Wednesday, 31 March 2010
My ‘red line’ is honesty. I am not, I think, under too many illusions about the traditional use for good intentions and the destination they lead us to. I saw my parents destroy various marriages with silly games; and I understand the allure – particularly acute for gay men – of a world that offers, and glamorises, easy and casual sex. I do not, however, like drama or secrets. It’s always been to me just so damned petty
Of course I’ve said goodbye to all that now; the internet based hook-ups, the saunas, etc etc… Now I have my gorgeous guy. I have to admit, as we approach our anniversary, it has dawned on me that Fella may well be the last person I ever have sex with!!
As honesty is the best policy I’ll post this: if I’d known, or realised, back in May I would have gone out with more of a bang than a couple of semi-anonymous internet arranged hook-ups between our first and second dates. Conversely a stable monogamous relationship is pretty much the only thing up to now that I’d never tried; so going for it certainly pushes my boundaries.
Don’t get me wrong, and at the risk of being a shameless self-publicist, I spent the last two years pretty much trying anything that took my fancy. Actually, to keep an air of seriousness about things, I’ve been quite lucky. Whilst I avoided anyone/thing (bareback, bondage, priests) that got my alarm bells ringing, I have pretty much trotted off into any scenario with an open mind and not much else to protect me. And, in all that time (as blogged before) I’ve never regretted sex - though the occasional relationship, yes! I’ve had a great time, and learned a lot about what I like – and what doesn’t work for me.
Now that life is behind me. And there are things I will miss. Fella is insanely good in bed and that really helps. Adventurous, experienced, he even does yoga. His talents do not stretch to all my proclivities. I have always particularly enjoyed, for example, group sex. But, and this is the important thing – in bed, as well as out of it he is enough. I find myself challenged by him sexually and I have to work hard to try and keep up, and to... make me worth his efforts.
It’s completely different being in a relationship; making love rather than having sex is a whole different ball game – as it should be, because in many respects it was the object of coming out. I’ve been sensible enough, if that’s the right term, to avoid confusing sex with intimacy but my observation is a lot of guys use casual encounters to experience a deeper connection however fleetingly with another man. I think that’s why I can be comfortable in a group situation; it’s just sex. Of course that isn’t a panacea; being able to rationalise it all away hardly helped me, for instance, when I was with International.
In order to have all the experiences that I have had, and try all the things I wanted to try, I needed to be brave. I’m not so gorgeous that I could walk into/log onto anyplace and be deluged with offers (and Fella is); things needed effort. Motion towards – my goals weren’t coming to find me. I think the same attitudes I brought, if somewhat belatedly, to my sex-life are also worth applying to my relationship. Of course to treat Fella as merely a lover would do a monumental injustice; and be pretty stupid.
What I have really done is learning through play and ultimately the importance of sex to me, and to my relationship, means that with Fella I can’t divorce sex and love as the Rules might suggest. Instead I apply what I have learned, and recognise that I’m still learning.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
I moved to a flat in east London. It was cheap - and once decorated in the fashion of the time it was certainly mine; I spent a couple of happy years there, graduating and starting my career.
One day, into the flat below mine a man moved in.Irish if memory serves, though goodness knows that’s hardly relevant. He was gay. Probably still is, ha ha…
You may, gentle reader, have experienced those moments, in the early hours, when the world is still but something wakes you up. What was that noise? Is there someone in the house?? Then it fades… and then fitfully we fall asleep and it’s all alright, mostly forgotten by the morning.
What I know is that when there is someone there it sounds very different. When there is someone coming up the stairs you wake up and face nothing but stone cold certainty that something is very, very wrong. And there you are, in the dark, your only guides a pounding heart and adrenal glands that really work. I have never been more certain, there in the dark, of anything. There was someone coming up the stairs.
The funny bit – not funny ha ha though - is that turning on the light helped that certainty; there was a monster there. That man, standing there. Like the fool I am my first instinct was to help. This situation isn’t right; there must be something I can do? After all the man was the man from downstairs, though how he got in the wee small hours we cannot tell. But we know what he got in for, oh now we do, oh yes.
