An Opinionated Daddy's View of Life

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Emotional versus Physical Monogamy

It seems to be a novice mistake in gay relationships to equate emotional monogamy with physical monogamy. So, what makes me say that? I am just some jaded old homo? Perhaps. But more likely, I have just gained maturity and experience allowing me to appreciate the difference in a relationship between emotional monogamy and physical monogamy.

I started thinking about this whilst chatting with a nice young man, who'd chatted me up on one of the websites/apps I use for social purposes. A newbie to Seattle, he spied me in my Dress Whites (you know, the ones in the old war movies with the high collars that look like they are making the wearer chock) in a profile picture. As a former sailor, he thought it would be nice to chat up an old man of the sea. His move to Seattle had been precipitated by the end of his active service and his interest in moving here to be with the 'Daddy' he'd fallen in love with, having met him on Daddyhunt several years ago. As such interactions often go, we talked about our current and past romantic lives, interests etc. At one point, I am not sure who brought it up, he mentioned that he'd 'required' monogamy from his Daddy as he couldn't 'accept anything else.' He'd mentioned that this was his first serious relationship and one of a very in which his older partner had been involved. In almost every relationship, as it becomes serious, one or the other partner brings the subject up. Usually the one who does it, is the one with the least amount of experience.

On a recent episode of, "One girl, Five gays" there was an exchange between two of the participants. One of the 'older' guys (on that show, 30 is considered old, sigh) made a comment about how silly it was that youngest of the guys believes in monogamy, calling the youngster, 'stupid' for believing in such. There was a tense exchange, then an apology, yada, yada, yada. I think that this miscommunication occurred because one guy was thinking of 'emotional monogamy' and the other was thinking about 'physical monogamy.' Is there a difference? Yes, I believe there is.

The book, "Michael Tolliver Lives", by Armistead Maupin, is the story of an older/younger male romantic relationship. In the story, the older character stumbles across the younger character's profile on, "DaddyHunt" and is smitten. As luck would have it, they end up meeting 'cute' (as they say in the movie business) and a relationship develops. In the story it is the younger of the two major characters, "Ben", the 'boy' who brings it up with Michael, the 'Daddy.' He begins by saying something along the lines of, 'you know I don't think it is every possible for guys to be monogamous..." Michael's response, "Ben, you are too young to be monogamous, I am too old." As an older dude, I get what Michael means. I think it takes some maturity and experience to understand this.

Okay, as I've said before, I believe that monogamy is an important, 'stage' in a relationship. I just no longer believe it should be a permanent 'state' in one, especially in inter-generational relationships. So, what makes me think this: experience.

When I was dating the longest term of my ex's (you know, the one I write about who dumped me for a simple, fat, nelly, skeez while I was away at the war and who lives 80 feet away from my little house near the big lake), at one point we decided for many reasons (he was a virgin when we met; I was going to be away at the war for an extended period; I am only a Top, him having Top urges he needed to express, etc.) that we'd have an open relationship. As many couples who end up getting to this point often do, we decided we needed to establish some ground rules: no over nights; no 'dating', just hook ups; no f*cking in the bed which we shared, and so on and so forth). These all seemed like reasonable ground rules. The problem: he wasn't able to abide by any of these guidelines. He ended up 'accidentally' spending the night with the skeez. That led to dating the skeez, and then worst of all, f*cking the skeez in the bed we shared. When I found out all of this stuff had happened, it wasn't the physical cheating which bugged me. It was the emotional cheating that did. I mean, I'd been away at the war and had gotten laid many times myself. I spent, for example, many, MANY, long, enjoyable hours being serviced by a sexy, Hapa surfer boy. Trust me, the sex was mind-blowing. Anyway, no matter how good the sex was (and boy was it good, have I mentioned that), there was no 'emotional' line crossed. Sure we were friends, I think we still are. But it was clear that is all we were. Am I glad we became friends? Yes. Was the sex great? Absolutely! Was there an emotional attachment beyond the original 'boy crush' and then lingering friendship? No. He knew were just friends, I knew we were just friends, and that was fine with us both.

So, what was the difference? I believe it was that I had the experience to know the difference between being 'emotionally monogamous' and being physical monogamous', and he, my ex, didn't. At some point he crossed a line, for whatever reason, justifying his behavior to himself. Unfortunately, to the point of spending time with me upon my return from the war hunting for $800K water front property, while at the same time telling the skeez he was in love with him and planning on dumping me. But that is the topic for a different article.

