Saturday, January 24, 2009

Added padding...

I'm literally freezing my ass off.

For the past few weeks, we've been suffering through a cold snap. It comes and goes, but there have been moments walking around outside where the frosty wind and dampness have made it feel like -25 C. That's damn cold!

In an effort to keep warm, most have adopted a winter-weather strategy. Some have been bundled up in heavy parkas, others not so willing to sacrifice fashion for function jump from doorway to doorway, trying to re-warm their frigid legs stuffed into skinny jeans.

My approach hasn't really changed much over the last few winters: have a warm coat and wear my secret weapon when needed.

Long johns.

Sounds kinda stupid, but it truly works. If I wake up and my window is frozen closed and frosted over, it's a good bet I'll reach for my thermal skivvies. They fit snugly on my body, and nobody even notices since they don't bunch or add 10 pounds to your legs and ass.

And for the most part, they work fairly well at keeping me warm. I don't have much else to wear warmer than jeans, and since I don't want anything important suffering from frostbite, it makes great sense to sacrifice a bit of sexiness by doing the full-length version of briefs.

For their part, the gays seem to be trying to stay warm this winter as best they can, which seemingly includes visits to other people's beds. Shared bodily warmth, you know...

On one such occasion, I had actually forgotten that I was still clad in long underwear under my jeans. For a moment I predicted disaster; what is a bigger turn off than seeing someone wearing something your grandfather probably walks around the house in?

But the fact I was keeping my bits and pieces warm actually received a compliment for ingenuity, and I have to say, the large fly-flap on the crotch proved most useful.

So when I went shopping yesterday to find another pair (since it's not getting any warmer around here) I was a little surprised to have such a hard time finding some.

I stopped at an outdoorsy manly-man type store swimming in plaid, and there before me stood a rack of multiple kinds of underwear. They had the fleece variety, the waffle-woven cotton blend and what looked suspiciously like a leotard.

And they were all two sizes too big.

As I went, rack by rack, I realized with a growing horror that every pair in the store was much bigger than I needed. They ranged from medium, what the package called 34-36, all the way to 3XL, and who knows if they even count waist sizes for things that big...

I combed the entire shelf, hoping that I could find one small pair of them, but to no avail. This must be the one instance where I don't want to shell out for Calvin Klein, but at least they have something closer to my size...

It was then that I realized, I must be the only homo in Toronto that actually wears the damn things. What's a gay to do?

Apparently when ordering long underwear for the masses, smaller-waisted folks were not given a second thought. Now, I know that the target audience for such a store is the overweight, jerky-chewing variety of masculine male...but Jesus, couldn't they have ordered a couple small's? Every customer isn't necessarily headed for bypass surgery.

Just to be sure that it's not a slight against the gays, I decided to check the selection at one of the underwear stores that cater to those of the homo persuasion. That, and I needed to buy a new bottle of lube, but I figured I should multi-purpose my trip.

To be fair, they did have a couple pairs of very long underwear, even in sizes that fit me...but since I could practically see through them I decided they were probably more for play than for work. I left the store (nearly) empty handed, and more than a little discouraged. Even our own people don't stock the damn things!

Am I so out of touch with things that I haven't yet realized my quest for long underwear will end with me empty handed? Does nobody stock sizes that will actually fit my waist? Am I really not 'average' in the long-underwear business? And most importantly, how do the gays keep their bits warm during those frosty days and frigid nights?

For now, I've got to rely on my one lonely pair that are, as we speak, spinning away happily in the wash.

But I should be careful with them, since they're apparently a collectors item: the only small size in town...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Where'd you get those assets?...

For some reason, people have been checking out my ass.

Not that I mind. In the grand scheme of things, I'm usually hard up for compliments. Though I don't know why, I'm the type of guy who rarely gets boys seductively batting eyes at him, or the up-and-down eye scan on the street.

And to be honest, I'm not sure if they're looking at my ass...or just my jeans.

A few months ago when meeting up with a friend-of-a-friend I was wearing my favourite pair of jeans. Twenty paces down the street later, he asked, "Oh, where'd you get your Sevens?"

Not being a label whore, but being one who likes nice things, I wasn't surprised that he appreciated them. What threw me off was the notion that he had to ask where I'd bought them...jeez, they're jeans!

I took the compliment and enjoyed the microsecond of attention. Then I had my ass grabbed at a that I think of it, I should rename them my Lucky Sevens.

