If you haven’t read last week’s blog click here: Higher Learning. To keep the theme of collegiate sex, I hooked up with a college professor I met on Grindr.
I used to go to this Thai buddhist temple and it wasn’t for spiritual practice reasons. Every Sundays, they served Thai food to raise money for the temple. I even joked and called it the “Thai restaurant.” One day after eating at the “Thai restaurant,” I received a message from a stranger on myspace.com. No one uses that anymore, but it was the hottest trend between Friendster and Facebook eras.
Ron sent me a message saying “it’s a long shot, but were you at the buddhist temple yesterday?” He apparently saw me there and I guess stalked me, just like any normal person would do an extensive google search when you meet a hot guy. We decided to meet in person.
Ron is same age as mine, white, about same height, slightly pudgy, and hair long enough have a man-bun. I think a guy with pony tail in a man-bun is so gross.
He had such a passion for Eastern traditions and identified himself as a buddhist. He valued living a simple life and devalued materialism, which clashed with queer culture of having the newest iPhones and designer jeans that cost as much as rent. With his enthusiastic taste of east, I suggested that we try every Asian restaurants as our date venues. We had Sushi, Chinese dim sum, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Malaysian, Indian and Thai (not at THE “Thai restaurant.”)
I usually confuse friendship interest with romantic relationship interest so I had to carefully examine my interest in Ron. I did have strong feelings for him, which immediately turns into fear of rejection paralyzing my efforts to take it further. Ron wanted to be in a relation but I was not ready.
Few months went by and I took him to a gay bar. During the time of my ambivalence, he cut his hair and lost weight. Suddenly, I was very very attracted to him and I could not hold back my feelings any longer. Whether it was booze or being around horny gay boys, I cornered Ron against a wall and started to make out with him. This elevated our relationship to sleep-overs. He lived in a tiny garage-turned-into-an-apartment by the beach. Again, very simple lifestyle, which is very different from my life of living in a luxurious downtown apartment. Although we had such a different lifestyles, I began to appreciate him more and more. Plus, it was just so nice to cuddle at night.
It was Valentine’s Day and he took me to a paint-your-own pottery glazing studio, where I always wanted to do. He then bought me an orchid plant for the pottery I painted. I thought ‘this is the best Valentine’s date ever!’ I was proud of myself to let go of my irrational fears and enjoy the possibility of not being rejected.
There is a time every relationships will experience first disagreement and we were no different. Ron really wanted to go to a strawberry festival where they have rides, fried foods, and lots of screaming children. This is not an appeal for me at all, but Ron insisted that we go together. I continued to refuse and he became upset. He said the strawberry festival is very important to him. He also lectured about importance of compromise in a relationship. He gave me an example of how he had no interest in going to the gay bar, where we first kissed, but he went anyways as a compromise. I still didn’t go to the strawberry festival.
Few weeks after that I was seeking his support from a dilemma. I had an amazing job offer but conflicted to accept because there would be a salary decrease. I expected him to be supportive, but Ron judged me. He thought I was being shallow because money was the decision making factor to take a great job opportunity.
After these two incidents, I noticed our phone calls shorter and less frequent than usual. When I confronted him about it, his response was “that’s an accurate observation” then he broke up with me.
I did end up taking a that job offer and the very first project at my new job was a program contract with Ron. Awkward!!! During the project planning, we maintained our professionalism and I tried not to bitch slap him. We maintained friendship and Ron told me about a new guy he was seeing. It turns out they were hanging out around the time of the festival.
We kept in touch for many years as friends. One day, I talked to Ron about an interesting experience when a hot guy who was in a long distance relationship flirted with me then invited me over to his place. Although we didn’t have sex or even kissed, something about cuddling with a guy who has a boyfriend made me feel weird. Ron had his strong opinions about my behavior. Ron said that that’s considered as cheating and I was “the other guy.” Then I confronted him about when we dated and how he was seeing another person at the same time. He then corrected me that we were never in a relationship.
Ron and I had very different value systems. Although it validated my irrational fears of rejection, I did enjoy the few months of bliss with Ron. I am not a buddhist, but I appreciate concepts of selfless gestures, non-materialism, and non-harm to others. I just didn’t appreciate Ron being so judgy.
I told my friend about Ron’s importance of strawberry festival and my friend started labeling seriousness with strawberry-festival-important. “Stretch after running. It’s strawberry festival important!”
During Pre-Grindr era in 2000’s, AOL chat rooms were great way to meet gay men. I was a frequent roommie in GWM4GAM rooms. I chatted with guys through Instant Messages and certainly met many of them in person.
One night about 10 years ago, I was at a gay club. Between the darkness, flashing dancing floor lights, and few drinks, it was difficult to judge the guys around me. I spotted one guy and started to dance with him. He was about my height, soft build, thin dark hair with blond highlights, big brown eyes and a big smile – the kind of smile that covers the entire face with lots of teeth.
