Friday, July 1, 2011

Mikey's Wisdom

I’m going to be talking about my dry stretch, again. You’ve been warned.

My experience trying to meet guys here in my new state has been, at the very least, frustrating. I’m in the most populous county of Connecticut, and I can’t find a damned guy with whom to hook up. And it’s been making me lose faith a little. In my mojo. In my modest looks. In the god who would strand me here for such a trial.

It really hasn’t been for lack of trying, honestly. The area has no gay bars, and I don’t have a firm enough grasp of geography here so I haven’t gone to any of the bookstores. So I’ve been limited to online interactions, and they’ve all been disappointments. My profiles get plenty of attention. But the follow-through is zilch.

I made a morning date with a married guy who wanted badly to be fucked, for example. Oh, his emails to me were case studies of boner-inducing promises of untold sensuality. He seemed sincere, which is something that most cybersexers never manage. I logged on at our appointed date time the next morning, saw him online, dropped him a note and waited for him to tell me what time he wanted to come over. I have a stomach ache, he wrote back. Sorry.

Then I never heard from him again.

I had a guy who asked if I was looking. Yes, I told him. I was looking and available then. Did I want to come over, he wanted to know? His place was free and he had all morning to fuck. Yes, I replied. I wanted to come over. He wrote back immediately with, Sorry, I can’t host.

I went back to his previous emails to make certain I hadn't misread him. No, he said he was able to have me over. I’m still trying to figure out that one.

Another guy said he was driving a truck out of one of the boroughs up through Connecticut along 95, and wanted me breed him. Was I available to fuck him in his truck? Yes, I told him. I was available all afternoon from twelve-thirty up until about six, and was more than willing to drive to one of the rest stops along I-95 in order to meet him. I gave him my cell number and got an enthusiastic response from the guy.

Never heard from him.

I agreed to meet with an older guy from Manhunt who invited me over after he asked if I was free. I told him I was free all morning, and would love to meet. I’d brushed my teeth and dressed and had my sandals on in anticipation of getting his address when he messaged me back: Sorry, my boyfriend just woke up. Guess we can’t meet now.

That’s another one I’m still trying to figure out.

I’ve had guys from BBRT—including two of my readers—tell me they’d be available and when I’d set aside a block of time for them, they wouldn’t call or surface online. I’ve given out my address and cell number to a couple of men who said they were on the way over, and who never showed. I had one guy message me on Adam4Adam asking how I was doing, and I replied with Good morning. How are you?, only to have him sent me a hostile rant a half-hour later about how rude I was and how he was going to unfollow me on Twitter. Why, I still can't figure out.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. I kind of figured I wasn’t going to be playing around with guys the week before and perhaps the week after my move. I’ve been in Connecticut a solid month now, though, and I still haven’t met anyone. No, I take that back. One guy who was explicit and lurid about wanting me to fuck and fist him online insisted on meeting for coffee before hooking up. I met him at a Starbucks and watched in amazement as he squirmed and avoided any mention aloud of why we were meeting. The guy was as incapable of having a frank adult discussion of sex as he would’ve been of lifting a twenty-ton tank. He was barely able to carry on a conversation with me, and it limped along until I suggested we call it a day—and then he ran to his phone and began to send me all manner of messages about how hot I was and how he wanted me to do countless nasty things to him.

Probably won’t be happening.

I’ve done precious little about the situation than dip my toe in the waters again and again. And complain. I’ve honestly tried not to be tiresome about it, but holy crap. This place is either crazy, or I am seriously out of step.

It was yesterday, though, that I was complaining to Mikey about how long it had been since I’d gotten to fool around. Because if you can’t complain to your big brother, who else can you complain to, right? And here’s what he had to say:

Here's what I think about the not getting laid issue. Please don't be offended little brother ....... I have never seen YOU not be able to get laid .. you just have that going on .. you have charm and you have all the right stuff. I think it has more to do with your choice being taken away about being in your element here in Michigan .. I have a feeling that you still have some anger about that and as much as you love your mate you were on solid, secure, stable and yes popular ground here! I think you're still a little pissed and hurt that your choice was taken away over reasons that .. Yes .. monetarily things maybe a little more secure but it's still tied to the relationship and not your independence. So .. how does that show up .. no sex ... indecision ... fear .. does that make sense???

