Plaisir


Curiosity Made The Gay Boy Really Uncomfortable: Part I
May 5, 2009, 5:53 AM
Filed under: Bi-curiosity, Binge Drinking, Sex

A college boy can be summed up in a few words and a few words only: beer, women, sports, more beer, and if at all possible, more women.  They chant, they screech, they throw things, butt heads like rams, arm wrestle, and “get pumped up” until they’re a goddamn Goodyear blimp.  This is, of course, a stereotype.  A specific one, actually.  One I have dubbed “The Doobra.”  Pronounced “doo-braaahh” (with strong emphasis on the ‘ahh’, although I’m sure you already knew that), this creature counts for about 85% of all male college students.  They are generally really attractive with horrible personalities.  They travel in packs of three to ten, and are usually the reason you wake up at night to a loud crashing noise outside your bedroom window.

So what about the other 15%?  Well, they love to drink as well, of course.  But the rest can be summed up as artistic, socially apathetic (which can be confused with artistic, but they have no actual talent), stoners (nearly the same as socially apathetic), and…my personal favorite…the confused.

We’re all confused in one way or another.  Some are confused about their social identity and wonder where they belong on the stereotype spectrum.  Others wonder about their place in life and if they’ve chosen the right path for themselves.  And then there’s the sexually confused.  The people who see a penis and a vagina on a menu, and have to consult the waiter to see which is more palatable.  The men and women of the world who have a desire to explore another body of their own kind, even if it’s just once, to see if what all the hype was about.

And me?  I’m here to help.

Beginner’s Luck

I had never, quote “popped a straight cherry”,  in my life until one fateful night at a random party in Shorewood.  In fact, even though I thought straight men were usually more attractive than gay men, I could never have the courage to make a pass at one, for fear of humiliation and wedgies.  But after that night, I decided it was much easier than it looked.

My friend Andrea and I had begun the night like we did most Friday nights: Fleischmann’s.  For the most part, I was surveying the party grounds and being a wallflower, sipping my drink casually while Andrea chatted.  Eventually, one of the guys playing beer pong in the living room caught my eye.  He was shorter than me, with blonde curly hair that poked out of his hat, a goofy smile that he wore adorably, and powerful green eyes.  I soon learned his name was Nate.  Nate.  Straight.  Straight Nate.  ‘Oh great,’ I thought, ‘Go figure.  The only guy I find attractive here is a muff diver, as usual.’

All hope was not yet lost, however.  Drinking has this wonderful ability to make you so uninhibited, that you actually regret saying things the minute they come out of your mouth.  In contrast, it also gives you the power say things you probably never would have said while you were sober.  And for me, at least, at the time, this was a good thing.  I had opened my sloppy, drunk mouth to one of the other girls at the party about Nate.  She beamed, “That’s so cute!”

I frowned.  ‘That’s so cute’ is not an answer.  ‘That’s so cute’ tells me nothing.  I decided to take the matter into my own hands.  I saw Nate sitting casually on the futon, so I casually sat down next to him to strike up conversation.  I believe the first words out of my mouth were, “I really like this song.”  Apparently, that was enough for him.  He stared hard at me for a second.  The next thing I know, we were making out on the futon at the party.  I’ll let your imagination run free as to what else happened that evening, but I’ll throw some random details in to help the process along: bathroom sink, creaky futon, pancakes in the morning.

We saw each other for about a month after that.  Nate was wonderful to me.  He was attentive, caring, and very good at the “extra-curriculars” as well.  He knew how to handle me when I was being unreasonable, and how to make me even happier when I was feeling great.  So what happened?  Another one.  A different one.  A much, much more confusing one.

Love and Real Estate

If I had to use one word to describe the relationship between Ian and I, it would be this: ridiculous.

Ian is, in a sense, perfect.  He’s smart, sophisticated, sexy, stylish, and a whole lot of other ‘s’ words.  He’s passionate and powerful and…well, you get the idea.  The one thing he’s not?  Gay.

I met Ian after my break up with Dave.  And when I say “after”, I mean almost immediately after.  In fact, as awful as this sounds, I was seeing Ian while I was still in the process of moving out of Dave’s apartment and finding my own.  In retrospect?  A horrible thing to do.  But worth it?  Abso-fucking-lutely.

When Ian and I would meet, it would be strictly for sex.  He would always tell me how hot I was and how he only wanted to fuck me.  There’s only a certain amount of crap I can believe after someone’s had one too many gin and tonics, but it’s nice to hear, just the same.  We were rendez-vousing almost weekly for about three months, and then the visits became more sparing.  Eventually by December of 2007, we were almost completely out of contact.

In February, I saw him again.  We had sex, but afterwards, I discussed a possibly relationship with him.  He laughed, “You know how hot you are?”  He answered a question with a question.  Wonderful.  I smirked, “Yes, but I never tire of hearing it.”  I kissed him, and then changed course, “I just think that maybe it would be something to try out.  I think we have really good chemistry, and you aren’t seeing any girls right now…so why not?”

