After our week in the “country” house, as CK liked to call it, it was time to utilize our city abode. It was in no shape, however, to be lived in. Sure, the new bed was delivered, the delivery of which was a bit of contention between us, but the bed was surrounded by towers of boxes.
The day the bed was delivered followed a week straight with CK. There were errands I needed to take care of I never got to do when we were together. Because of this, I dropped CK off for the bus and told him I would meet him in the city later. I was trying to be productive with my time, rather than waiting for the bed to be delivered with him. Looking back, we probably should have just done them together, but at the time, I didn’t want to subject him to my boring burdens.
We were both eating dinner when I cooked at my place, so there’s no reason I should feel guilty dragging him to the grocery store. Going forward, I learned to shed that guilt quite easily. But on the flip side, this meant I would be going to the grocery store with him on the other side of the river. That seemed like a much better arrangement. I was beginning to resent that I had to do the responsible duties while he had all the fun, but that wasn’t fair to him. He never turned me down when I asked him to help me, but in reality, I never asked him in the first place. I couldn’t resent him if I didn’t give him the chance to delight me. There were lots of not exciting things we would both need to do, like cleaning our apartments, that while not fun at all, they could be completed much faster with both our efforts in tandem. Our lives were blending together, and I loved it. It wasn’t smooth, but I loved it.
On the flip side, since we were spending so much time together, I was finding it hard to make the time to work out. My body was paying the price, and as a result, my self-esteem plummeted even lower. I needed to start running again. I needed to get back in the gym and start lifting again.
This posed the challenge of a delicate situation. CK proposed that we work out together. I knew I was a far better runner than CK was. That’s not a dig against him at all, but put simply, I ran cross-country in high school and swam in college. In order for me to get results from my workouts, I needed to push myself, and I needed to push myself hard! I wouldn’t be able to do that if I was holding back to run at CK’s pace. I didn’t want to insult him or his abilities, but I wasn’t sure this was something we’d be able to integrate.
Regardless of this, I decided to make an effort to give it a shot. When I told CK I wanted to go for a run one night, he wanted to join me. We both got ready and walked over to the west bank of the Hudson to run along the trail. As I predicted, we clocked a pace much less effective than I was hoping. I decided I needed to speak up. I was met with the response I had dreaded. He took insult to my comments that I needed to run faster. I didn’t know any way to navigate this without creating a conflict. He took it personally that I was insinuating he was holding me back.
As a result, he played the role of the martyr and told me to take off. The result of running at our own pace was what I was hoping for, but the hurt feelings and passive-aggressive response was exactly what I was hoping to avoid. I tried to talk to him about it to make it a discussion so there would be no hurt feelings, but he wanted none of it. He’d rather I just go, so that’s what I did.
While I ran, I thought about how to deal with the fallout of this. It made sense to me that we work out together, but we needed to do it in a way that benefited us both. I was going to resent it if I wasn’t getting the full potential out of the workout, and that benefits no one. That’s when I came up with a solution:
When we ran together, we would start out together at a warm-up pace. When I was sufficiently warmed up, I would pick up the pace and run ahead of him. When I felt I was half way through the workout, I would turn around and pick him up on the way back. When I overtook him, I would slow down to a cool down pace. I thought it the perfect solution.
It’s also basically what we were doing. When I turned around, I quickly came to find myself right behind him. As we ran, I proposed this new idea, but he still wasn’t having any part of it. I realized I was in a losing battle, and this would have to be addressed later when his ego healed.
Working out in the gym was also a whole other battle. When I go to the gym I like to be by myself. I do not treat it as a social excursion. I am there to work out and go home. I don’t even like spotting someone when they ask me for help. I resent it because I am there for my workout, not theirs. I don’t ask anyone else to spot me. I am not a trainer or an employee. Why should I be “working” at the gym? I know this sounds very antisocial, and that’s exactly what it is. I’m not the biggest fan of lifting. I see it as a necessary evil. I want to get in and out of there as quickly as possible.
When CK asked me to lift with him all the time, I was very hesitant. I loved him, but I was so used to lifting by myself. I knew if we did this together, I would get cranky, and it would start a fight. I was trying to save us from that. I also liked to go to the gym during my lunch break at work, so when he would ask me to hit the gym with him in the morning or the evening, I wouldn’t want to. I would want to use that time for far more fun things.
It was going to be a delicate balance, trying to integrate our lives, but eventually we would find equilibrium. Both sides would have to make sacrifices and concessions, but both sides would benefit from each other as well. Needless to say, CK was the first guy I’d gone to these steps with. It was new territory for me, but it was certainly exciting as well!
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It was a bit of a stressful weekend with CK, but we managed to survive. In the meantime, more people were coming into our lives.
