Advice

photos: kristen yoonsoo kim

Michael,

I am a 23 year old virgin… and I am madly in love with a 20 year old young man, who some have labelled as a prostitute. He is probably my best friend, and gives me everything I could want out of a relationship just being my friend. However he has never displayed any interest in me even though early in our friendship I expressed my feelings for him. I have a connection with him that I have never felt before with someone and I want him around for the rest of my life. I have known him for nearly a year now and I feel that telling him I was a virgin before I knew I liked him ruined my chances of him ever being attracted to me. I do everything for him and would do anything he asked because that is just the person I am, however I see him sell his body to men old enough to be his father and then fall in love with them. I have stood by him many times while this has happened and my heart has broken every time. Occasionally I am able to get rid of my feelings I have for him and respect our friendship, but then he will do something nice for me like wash a sweater I left at his house or cook for me and all my feelings come rushing back. He keeps a photo of one of the men who flew him out to Denmark to sleep with him next to his bed. Every time I see that picture, I fall apart.

I do everything for him, because as a person that is just the way I am with all my friends. I don’t have many so this is not a problem. I have bought most of his clothes, I buy his groceries, I cut his mother’s lawn, I drive him everywhere, I pay all expenses when we are together, and I try to look after the people important to him. He does not do anything for me, but the fact that he thinks of me wants me with him all the time means so much to me. He is the person I had saved my body and heart for, yet he is not interested. If it was because he did not find me attractive, I could handle that. However I have seen the men he sleeps with and he himself told me he finds me attractive but does not know why he does not like me. The amounts of pain I feel when I see him try and give his heart to men who only want him for sex kills me. It seems all it takes is for a relatively attractive guy to meet him and express sexual interest in him and he falls in love. I have ruined my chances at doing that, because if it goes wrong, I lose him as a friend. At one point I was going to start sleeping with some of the men who have been trying to sleep with me for years to seem more appealing. But other friends talked me out of it.

My question is…. I believe I am reading into some of his actions and it gives me hope he may one day want me. I have shared a bed with him on a few occasions, and during the night I would sleep turned away from him and in his sleep he would call my name and spoon and kiss the back of my neck. I never mentioned it to him because I thought it might make things awkward. In his relationships, he never instigates sex. Guys come to him. But on a few occasions he has oddly lit candles and snuggled up to me while watching a movie. His family members tell him he is stupid for not snatching me up. Also one night when I was driving him home, he brought up the topic of why I haven’t had sex yet and got upset when I said I would only sleep with someone I was in a relationship with. My question is; should I stay around and hope that one day he realizes that I am a good man and would do anything for him? Or should I try and come on to him sexually and hope this works for me like it has for all the other men? If I am going to cut him out of my life, I might as well go out with a bang right? I know he will never appreciate that I have saved my body just for him; the mental connection we share is far too intense to deny my attraction. I recently drove him out of town to move him into university, and now that he is far away I feel like I am dying on the inside. I am at the point where I cannot live with him, and I certainly cannot live without him.

I know this will probably read as a jumbled mess, but that is what I am at the moment…

 

Thanks for Piefolk and Best Regards,

Jeff

Jeff,

Thanks for writing. I hope the tone of my advice doesn’t seem harsh, but honestly, it seems like you need a kick in the pants even more than your friend.

Okay, firstly, let me answer your questions:

1) Should you stay around and hope he realizes you’re good and would do anything for him?

NO. He already realizes this. He is a selfish creature who’s allowed you do buy him things and provide for him. He already knows he can get you to do anything for him without even using his main bartering tool – sex. As far as him realizing you’re ‘good,’ don’t hold your breath. It sounds like he’s a sociopath. Sociopaths are frequently very charismatic and charming, but to a sociopath the word ‘good’ is synonymous with the word ‘weak.’ Just means he can take more advantage.

2) Should you try to come on to him sexually and hope it works point blank like it has with other men?

NO. You’ve already described  a situation that you don’t have any respect for, and now you want to try to add an element of sex to your one-sided relationship. You can bet as soon as you have sex with him, he’ll ask you to lend him money, or buy him something, and you, being a fantastic push-over, will give him whatever he wants. In effect, you’ll be participating in the prostitution of your friend that you’re so much in love with. Yuck. Is that how you want your virginity taken? By a blood sucking tick who sees it as a transaction? Ugh. I hope not.

There’s a larger issue here though, and it’s not with your friend, Jeff – it’s with you. You need to stop being such a door mat. Get rid of your ‘provider’ complex. Most people don’t buy groceries and clothing for their ‘friends.’ You offhandedly toss out that information like it’s normal. It isn’t.

That type of love (where you sacrifice your own happiness and well being for the sake of someone else) is called unconditional love. And it should be reserved for your children and possibly your parents. That’s it.

A prospective lover should have to prove their worth to you, because you’re worth being with. That’s called valuing yourself, and by making yourself the commodity, you’ll make a perspective partner know that pursuing you is worth something. Not just a transaction.

Honestly, Jeff, answering this letter has made me feel more than a little icky. It sounds to me like a habitual martyr has met up with a chronic taker. And the perfect storm of non-functional co-dependance has been established. I’m glad to hear he’s gone away to university. The farther the better.

