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My Boyfriend and I Stopped Drinking, and Our Relationship Has NEVER Been Better

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A few months ago my boyfriend and I were on the verge of breaking up.  We’ve been together for 3 years and the last year or so our relationship started to become really toxic.

I think the turning point was when we moved into West Hollywood close to all the bars and clubs.   We had always gone out one or two nights a week, but being so close to everything we found ourselves going out for a drink most night of the week.   And the times we didn’t go out friends would come over and we’d drink and watch TV.

Every night fighting about non-sense seemed to be a daily routine.   After drinking a few vodka tonics suddenly we’d both turn into these alpha type males that had pissing matches over EVERYTHING.   I mean, if we didn’t agree with who should win Rupaul’s Dragrace we would get into it.  If one of us left a towel on the floor it was a personal attack on the other.   Jealously became an emotion that couldn’t be tamed and was used as a weapon to hurt one another.

Our once happy relationship slowly turned into this dark situation that we were both trapped in.   Yea, we loved each other, ALOT, but that was the last thing we were thinking about.

Waking up in the morning was torturous.  The guilt of things I said the night before and the hurt from the things he said consumed every ounce of energy I had.  It wasn’t hard to tell he felt the same way.  Yet, we continued on this pattern to the point where we had to break up.

This wouldn’t be an easy task since our lives had been combined pretty much since the first day we met.   We had to take a couple weeks of just figuring stuff out.  We didn’t go out.  We didn’t invite people over and we just stayed home packing, looking for apartments etc.

By the time the week was over things had drastically changed in the apartment.  A connection that hadn’t been around in forever started coming back.  We would laugh about fun times we shared that we somehow forgot about.

I felt happy and in love every time we were together.  It was so weird how the week before we pretty much hated each other.  We decided to give it more time and see if we could keep things going.   All those shitty nights we spent arguing over nothing and calling each other horrible names, had just left our minds.

We both realized that it was the alcohol that was ruining out relationships.  For whatever reason drinking turned us into a-holes that didn’t have any respect for one another.

Cutting the alcohol really saved our relationship.   Yes, we still get in arguments like everyone else but we handle it in a completely different way.  There’s no more name calling or saying regretful things.

It’s been tough transitioning out of our partying lifestyle but so far its been worth it.  At some point I’m sure we’ll be going out a few nights a month, but right now we’re just focusing on ourselves.

Thanks for letting me share this story, and hopefully it will help someone else’s relationship.

Ethan B.

*This is an op-ed author who submitted their story to us.  Image was selected by the site editor and has no relation to the op-ed author.

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10 Assumptions Single Shy Gay Guys Have When Approaching Men

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Shy gay guys in the community are terrified to approach men—I’m one of them! It might look like we’re extroverts but when it comes to matters of the heart, rarely do we have the courage of our convictions. Assumptions run wild and everything becomes blurred. Here are some we all tend to have:

#1) “I’m not good enough.”

Anytime we see a guy who is totally our type, the first thing we feel is how sexually attracted we are to him, then we’re mystified by his appeal, then we start placing him on a pedestal. We think he’s too good for us or too hot for us, which makes us believe we’re not worthy.

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Trust me, we all think these thoughts. But having the courage of going through it anyway—to literally reject those thoughts and remind ourselves it’s all based from fear—is what separates the boys from the men. We can be in that headspace if you really try, and over time we will train our brain to get there faster.

#2) “He’s going to think I’m creepy and just want to have sex with him.”

This is your habit talking. You’re too comfortable not approaching people that any time you try and make a new habit, your old habit convinces you that you’re a complete cliché—that if you do this new “thing” you’re going to be the most exaggerated form of whatever it is, i.e. a creepy dude. Believe me, the only way you’re going to be creepy is if you are in fact creepy.

#3) “He’s way out of my league and it’s a joke I’m pretending to be remotely as attractive as him.”

Don’t put a stranger on a pedestal. There have been plenty of guys in my life who I thought were the sexiest thing I’d ever seen at first impression, only to have them slide down the point system after a few days. Everyone is sexy the first time you meet them—soak it in, then try and get to a place where looks aren’t even a factor. You already know he’s good looking. Now try and see what’s under it.

#4) “How do I make it known I’m interested and don’t want to just be friends?”

There’s always a worry about being in the friend zone. Our strategy seems to be the same in these situations. We don’t realize that we’re selling ourselves as a friend rather than someone we’re romantically interested in, so how do we fix it? The truth is all it takes is vulnerability—opening yourself up in a way that he sees your heart rather than the outer layer (which is what friends do). The difference is slight but very transparent.

#5) “What if I’m not masculine enough?”

As gay guys we seem to worry about this no matter how much pride we have in ourselves. It’s implemented in our brains that masculinity and aggression define us as men, but when you’re a shy person it’s hard to convey it at first impression. But the simple fact that you are approaching someone represents masculinity in a way no muscle or gym membership can. Rely on that.

#6) “He doesn’t want to be bothered probably. I shouldn’t do it.”

You don’t know what’s in his head, so never assume he’s too busy to be flattered by someone. We’re all human beings and love to be hit on—it’s true. Any kind of hesitation you have is fear convincing you not to be bold.

#7) “Other people are watching.”

Other people might be watching, but if you’re too focused on that it’s a red flag that you care way too much about what people think. You’re becoming enslaved by a bunch of strangers rather than accomplishing something you really want to do. What do you have to be embarrassed about?

#8) “How the f*ck do I even start?”

It all starts with a smile. That’s it. The smallest of connections grow into something a lot more meaningful and actionable. But if you refuse to spark it you will never have the fire.

