Monday, October 31, 2016

Retirement as a blogger

Dear Readers,

I started this blog in 2005, and writing here has been great fun over the years :-). However, at the moment I'm finding it difficult to make the time for this blog, even though I've only been posting once a month. So for now at least, I'm not going to be doing any more postings. However, I'm still going to keep my domain name gaybanker.com, so for the foreseeable future I should still be contactable by email.

Hugs and kisses to everyone!

GB xxx

Monday, September 26, 2016

A polite conversation

"So when did you realise that you were gay?" asks F.

I'm at a birthday party, and I'm chatting to a guy called F who I've only just met, so the question seems a little forward. But I'd just told F that I'm with boyfriend K, so it's clear that I don't have anything to hide regarding my sexuality.

"Over twenty-five years ago," I reply.

"Did you have girlfriends before you came out?" asks F.

"No actually," I answer truthfully, "but it took me quite a while to accept that I was gay. Looking back it was pretty obvious, given that I never had girlfriends. Perhaps I was the last person to realise!"

"My ex-wife almost married a gay man when she was living in Asia," says F, "because she loves the company of gay men."

I'd been trying to work out whether F was gay or straight, and I'd been thinking that he was probably straight. Given that he's got an ex-wife, that's settles it.

"I suppose that's part of the reason why we got married," continues F, "because I had a boyfriend before."

I didn't expect that!

"Oh, so I guess you're bi?"

"Well, probably more gay than straight :-). I had a girlfriend when I was a student, but then I switched to guys. But I always wanted to have kids, and I got on very well with this female colleague who also wanted kids, so we ended up getting married. It worked well when the kids were young, but we're divorced now."

"So have you got a boyfriend again now?" I ask.

"No, I had an operation a few years ago and now I can't get fully hard. Penetrative sex isn't possible for me anymore, whether with a man or a woman."

Talking about sexuality and sex with someone who you've only just met isn't what one expects in polite English society! But he's seems like a very genuine guy, so I'm more than happy to have this kind of conversation.

"I've never thought that having a boyfriend was only about the sex," I say, "I think companionship is important too, and indeed, probably more important as one gets older."

"I'm very happy with my own company," answers F, "Perhaps I'll end up as a lonely old man, but for now I'm not looking for a partner of either gender. Don't you get bored, waking up next to the same body every morning?"

"Not at all," I reply, "I hope that I'll be able to wake up with boyfriend K every day for the rest of my life :-)."

"That sounds like a strong commitment," says F, sceptically.

"Well, I ended up splitting up with my first boyfriend because I couldn't keep my trousers up!" I admit, "So I feel I've done the sleeping around thing. These days, I feel very lucky that I've found boyfriend K, because we get on very well together most of the time."

"Anyway," I say, changing the subject, "how many kids do you have?"

"Just two, a boy and a girl, but they're grown up now. Actually my daughter is a lesbian, and she's got a lovely girlfriend :-)."

Another comment that I didn't expect!

"One day, she comes into the room to talk to me," continues F, "She looks at me nervously and says 'Dad, what would you do if I told you I'm going to get a tattoo and that I am gay?'. So I just asked her what kind of tattoo!"

"But why was she nervous coming out to you, given that you've had a boyfriend before? Didn't she know about your former boyfriend?"

"When the kids were growing up my ex-boyfriend used to visit us," says F, "The kids loved him, and treated him like their favourite uncle. They probably guessed that we used to be together."

"But that means 'No', you never told your kids that you're not completely straight," I remark in disbelief. I feel astounded that F has been so open about everything with me in such a short space of time, but that he's never told his grown-up children about his true sexuality.

"What about your son?" I ask, wondering whether there more surprises in store.

"My son's also got a girlfriend, so he's probably straight!"

"Well, you said that you had a girlfriend too when you were young," I say, "and obviously a wife at one point, so you never know!"

"Good point," replies F, "you never know :-)."

