Life In The Apocalypse 4. Thursday April 2, 2020

Discerning Daddy

I have been in “lockdown” for 18 days. Roughly. There was a day or two in those early days where I went to the gym. My boyfriend and I have driven to the beach, and once into the Angeles National Forrest, exploring the mountains. I go for walks. And bike rides.

And we are finding ways to have fun, sexy adventures. On Sunday night we joined a zoom circle jerk group, jerking off with 15 other guys. During our drive through the mountains we pulled over in the flats to pee. He ended up fucking me over a rock, the expanse of sky and mountains breathtaking.

One of the things I’ve learned during this time: I’m not built for cynicism. I’m not built for fear. Even as things are getting scary, even in those moments, alone in bed, when I can’t breathe, sure I am dying, afraid about money, about my career, I still keep falling back on hope.

I find that most people are being super kind, friendly.

Here’s a story: a week ago I was at Pavilions. A man and I reached for the same last jar of pasta sauce. I pulled my hand back, saying sorry, and he smiled at me, took three jars of the same pasta sauce out of his cart and handed them to me.

“I already have too many,” he said.

I was in my teens and early 20’s when AIDS hit New York City. I watched as many of my mother’s friends died. Young gay men, a community devastated.

One of these men, David, before he got sick, told me,

“We are all learning about who we are right now. All of us. The whole world. It’s easy to be nice and kind, to stay hopeful, when the world is on your side. It’s almost impossible when the world turns on you. But that’s when you need it the most. It’s these times that define us. What kind of a man do I want to be?”

Before he got sick David was tall and muscular, beefy and hairy. The last time I was home my mom showed me a picture of him right before he died. He looked emaciated: so skinny he was almost unrecognizable. His cheeks were sunken in.

He was sitting outside, by the river, smiling. That smile will forever stay with me. That smile is the man I want to be in this time.

18 days and it’s not easy. My Facebook page is filled with people who are sick, know someone who is sick, posts about people who have died, non-stop information about the virus. I find myself getting annoyed at small little things that happen in my house. Annoyed at my roommates, my boyfriend, the dog and cats: but then I remember how lucky I am. That we are all here. Together.

There is a lot to be afraid of. And then there is that picture of David, who knew he was dying, but smiling anyway. And there is a lot to be hopeful about too.

Even if it’s the fucking apocalypse I have to believe there is still beauty.
My best friend Amy taught me this very important mantra, that I keep written on an index card on my desk, and as a screenshot on my phone:

What if it’s all just going to be ok?

These words save me in times of doubt and fear.

And I’m really glad my boyfriend still wants to fuck me in parks. That’s gotta count for something.

Life In The Apocalypse 3. Thursday March 26, 2020

Discerning Daddy

Today’s record, GoGo Penquin, A Humdrum Star, Deluxe.

I woke up feeling discouraged today. And horny.

I keep thinking, this has to have meaning. I have to find a way to allow what is happening in the world to change me.

I’ve been meditating a lot. Jerking off less than I would have thought. I bought a bike and try to spend an hour each day riding it, exploring new neighborhoods. I go for walks. It’s nice to be out, even if at a distance, seeing the world, knowing that all of you are out there too. I try to smile and say hi. I read somewhere that saying hi, that smiling, is good for the immune system. Either way, it makes me feel better.

And I’ve been writing.

I set a goal for myself: I will read two new books a week and I will spend less time on my phone.

But today I woke up feeling discouraged.

“I think things are going to go back to normal sooner than we think,” my friend texts me from San Francisco. She is married with two kids. The four of them quarantined in their two-bedroom apartment in the Mission.

“I hope so,” I write back, but what I am really thinking is: what is normal? What does that mean exactly?

“By your birthday for sure,” she texts. “God, it has to be all over by then don’t you think?”

My birthday is May 8. And I don’t know what to think.

“I think this is just going to be what it is.” I say to her when she answers her phone, deciding we needed more than just texting.

“I don’t think I can live like this,” she says to me. “I have no space. Nowhere to go.”

We are silent: the two of us breathing.

“Sometimes I could just run away,” she says. She says it softly. “Sometimes I think I could just run away and leave them all behind. Does that make me a bad person? A horrible mom?”

“No,” I say.

“What if I did it? Would it make me a horrible person then?”

“You won’t do it so it doesn’t matter.”
“Remember when we were in College and we would eat mushrooms and wander around the Lower East Side and the Village? And we felt so free. So limitless. I want that feeling back.”

“Let’s add it to the list of life in the age of coronavirus goals,” I say, and we both laugh.

It’s so easy to be sad. To be afraid. It’s so easy to struggle against what is happening: to deny it even as the rising tide of it seems to be growing. It is so easy to say it’s just a conspiracy.

It would also be so easy to just sit on my couch and watch Netflix and jerk off to Pornhub (they’ve even made their premium videos free during the crisis…it’s an endless cornucopia of gang bangs and bareback loads).

And yet I can’t help it: I need there to be meaning to this. I need it to have an impact. I don’t want to resist what is happening. I don’t want to slip into denial so I can just go back to normal when this is over.