You’re 23. It might be time to get laid, and get it over with. Or, it might be time to make a resolution that you’re going to wait for love. That’s up to you. But stop thinking that a relationship is you providing for someone. Start making them work for it a little. Feels good to be chased.

Get far, far away from your prostitute friend. And stay there. There’s nothing wrong with sex work, in my book, but he isn’t fucking you. Except for fucking with your head.

FriDATE: Sup?

photo by Adam Gardiner

Him:  Sup?

Me:  Ha.  I ate earlier.  I don’t usually eat this late.

Him:  What?

Me:  Nothing.

Him:  You ate earlier?

Me:  Yeah.  You said ‘Sup.’

Him:  Yeah.  Like ‘Sup, bro?’

Me:  Right.  Like in a locker room.  Ha.  Sup bro?

Him:  Not much Bro, just chillin’.

Me:  Okay.  Me too.  Chillin’ up in Mc Carren park with a man I met on Grindr at midnight on a Thursday.

Him:  Heh.  Yeah, you like to Grindr it up?

Me:  I do.  I like social media.

Him:  Feel like grinding down on something?

(pause)

Me:  My name is Michael.

(pause)

Me:  And your name is…

Him:  Paul.

Me:  Hello Paul.  How was your night?

Him:  Pretty chill bro.  This weather’s got me antsy though.

Me:  Heh.  Yeah.  Hot and muggy doesn’t do it for me either.

Him:  Been horned up all day.

Me:  Okay.  I get that. I hear that.

(pause)

You’re a good looking guy…

Him:  Yeah?

Me:  Yeah.  What do you do for a living?

Him:  Subway.

Me:  You work for the MTA?

Him:  Subway sandwich shop.

Me:  Your Grindr profile says you’re 32.

Him:  That’s right.

Me:  Are you a manager…  Or?

Him:  Nope.

Me:  Any hobbies?

Him:  X box.  Is weed a hobby?

Me:  I think it qualifies, why not?

Him:  You bottom?

Me:  What?  Seriously?

Him:  Is that wrong to ask?

Me:  No.  I’m fine with the question.  It’s just.  This conversation.  It’s jumping around.  Do you like working at Subway?  I love the chipoltle mayo.

Him:  (Pause.  He rests his hands on his thighs.  He glances from my eyes to his crotch and back to my eyes.) 

Me:  (snort laughter)

Him: What??

Me:  Nothing.  You’re really pouring it on.

Him:  Come on bro, I asked you too meet me in the park, late at night.  You think I want to talk about sandwiches?

Me:  No.  I’m awkward.  It’s my fault.  Sorry.

Him:  You bottom?

Me:  Yeah.  Sure.  I’m versatile.  I top and bottom.  Do you?

Him:  Top only.

Me:  Ugh.  I hate that.

Him:  Why?  You like to bottom.

Me:  I know, but the way you said it.  ‘Top only.’

Him:  I only top. 

Me:  I know, but that’s annoying.  Do you suck dick, at least?

Him:  I don’t like it.

Me:  Ugh.  Yeah.  That bothers me.

Him:  Even for a midnight hook up in the park?

Me:  I dunno.  This could have been a date.   I’m not Victorian.  I can have a hook up.  NOT in the park, but presumably we both live near here.

Him:  I live with my cousin.

Me:  Sure you do.  Well I live alone, near here.

Him:  Let’s go. 

Me:  I dunno.  You’re really hot and all, but I don’t like this whole ‘top only’ idea.

Him:  Why?  What does it matter?

Me:  I don’t know.  Gets under my skin, how you said it.  There was an underlying sense of pride, superiority even.

Him: (shrug)

Me:  Plus, it’s pretty obvious you don’t want to make polite conversation for like 15 minutes before we make out and see if there’s chemistry or whatever.

Him:  I’m on Grindr because I like to fuck.  Don’t be a pussy.

Me:  Yeah.  We’re not on the same wavelength, I don’t think.  I get it.  I used to be like that too.  Just wanted to hook up or whatever, but as I get older it’s more about connection of some sort.  Even if I was on vacation in Europe or something.  I’d still want some sort of connection.  Thanks for meeting up with me.

Oh my god.  Put your dick away, Paul.

(pause)

Put.  It. Away. Moron.

I’m serious.

Him:  Do you like it?  It’s big.

Me:  It’s pretty sizable, I’ll give you that.

Him:  Do you want to touch it?

Me:  Yes, but I’m leaving.

Him:  Why?  Why not stay?

Me:  Because.  Somebody has got to stop rewarding your terrible behavior/attitude.  Besides, WE ARE OUTDOORS.  Put that thing away.

(He puts it away)

Jesus.  What an idiot. You could have gotten a ticket.  There are people over there.

Him:  Part of you thought it was hot.

Me:  It was shocking and a little hot, and terrifying.  But I’m not going to give you head and let you bone me and not get anything out of it.

Him:  What do you want?

Me:  Reciprocation.

Him:  Nah.  I don’t do that.  Not into it.

Me:  A sandwich?

Him:  I don’t have keys to the store.

Me:  Then I gotta bounce.  Thanks for the date.

Jerk.

Drawing by Dan Paul Roberts