Tuesday, 28 July 2009
It isn’t conscious; like a pinball I’ve been bounced around – sometimes scoring points, sometimes dropping out of view. I think I’m lucky that I’ve not been adversely affected by the things I’ve experienced. Or at least not to the point I react to things because of some negative conditioning; behaving a certain way out of fear, for instance. Rule 5 is still the tops!
Coming out is still absolutely the best thing I’ve ever done. I was reminiscing with Fella at the weekend that once when I was 15 or so I was very late home one night; a guy I was at school with and I got off at the same bus-stop in the little rural village I grew up in and, to cut a long story short, ended up getting off with him in a field not far from there. I wondered then how different my life might have been if, at the very height of this titillating experimentation, I hadn’t put my hand in a cow pat.
If only I’d been good at being bad!
Anyway, gentle reader, what I mean to say is that my thoughts are sometimes tinged with worry that it is wrong that the condoms I buy are International’s preferred brand; that the music I like I was introduced to by this guy; the places I’d take Fella I was introduced to by that. Etc etc...
But then, does it really mater? Where I laugh with you, cry with you, love you or hate you will always depend as much in me as you; on whether my train was late and what I had for lunch. And my life experiences. So surely it is better to learn and grow from past experience than deny it and being on tenterhooks the whole time about reliving past mistakes.
Of course it may be easier for some of us to assimilate and learn from mistakes than others. I ran into a past assignation of mine at the local supermarket and he seemed remarkably uncomfortable (I like to at least say hello and am not embarrassed to treat them as I would any casual acquaintance. Sex doesn’t mean you can’t have manners after all). It was only I realised he was with his girlfriend that the penny dropped.
So: being out, proud, and slightly naïve is a good way to be. If you’re with the right guy!
Monday, 27 July 2009
Wait! Wait, Gentle Reader: this post is different, I promise.
As I was posting: being with Fella is great but sometimes I miss causal sex.
And, before you ask: no, I’m not having casual sex. As I’ve intimated before the sex with Fella is fantastic, and keeps getting better. Which is great; not only in and of itself, but because sex is a huge dimension of any relationship for me and I have a high sex drive in any event.
I ended up spending the weekend with Fella after all; he invited me up on Saturday afternoon and I ended up spending Saturday and Sunday nights. This in turn led to a walk-of-shame scenario on Monday when I had to buy shoes, shirt and shoes anew before going into the office. I remember looking about his house as we left this morning and - apart from the kitchen, which as the gourmet Fella is, he was somewhat reticent about defiling – I think we gave a good account of ourselves.
*ahem* anyway… causal sex, wasn’t it?
Fella is my Nth lover this year; and my tally for 2009 runs to N+2 because of some fun with a couple of guys shortly after our first date. Now, we’re proper boyfriends and that and we’re totally monogamous. Fella has made absolutely clear his expectations and as I’ve always posted, I’m fine with things either way.
Before I met him I was toying with the idea of trying some ‘proper’ cruising. There are quite a few places very near to where I live and with the long summer evenings… plus I was thinking about gyms and saunas and clubs other places I could go for casual fun. Expanding my horizons beyond the online assignations - perhaps a reflection more of budding confidence than sinking depravity? I think so.
A lot of my gay friends aren’t into causal sex. The single ones I encourage to enjoy themselves, on the grounds you are only young once, and sex is rather nice. Fella and I joked this very weekend that for gayers (much as it was for us) it’s sex first; relationship later. Should things with Fella not work out I will happily return to that way of things – and it seems an appropriate back-up plan!
As much as the physical side of a relationship is important to me, love and sex aren’t the same thing and I never got infatuated with someone because of sex. However, after coming out and getting dumped by Darren I did measure my attractiveness and thus a huge part of my value as a person through casual encounters. Should I go back to being single, I guess I’d be back to square one…
Right now, though, I try to show my attractiveness by being a good boyfriend [yay]! But alongside that I’ve realised I need to keep working on my health and wider social life. For the first time I realise the amount of work that needs to go into make a relationship work. Fun; but not casual.
Thursday, 23 July 2009
I’ve posted before about he’s been distant when I compliment him or am affectionate. But I’m learning to recognise how much he gives to our relationship on every level. And he’s certainly much warmer about giving and receiving affection; we become more intimate on every level. I am, to put it mildly, satisfied. Content.
