Posts Tagged confidence
In the “city” I’m living in at the moment, there is one (1) gay bar. Just the one, and to be blunt it’s kinda shite. The drinks are expensive, the floor is sticky, it tends to have more than its fair share of creepy people; but the LGBT society go there, I go there sometimes, just because I feel more comfortable in LGBT*-friendly environments. I’m happy to sacrifice the atmosphere the swish fancy bar round the corner offers in favour of feeling safe somewhere.
In this bar there works a twink whose name is the same as mine. It’s not a very common name (I’ve only met three other people with it) and to make matters weirder, he uses the same nickname I do. I’ve spoken to him maybe once, other than to order drinks, months ago when I was blind drunk. Yesterday he popped up on Grindr to say “nice name,” and we got talking a little bit; today he asked what I was doing tonight and I didn’t have any plans at the time, so he invited me over to his for some fun. It turns out he lives in the house above the bar (handy that, very central too) which is closed today, so I went over before I met some friends for dinner in the centre.
He was a few centimetres shorter than me and slim but toned, brown hair and, the cherry on top, big brown eyes. I started out going down on him but after a few minutes he pulled me up and took me in his mouth from below, and quite well too; we rolled rolled to the other side of the bed so I was on my back and he kept going, and it was at that point I noticed the rather large mirror leaning on the wardrobe giving me an excellent view of what was going on. I’ve only seen myself having sex in the mirror once before but I do quite like it because, narcissist that I am, I like the look of my naked body.
After a bit more rolling and sucking I asked him if he had a condom; he did, he put it on and straddled him as he fucked me (the boyfriend and I have been experimenting with various positions to see which one is easiest for me to bottom from and that seems to be the one). Once he got going he came fairly quickly, and stayed inside me and kissed me as I finished myself off on his chest.
As far as sex with a random stranger goes, it was really quite good, easily 8 out of ten. I’ve sent him a follow-up message on Grindr to let him know I’d be up for doing it again or making it regular; he seemed quite reluctant about seeing me again as I was leaving though so I don’t have too high hopes, but we’ll see.
I have some very talented, inspiring sex-positive friends out there. This poem was written by someone who I used to be on a committee with but never actually started speaking much to until I’d moved away from where we studied together, unfortunately, but we’re making up for lost time now. I asked her to write a bit of a commentary to the poem which is below it. Enjoy!
i never thought i’d hit double numbers by twenty,
was always taught the higher your number
the lower your value.
felt safe when my body count fit on one hand
remembered those people who told me
everyone you fuck takes a little bit away from you,
wondered how long til i was left empty.
but those nights i spent with girls
against bathroom doors, in their brothers beds,
didn’t feel draining
walks of shame didn’t feel so shameful
as my number grew so did i
left behind hair grips, underwear, but not any parts of myself
took books and photographs instead,
reminders of girls i loved or liked or wanted
for a night, for a moment
reminders that i am not who i fuck,
but if i was
i’d still be incredible.
“Before I lost my virginity, I was terrified of what having sex would mean. I grew up in a Catholic family and went to a Catholic school, so a lot of emphasis was put on how important sex was and how important it was that it only happened between a married man and woman. When I was much, much younger I genuinely did think that I wouldn’t have sex before marriage, and me and my friends would sit and imagine what losing our virginities would be like- these discussions usually involved lots of declarations of love and candlelight. When I realised I was gay though, I realised that I probably wouldn’t be losing my virginity to my future husband, while I was okay with that, I was still scared that after I did have sex, I’d feel different or regret it.
“When I finally did lose my virginity, it was not at all like the fantasy scenarios me and my childhood friends had imagined. I was drunk, and she was a complete stranger. It was the opposite of how I had imagined it to be- but somehow it was a ridiculously nice experience. The next day I didn’t feel any different, I didn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed like I’d been told I would, and all the fears I’d had surrounding sex pretty much disappeared. Over time I grew much more comfortable with my sexuality, and realised that every person I slept with was a new experience that added something to my life, rather than taking something away. So that was what I was thinking of when I wrote the poem- that having lots of sex isn’t a bad thing if you don’t want it to be, and it doesn’t change anything about who you are. “
How I managed to hook up with randoms before I got grindr is beyond me, really. Over the last three weeks or so I’ve hooked up with three guys from there – one, who I’ve seen twice now, I’ll probably see again, and two who for different reasons, I almost certainly won’t. Granted, this isn’t a lot, but still it’s nice to have the odd bit of fun during the week. Today, since it’s freshest in my memory and really only the only non-“he turned up, we fucked, he left” type story, I’ll tell you all about last night.