I remember what happened next somewhat imperfectly. Physical proximity far beyond the line; things happening even when it was clear that was most unwelcome. Trying to bargain my way out of the situation. Tasting blood… a weird sensation like… he was trying to break my back…?
A little while later the sun came up and I ended up going to work about four hours early. During the day I confided in a friend, and after that I was made to call the police. I’m not sure if that helped or hurt – they didn’t prosecute but ultimately, if somewhat ironically, the guy actually apologised for what he’d done. How bizarre.
So there it is, gentle reader. One of the defining moments of my life, even if I don’t let it define me. It is, in some way, one of the main reasons I came out so late. And it’s very difficult to explain or discuss. But worse things happen to better people and whilst, like many things, coming out didn’t make it go away at least I have the life I should have.
Sunday, 28 March 2010
Nevertheless sometimes events force a shard of light to pierce the rose-tinted cloud surrounding me as I cheerfully breeze through life; and, as you might have guessed gentle reader, this id one of them there times!
As you know I have been ill for a wee while and am being poked and prodded by a variety of professionals, presumably as poetic justice for the jobs I’ve done over the last few years. Well, it seems on 1 April (see what I mean?) I need to go into hospital for a procedure that will involve sedation – and therefore I need someone to look after me, take me home once it’s done.
The thing is… Fella and I had plans on 31 March and he had plans in the evening of 1 April. Him looking after me would involve him changing and cancelling those plans respectively . I feel terribly guilty for being a burden on him: I don’t want him to miss things he’d enjoy just to play nursemaid to the Cheerful Fairy…
Well, actually let’s be honest. It’s a paradox really. I don’t want to be the kind of boyfriend that would expect his man to change his plans to look after him. But, and this is the thing: I want to have a boyfriend who would want to to change his plans to look after me, and not out of no sense of obligation neither.
Fortunately for you, gentle reader ,no angst ridden crisis to report today – no, this post is about insight and epiphany!
Normally I am very busy at work, but I pride myself on making the time to give Fella as much time as he wants and needs, by text, email or on the phone. But whilst I have been on leave our roles have reversed to some extent – he is also, coincidentally very busy at work – and so breaking the news of my upcoming appointment and all the changes that needed to be made was quite tough. He didn’t’ have time to talk; and he really wasn’t best pleased – I could tell – about having to change his social plans. All in all I felt that I was intruding on his time. Making a nuisance of myself if you will.
Well, talk about the boot being on the other foot! I did realise that I can be quite like that with him from time to time. Well, actually a lot more than that. And I felt very sad about that. He’s never complained but I think I probably shouldn’t be so proud of my time management skills. Hell/crap/damn; I probably shouldn’t be time managing my relationship at all!!
With our big plans and the things we both want to do together in the future, I am absolutely committed to working hard and doing something with my life not just for me, but for us. I just didn’t realise there was a risk of damage to our relationship in the short and medium term, in that ambition and sheer sticktoitiveness may lead me to neglect the work a relationship needs to succeed.
Funnily enough Fella felt bad about being short with me on the phone; he needn’t have of course. But it is good to know that I can do better and we can do better. And that I have a man who wants to look after me – just as I want to look after him.
Thursday, 25 March 2010
I have taken a couple of weeks off work gentle reader . Not for any particular reason, you understand, but to use up my annual leave. Or at least some; as a public sector employee I have a realtively generous allowance of 37 days; given the hours I have to sometimes work it’s impossible to take it all and even with these two weeks I still lose a few days.
Fortunately my projects are finished; it is the end of the financial year; and with a general election in the offing there are few new workstreams being initiated.
Now, I could very much get used to this not-working business. In my daydreams I can see myself as a gentlefairy of leisure; long walks in the morning, improving my mind in my private library in the afternoon, and entertaining in the evening…
So far I’ve spring-cleaned my rooms; and taken in my laptop for a service (it’s breaking down, but fortunately Fella has lent me his in the interim). I am going to the gym every day, and certainly feeling – and seeing – the benefits. In other news my masters application has been submitted; fingers crossed about that. I shall be a dreadfully embarrassed fairy if I don’t get in.
Tomorrow I’m going back into hospital for yet more pokingand prodding. My Big Important Appointment is on 26 April so with luck all my tiresome health worries will be dealt with by the beginning of May.