He sighed heavily, “Chris, look…I don’t have time for a relationship.  You know I would if I could but…I just can’t.  I really hope you understand.”  It sounded like I was being let go from a job rather than a relationship, but that’s exactly what happened.  After that, Ian went on hiatus for another month.

During this month, I was seeing Nate.  While Nate was a welcome distraction from my feelings for Ian, I had to end it with Nate BECAUSE of my feelings for Ian.  After I broke up with him, I called Erin immediately and told her everything.  “Wow…it sounds like you’re problems are just getting worse and worse…all these boys all over you.  Whatever will you do?”  I told her I’d call her when her PMS forecast wasn’t calling for so much sarcasm.

The next day, I did the last thing you should do to a random straight guy you’ve been sleeping with for almost a year.  I called him and told him I thought I was in love with him.  Ian, the slippery devil, knew exactly what to say to me, which made him sound incredibly insincere.  Still, overall, he said he had still wanted to see me.  Just not right now.  I hung up and sat on my front steps.  I had lost the magic, and I was worried it was never coming back.


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Becoming Beautiful
March 9, 2009, 4:25 AM
Filed under: Misery and Woe, Sex, Soul-Searching

Preface to “Becoming Beautiful”

While I’m not without my dramatic side, I’ll have you know that this blog is unacceptably emotional, not to mention atypical of me to write in the first place.  I just wanted to get that out of the way.

That being said, these feelings, at least at one point, were legitimate.  The blog was written the day after the event being discussed, so it’s rather choppy and nonsensical, but I kind of like it that way.  I was torn about even posting this for fear of judgment or even worse, sympathy.  This isn’t meant to tug at your heartstrings and make you feel bad for me.  If anything, this is for myself.  I’m hoping and praying that in a month or so, I’ll re-read this and rear my head in laughter.

I’ll also have you know that this situation has now completely passed, and I have had ample time to heal after the damage it’s done.  I am no longer the broken man who wrote this blog.  If anything, I am stronger, more resilient, and more capable than before.  I am posting this to remind myself of this time of weakness, because even though I was at such a low, there is something to be gained from taking a microscope to yourself.  You learn a lot.  And who knows?  Maybe you will too.

Becoming Beautiful

I was having a phone conversation with my little sister and, like most of our conversations, the topic of the day was men. I enjoy these conversations with my sister; while we have very different tastes in men, our approach with them is usually the same. We both tend to become involved quickly, letting our hearts do the talking while silencing our better judgment, only to get burned in the end. And as they say, misery loves company, so whenever something in a relationship goes awry, I dial her number and let the commiseration begin.

I brought up in passing that a man had recently told me I was beautiful, and at this, she giggled. “I’m sorry,” she said, “It’s just strange to hear a guy call another guy beautiful I guess.” I couldn’t blame her. Even for me it was a word I wasn’t accustomed to hearing. Cute, yes. Sexy, sometimes. But beautiful? It’s a rare word in the gay community, so her confusion was understandable, and on almost all levels, relateable. “Yeah, well,” I began, “It’s nice to hear sometimes.” To this she responded, “Yeah, I guess it would be.”

Excluding friends, family, and random drunk middle-aged men I met at Switch, I have only been called beautiful twice in my life. Whether I believed the statement or not, it was still said, which, oddly enough, made it that much harder to believe. Beautiful is a trigger word. For me, it’s all I need to hear. Once said, I’m a lap dog, a trained animal, willing to do anything to please the man who delivered the word. I mean, I may throw the word “love” around like a dollar store frisbee, but the word beautiful is reserved for the special people. My mother, for example. My best friends. My entire family. Bjork. It’s an elite squadron of those who are not just aesthetically attractive, but also impactive on my life in a positive and healing way.

“So, this is the plan…we should just be friends. Nothing more. It wouldn’t work.”
“Yeah, I know…”

During the third or fourth month of mine and Dave’s relationship, he announced that he would be going to the Bahamas. Naturally, I was excited and couldn’t wait to take off school for a week of tanning, sight-seeing, and fizzy umbrella drinks. Of course, he had to reiterate that HE would be going to the Bahamas, not WE. While I was upset, I had to realize that I couldn’t even afford to pay Dave rent at the time, and I was foolish for assuming that he would have floated me the money for a ticket. Still, I was excited for him, but I also knew I would miss him, especially because we had just begun living together and I still felt like a stranger in the apartment.

Before I moved in, Dave had a roommate named Aaron. Aaron, on the surface, was likable enough, but he never formally introduced himself. In fact, whenever I was around, he, deliberately it seemed, made himself inconspicuous. It was as if he was camouflaged: sometimes I thought I might have saw something move, but usually I’d tell myself it was a trick of the light. It wasn’t until he spoke, murmuring a small, “Hey” or “What’s up?” that I would freak out, wondering where the hell he came from. Aaron was basically lint that graciously paid utilities with baby blue checks.

