Posts Tagged wine

Membership Has Its Privileges: Cuddle Up to Free HowAboutWe Dates for Couples

This time of year, every night out on the town feels a little extra special. It’s Christmas time in NYC, and what better time to take advantage of all the city has to offer for date night.

 

OlivesRestaurantInsideRecently, I was approached by HowAboutWe, a subscription service designed specifically for couples, to try out their services. I’d heard the name before, but I had no idea what it was I was being offered. I went online to investigate further, and I was blown away by the opportunity before me. HowAboutWe had the direct line to some of the best dates out there. As I dove deeper into the site, I discovered that each month, CK and I would receive a new “DateBook” — filled with pre-planned, one-of-a-kind experiences here in NYC. These weren’t just ordinary dates — Broadway shows, dinner for two, cooking classes, driving experiences… The list went on and on. And, that’s just December.

ToddEnglishOlivesFor our first HowAboutWe date, CK and I chose “In Due Course,” including a four-course dinner for two at celebrity chef Todd English’s restaurant Olives at the W in Union Square. The date was purely magical. CK and I sat down at a very cozy table for two in the corner. Our every need was attended to by the amazing wait staff who brought us a delectable meal consisting of 2 glasses of Prosecco, a crab toast appetizer, Rabbit Tagliatelle, 2 glasses of wine, Branzino A La Plancha, and the coup de grâce — Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake. Everything we ate and drank was spectacular. And, HowAboutWe took care of everything from the reservation all the way down to the tax and tip on our bill. It was utterly seamless.

ChocolateDessertAt $22/month, HowAboutWe for Couples membership gets you so much: FREE HowAboutWe Dates — every month, sold-out tickets and members-only events, early booking on HowAboutWe Dates, up to 75% off other HowAboutWe Dates, and rewards (like buy one get one free tickets on Fandango). I challenge you to find a deal better than that! I for one will continue to go back to HowAboutWe time and time again for amazing dates and opportunities.

It’s tough balancing the working and dating worlds. Anytime someone can take a little bit of the work out of either, I’m all in! They get how busy I am. That’s why most dates are flexible and can be scheduled whenever I decide, except however, some are one-time-only scheduled events, like performances or special excursions. But, who wouldn’t rearrange their schedule for those experiences!?

HowAboutWe_LogoOn top of that, this isn’t marriage— No big scary commitment. You can pause or cancel at any time. And, dates on HowAboutWe for Couples can also be purchased as a non-Member, without the Member discount and other benefits of course.

I highly encourage you to at the very least check it out by clicking the logo here. TRUST ME! You won’t regret it!

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Planning for a Future

Thursday morning, I woke up to a kiss from CK. I loved waking up this way. It was so much better than an alarm clock. The night before, we had a deliciously fun night involving lobsters.

I warned him that morning I most likely wouldn’t be seeing him that night. I had a pitch the following day, and I was expecting to be at work a little later to prepare.

We made our way to the PATH to go to work — Late, of course, from fooling around. I’m always horniest in the morning. I simply can’t keep my hands off him.

We texted back and forth all afternoon, talking about how much we missed each other already. We were that sickening couple who are so incredibly happy together you want to hurl, but then you recognize the love, and it makes you all warm inside.

Just as I suspected, I had to work late. I wouldn’t make it to volleyball that night, but I still held out hope I could swing by his place before heading home when I finished work, if even just to give him a kiss.

When I had a break in the evening, I stepped away to call him. I thought I’d be done at a fairly reasonable hour to swing by, but as time progressed, that seemed like less and less of a good idea. I felt bad because I felt like I was letting him down.

I finally finished around midnight. I called him on my way home to say goodnight. He asked me about my day, and while I was explaining it to him, he fell asleep on me. I couldn’t be mad about that. He didn’t do it on purpose. He was tired. I found it cute and funny actually.

I did really need him though. It was a very stressful day at work, and all I wanted was his warm embrace to make it all melt away. I wasn’t going to get that though. It made no sense for him to come out to my place that night because I had to head to the pitch out in Jersey early in the morning. I would have to be patient and wait until Friday evening to see him again.

I finally made it to bed around two am. I had to get up at six am. I am not a morning person, so clearly I wasn’t a happy camper. All I wanted to do was stay in bed with my babe. I hopped in the car service and made my way out to the offices of the company we were pitching.

As I was setting up the room for the meeting, I noticed a text from CK wishing me luck. It was incredibly cute and sweet. My heart melted a little, and I couldn’t wait to see him and thank him for his words of encouragement. They meant the world to me. He was considerate enough to remember what I was doing and wish me luck.

When my meeting ended, I called CK on my ride home. I didn’t need to go back to the office, so I had some time to myself. He told me his two friends, who were dating each other, wanted to go see another movie with us. They wanted to see Battleship. I wasn’t entirely thrilled to go see this, but I had no better plans or idea, so I agreed. I didn’t care what we were seeing. As long as I was sitting next to CK, I was happy.

We decided to grab dinner before the movie. We went to a cute Greek restaurant not far from his apartment, Ethos. We were seated and ordered our appetizers. The food was great, and the company was even better. Our conversation flowed like the wine over our lips. We were so entranced with each other, we didn’t realize what time it was. We had very little time before the movie was about to start. We flagged down our waitress and asked her to pack up our entrées to-go. We would drop them off at his apartment on the way to the theater and have them later. We quickly paid and flagged down a cab.