Indeed, you never know. I like to think that as a gay man, I'm good at working out whether people are gay or not. But I had no idea what this guy's story was. It just goes to show how dangerous it can be to make assumptions about people's background, and especially about their sexuality!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Human penis size worldwide

If the success of a blog post is judged by the number of comments that it receives, then my most successful post ever is one that I did back in 2005, titled Erect penis length of men from different ethnic groups. It continues to receive comments even now, more than ten years after I first wrote it. My guess is that this is something to do with the way Google works. Blogger.com is owned by google.com, so if a blog post gets a comment, presumably that keeps it fresh and eligible to be included in search results.

Since then, my views haven't changed significantly. But in connection with this, someone recently drew my attention to a web site which has a a map of penis size across the world:


If any readers have any thoughts on how accurate this is, then please leave a comment :-).

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Bi-fidelity: email from a guy who's hiding something from his wife

At the end of last month, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

I enjoy your writing and powers of analysis and thought it would be therapeutic to write for your comments and comments from your readers.

I've been happily married to my wife for over 30 years. We have children. We have enjoyable sex, although I now need the help of Viagra. Only in the last few years, I've come to enjoy gay male internet porn. I have indulged in mild activities, as you call them, in the sauna at my gym. I've even made a few forays to a bathhouse, where I've topped a few men with gusto. Terrified of STDs, I've never given or received oral sex, because it seems this just isn't done with condoms. Nor have I bottomed for anyone. But I find myself craving these experiences, toying with hookups but always canceling them, and posing on some gay social chat sites as quite the virtual rake.

I don't have the nerve to confess these bi cravings and escapades to my wife. The last thing I want is to lose my marriage and hurt my family by letting this side of me further out of the closet. I just wish I could have it both ways, like an old fashioned Parisian gent, married, but with tacit permission to see (not mistresses or prostitutes) but hunky studs for a good time now and then. Do I just forbear until my sex drive wanes altogether? Indulge in down low forays? Gamble on total honesty? What's a bi guy to do?


It was a couple of days before I saw the email, but as soon as I saw it I sent him a quick reply to say that I thought there were quite a few guys like him around. I also asked him if there was anything that he wanted to add, and within a day he'd sent me a two line email in which he simply said:

I do find the diet of monogamous sex hard to adhere to. But is loosening my self restraint wise, when, all things considered, I have so much to lose?

Initially this reader's story reminded me about the married guy with some gay characteristics who emailed me three years ago. However, although this reader and that guy have both had happy marriages, the reader is going in the opposite direction to the guy from three years ago. So perhaps they don't have much in common after all.

I've been thinking about this guy's situation for a while now, and the thing that I find hard to gauge is the relative strength of his heterosexuality vs his homosexuality. It seems to be that his homosexual side must be at least as strong as his heterosexual side, otherwise I doubt that he'd have felt the need to email me. If his heterosexuality:homosexuality ratio is 50%:50% then he can probably just indulge in occasional clandestine activities with other guys on the side. But if it's more like 5%:95%, or moving to be that way over time, then I'm not sure that strategy would work.

One thing that might tell the guy about the relative strength of his heterosexuality versus his homosexuality is the Viagra that he uses. Does he need Viagra to get an erection when he's watching gay porn or when actually meeting another guy? If the excitement of gay encounters is significantly greater than the excitement of sex with his wife, then perhaps he doesn't need Viagra for gay activities, which would suggest that this homosexuality is a lot stronger than his heterosexuality at the moment. Even it that's true it might still just be a phase that he's going through, like it was for the married guy who emailed me three years ago.

Depending on how much time he spends pursuing his hidden gay life, it's possible that his wife already suspects that something isn't quite right. Over time if he continues to have a lot of secret gay encounters, it way well have a corrosive effect on his relationship anyway, because it's almost impossible to hide absolutely all aspects of this kind of thing. So it could be a mistake to think that the current situation can continue forever.

In this situation a big concern is the reader's wife. A terrible outcome would be if the reader were to contract an STD and pass it on to her. Nonetheless it sounds like his fear of STDs is overdone, because condoms should protect against the worst ones, in particular HIV. Also, I've never heard of anyone catching anything nasty from receiving oral sex.

