What I’ve Been Up To

I am ashamed.

It’s been too long, once again, since I shared my thoughts, feelings, or gratuitous selfies here on my primary domain. Once upon a time, this was the first place to look if you knew what I was up to. Now, several months have zipped by without a single update. And the truth is…I’ve actually been doing a lot. If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr, then you’re probably reasonably up to date. But for those of you who haven’t, allow me to catch you up.

Orlando Fringe

Photo by Harris and Mattei Photography

Last week I returned from another solid run in the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival with my latest one-man show, Exit Through the D*ck Shop. In my fifth (whoa, really?) solo project, I recounted my 5+ years working in a sex toy shop (well, two of them but let’s not make it too complicated.)  It was a lot more challenging than previous projects, primarily because in the past I’ve never taken a show on the road that I hadn’t been working on for at least a year, and I was working with minimal direction so I had to rely on my own instincts to guide the show. There were a handful of hiccups, both on stage and off, but audiences responded very positively and I received a very warm review in the Orlando Sentinel. I’m looking forward to polishing it off sometime in the next few months and staging a production at home in Boston.

And speaking of Boston…

Smut Slam

At the end of last year, I was approached by fellow sex-positive solo performer Cameryn Moore. She created a sexy storytelling open mic called Smut Slam, which I attended a production of in Boston around Christmas time. Several chapters were being staged in cities all over the globe on a monthly basis, and she asked if I’d like to host the Boston chapter.

OBVIOUSLY.

I started up in March, running on the first Thursday of every month, and it’s been an exciting ride. Crowds have fluctuated, what with Thursday being a popular month for burlesque shows in this town, but things are picking up and I have very good feelings about the events we have coming up this summer. If you’re in the area, or just want to know more about it, I encourage you to ‘like’ our Facebook page.

Burlesque

Hosting ‘Punk Rockin’ and Pastie Poppin”. Photo by Roger Gordy.

The last few months have been a slow season for me in terms of burlesque. I’ve been a little mopey about it, but I also had the previous events occupying my brain matter so I haven’t had a lot of time to devote to it anyway. I have, however, been granted a gig as the full-time host for Punk Rockin’ and Pastie Poppin’, a delightfully haphazard monthly burlesque show in Jamaica Plain. I absolutely adore the show, and I’ve always wanted to become a stronger emcee, so I’m thrilled to have been given a more frequent opportunity on the mic. I do have a handful of performances coming up this month, so if you like to see me strip (and who doesn’t? …don’t answer that) you can check out my stripper page here.

Anyway, that’s the quick and dirty update. I’d like to say you can expect to hear from my more regularly in the coming months.

My Drunk Sex Toys Reviews

There is such a thing as too many sex toys. I have lived it. One of the main reasons my sex toy reviews have slowed down in the last couple of years is because I am so overwhelmed by how many personal massagers occupy my living space. Perspective: the toys I am sent for review make up about a quarter of my actual collection. Once upon a time I felt like the Scrooge McDuck diving into a pile of sex toys, but now I feel as if I am drowning of them.

So…what becomes of the toys that I don’t review? Well, some of them I use. Some of them I think I’m going to use so I keep them for five years and never do anything with them. But I’ve decided to finally give them an opportunity to see the light of day in the most exciting event I could come up with: a drunken montage. It’s a long one, but I hope it will give you giggles.

 

 

In case you haven’t figured it out already, this video was inspired by Hannah Hart’s “My Drunk Kitchen” series. If you haven’t witnessed any of this magic, you really should do that right now. I suggest you start at the very beginning.

Toys:

I Wish I Knew How to Quit You

I was a gay man, entering a new land. A land of lower rent, less competition, and a reasonable amount of success in the sack. I had many allies before I arrived, but few who could assist me with that last basic human need. So I did what most gay men would do under this circumstance, or under any circumstance, really: I signed on to a handful of internet-based man-connectors. Some of which I was already active on, some I was rejoining, and some were brand new.