#9) “He’s going to say no anyway…”

This is your insecurity talking and rarely is it right. You think you’re not good enough for him, therefore you assume he’s going to say no. You are then acting on the idea he’s going to say no, which you’ve decided in your head. It’s time to unplug yourself from fantasy and live in the real world. You’ll make much wiser and braver decisions.

#10) “He looks like he has his sh*t more together than I do. It’s pointless.”

We think a man who looks like he has money, a better job, better family, better everything, isn’t going to look at someone like us. Had it been a man with lesser qualities than us, we probably would have had more courage. This is totally toxic.

There’s a competition most men have with each other: we don’t necessarily need to be the best in the world, but we do need to be better than everyone around us. It’s intimidating to flirt with someone who we assume can find someone better. But the thing is we’re not filing for a marriage certificate here, so it’s time we let it go.

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8 Definite Signs Your Man is Cheating

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Men are cheaters, let’s face it. But the good ones know how to control it. If you’ve made a pact with your man not to be open in the relationship, he ought to respect that for the duration if he wants to keep you. Never should you be okay with anything less.

We love our man. We want to see the best of all situations, but at the same time we can not be shmucks. There are obvious signs that he’s cheating, and it’s time we refocus ourselves. Here are a few to watch out for:

#1) His phone is glued to his leg.

When his phone goes off, and he leaps in front of you to grab it; or when he might as well tie his phone to his leg with a rope, chances are there is something in that phone he doesn’t want you to see. People in relationships who cheat on Grindr often hide it deep inside a folder in a folder in a folder, but that don’t mean it isn’t there.

#2) Lack of communication.

Men aren’t usually scared to speak their minds in a relationship, but they are scared of how their partner will react. In other words, it’s not that they’re scared to tell you what’s missing—they’re just scared that you’ll either a) freak out, b) break up with him, or c) go nuts and tell him all the things that’s wrong with him he doesn’t want to hear. So instead of communicating with you, he’ll go and have sex with someone else.

#3) Attitude change.

If there’s a visible attitude change or shift, something is definitely wrong—whether it’s infidelity or not is what you need to figure out. Sometimes a man shifts his attitude because he’s trying to runaway from something (perhaps it’s guilt?).

#4) The sex changes.

When a man goes from average to Olympic champion in the sack, you gotta raise concern. Where the hell did he learn to do that with his pelvis? Clearly he’s been practicing elsewhere. Without trying to assume too much, you need to figure out why the hell he’s all of a sudden a pro.

#5) He accuses you of things that are ridiculous.

We often accuse people of things we’re guilty of ourselves. I like to call it “Republican” syndrome for obvious reasons. Hypocrisy is a huge symptom in cheaters. They are often incredibly hypocritical about what they accuse you of. Deep down, they’re really accusing themselves.

#6) He’s not nearly as friendly when you’re out with friends.

All of a sudden, he’s internal about his feelings. He used to be a social butterfly when you went out. Now he’s all about introspection and observing from afar—something is clearly on his mind, and it’s not here and now.

#7) He refuses to tell you where he is.

It doesn’t matter the situation. You can call him and ask him where he is, he’ll still beat around the bus, or worse, he’ll tell you he’s somewhere you know he isn’t. Sometimes days will go by and you have no idea what the hell he’s been doing. I’m all about trust, but I’m also about staying in touch.

#8) He’s the excuse KING.

It’s almost like a talent. He has an excuse for everything—why he’s late, why he’s distracted, why he isn’t in the mood. Everything excuse he gives sounds innocent, but as they pile up, you soon realize it’s more complicated.

Can Watching Too Much Porn Change Your Personality?

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Watching too much gay porn

I have a confession to make and I hope you’re sitting down. I watch lots and lots of porn. As a man, I’d be surprised to find another man who doesn’t. But in today’s world, it’s become an acceptable routine. Much like caffeine, we don’t like to admit it might be an addiction. That would be blasphemous, yet if we try and give either of them up for a month or so, I’m sure we’d have similar effects of aggression. We do it every single day that it’s become a part of our schedule.

For gay men in particularly, we carry a need to be visually stimulated. Having a visual canvas is super important to us; it’s why we judge each other so harshly. Straight men have turned women into objects and gay guys have seemingly done the same thing with other gay guys. It’s hard to feel remotely attractive if we don’t look like either a porn star or an Abercrombie model. Is gay porn to blame? If you ask me, I’d say it subliminally effects the way marketing execs use their power to advertise because, surprise-surprise, they’re humans too, who probably watch porn.

It can definitely be argued that pornography is the beginning of many perspectives on pop culture. Sex has always inspired the way we view art. Only now in recent years art has become a part of life. We live our lives inside it; we act out for the sake of it; we pretend we’re more involved in it than we actually are. So it shouldn’t be surprising that porn has seeped into the way execs market companies, which then effects the way we, society, view each other. If you see it that way, then yeah, a man’s personality might change a tad bit.

When it comes to porn addiction (which can be read about further here), there is definitely something to be said about it affecting your everyday life. I remember being a young teenager and all I wanted to do on the weekends was watch porn because it helped me get over my anxiety of being closeted. But besides being gay, for many young dudes it helps to ease the fear of sex, which, when taken to unhealthy limits, might take away much of the motivation behind it too.

I’ve met tons of single (and coupled) gay guys who’d rather watch porn than have sex not because it’s better, but because it’s more comfortable. Think about it. You don’t need to douche, hell, you hardly need to shower, yet you can have mental sex with the hottest men in the world. Sounds nice to me.

