I'm acquainted with a gay couple. More than any guys I know, they live the perfect gay life. If I was granted a life "do over" and had to be gay, this is the life I would copy. As I look at their life from afar, I think about how this happened. Sure, they are both high quality, good guys. But there was certain amount of luck and good timing involved here.
They met in 1992 when they were both 18 or 19. They grew up in the Washington, DC metro area, and both were sons of military officers. Having been raised by this type of conservative parents you'd be right if you guessed that being gay would not go over well at home.
It was the beginning of the internet age and that was fortuitous for these two young men. They met in an AOL chat room. They lived not far from each other and it was easy to meet and fool around. They grew closer during their four years at Ivy League universities. They are both good looking and athletic, and one is Asian.
After college they moved together to the west coast. The partnership was born at age 21.
One began a great career working for tech companies. The other became a doctor.
This is an amazing love affair, friendship and partnership. These two are the rarest of gay men as I believe they've each had only the one partner.
Now they are a DINK couple living in a million dollar condo on the west coast. They're totally out. They travel the world together....running the London marathon or exploring Europe and Asia. Surely they are in the top 1% (added for the benefit of one reader who's interested in that). It's a great life.
There's some good luck here. The internet has made it tremendously easier for gay men to connect. Had these guys been born a few years earlier they would not have met. They were living in a large metro area where there are many guys. Right time, right place. Most of all they were lucky to meet the "one," the right guy, when they were both still only 20 years old. Their love and mutual support motivated them, and gave them the courage to live the life they were destined for. These are exactly the kind of guys you would expect to hide their gay feelings and get married. Turn back the clock a few years and that's what would have happened.
Your life may not have gone on the direction you now wished it would have. But look back at those critical turning points. They happened for a reason back then, and probably not an accident. You can't live your life looking back and bemoaning what could have been. Look forward at what could be.
Right now your life is not what you want it to be. It can be improved.
The best medicine for depression is exercise. Believe me it works. Depression drugs are presented by the pharmaceutical companies as a panacea....they are not. I've found exercise is very effective. As an added benefit, getting in shape makes you more confident and possibly more attractive, so other aspects of your life may also improve.
Making friends and maintaining friendships takes work. I shouldn't call it work, because that implies that it's unpleasant -- and it shouldn't be. If I meet a quality guy around my age, I should put some effort into maintaining that friendship. Partly because there are so few quality guys around my age. We all should be willing to maintain friendships with guys who we are not interested in having sex with. This is an area where I need improvement. I don't put enough effort into maintaining friendships.
It's interesting to me that people outside my circle of work friends and grad school classmates are aghast at my work-life balance. It's better now than it used to be. For a corporate go getter, working 55-60 hours a week is the norm. That's 10-12 hours a day, and sometimes weekends. When you have a job like that, you can't turn it off when you get home at 7pm. It seems I'm always thinking about a work problem. Making a mental checklist of what I need to me doing tomorrow. Checking emails at 10pm. I should be shifting gears to do something different. I need to be engaged by something totally different so that I am NOT thinking about work. That's why having friends is good. Working on the garden was also good for me. Watching TV does not engage me, and I'm always multitasking when I watch TV.
How do you totally unwind and become relaxed? I was going to attend this meditation seminar last weekend, as I thought that might be a solution. Listening to jazz or classical sometimes helps me. I need true relaxation and quality sleep.
I'm guilty of this too. I frequently suggest a therapist to people. When all you know is a hammer every problem is a nail.
It's not a possibility for me. No way. I am sick of therapists. I've been to numerous therapists over the course of my divorce -- both voluntary and court ordered. I'm not going back.
I did benefit from it somewhat. To go back and tell my story to someone from the beginning all over again? Forget it.
As an INTJ I don't need a lot of social interaction. In fact too much, like being at a packed bar or Holiday party really bothers me. If I'm with one or two people, that's enough. Better if they are quiet "I"'s as well. There are people in my phone book I could call for dinner - both gay and straight -- but I just haven't done it
I'm sure Ross wasn't an extreme I. He may have been slightly E. But he was fun to spend time with. If I could just connect with one person.
Connecting with one person. That said, I've made barely any effort to meet anyone. You'd think that if I really wanted to meet someone I'd put some effort forth.....but I haven't. Maybe I really don't want that. I'm less motivated now than I was a few years ago.
Work, eat, sleep, jackoff.......what if that's what your life has boiled down to?
That's the way I feel lately. I recently read Icarus' post and a comment from Scott, and it got me thinking. I don't want to have just an "existence." Why am I not motivated to do more?
Am I depressed? I have no problem getting up in the morning. I'm in my office by 7:30 without fail. I am not going to jump off a building. I have a very comfortable life.
