Monday, 31 March 2008

Playing House

Well, haven’t I just had the most wonderful day!

As arranged ‘V’ came over at about 10:30 and we spent most of the morning, and much of the afternoon too, playing.

Taking a blanket and some champagne to the top floor of my glass-fronted building was a stroke of genius… but making an exhibition of myself was just part one of today’s entertainment, and today’s entertainment just went on for hours. I’m quite sore in various places (sorry, gentle reader – trying hard not to ‘kiss and tell’) and there is a reasonable chance I’ve dislocated my leg. Wow.

Yes, for some reason with him I find it easy to be… adventurous, or aggressive, or physical, take your pick - whereas with other guys it’s difficult sometimes to get up the courage to peck them on the cheek. Just something about 'V' I suppose.

I had an amazing time today and hopefully he did too (oh, I know he did, it's just that I doubt I did for him what he did for me – this guy is good!).

But, being an old softie at heart, one of the nicest things about today was that we spent so much time just kissing, talking, and lying in each-other’s arms; that is the kind of thing that helps to make my day too. He sent me a lovely message later today and occasionally I still smell him as I sit here writing this. All in all a pretty lovely day. Ahhh yes, gentle reader, beneath my slightly frumpy exterior there is a romantic soul. Admittedly sharing accommodation with a tart, but romantic nonetheless.

When he left this afternoon I gave him a great big goodbye kiss and absolutely made sure he was welcome to come back for more soon. And since he left I’ve had this kind of buzz where I don’t want to analyse the day too much but I am on a kind of natural high…

As for the rest of the week, there’ll be plenty to blog about. I now have a date with ‘N’ on Tuesday, in addition to Wednesday’s festivities… Maybe I should try and get some sleep at some point?

Sunday, 30 March 2008

The Domesticated Slattern

So this Sunday gone I’m the domestic type; I go into town, buy some plants, a dust-pan and brush, and a plunger. I clear the winter’s victims from my balcony and plant some new ones, I tidy up the place, arrange a couple of dates, and throw the rubbish out. Then I take a walk along the river to enjoy the extra hour of daylight and (a rare thing for me) having done a bit of shopping I head back and settle in to watch some tele.


Oh yes, the information superhighway being the gift that keeps on giving, it is but the work of a moment, gentle reader, to arrange to meet some guys whilst also cleaning the bath.

The first is ‘E’, a civil servant who works nights (which I don’t quite get, but stay tuned). I’m meeting him on Wednesday at about 4pm at this floating pub/bar I know in Westminster; a lovely venue where my colleagues and I regularly go for a drink. They will on this occasion, however, be under strict instructions to go elsewhere!

He needs to be in work for about 8pm anyway, which his fine as I’m due to meet ‘A’ (a different ‘A’ from the one before) at 8:30 when he finishes work. He’s quite flirtatious so we’re still messaging four hours later. But, it’s shaping up to be a good night.

In the meantime, of course, I’m texting gorgeous ‘V’ about tomorrow and suggesting that if he tries this, then that leaves my hands free to do…

Kill Saturday, Volume II

“This knight was indeed a valiant Gent: but not a little given to romance, when he spake of himself.” John Evelyn, 1651

So tonight I had a date, with ‘O’, a lawyer who mostly works abroad and was in the UK for one more night only.

Being slightly gullible, after I get back from the coffee morning, we exchange a few emails and I agree to go to his place because the weather is crap and it seems like a nice idea to stay in for our first date. (What’s that? Yeah, I’ll come all the way across town in said weather to facilitate your booty call. Duuuuuh... hairspray rhymes with lipstick)

But actually he’s really nice and we go to his and have a beer, talk and talk, coy looks, moving closer… and…

Then his mother rings to remind him the clocks are going forward tonight (bless), which serves to cool the ardour somewhat. Hmmm. Yet it’s OK, because we talk some more, particularly about him being ‘in’ and me being ‘out’ (lol), we watch a film, and I leave.

The thing, though, being the thing, is this; I want, with this one, there to be a date two, and I said as much to him, so hopefully, when next in good ol’ Blighty, we’ll hook up again.

Now then, gentle reader: the fact he’s a tall handsome successful lawyer with a gorgeous pad in the centre of the city and is away three weeks in four is nothing, nothing, to do with it at all. Shame on you.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Kill Saturday, Volume I

I do find it difficult to meet men.

