Sex in LA


I’ve gotten pretty disorganized about the structure of the blog and I suppose that doesn’t matter anyway. It’s not being graded (per se). I will stroke myself (as I am want to do) for actually keeping my commitment to blog each day since I made the suicide proclamation on September 1 (and subsequent reality check about that in the following week). I guess where I ended up was where I was after the suicide “attempt” at 23 years old: if I’m going to be stuck alive, I’m going to have to make some changes. And I’ve started doing that. And I’m willing for it to be a process. I’m willing for it to go slower than I might have demanded ten, five, or maybe even one year ago. One reason for that is that I’ve been at this for so long (trying to live in a healthier relationship to the harder things that have happened to me and live my life in a better way) for quite a long time. And I realize now (something that I didn’t know when I first got sober) that “character defects” (often unskillful coping mechanisms) are like alcohol— they may actually save your life in the beginning until they turn on you; then you’re forced to find a better way.

Okay, and speaking of addiction— let me just say that I am now realizing— no, that’s not right— I am now remembering what and endless rabbit hole validation through sex (or at the very least attention from ridiculously hot men) can be. The smartphone “hookup” apps have made that an even more readily available diversion/addiction/distraction/possibility. It’s not a hug problem in Alabama because—well, its Alabama— but here in LA, at any time day or night, if I turn it on, there’s going to be some of the hottest guys on Earth hitting me up to chat or go on a date or sometimes just meet up for sex. It would be absolutely ridiculous to try to comprehensively cover the topic of this whole sociological and psychological phenomenon here (when I could actually write a book on the subject) but if one spent a huge part of his youth feeling unwanted and undesirable (as I and many other gay boys did—hell, as did a lot of us– gay, male or otherwise) and then spent another seven years in a marriage which absolutely snipped his gonads (as happened to me), then having fitness models and porn stars and hot actors and athletes “knocking on your door” 24/7 can be a huge— let me use my friend Mary’s term– “contradiction” to the messages I have believed about myself. Does that make sense, how she uses the term? I think, “I must be what they called me, a disgusting weak faggot”  (and this happens because I grew up in a culture that embedded this in me ) and then some dude who is highly desirable seems to think I’d be a great way for him to spend his time, energy, interest, etc.— then that “contradicts” the shitty programming laid on me by the ignorant cultural paradigms. Get it? (Do I have it right Mary? Am I using the term right?) With regard to the emotional and psychological abuse part of my marriage (and remembering that he is sick and not bad), all those hundreds of times I came at him wanting to express my adoring and eternal love by sharing my body with him only for him to treat me like I’d asked to shit in his pocket— well, that has an effect. To have so many guys who are so much more attractive that he be so interested in me helps me to feel better about all that rejection for so long! But here’s the deal:

I’m an addict. Everything that has ever tasted good to me tasted like “more.” You may think you know what that means but to me (and probably anyone who’s ever walked the path or loved someone who did), being an addict means that my drug of choice is “everything is going to be alright.” And anything that provides that for me is my best friend in the moment. Postpone pain, feel better now. That’s what I love. And that’s what can kill me.  When I have felt emotional and psychological pain in the past, it has so often been so horrifically terrible, any discomfort strikes up that fear that it’s going to feel that bad again. Does that make sense? Everyone faces less-than-pleasant feelings in life. That’s part of life! But when any hint of unpleasantness comes, it feels like what is actually on the horizon are the feelings associated with rape (which I have experienced) or physical abuse (which I have experienced) or the horrors of war (which I have experienced) or suicidal depression (which I have experienced) or systematic and chronic emotional and physical abuse at the hands of the person who is supposed to be your chief advocate in life (which I have experienced) or the deepest depths of pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization that comes from active substance abuse (which I have experienced many times)— well goddamn! It’s only natural  that I (or you or anybody) would start to feel a little panicked and want to do something to avoid that pain. In this case, as I have been talking about, the way I’ve been “drugging myself” to avoid pain is by focusing on that attention (or actually having sex with) the incredibly hot suitors that the City of Los Angeles was kind enough to line up for me instead of (as it has been almost cliché to refer to it as) “sitting with the pain.” But as I said, “character defects” (in this case seeking validation from copious amounts of sex or the promise of sex) is like alcohol and when it turns on you, it turns on you bad. Here’s another factor that complicates the matter: “process addictions” i.e. food, sex, spending, et. al., are different from drugs and alcohol. I’ve never seen anyone cross the line into substance addiction and then go back to being able to “use or drink rationally.” “You can’t make a cucumber out of pickle.”  With regard to alcohol and other substance addiction, you can (hopefully) “put the plug in the jug.” But we are sexual beings and we have to eat and we live in society that uses money to function. Sexual anorexia is just another manifestation of sexual addiction and you know what? I don’t even want to not be a sexual creature and enjoy that part of myself. Furthermore I have enjoyed my little “binge” because I (pretty much) sacrificed that part of my life for— no, that’s not true. I was about to tell a lie. I was about to say that I sacrificed that part of my life for Adam but that is absolute horseshit. After he suggested that we have an “open relationship,” I (after going out on the steps and crying for half an hour) went right along with it and started to act like the same sex pig I’d been before I ever met him. (Our “open relationship” period, by the way, is when he met Phil and John, his new husbands so needless to say I don’t have a high recommendation for the practice. No judgement on those for whom it works— just like I have no judgement on Adam, Phil, and John for practicing “polyamory”— but if I’m ever blessed to love again, I will be looking for monogamy!)

