Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wedding Crap

So as you may know from the premise of the blog, I'm almost 30- and 30 is the age where your friends who are legally allowed to do so start pairing off in legally binding ways.

Here are all the things on my mind due to the weddings in a list because I like lists:
  1. One of my good friends from college is getting married this Saturday actually- I'm excited! My old college roommate is coming into town with his girlfriend who I haven't met yet. I already came out to him but this will be the first time we've hung out, and of course he'll get to meet Chris. I'm not bringing Chris, mostly because I RSVP'd +0 way back before I even met him, and I know how much my friend has been stressing over flowers and seating arrangements and chairs, and it's also way too early. Still, we'll hang out the night before with the other guests in town, and maybe after the wedding too.
  2. Two of my other super good friends are getting married in November, and due to my newfound status, I got invited to both the bachelor and bachelorette parties! While I probably would have appreciated the strippers at the bachelorette party more, I think I'm still suffering from masculinity perception issues so I am only going to be attending the bachelor party. It will be a little weird, as it will be me and 19 straight guys down in New Orleans, tossing out beads on Bourbon Street and going to strip clubs. If I get a chance, I may check out a gay bar down there by myself (it has the oldest gay bar in the US or something) just to see what it's all about, but of course, I'm going there to hang out with my friend, and really it's more of a drinking thing, and I'm all about that anyway.
  3. So the corresponding wedding for those two is in November, back in SF. Now... these are two of my super good friends here and they have met Chris like 5 times now, and totally love him. Again, I already RSVP'd for this wedding +0 before I even met Chris, but I have a feeling my friend may ask me if I'm bringing him, and I don't know what to say there... This brings up a whole new set of anxieties which mandates a SUB-LIST !
    1. The wedding is still 4 months out, and Chris and I have only been dating for 3. Isn't there some rule about how you shouldn't make plans farther out than you've been actually going out? If not, there should be.
    2. Again, this couple has been stressed out about guests and I know they've even had to cut some close friends. I can't imagine them allowing me to bring someone I just started dating in favor of a friend they've known for years.
    3. Bringing a date to a wedding is kind of a serious step, and you can piece together from past blog post how good I am with serious steps...
    4. Beyond the drama of the serious step, it's actually during THANKSGIVING WEEKEND, and it's in SAN FRANCISCO, where my brother lives, and where my parents are going to be coming for THANKSGIVING DINNER with the FAMILY. WAY TOO SOON, RIGHT?

Bah, I always make myself stress out about these things too much. Bed now.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Oversharing Again

So... just curious.

At a certain point in a long term exclusive relationship, do you stop using condoms?

Friday, July 24, 2009

First Relationship Insanity...

So in a lot of ways my relationship with Chris is my first one ever. Everything's going really good, but there are still some things that I'm a total noob about and I am just dealing with as they come up. So, post warning: this is where I use my blog as a platform to blurt out all the weird neurotic things that have been bouncing around in my head the past month or so.

First of all, I had a billion friends over these past two weeks now that the weather in NYC is getting good. My tiny studio apartment basically became a hostel for anyone I went to elementary school with. The last weekend I had 3 other dudes sleeping in my apartment, and not in the way that would normally get me complimentary blog comments. Still, I managed to hang out with Chris here and there, but not as much and not as 1-on-1 as the previous two weekends, and it was pretty good. My friends all love him, which is nice.