You know what I mean? I am absolutely unafraid of messaging men I like online and am quite eager at the end of the day to reply to messages received (unless they’re particularly off-putting). So it goes, back and forth, but…

Whenever I say “let’s meet up/fancy a drink?/do you want to grab a coffee?/etc” it tends not to lead to anything.

One of my strategies, then, is to take part in events organised through OUT everywhere, a site I’ve recently joined. And the first of those was today’s gay coffee morning. Gay coffee posse, sorry. (I know it sounds like I’m taking the piss but I really do recommend it to single men and gay couples; you get a membership card too I discovered!!).

Of course, life being life there are one thousand hurdles to leap. The dishwasher breaks down, thus leaving me to get down on my knees bailing out water and fiddling with electronics, grimy and sweaty and rushing as precious minutes tick away (what could possibly go wrong?!).

I rush out of the house late, at exactly the time it starts raining, the directions to the pub get pulled out of my hand by the wind, and halfway to the station I realise the fly on my jeans is bust and one stray gust could land me in the magistrate’s court.

So; late, lost, wet, flustered, angry, and possibly exposing myself to strangers. O’ Aphrodite, am I a reborn Paris, destined to find his hunky Helen in this modern world? “Yeah, right… Maybe when you lose some weight and do something about your hair!”

Still, the train comes, I adjust myself to within the bounds of common decency and I make my way to the pub, where there is a full and frank exchange of views with the landlord on the concept of “tea”, and coffee in hand I went upstairs to the other bar…

Hurdle #437 is simply this; what is the etiquette of going up to a group of strange men and asking “are you a bunch of gays?”; of course I was discreet but, not having thought it through, I was half expecting a sign or something. Still, room is made for me to sit down and I get chatting and as the afternoon comes around I find myself having a good time; these are nice blokes (mostly) and just having a pleasant time without flirting or whatever. It was good to be relaxed in a no-pressure environment, and I met some nice people that I hope to meet again on a purely platonic level. It was quite the social mixer; one guy brought his guitar and was playing a few songs, and there were a few people who live and work near me that I talked to about this n' that. I learnt that "he likes shopping with his mum" is the euphamism en-vogue in the Church of England to describe us poooftahs. I will, in short, be definitely going to next month’s event. Some people even baked cakes!

Thursday, 27 March 2008


I have to say I could warm to the single life. For a given value of ‘single’ of course.

Over the last couple of days I have been a bit up and down, literally from one hour to the next. So... late last night in a reckless fit of horniness I sent a couple of guys on gaydar, with whom I had been chatting/flirting anyway (caveats abound, gentle reader), an open invitation to come round and pretty much do whatever they might want.

So, of course I spent most of today kicking myself. Why did I do that (bar the obvious)? What would I do if the reply was yes? What would I do if the reply was no? What would I do if there was no reply? What would I do if the reply was “ew, yuck!”? What would I do if I’d propositioned someone who turned out to be a major client? Aaargh!

Eventually though, when I got home to check if a reply had been sent, I was just relieved to see the reply was “yes please!”; and so I replied and one text message led to another and before you know it my evening is taking one giant leap for the better…

I guess what I wanted in the grand scheme of things was to be with someone just because before I wasn’t (if that makes sense), and occasional random guys here and there didn’t address some fairly clear emotional needs – I’m a sensitive guy, and not just in the vuduedium! So I thought when I was in a relationship “great, this is what I want”. But actually what I need is to be with men, intimately or otherwise, who like me for who I am regardless of what we do, and the context in which we get to know each other.

I had a great time tonight with someone who turned out to be a lot of fun – seriously, the guy can talk dirty at an Olympic level, and talking dirty isn’t something I’m normally into. Plus one major theme of this evening has been a fairly explicit list of fantasies being drawn up, which we’re both going to take Monday off to work through in no particular order (not all, of course; one of my secret favourites can’t be done without some fairly delicate planning, and as for his… well, I’m not dressing as a milkmaid for anyone).

As for the time between then and now: tomorrow I’m going out with lovely friends for the usual “just one…”, Saturday afternoon is a coffee morning with some men in the local area where I hope to meet some new friends, and Saturday evening have a date with ‘O’, who’s damned fine, totally ‘in’, and only stopping off at Airstrip One for a few days… And that should lead us nicely into a quiet Sunday.

Frankly, it is nice to look forward to these things when also feeling a little bit attractive, when learning about the things one really does like, and finding out going out on a limb is never, ever the wrong thing to do.

