Class is in Session

Welcome to Impossible Relationships 101. A class where I keep failing to learn anything from and am therefore doomed to repeat ad nauseam.

***

Lesson One: “You’re bi? Oh. Bye”

The Universe’s sense of humour has apparently deemed it amusing that I, an out-and-out gay guy who finds the idea of hiding my orientation and sexuality other than the sole reason of one day cashing in on my inheritance (if any) exhausting and ridiculous, am not only bound but destined to keep on attracting bisexual men with sexual identity issues. Yay! Not.

Now, I don’t have a problem with bisexuality in general; sexual freedom and all that. I just don’t fancy the idea of having to be jealous of both genders. One is tough competition in itself, thank you very much. Who needs the extra work? And plus, it’s not like I can compete with females anyway. Hello? Differences in hardware is number one. Followed by what these differences entail: Women offer the possibility of marriage and children and what society and religion and Indonesian law deem a ‘normal, healthy, and stable future’. Three adjectives that don’t exactly come to mind when I am the subject at hand (those would be ‘tattooed, pierced, and apeshit crazy’).

Yet in my infinite hopefulness (read: innate stupidity), I keep plowing on, always with the thoughts of ‘it may just work out this time’ and over-romanticised ideas of ‘love will conquer all and last forever’. Riiight. Here is the deal: in the course of my life, I’ve lost track of how many bi and gay Indonesian men I’ve met whose sense of religious guilt as well as social and familial responsibilities clash so badly with their sexual orientation and inclination. One example was at a dinner several days ago with the Hobbit (more on him later) and his friend where a discussion of my ‘lifestyle’, as they called it, culminated with the remark, “Well, the difference between you and us is that you actually have a choice.” Such hopelessness took the wind out of my sails so much that I didn’t even voice the response that in almost every case there is always a choice, and that they just don’t want to face the consequences of making a different one.

***

Lesson Two: “If you’re taken, don’t come knockin'”

Ah, yes. Another of the Universe’s potty little pranks. As often stated in my posts, I am as obsessed with fidelity and faithfulness -whether sexual or emotional – as any avid romance-reading, love-song-listening, and rom-com-watching person is. I am also of the firm belief that if you’re capable of cheating on and leaving your current partner whom you’ve vowed to love and treasure for as long as you both shall live, whether the aforementioned vow was said in a wedding or commitment ceremony, whispered on a bed as you’re laying together staring into each other’s eyes, or screamed during the throes of an orgasm, what’s exactly stopping you from doing it to me if I ever agree to take his or her place? And no, I’m not a fan of being on ‘the down low’ or ‘kept on the side’. I prefer uppers to downers and am not an order of french fries.

Yet they do come. Yet why? Is it simply basic human nature to never be satisfied with what you have? Is the grass always greener on the other side? Are we cursed with the affliction of wanting to have it all? Have fidelity and faithfulness become obsolete in modern society? Is monogamy, in fact, dying if not dead and rotting in a forgotten, unmarked grave somewhere? An example of this would be someone I like to call the Hitter; a widower in his mid-30’s who’s been in a relationship with a guy for several years up to now, and who despite his confessions of having sexual liaisons with multiple other guys has professed a supposedly heartfelt, genuine, and sincere intention of, and I quote, “settling down and being in a serious relationship” with me.

Great. Now I’m depressed. As flattering as the attention of others is, the attention of partnered others most often leave me disheartened and pessimistic of ever finding my pot of happily ever after at the end of that rainbow flag.

***

Oh God. Give me break time already.

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Say Goodnight and…

“It’s easy to lose yourself in the sounds and noises of the city, in a place to forget and be forgotten. Simple enough to find your voice replaced by someone else’s, that your thoughts and feelings are no longer quite your own. If you let it, then why are you so surprised?”

Dim your light. Stand aside. Keep quiet. Be considerate. Play nice. Don’t push back. And never, ever outshine. Please, go ahead, really, I don’t mind.

And you know what? I really don’t.

