Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A chat about my potential boyfriends

"Your recent comment which mentioned the film Shortbus made me laugh," I tell Close Encounters over dinner recently.

"You haven't seen the film, have you?" asks Close Encounters. "As I recall, I mentioned the scene where a guy tells his therapist that he needs to love everybody, which prompts his therapist to slap him!"

"No I haven't seen it, but I guess I should. That guy could so easily be me, because I fall in love so easily. Although once I've fallen in love I think I'm quite loyal to the guys that I'm in love with, until they make it clear that they don't want my love."

"So how many guys are you in love with at the moment?" asks Close Encounters.

"Well I guess there's my friend T, and there's also the guy who sometimes gets hay fever. I could quite happily be the boyfriend of either of those guys, but I think I prefer T."

"I don't know how you manage seeing more than one guy at once," says Close Encounters, shaking his head. "I'd be worrying all the time about making sure that I don't get my dates with them mixed up!"

"I don't find that bit a problem," I reply, "I reckon the hard thing is remembering all their different personal details, names of colleagues, and names and age of siblings, and so on!"

"But when was the last time that there was only one guy in your life?"

"Probably 1994," I laugh, "when I was still being monogamous with ex-boyfriend S. Actually, when I first started blogging I did a post about the origin of my infidelity!"

"Well given that you've been living like that for so long, don't you think it's unrealistic to jump back to being in a committed relationship with only one guy?"

"I suppose I don't want to commit to monogamy, but I do want to give up cruising and devote time to other projects. I'm sure that that's possible if I can find myself the right boyfriend :-)."

"In that case, I think you should try going for one month just seeing a single guy, to see if giving up cruising is realistic for you. T perhaps? Do you think you could do that?"

"Well it wouldn't be a valid test unless we're living together, would it!" I object. "Anyway, although I love T, there may be a problem there."

"Which is ... ?"

"Well he's just so closeted. None of his family or straight friends know that he's gay, and he's terrified that they'll find out. So unless he confronts this issue at some point, I'd have to be the boyfriend that doesn't exist, and I don't like the idea of that. How on earth would it work if his family visited and we were living together, which is the way I'd want it. And if his family thinks that he doesn't have a partner then it's reasonable of them to expect him to put them first in many types of situation, and he probably would too, to keep the lie going. So if he commits to a gay relationship, I can see that he might not end up being able to fulfil his commitments to me :-(. But, but I do love him ..."

"Awww how sweet! So I guess you forgive him his faults then?"

"Well yes of course, but I'm trying to think with my head as well as my heart. If we end up being boyfriends, I can see that he might end up breaking my heart even more than ex-boyfriend P did :-(. I really don't know what to do ..."

Friday, June 26, 2009

One of my pet hates

Most of the time I'm a pretty rational guy. I usually analyse situations with a cool head, make reasonable decisions, and generally behave in quite a sensible manner. None the less, I have a small number of pet hates which can produce an irrational response in me!

A couple of weeks ago on Saturday night, myself and T went to Floridita in London for a late meal. I'd never been before, but I'd had a good time in the original when I visited Cuba a few years ago, so I was interested to see what the London version was like.

We arrive around 11pm and when the waiter asks us what we want to drink, I can't help remembering a two line poem attributed to Ernest Hemingway which I'd seen up on the wall in the tiny Bodeguita bar in Havana:
My mojitos at La Bodeguita
My daiquiris at El Floridita
Although drinking cocktails can be a bit dangerous, it seems churlish not to drink daiquiris, so we ask the waiter to bring us a couple.

"But which ones sir?" replies the waiter, with a tone in his voice that seems to suggest that it was stupid of me to assume that there was only one type.

When I look at the cocktail list I realise that there are five daquiries available, imaginatively named "Daquiri No. 1", "Daquiri No. 2", and so on. So we start with Daquiri No. 1, and proceed through No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4, by which time I need to visit the toilets.

