Posts Tagged petrified
This year was the first time I was fully participating in Pride Weekend, and I have to say, it was certainly starting out to be an interesting one to say the least. Going into the weekend, I was petrified my relationship with CK wouldn’t survive. A lot of that due to the baggage I was still carrying around from my previous relationships. The guys from my past didn’t appreciate me, and I didn’t want to go through that again. That wasn’t helped by a few comments CK had made to me in full disclosure. Let me point out, he never gave me a reason not to trust him, however, he never gave me a reason to trust him either. It would take time, but eventually I would learn to trust him.
Overall, I had a good time at Matinee. I may not have been able to realize that at the time because I was so stressed throughout the night, but looking back from a relaxed state, I am able to recognize I was having a good time. When we got home that night, we had an even better time. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with everything that went on that night, but I was thrilled to be in the arms of the man I loved. We had amazing sex that night. It seemed to be a turning into a trend. Our sex life was indescribable. The passion was without parallel. We were both strong men, so tossing each other around came easy and provided fun and excitement. We even pulled out a reverse cowgirl or two. To put it succinctly, it was epic.
We slept in the following morning. We both had a long day. My exhaustion came at my own hand from mental anguish. CK’s exhaustion came more from hip gyrations on the dance floor. I was happy to relax for a bit with some light pillow talk. Before the weekend began, CK mentioned going to Alegria Sunday night. I told him right off the bat, I would not be able to do that. I had to go to work Monday morning, so that was not something I would participate in. Again, I didn’t really want him to go without me, but I wasn’t going to stop him.
We got a really slow start, and it took a long time for us to get out of the apartment. A part of me wanted to see the parade since I’d still never quite seen it before, but once again, I was going to miss it. In the big picture takeaway, I was alright with that as well. We walked from Hell’s Kitchen down to the Village to see what was still going on. Along the way, I spotted Hunter Parrish of Weeds fame coming out of Starbucks and pointed him out to CK. Once we got down to the Village, we came upon some of CK’s friends from Miami and stopped to chat with them for a bit. They were headed to Alegria that night and encouraged us to join them. CK turned to me and asked how I felt about the idea.
I was ready to kill him. The part of that interaction that bothered me the most was the hypocrisy. When I had done something of a similar fashion, CK was sure to point out how unfair that was and how uncomfortable it made him. Now, he was doing the same thing after we had a long conversation about avoiding putting each other in that exact situation. I gave him such a look. I think he picked up on it rather quickly and told them he wasn’t sure what we were doing yet. He told them he’d hit them up and try to go. They commented, “Yea… You’re not going to show up,” through a chuckle.
After that, we reached out to Hip to see how his day was going. The night before, he met a cute Aussie, and they were heading to the unofficial after-party at Work. CK and I were anxious to get the details on how the night went. He wasn’t far from us, so we stayed put while he made his way toward us. He greeted us with big hugs and began detailing his night. We were all feeling quite peckish, so we decided to grab a bite to eat a few blocks away. On the walk there, CK literally almost trampled an incognito Matthew Broderick, looking quite disheveled I might add. We sat outside Cowgirl and ordered food while we talked and took in the sights passing us by. We were right at the end of the parade route, so it was quite the sh*tshow. Apparently, the day was also full of celebrity sightings. While we ate, Hip noticed Colin Farrell walking up the street away from the parade. This of course spurred a whole new conversation about Colin’s sexuality and prowess.
It was a fun day, and I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end Pride Weekend than with my boys. It was the perfect cherry on top to a long weekend. We had a gay ol’ time joking, laughing and judging the sh*t out of the people who passed by. I drank my fill of people watching while I chased it down with fried chicken.
Overall, I had a good time at all the Pride events. Granted, the weekend stressed me out so much I probably should have been put on anti-anxiety medication, but I still had a good time. I opened me up to trying similar experiences down the road I wouldn’t have before the weekend. I was slowly coming out of my shell and finally beginning to bear some of that gay pride, and it was only going to grow from there.
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CK and I had a fun afternoon promoting the circuit party we were attending that evening. When we got back to CK’s apartment, CK, Hip and I relaxed listening to music and chatting before getting ready, however we didn’t have all that much time before we needed to go to Governor’s Island for Matinee.