But here are all the things that are lurking in my mind, basically because I'm a 29 year old in the first real, honest relationship I've ever been in, and that is supposed to happen when you're 17.
  • I'm trying to find a good balance between hanging out a lot, and monopolizing his time. He works really late, and I sometimes get pouty when he doesn't come over and I feel really needy at times like that and I hope I do a good job of keeping that to myself. He cancelled on Monday drinks with me and a lot of my friends because of work stuff, which I was kinda bummed about because a ton of my friends were there and wanted to meet him... but he had hung out with me and other friends like, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, and the Monday thing was pretty last minute, so I really don't blame him for it. I just don't really know what to do with that vaguely disappointed feeling I got there.
  • To make up for it, on Wednesday, which was the last night one of my guests was in town, he picked up the check at our "going away" dinner for her, which was us two, my guest, and our mutual friend. This was at The Standard Grill in the meatpacking district, which isn't like SUPER expensive, but it definitely isn't cheap. I was kind of stunned awkward at the gesture, and I think I made some sort of awkward joke to my friends about working it off in trade later that night. It was incredibly sweet, but again I'm retarded with that kind of thing. Still, not as awkward as I'm making it sound, and I've definitely picked up the tab sometimes when it was just the two of us but still. It was very sweet and I'm overanalyzing it I know.
  • So I actually bought these two t-shirts for the The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck which is awesome, and if you wear the shirts you get a discount or something, and I couldn't decide whether to get the truck or the cone (as my friend put it, one implies "lick me", one implies "ride me"), and they're both cute so I just bought both on a whim and figured I'd give one to Chris (we're the same size). Then after I got them it struck me that I had not only just bought him a gift, but that they were MATCHING shirts, and so because I'm a freak they have been sitting on my shelf in the fedex envelope I got them in. Last time Chris was here he even asked curiously what was in the envelope and I think I said it was a gift for my nephew. I'm weird, I know...
  • Unrelated to him, I think it's the first article of clothing I've bought that declares my homosexuality. I mean, I own pink t-shirts, tight jeans, and a white belt, so it's not like I'm trying to dress straight, but it just struck me that this is the most out item I own. Shirt's pretty awesome though, right?
  • The PDA thing- I think the first time we met up with Chris's friends on the street one time and they kissed hello and I kind of balked at kissing Chris in public I felt a little weird. I know it is paranoid, especially in Chelsea, but you never know who's looking and judging and I know that sounds retarded. I've definitely gotten more comfortable with it- after Pride especially. Last weekend when we were out with all my friends at a straight bar (The Bowery Electric, though, so not a totally straight bar I guess) I kissed him on the dance floor... and then I did the "Womanizer" dance on him... there were a lot of tequila shots involved. I do worry I'm a little too makeout-y now heh (not cause of the gay thing, but just cause of the general couple thing... I always feel my straight couple friends are very cool about not making out in front of others in a big crowd and I should do the same?).
Well... I guess that was a big ball of crazy. I mean, if that's all I have to complain about here on my blog I guess things are going pretty good. I'm helping Chris move apartments tomorrow (his old landlord was a dick trying to raise his rent in this economy), and I'm meeting him for pizza tonight and helping him pack. Still training for the half-marathon-- although missing 2 long runs cause of tourist visitors these past two weeks and probably missing one this weekend cause of Chris moving has made me consider dropping it.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

From 'dating' to dating

I figure now that I'm dating someone, it's as good a time as any to delete all those online dating profiles I hate anyway, and I figured now was as good a time as any for a gloves-off review of each site. This is basically going to try to be the comprehensive review I was looking for when I started online dating and I couldn't really find anywhere. [Update hehe as I was writing this I see gawker has done a cursory overview of the same sites... http://gawker.com/5320419/after-craigslist-and-manhunt-here-is-where-gays-will-get-their-clicks]

So in past posts I might have sounded a little down on online dating, but in all honesty I think it's great. A lot of my friends who don't drink and hate the "circuit" scene in general find it to be a really reasonable alternative, and it is embraced by the gay community in a way that is really unparalleled in the straight dating world. If I were in a more philosophical mood I might wax on about how the very stigmatized nature of our sexuality makes us de-stigmatize other practices that other people might find distasteful...

When I started I was a little shocked at how ruthlessly efficient the whole process could be, and that was probably the part I was a little less forthcoming with my straight friends when I described the process.