Aaron also had a cat named Milo. I assumed Aaron bought Milo to make up for the personality that Aaron lacked. For the first few weeks, Milo was viciously attentive, hopelessly adorable, and mind-boggling noisy. He always had something to say; it was almost as if Aaron had was using ventriloquism with Milo as his dummy to assert his authority in the house. Of course, it didn’t work, because Dave and I just saw Milo as a rowdy cat rather than a force to be reckoned with.

When Dave left, I was heartbroken. I didn’t go to school the entire week, which was not a smart move, because all that meant was that I was going to have to avoid Aaron’s passiveness and also Milo’s aggressiveness. I confined myself to our room for the majority of the week, sleeping until 4PM, escaping my dungeon for a quick bite to eat, and then sitting there for a few hours staring at the wall, wondering how many more hours I had to sleep before Dave returned.

“I have to be honest…I don’t regret what happened that night, do you?”
“I…can’t answer that.”

Dave came back right on schedule with a bag full of presents for me. They were all small and slightly hokey, but it was the sentiment that counted. After our break up, I threw away the shirt and the license plate with my name on it, but I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the mug that said “I ❤ My Soldier.” In fact, I still use it sometimes. You would think that after such a painful time in my life, that using it would only bring me more pain. It’s actually the opposite.

That night, Dave and I didn’t have sex. We did, however, share one of the most passionate moments of my lifetime. For the most part, our clothes stayed on, which was exciting because I knew that we were both dying to tear them off of each other. He kissed me, and I sunk into the kiss, letting him take command. He molded me, like putty, into whatever he wanted me to be in the moment, and I more than happy to oblige him. About an hour in, he stopped and looked at me with his crystalline blue eyes completely ablaze. It was the only time I ever saw that look from him. And it was right before he said, “God, you are so beautiful.”

“I meant it when I said that I think you’re a beautiful person. You are.”

To say one is beautiful is romantic. It’s beautiful in and of itself. To say someone is a beautiful person is a let down. Beautiful is all-encompassing. It’s like saying, “Wow, that car is fantastic!” as opposed to “Wow, that car is a fantastic blue!” Beauty is like talent. You’re just born with it. Saying someone is a beautiful person implies that it is a learned skill, something they have achieved, rather than something they were bestowed with.

“You told me I was beautiful. It’s not something I hear very often, you know.”

After Dave and I broke up, I became the gay man I promised myself I would never be. I was going out bar hopping at the age of 18, meeting guys, charming them, and fucking them. Then I would sit by the phone, hoping they would call, and they never did. Ignorance might not be bliss, but it’s certainly a welcome distraction from harsh reality. For a year, I was a revolving door. People would find me, come inside me, and then leave. For them, it was just another venue they yearned to explore. But what is there to explore when you’re the destination?

My relationships, or as I like to call them “jokes”, during that period were full of turmoil and disarray. Even when I was having fun and enjoying myself with someone, I couldn’t help but wonder if they would do the same as so many others had done to me. My trust in men and in people in general faltered. For a while, I lost the so-called spark that others had seen in me, and I became almost stationary. Stationary until someone found a use for me, and whether it was awful or painful, whether they were ugly or boring, I was grateful for the attention. I was glad that someone, if even just for an hour, had found use for my body, which was becoming less of a body and more like a piece of furniture you’d find at a rummage sale.

“That’s like that hat you were wearing when I saw you.”
“What?”
“When I first saw you. You were wearing a hat just like that.”
“You remember that?”

In March of last year, for some unexplained reason, I bought a fedora. It wasn’t expensive, or even anything special, but it made me feel proud, powerful, almost. It was black and white with a dangerously low brim that I would tilt to cover my face like I was a mobster carrying a venomous secret. When I was at ASQ, the ladies all called it my “pimp hat.” I embraced the title graciously, since even pimps are regarded highly to some, even if it is just their whores.

Shortly after buying it, my roommate Brittney asked me if I wanted to go to the Pancake House with her and our other roommate Jessie. I decided to go, donning my new outfit, fedora and all. My other friend and old roommate Hannah also worked there, and when we sat in her section, she was elated that we had decided to visit. A few minutes into my conversation with Hannah, and something else caught my attention, and it wasn’t the Canadian bacon.

A man walked by across the room. Usually when I see an attractive man, I get all flustered and excited. But this was a different feeling. A wrenching, sinking pain. The pain, however, only catalyzed my interested in him, as did his smile, which was almost too breathtaking to handle. Finally, I snapped my eyes back to Hannah, “Hannah…who…who is that?”

The man and I didn’t talk or see each other for a year after that. And then as what I like to call “rigged chance” would have it, we ended up meeting again and befriending each other.