With my most recent young man, we approached monogamy differently. For a variety of reasons we never 'declared' monogamy. And, having not done so, we never had to have the 'open or closed' relationship talk. Did we talk, in general, about making sure to be safe, if we did play? Yes. Were we discrete when we were first casually dating and playing happened, so as not to rub it in the face of the other? Yes. I believe we were able to do this because we'd both been in relationships before and we'd experienced how the 'restriction' of monogamy often leads to 'cheating'. Did I like it knowing he might sleep with someone else? No. Trust me, the thought made me want to throw up. I hate to admit it, but it still does, even after all this time (he moved across the country in August). Did he like it when I did it? No, not really. But, by not placing a restriction on such behavior, it freed us to chose to be monogamous, or mostly so. I don't believe he slept with anyone else for the last two years we were together, perhaps even longer. I didn't sleep with anybody else, with one notable exception, during that same period. And he knew about that one exception and, if not giving me his blessing, at least his understanding.

I think that too many relationships are damaged by demanding the expectation of monogamy, without understanding what that word means, or that there are variations on this theme. Granted, I am not dating anybody now, nor do I expect to any time soon, but if I do, I hope we can find a way to agree on this issue. I hope that we will both be able to discuss this topic, tell the difference between emotional and physical monogamy, and come to a reasonable agreement.

At least, that is what This Daddy thinks.

Tim Kasher - Monogamy

Uploaded by on Dec 1, 2008
Live at the Troubadour, November 30, 2008

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Lessons of Love

How bleak was my spinsterhood...Okay, sorry, old gay dud reference many of you won't get. Let's start again. As I experience the sun setting on my romantic life, I find myself reliving both the romantic and non-romantic relationships which have had a major impact on me. I think about this with an eye on what things did I learn, what habits did I develop, what things did I learn to avoid, and how these things stay with me.

From DMH, my first love: I learned to love, 'Car Talk' and other NPR programing. I also learned that a bowl of ice cream is best eaten covered in milk. Try it, you'll see. I still use the same brand of face soap (Neutrogena) every day that I first used in his shower. I wouldn't use anything else.

From DG, my first 'bromance', trust me, the guy couldn't be any straighter than if he tried. I knew it from the minute we met, didn't matter in the least. I liked him, he liked me, my gayness, his straightness, not a big deal: Our friendship uncovered in me an appreciation for sports and a desire to be someones 'big brother.' I still sometimes refer to him as my 'little brother' and he refers to me when talking to his children as, 'Uncle.'

From MF, a long-time military buddy who, like DG is totally straight, but who had a major impact on my life: He taught me, after years of not believing it possible, that I love a good beer and a good baseball game.

From MRN, my first obsessive love (we all have one or two of those, admit it, you have had at least one yourself, gentle reader): I formed an interest in being 'green' and found I liked wearing Birkenstocks. Okay, so the Birkenstock thing didn't last that long, but dorky as they may look, they are quite comfortable, now aren't they?

From DSL, my first re-bound love: I acquired an appreciation for masculinity outside what is considered, the norm; a taste for Mormon boys; and, a mild addiction to doing crossword puzzles. I also learned that, as the old saying goes, 'Ex sex is the best sex.'

From CSH, my first, 'apprentice' (he was using me to practice on, before moving on to someone younger and better looking) love: From Craig I learned that innocence is sexy; that nerd boys can also be total horndogs; and, that sometimes not being able to get it up is okay.

From PFH (or as I think of him - Bad Paul), my first not-real love, no matter how hard it was we tried to convince ourselves it was: I learned to never, EVER date someone who lies. With him I developed an appreciation for rimming (both giving and receiving, but most especially giving...).

From PFG (or as I think of him - Badder Paul, the one who dumped me after 10 years for the fat, grey-haired, borderline simple, nelly skeez he'd been shtupping while I was away at the War), who lives 80 feet away where I do in the little house next to the big lake which I share with my spoiled, and completely insane border collie: Our time together generated for me a love for a good hardware store, an appreciate of cars which are less than 12 feet long or are powered by motors of less that 1200 ccs, and confirmed that a man who can cook (and enjoys doing it) is a prize. I also learned that dating a virgin is always, ALWAYS a terrible idea and that even a man of high morals and values cheats.

