Posts Tagged summer

One Relationship, Two Locations

Since Monday night was spent at CK’s, as per usual, we decided to spend our Tuesday night in Hoboken. Tuesday night in the summer is a big night in Hoboken.

CK and I had begun hitting up free yoga on the pier every Tuesday after work. It was a great way to hit the reset button and recharge for a new week. I found myself looking forward to the group outdoor session more and more. We’d even begun to make a few friends in the class.

I got out of work on time and made my way home to grab our yoga mats. CK had to work a little later, so he was going to meet me on the pier. I invited many of my other friends who had hit up yoga once or twice, but no one took the bait. I arrived just barely on time and reserved a spot for the two of us. CK finally arrived a few minutes into class as we continued our poses and relaxing breathing.

Earlier that morning, we planned to attempt to go to the movies that evening as part of Optimum’s Triple Play free movie night in Hoboken. I myself don’t have the service, so I have to borrow a friend’s card and hope he has no intention of going. When I learned we wouldn’t be able to get ahold of his pass, we decided to forgo the movies. Instead, we swung by the grocery store on our way home to share a home-cooked dinner for two.

We enjoyed our food on the couch in front of the TV, relaxing for the rest of the evening. It was nice to cuddle up next to him and watch TV. It was beginning to feel like a routine. Even though we still lived in separate apartments, it felt like we were living together. We spent nearly every night in each other’s company. The only difference was we had two residences.

We’d talked about moving in together. Neither of us was thrilled with our current roommate situations. Mine were simply disrespectful and unappreciative, and his… Well, we could be here all day. Every day was a new shady dealing. He needed to get out, and his lease was scheduled to be renewed in November. We didn’t make a concrete decision we would live together at that time, but we both began entertaining the idea.

I know many of you are shocked by the timeline there. Come November, we’ll have been dating for eight months. I know that sounds like a very short time to be together before moving in together, but like I said, it was almost as if we already lived together. Not much would be different. We both agreed this would be a goal for now, not a definitive date.

When bedtime arrived, we made our way to the bedroom to get ready for bed. Things took a bit of a detour when CK began seducing while I brushed my teeth. From there, things only got better. The sex was great. We were back on our game. And, true to our fashion, we flipped. That seemed to be how things went for us. Neither was a top, and neither was a bottom. We both experienced all the parts of sex. Our sex-life was very healthy and diverse. I’d finally found my match both inside and outside the bedroom. He managed to satisfy my physical and emotional needs. I was truly happy.

I thought about all the others before him. They seemed a distant memory. None of them came close to my relationship with my Superman. Many of them treated me poorly and didn’t deserve my love. Some of them attempted to love me, but the connection wasn’t there. I didn’t regret a single one of them, for they all brought me to where I am today. Sure, I was still carrying around some of the scars, but I was a stronger man for them. Those were my battle wounds. Those were my war stories. I didn’t miss any of them, but cherished their presence in my life — Even the a$$holes. I was truly in love, and I didn’t want it to end. The road I’d taken had led me to CK, so looking back, I wouldn’t have changed a single direction.

The next night was spent apart. I was supposed to be getting my review at work, but my boss rescheduled it twice that day, and then he had to schedule it for the following day. I was frustrated and needed to take those frustrations out somewhere.

I hit up the gym to lift and swim to calm my nerves. While there, he calls finally, telling me he’s working late and probably can’t come see me. Once again, I felt disappointed. He asked if I would mind coming into the city, but I wasn’t up for that. After not hearing from him all day, I made alternate plans. I was meeting up with my old roommate for a drink. I suggested maybe we needed to spend the night apart. He agreed.

More and more, I was realizing maybe we had been spending too much time together. Small things were getting on each other’s nerves. I wondered if I was losing my individuality. Now that I was back in the gym again, I was feeling better about myself. I relished my workout time. This was something I put on the back burner after meeting CK. We both needed some “me time” every once in a while.

As time progressed, we would find that balance. We’d only been dating four months. We were still figuring everything out. But, I knew, in the end, we’d figure it out together.

