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 something...lol."
"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 myself.......how 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.