Encounters (Part 4)

Looking through about two hundred ads will usually pan out to me sending forty emails. This usually translates into ten responses; about seven of those will send pictures. Out of the seven pictures, four will be attractive enough to “hang out with”. Out of those four, one guy will actually respond and it will work to hang out. Kevin is my .5% today.
As time goes on, I have become pickier with whom I hang out. I have to raise the stakes so that I will derive enough pleasure to ignore all the pain. Kevin is a “straight acting” bisexual guy. An aspiring filmmaker from California in his mid twenties, stuck in St. Louis over the holidays. He says he’s a sex addict; adds that he more so than others because he’ll do it with either sex. He’s a step up from the usual.
It’s a cold day in January as we leave Buffalo Wild Wings. We’ve made small talk for an hour or so. I made the mistake of touching his leg while in the restaurant. “Not in public,” he chastised as he pushed my hand away. This raises the stakes higher. I don’t let him see the adrenaline rush I get by him saying no.
As we walk out to the car, the wind howls, piercing through my clothes. The whole process of hooking up has become a game for me. It is a power struggle; the stronger the opposition, the higher the thrills. Physical beauty, how straight they are, and sexual ability all add to the power factor. If they have sex with me, then I see it as overcoming their power. My mind has derived a way to accrue some kind of self-promoting value.
We get into the car, and I drive off down an old country road. We drive by fields of dead, dried out corn stalks; they radiate a beautiful golden hue in the late afternoon sunlight. Every once in a while Kevin directs me to take a left or a right. I place my hand on his thigh. This time he does not push me away. As my hand wanders up his leg and to his crotch, he lets out a sigh, “I’ve been waiting for that.” I feel this flood of endorphins flow through my system as I get these words of approval. I try deny the fact that I’m chained to his desires. It is easier to ignore when I feel his hand settle on my leg, and start working its own way up.
We drive around for half an hour until we decide we have to find somewhere to pull off. We sit in the corner of an abandoned parking lot, facing a concrete wall and a bunch of trees. None of the trees have leaves, they are in stark contrast to the bright blue sky. The cramped confines of the car add to the excitement of the moment. My head bobs, and my tongue swirls. Moans of ecstasy drift to my ear.
A while later, I drop him off at his place, and begin my drive home. I have half an hour to ponder everything; this is dangerous.  After all was said and done, he told me that it was the best blow job he ever got. This simple statement more than made up for the fact that I didn’t orgasm. I tell myself that it just shows how much power I have over him. He couldn’t even get me off. I tell myself these things to ignore the fact that I don’t have power over me. I like to deny my own enslavement to sex.

Craigslist has a tendency to swallow up hope. One of my friend’s told me a story of a cannibal in Texas who would cruise craigslist to find his victims. This story prevented three weeks of hookups, but I eventually ended up back on the site. In addition to risk of serial murders, the risk of catching disease should be enough reason to stop. Unfortunately, it is through my own irrationality that I so eagerly pursued the various guys that compound the problem. There is some sort of self destructive loathing which drives me. It all fell into place with that “one last kiss.” I am destroying myself with every ounce of power I cultivate. I am my own worst enemy; sacrificing my soul to strangers so that I can have enough power to do it again.
But then I stumble upon hope in the most ill-fitting packages. I find stories of sons running away from home, and squandering all they had; a picture of a woman who thinks that she will someday fill that empty void with just the right man; or a wife who scorns the husband who loves her and tries to sell herself back to the slavery which was destroying her in the first place. I see me in each of these stories: the self destruction, the unfilled void, the foolish squandering, and the scorn of my first love. And because they each found hope, maybe I can too.
Its kind of humiliating to say that I am not enough for myself, but it’s the conclusion I’ve come to after one too many nights of another pointless sexcapade. After a long sojourn, I am finally feeling my thirst to go home. I am stumbling back to Jesus and wondering about his living water; the water which flows like a fount to eternal life. I want to encounter grace. I suppose the only response to an irrational problem is a slightly irrational answer. A God who would look on a wayward human and say, “Yes, I’ll suffer and die for you. Even though you’ll scorn me, I’ll rescue you when you most need it. You’ll have to fight with me, but I promise I’ll get you home.”


