Sunday, April 30, 2006

You Can't Make It Up

Anyone reading this knows these are times of some crisis so what happens. In a fifteen minute period there is humor.

I tell my wife in passing I have switched my font to Verdana; she looks up, hesitates and says “I won’t say it.” I realize and say it for her – “That’s so gay.”

Next I am mentioning golf and my problem. As she already knows, is my vision is bad and I have trouble tracking the ball. I point out we can take up golf when we retire and she "can help me find my balls.” Oops.

So the Today show is on – what can possibly go wrong. The segment comes up on the return of khakis and they have a style editor introducing four examples, each adorning a young male model. In each case you get a close up of the butt and then a zoom on the crotch. Now I am generally mature but I am giggling. This is not happening.

We are not dumb people and our kid has joined us. Time to change stations. As KA clicks to the next station there is that momentary hesitation and we hear the announcement – in the next half-hour a story on the increasing number of same sex parents.

It is time to find another room.

The Mourning After

I wrote a post yesterday that covered a lot of ground. It was a nice post, a newspaper report: dateline New York, KA and Nate…. The thing is that while it was accurate, it did not reflect the emotions involved and did not anticipate the emotions to follow.

In last weeks New Yorker there is an article on Gene Robinson, the gay Episcopalian Bishop in which he is quoted “The hardest coming out is to oneself.” After months of blogging, talking with my wife, self examination I finally accept reality. I am bi-sexual and as part of being bi-sexual I am gay. In addition I think of my bi-sexuality as a pendulum held to the hetero side so long that it has arced way over. Kinsey and Klein can create any numbers they like: at this point I have swung to the gay. Will it swing back; will it find a reasonable resting point? The only honest answer here is I do not know. We live in a world measured by days; this is not the time for global predictions.

So that night I came out: to myself and therefore also to KA (in a Freudian moment, I typed her real name – she is so real to me). I know that I have come out many times over the last four months at different levels, in different ways, but always with a modifier, a hedge, a safety net. And while this final acceptance was not “news” to my wife, it was, it is, a fundamental shift.

I thought I was okay, got up, posted, did things with the kids. A nice spring day in the ‘burbs. Then I sat having lunch with KA. We sat on our screen porch looking at the backyard and the kids playing. The pool’s looking good – not the usual early season murk which I am legendary for, the landscaping needs some work. And as I sat there I was fighting back tears. Now I can cry watching a good Cold Case, but for this, there have been no real tears. I hold it together, KA knows I am holding it together and I leave the table. Instead of going to do more chores I go to our bedroom and spend a few minutes weeping. I have written of so many emotions over the last four months. I seem to have forgotten pain.

Later on I explain to KA that once again my narcissism has taken over. I am shedding tears, I am in pain. What about her? If my self exploration leads me home, well no harm no foul for me. If my self exploration – hell call it what it is – if my gayness destroys our marriage it’s probably because I found a man. Seems to me my “win-win” is her “lose – lose”. I did not need to tell her this. As I have often said, KA is smarter than me in these things.

We have a mega dinner that night – firm wide blowout – 400 people, all top shelf. We go, mingle and find our table. Four hundred people and the table from hell – no one that we really know and a few we wish we didn’t. The day catches up with KA – even when expected, nukes do a little damage. Before the main course she quietly tells me we need to leave. Realizing the gravity, without another word or backward glance we go home. KA takes off of her dress and goes into the bathroom, I assume teeth brushing time. But there she is retching and I realize she did not drink that much, we never made it beyond the cocktail hour – this is not food poisoning. She is sick to her core over what is happening – what I have done – to our lives. There is so much pain to go around.

Bear comments on yesterday’s post can be summarized very succinctly: elaborate please, so elaborate I will. The core question is my relationship with men. The thing is that I have only defined this in sexual terms. I am making life decisions in a vacuum. I know there are bloggers out there who value their marriages to a degree that they self identify as Gay but have never been with a man. I do not pass judgment, lord knows, but that is not for me. So I have explored the sexual side, I readily admit to enjoying it and having gone back for more. I also readily confess to loving the sight of some nice cleavage on a lady. This bi business is complicated.

The thing is that I have no idea of the emotional connection to men which Bear questions. I leave for my forty-eight hours in Chicago on Thursday. I have posted on CL and hopefully found some wheat among much chaff. Thursday I am having dinner with 44 year old divorced bi-guy. After arranging Thursday, I got an e-mail from a 50 year old gay guy. We both feel a strange level of connection; we are having dinner Friday. In both cases the hope is that dinner will go well and it will turn into a night – a night of sex, a night of touching, and yes, a night of sleeping.

I will come home Saturday and I will be in a sense safe – these guys live in Chicago after all. But I will sit on the airplane and I will have feelings. Maybe they will be this was not so special, maybe they will be the attraction is beyond sexual – guys are different. I just do not know and how in Gods name can I be discussing the future without this knowledge. On some level I am hoping for a disastrous trip – it will make life much simpler. Yet that is disingenious:I do look forward to it – particularly Friday night. I have shared with him where I am at including finally coming out to myself and he tells me he is good with hugs. I can use some.

So when Bear asks where do KA and I go after Chicago, the answer is both simple and immense. We are best friends, soul mates if you would. We have nine year old twins who we are committed to raising in an intact home. These are issues that do not play out overnight. Bear asks if my wife is okay with these encounters. The answer is no but what choice is there. We both know that while I can go back to suppression, it will over time gnaw at both our souls.

So our new arrangement will continue but the real answer is neither of us really knows. That is the thing about journeys of the heart and soul – they can never be mapped in advance.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Honest Answers

Another night with too little sleep, but this time it’s okay. KA and I spoke for hours and actually have some tangible conclusions – a rarity in our life and in this blogworld it appears. But to get to the end, we need to go back eleven years to Washington, previously described in a post “Washington – Then”.

The context of Washington was my addressing what the gay side of being bi meant. KA felt that for us to continue on together, I needed to better understand myself. So I went to Washington – eleven years ago; I went to a bar and got picked up – eleven years ago; and I spent the night with a man – sex, sleep, a full night – eleven years ago. It was a good night – not perfect, he was a strange egg at best, but a good night all the same. It must have been good – a week later I’m in a buddy booth giving a bj to a stranger – eleven years ago.

