“And Protect Yourself With Fire”

Content warning for some explicit sexual content

I think I’m beginning to develop trust issues.

I’ve had… one of the weirdest couple of weeks of my life. And frankly, it’s all starting to wear on me.

When I tell people about the things that happen to me, they often respond by saying I have such an interesting life, or they say “How are you meeting so many people?” or “I wish I could meet guys like you can.” Well, it isn’t really like that.

I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll start about a week or so ago. The story is very detailed and complicated but to wrap it all up in a brief summary, I had a hookup with a guy in the middle of the night who was drunk and acting incredibly strange. At one point he asked me how much money I had in my wallet, then when I told him I was uncomfortable with that question and I’m going to leave if he keeps talking that way, he laughed at me and said “You really think you can leave? I’m very strong.” That’s probably the most horrific thing anyone has ever said to me. It occurred to me in that moment that the people killed by Jeffrey Dahmer probably also had a similar moment of realization that they were in serious danger.

Despite his creepy behavior, and for whatever reason, I actually ended up staying so that we could finish fooling around because it was late and I was worked up. He did another incredibly weird thing, which is that he found a zit on my back and then BIT IT OPEN, causing me to start bleeding everywhere. Weirdly, I did still stay until we finished, and then left soon after. That night, I went to Waffle House around 4AM to try and get some food and calm down, feeling really dirty and gross. When I went back to my car, I was sitting there looking at my phone and a drunk lady opened my passenger door and sat down in my car, resulting in me calling the cops to get her to leave, which she did, she hopped in her own car and drove away.

A few days later, after spending a day at a friends house more or less recovering from all the strangeness, I got a message from a guy on Grindr who wanted to hook up. When we met, we had a lot in common, and for some reason that I still don’t understand I just started to fall for this guy very quickly. He was charming and cute, and he was affectionate and understanding and very intelligent and well-spoken. He invited me to spend the next day with him while he worked from home, even told me to go home and get my computer and then come back, but later on after I left, he completely “ghosted” me, and never responded to any messages.

Next, another guy who I’d met through Tinder asked to come spend some time with me. He knew I wasn’t feeling well but he wanted to come anyway, and he actually drove two hours to get here. He was in his early twenties, but acted like a teenager and we had nothing in common. He was very rude to me, refusing to look up from his phone, playing on Instagram instead of paying attention to me, and when I tried to liven things up by playing piano for him, he was checking his Grindr instead of listening to me. He started playing piano for me and was doing pretty well, but he kept going on about how his favorite musicians were Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez and honestly I just couldn’t believe how awful his taste in music was, especially for someone with some level of musical ability.

Later on with that same guy, things got sexual but he said he didn’t want to touch me at all. He didn’t mind me touching him, just didn’t want to touch me back. I was a little confused and thought that was selfish, but eventually without really any prodding from me, he DID start to touch me, and then stopped to ask me if I’d showered, and implied he didn’t want to go down on me because I smelled bad. Considering I had come home early from my job, where I’d been standing up in the heat all afternoon, and he hadn’t seen me take a shower, I thought he might have put together that I hadn’t taken a shower, but to outright insult me like that on top of everything was too much, and I made him leave.

I felt guilty for doing it, because the guy has Asbherger’s, and while that isn’t a free pass to be a dick to me, he honestly just looked so SCARED when I told him to get out, and shocked and confused, and I realized that maybe he hadn’t intended to be as rude as he was, and I felt awful at the idea that I might have made him feel unsafe. We spoke about it and I apologized, as did he, but the whole experience is still upsetting for me, mostly because I feel so terrible for even possibly making him feel unsafe. I was angry at him and cussed at him, but I didn’t want him to think I was going to HURT him. I just told him he had been incredibly rude and was being a bitch to me.

After all of this had happened, Gay Pride weekend started in Charlotte. I wanted to go but I kind of chickened out. I never went to the parade or the official celebration, but I did go to a gay bar. It’s a small bar that caters more toward bears and a wider range of guys than our local gay club, and has a better atmosphere. I felt a little out of place there, as the majority of men were large hairy guys in harnesses and kilts, or wrestling singlets. I mostly sat by the pool tables and played on my phone, ignoring the crowds. At one point I start to walk around outside, where people were moving in a line to get through the crowds, and I saw one guy who stood out from the others, but only from behind: he was a short guy with somewhat pale skin, wearing nothing but rainbow briefs and a harness, with blue glitter all over his body and in his hair. At one point he turned around and I saw his face and realized it was actually the guy from earlier in the week who had ghosted me after I had started to kind of fall for him.

