The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
                        - Marcel Proust

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Male Intimacy: In a Non Sexual Manner

The other day I had a cup of coffee with a friend-(we will call him John). He told me that after 14 years of marriage, two children, a dog and a house, he and his wife-(we will call her Jane) are calling it quits.  

On the surface they always appeared to be the perfect couple: perfect parties, perfect house, never fought in front of anyone, and never let on that they were unhappy. 

What you will read below is a sought of transcript and observation of our day, posted with his permission.

My friend says to me,"I am nervous about getting back out there." 

"Why", I asked.

"Well, I have gained weight, started losing my hair, and I am nervous about performing sexually - I have only been with 3 people, and she is one of them."

"John, you have nothing to be nervous about, you are a good looking man, great personality and there is someone out there for you, I promise. Don't worry about numbers, that is stupid; you are experienced and you will be fine."

"How could you be sure? Look at me!"

I replied, "you need some self-esteem tuning; let's go shopping and get a haircut etc."

We head to my hair stylist where John gets a new haircut that does not make him look like he is losing his hair - he actually looks like Jesse Chathman, but a few pounds heavier -stocky. I pick out some skin care products from Anthony Logistics, and I tell him to sign up for spin classes at his local gym, buy some new clothes and a computer - he has the money. Then we get him some cool new jeans, tees, button downs, a macbook and an a Nano. I felt like queer eye for the straight friend that has no idea his friend is pansexual. 

We are walking, and he asks, "Marcello are you gay/bisexual or what?"

I tell him the truth. " I am pansexual." 

"What does that mean, you are turned on by frying pans or" 

"No, it means that I am attracted to someone regardless of their gender, and I am attracted to all people across the spectrum, wether it be male, female or transgendered people., and that I have a sex-positive outlook towards sexuality."

"Wow, who else knows?" I tell him everyone that does, show him my blog, and explain to him that I am not hiding who I am, but I don't feel the need to invite everyone I know over for a party and tell them who I am sexually; If they ask, I tell!" 

He gives me a hug, says, "thanks" and tells me he will call me later. 

Later comes, the phone rings...."it's John, wanna get a drink?" 


While we are out, we meet these two very nice girls, and buy them some drinks. We are having a nice conversation, and I can see John is feeling good and secure in himself - makes me feel good; I love my friends!

The girls leave, some numbers were exchanged and so on.  John thanks me again, and says in a low voice with his head down, "I have a problem with premature ejaculation." 

"What, are you sure?" 

"Yes, and to boot, Jane and I have not had sex in like 4 years. She hates sex, never wanted to do anything - not even kiss....I was lonely. I met a woman at work and she wanted to have an affair, but I was scared; I did not know how I would perform."

I am thinking to do I answer this?

"Look, it is ok to be nervous. How long do you last?"

"3-4 minutes tops, but I get hard again pretty quickly."

I laugh! "That is about average, you do not have premature ejaculation, and even if you want to consider that PME, that is not what women care about. They want foreplay, afterplay and sex."


"Yes, it is holding her after sex, caressing her, looking her in the eyes, and whispering her sweet nothings etc.....not rolling over and falling asleep."

"I would do that with Jane, but she would push me away. She complained that I sucked in bed, made fun at my size, and told me I was useless."

My mouth dropped to the floor. "I'm sorry, John. This is not your fault, she has some issues that she has obviously projected on you." (Obviously there is two sides to every coin, but I think he is being 100% honest). Have you spoken to anyone else about this?"

"Only the therapist I started seeing a month ago. It wasn't just sex. She would do this with everything I did - nothing was good enough for her, and that is why I asked her for a divorce. Am I wrong?"

"No, but can I ask you something?"


"Do you feel that you have tried your best to make it work?"

"More than enough, and these last two weeks, even though I am living at a hotel, I am happy, but nervous."

"Ok. Lastly, did you feel the same way about sex before Jane - with the other two girls?"


"My honest opinion is that she was mentally abusing you. Keep seeing the therapist and start feeling good about yourself again by exercising, going out and meeting people."  

I am happy to say that it has been almost two weeks since this conversation, and John has been feeling great because of his exercise routine, therapy and the girl from that night called him. They spent the night together and have begun seeing each other. John said he was nervous at first, but so was she - which put him at ease. He performed well he said. No complaints on her part, but he would still like to be better in bed. I recommended a Fleshlight STU, and some Tantra classes, which they are going to register for together.