Two weeks after Washington, KA sees her new therapist who points out – not incorrectly – that whether it is with man or woman, I am cheating. It is undeniable in its simplicity and I remain totally faithful for over a decade.

Not so simple of course. I still had my fantasies which now included Washington. I cannot start to count the number of times I “came” to Washington. Can you spell suppression? After a decade of ever increasing homoerotic fantasies the pot boiled over and in the last six months I have had a measurable number of encounters with other married men.

Brad read my last post, On Being and commented, in part:
Can I just ask you one thing, Nate? Why can't you just "be" the person that you are?
I don't think your sexual orientation, whether it be straight, bi, or gay changes any of that.

I responded:
The thing is I can live with being straight or bi or gay, but it would sure help to know what I am as a starting point. When I confess to giving a mean bj, people post that's sex not love and therefore I am not really gay. Still having sex with men sure doesn't sound like straight either. I feel strangely caught between worlds.

It was nine hours ago that I wrote that answer and the inescapable fact is that I knew some of the answer eleven years ago. I write about my upcoming trip to Chicago – spending some time exploring my gay side – as much out of the bedroom as in it, but was that not what Washington was all about and did I not come away knowing that my gay side was very much alive and well.

KA and I discussed this last night and where we go from here. We are very much in love, best friends to the core and committed to an intact home for our children. We also know that one cannot really have their cake and eat it too. And I think most of all we know that unlike eleven years ago the answer is not another decade of denial waiting for the resentment to build and the next sexual explosion.

Her proposal is rather simple. She is supportive of my need to explore this side of myself, to determine the balance of my bi-sexuality - my needs. She is not supportive of an open ended open marriage. Might my exploration be measured in weeks and months – presumably – but not in years. And while this goes on she has redefined our bed. She no longer wants to be the fallback “I need sex because I am horny” toy for me. We may have still have nice evenings and end up making love, but she would like to think that I have courted her the way I fantasize about courting men.

Now I admit that I would not have suggested this – I am way too oversexed and way to selfish. I also admit that this idea is only hours old and only time will tell how it translates into reality. But I also admit it is a reasonable idea that allows me an opportunity to work on defining myself and us an opportunity to work on re-defining our marriage while allowing my wife the self-esteem she so richly deserves.

As I write this, I realize that for the first time in almost four months of blogging this may be the first time I have finally admitted without hedging to having a significant gay side. Now I can start to consider how this integrates into my life.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

On Being

In a rare mode, I wrote a post last week without finishing it because I felt it had a lack of focus. I attributed this to my writing not being up to snuff but on Monday I came to realize that the lack of focus was truly a reflection of my own internal confusion. This came home to roost when I went to my therapist with my every other week “I am better now” attitude. No longer do I claim to be cured of being bi; now I claim acceptance of it as being the cure. That night as I explained this to KA, she “slapped” me in Dane’s best traditions. She was of course correct.

The thing is that I hide behind being bi with a passing nod to the fact that being bi means that I am also gay, if only when having sex with men. The thing is that my gayness exists to a greater degree than I am willing to admit to myself. The fact that I am with my wife and not likely to find myself in a relationship with a man allows me to cling to a sex based definition. By using this definition I can emotionally remain the straight guy who likes giving blowjobs or as I used to tell myself an oversexed guy without the boundaries of hetero, homo, etc: just one who likes sex. Intellectually I know better.

That night as we were talking there was an internal wake up call. As I lay in bed with KA discussing these matters there is a certain level of sexual excitement that I cannot really define and which on occasion culminates in sex. On Monday night she commented that she did not really understand what was so exciting to me about “sucking a dick” – that maybe it was a topic for Tom, my therapist. As she was asking and I was answering, I became hard, rock hard – that feeling like it will explode hard. A little while later we made love and the inescapable fact to me was that while making love was good and was successful (Woody Allen once said he never had an orgasm that wasn’t right on the money), I was never close to being as hard as when we were discussing sucking dicks. The body does not lie.

This brings me (and KA) to the question of why I am fighting this so hard. On March 15th in a post titled Denial, Sweet Denial this quote appears: “I go home and explain this to KA. She listens nicely and then in the calmest of fashions proceeds to “bitch slap” me. She is of course right. I have declared myself cured of any issues of being bi in a marriage.” A month and a half and I would like to say two steps forward and one step back; the problem is in seeing the forward though I know it is there.

We kick around some thoughts – my need to be liked. There is truth to this – even in this Blog I worry about disappointing. One can blame it on the disappointment it would cause my parents; personally I think the fact they have been dead for a decade should somewhat alleviate this concern.

I suspect there are two major issues here. First is my love of my wife and family: my comfort, emotional and physical, with the life I now have. I read
Cal – can you spell slippery slope – with a mix of horror dashed with jealousy. My worst case scenario is not semi-anonymous sex – it’s falling in love. This of course would be true if I was engaged in heterosexual adultery also and is one of many reasons I don’t.

These are good reasons, but they are reasons of the head and this is a problem of the heart. And my heart is lagging. It is afraid and it is ashamed as if this is a failing on my part. I suppose it has taken me 40 years to admit to being bi – what are a few more months on the road to accepting that bi includes gay.

Of course there is the trip to Chicago, those 48 hours that have taken on mythical proportions. KA and I have discussed it – not as an opportunity to have sex, though that is inherent, but as an opportunity to “be” gay. I have posted on my least favorite place – CL – and amid the chaff appear to have found some wheat. I am trying to avoid my comfort zone – dinner with a 51 year old bi-MWM would be easy and nice but feels like a mirror.

I am trying to stretch – have an evening, drinks in public, conversation, flirting. I am actively working to make this happen. Ultimately the bottom line has not changed – I need to play this out, to learn who I am. My wife understands that this road while fraught with risk is ultimately the road I must walk; I pray this will be the road that leads home.

This morning I told KA she is my anchor and after some thought had to consider the Freudian view (we were having a Freudian morning). Does an anchor keep one from drifting or just hold one back. I clearly meant the former, but...