I called out his name and said hello to him. He was very nice and easy to talk to. He told me he’s in a weird place right now and didn’t know what to say, and I told him that if he didn’t want me to talk to him it was okay, just to let me know, and he told me I hadn’t done anything wrong. But later on, after I tried to message him… once again, nothing. No response. Ghosted me again. I was feeling pretty down after the whole experience so I went home. I wasn’t fitting at the gay bar and generally just preferred to be at home with my video games and my library of Kate Bush music.

I got a message from a friend who I’ve spoken to online but never met in person that he was drunk and needed me to pick him up. I’d told him earlier on that I was willing to come get him if he needed anything, so I absolutely didn’t mind doing it. I brought him back to my house and we got in bed, started to snuggle, and one thing led to another and we ended up having sex. This was actually a very special experience for me, because the guy in question is transgender and I’ve never been with a trans guy before. As far as having sex with someone with a vagina, I’ve done that once, a very long time ago, with a girl I worked with, and it wasn’t a very enjoyable experience. I didn’t get to do a lot of the things I wanted to try, we had very little chemistry, and the whole thing was over quickly.

So this was really my first time being with someone who doesn’t have a penis, and there was so much I wanted to do and experiment with, and I was finally able to. I tasted and touched things I hadn’t before, and I felt new sensations. I felt like a virgin again. We fucked twice, kissing each time, holding each other close. I woke up in the middle of the night to us already making out, and he climbed on top of me and we fucked again.

In the morning, I tried to reach between his legs and he pulled away. Later on I asked if I could kiss him and he said “I’m good.” We had a good time going out to breakfast, and then I took him home. He didn’t ghost me afterward, but I’ve realized that most likely what we did only happened because he was feeling very uninhibited and excited. He assured me the night we did it that I wasn’t taking advantage of him, as even though he was feeling tipsy, he was still in control of himself, which was why he’d asked me to come and get him in the first place, because he’d been with a guy who was coming on to him too hard and wanted to get away from the situation but couldn’t drive himself.

But I realized that what we did probably didn’t mean very much to him. For me it was special, it was my first time with a trans guy, it was a new experience that I’ve wanted to have for a long time, and it was beautiful. But for him… well, it probably wasn’t that important. And that’s okay, but after everything that’s happened, I just wish it hadn’t have ended that way. I don’t mean that we should have become boyfriends or anything, but getting rejected by him right after we’d had such chemistry hurt.

The next night, I was laying in bed when a guy on Grindr told me he was homeless, his boyfriend had dropped him off earlier in the day and never come back. I knew it was a dangerous idea to invite him over to my house, but I wanted to help, so I picked him up and took him to McDonalds, then to the gas station to get him some water and snacks to take with him. The next day he found somewhere to go, an ex of his came and picked him up. This story doesn’t actually end with sex or rejection or anything, but it was an odd experience to happen in an already eventful week.

And then we reach today. Yet another guy from Grindr (I’m starting to see a pattern here…) asked me to hang out. We’d spoken before. He’s polyamorous and married, and we’ve exchanged photos and generally been sexual with one another. So he invited me over to watch a movie and have dinner. He ordered pizza and he gave me alcohol. We actually spoke for about an hour beforehand and we were getting along well, he seemed like an interesting guy and we had things in common. But about fifteen minutes after we’d eaten and we were just starting the movie, he stood up and started walking around his house, and when I followed him to ask if everything was alright, he told me he needed to get started on homework. I was a little confused that he would ask me to leave right after giving me alcohol, as in addition to being strange and sending me mixed signals, it was also an irresponsible and potentially dangerous thing to do to me. I hadn’t actually come on to him apart from earlier when we sat on the couch and I gave his back a quick scratch and asked if he’d like come and cuddle with me while he watched the movie, to which he said no and just kept his face turned away from me.

After I left, feeling utterly hurt and disappointed, he told me that he was uncomfortable because he could smell something weird in his house that smelled like a combination of cat poop and body odor. I hadn’t noticed it, but his house did smell like cats in general because they’re fostering a bunch of kittens, and it hadn’t bothered me. But he also made a comment that made me feel even more hurt, he said he couldn’t tell if the smell was “Your feet, my work clothes, or cat shit under the carpet.” Wait did you just imply that my feet stank too? That’s the second time this week someone’s made a weirdly disparaging comment about how I smell! I literally had just taken a shower, what the hell?

And now here I am at home, genuinely starting to wonder if I can trust people. I told this guy about my experience earlier in the week being ghosted, and then told him that if he wanted me to just leave him alone all he had to do was tell me. I couldn’t have possibly made it any easier for him, but he continued to be evasive and not tell me the whole story, because his behavior was still incredibly strange and I don’t think I understand it completely.