Mikey has the ability to make me really think, sometimes. I disagreed with him on one point, though, and wrote back to say that I had absolutely no fear about meeting anyone here, and certainly wasn’t the indecisive one.

No not fear and indecision about fucking little brother ... fear and indecision about letting yourself settle there .. like giving in to something that you didn't really want and feeling like if things were a little more balanced that it is a decision you would have never gone along with.

That’s when his point really hit home. There’ve been other times I’ve had dry stretches, whether by chance or by choice, that didn’t bother me quite so much. I’ve been letting this one rule my mood. It’s been getting me angry to the point of tearfulness. It’s fueled a lot of resentment, and obsession. Mikey managed to put his finger on a matter more central to the issue: I was using the dry spell to fuel some latent upset about having to move at all. He was totally right about that.

The metropolitan New York City area was the absolute last place in the country I wanted to move. I can’t think of anywhere save for maybe San Francisco that’s more expensive, and don’t know anyplace more congested. I always try to regard things in the best possible light and acted more than happy when the spouse’s job offer came through. I was a trouper through the long separation and all the work on the house and on packing and moving that I had to do myself.

Now I’m here, and like Mikey said, perhaps on a certain unconscious level, I’ve been pissed about it. Pissed to have to leave behind my network, my friends, my sweet friendship with Spencer. If popularity is what I had, I’m pissed at having to start over. Perhaps very deeply, I’m pissed that my choices in the matter were stomping all over a loved one’s dream job, versus moving to an area of the country in which I never wanted to live.

And somehow all those resentments are manifesting in my dry spell. I honestly haven’t been aware that I’m sabotaging myself, but perhaps I am in subtle ways—perpetuating a state of sexlessness for myself so that I can exercise my petulance so that it comes out as a grudge against this new place and the men who dwell in it. Mikey makes me sound like a child having a tantrum for something silly and random, but he’s right. I’ve been channeling all my frustrations and worry and fear and anger into this one obsession—the dry spell—and letting it overwhelm my waking moments. I can endure a few weeks without a hookup. The bigger issues underneath, like my apparent grudge at being uprooted, I need to work out at home.

Awareness, though, is the first step to recovery. I’ve decided to keep my big brother’s wisdom in mind as I face the drought. On a certain level I still think the men of Connecticut are crazy fuckers, but I’m going to start observing how the drought might be of my own making. I’m going to relax, to enjoy the season, and to stop letting a fruitless hunt rule my mood. Likewise, I’m going to refuse to let fester any unhappinesses related to the move. Once I’ve set those things right, my sex life will resume as normal.

If there’s anything I’ve tried to put across in this blog, which I’ve always presented to you guys with warts and blemishes and all, it’s that sex is not a simple matter of inserting object A into slot B. It’s not hydraulics and mechanics. It’s a messy amalgam of emotions and motivations and fears and desire that often results in something joyous, and just as often into something odd or messy. I’m no more proficient of steering away from the latter as anyone else; I’ve never pretended otherwise.

So thank you, Mikey. You little brother is grateful for the insight. And it’s nice to know that when my head’s a little muddled and my feelings in a mess, I’ve got a big brother to help straighten me out.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. (had to post twice, I messed up the first one)

    If we're being honest here (and we are), your anger or upsetness over the move hasn't been that well hidden. You've never really told me (it hasn't really come up) in our talks that the move was somewhat without your choice, but I got that sense. And the last time I was with you, I got the sense that you didn't really want to move. I'm not sure if it is messing you up, but I bet it is. Mikey is totally right.

    I didn't want to go back to Maine and I certainly didn't want to spend my first month out of college on my mom's fold out couch. So what did I do the whole time? I stayed in bed, ate food, watched tv, had a few interactions, and wondered why I wasn't getting any. Then this week I decided to not let myself be in a funk and yesterday I finally got laid again. So it can work, you just have to let the happiness in.

    And my offer to drive down and take care of you still stands, as it always does.


  3. I envy you that a) you have a brother who is wise and knows you so very well and b) that you have within you the wisdom and trust in him to be open to what he has to say. As I contemplate my own pending move, that kind of advisor/lobes one would be a wonderful thing to have.