He stopped in front of CK’s place while he ran upstairs to put the food in the fridge. The movie was starting in two minutes. I sat in the cab waiting and waiting. I knew he wasn’t just putting the food in the fridge. That’s when I realized he was smoking. I texted him and told him to stop smoking and get his a$$ back down to the cab. He came down, and we continued on to the theater. Boy, did I have him pegged already. We picked up our tickets quickly and made our way upstairs to the theater. I told him I needed to use the facilities before heading in, and he gave me an annoyed look. I wasn’t going to feel one ounce of guilt for that considering what was part of the reason we were late.

We got into the theater just as the last preview was playing. Luckily we didn’t miss anything. I enjoyed holding CK’s hand throughout the movie, but the movie itself left a lot to be desired. I jokingly equated everything in the film to Top Gun while he responded with jokes of his own. I was dozing off about half way through. I only had four hours of sleep the night before, and a boring movie was not going to keep my attention. I went out to the snack stand to get a Coke to keep me awake.

Although the movie was bad, I still had fun with him. It was a good time. When the movie ended, we said goodbye to the other couple and made our way back to his apartment. Surprisingly, I wasn’t hungry, so I elected to save my dinner for breakfast the following morning.

I was so tired, I also elected to forgo dessert — Sex. We cuddled in bed for a little while CK watched TV on his iPad. We talked a little, and he mentioned how his friend had mentioned the idea of the two of us living together. He responded to his friend, “Things are going great right now. I’m not about to ruin things right now. We’re not ready to live together. Not yet.” I agreed it was too soon, but I admitted to him I had entertained the idea. I wasn’t the happiest with my living situation, but we weren’t at that place yet. We chatted about living together down the road. He was surprised to learn that was something I’d be interested in. He thought he’d drive me nuts. There was nothing to date to make me think I couldn’t  handle living with him. We’d spent a lot of time sleeping over at each other’s places. I looked forward to living with him one day.

He continued watching TV. I was exhausted, so I laid down and fell asleep within minutes.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

My birthday finally arrived. Normally, I don’t celebrate my birthday much. But, this year, I had more to celebrate. I had a loving boyfriend who treated me very well. I’d already received a birthday present more than I ever could have expected. Clark Kent was everything I wanted in a man, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to spend the day with him.

I left him that morning as he went to pick up his mother from the airport. I spent the night before in his bed and got quite a birthday surprise — Trapeze School tickets. He needed to fully utilize the time his mother was visiting to find a new apartment. He’d been dragging his feet, and the time came for some serious looking. I fully understood.

I made my way home early that morning. My old roommate started off the social media messages with a text to wish me a happy birthday. He was shocked I was up so early. I made my way home and began to get ready for my plans. I was heading to the pier for the day for a picnic of sorts. I grabbed my beach chair and packed a blanket, bocce ball, speakers, wine and food into my beach bag and asked my sister if she’d give me a ride so I wouldn’t have to lug everything to the pier in Hoboken.

As the day went on, friends came and went. They’d spend some time with me relaxing in the sun and chowing down on snacks.

At one point, we all got into a political discussion about gay marriage. It was interesting. I’d never really thought about marriage before because it wasn’t a priority. I didn’t even have a boyfriend. Marriage was something far, far away. I assumed by the time I was ready, the rest of the country would accept that choice and allow me to do so. Now that I had a boyfriend, things were different. I was a lot more passionate about the topic.

I had a blast. Many friends showed up and clinked Solo cups with me to celebrate another year on Earth. I was very happy so many showed up for my low-key celebration. There was no big destination. There was no cover. There was no commitment. It was simply a relaxing day doing what I wanted. If others felt inclined to join, they knew where to find me.

When we got bored, we broke out the bocce balls and played a few rounds. As the sun was setting, we decided to pack up. My sister contacted K to see if she would be willing to host a BBQ in her back yard. She was thrilled with the idea and began preparing immediately. I brought over some food to cook and everyone else pitched in. Even my old roommate, who I hadn’t seen in about a year, showed up.

We ate our fill of picnic food and played beer pong. I played with one of my old college teammates. Whenever we played together, we usually cleaned up. We started a little rusty, but we were doing pretty well against my sister and one other girl as well. It was great to finally play again. I have such a competitive streak in me, and it’d been some time since we played.

When it was nearly time to go, we gathered everyone around the table for a few rounds of flip cup. It was getting late, and we decided it was time to hit the bar. The whole group packed up and headed out the door.

I was missing my man. We checked in with each other over text throughout the day, but the search wasn’t going well for him. I was having a great time, but I felt bad for him. I wanted him by my side, but priorities were in order.

Some people split off from the group to head home for the night. On the walk to the bar, I heard a crash right in front of me at one of the cars. All I could think about was, “What drunk a$$hole just slammed into a parked… W!?” “Hey guys,” he said as he popped up from between two cars with his bike. I was laughing hysterically. He was just in a BUI incident. He’s lucky he didn’t cause serious damage to the car or himself, but it was still very humorous.

We continued to McSwiggans, my favorite Hoboken bar, and met up with more of my friends who were already there. We had a blast drinking and dancing all night. I was hanging out with my old roommate reminiscing about the good ol’ times. I stepped outside at one point to call CK to say hi and see how things were going. He was happy to hear I was in good sorts, but sad he couldn’t be there with me. I too was sad he wasn’t there, but I understood. We didn’t talk long cause I was neglecting my friends, and he was neglecting his mother.