When I found out I was HIV positive I remember thinking, “This will change me. It should change me. I want it to change me.” When Jon died I refused let him just slip away, to allow the sadness of it to destroy me, instead I demanded it have meaning. Because if I could find the meaning in what had happened then I could find a way to not just survive but to grow.

I want to do more than just survive this. I want to live. I want to experience. I want to grow.

And some days I will wake up discouraged. Some nights I will be so wrecked by anxiety and fear I can’t breathe.

But then I will get out of bed. I will read and write and drink coffee and then I will get on my bike and I will ride through the empty streets, saying hi to anyone I see. And I will eat lunch with my boyfriend and I will reach out to my friends and my mom and dad and brother, I will send dirty jokes to my nephews, and search for pink and sparkly headphones for my nieces and I will say to myself: this matters. This will mean something. This can change us if we let it. Even in all the fear and loss and pain this can be an opportunity.

If we let it.

Check out my book, Accidental Warlocks, on Amazon. Your support means everything.

Life In The Apocalypse 2. Tuesday March 18, 2020

Discerning Daddy

Today’s record, Bon Iver, “For Emma, Forever Ago”.

Every morning begins with panic. Not at the virus, or the fear of becoming sick, but at what we might have lost. And fear for what is coming.

I get out of bed, 8:30am. I think, why? Why not just sleep? Why not just turn the tv on and hunker down and just fuck it all…but I make my coffee. I open my book. I write in my journal. I choose the records I’m going to listen to, and I get to work.

Because I have faith. I have hope. That we will come out the other side. I’m not sure what the other side looks like, or what we will look like, but I know there is an other side.

I had a friend in New York, years ago, 1992. In my book, Accidental Warlocks, I called him Laurent. Laurent had AIDS. I would go sit in his apartment in Chelsea and read him Lorca poems, we would sit in one of those pools you could buy at Kmart, the small ones: he had it set up in his living room. We drank champagne and ate strawberries and chocolate and talked. He would tell outrageous stories about orgies and alien abductions and art.

“I believe we are beautiful,” he said to me one night, sitting on the couch, listening as the rain outside hit against his window, purple lesions on his chest like a map of his past, a prediction of his future. “Even when all we can see is the ugly, I still believe we are beautiful. Just a few years ago the world seemed happy to let all our gay brothers and sisters die, but we haven’t died yet. We are still here. Filthy and gorgeous, the most beautiful of all the ugly little monsters. I love every single one of us.”

Back then we came together to mourn, we danced and went out, we threw ourselves into each other, the only safe havens we knew. Now we are told to stay away from each other. We are told about social distancing and that it is safer in isolation.

My friend Jake and I went for a walk through Echo Park yesterday. My boyfriend and I ate Lasagna and cuddled up on the couch last night. I FaceTime with my ex in Berlin. I check in on friends. My brother told me that one of my nieces, she’s 12, facetimes with her friend as she makes herself snacks.

“Sometimes they don’t even talk.” He says to me over the phone, from the East Coast. “They just do their thing, but it’s like they are doing it together.”

These connections, to our friends, families and our partners, are essential. In some ways they are more important now than ever.

Alex and Matias and I will go outside later and lift our DIY weights and stretch and jump rope and get as much sun as we can. I will meet a friend for a walk (we keep six feet from each other but we can still talk, we can still feel close). And I will keep writing.

And I will have faith. And hope. In us.

“We are all there is,” Laurent said to me. “We are the reason.”

He put on a record. We got high and danced in his living room, the fading summer light golden through his windows.

I fell back into the couch, too high to really understand what was being said to me. But I remember this, I remember this the most, Laurent standing bathed in that golden fading sunlight, breathless and beautiful, and saying,

“And if they all turn their backs on us, if the whole world refuses to see us, I will always see you. We will be family. We will save us.”

And the panic has subsided a little. Just the act of writing this to you, whoever you are, has saved me a little. Because I know you are out there. You are reading this. And maybe you understand, maybe you can identify a little, and maybe this act alone will remind us both:

We are not alone.

Life In The Apocalypse Part One. Tuesday March 17, 2020

Discerning Daddy

Record of the Day: Francis and the Lights: Farewell, Starlite! (“My City is Gone” is my favorite song on this album, but fuck this record is incredible)

It is easy to be afraid. It is easy to allow what is happening around us, the fear and panic, the lines at grocery stores, the mixed messages handed down from our President, to overwhelm us.

I woke up today and looked at the NYTimes and instantly started to panic. Sunday night, the bar I work at in LA, the Eagle, shut down, along with all the bars in Los Angeles. My household all works in gay bars and in queer nightlife. This is going to affect us.

This is going to affect all of us. In ways none of us can understand.

Not just the virus itself, but how we handle the virus. Currently, watching the Trump Administration, it doesn’t feel like we are handling it well. It feels like we are racing toward more panic and fear.

I am a 51-year-old HIV Positive gay man. I remember clearly the AIDS pandemic that decimated our community in the 80’s and 90’s, which still continues today with close to 37 million people living with HIV/AIDS world-wide and almost 800,000 people still dying yearly. I remember the fear and the loss and the horrific mishandling of the situation by the Reagan Administration.