Having used the urinal, I go to the sink and start washing my hands when I notice a toilet attendant approaching. I can see that without asking me, the attendant intends to pour some liquid soap on my hands. I really hate that kind of behaviour because it's trying to force a service on me which I don't want, don't need, and which I'm perfectly capable of doing for myself! I could simply have said "No", but instead I get mildly abusive and tell him to "piss off" in quite an aggressive tone. Even though I didn't want his help, I know my behaviour was uncalled for. The amount of alcohol that I'd drunk probably had something to do with my reaction, coupled with the fact that toilet attendants are one of my pet hates! Am I the only person who gets wound up by this situation?

Monday, June 22, 2009

A visit from my female Mexican friend

Restaurant pictureWhen I found out that my Mexican friend 'N' was going to pass through London on route to visit her new boyfriend, I offered to put her up for the night. I hadn't seen her since the trip to Asia last autumn, so it was going to be good catching up with her :-). It then turned out that on the night that she wanted to stay with me, I'd promised to take my friend P and his Polish boyfriend out for dinner. Guessing that N and P would enjoy each other's conversation, I decide that the simplest thing to do would be to all go out for dinner together, so I book a table for four in a smart London restaurant and the arrangements are complete.

On the day, my friend P and his boyfriend arrive at the restaurant first, so when I arrive a little later with N we find them seated in the restaurant bar drinking margaritas.

"Hi sweeties," I say to my friend P and his boyfriend, kissing each of them on both cheeks, "this is N :-)".

"Hi everyone," says N to the two of them with a huge smile on her face.

"Shall we move into the restaurant?" I suggest.

The table that we're shown to sits two people on each side. We arrange ourselves so that I'm facing my friend P, next to my friend P's boyfriend, and with N diagonally opposite me. The conversation seems to flow easily and during the course of the evening we chat about absolutely everything!

"So how are you getting on looking for a new boyfriend?" my friend P asks me quietly, while N is talking to his boyfriend.

"Oh, I suppose that I've got one or two romantic interests at the moment :-)," I say coyly.

"Well done," he replies, as though he was expecting me to say that I was having a hard time dating.

"I don't know if you ever use online sites like gaydar," he continues, "but here's a tip. If you're not interested in meeting a particular guy then you can use the phrase not what I'm looking for at the moment, which is good because it keeps your options open :-). Just ask me if need any more help!"

I find it amusing that P thinks that I know so little about online cruising, which I suppose proves that I've covered my tracks well. Although I could tell him that I know a lot more than he thinks, I decide that it's far too much fun letting him think that I'm a novice, so I just look at him blankly and smile.

Later in the evening, the conversation inevitably moves onto the subject of Men.

"I wonder whether we like similar things, when it comes to finding a boyfriend," says N to my friend P.

"Well, I'm quite keen on guys who've got something substantial downstairs," he replies grinning at his boyfriend, "it's important isn't it?"

"Well, up to a point," agrees N , "but there is such a thing as too big!"

"Not for me!"

"Oh yes, I bet there is," replies N with an authoritative tone in her voice, "let me tell you. I was dating this guy once and it got to the point where we were getting undressed and when I saw it I said NO, NO WAY, you just put that thing back wherever you found it and take it home because there's NO WAY that it's coming anywhere near me!"

I start giggling at N's story, imagining the situation and what the look on the guy's face must have been when N told him that his pride and joy was too big!

"Really?" says P, clearly surprised.

"You probably don't know this," continues N, "but when a woman is doing it with a man, if he penetrates too far inside and touches her cervix, it's very painful. But this guy, I swear, it was so big that it would be right past my cervix, right up through my body, I'm sure it would have even been past my tonsils and peeking out of my mouth!"

She starts laughing, and to emphasise her point, and she puts her hand to her mouth and imitates what it would be like with something huge coming out of her mouth from inside. Unable to control myself, I collapse in fits of laughter, much to the amusement of everyone on my table and to the annoyance of the other diners in the restaurant!

"So you never did anything else with the guy?" asks P, giggling a bit too.

"No actually, that was the end of it," replies N with a matter-of-fact tone in her voice now, "we stopped dating after that. A guy who's that big is no good for me!"

