I did not expect it to happen. I did not want it to. A first date. Coffee. Good conversation. Then I noticed it: the band around his finger.

A year ago, I had noticed him, sitting near my office studying. Seven months later we would be having coffee at the small coffeehouse near campus. But that first day, the very first day I saw him, I thought I knew him. The way he stared at me, but as I got closer I realized he was a stranger. Only another student, but the familiarity remained.

That warm southern day in July when we had coffee, I had made a decision. The months before when I would notice him going to class or working out in the gym, I wasn't sure. I wasn't sure of my intent. I preferred bigger men. His lanky frame was outside my usual points of attraction. With graying hair, he looked to be at least in his late 30s, but it was hard to tell. And after all, he was a student. As a university administrator, I had never crossed that line and until I met him, never had but the slightest urge.

So the next few months would be a journey, a mythical discovery. In reflection it would remind me of the ancient Mesopotamian story of King Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh was a bi-sexual, omnipotent ruler, who spread fear among his people through his sexual conquests. He would change only when the gods sent him Enkidu, a monster, a wild beast. In a cataclysmic struggle, Enkidu stops Gilgamesh from one of his sexual rampages through a wrestling contest. After their struggle they become friends and lovers and embark on a journey together where Enkidu is killed and Gilgamesh mourns, but returns to his a city, a changed man.

After coffee we became friends. I told him I was gay and he told me he was straight and married. Becoming friends was a struggle. Everything was a contest of wills. Seeing him nude at the gym for the first time, dealing with his sexual teasing and innuendo, discovering him as a person. He was a crusader. He wasn't afraid to speak out for what he believed in. He had direction, purpose, and a sense of humor. I found myself telling him things I had long forgotten. Things I had placed in the outer creases of my memory because they were too painful to remember. He challenged me. He confused me. He made me angry. He made me smile.

Then I had the dream. In my dream, he came to me, undressed, and crawled in my bed. I stood at the foot of the bed and we stared at each other for a long time. I finally reached over him and kissed him gently as if I was telling him goodnight. I left him and went for a walk. When I came back he was gone. I wondered if I would ever see him again. But as I looked around the room I saw so many of his possessions, his things. Things he had left for me. Things that told me he had settled in.

That's when my fear began. I realized this man had become a big part of my life, and in any moment he could be gone. My crush on him was intense. But at 33, I was no longer a little boy, too old for crushes. I had been through a long-term relationship that ended a few months before I first laid eyes on him. I fought it. I tried to box him out of me. But every punch felt self-inflicted. I became mean. If I didn't have the courage to let him go, then maybe there was a chance he would begin to hate me.

Despite my moods, he stayed. There was a time (or two) when he came close to leaving, but he stayed. He stayed even though he knew I wanted him. I felt honored. I gained a deeper respect for him and my wanting became admiration. It was the first time I realized that he cared about me too. Though he would never say it, or admit to it.

But recently, he told me that he has had sex with other men. The way he told me this was inappropriate - I felt like a bombshell had been exploded inside my head. I did not react appropriately. I discovered that he can be mean-spirited, self-absorbed, and fragile. I felt betrayed because he led me to believe that everything was one-sided. The trust we had built collapsed. He teased me with the prospect of sex and when I tried to take him up on it, he changed his mind thinking I could not handle a physical relationship with him.

He asked if I was in love with him. I said no. I know too well that being in love with someone takes time. I loved and cared for my ex in the very beginning, but it would take a long time before I fell in love. Could I be falling in love with him? Yes. Maybe. But I know that he and I were never meant to be lovers. And feelings wane. I am not afraid of falling in love with him because I am my own man. I am self-reliant and I have pride. I have reserve and I will move on with my life with him in it or not.

With this new obstacle in our journey together I am not sure what the outcome will be. I know I enjoy his presence, his companionship. I want to continue to be his friend - if he can be more honest and upfront with me in the future. I am not sure he can. But I know that he and I have a good time in each other's company. There's a good spirit.

In any case, his friendship has taught me something. As warriors we often forget how to be lovers. With my ex, I was always in charge. We did what I wanted to do. We had sex when I wanted to have sex. I was a bully. As a warrior, it's hard not to compete; everything has to be the warrior's way or a compromise. But there are times to be gentle. There is power in the gentle. It doesn't make us lesser men. It makes us stronger, tougher. Fear and love are not emotions we have to conquer, but emotions we need to work with and through. I can fear the mean-spirited nature of my friend, but am I afraid of him? No.

I know that my buddy is afraid of his emotions. He told me that unresolved feelings can eat away at the soul. Maybe his fear eats away at his. As true warriors, we can make the commitment to not let our emotions rule our lives, but guide us on the way.

Bill Weintraub speaks of phallic love. It is love of equals. The love of two cocks mating. Cocks rubbing together in struggle but also in mutual purpose. Each seeking not its own release, but also the release of its partner. Each cock trying to overpower but also submitting to one another. Phallic-mating.

My partner is still out there somewhere. I can feel his presence, as I am sure he can feel mine. Until we meet, I look forward to the challenges and opportunities, the new lessons that will come my way.

In brotherhood.


December 14, 2001

Cockrub Warrior Rob

I think this piece will help guys that have been through this sort of thing with other married men. Writing it was very cathartic for me. It helped me to gain some perspective and purge some of those feelings. It helped me to see that I was not in the wrong and that if anyone deserves an apology it was me. I found myself to always be the one apologizing. It helped me to see that a good, true friend is honest and upfront. Even when it is hard to be.

I feel like I am a much better person for it. And maybe my words can help someone else out there.


Other works by Warrior Rob on The Man2Man Alliance / Heroic Homosex:

I Honor the Phallus

Heroic Masculinity


from Founding Warrior Bill Weintraub

Since Warrior Rob wrote this piece, a great many bi- and straight-identified men have joined our ranks in The Man2Man Alliance, and many of the issues that Rob was dealing with around men being gay-identified or straight-identified have begun to resolve.

Of course we have a long ways to go before society acknowledges that most people are bisexual, but we've made a start in breaking down some of the barriers.

Readers who wish to learn more can ck out these articles:

An Introduction to Frot and The Man2Man Alliance

Sex Between Men: An Activity, Not a Condition

Gay, Bi, or Straight? Labels Are Meaningless


A "Straight" Man's Epiphany

Ask Sensei Patrick

Are Men Who Have Sex With Men Intergendered?


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