My Story Was Too Much for Graham Norton’s Red Chair

One of my goal’s in life is to get to sit in The Graham Norton Show’s famous red chair and tell a hilarious story without being tipped over in the middle of it. I know it’s unlikely but you need big dreams, don’t you?

(For those of you unfamiliar with the red chair, it’s a chair where some members of the show’s audience get to tell a story. If Graham and his guests like the story, the person gets to finish it. If they don’t like it, they pull a handle to tip the chair over.)

My dream almost came true a few weeks ago when Lena and I finally got tickets to see the show. I hadn’t applied for the red chair because we got the tickets on a short notice. However, I got to make my pitch as we were queueing for the show and a woman walked past us asking if people had any funny stories for the chair.

Lena and I immediately called at the woman, who we assume was a production assistant, to hear my story. When I told it to her, she listened carefully, took a pause, and said eventually: “That’s awful!” It’s one thing to be tipped over in the chair, but quite another to be rejected even before you sit in it.

For my story to get the audience it deserves, I share it here. Do you think it’s too much for national television?

“It was just another night out with the ladies. We had first had a lovely dinner at a hip tapas place in Soho. We had a few bottles of wine (each), and felt like going for another few glasses (bottles) in our favourite Soho gay club.

“So we did. There was some dancing, and eventually my top went off. I had the time of my life! But then something happened. I didn’t feel well, which wasn’t completely unheard of on a night like this, but this time it was different. I wasn’t able to stand up, let alone take myself home.

“I had had pretty much the same amount of drinks as my friends (one of which is the size of a Russian ballerina), so we soon realised my drink had probably been spiked. The ladies took me to the ballerina’s place and looked after me. This goes to show that you should only get drunk in the presence of good friends.

“When I woke up in the morning, I felt grateful. Not only had I good friends but I had an admirer. I couldn’t believe that someone would like me enough to drug me! The perpetrator thought I was spike-worthy. It must have been one of the most romantic things anyone had ever done to me.

(At this point the production assistant was looking at us in shock.)

“So you can imagine my disappointment when the ladies elaborated the night’s events. It turned out that right before I got unwell, I had brought us drinks. “Look what I found!” I had told them.

“I had taken somebody else’s drink which had been spiked. It wasn’t me that was supposed to have the drink, it was someone probably younger and cuter.”

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What a Pile of Clothes after Sex Tells about Him

I was cleaning up after sex when I realised there was an interesting difference in the way my sex partner and I had taken our clothes off. I found two piles (or chains) of clothes, and the one that he had left behind was consistently unlike mine: all his clothes, from socks to shirt, were inside out.

I found it charming that he had taken his clothes off without thinking ahead how annoying it is to put them back on when everything is inside out. This guy knows how to seize a moment! Also, I thought it was quite sexy that he wanted me so much that he didn’t care.

Don’t get me wrong – I wanted him just as much. The thing is that I’m a bit neurotic and I never really tear my clothes off. I only need to start folding my clothes before jumping into bed and I can have my own episode on The Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners.

When my sex partner was back from the shower, I told him I found it very cute that he had left all his clothes inside out (by now his clothes were, of course, in a neat pile on my bed). I was a bit ashamed to admit that I never let go like that. Then I opened my drawers and cupboards to show him what kind of freak he was sleeping with.

To my surprise he wasn’t put off at all. He even said that he found my way to operate with clothes just as sexy as I found his. It looks like opposites attract.

Come to think of it, also my ex-partner was quite, ahem, carefree when it comes to clothes. His drawers and cupboards were less organised than my laundry basket. Unlike one might expect, I found that charming until the very end of our long relationship. Often unpractical, but always charming.

I would love to claim that a pile of clothes tells something about our character. But based on my own experience we all have areas in life that we tend to keep well organised and other areas that we let go.

Yes, my drawers are very Martha Stewart but I haven’t owned a calendar since uni. And I occasionally eat from the bin.

The Best Way to Celebrate Eurovision? Take It from Someone Who’s Tried Them All

The UK has picked a song for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and everything is ready for the big night! And for the UK to get five points.

Luckily we pour so much money into the European Broadcasting Union that we are automatically qualified for the Grand Final. Can you imagine if Brexiters found out? We would soon not only be out of the EU but the Eurovision Song Contest as well!

I’ve watched Eurovision since I was a child. When I started watching, there was a country called Yugoslavia and it was cool for female and male performers to wear matching clothes on the stage.