It is strange – I wrote the title for this post a week ago and the title is all that remains. Someday I will figure out what I “be”, but in spite of my hideous whining and backsliding, I do feel growth and I do appreciate all the support this blog world lends me. Thanks guys.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Servicemen, Gays and Hope

Reading Spider just now I saw a picture of a serviceman's casket coming off of a plane and remembered something I read and wanted to post easlier this week. Paraphrasing my comment to Spider:

Thanks for posting the picture. One of the more upsetting things about these times is the inherent dishonor in censoring these pictures, a practice our government enforces and defends.

I saw an article last week about an 85 person "baptist church" aka a cult which has been demonstrating at funerals of service men claiming America's acceptance of homosexuals caused the death of the servicemen - a retribution thing. As I was about to sink into depression, I got to the part describing a group of motorcyle riders including Vietnam Vets who will come to these funerals to create a shield between the funerals and the demonstrators - rev the engines if necessary to drown them out. When I read the group numbered 22,000, I was moved beyond words.

The article also discusses the significant number of state laws being enacted to protect the sanctity of the funerals. It seems certain things do trump the inherent homophobia around us, if only for a moment.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


This post has been in my mind for a while now but I am human and now suffer from the knowledge that people will read this. I of course want to be liked and do know shame. So I have taken every excuse – “oh this happened today” or “how nice of someone to shoot out a meme” or today “I had a dream” (I really did) – to write other posts.

This week there was a moment – okay, fifteen minutes of moments – that were too ugly to ignore, to real to sweep away, to serious for me to make light of. But before I get to that moment, I need to step back. A month ago there was mention of a mysterious hole in the kitchen wall discovered by a wife after her husband had spent the evening watching the kids. I knew immediately how it got there because it could have been my story. I considered the moment – his moment – and I wrote an e-mail, some of which follows:

I generally do not write based on my age, but I make an exception tonight. I have adult children and younger children. I have an explosive rage. I have been working on it and last night I asked KA two questions - how long have I actively been working (and generally succeeding) on controlling my temper and what finally got through to me. The answers were around three months and the trigger was when my girls were basically running away and freaking that it was going to be a Daddy night.

Now understand, I never hit them - hit the table, screamed so my throat hurt afterwards, slammed a door where I think the wall shook - but never them.

When the rage starts to show, one of the girls tells me she wants the new daddy. We have not discussed my working at this, but they know the old from the new daddy. I do not claim to be "cured" (had enough trouble with that word for a lifetime) and do not deny at times it takes everything I have and sometimes even that is not enough. But the fact is that they seem to understand that they are witnessing new dad having an old dad moment as opposed to the old dad returning.

Back to the moment – my moment. We had a family vacation, four of us, car washed (thanks to the Vineyard Church), tuned up and heading north. And a nice mini-vacation it was. Two nights in a hotel with a pool, days to explore and on to Boston. A day at the science museum (complete with a Mobius Strip display), a “duck” tour (great fun), dinner out and on to our last day. I gather it started poorly – while I was waiting for the luggage pickup, KA was in the elevator as one child pushed the button of the elevator and unwittingly the button of her sister who never quite recovered.

Now this is a difficult child on a good day and this is not a good day. We make it back to the hotel and rather than walk over to the Commons, we ask for the car. The vacation has ground to an end. Now the difficult child besides having an elevator button issue is having a tee shirt in the gift shop issue and is in total decomp. I suppose it is also relevant to note the kid is over nine - large and smart for her age.

Now I grant you I am teetering – getting in the car for a four and a half hour drive, stressed from the trip’s truncated ending, and the wailing from the back seat – but we are strong and we are holding it together. We go half a block and make a turn and there in my peripheral vision is the child twisted around, pointing out the back window – “Back, back”. We pull over and ask – probably harshly at this point - if she wants the tee shirt and she screams she wants to go home. We start rolling and she twists around again – “Back, back” and I pull over and completely am overtaken with rage. I am screaming, I am pounding on the console (it amazingly does not break), and I am ready to go home. As I floor the car pulling away from the curb on this city street, KA screams for me to stop. She yells I am going to get us killed. I yell back a response that even I dare not put to paper. She leaves the car, ostensibly to walk back to the Hotel to buy the tee shirt, but in reality to keep me from driving.

As usual she was correct. We were 100 yards from the entrance to the Mass Pike and I would have hit the highway with a rage driven gusto. I am not a slow driver – safe and quite good – but not slow. Without the tee shirt break I would have been unsafe.

I tell the story and friends point out they have had those moments of being at wits end, of exploding, and if ever I had reason, this one took the cake. Even KA tells me that other than the fact that I would have driven at that moment, she does not blame me. I suppose the fact that in so many other cases my reactions were over the top and not justified, make me overly sensitive. That and the fact that the rage was so, so blinding. I have in the past (apologies to Flip) referred to this as an alcoholic’s rage without the alcohol and truth be told I probably had as little control over it as if I was drunk. I was drunk – just with rage instead of alcohol.

Of late my posts have been for the community as common issues are explored. For this moment I return to the basics. I write for me with the hope that I will be a little stronger for having made this part of my written reality. Strange but before the vacation I told KA that I wanted to spend a little less time in therapy with being bi and a little more dealing with these fits of rage and where they really come from.

And as I re-read this I realize that the fact that I cannot write what I yelled in the car, is the reason I must force myself to write it, to confront the demon. KA screams at me that (driving this way) will get us killed. And I scream back to the effect it will be better than this living hell. I do not feel that, do not believe it for a second, but at that moment it passed my lips and my shame knows no bounds.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Freudian HNT # 2 - aka A Day Late

I know its Friday and I know the “T” is for Thursday, but forgetting the fact that I do not control the dream process, the dream seems to fit being late. And as a bonus to me, my therapist and anyone actually reading this, the dream as I sit and type, is less than an hour old.

I am with a group of people – fairly large group – in a large bar / club. It is in the City (us New Yorkers…) and the only person I actually remember I presume to be KA. We are having drinks and seemingly a good time when I realize that it is almost 7:30 and we need to leave for dinner. We have a country dinner planned and it is a three hour drive which means even leaving immediately, we are looking at arriving exceedingly late – probably after the kitchen has closed.

We are starting to drive – it’s a bus and I believe I am driving. We start to go uphill and the gears just won’t engage, no matter what I do. Finally I comment that if we are going to this dinner I will have to drive the whole way in reverse which is not realistic.

