Sunday, 27 February 2011

La Soiree

Tonight Fella and I took in a show, and what a show it was. Originally it was a group of us who meant to go, get a booth, some champagne... but we never got it together. Still, Fella and I fancied a bit of cabaret; a bit of theatre; a bit of burlesque. So why not?

Burlesque it was indeed, La Soiree. The last night in town... if they didn't put on a special show, well, then their standard is high indeed.

Fella and I had ringside seats, front row. Not because we booked then; we were picked. It being the last night, there were a fair number of photographers recording the event. It sometimes pays to be engaged to a simply gorgeous guy :-)

What a view. Acrobatics, cabaret, comedy, magic, puppetry, and... delightful stimulation. The highlight of the evening was when Fella was dragged up on stage to be a dancing boy in a rip-off of Cabaret. All in all, however, there was nothing that detracted from a thoroughly good evening. If you have friends, gentle reader, as good as mine you will have had many nights when your face aches from laughter; well, it was that kind of show. My hands, too are raw from applause.

It is quite interesting, the effect it has had on us both. I think alongside the humour, and discomfort, and the amazement indeed, we have been reminded of the possibilities of our bodies; and at a time when it is not too late [perhaps] to push our boundaries. I have recently joined a new gym, and tonight helped perhaps helped focus my mind on precisely why.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't spend my evening legs crossed and hunched over. My God there was plenty of eye-candy indeed, but for all the hot hot hottentot hotties it opened more my eyes to my situation than my... disposition to be loved.

When I was very young and first set my feet apon the shore of this sceptered isle, I discovered the worlds beyonnd this world and my course the 15 years thereafter was set. Tonight this show absorbed me to the same extent; a rare thing indeed. More often than not I sit outside of things watching events unfold and picking my moment to interact, to join in. But not with this.

La Soiree will join us in Strumpetville again toward the end of 2011... look out for it if you're around.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

81 words

Recently I joined the LGBT society at my place of work. It's only a small group, some peoople I know, and some people I don't. It's a nice group, and we socialise from time to time which is a nice way of meeting new gay people.

As February is LGBT month and in the light of new equalities legislation that includes sexuality amoing gender, religion, age etc as one of the areas in which people have legal protection, the lead of the group put on a recording of '81 words' as one of the events for the History month.

81 words is the story of how in 1973 the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental illness. It was a very good programme, and well worth listening too. It is quite high-level, so it doesn't go into a great deal of depth. But the narrator is the granddaughter of the Association's president, who himself came out as gay when he was in his 70s.

The programme can be downloaded, or you can read a transcript at

The history of homosexuality is very interesting to me, as I'm a history buff and partly because I'm cheerfully a fairy. Although it doesn't go into great detail the programme discusses people welcoming homosexuality's' classification as a mental illness, because before it was considered a crime against God.

It reminded me of a previous discussion that noted the relative sexual permissiveness of modern catholic countries over the secular protestants. This was ascribed to the scientific revolution of evolution and biology (amongst the other sciences) that made sex about reproduction and thus homosexuality aberrant. In catholic countries the balance between god and gonads gave gays a bit of a breathing space. I know that's a gross over-simplification but it strikes me as a counter-culture to the evolution of my sexuality from sin to sickness to normal life.

The programme is well worth a listen, gentle reader - at least I think so. Let me know what you think too.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

The demon drink

You will recall, gentle reader, that the thing (apart from my quiet inability to manage any relationship) that brought Fella and I closest to breaking up was his drinking. Without refreshing too many dark memories, there were plenty of occasions where the night was spoiled by Fella drinking himself into unconsciousness.

It wasn't just the drinking per se, it was the risk he put himself, and sometimes me, at by being out of control. Sometimes, sadly, it just isn't safe for a gay man to be totally arseholed with drink. If he of we can't run away from danger, then the consequences don't bear thinking about it.