From BD, my first long term, semi-regular F*buddy: I realized as never before that I love being called 'daddy' during certain of the most intimate acts involving two consenting male adults. I also learned that sometimes you can be intimate with someone (you can share secrets, support each other, talk about your lives, make an impact), even if you only fuck them once every few months or even every couple of years and that satisfaction can be earned from such an arrangement.

From SKA, my second long term, semi-regular F*buddy: I uncovered the fact that you really can just lay back and let someone else to 'all the work'; than you can have 'intimate', totally satisfying, mind-blowing sex, that lasts, and lasts, and lasts, and yet doesn't involve f*cking, with a near total stranger.

From SCG, my late-in-life love: Well, from him, I am still learning. We may not be together anymore, but that doesn't mean I don't ponder, value, and appreciate the time that we spent together. Sam taught me that, while attraction and sex are important (and boy was the sex good) and required in a romantic relationship, being 'gotten' by the person you love is what is most important. Being with him made me want to be a better 'me' than I thought I could be. That 'me' may not be anything special, I mean, being a better 'me' didn't make me a saint or anything, but learning that someone shouldn't love you 'in spite' of who you are (as had DMH and PFG) but rather for who you are is what works best and makes for a healthier relationship.

In ways romantic, unromantic, brotherly, paternal, obsessive, or even needy, each of the fellows above I have loved and still do love in one way or another. Some I'll never see again. Some will be glad of that fact, I am sure. Still, I love them for the impacts, both good and not so good, they had upon me and I believe that these impacts make me a better person.

At least, that is what This Daddy thinks.

Lesson Learned-Marianne Khattar

Sunday, February 12, 2012

How Can You Tell the Bear Community from the Lesbian Community?

Sounds like the start of an old joke, doesn't it? You know, "A Bear and a Lesbian walk into a bar..." It isn't. Sometimes, to be blunt, I am not not sure I can tell the difference the Bear and Lesbian Communities. Can you?

Both are communities full of folks who feel marginalized by mainstream culture. The Lesbian Community rails against the patriarchy and the unrealistic stereotypes of female beauty foisted upon women by society. The Bear Community rails against the stereotype of the hip, young gay boy who is skinny, smooth, pretty, and shallow.

Each proclaims to be 'healthier' and less shallow than the mainstream, yet woe-be-tide anyone who doesn't fall in line with the accepted dogma or orthodoxy.

Both give credence to style over substance, it is okay to be a Nelly bear or a femme lesbian, as long as one wears the required cowboy/combat/construction boots; denim; flannel; etc.

Both focus on looks or behaviors that often thought to be hyper-masculine, or appear to those 'outside' to be a caricature of masculinity.

Both insist they celebrate their member's uniqueness and espouse an appreciation for individuality, and acceptance, while at the same time requiring a 'uniform' or look of sorts.

Both claim to be inclusive, but aren't. If one doesn't live up to certain preconceived notions (such as Bear must only like Bear or big is beautiful), accept a fellowship of thought or action, one is considered a heretic and therefore ostracized.

Both, in an effort to be a 'welcoming', safe place, for those marginalized by 'regular' society, marginalize others in ways just as hurtful and extreme.

Both are overly sensitive to any criticism or questioning of their beliefs or behaviors.

In both the Bear and Lesbian Communities, unlike in 'regular' gay culture, it is a badge of honor to have a partner who represents the opposite of what is considered, 'beautiful' in the mainstream.

I know that it is human quality to seek to be 'unique.' I know that humans feel better by being with 'like', and excluding the 'unlike.' But wouldn't we all be happier if we all did a better job of living and let live?

At least, that is what THIS DADDY thinks.

Uploaded by on May 23, 2007

Uploaded by on Jul 19, 2010

Top 5 Reasons To Love Gay Bears.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

How Toxic is Too Toxic?

We all have them, you know who I mean, those 'friends' who proclaim to love us and to be willing to stand by us through thick and thin...yet, at every opportunity, like teenage mean girls, they denigrate us, demean us, and disrespect us. Yet, for some odd reason, we stay in these friendships. Why? Especially for those of us who've been in less than healthy romantic relationships, who've risen above those and moved onto more healthy ones, it seems odd that we'd stay in friendships that are in their own way just as unhealthy, if not more so.

