… that I first had sex with a man in a bed.
I’d had sex with men before, generally in sleazy cruising spots that were really the only option available to a queer teenager in North Carolina at the time, but I’d never gone home with someone and done it in a nice respectable apartment with a nice respectable bedroom.
I was 17 years old and was coming out with a vengeance. We met, as was the custom at the time among those of us too young for bars, at a tearoom at Four Seasons Mall. He was 23 and was (I swear) in a fraternity at UNC Greensboro. His apartment was actually just a couple of blocks from my house. I don’t remember a lot about the sex, but it was an important moment for me because of the location and because I actually had time to talk to the guy for a while. It’s one of the first times that ever happened for me, actually conversing with a fellow sodomite.
This encounter obviously made a big impression on me as I’ve never forgotten the date, and as I kept having sex with other men (many, many other men) over the years. I’ve seen many apartments and had many conversations. I even picked up another member of that same fraternity a couple of years later, quite by accident.
I’m happy to say that I don’t do frat boys or tearooms anymore, but I do still have sex on occasion. It usually happens in a bed now with someone I already know, so that part of the novelty has worn off.
Having arrived today at its 26th birthday, this site has now lasted more than twice as long as my relationship with the city it was originally about. To say that it has changed my life would be a tremendous understatement. To say that it’s as big a part of my life as it once was would be a tremendous overstatement.
In that spirit of laziness, feel free to look at older retrospective (and often self-indulgent) tributes as I cannot be bothered to create a new one this week:
- Silver anniversary (2021)
- Buy me a beer! (2017)
- Otherstream at 20: The anniversary (2016)
- Otherstream at 20: 1996 (2016, Part one of a series)
- No longer jailbait (2014)
- Plot Summary (2011)
- Fifteen years (2011)
- Fourteen Years (2010)
- Happy Anniversary to Me (2009)
- Ten Years Online (2006)
- Eight Years of Webness (2004)
- Five Years of Planet SOMA (2001)
- Four Years of Planet SOMA (2000)
- Two Years of Planet SOMA (1998)
- One Year of Planet SOMA (1997)
…but not as much as 2011 did.
At least for me.
For sheer misery, that will be the one I remember till I die. I’m way past it now, but just thinking back to how miserable almost every day of that soul-sucking year was for me makes me cringe. As bad as it seemed at the time, I really don’t think I quite realized just how fucking dark a place I was in (for 2012 and part of 2013 too). It’s kind of scary in retrospect and I’m glad I finally got some help.
I like myself and my life a whole lot better now. In fact, I think I’d like myself even if I weren’t me. Mainly because no one else could parse that last fucking sentence. But also because I’ve now re-learned how to enjoy life and prioritize the important stuff. Usually, at least.
Anyway, if you have to make a New Year’s resolution, asking for help when you need it might be a good one.