Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A worthwhile charity event for everyone's diaries

Dame Shirley Bassey has donated her glamorous outfits to the UK children's charity Barnardo's for an auction next month, to be held at Café de Paris in central London on Friday 30th March. This is particularly relevant to any British gay readers because all the money raised from this event will go to support the work that Barnado's does with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender young people in the UK. They're calling the event ‘Hey, Big Spenders’, after one of her famous songs!

When I got the e-mail from Barnado's last week asking me to promote this event on my blog, I was curious as to why they had decided to focus this event on the gay community. The e-mail reply I got from them yesterday had the following to say:
We decided we wanted to promote our work with LGBT young people as many people are not aware of the good work Barnardo’s does in this area.

As Dame Shirley has a large gay following, we thought this would be a good fit and when we run this past Dame Shirley, she endorsed with the following quote:

"The outfits and accessories I have donated to Barnardo’s hold some very special memories for me. I very much hope my fans will bid for them and raise money for the critical work Barnardo’s does with vulnerable young people in the gay community helping to protect them from abuse and discrimination. I am sure the ‘Hey, Big Spenders’ fundraising evening will be a huge success and I’m sorry I cannot be there in person. Please dig deep everyone!"
The event will be a champagne and canapé reception to auction her glamorous designer wear, complete with a performance, disco, celebrity host and club night until 3am. So book your tickets now!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A wonderful guy who I met in mid January

It's Saturday afternoon, the weekend after I'd had a bit of fun with the older guy. In the morning I'd visited the local guy who's half Italian before my gym workout, but for various reasons it wasn't a good session and by mid-afternoon I find myself logging into gaydar and gay.com again to see if there's anyone else around.

I end up chatting to three guys. There's a Thai guy, a bisexual guy from Adelaide who seems quite keen for me to visit him while his girlfriend is out, and a rather nice looking Filipino guy who turns out to be called K. I end up focusing on K.

K: hi
GB: hi
K: how are you
GB: ok, u?
K: yes thanks
GB: so where r u in london?

When he tells me the name of the road where he lives it sounds familiar. I look it up on multimap.com and indeed, it's not that far from where I live :-)

GB: OK, actually I know it
K: how scary
GB: u mean how convenient don't u LOL :-)
GB: can u accom mate?

He asks me why I can't accom and so I decide to tell him the truth about the open relationship I have with boyfriend number 1. There's something really nice about this guy, so I don't want to mislead him. Soon we've exchanged pics.

GB: nice pics mate, r u Chinese?
K: no..
K: im filipino
GB: nice :-)
GB: sorry to mistake u for chinese, hope u dont mind
K: have you met orientals
GB: yes, I've met many asian gay guys for fun

In case he's worried that I don't like Asian guys, I decide to tell him about boyfriend number 2.

GB: in fact I've got an asian boyfriend, and although I don't see him very often, we still call each other boyfriends!
K: ohh ok..
GB: he's a different bf to the bf that I live with here in London!
K: ohh dear...
K: you must be playing around a lot

Well, what can I say to that, perhaps telling him about boyfriend number 2 was a mistake? Perhaps it's just as well that I didn't mention boyfriend number 3 as well! I really don't want to mislead the guy, because from the way he's responding to me he seems very sweet. These days, I'm not playing around nearly as much as I used to, so I decide to rely on that.

GB: no, not very much
GB: do you like caucasian guys then?
K: well...
K: i dont have really preferences
GB: ok sure, neither do I, I like both asians and caucasians
K: as long as i can connect and i can talk
GB: exactly :-)
GB: so what's a nice guy like you doing on gay.com then?
K: im looking for a date...

What a lovely, cute, endearing thing to say! I really can't mislead this guy, so I decide to be honest and come clean with him about my motives.

GB: if you want a date there might be better places - gay.com is a bit cruisey I think
K: well....
GB: I'm here to find guys for *fun* :-)
K: thats part of it...
GB: and you sound like a very nice guy :-) :-)
K: haha thanks..
K: and you too..

Great, that's a good sign, maybe I do have some chances with him after all? We carry on chatting for a while, and I tell him a bit about boyfriend number 2. We're getting on very well, so after ten more minutes chatting I wonder whether he'd like to meet me even though it sounds like he's really after an unattached guy.

GB: so I'd like to visit you sometime, if it's OK with you :-) ?
K: im cool with that
K: yes....
GB: great
K: today?
GB: today sure

We exchange mobile phone numbers, and soon it's all agreed. He's going to take a quick shower, so he wants me to arrive in about half an hour, which works perfectly for me.

Although the chat with the Thai guy didn't go anywhere, throughout the conversation with K I'd been chatting a bit to the bisexual guy from Adelaide. We end up exchanging mobile phone numbers, because he seems interested in getting me to visit him after work one day.

I decide to walk to K's place, because it's only around 15 minutes walk. I arrive on time, and call up to the flat number he gave me when we were chatting online.

"Hi, it's GB :-)," I say into the intercom.

