Calling the shots

Although it’s Monday it feels more like Sunday, probably because it’s been a public holiday here today. Those things tend to pass me by, having never been in a full time 9-5 job where days off really count. Hopefully that will change soon, though the job hunt is going as painfully slow as ever. I’ve had a really nice weekend anyway. On Saturday I took the meeting in the west, and asked someone who has just turned six months sober to give the chair. He has always shared really well and I think he has an inspiring story to tell. For six months sober, he is oozing with gratitude, and it was nice to hear him that night. I was a little stressed out during the meeting as I have recently been entrusted with the keys to the room, and at one point it looked like they had gone missing. I had no idea who could have taken them. In my mind I imagined getting into all sorts of trouble, being forced to cancel the meeting forever. Of course by the end the keys had reappeared miraculously and everything was OK again. It’s nice that people trust me enough to give me the keys to look after, but I think I’ll give them back to their regular keeper soon because I have enough to worry about as it is!

Yesterday I went to the Soho meeting, which was unusually empty as a lot of regulars seem to be on holiday at the moment. It was a nice meeting nonetheless. Afterwards I travelled North to meet X again, and like on Wednesday we ate dinner, watched a Bette Davis movie then went to bed. I had decided that I knew him well enough to tell him some important things about myself, so in bed I told him about my alcoholism, the fact that I go to AA nearly every day and that I have not drunk for over a year. He took the news remarkably well. He doesn’t drink much himself, and is one of those people who never saw the point in drinking ‘to get drunk’. He seemed a bit blown away by my description of AA as a big, fun social network; I guess he only knew it as the last chance saloon for drunken washouts that you see on TV.

Our conversation progressed to such a level of honesty that I started to talk about my sexual dysfunctions and the problems they have caused me. Now that we’re ‘officially’ going out I thought it would only be a matter of time before he found out anyway. We ended up chatting well into the night about it. I found it very hard to explain at first. I realised that I didn’t really know why I had always been terrified of sex. In the end I came to the conclusion that I’ve spent so long avoiding it and living in fantasy that I’ve warped my perception of what’s enjoyable. I told X that recently I have been attempting to shake these fears off by meeting men in Stockholm and London etc; at this point he seemed to become a bit uncomfortable. It didn’t take much effort on my part to get him to admit that he doesn’t want me ‘playing the field’ while I’m going out with him.

This made me equally uncomfortable, as it occurred to me that I didn’t know him well enough yet to want to make such a commitment to him. He knows I’m going to France next week and he now has the idea in his head that I’m going to find someone out there to play with. I tried to persuade him that I’m not going to France to look for sex – I’m not that kind of person! – but I couldn’t promise him that I would turn a gorgeous French guy down if one happened to come along. By this morning X still hadn’t got over my unwillingness to make a promise. He told me that in the past he has dumped partners mercilessly when he was no longer happy with them, telling them in no uncertain terms to fuck off. I found this admission a bit difficult to swallow, and I returned home this afternoon completely unsure about how I wanted things to proceed between us.

Part of me thinks I’d like to see him again; part of me thinks it could really work between us. We have such a lot in common. We love the same music, the same clothes, the same people and the same places. He is an attractive, intelligent, funny guy. But a strong part of me doesn’t like the possessiveness which has begun to creep into his words and sentences. Not just that; I think I may be scared that he is too much like me. Perhaps what I’m attracted to in him is just the kind of stuff that would make a good friend.

I went to see my sponsor this afternoon (he’s back in London for a brief period before jetting off again to California later in the week), and we talked about it at length. I knew I had to consult him about it. It’s one of the reasons why I changed from my old sponsor, who was really anti-sex compared to this one. My sponsor was very understanding and supporting, advising me not to commit to anything at this very early stage. He doesn’t seem to think that things could work out between X and I. Realistically, X wants something from me that a 25 year old can’t and shouldn’t give. I ended up agreeing with my sponsor completely. I am just beginning to explore and enjoy my sexuality – would it not be strange for me to commit to someone who I’m not really sure can fulfil all my needs?

Sure, X is attractive, but he’s very gay – for want of a better term – and sometimes I think what I want/need is a straight man. It probably sounds quite degrading to gay men everywhere, and I really don’t want it to. I seem to have this need for someone who is really macho and masculine to…take care of me. I can think of where I get that need from, and I’m not going to write it here. To cut a long story short, there is a deeply unfulfilled need of mine, a part of my sexuality that I have never addressed or looked at because of shame and fear, but now I’m starting to look at it, because I’ve been sober for over a year. And I’m starting to think that it can’t be explored in the confines of a traditional, monogamous relationship.

My sponsor has opened my eyes to this, and it’s rather wonderful. I’m not scared to even think about it any more. I’m not quite sure how to get to work on it yet, but I suppose I’ll find out soon enough. Earlier today I felt that disappointment that I always feel when it starts to look like yet another ‘relationship’ is coming to an end; now I’m thinking that it probably needs to end because, once again, it’s not the right thing for me. Although we’ve only met four times, I have to say that I what I have/had with X is/was far better than anything I’ve known before. I had lots of fun with him, I was honest throughout, and I didn’t get overly attached.

After a good long sponsorly chat, the sponsor and I met B and went for dinner in North London. We had a lovely Indian meal, chatted and laughed for a few hours, then they dropped me home in the van. It feels like I’ve progressed to a deeper level of fellowship; my new sponsor is really taking care of me, I’m spending lots of time in his home and now we’re going for intimate, friendly meals together. That’s what I always wanted. I couldn’t be more grateful.


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