I’m lucky enough to not be a martyr. You know what I’m talking about, yea? The ones that go, “It’s alright that I give/obey/sacrifice/etc. as long as you’re happy” yet eventually bitch and moan and whine and complain about not getting whatever their deluded sense of self-entitlement makes them feel they’re due. And because I’m not a martyr, I don’t derive any twisted sense of satisfaction or pleasure from doing things for people that I don’t really want to do. If I do it, I make myself want it. Otherwise, I will tolerate it, I can allow it, and I may be lenient; but I can only be edged on for so long and so far before I either stand my ground, fight back, or simply walk away.

And here I am. Again.

Friends, Anyone?

“Hello. You look fun. May I be your friend? Do you have a Blackberry PIN or phone number?”

To which, being hopelessly hopeful and often wilfully oblivious though cheerfully and consistently cynical, I promptly replied, “Sure. 25F89181. Yay a new friend!”

It got weird.

First, for someone who checked out my profile and sent me a message, would the question “Are you top or bottom?” when my profile clearly says ‘versatile bottom’ be something you ask? Which means either you didn’t or can’t read that well. And which, if your intention truly is being friends, begs the question why my preference between 1. getting fucked by someone while moaning and writhing seductively until I can’t take it anymore or 2. fucking someone with abandon while growling and occasionally biting and dirty-talking be something that really matters anyway. Make up your mind. And learn to read while you’re at it, maybe some basic skimming and scanning because no matter how pretty you may be or think you are, whether it be for friendship or casual bedroom (or car or kitchen or public places; anything, really. I’m very experimental) fun, stupidity is a turn-off.

Second, when I reply to your message and proceed to give you my contact information, it’s very rarely because I’m instantly attracted and helplessly in love or in lust with your profile picture on sight. At the beginning it’s courtesy, and in some cases charity, and most of the time it’s simply because I feel bad about refusing. So after we begin talking, in which you initiated the conversation anyway, to suddenly be acting all cool and aloof and lahdi-fucking-da is frankly.. sad. It’s so sad it makes me want to cry. No, not from sadness or offence. Out of shame. For you. And your lack of manners. And apparent lack of good-breeding in whatever Godforsaken hovel you were born, bred, raised in, and sprung from. Whatever happened to being civil and hospitable, friendly and polite? When did the gays of the world hold a convention and signed a treaty that said, “I solemnly swear to act like an utter asshole because ohmyGod I’m so awesome that every other gay guy, dead or alive, and some straight guys and gals to boot, all want me. Meeeeee!” Dangerously delusional douche. Why not try being nice and genuine and sincere? And please spare me the bitchy repartee if you get snippy and offended when it’s time for my comeback. Only dish it when you can take it. And just remember that even if you believe you’re THE queen bitch, you’re just A queen bitch in a gay world filled to the brim with bitchier queen bitches. So take the tiara off and yourself down a few notches before someone does it for you.

So why this rant? Well, this comes from my excessive and yes, maybe a little dramatic but (in my own subjective opinion) honestly justifiable exhaustion from attempt after failed attempt of making new friends. Most gay guys come with the offer of either sex or relationship and I wonder, are those the only options?

Some say that I look in the wrong places, that websites like Manjam or PlanetRomeo and IRC chatrooms like #gim and GPS-based applications like Grindr are all means for people who are only looking to hook up anyway. To which I ask, and yes I will write this in capitals, “WHERE EXACTLY ARE GAYS NOT LOOKING TO HOOK UP?” I’m not a gym member, but stories from my gym member friends consist of checking out other gym members and their dangling members in locker rooms and the occasional tug-and-suck sauna and steam room action (double-sweaty sex? Eurgh). And lounges and bars and clubs? Yea, right. Last night at another Revel event at Musro, I stood watching from a blessed haze of alcohol-and-microdot induced intoxication as a close-to-50 year old man approached a dubious looking twink standing alone, bought him a glass of (generic brand, frothy looking) beer, and proceeded to put his arm around the younger guy’s waist and run his hand up and down his back while club-whispering to one another (“My, my what great body you have”. “The better to spend your money with, Daddy”. Blah).

So, where are the guys looking to make friends and where are the places to find them, really? I’m getting so desperate that I actually said to Tara this morning on the phone, “Yo, you know those guys you slept with and immediately lost interest in after, can I try and be friends with them?” He said he’ll think about it and (assuming he gets over his possessiveness about guys he no longer is interested in anyway and his competitiveness as far as I’m concerned out of the way) he’ll let me know. And yes, Tara. I’m writing this on purpose for you to read. So call me up.