We roll back to the City and abandon the bus. We figure we can deal with it tomorrow. I assume everyone goes off their own way though all I really remember is being alone and walking back to the club where the night started.

On the street to the club I meet a person from my office – not one I am particularly friendly with. Actually as far as I can tell in real life his sole function is running the office pools (not an inconsequential task) which I rarely partake of. He starts to tell me a story about an employee who recently left to everyone’s relief – a clerical person who other than being loud, vulgar, an alcoholic, and sluttish at an age when it is time not to be - was a nice enough person. (I actually am a little upset to have found him in my dream, but we are all about honesty.)

I walk back in to the bar – a side door it seems – and it is still rather crowded. As I walk around to where our table was the club re-arranges and now there is a dance floor. A waiter is by the edge and he keeps moving back to allow more space on the dance floor. I leave for home.

Now things get positively weird. I start walking home (it should be noted that I live in the ‘burbs so the concept of walking back to an urban destination is strangely flawed). On the way I pass someone selling bread and I have not eaten. It’s that strange hour for bakers and I ask if the bread is yesterdays or fresh. The items on display are old but she has some fresh items and I am going to take two loaves; when she asks for $25 it seems strange (yes – even cheap in dreams) and then she shows me something she refers to as turduckan (in real life turkey, duck and chicken – a gourmet treat KA has made quite nicely). However this is not turduckan – it is a cat and she then shows me that wrapped around the cat is something that was being baked. The woman selling the bread is older and frankly, scary – almost witch like. Now even I have my limits and I wake up.

Of course the whole point is to interpret the dream and I approach with much less certainty than I had last dream. The last section – the bread seller – completely defies me. The first sections do have potential. I am particularly interested in the bus only going in reverse. That seems to fit with my whole feeling that any gay exploration should have been thirty years ago and that I missed the boat (or bus if you will). Clearly in my dream I am not getting there going forward. I am disturbed by the fact that I start the evening with a large group – even an anonymous one (can you spell blog?) – and end up alone.

The good part about writing a dream which is so fresh is in the remembering. The downside is that I think it needs to steep for interpretation, so for the moment I will let this steep. I welcome any thoughts.

A day late – does seem to make sense, and once again I consider myself mighty naked as I post this.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Troll's Questions and More

Away for five days and so many, many posts in my head, but this questionnaire of Troll’s seems to get to much of it. The basis of my thoughts are that after 100 days of posting and wrestling, whining and back pedaling, my heart has caught up to my head. I started my blog with a very simple premise – a married bi-sexual male. Really not much more to it.

I, as anyone reading realizes, did not believe this premise emotionally – I was still the straight guy who happens to like giving blow jobs… After 100 days, for reasons I cannot fully explain, have come to accept that I am a full blown bi-sexual. I am attracted to both sexes and have a real weakness for homoerotic fantasies and encounters with other men.

I also believe that had my life been different, maybe the gay side would have been more apparent and maybe I would have had relationships (as opposed to encounters). As it turned out after what I refer to as two and a half marriages (I consider living with a woman for seven years to be the half), I am with my “soulmate” (hate the word, but it works) and have been able to lead an amazing open life.

So with too much introduction and the knowledge that I consider myself bi – a concurrent bisexual as the multidimensional scale decided, or a sexually charged slut as I would term myself - here are my meager answers. (I have bolded the questions because unlike Woe, the concept of HTML colors is still beyond me, but I will get there someday.)

How many of you still want to stay married?
I want to stay married. I love my wife and family and am happy with my life with them. I fear loneliness and giving up what I have and like for some unknown that I do not even fully understand.

How many of you have given up or would give up sex with men to stay married?
This is a trick question to me because it ignores the underlying problem in my relationship. In the past I have given up sex with men and suspect I could do it again. What I could not give up are my homoerotic fantasies, that third person in our bed my wife refers to. This becomes an issue as we try to find a middle ground in the bedroom that recognizes my physical desires while having it be only two of us in the bed. I suppose simply put I can give up actions (the psychic price to be determined) but I cannot change the hard wired person I am.

How many of you think you can come out and stay married? How many of your wives can bear remaining in relationship with you once you come out?
Finally an easy one, thank god. I have come out and believe we will stay married. I have the advantage of having my fantasies known before we were married. So while there is a huge difference between having some fantasies on the table as opposed to being openly bi/gay in orientation it is still a lot easier than starting the conversation from scratch.

How many of you have given up or would give up your marriages to be free as gay men?
I would not give up my marriage. My prison is not a marriage to someone who knows everything about me and still loves me; my prison is living a life of denial to even those closest to me. My wife and I (these are joint decisions to us) spend hours discussing telling one of my sisters – what happens when she tells the next person… (I thought this was another easy one, but issues of freedom never are.)

How many of you think you can have your cake and eat it too? [That seems to me to be an attractive but essentially impossible proposition, but what do I know?]
If I ate a piece of cake for every time KA and I have discussed this specific question over the past three months, I would be so rotund that no self respecting man or woman would be seen with me, solving everything I suppose. It is the essential question.

Ultimately I do not believe one can have their cake and eat it. Currently it is accepted in our home that I will continue to explore. The issue for Chicago (I am already sick of talking about it) is not whether I will attempt to have sex with a man: it is only a matter of going about it and trying to have something one step above anonymous.

I think it is even accepted that after some period of exploration while I will try to be good, I will ultimately have my failures. But the concept that I will find a boyfriend and have an ongoing relationship would be even more than my exceedingly understanding wife would accept and frankly more than I could ask her to accept and still look at myself in the mirror..

I know that some of us married knowing we "had been" gay; others of us have discovered that they were gay without acting on it. I think that it is fair to say that what we ALL have in common is that the resolution of the issue is going to involve a great deal of suffering on someone's part; who suffers, and who decides who suffers? I am only now beginning to take on board the magnitude of what I am talking about.
Everyone suffers because you cannot have the cake and eat it. My “suffering” is accepting that due to fear and paralysis, I did not explore my gay side when I was thirty years younger. Add it to the list of life’s regrets.
As a side note I have recently discovered Dolly Parton’s original version of I Will Always Love You. It is the song our wives would sing us if they were to leave and it drips with suffering.. Seems like a very "gay" thing to admit, but it has reduced me to tears more than once.

