Monday, October 15, 2007

To dream the impossible dream...

Hi, I saw your personal ad here and I must say you're a very attractive man - just my type.
Well I just finished reading your ad and I have to be honest your pic is what really drew me to it. Then as I read it I was very impressed of what you said. Wow - you are a very nice looking man and had so many nice and straight forward things to say in your ad. You seem very down to earth and I would love to chat sometime.


I know a lot of men who have heard those words.

But I have to admit in all honesty - and my friends Tom and Michael can attest to this - I never in a bazillion years expected to be one of them.

Half on a dare, half out of a sense of desperate, desperate loneliness, I succumbed to a friend's suggestion and posted my picture and a statement about myself and my level of experience with men (zero over the last 2 decades, plus or minus 10%) to a men-for-men website, and hit "submit."

And then the responses started pouring in.

And now I'm 50, going on 16 all over again. Even my acne is acting up again - it's unbelievable.

Guys wanting to meet me. Dating - what the hell is that? The last time I had a date (with anyone of either gender) it was with a woman in 1994. The last time I went on a formal "date," George W. Bush's father was president, people.

And I find myself in the same place a lot of 16 year olds would be - should I be 'good,' or should I 'have fun'? Several guys - strangely good looking ones - have proposed doing things with me (and to me) that I wouldn't have imagined outside of a porn site. If I spend any time channeling the inner 16-year-old, I get my answer pretty quick...

But I'm 50 - I know better. Sex without some kind of friendship/relationship is just masturbating into someone else's body. But I'm 50 - and celibate - and that doesn't sound so terribly bad, right now. "If you're going to sin, sin boldly," I guess....

But my celibacy has probably also bought me my life - we were talking at our GLBT AA group how awful it was to be sober and GLBT in the 80's, when huge portions of the gay community were wiped out by AIDS. "Safe sex" isn't just about not having babies, as it was with women - it's about not having an awful, fatal disease. Compliance has a MUCH higher price, these days.

The answer is "take it slow, think it through - meet 'n' greet, first, then think some more."

And pray...God is in this mess, somewhere...I'm sure of that. There are just days when I'd really prefer He not be, sometimes.

Growing up - yet again - in public is never a fun thing. But, as Keith L. was asked by his sponsor 20 years ago, on a similar topic, "Of all the problems you have, which one is going to be more fun to work on?...."


  1. Good for you! Take care of yourself but have fun.

  2. oh my beloved and dear, dear friend -- BE SAFE PLEASE!! omg, something new for penni to worry about ;)

    you are a loving soul. i would love to dream alongside of you that you would find the man of your dreams through a dating website, but i am imagining that while you are as sincere as the day is long, i am getting a little check in my innermost being that perhaps not all of these men carry the sincere gene the same way you do.

    please, guard your heart, keep your head above the clouds, keep looking and seeking your higher power and don't do anything foolish until you feel it is okay to.

    (was that too raggy? i don't wish to be raggy, just a wee protective!)

    love you, dear one...

  3. I appreciate your concern, Mark & Penni. Trust me - I was born at night, but I wasn't born LAST night...

    I've had 30 years to think about safe sex. I've watched people I know die of AIDS, suffer with Hep-C, struggle with every kind of sexually transmitted disease. So the plan (at least for now) is "date," not "do the nasty with."

    The good/bad news is, the brain is a tiger, but the body is, well, somewhere between kitten and pussycat. Diabetes and hypertension (two of my crosses) cause impotence, so that's kind of a turn-off for any "hot date" fantasies.

    But, you say, there's Cialis! Viagra! Whatever! Just "little blue pill" your problems away, eh? Gay man's dream...(Cue music: Lionel Ritchie, All Night Long...)

    The fly in the ointment for that little scenario is a little known condition called NAION (also known as "stroke of the eye"). It's a kind of optic neuropathy that hits people who are over 50, use both use ED drugs AND have diabetes AND hypertension. Disruption to blood supply to the optic nerve causes partial or total blindness. Permanent, irreversible. Not exactly a minor side effect...

    Yeah, it's only about 40 people out of all the millions of ED drug users, but I hit every single risk factor. So until I know more, I'm pretty much on the sidelines.

    And I apologize if that's over the TMI limit. Simple fact is, even if I want to "get wild," the body just ain't up to it. And I'm not ready to risk going blind just to get my jollies. Not until I know a lot more...

    But I am blessed beyond measure to have people like you, Mark and Penni, who are concerned enough to raise the yellow/orange flags. That means more than you can know.