Honesty in dating

Yes, I’m stealing another of kevinatkinson’s posts.  What can I say – he writes good stuff.

The post below is titled “No more than just a one night stand, no regrets no future plans” in which Kevin discusses a guy he met on Grindr that ultimately turned into a one night stand.

But Kevin brings up an interesting theory – that in his experience, two men who prefer the same sexual position aren’t compatible.  Curious to hear some other’s thoughts on that.

But the last paragraph is why I love Kevin’s writing and why I asked him to join our team here at Sex, Love, and Labels.  Stop being the right person for someone else, and start being the person you already are.

 

Alright. So, in my return to writing, which happened earlier this week due to me having feelings and the life…I return to actually writing. About stuff, and things, and whatever blah blah stuff. Today I get to write about dating, and how no matter what people say…you can’t just change to make things work.

So. A guy on Scruff about 5 months ago messaged me. Hot in that way that you ALMOST question why they’re so interested in you. Either it’s an end to a means or they’re just desperate levels. I don’t ever say no to really attractive people messaging me, so I responded. Through very few messages we determined that we were the same sexual position preference. He was very inquisitive to whether I would ever date another top? What if we found bottoms to top together? I was very honest to him: I’ve dated other tops, and it hasn’t worked for me. Dating someone who is the same as you sexually often times doesn’t work. You both gravitate to the same moves, same desires, same tendencies. So you’re left with a lot of moves that no one is satisfied by. Or half of the routines done on “So You Think You Can Dance.”

I ended the conversation after making it pretty clear that two tops dating hasn’t worked out well for me, at least in my experience. Months passed. Seasons changed. The Gay High Holidays came, rose, and set. Fall actually came to San Francisco. And suddenly a message appeared on Scruff from this same very hot guy. Saying: I really think we should try.

Bold. I was impressed. Bold says a lot about a man. He was clear: maybe it’s worth being sexually incompatible to find a man that you connect with. What if beyond sex it was actually about that spark and down the road hope you can find which makes it worth it, not whether you’re a top or a bottom? He dared me to think: well, why not?

So I said yeah. Why not. Let’s meet for a drink.

We met for a drink. He a beer, me a gin and soda. We connected. We talked. Laughed. Kissed over our drinks. Kissing was good, so we went back to his place (conveniently a building over) and hooked up. The sexual interactions were awkward yet genuine. Two people jockeying for dominance. Decent orgasms, and then a delightful cuddle: quiet, close, and comforting. I left, we kissed at the corner, and I made my way home.

Jump two days. I ask how his week is going over text. A quick and simple response:

It’s going well. In kindness, I’m not interested in moving forward.

In my wonderful me, I say “Cool. Kindness is appreciated,” when all I wanted to tell him was “DIDN’T I FUCKING TELL YOU MONTHS AGO THAT I DIDN’T THINK THIS WOULD WORK?!” Fortunately I didn’t. I like to think I have enough decorum left in me to not make that misstep.

Ultimately, this moment is essential for me. It reminds me to trust my instinct. The moment we talked, I knew this guy and I wouldn’t work long term. Or at all. And through determination (from him) and desperation (from me) we met and all of that was confirmed. From both sides.

I’m not hurt or devastated by this, thankfully. If anything it’s fully steeled me to be exactly me. Changing one’s self to match a person has never been high on my priorities, and this revealed very clearly that I should never do so.

Ultimately, dating is a test of just how honest you are to yourself. Who are you? What do you stand for? How do you bring that authentically to the world? I think that’s the part of dating we all forget. We get so intent on being the right person for someone else, not the being the person we are. Which ultimately leaves neither party happy, and in the end leaves us bitter and sad.

Being Ugly: Chapter One

Hey, its Will again. It has been literally ages since I wrote my first post for this blog, and literally the entire world has changed, and when justgngr told me I had an old unpublished post in here, I was kinda scared of what I didn’t remember writing… but here it is. Lightly edited and an actual lending added, hope you enjoy:

I have an inkling that the main reason I was asked to contribute to this blog is that I have a perspective that its founder doesn’t – I am an ugly gay person. Now, obviously, justgngr is gay… but he’s also very good looking. The world runs differently when you’re good looking – that applies to all people, regardless of sexuality – but it is amplified in the gay community.

