Posts Tagged hand holding
As gay men, CK and I had been anticipating the release of Magic Mike with bated breath. One Friday night, CK suggested we check it out. When he said we, I assumed he meant just the two of us, but I quickly came to learn we included Old News as well. As long as we were inviting friends, I knew P wanted to see the movie as well, so I reached out to her. This was two-fold because it would also help balance the scale since I wasn’t exactly comfortable with how Old News was with CK. We were all planning to gather in midtown to check out a late showing.
I was meeting CK at his apartment before the movie, and when I arrived, I learned Old News would be meeting us there as well before walking to the theater together. I already couldn’t wait. From the moment Old News arrived, he began schmoozing CK. A friendly greeting with a hug is completely acceptable, but the kiss on the cheek was a little unnecessary. This was no air kiss, and I know because I was behind CK looking right at him as he did it. It probably was not his intent, but I felt it may have been done for my benefit. I didn’t like it — Not one bit. All I could do was stand by and watch this without saying anything. I would have to wait to have a private conversation with CK later.
Of course, he was very cordial toward me, but I couldn’t have cared less. I still had a bad taste left in my mouth from the last time we hung out at XL. That night, I was going to get the answer to a question that arose every time he came around. Was he actually flirting with CK because of lingering feelings, or was I imagining things? I had an advantage that night. I had two sets of eyes on him. I had asked P to watch and tell me if my suspicions were correct.
We met P in front of the theater, and as we took our seats, what transpired next could not have made me happier. It just so happened, as we walked into the theater, the order was Old News, myself, CK and finally P. So, when we sat, I was between Old News and CK, and I was thrilled. When CK and I go to the movies, we’re fairly affectionate in the way we sit. We hold hands or put our arms around each other. I wasn’t going to change that this time, and Old News was about to get a front row seat to this. Maybe he’d realized the CK ship has sailed. He was my man now, and it was time to back off and learn to simply be his friend. Nothing more. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t want Old News out of the picture completely. He was CK’s friend. I simply wanted him to respect the relationship between CK and I.
The theater was a sh*t show — Like being in an actual strip club. Women were everywhere, shouting and squealing at the screen as they jumped out of their seats in excitement. I was shocked I didn’t see a dollar bill or two go flying in the air.
As we left the theater, Old News commented to us, “Wow! It smells like wet vagina in here! Do you smell that?” I thought the comment was hysterical because he was pretty spot on, but I wasn’t exactly in the frame of mind to laugh at his jokes yet.
We stopped on the corner of the street to discuss what we wanted to do next. None of us had eaten, so food was discussed, but no one would make a decision. Finally, we landed on heading back to CK’s apartment to smoke and hang out.
As we walked down the street, Old News was joking and what I would certainly call flirting with CK. When the opportunity arose, he’d throw an arm around him or pat him on the back. Don’t get me wrong. I’d seen this interaction time and time again with Hip, and I had no problem with it. In fact, I welcomed it. It all seemed completely different with Old News. Old News would draw CK into a conversation, and the two of them continued on as if P and I didn’t exist. At some point, CK noticed I was a bit out of sorts. He hung back with me and asked what’s wrong. I reiterated how I felt Old News was flirting and still had a crush on him. Once again, he told me I was imagining things. I started to get adamant, and I think he finally realized how much this bothered me.
If he was willing to act like this in front of me, what would Old News try to do if I wasn’t around. Like I said, it wasn’t CK I trusted, it was Old News. After chatting for so long, I’m sure he realized something was up. We agreed to talk about it again later and returned back to the other two.
We hung out at CK’s for quite some time, and around 2:00am, we decided to go to Flaming Saddles, and P decided to head home. As I walked her out I asked her what she thought. She agreed he was still flirting, but to a bit of a lesser degree. It was all I needed to confirm I wasn’t being irrational. I thanked her and gave her a hug goodnight. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of going out since it was already quite late, and we were going to the beach the following morning with Boston and a few others. As our group was shrinking by one, we were also growing by two. CK’s roommate and his assistant joined us. The night was only getting better and better.
When we arrived at Flaming Saddles, no one was there. Instead, we continued on to Industry. It was a good scene, and the good news was that CK and I were dancing. Old News seemed to disappear. However, it wasn’t long before I felt I was beginning to disappear too. I was slowly but surely getting comfortable with going to gay bars, but I was also learning something about CK in gay bars I didn’t exactly appreciate.
When we danced, I never felt like I was dancing with just him. I felt like I was dancing with the entire bar. He danced, and I was tried to dance next to him. He constantly looked around to see who was looking at him, gently touching guys as they passed by him. I never had his full attention. This was only exacerbated when he stepped up on the stage, and I was two steps below him. I felt like I was there with a go-go boy, and I have to admit I was a little crushed. It hurt. Was my attention not enough for him? Did he need the eyes of every other guy in the room? This brought up a lot of worries I’d been having about our relationship. I was worried I wasn’t enough for him, and that was all I wanted.