I went back inside and joined the fun once again. I was getting drunk quickly. People were constantly buying me drinks, and I can’t drink like I used to. I’m getting old. At 28, you’re no spring chicken anymore.

The time came for me to go home. I said goodbye to the remaining people at the bar and walked home. I didn’t want to be hungover the next day, so I kept things in check. It was going to be a big day for me. I texted my boyfriend while I walked home. I wished he was waiting for me in my bed, but I knew it was quite a different scene. He was in his apartment sharing his with his mother.

Overall, I had a great birthday! They aren’t usually this cheerful — Usually, I’m quite glum on my birthday. I think I purposely downplay my birthday so I’ll never be disappointed. This one was pretty great, starting with waking up next to my Superman. I would end the day a happy man, and looked forward to tomorrow, the next time I’d get to see CK, as well as meet his mother…

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From Metropolis to Hoboken

On April 20th, my blog turned one year old. I didn’t even realize the milestone was coming up until I looked back at the calendar on a whim one day. I felt the need to celebrate, but I hadn’t told Clark Kent about my blog yet. How could I tell him I wanted to celebrate something I didn’t feel comfortable sharing with him yet?

Instead, I celebrated privately with messages from friends and readers on the blog and over social media. I also had a date night planned with CK.

I invited him to come out to Hoboken for an evening ride on the bike since we weren’t able to do so the previous Sunday. This would be the first time he came out to Hoboken and would see my place. I was quite excited. I came home for work early after a pitch and made sure my place was acceptable.

He had to work slightly later and had to swing by home before he came over. It was a Friday night, and he would be spending it in my bed. As time passed, I sat on the couch patiently awaiting his arrival as the clock ticked on. I had no word from him. I tried calling, but no answer. Where was he? What was he doing? What was taking so long?

Since I was a little broken from previous relationships, my mind began to get creative with where he may have been or what/who he may have been doing. Finally, I convinced myself to put those thoughts out of my head. They weren’t born of any behavior he exhibited. They were simply a spawn of his presence on Grindr. I needed to learn to trust again. The thoughts were gone, and all I could think about was seeing him.

He finally arrived in Hoboken around 8:00. I wanted to watch the sunset with him. The way it reflects off the city skyline is breathtaking, however, the sun had completely set. We’d be taking a ride in the dark.

I picked him up on the bike at the PATH, and we set off along the waterfront to the palisades of Weehawken. I wanted to show him a spectacular view while taking the bike out for a spin. He’d been so excited about it ever since he first learned of its existence.

I really relished having him ride behind me. He pulled himself in tight against me. It was incredibly romantic, and I loved how he wrapped his arms around me. I felt like a great protector.

When we got to the palisades, we parked the bike and took a short stroll along the cliff. We talked while hugging and kissing each other with the spectacular NYC skyline in our periphery. We happened upon a family taking pictures of each other with the city in the background. He offered to take the picture so everyone could get in the shot. I thought it was incredibly sweet of him, and I fell for him a little more at that moment. Every moment with him made me want him all the more. Again, I wouldn’t let myself get too wrapped up in him. It was still early. I didn’t even know if he was interested in a relationship, let alone one with me.

After taking the picture, I told him about my desire to prank tourists in NYC. I would offer to take a picture of them. Just as I was about to snap the picture, I would turn as if to run. When they began to chase after me, I would turn around and snap a picture. It would give them a great experience and a fun story to tell for the rest of their lives, and they’d have a picture to accompany it. He thought this was brilliant and commented on his desire to do this himself.

That’s also when I told him about my life’s to-do list. I told him I wanted to share it with him later because it spoke volumes about me.

We made our way back to the bike and decided to grab dinner back in Hoboken. I knew of a great spot everyone had been telling me to check out but had not been to yet, Bin 14. We rode down the hill from the palisade and made our way back to Hoboken along the river.

I found a spot to park, and we walked to the restaurant holding hands. I wasn’t yet comfortable doing this in Hoboken, but it was something I needed to get over. I would be gay for the rest of my life. If I wasn’t okay showing affection in public, I was in for a lot of headaches going forward. Since we didn’t have a reservation, they asked if we minded sitting outside. I preferred it actually. However, this posed a new situation for me again. We would be street side, and if I wanted to show affection, all of Hoboken could see — Or at least that’s how it felt.

Slowly but surely, I got over this. I was rubbing his knee under the table and exchanging kisses over our meal. I didn’t care who was looking. I still felt a little self-conscious, but I was proud of myself for getting over this.

After discussing wine at length, we agreed upon a nice bottle of Malbec. It took us some time to figure out how to order from the tapas like menu. We still hadn’t figured out our sharing dinner groove, but it was fun to learn this together. I came to find we shared a lot of the same tastes and likes. It also helped we were both share quite an adventurous palette. We ordered a few plates and told the waiter we would continue to order until we had our fill.

The food was great, and the conversation was even better. I was still getting to know him, and I was mesmerized by his smile the entire meal. I was gaga for this guy. If it turned out he wasn’t interested in pursuing a relationship with me, I was going to be heartbroken. I was past the point of protecting myself. I’d already cracked the candy shell. Now, I was in his hands.

We declined dessert, and I made sure to give the waiter my credit card to pay the bill before CK even had a chance to think about it. This date was going to be my treat. I liked this new system. With all the other guys I dated, we both threw down our credit cards and split everything. This felt more like dating and more like a relationship. Each date felt special because one of us was treating the other to it.

