Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Arrivals and Departures

When you are a traveller...there are always arrivals and departures....a bit like in life really. Ends and beginnings. I can’t believe my month in DC and the USA has come to an end. Time seriously flies when you are having fun.

I think I accomplished everything on my mental list. I spend time with my family, I experienced this city like I never did when I grew up here. I applied for jobs, wrote and met some amazing people. I dated a great guy - and had hot porn sex with a black guy. My batteries are charged, my suitcase a bit heavier...(and I am too) and I’m ready for my next stop...next continent.

I ate my way through Washington DC. I think I know why Americans are so fat. There’s just so much food available. And yes, everything comes with French fries...and a salad and a five litter cup of Coke for only 2 cents more.

I’m not sure if DC is the place for me..but it is definitely a special place for me. I got in touch with a lot of memories and friends from the past. I feel like my relationships have been reinvigorated and with it..so has my soul. I got my self esteem back...I feel good..sexy (could be all those donuts)...even if I could loose 4 kilos. There is really someone for everyone in America. No matter what you’re into..what your scene is...there’s someone who’s into it.

Start spreading the news...I’m coming to New York. A good city to end my American adventure. More food, friends and museums.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Those who can't do....teach

I saw DC boy. He called me. He knew it was my last weekend in Washington DC. We went to see a movie (Contagion). Not very romantic “Don’t touch me!”.... it is about a killer plague that spreads through body contact. But what followed was romantic - dinner and drinks at Poste - the original post office building that has been turned into a trendy bar/restaurant.

It was a muggy night in Washington DC. The sky had this pink colour to it. Poste has a indoor courtyard surrounded by the old post office building (white and government looking). The pink sky made the whole thing seem surreal - or maybe it was the fact we lived through the movie.

Wine, cheese platter and antipasto. It took me back to our first date back in Roma. I really miss Rome. I dream about it. This was the best summer of my life. I often forget how good life is...really. I have everything that I need and want - living it minute by minute.

I got to know DC boy a bit better - he told me he was in a bad once - had long hair and lived in Boston and New York. We lived in Boston at the sametime but funny how our paths never crossed. I told him about Australia and South Africa and how one little decision (accident actually) had taken me there - and changed my life. Funny - how sometime live turns out.

Earlier in the day I had bumped into old work colleague from Sydney on the Metro. He’s gay too. I was shocked. So random. The world is so small after all. He too had taken time off to travel - told me I had inspired him. We worked in different floors and projects - but I saw him from time to time at random work functions. 2011 really is the year of change.

DC boy is a teacher. I told him I thought everyone really was some sort of teacher - I’ve learned so much the last few months - from random strangers to friends to family - everyone and every connection can teach you something - teach you to love, to be patient, to be yourself - Italian, to cook, to paint...to mourn....to be a better person.

We went back to DC boy’s place. We definately have a connection - no labels...there just is..I know and he knows. We see it in each other’s eyes. It was a magical connection - night and day. I forget that you can really connect - two men can... in the now...not worrying about what it means...where it is going...what will happen next. Tonight we’ll be lovers..tomorrow...who knows. Who cares.

I feel good about myself. It is not because of a man. I think being happy makes you feel good - look good. I have never gotten so much attention before. I do not need a man - but I am connecting with them. Three months down and three more more to go - South Africa, South America, India...more learning..and hopefully more teaching.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chase Me if you Can

So DC boy got me sick. I have pash sore throat. I really know how to pick them. I’m not sure if it is my body reacting in some way - but whenever I have a full on pash session I end up with a sore throat, fever and overall yukky feeling.

Last Friday night I had date #4 (sleep over #2) with DC boy - the Catholic boy I met in Rome. For a bit I thought he was standing me up. He was running late from his happy hour. I was not happy sitting at the restaurant waiting for him - but he did pay for dinner and I drank a few cocktails.

What I do not like about DC guy is that he fits my normal boy patterns - he likes to be chased and I chase him. I feel like I’m the one booking the next dates, messaging him, etc. He told me he’s not a chaser - more like a catcher. I think everyone likes to be chased - but for a relationship to really work it takes two to chase! What I do like about DC guy is that he is a great kisser and he knows how to push all my physical buttons. And kiss we did...for hours...all night....body contact...sex...and start all over. DC boy likes it when I stay over. Normally I would really enjoy this, except that I can never actually get any sleep when I sleep next to a boy.