Domestically all continues apace. It seems Camberwell is very much likely to be Fella’s London residence – again, moving at the beginning of May. It will be nice to have him in London for our one year anniversary in the middle of that month. This works out rather well as it gives me a couple of months to get myself together before I take the plunge and make my move.
Timely, then, that I came across a social housing provider that offers properties for a subsidised rent in return for the promise to buy somewhere in five years’ time. This fits in with the plan rather nicely and therefore I’m giving serious thought to getting my own place again…
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
But more of that later…
Fella and I are very largely compatible but there is still some work to do to have a meeting of minds. We both, for example, like classical music; for me it’s baroque, for him the romantic. We both like to dance, but we both like to lead! It isn’t a case of so near yet so far, but rather a refreshing way of getting a new perspective on things. A meeting of minds works better, surely, if you have to think!
Fella, it seems, has found somewhere to live. He’s become taken with a flat in an area of Strumpetville known as Camberwell. It’s shared with two other gay guys, and he might even move there in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately it’s not very convenient for where I am, but I suppose I can move somewhere closer when he’s all settled…
Looking at places with him I found myself in a somewhat unusual situation; it was really difficult to consider various domiciles critically from his perspective. Would he like living there; can he afford it? Naturally I would like somewhere that is easy for me to get to and from, and somewhere that I would feel comfortable staying over. I realise that’s very selfish and in fact I am quite happy to support him in whatever choice he makes. But it does involve some tongue biting and a suspension of self interest that I’m not really used to – except in the background “in a relationship” sense, and for the first time swallowing my own opinions entirely for the good of him (as opposed to us).
Perhaps it’s just a case of “we fear change”. I’m confronted with the reality of a situation that I’ve discussed and thought about but never been. And that’s a bit weird; after all my other relationships have been with people who at least had their own place and it never concerned me one way or another what or where that was.
As for me, my visit to the hospital was not very pleasant, or hugely productive, but a small step forward tests beget tests, gentle reader, much as angst begets angst. My consultant was a very nice, very matter of fact and very pregnant doctor who thoroughly and vocally disapproved of my referral for a surgical consultation but after a very personal examination indeed (with, at the risk of being off-colour, quite a good technique in my view) it has been decided I need to go in for a bit of surgery to collect some biopsy samples.
So lots of changes happening at the moment. It seems April will be a productive month!
Saturday, 13 March 2010
He needs to move back to London, out of the (very salubrious and welcoming, to be sure) parental home: for the convenience; to be near to me; work; friends (not necessarily in that order).
I would like to move because after a year with the Gardener his ways are beginning to grate – as those of you who are friend to me on Facebook may know perhaps too well! Suffice it to say, kind and generous though he is in so many ways, his lack of consideration and peculiar ways in others makes me think it is time to get going.
Today both Fella and I looked at a number of properties; and no doubt we will make our respective choice in due course. Doing this has been most helpful for me in one respect – that of the Next Step of the Big Plan.
You know the Big Plan right, gentle reader? We all have one – the mortgage/marriage/children/death plan. I have alluded to mine – or, perhaps better, ours – when I occasionally lift my rose-tinted glasses to spy the glitter of diamond rings in the distance.
Anyway, anyway; what does occur to me is that the bestest best thing is for Fella to get his London pad.
Yes, that’s it. Sometimes we needn’t make more sophisticated arguments than the ones right in-front of us. When he’s in London the pressure of careful planning when and how we can be together is lifted; plus a couple of days at mine a weeks translates to a couple of days at his – and a couple of days apart.
Thus the less good pressures on my domestic situation are ameliorated somewhat. I have an escape clause and a lesser need to need the Gardener to my will [oo-er].
Fella wants his own space. For an angst ridden yet Cheerful Fairy like Strumpella this desire is normally guaranteed to make me Angsty McAngst. But it’s reasonable. He needs HIS space and it’s ideal that he’d be a few short minutes away from me (our proximity a precondition you see).
Anyway, anyway, I alluded to a plan, a plan… And here it is. A plan within a plan if you will: He moves, takes a year lease and at the end of the lease… well then we move in together. I wouldn’t blame him if he wanted to make it two years hehe! But the plans remains...