As a man with a fairly decent amount of discipline, I know I’m able to differentiate between fantasy and reality. I may watch a hardcore scene set underneath a freeway, but I’m pretty sure my man wouldn’t want to bring it to life. On the same argument, I don’t believe that porn should be thought of as “strong enough” to change an entire personality; but I do believe it can be strong enough to change your standards on people.

Anything you look at 24/7 is eventually going to inspire your opinion on whatever subject it’s associated with, whether it’s sex, politics, or arts. Porn is tied to so many things other than sex, such as body image. If you live your life as if you’re in a nonstop porn film – surrounding yourself with hottie-totties, picking up strangers at the corner, hunting around the gym for a quick fling – you’re probably letting porn turn you into someone you know you’re not. Trust me, you’re not the first creep to have been turned by gay porn. And you definitely won’t be the last.

 

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I Fell in Love With My Best Friend & Our Sex Life Is Awesome

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dating best friend sex is great

It’s interesting what happens when you start having feelings for your best friend—you don’t just welcome new emotions, you also bring secrets of the past: the stories, the drunken regrets and all that’s in between. But my man and I are a whole different story, honey.

Five years ago if you would have said I’d be shacking it up with my best friend, I’d have thought you were crazy. Countless of mutual friends told us how great we were together and how much they wanted us to date—both of us squealed with laughter at the thought of seeing each other naked. Little did we know how right they were.

Dating your best friend has enormous benefits, but the best one above all is the sex.

After years of exchanging sexual encounters with each other as besties, now, in the back of my mind I think, “Holy crap. I’m now one of his stories. But better.” The time we went out clubbing and he hooked up with some dude in the stall—I was there! Or the time I ended up staying the night with a random stranger in Vegas we met at the pool—he was there too! We remember these things and now, we’re part of a new story. Our story.

At the beginning we couldn’t touch each other without giggling, but that soon subsided. With the emotional tie-ins and past attachment, it become much more intimate than either of us expected. Not only that, but we’re also completely honest with each other about what is missing and how we might fix it.

Our relationship had always been one of honesty, and as a couple that expanded. Most of the time we know what the other is thinking before it’s mentioned—this has helped us have better sex. It don’t matter what, when or how, sexual fantasies are never kept hidden for long, even the craziest.

Having sex with your best friend is hysterical because in a weird way it’s like having sex with yourself. Each and every time the deed happens, I hardly feel pressure to try and compensate for anything because I know he’ll do it for me, and vice versa. We have a no secret policy—when one of us wants to have sex, we say it; and when one of us has a kinky idea, we share it. This has created a nonstop sex fiasco that’s lasted for years.

A major necessity for sex is intimacy and companionship. If you aren’t comfortable with your partner, sex is going to feel like a chore, a duty. My man and I find sex to be recreational. It’s a game that bonds us together in ways I never had before, honey, and let me tell you it’s not going away anytime soon.

If you ever feel like you’re falling in love with your best friend, trust me when I say don’t push it to the side because you’re afraid. Looking back I realized I loved him the second I saw his floppy hair but was too scared to see it. Now I get to see it every night before I go to sleep and once, sometimes twice, a day under the sheets. When your lover and best friend are the same person, sex becomes a never ending adventure.

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How To Get Your Crush To Like You

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Love is grand, ain’t it? There’s nothing like the feeling of a crush. It’s exciting and makes our fantasies run wild. With so many hot guys running  around the gay community, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd.

The competition is fierce, but the one thing you should always know is that you’re different. Not only do you have everything it takes to land your man, but you can do it better. So stop stalking you crush on Facebook and start using your strengths to get the man of your dreams. Here’s a few pointers to get you there:

Make Yourself Noticed – Don’t shrivel towards the corner when you see him. If he doesn’t know you exist, you have no one to blame but yourself when he finds another guy. Be sure to smile, laugh, say a joke or two and most importantly, never apologize for existing. Now’s not the time to be shy.

Don’t Try To Get His Attention – You never want to look as if you’re trying too hard, it will only leave you looking like a stuttering idiot. Instead, own the room with no attempt at trying to win anyone’s affection except your own.

Minimal Eye Contact – Unless you’re in a conversation with him, try not to look him in the eye too often. We all know that gay guys like to inspect the goods, so be sure you give him room to do so. When you catch his eye, he’ll probably look away quickly. No, sir. Give him all the time he needs to scan you up and down with no fear of getting caught.


Find Times To Be Alone – If you’re at a party, go into the kitchen to nibble on some appetizers or refill your drink. If you’re in class, take a bit longer putting your stuff in your bag. If you’re at work, find time to go into the break room for coffee. If you’re never alone, you or he might not have an opportunity for a conversation.

Acknowledge Him – This whole game of “hard to get” rarely works. The only time it works is when there is already an existing attachment. If you hardly know each other, it’s a bad idea to ignore him hoping he’ll take notice. Give him attention by acknowledging him, i.e. clothing, accomplishments, smile. If you play hard to get, you’re only making yourself easy to forget.

Have An Opinion – Don’t bend to his every liking. Have your own honest opinion on topics and issues. This is the root of real conversation, which will make him more engaged and ultimately intrigued by your mind. Don’t be the “yes” man. Give him a reason to ask you, “and what do you think?” Be a conversation booster, don’t be an awkward silent-type.

*Be sure to have a few icebreakers in your back pocket. Research in Google news some of the hottest trends you can bring up in conversation. 

Use Other Hot Guys As Bait – If he’s digging you and sees you talking to other hot guys, he might get a little insecure. When you feel him looking at you and the hottie, turn back towards him and smile. This lets him know you haven’t forgotten him and the hottie at your side is the least on your mind.