No, that’s a lie. None of them were brand new. I’ve been on all of them.

Before moving to this new land, I had reason to believe that I might be highly sought after by other gentlemen. I fondly recall a day, long before I even considered living here, when I was strolling through a park in Jamaica Plain and saw a charming cyclist nearly crash his bike into a tree because he was checking me out. It was a moment that I will cherish forever.

My first home, during my one month in Salem, had little to offer in the way of dudes. But Salem is a small town, and being a city boy through and through, I knew better than to get attached anyway.

I soon moved to an outer neighborhood of Boston, and certainly, the resources were more plentiful, but interested parties were equally rare. I found employment in a notably gay neighborhood in Boston proper, which I expected would be a homoerotic goldmine. Yet again, no such luck. Nonetheless, I continued to dig, and every now and then, I would find something shiny and appealing, But 19 times out of 20, it would slip through my fingers and disappear back into the pile. Or it would flee in disgust upon learning that my stomach was presently unchiseled.

At least wine still likes to get naked with me.

One year later, I still spend a borderline-unhealthy amount of time each day, attempting to make connections on these various websites and applications, while I can count on one hand the number of men who I have actually met in that time, and on one finger how many I’ve actually become intimate with. My self-worth has plummeted to an all-time low, and my body image has taken up residency in the gutter. I have spent more money and time on fashion and fitness than I ever have in my life, and yet I cannot think of a time when I have felt less attractive. And I am a person who gets paid to take his clothes off on stage.

I have accepted the fact that these pastimes make me miserable, so I have, for the umpteenth time in my life, begun deactivating these accounts one by one. One or two remain, with the likelihood that they too shall go, but I need to build my own sexual safety net before I pull the plug… an alternative outlet to slake The Thirst™.

Unfortunately, in a town so puritan as Boston, I don’t foresee finding sexual partners becoming any easier any time soon. It is clear that queers are not in short supply, but I’d like to believe that the majority have found other ways to connect, and simply have not yet invited me to join the club. (Sure. Fine. Be that way.) Until that, or something similar, happens, I’m seeking out ways to satisfy my own needs, rather than spending hours staring at my phone waiting for a stranger to decide that I am worth his time. I know that I am, but experiences have shown me that gay men do not always have the healthiest of priorities. (#guilty)

So…what do I do when the thirst is strong and satisfaction is nowhere in sight?
– First, of course…snag a selfie, because in times like this, moments where I feel comfortable in my skin are too rare, and ought to be captured, as reminders if nothing else.
– Take matters into my own hands sooner. In other words: don’t wait too long to jack off. Some days I wake up, feel in the mood and have all the time in the world, and end up wasting my whole day waiting for some guy finally tell me he’s down for a lay. It’s terrible for my self-esteem, and dammit, I have shit to do. Don’t cruise for more than an hour, maximum.
– On a related note: Don’t hold off on making plans because something else might happen. If he wants the D that bad, he should have said something sooner. Self-respect and all that.
– Accidentally create a Snapchat group with all of the guys I already trade naughty selfies with, thinking they can only see what I’m sharing with them, but it’s actually a giant group message and everyone can see who else I sext with. Despite my embarrassment, they love it. And now I have a place to deposit dick pics whenever I like where they will almost certainly be applauded.

It is strange how one can become so attached to things like this…things that rarely bring feelings of happiness. Typically, addiction comes from something that makes one feel good, at least for a little while. So why am I so afraid to walk away from something that makes me feel like garbage? Sure, there was a time and a place when they did prove useful and occasionally satisfying, but I’ve dealt with the downside way too long to continue calling it a “dry spell”. I may not be what most of the guys in this city may be looking for, but I refuse to believe that I am not deserving of affection, however substantial (or not) it may be.

Sound off in the comments: What do you do to show love for yourself?

 

Your Own Valentine

I gotta be honest with you…

For the first time in years, I actually haven’t been dreading Valentine’s Day.

This is because I forgot it was happening.