We ended up closing down the bar at 4:00am. We were all starving, so we foraged for food. We settled on Empanada Mama and grabbed a table outside. They had a packed house, so it took forever for us to get our food. When it finally arrived, everyone dug in. When I went to grab my second empanada, it was gone. I looked across the table and noticed Old News shoveling it into his pie hole. I don’t think he took it on purpose, but it was a perfect picture of my relationship with him. First, he was trying to steal my man. Now, he was stealing my food.
I was already agitated by Old News, but at this point, it was 6:00am and the sun was starting to come up. As the time ticked on, I grew more and more anxious about getting up the next day to follow through on my plans. CK was already so tired he actually fell asleep at the table. It was time to go home and go to bed. We said goodbye and made our way home. While we walked he turned to me and said, “You’re nuts if you think we’re heading to the beach tomorrow at 10:00.” That set me off. I told CK about my plans to go to the beach days prior to this. He should have planned accordingly. This was important to me. I hadn’t seen Boston in over a year. He was completely disregarding my plans, and I was furious. “You’re nuts if you think we’re not.” He looked at me with a confused look.
I explained how upset I was and of course started getting loud. The fact that he remembered the beach plans and completely disregarded them was incredibly demeaning. In doing so, he was telling me that his unplanned fun mattered and my planned day did not. We could have called it quits at any point throughout the night so we could have done a bit of both. Had he brought it up before 6:00am, I probably would have been receptive of a compromise. I would have said we could leave around 11:00 so we could stay out a little later. At this point, after being told I’m nuts, I wasn’t about to give up any ground. I told him I was going, with or without him. I had made plans with a friend visiting from out-of-town, and I wasn’t about to back out because he wanted to stay out all night.
Against the advice of nearly every couple I’ve ever met, that night (or should I say morning) we went to bed angry…
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.
Finally, work sent me somewhere fun, and I was taking full advantage. I stayed out in LA, managed to have some fun, and even managed to find myself a pretty great guy, The Navigator, to hit up the beach with. After swinging by his apartment, we agreed we weren’t done hanging out.
We made our way back to my hotel. After we turned off his street, I came to a stoplight. I took the opportunity to reach over and put my hand on his leg. He immediately responded positively to my advances. He reached down and laid his hand on top of mine and gave it a squeeze. We continued to hold hands the entire way back to the hotel.
We made our way to the room, and when we arrived, we quickly got comfortable with each other. We dropped our bags and laid down on the bed. We chatted a bit before he reached over, pulled me in, and we exchanged a long deep passionate kiss. When we finally came back up for air, I said to him, “I’ve been waiting to do that all day long!” He smiled from ear to ear and pulled me right back in for another deep kiss. He was a great kisser — Not just a good kisser, but a great kisser.
Was there anything wrong with this guy? He certainly wasn’t going to make leaving easy on me. I still had to keep myself in check. This thing would have an end. I couldn’t grow too attached, or I would be in for a world of pain.
The thing I liked most about the chemistry between us was how playful we were. There was no drama. We were just having fun. Everything was so easy. We cuddled and talked and tickled and joked. I felt incredibly comfortable with him. We just seemed to be on the same page about everything. He was certainly giving me hope that I could find a guy out there who I just clicked with right off the bat.
All day long, he had been texting with his friend giving him updates on our “date” as he so-called it on the beach. While we laid there he teased his friend about how good-looking I was, but lied and told him I’d just dropped him off at home while I listened on speaker phone. The exchange between the three of us was very comical and flirtatious. He showed me pictures of the guy we were talking to, and we sent pictures of me to his friend. We all had a good laugh, and his friend asked for continued updates.
The kissing slowly turned into making out. The making out evolved into heavy petting. The heavy petting became stripping. The stripping led to oral pleasures. And finally, the oral pleasures led to me learning he is versatile, which of course led to penetration. My provisions weren’t presumptuous at all. I suspect he noticed my condom/lube purchase at CVS, and this is what gave him the courage to propose going back to my hotel room.
The sex wasn’t the most amazing because I was having difficulties with the condom, but it certainly wasn’t bad. We were passionately enjoying each other on many levels.
After we had sex, we laid next to each other talking more. We attempted to take some pictures together to send his friend, but we couldn’t keep our eyes open because the flash was too bright. After our romp in the sheets and copious amounts of cuddling, I was hungry. I remembered an In-and-Out burger down the street. It was 1am, and they were one of the few places still open, so we got dressed and made our way there to grab dinner.