Even so, I have a hard time taking a compliment such as an ass grab standing at a bar as being genuine. I mean, I'm suspicious of homosexuals; we're all over-sexed creatures that are more often than not sexually liberated. There's nothing wrong with showing your interest and appreciation of someone via an affecitonate touch.

I'm just often skeptical that it's ever genuine. Sure, you might grab my ass, but how many others have you felt up that night? Is this attention directed at me because you genuinely want me or because you just like touching boys in general?

Recently, I had yet another comment on my jeans. After I had promptly removed them and tossed them on my bedroom floor, and began attending to other business, the guy blurts out, "Oh nice Sevens, where'd you get them?"

I almost choked...

...and then answered his question.

How strange though! Why the homo-significance of certain brand jeans, and who the hell really cares where you bought them?

But it begs a chicken-and-egg type question: Are they noticing my jeans because of my ass, or do they check out my ass because they like my jeans?

Yet another evening, standing in his kitchen, rehydrating after a workout, I caught him gazing at my ass.

"What kind of jeans are those?" he asked, gulping water from his glass and checking his watch.

I know I looked puzzled, but I replied anyway. "Oh, these are Lucky's."

"Well, they got you lucky tonight," he said with a smile.

They did indeed, but since when were guys more concerned with the jeans themselves rather than what's underneath the denim?...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Imagined Sloppy Seconds...

I feel like I just got hit by a bus.

That, and like I'm about 14 years old.

When James and I first started going out, he put his feelers into the community to try and find out more about me. I can't blame him, since that's what everybody does...the more you know about someone's past, the better.

But he never found anything out about me. As he told me one night, nobody seemed to know who I was. I laughed, since it's no surprise; I would have been shocked if anyone actually knew of me.

The one thing that I was somewhat ignorant of during our relationship was just how many people knew James, and by knowing him began knowing me. Not on any intimate basis, but more as the guy who he was dating. Nothing personal, just the vague idea of who I was. It never really occurred to me that he'd be telling people about me, acquaintances of his, friends from the clubs, whatever.

Furthermore, it never occurred to me that anyone would either remember who I was or care. Clearly I was mistaken.

I've been messaging back and forth with a guy online. He had an interesting profile, seemed cute but really level headed. There were a few things on there that won my respect, things that the average 20something wouldn't really be a part of.

So I sent him a message asking about just those things. I figured since it seemed rare to find someone with such qualities, he would find it rare that someone even commented on them. And so we exchanged a few messages back and forth, talking about pretty wholesome topics.

He seemed friendly. He seemed genuine. He seemed totally removed from drama and gay bullshit. We even shared the same name.

So when we exchanged IM addresses, I looked forward to talking with him in real time. This morning, Steve came online and almost instantly said hello.

But things quickly took an odd turn. He bombarded me with questions, where I went to university, what I studied, how old I was. Typical topics of conversation of course, but he asked with such hurry, such importance. And then it came.

"So, do you know a guy named James?" he asked.

I had no reason to lie, and admitted that I did.

"Oh, James told me about his friend Steve, same school and major as you," was his reply. "So I guess that's you."

Briefly I wondered how a guy from out of town, who lives an hour and a half away from Toronto, knew all about me. But it seemed like James had at some point during the summer told him all about me. And he remembered, including the details of my program and where my hometown is.

I wasn't too weirded out, since it's pretty innocent stuff. So we know the same people, who cares? Friends of friends makes things more casual anyway, you have a commonality. And I hadn't entered into our talking with any agenda or specific desire to date; I just made the mistake of being genuinely curious about someone.

Then things got weird.

"Well James is a good friend, I can't take his 2nds :P Anyway the reason I was on your profile is my friend really liked it.. He told me to check it out, you added him to favorites," said Steve. "He wants you to message him."

My jaw dropped. How fucking rude . And what an ego, nowhere had I even come onto the guy!

Steve then proceeded to extol James' virtues to me. "He's so cute and sweet, you should date him."

I laughed a little to myself. "Uh, we already did."

"Well, do it again," was his answer.

I explained that, had things worked out, we'd still be together. After all, you usually don't stop seeing someone you're happily coupled with. "If it had worked out, I'd still be with him," I said.

"It takes time, patience, can work it out," Steve said.

"lol whatever I don't care," he continued, which seemed ridiculous since he'd just spent a few minutes telling me why I should date my ex. "I'm not going to tell him about our rendezvous though."

That made me laugh out loud. "Oh, well I'll definitely be asking him who Steve from [blank] is," I responded.

I tried to swing conversation back to his other point, this third guy who is apparently interested in me, and to try and find out just why Steve was receptive to conversation if he then was going to tell me he would never date me. It all got more confusing, since he couldn't remember this third guy's username.

