Saturday, December 07, 2013

Christmas charity donations

Christmas treeA very long time ago, I agreed with my family that instead of giving each other Christmas presents, we should all give money to charity instead. We're not a rich family, but it's true that we're not a poor family either, and the annual Christmas present buying exercise where we all spent money giving each other stuff that we probably don't really need starting seeming a bit gross to me. Giving money to charity instead seems much more sensible. Although I'm not really a Christian, I was brought up as a Christian, so I know that in many ways this idea is very much in tune with the Christmas spirit.

Initially I asked my family to suggest worthy charities, but for the last six years, I've been asking readers to give me suggestions for Christmas charity donations instead (see 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). This year there's around £1200 to give away, and all sensible suggestions are welcome :-).

Update 13-Dec-2013: charity donation result.

This year I decided that I really shouldn't donate to charities that generally have an income which is higher than their spending. This information is readily available from the Charity Commission website, and it was interesting assessing the charities that I donated to last year using this criterion.

I've supported Crisis (charity number 1082947) for many years now, however I decided to drop them this year. For the last couple of years their spending has been at least 10% below their income, e.g. spending £19.3m in the year to June 2012 against income of £21.5m, so I don't think they need any support. It's the same story for the Albert Kennedy Trust (charity number 1093815) who've had surpluses every year for the last five years, e.g. income of £690k against spending of £543k in the year to June 2012. Diveristy Role Models (charity number 1142548) is a relatively new charity that was suggested to me last year, however they're also in surplus, spending only £59k against an income of £95k in the year to August 2012.

My good friend Close Encounters had a couple of suggestions. The charity looks excellent, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be a registered charity in the UK. I always donate via my Charities Trust account, and that means that I can only give to organisations that are registered as charities in the UK. And Close Encounters's other suggestion seems a much less worthy cause to me, because at Christmas I'm really looking to support people in need, rather than help buy paintings that will continue to exist while people all around the world starve.

However, I have found a few charities to donate to :-). Last year and this year, a reader asked me to support Papyrus (charity number 1070896), so I've given them £300. The suggestions of 'Christmas Spirit' look sensible too (the first two of course!), and the Philippine Red Cross seems a popular choice at the moment for obvious reasons. Hence I've given £300 to the British Red Cross Philippines Typhoon Appeal (charity number 220949), and £200 to World Vision (UK) (charity number 285908). For the rest, I've gone back to a couple of charities that I've supported in past years. I've always thought that GMFA (charity number 1076854) does good work so I've given them £200. Finally, a few years ago there was a reader who always used to ask me to support Médecins Sans Frontières (Charity number 1026588) and I always thought that that they seemed especially worthy so I've given them £200 as well.

Happy Christmas everyone :-). GB xxx

Monday, December 02, 2013

Tom Daley

Matthew MitchamTom Daley
Last year, I blogged about whether I should support Matthew Mitcham or Tom Daley in the 10 metre platform diving event at the London 2012 Olympics. I said in that post that I felt I had to support Matthew Mitcham, because Matthew is one of the few openly gay athletes.
However, the news today is that 19 year old Tom Daley has had a boyfriend since spring 2013.

If you listen to what Tom says, he doesn't say that he's gay, he just says that he's very happy dating a guy at the moment and that he still fancies girls. Nonetheless, his announcement makes me very happy too. There's a noticeable lack of athletes who're prepared to be honest like this about their relationships, so having a successful guy like Tom Daley make this kind of announcement is a major step forward.

I'm not going to join the huge chorus of people praising his decision to be honest about his personal life, because so much is already being said, and of course I'm not going to be one of the homophobes who're condemning him. Suffice it to say that even if he's dating a girl by the time the 2016 Olympics comes along, I'm still going to be one of his strongest supporters!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Boyfriend K

It's 10 days into the holiday with my friend K and we're drinking champagne in our hotel suite before going out to dinner. We'd bought some champagne duty free at Heathrow airport, on the basis that wine is quite expensive to buy in the country where we were going. However, we hadn't got round to drinking it, so with the holiday nearing its end we decided to open a bottle.

"How do you think it's going between us?" I ask casually, looking K in the eye and smiling.

"Do we need to discuss this now?" asks K, nervously.

"I think we should," I answer, "because very soon it'll be the end of the holiday. I think we should start thinking about what, if anything, is going to happen when we get back to London."

"Well, sometimes you laugh far too loudly in public," says K grinning at me, "and then people look at us and I feel embarrassed!"

"But your heart is in the right place :-)," he continues, tapping his hand briefly on my upper chest where my heart is.

"For my part," I say, "sometimes you seem quite critical of me, but then a little while later you'll be very loving and even apologise for your critical comments."

"I always say exactly what I'm thinking," says K, "and it's sometimes not properly thought through. It's been quite a while since I've been in a relationship, with someone else to consider all the time."

"Overall I think we've got on very well together on this holiday :-)," I answer, "so I'm still very keen on you. I guess the next step would be to try living together when we get back to London?"

"OK," says K, thinking hard, "perhaps I should try moving my stuff into your house. Although for now, I think I should keep paying my rent in case things don't work out and I need to move back. Actually, there's at least one guy I know that might be interested in sub-letting from me."

"Yes, of course you should keep your place for now," I reply. "I can't think of any reason why it won't work between us, but there's still a lot that could go wrong!"

"Anyway," I continue, "if we're going to do this, let's try and get the move done over the next week or two. Now that we've got this far, I don't see any advantage in waiting."

The next morning we're on a train platform with some commuters, chatting about what we're going to be doing later in the day, when I decide to ask K a question.

"So when can we stop calling each other 'potential boyfriends' and just call each other 'boyfriends'?" I ask, smiling at him.

"Whenever you like :-)," answers K, very casually.

I think about his answer briefly, before asking him another question.

"So will you be my boyfriend?" I say, looking him directly in the eyes and with a big smile on my face.

"Aren't you going to get down on one knee and hold my hand to ask that?" answers K instantaneously, with a cheeky grin on his face.

One of the things that I adore about K is his quick wit. As soon as I realise what he's said, I burst out laughing loudly, and a few other people on the platform start looking at us. Slowly K starts moving away from me, in a comic attempt to put some distance between us.

"What a tragedy!" I say to K catching up with him, still with a smile on my face, "you'll be telling everyone 'I would have been GB's boyfriend, but it was impossible because he laughs too loudly in public!'"

"Things aren't going to be easy!" replies boyfriend K, "but hopefully it's going to be fun :-)."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Some questionable behaviour

A couple of weeks ago, I'm in a taxi on my way to the airport for a holiday with my friend K, and he's showing me various stuff on his iPad.

"That's interesting," I laugh, noticing a familiar icon, "I thought that you didn't use the cruising apps!"

"I don't :-)," replies K with a big smile on his face, "well, not for cruising anyway!"

I have no idea what he means by that, after all, cruising is what web-sites like gaydar and apps like grindr are designed for. But since I've spotted grindr, he brings up the app to let me have a look.

"Actually I wasn't going to show you this," continues K, "but if we're going to become boyfriends it's much easier if we're completely honest with each other."

I certainly agree with that. But as soon as I see his grindr profile I burst out laughing again.

"That's not you," I say looking at his profile pic, "it's not even close! The guy in your profile is clearly Caucasian, but you're Asian!!"

"I know," replies K with a cheeky tone in his voice, "but I don't use grindr to meet anyone, I've never done that. For me it just for fun, just to talk to people and see how far they'll go to try and have sex with the guy in my profile :-)."

"But that means that you're wasting the time of all the guys that you talk to," I say, protesting at his behaviour.

"All these apps are so full of time wasters anyway that one more makes no difference."

"Hmmmm, perhaps, but it still doesn't help! Anyway, I'm glad to see that you made me one of your favourites :-)," I say, spotting my profile.

"Yeah, I found you," he says grinning, "and I've found some other friends here too. Actually, I don't think your profile pic is very good!"

"Some guys like it," I answer, unperturbed.

Soon he starts showing me some of his victims that he's been chatting with.

"Look at what some of these guys do," he says, bringing up one of his chats from a few days ago, "this guy sent me pic of his erect cock covered in cum when he's got no idea who I really am. This kind of behaviour is so wrong! That's one reason why I don't use the apps for cruising. I want to get to know someone very well before they get to see my cum covered cock."

"Just for the record," I say slightly defensively, "I never send rude pics of me like that when I use the apps. If guys want to see my naughty bits then they have to meet me in person! Anyway, where did you get the pics that you use for this fake profile?"

"They're just pics from other profiles, or pics that guys sent me," he answers in a matter of fact way, "If someone sends me a pic, then I reckon that it's a present to me, so I can do whatever I want with it."

As he shows me a few more chats I notice some inconsistencies in his replies.