We went out last night to the Host Gallery on Honduras Street near Barbican to watch a screening of “Hell House”, a documentary about the efforts of a small conservative Christian congregation in the southern United States to graphically demonstrate their beliefs in a house of horror style showing. The documentary was very well made with the filmmakers passively observing the group planning and executing the event. Of course it was the usual: anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-premarital sex. The characters were sensitively portrayed and it didn’t try to get a rise out of them – it was well worth seeing.
We went home and there was wine and we talked until the early hours. Thus, and for other reasons, I have had very little sleep and once again my quiet evening in allows me to catch up on my rest – as I know he is at his home.
One aspect of our relationship is that we are planning relatively far ahead. As well as Fella’s birthday in mid-September around which there are tentative plans we have arranged things around the end of August and beginning of September. It seems strange to be in a position where we can plan six weeks ahead; it’s only nine weeks we’ve been together!
Fella and I are spending a record breaking three nights together at his home in Buckinghamshire, from 1 August. It feels to me like a romantic break away. I hope preparing for my arrival and having me there won’t stress him out!!
Of course having a hectic work life doesn’t help. I was an hour late meeting him yesterday because of a new service set up to manage the aporkalypse. I’m very keen not to be late for the romantic dinner we’ve planned to start off next weekend – so that in turn means planning my work very carefully. The holistic nature of a relationship, compared to dating. Dating fits around other commitments. My boyfriend and I fit things around us!!
This weekend is a quiet one. The first in a few. Sadly I shall probably be getting on with nothing more than a spot of work and doing work on the house with the Gardener. I think I’ll spend it productively planning nice things – wonderful things, perhaps – for Fella and I to do. Small things as well as big… but things for us. Because actions speak louder than words.
Saturday, 18 July 2009
Sometimes I really want to talk about my sex life with Fella in more detail because it’s great and it keeps getting better and in many ways – uniquely in my experience – our sexual intimacy imitates the intimacy we experience in other dimensions. But even now the full and frank admissions I was going to make, I’ve had second thoughts about… hell, I’ll answer honestly if anyone really wants to know!! Anyway, we’ve had a perfectly lovely weekend and now he’s gone home and in a few days I shall see him again and…
As our relationship grows and we get closer and closer sometimes we hit… limits. I think perhaps the test of any worthwhile relationship, however long it may last, is not time but whether those limits may be overcome. After all, we could last forever but never really get to know each other. Or we could burn out in a flash of passion a couple of weeks/months/years down the line but nevertheless look back on this time with fondness for decades to come.
On Friday we had a very drunken evening with his colleagues that was good fun. As the evening wore on a friend of Fella asked him the significance of the rings he wears on his right hand. He described them one by one, the last of which being his former engagement ring.
Now to his friends that was quite clearly his former engagement ring. To me it was, and is: his former engagement ring.
Breathe, Frumpella. Breathe; Trust; have more booze…
Truth be told I’ve put this new information away for the time being. Fella is reticent about his past relationships and I'd gathered already the last one was a big one. I’ve speculated about being rebound boy before, but I can’t imagine how my determination to make things work through sheer effort could be so adversely affected by this revelation. Baggage, I do believe, ain’t always a bad thing; half the reason I came out of the closet was to make room for some :-)
So I graciously allow him to keep his secrets. For now.
It just goes to show how much more there is to show and tell between Fella and I. For all the ease with which we had fallen into this relationship – a testament to his grownupheit, an area in which I trail somewhat – there are likely to speed bumps ahead. It’s amazing to me how central Trust has become, and how quickly. I think what I’m trying to get across is; I recognise some secrets are inevitable but I Trust that it’s OK. For two reasons. The first is Trust is part of my contribution. This blog, for example, is [currently] secret from Fella. This is my space. Yet it Does no Harm. If I'm careful; hence paragraph one. The second is, if that Trust is betrayed: I’ll burn his house down. Which is something I have told him!
Thursday, 16 July 2009
It’s a family do for him you see – mother retiring – so he’s off enjoying himself, and I’m here at home while a thunderstorm rages outside typing this blog for you, gentle reader.
