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Posts Tagged ‘Love’

Valentines Day Again?

08 Feb

Happy Valentine's DayValentines Day is fast approaching [again] and I’ve seen several comments made within some of the groups I follow on Facebook by single gay men expressing feelings of loneliness. (This isn’t an easy time of year for any single person, gay or straight.) One comment in particular caught my eye as it was made by a guy who has been HIV-positive for a little more than a decade.

Basically, he’s trying to convey the message to other gay men in the group that if they truly want to know what it’s like to be lonely, they should talk to somebody who is single and HIV-positive. That doing so will give them an insight into the narrow-mindedness and prejudice that some within our community are capable of, afraid of the unknown and of even giving somebody who is HIV-positive the time of day. (Sadly, it’s been my experience that he has every good reason to make this kind of an observation.)

Even so, we’ve the power to turn it around. What follows is my response to the young man and the sense of loneliness he’s been experiencing.

I’ve removed all references to his identity for privacy reasons.

[Name removed]

Everything you have described, many if not all of us have experienced firsthand.

Some for being HIV-positive; others for being older (I happen to fall within both categories) and still others for totally unrelated reasons but as a consequence of some prejudice held by those we may have approached all the same.

The key to improving our own situation is no different than it is for anyone else (regardless of their HIV status). We must love ourselves first and foremost; we cannot gauge our own happiness on whether or not we’re in a relationship and have that special someone to cuddle up with at the end of the day. AND IT’S EFFING HARD!

I completely and thoroughly understand how difficult and how lonely it can seem when it appears nobody will ever give us the opportunities we once took for granted back when we were negative, young and had our entire lives in front of us. I don’t hold the short-sightedness of others (who reject me for being HIV-positive) against them. After all, I’ve been (when I was much younger) guilty of having done the same; passing up on the opportunity to get to know some wonderful people better because of my own unfounded fears back then.

Not getting angry for being rejected certainly doesn’t make me any less lonely — but it DOES prevent me from becoming bitter about the present situation. I know I’m a good guy.

Even if I never fall in love again with somebody who will take the time to educate himself and see past my disease, I’ll go to my grave knowing this and loving myself.

Once I accepted this state of mind I truly did reach some peace about being a single gay man with HIV. (Well, that and I had such a terrible relationship for 6.5 years, from 1994 until I left on my birthday in 2001, that being single IS PREFERABLE to the abuse I endured back then. LOL) It’s truly just a matter of perspective and we’re all a product of our own personal set of histories. With that in mind, I’m in no way judging you for feeling the way that you do. Your past is not the past I came to experience — even though we do share “some” very similar aspects within our lives.

One final observation (and this may or may not be applicable to your situation as I don’t know how you feel about yourself personally)… When one comes to respect and love himself fully, it becomes evident to all those around him. The odds DO increase that “mister right” will be attracted and make that added extra effort to get to know you for who you are rather than the disease you were exposed to at some point previously. That person will be more inclined to become an integral part of your life IF you feel comfortable in your own skin and love yourself for the man that you are today.

You are loved and appreciated. The real question is, “Are you yourself among that number?

If not then the best advice anyone can give you is that you find a way to change this; do things that make you proud of the person that you are. I am certain there ARE things you’re already doing that justify the love you should be feeling for yourself and when/if you accept that — others will start to notice the change as well. And those opportunities that once seemed so far out of reach? You may discover they are nearer at hand than you ever thought possible.

And before you say it, you would be right; it isn’t always easy to make that change or come to peace with being single until “mister right” veers near enough to your orbit to make an introduction. I get it (very, very well).

The final three paragraphs are basically the same advice I give to young people who aren’t HIV-positive but haven’t yet found a boyfriend or girlfriend for themselves.

Far too often, people (young and old alike) feel as though they’re “incomplete” if they’re not in a relationship. Relationships do not “complete” people; they’re wonderful and fun and it’s great to be able to cuddle with that special someone at the end of the day — but they don’t magically take away all of the loneliness you might be feeling if you haven’t yet come to love and respect yourself. Furthermore, it’s trying for a partner to always be in love with somebody who doesn’t yet love him- or herself.

Start within.

When you become satisfied with yourself others will likely want to get to know you better.

