Stuck in my Id

I Can See Better Through the Fog is a storytelling podcast series in the vein of This American Life and the Moth. It tells the ongoing story of an echo boomer’s quarter life crises, featuring life, art, love, and San Francisco. Press the play button below to hear an audio recording of this latest entry. If it doesn’t work, you may need the latest version of flash software. (click here to download). Another troubleshooting tip would be to go directly to the soundcloud website. Sit back and let your ears do the work. The text version of this entry is provided beneath the list of selected tracks.

Runtime: 4 minutes and 28 seconds.

Selected tracks: The Black Keys “These Days” and Reptar “Stuck in my Id”

“So, what you’re telling me is I’m not going to get into a relationship if I don’t put out as easily?” I asked. Bernie sat next to me in the back patio of a bar in the Castro. He gripped a Corona. The prescription glasses he wore were tinted to repel the sun’s rays. They hid his eyes, but not his gaze. He stared right back at me silently, as if he was telling me I already knew his answer.

I didn’t want to believe his analysis to be true, but he was the only gay male friend I had. And he had lived in San Francisco for fifteen years, feasting, in a matter of speaking, upon every inch of the city’s gay scene. “You may be right,” I acquiesced. Bernie put a hand on my shoulder and interrupted me before I could continue.

“I’m not gonna sugar coat it honey. You’re like my little sister.” The imposed feminine identity never appealed to me. I like my masculine features. I let the sister comment pass, as I usually did. “I’ve seen what I’ve seen. And I don’t want your little heart to continue to get broken. Over and over and over again.”

“I don’t want you to sugar coat it,” I responded. “How am I ever going to learn if no one’s there to give it to me straight.” I was half appreciative and half despondent.

Most of my friends are straight men and women, or lesbians, so their advice can be limited to encouragement and consoling. Bernie knew so much more about gay men from first hand experience. However, he was not one for relationships. What would he know about holding on to one partner? He jumped from one guy to the next, fearing attachment. He knew all too well that percentages were vastly in favor of heartbreak when it came to mutual monogamous, or polygamous, commitments. He had decided long ago that the best amends for that train wreck was to seek out men lustily, let the fire burn one night, and be done, without any delicate emotional strings attached. I respected Bernie’s lifestyle, and even understood his motivations, but I knew it wasn’t for me.

To help myself fully understand Bernie’s perspective, I began to think of his advice in another way. Would I be willing to date someone who didn’t want to be sensually touched or kissed? Even though I was unsure if this comparison worked, it did help me get Bernie’s point. Perhaps I was limiting myself by being so timid about sex. I was open to kissing, cuddling, foreplay, pretty much anything up to the actual action. Certain men have certain sexual desires. And if these men perceive that those desires will not be filled by someone, they’ll move on to another who will.

Nonetheless, I was not willing to concede that someone would not be willing to take it slower with me, trusting that I would get to a place where I could meet their pleasures. I met Bernie’s advice with a somber acknowledgement that my sexual comfort zone and the type of intimacy I sought, effectively shrunk my dating pool.

2 thoughts on “Stuck in my Id

  1. Yes, but, what is your definition of “sex” then? It’s not so black and white. If someone is all too focused on that one action (the thrusting portion, that is) and not what it means, that’s not really ever a relationship to begin with. I was in a relationship with a guy once and that’s all he was focused on, that’s all he wanted. And I wasn’t interested. I enjoyed my time with him, and other intimate things we did, but those I guess were valueless to him if it wasn’t the whole shebang. In the end he left me for a girl (which, at the time at least, hurt more than the leaving me), and it was fine. But still, there are certainly people who, as your friend advised, will expect the putting out. I’m not going to say that’s terrible advice, but it’s just limited. A relationship is an ongoing negotiation anyways (I’ve been in negotiations now for six years), and if that’s a sticking point for either party you have to question if it’s worth moving forward at all. At the minimum, it doesn’t necessarily reflect a defect or true problem on your part.

  2. The best advice anyone can give you is to be yourself. Don’t force things. As soon as you stop caring, that’s when you’ll meet someone; because you won’t be pretending, you’ll just “be”, and that’s the most attractive feature you have. The more you stress over it, the less likely it will happen. Desperation is not an attractive feature. Ever. And anyone who is attracted to it, won’t be right for you anyway. I recommend you spend your time feeling comfortable in your own skin, getting to know Max. Hmmm… I guess that’s what this blog is for.

    As always, thanks for sharing. I envy your honesty.

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