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Before the Fourth

After our day at the beach, I still had a few lingering worries. I’d made the mistake of getting involved with the wrong guy before, and I wasn’t getting any younger. I wanted to make sure if I was getting into a relationship it was with the right guy. There was no use getting attached if in the end I was just going to get hurt. Or at least that’s how I saw it.

Sunday morning, we woke up in my bed. In his usual fashion, I woke to a kiss on the lips. With a lot weighing on my mind, I’m sure I wasn’t the most affectionate. I certainly wasn’t cold either. I just had a lot to figure out. I wanted to make sure I was the right guy for CK, and he was the right guy for me. There was no use panicking just yet. I needed more information about CK’s true intentions.

We had a lazy Sunday. After making breakfast, we made our way to the Hoboken pier get some sun. I took along the weekly circulars and a few magazines so I could make my grocery list and catch up on the stack of magazines piling up in my room.

At one point, CK excused himself to make a few phone calls he’d been neglecting. He walked around the entire pier while chatting on his phone for quite some time. I was a little turned off. After all, we were supposed to be spending the afternoon together. Instead, I was spending it with GQ. When he came back, he informed me one of his exes was going to be on Fire Island for the Fourth of July (three days away). He really wanted to go out there for the holiday after asking me to go out there all summer. Of course I wasn’t okay with going out there to hang out with one of his exes. It just didn’t feel right. I also wasn’t sure I wanted to trek all the way out there (my reason for not going all the previous times he asked). We hadn’t made solid plans yet, but I did want to watch the fireworks. One year prior, I was searching for N so I could break up with him. I was unsuccessful, and I didn’t exactly have the best Fourth of July. I wanted this year to be spent in CK’s arms watching explosions of light with the New York City skyline as the backdrop. I told him we would discuss it further. I have to admit, I was also stalling because I wanted to see what my friends were up to as well.

When the sun began to set and a chill developed in the air, we made our way back to my apartment. I agreed we’d spend Sunday night at his place, so I packed a bag so we could make our way into the city before dinner. While I packed, CK made plans to grab dinner with his two friends. We went to CK’s apartment to drop off our things before meeting them at the Statler Grill in midtown. After dinner, we went back to CK’s to watch TV before falling asleep.

Monday we woke and made our way to work. Our only saving grace was the short week. It was the only thing getting me out of bed and motivating me to finish my workday. I even managed to finagle working from home the following day.

That night, CK asked if I would be up for the midnight showing of Spiderman 4. I told him, “I don’t have to go in to work tomorrow. You do. Are you sure you want to do this?” He was all in. Being a big comic book fan, he was waiting for this movie for some time. Of course, we both struggled to stay awake the entire film, and there were certainly portions I was out cold.

The following day, CK went to work, and I stayed home. I had to “work” a half day, and I actually got a lot of work done. I just picked up the social media duties at work, so I had a lot on my plate. That being said, when 1:00 rolled around, my workday was finished. I was out the door on my way to the gym. I just started a membership at the gym near my apartment via Living Social  because I would finally be able to get back in the pool and get back in shape. I was incredibly motivated and had a great workout in the pool and in the weight room.

It was also just what I needed to clear my head. It’s amazing what staring at the black line on the bottom of a hole in the ground filled with water can do for you. I thought a lot about CK and came to the conclusion I was overreacting in response to his comments on the beach. I heard his comment, but I also needed to hear him when he stressed how much he loved me and was willing to do what it takes to make me happy. Thinking about this made me happy and made me smile. I learned to let some of my worry go.

This also served as motivation. I wanted to look sexy for my man. Summer was in full swing, but my body was not. I’d fallen into the soft trap — When you date someone and your body goes soft from lack of exercise.

After my workout, I made my way home and got ready to head into CK’s place. We were laying low because I agreed to go to Fire Island with him the following day. We were entertaining the idea of watching the fireworks out there. I was trying to be more flexible and understanding — Something I’m certainly not the best at. Regardless, I was happy to be in his arms and his bed. Whenever I was in his arms, I felt home. This was going to be a much better Fourth of July than the previous one, that’s for sure!

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Sunshine and Smiles

Before you jump into today’s post, I’d like to bring to your attention a story a reader shared with me last night. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I was so touched by their story. Check it out here.