Yep, things aren’t looking too bad at all right now. Not bad at all...

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Coming out... being out.

So, Coming Out is pretty much done. Friends know, family knows. Everyone has been pretty much fantastic, though there have been a couple of flies in the ointment recently. Had some hurtful text messages from a former friend who did not take the Big News so well. And, of course, there’s Darren – he came over last night unannounced to collect the last of his things, and to bring back mine, hand back the door key etc. We had a bit of a tearful goodbye, which set the theme for my evening. But! That Was The Love That Was, gentle reader, and we won’t be hearing any more about that here*. This blog is about looking forward!

To that end the next step is to get out there and meet guys. Corrr. As I think I’ve mentioned most of my friends and colleagues are straight, and I’m far too shy to just turn up at the nearest night spot and wait for something to happen.

What to do, what to do?

First step: over the last couple of weeks I’ve joined some dating/chat/etc websites.

The first of these is Gaydar, which strays very much into ‘etc’ territory. I have actually met some really nice people on there and I hope still to get a few of them out on a date (it’s how I met ‘A’), but we’ll see. On the down side there’s one guy who’s been a bit of a scary-stalker type, which isn’t quite what I needed, but I think he’s got the message now (famous last words?). Darren signed me up to it, and he’s on there too, so that might also be a bit awkward… Still, there have been a lot of pressing invitations from a range of charmers, including the offer of a mind-boggling amount of money from a certain older gentlemen to do… well, things I just turned down flat. All very flattering, and a bit of an ego boost; a place to be a bit flirtatious when I'm in the mood.

Next is Guardian Soulmates. This was recommended by a very good friend so I gave it a whirl. It’s quite highbrow; I kinda feel like a bit of rough on there amongst all the lute players, novelists, and PhDs. Soulmates is quite slow, but in a good way – I didn’t want to join another site where you get bombarded with messages (and the rest). I’ve had a message from one guy and another has flagged my profile as being of interest; I’ve also seen a couple of people that drew my interest… so cross-fingers that may lead to something in its own good time.

The most recent site is OUT Everywhere. It’s more of a discussion site and place where activities and events are organised and advertised – next Saturday, for example, I’m going for a ‘gay coffee morning’ close to where I live. There’s also ‘gay country dancing’, ‘gay book club’, ‘gay cinema group’ and presumably ‘gay fight club’… actually that's a bit bitchy; it’s a really good site. I’ve chatted with a few blokes - some in, some out; some in relationships, some single - and it seems a nice safe way of making friends so I’m very hopeful that will yield good things too.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Smile like you mean it.

… go on. Do it with your mouth.

Is it possible to have a dreadful first date and get exactly what you want anyway? Yes, gentle reader, last night I had a date with ‘A’. Arranged online a while ago, I decided to go despite all that has occurred in recent times. I met him in Town as arranged and he arrived (a fashionable 10 minutes late) just as it began to snow.

So we walk down the road, him taking the lead because I suggested we could go somewhere he knows, the snow falling and small talk being had. It could have been a bit more romantic if I hadn’t been ridiculously under-dressed, thus freezing, and thinking “oh crap; snow. The hair! The hair!!” (this is the point where anyone who knows me falls about laughing).

We eventually find a pub and he sits us down right next to the toilets – nice! – before we proceed to chat about this and that and slowly, slowly, discover we pretty much hold opposite views about every little thing and that we don’t really get on.

The irony is that for all of this I found myself having a pretty good time. Here he was, someone I was not ‘clicking’ with on any level, and with whom I was under no circumstances going to sleep. Yet for all the dour cynicism of the Scotsman named ‘A’, for all his inability to have a nice word to say anything, and for all his inability to keep his eyes off the other guys in the bar (oh, and for all I was thinking “26? Are you sure?”) I did enjoy myself.


Because this was exactly what I needed. I want to date, and I had me a date. A couple of hours, a couple of drinks, a chat, a realisation that it wasn’t going anywhere, and us parting on good terms - me to go home, him to get chips apparently (you can take the boy out of Glasgow…). Yet strangely exceedingly pleasant!!

And for the next time, I’m going to the gym more, buying new, better clothes and being a bit more circumspect about picking up men online. Yep, going to do at least two of those things...

Sunday, 23 March 2008


Hurrah indeed for friends, family, readers and men.

This is just a quick post to let everyone know I feel a whole lot better after Friday/Saturday's orgy of despair. I guess it needed to be done, get it all out of the system as it were, and now I'm very much on the mend.

