Monday, January 28, 2008

Your choice...

Be what you want to be, says the common phrase.

Everyone loves that one, that great Western ideal of choosing your life, your path. It was the driving mantra of youth since the '60's, when kids started really resisting their parents, fighting to create the life they wanted for themselves.

It really hits to the core of most contemporary culture. We are taught at the youngest ages that we should strive to reach our own goals, to aim for the moon and to do everything we can to make it happen. From Sesame Street onwards we are encouraged to be ourselves, to embrace difference and to make the best lives for ourselves possible.

Even my mother holds this ideal dear. She was listening to the radio a while ago to the song "Wild One" by Faith Hill. The lyrics roughly describe the trails of a young girl, asserting her independence from her parents by making her own choices. It touches on the hot button issues such as clothes, hair, rock music and choices in boyfriends...OK, not exactly 'controversial' topics, but things that traditionally kids and parents are at odds over, with both sides believing they are fundamentally right.

It even has the wonderful line, "Her parents' dreams went up in smoke..."

I watched as the song played. Mom's reaction was fascinating; she nodded and spoke-sang along with Faith, almost emoting a "You go girl!" smile on her face.

Pretty nice to believe that at one time my mother believed that.

But when did it change? When did the caveat get inserted, "You can be anything you want to long as I approve."?

"When she was 3 years old on her daddy's knee, he said, 'You can be anything you want to be...'" That's a line, like I said, that has been drilled into the consciousness of every Western youngster. It's a basic belief of Western Liberalism, that we are all masters of our lives and indeed allowed to pursue any type of lifestyle we want to, and that's OK.

I find it infuriating when parents teach their children that ideology, then fall flat on their asses when it comes to following it through. Sure, you can squabble with your kids about how funny their hair is, and how bizarre their torn and frayed clothes are, but mostly they allow them to make their own choices.

What bothers me most is when parents have objections or really hard times in accepting what their grown children really want. Be it partners, or career paths, or even our favorite topic, sexuality, parents seem to forget that they encouraged their children to make their own choices earlier in life.

I understand where it comes from, in part. The parental drive to protect their children has become overly evident to me in recent months, and usually it's from the best possible intentions. But parents also need to learn to let go of full custody of their children's futures. Sure, we're all bound to make mistakes, but a parental "tisk-tisk" on the choice of boyfriend or girlfriend one has has very little merit, unless the partner has some serious personality flaws all but you can see.

Naturally, where I resent it most is when it comes to accepting one's sexuality. Part of 'being who you want to be' is embracing your natural sexuality. In the case of gays, it means actually having to declare your sexual preference in a world sometimes hostile to your choices. It seems like parents seem to drag their heels particularly badly when it comes to that acceptance.

I remember when my mother basically spat at me that I had 'made my choice' to be gay. I cleared up, rather angrily, that I was who I was, and it was something that I had no control over. I didn't choose to be gay, she didn't choose to be's just the way it is. When you put it in that black and white, it seems futile to argue against it, to resist accepting the decision of the other person.

What's more irritating is how parents seem to forget that open-minded attitude. It's one thing to take a little coaxing to come around on the issue, but quite another to flat out refuse to accept it.

Even to this day, I'm not sure how 'good' my mother is with the gay thing. She never really mentions it, ever. Not that I'm expecting her to ask, "How's the anal sex thing?", but I would like to know how she's adjusting to the whole thing. I just don't understand, can't understand why there is such resistance to this particular facet of my person. I grew up with the ideals I described above, yet they flew out the window the minute I came out.

She even acknowledged it that night, how she thought of herself as such an accepting person before I told her, how all through her career she really believed in it all. And she didn't say she stopped believing in it...she just, like me, couldn't understand what the problem, the hesitation with accepting my sexuality.

"You tell her life is hard, she says, 'That's alright.'" Faith sings.

You go girl.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Schoolchildren of all ages...

Presuming I ever do start accessing gay culture, will I be able to do it easily because of my age?

