Thursday, April 15, 2010


As I mentioned in my ANOTHER STATUS UPDATE post there are three posts that I have been meaning to get around to for a long time. One revolves around my self-confidence, self-esteem, and my self-perception, which are intrinsically intertwined, and I know I’ve touched a bit on all before. Another is the idea of letting go of the inner fat kid (saying goodbye and moving on). And the last one is my sexual history, or lack thereof. 

I f*ing hope this is as cathartic as I think it will be. (I may go into a stream of consciousness type writing style as I get all of this out. Bear with me).

 Where to begin?

Well I can stop bitching about not getting hit on for starters. I know I sound like a whiny bitch, but until very recently (just before the new year) I never got hit on, ever. I’m not sure if I am just more receptive now, or what, but I have been getting more attention from the boys. This obviously has a positive effect on my self-esteem. I’ve had drinks purchased for me and been chatted up a handful of times over the last couple months. It’s definitely a start.

Now, before I go into some details about a recent “encounter” I want to take a minute to outline my sexual history. I see it as a way to frame the most recent interaction and my overall state of mind when it comes to sex.

Age 4(ish) thru 7/8(ish): I know a lot of kids experiment and I guess that’s what was going on here. I grew up with a group of cousins and friends that were all around the same age as me and somehow we started experimenting. Most of it was with one cousin in particular, but there were times with other boys. We would find a private place (under a bed, in the closet, in a tent in the back yard, etc.) and give each other blowjobs. It never went further than that, and I don’t really remember how it all started either. We got caught a couple time; that wasn’t too fun.

Around the same time (closer to 4 y.o.) I remember having dreams of being with older men. I don’t think I was ever “with” them in the biblical sense in a dream, but there was clearly the desire to be. This of course raised a lot of questions for me when I was in my teens and early twenties and started to remember these dreams. On one hand I thought it might be a sign of abuse, as I couldn’t see why a little kid would have any reason to have ideas like that on his own, and on the other I chalked it up to being a kid and having crazy dreams. I have no memory of abuse, but clear memories of all the other crazy shit that was going on at that time in my life, so I am not sure either way, and I feel like I am moving on just fine, and pretty well adjusted; so whatever.

Age 9: While staying over at a friend’s for the night his mother suggested we shower together (to save water, that’s what they did at their house). At first I thought it was weird, but then being a curious kid, I said yes. Nothing really happened.

Age 8-12: My best friend and I spent a lot of time together, but nothing sexual ever happened. Both of us turned out to be gay. I find that amusing.

Age 15-19: A close friend and I began experimenting. He was slightly younger, but aggressive, and we started with touching, jerking each other off, and eventually progressed to oral. At one point we added making out. Over the course of a few years we would occasionally hook-up until I finally distanced myself from him and put an end to things.

Age 19-very recent: I was celibate all through college and much of my early twenties. The thought of being with someone sexually was too much to bear. I was so insecure that I wouldn’t even allow the possibility. There were a couple random make-outs (some with women) and one boy that pursued me but I kept him at a distance because I wasn’t ready. We held hands and kissed once.

And there it is.

So finally, with all of my hard work and progress (mentally AND physically) over the last year I am able to wrap my head around being able to expose myself to someone and be intimate with them. It took me forever. I was held back by my body, my insecurity due to how I looked, my fear of rejection, and my worry that my inexperience was going to be a problem. (check out my BODY IS A CAGE post). The fact that I still have breasts (they are smaller now) bothers me. It is so emasculating. And there are the remnants of love handles, and a little extra skin under my arms, and my butt is just a bit flabbier than I would like, and so on, and so on. And I let this all swirl around and cloud my mind, taking over like a thunderstorm sweeping in and ruining a wedding, and before I know it, the idea of anyone beside myself seeing me naked is a ridiculous thought.

This brings us to the very recent past:

I was out on the town with some friends and I was on a mission. I had been out a couple weekends before and totally passed up the chance to talk with this guy who was trying to get my attention. Of course, after the fact I felt like a total dumb ass. So, when one of my friends suggested the goal for the night was to get a phone number I gave him a look that said, “Too easy, let’s aim higher.” I later texted another friend to inform him that my goal for the night was to make out with a boy, just so he knew and would maybe hold me accountable.

