Posts Tagged fresh

Celebrating the Gift of Love

What would Valentine’s Day be without chocolate? Whether you embrace the holiday like the warmth of a fireplace or avoid it like the plague, you have to admit, you will always enjoy those little cocoa bits of heaven. From garish heart-shaped boxes to small delicate boxes to simple pink foil-wrapped factory-processed milk chocolates — We all love chocolate (unless of course you have some rare and exotic chocolate allergy). Chocolate makes everything better, especially when coupled with the right companion.

Move over peanut butter! I’ve found chocolate’s new best friend — Casa Noble’s “El Beso de Luz” Margarita. I can see you now. Your furrowed brow and head tilted to the side. Yes. Chocolate and margaritas. But, not just any chocolate or premixed margaritas. I myself would have never thought to put the two together before Single Edition’s Sweets in New York event, but now I will never think of a margarita again without thinking of chocolate.

No matter how you take ’em, nothing quite warms a winter night and brightens up the gloom and gray like a margarita. And, we’ve already established chocolate makes everything better. These two powers combined will warm you from the soul on outward, making any day special and unforgettable.

Casa Noble is an ultra premium tequila meticulously crafted from choice blue agave plants. Employing only traditional methods, slow-cooking the rich agave piñas for 38 hours, they use only the agave hearts to extract their sweet nectar. Their fermentation process is 100% natural and is followed by triple distillation, resulting in a tequila so pure and full of agave flavor it has globally elevated the concept of tequila to new heights.

When the “El Beso de Luz” Margarita first passed Carlos Santana’s lips, he likened it to the first time he fell in love, giving the cocktail its name in tribute to his wife, Cindy. Mixing Casa Noble’s tequila with lime, orange, and Licor 43’s hints of citrus, fruit juices, vanilla and aromatic herbs and spices (43 ingredients in all), this mystical concoction is an experience for the senses worthy of Aphrodite herself.

Pairing that with artisanal chocolates from Essence By Chocolate creates a very unique and sublime tasting experience. As if by Cupid’s own hand, pairing these powerhouses of taste in tandem will leave you taking delight in luscious aromas and flavors.

After carefully preparing our cocktail, my boyfriend and I cozied up in front of the fireplace. Starting with a few sips of my margarita, I was blown away by the freshness and lightness. Before the flavors dissipated, I took a generous bite of the first chocolate. I had the pleasure of sampling the Mango, Chile Pepper & Crystal Tequila Infused in Milk and White Chocolate, the Resposado Tequila and Caramel Infused in Dark & Milk Chocolate and the Black Cherry & Anejo Tequila Infused in Dark Chocolate Dome. Alternating sips with bites until we finished, we were making sounds normally reserved for one’s bedroom. We enjoyed the symphony of flavors stimulating every inch of my tongue (And then we mixed a second drink).

This Valentine’s Day, what could be a more appropriate tribute to love than cuddling up with two glasses of this romantic drink and a box of distinctly paired chocolates?

And, should you find yourself not particularly enjoying this lover’s holiday? I think the citrus and vanilla notes, complimented by the knowledge that you’re indulging in one of Mexico’s finest exports will remedy even the sourest of moods. Top that off with some of the finest chocolates I’ve ever tasted, and you’ll be transported to your own personal heaven.

The recipe for the aforementioned cocktail:

“El Beso de Luz” Margarita

2 oz. Casa Noble Crystal

1/2 oz. Licor 43

1 oz. lime juice

1/4 orange squeeze & drop

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Sunshine and Smiles

Before you jump into today’s post, I’d like to bring to your attention a story a reader shared with me last night. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I was so touched by their story. Check it out here.

Back to our regularly schedule program:

When CK and I got home after a long night out on the town, we argued about the timing of the following morning. I was insistent we would keep our plans, or I would leave him behind. I wasn’t going to flake on Boston because he wanted to stay out at the bar that night. I realized we weren’t making much progress, and we were only staying up longer by arguing, so I set my alarm and climbed into bed.

