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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.
Waking up with one of the sexiest men I’d ever met, Clark Kent, in my arms would make any morning spectacular. On top of that, I had no obligations to fulfill that day. It was Saturday, and I was ready to lounge around. Sure I had plans to go to the gym and grocery store, but that would wait until much later. Right then, there was a gorgeous specimen of a man in my bed, and I wasn’t going to let him go to waste.
I cuddled and snuggled with him. It was finally 11:00am when I was conscious enough to remain awake for more than a few seconds to shift our spooning positions. I don’t think there was a moment we weren’t in contact with each other throughout the night. Even when we were sleeping on opposite sides of the bed, my hand was on his thigh.
Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. When we woke, things started slow and progressed rather quickly. We were both naked before we knew it. Eventually, we found ourselves in a familiar position. I had my face buried in his backside. He always derived great pleasure from this, and I wasn’t shy about delivering. I even pulled out some of the tricks I learned in the Tickle My Tush book once again. Oral penetration eventually led to full penetration. He felt amazing, and I was not in any hurry to stop. Every thrust was better than the last, however, whenever I slowed the pace to both give myself a break and to enjoy the friction, he would protest, “DON’T STOP!” I picked the pace back up again and pushed as deep as I could go. He let out constant moans of pleasure, this time at a decent volume until he needed to stop to catch his breath.
He immediately turned over to face me with a look of exhaustion/excitement in his eyes. “Baby! You feel AMAZING!” he exclaimed. I dove on top of him and began to kiss him passionately. I told him how great he felt as well between zealous kisses. I took his legs and lifted them high and began to penetrate him again. It felt incredible. When I finally stopped, he said, “I love when you take me from behind, but this way… I dunno. You just hit the spot every time!”
We laid intertwined with each other enjoying the moment. We had great sexual chemistry. It had been such a long time since I’d shared that on top of chemistry outside the bedroom. Standard issue seemed to be one or the other as of late. CK was the full package.
After considerable amounts of cuddling, he climbed on top of me while I arched my back and gave him everything he wanted. I knew that morning my roommate’s friend slept over. I’d already heard them up and talking. I was a bit reserved in my morning romp with CK out of slight embarrassment. While I didn’t care if they knew I was having sex, I didn’t want to be overly loud about it. I buried my face in the pillow and let out my grunts and moans through a heavy down filter. When the moment hit, he pulled out and finished on my back.
Most straight women don’t understand this, but when a guy finishes on you, it can be incredibly hot, not something to turn your nose up at. It is a sign that you truly excite them. For me it’s validation, and it’s an incredible aphrodisiac. Many times, seeing a guy shoot is what it takes for me to finish as well. He asked where I kept the towels, but I was incapable of words. Only grunts came out. I tried with all my might to use my arm to reach down to my nightstand drawer, but no matter how much I concentrated, I could not move. I finally gave in and just lay there accepting defeat. “I’m glued to the bed,” I told him. “You will be glued if you roll over onto your back,” he added through a laugh. My body was in full orgasm. After about ten minutes, I regained composure and handed him a towel to wipe my back.
We rotated and lay in each other’s embrace. I was enjoying everything about him. He was witty. He was fun and adventurous. He was smart. He was incredibly sexy. Most of all he was passionate and caring. He was exactly what I needed – Exactly what I was looking for. We enjoyed the embrace for some time before he finally began orally pleasuring me – One of his favorite activities.
This time it felt amazing. I closed my eyes and concentrated on how good it felt. I imagined penetrating him and his mouth being his insides. It felt amazing. I thought about how good it would feel to explode inside of him, and that’s when it finally happened. I gave out a warning, and began to explode like a fountain. CK was greatly excited by this and took advantage. “Wow! You really weren’t kidding. Hidden talent indeed,” he added. I simply smiled and began giggling from his gentle touch tickling me.
I was so incredibly relieved. I’d finally finished with him. I didn’t want him to take it personally or worse, think I was broken. I told him early on of my issue, but he seemed to be quite understanding of it. That doesn’t mean he didn’t bring it up periodically, further stressing me on the issue, but regardless, I finished and made him happy.
We made our way to the shower, where the fun only continued. We quickly found ourselves back in bed together sans clothing or towels. We just lay intertwined for almost an hour. We’d already spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon together in bed. He was answering texts on his phone periodically and showed me a text from his mother. It mentioned being at [One Gay At A Time’s] and her reply was: “Hoboken sounds nice. Why don’t you look for a place there?” However, he told me he couldn’t afford any studios in Hoboken. I was touched he’d mentioned me to his mother and was excited he actually entertained the idea of living in Hoboken.
