The Soundtrack of My Life – 22 – Love for a Child

I just want to preface this next post with a warning. This deals with some sensitive content around “sexual abuse” trauma, and if you are at all uncomfortable with such topics I do ask you to stop reading. I don’t want to trigger anything for anyone. This is, above all, a safe space. So, if you wish to continue I very much appreciate your continued patronage of my ridiculous little life.

This song was from one of those albums that completely defined an entire “era.” This came out right at the time that my husband and I had finally “split.” After 4 years of cheating on him and getting caught, we had decided to break-up. The only caveat being, we would still live together and sleep in the same bed. What we were doing at the time was staging what our future relationship would turn into. For all intents and purposes we were “broken up.” In reality it was an open relationship, but my husband and I were so opposed to that kind of “gay culture” (at the time) that we had to call it something else.

Out of this entire CD, there were 5 songs that just hit specific points in my husband’s and my relationship and some of my past experiences. This song, “Love for a Child” made my husband think of me. It told the tale of how, I’m assuming, a young Jason Mraz grew up just a little too early under the distracted attention of his disengaged parents. The line that specifically spoke to my husband was:

“…and making love at far too young an age
And they never checked to see my grades
What a fool I’d be to start complaining now”

It’s true, I was exposed to sex much, much too young. As a result I became overly sexualized and started to believe that I was only good for what I could offer sexually. I’m certain it is what set the foundation for my sex addiction.

The first time I was sexually abused was by a neighbor kid when I was 3. I have snapshots of what happened with him, but the one thing I remember with clarity, was my mother’s rage from finding me buck naked in the backyard. She had only checked on me because the neighborhood boy left in a hurry and I hadn’t been trailing behind.

“Why are you naked?” She had shrieked.

I remember following her back into the house, staring at her back. Her dress was beige with different colored strips and she was wearing flip flops.

All I can recall was after that event I was no longer allowed to play with that boy. Why, I didn’t know. Being the good kid I was, I followed the order.

It’s weird because that entire neighborhood was rife with kids down to do sexual stuff. When I got older there was a boy who would only ever want to play with me if he wanted “something.” He had a code name for it and I knew, once I heard that phrase, that it was gonna happen. He called it “working bears.” Which… As a gay adult man is funny to me. Bears… come on.

Once this kid got what he wanted he would turn on me. There was one time where this asshole got all of the neighborhood kids to gather on the lawn of the house across the street, and they called me a faggot. That is not an exaggeration.

My saving grace was getting out of that hell hole. My mom’s department was moving from Southern California to the Central Valley, and my mom jumped at the opportunity. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I knew, even at nine years old, that a fresh start has limitless possibilities.

While I wasn’t sexually assaulted by neighborhood kids in our new town, I was teased and bullied. So, progress, right?

I was mainly teased for being fat. I was also weird. I had adopted the mentality really early on that I rather be strange than normal. I would say “thank you” every time someone said, “You’re weird.” The need to conform to what everyone else was doing was something I never believed. That is, unless, it was awesome. (Aka power rangers bitches!) Otherwise I marched to the beat of my own drummer, and usually kids don’t like that.

The internet made making friends way easier. I had a ton of online pals who had similar interests and were also a little kooky. It was in the digital space where I found my community.

What I also found was internet pornography.

The problem with having technologically illiterate parents is that the kid ends up setting all the shit up, and therefore learns how to manipulate the programs to do what they want. Even though my parents had me on the setting for “child safe” content, I knew exactly how to remove any restrictions. And when my hormones were raging during puberty, I would change my browsing capabilities to include adult sites and I would spend HOURS perusing every photograph.

This was all gay pornography, by the way. Never once did I search for images that featured women. Why would I want to pretend when my windows of opportunity were so short? Let’s get right to the good stuff. The only problem is then I would have an identity crisis with post coital clarity. It’s super fucked up to have religious dogma mess up your orgasm. And I firmly believe it affected my ability to even relax in the moment now. I feel this immediate urge to not be where I am. To cleanse myself of my “sins.”

Good lord I am a mess.

