Friday, 31 August 2007

Don't call a cop "gay"...

...but you might get away with it. Interesting developments in the deranged heads of judges of this country.

1. In town A, gay is not insult, according to a local police court judge. A sexual orientation cannot be insulting, a view I prefer to agree with.

2. In town B, a police court judge argued the opposite: the expression was clearly meant to insult the cop in question, therefore a conviction would be in order.

The remarkable thing is that the cases were almost exactly the same. We don't have a federal structure, so the same law is applicable.

A High Council (the closest thing we have to a supreme court) ruling tends to agree with the judge from B, so on appeal the verdict from A will probably be overturned. And yes, the cop in question is appealing. Makes me wonder if he doesn't have anything better to do.

Then there's another little thing: they now have gay police patrolling the infamous Reguliersdwarsstraat in Amsterdam as a response to the recent epidemic of homophobe beatings. Are we allowed to call them gay?

Still, the idea that a sexual preference is an insult bothers me, but I should regard this in context, I guess.

On the personal front, it looks like we have a date tomorrow night... Not the "dinner and a movie" kind though. ;-)

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Progress

I had a nice chat with my Facebook buddy who is, I guess, once again a friend. And I found out much, much more interesting stuff that occurred after I left that particular school.

My three closest friends from that period all came out.

*Gasp* *Shock* *Joy*

I have gay friends! Mind you, still unlikely club buddies, but one lives in London, so who knows. The idea of Soho appeals to me.

So I came out to my former ex-buddy (the first, without much thought, easy as it goes), talked about his life and preferences a little bit.

Then I contacted another buddy. I was much closer to this guy, because we'd also been to the same primary school together. And he was surprised I knew about him. *Yes! Got that one right at least!* And I guess he did not suspect about me *that's two down folks!*. A walk in the park.

So I'm feeling quite upbeat about all of this. So excited I could hardly sleep. Easy progress, but nice. I'll see where I'll take it from here, but it feels much less lonely already: I have my own little Facebook gaybourhood now.

College town friends will be much harder, with the hard-core closeted guy and all.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Total and absolute gaydar failure

I'm flabbergasted. Amazed, my jaw is still on the floor but I can't seem to pick it up.

Admittedly I have not seen this guy in 13 years. And his profession should have rung a bell. I mean, he's two steps away from Perez Hilton.

We were real close buds back in the day, first year in high school. Looking back at it, it may have been a little like a teenage crush, but come on, I was thirteen, looked like hell and even at that early stage the most sexually repressed human being in the southern hemisphere. And I was not in the least interested in him sexually.

Suddenly it was over. He'd found a new friend to hang out with, and he didn't want to have anything to do with me. Again, a bell should have gone off. He turned quite nasty really, and when I first found him on Facebook, I strove to ignore him. No hard feelings or anything, but no reason to be in touch either. A total ex-friend, a friend that was, a former friend.

Then suddenly he wants to be my friend. I approve him, think nothing of it, still not looking for contact. Don't look at his profile either. Just don't care.

Today I discover he's left a message on my wall. Now I am interested.

I check out his profile and there it is: interested in men. Single. Looking for pretty much everything box you can tick.

I'm slightly buzzed, but still sceptical. Until I see the daily hunk in his profile, that is (is that a FB feature?). Read his wall: total queen, fag hags galore.

I did not see this coming. And I was so proud earlier on! I picked up on a classmate the moment I saw him. Cute, but a bit too young-looking. Needs a touch of glam. Still, better keep him away from me.

So it's back to square one. Now I have to think up a little suggestive hint-hint nudge-nudge note for his wall...

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

The Deep

Just to take this blog out of the gutter, and maybe say something useful for once, some final words on the previous week of gay clubbing.

Would I recommend it? Yes, I would. Will I go again? Sure. I'm a clubber at heart, so the combination of alcohol, house music and sexual tension is fine for me. But I also need to consider the alternatives.

One, the internet. Not for me, I'm afraid. Writing profiles, getting raunchy pictures together and negotiating over the mail with potential tricks. Then, and this would really get me down, meeting up in some public place, which in my town would probably mean a lunch room or a fast food joint (no Starbucks, grrr) followed by an awkward walk to someone's place to do the deed. I'm sure others prefer this option, but I'm just to tense and nervous for it, and there's not even a hint of romance involved.

Two, real life. This requires gaydar, which I hope to develop, or the endless riddle "is he or is he not?" I like the concept of collective gaydar, but I have no-one in real life I can do that with. So I'm out on my own here. Besides, hooking up with colleagues or class mates carries risks. No problem bumping into them in a gay joint, but hooking up at work/uni is not an option.

Three, straight-boy crushes. I'm not one to give up easily, but this is a no-hoper. More than some hopeful fumbling and kissing one drunken night is unlikely to happen. Believe me, I've tried.

So the clubs are my places of choice. Still, they're not for the squeamish.

They are sexually hypercharged places, and you need to be selective. I need to remember that there are people out there much more horny and perverted than I can ever be. Men follow you to the bathroom to try to inspect your goods. You need to be strong and confident. When you enter, chances are you will be on someone's radar instantaneously. I like to get a drink, settle down, dance a bit and then look around to see what's on offer. I reached this stage only once in three visits.

I'm quite good at turning down girls, but I need to find a way that works in this environment without ruining the atmosphere. I also need to have some sort of handbrake I can pull to get no further than some kissing, to which I'm seriously addicted.

The answer is, of course, friends. And that's the main issue I have with the clubs: I haven't been able to have a decent, non-sexual conversation in them. I need to work on this. And the other issue: I'm looking for romance, I'm sure I will find it one day, but here? Sorting out the potential hookups from the potential boyfriends will be another major challenge.

In the mean time, I will be raising the pressure on Crush a little to see where I can go with him. Poor kid, he's probably rebounding and he doesn't know who he's dealing with here. ;-)

The Deep is a track by 20-year old producer and DJ Joris Voorn, who makes tracks like the old Detroit masters used to do. It's uplifting and profound at the same time.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Regret, pt 2

OK, here goes.

So we're leaving the bar together, even though my heart isn't in it, I'm slightly curious.

He owns up that we can't go to his place. The relationship with his bf is apparently over, but they had a deal to take no-one home. Or something. Riiiiiiight.

I'm starting to feel more and more apprehensive about this entire endeavour. We walk around the corner, and make out in a garage. I hate it, but I feel like needling him so I tell him I prefer my sex in an actual bed.

Then the strangest thing happens. He says he knows a nice park, but doesn't want to go to the nearest one, even though we'd fit right in. This park has a reputation for wanton gay sex and is well-known nationally for a recent sex scandal involving a director of the local football club. Just to needle him a bit more I tell him I'm no fan of the local club anyway.

So we walk to the other park, he finds a tree and tells me to lean against it, unbuttons my shirt. I swear there is a Brent Corrigan shot looking exactly like that. I'm still not sure whether that's hot or not. ;-)

We make out a little and he blows me. I'm not really enjoying it, but he manages to jerk himself off successfully. He comes, we both button up and walk out. A business transaction really: beer for a bj (I think I got the better deal). We split; he tells me the wrong way to the centre but I figure it out pretty quickly. I don't know that part of town too well.