We hopped back on the bike and rode back to my apartment. When we got there, it was already fairly late, so we headed straight to my bedroom. I was just finishing removing my shoes when he shoved me backward onto my bed. Since it was up on risers, the bed shifted to the side and collapsed. He was so scared he’d broken my bed, but I assured him it was already an issue. This had already happened with N once before. I’d already been searching for a new sturdy bed not on risers, and this would be the impetus that forced me to address the issue with much more vigor.

We fixed the bed as best we could and continued to make out. It’d been a week since we were last together, so of course we were both horny for each other. I hadn’t had sex since we last saw each other, but I wasn’t sure I could say the same for him. We hadn’t crossed the monogamous relationship bridge yet, and I had no right to ask that question yet. We’d only been dating a week. One step at a time I told myself.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. Regardless, we found ourselves naked, and I was grinding on his backside. Our passion was elevated to a new level, and we were all over each other. I couldn’t get enough of his body — It was purely amazing. I’d never been with someone so handsome, so sexy, so fit, so sexual. He was like nothing I’d ever experienced before.

Eventually, he reached behind himself, grabbed hold of my manhood and directed it in until I found myself deep inside him. Amazing sex ensued until we both had our fill.

I was incredibly happy once again. I had a man who could come to dinner and hold a great conversation, and a man who could satisfy all my sexual desires. He was the best of both worlds.

With that, we cleaned up and climbed back into bed. I was happy to finally be sharing my bed with him. This would be the first time in a long time my California king was being put to good use. We fell asleep in each other’s arms. He was my little spoon. Throughout the night, we changed positions many times, but never fully woke up. We slept great.

When we woke in the morning, CK had to head back into the city to begin apartment hunting. He’d been putting it off and needed to put his nose to the grindstone. We stopped for a delightful breakfast at Ganache while we got to know more about each other. When we finished, we rode through the Lincoln tunnel into the city. I couldn’t drop him in front of his building because there was a parade going up his street, so we said goodbye to each other in front of the Empire State Building. I couldn’t think of a more romantic way to begin my Saturday…

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My California King

Things were going well for PR and I. He was turning out to be a great guy.

He’d been out with my friends and fit in. We’d had fun in the bedroom, and living room for that matter. I still had yet to meet any of his friends, but so far I was liking where things were going.

One evening after work, we made plans to finally go see The Woman in Black in the city. We both shared an interest in horror/scary movies, so I agreed. It sounded like a nice date too. I was sure it would involve some intimate hand holding in the theater and a nice night on the town for us.

I stayed at work killing time by writing a few blog posts until the time came to go to the movies. We agreed to meet in midtown by the PATH station and walk to the theater together. I didn’t hear from him for quite some time. It was getting very close to showtime, and I was getting annoyed. Why wasn’t he answering me? We were going to miss the movie.

Finally, I got a call from him. I met him on the street after learning he’d already started walking towards the theater. When I met him, I informed him we missed the movie. We needed to go to a different theater or find somewhere to grab a bite before the next showtime. He was very apologetic, but I was okay with everything. I didn’t have a schedule for the evening. I was just happy to be spending it with him.

We altered our plans and started walking to the theater on 42nd street. This would work out well because we could just hop on the bus at Port Authority to head back to Hoboken after the movie.

PR tried to pay for my ticket, which I thought was very sweet of him, especially since he was just working part-time until he found a full-time position. I thanked him for offering as I put my own credit card into the ticket vending machine to buy my own ticket. He tried to fight me, but it was no use.

We grabbed a big bag of popcorn and sodas and found our seats. I enjoyed holding his hand or rubbing his arm while we watched the movie. He was an affectionate guy like me. I liked that we were a match in that department. I was falling for him pretty fast, and we were spending a lot of time together over a short period of time.

The movie was decent. I don’t know that I would have picked it, but I was entertained and was happy to be out with PR.

We decided to grab dinner back in Hoboken. PR had only lived there a short period of time. He was anxious to get a lay of the land, so I suggested a few places we could hit up along the way. We settled on It’s Greek to Me and rode the bus through the Lincoln Tunnel. We hopped off the bus at our stop and went into a convenient store to grab a bottle of wine to take to the restaurant.

We sat at a table and decided on our meals. I insisted he try my favorite appetizer there, saganaki cheese. It was perfect with the wine we bought. I was really enjoying a casual night with him. The conversation was so relaxed and easy. We’d already gotten well past the awkward date stage. I was happy to just sit there with him at times, not even talking.

After we split the bill, we made our way home. We chatted more while we walked, and when we got to the intersection between our apartments, he was ready to say goodbye. I questioned him, and asked, “Aren’t you going to spend the night?” He replied immediately, “Do you want me to?” To which I confirmed and pulled him towards my apartment immediately. He asked if my roommates were home, but I told him that wouldn’t matter. They were cool and had people over all the time. He had no worries.

He’d forgotten to call his sisters to wish them a happy birthday, so he made a few phone calls to them while I answered a few emails and checked up on the blog. We relaxed on the couch for a little bit before making moves to the bedroom to go to bed. We watched Archer and Chelsea Lately in bed together, and laughed at all the same parts. It was nice to just sit and watch TV with a man.

When a commercial break came, I asked him what his “roommate” thought about him not being home all the time lately. “I told him I’m sleeping in a cute guy’s California King bed,” he quipped. I laughed and joked with him: “Is that all I am to you — A comfy bed?” He laughed and kissed me to show the contrary. Shortly thereafter, we dozed off and went to bed.

