Saturday, 29 December 2012

Hometown Hook-Ups

As you may have gathered, I live in a large Eastern city, and I live in its Gay Village.  But previous to this, I lived in a small city near the Rocky Mountains, and I’m writing to you from there now, visiting on vacation.  My family picked me up at the airport early last week, and as we drove into the downtown core, I spotted a place that caused my soul to lurch with a wave of sentimentality.  The place?  The Holiday Inn Express Hotel.

We kept driving towards my family’s apartment building located on the fringes of downtown and we passed The Westin, The Coast Plaza Hotel and the Carleton Hotel.  As we drove, I did my best to chat and play the role of “son”, but seeing those hotels recalled a part of me perhaps more authentic than that of “son”.

In each of those hotels, I recalled a hook-up.

And it wasn’t just hotels.  I had lived in this backwater city for a decade, and had had hook-ups in homes and apartments dotted across town.  On this trip, there would be no time or opportunity for men.  I was here to see parents and friends, whom I hadn’t seen in almost two years.  On the plane, I had already begun to slip into the roles that I would play – that of son and buddy.  It wasn’t until I saw the Holiday Inn Express Hotel that I realized that the role I felt most authentic in was the one I played when naked with a man.  I looked forward to talking with my family and friends, but I longed even more to be back in room #212 in the Holiday Inn Express, where words weren’t always necessary.  Instead, I and another naked man with a matching need would communicate on a visceral level – with words, if necessary, but also with taste and touch.

We continued driving, and passed the apartment complex that I had lived in while residing here.  I thought not of the parties with friends, or the meals I’d burnt in the kitchen, or the view from my 23rd floor window.  Instead, I remembered the men I’d welcomed over – some of whom I’d connected with, some of whom I hadn’t really, but respected all the same.  Respected them for skipping the niceties of normal society and baring their need to me.  They would leave and I’d be left to wonder what their “real” lives were like, the life in which they had to put a mask on and return to being a son, a brother, a friend, a banker, a waiter, a doctor.

During a hook-up, I was so unmasked and authentic, that I could also be terribly vulnerable.  I would sometimes say goodbye to a hook-up, leave his place, and feel that I’d left a part of my soul behind on his bedside table.  There would be times when I wouldn’t really connect with someone I was hooking up with and feel dirty afterwards, as if I had raped myself somehow, my emotions shaken and stirred.  But that feeling would subside, and I’d be online again, looking for the next hook-up.  

Because often I would luck out and really dig the guy I was hooking up with.  Yes, I realized that even during the hook-up, I was playing a role (that of sex buddy).  But the role did away with worldly pretense and most of all, hypocrisy.  Thus, the role felt authentic, at least to me, and the by-product of that was that I felt alive and realized.

Living here, I had felt so isolated as a gay man that I believe I hooked-up sometimes for the wrong reasons in order to just feel noticed.  Now, living in a Gay Village, I am no longer isolated and therefore less inclined to hook-up out of desperation.  I used to think that hook-ups were just about getting off.  But if that were so, we could all just jerk off.  No, we hook-up because we need to be seen.  We need our authentic sexual needs acknowledged and accepted.  Even if we like being single, and feel that we are not the marrying kind, we still need to be touched occasionally (touched gently if you wish, or slapped hard by a gorgeous dom Master).

The new trend for gays is to resist being ghettoized and to not live in a Gay Village.  But here I am in my old town, and the world feels and looks so straight that I feel like a ghost walking through it. I feel a void here that cannot be filled by terrific parents and loving friends.  I feel castrated and lonely, and I would sleep with just about anybody just to be recognized as a fellow gay traveller. 

I’m ready to go home.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Anonymous Sex and Soccer Moms

Religion screwed me up about sex.  Celibate priests and sexless saints.    Feeling compelled to wash my hands obsessively just at the thought of arousal.  Terrified because I found Jesus attractive.  The lessons I learned in those days led me to see the sexual realm as somehow “dark”, while religion was supposedly the bastion of “light” (and therefore necessarily divorced from sexuality).  I recall reading a book that told me that masturbation was an affront to god, and that the only sex deemed holy was that had in the sanctity of marriage.

I got to thinking about the soccer mom who might, on a Saturday night, accidentally stumble across my blog while looking for a blog on knitting.  What would she possibly make of it? Would she cluck her tongue at male sexuality, especially gay male sexuality and its supposed excesses?  And on Sunday morning, as she sings “Alleluia” from her pew, does she silently pray for me, that I will turn from my sinful ways?  Does she pray that I’ll recant?