The next day, I woke up and started reaching out to Boston. Much to my chagrin, he wasn’t responding. I tried over and over and over again via text and phone, but still no response. I’d already managed to get CK up, and he was being incredibly cooperative considering how early it was and how little sleep we got. I wasn’t happy because I got in an argument with CK over this, and now Boston was flaking on me. I was trying so hard to salvage this so CK wouldn’t flip out on me when I told him Boston wasn’t responding. I hit up Hip to see if he’d be interested in the beach. It’d been some time since we hung out, and I thought it would make CK much happier to have one of his friends there. I asked D and his girlfriend if they wanted to join us at the beach, and surprisingly, they were in. They would just be joining us a little later. I also reached out to my sister, and I learned she was driving out to the beach. We were planning to take the train, but now that Boston was missing in action, I asked her if she would give us a ride. Now, I had to manage the logistics of getting someone from Brooklyn, CK and I in Hell’s Kitchen and my sister coming from Hoboken through midtown coordinated.

CK and I were making great time. We hopped in a cab, and it was looking like we would all get to our meeting point at the same time. I couldn’t have been happier and more stressed. My sister arrived a few minutes before us, and we all piled into her car and were off to the beach. This was the first time my sister met Hip. I had a feeling they would get along since Hip is such a mellow guy and easy to get along with, but in her usual fashion, she took a little warming up. Once she warmed up to him, they were really hitting it off.

As we drove, I texted Boston telling him we were on our way and invited him to join us out there when he and the girl he was staying with got moving for the day, but I had a strong feeling I wasn’t going to see him. About half way out there, he finally called and told me he was way too hungover to come out to the beach. He offered to meet up later that evening, so I told him I would hit him up on my way home.

We arrived at the beach and spread out, taking over a solid chunk of beach. D and his girlfriend were on their way and would be joining us shortly. This day was going so much more smoothly than I ever thought possible. The weather was gorgeous, and we were all having a blast. I was really enjoying being with such a great group. Everyone was relaxed and having fun. We took a picture together, and we all agreed it was the picture of the summer. Now that summer is over, I can testify it was, at least for me.

Later in the day, CK and I decided to go for a jog/walk. It was nice to separate from the group for a little and take a nice stroll. We talked about the night before, and he apologized. He also thanked me for such a great day. The biggest smile grew across my face. I know I was stressed that morning and annoyed how things were playing out, but it was all worth it to have such a fun and carefree day. I was so happy with him. I loved him, and I couldn’t see myself with any other man. He was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

We stopped to take pictures on the rocks of the jetty. This quickly turned into a typical CK photo shoot, which I’m not the most thrilled with. I’m not a fan of having my picture taken because 99% of the time, I hate the results. I don’t like being in the spotlight, but CK does. When I take the pictures of him, I know these pictures will be sorted through as fodder for his Instagram feed. This is yet another account of my attention not being enough. He still needed the attention of his adoring fans. I wasn’t crushed by this. I have thicker skin than that, but it didn’t exactly have a positive effect on my feelings. On top of that, I knew everyone was about ready to go home when we started our walk. I didn’t want to make them wait too long to leave. I tried to be a good sport and shot some pictures of him and even let him snap a few of me, but the time came for me to insist we return to the group.

As we walked back, we passed two hot and I can only assume straight men walking the opposite direction. As we passed, CK not only made a comment regarding their aesthetic, but took the conversation one step further and asked if I would ever entertain the idea of fooling around with another couple (acknowledging a previous unprovoked sentiment I stated expressing my lack of interest in ever bringing another person into our relationship). I immediately started getting very anxious, and my heart sank a little. I was immediately taken back to the previous night with him looking around the bar to see who was looking at him. I was right back to worrying I would not be enough for him. My heart beat started pacing. I immediately and definitively expressed to him my feelings on this, and I think he recognized how worked up this was making me. I told him this was my worry when I finally came out. I didn’t know if I could ever find a man who would settle down with me and give me a “traditional” relationship. I realized that’s not for everyone, but that’s what I wanted. It’s not something I wanted to compromise on, nor do I think it’s something I should budge on. Now, I was worrying if CK was the right man for me.