I'm not doing this again. Let's leave it at that.

A Night on Earth

I still have to fess up on the rancid details of Thursday night, but also have this other little thing to get off my chest.

A Saturday night with the boys on the town. It went, to put it bluntly, badly.

I started with a nice bottle of Chianti to get going. I had been apprehensive about going out, because I much preferred to see my crush again, who suddenly decided to text me on Saturday morning (wtf?), hinting about next weekend. Honestly, I'll take that. I'm such a sucker, but I like the guy.

So I said my date had cancelled (all bold and shit!) and that I would go to town to see this great German DJ, a hero of mine since high school. I wasn't really into it, and once I joined my fantastically metro friend at his down town pad, I was feeling worse.

I hit the beer: bad idea after the wine. Of course people started questioning about the date. I lied, made up a story about meeting a girl through work. I hated that. Then someone else, a guy I hardly know, follows up on this with a comment about gays hitting on him (wouldn't touch him with a bargepole). Just great. It was only mildly derogatory, I reacted well to it, but the overwhelming impulse was to just admit the whole thing. Not the time, not the right audience, wrong vibe. I hit rock bottom at that point, wouldn't recover in this crowd.

We move on, to the venue. Not really a club, more of a hard rock joint hosting a techno party. A bad one. Piercings, dirty rasta hair, and only beer served. No good looking men or women in sight. My DJ is not coming on till two, beats are hammering away, no melody, and I'm pouring down five awful, over chilled beers in twenty minutes. I don't really enjoy the group, hate the joint and this relentlessly monotonous music does nothing for me. I want out.

By about one I'd had it. I took a leak, and just walked out. To the gay strip.

The first club was nice, but I ran out of cash so I had to find a machine. One problem with my town: we hardly have any banks so I had to walk a long way and queue up like a good Brit.

After that unfortunate transaction, I hit another club: it was closer to the bank.

Within minutes I'm talking to a Belgian guy. A bit older, OK looking, good conversation. I was pretty drunk by then, having had at least two more Bacardi Colas since leaving Straightland. Within twenty minutes we're going at it. He was a good kisser and I'm addicted to that, but didn't want to take it any further.

He wants to leave with me. I guess he wants to go to my place, but I'm definitely not up for that. We walk to his car (a VW Fox, piece of shit), parked real close by. He wants me to instruct him where to go, so I vaguely guide him to a street close to my neighbourhood. He parks and starts unbuttoning my shirt, feeling my dick.

In the end I just tell him I'm way too drunk and not into it enough to go further, get out and walk away. I was struggling to get my shirt back on and later I find my fly had been totally unbuttoned. I take a long, piping hot shower when I get home.

Yes, I was a tease, and behaved like a prick to anyone who was around me all night.

Today I pleaded drunkenness and nausea to all my friends. They were nursing hangovers, so it wasn't an issue really. I do feel ashamed, but I wouldn't have enjoyed staying at the hard rock joint and I don't plan to compromise on pleasure any more.

Conclusions for the night:

Older guys are good kissers, I need the experience, but I don't want to take it further;

I have to learn to draw the line in a nice, polite way;

My friends probably know about my sexuality;

I need a few friends to join me in the clubbing thing to be less of a target;

Perv management is important;

I want to make a move on someone myself for once but haven't had a chance yet;

Seedy straight places don't do it for me any more;

Picking up men is just too easy and I need to become a lot more discerning.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Dream Attack

Nothing in this world
Can touch the music that I heard
When I woke up this morning
It put the Sun into my life
It cut my heartbeat with a knife
It was like no other morning

I don't belong to noone
But I want to be with you
I can't be owned by noone
What am I supposed to do

I can't see the sense in your leaving
All I need is your love to believe in

Don't look into the sun
It's not for me or anyone
To steal the light out of the sky
Is it really such a sin
'Cause if it is then I'll give in
I can't live without your love

I don't belong to noone
But I want to be with you
I can't be owned by noone
What am I supposed to do

I can't see the sense in your leaving
All I need is your love to believe in
And for you I would do what I can
But I can't change the way that I am

Music and lyrics by New Order

Friday, 24 August 2007

Regret

Daddy, what does regret mean?
Well, son, a funny thing about regret is that it's better to regret something you have done, than to regret something you haven't done...
-sample from Satan, Orbital


It's not really true, I'm afraid.

I am ashamed. I just did something I intensely regret. I'm hesitant writing about it, it's painful, but since this exercise is all about honesty, here goes.

Not wanting to be too forceful, I texted my crush about wanting to see more of him. A serious, honest message. No response. State of mind: fuck him.

So a dirty little idea got into my mind. It's student night at one of the clubs. I felt like checking out some first-year, fresh twinks. Besides, I had nothing better to do. So I put on a fresh shirt, good shoes and some cologne and walked into town.

The place was deserted, apart from three thirty-something guys playing a drinking game with the bartender. After having a beer, I joined them. It involved throwing dice, loser buying a round.

Well, I was winning pretty much everything so I got pretty wasted real quick and real cheap. And the guy next to me got quite touchy-feely.

He was nice looking for his age (37), real stereotypical gay guy with all the movements but also a typical local boy. I wasn't into him at all. But he made sure the drinks kept coming.

So I ended up responding a little. Stupid, I know, but he was a great kisser and I wanted a little of that. I could use the experience. And he was complementing my body in ways that made me laugh out loud. One such exchange:

HIM: You have real good leg muscles, like a football player's.
ME: struggling to keep my beer in, and laughing at the same time.
HIM: It's a complement you know.

Then the twinks started coming in and my interest waned. But he was all over me by now and he was good at it. He was noticing the main object of my attention, too. Commented about me probably liking younger men. Fuck, fuck, fuck, what am I doing?

A few beers later I walked out with him.

I'll finish writing about this little caper when my hangover has receded.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Lorca



On August 19, 1936, Falangist forces executed great Andalusian poet and playwright Federico García Lorca outside Granada.

His executioner is reputed to have said "I fired two bullets into his arse for being a queer."

Animals.

I obviously wanted to post this on August 19th, but my mind wondered.

Til the day they die

A nice case of long-term (attempted?) murder is getting lots of attention in the media, it's freaking me out too and it fucks up my coming-out agenda.

Let me elaborate. A couple of weeks ago, two men were arrested for having gay sex parties, drugging their victims with GHB and then injecting them with HIV+ blood. Evil, stinking fuck wads. Fourteen men were infected, their lives totally screwed up, their ambitions pretty much destroyed. Today was the first day of the trial.

It was enough to get the whole thing back in the media again. It was nothing but a short, routine sitting to determine if early release was applicable (it wasn't) and to set the date for the main trial (January). That's just great, this thing will drag on for months.

