Friday, July 01, 2005

You live, you learn

In one of my conversations with LP, I was telling him about my dating experience with YF. Being the astute person that he is, LP asked me something which got me thinking.

The question was, ‘How could you let him do that? How could you let him get away with that without doing anything?’

To put things in context, I have to be the bad guy again and spill all the beans.

The thing I was referring to is his roving eye. To be more specific, he was very much attracted to another friend of mine, AC. In YF words, ‘He is super hot.’

You see, YF and I was having lunch in a shopping mall when I decided to drop by and say hi to AC, who was working in one of the retail pharmacies. That was the first time YF set eyes on AC. Though I didn’t have the chance to formally introduce them to each other, as AC was busy attending to customers.

After leaving the pharmacy, I had to spend the next thirty minutes listening to the word ‘hot’ repeated a hundred times.

Firstly, I don’t mind my boyfriend expounding on the attractiveness and exquisite beauty of another guy. We men are visual creatures anyway. But there is a limit. And definitely thirty minutes is well over the limit.

Secondly, I don’t mind introducing my friends to my boyfriend, even the cute ones. Trust is important in a relationship, is it not?

Even so, the proper way should be through me, as I am the mutual friend to both. Not for my boyfriend to go find out more information on his own.

I admit it was my fault and perhaps it was taken as a sign to go-ahead, as I gave YF AC’s online personal nick when he asked for it. Not very brilliant of me, eh?

YF then went on to get to know AC online, pretending to be a stranger. They exchanged about two dozen emails between them. Not much of a consolation, but YF promised that he would show me their correspondence, when the time is right. And he did.

After YF identified himself as my friend (notice it is not boyfriend) and he even gave his number, he went on to say ‘I think you are the hottest person I have ever seen. I love the way you type, so cute, so my type. Oh, but this doesn’t mean that I like you.’

Yeah, right. I love every little thing about you, but it doesn’t mean I like you.

Needless to say, I was extremely hurt and disappointed when I read all the messages, the above being one of them. I should have probably ended the whole thing right there and then. It would have spare me some heartache, as the breakup was a week later.

But I didn’t.

Although I was angry, yet when I spoke to him about this on the phone (he was in Penang), I tried to be calm (I don’t know why I even tried - the anger was after all justified).

Even without me trying, the anger slowly dissipated when I heard his voice.

Anyway, I think that is enough context. That is not what this post is about anyway.

It’s about me being different when I was with him. Giving him so much leeway and trust. Bending my values and principles. Doing things I wouldn't usually do. Closing one, no, almost both eyes actually.

Looking back, I think the problem was the overly unhealthy need to please the other and thus giving in too much (though I realise one should not be keeping score on how much he has given).

In other words, I was desperate. I didn’t want to be single again. I wanted someone whom I can call a boyfriend, no matter the circumstance.

I guess you would have guessed by now. The root cause of the need to please another? One word: insecurity.

Yeah, I was insecure. Like a small child who wouldn’t let go of his mother’s hands in the shopping mall, afraid that he would never find her again amongst the crowd.

A relationship very seldom works when one is insecure. Insecurity breeds a sense of dependence. And repression. Repression of all the negative emotions like hurt and anger, which one day would be unleashed. In an ugly way.

Not a surprising revelation or anything, but it does make me wonder. Why was I insecure? In pretty much everything else, I don’t lack confidence. I always speak my mind and not afraid call a spade, a spade.


Another ingredient in the recipe for failure: desperation. Being single absolutely sucks. Or at least that was what I felt at the time.

I started work last June and I consciously decided to not look for anyone special. Heck, I even stopped meeting people. Not an entirely logical decision, but I thought it was best at the time.

After settling down in the work place and after my exams in November, who should come a-calling but YF? Talk about the right timing.

Perhaps the planets were in the right positions or my office desk is arranged facing an auspicious direction or I gave up my seat for the pregnant lady in the bus. Whatever it was, I was almost instantly smitten and a relationship just started.

Someone once said that one should go into a relationship with both eyes wide open (not just the mouth). I can’t agree more.

When a relationship is still young and one is in love, he wears rose-tinted glasses. Reality sets in only much later.