CK’s apartment was already occupied by two men. One was a bit crazy and not the easiest person to gauge. He kept his cards close and was a bit of an enigma. The other roommate was an Italian workout fiend. Whenever I saw him, he was coming or going in running gear. I didn’t take too much time to get to know him either because he was only around for another month before moving to a new place. They already had a new roommate lined up to fill the room. I’d get to know him soon enough. I was trying to tread lightly with them. I know it’s a rocky start with new roommates, and I didn’t want them to have the perception I’d be the fourth roommate right off the bat.
However, we didn’t really have to worry about that much because CK still didn’t have a bed. In the meantime, his roommate moved a futon into his room they were getting rid of. While this was sweet of him, it actually became a hindrance in the room. It was just one more thing to navigate while trying to unpack his boxes. It was not in good shape and obviously not something we could sleep on. After much discussion, CK and I took a trip to Macy’s to purchase a bed that weekend. When he tried to schedule delivery, the earliest they could deliver it was the following Sunday.
As a result, CK moved in for a week. Obviously, this could be very detrimental to a fragile not even two-month relationship, but CK and I had faith in each other. We would be spending every waking moment together with the exception of our workdays. That’s a whole of lot me! He packed up a serious overnight bag, and we made our way to Hoboken.
I’m not gonna lie. There were plenty of challenges here. For instance, it took a lot of diligence to make sure our living space didn’t look like a bomb exploded. We made space in one of my drawers for his clothes, tossed his shoes in my closet with my shoes, etc. With spending so much time together, we were both walking on eggshells to not set the other off.
As much as there were downfalls, I walked away from our week together pleasantly surprised how smoothly it went. We had discussions, but we didn’t fight the whole week together. I actually came to enjoy the time we spent together. I felt comfortable and looked forward to coming home to him. It also gave me great faith we could someday live together in bliss. I got so used to sleeping with him every night in my bed that eventually, when he wasn’t there, I had a hard time sleeping. My body knew it was missing something.
As far as test runs go, this went swimmingly well! Not only was I looking forward to the day I no longer needed to share my space with inconsiderate roommates, but also, I was looking forward to sharing a living space with the man I love, CK. Perhaps that living space might also be shared with a new puppy. Regardless, he was home for me. For me, it didn’t matter where we were — When I was with him, I was home.
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CK and I had been spending a lot of time together. That’s what happens when you’re in love. But, that also means there’s a transition period where one goes from being single to being in a relationship. This transition takes some finesse. When you’re as used to being as independent as I was, it’s a serious adjustment.
I was used to working out on my own schedule. I would watch whatever TV I wanted whenever I wanted. I would go to bed when I was tired and wake up when I wanted. I would make dinner and not have to worry about catching a train to go see someone. That doesn’t go to say I wasn’t happy. Quite the contrary. It’s amazing the amount of free time I had by not hunting for a man all the time. I had an amazing man who loved me. Who could ask for more?
Wednesday morning, I woke up in CK’s bed by the sound of my alarm. I reach across him to grab it from the charger and turn it off. It’s safe to say, at that point, we were both awake, however, we were both incredibly groggy. It was hard to wake up. It’s also safe to say, with my libido, I was horny. After a few permutations of snuggling configurations, we started escalating the cuddling. This turned into grinding which led to sex.
This wasn’t exactly a quickie either. We had sex for quite some time. So much that it made us both late for work. We quickly showered and got ready to get out the door. It’s not the easiest to get ready with CK either since he’s such a distraction. I catch a glimpse of his sexy body out of the corner of my eye, and I can’t help myself. I find the gravitational pull too strong to resist, and I quickly find him in my arms with my lips traversing his neck. When he asked me what we were doing that evening, I gently pulled him away and suggested we take a night apart. “Don’t take this the wrong way! I’m not sick of you, nor am I trying to put distance in here. I just need to do my own thing tonight. I want to go for a run and do all the boring things you need to do in life that I don’t feel the need to put you through. Is that cool?” “Yea. I guess that’s fine,” he responded. I could tell he wasn’t thrilled with the idea, so I explained how a little distance may be good for us. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” I added while explaining how I was shocked I actually hadn’t grown tired of him. In the end, he agreed it was probably a good idea.
We finally made our way out the door, and he walked me to my office. I said goodbye to him with a big kiss since we were planning to take the night off.
After work, I made my way home. I took some things out of the freezer to make for myself for dinner. I was trying to eat healthier and work out more. I was starting to get pudgy again. I wanted to look hot for my man. On top of this, NYC Pride weekend was a month away. I couldn’t look like a fat mess. It was safe to say I’d be dragged somewhere I’d have to take my shirt off. I would already feel uncomfortable the way it was. Having to take my shirt off in a crowded bar would only make it more stressful.
