Dying From Hate

Discerning Daddy

Here is why Kevin Hart’s homophobic jokes, Trump and the Republican Party’s fascist homophobia, the appropriation of Logan Pauls’ Gay for a Month and Nico Tortorella’s claims to Queerness (oddly supported by mainstream gay magazines), matter:

1. Giovani Melton, 14 years old, shot by his father, Wendell Melton, because he could not accept that his son was gay.
2. Anthony Avalos, 10 years old, murdered by his mother’s boyfriend Kareem Leiva, days after the boy stated he “liked boys”.
3. Kyler Prescott, 14 years old trans teen, killed himself while on suicide watch at a San Diego Hospital, after being teased and bullied by staff who insisted on calling him a girl.
4. Jamel Myles, a nine-year-old boy killed himself after being severely bullied when he came out as gay.
5. Hope Eric Peter Verbeek, was struggling to find their place as a trans teen when they killed themselves. In their suicide note Hope wrote, “I would like to be remembered as a transgender pansexual teenage girl named Hope. Being transgender is my gender identity. My sexual orientation, or sexual identity, is being pansexual, meaning that I do not care about what the person is; I care about who they are. Sexual orientation is who you go to bed with and gender identity is who you go to bed as.”

2018 was the deadliest year on record for the LGBTQ community, and those numbers are not decreasing.

Here’s the thing: it all fucking matters. How we talk about ourselves as a community matters. And how we allow others to talk about us matters. It has direct consequences. We are being murdered and raped, we are being bullied until the only option we have left is to take our own lives.

We should be supporting each other. We should be encouraging each other. We should be doing anything we can to help our community succeed.

I’m not going to write a pretty summary, or leave you with a positive spin. Because this really fucking matters. How we vote, how we act, how we talk and how we treat each other carries weight, it is our Power.

We will thrive by it or die by it. It is up to us, as a community.

50. HIV Positive. Queer as Fuck. And Proud.

Discerning Daddy

Recently, I got a comment from someone on Instagram. “Why do you always feel the need to show your ass or be shirtless? How is anyone supposed to take you seriously? You are just another pathetic, queen desperate for attention. You write about anonymous sex and being a slut, and then you wonder why you are all alone and sad and depressed. There is a reason why men like you are all alone.”

That is an extreme version of a fairly common criticism I get: “Why are you showing your ass all the time” “Why do you write about sex all the time”, etc.

Trust, me these are questions I ask myself. A lot. I have had friends tell me I “don’t need to show your butt in every post”. I even had a friend tell me I needed to be more “serious”. These are the kinds of thoughts and insecurities that run through my head all the time.

As gay men, we are told our whole lives that there is something inherently wrong with us. As a sexually active, HIV Positive gay man in my 50’s, that sense of inherent wrongness can become poisonous.

Recently, on my Instagram account, leavelljeff, I posted a video of me showing my ass (I post a lot of videos of me showing my ass). I wrote, over the video, “50 Years Old. HIV Pos. Proud.”

A guy I had been chatting with on Instagram (chatting = showing our dicks and butts to each other) wrote to me: “No!” in a comment on my story. I responded: “No?” “This is not possible. I am so devastated. Please, tell me it’s not true.”

I told this guy that it was, actually, very true, and really, way less devastating than he was making it. Not that I am minimalizing my HIV status, but…ok, maybe I am minimalizing it.

When I first found out I was HIV positive the second person I told, after my husband, was my father. What he said to me probably saved my life. He said,

“Ok. I’m sure that’s scary. So be scared. But in the morning wake up and find a doctor and then go to that doctor and get on meds so you can be healthy and go about your life. This will only define you if you let it define you.”

What I wanted to say to that Instagram guy was that, I’m ok. HIV has only defined me as much as I’ve let it define me. I’m in control of that. I might not be in control of much else, but I am in control of that.

So instead of devasting me I allowed it to empower me. Make me stronger. Finding out I was HIV positive, in many ways like deciding to be sober, made me a better man.

“I cannot talk to you anymore. I am sorry. I cannot be with a man with this terrible sickness.”

This dude lives over 7,000 miles away. And I already have a man. We were never going to fuck. I was infuriated. I wanted to yell at him, decimate him. Suddenly, without warning: what he thought of me and my “terrible disease” became what I believed to be true.

And then I remembered what my mother once said to me: “Fuck them. Fuck anyone who tries to tell you that you are wrong or not enough. Fuck them and go live your life even bigger, even better, fuck them and then go be the best Jeff possible.”

So this is what I do. I live my life. Because in the end that’s what it is, right? Mine. No one else’s. And I try my hardest to support everyone around me as they do their best to live their lives.

I say this all the time, and I plan to keep saying it: I am a 50-year-old HIV Positive Gay man who loves to fuck and travel and chat with hot guys and show my ass off and take millions of selfies. I like who I am. I worked fucking hard to like who I am.

And I want every queer person out there who is HIV positive, who doesn’t fit into that perfect queer-gay body mold, every single person over the age of 50, all of us to know: we have nothing to be ashamed of.

Think about it: we are fucking miracles. Do you know how many of our peers died from this disease? There was a time when our own government wouldn’t acknowledge AIDS.

Maybe what I should have said to that Instagram guy is, “Hey Dude, it’s 20-fucking-19. The only person infected with a terrible disease is you. Get educated and stop being a dick.”

Instead what I said was, “Hey, I get how scary HIV can seem. But I’m ok. I’m happy. My life is exactly what I want it to be. If you ever want to talk, or have any questions about HIV, feel free to message me. All the best.”

So when any of us are out there talking shit about another queer person, or judging them for how they live their lives, or their bodies or their age or HIV status, their masculinity or femininity or race: we should remember: We are all fucking miracles. We grew up in a world that believes we are inherently wrong. Diseased. A world that often believes being gay or transgender or gender-fluid is a choice, and not an essential part of our DNA.

We are fucking miracles and we are special. And we should treat each other like miracles.

Because trust me, the rest of the world won’t.

So I’ll keep showing my ass. And talking about sex. And fucking. And loving. And living this life as large and as loud and as proud as I can.

Because if I don’t who will? This is mine and I’m gonna be as true to myself as possible.

So if you wanta take some butt pics or shirtless selfies but feel insecure, hey, send them to me. I love getting ass pics and dick pics and selfies!!!!! I’ll make sure you feel extra sexy!

And go be your queerest, best, self. And live your life as big and as loud and as proud as you can.

And hey, go check out my book, Accidental Warlocks, on Amazon. Support Queer Artists!

In Defense of Cruising, Public Sex and Sexual Freedom: Fuck Your Morality!

Discerning Daddy

When I was a young man in New York City, it was easy to get laid. There were parks and bathrooms, back rooms, more bathhouses and sex clubs than you knew what to do with—all the ways gay men had to get off before the internet.

I can clearly picture one day in particular in my late teens, cruising the Rambles in Central Park. It was late spring, nearly warm enough to be summer. A breeze came in off the lake, the sun was just beginning to set. I spent hours wandering those trails, getting my dick sucked in the bushes, fucking a sexy construction worker, getting fucked by a businessman in a dark suit. It was one of those magical days when everything felt free: like an adventure.

When I moved to LA in 1999, I remember discovering all the little cruise spots around town. The trails of Griffith Park were filled with men fucking and sucking. I used to love walking in those dusty LA hills, the sun burning bright, sucking dick and getting fucked, making out, connecting with strangers I might never see again. There were hidden stairways and garages along Hyperion Ave in Silver Lake where orgies would converge after the neighborhood gay bar, Le Barcito, closed for the night.

