Thursday, 8 January 2015

The Sexorcism of Bryce Sage, Day 12 (Part 2): The Sexorcist Bringeth Absolution

What exactly is a Sexorcism? You know, besides an ingenious pun crafted for clickbait. 

I can't really say, nor do I know where the practice originates. I did know I needed to have one, and it would make sense it should be performed by a sexorcist... but where would you find one of those?

Turns out I'd already met mine during a past work trip abroad. 

Actually this gentleman found me through social media. So when I happened to be in his stomping grounds, he asked me to dinner. Despite my history of promiscuity, I had no expectations of anything more, but we instantly connected, deep-eye fucking and all. Apparently he even loved living vicariously through my Blog, which gave me an instant validation boner. One thing led to another and I ended up at his place for an encounter of utmost sensual passion. Best of all, I left with my emotional attachment in check, because what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Fast forward to my sex-purge breaking point. I’m now writing this blog series, displaying my big red S for Slut, while opening myself up to the universe for epiphanies. 

A couple entries in - and nearly a born again virgin - my secret lover sends me a rather curious text. He wants to know if his story will make the cut. I told my secret lover that our encounter was too amazing, too invigorating, it lacked the darker twists and turns to be a part of sex-shaming series. 

Then in the Blog home stretch – he messaged me again, wanted to meet for coffee. I figured, wow, this stud's persistent. I wondered if this was the Sex Demon's last ditch effort to destroy my willpower. I was like Gillian Anderson in The Fall, trying to stop the sexy rapist killer, when the sexy rapist killer contacted her. I had no choice but to acquiesce, to coffee anyway.

Our chemistry was still undeniably crackling, and every impulse inside both us clearly wanted to rekindle the shit out of our love affair. But wouldn't that be a sexorcism conflict of interest? 

Then my seducer put me on the spot. He asked if I thought sex was inherently bad - if I judged all the gays on Grindr as slutty, soulless husks. 

In the hot seat, I explained it was never my intention to declare having sex – or having lots of it is – as bad per se. Ultimately it shouldn’t matter whether your friends, your family, your colleagues, your Dog or even God thinks you’re a Slut. What matters is if you see a Slut when you look at yourself in the mirror, and if you do see one, how does that make you feel? 

Like many things in life, Sluttiness just isn't black or white. But how do we really know if it's bad or not? Forgive me if I hit you with a little age-old napkin wisdom. 

I don't think it's one meaningless sexual experience that makes you a Slut, it's the sum of an intangible number of unsavoury sexual parts which leave you feeling empty (and well Slutty). 

When we feel the impulse to have sex – be that with a Grindr hook-up or a sexy married man – all we can do is be honest when we ask ourselves, what exactly is our motivation to have this sex and does that motivation line up with our core values? 

If our motivation is PURELY for external validation, then our answer, should be a big fat: Hell No. Trust me. This is a rabbit hole I know leads to narcissistic addiction. Have you been reading anything?!

Perhaps more importantly we should ask ourselves about the consequences of that sex and whether we’re okay with them. Am I a home-wrecking-ball Seductress? Will I be shirking my work responsibilities or the friends I'm not having sex with? Am I putting off that novel I said I should be writing? 

That's fine and dandy philosophical mumbo-jumbo, but the gorgeous man across from me hadn't come for a spiritual lecture. He wanted to know where our hook-up stood –  and whether, more importantly, we could do it again. 

So I stared into his eyes for a ponderous, heart-stopping moment before I smirked and suggested our negotiations could continue back at my place. But nothing above the belt, obviously.

I knew we’d be getting it on well before he initiated the first delicious kiss half-way through the apartment tour. I didn't object when he lifted me a foot off the hardwood floor to carry me with ease to my bedroom. And I didn’t fight back when he pulled off my belt, and everything else with it – well maybe I did a little, but only so we could get sweaty as we wrestled around naked. I suppose I have a thing for setting rules so they can be broken.

I surrendered to the moment, but I wasn’t on impulsive auto-pilot. For one of the first times in my sexual history, I’d evaluated my impulses in the moment and decided this hook-up was more than okay. 

I wasn't seeking outside validation and nobody would be hurt by the butterfly effect of this encounter. Plus I'd been a productive soldier earlier that day. 

Part of what my sexorcism needed was some good, healthy sex

Validation or sex addiction are tricky ones to navigate. It’s somewhat easier to understand why people must go cold turkey to eliminate substance abuse from their lives. I'm not saying it's easy, but alcohol and drugs aren't something we as humans need – at least according to Maslow’s Hierarchy. We do, however, all need to be loved and feel like we belong. And that includes and necessitates sex

The chart clearly indicates that if we lack a particular need, like the need to love or feel belonging, we can’t have a healthy self-esteem and certainly no self-actualization, which as far as I’m concerned, is essentially spiritual enlightenment. In other words, to feel desired and loved is part of being human.

Turns out, my forbidden encounter with my astute traveling blog reader was exactly what I needed. 

Without me seeking validation, he made me feel deeply desired. So much so he unleashed the baritone growls of a primal beast lurking deep inside. The beast I thought was the sex demon I needed to sexorcize. Turns out this beast is a part of me – something I need to accept and cherish as essential and dare I say it... beautiful? (oh I should warn you the rest is going to get a touch sappy).

Maybe you think I'm just trying to justify past sexcapades (or at least this most recent one) so I don't feel as bad about the transgression and maybe you're right. 

But here's the thing. I still stand by every after-school special life lesson I needed to learn along this journey. I do think we need to pay attention to our impulses and learn when we need to fight them if we want true fulfillment out of life, especially if that includes an authentic True Love connection.

I also know, one week later, that somehow this particular hook-up with my sexorcist deeply meaningful. 

I recently disclosed to anybody reading on here that I suffer from depression. And I have, on-and-off, for the best part of a decade. The fact that I lost a best friend after having sex for the first time, a few other hard-hitting rejections and my resulting fear of rejection and abandonment no doubt made me vulnerable to the kinds of all-or-nothing "you're-not-worthy" depressive thoughts that turn one into a selfish validation-seeking addict.

