It's a paradox that I struggle with frequently: your own story is the most important thing in the world to you, but in the context of human experience, it's of no importance whatsoever. When you go through the sort of major life trauma associated with coming out and getting divorced, you feel like you're the only person who's ever been through something so awful. But I've since talked to hundreds of people who've been through the very same thing. And in any case, the trauma is nothing compared to, say, having your house and family swept away in a hurricane or a tsunami. But it's still awful. There can be things a thousand times worse happening to other people, but it doesn't make your own trauma any less real: that's another facet of the same paradox. Anyway, I'll do my best not to be too maudlin, and, eventually, there will be smut. I love smut.
Some years ago, it began to be clear that something was very wrong. I wasn't happy, I wasn't engaged, and I wasn't productive. I might have limped along for a few extra years, living with something being very wrong, if I hadn't sort of dropped out of mainstream society. When the ex was pregnant with YFU, we decided that I would stay home with her for her first few years. I wasn't happy at my job. My ex liked her job pretty well, and she made more money than I did, so it was a pretty easy decision.
For the most part, I loved being a stay-at-home dad. It helped that YFU was a complete angel baby, and it helped that I had some initial consulting work with my former employer. I had volunteered to be the treasurer at my church, and I was singing in the choir, so I had contact with people, but mostly I spent a whole lot of time alone and with the kids. I took EFU to school and picked her up, and the three of us spent a lot of time playing together. YFU, of course, was with me all the time, but she slept a lot. She also developed, fairly early on, an addiction to Sesame Street videotapes, and when, say, Madeline Kahn and Grover were doing "Sing After Me," my presence became completely superfluous. I used most of the Sesame Street time for housework (one day I did fourteen loads of laundry: we had decided to save money by not using a diaper service), but when YFU was napping, I was frequently on the Internet. And I had lots of time for introspection.
Even before I discovered and began to frequent gay.com (then in its infancy, I think), it had occurred to me that all of my masturbatory fantasies involved men. I had subsequently begun to amass a very small collection of gay porn, almost entirely of the smut fiction (a genre for which I still hold the greatest affection) variety that could be found packaged together at lower prices in the X-rated sections of those stores that sold remaindered videotapes for $7.95 and up. At the time, I reasoned that I must be bisexual and that my exclusive interest in gay porn was due to the fact that I could already have straight sex, so my psyche was merely wanting what it didn't already have. I might have guessed that the fact that I was beating off while reading gay porn or thinking about men thirty to fifty times for each time I had sex with the ex was an indication that bisexual wasn't where I was at, but I'm told that the sort of slide from straight to bi to full-on fabulous is something that many, many men have gone through. Which, again, didn't make the process any easier for me.
Anyway, there I was: not working, horny, confused about my sexuality, and with a couple of hours a day of free time on my hands. At first, I mostly discovered mailing lists that disseminated more gay porn (Which I completely ate up. Sadly, I also downloaded and printed a lot of it out. I never had it anywhere the kids could find it, but the ex found it and thousands of pages of it ended up as part of the record in the divorce case. Egad.), but eventually I did find gay.com. And, suddenly, I could interact, albeit via keyboard, with other men who liked men. (They were all so normal!) Cyber and phone sex soon followed, and it was around this time that I confided to a (straight, and entirely non-judgmental) friend that I was pretty sure that I must be gay. We talked about it a bit, and it seemed to both of us that my marital situation was probably not stable over the long run.
Not that I was about to do anything to change it. I had no plans to go in search of sex. Adultery still seemed beyond the pale to me. And I was becoming depressed. I enjoyed some online pseudo-friendships and some cyber sex, but mostly my life was still about taking care of the kids.
And then one evening, I heard the four words that every married man dreads most: "We have to talk." Let's not get into detail. Suffice to say that the ex told me I wasn't being a good husband, and I replied that it was no longer within my power to have that sort of relationship with a woman.
And then a lot of shit hit a lot of fans. The ex was relatively supportive for about twelve hours, and then she started to hire lawyers and move joint assets into her own name. I only found out about this months later. I had about two days of immense relief that I'd finally given the thing a name and spoken it, and then things began to go south.
There are things that can drill right to the heart of your being. Sex is one of them; music is another. When I was about thirty, I'd started singing, and I found that I was very good at it. I'd been taking some lessons, and I'd started to get solo work at church. And the choir director had asked me to sing the bass part in the two duets from one of the best known Bach cantatas, Wachet Auf. They're immensely beautiful duets, and I was going to sing them (at Advent, of course) with a very talented soprano, who was also a good friend of mine. I'd been making good progress on learning both pieces. I'd gotten a shareware music sequencing program and downloaded the midi files off the Net and was practicing with the computer so that I'd be ready to rehearse with the soprano.
The day after the great revelation, I went down to the basement and turned the computer on and started the music. The introduction played, and then the synthesized oboe played the soprano line, and when I started to sing "Und ich bin dein," the voice of a small, scared boy came out of me. I stopped the program, started it again, and the same thing happened. On the third try, I started to cry uncontrollably, and it occurred to me that my life was very likely about to crumble. [I did eventually sing the duets, and very well, but it took a few years. For a couple of years, I would hear a piece of music and start to feel dread, and I'd say, "Oh fuck, they're playing Bach." Bach is my main man, so it was pretty hard to take.]
Anyway, stuff happened. I was never actually suicidal, but the idea occurred to me seriously enough that I sought help. I still don't like to think about the month or so after that, but mostly what I remember was the shortening of my time horizon. I no longer thought about years or months or even weeks into the future. I thought about getting through the next half hour, and when I got a little better, I thought about making it to the next day.