We went to all the usual places; The Abbey, Here Lounge, Popstarz. We had our share of luck with various men throughout the night but nothing close to what I was aiming for. There was one guy at Popstarz that kept glancing my way as we were on the dance floor but he never did anything more than smile, same with me, and that was that. WTF?

I guess I should take a second to point out that I still suffer from a slight lack of confidence, and it is a lot easier for me to be pursued that it is for me to be the “hunter.”

And we’re back:

My friends were getting progressively more drunk, and I was having an increasingly more difficult time keeping track of them; I am always the “big brother” or “babysitter,” I can’t help it. One was off flirting with two boys that were friends with each other, another had completely disappeared on the dance floor. So I went over to the bar to grab some water. I was standing there taking a break and looking around the place when I notice a guy walk by more than once and then seconds later he is standing right next to me. He introduces himself. I do the same. He asks if I want to dance. I indulge him. We make our way onto the floor and dance for a minute or two before we start making out (mission accomplished!). We continue to dance/kiss on the floor before moving over to the side where we stop dancing and focus all our energy on making out. In between, when we need a break we chat about random stuff. Of course as soon as I am THAT GUY making out on the dance floor my friends all magically appear again. He whispers compliments and sweet nothings in my ear, as well as things that make me smile. We sorta dance. We make-out. This continues until the lights come up as the place is closing.

Now he wants to come home with me. I am nervous as hell. The last time someone saw me naked was years ago (granted I was a lot larger then), and I don’t know how I feel about this. We continue to kiss and he continues to press the issue. He compliments me, and he says he only wants to cuddle. I finally let in. I figure, “Why not?” I felt like I needed to get it over with and here was a chance to do just that.

We walk back to my place and continue to make out. He gently pushes me onto the bed and climbs over and next to me. After a few minutes he asks if I am planning on sleeping in my shirt and jeans. Before I can mutter a reply he is undressing me. My shirt is off and I don’t know what to think.

Can he see that, while smaller than ever, I have breasts?
Does he care?
Can he see the stretch marks that line my midsection that are a constant reminder of my larger self?
Does he care?
Does he feel the extra padding under his hands as he rubs them up and down my body?
Does he care?

And now his hand is on my belt buckle, trying to release it (I end up having to help) and then on the button and fly of my jeans. He is pulling my pants down while we are still making out. He pulls off his t-shirt, and my hands find their way down to his jeans. I unbutton them and help to pull them off. We are in our underwear. His body is nice. He is fit, not muscled, but toned enough, and trim. He moves down to my crotch and begins to remove my underwear. So many thoughts are running through my head, and my mind is going a million miles per minute.

“Thank god I just did some trimming down there.
What will he think when he sees a small mound of fat around my pubic region?
Could I be any more vulnerable?”

He begins to kiss around my inner thighs and I lose it. Whatever crazy thoughts were running through my mind are now gone. The pleasure has completely taken over me. He places his lips around my penis and goes to town. After a bit he comes up; we make out some more. He is on top of me and I can feel his dick pressed against me. We roll over, swapping places. I kiss him. I kiss his neck and his chest. I am kissing him everywhere. I move down to pull off his underwear. He moans as I slide my mouth over his member. I perform oral for a bit before we make out some more. We lay head-to-toe and blow each other. He finishes himself off; I never get off. I am too nervous and unsure. After we have tired ourselves out, and the sun is starting to rise, we spoon. He drapes an arm over me and pulls me into him. I wonder what he is thinking as he stares at my back (also covered with stretch marks). Does he care that I don’t have a “gym body?” I can’t sleep. I am actually felling a bit of pain from not getting off. Late in the morning he leaves. I walk him out. As we both dress I wonder what he is thinking as he sees me in the daylight. We kiss goodbye. I go back to bed, but not before finally getting off (thanks internet porn!).

All sorts of things go through my head all day. Later that night he texts me to say, “thanks for a good time.” I wait a bit before texting him back. I play it cool. I have been giddy all day. It’s like the scene in UNFAITHFUL where Diane Lane is riding on the subway and replaying her hook-up with the hot dude, Olivier Martinez, in her head. (video below)

Unfaithful - Seduction

He texts back, and I send one more. My friends are crazy and think he is definitely interested. I can’t decide how I feel about it. I feel a little slutty. I am happy. I am exhausted. I wonder if it was just a hook-up. He said all the right things to get into my bed. I let my guard down.