To boot, gay rights association COC has called on the victims to speak out in public. How callous can one be? They could be a bit more sensitive to privacy and the tragedy of it all. So far, none of the victims want to make themselves public.

So, to be totally self-centred and obsessive, I must admit that this thing has really affected me. It has been in the back of my mind for weeks. Even though you might not be part of their scene (bondage, bareback etc), it's apparently one of the risks of going home with strangers.

So now I'm planning to come out and I have to deal with this shit too. It's what everyone will be thinking about. My mum won't be able to sleep for a year if I tell her with this trial and the on-going media attention. And she's been through enough lately. Thank God it all happened in the far north, not in my college town. But still, safety is probably going to be the overwhelming issue. It's no longer just about using a condom and avoiding beatings, but also not getting drugged and raped with all the nasty possible consequences (and there was a GHB date-rape craze in my town a few months ago). That shit is sure to scare relatives.

So, I live in a nasty neighbourhood, I get picked up by men in bars and, knowing parents, my mum will assume I might get injected with HIV+ blood every time I go out. That's just great. The only way of preventing too much anxiety I can think of is to present a stable relationship during my coming out. Or to lie, but I'm not going to do that.

I now realise I have been focusing too much on the acceptance issue. I never worried much about that. This is the real tough nut I will have to crack. It's a bit of a setback, really.

And what about those two psychos? I say two words: Guantanamo Bay. ;-)

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Catch You

Come on baby, when will you see
That you and I were meant to be
And now I got my target on track
Baby you should know that I'm so good at that

Run to where you want, run to where you want
I am gonna find you
There aint no distance far enough
My love's gonna find you
Run to where you want, run to where you want
But may I remind you
There aint no engine fast enough
My love's gonna catch you
- Sophie Ellis Bextor, Catch You


These lyrics describe me when I want something quite adequately. There's just no stopping me.

I have been sorting out my feelings about Saturday's activities over the last couple of days. And it's quite simple really: I want this guy, and I want him pronto.

So we've been texting a little. I sense he feels bad or embarrassed about the sex. Well, I don't care, I'm new to this, I have to learn, I'm up to trying again. Sure, I wasn't good, but I never expected to be. But I will never judge someone purely on the basis of a bad lay. I'm trying to reassure him without being a total sop or freak.

Truth is, I'm really into this guy. The way he treated me on the night, the perfect gentleman. The way he wanted to show me how it's done even though he's clearly no top. I like the way he looks, the way he's a normal small-town Southern kid who just happens to be into men. I liked kissing, holding him. I want more of him. I want to meet up and do whatever gay lovers are supposed to do.

We exchanged numbers on his initiative but I sense no urgency on his part to meet up again. Maybe I'm a little forceful, intimidating even. I can be, because there's no stopping me when I want something and I need little time to figure out if I do. But I want him real bad. My bisexuality might have freaked him out a little; he has no experience with women. He just came out of a relationship and might prefer to take it slow. There's quite a big education gap, but he doesn't know my record of blue-collar jobs.

I would have been perfectly fine with a one-night stand and purposely did not take the initiative to exchange numbers. Platonic friends, fine too. But I can't handle a charade.

I want to meet up with him again, preferably this weekend. I want to give him the shag he deserves and probably craves. I think I can handle topping, I'd have to try it out sometime, don't I?

So how do I handle this? I have to learn the rules of the gay game.

By the way, thanx and a shout-out to V.Jay of Paint The Blog Orange who was willing to listen to me whine about this tonight.

Monday, 20 August 2007

At his place

So he wanted to go to his place. I was enjoying myself, but I was fine with that.

He was there with his ex and his new boyfriend, so we went to find them. They were all typical boys from the small-town South, and I would never have thought they were gay. But they were, and their normal behaviour was reassuring.

We left the club, walked South to the residential area where they had parked their car. Ex and bf got in front, we took the backseat. He wanted to lie on top of me and cuddle, and I was absolutely up for that. We took a long, dark drive through the rural areas surrounding my town.

Turns out he and the ex are still sharing their house because the ex can't get the credit together to buy him out. The ex and his bf quickly went upstairs, we had a drink first, then went up to his room. I could hear the other couple going at it.

In no time he had everything off and was into his large water bed. I was still fooling around with my contacts, got undressed and just jumped on top.

We kissed for a while, and it was great. Then he went down on me, and let me tell you, it wasn't the best bj ever. He used his teeth a lot, which was not stimulating at all. In fact, I lost my hard-on, so I just decided to go for it myself.

Polishing his knob I could hear him moan. Good, because he didn't get me to that stage. I started getting hard again. Then he told me he wanted to screw me.

I hesitated a little, didn't want to be too eager. But I definitely wanted him to. So he got out condoms and lube and told me to turn over (duh!).

So he pushes it in, and of course my arse is still pretty tight, so it doesn't go in very far. He starts thrusting, but is apparently unaware his dick's not in. So when he asks me how I'm feeling, I tell him. He tries again but the situation repeats itself. Then he says he's a bottom (well, that was obvious!), that he's no good at topping so we lie down and jerk each other off. We were both sloshed and that affected the sex.

Then we cuddle some more and fall asleep in each other's arms.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Klaas-Jan, super striker



The Hunter keeps on huntin'. First game of the season, four goals, one assist, 8-1 result. Now I know De Graafschap ain't much, but still a pretty good start of the season. Top of the league, of course, hope it lasts.

At the gay club

So I went ahead and did it. After deciding that Friday was not a good night to go out, and having a major iPod and computer emergency, I decided to go on Saturday night.

I had selected a place on the internet that appealed to me. Walking through town, reaching the gay strip, it did not look quite so appealing. Then I saw another place I had read about. Commercial dance music filled the street, good-looking boys with diamond studs went in.

I needed to fortify my courage first. I had guzzled about one and a half bottles of fine red wine at home, I did not feel like taking to the stronger stuff quite yet. So I walked back to the central street of pubs and clubs, entered a bar I knew and liked but it was empty. So I poured down an overpriced Bacardi Cola and legged it back to the strip.

An attractive couple walked into the club just before me, and I followed. Out in the street, someone shouted "fags!", but I just smiled and got my drinks coins at the counter. It was about 12:30, the place was small, with a bar, a DJ booth in the corner and a small dance floor.

The clientèle was good-looking and mostly my age or younger. That felt good, because I was scared of ending up being the focal point of drunk, middle-aged, horny men. No need to worry about that here. An insecure fat kid was wondering around with a drink, clearly nervous. I was definitely not the only debutant.

The dancing was atrocious but the music was fine to get off on. I kept on drinking Bacardi Cola, and clearly hit it off with the rather effeminate bar tender. He just kept the drinks coming.

I could see boys were interested, but I'm quite an experienced club dancer so I was pretty noticeable among the rather stiff, Nordic swaying. Surprising, really, I thought I did not really stand out in this department.

And suddenly we were talking. He must have initiated this, but it was quite natural. Short, blond hair, blue eyes, good face. Shorter than me, younger than me. I told him about my lack of experience and he was reassuring. "You're still young." Then he had to go talk to a friend, and he said "be right back". Like hell, I thought, but didn't care.