How many people you know who analyse and look deeper and think longer before committing to a relationship? For many of us, including myself, we feel that matters of the heart ought to be ruled by the heart.

But experts say they should be ruled by the head; a lot of breakups due to incompatibility and mismatch could then have been avoided.

I know it is easier said than done. When one is drunk with the elixir love, it is hard to think straight and almost anything goes.

At the end of the day, I am a little wiser now. Though all these will not mean anything if I do not remember the lessons learnt and thus repeat them when the next young gorgeous person comes along.

Writing this reminded me of this song, You Learn, by Alanis Morissete (I feel she writes better songs when she is angsty).

I, recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone, yeah
I, recommend walking around naked in your living room, yeah

Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)
It feels so good (swimming in your stomach)
Wait until the dust settles

You live you learn, you love you learn
You cry you learn, you lose you learn
You bleed you learn, you scream you learn

I, recommend biting off more than you can chew to anyone
I certainly do
I, recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any time
Feel free

Throw it down (the caution blocks you from the wind)
Hold it up (to the rays)
You wait and see when the smoke clears

Wear it out (the way a three-year-old would do)
Melt it down (you're gonna have to eventually, anyway)
The fire trucks are coming up around the bend

You grieve you learn, you choke you learn
You laugh you learn, you choose you learn
You pray you learn, you ask you learn
You live you learn

Yup, I have lived and learnt.


Espion said...

You were not insecured.

You dont need a bf. You just needed sex.

You are desperate not for love, but for sex.

But you psychologically could not make yourself have sex outside the context of an LTR.

I dont think you are capable of calling a spade a spade: you needed sex but you say you need bf.

I have often wondered why people cant just say they need sex and stop deluding themselves with the semantic fig leaf called a boyfriend.

Maybe you being so articulated and introspective can tell me.

Maybe you should ask yourself WHY you cant have sex outside an LTR?

What's wrong with ONS?

What's the big deal about LTR? What's in an LTR that make sex any more justifiable than without an LTR?

As far as I have read what you written, you dont subscribed to any religious values or teachings, so why the hangup about sex 'outside marriage'?

And even if you hold such a belief or value of sex only in marriage, being bfs is not the same as being married.

In straight relationships, gf and bf is the phase for knowing each other, to assess compatibility for marriage, and not an excuse to start fucking. But such a 'pure' notion of gf/bf is probably now deemed 'old fashioned', and thus making a mockery of the so-called value of sex only in marriage.

Anonymous said...

dear espion,

for the short period of time that i had known derek, i am very certain that it wasn't sex that he is after. i wonder how had you arrived to such a conclusion? is there something that you had spotted in his episode with WF that i hadn't?

i couldn't agree more with you. what's wrong with ONS when one is after sex? so apparently, derek could have gone into it if he had been hot and horny. the situation had been that derek is thirsty for love, he probably is feeling having a need to be loved to be affirmed that he is attractive to other men. that's where his sense of insecurity lies.

it's a very different thing altogether. even if derek believes in getting into exclusive sex only in a relationship, albeit him not having subscribed to any relaigious teachings, we should respect his value. what is so wrong about that?

all i wish to point out here is that - derek and WF shouldn't be considered bfs. they aren't into it yet. they were merely at a dating stage, exploring the possibility of going into a LTR. without any spoken commitment of monogamy, there is no issue about sex here.


wingedman said...


What's wrong with having sex in an LTR?

Isn't sex with someone you actually love and cherish and are crazy over so much better than sex with some unknown stranger?

What's wrong with having a bit of intimacy with someone who cares for you also, and not someone who just wishes you can get the fuck out of his bed so he can get some sleep.

It's not about religious, cultural or moral values. It's not about comparing yourselves with straight couples or old fashioned values. It's about loving someone and expressing that love physically and intimately as best we can.

Yes, sex is sex. Nothing's wrong with ONS, if you're into that sort of thing. We all have needs.

But sex is not love. Having sex is not the same as making love. It's not semantics. It's not starry-eyed romanticism.

