After writing on Thursday I managed to calm myself further by watching the DVD of The Queen, one of my all time favourite movies. The time called for a nice relaxing film, during which I was to switch my phone off and keep it off for two hours. After the film the feelings were nice and tranquil, and I could go to bed almost without thinking about my man troubles. When Friday came I was sort of normal again, as I went for my regular swim in the morning. I’m managing to swim a mile every week now, and it’s certainly paying off in a reduced waist line. In the past couple of weeks I’ve managed to go down a belt size, which makes me inordinately happy.
Once swimming was done I could think about T again, as I had a coach to Oxford to catch. Problems on the tube made me almost miss the bus I had a seat booked on; the rain was pouring as I ran out of the station towards the bus stop, and I was soaking wet when I stumbled on the bus that was luckily a couple of minutes late and waiting for me. If I’d missed the bus I would have had to buy a ticket for another one, which would have meant more money spent, more money that I couldn’t afford; as I was running in the rain I was actually considering whether it was really worth it. Sure, I would have a lovely time in Oxford that day, but then I wouldn’t see him again for at least a week, time would always get in the way of us properly getting to know each other; and it would never be a real relationship, would it?
The ticket I had booked stupidly only took me to the bus stop before the one where T lives, and I was expecting to have to walk a long way to meet him. Except when I told him about the mistake, he kindly offered to drive out to pick me up, which was nice of him. Despite myself I entered a dreamy state when I got off the bus and found him waiting for me at the stop. I ought to have kept calm, remembered what my sponsor had told me about playing it cool. On the surface I think I just about looked normal, but inside it was like an electric storm.
We drove around the city for a while, stopping off at an aquarium where T showed me piranhas and baby sharks and clown fish. It’s nice to know he’s interested in doing things other than sex; a large number of other men would have just taken me back to the flat for a shag. T isn’t like that, which is great. But given our limited time together, I felt an impatience to get back to the flat, which is unlike me. I could only think about lying on the bed and being held again. Maybe it wasn’t necessarily the sex I was impatient for, maybe it was just the holding. In the arms of a man like that I can feel safe and warm, like a child being held by a loving parent.
We got back to the flat eventually, and there things got really interesting. T loves to take his time – another point in his favour – so we were laying on the bed, fully dressed and just kissing, for at least an hour before anything else happened. All that I’ve craved in the past three years happened that afternoon, as well as all that I haven’t craved. T’s gentleness and patience wore a bit thin after a few hours when we were both naked and he was ready to come. Having had a thoroughly lovely time so far, I could have almost forgotten the main aim of sex for most men, which is to penetrate and to come. T had given me plenty of time to prepare, but all the time in the world wouldn’t have been enough on Friday. Here my sexual dysfunction was finally exposed: my habit of freezing up as soon as it comes to the point of completing.
Throughout my adult life I’ve been plagued by these things – they are the reason I’ve never sustained a relationship with anyone. Even with men like Martin, who said he wasn’t interested in those things, I’m sure it played a part, because what else is there to enjoy when you’re in bed with someone you don’t really know?
I had already worked out that I’d have to have a conversation with every future partner about it before we’d gone too far, and so was the case on Friday. T was magnanimous, describing my problems as ‘technical issues’ that can be resolved with practise. He’s right, but I’m not sure if he knows just how much practise and time it’s going to need.
These are the things that never get talked about in films and in books. For a man to experience this issue is extremely rare, according to brief online research. Ironically, having this problem ensures that I will never enjoy sex with someone who isn’t incredibly patient and genuine. It’s like my body refuses to perform for someone who is just there for the climax. On Friday it was hard to tell, despite everything, whether T really was there for something genuine or not.
He wanted to come on my chest, which felt a bit mechanical and forced, but what can you do. Once he’d climaxed we could relax again. We had some dinner, a goulash that a friend of his had made, and then lay and talked together for a couple of hours until it was time for my bus home. As we talked about European history and communism, T reminded me of people I’d met in Bulgaria, with that slightly sardonic and cynical Eastern European temperament that so many of them seem to have. I wonder if it’s a legacy of communism or something else. It was a nice reminder, as I had grown to like many people like that during my travels. Perhaps it’s part of the attraction.
T drove me back to the bus stop out of the city and waited with me in the car for twenty minutes, as the bus seemed to be running late. We carried on talking and had a bit of a laugh at the expense of these bus companies. As we talked we held hands, unafraid of the stares of anyone who happened to be passing. In 2017 it doesn’t seem to be an issue, as no one stared. When the bus came he got out of the car and saw me off right at the bus’ door, then waved to me in the window. Our next rendezvous will be next Saturday as that’s the next time he’s free. I will have to miss my home group, and ask someone to cover tea for me as it will be my turn to do the commitment. I wish there didn’t have to be sacrifices, but it seems life is asking that of me at the moment. I will make up for it by attending an extra meeting in the week.
Yesterday I met with my sponsor before the meeting and we talked through everything for an hour. Well, I mainly listened while he talked at me. His advice was still spot on, but he has a habit of forgetting what he’s just said, so that he says it again and again and again. When it was time to walk to the meeting I was glad of the break from having the same message hammered home endlessly.
My intention had been to share about my experiences in the meeting, as you could guarantee that a lot of people would relate. Except the usual thing happened where a lot of other people shared in a far more interesting and eloquent way than I could hope to share, and I was put off from opening my mouth for most of the ninety minutes. I don’t know why after ten years this is still happening, this belief that I’m going to offend someone with what I have to say. With a few minutes to go at the end I finally opened my mouth, knowing that it would be two weeks before I’d have another opportunity there. I talked about everything, and at least ten people came up to me afterwards to express their identification. By then I was tired and had a bit of headache, and I was tempted just to go home, but having joined the big group at the restaurant every week for the past few weeks, I knew it would be good to connect with more people. It’s always a similar group of people that goes to the restaurant, but you can never guarantee who you’re going to sit next to, and when there are newcomers to the group there’s always a chance you’ll be sitting with people you don’t know. Not for the first time, I ended up in a group of newcomers, and so for an hour I had to seem as if I knew what I was talking about. Even though some of the newcomers present looked like they could give me more advice about dating than I could give them!
It was a nice evening, and as always I came away glad that I had engaged, glad that I hadn’t avoided like I used to. I was still thinking about T on the way home, and after a bad night’s sleep, I’m still thinking about him. Last night I talked about this obsession with the phone, this constant waiting for text messages to arrive. Having got it out there and having laughed about it with numerous people, I’m still watching my phone, waiting to see his name on the screen. It’s crazy. I suppose all I can do is keep talking about it, keep sharing.