To converse over the thumpa-thumpa blasting music, we had to scream at each others’ ears. He was a 29 year old (I was 25 at the time) high school teacher. Once he told me his name, I quickly realized we have been chatting on AOL for several years. It was a pleasant surprise and I thought to myself, ‘this was meant to be.’
Meeting a boy at a bar and taking them home for sex is not my practice at all. But, I felt compelled to do this. Besides, he’s not a complete stranger since we have known each other virtually for several years. Sex was disappointing, but he was a great kisser.
The weekend after that, we out on a date and when he picked me up, he brought me sunflowers. It was sweetest thing ever! He was an aspiring chef, who taught culinary art at a high school. He was that “cool teacher” type. We talked about food mostly, particularly his passion for cooking and my passion for eating good meals. Again, it was meant to be!
On our second date, he baked me the most delicious strawberry cheesecake. Then he had a surprise for me. He took me to a gay psychic. I have never done this so I was very eager to find out about my future. As the psychic laid out the tarot cards, he looked straight at me and said “You guys are not compatible lovers but good as friends.”
He said it with an intense gay lisp that kinda makes you chuckle a bit. I was not too disturbed with the psychic’s read. I was more curious about my personal future. The psychic also told me that I should be a psychologist – which was my major in college.
That night when he was trying to be affectionate, I turned him down. I don’t really believe in psychic powers, but I realized that we had no sexual chemistry. It took a psychic (or felt like a psychologist) to help me realize that all the “it was meant to be” thoughts were for our friendship. We broke up and lost touch.
It’s been well over 10 years and I decided to google him yesterday. I was shocked to learn that he died from cancer about 4 years after we dated. He was 32 at the time. I regret that I also gave up on our friendship and wish I can go back to do over. I want to go back to that psychic and asked if he had vision of this back then.
I fit in the gay stereotype of not caring about football other than the half-time show and jockstraps. Last time, I got excited on a Super Bowl day was when I met a hot guy for a date many years ago. Lee was in his late 30’s, little bit shorter than me, but has a good build. He is from Dublin and spoke intimately about his Irish culture. His accent was incredibly charming and I think hearts were floating out of my head during the entire dinner date.
After dinner, he took me to his place and we had sex while rest of the country was watching football. He was a soccer player and had sexy strong legs. We certainly had our own football game in the bedroom and hotter than the Super Bowl
We never had a follow up date, which has been a typical experience for me after hooking up on a first date. I did see him few times at a bar and had superficial chit-chats.
This blog entry is just purely telling a story of a bad date and I will blog about other bad dates periodically.
I met Billy on match.com. He was in his late 30’s, Italian guy who is bald that makes him look sexy given his stocky built. We went to a swanky bar for drinks one night. His confidence can easily be mistaken for arrogance but oddly that attracted me even more. I agreed to go out on a second date and he took me to a fancy restaurant. We ordered a bottle of red wine and an appetizer cheese plate.
Fine dining experience includes the wine presentation by the server, which the server shows you the bottle then opening the bottle, pour, taste, approve, then pour again. I am so not into all that but I admit it does make me feel all classy.
When the server was holding the bottle of the Cabernet we ordered and about to open, Billy abruptly says “you can open it and leave it.” Judging by the server’s facial expression, she was shocked with his demand and I was also shocked, sharing her confusion. Billy poured the wine for me and then himself. I took several sips to suppress my discomfort after his strange behavior.
Few minutes later, the server brought the cheese plate and explained that they ran out few items so chef rearranged other available cheese for us. With sincere apology, she reassured that the cheese plate will be taken off the bill.
“So it’s free?” Billy asked.
“Yes, we will comp this from your check.”
“Then I don’t want it.”
“I want it.” I told the server and began to eat them.
I told Billy that it was delicious and continued with the dinner conversation. As we went through the meal with the typical get-to-know-each-other questions about work, school, family, sports, hobbies, and etc. I began to develop more interest and found him more and more appealing despite his treatment towards the server.
Towards the end of the meal, table next to us, a straight couple who was just finished their appetizer, was greeted with their entree dishes from their server. One of them was a seafood dish.
“Well, that smells fishy.” Billy blurts out to them.
I think I crawled under the table at that moment and it wasn’t to give him a BJ under the table.
After the dinner, he drove me home and he asked me if he talked too much during the dinner. He explained that he was nervous because it has been a long time since last time he went out a date. I wasn’t sure if he meant to ask if he was rude. I told him yes and started to make out with him in his car. Surprisingly, he was very gentle and almost held back. There were no follow up dates but I ran into him at a bar one night. He offered to buy me a drink and I asked him for a bottle of wine but only if the bartender opens it for me. He chuckled then ordered me a beer instead.
Few weekends ago I saw Into the Woods and in the movie, Cinderella character said to the prince “My father’s house was a nightmare. Your house was a dream. Now I want something in between.” This resonated with me, particularly with my dating experience. I certainly had many terrible dates but I also had many that were too good to be true.