"In one of the previous chats that you showed me you said you were a bottom," I say, "but there you say that you're a top."

"I just tell them what they want to hear," replies K, "so if they're a bottom I'll say I'm a top and so on. I was out for the evening with a friend a few months ago, and he kept checking grindr. I thought it was all a bit unnecessary and impolite when he was out for the evening with me, especially when he disappeared for more than half an hour to hook-up! That was when I wondered whether I could use grindr for fun too, but as I said, just as a game to see how far guys will go to try and get me into bed."

"Not you," I say, correcting him, "the guy in your profile!"

"Yeah, whatever! Once or twice I've been contacted by guys that I know, and that can be quite funny :-)."

I find this behaviour quite questionable. Just because there are a lot of guys who waste people's time on the cruising apps and web-sites, I don't think that justifies what K is doing. In any case, I guess that it's just a reminder of something everyone needs to remember. When you contact and chat to people online, you can never be sure who's really on the other end until you've met them face to face!

Monday, October 21, 2013

An update on the situation with my friend K

For the last few weeks, I've been seeing a guy called K (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Things still seem to be heading in the right direction with him because he now sometimes sleeps with me overnight, although we still haven't engaged in any real activities yet. Nonetheless, it's been nice feeling his hard equipment though the undershorts that he wears in bed, and cuddling his otherwise naked male body :-). We've also booked an eleven day holiday with each other, and I'm sure that by the end of the holiday we'll know whether we're going to be boyfriends or not. With the holiday getting closer every day, I'm quite prepared to take a "no sex before marriage" approach, and regard the holiday as kind of honeymoon!

"Do you want to take a shower?" I ask K one morning recently, while we're still lying in bed after a lovely night of cuddles.

"I don't have any fresh clothes here," replies K, "so I prefer to go home and shower there. At some point I'll move a few of my things into your house, and then I'll take showers here :-)."

"You could move some things in as soon as you like?" I offer.

"But your house is still full of ex-boyfriend T's stuff," replies K, "so do you mind if we wait until it's all gone?"

When I split up with ex-boyfriend T he was was working on a project abroad, so I agreed with him that that it could wait until he got back to the UK before he moved all his stuff out of my house. And although his overseas project has now finished, he asked for a bit more time because he wanted to fly off for a week to visit some friends. The good thing is that he's promised that all his stuff will be gone by the time that I get back from the holiday with K.

"So did you see much of ex-boyfriend T on his recent visit?" asks K over breakfast.

"He was only in the country for about 18 hours!" I answer, "He had just enough time to unpack a bit, repack a bag for a trip to visit some of his friends, and then get a few hours' sleep. I didn't really want to see him, because there's nothing that I want to say to him."

"But I guess that means that you did see him a bit?"

"Yeah," I admit, "That late night film that you and I saw meant that I got back after he'd gone to bed, and I was hoping that by sleeping in late the next day I'd miss him completely. But in the morning he knocked at my bedroom door just before he left to catch his flight."

"How was it?"

"At first he didn't really know what to say, but eventually he got round to asking me a few questions. If I'd answered them it would have meant that I'd have had to start telling him about you. I don't think it's any of his business, so I just kept answering his questions with my own question, 'What do you want?'"

"Ohhhh, hard man!" says K with a slight frown on his face.

I start to think about ex-boyfriend T, and K notices a change in my temperament.

"Are you angry at him?" asks K after a short pause.

"I guess I am," I reply. "When I split up with him I thought that we could be friends, but now I'm not so sure. It feels like he took all my love and affection and gave nothing back in return :-(. On top of that, because he implied that he had very little money I paid for virtually EVERYTHING that he needed, as well as letting him live free in my house. So this trip to visit some of his friends came as a big surprise, because I don't understand how he can still afford unnecessary long haul international flights like that. Also, his top priority was always hiding the fact that he is gay, so looking back I don't think that he ever loved me. Perhaps the only thing that I got from him was the ability to swim, because before I met him I couldn't swim at all!"

"Whoa," replies K, "calm down! I guess I can understand why you're angry at the moment. But eventually, I think that you should try and forgive him."

Wise words, I'm sure!

A little later, and we're on the internet in my study, making the final hotel bookings for our imminent holiday.

"There are some great bars for partying on this beach," says K as we're looking for nearby hotels, "because I went there with some friends last year. Actually, I got a bit too drunk, so if we go there then I hope that you'll look after your boyfriend if the same thing happens again!"

I look at him with a surprised but happy smile on my face.

"I mean 'potential boyfriend' :-)," he says correcting himself, and with a happy grin on his face too.

"I'm sure we'll both look after each other," I reply, still smiling, "because sometimes I also have a bit too much to drink!"

My break-up with ex-boyfriend T only happened three months ago, and half of me can't help thinking that I've found K a bit too soon, even though the break-up had been likely for quite a while before that. However, the other half of me is enjoying every minute of the relationship that's starting to develop with K. In any case, I can't turn back now. Within a month, I'll either be enjoying the start of a promising new relationship with K, or feeling more unhappy than ever!

Friday, October 18, 2013

What to do if you accidently have unsafe sex: PEPSE

Earlier this month, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

I met and had unprotected sex with a guy via Grindr yesterday. I insisted on having condom at first but he somehow lured me into going raw and this is my first time though. He said that it will help me to relax and less hurt, which was probably quite naïve of me at that time. Sure he is nice enough with a PhD in Theoretical Physics from a top university and he even showed me his GUM clinic test result from two months ago with all negative but I still feel unsafe and confused.

Another question is that does it always hurt the first time you do anal? I feel like I could almost defecate (sorry for the choice of word but I don't know how to explain it) his dick each time he put it in but I still pretend to enjoy it. He even asked for another session this week but I don't know what to say since I am indeed tempted to be with a man but I don't really want to be fucked like that.

Now I am writing this letter to ask you for your advice of what I should do now. Another question is that would it be possible for a gay relationship to exist without anal sex? Or should I try to top someone first?

Great thanks for your help,

Until I met M (My first guy from Grindr), I'd never heard of a treatment called PEPSE, which stands for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis after Sexual Exposure. However, on one of the occasions that I met M we chatted about some of our past experiences with other guys, and he told me that a few months previously he'd had to get PEPSE. The idea of PEPSE is that if you realise quickly enough that you've had unsafe sex, then you can get treatment which might stop you becoming HIV positive if indeed the unsafe sex has infected you with HIV.

So about two hours after the reader sent me the email, I sent him a reply to tell him about PEPSE. In that email, I also included the following paragraph:

I think you're right to feel unsafe and confused. He may well be HIV negative, but the problem is, if he has lots of unprotected sex then eventually he is likely to get infected. Does he insist on seeing the GUM test results of everyone who he fucks? Did he ask for yours?? Even if he does, HIV has a long incubation period so it's still a risk. One of the guys that used to comment on my blog a few years ago was a top lawyer (similar to top physicist in my view), and he was quite relaxed about unprotected sex in the same way that your guy is relaxed about it. Eventually I got a very sad email about him that told me he'd become HIV positive.

The reader also asked about anal sex. Anal sex can hurt the guy who takes the bottom role unless he really relaxes his arse muscles. So it sounds like the reader wasn't at all relaxed! I've mentioned this subject before, e.g. back in 2011 when I answered an email from a 20yo gay guy.

The reader also asks whether it's possible for a gay relationship to exist without anal sex. While surfing the internet a few weeks ago I came across a website which had the following to say on that subject:
It's widely claimed that one third of gay couples do not include anal intercourse in their lovemaking.
I'm not sure that the phrase "widely claimed" is correct because I'd never heard that, however I think it means the answer to the reader's question is definitely Yes. In any case, if he's interested to find out more about anal sex he should indeed try the top role at some point, but only if he wants to. He certainly shouldn't let anyone put him under pressure to do so.

In the email that I sent the reader I had one more thing to say. The guy who fucked him without a condom was suggesting that the two of them meet again, and I felt it necessary to give him some advice on that subject. So the final paragraph in my email was as follows:

Finally my advice on the guy that fucked you. Do not see him again. He didn't respect you initial wish for a condom. He doesn't respect you, and I wouldn't spend time with someone like that.

A few days after I sent my reply, I got another email from the reader telling me that he had been able to get the PEPSE treatment :-).

Anyway, do any other readers have any thoughts on these subjects?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A wobble

"I've definitely fallen in love with K," I tell my friend Close Encounters while we're having a snack together in Central London recently, "I know it's only about two and a half months since I split up with ex-boyfriend T, but I just can't help it. I think about him almost all the time …"

"And have you slept with him yet?" he asks, with a hint of scepticism in his voice. Since Close Encounters is a fellow blogger, he's well aware from reading my blog that until recently, we hadn't engaged in any activities.

"Well," I say sheepishly, "we've cuddled a lot, but No, so far I haven't got any further than that :-(."

