Vancouver
3 min

Left-handed lovin’

Becoming intimate with someone other than yourself

I am without even the slightest shadow of a doubt, the greatest lover I have ever had.

No one on this Earth could bring me to the dizzying heights of orgasmic nirvana quite like the solid grip of my left hand.

For well over a year I have been something of a self-lovin’ monogamist, cautiously keeping my self from alien hands!

Recently a thought occurred to me that perhaps my penchant for self-worship may not be an entirely healthy way of living. Of course masturbation is a normal fringe benefit of being a living thing, but when does it reach the point of no return?

Lately I find myself in something of a relationship with another fellow. It is in this relationship that a musty can of worms has been opened onto soiled linen. This is not a pretty picture. I am not concerned about my own relationship to my manhood. What has shocked me is my hesitancy and apparent discomfort with becoming intimate with a second party.

Ten years ago I could not have envisioned such a predicament. While I was not exactly a slut, I had been known to entertain my carnal impulses whenever I saw fit. In other words, I went to bed with a battalion of worthy beaus. On second thought, I retract the “not exactly a slut” comment.

Eventually, I spurned my fellow man and spent more and more nights alone. That is when Johnny Goodgrip and I became the bestest friends ever.

I think part of me believes that sex with other human beings has changed since I last copulated. It is as if I endured a kind of revirginizing process in my downtime and now sex seems somehow fresh and mysterious.

While this can be an exciting perspective, I am a tad wary over just how to conduct myself in new climes.

Since casting my hermit skin aside and embracing a life among the human race, I have become increasingly curious about gay community and determined to seek one out. So I ask myself what is it that makes a gay man? By definition, and in the hopes of breaking it down to a simple conclusion, the most obvious answer lies in who we bed.

If a gay culture exists, it stems from our collective need to be with members of the same sex. So perhaps I should be having some of it.

But I am already exhausted by the term “intimacy issues.” Such an affliction appears more suited for an episode of Grey’s Anatomy then in the safe, comfy life I would like to lead.

This brings me back to Kirk. I have sailed into unfamiliar territory once again by dating someone for longer than a two-week period. Kirk is the kind of guy I had no idea existed. He is adorable, sweet, accomplished and, as his words recently indicated, in love with me.

I am compelled to both flail my arms in the air and shout “Ain’t love the damnedest thing!” and run screaming for my hole in the world. Who knew sex could become so complicated when emotion was involved? How nouveau.

I can’t seem to put my guard down. I feel as though I have some invisible chastity belt keeping the goods from a suitor who is furiously looking for the key.

In the grand tradition of avoiding life’s struggles, I started smoking copious amounts of weed and relying on my DVD collection of Moonlighting episodes to get me through the hurdles of new-found romance.

Thus, I thought it wise to consult the oracles on this one. Luckily, in the 21st century this does not involve tracking down a temple and enduring the sage advice of a non-Anglo deity. Instead, I immediately googled “intimacy issues and gay men” and lo and behold I came up with something of an answer.

A battery of cyber PhDs shed some cold, analytical light on my current predicament. Proclamations of “fear of abandonment, betrayal and rejection” and “internalized homophobia” aside, I was able to find some use for the theories I found.

It boils down to the simple fact that I may be just too much of a man.

According to docs Kathleen Ritter and Anthony Tendrup, many gay men suffer from intimacy woes because of masculine socialization. They purport that “emotional and sexual impulses have been inhibited and compartmentalized for many gay men, who have become as isolated from themselves as they are from others.” Whoa. I actually feel my skin crawl as I write this.

There seems little I can do for the theoretical belief that I have been programmed to safeguard my feelings. I can see their point but I refuse to allow it to get the better of me.

So this is my current challenge. I need to develop intimacy skills. What are these? Openness and vulnerability. Where do I get ’em? Well, that’s the challenge.

In the meantime, I have some Moonlighting to catch up on.