I also remember falling in love. I remember making out with cute boys on dance floors. I remember my community and the way, in spite of all the death and fear and abandonment by our families and government, that we took care of each other.

We are still that community. We are strong. I have so much faith in us. Who I am as a man, as an artists and a writer, who I am as a human being, is intrinsically linked to my queerness. To my community.

With the gay bars and queer spaces being closed down across the country, I am looking for ways to connect. To stay together even as we are told to be social distancing.

Isolation will not save us. I believe we are stronger together.

I am thinking of ways to maintain that balance: safety and community.

I’ve been thinking about online queer book groups, bike rides through the empty streets (you can keep a safe distance but still be together), walks and hikes.

Are there ways to volunteer in this time? Things that will get us out and together but still maintaining personal safety?

I live in a house with two other gay mean. My boyfriend lives just blocks away. This morning, one of my roommates, Matias, was in our front yard lifting DIY weights Alex made from bricks, plastic bags and towels. We are jumping rope and doing yoga. My coworkers and I from the Eagle have a group chat where we check in on each other and share information. Last night we made a family chicken soup dinner and watched horror movies. I Facetime with friends around the world.

I am finding ways to reach out, to be together, I am finding ways to survive this new life.

And I am writing. Because that is how I ascribe meaning to the world. And right now we need meaning.

I’d love to hear the ways you are finding meaning and community in the world right now. Feel free to comment and message and let us all know that we are still here. Together.

Look for my daily instalments of Life in the Apocalypse. Without you there is no meaning. I’m counting on us.

How I Learned to Allow Love and Partnership to be the Foundations I Build My Life On

Discerning Daddy

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to choose another person, to be their partner, to build a life with them, and how to do that in a way that doesn’t require sacrificing my individualism, my own self-journey and adventure.

I’ve never been very successful at balance. I move people in too quickly, I’ve made my partner and our relationship a priority at the expense of my own needs and well-being, and then I end up resenting them because I’m not where I want to be in my life, or I am not moving in the direction of my goals: I am stagnated and I blame my partner. I blame what I see as the prison of my relationship.

In the past, when I’ve felt this resentment, I’ve found ways to sabotage the relationship. I’ve cheated. Left them for someone new. I’ve started fights. I’ve let the resentment grow: it is their fault that I am not a successful writer. It is their fault I am unhappy or unsatisfied. They are holding me back. If I were single, if I had a different kind of boyfriend…if only I was free…

Recently my partner asked me if I felt like I was being held emotionally hostage. It was a funny question because it came out of nowhere, but for some reason it felt incredibly important.

And the answer was clear: The only person who can hold me emotionally hostage is myself. The only person holding me back is me. Everyone else is just living their lives the best they can.
If I am stagnated in my life or career then I need to look inside, not at the people I love, because the responsibility is mine.

A few weeks ago I was given the honor of reading a piece about love at the memorial of a friend of mine’s husband. They had been together for 54 years. I am still stunned by this fact: 54 years with one person.

The two of them built a magnificent life together. They lived in LA and Berlin and Cologne. They supported each other. Took care of each other. Stood by each other while they chased their dreams.

“He was always there. With me. Cheering me on. Wanting me to succeed. Never once did he try to stop me from going after the life I wanted. Having that kind of support, that kind of love, it was the foundation I built my whole life on.”

This idea that love is a foundation on which we build our dreams and lives, that our partners are the support we fall back on in times of success and in times of failure was a revelation to me. The idea that we are here to help carry each other. To encourage each other.

Love is not a prison. It is the escape route. It is the way out of the prison. Having someone by my side, being in this relationship, it is the foundation, the security, that I can build my dreams on.

There is a balance here. One I am still trying to find. How to be a partner and a lover, a friend to the man I choose, and how to be a partner and friend to myself: how to bring these two things together and give them the attention and support they both deserve.

I look forward to the life my dude and I are building. I look forward to the adventures and the journey and the love. I look forward to building something together. But I also look forward to the life I will create for myself: as an artist, a man, as someone seeking adventure.

I haven’t found the perfect key here. I’d love to hear how you guys manage all this.

And thanks for reading. None of this happens without you.

If you’d like to read more you can find my book, Accidental Warlock, on Amazon.

Who Am I? Or Why Ocean Vuong Hates Me

Discerning Daddy

It is Monday, February 10th, 2020, at 9:17am, and I am wondering why Ocean Vuong hates me.

The truth is, Ocean Vuong, the writer of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, doesn’t hate me. He doesn’t even know me.
But I’ve decided I know him. I know exactly who he is. He is who I want to be, or well, he has probably nothing to do with who I think he is, but still, in my mind, he is the embodiment of what I want: hardwood floored New York City Apartments, Jazz and Classical Music, windows with fire-escapes to sit on, conversations about art and writing and music, about life and philosophy and books.

He has books. I know it. Lots of books and amazing chairs to sit in and he is smart and respected and people want to sit with him and listen to what he has to say. And if he didn’t hate me, or if he knew me, we would sit, we would be friends and drink tea and my life would look exactly how I know it is supposed to look.