"It's a big investment in time if the sex turns out to be bad!"

"But we do seem to get on very well with each other :-)," I reply, "and he's already introducing me to a lot of the important people in his life :-)."

"Such as …"

"Well, I've met some of his family now, also a few of his best friends :-)."

"Wow!" replies Close Encounters, genuinely surprised, "I guess that's just a different way of doing it."

"I think one of the reasons that I've fallen for him is that it's so refreshing to find a guy like K that's 'old school'. He doesn't use any of the dating apps or web sites, and he wants us to know pretty much everything about each other's lives before we sleep with each other. It's kind of like, no sex before marriage!"

"Communication can still be problematic though," I continue, "and over the last 24 hours we've had a bit of a wobble, but I think we're back on track again."

"What happened?" asks Close Encounters, looking slightly worried.

"Well, we had dinner in Chinatown with a couple of his best friends, and then a few beers afterwards in Village Soho. The four of us decide to call it a night, and I almost manage to hail a cab to take me and K home, because we live in the same area. But then, all of a sudden I find myself with K outside G-A-Y bar getting wristbands for free entry to Heaven!"

"So you didn't discuss beforehand that you were going to go to Heaven?"

"Well, K had suggested it in the bar, but his friends hadn't been keen. Anyway, the two of us get into Heaven and it's more beers, and we chat about how everything is going between us and things go well. Actually, one thing, I told him about this blog!"

"REALLY?" replies Close Encounters looking amazed, "that a big step isn't it?"

"Yes I guess so, but he's trying so hard to make sure I know everything about him. Apart from gym, blogging is my biggest hobby so I've got to tell him. I decided years ago that it wasn't right to keep it secret from a boyfriend. Anyway, when I told K, it didn't seem to bother him."

"I guess that's a good sign!"

"But the wobble started when we got back to my place, and looking back, it was definitely all my fault :-(. We were both a bit drunk after all the beer, and it suddenly occurred to me that we should chat about how money should work between us. I don't know why I thought of it then, but I'm quite a bit richer than him, so just like the monogamy issue I think it's something that should be discussed. That's what was in my mind when I said At some point we should talk about money, but what I think he heard was something like I don't want you taking advantage of my money."

"GB!" says Close Encounters, shaking his head slightly, "Whatever possessed you to start a difficult conversation like that when you were both drunk?"

"Well, the fact that I was drunk :-(! Anyway, he goes home but he rings me up as soon as he gets there, and we chat a bit but it doesn't go well. We chat the next morning too and I don't make things any better. And a couple of hours later, I go and make things even worse with a stupid text message."

"What did you say in the text message?"

"Well I started worrying about him. I've spent quite a bit of time with him now, and he sometimes seems a bit euphoric and sometimes a bit depressed. So I sent a txt msg asking him if he was bipolar. But …"

"That's a completely ridiculous thing to do, GB!" interrupts Close Encounters.

"Well I had a hungover from all the beer the night before, and …"

"If you want to discuss that kind of thing," interrupts Close Encounters again, "that's definitely a face to face conversation, and even then, not a conversation to have when things aren't going well!"

"Anyway, what he heard was I think you're mentally ill so he phones me up a few hours later and he was ready to never see me again."

"I'm not bloody surprised!"

"I don't know how I did it, but somehow I managed to say enough of the right things on that phone call. We end up chatting for about 40 minutes, and by the end of the call it was almost as though we'd never had the wobble at all. He also called me up just before midnight too, just as we're both about to go to bed, and that phone call went even better. So I think we're back on track :-)."

"Well," says Close Encounters, shaking his head slightly again, "it would have been better to not have been so stupid in the first place. If you do a blog post about this, you'll be lucky if you ever get another person emailing you for your advice!"

"I know," I reply. "My only excuse is that perhaps because I'm in love with K, I just can't think straight when it comes to anything to do with him. But when I get a Dear GB email and it's someone else's situation, somehow I feel that I can be quite objective."

"Actually," replies Close Encounters, "I think you SHOULD do a blog post about this. Just write down how stupid you've been, and then perhaps that'll teach you not to do it again!"

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

How many guys can you date at the same time?

I've been wondering about this question for a while, and last night a reader called Sebastian posted a comment which asked exactly that:
Should dating be exclusive if you see a guy more than once or you can date multiple guys at the same time more than once before deciding who's the most potential to be a boyfriend?
When I saw ex-boyfriend R last week we discussed this question too, and he has a very clear view. He's sure that however many times you see a guy dating does not have to be exclusive, unless of course you agree that it will be exclusive. So he's sure that you can do what you want and date as many guys as you want, and then eventually you can try and become the boyfriend of the guy that you like the most. However, I think it's a bit more complicated than that.

The fact that a lot of us are unclear on what the answer is means that this is an area full of opportunities for mis-communication with a potential boyfriend. That means that there's every possibility that something could go wrong before anything has even started, which could be a tragedy if you end up accidentally misleading the guy that you like the most. Indeed, a good example of this is what happened between me and my friend K, because he thought that I was just meeting other guys for drinks and dinner and not getting more intimate with any of them.

Recently my approach has been to tell potential boyfriends that I'm still also dating with other potential boyfriends. My best guess is that there's no need to mention anything on a first meeting or first encounter, but after that, the longer that you don't say anything the more room for mis-communication that there is.

However, I'd very much like to know what other readers think about this question?

Friday, October 04, 2013

An evening with ex-boyfriend R

A few days ago, it's late in the evening and ex-boyfriend R (a.k.a. boyfriend number 3) is visiting me in my home. Earlier I'd cooked a simple meal for us both, and now we're relaxing on the sofa in my sitting room, chatting easily.

"Why don't you lie down on the sofa," suggests ex-boyfriend R.

"Why?" I ask.

"Well, I need to go soon, but it would be nice to lie down on the sofa with you for a quick cuddle :-)."

I always enjoyed cuddles with ex-boyfriend R when we used to engage in activities with each other, so I get some cushions for my head and lie down as requested. Soon ex-boyfriend R is lying half on top of me and half to one side, and even though we've got all our clothes on, it's nice to feel the warmth of his body against mine.

"I'm not sure about this guy K that you like," says ex-boyfriend R after a pause. "I don't think it's right for him to ask to date you on an exclusive basis before you've even slept with each other. You shouldn't agree to it, because you shouldn't give people power over you."

A couple of weeks previously, my friend who has his first gay experience aged 13 had said exactly the same thing when we were out for dinner together. "Don't let other guys have power over you," he'd said, when we were discussing boyfriends. At the time it had seemed sensible, but when I thought about it, I realised that I disagreed. Whenever one has a boyfriend, one loses some independence, because one has to start taking some account of what one's boyfriend wants and needs. If one has got the right boyfriend then the benefits of the relationship outweigh the loss of independence. I can't help thinking that with the attitude of not conceding anything to a potential boyfriend, it's no coincidence that ex-boyfriend R and my friend who has his first gay experience aged 13 are both still single.

"But I'd have *power* over K too," I say to ex-boyfriend R while we're cuddling on my sofa, "because exclusive dating works both ways :-)."

"In any case," I continue, "cruising for activities with other guys is time consuming. I was quite happy not doing that when I was with ex-boyfriend T, so I don’t mind not doing that while I'm dating K either, just to try and work out whether a relationship with him could work."

"Also, the fact that in September you agreed to delay dating until early October seems strange too," counters ex-boyfriend R. "If you like each other, why didn't you start dating immediately?"

"Well I guess I agree with that," I concede.

"Actually," I continue, "I always wonder whether there are any unwritten rules for dating lots of different guys at the same time. I've had loads of hook-ups, dates and dinners over the last couple of months, but if I see someone more than once, I sometimes feel a bit guilty that I'm not being completely honest with them about how many guys I'm meeting."

"But while you're just dating, you can do what you like," answers ex-boyfriend R with an authoritative tone in his voice, "so there's nothing to feel guilty about!"

The good thing about ex-boyfriend R is that he's always got a firm view on this sort of question, even if I don't always agree with what he says! We lie there for a while, and then slowly, he starts to unbutton my shirt. But after two buttons he stops and slips one of his hands inside my shirt, and lays it gently on top of one of my pecs. I feel very relaxed with him so I don't say anything, and we just continue to lie there, enjoying each other's company.

"A couple of months ago," I say, "I was suggesting to another friend that although cuddling isn't as intimate as various other activities, if you've got a boyfriend I reckon that cuddling like this would still be cheating on him!"

"I think it depends what the intention is," replies ex-boyfriend R with an authoritative tone again. "Certainly if you keep all your clothes on and neither of you gets aroused then I reckon that you're not being unfaithful."

"But if you start to take each other's clothes off …" he continues, as he resumes unbuttoning my shirt, "then the intention is clearly for more intimacy, and then I think I'd agree with you :-)."