When my empty stomach couldn’t take it anymore, I suggested I make us breakfast. I told him to stay in bed while I whipped something up. I took some of my world-class pork and apple sausages out of the freezer, scrambled some eggs with cheddar cheese, and buttered some toast. I returned to the room to get his coffee flavor or choice and let him know breakfast was ready. He emerged shortly thereafter and joined me for breakfast. “If you’re trying to win me over, you’re going about it all the right way!” he said after shoveling some of the sausage into his mouth. This was the second time I’d heard him say this.
After we finished eating we made our way to the couch. We were both shirtless the entire morning and afternoon. My roommates and their friends came and went and we paid them no attention. We watched TV and movies all afternoon. When it was getting to be about 4:00, he admitted defeat and suggested he just stay. He wasn’t going to make any progress finding an apartment at that point, and he much rather stay with me anyway. With that, we both smoked a little and enjoyed each other’s company in front of the TV.
We ordered Mediterranean for dinner, opened a special bottle of Malbec I’d been saving for the right guy and had more of the pineapple upside down cake for dessert. We watched Bridesmaids and other movies the rest of the night. We stayed on the couch all day until we both passed out. When he finally woke me, it was 1:30am, and we made our way to bed. I was exhausted, and I’d done absolutely nothing all day long. It was some of the best absolutely nothing I’ve ever done. Every last second of it.Follow @onegayatatime
It was obvious things were strained between Smiles and I. For quite some time, our relationship was on the decline. He was distant, closed off, and not very engaged, and I wasn’t happy.
I tried to stick it out with him. I tried being patient and understanding. He was a good guy, and I could see there was a great guy under all this. But, I had reached my limit. I knew I deserved better. It was time to move on.
Wednesday passed without communication from Smiles, so I sent him a text in the middle of the afternoon. “It’s apparent you’re trying to put distance between us. Can you possibly find time to discuss things with me in person? Thanks,” I typed.
He responded ten minutes later with: “I can this weekend. I’m up at 5:30 and in bed at 12:30 and not a lot of time in between. This weekend will be a littler better but not much. I will make something work though.”
Wow! It was all I could do to restrain myself from responding, “Thanks for squeezing me in!” How could he!? After three months of dating, he couldn’t sacrifice a gym session to take the time to talk to me like a man. What a coward! It was completely disrespectful and painted a clear picture of Smiles’ true feeling for me. I doubt he ever truly cared for me. He simply enjoyed not being lonely.
I’m no one’s lap dog. I was back in the game. In my mind, we were all but broken up. It was inevitable. There was no coming back from this, especially since the relationship wasn’t the strongest to begin with. I’d been through yet another failed relationship with a man who simply wasn’t that into me. My confidence was pretty much shot. What was it about me they couldn’t seem to embrace? I’m not pathetic enough to say what was I doing wrong, but I also knew I may be something to turn these men off.
Regardless, I was back in the game. I needed to put myself back out there. Some people would argue I needed some time to be single and to figure myself out, but I know myself well enough. I didn’t need time to heal from this one. I did need to have some fun. It’d been a long time since I had passionate active sex, and I was hungry for it.
After my last breakup, I went wild over the summer. I hooked up with a lot of guys and expanded my sexual horizons. It was both a good thing and a bad thing. I didn’t want to go back to my old ways. I already learned how unfulfilling it was. There was no need to repeat old mistakes. But I wasn’t going to completely limit myself. I was “single” for all intents and purposes.
I had been talking to a Latino on Grindr for a bit of time. He seemed like a really nice guy, and we had a lot in common. Latinos aren’t really my type, but I’m an equal opportunity dater. N was of Latino background, and we got along well enough in the beginning.
We set a date for Thursday night to grab a drink at a local Hoboken bar, Trinity. He lived in neighboring Jersey City, and I convinced him to drive over since I didn’t have a car — It was a bit cold for the motorcycle.
He arrived before me, and found a spot in the corner of the bar. It was a good spot since we could talk without a large crowd of spectators. I shook his hand and introduced myself. He did the same, and I immediately recognized an accent of some sort. I asked him where he is from.
He told me of his roots in Venezuela and asked about my upbringing. I told him about my time growing up on the farm and how I came to live in the shadow of New York City.
We’d learned about our shared interest in volleyball and talked about that for some time. He was much more of an amateur than myself, but it was nice to find someone who had an interest in it.
We somehow got on the subject of coming out and families. He told me he’d been out of the closet since he was eighteen. He asked when I came out, and I proudly told him I was fresh and new. I told him I’d only come out about a year and a half ago. The expression of shock and disappointment on his face said it all. I knew the date was a failure. We chatted a bit about it, and I could tell he was not thrilled with the idea of my being a “new gay.” I tried to explain to him I wasn’t new. On the timeline, it may seem short, but I did a lot in that short period of time. I grew in leaps and bounds and had relationships of all sorts with varied men. For the first time in my life, I was trying to vaguely paint myself as a recovering whore.