With my history I think it’s safe to say I know how to celebrate Eurovision. I’ll start from the worst way to enjoy the gayest event of the year and work my way up:

  • Internet café with a bad connection outside Europe. Due to bad planning I’ve had to resort to following the Eurovision Song Contest on my Facebook and Twitter feeds on a couple of occasions. Relying on other people’s commentary feels like listening to an inside joke after another. And if you find yourself in any other country outside Europe than Australia, don’t expect people to sympathise for what you’re missing out on.
  • Any bar heavily drunk. Drinking a bit too much in a bar is a good idea almost every time – but not on a Eurovision night. It’s not cool to ask the following questions at midnight: Which country won? What song was it? Is that a country in Europe? Especially if you’ve claimed to be a big fan of Eurovision and a citizen of the world.
  • At home with friends. This can be great fun, including food and drink, socialising, and even a home vote. But watch out for Eurovision freaks who don’t allow so much as a whisper during performances and who make home voting an even more serious matter that the actual vote. Not so much fun anymore.
  • At home with family as a child. This is how we did it until my early teens. The whole family would gather around our small TV screen to watch the show and eat ice-cream. Children would struggle to stay up until the winner was announced (brushing would win another few minutes awake). There was always someone who thought a song or two should be disqualified for plagiarism. Oh, the scandal!
  • Tipsy at KU Bar, London. So far my absolute favourite: Revellers from around Europe. Bar staff with European flags painted on their bare chests. Me with my fan t-shirt which fits like a glove and I allow myself to wear only once a year. Loud music, cheering public and good mood. Doesn’t get any better than that! And men touching my nipples through that t-shirt doesn’t hurt.

Messages That Show You’re in Different Places (You Think This Post Is about Dating but It’s about Hangover)

Hangovers can be tough but sometimes even the toughest hangover has a comical element to it. Well, in hindsight anyway.

This happened to me a few weeks ago when I was recovering from a night out. I didn’t have much fun that night, wasted too much money, drank and smoked excessively – and hated myself the next day.

When texting with my friend about dropping something off at his place, it soon became clear we found ourselves in very different places that afternoon. His texting, while very sympathetic about my state, was constantly interrupted by his Sunday workout routine. Thinking back, the contrast between us was so amusing that it deserves a blog post.

Here’s how it went:

I’m trying to find a position in my bed where I don’t throw up.

Ping! A message from him:

“Cooking a pasta after our high voltage functional training this morning.”

I’m trying to place a duvet on my head so that it prevents daylight from getting in but allows me to have oxygen.

Ping!

“I’m off for a short run. Speak later.”

I hear dance music from last night in my head. No, not that song! Nooo!

Ping!

“I’m dancing to this one now.” (Followed by a link.)

I tell him that I’ll join him and his friends for dinner if I’m up by 7pm.

Ping!

“Off I go for my long run. Ta blueboy!”

My Life as a TV Show… and the Soundtrack!

I watch too much TV. I watch it so much that I’ve started to see my life as a TV show. If not as whole episodes, at least as scenes from a TV show.

TV has shaped the way I think about my life and relationships. Sometimes it has been helpful. The first gay men I got to know were TV characters and they introduced me to a lifestyle that I otherwise wouldn’t have known.

Then there are times I feel TV has fucked me up. If, for example, my partner was to tell me he accidentally had sex with my dad because my dad was wearing similar clothes to mine, I would probably go: “I’m familiar, I’m familiar. I saw it once on TV”.

Because there’s almost nothing better than a powerful TV scene with the right music, I tend to look for songs that work as a background for the TV show that is my life. Sometimes, I have to admit, I make such beautiful scenes that I get emotional thinking about them. Oh my God, I’m a TV drama queen!

Below are some songs from the latest scenes. (They are all more or less gay as I listen to Gaydio. YES, FOR THE MUSIC!)

  • Avicii: Lonely Together – You know the feeling when housework is piling up and you should finish something in the office? I might hate myself tomorrow but I’m on my way tonight!
  • Mike Posner: I Took a Pill in Ibiza – I didn’t, but I did get wasted in Soho and when I finally got sober, felt ten years older. But fuck it, it was something to do.
  • Years & Years: Shine – Like Bridget Jones, I’d like to think of myself as an assured, receptive, responsive woman of substance. But for the love of my life: I wanna be the one you steal, I wanna be the one you shield, I wanna be the one that your love can heal.
  • Sam Smith: Too Good at Goodbyes – I wish I never got to that point in a relationship, but if I ever get too good at goodbyes, I’ll let Sam do the talking. ‘Cause every time you hurt me, the less that I cry. And every time you leave me, the quicker these tears dry.
  • Birdy: Keeping Your Head Up – When you do fuck up a relationship, just hold tight, you’re slowly coming back to life.

What’s on your soundtrack? And please don’t hesitate to include songs you hear on the radio. I’m not going to start listening to jazz!

5 Things Will & Grace Taught a Young Gay Boy

The first Friday of 2018 was the most important TV event of the year: Will & Grace made its long-awaited comeback in the UK.

It was a big day for two reasons. Firstly, I love Will, Grace, Karen and Jack (to be honest, the latter two are my favourites and I think the show should be called Karen & Jack). Secondly, one of the worst finales in the TV history got finally rectified (“That never happened!”).

I’m someone who grew up with TV. My parents probably thought I would become a better person watching TV shows than listening to what they had to say. I couldn’t agree more.

The Will & Grace comeback made me reflect what I learnt about (gay) life watching the show in my late teens and early twenties.