"I thought you had to go soon?" I giggle, without putting up any resistance, "Are you trying to seduce me?"

"I always used to like it when you visited me for fun!" replies ex-boyfriend R, without answering either question, "and I think you did too?"

"Perhaps we'd better go upstairs to my bedroom then. If any of the neighbours in the houses opposite are looking this way, I don't think they need to see exactly what we're doing!"

Fifteen minutes later and we're both completely naked, kissing and cuddling and playing with each other on my bed, just like we used to do all those years ago.

"Who'd have thought that we'd ever be doing this again!" laughs ex-boyfriend R.

"Well indeed," I answer with a big smile on my face, "I think it's been almost 6 years!"

I usually prefer subtle lighting for activities, and indeed, on this occasion as we were getting undressed I'd switched off all but the dimmest bedside light. However, a few minutes later ex-boyfriend R gets up and turns the bright main light on in the middle of the room.

"I think it's more horny to see EXACTLY what we're doing to each other :-)," he says, with a big grin on his face.

We take our time to enjoy ourselves thoroughly, and afterwards we climb under the duvet and naturally start cuddling each other again. While I'm holding him in my arms and dozing gently, feeling very satisfied, I start to remember how much I always enjoyed activities with ex-boyfriend R. It also occurs to me that when it comes to activities, ex-boyfriend R is probably the most experienced guy that I know!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Email about dating older guys

A few weeks ago, a young blog reader sent me the following short email:

Dear GB,

I'm madly in love with this guy that is wayyyy above my age. I'm 18 and he is 55. No, I don't have daddy issues or am I a money-sucking machine. I simply enjoy the no-fuss relationships with older guys. What do you say? Should I go for it? He makes me so content and happy than ever.

Although it was a very short email, it was a quite a straightforward question, so I sent him an email to tell him that I'd do a post on my blog for him. In that email I said that I'd think about it, but I also included the following sentence:

FYI: my instinct is that the age gap is too great to make a meaningful relationship possible, but obviously I need to expand my thoughts a lot, and give some reasons rather than just giving you my instinctive response.

His original email was clearly hoping to get some kind of approval, so I wasn't surprised when the following reply arrived:

Thank you! I really do appreciate it!

I understand about your instincts, but it's just that I'm a little different - I enjoy staying at home watching a movie with him or go out and do fine dining. I was never into the 'young and vibrant' gay clubbing/sauna/cruising idea. We have literally the same tastes in music, art, food, clothes, and the same opinions and philosophies. I mean what are the odds of me finding another older guy who can appreciate and love me and not just want to relive their youth?

I somehow think this is a two-fold story:
  1. The fear of scrutiny of others when they found out about our age difference.
  2. The fear of me losing the man of my dreams.
Hope this additional info helps. I realized I haven't given you enough background info for you to make an informed opinion.


Well indeed, I was also thinking that his original email was a bit thin on detail!

Over the last few weeks, I've been out for dinner with a few guys who read my blog , and when one of these guys was in his mid 20's he dated a man who was about double his age. I thought that guy would have views on this subject since he's been in a similar situation, so I sent the young reader's email to him for comment. I also asked fellow blogger Bruce Chang what he thought. Bruce Chang's response was as follows:

Hmm ... What I'm trying to understand is the nature of their relationship and what he means by "no-fuss." I came out over 20 years ago when I was 14 and there simply was not a big dating pool for people in my age group. I had quite a number of sexual encounters with people more than twice my age and they were more than gratifying. But at the same time, I distinctly remember how great I felt as opposed to what I was giving back. Additionally, I remember not quite being satisfied with the precarious position of power where the other person held all the cards. Seeking a long-term committed relationship with older guys wasn't really what I was looking for, in the end, but it was a helluva lot of fun and I have no doubt that a mutually beneficial one can work (like Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy), but I'd hardly call it no-fuss. I'd think it'd be the opposite. It'd take more work to feel secure with added social pressure to fail.

Of course, these views may be shaped my two adopted "godfathers" that I had, a couple in their late 30s that were mentors, encouraging the rapid period of growth and self-discovery, especially with my peers both gay and straight, so that I don't look back and wonder.

However, I can see how a sexual relationship with an older guy can be a no-fuss situation. I think I'm more straightforward as I've gotten older. Pretty open about when I can meet and when I can't, what I'll do and what I won't, and I have no problems complimenting a guy without restraint and playing games.

Think I was all over the place there, but that's what came to mind as I read the note.

Bruce Chang's example of Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy is a good one, because they met when Bachardy was 18 and Isherwood was 48. However, the age difference that the reader is contemplating is even greater.

The guy who reads my blog that I had dinner with a few weeks ago had the following to say:

To me there are two parts of this e-mail. First, is that he is conscious of the age gap and second, that he claims is madly in love with someone.

Age gap should never be an issue when people want to get together. It will only become a problem if it becomes apparent that your age difference heavily deters your compatibility. With a 37 year age gap there is inevitably differences in your outlook in life and it is worth remembering the old cliché that 'opposites attract'. Differences can either be a productive tension that makes an intergenerational relationship a wonderful experience or they can simply break it. While it is romantic to say you are similar in so many ways even with an age gap, accept that you are essentially different from your partner and start from there: the mistake would be to try too much to be like each other putting unnecessary pressure when you find your differences in the future. Remember nothing is 'no-fuss': older guys are just more relaxed in their outlook because they have many experiences but these experiences don't come without a history (which at some point can surface in ways you might not like!)

It is also worth thinking about why you mentioned daddy and money issues. This suggests, and it is a common trait, that there is an amount of stereotype awareness or apprehension towards social assumptions. There is a balance between 'I don't care what other people think' and 'What will they think of me when they see me with an older guy?'. You must get this balance right and mostly this is an issue of self-awareness, confidence and security. If you decide to take things seriously but can't feel comfortable enough to be seen with him it will ultimately affect your relationship. Start by being comfortable of who you are then work from there although this is a continuous process as you go along.

So you are madly in love and happier and more content than ever? The first thing that comes to mind is how long have you known this guy? In meeting a potential partner you must be aware of the infatuation stage (maybe 1 month) and then the honeymoon stage (maybe 6 months). Thinking about these stages helps you gauge and consider the pace of the situation. Many people underestimate the importance of pacing themselves when getting to know someone you like. There is no harm in going fast if both of you want it but just be aware that you are on a close enough level to return each other's' expectations. Although personally I think slow is better :-).

After considering all that has just been said, I see no harm in giving it a go. Relationships or love come in different forms so don't think in terms of partner/lover/friends as different people fill different roles in each other's' life. The most important thing is to let yourself be open to experiences. Good luck!

However, I felt that response was a bit simplistic, especially when I thought about what the guy told me in connection with his own experience of dating an older guy. So I sent him a reply in which I included the following:

One thing that occurred to me was what your ex-bf did for you. My recollection is that because he loved you, after a couple of years he felt that you should be free to experience gay life outside of the relationship, so he became your friend rather than your boyfriend. So if this 55 year old agrees to the relationship and it lasts for a long period of time, perhaps that proves that he doesn't really love the reader after all? What do you think about that?

The guy responded with the following:

Thanks. Good observation GB.

Indeed, he let me go because he thought that I would learn much more on my own and there were so many things for me to experience. In retrospect, he was absolutely right about this.

I also believe that this is generally the case for young guys. In my opinion it would be ironically tragic (instead of romantic) if they settle with a guy early in their life. They will miss out on a lot and their future encounters would be more difficult to navigate in ways which would require more explanation.

I wanted to mention this in my reply but only gave a hint of this at the end of it. It was my subtle way of saying whatever happens (doubt it will be long term) he will ultimately learn something from it.

I have always shared with people the thought of love coming in different forms. The 55 year old will hopefully love the guy if it works out and might give your reader different kinds of experiences which will be valuable to him. Mine was perfect for me and I am grateful to him :-)

I think this second response is where the wisdom lies in connection with a gay relationship between an 18 year old and a 55 year old. Both of them will get something out of it in the short term, but it shouldn't be expected or allowed to last too long. And, as with the guy that I had dinner with, what the older guy should do if he really loves the younger guy is to turn the relationship into a friendship after a couple of years.

Do any other readers have any thoughts on this subject?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dilemma in my personal life

There are a couple of new guys that are starting to feature in my life. One of these guys is K, who I've mentioned a couple of times in this blog (1, 2). The other guy is called L, and this is the first time that I'm mentioning him. Both K and L know something about each other's existence.

L is a very sweet guy, and he really really likes me. However, for various reasons I can't see us ever being boyfriends, and just over a week ago I told him how I felt. I told him that although we won't end up as boyfriends, we can definitely be friends, and that as far as I'm concerned we can also be "friends with benefits" as long as I don't have a boyfriend and as long as I'm not dating anyone on an exclusive basis. L was upset when I told him all this, but he appreciates my honesty, and he's happy to continue our friendship on a "with benefits" basis for now.

