Insides on the Outside

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As one door closes an other opens

Last year I met a guy and we connected for a brief moment. It didn’t work out, however, we said that we’d stay in contact. I texted and called him several times and heard nothing. It hurt that he never replied, not once! Towards the end of 2016 an opportunity arose for me to move away from Sacramento to Los Angeles, which I took (Although recent work developments may change this move).

I could not help but wonder why I had never heard back from this guy. My emotional side conquered my reasoning; I picked up the phone and dialed his number. Certain he wouldn’t answer, I had a messaged prepared. The phone rang and rang and rang and rang, and with every ring, my heart felt a little heavy. It went to voicemail and I left him a message that went along the lines of “You mother fucker why haven’t you returned any of my calls…” Okay, not really. Instead I said something like: “Hi! I’m visiting family and I wanted to catch up with you. Since I haven’t heard from you, I will be at the bar where we first met last year after five. I don’t know if you will show up, but I will be there.”

So with that I made the choice to go to this bar and wait…and feel completely pathetic and revel in my patheticness for all to see. I was 97 % sure that he wouldn’t show up but that 3% error margin made me jump in my car and make the 30 minute drive. I showed up a little after five, ordered a beer, and walked to the back where we’d last hung out. I felt as if all eyes were on me even though not a single person knew why I was there. I sat on a bar stool that gave me a view of the entrance door, and pretended to look at my phone.

It wasn’t busy even though the playoff game between the Chiefs and the Steelers had just started. People slowly trickled into the bar and with every-single squeak of the wooden entrance door I would look up, hoping to see a tall, bearded guy. The door kept letting in customers, more guys kept passing by, but I quietly drank my stout. I sat there looking at the empty seat he once occupied, with folded arms and a smile I could not forget, looking over at me and not saying a word because he was waiting on me to say something.

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Staring at the empty stool made the loneliness palpable

My reminiscing was abruptly interrupted when an Asian guy asked me how I was doing. It caught me by surprise and all I could do was nod and smile until I was able to articulate a simple “Yes, I’m good.” The crowd cheered and for a second I thought it was because he had entered the damn building. But no, someone on the screen had scored or something. I wasn’t paying much attention to the game at this point and my glass was half empty.

More guys kept passing by: tall ones, short ones, round ones, white ones, black ones, brown ones. It all felt a little dizzying. Was the stout this strong or was hope and sadness impairing my state of being? I read the names and messages carved on the wooden bench that ran along the window that lead to the back patio and wondered if I should carve a message. A deep and thoughtful one about waiting at a bar for someone who never showed up.

I finished my stout and walked to my car. A bus stopped at the light and I looked at the driver wondering if it was the same one he had waved at a year ago as we crossed the street. I got in my car letting myself cry for a minute, and then pulled it together. As I drove home I was not angry or sad that he never made the movie entrance through the big wooden doors at the very last minute. The moment was not about him; I didn’t realize this then but I went to the to that exact same place to let go of whatever had kept me thinking of him for a year… and to drink a beer.

Moral of the story is…he’s a fucken asshole for not showing up! Or, if you want to get all pensive and shit, sometimes we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and expose our insides on the outsides.

Have we become disposable?

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Are we like disposable cameras now?

Do you remember those disposal cameras that were really popular in the 90s? You used them once, they were cheap, and they did the trick. They were plastic and they were everywhere: the supermarkets, the convenience stores, the airports, basically at your disposal. Lately, I’ve been thinking, because I think a lot…sometimes too much, that in today’s gay culture we have become like disposal cameras. And here’s why…

I’ve been doing this online ‘dating’ thing for a while and seems that if I don’t give a guy what he wants, he will just move on to the next, and that’s quite alright. If he is looking for quick sex, why shouldn’t he have it? Recently, I “met” (by met, I mean we chatted online) a guy and things were great for a second. We had a connection; we had online-chemistry; we had #feels. We even exchanged numbers…but then two days later, he had ghosted me. He was ignoring my very cute attempts at continuing our conversation (or maybe they weren’t cute, I dunno).

I do know, however, that he wasn’t a ghost because he was back online “looking” a few days later. Yeah, I saw his picture with his very active green dot on his profile! Apparently, he wasn’t into an intelligent and attractive guy like me!  (or so I keep telling myself) My point is that because we have guys at our disposal, just like we have an Uber driver at 2 a.m. in the morning, we have become disposable ourselves. We send woofs, swipe right, send messages and pictures to multiple guys to see which one of them actually responds. There is no focus on just one guy. Even if it is to just hookup, shouldn’t you feel special that this cute guy is choosing you because of how big your heart is, or of whatever quality you may possess, not just because you are .3-miles away? It feels like it’s ADD for online-dating/hookups.

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Can you feel special with so many guys online?