I give him a few days to be the first to make contact. He doesn’t. I am not sure that I even want him to, and yet I am somewhat upset when he doesn’t. I decide to make the first move this time (he approached me at the bar, I can “approach” him via text). I do. I ask if he wants to grab dinner or drinks. He invites me out with him that night. I already have plans but tell him that maybe I can meet up after. It’s after and I text. I don’t hear back for a while and by the time I do I am tired and over it. I go anyway. I want to actually talk to the guy, see if there’s anything there. I meet him at a bar. I am introduced to his friends. He says we should dance. I follow. We dance for a minute. We make out. He compliments me left, right, and center. I can’t help but fall for it. And then history repeats itself. This time I am slightly less nervous, especially since he has already seen me naked. After we are done, he hangs around for a bit but ends up leaving soon enough. I don’t hear anything from him. Days later I send him a text. We text back and forth all night. The texts are definitely flirty. I fall asleep and don’t receive/notice the last one until the morning. And again I hear nothing more. Though after hooking-up for a second time I am not convinced I want to pursue anything more than a friendship.

Looking back on the experience I am still undecided as to how I feel about the whole thing. I WAS on a mission that night, and I got what I wanted (and more). I am glad to have finally been with someone, to let my inhibitions and insecurities go and just get it over with. I definitely feel different. I feel viable. I feel like I have my groove back (not sure I ever really had it, but you know what I mean). I carry myself differently. I notice that the guy two lanes over in the pool at the gym is not merely smiling and kinda staring at me, he is interested. I make the connection. I don’t notice, but am told by my friend, that I get checked out while we are at The Abbey. This time I don’t just laugh it off and ignore it in disbelief, but think “Yeah? . . . Awesome!”


P.S. Photos are of Alessandro Calza (Photographer: Nick Malfanti). Calza is a model/actor, and after seeing these photos I really want to see "CIAO," an Italian movie he starred in.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

“Peace Out” Inner Fat Kid

As I mentioned in my ANOTHER STATUS UPDATE post there are three posts that I have been meaning to get around to for a long time. One revolves around my self-confidence, self-esteem, and my self-perception, which are intrinsically intertwined, and I know I’ve touched a bit on all before. Another is the idea of letting go of the inner fat kid (saying goodbye and moving on). And the last one is my sexual history, or lack thereof.

I f*ing hope this is as cathartic as I think it will be. (I may go into a stream of consciousness type writing style as I get all of this out. Bear with me).

I guess when I use the term “Inner Fat kid” I am referring to that part of my psyche that is still the young kid who feels unloved and unwanted. The one who eats to fill a void and also to create a façade that would help to not have to deal with the fact that I was queer. He’s the one that binges and feels like shit, the one that finds temporary solace in the act of stuffing his face.

When I say “Goodbye,” “Peace Out,” or even “F**k Off,” what I mean is that I was finally able to free myself of the ties to that way of thinking. I was able to acknowledge that it was unhealthy and that it was exactly that mentality that was holding me back from making any progress. I mean that I was finally able to let go, to let my new healthy adult self take the reigns.

For the longest damn time I turned to food. It was always there to comfort me. I had an unhealthy relationship with food from a very young age, what with fearing that someone might try to steal it away from me and all, which evolved into an obsession with consuming it whenever possible. And of course, my over consumption allowed me to use my weight to postpone dealing with the impending realization that I was a homo.

Food was always good to me. It amazes me how strong of a hold food had on me back then. I’m not sure if it was all in my head or if the mix of chemicals and sugar and fat really did create the ephemeral euphoria I would feel. It may be that part of my ability to emancipate myself was that I slowly cut out the fast food and the processed junk foods that had their claws in me for so long, slowly weaning myself off of them and freeing my body and mind of their toxic effects. I know the companies that manufacture such products have spent insane amounts of money to perfect their recipes in such a way that each bite is full of the perfect amount of sugar/salt/fat/etc. to trigger all the right spots of the brain and incite pleasure (read anything by Michael Pollan). When I finally moved out of the parent’s house and started shopping for myself I was really able to choose what I consumed. The inner fat kid was powerless over the junk food that would occasionally pop up in the cupboards at home, but when I was calling the shots I was able to keep all of that crap out of arm’s reach.