Exactly how it doesn’t look. Except I do have hardwood floors. And I have a record player that plays lots of Milt Jackson, and I have books everywhere…so what is it that I’m missing?

What is this feeling?

I have everything I’ve ever wanted. I have hardwood floors. I have a house, rundown, in desperate need of work but still: a house, a 1910 craftsman, in Hollywood. I don’t own it, but it’s mine. I have a boyfriend who loves me. I have readers who read me. I’ve published a book. I get to travel. I have chairs to sit in, though I wish they were more comfortable…the point is…I have the life I am jealous of.

Mostly.

And yet I still feel…lost.

I keep coming back to this gnawing question: Who the Fuck am I?

I am 51 years old. I am Queer. I am HIV Positive. I am a writer. I am a son and a brother and a partner and a friend and yet…who the fuck am I? How did I end up here, as this particular Jeff Leavell?

I’m sorry if you find yourself wondering when I’m going to talk about getting pissed on, or my philosophical stance on fisting, or poly-open-monogamous relationships, or all the ways and times I’ve been fucked.

I’m sorry if you came here to get your dick hard.

Sometimes I have these visions of the Jeff Leavell I want to be right now: I am walking the canals of Amsterdam, or climbing through the winding hill streets of some ancient City, and I am always alone. I am happy to be alone. I am on an adventure. I find a café and I sit, and I read. Next to me men are playing chess. A mother and daughter share a carafe of wine. It is always white wine. And the sun is out.

Or I am in Paris, crossing the Seine, wandering slowly toward Shakespeare & Company. I will sit in a chair and I will read. I will pretend that I live just up the hill, in the Latin Quarter.

I will not be afraid. I will no longer wonder who I am: because I will be exactly that man, right there, sitting in the large chair in the famous book store in Paris, and I will know, without a doubt that when I leave I will be swallowed up in the beauty of the City…and later that night I will meet a group of writers and poets and artists and we will eat dinner at a small restaurant and we will talk about what we are working on, about life, we will talk about the world.

I am so consumed with fear right now. I am so consumed with self-doubt. My skin itches so bad I want to claw my way out. My brain is on fire: my thoughts racing.

I want to write a fantasy for you: some decadent adventure I had while in Berlin, getting fucked so hard I almost forgot my name, or about gang bangs in Madrid, or falling in love in the rain in London…I want to write about anything but this moment, right now, where I am:

In Hollywood, on a Monday morning, struggling to find that word, any fucking word, just a word that will explain to you exactly what I am feeling.

Do you ever wonder how you will pay your phone bill? Or if you will be evicted because you can no longer pay your rent? Do you ever wonder if everyone you love will finally leave you, all alone, with nothing? Do you ever think that you missed every opportunity, that you fucked up so bad that now you will never get to live the life you always dreamed of?

Because I am terrified. That is what this feeling is: this feeling that my life is slowly dripping away, floating passed me and I am not participating, I am no longer a character in my life: just a bystander.

What if this feeling is no longer the fear of failure, but failure itself?

And then what? I am a 51-year-old, HIV Postive, Queer, failure?

And Jesus Fucking Christ, it’s just Monday, 10:21 am…and I’m already here, drowning in this self-doubt, this fear, this abject failure.

Do you ever have that feeling? What do you do in those moments when you’re so fucking scared that you’re immobilized?

Because if you do ever feel this way, lost, unsure, like your life is passing you by, that you’ve somehow missed the person you were supposed to be and you have no power: you’re not alone.

I’m right here with you.

So today, this is what I’m going to do: I’m going to play a Stan Getz album, Focus, and I’m going to write until I can’t, until the fear becomes so intolerable I might scream, and then I will take my little dog Paco and go for a walk, and maybe later I will meet a friend for tea, and I will try to remember that some days are just like this. Some weeks. Some months.

But I do have power. And that the writing will save me.

And that I’m not alone.

My father used to tell me, “Fear is just the lie you tell yourself so you don’t have to get up and actually do something. You can spend the next ten years afraid, or you can take ten minutes and put your shoes on and go do something. If you’re lucky you’re going to be 65 one day. And you will have either done the thing you’ve dreamed of or not. Which one would you rather be true at 65?” And my other favorite, “Worrying is just like praying for what you don’t want.”

And my mother once said, “I’d rather see you fail at something you love than succeed at something you hate.”

I’m going to commit to a walk. And to writing a blog post once a week. To finishing the projects I’ve started so that at 65 I actually can look back and say: yeah, I did that. Regardless of the outcome: I did it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. I know this isn’t my normal kind of post (I promise, I’ll get your dick hard again soon). And I’d love to hear your dreams. Even if they terrify you. Even if they seem impossible.

And I apologize to Ocean Vuong. I have no idea what kind of life you have, and there is no reason to think you hate me. He did write a fucking beautiful book, though. You should go read it if you haven’t.

The LA List: My Favorite Places to Fuck, Dance, Eat and Play in LA.

Discerning Daddy

(Picture provided by Jack Faulkner, House, Disco’s Revenge)

Los Angeles is a sprawling Mega-City of almost 14 million people. It is home to the second largest LGBTQ population in the United States.