Needless to say, I think sex is good for you. I’m done with slut shaming and sexual morality, especially in the gay community. We have a long history of sexual freedom and exploration and I refuse to be told that we have to sacrifice our sexuality and our “sluttiness” for our social acceptance.

I miss cruising. I miss the random adventures, the potential friends, the openness around sex and desire. There’s a spark and connection that happens when you meet someone in person like that: both of you there to fuck. No pretense, no shame: I think there is something beautiful in that.

And I think we should fight to bring that back. We live in a country that is based on personal freedom, and yet we continue to demonize sexuality and expression. Why, in a City like LA, don’t we have dark rooms? Why, if a bar is for 21 and over, can’t we fuck where we want, be who we want? Why do we allow our government to police our morality and to define the limits of our sexual expression?

The rise of gay dating apps like Grindr and Scruff has undeniably led to some of cruising’s decline, I’m also not someone who thinks they’re harbingers of the gay apocalypse. I met my husband and a few boyfriends through them. I’ve made some amazing friends while traveling on the apps. And I’ve gotten laid all over the world thanks to Scruff! Cruising on my phone is still cruising.

But I won’t lie, the intensity, excitement, pursuit, and camaraderie of cruising in real life is something that’s hard to capture on a phone.

One of the few places left where cruising isn’t dead is the gay bar; it’s encouraged, almost expected. Working gay bars in LA has given me a front-row seat to watch all of the ways guys come together to cruise. There’s something beautiful in watching two guys enter a bar alone, spend the night circling each other and making eyes from afar, only to end up kissing, touching, talking, and eventually leaving together. It’s so immediate and exciting—a kind of humanity that you won’t get cruising online, where chatting with guys can feel isolating by comparison.

I want to say again: I love the gay apps. They have changed my life for the better. They have opened the door to a larger gay community in ways cruising never could have. But I think we need a balance: I think there is an art to going to a bar alone, with the intent of meeting someone: to talking and flirting, that can get lost if we spend all our time on our phones. Also, it builds our self-esteem, and we end up spending time talking to guys we might not want to fuck, but who could turn out to be friends, where on the apps we are likely to just swipe by, never taking the time to get to know those dudes who are outside our sexual tastes.

Cruising is part and parcel of gay and queer DNA. Walt Whitman cruised. In his poetic imagination, all of early America was a democratic cruising ground. From the Fire Island Pines to Provincetown’s beaches and elsewhere around the world, cruising has always been an integral part of how gay people have come together to form bastions of acceptance in a bigoted world. And while public cruising and the places where it happens will likely never truly, fully die, the decline is disconcerting. It means we’re losing something essential to our community.

One night while working the door at a bar, I was approached by a gorgeous guy in his 20s. He asked if he could play with my beard. I’m not a big fan of strangers running their hands through my beard and touching my face, but he was hot; I was willing to let him do a lot more than just play with my beard. We talked for a few minutes and ended up making out. He slipped my hand down his pants and let me play with his ass. He asked me if I was into any kinks. I told him I was what I like to call “LA vanilla”—a little piss, maybe, but mostly just fucking, nothing too intense. Kissing and cuddling, however, are essential. My only true fetish is for nice guys; I get really, really turned on by a nice guy.

But I told him I was open to exploring. Like I said: He was hot.

He proceeded to take out his phone and show me a video of him on all fours, naked, with his arm reaching around to slowly slip a very green, very round apple inside his butt. With great care, he then pushed it slowly back out into the palm of his hand. Then he did it again. And again. And he then turned around and proceeded to eat the apple with a wide grin.

He put his phone away and stood before me, proud. I wasn’t sure what to say.

“Did that turn you on?” he asked.

“You definitely have a great ass,” I responded, trying to be open.

“I like to get fisted, too,” he continued.

“Like I said, you have a beautiful ass.”

I’m not into fisting, or into putting food up someone’s ass, but I do love butts. We made out a bit longer and made plans to meet up at a later date.
If we hadn’t met in person—if he had just sent me that video online, for example—I probably would have blocked him. But because we met at the bar, I got to see him for something more than his fetishes, as a human being. Someone who I liked kissing and talking to. Someone who I’d like to spend some time with, even if I didn’t want to fist him.

A few years ago, one slow Wednesday night, while working the door at another LA gay bar, my husband, Alex, came to visit me. We noticed a super hot guy at the bar we had never seen before. The three of us flirted and got to talking, and then Alex and I took turns making out with him. He kept grabbing both our dicks. I checked in with the bartender, and the three of us headed into a back room. We made out and fucked around, and then Alex and I took turns fucking him.

Afterward, naked and spent, we sat on the couch and talked. It was easy, comfortable.

Later that night, after Alex had left, and I was closing up the bar, the guy we had fucked found me and told me he had nowhere to go. He had lost his job, and earlier that day, he had finally been evicted from his apartment. His car was packed full of his belongings. He was alone and afraid, and in an instant, he went from an amazingly sexy guy to something far more intimate. I let him sleep in our guest studio for a few nights, until he was able to find a safe place.
If he had asked me this on an app like Grindr, I, again, probably would have blocked him. He would have been a stranger, someone I had no real connection to.

But I had been inside him, kissed him, and held him. We had connected, if only for those few moments, and that lent him a kind of humanity no two-dimensional avatar could.

Gay bars—alongside the few other places where cruising is alive today, like porn arcades or bathhouses—offer safe places to connect with one another in that intimate way, and we should fight their decline. After all, there is a beauty to sex. Whether between friends or lovers or strangers, there is magic in those moments as you lose yourself in another. And I believe that those moments can enlighten us and even elevate us to a higher plane. If something that beautiful is endangered, isn’t it worth protecting?

Maybe it’s time we stop letting morality and sexual repression define who we are. Maybe it’s time to be radical. To kiss openly in public. To flirt, to demand that our queer spaces allow for our sexuality. To say fuck you to oppression and the denial of who we are. Maybe it’s time to be gay as fuck and refuse to allow anyone to tell us how we should behave!

Hey, so check out my novel, Accidental Warlocks, on Amazon. Your support allows me to keep writing!

Thank you so much to Marc Martin for this incredible photo. Check out his work. This guy is a fucking legend!

Everything You Need to Know About Poly-Open Relationships (Part Two)

Discerning Daddy

Before my husband, Alex, and I met our boyfriend Jon, I met three men living in a triad. I was intrigued by the idea, but I couldn’t help but think the whole thing was a little ridiculous.

I remember saying to Alex, “I would never want to be in a relationship like that.”

The truth is, the idea scared me. I imagined Alex and the other guy falling more in love then they were with me. I imagined them leaving me and running off together. I imagined myself alone.

When we met Jon and decided to try making something work with the three of us I created all these rules: rules that I now know, were intended to protect me from being left, to shelter me from my fears.

We weren’t allowed to fuck unless we were all there. We only communicated in a three-way chat. The list of rules went on and on, but in the end you can’t protect yourself from other people leaving you. You can’t control how they are going to feel.

Eventually, the rules began to slip away, and I learned to trust Jon and Alex, to trust myself and the three of us, but it wasn’t always easy.

I always say that three-way fucking is really great, but three-way fighting really sucks. And there was plenty of both, thank God there was more fucking then fighting, but adding a new partner (s) won’t magically make everything perfect and beautiful.

There is suddenly this whole new person that you and your partner have to learn and navigate, with all their feelings and beliefs and fears.

But it can also be really beautiful.

