periodically.

Throughout dinner, he was much more demur than usual. There were no overtly sexual comments and no innuendoes. It was kinda nice. He asked a lot of questions as well. Usually, he was just talking away. It was nice to talk about our upbringings and his home, however, his sense of entitlement was still shining through. He spoke about politics and slavery. He told me stories of his family and how they basically still had slaves. He certainly wasn’t winning me over. I was never all that thrilled with the South’s way of doing things, and he was certainly perpetuating the stereotype in my mind. I also learned how important money is to him, and it was a real turnoff.

Slowly but surely, I was realizing this guy really wasn’t right for me. We had so little in common. I was simply enamored by someone paying attention to me and being interested in me. We were in a downward spiral.

On the positive side, my meal was spectacular. I ordered the rabbit ragu and enjoyed every bite. My drinks was pretty amazing as well.

When we finished eating, we sat there talking a bit more before heading out. When we finished our drinks, he accidentally spilled his water all over me. It was a bit humorous because we were just joking about it, and it embarrassed him immensely. The table next to us took notice of the large commotion this caused, as did the wait staff. We paid our tab and made our way out into the street.

He walked me to the corner to say goodbye. I could tell he was very uncomfortable. I was a block from the PATH and ready to head home. I was not going to a second location, and I was not going home with him. I think he was itching to hang out more, but I wasn’t interested. Just as I was about to go in for a kiss, he turned his head. I was partially p*ssed and partially happy. This was creating an out for me. I scoffed at him and began to walk across the street to go home. He chased me and stopped me on the other side of the street. I told him what he did was not cool at all. As he went in for a kiss, I played along, and at the last second, I too turned my head. Just then, a man was crossing the street and witnessed this. He began to chuckle to himself, and I pointed this out to S.D. He was embarrassed. It served him right. If he thought he had a chance with me, he’d have to sack up. I wasn’t about to date a closet case. I’d moved past that.

We said our goodbyes, and we finally did share a kiss. There was nothing magical. He was still self-conscious. He may have made a good friend, but I couldn’t see myself with him in a relationship. I finally came to see the light. I said goodnight and hailed him a cab. I put him in the cab and said goodbye. I wouldn’t see him for over a week. This would give time for things to settle and fizzle out. I wasn’t going to end things over the phone across state lines, but I wasn’t going to make myself available while he was gone.

After all, I was back out there searching for a real prospect. I needed a real man who could make me happy. I didn’t need to settle on a guy like this. I live in NYC. I fired up Grindr to check my messages on my walk home. There are great gay men everywhere. Now, they just needed to find me…

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No Day at the Beach

For one, I was really enjoying the company of my new friend, The Navigator. Secondly, the weather was amazing. I couldn’t have been happier to be away from the cold weather on the East Coast.

Contrary to my plan, the weather wasn’t fully cooperative. The closer we got to the coast, the cloudier and colder it got. I didn’t care how cold it was, I was not putting the top on the convertible back up. I did, however, turn the heat up. That kept us cozy while we acclimated to the new weather pattern.

We drove around for a little before finally finding a parking spot. We walked to the beach, and we spread out the blanket I asked him to bring. He sat down, and he started pulling out the other provisions he brought — A bottle of Sprite, a bottle of Absolut, and some snacks and granola bars. I think I was falling in love. He was spontaneous and courteous. I added the provisions I grabbed at the gas station to the pool.

We sat next to each other commenting on how much the weather deteriorated and chatting about some of the surfers. We were among sparse company. The only other people brave enough to hit the sand that day were the surfers we both scoped out.

We relaxed and the conversation from the car continued. He talked about his family and his background. I learned he was a Jehovah’s Witness. He wasn’t very passive in his faith either. He had the prestigious honor to attend a bible college in Brooklyn. While there, through a slip up, it was discovered he is gay. He was excommunicated from the religion and has very limited contact with his family.

My heart was breaking to hear this sad story. He was an incredible man for surviving all that, and even more impressive for his comfort telling this to virtually a complete stranger. I told him about my religion, and my new outlook on it. I told him about my conversation with my mother on Christmas Eve, even though it was nothing compared to what he went through.

As if his story couldn’t be more complicated, I learned his brother is also gay and struggling with his religion. He was actually finding men online and hooking up with them at rest stops until he was nearly caught by police. His brother chose to take a different route in dealing with this. The Navigator tried to suppress his homosexuality with the aid of his religious elders, but came to accept who he is. His brother was not as fortunate to have the mental confidence to know himself. He was going through conversion classes to help him become heterosexual. They were trying to brainwash him. My skin was crawling at the sound of this.

After leaving his religion, he moved around a lot. One move was for a man, but obviously that didn’t work out. He’d been in LA for roughly a year and was still settling in.

I was really enjoying his company. We took turns making trips to the restroom, and when he stood to walk away, I took the opportunity to check him out. In the back of my head, a voice was screaming, “Be careful! You’re on vacation. You can’t fall for another West Coaster!” My heart was not going to be so easily convinced. I was cautiously proceeding. I really liked this guy. If he lived in New York, we’d definitely be dating. He was just what I was looking for. A masculine man who had his life together and knew what he wanted in life.