Everything people say about LA is true: the traffic is shit, it is an overcrowded, sprawling, expensive, and often times chaotic City.

But it is also stunningly beautiful, and full of magic: LA is the kind of City that changes you, like a fairy tale kingdom that only really reveals itself to you once it decides you are worthy.

It is a wild City of artists and philosophers, a City where people come to leave behind the rules and expectations they were raised with: to be born again, to redefine their existence.

It’s not for everyone. It can devour you, leave you broken and alone, but for those of us who love this City, it will forever be one of the most amazing places in the world.

It is also one of the best places I know of to eat, fuck and dance, and lose yourself in abandonment.

Here’s a list of a few of my favorite Queer places in LA.

1.House, Disco’s Revenge: This is by far one of my favorite parties happening in LA right now. Jack Faulkner has created a fun, uplifting, amazing space to come together and dance and feel like you are part of a community. It has that underground, high as fuck, deep beats kinda vibe. The crowd is friendly and sexy: every time I’m there I feel like I’m surrounded by friends and some of the best music I’ve heard out in a while.

“I’ve been building House, Disco’s Revenge for a few years now at one of my favorite dive bars in Silverlake – Akbar. I believe that people want to be taken on a journey. This is what I was always looking for on the dance floor: a place to escape to. Monstrous beats, deep grooves, souful vocals that you can dance hard to, and that take you on a deep journey leaving you feeling uplifted. This is what my party is all about. An all-inclusive, safe space where people lose themselves in the music and feel the collective love of our underground community on the dance floor.” – Jack Faulkner.

House, Disco’s Revenge, takes place at Akbar, 4356 West Sunset Blvd, in Silverlake. The next House, Disco’s Revenge will be: Saturday November 16, 10pm – 2am.

2. Por Detroit, LA: Por Detroit, a party based out of Mexico City, and brought to LA by legendary DJ Victor Rodriquez, is one of my favorite warehouse parties happening in LA. You’ll have to keep checking their Facebook and Instagram pages to see when the next one is happening. What I love about this party, besides the amazing music and vibe, is that while it’s still a full-on warehouse party, it’s also small enough to feel intimate. And it has one of my favorite dark rooms. Layne fucked me so good one night at this party while a bunch of guys stood around watching and jerking off. What more do you want from a party? Great music. Great People. Great Vibes. And all the dicks and asses (or whatever it is you want) you can handle.

3. The Party By Ostbahnhof: I’ve written a lot about this party. And it still remains my favorite warehouse party in a City that is full of amazing after hours and warehouse parties. I have danced, I have partied, I have lost myself in the lights and the music, and I have been so well fucked and had some of the sexiest adventures with Layne at this party. It is pure artistic hedonism at its best. Thrown by Black Charmed and Victor Rodriquez, it is still my favorite warehouse party. If you’re planning a trip to LA or live here, check out this amazing experience, happening the 3rd Saturday of every month. You can find more info on Instagram.

4. Casita Del Campo: Ok. This has to make the list. It’s one of Layne’s favorite restaurants in LA, and still holds its old school gay run vibe. Great Mexican food, fun campy shows weekly in their theatre, still super gay, friendly, and well worth every penny. This place isn’t just about the food: it’s about the whole experience. It’s a throw-back to an older, gayer Silverlake. 1920 Hyperion Avenue, LA, CA, 90027.

5. The Eagle LA: Full disclosure, I work the door at the Eagle (so feel free to come show me your ass or bring me cupcakes anytime you plan on visiting), so maybe I’m biased, but I still think it’s one of the best bars in LA. The Eagle is more than a leather bar, or “Dude” bar. It’s one of the most open and diverse bars in LA. With parties like MeatRack, CubScout , and Vaseline Alley, it plays to a wide and diverse crowd. While on weekends it can get busy, it still has that neighborhood gay bar vibe to it. 4219 Santa Monica Blvd, LA, CA, 90029.

6. Gold’s Gym Hollywood: Ok, I get it. You’re all rolling your eyes. But let’s be real: Gold’s Gym Hollywood is a classic gay-influenced LA gym. Every time my friend Reiner is visiting from Berlin he makes me take him to Gold’s. While it’s a big LA gym, it still has a local, neighborhood feel to it. Staff and members are all friendly. And come on, there are some of the hottest guys to watch at this place: every time I work out here I’m inspired, and my dick is hard. What more do you want? 1016 Cole Ave, LA, CA 90038.

7.Runyon Canyon: Runyon is one of those hikes you have to experience to understand. LA’s bod- perfect, shirtless, sun-worshipping devotees flock here to be seen and to see. Go for a hike, get healthy, and see plenty of super-hot, sometimes famous, people showing off. Also, you never know, I once got a blow job by this muscle daddy in the bushes one late afternoon. Life’s all about adventure. Go have one.

So those are a few of my favorite places in LA. I could keep the list going but I’ll save some for my part two! I’d love to hear your thoughts and your favorite places.