I put on running shorts and my shoes and took off into the hot night shirtless to run along the waterfront. I felt great. It’d been a while since I worked out like that. I missed it and needed to get back to it. My body needed it too. Every song I heard made me think of Clark Kent. They made me miss him, but they also made me wonder what he was up to. Since I was still carrying around some light luggage, I have to admit I was a little worried CK may be engaged in some extra curricular activities. He gave me no real reason not to trust him, but I couldn’t quite get passed the fact I met him on Grindr. I know how I was on Grindr. I know how I’d cheated on N because of my suspicions he was cheating on me (which were rooted in fact, but still not excusable what I did). There was a small shadow of doubt in the back of my mind. In time, I would learn to fully trust him, but I was still a little broken from my previous experiences with Grindr guys.
I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I had nothing to do but run and think. This is why I don’t do well alone. I crawl up into my head and start causing problems. I even paused to take a picture of the Empire State Building in the NYC skyline to post to Instagram. I tagged him in the picture and sent it out to my Twitter followers. Just when I was missing CK the most, my phone started ringing. I was in the middle of my run and came to a screeching halt. I picked up, and we chatted a bit. It was very reassuring to me he wasn’t up to no good. He wanted to let me get back to my run, but I wanted to talk some more. I was happy to hear the sound of his voice. I told him how it was a dumb idea to take a night apart, but it did help me realize just how much I love him. I didn’t even want to spend one night away from him.
He asked me to send him a picture of me all sweaty and shirtless, but I declined. Instead, I dug into my pictures on my phone and sent him a sexy picture from there after we hung up. We said goodbye, and I continued on my run home.
I do find it’s necessary for parties in a couple to do their own thing sometimes. I had a lot of friends I hadn’t seen in some time because I was spending a lot of time with CK alone. I didn’t want to be one of those people who gets into a relationship and falls off the face of the earth. It was a delicate balance I needed to figure out. I hadn’t had many relationships over the span of my life, so this aspect was a bit new to me, however, I would figure it out. I had plenty of love to go around for all since CK made me the happiest man on the planet.
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Following my great date with Smiles, I couldn’t get enough. I relished every phone call, every text, every moment I spent with him. I suppose you could say, I was gaga.
Is Smiles the greatest guy out there? Is he the best guy out there for me? Who knows. I don’t know him well enough to make that assumption. However, my appetite was wet, and I wasn’t satiated. He is a really great guy, and possess a lot of the qualities I seek in a man. I was cautiously optimistic — Fingers crossed.
After our last date, I texted, “Had a great time last night btw :)” He responded, “Me too!” That being said, I asked him out once again. The following day, I said, “So… When do I get to see you again?” He proposed Tuesday night. I was a little surprised. I was waiting to hear Wednesday night, since he invited me to his birthday that night. I was thrilled he was interested in seeing me two days in-a-row. I was just hoping he would confirm for me once again he wanted me at his birthday celebration and wasn’t having second thoughts.
I had been apartment hunting, so when I found one, I sent him a picture. That was followed shortly after by a sexy picture of me I took last summer on vacation in California (you’ll recognize part of the picture in my Gravatar on the right). I thought I’d spice things up a little, especially since I promised him I would send the picture. He responded, “That’s way better than an apt pic!” I said, “I thought you’d appreciate…” However, he didn’t believe me when I told him I took the picture with the timer on the camera. He thought someone else took it until I went on to explain the entire situation. “You’re committed to this, huh? LOL. Good for you. Strong work,” he said.
When Tuesday arrived, I asked him if we were still on for that evening. He responded, “Yep. Barring a trip to the hospital for stitches after I punch my computer for not working and wasting my time today.” At the end of the day, he added, “I’ve calmed a bit, looking forward to seeing you. What time are you off? You don’t happen to have running shoes with you? I feel like I need a run, LOL.” After discussing my lack of running equipment, we decided on dinner at his favorite restaurant, Extra Virgin.
We grabbed a table outside the restaurant. It was that time of year right before it’s not too cold to sit outside, but it’s also not quite warm enough to be completely comfortable. We ordered our food and immediately dove into conversation. We talked about our days and what was new in our lives.
He told me he and a friend were going to a shaman to try Ayawaska (a Peruvian root similar to Peyote) for the first time. He explained the setting in a yoga studio and how it works. I was fascinated. I’m certainly not the type to be open to drug abuse, but recreationally or experimentally, I have an open mind, especially if it happens under close supervision. The point was to relax and open you mind. Many people use it to communicate with God/the spirits in a trippy way. There was slight reservation/worry in the back of my mind regarding the whole thing, but he is an adult. I knew he’d be safe.
We ate our meals (I don’t recommend the chicken pot pie at Extra Virgin, but everything else I’ve had is spectacular) and continued our conversation.