So by Sunday, I had a sore throat. Monday I had a fever and was feeling yukky. Thoughts of seroconversion ran through my mind. “OMG I have HIV!” I did get tested a few weeks ago. I’m usually very good but I did let DC guy inside without a uniform. But he did put it on after a bit. No body fluids were exchanged. Never google Seroconversion symptoms on the internet. Pretty much any flu or cold resembles on the onset of HIV.

I know. I should know better. But in the heat of the moment - barebacking can be a romanticised way to have gay intimacy. And I wanted DC guy in - for a bit without any barriers. But like most guys I like, I somehow end up hurt - luckily I have not been eating any solids so I’m sure that I’ve lost at least 2 kgs. There is a silver lining in everything.

I’ve decided not to contact DC guy again. I have not recovered yet and I’m not at all horny - nothing like reading about HIV to not get me into the mood. If he wants to see me again, he’ll need to chase me.

Friday, September 16, 2011

He Said...She Said

Part of why I decided to take eight months off my life was to spend time with my family...this includes my urban friends....boyfriends, fuckbuiddies, partners...come and go but true friendships last a lifetime. I make an effort to keep up with my friends..no matter where they are...I’m lucky to say that I still have close friends from junior and high school.

James and Anne were two fellow classmates who graduated back in 1995. They were high school sweethearts. Both went to University in Virginia and married a year after graduating college. They settled in DC and had two children. Ten years later, they are separated...James is having a Twitter affair and Anne is on anti-depressants. Breakups are  messy.

I am seeing my straight high school and college friends go through the normal life plan: get engaged, get married, have kids and some of them are now getting separated or divorced. As a child of divorced parents (mum had 3, dad not even sure!), I do not believe relationships are meant to last forever. It is a nice thought. But people change...people grow..and sometimes they grow apart. I love chick flicks as much as the next gay guy, but no one ever lives happily ever after. They live happily ever after for 10 years, then go through a divorce and re marry again.

I am friends with both of them. So this week I caught up with both of them, individually of course - to listen to their side of the story. People like to vent to me...and having no relationship of my own...I am happy to listen.

Anne found James was having an “emotional affair” with some woman in Illinois on Twitter when she borrowed James’ iPhone on a business trip. Although he claims he never met the woman, his emails were very graphic. He wrote to her that he loved her..that he wanted to be with her. Anne was devastated. She thought everything was going well. She was not happy but content. She figured... “this is my marriage” and I just have to live with it. She felt hurt and betrayed.

James told me he felt like Anne was not engaged in the relationship in the last four years. As the children grew, he found that they had less and less in common - leading totally different lives with different interests. What brought them together in high school - no longer existed. James felt Anne was a total nag - and Anne felt like he was the third child she never wanted.

I kept quiet. I’m not a counsellor. Just a listener. James had no hang ups on his electronic affair as there was nothing physical. Anne felt betrayed. Next month will be a year since they separated - so that they can apply for an official divorce. At least for the children, they are keeping things civil.

Another one bites the dust! I wonder if relationships are worth all the effort, drama...when most will only last a few years. It is even more challenging to find a long term gay relationship. Another friend recently admitted that he cheated on his partner. This guy had been married for a long time to a woman (but never cheated on her). Yet in a gay relationship - he can’t seem to keep his dick in his pants. I’m not judging. I’ve chatted. I wonder if men are just meant to cheat - if it is just a built in mechanism...like getting an erection in the mornings. “Must fuck anything that moves.” Are open relationships the key? or maybe just being single...and having fun.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Needs versus Wants

My grandmother always says there is a big difference between needs and wants.  I want a big chocolate brownie but I probably do not need one as I had a piece of cheesecake yesterday. I struggle with needs and wants. I probably only need a few things: shelter, water and food. But our marketing society tells us otherwise.

This is even more apparent in the USA. Here you are bombarded by advertisements for drugs, informercials for gym equipment and fear tactics. “Bad breath??? - you need this...and that...” - “are you fat???” do this and use that. Of course all have very fast spoken disclaimers “Side effects may include seizures, fainting spells, anal warts and or death.”

America has been labelled Prozac nation, with estimates that more than 50% of the population is on some sort of mood elevator. This is the only country in the world where they sell anti depressants for people already on anti depressants (anti-anti-depressants).Here many patients get their prescriptions from television and pushy drug makers lobby doctors. Probably why there is no universal health cover.

Back to needs and wants. I’m learning that I need less than what I think...I can live with a suitcase of clothes. I do not need so much baggage - stuff...both emotional and physical. I’m lucky to have what I have...and people all over the world have less...need less. It is liberating...