  4. Oh, Mr. Steed. Seem we CT'ers have been a real disappointment. Your brother may well be right about why you're feeling so wretched about the suspended sex life, but the state is also full of total flakes. From what Google Maps tells me, you're about 1.5-2 hours away from me (depending on traffic, weather, and your propensity to speeding), but if you're ever in the mood for what can be a really nice drive, I won't leave you hanging (as it were).

    The closest bar in CT for you would be Triangles, in Danbury, about 30-40 minutes away, otherwise New Haven is the closest. The nearest bookstores I know about are in Bridgeport, Naugatuck and Waterbury. Maybe I should put my mind to organizing an appropriate relief party to welcome you properly!

  5. Ace,

    I've never concealed my reservations or fears about moving, not from anyone. Anger, however, is something I tend to try to keep hidden. It makes sense I'd hide it in this case.

  6. Richard,

    My sage advice is find someone to induce a medical coma for a month and do the work for you.

  7. Phillip,

    I've been to Triangles. The karaoke sucked. (I'd go on, but do I need any more reason than that?)

    I might have to take you up on your offer.

  8. My friend,
    I think your little brother just hit the nail and the move is what cause it. It's not fun to start over again and trying to meet people in a city that you know nothing. Maybe you're trying to much to find somebody. You're getting frustrated cause when you find somebody, they are letting you down and cancel on the day you are supposed to meet, i would be angry too man. If a good looking man like you cannot get anybody, who will my friend. Just have a little faith in you and i'm sure that everything will get into place and i'm sure that your streak will end soon my friend. If you were at my place, i'm not getting laid a lot either but maybe this week-end, i'm hoping. Did you check for some bath house in your neighbourhood? It could be a good start. Man if i had some money, i would go there this week-end to cuddle and had some fun with you.


  9. 1. It's been 13 years since I moved away from Los Angeles and I'm still in shock and miss the life I had there.

    2. There's a saying about "When you least expect it", so don't try so hard and things will fall in place when it's time.

    3. Make sure your ads say your are discrete, first timers welcome, those driving I-95 welcome, married men a plus (you said it was a bedroom community), anything that can relax the fear of all those first time married guys in the area.

    4. Try to read each person differently. Instead of 'Good morning how are you', for that guy maybe 'Bitch my cock needs your ass where are you' might have worked better. Every person who responds to you will be different in that they want so you never know.

    5. Thought of opening a local gay bar...I mean men's club...wink wink :-)

  10. "And it’s been making me lose faith a little. In my mojo. In my modest looks. In the god who would strand me here for such a trial."

    I think your brother may be on to something, but I also think you are approaching it differently somehow. On edgy husband, about a year ago, you gave him the excellent advice of thinking of the initial internet contacts as planting seeds, some of which sprout and some which don't, but very few sprout immediately. (Or something like that). You've had few to no seeds planted in your new place. You're putting lots of pressure on yourself. Take a breath. Remember the good advice you've given other people.

  11. Rob.

    Is there the possibility that some damaged, bitter queen may have sent something out over the hook up sites announcing your arrival and spreading malicious lies (again)?

    There's just GOT to be more to the story about why My Favorite Sex God ain't gettin' none.

    Always, your faithful Breeder's Reader,


  12. Also, I got the impression (which may be off) that lots of the time in your sexual exploits came from if not semi-regulars, at least guys with whom you were not making a first contact with. I don't just mean Spencer and Scruffy, but also all the guys you fuck two or three times a year. In your old locale you weren't as dependent on the internet because you could fulfill lots of your need with those men. Now that you're not in a place filled with semi-regulars and guys who you've fucked a time or two and would do it again someday, the sometimes starkness of the internet hits a lot harder. If that is the case you shouldn't let it attack your feeling of personal mojo.


    [floggings] ;)

  13. Rob,

    I'm not saying you shouldn't have kept it hidden, I'm just saying that maybe you didn't hide it quite as well as you thought. Have you thought about talking about your concerns with anybody (other than your brother)? It may help.

    And if RedPhilip organizes anything it better involve me. I'm only a 5 hour drive away (for now) after all.