Thank you for all the kind messages and other support. It's been a big help. So as a little treat here's a funny song by Jonathan Coulton called "Re: your brains".

Saturday, 22 March 2008

What must the neighbours think?

After coming out to my mother yesterday I wrote a long blog post and essentially settled down to an early evening with nothing in-front of me except surfing the net, emailing friends, listening to music… a quiet night in, possibly finishing that chardonnay.

And then I came across a clip on YouTube from some TV show I’ve never even watched (access it
here) and for the first time it hit me; Darren’s left me. I’m on my own again.

I’m sure it’s partly the emotional release of having done one of the most difficult things anyone can ever do, but once I saw that clip I really began to cry. And not the discreet tears of a classy gay-guy (may be he's upset, maybe his Kylie tickets came through), but great sobs and wails of anguish that went on until about 6am. I mean, I just couldn’t stop. It’s not even that great a clip!

There's a line in the song that goes with the clip about "when they carve my name in stone..." which is the bit that still gets me going, because I feel that next to my name on the gravestone (assuming I'm not first against the wall when the revolution comes) will just be a big blank space. Or maybe, if there's room, it could be carved "Mike: degrees in physics and economics; good career in the public sector; made his zillions in the private sector; could do this thing with a condom and his tongue he was pretty proud of; but no-one ever loved him."

Temporarily, at least, the prospect of dating other guys and the positive experience of coming out gave me a shield that allowed me to think I could deal with this in my own good time. But, no, heartbreak it seems has its own schedule.

I sat there thinking about how it’s taken more 15 years to get this far and all the stupid, stupid, stupid things I’ve done along the way and how I don’t want to go through it all again. And I cried about leaving it this long and how, if I’m not that attractive or fun to be around, I’m going to be pretty damn lonely. I spent so long behind a façade of not needing anyone, “I’m focussed on my career/business, friends, community”, it’s really difficult to be made to feel an idiot (a fat idiot if we want to be technically accurate). Basically, I didn’t realise it was going to be this hard and yet still find myself still on Square One.

So, gentle reader, as you might have guessed my confidence has taken a bit of a knock and while I thought I could get straight back on the horse, it ain’t necessarily so. I actually wonder if I should disappear somewhere for a little while, lick my wounds, and grow well enough to try again....

Stay tuned.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Mums are great

In my heart of hearts I was hoping to be able to reach 1 January 2009 and, looking around, see all at once the man I love, a supportive family and my fantastic friends – all the things that would make my life complete.

Recent events have meant that isn’t very likely, but I decided despite the breakdown of my relationship – and possibly even because of it – I needed to tell my family that I am gay.

This morning I decided today was the day to come out to my mum. It was a spontaneous decision and in some ways I thought it a bit cruel to spring it on her out of the blue, but then I can’t really think of a way of laying the ground that wouldn’t have made her anxious or, perhaps worse, lead her to think her increasingly strident and panic stricken demands for grandchildren had finally been met. Oh, and before you wonder, gentle reader, my mother lives in the alps so it really is easiest logistically to call her rather than visit, which would have been the ideal.

I began to get very upset at the prospect of, essentially, losing my family. I’m jumping off a cliff and trusting people enough to catch me as I land, and I thought “no boyfriend. Possibly no family. Should I really put all my eggs in one basket?”. Online research opened my eyes to how much of an uphill struggle it could be, and what kind of reactions and timescales I needed to prepare for.

Eventually, I went ahead and dialled that number, though - I’m ashamed to admit - a sizeable amount of Dutch courage in the shape of a South African ‘Circumstance’ Chardonnay aided that bit of bravery.

My mother and I talked about total crap, as usual. It isn’t snowing here, it is there. Lots of significant pauses from me, but no useful “are you OK?” or “is there something on your mind?” to get me started. Damn.

I got there in the end, though, (after checking who was around to support her over the weekend) and explained that I was a bit down because I was in a relationship and it had recently ended. And after some platitudes from her I bit the bullet and said “I wanted to tell you about it because it made me realise that the thing I want you to understand is that [Darren] is a man… er… because you see….errrrm… I am gay”

Long pause.

“Would it surprise you to learn…” – Long pause (and I swear I thought she’d say “I am too”) – “that I did wonder?”

I did smile at that, as so few people have been bowled over by my revelation, but afterward we talked and talked about it and I have to admit it was many times more positive than I ever could have hoped for; I talked about the reactions I’d had and how supportive my friends had been, and she said nice things about how the man for me was out there somewhere.