“Are you still with him?”
“Yeah…but…C.J. I don’t want to be.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t do anything unless you end things with him.”

The friendship continued, flourished even. I began to realize that not only was he stunning and sexy, but he was funny, charismatic, genuine, and a great conversationalist. I was falling for him, but of course, there were strings attached.

“I’m not looking for anything serious. I just want to spend time with you.”

I ended up telling him my feelings for him at the end of December, after we had hung out a few more times. Of course, I was completely drunk, but I was also curiously lucid: the conversation lasted for two hours, no tears, no hurt feelings. Just mature conversation. I felt better, and we were going to remain friends.

“When we had that conversation, I thought that was my closure.”

Closure is not real. You tell yourself that you talked and “got closure.” Nothing is ever finished. People walk into your life, and they walk out. But more than likely, they’ll walk right back in again, at the worst moment, looming over your head, punishing you with remembrance, with feelings, with emotions. Closure is what we call the end of a chapter. Death is the end of the book. I suggest not confusing the two.

“I’m going to be giving you so much attention in a few minutes.”

I’m incredibly naive, and apparently, easy to please. Drop a few lines on me, and I’ll become soft and malleable in any situation. When he and I had started hanging out more, this was one of the many messages I had received that made me malleable. But this one stood out in my head. Maybe because he realized I wasn’t really enjoying myself where we were. Or maybe because he was anxious to be with me. Regardless, I had intended on keeping this text no matter what, because I was amazed at the sweet perception of it. But a week later, I deleted it.

“Can I…try something?”
“Sure.”

And he did. Our first kiss was incredible. Wonderful. Exactly how I thought it would be.

“I didn’t come here for this. I just wanted to spend time with you. You’re so smart and sexy and beautiful.”

Beautiful.

We awoke the next morning. He fully intact, me ripped to pieces. What could I have done? I saw that same look in his eye as I did with Dave. Or maybe it wasn’t the same. But he still said it. And I wanted to believe him. So I forgot my sanity and my intelligence and everything I knew about the situation. I suddenly didn’t care. Now I was living with the reality of my decision.

“I’ve had guys tell me that they could see themselves spending the rest of their lives with me.”
“Well, don’t worry, I don’t think that.”
“I know.”
“I’m not like all the rest of them, you know.”
“I know.”
“I think you’re an amazing person.”
“Don’t say that.”
“Well, I do, I’m sorry.”
“I don’t want to hear it.”

It wasn’t that I couldn’t stand to be without him. It wasn’t that I wanted to even be with him. But to hear the word and not have the option was too much to bear. He may have said I was, but did he have any idea what he was saying? Beautiful. To him, it was just another word.

Him: “I’m sorry, but, I’m getting tired.”
Me: “No, it’s fine. I get it.”
Him: “But we’re not done talking about this.”
Me: “No. We aren’t.”
Him: “Alright.”
Me: “You’re going to be fine.”
Him: “I know. We both will.”
Me: “That’s right, we will.”

I left the car, feeling like the right decision was made, and in the end, it was. But the emotions were stabbing at my eyes, burning my retinas, and as soon as I entered the house, I began to sob uncontrollably. It had been such a long, drawn out process. So full of hopes and texts and closures and dinners and laughs…and it amounted to what? One night. One night, and I still have no idea what to make of it.

(I almost excluded this next part from the blog. I felt that this was almost too personal, that it was something that I never wanted anyone to know I did. But I thought about it. Yes, it was humiliating. Yes, I’m ashamed. But I still did it. And talking about it can only help.)

Later that night, I laid on my bed and began to take my clothes off, slowly. My shirt, followed by my shoes, socks, pants, and finally my underwear. I stopped for a moment, letting the hot tears roll down my cheeks and onto the pillow. And then, gently, I touched myself. Within minutes, I was pleasuring myself. Screen shots of the week before were flashing through my head.

“Can I try something?”
“Do you want to go to your room?”
“You’ll be wearing…just…your…tie.”
“Ohh, CJ…”

I orgasmed. I laid back again, taking in the scene, my body. I examined the crevices and imperfections. The twirly and straight hairs that peppered my chest and stomach. The blemishes on my arm, the scars on my thigh. And just like that, I began to cry again. I didn’t cry for him. I didn’t cry for anyone. I cried because I was beautiful. In that moment, even with everything that had happened, I was still beautiful.

“You’re so smart and sexy and beautiful.”

Now I believe him. I just can’t see why he didn’t want it. I can’t see why nobody does.



The Resolution To End All Resolutions
January 9, 2009, 7:42 AM
Filed under: New Beginnings, Sex, Soul-Searching

R.I.P. 2008, we barely knew ye.  I say that with complete conviction too: I don’t understand how a year can manage to fly by almost entirely unnoticed, but I suppose with someone like me who can search for their keys for twenty minutes only to realize they’re in your pocket, I shouldn’t be that surprised either.  

