Sunday, September 28, 2008

Boyfriend P and boyfriend S

Within a week or so, I'll be going on a little trip to Asia to see boyfriend P and meet a few more of his friends. The other guy in boyfriend P's life won't be there, so I'm really looking forward to it :-). After Asia we'll be coming back to London, and for the first time boyfriend P will be staying with me in my house. Previously that wasn't possible because ex-boyfriend S was living with me, however ex-boyfriend S is now living in his own house.

All this raises one of the biggest issues in my personal life at the moment, namely working out how to reconcile boyfriend P and ex-boyfriend S, because they've never met. They don't need to become friends, although that would be very nice of course, but it would be good if they could at least tolerate each other. So now that boyfriend S is living in his own house, perhaps it's time for the two of them to meet?

A couple of years ago, ex-boyfriend S felt a lot of hatred towards boyfriend P. "If he were here now ... I'd ... I'd KILL him!! GRRRRR!!!" he said once. At the time, I told him that his anger should be focused at me rather than boyfriend P, because it was my decision to start going on holidays with boyfriend P and so I was to blame. These days, ex-boyfriend S does seem a lot more relaxed about things, although I still haven't ever shown him any photos of boyfriend P.

When I was on holiday in Provincetown last summer with boyfriend P, we bumped into one of boyfriend P's friends who was there with his boyfriend plus another friend of theirs, so we invited all three of them round to supper. It turned out that the friend who wasn't part of the couple had previously been the boyfriend of one of the guys in the couple for fifteen years.

"I guess the two of them were such a huge part of each other's lives for so long," said boyfriend P to me later, "that even though they're not boyfriends any more, it's quite understandable that they still hang out with each other sometimes, and all go on holiday together like this."

Boyfriend P couldn't have put it better. But the same rational thoughts seem to evade him when he thinks about me and ex-boyfriend S, and we were together for more than 15 years! He seems to expect that ex-boyfriend S won't be part of my life any more, even though the two of us have managed to remain friends. Furthermore, whenever I meet any of boyfriend P's friends, I'm usually under strict instructions to avoid all mention of ex-boyfriend S. "Why would you want to mention him anyway?" he'll ask indignantly.

Then there's also my parents and my sister's family. A lot of my family like ex-boyfriend S, and I think he likes most of them too. So even though we're not boyfriends any more, it's not clear to me why I can't visit my family with ex-boyfriend S. Or even better, with boyfriend P and ex-boyfriend S :-).

About a year ago, I was cuddling up to boyfriend P one morning after a good night's sleep when I decided to ask him a question.

"Would you like to meet boyfriend S sometime?" I ask. I feel him tense up slightly.

"Oh GB, I don't know!" he says after a short pause.

"Uh huh, OK. Do you think there's a problem then?"

"Well," he says after a much longer pause, "I think he'd be scared of me!"

I didn’t expect that answer, and I'm still trying to work out what it meant. In fact, I think it may have been an attempt to hide the truth, which might be that it's boyfriend P who's scared of the situation.

One good thing about boyfriend P is that he's very non-confrontational. So much so, in fact, that it's probably a minor character flaw because some of life's situations occasionally require a bit of confrontation and he's not very good at it! So it seems likely to me that to avoid confrontation, he'd much rather avoid dealing with the situation relating to him and ex-boyfriend S forever. But the more I think about it, the more I feel that while this issue remains, my relationship with boyfriend P is stalled. I definitely think that it needs to be resolved at some point.

But is now the right time to resolve it? Perhaps it's too soon after ex-boyfriend S's move into his new house? Another issue is that ex-boyfriend S has a lot of other highly emotional issues in his life at the moment that are nothing to do with the situation between him and me. So perhaps it's a good idea to get ex-boyfriend S to meet boyfriend P soon, because while there are these other big issues in boyfriend S's life meeting boyfriend P might not seem like such a big deal? Or since there are these other issues in boyfriend S's life, perhaps it's inconsiderate of me to be contemplating the meeting at this time?

Finally, if I do try and get them to meet, what's the best venue?  Presumably not the house that I used to share with ex-boyfriend S, although maybe his new house is a possibility?  And who should be there? Perhaps just the three of us, although would it be better to have the two of them on their own without me, or would it be better with other friends there?

If anyone give me some advice, it would be much appreciated!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Offline meetings with people who know about this blog

It's very flattering that people want to meet me, based purely on what they've read in my blog :-). Yesterday I got two such requests. One was from a guy who I'd corresponded with briefly in the past, and another was from a guy who I'd never heard from before, and who sent me the following email:

Hi GB,

good day. how are you?

I'm 29, currently in London right now. I'm an Asian - Malaysian. I just went thru some of ur posts. It makes me have a tingling sensation, haha..

i should say ur blog is a good find, =)

anyway, i would like to meet you if possible mate. i'll be attaching my pictures here just in case. please do not use them anywhere, oks? also, could i possibly see u also, thanks!!