"I'm on ee sec*nd fl**r," comes a slightly muffled response through the door entry system.

When I reach the second floor, I spot a guy leaning out from his door, waving at me. It's K :-).

"Hi, nice to meet you," I say beaming a huge smile at him as I approach. Face to face he looks even cuter than he did in his online pics.

"Nice to meet you too GB," he says quietly smiling back at me, "come in :-)".

Inside there's a medium sized living area, which includes a double bed and a kitchen, with the bathroom in a separate room near the front door. Compact, but clean and tidy. I sit down on one of the chairs near his TV and start taking off my shoes.

"Have you lived here long?" I ask, trying to break the ice.

"Errr, no, only a few months actually," he says slightly nervously, "I, um, used to live near work, in a tiny place in town. It's better here."

Once I've taken my shoes and socks off, I stand up and pull my shirt over my head. He still looks a bit unsure, so I walk over to him and put my hand on his shoulder.

"Are you OK?"

"Ummm, yes of course," he says smiling back, looking slightly more relaxed, but still slightly uncomfortable.

"Do you meet many guys like this?"

I can guess the answer.

"Actually you're the first one! Well, the first guy I've ever met up with after chatting online."

"Well in that case I'd better make sure the experience is a good one," I say quietly, and I lean forward and kiss him gently on the lips.

We walk over and sit on the side of his bed together, and I put my arm round him again.

"So do you normally just get straight down to, um, it!" he asks with a bit of a giggle in his voice.

"Depends! I really like to cuddle guys, especially afterwards, so when I meet guys like this I do sometimes just get straight down to it as you put it, so that there'll be plenty of time for the cuddles later!"

"That's fine with me," he says laughing slightly now, and I put up no resistance as he leans round onto my bare shoulders and pushes me down onto the bed. Soon he's taking my remaining clothes off, as I do the same to him, and we have a wonderful time together.

"Come here," I say afterwards, "I'm not going until I've given you a good cuddling!"

Now it's his turn not to put up any resistance. While we lie there naked in each other's arms, he asks me about my boyfriends, so I tell him a bit about about boyfriend number 1 and boyfriend number 2.

"Actually I've sort of got a boyfriend," he says to me eventually, "but it's like I'm his number 2."

"Really, you kept that quiet while I've been telling you about my boyfriends."

"He's been with his number 1 for over twenty years. He told me exactly what you said just now, that relationships can be more about companionship than sex after you've been together a long time."

"You feel really good mate," I say to him, changing the subject and hugging him tightly, "your semi-boyfriend is being a bit selfish if he's keeping you all to himself!"

He laughs, and suddenly I'm in for a surprise. He takes my hand, and pulls it down to his groin, which feels noticeably perky :-).

"And what am I meant to do with that?" I laugh, knowing full well what the answer will be!

The second session is equally enjoyable as the first, if not more so. But afterwards he suddenly notices the time on his bedside clock.

"I'm late!" he says, "I'm meant to be meeting a friend in town in five minutes!"

"Can you txt him and let him know you'll be a bit late?"

"Actually it's a 'her'," he says rushing round the room, "and she's never on time anyway. But I will send her a txt msg when I'm on my way!"

Once we've got all our clothes back on, and just before we walk out of his flat together, I give him a big hug.

"It's been really good meeting you," I say, holding myself away from him to look him in the eyes while still holding him round the waist.

"It's been good meeting you too GB," he says with a big smile on his face.

"And I'd definitely like to visit you again sometime, but if it's difficult because of that other guy you see, I understand."

"I'd like to meet you again too, but I'm not sure when it'll be possible. Let's stay in touch by txt msg :-)"

Since the original meeting, we've met once again for a bit of fun, and we've exchanged quite a few txt msgs. Of course, this was the new guy that I mentioned in my Valentine's Day post, the one that I described as "a wonderful guy who I met in mid January". And at the moment, there's a good chance of meeting up with him again around the end of this month :-). I can't wait!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

An e-mail from a reader wanting career advice

About half an hour ago I received the e-mail below. I reckon it's an easy one to answer, so I decided to do a posting and answer it immediately.

Dear GB

How are you? Happy Lunar Golden Pig Year! What a cute pinky pig profile pic you have got there hehehe!

I am a final year uni student in Australia, doing double engineering degree. I am writing to you asking for some career advice :D

I recently did a internship with a big investment bank. I got in as an Equity IT intern, but I managed to score myself one week on the trading floor, sitting with various traders. I am waiting for the graduate offer now. What I really after is a front office role, IBD or Trading(Deriv). HR knew this too and they said they would try to get me the role I really want. They are thinking of deporting me back to Asia (they asked me if I am interested in working in Asia and I said yes.), as Asia is the growth region for the bank and they recently opened a new business there.

I understand that I am more likely to get a position in IT than Trading, because I have no financial knowledge what so ever. I am kicking myself for not doing double engineering/commerce degree. Apparently Australians are a lot less tolerant than English, in the sense that it is virtually impossible to get into the finance industry if you did not study the right course. This is what a trader from London told me anyway.