I know that sounds stupid, but think of it this way. An 18-year-old comes out and starts to do gay things (whatever those are). People instinctively are protective and understanding of his youth and the fact he needs to be taught about the ins-and-outs of the gay life. After all, he's just a baby!

They are more sensitive to him and his needs and fears, because, after all, he's new to this! So lets get him some hot jeans, hair styled, teach him the warning signs of lecherous users, and send him out into the big gay world.

But are guys in their 20's afforded the same thing? Do people think, after all, they are a bit older...they probably don't need as much help.

In a recent issue of FAB Magazine, an article on the apparently dying night life in Toronto caught my attention with the line, "Every year, a healthy surge of twinks is delivered into the grasp of this city's club owners, and far too many of these owners are completely oblivious to decor and originality." I was surprised at the blatant use of the 'newly gay' demographic being described as twinks...which in common understanding means 18-20 year old bois. There was no mention of the influx of the 25 year old gay men who are looking for an accepting place for them to spread their wings, or the middle-aged gay men who have just recently ditched their wives and have decided to live the life they want to.

Perhaps it's just insinuated in gay culture that men past the age of 20 will be participating in some form of gay activities, even if they are closeted, married or otherwise not living it up in the gay villages of the world. After all, going all those years without so much as kissing a man at a gay bar or similar would be fairly unlikely...right?

I was out for dinner in the gay village a few nights ago and had the good fortune of being sat at a table next to two very cute guys who were out on a date. Both were in their early 20's, fashionable without being ridiculous, and just radiated that soft energy that announced, "I'm gay and know how to do it well."

It occured to me during the meal that these two weren't fresh off the S.S. Closet. At some point they took the steps to becoming the guys they were that night, the gay education that prepared them to obviously meet and pursue some gay activities. An amusing but insane idea popped through my head; how would they respond if I asked them about it, about how it went and how they were treated?

Obviously I didn't, but I'm beginning to wonder. In almost every other aspect of life, sports teams and clubs and anything else, people tend to stick to the groups they know the best. For a really young gay guy, that means having "a healthy surge of twinks" to go out and party with, guys going through the same life adjustments as they are. People in the same boat, roughly the same demographic, identified as being those in need of the most attention and guidance to get them started right. But thinking of guys a little bit older, or even 20 years older, who are normally surrounded by men who have been out and part of the scene for years on end, it must be difficult to socialize and be accepted and appreciated as a newly out gay 20,30 or 40-something, who by all accounts would be the odd duck in the room.

As we all know from just reading blogs, there are gay men out there of every age who are figuring their sexualities out and deciding to live as openly gay men. Somehow or other, they make it happen, point being that they get out there, meet people and make friends, and so on. So it must not be completely impossible as one gets older to be welcomed by the community.

However, I would predict that there are 'pockets of resistance' at certain ages that make it difficult. For example, I would think 22-23 would be an awkward age, because people must just assume if you're coming out, it will be way before that age. Same would go for someone in their mid-30's and mid-40's; guys would possibly be more inclined to come out after large life events such as divorce, or the dreaded mid-life crisis...things that don't necessarily happen at age 36 or 47.

Again, this may just sound like me making excuses for myself, but I do feel like I'm in a bit of an awkward age for coming out and learning the gay ropes. I'm not a first-year student anymore, I'm actually speeding towards the end of my degree. I'm not 18 anymore, I'm 21 (and apparently going on 35, according to some people...). I'm also not old enough to be a guy coming out of a long-term straight relationship and trying to find my gay self. I'm just a 21-year-old kinda-out gay guy who really needs a team leader and a band of merry under-25's to hang around with.

Of course, it could be that gays of all ages remember how they took their first steps, at all different ages of life. Be they 18, or 25, or even 38, gay guys don't forget how hard it was to come out and start that 'new' gay life. And that means everyone needs a helping hand when knocking on the door of the gay party, regardless of age. Because, after all, you don't learn these skills anywhere else.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I went searching for an answer...

"Well he seemed broken hearted...something within him...
But the moment that I first laid eyes on him all alone...
On the edge of seventeen..."