I’ve been fat my entire life. The shopping trips I recall as a little kid were always in the “husky” section. A bookish, mildly-effeminate chubby kid, I was naturally a target for ridicule and derision in school from my peers. Truthfully, I didn’t really have any actual friends until college, so I may have missed some of the usual socialization milestones. I could carry on a grownup conversation, but didn’t know anything about how to be a kid – my non-classroom times were spent eating my PB&J in the bathroom or an empty classroom.

Some time in high school, puberty hit. Along with the realization that I was gay came the realization that everyone disliked me because I was ugly AND gay, not just ugly… but in addition, puberty has an evil way of magnifying one’s insecurities. I started growing hair in all the usual puberty places, but also on my shoulders and back, while at the same time started losing the hair on my head. Balding at 17 is not a good look, I promise you, but for the chubby gay 17-year-old with patches of hair on his jawline trying to fuse with the patches of hair on his shoulders, it just makes you look like you’ve decided to give up on any chance you ever had of getting laid.

Which is a bit odd because I lost my virginity right around that time. To a guy. From the internet. I had a great time – someone actually wanted me! To be quite honest, that’s all that sex has been for me since – knowing that for those 10-20 minutes, someone actually wants to be around you, even if it is just to get their dick sucked.

But hey, at least, for those few minutes, I get to feel sexy…

I’ll be exploring this topic much more moving forward, so lets just call this Chapter One.

 

Dancing in the Dark

Given recent events in North Carolina and Mississippi, the post below may be more relevant than ever.  By Hardy Haberman, the post comes from Leatherati – a site dedicated to the leather community – but provides amazing insight into the trans community as well.  I think the best line is probably “Most of the trans folk I know don’t set themselves apart as ‘trans’, they identify as the gender they present.”  It would seem that the only people these days who suggest that the trans community should be set apart are politicians.  Enjoy the read, and share your thoughts.

I enjoy the dance, the sometimes subtle and sometimes brazen choreography of cruising.

He was about 5’4” tall, and slim, but still had enough muscle on him to be interesting. Dressed in jeans with heavy wear on the knees, a leather vest with no insignia and a leather ball cap pulled low over his eyes. His boots shined like glass, military polish. He was a tempting target.

I no longer drink, so I don’t hang out in bars very much, but I do attend a lot of leather events and this one had just become more promising. In the decidedly non-cruisy foyer of the hotel, he and I had already made contact. We hadn’t spoken, but by the way he stayed just far enough away from me to be polite, but close enough wherever I went, I knew I had him hooked.

Or maybe he had me. That’s the thing about cruising, predator and prey are mutually amenable to the whole experience, so it sometimes becomes hard to tell who is pursuing who.

Finally I made eye contact and nodded toward him. He approached and stood at a respectful distance. I knew his name, thank God for events that have name tags, and I asked him if he had plans for the evening. He responded with a wonderfully military, “Sir, no Sir.”

After a little negotiation which involved the usual “what are you into” conversation as well as talk about health issues, limits and intimate details I won’t go into here, we agreed that having a scene together was what we both wanted.

The event had three dungeons set up for the nightly parties. One was “pansexual”, one was for men only and one for women only. At this event the pansexual dungeon was pretty much the venue of heterosexual folks and he was uncomfortable with that energy, so we entered the men’s space. It was dark, and mostly abandoned, but it would do well for what we had in mind.

The boy removed his boots while I got my set floggers near a suitable St. Andrew’s Cross. He put his boots and socks aside and presented himself to me. I removed his leather vest and unbuttoned his jeans. In moments I had undressed him to his leather jock and had him against the cross. His muscular back was a perfect playground for me and he responded well to my work. Before long he had bright raised welts in a herring bone pattern across the pale expanse of his shoulders and his ass was glowing pink. I could tell by his body language he was having a good time, as was I.

