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By Anthony Paull
The Dating Diet
It happened again. Another birthday; another candle blown out. And here I am facing the mirror, wondering when the wrinkles will come, the beauty will fade, and if I’ll become one of those cliche gay men, clinging to my youth through labels and lip shine, while feigning laughter to cover up the timeline.
I should be elated, thrilled that I have a wonderful life full of great friends and a sexy boyfriend. Still, on each birthday since turning 25, I peek in the mirror and ponder, who is this random person looking back at me? Exactly what has he accomplished? And will his life purpose ever be clear?
The truth is, I’m scared as hell of aging – and each year it gets worse.
Each year, I cling to my boyfriend a tad tighter in hope that our love won’t fade, and we won’t become sexless roommates, inevitably boring one another until the end of time just because it beats the alternative. My single friends say dating is hard, and though I agree, I can’t help but believe that being in a long-term relationship is equally tough.
Daily, I’m biking, running and swimming just to maintain the same body I had in my 20s when I never had to step in the gym. Each lap, every mile, I think his love for me will grow. He’ll find me just as sexy, if not more, as the day we met. Every pound I shed equally sheds the guilt I feel for getting older. I know that sounds fucked up, but that’s just me.
Over dinner last night, a female friend told me that women have it worse. She says it’s their biological clock that unwinds them, drying up their limited eggs and forcing them to get knocked up by a man in order to feel like they’re relevant by the age of 40. Hatching a kid gives a woman purpose; that’s what society tells us. Still, I find so much beauty, power and significance in my circle of childfree friends, that I find this hard to be plausible. And even if a hint of truth laid there, where would that leave a gay man like me? Why can’t I have eggs? Why does my brain feel scrambled? What is my purpose?
Get this. This birthday, this very crusty morning, I found myself waking up and struggling to remember how I old I am. Is that normal? Am I 26? 28? Have I finished college? Do I have Alzheimer’s already? No wait! I was just 30 the other day, right? Oh my God! This birthday is happening too, too fast …
For instance, on this birthday my boyfriend surprised me with a whirlwind trip to New York City, and, slutty me, I returned the favor with a surprise blow-job in the hotel shower. Surprise! Two hours later, my boyfriend chuckles and kindly informs me that I have his jizz glued to my right eyebrow. Mind you, we’re in the midst of dining at a fancy restaurant while I’m needling myself for becoming your common “thirtysomething.” Is this my purpose? I think. I wear the perfect shirt and the perfect smile. I’m perfectly sexy, but for what? So that my boyfriend finds me sexy enough to fertilize my face with his seed?
The simple answer is, Yes!
I know! I know! I’m setting a bad example. I’m single-handedly setting the gay movement back a thousand years, but I’m doing it to keep the spark alive in my relationship. Riddled with insecurity, the day that we decided to enter a long-term committed union, I promised myself that I would forever remain sexy and mysterious for my man.
So in order to prevent him from growing bored with me, I find myself slutting things up now and again and keeping shit real by initiating a bogus fight every time there’s a full moon. This is me and my million-and-two personalities. I keep him guessing by changing my taste in music and underwear. Today I’ll be his skinny emo-indie-fagrock boy, and tomorrow I’ll morph into his fat punk-metal bitch.
What I haven’t figured out is, am I bonkers? Is this what you do in a relationship? Is this the way to make things last? I need help! I’m running out of places to place my mouth on him. I’m getting bad knees from running too hard on the treadmill and TMJ from sucking him too hard on the bed. I’m a 12-year-old, a 17-year-old, and a 30-year-old all rolled into one.
The truth is, I don’t feel any wiser about boys than when I was in elementary school. I’m always dispensing advice, telling friends to always leave their men wanting more, but yet I’m the first one to swan-dive onto an erect penis. Someone tell me, is this what getting older in a relationship is all about? I’m searching for answers that I was never given in class.