I'm feeling a little emotionally raw tonight...and even more partial than normal to pregnant pauses/elipses...

Full, sensible post tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I'm not tasteless...

Well, unlike Heath Ledger, I'm not dead.

Things have been crazy around here, what with new semester of school and foregin visitors and whatnot...but I promise that I'll be back soon with some semi-intelligent posts and comments.

Until's a picture of a cute boy we all know and love (pick up this month's DETAILS).

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Night with the family...

It became very clear to me last night how hated I would be if my Grandparents found out I am gay.

Yesterday I payed my Grandma and Grandpa a visit. They live about 40 minutes away from me, but it's pretty easily accessible to me. I haven't seen them since Christmas day, which is a little strange as we're a pretty close family and usually are in more contact than that.

It was a typical late afternoon visit that stretched into the evening. We at dinner at around 5 p.m. (how horrible...) and settled in to watch the news.

I don't really know the exact moment where I started to feel uncomfortable, but as the evening grew on I became very aware of how sad the situation is. Just sitting on the couch, looking back at the both of them, people with such high hopes and great excitement for my life...all of which would instantly be destroyed because of my orientation. It fills me with a great sadness.

In a way it feels like I'm already being hated, albeit unbeknownst to them. There never goes by a day when they don't make one or more comments about homos being bad, and it's usually in the general, horrible, homophobic sense. It just gets me down, the knowledge that they would turn on me in a second if they knew. The hatred, and betrayal. All over something that many would agree is senseless.

But there I was, sitting there talking about my semester and my hopes for summer jobs and my future plans...with the secret burden, that terror mixed with cutting insult, all the while them blissfully unaware.

It's a tragic situation. These are the only family that really matter to me, that care for me and will be there for me aside from my parents. By now you're probably saying, "If they can't accept you and would hate you, then you're better off without them." I understand the sentiment, and in 99% of instances I agree with you...but this is blood. It would kill me to have that relationship just severed, and it would ripple down to my parents as well, who would no doubt be cut off from life. Further to that, it would disrupt everything that I've ever known; Christmases and holidays and birthdays would almost cease to exist.

I've tried to stand up to their bigotry and intolerance. Sometimes when I'm particularly enraged I'll argue about when they get on about AIDS being a gay disease that doesn't really matter. Forget the fact that homosexuals are the highest percentage of sufferers, what about the kids who are born with the disease? What about the African children who don't even have parents anymore? Sometimes it silences them.

No doubt this makes them sound like horrible people. They are not. But their ideas on certain topics are archaic and insane.

Even their perceptions of how things 'work' around homosexuality are wrong. Over the past few months my Grandfather cannot help himself but to ask what my weekend plans are. "Oh, you aren't going home again?" he'll say in that voice. "You're getting to be a city boy, watch out. Getting dazzled by all the lights," he tags on, in a half-joking manner. Then comes the good stuff.

"Just don't be down there in the gay village, walking around or anything. You'd better stay away from there," he says.

Grandma pipes in, "Yeah, don't want them turning you into one of those faggolas!"

Often times I find myself jealous of those who have at least one ally in their family. People who have a crusading mother, or a level-headed father, or the raging Grandmother that is a throwback hippie chick encouraging you to just be yourself. I have nothing like best I have a mother slowly coming to grips with it, grudgingly, a father who still doesn't know, and two homophobic, gay-bashing Grandparents that would disown me after the words, "I am gay."

A slightly touching thing has come out of all of this. My mother has commented to me on a number of occasions that she finds it hard to stomach when they start gay bashing. "My chest just gets all tight, and I hope that they don't see the look in my eyes," she said. "I just can't stand hearing that stuff."

Nice to know she doesn't like it either. Or maybe she just doesn't like hearing it out loud, as often such internal comments can sound much worse when they are verbalized.

Before I was able to cope a little better with it. I maintain the attitude of not worrying, simply because they will 'never find out' and the boat will not be rocked. I'd detach that part of myself when around them, so their words and misguided attempts at humour don't hurt. But last night, a particularly normal visit by any other means, left me feeling this great sense of disappointment and burden.

