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My Gay Wish for 2013 – Be More!

I’ve written about gays. I’ve written about sex. I’ve written about love.

So now I’m wondering why they don’t seem to ever coalesce into one post. Is it just this blogger who is unlucky to not have all three at once, or is this common? This could just be the nature of the game, but I refuse to believe that we are only capable of this perception.

Recently I attended MCQP (Mother City Queer Project) in Cape Town, the biggest gay party around. It was help at the Cape Town stadium and one of the dance floors had a dark room. For those not in the know, like I am now, this is literally a room that one enters that is dark. What happens in here is another story. Men (because only men are allowed) were literally ambling about and touching each other and having sex. Sure free condoms were provided, but wow, this one was a shocker for me. I was coerced to enter, and when a fellow writer friend told me that it could be an experience to write about, I thought “Why not?”
However, after being groped once and witnessing some rather unsavoury acts (you don’t even need much imagination for that one) I was done. No really, I ran out! My few minutes in the dark were more than enough for me to have a spark of insight.
If this didn’t confirm how un-cool I am, then it made me hark back to my younger days (like a few years ago) when I was 20 and went to a place called Hot House. It was my first and only time at such a place. Here’s how it works: you get a towel and there are steam rooms and showers and a bar and it’s actually a really pretty place. That’s right; I was alone looking at décor while my friend was doing the things one does at such an establishment. It was terribly lonely and I sat outside on the second story balcony at night, shivering (I didn’t promise a happy tale) and waited to leave.

It’s not all darkness though. Well, the nightclubs are also places of looming and low lights, but that’s a rather obvious point. It made me think back to the time I went to the nude beach, Sandy Bay. A friend went recently and he told me about the things he did. Same thing as before, despite the sun being out. He was in the adjacent bushes and men were doing things with each other which would make any conservative sit up and want to join. When I went a few years ago, I didn’t even get naked (I told you I’m boring, and not a happy tale, remember). However, it is a really beautiful unspoilt piece of ocean side and lovely houses in the distance and crystal clear water and guess what, men were doing things in the bushes with each other thentoo!
***

Why do gay men feel the need to be in the darkness, or the bushes? My fellow academics would see the connection with a group of people in the dark, hence no enlightenment.
It all made sense. It’s something so obvious, but I’ve never considered very deeply before, but gay people think that the outside appearance is all they have. The endless gym sessions, faffing over frown lines and receding hair lines; it all amounts to a focus on one thing, due to a lack of another. And what we can’t get right in one aspect of our lives, we make up for in another. I’ve made this point so many times, but you can’t cover up scars and the hurt you’re feeling by masking it with stuff and people.

A good friend pointed out something very interesting. In many of our online chats with new friends, whom we had met online, the subject of sex features so prominently. This may be important to some men; however why it has to be as important as it is merely affirms my argument. Many times the conversation will not even be a day old before the inevitable “Top? Bottom?Vers?” questions arise (so to speak) referring to one’s sexual preference. My friend’s point (so to speak) was why gay men have to typecast themselves, before society even gets a chance to? Isn’t the idea of freedom having the safety and space to choose who we want to be? Apparently not, because by asking these questions, you are already deciding that you are going to have sex with this person, without even asking, and by doing so you merely set yourself up as a sexual stereotype and perpetuate so many others. This hit me so hard when we discussed it, because once again, it highlighted how significant the sexual and the physical areto many gay men. I truly believe that many of us are going blindly through the darkness and the bushes, thinking that what we are doing is what we are meant to do. For a long time I thought that dressing and acting and being a certain way was the only way.

Gay people are ostracised based on who they are, which is further based on their outside appearance. A different pitch of voice, a flamboyant hand gesture, dressing a little differently than the norm are all possible indicators of a gay man, relative to the majority of society. So to make up for this ostracism, gay men go to the extreme and try to outdo each other within the safe space of the community. The only problem is that we don’t realise how we shut each other out when we do this, as it becomes one big competition to look the best.

Remember my point about being shrouded in darkness? The problem with this is that it is still a community, and people are bound to get hurt. You cannot keep secrets and not expect them to get out, especially at the expense of the feelings of others. Being hurt is no excuse to lead people on and hurt them.

My wish for this year is that people realise that you are allowed to be more than a pretty face and nice pecs, and that you are better than empty sex.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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Gay Bar Lessons

No, this is not (only) the name of the porn film into which I was tricked in to starring, again. On Friday I was out again, for the first time in a long time. It was actually a drag bar, to be precise. I think.