 

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10 Things to do When You’re Down in the Dumps

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I’ve been down in the dumps. We all have. If there’s one thing you need to know about being deep in the emotional trenches, it’s that you always have the power to get out. You just gotta do it! Here are some things that will help:

#1) Cook something while listening to your favorite album

Music and cooking force you to stop thinking about everything else in the world so you will focus only on happening on the stereo and in the pot. I love jamming to Melissa Etheridge and/or Alanis when I’m pissed. But you can never go wrong with a good Motown playlist—trust me on that one.

#2) Make a mimosa and watch T.V.

F*ck it. It’s all about forgetting whatever is bothering you. Making a mimosa and kicking your feet up on the couch basically tells your anxiety to take a back seat. Sometimes slothfulness can be your best friend. In this case, it is.

#3) Open all the windows and let the light in.

Light is important for sadness. When you’re feeling down in the dumps and all of your windows are covered with curtains, you’re basically letting the world reflect what’s in your heart. Try flipping it—let the light in and perhaps you’ll let a little joy back in. Enjoy the sun. Get out of the darkness.

#4) Remind yourself what your lane is.

Too often we get sad because we try to be someone else or try too hard to be something we’re not—in our career, our personality, our body etc. Every now and then you need to remind yourself who you are and why you chose the lifestyle you did. You can always change it, but never forget the soul that’s inside. It’s where you’re most authentic.

#5) Look up all the places you want to visit in the world.

Take out your laptop and google all the places you want to visit (or revisit). Venice, Rome, Dubrovnik, Amsterdam, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Brazil, the Caribbean, whatever and wherever. Let the fantasy and dream fill you back up again.

#6) Go through all the people in your life and say, “I love him… I love her… I love him.”

It’s easier said than done, believe me, but if you think about all the people in your life—your parents, friends, roommates, strangers you just met or worked with the night before—and smile and say “I love ____,” it will refill your heart in an emotional way. It also heals. If one of the people isn’t necessarily a good person, telling yourself that you love them anyway can actually heal a bit of bitterness or resent you never knew you had. It also gives you strength and empathy to recognize positivity in people moving forward.

#7) Tell yourself you’re doing a great job.

You’re doing a great job. You really are. You’re doing the best you can, which is more than what most people in this day and age can vouch for. You’re doing it, man! Keep on going. Give yourself a pat on the back.

#8) Take a damn nap and forget about it.

Something happens when we take a nap. For a short moment, it erases all the emotional imprints we feel so we arise feeling a little clearer. It might be short-lived but if times are tough there’s nothing wrong with waving your hands in the air and saying, “I give up! Going to bed.”

#9) Take a bath with candles.

If you don’t have candles, trust me, buy them. There’s something healing about the flames that seems to pull out whatever funk you’re feeling. Add a bath to it, and you’re golden.

#10) Go buy something you need.

I’m not talking about clothes or tech stuff. I’m talking about something you can use and benefit from—like a new pillow or new bed sheets or a new chair for the living room. Redoing something in your home can be therapeutic, sort of like shedding an old skin. But you better make sure the new skin is fabulous.

 

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My Parents Messaged Me on Grindr…

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parents messaged me on grindr

This time of year is bittersweet for me. Yes the holidays bring so much love and appreciation, but they also remind me of the most awkward day I ever experienced in my life. It was Christmas 2012. I had just arrived in Texas to visit my family for a few days, and on Christmas Eve I logged on Grindr to see if there were any cute boys in my area. Ten minutes later, I got a text from an older gentleman that read “Surprise, Surprise!”

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I wasn’t sure how to handle it. I’d received weird messages before and I usually try to respond in a humorous way so I wrote back, “Is it my birthday?” His profile name was StNicholas; right away I noticed that he blocked his location so I wouldn’t be able to see how far he was. Though he was the closest one to me on the home page, I didn’t think anything of it. We lived in a building connected to other buildings with tons of other tenants. It could have been anybody.

“What brings you on here?” I asked. “Oh, you know… just feeling a bit of the Christmas spirit,” he responded. StNicholas told me he had been cooking all day for his family, was pooped out and in desperate need of a rubdown. I couldn’t leave the apartment because it would be obvious. There were people staying the night who would expect me to stay and play host, so I told him I was a bit tied up at the moment and couldn’t leave.

He seemed like a nice enough guy – traveling to Texas from Chicago, was a lawyer and ran his own practice, and even served in the marines for four years. I wasn’t particularly into meeting a man twenty years my senior, but it was Christmas so I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Also he was the only one talking to me since I assumed everyone else had better things to do.

I heard a roar of laughter from my parent’s room upstairs. It reminded me I probably should be spending this time with them rather than on Grindr. So I told him it was nice chatting, but I had to run. “Can we swap face pictures?” he wrote back. I sent him the pic I always send guys when they ask for a face – a proper one of me in the park outside my building. He wrote back and raved about how cute it was. When I asked him for his, it was then I realized I’d been duped. The picture was of my mom and dad in their bedroom staring straight into the camera waving like idiots.

I hadn’t come out to them yet. I wasn’t planning to. I had no idea how they even knew that Grindr existed. And my heart sank to the pit of my stomach around the same time I heard them screaming with laughter and bobbing their feet on the ground, which shook the ceiling of my room. They got me.

It took a few minutes to find the courage to leave my bedroom. When I did, they were waiting in the kitchen making me a drink. What the fuck, I said. Your cousin told us about Grindr so we decided to see if you used it, they responded. They asked if I was mad, which, deep down, I was more embarrassed than anything. But regardless of how I felt about it, we drank, discussed the whole thing and decided that perhaps it wasn’t the best idea.