In part one I talked about what poly relationships are, how do you know if it is right for you, about jealousy and disclosure, and about the importance of communication. In Part Two I want to talk about some of the things that will help you maintain a healthy, happy, and sexy poly relationship.

1. We’ve met a guy, and we want to make him part of our relationship. How do we bring in a third (or 5th or 6th)?

I can’t stress the importance of clear and honest communication. Before you even begin this journey you have to be clear and honest with yourself, and then with your partner. If you guys are clear about what you want and what you are capable of, it’ll be that much easier to express those expectations and needs to your new partner (s).

When Alex and I decided to move Jon into our home we made a clear choice: Jon was going to be one third of this relationship. He was an equal member. This wasn’t easy. Alex and I had two years of history before Jon. We had a way of communicating with each other. It took time for all of us to navigate this but we did it successfully because we were willing to talk to each other. A lot.

Regardless of how you choose to bring in your new partner (s), or if you are bringing in a “pup” or a “sub” or “dom” or just someone to date while maintaining your “primary” status, knowing this upfront and being able to express those expectations and limits to your new partner (s) is crucial.

One suggestion I have is be open to change and try to let go of control. You will be amazed at the possibilities that can happen if you aren’t trying to control everything and everyone.

2. How do I be a good 3rd (or 4th or 7th) to an already established partnership?

I have been the third for a few (Maybe more than a few) couples, and the key is being attentive to both partners. There are things we will like or be attracted to in each person, and it is important to focus on these things, and to be open to all people in the relationship. If I am more interested in one than the other, or only interested in one, I tend to back out. It never goes well. It’s about making sure we all have fun and we are all included. I try to bring as little drama as possible.

Jon was truly successful at this. There was never any doubt in Alex or me that he loved us equally. He might have loved us differently, but he loved us both, and wanted us both. That made us both feel safe and secure and desired.

One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was going into a three-way with a couple who both wanted to fuck me, but I was only interested in one of them. I was so into one of the guys, but the other one was not my type at all and I would never have hooked up with him if I hadn’t of been into his boyfriend. I figured, what could go wrong, two dicks, one really hot guy: pretty much a score, right?

I was wrong. The whole time the boyfriend I wasn’t into was fucking me or kissing me I wanted to scream. I wanted to push him off and run out. It wasn’t his fault. He is a totally cool, handsome guy, and really sweet to me, I just wasn’t into him.

Half way through I made up some dramatic excuse and said I had to leave. I literally did this while both their dicks were in me.

Whenever I see these guys out they ignore me. I probably deserve that.

But here’s the thing: you’re going to fuck up. You’re going to make a mess. That’s part of being human. But as long as we are willing to be honest about our needs, and open to our partners’ needs, and try our best to clean up our messes, then we will be okay.

And also, cut your partners some slack. They are doing the best they can too. That doesn’t mean you stay with a dude who is a complete dick, it just means that even as you’re leaving him or them, or her, you remember: they are doing the best they can with what they have. And none of it is about me.

3. How do I balance my needs, the needs of my partners (sexual and romantic) and maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Jon and Alex and I spent a lot of time in relationship counseling. Our Therapist, Beverly Hills based Jorja Davis, would talk about what she called “emotional resources”.

The idea behind emotional resources is pretty simple: how much time and space do I have to give to my relationship (s) and still maintain a healthy balance for myself and my partners? At what point do I run out of resources?

There is always a balance in a relationship between making sure your needs are being met and the needs of your partner and the relationship. If your needs aren’t being met, not just by them but by you, if you don’t have the space to grow and explore and live your own life separate from them, then, in my experience, you won’t feel happy or fulfilled, and in the end, neither will your partner (s).

While I was with Alex and Jon I took on a boyfriend all of my own, Conner. I fell in love him and would go spend the night with him once or twice a month. I also had other fuck buddies. There came a point where I realized I wasn’t giving Jon and Alex what they needed, I wasn’t as present as I wanted to be or as they needed me to be so I had to scale back. There comes a point when we run out of emotional resources and our relationship to our partner (s) and ourselves can be affected. It’s about balancing our needs with the needs of those we are in relationship (s) with.

4. How do I know that my non-monogamous relationship is no longer working?

This is something you, ultimately, will have to answer on your own. There is no easy answer to this. But I think if you are clear about your needs and your expectations, and about what is going on with you, then you will be able to open a healthy and productive dialogue with your partner (s).

Relationships change. They evolve. After years of being in a poly-triad with Jon and Alex I decided I needed something different. It wasn’t an easy decision, but the three of us found a way to make this new evolution work. Alex and Jon decided they wanted to stay together.

Really, all that happened was I moved into my own bedroom, and they stayed in our bedroom. Alex and Jon remained my best friends, my brothers, my family.

I truly believe as long as you are honest about your needs, and open to hearing your partner (s) needs, and willing to explore new ways of being together then in the end, everything will be okay.

At least that has been my experience.

There might also come times when you realize you just might want to close things up for a while and focus on your primary partner (s). Alex and Jon and I did this a few times. It helped us to get clear again about what our needs were.

5. I’ve always believed in Soul Mates, or that one true love. Is it really possible to love more than one person?

Without a doubt it is possible to love more than one person, and loving someone new does not mean that you will love your partner (s) any less. In my experience the more I loved the more love I felt for everyone.

Love is expansive, the more open to it we are the more there is.

If you think about it, this is true in every aspect of our lives. Just because I love my mom doesn’t mean I don’t love my dad, or my brother. If you have kids, does loving your second kid mean you love your first kid less? No. Love is not some finite thing that we run out of.

That’s a really beautiful thing to learn and experience. It changed how I saw life and how I treat the people around me.

And here’s the thing: loving people, and being loved, feels really good. Way better than hating them. So go out there and love as many people as you can. And let them love you. I promise, it will make your life feel really fucking amazing.

Like I said earlier, this is your adventure, and you should enjoy it and experience it to the fullest. Whether that means you are monogamous or monogamy-ish or open or poly, in the end all that matters is that you and your partner (s) are living your lives as big and as loud as you want.

Have fun with it. The cool thing about being queer is we don’t have to limit ourselves to hetero-normative values or restrictions. We get to explore and play and build our own families and relationships the way we want.

How fucking amazing is that?

Also, I’d love it if you checked out my book, Accidental Warlocks, on Amazon. Any support you can give would help a lot!

Everything You Need to Know About Poly-Open Relationships (Part One)

Discerning Daddy

For about four years I lived in a Poly-Open-Triad with my then husband, Alex, and our boyfriend Jon. And while our relationship grew and changed into something else, these two men continued to be my family, my brothers and my best friends.

That sense of family, and of a continuing and evolving love, is one of the biggest pros I have for polyamorous relationships.

But none of it came naturally to us. I didn’t know many people who were doing what we were doing, and many of the ones I met didn’t seem to share my fears or jealousies, fears and jealousies I’ve come to think of as being totally normal.

Watching my husband, Alex, fall in love with Jon while I too was falling in love with Jon was a beautiful and excruciating experience. We had no language for what we were doing, no way of knowing how to express what we were feeling, so we often made mistakes, we fought, we got jealous, but we always found a way to talk to each other, and to walk each other through our fears and insecurities, and once through them we always found ourselves at the same place: this amazing love.

I think I was always afraid that I wouldn’t be able to love Jon as much as I loved Alex, and if I did, did that mean I didn’t love Alex as much as I thought? What I learned was that love was infinite, it was not limited to just one person. I learned that I was capable of loving Alex with all my heart and soul, and that I was also capable of loving Jon with the same intensity.

