A gay indie boy living in suburban South West London recounts his trials and tribulations dealing with sex, sexuality, growing up and getting older

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


When I see people with 'those scars' on their arms, I'm caught between asking them their story and not wanting to draw attention to it. Reminders of teenage angst. Breaks my heart, really

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sex and 6k

Today I decided to delete Grindr, Gaydar, Recon and every other cruising app on my phone. I had a realisation yesterday: why have I been lowering myself to have sex with men I don't particularly like or am interested in purely for the sake of having sex? I think it's actually quite damaging. And perhaps I'm rationalising to myself that it may have been one of the things that went wrong with Vik. When you can have sex whenever you want, why stick with anything else?

Why am I still thinking about Vik? It's been a month now and I still keep trying to figure out what went wrong, or I compare people to him and think 'what's the point?' I type out messages to him, read them and then delete them. I think I'm attracted to la doleur exquise - the exquisite pain of love.

It has just made me think that I'll never find both an emotionally and physically fulfilling relationship. That's not what I wanted. I didn't want to be one of 'those gays' who is single way into his 70s and spends his pension on saunas.

*heavy sigh*

Have been trying to boost my metabolism by getting up an hour earlier and running 6km at the gym every morning. Feeling less fat, but consequently eating more.

Off to Falmouth later in the week. Hopefully won't balls up all the photos I've planned to take. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

It's not the way it was

It's been a while since I last posted... So I did finally manage to do some productive reading for PhD. I've recently been reading Playing and Reality by D W Winnicott. It's really interesting: it talks about fantasy as a state of doing nothing (as fantasy takes place in our head, to the observer nothing is happening) while doing everything (in our fantasies we are omnipotent and not limited by our physical or mental talents), creating a dissociative state. It was almost as if someone was describing the way my brain works on the page. I spend most of my time fantasising about endless projects, but instead of this helping reality, it actually inhibits you. In addition, it gives others the illusion that you are capable and exceeding expectations (e.g. you are able to elucidate on many fantastic ideas you've been thinking about), while in reality you aren't making progress at all.

I'll have to read further to see if Winnicott proposes a solution to the fantastical imagination.

I'm having a hard time getting back into work. Before, it seemed like it was almost fun, but now we're in the new year with no end or break in sight just yet, I realise that this is the way things are - they're not going to change immediately. The saving grace is that I do only work three days a week. Seems sensible to throw myself into my PhD work and say fuck it to everything else.

There is one girl at work who really, really annoys me and I'm finding it all very difficult to deal with. As well, whereas before I had a lot of trust and authority, I'm finding that since I dropped down to my normal hours all the interesting projects are being taken off me. It's quite demotivating. Meanwhile your boss is saying how busy she is and knows that she could delegate down some of the workload, but doesn't because she wants to keep all the good projects.

Okay, well... Here's another 'dear diary' moment. Yesterday, when I was reading Winnicott, I decided that maybe it is time to stop fantasising. So I went to a sex hook up site and met this guy. *GROAN* I know, I know... It's shameful, and I am ashamed of myself right now. The whole purpose of the meet was that he would use me sexually. At first I thought the idea would be really horny, but this morning I just feel really crap about myself. He was a builder, he said he was 'straight' but I feel he obviously had issues about his sexuality. And after we began, it started to get more and more 'rough' to a point I was a little uncomfortable and maybe even slightly scared.

Anyway, I am alive thankfully. I keep getting paranoid about HIV but we used a condom, which didn't break and he didn't cum inside me, but he did cum in my mouth. I know the chances are low, but I feel so shitty about putting myself in such a vulnerable position.

Furthermore, in the wake of Vik, I thought is this the way I wish to be treated? Do I ultimately feel like I don't deserve to be loved and instead to be 'used'? Do I have some form of sex addiction or, even worse, intimacy aversion? Could I have made it work with Vik if I had given us time?

Alright, I concede these may be dramatic, overblown statements in the sobering light of day. I feel crappy that I may never find a relationship that is both sexually and emotionally fulfilling. I know the sensible course of action is just to take myself out of the game for a long time, until I figure out exactly what it is I want, maybe masturbate less and focus a little bit more. I have so many conflicts between my strong, sometimes overpowering, sexual desires and my emotional needs.

I usually keep this stuff very, very secret, but I'm sick of denying that it happens because I'm denying it to myself too. I wish I weren't so sexually compulsive. It's starting to affect me detrimentally.