I don’t think anyone ever plans on coming out to their parents through Grindr, but like always, my mom and dad were one step ahead of me. That, ladies and gentlemen, was my Christmas coming out story. If there’s one lesson you can take from it, it’s that whenever you decide to visit family for the holidays, keep your Grindr OFF.

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I’m a Masculine Power Bottom…Deal With It

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masculine bottom

Just because you’re masculine doesn’t mean you’re a TOP

I’m a 33-year old gay man living in New York City. I’m a mechanic, live in a bachelor-sized apartment, drive a motorcycle, and workout six times a week. If you look at me you’d think I’m as straight as they come (or so I’m told). But the thing is, despite what you see, I break the stereotype.

I’m a power bottom, and a damn good one too. When I moved to the city twenty years ago, I was shocked at the reception I got from men. I grew up in South Carolina, where “masculinity” bled in the water supply. I’ve always been attracted to men of the feminine persuasion not just because they were a breath of fresh air, but because I assumed we belonged together. My personality is a bit hard, making it difficult for gay guys to approach me – something I’m still working on today. As an adolescent, I was never able to recognize a gay man when I saw one, which made me gravitate towards feminine guys.

Masculinity and femininity have nothing to do with sexual roles, and everything to do with how we place ourselves on the construct of society. Yes I’m masculine, does that mean I know how to be a good husband or boyfriend or father? Absolutely not. Why, then, is it deemed more attractive than other qualities? If you ask me, it all comes back to S-E-X.

As gay guys if we can’t imagine having sex with you, you’re automatically unattractive. The way we transfer the message is through the collaboration of visual and sexual. If we feel it, see it, and imagine it, it is then reality. Never mind what the truth is. Never mind if the guy is an asshole, is still living with mama, or will amount to nothing in his life. So long as he’s f*ck-worthy, he’s grade-A. What’s wrong with this picture?

I despise the word “stereotype” because I’ve been victim of it all my life. I can’t tell you how many dudes approach me at the bars or on Grindr, expecting me to top them, when, in reality, I haven’t topped anyone since 1997. I hate doing it. It does nothing to stimulate my senses nor feed my sexual urges.

I have to say though, being a masculine power bottom has its good days to. For example, it’s incredibly easy to get laid. The second I started referring myself as a power bottom, it was as if I’d put a FREE HUGS sign around my neck. The invitations were coming left and right – but the one thing that was missing was love. You see, when you’re in a relationship, it’s kind of a given to create a fair and balanced compromise. At some point, my man is going to want me to top him, which quite frankly I can’t bring myself to do.

I can only speak from my own experiences, of course. Masculinity aside, being a power bottom is a dime a dozen in this day and age. When I was in my early twenties, most men were versatile because they assumed they had to be. Today there are so many avenues a gay man can go and get off; there’s virtually no need to fear a label. We’ve become all about labels. If you don’t match with me, then it’s impossible for us to have an adequate partnership. I think it’s all bullshit.

I don’t give a crap if you’re feminine or not so long as you know how to handle me in the bedroom, or, know how to let me handle you. Trust me, the second the door closes in my bedroom, masculinity and femininity don’t exist. All that matters is our chemistry.

We need to stop categorizing masculinity as a sexual role. Trust me when I say in my years in New York, I’ve met tons of guys who in no way, shape, or form match stereotypical clichés. Some have even been famous celebrities and politicians! Some of the best tops I’ve had in bed have also been the most feminine. Trust me, if all you look at is the way he walks and talks, you’ll be missing out on some amazing experiences. Judge not, want not.

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Chronically Single: A Gay Man’s Perspective

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battling chronic lonliness

My longest relationship was 4 weeks long. Go ahead, say I’m too picky or that I’m too distracted at work or that I’m not emotionally available – everyone else has. It’s opinions like these that convinced me something was wrong; the longer I listened, the more I beat myself up. I felt pressure to find a boyfriend. I tried to convince myself that all these weirdoes I was dating were someone worth investigating – believe me, they weren’t.

I realized one day that all my drinking buddies had disappeared. For the longest time I thought we’d be together forever, but like all great things there comes a time when the era ends. Once it does you’re forced to find new habits and quite possibly new friends. This is the cue to pour myself another drink.

My mother always said I was a late bloomer. I know what kind of life I want for myself and a family is definitely a part of the plan, but I feel no need to rush things because I’m content with how my life is right now; and it’s not like I don’t date. Believe me, I date a lot. I’ve gone on five, six, seven dates with a guy, but at the end it fizzles out because we know the chemistry isn’t right. Why try and make something work out of false necessity?

I’ve come to realize that being single is only a bad thing when it’s synonymous with being “alone,” and we have the power to define it as such. Loneliness can be a temporary feeling and doesn’t need to affect one’s realty. It’s fueled by a habit of only paying attention to things we lack rather than the things we have.

Each trip back home consists of the usual three questions: “When are you going to get married so we can have grandkids?” “Why can’t you date someone so we can go on double dates?” “How have you not had a serious boyfriend yet?” While it’s hard not to take it personally, questions like these pile on top of each other and create chronic patterns of self-blame: it must by my fault, I’m probably doing something wrong, no one wants me because x, y, z.

It’s not easy being the one dude in your group who’s single. For whatever reason you haven’t found a guy you’re willing to share yourself with (and the select few who were worthy either weren’t ready or didn’t want you). You start observing the guys who have boyfriends and think, “I’m better than him. Why has he found someone and I haven’t?” Again, self-blame kicks in and you’re back in a vicious cycle. But the root of the problem isn’t the fact that you’re single. It’s much deeper than that.