I'll have to shore up the walls, because I've got years more to go, and with any luck that will include a boyfriend and a bit more gayness in my everyday life, no doubt making the facade even more difficult to maintain. There is simply no other alternative though.

All of this has led me to hope to finally settle down with a guy who has a big, loving, accepting family so I won't have to live a semi-isolated family life because of sexuality. People who are past this.

Maybe my family will one day all find out, and just accept it for what it is, no problems. Somehow I don't think this is the case, but I'll keep that small hope in my heart.

Until then, I've got to put up with the 'fear of the faggolas' that my Grandparents seem not to be able to shake.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

On Saturday...

10:23 a.m. - Oooh, new e-mail! "Yeah, tonight sounds like a good idea. Dinner at 7 and then head to the party? Call me and let me know and I'll pass the word. You might have to drop me a text though if I don't pick up."

This all sounds good! Enough time to do all sorts of things needed at home, get ready, and go out for nice evening.

11:30 a.m. - Called Nikki. "Uhh...hi. Well, I got your email, sounds good. Call me when you get this so we can set a time/place."

Odd feeling things are not going to work as smoothly as planned, but did leave voicemail so should be fine.

3:48 p.m. - Still no word. Send text message repeating voicemail message. Knee deep in dishes, vacuuming, scrubbing et cettera, and will keep mind occupied.

5:29 p.m. - Call again. "Uhh...hi again! Sorry, not being a pest, just wondering what was up for dinner? Call me, my number is..."

Honestly, where are people? Did world fall asleep, leave phones on silent or sneak away for dirty week-end shag and forget to tell me?

5:45 p.m. - Have not heard back. Still. And do not have numbers of other people attending said dinner, so cannot simply call and confirm plans with them. Why does my life always have to be this way!?

6:02 p.m. - Do not want to go to scary party all alone, knowing only the birthday girl and one other guy who is so falsely friendly know he merely is acting so as not to illicit hateful vibes from others. Phone has not rung, no messages. Maybe phone is broken? Call self to see that phone indeed does ring.

6:10 p.m. - Jump in shower, but decide in shower that if not called by 8 p.m. will open bottle of wine, crack first page of "Notes on a Scandal" and read all night. After all, have had social outings already and do not need to be out on a Saturday night just because it is socially expected.

6:25 p.m. - Roommate comes home from day at work. Explain situation to her while she looks on with a bemused smirk on her face. Wonder if she thinks self is so horribly anti-social that made up dinner/birthday party to appear indeed to have something to do on Saturday night. Instead get pity invite to horrible club, "But I know that I'm not as interesting as your friends are," she says.

6:35 p.m. - Sitting in bathrobe, hair wet, staring at cell phone. Attempting to send psychic vibes towards Nikki and trigger some 6th sense, which no doubt will remind her to call me instantly.

6:38 p.m. - Text again..."Are we still on for tonight? Sorry to be a pest."

6:42 p.m. - Phone rings. "Heyyyy!!! Whats up?" Nikki, who has been in a movie and unable to answer her phone, decided to call me at the last possible second. "We sooo should have called you!" she adds brilliantly, but cannot stay mad because plans are now on. Arrange to meet at Starbucks. Still sitting naked in room with damp hair.

6:47 p.m. - Gah, which scarf goes with this? Does brown actually go with purple? Or can this set new trend, being so clashed that one is actually fashionable?

6:48 p.m. - Friends have walked to wrong Starbucks and thought they should let me know. Indeed they should have. Roommate comes in and watches me finish getting dressed for some reason, dressed in dirty shirt and pajama bottoms. Have mild but mean thrill from being the one who's 'going out' while she is finally stationary.

7:04 p.m. - Make it to Starbucks, where conversations stalls us from actually going to dinner until almost 8:00 p.m. Make stop for wine along the way to take to party.

9:03 p.m. - Get awkward gut feeling when discussion turns to relationships, sex, etc. since unsure if people actually know. Vaguely answer questions on topic, make odd "uhh" sound and then decide to pull out the, "Well, I don't know if you know, but I'm gay," line. Now officially out to these people, who all went, "Aww, we love you just the way you are! Well, almost more!"