Finally after a few years of this ritual I needed to know if I really was “gay.” The only way to do that was to take what I had seen in pictures and put it into practice. At 13 years old I started reaching out to gay men on-line to meet up for sex.

There were only two who were willing.

The first one knew that I was a chubby pre-teen and he still agreed to meet with me. I had arranged to meet him at a Wal-greens around the corner from my house. There he would pick me up and take me back to his place. I logged off, jerked off, and found the terror in my ridiculous plan.

I logged back on and told him that my dad was a cop and I was going to turn him in. He freaked the fuck out on me. I panicked, again, and then told him that wasn’t true. He responded with this filthy e-mail saying how he was going to find me and kill me. I deleted it, but I should have turned that shit into AOL and regret not having done that to this day.

This episode left me frightened from another attempt for a about a year. Then the draw to do something about my desires pushed me to try again.

The second person I spoke to was “Scott.” He was an over the road trucker, in his 40’s, who agreed to meet with me. I lied about my age, but even when I was “honest” about being “16” he still agreed to meet with me. (God, my rage is building.)

Like an idiot I agreed to have him pick me up at midnight at the end of my street. I thought that this was safer than him picking me up at my actual house. (I didn’t want him to know where I lived!)

Like a hooker waiting for her next trick, I waited out on the corner.

Sidenote: no shame to sex workers. I just say that because of the irony of the scene.

Scott pulled up in his beat-up, aquamarine Mazda sedan. I got in and he drove me to his house just a mile down the street from my own. He snuck me in, and as we were on our way to his room someone started to come out into the hall. He yelled at them to get back in their room, to which they immediately did. He ushered me back into his room and we did stuff on his water bed.

Shortly after I met him for the first time, he dropped me off and I walked back home saying, with “absolute certainty,” that I was definitely not gay. I did not enjoy that. He smelled, he was hairy, he was old. I was not into it. With hindsight I know now it’s because I didn’t enjoy it with him. Even though, plot twist, hairy and older are very much my type. Do with that what you will.

While I wasn’t coerced into anything (I sought him out and initiated the conversation) he should not have agreed. Once he learned my age he should have shut that shit down, explained to me that that isn’t appropriate or even legal. He should have known that I was not emotionally or mentally prepared to deal with that choice. But, he did not.

The thing I find so insane is: why would he risk everything to do it? He didn’t know that I wouldn’t have told my parents. I could have turned him in, told them where he lived, or helped with a sting operation through instant message. All of these I should have done, but that would have meant telling the truth to my parents. Instead I kept it to myself to deal.

I look back on this with regret. I took from myself something that should have, at the very least, meant something special. Instead, I treated my first sexual encounter as a case study. One where the results were skewed and that, inevitably, didn’t hold any weight in my future choices.

I wish I could say that I never went back, but I met up with this dude three more times. Each time more repulsive than the last. My “favorite” had to be my first time performing penetrative sex on him in the back of his semi, parked in a Rite-Aid parking lot.

There is this video going around TikTok that states: we are who we would have felt safe with as a kid. The truth in that statement is unreal. These encounters turned me into a grizzly bear when it comes to kids and sex. If I hear someone has been harmed I get very, very angry. I want to do everything in my power to protect them from the mind fuck that comes with it. I want to keep them from ever having to deal with that kind of trauma. The only way that will ever happen is that we must sit down with our youth and have very honest and open conversations. Without them it makes sex this secret, sinister thing. One in which we need to feel shame in. And while that is not always true, there are shameful acts (as depicted above), it should come with no emotional baggage.

Tales of Pink-Eye and Cancer

My this has been one hell of a week.

It began on Monday where I made an eye appointment because my eyes were red, itching, and would not stop crying. I was certain when I made the appointment with the optometrist that it was probably pink-eye. The doctor however looked at my eyes and deemed it allergies. I was skeptical because I have had allergies my whole life and never had I experienced JUST a reaction in my eyes, but as he was the “professional” I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

The following day, Tuesday, I finally had scheduled a CT scan that I had kept putting off because I had no time to do it. My work schedule has been (and is) hectic, so I never had the time but I figured that since I was so panicked about the blood in my underwear (coming from somewhere it should not ever if you’re a dude) I should make the appointment and follow through.