For all of the progress that I find I have made over the last few years, I have also found that I am only able to keep the inner fat kid at bay for so long. It is not really a matter of time, but certain situations. Whenever I go home to visit my family I revert to my old ways, over consuming and eating junk food, if I don’t make a conscious effort and check myself. I am not sure if it is merely the fact that my old trigger foods are present (chips/cookies/etc.) or if it has something to do with being around my family and the emotional triggers, the ones I used to give into, taking hold again. I know that I am strong, and I can say no to the junk, but sometimes I find myself giving in. I don’t fully understand why when my relationship with both parents, though especially step dad, is much better than when I was a teen, and I am totally comfortable with my gay self. It’s odd, and frustrating and something I am working on. Once and addict . . . I guess. I just know that while the inner fat kid may never be fully exorcised, I am capable of keeping him from popping back up for too long; short visits and that miserable little bastard is back in the dungeon where he belong, and maybe throw him a cookie.


P.S. Photos courtesy of Bruno Gmünder.


As I mentioned in my ANOTHER STATUS UPDATE post there are three posts that I have been meaning to get around to for a long time. One revolves around my self-confidence, self-esteem, and my self-perception, which are intrinsically intertwined, and I know I’ve touched a bit on all before. Another is the idea of letting go of the inner fat kid (saying goodbye and moving on). And the last one is my sexual history, or lack thereof.

I f*ing hope this is as cathartic as I think it will be. (I may go into a stream of consciousness type writing style as I get all of this out. Bear with me).

While I was in college I had an instructor tell me, in so many words, that the reason that I was selected for a highly competitive position with the university was because everyone was impressed with my self-confidence. I only hope that upon hearing this my face didn’t change expression in a way that showed what I was really thinking. What was going through my head was, “What the f**k are you talking about?” I laughed it off. I had never thought of my self as confident. I always felt like the bastard stepchild of the group in most situations. I wouldn’t put myself out there for fear of drawing unwanted criticism and judgment from peers. I went home that night and mentioned this to my roommate. He explained that there was something, a certain way I exuded an easy confidence. The thing was, all of this was about when I was in class or among friends and peers. When it came to my appearance or perceived desirability sexually, my confidence tank was on empty. Based upon the sum total of my past experiences I had it stuck in my head that I was not desirable, in that way.

My first kiss I remember was when I was about 4 years old. This little girl and I were being watched by the same babysitter and were sitting on the floor watching television when she leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. It took me by surprise.

The second one was in first grade. Some girl and I were at the after school daycare. We were sitting out in the field when she just planted a kiss on me, right on the lips. It was a quick peck.

My first girlfriend was when I was in 5th grade (she was a cute little Jewish girl, these days I kinda have a thing for Jewish boys). We were “together” maybe two days. She dumped me because everyone found out about us. I was crushed, mostly because I was wondering “What’s so wrong with me?”

At the end of 5th grade a friend had a pool party to celebrate the start of summer. It was a mix of boys and girls, most of whom were part of my larger group of friends. I was the chubby one, in the group and even my best friend at the time chimed in when these supposed friends were making fun of me, saying the I needed a bra. I stayed strong in the moment and didn’t let them see how hurt I really was. That was the beginning of the end of my friendship with that best friend.

In high school we had to get measured for our costumes for a play I was in. When the lady took my chest measurement somehow the director/drama teacher overheard/saw and couldn’t help but to repeatedly voice his disbelief in the number (I want to say it was something insane like 52”). I was already ashamed of my chest. Thanks A**hole.

When I was about 17 a random stranger told me that I had tree trunks for legs. I don’t think he was trying to be malicious, but he was a dick. That was the start of my being self-conscious about my legs, and especially my calves.

At some point during the latter half of high school my parents became concerned that there may be some kind of medical condition linked to my weight issues. This resulted in a litany of tests at the doctor’s office (all coming back negative) and then a meeting with a nutritionist. She asked me (@ the time I was between approximately 280 and 300 pounds) what I thought my goal weight should be. My response was 180 lbs., which I thought was pretty solid considering my height and build. In as nice of a way as she possibly could have, she explained that I would never weigh 180 lbs., and that I should probably pick a more realistic goal. Bitch!