About ten minutes later I saw him again. On the tiny stage. He beckoned me to come over, held out his hand and pulled me up. Then he went down himself to get us both a drink.

He came back with the drinks, I helped him up this time, and he got real close. "Do you mind?", he queried and of course I didn't.

He got closer, started touching my hands. "They're cold." I'm a pretty direct guy so I just pulled him in and we kissed. Then he started feeling me up under my shirt.

"Nice."

I was so relieved I'd been dieting for the last couple of weeks. I looked and felt pretty damn tight, sure of myself.

Being the taller one, I just turned him around, held him, and started inspecting his own body with my hands. Not disappointing, I can tell you that.

We made out like mad, groped, kissed, and were the centre of attention. Loved it, really.

He then asked me to come home with him. So I did.

TO BE CONTINUED.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Familiar Feelings

Moloko - Familiar Feelings

Nothing can come close

I never doubted it
What's for you will not pass you by
I never questioned it
It was decided before I asked why
It's all there ever was
And it's all there ever will be
How could you have questioned us?
It's yourself you deceive

Nothing can come close
To this familiar feeling
We say it all without
Ever speaking

Hush now
No need to say the words
At first sight you perfectly heard
Love in all its entirety
Is no less than we deserve

I saw, your face
Some place
I felt this feeling before
Is it deja vu?
Do I somehow know you?

Nothing can come close
To this familiar feeling
We say it all without
Ever speaking

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Rambling

Great start to what looks like another horrible football season. Selling Wesley Sneijder to Real Madrid for €27 mil was a clever deal, but the team's all broken up now. Just typical, been through this before.

So we lost 0-1 in a home match against lowly Slavia Prague for the Champions League qualifier. It can be fixed in Prague, but it looks bad. And we would be in pot 2 for the draw in the real thing, a virtual guarantee of reaching the second round and lots of lovely €s, prestige and a good chance of joining the elite eight or four of European football. Oh yeah, hottie Huntelaar missed a penalty kick at 0-0. *Sigh* He always does that when it's vital. Just great... League starts this weekend, prospects not good.

On the personal development front, my starvation diet seems to be working. The idea is simple: replace two-thirds of your daily food intake with scotch. Vodka is even better, but I don't dig that. Designated drivers are allowed to replace one scotch with a strong double espresso or two Senseos. The flab on your body will quickly be replaced with a banging head or the biggest caffeine rush of your life.

Had to drive my mom to hospital for minor surgery in Drab Town today. I work near Drab Town, so I know the place, but I still can't get to terms with it. It's poor, ugly, there's nothing to see or do, definitely no classy shopping and so little night life the place is deserted after 10. Yet I love the people there and tend to get on with them really well.

I have lots of friends in and around Drab Town. I once spent a wonderful evening there drinking scotch with a friend and his crazy gang in the worst street of the entire place, and it was great fun. It ended up with me inspecting a kilo of cocaine a drunk tried to sell to me, in the end (being equally drunk) telling him I'd need a sizable sample to peddle it successfully, something I would never really attempt. Somebody then went on to freak me out about alcohol checks so after sobering up a little I took a really twisted route home.

On the other side of the province lies Snob Town, which has everything Drab Town misses. I've lived in Snob Town and never got to enjoy it. It has cool bars, the best stores in the country, Perfection and a nice-looking, lively center. And of course, a crazy carnival. But I can't stand the people, who tend to excel at backstabbing and are fairly cold to outsiders. Also on the downside, the local accent is awful and the place lacks good clubbing.

As I have done my duty as a son and corporate zombie for this week, I am planning to travel back to my place in College Town for a nice ambiguous weekend.

I need to slip out of the closet for a bit. So I just got to get the courage together to do it. Yes, I am intending to visit a gay club this weekend. I think I will need plenty of booze to pull it off, but I need a breakthrough like this. It's kind of risky, downtown is crawling with friends, acquaintances and maybe even coworkers, but that's not a good enough reason to chicken out. I got to start somewhere, and abstention is no longer an option.

For the rest of the weekend I plan to revert to good old Party Boy me, attending a dance parade and probably boozing up at one of my standard joints.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Danny

I've wanted to do this post at the beginning of the month, around Canal Pride. Didn't have the energy to do it after coming back from Spain, but in good conscience I can't really skip it.

A traditional Dutch stereotype about gays is that they are always capable of creating a riot, a scandal. It's a stereotype I've never found abroad, but in my experience it is pretty much true. I don't mind this one, though. It's summarized in one word; relnicht.

So Canal Pride is traditionally surrounded by fights, disagreements and petty quarrels. Traditionally, organiser Siep de Haan would announce a week before the parade to do something that would be against council regulations. Something petty, like flying the rainbow flag even though there are strict flag regulations. Or leaving loud music on for longer than would normally be allowed, or sidewalk cafes that would spill out onto the streets. And the Amsterdam Central Borough president, traditionally Anne Lize van der Stoel, a lesbian, would respond in kind with threats to call the whole thing off.

In the end, "just" in time of course, they would settle their differences and everything would be alright before Pride Saturday, even though they confessed to "hating each other".

Both have left their positions a couple of years ago, to the relief of everyone who was bored of this publicity-seeking ritual.

But this year's Pride was different, for the first time in years serious even. Waves of violence have hit the community like almost never before. Pride weekend was especially bad, but that played out after the parade. But there was a riot like never before.

At it's center, a brave 14-year old. Danny Hoekzema. Danny came out at 11, can you believe that? That fact alone makes me feel so weak, so immature really.



Danny wanted to have his own boat in the parade, for the kids under 16, those who cannot legally join dating sites or go to gay bars, a group of which Holland had never thought before and for which amenities are scarce.



Amsterdam mayor Cohen, an anti-Giuliani if there ever was one, wasted no time banning this initiative. A wave of suggestive sentiment linking gays and pedophiles hit the media.

Chairman of gay rights movement COC Frank van Dalen managed to broker a compromise with the mayor: the boat could go ahead if the parents would be able to ride behind it in another boat. The minimum age would be 13. This is reasonable, we're talking minors at a pretty much sex-crazed event here.

It was a massive success. The parents wore T-shirts with the text "proud parent". Three camera teams followed Danny around all day; CNN and the Beeb came by too.

So I take my hat off to Danny. He's done more for his community at 14 than I will probably ever have done for mine by the time I'm thirty. And I love his parents, who are not just completely accepting but willing to ride this storm for their young son.

A bright star lit up what became a pretty grim weekend.

Links:

The boat at Pride

Danny's homepage, in Dutch
Cynical reporter Rutger interviews Danny and his parents, also in Dutch.
Danny on Nova, our most prestigious news program.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Brera me!