We are always told that we can hate as many people as we want, we can hate whole nations, whole groups of people, but we can only love one person. That’s bullshit. The more I opened myself up to love, the more love I had.

But I also don’t think that non-monogamy is the more “enlightened” path. I think that however we choose to express our love, whether it’s monogamy, monogamy-ish, open or poly, it is all valid.
We have the freedom to be and love who we want, in whatever way we want.

I also think relationship styles can change from relationship to relationship, depending on who we are with and where we are at in our lives. I also like to think we can be fluid in our relationships, opening them and closing them as we need. It’s just about communicating.

Everything comes down to talking.

Here are five of the most common questions I get asked on my website about Poly-monogamous-open relationships, with five more to continue in Part 2.

1. What are Monogamy, Monogamy-ish, Open and Poly relationships?

In many ways these words are open-ended, kind of meaning whatever you want them to mean, but I will provide you with my basic understanding of each one.

Monogamous usually means that we are only with each other, sexually and romantically. In my definition of monogamous this also means that we aren’t having three-ways.

Alex and I started out monogamous. We spent a year focusing on each other and getting to know each other. I tend to like to start all my relationships this way because it allows me to build up a sense of intimacy as well as security and safety with my partner.

A lot of people don’t need that and will start out non-monogamous. Some people will just spend a few months, or maybe their whole relationships monogamous. Like I said, in the end, it’s all up to you and your partner (s) to find what works best for you.

Monogamy-ish expands on monogamy to include three-ways, or group play, or outings and adventures to spas or sex clubs or sex parties, but usually together. I know some couples who would say monogamy-ish includes some independent play as well, but for my purposes that would fall more into an open relationship.

When Alex and I decided to be Monogamy-ish what we were really saying is we wanted to explore three-ways and group play, but it was always something we did as a couple. A shared adventure.

Open relationships tend to deal with sex and not love. I’ve always defined my open relationships as we can go out and fuck other people together or independently as long as we follow whatever rules we’ve set up.

As I’ve gotten older I find that I tend to like regular fuck-buds over anonymous sex so that is something I’ve had to express to my partners.

I need a little bit of intimacy for my dick to get hard, but if the rules state that we don’t date or fall in love with other people, and if we do we stop meeting them, then I do everything I can to safe guard my primary relationship from my breaking the rules. And I am honest about that with all my partners.

It doesn’t always work, that’s the risk of bringing more people into your relationship, but if you are honest, and willing to grow and evolve with your relationship, I have found your relationship can survive (and usually joyfully) almost anything.

I think being clear about what we expect and what we need is the most important thing in any relationship, but it becomes even more important as we begin to explore opening things up.

Poly opens the door to allow love and dating and extra-relationships and multiple partners into your primary relationship. When Alex and I decided to ask Jon on a date, and not just over to our place to fuck, we had made the decision, after literally hours of talking about it, to invite Jon into our relationship.

This decision changed, I believe for the good, everything for us. It opened us up to more love, more sex, and more support: to an amazing family.

2. How do I know if it’s time to start talking to my partner about opening our relationship up?

There’s no one answer for this. The time to have that conversation is whenever you are feeling like you want to explore new things with your partner. Remember: you are doing this together. It’s both of your adventure and can be full of joy and fun and love…and potentially lots of amazing and new kinds of sex. The most important thing here is that you talk honestly with each other about your needs.

3. How do you deal with jealousy?

Jealousy is no joke. I can be a seriously jealous guy. I remember reading in one of the books on polyamory something about how jealousy was a sign of someone who wasn’t enlightened and therefore probably not cut out for a poly-relationship.

I thought I was fucked.

But here’s the thing, jealousy is normal. Sometimes we get crazy. Sometimes we say stupid things and do stupid things and just act like total dicks. If you can accept that, in regards to yourself and to your partner (s) then you’ve mostly dealt with jealousy.

Feeling jealous does not mean you are a bad or unenlightened human being. It’s just means you’re human, and you have something you are afraid of losing. And that’s the most important thing: I have found that when I am jealous it’s because I’m feeling threatened: afraid that something valuable to me might be taken from me.

So I express that. I talk to my partner (s) about what I am feeling. I try to get really honest with them and with myself and usually this helps. A lot. Just talking with the men I love has helped me to calm the fuck down.

But sometimes it doesn’t. And I act like a dick. And I have to apologize later. And that usually sucks for everyone.

4. How do we tell our friends and family that we’ve decided to open our relationship up, or to bring in a 3rd or 4th or a 10th?

Disclosure is totally up to you but not necessary. When Alex and I decided to start fucking other guys and having group play, we didn’t feel the need to run out and tell our moms. I talked about it with my close friends, people I knew would be supportive but I didn’t see the need to go running around announcing our decision to the public.

It’s really important to be selective. Not everyone will support the choices you’ve made. I find, at least initially, it’s best to go where the support and love is.

That being said, when we decided to bring Jon into our lives, our relationship and our home, we decided it was important to tell our friends and families. Jon was a full part of our relationship and it was important to us that he felt that way.

We decided to introduce Jon to everyone at our wedding. I think maybe we could have been less dramatic, but it did have a kind of flare we enjoyed, and we are lucky, our friends and family are all pretty liberal and open.

Like I said, choose carefully, and look for the love. And the more comfortable you are with your situation the more comfortable other people will be.

And if they aren’t, well, fuck them. It’s your life. You deserve all the love and happiness.

5. What are the most important skills to practice in a non-monogamous relationship?

Communication. Honesty. Listening. Clarity. These four words will be your best chance at having a successful, loving and sexy adventure through non-monogamy. The fifth skill, and sometimes the hardest, is really respecting your partner (s) and their needs. Really hearing them and approaching them with love. Remember who they are: that you are in this together.

Like I said earlier, there is no one way to do any of this, and whatever you choose, you get to change your mind, and you get to explore and try out anything and everything you and your partner (s) want. Have fun with it. And if you choose non-monogamy be playful with each other. I loved watching Alex and Jon as they were fucking another guy. I loved watching the two of them make out while I gave them blowjobs. It made them incredibly sexy to me. And it made me love them even more.

And really, that’s the whole point, right?

Also, check out my book, Accidental Warlocks, on Amazon! Your support makes all of this possible!

Bears, Roids, Body Shaming, and Sexual Freedom

Discerning Daddy

“Bears never want to fuck me, which sucks, cus I’m totally into bigger, older guys.” Stefan tells me. We are having a coffee at Happy Baristas in Friedrichshain, the neighborhood I live in in Berlin.

Stefan is gorgeous. He is 22, tall, with dark curly hair and the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen. He is Serbian and Spanish. He moved to Berlin to be an artist and a DJ.

“It was hard at first. I’d go to bear parties in Barcelona and Madrid, London, and the guys I liked just wouldn’t like me. They wouldn’t even talk to me. Because I didn’t have the right look I wasn’t worth even being friends with. I get it. We can all be like that. I’m sure there are a lot of guys I’m not into that I blow off as well, but I’ve really started trying to pay attention to it. I recently fucked this dude who was 20. I’ve never fucked anyone even near my age. I usually go for guys 45 and up. But this guy, he was cool and we were into the same music and instead of getting all hung up on his body or the type of guy he was…he is a lot like me but he’s Dutch so blonder…I tried to get turned on by who he was. I still think I’d like to date guys who are older than me, but I’m really trying to be open. To not get so locked into any rules on this.”

I’m not a fan of the ways in which we, as a community, use terms like Bear, Otter, Wolf, Top, Bottom, Daddy, Boy, Masc or Femme etc. to limit each other and ourselves. Defining ourselves based on physical characteristics limits who we are, and the world we experience, as well as segregating our community into these tiny shallow subsets that deny us a sense of unity and queer identity.