I have a friend, for the purposes of this article, we'll call him, "Clark." Clark and I have been friends for eons. We met when he applied for a job at the huge university next to the big lake where I work. First let me explain that my civilian job (for those of you who don't know, I am a military reservist, so I have a military career and a civilian one all at the same time. I am also a professional actor, but that is a topic for another time.) is one in which I work with almost exclusively people of the distaff side of society, i.e., chicks. The place is lousy with them. While tasked with reviewing resumes for an open position, Clark's resume popped out like a lighthouse beacon on a foggy night. First, he was a guy. That in itself was pretty amazing, but he was also a graduate of the same obscure military language school I'd attended a couple of decades before. Wait, I thought, "here is a guy, one; and two, a guy with whom I probably have stuff in common and maybe we'd even know some folks in common. We need to bring him in for an interview." So, with a bunch of pressure on my part, we did. The chicks, as was predictable, on the search committee overruled me (how do you think the place became almost exclusive female in the first place, boys are bad, they hate them), when it came to the hiring decision, so he didn't get the job. When another, similar position opened up, in a nearby department, though, I was able to slip his resume to the hiring official. Needless to say, I pushed hard to get him in for an interview. He got the job. To thank me, he offered to take me out for a beer. From that moment on, we became fast friends.

Or so, it would appear. It is true that we hang out. We are both nerds, so we talk about movies and TV shows we like. One constant topic is obscure TV shows from the 60's and 70's that only we seem to remember. We both enjoy an good beer (though he likes really dark, nasty-tasting beers and I favor very flavorful ambers). We like to ruminate on which is the best Star Trek (show or movie); who might be the next Doctor; why the Mariners suck ass, and such. When we are in our cups, an observer might see us exchanging a lot of hugs and hear a lot of, "who's got your back, brotha" and , "I love you, man" comments. You know, the whole 'bromance' thing. We even joke, him being totally straight and me being totally gay, that we are going to start a website called, "Stags and Fags", celebrating all things related to the gay/straight male friendships we all experience. We joke that when we retire we are going to buy a bar and call it, 'The Stag and Fag' (you know, like an English pub, we are both anglophiles, after all), and make it a 'safe, welcoming' place for straight and gay dudes to hang out.

It is also true that we've supported each other through both professional crisis and various romantic relationships through the years. I can honestly say that there has been a time or two during which I'd have not survived a break up or a professional disaster, without his support and that of his (now ex) wife. In the same ways, I've been there for him. Like any friendship, it hasn't always run smoothly. We fight, we bitch to and about each other, we talk sh*t to each other, but we always end up (figuratively) kissing and making up. I feel lucky that I have a friend like this.

And what cost? Clark can also be mean, bordering on vicious, especially when he has been drinking. He can be critical, not in a constructive way, but a nasty one. Beyond the normal sh*t guys spew at each other, he makes demeaning and insulting comments about what I think (I believe in a higher power, he doesn't. I tend towards more conservative political thinking, he is a commie, pinko), how I act, and about the decisions I sometimes make. There are even times when he treats me like (and essentially says to me and others) I am stupid. Always anxious to meet and hang out with the men with whom I develop relationships and supportive when I experience a break up, he also always puts me down about my choices in romantic partners. This has been especially true when the fellow I am dating is younger than I. Younger, I mean, significantly, as was Sam, the boy I loved (well still love, though I am not supposed to anymore) who recently moved to Boston, Sam being 22 years younger than I.

Making and maintaining friendships at any age is tough. As we get older, so do our friends. They have relationships, become parents, get involved in their careers, move away, etc. At some point, no matter how close has been a relationship, that closeness is affected by these outside pressures. What we experience in being BFFs at an early age is far different than that which we experience in middle age. But some things should not change. Our friends should value us, support us, and most importantly, respect us.

There is a lot of talk in gay writings about how we, being marginalized in many ways, develop our own 'families'. We place an emphasis on developing and maintaining relationships that are not biological, but that sustain us and function as a family. I don't know about you, but I've found this effort difficult. Maybe I am just not very likable, who knows? But while others seem find making these families 'easy', I don't. I never have. I am, therefore, to my detriment, more reliant on the few friendships I do manage to make. For heaven's sake, I am still buddies with my ex of 10 years, who dumped me for a fat, nelly skeez he was f*cking while I was away at the war. While I wish things were different, they aren't. I'd like my 'friend' family life to be more like that found in the, 'Tales of the City' series, it just isn't. And that is okay. At least, it should be. Shouldn't it?