As I said before, I feel that I'm falling in love with K, and although I still haven't slept with him we're now talking about the possibility of dating each other on an exclusive basis in early October. I've agreed with him that before then, I can carry on indulging in activities with whoever I want. Given K's reaction when I told him that I slept with the guy M that we both met in a bar in Soho, I think that K wants to know that if he starts sleeping with me then he won't have to share me with anyone else. I can understand that, and I'm happy to go along with it. One complication is that I got to know K via some mutual friends, and for various reasons, K doesn't want them to know if we start dating seriously. Obviously if we become boyfriends then everything would be out in the open, but he'd much prefer to keep it secret to start with, because if it doesn't work out then they never need to know.

Night picture of parisIn an attempt to help keep any dating arrangement with K secret, I've now arranged a one night trip to Paris with L. I've told L that I may start dating K on an exclusive basis in early October, and he really appreciates my gesture of organising this trip on what may turn out to be the last weekend when I'm available to be his "friend with benefits". On my side, I am looking forward to spending time with L in Paris, both because he's a very nice guy and also because I love Paris. However, my original motivation for this trip was to try and create a "smokescreen" which would make it easier to date K without any of our mutual friends finding out. All these mutual friends are keen users of facebook, so if I get some pics of me with another guy in Paris and post them to facebook, then they'll almost certainly see them and then never guess if I'm actually dating K.

My dilemma is, should I tell L that I have this extra motive for the trip to Paris? And if I do get some pics of me with L in Paris, should I ask his permission before posting them to facebook?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Email from a guy who puts up lots of barriers

About two years ago, a reader sent me an email requesting advice. At the time I had quite a big backlog of "Dear GB" emails waited to be posted on this blog, so I sent him a quick private email. It turned out that my reply was sufficient and it wasn't necessary to do a post for him.

The email exchange that I had with this reader has been in my mind a lot recently, because some of his issues remind me of the problems that ex-boyfriend T has being gay. In any case, I always think it's good to post these sorts of emails, because other people may be in a similar position and so these posts may end up helping them. So just for the record, I'm posting the email exchange now. The original email was as follows:

Dear GB,

Some advice, if you please. I have so many issues, I could become a millionaire by selling subscriptions.
  1. I'm gay. And in the closet. So far back, I should begin hanging ties off myself.

  2. I have no desire to come out of the closet, at least not completely. I come from a very, very conservative culture (Muslim South Asian). I am the oldest son. I can't shame my family that way.

  3. People have moralized to me. It won't work. I'm stubborn. So any "Get out of the closet" speech won't work.

  4. I'm lonely. I don't have many friends. For many years, I was a Mormon. I lost most of my friends when I left the Church. Most of my social interactions is with relatives.

  5. I am very, very conservative. I fooled around a bit while in college but never had full-blown sex. I don't want to become a manwhore. I also have a very boring lifestyle (no tea, coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, dancing). My biggest vice is chocolate. But enough about me. How others live is their business, not mine, and I'm not worthy to judge others.

  6. I want a boyfriend. Who's also in the closet.

  7. I'm not in the best of shape but getting there. Nevertheless, I'm very conscious of my body. This effects my self-confidence.

  8. Nevertheless, I'm considered to be very smart, witty, geeky and nerdy to a point, intelligent, talented, resourceful, generous (sometimes to a fault), impulsive, and caring.

  9. Under family pressure, I got married once. Didn't work out and got divorced. Under religious pressure, I found a good Mormon girl. Didn't work out and called it off. Parents found another girl. It's not working out. I'm tired of following what others dictate for me. I want a man for a change.

  10. I'm a diabetic (although I'm 31). That brings its own baggage, though not as much as above.
So, any ideas for me? If the answer is, "No," I'll take that. I'll just channel all this pent up desire and frustration into conquering the world. No biggie.

Sent from my iPhone.

I thought about this for a couple of days, and eventually I knew what I had to say, which was as follows:


Thanks for the email, and thanks for reading my blog :-).

I think you know that I normally take emails like yours and post them on my blog, together with my thoughts, so that you get my views as well as the views of any other readers who leave comments. I'd be more than happy do to that with your email, but if you want that you'll probably have to wait about 3 months! Unfortunately I don't have much time for blogging at the moment, and if you look in my right-hand side-bar you'll see that I've got a bit of a backlog of these "Dear GB" emails. So in case you don't want to wait, I'll give you a few quick thoughts now. But bear in mind that because these are quick thoughts, I haven't thought about them as much as I do when I do a posting, so I may make mistakes!

Reading your email (several times), my impression is that you put up lots of barriers between yourself and the world. It's almost as though each separate point in your email is another barrier that needs to be overcome. I imagine that the personality behind all the barriers is quite vulnerable, as well as a bit lonely. Unfortunately it's hard for guys who put up lots of barriers to find boyfriends and hence solve their loneliness, because people have to lower all their barriers to develop loving relationships. Lowering your barriers is something that you'll have to work on. The fact that you clearly feel a need for a life partner is a good sign, but you'll only find one if he can get to know the real you underneath it all.

I'm a big fan of finding boyfriends using internet dating web sites, and it's especially good for guys in the closet because they can access the web sites from the privacy of their own homes. I'm not sure where you're based (I'm guessing USA), in which case may be a good choice (it used to be heavily used in the USA, but I haven't logged on for over 2 years so I'm not sure any more). In any case, if you can find some online gay chat rooms, then if you don't already know what other web sites there are then you could ask in the chat rooms for other recommendations. One of the keys to success in finding boyfriends online is having a good profile. For the want of a better word, try to make yourself look relaxed and open, i.e. "cool" :-).

Does that help?

GB xxx

After I sent the email I didn't hear back from him for a while, but after about four weeks the following email arrived.

Dear GB,
  1. You're amazing.

  2. You're awesome.

  3. Your boyfriend is one lucky dude.

  4. I read and reread your email many times, and have tried to implement what you said. It has not been easy, but I am making progress.

  5. I joined and it's been fun! It seems all the guys with hot pictures are the most popular, but whatever. I'm talking with nice people. Including one person in particular. (Crosses fingers.) Not that I want to jump him right this moment, well, maybe I do, but he's an amazing guy and nothing like most of the studs online. Mature. Intellectual (we debated theology for a good hour once). Understanding. Anyway ... this is for another day.

    Still a virgin, which is fine, though maybe not for too much longer. I don't think I'll be like your guy who one day was a virgin and the next day sleeping with any guy he can lay hands on. Or will I? Hmmmmmmmm.

    But a lot of the things you said rang true.

  6. That said, there's no need to put up my long, rambling email. Not only have you resolved most of my issues but circumstances have changed. Or, rather, the urgent needs of the moment have certainly changed.

  7. Again, you're amazing.
Best regards,

I was astounded at how much of a success my simple response had been. Looking back, my guess is that the guy had reached some kind of internal crisis point regarding his life. In that state, the smallest nudge in an appropriate direction will work, because the person is very receptive to suggestions.

In connection with that, I still feel upset because of my inability to help ex-boyfriend T with similar issues. He puts up so many absolutely impenetrable barriers between his gay life and his straight life. Unfortunately, though, he was never receptive to any suggestions. It may even be that his four year relationship with me was counterproductive, in the sense that it allowed him to avoid confronting all his issues :-(.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Email about East-West gay relationships

Last month a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

I'm looking for good suggestions or also books regarding gay relationship between Western guys and Chinese guys. Maybe you have some advice for me. I would really appreciate. Sorry for my mistakes in the English language. I’m from Germany.

I met my boyfriend at the end of May on a gay app. It was just a nice conversation and we decided spontaneously to meet the next weekend. I’m 40 years old and he is 23. Yes it’s a big age different but I’m acting very young and look also younger. He lives 450 km away. I’m from Frankfurt and he is from Dresden. He's a student, ethnically Chinese. He is in Germany since October last year and he had a lot experience with German guys. OK, here’s my story.

I met him on the next weekend. I rent a hotel and we talked 3 hours before we went to bed. On the next day he decided to come back to me to Frankfurt. He stayed until Wednesday. The time with him in Frankfurt was great. He stayed at home while I was working. In case it would be boring for him, I dropped him into the city centre and he explored a little bit Frankfurt. We baked together cheesecake and we cooked together Tofu and stuff like that. A friend of mine came to me during that time and he saw him and me sitting on the couch and my boyfriend was laying his head on my shoulder while we watched movie. At that time we weren’t a couple. But some small things happen during the time what let me feel very comfortable with him. When I picked him up from the city centre he asked me: "You forget something? Give me a kiss". Also holding hands, cuddling, he cooked for me and he gave me his passport picture for my wallet. Then he went back to Dresden on Wednesday. While he drove back with a transport service, we texted some lines. He said he is scared about relationship with Western guys but he is also sad to leave me now. After that we texted every day and he invited me to go with him to a big event in Dresden 2 weeks later.