10:25 p.m. - Ring buzzer at party unsure of what unit number supposed to go to. After brief second, someone answers, screams, "Heyyyy," buzzes us through and hangs up. Stare in shocked amusement at each other, and ring again, only to get the same result. Have rough idea of where party is, and decide we can probably hear it from down the hall anyway.

10:27 p.m. - Open door to see birthday girl, completely plastered, scream, "Oh my Godddd! You guys! What are you doing here!?"

Hesitate for brief moment, since self was invited to party as well as other people in my company, but take it more as a 'Wow, you came!' moment.

Birthday girl screamed for about five minutes about how surprised she was, and instantly our friend statuses were boosted because we were the surprise of the evening for her. Actually felt v. nice to be so welcomed and bask in such pure emotion.

10:38 p.m. - After talking with a few people, mainly self's friends, notice someone hovering over shoulder. Turn around to be greeted with a, "Hello Steve," from a boy I recognized instantly but could not call up a name. Best guess was Mark, so decided not so reply with a name. Useless anyway, because would much rather just talk and catch up, since I never actually see said guy outside of these parties. Oooh...he's cuter than I remembered...

11:27 p.m. - Realize I am surrounded completely by straight women and gay men. Boys aren't flamingly gay, yet maintain the usual attributes of successful, fun, outgoing gays, which included multiple pictures and ass grabbing.

11:32 p.m. - Have somehow sliced thumb open, and can only feel it now, like some sort of tingling at end of extremity. Look at it closely, then go for more wine.

12:03 a.m - The boys are now in full out ass slapping mode, comparing their different assets. Fascinating to watch, as they have that sexual flicker in their eyes as they jokingly grope asses.

12:31 a.m. - New face arrives (why are these boys all cute?) and ends up in conversation with our circle. Interesting guy, but eyes clearly scanning the room.

12:43 a.m. - Word circulates that party will now shift to club/bar of choice. Group decides to bow out, but stays until everyone leaves.

1:02 a.m. - Last boy to arrive has wickedly sexual look on face while gabbing the ass of the boy in front of him, walking out the door. Resolve to work on fiery sexual looks for future instances.

1:08 a.m. - Group leaves plus one, Mark guy from beginning of party, who needs to walk in my direction. People start falling off as they make their way home, but Mark and I continue to walk together. Realize am much better at conversation that involves a few people to play off of. Try to not look as if flailing for proper topics of conversation.

1:10 a.m. - Mark is fascinated by how busy it is tonight. From experience would agree, as self often walks home while everyone else is lining up for bars/clubs/sex.

1:12 a.m. - Arrive at line Mark needs to be in. Smiled and said it was nice to see him, hopefully our paths would cross again soon. He looks at me and gives me a hug before I stalk off mysteriously into the night...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

We are all family...

I'm not one for sitting around a room, holding hands and singing Kumbaya.

Believe me, I almost gagged in class today when I thought we were headed towards one of those moments. One of those, "You know, we've all got to believe in the better good to come from teaching you guys, our youth, to make this world a better place." I sat there, mouth agape, trying to convince myself I wasn't in Sesame Street 101.

But there was an instance not too long ago that I was deeply touched by, and that I wish every kid, and hell, even adult in the world could experience.

New Years Day saw me coming home to an empty house, a bag of Chinese under my arm and in desperate need of a chair in front of a television. Switching it on, Oprah came up in front of me. Now, I don't really have much against Oprah, but I don't really have much for her either. She does her thing, and I don't watch.

Today was something a little different. I caught her just as she was speaking in between a filmed piece, saying something along the lines of, "These kids were, for the first time, breaking down barriers between themselves and their classmates." I was mildly interested.

As I watched, it became clear that this was video from a high school gym during some sort of seminar. Kids were throwing their hands in the air, twisting their fingers into some symbol and nodding along vigorously with whatever someone was saying.