€50K, for the underpowered four-cylinder model. Gulp. At least these things depreciate like shares in subprime mortgaging, so I might be able to get one some day. But then I want the V6, and the full Alfa deal: beige leather seats, and that wonderful exhaust roar, and a suit to match. I would let it rip on the Autobahn, compete with the Porsches and M6s.


True to form, I like its rear end best. When I first passed one in real life, I almost drove into a wall.

I like the Spider too, but it's pretty pointless in my country. It would just be sitting in a garage, and Alfas fall to bits when they don't get to move.



This superficial guy needs to get a proper job.

Monday, 13 August 2007

You look so fine

I feel I need to round up my weird (some say "disturbing") taste in "people". To summarize crazy ol' me, I like younger (but legal) men and older women. Sue me. Better still, if you fit into one of those categories, drop me an email. ;-) Just don't hate me for it.

I totally dig Italians, male or female:


If there is anyone to blame for my screwed-up sexuality, it's actress and model Monica Bellucci. She is female perfection. So hot in the Matrix, tasteful, sophisticated, forty-something Monica is married to... someone, but Monica is who I'm looking for. Every girl I meet has to pass the Monica test, and they invariably fail.

Compared to her heavenly body, even Scarlett is a little plain.

I also have an annoying and not-so-straight crush on disco diva Sophie Ellis Bextor:

I must admit her accent is part of that too. I actually know a girl who has that look, but she's not into makeup all that much. Pity.

Dutch-Portuguese hockey star and model, Fatima Moreiro de Melo:


And of course my favourite food temptress Nigella (or is it Lady Nigella now?).

So I guess I'm picky, unrealistic and a hag's fag, all rolled into one. My exes might understand, but probably won't. That's probably why they're ex-it.

Time to really fuck with your brain, and hit the other side. Let's hit the football pitch.

Of course, record-breaking striker twink Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is on the list:

*Sigh* His girlfriend is really not much, but kudos for sticking with her through the depths of first division football right to the top. Loyalty does count for something, even in that fucked up world. Nice new haircut, cute three-day stubble as well. Sexy, 23 and already captain of the team.

Cris is a total asshole, but what a body:
Actually, I hate his guts, but he seems intent on exploring the limits of heterosexuality. I kind of admire that. Or maybe the rumours are simply true.

I could still just about shoot him for scoring against Holland at Euro 2004, even though he took off his shirt straight after the goal. Lust, wounded national pride and an intense hatred of anything Portuguese went through my mind at that moment.

Eviva's Arnaud, typical Frenchy eurometro guy that I would see a hundred times (fully clothed, admittedly) but dig as I walk through Paris:
It really looks like he's modeling G-Star, but I'm not sure.

And of course, Graziano Pelle, who helped kick Internazionale's butt for AZ on Saturday. File under "Italian".

Unfortunately, I "can't have it all", as Sophie would say.

Wicked Ways

I can't resist going to the Department Store for Those Who Spend Too Much on Preppy Clothes. I'm sort of, kinda part of their clientèle: I come in regularly and spend too much. On the other hand, I'm single, not a yuppie and don't come in my work suit. I would dearly love to upgrade to the Store For Those Who Care Too Much About Brands, but sanity still has a tenuous grip on me, I'd like to think. So after surpassing one of those typical minor hurdles in life I tend to treat myself, even though I get the impression their staff doesn't much like the look of me. Way too wannabe metro, but too lazy to pull it off. Or something.

So I pick up my pair of overpriced, ridiculously expensive and plain waste-of-money-at-19%-VAT Diesel jeans after much deliberation ("you know you will!"). And then, just as I want to pay and leave this wallet-sucking nirvana, I see him. Perfection.

And boy do I hate him. I don't fall in love here, I just meet the Unobtainable One, the yardstick by which I know I will measure others. Timing could not be worse.

His face is flawless, perfect. No room for criticism, which I will always find, believe me. Blond hair, perfectly cut, semi-short and gelled so that everything lines up exactly. Modelish, really. A tan, fake as a three-dollar bill but subtle. Not cheap, not overbearing, the way I would like to come back from a holiday in the sun but rarely do. Just adding the finishing touches to a perfect face. Emerald eyes, twinkling, stronger, more beautiful than mine, even though I consider them my main selling point. A ridiculous piercing, with a large diamond stud pinned to the flap of the ear that reaches to the ear canal, just shouting out: "don't doubt". And I don't. I see him mingle with his incredibly drab female colleague, and boy is he out.

As I'm sizing him up mentally (about 1.70, smaller than me, bloody store uniform not tight enough to check out the bod), I feel hugely inadequate. I was wearing the worst, floppy, ugly cheap football shirt ("Italia") I have because I was running late. The dentist I had been to had left horrid pinkish goo on my teeth. I was sweaty and wearing cheap-o ersatz deodorant, discounter fragrance as I had run out of my usual stuff. No cologne, because I did not want to get too flirty with the dentist's pretty assistant.

As I wait for Perfection and Drab Colleague to decide who will login to the till, paranoia hits. Hard, like watching Requiem to a Dream on hashish.

I must smell like a grizzly, look like Hannibal after having an old friend for dinner.

He's just a cashier, and you've got two degrees!

It just doesn't count in this arena.

Perfection gets to login to the till, they decide. At the other side of the double till, a quality yuppie had lined up to pay for his Ralph. Perfection has to choose: the freak with the blinding shirt or Fitted Suit. After a second of deliberation, he sashays, he defines the word really, over to me and starts logging in. Perfection is a wee bit effeminate, I suppose.

A choice I would never have made. I wonder what vibe I was giving off. I sense he can read my inner thoughts, understands what's going on. Members of the tribe first? Some sort of homo solidarity?

I don't want to be a pushover in the face of such beauty. So I give him my hard schoolyard stare. I'm good at that one. He folds my purchase over, wraps it in a plastic bag. Movements that are so gay, yet so attractive on him. With a decidedly neutral face (another classic of mine), I pay, thank him and leave.

I'm still wondering: what if I meet this kid in a club, armed with clean teeth, liquid strength, Hugo Boss and a shield of indifference?

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Thoughts on Hillary Clinton

Since we all get to deal with however wins in 2008, I think I, a European without American citizenship, am entitled to comment. I won't rant, as I don't feel strongly enough about any of the candidates to do so. And it would be rude. I will try not to insult, but people will invariably disagree. At least I hope they do. I will approach this exercise from a classical liberal point of view: I like my free trade, market economics, democracy as well as the right to screw anybody above the age of 18 I damn well like.

I will not write on all the candidates, just the ones that I feel warrant a little attention. I have no thoughts on Kucinich and Gravel, so I won't write about them. In the end, I will probably endorse someone, with caveats: change your position and I will change mine. I could be wrong about a lot of things, feel free to tell me and I will correct them.

Right. Now on to the Queen of the Hill herself.

I never really liked her, to be honest, but I don't hate her. I think a presidential spouse should not be too political herself: after all, nobody elected her. Two-for-one is silly, I think, because she is not on the ballot. If you want that, at least go the whole Peron hog and make her VP.

