Relationship terms, of course, are of vital importance in the gay community. If we presume some ideal future where gay marriage is universally available (for those who want it, that is, not for me), and we further presume a gay married couple, Steven and Bryan, then at various points in Steven's and Bryan's interaction/relationship, they'd call each other most if not all of the following:
Some guy I met
Some guy I hooked up with
Some guy I have a date with
Some guy I had a date with
A guy I've gone out with a few times
A guy I might be dating
A guy I'm dating
The guy I'm dating
My live-in boyfriend
My significant other
My domestic partner
The asterisk indicates the point at which it is safe to speak of "a relationship" between two people. Woe betide any gay man who prematurely uses the R-word or who expresses his belief that he's further down the list than the guy whose ass he regularly uses. There are very strict rules here. You can recover -- with difficulty -- from a one-level difference. If, for example, you refer to the guy who regularly uses your ass as "the guy I'm dating," when he's thinking of you as "a guy I'm dating," and you correct yourself soon after you see his raised eyebrow and look of
Protestations about the dictionary meaning of "relationship" are of no avail here, so just don't risk it. These days, most prudent gays who are interested in (eventually) getting into a relationship use a Qualified Relationship Intermediary. The QRI is someone who regularly polls both parties as to where on the list they think they are. Then, when a suitable amount of time has elapsed so that each party can pretend that he wasn't the first one to reach that level, the QRI announces to both gentlemen: "Congratulations. You both have reached the 'a guy I might be dating' level, and I must say that I have rarely seen such unanimity between two men as to exactly where the are in their interaction." The QRI will, of course, say this even if there is a broad disparity. For example, Steven may have said, "I would die for Bryan. In childbirth." Bryan, on the other hand, may have said, "Yeah, I'll probably keep seeing him. He's got a nice ass."
You can see why having a good QRI is very important. In urban areas with large gay populations, QRIs are typically civil servants, and this can lead to some problems. Some men feel that the QRI to whom they've been assigned pesters them needlessly during periods when they're irredeemably single. Others feel that when they're seeing one or more men, the QRIs don't keep up. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that in most cases the two dating/possibly dating/whatever parties are represented by two different QRIs who may have trouble sharing information in a timely manner. In one particularly notorious case, two DC QRIs still had two men listed as "possibly dating" the day after they'd run off to Montreal to get married. This prompted a blistering editorial in the Washington Post. The Post suggested that the QRI function would be better served if it were privatized. A later study funded by HRC, however, compared areas where QRIs are civil servants with areas with private QRIs and found no significant difference in terms of accuracy or client satisfaction. The finding was dutifully reported in the Post, but the editorial board apparently took no notice. Some have posited that this is but one of many issues where the Post's editorial board has its head up its ass. I don't judge here, people, I only report.
I haven't included on the list all of the terms that get used in the, um, rockier relationships. Some relationships have their ups and downs on the way to the altar; fortunately, in these cases, disparity is not really the central issue. So if Steven is referring to Bryan as "the guy who makes me die a little each time I see him at the gym" while Bryan thinks of Steven as "that slut who wouldn't even pay for the Rid when he gave me crabs," they probably have bigger problems to deal with than terminology. All in all, though, premature use of the R-word is more likely to be fatal to a relationship than are crabs. I don't judge here, people, I only report.
Anyway, none of this has anything to do with my buddy B., who is, in fact, a FWOP, aka someone who wants to have sex with me as little as I want to have sex with him (but who is otherwise a thoroughly charming individual). Until last night, I'd never massaged a FWOP. I'd massaged people I hadn't previously met, and I'd massaged guys I'd hooked up with (or was in the process of hooking up with), but none of my friends without privileges really knew that I liked giving massages. B., as it happens, is on the same e-mail list that I'm on, and when he saw one of my postings, he e-mailed me to say that it was he (it's not his primary e-mail, which I normally contact him via) and asked me how the weekend was going. I gave him some details, and we exchanged a few messages, and then he asked me whether I ever gave massages to friends or would that make me uncomfortable.
It is to laugh.
I explained that I was pretty much comfortable with anything, and that if he wanted a massage, I'd be happy to give him one, and he should just let me know if either prostate massage or release would make him uncomfortable. He replied that neither would bother him, and we arranged a time.
B. was a bit late. In addition to his day job, he does some consulting in the evening, and he got caught up in a task and called me at 9 to say he'd be about 9:30. I hadn't planned anything else for the evening (except laundry and reading), so I told him no problem. When he arrived, I showed him to the table, and he stripped down (B.'s quite the nudist, so he has no problem at all being naked in front of friends) and hopped on the table.
