Monday, April 16, 2012

The condom rule...

When Brad and I first got together he was just about to begin his freshman year in college. As somebody who has experienced university living, and all that entails, I wanted to be realistic with my expectations of our relationship. So one day I clumsily stuttered and umm’d my way through one of the most awkward and insincere conversations of my entire life. I didn’t know how to tell Bradley that the idea of him with another man would be enough to knock the wind out of me for a week, so instead I instituted the condom rule.

Instead of saying, “hey, I like you and I only want to be with JUST YOU!” I said, “I like having sex without condoms, but I don’t want an STD. Let’s stay monogamous so we can nix the condoms! But if one of us slips up, no biggie. We will just get tested, use condoms for 6 months, and then get retested, and then go back to life as normal.” It was total BS and now looking back on this I am ashamed of how disrespectful and childish I was to Bradley and our relationship.

In the 5 years Bradley and I have been together, the condoms have come out once. The time we had broken up for a few months, and we’d both “moved on”. Those first 6 months after we’d gotten back together were FUCKING AWFUL. I have never thought of myself as a jealous man, but I would literally DESTROY the guy(s) that were with Bradley if I ever met them. Even thinking about it right now makes my blood boil and gets my adrenaline pumping.

The idea of seeing another condom between the two of us, I can’t even begin to describe how much that would completely and utterly destroy my world. It’s not about the stupid condoms! It’s about what they represent. I don’t give a fuck about some stupid condom. I care about being the only man in Bradley’s life. I care about monogamy, because no matter what your local old gay tells you, monogamy can and does exist in the gay community. Sometimes it can be the most difficult burden EVER since EVER, but it’s also ALWAYS the most rewarding and intimate experience you can share with another person.

Being honest with my feelings has always been the one thing that has turned me into a coward. Mostly because I don’t ever feel worthy of these feelings, but also because I am always insecure enough to feel like my feelings will not be reciprocated. Being with Bradley has given me courage like I have never known. The moment I was finally able to wrap my head around the fact that I loved him I became a different man.

Having to experience life without him, I know it’s not anything I could ever do again. Bradley makes me a better man and I think I might just do the same for him. He gave me the courage to start production on my own show, and he gave me the strength to confront a lot of my insecurities that I have been hiding from. He is my everything; life without him just doesn’t make sense to me. That’s why I got down on my knee and asked him to marry me. And I mean the world to him, so that’s why he said, “yes”.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Thinking out loud...

I had to fly out to LA for 2 days to meet with the production company responsible for "my show". My agent felt that me actually seeing what was going on first hand, would help make my decision easier. The guy in charge was super duper impressive! He knew his shit, and he seemed to honestly appreciate and understand what I brought to the party. Sitting in his office, I couldn't help but notice the giant ass emmy sitting on his desk. I have never actually seen an emmy in real life, and it seemed a lot more substantial than I imagined. It also added a lot of weight to what this guy was proposing and made the whole thing seem that much more REAL. In that moment it really got me thinking a lot about what this actually meant for me and it brought up a lot of issues I have with myself.

Standing in front of a camera always brings out the insecurities I have about myself. I have worked in front of the camera for as long as I have been surfing. Whether it be modeling clothes, or MC’ing events, to being interviewed or interviewing someone else; I have always been hyper aware of the fact that I am being judged. When you work in front of the camera, you are only allowed to be unattractive if you’re white, black, or rich. In all other cases, you have to be the hottest motherfucker in the room to stand a chance. From being short, to not really having the definition in my body that I want, to my scars that I feel hideously disfigure my face; I see these images of myself and I just want to put a bag over my head and hide. I have all this anxiety over my appearance and how I am not handsome enough to be here, and it kind of just devolves into a pit of self-hatred and the such…

Intellectually, I know I am attractive. I know I am the only one who even knows that I have/had scars. I know that my short stature actually looks really good on me. And I know I look damn good with my shirt off because I do a shit ton of cross fit training and martial arts routines daily! But for some reason none of those things matter, and it’s the little negative things that have always stuck with me.

When I was 19 I did this photo shoot with a few other guys. I don’t really even remember what this shoot was for, I just remember that we were all half naked and it was really cold that day but we had to act like it was 90 degrees out. A couple months later I saw one of the pictures that didn’t make the ad online on some gay blog and there were HUNDREDS of comments over the picture. I KNOW I shouldn’t have, but I read all of them. Rookie mistake! When I was done it felt like somebody had punched me in the stomach. I remember comments like “the short one ruins it for me” and “the Asian guy’s abs look off, that’s a sign of scoliosis” and on and on… Yeah there were a lot of positive and really awesome comments, but those aren’t the ones that stuck with me.

Every time I step in front of the camera I think about those comments. I think about all the eyes on me, and how they are looking for all of my flaws so they can rip into me. I think about how easy it is to just reduce a person to their imperfections and how it makes me feel when that person is me. I always do my best to have impeccable posture when my shirt is off so my abs don’t look like their deformed, and I always interview people over 6ft sitting down so I don’t look like a dwarf, and a million other little things. It’s pitiful! I hate how aware I am of these things and I hate how much I care about them.

There are a million reason why I don’t want to be on camera in my own show. From the strain it would put on my relationship with Bradley having to do long distance AGAIN, to my crazy insecurities I have getting judged by a million anonymous assholes I will never meet, to this awful feeling that I just don’t have what it takes to be successful at this. But there are also a million reasons I would want to do this and facing then defeating my fears and insecurities are really just a drop in that proverbial bucket.

Even though I hate to admit these things, I work hard at who I am on camera. I am funny, personable, and charming as fuck; that shit just doesn’t happen overnight. I know the effect that I have on the people around me, and it’s taken me years to perfect that skill. I study, plan, and train hard for every possible outcome and am always prepared for whatever happens. I have mastered the art of working my ass off and making it look like it all happened on accident. I deserve this opportunity and I am doing myself a serious disservice if I turn it down. But if I am really honest with myself, I really don’t want this.

I feel like this is the story of my life summed up perfectly. I work really hard, I get offered the golden prize at the end of a long and arduous journey, and then I walk away from said prize as if it were nothing. I don’t want that to be the legacy I leave behind, the guy who could never pull the trigger. That’s some pitiful bullshit…