Oh and just when I’m writing this, a Whatsapp message appeared from someone called ‘Hendra’ who claimed that we met in Stadium. Hah. As if I’d exchange numbers with anyone at that place. And even if I did, I wouldn’t give just anyone this particular number. He insisted that I did; pressed me about where I am and whether we can meet; and when I asked him what for, he said “Because I miss you and I want to have sex with you.”

Seriously? Seriously?!?

I politely refused and told him I’m going to block his number and just did.

-insert long sigh-

Case temporarily closed. Blog entry ended.

Partyboy Confessions (Part 2)

Another Sunday morning. Slightly dazed after Waterfalls and a shot of tequila that I probably shouldn’t have downed but predictably did anyway. Drowning away the past, present, and future just so I don’t have to think of you. And yet I am anyhow, in the taste of ink and the burn of needles.

So I’m your first, huh? Your first ever? You’ve never been attracted to a man before? A boy has never turned you on? A glass of water, black coffee, a lit cigarette. Words. Looks. Smiles. No promises, no complications. A world of us that can only exist when no one’s around.

How can I shake you off when you’ll always be etched all over me?

Partyboy Confessions (Part 1 – Aftermath)

“Thunder only happens when it’s raining
Players only love you when they’re playing
Women, they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know”
Dreams – Fleetwood Mac

J’adore Dior and L’eau Par Kenzo. A night of fingertips fluttering over skins, the graze of stubble, and warmth exchanged under the covers.

“For whatever it’s worth, a part of me loves a part of you”, I say.
“I love you, too”, you say.
A beat of silence that you broke:
“Too bad you’re here and I’m there.”

Stories of broken hearts and glass beads and the ink that records the things that touched you. Interludes in between kisses. Shared laughter. Freaks and non-conformists.

A text message:
“Thank you for making me feel special”, you say.
“That’s because you are”, I say.

I don’t go for Bigs, you don’t go for Barbies. Exceptions to the rule. The heat that seared my surface; dripping, flowing, running down.

“Love is a useless and irrelevant emotion.”

And yet here I am, free-falling.

Partyboy Confessions (Part 1)

Sunday morning. Typing this entry while alternating between puffs of menthol cigarette and sips of white wine. Lost in thoughts after yet another oh-my-God-what-did-I-do-last-night episode. Memories of silken tongues and intertwined limbs and your orange scent leaving a mark on my skin.

I’m a flirt. I’m a tease. But I play for keeps.

Don’t make me fall in love, baby because that’s more than you bargained for. I’ll let you do what you want just as long as I want it. So what if my hips sway with yours to every beat of the song? They never said we’d go all the way.

I’m a peep-show. An ad. A trailer for sex.

Fuck the movie, baby. Not me.

And the Manjam Experiment Continues

… into something else now. Yes, yes it was only supposed to last 30 days, I know. I guess it’s time for some embarrassing confession time:

We did not get that many hits. Yep. How’s that for a blow to your self-esteem? And if you’re wondering why the hell would I put my self-esteem in the hands of ocassionally oftentimes creepy men who troll online cruising sites, I guess I have issues I so don’t wish to delve into in this particular post.

Howeveeer.. Tara changed the profile pictures about a week ago to ones of us in tanktops, showing some of our tattoos. And suddenly it was hits and messages galore. Man, I knew that men are visual creatures, but c’mon! It’s bordering on ridiculous. And it’s seriously shattering some of my greater expectations of gaykind. Apparently I have to look a certain way first in order to be considered interesting. Huh. Shocking. Not. Blah.

Moving on. We’ve taken the experiment to another level, or at least another website: PlanetRomeo. The same profile. Mostly the same pictures. I suppose the experiment starts now. There have been some takers, none that particularly appealed to both of us, though. We’ll see what happens and I’ll keep posting developments. Ta!

The Manjam Experiment

During one of our hours-long telephone conversations with Tara, in which we as always discussed random matters which popped into our heads, we came across the topic of relationships and what we each want from it. He wants the sex and the excitement and the nights out, without the hassle of what he calls ‘mushy emotional conversation thingies’. I want the kissing and cuddling and intimacy and staying in, without the predictable demand for sex. Naturally, yet another idea bubble popped:

What if we both share the same boyfriend?