"But you should message him, he wants you to," Steve said. "Better not tell him that I told you to though."

"Uhh...right," I said.

Steve then said he had work to do, bid me good luck and left the conversation.

I sat there in stunned silence, feeling like I was the victim of a drive by shooting.

What kind of a jerk would immediately call me 'seconds' and pretty much tell me to move along, then sing the praises of my ex, plus encourage me to message some third guy who is interested in me?

All of this came from simple, seemingly-genuine, friendly messages. I just wanted to get to know what seemed to be a nice guy. I just wanted a friendly conversation. And I never expected such a bizarre slap in the face. How could someone waste the time and energy to write me lengthy messages, then when we finally talk shut me down so quickly and rudely? And where did he get the idea that I was expressing a huge interest in him, when we'd never even been flirty?

I don't know exactly why the experience bothered me so much, outside of the general rudeness. After all, it's a tough gay world out there, full of judgment and intricate webs of friends and lovers. And me getting mildly upset about something so small seems unnecessary...and makes me feel like I'm a teenager. In many ways I am, since I haven't gone through much of that type of thing. It's all new, it's all fresh.

And so I sat there and just shook my head. What an odd experience, and what a rude guy. But I guess it shows me that I need to build up a thicker skin, to expect such reactions when I put myself out in the world.

The final though is a little more scary. A boy from another city knows who I am. Was able to recognize me from my university, my major, my age. Judged me from a distance, didn't leave room for a friendship or a casual acquaintance. He has no idea who I am , what I stand for or what I believe in. But he knows who I am, and he lives 50 miles away.

Just how many other people do, right in my back yard? And are they as dismissive as he is?

I have no idea, but it looks like for better or for worse, people just may recognize who I am...rather, who I dated...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fresh type...

One of the things that's fun about blogging is reading other blogs and getting to know other bloggers.

I know many people say that I should stop comparing myself to others, stop drawing differences or similarities between what my life has brought me and what people in similar situations have had thrown their way.

But my reply is always the same; you have no idea what you might be missing, have better or worse than others if you have nothing to compare it to. And with blogging, we get a (partially) unbiased view of the lives of people all over the world.

Since I've been very lax about links and updating things, I thought I'd take the time now to introduce you to a blogger I just picked up on. Jake over at Ten Minute Nap seems like a pretty nice guy. Apparently this isn't his first blog, but it's where he currently vents about life and (lack of) love.

He's very musically-inclined, which is awesome. And his picture is cute.

Like I said before, it's interesting to get such access into the lives of others, and to see how he's grown up differently than me. It's also interesting to see the dynamics of life in different sized cities and towns.

And for his part, Jake seems to do a pretty good job at getting to know the guys in his area. What always strikes me about smaller cities is how their gay residents all seem to be drawn together. From what I've read, he's met guys from all across the spectrum, befriended them, hung out with them... I guess my point is that it seems to come easier than living in a big city.

I've always wondered how different my life would have been had I done two things, pursued music more and gone to university in a smaller city. While Jake can't really compare with me musically (since he sounds quite talented), I can sort of see how differently life would have gone at a smaller university.

For one, it feels as though the community in the abstract is a lot smaller, especially students. People know people, everyone is forced into the same pool, more or less. It's prone to dramatics and love triangles, but it's also easier to put one's self out there.

And ultimately, it feels to me like it's a lot less intimidating and a lot more inviting on a smaller scale. There will always be power dynamics, but overall, people seem more open minded and a little more gentle. There isn't as much of the stereotyped gayness that plagues big cities.

Plus, the boys seem more friendly.

I'll never know what it's like to go to university in a small city, but thanks to others we get a firsthand account of just what goes on all across America...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Sinking, Swimming...

In what was probably a bad decision, I texted James mid-afternoon with a sappy, emotional message.

"I know this is totally inappropriate, but I've really missed you the past 24 hours."

There I was, three weeks ago, in my parents living room. Surrounded with Christmas decorations, holiday music on the radio and the prefabricated Noel scent that my mom sprays into each room every year. And all I could think about was James, and what he'd said at our last coffee meeting.

"I really had wished we'd be together at Christmas," he'd said. I agreed; for a religious holiday, Christmas certainly has all the hallmarks of a romantic event. Low lights, fire places, snowflakes, chocolate and love. So as I was surrounded with most of these things, I found myself really missing the one that I don't have.