Anyhow, whinging does not help lol. Do you think I should take the position in IT if I am offered one? How easy is it to make the transition from IT to a front office role? Do you know any trader who started in IT? What did they have to do to make the transition? How do you view your IT colleagues? geeky? freaky? smart, but don't have the personality to be a trader? To be honest, if I accept the IT position, I am just doing it for the sake of getting into the bank.

Is it a smart move for me to go back to Asia now? Is it easier to climb up the ranks in a growth region? I have a feeling that, if I leave Australia now, I might never come back to work. The thought of leaving my family and friends saddens me lol. This is why I decided to work in Australia for 2 years before going back. Should I consider going to a top business school to get an MBA?

Thank you so much for your time! I really appreciate it. I will be looking forward to to your advice.

Kind Regards

I think the short answer is 'yes', take the IT role if you can't get directly into a role you prefer. The work experience will be good, and whatever projects you work on you should learn a lot. All good banks have training budgets too, so once you're in the door there may well be opportunities to take short internal courses to develop your skills.

If you're still in your last year at uni then you're still very young. The good thing is that you've told the HR department what your goals are, so if opportunities don't develop at the bank that hires you, then you can always look elsewhere with a clean conscience. It is true that it's can be hard to switch department. But when you're young, keen and ambitious, it can be quite easy to switch bank. Regarding an MBA, at your age I reckon work experience in a bank would be better.

One way to develop your career would be to get onto a bank graduate training scheme of some sort. Just because you won't be a fresh graduate any more doesn't mean that you're not eligible. On the contrary, a young guy who's got a bit of real work experience in a bank is a good candidate, either within the bank you're working for or at another bank.

Everyone says Asia is the future, and there's no doubt that the region has a lot of room for explosive growth. But IT might also be the future. In my opinion, each day the world becomes slightly more quantitative and computer oriented. So the traders of the future may well be computer programmers designing algorithms for their automated trading bots!

Conversational evasion techniques

Yesterday a reader left a comment on a recent posting of mine asking for some advice. I reckon he's asked an important question, so I've decided to answer it in 'Dear GB' format, and then other readers can add their thoughts too. The question the reader asked is as follows:

Dear GB,

How do you manage to be discreet about your sexuality in the office? I want to be discreet too, but during a conversation today with a co-worker, he asked if I'd ever had a gf? I replied honestly and said no, (and whispered to myself...never) and then tried to change the topic. He was kinda amused, though I'm just 21. I'm sure you have experienced those kinds of situations when heterosexual co-workers talk about girls and they begin to put you in the hot seat, asking about your experiences with girls. Just the thought makes me sick to my stomach. So how have you managed to handle these situations? Cheers, you rock gb :-)


I think the most important thing to say is that there's nothing wrong with being gay. But it doesn't always feel like that! Things would be much simpler if we could all just say to everyone "I'm gay" as soon as we realise, but of course life is more complex than that. When one is young or still coming out, it can be particularly hard to handle these kind of situations. It certainly was for me.

For a guy who is completely 100% out as a gay man to everyone he knows, if he gets asked about girls by someone who doesn't know he's gay, he will be confident enough to say "I prefer men". There are a very small number of guys who've never had a problem being gay, and have been out to all friends and family ever since they can remember. But I think it takes most of us at least a few years to fully come out, and even then one may not want to be "out" to absolutely everyone one knows for one reason or another.

But whatever stage of coming out one is at, however early, I think the golden rule is never to lie. So never pretend you like girls if you don't, never pretend you've had experiences that you haven't had, never say anything that you may have to contradict if one day you end up being more open about your sexuality. If you lie you're likely to get caught out eventually, which will probably have all sorts of consequences which would be worse than anything that could happen by avoiding a lie. Replying honestly to difficult questions is one possibility, and in fact can sometimes be a good idea.

This is because a lot of the time, when you're in these situations, the other guys are just trying to be friendly. A good way to make friends with people is to find common ground. Since most of the population is heterosexual, it's a common mistake to assume that everyone is heterosexual, particularly for guys that haven't met many gay guys. When this happens it's a fascinating failure of communication, because one guy is trying to express friendship, and the other guy feels like they're under attack. If this is indeed the situation, almost anything one says is likely to be well received because the intention on the other side is friendship. In general, there's no doubt that western society is more accommodating for gay people these days, so sometimes, coming out in this situation can be a good idea because sharing a confidence is reciprocating the intended friendship.

One can also get asked these questions by family members, in big family gatherings. Before I'd even properly come out as gay to myself, I can remember being asked about girlfriends by my grandmother when the whole family was listening. I reacted very badly to the question, and the whole afternoon had a bad flavour for everyone as a result. Again, the intention was friendly, but I felt under attack. I should have simply said something like "I'll sort myself out eventually!"

Of course, the intention isn't always friendly. But then, if it is a potentially unfriendly situation, unfriendly replies are more acceptable. In which case, finding a way to say "mind your own business" can work.