These fears probably also likely made me so deeply ashamed of sex, something we all know can be inherently good.

I know these epiphanies contradict with the goal of my journey, but hear me out.

If the Bible taught me anything, and by Bible, I mean Legally Blonde, it's that Elle Woods went to Harvard to win her boyfriend back but ended up discovering her potential. In other words, heroes never know what answers they'll get when they set out on their journeys!

I embarked on this sex purge to shame myself as penance, but I ended up discovering that sometimes I'm way too hard on myself. That it's human to slip up and make Slutty mistakes. But to forgive them is divine. And sometimes those Slutty mistakes provide great stories turned life lessons.

I'm not pretending like I'm cured of validation addiction, not in the slightest. And I’m prepared for setbacks and dry spells and more heart-break and downward spirals (and occasionally having great sex with strangers) before I manage to meet my True Love. I'm also ready to think a little more before I act, and by act, I mean screw somebody I may end up regretting screwing.

I also think I’m ready to start believing I’m enough, that we all deserve to love and to be loved in return. But that can only stop when we truly stop seeking outside validation

I think in this case, RuPaul said it best: "If you don't love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?" 

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The Sexorcism of Bryce Sage, Day 12: The Day of Reckoning

Two weeks ago, I made a pact with you all to open up about 12 of my darkest and most scandalous hook-up sex stories. I called this a sex purge (which later became a Sexorcism) and I've suffered through it in hopes of getting some answers on my path to enlightenment. What kind of answers, I wasn't exactly sure, but I guess I wanted to understand why I've been such a massive slut over the years in my quest for love. 

So as promised, I relived the shame, the disgust and the embarrassment you’d expect from such a naked self-examination. But did I learn anything by following in the footsteps of Hester Prynne - or Emma Stone in Easy A, for you hipper readers?  

Before we get to the epiphanies - in fact to best understand them - let me tell you about the meaningless sex that broke this manwhore's back. 

This climactic hook-up wasn't particularly epic. It involved no role-play or date-rape or voyeuristic grizzlies. It wasn’t any of the umpteen "first dates" I brought to my favorite neighborhood restaurant so I could turn them into one-night-stands. Nor was it that time when my reformed brother and I went clubbing (to show his no-longer-homophobic support) and we bonded when I proved I had game by seducing the hottest guy in the bar. 

No, this experience was innocuous by comparison.

After a couple potential relationships took a tumble, I predictably reverted back to my fail-safe means of securing validation: hook-up apps. Problem is, I couldn't find anybody I was willing to screw meaninglessly. 

It's not that my standards went up. But when you’ve slept with nearly every gay under 30 in Toronto, and the rest are taken, you do quickly run out of options.

But along came this rather beautiful exception. Over the years, I’d tried to engage this visage of perfection in any way possible, but it was always to no avail. I’d tried Grindr-standard caveman-speak (“hey or 'sup”) as well as over-eager, desperado compliments or sending my sexiest pictures. But no dick picks, suckers. I'll share a lot with the world, but never, ever NC-17-rated!

But nothing, nada, not even a blocking. I don't know what it was about this guy, but I wanted him, so freaking hardcore. Call it a je ne sais quoi.  Call it jonesing for a quick hit. Maybe it had something to do with the repeated rejections. Damn kitten string theory.
Then came a shocker: he messaged me. One horny winter morning, this unattainable, way-outside-my-league hottie engaged me in online flirts containing multiple-syllabic words and questions. It was almost like a conversation

Despite my excitement, I reined in my expectations. Eventually he would ask for more pics, but I knew he'd go dark. This pattern was common enough, I was more than used/numbed to it.

But then he responded: "Nice, man." He also gave me his number, which meant he was doing a voice check to ensure I was masculine enough. I probably wasn't but I know how to turn down the rainbow by occasionally mumbling “man” and “bro”. 

He said he wanted to meet – at one of the sketchiest and most dangerous intersections in Toronto. I wasn’t remotely perturbed – remember my fetish for the dangerous and/or forbidden? That said, I drove towards another would-be trap, half-expecting another Catfish. 

But my fears vanished when this beefcake Adonis came out in just a tank and gym shorts, a compact stack of prettyboy muscle, genetically engineered just for me. Best part of all? All he wanted was to pleasure ordinary old me.  

Two hours later, I was seemingly still reeling. So proud of my conquest, I could do nothing but gab about it – to every gay ear willing to listen. I could feel myself gaining cool cred, making me a King amongst Sluts. 

Later that day I went to the gym – and figured I could squeeze in another hook-up along the way. As this became my focus for the remainder of the day, I started to feel increasingly disgusting. I was no closer to love, deeply unsatisfied and every time I hooked up it redirected my focus from what I really cared about (which I couldn't even articulate). 

Is this who I want to be? A guy who gauges his self-worth by the hotness of the men he can score? Is this the kind of example I want to be setting? 

After a big long cry, I deleted Grindr again, for the 28th time), yes. That night, as I cuddled my body pillow to sleep, I decided I would launch this series, for the reasons described above.

But here's the thing. When I embarked on this literary journey - my sexorcism, if you will - I knew it required I abstain from actual sex

Obviously meaningless sex would throw me off my game, like it's done so many times before. Either cloud my mind with delusions of true love, or deepen the taint of the shame I feel. 

I certainly wouldn’t have time to write anything introspective.

Turns out I was wrong, yet again. 

Yes, this story has one more twist in store for prudish old me. Now before you lose it and throw your computer at the wall in frustration, you should know by now that I'm also a Pop Culture slut. And if Harry Potter and The Hunger Games can split their final chapters into two, so can I. 

Stay tuned for how one no-strings and surprisingly meaningful hook-up somehow saved me from myself.

To Be Continued...