Encounters (Part 3)

He said his name was John; this is probably a lie. He said he was eight inches; this is probably not a lie. It is a cold November day. He didn’t trust me with his address, so he’s making me meet him by Stankowski field. I sit by the outdoor bathrooms reading my music history text book. This will be the only time all semester that I finish the reading before class. He said that he would be wearing a green shirt and khakis.
I look up from thirteenth century madrigal, and notice a guy walking towards me. There is an immediate rush of adrenaline through my veins. My face goes flush, and I close my book. There is excitement and tension in the air as he nears me. What will he say? Will he be impressed? Will he decide I’m not what he expected, and walk away? I never lie about myself, but I always paint myself in the best light possible. I’m not skinny, I have a swimmers build. I’m not just good looking, I’m very good looking. It’s true…depending on who you ask.
As he gets close, he has a questioning look on his face. He moves as to walk past me, but then turns back, and I give him a nod. His face brightens when he recognizes me as his trick. My heart flutters; I am disgusted with myself. This is my fix, my ecstasy. This singular look of desire is the one thing that cuts through my constant depression. OK, he gave me what I need, now it’s my turn. I never let on that I don’t really like what happens next.
“I can’t host anymore, my roommate skipped class and is still at my apartment.”
“Do you still wanna hang out?” Maybe it won’t happen.
“Fuck yeah, you’re hot.” He realizes he said this too eager. “I mean, I know of a place we could go, if you’re still interested.”
I feel a strange sense of obligation to this guy I’ve never met before. “Yeah, I’m game. Where at?”
I follow him. We eventually reach a bathroom door in one of the buildings nearby. It’s a single, and it’s locked. We retreat away a bit, and stealthily watch the door. I feel his hand on my stomach, it falls slowly to my crotch and he gropes me through my jeans. I follow suit. He is hard, I am not.
We back away from each other as the door opens and a man leaves. As soon as he is out of sight, we go in and lock the door. For me it is merely a checklist now. Make out for a while. Check. Let hands wander over body. Check. Take off clothes, round one. Check. Pleasure torso with mouth. Check. Take off clothes, round two. Check. The list goes on. I pay more attention to the cracks in the tile, and the little phalluses carved into the wall than on John Doe. It is a lot like a modern art gallery with nudity, subtly cracked walls which inspire some deeper meaning and drawings a child could do. The only difference is the lack of art critics and the muffled groans coming from John. We finish up quickly, to minimize our chance of getting caught.
We hurriedly get dressed. “That was fucking fantastic,” I hear him say. He gropes my butt as I bend over to tie my shoe. “I’d love to, try this out if you’d like to hang out again.”
“Yeah, that’s fine.” And it is. I don’t have to be hard to play catcher, just like I didn’t have to be hard to give him better head than he’d ever gotten from his girlfriend. The depressing thought that I am letting him use my body, and not really enjoying it, is pushed out of my mind. He said I was hot. He said I was good at what I do. His eyes lit up. This is the pleasure wave I will ride until my next encounter.

There is a story in the bible about a woman without a name who lived 2000 years ago, and an encounter she had with Jesus. Since the good Lord left out her name, I’ll take the liberty to give her a nickname, Roxy.
Roxy was not exactly an upstanding citizen. In the days before divorce rate sky rocketed above 50%, she managed to work through five husbands. Not only that, but she had already moved on to her sixth guy, and didn’t even bother marrying him before moving in. She was one of those people looking for love in all the wrong places, and she was shamed by her community. It was a couple millennia before the sex revolution of the 1960’s, and I don’t think she was just looking to have a good time. She was seeking after something that would stick, yearning for something to quench her thirst. Apparently she had yet to find that something.
One day, Jesus is passing through her hometown, and stops to get a drink. They begin to talk. Jesus eventually brings up her past, except, he doesn’t ask her any questions. Instead, he tells her the things she has done. He tells her about all the guys she’s been with, and all of the wounds she has been carrying. Needless to say, she is flabbergasted. How did he know all this stuff? And I’m sure it felt just great having all of her dirty little secrets listed out. It probably felt like a public reading of her tear-stained diary. At this point she was painfully aware of the various marks that she had completely missed.
But in the midst of all this, Jesus says something radical to her. He says that he has living water, which will completely quench all thirst. At first Roxy takes this as literal water, and is confused, because he originally asked her to draw him up some water from the well. Then it sinks in. He’s talking about that deeper thirst, the one that five husbands never quite fulfilled. It’s relief from that desperate pang that there has to be something more. Jesus calls it a spring of water welling up to eternal life; this is the water that Jesus offers to Roxy. Roxy took it; she was tired of the endless search. I am tired of the endless search.