I tried to lower my feelings because around 5 month ago I finished my relationship to a Vietnamese guy and it was horrible. I needed almost 6 month to get over him. He cheated me a lot and I don’t want the same shit as before.

2 weeks later I came to Dresden and he showed me his international friends. He is out to almost all of his friends, except the Chinese friends. We had big party and I made friendship with his friends. He took care of me and said I don’t have to drink too much and I took care of him as well. He kissed me in public and he also hugged me. He took my hand and all the people on the street could see it. Well you know, he is student and have not much money but he paid for me the food and when we were at a Chinese restaurant and I paid the bill and went to the toilet, he put some euros into my wallet.

Back in Frankfurt we almost talked via phone every day and two weeks later I went again to Dresden. The first night some friends of him were in his new small flat and they wanted to go out. We walked at the street and he said to me “go slower, I want to go back with you”. So he wanted to be in private with me. We had again a nice weekend together. This time he came again back to me to Frankfurt because he wants to go to the CSD in cologne with me. We stayed almost 10 days together and had a nice time in cologne. At that time we still weren't in a relationship, although maybe other people thought we were. During his time at my place in Frankfurt, we bought together some furniture’s for the Winter garden, he assembled the whole stuff and surprised me when I came back home.

After his return to Dresden he changed a little bit. He doesn’t text me that much as before and I saw him online on that gay app. Yes, I controlled him sometimes and I talked about that with him. I asked him directly: Should I search for a guy in Frankfurt and he said NO. He told me he was scared about me because I know a lot of Asians and he wanted to wait until Friday but he want to ask me now. “Do you want to be my boyfriend” and I said yes and he was surprised. He told me he wants to settle down.

Since that day he was sometimes online on the gay apps and I was wondering why. He said he just looking for friends but we know that those gay apps is not for friends, it's just for sex. The next weekend was very nice in Dresden. He really gave me that feeling that he like me and love me and want me. Also in the past he was interested in my life and asked about me. On that weekend we drove to Prague and had a nice time together but after the weekend it changed. He doesn’t want to call me and I also saw him again on that gay apps. OK, to be fair, he didn’t use it a lot, not really often. But when I saw him on gay app or also Facebook messenger I contact him instantly, and that was maybe my fault.

You have to know that he started learning for his exam, so he was also very busy but did also some party with his friends. In the past when he had party with his friends, he gave me a message at night but in that time he didn’t. After his last exam he had his last party on 5th August and on the 6th he came to me to Frankfurt because his flight back home to Asia was on the 8th. We had again a nice time but I had the feeling he was still grumpy because of my controlling and complaining. I’m honest. I really don’t trust him 100%. I guess he had sex date. Maybe before we committed.

OK now he is at home in Asia and he told me he is not happy there, because his family is having a few problems that are nothing to do with him. So he can’t go to his home place; he had to stay at his cousin place and so on. So he didn’t contact me that much and one day as I complained about that, he said he doesn’t know if it work between him and me but he want to try it. I guess he has a lot of things in his head right now and can’t handle my complaining. So I decided not to contact him at the moment. I just waiting for his messages and will reply then.

That’s my story and I really hope I can do something to get together with him again. He will be back in Frankfurt at the end of September.

Sorry for the long email. Cheers

The email contained a lot of details which might make the reader and his boyfriend identifiable, so initially I decided to send him a private reply by email. The main substance of the email that I sent him was as follows:

I don't know of any books about gay relationships with Asian guys. I have a lot of Asian readers, though, so you may get some answers simply by reading my blog and the comments.

Regarding your relationship, you have to start off by trusting him 1000%. You don't sound as bad as the ex-boyfriend of the wonderful guy who I met in 2007, but perhaps you're getting close! If he says that he wants to try a relationship with you, then that must be good enough to start with.

With all relationships, the key is good communication, especially on *difficult* issues. An obvious example of a *difficult* issue is monogamy vs open relationships. I expect that your Chinese boyfriend would expect a relationship to be monogamous, but it's worth being entirely upfront and checking that you both have the same understanding in terms of that. Regarding the issue of gay dating apps, it seems that you have the expectation that he shouldn't be using them anymore. Again, that's worth discussion, and in particular you should discuss whether you should both delete all your accounts, and if not what the rules are.

All relationships can be difficult at times, and cross-cultural relationships can be especially difficult precisely because the two of you have got less in common to start with, so that you're both starting from a lower position in terms of mutual understanding. Even the concept of a relationship means different things to different people and especially people from different cultures. I recall that the guy who I call boyfriend number 2 in my blog (a.k.a. ex-boyfriend P) thought that the two guys in a relationship should be a bit more distant from each other than what I thought. So avoid making assumptions (such as he shouldn't be using dating apps any more) and initiate discussion instead.

My last thought, which is another opportunity for discussion, is what vision of your future life together do you share? You presumably want to live together, but does that mean you move to live with him somewhere in the world, or does he move to Frankfurt. Unless you share some vision of what the future looks like, your relationship won't work.

The next day I got a short reply, which was just to let me know that to some extent, one of my suggestions had already been dealt with. He said:

I'm sorry, I just forget an important information regarding using the gay apps :-)). He and I decided to mention our relationship on those gay apps, also on facebook. So everybody see that we are in relationship :) That gave me a secure feeling for some time and it was his suggestion to do that.

I replied to tell him that I would do a post for him on my blog, and then a few days after that he sent me an update:

After some days without contact (I gave him space) he called me on Tuesday. He apologized that he was acting like a jerk and he was so glad that I didn't bother him. Now it starts slowly again with sending text messages. He is on holidays, so I don't send him much of text and wait until he send something to me :-). He also sent me the following
Dear [blog-reader], bf

Recently I am preparing the trip of Vietnam. Me and my friends will arrive Vietnam around 1st Sept. Wish me luck and tell me what you want from Vietnam and I can bring back to Germany.

You know that it's better with a local guide for us to travel, so if you have some nice friends in Vietnam, maybe you can help me to contact with them. And I also will try to find some friends via romeo (that's mean I will be online on Romeo while I am in Vietnam). And if you can give some advises in Vietnam that will be wonderful :)

Cheers, Your lovely bf
I try to not care too much about that Romeo thing :-). Have a nice weekend.

The last two updates simply reinforce my thoughts that the reader has to trust his boyfriend much more. His boyfriend has clearly listened when the reader complained to him about the gay apps. Not only did the boyfriend suggest that he makes his relationship status clear on the apps, he's also been warning the reader that he's going to be online while he's in Vietnam. The reader is very lucky to have a chance at a relationship with such an understanding guy. However, unless he starts trusting his boyfriend and stops complaining about his behaviour, I don't think the relationship will last very long.

Apart from that, I don't have much more to add beyond what I put in my first email response to this reader. Except that I now have a very recent example from my own life about how hard communication can be on difficult subjects.

I blogged last weekend that I'd been trying to date a guy called K, but that when I went out on a recent date with him, I actually ended up in bed with someone else! The next time I see K, we both get a bit drunk at a party, and afterwards we go back to my house. Sitting on my sofa, I decide to show K some txt msgs on my mobile phone:

"Look at this," I giggle, "they're from that guy M that we met in the bar a few days ago. Do you remember? I ended up exchanging phone numbers with him!"

"OK," replies K, not paying much attention, "so I guess he quite liked you …"

We're sitting very close, with my hand around K's shoulder, and as far as I can tell we're both enjoying the proximity. I've been wondering whether I might finally be able to get K to sleep with me tonight, although since we're both a bit drunk, it might not be a good idea.

"Well indeed," I say, "but I never expected to end up in bed with him!"

"Errr, you did what? ... How on earth did that happen??"

"Well he phoned me, and I ended up taking a taxi to his place :-)!"

All of a sudden K moves away from me on the sofa, clearly upset, so I take my arm off his shoulder.

"But … , but … , how would you feel if I told you that I'd slept with a guy since we saw each other?"

"No problem, of course!" I answer, "Don't you remember the chat that we had right here on this sofa after our first date? You said very clearly that I should go on doing exactly what I'm currently doing, using all the gay apps etc."

"I know but …"

"Well what do you think those apps are for? Grindr isn't the first place you think of going if you're looking for a dinner date!"

K looks at me, and although still a bit upset, he seems to take on board what I'm saying.

"I think I told you," says K, looking a bit calmer, "I don't use any gay apps or dating web sites because I prefer to meet guys the old-fashioned way. Let me think about this a bit more tomorrow when I'm sober!"