When my alarm went off in the morning to get ready for work, I looked back to the bed and smiled. I was happy to be waking up next to him. Of course I hopped back into bed and started to get a little frisky, but that wouldn’t make me late for work. I planned ahead and set the alarm a few minutes early.

I always leave room for play time…

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Finally, Someone Who Knows What They’re Doing!

So far my trip was turning out to be a flop. I had on traumatic experience and an ex who tried convince me to have sex. I needed my luck to turn around.

Last time I came to San Francisco, tried to meet up with a friend of mine I met a very long time ago on manroulette.com. I’d known him for almost as long as I’d known about the site — roughly two years. We exchanged Skype names and kept in touch. I can remember having conversations with him long ago. He was a great guy who had been through a lot. My heart always went out to him when he told me his story. On top of this, he was incredibly sexy. We’d fooled around on Skype numerous times, and every time I yearned for it to be the real thing with him.

I was hoping I would finally get to live out my fantasy. I made plans with him to grab a drink Thursday night after work. He asked if I’d like to meet in The Castro, but I asked if he wouldn’t mind coming to my neighborhood in the Wharf since I trekked up there the previous night. He agreed, and I asked the concierge for a good spot to grab a drink and chat with someone. He gave me a great spot to check out two blocks away — Parlor. It was perfect. We could easily head back to my hotel room after a few drinks.

While I waited for him to get ready, I excited myself with some porn. I wanted my libido revved when I met him because I wanted to live out my fantasy completely.

When he was nearby, I made my way to the bar. There weren’t many people there. It was perfect. Good music, but quiet enough for us to chat.

When he arrived, he came up to join me at the bar, and we exchanged hugs. I was very happy to see him, and I think he was equally happy to see me.

We sat and talked for hours. He’d been seeing a therapist over the past few months, and he’d really been having some breakthroughs. He has a tough time with his family as they’re not accepting of his lifestyle “choices.” I told him my coming out story, and he was very happy I for me that I had such a supporting family.

Three beers later for each of us, and the conversation was going strong. Our conversation hit the pause button when we both heard someone at the other end of the bar making a gay comment, not in reference to us in the slightest. Our ears perked up ready to be on the offensive but there was no need. When we finished our fourth round, I asked him if he would like to come back to my hotel room. He accepted my invitation, but said he couldn’t stay too long since he had to work early the next day.

He proposed we stop for wine along the way, and I agree. He paid for the wine — He was such a Texas gentleman, even if he hadn’t lived there for years. When we got back to the room, we each finish a large glass of wine before I pounced on him. We made out for a solid fifteen minutes. I was really enjoying him. He had a great body, amazing lips, and he was a spectacular kisser. One of the best I’d ever experienced. My fantasy was on its way to reality.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. One by one I peeled off his clothes until he was naked. I took it all in with a big grin on my face. From the first time I laid eyes on his “big swinging d*ck” as I called it, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It was beautiful, and I sure as hell had some fun with it.

He immediately went for mine and started orally pleasing me, front and backside. He was very good, but also very loud, moaning as his head bobbed up and down. This wasn’t something I was used to. I wanted to finish for him. I wanted to show him the fireworks I could set off, but I just couldn’t concentrate. After some time passed, I went to return the favor, but he stopped me. He told me he had to go because he had to be at work early the next morning.

I was so disappointed. He was really good in bed, and I needed that. I also had been looking forward to that for years now. But, I completely understood. Around midnight, he got dressed to head home. As he was leaving, he told me how great I tasted and how he wasn’t going to wash his hands or face for days. This was very dirty and very sexy. I’d never had anyone respond to my body that way before. He kept coming back for more as he made his way to the door. I could tell he didn’t want to leave, which made me happy. I was also purposely teasing him with my body, as I lay naked on the bed. I didn’t want him to go, but I still had one more night in San Francisco, which means I had one more chance to take him to bed…

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Bradley Cooper?

Welcome to Fast-Forward Fridays!!!

For a limited time only, I’m trying something new. After receiving many requests to bring the blog closer to real-time, I have decided to start releasing two posts on Friday. I hope you like the new addition. Scroll to the previous post below to keep up to date with the story. Keep your eyes open for new and exciting things to come…

On with this special edition of One Gay At A Time…

Wednesday morning I dropped Smiles off at the airport. I felt like a chauffeur considering the goodbye I received at the curb.

After running my errands, I was home alone with my thoughts. My good friend, A proposed we hang out, and I jumped at the opportunity. She was passing through Hoboken to the city since a coworker was giving her a ride. It would be a great distraction, and I needed to catch her up since the last time we chatted, I was in need of the “where are we” conversation.

She arrived at my apartment, and I made us dirty martinis because we were both due for a good stiff drink. She proposed we go out for dinner, and I agreed since I wasn’t in the mood to cook food. A suggested we go there to Cucharamama. I’d never been, but I’d heard some great things, so I was on-board.

We walked the few blocks to the restaurant in the drizzling rain and got a nice table in the back of the restaurant. It was cozy and warm, and I was happy to be out of the bad weather. We sat and she told me about how things are with her boyfriend.

A month or so ago, she’d told me about the communication problems they had shortly after moving in together. Apparently, things had greatly improved and they seemed to be finding their groove. I was happy for her.