A new year may have begun, but I guess you could say I’m less than overjoyed.  There’s a lot I’d do differently about last year, of course, but the hurdles of this new year are daunting to say the least.  Good thing I bought my Studs and Spurs calendar to help me through it, the August man is so naughty!

The worst part about the new year is a question.  It’s a question everyone asks, because everyone wants to know the answer.  Well, actually, they don’t, they just ask in hopes of the same rebuttal question so they can show off their self-absorbed and high society demeanor they learned from watching The Clique (side note, Tyra Banks must be dismantled somehow, someway).  It’s the question I fear every year, because even if I have an answer, both me and the person I relay it to know that I have no intention on following through with it.  It’s that one small shred of hope that people desperately cling to as they make feeble and shallow attempts to reinvent themselves.  It’s the new year’s resolution.

Forgive me for being pessimistic, and perhaps even overly judgemental, but I can tell you that from experience, claiming that you will “loose 30 pounds by summer so you can fit into that new bikini” is, to me at least, naive.  And to say that you’ll quit smoking or stop drinking on January 1st is almost a sell-out.  Why pick the new year?  Since when did a day have to have symbolism to be able to accomplish something on it?

It’s also possible that I’m just incredibly bitter about the fact that most, if not all, of my new years resolutions have all come to a screeching halt.  If I said I wouldn’t eat any more McDonalds, I was scarfing down a Big Mac a week later.  If I said no more casual sex, I was hailing a cab on Wisconsin avenue with my underwear in my back pocket in less than a month.  Sooner or later, I succumb to the temptations that I despise, maybe because they’re familiar, or maybe because I really don’t despise them as much as I think.

This year, my resolution was to not have a resolution, but soon after I decided that the decision was both cliche and, at the same time, too rebellious.  When I was talking to Vynnie about the new year, it had already passed.  It was last Thursday, around four in the morning, and we were having a party the very next day.  So, naturally, we got on to the topic of who would be attending, who would being wearing who, etcetera.  Somehow the conversation shifted from regular chit chat, to heavy and depressing content, the kind that’s perfect for that time of day.  

“You know C.J., I think maybe we should just think about ourselves this year.  But not in a bad way.”

The smoke from my cigarette was in my eye, so I rubbed them and let her finish the statement, since I didn’t really understand the first half.

“I mean…I’ve always let things just…happen to me, you know?  Sometimes I feel like I’m just not in the drivers seat and…I don’t really know how we put this into a resolution but…what’s the best way to say you don’t want to feel like you’re not being yourself anymore?  And that you’re fed up with the way people treat you?  And fed up with…”

“Okay, hang on,” I stopped her, looked away for a second, only to see Jackie’s amber eyes glowing back at me through the smoke.  “Respect.  That’s all.  We’ll just demand respect.  Respect for ourselves.  After all, we deserve it, right?”

I half expected her to laugh and say it was a lame idea and half expected her to cheer.  What I got was a nice combination.  She nodded, smirked, and said, “I think that’s a great idea.”

So we wrote it on our bulletin board, for all to see: “Respect 2009: You’re Worth It.”  I sighed off my tensions and smiled.  This was going to be a good thing.

Except for that whole thing about me not being able to follow through with resolutions.

The next day was the party, and Vynnie had spent most of the morning cleaning and tidying up for the guests, while I proceeded to pass out on the couch, which was probably better anyway, because I would have just gotten in the way.  I woke up around 4 to find the place freakishly spotless, complete with spit-shiny floors and a pile of clean dishes that looked like it’d fall over with even the slightest disturbance.  I grinned, “Hey!  Can’t wait for tonight!  And don’t forget…”  “Respect!  Got it.” She laughed.

The worrisome thing about this party was that we just had one on Wednesday for the new year, so we, Vynnie especially, assumed there would probably be a smaller turnout.  Before the party started, I brought over my boyfriend to talk to him, and I all I kept thinking about was that damn word: respect.  Did he respect me?  Yes, he did, excluding the snide comment about the Mountain Dew.  But did he respect himself?  For the most part, no.  So there I was, faced with another question: am I keeping this respect to myself, or is it my duty to convert others?

After he left, my decision was clear, mostly because the talk didn’t ease any of my thoughts.  I called him and told him that I liked him very much, but that I needed to sort things out and work on myself before I could be in a relationship.  He agreed, and the problem was solved.  That’s one way to say it, but another way…well, I guess you could say it was just beginning.

At 9, Gloria, Vynnie, and I were sitting around the old dining room table smoking cigarettes, sipping wine, and telling stories.  At 10, two more people showed up.  At 12, a few more.  If I remember correctly, the attendance was a whopping nine, an enormous blow to the ego for both Vynnie and myself, but that didn’t stop me from getting completely hammered.  Nothing ever does.

