Friday, 17 May 2013

Grind It Down



I speak to any gay man these days and it seems they are in two states of being, those that are obsessed with Grindr, and those that have just deleted it. "I got sick of it" they say, but invariably a few weeks later there's an itch that needs scratching.

Since my break-up in November I have been spending time with myself, and a lot of that has been an exploration into the reasons behind my actions and thoughts. Not all of it has been pleasant, and my reaction against it has been to go into the complete other realm of being and feel like I need to experience everything without much thought. The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom, but I've increasingly noted I've been like a dragon chasing it's own tail.

Except in the past few months, in the moments I have given myself at night watching the sky and really conversing with myself, I have realised there's been a breakthrough. Those gaps between running away from being everything I could be and coming back limping vowing to be better than ever are slowly closing.

The embarrassing part is how simple it is. When I am exercising regularly, giving time to myself, eating the right foods and getting plenty of sleep, I am extremely happy and at peace. My productivity goes through the roof and I find I have a lot time for friends, family and the cultivation of myself.

Then there are the times I run away screaming. I wake up late, I spend hours on end looking at internet porn. I spend my work day sneaking off to check my Grindr, my evenings are spent online and before I know it I have to be up early and it's 1am.

I didn`t have a tremendous Catholic guilt moment right after sex this time. There was no vow to be a better person or an absolute intention of feeling unclean. I don't even know how long this moment of clarity will last, I just don't feel that way inclined so much. I've realised I've been making dates and hookups almost because it was expected of me. I felt like everyone around me was telling me to get a move on, that I was young and I should have fun. All I've been doing is giving these poor men the runaround, making dates and not keeping them, or turning up for an hour then disappearing, never to be seen again.

They haven't been disasters, they've been perfectly pleasant, and once upon a time one of them would have been my boyfriend by now. I am just simply not interested.

I'm excited by different things right now. My work excites me. I'm writing again. The progress I am making in the gym not just for the sake of my vanity but for the awareness of my body and how far I can go, all the discipline that accompanies having to wake up earlier to get there before work or going on your lunchbreak.

I've been watching movies and documentaries I've had forever, just aching to be watched. I stayed up late one night to watch Room 237, a film about The Shining and it made me remember how much I liked being challenged in thought. It hasn't happened for a while. I've almost been living my life as this princess airhead pretty boy for the sake of proving that I can. I feel confident enough now to not have to live up to what anyone else thinks. I know my own worth. I can really own that for myself.

I watched Beyonce's documentary last night and it really spoke to me. Say what you will about her, her work ethic is tremendous and she has reaped the fruits of her struggle. She's managed to keep herself scandal-free and isn't jumping out of cars with no underwear. She has a husband, a family network and a child. What I saw was a hardworking businesswoman in complete control of her life, and when she wasn't in control she knew enough of herself to engage in self-dialogue and own that moment of fear or doubt. It was wonderful.

I read an article the other day about Grindr on Vada magazine. It talked about how people slut shame those that use Grindr for sex, and how gay men shouldn't be ashamed of being promiscuous, I don't know exactly what it is that rubs me up the wrong way about it, but I know if it's not making me feel good and it's disrupting being a higher self then why do it? There's something terribly mercenary about putting your best photo up, and calling out a menu of exactly what you want in someone. Someone that could be sat right next to you but you can't even be bothered to turn and smile because you'd rather have the expedience of doing it on your phone.

Since about the age of fourteen I have been hung up on the internet discovering my sexuality. at the time I feel it was neccessary, if I hadn't done it I truly believe I would have died young. There was nowhere else to let me explore who I was, but it also left me wide open to a whole lot of abuse by older men who should have known better.

I look at all the time I have spent onliene compared to the amount of real lasting friendships or exeperiences I have had with people (and I am not discounting that I have) and to be honest the ratio is miniscule. To paraphrase Margaret Cho, I could have taken a pottery class. I could have mastered a discipline. I could have joined a book club and met people. I've made far better friends listening to podcasts and on Twitter, joining groups bound by interest rather than sexual preference.

There's a fear isn't there? In all that you could be. All that I could be sometimes terifies me. Less and so though.

Sometimes wisdom is in the strangest of places. I leave you Daredevil 226 by Frank Miller:

"Everything's up to somebody else with you. So somebody else is always to blame. You'll never be what you could be -- 'cause you know in your guts that if you were, there'd be nobody big enough to pat your head".


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