My relationship was taking a different direction. I told her about the conversation we had the night before. I told her everything he said when I asked him where we stood as a couple. A was already skeptical going in. When I last told her how I was feeling about things, she told me it was time to move on. She didn’t think he was right for me. She told me, “You need someone who will worship you. You need someone who is as into you as you are them because you as so giving in a relationship.”

She was kinda right, but I was still going to give him a chance. It wasn’t like I was blissfully unaware of our issues, but I wasn’t willing to turn my back on him because of it.

After I told her my feelings and thoughts on my current situation with Smiles, she agreed with my plans to proceed. I told her I was going to continue to date him, but I wasn’t going to close myself off to other possibilities should they come my way. I wasn’t going to completely throw myself out there and jump back on adam4adam.com or Grindr, but I also was going to be open to possibilities. I knew I deserved better, and so did she. I was going to give him a short window of time to prove he was going to treat me better, but if that window closed, I was ready to move on. There was no reason for me to immediately drop Smiles. I had no other prospects lined up. Why not give him a chance.

Then the conversation switched to men and women in general. We talked about emotions and dating. The topics of masculinity and femininity came up, and we exchanged our opinions on both. It was a very friendly debate, and I really enjoyed and appreciated the time with her. If there was a time I needed her, it was then. We ordered glasses of wine and a few appetizers and main courses and shared all of them. All the food was great, but the company really made the night. I needed someone to talk to about what was going on in my love-life, but I also needed someone who wouldn’t let me dwell on it and change the subject after we’d discussed it at length.

I wasn’t even thinking about Smiles by the time the check came. And, because my friend A is overly generous, she would not let me pay for dinner. She paid the entire bill. She wouldn’t even let me pay the tip. If anything, I should have been paying for it since she was helping me and giving me what I needed. She gave me the confidence boost I needed to realize what is best for me and seek it out.

I needed to return my friend’s keys since I borrowed his car to take Smiles to the airport, so I said goodbye to A at the restaurant with a hearty hug and went in the other direction towards his apartment. I returned his keys and stayed to chat a bit before heading home for the night.

My roommate was at trivia that night, and it was a block from my friend’s apartment. So, I joined him for the close of the night. Ironically, the host of trivia was Adam from Big Brother. I’m quite a fan of the show, so I chatted him up a bit about what it was like to live in the house. I’d love to be on that show, and I think I’d clean up.

When I got home, I was bored and a little horny. I decided to hop on manroulette.com. It was usually a good go-to for casual fun and an ego boost. The talent on their wasn’t exactly great, but I managed to find a decent guy to chat with and have some camera fun. He paid me numerous compliments, and I ate them up. He told me I looked great. Over the three months I dated Smiles, I think I got maybe five compliments from him. This guy paid me five in five minutes. I needed it. I often need validation. It’s a defect, but it’s who I am.

When the guy told me I looked like Bradley Cooper, I questioned him. I thought he was just stroking my ego to keep me interested in him, but when I questioned him on it, he insisted. I’d heard that in the past, but for some reason he made me start to believe it. I really needed that.

The time came to end my chat with my new online friend and get ready for bed. I realized I hadn’t heard from Smiles all day. He was probably settling in with his family, but he also told me he’d call me later that night when I dropped him at the airport. I was disappointed. He wasn’t exactly winning my affections already. I laid there as my mind struggled with what to do. I wasn’t sure how to proceed, but it certainly would be with caution.

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A Pointless Cancellation

When Smiles and I spoke on the phone Sunday night on his way home from a party in Connecticut, I asked him to come to my apartment for a special dinner Monday night. He told me he had to work, but he was going to leave early and we’d just eat a little later. I told him this was perfect since it would take some time to cook the roast after work.

I’d told Smiles about my standing rib roast before, and he didn’t quite get what it was. I explained to him the similarity of it what one might be served at a carving station at a wedding reception. He got a clearer picture, but it still wasn’t crystal clear.

I had a rib roast in my freezer with our name on it. I finally had a chance to cook it for us, and he was on-board. I was excited. It was a plan.

Monday morning, before work, I took the roast out of the freezer to thaw for that night. I planned out the accoutrements as well. I was very excited for our romantic night. It’d been a while since we spent time together. I wanted a night of beef, wine, couch, and bed. The thought sounded spectacular to me!

What excited me even more was the idea of my sanity back. I planned to ask Smiles that night where we stood. I didn’t need a title. I didn’t need to be his boyfriend. I just wanted to know where his head was at.

I know I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but that’s what my inner dialogue is. I get fixated on something, and it exhausts me until I get some closure on the issue.

Much to my chagrin, at 1:00 that afternoon, Smiles sent me a text with some bad news. “Looks like I have people coming tonight so I’m not going to be able to sneak out. I don’t think dinner at 11:00 would be the bet. Do you want to have an early dinner here in the city before he show?” Very disappointed, I agreed with a “Sure.”

I was p*ssed. It wasn’t his fault, but I was a little crushed since I was taking so much care to plan out the evening, and it all went to sh*t. He suggested we do it another night, but came up with a consolation prize. He suggested I come over to his apartment for dinner instead before the screening. I begrudgingly agreed to the idea since it’d been so long since I’d seen him, and I sent my roommate a text asking him to put the roast back in the freezer.

When I finished work, I made my way downtown to his apartment. When I arrived, I was shocked to be received with a nice big kiss. Maybe he missed me. Maybe I wasn’t just a seat warmer in this relationship. There was actually emotion behind that kiss. I was happy.