On Monday afternoon a guy sent me a message saying he was in town for work, they were putting him up in a hotel and did I fancy joining him. By the time the prerequisite exchange of photos and information had taken place, I’d missed the last bus to the centre and didn’t fancy a three-quarters of an hour long walk in the cold (it was -3 Celsius!). So we agreed on the following night instead and swapped phone numbers to arrange things. On Tuesday night, then, I met him in the city centre to go back to his hotel.
As it turns out he’s in a management training scheme for a certain well-known fruit based technology company and, as one would expect, they treat their staff very well. En-suite in the fanciest hotel on the central square in town? Don’t mind if I do. The guy was cute, too, tall, vaguely Celtic-looking (black hair, very blue eyes) despite not being from anywhere near anywhere Celtic. Actually he’s from the same place as The Boyfriend, weird that. Anyway, I had handily brought along my handy little box of condoms and lube since his supplies were limited and, after sneaking past the restaurant where his colleagues were having dinner, we got to the bedroom and onto the exceptionally comfy king sized bed. He seemed to have this thing about using his tongue more or less all over, which was fun but when you’re as ticklish as I am it can lead to bouts of hysteria quite easily. Then he suited up, so to speak (by which I mean put on a condom), lubed me up and off he went.
We changed position a few times but after a while I got a bit bored and we stopped that – but then he asked me to fuck him instead, which was a chance I jumped at since that’s quite a rare treat these days. We started off with him on his front, flat on the bed since that’s what works best for him starting out (and apparently he hadn’t bottomed since September), before I flipped him round to his back and fucked him with his legs wrapped round my hips. He came first over his own stomach and I came a few seconds after, then collapsed panting onto the bed.
After a quick bath to get all the lube, cum, and whatever other sticky stuff gets all over the place when two males have sex off, we went back to the cloudlike bed (it really was amazing) and during some small talk it transpired he was also training in massage, which I took full advantage of. He remarked – and it’s true, Magenta will tell you – that it sounds more like I’m having sex when I’m getting a massage than when I’m having sex (and I’m fairly vocal anyway!). That led to him stroking my dick through my underwear again which just set us both off, and so I sucked him until he came – didn’t seem to take as long the second time round, come to think of it, strange – and then finished myself off as he was recovering.
By this point there was no point in me trying to catch a bus back to mine because there are none by that time of night, so I got to stay over in the fancy bed. He went to spoon me at one point but I pushed him away – “no cuddles” to which he shrugged and said that was fair – and went to sleep. He had to get up early (well, I say early, eight in the morning) so I got up at the same time and left, slipping past the receptionists on my way out so as to save him any embarrassment with the expenses, and caught the bus home to get ready for uni. My bus drove past a coursemate on the way who spotted me and waved, which would have maybe been embarrassing under normal circumstances but given that he only just borrowed my copy of the Ethical Slut last week I sent him a text to tell him I was doing the walk of shame. “I think you mean the bus journey of triumph. Sex positive!” was his fantastic response, so I feel like I’ve educated someone a little. Also, there might be something to be said for getting up early like that, I’ve had an incredibly productive day!
I don’t really consider where I’m living just now to be “home” (KittyMama once told me, “Don’t take this the wrong way, Dexxx, but you don’t really have a home”, which is true though some places I’ve spent time in feel a lot more like home than others), but I’m not sure how else to describe my return from visiting Magenta. Firstly though, some back story.
I’ve mentioned in the passing before how much time I waste on Tumblr, it being my social network and procrastination tool of choice. Towards the end of the summer I started following a guy with the initial T who is quite tumblr-famous in his niche, and talking on skype; and a couple of months later, started following his (now ex-)boyfriend, C. Though the former lives not too nearby and we’ve never met, his now ex had not long moved to the city next to this one, and so in December when I was going on a night out in that city, I invited C along. We’ve stayed in touch and hung out a lot since then, and a few weeks ago he split up with T.