In other news, I have an interview with the London Lesbian And Gay Switchboard tonight. I feel reticent now it's happening, but I decided to go anyway and see what it's all about. Then after the interview if I feel like it's not for me, then I'll just tell them I'm not interested. After that, I'm off to Falmouth to tell my supervisor I haven't done any work :/ I'm thinking that it's likely I won't confirm until October now. Which is still okay as it gives me two clear years to finish my PhD research within my funding terms. We'll see what she says tomorrow.

Monday, January 06, 2014

First day back...

So first day back and it's a case of kicking my own arse. I've swallowed some frogs and decided to get on and do somethings, let others lapse. First of which was telling the university photography stores that I was going to return my photography equipment late... She's a pretty officious lady so after getting some shirty emails I smoothed it over. I also arranged the first supervision of the year with my PhD supervisor and I'm thinking of doing a photography shoot at West Norwood cemetery on Thursday or Friday so I can generate some more 'practice' from which to draw some conclusions for PhD. I feel half like I'm playing catch up, half like I'm getting back into the game.

Work was a bit of a drag... Pulled myself through the day. Thankfully I had two tasks to do that kept me going. There was also a birthday cake presentation thing for three people. I always feel weird about these birthday things. You have to all coo over the person's birthday and then stand around feeling awkward while you wait for a piece of cake. Hate hate hate that. Scrambling for baked goods as though you were a peasant.

I had Wasabi for lunch and spoke to Kim about the situation with Vik. She said I didn't sound too cut up about it, and when I mentioned we were having physical problems, she went, "Oh... That early on in the relationship is not a good sign." So that kind of made me feel a bit more vindicated. I still think about messaging him but I don't know what purpose it would serve if reconciliation is not an option. It's so messed up. If Vik is not the one, then the bar has to be much higher than I originally thought.

On that note, someone named Geoff who I've been chatting online to on and off for years wants to meet up. I've put him off today because it's tipping it down and, quite frankly, I'm not really going to be at my best after the first day back at work after a fortnight. Somehow I think this meeting is never going to happen. And I feel that dating is even more pointless post-Vik. Surely, what I am actually looking for, is that face-to-face initial magnetic attraction that becomes the strong kind of love. And, while internet dating can facilitate that, it actually doesn't substitute.

Hey ho... Here we go into the evening.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Sunday Sunday

The rest of Sunday was pretty dry. I got my hair cut, did some food shopping and dropped off my laundry for a service wash at the local launderette. Oh you people with washing machines at home truly do not know what you're missing with this menial new activity.

Made myself a Quorn curry and ate some Jelly Belly jellybeans and have been watching shit TV and trying to plan some photography shoots for my PhD work.

I keep checking WhatsApp to see if Vik is online, then staring to see if he is typing me a message. Stupid I know. I need to get over it.

For your reference, here's the new haircut selfie:
Fierce selfie

Lazy days and baby steps

Yesterday I spent most of the day hanging out with my friend Dil. We watched crap tv and chatted with her and her husband. I'm worried about her at the moment. She mentioned to me that she feels she's spent a lot of the last few years living for other people. I agreed with her. She then expressed regret at some of her choices, including marriage, and that this year she would live for herself.

Though I have every confidence 2014 will get better, it seems that this year everyone - including myself - is glaring into this gaping chasm of possibility and trying to fill it with good intentions. Unfortunately there's no substitute for time, process and letting things play out.

I need to get my head back into research mode, swallow some frogs and organise stuff I've been putting off. However, to compensate, I just ordered a shitload of clothes from the internet. I think I'll get my haircut, have a coffee then attempt some reading. 

I spoke to my bio dad this morning and he said it was a 'shame' that Vik and I broke up, then expressed some audible dissatisfaction at the fact I just overthink things too much. He is still weighing heavily in my heart . I wish we could have been friends first... Then I know I could have grown to love him instead of having feelings forced within the pressure and confines of a relationship.

It's the first day back at work tomorrow. I'm partially looking forward to the company that work provides and seeing everyone after a fortnight. It'll help regulate my mood and my days, and hopefully kick my arse into gear to structure my days a bit more.

I applied for two volunteer positions yesterday: to work at the Lesbian & Gay Switchboard and volunteering for Sutton Hospital Radio. Small baby steps.

Before I left last night I said to Dil, "My plan D is to get ripped and become a porn star."

Her eyes lit up. "YES! Do it!" She said.

Now to get down the gym....

Saturday, January 04, 2014

The Commitmentphobe's Soundtrack

What is real and what isn't

Yesterday I really wanted to do some work but just ended up arseing around and did nothing. I had coffee, played Final Fantasy X and took a nap. Couldn't really motivate myself to get anything done.