At around 2, I was feeling conflicted about the break-up, and I was really craving mashed potatoes.  I didn’t know what would help me feel better, or even if there was a cure-all, with the exclusion of time, of course.  I decided that hipocrisy is always the best policy, and with a few keystrokes, I was the old C.J. for one horrible and oddly lonely evening.

His name was Zac.  He was cute, more than cute actually, but not what I would consider hot.  He was an actor from New York who was in town to do a show.  He had a fantastic smile and during the very short conversation that we had, I also realized he wasn’t as boring as poured concrete.  All of these elements mixed with alcohol and a dash of confusion, and before I knew it I was calling myself a cab to pay this Zac a visit.

Vynnie’s severity about the situation caught me off guard.  “I don’t approve, C.J.  What if you get murdered?”  I laughed, “People don’t get murdered at the Hyatt, sweetie.  Maybe abused or raped, but never murdered.”  She scoffed, “I really don’t think you should go.”  My eyes met with hers, and they were full of both anger and genuine worry.  I scratched my head, “Here…this is his number,” I wrote it on the back of a receipt, “I’ll call you as soon as I get there, alright?”  This seemed to soothe her slightly, but I could still tell she wasn’t sure of the situation even when the cab arrived.

On the cab ride there, I was still pretty inebriated, so I sort of laughed when I first heard my cab driver speak since his accent was so thick.  I learned that his name was Bo, and that he was originally from Poland.  It was dark, but I think he was missing three teeth, and his newsboy hat on his head had certainly seen better days.  But he spoke with such gusto, with such ardor, that I quickly forgot about all of these minor imperfections.  We talked about weather, about relationships, about money, about families…all in the span of 15 minutes.  And when I got out of the car, he said something so profound and yet so simple to me: “C.J., you, I think, you will be alright.”  I smiled and, even though I couldn’t afford it, tipped him 50% for the insightful comment.

When I got inside, I immediately felt regret for even coming, and thought it better to just get back in the cab and cry on Bo’s shoulder.  The concierge was eyeing me as if I was a convicted felon, as I paced up and down in zig-zaggy lines, trying to decide what I really wanted to do.  I thought back to all of those times in 2008 and how they made me feel.  The pleasure.  The sadness.  The pain.  The sensation.  In the end, as it always is with me, sin triumphed over virtue, and I found my way to the elevator, wondering why I was still doing this when all I wanted to do was sit on the floor and cry.

Zac was a gracious one-night stand host.  He didn’t offer out too much information and spoke almost completely in circles, which only made sense because he didn’t want me to know anything about him.  His charisma could induce vomit and his laugh was that of a baby meerkat, but above all else, he was attractive, and in any case, I was here to get something done, so I figured I should stop picking him apart and just get it over with.

After we had finished, I hoped that I would achieve some clarity.  I imagined myself going, “Glad I got that out of my system, time to go!” or “Never doing that again, guess I learned my lesson.”  But instead, I felt even more conflicted.  I searched my coat pocket for a cigarette and huffed.  He rose from the tangled sheets, “What’s up?”  I rolled my eyes, “Stupid me forgot a lighter at home.  I’m a terrible smoker.”  He chuckled, “Looks like they’re gonna revoke your license!”

See what I mean?

I went down at 4:30 to ask the concierge for a lighter or matches or something, but mostly I just wanted to get out of that room and away from Zac.  I approached the counter, reeking of booze and lubricant.  “Excuse me, do you happen to have, you know, matches or a lighter?”

He shook his head, “This is a non-smoking facility, sir.”

I paused. “Right, well, I’m not going to light up in the bathroom, honest, I just want to go outside for a cigarette.”

He asserted his so-called entry-level authority and swelled up like a robin. “I apologize, but we don’t even have matches in the hotel anymore.  I can’t help you.”

I glared at him suspiciously, “Then…how do you light those candles?”  I pointed to a row of candles to the right of me.

He looked back at me, stoned-faced, yet in his eyes he was dumbfounded.  Incredulously, I laughed at him and went back up to the room.

The next morning, I got a rude awakening.  A dry mouth, a headache, and a man next to me who literally said the phrase, “Ready for Round 2?”  The stupidity of my decision the previous night was finally sinking in, so I told him I was late for a rehearsal, packed my things, called a cab, and walked out of the hotel with whatever small pieces of dignity I could carry in one hand.

On the ride home, I kept thinking of my talk with Vynnie.  “Respect, you’re worth it…” ‘Am I?’ I wondered, ‘Or do I have yet to earn that?  Is it possible that I’ve made so many mistakes that I can’t demand respect from other people if I’m having trouble respecting myself?’  I still don’t have the answer to this question, but it’s another one of those new years questions that’s bugging me, mostly because it’s so specific.

