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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It’d been a few days since CK and I got tested for STDs at the clinic. We had to wait for our results to come in. I am from the school of thought that believes there’s no use worrying. Worrying won’t change the results. So, from the moment I walked out the door of the clinic, I stopped thinking about it. I’d set a reminder in my phone to call when my results would be ready.
I had a busy day at work, so I had to put off calling until my workday calmed down. I found a private place to make the call and waited for the results with bated breath. I wasn’t particularly worried. Perhaps I should have been more worried. When we left the office, we both put reminders in our phones to call. Why hadn’t I heard from CK? Did he forget to call? Did he call and was afraid to share the news with me? The receptionist picked up the phone asking, “Please hold?” Apparently, we were going to drag this out as long as possible. When she finally came back to the phone, she asked for my name and what insurance provider I use. After giving her the information, I was put on hold once again. They really know how to up the drama — They should work for TNT.
Finally, she gave me my results. I was clean on all counts except one. I came back positive for Herpes Simplex Type I, aka cold sores. I’d had this since a child and “inherited” it like many Americans from my mother. This was not news to me. I was quite happy. I came back negative on all the heavy hitters — Chlamydia, Syphilis, Herpes Simplex Type II, Gonorrhea, HIV. Since CK and I had unprotected sex (yes I know how stupid we are), I assumed he would have good news to share as well. I texted him to ask him if he called yet.
I wasn’t expecting his response. He informed me that he did indeed call and received his results, but he wanted to talk in person. What could he need to talk to me in person about?! If I came back negative for all but cold sores, what could he need to discuss with me? Now, I was scared.
After work, we had plans to stay in the city. I left my office and walked to his apartment when he finished work. When he answered the door, he was in his underwear. He was about to hop in the shower just as I arrived. I gave him a big kiss and made myself comfortable while he freshened up. When he came out of the shower, we laid in bed together for a while – He in his towel and me fully dressed from work. I brought up the testing results, but he asked if we could talk about it later. I complied. After laying with each other, we got ready to go to dinner. It was getting to be about that time. We settled on a Greek place, Ethos, not far from his apartment we’d been to before. The food was good, so I wanted to go back.
We held hands while we walked there noticing dogs along the way. CK was still going on about how he wanted me to get a dog. I explained once again how I couldn’t handle one, nor did my lease allow for one. I told him, “When we live together, I will get a dog.” His eyes lit up as a smile spread across his face.
We shared a lovely and romantic dinner for two before heading back to his apartment for the night. I was impressed with myself for not bringing up the testing results sooner, but at this point, I had to ask. He was obviously holding something back. As we walked he told me a story about how he contracted oral herpes. In the middle of the story, I cut him off. I told him I was already positive for simplex I, and he had nothing to worry about. He was very confused. He didn’t understand how I was making light of this. He was actually quite miffed I wasn’t forthcoming with that portion of my results.
The way I saw it, I would bring it up when I had an outbreak. If he’d never been exposed to the virus or oral cold sores, we would prevent him from coming in contact with me, i.e. we would stop kissing until it went away. I really didn’t see it as a big deal. Lots of people get cold sores. In fact, 80% of adult Americans are infected with the virus. I’ve been fortunate not to have experienced them very often, but they do happen when I get too much sun or when my lips split in the winter. I could see the relief on his face and in his posture. For the first time all night, he relaxed.
It was at that moment we both celebrated our results. We stopped in the middle of the street to hug and exchange a giant kiss. At this point, he couldn’t wait to go home and have sex.
Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. That night, we had the best sex we’d had to date. It was incredibly passionate and incredibly raw. We had no worries and no cares. In the end, I finished inside him, and he finished inside me. It felt amazing. I’d never felt that before. I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about it at first. I’d only ever finished inside one other guy before without a condom. I’d never allowed anyone to ejaculate inside me.
It didn’t feel like I thought it would. I imagined a lot more sensation than the actual moment, however, the act made me feel so much more. The emotions tied to the action added so much more to it. I truly felt loved by him, and I truly felt my love for him when I exploded my seed deep within him. I feel the need to say, this is not the deal that works for every couple. CK and I have spoken at length about this topic. We will continue to be tested on a regular basis, regardless of either of us feeling a “need” for it. We have made it part of our routine. We know there are risks any time you have unprotected sex, however, we have come to mutually trust each other and find comfort in that. I am in no way endorsing unprotected sex!