My friends have started calling me a “gypsy.” I’m ok with the term. I’m just a traveller wondering from place to place...learning. I’ve never been happy. Everyday is an adventure. Amazing sights...and fellow travelers. I’ve met some amazing people along the way - from each person I take something...I walk away learning something. Everyone does have a story.

I’ve finally realised that I do not need another person to complete. I may never have a partner...or not in the next five years (that’s my average time between relationships). And that’s ok. No panic, no fear. I can travel the world in six months, six continents and be content....happy blessed. I do not need a man, a boyfriend or partner. It would be nice but I am just as content without one. I can have a relationship with me. I can learn from friends, strangers...the world.

I think I also needed to be needed. I see families, children, couples....someone needs them. I often wonder if anyone needs me? if anyone cares that I am no longer there...maybe that’s the price of being a gypsy. No one needs you. It is the challenge when you do not need anyone.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Connections

I’m very interested in human relationships...in our need to connect with other human beings. In my opinion this is what really drives us...that need to connect...to love..to feel. It is what really matters in the end...not our work, salaries, cars or homes..but really those connections.

Today is the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the USA. I have been watching some of the coverage on television. Most of it focuses on the victims...and their messages of hope...love...and the loss of a connection by the survivors. There were many messages of love recorded on 911 calls and answering machines from those on planes and on the world towers. We are reminded to count our blessings... “do what you plan to do tomorrow today...say what you need to say now. Hug your loved ones tighter today,” said one of the survivors on TV.

Tragic events change us....near death experiences put things into perspective. Death is so final. There’s no way to undo it.... it is never too late until death. I have not had much experience with death - until the recent suicides of two close friends. I still feel them... “hear” or “see” them. I miss them. I miss our connections.

Even though technology has made us more connected (I can skype friends in Sydney, download TV shows from South Africa and view traffic cameras in Bogota), people are feeling more and more isolated and alone, according to various surveys. We live in cities full of people....we have options...high standard of living yet rates of depression have never been higher. Even though we seem more connected...there is a lot of disconnection.

I’m working on my connections. This weekend I feel re-connected to a number of Boston friends. I have also made two new connections - both through the blog. I think that’s the most positive thing about this blog - the connections, the friendships I’ve made. From all over the world...these may be my thoughts or fears but they resonate with others. The human experience and journey is similar. What we seek is similar.

Everyone has a story...the woman on the subway; the waterpolo player on the plane...3.6 amazing connections.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Boston Memories

I am in Boston, Massachusetts. It was where I went to University...where I spent the best four years of my life...in the late 1990s. I wanted to come back and see where it all happened and catch up with special friends...and places.

I find that in order to figure my future, I need to revisit my past. That’s what this trip is all about...going back home...visiting friends and family...learning about the past...whether it is in Rome or Istanbul or Boston. I love history. It was one of my favourite courses at college.

I used to have a lecture in this old planetarium building. It was a huge hall, there were probably 300 students. It was dark and comfy. Most of my fellow classmates would sleep through the lectures. My professor had this amazing voice - deep and with authority. His lectures were like stories..about the past. He’s who I picture when I think of God - he had a beard and just seemed so wise..he knew it all! He told us all about history from 1945. Best class I ever took. He used to always say that in order to know the future, you only needed to study the past. It is true...history repeats itself sometimes...over and over again.

I walked through the lecture halls again and through the campus - most of it had not changed. I was surprised by how young the students looked - or maybe it was the fact that I was feeling old. I went to my old faculty buildings, my old dorms...the library, the student union....the coffee shop. I have many fond memories of this place..this city. This is where I had my first gay sexual relationship...where I met my first gay friend...where I came out to another person...where I decided to run away to Australia.

The American college experience is very unique..you live in a small bubble...all of your friends are within walking distance. You are constantly learning...you learn about yourself more than anything else. It is a very positive environment. When I graduated it was the dot com boom...we were all going to work in start ups and change the world. We were so active...excited...full of enthusiasm and energy.  Life was full of opportunities and hope...and luckily for me..it still is...there’s still a college student in there...I’ll probably be a student for life.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Second Date

I think Washington DC is the dating capital of the world. Everyone here wants a date. The guys are preppy, clean cute...and well they want to talk..date...get to know you. I am confused. Coming from NSA sex central Sydney...it is all a bit of a new experience.