Back to our regularly schedule program:

When CK and I got home after a long night out on the town, we argued about the timing of the following morning. I was insistent we would keep our plans, or I would leave him behind. I wasn’t going to flake on Boston because he wanted to stay out at the bar that night. I realized we weren’t making much progress, and we were only staying up longer by arguing, so I set my alarm and climbed into bed.

The next day, I woke up and started reaching out to Boston. Much to my chagrin, he wasn’t responding. I tried over and over and over again via text and phone, but still no response. I’d already managed to get CK up, and he was being incredibly cooperative considering how early it was and how little sleep we got. I wasn’t happy because I got in an argument with CK over this, and now Boston was flaking on me. I was trying so hard to salvage this so CK wouldn’t flip out on me when I told him Boston wasn’t responding. I hit up Hip to see if he’d be interested in the beach. It’d been some time since we hung out, and I thought it would make CK much happier to have one of his friends there. I asked D and his girlfriend if they wanted to join us at the beach, and surprisingly, they were in. They would just be joining us a little later. I also reached out to my sister, and I learned she was driving out to the beach. We were planning to take the train, but now that Boston was missing in action, I asked her if she would give us a ride. Now, I had to manage the logistics of getting someone from Brooklyn, CK and I in Hell’s Kitchen and my sister coming from Hoboken through midtown coordinated.

CK and I were making great time. We hopped in a cab, and it was looking like we would all get to our meeting point at the same time. I couldn’t have been happier and more stressed. My sister arrived a few minutes before us, and we all piled into her car and were off to the beach. This was the first time my sister met Hip. I had a feeling they would get along since Hip is such a mellow guy and easy to get along with, but in her usual fashion, she took a little warming up. Once she warmed up to him, they were really hitting it off.

As we drove, I texted Boston telling him we were on our way and invited him to join us out there when he and the girl he was staying with got moving for the day, but I had a strong feeling I wasn’t going to see him. About half way out there, he finally called and told me he was way too hungover to come out to the beach. He offered to meet up later that evening, so I told him I would hit him up on my way home.

We arrived at the beach and spread out, taking over a solid chunk of beach. D and his girlfriend were on their way and would be joining us shortly. This day was going so much more smoothly than I ever thought possible. The weather was gorgeous, and we were all having a blast. I was really enjoying being with such a great group. Everyone was relaxed and having fun. We took a picture together, and we all agreed it was the picture of the summer. Now that summer is over, I can testify it was, at least for me.

Later in the day, CK and I decided to go for a jog/walk. It was nice to separate from the group for a little and take a nice stroll. We talked about the night before, and he apologized. He also thanked me for such a great day. The biggest smile grew across my face. I know I was stressed that morning and annoyed how things were playing out, but it was all worth it to have such a fun and carefree day. I was so happy with him. I loved him, and I couldn’t see myself with any other man. He was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

We stopped to take pictures on the rocks of the jetty. This quickly turned into a typical CK photo shoot, which I’m not the most thrilled with. I’m not a fan of having my picture taken because 99% of the time, I hate the results. I don’t like being in the spotlight, but CK does. When I take the pictures of him, I know these pictures will be sorted through as fodder for his Instagram feed. This is yet another account of my attention not being enough. He still needed the attention of his adoring fans. I wasn’t crushed by this. I have thicker skin than that, but it didn’t exactly have a positive effect on my feelings. On top of that, I knew everyone was about ready to go home when we started our walk. I didn’t want to make them wait too long to leave. I tried to be a good sport and shot some pictures of him and even let him snap a few of me, but the time came for me to insist we return to the group.

As we walked back, we passed two hot and I can only assume straight men walking the opposite direction. As we passed, CK not only made a comment regarding their aesthetic, but took the conversation one step further and asked if I would ever entertain the idea of fooling around with another couple (acknowledging a previous unprovoked sentiment I stated expressing my lack of interest in ever bringing another person into our relationship). I immediately started getting very anxious, and my heart sank a little. I was immediately taken back to the previous night with him looking around the bar to see who was looking at him. I was right back to worrying I would not be enough for him. My heart beat started pacing. I immediately and definitively expressed to him my feelings on this, and I think he recognized how worked up this was making me. I told him this was my worry when I finally came out. I didn’t know if I could ever find a man who would settle down with me and give me a “traditional” relationship. I realized that’s not for everyone, but that’s what I wanted. It’s not something I wanted to compromise on, nor do I think it’s something I should budge on. Now, I was worrying if CK was the right man for me.