The only guy that I have activities with at the moment is my boyfriend, but when I used to meet other guys, I always used to ask them if they had any STDs as well as taking all possible precautions such as using condoms. Of course it's true that guys can lie, but a lot of people are honest so asking the question does reduce risk. I never proceeded to do anything with someone when I didn't get a convincing answer about STDs, and I would encourage the reader to pursue a similar strategy.

In all walks of life, new experiences are more exciting than well known ones. Perhaps the most important question for the reader is whether he still enjoys repeating the gay activities that he's already had, or whether it's just the possibility of new experiences that excite him. If it's mostly the new experiences then once he's done everything once, perhaps his need for gay activities will subside. Another thought is the fact that these activites are conducted in secret also makes them more exciting.

In any case, the reader's email suggests an irresitible urge to try the things that he hasn't done yet. It seems to me that he should at least find a way to try bottoming with a condom, and to receive oral sex, before making any decision about being more honest with his family.

It's impossible to give the reader any firm advice because there are so many things to consider, and so many things that are unknown. Nonetheless, I've tried to say some useful things, which will hopefully give the reader some things to think about. Do any other readers have anything to add?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Racism on the rise :-(

Like a lot of other people around the world, I am astounded and deeply upset that the UK voted to leave the European Union last week. As a result, a huge number of things are now going on in British politics, and one can only hope that something happens that somehow keeps us in the EU. Apparently Scotland, where the vote was strongly remain, may have some kind of veto. Also the petition to run another referendum now has well over 3 million signatures.

However, the thing that disturbs me most about the situation is the rise of right wing nationalism and intolerance. The British EU referendum where the leave campaign had the slogan "Take back control" is just one example of this, because it seems to be happening all over the Western world. Donald Trump becoming the Republican nominee for US president is another example, as is the fact that Austria almost elected a far right wing president last month.

In the UK, even though the Leave side only won a by slim margin, a side effect of their success is that all the nasty people now feel that their views have some validity. In this context "nasty" means all the racists and fascists, and all the members of the far right wing groups such as the British National Party, Britain First, the English Defence League and so on. The result is a significant rise in incidents of racism :-(.

I even witnessed a very minor incident of racism myself. Travelling back to London from Gatwick airport last Friday, after a trip to France with boyfriend K, all the trains are a bit delayed and taking much longer than usual to reach their destinations. When we get near the London terminus, we stand up to wait near the door so that we can be one of the first off the train, and I get chatting to a man in his mid 30's who's also waiting near the door.

"Another day, another train delay!" he says to me, with a slightly fed up look on his face. He speaks perfect English, but I can tell from his accent that he's European rather than British.

"Any idea what the excuse is this time?" I ask, "perhaps the recent flooding is the problem?"

"I'm not sure," he replies, "but I do this journey every day and there always seems to be one problem or another :-(".

We chat a bit more about the sad state of the train service south of London, but then an older English guy who'd been listening to our conversation decides to join in.

"You must come from a country where the train services are always perfect," he says with a sneer in his voice. The guy that I was talking to looks mildly uncomfortable, but I find a way to continue the conversation in a way that supports him, and luckily the older guy doesn't say anything else.

I've always subscribed to the view that although democracy isn't a perfect political system, it's the least worst. However, being imperfect it delivers results like this that run contrary to common sense, given that all the major British political parties as well as countless other organisations have argued that Brexit is stupid! The electorate seem to think that our current prosperity and freedoms are guaranteed, that the fascist regimes that we saw in Europe in the 1930's are ancient history, that war in Europe is not possible anymore. I disagree profoundly with such short-sighted complacency, and for me the original reason for starting European integration in the 1950's is still completely valid, namely to make war in Europe not merely unthinkable but materially impossible. In my opinion, the economic and security advantages of being in the EU are just the icing on the cake.

It wasn't just ethnic minorities that suffered in Europe during the Second World War, because gay people were also persecuted. I hope that the current move towards right wing politics doesn't get that far, and hopefully goes into reverse soon before anything really bad happens.