I believe that one of the biggest fears in black gay life is that of imagining the future. To roam like passing ships in the night, constantly looking for companionship within a framework that is just now starting to accommodate and integrate people who stand outside of the heterosexual spectrum. Through digital corridors and back cyber alleyways, I had to discover my sexuality in the digital space and well as the physical one. From Mississippi, Texas, to New Orleans, to New York, and here in London; I’ve met my fair share of men, women, and GNC (Gender Non-conforming) beings that have both hindered and enhanced my discovery of what I want, both out of a partner, and for myself. I’ve seen a bunch of shit; from closeted republican officials, DL (Down Low) black drama, beast role play, sugar daddy sponsorship, married men looking for a gay escape, the list goes on. As I mentioned, some things I indulged in, and others, I chose not too. But for the sake of simplicity, I amalgamated them all into three categories; which I feel have been the most constant archetypes throughout my courting life:
The Masc One-hitters
“One hitters,” satisfy my toxic masculine–aside, which I would never deny I have–because I’m still a man and identify as a man a majority of the time and benefit from patriarchy in many ways. I find sexual and emotional gratification in dominance, not purely physical aspect of the partner, but also within their emotional aspect. I dictate when we meet, talk, have sex, break up, and the overall narrative of our relationship. This power is something that I have used in the pass on both men and women whom I thought deserved it and those who didn’t at all.
For instance, there was a married lawyer whom I’d met when I moved to the UK. He loved my controlling nature and found it liberating in, his own right, for me to take control; both sexually and emotionally. I equally find it liberating to see him servicing me. There is a kink I have about men in suits, it may be more of what the suits represent (a form of power) and me being able to subdue it. Once more, I am not proud of all the relationships and the roles that I have played but this is my past and I can not change it.
As a false rationale, the ability to treat men as a commodity–particularly “straight,” ones–that had exerted on women in the past and present this same form of treatment used to act as a moral counterbalance to me: “He probably treats his wife bad–fuck em,’” is what I would say to myself to justify these acts. But this was, and still is wrong. This man was only one of a few whom I had done this too in my past. Some of the men held actual power–politicians, businessmen, etc.– while others I had imposed perceived power onto. But whether it was real or not, my purposes was to sexually and mentally subdue it. I call these men “one-hitters,” because after my subdual of them I eventually would become uninterested. Because of this, I came to realize that I don’t want someone, in terms of an LTR, to control nor vice-versa, I want someone to match my power. Someone who sexually, mentally and emotionally challenge me.
White sugar daddies
There has been one constant throughout my dating experience across the spectrum of my queer growth and that is the infamous white sugar daddies. From being offered both financial protection, to emotional comfort, to sexual gratification, to long-term relationship desire; white mature men–straight, gay, married–make up the majority of men who have pursued me. I’ve had closed Republican in governmental positions–which I discovered after the action–to liberal openly queer stage directors looking to help me with my writing. Some would approach me in the park or in a moment when I was isolated and alone while other via geo-dating apps.
So I know what you’re asking yourself; “Has he done it?” No, and yes. I’ve never accepted money from any man and I do not shame anyone who has. I am also not an ageist, meaning I personally don’t turn away men because they are old, out off of the moral internal compass that I will be old one day. To elaborate, I find age an attractive attribute on a man (black, white, Asian, Latin, etc.). I have also found something in more mature men that is rare amongst men my age (28-35) and that is the ability to focus. To talk, engage, and desired to learn about another person. To me, one of the most desirable effort a man can show is to match the desire of your own; this is the desire of wanting to know one another. Things go so fast with apps and dating today, to have someone who knows that it takes time to learn and love a person is a beautiful thing to me–whether it’s genuine or not. But I am the guilty party in this equation; the desire to be emotionally explored and genially wanted by another is an addictive thing. And I have played with the emotions of these men on several occasions; something I am not proud of.
Emotionally and sexually ambiguous men
Two men have made me cry in my entire life (Outside of my father and bullying incident when I was little). I have not been a home-wrecker, whore, and asshole for the entirety of my queer sexually development, I’ve been on the losing end as we all have before. There have been two men in my life that have truly rocked my heart to its core, I log him under the category of ESAM (Emotionally and sexually ambiguous men). These men, which I never had explicit sexual contact, shared a mutual emotional attachment with me (which they stated as well) which at that point in time brought me to an emotional peek. Both of these relationships started out under the label of friends. During one, I was not out and secure about my sexual preference and the other I was. Both men showed a prior desire for my company when it was unwarranted; constant texting, talking on the phone (we were young), several outings, extended one-on-one time outside of the main group. It was, to me, the heterosexualized gay narrative of dating that I’ve ever been closest too: you meet a man at a party and don’t expect him to be the one–BS like that. Both of these men had girlfriends at one point while they were emotionally involved with me, both of them understood my feelings clearly, and both, eventually disappear: one for 7 years (to this date) the other not so much but the communication has ceased. These two experiences were the worst but in some way the most revealing to me because I found out that I was cable of having an emotional attachment to someone.
What I’ve gained
So what have I gained so far? Not a mate. But I don’t define that as the end goal. Even though I’m at the point where my mother wants to body slam me because I haven’t found someone, I don’t believe I should be pressured to find someone, which is nothing new. As I mentioned before I want someone who matches me and to add, amplifies me. Whoever it may be, an old man, someone my age, or someone a bit younger (not too young of course); I want my love to be an uninhibited one. “You love who you love,” and as a black being, I’ve felt that others have tried vigorously to dictate what it should be. I spent my life–up until about my junior year in college–policing my sexuality to fit in; not as a method of acceptance but survival. From being labeled as a fag at the middle school lunchroom table, threatened with exposure via online, harassed in the streets for holding hands, the more I started to become open about who I loved the more abrasive my environment became; then I just started owning the shit. My journey was easy compared to what others have endured. Even after becoming more open about my love, I have been label been denied by queer circles; either on the bases of race or physical attributes, or me just “not being gay enough,”. This is not a victim piece or an entry into the oppression Olympics, it is my journey and my form of liberation. This isn’t just for people in places like NYC and London, who have avenues of queer discovery, it is more so for my network, family, and followers from places like Mississippi, Southampton, Louisiana, Texas, and more, whom are in an environment that explicitly refuses to facilitate and empower their full beings and potential. Because even if you’re a queer, you still can be black, and the facilitation and integration of blackness is an ongoing fight.
I do realize that in penning this document up, that people will harshly judge my past choices; some may not, and others may not even care. I believe that I’m being guided in the rights steps to something bigger than me or my mate. In the grand scheme of it all, I haven’t learned shit-enough, but I’m desiring to feel, taste, and see more. So if I make it to the age of 70–still on Grinder or Tinder–that I feel that I’ve done enough.