Monday, April 30, 2012

A Neon Penis

I went out to a gay bar again last night but with a different group of friends. But, I almost didn't. I began having an anxiety episode and wanted to cancel, but as it was originally my idea to go to this bar, I felt it would have been cold of me to do so. My friend was driving over fifty miles just to my house and then another thirty or so more to this particular bar.

After thinking, maybe even over-thinking the situation, I went to meditate with my Spirit Guides for some direction. They unanimously said, "GO!" With my head and heart both saying not to, and my four Spirit Guides encouraging me to go, I felt outnumbered. So I went. I enjoyed myself. Sort of.

I did enjoy the company of my friend, his boyfriend, another friend of theirs I had met once before, and the man he is currently dating. So, I was the only single man there. The fifth wheel. Yet, I never felt like one.

I am venturing back into the gay community after a long absence. Why have I been absent? Who knows and it is a long story. Maybe I'll save it for another post. But, the bar we were going to has a reputation for being a bit on the rough side. It attracts the levi/leather crowd. It's not a pretentious crowd like West Hollywood can be. The men are men and more my age and, according to my friend, more of what I seem to be drawn to; masculine, muscly bears. Sounds nice, so where did the anxiety come in? Maybe it was the bar itself? What if someone approached me? Was I ready? What would I say?  Have I overcome the trust issues from the last man I met? All of the above?

I don't feel like I fit in the gay community. Sex is not in the forefront of my brain. I'm not even comfortable hooking-up for a one-night stand. It's not the main part of what I look for in a partner. Friendship is. The size of his brain is more important than the size of anything else. And yet, sex was all over this bar. There were multiple video screens all showing the same porn clip, over and over and over and over. Some of the patrons were even engaging in discreet activities unbeknownst to the bouncers, yet not the crowd. And the biggest bright pink neon penis adorned the main wall above the bar. It would move back and forth from a flaccid position to an erect one and big white neon drops would spew out of it.

Also, I have never been a bar person as I am not a big drinker in the first place, plus the throbbing music (although it was a good seventies and eighties mix) gives me a headache especially when combined with the smells of pot, cigar and cigarette smoke wafting through the area. Even though we were in the patio, it took a while for it all to dissipate.

And yet, I'm not sure the anxiety was because of the bar itself. A lesbian photographer friend invited me to her first ever showing which was being held at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. I felt the same anxiety there, too. But, why?

Have I overcome the trust issues from the end of my marriage and meeting the first man afterwards? I'm not sure. Maybe not completely, and that, coupled with the other issues I have; no time, no money, no energy, I feel it's not time for me to be considering dating. It will all happen on the Universe's schedule, not mine. So, if I go to bar or event and someone does approach me, I'll start a conversation and see what path that takes. Friends first.

So, where's the anxiety coming from? Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm coming out again. I'm venturing back out into a community I lost touch with, a community I feel differently from, a community whose values seem to be different than mine. Maybe it's all overwhelming.

My friend tried to ease my anxiety. He said, "The bar is what the bar is. Just take what you want and leave the rest."

It's funny how things from the past cycle back to remind you of lessons once learned. Life is all about taking what you want and leaving the rest behind. Like an Al-Anon meeting; "Take what you want and leave the rest."

Will I go back to that or any bar? Probably, now that I know what to expect, and I'll just take what I want, leaving the rest to the others.

As far as easing myself back into the gay community, I think I'll take baby steps.

And listen to my Spirit Guides a little more.


  1. I totally identify! When I was in "the scene", I felt completely unconnected to it, seeing myself as some odd and unfamiliar being. And that hasn't changed, in all the years since.

    The trick is to see yourself not as flawed for not "fitting in", but as amazingly unique and special. Embrace your "different-ness." Own your own being. And let the rest fall where it may!

    1. Kergan,

      Thanks for your insight. Ironically, when I was younger and more into clubbing, I did see myself as unique and special. I think now that I am single again, some 26 years later, I have forgotten how to embrace my uniqueness. It's time to turn back the clock and return to that spirit.

  2. I think there are more gay men out there that are 'just like you' than we think. Not everyone is into the bar scene. Recently we met some friends in NYC and did a 'bar crawl' that ended at 10:45! haha We realize it is simply not us. My guess is you'll meet someone through a completely different channel so that the size of that brain is what will grab you. Bars? Not so much. :-)

    1. Greg,

      I agree there are more men like us than we think that are not so much into the bar scene. I also feel that I will eventually meet someone through a different channel. Bars do serve a purpose; a night out, a diversion from the regular routine, or a chance to maybe just meet some new friends. This was an opportunity for me to step back into the community so I could get my bearings again. It also served a purpose to just get out of the house, so that I don't come to see the house as a prison.

      Thank you for your comment!