Gradually I regain control of myself and slowly the conversation moves onto other subjects.

Thinking back over the conversations that I've had with N since I've known her, whenever we have one of these sex-oriented discussions these days I always think that we've finally exhausted such topics. But each time I'm with her, somehow we always manage to find new angles, usually with the result that I crack-up laughing! In any case, it was very good to see N again :-). Although we live in different cities and in different countries, I hope that we somehow manage to remain friends.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Email from a gay guy who wants to 'find himself'

Last week, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

I have been a regular reader of your blog for about 2 years now and have been meaning to write and ask for your advice for quite some time. But, as is ever the way, I have always had 'something else to do' i.e. avoid confronting the issue that I want to ask about. I really like your impartial, non-judgmental advice which helps people to find a way out of whatever their problem may be, without prescribing a fixed course of action.

So what's the issue? Well it is this: I would love to find a boyfriend, The One (TM), if you see what I mean. (This was what I initially wrote but as I re-read, what I actually want is to find myself first as I think this is necessary before finding a bf - see below).

I suppose you need some context now, so I will try and provide it here in a nutshell. I am a 34 year old guy who is fully out, not in a flag-waving way, but out to family, friends and colleagues. They are all OK with that (except, perhaps, my father but that's par for the course I think) and so am I. I am pretty successful at what I do as a Financial Controller for a media firm based in Central London and I enjoy it. So far, so good. I am member of a gay sport club in London and really enjoy that for the people that I have met there and also the occasional activities as you call them! I keep myself in good shape - I ran the London Marathon this year for the 3rd time - and have also been told that I am fairly good looking.

In terms of relationships, I was with my last (and only long term) partner for about 3.5 yrs - we split up 2.5 yrs ago and nothing remotely serious since. So I think that most of the boxes have been ticked from any initial questions that you may have.

So why the lack of a significant other?

The answer in all truth is that deep down I don't think I am that interesting and if I was to meet someone nice it would be a complete fluke rather than me being a genuinely nice guy who deserves to meet someone special. I am also really bad at having friends with whom I make an emotional connection (but I do have a broad circle of friends so am not a loner).

So to sum it up, really it is a case of low self-esteem. But due to a public school education and unemotional parents, I am now so adept at covering things up that I am becoming further and further removed from my emotions.

When I first moved up to London after university I masked these feelings of insecurity through going out and taking drugs and drinking; not to the point of having a serious problem but have now moved onto exercise as the come-downs weren't worth the highs. In my mind therefore, in order to find a boyfriend, I need first to learn to like myself. So really the question is that - how do I get to like myself as I am, GB?

If you say that I should seek therapy then I agree with that but how does one go about finding a decent/trustworthy therapist? Do you have any specific recommendations? That said, it feels rather self indulgent to seek therapy when there is nothing really wrong. I think it would be fair to say that from the point of view of an outsider looking in, my life is pretty good. I don't have £40k to spank on new clothes every season (as per the 'crise existentielle'), but I am not on the bread-line by any means. So how do I get rid of this annoying feeling of slight emptiness and lack of emotional connections with those around me????

I have just re-read this and it seems rather rambling and self-indulgent but I hope that you will get a sense of my situation and what I am asking you.

Basically, I want to like myself, and I know that I have everything in place that means my life is fine so why can't I just get on with things and enjoy them. Is it mild depression? What are the concrete steps that I can take to resolve the situation?

When I received this email, I sent the guy a quick reply with a suggestion for a therapist in case he wants to do down that route, however I'm not sure that it's the best course of action.

Before addressing the main issue, the reader mentions the concept of "The One", and it's worth saying that I think this idea is a bit dangerous. If "The One" just means one's current boyfriend then that's fine, but if it means that there's just one guy out there somewhere and who's the perfect match then I strongly disagree with the concept. For that reason I was worried when ex-Boyfriend P used to use the term, but when he helped me respond to a "Dear GB" email last year, I was relieved because he qualified it by saying "there are many The Ones coming into our lives".