We took our food back to the room and had a picnic in my bed. We talked and made plans to go hiking the following day. The whole night, all I could think about was how crazy it was I even met him. It was even crazier how we both dove in headfirst. He even mentioned being worried I might be a serial killer for the first couple of minutes in the car. After we finished eating, I jokingly confirmed he was staying. He went to his bag and got changed and broke out his toothbrush. It seems he may have been presumptuous as well in packing his bag.
I didn’t care one bit. I was thrilled to be sharing my bed with such a great man. I only wished it was for a longer-term basis…Follow @onegayatatime
As we walked, he reached down to grab my hand. I’m terrible at making those first moves, so when he did, I nearly melted into a puddle right there on the street. I loved every second of it. It also gave me the validation he was enjoying my company. We stopped to snap a few pictures of interesting things along the way. I was happy to see he was into photography since this was something I was truly interested in as well. We chatted more on the subject as we walked and stroked each other’s hands.
When we arrived at Extra Virgin, I learned why he warned me he was quite the regular. Immediately, the host made a killing fuss over him. He was a tall flamboyantly gay black man who had no qualms about jumping all over Smiles in front of me. I enjoyed the spectacle, especially since Smiles was getting quite embarrassed by the fiasco.
We took our seat at the bar and began to peruse the drink menu. Dark and Stormies have become one of my new favorite drinks, especially in a crisp fall day. The bartender asked Smiles what he wanted to drink, and much to my surprise, he replied, “I’ll have a Dark and Stormy.” Of course, when he turned to me, I replied, “I’ll have the same.” We commented to each other how much we like he drink and how perfect it is for this time of year. It was nice to see more and more commonality as the evening progressed.
As I was looking over the menu, I settled on the chicken with a mushroom sauce. He was looking over his menu and made the recommendation, “The chicken is excellent.” I informed him I already decided on that and was looking forward to it. Once our orders were placed, we could return to our conversation. We found more and more commonality between us, and I was really enjoying the time I was spending with him. What was supposed to simply be coffee and a stroll on the High Line turned into an all day affair.
Shortly after we arrived, a coworker arrived and sat next to Smiles. We didn’t acknowledge each other, and I was okay with that. I wasn’t hiding anything, but I’m still not out at work. It made for some slight awkwardness, but it certainly didn’t taint my evening.
Our meals arrived, and we both enjoyed them thoroughly as the conversation continued. At one point, he stood to use the restroom. As he passed my chair, he put his arms around me from behind and gave me a hug. It was one of the sweetest things any man had done to me in a long time. When he returned, he sat with his hand on my thigh as we chatted. The bartender brought over the desert menu since the host offered it to us on the house. I then took my hand an placed it on his thigh, gently stroking his knee while we chatted. At one point, I removed my hand, and he reached up to the bar and placed my hand back on his leg. I liked his conviction and it sent a clear signal to me he was enjoying his night as much as I was.
Following our meal, we walked down the street. He again reached out and grabbed my hand. While walking down a darker street, he guided me across the sidewalk, pulled me in closer, and he planted a kiss on me. These are the little things that really win me over. I was really falling for this guy, which was very interesting since the first date didn’t go extremely well. We came upon a cellist on the street corner playing for all passersby. He took the hand he as holding and pulled it around his back. We stood and listened for a song while he played. It was very relaxing having him leaning against me with my arm around him. I was truly there in the moment and extremely happy. I’m sure I had a smile from ear to ear.
When we decided to continue on, we walked toward the PATH station. We made one quick pitstop in a sex shop on Christopher Street. We looked in the front window at some of the wares the store sold. I wondered if this was a test to see if I could roll with the punches and have fun. I think he wanted to see how I would react, and I performed superbly. We had so much fun talking about everything in the store. He even took pictures of a few things, and we had a good laugh.
We continued another block before we were at the PATH station. We stood facing each other talking about how much fun we had. We hugged, and I pulled him in for a few kisses. I wanted to ravage him, but it was neither the time or the place. We had a conversation earlier in the night about making people a priority and seeing the people you care about the most. I acknowledged that conversation by turning to him as he walked away and said, “Let’s do this again soon! Make me a priority.”
After the date, I shot him an email the following day. “So I tried not to jump the gun so much this time… Waited ’til I had some downtime this afternoon to hit you up… Better?? Hope the cold calling isn’t too painful! (Acknowledging his workday) Had a great time yesterday! Hope you negotiated good rates with everyone (the cellist, bartender, host, Joan Rivers, …) to play their parts. Would love to see you again, so let me know when you’re free, and we can get together. P.S. Do you think I’m I phone number worthy yet?”
Shortly after, he replied, “LOL! yes, ###.###.####. Glad you appreciate my unplanned dating Karma ;-)” It was great to hear back from him so soon. It showed he was still interested in seeing me. I couldn’t have been happier. It was just a question of when I would get to see him again…