So being back in Los Angeles, and considering moving back here, I’ve been driving around seeing the old places and trying to rememberer what life was like for me here. This is the place (by and large) from which the world of film and TV is still controlled and if I ever think I might want to cast my eye toward that form of theatre again, I have to consider how that might happen. And while considering how that might happen, I have to ask myself why it didn’t happen before. After all, with the exception of while I was away training with the Marine Corps and then going to Iraq, I was in LA for ten years. I came here with the aspiration of being an actor in Indy films. Why didn’t that happen and what makes me think it might be different if I moved back here? What about the last four or five days has lead me to believe that it would be any different that how it was before? And how was it before? I’ll tell you. I did a whole lot of what I’ve been describing to you— seeking to fill the endless cavern of need for validation based on my low self esteem because of past trauma. I got it through sex. Living in LA while acting out sexually is like living in a distillery while drinking alcoholically.  It didn’t start when I moved to LA, oh no it didn’t! I’d done a measure of it in Alabama. Even, in a sick sort of way, when I learned about the whole “kept boy” thing through my relationship with Waverly and introduction to that world, I started to see that possibly I did have “value” because people found me attractive. When the echoes of the negative and limiting programing continue to reverberate through one’s consciousness, something has to happen. And yes, I sought to (and often continue to seek to) heal that in less-than-skillful ways a lot of the time. I’m doing the best I can right now. I hope to do better. Those people who [from the comfort of their relationship, their (somewhat) healthy self-esteem, or their profitable careers] start all that “that was then and this is now, you should just ‘let go’ of all that,” they are some of the most loathsome and dangerous creatures on the planet. That shit needs to be slammed right back in their faces because what they are doing is taking a lot of people who are trying very desperately and diligently to change their lives and because behavioral changes don’t seem to come as easily, these judgmental (and often well-meaning) assholes are actually compounding the problem by building on the old traumas that got us poor sons-of-bitches in the shithouse originally! The message is “there is something wrong with you because you dont’ just ‘let it go!’” Fuck. That. Of course  I understand the good side of “let it go!” If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be sober. But if you have a healthy marriage and you’re judging those of us who have struggled (or continue to struggle) around relationship because we have had less-than-skillful tactics to try to navigate all that negative programming around relationships, you are an asshole. If you have money and you have judged those of us who have struggled (or continue to struggle) as we seek to reprogram old and limiting thinking around money, you are an asshole. Even worse, if you have dangled the prospect of much needed, much prayed for, much begged for help in front of us with the idea that you would be able to talk to us or treat us in any other way than you would the CEOs or celebrities or anyone else that can get you what you think you need— then you are worse than an asshole and you should kill yourself. No don’t kill yourself. Just get some help, don’t ever do that shit again and stay the FUCK away from me. I may not be someone with nothing to lose but I am often a guy who is sick enough to often feel like he has nothing to lose and we are the most dangerous kind of people for you to perpetrate that kind of sick behavior on.

So how to organize this blog? How should I move forward from here? Should I just continue spilling my guts and using y’all as counselors? [In my opinion the most I ever got out of therapy was having someone who could actually pretend they were listening, offer a good suggestion now and then, and basically be present while the healthy part of my mind (don’t laugh) comes up with good solutions.] The goals are a good thing. To continue to remind myself (and y’all) what they are, to actually do the action items that God gives me as my footwork while being completely open to the “magical” help that comes from unexpected sources…

Do you know how absolutely cruel and fucked up it is to call up somebody who is publicly admitting that he is struggling financially and dangle the prospect of salary, and housing, and help with his career and mission only to withdraw all that help when I say I don’t want you to call me “Lover” (something Herb Hampshire did continuously while he was “helping” me) or say to me when I call you on it, “Oh that’s just me, you’ll get used to me, if you were someone I was trying to be sexual with I would have said something that would make you cum without touching yourself.” Ew! That is so fucking gross. There is absolutely nothing sexual you would ever say to me that would produce anything other than a very limp dick. Don’t you ever come near me again you disgusting old queen and I don’t give a fuck if I starve to DEATH I will never be a prostitute (of any sort) ever again. And to have read my blog and my plays and my poetry and then come out with that “I don’t know anything about your past” to try to justify your disgusting and lecherous behavior?! That is unconscionable! It is akin to these porn directors who scoop up PTSD veterans who can’t manage to make a living now and coerce them into doing gay porn. You should all rot in the same room in Hell and have to look at the other versions of yourself for all eternity.

So how should I organize this blog? I think it’s best to keep going with the goals and the action items because if I really do “manifest” these goals (as my friend, my sister, my longtime confidant, my champion, my hero, the mother of the child I would be honored to call my son, Jen Plumb so constantly and patiently has encouraged me to do— goddamn I love that badass woman) then would I really be worried at all about thieves who took the money and ran or past abusers or lecherous old queens who offer “strings attached” help when I so desperately need it?! Fuck no! So let’s set about making this shit happen. I don’t need to or have to do anything that compromises my integrity or my self-worth to get what I want and need. My goals are awesome! My goals are holy! My goals will help thousands if not millions of people! My goals will bring me joy! And the truth is, that right here, right now, I am a good person and I love who I am (especially now that I’m speaking up and speaking out again) and I don’t have to put up with any shit from any body. That’s the great freedom of being truly free. And in a society of prisoners, the truly free often look crazy. Welcome to my insane reality.

If you’re up for it, tomorrow I’ll talk more about the goals and how they’ve been subtly shaped by my visit to LA. Good things are happening in ways I didn’t expect. That’s what happens when I let God be in charge of how it’s going to happen. In the meantime, the fuckers that would stand in my way or hurt me more can go fuck themselves. I’m in love with God and the life that He, She, or It has given me. It has been anything but neat but if any one of my abusers who I constantly call out hides in the bushes with a rifle today, people can say a lot of things over my grave but “he didn’t ever really live” just isn’t one of them.

See y’all tomorrow.