Instead of "The One", I reckon looking for a boyfriend is more like shopping for clothes. There's a huge selection of clothes in the shops that fit us, and even when one filters out all the clothes that don't suit our style, there's still lots left. Often one can't find exactly what one's looking for so one settles for something that's close enough, and shortly afterwards it might become one's favourite after all. Similarly an item might seem perfect in the shop, but when one gets it home one might notice flaws, or perhaps it'll wear out much too quickly! The point is that there are many clothes that could work for us, and I think it's the same with boyfriends :-). The important thing is to choose something to wear and try it out, rather than engaging in an endless search for the perfect item.

Regarding the reader's main issue, I think he's right that he needs to like himself and be comfortable in his own skin before it's sensible to look for a boyfriend. In which case, for building self-esteem, since he seems settled in most aspects of his life I can think of no better way of doing this than finding ways to help other people somehow. Since he's a marathon runner perhaps he already raises lots of money for charity through sponsorship, however if not perhaps he should be doing that.

Another idea would be to give up some of his time to do charity work. One possibility would be to do some work for London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, which I believe is always looking for new volunteers. However, there are many different charities that need volunteers, including other gay oriented ones as well as many more charities that don't have anything to do with sexual orientation. Of course, the catch is that this won't solve his problem unless he does it because he really wants to help others. If it's in the back of his mind that he's only doing it to help build his self-esteem, then his true selfish motive could doom the project to failure.

Do any other readers have any ideas for this guy?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A civil partnership

Humming bird pictureI hadn't ever been to a civil partnership ceremony in the UK, so when lapsed blogger HBH invited me to go to his, I was more than happy to accept. Shortly after accepting his invite, I got a little txt msg from him asking:

Would u mind being my witness as well :-)?

I was honoured that he was asking me to do that for him, so I readily consented to the request. HBH also said that I could bring a guest, so I invited to my friend T to accompany me.

On the day itself, although London's traffic conspires to try and make us late, we arrive just in time to meet a few of the other guests. Almost immediately though we're asked to go into a waiting room, and after a short wait we're soon being ushered into another room for the ceremony itself. In total there seems to be about two dozen people present, and looking around I guess that the majority of the guests are members of HBH's boyfriend's family.

It's a simple ceremony, and the vows that HBH and his boyfriend make to each other relate well to my own views on how gay relationships should be constructed. There are lots of words about life long commitments to share their lives and to care for each other, and happily nothing about that rather old-fashioned concept called monogamy! After the ceremony we all head outside to take the customary pictures, before heading off for a celebratory meal.

Towards the end of the meal, I get talking to a nice guy and his boyfriend, who're friends of HBH from HBH's home country.

"We've lived in the UK for quite a few years now," says the guy, "but if it was possible for us to live together back home, we'd move back immediately!"

"Do you mean that it's not gay friendly back home?" I ask.

"Yes, that's one way of putting it. Saying it's actively gay-hostile would probably be closer to the mark!"

"I'm sorry to hear that."

"The UK isn't perfect either, because there is racism here. It's very subtle racism though, which is hard to fight. In many ways, I prefer people to be open about their prejudices, because at least you then know where you stand!"

We're interrupted by HBH's boyfriend's straight brother, who gets up to make a speech to welcome HBH into their family:

"I don't think it came as a surprise to any of us when, a few years ago, my brother finally admitted to us all that he bats for the other team ..."

I find myself laughing because I hadn't heard that expression for being gay for quite a while! Overall the speech is excellent because it's not too long, very honest, and very warm too.

"... I must also say that my brother is the best brother that any guy could wish for. So please join me in wishing the two of them every happiness in their future lives together :-)."

Shortly afterwards, HBH responds with the usual thanks, and shortly after that HBH and his boyfriend cut the cake together. But most of us have eaten far too much already to be able to manage even a tiny morsel of cake!

In the car going back home, I ask T what he thought of everything.

"I think they're very lucky to have such an accepting family," he replies without even thinking, "even the old grandfather didn't have a problem with anything."