What would she think if I told her that I’ve seen videos on Xtube of anonymous sexual encounters?  You know the kind – someone posts an ad on craigslist and waits, ass up, for a stranger to walk in and fuck him.  When I clicked on these videos, I expected something dark, something frightening, but found them often...friendly.  It often started with a Hello, and ended with a Thanks (and sometimes See You Next Week).  Does our collective conscience deem such an experience as dark only because it falls way out of the realm of “normal” sexual contact?

Because what about our soccer mom, who after church, comes home where she and her husband have loveless sex.  Loveless because of twenty odd years of emotional wounds inflicted and resentments harboured.   Her husband hired a new, young secretary two weeks ago.  She’s noted that he takes longer in the morning to get ready for work and she is not a stupid woman.  And now, with her husband on top of her, she prays again, just as she did at church, but this time for him to climax and just be done with it.  But it’s all within the sanctity of marriage.  Am I supposed to see this as “light”?

Am I promoting anonymous sex, like the kind I described above?  Absolutely not.  It would be irresponsible of me.  I was robbed once by a trick.  I’ve had friends who have invited strangers over for play and ended up physically assaulted.  What I am suggesting is a paradigm shift, an awakening to the idea that if it’s safe, sane and between consenting adults, we might find sexual beauty in the unlikeliest of places, scenarios and kinks.  Alleluia indeed.

Saturday, 15 December 2012


Dear (Unknown Name):  I was sitting on the edge of the pool table at the Eagle and I was in full hunting mode.  I was horny, and feeling aggressive about it – I wanted to get laid.  You saw me and recognized me from a fetish event a while back and reintroduced Yourself.  And I wasn’t interested.  And because I sometimes think the world revolves around me, I assumed You wanted to sleep with me.  Because I was thinking only with my dick, it didn’t dawn on me that You were genuinely just trying to be friendly.  And friendly You were.  You were kind, witty and had a gentle aura about You.  And because You are a sensitive human being, You sensed my reticence, looked at the floor, and quietly said “Well, have a good night” and walked away.

Then Paul walked into the Eagle.  Paul, my dream man, popular in the community.  I had met him at his fortieth birthday celebration a year earlier and we had kissed.  Subsequently, when running into each other at the Eagle, we would find ourselves in a dark corner.  He would spit on my chest and we’d kiss and swap horny energy.  But he was always somewhat out of reach – he never came home with me, no matter how much I tried to get it to happen.

Paul entered and I walked up to him and hugged him and the flirting dance began yet again.  But Paul noticed a friend behind me and said “Hey (Forgotten Name), how the hell are you?”  I turned around and it was You, the kind, polite man I’d just rebuffed moments earlier.  This time, You did not acknowledge my presence, and rightly so.  A group of men formed at the bar, with Paul the center.  We joked and talked, and I looked at You and smiled.  We were all friends, weren’t we?  But You looked down and away.  You had seen me preen my peacock feathers in front of Paul.  When you avoided my smile, I felt hot with shame.  My flirtatious dance with Paul now seemed pathetic and sad in light of how I’d treated You, Paul’s friend, so indifferently a few minutes ago.  You had class.  I had none, and I left the bar, without saying goodbye to anybody, not even Paul.  I was not worthy of Paul, and certainly not worthy of You.  I am sorry that still can’t remember Your name and I am so very sorry for my arrogance.

Dear Manuel:  Who says you can’t meet a great person at an orgy?  We met at 6 am at the end of an orgy on a Saturday night/Sunday morning.  When the party at the hotel dispersed, I took you home.  You were a stunning example of male beauty – latino, gorgeous muscles, an ass that wouldn’t quit, nipple piercings and a tattoo on your right hip.  Days later you emailed me pictures of yourself that you’d sent to PlayGirl Magazine.  There was no doubt in my mind that you would get a response from them.

I began to learn about you.  I held your naked body in my arms as you cried about the painful relationship you had with your father.  I felt you melting into me.  I listened as you earnestly looked me in the face one night after making love and whispered “No more hunting men online, no more orgies – just you and me.”

But my heart couldn’t crack open.  For whatever goddamn fucking fucked-up reason, I couldn’t feel what you were feeling.  And I so wanted to.  On paper, you seemed perfect – gorgeous, sensitive, loyal.  What kind of fool would bolt from this?  Only a fool named Jason.

Again, like the man at the Eagle in the letter above, you were sensing my reticence.  I could see it in your eyes.  You even had the balls to ask me if you were causing me stress, and I lied and said “No, no, everything is fine, everything is good.”  One morning, you woke in my bed and gently nudged me.  “Jason, let’s get up, go get some coffee.”  “Five more minutes,” I mumbled.  A half an hour later you said “Jason, honey, it’s a beautiful day, let’s make something of it.”  Again, I waived you away for another “five minutes”.  I never heard you leave, you crept out of my apartment so quietly.  We never spoke again.