Ok, let me get this straight, and then I’ll revert again. The site was Bubbles, the bar in Greenpoint where resident queen Vida Fantabisher performs. She… is… stunning! The consummate lady in a dress who puts any woman to shame, and rightly so. She flounces around between lip-synching sets and does little witty repartees with the patrons.

This establishment has been under new management many times. I must say that I prefer this incarnation the most. It seems less pretentious than the other bars it used to be.

“The scene”, however, as the mostly nightlife of the gay community of a city is called, has not changed much. Refer to older posts in this “Gender and Sexuality” category for my fragmented stance on this community for a broader and more confused perspective. I will say that it is a stereotype from afar, and usually remains such until one zooms in. I had a more substantial night with two sets of great guys, with wining and whining in unequal doses.

But on to the lessons. I know people, me included, who are so sick of the judgement and superficiality of this scene. It was present again when I was there, but I saw it with new eyes. I have to admit that I do judge, yet I try to remain conscious of it. But after being locked away and focusing on my studies, I felt like an outsider. This was of course my own doing. It was also thanks to a friend telling me I dance like a robot [you’re an asshole Bradley]

We all want to be loved and accepted. Nearly everyone at a club is self-conscious. Everyone also denies it. We all want to fit in. And that’s ok.

There was a bet going around that night. A man, who was recently divorced, made a bet with someone that they would try to kiss as many people as possible in 15 minutes. Crazy, right? Or just the nature of the game? Again, I found myself judging until I thought, “Why not?!” I didn’t kiss anyone, but more power to him. However you want to extract your diamond of love from the coal of this world, play on players.

We all want our own space to be free. When I used to go clubbing a few years ago, I had “friends” with whom I would only interact in the club. When I saw someone from those days recently, it made me realise how we had absolutely nothing in common besides “I love this song” and “see you next week.”

Expecting people to feel the same freedom is unfair. I feel this freedom in myself. Or at least I try to as often as possible. Others need a space of their own, especially if not provided that space in the “real” world. If your family, friends and most of society is constantly knocking you down, a dark room with flashing lights and alcohol is pretty much the best thing ever. Standing in the back, I saw this for the first time with a new perspective.

This is, of course, still not an excuse to lose one’s self in this setting. Before I go on and on about consciousness again, I just think that we should be aware of how we navigate these spaces. You don’t want to wake up a few years later only to realise that instead of making a few meaningful connections, you made many semi meaningful ones. It happens, especially without awareness. You see, that wasn’t too preachy.

Overall it was a good night and one I’d like to do again without the head full of thoughts and bad back.

Thank you Bubbles and Miss Fantabisher. I salute you.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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Be More Gay! But not quite…

I have had a very interesting day; one I’d rather put behind me and I didn’t even have to leave my room to experience.

There were rumours, confirmed and refuted, angry and bitchy comments and then there was the question: What the fuck is wrong with the gay community?

Can we just move beyond the self-hating, materialistic, bitchy, undercover façade and be true to who WE want to be?

Why is this mould so hard to break out of? My oldest friend and soon to be blogger, (yes I said it, now you can’t not do it!) and I had this conversation.  Why is it so tough to just be? Why can’t one embrace being a gay man (I know there’s a dirty joke there, but I didn’t go there. Stay with me) and just exist without drama and live in a conventional way without resorting to stereotype?

Embrace who you are, but within the framework of the gay community, which in turn exists within the framework of society. Get it? A box in a box, with a sole individual in the middle. That’s me.

So repulsed was I by this world within the world that I believe I went to the other extreme. Not content with being (just) a flashy, prancing, chat room trawler. Because I can be flashy and prancing, but I want to do it on my own terms.  And the online hook-ups are so last century; come on people, move with the times!

So instead, I became the interesting, quirky, intellectual. It’s a role I’ve played well all my life, but now I’ve played up to it and became an enhance version of this archetype.

Am I happy? I think I am. But we could all do with a change. I don’t think that this warrants a new challenge per se, as yet, however it does allow room for consideration. Why do we box ourselves willingly when there’s a whole wide world trying to do that already?

Be happy with one partner at a time? Dress how you want? Speak how you want to speak? You can have it all. *Someone once said “be the change you want to see in the world”. Whoever that genius is not important, just go on and be.  Conventional, especially when unconventional is SO boringly normal!

* I know it was Gandhi who said it!

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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