  1. It’s OK to be camp. When I first got to know Jack, I thought he was too camp. I had been working my ass off to lose my camp qualities to, at first, pass as a straight person, and then to be more attractive to gay men. But there he was prancing around on TV and embracing his campness! Later in life Jack became my role model. I learnt that if you’re a bit camp, at least the man of your dreams doesn’t have to waste time wondering if you’re gay or not.
  2. A gay man is a straight woman’s best friend. But he can’t replace a boyfriend and he shouldn’t. Same goes the other way round. I think the dynamics between Karen and Jack works better than that between Will and Grace. Karen and Jack’s relationship is about fun, sharing, and caring – pretty much like Will and Grace’s but without the complexity of building a family that they both would prefer to have with a romantic partner.
  3. Gay relationships don’t have to be similar  to straight relationships. Straight and gay people should have the same rights as couples but why should all relationships, gay or straight, follow the ideals of which has become a traditional straight relationship? Let’s at least save the gays from that baggage! Will seems to struggle with how to live a straight life as a gay man whereas Jack embraces his gay life.
  4. It’s valuable to have a gay friend you never slept with. I find the sexual tension between Will and Jack interesting. Labelling is not cool but I can’t help but wonder if both of them are bottoms. There’s been some tension between them but it has never materialised. I say good for them! Friends with benefits is one thing but sex doesn’t always benefit a friendship.
  5. Jokes are more fun when you’re a good person. The fact that you treat other people with love and respect allows you to tell jokes that are dirty, questionable, and even politically not correct. That’s because your audience knows you have good intentions and you are probably just mocking people with idiotic views. How much fun!

5 Things That Tell He’s into You

Most single people have sometimes asked themselves if the person they are into feels the same way about them. I’ve come up with a few points that help me determine if a man is into me or not.

  1. Looks: I’m an ordinary-looking fellow. If I make an effort, I can go from ordinary to good. If I don’t make any effort at all, I go down a notch. If a man thinks I’m very handsome, he probably has some kind of feelings for me because he doesn’t see my flaws. (But if he likes my butt, he might just like the butt. I do squats.)
  2. Work: Pretty much the same goes for my work. When I write my CV, I say I work at a cool, cutting-edge creative agency where I hold a key position. If I’m being honest, my work is pretty much cutting and pasting. If a man thinks I’m very creative from what I’ve told him about my job, he’s either read my CV or he’s so intrigued by everything I say that he must be into me. (Or then I’ve been lying which I only feel like doing with idiots.)
  3. Behaviour: I’m quite sociable and so are many men – until they’ve climaxed. I love a liedown after sex, when the two of you are on your backs catching breath, holding hands and not saying a word for a while. I love it when you fall asleep together. But if I say something meaningful and he doesn’t reply in full sentences, he’s probably not into me. Once a man said to me, after we had finished having sex at his place, that London has a most amazing night bus network. I took the hint and caught a bus.
  4. Drinking: If a man sees me drunk and he thinks my behaviour is charming and not alarming, he probably gives me the benefit of the doubt and is into me. My drinking is not as bad as it sounds though. My rule is to have more days in a week without alcohol than with (even a glass of wine counts!).
  5. Culture: If he reads, goes to the Tate, and loves the opera, and doesn’t mind that I read (Bridget Jones), go to the Tate (for the rooftop café), and love the opera (in the Eurovision Song Contest), he probably thinks highly of me and is into me.

Disclaimer: Even if it seems he’s into you, it might be that he’s just being nice. If this turns out to be the case, embrace it. He might make a hell of a friend.

Why I still Blame Society for Limiting my Chances as a Gay Man

When my country allowed same-sex marriage, I was asked many times if I would get married with my then boyfriend. How about adoption – would we consider it? I found it charming that people thought the whole world had changed overnight. But it hadn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy that the law passed and I do think it made the world a better place. But the law had changed, not me. When you grow up thinking that you would never have a husband nor children, you might accept that model in your head no matter how much you fought it.

Sometimes my heart isn’t able to keep up with changes in the law and people’s values. This is also reflected in my relationship with my family members.

I’m the youngest of my siblings. Once, when all of us were in our late teens or early 20s, we were talking about how we would name our future children. I had come up with a name for a future daughter but when I shared it with others, mum pointed out that I wouldn’t have any children because I’m gay. I felt both humiliated and disappointed.

Ten years later she was openly advocating for equal marriage and planning my future wedding (a straight child can be pissed off when parents do that but a gay child should be grateful). However, I’m afraid something had changed between us for good. Both mum and society had made me think I wasn’t fit for a husband or a parent and, sadly, I had bought that.

They say that for a nation to recover from the trauma of a war, it takes two generations after the one who’s lived the war. It might not take two generations for the LGBT+ community to get over their trauma but I’m afraid my generation didn’t get spared.

Also, I don’t have anyone to marry me for the moment. But once I find someone, I promise I will speed up the healing process.