The only occasion of note was attending Vera Chok's script reading party, in which I read a small part in a play by Erik Patterson where I was a crystal meth-smoking, casual sex addict. Well cast, ultimately.

The play, which was about gay men hooking up on the internet, had all the usual themes about HIV and small town naïveté. It made me wonder what else the gay voice has to say in 2014.

I went home, had a G&T and went to bed.

Woke up this morning and thought of Vik. Still can't decide whether I did the right thing or not and I have never really wavered on a guy like this before. I have to stick to my guns for his sake though. I try and swallow the sadness. I think what gets me the most is saying goodbye to someone who could have been a real friend and partner.

My fantasies have somehow been impressing themselves harder on me than before. Because if 'close enough' isn't actually 'good enough' for me, then how does one achieve what they have to in this short life?

Plans currently include taking a course in stand up comedy, thinking about whether I should do a postgraduate course in broadcast journalism... What is that thing where you take a chance, jump off the cliff and discover you can fly?

I've always dreamed of being famous and successful, but at 30 - if that's what I want - it's more about being pragmatic and realistic. What am I humanly able to achieve in one life? And can I do it?

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Easing myself back in

Well I finally got dressed at 1pm, went to Starbucks, had coffee and a panini. While I was chewing over things, I thought of my original core values. You may remember that I identified 'freedom' as the one that topped my list.

Reflecting on this experience with Vik, I am thinking that perhaps because I don't feel as though I am quite 'finished' in what I'm doing that the constraints of a long term relationship seem daunting. What if I was offered a job in New York? What if I wanted to move at the drop of a hat? When someone else is involved, a respectful discussion or compromise is involved.

On the other hand... What if, what if, what if. What if someone poisoned me with polonium? You get the picture: these worries are all pointless and premature.

I started to transcribe all my handwritten PhD notes into computer and picked up an academic book. Becoming a doctor is a real, achievable long-term goal that I can commit to... And I've kind of lost sight of that over the past few months. My persuasive academic writing is one of my strengths and I do feel I have a valid contribution. So having some focus is relieving the feelings of confusion.

I ran out of steam as the evening progressed. Two days ago, I finished paying off the loan I took out to do my MA and I thought maybe I could finally move out of my place to somewhere better - this is to be considered when my lease ends in August. 

Also need to spend more time fulfilling my own life. Perhaps I was waiting for a special someone to come along and do that for me, but I need to take more responsibility for my own happiness.

Oh well... Sweet dreams everyone.

The text I can't bring myself to send

It's midday, I'm lying in bed. My heart hurts. I can't get up. I want to send this to you, but I don't know how you would react.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


So tonight I mainly spent crying about Vik and considering whether or not I should message him. I resisted, asking myself what I was trying to achieve by such a move, or whether reconciliation would actually help the situation at all.

After wavering between crying and trying to sleep, I decided to stay up and accept my fate. 

What was it that made me reject Vik?

After some deliberation, I realised exactly what it was. When I met Vik I was thinking wedding, mortgage, kids... And then when we went to bed, I thought "Is this it?"

It occurred to me the reason I rejected Vik, why it fucked me up so badly in the first instance and why he seems to have cut me so deeply is because the experience has struck a chord at the very heart of the way I live my life.

Since I was young, I always believed I would have a passionate, spontaneous, improvised and exciting life. However, now I am where I am, I realised that the trappings of middle-class life are all too evident. The job in media. Routine. Freelancing. A car. Regular rent paid on the same day every month. Coming back home to the same place every night for the past six years. Loneliness of single life. Pints at the same bars with the same people doing more or less the same things.

With Vik I could have stayed this course: been assured that happily ever after with a satisfactorily handsome husband who would support me and show up to 'lovely' functions full of couples. A man who I could share my money with, as well as my life.

And then the panic. 

The nubbin of this whole tale is actually not to do with Vik. He is lovely, perfect and gorgeous... And will make someone a stable, reliable husband one day.

The real underlying point is that Vik actually made me consider not just what I want from relationships, but what I want from my life. And I need to fix those things in my life that aren't working. Having more fun. Being spontaneous. Shaking it up a bit. Re injecting the passion and fun into everything. Go on adventures. Take risks with my art and performance work. Stop playing so safe all the time.

And thus we've found a new year's resolution.

I have promised myself one more cry before bedtime. But hopefully we've cracked the nut on the cause of this crisis conundrum.

Welcome to 2014

So I've decided I should blog more often... I really have no excuse - I've even got the blogger app on my phone so I should be able to write down thoughts more often.