This was recently made clear when a queer party in LA tried to shame and deny entry to “Basic Gay White Men” who attended their party. When it was pointed out that the idea of a queer party trying to create a door policy based on gender, race and sexual identity was the wrong direction we wanted to be headed in, the response was, “If you take offense maybe you should look deeper at who you are and at your own values.” As if taking offense at defining other queer people as “basic” or on their race or sexual identity, or gender, was not worthy of offense?

I am well aware that I am about as basic, gay, and white as you can get. But does that mean I am no longer welcome at my favorite party in LA? A party I believe has been one of the most diverse I’ve ever experienced?

I think fighting for and maintaining diversity is essential. But I don’t think you can fight for diversity on one hand while using the other to discriminate. Diversity is messy. It is challenging. But I believe that diverse environments also promote evolution, and creativity, it is this challenging messiness that we need if we are going to grow beyond the fascist rhetoric that has overtaken our governments.

We have so much shame around our bodies. We are too old or too young, too fat or too skinny, not muscled enough, or too roided out, we aren’t sexy enough or masculine enough or feminine enough: these debilitating voices run through our heads all the time.

I’ve struggled with this a lot in my life. I was a fat kid. I remember in junior high school I started running. I gave up sugar (I used to steal money from my dad and go to the local grocery store and buy a bunch of candy, then I’d sit in my room and eat candy and jerk off watching those dance shows that were so popular in the early 80’s.) I dedicated myself to losing weight. I went to the gym. But there came a point in my life when it didn’t matter how hard I worked out, or how much I dieted: I never got the body I wanted.

So I started using steroids.

I want to be clear. I’m not here to make an anti-steroid comment. I love steroids. I love what they do to my mood, my body, my dick, my sex drive, and my confidence. But I can also see the perils: I see guys at the gym who are ten times bigger than me, ten times more muscled, ten times harrier, ten times stronger and I think: I want to be them. Fuck what it does to my kidneys and liver and heart: I want to look like that.

I’ve been pretty good about talking myself off that ledge. I’m very cautious in my steroid use. I rely mostly on testosterone and I try to be moderate even with that (well, not too moderate).

When it came to using steroids I made a decision: I was 45, and I knew that it was going to be harder and harder to get the body I wanted naturally.

At 50 I think I finally feel comfortable with my body, with how I look, and in turn I feel comfortable in my community. I don’t know if that is healthy or not, but what I do know is I finally feel like I like who I am: not just my body, but me. All of me.

The point is: we all struggle with these things: with our identity, with our masculinity and our bodies, with our genders and our sexualities: we all struggle learning to just accept ourselves for who we are: and we struggle with finding that balance in making ourselves into the people we want to be.

But here’s the thing: say I had stayed that fat kid, or I had ended up becoming a ten times bigger roid dude, or maybe I decided to play with my gender: none of these things make me a good or a bad person: they just make me a fat kid or a roid dude or gender queer. We are not worthy because of our bodies or our life choices: we are worthy because of who we are as human beings and how we treat one another.

When I was younger I was wrapped up in being a top. Because I thought that how I fucked somehow said something about who I was as a man. That being a top made me more of a man. Now, I don’t give a fuck. I loved to get fucked. I love to get fucked by dudes who are bigger than me and smaller than me, younger than me and older than me, more masculine than me and more feminine than me: it’s no longer about any of that for me: it’s about connection, it’s about what Stefan said to me: it’s about being open to something new, something outside the tiny confines I’ve set up for myself: about being willing to grow beyond my limitations.

It’s also about realizing that who I fuck with and how we fuck does not say anything about who we are as people.

“Whenever anybody meets my girlfriend, Tonya, the first thing they ask me is if she still has a dick.” Adam says to me, we are sitting drinking coffee in Kreuzberg, Berlin, at a small café along the canal, the open Turkish market is lively with people. “As if that somehow explains everything. That that one thing can put it all into perspective. Which is bullshit. It’s hard for people to understand that even with a dick she’s a woman, and that just because she fucks me with her dick, I’m still her man. We are so far beyond binary. Why do we have to live by those archaic rules? Why can’t we explore ourselves and all of our options? Why can’t we be who we are on the inside, and live that to the fullest, without having to always explain and justify to everyone?”

It’s gotten cold out. The sky is dark grey. Tonya is shopping for fruits and meat at the market while Adam and I sit drinking espressos, talking.

“Yeah, my girlfriend has a dick. And I love when she holds me down and fucks me deep. And if you are all bent out of shape about that shit than you are not ready for the way the world is going. Because it’s a new world and we don’t have time for your limiting bullshit.”

All I’m trying to say is: life is incredible. It is open and vast and full of potential: full of possibility. Why limit ourselves? Why limit each other? Why define who we are on the inside by how we look or act on the outside?

I think the only way we will ever really come to learn who we are or to break free of the limitations that we have allowed to be created for ourselves is to go out and try something new. Not always. Just sometimes. Make out with someone you might not normally make out with. Get fucked once in while: or fuck. Or go to a queer party instead of a bear party.

And stop trying to define us by our race, or our gender, or our sexual preferences. We are so much more than that. We are fucking limitless if we let ourselves be.

I dare you. Go be fucking different for a day. And tell me all about it. I’d love to hear your stories.

Also, check out my book, Accidental Warlocks, at amazon.com.

Gorgeous Descent

Discerning Daddy

It is hard to describe the feeling of Magic. Like love, it feels like something concrete, something physical. It has the ability to ache and to create joy, to move along your body, ripping at your soul and nourishing you: Magic is akin to love, to desire: it is the stories we tell ourselves about our lives, about who we are and who we were, who we will be.

It is the creation of an existence, of a world, of a self, built from a darkness that is waiting to devour us.

Love, though, is the intricate and aching beauty buried deep inside everything we will ever lose.

A few years ago I met a boy named Joe. Joe was 25 years younger than me, 22 years old.

There is something I should tell you, something I can’t explain, but that feels somehow part of the fabric of magic and love, part of the fabric of the creation who of I am: ever since I was 18 I’ve been having the same dream. I have it every week. And every morning, I wake up from this dream with a sense of hope and love, and the pain of loss, of having lost something so beautiful and magnificent that for a few moments I lay in bed, stunned, not sure how I will make it through the day.

I always get up. I always make it through the day. But like some strange and golden treasure buried deep, I carry the longing for something that feels impossibly gone.

The dream goes like this:

I am riding a big wheel through a vast and endless field. The sky is dark, but a silver moon aflame in a burning white light hangs full and cold in the night sky. Ahead of me is a barn. Next to the barn is a lake surrounded by a forest of giant trees.

In the lake a giant mermaid jumps from the water and into the sky, hovering there before returning to the blackness of the water: her reflection etched into the moon, imprinted inside me.

I stop my big wheel next to the barn and I walk inside. There is a staircase.

This moment is always reflective, as if I can see into my own dream, into my self, into what is coming. I have a choice: to turn and walk away, or to continue up the stairs and to the beauty and pain that awaits me.

I never choose to walk away. But I always hold it for a moment, savoring the option, savoring the idea that if I did turn away I would never know him, never see him, never lose him.

At the top of the stairs is a large room. One of the walls is missing, looking out at the lake and the forest and the moon.

A boy, maybe 18 or 19, stands in the middle of the room. I can never remember exactly what he looks like, just that overwhelming feeling of love, of need, of longing: I just know he is the most beautiful human being I have ever seen in my life and that I love him with all that I am.