Strangely, she’d only began to wonder, she says, over the last couple of years (I’m 30, so it seems a bit odd and I’m frantic about what alpine indiscretion I might have got up to two years ago that tipped her off) and she particularly wanted to just ask me recently when I had a hepatitis scare.

She also said that she wondered if something she’d done raising me had made me the way I am, and whether my (for various reasons) not-very-happy childhood had resulted in my homosexuality. I was half-expecting this (the importance, gentle reader, of research) and assured her that there was neither genetic-let nor environmental-hindrance to who I am and it was no-one’s ‘fault’.

Then, of course, her essential mum-ness kicks in and she tries as tactfully as possible to enquire whether I’m avoiding all those diseases out there now that (in her mind) I’m caught up in a world of bondage and leather and anonymous sex. I tried to explain as tactfully as possible that being out made taking care of myself a helluva lot more likely than being in, and the only difference between me being gay and being straight is the person on the other side of the table on a date will be a man not a woman. Plus I dress better.

As for the rest of the family, we agreed it was up to me to tell them. And we definitely, definitely agreed that my 83 year old grandfather was not to be told at all.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008


Wednesday is date night, right? Thursdays too, often, but plans this week…

Anyway, Wednesday dawns. It's a nice day. The Appointed Hour of Fuzunjulation arrives and…

Nothing… Curious.

So, as one does, one enquires after the whereabouts of fine, fine, booty. Text one. No answer. Text two. No answer. Text three, four, five - and a couple of emails - no answer.

When Darren finally answers me we have a long and frank (voice) discussion about why he's not coming round. Apparently (and being new to this, who am I to argue?) being stood up is the nicest possible way of saying he thought he was over his past relationship but he wasn't. Essentially he’s used to being more in control, or dominant, in a relationship but he needs time to rebuild his confidence. My new-found confidence has shown him he wasn’t ready to be with someone, and he's bit scared about how I’ve changed into someone more relaxed and comfortable with who I am. And, to put it bluntly I'm not really his type.

Or, to summarise, “I was hoping for some ripped love-slave to fuck my way over my ex, but that ain’t you [Lord knows he got that right] so I’m off, with the delusion that this really is the best thing for both of us”.

Or, even more succinctly, “Even though I’m a coward, I think I can do better”.

Perhaps I'm being harsh, though. He did say a lot of nice things about how great it was to be with someone who liked him so much, and he assured me he hadn't met someone else. On the other hand, though I don't think I could plausibly be expected to have deciphered that from being stood up.

At first I was just numb and spent hours staring into space. The next morning I had a good cry and discussed it with friends, who were (as always) totally supportive. I made it into work and went out for a couple of drinks after with colleagues who were bored to the point of chewing their legs off by my relationship woes.

Then, and this is prizewinning - it really is - on the way home a text. From him. An explicit text essentially suggesting he'd like to fuzunjulate his way back into my good books and we could go from there. A tentative texted 'yes', and more explicit texts follow - certainly enough to shock the elderly lady sitting next to me (whoops). And so at home I clean, shower, change, perfume and primp except again, again, again, again gentle reader I'VE BEEN STOOD UP.

So of course now I feel like an idiot and the bottle of champagne with a bandelero of condoms, which was such a romantic gesture at the time, just seems silly now.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Stop it with the saucy photo's

I like the male form in all its glory and I am delighted to drool over eye-candy in the real world, or in cyber-space, or (more often than not *sigh*) in my mind.

To help the process of coming out I’ve joined an online forum to help me meet new people. I think I’ve met a couple of nice guys. I’ve contacted a few more, and probably will continue to do so until things reach a critical mass and start going forward on their own.

On my profile I did say I’m looking for friendship/chat, and explained my situation. and I 've had a load of really sweet messages of welcome and support, which I take care to reply to with thanks.

What I didn’t expect to get loads of pictures of other guys’ intimate areas at various stages of tumescence and from a variety of angles. It’s like the twelve days of Cockmas out there: fiiiiive coooock riiings… One guy sent me three pictures of his ass. Why? Does he have three asses? (Cerberass ha ha ha... ahem... sorry) I'd prefer to deal with people who have a picture, but your face will do!