He wrote back a little while later and said hi. And then, late in the evening, he called. When I saw his name on the caller ID, I debated if I should even answer. This was strange; I miss him terribly, but I really didn't want to talk to him.

At first, conversation was rocky. I was fairly quiet, because I didn't know what else to say other than to avoid blurting out awkward statements like, "While decorating today I was debating in my mind if I'm actually in love with you or not," and, "I'm considering getting back together with you because I only now realized you might be the one for me."

So we talked about nothing. Time crept by, and I toyed with the idea of telling him he should go, for fear of missing his friends at the bar.

Conversation shifted to his life post exams, which he'd just finished. He said he'd been out every night for the past week. "Fun, at least you're blowing off some after-school steam," I said, for once not intentionally going for the sexual pun.

"Uh, you could say I've been doing lots of that," he said slyly.

"Oh," I said, fumbling slightly. In that moment, the last thing I'd wanted to hear about was his fabulous sex life.

The subject changed again, but moments later we were back on it, and his admission, "I've been with someone every night for the last week."

My heart just sort of cracked in a way, for different reasons. As he explained, it became apparent that he'd been picking up, or picked up, at every bar he'd visited. His phone was overflowing with numbers of boys wanting him to call. Sex was abundant, he was getting attention everywhere. Guys that had been flirting with him before were swooping in for the main attraction and now that he was once again single, he was open to suggestions.

"Right now it's more of a get-er-done thing," he said, half-laughing. "I'm not really getting much satisfaction, just in one way."

He told me about the boy he'd gone home with on Thursday, the Abercrombie-like model who teased him that such a nice boy shouldn't get involved with a bad one like him. About the college soccer player who wanted action after his game. The "beautiful bleach-blond, blue eyed guy who I met a long time ago but never did anything with. I waved at him and he waved back, and we talked online afterwards."

"But he forgot who I was, had no idea it was me waving at him," James said. "He still gave me his number though."

It was at this point that I seriously considered calling in the 'too much information' card that I'd proposed before, since all this info about how seemingly easy it is for him to attract attention - any kind of attention - was becoming a little too much for the moment. But I knew I never curiosity is dangerous, and I'm an emotional cutter.

I let him talk, but didn't have a lot to say. When he'd exhausted his tales of tricks, I skimmed into a couple of my own, though mine have been more haphazard and disasterous than sexy and blonde.

"Aww," was all he had to say in sympathy.

In many ways, I can't be critical of his promiscuity. I've been (attempting to) burn up the sheets ever since we parted ways, especially in the last couple weeks. But it still bothered me that he was out there, living his life, having a damn good time doing it. He was swimming in a sea of boys every night. I was sinking in the wading pool.

Jealousy plays a part in it; it's not really warm and fuzzy to hear about all the guys your ex is sleeping with, how sexy they all are and how much great action he's getting. But it's not just that, I'm jealous of the attention he's getting. I guess I never realized just how much people like him, how many people wanted to fuck the boy I was with. Cheers to me for being the guy who got to for so long, though he's obviously making up for lost time now.

But the jealousy doesn't end at the fact he's out fucking half the gay population of Toronto, nor at the fact that he's being lusted after, inundated with phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Part of me is just jealous that he gets to have the fun, the glamour of gay. He's out partying, flirting and fucking while I'm barely able to scare up a date for coffee with someone who isn't certifiably insane.

It all sounds 'poor me' in a way, but it all cuts right to the core of my gay angst that's been in hiding for so long. I wouldn't mind, for once, being the guy out on the town, having numbers thrown at me and taking the cute blonde home.

It's clear that he's not being overly satisfied with the whole situation, as he told me. I know there's more to him than that, and ultimately he wants more of a connection, more than just sex. But it's also clear that he's having a hell of a lot of fun with it, before it gets old. It's satisfying something, maybe even just plain's not substitution for a relationship yet he's taking whatever comes his way, even if it's just a night of sloppy passion.

"It's almost over!" he said to me, emphatically. "I'll be home for Christmas soon, and then no more boys."

"Oh, please," I said, trying to sound like I was kidding. "You and I both know you've got a list of guys lined up for when you get home."

"Well..." he said, hesitating. "But there's nowhere to go! You know that very well!"

A few moments of awkward silence passed between us. "Woah, that brings back memories," he said.

"Yeah," I breathed.

The conversation wrapped up with him telling me he needed to get dressed before heading out. We said our goodbyes, and he told me to keep in touch.

Later, my inbox flashed on my phone.

"I miss you too, Steve," he texted at midnight, an hour after the phone call. "Have a good night."

At least one of us did.