The bottom line was, this seminar was all about tearing down the stereotypes and prejudices of some of the most impressionable people in society: high school kids.

There was a fat kid who was sick of people making fun of his weight. There was a black kid sick of being discriminated against by the white jocks of the school. There was a gay kid, who said he cried himself to sleep every night because people went out of their way to call him a faggot.

This is nothing new. Kids have always been torturing other kids. I myself was more often than not the victim of hurtful comments (and this was even pre-gay!) during elementary school and through most of high school. Anyone a little different was ostracized. However, in this seminar, the goal was to bring these kids, and their bullies, into the same room and try to really humanize the situation.

And it worked. I sat speechless as I watched the events unfold, how those who were hurt explained how it felt to be centred out and so mistreated for nothing more than being a different sex, race or orientation.

I don't really know how the instructor got to these kids, but in each case he would bring up the person being mistreated and get them to really explain how much it hurts them to take such abuse from their peers.

Of course, I identified with the gay kid. He was just an average teenager who happened to also be out in his high school. He talked about being spit on, about how he was called out for being gay and different, and about his nights alone at home, crying, in such pain, because these jerks just wouldn't leave him alone.

"I'm gay. We have feelings too, and you have no idea how much you have hurt me," he said.

One of the kids got up. "I...I've called you those things before," he said, reluctantly. "But, I'm sorry. I didn't know they hurt so bad," he said, and they hugged.

Sounds corny, right? I mean, come on, they're just playing nice for the seminar leader.

The final one was the most touching. It was, naturally, the horribly racist football jock, who was tormentor to anyone who wasn't white in school. He erupted into tears in the end, begging for forgiveness and promising to tell his family that racism, "Isn't where it's at." He then gave a big hug to the black kids sitting next to him.

Like I said, I don't know how this all came about, and how this instructor managed to really get to these kids on such a fundamental level. But they were changed. Sure, they might still hold on to some of their hatred and fear of those they don't understand, but I really believe that something inside of them changed for the better.

Of course, Oprah could barely keep herself from all-out bawling, but I don't blame her. It was, without exaggeration, beautiful to see the hate taken away. "That's how you do it," she said, "one person at a time."

It got me thinking about our world, and our high schools, and even our universities. Most people I know are pretty damn accepting, colour blind and sensitive. Even as I embraced myself over the last year, I've become ever more sensitive of others around me, of how my actions and behaviour effect them. And that's not to say I've just gotten good at not saying certain words or making certain jokes. I'm not perfect, but I really fundamentally believe that I love pretty much everybody, no matter race, creed and certainly no matter what orientation. I'm not a heterophobe now, and I have a lot more understanding for trans folk. I like to think of myself as colour blind.

This isn't to say I don't dislike certain things about certain cultures. Believe me, I hate oppression in many cultures, how they treat certain people in society and their expectations for men and woman. But I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and often in the people I encounter their morals and the way they lead their lives and treat others around them pretty much agree with mine.

The bottom line is, I wish every kid in every school could go through what I saw. To sit down with their classmates and get everything out in the open, to really show how much it hurts to be singled out, sometimes for no real reason, and tormented by others their own age. People who are supposed to be learning to be better than that.

What kind of world would it be if everyone had to go through this? Maybe kids wouldn't cry themselves to sleep at night, and adults wouldn't develop real problems stemming from the torment they suffered as kids, and even in the workforce.

Now, I'm not saying that everyone who was ever called a mean name is fundamentally fucked. Every kid goes through a bit of teasing. But when it gets to the point of consistent torture, and especially over something as trivial as race, orientation or size, it's unfair and wrong.

I probably sound like a bleeding heart by now, but I cannot say enough about how I wish every kid was brought up with a bit more understanding of themselves and the world around them.

So I ask you, while you interact with the youth in your life, try to open their eyes to the fact that disliking someone because of a physical or sexual difference is fundamentally wrong. Prove them wrong when they say that someone is an idiot because of their race, or effeminate because of their orientation, or whatever. Show them that it's OK to just be who you are.