When we have longer-than-usual gaps between relationships, we don’t need to be “alone” if we don’t want to be. Living in big cities makes it difficult to meet new friends and find meaningful relationships, this I know for sure, but if you’re not willing to put yourself out there you are imprisoning yourself inside a box of self-made loneliness (not to mention cabin fever). You tell yourself you’re alone so the feeling creeps back in and all your energy ends up being burned by this diagnosis.

“Single” is lacking a monogamous romantic/sexual partner. It doesn’t mean you’re lacking in life, friends, love, joy, or satisfaction. If you think they’re synonymous then you are investing too much on an idealistic image of what being in a relationship is about. We all want someone to grow old with, sure, but the longer you blame yourself or associate singlehood with being lonely, the more you curse everything to hell. You’ll soon wake up and find that while you’ve been telling yourself how lonely you are, you wasted yet another opportunity to celebrate life for how it can be. Trust me, I speak from experience.

Being chronically single in the gay community isn’t hard to do. Our culture has been shaped into a never-ending singles mixer, which, in my opinion, is changing faster than we think. Most single gay guys I spoke to want to have a partner whether they admit it or not – even the dudes shaking it on the tables screaming, “F*ck men! I love being single!” We watch gay couples holding hands and secretly envy their commitment often wondering what they’re bringing to the table that we aren’t.

The only reason why we’re desperate is because we allow society to dictate our feelings. We’re so used to thinking from the outside-in that we neglect our own voices, which always tell us the truth.

If you really want a boyfriend, you will find one. He might not be perfect, but nobody really is. He might not be the right guy for you, but your need to have a boyfriend will give you a different perspective on it. That’s the power our minds have, so what’s keeping us from doing it? If you ask me, we simply haven’t decided that we’re ready.

I once knew a guy who was working in Europe for two years. He was unhappy with his life because he was working all the time and the anxiety of never knowing when he was going back home kept him from taking serious steps with men. One morning he woke up and decided to change his life – he wanted to move back to the states, get a higher paying job with a better purpose, and most of all, find a boyfriend.

Three months later he was back in the U.S. The day after he landed, he made online dating accounts on all the available platforms. In the following weeks he went on multiple dates and would you believe it, he found someone. They’re now married.

Don’t you see? My friend made a decision that he was ready. He told himself he wasn’t going to be alone anymore. He refused to settle for a job he didn’t like. So he made appropriate plans to alter it. He changed more than just his circumstance; he changed his entire perspective on men because at the end of the day, he didn’t settle for anything less than husband material. He knew exactly what to look for because he filtered through the entire catalogue of gay bachelors for weeks, and eventually found what he wanted due to a decision he’d made months ago. Instead of being lonely, he decided to grab what was his because he went for it whether he was ready or not.

Chronic habits can easily be changed if you truly want them to be. Being single isn’t a habit, but you know what is? Constant affirmation that you’re alone.

The best thing any single person can do is to snap out of the funk. When you feel lonely, you will make it your mission to keep yourself that way until you change it. All it takes is an ounce of courage to break free of the chains. If you truly feel lonely, it’s not because you’re single. It’s because you refuse to see anything else.

Being single is not a bad thing so stop making an excuse not to go out and let the sunshine in. If you want a boyfriend, make a decision today to fine one. But in the meantime, wake up and let the sunshine in. You are never alone. Ever.

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How to Remind Yourself You’re Worthy of Love.

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Gay Guys Loving Yourself

You are made of LOVE

I used to think I was only worth what society told me I was. When I felt judged I instantly made it personal, dissecting the reasons why and ultimately burying myself in a cave of self-pity. But then something happened.

I realized the world read my value by observing my self-worth. When I felt worthless, the world took it at face value—that’s what they saw and it’s how they associated me. As humans we take a lot of our value from what people think of us, so as a result of their association, we assume their opinion is the truth when in actuality it began with us all along.

Raise our self-worth -> Raise our value.

Sometimes we have to do the work ourselves. We need to define who we are and know how valuable we truly are without needing to look at society. From then on, everything falls into place. It’s a never-ending circle that starts and ends with our own views of ourselves. Here’s how we can start raising our worth:

Remind yourself what it is they (the world) are dealing with. You’re not just anyone. You’re YOU. Stop comparing yourself to other people who might look different, sound different, feel different; the fact that you are original and unique is always going to work in your favor. You aren’t an every day run-of-the-mill kind of guy—you’re special. You got IT.

Give yourself something to accomplish so you’ll feel accomplished once it’s complete. In other words make projects, think of ideas, predict the future for yourself, come up with goals and actually try to achieve them. The simple act of working towards something makes you feel fulfilled, ultimately turning insecurity into pride.

Recognize your good qualities because the second you do, you’ll understand how it’s inspired others all this time. You’ll see that it’s your heart, your soul, and your spirit that make people love you rather than artificial things. Your goodness is your worth. Your goodness defines how valuable you are, and once you see how much you already have inside, (there’s a lot, trust me) resonate in it.

Wake up happy. Before you have another self-deprecating thought, you need to fuel your heart with love. Wake up and be glad that you did. This is your room, this is your bed, this is your life; celebrate it with a smile. Place your mind in front of you rather than behind you, keep it floating on your own assessments instead of letting it sink.

Love yourself the way you love others. Too often we place so much adoration on our loved ones, yet we fail to treat ourselves the same way. We feel it’s selfish to love ourselves equal to loving the world, but trust me when I say if we don’t love ourselves we will never collect enough of it to share.

You deserve to be fulfilled. Yes, YOU deserve to be happy, to have love, to be joyous. You worked your ass off to get where you are today—you might be bruised and you might be shaken, but scars heel. Never think you’re unworthy of good things because you feel guilt or shame to have them. You deserve to be happy because you are here. You’re breathing, you’re living, you’re giving to the world, and you deserve goodness—never give it back.