I would say “Sorry if that makes me awful” but I won’t because I know it doesn’t make me awful. I worked in a sex shop for the last five Valentine’s Days in a row. That is the equivalent of the Christmas Rush™ in literally any other retail business. If you ask me, I deserve to forget about Valentine’s Day.

But none of us can ever truly forget, because capitalism. And now that I’ve been reminded, I must devise a plan to make the day a more bearable joyful experience for those of us who may be unattached. Because whether you are content or embittered by the relationship status (or lack thereof), the day tends to be genuinely unkind to us as a whole.

  1. Dress up for no reason.
    We all deserve to feel positively banging. Some might suggest that single folk such as us ought to take ourselves on a date for Valentine’s Day. Why not aim higher? Why not treat the entire day like it’s a date with yourself? And the first thing we all think about when we go on a date is, of course, “what am I going to wear?!” Pick out a favorite outfit of yours, take a selfie for good measure (if you feel so inclined), and find that extra skip in your step.
  2. Show people who are important to you that you care about them.
    I don’t mean this in an “International Tell-Your-Crush Day” kinda way. It doesn’t even have to be overt. Any sort of subtle (or not-so-subtle) gesture that shows someone you’re thinking about them. A friendly text message about something you share in common. A hug. A comment on a social media post. A sexy photo sent to a consenting party. One of the ways I show a couple of my friends that I’m thinking about them, and know they’re thinking about me, is by playing Words With Friends constantly. It’s the little things.
  3. Do something nice for yourself.
    Originally I was going to say “Buy something nice for yourself” but then I checked my privilege, because I know not all of us have the means. Believe me, I have been there. But I think that we all deserve to be spoiled on February 14th, and sometimes that means we have to spoil ourselves. This might involve purchasing something that makes you feel fabulous, or it could be watching your favorite movie (the kind that makes you feel good, not a ‘woe is me’ kinda romance flick.), or cooking yourself a nice meal. I’m a disaster in the kitchen but I understand many people take pleasure in this.
  4. Remember: there are so many different kinds of love in the world.
    This is one that I need to remind myself of constantly. Sometimes the absence of a romantic partner can make us feel unreasonably insignificant. It’s truly twisted how so many of us have fallen for this societal scam, but it says very little about who we are in the grand scheme of things. There are so many people in our lives who care about us in completely different ways for completely different reasons, and they are no less meaningful in our lives than any significant other might be.
  5. Do you.
    I’m not actually referring to masturbation here, but if that’s what you want to do, you know I ain’t gonna stop you. My point is, do whatever makes you feel good. If not of the things I listed above would bring you happiness, then tell me to fuck off and choose something that you would find more satisfying. Holidays should bring happiness to everyone, not just a fraction of the population. If a holiday is going to claim to be a celebration of love, it needs to honor everyone’s right to love and to be loved, or it is a sham.

And I know what you’re thinking… “But Valentine’s Day IS a sham.” I’m not going to argue with you. But if we must endure it, we might as well get some warm fuzzies out of it. And hella chocolate.

My Latest Invention: Grindr Flash Cards

Are you a Grindr user? Do you get asked the same questions by literally everyone you talk to? Are your thumbs aching from typing out the same damn responses to the same damn questions day after day?

Well, let me share with you my newest invention… Grindr flash cards! So perfectly pre-meditated that the boys will think you’re psychic, when in reality, you’re just over this shit!

For instance…

A reasonable question, I won’t deny. Best to clear this up before getting too excited about anybody. There’s also the alternative of…

And then there’s this classic…

 

That said, sometimes people forget you’re a living breathing creature with feelings and self-worth.


And don’t you love when they think they can win you over with nothing but a dick pic?

No flash card for this one. Just a sassy GIF.

Perhaps you get some questions or comments that are a little more…personal?


I have yet to put these to actual use, but if I don’t see any increase in originality within the range of conversation in the near future, I may just crap and slip on my sassy pants. Few will find it cute, I’m sure, but I expect it would be vastly entertaining.

What would you add to the pile? Sound off in the comments!