  14. Rob -

    This may not come out sounding right, but I'm glad to hear you acknowledge your anger. I mean, I've been in a similar position (having to move somewhere I didn't want to because of a spouse's opportunities) and I was pissed as hell about it. It SUCKS to be the one making that sacrifice, what with the power imbalance and the loss and the general the-Universe-hates-me-and-its-not-fair feeling and honestly? Your grace in accepting the move without anger made you seem (to me) too good to be as human as me. I'm glad to see that's not true (and I am sorry, because being angry is really uncomfortable).

    When I followed my husband to Texas (freakin' TEXAS, for christ sake)I never openly acknowledged how angry I was and thus never managed to move past it and settle in there. I spent 3 years there as miserable as I was determined to be and it was years before I figured out that I was entirely responsible for my misery. Geez, I felt stupid LOL. I think you're probably emotionally more intelligent than that so I doubt you'll hold on to the unhappiness that long :)

    Love & hugs to you (& I do hope you get laid soon)

  15. Kudos for your humble introspection! Every day, I shake my head at how few Americans recognize the difference between self- and overconfidence. What was once a disease of business or political figureheads now infects the culture.

    Perhaps you gain more satisfaction from your wealth of talents than your blog would suggest (to me, of course). So, if all else fails, I hope you meet new and interesting men in cooking classes, gardening clubs, musical groups, or a high-IQ society. Those circles were probably on the ghastly side around Detroit; but the Stamford area might prove different.

    Horticulturally, BTW, your new and old locales are surprisingly similar, even as their natural areas differ. Once you settle into a permanent home, let your garden grow with choice specimens of both types -- except for wayward Jacks-in-the-Pulpit/Virginia creepers. (A rosebud by any other name will smell as sweet. ;-)

  16. Yves,

    You're a sweet guy. I love that you offered. Thank you!

  17. Saab,

    My advice was good to Mark, and it definitely applies to myself. You're right in that my old network was a lot of established relationships (some of them over a decade old) interspersed with random sex. It's going to take a long while to get something like that going again--and trial and error.

    What my big brother was trying to tell me though was that in a different frame of mind I would've been my usual phlegmatic self about the situation had I not been channeling anger at something else entirely into it. I'm hoping that now I realize what's going on, I can make the whole not-getting-laid thing less stressful and dire.

  18. Dawn,

    I am no saint. Not by a long shot. Ask anyone who's known me a while and they can attest to how they scatter when finally, after a long fuse, I ignite and turn into a frost bomb.

    Generally, though, I accept the ups and downs as they come and make the best of them. I supported the spouse through a very long job search and was ready to move to North Carolina, to Virginia again, to Texas (sorry . . . I lived there too, as a kid). I dismissed this place as a long shot and laughably out of the question, so of course the universe decided to kick me in the ass and make it happen.

    I never expressed any anger because I was too busy. I was too busy coping with fixing up the house to sell it, with selling it, with packing, with moving. And also because I think This Is The Right Thing To Do. I can do what I do anywhere. My other half can't. It's not a question of emotional maturity. Just about not being a dick, basically.

    (Which doesn't mean I don't have some latent dickery hiding in me, apparently!)

  19. 9:01 Anonymous,

    I would've thought because the climates are similar . . . it's a little warmer here in winter and a tiny bit cooler in summer, though . . . the flora between my past and present homes would be about the same.

    Stuff grows freakishly huge here, though. I never saw rhododendrons in Michigan that grew above knee level. I now live in a house surrounded by two-damned-story rhododendrons. And stuff here blooms FOREVER.

  20. Breeder:

    Thank you for respondng to my horticultural aside. Here are reasons why the "rhodos" do not rhyme in similar USDA Temperature Zones:

    1) Climate change has affected a relatively smaller body of water like Lake Michigan much more than it has the Atlantic Ocean, so there are few older specimens;

    2) The specimens surrounding your house are not only much older than what you saw in MI, but also of a different species, closr to those that populate the Himalayan "Rhododendron Zone" (and gardens in England); and

    3) The soil in Royal Oak (and the Detroit area, generally) contains a lot more lime residue (from the calcium bed of Lake MI), which stunts the growth of acid-loving plants like Rhododendrons.