We saw each other weeks later at the club.  You were with a new lover.  We smiled at each other and waved, but you looked wistful and sad at seeing me.  Your new boyfriend is a very lucky man.  What was wrong with me?

Dear Alanis Morissette:  You sang the line “What was wrong with me” in your song “Unsent”, from which this essay is inspired by.  In the song, you wrote unsent letters to men with whom you had some unfinished business, or something you wished you could have said to them.

Alanis, your album Jagged Little Pill was a seminal record for my generation.  Everyone could relate to you, as you discussed how men had disappointed you, hurt you, misunderstood you, or took you for granted.  How awful then that I should admit to often relating more to the men of whom you sang about.  Men whose hearts were un-open, or worse, empty.  Men who couldn’t connect.  Men whose emotional maturation was stunted.  I’m the guy that everyone always refers to as a “nice” guy, but evidently, I fail myself sometimes.  To know that I’ve caused pain to another man, especially one who has allowed himself to be vulnerable with me, is a jagged little pill to swallow.  And an apology seems hollow.  But, an apology this essay is.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

On Broadway

Finally, my trick returned to release me from his bedroom, which had become my hiding spot.  “Okay, the coast is clear,” he whispered.  He lead me to the apartment door (fortuitously positioned near the bedroom), opened it for me, and whispered a quick “thanks”. Whether he was thanking me for the fun we’d had, or for leaving so quietly and quickly, I’m not sure.   I turned back to say thanks as well, but as I did, the door closed quietly in my face before I could utter a word.  And so I did another about-face and turned to leave the building.  It was an unexpected ending to an unexpected hook up.

Rewind by forty-five minutes.  The first character is this story is me at age twenty-seven.  The place:  New York City.  It’s a bright, mid-week afternoon and I’m heading down Broadway towards Citibank.  As I approach the Citibank doors, out comes a handsome stranger, about my age, with sandy-colored and curly hair.  We notice each other and The Cruise begins:  Our pace slows and we make eye contact.  We pass each other and I head for the bank’s doors, but turn to look back.  He has cleverly headed to a pay phone and picked up the phone as if to make a call.  But he is not making a call.   Our eyes lock once more and his grin at me tells me that he will wait for me at the pay phone until I finish my business in the bank and return to him.  This non-verbal interaction took eight seconds.  God, we’re good.

When I exit Citibank, I see that he is still holding the phone.  As I pass, we lock eyes and he hangs up.  We fall into step with each other and now shyly smile at each other. “ Hey” I say, and he responds with “Hey”.  “What you up to?” he asks.  “Not too much,” I reply.  And with that, we are headed to his place which he tells me is nearby.

Once inside his apartment, we head to the bedroom, and he is on his knees.  My cock is released from my jeans and he goes to town on it.  My fingers comb through the gorgeous curls on his head and he expertly gives me head.  He’s working it as if my cock owes him money.  He hasn’t released his own cock from his pants and I ask him if I can give him a hand too – fair is fair.  But he looks up at me and smiles and says he’s doing just fine.  So I relax and let myself be served.  I’m a man in my prime, and a beautiful man whom I’ve just met wants to take me in his mouth.  I don’t yet know his name, but who’s paying attention to details at this point?

I’m ready to cum, and I tell him so.  Will he take it in his mouth, or let the cum fall to the floor?  I don’t remember which option he chose, I just remember the flood of pleasure mixed with guilt, since he’s done all the work, and I’ve just lain there and been served.  Is this how he likes it though?

When I return to earth after the orgasm, we look at each other and smile.  He is really beautiful and we sort of laugh, partly because we’ve been so daring, and partly because we are thinking “what now?”  And that’s when we hear the lock to the apartment door click and the door open. 

“Hey Paul, I’m hooooome!” a female voice sings.  “Are you here?”  My trick (so his name is Paul, is it?) drops his smile and a look of terror takes its place.  I know instinctively not to say a word.  “I’m in my room, just changing, be right out!” he bellows.  He pleadingly looks at me and places a finger to his lips, but I don’t need to be told to keep quiet.  He leaves me in the bedroom, closing the door behind him, and I hear “Hey Claudette, what are you doing home so early?” 

With an overly dramatic flair, I decide that this is how Anne Frank felt hiding in the attic and wait until Paul eventually finds some way to release me.  He returns shortly.  “The coast is clear.”  His friend Claudette (roommate? wife? sister?) is chattering from another room as a frazzled Paul fumbles me to the door, opens it and with a quick “thanks”, gently pushes me out.  A narrow escape, but I’m out.  Dear Lord, I hope I didn’t drop my wallet inside.  I check and see that I have everything I came with and turn to go.  When I get back onto the street, the sun is still out, and New Yorkers are still scurrying everywhere.  Nothing stopped while I was playing Anne Frank.  And so I blend in with the crowd on the street and continue on my path uptown on Broadway.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Self Love

Self love.  Not always easy.  Let’s walk through it together.