He did indeed attach some pics and he's certainly a lovely, good looking Malaysian guy :-).

The email that I got from the guy who I'd corresponded with before was a bit more direct:

I wanted to say thanks for your referral to Villagedrinks, it has been good fun and a nice networking opportunity. I am still looking for a nice fella to help me blow my load though. I read some of your encounters online and was wondering if you fancied blowing your load all over my face or maybe in my mouth if you feel like it, I for my part would love to shoot my load in front of you....

It's been about 18 months since I posted my policy about offline meetings with people who know about this blog. Given that I've had two such requests in a single day, I think it's time to mention it again. For all the reasons that I describe in that post, it's something that I just don’t do. The only exception I make is for established bloggers, when I've built up some kind of rapport with them over a period of time, as a result of comments on each others blogs, emails, and sometimes MSN conversations.

So, to anyone who's sent me a meeting request, thank you very much from the opportunity :-). However, after you've read my old post on this subject, I hope you'll understand my reasons for declining!

Monday, September 22, 2008

GLBT networks in banks in India

A reader has brought to my attention one of the leader articles in last week's Economist magazine, which contains the following sentence:
One investment bank, for example, is extending its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender network to its Indian operations over the opposition of its local boss.
Does anyone know which bank that sentence refers to? If so, perhaps they can either leave a comment or send me an email?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Email from a guy with a dating dilemma

About a week ago, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

Story of my life (like everyone else). There's this guy I've been talking to, but I'm not sure where he stands. He's 10 years my senior and a total stud; masculine, funny, in shape.

Luckily, I do know that he is gay because we started talking on a gay personals site. After talking online for a good period of time, I suggested we meet up. The first date is set but he cancels due to a sickness. Another date is chosen and he cancels again because of an emergency. The third time actually works out and we meet for lunch.

The date goes as follows: meet at a bookstore, eat at a nearby restaurant, drive around in my car, walk around a park, sit around the pond in the park and talk, and then drive back to meeting point. Pretty boring since there's nothing to do near where I live. Another important detail is that nothing exciting happened; just casual talk and then a goodbye hug. This was a couple of weeks ago and we haven't met back up. I've suggested that if he's free to let me know, but he never does.

Out of all the times we've talked online (25+ times), he has only initiated the conversation 3 times. I'm not sure if he is actually interested in me or if he is just being nice.

Should I keep trying to pursue or give up?


First impressions can sometimes be deceptive, however in this case, I have to admit that my first thoughts were that the guy doesn't have any interest in the reader. However I like to think about my 'Dear GB' responses, so I sent the reader an email telling him that I'll give his situation some thought, while admitting that on a quick read of his email it sounded as though he's wasting his time with the guy. A few days later, however, I got another email from the reader with more information:

Hey GB.

So, here's a mini-update slash another detail.

I have noticed that I was sort of impatient with our contact. I always messaged him before he had a chance to get to me. However, on the two times that I waited a couple of days (most recently today), he eventually did get around to initiating the conversation. Also, there were a couple of times he has said I was cute.

blah... i don't know what to think...mixed messages? or lost cause?

I replied immediately to say that this was important information, and within a few hours I received another email telling me even more:

another detail... (sorry for the sporadic messages)... whenever i suggest meeting up (playing tennis or whatever...also, we live about 1 hr away from each other), he doesn't respond back for a long while (if ever... sometimes i have to do a.. "ya there bud?" deal )...

so... another negative...

Assessing all the information, it seems clear that the reader is keener on the guy than the other way around. But that doesn't mean that the guy isn't interested in the reader. Given all the attention that the reader has shown the guy, the guy must know that every time he initiates contact that he's encouraging the reader to continue the connection, and most people wouldn't do that if they have no interest in developing the friendship.

As a general rule, guys that seem too keen give the impression of being desperate, and that's a major turn-off. Much better to play it cool and let the contact settle down to being more 50-50 in terms of who initiates it. It can be a hard balance to strike between seeming too keen and appearing disinterested, but in this case the reader probably does seem too keen compared to the other guy.

Even if there isn't much to do in the area where the reader lives, I can think of certain kinds of activities which both of them might enjoy! Admittedly jumping into bed at the first opportunity doesn't suit everyone, but I find that approach works for me. If the reader can't have gentleman callers for whatever reason, perhaps he should try and visit the guy next time because the older guy probably can accommodate that kind of visitor. From the description of the one meeting that they did have, I find myself wondering whether it was a situation where the reader was scared of asking the guy to his place for a bit of fun in case the guy turned him down, while the guy was waiting to be asked but didn't feel able to initiate that conversation himself.

Whatever happens, if the reader can work out what's going on in the guy's mind he'll be much better placed to understand the situation. But I don't mean just a simple "Does he like me or not"! Who are the other men in the guy's life, past or perhaps even current boyfriends, fuck-buddies, other 'friends with benefits'? Has the guy recently come out of a long-term relationship, in which case perhaps he's wary of forming new connections while "on the rebound", even if he likes the reader? How does the reader see himself fitting in to the guy's life? Presumably the reader is looking for some kind of boyfriend of fuck-buddy relationship rather than tennis partner, but given the distance, how would that work?