The Sexorcism of Bryce Sage, Day 11: "Just Friends" and Ulterior Motives

Monday, 5 January 2015

The Sexorcism of Bryce Sage, Day 11: "Just Friends," Ulterior Motives and the Drug Dealer

Over my decades-long search for true love, I've battled through phase after phase of hooking-up and tried many a sex-cleanse. In fact the 2014 calendar was ostensibly a good year in terms of keeping the hook-ups minimal. Alas traditional hook-ups with strangers aren't the only way to satiate that sexual validation addiction. 

Take for example the dangerous "just-friends" zone. That dreaded place you sometimes enter after a relationship turns sour and you're not ready to rip off the bandaid. It's also a place of one-sided puppy-dog crushes that romantic comedies teach us will inevitably flower into true love. In reality, just friends usually just leads to Ulterior Motives, our validation demon’s surefire secret weapon to control you.

What Rom-Coms failed to teach us: "Just Friends" really means "He's Just Not Into You Enough".
I have loads of experience trapped in the friends-zone (and how not-so-dastardly ulterior motives can get you out). My first gay friendship actually started this way. After meeting on a dating site, we quickly entered quasi friendzone limbo. We'd hang out, play videogames all the time, but we never so much as made out. I guess I had romantic delusions I could be justly rewarded, so long as I thought big picture, long haul. After investing in this friend – even paying his way on trips to the US – I got my answer at a holiday party, when he gave some other dude a blowjob pretty much in front of me.

Buckets of tears later, rejection wounds cauterized, I begged to know why I wasn’t good enough for more than friends, so he told me “I was too fat.” Sounds harsh, but I do owe my gym-trained body (and body dysmophia) to this very healthy friendship. And spoiler alert, I did eventually get fit, which helped secure his affections for all of five minutes before our attempted relationship imploded. This roller-coaster of unrequited passion taught me the only kind of love worth having is the abusive sort you have to really fight for!

After a few years of thankful maturing, I did learn to avoid toxic relationships. I attracted one pretty great guy and we clicked—you know, despite a ten-year age difference. We even made a Boyfriend Bucket List of uber-romancey things to do together, like picnics with chocolate-covered strawberries and B&Bs. It was going to be true love for all eternity until a wrench came in the form of that ten-year age difference. Tragically things went south fast, but no biggie. We could still be just friends, right? 

Now in my 30s, I was clearly experienced enough to handle a platonic relationship with a recent ex. Heck we could even defy the odds by continuing the Boyfriend Bucket List (we'd knocked off two items so far), just minus any of the cuddling and sex. I'm not sure how I thought we could recreate those experiences and avoid triggering a nightmare of rejection memories. Of course, that inner sex demon loves denial, because it leads to subconscious ulterior motives, which help keep your self-esteem low and your aching heart high.
After a cuddle-free telescope tutorial and platonic candle-lit dinner just made me want to jump off a cliff, I was ready to call a spade a spade. Instead of getting further inebriated that night (to chance crossing the line), we even displayed the rare wisdom to call the night early.

As it were, I drove my former beau to his apartment home, just in time for his curfew. I secretly wanted to kiss him goodnight, and thank the Gods I resisted the impulse, because our moment was quickly hijacked by a belligerent and homophobic-slur-prone man wearing only a tattered, beer-stained wife-beater, who got up in our faces and accused us of looking in his direction. His partner-in-crime lingered in the bushes behind him, identity concealed by a hoodie. We weren't sure what their beef was but we think we'd accidentally witnessed a drug deal. 

As the situation escalated, we tensed up in fear. Our rabid ruffian's jerky twitches suggested major substance abuse. The wrong trigger word or sudden movement might provoke a feral attack. Our only recourse was to disengage as quickly and as subtly as possible. 

When the scoundrel turned to his hoodied friend, we tried to slip away. I told my ex to get inside the apartment, but it immediately provoked a charge. We buzzed inside, and I tried to pull the lobby door closed to barricade us, but the assailant just used his bare elbow to smash the foyer windows, which splintered in an explosion of glass and blood. Adrenaline took hold and we ran (for our lives), hoping his bleeding might slow him down.

After dashing up the stairwell, we found our way to my ex-turned-friend's apartment, and bolted the door. We called the police, gave statements over the phone, and then watched the ensuing drama over the apartment surveillance cable channel. This didn't do much to calm my ex's nerves, so I tried to distract him with calming ginseng and card games. A few hours later, he still seemed understandably perturbed and asked if I’d stay to keep him company overnight. 

Of course I recognized the friend-zone dangers, but still jumped all over the chance for selfless hero protective cuddling. Yes, one thing led to another. And yes, I knew better, but what's the harm in one last hurrah, before commencing the official platonic zone? 

Sure it was a validating score in the impulsive moment, that just made me long a lot longer for something that would never ever be (and probably helped ensure other opportunities would pass me by). Ultimately, the situation in of itself, however spontaneous, could’ve been avoided by not attempting "friendship" until we had real hope of genuine friendship.  

Alas, to give myself a little credit, in today’s day and age of fuck buddies, open relationships and the like, the lines get so blurred. I have always found it touch odd gay men love to use hook-up and dating apps to search for “friends”. Even if one party is truly honest in his friendly intentions, the other almost always plays along with manwhore ulterior motives.

Should we gauge potential friend matches by the hotness of their pictures and the inevitable likelihood we'll eventually bang when we get tipsy? I'm not one to judge, and maybe normal folks can better compartmentalize their feelings, but for me and my history of falling in love after a night of extreme cuddling, I need to firmly draw a line in the sand. Maybe even avoid that shitty post-guilt realization your ulterior motives led to wasted time and missed opportunities.

But who knows. Maybe when you talk to me in three years, I’ll have morphed into a polyamorous king with six husbands, maybe even some wives.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Sexorcism of Bryce Sage, Day 10: How Validation Addiction Takes Control

I've told you I'm possessed by a sex demon - or addicted to sexual validation - hence my need for a Sexorcism. Now let me tell you a sordid story of how I came to understand how this Incubus controls me.  