We’re due to go out for dinner tomorrow, as it is a colleague’s/friend of his’s birthday. That means he’ll probably stay the night [:-)] and that we get to spend Saturday together. I’m spending a lot of time thinking about how I can make it special for him; I do think of him almost all the time and really want to put in the effort to make this relationship work.
I suppose my job then is to keep on making things special. Never really had that feeling about a previous relationship; I’ll admit International and I made a stab at it. And with Darren I was just naïve. But this time, it’s brains-a-racking for happy fun times in Strumpetville for the Cheerful Fairy and his beau.
Fella is a classical musician and supports himself with various short term public sector admin work so I have to be creative on the budget front – not that I’m rolling in it, and I need also to save for grown up stuff like my own house and similar. Another factor is that alongside his two jobs Fella is a carer for his mum so his options for going out, and particularly staying out, are limited. He has a reputation as a bit of a party animal, but I know this infamy does annoy him and I particularly know what a sensitive and thoughtful man he is.
So the search for nice-things-to-do continues.
But anyway, for today the lesson is: we should not live in each other’s pockets and it might help more than hinder to let him be tonight and accept from time to time we may spend time apart, and not have to do everything together. In the short terms it is something to get used to, partly because I work long hours too so friends, work, quiet time, time with Fella AND time apart is a bit much. In the medium term it’s probably good to share each other’s lives, just not be them. And in the long term…
What do you think?
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
That speaks to my insecurities because other, Fella not being the least of them, seem quite comfortable. One day I was a guy he was seeing; the next the other half. Yesterday I noted with nary an outward ripple to convey the significance I attach to the phrase, that I was “my love”. Though I did make sure the fireworks inside were rewarded later with some, er, fireworks inside. Hmm, that attempt at a rather crass joke didn’t work too well, did it gentle reader? Best leave that side of things to those who know better; any suggestions let me know.
We have a whole range of activities planned up to early August. Then it’s my birthday (32nd/21st) and then his birthday (30th/23rd no less; and already an angstorama!) and then… well, the assumption is there. I think the biggest thing of all the mooted activities is first weekend in August when after a (Friday) dinner at a ‘posh’ restaurant (which, unbeknownst to fella will be my treat) we shall spend the weekend at Fella’s parents’ place in leafy Buckinghamshire. Parents will – dash it all ;-) – be in France at the time, so we shall have to amuse ourselves as best we can…
I met the parents (and the brother) on Monday. They seemed nice if understandably distracted. Not the best time: “Hi. Sorry for your loss. Now; I’m Frumpella – yes, that’s right: the one whose been firing one up your son several times a week for, well, some time now. How are you?”
No, that’s not what I said, don’t worry. It was very civilised. I stayed at work till about 7:30; spent some time in the last of the sunshine in St James’s park reading and then walked to Kings Cross to meet Fella’s family’s train. It was one of those evenings when you really remember why you love London. The side streets full of boutiques and buskers; museums and mansions. Beautiful and so full of memories – my entire adult life spent here. I went on a date here, was taken to that *ahem* venue there, got drunk there, studied there, got kissed there… memories. *big sigh* and then I met Fella's family...
Well, I look forward to a lot more memories to put in the happy place…
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Things are great, of course, and I’m very lucky. I can’t believe I’m meeting his parents tomorrow evening. And his brother too. Eeek. Father has an MBE; brother earns six-figures in the city; mother invented knitting. What will they think of Frumpella, gentle reader?
One of the nice things about this relationship, for me at least, is that it isn’t perfect. Not by a long way. A common lament among many of my friends - both gay and straight - is that dating raises expectations too high. And from personal experience I know that’s true. After all, dating is one of the most unnatural circumstances for meeting someone and online dating especially so. People are browsing products, not people; and often people seem to get rejected on a grass-is-greener basis rather than any flaw with them. per se
In other words we seem to expect from dating to go into some great love at first sight relationship… and we reject, unfairly, those who do not seem to offer that.
So here I am: I took a chance, and so did he, and after what I think is fair to describe as some initial hiccups we seem to be thriving. I don’t want to jinx anything, but we seem to be getting closer and more intimate all the time.
So where are we? He’s met my friends; I’ve met his. The family thing is imminent – at least with his. Mine may take longer for various reasons. The sex goes from strength to strength and when issues crop up we trust each other enough to work through them and not pre-judge each other’s motives...
