Last night, Rob denied that we had ever engaged in sex together. I reminded him that we had done so 2x. On 15/11/2019 after the Eagle Meetup and after last July's Gay Picnic. Rob had no recollection of it. He suggested that he might have fallen asleep before we had the chance to do so. But he was insistent that we had not done it. This stung a little. It made me question my own ability in sex. When he saw how these words affected me, he apologised.
I suggested that I might not be not good ("vanilla") in bed. I even went so far as to suggest that I am having doubts about my sexuality. I might be asexual. I also expressed some insecurities about my frigidity.
Rob explained that he had tried to have sex with me but that I acted resistant, i.e., I rolled over in bed or said something to prevent him from having sex with me. I remember doing that the first time that he stayed over. But the other times? I am beginning to think that I do something subconsciously to protect myself from guys. I told him about my first three major guy crushes (Andy, FF and Nathan). I went into the psychology of how my experience of rejection became a Self Fulfilling Prophecy. And how I have built up these layers / boundaries from having been played by guys. To the extent that I am now extremely guarded and self-regulated. And that whenever I come close to engaging with someone sexually, something within my subconscious comes out of the woodwork and somehow sabotages it. Even without me noticing let alone trying. I have an inbuilt protection mechanism. It kicks in almost automatically. Because my protection is my fear of letting someone have their way with me. I feel afraid to let myself get out of control like I have done with guys in the past. Such that I have developed an aversion and a complex to sexual relationships.
Besides my internal thoughts, there are several pieces of external evidence to suggest this.
April 2, 2012
He remains single and there are certainly issues around sexual identity, which are still not resolved.
[22:39, 21/10/2019] LV: But you seem have problems with sex
[07/07/2021, 13:50:05] Sam: <attached: 00000893-AUDIO-2021-07-07-13-50-05.opus>
Maybe I am not 100% asexual but there is a certain repressed / suppressed sexuality. Or I have an element of frigidness / rigidness that stems from my social anxiety. Which some people mistake for vulnerability. Rob repeatedly insists that he sees me as a strong person (whenever I mention my perceived vulnerability to him).
LV pointed out that I seem to have problems with sex and that I feel myself "used". Could the problem be that I love and respect Rob too much to be able to arouse or excite him in sex with me? Or does he feel like I am delicate and that he cannot touch me due to my naivety and "pure" nature? It is difficult to say.
I told Rob about the Friends plot where Rachel and Joey get together. Rachel slaps Joey because of some self-defence mechanism from her past kicking in. In the end, they try to do it but realise that they are too good friends to be able to do anything physically with one another?
On Thursday night, I was chatting to the guy from the Meetup (the one who I had met at the coffee on 19/08/2021). I found his views Black & White. He drew a clear distinction between "friendship" and "relationship". My care coordinator encouraged me to have friendships with different guys. As a non-exclusive concept. Not to put all of my eggs in Rob's basket as she (plus my family and friends) used to say. Ever since, I have thought of friendships in a wide, generic sense. A friendship can have a romantic or sexual element. It can have both. Why should it mean anything? In the past, I used to think that simply because someone kisses me or tries to sleep with me, it means that they love me. I found myself hurting through thinking that. I was encouraged to get away from thinking that.
Now, I am being told completely the opposite. Not only that there is a clear distinction between "friendship" and "relationship" by this guy from the Meetup. But others, too, have been contradicting the advice that my care coordinator gave me. In advocating a "relationship" as an exclusive concept.
Take Sam, for example. Although the delivery might have been taken (by me) as harsh and insensitive, the message remains the same. Sam felt hurt because the compliments that I was giving him were interpreted as platonic rather than romantic. Is this partly why the relationship failed? Because I was too restrained and rigid in my responses to him? I cannot blame myself. In order for it Ito be an equal partnership, he needed to accept me for who I am and understand that I process emotions extremely deep beneath the surface. He described my English way of acting cold.
[05/07/2021, 15:56:29] Sam: <attached: 00000690-AUDIO-2021-07-05-15-56-29.opus>
[05/07/2021, 16:00:52] Sam: <attached: 00000694-AUDIO-2021-07-05-16-00-52.opus>
[07/07/2021, 15:51:50] Sam: This message was deleted.