I had a second date with DC guy. I actually met him in Rome. He’s 33, preppy, a bit chunky...he’s a Catholic school teacher He’s a nice guy. I find myself drawn to him for some reason. He’s not my type but I find him sexy..interesting.

We had chatted on GRINDR for two weeks. I think he messaged me while he was on his family vacation. The night before he was leaving Italy, once he family left, we caught up in Rome. It was one of those perfect nights...perfect first dates...dinner, music, wine...more wine. We ended up making out in his room. He’s a great kisser. But when I like someone, I want to delay full on sex. I joked with him that our date had to be PG13. So only some touching and shirts off..but nothing hard core.

My friends always tease me - I’ll fuck anyone but I become all shy when I like someone...when I want it to be more than NSA. He told me we should meet up while in DC.

So meet up we did last night. I went over to see his new apartment (Catholic teachers are paid well!) and we went for Mexican. I recommend trying plum Margaritas. At dinner, he had told me how we was not ready to be in a relationship, blah..blah..how he kept attracting all these guys that were really into relationships and needy and clingy. How he was not romantic and was not a good guy to date.

I get the hint. I thought to myself. I guess if I lived here, I would like to date him. But I always seem to attract the commitment phobic guys!!! He got out of an 8 year relationship like a year and a half. So he needs to have fun.

I was trying not to be clingy. I thought we could be friends. He wanted to show me his balcony view. So one thing leads to another...ok...maybe friends with benefits. This time the fooling around was NC17. It was hot. I do not think I’m good at sex but last night...even I knew I was doing something good. The weird thing is me and DC boy have this chemistry. He’s not my type yet when we make out or fuck..it’s like fireworks. It is really strange. He pushes my buttons. But he’s just after some fun. I’m leaving for South Africa in a month. So why not...if it is good why not.

The sex was definitely couply sex. Not porn star sex. It is like we had known each other for years. It was sex with a partner that knows you...knows what you like..what turns you. I think that’s rare so life is short...

I have another date on Monday. I know...weird huh. But that’s what I needed to experience. I am ready to date. I know what I’m looking for....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

From Journey to Destination

When you travel, you sometimes either focus on the destination or the journey. For some, the whole point of travel is getting to the destination....where you will stay...what you will do...where will you go...the sights and sounds. For others..travel is less about where you end up and how you get there.

It can be similar in relationships. I spent the last six years writing about relationships, love...I’m in the process of turning my previous blog into a book. I’m fascinated by human relationships. To me, this is what drives us...our relationships. We need them. There I used the “n” word.

For some...the relationship is the destination. They do not like the journey. I used to have this view. I hated being single...dating...the chase....the whole process. I wanted to have the relationship...quickly...over night..hello Love.

But I decided to put myself on a journey...alone and it’s not that bad. It is actually empowering...I’m doing the opposite of what I would normally do...instead of picking the safe choices I’m choosing the unknown...the unsafe. And I’m finding out a lot about myself - and learning that you can enjoy the journey.

I spent the day with my friend Jimmy. I know him from University. He is on holidays so we decided to catch up. Jimmy is gay and single as well. He’s the destination type. He desperately wants a relationship yet he finds himself in the gay cycle. You know...you sleep with men hoping that it turns into a relationship but in the end he feels even more empty and alone. Yet his penis drives him so even though he vows to focus on the destination, a week later he’ll hook up with another guy. He’ll get all excited...like him and then the guy turns into a one night stand and never calls him again.

“It’s like I’m a sex addict,” he told me over lunch. I wondered if he was really addicted to sex or just love or just intimacy. I fall for the gay cycle all the time. I know I do not want just sex...I want something more...a journey...love, romance..all that stuff...yet I find myself repeating the NSA (no strings attached) journey of random hook ups...that may satisfy my physical needs but leave me empty and feeling emotionally unfulfilled. I vow to stop hooking up - giving up on GRINDR and manhunt - but a week later I’m back...searching.

“Why do I do this?” Jimmy asked. Cause your horny...I thought...but instead insisted he look at why he thought he needed a relationship. Maybe he was too focused on the whole husband search. Maybe try focusing on other things - things he enjoyed outside of men. There is a lot of pleasurable things out there - I read a book that said you should find pleasure in the little things of life...and think about how much happiness they bring you..maybe a good chat with a friend, a beautiful sunset...a walk...seeing something amazing or just learning something new. Focus on the journey of life...sometimes you are alone...but we are all in a similar journey..so you’re not really alone..maybe just lonely.