I look forward to things not being perfect in the future. There are definite biggies: Fella really wants kids and I really don’t. I’d love to live and work abroad one day... Lots of Big Things to Work Out. But in the meantime I’m really enjoying the small things; making mutual friends; buying DVDs together; planning together an evening out. Awwwww/Bleurgh!
The one thing that has occurred to me is that by avoiding infatuation and treading very carefully I haven’t fallen in love with Fella. Yet. It seems strange; I do care from him very deeply and think of him constantly. And as he becomes increasingly affectionate and open I know he feels for me too. I suspect I’m not ready to let myself fall for him until I’m sure it won’t make things difficult in the short term; I’m too conscious of his wish to take things slow. Or at a measured pace, given how far we’ve come.
So I suppose what I’m trying to blog is that perfect suits me just fine right now. In fact I think it’s great :-)
Friday, 10 July 2009
At present I am somewhat overwhelmed with work; as well as a new role operationally managing some very large hospitals and community providers I have projects overseeing the investigation of homicides by people with certain mental health problems, and supporting London wide delivery of trauma services. Plus a lot of the posts nominally above me are unfilled. On top of this if the UK lurches towards democracy again and finally holds an election my employers may be first against the wall should the government change; which as you might imagine is causing some angst amongst the upper echelons.
This is of course a long winded way of saying these are stressful times, which has caused some conflict in the office and that makes me sad. So somewhat downcast I went home this evening and got in touch with Fella to say I’d had a rotten day and needed big hugs!
Very coincidental to this post Fella’s paternal grandfather died recently and the funeral is on Monday so this weekend he’s spending time with his family. After that he’s going to spend Monday night with me, and that means I’m spending this weekend – for the first time in two months - alone.
I’m not complaining; it’s entirely understandable. However, tonight Fella invited me to meet his parents after the funeral. This of course was a very nice offer (though I worry slightly about the timing) and I accepted on the condition that it really was an OK time to meet.
Then, naturally, I excitedly texted my friends in gushing terms that I am going to meet the boyfriend’s parents and that “I feel really good but sick”. A joke, in fact (though I do feel good). Not a good joke, perhaps, but I do wonder if just possibly it might have gone across better had I not inadvertently texted that to Fella himself.
Of course I followed it up to explain I was joking with friends but now I fear my miscommunication may have landed me in hot water with my Fella. Though I will admit my mistake has cheered me up, so it kinda worked!! Now I need to build bridges…
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Be that as it may, it seems I can go nowhere with Fella without an ex popping up. I’ve already mentioned randomly bumping into International at Pride. But before that Mr Christmas was in the same bar as we the week before; Mark was on a train home… on each and every occasion I’ve made sure that I didn’t let it cramp our style but it’s tough, I think, to draw a line between careful indifference and putting on a show. It wouldn’t be fair on Fella for a start.
I’m not very good at keeping in touch with exes. Dates come and go, and assignations literally so; I’ve never been confronted with the ghost of guys past. Now wherever I turn…
Fortunately I’ve been on relatively good terms with virtually all the guys I’ve ever met. I’m not the kind of person who makes a big drama of a break-up. Quiet dignity is my forte – partly because I’ve rarely been that close to guys I’ve seen, and partly because I simply wouldn’t give them the satisfaction ;-) But also, I think, because I’ve not been out long enough to close too many doors. It is a case of hedging my bets and it seems old habits die hard.
Luckily monogamy presents no trials for me in this case. But I still feel called on to make a choice. It’s not a choice I resent, or that I want to avoid. But I did not expect to have to make it now. It is a choice to Trust; that this path is better than that; that Fella is faithful to me as I am to him; that… well, we can talk about that another time.
I never thought Trust would be a matter of conscious choice, or at least as much as this. But I am glad to choose to Trust. It makes things a lot easier, in the end. The risk I am taking is of course that my Trust could be betrayed; that I am placing all my eggs in one basket and could perhaps be ruined. On the other hand Trusting him makes all my angst disappear (a good trick indeed). No need to interpret or worry about this comment or that action.
So the choice is made. As the old joke goes, I’ve jumped off the cliff; I’m halfway down; and so far, so good.