I’m sure we’ve all been there where we feel we can’t keep up with all the different guys we communicate with. I caught myself the other day swiping left on every guy on Tinder because I couldn’t decipher which guy was better than the other. How can I decide based on a picture if one guy is better than the other? So I swiped left on all of them. I didn’t really care nor feel that I had the energy to care, and I think this is the reason why it feels like we are disposable. We just don’t care anymore to make one guy feel special.

What do you think? Are we disposable? Or am I reading too much into this and should give up on dating at my age? Leave your comments below.

Is quantity over quality better?

quality vs quantity

I love tacos. I like eating them…a lot. But sometime eating too many tacos isn’t always a good thing. Maybe eating two tacos is better, than say, eating 10 because then you really get to enjoy and savor the two tacos. My point about the tacos is that maybe quality over quantity is better, right? Okay maybe eating 10 tacos isn’t a bad thing. They are delicious after all! But when it comes to having sexual partners, is quantity over quality better too? Lately, my friends have been calling me the “Born Again Virgin” because, well, I…haven’t…in a while…with anyone. And it hasn’t been for the lack of trying! The last guy I tried performing this thing everyone seems to be doing finished before anything even started, and the one before him told me he was glad we didn’t have sex because he was 95% sure sex would have been amazing and it would have added an extra layer to our relationship, so it was best we didn’t have it. As you can see, I’ve been in a dry spell of sorts – a drought one might call it (like the one California is currently experiencing).

I have never been a fan of casual sex, not because I think it’s shameful to have a large number of sexual partners but because I prefer and enjoy it more with someone that I have a connection with or care about. Gross, I know! And by care and connection, I don’t always mean love. I like sex and I enjoy it in those rare instances that it happens, and I’ve even tried the occasional hookup but I didn’t find it satisfying. This is why my sexual partner list can be counted on both of my hands. Is that a good or a bad thing? My friends tell me that I am missing out. They tell me I shouldn’t be so prude and just do it! With anyone and everyone! I kind of cringe at the idea of sleeping around in order to just have sex.

A friend who is married told me that the best thing he did was sleep around because eventually he found his husband. It worked for him, maybe that’s what I need to do too??? I sometimes wonder if my selectiveness gets in the way of having great sex with random strangers or even landing my future husband. Hey, it worked for my friend. And there is that saying “You Only Live Once.” We are in this world for only a short period of time and we should enjoy it to the maximum. But should I follow the heard and be like everyone else when it comes to quality versus quantity?

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In a way, I’ve always felt that my being selective with who I sleep with has made me somewhat of anomaly in the gay culture. I don’t feel like I’ve missed out mostly because the few and in between partners that I have had, sex has been pretty amazing. I’m 95 percent sure of that! I ain’t bragging here! I’m just saying. But maybe my friends have a point. Maybe doing the casual sex thing could allow me to discover someone new.

What is your take on this? Is quantity over quality better? Am I missing out on great causal sex? Leave your thoughts below.

 

 

 

Just say something Tinder soulmate!

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#StoryOfMyLife

I hate admitting that I, on occasions, several times throughout the day, will log on to tinder and swipe. Yes, I have a serious problem. It’s called being single and bored and living in Sacramento.  I don’t like using Tinder and if there was some sort of weekly support group meeting, I would probably attend…and turn on Tinder to swipe (side note: wouldn’t it be cool if you could actually swipe dudes left or right in real life? Like, you’re just walking down the street and you emphatically swipe right on anyone you find attractive…end of side note)

But what I hate admitting even more is that when I occasionally match with someone, which is really rare since there’s basicalliieee only 10 gay guys in Sacramento using Tinder, I won’t say anything…and they won’t say anything. It’s a whole lot of not saying anything. I look at their pictures and wonder if my potential soulmate will say something charming first like “What are you looking for?” or “How is such a cute guy like yourself single?” Okay, so the latter is only to boost my ego, but most of the time it’s just chirps. It’s like if crickets are running Tinder. And when I occasionally read profiles (because as you know, Tinder isn’t about reading), there are those who complain how no one says anything even with Tinder’s encouraging messages to start a conversation such as “Don’t leave it blank” or “Well you’ve come this far, might as well say something” and my favorite: “It started on Tinder”… I am a repeat offender of the silence, however, if someone does message me, I will respond.

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Only if you say something!

However, what is bothersome is the silence by both. No one is willing to just say a simple “Hello” or “Cute smile”. You know, conversations starters…I mean, you matched with your potential soulmate or two-week lover why not say something! If you are using Tinder or any other application out there with the same functionalities, why not use it for what it was intended for (meaningless hookups until you meet the love of your life when you both get stood up by your Tinder dates). Is there a reason why we stay silent? By making the first move, does it make us desperate or even less appealing? Is playing the waiting game what we’re supposed to do so we don’t scare away our potential mate? Or have we become so jaded by the lack of response when we do say something???