Good communication is vital in any friendship or relationship, so when the reader has a clear view of his goals, I think he should try and discuss everything with the guy. Using lines like "it might be nice to get to know each other better, you know!" or at least having a discussion about that aspect of their friendship would be good too. In any case, a frank discussion about the future would be much better than just giving up!

Do any other readers have any thoughts about this situation?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The guy who spoke quietly

It's around 9:30pm in the evening, the day after ex-boyfriend S moved into his new home. Having finished my evening meal, I'm half watching TV, and half chatting to this guy on gaydar:

Guy: so what's ur mobile number
GB: xxxxxxxxxxxx, u?
Guy: ur name
GB: GB, u?

Suddenly my phone rings with a number that it doesn't recognise.

"Hi is that GB?" says the voice quietly at the other end, as though someone might be listening in, and the intention is to make it harder for any eavesdropper to hear.

"Yes mate!"

"OK good, can you visit tonight?"

"Sure, would be good :-)."

"And you're discreet right?"

"Of course, very discreet :-))."

"And no chit-chat! When you come in I'll be on my bed smoking, just wearing my briefs. Don't say anything, just strip down to your briefs and then we’ll get started, OK?"


"OK, let's chat a bit more online first," he says, still talking quietly, and with that he hangs up.

The suggestion to carry on chatting online seems slightly unusual because I thought that everything had been agreed, however I'm curious to meet the guy so I decide to go along. We run though what's on the agenda again, although this time we find ourselves using much more explicit language! But soon, we're working out the final details:

Guy: how long will it take u to get here
GB: 30 mins, hopefully sooner
Guy: OK, send me a text when ur outside the tube near me. It's hard to find my flat, but I'll give you instructions once you're there
GB: can't you give me the address now mate, I much prefer to know where I'm going

I tell him that I've had wasted journeys in the past, and after some thought he gives me his address.

Guy: I've told you because I'm trusting you OK
GB: thanks
Guy: but still text me when you're close, it's very hard to find
GB: OK cool, c u soon mate, bye for now :-)

Out on the street, it doesn't take long to find a cab. About fifteen minutes later I'm looking for the address that the guy's given me, but to no avail. I'm looking for number 236, but the numbers seem to run 232, 234, 238, 240! Where 236 should be there's a big hardware store that occupies the entire ground floor of 234 and what should be 236. I can't ask inside because it's all locked up for the night, so I send the guy a txt msg. Almost immediately he calls me back.

"So where are you?" he asks, still speaking quietly.

"I'm outside number 234 mate, there isn't a 236!"

"OK don't worry. Can you see the pizza shop a couple of doors down the road?"


"You're going to walk down the alley by the side of it."

While he's talking I start walking to the pizza shop to get a look at this alley.

"At the end of the alley," he continues, "turn right and you'll see a metal staircase. Go up the staircase and you'll see me, I'll guide you round to the entrance door which will be open. Once inside, go up the stairs to the top floor flat. You'll find the door open there too, so come in and lock the door behind you, and you'll find me on the bed in my briefs OK? Remember, no chit-chat! Have you got all that?"

Peering down the alley, it looks very dark.

"Um yes, I think so," and I start to repeat the instructions back to the guy as I begin walking down the alley. Although the alley is very dark, it's very wide too, so there's nowhere that anyone could be hiding to mug me.

As though by magic, every few steps I take triggers a new powerful light to turn itself on and illuminate the next few steps. I feel a bit like Indiana Jones in an adventure movie, where blind faith is required to follow ancient instructions which all end up making sense, even though it would have been impossible to foresee in advance!

Reaching the end of the alley, several lights all turn on at once, lighting up the path to a metal staircase, exactly like the guy said.

"OK, I see the metal staircase now," I say to the guy who's still on the phone, "see you soon!"

Putting my phone away, I go up the staircase, and at the top I spot a guy way above me on a small balcony indicating where I need to walk on the first floor terrace to find the entrance door. Around a corner there's an open door, exactly like the guy promised, and on the front of the door is marked 236! How cunning, when they put the hardware shop downstairs they must have re-designed the layout so that one gains entrance to the flats above the shop from the back alley. But all very confusing for visitors like myself! The open door looks like a door that should normally be closed, so even though I find it open I assume that the guy deliberately left it open for me and I close it behind me before going up the stairs.

Letting myself into the top floor flat, I lock the door behind me and walk into the main room to find the guy on his bed, almost naked. I smile at him and he smiles back, but then he looks back at the television which is directly in front of him with a blank expression on his face. Somehow I'd expected some pornography on the TV, but rather bizarrely it seems to be a chat show of some sort with the volume set very low so that it sounds as though it's a long way away.