The more we think about it, the more interesting the idea became. Since neither of us is willing to invest the total time and energy to a relationship, why not split the load? It’s also the more enticing because people that I’ve consulted about the idea have been giving negative feedback, mostly questioning whether Tara and I will start feeling threatened or competitive with each other. Well, there’s only one way to know, isn’t there?

So last night, I made a Manjam account, just to put the idea out there and possibly get this thing rolling. I posted a brief description and our profiles, along with pictures of Tara and I together and some by ourselves. As by this morning, we’ve gotten a meagre fifteen hits, but no messages. Oh well. To be honest I’ve had reservations about Manjam considering almost all of the profiles I’ve seen exhibits gym-muscle bodies among which our profile would hardly get the time of day, but I digress: that’s another blog entry.

So. Two boys. One Manjam account. Thirty days. We’ll see how this goes!

Four of Cups

I have two very close friends. Two very close friends whom I’ve written about. Two very close friends who are dating each other for almost three years now. Two very close friends who, even with the love they feel for each other and the things they’ve been through together, seem to be hitting yet another bump in the road. Mind you, this is not a new bump. This bump has been around for a long time. They’ve hit it, gotten shaken by it, finally gotten through it, and yet still hitting it again.

Why?

Most people in a relationship need to feel that it’s ‘going somewhere’, whether it’s something solid such as living together or marriage or having children, or something abstract like achieving a sense of comfort or settling down into a sort of stability or developing each other’s characters and personalities as part of a couple. The point is, the relationship simply has to evolve or risk boredom, ennui, and the impending breakup that inevitably follows. An old clichĂ© says that ‘nothing lasts forever’. The way I see it is, nothing lasts forever as it is. Whether we like it or not, change will take place and relationships that work are those which realise that fact and not only anticipate it but even generate it when necessary.

And what about my two friends?

They’re hitting the bump because they’re going in a circle. The same circle. Over and over again. Because discussions end in resolutions but not resolve. Because issues, whether deep seated ones or those floating closer to the surface go unspoken. Why do I write this as a blog entry, you ask? Well, as much as I want to sit them both down and play relationship counsellor, there are limits to what I can do. Mostly I play good listener and enthusiastic discussion participant because JR gets territorial whenever I meddle too much. So I do what I know how to do, and write. And maybe, just maybe, for them to read the written words would help make better sense of the whole thing. So here goes:

Tara wants JR to stop being so caught up with his self-image of having to be the ‘perfect boyfriend’ because all it ever does it create resentments on JR’s part and other unspoken thoughts and feelings, which then causes him to be sullen and withdrawn, which at the end only irritates and annoys Tara. He would also like JR to be more communicative and not be so defensive in discussions and to let go of the image JR has of Tara which, over time, has proved to be inaccurate anyway. Being successful and ambitious, Tara also wants JR to have a sense of direction in his life, especially in his career because after all, this girl needs someone she can look up to and be proud of. And last but not least, although this relationship may not last forever, Tara would like to make the best of it while it lasts and wishes JR would do the same.

JR wants to make the best of it while it lasts as well because, like Tara, he knows that this may not last forever but sometimes he gets caught up in his own thoughts and feelings and it gets hard for him to communicate them because they don’t always go along with the self-image he has of what kind of boyfriend he should be. He doesn’t want to be sullen and withdrawn but he can’t help it. Old habits die hard and though he tries to break them he often slips back into the same old pattern. Not because he likes it or he wants to but because he’s too used to it. And as far as a sense of direction goes, he feels he has one but he moves in his own time and sometimes he does get sidetracked by some other concerns. And sometimes, sometimes it all just feels so grown up and he just doesn’t want to.

So there you have it. They might read it. They might not like it. But hey, what else can a nosy busybody with a blog do?

Ain’t Never Getting Mine

Few of us are free from expectations. To want is human and as long as we’re granted physical existence, to be completely rid of any kind of expectation whatsoever is almost impossible. It is possible, however, to adjust or modify our expectations – unless of course we have serious self-control issues in which case I advise to stop reading this blog and seek professional help because this ain’t it.