I was making the long haul from Toronto to Ottawa to see a good pal - and it's important to note, I was already late. The un-scenic drive is dreadfully tedious, and RadioLab podcasts and One Direction sing-alongs could only keep me entertained for about half the voyage, before I got a touch stir-crazy

That's when the crafty voices in my head suggested I pull over in Kingston for a rejuvenating cup of coffee.  "It’ll only be five minutes," they promised. "You'll be back on the road in no time and your buddy will barely notice."

While waiting in line with easy access to wi-fi, the voices said I could pass the time by turning on Grindr. Don't worry, just for some harmless window-shopping. But the thing about Kingston is it's home to a big university, a military base and federal security prison. Between varsity jocks, army grunts and reformed ex-cons, that’s like three porn fantasies all in one place. How is one to resist a little flirting?

One such conversation emerged with a clean-cut stud, who happened to be none of the above stereotypes, but did own the uniforms, which perhaps was even better. He wanted to meet, but I said I had prior commitments. He promised it would be a quickie. Try as I might to resist, my arm was summarily twisted.

After exchanging pictures to confirm identities, he asked if I was into anything kinky. "Depends what you mean by kinky." He said I could tie him up with rope and have my way with him. 

Well now. I’ll admit I had no real experience with things like carpentry or domination, but I did have years of Dungeons & Dragons role-playing under my belt, and I think it’s important to try new things. So I told him to wear the camo pants and role-play being straight. The rest I would handle and I’d be over in a jiffy.

So next thing, by this point on near auto-pilot, I’ve plugged his address into my GPS, and it takes me a good mile outside town. With the sun setting, I pull up to a century-old, two-story Victorian abode with no other signs of life in sight, I feel like I’m checking into the Bates Motel.

Unfortunately I prefer to star in my own cautionary tales, so despite my tingling spine, I proceed with very little caution.

I notice the front door is slightly ajar, and the rusty hinges blatantly announce my arrival. After searching the ground floor perimeter and finding no bedrooms I realize my conquest and/or demise waits for me upstairs.

At the top, I scan my peripheral and instantly notice the thick marine hemp at the foot of the bed in the room to my right. And there sleeps my soldier, exhausted after training, clueless to my presence. 

I proceed to dutifully tie his arms and feet together, gently but gingerly so as not to wake him prematurely. With one hand I leverage his trapped biceps to force his chiseled face inches from mine. He stirs when he feels my breath, but his pinned muscles are powerless to stop me. I grab a fistful of tousled hair, and place my rough lips against his. He won't kiss me back, so I twist his arms until he grunts. I tell him he'll do what I want, unless he wants more pain, until he nods: "Yes, Sir." I've got this jacked army stud before me, ready to do whatever sexual bidding I want, so of course I order him to: “Kiss me like you mean it!”

I’ll admit for a the beginnings of my Jack Bauer sex-interrogation, it was a bit trite. What happens next you ask? You should know by now that I lure you in with tales of sensational smut, but force you to stay for the after-school special life pearls of wisdom. And no the takeaway isn't how to apply Dungeons & Dragons to every day life.

In getting caught up in the moment, I ended up about three hours late to see my friend. Effectively I put my cravings for sex/validation at the top of the priority list. Sure this event in of itself wasn’t the end of the world, in fact my friend enjoyed living vicariously through the story. But these kind of indiscretions are slippery slopes. Once you get away with one – even get seemingly rewarded for it – it’s more likely to trigger more of them.

This is the Sex Demon hard at work. He knows what we humans crave more than anything is a deeply fulfilling relationship (with deeply fulfilling sex). But he also knows our mere mortal brains can’t really tell the difference between meaningful true-love sex and meaningless one-night-stand sex. And in the absence of the former, he’ll make us addicted to the latter.

If you don’t buy my spiritual mumbo jumbo, here’s some basic biology for you. Once men in particular have sex (which means anything where the punch line is ejaculate leaving the penis), dopamine is released in the brain, a highly addictive chemical. If the surrounding experience is largely positive – and any negative consequences of said experience minimal – you’re more likely to crave more of them.

Look, I’m not saying sex is bad. In fact, sex actually stimulates the growth of brain cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Which is especially the case when you’re learning new safe-words or how to hog-tie your partner before shoving a cock down his throat.

So how do understand the difference? When to trust our impulses are good ones and not going to turn us into an empty, sleazy, selfish man-whore two years down the line? Stay tuned. Only two more chapters to go.    

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Sexorcism of Bryce Sage, Day 9: Why I Almost Quit

WTF?!  I’m 9 posts into the 12 Hook-Ups of Christmas and I’m rebranding the freaking series? 

Well, as I’ve said many times before, I have a confession to make. 

My Dark Night of the Soul happened earlier than anticipated and I very nearly threw in the proverbial towel. I even quietly posted yesterday’s Day 8 post without you even knowing, I was so ashamed of myself.

Maybe you think I fell back on my pledge. That I turned Grindr back on to survive the Christmas to New Years dry spell. But tempted as I was, I never regressed. Actually it was a different self-doubt crisis masquerading as epiphany that almost did me in.

Over the holiday, I had a fantastic few days catching up with family, playing board games with friends. That is to say, I had fun when I wasn’t dwelling on my outlandish sex life, further cementing the view some of you accurately have that I’m a sleazy, self-absorbed narcissist who brashly calls himself Bryce the Slut.

The thing is I started to get afraid. After posting my delightful almost-rape story, I was summoned to attend the last of my X-Mas gatherings. This was one with the “classier” side of my extended family. Amidst the wholesome, polite chit-chat about mostly nothing of conseqeunce, it suddenly dawned on me. Sure this blog series was designed as a sluttiness purge for me (and my 7 followers) but what if any of my cherished family actually read it. What if they came to know me as Bryce the Slut?