Leaving my coat on a chair, I start stripping. Without saying anything, I glance over to the guy who's now half watching me strip, and half watching the TV. What cheek, surely watching me strip is 100% more interesting than what's on television! Looking down at the guy's crotch I see his equipment peeking out the side. It twitches, hardening a bit. I look the guy in the eye and then back down to his crotch again, and again it twitches, hardening even more. The guy smiles at me again, and I smile back at him knowingly, but still we don't speak. Putting my trousers on the chair, I join him on the bed and he takes a long heavy breath as I caress the contents of his briefs from the outside. We have a great time together, although slightly rougher than what I'm used to!

"Phew, that was GOOD man :-)," he says to me shortly afterwards.

We chat a bit, and his personality now seems completely different. Whereas before he was quite cold and business-like, now that he's unloaded he's turned into quite a sweet guy :-). Even so, in terms of friendship and especially boyfriendship, he's not my type so gradually I put my clothes back on and soon I'm saying goodbye.

"Thanks mate, it was good!" I say, heading towards the door, "See you around, online, whatever!!"

Back on the street, I find a cab easily and soon I'm on my way home. But on the way back, I start worrying about myself. I didn't really give it a second thought wandering down that dark alley late at night. If some guys on gaydar had malicious intentions, I might be easy prey. Unfortunately, I guess it's a common problem. When guys are feeling horny, most of us let our trouser department do the thinking!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Result of poll: "Am I making it all up?"

Thanks to everyone who voted in my recent poll "Am I making it all up". The final results are as follows:

Question: Are the stories that GB writes about his life true or untrue?

12% Gospel truth [27 votes: all GB's stories are true in every detail and I can't believe anyone would think otherwise!]
59% Mostly true [134 votes: GB's stories are basically true, however minor details may have been changed to protect everyone's anonymity.]
15% True and untrue [35 votes: GB mixes and matches, so some stories are mostly true and some stores are mostly untrue.]
6% Mostly untrue [14 votes: GB uses his vivid imagination to construct all the stories out of minor incidents in his life!]
8% Complete fiction [19 votes: GB probably isn't a banker and not gay either!!]

My first thought on seeing this is that I'm a bit concerned about the 12% of readers who have such faith in me that they reckon that everything is completely true. I don't want to lose them as readers, however in the past I've said that I do alter minor details to protect people's anonymity (including my own). I guess those wonderful readers are just expressing their confidence in me, for which I'm extremely grateful :-).

Of course, there were 59% of you who got the right answer, so well done! But regarding the other 29% of readers who have less faith in me, and especially the 14% who voted in the two lowest categories, shame on you. I'm not sure what you lot find so unbelievable, however the truth is that not everyone has such drab and uninteresting lives as yourselves!

On this occasion, I feel duty bound to confess that once (and only once) I posted a story about my life which wasn't completely true. The posting about meeting former blogger cuteCTguy in the gym was mostly true, but he persuaded me to alter my original draft to mention his colleague GN3, to say that I was cruising GN3 while he was in the showers. The truth is that we had attended the Body Attack class together, and afterwards I might have been admiring one of cuteCTguy's colleagues while we were all naked together in the sauna. However it wasn't cuteCTguy's colleague GN3 who I never even saw, let alone cruised or met.

So please accept my apologies. I promise that in future, I'll stick to my policy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How can HBH fund his MBA?

I met HBH for the first time when I took him out for dinner last year, and since then we've become friends :-). It's good news to hear that he's finally got an offer of acceptance to study for an MBA in London. Working out how to pay for it is probably his biggest concern right now, so I thought I'd do a post specifically on the subject of funding postgraduate degrees. Hopefully this will be of interest to both HBH as well as other readers who may be contemplating some form of higher education in the UK. However it's been a while since I was in this situation myself, or since I had any friends who needed funding for higher education, so it would be good if readers with more knowledge than me could leave comments with further ideas.