Whatever the reasons might be, it seems counterproductive. We are, hopefully, mature adults who are able to hold conversations and if you matched, just maybe, maybe you will find a connection by saying a simple “hello.” If you like the guy, just say something! What do we have to lose?

 

 

Going the Distance

 

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I had the pleasure of meeting a really nice guy a couple of weeks ago. We met online as most gay men do. What was different for me this time around is instead of doing the usual texting game, we had long conversations over the phone, which I found somewhat unique or maybe the right word is retro. (Do people actually talk on the phone anymore?)

A week after talking for hours over the phone every night, we met for a drink. He called me awkward and guarded, which I found weirdly refreshing that someone called me out on my shit. We ended up making out in his car. I felt like I was in high school again making out in the car with a guy. Actually, I never made out with any guys in high school, which has no significance to this story…We continued to talk over the phone for a week. We talked about family, life and his past, things he said he never really talked about with other guys but felt he could with me.

We met again. The chemistry was palpable. He came over to my place and we laid in my bed and snuggled and even napped for a bit. Who does that the second time you meet someone, right? It felt really natural and comfortable which is usually hard for me after only meeting twice. I guess our talks over the phone allowed me to let my guard down as he called it.

After the nap, we had lunch and came back to my place where we laid in bed again and talked and laughed and cuddled some more. It was all very innocent and disgustingly cute. There was even a moment where we were staring into each other’s eyes (I know, gross!), and I knew he cared and I knew he was going to be trouble. Whether this was a good or bad kind of trouble, I wasn’t exactly sure at that very moment. For two gay men, who are into each other, and to just lay in bed, is kind of unheard of. Don’t get me wrong, we both wanted something to happen but unfortunately he couldn’t spend the night. Prior to our hanging out, he told me he wouldn’t be able to stay because of a commitment he had the next day with his church. I respected that.

With all this said, I’m leaving out a very important detail in this story. I live in Sacramento and he lives two hours away. The town he lives in has no importance just that it’s two hours away. Not the ideal situation when you like someone, however, two hours is nothing compared to a 10 hour flight to go visit your boyfriend who lives in another continent (Yes, I experienced this before!). So for me a two hour drive to his town seemed like walk in the park especially when we liked each other. Maybe I am just a romantic or maybe just desperate and wanted sex. It’s a blurry line, really.

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Unfortunately for him, two hours was significant. The day after spending time together and realizing we had a connection that went beyond just physical attraction, we had a conversation and the distance or as he called it, the elephant in the room, was brought up. He said the distance was going to be an issue for him. He wanted to have the option to be able to see me everyday or spend the night or watch a movie at any given moment. All valid points I will admit. These long distance relationships are not easy. You need a lot of patience and more importantly, you need a lot of love for it to be worth it. And then he said something that threw me off. He said he didn’t want to hurt me and that he didn’t believe in fighting for love or to be fought for. I agree, you should never have to fight for love. Love is not something you fight for. You either feel it or you don’t. We didn’t have love, we had only known each other for 2 weeks; however, we were starting to feel something. Why would he call at 6 in the morning just to say hi or get excited when I told him I had a nickname for him.

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I am not exactly sure what got into his head. Maybe he got scared or whatever he was feeling became too real. But I believe that going the distance is worth it when you feel something. Life is too short to let an opportunity pass by. I understand the distance can and is an issue as it was for him, but if you never give it a shot, how will you ever know what you could experience? Is it best to stop early before feelings become too deep? Did he do what was best for himself or was his reaction what is best for the both of us? Was he trying to spare our feelings from getting hurt in the long run? What’s your take on this? Are long distance relationships ever worth the trouble?

 

Gay Dating in Sacramento: zero degrees of separation

Zero degrees of seperation

Zero degrees of seperation

A few days ago a friend of mine (we’ll call him Tom to conceal his identity) met a guy (we’ll call him Lorenzo) for their first date. They met online, both local guys from Sacramento. They met at a trendy coffee shop downtown (Starbucks) and as they sipped on their green tea infused drinks and smiled nervously at one another, their conversation dove into what a normal first date might lead into: the ex-factor. Not a big deal, right?

As they begun to discuss their dating lives and interject funny anecdotes about past loves or one-night stands, Tom’s date mentioned that his previous ex didn’t like to hold hands and had a weird last name. Tom recalled he had briefly dated (2 dates) someone with similar characteristics and asked Lorenzo to give more details about this ex. As Lorenzo trickled more details about this guy, Tom began to connect the dots. It was the same guy…Tom smiled widely with his lips twitching nervously and avoiding eye contact with Lorenzo at all cost.  Lorenzo caught on to Tom’s awkward smiling and nervous laughter.

