As I neared 30 years of age, and over a decade of being in the gay lifestyle, I grew increasingly unsatisfied and desperate – for a time, I was willing to try absolutely anything: I even took a stab at monogamy. My short-lived transformation from would-be porn star to respectable husband took place after inadvertently meeting someone I was not looking for; he was younger than me, not my physical type, and a bit too self-assured for my taste; like many aging gay men, as I got older, my attentions were continuously drawn towards naive, somewhat innocent young men, who sadly reminded us of ourselves when we first walked into homosexuality; its comparable to a vampiristic craving for new blood. Yet, there was also a sincere part of me that stubbornly wondered if a gay man could settle-down; while over the years, I occasionally became the outside third-party in the midst of boredom between two “happily” married men. Only, was there still in existence, tucked away somewhere in the outlying areas of the Castro, a truly virtuous and fully expressive gay couple?

Meeting him was the closest thing I had ever gotten to love – only, the nature of gay sex quickly sullied everything I seemed to touch: in particular – him. Anal sex, no matter your purported expertise or years of experience – either as the submissive or active partner: is always fraught with mishaps and even injury. And, then there is the often long and difficult prep-period of purging and cleansing. By the time the moment arrives – it’s so unspontaneous that if feels clinical. Then, I couldn’t stand the guilt as I drove him to the inevitable visit with the proctologist; in many ways it was the past revisited– it was me all over again – only the roles were reversed. I talked to an older friend whose opinion I valued, he understood completely, having gone through much the same thing with one of his partners, he said: “you should only blow-each other off.” I accepted his advice; what commenced afterwards was a bizarre exercise in grossly detached sex: with one person always buried face down in your crotch, accompanied by unappealing slurping sounds, and the intermittent spitting out of stray public hairs.

In my earnest desire for something more, for something beyond the endless one-night stands and friends with benefits, this experiment in monogamy turned into the same impersonal sex I was finding increasingly empty and uncertain. It felt inevitable and doomed. I finally realized that the fullest expression of physical affection and love could never reach fulfillment with another man; it would forever fall into a sad farce of the genuine biological compatibility and emotional reciprocation found in heterosexuals. I became angry, I cursed the world; none of my venom shot towards God as I finished believing in his existence years before. Nature was the enemy, as it condemned us to wander restless and wary – never finding the ability to express our emotions. After that, my life spun totally out of control – I had given up. Instinctively, I knew that the whole gay dream was actually a nightmare, and, I was going to play out the horror film scenario to the bloody end. When I unthankfully survived – the focus on the body miraculously ceased; then, I understood that a higher Love existed beyond what I could merely sense. I realized that all that came before was a tragic performance that never went above play-acting: trying to experience the indescribable, but never going beyond the head of my penis. Incredibly, the Love I found transcended the physical – and all I needed was the spirit.