“This isn’t something I want. I just wanted to know if you would be open to this,” he said. I responded, “If it’s not something you want or you’re interested in, then why did you bring it up? If this is coming up now when everything is fresh and fun, how’s it going to be ten years from now? Will I ever be enough for you?” He started backtracking immediately. He put his hands on my shoulders and said, “Babe, you are who I want. No one else. I was just asking the question, not proposing we do it.” I explained to him how worried I was that it was even brought up.  He managed to calm me down and acknowledged that knowing that was off the table does not make him want to stop dating me. He added, “You have nothing to worry about. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” I was a bit more relaxed, but I was still questioning if I was enough for CK. It had been the theme of many of my past relationships, and I didn’t want to go through that again.

When we got back, we all packed up and headed home. On the ride home, I fell asleep in CK’s lap. Unbeknownst to me, Hip and my sister we’re now like two peas in a pod. They were having so much fun together blasting music and weaving through traffic. D and his girlfriend were following, so when traffic came to a halt, Hip climbed up through the sunroof and started making faces and flailing around at them.

When we got back to the city, my sister dropped the three of us off at CK’s. He needed to pack an overnight bag before we went back to Hoboken for the night. We hung out for a majority of the evening before finally taking the bus to the other side of the Hudson River. Not before getting ice cream, of course. In the end, I didn’t get to hang out with Boston before he left town. It just didn’t work out. Maybe I’d have to wait another year to finally see him.

All in all, it was a great day. I had so much fun hanging with my friend and CK’s friends. It was completely refreshing to see his friends getting along with my friends. It wasn’t all roses and sunshine, however. I was still worried I wasn’t the man CK was looking for. I worried I was looking for him to settle down with me, and he wasn’t quite ready for that. It’s not that I didn’t trust him to not cheat on me so much as worrying we didn’t have the same relationship goals and outlook. Only time would tell if our paths were heading in the same direction.

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The Walls Closing In

One weekday, CK and I woke at my apartment, and I dragged him out of bed to toss around the medicine ball while we watched TV before work. I was motivated and a bit stressed, so I wanted to work out. We talked about working together to get our bodies back in shape before summer ended. It was miraculous I got him out of bed so quickly.

The planets aligned for us on the TV too. His favorite talking head, Rachel Maddow, was on my favorite talking head’s show, Real Time with Bill Maher. That was something we could both agree on.

When we were done working out, I made us some very healthy and delicious eggs for breakfast, if I do say so myself. Of course, because of our morning workout, we were a little delayed. We showered and got dressed quickly. On the way to the PATH, I wanted to grab a coffee, but CK was running later than he’d liked. He protested, and when I saw a long line, I passed. When we passed a second Dunkin Donuts, I told him I wanted to swing through. He’d apparently had enough and said goodbye on the spot. He wasn’t going to wait for me, and rightfully so. Better judgment kicked in, and I accompanied him to the PATH instead, where we rode together to his stop and gave each other a kiss goodbye.

Not only was I motivated to get my body in shape but also motivated to get my career in shape. Work was evolving drastically for me. I’d just taken on a new role I created for myself after chatting with my boss a few weeks prior. I pointed out our missed opportunity in the social media department and described how I could fill the void. After all, I had some experience in the social world (even though I couldn’t exactly show him my “portfolio”). I thought this could be the ticket to my future. Finally, I found something I could turn into a career instead of a job that generated me a paycheck. Something more than where work was just something I did between my time off. It wasn’t going to be easy, and there were bound to be a lot of speed bumps. However, it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle.

That morning, I was really thrown a curveball I wasn’t expecting. I was called in for my review, and it was less than stellar. I had anticipated this, and it’s the main reason I approached my boss with the social media proposition in the first place.

Just when I didn’t think it could get any worse, I learned my boss was altering his role at the company as well. He was taking a far less active role, and it didn’t bode well for me. My day was heading downhill fast. Little did I know, but it was about to turn kamikaze. Not only was my boss taking on a lesser role, but we were also merging with another company.