I'm not really aware of the details of HillaryCare anymore but I get the impression her treatment of legislators eventually did her in. This is a potential problem, I think, even with what would probably be a Democratic Congress.

In my impression she is pretty conservative. She carries no disastrous policy baggage, which was the end of French presidential candidate Segolene Royal. I think that makes sense as she started life as a Republican and clearly wants to be the electable, centrist, experienced candidate. Here we hit a snag.

Does "being in the White House for eight years" count as experience? I would hope to think not. The idea of the First Lady actively making policy and turning the wheels of government is on some level disturbing. The only person who elected her is the pres.

So we are left with a shady bit of cv and 8 years in the senate. But the senate is no executive body. By all means, she comes across as articulate, well-briefed and well informed. Smart, and hard-working. Not too soft on foreign policy. But there seem to be no big ideas; where there should be passion and plans, there just seems to be ambition, cunning and planning. A lot of ambition.

Don't get me wrong, I think it would be good to have a female president. I get the impression a large part of America seems to agree with that. Angela Merkel in Germany does a good job; Margaret Thatcher was one of the 20th century's preeminent pols. I just have my doubts about this woman. What does she want to do in the White House? Her personal agenda seems likely to run out of steam in February 2008.

I could live with a Hillary (Rodham Clinton? Rodham? Clinton?) presidency. But she doesn't enthuse me, because she looks unlikely to be transforming, and really gay-friendly she is not.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

3/4

My good friend Whittle mentioned QaF today, reminding me of a little incident that occurred seven years ago.

New to uni, two friends and I had just set up house together. It was really liberating, no landlords, parents or other nags around. We could do whatever we liked and we indulged in it: smoking, drinking at all hours, Mary Jane, staying up all night and not going to class. It was a recipe for disaster but it never came knocking on our door.

So one night, us three and another friend were taking bong hits. It must have been a Sunday night because I would, in my old, private room, guiltily sneak a peak at a TV show that intrigued me. It was a series about a group of homosexuals living and loving in the UK: Queer as Folk. It had made major waves over there but it never did much in my country. But it was a bombshell to me.

So we're sitting on the couches and one of my friends gets bored and picks up the remote and starts flipping channels. And of course, he hits QaF on RTL5, at it's most salient. It's impossible to miss.

"So what the hell is this?"

Blood rises to my cheeks. I feel terribly uncomfortable and ashamed, for no good reason, really. It's just television, it has nothing to do to with me or the real world.

"It looks like two guys having sex."

I try to say this in my most neutral, non-judgmental and disinterested voice, and I think I pulled it off.

"Oh yeah", says the friend who doesn't live in my house. "That must be that queer series. I've heard of this thing."

"I know!" I want to proclaim. But of course, I don't. I was dying to watch this episode with a bottle of wine.

And it was a really good scene we dropped in on: Stuart screwing Nathan. Hot stuff, and oh so graphic to my innocent eyes.

I will never forget how long it took to change the channel. There were no derogatory remarks about gay sex, just a stunned silence. All four of us were watching the (hot) grappling on the bed. The lack of explicit homophobia surprised but pleased me.

This has over the years become an iconic moment for me.

Fast forward to 2005.

One drunken night, my suspicions were confirmed: one of my two roommates is definitely gay but severely closeted. Vaulted is probably a better word for his situation. I feel for him, but it is a journey he has to make himself.

The friend who did not live with us, well he came out last year. We've since lost touch but I'm sure I will be meeting him again, somewhere along my journey. He had a tight little body I craved for a while. This wasn't a crush, but rather the desire to have sweaty, hard, pumpin' sex with him. A genuine masculine screwing, not romance, no candlelight cuddling. There were definitely signals I should have picked up on, but come on, the guy had a girlfriend and gaydar was something Bender had.

My other roommate was and is straight and I've never doubted that.

Three out of four. Who would have thought that, that night in 2000?

Friday, 10 August 2007

Step out of the woods


Boy i think you've come home
Open up the door and step inside
So many people who feel the way you do
Your sweetest dreams have always been denied
Lock the past into a box and throw away the key
And leave behind those days of endless night
Everyone is waiting
Everyone is here
Step out of the woods into the light

Everybody loves you here

Boy you've been on the wrong road
Wearing someone else's shoes
Who told you you were not what you were meant to be?
And got you paying someone else's dues?

This is the place for you just look around this room
Is anybody here made out of stone?


Down among the heretics, the losers, and the saints
You are here amongst your own
You've come home

Look at this hole inside your heart
No one can ever fill
It's like the Grand Canyon
Look at this gap that's opened up
Between you and the world
It's like the Grand Canyon
Look at this hole inside your heart
It's like the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon

Everybody loves you here

You've come home


Grand Canyon, by Tracey Thorn. Electro has rarely hit so deep.

A stroke of luck

Looking back at it, it was a wonderful crisis.

I've been told the Chinese symbol for crisis literally means "danger & opportunity". It sums up remarkably what happened to me in April.

I'm no porn aficionado, but even over the "straight years" I've occasionally taken a guilty look at gay porn. Just a couple of pics, maybe once or twice a year. This time was different: I had a persistent craving to go back and look at some pictures, and got really into Brent Everett for a couple of days. And so, through my pathetic endeavours on Pornotube and XTube I came across Brent Corrigan's old blog.

I find my initial attraction to his youthful looks slightly disturbing, but so be it. But it passed: I was hooked by his blog and his "Ask Brent" section.

Now I'm not interested in discussing if he was telling the truth, if he really writes it himself or to speculate about that murder. Here was a guy who was living a lifestyle I feel I should have had 10% of at that age. I don't think I'm capable of doing porn, but desperate times ask for desperate measures and I understand why people get into it. I'm not attracted to older men but I do get it: I'm really into older women myself (Nigella Lawson, if you're ever lonely, call me. I've so much more to offer than Lord Saatchi :-( ).


Reading his blog over a couple of days led to other blogs, away from porn, but my whole artfully constructed fake straight life and pack of lies came tumbling down around me.

For the first couple of days, I was disturbed. I'd wake up thinking: "Holy shit! Why do you get yourself into this crap? Make it easy and go back to what you you used to do." This was the danger.

This faded after one or two days. I started waking up with a smile, feeling more secure, accepting myself, feeling proud even. Much too late, mind you, I've wasted too much time, I learned nothing about myself I did not really know at 18. But up to about half a year ago there was other shit in my life, most of which I did not cause myself. Now I have the opportunity and I know I'm doing the right thing.
Reading Tim's story also helped: he even had a girlfriend to take into account.

There will be more shit hitting the fan, of that I'm sure, but nothing my new-found strength, Hugo Boss and Glenfiddich won't be able to solve, I think.

Thanks...

For your emails, guys. And feel free to comment, rant, disagree or be rude. Unless you plan to unleash some Latin rage, that is. ;-)

Thursday, 9 August 2007

When I grow up

Reading the blogs the "coming out thing" appears time and again. I'm in favour of openness, to some degree, so I agree you have to make a "statement" somehow, sometime. So I have been thinking about this time and again.