He has written the words, “He falls gently through the trees,” in black.

He turns to me. “I miss you so much,” he says, and it feels like the words are tearing into me, decimating and full of a searing heat. “I miss you so much and I love you.”

And he turns, every time, he always turns in the exact same way: he always turns away from me, and he walks to the missing wall, walking on air, into the night, above the lake, until he gets to the trees, where he hovers for a moment, before falling, before fading, before being gone.

I have no way of telling you what this dream means. The absoluteness of it. The totality. Just that in those few moments I am so in awe, so enthralled, so swallowed by life and love: that in those few moments I am given a glimpse of something ineffably full of wonder.

Joe worked as a barista at a coffee shop in Echo Park. But he was an artist. He didn’t want to be Banksy, he wanted to be Basquiat, he wanted to be Herring, he wanted to be something else: something new and old: something violent.

“I want to create that one thing that no one can turn away from, that one thing that will be so beautiful and so terrifying, so personal and intimate that you will never forget it.” He laughed. “There is no such thing, of course. The idea is the thing that is beautiful, once I make it it will be nothing. That’s the thing, right? You create the most beautiful piece of art in the world, pulled from some faraway place to show the world exactly who you are, and –”

“It never does.” I say.

“Yeah,” he said. His eyes were a golden haze, his hair dark and curly, his hands long, thin, nails perfectly cut to an almost painful precision, his body lean and tall: he was stunning.
“I’m always trying to find the words to say exactly what I mean,” I tell him. We are laying in my bed in the Silverlake Hills, LA burning bright outside my windows, he is sweating, his head on my chest, I can feel his heart beating against mine. “I am always trying to describe what it is I am feeling: who I am. I feel like all I’m ever doing is screaming: This is me! Me!”

“I want…” he hesitated, and then he laughed. He smelled of carnitas and weed and…himself. He smelled impossibly like Joe. “That’s it. I want. End of sentence.”

We kissed and he fucked me, him inside me, connected to him as he held me down and fucked himself deeper into me, grounding me. He always had this amazing way of grounding me.

I love that feeling of being pinned under someone, their weight heavy on my back, their cock deep inside me, the feeling, even if it’s just for a second: of being more than who I am: more than who we are.

He would kiss the back of my neck, his arms wrapping around me, his body shuddering, and whisper, “Baby, I’m going to cum. Fuck, baby, I’m going to cum!”

I would catch Joe looking at me, his eyes open as we kissed, or the few times we went to the gym together, or as I was standing: lost in my own world, I would turn and see him and he would smile: everything I’ve ever wanted was in that smile.

A few weeks before Jon died he came into my room. I was trying to write. He lay in my bed. We weren’t boyfriends anymore. So much of our lives had been destroyed by heroin and meth: the ravages of addiction. I lay down next to him, and I wrapped my arms around him.

“Baby,” he said.

I almost said to him, I’m not your baby anymore. Not because it was true. But because I was mad at him. Jon had been in a heroin relapse for months by then, he had stolen from me, lied to me, and I was angry.

But on that day, that one day, I didn’t push him away.

“Baby, did you know I love you?”

When Jon’s mother told me they had found his body, in the back of his car in a parking lot in Montebello, that Jon was dead: that Jon was now forever gone: I thought my whole world would fall apart. I thought the pain of that moment would be too hard to ever stand up from, to ever return from: I believed that my whole life would be forever defined by the incredible aching pain of that one second.

“Baby, did you know I love you?”

I don’t remember what I said to him. I’m not even sure I said anything. I think I just held him, wishing I could keep him safe, keep us safe: wishing I could protect him from what would eventually come.

The next time he came into my room and lay down in my bed I was mad at him. I told him to leave. I told him I didn’t want him in my room anymore. He looked at me. If I could erase that look, those words, from my life I would: if I could change the very moment I forgot who he was, who we were, I would.

“I understand,” he said, and he walked out.

What was I doing in that moment? What was so important? I was probably on Facebook, or watching Netflix: lost inside the insidious banalities of life.
I don’t have an ending for this. I don’t have some beautiful way to wrap it all up in hope and how amazing life is. I don’t know any of the answers.
I do know Jon loved me. And that I continue to love him. That I will love him forever. And I don’t know where Joe went, but I like to think he is working on that impossible painting: that forever beauty, even if it means he will fail. It would be an honorable failure.

Sometimes I think all we can do is fail in the most human and beautiful way possible. It is the tapestry of our failures that will elevate us: Magicians conjuring the impossible.

You can find my novel, Accidental Warlocks, at Amazon.com. I’d love if you checked it out. And thanks for being here. My witness.

Trump, Kavanaugh, Fascism, and Why Voting is the Most Important Thing Queer People Can Do

Discerning Daddy

When I read that Brett Kavanaugh had in fact been confirmed to the United States Supreme Court I felt a sudden sense of existential fear. I was surprised how genuinely terrified and sad I was. I was sad because it felt like my home, my country, was no longer recognizable to me.
I have faith in what it means to be an American, regardless of the shit people say about us: it’s not like their governments are actually any better, or they are in any way more liberal: just travel and you will eventually come across the same hateful xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny and racism. It permeates much of our world. It always has. It’s nothing new.
But now it is in our faces. We can’t hide from it. And that makes each and every one of us culpable.
I was in Munich, Germany, the day Kavanaugh was confirmed. Noah and I had decided to spend the weekend at his child-hood friend’s place, exploring a City we had never been to before. I felt incredibly far away from home as I read the words. Cut off from hope.
I considered not going back. I considered what it would mean to live my life fully as an ex-pat.
I had strange nightmares. I would wake up furious at my fellow Americans who seemed to be willingly marching like sheep into oblivion, sacrificing the ideals we are supposed to stand for…for what? A form of totalitarianism? Guns? Abortion? I was furious at my fellow Californians who are so secure in their liberal bubble that they probably won’t even vote.
And I realized: there’s no running away from this. There is nowhere to hide. The only thing I can do is speak up. To write about it. Not just about Kavanaugh or Politics but about everything being queer is. About sex and love and about hope. About being HIV Positive. To never back down from who I am. That’s where I can fight back.
Because I’m really scared.
And while writing about it and marching and talking about it is important, voting is where our real power is. Even in liberal states like California, and liberal Cities like LA, where it can feel like our vote doesn’t matter, it does matter. Because it is a voice: a way of saying to the Supreme Court, to Congress: We are the people, and this is our will. This is what we want. Even if it won’t directly impact the elections, voting is a way of being heard.
And we should be screaming as loudly as we can with every tool we have.
Organizations like the NRA have more power than the average person because we give them more power. We continually give up our voice and our power.
Maybe culpable is the wrong word. It implies a kind of partnership. Maybe the truth is, that those of us who don’t vote, those of us who don’t speak out, those of us who spend our lives in the bubble ignoring what is going on are actually fully responsible for the mess we are in.
The longer we stay silent the easier it will be for them to take away whatever remaining power we have left.
I believe that voting should be a requirement under law. I believe that our government should be run by a straight democracy: one person one vote, without all the middle stages that negate our votes. But I also believe in open borders and stronger international governing bodies.
It would be easy for me to run. To just move. Leave the USA behind and live somewhere else. I have freedom to do that.
But I still have faith. I have hope that in November those of us who can vote will. And even if we don’t “win” we will at least have used our voice: we will have made our will known.
We are a country of 325.7 million people. We are a vast continent with many different cultures and societies. We are one of the most racially diverse nations in the world. We will not all agree. That is part of living in a civil democracy. We don’t have to agree.
But we all deserve the right to be heard. Republicans and the Trump Administration want to take that right away from us. They want to silence us. Make it harder for us to Vote. Why? Because that is the one power we actually have over them: they work for us. They are beholden to us. They are in power because of us. And they can lose their power if we choose to take it from them.
So vote. Call your representatives. It’s just a few minutes. Get out there and make your voice heard.
Because if we don’t, then whatever comes is our responsibility. No one else’s. 100%.
Sorry I didn’t talk about butt fucking and dick sucking in this piece. If you want to read about my wild and sex adventures check out my book, Accidental Warlocks, on Amazon!