I think it’s fair to say – though C, since he reads this, will no doubt correct me if I’m wrong – that even before the break up it was a bit of a foregone conclusion that he and I would end up hooking up at some point. I think I probably realised this over the Christmas holidays when I got a text off him and started smiling stupidly in that way that you smile when you get a text from someone you like (it hadn’t occurred to me at this stage really) and, as he and T were still together at the time, immediately thought oh no. Anyway. My flight back from seeing Magenta last Thursday was to his city (mine doesn’t have an airport) and wasn’t due to arrive until quite late so I’d asked him before I went whether if I missed my last train back, it would be okay to stay at his. He told me that was fine and that since he didn’t have anything on on Friday, why not just plan to stay at his that night and save myself the stress of running for a train I would have in all likelihood missed anyway? Cast-iron logic, there, so I agreed and on Thursday night he met me at the train station and we went back to his.
It must have been around midnight by the time we got there, but I was still too wired from flying to be anywhere near sleepy and probably also jumped up on the excitement of the week away. It might sound weird, but right up until it happened, I really wasn’t sure whether it was going to or not. “Maybe I’ve totally misread this situation,” I thought, “maybe this really is just a platonic thing” but then he kissed me and those thoughts went out the window. We didn’t have sex that night, though. We kissed, we cuddled, we spooned all night, but didn’t have sex. And in the morning, he made me pancakes, earning him the title of Adorable Bastard.
He had been planning to come to my city for an event on the Friday night but it turns out he had the wrong month (yes really), so I ended up staying on Friday night too – we watched the 1989 Batman film, which I’d never seen but actually really enjoyed, and drank wine, and went to his students’ union for a bit
That night while tipsy he asked if I wanted to spend Saturday night there as well, and I tentatively accepted, but the next day checked whether the offer still was valid in the cold and sober light of day. Luckily it was, and we spent most of the morning in bed before going to the city centre to a café that we pretty much always go to whenever I’m in town; had some cake and coffee, I briefly met Tigger who was in town with some other friends; and went back to his for some more fooling around in bed. Until this point in the weekend we’d limited ourselves to hands and faces, but that night we had penetrative sex for the first time. He’s an exclusive top (in terms of who’s putting what into whom, but a switch in terms of dominance/submission which made for some quite interesting dynamics I’d never explored the following weekend, which is another story for another day) and as you probably know by now my experiences of bottiming are mixed at best but luckily he was one of the ones with whom it just worked, straight away. Maybe because I was very relaxed around him already, I dunno. He takes a really long time to cum, but with it being a weekend and having nothing urgent to do, it was nice to take the time and have a longer, more intimate session rather than the usual rushed experience with people from hookup sites or Grindr.
We saw each other this weekend too – again, another story for another blog – and again, it was cute, and lovely. We’ve had a sort of “what is this, what are we” type conversation already and the conclusion was, “no proverbial white picket fence, but when time is free come on round… together when we’re together” and that sleeping with other people is fine, as long as we’re both open about it and know what we need to know to keep ourselves safe (which, though this wasn’t mentioned was at least implied, includes protection from emotional damage as well as from STIs). So there we go, let’s see where this one takes us!
The next day was Saturday, and Magenta and I had a fairly quiet day in the house not doing an awful lot but hanging out in pleasant company. That night was the concert from a band we both really love, Jennifer Rostock (video from the concert, not taken by me, at the bottom of the post!). It was a really enjoyable concert, there was a lot of audience interaction and getting people on the stage and they played for a good while, though I forget quite how long they were on stage for. The keyboardist at one point – appropriately just before they did a mash-up of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and perennial Eurovision schlager hit Er Gehört zu Mir – proposed to his boyfriend on stage, in front of three and a half thousand people (and to the surprise of even the rest of the band members, one of whom cried). Of course, his boyfriend accepted – you’d have to be a real bastard to say no in front of that many people, I suppose, though by the same token you’d have to be pretty damn certain that your other half was going to say yes before you pulled a stunt like that!
Following on from the concert, we went to another sex party, but oh dear, this one was not good. Really not good. Imagine what someone really reserved might picture when the phrase “sex party” comes up – it really was a bar full largely of creepy old men and women, and we stayed for less than ten minutes. They annoyingly still charged us full price for entry though, the staff were really not very friendly. I don’t recommend this one (though annoyingly I can’t tell you specifically where it was because I can’t remember the street name. The nearest U-Bahn Station to it is Görlitzer Bahnhof, if that’s any help to you).