Funding for higher education is a very wide area. Applicants are generally treated on a case by case basis depending on circumstances such as nationality, country of residence, financial situation, educational institution previously attended, type of degree and class awarded, and so on. HBH is not British, and although he does come from a former British colony in the Caribbean, this definitely makes it harder for him to fund a postgraduate degree here in the UK. Anyway, depending on the situation, the following funding sources may (or may not) be available:
  1. A grant or scholarship from the institution offering the course: Applicants need to do intensive research before applying to business schools and universities, because most offer some form of financing via a direct reduction of tuition fees. Research should be made early enough so that financing can be applied for before the start of the course. Needless to say, there's usually stiff competition for this form of funding. For example, if applying to do an MBA program at the LBS, you come up against professionals such as doctors, lawyers and engineers who can all demonstrate a need. The clincher probably depends on academic ability. Even if you're successful in obtaining this type of funding, it's usually only a fraction of the total cost, so there still remains a large sum to finance.
  2. Company sponsorship: A company scholarship might sound easy, but to qualify for MBA funding, you usually need to already be employed at that company in a managerial type of position with the relevant number of years experience. Even so, I suspect that many companies are tight on spending at the moment due to the credit crunch in the financial markets. While this option is definitely worth exploring, for many people like HBH this won't be an option.
  3. Grants from private bodies: Finding grants from private bodies is like finding a needle in a haystack. They do exist, but it requires intensive research. The Grants Register by Macmillan helps. Do any readers have any specific ideas on this which might be useful to HBH?
  4. Career Development Loans At the moment, the CDL program is being administered by three UK High Street Banks - The Royal Bank of Scotland, The Co-Operative Bank and Barclays. They have certain conditions which must me met before making an application, for example the institution offering the course must be registered with the Learning and Skills Council. The applicant must also have been resident in the UK for a certain period of time, and plan to remain in the UK for long enough to repay the loan. There are also other restrictions that appear harsh if you're a non UK national like HBH.
  5. Personal savings of the individual: Private funding is always a good option if all other avenues fail. However, this option is a last resort for most people, because most people don't have sufficient savings prior to becoming a well-paid MBA graduate!  Hence establishing this source usually requires several years of dedicated saving, because one needs more than just a couple of £k. It's also a big risk to use all your money, because everyone needs to have some cash in hand to cover incidental expenses and living costs.
  6. Personal loan from a bank: A personal loan from a bank is only available if you intend to work while studying for your degree, so that the loan re-payments can come out of your salary. Again, this is dependant on satisfying the conditions the Bank lays down. Just like with company scholarships, the UK High Street Banks are all hesitant to lend at the moment because of the credit crunch.
  7. Association of MBA loan: The Association of MBA loans is presently being administered by a single UK High Street Bank. Several conditions must be met such as the MBA being accredited by the Association. The applicant must have no restrictions to remain and work in the UK, and several other conditions must be met too. As with Career Development Loans, some of these conditions appear harsh if you're a non UK national like HBH.
As far as I'm aware, these are the avenues that can be explored, however there's no guarantee in any of them. Sometimes good networking can be the best untapped source of funding for bright hardworking students like HBH . Anyway, it would be great if any readers have further ideas for funding, which HBH or any other interested readers could try?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Email from a gay guy about a guy in his office

The post I did last month about how gay guys recognise each other prompted quite a few emails to be sent to me from various guys. One of the emails was from a gay blogger who has now done his own posting about a dilemma relating to a guy that he fancies at the gym. Another email was as follows:

Dear GB,

I never thought I'd actually write to you for advice, but here I am doing exactly that! I have been a reader of your blog for over a year. I came across your blog on a random Google search. Actually, I think I searched for "gay+investment+bank" on a lazy Sunday afternoon, because I had nothing better to do, and then found myself still reading your blogs after a few hours. I have been a regular since :)

Anyway, I just finished reading your post about how one can tell if the other person is gay. And then I just decided that I must sit down and write to you; tell you my story and ask for advice. So bear with me...

I started this job in an investment bank a few months ago, and came across this guy. I have no idea if he is gay or not but boy is he fun to look at! I couldn't resist the temptation and looked at him a few times (okay, more than a few times) in my first couple weeks. Despite my best effort to be discreet, he caught me staring at him on different occasions. Anyway, after a few more weeks I realized that I was behaving more like a high school girl and tried to put a leash on my "gaze". I wouldn't say I was completely successful but it was getting better. And then, one day I come across him on the street a few blocks away from my office. As soon as I saw him I kept looking straight as if I didn't really see him and he looked the other way pretending to see whatever the fuck was happening in that salad bar. I must say, his looking the other way - weirdly enough - bothered me quite a bit. And that was exactly what I needed at that point to be able to stop.

And then, something interesting happened: I started catching him looking at me. And every time I caught him he would quickly look the other way (which is exactly what I -being painfully shy – used to do myself whenever I got caught). Also, he has to walk past my desk several times a day; he always gets very rigid and only looks straight whenever he walks by me. Whenever I caught him looking at me were actually the times I wasn't supposed to know that he was even around me and looked his way by accident (while sitting next to my colleague looking at a spreadsheet and him walking by the hallway, or me standing next to someone's desk talking about something and him staring at me from the conference room in another corner of the floor…..). The problem here is, I don't really know what exactly is making him look at me. Is he annoyed by the fact that I was so brazen? Is he curious as to who the freak is? Is he simply flattered that someone keeps checking him out? Or is it possible that he finds me attractive? As much as I'd love to, I find the last one hardest to believe.

At this point, I should mention a few facts that would give you a better idea about the complicacy of the situation. The man is a senior manager in the bank (bad), in his early 40's (fine with me), very handsome, unmarried (all good) and very much into sports (not sure what to make of that, as I used to play varsity soccer myself while in college but find that most of my gay friends don't like sports). On the other hand, I am in my mid 20's, “not too unpleasant to look at, but wouldn't call myself attractive either” kinda guy. And needless to say, I am still at the bottom of the barrel as far as corporate hierarchy goes.