My heart was in my throat for the remainder of the day. My first reaction was fear. Would I be a redundancy? Would I be laid off? As much as this was just a job for me, I needed it very much. I couldn’t even bring myself to text CK or call my family. I was very afraid, ashamed, embarrassed, the list goes one…

After that day came to a close, I woke the next day with some clarity. My next reaction was motivation. The fear began to wane, and I realized I needed to put all my efforts into my new venture. It wasn’t easy to get there, however, it was much easier to get through with the support of my man. I’d told him everything that was going on. He talked me down off the ledge when I was worried I’d lose my job and made me feel much better about the situation.

The fear wasn’t completely gone, and I needed an outlet for my stress. The coworker who left to work at CK’s company asked us to meet her for happy hour at the Standard Biergarten. I had been texting CK that afternoon and asked him to join us. He was being cryptic about what he wanted to do, and told me he may have to work late. I could tell he wasn’t really feeling it, but I really wanted to introduce him to my coworkers. He missed her going away drinks a few weeks earlier, so when this opportunity finally rose again to meet my coworkers, I was pretty persistent. He wasn’t digging it. He had a long day, and he wanted to go home and relax. I was really disappointed, but I also understood. We made plans for him to come to my place for the night when I got home.

Shortly after hearing he was heading home, we decided to leave the biergarten. I tried calling and texting CK, but I got radio silence for two hours. I wasn’t quite sure what was going on, so I decided to lace up and head out for a run. I needed to clear my head and work on my body again. I still couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t responding to me at all.

After my run, I finally got a text telling me he was heading my way. I started to make dinner, and when he texted me asking for a ride, I decided to go radio silent. Sure, I know it was petty, but I was in the middle of making dinner. I also didn’t appreciate him not getting back me when we’d discussed I’d call him when I was heading home.

When he arrived all that no longer mattered. We were both in good spirits because we were there to hug and comfort each other. That’s what it really comes down to at the end of the day, literally. I loved him, and he made me happy.

We sat and ate dinner together, but when I put my hand on his thigh, I felt something sticky/slimy. I pointed it out to him, and he didn’t have an explanation for it. My overactive mind immediately went to work connecting dots. Was it lube? Was that where he was for the two hours I couldn’t get ahold of him? I could go on for hours.

In turn, I got quiet. I was deep in thought and wasn’t quite sure what to say. After we ate, we sat on the couch watching TV. After some time, I suggested we head to bed. I was exhausted, and my head was spinning, but he wasn’t tired. Of course, we both fell asleep on the couch, waking up around three o’clock in the morning, finally moving to my bed.

I tried to put all doubt out of my head. Worrying about it would do no good, and I realized I was making quite a bit of a leap. There was a bigger picture here. I loved him. I won’t say that I squashed all doubt in my mind, but I managed to push it deep down so it wouldn’t continue bubbling up…

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Hiatus

One Gay at a Time is taking a short break. I am going on vacation and will not have access to internet (a curse and a blessing all in one). I will return on Labor Day. I look forward to bringing you more stories in September. Get off the computer and enjoy what remains of August! That’s an order!

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The Lake

I am very fortunate to have amazing friends that come with amazing perks. It just so happens one of my friends’ parents own a house on a lake with a boat. In the summer, if I’m not worshiping the sun on the beach, you can find me relaxing and fooling around on the lake. Either way, I gotta work on my tan!

Saturday evening, CK and I were invited to D and K’s backyard for a barbecue. While there, we were also invited to join a small group on K’s boat. I’d been going out there for years with her. I was the Gilligan to her Skipper, however, I’d like to think I was a little more helpful. I’d actually become quite versed in some of the crucial acts of boating through my trips out to the Lake with K. She even joined me when I bought a Groupon to learn to sail. For her birthday, I bought her a life vest I happen to see on sale in a store I was in.

As this wasn’t the first time I’d been on the boat, it wasn’t the first time I brought a man with me. In the previous summer, I was very excited to integrate N in my friend circle. While I don’t regret this at all, looking back at the pictures leave a bitter taste in my mouth. CK and I were still going strong, and I knew these memories would erase the old. When I thought about the good times on the boat with my man, it would be with my Superman.