I am also beginning to get the awful feeling that I am the only person out here on this electronic plain who is not at all sure gaining his freedom is worth losing his family; things are a little complicated in my case because I don't even know whether I could be happy living as a gay man, free or otherwise, which makes the thought of jeopardizing what I have seem a lot less appealing, if not pointless.
You are not alone in this one. It is a common theme for many of us. I started writing a fancy response, but sometimes the right answer is Yes. You have spoken for me in the phrasing of your question.

But I would welcome all your comments, from wherever you are on the spectrum. If you have already posted your thoughts on the subject, send me a link. No judgments, no preconceptions -- I really just want to know where you are..

Troll - thanks for creating such a good framework for us to speak and listen.

I confess that I jumped into this because I just do not want to write my next post dealing with my rage issues. I figure if I end on this note, it will force me to start to address some issues I keep trying to avoid.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


A month ago Ian left a song verse as a comment – the song was Jubilee by Mary Chapin Carpenter. Part of the song goes:

And I can tell by the way you're searching
For something you can't even name
That you haven't been able to come to the table
Simply glad that you came

'Cause the people who love you are waiting
And they'll wait just as long as need be
When we look back and say those were halcyon days
We're talking 'bout jubilee

Jubilee – a Christian concept that this Jew can appreciate. Today I lived the song. I had to turn where there was a sign for a free car wash and found myself in a Church driveway. I am leaving on vacation in the car tomorrow and truth be told, it needed a wash. Coincidently the CD I was listening to ended and the Gods of Music decided to play Jubilee.

As they started to wash I took out a five. As they continued to wash, I took out a ten. By the end when I realized fifteen people had washed and dried my car I had a twenty out but when I went to give it to them – I said it was a donation for the Church - they flat out refused. Instead they handed me a slip of paper:

Free Car Wash!
We hope this small gift
Brightens your day.

It’s a simple way of saying
“God Loves You”

-----no strings attached-------
Let us know if we can be of more assistance

I drove off, the song ended, and I realized that for a brief moment I had been to the Jubilee.

After 100 days of reading and writing, I head north with the family for a vacation. I am truly looking forward to the time away from everything – yes including my computer. See you all in a week and thank you for a level of support I could never have asked for nor ever imagined.

"We're talking 'bout Jubilee."

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I have been reading of Kinsey (I thought I was a former 2 and now a 4), I have taken the Klein test (2 ½ after all that psychic concern), and now I want to take another test I saw on someone’s blog and I can’t even find the damn thing.

But I don’t really need any of them because I stumbled on the “Nate test.” In a twelve hour period this week I came upon two posts. The first was on Chelsea Girl. Now I have to confess in a very rare moment instead of lying in bed not sleeping I went on the the computer at 1:30 AM. I also have to confess that my usual sleeping aid - masturbation – was failing me due to exhaustion and I suspect mental issues – presumably guilt over homoerotic fantasies. So I come upon this post. While I consider it recommended reading I will supply the cliff notes: a primer for a man taking care of his female lover. I didn’t intend anything to happen but there I am at my computer touching myself and cumming, quite easily.

So I have taken the test and I have not lost my straight side. I took some comfort in that as silly as it sounds.

The next day I am at work and I trackback to a person who left a comment on one of my posts. Another married bi-guy on that other coast so I start to read a random post. As you might have guessed the cliff notes version of this one is a homoerotic story of an early encounter. Being at work I was not in a position to do anything but the bulge in my pants was undeniable.

The Gods of the Blog world have smiled - while finding that last homoerotic link, I found the lost test of the first paragraph. Of course now I have to take the test. As with the Klein test I discover that taking it twice gives somewhat different results because frankly there are questions which are just too close to call.

The Multidimensional Scale of Sexuality
According to my answers, it is likely that I identify as
Concurrent bisexual

Take the quiz

I am surprised by this result - not very 2 ½ sounding to me. It is interesting - Kinsey is driven by self definition, Klein by actions, and this last one seems to concentrate on fantasies. My Kinsey and multi-dimensional seem to paint more of a homosexual picture than Klein.

It does in a perverse way make perfect sense from a married guys perspective. Within my closet the opportunity to be gay is severly limited - actions of 2 ½ does seem reasonable when one is living with a wife and each same sex encounter takes on a life of its own. But when only dealing with fantasies the results are very different. I suppose I could go back to my old denial position - of course my fantasies are gay; why fantasize about what you can have any night. But I find that argument to be disingenious and at this point boring.

I suppose what I like about the "Nate tests" is as much as I continually try to lie to myself, the gut physical reactions remain the ultimate truth.

After writing the above last night my thoughts started to broaden on the whole topic of tests as predictors versus self-fulfilling prophecies. The ultimate test in our society is the SAT's - a morning that determines many of our futures. I went in there knowing I would do better on the English. As you may have noticed I like words and there is a frustrated writer pouring it all out on this blog. Yet when the envelope arrived I learned I was a math person - a not inconsequential 90 point differential.

Today I find myself an accountant - an honorable profession at which I am quite good and has brought me a modicum of success. Yet I wonder if the scores had been reversed would my love of words taken my life different directions. So as I write this I can say it was fun playing with the tests - a parlor game if you will - but the only thing I am taking to heart is the one inside me.

Happy April 15th to all; I am still standing after the last 3 ½ months; I'll settle for that.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Freudian HNT

I admit – I am not a HNT person. It’s not that I don’t want to be one but I have a few things working against me: a wife who is not on board, a technological weakness when it comes to pics (I do the music, KA does the pics) and a home with children and a distinct lack of privacy.

After hearing Woe’s awesome creativity and having Cymber correctly note that I am in a form of hiding, it came to me – what can be a truer picture of me than a dream?

The Dream:
I am walking from our Den to the kitchen carrying two empty wine glasses. These are not fine crystal – Costco by the case goblets. As I walk into the kitchen I brush against the wall and the stems break off the glass.

The next morning was my session with the shrink. I of course tell him the dream and point out I don’t need Sigmund on this one. He asks for my interpretation. Easy – the glasses are KA and I and I am doing damage.

He points out that maybe the glasses are my straight and gay sides. I did not break the goblet portion – they could still be filled. I broke the stems which hold things up. Then, with a smile, he points out that I broke the only straight part of the glass.

Maybe not a photo, but I do feel a bit naked.