These days I don't hide my sexuality even at the bank, although I still use discrete language. So I'll always talk about "my partner" rather than "my boyfriend(s)". There's a whole language which most people will understand means that you're probably gay, but which doesn't actually require you to say that you're gay. And if people don't get the message, being emphatic and repeating a previous answer can sometimes help.

As an example, I can recall something that happened to me in the early 1990's. I was still getting used to a gay lifestyle a few years after I'd started living with boyfriend number 1, and one year I was the new staff member sitting on a big table of colleagues at the bank Christmas party. A natural pause in the conversation arises, and suddenly one of the most extrovert and heterosexual guys on the trading floor asks me a question.

"So GB, are you married?"

Immediately the whole table focuses on me, waiting for my answer. It's a natural fact of office life that people are nosey and like to know these simple facts about each other. And unmarried girls are often interested to know who the unmarried guys are in their office, because it's very common for heterosexual relationships to start through a work connection. But what can I say? Back in those days, even saying "I live with my partner" seemed more obvious than I felt comfortable with.

"Errr no, but I'm spoken for," I reply timidly. More confidence in delivering my answer might have helped the conversation move on, but in those days I wasn't nearly as confident as I am now.

"Uh huh, do you live together then?" the guy replies, trying to gauge the strength of my relationship. Everyone is still listening. But I really don't want to say any more.

"I'm spoken for!" I reply, "That's all you need to know!!"

It worked. I was at that bank for another five years and I was never asked about my domestic situation again.

Anyway Adrian, I hope that helps. Perhaps some other readers have further thoughts on how to handle these situations?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A beer with an old (heterosexual) friend

One evening last week, I went out for beers with an old mate of mine called G. Originally we had met when we were teenagers, even though we didn't go to the same school. Some friends can gradually become more distant as the years pass, particular heterosexual ones who settle down and start a family. But even though G has a wife and teenage kids now, we can still click right back into the friendship that we established all those years ago, however long it's been since we last met up.

It's a man's world in the oil fields"So do you like working in Nigeria?" I ask him half way through the first pint of beer. G has spent his working life travelling the world with multinational oil companies, and originally they were semi-permanent postings with his wife and family. But these days, now that his kids are settled at a school in west London, he just takes a lot of long business trips on his own.

"My bosses told me that I was throwing away my career by going back to field work," G replies, "but the pay's better, and I get loads of time off between the field trips to compensate for the time away from my family. The Nigerian project is a tough one, but so much more interesting than the dull old desk job I had!"

"Is it dangerous working in some of these countries?"

"Well, it's true that in some places they send armed guards out in a car to drive along behind you if you go for a run outside the compounds where they put us up! But with all the precautions, I'm not sure it's really any more dangerous than living in a terrorist target city like London."

"Actually I still enjoy my work too," I tell him. "At one stage a few years ago I'd become too managerial, so I switched jobs. Like you I guess, I much prefer to get stuck into a few projects rather than try and manage them from a distance."

We carry on chatting as the beers gradually disappear.

"So what are your new neighbours like?" G asks me later.

"They're not that new mate, we've been in the 'new' house for ages now!" I reply. "But they're good, although the nice married couple next door are now an ex-couple, they're going through a long and messy divorce!"

"Uh huh?" laughs G, but the whole tone of his voice suddenly sounds nervous.

"Yeah, it turns out that ever since myself and boyfriend number 1 have known them, he'd regularly been seeing this other woman. But to us and all the other neighbours, they just seemed like the perfect couple, with two kids and everything."

"Really." says G, and I can tell that for some reason, he's not enjoying this subject at all.

Immediately I wonder what G's been up to. 'The crafty guy!' I find myself thinking, I bet he's been playing around with other women on his business trips! And perhaps his wife has somehow found out? With the beers inside me, and beers inside him too, I start to wonder whether I can get him to confess to an old friend like me.

"Yeah, and it also turns out ..." I try and continue, but before I can say any more he interrupts.

"Want another one?" he says trying to smile, and indicating that he's spotted that my glass is empty.

"Errr, yeah thanks mate!"

When he gets back from the bar, he starts talking about something else. Later in the evening, I try to suggest to G that while he's away on his long trips there's not much to do in the evening "... except drink beer and commit adultery?"

"There's no time for that!" laughs G, very emphatic and confident now.

It was a great evening and really good to see him again, but looking back, I reckon I misread the situation. Thinking about the emphatic nature of his response to my throw away question about adultery, together with his body language, I now reckon that his answer was probably genuine.

Poor guy. The raw terror that I felt from him when I first brought up the subject now leads me to think that he may have only recently discovered something about his wife, and perhaps he hasn't even discussed it with her or anyone else yet. He should have discussed it with me. It's what old friends are for. At any rate, the next time I see him, I think I'll treat the subject much more delicately.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Kecks and Daniel Radcliffe's sexuality

It's official! Kecks definitely means undershorts, or underpants, or whatever it is you want to call them. When I wrote about my encounter with the Geordie guy last month, I reported that some people think that kecks means trousers, and even how to spell kecks wasn't completely clear.