After a very exciting and exhausting 45 minutes, I hugged him and pulled him away from the cross. As he sat squirming on my knee, I felt the energy flowing off him. He was in that blissful afterglow and it was intoxicating.

We decided to adjourn to somewhere more private, since the room had become more busy than when we started. As he was dressing, I was approached by one of the men who had watched our scene.

“Damn that boy is hot!” he said.

I had to agree, and he nodded at me as we left the dungeon.

I tell this story not as a tale of conquest, but as a testimony to the delights of male energy in a space for men. The scene wouldn’t have been nearly as exciting or as intense in the pansexual space. I much prefer having a scene with a man in the company of other men. Playing in “men’s space” eliminates the curiosity element which often intrudes on a gay scene in a pansexual space. There it can feel like a show, and though I sometimes enjoy my exhibitionistic streak, I like a sexually intense scene with another man in “men’s space”. We get it! There is an understanding among brothers that transcends the play and makes the whole scene feel more intimate.

Anyone who saw that scene would agree, the male energy of that boy and I was palpable, and that was the point.

Now, time for full disclosure. Though I considered the boy every bit the man I enjoyed playing with had he removed his jock things might have been different. He was a transman, and the jock was one of his hard limits. We negotiated that and it didn’t make our scene any less hot or less intimate or less infused with male energy. We also discussed where he would feel most comfortable playing. He was hesitant about the men’s dungeon, but the pansexual space was a non-starter. In the end we agreed to “go for it” and also understood that we might be asked to leave.

That is something we were willing to accept.

I know that this might anger some men who feel the sanctity of the men’s space was violated, but I would note that the only comments we got were from men who thought the scene was indeed hot, and from men who thought the boy was worthy of lusting after. I have never told the organizers about this, and I don’t feel a need to. The boy I played with identified as male, and to me he was every bit a man with the exception of his genitalia and as per our negotiation that wasn’t going to be a factor anyway.

The point of this whole story is this, I feel strongly that we as a community need to understand our transsexual brothers and sisters. Most of the trans folk I know don’t set themselves apart as “trans”, they identify as the gender they present. Who am I to disagree?

In the leather/fetish realm we need to be clear about the distinction between “fetish” and gender identity. Since we play in both areas, we should be even more aware of the distinctions. The transmen and transwomen I know do not fetishize their gender identity. That is a totally different issue and since it is not my fetish, I can’t speak to it.

I sincerely hope I am not stepping on anyone’s toes, but I am expressing my opinion. As leatherfolk, I feel we should recognize people who identify as men as men and who identify as women as women. It’s a simple thing, and unless I plan on getting more intimate which would be subject to negotiation anyway, why not take things at face value? Besides, I know more than a few leathermen who seem much more feminine than many of the transmen I know. I suspect the reverse is true as well.

For me, I fully embrace my friends who are transgender as whatever gender they present. And my gender-queer friends, I embrace them as the rebellious and wonderfully non-gender binary.

Unless we are going to start having genital exams at the door of every dungeon, (which might be fun but that is another issue), it’s time we stopped balkanizing and started enlightening ourselves. And as to those toes I might have stepped on. Well, I hope you don’t carry that limp too long, but you will recover.

What is a leather boy?

I promised that on this blog we would get into the different labels we use in the community.  I ran across a piece in the Great Lakes Den by Paul Brown titled “What is a Leather Boy?” and thought this would be the perfect intro piece for talking about labels – and should give some good insight into the leather community and Sir/Boy relationships.

As i go through life and attend Leather events, i see lots of Doms/subs and how they act. i see subs not acting very “sub like” . i get worried that “Old Guard” is forgotten and as my Sir has said and many others, you need to have a good foundation to have a good D/s relationship.

Definition: leather boy — a submissive man wanting a Leather Daddy/Sir/Master to serve. Leather boys are also boys who serve the community in service without a Sir. The word “boy” in this sense has nothing to do with biological age. It is a mindset. Also there are Leather bois who are female; hence the word “boi” is often used.

