Open Vs. Closed Relationships: Part II

Open Vs. Closed Relationships: Part II

Last time around I addressed the notion of open relationships.

Closed relationships are more sinister. I lived one for over forty years, finding sex in all the wrong places because my partner was no longer interested in sex but was unwilling to talk about it. Sure, in many instances holding back in the bedroom can spell the end of a relationship, but just as often you are both comfortable with your mutual lifestyles, are already financially intertwined – if you co-own property you’re married –  or if you’re the sub in a sugar daddy relationship,  ain’t goin’ anywhere.

Unfortunately not setting parameters as in a open relationship can lead to unfounded guilt and justfiable frustration (“He doesn’t want me anymore but won’t talk about an open relationship so what the fuck am l supposed to do? Lead his life? Fuck that!), endless jabby incriminations “How many dicks did you suck in the locker room today?” “Only five, it was a slow day.”), developing a set of white lies to fit the occasion, and sooner or later, knock down battles.  That’s the kind of  “don’t ask, don’t tell” existence l lived with my ex too long. My single biggest regret is that we did not openly discuss it but went deluding one another. Breaking up, if that was in the cards, might have led me to finding someone more on my wave length.

Take it from me. If you have a partner who is unwilling to talk about sexual matters, maybe it’s time to call it a day. Open relationships are, at the very least, diplomatic.

Closed relationships just suck.

Open Vs. Closed Relationships: Part I

Open Vs. Closed Relationships: Part I

There has been confusion of late among some of my partnered buddies as to what constitutes an open relationship vs. a closed one when it comes to extracurricular activities. Remember, this is Fort Lauderdale, the town of philandering partners who vowed undying loyalty to one another till the next plane filled with vacationing gay tourists hits the runway at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.

Now here’s my view of these arrangements from my decades of observation and experience as a gay man.

In my mind open relationships may be the healthiest since by implication such relationships have been openly discussed by the two parties at hand. Just because you and/or your soulmate are no longer interested in a monogamous relationship – or maybe never were (remember we’re talking about two men here) doesn’t mean you don’t love or respect or care for one another. Properly framed, recreational sex can be a great way to stem off stress in your life, and, yes, in your relationship. (My philosophy has always been that if everyone started the day with the lay, the world would be a better place.) As for the caveat that you might lose him to that other guy, isn’t that always the case in gay life anyway?

An open relationship means that on occasion if you and or he would like to spend some time with a third party, all you have to say is “l going out tonight (this weekend…. etc). I’ll buzz you to see if all’s OK, and you know where to find me.”

Next time you rendezvous it’s “you want shredded wheat or cornflakes for breakfast, hon?” No explanations, no interrogations, no incriminations. The only thing the philanderer owes his partner is practicing safe sex if needed with Mr. Mystery Man.

Period.

Hell, one guy l know actually tells his partner the fuck buddy he’s seeing which, believe it or not, can bring his old man some solace knowing he’s with a regular, not slumming the streets, or l should say the web, like a whore. Again if such liaisons end up trainwrecking a relationship, it was in the stars to happen anyway. And, who knows, on occasion Mr. Hotstuff may end up being viable threesome material to liven things up for Partner A and Partner B.

More on Open Vs. Closed Relationships Friday.

Makig Relationships Work: Do and Don’ts

Making Relationships Work: Do’s and Don’ts

You’ve sown your oats, and now you’re ready to settle down with Mr. Right. Sure, buddy, dream on. Like he’ll be waiting for you in the underwear aisle the next time you stroll into Abercrombie and  Finch.

Seriously, though, if you met a guy, THE guy, who is more than just mind-blowing sex, who  you share commonalities with beyond the same trendy hairdo, who’s financially stable, and has no excess baggage like drinking, drugs or psychoses (I know, that leaves out 70% of the gay population;) and who, most importantly, gives a shit, really gives a shit about your welfare and well-being, what do the two of you need to work at, and relationships are work, to make it last?

Hey what better guy to advise you than me who spent over forty years in one helluva of fucked up relationship, right? (We learn more from our failures than our successes, folks.)

