This week I’ve been working on cleaning up and tagging old blog posts. I’ve finally compiled a complete list of tags used and have been trying to normalize the metadata as much as possible.
I’ve also been gradually saving entries to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, as they’re updated. It’s a slow process, but it does mean reading entries from the beginning of this blog, which has been an experience.
Quite the memory trip.
For instance, I forget sometimes how Libertarian and politically conservative I used to be, as well as how obnoxiously Christian. It’s difficult to say how much of that I actually bought into, but I think there was an unhealthy amount of denial, identification, and amplification going on then—the more sure of myself I sounded, the more doubt I was probably experiencing at the time.
… I was also really angry after losing my faith.
Like, really, toxically angry.
Reading some of these entries is like watching a horror movie that you’ve seen before, knowing what’s going to happen to the main characters but not being able to affect the outcome—no matter how much you scream and cry out at the screen.
Someday I’ll be able to see all of this as the comedy it is.
And in the daylight we can hitchhike to Maine
I hope that someday I’ll see without these frames
For example, it allows for a graphical representation of the distribution over time of all blog entries tagged with “dating” (of which there are sixty-four, from 8-June 2009 to 25-June 2017).
What this graph suggests is that, over the past three years, I have been thinking about dating a fair amount. There were periods between 2010 and 2012 (i.e., between when I broke up with Aaron I; went through Slutty Phase I; dated Aaron II; met Seth; had Slutty Phase II; got dumped by Seth; had Slutty Phase III, the sluttiest, which ended around 2013) when I seem to have not really been thinking (or at least writing) about dating or long-term relationships very much.
But there are periods, especially around the beginning of a new year, when I apparently think about it a lot, probably because the new year is a time for reflection and contemplation of the year ahead, and what it all means.
I like qualitative data.
My blog tells me that in the early days of coming out, I was chiefly concerned with how popular images of homosexuality conflicted with the traditional conceptions of masculinity I’d picked in evangelical Christendom. I hadn’t read Judith Butler or Eve Sedgwick yet, and was still deeply immersed in the heteronormativity of my childhood.
But in reading some of those early blog entries, I can pick up on (at least in kvetching about gender and extravagant sexuality) the fact that I knew there was something different about me from other gay men. I didn’t have the vocabulary yet to articulate that the reason many sex-centric cultural expressions of gay culture didn’t interest me was because I wasn’t that interested in sex.
Well, I was, insomuch as it involved a deep connection to the person with whom I was having sex. I was still years away from discovering the concepts of asexuality or demisexuality.
Similarly, I wasn’t interested in queer culture, not because being queer or queer culture is wrong or perverse, but because gender expression doesn’t interest me. I was always more into music, writing, performing, researching, reading, etc. Those are the expressions of my identity.
Sex is secondary.
Always has been.
There were guys who I was interested in growing up, but there was never any sexual component to that interest. It was more that they were highlighted for further review.
Of course, we could deconstruct my sexuality and say this is a manifestation of my repressed homosexuality as a gay man raised in evangelical Christian culture, that I lacked models for male-male attraction, so my developmental interest in men up until that point was largely arrested—stunted, if you will.
But that’s not true.
It wasn’t until I started developing closer friendships with men I was attracted to that any sexual feelings emerged. They were more an extension of the emotional bond and concerned with intimacy itself than anything specifically sexual.
My theory is that, if I had found a guy who was openly attracted to me during that period, sexual activity would have progressed organically—that it would’ve been more about being together than imitating anything we’d seen in porn.
Two other major themes of my blogs have been relationships and dating, probably two of the biggest sources of anxiety and stress in my life—because I don’t understand how they work.
Unlike most of my peers during their formative adolescent years, when they were starting to date, explore their sexuality, and figure out the rules of the game of human romantic relationships, I was largely oblivious to what was going on. For me, I’d figured out by then that I was gay and had completely shut all that away, for the obvious reasons.
So much creative energy was lost in suppression my attractions when they did emerge.
In short, I’m 34, basically in my second adolescence, and still have no idea what I’m doing.
More than sex though, one of the major themes in my writing is desire for context and meaningful intimate relationships.
This is mainly what doesn’t appeal to me about gay male sexuality: There’s little to no context. Everyone appears to be everything to everyone else.
It’s just about getting off. Guys are just potential fuck buddies or hookups to each other. It’s about numbers, not meaning.
I’ve never known what it is to experience family and belonging, but it’s something I’ve observed and desire for myself.
For me, I prefer fewer but deeper, richer relationships.