Why did I write this? Because It showed that all people are vulnerable to abuse, mental or physical, and that even though he never showed it - he was hurting inside all this time.

My point being - as men we have a right to make sure our friends are Ok - mentally, physically and sexually. Before I knew I was pansexual, I always enjoyed the company of my "gay" friends, because they always opened up, let their feelings out, asked me how I was, lent a shoulder to cry on - literally.  We need to get to the point in our male-male friendships where sensitivity and openness between us is not perceived as weird, but healthy. 

Why do women live longer? Because they open up to each other, lend an ear or a shoulder, they are intimate in a non-sexual way. 

Ask a friend tomorrow how he is doing, you might be surprised at what he tells you.



Sylvanus said...


My heart goes out to John, and I understand his plight in more ways than I care to admit. Just be sure to let him know there is something worth having on the other side of this rainbow.


Mina said...

As a woman, I don't have much to share here other than you are a really great friend! I am so happy to hear your friend is doing much better! His wife sounds like a total witch!

Vixen said...


You rock as a friend. I have several guy friends who have been mentally abused by their S/O's in this manner. I think being openly honest and caring is a huge help.

I was in an incredibly abusive relationship (mentally, emotionally, physically) and it is horrible what it can do to your self confidence and self image.

Your honesty and friendship did your friend a huge favor. Kuddos. :)

Blissfully Wed said...

My best to your friend. That was beautiful to read.

MarcelloNYC said...

Thank you everyone, I will relay your kind words to him.


CowGirl said...

Wow, what a great friend you are. I hope John will be happier now.

Curvaceous Dee said...

Thank you very much for sharing this. You are a very good friend. I hope that John's esteem continues to improve - it will be in no small measure thanks to you!

xx Dee

Pandora said...

My first thought about this was that he had no idea he was non-consensually involved with a domineering woman who was trouncing upon his psyche. The second thought: "Men pay good money to have awful women like that do them harm, and not be cared about!" You are a valuable commodity to your friends.

Raven in NYC (aka Mark) said...

You are an incredible friend. I share the same feelings you do about my male friendships. I've always had trouble being friends with guys because I think I am so open and honest. There is no shame in it. I mean if you are comfortable enough about talking about the last person you "banged" you should be comfortable enough to talk about the tough stuff too. Plus if more guys talked to each other they'd realize that they don't have to be so macho and "brave" about things that are rough in our lives.

And I have to say good for John! For being comfortable enough to open up to you about things, but even to open up about questioning you.

I truly value the open and close male friendships that I've created in the last couple years. They are the best friends I've ever had. And always looking for others.

MarcelloNYC said...

Thanks again everyone, and John says the same.

Raven, I could not agree more.

rob said...

Sounds like you were an ally to your fortunate friend.

mainja said...

That was great to read. I don't have much more to add to the chorus of 'you're a great friend' and the well wishes for your friend, but I wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed reading this.

Arkhilokhus said...


I'll agree with everyone else that you've shown yourself to be a great friend.

I just came out of a mentally abusive marriage, and it took my almost a year to realize what I had done to my self-esteem and general mental health. I'm glad your friend recognized the need for therapy early on, and has someone he can depend on in a difficult time.

It's also great to see that the prevailing social model of male friendship needn't stand in the way of men supporting men. You do give me hope.

MarcelloNYC said...

Thank you Rob and Mainja.

RE: arkhilokhus Thank you, and I am sure everything will turn around for you also. If you need to talk, drop me an email or IM. I will checkout your blog tomorrow.

Arkhilokhus said...


I just wanted to say that the fact that you're willing to talk to a total stranger about his personal problems speaks volumes about what kind of person you are.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great post. I'm in a situation that is so similar to your friend's: married 18 years, a child, a non-existent sex life and a partner who is cold, distant, and undermining. I just need the courage to end it and move on. John's story helped me see what's on the other side. Thank you John for the inspiration.

MarcelloNYC said...

arkhilokhus -thank you and the offer stands - I am all ears.

Paul - It is definitely tuff, but there is hope. Like I said to John, as long as you feel you have tried everything to make it work, and you still feel the same - then move on. Be a great Dad to your children still, and you will have a great life a head of you.

I'm here by email/Im if you need someone to listen!

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