With Hafyz, the boot was on the other foot. He decided to friend zone me. The relationship conversation had not even been instigated. The question had never been asked. All that I did was kiss him. I only expressed my love and appreciation for him through my actions and not my words. He took the kisses to mean something more than merely a friendship. There were two levels of "friendship" and "relationship". When, to me, friendship and relationship were one level and interchangeable. This is why I did not respond well to the friend zoning. Because I felt like I was being judged for the kissing and affectionate / amorous gestures. Or that the relationship was needlessly having a label applied to it when it was not necessary (in my opinion). I never wanted to have the "relationship" talk. But he brought that to the table. And in doing so, the conversation became dominated by it. Such that we could no longer maintain a natural or authentic rapport with one another.
Hafyz slammed the brakes down and brought the whole rapport to an abrupt end.
[16:42, 26/07/2021] Rory Duffy: You friend zoned me in front of a couple of my friends and said that us two needed boundaries etc. You made it sound like I had misunderstood stuff like you staying at mine etc. And you even said we were on our 4th or 5th date. You were giving mixed signals and then you said about me being on the spectrum which is why you didn't want to upset me.
This is not unlike what happened with Ron two years ago. Although with him, the delivery was slightly different. Rather than friend zoning, it was bread crumbing and benching. All that I wanted from Ron was a friendship. As my care coordinator advised me. Go out for coffee with him. Talk to him. But the trouble was, we were kissing, hugging and hanging out on an intimate basis. I was training myself to simply focus on reciprocating and enjoying his company without trying judge, label or read too deeply into it. To express love and appreciation through my actions (what I do) rather than my words (what I say). Apparently, this was not enough. The judgement was inevitably made.
[15:37, 04/09/2019] Rory Duffy: Hey Ron, haha no worries 😉 Picnic was ace thanks! Just to let you know, I’m looking for meaningful relationships - whether that’s friendship or something more serious. But not up for something that is random and intermittent. I’m very happy to have found a new friend in you and I’m not expecting anything more than that. I completely understand you’ve had exams and a holiday to organise so if now's not a good time then let’s pause things and if your situation changes then you’ve got my number or you’re very welcome to reach me via email ([email]) and I’d love to re-connect with you… ☺ Enjoy your well-deserved holiday! Cheers, Rory.
[19:30, 04/09/2019] Sonia: Well, what would you want from him Ror?
Rewind back to Avi Taler. He said that we had taken things too fast. Even though he was the one who instigated the kissing. Intimate gestures on that level raise a precedent. Sonia was right that things can get intense.
When I spoke to the guy on Friday, he advised me to take things slow. But how slow is slow? There might not be any hard and fast rules. It is all relative. Although he gave me some pointers (e.g., he said that it is OK to kiss on the first date but you should never engage in sex until at least the 7th / 8th date), this is completely relative. It depends on who is involved.
In all of the above examples, I have rushed my feelings.
Back to Rob. I am possibly paying the consequences (the karma) now for rushing my feelings with him back then.
Last night, Rob said that I deserve a better guy than him. Immediately, I asked him not to self subjugate or put himself down. Because that is likely to make me fall for him even more! I explained to him that no other guy has accepted me or shown me the same level of love and kindness that he has. No-one else compares. But maybe we have more of a mental / emotional connection than a physical / spiritual connection? Just because he accepts me and cares about me, that should not be reason alone to settle with him. Maybe that is a form of self subjugation in itself (from my part): settling for anyone less. But I even expressed to him last night that I have insecurities about my frigidness and that sometimes, I do not feel like I am enough for him. Hence his need to play around on Grindr and Scruff. To satisfy his physical drives. I do not know. I am an extremely thoughtful and spiritual guy. Although Rob is a great listener (he even asked me if that is what he is), I cannot discourse with him on a philosophical level like I do with LV, for example. Maybe it is just what it is. Like Sonia said, I might need someone who is in between Rob and Avi Taler. Like JR. A different blend. I have been having conversations on various dating apps but they have bored me to tears. And again, I turn back to Rob, thinking and feeling that he might be the one. Who knows?