The oracle of all wisdom that I invoke here to prove that kecks means undershorts is the 14th-20th February 2007 print edition of the London Time Out listings magazine. In their theatre section, they had the following to say in advance of the opening night of the new production of Equus by Peter Shaffer at the Gielgud Theatre on Shaftsbury Avenue:No kecks in sight!
Potter (known to his mother as Daniel Radcliffe) gets his kecks off on stage, thus kissing goodbye to his childhood in what must be the theatrical equivalent of Britney Spears losing her virginity.
So there you have it, kecks=undershorts, because if you think that Daniel Radcliffe is just going without trousers you're in for a bit of a shock!

This new production of Equus opened on Friday, i.e. just two days ago, and myself and boyfriend number 1 were lucky enough to have tickets very near the front of the stalls for last night's performance. It was a good show, with excellent performances by both Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths, even though at one point Richard Griffiths needed a few prompts to get through one of his longer speeches.

One of the things which struck me was the different physical dimensions of the two main actors. I don't mean to be rude, but at his current size Richard Griffiths must be one of the widest men I've ever seen. Aged 17, Daniel Radcliffe on the other hand is a typical skinny teenager. But they worked well together. The horses were played by six hunky actors with fabulous wire frame horse heads, with wire frames for hooves as well, which all looked magnificent.

And then there was the nudity. Just before the end of the first half, there's a scene where Alan (played by Daniel Radcliffe) was telling the psychiatrist (played by Richard Griffiths) how he liked to take off all his clothes and ride horses naked. But as he was playing out the scene, although his shirt came off, both trousers and kecks remained firmly in place!

"He's bottled out of the nudity bit, hasn't he?" said boyfriend number 1 to me during the interval, "I'm sure Peter Firth was naked for that bit when he did the film in the 1970's!"

Definitely no kecks!But however much nudity there was in previous productions and films, there was more than enough in the current production. It was all saved up for the finale, when both Daniel Radcliffe and actress Joanna Christie got all their kit off, although I must admit most of my attention was on Daniel!

Is it possible to tell a guy's sexuality purely by looking at his tackle? I've seen a lot of naked guys in the past of course, from school showers and gym changing rooms to gay saunas and encounters. I've had a good idea about the sexuality of a lot of the guys that I've seen naked too. So I like to think that it's with some authority when I say that judging by the shape of his tackle, Daniel Radcliffe looks distinctly heterosexual. Which I guess is good news for all his young female fans, but if there are any young gay male fans out there, sorry to say that I don't think he's one of us!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The poor carcass of GBL's blog

Some people simply have no respect! Last month I reported the sad demise of GBL's blog, but it seems that I'm not the only person who noticed that the blog had gone. Anyone now visiting his old URL (gayboyinlondon.blogspot.com) will discover a sordid list of links to heterosexual porn web sites! It's a highly insensitive act. A crime against common decency. Surely this can only have been perpetrated by someone of the lowest possible moral stature.

So I've purged my blog of hyperlinks to GBL's poor old URL, and I would encourage everyone else to do the same. Some people have absolutely no respect for the departed!

Friday, February 16, 2007

A (mostly) successful Valentine's Day

The nice thing about having more than one boyfriend, plus a few more potential boyfriends, is that one gets to exchange lots of sweet Valentine's Day wishes :-). The only downside is worrying about whether one can keep all the guys happy at the same time!

For many years now, myself and boyfriend number 1 have agreed not to buy each other Valentine's Day presents, but instead to go out for dinner in the evening with each other to a top London restaurant. This year however, we decide to stay at home and entertain ourselves. Valentine's Day meals in London restaurants tend to be overpriced given that the huge demand often results in mediocre service and food. So keeping boyfriend number 1 happy this year was relatively easy because I knew that he would assume that the 'no presents' rule was still in place. With a box of chocolates to give him in the morning, Whatever anyone says, I am a very romantic guy :-) and a plan to get him some flowers in the evening, I don't see what more an adoring boyfriend can do :-).

Boyfriend number 2 was a bit harder to sort out. We live in different countries, although we're constantly in touch by e-mail, and we talk to each other once or twice a week too. I decide to make an effort with a special Valentine's Day e-mail. The day before Valentine's Day I take an especially cute photo of myself and arrange for the photo to arrive in his inbox at 12:01am on Valentine's Day in the country where he lives. And as I'd hoped, when I get his reply it turns out that he loves the effort that I made :-).

Boyfriend number 3 was harder still in once sense, although easier in other ways. Like me, he has other men in his life, and he doesn't want the main man in his life to find out about me. So even sending him a txt msg is a risk. If he's with his main fella when a txt msg arrives he'll be angry. And he usually doesn't like presents either, in case questions arise about their origin. In the end, I decide to risk sending him a simple "Happy Valentine's Day" txt msg during business hours when he's likely to be on his own. And within two minutes, I get a happy reciprocal message. Mission accomplished :-).