I said I’m doing this purge in part for accountability. But every time I regurgitated a sexcapade, and forced myself to relive the shame, the embarrassment, the horror, I just felt more disgust and shame in doing so. Yeah there was a little catharsis mixed somewhere in there, but mostly it was exhausting and certainly never fun.

Plus by around Hook-Up Number Four, I figured I’d already learned the lessons of the journey, so why the hell did I have the audacity to keep airing my dirty laundry for all of Facebook to read? Had I just traded in one kind of validation for another more demeaning variety?

But remember how Scrooge thought he had all the answers when he saw the Ghost of Christmas Past? Exactly. Rome wasn’t built in a day. And by Rome, I mean a man with a healthy self-esteem and view on sex and love.

Here’s the real truth. I’ve mostly framed these 12 stories around the more inventive hook-ups full of twists and turns. For better or worse, the stories I actually remember. The sad reality is those dudes worthy of blog-posts are the minority. By drumming up the past, I've had flashes of hundreds more, that range the good, bad and ugly gamut. Cue the dark and dirty sex montage. 

I’ve re-met guys at parties who have to remind me we already hooked up in the past. How about the times I was the other man or the guy you date when you’re on a “break” from your boyfriend. 

Ultimately it’s the faceless torsos that make up my sex montage, the sum of these inadequate, bland and certainly meaningless trysts that are the true source of my soul-rot. They necessitate the gauntlet-like nature of this purge.

Sure 12 Hook-Up stories may seem excessive, but there’s 12 steps in most recovery programs for a reason. I'm as addicted to dating, sex and validation as the next chap is to booze, sweets or cocaine.

So this is why I’m rechristening the series, the Sexorcism of Bryce Sage. And I refuse to give up this far in, when I'm this close to the end of my 1000-mile trek. I'm going to take that sex demon inside of me and slay his ass quicker than Buffy on a redshirt vampire. Okay, maybe not that quick. This Incubus has a Spike-like hold on me.

Anyway, one last thing before we get back to the fight.

Just in case you were wondering... I call myself Bryce the Slut, so “twig bitches like you don’t do it behind my back.”

Monday, 29 December 2014

12 Hook-Ups of Christmas Day 8: My True Love gave me Twinks A-Milking

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me:

Twinks A-Milking

Shameful tip for would-be hooker-uppers from an old sleazy pro: if you're goal is validating sex from an Adonis-class hottie, than consider traveling outside your jurisdiction. 

Large population centres like Toronto attract many more gay men, which means increased competition for attractive commodities and a higher concentration of flakes and/or catfish. By traveling to greener pastures, you can encounter fresh meat, making you the hot fish in the small pond. 

This is how I found my latest conquest: a prettyboy college swimmer, fit for the CW.

Age is just a number, except when it's under 25, and you're almost 30.

After the prerequisite online courtship, we decided to meet at the sole strip mall in his small town summer home. After picking him up in my jeep—and observing he’s even prettier than his pictures—I asked where he wanted to go. He suggested his old high school. I’ll admit I heard alarm bells at the slightly risqué, public choice, but here’s the thing. Alarm bells tend to turn me on – and as a late bloomer, I hadn’t even made out with anybody until long after uni.

There wasn’t much chit-chat before heavy petting led to tonsil fishing. It was like we were at the drive-in with the windows fogging up, taking advantage of the reclining back-seats. By the time our clothes started to take themselves off, we were interrupted by a blinding flash of light, like the prelude to an alien abduction. Alas a sharp wrapping on the window told me our disruption was much more provincial in nature but just as much a buzz kill.  

After pulling on my shirt, I rolled down the window for the police. The stern officer first does a double take when he realizes he’s caught two men about to do the nasty.

But he quickly regained his intimidating composure, sternly asking if he could see our identification. As we pass him our driver’s licenses, my face burns with embarrassment and fear, as I wonder if we actually broke any laws. Even in my brain, where irrational paranoia tends to rule, my mind outputs no, we haven’t.

Then our officer reads a key piece of information aloud for all to judge: Our ages. “27 and … 17?!”

My jaw drops further than his and I turn to the treacherous seductress beside me. “Seventeen?!” I parrot in horror. “You go to this high school!” Needless to say my two-timing, almost-conquest remained silent and avoided any eye contact.

The officer disappeared with our IDs and my life started to flash before my eyes. By which I mean, the part where I was added to the sex offender registry. At worse, I’d be sent to jail before getting shanked. At best, I’d be forever blacklisted, before getting shanked. Either way, my life was over.
I’m pretty sure only five minutes actually passed but they felt like a century. By the time the officer returned with our IDs and told us we were free to go, I didn’t believe him. But as it happens, the Age of Consent in Canada is 16.   

Yes, yes. I should’ve known better. I should’ve asked for his ID first. But that's like saying you should use a condom for a blowjob. 

Then again, even if he did lie about his age, the fake age was still 21

If I learned anything about this experience, it’s that as much as I supposedly yearned for a stable, healthy relationship between adults with jobs and futures, I was much too immature. Between my own penchant for drama, my blatant egotism and shallow discrimination, I was still trapped in an adolescent phase. A phase that would later necessitate three blink-and-you’ll-miss-them love affairs with guys aged 20 to 23. Despite the fact I aged about five years in the process but only grew about one emotional year.

Before you judge me (anymore than you already have), this extended adolescent phase is fairly common for we gays. Many call it Puer aeternus or Peter Pan Syndrome, or an unwillingness to grow up in pop psychology. I’m not trying to justify my bad behavior or anything, I'm just admitting that when it's so bad a Syndrome actually exists, you know you've got a problem worth fixing.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

12 Hook-Ups of Christmas Day 7: My True Love gave me Black Swan Assailing

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me:
Black Swan Assailing

I warned you this series would get worse before it gets better. 