Don't you agree that it's different with an ONS and a boyfriend whom you, if you cannot call it love yet, then at least care about deeply? Or is it one and the same to you? I for one, can definitely tell the difference.

Derek's problem with YF is not that they didn't have enough sex, it's that he didn't feel appreciated, and in fact, was being used by his boyfriend. Where in the world did you dig up the thought that he needed sex?! You think he suffered through all that just to have regular sex sessions?

Do we need a boyfriend to continue living? Perhaps. Do we need to have sex to remain alive? No. But we do need to feel loved, to feel as if our time on this planet is worth something to someone, and to reciprocate it. And if you think an ONS partner can fulfill that, boy you're sadly mistaken. Think ahead, when you're 40, 50, 70 years old.

You are the one who's insecure.

You are the one who's obviously never differentiated love from sex.

You think the two are interchangeable; they are not.

Address the issue at hand and don't talk out of your arse.

The only way to prove a fool wrong is to let him continue thinking he's right.

Espion said...

I may have sounded harsh, but what I am only saying is that have anyone ever considered sex as the REAL reason driving us to do what we do, rather the the so-called LTR?

What I am suggesting to Derek - and perhaps to you guys too - is to reflect on himself and ask himself what is he real reason seeking out others. I think I have suggested sex to him earlier on, even before he started blogging.

You all seem to be coming around to 'defend' Derek, as if I have made a false accusation against him. You all seem to project that attitude that just because I think Derek's motive is sex, Derek is a 'bad' person, immoral, a slut, or whatever adjectives your value system gives. For me the adjectives are honest and true and brave.

I do not think is it disrespectful to point out to someone that his real intent is sex, for what's so disrespectful about pointing out the truth?

I think it can only help.

It will dispel the confusion and the entangled emotions and allow one to make decisions with a clear mind and with 'two eyes wide open'.

And I respect Derek no less, in fact more, for being honest and clear-minded about it, rather than confused, deluded and dishonest about who he really is.

And I should add too that I know when I am seeking sex.

So if you know it is sex you are after, and if you hold no religious or social or whatever values against such acts and behaviour, then just do it: bang and bye, cum and go; no hang ups, both party entered into it solely for fun, to enjoy, without obligations, without commitments to any false notions, and move on, with no hurts and expectations, maybe even remaining as friends. But if you cannot have sex for sex sake, then it is good too, for it reveals something about you to yourself. Only know what this is.

And if you know it is love, then you must steeled yourself for the long haul, yes, even if he betrays you.

So is Derek really "thirsty for love" and "feeling having a need to be loved to be affirmed that he is attractive to other men"???

The fact of wanting to be "attractive" is, to me, evidence more for sex than love. For if you have known true love you will have known that beauty is not in a physical object, but more in the spirit of a person, discerned by the spirit of the beholder.

And you are thirsty only if you are lusty. True love pours out and loses itself.

And it is my view that all the stories and drama about gay LTR and relationships can be explained in a large part by such confusion of love and sex, ie thinking love for sex, and even more, not admitting it when it can be clearly seen and known. I have elaborated on this notion elsewhere.

What I am trying to understand is WHY people find it so hard to say they seek sex and just go about it, honestly, rather than entangling with such false notions as LTR and love and get into all sorts of difficulties.

To be sure there is indeed such a thing as love - and I am a firm believer in true love, even love eternal - but then such love is not an everyday, common experience nor occurrence. I am sure you know this truth.

It seems that people have a hangup about pursuing sex for its own sake, and we employ psychological and semantic devices to disguise it.

It may well be true that indeed there are people seeking love, but mostly, from other and this example, I do see the facts and actual behaviour being consistent with such a declaration.

For example you dont rush to 'love' a stranger you hardly know. And the fact that the person is yet a stranger usually surfaced at the end of the short LTR, where you suddenly realised all the flaws and all those things that you didnt like about him. If you have really known a person, seen him with two eyes open, will such a discovery have surprised you?

So if there is anything beneficial in all these, is to ask and learn for yourself what was the REAL reason you entered in any relationship. Was it love? or lust? or the companionship? or what?

And of course love and sex are two different things altogether! The real issue is that people confuse them, deliberately or otherwise. (And who is talking out of his arse???)