With my main guys happy, I decide to sent three further simple "Happy Valentine's Day" txt msgs to some of the other men in my life. My gorgeous Japanese masseur gets one, the cute Chinese guy gets another, and the third goes to a wonderful guy who I met in mid January who I haven't mentioned here before. It takes my gorgeous Japanese masseur a couple of hours to return the compliment (probably because he was sleeping in late as usual!) but I receive sweet txt mgs from both the other guys within a couple of minutes of sending them mine! Everything seems to have worked out fine :-).

The rest of the day isn't quite as successful though. The planned lunchtime liaison doesn't work out, which leaves me feeling mildly frustrated during the afternoon. And then there's my plan to buy flowers in the evening for boyfriend number 1.

While buying the flowers, there's a difficult decision to make. Boyfriend number 1 is very keen on local produce, and is always complaining to me about the environmental damage that must be caused by the aircraft transport of agricultural goods which could instead be produced locally with negligible environmental impact. But the Kenyan roses look much better than the other roses available at the flower shop, and are much better value too, so I decide to take a risk.

"What have you got there :-)," boyfriend number 1 asks me with a smile on his face as I walk though our front door.

"Happy Valentine's Day again," I say beaming a smile back at him.

"Awww," he says appreciatively, "with chocolates in the morning and flowers at night you're spoiling me! Are they Dutch or Kenyan?"

What? Dutch or Kenyan?? Why doesn't he think they're English? If I was being given flowers I'd naturally assume that they haven't come that far, and it would certainly never occur to me that they could possibly have come from as far away as Kenya. But boyfriend number 1 is an expert in this area, so I guess I should have known better! He spots the guilty look on my face.

"Hmmmm," he says, "well I won't ask then :-(. Just don't do it again!"

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines Day chocolates

I've actually got lots and lots to say about Valentines Day 2007, but there's not nearly enough time to blog it all before bedtime. So I'll just leave you all with the one thought that's uppermost in my mind at the moment.

One of the things I did for Valentines Day this year was to buy boyfriend number 1 a box of EDEN chocolates, made by Thorntons. It was in a nice heart shaped box which looked good, and Thorntons is a name I can remember from my childhood, so when a quick decision was needed yesterday it seemed like a sensible choice.

I now reckon I made the right choice for the wrong reasons, because the right reason to have chosen the chocolates would have been for their names ...

Original Sin

A delectable collection of Divinely Sinful dark, milk and white chocolates ...

Beyond Temptation

In fact we haven't tried them yet because boyfriend number 1 also bought me some chocolates, so we ended up eating those instead. But whatever the EDEN choccies taste like, I just can't see them living up to their fabulous names!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Are you a dairy queen?

I have to say, I think Alvin Tan is making it up! In his recent article "Ask Alvin about dairy queens" which was published on fridae.com last week, Alvin defines a 'dairy queen' as 'a gay man who loves to suck on nipples'. But I've never heard the term 'dairy queen' used to mean that. I'm inclined to think that he's being a little bit creative, and hence giving himself an excuse to write an entertaining article on the subject!

I do admit that it's nice to be quoted though. In the caption to the photo in Alvin's article, Alvin quotes me as saying "Gay guys, far more than straight guys, get aroused by nipple play" :-). The quote is accurate and comes a very old post of mine, which I followed up a couple of weeks later with a post titled The nipple question. I also confess that until I read Alvin's article, I had no idea that there is old evidence which confirms my view.

I've always thought that a dairy queen is simply a gay man who likes dating white guys. Although urbandictionary.com seems to agree with me, for gay Asian guys at least we've already got the term potato queen. So in fact, I think that Alvin's new definition of 'dairy queen' is a probably a good idea :-).

So are you a gay guy who really really likes sucking another guys nipples? If so, I reckon you're a Dairy Queen!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What's in a domain name?

A reader recently brought to my attention the fact that gaybanker.com is listed on a domain name auction web site, having been auctioned last month for $200. With my curiosity aroused, I managed to get a bit more information from Google, because Google's web cache had an image which dated back to when the auction was in progress:

If you look closely at that image, the "Offer Description" visible in the above picture has the following to say:
Recently, GayRealtor.com sold for over $7,000.US! Gay names are more popular now than ever! GayBanker.com could be a fantastic investment with HUGE website potential!!! The Gay community is awash in money, money kept in banks, gay people support gay run businesses and GayBanker.com is a perfect fit for this niche market. ALL OFFERS CONSIDERED.
I'm not sure I buy that argument though. A gay friendly online realtor sounds a lot more feasible to me than gay friendly online banking.

So who owns gaybanker.com now? A query at www.whois.net referred me to who.godaddy.com where full ownership details are available. The answer is that gaybanker.com is currently owned by a realtor in Denver Colorado called Sold Denver. So my guess is that they're just speculating in 'online real estate' by buying gaybanker.com, perhaps having been convinced by the GayRealtor.com argument.