Maybe this world will change. I guess it's happening, slowly. And as a firmly-planted realist, I know you can't change the world in a month, or a year. But if this kind of acceptance really starts taking hold in high school, things may just wind up alright after all.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Back to the grind...

So it's back to work/school/whatever, and it certainly feels like it.

I don't know why, but my attitude this morning shifted right back to it's usual, "Gah, problems!" state. I was standing under the shower, blasting my neck with hot water and trying to understand why New Years is such a big deal. After all, here we all are back to our usual routines, with all of the festivities and fun packed away. So what about all those resolutions, and the fun of having the freedom and kind spirit of the holiday season instead of the doldrums of everyday life?

For whatever reason, I re-tapped that "Fuck 2007!" sentiment and just said fuck the whole thing. I stepped out of the shower feeling refreshed, positive about the new year and really committed to trying this new attitude out. After all, things aren't looking so bad, I really should stress less, and now that I've pretty clearly identified parts of my life I want to work on, there's really no point in stressing about big stuff in the shower at 8 am on Monday morning. Right?

We'll see how long that lasts...

Anyway for some reason, and I think it's the fact that I actually did things that required movement and thinking (first time in weeks, you know...) I find myself exhausted. Literally I can't keep my eyes open tonight! Out of boredom and in order to pass the time before it's socially acceptable to go to bed, I put away all my laundry, unpacked everything, re-organized my sock drawer, counted my underwear out of sheer curiosity, and emptied my trash bin.

My brain is so dead at the moment that I can't even write one of the two or three interesting posts I've been brewing up.

This semester may prove a little challenging, as I have a lot of class condensed into only 3 days. That means no lunches, and lots of hours spent hopping from room to room. Even today, all I managed food wise was a yogurt with granola at around noon, and a slice of toast and peanut butter for breakfast. Gah! How am I supposed to function on that every day? I guess it'll mean lots of early nights after these marathon days...whee, I'm so exciting!

The sad thing is, it's not any more hours than someone who's working a 9-5 job anyway. Ugh, what will I do when I get one of those!?

So here's to you, the working Joe, who actually puts in their time every day at work and isn't falling asleep at 7:30 p.m. on a Monday night.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

In through the nose...

Is it possible to turn one's self on, and enjoy it?

Maybe it's the phantom of the imagination that gives you that mildly erotic feeling in a situation, something that triggers sexual responses out of your control.

On New Years Eve, a friend hugged me while we were still standing around my apartment. Being tall, people often fall head-on-chest into me, nestling under my jaw. "Oooh, you smell good," she said.

"I damn well should!" I said, half jokingly, and we both laughed.

Sitting here just now, I pulled my left arm over my right shoulder, scratching an itch on my shoulder blade. This put my elbow-area firmly under my nose, and I happened to breathe in while itching, eyes closed.

What I got was a powerful mixture of smells, sending that sexual jolt into my brain. Lights started flashing internally and I had a flicker of that single-minded sexual state. Good God, was I turning myself on with...myself?

The scent was intoxicating, that perfect mixture of male skin, shower gel and cologne. I'd showered a couple hours before, but still been out and done a few things. I wasn't sniffing myself coming out of a clean shower, I was getting that worn-in sexy smell. In the split-second that it happened I flashed back to nights in bed, to lust and to attraction and the scents that are associated with it all.

Could this be the second level of masturbation? After all, we jerk off to relieve sexual desires and tensions when there is no partner to help you. We also do it as a bit of self-love, exploring our bodies while we are in complete control of the situation. Instead of directing someone else to touch here or grab there, we take full control of our own self-exploration.

So could this thrill of sexual excitement and energy, self-generated, simply be an extension of masturbation? Granted, it's a bit of a different scenario, because nothing explicitly sexual is implied via that very sexy scent. Yet it triggers a sexual response, something that satisfies you but in a way some might not recognize.

Well, whatever the case, it was an interesting sensation. Just don't get the wrong idea, I'm not off to sniff myself, or do much else with myself. But it was worth noting, how powerful and subconscious sent can be, and how the smallest thing can trigger sexual thoughts.

