Long ago and far away -- damn I love that song. But, it's not a true start for a quick overview of my life. Sure as hell was long ago -- 1936, January, to be exact, I came screaming into the world. Far away -- nope. Was born in the heartland of the USA -- the conservative, stodgy, Republican stronghold, Basketball mad, Sunflower State -- Kansas.
I grew up -- don't we all. Childhood (even adolescence) was easy, simple, uncomplicated except for hiding one fact from the world and myself until I was fifteen. I'd first heard about sex from an older pal, nothing perverse, just good old fashioned "this feels good, Jay, watch, try it," learning to masturbate.
He went on to girls. Somehow I got stuck right there, enjoying myself and wanting to share the fun, knowing it wasn't exactly what was acceptable -- but finding ways to get a little action as frequently as possible (alone or with unsuspecting explorers I'd chat up, hint around to, challenge to match speed or distance or otherwise work my wile on to get us alone, pants down).
When I was fifteen and a half, early summer 1951, I met Tad. He was from Chicago, a whole year older and knew what was up the moment we met at the municipal pool and I started my act. He also knew what to call us, which scared the crap out of me -- I was not queer!! By the time the summer was over, the denial was over and I'd lost the virginity of every orifice to his pleasure, and -- I was surprised to find -- mine, too.
From then on I thought I knew who I was sexually, and grew adept at hiding it from the rest of the world, parents, friends, everyone, except the guys whose eyes would meet mine and click. It had to be that way. What I liked to do and have done to me was not just a 'sin' but could get you sent to jail and/or a nut farm if anyone unsupportive found out and spoke up.
Then I met Elizabeth. Betty knew what she wanted and it was me! I was skittish but full of anticipation. She was a natural when it came to sex -- anything, everything came easy and was fun and full of passion at the same time. We were together for two years and off and on through my college years.
I went wild in college -- girls, boys, boys, girls -- there were so many and they were all so cute. Did make it through. Took five years to do it. Even became a fraternity man -- couldn't resist the lure of those hazel eyes. They were the bedroom eyes of the blond Adonis Junior who was in charge of the Pledge Class my Freshman year. We played verbal games all that year, were roommates and lovers his Senior year and the following two. Ron got his Masters, a job in New York and vanished.
Since college, in no meaningful order, I've taught (high school), run a night club, helped found and build a swanky boys summer camp in New Jersey, done advertising and promotion for one of America's leading magazine and book publishers, been an active (very) member of two different call boy rings, managed a major metro area Junior Chamber of Commerce office, helped move a small health care provider from pen and paper to on-line interactive claims processing and more. Along the way I met, bed, wed and left a number of members of both sexes (the count is none of your business).
I never felt ill at ease with women and ,after Betty's lessons, they were included in my sexual appetite. The frequency of females appearing in my life (either sexually or romantically) was limited mainly based upon the fact that there were more thrills in the pursuit of illicit sex when I was growing up. The danger involved was just as much a turn on as many of the encounters themselves. I was clearly stupid. But, I was young. I'd had few troubles making conquests of the fair sex during my college days, so -- chasing male was more exciting.
Then my life took a new turn. In a major unexpected (to me) change I ended up married. She knew all about me. Her goal (almost totally successful during our years together) was to keep me so busy in bed I didn't have the need or desire for anyone else (male or female). We raised four boys who are now out the the world, healthy both mentally and physically.
When I lost my life partner to cancer she and I knew there wouldn't be another woman in my life. And -- I found out that the boys accepted it -- actually expected it -- I thought I'd been so macho.
Have found my base philosophy in life is "if it feels good and doesn't harm someone else (psychological or physical), then damn it, do it. You may not get another chance."
Since retirement I have honed my skills at writing. There are autobiographical truths in everything I generate.
I thought I'd found the way to enjoy my retirement. Bought an RV and (using the Web's extensive communications network of gay chat rooms, contact ad sites and email lists) started meeting and 'making' friends across this great nation. Then I met my 'lil bro'! From the first chat I think we both knew there was something special going on. After lots of talking -- chat, email, phone -- we met. It was just going to be another visit to a new friend. Stayed 10 days. Took off and made it on my own again for three weeks. Couldn't stand being without him. But, like to many 'too good to be true' things it came to an end. Maybe we tried too hard, moved too fast. I do know now that I am ready to settle down and share my life.
I quickly ended up in the arms of my Teddy Bear. How did we meet? Well, thank the internet again. We passed paths briefly while I was light headed over my 'lil bro', but kept in touch -- kept our distance after the break up -- then, with the healing underway, he showed up to celebrate the birth of 2000 with me. It wasn't our plan to change our lives, just be buddies and keep close for the next few years until his retirement and see how things developed. That idea lasted just one month and there we were driving across country headed toward what had been his house and was to briefly be our home. It lasted six months. Again I moved to fast. We knew so little about each other. When we broke up we spent hours talking, hours we never devoted to ourselves during the time we were together.
So now I'm trying something new. Settling down on my own, building a life of my own, setting up a house of my own, giving myself a home base again. Only time will tell if this was the right thing to do -- but it feels right.
Oh, yes, I do have someone special in my life again. But we're moving slow, getting to really know each other -- letting time tell if this is it for both of us. For sure we talk, and talk, and talk. It a new experience for me -- but this too feels right.
Before being hit with having to have a pacemaker stuck in my body I use to walk five miles every Sunday morning, exercise 2 hours three times a week. I'm working back up to those benchmarks and try to keep and stay fit both mentally and physically. If you're interested here's what works (for me).
I classify myself as bisexual when you sum the total of my life -- every twist and turn which I use in my writing. If asked about now, today, I'd have to say I'm 100% gay.
Did you grow up in the same era? Have memories to share?
Want to talk it over?
Contact me at jonjay dot geo @ yahoo dot com
OR jonjayw @ hotmail dot com