I watched from the sidelines while CK and Hip played dress up. My work in that arena was done. I had to decide what I was wearing the day before when I packed my bag for the weekend. I witnessed CK try on roughly 30 different permutations of outfits before he finally got every detail just the way he wanted. Meanwhile, I was stressing about how I could make my outfit gay enough so I wouldn’t stand out but normal enough to feel comfortable in my own skin. Hip didn’t have much work to do either. Originally, he wasn’t planning to go, so he pretty much had the clothes on his back with a few embellishments from CK.
I wasn’t thrilled with the shirt I originally chose, and the shirt I got from promoting seemed like it would work out well for me. Apparently, CK had the same thought. We were worried we’d look like twins, but Hip assured us it was cute. After carving up his own t-shirt, he insisted on taking a scissor to mine, but I asked him not to. He surmised that he had better judgment than I did, but I stood my ground. I wanted to go to this thing feeling like myself. I wasn’t going to change that just for some event.
Sure, I was trying to fit in, but I wanted to maintain some level of individuality. Of course, since I was already on edge, this started an unnecessary argument. I was shutting down. He was making me feel even more anxious about the night, and that was the last thing I needed. Things got pretty heated until he realized what was going on. I was going to add a few more cuts in my shirt, but I wasn’t going to wear the strands of fabric he turned his into.
We finally settled on attire and were headed to the bar knowing drinks would be expensive at Matinee. I wasn’t thrilled with POSH, the location choice, as Broadway always called it Poor Old Sad Homos. I didn’t want to hang out with a bunch of creepy old ‘mos, but I’d never been so I didn’t really protest. We had a quick round of drinks before venturing to Governor’s island.
We walked across the island of Manhattan until we found the right subway stop to get us downtown to the ferry. My anxiety was getting to me, and on the way to get cash from the ATM, CK and I had a small breakdown. He pulled me aside to make sure we were cool before we got on the ferry while Hip made himself scarce. He managed to reassure me everything was going to be all right, and we were going to have a great time. I kinda needed that to snap me out of it. I was getting into my head once again, causing all kinds of problems. Sometimes a vivid imagination can be a curse. After that, things were better, and CK and I were actually talking to Hip about how we discussed what a marriage between the two of us might be like, such as the wedding party. Hip was thrilled to hear he would be included in this.
After a quick ferry ride, we were there. We made our way through the line and posed for a picture as we entered the party. When I noticed a Grindr Pride sign, I insisted CK and I snap a picture in front of it. We’d been joking about contacting them to do a testimonial like eHarmony commercials.
This was it. I was making my circuit party debut. As we came around the bend, the festivities came into view. It was a sea of shirtless men. I may sound stupid for saying this (and I wasn’t the only one to think this), but when CK told me it was a “water park,” I was expecting a lot more water. I wasn’t expecting water slides or anything, but I wasn’t expecting the entire party to be on sand and dry land.
The first thing we did was head to the bar to get a drink, and boy did I need it. Of course, as we predicted, the drinks were not cheap. I immediately wished I brought more cash. While I knew there were be an abundance of illicit substances, I wasn’t planning to participate. (I’m probably going to come across like a complete goodie-two-shoes here). I was, however, planning to get pretty hammered to loosen me up. I wasn’t going to be closed-minded, and if I felt comfortable partaking, I would. That being said, I’d never done anything other than pot before, and I was already out of my element. I thought one anxiety-causing experience at a time was plenty.
Alcohol wasn’t going to be the only thing to get me through the night. My friend D supplied me with a lozenge from a medical facility in San Francisco after his last trip there. I didn’t quite have any use for it until that night. I thought it would be the perfect thing to mellow me out. He told me all the hang-ups, but the benefits seriously outweighed any of the possible negative effects.
I unwrapped my lozenge and waited for it to kick in. D told me to suck on half, and save the other half for later, especially since it was my first time, but half way through, I wasn’t feeling a thing. I kept sucking on it until there was nothing left.
In the meantime, I was dancing and trying to have a good time with Hip and CK. We met a lot of new people, including one couple that recently wed. I was thrilled to hear that, as they were the first married gay couple I’d met in person, but I’ll circle back to them later.