  • Set the ground rules from the beginning, particularly, when it comes to other men, friends, fuck buddies or ships in the night. Every relationship is different and handles this touchy issue in a different way. Just make sure that both of you are on the same wave length. (More about open relationships vs closed relationships next week.)
  • Celebrate and rejoice in your differences. Hey, I’m in love with myself, but I’m sure my twin would get to be boring after awhile. Just as long as some of what you enjoy as individuals you can also enjoy together. (And I don’t mean just jerking off together over the some clips on PornHub.)
  • If kids are in the equation (yea, daddies  – for real – I’m talking to you), make sure their needs and questions are addressed, too.
  • Don’t move in together right away. Spend some long weekends or a week at his place or vice versa. Can you deal with his leaving the toilet seat down in the middle of the night, or he with your halitosis at 6 a.m. on a Monday morning? And who says you’ve got to cohabitate for the relationship to work anyway? How about that little word, trust?
  • Don’t co-mingle assets until it makes sense. (You know, it’s $$$ strife, not infidelity, that wrecks most straight marriages.) Certainly, decide how joint bills will be paid, but keep separate checking accounts, credit cards, etc.; just in case your soulmate turns out to  be a deadbeat. If you eventually buy a home or a condo, make absolutely certain that the deed and mortgage are in both your names (so you aren’t left holding the bag if the other picks up and leaves; you know how many guys I know were forced to file for personal bankruptcy because of this stupidity?), and that you each have the right to survivorship, which means you or he gets the property should something happen. Again, when the moment is right, get your asses over to a gay-friendly lawyer and establish respective powers of attorney, health care proxies, and wills. You may not want your next of kin, your Marine corporal homophobic brother, making decisions if you can’t, or inheriting your estate.

(I learned that the hard way when my ex-partner took sick at our PA home a dozen years ago and I couldn’t even get his mail forwarded down to Lauderdale without his nephew signing the change-of-address card.)

  •  Be open to compromise. Don’t let the little shit destroy a relationship. So he leaves the sponge in the sink after he washes the dishes. So? Put it back where you want it without making a federal case. A federal case is him bringing home a trick at 3 a.m. who may end up tying the both of you up, beating the shit out of you, and then taking the keys to YOUR Cooper.
  • Put yourself in the other guy’s shoes, particularly when he’s faced with a dilemma or has a tough decision to make and he turns to you for advice, not parenting. (There may be relationships where one partner is the driver but any guy who just blindly follows another guy’s orders I think is a fuckin’ jerk).
  • Give one another space. Guys who are too clingy smother a relationship. If you feel that insecure, either the coupling was built on sand to begin with, or you’re not ready.
  • Just because marriage between us is now legal doesn’t mean you should jump into it too early in the game. Unless there are some very compelling reasons, give your relationship at least a year of solid togetherness. Remember a marriage license is a legal document, not a post for your Facebook page. If things sour, you just don’t pick up your Colt DVD’s and toothbrush and leave.
  • Finally, TALK. Sure it’s uncomfortable, but when there’s an “issue,” it’s better to discuss it even if there’s some yelling (just no throwing furniture or smothering one another with a pillow, huh, guys?) and try to work things out, than to let it fester and you both end up on “Forensic Files,” only, one of you will be watching it – from prison. If, in the end, it means it’s time to call it quits, so be it.

Hey, a relationship is supposed to be a safe harbor, not a disaster flick.

The Fitbit Fuck-up

The Fitbit Fuck-up

About two years ago, feeling left out of the game with my reliable but unostentatious ten dollar Walmart watch, l decided to use a twenty percent off coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond and buy a trendy then and still trendy now Fitbit watch for one hundred and thirty dollars, the most l ever spent on a watch in my life. (Hey, that’s how l semi-retired at 55.)

After downloading its guts off the web, l took it for a test drive and found it to be not just a neat tech toy to tell time, but a great tool in maintaining my weight. I discovered particularly up at my PA home that l burned off a helluva lot more calories walking my Pete around the block then l did working out in the community gym. It was enough to overlook some deficiencies, like the cheap, hard to buckle wristband you usually got on one of those watches Time magazine would offer you as a freebie for opening a subscription, and the fact you had to remember to charge it up weekly; otherwise all you’d get was a blank screen.

But the biggest surprise/shock was when l realized Fitbit was –  tracking me.

“Congratulations!” would suddenly sizzle on the screen and gave my wrist a jolt like one of my estim toys gave my dick when l reached 10,000 steps. Hmm… So Mr. Fitbit was watching every move l made from afar. My feeling of accomplishment quickly turned to one of skepticism as if l had, in some crazy way, been violated.