    As you know, the growing season in your part of CT is also, strange as it seems, a tad shorter than the Detroit area's. In addition to favorable differences in soil, other plants may bloom longer and grow larger because wind and humidity conditions differ, even if frost comes a week or 10 days sooner. Ocean breezes might even have something to do with all this; I have seen roses in Marblehead, MA that shame warmer and gentler climates. And I want to say that the East Coast in general does not suffer the late summer drought that plagues so much of the Midwest. Your Mianus pic, for example, shows wild plants that would not begin to flower as they are until late summer; and yet, the greenery is lush and not at all as tattered as it is by late July in the Midwest.

    So let your garden grow! You could probably even have a "Southern Magnolia" -- a VA staple, and one of the most beautiful trees in the world (in my vain opinion).

  21. Rob, This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the dominant gay culture in CT. Which is to say semi-closeted, fucked-up about sex, guilt-ridden and conservative. Now, I'm not saying that every gay man in CT is like that. But it sure seems like it's the default mode of living throughout much of that state. In 2003 when I moved from Manhattan to upstate NY (Kingston and Albany) I was shocked to encounter so many closeted gay men with regressive attitudes toward HIV and their serostatus. Perhaps I was naive to assume that these towns were still within the cultural orbit of New York City. By cultural orbit, I'm not strictly speaking about geographic distances, it's more of a perceptual thing. My rule of thumb is this: if I can make a day trip to a city by car or bus, then I should be within its economic and cultural influence. A 2-3 hour drive to a semi-rural countryside (think Hudson Valley, Catskills, Connecticut farm country)is where the urban dwellers settle with second homes. Since cities tend to be more sex-positive than rural areas, I figured that the presence of urbanite weekenders would influence the local, semi-closeted gay culture. This does not appear to be the case in the Hudson Valley. A similar dynamic might be dampening what should be a healthy, sex-positive CT gay culture.

  22. Nice post, Rob. Your brother seems to know you pretty well and it's good you are considering what he said. I'm sure you will break out of your drought soon. BTW, my partner and I will be touring the US for a month and at the end of the trip we will be passing through Connecticut. If we could hook up that would be awesome - around the second week of August.

  23. Thanks Paul!

    Drop me a note at my email address and we'll talk.

  24. Hey Rob,

    Just wanted to say that this post shows how wrong your critics are. For one, I'm pretty sure that Mikey is the dark haired muscle dude you met in your dad's college class, that you took when still in HS. I think he called you his little brother, took you under his wing, and had great sex with you eventually (early post). So after 30 years, you're still bonded. Thats a long term relationship, in my book.

    For two, you could have corrected the readers who seem to think that Mikey is the genetic bro you do have, but don't write about. You've been gracious and gone along instead.

    The dry spell's a bitch. But it's doing good things for your maturity. Hope someday you'll see it so.

  25. 12:11 Anonymous,

    That's a sweet thought. The guy from that college class I audited was Tom, though, and I have written about my brother Mikey several times before.

    It's a shame you think I have critics in the plural, when the vast majority of my readers are very kind and supportive.

  26. Cum on out to AZ, its 104 at 9am. Nice and hot for outside playing and poolside too.

  27. Dennis,

    My only experience with the Hudson Valley was a trip up to Woodstock (weird town) a couple of weeks ago. This area seems to be even weirder about making connections. They're bold when they're behind their computer screens, but timid about hopping in their cars and visiting, or about inviting someone over.

    I also find this area very fucked up about serostatus. I don't get why the men here feel compelled to post the dates of their last HIV test in their profiles, since it doesn't prove much, especially when that date was anywhere from six months to three years ago.

  28. 1:00 Anonymous: Yow! That's hot.

  29. Connecticut, huh? Yeah, I've lived here since 2003, and it's a very, very odd state when it comes to meeting guys. You really can't do it in public. There are two communities where things happen the most: the bears and the fisters. There are lots of groups that meet privately on weekends in various places around Hartford and New Haven. Married guys in the state are terrified of being outed, and this is partly because of a Craigslist sting a few years ago where someone posted photos of all the married guys he'd met online, so part of it is justified.