On the Monday night (I know, who goes out on a Monday?) we went to a karaoke bar. I know what you’re thinking but wait no, it was actually quite cool. There were maybe a dozen or so booths that could fit various numbers of people in them, and each booth had its own karaoke system installed so you could just stay in a booth with your friends all night if you wanted – and six nights of the week, that’s what people do, you book a booth and pay by the hour. On Monday though, they have their what they call “multiSEXualBOXhopping”, so essentially a queer night in a karaoke bar and you could pop in and out of other peoples’ booths as much as you liked and sing along! Such fun!
On Tuesday evening, we visited another sex shop – a queer, feminist, organic, vegan sex shop. Is there anything more Berlin? It’s called Other Nature and I’d really encourage you to check it out if you’re in the area, the people are very cool and they have a lot of interesting stuff! Anyway we were there not only to peruse their many organic sex toys and leather free whips, but also because a friend of Magenta’s was holding a bondage for beginners workshop there that night. Now, I’ve never done bondage before, and I didn’t think it was the kind of thing that I was into, but I thought since I had the chance I might as well have a crack at the whip, as it were, since there was a professional there to show me the ropes (I’m so good at puns! Ha). It was a short workshop – only two hours – where she first spoke about different types of ropes and then showed a basic type of tying up that can be used on a variety of body parts and which was surprisingly easy to learn. I’m actually quite keen to get to try some of it out in the bedroom now and see what fun can be had with a tied up person/while tied. Of course, because of the risks and vulnerability involved, I’m not going to do that with someone I don’t know very well or don’t trust intimately (in both senses of the word), so when I will get to try that out is another question. (That said, I do have a person in mind but that’s another story for Friday).
After the workshop, we went for a coffee with the woman who ran it, her boyfriend (or maybe husband, I’m not sure… anyway they’re polyamorous and have been together for years and years and are, I think, a good example of making an open relationship work), and a friend of Magenta’s. As I was chatting with the woman who ran it she commented that she hoped I hadn’t found it too basic having done bondage before. “What? No, I’ve never tried it before, this was my first time”. She raised her eyebrows while taking a drag on her cigarette. “Really?” (Exhalation of smoke) “It looked like you knew what you were doing, your knots looked really good”. So there we go, I’m a natural at tying people up, it would seem.
All good things, as we know, must come to an end, but not without a proper goodbye party; so on Wednesday night Magenta and I, along with her friend from the day before, decided to hit the dancefloor of Schwuz. From the outside it looks just like a big café which turns into a bar at night – but right at the back, down a staircase and small maze of corridors (and I almost mean that literally), you come to the main part of the club which is huge and a bit hard to describe, really – two dancefloors each playing different sorts of music, separated by a large atrium with the cloakroom and, inexplicably, a ping pong table. Maybe because it was midweek and their drinks menu only showed weekend prices, or maybe because the bar staff were badly trained (or maybe I’m just that charming with my broad grin and shoddy German), but I was consistently undercharged for prosecco the whole night which meant I got quite tipsy, quite quickly, though I wasn’t in a particularly bad state and remember almost everything. Schwuz was a really fun night, and the guys! Ufft! It was like the masculine equivalent of the sex party I described in my last post, except with far far more people. Unfortunately, as with House of Shame, a lot of them were on drugs and one, who was there when we arrived and I spotted immediately, ended up in such a bad state that he passed out in a hallway, paramedics were called and he had to be defibrillated. Seriously, quite scary, but the party went on anyway.
And the next day, I left. It was really sad leaving behind Magenta, and the city which I love like home; and coming back to the place I currently live, which I’ll freely admit is probably the place I’ve lived that I like the least since leaving home in 2007. I had a bit of a cry on the plane, but recovered myself in time for landing which is probably just as well because, as it turns out, I had quite a busy weekend ahead of me – again, that’s a story for Friday! I’ll leave you now with two videos from the concert we were at; one of my favourite songs that band sings, and the marriage proposal (it’s worth a watch even if you don’t understand German, just to see how the band reacted; you can more or less tell what’s going on at each point by the way the crowd/band cheer).
Over the course of a few texts it became increasingly clear what Music Man had really gotten in touch for. “I want to fuck you, Dexxx. I just want to have amazing hot sex like we did last time”.
As you all know by now, I’m fine with Just Sex, but not like this and not with him. He hurt and frustrated me last time round and I definitely am not up for that again, and for him to think that he can apologise insincerely once and jump right back into bed with me is, frankly, insulting. So I told him that; I called him up, and of course he didn’t answer because he’s a coward like that, so I left him a voicemail:
“You didn’t get in touch to apologise because you genuinely felt bad about what happened, you’re bored and horny and want to get your dick wet and thought, ‘hey, I know who’s good for sex, Dexxx, that guy I screwed over that time’ and that if you give me a half-assed apology you can get into bed with me again. But it doesn’t work like that, I’m not stupid and that’s insulting. I’m worth more than that. Don’t try to contact me again”.
