The Value Of Friendship

Hey there Guys,

For the past week I have been really enjoying a week of “beardom” with Melbourne’s annual furry festival Southern Hibearnation.

For many people it’s a week of fun, celebration and a chance to let the hair down and just be us. Fur, bellies and all.

As gay men we are not always afforded the opportunity to “feel free” so when we have the chance to feel safe it can allow unresolved anxieties to bubble to the surface.

Last night was the final night of the bear celebrations.

I was on my way to the party a little late. As I crossed the road I ran into my good mate Dave. There was something wrong. It was just a feeling  but I knew he was a little down. So what do you do when your mate is not feeling the best? You stop and you listen. They are your mate.

So, there we were in the middle of one of Melbourne’s busiest streets, Dave was opening his heart and I was there to listen, to support him, to be there for my brother.  We didn’t have a huge chat but afterwards we both hugged, he headed home and I went off to what was an amazing party for many Australian and international bears.

Having to work today I headed home early. As I sat on the train I was genuinely touched by this lovely letter sent by Dave. He kindly agreed to allow me to share it here on the blog.

When Random Play Becomes More…
(Can your heart travel through the eye of your dick?)

I love the Melbourne bear scene. There are so many men, so friendly, so sexually open and always around. Heaven knows I’ve made the most of it since moving here and it’s been great, up until now.

But something happened and I wasn’t expecting it. There is this man, an amazing bloke, sexy, masculine and smart. We’ve ‘bumped’ into each other over the last couple of years and had some fantastic and passionate times. It was all casual,  cool, chilled out, free and all under control. But then it wasn’t.

In one recent encounter in the afterglow of what was supposed to be another one of our casual play sessions I realised something both wonderful and terrifying. I wanted more, I wanted it all the time and I didn’t want it from anyone else. Uh oh….

Now he is seeing someone else and I see them at all the same venues I go to. It stabs me like a knife in the guts whenever I see him and his new man. I don’t blame him as I didn’t speak up earlier. I really wish him the best of things in life however now to watch it all developing is just too hard.

Of course I know that I’m not on my own when I tell my tale of a casual thing that suddenly developed some significant depth. I also won’t be the last person to find myself in this situation, its part of being human. What concerns me in this hyper-masculine, hyper-sexual world that we all adore so much is that we must always keep some space for the more emotional side of our nature.

I have had the most awful of weeks at the most inconvenient of times (Southern Hibearnation). I really tried to put on a brave face. I turned up at the right places as much as I could stand as I am a good trooper. Of course I smiled sweetly and said hello to the fella and his new man (more knives in the belly) as I bumped into them both at events.

I never thought that in a town of over four million people, surrounded by friends as close as mine that I could ever feel so totally and utterly alone.  I suddenly felt a stranger in my adopted home.

As I slinked away from another fantastic event that I just couldn’t connect with, I ran into my mate Dr George. As we said our hellos like good friends do, he knew something was wrong and he asked. So I told him. In the middle of the highway, at a tram stop, in front of hundreds of strangers driving by, I shared my pain and felt better for it.

I guess that the point of this is twofold:

1.    While we are having an absolute blast with our friends at venues and events please keep an eye out for those who may be feeling as lonely as I am. Ask them R U OK?

2.    Enjoy yourself, have an amazing time sharing each other in every sense of the word but be ready for that time when all of a sudden, your heart slips out the head of your dick.

Look after yourself and each other.

Guys, never feel afraid to check in on your mates. Sometimes just being there, listening and caring can make a massive difference. It may even save a life.

Yours in good health.

Dr George


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