When a boy starts his journey under the direction of his Sir, the Sir passes down the attitudes that He has learned since His own journey started. A boy who is new to leather culture earns his own leather as he demonstrates his learning, and the bond between Sir and boy grows. There are no concrete ways to go about earning leather, nor is there a definitive set of leather that needs to be earned; it is unique to the individual. Regardless of how this tradition is integrated into a relationship, earned pieces of leather represent learning and experience.

Of course, not all boys “grow up” to become Doms. Plenty of boys are quite happy fulfilling the submissive role of a relationship, but they are not exempt from these growing experiences or from passing on their knowledge to others. The dynamic between them and their Dom may eventually evolve into roles where teaching and learning are not a focal point of the relationship, but as previously mentioned, the dynamics of the Sir/boy relationship can shift freely as the situation calls.

How a boy should act: When a Leather boy is with his Sir, he will make sure his Sir’s needs are met, something as simple as fetching Him a drink, light His cigar, and other needs as they arise. Now if you are a boy and you are in a public setting, you always take care of your Sir first but don’t forget there are other Doms around and if your Sir allow, show them the same respect as you show your own Sir provided They do not already have a boy in service.

As for approaching a Master/Sir/Dom, first if you are collared, you need to ask permission from your Sir. If you are an un-collared boy, make sure to make good eye contact with a Sir and see if He is receptive to your advances. If you are interested in a Sir and He has not approached you, you might consider approaching Him and simply stand in His presence awaiting him to acknowledge you, especially if you have made eye contact with Him and He is receptive to you. If the Sir is busy and you notice He needs a light, or a drink, offer a light or to fetch His drink (Note to Doms reading this: do not expect a boy to pay for your drink if he does not offer, if a boy offers to fetch you a cocktail, give him the money for it, boys won’t ask You for money, but be courteous). More aggressive Sirs will approach you and make their intentions known, if the feelings are mutual, enjoy, if not, and you are collared, 1. The Dom should know better and inquire as to your Sir, if you’re uncollared, but the feeling is not mutual, you are still an individual, and can respectfully decline His advances.

As my Sir tells me from his time in the Marine Corps, an enlisted man would never order an Officer around, the same holds true in our Leather lifestyle, a boy should never order his Sir or any other Sir around at all! Different Sirs have different ways in which a boy may express his opinion, there is no set in stone protocol here other than to be respectful particularly in public. (see “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie or “Creating Magic” by Lee Cockerell)

The thirst is real…

Curious what people think about this post on Cocktails and Cock Talk, There Isn’t a Sea Big Enough to Drown Out the Modern Epidemic of Thirsty Gay Men.

A little excerpt…

Listen, if you’ve got a good body and you put the hours in at the gym, then fair play to you, you should be proud of anything that you worked hard for. Nobody is crucifying anybody for a shameless selfie once in a Blue Moon. But it’s the endless rotisserie of near-naked desperation. Don’t you have anything to say? Where’s your voice?

overheard

One of the cool things about “Looking” is that after the first season, a lot of people – shockingly, liberal, open artists who live in New York and L.A. – said to me they didn’t know that gay people could have sex while facing each other. One of the great opportunities of the show was to illuminate male intimacy in sex and just sort of intimacy in general that wasn’t in sort of a porny, salacious way.

~Jonathan Groff

New contributor intro

Hello Sex, Love, and Labels readers!

Before I go and write anything of any significant substance, I just wanted to introduce myself.

Hi, I’m Will.

I’m a fat gay subby kinky bottom who’s been on PrEP for about 18 months.

I’m 32 years old, and while I’ve had a large number of sex partners, I’ve never been on a date, and definitely never had a relationship.

Yeah, so, that, in a nutshell, should give you a window into what to expect from me. I’ll write about being big in a community that values chiseled torsos, being a bottom in a community where “masc” is the only way, being a sub who’s also a type-A control freak, being kinky in a world where people dont talk about “that stuff”, being on PrEP when people think that means I’m just a slut, and about being a total dating virgin – while very much not being a sexual virgin.

I’d like to thank justgngr for the opportunity to write for this great blog – I hope I can contribute to the conversation in useful and thought-provoking ways!

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