On the one hand that’s why I want to know more gay men – to be able to talk about things like this in the level of detail I expect most of my friends really would rather not. And sometimes when I get these images sent to me I think “aw, how flattering”, while other times I have a good laugh. On the other, I’m new here and while it’s sweet to (in its own way) whatever some of you guys are quite remarkably ‘up for’ I’m really not keen to play naughty-bits top-trumps right now.

Some people have sent me messages that are more intimate, or open about what they want, and to me that's much more appealing. I guess what I'm saying is I'd rather wait to see the real thing in 3d and enjoy it all the more for the anticipation of that in however long it takes to get there.

(Darren plainly thinks it's hilarious. He’s sent me a picture of his bum. I've put the Nokia in the icebox :-p)

Coming out: the story so far...

Am I ready to use phrases like “moist” and “kitsch” and “fabulous” in day-to-day conversation?


Well, except for fabulous, which I’ve noticed creeping into the lexicon a bit there, girlfriend.

Nevertheless, being with someone I care about meant that I realised it was time to let everyone know that I am gay, and eventually I broke the news that Darren is a man. And that I am too.

I could, I suppose, just put a post here and email everyone I know at once to say “hey, ever wondered why I like Eurovision so much? Check out my blog!”. Instead I decided to tell people face to face, or at least one-to-one, because I think I owe them that. Also nothing will change the fact that I’m shy and couldn’t cope with just leaping out of the closet a-pox-on-the-consequences hand-me-my-BeDazzler.

In terms of the emotional cost, it has been a huge drain; I quite often feel physically shattered at the end of the day, and working up to telling someone, either in person or by email, is quite delicate. Waiting for their reaction is something else. Like waiting for A-level results except if you get less than an ‘A’ grade in any subject you’ll be shot in the head.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there has been a range of reaction.

Firstly there has been the wonderful group of friends who’ve said “we’re happy for you, we’re excited by what’s happening, and we want to be involved in your life”. I’ll never ever forget how good these friends have been. It’s made this one of the most positive experiences of my life.

But I’m sorry to say there have been people who don’t want to know me anymore because of my sexuality. Few of them have talked to me and set out their feelings or explained why they’ve reacted in the way they have, so I suppose there might be more to it than a knee-jerk reaction. I haven’t been been put off moving forward or regretted telling them. Actually, I have had a lot of pride in myself for being open about who I am.

Sadly, one who reacted by not wanting to know me any more was one of the few women I’ve had a serious relationship with. I know she’s not homophobic, but though she was one of the first people I told she now feels she didn’t know me at all. So far my plaintive emails to her have gone unanswered. I’ll miss her friendship the most.

The third group is the friends who accept me, but who’ve been angry or hurt by the fact I haven’t been honest. Some have questioned why I couldn’t tell them before, and felt that we would have or could have been closer if I’d told the truth. These responses did make me think about how hiding myself away from people who care about me was treating them badly as much as I was treating myself badly. And for that I want to say sorry.

The fourth group are the ones who essentially said “yeah, we kind-of guessed about you and your gayness. You fruity old fop, you” and carried on as normal. While that’s mighty fine, I’m kind of annoyed because I thought I was, well, pretty straight acting (maybe a bit camp, but come-on we’re British!). Didn’t you hear me talking about the off-side rule and girls? I was hoping for a bit more shock. You could at least pretend. I mean, is a sharp intake of breath too much to ask…?

So, overall pretty good so far. The next thing? Telling the family. Uh-oh.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Meeting men

Now one of the things about being ‘in’ rather than ‘out’ is that I didn’t get the chance to 'shake it all about' and meet men. Even when I did I couldn’t really act on any attraction very easily, and I don’t think I’ll ever be properly into the whole gay scene – though I have a very active imagination (and now, thanks to Darren's friends, a greater understanding of what happens at Chariots than anyone could plausibly want). A unique combination of priapism and prudishness, I never took the chance to see where I fit in the great scheme of things. Philip Larkin eat your heart out.

There’s now no need to be reticent anymore, soooo in the spirit of exploration I’ve asked a few other guys out on a date.

BUT, gentle reader, fear not. I have no intention of fuzunjulating anything with a pulse. What I want to do is meet other men and actually start getting some gay friends all my own!

The first guy I contacted is ‘C’, because he’s coming out at the same time as me, and lives quite close to me and I thought it would be nice to meet up and talk, get some mutual support going. Plus, yes I admit it, I was attracted to the idea of getting to know someone like me. But, I think I won’t be hearing from him; I know he’s received my message and found out about me, but so far no response. Perhaps it’s just early days. Ho hum, here’s hoping.