Am I happy? I'm not really sure. Am I unhappy? I'm not. Would I describe myself as "blue"? Not really.
I have no motivation to meet people. I have friends in my phone directory who I should call, but haven't. Now that call will be awkward. I haven't seen Ross since last September. I should call him, but haven't. I spoke with Seth recently, but the last time we had spoken was November.
Last weekend I was thinking about going to a three hour seminar on meditation. I was going to call Ross to see if he wanted to go to lunch as the seminar was not far from his house. I didn't go. I just didn't want to.
I haven't had a weekend out of town by myself for more than a year.
I have been to the gym three times in the last week. But I didn't go during this week.
I'm not motivated to meet any guys. I did meet Kamran.....who seems to have vanished btw. But he was a quiet "I" and it was easy for me.
For a while now I've been interested in nothing. Aside from magazines I haven't done much reading. I haven't really been interested in meeting anyone. I didn't want to go out at all this winter. In short, I haven't been interested in anything.
This spring I got outside. I cleaned my yard. I cut down brush. As soon as I recovered from poison ivy, I built two raised gardens for vegetables, and also planted blueberry bushes. I've spent most of many weekends working on this. My yard looks better than it ever has. I met some new neighbors who are busy working on their yard too.
At least I'm doing something productive and not watching stupid shit on Bravo.
I think I'd be happier in a more temperate climate. Someplace where I don't feel forced inside for the winter. I need to be in a city, but not a cold one. But not too hot either. Maybe Virginia or Raleigh-Durham. This winter makes me wonder if I have seasonal affective disorder.
I didn't see Kamran last weekend. He's a nice guy, but I should just move on. We can be friends I guess, but this fling is doing nothing for me.
I'm doing something beside work. That's a good thing.
I spent Saturday night with Kamran. He really is a nice guy. But so sheltered. On Sunday I was telling Seth about what happened and we were both laughing hysterically.
"Rob, do you like camping? I want to have sex outside under the moonlight."
Then a few questions I've heard before from other guys:
"Have you ever had a three way? I want to try that."
"Have you ever had sex with a black guy?"
I had a condom with me. "Oh, let me see that. I've never seen a condom before. Where do you buy them?"
"What do you think of my penis? Do you think it's small?" Who would ask that??
I asked him why he was circumcised. It's very uncommon for Indian guys. He told me he had to be circumcised at age 24 because the foreskin was too tight. He couldn't walk for two days and took two weeks off of work.
I think he has a sexual bucket list that he wants to fulfill before he goes back to India. I did suggest a gay campground where we could go to "have sex under the moonlight." Half in jest. He said he's not ready for that yet.
He asked what was my favorite restaurant. All I could think of was this place where we frequently have business dinners -- amazing filet mignon. How do I tell a Hindu that my favorite restaurant is a steakhouse? He seemed to take it ok.
Anyway, he's a nice guy An intelligent and thoughtful "I".
Last week I came across an article about online porn in a surprising place: The Wall Street Journal.
It was also interesting to me that the article stayed in the "Most Read" section for a few days.
The point of the article is that the proliferation of online porn is causing some real societal problems. No fewer than 12% of all websites are porn sites. The use of porn is particularly pervasive among young people. The sex education of a whole generation of men is from, you guessed it, porn. Women complain of repeatedly finding themselves in sexual situations right out of a porn flick. Where do you think guys have learned that sex always ends with a facial cumshot?
The article states that, "Repetitive viewing of pornography resets neural pathways, creating the
need for a type and level of stimulation not satiable in real life. The
user is thrilled, then doomed." Studies show that men who frequently used online porn came to view women more as objects than people. The new DSM-5 is adding a diagnosis called "Hypersexual Disorder" which includes porn addiction. These guys who are porn addicts......there's a certain depravity about them.
The author cites studies that say the only way to "rewire" one's brain to eliminate the negative effects of repeated pornography use is to stop using it all together. Stop using it and the appetite for porn will go away.
Some guys who compulsively use porn never have a relationship. Porn is the lover who satisfies all their sexual needs. When they do find themselves in a sexual encounter they may not be able to orgasm because the real thing is a let down compared to the fantasy of porn.
Some of these problems may be magnified for gay men. There is an astounding amount of gay porn on line. Perhaps 90% of the porn for 10% of the men.
Every gay man has a need to masturbate. Who jacks off without porn? Whether you JO once a day or once a month it seems all guys use porn to get off. What's the alternative? Porn is so easily accessible that it's hard to pass it up. If you are not in some kind of relationship that satisfies your sexual needs, then what do you do? How do you "stop using porn all together"?
One truth about porn is that the more you use it the more you want it. What starts as an occasional benign habit can turn into compulsive use. But what about the effects on the guy who briefly uses porn two or three times a week to get off. Not a porn addict, but what negative effects there?