For those of you who are still reading, congratulations. Oh, and brace yourself because being the fabulously delusional self-obsessed egocentric that I am, I’m going to tell you a little story about – who else? – me.

Last year, I had a falling out with someone who used to be a very close friend of mine. He was one of the very few that I admitted into my life and revealed secrets to, discussed things and most of all, shared things with. For me, that’s a big – nay, huge – deal because, well, I don’t share. Years of trust issues have developed into a self-preservation instinct much like the human equivalent of mimosa pudica: covered with tiny thorns and instantly closing at the slightest provocation. Yet no man being an island and whatnot, I do make exceptions. This one exception, however, came to be a disappointment mostly due to my unrealistic expectations of what a friend is: civil, kind, honest, understanding, accepting, and sincere. Foolish of me to expect that from everyone while knowing people most probably have their own agenda.

I will not go into details about what happened because we are talking about a specific person and the rules of propriety that I laid down consider it distasteful, especially considering how it’s been more than sufficiently broadcasted by the other party in question, in which of course he plays the guileless, faultless, blameless victim. But then again, to each his own. I’ve got enough drama to even do a cameo in someone else’s, especially if that someone else is known to be addicted to the spotlight and steps on your cues. After all, it was not the first time that the same thing happened with the same person so it was very much a fool-me-once-shame-on-you-fool-me-twice-shame-on-me situation. And indeed I was a fool, for believing that people can change, for giving someone a second chance – undeserved as it might have been, and for opening my heart again while being very much aware that it can so easily be bruised and battered.

This time around, though, I’m done. Knowing what he’s capable of, there is no way I can possibly let him back in. I may be a fool but I’m not a mentally challenged nor am I that emotionally sadomasochistic. All I can do now is walk away; and if in the process of separating our threads of existence I have to sacrifice friendships and exit societies – friends and societies I introduced him to in the first place, mind you – so be it. He was the one who sent the text messages to the effect of terminating the friendship, or whatever remained of it, in which he promised that he would leave me alone and to which I obliged, for what was the point of fighting for something – or someone – who wants to leave you in the first place?

Yet now, I find that even in my very limited sphere of existence in which I only hold on to even fewer things and people that are dear to me, he’s still skirting the periphery, which bring me back to the topic at hand and makes me wonder. What else can he possibly want? What more had I not given? Should I sacrifice even more of my existence to satisfy his wants and expectations? Honestly, I can and I will. It will hurt but if that’s what it takes for me to stay in the ignorance of his existence, I won’t give it a second thought. In any case, it would still hurt less than what he did – or is capable of doing – because we all know that no one can hurt you more than a friend. He may take whatever and whoever he wishes and I will, as always, let go and walk away from whatever or whoever it may be because for something or someone to be willingly taken by him would define their own value. And like I said, what’s the point of fighting for anything or anyone that’s not worth fighting for?

I don’t want anything anymore, or at least none that you can possibly give. So indulge your wants and expectations. I’ll be fine. I have those that I love and that love me back and I have the one thing you will never ever have again nor can ever be: me.

Fuck You Very, Very Much

I need to vent. Again. Here we go. Oh and before I start, if you have a problem with foul language, get the fuck off my page. Okay. Now here we go.

Excuse me, Mr. Self-important, I’m-interesting-because-I’m-weird guy. Guess what? You’re not interesting. You’re just weird. And not in a good way, no no. You’re one weird-ass motherfucker who needs to take a close look in the mirror and get yourself a reality check because, hey now, there ain’t much there. And I’m not even talking about your receding hairline. And your woe-is-me tale? Poor little rich-fat-ugly-as-shit boy. Cut it bitch, people may choose to stroke your ego, but this homo don’t play that. So go on with your delusions, I wish you luck with that. I do, I really do. Seeing how you don’t have much else going for you. Well other than your fat. And your piggy face. Oh and of course there’s always the family money to get guys to want you.

Oh and another thing, Mr. Pig-face, tub-o-lard, fuck you.

p.s. If it seems like I have a problem with overweight people, I don’t. Just assholes with attitude problems.