“This isn’t something I want. I just wanted to know if you would be open to this,” he said. I responded, “If it’s not something you want or you’re interested in, then why did you bring it up? If this is coming up now when everything is fresh and fun, how’s it going to be ten years from now? Will I ever be enough for you?” He started backtracking immediately. He put his hands on my shoulders and said, “Babe, you are who I want. No one else. I was just asking the question, not proposing we do it.” I explained to him how worried I was that it was even brought up.  He managed to calm me down and acknowledged that knowing that was off the table does not make him want to stop dating me. He added, “You have nothing to worry about. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” I was a bit more relaxed, but I was still questioning if I was enough for CK. It had been the theme of many of my past relationships, and I didn’t want to go through that again.

When we got back, we all packed up and headed home. On the ride home, I fell asleep in CK’s lap. Unbeknownst to me, Hip and my sister we’re now like two peas in a pod. They were having so much fun together blasting music and weaving through traffic. D and his girlfriend were following, so when traffic came to a halt, Hip climbed up through the sunroof and started making faces and flailing around at them.

When we got back to the city, my sister dropped the three of us off at CK’s. He needed to pack an overnight bag before we went back to Hoboken for the night. We hung out for a majority of the evening before finally taking the bus to the other side of the Hudson River. Not before getting ice cream, of course. In the end, I didn’t get to hang out with Boston before he left town. It just didn’t work out. Maybe I’d have to wait another year to finally see him.

All in all, it was a great day. I had so much fun hanging with my friend and CK’s friends. It was completely refreshing to see his friends getting along with my friends. It wasn’t all roses and sunshine, however. I was still worried I wasn’t the man CK was looking for. I worried I was looking for him to settle down with me, and he wasn’t quite ready for that. It’s not that I didn’t trust him to not cheat on me so much as worrying we didn’t have the same relationship goals and outlook. Only time would tell if our paths were heading in the same direction.

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When It Rains, It Pours

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…

Life was good. I finally met a man who seemed to be too good to be true. We’d already been on three unforgettable dates, and things were only getting better.

Saturday morning, I said goodbye to Clark Kent when I dropped him off in the city. I wanted to spend every waking minute with him, but things were still fresh and young for us. It’d only been a week. I needed to stop my habit of diving in head first, or I could be in for a world of hurt. Saturday night, I made plans with friends to go out. One of the guys I swam with in college asked me to come by to pregame and then go to the bar with him and some other friends. It’d been months since a request like that came in, so I was ready and raring to go. By the time I got ready to go out after running all my errands, they moved things to the bar. I met the group at Black Bear in Hoboken. These friends are serious triathletes, so they never go out, and when they do, they go to bed early. I also encouraged my other friend P to join us.

When I got to the bar, I sent CK a text to see what he was up to. He responded by telling me to come into the city and spend the night with him. Had he texted me a half hour earlier, I probably would have never entered the bar and would have gone straight into the city. I stepped outside to call him and explain. I really wanted to go see him since I couldn’t get enough of him, but P had just arrived. I didn’t want to ditch her. He fully understood. A small part of me wanted to ensure he wouldn’t get tired of me, so I thought some time apart would do us good.

I went back to the bar and had a good time with my friends. In true fashion, a half hour later, all but P made their way home to go to bed. It wasn’t even midnight yet. I told her all about CK and how amazing he was. I also told her about how I’d ended things with all the other guys. She kept asking things like, “Well, what about [X]? I thought you had a good date?” I explained to her that none of these guys were like my Superman. They didn’t measure up at all. She was impressed with my conviction and wished me luck, but she warned me not to get too far ahead of myself. P and I decided to go to another bar we enjoyed far more, Cooper’s Union, where we sit and chat while our favorite Hoboken bartender serves us.