Now I also can't help myself from feeling upset, and not only because any chance that I had of sleeping with K that night had clearly evaporated! I'm always telling readers here on this blog that good communication is fundamental, and all of a sudden it seems that there's been a major communication failure between myself and K.

In terms of the reader who sent the email that's the subject of this post, this little story illustrates how hard it is to communicate well with someone who's got a different point of view. Not only is K from a different culture to me, he also doesn't use the gay apps or web sites, and no doubt it was a combination of those two factors that caused the problem. So apart from trusting his boyfriend, and not complaining about his boyfriend's behaviour, the reader also needs to make a continual effort to avoid this sort of communication problem.

Anyway, do any other readers have any thoughts on this subject?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A small consolation prize

A few months ago I met a gorgeous guy called K via mutual friends. When I first met him I still had a boyfriend, but after I split up with ex-boyfriend T, I started to wonder about the possibility of dating K. Fast forward to a couple of days ago and it's now my third date with K :-). The two of us seem to get on very well together in a social context, and I can feel myself falling in love with him. But in spite of my best efforts, I haven't been able to get him into bed, not even for a cuddle :-|. So far the two of us have been out for dinner in my favourite restaurant in the area where I live, and we also spent a particularly hilarious evening together at aquashard.

It's now early evening on our third date, and we're drinking in one of Soho's gay bars, waiting for K's friend C to arrive. We've spent almost the entire day shopping for clothes and the conversation is still easy, even though we've now been well over 7 hours in each other's company. K is on the phone to his friend C, trying to work out when C will arrive.

"Ask C want he wants to drink," I say, interrupting K mid conversation, "I'm going to the bar to get us another pitcher of Pimm's, so I could get C something too."

"Captain Morgan on the rocks, ..." answers K after a short discussion with C, "… thanks!"

"Single or double?" asks the hunky bartender when I order C's drink. I hadn't thought to ask, but I decide to opt for a double measure so as not to appear stingy.

When I return with the drinks C still hasn't arrived, but shortly afterwards I spot a guy looking around as though he's expecting to see someone that he knows. I'm about to ask K whether the guy is his friend C, but before I get the chance K spots him too and eagerly beckons him over to join us.

"Hey C :-)," says K with a big smile on his face, "this is GB."

"Nice to meet you :-)," I say, eyeing him up and down and smiling too. Without doubt, C is a very attractive guy!

"Nice to meet you too :-)," answers C, and soon we're sitting down chatting and laughing with each other.

"So how do you two know each other?" I ask.

"C used to be a barman in one of the other gay bars near here," answers K, "and I was a regular customer there so we got to know each other."

I find myself wondering how well they know each other, and in particular, whether they've ever indulged in any activities together. But of course it's impossible to ask that question. However, as the evening progresses, it seems more and more likely that they're acquaintances rather than friends.

While we're chatting away, I notice a couple of guys who're sitting right next to us. My best guess is that they're on a date with each other, because at one point I see them giving each other long, deep kisses. If they were boyfriends then they probably wouldn't feel the need to do that in public, and similarly if they're only friends then they wouldn't be kissing like that at all.

"Excuse me," says one of these guys who're next to us, "can you look after our bags while we go outside for a cigarette?"

"Sure, that's fine :-)," I reply, and looking down on the floor I spot a couple of rucksacks. Briefly I find myself remembering the nearby Adminal Duncan pub bombing, and I wonder whether two guys that kiss each other so sensually could possibly be up to no good. However, the conversation with K and his friend C soon takes all my attention, and ten minutes later when I think to look around again I see that the guys are already back from their cigarettes.

Shortly afterwards I catch the eye of one of these guys who're next to us, and with a lull in the conversation with K and C, I decide to start talking to them.

"So where are you both from?" I ask.

"I'm originally from Brazil," replies the guy who actually asked me to look after the bags, "and my name is M, you?"

"I'm GB :-)", I reply smiling at him, "and I'm one of the few guys left in this city who were actually born here!"

Indeed, these days it seems almost impossible to find people in London who were born and raised here.

Eventually I find out that M's friend or date or whatever he is originally comes from Eastern Europe. However, he seems quite shy, and in spite of the kissing earlier my best guess is that their date hasn't been a success.

"You know," says M looking me straight in the eye and smiling, "you're an attractive guy :-)."

Wow, I didn't expect that compliment, especially in the company of K and C who I feel are both better looking than me. I can't help wondering whether being admired by M will improve my chances with K, by helping to show him that I'm a good catch.

"You're a good looking guy yourself :-)," I reply, repaying the compliment. Indeed, comparing M to his Eastern European friend, M is much more attractive.

For a few minutes we carry on chatting, but before too long I've reverted to talking to K and C, with M talking again to his Eastern European friend. Shortly afterwards it turns out that K's friend C has to leave because he's got some prior commitments, and then shortly after that I spot that M and his Eastern European friend are about to leave too because I see them picking up their bags. But again I catch M's eye.

"So why don't we all exchange phone numbers?" asks M on his way out, addressing both me and K.

"Sure why not!" I answer, although I'm not sure that there's really any point. It seems very much like the kind of friends that you make on holiday. At the end of the holiday one always agrees to keep in touch with each other, but then one always fails to do so!

"If you tell me your number I'll send you a txt msg :-)," I offer. Within a minute it's all done.

"OK great, so have a good evening," says M as he puts his phone back in his pocket, "and let your friend there have my number too :-)".

"Sure, and you guys have a good evening as well", I reply, and then with a cheeky tone in my voice "Call me maybe!"

"Do you want his number?" I ask K once M has left.

"Not really," says K casually, and it's clear that he's got the exactly the same 'holiday friend' view about the situation as me, "Anyway, let's have another drink :-)."

It's K's turn to buy the drinks, but the bar seems half empty now and he manages to get served quite quickly.

"It would be nice to see where you live?" I tell him, wondering whether it'll be possible to get to know him better at his place rather than mine. Our previous dates had ended up at my place, and although he almost stayed overnight with me on both occasions, in the end it never quite happened.

"Errr OK," says K nervously, "but next week! My place is such a mess, I can't let you see it like it is at the moment!!"

We carry on talking, but I know from what had been said earlier in the day that K's got a lot of commitments tomorrow, so when we've finished our drinks I suggest that we go home. We both live in the same area, so we find a taxi to share together.

"Do you want to come in for a while?" I ask hopefully, when the taxi gets near my house.

"I don't think I can," answers K, "I've got so much to do tomorrow :-(. But let's see each other again at the weekend :-)."

"OK great :-)," I reply, but again I'm feeling slightly heart-broken that he doesn't want to get into bed with me. However, tonight I'm not surprised because I know that K is indeed going to be very busy tomorrow.

"See you soon then :-)," I say, and there's just time to give him a quick kiss on the lips just before getting out of the taxi.

It's clear from K's behaviour and also from some of the discussions that we've had that he is interested in me as a potential boyfriend. But at present, it seems beyond me to take that potential interest any further :-(.

I fix myself a snack before bedtime, and a little later I'm casually looking at a few web sites when suddenly a txt msg arrives.

M: Hi GB, M here
M: Are u having a great time?

Wow, this guy has surprised me again, because I never expected to hear from him! Of course, I'm not having a great time because after a wonderful day out shopping with K, I find myself missing him terribly.

GB: At home now. The friend who I was with had to go home, because he is busy tomorrow. What are you doing now?
M: At home chilling u?

Without K to keep me company, I start wondering whether it might be possible to console myself by hooking up with M. There's only one way to find out …

GB: Same! Might be nice to get together? GB xxx
M: Would be for sure
M: U are very hot man
M: U made me feel horny

Suddenly my phone rings, and it's M, wondering whether it would be possible to get together tonight. It turns out that he lives about 5 miles from me in quite a smart area of London, but of course, at this time of night it won't take too long in a taxi. Within ten minutes I'm in a taxi again, wondering whether I'm dreaming or whether this is all actually happening!

When I arrive, M answers the door wearing just a dressing gown, and immediately he takes me into his little bedroom. It turns out that he shares the apartment with two other gay guys, but obviously I'm not here to meet them!

"You're wearing far too many clothes :-)," he jokes soon after I've arrived, and before too long we're both under the duvet in his bed and enjoying each other's naked male bodies!

Empty comfortable double bedNature takes its course, and afterwards we just lie there, cuddling and dozing and feeling very comfortable in each other's company. Half of me wants to sleep the night with him, because I always enjoy sleeping in the same bed as a gorgeous man :-). But for various reasons, eventually I decide that it would be better to make my way home. With M almost asleep, I try to get out of the bed without disturbing him.

"Where are you going?" says M very slowly and quietly, with a very very sleepy voice.

"Maybe see you again sometime," I say, and once I've got my clothes on I give him a quick kiss on his lips, turn off the light, kiss him again, and leave.