Smiles likes to order deserts when we go out. Going out to dinner is already putting a dent in my wallet that normally isn’t there. I cook in my apartment far more often than I dine out. Since I started seeing him, I was going out a lot more often for dinner. Not only that, it wasn’t exactly helping my waistline. It’s amazing how easy it is to put on pounds when you aren’t afraid of people seeing you in a bathing suit anymore.
Instead of getting desert, he suggested we go to this tea shop, McNulty’s and then grab desert elsewhere. He was looking for a specific tea, so I called the shop to make sure they were still open.
After the tea shop, we hit up a gelato place, L’Arte De Gelato. We took out gelato and walked down Christopher Street to the pier. We had a nice stroll along the pier holding hands. I pointed out a few things on the Jersey side, such as the pier I normally hit up in the summer looking back the other way. We chatted a bit at the end of the pier. I was hoping maybe for a little make out session or some hugging, but I didn’t get the feeling he was interested in that. I don’t think he noticed, but when I went to reach for his hand, that’s the exact moment he lifted it from the railing and turned around to head back to the Christopher Street PATH station. I wondered in the back of my head why he never invited me to come back to his apartment, especially since I knew we were in the neighborhood. But, I also know I needed to take it a little slower. I had a tendency to rush things, and I needed to break that habit.
When we reached the PATH station, we hugged, and I gave him a kiss goodnight. I was happy to get to see him again, and I was cautiously looking forward to his birthday the following night. It was an awkward challenge for me, but I knew I was up for it. Birthdays are always interesting situations, especially when you’re the new addition to the crowd, but something told me I’d be alright.
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That Sunday morning, once again, I woke N up on the couch. I made us some breakfast, and we watched some TV. The weather wasn’t exactly ideal, so even walking down to the pier for sun wasn’t a very valid option. After watching some TV and falling asleep on each other, I called friends to see what everyone was doing.
I needed to get a picture framed at A.C. Moore, and my female friend needed to pick up a grill. I asked her if she would mind driving me to drop off the picture, and she obliged. N had nothing to do all day, so he agreed to tag along, which made me very happy. All day long I sent him dirty text messages right under my friend’s nose. We were having a good time sexting. It passed the time while we were grill shopping.
We dropped off my picture to be framed and made our way to Lowes. N was very instrumental in this since he grew up in the area. He took us on shortcuts I never knew existed. Which, if you’ve ever driven in New Jersey, you know they can be a Godsend! He was also instrumental in loading the grill into the back of the car and into her backyard through her apartment building since she bought one preassembled.
Like the two strapping men we were, we carried it to the backyard for her and set up the propane tank. N was by my side helping out someone he knew for a week. It was sweet. I was turned on. Of course, that night, we both made sure the other went to bed with a smile on his face.
Two nights later, we attempted to go to yoga together, but the rain washed away those plans. We weren’t going to let it ruin our night. N went to the gym instead, and I went home and relaxed until he was finished. We decided to take advantage of free movie Tuesday in Hoboken to see Super 8. We arrived at the theater and got our seats. Once again, there would be no hand holding or anything in such a crowded theater, especially since we were sitting near the front in plain view of almost everyone in the theater. I didn’t need the PDA. We were going strong, and I was able to sit through a movie without signs of affection. I shared my popcorn with him and he shared his powerbar with me.
On the walk home, we talked about how much we enjoyed the movie and our favorite parts. When we arrived home, we fooled around before falling asleep. This had become a trend. We weren’t having “sex” every night, but we always made sure we were both satisfied before falling asleep. Things weren’t perfect either. Sometimes it took a long time to finish. I was finding it harder to concentrate, and found myself filing through my “spank bank” in order to get myself over that final hump. And, I can’t speak for him, but it appeared to be the same.
I realized we didn’t have amazing sexual chemistry, but it was certainly something I was willing to work on, especially if it meant I would get to hold on to a guy like N.
The next night, N had to work late and didn’t have time to go to the gym. I was itching to go for a run, so I texted him and asked if he wanted to join. He agreed and we went for a nice sweaty jog along the waterfront. When people would pass by, and I had to drop back, I made the joke, “I will never get tired of this view… And the city’s pretty too,” as I stared at his ass.
Shortly into the run, he wasn’t feeling well, so we had to walk. We ended up walking another mile and a half just talking the whole time. I would have preferred to be getting a workout in, but I was enjoying the conversation.
When we got home, it was obvious we both needed a shower, so we conserved water. I got him nice and horny, and we had a really hot time in the shower. However, we didn’t really conserve any water because we spent so much more time in there fooling. So much so, we ran out of hot water. That night, he had, or so he said, one of the best orgasms he’s ever had before. It certainly was one of the most powerful I’d ever witnessed. I knew my man was going to bed a happy man that night.
Our relationship was growing stronger every minute. We had our issues in the bedroom, but they were ever so slight and a part of any new relationship. We were still exploring each other’s bodies and hearts, and I certainly wasn’t done exploring…
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