It’s incredible how much that simple act brought us closer together, but I think that night kind of sealed the deal for us (Pun not intended). We’d had passionate sex before, but I think that night was the first of many night we stopped having sex and started making love.
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After coming to the realization Middle Eastern was not dating material, I began my search for a boyfriend once again. I thought I’d give him a second chance, and he proved to me he wasn’t worthy of that.
I went back to my matchmaker once again – Grindr. I was a little addicted. I found myself spending hours out of my day on the app. I was searching with great fervor. When I woke in the morning, the first thing I did was reach for my phone and fire up Grindr. The next thing I did was grab my tablet and fire up Grindr on that. It was even better on my tablet. The pictures were bigger, I could multitask with my phone, etc. I fully realized how much time I was spending searching for a man. I saw how much of my day was stolen from me. It was like a second job.
On a few occasions, I would strike up a conversation with a guy I thought worthy of my time. One such man lived nearby in Jersey City. We started chatting on Grindr, and I did what I always do. I asked him for his number so I could take things out of the Grindr app and start a conversation over text. I always asked for a picture from the start so I could keep the guys straight in my phone contact list. I kid you not when I tell you I have around 100 contacts from Grindr, Adam4adam.com, ManHunt and OKCupid. I had a system in place as well. Everyone’s name began with where I met them. I was cataloging these guys in theory. Some I never spoke to on the phone, let alone met them in person, but they were saved no less.
After getting this guy’s number, We texted about chatting on the phone some night. He picked up the phone and called me. This earned him a lot of brownie points in my book.
We started with the superficial things – Where we lived. He told me all about his building. I was quite familiar with it. I’d run past it on many occasions. This morphed into a discussion about where we grew up. He was fascinated to learn I grew up out in the country on a farm. Through texting, I’d already learned he was from Canada. I told him how surprised I was he didn’t have a Canadian accent. It popped up a few times, but quite infrequently for someone who grew up there.
I quickly learned he certainly fit the Canadian nice guy stereotype. Everything he said was sweet and polite.
I learned he was slightly older than me. This wasn’t an issue for either of us. I had always liked slightly older men, but I am always leery that older men aren’t thrilled with dating a younger man. I’m quite mature for my age, so I hope my personality can make up for the age gap.
We chatted about our jobs, and I learned he worked in the travel industry. He jetted around the country and internationally quite frequently. He even mentioned the possibility of taking someone like me with him on said trips. I wasn’t getting ahead of myself, but I did enjoy the idea of traveling with my boyfriend to far off locations. He detailed many of the perks, which I really enjoyed, but I didn’t want to let that cloud my perception of him. On the flip side, I told him one of my most embarrassing secrets. I told him I’d never left the country with the exception of Windsor Canada from Detroit. He told me it wasn’t a big deal, and he would help me remedy that issue.
Somehow we got on to the topic of dating and being single and previous lovers. He wasn’t very forthcoming with the information of his major heartbreak, but all it took was one question for him to tell me the overarching story. It seemed it was a sensitive subject, but he was willing to tell me the story. He was dating a man for seven years. This was before he was traveling for work. He was scheduled to go away for work, and at the last-minute, his trip was cancelled. He came home to their shared residence to find his boyfriend in their bed with another man. I expressed my grave sympathy. After seven years with someone he must have been crushed. My heart broke for him. He told me he simply told his boyfriend he needed to move out and that was the end of them.
I tried to lighten the mood and asked him what he likes to drink. Ironically, our lists shared a lot of the same drinks. It was uncanny how similar our pallets are. I learned he too is a fan of Malbec. We discussed how it would need to be present on our first date. I was happy we were on the topic of meeting for a date. He seemed like a great guy. Maybe he was the ship I was searching for in the storm.
I asked him what he was looking for, and he described his ideal situation. Amazingly, our perfect pictures lined up quite impressively. I was really excited to meet him. I only had one picture, and he appeared to be an attractive man. I was more excited to meet him to see how strong the chemistry would be. It was already pretty strong considering we spoke on the phone for two hours.
Only time would tell, and we made tentative plans to grab a drink or dinner in the near future.
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