Anyway, there's been a couple of incidences in the past few days that got me even more confused about this already muddled up situation. The first incidence was in the restroom: he was walking into the restroom and saw that I was also walking on my way towards the men's room (it was a pure coincidence, honestly). There are three urinals in the restroom, and he took the middle one. I was not left with much choice but to go into close proximity (not that I am complaining). For the whole time, we looked everywhere but at each other's way….and even when we were washing our hands standing side by side all our attention was towards our hands.

And lastly, the following evening I bumped into him in our elevator lobby. As soon as he saw me his face turned red, he flipped his blackberry out and got very busy with it. And funny enough, out of all the elevators, the one I was standing next to, opened. He walked towards the elevator and gestured his hand for me to go in. I literally froze and couldn't move. We both waited for the other one to step in first for a few awkward seconds and then he walked in. Again, we didn't look at each other, and kept our eyes on that little TV screen in the elevator. I thought about looking at him and say hello but in the end decided not to because up until now we never exchanged a single word. Besides all of it happened within less than 30 seconds.

I must say, I don't expect this to turn into something. I never did. I am not willing to put my career into jeopardy by doing something stupid. Yes, what I've already done is quite stupid, and if I hadn't experienced it myself there were no way you could have convinced me that I was capable of doing something like this. At this point, if it's at all possible, I'd really like to make the situation “normal.” Because frankly, it's a pretty uncomfortable situation for both of us and I am the one who started this. But, I also have to admit, I am really dying to know what is going on inside his head. What he thinks still matters to me. And if you ask me why, I certainly wouldn't be able to give you a good answer :) I've always thought of myself as the pragmatic one; but life has a funny way of getting back at you, especially when you feel you are too sure of yourself.

Thanks for reading this rather long email. I would really appreciate a response from you even if it is to tell me that you are unable to give me any advice about what to do and you have no idea what this guy is up to. Because otherwise I'd expectantly wait for a response, hoping that the mighty GB's wisdom is on its way to enlighten me.


I get worried when guys write things like "mighty GB's wisdom" because I'm not some infallible oracle, I'm just a guy with a blog! But I admit that it's nice to be flattered :-).

In terms of the reader's email I've been in these situations myself, where for no immediately obvious reason, being near someone with whom I've never spoken has mysteriously become incredibly uncomfortable. Given that no words have been spoken, the way these situations arise must have something to do with body language. Although the reader's email suggests a few reasons why the guy might be looking back at the reader, in fact there are many many more.

In the straight world where guys don't fancy each other, the guy that the reader has been looking at would naturally deduce that the furtive looks are because the reader has been trying to work out if they know each other. In turn, the guy might now be wondering whether he recognises the reader. So absolutely anything might be going through the guy's mind, for example:
  • Is the reader that guy who dated my younger sister a few years back and left her when he found out she was pregnant?
  • Is the reader a guy who I've spotted a couple of times at that brothel that I go to sometimes, because I really don't want anyone else to know about that?
  • Is the reader that guy who used to work at A.N.Other bank when I used to work there, and who got sacked for inappropriate conduct with Tracy from the finance department, resulting in damage to one of the bank's photocopiers which all got caught on the closed circuit TV system late one evening?
Of course, back in the real world which is gay and straight, there are even more possibilities!

With all this in mind, what should the reader do? The situation is like a big balloon which needs to be burst, and I reckon the only way to do that is for the reader to make small talk with the guy. Building on the fact that a natural reason for furtive looks is when someone is trying to work out whether they recognise the other person, at the earliest opportunity the reader should ask something like
  • Err excuse me, have you ever worked at SomeOther Bank? I'm not sure whether I recognise you from when I used to work there!
  • Err excuse me, you look a lot like one of the professors from when I was at college! Could that have been you, or a relative of yours perhaps?
  • Err excuse me, you look a lot like one of the friends of my older brother when we were growing up in Distant town, have you ever lived there?
Whatever the answer to the question, the situation should be a lot more normal once the ice has been broken like this.

Afterwards it should then be natural for the reader to engage the guy in conversation, whenever they're waiting for a lift together, at the water cooler, or even in the men's room. Standard conversation for straight guys all over the world includes lines like "Did you see the game last night?" although I wouldn't recommend it if the reader didn't see the game last night! However depending on how things go, the reader could drop hints that he's gay by mentioning well known gay bars or clubs that he's been to recently, or by mentioning his gym if he's a member of a gym which is well-known for it's gay clientele. If the guy is gay, then he'll definitely pick up on these kind of references, but if not (or if he isn't interested in the reader) then he'll probably just ignore them.