When we sufficiently froze our a$ses off, we hopped back in the car and made our way back inland. While we drove back to Glendale, I realized I’d already used up all my condoms and almost all the lube. I would need to stop for provisions along the way, but it wasn’t going to be easy with The Navigator with me. I decided to stop at a CVS. While he looked for the bathroom, I looked for the condoms and lube. I told him I needed to buy sunscreen, which I did, but that was very low on the priority list.

When I finally found what I needed, I realized they were under lock and key. I had to push a button that made the announcement, “Assistance needed in the family planning department.” Family planning couldn’t be further from what I was looking for. The irony was killing me. As Broadway always joked, “Butt babies don’t live.” I wondered what I’d done recently to deserve this karma. It was going to be nearly impossible to pull this off without him seeing what I was purchasing.

Someone came to unlock the case, and he turned his head in an attempt to give me my privacy. That was long gone. I grabbed what I needed and quickly walked to the checkout counter. Of course, when I arrived, there was a long line. I took my place in line behind an old man and hoped The Navigator was still looking for the restrooms.

I was next in line. Maybe I was going to get away with this after all. It wasn’t in the cards for me. The old man in front of me was taking FOREVER! Every second that passed was nerve-wracking. I didn’t want him to see what I was purchasing because it may have been perceived presumptuous.

Just then, he walked up behind me. My cover was blown. I tried to hide the products in the crooks of my crossed arms, but there’s a really good chance he saw what I had. Of course, this was also the moment the next register opened up. I walked up and purchased my items. I paid, and we walked back to the car without mentioning what I bought at all.

We talked the whole ride back to his apartment. When I turned onto his street, he turned to me and said, “Sooo, do you want to hang out some more?” Without hesitation, I shouted, “Yes!” He asked if I want to go back to my hotel room and hang out, and I agreed that was a great idea!

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Connecticut Cutie

Since I’ve been slacking, I’m going to make it up to you this week. Hope you don’t have a busy week, because you’ve got a lot of content coming your way!

For as long as I can remember, I was trying to nail down a date with a specific guy I met on adam4adam.com. He had the cutest smile that could light up a room (in case you haven’t noticed — and I’m just coming to this realization — I’m a sucker for smiles). He messaged a few times on a4a, but nothing ever materialized.

Months passed, but I could never seem to get him to meet me. He’d show a lot of interest, and then he’d disappear for a bit. Like the ocean, it was a constant ebb and flow with him. Finally, I just flat out gave up on him, and I didn’t hear from him again. When I broke up with Smiles, I went back through my saved messages and decided to hit him up and see if this time would be different.

Ironically enough, I learned he moved out of the city. He was originally from Connecticut, and he moved back home with his parents to save a little money. It seemed now he was interested in finally meeting me, just when it would be most difficult. We discussed many evenings as possibilities to grab a drink before we finally found a good day to grab lunch. Even then, we were playing things by ear.

Of course, this didn’t happen. He had to cancel on me. However, he proposed raincheck options. He agreed to meet me for a drink one night after work on his way to Grand Central to hop on Metro North to CT. I did some research to find a bar that would be convenient for both of us. We set a time, and I told him to meet me at Annie Moran’s by Grand Central Station.

I was already having reservations about this guy. Was this how it was going to be all the time. Quick rendezvous before he went home? I finished work before him, so I decided to walk there instead of taking a subway or cab. It was raining lightly, so I broke out my umbrella, however I wasn’t walking alone. I had Grindr to keep me company while I walked. I’m such a whore. I was already looking for the next date before this one even got off the ground. But, it’s what you gotta do if you have an aversion to gay clubs. I stood outside the bar paging through profiles while I waited for him to arrive. He too was walking from work, and he worked about fifteen blocks away.

Just before he walked up, he gave me a call. I told him where I was, and when he saw me he hung up. As he walked towards me, he wasn’t quite what I was expecting. It wasn’t a bad thing; he was just smaller than I originally thought. We greeted each other with a handshake, and with that made our way into the bar. He offered to buy me a drink since I’d been waiting for him. I was in charge of watching our bags and trying to find a piece of real estate to stand/sit and chat.

He came back with the beers, and we dove into conversation. It was slow going at first, going through the standard order of questions. As he talked about his job in fashion, I noticed a bit of flamboyance coming through. I wasn’t thrilled, but it was far from a deal breaker. He was certainly cute (although he looked much cuter in his pictures before he cut his hair shorter).

We talked about family, work, his moving back home, where I live and grew up, commuting nightmares, etc. It was nice. I couldn’t quite tell if he was all that into me. I was starting to think he thought I was too “straight” for him. But, as the conversation progressed, his body language began to change. I realized he may have just been nervous. Once he relaxed, I could tell, he was flirting a little heavier. After the first beer, he asked if I wanted another. I gladly accepted. I figured he was going to dictate the end of the date since he was the one who had to catch a train. He told me all about his curfew and how he’d have to take a taxi if it got past a certain hour; his parents would no longer pick him up.