Lorenzo asked if Tom knew who Lorenzo was referring to. Being the honest guy that Tom is, he said yes and told him they had ‘briefly’ dated. Lorenzo then asked if Tom knew him biblically, and of course, Tom knew him biblically. There was a moment of silence between them and Lorenzo finally said, “I need to move out of Sacramento because everyone has slept with everyone else or dated everyone else.”

Lorenzo words are exactly what you feel when you are gay and date in a small city such as Sacramento. The degrees of separation between someone you dated or slept with are zero to none. The gay dating scene is tough enough as it is and when a relationship ends, you want to start fresh and rid of whatever toxicity your ex might have brought you. But when you date in Sacramento or in small cities, it seems that the ex-factor will, in doubt, be right around the corner or, in this case, in the new guy you are trying to date.

There is no six degrees of separation in Sacramento’s gay dating world. You sleep with one guy and you might as well add the whole lot of gays you see every week at the same clubs in downtown. The scenery doesn’t change unless some poor soul is visiting or passing through and everyone wants to sleep with him too. I was immune to this clustered dating phenomenon in Sacramento as I was dating someone form a WHOLE different country. But after the relationship ended, and I started to date locally, I began to see that in one way or another, everyone was connected. It sort of freaked me out for many reasons: no fresh start, moving forward might be harder, seeing the ex at the club with another lover was likely to happen, rumors, and more importantly, STD’s.

This clustered dating phenomenon is not easily escapable in Sacramento. So what do you do in such circumstances? Not date at all? Date someone from a different country like I did? (Not recommend) If you really want to avoid such phenomenon, maybe try dating someone from a nearby town but you also run the risk of the same dating phenomenon such as in Sacramento. My advice is, if you really like the guy, it really won’t matter who he’s dated as long as in the end, he is faithful. And just in case you are wondering, Tom and Lorenzo are going strong and have moved on to a second date and survived that as well.

Are we more attracted to people of the same race or culture?

Since I started to get back into the dating scene, I get asked quite often what my ‘type’ is. I usually have never really considered myself as having a ‘type’. But as I began to look at men, I started to notice I was attracted to a certain ‘type.’ I noticed I was mostly attracted to men who had Latin features: the tan-like skin, the dark hair, the brown eyes, and the sexy accent. I would almost melt when I ran into one of them…I said almost! It’s like if I had some sort of weakness, a kryptonite of sorts, that impaired by vision, and I could only see them and no one else. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of very attractive Anglo men and men from all parts of the world, but when it comes to the Latin men, my eyes become dreamy, and I’m like a Japanese school girl giggling with her hands covering her mouth, bating her eyes. I can’t resist them.

Me

Me

I am also a Latin man; however, I have none of those features which I have described. I look Anglo and often am mistaken for one. I have colored eyes, light brown hair, never tan and have my very American accent despite growing up in Mexico. I do not find myself attractive at all! But recently, after dating a Latin man, not of the same Latin culture, who turned out to be a complete douche for lack of a better word, I have vowed, to much laughter of my friends, to date outside of the ‘box’ as the cliché goes. I have stepped away from my comfort zone and began to look at other non-Latin guys. Don’t get me wrong, I have always appreciated attractive men regardless of culture but I have always been drawn to Latin men. Besides the features I’ve mentioned thus far, I think a big and probably more important reason for my attraction has been the connection I have made with them. It has more to do with how I connected with them on a cultural level and not just the mere physical attraction of those dark eyes that I can let my mind wonder for hours…There are certain cultural values such as family, religion and speaking the language, which has made the attraction and connection deeper.

As I’ve tried to date more non-Latin men, I’ve noticed that I don’t connect with them on those same levels as I did with the Latin men. The attraction is there. A guy with a cute smile is a guy with a cute smile. There is no denying that. But when it comes to connecting on the same cultural aspects, I find it that as much as I would like to share certain stories about my family or even to try to speak in Spanish, their interpretation or understanding of these things are based on stereotypical knowledge of how the Latin culture is characterized and perceived in society. Even after explaining why family and certain things of my culture are important, I felt the connection was mostly on the surface. For me, speaking in Spanish feels homey; it feels warm. When I speak Spanish, it feels like I am back at home and not being able to say ‘te amo’ and not have it reciprocated in the same language, it feels alien. Or even the simple things like not being able to joke around in Spanish with someone you care about, it feels like something is missing.

As I go out on these dates, I often find myself wondering if they feel the same way about me. Even with my very Anglo features, I am not Anglo and I am very proud of my Latin heritage. But maybe they also feel the same way and even possibly think I don’t understand or connect with them on the same level as someone coming from the same or similar background to theirs. I find it beautiful when two people from different cultures have a connection that stretches beyond race. But at the same time we are all human and sometimes where we come from plays a factor on whom we chose to be with.