So I reckon that somehow the reader really needs to start talking to the guy to break the ice. But do any other readers have any other thoughts on this subject?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Looking for a bit more diversity

Within a couple of weeks, all the building work on boyfriend S's house should be complete, so he'll be moving into his new home. However a few weeks ago, a week or two after I met M, boyfriend S left me alone for the night when he went to visit his parents.

As I said in the post about my hook-up with M, although I love boyfriend P, he lives in another country. Boyfriend P also has other men in his life too, so it's very unclear where that relationship is headed. With all these facts in my mind, the evening when boyfriend S was out of the way felt like an ideal time to continue my search for alternative boyfriends :-).

On my way home from the gym that night, I pop into the supermarket to get some supper. Back home it's an easy meal to prepare, and soon I'm sitting down to eat it with my laptop in front of me and the TV on in the background. Logging in to my usual gay cruising web sites, it's not long before a guy who turns out to be called L contacts me:

L: hi, busy
GB: not really, just finishing my supper :-)
L: nice profile :-)

Looking at L's profile, he's a cool-looking South-East Asian guy, so I decide to adopt a friendly/chatty style. I've found that South-East Asian guys can be a bit more relationship-oriented than my fellow countrymen, and the "stats? wot u into?" style always goes down badly with relationship-oriented guys.

We chat for maybe ten minutes, and things seem to be going well:

GB: so what's a nice guy like you doing in a sleazy chat room like this LOL
L: probably same as you hehe
GB: actually, I think you are a nice guy :-), but I'd need to meet you face to face to be certain?
L: would be nice to meet you too ...

We dance around the subject of where and when we could meet for about five more minutes, but eventually we decide that it would be nice to meet up that evening:

L: ok lets meet tonight if you still can
GB: great :-), can you accom?
L: difficult to meet here, what about yours

Throughout the conversation I've had no idea whether L would be able to accommodate gentlemen callers or not, but now that he's said that he probably can't I've got a big decision to make. Shall I invite L round to the home that I've shared with boyfriend S for many years, even though boyfriend S hasn't yet moved out? I think about it for a short while, but since I'm in a cruisey mood, there was only ever going to be one answer!

GB: I can't usually accom, but I can tonite :-)
L: kewl
GB: lets meet at the tube nearby, how long will it take you to get there?

Within a few minutes it's all been agreed. L will meet me just outside the tube station in about forty minutes :-).

But what to do while I'm waiting to meet L? There are few obvious things to do, so I put my supper dishes in the dishwasher before visiting the bathroom. Having recently had a shower at the gym I don't need to do that again, but I brush my teeth and make sure that I look presentable. Next, I check round all the rooms that I might conceivably take L into, to tidy up and to make sure that there's nothing inappropriate lying around. Finally, I log back on to my laptop and manage to get a bit of work done on my next 'Dear GB' posting before it's time to leave to meet L.

Arriving a few minutes early, I find a space to stand outside the tube station. Luckily there are several other people hanging around too, presumably also waiting to meet friends, so I don't feel too conspicuous. Before long there's a stream of people exiting the station, and although I don't spot him immediately, I soon notice that there's a cute Asian guy heading in my direction.

"Hi," I say smiling at him, "you're punctual :-)."

"Nice to meet you," says L smiling back at me, "been waiting long?"

"No! Not really :-). Shall we go?"

On the way back to the house the conversation is pleasant enough.

"Are you working tomorrow?" I ask out of curiosity, after chatting to him for a couple of minutes.

"Actually I'm off work at the moment," replies L, "I'll probably start looking for another job towards the end of the month :-)."

That seems like quite a cool response. No job, and not worried about it either!

"Right, almost there," I say, pulling the door key from my pocket, "just along here ..."

I don't talk to L as I'm unlocking the door, and luckily he doesn't talk to me either. The neighbours are quite nosey, and they all know boyfriend S of course, so the less attention that I draw to the fact that I'm with a nice guy late at night who isn't boyfriend S the better!

"Have you got the whole house to yourself?" asks L once we're inside, taking off his shoes.

"Errr yes :-). Can I get you a drink of something? Tea, orange juice, water ... ?"

"A glass of juice would be nice, thanks".

I fetch a glass of orange juice for L, and with a glass of water for myself we head into the room were I ate my supper. We sit down next to each other on the sofa, and in the background the TV is still on so it doesn't feel awkward.

"Thanks for coming round L :-)," I say, putting my glass of water on the coffee table, and reaching out to hold his hand. His hand slips easily into mine, and I turn to smile at him and look him deeply in the eyes. He smiles back at me. Neither of us are listening to the television.

Moving a bit closer to him I kiss him tenderly on the lips, before taking my hand out of his and slipping it around his back to hold him on his shoulder that's furthest away from me. He nestles into my embrace before kissing me again, lifting his hand to rub my chest gently through my shirt. Slowly I start to unbutton the sleeveless shirt that he's wearing with my free hand, and when all the buttons are undone I start to rub his nipples gently. He murmurs appreciatively. Soon we're both lying together on the sofa wearing only our underwear, getting to know each other better :-).