"My family is similar too," I reply, "indeed, myself and ex-boyfriend S regularly used to go on holiday with my family :-)."

But I know what's in T's mind. He can't possibly imagine his own family behaving in that kind of way.

Overall it was indeed an excellent day. I hope that the two of them will be very happy together, and I have every expectation that they will be :-).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Email from a guy with feelings for a male friend

About three weeks ago, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

I need some advice! In short I am wondering if I should tell my friend of 6 years I have feelings for him, or if I should stay quiet and remain friends.

We have been friends since high school and now we go to different universities. I came out to him last year. It wasn't a big deal and we didn't talk much about it, but the topic came up again recently. I visited him at his frat last weekend and we ended up drinking quite a bit. He told me that he is bisexual, or thinks he may be. It was a large step for him to say that, and he is just starting to come to terms with it. Later that night we end up in the same bed and we kiss. He told me he wasn't ready to go any further, and things ended there. The next morning we don't say much about it. We could easy blame it on the alcohol and pretend it didn't happen. He is on a short trip now so we haven't talked since.

When I see him next I don't know to say. I have feelings for him and I think he feels the same way. I'm afraid he won't be happy to hear what I have to say, since he is only started to deal with his sexuality. We've been friends for quite a while and it wouldn't bother me to keep things the same. At the same time, I do want him to know how I feel, but it could end up ruining our friendship too.

What should I do!?

When I read this email, it reminded me that for a while I thought that perhaps I was bisexual. I think a lot of gay guys go through the same thing. When we realise that we're not heterosexual, our upbringing make us want to be 'almost' heterosexual, so we go through a phase when we think we're bisexual even if we've never been particularly attracted to girls! So it could well be that this reader's friend is on the same path and that eventually he'll realise that he's actually gay. Indeed, it can sometimes turn out that two friends who've known each for a while both end up being gay, because even if the two guys haven't come out yet they're likely to have similar attitudes that make the friendship work.

Since the reader seems to have no problem being gay, hopefully he'll be able to help his friend accept his sexuality, whatever it turns out to be. However, an admission of Big Love isn't likely to help this process. It may even be harmful if it shocks the guy, because one can be quite emotionally fragile during this period.

A much better idea would be for the reader to take small, baby steps towards his goal, which is presumably some type of relationship with this guy. Given that they're at different universities they're unlikely to meet unless they travel to see each other, so perhaps the reader should occasionally contact the guy and say that it would be nice to meet up again. And when they do meet up, perhaps try and get him into bed again and go a bit further :-). Even if they just kiss and cuddle a bit, spending the whole night in the same bed would be good, because waking up together would make it difficult to pretend that it didn't happen!

Does anyone else have any thoughts for this reader?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A couple of recent emails about indirect blog access

Just over a two years ago, I did a post about a web site called PKblogs.com, which allowed indirect access to blogspot blogs. The purpose of the site was to allow access to the blogs, for use in situations where direct access is blocked. For example, direct access can be blocked by a country's government if they don't like the content of a blog, or by a firm if they don't want their employees reading blogs on the company's time! Indeed, the bank that I work for used to block my blog, so there were occasions when I'd use PKblogs.com to access my blog from my office workstation.

By some bizarre co-incidence, last Thursday I received two emails related to this subject within the space of four hours. The first was from an American blogger who, having seen my post about PKblogs.com, sent me an email with the title "what's happened to PKblogs???" as follows:

Hiya Gay Banker, greetings from a Wild Colonial Boy --

In order of importance (to me):

1. What's happened to PKblogs.com ? Did some nasty government pull the plug on it?

2. What's shakin' on Threadneedle Street?

3. Do you like Joe Orton's stuff?

4. Do they let tourists see the Trial of the Pyx?

Well, okay, enough for now. Try to update me on PKblogs. I would really like it if my screwy blog could keep getting through to PK and IN and Iran (they just blocked Facebook) and maybe even through The Great Firewall of CN.


Of course, my only connection to PKblogs.com is that I did a posting about it, so I tried sending him back a helpful email to suggest that he contact the site's owners.