I was a little anxious because I was still planning to ask him where we stood that evening.

He told me he had food in the fridge to make and suggested we cook that instead of going out for dinner. He preferred that since he wasn’t feeling well, and he was exhausted. It made no difference to me. Asking him my question in the privacy of his apartment sounded like such a better idea than in a restaurant anyway.

I ended up cooking the pork chops and asparagus for the two of us since Smiles wasn’t quite himself. We sat and ate — Him at his computer chair working while he ate and me on the couch. Not nearly the romantic meal I planned for the evening. When we finished, I helped him clean up and put the leftovers away. He started getting ready for the rest of his night, and we talked about my plans. He asked if I was planning to spend the night. “Well, I guess the first question I should ask is if you were planning to come to the screening tonight,” he added.

This was the first I was hearing this. I was quite open to the idea, but I told him, “I have nothing for work tomorrow. You were supposed to be coming out to Hoboken, remember.” “Right,” he responded. I reminded him I’d seen the movie twice now, but if he wanted company, I would come with him. I asked if he actually watches the movie, or if he does other things during the film. He told me he usually watches most of it. Things remained unsettled as he made his way over to the couch to take a quick nap on me.

That was my opportunity to ask him my burning question. Every moment I tried to open my mouth, I froze. Nothing would come out. I was suddenly transported back to when I sat on the couch trying to tell my parents I was gay. The anxiety was making my heart pound out of my chest. I tried over and over to ask him, but I couldn’t muster the courage. I’m not sure what I was afraid of, but it was driving me insane.

After a half hour of this, it was time for him to get up. I asked him if he wanted me to sleep over, or did he want to get some rest alone. We made a final decision. It was better he get some uninterrupted rest that night since he was so exhausted as much as I wanted to spend the night with him. He told me, “It’s very sweet of you to offer to see the film again to spend the night with me.” I liked hearing that. He recognized the sacrifice I was willing to make to spend time with him.

With that, I said goodbye, and he made his way to the screening while I made my way to the PATH — Without my answer.

I was so p*ssed at myself for getting so worked up about a stupid question. What was wrong with me?! Obviously, I needed someone to talk to. I tried Boston, my therapist. I needed him to talk me off the ledge and help me make sense of the situation. I couldn’t do it on my own. We talked it over for over a half hour and he convinced me I had no choice but to blatantly ask him where we stood. We even helped me nail down the phrasing.

When I got to the other side of the tunnel in Hoboken, I got a text from Smiles telling me he was on his way home. His friends never showed. My blood was boiling. We cancelled our dinner plans for NOTHING. I still had no closure on where I stood with Smiles. It certainly was going to be a toss-n-turn kinda night…

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Dinner Conflict

Smiles and I spent the better portion of our Tuesday evening trekking out to Brooklyn so he could basically say hello to his photographer friend who was showing his photographs at a local bar. I spent a majority of the night as a decorative ornament while Smiles went about his evening.

We were attempting to return to our original plans to see the newest Twilight film, but were unsure of the feasibility of that depending on showtimes.

When we came above ground near Union Square, I pulled out my phone to check showtimes. We planned the evening very poorly because the movie wasn’t being shown in Union Square. Smiles suggested we check out some of the other theaters in the city, but I could tell he wasn’t all that into it. I didn’t even like the movie all that much. He’d mentioned the desire to see it the last time we were in Brooklyn. I took the time to get caught up so we could go see it together.

When it was looking nearly impossible to see the film, he suggested we just grab dinner instead of running all over the city. I was a little p*ssed. There was little reason we couldn’t go back to Hoboken and catch the late screening and not even have to pay for it, but I felt that suggestion would fall on deaf ears. He didn’t want to run all over the city after he drug me out to Brooklyn and back — How considerate of him.

Just then, we happened upon Babbo, Mario Batali’s restaurant in Greenwich Village. He asked if I was interested in trying there. I’d never been and heard people rave about it, so I agreed to make that our plans for the evening. At least all wasn’t lost.

There was a wait, so we grabbed a drink at the bar while we waited. We stood over the should of a couple while I joked about the absurdity of their cheese plate. It was enough to feed one mouse, let alone two people share it. I am not one to scoff at refined tastes and classy things. I appreciate them greaty. But, when it comes to things like that, I have to chuckle a little. Smiles wasn’t appreciating my sentiment.

We finally got a table and sat to decide what to order. I knew before we walked in this was going to be a very expensive dinner, but it was Babbo. It wasn’t an everyday restaurant. We decided to share two appetizers. One of them was beets — his suggestion. I’m am quite a foodie, but there are a lot of things I’ve never sampled. Beets was one of them. I told him this, and he was shocked. He asked if I was okay with it, and I told him I was feeling very adventurous. We ordered the beets and the octopus per the waiters suggestion.

When the waiter asked what we’d like for our main course, I decided to continue my adventurous streak. I ordered the rabbit. I’d never had it, and if there was a restaurant to try it, Babbo was it.

Our appetizer arrived, and I was quite pleased with both. The octopus was excellent, and the beet salad had great flavor. I wasn’t in a drinking mood that night, so I was fine nursing the wine I’d had at the bar, but Smiles ordered a second drink and insisted I do the same.

When our entrees arrived, I was quite happy with my order. It was the perfect portion size and quite tasty — not very different from chicken. My compliments to the chef. The side we ordered to share, which I still am not quite sure what it is, resembled broccoli rabe when it arrived. I knew I wasn’t going to like it when I saw it, but I tried it anyway.