I like Clark. I do. And I really appreciate those times when he's been there for me. But, I am starting to believe that the toxicity that I must tolerate to maintain this friendship is too much. I want a friend who will do a 'reality check' on how I think and how I act. I don't need one who is nasty to me, putting me down at every opportunity. Lately, particularly in the context of my romantic life, it is not the reality checking that I am seeing, rather the nastiness.

When Clark was cheating on his wife (with whom I am also friends), with a bi-sexual, Wiccan girl, who drinks too much, is allergic to everything, has a trust fund, and is nearly young enough to be his daughter, I kept his secret, respecting his privacy as he requested. When his wife found out (from another so-called 'friend', not from me) that he was cheating, I was there offering support, not criticism. When they divorced and he needed help moving out of their house, I was there, packing stuff, shlepping boxes into the Pod, etc. Unlike many of his other friends, I was there. I opened my ears and my heart to his stories of his wife's issues. I held him when he cried. I was there being supportive when, despite him being the cheater, he kept insisting his ex-wife was being a b*tch for being less friendly than he'd hoped, since he wanted them to remain friends.

When it comes to my romantic life, though, what kind of 'support' do I get? Nada. Clark, and now his female companion (the much younger, bi-sexual, Wiccan with the trust fund, who is allergic to almost everything), whenever the topic of my romantic life comes up, very pointedly insist that the reason I am not being successful romantically at the moment is because I have unreasonable and unrealistic expectations.

Picture this...Clark is a short, dumpy, balding, color-blind, middle-aged guy with bad teeth, dirty finger nails, who drinks too much, and uses chewing tobacco. He is dating a pretty, blond girl (well, not to my taste, but I think most straight dudes would agree she is attractive), who is 15 years his junior, who owns her own home and has a trust fund. In almost any context, she could be considered out of his league. Yet, they both tag team me when the conversation turns to my dating situation, complaining my expectations are too high, because I actually expect to be attracted to the person I date. They are even more vociferous in their comments when insisting on what type I 'deserve' to date. The young lady's former husband is a tall, fat, balding guy in his 30's, sporting a bad goatee, who wears a kilt and a bowler daily. Trust me, I've met him. I mean, really. A bowler? A kilt? Sigh. Anyway, they insist that someone who looks like that (well, they give a little on the bowler and the kilt) is the sort of person to whom I should be attracted and that I should seek to date. They criticize and cavel that since I am short, stocky, hairy, and older, I am (oddly, just as do the Bears here in Seattle) therefore only allowed to date someone even shorter, hairier, fatter, and older. Alright, they probably think it was okay for the guy to be taller, but other than that, not willing to give an inch. They insist that by not being interested in or willing to date someone like that, I am being selfish, hypocritical and unrealistic, therefore damned to be alone, so I should quit complaining about being lonely.

So, let me get this straight, Clark, who to be charitable, is pretty lucky that almost any woman would find him appealing, let alone his current girlfriend, 'deserves' to date someone 'out of his league' and I don't. Clark gets to date someone for whom he has a passion, who has a passion for him, someone with whom he has much in common, and someone who makes him happy, but I don't. Really? Why is that? Does he have so little respect for me, place so little value on our friendship that he can look me in the eyes and say such a thing?

I understand that one role our friends should play is to keep us 'real'. I get it, I do. When you see a friend doing something unhealthy, dangerous, detrimental to their well being, you should take action. But I also think that our friends are supposed to hope for the best for us. They are supposed to value us, respect us, and think we are special. And, they should believe we deserve to be happy and healthy. If they don't do these things, then what kind of friends are they really? I like Clark. I do. I value him and respect him. He is smart, he works hard, and he is funny. I also want to have 'serious' friendships, with him included. But not at the cost of my self-respect. When the price a friendship is being humiliated, talked down to, insulted, demeaned, it really isn't a friendship worth nurturing.

At least, that is what THIS DADDY thinks.

Britney Spears Toxic Reprise piano + voix de Yael Naim