The downside of the lake is that we have to get up very early to go. It’s about an hour drive away, and the later we wait, the worse the traffic gets. CK and I had our fun before bed, and when the alarm went off in the morning, although groggy, we were on point. It took us a little time to get out of bed, but once we did, we were making moves. We fooled around and got frisky, taking our fun from the bed to the shower, all the while staying on schedule. I even had time to make us CK’s favorite breakfast burritos and iced coffee in a mason jar.

It turns out, we were ahead of the game. Let the record show, and I would like to repeat: We were not only on time, we were early — A feat worthy of praise. When I called K, she was just waking up. She told me she’d swing by in fifteen minutes to get us. In the meantime, she called all the other girls who were coming with us. They were taking much longer to get their act in gear. K picked us up and drove up to my sister’s apartment, where she and two other girls were preparing.

Apparently, they were having a rough morning after a long night out. I was really relishing my reasonable exit with CK. We waited so long, I finished my burrito. When I opened the car door, tragedy occurred. The mason jar containing the iced coffee for CK and I shattered on the sidewalk. My mind immediately shot back to CK’s comments in my kitchen: “Why are you putting it in a mason jar?” I turned to him immediately and said, “I should have listened to you! DAMMIT!”

After waiting for over 45 minutes, my sister emerged. Alone. We waited all the time to learn the girls were sick and not joining us. Regardless, we were on our way. The four of us made our way out to the lake for a day of fun.

We all hopped on the boat and got it ready to shove off. We lounged… We tubed… We swam… We had a blast. I was really enjoying my day with my man in one of my favorite places. I couldn’t take my eyes off him all day. His package looked amazing in his trunks, and I let him know it. When no one was looking, I would give it a gentle squeeze. I couldn’t wait to get him home and ravage him! K was driving the boat while CK and I rode the tube together, swerving and “cracking the whip” at every opportunity.

When we finally fell off the tube, she circled around to pick us up. She asked if we could drop anchor and relax for a bit, but told us she’d tow us to the end of the lake where we can drop anchor. While being tugged along, CK and I were horsing around. I began to slip, somewhat by accident, and somewhat on purpose. As I slipped, I grabbed onto his trunks. I knew exactly what I was doing. This wasn’t a survival action — This was a horny action. As I gripped his shorts, they seemed more attached to me than him. His bare bottom was exposed to the sunlight. It was all I could do to stop myself from pulling myself back up so I could give it a gentle bite. It looked purely spectacular in the sunlight. He wasn’t too thrilled I was doing this to him, but I was in heaven.

Many times on the lake K mentioned a restaurant on the way home that has a very cheap lobster meal, but we never had the time. At the sound of this CK made sure we had the time to stop. The meal was delicious and we had fun.

For the rest of the ride home, I laid in CK’s arms in the back of the car. I was always happiest cuddling in his arms. We made one pit stop on the way so I could buy us all Sonic ice cream since I was craving a sweet.

That wasn’t the only sweet I was craving. I was struggling to keep my hands off my sweet all day long. K dropped us off at my apartment, and I was finally able to exercise my hormones and my libido. We had a long exhausting day at the lake, so we didn’t have the most energy, however, we weren’t going to let that stop us from an evening romp in the sack…

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Highlights From My Trip

CK and I were about to hit our two-month mark. It was two of the best months of my life, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I learned I could truly find love in a man, and slowly but surely, I started to give more and more of myself to him. The wall I built up around my heart was not only cracking but also crumbling. There were a handful of guys in my past I had come to enjoy the extended company of beyond a hookup, but CK was the first man I ever really came to love.

My life was no longer my life. There was no longer a me. It became our life and us. I stopped making plans for one. CK was front and center in my thoughts at all times. We were living together in two homes. We were dining together, drinking together, taking trips together, etc.