When I got back, I told Vynnie about the experience.  She appeared indifferent, but I could tell she was somewhat disappointed.  “How was it?” she asked.  I pursed my lips, “Well, the sex was good, but, uh, that’s about all.” She frowned, “So, how…how do you feel?”  I shrugged.  It was the only honest answer I could give her.

While yet another resolution goes down the toilet, I am somewhat confident that my new one will not only be easy, but therapeutic as well.  I consider it the resolution to end all resolutions.  I’ve decided that the only way to be able to respect myself is to read myself, candidly, openly, and without shame.  To make no apologies for my actions and to view all of them as an experience, maybe not a good one, but an experience.  That is, after all, the entire point of this blog.  And this way, I hope that I can see myself for what I truly am, with no bias and no slant, so I can truly begin to find answer to that question: am I worth the respect I wish to achieve?

I really hope Bo was right.



Colostomy: Putting ‘Sex’ Back In ‘Sexy’
October 31, 2008, 2:46 PM
Filed under: Injuries and Maladies, Sex

I was having dinner with two friends, Kirsten and Kristen, who are both nursing students.  They are both wonderful people, but often, since I’m not pursuing a career in nursing as well, I feel somewhat distanced from them, like a foreign exchange student trying to understand his host family during the first family dinner.  Their conversations are peppered with their exclusive language: “IV” or “mammogram” or “dyslexia.”  I find that I can often get by when I just nod my head and stare, hoping that neither of them will correctly identify the glazed over look in my eye as incomprehension.

That night we had gone to a place I had never been before on their side of town called the Emperor’s Kitchen or the Emperor’s Palace or something cheeky and generic like that.  The food was unathentic and clearly loaded with tablespoon after tablespoon of MSG, which is the only was I can eat my chinese food.  The MSG and polyunsaturated fat does a bang-up job of covering up the somewhat spicy taste and rubbery texture of rat.

Since Kirsten had immediately made a significant fool out of herself by locking her keys in her car while it was running, I had very high hopes for the night.  I lit a cigarette and watched her. She was completely helpless calling her mom to come by and open the door for her.  I love this girl, she’s a dear friend of mine, but the aura of absolute embarassment that was surrounding her was too strong not to feed off of and enjoy.  We went inside since it was rather cold and rainy to wait for her mom to come and save the day.

The discussion had inevitably turned towards nursing or nursing-related things, and I began to pick apart my egg roll.  Suddenly Kirsten jumped and looked at me as if she’d just seen a ghost, but not just any ghost.  Like the ghost of a celebrity such as Harriet Tubman or Elvis.  “I have to tell you this…and you are never going to believe it!”  I didn’t want to state the obvious and say that I believe pretty much everything I’m told, so I smiled heartily and said, “Tell me!”

It began as a simple medical-related story, so I didn’t hear every detail because I was busy not paying attention.  What snapped me back to the conversation that I was supposedly a part of was this sentence: “She was having a threesome with two other patients…”-at this point my ears did a, and I believe this is the correct medical term, a “Scooby Doo”-“one was in her vagina…and the other was in her stoma!!”

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen.  A stoma.

My initial reaction was something like denial followed by a very loud outburst, causing most people to look up from their moo shoo pork and stare in wonder.  “No, that didn’t happen,” I said firmly, and continued eating.  It actually registered with me a few seconds later.  A man.  In a stoma.  He was…in it.  Not to inspect it or to, er, clean it or anything.  He was doing it for pleasure.  When the hell did a hole in your stomach suddenly become the modern day aphrodisiac?  I never got that memo.

The problem is that my reaction was slightly unwarranted, because as far as strange body openings go, I’m just as in the dark as most of blissfully ignorant Americans.  I knew what it was, generally speaking, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t picture it.  I kept thinking to myself, ‘How would that even work?’  My belief was that you had to be a seasoned pro at stoma sex in order to have a threesome with another person.  The logistics of it all were confusing, and when it comes to sex, isn’t logistics half the battle?

In order to be able to have a clear mental picture of this ordeal in my head, I decided I had two options.  One was simple and relatively painless: Wikipedia it, get as much information as you can, and I should have a pretty good idea of what stoma sex would look like.  My other idea was much worse, but obviously more fun: search the web for stoma porn.  I figured if diseased patients are being stoma buddies then there must be a huge selection of stoma related porn.  It’s like the porn rule of thumb: if it’s disgusting, nasty, smelly, and all around unappealing, someone somewhere is having a lot of sex with it on camera.

I was off to Wikipedia first, since my curiosity came during work hours and if I was going to be fired for looking at porn, I wanted it to be normal porn like boot-licking or fisting.  The link is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoma_(medicine) if you’re really curious, but I can give you a pretty simple overview.  Stoma is Greek for opening or mouth, meaning that I’ve actually had sex in my stoma more times than I’d originally believed.  But I know for a fact that Kirsten and Kristen were not referring to fellatio.  It wasn’t like, “One in the vagina and one in the mouth…can you imagine?”  The simple answer to that would be that I could, and that I have, and that I would probably, for the right price, do it repeatedly.  They would have felt defeated, for their story had no affect on me, and we would have went right back to the previous conversation.