Since then I’ve had a stream of texts from him ranging from the emotional heartstring tug (“I thought we had something good, I don’t know what I can do except give you time”) to the illogical (“I want to have you as a friend and I want to have sex with you but I don’t want a relationship because we clash too much as people” – and how does that seemingly insurmountable personality clash allow for friendship exactly?), all of which have been dutifully ignored under the principle of Just No. Let me tell you about Just No, it’s really very simple and a useful tool to have in your life.
It was thought up by my friend Lady in Red, recently single and having a go at mingling. Having encountered liar upon liar and people who just couldn’t take a hint, she eventually resorted to responding to their requests for dates and subsequent questions about why she was turning them down with “Just no.” It’s really very simple; if you have made a decision about someone’s place in your life, or rather lack thereof, and want to give them the message strongly and succinctly, “Just no” is your ideal phrase. You owe this person nothing, after all, you don’t want them in your life and aren’t really worried about offending them. If you felt they merited an explanation you would give them one but they don’t, so no. Just no. It can be applied to many areas of life (colleagues asking you to do their work for them, housemates asking you to clean the kitchen even though you cleaned it on Friday and now it’s Monday and you were gone for the weekend so the mess really can’t be yours, etc) but I find it particularly useful when dealing with romantic or sexual partners who won’t take a telling.
Enjoy using Just No and feel free to spread its use around, the more people are empowered by it the better!
It’s been a while since I wrote about the “theoretical” side of what this blog is meant to be about. For a while I thought it might be because I ran out of things to say, but actually I think it’s more down to the fact that, being in a new place and with new people, I talk less openly and less frankly about sex and relationships just now than I usually do. (Those of you who have met me in real life in the last few months will maybe find this hard to believe but it’s true).
The other day though I was talking to a friend from my undergrad on skype and I was filling her in, so to speak, on some of what’s been going on with me recently, when she said something like, “I wish I could be as comfortable with sex as you are. Maybe then I’d enjoy it more”. Of course sex is a human instinct and it’s something which, I think, should be as natural to us as eating, but for various reasons I won’t go into here but which the amazing Laci Green covers very nicely on her SexPositive youtube channel (it’s a fantastic channel, if there’s ever a question you have about anything to do with sex, it’s highly likely she has a video about it) it generally isn’t for most people.
This is of course largely due to the context we’re raised in, where sex is seen as shameful and not something openly discussed. There may also often, as in my case, be a strong religious element to this discomfort we have around sexuality and sex (I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school until I started university five years ago. That was not a fun experience). Breaking away from the traditions we were raised with can be a challenging, difficult and uncomfortable thing for us to do, particularly if we still have close family ties.
In my own case I think other ways in which I’ve stepped away from my traditional background make it a bit easier for me to feel comfortable about sex; I moved away from home when I was seventeen and don’t go back very much at all; I’m only still in touch with two classmates from high school; I don’t eat the way my family or most friends from my background do (and you know what they say, it’s easier to change a person’s religion than it is to change their diet); I stepped away from my religious upbringing a long time before I came out even to friends, for different reasons. With so many past ties already cut it’s easier I think to let go of this old idea too. Obviously not everyone can or does want to step away like this, and I really have no advice to offer on this. I can only really tell you what I’ve done and why I believe what I do.
As for the enjoyment aspect, though, that could be linked to two things; guilt, whether conscious or subconscious, can stop you from really enjoying what you’re doing. Another aspect can be your self confidence or body image which I’ve written about before here. I really cannot overemphasise the importance of positive self-perception, confidence really is key, clichéd though that phrase may be. To be blunt, if you’re worried about the appearance of your legs/belly/neck/whatever it is you’re hung up on, you’re not going to be fully enjoying their hands on your favourite body part or be focusing on what you’re doing either. Neither of you will enjoy yourself as much as you could and that, more than an unexpected mole or something your partner hasn’t even mentioned having an issue with, is what’s going to make the sex bad. Always remember; they chose to get into bed with you. They already think you’re hot, you’ve already put that bit aside, that’s why you’re in that situation in the first place so really there’s nothing to worry about now except how you two get on physically in bed.