Around the same time (senior year of high school) I had a teacher accuse me of breaking a desk merely by sitting in it. The desk was broken before I sat in it, and true I had a moderately difficult time getting in and out of them back then, but what an a**hole. After that incident I stopped doing the homework just to piss him off. I ended up with a pretty low grade in that class.

For all of college and until recently I wouldn’t even put myself on the market. I was so consumed by my lack of self-confidence that I wouldn’t even think about dating or hooking up (besides fantasizing about it). I couldn’t fathom anyone finding me attractive, or in the off chance someone did, that I could expose myself to him and be intimate. Friends would ask if I was dating, or comment that I should find someone and I would just brush it off.

My step dad had an incredibly difficult time dealing with my weight. He was a varsity athlete in H.S. and was still involved in Men’s Leagues until recently. He constantly gave me a hard time about my size and tried a million different ways to get me to shed some pounds. He forced me to play sports I had no desire to play (Baseball is boring! Basketball required too much running) not because I didn’t like them but simply because I was a fat kid. I played baseball, basketball, soccer, football, tennis, and was on the swim team. The only one I truly enjoyed was swimming. He would tell me I couldn’t have certain foods, which would piss me off and make me want to sneak them when I had the chance. He was so harsh at times that I would cry and I think part of my weight problems as a kid were also part of me being defiant and wanting to piss him off. I know for certain that part of the reason that I had an unhealthy relationship with food for so long was because of the reactions that I got from him when I ate certain foods. I would sneak food and try to hide my tracks. I was like a junky. It got to the point that they were considering putting locks on the fridge and cupboards. One day when I was around nineteen or twenty I overheard him talking to my mom in the kitchen. He was saying that my brother (I have two 1/2 brothers) was “the good looking one” and that I would never be close to his level of attractiveness. To say the least I was hurt. Not only because of the words I heard but because I didn’t hear my mother say anything to the contrary.

The thing is, my step dad always went about trying to motivate me to lose weight the wrong way. He thought that calling me names, making fun of me, and being generally verbally abusive would make me want to change. But what he didn’t realize was that it just made me angry with him and pissed me off. Not only that but it also made me feel like shit and lowered my already sub-par self esteem. If you call me a “fat ass,” for some reason that doesn’t make me want to hop on a treadmill. When I finally did make the changes necessary in my life to begin to lose weight, it was on my terms and it was my choice.

In my head fat = un-loveable/undesirable/unworthy. I was fat and unhappy and didn’t love myself, so how could I love anyone else?

My self-esteem was always at the lower end of the spectrum and my self-perception has always been a bit skewed. As a kid I was unaware of my size, and being judged for it, until age 10 or so. By 12 I had started to slim down a bit and then by 14 I was back to steadily increasing my weight every year. I had been massive and knew it. I had been slightly smaller and still felt huge. And I have since broken the 200 pound barrier only to know that I must be smaller while feeling like I am still large. It is not until I look at the size of my thighs in comparison to my roommate’s (the “every gay man’s wet dream” roommate) as we sit on the couch watching television, that I see they are just about the same size. It is not until I try on the medium shirt and am shocked it fits; or the 33” slim fit Levi’s; or the shirt I stole from my younger, “hotter,” and slimmer brother; etc. that I begin to realize there has been some change. It is not until I see myself in a photo on Facebook next to someone whom I consider thin. But I still don’t really know it. I have to constantly look for the comparison point, the standard by which I can gauge myself. I have to see someone I consider thin and then see myself next to them, and calculate how we compare. My self perception is based completely on where I think I fit into the spectrum of what I perceive to be normal. This is obviously all kinds of crazy and no bueno.

This totally reminds me of that show Carson Kressley did for fat women, “How to Look Good Naked” or whatever. Every episode (okay, so I watched a couple of them, I’m not embarrassed) he had this part where there was a line up of women from smallest to biggest and he made the main girl he was trying to help insert herself into the lineup where she thought she fit in. Every time the chick was way off and put herself in the line between two women who were a lot larger than her. Looks like we all share that in common.