Or maybe I just have sex on the brain?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


No, I did not drink so much that I was out of commission to post about it, I was just lazy. And busy.

New Years Eve was as predictable as I thought it would be. Well, except for the last bit. Our party of roughly 15 people arrived at roughly 11:00 p.m. There was nobody there, except for a few small knots of people, mostly those who were already dangerously drunk and dangerously unclassy.

Things got off to a slow start, to say the least. We sort of sat around in a circle making mild conversation while awkwardly sipping from our drinks. Couples ran hands up and down each others backs, a sure sign of fidgeting. People were not having a blast, and that certainly included me.

Time wore on slowly and we made our way to the dance floor. The music was abysmally bad and did not make me "shake my groove thing" as one person pointed out. Not that I'm an easy sell when it comes to music to dance to...I mean I love Madonna, and some pop stuff, but this was just shit.

The hands on my watch were approaching 11:50 and I prayed time would fly by, we could make some flimsy excuse and leave. I was starting to feel very out of place for a number of reasons, none as oppressive as the single-in-a-world-of-couples feeling. True, there were many people in groups of single-sexed friends, but very few who were a mixture of males and females such as our group was.

I stood there dancing in the rough circle we had established, couples, my friends, on either side glaring into each others eyes whilst sliding hands (and hopefully that was all) over all sorts of interesting places. I felt very alone.

At 11:58 a friend walked over with a stack of glasses. The music improved and I found myself singing along with a few people and enjoying the dancing more. I think I've damaged my ears because for some reason I wasn't cringing at how obscenely loud the music was.

The countdown began and I happily joined in to the main event. As we reached 3, the glasses were distributed to a few of us, and after a hearty, "Happy New Year!" was shouted we downed their contents. While the couples all began resuscitating each other, the two single guys and myself shook hands and gave each other a knowing nod and a, "Happy New Year man."

Of course, the music did not stop during this time, so we all continued to dance. Around this moment, I heard someone say, "Fuck 2007." Something in that sparked me. I don't agree with the sentiment, because 2007 happened to be a milestone year for me. Instead I found myself quite enjoying the 'fuck it' part of the statement. As my eyes swept the room for the hundredth time, looking for something, anything that I could identify with, I began to evolve this 'fuck it' notion.

From 12:00 on, I danced (not with reckless abandon) as I pleased, alone, drink in hand, occasionally singing along with a song that I knew. Don't ask me where it came from, but in that moment, I just said 'fuck it' to the idea that I would look like an idiot. And it felt very good.

During this I also started drafting what I guess are resolutions but ultimately were thoughts on the situation as of that moment. Mostly, they were:

-Try not to be single yet again at New Years so do not feel sense of accomplishment and social stigma of being perceived as pervert who, while out with attached friends for a fun evening, tries desperately to chase skirt.
-Failing this, do not go out with couples to New Years, as they do couply things that lead to feeling excluded and a sense of utter failure. Though singletons are greater in number, they are far less organized than the oppressive forces of the opposite side, mainly happy couples, leading to stigmatization.
-Failing this, do not do New Years in a setting that caters to mostly couple related activities but instead try more all-inclusive approach of public New Years celebration, private party with friends, chic dinner with v. few friends, Aruba, etc. Make holiday about New Years, not about couples snogging at midnight while self clutches empty shot glass and ponders stupid resolutions.
-Failing this, manage to attend a homosexual event, either private party, chic dinner or even dancing at a bar, so as to actually make dancing with a desirable sex/orientation possible, and increase probability of having make out/New Years shag partner.

My mood improved greatly after midnight and the rest of the evening was fun, almost carefree. After all, I'd released myself from my ever-growing mood, and got into the spirit of enjoying New Years. There was no kissing a boy at midnight, and there certainly was no New Years sex (though there was six of us in my bedroom...), but it was fun in the end. And of course I enjoyed both the pre and post bar part immensely, as they were far more social and filled with comradery and goodwill of the season.

So, so long to 2007, and what a year it was! And hello 2008, hopefully the best is yet to come.