Earlier on in the evening, I had offered to buy Rob a drink. He had said that he thought that we agreed not to do that anymore and that we were buying our own drinks separately. Maybe he needed more clarity from me in terms of where we are on that friendship versus relationship spectrum? To me, it is more about the boundaries of our friendship, e.g., whether we buy each other drinks or pay separately. When he had told me this, I felt like it was a rejection and I grew quiet. Not unlike that second time that we hooked up on 11/10/2019. Although in contrast to that evening, yesterday evening, I did not feel suicidal because of it. I also noticed that he grew quiet during the M&M. I had to make an active effort to involve him in meeting other people and introducing them to him. This is part of his shyness. He asked me not to let him hold him back and that if I wanted to talk to my friends, he would not stop me. I pointed out that these people at the drinks reception were more like acquaintances than friends. And that he was the true friend who I was here to see. I said "I am here for you". I knew that we would be departing together separately. This was out of the question. It was a given. And I was happy to do whatever he wished (whether this might be staying out in Soho for longer or going home). Such is the strength of our bond. It is nice that I stand by his side. Every time that he moved away from the main crowd, I would follow him back to the quiet corner. One of the Meetup members even noticed and described me as an "introverted host". This did not bother me. It was actually quite flattering to hear this. Because someone recognised it as introversion and not unfriendliness.
About the Meetup (and Meetup events in general). This morning, I felt anxious because I drank a lot last night and could not remember a lot of what I had said to people. Although I managed to (for the most part) stay off social media this time, I still said and did some erratic things in person.
This morning, I said to Rob that energy attracts energy. If I put negative energy out, I will receive negative energy back in. This means that I must stop bitching about people. The coup has passed. Now I must move on and stop getting involved. Otherwise, I risk burning bridges with people. Or creating a negative energy field around myself. It is OK to have a moan. But if I am constantly bitching about the rebels, people might start to feel affronted and upset. There is no point. I can still find positive ways of expressing the same thing. I think that I did mention something about there being two carbon copy / parallel groups and the whole drama being unnecessary. And that it being a stressful few weeks. That is OK. Maybe I did not say anything unkind or negative. Maybe I simply remember Jason's defensive reaction when I looked like I was going to launch into a rant and he had heard my explanation the previous Saturday?
[16:45, 21/10/2019] Sonia: Do you think you maybe rushed your feelings about him?
Regarding the Meetup events in general, I have decided to stop attending the late / Little Ku events and only attend the early / Retro events. That way, I would be attending only once per fortnight rather than once per week. Which is too much. I feel like I am on a hamster wheel of drinking and socialising. My life has no other purpose or direction. All that I end up doing is getting drunk and gossiping on a somewhat shallow level with people who I barely know or have anything in common with. I must get myself back on an even keel. I am living for the Meetup events instead of attending the Meetup events to LIVE. It has become imbalanced. All of these Meetup soap operas. I must remember why I started doing this in the first place. A recovery plan? To build back my life again after Avi Taler?
It is nice that I have shown dedication to the Meetup groups. Jenny has recognised that and delegated me as event host. This might have gone to my head ever so slightly. I might be tempted to feel like I am on a power trip just as much as those hungry rebel admins. After all, people have been approaching me and asking me if I organise these events. My response is that I have been "helping out" and that I am "holding fort" for Jenny. One person even described my online presence as ubiquitous and described me as the Meetup guru / posted boy. On various occasions, I have jokingly described myself as a Meetup whore / tart. Although it would be useful to understand my role within Jenny's group (assistant organiser, assistant to the organiser, event host or just temporarily helping out?). I can afford to back away ever so slightly. Jenny has proven that the Meetup events run themselves. All that she needs to do is book the venues. People know how to socialise. They can take care of themselves. They do not need me there to chaperone, "host" or act as a social catalyst. When I joined the Meetup group two years ago and Jenny was not physically present at the gathering, I was still able to socialise and make new friends. Even in the fragile mental state that I was in at the time.