Firstly I should say Thank You to everyone who commented on and messaged me about my intermediate posts. I’ve rarely been able to reply or acknowledge the invaluable advice and support. That doesn’t mean I haven’t appreciated it!
Now normal service can be resumed…
Monday, 6 July 2009
My lack of care tempted fate perhaps, because on Friday night he and I ended up having our first Big Row. We go through it and we’re fine; I suppose it’s a good test of our relationship that we are comfortable enough to have a row with each other and not consider falling out to be a deal-breaker at seven weeks.
So what happened? Well, a couple of days ago The Gardener moved in a 19 year old French exchange student/model who is staying for a month. That’s all fine. Except for Friday, when Fella and I are there trying to enjoy a lovely romantic dinner that he prepared. All the while this 19 year old is SHAMELESSLY flirting with MY gorgeous guy.
This of course made me feel decidedly uncomfortable though Fella responded by becoming increasingly affectionate with me so no complaints there. It just got my back up when Fella then invited the Frenchist to join us at Pride.
Fella picked up that I was miffed at this and later complained I do not trust him. I explained I DO trust him, and I KNOW he’s not going to do anything. I just didn’t want to spend my first Pride watching a repeat of that performance.
I suspect this was a “Straw, meet Camel’s Back” moment because Fella became quite upset and said I was putting him on a pedestal and I shouldn’t and he ISN’T this great guy and he’s not ready to say what he thinks I expect him to say.
I gave him a big hug and assured him I am taking things slow and though I think he’s great I’m not going to make some flamboyant declaration of undying love and I don’t expect him to do anything but I do want to be with him and see how things go.
As rows go I suspect that wasn’t too bad. A row about not so much; he was a bit highly strung after making what he thought was a terrible dinner but I know was delightful. I’m a piss-poor communicator whose brown eyes can, it seems, turn green once in a while. But as it was our first row (and, who knows? Perhaps our last) it’s kinda special. I do know that we spent much of Saturday and Sunday making it up to each other in the nicest possible way.
On Saturday Pride was tremendous fun. All the armed and emergency forces were well represented in the parade which was fantastic. In a small world coincidence Fella and I found ourselves standing next to International at the parade so I introduced them. Fella was quite dismissive, only commenting later that he is much prettier than International [green eyes all round?].
A busy weekend! Hope you enjoyed yours, gentle reader.
Friday, 3 July 2009
Things between Fella and I continue to be pretty good. Lots of luvin’; the occasional bijou rowette to keep things interesting. He’s spending quite a bit of time at my place now si it’s time to think about giving him a drawer or something to keep such mundane things as pants and similar. I suppose this is normal, right? Either way I’m happy. I realised recently one of the things I feel when I think about Fella is relief.
Weird? Perhaps, gentle reader. But the fact remains I am so relived to have met him.
I’m not in love with Fella, not yet. I’m being very careful, and anyway the process of slowly falling in love is quite delicious, I find. Like emotional edging (if you’ll forgive me being base). He’s on my mind morning noon and night and the little things he does give me a nice warm fuzzy feeling that…
OK, OK, you can stop reaching for the bucket now. But it’s nice when he, as he has just done, tells me in an email that he’s awaiting my arrival with baited breath. Awwww.
Tonight he’s cooking me sea bass with a home made thyme pastry – he’s a very good cook as my rapidly expanding waistline attests; and I have prepared a delightful chocolate soufflé. Tomorrow it’s London Pride. I’ve never been to Pride before but Kevin and I will be there, firstly meeting friends and then on to a party in the evening.
See, this is nice. And I’m taking my time.
One thing I will say, as I mentioned before, it that I seem to be getting an awful lot of interest. Even though my OUT profile clearly states I’m in a relationship four, count ‘em, four guys have asked me out! Well, I’m resisting temptation. Fella has made it quite clear that he expect monogamy and that has not been a problem at all.
The time has come in fact to hang up my online profiles for dating and the other thing. Goodbye Soulmates; Au revoir gaydar. Now I’m only looking for friendship.
I some ways that puts me back to square one. How to expand my circle of gay friends. Always very much the second or possibly third strand to my joining these sites. It’s a bit circular because experience shows that gay men tend to be after a bit of trouser friendly Cheerful Fairy action (I certainly have been).