Namaste
Michael

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About “Open” Relationships

24 Jan

I was reading an exchange (a very respectful exchange, I might add) between two people over on Facebook about open relationships earlier today. In time I realized I’m less open-minded about the subject than I may have previously thought myself to be. I accept that it’s my upraising and my inability to feel “safe and [reasonably] secure” in a relationship that a partner and I might define as “closed.” Just baggage from a past relationship, on my part I imagine. But feeling safe and secure in an OPEN relationship would just be that much MORE difficult for me (and I think for most others as well).

If some [couples] can do it, more power to them. I just feel it’s a situation I can’t handle well since I basically HAD to accept my last relationship, by the definition of such by my [then] partner, was “open.” (Since I didn’t agree to an open relationship with him specifically, I call it “cheating” but what the hell.)

Here is what I personally have to say about the matter in response to the exchange between these two individuals on Facebook. I look upon “open” relationships as those where two (or even three if in a poly- relationship) people are are having sex with one another but are not exclusive; one or more of them are having sex with others OUTSIDE of the relationship, as well. Like Anthony, I find this disturbing and simply say, “If it works for others, fine but it’s NOT for me.” I’m trying hard not to judge others but will admit I hold couples who are capable of being committed and disciplined enough to keep their sexual proclivity between the two (or three, if in a polyamorous or polyandrous relationship) of them within the defined parameters of their “relationship” more admirable.

For me, a committed “relationship” exists when a couple (and again, I suppose even three people if it’s a poly- relationship) are:

  1. Living together within the same structure they call home;
  2. Share responsibilities within the household
  3. Share in the responsibilities for their combined expenses
  4. May or may not merge their incomes (though for me the former is more common when “trust” fully exists); and
  5. Make decisions that “affect the relationship in any way” TOGETHER.

I’m sure I’ve left out something important but you get the idea. The love they would feel for a “partner” is reserved (fully) only for one another and they share in the responsibilities and benefits of everything that affects the running and continued existence of the household.

I’ll readily admit my values, on cursory glance, seem to be more in line with Anthony’s idea of a relationship than with those who would enjoy “open” relationships.

I believe the latter is only an invitation for disaster as it’s only a matter of time before someone meets another person they are infatuated with and attract to. Somebody who, after having met the person, begins to question the value of his own relationship and thinks to himself, “Hmm, I’m having so much more ‘fun’ with this person; perhaps I should be in a relationship with him and not [partner’s name here].”

Let’s face facts; with the passage of time comes also the “the dreaded pattern.”

Life settles in to a pace in most every relationship; it can still be very passionate and enjoyable but EVERY relationship eventually settles into what the participants would define as a “normalcy” for them. The unexpected introduction of everyday spontaneity, though hopefully not absent entirely, occurs less and less often. The “energy” of the relationship may seemingly “boil” less often, replaced instead by an “idle” or a “simmering” of sort. For some, THAT overpowering sense of boiling passion and craving is something they seem to require — and opening a relationship to others increases the odds of their finding just that with “every new encounter.”

NOBODY can tell me this doesn’t present a real threat to the vast majority of relationships; something which increases the risk that the relationship will implode upon itself and end.

It may seem selfish to some but I’d like to think that if I and my partner took the time to commit to one another, to share in the responsibilities of the household and to “build a life together” — that it’s reasonable to make our plans with the expectation the other “will be there in the future.” This of course presumes we remain “in love” with and loving toward one another; are respectful, honest and continue to work to keep an open dialogue with our partner. (I’m not saying you can expect they’ll always be there if you don’t work to respect the relationship and keep your partner engaged. Too many unfairly expect that once they’ve put their best foot forward and “snared a partner” that they no longer have a responsibility to at least try and maintain some degree of being the interesting, engaging person he or she was when they first met. It shouldn’t be a game of, “Now you’re mine so I can quit putting in the effort [to keep you interested].”)

But that’s a challenge all on its own under the best of circumstances. You open the relationship up to others who ARE playing that game and “the risk of the couple’s going their separate ways increases exponentially.”