  • Manhunt
    So Manhunt is the 800 pound gorilla in the gay online dating scene. Wait, that metaphor sucks- because everyone talks about it. While some people complain alot about Manhunt, due to its limited free functions, creepy ownership details, and the perceived destructions of gay social interactions, but I'm a pretty tech-happy guy, and I kind of see Manhunt as a very efficient system that people like to use, even in its free form, and it's really kind of easy to use and fun, if you don't take it too seriously.
    Pros: NUMBERS- at least in my area, MH has the widest userbase by far
    Cons: Seriously crippled free accounts- you can only send a certain number of mails per day and you can't view full resolution pics, which is almost a dealbreaker really.
    Statistics: I conversed with over 10 guys on this site, and met up in person with 4.
  • Adam4Adam
    After Manhunt, A4A seems to be the next most recognized and popular system in my area, and the best thing about it is it's free to use. Also, it seemed like the user base was a little more diverse than manhunt.
    Pros: Probably the best non-pay services, including full res picture viewing and unlimited messaging.
    Cons: Limited to 3 photos per profile, which is probably not a terrible thing really.
    Statistics: I conversed with over 10 guys on this site, and met up in person with 3.
  • Gay Romeo
    So I joined GR at the recommendation of my European friends; apparently in Europe it is a very good system. However, my experience with it was pretty bad; maybe it's the relative immaturity of the site in the US but many of the profiles are clearly fake (like they use photos of famous actors and models) and there doesn't seem to be any attempt to clean up these fake profiles. Furthermore, every single time I got contacted on that site I felt like I was getting some kind of phishing scam. I didn't really find anything worthwhile there.
    Pros: Ummm, it's good in Europe from what I hear.
    Cons: It's unusable in the US.
    Statistics: I didn't have any real conversations on this site, or meat up with anyone.
  • OK Cupid
    So OK Cupid is not exclusively gay, but I found that they do have an active gay community. It is more oriented toward dating than hooking up, and some of my friends reported having great success with that site. I found the quizzes and profiles to be a little too limited, and to be honest, I think it was a little too wholesome for what I happened to be looking for at the time as a guy who just came out.
    Pros: Very nice interface, good userbase.
    Cons: High barriers to actually meeting people.
    Statistics: I conversed with about 5 guys, but it never really went anywhere.
  • Lovetastic
    I don't really know what to make of this site- as I only used it for about a week. I saw a lot of ads for it and it seemed like it had a cool interface, but when I got on I found that it has some kind of reputation system, and until you get enough reputation you can only send one mail a day or something. Also, the userbase just seemed really small.
    Pros: Very clean, oriented at a wholesome audience.
    Cons: Weird point system; small userbase
    Statistics: I conversed with one guy on here, but it never went anywhere.
  • Gay.com
    So gay.com is another big player in the online dating market, but compared to manhunt and a4a I found the crippled features of the free account to be the worst. You can't even view the thumbnails of the non main profile pics, and I just didn't understand the search functions.
    Pros: Large userbase
    Cons: Crippled free account
    Statistics: I conversed with about five guys on here, but it never went anywhere.

Other Resources
  • Realjock
    So Realjock is not really a dating site, but it's a gay men's health and fitness forum that has profiles like a dating site. I actually found their workouts and stuff to be really good, but their forum is a little toxic- people are a little too forward with their prejudices and insecurities right off the bat, but it's not too bad if you know what your'e getting into. I would just read the forums with a grain of salt, and then it's actually a pretty good resource for health and fitness issues, particularly ones pertaining to gay men. I'm not actually cancelling my account there since I still use the forums for stuff like half marathon training suggestions and what not.
  • Grindr
    Hehe, as silly as it is, of all the dating sites/apps, I will miss Grindr the most probably. It's pretty new, but grindr is a free application for the iPhone or iPod touch that is basically a super condensed version of adam4adam. You just pick one photo (usually taken arms length with the iPhone camera) and you can write one or two lines about yourself and that's it. Then people can browse profiles near them (using the iPhone's GPS) and you can chat people. It's not really a good system, but it is great fun, especially when your'e bored.
  • DList
    So Dlist is also a bit of an enigma to me. When you join it, it definitely does seem like some of the other dating sites, except most of the profiles have public face pics, and it's definitely more of a social sharing platform than necessarily a dating site. In fact, it's like the gay myspace. I don't actually think many people are using it to hook up like mh and a4a but I dunno, maybe I'm wrong. Like RJ, I am not cancelling this account actually, since I've found it to be useful for non-dating stuff; I'm on a group there for a local DJ that I like, as well as a party promoter with some good events.

Gay men may complain about the shallowness of the online dating community but I have to say it is unparalleled in the straight world for its efficiency and directness. If you know what you're getting into, it can be a lot of fun. And stay safe out there, kids.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Another Long Weekend Update

So we spent all of the long weekend together- I was a little worried it would be too much, but now it's Tuesday and I kinda miss just having him around. God I feel like such a cheeseball. Basically I had three different friends throwing house parties all weekend, and I ended up bringing Chris to all of them, so he's met all my friends- I was a little nervous I guess, cause it's one thing to come out to your friends, and then another thing to bring around a guy, but they were all cool and my friends all got along great with him, which was awesome.

And uh, in regards to the technical difficulties mentioned earlier in the blog... those have been since remedied, apparently ;)

I've been planning a big post for a while, but it's taking forever to write, but I hope it will be actually useful to some people... maybe Thursday.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dinner Date

Well, PF and I spent Saturday through Monday together, other than when I was doing my community service. He's coming over tonight and I'm cooking him dinner! Then we're going to a friend's bbq tomorrow, and I haven't really figured out what we're doing for the rest of the long weekend.

[UPDATE: Weird, I made this post but it never published]