(to be continued)


Encounters (Part 2)

That same morning in October, I receive a text message. [Hey, it’s Tim.] The number is not in my phone; my heart begins to race. We are standing in church singing; a multitude of voices lifting up praise for God. I walk to the bathroom.
[Hey, you interested in hanging out still.] My hands shake as my fingers type the message. I sit on the toilet, waiting for a response. The bathroom is void of any of the typical graffiti. I jump as my phone buzzes in my hand.
[Yeah, when?]
I walk back out of the bathroom, my heart still beating ferociously. I find my place in the service, standing next to my father, “Hey Dad, when do you have to head out?”
“I probably need to get going after lunch. Sorry I can’t stay longer.”
As the songs continue all around us, I ease my phone out of my pocket again. [Anytime after three. You got a pic? ]
I can’t concentrate on the songs so I just mouth along. My father doesn’t notice I’m texting. He will never know. My pocket buzzes again. [Sent one on email. How about five?]
I don’t respond. I’m too nervous with my Dad standing right next to me. I’ll finish setting it up when I get out of church, and then I can know what he looks like. I have until five anyways.

By the time five o’clock rolls around, I sit outside of a Starbuck’s Café. He said he would pick me up and bring me back to his place. What are you doing Tyler? He could be some kind of crazy person. You don’t even know if- –
[I’m here. Navy blue pants, white shirt.]
I look up and notice a latino guy walking down the sidewalk. He wears navy pants, and a white sweater. I stand up and start walking in his direction. He nods at me.
“Tyler?”
“Yeah…and you must be Tim.”
“Nice to meet you,” He doesn’t extend his hand, so I just follow him to his car. Everything I know about him is based off of observation. He has a new car. He wears a catholic cross. He tries to pretend like he’s straight. He looks normal. I make small talk for a while until I say, “I feel awkward; this is my first time doing something like this. I mean, I’m not a virgin but…you know. Have you done this before?”
Pause. “Yeah.”
Through the silence that follows, I will learn that you don’t talk about craigslist if that is where you met. Later, I will learn you don’t ask about the last guy they hooked up. You don’t ask about their girlfriend’s name. You never acknowledge them when you pass them downtown the next week. All you need to know is they are disease free; all you need to know is they are legal. And sometimes, even then, ignorance is bliss.
After I get home that night, I’m back on craigslist. There has to be someone hotter. I’ve got to find someone who is more straight acting. Maybe there’ll be a guy who is ripped. It’d be cool to hook up with an older guy. It might be nice to be with someone with a bigger dick. Maybe I can find a three way. It is an insatiable thirst: must find another guy. My eyes burn from looking at the computer screen for so long. The scent of sex with Tim is still in my skin as I reply to more ads.