Personally, I’d like to think I’m more than just an animal and that I’ve some kind of a responsibility, both to myself and to my partner, to lessen those risks. There’s no reason we both can’t still work to keep the relationship with one another lively, somewhat spontaneous, healthy and enticing for each. We shouldn’t need a “new piece of meat” every time we start getting complacent and bored in the bed.

I suppose I am judging in that I value a closed, committed relationship MUCH MORE than any open relationship I’ve ever heard described. I can’t honestly give the kind of respect to an open relationship where, in my opinion, the participants don’t truly want to “settle down and commit” to one another but are instead only doing what feels good to each of them in the moment (with an expectation of being able to leave at a moments notice when either one gets bored with the other and it’s no longer “new and fresh”). In my eyes, it’s just too much to fathom; to think of building a life with someone who strays out into the arms of every new fuck buddy for a night when the normalcy of their own hearth and home settles into something resembling a routine and he gets “bored.”.

You can bet that if one is bored, the other probably is as well. Don’t you owe it to yourself and the man you love to try and spice up your own relationship rather than giving up and going elsewhere to fulfill your own immediate need? I kind of think that is what defines commitment; not acting like an animal with no ability to do anything but give in to what’s perceived as a carnal need.

I’m NOT saying every relationship should be closed but in my eyes, yes, a closed relationship takes more discipline, is less risky and by its inherent definition (to me) holds more value than a “let’s set up house but we’ll continue to fuck anyone and everyone we find attractive” [open] relationship.

As for those relationships where there are three participants, I can see where that might work (though again, I don’t think they’re for me).

Three people “can be” in a closed, committed relationship I’d imagine. I’ve had friends who were in such relationships and it “seems” to work for them. (How am I to really know since, as with every couple, there is only so much any one person is going to openly share about his or her relationship and whether or not he or she is completely comfortable with the established parameters of that [relationship].)

Those are my thoughts on open relationships. I welcome any observations others might have on the subject and encourage you to comment below.

Namaste,
Michael

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Happy Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

Happy Valentine's DayThe origins of Valentine’s Day trace back to the ancient Roman celebration of Lupercalia. Held on February 15, Lupercalia honored the gods Lupercus and Faunus, as well as the legendary founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus.

In addition to a bountiful feast, Lupercalia festivities are purported to have included the pairing of young women and men. Men would draw women’s names from a box, and each couple would be paired until next year’s celebration.

While this pairing of couples set the tone for today’s holiday, it wasn’t called “Valentine’s Day” until a priest named Valentine came along. Valentine, a romantic at heart, disobeyed Emperor Claudius II’s decree that soldiers remain bachelors. Claudius handed down this decree believing that soldiers would be distracted and unable to concentrate on fighting if they were married or engaged. Valentine defied the emperor and secretly performed marriage ceremonies. As a result of his defiance, Valentine was put to death on February 14.

After Valentine’s death, he was named a saint. As Christianity spread through Rome, the priests moved Lupercalia from February 15 to February 14 and renamed it St. Valentine’s Day to honor Saint Valentine.

What’s Cupid Got to Do with It?

According to Roman mythology, Cupid was the son of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Cupid was known to cause people to fall in love by shooting them with his magical arrows. But Cupid didn’t just cause others to fall in love – he himself fell deeply in love.

As legend has it, Cupid fell in love with a mortal maiden named Psyche. Cupid married Psyche, but Venus, jealous of Psyche’s beauty, forbade her daughter-in-law to look at Cupid. Psyche, of course, couldn’t resist temptation and sneaked a peek at her handsome husband. As punishment, Venus demanded that she perform three hard tasks, the last of which caused Psyche’s death.

Cupid brought Psyche back to life and the gods, moved by their love, granted Pysche immortality. Cupid thus represents the heart and Psyche the (struggles of the) human soul.

I know this day can seem depressing if you’re not in a relationship… but it shouldn’t (because the MOST important relationship you can be in is the one you have with yourself – so show yourself some love, even if only for the day).

Namaste,
Michael

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Posted in Holidays

 

The Loss of a Loved Pet

02 Nov

Today’s entry is written with two very close friends of mine in mind. They are [sadly] going through a difficult time as they witness what seemingly is the final act of their fur-baby’s life. (Hercules has always been such a SWEET canine companion, as was his best buddy “Okie” when he too was alive and well. Okie was a friend to one of my own fur-babies, Cassie, when she was alive and we lived next door to Mayra.)