Throughout dinner, Smiles detailed for me all his future aspirations. He had a lot going on and was continuously trying to expand his empire. I didn’t necessarily disagree with a single one of his plans. I did, however, disagree with the timing of them. It just seemed like an overly ambitious timeline.

I’m a very opinionated person. When someone presents me with an idea I don’t agree with, I generally speak my mind. In situations as these with Smiles, I censored myself only slightly. I wasn’t being my true self and giving my hard opinion regardless. I was simply playing devil’s advocate to help him come to the realization some of his ideas were unrealistic.

This was the first night we kinda went back-n-forth on the subject. I was giving my realist opinion. He seemed slightly agitated, and I began to wonder if he was just looking for me to blindly support him.

That’s not who I am, so I wasn’t about to start doing that, but I also thought I could tone it down a bit. I didn’t need to rain on his parade every time he got overly ambitious. I was going to make an effort to be much more choosey in my words going forward.

When dinner ended, we sat and finished our drinks. The waiter offered us dessert menus, but we were both stuffed, and the meal was already bound to hit the wallet hard.

We paid our bill and collected our coats from coat-check. Smiles was generous to tip for both of us. We walked into the street and began to head towards the PATH. I took the opportunity to hook my arm into his. I’m not sure he appreciated it, but after the night I had with him, I was taking it. Whether he liked it or not.

There were times periodically I felt he was against PDA. However, I began to feel it wasn’t PDA after a while. I started to wonder if it was PDA with me. I wondered if he didn’t want other people to see him tied down to me. They may get the idea we’re together, and who would want that? Tonight, I didn’t care. I was taking his arm.

When we got to our typical midpoint, our goodbye was exceptionally unceremonious. I barely got a kiss, and he was off in the cold of the night.

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Cleaning Up

My night had gone pretty smoothly. I had a great time, there was minimal drama and I ended the night with a great guy, Smiles.

I did my best to put all the food away before heading to bed the night before. It was a fairly easy cleanup. However, that left all the dishes to be done and a lot of cleaning around the apartment.

I woke at a decent hour and didn’t even have a hint of hangover, which is surprising considering I drank sangria most of the night. My teammate from Maryland woke shortly after me. She needed to go into the city to catch a bus home, but was going to stick around for breakfast before she left. She asked if she could have some of the leftovers, and I prepared a few things for her.

In the meantime, Smiles emerged from my bed, and we made coffee for ourselves with my Keurig Elite Brewer coffee machine. It’s perfect because we can each pick our flavor of tasty Green Mountain Coffee, and we don’t have to wait for a whole pot to brew. It’s absolutely great! (Yes, I’m plugging them because I absolutely love that thing, and I’m hoping they read this and feel gracious enough to reach out to me… Wishful thinking…)

After she ate, my teammate asked for directions to the bus back into the city to Port Authority and was on her way. Smiles had made his way back to my bedroom and got dressed to head home. I was hoping he’d stick around for a little bit (I wasn’t expecting him to help clean), but I was mistaken. I would have liked to spend a lil more time with him, but he had plans.

I said goodbye to him with a kiss and a hug as I thanked him for everything from the night before.

My other roommate who was stuck in Canada arrived home in the meantime. He asked about the party. He was very disappointed he missed it. He’d been to three of the previous four even though we’d only been roommates six months.

Then, I was left with my mess. I did all the dishes and ran the dishwasher. I put all the wine in the wine fridge. I poured all the leftover sangria down the drain trying not to gag. I put all the liquor no one drank away. And then I swept the floors. They hadn’t been swept since we moved in.

I did all this while my roommates sat on the couch watching TV. My happy mood had soured. I didn’t expect them to help. I made it clear to them it was my party. Therefore it was my mess to clean up. However, after asking for permission, the roommate that was away had no problem scarfing down a plate of the food and leaving it in the sink for me to clean up. And, the other roommate, who attended the party and did nothing to help me prepare didn’t lift a finger. I didn’t resent that they weren’t helping me clean up. I more resented that I worked my ass off to get the apartment in shape, and they didn’t offer one iota of gratitude. Sure, it was out of selfish desires that I worked so hard and fast. But, they both greatly benefited from my efforts.

The cleaning was over surprisingly fast. When I finished, I planted myself on the couch for the remainder of the evening.

Later than evening, I witnessed my roommate come out of her room and heat up a plateful of the leftovers from the night before. I really resented this, purely because she didn’t take the two seconds to ask me if she could have it. I can be generous at times, but she didn’t pay one cent for it and did nothing to prepare it. The least she could do is ask.

So, I did what any mature roommate would do. When she went into her room, I left a passive aggressive post-it on the fridge saying, “If you didn’t lift a finger to purchase this food or make it, then don’t lift a finger to eat it.” I’m not sure why I was in such a p*ssy mood, but it really got under my skin. I think I was just feeling very under-appreciated overall, and I was taking it out on her.

Later she emerged once again from her room. As she passed the fridge, she read the note, made a noise of discontent and returned to her room.

I had the immediate satisfaction of getting under her skin as much as she did mine, but I would certainly have to deal with the ramifications of that later. I returned to watching TV and being in a cranky mood for the rest of the night. I wished I’d spent the day with Smiles. I was in such a good mood from spending time with him the night before. Hopefully tomorrow would bring happier times…

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