This is NOT a Love Story

I met someone tonight. He was a friend of a friend and 8 of us went to the karaoke together. At first I thought he was interested. Then again if I can read men that well I wouldn’t be single for so long. Then again maybe I would. Anyway, we started talking about things, in between taking turns at the microphone and listening to the others singing. He was interesting. And it wasn’t long before my own interest was sparked.

I’m back at home now. As usual I’m feeling my way in retrospect and I don’t like what I’m finding. I hate the fact that I let myself feel this way about someone. It’s too risky and ultimately pointless. I’m no longer interested in the games that people play or to be susceptible to expectations. I hate myself for being affected by his pushing my buttons and his questions and his judgment. He shook me and I am left shaken.

I seriously hope that I’ll get over this when I wake up in the morning…

Die, Bitches. Die.

Alright. I have to get this out before I either explode or implode.

So earlier this morning, the seminar/workshop participants were preparing to go on an excursion around Bali. While we were waiting in the hotel lobby for everyone to gather, I lit up a cigarette. It was a semi-open area with ashtrays and no air-conditioner, so I thought it was okay. After all, I’ve never had any complaints before and I’m always thoughtful whether or not my smoking would disturb anyone. I was just taking my first drag and blowing my first puff when this woman, a participant of the seminar, sitting 1.5 metres away started complaining loudly saying, “Oh! Always smoking! Always smoking!” Then she prattled something in German that I didn’t understand to her friend and when I asked her POLITELY if my smoking disturbed her, she said, “Shoo, shoo!” Of course, me being me, I only apologised and moved away. Although that didn’t mean that I wasn’t seething. And I still am.

If I don’t complain about you being a fat, ugly, horribly dressed, and anally-retentive bitch, don’t you dare complain about my smoking. If you want your air to be exclusively yours, buy some.

To be honest, if people disapprove of my smoking or anything I do, it’s their right. But there are many different ways to express your dislike or disapproval. If you lack the capacity to behave in a civil manner when your fucking job is socio-cultural related, then you might as well quit your job, find a high cliff, and jump off it because I doubt you’re doing anyone any good anyway.

Seriously.

Quit. Cliff. Jump.

Or should I write that down for you on a piece of paper in case you can’t follow a simple instruction because your puny little brain is suffocated by your excess fat?

Bitch.

Shells and Universes

I’m in Bali. On my second day of working as an interpreter for a seminar/workshop on intercultural understanding and communication by a German organisation. If it seems weird that I’m in a situation where it demands my socialising and interacting with a lot of other people, believe me, it is.

I’ve pretty much stayed in my shell for quite a long time. I mean, c’mon. The tagline for my blog at this moment is ‘we are all, in ourselves, a small universe’. It doesn’t get much clearer than that. So this circumstance is a huge culture shock, especially because the seminar/workshop participants come from different countries and they bring their own styles of address, issues, agendas, opinions, beliefs, and personality into the mix.

Although I know that a lot of people would disagree and I myself don’t seem the part, but I’m actually very shy. Perhaps not in familiar situations or when surrounded by familiar people but yeah, I am. It actually takes longer for me to shed the feeling of unease and awkwardness that most people feel when entering a new environment or encountering new people. I just hide it better.

Anyway, being in such a situation with the many differing – and sometimes opposite – characters exposes me to their many antics. Some I only observe but some I have to be involved in. And I have to say that several instances are like refresher courses on why I choose to limit my contact with other people.

In interactions with others, there are boundaries. Problems arise when these boundaries differ and, either from the lack of understanding or simply from indifference, are thus overstepped. There are things you’re not supposed to say, questions you’re not supposed to ask, acts you’re not supposed to do but well, they still are (if you’re wondering at the irony of this taking place in an intercultural seminar/workshop, yep, I’ve noticed).

It is said that you should not take things personally. However, when it affects my person, may it be my feelings or principles, how can they possibly expect that? I suppose developing a thick skin is an option but somehow I have a feeling that I wouldn’t like myself very much if I did. I carefully constructed my shell – you can also say my entire mini-universe – in order to have a personal space into which I can withdraw and avoid the necessity of having a thick skin.

So for now, I just have to grin and bear it. After all, I’m not Asian for nothing.