While CK and I were dancing, a cute young blond boy came up and started dancing with us. It was plain to see he was feeling some sort of high. CK was facing me, and the boy came up and started dancing up on his backside. I wasn’t thrilled with this, and my heart started pounding out of my chest. I tried to be cool and remain calm. I don’t know why I get so worked up about these things, but it’s like a trigger. CK wanted to open my mind and suggested I get in the center. I would later learn, he thought I might enjoy being the center of attention like that, however I explained to him that was the last thing I wanted. It started off innocent enough, but then the guy began thrusting himself against CK’s backside, and I nearly lost it. I wasn’t going to go off on the kid or anything, however, I wanted it to stop. I wanted it to stop NOW! I think CK got the hint from my face and gently shuffled the kid away. Minutes later, the kid came up behind me and started dancing against my backside, but I turned around and politely shook my head no and said, “Sorry.” I could see it in his eyes — This kid was in another world.
It was then I knew I was in for a long night. I wasn’t necessarily worried what CK would do. I was more worried what others would do with him. I had a feeling our definitions of what was acceptable differed. I was petrified of witnessing something he thought was innocent, and I thought unacceptable. Everyone was in an altered state, just as I suspected, and I wasn’t exactly from the “anything goes” camp many of the other attendees were a part of. I needed to find a way to calm down, or I was going to drive myself clinically insane…
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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.
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I spent the majority of my day and a good portion of my night celebrating the marriage of two of my best friends, J and his new bride. It was a beautiful ceremony and the reception was off the hook. After a chat with the mother of the groom, the music ended, and the time came for us all to make our way home.
Originally, I reserved a room because I thought the bridal party would be staying in the same hotel and there would be post-reception festivities. I was worried about my roommate or I driving home drunk, even though it was only a twenty-minute drive. After talking to the groom, I learned that wasn’t the case, but I was also confused what their plans were in general. I thought maybe we could grab breakfast with them before heading home in the morning. On top of this, I already paid for the room, so I figured we’d crash at the hotel. While my roommate drove, I called CK to see how his night was going. The response came as quite a shock.
In our conversation, I learned he would not be going to the circuit party, Allegria. I was not expecting this at all! A small part of me felt really bad because I knew how excited he was to go, but I have to admit, my heart fluttered for joy. I felt a huge weight lift off me. I was petrified of the result of that night, and now all that worry was gone.
When I inquired as to the reason he was forgoing the circuit party, he cited the fact that I wouldn’t be there. He told me if I was going with him, he’d still go, but it would be no fun without me. I wondered then and there what his original intentions were. Did my statement of “behave” make him change his priorities? Was he originally giving himself a free pass for the night since I wouldn’t be there? We had only been dating two months.
I didn’t know this at the time, but I later learned he would have been going with a guy he used to hook up with regularly — Someone who had actually come up in conversation between us in the past. When CK and I were discussing our relationship status a few weeks in, he was the other guy CK was “seeing” since the new year. He was the guy CK detailed in our conversation in the Sonic parking lot, noting they would see each other about once a month, which I could only assume meant hooking up as well. Had I known that, I would not have been okay from the start. Granted we’d moved past the conversation. We were exclusive. But, that message may not ring loud and clear with this other guy. He might try to seduce CK, and the temptation may have been too much to fight.
More importantly than all this, he decided not to go in the end. Regardless of what he was planning to do or what was possible, he chose me. That’s all that matters. He chose me. He put his own desires aside in order to ensure our relationship would survive. This was a huge moment for me. The other guy was irrelevant. My man cared more about my state of mind and the state of our relationship than he did about going to a party he’d been looking forward to for weeks.
We talked a bit at length about his decision. “Baby, you mean so much more to me than this. My priorities have changed since I originally decided to go,” he added. I could tell he was really disappointed, but his act of love made me the happiest man on Earth! I was so touched.