This particular adventure begins in the "Floating City" of Venice, the last sight-seeing stop on my Northern Italy escapades. Venice is of course renowned for the beauty of its architectural wonders. Even the tourist-traps like Piazza San Marco are spectacular and it's easy to get lost in a good way amidst the off-the-grid labyrinthine cobblestone streets, canals and bridges. 

Alas it's hard to explore Venice without being witness to archetypes of blissful romance, mostly canoodling aboard the Gondolas in every direction. And for a love addict like me, with a secret thing for Italian hunks, these sorts of sights tend to inspire a not-so-healthy mix of jealousy and horniness. I'd later learn Italy is still a hotbed for homophobia as far as Europe is concerned - don’t let the cheeks-kissing bromance fool you. But I wasn't about to let any discriminating bigots poop all over my party. 

Sure enough, despite the slim pickings on Grindr, I managed to source out my Romeo. Rather, my Romeo found me. He wasn't Italian per se, but he had the dark and handsome look and he spoke Italian (among six others), so I was more than ready to be his Juliet. 

For a meeting spot, he picked an iconic statue, where I found him leaning in trim, designer duds, embodying debonair suaveness, kind of like a Euro Christian Grey (not that I'd read Fifty Shades). He took me to a little off the cobble-stone path restaurant, where pretty quick I was swept in another fantasy. Now sufficiently buzzed, he gave me a moonlit tour of hidden Venetian gems. Sure we stole a few kisses here and there, but he was a real gentleman. Overlooking one of the many scenic piers, our eyes and lips locked for a minute of schoolgirl bliss. He whispered that I should come back to his place. I told him sure, but that I wanted to take things slow, that I wasn't looking for sex. He wasn't either, we could just cuddle. 

We zigzagged our way through nondescript side streets. Pretty quickly I was lost, but he seemed to know the way. Down a dark alley-way, he stopped in front of a gate, and keyed in an access code. 

After ascending a flight of creaky stairs, my heart sank as reality began to set in. Between hoarded junk, empty beer bottles and barely functional furnishings, it was a cross between basement dorm room and terrorist's apothecary for homemade bombs. A far cry from Christian Grey’s romantic Venetican getaway. I wanted to turn and dash, but he had a taloned grip on my wrist and I wasn't going anywhere but his "bedroom," which had more discarded clothes, half-eaten meals and used tissues than floor. 

At least he apologized for the mess before lighting a candle (on an over-turned milk-crate) to add to the "mood". I was more in the mood to run for my life, but I couldn't find the words. Plus he'd already pulled me down onto the mattress pushed into the corner. 

He started to kiss me, but the moment was long gone. I wasn’t the least bit aroused and I think he could tell. So he forced me prone, climbed on top and tried kissing more deeply. I felt him reach downstairs as he said he knew what to do to bring me to life. 

I moved his hand away, reminded him about the rules. He scoffed, stuck his tongue further down my throat, and with me pinned, he unzipped my jeans. I pushed him off again, this time more firmly. I told him it's not going to happen, that it’s probably best if I just get out of there. 

He instead twisted me around and slammed me back down onto the bed. He secured a vice-grip on me from behind, and breathed down my neck. “You said you wanted to cuddle,” he reminded me, tightened bearhug. I said nothing but weighed my options. I did have a slight size advantage, but I didn’t really know how to fight and this was his home turf. Maybe I could just lie here for an hour or so, wait until he fell asleep, and then quietly escape.

But it couldn’t be five minutes before one of his hands reached around, into my loosened pants. In reflex, I flexed and elbowed him pretty sternly in the ribs. I stood up and told him I’m going home and my face meant business. He changed his tune, first begging me to stay, then trying psychoanalysis. As I quickly redressed, he said my "problem with intimacy" must stem from deep trust issues. I'm surprised I managed to escape his place, unscathed. 

The cloud-concealed moon was high when I emerged in the deserted Venice streets. I'd lost track of time up there and forgotten how frigid it was, the chill already nipping at my bones. I kept running, those once fascinating now towered in every direction. Every constricting corridor looked exactly the same, I knew I was running in circles. I felt like Thesaurus in the Labyrinth, only I’d barely wounded the Minotaur and I forgot to lay out a string to retrace my route.

In the whistling winds, I heard the muffled but steady squeak of rocking boats, anchored in the distance. Following this, Eventually I made it to one of the wider canals, one I recognized from my day travels. From here I knew the vicinity of my hotel, for a modicum of safety.

You might hope an experience such as this work as rock bottom. Alas, in real life, we sometimes numb ourselves to close calls and bandage them up with irreverent stories, to protect ourselves from real reflection. In truth, it wasn't until the Jian Ghomeshi scandal that I even re-visited this past encounter with any real 20/20 wisdom. I could've been the victim of assault, but I ended up desensitized to the real dangers of hooking up.  

Thursday, 25 December 2014

12 Hook-Ups of Christmas, Day 6: My True Love gave me States A-Laying

I’ve blogged rather extensively about my soul-searching roadtrip across America in hopes of finding "my way". I think I did a pretty decent job of convincing you and myself that I found it (at least creatively). Conveniently, I left a few exploits out of my travelogue. Like, for example, that I morphed into a giant slut across the border, sleeping my way from state-to-state. All I really I came back with was an addiction to validation, that little monster fuelling so many of these blog-posts. I think Madonna said it best. The road to Hell - especially the Lust ring - is paved with good intentions. 

Here's the thing. After my late-in-life deflowering, I had a lot of lost time to make up. By the time that I'd hooked-up with so many GTA guys, I'd built up quite the reputation. Even if I wanted something serious, I'd tainted the waters. So by traveling, I'd be like a romantic blank slate - maybe I'd even find the love of my life.   

Originally, my trip was supposed to beeline me straight through to California. 

But approximately a year prior, I’d met a particularly dashing hunk during the finals of a relay challenge in the deep, deep south. This buff jock was also a giant nerd, a man of science and, well, the man of my dreams. We instantly hit it off as friends and promised to stay in touch. So when I cooked up the idea for a roadtrip through the US, I hinted I'd be passing through the Bible Belt in hopes of broadening my horizons. 