Being that vulnerable is very hard, of course, but emotional vulnerability is also a time of emotional fertility. The emotional and sexual tracks were highly linked, but to some extent they're also separable, so I'll talk about my unfortunate propensity to fall in love at the drop of a hat in the next installment. Right now, I think it's past time that I talk some about sex.
I was, obviously, no longer sleeping with the ex. We hadn't had sex in perhaps nine months, and we'd decided that we were getting divorced, so it no longer seemed to me that having sex with a guy would morally be adultery (legally, though, I was oh so wrong). But I still had no idea how to go about it. Fortunately, I'd begun chatting with a guy who lived in the same county, perhaps ten miles away. And after a number of discussions, we decided to get together "for a walk" one Saturday afternoon. The ex was doing something with the girls, and I went over to his condo to meet him.
I know that a lot of guys' first sexual experiences (I'm not counting the persistent adolescent fooling around with my best friend: he wasn't gay, and it was entirely physiological for him, and it had been a long, long time.) are, well, kind of horrific, but not mine. In the back of my mind, I knew there was the possibility for some sex, but I really did think I was going over for a walk and talk. It was a really cold day in January, though, so walking didn't seem like something we needed to do right away. He invited me into the living room. He sat down on the couch, and I sat down in a chair, probably eight feet away from him. I reckon I was petrified. But he was very nice, very friendly, and very sympathetic, and after half an hour of increasingly comfortable conversation, when he excused himself to attend to something in his washer and dryer, I moved to the sofa.
The progression was excruciatingly -- and deliciously -- slow. S. was very willing, but he was determined not to make any of the moves himself. He knew it was my first time, and he wanted everything I did to be fully voluntary. So we talked more, and he started a fire. Then we sat on the floor near the fire and talked some more. Then I stretched out in front of the fire, and he stretched out in front of me. And we talked some more, very quietly. Then I finally reached out and put my arm around him and pulled his back against my chest. It felt. Well, I can't explain how good it felt, but I reckon you know. He rubbed the back of his head against the top of my chest, and I began to rub my hand up and down the front of his shirt. Everything I did felt better than the thing before.
In coming to the realization that I was gay, there had been no epiphanies. There had been not a single "Hey, I'm gay!" moment of clarity, but a gradual erosion of the defenses that stood between who I was and who I was prepared to admit that I was. But I said before that sex is one thing that will drill right into your soul, and I'll be damned if the scales didn't fall from my eyes the very moment I turned S. to face me and kissed him. In an evening of the best feelings ever, it stands alone.
We kept kissing, of course. It felt too good to do anything else, but other things had to be done. I slid my hand up under his shirt and felt his warm chest. It was the first time I had touched a man's chest and had obviously turned him on by doing so. I slid my hands down his pants and found that he wasn't wearing any underwear, and that he was obviously excited. When I got his shirt off him, he turned back towards the fire, and I kissed the back of his neck as I unbuttoned his jeans. When I got them halfway down over his ass, he suggested that we move to the bedroom.
S. very quickly got naked. I did, too, but nothing else happened all that quickly. We stretched out on the bed and kissed some more, and I started to explore his body. I didn't have much in the way of technique, but I had plenty of enthusiasm. And I was a good kisser, of course.
At some point during the session, S. laughed at me and told me I was a foreplay queen. As it happens, he was right, but I was just intent on enjoying every moment as much as possible. So while I kissed him, I played with his stomach and chest and nipples. I played with his thighs and nuts, and I played with his cock. S. was, well, hung. And he was on the short side, so he probably looked even more hung than he was, though 8.5 inches (I'm guessing) looks pretty big on everybody.
S. went down on me before I went down on him. He licked down my body and sucked in my nuts a little and then started on my cockhead. Dreamy. To be honest, a lot of the experience was so dreamy that the details don't stand out. Almost everything I was doing was something that I was doing for the first time. Or at least the first time in fifteen years. So when I sucked on his nipples and licked the inside of his thigh and took his nuts into my mouth and went down on him (but not very far: 8.5 inches is a lot for a novice), it was all great but also overwhelming.
But I do remember the climaxes fairly vividly. I'd been sucking on his cockhead and then licking his frenulum until his whole body would contort and he'd shout out and push me away. And then I'd do it again. He told me that he didn't want to cum in my mouth, and since I was down in between his legs, I licked his nuts and stroked his cock, and he began to shake and shout more and finally I looked up just as he came. He hit his face, which was impressive even though -- since he was a on the short side and had a really long cock -- his face wasn't that far away.
I, on the other hand, am 6' tall, and have relatively short legs, so my torso is extra long, and when he stroked me to the point where I couldn't take any more, I finally stopped kissing him long enough for my cum to hit my forehead. S. was impressed.
I really couldn't have asked for a better first time. Or second first time, perhaps. We lay together for a long while, then we showered, and I got dressed and went home. The ex was annoyed that I'd been gone so long, and things were generally pretty unpleasant there until I moved out a few months later. But the experience had given me an "oh, so that's what sex ought to be" feeling that helped me put up with a lot of the shit that was going on. After all, I'd decided that I was gay and headed towards divorce without so much as kissing a man, so it was very good to have confirmation that I'd gone in what was really the only direction that was open to me.
I fooled around with S. a couple more times after that, but then he said he had to stop seeing me, and I couldn't really blame him. It turns out that the older version of gay.com saved all your conversations by default, and the ex had gone through my old chats and had found the ones with S. Her lawyer hired a private detective to find out who he was, and he got subpoenaed and deposed. We had never intended to have anything like a relationship, but there's nothing like the involvement of lawyers to put a quick end to a promising friendship. It was a rather unfortunate turn of events. On the plus side, though, of all the guys who've told me their similar stories of discovery and divorce, I don't think any of them have had their first sex partner deposed, so at least I got a good story out of the deal.