Love is not sex, and sex is not love. That have been my experience thus far. In those that I loved there are more reasons to be moved than mere sex, if at all. And those that I merely lusted, are only appealing and attractive in the physical and after the sex, may even turn you off.

nobody said...

Love is not sex, and sex is not love; but sex is not perfect without love.

Anonymous said...

To nobody, so you seek perfect sex or perfect love?

Espion said...

Oops, the above 'elsewhere' url is faulty.

Here is it again.

nobody said...

perfect sex comes with perfect love.

Derek said...

Such fiery arguments. ;P

I will be posting my thoughts on this soon.

wingedman said...


In your superfrigginglong post all you essentially said can be distilled into this:

1)Derek wants sex.
2)People shouldn't say they want a bf if all they want is sex

I do agree with you that a lot of people end up having a relationship because they like the attention and they think they'll never get that kind of attention from anyone else.

And if you do want to distill it, yes, everything's about sex. You want a boyfriend because you want sex. this is true. But that's a very specific narrow-minded view.

It's like saying you go on the internet to surf for porn. It's also true, but what about the rest of the stuff you do online?

What about the rest of the stuff you do with a boyfriend? The companionship, the sounding board for your work troubles, the guy who will cook you chicken soup when you're sick.

I've actually covered this in my previous blog on livejournal.

What I do not agree with your post is how you can so casually judge my friend with such utter finality, by reading his one post and saying "Oh you just wanted sex." Even if you did have long discourses with Derek on his relationship with YF, who died and made you Freud?

Spot said...

Ah wingedman, you beat me to it. although i think freud already did the dying. hyuk. i kid.

espion, you wasted a whole bunch of words as a result of your baseless conclusion that "haiyah, actually ah, Derek really wants sex lah".

whilst you do have some valid points, they are wholly irrelevant, given that Derek appears to be quite clear as to what he wants - companionship. to not be alone.

but if, espion my little jellycake, you still insist that all Derek wants is sex, well. you're entitled to your armchair psychology. do spare the rest of us the pointless rambling please. bad grammar makes me nauseous.

Espion said...

To spot and wingedman,

Let me reiterate what I am saying:

1. People do seek sex for its own sake.
2. People may not admit to it.
3. LTR or love is used or abused as a cover for sex.
4. My contention is that sex is the main reason that drives seeking a relationship - for both gay and straight.
5. And this hypothesis, that sex is the real driver under the guise of LTR or 'love', explains for a lot of the phenomena of gay relationships, such as short LTRs that end with both parties mutually hostile and turned-off by the other, and that boyfriends are not friends, etc.

So my point to Derek is to suggest that he consider this hypothesis to understand his behaviour, if it helps.

And please, I am not 'insisting' or 'concluding' on anything.

I do not deny that there are indeed people who truly seek love, but such is a minority and exception from all that I have seen. And so probabilistically speaking it is more likely that people seek sex when they say they seek LTR.

But whether Derek is the exception is for him to know. I don't.

Derek said...

As what wingedman said, if you really want to get down to it, everything is about sex.

Sex sells. Sex is everywhere. We are bombarded with it everywhere and all the time.

No wonder you can’t help but think that people go into LTR as a fa├žade to get laid.

Couples get married to have sex, kids go to school so that they learn about sex in biology, single people go to work so that they have money to hang out at singles bar and thus hook up with the opposite sex, people buy cars so that they can have sex in the backseat, people go to the gym for the sole reason of shaping up to attract the opposite sex, No 1 on the bestsellers list is ‘How to have mind-blowing, fucking-awesome sex’, etc.

Yup, everything comes down to sex, doesn’t it?

Hmm … does it also explain why people complain that they can’t find someone ‘suitable’ or ‘compatible’? Or why people are getting married at an older age (30s) when they have passed their sexual prime?

Derek said...

'You dont subscribed to any religious values or teachings, so why the hangup about sex 'outside marriage'?

This is blatant condescension.

Are you implying that I have no values, since I don't subscribe to any religion or teaching?

And that people who have a religion have better morals?

Judge not, lest you be judged.