When he offered a place to stay, I decided to add a 1000-mile detour to my journey. It didn’t matter that there were no guarantees I'd even get laid (the messages were neutral and platonic) or that this pitstop would basically add another 24 hours driving solo. That just meant 24 hours of more soul-searching. 

So I made like a horny Celine Dion and I drove all night (and then all day and all night). I arrived in his stomping grounds and stepped through the front door, my heart pounding and butterflies a-flurry. He gave me the Southern Hospitality tour, which included his epic video-game and science-fiction collection, me getting more and more swept up in my fantasy. When he showed me the sleeping arrangement possibilities, I suddenly realized he’s as conflicted about whether this would be a friendly or more-than-friendly sleepover. There’s the inflatable mattress or umm, sharing his king-size bed. He promised not to take advantage of me. I winked and said, I wouldn’t have a problem if he did.

He instantly scooped me into jacked guns. I won't get too explicit, but let's just say it started with the most intense and passionate of kisses, worthy of a Danielle Steele yarn. We tried all sorts of positions before settling on something airborne. Sexually it was quite epic, but here's the twist. We were also instant gym buddies. We cuddled over videogames, matched wits in Settlers of Catan. It was like the best of my past hook-ups and dating experiences wrapped into one instant boyfriend experience. A marriage proposal must've been right around the bend - but I guess it would wait until after the rest of my roadtrip  

After this all too perfect weekend, he left me a lovely note before sending me off on my remaining journey west. When there, I really tried to do some soul-searching, but I couldn’t get the deep south out of head. So naturally I'd hook up with other men or visit planetariums in hopes of erasing the memory. 

When those strategies didn't work, I envisioned the ending to this romantic comedy starring me. If he were game to see me again, I’d drive all the way back. After another surely amazing weekend, I’d confess my feelings. That I’d never met a guy like him, bla, bla, bla. He'd obviously feel the same - and we'd declare our undying love for each other. We'd naturally overcome the long-distance challenges. I'd relocate and become his stay-at-home husband until I penned a bestseller. 

So I drove another 24 hours out of my way to see Mr. Perfect again. I took a much more scenic route, with texts from my paramour to keep me focused (and celibate). By the time I arrived, we were quickly back to making-out business. 

Then I made a fatal mistake. Instead of waiting as planned, I vomited my feelings within an hour of seeing him, which sounded more and more like the delusional ranting of a mad man in faux-love. Almost instantly, I watched the magic spark snuff out in his eyes.

Not that would stop us from sleeping together again. But this time our encounters involved significantly less passion. They were devoid of kissing and/or foreplay, entirely transactional. The organic spontaneity was clearly gone and in response to my crazy, he made it clear there was nothing the least bit special about me. Understanding this killed any boner I had for him. 

I planned to leave our final morning together, ideally without any sex to regain any possible integrity. But by the time I came out of the shower, I found him jerking off to some random on his web-cam! I wasn’t just a piece of No Frills meat, but an expired piece. To add insult to injury, he asked if I wanted to join them. In this utter state of perceived rejection, I couldn’t feel less sexy. But he needed me to perform for this other dude!

Then a switch flipped in my head. Performing for this online stud, meant I’d technically be performing for two, which meant double the validation (for a validation-addict). In this mode, expectations realigned, the sex was intensely hot, with all the passion and the kissing I’d remembered from the first weekend. Sure I felt a bit empty afterwards, but I’d burned calories, and I never dwelled a second longer on my vacation boyfriend.

My soul-searching vacation became a real lesson in denial and delusion. You'd almost think I'm close to finding the answers. But darling, we're only half-way through this romantic thriller and the bad guys are about to close in. 

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

12 Hook-Ups of Christmas, Day 5: My True Love gave me a Golden Shower

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me:
A Golden Shower

First of all, get your head out of the gutter. 

The “Golden” in this title refers to my golden retriever, Gambit. This just so happens to be the longest and probably most heart-breaking of my relationships. Yes, that sounds a touch pathetic. I couldn’t even make a relationship with a dog - animals bred for human companionship and unconditional love - work. I warn you, this story, may warrant your Kleenex. On the bright side, the "Shower" does refer to a shower I had sex in.

Meet Gambit. Man's best friend. Trusty twink magnet.
A little Marley & Me back-story before we get to said sexcapades. I grew up with and always loved canines, so when I finished uni and had a romantic void to fill, Gambit seemed like the perfect fit. Not only would he make me feel less lonely, but he’d help me pick up strangers, because who can resist a hot man and his dog? Sure my reasons for getting Gambit were selfish, but we bonded pretty quick. We had loads in common, for example, loving winter cuddles and long walks on the beach. We shared an Achilles heel weakness for attention, but our codependent neediness complimented each other. Gambit did get a little jealous of the other men in my life. He'd growl and pull these sleazy men off me by their pant-legs. You know how dogs seem to know about Satanic possessions before you do?

Between the affection and his perfect temperament Gambit was a kickass, loyal dog, but I needed more in the way of loving. It was a humid late summer weekend, when I was invited to a gay party down at Toronto Island. I figured Gambit could be my date. 

We spotted dozens of clustered men drinking from party cups, so naturally, I stripped out of my cumbersome shirt. (It's true they were mostly older creeper types, but any attention is good attention for a validation addict). Alas none of these men noticed or cared about Gambit or my chiseled body They were too distracted by the leaner, prettier host using the same tactic as me. The fact that I'd sort-of hooked up with this popular prettyboy and was later rejected is an irrelevant footnote, and I certainly retained no resentment. Because I'm bigger than that.

Of course, Gambit was always a good wingman. He found us a couple fresh-faced gays down by the water tossing a Frisbee. They invited us to join in and once they started flirting, it was enough to let our guards down. Eventually my new friends and I worked our way back to shore, to park on one of the sleeping bags, while Gambit frolicked on his lonesome. 