In the middle of this conversation, we pulled up to the hotel. It was a DUMP! I couldn’t believe this was the suggested hotel. Now I know why the room was $97 for the night, but still. We walked into the lobby to find no one there. As I looked to the left, I noticed the reception desk behind the bullet-proof glass. There were a few people milling about the lobby, but no one who actually worked there. I told CK to hold on a second while I processed the scene, turned to my roommate as we made horrified faces at each other, and we walked right back out the door. At this, I returned to my call with CK and told him what just happened. I told him we’d be driving home, especially since my roommate was sober. She didn’t really want to stay at the hotel from the start, so she already cut off her drinking earlier.
As we drove back to Hoboken, I had the great idea to tell CK to come spend the night at my place. If he got ready quickly, we’d arrive in Hoboken at the same time. We’d be able to pick him up at the PATH and give him a ride to my apartment. He told me he needed to gather some things and shower before he came over, so he would just meet me at my apartment.
When the buzzer rang, I jumped for joy. I was so excited to see him. I had a great night at the wedding, and after receiving the relieving news he wasn’t going to the circuit party, I was purely elated. I greeted him at the door with the biggest kiss and strongest hug I could possibly muster. I made him some food and we snuggled up on the couch to watch a few episodes of Game of Thrones until we fell asleep in each other’s arms.
Before this night, I certainly knew I found a keeper, but after his decision, I realized I may have found a for lifer. I had never dated someone who would make a sacrifice like that for me. I truly felt what it was to be loved. I don’t think CK realizes how much that gesture meant to me, and I’m not sure he ever will. But, I will certainly continue to show my appreciation by giving him my undying love every day.
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Relationships aren’t easy. No matter whether you’re friends or lovers, each relationship is accompanied by its own set of issues. When you introduce sex into these relationships, things get exponentially more complicated.
Tuesday, I engaged in unprotected sex with M.E. It happened in the middle of the night in the passion of a moment, however, there is never an excuse. People’s lives are at stake. I tell you about the poor decisions and the mistakes I’ve made because I hope you can learn from them.
From that morning on, I was on damage control. I’d already talked to him about what transpired between us, and we agreed to get tested and share our results to ensure we were safe going forward. I called a doctor’s office and made an appointment that Wednesday following work to have an STD test.
As I walked into the doctor’s office, I noticed a few other men sitting in the waiting room. I had never been to this facility before. I was curious if they were there for the same thing I was. I began to wonder what was going through their heads. Were they petrified? Were they already infected? etc. I myself began to worry a little. I wasn’t particularly worried until I walked into the waiting room. There was nothing I could do at that point, so I tried to calm my nerves. The only good part about this was it made me quite ready to fill a cup with my urine sample. They also drew blood and told me to call in three days for my results.
Now, it was the waiting game. I couldn’t do anything and would have to wonder for three days.
That night, I had plans with P to go see Silence, The Musical. After my tests, I walked all the way downtown to meet her for dinner near the theater. Dinner was very nice. I got her caught up on all the latest action in my life. She’s always incredibly supportive, even when I make poor life choices.
We went to the show, and about two minutes in, I noticed how attractive one of the male actor/dancers was. It was a small theater, and any time he was on stage, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. When they came out for curtain call, he caught my eye, and we made eye contact. There was a bit of an awkward moment, but I was crushing a bit.
I wasn’t intimidated because I’d already dated someone who worked on Broadway. This was Off-Broadway. I didn’t think twice about what I was about to do. That night, when I got home, I decided to do some research (and when I say research, I mean stalking). I pulled out the Playbill and looked to see if I could find him on Facebook. Much to my surprise, he was on there. I decided to message him. What the hell, why not? What did I have to lose?
I’m sure you’re wondering who this is, and I really hope this doesn’t come off incredibly creepy. I myself can’t believe I’m about to send you this. (And, something tells me I may not be the first).
First off, I came to see Silence tonight and thought you were incredibly cute and incredibly talented. Your mother must be so proud.
Second off, I have no idea if you’re single or even gay. But gay or straight, single or taken, I’d love to strike up a conversation with you. On the flip side, I fully understand if this makes you uncomfortable.
Anyway, with nothing to lose but a little dignity, I thought I’d give it a shot. Hit me back if you’re interested in chatting some time. If not, enjoy the flattery…
Then, I noticed he was a friend of Broadway, the guy I dated for ten months. I pulled out my phone and texted him to see what their relationship was. His response was, “Who is that?” I explained who he was and how they were Facebook friends. “Oh yes. We audition together. HOT!! You dating?” I told him, “No. I just cold called him on Facebook after seeing his show… LOL. We’ll see what happens. Think I creeped him out?” He felt I did creep him out, but I explained how I had nothing to lose.
