Posts Tagged monogamy
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.
With the passing of Labor Day, summer officially ended in my book. I was sad to see it go. Like always, it flew by in no time. Its passing wasn’t all sadness, however. My favorite season was right around the corner. The changing of the leaves, the crisp air, the smell of fireplaces… all things I loved about the fall.
Just as the seasons were transforming, so too was I. Since I broke up with N, I went off the deep end. Part of this is because I never had my wild time. While everyone else was hooking up and experimenting in high school and college, I was being a good boy. I sat there and watched everyone else experience relationships and casual sex. I was asexual. Sure, I had my fair share of hookups with women, but nothing worth writing home about.
When I finally accepted myself and came to terms with my homosexuality, I found myself in a relationship right off the bat. I never had a chance to meet new guys and discover new things. Following my breakup with Broadway, I had a short window of wild time, but it was mainly filled with dates that ended with me going home alone. Then came San Francisco, shortly followed by N. This summer was the first time I was single and gay. Did I live it up? Yes. Am I proud of everything I did? Hell no, but I also have no regrets. Everything was an experience, whether it was something I learned from or something that made me a better person.
I began to look back and examine my summer. I wasn’t being true to who I am — True to myself. I don’t have casual sex. I’m a monogamist. I crave a meaningful relationship with a special guy who appreciates me, body and soul. If I kept sleeping around, I was never going to find this. I need to make a change. I thought I would be able to ease into it when I returned from Martha’s Vineyard, but I was wrong. I needed to be more drastic. I was going to be a good boy, even if it meant the palm of my hand would be raw.
I had two friends with benefits. I needed to cut them off completely. Closet was still messaging me since we last hooked up. “Hey man, haven’t talked to you on a while. Hope all is well. Don’t want to sound insecure or anything(too late), and I know you said its not a bother to text/email you, but just FYI in case that ever changes just let me know you’re lookin for something different or you’re seeing someone else. Lol feel free to lie to me, just would rather know if you’d rather me step back… I don’t want to become one of those creepers that I keep hearing about haha. Anyway hope to see you sometime, even to meet out for a drink or something. Later man.”
I originally found both my friends with benefits on adam4adam.com, so I sent them both messages on there. I lied and told them I was seeing someone, and I wouldn’t be able to see either of them anymore: “Hey dude. Sorry I haven’t hit you up. Everything is fine. I have started seeing someone, and I decided I need to stop with hookups outside a relationship regardless of that person. I think you’re a great guy, and I had a great time with you! Don’t doubt that. I just need to find a serious relationship right now, so I’m concentrating on that. I hope you understand!!!”
While the muscular weekend hookup simply replied, “No worries,”
Closet had a few more things to say: “Hey bro, its cool. No hard feelings. I mean can’t say I’m not disappointed, cause putting the physical aside, you really seem like a great guy, and I’m glad we met. Honestly, I felt weird saying it to you before, but now what the hell hehe…you’re the first guy I was with that made me think I wanna come out(not to mention my first for a few other things, lol). Obviously not saying I was in love after a few hookups lol, but I felt something more than just empty sex. I’m considering it after the holidays this year (you know, one last Christmas where the family likes me, hehe), but I’ll revisit that one later. Anyways, you’re a great catch, and I hope you find a great guy – and my offer remains open if you wanna grab a beer, just as a friend, hit me up. Thanks again dude, and I hope our paths cross again sometime. P.s. Two more things… 1. Thanks for being so patient with me in bed and all that, even though I still need to loosen up a little (pun intended), you really made me feel comfortable. 2. If you ever run into me while out at bars or whatever, cuz I’ve been in Hoboken quite a bit lately, feel free to say hi. I’m trying to gradually cut back on the paranoia part of all this.”
I felt pretty bad about the situation with Closet. It was obvious he was starting to fall for me, but I had no interest in pursuing anything with him. I knew I was right to cut it off when I did.
I joined OKCupid, was checking ManHunt and adam4adam.com regularly to see if there were any guys reaching out to me I’d be interested in meeting. It wasn’t easy finding a man up ’til now. I couldn’t expect it to get any easier just because I stopped hooking up with random men. None of the men I went on dates with previously showed any interest in seeing me again. Pillow and The Trainer kept giving me the runaround, so I had to learn when to simply give up and move on.
I started to wonder what was wrong with me. What was I doing wrong? Without the sex and without the happy feeling I get when I have a prospective guy I’m seeing, I started getting cranky. This was going to be a learning experience for me. I needed to not only find a man, but also to find myself. In the meantime, everyone around me would to have to watch out. I was not a happy camper…Follow @onegayatatime