But then I received an email with the title "say hi from beijing" from a Chinese reader. The email was as follows:

Dear GB,

How are you?

I am an architect from Beijing, I hope you remember me. I wrote to you earlier this year, I was so surprised to receive your reply.

I've been reading your blog for years now, your have such a interesting gay life in London, I can never imagine. Unfortunately, we can not access your blog from China now, I tried Shanghai, Shenzhen and other cities in China, it's all the same.

Maybe it is because there is a "gay" word in your web site (gaybanker.blogspot.com). Chinese government blocked it for some reasons. I still can read it during my trip to overseas, I'm very busy travelling around for work this year, I'm lucky though.

Anyway, I'm here to say hi, and wish you good luck.


This email came as quite a shock to me, because my recollection from when I was in Shanghai last year was that it was possible to access my blog from there.

So the big question is, given that PKblogs.com doesn't work any more, do any readers have any idea how to get round blocks like China and other governments have imposed?

Update 10-Jun-2009: I'm wondering whether any of the RSS readers would get round this problem, e.g. google reader, bloglines or newsgator?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Another email from a gay adolescent en pleine crise existentielle

About 18 months ago, I received a "Dear GB" email from a young blog reader who was a bit lost and wasn't sure about the direction of his life. After I did the posting for him, I then received an email from him to thank me for my efforts, but after that the correspondence went quiet. Until last month, that is, when I received the following email from him:

Dear GB,

I trust that this letter finds you well and that you remember me from my previous email. To be very honest, with my entire world being set ablaze recently by the financial crisis, I haven't been keeping up-to-date with your blog but I do hope that you'll respond to this note nevertheless.

So a little over a year has elapsed since we were last in contact. I graduated early from college with honours degrees and I'm now back living with my parents, after having been laid off by a major investment bank last year. I worked in research, which is a bit more tolerant of people of my nature, but as you know also not as revenue-generating as the other divisions. Hence I'm out of work now. I'm now essentially preparing a Master's degree to temporise a bit, and figure out the rest of my life.

Despite having the same problems as before (social stagnation, shortage of gay peers, looming isolation from my girlfriends, eating disorder, overzealous materialism), I'm writing to you now with a few issues that are perhaps more pertinent to your blog. (Apologies in advance for what is to come; in rereading it I realise that it sounds somewhat narcissistic but I honestly don't intend it that way.)

Essentially, I'm worn down by the dozens upon dozens of closeted, bisexual and bi-curious guys who flirt with me regularly -- I'm quite serious. It happens maybe fifteen times a day on average. I don't know if this is normal for gay guys, but I guess it's because I'm tall, still quasi-anorexic and maybe have "blossomed" into an attractive young boy ("cute twink" I was referred to the other day by a businessman in the street). Around 15-20% of my male classmates (even degree supervisor and a professor!) give me elevator eyes and make some sort of terrible lascivious movement when I sit in their vicinity in the library or in class: you-know-what with a pen/pencil, raised eyebrows, or even hand on the groin area. It's all quite vile. Yes, I suppose my sexuality articulates itself through my appearance, but I wonder if other facets of my identity are the root cause of this unwanted attention: my background, above-average intelligence and world-weary, blasé personality. I have never imagined myself to be exceptionally attractive, so somehow I feel as though I'm doing something that leads people to believe that I'm an easy lay. (I'm not.)

Recently, I gave my phone number to a (likely closeted) German boy who has been hitting on me for eight months straight in all of the above manners. As a somewhat shy person, I have never given my phone number to anyone. I did it largely because he studies quite hard, is of somewhat modest means (terrible but I find it endearing), and yes, is quite handsome; however, I really wanted to boost his self-esteem since, having studied in France, he has something of an inferiority complex and has spent hours a day staring at me from across the library. Anyway, much to my surprise, he texted me back a day after the receipt of my note letting me know that he "did not seek to hit on me" and this was all a "malentendu". That said, only in refiltering my memory now do I realise that he only engaged in such behaviour when we were both alone. I texted him back saying that was OK and that I thought he was a handsome and intelligent young man, admirably studious and that I hoped he went far.