ON JEALOUSY AND FUCKING AND BEING TRUE TO WHO I AM: EVEN WHEN I DON’T ALWAYS LOVE WHO I AM

Discerning Daddy

Sometimes I am jealous as fuck. And I don’t even always have my shit together about it.

There is this expectation that we are supposed to be super chill about our partners fucking other dudes, making out with them at the bars, flirting with them on the dating apps. There’s this constant, hidden message: If you aren’t open and cool with it than there is something inherently wrong with you. And if you have any inclination toward monogamy you must be incredibly unenlightened.

So I’m just going to say it: I’m an incredibly unenlightened fucking cave man who can’t stand the idea of my man with another man. Except, when suddenly, I think it’s the hottest thing in the world.

Because sex, and love, and relationships are complicated as fuck, and I don’t believe there is any one way, and to be honest, I think maybe the closest thing I can get to is being fluid with my sexuality and the openness in my relationship.

Sometimes I love to watch my dude fuck another man. Sometimes my favorite thing to do is go to an afterhours or a sex club and watch my man suck a bunch of dicks. I love when he fucks me when a bunch of guys stand around and watch, jerking off. One of my favorite fantasies is me and another bottom totally spoiling him.

And I get to do all those things with him.

But there are other times when I lie in bed driving myself insane with the exact same scenarios. Imagining him falling in love, leaving me, or being bored with me and only being able to get off with another guy.

Because not only am I jealous as fuck, I can be insecure, and afraid: that I’m not enough, or good enough, or that I will be left alone, and that ultimately I will die alone.

Sometimes I want to be the only man he wants to fuck. And it hurts to know that I will never be the only man he wants to fuck.

But if I were honest, he is not the only man I want to fuck either.

My jealousy and insecurities aren’t even based in rational thought. They are these deep down wells of emotion that come from nowhere, screaming at me and causing me to do and say stupid, mean, petty things.

I want to be one of those guys who doesn’t care what my man is doing when I’m not around. Totally fine sitting in the living room watching Rachel Maddow while some trick comes over so my boyfriend can fuck him on our bed.

But I’m not that guy. I don’t even know how to be that guy. And really, maybe that guy isn’t even that guy. At least not the way I’m imagining him.

So I have to find a way to be myself.

And I have to be honest about my desires, and what I want. Because let’s get real. I want us both to fuck other guys. I want to share them with my man and I want them all to myself. I want to get nasty piggy and do dirty slutty shit. Sometimes I want to do a lot of nasty piggy dirty slutty shit.

The hardest thing for me to accept is that I am powerless over what my partner does. Just as he is powerless over what I do.

I have been manipulative, I have tried to control him, I’ve started fights because I caught him looking at an ex, or any number of things I’m super ashamed of. Things that I don’t think are true to my nature, but they are. They are just as much a part of me as the good and kind and generous and loving things are. I just have to figure out how to accept them without nurturing them.

And then I have to be honest. And tell him I’m scared. To be vulnerable. And to try to grow. To try to be the man I want to be. To be deserving of the man he is.

Because that’s the point, right? To find a way, even if that way is messy and scary and sometimes makes me look bad, to be real and vulnerable, to rise above my pride and my shame to become the Jeff I know I can be.

Right now I’m working on a middle ground. I’m not ready for 100% open and I don’t think monogamy is the right path for me either. So we are monogamy-ish. We can do whatever we want together. We can fuck, go to sex parties, put on shows, have threeways and fourways and group sex. We can do whatever we want.

Together.

And what I’m learning is to say, hey, I don’t want to do that right now. I’m not feeling comfortable. I’m sorry.

Because that’s also about being vulnerable. Admitting that sometimes I don’t feel safe. And not making that about him. Because it’s never really about him.

And trusting that he will have my back. Because he always does.

It’s not easy for me to say no. To say I’m not comfortable, especially when it comes to sex. I think I should always be ready, always hard, always horny, always down to fuck and get fucked.

But I’m not.

Sometimes I’m emo. Sometimes I just want him, his dick inside me, his kisses. Sometimes I’m just not in that head space.

And that’s ok.

Here’s the deal, here’s the reason I’m sharing this not so sexy side of myself: Because it is ok. And the more we accept that side of us, the more we stop feeling ashamed and get honest, the more we will be true to who we are. The easier it’ll be to be vulnerable when the jealousy arises, instead of angry. The easier it will be to approach him and myself with love, and compassion, and not insecurity and fear.

I am ok. And if I’m ok, considering the things I’ve done, I’m pretty fucking sure you are ok too.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have things related to this you want to share. It makes me feel less alone if we are all in this together. Or if you just want to ask me questions. Or to tell me that you get it. Or that you think I’m crazy as fuck (you’d be right, I am.).

Also, it’d be a big deal if you’d check out my book, Accidental Warlocks, on Amazon. Your support makes it possible for me to keep writing. Without you there is no point. We are in this together!

Getting Pissed on Taught Me The Secret to Being Free

Discerning Daddy

“What are you doing?” Clay Texts me.

It’s Monday. 6:30pm.

“I’m being lazy. What about you?”

“May I make a suggestion?”

“Sure.”

“If I were you I’d take off all my clothes and sit in the shower with the water off.”