But is there a conflict? If gaybanker.com did become the website for a successful company, could there be a problem somehow in connection with this blog and with my "Gay Banker" identity? Luckily, I've been blogging as "Gay Banker" since February 2005, and the whois information on gaybanker.com confirms that that domain name wasn't created until July 2006. On top of that, googling gay banker at the moment seems to bring up my blogger user profile at top of the list, so if anything I reckon it's me who is the established online "Gay Banker".

In which case, are Sold Denver cybersquatting on my domain name? I'm not sure what the legal situation is, but for now at any rate, I don't care. If blogspot.com is good enough for joe.me.god. and Belle de Jour, I'm sure it's good enough for me too!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Indian caste system

"I guess you're a Hindu, right?" I asked boyfriend number 3 recently, as we're cuddling together after activities.

"Errr, yeah," he replies sleepily.

"So do you belong to a caste?"

I've known a bit about the caste system ever since my first trip to India in the 1990's. But I've never discussed it with any of the British Indian guys that I know.

"Yes of course," he replies, and he tells me the name of his caste. But although I can remember that the name of the priest caste is Brahmin, I can't remember the names of any of the others so I have to ask.

"The castes are things like priests, warriors and merchants aren't they? Is your caste one of those?"

"Uh huh," he replies waking up gradually, "but priest, soldier and so on is the coarsest categorisation, they've all got sub-categories. Why do you want to know?"

"Oh I don't know," I reply lazily. The truth, of course, is that I'm naturally quite a nosey person, but that doesn't seem like a suitable response!

"It's just that I've never asked any my Indian friends or colleagues about it," I continue. "Is it a highly personal question to ask an Indian guy? I don't know why, but I've always felt that asking a guy what his caste is might be like asking him his cock size! But I can discuss this all with you, can't I?"

"Of course, after all, I think you know my cock size!" he says grinning.

"Actually, I guess it might be seen as intrusive coming from you," he continues after a short pause. "Back in India of course, people still usually marry within their caste. But a question about caste coming from someone like YOU!"

"What do you mean by that?"

"Well, the British class system has some similarities with the caste system. So coming from a guy who's ethnically English, it sounds a bit like you want to categorise people into their class which is obviously a bit offensive!"

"I see what you mean!"

"Anyway, I love it when you cuddle me like this," he says sounding sleepy again, "it makes me feel special."

"Doesn't your main fella ever cuddle you like this then?"

"No not really."

"Well, I think you're special anyway!"

"Awwww thanks GB. I know you say that to all the boys but it's still nice :-)!"

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A bit of fun with an older guy

The weekend after I met the Geordie guy, I feel like finding a bit of fun with another guy. None of my boyfriends are around, so I log onto gaydar to see who I can find there. As soon as I log in, the usual information about which of my 'favourite' acquaintances are also logged in comes up, so I head to the chat rooms to see if any of them are up for a meet today.

One of the guys who's logged in is the local guy who's half Italian, so I try chatting to him. But there's no response. Most likely is that he's not there, and he simply forgot to log out. The tall Scottish guy who enjoys watersports is also there though, and he does respond when I start chatting to him:

GB: hi m8, Happy New Year, how's u?
guy: oh hi GB
guy: im hung over today actually

We chat a bit more, and although he admits to feeling a bit horny, we end up deciding that it would be best to hook up another time when he's feeling a bit better.

But soon I get chatting to a nice sounding guy who only lives a short cab ride away. Eventually it's agreed that I can visit him as long as I arrive within the next half hour or so, which works perfectly for me. I'll visit the gym afterwards, so I pack my gym bag and head off.

The address turns out to be a small but smart looking Georgian house, with a tiny little garden at the front. Closing the gate behind me, it's only two steps along the garden path to the front door. I use the brass door knocker and soon I can hear some activity behind the door.

"Hi come in," says the guy opening the door. Face to face he looks five or maybe ten years older than me, which is exactly how he looked in his online photos :-).

"Can I get you a drink of anything," he offers, "a tea or coffee perhaps?"

He's got a kind looking face, and a very relaxed tone in his voice which puts me at ease.

"Actually," I reply, "just a glass of water would be great :-)."

Looking around inside, the house is very elegant. There's a lot of bare wood, which must have all been stripped of paint a few years ago because there's no doubt that when a house like this was first built all the woodwork would have been varnished or painted.

"Shall we go upstairs?"

Soon we're standing in the bedroom, smiling at each other. Almost simultaneously we move towards each other and kiss each other gently on the lips. Gradually we get more involved with each other, and after a minute or two we're taking each other's clothes off. Some older guys are a bit chubby, which isn't particularly attractive to me, but this guy is quite lean and we have a lovely relaxing time together.

"Errr, where's the bathroom," I ask afterwards.

"Just down the hallway," he replies, "follow me :-)."

While I'm standing naked at the sink, he stands behind me gently massaging my shoulders and back, which feels very nice.

"So do you have a boyfriend?" I ask.

"Yes I do actually."

"I thought so!"

"How can you tell," he asks, perhaps slightly peeved that I'd been able to work him out so easily.