As for the rest I’ve basically said I’m looking for new gay friends, let’s meet up sometime for a coffee/drink/meal and a chat.

One of the nicer things about coming out has been how supportive the few gay men I know (friend of Darren, neighbours, former colleagues) have been, including encouraging me and taking an active interest in my experience of coming out etc. One surprising consequence has been a re-evaluation of myself overall - personality, health, self respect etc. Plus a reappraisal of my looks, and a tentative conceit that, if you were to stretch the definition to breaking point, I might just possibly be considered to fall within the realms of eye-candy. Tee hee.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

How am I a girly man? Let me count the ways...

This is just a snippet of how much Darren means to me, and I hope it explains a bit better why I’m coming out now.

  • My favourite thing to wear is a brown lamb’s-wool v-necked jumper that is his and he left at my place a while ago. I wear it all the time
  • Once when I got out of the shower I found he’d gone to the shops and I cried because I didn’t know where he was.
  • He once drew a heart on a post-it note and stuck it on my face when I was asleep. I’m having it framed.
  • I dance around the flat for 20 minutes after he told me I had nice eyes. Fortunately it was by text, so he didn't vomit himself into a coma at the sight of my pathetic neediness.
  • I keep all the pornographic doodles he draws.
  • When he takes my hand in public my stomach muscles contract so sharply I’ve actually hurt myself.
  • We were once refused service in a shop and secretly I’m quite pleased because it wouldn’t have happened it I hadn’t been with him.
  • I spend hours and hours just watching him sleep.

PS: If you're thinking "stop it you big girl" then I think it too!!

Saturday, 15 March 2008

My relationship

Being in a committed, stable relationship with another man is totally different from being in a relationship with a woman. And I'm not just talking about the fuzunjulation of my vuduedium.

One of the things we’ve both found most difficult is reconciling our expectations of each-other and putting our relationship on an equal footing. One mistake I made was assuming that our relationship was automatically monogamous – we’ve been seeing each other for just under seven months, and neither of us has been with someone else, but I was surprised by how carefully we’ve had to explore our attitude to fidelity. I don’t want an open relationship, and as I’ve said to Darren before if he sleeps with his ex I’ll kill them both. I do, however, accept that though love, companionship and sex are the root of what I have, I can’t expect (and I’m probably not ready to give) a 100% seven days a week nothing-but-you commitment.

I’m really pleased how sensitive Darren has been to me coming out (like encouraging me to do this blog). It helped that I was honest about my lack of relationship-experience with him, so that he gave me some space and when I was ready to be with him we’d already learnt a lot about each other. One way he has helped me/us most was having us both take a psychometric test (at designed for people who want a full relationship with someone of the same sex. Darren and I both registered and took the test, and our results showed;

  • neither of us operates by instinct. I’m more rational, he’s more emotional;
  • I’m more willing to conform to social norms and rules than him;
  • both of us have a good combination of vivacity and common sense;
  • our relationship, where we spend about ½ the week together and half apart doing our own thing suits us both very well;
  • I’ve become much more extroverted;
  • he’s more domesticated than I am (which surprised us both);
  • I avoid conflict, and he does not;
  • I react badly to being let down by people;
  • neither of us is ‘passive’ in a relationship;
  • we each bring out the feminine side in the other.

These results calmed us both down and made us realise we both have to work hard. I began to understand he was just as committed to me as I was to him, and he began to understand he wasn't as secure as he thought he was. But we're still passionately crazy for each-other and I love him, and I love being with him, and I love the idea of being with him more and more and more.

Why come out now?