    Connecticut is not a great place to hookup, unless you're a bear or into fisting. It's the state to be in if you are in a couple but not if you are single. Any state that has gay marriage is a state that pretty much has no hookup culture because most of the guys are so happy to be able to marry legally.

  30. Nels,

    Nice to hear from a native--and that was interesting about the Craigslist thing. Jerk. (Him, not you.)

    What about if you're a guy who likes bears, even while you're not one yourself? And I am a good fister.

  31. The trick is to find a way in since none of this is public. Tommy's in Middletown has a bear night on Wednesdays that seems to be key place to see and be seen, though I haven't been in a couple of years. And if you check on Manhunt or Recon, you'll find the fisters. I used to get invited to the Saturday parties, but I'm not so into that, so I don't know what's up, though I see the guys online all the time. I admit I've lived her long enough to find my core group of friends and my husband, so I don't go out or look that much anymore.

    If you are in the most populous county, then you are in the place that pushes the strongest sense of conformity. I've met many guys from there who are willing to drive up to the area where I live because nothing is happening down there.

    It takes a while to get used to this state. It's world of it's own.

  32. Rob

    Not long ago, local DA's rounded up craigslist posters (many of whom were educators) that set off a panic in the community.

    Many NYC gay guys have summer homes in Columbia County and this weekend is the start of that season. Get hooked up with this crowd and you'll get some -- as well meeting some non-flaky guys.

    Sorry about the frustration over the move. Be thankful in these economic times that you are afforded some stability even at a higher cost of living.

    Hang in there.

  33. Personally, I think it's the general flakiness of the gay men everywhere. The behavior you're describing is pretty common. I travel a lot and I've seen this all over the US and Europe. I think gay men have this thing about playing/dating the perfect man. God forbid you have a small flaw, even though what's at first perceived as a flaw could be the very thing that turns others mad with lust. I think gay men are afraid to commit to meeting up because they're afraid either they won't be attracted to you or vice verse. Instead of being open minded, they close themselves off and abandon meet ups at the last minute. It drives me nuts!

  34. Nels,

    Thanks again for the tips. You should hit me up and volunteer to be my native guide!

  35. Loki,

    Were the DAs targeting illegal activities such as prostitution? That I can understand. They can't round up just regular ol' sex hunters, though. If you're not doing anything illegal, there's nothing to panic about.

  36. 6:48 Anonymous,

    I don't think these guys aren't showing because they're worried about some flaw in me. Online, they're pretty forward about telling me what they like and want. I think that there's some kind of kill switch that goes onto their libido the moment their computers are shut off, though, as if they're using the internet as their sexual stimulation and have forgotten that the real thing is so much better.

    They're scared, I think. Perhaps about their own flaws. And it drives me nuts too.

  37. "Mikey makes me sound like a child having a tantrum for something silly and random..." That's not at all how you sound, buddy. (But Mikey knew how to get your attention.) You're dealing with very adult, life-changing (and life-uprooting) issues that are neither silly nor random—and your reaction isn't childish. That you really haven't been "dealing" with some of it just makes you human.

    The men in Connecticut may well be crazy; they certainly are making some really bad (and stupid) choices. They're not helping to ease your own discomfort at moving into a Talbot's (or J. Crew) catalog. But don't let your own "flaw-fear" come into play; they're damn lucky to have a man of your charm, wit, talent, and—yes—beauty living among them. They just don't know it yet.

    Fuck 'em. (Eventually...)

    You'll figure it all out on the homefront, too, as you now realize. This has been a protracted (and sometimes fractured) process for you. Take your time. You're really good with this big-picture "stuff"; the little stuff will take care of itself. Soon you'll be thriving in CT—not just living there.


    (PS: North Carolina was ready for you to move here, too.)

  38. I have found it often takes someone who is outside of or unattached to a problem to give the fresh perspective that helps overcome it. And if that someone is a trusted, loved family member, that can make it easier to understand and rotate one's view. I'm very grateful for my big brother (and sister!) and hope I've been helpful to him and all my other siblings.
    At this point, I know this drought was short-lived, but the advice has likely helped far longer than that.
    P.S. Just read prior comments and have to say: you've got some wonderfully supportive readers, my friend! Lots of love coming at you from every which way.