We couldn't help noticing the bulk of the party still clustered around that cocky host, who seemed to share questionable histories with my new friends as well. Feeling united as outcasts, we cooked up a Mean Girls revenge scheme, powered by adolescent hormones. 
Pretty soon we were making out for attention, like needy girls at a college party pretending to be bisexual. Under the glistening sun of magic hour, we began to lure the wayward eyes of our sinister host's minions. By the time we took our act inside the sleeping bag, we had a full audience.

What started as a sloppy, semi-drunken kiss devolved pretty quickly into a nasty, sweat-soaked three-way. Despite the thrill of performance, when it was time for undressing, we had the decency to relocate from the beach to the nearest change-room we could find. It happened to have the titular shower to drown out any moans and/or evidence of the tryst.

Somewhere during the throws of romance, I clue in that I haven’t seen Gambit, since we abandoned the beach. By the time I've redressed, night has long fallen and there’s no sign of my dog. I scream his name a few times, but to no avail. I felt like a single Mom at the mall who lost sight of her toddler and I started to cry. Gambit had been dog-napped, and this was karma punishment for my vengeance-fuelled lust.

But seeing me in my distress, my hook-up mates and the remaining party stragglers decide to help canvass the island for Gambit. We performed a longitudinal grid-search, checking every upturned rowboat and active camp-site. But with no sign of Gambit and the last ferry headed back downtown, I lost everybody but my hook-ups. We'd been bonded together, first by sex, now by this rescue effort and refused to give up.  

We followed a lead - the scent of roasting marshmallows - and sure enough we find him, playing with a family of four, tail-a-wagging. I paused for a minute or two before I announced myself as Gambit’s owner. Gambit barked with glee before jumping into my arms. I couldn't stop crying, but Gambit just licked away my tears. Of course, the memory of my hook-up was long gone for my loyal companion, but I couldn’t and never have forgotten.

Events like this one ended up a mighty wake-up call. Seeing Gambit with that family, made me realize I just I couldn't provide what my dog really deserved. I adored Gambit with all my heart for three long years, but I just wasn’t ready for this kind of commitment. However, I did have an aunt living on an orchard farm. Her daughter was five, the prime age for falling madly in healthy love with a dog. Giving Gambit up was one of the hardest decisions of my life, but at least I know it was one of the only responsible ones. And in theory it left me free to do some soul-searching.  

Sunday, 21 December 2014

12 Hook-Ups of Christmas, Day 4: My True Love gave me a Calling Girlfriend

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me
a Calling Girlfriend

When it comes to hook-ups, have you heard of Craigslist? It’s the butt of slutty jokes, and “best of” profiles or missed connections are always good for a laugh. For the uninitiated – God bless you –Craigslist is an online classified website where you can list and rent your apartment, barter a good deal on Ikea furniture, or, if you’re feeling extra lonely, desperate, and/or horny, you can order in a man-sandwich from the men-seeking-men personals section.

Maybe some of you wonder if anybody actually sinks to these lows. Actually, some of the hottest mancandy can only really be found here. In fact, I checked out the Toronto page today. By noon on a Sunday, there were 250 posts seeking NSA bjs and the scandalous like. Not that I’m justifying the ensuing story of my own depravity, but misery loves company.

Some six or seven years ago, I’d be one to occasionally peruse the listings of Craigslist on a lonely Friday night. It started with curious distraction, but eventually I’d even respond to a few, but only the ones with sexy body pics. Sadly, by the time faces and interests were exchanged, either rejection, repulsion and/or paranoia would protect me from sexual transgression.

First rule of Craigslist. Pepper your ad with buzz-words like masc, man and bro to give the illusion of machismo 

Alas, it was a balmy and mid-july twilight, after a particularly tedious week of work. This time, I had a master plan. Instead of responding to the slim pickings, I’d write up a profile of my own. It would be perfectly scripted to avoid getting lost in the shuffle. The trick was to keep it short and sweet, and to include douchebag phrases like “no femmes, face pics only, and must be fit” to repel the low-hanging fruit. All is fair in love and war, right?

I had scores of responses to sift through, and the guy who stood out was straight / bi-curious, looking to experiment with a “discreet” encounter. He had several body pics, but couldn’t send his face, because he was apparently a professional baseball player. I was ready to call his bluff – and even expected another serial stander-upper or maybe even a homophobic killer. So I smartly demanded he come to my place, to avoid wasting time. We would meet in the public lobby, to avoid any unwanted surprises - like murder and/or a butter face.

Much to my astonishment, my ordered-in beefcake was the real Grade A deal. He kind of resembled the fake pics of my Catfish—in other words, jacked male model perfection—and exuded true athletic manhood, with a post-game gym bag slung over his shoulder and the sweet musky scent of post-game man-sweat. 

As we rode the silent elevator, my heart began racing. But then he asked - in perfect macho bro-speak - if he could have a shower first. I told him it wasn't necessary, with a wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

I was expecting this hook-up to be rather transactional. Not really my cup of tea, looking for true love and all, but this guy was straight / bi-curious, the holy grail of gay stereotype fantasies come to life. But the real twist was the passion. Barely across the threshold of my place, we were making out with fervour, sweating until our our clothes came off. He lifted me up with ease to make love against the wall, the stove or on the counter-top, sensually and aggressively, you get the drill.

Before we got to any drilling, however, the shrill chirp of his phone rudely interrupted us. Pinned beneath this stacked muscle, I watched powerless as he actually proceeded to take the call.

I was momentarily put off, when I heard the voice on the other end was female: “Where are you?” she demanded with muffled, but unmistakable, jealousy. How dare she interrupt this affair fit for a bodice-ripping harlequin?! 

But as he bull-shitted his way through the call – using his baseball game and traffic as dogged excuses – I couldn’t help but grin beneath this two-timing sexpot. My baseball hunk made me feel like the only girl in the world, well up until learning of the other girl in his world. A rendezvous truly fit for Craigslist