Outside it's trying to rain and I didn't bother to bring a coat with me, but the damp air feels very fresh so I don't mind too much. Wandering the quiet streets of this smart, leafy, residential area, I feel surprising optimistic, in spite of my failure to make much progress with K. Tonight has been the first time in many years that I've hooked up with a guy who I met face to face rather than online, and that's certainly a big boost for my confidence :-). Even if I never manage to make any headway with K, I can't help thinking that I won't be single forever!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

My first guy from Grindr

A few months ago, no doubt because I'm a gay blogger, I received a marketing email from Grindr. The email arrived on 25th March 2013 and told me that Grindr was just 4 years old. That means that Grindr didn't even exist back at the start of 2009 when I met ex-boyfriend T on gaydar! The marketing hype in that email was certainly exaggerated, because I strongly disagree with the following quote from Joel Simkhai (the founder and CEO of Grindr) that was contained in the email:
"Grindr has proven to be an invaluable resource for men across the globe when they’re looking to meet-up. Five years ago, the only sure fire way to meet another gay man was to go to specific gay clubs or bars …"
How on earth can he ignore the huge number of gay dating web sites that existed back then and still exist today, i.e. gaydar,, manhunt, gayromeo, fitlads, manjam, the fetish site recon, and so on? However, I'm not going to disagree with his first sentence. Even though I haven't been on the dating or cruising scene since 2009, I am well aware that Grindr has become an invaluable resource for finding like-minded guys who're nearby!

Although I split up with ex-boyfriend T in late July, I didn't start using Grindr until mid August. A couple of days after my enjoyable 24 hours, I'm logged into Grindr in the morning when a cute young Asian guy (who turns out to be called M) sends me a few messages:

M: Morning
M: Do u like Asian guys
M: U look nice :-)
GB: Thx
GB: My last 2 boyfriends were Asian
M: :)
M: I like older white guys
M: Looking for fun n bf

We chat a bit more, and it turns out that he's originally from Bengal, although he lives in the UK now. One thing about Grindr is that it only lets you post one pic on your profile, although it does allow you to send pics that you've got stored on your device through its message system. So we exchange a couple more pics, and he seems to like me:

M: U look really nice guy
GB: Are you free to meet now? Easier to talk face to face than this msg system
M: Yah
M: U can come to mine if you like

He gives me his address, and before too long I'm in a taxi headed towards his apartment. The apartment turns out to be located on the top floor of a recently refurbished tower block, and there's still a lot of building work going on at the base of the tower, so it takes me a while to work out where the entrance is. But once I find the right entrance, he buzzes me into the building and soon I'm in a lift heading up to the floor where his apartment is located.

Stepping out of the lift, I look around and see M peering out from behind his door with an inviting smile on his face, so I walk over to him.

"Nice to meet you :-)," I say quietly, in case any of his neighbours are listening, "can I come in?"

He lets me into his apartment without saying a word. He's dressed in a t-shirt, with a sarong loosely tied around his waist. I can't help wondering whether he's wearing any underwear under the sarong, although I expect that the answer is 'No' :-).

"Thanks for coming over :-)", he says still smiling, once the door has been closed.

"No problem," I reply, putting my arm on his nearest shoulder and smiling back at him, "now, where do you want me?"

"Shall we have a cup of coffee?" he asks.

We walk along a corridor which is cluttered with a couple of bikes and various other stuff that I don't look at too closely, but once we get into the main living area I'm immediately impressed by the views.

"Wow," I say amazed, standing in his kitchen, "from here you can see Canary Wharf, AND all the skyscrapers in the City of London too :-)."

"Unfortunately it's not my apartment," says M, with a tone in his voice that suggests that he needs to admit something to me.

"This apartment belongs to my boyfriend, well …, he's sort of my boyfriend!"

While he's making the coffee, he tells me about his situation.

"We've been together for about two years now, but my so-called 'boyfriend' isn't really into relationships. So it's an open relationship, and he's off all time meeting other guys, although we still have sex together too. I'm not happy because I want a proper relationship, that starts out as monogamous for the first few years at least."

"And where is your boyfriend now?" I ask, wondering if I'm likely to meet him at all.

"Oh, he's away for a few weeks. He's not originally from the UK so he's back visiting his friends and family in his home country, and sleeping with lots of guys there too I'm sure!"

I feel a bit sorry for M because he's a gorgeous guy and very friendly too, but he's clearly not happy with his domestic arrangements. He's also just the sort of person that I'd be happy to introduce to my mother as my own boyfriend, so I'm surprised that he hasn't found himself a much better partner to live with.

"Anyway," he says smiling at me now, "what about you?"

I tell him about my recent split with ex-boyfriend T, and we chat a bit more about our work and our lives while we drink the coffee.

"Where did I leave my phone?" says M suddenly, and he starts to get up from his chair. I look down at his sarong, and I think I can make out a nice perky bulge in the appropriate place! As he passes where I'm sitting, he leans towards me and gives me a slow kiss on the lips.

"Hmmm, that's nice :-)," I say, and rather than staying where I am, I get up to follow him around as he tries to find his phone.

A few seconds later, he turns to look at me, and now it's me that starts kissing him. Putting my hand underneath his tea shirt, I gently start playing with his nipples too. I can tell that he enjoys it!

"Let me help you," I say quietly, and I lift his t-shirt over his head so that he's standing there half naked, nipples slightly erect, now wearing only his sarong. He helps me off with my t-shirt too, and for a short while we stand there with our bare chests pressed together as we hug and cuddle each other for the first time. Reaching down, I now loosen his sarong too, and as it drops to the floor everything is as I expected! No underwear, and with the perky bulge now proudly exposed as proof that he's been enjoying my attention :-).

"Perhaps we'd be more comfortable in the bedroom," he says with a huge grin on his face, so I follow him down the cluttered hall. Soon we're both naked on his bed, and we have a wonderful time together :-). Afterwards, we just lie there for a while, cuddling each other and feeling very comfortable in each other's company.

"It would be nice to see you again," says M as we're getting dressed. "Perhaps you'd like to stay over one night? There are great night-time views of the London skyline from this apartment, but you'll need to come over before my 'boyfriend' gets home!"

"Yes, I'd like that very much :-)," I answer, "or perhaps you'd like to visit me?"

However, a few days later, I agree with M that I should visit him late one evening and stay overnight. We both have other commitments during the evening, so I don't end up arriving until just before 11pm.

"I brought you a bottle of wine," I say smiling at him as he lets me into his apartment.

"Thanks GB, that's great," he says closing the door, smiling back at me. "Come on, let's go through and have a drink :-)."

Sitting again in his kitchen, the night-time views are certainly spectacular. He gets a cold bottle of white wine out of the fridge, pours a couple of classes, and we sit together with our legs slightly touching as we look out at the London skyline.

"Do you do drugs at all?" he asks.

"Apart from this one?" I ask playfully, holding up my wine glass. "Not much actually! In the past I've done a little bit of cannabis in its various forms, but not much else. What about you?"

"My 'boyfriend' smokes quite a bit of marijuana," replies M, "but he also does a bit of E and sometimes LSD. I often join in with him when he does."

"I had some friends a few years ago that liked E," I say, "They used to talk about 'love-ey' E and 'dancey' E. The 'dancey' E was apparently good when you wanted to go to night clubs and dance all night, and the 'love-ey' E just made you want to cuddle each other, or something like that :-). But I never tried it. I was always worried about whether I trusted the dodgy looking people who supplied it!"

"Yes, you have to trust the people you get it from," replies M, "but having sex while on E is amazing! It would be nice to do it with you sometime :-)?"

I haven't ever had an opportunity like this before, and I find myself quite tempted, although I'm a bit nervous about the idea too.

"Are you suggesting tonight?" I ask M, curious to find out more.

"Actually, if you've never done it before, it would be best to do it somewhere that you're familiar with. Perhaps I can stay at your place sometime, and then we could do it there?"

"OK, that's a nice idea :-)."

We talk for ages, drinking a few glasses of wine, and looking out at the amazing view. While we're chatting, he shows me what the E tablets look like, and also shows me some LSD which he's got in the fridge. But we don't take anything.

After an hour or so, we both start to feel slightly tired, so eventually we make our way into the bedroom. We kiss and cuddle and play with each other etc, and when we're all done we fall asleep naked in each other's arms. The next morning we have breakfast together, and tentatively agree that M should stay the night with me at some point in the near future.

Since then M's 'boyfriend' has returned, so I haven't been able to visit him again in that stunning apartment. But we've exchanged a few txt msgs, although no further meetings have been arranged. At this stage I'm not sure whether I'll end up seeing M again or not. In any case, I certainly hope that he ends up getting a new boyfriend that can give him the love and attention that he deserves :-).