Obviously, I need an agenda. This serves two purposes: 1. etiquette "kind of" seems to demand a big "I have something to tell you" moment with close friends and relatives and 2. because I hate melodrama, and like to weasel out of it, I need the discipline of a deadline. This could be flexible, in order to fit events, but it needs to be somehow enforceable.

Next, I need to list my victims, and I need to order them because my best friend will kill me if I tell her last etc. This is where I hit a snag.

I call it my barrier: I'm really bad at talking about sexual issues with all but a select group of two or three people who have somehow managed to break through it. Those people already know, implicitly or explicitly. The privacy is what scares me; telling people I swing both ways doesn't scare me at all, I'm ready to blurt it out to some people, but I will be giving them an opening to my core, I will be lifting the barrier, possibly without ever getting it back in place. What's truly private might get violated.

These are, of course, deeper things than the "who screwed whom" bar talk. I'm fine with that. It's the HIV-safe sex-don't get beaten up-don't go to those parties with GHB and infected blood talk I'm really dreading. And the "when did you discover this" and all the full nuance that seems to be required when you have to explain a sexual preference that's not boolean. Handling it all would require some good preparation.

Even so, I'm against this whole process in principle. I would find it much more emancipated to just introduce the boyfriend to friends and relatives when the time comes. It's what everybody else does, right? I recognise I have to consider their feelings too, and I plan to take it as some weird kind of initiation rite I will just have to go through in order to properly join the team. However, what I consider to be private now will still be private afterwards.

Then there's The List itself.

Best Friend would not have a problem with it: she had a traditional hippy upbringing. I suspect she has plans for me in her life: talking to me about having kids etc. So she might be slightly disappointed, because she's not really my type sexually. For years I believed I would eventually settle down with her but that's off: this boy is no longer willing to compromise.

High School Buddy is a weird case. He kinda broke through the barrier, he should know, but I know he will want to be part of the ritual. It might have to do with his own sexual ambiguity, but he would hate to be left out.

Other high school friends, worldwide: no problem, might use my Facebook profile for that. I know, I know, I know: not the most courageous option, but sooo efficient.

College drinking buddies: difficult, we are friends at a very superficial, masculine level. We just don't talk about deep stuff. I might lose standing in the group, which I would hate, but I expect no problems from them. I suspect one of them is gay but he's so deeply closeted I don't know how he would react.

Work & work-related friends: no way I'm telling them. To paraphrase Matt, it would mean demotion from "office golden boy" to "that sort-of gay guy in ops". I have gay colleagues so I know how it works. No thanks, this is private, and I've always separated work and my love life and that works out quite nicely thank you very much.

Small home town: I would be the scandal of the century, so bring it on! That I can handle, even though I have delicious visions of mothers calling in their sons when I arrive in town. A real High Noon moment; the bad guy walking the deserted streets. Hot!

Room mates: fuck 'm, I will be leaving soon anyway.

Maybe I'm wasting my time with all of this worrying. It might be obvious to a lot of people anyway, so it could be like telling them rain is wet. I have been groped by men in bathrooms (unsolicited, seriously) so I might broadcast a little, who knows. And there will always be some snickering, it happens even if you're introducing a girlfriend that does not live up to somebody's expectations. Part of making choices.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Top Gear Rules OK



I'm a total car freak, and I love the laddish British motoring show Top Gear even more. It's real good old boys fun and when they have a new series, which unfortunately only happens once or twice a year, it's the only TV I watch really. They like to cut the crap, go directly to the good stuff and skip the reviews of the latest Toyota Snoozer.

They're also wise enough not to fall into the American trap - lead presenter/yob/opinionated buffoon/intelligent bigot Jeremy Clarkson refuses to do a special American version of the show. Not a problem really, because there's nothing wrong with the original British version. I'm sure American audiences would much prefer to see Aston Martins and Ferraris to Dodges. Cool American supercars are featured in the British version anyway. And the challenges, the barbs, the rivalry and the things you always wanted to do as a boy but they do as adults are cool wherever they were filmed.

The presenters - Clarkson, James "Captain Slow" May and Richard "Hamster" Hammond are incredibly good at pissing off select members of society, and the Beeb is used to dealing with complaints about the show. Honestly, people need to get a sense of humour.



So I'm overjoyed to find they did a summer special. In true Top Gear style, they go to the Arctic while Europe is lying on the beach. Can't wait to see it!

EDIT: just saw it and it was brilliant. Hammond really lost his metro look this time. Catch it if you can live with the mental image of a frost-bitten foreskin.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Happy Home(land), pt 2

So I wake up this morning to two news stories that have been playing out over the weekend and my (Scorpio) rage almost boils over. I'm so mad I could spit.

Both stories are interconnected: this country is going down the drain if we don't get a grip on violence against those who don't fit the mold.

The first is that in the weekend of Canal Pride there has been another wave of anti-gay violence which has been spreading over the west of the country for a few months now.

The left-wing Volkskrant summarizes them as follows:

1. A 34-year old Irishman was badly beaten in Amsterdam as he wondered around with his boyfriend. He is in hospital with a broken jaw and nose and had emergency surgery.

2. An American couple was on the receiving end of pepper spray (wtf?) and a beating, also in Amsterdam;

3. A couple was spat at in Amsterdam;

4. The police were able to prevent an "incident" in Amsterdam's Vondelpark;

5. Two men were beaten in a park well-known for gay casual sex in The Hague, one of them a 16-year old;

6. There was another "incident" in Haarlem of which the details have escaped me.

This was just this weekend's goings-on in a country of 16 million people. It's deeply troubling and to me much more worrying than HIV, something you can do a lot to prevent exposure to. Escaping this sort of thing is a matter of chance.

The authorities seem to be baffled too; anyhow, their reactions are pathetic. The Volkskrant mentions some politicians saying Amsterdam's reputation as "Gay Capital" (of what?) is on the line. They are "planning to think of measures quickly". Does not sound too promising.

The second incident was even more worrying. Activist former muslim and Labour Party councilor Ehsan Jami was beaten up as he entered his home in Voorburg after a visit to the supermarket. Apparently, three muslim youths were waiting for him on his doorstep. His address and phone number were already circulating on extremist websites for two weeks. Basically, this guy is under attack for leaving Islam. Being 22, he doesn't mince words, but violence can never be condoned.



His party doesn't seem to want to help him: they're dependent on the muslim vote and as politicians of principle they are IMO lower than rats. There has been a big argument about security and bodyguards, but it's really too late: he could have been killed in that fight. We have had two political assassinations over the past five years as well as the case of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, which is quite similar to Jami's. So the authorities should know how to deal with this by now. But they don't.

With the largest left-wing party, Labour, and their Green allies being silent or conciliatory to these stone-age attitudes, it isn't hard to understand why the gay vote is steadily shifting rightwards.