In the bible there is a story in the Old Testament. It speaks of a prophet named Hosea, and a woman named Gomer. It was not one of those happy stories that little old ladies so readily told at Sunday school when I was growing up. It is not a story full of animals and rainbows, or a shepherd watching over his sheep. It is about a whore.
Gomer is a lady of the night, a woman who runs a profitable business in ancient Israel. She is peddling her wares one day, when Hosea comes to her. Hosea is a holy man, who received direct instruction from God that he was suppose to go out to the red light district, and find a prostitute to marry. The details are a little lax, but Gomer agrees to the proposition. I’m assuming that selling sex was not the dream she had for herself when she was growing up on her dad, Diblaim’s farm in the foothills. Perhaps she dreamed of a better life, maybe she allowed herself to wish for more of a future. Regardless, she goes with Hosea back to his home, and marries him. I like to think they fell in love.
They live together for a while, and have some kids, but eventually Gomer tires of the suburban dream, with the little white fence and perfect family. She grows restless and runs away. But, she only knew two ways of life. She knew the way of family, and the way of the whore. She has to make a living somehow, so she finds a pimp, and sells herself to him. She works for him, and he keeps her alive.
God once again speaks to Hosea, and tells him, it’s time to go get your wife back. Go rescue the girl that broke your heart, and save her from the sex trade industry. So, he goes, and buys her from the pimp; pays with 15 silver coins, and a cart full of barley. He saves the woman he fell in love with. He was faithful, even though she was not.

(to be continued)


Encounters (Part 1)

I’m going to posting a 4 part series over the next few days. Hope you enjoy 🙂

 

    I open the door, and the cold February wind swirls around my ankles.
“Hey, come on in. Do you want anything to drink?” I would say his name but I can’t remember if it is Drew or Derrick.
    “No, I’m fine.” This is the lie we both need to hear. He doesn’t look me in the eye; doesn’t acknowledge the two guys sitting on the couch playing Wii. He follows me stoically up the stairs.
“What year are you?”
“A junior.”
“Me too.” I think of asking him his major, but I let him keep his anonymity. A guy from the gym; that’s all either of us need to know.
The hall way at the top of the stairs leads to a borrowed bed room. The walls are blank; emotionless. There is a bed in the middle of the room; a desk in the corner. I shut the door behind us. No curtains, no posters; only a full length mirror on each of the closet doors. I leave the light on.
    He turns to towards me. I look at his face for the first time. He’s got little freckles sprinkled across his cheeks and nose; faint proof of hard worked hours in the sun. His hair is cut short and brown. His voice has the slight twang of rural Missouri. He’s got a strong jaw, and he carries himself with strength; dignity. I’m a soft gay man; he’s a rough country boy. I am his shame tonight.
    His eyes never meet mine; that is not his thirst. I touch his side. This is how I read him. Does he want to kiss? Does he want to fuck? Will I have to uncoil him from his nerves? It is like petting a new puppy, easing it into the idea that it is safe, I’m not going to hurt it. You’re safe; I’m not going to hurt you.
    His eyes never trust me, but his body leans in. It is good he does not trust me. Our lips meet. My hands and mouth work together to draw out his insatiable thirst. This is not about connection; this is manipulation. I work my way from his mouth down his neck. Abruptly he backs away. “No hickeys, my girlfriend…” His voice trails off, but he has already tipped his hand. I cannot control him, but I can steer the lust that drives him.
    Eventually our clothes lie in piles on the floor. Mine holds the designer jeans, colorful socks, stylish shoes, loud shirt. His has athletic wear; nikes, gym shorts, plain t shirt. He now stands before me in a black bikini brief.  I wonder if his girlfriend has ever seen him in this. I wonder if she would ever suspect. I guide him to the bed, like an animal to the slaughter house. I take off his briefs. This is where I will break him. The fear never completely leaves his eyes.
Mouth. Tongue. Neck. Chest. Legs. Abs. Thighs. Groin. I am merciful, I leave no hickeys.
    Afterwards, he sits on the bed getting dressed, every once in a while glancing at the mirror. “Good you didn’t leave any.”
    “I know what I’m doing.”
    There is a brief silence, but he reluctantly continues.“Hey listen, you’re chill, right? Like, you aren’t gonna…” His voice trails off as he continues to look at his reflection in the closed closet door.
    “I won’t out you, I promise.” But, I could if I wanted to.
    “I don’t do stuff like this. And…”
    Yes you do. “If I pass you on the sidewalk, I never knew you.” But you will always remember me.
    He acts relieved, as he pulls on his shoes and his coat. I follow him out of the bedroom, and stop him at the top of the stairs. “Hey, could I have one last kiss?” He kisses me, and then hurries down the stairs and out the door. I tell myself the kiss was just the last nail in his coffin. This is denial. The last kiss was for me. It was the proof that I too had an insatiable thirst; I wanted to hide my own shame.
    