We talked about watching sports on TV and participating in them. Somehow skiing came up, and I told him my story about the first time I skied and how well I did. When the group next to us lef their table I snatched it, while he got us a third round of drinks. The date was going well, or at least I thought so.

While we sat, he took the opportunity to touch my leg periodically. I love that. It’s a surefire sign of interest. I returned the favor as well. I could tell there was a lot of sexual energy between us as well. We were both feeling it. We talked more about what we do for fun when we’er not working. He told me about his old apartment and how he still comes back into the city to do rotating dinner with friends at their respectful apartments. There were slight awkward pauses, but that can be warranted on a first date.

When he finished his third beer, he told me he had to be running for his train. I thanked him for picking up the tab, and I told him I would pay next time. “If there can be a next time,” I added. I walked him to the doors of Grand Central and said goodbye. He was lingering, and I could tell he wanted a kiss. I wasn’t sure his position on PDA, but I decided to go for it. I wanted a kiss, so I was going to get one. I leaned in with my arm behind his back and gave him a nice quick kiss goodbye. We agreed to find time to see each other again soon as we parted ways.

On my ride home, I took the opportunity to text him and let him know I thought he was cute. He told he had a great time, but also told me how he’d locked himself in the bathroom on the train. It was a really funny story, and I was happy to hear he had such a great sense of humor and easy-going personality. He told me he wanted to grab lunch later in the week, and I agreed. We would figure out a time that worked for us both. I was already looking forward to it…

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Finally, Someone Who Knows What They’re Doing!

So far my trip was turning out to be a flop. I had on traumatic experience and an ex who tried convince me to have sex. I needed my luck to turn around.

Last time I came to San Francisco, tried to meet up with a friend of mine I met a very long time ago on manroulette.com. I’d known him for almost as long as I’d known about the site — roughly two years. We exchanged Skype names and kept in touch. I can remember having conversations with him long ago. He was a great guy who had been through a lot. My heart always went out to him when he told me his story. On top of this, he was incredibly sexy. We’d fooled around on Skype numerous times, and every time I yearned for it to be the real thing with him.

I was hoping I would finally get to live out my fantasy. I made plans with him to grab a drink Thursday night after work. He asked if I’d like to meet in The Castro, but I asked if he wouldn’t mind coming to my neighborhood in the Wharf since I trekked up there the previous night. He agreed, and I asked the concierge for a good spot to grab a drink and chat with someone. He gave me a great spot to check out two blocks away — Parlor. It was perfect. We could easily head back to my hotel room after a few drinks.

While I waited for him to get ready, I excited myself with some porn. I wanted my libido revved when I met him because I wanted to live out my fantasy completely.

When he was nearby, I made my way to the bar. There weren’t many people there. It was perfect. Good music, but quiet enough for us to chat.

When he arrived, he came up to join me at the bar, and we exchanged hugs. I was very happy to see him, and I think he was equally happy to see me.

We sat and talked for hours. He’d been seeing a therapist over the past few months, and he’d really been having some breakthroughs. He has a tough time with his family as they’re not accepting of his lifestyle “choices.” I told him my coming out story, and he was very happy I for me that I had such a supporting family.

Three beers later for each of us, and the conversation was going strong. Our conversation hit the pause button when we both heard someone at the other end of the bar making a gay comment, not in reference to us in the slightest. Our ears perked up ready to be on the offensive but there was no need. When we finished our fourth round, I asked him if he would like to come back to my hotel room. He accepted my invitation, but said he couldn’t stay too long since he had to work early the next day.

He proposed we stop for wine along the way, and I agree. He paid for the wine — He was such a Texas gentleman, even if he hadn’t lived there for years. When we got back to the room, we each finish a large glass of wine before I pounced on him. We made out for a solid fifteen minutes. I was really enjoying him. He had a great body, amazing lips, and he was a spectacular kisser. One of the best I’d ever experienced. My fantasy was on its way to reality.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. One by one I peeled off his clothes until he was naked. I took it all in with a big grin on my face. From the first time I laid eyes on his “big swinging d*ck” as I called it, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It was beautiful, and I sure as hell had some fun with it.

He immediately went for mine and started orally pleasing me, front and backside. He was very good, but also very loud, moaning as his head bobbed up and down. This wasn’t something I was used to. I wanted to finish for him. I wanted to show him the fireworks I could set off, but I just couldn’t concentrate. After some time passed, I went to return the favor, but he stopped me. He told me he had to go because he had to be at work early the next morning.

I was so disappointed. He was really good in bed, and I needed that. I also had been looking forward to that for years now. But, I completely understood. Around midnight, he got dressed to head home. As he was leaving, he told me how great I tasted and how he wasn’t going to wash his hands or face for days. This was very dirty and very sexy. I’d never had anyone respond to my body that way before. He kept coming back for more as he made his way to the door. I could tell he didn’t want to leave, which made me happy. I was also purposely teasing him with my body, as I lay naked on the bed. I didn’t want him to go, but I still had one more night in San Francisco, which means I had one more chance to take him to bed…

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