The past 6 weeks have been torturous: not only have we seen the Christmas and New Year come and go, but I was also seeing someone called Vik. To be fair, he's the first person I've had more than 3 dates with since 2009, but from the off there was something very formal and structured about it that I just couldn't 'take' to. We met online and when we first met, I definitely had that 'feeling', but all I could do was worry and panic about whether or not it was going to work. So much so that after two weeks in I had a panic attack when we were together. Now, I've never really had a panic attack and only suffered from anxiety at school, so this was a brand new feeling for me. No guy has ever actually made me TERRIFIED before. The anxiety got so bad that I had to break up with him.

Less than a week later, I asked if I could see him again and, as soon as we saw each other, we kind of carried on from where we were before. It was going okay, but I could never shake the worry. I worried that if we slept together or when he left the house that my anxiety would be set off once again. I was always on tenterhooks.

During these periods, I had very intense feelings for Vik. Sometimes I was convinced I loved him, other times I felt nothing, then worried about feeling nothing, convinced it meant I didn't really love him after all. I decided to wait until after Christmas to ascertain my real feelings, when I saw him on the 28th December.

Christmas itself was rather flat. I went home to visit my parents and they were all ramped up about the big day, but I realised that my parents don't actually do much. They just sit around watching the TV and talk about doing things. On Christmas Eve, I had to coax them all into going out for a drink. Plus my nephews were irritating the crap out of me. I was glad to get home on the 28th.

So the day came and... It was a bit of an anti climax. I realised my heart actually wasn't in it with Vik, I didn't have any strong feelings for him on that day. And, though I found comfort in holding his hand or kissing him, I wasn't getting that bursting feeling of love. I didn't feel 'lucky' to have him or that lovely little bit of insecurity that comes with love.

What's more is that physically we weren't really connecting. And, while I accept that sometimes the physical bit needs time, it should also be the easiest bit at the beginning of a relationship. AND we didn't really have places to experiment, hang out and be physical which was quite damaging too. So while the emotional part of a relationship was going ten to the dozen, the physical part was very sluggish.

I could have spent more time developing the physical and investigating my feelings, but I thought I would be sparing his feelings by ending it. It was likely he was just going to fall more and more in love with me and, if I wasn't sure, I would just be hurting him and hurting myself.

I decided to 'make the break' and Vik was upset (you can see from the previous post). So for the past two days I have actually been miserable about the whole thing. Did I make the right decision? What's worse is that I think I realised I did have deep feelings for him, but now it's too late to reconcile. I keep checking my What'sApp seeing if he's online or not and toy with sending him a message, knowing that I'd only be repeating patterns of pushing away and drawing him in. As an adult, I know how unfair that is.

I spent NYE being absolutely miserable. Here we go, I thought to myself. Back to square one. Back to the way things were before with my boring life... No holiday companions, no fun times, no romance. No one to fight Allan's corner except Allan.

No one won this game. I feel like crap. I keep crying and thinking about messaging him, but then I just think I have to let him go. For his sake. It wasn't fair of me to want him just because. He deserves someone who is head over heels in love with him. I really wanted to be that guy, but in the end I had to be honest with myself. I really wanted to marry him one day, but if you have to give it all up then it has to be worth giving everything up for.

On the other hand, I keep thinking that Vik and I could have been very happy together. He would have made a wonderful husband and I wonder if I'll ever find anyone who will touch me as deep as he did ever again, or if I've just blown my last ticket to ride the Tunnel of Love.

I feel there was a karmic lesson in it for both of us. Firstly, he always said that he was usually the over analytic one in relationships and to have the tables turned, perhaps he has seen how his behaviour has affected partners in the past. As for me, I finally learned what it's like to realise you love someone when it's too late.

I try to remind myself of how love felt in the past when I was consumed by it. I make a promise to myself that, going forward, I should only engage in romantic encounters with people I'm absolutely certain there is chemistry with. I think about other things that I should be getting on with, such as my PhD, instead of going googly-eyed over strangers. I think that, even if I am single for the rest of my life, I have survived thus far by myself so what's another 50 years?

However, I can't shake that feeling that I well and truly fucked this one up. Not just a little bit, but a lot. And, as usual, I took someone along for the car crash. Except this time I got hurt too. And, after 8 years without a serious relationship, how long will I have to wait before the next person who comes close to the mark will walk into my life.

Yesterday, through my tears, I said, "Please God, please... I just need to know I made the right decision."

Allan Taylor – I hope for your sake and your happiness that this is the case.