When I think back about this, it was a dumb idea. If it was something that bothered him, I should have accepted that and moved on. I didn’t need to end the date then and there, but I shouldn’t have tried so hard so early to be what he wanted. I should have just been myself. This may be why I get involved with men that aren’t truly interested in me.
Somehow our discussion morphed into the topic of sex with women. He’d never been with a woman, but I have. I was just adding water to the fire with every sentence. We talked about the local gay dating ring, Grindr and the like. It was an interesting conversation, as we the entire date, but I doubted there would be a second.
When we finished that drink, I paid the bill and offered to walk him to his car. When we got there, I went in for a kiss. It was pretty bad. We pretty much crashed into each other with a forceful peck. I’m not sure why I kissed him if I wasn’t all that interested in him. I think it’s because I’ve been out of the game for some time, and I just felt like it was what I was supposed to do.
As I walked home, I checked my phone to find out one of the guys I’d met from Grindr months ago was moving to Hoboken. We’d been in touch sporadically since we originally met. He was just coming off a really rough breakup, and I was just starting things off with Smiles. I met him in hopes of making a new gay friend. I needed those as much as I needed lovers. He’d invited me to go out a few times, but I was never able to due to other plans. Now we’d be neighbors, and hanging out would be much easier. I was just what I needed to come back into my life at that moment.Follow @onegayatatime
I told him I was heading home for the night and was about to leave work. However, I was pleasantly surprised to get the text, “Meet me for a drink at Extra Virgin. I haven’t heard from [my friend] confirming dinner yet, so I’m guessing it will be closer to 8:00 or he will flake.” I wasn’t thrilled with being second choice/fall-back, but I knew this was a friend he hadn’t seen in years who was in the city from L.A., so I was understanding.
I agreed to meet him and texted him when I arrived at the restaurant. “Oh goodness. I’ll be there in 10. Btw, I forgot I have a call from 6:00 – 6:30. My life is a pain-in-the-ass sometimes,” was the response I received. It didn’t help I was already feeling like an afterthought. Now I was learning the little time I had to spend with him was going to be interrupted by a half hour phone call.
I’d already been waiting for him for 15 minutes before he arrived. We exchanged a quick peck and a hug, and he suggested I could go inside while he made the call. I told him I could occupy myself outside while he took care of business.
While he talked with his movie team about next steps with their film, I sat on my phone playing with every app I could think of to pass the time. I checked my WordPress stats. I answered emails. I read everyone’s Twitter post that day. Anything I could do to keep busy.
When he finished his call, we grabbed a seat at the bar. The bartender was struggling to harvest a pomegranate, so I offered to help her. Smiles pointed out my culinary experience and told her she was in for a real treat. She was all too happy to receive my advice, as this was one chore she abhorred. After running to the restroom to wash my hands, I demonstrated for her how she could save herself some time and energy. She was very appreciative of my advice and thanked me.
Smiles and I placed our drink orders. We chatted over drinks on the spinning stools. I made it a point to turn my stool so I was facing him and our legs were interlocked. I heard all about his holiday on Long Island and the craziness he went through upon his return with his client. I told him about my relaxing trip home, my dysfunctional family, my Black Friday adventures, and my slow day at work.
At one point he had my his arms extended with his hands on my thighs rubbing them. He flippantly made the comment, “I love your big manly legs.” This was the first time he’d ever complimented my physically, so I took notice. He continued to rub them and massage them, and I continued to melt inside.
At that moment, he checked his phone and learned his friend wouldn’t be able to do dinner that evening, so they agreed upon breakfast the following morning.
With that, he turned to me and asked if I’d like to get dinner somewhere. Surprised, I told him, “Well. We’re already here. Why don’t we just eat here.” I was expecting to get the boot at any moment throughout the course of the evening, but instead I was extended a dinner invitation. Once again, I was happy to get to spend time with him.
We quickly placed our dinner orders and continued our conversation. Our dinner was very pleasant, and our meals were excellent. After we finished eating, we split the bill and began to walk down the street.
As per usual, when we reached the crossroad between his place and the PATH, we said goodbye. And, as per usual, it was said with a simple kiss and a gentle squeeze. I pulled him back in for another kiss and made it more than a peck. He smiled, and we said goodbye.
When I got back to Hoboken, on my walk to my apartment, I texted, “Mmmmmmm. I like you. You make me happy… Just felt the need to say that…” He responded twenty minutes later, “Awwww. 🙂 Thank you.” Clearly, he didn’t feel confident to reciprocate the sentiment just yet, which stung slightly, but then again, I already knew I was ready to move faster than was…Follow @onegayatatime