Relationships: a discussionBy: Don Dudgeon (Sep 19 2022)
I have a friend who says that ‘Sex with anyone is better than on your own’. My sentiments are the opposite of this. I say that I will never have sex with someone whose head I would not want to find on the pillow next to mine the next morning. That is not to say that he is right and I am wrong or vice versa. It just says that we arc all different. And isn’t that one of the joys of life? But sometimes I feel that gay publications tend to push the line that sex is the most important part of any relationship and any gay who does not feel like that is not normal.
I think back to my own parents and can remember them sleeping in separate beds for as long as I can recall. But they were very much in love. During the war my father in a fit of patriotic fervour joined the Volunteer Garrison and was sent to Bribie Island to protect the eastern coastline. My mother nearly had a mental breakdown at the separation. Then when mother died at a relatively early age my father was quite desolated. They were very much in love but sex was not the most important part of the equation. I am sure other gay people can recall similar situations in their own family. So why should gays be different?
I also have a confession to make and that is that I am not often turned on sexually by someone in my own age group. This causes embarrassment at times when people come to visit and expect to have sex. I can feel them saying ‘Who does he think he is?’ People coming to my home are given their own bed and bedroom and we only share the same bed if WE BOTH WANT TO. That certainly does not mean that I can not relate to people of my own age in other intimate ways. I have a friend who comes out from the United States to visit on a fairly regular basis and I love him dearly but the thought of going to bed with him repulses me as I am sure it does him. I welcome people into my home and life if they can accept me on that basis.
But whilst we are ageing that certainly does not mean that we can not have relationships with younger people. It just means that the basis changes. I am lucky that I have two younger friends.
The first is my friend Joey from the Philippines. You may remember he featured in an article that I wrote on my visit to the Costa Aguada Island Resort a year or so ago. Joey has become a very loving ‘son’ of mine and he even signs his letters Joey Dudgeon. I am presently putting him through college in the Philippines doing a hospitality course. I think the reason our relationship is so secure is that Joey is quite straight and there are no sexual hassles. I know that probably seems strange to you. But the biggest regret I have about being gay is that I do not have children of my own. Of course Joey, like most Filipinos, is quite affectionate.
The second is an even more unlikely candidate. He is married. At first I felt very guilty about having a relationship with a married man, as I am so much into monogamous relationships. But I have come to accept that I am very good for his relationship with his wife. There is no doubt that he loves her but he needs this outlet and, because I put no pressures on him, I am no threat to the relationship. On the other hand, when he is with me he is quite gay and he holds nothing back. Chris is in his mid to late thirties and he has been coming to visit me for about ten years now and in his way I know he loves me too. I am quite sure that he has no other sex partners, either male or female. In other ways it is a completely unlikely coupling too because we come from such different backgrounds. I came from a loving very conservative family. Chris’s father left the family early in life and his mother is an alcoholic. He was into drugs and did the usual robberies to feed his habit. Eventually he realised he had to do something to get out of this and joined the Navy to get some discipline in his life. And that’s where he was when he came to have singing lessons from me. As I said earlier we are all different.
But both my friends are so fleeting, Joey is so far away and Chris only calls when he can get away – that can be once a fortnight or six months may elapse. But when he comes knocking on the door I never knock him back. And I would love to find Chris’s or Joey’s head lying on the pillow next to me every morning of my life.
But I still do need a permanent lover. I need someone to reach out to, to share joys and sorrows with and to cuddle. I doubt that anyone has been created who has such a need to share his life with someone else. I always say that I am only complete as half of a pair and although I am now in Bonus Time I have not given up hope of finding that special relationship again.. Joey would not create any problem to this relationship, as he is my son and could be yours. But I am not sure where Chris would fit in this scheme.
So if any of this stirs any feelings in any of your readers by all means feel free to call me. But any relationship has to develop. Come and visit. We might become friends even if not lovers and this is really a lovely area to visit. I would like to think that even if no one calls on me this article might inspire other people to write to the Newsletter and express what they feel about relationships now that we are no longer young, trim, taut and terrific.