Looking at the tabbed messages to Jenny, I might have been stressing out for no reason when everything is perfectly fine. Not to mention potentially stressing out Jenny by worrying. I do not think that she would have minded. If anything, it shows that I care and that I am looking out for her. I felt like the message "And I just wanted to ensure that they’re not trying to muscle in" might have sounded overly controlling. Apart from the fact that the Meetup group does not own that venue and other Meetup groups are perfectly entitled to book it if they wish. It might have sounded negative, jealous and territorial. Another sign that I might need to back off and stop interfering. I have a habit of this. I am a control freak. There is nothing wrong with that. But maybe, I could show that side of me with a little more discretion. Otherwise, I am acting like Lily.
[09:31, 21/08/2021] Jenny: are you going to the meetup tonight?
[19:13, 21/08/2021] Rory Duffy: Mario was asking if we wanted the others to move downstairs, I just said that they’re fine for now even if they’re not part of the meet-up they can join but he asked me to let him know if it gets too crowded up here and he can move people downstairs if necessary. It’s fine for the moment though, he was asking if you’re coming?
[20:48, 21/08/2021] Jenny: hey
Take today, for example. I had messaged the group (publicly and privately) to establish who would be at Green Park and at what time. Having heard nothing, I was prepared to spend a relaxing afternoon tidying my room and updating my journal. But no, one of the members got in touch to say that they were in Green Park. Of course (feeling responsible as an event host), I dropped everything, jumped on my bike and headed to Green Park. So that I could follow through on the promised event that had been scheduled on Meetup. This was honourable yet selfless of me.
Above all, I need a break from this perpetual hamster wheel. I attend more Meetup events than anyone else who I know (even organisers like Jenny). This is possibly part of my OCD. I go to extremes and indulge in obsessions / endure obsessive phases. Rather than balancing and integrating multiple interests in equal measure.
In the autumn, I will step down the Twilight events from twice per month to once per month. And I will bring back dinners into the mix. Roof terrace drinking events are great for the summer. But for the cooler, darker months, people want to be in the restaurants. Alex has come forward and expressed interest in hosting some Meetup events. He has even announced this on the WhatsApp group.
[12:45, 14/08/2021] Alex E: Good afternoon all!
I will ask Alex if he can host one or two Fridays in the months of October and November. He can choose a restaurant. I can book it in and schedule the events. He can host. This way, I can free myself up a little more to either attend other Meetup events (such as GS) or take much-needed Friday nights in and recuperate. I have been out drinking 2-3 times per week. My thought cycles and speech are starting to become jittery and slurred. This is a long-term effect of the alcohol. Although the alcohol helps me to alleviate anxiety (my social anxiety) in the short-term, it is creating more anxiety in the long-term, e.g., not remembering what I said or did the previous night and confusing dreams and reality in terms of things that I did or did not say and do.
My mum has suggested a 3-5 day retreat in Devon. I would go down to a residence, turn off my phone and all of my social media, cook vegan and vegetarian meals, take mindfulness meditation sessions, take a paper journal and write / draw and generally take a break from the rapidly spinning world outside. This seems like a healthy option. I am trying to work out my holidays this side of October. I have so many commitments in September that it is almost impossible for me to escape London. I have blotted out the last week in September for this purpose. I have put all of the early / Retro dates in my calendar to prevent conflicts. But I will definitely be stepping back from the late / Little Ku events and the Sunday picnics (when the weather grows colder).
I feel like I have lost my memory of how to self-validatte. It seems like I have fallen into the trap of needing to be in relationships with guys (or at least to hang around gay men) in order to obtain validation. That is understandable. I must remember what the guy said to me at the GS Meetup event on 07/12/2019.
One last thing. In order to heal the cracks in my vessel, I must learn a new skill. Whether that is Origami. Or digital drawing on an iPad. Or meditation. Practise it. Become proficient at it. This will boost my Self Esteem and teach me that I am able to do things and be self-sufficient. Practising a hobby or craft is a constructive, creative means of self-validation. Whatever it is. If I can validate myself, others will follow suit. The key is I must self-validate for the right reasons. For myself. Before I can think of being validated by others.
When I am at these Meetup events, I realise that the only two things that I am talking about are:
I am not actually talking about my hobbies and interests. And if I am asking others about their places of residence or occupations, I barely remember. There are several people who I recognise. But I cannot place when or where I met them. Let alone remember their name, occupation or place of residence! This is also understandable.