I feel my dick get hard.

“I’ll go do that now.” I text back.

“Good boy. Wait for me.”

I strip naked and get on my knees in the shower. I hear Paco start to bark, then the front door opens.

I close my eyes and breathe in deep.

The bathroom door opens and I am overwhelmed by how handsome he is. He is dressed in a blue button-down oxford, dark pants. He has just come from work.

He smiles when he sees me. The way he smiles makes me feel proud.

I watch as he unzips his pants and pulls his cock out. I brush my face against it, my cock hard in anticipation, and then he is pissing.

I lean my head back, letting it run over my face, into my mouth: I drink it and let it run over my head and down my back.

He must have been saving it for me. He likes to spoil me.

When he is done I take his cock in my mouth: it is hard too. I kiss it, stroking it. Then I stand.

Clay kisses me, tasting his piss on my mouth.

“Shower. I’ll be waiting in the bedroom.”

He leaves me to wash off.

In the bedroom he fucks me like he owns me. He holds me down, teasing my hole then pounding it, kissing the back of my neck, biting at my ear lobes, he holds me tight as he grinds into me, saying my name, reminding me that I am his, to use, to do what he wants with.

When he cums he rams it in deep, pinning me to my bed, his weight heavy on me.

When I jerk off his fingers are deep in my hole, and he talks me through, working me to that place where he is in total control.

When I cum it shoots far, and then he is kissing me, wrapping his arms around me, and I am laughing.

I always laugh when he makes me cum.

Some people might call me a sexual deviant. Or a slut. Or kinky, or into fetishes, or a bottom or a sub, or a top, a bear, a daddy, queer, gay, masculine, feminine, but I’m done with these labels. With the ways we divide and separate each other. The ways we try to make ourselves feel special or elevated, above someone else. I am done with the idea that being kinky, or deviant, or open or poly, or monogamous, or vanilla, or into leather, or any word we use to somehow establish an elitist idea of how someone should behave or be are the things that define who I am.

I like when Clay pisses on me. Not because I am into piss play but because I am into Clay. I am into exploring the boundaries of sex and dominance, the limits of who I am and who he is.

But I also like to cuddle and watch Schitt’s Creek.

I also really love “vanilla” boyfriend sex. The kind of sex where we are both just chasing our nut. Sometimes that is my favorite kind of sex.

What makes something a kink or a fetish? One person piggy and another not? Why can’t we just like what we like without labeling it? Without using it to divide ourselves?

I’m not saying I don’t think communities aren’t valuable. I think finding like-minded people who share your preferences is essential to no longer feeling like a deviant, an outcast, alone. I think celebrating our sexual identities, our desires, celebrating who and how we love, is the way we become visible: the way to acceptance from ourselves and others.

By being visible we normalize what can sometimes seem foreign or threatening.

I like trying on different labels, different fetishes, exploring the ways in which my sexuality expands and grows, but I do not want to be defined or limited by these desires.

Just because I loved that moment when Clay was pissing in my mouth and all over my face doesn’t mean I don’t also love when he holds me tight and whispers that he loves me, looks into my eyes, the moments when we are vulnerable, when I am jealous and scared and he reminds me of who I am.

The minute I allowed myself to stop thinking of myself as a label I was able to discover a vast landscape of possibilities.

I think this is what it means to be sex-positive. To be aware of the ways in which we limit ourselves and each other. To stop viewing our sexuality as something transactional.

There is a whole world of experiences out there just waiting. I want to be free to explore them, to be open to them, I want to feel secure enough and happy enough to trust that I can move outside the boundaries I have created for myself and try something new.

So I’m gonna keep writing about them. Keep trying to make sense of who I am and who I am becoming. And maybe it’s arrogant to think this, but I can’t help but believe that by doing this, by being as open and honest as I can be, maybe I am helping to light a path, to let others know they are safe too, that we get to be as big and as vast as we want to be.

To be pissed on and fucked, to dominate and submit, to follow all our desires and fetishes without shame or stigma.

But to also be more than those desires and fetishes.

I’d love to hear your stories. To hear some of your adventures.

If you’d like to read more of my writing check out the stories on my blog or my book, Accidental Warlocks, on Amazon.

Your support means everything to me. We are in this together.

Submission: Exploring What Ownership and Control Means In My Sexuality

Discerning Daddy

I remember the first time I ever got fucked. I mean that deep down, in your soul, owned kinda fucked. I was a sophomore in High School. Khaled was 22. He was dating my friend Carrie. She used to say she wanted to watch Khaled fucking me.

One night, Carrie was traveling with her parents in Thailand for a month, Khaled showed up at a party I was at in East Hampton. A friend’s parents were in Europe for the summer and we decided to throw endless parties at their apartment on the upper west side, with weekends spent in the Hamptons.

We got stoned on the beach and I remember Khaled took his dick out. It was thick and uncut, and without saying a word to me, he put his hand on the back of my neck and pushed me down.

He was so hard, there was no room left for me, just for that relentless, impossibly hard cock.

“I’m gonna fuck you,” he whispered, his breath warm against my ear. “I’m gonna fuck you and make that pussy mine.”