I started the music and began rubbing him down. He said that he probably wouldn't talk much, and that was fine with me. The massage was pretty much routine. He had a lot of problems in his shoulders, but so do most guys, and it's not unusual for me to spend most of the first Bach unaccompanied cello suite on the shoulders, as I did last night. After working his shoulders, upper back, lower back, butt, thighs, calves, and feet, I hadn't heard anything from him except for sighs of utter contentment, but when I came back to his ass and started to dribble more oil down the crack, he said that he didn't mind my proceeding, but he wasn't sure how clean he was. I told him that I could always wash my hands, but as it happened, he was very clean indeed. High fiber diet, I reckon. Anyway, I gave him a very gentle prostate massage, and he seemed to like that a lot. Not in the getting-excited-and-dripping-precum** way that some men do, but just quiet enjoyment. I worked some more on his shoulders, and I told him to flip over while I went to reheat the oil. He told me that I was doing a first-rate job.
B. is extremely tall, and I was a bit worried that when he was on his back, he wouldn't fit easily on the table, but he just bent his knees a bit, and he was fine. Perhaps because of his height and his shaved head, I'd always figured that he was a bit skinny and probably smooth, but he actually has a nicely filled out and fit body that's fairly hairy. Not that it matters, really. I wasn't even remotely turned on. Nor was he. He remained steadfastly soft up until the point where I actually grabbed his cock. But I think I've heard him talk about body issues in the past, and seeing him naked, it was hard to see why he'd have any. Not that having a good body stops any gay man from thinking his body has big problems, of course.
Anyway, I started on the front side with a fairly extended face and scalp massage. It's really cool to work on a guy with a shaved head because you don't have to worry about getting oil in his hair. The head massage made him very happy, and his smile only got wider when I worked on his shoulders, arms, and hands. I did his pecs and abs and the fronts of his legs, and then I went to work on his nipples. His smile got even bigger, and his sighs got a little louder, but his cock didn't get any harder. I considered ignoring his cock altogether, but he'd said that he was happy to get release, and I generally figure that when there's a choice between cumming and not cumming, cumming usually comes out on top.
I took his cock in my right hand and poured some warm oil on it with my left, and he made happy noises. I switched hands and stroked with my left while my right worked his shoulders, pecs, and nipples, and he got harder.
It was about here that I figured out why sometimes massage is a quasi-sexual activity and other times it isn't. I'm a very oral guy, and I don't really feel like I'm having sex unless my mouth is somewhere on the other guy. Often this involves extended rimming sessions or gentle or rough nipple play, but it almost always involves kissing. And often, shortly before I go for release, I'll make out briefly with the guy on the table, and that's usually enough to get me somewhat aroused. Not fully aroused because I'm still concentrated on the massage, but there's no doubt that there's a strong connection between my lips and tongue and my cock.
Anyway, I wasn't using my mouth at all on B., so while it was undeniably fun, it really wasn't sexual at all. For either of us, apparently. B. later told me that despite the very nice orgasm (he was especially complimentary, and he has a great body to work on, so hopefully he'll be on the table again), it just felt like a great massage to him.
Still, it was a pretty cool orgasm. I worked on his cock a lot more slowly and methodically than I usually do. He certainly was in no hurry to cum, but his excitement, though it built slowly, built steadily. Eventually, I took his cock in my left hand, added more oil, and continued to stroke slowly while my right index finger engaged with his ass. That made him more excited still, and after a couple of minutes of that, his writhing got less and less understated, his voice got louder and louder, and he pumped out a nice hot load. As I wiped him up, he told me what a great feeling that had been.
I told him to get back on his stomach, and I spent the last three tracks of the disc working his back and shoulders some more. I finished up on the last note, and he lay there for a bit and then got up and started to get dressed. We chatted for a while about stuff (sex mostly), and then he went home.
While he was getting dressed, he told me that the prostate massage had not been exciting but calming. "It relaxed me from the core out," he said. I had never heard it put that way before. It's certainly a thought that (along with the technique) I will carry to future massages.
**UPDATE: While looking through my (really pathetic) reader statistics (always a dangerous activity) this evening, I was checking referral links and happened to learn that if you google "dripping pre-cum from prostate massage," (I have very mixed feelings about that hyphen, but let's leave that aside for a moment) I'm the eighth most common result. I suppose I could be disappointed not to make the top spot, but, really, it's just such an honor to be nominated. I am the winner if you google "neighbor's perky nipples," which just goes to prove that the Internet is in no way a meritocracy.