Variable Cling

For the final Disability After Dark podcast for 2017 Andrew Gurza talks about his clinginess, which, for him, stems from childhood abandonment experiences. I think for many of us it comes from that dichotomy of craving intimacy while not wanting to be emotionally vulnerable. I know my early coming out sexual experiences were clouded by the sense that being held & touched was what I craved but because it was so ‘evil’ ‘unnatural’ something I didn’t deserve it. It took me a while to get over the feeling that men were doing me a favour – there were only having sex with me because they felt sorry for me not because they too wanted to have sex.

Remember too that I was growing up in a time when same sex sex was illegal. Getting caught wasn’t merely embarrassing but men were being imprisoned or institutionalized for their unnatural proclivities. One could literally get away with murder, assault, by saying the victim was queer – no proof was needed.

So for some of us clinginess comes from the desire to be accepted by another man & wanting more of that from the same man. Comfort builds trust, the greater the trust the deeper the intimacy. So the first men I had sex with I was eager for a repeat. I quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen. If phone #s were exchanged then maybe a second time might be possible. Those were the days when everyone had landlines, some of us didn’t have answering machines – so you could be waiting hours for the phone to ring or taking the risk of being the one to call.

These days one isn’t so trapped in one spot waiting for that call – we have our phones with us constantly & are constantly checking to see if there’s been at least a text from Wonderful.

I work on keeping a balance with the men that I am involved with – weekly texting seems to be contact enough for me & them. If it is more frequent it’s usually because they initiate or there’s a reason beside saying ‘Hi drop’em buster.’ Some opportunities have gone nowhere because I am a slow texter thanks to my flip-phone.

Variable cling as opposed to static cling – static clings at any opportunity  – variable clings only when invited. Even if I want that constant contact for reassurance I accept the amount of contact that anyone wants that keeps the lines of communication open. 

Light At the End of the Closet

some days I check my email

every hour I’m awake

in case there’s one from him

but he’s a fucking crappy communicator

and I like it

I like the frustration

I know he isn’t stringing me along

I check my voice mail too

not as frequently

he can’t leave messages

when he calls he has to use pay-phones

he has one of those sensitive jobs

can’t be out

can’t be caught out

I understand this

and I like it

I like the hidden secret

the old timey quality of his closet

of me being totally out of mine

I can slip into his

and not feel the need to force him out

he knows this

he is always apologizing

sorry about an unending work load

that lets him hide

that makes him hide

I like this hiding   sometimes

he says I’m ray of light

more like a shaft, I joke

I like this frustration

knowing I can feel it

not need to judge force refuse

be present

be in my own open life

sort of free

sort of   because

if  I see a crying child in the street or a mall

I have to back away

gay men are automatically suspect

can never be proven innocent

I back away into that closet

I don’t like that frustration

till I check my email

and there’s one from him

 

 

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