CK’s move to an apartment with roommates allowed him a new cashflow he hadn’t had before, however, I was trying to prevent us from blowing that on going out to dinner in the New York City. It’s not cheap, and if we were going to build a life together, he needed to start saving. I wasn’t thrilled with spending all that money going out to eat either. It wasn’t that we couldn’t afford it, but we felt it was a bit of a waste. When I was living on my own, I made dinner for myself almost every night. Going out to dinner felt like a luxury and a treat. I wanted to get back to that. We both agreed to live more economically wherever possible. Since CK isn’t the biggest cook, I even started making food and taking it to his apartment so we could have convenient meals prepared. For instance, one night after work, we grabbed some groceries and thawed the frozen spaghetti sauce I made for dinner. We cooked together in the kitchen and ate in front of his TV. It was nice, it was cheap and it was delicious. That meal cost us pennies compared to what we’d spend going out to an Italian restaurant. We were also taking advantage of Groupons and Living Socials whenever possible so on the nights we didn’t feel like cooking, we could grab a nice dinner out and not pay full price.

As a gay man, I’m not quite as mirror conscious as some, but I am a bit vain in some aspects. I love how I look with a great tan, and I love it even more when my hair has a bit of depth and volume. Sadly, a few years ago, my hairline started receding. There was little I could do to prevent it, so I did what I could to mask it. That meant getting my haircut in a certain style, but it also meant highlighting it so it wasn’t one solid color against my scalp. This is one of my few gay vices.

Since I was in junior high, I stopped going to my father’s barber and started going to my mother’s hair stylist. Granted, since moving away from home, I didn’t go home every time I needed a haircut, but I did make it a point to go home and get it highlighted periodically throughout the year.

My hair got naturally lighter in the summer, so before the sun worked its magic, I would always try to trek home for some carmel colored highlights. My hair stylist was a magician. He never measured, but he always got my color just right. The one time I was left under the heat too long, everything slid to the back of the cap, bleaching the back of my head. He managed to dye my hair back to it’s natural color. You couldn’t tell anything went wrong.

My hair stylist also charges me a measly $30 for the highlights and the cut. Granted it’s in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania, but it would cost more over $100 to have this done in New York City. Whenever I get my hair cut by someone in the metro area, they ask about the highlights. They compliment them, and I get a big kick out of telling them how much I paid for them — Their jaws hit the floor.

It was particularly difficult to get home before the summer sun this year. My sister wasn’t being cooperative about trips home, so I had to plan something on my own. That meant hopping on the motorcycle and making the two-hour trek home (costing me $10 in gas). I didn’t want to give up my weekend because that was when I went to the beach with my boyfriend, but it was nearly impossible to get away during the week. On top of this, it had to be planned around nice weather. I couldn’t make the trip home if rain was in the forecast.

Summer was passing by, so I decided to take off a half day from work to get it done. After work Wednesday evening, I sped home trying to avoid traffic and made it to my parents’ house just before the sun went down. I found it very sweet that CK was worried about me. He was very concerned with my safety, even after riding with me on the bike many times. I was truly touched. I told him when I was heading home, and I texted him as soon as I got to my parents’ place. I told him it would take roughly two hours, and he was texting me worried after about an hour and a half. It showed me how much he truly cared about me and how much he loved me. “I don’t know what I would do if I lost you babe!” he said.

CK was against the trip from the onset. He didn’t like the idea of me getting highlights, but I told him to have faith. He’d seen pictures of me in the summer and commented how good I looked. I promised him I wouldn’t come back looking like an a$$hole. I think he thought I was getting my tips frosted.

It was also nice to catch up with my parents and have a relaxing night in front of the TV with a home-cooked meal. The next morning, I woke at the crack of dawn to hit up the salon. In an hours time, I looked like a new man, and I was back on the road. I had to get back to work by mid-afternoon.

That night, CK saw me for the first time in person, after asking me to send pictures to his phone. He commented on how good I looked. “Babe, I was really worried. I thought you were going to look ridiculous,” he added. I gave him a big kiss and reminded him how I knew what I was doing, cheekily.

Even if I came back looking ridiculous, I’m sure he would have played along and told me I looked fine. We were in love, and my hair wasn’t going to change that. On the flip-side, I think the highlights worked a little magic and made me more attractive to him because, after being away from each other for a night, we had some great passionate sex before dozing off.

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Revisiting the Past

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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