I know what some of you are thinking: stop going on Grindr. It’s probably good advice. But the thing is, dating apps are the ONLY way to meet people, especially if you live in the South and there isn’t a very accessible gay community. I don’t have much choice when it comes to meeting other guys, and after deciding recently that I might even be open the idea of finding a partner, or someone who might become a partner, I can’t very well just delete all ways of doing that from phone.

I don’t know. Right now I feel crappy, and I feel unwanted, and I feel lonely. Like always.


Currently listening to…

Kate Bush
Before The Dawn

“Oh Here I Go, Don’t Let Me Go”

Today is a day of many emotions.

Well really, yesterday was the day with all the emotions, but today is the resolution of those emotions.

The story actually begins two nights ago. I was hanging out at home and got a message from a guy on Grindr who I’d seen around and thought was pretty cute. I’d actually messaged him before but never got a response. He messaged back to say he was sorry for not responding, which I suspect had less to do with him not seeing my previous message and a lot more to do with my profile picture changing to a much cuter picture of me with a new haircut. Which is fine, no shame on him.

All I really knew about him was that he was cute, he had “f-holes” tattooed on his arms, which if you didn’t know (because I didn’t) are those holes on the sides of a violin that the sound comes out of, and that he played oboe and bassoon. Naturally I was interested. I’m going to give a quick little content warning here because we’re going to get into the details of what happened, which range from explicitly sexual to upsettingly emotional.

I came to meet him. He lived in a very nice apartment with a roommate, and when I met him I noticed two things about him. The first is that he’s shorter than me, which I found pretty adorable, and that he was even cuter than his pictures had led me to believe. The second was that he spoke in an eloquent voice and had no trace of a southern accent. This reminded me a lot of myself, because I also don’t speak with a southern accent and people are often surprised to learn that I’m from the south. My family all have accents, I just don’t. I had one as a kid, it went away on it’s own as I grew up. It sounds condescending, but honestly the more I learned to read and write, the less I spoke with a southern accent. I’m not saying there’s a correlation there, but you are free to postulate your own conclusions.

We went upstairs to his room and had some white wine. We chatted about music, about our past relationships, about being gay in the south. We found out that we went to the same high school, he started the year after I graduated. We both have prematurely grey hair and as it happens we had the exact same haircut. I was a vers top and he was a vers bottom. I’m submissive in relationships but dominant in bed, he’s dominant in relationships but submissive in bed. When we finally kissed, we were both pleasantly surprised at the chemistry we had. Sometimes you have a lot in common but no sexual chemistry. This wasn’t an issue for us. He had recently had a Prince Albert piercing so I was careful to be gentle with his cock and to lick it rather than suck it. We got off together and then spent the rest of the night cuddling close. He fit so perfectly in my arms, and he liked to kiss and be affectionate as much as I did. When he held me he’d plant little kisses on my forehead for no reason which is essentially a quick way to make me fall in love with you.

He invited me to stay the night if I wanted to, and I took him up on the offer. We stayed up all night discussing Final Fantasy, which we discovered we have a mutual interest in. We talked about wanting to create video games: I’m an ideas guy, he’s a coding and building guy. We didn’t get much sleep, but he told me that getting him off twice in one night was a feat few had accomplished and naturally I felt pretty proud of myself. When I told him I was a little self-conscious about my chubby body he assured me he found me very attractive. The next morning he woke up for work, but he works from home and he told me I was welcome to stay over and hang out while he worked. I said I wished I had thought to bring my computer, and he said I was welcome to go get it and come back, which I did.

Well… I guess it shouldn’t be hard to guess what was going on with me. I fell head over heels for this guy. And that’s honestly not something that happens a lot. Even on a hookup where I find a guy interesting, I tend to just hope for the best and go on with my life. But… something about him just felt like “This is it. This is the guy.” I had made the decision a few days ago that I was ready to start looking for a partner, and here is this guy who seems to fit every criterion I’d want in a partner. Now, there were some conflicts. For one thing, he identifies as Christian, although he doesn’t like organized religion, and I don’t begrudge him his beliefs. In fact I confessed that I still pray a lot, even though (and he doesn’t really know this about me) being anti-Christian is a hue part of my identity. He also prefers to be monogamous and has had a bad experience with polyamory, and that’s totally fair. I told him I might be willing to try monogamy if the right guy came along. These two things were definitely red flags for me, not that there was anything wrong with him in particular, but that we might have some conflicts in what we were looking for, but I overlooked them.