Just as we were about to leave the bar, it started pouring. We agreed to call it a night instead. She hopped in a cab, and I made my way down the street home. I didn’t get far before I decided to run. I ripped off my soaking wet shirt and ran on my Cole Haans the dozen blocks home. When I got home, I texted CK to tell him about my “TV commercial-like sprint in the rain home.” (The Nike technology in Cole Haans really is amazing btw!). He responded back telling me how much he wished he’d seen me. He told me he was turned on by the mental picture. I achieved my goal. I knew exactly what I was doing when I sent that text to him. I wanted him to want me.

Sunday, I talked to CK, and we made plans for me to spend the night in the city. It made sense since he was so close to my office. I could bring clothes for work the next day and head straight there in the morning.

As the day progressed, the weather deteriorated. It was pouring. I made my way to his place around dinnertime soaked to the bone. I had my giant umbrella with me, but water-soaked my pants from the ground up. He stripped me of most of my clothes when I arrived, and we began fooling around immediately. This, of course, led to sex and some hot, sweaty fun.

I was happy to be spending a rainy night in with him. We had no plans and no obligations. We were simply going to cuddle in his apartment and watch something on his iPad. He offered to make me dinner, and I accepted. He told me his cooking abilities were limited, but he would whip up his specialty for me. I heard a lot going on in the kitchen while I sat in his living room. He wouldn’t let me help. He wanted to surprise me. When I came into the kitchen to give him a hug and kiss, I got my kiss but was ordered back to the couch.

Moments later, he brought me a plate full of salad with chunks of chicken and a tasty dressing. It was very good, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. That night, I would also learn of CK’s sweet tooth. We weren’t even done our salads before he was talking about dessert. He didn’t have anything in the apartment, but there was a bodega on the block. We would venture out into the rain to satisfy a craving for sweets. He offered for me to stay in the apartment and stay dry, but I insisted on coming with him.

We picked up Oreos, ice cream and some cheddar bread sticks and made our way back out into the rain. I was tempted the whole walk back to ask him to hold the umbrella while I ripped my shirt off and ran back to his apartment in the rain. The only thing that stopped me was that I’d have to stand in front of his doorman with no shirt on until he caught up, and I thought it might embarrass him. I chickened out! I was so disappointed in myself. I wanted to show him I didn’t take myself too seriously.

When we got back to his apartment, we dove into the ice cream and Oreos. He made each of us a bowl, and we cracked open the bread sticks. We sat in bed, and when we finished, we cuddled in front of his iPad watching Smash. Shortly thereafter, I dozed off in his arms. It was a perfect rainy night, and I truly looked forward to many others with him while I dreamed the night away.

The next morning, we fooled around before getting ready. While I showered, he made me a bowl of yogurt, fresh berries, honey and granola. It was delicious. He was really taking care of me.

Every moment made me fall for him more and more. We walked to my office together before he hopped on the subway, and I made my way inside. I was head over heels, and things were just starting. The possibilities were endless, and I planned to explore them all…

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Vintage Closet

Before my trip to Washington DC, I started chatting with a few guys on Grindr. It was bad timing for the trip to come right after “meeting” them, but it would have to do. On my way back home, I made plans with a few guys over text for dates to get to know them.

One of the guys I was talking to was a bit older. He seemed like a great guy, and he was very interested in me. Of all the guys I started talking to, he texted the most. He seemed sweet, caring and attentive. While away, he asked how the blossoms were. He genuinely took an interest in me. He was texting me like a high school girl. I wasn’t annoyed. I was flattered. We made plans to grab a drink Wednesday evening after work.

Since Southern Drawl didn’t want to go to The Breslin, I proposed he and I meet there for a drink. It wasn’t far from my office, and it was pretty centrally located in Manhattan. We set a time, and I stayed at the office to kill time until he could make it there.

He ended up arriving early, and he texted me to let me know. I quickly left my office and speed-walked the ten blocks to the bar to meet him.

I wasn’t sure what I’d be meeting that night. From his picture, he looked like a very mature man. He had white hair, and he told me he was possibly getting a haircut before we met. I encouraged him to keep his longer hair since I liked it, but it was his hair. I didn’t know which hairstyle I’d be meeting.