Cassie was my rock for 16-years and a week; in all honesty, it was the thought of what might [have] happened to her that kept me from taking my own life one evening during the summer of 1999. (I’ve struggled with varying degrees of depression, usually rooted in “bad relationships” during a fair part of my adult life — and this particular time of my life was what I can only describe as the darkest period of this man’s journey here on earth. Fortunately, I’ve seemingly broken that pattern and now live my own life “happily single.” Less of a damn hassle! LOL)

Anyway, when I had to make the decision to have my fur-baby euthanized on July 14th, 2000, only one year later, it was the most difficult thing I’d ever experienced (before and since). Oh, certainly — I’ve had other pets and one in particular was very near and dear to me — but Cassie and I just clicked in a way that felt “so right.”

For many of us who have pets, they are not “just” pets; they’re like family.

They have their own personalities and a way of relating to us as most any other [close] family member might. They can be both aggravating as hell at times and loving, devoted and attentive when we most need them to be. They know, before we do ourselves what we need in order to get through a difficult day — and if we can’t find the energy and motivation to smile, they’ll be right there by our side to commiserate with us in their own way. (Of course, I’m talking about dogs mostly; cats usually just look at you as if to say, “Go ## yourself but before you do, put my damn food out on the floor so that I can eat, you dumb two-legged servant!)


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Movie: “House of Boys”

31 Mar

This movie wasn’t what I expected; it was so much more.

The tale begins with a young blonde-headed boy (“Frank”) born to a conservative family who just doesn’t seem to understand him. Frank is gay, leaves home and begins the adventure of a lifetime; one that will take him from dancing a carefree life in the clubs to performing at the “House of Boys” and onward through love and loss.

The House of Boys is best described as a gay club doubling as a brothel for those willing to pay for private shows (and favors) by the club’s “working boys.”

“Jake” is, by his own confession, a straight boy working in the club with whom Frank will share a room.

The blonde is smitten with Jake from the first night but Jake’s love of the boy will take longer to build.

As the movie unfolds, the seedier side of the club is made more evident as Frank observes Jake being led to the back room for a private show with a well-to-do designer from America who flies in once a month to spend time with the object of Frank’s affections. Angry and hurt, the young blonde bursts out of the house to spend a bit of time alone in the rain — but it’s now becoming a bit more obvious that Jake does have some feelings for Frank.


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Regrets, I have [at least] One…

12 Nov

It isn’t often I talk about Rodney these days because I’m seeing somebody else. However, in many ways Rodney is the one who got away.

That isn’t intended to diminish what I feel for the young man I’m involved with today (he knows all about my past; the good, the bad and the very, very ugly) but Rodney made a big impact on my life. More importantly, he made me feel special. He was kind and gentle, strong and stable, romantic and filled with passion… He was also gorgeous.

I was 24 when I began dating the man, four years older than I.

He was the more mature of the both of us and made my 25th birthday the most memorable of ALL birthdays, before and since. (I’ll explain) He told me I needed to dress for the occasion; that he would pick me up for a surprise night out and that anything less than “black tie” would be unacceptable. My surprise destination was a HUGELY romantic, upper-class restaurant that catered primarily to couples only (true, all of the other couples were seemingly straight — but it was the gesture and thought that most affected me).


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Love counts

26 Feb

The image of loveAs you can imagine, this photo has elicited some pretty interesting comments (some extreme on both sides of the issue) on Facebook.

Some will say, “Awwwww, isn’t that adorable” when a young child runs up to jump in the arms of his returning father (or the girlfriend/wife of that soldier does the same). It’s interesting that those same people; people like Buster Kincaid, are then the first to say, “I appreciate their service to their country, but this picture makes me want to puke~!”

Sorry you’re feeling ill, Buster, but if that’s the case then get off your ass, join the service and do the work yourself you sorry, closed-minded, small town lil’ bigot.

Every man or woman serving our country and the citizens that comprise it, who put their lives on the line daily (for us), who are separated from their loved ones for months and/or years at a time, DESERVE the opportunity to embrace and kiss their partner upon their long-delayed arrival home. If it makes you uncomfortable to see two people in love, then perhaps it’s because you’ve very little room for love in your own heart presently.