I don’t really know what got into me. I think it’s that someone finally showed me love and affection, for the first time since Jake left. We slept so little so he took a nap with me in the afternoon on his lunch hour, and he slept on my chest. We were laying there naked, and he was breathing gently while I held him with my right arm, and I felt so content, so complete. When we kissed it was gentle and simple and I loved the way he tasted and the way his breath smelled. Our legs intertwined when we faced each other and he touched my body in ways I wanted to be touched, not just sexually but gently running fingers along my back. I kept stroking his face and admiring how beautiful he was. During the night we spent together, I looked up at him while I laid on his chest and I could see his face in the moonlight and I was shocked at how much I could forget how beautiful he was when I looked away. Every time I saw him it was like seeing him for the first time.

Within one day, this guy had become my whole world. I wrote three poems about him while I was driving. I was listening to Hounds Of Love by Kate Bush and I finally got the song, about running away from love and it finding you and hunting you down, and being ready to accept love. I felt conflict about the things we differ on, and the fact that I didn’t know him that well yet, but I just had a great feeling about him. He told me up front that he isn’t sure what he wants right now, he isn’t sure he’s looking for a relationship, he’s just letting things happen on their own, and that’s fair.

When I got home, I was still swimming. But I’d sent him a simple text message and he hadn’t responded. I was a bit disheartened. I sent him another a couple of hours later and didn’t hear back from him. I started to have a sinking feeling that I wasn’t allowing myself to accept. I laid in bed thinking about him, crying and shivering. I talked to some friends who tried to help me calm down. I took one of my anxiety pills and finally felt tired enough to go to sleep soon. I lay there thinking about him, missing him, wanting him, feeling deprived of him being away from him. My heart was there in his hands and it had happened so unexpectedly. I don’t usually do this, I don’t fall for someone so quickly. I was thinking about silly love songs and making a future and all those ridiculous things you should not be thinking on a first date, or even worse, a hookup, even a hookup where the guy invites you to come back over after you go fetch your laptop.

At the door, we had a slow, long kiss. It was gentle and wonderful. I told him I hoped I’d get to hang out with him again some time, and he said he thinks that’s a good possibility. I told him to text me when he got home later that night after rehearsal so I’d know he was home safe. Upon later reflection that might have been a bit much, but then, everything about me was a bit much that day.

I woke up this morning. He did not text me back.

I don’t know if he’s ghosting me, or if he needs space, or even if he’s just been legitimately busy. But I thank whatever gods I don’t necessarily really believe in that I woke up feeling better. My head is back together. Yesterday his attention and affection cracked my silly little broken heart open and I was bleeding all over the floor and nothing was going to make it better. Today I had healed a little, and was feeling whole again. I admit to a feeling of disappointment, along with another feeling of relief. It was a lot of emotion to process so quickly. It isn’t healthy to get so attached so quickly. I don’t know if it was because of anything he did or if it was because of where I am: recovering from a string of emotionless hookups and deciding to start looking for someone I can build a relationship with. And he’s not in the best place either: he’s recovering from an upsetting breakup with a guy who mistreated him. Neither of us are our best selves right now.

We both needed someone to cuddle, to kiss, to feel safe with. And he gave me that. I am very grateful that happened. I sent him one final text (or rather, a series of short texts) apologizing for being so clingy yesterday, and that I understand he isn’t sure where he’s at right now and neither am I, and that I hope to talk to him again sometime. I don’t know if he will respond. It’s okay if he doesn’t. I’ve accepted that.

Yesterday was difficult. Terribly, terribly difficult. Part of it was that I’d had almost no sleep and I was extra vulnerable. Part of it was that I so rarely find someone who gives me what I truly need, which is tender affection and a feeling of security. Part of it was that he was so attractive and we just SEEMED to be so perfect for one another, even despite a couple of important differences. In the light of this morning, I see that I was looking past things that could be problems in the hopes that I might have found someone to fall in love. I was emotionally desperate for someone to love, but that isn’t exactly the healthiest way to get into a relationship.

Today I’m going back to work to do some more computer training, and back to real life I guess. But I have wonderful memories of yesterday and the night before, and I have this blog post where I wrote it all down. If I hadn’t have written it today the feelings would have been lost. And I have the poetry. I’m going to post the three that I wrote yesterday right after this post, but here are some that I wrote this morning.



He found all the right strings and pulled them


And even if you disappear you gave me something beautiful
Thank you for reminding me my heart is still capable
For healing me and kissing all the places I was hurting
You gave me a brief respite from pain, and I’ll always treasure that
You made me feel beautiful again


Currently listening to…
Hounds of Love – Kate Bush, Hounds of Love