I went for my exam and during the procedure while they were injecting the dye into my vein it collapsed and instead of coursing through my body, probably, about half of it went into my right bicep. So for a couple days I had a bulging arm, much like popeye. After the procedure I felt silly going because I hadn’t had any further symptoms from the initial shock (aka blood.)

By Wednesday, the “allergies” only got worse and so I made a very quick follow up appointment. While rushing to that I get a call from my doctor. They had gotten back the results of my CT scan and it showed that my spleen and my prostate were enlarged and I was being referred out to a urologist for further examination.

After that lovely phone call, the optometrist (now a plucky, quirky young woman) told me I did in fact have viral pink-eye, the super contagious kind. This was after touching my eye with her bare hands (Smart) and swabbing my eyes with a giant q-tip. The cotton swab must have been just for fun because she did nothing with it and never mentioned it was being sent anywhere for testing. Her answer for my diagnosis was “good luck” and a referral to another optometrist.

Later that same day I got a call from the Comprehensive Blood and CANCER Center. They were following up because I was referred to them by my general practitioner (GP). They needed info to get the ball rolling, one piece of which was my blood work I had done the week prior.

The following day they called again to schedule a consultation for November where I (imagine) will be told I have prostate cancer.

To be fair, I don’t know this to be my prognosis. I am making a giant assumption but all the signs point to that and just like my certainty of having pink-eye I am certain that this is the case.

A few things come to mind, one of which (if there is one) god has a sense of humor. Prostate cancer is slow but trying to cure can result in sexual complications. I won’t die from this cancer, it will just kill any semblance of ever having sex again without the aid of a pump (hard pass).

I found out about a year ago that my uncle had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and instead of doing anything about it he let it sit and it has now spread to his bones. At the time I didn’t understand how one could do that. “It’s such an easy fix.” Sitting in the same position I can see where one would refuse to do anything, as that is the road I will most likely take.

The boyfriend, upon hearing my decision, was quiet. He didn’t really have any response. The husband however was annoyed and told me that my decision was bull shit and I was going to do whatever it took. While I respect his opinion more than likely I won’t be doing anything. What worth do I have if I can’t have sex? I know that’s such a petty thing to think but the psychology behind never having another erection is staggering. I remember a statistic about the army spending thousands on viagra, and I get it. For a very brief time I couldn’t get an erection and maintain it and it is a huge mind fuck for one to endure. (At least it was for me.)

As of right now, this is all just theory. I don’t have solid facts to determine anything or if what I assume to be reality is in fact true. The most comforting thing I do have is that I have two men who have repeatedly told me that they will be there for me and that is what’s getting me through, between my sudden outburst of tears (though those could just be from the pink-eye.)

“Do what you want, BUT …”

I’m really mad at my husband, and since he happens to be up in the mountains out of cell reception I have decided to air my grievances here. After all, someone might learn something from this because God knows he probably wouldn’t even if I told him.

That last part may seem like a dig at my husband, and it is (not gonna lie), but it is also the truth at the same time. He has this character defect that causes him to tune out anyone that “yells” at him. I say “yell” because his and my definitions are drastically different. While I have a habit of raising my voice because I am a very passionate person from the theatre (who projects) he takes that as me “yelling” at him. When I yell… well it as an ugly affair that does not paint me in a pretty light at all. I think he’s seen me “yell” maybe three times over our 13 years together. But I can’t help but get loud when I am super passionate about something. I am not one that holds back my feelings, I wear everything right on my sleeve. So when I get upset, I “yell.”

It helps when I practice my speeches beforehand, so I can find the beats I want to hit and the points I want to make to make certain he knows where I’m coming from and can understand. What’s worse is the dude is johnny-on-the-spot and no matter how much preparation I invest he can throw a curve ball question at me that sends me back into my rage. Honestly, the dude should have been a lawyer.

So I have spent most of the day practicing how I want to go about telling him that what has just transpired between us is something I do not appreciate and has thus made me very angry.