Back On The Road

Driving home last night in a rare moment, I finally got something and when I read my comments Marlan had confirmed it. When Tom told me that in Chicago I could just get in a cab and ask for Boys Town, he was not giving sexual hints. He was pointing me back on the road. This stopped being a journey about sex a while ago. I can e-mail JJ tomorrow and meet in a local motel if that is the only purpose.

So when I go to Chicago, I will not go on CL. I will not go to a bar with that Washington like need not to go home alone.

I will take the cab to Boys Town and will have that beer. It may be alone or maybe with someone else. I may feel comfortable or I may feel out of water. Maybe I will never speak or maybe I will make a friend. Maybe I will never touch and maybe I will be on my knees.

And any of it will be okay because I will go with no road map for a change, I will see the scenery and I will have faith that my choices will reflect my self.

1 AM is for sleeping. “Good Night Moon…”

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Lose Lose

At a time when I should be concentrating on work – an accountant on the home stretch – "my mind's distracted and diffused, my thoughts are many miles away.” Still I was going to hold off on this post until I read Flip today.

As I have mentioned I am going to Chicago at the beginning of May – big trip, 48 hours much of which is booked by my professional purpose. It has been suggested that my mentioning of it was fishing. It really was not. But a strange thing happened: Chicago took on a life of its own.

First SB found me and I had a date. Then SB lost me (cool – for good reasons) and I did not have a date. Then I started to think about what I wanted out of all of this and discussed it with Tom my therapist on Monday. Finally we figured it out. There are two possibilities.

The first is I go to Chicago and I do not hook up. Well I feel morally good, very responsible. And I get to come home knowing that I have another year to think about Chicago and regret not taking the opportunity.

The other choice is to attempt to have some fun (yes, I am aware of my choice of words) while there. Well this could be going on CL in advance or when I get there. The other night when I could not sleep I logged on and went to CL Chicago; boy was that depressing. I suppose there are other sites, but I have never gotten that far. I could just go to a bar – my therapist is gay, he tells me that in Chicago the area is called Boys Town. He seems to know these things. Then I can maybe get lucky and have an experience that is ultimately as empty as Washington.

In other words in a world where everyone loves a win-win (something I still don’t really get) I find myself with a lose-lose.

I truly started discussing Chicago in an innocent fashion, not a fishing expedition. But I must confess if I opened up my e-mail tomorrow and the next SB was waiting for me, I would jump on it in a heartbeat.

Work truly is a bit hellish, so please excuse my usual lack of editing and re-writing – this is a one take, what I think is what you get post.

Thanks for putting up with this. I am guessing that you are all pretty sick of Chicago by now; it will, one way or another, be behind us soon enough.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Reconcilation or Suppression

There’s a saying that when three people say your drunk, lay down. Last week I had an e-mail conversation with Cymber and she asked how I was doing. After a few e-mails, she pointed out that it had all been real interesting but that I never answered the question. Last night KA and I had one of our legendary heart to hearts – from 4 to 6 AM (brutal on the system). Among the ground covered was my avoidance rooted in an arrogance (her word - maybe a tad harsh, but she is usually right) I bring to my existence.

The problem is that I know the end of the story (or so I believe). I am 51 years old, we have a blended family with many children, I am still sexually attracted to my wife and she remains my best friend (probably bordering on the unhealthy, but more on that later). Therefore to me it is simple: if I were to meet “Mr. Perfect” (doubtful being I’m not even looking) I do not see myself giving up what I have. So if I know the ending why read the book? While KA has no problem with the ending, she knows that I can only get there (or anyplace else) through the journey – no Rosie Ruiz moments in this household.

She also knows that I am not really progressing. As I commented on Drew’s blog yesterday if I am with a man I believe I am having gay sex; not that at that moment I am gay. It is part of why I never minded Dane’s calling me out on the word “cured”. I still fall back on the modifiers, a defense mechanism to downplay my reality. I present as an innocent but while I have not strayed for the past month, I was the one on a four month binge with fifteen to twenty encounters (only three partners - not a total slut). A straight guy with a weakness for giving bj's - I don't think so.

I took the Klein test. I could not think of the name (Klein) while driving home yesterday and I renamed it the Richter Scale. It is the right range and when you start to get to fours and fives, the tremors are undeniable, but I digress. I took the test a few times – changed a few of the answers on the future side to match the current – and the results were shockingly consistent – I’m a 2 ½ shading towards 3. My initial reaction was – see I’m not a four or five; I’m still the straight guy with a weakness. The thing is that 2 ½ while not a 4 or 5 is anything but straight.

KA and I discussed where we are as a couple. There are some good things in all of this. Based on my dominant personality our home has been my home. She now feels liberated to take back a portion of it and I feel vulnerable enough to finally step back from my quiet heavy handedness. We are working on not being joined at the hip, no longer feeling the need for the same bedtime, watching the same TV shows at the same moment.

More importantly, she does not want me to jump to the end because that means that all of the issues will remain unresolved. Brian spoke of reconciliation, not suppression. Of course he meant reconciliation with myself and I want to get back to the suppression. The nature of this journey escapes me. Clearly to say I just want to meet a bi-gay guy and only have nice dinner conversation is ridiculous: the fun of the Chicago date was the knowledge that barring some unforeseen disaster, it would have ended in bed.

We talk about our sex life – the toys we still own. KA points out that they may come out of the drawer again, but it has to be part of our sex life, not her being a surrogate for a man. She is correct: there is still a third person in bed with us and ultimately our bed is the right size for two people.

KA is a patient woman; she married me knowing my fantasies, though neither of us grasped their depth. She is willing for us to work though this whatever the ending. However as Mark points out about KA and his wife, their patience is not unending, their understanding has limits. KA is supportive in my hard to define journey because it will come to an end, either by my doing or hers.

I wish I had answers, wisdom for myself, wisdom to share. I do not.

When I'm Gone

Thirty years ago today I sat in a McDonalds parking lot with my friend and we heard three Phil Ochs’ songs in a row on WNEW. We looked at each other. We knew. Phil did not get three songs in a row. Phil was dead.

He hung himself in Far Rockaway – the basement of his sister’s house. He was a piece of Far Rockaway - my home town. He played a Eugene McCarthy benefit in the local movie theatre a few life times ago.