I met Mark through a coworker and we sparked a connection very rapidly when we learned that we lived in the same neighborhood. My very first impression of Mark was “wow, how dreamy!” Mark was in his early 40’s, blond hair, blue eyes, tall, muscular, with a beautiful smile and fierce shoes, who works in marketing and into playing sports.
He invited me over to his place one night, which is probably about 5 times bigger than my place. His kitchen alone was size of my entire apartment. We sat outside in his beautiful outdoor patio where we drank wine while we talked over Coldplay playing on the outdoor speakers. It was a particularly breezy summer night and I was feeling HOT!
Well.. one thing lead to another and I was kissing my prince charming. He walked me over to the bedroom and I was thinking to myself ‘how is this possible?’ The fantasy I always had came true that night or his marketing strategy really worked. I was completely sold.
We had sex all night and in the morning, we had one more session in his sexy shower that had 2 shower heads. His entire bathroom products were from Kiehl’s and his bath towels felt like they were just off the shelf from the department store with fresh scent. He made coffee for me in the middle of his beautiful marble counter top kitchen under the dimmed lighting, while light jazz music playing on the surround sound system.
Ok, it just went on and on and it was just waaaaay over the top. It all felt like an illusion and I remember walking out of his place thinking ‘this is just too good to be true and he will never call me.’ The entire walk home, I compared our lives and was preoccupied by the fact that lifestyles were extreme opposites and even different class levels. But, if Cinderella, a peasant, and royal prince, can fall in love maybe I can. Then quickly I realized I didn’t have glass slippers and I am not a peasant. I do agree with Into the Woods’ Cinderella that it would be ideal to have a guy who is somewhere between the “Beauty and the Beast.” (BTW, I will blog about the “Beast” next week.)
Today is Dr. Martin Luther King’s day. During his unforgettable speech, he said: “So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.” Although MLK’s dream isn’t about prince charming, an American dream is all about falling in love, with one another, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and what kind of bathroom products you use. I have an American dream that I will fall in love that the guy who loves me back unconditionally (or without Kiehl’s hair conditioner). And yes, Mark never called me back.
Last week, I wrote about my life in high school and I feel so lucky that my BFF, Dave, was also gay when we were in high school. We came out to each other our junior year but probably knew about each other, way before we can even admit to ourselves.
When we were in our senior year, Dave dated Will, who was an incredibly attractive tall fit white guy in his 20’s. Dave shared with me all the great things about being a relationship and how happy he was with Will. I, as a BFF, felt happy for Dave but little bit jealous. I too, selfishly, wanted a boyfriend of my own. Unfortunately, Will broke up with Dave and I, as a BFF, had the responsibility of supporting Dave.
I received a strange call from Will one day and first I thought he was going to ask me how Dave was doing. Instead, Will asked me out on a date. Honestly, the first emotion was excitement. But I was torn, so I told him I needed to think about it. I did not mention it to Dave but I talked to other friends for advice. Everyone discouraged me and said I would be hurting Dave’s feelings and it would ruin our friendship. I was still ambivalent and there was a big part of me wanted to be with Will. I finally talked to Dave about it and he told me he would be ok with it.
Will and I spent many nights at his place, watching movies. One of his favorite movies is “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything -Julie Newmar“.
He started to send me sweet romantic cards almost weekly basis and all of the card started with.. “To Wong Foo…” I kept these cards and still have them to this day. One card reads: “I’m glad we met. Sometimes life’s full of the happiest surprises.” Another card: “Face it. You want me.” These incredible sweet gestures gave me confidence that I made a good decision despite my best friend’s feelings. However, I could not share my joy with my best friend like he did we me when he was dating Will. I was forced to share when Dave found a condom rapper in my car, which he knew I was with Will the night before. Awkward!!
After few months of “To Wong Foo” sweet cards, Will and I both moved away then lost touch completely. We never even talked about ending our relationship, making the closure very difficult for me. It made it more difficult because I could not talk about it with Dave. When I finally talked to Dave, he did admit that it bothered him a lot. But Dave did not say anything because he just wanted me to be happy.
The truth was, I was happy. But now I wonder if I have done the same thing if it was other way around. Would I have given up my own happiness for my best friend? Would I also give him advice after my own negative experience of being in a relationship with the same guy? Would I allow my friend to experience on his own to make a decision for himself?
In gay culture, it seems everyone has dated each other’s ex at one point. One of my favorite TV shows is L Word on Showtime. One character, Alice, created “the chart” which displays names of lesbians in a big social circle in West Hollywood and names are connected by lines representing some level of romantic or sexual relationships. If I create a chart of my own, it would be a gigantic web.
It has been almost 20 year since high school. Dave and I still keep in touch. In fact, we had dinner last month. Bromance definitely last longer than romance and we stay true to power of BFF, best friends forever.
To Dave…. Thanks for everything. -Wong Foo