"Well, it's your relaxed nature. You're clearly good boyfriend material for some lucky guy!"

"What about you?" he asks me. "When we were online earlier you told me that you've also got a boyfriend, but where does he think you are at the moment?"

"I told him that I was going to the gym actually," I confess, "but we've got an open relationship so it's not cheating. In fact he told me that he really doesn't want to know what I get up to as long as he knows I'm being careful."

"Actually it's the same with us. We just agree not to make a big deal about it."

Neither of us are in any particular hurry, so we chat a bit more and he shows me round the house.

"It's a lovely house you've got here," I tell him.

"We've lived here for almost 20 years now," he says casually, "but if we weren't already living here we couldn't afford to move into this area now, not the way London property prices are these days!"

Soon we're having a very middle class discussion about state of the London property market.

"Those Regency houses on the other side of that small park there," he says pointing out of the window, "even when we moved in here they cost around £750k, but they must be about £2.5m now! Who on earth can afford that?"

"I expect City bonuses have got something to do with it," I laugh. "Of course, virtually no one gets that kind of money in a single year. But over five or ten years, good guys in good City jobs will get paid reasonable bonuses which will add up."

Eventually it seems like time to go. As I'm leaving, we kiss each other and agree to look out for each other online.

On the way to the gym, I can't help looking at all the Georgian houses and wondering what they're all worth. Although I live in a nice house with boyfriend number 1, London property certainly is expensive these days, so we're also lucky that we bought our house a few years ago. Even if one can afford a big mortgage, it's definitely not the most exciting thing to spend one's hard earned cash on!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Happy Birthday to this blog

I'm now two years old! Last year when I was one year old, I celebrated with an anniversary posting, so on this auspicious occasion a second anniversary posting seems appropriate :-).

In blogging terms, the biggest event was my change of name. I used to be called "Things I can't tell boyfriend number 1", but at the start of November last year my name changed to simply "Gay Banker". It was a positive move on my author's part, because when I was first born, the name he gave me was perhaps symptomatic of the problems in his relationship with boyfriend number 1. After the hiatus in that relationship which surfaced a few months later during the summer 2005, his life seems to have become more settled again over the last twelve months.

His primary relationship is still with boyfriend number 1, but last October he reached a point where he felt comfortable blogging about how lucky he is to have two boyfriends. Boyfriend number 2 lives outside of the UK so he doesn't see him very often, but last December the two of them went on a fabulous holiday to Argentina together. And although he still sees boyfriend number 3, he's not as close to him as he is to boyfriend number 1 or boyfriend number 2.

A change of emphasis accompanied my name change, and as a result I think I'm now more balanced than when I was first born. Encounters with other guys are no longer my primary focus, and hopefully the ones which do get posted are more interesting. I now have an "agony uncle" category called Dear GB, and more recently a new category for Reader's stories too.

So Happy Birthday to Me :-). I'm looking forward to my third year enormously!

Friday, February 02, 2007

The pleasures of working abroad

"We get some ridiculous law suits thrown at us," said one of our dinner party guests last weekend. The guy who was speaking works overseas, in charge of the branch of an international bank situated in the capital city of a developing country.

The next location for 'Sex and the City'?"Because of all the projects that we're involved with, we get a lot of young staff from London visiting us for a few months at a time," he continues, "but the initial excitement of working abroad soon wears off. Although the country has a lot to offer, it's not what they're used to. They're away from their friends and partners, and it's just not possible to live the same kind of urban lifestyle that's possible in London."

"If they miss their friends and partners," I reply, "I guess it helps if they get on well with their colleagues".

"Yes, that's the problem! A lot of them end up getting on with their colleagues perhaps a little too well. Not even the best gossip mongers in the office can keep up with who's had who. It's like there are two 'webs' of liaisons, the gay one and the straight one."

"Shouldn't there be three webs? Straight, gay male and lesbian?" I ask.

"How many lesbians do you know working in banking GB?" he asks me back.

"Not many, that's true!"

"But for some reason we do get quite a lot of gay guys. I just pray that we don't get sent any bi-sexuals," he continues, "if the two webs of liaisons collide I see no end of trouble!"

"But is it really such a problem if the staff fuck each other?" I ask.

"Unfortunately some of them aren't that discrete about their activities. Someone saw one of the younger guys standing naked on his balcony being serviced by one of the female staff who was on her knees in front of him! Her identity remains a secret for now, she was facing the guy for obvious reasons so her face wasn't visible."

"Sounds like harmless fun to me," I reply.

"But coming back to the law suits, one of the women who's now gone back to London is threatening to sue us for the stress that we've caused her. Apparently she had various liaisons while she was with us, and her boyfriend back in London accidentally saw some of the text messages. She should have been more careful, because her boyfriend has left her."

"That would be a ridiculous law case!" I laugh.

"Well indeed. Being in charge of an international banking operation abroad sounds quite high-powered and glamorous, but the day to day reality is quite different. It does help though when the cr*p that I have to deal with has an amusing side to it too!"