There is a story told of the early New York folk scene. Phil Ochs goes to Dylan’s place and Dylan plays him a new song – Mr. Tambourine Man. Phil is needless to say blown away. A few weeks later Dylan plays him another song – a B side at best – which Phil pointed out. Dylan never spoke with him again.His body of music contained a folk side but also a dark side.

One song in particular – When I’m Gone – speaks for itself.

There's no place in this world where I'll belong when I'm gone
And I won't know the right from the wrong when I'm gone
And you won't find me singin' on this song when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

And I won't feel the flowing of the time when I'm gone
All the pleasures of love will not be mine when I'm gone
My pen won't pour out a lyric line when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

And I won't breathe the bracing air when I'm gone
And I can't even worry 'bout my cares when I'm gone
Won't be asked to do my share when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

And I won't be running from the rain when I'm gone
And I can't even suffer from the pain when I'm gone
Can't say who's to praise and who's to blame when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

Won't see the golden of the sun when I'm gone
And the evenings and the mornings will be one when I'm gone
Can't be singing louder than the guns when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

All my days won't be dances of delight when I'm gone
And the sands will be shifting from my sight when I'm gone
Can't add my name into the fight while I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

And I won't be laughing at the lies when I'm gone
And I can't question how or when or why when I'm gone
Can't live proud enough to die when I'm gone
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here

Farewell Phil

Saturday, April 08, 2006


For the past few weeks I have been quite prolific, a cross country road trip, a little music, a date that really wasn’t. Yet in all those words I have avoided the topic that at the moment feels most important. I have wrestled with what if anything to say because this is KA’s story, though I live it as a part of her. She has given me permission to share this.

KA has battled depression at various times in her life. Readers of Flip’s comments will know that her mother was an alcoholic from when she was quite young till after she went off to college. When her mom recovered and did AA, she must have been absent the day they of admitting and amends. If only that was all of it. One could discuss the other issues of her childhood but that would imply a childhood and as I have learned certain people are denied that simple pleasure. I can choose as an adult to explore my gay side but KA’s childhood: once gone, it cannot be relived.

None of this came as a surprise to me. When we were first together the comfort we found in each other allowed her demons to surface and she faced them down. This was before we were married. As I am learning demons of this sort are conquered but never fully vanquished. Twelve or so years ago they returned with a vengeance. After a number of false starts KA found a shrink up to the task and made incredible strides. The problem was that the shrink was my client, but he was very, very good and we all accepted the strangeness of that quirk.

Then came Washington. There was no way that KA could be in deep therapy and not discuss my sexuality – it was in her bedroom. At that point in time I could have been a man – at no cost. I could have called the shrink and told him I was bi, that I had an infidelity. He was a professional, an M.D. He had heard worse in his day and he would not have betrayed a confidence.

I am deeply ashamed to say I was not a man that day. I did not pick up the phone, stop by his office. I was afraid and I was ashamed of being bi, though not nearly as ashamed as I am today by my inaction then. KA stopped seeing him. The next few therapists could not match up and shortly thereafter KA ceased therapy. Her progress with this shrink had been so great that she was fully functional.

She has had a great run, but I had the need announce: “I am bi-sexual.” (I do not actually remember phrasing it quite so bluntly, but I am sure she has that moment down pat.) Shocker – it triggers a recurrence of the depression.

KA has found a new therapist who seems to get it. She is meeting with a psych to get meds. She will be back; she has enormous inner strength which has withstood some real body blows of late.

Why do I write about this? There are a few reasons. She is my wife, I love her dearly, and her depression weighs heavily on me. There is the fact that I was the trigger and while she assures me the demons always do return, I effectively sent an invitation and held the door. I write because I screwed up her relationship with a good therapist and the selfish side of me feels better with a public flogging.

I also write because depression, like alcoholism and other of life’s dark issues, is a subject that is not talked about – a closet subject if you would. I suspect that anyone reading this needs no consciousness raising when it comes to the land of demons. Yet I find writing about this to be uncomfortable and embarrassing which I guess says it all.

I wrote this a few days ago and driving to work at the obscene hour of 5:45 this morning, I heard the line on the radio: Truth brings us comfort. I write this, and everything else for that reason. And this is a topic where our home could use comfort.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Maybe Not

It has been an eye opening few days. It seems that my date in Chicago is not meant to be – a matter of the calendar and the shortness of my visit. SB feels bad but his family comes first; a fact that does not upset me because it confirms my judgment of him was correct: he has values.

I will share some of my e-mail to him:
As you know from my blog, my journey has ceased being about a bj (so to speak) and is in many ways about maturity - maturity as to who I am, the effect of my activities on the world, all sorts of things.

You have of course removed a crutch. I was never sure if I could pull the trigger on my own - that is go on CL, post a listing, take my chances in that world. I am still not sure. Being forced to confront myself is not a terrible thing.

Whether it comes to pass that Chicago includes a “date” and/or gay sex, the simple fact is when the opportunity came to me, I went for it, a fact no backspace key can change. Heck, I jumped at it, with a smile. And that terrifies me.

There is much more for me to understand here; I suspect I will not go hunting – CL just does not do it for me - but this blog seems to be quite the ice-breaker. If it all sounds confusing, then I have done a good job communicating because confused I am.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Nate Has A Date

I was going to write an anniversary post, three months since I started my blog. So much to say and so, so many to thank. But the circumstances wrote another post for me. I am alone in the office, working late; I hit iTunes shuffle – the quiet is oppressive - and an acoustic version of Both Sides Now comes on. I remain in awe of the Gods of Music.

Sunday night my fingers betrayed me:
I want to find a guy – not necessarily another bi-MWM; a gay guy would be fine. I would like to e-mail, know the person slightly. I would like to go to dinner, talk. And then if it all feels right, I would love to spend a night making love.
The next day I saw my therapist, he listened, nodded, smiled and said “you want a date.” I had not thought of it in those words, but he nailed it. (At those prices he should.)

That afternoon I received an e-mail from someone reading my blog. SB (as we’ll call him) is a bi married guy who happens to live in Chicago. We e-mailed back and forth over the last few days – tentatively at first, a little more directly as we continued. SB and I do not really know each other yet, but what we know, we like. SB also wants a date. We will continue our dance, we will continue to get to know each other, and maybe when I get to Chicago I will have a date.