Sadly, I never heard back from him. It just wasn’t meant to be.
Much later that night, I received a text from the guy I had sex with when I cheated on N. We’d been texting a bit recently after noticing each other on Grindr. He asked if I was up. I replied, and he asked if he could come over. Apparently, I was getting a booty call. It was about 11:30, but I didn’t see the harm. After all, I did fantasize about the first time we had sex quite often. It was something my mind went back to many times. This isn’t because of the cheating. It was simply because the sex was that good.
He came over, and I could tell he’d been drinking a bit. He immediately commented on how crazy it was that my new apartment looked exactly like my last. He began taking his shoes off before hopping on the bed with me. He immediately began making out with me interspersed with conversation. He never got closure with how messed up things ended between him, N and myself.
He wanted to talk a lot about him. I would have been fine if N never even came up in conversation. I learned they got together once after I told him to take a hike. It was hysterical how much their accounts of this encounter were completely different. The only commonality was how much disdain they had for each other. At one point he mentioned how dirty N was. I asked him to clarify as in physically or as in naughty. He then went on to describe a particular body part that would only have been encountered during sex and how disgusting it was. He then went on to tell me they never had sex. He told me N just gave him a blowjob and he finished on his face. He pointed out his surprise I ever dated N. N’s account of the story was they met on the street. After seeing him, he couldn’t believe I would hook up with someone so ugly, let alone cheat on him with someone of that caliber. All I could do was laugh my a$$ off in my head. These two were ridiculous. I was so happy I cut things off with both when I did.
After the N conversation concluded, he really wanted to have sex with me. He mentioned how amazing it was the last time we hooked up, and he told me he hadn’t had sex with a man since the previous summer. I told him how hot it was last time we hooked up and how I referred back to it many times in my mind. With that, the clothes began to strip off.
Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. We were intertwined in each other’s embrace making out. I found myself lying on my stomach with him on top of me. I knew he would try to penetrate me, but I wasn’t game for that. The last time he did that, I sprang from the bed because he did it with no preparation and full force. I wasn’t about to let that happen again. He tried and tried, and I never relaxed to allow entry. I think he got embarrassed with his fumbling, and he made a comment. I complimented him and told him he was too large for me. We switched positions, much to his chagrin, and now I was the one on top. He was on his back, and I put his legs up on my shoulders.
He told me how much he enjoyed me inside him because I hit his prostrate just right. With that, I slipped inside him. It felt amazing. It was just as good as the last time I played over and over again in my mind’s eye. He loved it too. After a short while, he finished on his abdomen. Seconds later, I alerted him I was about to finish. He replied, “I want you to shoot inside me,” and I did. For me, this was a first, and it felt incredible.
I’m not sure why, but I had no problem finishing this time. It completely came naturally and without over thought. I felt amazing and incapacitated all in one. We lay there next to each other speechless for a minute before even moving or talking. We were in euphoria.
When that wore off, I became the topic of conversation. N told him about the blog when everything went down. He told me he read part of it and still didn’t understand why I wrote it. He also asked this story not make an appearance, but I find it too important to exclude. He pointed out I was looking for a boyfriend, and that was not what he was looking for at all. He pointed out how I was going about things all the wrong way if I wanted to find love. I explained to him all my trials and tribulations and what I was looking for in the end. He fully understood.
Then he made a comment about how stupid we were to not use a condom. I agreed. I’m sure he was far more worried about the situation than I was since I finished inside him. Apparently, with everything I’ve been through, I still didn’t learn my lesson. I wasn’t being responsible.
This was my wake-up call. I’d hit rock bottom. I’d gotten so reckless with my life. I needed to stop before I did something that could end my life. What was I doing? How could I be this stupid? This wasn’t how to find love — Having unprotected sex with the guy I cheated on my ex with. No more excuses. No more Grindr hookups. No more strangers. If I wasn’t finding love, I would be single and celibate for some time until I got myself under control. This was my turning point.
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