    It was early October of my junior year, four months before I asked for “one last kiss”. My father had come to visit me at college for the weekend. I remember waking up on Sunday morning and the air was really crisp. It was one of those sunny autumn days that feels like the last kiss of summer; the beginning of a memory.  My father had spent the night at a hotel, and was coming to pick me up for church. We drove the few blocks from my apartment to my local church, and walked in. There was not much conversation, just a quiet drive. Leaves swirled in the road.
    The sermon that morning was out of Luke, one of the books about Jesus’ ministry on earth. My pastor called the sermon The God of Reckless Grace. The passage was a story that Jesus told once. In the Christian tradition, this story is always known as the story of the prodigal son; prodigal meaning reckless. In the story, a son tells his Dad that he wants his part of the inheritance now, and the father gives it to him. He then goes off, to distant lands, it says. He becomes a party animal, buys his friends, and then goes broke. Alone and friendless, he ends up working in a pig sty, and basically hits rock bottom. He decides to go home to his father; and ask to live merely as a slave to him. When he gets home, his father runs to meet him, and instantly covers his dirty shame with his own cloak. He gives him a new ring of sonship, and throws a party. He says celebration is due because, “my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!”
    The pastor turned the title of the passage on itself, and challenged us to think of whether it was more about a prodigal son, or a prodigal father. The father so freely forgives without need of penitence or work. The son who came back to be a slave, was not allowed to work at all. His dad only wanted to celebrate, for he returned. All he asked for was relationship with his son, and in turn his son got everything he wanted; a home, a family, love. The story is a picture of grace. Reckless grace.
    Grace in Christianity isn’t merely a prayer said before dinner, or the beauty of a controlled dancer. Grace is the unmerited favor that God pours on his children. It is the Christian answer to the problem of sin and suffering. In the story of the prodigal son, Jesus talks of the true abundance of grace that God has for his children; all they have to do is come home. Although home is safe, I feel like the journey back can be long and treacherous when coming from distant lands.

(to be continued)


Trespassing

The sign hangs from a chain across the stairs.

NO TRESPASSING
ALARM WILL SOUND

“”I think its lying.” There is too much reservation in my voice.

“Are you sure?”

“No.” I start climbing the emergency escape anyways. I beckon Taylor to follow me. After I make it about half way up the first flight, he begins to scamper on up behind me.

I move quickly up the staircase. My feet have traveled these steps a time or two, and the fear/thrill of someone seeing me makes my gait all the quicker. I soon reach the old ceramic shingles, and scurry over to the brick tower. I look for my initials which I sharpied several years ago onto the old brick, but they have finally faded.

“Taylor! You coming?” I whisper-shout from the slightly shielded alcove. “Over here!”

Taylor settles in next to me. It feels good to have him close to me; his mere proximity is electrifying. With our backs against an old brick wall, we watch the sun fade over the trees to the west. It looks forested, but it is merely an old neighborhood and cemetery I used to wander at night. I can’t decide whether or not I like the two large smokestacks which dominate our vantage point.

I look down at Taylor who has sprawled himself out in front of me. He is beautiful. I touch his face, running my fingers along its strong lines. He looks at me. As breath-taking as his blue eyes are, they are impossible to read. I search them in vain; they stoically admonish my attempted trespassing. So instead, I venture to his lips.

The first kiss is a light peck, but I feel his lips quickly mold to mine at first contact. Water wells in the corner of my eye. I’m embarrassed so I lean over again for a more extended kiss. His wall has broken and the forces of our attractions rush into our embrace. A silent tear slides down my cheek as my lips learn the contour of his face.  I’m crying out of fear and joy and hope and connection to this beautiful boy who will not open his heart to me.