I walked in to find him standing leaning against the wall. It wasn’t too difficult to pick him out of the crowd, however, he looked much older than I originally expected. I invited him to follow me to the bar and ordered us drinks. I managed to snag two bar stools just as someone was getting up to walk away.

We dove right into conversation about work. We both worked in advertising at one point, so we discussed that for a while. The more we talked, the more relaxed the conversation became. I didn’t see this conversation growing into a relationship, but he was a really nice guy. There was no reason why I couldn’t share a few rounds with a nice guy. I really didn’t think we were compatible.

Somehow we got into philosophical conversation talking about life in general. He really liked my outlook on life. I wasn’t putting on a show or anything. I was just being myself. He really responded well to this.

During our conversation, he came clean on his age and informed me he was 36. That’s how old Smiles was, so it wasn’t the issue for me. He did, however, look more like he was 42. I wasn’t sure if I believed him about his age. I wondered if he was lowballing it.

We started talking about family and his family house in the Hamptons. We got on the topic of coming out, and I told him how fresh I was to the gay world. He responded well to this and told me he was new himself. He came out to a few of his high school friends, and apparently it didn’t go well. For them, it became a problem of an identity crisis. They didn’t know who he was anymore. I told him how positive my experience was coming out and conveyed my sympathy about his experience. He also told me his family didn’t know either. It appeared I was more gay mature than he was. This was a first. This was a 36 year-old man who was still living in the closet. I didn’t think I could handle that. If he couldn’t accept himself by that age, the road was only going to get rockier as we went along.

After three rounds, the time came to go home. He expressed his desire to go on a second date, and I let on that this was a possibility. I didn’t want to lead him on and seem overly zealous about it, but I didn’t want to break his spirit. We walked to the corner and said goodbye with a hug. We exchanged a few texts after that, but obviously nothing ever materialized.

It wasn’t that late, so I decided to text M.E. and see if he wanted to come over. He did, and when he arrived at my apartment, we immediately went to the bedroom. Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. We stripped each other naked and got right down to things. There was a bit of foreplay and a lot of making out before I reached for the condoms and lube. Since being with him, I had unprotected sex with someone else. I needed to keep his safety in mind. While in DC, my results came back with no STDs and HIV negative, but I didn’t want to take any chances. We had amazing protected sex that night and fell asleep in a spooning position.

When we woke in the morning, we fooled around until we hopped in the shower. There, we had sex once again. I’m always horny in the morning, so this was even better than the night before. When we finished showering, we went back to the bed and had sex there. At one point, I even turned over and let him penetrate me. I felt I owed it to him. He was incredibly excited about it. This didn’t last long because, as he told me, he had a hard time keeping an erection after he’d been penetrated. I was okay with this, being as it’d been a long time since I bottomed.

We laid with each other, and I tried to finish myself off but to no avail. I had a dentist appointment to get to that morning, so I could no longer dawdle. I was already late the way it was. This was going to be a rough day. How was I ever going to concentrate on anything!?

M.E. gave me a ride to the dentist, and I gave him a kiss goodbye.

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Put Me In Coach

It was obvious things were strained between Smiles and I. For quite some time, our relationship was on the decline. He was distant, closed off, and not very engaged, and I wasn’t happy.

I tried to stick it out with him. I tried being patient and understanding. He was a good guy, and I could see there was a great guy under all this. But, I had reached my limit. I knew I deserved better. It was time to move on.

Wednesday passed without communication from Smiles, so I sent him a text in the middle of the afternoon. “It’s apparent you’re trying to put distance between us. Can you possibly find time to discuss things with me in person? Thanks,” I typed.

He responded ten minutes later with: “I can this weekend. I’m up at 5:30 and in bed at 12:30 and not a lot of time in between. This weekend will be a littler better but not much. I will make something work though.”

Wow! It was all I could do to restrain myself from responding, “Thanks for squeezing me in!”  How could he!? After three months of dating, he couldn’t sacrifice a gym session to take the time to talk to me like a man. What a coward! It was completely disrespectful and painted a clear picture of Smiles’ true feeling for me. I doubt he ever truly cared for me. He simply enjoyed not being lonely.