One might fairly ask where KA is in this picture. She knows the essence of my Sunday post – one cannot feel as I did at that moment and climb into bed with the one you love and hide the terror. She is not happy, but she understands that I need to complete this journey if I am ever to return home whole, if we are ever to have the bed back to just ourselves. And she knows that the issue ceased being just anonymous sex well before I knew or at the least was willing to admit it to myself.

The thing is that I am tired now, a long day, a long busy season. But there is no denying the excitement I felt seeing new messages from SB today. My fingers told the truth on Sunday night and it is time for me to acknowledge it – to myself.

While this post has been taken over by the events of the day – is that not what a blog is - I cannot let this anniversary pass without comment. I started this blog almost by accident with no idea of what a blog truly was. Back then if one had suggested I would feel this connection to so many of you – a very real feeling – I would have not have understood the question no less believed the answer. But feel it I do.

I continue to write for myself - the joys and the pain and always the truth. The thing is that while the writing has been therapeutic, the comments, the posts in your blogs, the occasional side e-mails – all of that has helped me grow so, so much over the last few months. While I consider myself good with words, I lack ones to express the depth of my gratitude. I am truly humbled by you all.

Thanks for being.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

End of The Road Trip - For Now

It’s strange how what started as a simple road trip – one that I have already taken – keeps having unexpected curves and detours. I came back from Washington and would love to claim I was sated, but that would ignore the next week. I am quite oral and as nice as it was to have unfettered access to a cock, the fact that I never did complete that task left an unfulfilled desire. A week later I am in the City and I still know where to find a buddy booth and find I did. The little things you remember – I hate the Dallas Cowboys, but I could never hold his jacket against him because I enjoyed giving him that bj so much. In a weird way those five minutes – fingers interlaced, feeling him pump - had more to it than the ten hours the weekend before.

No doubt my behavior would have continued, probably escalating, but KA went to a new therapist who took the position one is faithful or not – no playing the bi-card. I could not disagree with the logic. Stop I did for eleven years until the floodgates opened with a vengeance.

I understood my actions to be an act of will – character if you would. And I would still be claiming that today but for what I have learned from being in this blog world. There were to be sure concrete changes in my life: KA and I had a spiritual awakening of sorts – a road trip to Nova Scotia - culminating in more children (our first together).

But another aspect of it all crystallized with a comment on my Boston post:
“My first gay bar experience did end with action, but it felt a great deal cheaper to me than anything else I'd ever done in the way of casual sex.”
I thought I had the ultimate gay experience – a pick up in a bar, a night in a hotel, multiple orgasms (for him at least), yet I easily walked away, for eleven years. And while there were many factors including will, there was the fact that it was a cheapening experience – it would have been no different than hiring a gay hooker, except the gay hooker would have actually been interested in my cumming.

I mentioned that my actions in Washington were grounded in my increasingly homoerotic fantasies. These fantasies only grew feeding off Washington which brings me to Chicago.

I belong to a small professional trade group and we have settled on having a meeting in Chicago every May. Last year was the first and in five weeks the second. When I went there last year, I had gay sex on my mind. I thought about it, had figured out that CL does cover Chicago, but also had ambivalence – ten years on the sidelines. I finally did try CL, but when you first start trolling at midnight, one should not expect a catch.

In five weeks I will again find myself in Chicago and I have had a year to think and plan. But the landscape keeps changing – almost daily. And what I would want is evolving. Reliving Washington - I would take it I’m sure, but it is not where I am at today. I realize what I want, and in some way it will be more distressing at home than Washington if I carry through. I want to go on CL, or similar venues. I want to find a guy – not necessarily another bi-MWM; a gay guy would be fine. I would like to e-mail, know the person slightly. I would like to go to dinner, talk. And then if it all feels right, I would love to spend a night making love.

(I have re-read the last paragraph a few times – the last few sentences wrote themselves and I desperately want to disclaim them – a possessed kind of thing, a just kidding moment. I hurt as I re-read in a way I cannot explain, in a way only born in truth. )

It is morning now - a new day from when I wrote the above. I considered deleting or changing the parenthetical paragraph - today I do not need to disclaim and I do not feel the same hurt, but last night I did, deeply, and the backspace key may work on the computer, but has no place in the real world.


Recently my wife purchased a plant living in water – the roots exposed – and a goldfish to go with it. Last night sitting around the dining room table looking at the roots, I remembered that 31 years earlier someone had given me a cutting in water and the plants it begat lived with me for decades. I struggled for a moment and remembered his name – Malcolm. From across the table my friend M looks up and says – Malcolm – I remember him. (M is one of my oldest and closest friends – thirty five years and counting. You met him recently – he was my friend who realized the bar in SF was gay.)

I was 21 and Malcolm was ancient – maybe 50, a stat typist, a strange breed on a good day. Malcolm was also clearly gay. We were friendly at work and as we are chatting M & I remember that Malcolm had spent a weekend in a beach house we were renting that summer. M comments on Malcolm being gay and any potential interest Malcolm may have had in me. I ask if he thought Malcolm was hitting on me. KA jumps in to suggest that my 18 year old son and his new girlfriend can take the car for a ride, watch TV – anything. And M laughs and points out with great authority that I am the most heterosexual guy he knows.

Even I know when to let a conversation move on to the next topic. But again I find myself wondering. My first draft for this post read:
“It is clear that once again there was a comfort level in a gay environment not unlike not realizing the bar in SF was gay and probably other items that I will remember.”

But as I lay in bed last night editing in my head, the question changed. A comfort level is being friends in the office, joking around at the water cooler. Somewhere along the way we had a level of friendship where he got on the railroad and came to my home, spent a day, went to dinner with me and my friends. That strikes me as more than a comfort level. Try as I might I cannot remember my sexual fantasies, if any, but the basic facts of the matter carry their own implications. He was fifty and gay and I was twenty-one and straight. It does not feel with hindsight like a universe in perfect balance.

Addendum - 4/3: As I have thought about it the thing is that at the time, and even with hindsight, it did and does feel pretty balanced. He was a good man, witty, fun and engaging. Does his gayness really have much to do with our connecting in that fashion. Cheers Malcolm, wherever you are!