The specific type of stoma Kirsten was referring to was an artificial one, created surgically, called a colostomy.  The description is far from sexy and after reading it all I wanted to do was use the bathroom.  It’s a hole created in the large intestine that allows you to, essentially, shit in a bag.  Being a curious, knowledge-thirsty young man, I clicked on the link to colostomy, so that I could further disgust myself. 

After a few more minutes of reading, I learned that the colostomy is placed on the abdomen, which didn’t do much for my mental picture (‘Wait, so he like…did her belly-button?’).  I also learned that there you can “irrigate” colostomies.  The only thing I think about when I think irrigation is grown corn on the side of mountains, so naturally I was a little confused as to what they meant by irrigation.  Apparently, to irrigate a colostomy, you flush it out with water, which allows the feces to leave your body and go into the bag.  Barf.

One of the paragraphs on Wikipedia said that “colostomies are viewed negatively.”  That made me laugh out loud.  ‘Of course they’re viewed negatively,’ my thoughts exclaimed, ‘who on earth wants to shit from their stomach?’  But I’m told that colostomy bags are well-designed (Prada winter collection?) and odor-proof (that’s a godsend), and that most patients can continue daily activities with a colostomy.  At this point, the not-so-subtle subtext was making its way into my brain.  ‘Daily activities, eh?,’ I thought, ‘So…you too, Wikipedia, have fucked a stoma.’  I didn’t want any bias in my quest for stoma knowledge, so ignored Wikipedia’s justification and decided to just go back to work.

When I got home, I almost forgot about my other option of doing a Google porn search.  I logged on to the computer, completely conflicted but still a little excited.  It wasn’t like I didn’t know what was going to happen…it wasn’t like skydiving or trying a turkey burger at a diner in Kansas.  I knew what I was getting myself into.  But before I could type the words “Gay Colostomy Porn” in the search bar (I figured I had to add some appeal to it), I went back in time for a second when Kirsten had first told me the story.

How disgusting.  How lewd.  How inappropriate.  I remember thinking all of these things when I heard the story, but in retrospect, what isn’t disgusting and inappropriate about sex?  I mean, just because you throw a colostomy into the mix doesn’t mean it’s suddenly gross.  Sex was gross long before people were using artificial holes to enjoy it.  In fact, in a way, it might have been refreshing for the woman.  In all of her years, she was used to men in only her vagina and ass.  And now she has this new “toy” to play with.  Maybe she feels sexy again.  Maybe she flaunts her stoma, and maybe, just maybe, guys find this really attractive, although I can’t imagine where these people live.  And who can blame someone for wanting to switch it up a little?  It’s like going to the ice cream shop and ordering the same thing every time when you have tons of flavors to choose from…strawberry, mint chip, sherbert.  What’s wrong with trying them all?

And then I thought, ‘What if I had a colostomy?’  I mentally scoffed at this, but it didn’t occur to me that, while it wasn’t going to happen in the near future, I couldn’t rule it out for life either.  And what if my partner wanted to try that? “C’mon, just once!” he’d plead, “I’ll bet it’s really tight.”  Tightness wouldn’t be a legitimate argument for me, and I would go back to chopping celery for my famous vichyssoise.  He’d give me a somber look and mumble, “You know, I’d do it for you.  I’d let you fuck my stoma.”  I’d laugh and tell him that, while it was a sweet gesture, I had no desire for a stoma, and couldn’t understand why he did.  “Just drop it all right?  Hand me the leeks.”

I argue now that I wouldn’t dare let anyone in my stoma, if I was ever to have one, but I also used to hate mushrooms when I was young, and now I eat them in bushels, if mushrooms do indeed come in bushels.  Whose to say that my opinion of colostomy sex won’t change?  Whose to say that society’s opinion of colostomy sex won’t change?  I mean, in a few years, we could have people getting a colostomy just so they can have three different holes to work with.  Mothers would suggest it to their daughters as a method of birth control.  The possibilities seem endless.

I never did bring myself to look at the stoma porn.  Before it was a joke, a ridiculous unbelievable act that you have to watch, even if you don’t like what you’re seeing (think of that man who pulled semi-trucks with his penis).  Now it’s just like another random fetish that I wouldn’t necessarily partake in, but at least I could say, “I’m not into that, but whatever does it for you.”  In all honesty, there are much worse things to fuck, like a detergent bottle, a sidewalk crack, or Joy Behar.  I mean, in ten years, colostomy sex could be the new anal sex, and now straight men will have yet another awkward argument with their girlfriends:

“C’mon, Annie, just the tip!”

“No Roy, it doesn’t go there!”

Ah, but it does Annie.  It does.