Make the room!

For those questioning (you’d have to read some of the comments on the photo, as shared on Clem’s page) the gender of the marine returning from deployment… His name is Brandon Morgan, returning to the arms of his partner Dalan (this info via Joe Moderate). The photo was first shared on the “Gay Marines” Facebook page here.

In closing, thanks to ALL those serving who put their lives on the line every day, in service to their/our country. Your sacrifice is appreciated!

Namaste,
Michael

Update: Anita Kinley (friend on Facebook) has written a wonderful article and included additional photos taken of both, Brandon and Dalan. For the doubting-Thomas’s of this world, if there are any, the photos of this loving couple that have made their way around the Internet tell only a part of the story. The love they share for each other is clearly evident while listening to them talk of each other (and VERY evident in a video of the same homecoming, that was shared by Brandon with friends on his own Facebook page earlier this past week). I am proud of both of these young men, thirty-eight (38-YO) year old internationally-acclaimed artist Dalan Wells and twenty-five (25-YO) year old and Marine Sgt. Brandon Morgan.

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Are nice guys destined to finish last?

19 Feb

Love yourself first, so that another may love you as well.Certainly not! It is that time of year again when the focus of [most] who are single has been on their relationship-status. There wouldn’t be enough ballrooms in any city across the globe to accommodate all of the pity parties that come along with the arrival of Saint Valentine’s Day. I’m serious.

I don’t mean to come off as sounding callous and uncaring. I totally understand that most, if not all of us want to find a special someone with whom to share our lives. And until we have, I recognize that this holiday serves as a reminder to those who are single that they haven’t succeeded in that search as yet.

(Still, that isn’t a good reason for turning a smile upside-down and giving yourself over to a sense of “doom and gloom.”)

I’ve been following the comments on a friend’s wall on Facebook. It all began when he posted a status that simply stated, “nice guys are sexy.” You know what? He’s right but many of the comments to follow gave way to the general feeling of despair with regard to the “nice guy” generalizations.

I myself have [often] heard the saying, “nice guys finish last” but I refuse to contribute any amount of energy into that kind of a mindset. Just as the old adage goes, “we are what we eat” — I believe it is equally true that our lives are our own to forge.


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Tribute to a Fallen Friend

20 Jan

It’s officially the weekend and I received some distressing news tonight. A good friend (who had moved to “the boondocks” – as I called them – therefore, I only saw her on occasion in recent years) passed away unexpectedly this past Wednesday. She and I would bust one another’s chops relentlessly over the years; we had so many stories that we shared. We had grown close when she moved in to the other unit of the duplex, next door to me down in Oaklawn (gay’ville, as I lovingly referred to it). That and she had dated an ex friend of mine (who is only an “ex” because when they broke up, this other gal tried to make me take sides and “pick one of the two of them” … and Michael doesn’t play those games because I realize there are always two sides to every story). Anyway, Ali Dickson was a great friend. She had a good heart and was a loud, boisterous “old broad” whom I counted among my closest of friends. I would tease her and call her my own personal “butch dyke” and she would call me her own “slutty boy next door” (our friendship began MANY years ago and she knew me when I was young and might have two dates in a given night … ROFL). She will be sorely missed by many. I love the old broad who’d embarrass me by showing her tits as we’d lay out in the back yard sunbathing. /sigh/ Rest in peace, my friend and may God recognize your bawdy sense of humor and receive you lovingly into His arms. I love you.

I’ll write more about her later but for now, I need to sign off so that I can go pray and walk the labyrinth at Unity. Later.

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Posted in Friends

 

For the single “Doubting Thomases”

15 Jan

For those who are having their doubts that love will ever come along, this is for you. (Heck, maybe it is a reminder for myself as well. LOL)

And for those looking for some pointers on how to go about finding their future love-muffin, I found some interesting articles on this site. The site is another of those where you can create a free profile and it appears to be geared toward couples primarily (profiles of which cannot be accessed without a paid membership). However, as it turns out there are some really interesting articles from “The love coach” if you desire to read them by clicking on the previously provided hyperlink. Enjoy!

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