Posts Tagged pain
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
Monday would pass by and I would not see Smiles. As was typical with Mondays, he had to work an event, so we wouldn’t spend the night together.
Monday I reached out to him to ask if he wanted to see the newest Twilight movie after watching the third together. I also have free passes to the movies in Hoboken because my friend lets me use his discount card on free movie Tuesdays. He was interested, so we made plans to see the movie.
When Tuesday arrived, he asked me if I minded putting the movie off until later and seeing it in the city. His friend was doing a gallery showing in Brooklyn, and he wanted to go out and support him. I was fine with this. The only thing it meant was the movie wouldn’t be free anymore.
When I finished work, I made my way down to his apartment. As I walked to his place from the subway, I called him to see if I could get him anything at the Starbucks a block from his apartment. He told me he would just meet me there. I placed my order and played on Twitter while I waited for him to arrive and get his coffee.
We walked to the subway while we talked about our days since we last saw each other. Luckily, the subway ride out to Brooklyn wasn’t too long because the train was packed. We spent most of the ride not even standing next to each other.
When we got above ground, he told me he needed to make a phone call for work and asked if I could find our way to the place. I pulled up the map on my phone and pulled him around while he talked to someone else. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with this, but I dealt with it. A few blocks before the place, he finally hung up and explained what it was all about.
When we arrived, we made our way to the back of the bar where his friend was showing his photographs. He gave his friend a big hug. Then, as he turned to me, words that felt like daggers came out of his mouth: “This is my friend, [OneGay AtaTime].” I wonder if my expression gave away my pain.
We’d been seeing each other for two and a half months at this point. He’d referred to me as the guy he was dating previously. Why now was I just a friend? I would have been happy without the descriptor. He could have just used my name. From then on, I was a little turned off. I began to analyze our relationship a bit. I looked back at a lot of our interactions with a fine tooth comb.
I was shying away from the boyfriend term because I’d had bad pervious history with it, but it was a term I wanted to use. It seemed he was avoiding using even the phrase dating. Was I getting ahead of myself, or was he way behind?
He bought me a drink at the bar, and we walked around with the photographer as he described his process. I was still distracted by my own thoughts.
When we sat down for a bit, and man approached and asked how we knew the photographer. Smiles described how he is an old friend from work projects and how he took pictures at his birthday gathering. The man explained his relation and told us what he did for a living. Smiles and he got into a long discussion about production. I sat quietly by, nodding my head. I didn’t have much to contribute to the conversation.
When Smiles tired of the man, he used me as an excuse. “I’ve gotta get this guy some food, or he’s gonna kill me,” he said. He told his friend we were heading out to get dinner, and I said goodbye.
As we walked back to the subway, Smiles b*tched about the conversation he had with the man. It was getting into a bit of a p*ssing contest towards the end. Then, he realized he needed to call someone else about the work project, so he was on the phone the entire walk back to the train once again.
I was feeling pretty unappreciated to begin with, but this was really getting to me. Why was I with him? He should have just canceled on me. I was still analyzing our relationship over the past two and a half months as I always do, and I wasn’t thrilled with the results.
We made our way back into the city and debated whether we would grab quick dinner and still try to catch the movie or just go for dinner. We wouldn’t decide until we were above ground and checking out showtimes for the movie…Follow @onegayatatime