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8 Real Signs the Guy You’re Dating is Using You For Your Friends

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gay guys friends using you

I’m not one to judge people’s character, but recent experiences have gotten me to change my tune. Friendships are deeply important to me—so are the guys I’m dating. So when you get the feeling that one is using the other, it can be incredibly sad.

It’s especially upsetting when you hardly know the guy. He comes into your life and it becomes transparent that he’s using you for something, though you can’t quite put your finger on what. The whole thing seems a bit disingenuous until it finally becomes clear by these particular red flags:

#1) He invites himself everywhere you go with your friends, but when it’s just you alone he seems to “have plans” with other people. Strange, right? Miraculously things change when you say that so-and-so is coming. The whole time he was with you, you neither saw him text his imaginary friend or see to it that their “plan” was thwarted.

#2) He squeezes in the middle of you and your besties in photos and/or when you sit at a restaurant—and basically makes no apologies for it. It’s a bit weird and you wonder in the back of your mind if your friends notice but you’re scared to bring it up in case you might sound paranoid or worse, “jealous.”

#3) Your true friend notices it and tells you without fear. He/She will say “Umm he’s totally not right for you,” and you know they’re right because you shouldn’t ever feel like you’re being used. You’ll also have a great time talking about all the crap that happened that night.

#4) He never asks but rather states he’s coming or staying. He won’t ask if he can stay the night when your best friend is over—he’ll say, “I think I’m going to stay over if it’s okay with you.” He won’t ask if there’s any room to come out tonight, but he’ll say “I think I am going to come out…” (as if you’d begged for him to come out earlier or something).

#5) You remember him mentioning a while back that “networking” is what he does. Then you realize that’s the only reason why he invites himself to places. You know it’s true because he doesn’t seem to have fun or try and make an authentic connection with anyone. But he does take pictures and tags everyone on FB in spite of not knowing their name.

#6) Drama seems to follow him everywhere and he doesn’t know why. He’s vented to you that people get “jealous” of him and that everyone wants to “have sex” with him and it makes his life dramatic. At first you stroke his ego a little bit by saying, “It’s because you’re valuable. You’re a good human being” but then you realize, holy crap, this guy is incredibly self-absorbed and expects everyone to worship him. Why is he here?

#7) He doesn’t support you in front of your friends. It can be anything. You order pickles on a burger, “Ew. Gross! Pickles are disgusting.” You get an extra shot of espresso, “Holy crap. I don’t think you can handle that.” You have an idea to go to a particular bar, “That bar’s stupid.” Keep in mind this is the first time he’s meeting your friends—wouldn’t a guy who’s really into you try and impress the friends in your life?

#8) He doesn’t pay for anything and never speaks up about it, but rather relies on you or your friends to fork the bill. You don’t realize it until you look at your bank account the next day and remember it was YOU who whipped out the card all night long—not him.

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10 Signs You’re Actually a Gay Introvert (Even Though You Try Not to Be)

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signs youre an introvert

Introverts get a bad rap, man. Gay guys typically say they want to marry an introvert but would rather sex with extroverts. Trouble is, in a community where everything revolves around sex, us introverts begin to wonder if it’s ever going to be our turn.

Introverts are sexy as hell, but only when we truly embrace our introvert-ism. Too many of us try to be more outgoing or interested in people than we actually are—this is how trouble ensues. It’s time to get real. You’re an introvert. Here’s why:

#1) Small talk makes you nervous and you don’t know why. Introverts are thinkers, so they thrive in bigger conversations about life and ideas rather than crap. We’re good listeners (obvi) for the most part, but we’d rather not spend time talking about why your host is allergic to gluten. We’d rather talk about cooler things.

#2) Love-hate relationship with crowds. You’re at a gay club and try to fight through the stress, but you still end up finding yourself more comfortable outside with the smokers who like to talk at a normal volume.

#3) You only emotionally connect to people who deserve it. We’re careful. Giving a piece of ourselves is precious. We want the world to think we’re outgoing and special (and they do), but it takes a special soul to see our vulnerable side—one we can trust, and because we have a strong intuition, this person truly is special.

#4) Everyone thinks you’re flirting with their boyfriend. This is because you’re a genuine person. There aren’t any “hidden meanings” behind your niceness or authentic behavior. You’re not faking, so when someone is funny you tell them they’re funny; when someone is sweet you tell them they’re sweet. It’s a breath of fresh air meeting a cool guy until they’re boyfriend sweeps in and pulls him away because he’s jealous. But hey, nothing you can do about it.

#5) You know good quality in everything, i.e. art, work, people. You have a sixth sense in a way that lets you know when something isn’t right, but really it’s a truth meter. You can spot when someone is being fake or when any kind of work was half-assed. Because of this you’re probably a good person to ask advice to about quality in most anything.

#6) You’re mysterious at times, but you don’t try to be. You just are. There are some people who would think you’re withholding information on purpose, but really you just would rather not share everything about your life to strangers (nothing wrong with that). We can’t all be attention whores.

#7) You like talking about your projects, but get a little uncomfortable talking about yourself. It’s hard for an introvert to sell himself. If you ask a writer to talk about themselves, chances are they’ll say, “Read my work. It’s all there.”

#8) You have an occasional witty status on F.B. but would rather watch YouTube instead. Who needs the Facebook? There are countless amateur documentaries on YouTube about awesome topics no one really knows about.

#9) People have compared you to “Pongo” from 101 Dalmations. When asked why, they say because you’re loyal and such a good friend. Really?