I was asked to be a guest on this little talk show that broadcasts on Facebook live. It’s called “Canoodle After Dark” and you can find it on “Canoodle Studios” Facebook page. (I promise I’m not plugging for them.) The topic of the show is basically a rip-off (see, not plugging) of Love Line. It’s three woman all talking about sex. The topic for tonight’s show is supposed to be anal sex, so it makes sense why she asked me to be a guest. In addition to me just being hilarious, remember I am the face of the gay community now. Self-appointed.

Now, the situation reeked of “you’re going to be in trouble” from my acceptance. So I phoned up my husband to ask if it was alright. He gave the usual ho-hum “do what you want, BUT…” and that’s where I take umbrage with the situation.

Look, if he didn’t want me to do it for the “but” reasons and flat out said, “Hey, it will make me uncomfortable for you to do this because x, y, and z, I’d really prefer you not to do it,” I would probably be annoyed but I would understand his logic and not do it. However, he took the manipulative route which drives me nuts. You can’t tell me I can do what I want and then give me some small print that will basically be setting me up for a fight. In my mind, I want to do it and it will be fun. He said I can do what I want, but…

I’m not one to play games like these. If I do not like something I will tell you, to your face, that this makes me mad or uncomfortable. I’m not going to pussy-foot around the subject because I “don’t want to look like the bad guy who’s controlling you.” Um… That’s exactly what you’re doing, you just have somehow convinced yourself in your head that because I didn’t flat out say you can’t do it, I’m not a controlling husband.

To me by doing that has made his response an ultimatum, without being an ultimatum. The situation set before me is “do what you want, but… if you do it I’m going to be furious.”

I get his reasons. He’s a private person. I understand. If he had laid that out and then said I don’t want you to do it, I would have been fine (annoyed, but fine.) I know how petty I sound that I want him to do it my way. But, at least my way doesn’t force anyone to do mental gymnastics to understand the true route to take. It’s a weird “Sophie’s choice” game. Like he’s testing me to see how much I “really care about him,” when me wanting to do this show has NOTHING to do with him. It’s all how I love being the center of attention and look amazing on-camera.

I love my husband. No relationship is perfect, ever. You’re trying to put two different people together to make a life work. There are going to be bumps. But unlike my husband, I’d rather say “hey, stop doing this cause it makes me mad,” than manipulate him. I guess I just respect him more than he does me. (Did you see what I did there? Manipulation.)

And there’s a dick

Last night while attending a friends birthday BBQ, a discussion was brought up of a scenario I for the life of me did not know happened and find mind boggling that even continues to occur. 

Imagine that in a board meeting room there is a machismo-bro executive and a well dressed young woman alone. Then without warning or apropos to the subject the man produces his genitals from within his trousers and let’s them hang there. This was the scene painted for me that occurred to a friend of my roommate. 

The thing I can’t seem to grasp is what the fuck were these men thinking and what was their end game? Do these douche bags think that their dicks will be so entrancing these women will just drop hypnotized to their knees and begin giving them oral sex? Then the thing that frustrates me further is this was an actual event that occurred and this woman isn’t pressing sexual harassment charges. 

How is this okay?! This asshole should be fired from his position and be mandated to register as a sexual offender. This is unwanted sexual advances. 

What followed this tale were four more almost identical situations with varying degrees of severity. One story had a man completely naked with an erection in a women’s restroom. Another was a guy getting nude and walking into the ladies facilities where his co-worker was otherwise indisposed. 

I am dumbfounded! I wish I had the gall to be alone in a room with a man and just whip my dick out and just have it hanging  there to see how they would respond. Not in a sexual way. In no way would I want them to be overwhelmed with sexual desire that they feel the need to pleasure me. Oh no. That is the hopes and wishes of an egomaniac. I just want to see how uncomfortable they get and if they would report me to a superior. 

Then the most terrifying is how casual these women were in these situations. I even remarked that I would post these stories on Facebook and tag the offender so that others could see what huge pieces of shit they were, but one of my companions was so mortified by that notion he begged me not to. If I didn’t know how kind and giving this one friend of mine was I would have to question his character. 

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a woman. 

Are there similar moments anyone knows of?