*****

Two weeks later new tears form as I read the words he writes to me, “I’m sorry that I gave part of myself to you phsyically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally…I liked you Tyler, but know that it isn’t right for me. I don’t find peace within myself…”

I can’t help but wonder what he gave and what I took.

I’ve spent my whole life wandering past “No Trespassing” signs; collecting thrills, stories, and close calls. The thing about taking risks is that sometimes you fail: the alarm goes off and the fun goes up in smoke. Then you are left to deal with the consequences.


The Bridge

Every time I would drive over the bridge I stared a hundred feet down towards the water. At night, the river shimmered black, reflecting the lights of the nearby casino. Sometimes in the day I would see a heron flying across the water, but mostly it was just a muddy, dead flow. The bridge was substantial, an eight lane monstrosity of steel and concrete. It could have made a statement to man’s industriousness or ingenuity, but it sat there nameless and utilitarian; unnoticed by the thousands of cars that drove over it every day. Then I noticed it one day.

It was perfect. It was utterly unremarkable. I needed something without flash or notability. It was the only way that I could save my parents from the guilt of having a son who killed himself. I would mask my suicide as an accident; a rainy night car crash. One of those terrible accidents that every high school mourns. Even though my life was unbearable, I didn’t want everyone else to suffer once I was gone. So I decided that whenever I got up the courage to finally end it, I would drive to the old I-70 bridge and let it hide my secret.

Fortunately, I never became a part of the one third of LGBT youth who try and commit suicide. Instead, I started the slow, but liberating process of coming out. Even so, the bridge remains gently haunted by the reminder of my 16 year old self who had run out of hope.

Six years later as LGBT suicides become politicized and splash across the front pages of our news papers and the conversations on our talk shows, I still think back to the terribly intimate connection I have to this very dark experience. I recently read a moving article in Rolling Stone magazine which discussed one towns experience with teen suicide. In the article, evangelical conservatives were vilified for their stance on homosexuality. Having grown up in an evangelical church, being part of a heavily evangelical family, and going to a semi-evangelical christian church now, I have a hard time reading articles like this. On the one hand, I emotionally resonate so strongly with the article. The pain in these kids lives as they fight for the mere right to exist and not be tormented by students, staff, and their community is heart wrenching. On the other hand, I know the evangelical world, and I know how they really care about loving people; I can think of many times that people have reached out to me, and walked with me through some very dark experiences in my life. So why is there such a disconnect? Why is the love of evangelicals coming across as vile hatred?

I think one issue at play is the tension in the church between the love of people and the love of doctrine. The bible only gives us one way understand the experience of homosexuality (Romans 1:18-32). I’m not going to take this time to debate interpretations of this passage, but the typical evangelical christian response to this passage is the “gay lifestyle” is a choice of idolatry against God. They want to show the compassion of Christ to gay individuals, but they also see their choice to embrace a gay identity as active rebellion, and their bible doesn’t give them a way around that. To conservative Christians, the greatest way to show love is to rescue someone from sin that leads to death by pointing them to the gospel. “Stop being gay so that you can enjoy true life in Jesus!”  The evangelical’s loving mantra rings dead on gay ears and the message of hope is lost in translation as a message of despair. The gay community tells them that being gay isn’t a choice, but it seems that the bible says its a mixture of our choice and God’s hardening of our heart. This interpretation leaves very little hope for the gay person who doesn’t know how to unchoose an orientation, and sees their orientation cursed in the bible. How is the typical conservative Christian supposed to tow the line of being biblically sound AND loving people? I think that a lot of people get swallowed up by this tension, and so they become silent. In quiet places they offer support to their gay friends, but in the public debate they have no voice. They are crippled by their love for the bible that seems to war against their love for people.

I live somewhere in the middle of these same tensions every day. I want to love the bible. I want to love people. I want to love God. What do I do when it doesn’t seem possible to do all those? Aren’t they supposed to flow in the same direction? I believed that they did for a really long time. Now I’m left with doubt.