Tonight, your eyes lock with a handsome stranger at the bar.  He is the kind of guy you don’t just want to fuck, but to make love to.  You smile, and he smiles back. You know you knew him in a past life, you just know it.  You know what he would look like in bed as you bring him coffee in the morning.  You know that you could weather anything in life with a man like that by your side.   But the dance between you is interrupted by a seemingly lesser mortal who moves in on your prey for the kill.  And your handsome stranger responds to this intruder, rendering you all of a sudden seemingly invisible.  You know you’re supposed to take it like a man and move on, but this time, you can’t.  Your want for that handsome stranger was so profound, like a kick to the stomach.  Any other man tonight would be a meagre substitute.  The only thing to do is go home.

And so now, your horniness is mixed with loneliness, and you curse your luck.  You’re going to reclaim your sexuality tonight if it kills you.  You grab a pill bottle from the fridge that is filled with saved cum.  Playing with your saved loads never fails to get you off and tonight, you need to pull out the big guns.  You know it’s an extreme fetish, but after watching enough of, you realize that you’re not the first one to come up with the idea of saving his own loads to play with later.  In fact, now when you see home porn that is vanilla, you wonder what repression the performers might be suffering from.

You turn on some music to get you in the mood, set the lighting, and pour yourself a whiskey.   Are you drinking that whiskey because you’re sexually numb without it?  Or perhaps you feel too much without it.  You want to masturbate, to take back your power, but you take a look in the mirror and all you see are flaws.  These are the flaws that make you look down in shame when a cute guy on the subway looks your way.  These are the parts of your face and body that make you pull back from men out of fear.  Is he looking at me because he’s interested, or because he thinks I’m hideous?  If you think like that, I’d like to tell you a secret.  Keep reading.

Back when I lived near the Rockies, I knew a gay guy with the most perfectly imperfect nose.  Think Barbra Streisand’s nose on a regular looking dude.  I was acutely aware that some men might find his nose a flaw. I, on the otherhand, fetishized his nose.  If his nose had been “perfect”, I don’t think I would have looked twice.  So the guy on the subway might just be fetishizing your so-called imperfections.  I know this for a fact, since I do it all the time.  It bears repeating: Your “imperfection” might be another’s fetish.  Think about this when you beat yourself up for your seeming imperfections.  Think about this.

You leave the mirror behind and turn on some porn – that’ll help get you there, you think.  You know you’re not alone, jerking off at 2:30 in the morning.  You know this because often, when you click on a porn link, you get an error message saying that the website is too busy at the moment.  So you’re alone, but not alone.

And who are you?  Are you just a regular Joe whom you think no one notices?  Tonight, in your reverie, you can be a stripper, adored by legions of men.  Are you, in your real life, a stripper?  Tonight you had to dance for men who categorized you and bartered for your attention.  Now, back at home, your sexuality is yours and only yours again.

The porn you are watching taunts you, reminding you that you are alone at 2:30 in the morning, feeling rejected.  You tell yourself “you cannot, will not reject yourself”.  You touch your cock, hold the shaft tight while cupping your balls, and you immediately release them.  The power of your sexuality feels too strong.  You fear that it could overwhelm you.  Are you walking the dog, or is the dog walking you?  But your sense of self-preservation kicks in and you promise yourself to try to masturbate to completion.  You cannot, will not, go to bed defeated and curl up into a little ball and give up on yourself.  You take that pill bottle of saved cum and pour it in your beard, on your hairy chest, watching it drip and slide down your torso towards your bush.  You fight to enjoy it, when a little thought, a worry, a fear, threatens to derail you.  For some reason you can’t give in to the pleasure.  Thoughts as small as a pebble on the beach can grow to the size of boulders in your head, and you begin to wonder if you don’t on some level believe you deserve pleasure.

And so you look at the pill bottle, empty now except for the residue of cum inside of it.  What kind of pills did that pill bottle originally hold?  Anti-depressants because the world is sometimes fucking too much?  Were they life-saving pills to protect you from an illness that threatens to take away more than just your sexuality?

You jack your cock, and amazingly it starts to respond and harden.  You eventually do cum.  It’s not the best orgasm, but you celebrate it nevertheless, because tonight, you really had to fight for that orgasm, fight to reclaim your sexuality.  And tomorrow, you will fight for world peace, fight to get on a crowded subway, fight to be heard in a world so loud your ears ring.  You will celebrate the times that your sexuality isn’t a fight, when grace enters and you cum effortlessly without your head getting in the way. 

Self love: worth fighting for.