[09:59, 22/08/2021] Jenny: only 3 people have clicked attending for green park
[15:00, 22/08/2021] Pouyan 🏳️🌈: Hi where can I find you in green park?
Take Harry, for example. I met him the other week at the Cock Tavern / London Gay Socials (LGS) Meetup. He attended my South Lambeth bar crawl on Friday. Last night, he randomly turned up at the 20s and 30s Meetup (even though he is older). And I mistakenly asked him which part of Scotland he is from. Even though we had the conversation that he is half Barbadian / half Canadian (from Toronto) on Friday.
This might be part of my ASD. Being able to differentiate and identify people who I have met through different people. I have often recognised people but not consciously recalled how or why I know them, which can feel embarrassing.
Take Alexandra, for example. Last night, she attended. I had no recollection of her name, let alone the fact that she works as a health practitioner. For the first few minutes, I had to wrack my brains and concentrate on remembering where we had met. Even though we had practically spent all afternoon together the previous Sunday in Green Park!
ASD aside, the fact that this keeps happening indicates that I might possibly be attending too many Meetup events. They blur into one. I see so many people. But I find it difficult to maintain rapports with all of them because there are many people present and I see some people sporadically. I find it easier if I have the person's number and we are able to talk via WhatsApp between meetings.
[12:50, 22/08/2021] Rory Duffy: No worries!! Nice pics. Did you go out in the end?
The overarching feeling is that I have all of these acquaintances who I barely know on a shallow basis. We are attending these events and having banal, surface-level conversations about nothing in particular. Like whether or not someone made it to Heaven last Saturday. And my complexes about that nightclub based on past experiences and previous relationships. Wearing my heart on my sleeves. Serving up my psyche to random strangers who may or may not know how my mind operates. I am missing the depth of knowing someone intimately. So, although I am surrounded by people and I am not alone, I cannot help feeling lonely. Experiencing loneliness among a crowd of people. The reason that I am feeling this way might be because I have forgotten how to be on my own. This is a skill in itself. And why I must remind myself how to self-validatte. Keeping this journal is a good start. At least I am having a conscious dialogue with myself. But it might not be enough on its own merits. I must get back into my creative hobbies. Heal those cracks in my vessel. Reintroduce myself to my creative side.
Yes, dating guys is important to me. That is great and all. And in that way, I am taking care of my needs and desires. To a certain extent. But when the topic of conversation becomes dominated by men and whichever guy is the current flavour of the month, my narrative has become imbalanced. I am not focusing enough on myself. I am focusing too much on how I responded to guys who I barely know. Or (more importantly) who barely know me. This is what I must re-address. These ephemeral and meandering dating app / WhatsApp conversations (that fizzle out as quickly as they have popped up) are exhausting. They are draining my energies. All of the time, I am looking for someone and hoping for something and having my hopes dashed. I am focusing on what the person is saying and doing rather than how I am responding to it. I must focus on myself. I am a selfless, giving person. Doing all of these deeds for Jenny's Meetup group. Acting as chaperone / mentor and helping guys build their confidence in my group. I show kindness and selflessness. This is wonderful. But what about my confidence? I should give myself a bit of "me" time. Time for creativity. Finish editing that mini album that I recorded back in the spring. Get back to some creative writing. This is what I am lacking. Something to bring to these meetings and talk about. Other than the above mentioned topics. People have been telling me for weeks that I must look after myself. Now I am starting to remember (from the grey, alcohol-soaked recesses of my brain cells) what that means.
[21:08, 22/08/2021] Rob: Could you ask Jenny to add rosana to the group
[22:03, 22/08/2021] Rosana: has this group split in two? i see more than one group with a similar name on meetup
Interesting conversation regarding the recent split. I am including it in here because it is reassuring to know that I am not bitching even half as much as Jenny. And if I was bitching, I certainly was not the only one. I even got a mention / shout out!
I had no idea that the rebel admins used Jenny's mailing list (in addition to Lily using mine). Shocking.
[22:03, 22/08/2021] Rosana: has this group split in two? i see more than one group with a similar name on meetup
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have his reward.
332 Brixton Road
Samaritans, 24 hours, on 116123 or email:
I have been recommended to acknowledge and process all that I have been though, where it all started from how it has affected me.