At one time, this tension drove with me over a bridge and it beckoned my hands to steer the wheel sharply to the right. Every day this tension drives kids to pull that trigger, tie the noose, and slit their wrists. I want to give them hope. Must I leave the bible behind in my message of hope to them? Do I have to leave the bible behind in a message of hope to myself?


Bagger

When I first saw him, he was a total bagger. He had this tight, slender body…and a face that you wanted to put a bag over. Sometimes I’m mortified at my own meanness. I never called him a Bagger to his face, but it was all I could think about as he lead me back to a bedroom. He had these ears that stuck WAY out, his teeth were funny, and his face looked like it was squashed together. I almost left, I’ve left before. But the room was dim, lit only with sweetly scented candles, I could close my eyes and make believe. Right? Then he took his clothes off. I chose to stay.

Every once in a while, I will hook up with guys multiple times. If there’s really good chemistry, I’ll go back again. Never more than three times. After three times I start feeling things towards him. Not anything like falling in love or even falling in like, but the distance that let me use him and move on is gone. I care that he is another human being with a soul, and I can’t just use his body anymore. Most guys don’t get a second appearance. Bagger was a one and done.

Or so I thought. About a year after our first one night hour stand, I was cruising Craigslist again, and found this guy with this nice tight, slender body. We emailed back and forth for a while, and decided to meet up. As he sent me his address, he added a face pic and the disclaimer, “I “think we’ve met up before.” Bagger! I had never learned his name, so the affectionate(?) nickname I had created for him came immediately to mind. I wanted him again. When I got to his place, those same huge ears and dopey smile greeted me. I started kissing him quickly so that I wouldn’t have to look at him.

A week later, I emailed him again. He made me hot and horny, and I hadn’t reached my three time limit. Third times a charm. We f*cked twice that time, which is a rare occurrence for me. I felt used, desirable and satiated. A strange mix of emotions that I’ve become all too familiar with over the past two years.  I was done with Bagger.

That was about a month before I got an email from him describing reddish/brown ejaculate and his plan to get tested. He was really considerate to let me know at all. I set myself to also get tested.

When I received my tests results and saw they were all negative, I quickly emailed Bagger. Whatever you got wasn’t from me, b*tches! I didn’t say that to his face, but I thought it in my head. It was like I was able to unload all this perceived guilt. He told me he was still waiting to hear back on his results, that he’d find out in a week. And that’s when I got horny. I decided to plant a sex-seed.

[I donno if you’re at all interested in hanging out again. But whenever you get healthy I wouldn’t mind hanging out again…Just hit me up if you’re ever interested. If not, I understand. Just thought I’d throw it out there.]

He bit. And so there it sat, in the back of my head. One week to test results, one week to sex. I even ignored my three times rule. Sometimes if enough time has passed the rule gets dissolved into horniness; pretty much anything can get dissolved into horniness.

The email from Bagger came, and quickly thereafter we set to meet up this past weekend; a little afternoon delight. I didn’t feel like I needed or wanted it, its just what I do. Tyler sets sex up with boys who have no name. Its like playing sudoku or listening to show tunes, I just do it to pass the time.

But then something strange happened. It began eating away at me. Why did I set this up? What do I set to gain from this? Am I really that carnal just to do something like this to do something? I experience these questions often, and normally I decide to move forward with whatever I set out to do, but not this time. I texted a friend and told him about my plan on the morning of the potential encounter. I told him so I wouldn’t f*ck Bagger again. And I didn’t. I didn’t f*ck him.

It was strange to respond to life in a different way. Freeing. There’s a scary aspect too though, because this decision wasn’t made for God, and it wasn’t made because of the morality of the bible, it was merely made for my own well being and because I want to be emotionally healthy enough to start dating guys again. And because of that, I’m afraid I’m wrong. I sat throughskipped (and passed) and entire class about ethics in my last semester of college, and I know that morality doesn’t have to flow out of faith, but to me it feels almost like doubting my faith gave me room to be a more moral person. And even though I’m afraid this new self motivated morality might damn me to hell, I feel like its helping to save my life.