What can I tell you? It’s so good to be here. This point in my life works; everything’s coming together nicely. I’m no fool – much more a coward than an idiot – I know there’ll be downs as well as ups. But, and this is the very thing about the plan; it averages out as UP. And I’m never happier than right up Fella ;-)
Monday, 8 March 2010
Running and swimming is going well. Indeed, I’ve lost a bit of weight and fancy my swimming has benefitted me a bonny bit of boobage already – but permit me my conceit! For all is well, so very well, with the world*
Yes, I do fear the Cheerful Fairy finds Strumpetville a happy place gentle reader. And for that I apologise. You see, from a position of loved up contentedness it is difficult to contrive the cut and thrust of… well, “being stabbed in the heart by the cruel knife of relationship angst punctuated by repeated bouts of agreeable, if casual, sex” (I put quotation marks as I briefly considered that as a title for this blog; but it doesn’t quite trip off the tongue!)
What is the cause of my contentedness? Why – and I appreciate you may vomit yourself into a desiccated husk at any moment – Fella of course.
C’mon; this blog does sometimes occupy the niche between Jane Austen and “two girls, one cup”. I can’t believe it’s a shade under 10 months that he and I have been together, and so far things are going great. Lord knows I tried, but bless his heart I can’t seem to shake him. Lucky I adore him, no?
On Friday he and I went to a party; friends of his that are now friends of ours – two ladies who are engaged and saving every penny for their wedding. They earned my heart by organising Fella’s 30th birthday party; and it was our turn to return the favour.
Of course a great time was had by all… indeed, there is a good four-hour portion of my memory entirely absent, that I am assured during which I was ‘hilarious’. Uh oh. Then on Saturday we went out to the Green Carnation in Soho for another now-mutual friend’s birthday, and on Sunday a quiet day in punctuated by a visit to view a charming and ideally-located house I am interested in moving into (more on that later).
Presumably Fella enjoyed the weekend at least as much as I did because he did something that meant a disproportionately large amount to me: he updated his Facebook status to indicate he is in a relationship with me.
His profile had always been studiously silent on his orientation and other related matters and while I deeply desired it to be similar to mine – as open as the moon and skies, indeed – I could hardly complain or fuss about something so inconsequential to proper grown ups :-(
The change caught me by surprise and pleased me absolutely enormously; as did his status promise to be more appreciative! Well, I showed him I appreciated him oh yes…
Long and short of it is - I must be doing something right! Yay!! Now, have you finished being sick yet?
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
I’ll admit the last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling a bit down which is probably at the root of a number of things. However, that’s pretty much over (give or take) so it would probably be good to take stock and see what’s occurring…
Well, my application for my masters degree has progressed to the point where, though not quite ready to be signed, sealed and delivered, and very nearly there. Both my employer and the university have helped me with getting things sorted, and know an application is on its way. I should be set to finish this within a week or so – with a bit of effort!
I have been running and swimming, which is good. Well, the sight of Frumpella lumbering about can’t be described as ‘good’ (even though I got a couple of wolf-whistles today). But we’ll get there.
On the very very down side, when going through my gym induction something was found that suggested I had wider and more severe health problems than known. Today I went back to my doctor and the issue was confirmed; I have very very high blood pressure and now it’s back on the roller-coaster ride of tests and pills and what not. I’m becoming always a bridesmaid, never a bride, with all my illnesses. 32 and falling apart due to causes unknown!! Well, more of that in due course no doubt.
Work is picking up again after a brief eye-of-the-storm lull. I have been approached by people enquiring after my interest in this position or that once this current project is done; and the yare indeed interesting so more of that in due course too.
But on the very very up side I’m seeing my gorgeous man tomorrow as we’re going to the cinema. Hurrah! I was thinking just today as I prepared for his arrival by tidying my space up a bit, how much hearing him laugh is my favourite sound. And how much I like watching him sleep.
We’ve had our ups and downs recently but even at our lowest ebb I would far rather be with him than not! So, as it is Easter and he’s doing such a good job of looking after me I was thinking – just thinking, gentle reader - about whisking him away to Dublin for Easter. It’s certainly time to think about our next holiday!