So, I'm going through a process of telling people about my sexuality. But, I hear you cry, why now? And why not before? These are my top ten reasons, in no particular order:
  1. I didn't want to be this way! I didn't think there was anything wrong with me, but on the inside while growing up I really hoped that I would end up the same as everyone else. Because everyone at school was straight (though, as I later found, out not quite everyone) I not just felt different, I thought I was different. It’s taken a long time to realise I’m not.
  2. I grew up amongst some of the most wonderful people I've ever met, and that I'm still proud to call my friends. But when aged 14, 15, 16 I was not ready to come to terms with who I am, and talk to them about it. After a while it became harder and harder to be honest. So I never moved forward. But my friends have become more and more important to me over the years and now I know it’s wrong not to tell them.
  3. I still had sex anyway! As it turns out there were a couple of guys at school that I could at least fool around with, and then my first job, friends of friends etc. Nothing heavy, but some fun, even if I still needed to be ultra-discreet. Then, of course, was university, second job, third job, etc. Fine, fine booty to be had without the world finding out!! Though I think if I'd been more open, there would have been much more sex. Oh, well.
  4. I've had a couple of serious relationships with women that mean the world to me. I don't want them to think for a moment that the times we shared were lies. They weren't. They were committed relationships that could have lasted forever, and are still a hugely important part of my life and who I am. I'm not 100%-anything, and I felt that coming out would close as many doors as it would open. I now realise I should be proud of who I am and who I’m with, whatever the future holds.
  5. My family, I thought, would never accept this part of who I am. Some friends encouraged me to have an open mind and be more hopeful, but at best I thought they'd react like I told them I had some terrible illness that needs to be accommodated but somehow makes me less than what I was before. At worst I’ll be completely abandoned. Part of the reason I've taken so long to come out is that I’ve needed come to terms with that risk (and I still haven't told anyone in my family, by the way!).
  6. Being quite shy and introverted anyway it just took longer to appreciate I am who I am because I couldn't talk about it. There was no internet back then, and no real place to go to get help. I couldn't imagine a scenario when I could come out, so I convinced myself it was no-one else’s business anyway.
  7. Some people always knew. Presumably my lovers fathomed it out! Occasionally I told a friend or colleague in some drunken moment, though that never really worked out for me. As I moved about, met new people, it just became easier not to deny it; If I’d denied it to a neighbour of mine, he’d never have introduced me to Darren, and…
  8. As I got older I met more and more people who were openly gay and bisexual. Essentially, I saw it could work; I saw that it was normal; I saw that other people weren't bothered; I saw they were having fun. I was damned jealous. I also realised I wasn’t really being honest with myself in two different ways; pretending to be something I'm not and then denying myself all these opportunities. Not a recipe for happiness!
  9. About 10 years ago I was sexually assaulted. I reported it to the police, and I dealt with this WPC who was really fantastic and supportive throughout the whole process. But essentially the defence was "he's gay so he wanted it" and the response seemed to be "oh, well... that's OK then". That didn't exactly help my 'personal development', and while I'm rational enough to understand that doesn't make me, my sexuality, or that of others a bad thing... well, I was very badly fucked-up by it and I spent a lot of time wishing I wasn't me. And of course because people didn't know about my sexuality I was stuck without anyone I could really talk to about it.
  10. I'm with someone who makes me happy, and I'm totally infatuated. I never dreamt I would feel this way and I don't want to hide my relationship. I want everyone I know to know how fantastic my guy is, and how (and why) the sheer wonderfulness of it all makes me grin like an idiot the whole day long.

Telling people and being honest has been one of the most liberating and positive things I’ve ever done, and I wish I’d done it sooner. I’m much more extrovert, open to new ideas, and consistently happy with my life than ever before. I really am hopeful for the future and if anyone reading this is thinking about/worried about coming out then please use the links availalble to help you, or get in touch.

Here's my blog

So, here it is; my blog.

The reasons behind it are fairly wide-ranging. Firstly, there are many, many things happening out there that make me want to rant at length. So, I'd been thinking for some time about starting a blog to vent my spleen, mainly as an alternative to my friends tunneling their way out of the pub to get away in my more strident moments.

Secondly, I'm interested in a wide variety of topics and it's not always easy to find someone to talk to about them, so I can put them down here.

Thirdly, and by far most importantly, is Darren.

Darren is my boyfriend (I did originally put current, but he made me take it out. I admire his optimism).

I've been into other guys since, like, ever, right? Though by no means inactive, my sexuality was The Big Secret, and in many respects it still is (more about that later). I never had a long term relationship, or a particularly committed one, with another guy before. In fact, when asked, I always denied my feelings and claimed to be a totally straight "phwoar, breasts are great. Get a load of them puppies. Errr... hubba hubba etc, eh?" guy.

Because my gorgeous fella about whom you will be reading so much more on these pages, is just the best thing to have happened to me since I-don't-know-when (but at least the invention of the microwave oven) I have slowly begun telling people About Me. The ongoing process of Coming Out is a real real roller-coaster ride, and falling, plunging, plummeting head-over-heels in love has been such a thrill that Darren suggested I put my feelings in a blog to help me get my head round it all, and to help me reveal myself to all the people I care about (including, perhaps for the first time, myself).

So, here it is; my blog.