"Perhaps we'd be more comfortable upstairs in the bedroom," I suggest after a few more minutes, realising that the sofa wasn't designed for the kind of activities that both of us have in mind!

"Errr, OK sure :-)."

As we gather our clothes together, I have an idea. I probably shouldn't, but given that it's already quite late I decide to suggest it anyway.

"Actually, you can sleep over if you like :-)," I offer, "and then you won't need to worry about catching the last tube home! No problem if you want to get back ... ?"

He looks at me to try and gauge whether I'm just being polite, or whether I'd really like him to stay. It's a genuine offer of course, because I always sleep better when I've got a nice guy sharing my bed with me :-).

"Yeah OK, I'm a single guy after all, that would be nice :-)."

"Great, let's make sure that everything's switched off on our way upstairs, so that we won't need to come downstairs again!"

It takes us several minutes to make the transition from downstairs sofa to upstairs bed, but after a short while we're lying in each others arms again, but now both feeling much more comfortable. Slowly we start kissing and exploring each other's bodies with our hands. Some Asian guys aren't quite as big as Caucasians downstairs, which can have the advantage of making things more manageable depending on what one ends up doing :-), however I soon discover that L is more than ample! Before too long we're both completely naked and enjoying the pleasure of each other's company. Without the need for L to get home, there's no rush, and we have a lovely time together :-). Afterwards we lie there for a short while, but then I have a question for him.

"Do you like cuddling?"

"Yes of course :-)".

"Great :-). Well I just want to use the bathroom before we put the lights out, perhaps you'll want to do the same, then we can settle down together :-))"

I use the bathroom first, and ten minutes later we're ready to put the lights out.

"Sleep well," I say, and with that I turn the light off and move closer to him to hold him in my arms. He nestles into my embrace, and after a few quiet comments to each other, we fall asleep in each other's arms.

I wake around 4am and I'm back on my own side of the bed. Remembering that it's L next to me rather than boyfriend S, I move over a bit closer to him, not to embrace him but just to feel his naked body lying next to mine. It's become slightly cold in the room, but his body is lovely and warm :-). He shuffles slightly, not away from me (a bit closer if anything), and I settle back with the idea of getting another few hours sleep.

But suddenly I feel a hand rubbing me gently downstairs. I start giggling, realising that my body is producing the usual response! "You're not asleep are you!" I say sleepily.

"It's not every night that I'm lying in bed next to a hot guy!" he replies with a cheeky tone in his voice, and without a trace of sleepiness in his voice either.

I can't resist reaching down to see how excited he is, and as suspected, he's ready for action! Although I enjoy sleeping when I'm feeling tired, I enjoy activities even more, so it seems foolish not to take advantage of the situation. In any case, what did I expect to happen, lying in bed for several hours with another naked guy!

After another enjoyable session, we both relax and settle down again to try and get some sleep before it's time to get up. But all too quickly light is streaming through the shutters, and looking at the clock it's gone 7am. I need to get into the bank, so reluctantly I rouse L and we both get up.

"Can I fix you some breakfast?" I ask, as I wander to the cupboard to get my dressing gown.

"Actually I don't usually have very much breakfast, but a cup of tea would be great :-)".

Downstairs, I make my usual breakfast for myself, and L soon joins me for his cup of tea. We chat a bit more about our lives, and what we'll both be doing that day, but it's soon time for me to go and get ready for work.

"Do you want to have a shower or anything before you go?"

"I'll be fine thanks," replies L, "I'd better go and let you get ready."

"OK sure, hope to see you again sometime :-)."

We kiss each other goodbye before opening the outside door, and with a wave he's gone.

Later that day I send him a txt msg to say that I enjoyed meeting him, and within a few hours he's replied to suggest that we should meet again soon. With boyfriend S still living in the house with me, it hasn't happened yet. Perhaps once boyfriend S has moved out I'll be able to get together with L again. I certainly hope so. Our first meeting was great fun!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Brilliant Weblog

Yesterday, fellow blogger Closetalk left a comment on my posting last Sunday telling me that he's given me a "Brilliant Weblog Award" for content and design :-). It turns out that this award is a meme which is passed on by individual bloggers to other bloggers. Looking back to the people who gave Closetalk his award, I discovered that the rules of this meme are as follows:
The purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogosphere. The rules are as follows:
  1. When you receive the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link back to them.
  2. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in their content or design.
  3. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with 'Brilliant Weblog'.
  4. Show a picture of those who awarded you and those you give the prize to (optional)
  5. And then pass it on!
Many thanks to Closetalk for nominating me :-), it's much appreciated :-)).

I confess though, I'm not exactly sure who to pass on the award to, so I'm going to have to think about it. Meanwhile here's some food for thought. If everyone follows the rules and passes the award on to seven new bloggers, then I reckon that in ten steps well over 200 million blogs would have the award. I'm sure that's significantly in excess of the number of active blogs in the blogosphere!