#10) Time is precious. As you get older you start to realize how much time you’ve spent not being social and start to panic: Am I ever going to find a husband? How can I turn it around? Have I lost certain friends? Eh whatever…

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How To Make A Good Impression On Your Date

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How To Make A Good Impression On Your Date

I’ve been on tons of dates—both great and utterly disastrous. By far the best ones I’ve ever had shared common threads: they were about us and only us. There weren’t distractions or “Oh boy…” moments brought upon by third parties or outside forces.

It’s easier than you think to have a fully connected date. In fact there are 5 particular things you can do to better it on all ends:

Care more about him more than the drinks.

I don’t care if we go to a place with drinks, i.e. any restaurant ever, or a bar. It’s a public place with a purpose of being social. That’s the ambiance and it’s great, but alcohol plays a heavy hand in it too. Try not to drink because you think he’ll think it’s funny or to try and get you comfortable.

One thing I like to do is never order a drink unless he’s drinking as well. If you arrive early, don’t order a drink because Lord knows you’ll be hammered by the time he gets there. If he sips slowly, so shall you. That solves everything. The reason why you’re there isn’t to get hammered, but to be here with him. Together.

Choose places that bring out the best in both of you.

If you happen to know he’s uncomfortable in large group settings, don’t purposely plan on taking him to a crowded club—that’s stupid, right? Think of the atmosphere: you want it to bring him closer, not separate him completely. It’s not hard.

Remember there is beauty in simplicity. Go for a walk, enjoy an outdoor brunch, go to the farmer’s market and shop for groceries, play with puppies at the dog park. Don’t be fooled either. Sometimes a great idea might have a hidden problem, for example: taking him to the theatre is a good idea, but not if the subject matter is something he’s deeply uncomfortable with (you don’t want to make him sad).

There’s a time and place for sexual come-ons.

Don’t choose immediately after the second drink in public at the bar to start rubbing my leg and creeping up my thigh in front of strangers. Don’t get wrong, I’m no prude, but save it for a bit later when we’re kinda-sorta alone.

If it’s early in and you’re on the first or second date, it’s incredibly important to have a sense of timing. You don’t want to creep him out, or worse assume you’re in it just for the sex. A guy who after the first hour of meeting him tells you he’s a bottom then starts rubbing your thigh is only looking for one thing—he might as well be on Grindr. Don’t let him assume you’re like that.

Understand his limits without judgment.

We all have different limits, which you, as a mature individual, need to accept and have compassion for. For example I know a guy who went out on a date with a guy who hated the word “queer” (I mean hated). My friend didn’t understand it, so therefore his date was wrong. He tried to convince him all the ways why it was an okay word—it was funny at first, but then it got to an awkward place. Clearly my friend lacked any kind of compassion for him, and the guy saw it. The second date did not happen.

The point here is to choose your battles by holding your tongue. It’s one thing going on a date with a guy who hates a particular word, or phrase, or band, or color or child; but it’s something completely different to take it personal for no reason. Unless they’re in a cult that is against everything you stand for, there’s always wiggle room to forget it for the sake of the date.

Keep in touch if you’re truly interested.

Don’t leave him (or yourself) hanging by a string. You might not know how he felt about it, but you do know how you feel—nothing wrong in letting him know. Make him aware of where you stand and how you feel towards him, then let him decide how he feels.

Nowadays playing hard to get isn’t the same. If you don’t ever respond, we take it as “not interested” rather than “oh he’s trying to pull me in.” Don’t play games if you’re truly interested. There’s a way of showing how you feel without making yourself too available.

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Are Some Gay Guys Made to be a Bottom?

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gay guys bottom

The search for SUPER BOTTOMS: Is there a “Bottoming Gene”?

When it comes to bottoming, we’ve all met those gay guys who seem to be designed specifically for that purpose. Sometimes I get jealous, but more often than not I thank my lucky stars they even exist in the first place.

You know the type—men who never truly need to douche or worry about anything that’s happening in their body before they have sex. Their skin glows, their teeth are pearly white and rarely do they ever have body odor. When asked how the hell they do it, they respond: “I’ve always been this way. I guess I’m just made to bottom.”

There are definitely men with better metabolisms than others, but there are a select few—and I mean few—that have the metabolism of a god. When you meet one it’s as if you could do anything you want with them at any time of day, and it’ll be fine. In fact, they love it.

What is their secret?

Some say diet, others say genetics, but the truth of the matter is it’s body type that helps more than anything—mesomorphs (those with athletic builds), endomorphs (those with bigger bodies) and ectomorphs (those with very thin builds).

Ectomorphs have a build that make them the most likely candidates to have a better metabolism than others. That combined with an overactive thyroid gland can create a metabolic rate we all dream of—it’s not all heaven however, believe me there are plenty of health problems associated with fast metabolisms.

We can talk about how metabolism affects our weight. We can also talk about how diet, sleep, exercise and avoiding stress can speed up metabolism, but at the end of the day there is something mysterious happening inside an anointed “Super Bottom.”

It’s as if God himself blessed them with non-stop ability to have a penis inside them. While the rest of us mortals can’t have anal sex in the morning (for obvious reasons), need to double-check ourselves for unwanted scents or take at least ten minutes to get used to a big d*ck, super bottoms needn’t worry about a thing. It comes naturally.

But don’t be jealous of super bottoms. The fact that they exist ought to prove that it’s possible maintaining a ridiculously fast, clean and dependable metabolism without leaving a mark.

Super bottoms are perfect in every way, if you ask me. As someone who classifies as versatile, even I can’t resist the consistency they bring to the bedroom. I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to find out the secret. When I do you better believe I’ll be all over it. But at the same time if we were all Super Bottoms, how fun would it really be?

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