CANNIBALISM, GHOSTS AND JERKING OFF: AN INSPIRATIONAL, LIFE AFFIRMING STORY

Accidental Warlocks, Discerning Daddy

I am sitting on a Norwegian Dreamliner plane, flying from LA to Berlin, to spend the next 16 days, with my boyfriend, Noah. I was watching movies. I will confess: I actually cried watching Geo-Storm. Don’t judge me. I’m in an emo-feeling kinda feeling lucky mood.

When I was in third grade my teacher, Mrs. Darlene Sacco, gave me a tape recorder. Because I told stories. That was her very kind way of saying I made up elaborate lies.

In second grade I told my whole class, teachers, and school guidance counselor ,that my parents had died in a fire and I was left alone to care of my 6 brothers and sisters. I think I was 8 when I told this story. At the time I only had one brother. My parents were, and still are, alive.

Instead of just calling my parents the school sent child services.

It was an embarrassing moment, but I remember my mother, almost proud, saying, “Well, lying is bad, but boy, you must have lied good. You’re a real story teller.”

My father said, “If you’re going to be a liar you might as well write them down and get paid for them.”

But it wasn’t until Mrs. Sacco gave me that tape recorder that I actually felt like a real writer. I would walk around school, or during lunch, with that tape recorder, recording all my ideas and thoughts and then I would write them down.

My favorite stories involved turning my mom and her two best friends, Sue and Vi, into Charlie’s Angels. They solved all kinds of mysteries. Mostly about witches and vampires, and mafia-zombies. In some of them my mother was a hybrid of a much cooler Samantha from Bewtiched and Farah Fawcett (It wasn’t till I got older that I really learned to appreciate Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith.

I basically dropped out of school in sixth grade. I just stopped going. I would just walk out and go home and sit in my room and write long and fantastic stories. I wasn’t really a happy kid. And I was a pretty miserable teenager. Life never seemed big enough to me. The world was devoid of color. But writing, stories, those worlds in my head, felt endless and beautiful, full of hope and meaning.

I come from a long line of story tellers (liars?). I once listened to my mother tell my grandmother, her mother, Sadie, about how at the local grocery store they were decapitating customers and selling their body parts to witches. It was a strange and frightening story, told late at night, at the Heart of LaGrange Hotel, which Sadie owned. The three of us had been doing the Quija Board most of the night, and my mother and Sadie had been arguing about witches. And evil. And the meaning of good.

I was ten, I think. It was hot out. All the windows were open. A breeze blew the humid night air, full and sweet, around the room.

My mother insisted that the local grocery store was selling headless bodies to witches.

“Well, Beverly,” Sadie began, her voice thick like honey, her eyes furious, her hands wrapped tight around her Jim Beam on the rocks. “What the hell are they doing with the heads?”

“Eating them,” my mother said. “They are eating the goddamned heads.”

And she stormed out, leaving me with my drunk and furious grandmother.

I remember Sadie looking at me, and then she began to laugh. She laughed long and hard.

“God, your mother is the best story teller I’ve ever known. Eating the goddamned heads. Well, shit, what else would they be doing with them?”

Sadie used to tell my brother, Damon and I, that my uncle Bruce was a shape shifter, and she belonged to a coven, and that my mother slept with demons and leprechauns. She told me how late at night, as a young woman, my mother would stand outside, alone in the moonlight, conjuring spells and demons and sending them to do her bidding.

I come from a long line of story tellers.

Though, to be honest, a part of me still believes Bruce is a shape shifter, and Sadie was a witch, and my mother, I’m absolutely certain she has consorted with a few demons, and probably some angels too. She’s that kind of woman. Full of southern charm.

For most of my adult life I have been a drug addict. Heroin was my drug of choice. When I was high on heroin the world felt suddenly beautiful, the kind of world my little boy self would have loved to live in. Full of magic and wonder. Full of a quiet, beautiful, loneliness.

Seven years ago, at 43 years old, I found myself broke, jobless and homeless, I did the only thing left to do: I got sober.

I bought a bike and road it all over Los Angeles. I used to go on long rides late at night from Silverlake, through Hollywood, all the way to the beach. I would stand at the water and scream at whatever gods were out there in all that darkness. I was full of fury and fear. I was lost.

And then I began to tell stories again. I started on Facebook. I would tell stories of my mother and of Sadie, of boys I had loved.

And people actually read them. They messaged me, thanking me for being so honest (which is a strange thing for a man like me to hear, someone who rarely knows when he is being honest and when he is lying).

When Vice agreed to publish a story about my three-way relationship with my husband Alex, and our boyfriend Jon, I couldn’t believe it. Why would anyone care about what I had to say?

All I was doing was just telling my experience. I was trying to make meaning out of my life. I was trying to find the beauty and the magic I had always felt lacking.

And then I decided to take those stories and turn them into a book, Accidental Warlocks. It took me almost two years to write that book. For much of that time I was broke. I was going to AA meetings. And I was riding my bike.

When Lethe Press said they wanted to publish my book I started to scream with excitement. I couldn’t believe it. Someone else was going to publish my fucking book!

I went into the bedroom, where Jon (I’m not going to go into the whole story of Jon and Alex and I…you can find tons of stories about my poly-triad marriage all over my blog or just follow the link) was, sleeping (Alex was away working on a TV show at the time). I was sobbing. He woke up, and I think at first he was scared,

“What’s wrong, baby?” he asked me.

“They are going to publish my book,” I said, and he was out of bed, wrapping his arms around me, holding me.

Jon died before Accidental Warlocks was published. He read every chapter I wrote, every word. I made him sit up for hours as I talked to him about ideas I had, making him tell me what he thought about what I had written that day.

There were nights when I woke him up at three in the morning to make him listen to pages. He never complained. He never told me no. He just said, “Baby, I love it. It’s so beautiful. I know it’s going be amazing.”

Here’s the thing: all I ever wanted was to be a writer. Nothing else in the whole world. I honestly believe there is nothing else I’m any good at. It was either be a writer or fail.

And I haven’t gotten rich. And I’m scared all the time. And sometimes I’m stunned by the fact that Jon died never seeing this book come to life. And maybe there is a part of me that doesn’t really believe that. I come from witches and shape shifters, my mother has fucked demons and angels into doing her bidding: I have a long history of talking to the spirits. So, I know, Jon is with me all the time. Just out of sight, helping me, laughing with me and loving me and so fucking excited by this amazing and beautiful life I get to live.

I am on a plane from LA to Berlin. To see Noah, my gorgeous German boyfriend. I will sit in cafes in Kreuzberg and write. I will go for walks along the canal and through the City. I will tell Jon stories, sometimes forgetting not to talk out loud because people start to look at me funny: the crazy guy talking to his dead boyfriend.

What’s the point of all this? Simple: I am a liar. I am a drug addict. I am an HIV Positive queer man in his 50’s. My best friend and lover died 8 months ago: but he loved me. He believed in me. And he taught me I can be and do anything I want, and you know what? He is right.