To end on a positive note, I noticed that some immigrants are much less willing to except violence, repression and intimidation than Dutch politicians are. They are educated and take freedom of speech at face value. We Dutch tend to add to that right: at your own risk. Hirsi Ali was Somali, Jami was born to Iranian refugees and his mentor, Professor Afshin Ellian, a hero of mine, is an Iranian refugee himself. These people give me hope: they teach us something about sticking up for the values of a free society.

Monday, 6 August 2007

As Heaven is Wide

There is a God.

And He probably favours AZ, the Chelski of the low countries, a fake... I don't want to get sued by owner Scheringa, so I'll just shut up about his toy.

Anyway, clever manager Brands and brilliant coach Louis van Gaal have just managed to sign Graziano Pelle from Italian club Lecce for way too much money for an untested striker. This means I will have something to look at during their games next season.



Still favour Klaas-Jan Huntelaar though. Beats Pelle on character, though maybe not on body. And he plays for a real team, of course. ;-)

Happy Home(land)

I found an interesting article in the Dutch (officially Christian but predominantly leftist) newspaper Trouw ("Loyalty") today. It's called "Beyond Gay Glamour". Its tone is rather strict and disapproving, but I'm used to the lefty press acting like this when one of their traditional interest groups seems to jump ship. It's a bit like a CiF rant.

Anyway, it's about an interesting phenomenon that seems to be shifting in Britain too: gays predominantly vote for the right and most prominent openly gay politicians are Liberals (as in the classical, un-Hillaried sense) and Christian Democrats. The latter are a party that officially disapproves of and voted against gay marriage, legalized as a world first in 2001 by a secular government (for once I'm proud), and is led by a prime minister who openly disapproves of it but whose predecessor as leader allowed dissident MPs to vote for it.

The Christian Democrats (CDA), unlike the Republicans, have been clever enough to spot broadly growing tolerance of homosexuality in Dutch society (also happening in the US, according to The Economist's Lexington column) whilst being on the wrong side of it politically. They did what the Republicans broadly failed to do: keep gay issues out of the campaign, quietly accept gay marriage and promote hugely talented gay politician Joop Wijn to the cabinet as a possible next prime minister, as well as Gerda Verburg (not pretty, I'd say NSFW). This has given the CDA gay credibility and an aura of sexual tolerance, even though the Liberals still lead in votes as well as prominent gay politicians, and have the edge ideologically.

Right-wing populist and former Marxist Pim Fortuyn, who was assassinated in 2002, was openly gay, won by a landslide amongst gays, and could have become prime minister if he wasn't killed shortly before the elections that year.

In the Trouw article a few left-wing local politicians comment snidely that gay life now largely centres around hedonism. Suits me fine, but apparently this is supposed to be a bad thing. They go on to complain about the lack of interest in homosexuality in the third world, there's a particularly nasty reference to German SA leaders being gay and a faintly Marxist rant about "settled, rich gay men who care mostly about possessions and pensions" (again, this seems to match with what I would not mind being later in life). Starts to sound like a "code red" on the left!

We're not done yet: "solidarity" with women and gays of foreign descent (the latter is a major issue, I agree) is mentioned, without citing facts; another complaint about consumerism and the "right to have safe sex" comes up (how can that be a "right"? Use a goddamn rubber!) and the relevant and important point of violence and (largely muslim) intolerance is left to the end, almost as an aside, a random detail.

It's not. Apart from economic issues (DINKs) and maybe creativity (which comes with freedom), this is, I think, the clincher.

I will expand on this later on: this post is much too long as it is.

And read Bruce Bawer. He used to live in Amsterdam so he knows much more about this than me.

Temptation waits

Walking around town as a tourist is a good excuse to check out the local hotties. Which I attempted to do as much as possible without being obvious. Or too obvious, anyway. Which led me to the following observation (personal development alert): my sexual preference is really quite agile.

I used to think I had phases. Maybe it was part of the denial process, but for a period of two years I had a clear preference for women. Before that, men for a while even though I fiercely repressed it. I know I always had that gay part in me, I can even remember innocent indicators of it from my childhood. I know I didn't change to become this way, I have always been like this. But I'm still discovering myself, because I've set my mind free.

In Spain I noticed my eyes occasionally jumped from hot guy to sexy girl. This is new to me, but I like it.

Cup of Coffee

Back from Spain. It was scorching hot, but well worth it.

On the personal development front: I popped my Starbucks cherry!

I know this makes me sound like someone who's lived on the Ross Ice Shelf for the past ten years. However, due to the most annoying form of corporate stupidity, Starbucks considers the Dutch market (and the Belgian one too - no need to smirk bitches, this time we're both backward) impenetrable. So the only way to get some is to apply for a job at the local Nike headquarters. They have a coffee shop for their employees only (What the fuck? I mean what the fucking fuck?*). Or take a plane from horrible, annoying Schiphol airport: the fucking shop is located in the secure zone.

Sending online petitions doesn't seem to help. Apparently they were looking for a Dutch partner in 2002, but for some reason they gave up. The rumour is that they had a deal with Dutch coffee whore Sara Lee: Sara Lee can keep the Benelux, Starbucks the world. Or something. I should start boycotting Sara Lee and their horrible produce just for that. Unfortunately, they're terribly hard to avoid in this country. Boycotting would probably mean kicking the habit, and I'm not up to that.

So I need to vent. I'm past ranting, I feel like kicking things. I need my shot, preferably of Mango frappucino. Grrr. Thank God Germany is within easy reach.

*PJ O'Rourke quote.

UPDATE: Starbucks have a regional headquarters in Amsterdam and sell stroopwafels. I feel like crying.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Holiday in Spain

I'll be away for the rest of the week. Next week, when I feel sane and sober, I'll report on the Canal Pride affair as promised.

By the way, I've found my anthem for sloppy sweaty sloshed sex this summer: Sunfreakz feat. Andrea Britton - Counting down the days. Cheap, cheerful and cheesy, as it should be.

Now for some bloody sun!

Vow

I will use the month of August to seriously take my first steps with the same sex. I will not chicken out this time. According to A Single Boy in London, 2007 is the Year of the Cock. And so it will be for me. This time I will not be shallow and I will add that I should be genuinely interested in the person attached to it.

And I will not go for the Ostrich Award and pick up a girl instead, as I did a year or two ago. I'm up for some Man Love but I will still need to find out if I like the practice as much as the theory.

Stupid smiles and autographs, this is a song for fans

Let me be horribly shallow. Let me generalize, let me be lame, stupid even. I apologize in advance for the depths I will sink to in what will follow. In fact, if you dislike simplification you might as well move on. Ok, here goes:

I think you can settle any doubts on pure homosexuality by asking one simple but direct question:



Would you bang Scarlett Johanssen?


If you don't, it's settled, for once and for all. You are a Kinsey six. Scarlett is the true yardstick to liking women: if you don't like this one, it's unlikely you'll like any other. I know of no man who doesn't want her in his bed, even a nominally gay guy I know almost drools over her. Scarlett truly brings out the bisexual in the queer.

Sorted. I'm not a Kinsey six.