He took me upstairs, into one of the guest rooms. A screen door opened to a balcony and the ocean.

He kissed me hard, his fingers slipping down the back of my bathing suit, playing around the edges of my hole.

“So sweet,” he said. “My sweet little slut.”

When Khaled fucked me there was no question about who’s needs were being met and about what my roll was. Khaled fucked me like I was his: property, he forced me into submission, and made me beg to be owned by him, marked by him: he taught me what it meant to give myself over to a man: to be of a single-minded purpose: he taught me how to exist in the giving of pleasure.

I’ve learned a lot about desire since I was a high school sophomore being used by Khaled. I’ve learned a lot about love and sex and who I am as a man and as a sexual being.

I’ve never thought of myself as a bottom. Or as a top. I’ve always just loved sex. I love to suck dick and to eat ass, I go kind of crazy when I’m getting my ass eaten, I love to own and to be owned, I love to fuck and get fucked and to make out and to fall in love and to be passed around and to explore all the ways that dominance and submission and control and passion and tenderness and intimacy and desire play out in my life.

Lately I’ve been posting lots of butt pics on Instagram. I’ve been exploring what it means to be an HIV Positive, 51-year-old, sober gay man. What it means to grow older, but to still celebrate my sexuality, and to allow it to grow and change. Because, if I’m learning anything, that is the point: to grow and change, to be ever evolving.

Recently, in response to one of my butt pics, someone wrote, “Oh, I’m so disappointed. I thought you were a top. What a waste of a real man. Why don’t men act like men?” While hanging out with a group of friends, someone said, “I mean, the whole point of the bottom is to just lay there and take it. Let the top do all the work. Bottoms need to just shut up and be still.”

I’ve recently started dating a man named Clay. With Clay I get to explore aspects of being a bottom I haven’t allowed myself. The idea of ownership and submission, exploring aggression, and intimacy, allowing for something primal to enter into the tenderness, to be held down and fucked relentlessly, then to feel his kisses on the back of my neck, the way he wraps his arms around me and whispers in my ear: to know I am his but to also know that he is mine; that ownership is a relationship, it works both ways. Clay isn’t telling me to just lay there and be still, he isn’t telling me to shut up, he isn’t denigrating my masculinity even as he holds me down and uses me, even as he turns me into a possession he can share with another top or keep all to himself, instead Clay is opening doors, he is creating safe spaces for me to explore who I am, while also exploring who he is.

We do this together. We do this as a team. We do this in a way that celebrates the other instead of putting them down.

A couple nights ago, his cock deep inside me, the full weight of his body on me, grounding me, holding me down, his arms wrapped tight around me, his hips grinding deeper and deeper into me, to the point where I no longer knew where the pleasure and the pain began or ended, where I no longer was aware of anything but that feeling of him inside me: where all I was was his: my body possessed, my mind wiped clean. Fucked. And then he kissed the back of my neck, pulling out, licking down my back to my ass, tasting me, playing with me, working me into a frenzy, he whispered my name, he created a connection before slamming back into me, working me back into that place where there is nothing left but his cock inside me.

I don’t believe that who I fuck, or how I fuck, whether I am a top or a bottom, whether I am submitting or owning, says anything about who I am as a man. My masculinity is inherent, it is not determined by anyone else. It is not reliant upon any outside forces.

And that as bottoms our desires are not secondary to our tops, in some ways our desires are primary; a good top knows how to get deep inside his bottom’s head, to fuck him so deep he reaches into the darkest corners of his bottom’s needs and desires and ignites them, sets them free. That’s real ownership. That’s real connection.

I love to get fucked. I love to submit and to be owned, and to give myself over to a top who knows how to pull me deeper into my own desires, who is just as focused on satisfying me as I am focused on satisfying him.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to fuck too. That I don’t love to be the top, to explore those sides of who I am. I don’t want to be limited: I don’t want to be labelled.

But right now I am learning to explore sides of who I am as a man I didn’t know existed. I am excited for this journey. I am excited to share in it with Clay. I am excited to share in it with the other men we fuck. I am excited to explore the ways intimacy and love and partnership play into my desire to be possessed and owned. I am excited to explore my Self, as well as explore him and his desires and needs.

This, to me, is what it is all about. Sex and love and relationship.

As I’ve said before, none of it is easy. I also navigate jealousy, and fear, and insecurity, I navigate questions of being enough, of balancing who I am and who he is, of who we are.

But what I am really learning is allowing myself to be true to who I am.

So this is what I’m doing. I’m beginning a new journey of self-exploration. This is what it looks like to be a 51-year-old HIV Positive Sober Gay Man. This is what it looks like to be Jeff Leavell.

I’d love to hear some of your stories. I’d love to hear the ways you explore and celebrate who you are as a sexual being.

And let’s all remember: No one gets to tell us that we are less than, or not enough, or that we are somehow undeserving because of our desires and our needs.

Go be you. The biggest, queerest fucking you you can be. Being true to who we are is the most radical thing we can fucking do.

Hey, and go Check out my book, Accidental Warlocks, on Amazon! Your support allows me to keep writing!