And for those of you who are wondering what happened to Alex and I: while we are no longer “husbands”, Alex is my brother. My best friend. If being in a poly triad taught me anything: it’s the value of holding on to the people you love. No matter what. Even when the nature of that love changes.

Jon once told me that the three of us were destined to be together. That we had been traveling through multiple lives together. That we were old souls on a long journey together.

And I think I now know what he means. I think I believe him.

There are a lot of people I think I have been journeying through time with. After losing Jon this idea appeared before me as the only thing that really made any sense about life.

Life has been this strange and violently beautiful experience. More beautiful than anything my little-boy -elf or my high-as-fuck-on-dope-self could have believed.

I know this is a rambling piece, tying together lots of pieces that maybe don’t always add up, but there is a point here, something I want to say:

When you are feeling scared, or when you feel lost, or that maybe you chose the wrong path and you don’t know how to find your way back, remember: it’s ok. If I can do this you can do anything the fuck you want. I swear to God. If there is one thing I know it’s that.

It might not be easy. And life will still be life, there’s no changing that. And people we love will die, and we will get older, but, and I wish I could scream this as loud as possible all over the fucking world: it’s better to fail at something you loved than succeed at something you hated. Those are words my mother told me, and they changed my life.

Cus look at me: I’m on this fucking plane. Writing this blog. And some of you will read it and it will mean something to you. Some of you might even think: Fuck, if he did it I can.

And it’s true. I swear to god. I am screaming it so loud right now.

This is my cheesy, inspirational post. Because I’m feeling fucking mind blowingly lucky.

I would love it if you went to Amazon and bought my book. Because, yes, I want to get paid (getting paid is an admirable thing, I’m trying to remind myself that every time I pitch this book out into the void), but I also really want to hear what you think.

Because I don’t get to wake Jon up late at night anymore. So, it’s you guys I turn to now.

And while I didn’t talk about sex, just know, after this Ima go to the bathroom and jerk off. I’ll probably do it twice. Cus I’m on a fucking plane to Berlin!!!!!

Hey, Noah, I hope you’re ready for me! Ima be rubbing my stink all over you! Noah really is the fucking sexiest, cutest, sweetest guy in the world. I’m really sorry I’m so stinky! But I think he might kinda like it!

TAKING PrEP DOESN’T’ MAKE YOU A SLUT…TAKING PrEP MAKES YOU A HERO

Discerning Daddy

I recently received an email regarding my blog entry, The Beauty of Being a Slut. The guy wrote, “People like you should be ashamed. This is why no one takes gay people seriously. Instead we are nothing but whores who show our asses on Instagram and give everyone AIDS and herpes. It’s people like you that make gay men think taking PrEP and having unsafe sex is ok. You should be ashamed, you worthless piece of shit.”

I try to take all the comments I get seriously.

So let me fucking get to addressing this one.

First, what is PrEP: PrEP stands for Pre-exposure prophylaxis. PrEP is the use of drugs that can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout the body. Meaning, that people who take PrEP are effectively protecting themselves from HIV while also preventing the spread of HIV.

So this should be a no-brainer, right? PrEP protects people who are negative from getting HIV and is one of the ways we can stop the spread of the virus. So PrEP is good, right?

Well, like all things dealing with sexuality, and queer sexuality in general, it’s more complicated than that.

I think the root of that complication is simple: we are ashamed. We are ashamed of our bodies, we are ashamed of our sexuality, we are ashamed of our queer identities. We have, on some level, bought into the lie that has been taught to us our whole lives: that there is something inherently tainted about us, as queer people, something not right: that we are somehow flawed.

If you question the validity of this statement, let me give you some facts: according to the recent Human Right’s Campaign’s “Growing up LGBT in America Survey” four out of ten LGBTQ youth say that they are living in communities that are not accepting of LGBTQ lifestyles, and 92% of those LGBTQ youth surveyed responded that they have heard negative messages about LGBTQ people, at home, at school and in their communities.

The Trevor Project, which is committed to ending suicide among LGBTQ youth, reported that LGBTQ youth are five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth.

Our whole lives we have heard this message, that who we are at our core is somehow wrong, not worthy. It is debated by our politicians, by our religious leaders, by our parents and our schools: we are continuously told that who we love, and how we fuck, that who we are as humans, is not deserving.

But before we can take on how “They” talk about us, we have to begin to tackle how we talk about Ourselves, about each other, and about our community.

There has been a smear campaign against PrEP since day one. Some leaders in our own community have insinuated that PrEP is a party drug leading to hedonism and sexual debauchery. That PrEP is to blame for rises in syphilis and gonorrhea, that it promotes promiscuity and will be the downfall of respectable gay culture.

The Politics of Shame.

But let’s get real: human beings fuck around. And they suck at wearing condoms. This has been true since the beginning of time. And if there is a pill out there that can help protect us from at least one of the more life threatening STI’s than I think that’s something we should be celebrating and educating everyone on.

Most of us, queer, straight, where ever you lie on the sexual spectrum, are going to find ourselves at times acting a little promiscuous, or not making the best choices in regard to our safety. Instead of judging each other, or ourselves, why not arm ourselves with all the tools available to maintain our health?

I don’t care who you fuck, or how many people you fuck, I just care that you are healthy. So again, PrEP would seem like a no-brainer, right?

I think it’s time we start getting honest. If you are taking PrEP, whether it’s because you are in a relationship with someone who is positive, or because you just want the extra added protection, or because you want to go out and take all the loads or fuck all the asses: you’re a fucking hero. You are part of the solution.

I’m done with the rhetoric of shame. With being quiet, or the polite and good faggot, with being the sexless TV counterpart, or the campy and over the top best friend. I am done with playing into their stereotypes and being told how to behave and what is acceptable.

And I am done being told by members of my own community that the only way to legitimacy is by appropriating hetero-normative values.

Fuck that. I like being gay. I like the freedom, the outrageousness, the sex and the wonder and the amazement. I am constantly in awe of how strong we are: at how we have found a way to survive and thrive, at how we have fought and struggled for basic human rights and still maintained our dignity and our beauty in a world that is determined to tell us we are sick.

The fact that we even have to prove our worthiness is offensive to me. The fact that we have to demand that we be treated as equal, or that we be allowed to live our lives how we want is ridiculous.

So I say fuck it. Go out and be you. Be the loudest, queerest you there is. Wear it on your sleeve. Proclaim it to the world. And fuck anyone who tells you you aren’t deserving.

And for all your guys taking PrEP, thank you. You are heroes in our community. And if anyone tells you different, or implies that your morals are somehow not intact, take it as a compliment.

Who wants their fucking morality anyway?

And for the guy who called me a worthless piece of shit: I’m not here to make you happy. And I’m not here to show straight people how polite and legitimate queer people are. I’m here to say, as loud as I can, that we get to be whoever the fuck we want to be, and how we live our lives is nobody’s fucking business. I am a 50-year-old man, and I am way beyond apologizing for who I am. The only responsibility I have is to be good to those I love, and to treat my family and friends and sex partners with respect and kindness, and to try to live in the world in a healthy and whole way, and to be as loving as I can be to anyone who comes into my life: and to remember, that they get to live their lives how they want as well.

Imagine this world if we stopped condemning each other and judging each other and hating each other and just tried to let each other be.

Maybe I’m naïve, but I just think, life is really hard, but how much easier it would be if we all supported each other and took care of each other: if we kept each other safe?

And hey, you can now go check out my new book, Accidental Warlocks, on Amazon! Your support would be amazing!