OK, fuckers, maybe you’re smart enough to have a cam camera in my little wrist toy and are even watching me burning off calories in the bedroom with one of my fuck buddies.  Go ‘head, but if you put it up on U-tube or Xtube l want my cut of the streaming rights.

Now earlier this week it came out the enemy is using the Fitbit and similar devices worn by our jock conscious troops overseas to track not only their moves but their whereabouts, usually classified info.

So Big Brother is not just surveilling me. He’s building a data dossier to zap us all.

Love and kisses, Fitbit, from the Talaban.

Looking for Mr. Good Dick

Looking for Mr. Good Dick

Why are so many of us so promiscuous, think we are, or like to be? Why can’t we just be happy with that one guy?  After all, no one, not even our egotistical selves, is perfect.  But I guess that’s the problem. We think that that next guy (read dick) who hits us up on Scruff, or eyes us in the ten items or less aisle at the supermarket, or shakes his booty next to us at the next Bearfest or Leatherfest or RSVP cruise will be the dick of our wet dreams. But while perpetually on the hunt, we are never really satisfied with “him,” and so our insatiable search goes on infinitum. Like Bette Davis once quipped in one of her early films, “I’d let you kiss me, but I just washed my hair.”

What the fuck was she waiting for?

Why are we so obsessed about dick? Maybe it’s because men and their cocks come in so many shapes and sizes (small, big, thin, thick, cut, uncut), that the possible Las Vegas slot machine combinations between the type of guy we’re hardwired for and their dick are endless. So, we remain constantly curious to see what IT’s like and what IT will do for us. And that often means going beyond our usual circles of bars or local hang outs and out into the world like some sexual explorer, dropping all that money that could be going into a CD or retirement account on trips, botox, liposuction, or Lumineers, or killing ourselves at the gym, all just to look good when that ultimate dick might be right next door if we open our eyes.

But I think deep down inside it isn’t about cock at all, although we may fool ourselves into thinking it is. Because saying it’s just cock eliminates pondering about or dealing with that other c word: commitment. We think we’re not ready to commit ourselves to another human being just quite yet; we meet the guy with the perfect cock and the perfect body and the perfect everything, but there’s just something about his big toe that isn’t quite right; or we want to play run-around Sams forever. After all, old age or worse, loss of libido, happens to other people, right? And so the search goes on. And on. And on. The 10’s are looking for 13’s, the 4’s will only settle for 10’s and the 7’s are ready to go straight.

 

The One Percenters – And The Rest of Us

The One Percenters – And The Rest of Us

Last Friday afternoon, a buddy of mine and l took the Art Fort Lauderdale tour of four multimillion dollar homes on the Intracoastal, sporting art from some of the top galleries in town, which we reached via water taxi that left the Bahia Mar Yacht Club. It was something only a place like Fort Lauderdale, the Venice of the Americas, could pull off. The homes themselves, all vacant and up for sale, were magnificent in size and style but frankly lacked any warm, homey feeling.

But as we passed through “Millionaires’ Row,” a not surprising yet nonetheless stark fact l had just heard in the news came to mind: 82% of all the new wealth created in the United States last year was held by just one percent of the population. Yea, the One Percenters, with annual incomes averaging $400,000+. Worse, over half the American population saw no growth in personal wealth at all.

Fort Lauderdale itself is an example of the American City of Tomorrow where the rest of us are headed – probably to the poor house. In 2002, on the brink of my retirement from New York, I bought my home here in Lauderdale for $140, 000. Within a few years, my house value had escalated to $400,000. Then came the Great Recession when those who bought on the high side saw their homes’ worth tumble. Only now are prices rebounding to what they were prior to 2006 but Bank of America predicts another Wall Street Crash is on the horizon. And so the ugly dance starts all over again.

Yet Fort Lauderdale, once a sleepy spring break town and step child of Miami that came into his own over the last decade, is building little in the way of affordable working and lower middle class housing for the very folks cities need to run them, instead constructing luxury homes “starting at $600,000” which might as well be Fantasyland at Disney World for the average Floridian couple making $50,000 a year. No wonder millennials l know are setting their sights on places like the Carolinas or Vegas where living costs are more realistic.

I fear my Lauderdale is a microcosm of where the rest of this country is headed if not already there.  The power to run everything concentrated in the hands of a few, what we like to call “The One Percenters.”

And the rest of us be damned.