Regardless, all of this plunges me further into existential crisis; I am afraid that I might be too effete to ever have meaningful male relationships (did this find expression in my last letter?), and that men will never see me as anything more than a sex object. As a complement to these concerns, my dear father is now quite old, and I'm worried that when he's gone I won't have anyone to support and protect me from the violence of this world. In addition, given the financial crisis, I've come to realise that my inheritance isn't large enough for me to support my lifestyle forever -- without going into figures, I will essentially lose half of everything to my (independently very wealthy) elder brother when the division of assets occurs, and I don't know if I can ever have a real job again considering how effete I seem to have become. (I spent around £40,000 over the past two months on travel, drinks and renewing my wardrobe with additions from the summer collections -- and this happens every season.)

Anyway, there is a lot more I could say, but I hope that you can give me some advice on how to go about fitting into this world and what changes I should make so as to become a productive member of society. I can surmise what you're thinking, but it's not really that I'm too effeminate -- I'm too self-aware to have a stereotypically gay voice, set of speech patterns, gait, look, etc. In general, though, I'm feeling much better about my life from the last time I emailed you, so please don't think too much of all this.

Take care!

It's certainly good to hear that this reader is feeling a bit better about his life. But he mentions a couple of issues, namely about all the guys that flirt with him, and also he's still not sure how to fit into the world at large.

It's a fact of life that adults think about sex. I've even heard it said that on average men think about sex every seven seconds, although I've found articles online which discredit that. For what it's worth, in one sense I think it could be true, because when guys are cruising then they're thinking about sex all the time! The misleading thing is to state the frequency of thinking about sex as an average, because the frequency will be very different at different times during a typical week.

This little diversion into the frequency that men think about sex is simply to prove that both the reader and the guys that he comes into contact with will naturally think about sex quite often. So in terms of all the guys that flirt with this reader, several things could be going on. Because the reader doesn't have a boyfriend or regular fuck-buddy, then since he's a healthy young guy it's quite likely that he'll think about sex a lot of the time. This could well cause him to mis-interpret other people's behaviour, as seems to have happened in the case of the German boy. Another possibility is that when the reader sees a guy flirting, it could well be other people in the reader's vicinity who're the intended recipient of the flirts. Yet another possibility is that guys may do things (e.g. with pens/pencils) that seem flirtatious, but it could be that they're simply doing it subconsciously, simply because they've got a healthy sexual appetite. Finally, it's also likely that some guys will occasionally make sexual passes at the reader, but as adults that's something that we all have to deal with as we see fit.

I'd actually suggest that following up on a few of the genuine passes might be a good idea, because interacting with other guys should help him integrate himself into society a bit more, as well as helping him keep his libido under control! Indeed, one of the many things I like about being gay is the way that cruising naturally brings me into contact with guys from such diverse backgrounds.

Regarding the reader's continuing issue with how he should make his way in the world, I've given it a bit more thought and I'm increasingly of the opinion that he should find himself a job that's more academic than commercial. So I haven't changed my opinion from last time that a job in the banking environment would be a bad idea for him. If he can find something academic to do that interests him, and hopefully fully engages him, then this should naturally curb his excess spending which I'm sure partly arises as a result of boredom. Of course, he won't be able to have the lifestyle that he currently enjoys from an academic's salary, but the hope is that he won't need nearly so much money if he can find something productive to occupy his time, and in that case perhaps his inheritance might be sufficient.

As just one example of a job which is a bit academic and highly unusual, perhaps the reader could train to become a herald. Heralds work at the College of Arms in London, which is the official repository of coats of arms and pedigrees of British families and their descendants. In his previous email the reader said that he spoke several languages, however since Latin isn't one of them he's probably not qualified to be a herald at present. But given his background and achievements to date, I'm sure that he'd be able to pick it up quickly. I confess though that I've got no idea how he could apply for such a role!

Does anyone else have any more thoughts for this reader?