Now, after an incident when I was attacked at home I turned to the bottle quite heavily, but that wore off as time went on. Still, I can understand the draw of drink if you’re fragile or if, like Fella, you have a mental health problem. But, the reality is, I’m not a saint and I’m still not sure I could cope with a destructive influence in my life like a partner with a dependency.

We came close the breaking point, he and I, dealing with this issue. Friends counselled me in a variety of options. ‘A’ suggested alcoholics anonymous, as partners can find it helpful too. I seriously considered it.

He promised he would do anything to keep us together, and in many respects he has been as good as his word. The bargain we struck was that if he behaved himself on social occasions he could drink as much as he likes at home. And that is broadly what has happened.

You asked recently how he is managing on the booze. There’s no easy way to spell it out; he probably puts away 150 units a week; the recommended maximum for men in 28 (I think). So he drinks an awful lot. But he manages it. He never misses work; he doesn’t stay up into the early hours drinking the place dry; he gets plenty of sleep and eats his meals. Some days he chooses not to drink at all. So... good then [?].

Not perfect, not by a long way. But this is Fella, who wants to build a life with me, build his career, live and enjoy his life. He’s a heavy drinker – but thinking as I type I realise the distinction between someone who happens to drink a lot and someone who behaves destructively. And being able to make that distinction helps me see the problems we had are solved.

The biggest challenge for me, where we are now, is keeping my own consumption at a reasonable level. With my ongoing struggle to get my weight down and my health up, plus the sheer demands placed on my time by work and study. The next biggest challenge is vigilance, as I find it difficult still to trust him to control himself in social situations.

Nevertheless, Fella made the effort and he did it for me. How could I do anything other but love and appreciate him for it? It’s hard to imagine anyone else I’ve been with making one-hundredth of the changes he makes for me, without demanding a lot in return. You see how lucky I am?

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


Our second Valentine is coming up – it’s amazing how time flies. Last year I was more with it and organised a dinner out for us in Soho... but this year a number of factors have kept me off my game, not least my own lack of time management! However, I have managed to pull off a minor coup in that Fella thinks I will be at college on Monday night, but in fact we have the night off (half term) so I can surprise him with...

Well, something! Not sure what yet, because the plan is for us to dine at home. Unfortunately my first project, worth 12.5% of my degree, is due that day so this weekend I’ll frantically be writing up a research proposal – to show I can, before the big dissertation next year.

Work is insanely busy at the moment and so difficult I feel that I’m experiencing a significant personality change, in the sense I have to be much more assertive of my prerogatives and perspectives; demanding of others; and firm when confronted with unreasonable behaviour. Normally, big gay introvert that I am (while sober) I self effacingly tolerate a fair bit, mainly because throwing my toys out of my pram doesn’t seem like a win. I am perhaps blessed in that I can see two, three steps ahead. My experience is many cannot.

Anyway, between the job that sees me take work home some evenings and weekends, my college life, my attempts to get fit (gym, swimming, running 8k twice a week) a social life and domestic drudgery (it can be a hard life in Strumpetville, gentle reader) spending quality time with my man is hard – we probably spend less time together than we did when he lived outside London!

I’m neglecting too much I think. Our relationship is solid, because Fella understands these two years will be tough and it’s not as if we aren’t planning for the longer term. I mean my friends, myself – healthy and hard working which I like, but no me time (important for an introvert), no lie-in at the weekend, no reading for reading’s sake... And of course when I’m tired I find it difficult to listen to Fella about his day and talk to him about the things he likes to talk about, which makes me feel a bit guilty. He tends to be the one who cooks dinner, deal with the groceries, be the drudge (!)

So, then I suppose I need to find something rather special for Valentine’s this year. Absent the restaurant context, the mind is focussed on what else there is – and with the opportunity to surprise...

Flowers... gifts... champagne. What will it be? Well, I must think! Perhaps inspiration will come in a dream. Or from somewhere! Any ideas?? Either way, I’ll let you know.