I’m no one’s lap dog. I was back in the game. In my mind, we were all but broken up. It was inevitable. There was no coming back from this, especially since the relationship wasn’t the strongest to begin with. I’d been through yet another failed relationship with a man who simply wasn’t that into me. My confidence was pretty much shot. What was it about me they couldn’t seem to embrace? I’m not pathetic enough to say what was I doing wrong, but I also knew I may be something to turn these men off.

Regardless, I was back in the game. I needed to put myself back out there. Some people would argue I needed some time to be single and to figure myself out, but I know myself well enough. I didn’t need time to heal from this one. I did need to have some fun. It’d been a long time since I had passionate active sex, and I was hungry for it.

After my last breakup, I went wild over the summer. I hooked up with a lot of guys and expanded my sexual horizons. It was both a good thing and a bad thing. I didn’t want to go back to my old ways. I already learned how unfulfilling it was. There was no need to repeat old mistakes. But I wasn’t going to completely limit myself. I was “single” for all intents and purposes.

I had been talking to a Latino on Grindr for a bit of time. He seemed like a really nice guy, and we had a lot in common. Latinos aren’t really my type, but I’m an equal opportunity dater. N was of Latino background, and we got along well enough in the beginning.

We set a date for Thursday night to grab a drink at a local Hoboken bar, Trinity. He lived in neighboring Jersey City, and I convinced him to drive over since I didn’t have a car — It was a bit cold for the motorcycle.

He arrived before me, and found a spot in the corner of the bar. It was a good spot since we could talk without a large crowd of spectators. I shook his hand and introduced myself. He did the same, and I immediately recognized an accent of some sort. I asked him where he is from.

He told me of his roots in Venezuela and asked about my upbringing. I told him about my time growing up on the farm and how I came to live in the shadow of New York City.

We’d learned about our shared interest in volleyball and talked about that for some time. He was much more of an amateur than myself, but it was nice to find someone who had an interest in it.

We somehow got on the subject of coming out and families. He told me he’d been out of the closet since he was eighteen. He asked when I came out, and I proudly told him I was fresh and new. I told him I’d only come out about a year and a half ago. The expression of shock and disappointment on his face said it all. I knew the date was a failure. We chatted a bit about it, and I could tell he was not thrilled with the idea of my being a “new gay.” I tried to explain to him I wasn’t new. On the timeline, it may seem short, but I did a lot in that short period of time. I grew in leaps and bounds and had relationships of all sorts with varied men. For the first time in my life, I was trying to vaguely paint myself as a recovering whore.

When I think back about this, it was a dumb idea. If it was something that bothered him, I should have accepted that and moved on. I didn’t need to end the date then and there, but I shouldn’t have tried so hard so early to be what he wanted. I should have just been myself. This may be why I get involved with men that aren’t truly interested in me.

Somehow our discussion morphed into the topic of sex with women. He’d never been with a woman, but I have. I was just adding water to the fire with every sentence. We talked about the local gay dating ring, Grindr and the like. It was an interesting conversation, as we the entire date, but I doubted there would be a second.

When we finished that drink, I paid the bill and offered to walk him to his car. When we got there, I went in for a kiss. It was pretty bad. We pretty much crashed into each other with a forceful peck. I’m not sure why I kissed him if I wasn’t all that interested in him. I think it’s because I’ve been out of the game for some time, and I just felt like it was what I was supposed to do.

As I walked home, I checked my phone to find out one of the guys I’d met from Grindr months ago was moving to Hoboken. We’d been in touch sporadically since we originally met. He was just coming off a really rough breakup, and I was just starting things off with Smiles. I met him in hopes of making a new gay friend. I needed those as much as I needed lovers. He’d invited me to go out a few times, but I was never able to due to other plans. Now we’d be neighbors, and hanging out would be much easier. I was just what I needed to come back into my life at that moment.

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