What’s funny is that EVERYONE comments on my weight now. It’s kinda funny how comfortable people seem to feel giving backhanded compliments. I’m called “skinny” or “slim” by my dad (who now outweighs me by about 10 lbs.) and my brother is only about 20 pounds lighter than me. I also have to constantly deflect comments from friends who worry that I am not eating. Uhh, hello, me and not eating go together like oil and water.

So now that I am 195 pounds I see myself in the mirror and I know that I must be smaller than I previously was. But I spent something like 90% of my life being fat and dealing with that. It is really hard to just switch off all of the things that I am so used to thinking in my head. Old habits die hard, as they say.


P.S. The photos are by Federico Erra. I like the tone and mood he captures in a lot of his work.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Another Status Update

Stats first. Then interpretation/explanation.

As of April 1, 2010

height: 6'0"

weight: 193-195 lbs (down 7-9 lbs since January)

chest @ nipples: 42" (down 0.5”)

under breasts: 39.5" (down 0.5”)

bicep: 12" (down 0.5”)

@ belly button: 37.5" (down 1”)

hips: 37.5" (down 0.5” this year)

butt @ widest point: 40.5" (no change)

thigh: 23" (no change)

calf: 16" (down 0.5” this year)

Body Fat: 20%

Ok. So there was little to no change in my stats/measurements from January to February, which totally pissed me off, and I didn’t even take any in March. I knew that I had to record my measurements on April 1st or I would run the risk of veering off track again, and it looks like I am making some progress.

The fact that everyone keeps commenting that I get thinner every time they see me reinforces that there is a decrease in weight (yay!) and inches in most places. This of course excites me. I really did get back in the groove again (when I wasn’t working 14 to 16 hours a day) and tried my best to get my butt to the gym and to stay on track with my healthy eating. Though at the same time I also did not really deny myself any foods. This kind of amazes me. I had some snack/junk foods (back to work means the craft services table calling your name and enticing you all day) and a lot of sweet potato fries (so good!). But I guess that’s the other side of the weight loss equation: the healthy attitude. I knew what I was doing. I wasn’t mindlessly snacking, and was still able to balance it all out over the course of the day. And really telling yourself that certain foods, or types of foods, are off limits is never a good way to go about things. You’ve gotta live a little.

I also started adding weight training to my exercise plan. For the longest time I focused solely on cardio, figuring that I had enough muscle mass already, and that when I was working my job involved all sorts of heavy lifting, so why bother with weights in the gym? But then I realized that I needed to at least do some light weight lifting if only just to maintain the amount that I do have. I was working on a TV show with a former pro-wrestler, and he was telling a story about lifting weight with Schwarzenegger back in the day. This is back when both guys were absolutely ripped. The wrester was killing himself trying to bench press a huge amount of weight and then noticed Arnold not really struggling at all on his sets and lifting a lot less weight on his bar. He asked what was up, and Arnold explained that the muscle mass was already there, now he just had to keep the blood flowing to the muscles to maintain it. Something totally clicked with me when I heard that story.

So, besides the sore muscles, I am happy that I came around and added it into my routine. I never ever want to look like a body builder or one of the guys you see in Men’s Health or other fitness magazines, the guys that are just completely yoked, but some muscle definition would be quite all right. I guess that for me I never want to be “large” again. I have been the biggest guy in the room already and even if I were all muscle and no fat whatsoever, I don’t want to deal with being that size.

What is interesting/confusing is that my body fat percentage hasn’t really changed. Currently at 20%, it was at 19% back in November when I was originally @ 195 pounds. Right now, I weight the same as I did then, and have been adding the weight lifting, but have not seen a drop in body fat percentage. Granted, I am using a bathroom scale to measure BF%, so who knows how reliable that thing really is? For now I won’t let it bother me.

I suppose that’s it. It has been a mixture of steady work, working out when I can (basically any day I’m not working or if I have the chance after work) and maintaining a healthy diet. I’m still on the way to FINALLY achieving my weight loss goal and being happy with the state of my body. I’m so close I can feel it.


P.S. All photos by Ohm Phanphiroj.

P.P.S. Some upcoming posts that I need to get out of my head on “on paper.” They are all closely interrelated so I think I will have to do them one right after the other.

- Hook-ups & Hang-ups (and I suppose a survey of my sexual history)

- Letting go of the inner fat kid

- Self Confidence & Self Perception